Bunny who?

Why? Who? What's this blog about? It's about MEEEE!

Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow

Astrocytoma

About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk
 

31 October 2003

Excuse me?



Bush: I've Created "More Peaceful and More Free" World
In his first full press conference in four months, President Bush vowed the U.S. would stay in Iraq despite the increasing resistance to the U.S. occupation. When he was asked if the number of U.S. troops would be reduced over the next year, he refused to answer saying it was a "trick question."

He also claimed yesterday that: "The world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership." He repeatedly characterized the resistance within Iraq as orchestrated by terrorists. This despite public opinion polls in Iraq that there is widespread opposition to the U.S. occupation. He said the recent string of bombings in Baghdad represent "the same mentality... that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001."


The man is the biggest danger for world peace ever. Even Ronald Reagan wasn't this stupid. But it gets worse.


...the White House has manipulated its web site to prevent Internet search engines including Google from archiving portions of the White House website related to Iraq. Over the past few months the White House has come under criticism for altering archived pages as the situation in Iraq worsens. In the most widely noted case the White House altered the headline for its coverage of his speech aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. The web page originally read " President Bush announces combat operations in Iraq have ended." But several months later the text "combat operations" was changed to "major combat operations" as it became evident that the fighting in Iraq had not ended.


Source:Democracy Now.

Excuse me? Am I reading this right? Falsifying history? And nobody in the Democratic party raises his hand to protest? How quick were the Republicans to try and impeach Clinton for privately shagging Monica? And this just gets swept under the carpet? It made me so angry, I immideately bought a t-shirt from Democracy Now. I encourage you to do the same.

I know buying a t-shirt won't help a lot but as a non-American, I won't be able to vote Bush out of the office. Everyone should know how this man conducts his business. So support organisations like Democracy Now in any way you can.

(Via Ruminate This.)
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Frustration

The broadcaster where I work is as good as bankrupt. Tough luck for those 42 people who get fired. But I still have a job. But I might be leaving soon. To England, to livewith Jane. But nothing is 100% definate yet. Of course I am calling around for things I need to organise. So I called my healthinsurance.............. Turns out I am insured through my work AND with health insurance I took out myself. They never told me I had insurance already. So, I paid double for something I never used.

In an attempt to clear up the confusion, I called the insurance company that my boss has insured me. Shame they have no record ofme being insured there at all. Huh? My payment slip for the past 2 years tells me I have been paying the insurance premium every month!!!! (yes yes, I should have spotted that I was paying it and made a phonecall. But I didn't. A payslip is full of things they take out of your salary so I did not notice it)

So now I am owed some 400 euro by my boss: he took the premium out of my salary but he never registered me with the insurance company.

But how do you get money back froman almost bankrupt company?

Bugger. How difficult can it be to run a financial administration? And where is the money they took out? No wonder they are about to break down: some idiot has been running the finances there!!!

Update: Just got email. I will get all the money back with my salary of November. Haha! Never made such easy money by making 1 single phonecall. I am pleased. I wonder if I need ot pay taxes over that. I suppose I do.
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28 October 2003

No sex, no food and no impure thoughts

The Ramadan has started. This means that Muslims are not allowed to eat, have sex and think about sex until sunset. Amongst others. So for the news today, I had to film a report about the prostitutes in the city: do they see a decline in business during the day now that their muslim-customers stay away? Indeed he said. Some 60% even!!! But the strange thing is: the drop in customers happens at nighttime. And at nighttime, people are allowed to have and think about sex agani. So why do they say away at night? Possibly becasue after sundown, muslims are usually eating with their families during the ramadan. Can you imagine: the whole family is there except Achmed. Because he has gone to a hooker. Hehehe.

But then: not allowed to have stimulating thoughts? How can you ask a man not to think about sex during the day??? Even I can not do that, let alone a man. Did scientists not say men think about sex some 250 times a day on average? How can Allah ask this of his followers? If they manage, I have the utmost respect for them. I somehow doubt it though.

The owners of sexshops also reported a decline in business during ramadan. I have been in eroticshops before. Some are better than others. The seedy ones are uite disgusting: they have videorooms where men wank for an hour and then go home. Eewwww. Christine LeDuc is a nice exception here: staff that know what they are talking about, helpful and the shops look very welcoming. So, I have seen my share of dildo's and buttplugs. But what I saw today completely outclassed my imagination. Buttplugs with a diameter of (not kidding)12 - 15 centimeters!!!!! I just stared. And thought: AAAUUUUUUUUUU!!!
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26 October 2003

Why the hell are you there?

I thought George Bush said America went to Iraq to help the Iraqi people and to liberate them. Then why the hell are American troops now basically at war with the Iraqi people?

Rocket attack hits Baghdad hotel

If they try to shoot your representative, it is a hint that they don't want you there. Get out where you never should have been in the first place. Let other countries solve this. Namely the ones that have no big economic interests, or at least do not have the power to monopolise business (read: those who opposed the war). America does not want Europe to step in. Why not? Because hey, what if all those nice big fat oildeals do NOT go to American companies after they have to compete in an open market with others. Can't have that now can we? No, instead, just ask the world to give YOU 87 billion dollars that you promise you will spend on rebuilding Iraq?

That 87 billion is easily spent if it turns out that you give orders to American companies that are 15% more expensive than other companies. But hey, the others are not owned by the vice-president so they don't stand a chance.

George Bush is an even bigger disaster for the world than I feared when he was elected. I thought he would be taking America down with him. But he is in fact taking the whole Middle East down with him. And stability in Asia on the side. Maybe some day he can drink too much again and drive his car off the road? I for one would not miss him.
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25 October 2003

Back to work

On Monday I have to return to work. Back to the hell-hole where they fired 42 people this week. The place where people are job hunting in work time, calling their legal councel, crying, working and pointing fingers at eachother for who is to blame for the misery.
Great. Just what I need after loosing my granddad completely unexpected and after spending a few days with my grandmother, trying to help her out with getting her new, single, life on the road. How sad. I left her this afternoon and I had to cry. I did not want to leave. But she has to be alone at some point, she has to move on with life. But I was hoping that it did not have to be today. Not just yet. So I offered her to stay. But she refused, saying she would need to be alone at some point, to face the loneliness and sadness. But not today. Not just yet.
But I left. She told me to go. And I now understand how parents feel about their children: you don't want them to hurt. Because it hurts you.
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American Comedy is lame

I know I know, this is old news. The series That's My Bush was aired years ago (before 9/11/2001) but it has hit Dutch TV only now. And by GOD it is not funny!!

It is typically American sitcom-material: lame jokes, nothing really daring and worse of all: it manages to fuck up a great potential succes. G.W. Bush doesn't need satire. The man is a joke in real life. You can not possibly portray him any more stupid than he alrady is. And that is where this progam fails: they try to make him funny and dumb at the same time. But he already is in real life.

What is it about Americans and sitcoms? Why can they not make a decent one? And why can the British do it by simply getting almost anyone off the street and giving him a pen or a typewriter? But most of all: why do US networks drool over British Comedy and then demand an American re-make?

The Girls of CouplingExample: Coupling. A BBC-series about 6 friends and their personal lives (read: sexual adventures). NBC is looking for a sitcom to replace "Friends" and it has its eye on an American version of "Coupling". Firstly: why the hell not just air the British version? Aparently, the British actors are not pretty enough. The American actors are all nice, pretty and slim. Secondly, the things that make the series funny are the great innuendo jokes.But they are deemed 'too much for American TV'. So they simply scratch them. Why the hell would NBC want to buy a comedy about sex when it proceeds to delete all explicit sexual jokes. Mind you, there is more sex in "Sex and the City". So, how was the remake recieved?
You have to watch the US and UK first episodes of Coupling back to back to get the full shock: the British one is vastly better.

It is as if ER were the one made here and Casualty was American, the difference is that striking and is true from the writing and acting to how it is shot.

"Coupling UK" was supposedly too rude and explicit. Referring to girlfriends who won't go away as 'unflushables' was deemed too much for US audiences. Puhlease!!!

Here are some quotes from the British "Coupling":

- I've always wanted to date a gynaecologist. I wanna know I'm special.

- I really thought I'd gone to his house, you know, to heal our spiritual divide. But it turns out I was just gagging for a shag. Those two are so similar.

- I like films with lesbians in them because it's nice to think there are attractive women out there who can't find a boyfriend.

By the way, through "Coupling" is finally know what a Porn Buddy is: a friend who, on hearing of your death, will clear the porn out of your house before your parents get round.

That aint so bad now is it? I for one love Coupling. It is witty, funny and hilarious at the same time. For those who share my opinion,there are only 3 words: "Lesbian Spank Inferno" (a Google search on that ONLY gives us the Coupling episode so it is work-safe to read more:)

Patsy and Eddie But of course the prime example of US networks being chicken-shit is that they wanted a re-make of Absolutely Fabulous because the references to drugs, sex and alcohol were too much for the poor American audience. Roseanne Barr bougth the rights to make it but after scrapping all the sex and drugs jokes, there was nothing left. Oh they bleeped out rude words in the British Original version. But they left in "Bollocks" because they could not decide if it was rude or not. So Ab Fab was aired on BBCAmerica and Comedy Central. And of course the American re-make died a quiet death. Nobody heard from it again. Because the original is simply better.

Lindy and Tom in Gimme Gimme Gimme The only really funny and original American sit-com I have ever seen was/is "Will and Grace". But then again, did the BBC not have Gimme Gimme Gimme? What was that about again? Oh hang on...... about a single woman living with a gay man......



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23 October 2003

Taking care

Will be gone for 3 days. Looking after nan. Who, surprisingly, has no internet. My nan is a fabulous woman. Openminded like nobody her age I have ever met. I told her that my ex-girlfriend is getting married. To a man. My nan smiled and said: "I did not know she was Bi. Congratulate her from me." Sounds simple doesn't it? Well, to my nan, it IS that simple. I don't know if she understands all the emotions and implications behind having a 'different' sexual preference, but she simply doesn't care. As long as people are happy.
I told her she was a fabulous nan. I mean, how many people her age would indeed be genuinely interested in what her lesbians granddaughter's ex-girlfriend does?

Now that nan is a widow, I shall visit her more often and do nice things with her: take her out to town for dinner or lunch etc.
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21 October 2003

Surreal

Where did I want to be today? At my grandfather's cremation? Or with my colleagues who will have to deal with 42 people fired since yesterday? I felt torn. Obviously I went to my granddad's cremation but my head was halfway at my work. What a shitty situation to be in. And I won't be at work until SUnday again. So I am 'missing' all the emotions and the togetherness people are now feeling. I am feeling disengaged (sp?) from it all. Especially since it seems that if I leave voluntarily (something I am considering), A dear colleague will keep her job.

The cremation was beautiful. It was nice, family around and nice food afterwards. Granddad went to God. That is what he hoped and so I hope it for him.
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20 October 2003

Job

I still have a job. Between 9:30 and 11PM tonight, everyone who will loose their job got a letter. I did not get one. I still have a job. Unlike some 30 others. I feel sad.
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Great week

In 4 hours, I will know who will get fired at my job and who won't. The meeting will startin a few hours. Great week. Today I might findmyself without a job, tomorrow I am cremating my grandfather and on Wednesday, my girlfriend returns to England. Then on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I have to sleep over at nan's house to take care of her for a few days until she gets backon her feet again. I don't mind that as such, just a bit much after such a week.
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17 October 2003

Mary Black and the Irony of it all

For years now I have been a fan of Irish singer Mary Black. Almost 4 months ago, I bought tickets to go and see her in Amsterdam this Tuesday. And now.......I won't be going because the cremation of my granddad is on Tuesday and it is at the other side of the country. So eventhough the cremation is in the afternoon, I will never get to Amsterdam on time. So if there are any takers for 2 tickets to Mary Black in Carré Theatre in Amsterdam on Tuesday 21 october....................

And the Irony? Last night, as my grandad passed away in a hospital in Nijmegen, Mary Black was playing a gig in the same city.
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16 October 2003

The beauty of dying

Can dying be beautiful? Can witnessing death leave you feeling intensely satisfied? It certainly has left me feeling a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. I am very tired and going to bed. But it was beautiful. Laughed, cried, laughed, laughed, laughed and then cried some more. I want to write about it now, when it still feels fresh. But I am tired. But when I am old and dying, I would like my family to be around me exactly like things were this afternoon.
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Witness to Death

I have been up since a while. I should go to the hospital. But I am putting it off. Because when I get in the car, I will be onmy way to see my grandfather dying. It won't happen until later today. When they unplug the machines, at around 5pm. Nice and convenient so that those of the family who have to work can get there on time and be there until the end. Feels strange that it is all so planned like this. We didn't exactly phone everyone and say: What would be a convenient time for you to unhook Granddad. But everyone understood that some people have to work.

I am not sure I want to be in the room to witness it. But I want to be in the hospital. For my parents. Because my father is more upset about his father in law dying than he was about his own father some 3 months ago. And inbetween all this, dad is trying to set up his own business. Poor man. He has a meeting right now. I suspect there will be very little concentration.
And my mother, she is strong. Strong enough, like the rest of the family, to laugh about who granddad was. And to cry for what we will no longer have.
Yesterday we were all sitting in the Family Room at the Intensive Care Unit. Talking about Granddad. I said: Hey, we are all here and nobody is with Granddad. Anyone want to go? And they looked at me and all said: No, we are having a bit of a laugh and a chat about Granddad. It's not like he is going anywhere for a while so it is no problem that we are all sitting here for a bit.

I laughed. I love my family. I guess I never realised how much.

jane sent me a poem that was read at her Nan's funeral this summer. My mother cried when she read it and asked me to translate it into Dutch. I did and she will read it at the cremation. Thank you Jane, it is beautiful.



All Is Well



Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

Henry Scott Holland


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15 October 2003

Death on demand

Tomorrow around this time my grandfather will have passed away I hope. There has been no change in his situation since he had his heartattack on Monday. Doctors have to wait 72 hours tosee if there is any improvement. After that, they switch of the ventilator. That 72 hours is tomorrow around 4pm. He breathes on his own they think so after they switch off the machine, he might live for a few more hours before he dies. I hope he doesn't. I hope he passes away quickly and peacefully.

The whole family rallies together around nan. We laugh about granddad's funny quirks, we cry because he won't be there anymore this time tomorrow. And me, I am home tonight, getting some sleep, backto the hospital in the morning. What better to take your mind of things than a new Weblog Lay-out?

Thanks Tom;)

Jane is coming to see me on Friday. So hopefully she can be there for the funeral. No matter how sad it is things have gone the way they did,but I am glad he did not die Mondayafternoon on the street. At least this way we have a few days to get used to the idea.

Sleep well Opa, we will take care of nan.
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14 October 2003

Death comes at the strangest times

This summer I lost my grandfather to lung cancer. I am almost 30 and still had all my grandparents. Quite unique in my circle of friends I realised then. Both my grandmothers have minor health problems. My father’s mother had a hip replacement shortly after the death of her husband. Due to complications, she is still in hospital but will be out this Wednesday. My mother’s mother had heart problems and can not be home alone because she might get another heart attack. The only one without problems is my mother’s father. Until yesterday.

After I came home from work, my mother called me. You know something is wrong when mothers say: Hello Marieke, this is mum Usually she says Haaaaai, it’s me. Granddad had a heart attack whilst on his bike. Bystanders tried to help him. They managed to get his heart beating again but they did not get the breathing right. So now he is in hospital in the Intensive Care. His heart works but he is more or les brain-dead from the lack of oxygen. He has convulsions every once so often and calms down again. There is no response to the every-important pain-test. When you stick him with a pin, there is no response. He feels no pain.
My whole family was there but only 2 were allowed at his bedside at any given time. My mother took me to see him. I have seen enough ER in my lifetime not to be shocked by people on ventilators. But when my mother leaned over and told my grandfather to go to sleep and that we would take good care of Nan, that he could let it all go, I cried. My Nan sort of smiled when she later sad: You will see that he is just going to sneak out on me. We all expected Nan to be the one who would end up in hospital first, with her heart problems. Turns out granddad had blue lips for a while now and shortness of breath. But he did not want any help. Because what would Nan do without him? He could not get ill. And so eventually is heart decided it had given enough ignored warnings and it just stopped.

And now? The doctors say they do tests for 72 hours and if there is no change whatsoever, they will let him go. We all agree that is the best for him, but still. Seems strange that it is the decision of the doctors. They said that of course they discuss it with the family but ultimately it is their decision to make when they consider treatment more harmful than helpful. It is now Tuesday. 72 hours is on Thursday. Feels strange to think my granddad will probably die on Thursday. Felt weird to call my work and tell them I would not come in on Thursday......

I used to think I was lucky to still have all 4 grandparents at my age. Now I see the downside of it: they all die very close to each other. I feel there is a lot of pain and sadness in store for us all in the next few months.

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12 October 2003

Fab site

I just LOVE this new site I found. It is from Margaret Cho.


You can go to Las Vegas, get married by an Elvis impersonator, in a drive thru, and be driven in a hearse to have a reception in a graveyard. But you have to be straight in order to do so. That is why I don't buy the argument that marriage is a sacred act between a man and a woman. Sacred? Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman got married. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Liza Minelli and David Gest. Liza Minelli and Peter Allen. Actually, Liza seems to be marrying all the gays.


Or this one abuot the Siegfried and Roy "tragedy":


Have the other tigers ostracized the one who bit Roy? Do they gossip about him around the waterfall, or do they see him as their hero? Or is there much more to it all. Perhaps there is a tiger conspiracy, and the one who bit will be mauled by another tiger, or shot by Jack Ruby, making the biter merely a patsy in the greatest tiger crime and cover up ever.


Call me world-wary but I had never heard of Margaret Cho. May the Lord have Mercy on me.



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11 October 2003

Is it sex or is it art

Today I bought a DVD of the movie "Caligula". I had seen part of it when I was young (!!!!!!), I think around 16. All I could remember was there was an awful lot of explicit sex in it. But what the story was? Did not know. I wanted to see it back then because I am a big fan of Helen Mirren.
So I came across it today: the double DVD for only 10 Euros.

Now I can see why I did not remember ANYTHING about the film. Eventhough there is not JUST sex in the film (there is a storyline and quite an intresting one), I think I can be forgiven for only remembering the totally explicit sex. Think porn, hardcore porn.

I am reminded of my "Fight Club-dilemma". I hated that film. People raved about it how the violence was not gratuitous but useful to the point of the film. I never understood that: I got the point of the film even without the sickening violence that sometimes literally made my stomach turn. The same with "Caligula". I understand what the movie is about, I see the point. I am not sure that needs to be illustrated with cum-shots (I am not joking. In a mainstream film with people like Helen Mirren and Peter O'Toole).

These days, the film is considered a strange part of filmhistory. And the film is actually quite intriguing. I wonder if Helen Mirren would still play in a film like that these days. Whilst watching, I was constantly listening for the sound of footsteps from my flatmates, so that I could turn it off quickly if they happened to come in. I know the film is not porn but one could be mistaken if walking in during a certain number of scenes. I felt like the bloke who REALLY reads Playboy Magazine because of the great interviews: YEAH RIGHT!!!

Interesting detail: I bought this DVD with vouchers my nan gave me for my birthday. Not sure this is what she had in mind.

Did I like the film? Well, not sure. I find the story of Caligula very interesting. Desperate man who wanted to find out how far he could go. And to his stunning surprise, he could do almost anything. Nobody questioned him. Simply because he was the Ceasar. Interesting premise. Of course, he ended up murdered, as most Emperors did in those days.
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10 October 2003

The lie is worse than the crime

It is official now She trips over the lie, not over the truth.
In one of my first posts I mentioned one of the Dutch princes wants to marry a girl who was involved with a criminal when she was about 20. Mabel Wisse Smit lied about the true nature and now the Dutch parliament has decided NOT to give permission to the marriage. This means the prince can no longer become king (he was second in line) if he decides to marry this girl. And he has said he wants to marry her.

In the past 3 weeks, there have been reports in the press about the girl, every day. Once source says she DID shag the criminal, others say she did not, others say she did shag but did not know he was a murderer and drug smuggler and so on. All kinds of fellow criminals have said that they never saw the girl in company of the man, and if they did, they never saw them intimate. All in all not very flattering for a girl who oculd become queen if the king dies.

So, if she had spoken the truth right away, this would not have happened. She should have said: Yes, I knew this man, we were friends, not lovers, I was 20 years old and it only lasted 3 months until I realisedwhat he did for a living."
Case closed.

But now, she will be damaged for the rest of her life. And our queen looks like a fool too. She announced the engagement BEFORE the Prime Minister, by law responsible for the Royal Family in Holland, could check the background of the girl.
It is intersting to see how most people on the street think they should just get married. So it seems that as long she is not a member of the Royal Household, people are OK with this.

Rumours have been for years that this prince is Gay. So it is a surprise that he wants to continue with this mariage: it would be the perfect cop-out. He announces his marriage, it gets cancelled and he remains single the rest of his life, cleared from the rumour of being gay.
But he wants to marry her after all.

So, once again, it is better to be HONEST about mistakes. The lie can be more damaging than the truth.


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The Catholic Church has gone mad

In the BBC programme Panorama, a number of catholic leaders say that condoms do not prevent transfer of HIV/AIDS or some major STD's. Come again????? (No pun intended!)

Are these people completely mad? In a time where young people are the largest group contracting the virus, a church says dangerous things like that? I am considering not watching Panorama on Sunday. I am not a fan of the church, especially the catholic church, at the best of times, but I fear stones will be thrown at my TV set when I hear the Archbishop of Nairobi say that condoms are to blame for the spread of HIV/AIDS and that little girls who get raped by their fathers should carry their babies and put them up for adoption, rather than have an abortion at a very early stage.

I am disgusted by the fact that it is not just the Pope who thinks like this but more and more poor catholics too. How can an institution claim they are helping people when they condem people to death and to having children they do not want?
I am not an strict atheïst but I believe at this point that Catholic teachings do the world more harm than good.

More than ever, the church has lost touch with the rest of the world. Instead of being a safe haven, it is becoming a dangerous place to be.
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09 October 2003

I love my love

Do you hate it too? people who fill their life-logs with nothing but soppy stuff about how they love their wife/lover/boyfriend/girlfriend? I do. But now I finally understand why people write about it. Because I will admit to the world: I am in love.

Yay. It does make it feel nicer when everybody knows. I wonder however, if people can tell when they see me. I am bloody radiating at the moment. I just booked asurprise weekend to go and see her. (I live in Holland, she lives in the UK) Bit of a shame that I could not keep it a surprise for more than a shocking 5(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) minutes. I was bouncing on the telephone so she wanted to know why I sounded so smug.

Bunny Factor 15 right now!

[/soppy lifelog]
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08 October 2003

Bush bothers me again

Executive privilege seen as leak-case option

Members of George W. Bush's administration leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent to the press.
That agent was the wife of one of the administration's political foes. Namely, the man who told Bush Saddam was NOT buying uranium in Niger. Yet Bush chose to ignore that and mentioned it anyway.
Knowingly leaking the identity of an undercover agent puts the lives of the agent and her sources in danger and is a violation of federal law, punishable by up to ten years in prison.

So, right after all this, Bush promised he would find the person who leaked the name. Yeah sure. Now he says: I am not sure we will ever find the culprit. After all, a lot of people leak information in this city.

Unbelievable that people elected this man to office. On the other hand, the hopeful thing about it is that his popularity is going down, down down. I thought, after 9/11 that Bush was up for certain re-election. But thank God he made a mess of Afghanistan and Iraq so now his re-election is not a given at all. Thank God. Maybe we can get back to bringing peace to the Middle East and Israel after this idiot is gone.

However, to America's credit, they are not ALL stupid, eventhough they elected Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger into office. People for the American Way sounds extremely Right wing and Christiany but is in fact everything but that. Kinda funny that people who would use Google for example to search for 'the American way" (read: right wing, christian, anti-abortion, anti-homosexuals) would end up at this site. But this is MY kind of American waY: critical of the Bush administration and evrything affiliated with it.
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Wisdom of the day

War does not determine who is right - only who is left" Bertrand Russell

I just love that.
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Language Freak

I have a colleague at work who returns my emails with all the errors corrected. She pisses me off big time but she means only to help me. Fair enough. But still. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. However, this bloke is even worse and therefor much better. He complains about the sloppyness of the makers of the SYdney Morning Herald Quick Crossword. Things that bug him most is giving half the answer away in the clue already:

7 Down: Inherited family name (7)
It's a SURNAME, yeah.


But his best objection is this one:

13 Down:Woman who sells goods in a store (9)

the answer to which I was horrifed to discover was SALESGIRL. "Woman" becomes salesGIRL? What decade are we living in?


Hehehe. I will be reading more of this log in the future. And I solemly swear not to kill Debby when she returns my emails corrected AGAIN.

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Oh my God


It is too scary for words but Arnold has indeed won. Californians get what they deserve. Please don't let them complain in 2 years time about a govenour who has ruined the state.

I have to admit: Arnold is taking a big risk. If he fails, he fails big time and if he fails bigtime, his moviecarreer is sort of over aswell.

I can not stand the sight of that man. He just looks so stupid, the embodyment of every predjudice there is about bodybuilders.

Ugh!!!

Californians have managed to confirm all my predjudices about Americans. Had they elected Gray Davis, I would have applauded them. Not that Gray (what's in a name) is such a good choice but anything is better than a demagogue. Alas, Californians did not seize this opportunity.
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07 October 2003

Undecided

I am not sure what kind of blog this should be: Lifelog, 'opinionated blog', linkdump....a combination of allof these? Hmm......yeah, I think I will go for the combination.

So,since we are going for the combination, I should tell you that things are not so good at my job. Our former company director has squandered hundreds ofthousands of euros and now we have to fire 25 - 30 people. And honestly, I don't really care if it is me or not. Reorganisations really bring staff moral down. We have been through months and months fo 'come on people, let's put in a little extra'. And then the listening figures for the radiostation would come in. Andthey dropped, and dropped and dropped.

No matter how much we tried to implement the theories of the director's darling Valerie Geller. It did not work. Because they forgot one detail: You can not just put an American radio format on the Dutch market. The medialandscape here is completely different. So, after massive investments, welost all our listeners in 3 months after instroducing a new all news/all talk format. And now? All the money was wasted becasue they are turning it all back again. Money down the drain. So, NO Mr Editor-in-Chief, when you encourage your staff to work that extra bit harder the coming weeks, we will not do it. We can't. We have done that for the past three months when you asked us to. It did not work. So leave us alone for a while, sit inyour office and maybe YOU should leave.

[/rant]

Oh, that feels better. You could make head nor tale of it? Never mind.
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No worries

Just to let you all know: I am working on a new design for this page. Actually, my friend Tom is. So excuse the crappy colourscheme for now. Let me assure you: the new design ROCKS!!!!!
Just a few more days and it will be here.
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05 October 2003

And again


Another day, another claim from cast of accusers - www.smh.com.au

And still, this man wil win the elections in California I fear. The people get the leaders they deserve. I am all for more influence for people in politics. But one can ask the question: is there a limit to what 'the people' know? Do the people know what is good for them? Why does Arnie win? Not because he is a great experienced politician with bright ideas that will deal with the financial chaos in California. He wins, if he does, because he is Arnie, the Actor. It is why Reagan won and it is why that wrestler (Jesse Holmes or something) won before.

People claim they want more influence. But do they deserve more influence if they proceed to elect utter idiots to office? Here in The Netherlands, people in the recent years say they have had enough of the Established Politicians. They felt it was time for change. So in the last local elections, they voted en masse for small, new and local parties. People did not have a clue what these people stood for but hey: they said they were different and that they would actually kick some ass. So they got the vote. The result? For example in The Hague, a local party got eleced into city council. The memeber are ex-homeless people who spend their party allowence, meant for office-supplies and so on, on comicbooks ('professional litterature'), Ray Ban sunglasses ('to look representative') and radiographic Mini Coopers.

So instead of political change, the people voted for a bunch of weirdo's. Anything as long as it wasn't the politicians that had been inpower for years. People did not think about it, they blindly followed the idiot who screamed loudest.

It is a tactic Hitler used: target the weak point of people. People want to feel they have a say in things but at the same time,they want to have the feeling that somebody is taking care of things for them, someone to give all responsability to.

PimFortuyn came along here in The Netherlands. He pointed out the things people had been quiet about for years: immigration problems. So without questioning his further beliefs, he became so popular that he was assasinated weeks before the parliamentary elections. Yet his party went from 0 seat so 28 seats (out of the 150). So they went into government. And the cabinet lasted a few months. And every day there was a scandal around the party. Because NOBODY in the party had any experience. They were businessmen, philantropists, farmers, socialists, and general rif-raf that wanted a carreer. So after a few months in government, the party fell apart and there were new elections. And they lost 20 seats. Now they have 6 left. And what have they achieved?After all the yelling and screaming about political change and how they would rock the political establishment? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. They are now just as much part of that establishment as the people they despised.

Personally, I prefer to have an experienced carreer politician who knows his stuff. Sure, they are by far not as exciting as those opportunists who suddenly take an interest in something and when they get bored, they dump their little toy again.

Probably shortsighted of me, but if Californians elect Arnold as their govenour, I will draw the conclusion that the majority of Californians are stupid, blinded by glitz and incapable of making decicions for themselves. Just like children: They do not know what is good for them sothey need someone to take their power away and say: You can not decide anymore because you make irrisponsible choices. I am not saying Arnie is like Hitler, but Hitler rose to power because the people elected him. And PARLIAMENT stripped itself of all power and gave it to Hitler.

I should learn to write in a more structured way. However, I hope this makes sense. It is a fascinating paradox that the electorate creates for itself. It elects leaders, then starts hating them, on the rebound, they elect stupid opportunists, who proceed to make a mess of things so people say: see, politicians are not to be trusted.

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04 October 2003

September 11, through different eyes

It has been out for more than a year, 11'09"01 - 11 SEPTEMBER, a collection of short films by a number of different directors. Each was given total freedom of speech to make a film of 11 minutes, 9 seconds and 1 frame about September 11 2001. For some, this meant nothing short of criticising the Americans and stating that they had it coming. Others use the opportunity to point out that to some people inthe world, getting their food that day was more important than what happened in some rich country at the other end of the world.

The official site is in French but has personal notes fom all 11 directors, of which only 1 is American: Sean Penn.

A beautiful and courageous project that opened the Venice Filmfestival in 2002 and saw Ken Loach win the prize for his contribution.

The film was more or less banned inthe US because it is very critical of US foreign policy. For example the way it helped Chilian dictator Pinochet grab the power on september 11 in 1973.

I fast forwarded through some of the films, but even so, all of them had a thoroughly original approach. One of the best had an almost black screen for 11 minutes with only sound.

I would encourage everyone to see the film (or rather, collection) if they can. And maybe you too will be touched by the African kids who try to capture Bin Laden to get the reward of $25 million so that they can give medical aid to children in their country. Only to miss him by 30 seconds at the airport. As they stand there and look at the sky, they ask: Bin Laden, please come back, we need you here.

God knows it is what George Bush is thinking now: Bin Laden, please come back, I need you.
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03 October 2003

What matters more: The lie or the truth?

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes - Mark Twain



Interesting debate in The Netherlands at the moment. One of the Princes is engaged to a civilian girl, Mabel Wisse Smit. It turns out that Mabel knew Holland's best known gangster, Klaas Bruinsma, who was assasinated on the street in Amsterdam in 1991. Knowing someone is not a crime, she might after all not have knows who Bruinsma really was and she was a young girl back then.

She denies publicly that she knew him. When people start coming forward with stories of the two together, she admits having met him 'once or twice' but that she broke off all contact when she found out who and what he was.

Would that deny her the right to the throne? (she will marry the prince who is second in line)
Then a reporter tracks down a guy in Chilli who supposedly was the bodyguard of Bruinsma. He says, on TV, that Mabel was the gangster's lover and that they spent many nights together until the day Bruinsma got shot. The bodyguard says Mabel witnessed the people on the boat practising their shooting on beercans and that she was there all the time.
Mabel subsequently admits she did indeed spend a few nights on Bruinsma's boat but that there was no romance.
So, Mabel Wisse Smit gets into more and more trouble, especially since she keeps changing her statements.

Now the question is: what is more damaging? That she had a relationship with a topcriminal or that she lied about it now? What makes her more unfit to join the Royal Family? The fact that she is a liar or the fact that she, if it is true, was a ganster's moll?

Ethics......personally I believe the liying about her past makes her more unfit than that past itself. If she comes clean about it, then it might turn out she did indeed not know about the antics of her lover. How can she be blamed for what she did not know? However, she can be held accountable for the twisting and turning she has done in the recent days. So, as far as I am concerned, she is unfit to be a queen, no matter what her past really is.

And the poor poor prince.......for years he has been accused of being gay and now he found someone and she is a ganster's lass. Chances are parliament will not approve of her and that means he will have to choose between Mabel and his chances for the throne. These are interesting times for the Dutch Monarchy.

Last year, the first son of the Queen married the daughter of a member of the Argentinian junta.

Mabel denies she was 'a gangster's moll'

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Welcome to the Eighties

I don't know what the eighties were like in the rest of the world, (well, I do sort of off course) but here in The Netherlands it was the era of The Squatters. I was about 6/7 years old and all I knew back then was that Squatters were the same as punks. They were scary, anarchistic, smelly and lazy people who did not want to work and could only think of disrupting society and fighting with the police.

Is it wrong to say that these days my opinion has not changed much? Two blocks away from me, the Militairy Police are clearing the oldest Squatted building of the country. For years local council has battled with these people and the squatters lost all their court cases. So, after a record 23 years, the squatters will have to leave.

Of course most of the people who moved into the building in 1980 have gone. And in their place are now anarchists (what's new) and a small group of people who are waiting for the police with stones in their hands. They have already set a small building ablaze to prevent the police from entering the building. I will admit to being slightly right-wing in this but I wonder how many of these people actually have a paid job and how many of them are on social benefits? Or are they 'placing themselves outside this capitalist society', surviving on a government hand-out?

I don't understand why the clearing of squatted buildings always has to come with violence and fighting? Why don't they just leave? Why throw washingmachines from the roof? Why set things on fire? What right do they have to do that?

I might have to point out that the local council here has completely refurbished another building in town where the squaters can move in to FOR FREE!!!!!
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Welcome to a new blog

Yes yes yes, yet ANOTHER weblog but hey, most people have an exhibisionist-streak in them. And I don't pretend to be any different. I am different enough sometimes so I kind of like being normal at least in this respect.
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