29 December 2004

Would you like some water with that?

Nothing like a tsunami to ruin my Christmas cheer. Go on. Give money to the aid effort. Go go go!!! I hope all of you who read this little blog will find their relatives are safe.

20 December 2004

More (or less) freedom of speech

On another issue of freedom of speech, a writer has been chastised for saying that murdered film maker Theo van Gogh's film 'Submission' was a piece of juvenile shock-horror art. So, because the guy is murdered for making the film means the film is now beyond criticism?
Saying that Van Gogh abused his right to free speech with his anti-Islam tirades is 'vile vomit'? That is what Germaine Greer called the article.

People let me explain:

The personal circumstances of the artist do NOT make the art better or worse!!

We should be outraged by art being judged by the circumstances of its maker. Just because Van Gogh was murdered because of the film does not mean it is a good film. I for one agree that Van Gogh was a vile pig who constantly overstepped the boundaries of freedom of speech. This is the man who once filmed kittens being mangled to death in a washing machine because he found it a hilarious sight......Freedom of speech and expression?

I suppose if he has been shot by an animal activist over that film, we would not suddenly have though that killing kittens was beyond criticism.

First we are not allowed to criticise other religions, now it seems we are no longer allowed to criticise those who criticise other religions. Just because he was murdered by a religious nutcase does not mean it proves his point.

Freedom of speech is either ok for everyone or for nobody. Not just for those whose point you happen to agree with. It should always be expressed in writing/speech and never turn violent (like the Sikh protest of my previous post). But there should always be a right to express yourself.



A theatre in Birmingham, has cancelled a play about abuse and rape in a Sikh temple after a Sikh protest against the play turned violent.

The Sikh wanted the play adjusted so that it would no longer be set in a Sikh temple. The theatre refused to ask the playwright to change the play as it would mean reducing freedom of speech. So after negotiating for a few days, the theatre decided to cancel the play altogether to 'ensure the safety of our visitors'.

I am outraged and disgusted. Since when does a small group of religious zealots get to stop art from happening? The play was performed and written by Sikh so obviously the protest did not reflect the opinion of the entire Sikh community. In fact, the Sikh had already achieved that the theatre would read out a statement at the start of the play that the play did not reflect the Sikh community as a whole and that certain Sikh disagreed with the contents. How much further should they have gone? Hell, I think that is already a concession too far!! Let's ban Hamlet because it offends the Danes!!

People from religious minorities are so easily offended these days. I guess that is the result of 'emancipation'. We teach them that a true democracy means freedom of speech and freedom to express their religion, something they might not be used to in the country where they come from. So should we be angry when they decide to actually express their (new found?) freedom?

If you don't like something, don't watch it. The Sikh in this case claim it is deliberately offensive to Sikh as the play suggests sex and abuse in a holy temple. Well sorry, but I am sure this happens in real life. Just like it happens in churches and mosques.

Another argument against the play was that, because Sikh and other small religions get so little attention in art & media, people might think the play was an accurate reflection of their community. After all, Christianity and Islam gets so much attention that people know more about it and are able to say: "It is only art, they are not all like that."

What kind of shit argument is that?

Political correctness is a curse on society. It seems that the place where Muslims have 'integrated' most successfully in Europe is actually Austria. The country has some laws that can be considered racist or restrictive to freedom of religion, but fact is that Muslims in Austria themselves claim they are an example to their 'brothers' in Europe.

Let it snow...

Back from a week in the Austrian Alps. I went on a snowboarding holiday with J. and her 11 y/o sister. Don't ask why she came along but she did. It is a long story. It wasn't too bad although I am sure I don't ever want to have an 11 y/o girl....

There was no snow in Kaprun when we got there but the mountain, the Kitzsteinhorn, has a glacier at the top where there was just enough snow to keep going for a week. The sky was bright and sunny all week. Not even a hint of cloud. Nice and warm.

After a few days we got really tired. I, as a newbie snowboarder, was struggling with the thin layer of snow but it was all very nice. And just as the snow was getting too hard and icy, there was a blizzard on Saturday morning when we were doing our last few runs down the slopes. This is when the picture was taken. And yes, on my head is a hat with devil horns!! Chosen specifically so that J and R would be able to spot me on the slopes between all the other people. And it worked.
By the way: I did manage to stand up most of the time. In the picture, I was just taking a little rest!

09 December 2004

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The Forgotten

This morning in my mailbox there was a mail from K. Calling me by a nickname that I did not recognise.I could not remember for the life of me who she was. Someone from school? And then that funny nick name? Probably the wrong email address. She does say she found my email on a website somewhere. But she also says: You moved to England now....
So she really does mean me.....

But who is she?

After thinking long and hard for about 5 minutes, her name still does not ring a bell. So I write her a reply. I don't know the nickname you use for me and your name looks familiar but I can not remember who she is and did we go to school together?

And I press Send

...and as I take my finger off the mouse button, I feel the blood rise to my cheeks. K....K...Oh SHIT!!! I know who she is? Why did that not occur to me BEFORE I sent the mail? Shit shit shit. How rude is it to tell an ex girlfriend that you do not remember her name and that she might be an old school friend perhaps?

What is the right course of action? Apologise or pretend it was a joke?

In my defence, the nickname she used for me never really stuck and was only used for the 3 months we went out together. Let's say it did not end in a very nice way and I was probably to blame for it as I went back to the girl was with before I met K. Somehow it is one of those things I rather forget about. For many different reasons that don't have much to do with her personally. I guess that is a rude thing to say as well. And I don't even know where she has found my name so it may well be on this weblog.

I used to laugh at people who told me similar stories. How can you ever forget the name of an ex-lover? Unless you are a slut of course who sleeps with many many people, in which case it is probably better to have forgotten a load of names.

But I have only ever had 1....2....3....4...5... (counts on fingers of 1 hand) relationships (A relationship is everything that lasts longer than a month..... but even if I include everything that was shorter than a month, I would only get up to about 7). So to forget the name of one of those 5 is pretty rude.

So much for impulsiveness. If I had spent 5 more minutes thinking about it, I would have remembered. I think. But then again, maybe my brain is wired so that I only remember AFTER sending the mail. As a belated guilt-trip.

Is it rude to forget names? Is it a social pressure to remember the names of your ex-lovers? They are ex-lovers for a reason so if they are no longer friends, then why remember their names? Or is that rude?

Or am I just being honest and saying what most of you have thought at some point in their lives but were too politie to admit?

02 December 2004

An adult relationship

Yay. I am no longer a cradle snatcher. J. turned 21 today. Yippie. Happy birthday sweetie.

01 December 2004

Leunig masterpiece

Thanks to Julie, I was inspired to look at some Leunig cartoons again. I really like his work. Always makes me think a little further than the first thought.

No more Ritalin – Part Deux

After feeling lost and depressed yesterday, I went on a hunt for info. I sent email to the ADD Information and Support Society in London explaining my situation. They sent me a mail back today:

You will need to ask your GP or Psychiatrist to refer you to the Adult ADHD Clinic at the Maudesley Hospital in South London. Ritalin is prescribed to adults all over the country; your GP is clearly not wanting to take this on board.

So there, you lot of stupid doctor-people. Obviously the licensing is not an issue for many other doctors in this country. Only for the ignorant and unaware.

My doctor promised to call me back today so I hassled her a few times to make sure she would call me back. First the good news: they will continue to prescribe me the Ritalin 'until they find a more permanent solution'.

Huh? More permanent? Ritalin IS the permanent solution.

I explained that I had been in touch with a number of people and that Ritalin is widely prescribed to adults in the UK. She did not seem to be particularly interested in what I had to say.

The downside: She wants me to see a child and adolescents psychiatrist as he is more au fait with ADHD. A kiddy-shrink? I am 29 for crying out loud. All she had to do was Google for Adults + ADHD + UK and she would end up with the same info I did. I pointed out that there are 2 specialised clinics in England (London & Cambridge). Again she did not seem to listen to what I was saying. Like yesterday, I just had the feeling I am just a problem to solve. She had no real time for me to explain why this is so important to me. Obviously not familiar with ADHD in general and completely ignorant about adults having it too.

Fair enough that it is still relatively newly researched that adults can take it with them from childhood, but to claim you have never heard of it and then show a certain reluctance to listen to the patient's research is really annoying.

When I was still living in The Netherlands, I lived around the corner from the Adult ADHD Clinic. It turns out this was actually the hotspot for Europe as the shrinks who work there have set up European networks of shrinks etc. So no wonder I got so much understanding and was treated with such respect: I was lucky enough to be in the centre of new research. So maybe I should not hold the ignorance against my GP.

But it is annoying nonetheless.

30 November 2004

No more Ritalin

Bad news: my doctor has decided she will no longer prescribe me my Ritalin.
According to her, it is not licensed for use on adults in the UK and the psychiatrist she consulted also says he does not treat adults, only children with ADHD and so he will not prescribe it either.
She prescribed it to me twice now to tie me over (but never indicated to me that there would be a problem getting it in the future. Only that I would need to be diagnosed from the start if I wanted to keep getting it)

This poses a problem. I have managed to get my life nicely on the rails in the past 3 years. The past 2 years I have been on Ritalin and things have improved dramatically. So what now? Is all that going to waste? Will I need to move back to The Netherlands if they refuse to prescribe Ritalin here? I can not possibly be the only adult who wants Ritalin in the UK!!!

What pisses me off most is that the shrink she consulted wrote her 3 weeks ago to let her know he was unwilling to prescribe it. And she did not contact me at all to let me know. And now I only have 3 days of Ritalin left to find a solution. If she had called me right away, I would have had 3 weeks!!

She promised to call me back tomorrow and told me she is willing to prescribe a little bit to tie me over until there is a solution. But I am really feeling drepressed as I have checked on the internet and it seems that Ritalin is indeed licensed only for kids in this country.

Another negative effect of having lived in a country that is so ahead with many things. We have specialist treatment centres for Adults with ADHD in every major city in The Netherlands. And in the UK there are only 2 in the whole country!!!

I will now go and be depressed for a while.

At least my team leader was nice to me. He told me to spend the rest of my afternoon researching on the web and asked if there was anything he could do for me. he even suggested buying it over the internet but I am not so sure of that. Is that illegal?

I have written an email to the shrink who treated me in The Netherlands as she is part of the European Network for Adults with ADHD. Maybe she knows me or can help me.

No gay rights, no Ritalin....why did I move here again?

29 November 2004

Pissed off

My boss has been excited all week about a very nice cappuccino/espresso coffeemaker that we are getting. Not an ordinary one but specially imported from Italy. And not his personal one, no the company has bought it for all the coffee drinkers (about 10 out of 30). I don't drink coffee. But I will surely be expected to make the coffee for him.

He can stick it up his ass!

Because the money spent on that coffee machine should have gone to me as my salary raise. But I was told we could not afford to raise my salary to the amount we agreed (!!!) we would raise it to when I started here. No. Company was not doing so great and we had to cut costs. No we think you are doing great and we really appreciate you but instead of the £1,500 raise we promised you, we will give you £500.

Excuse me? So after nagging and getting annoyed and angry, my team leader managed to get me £1,000 instead of £500. However, this left me £500 short of what the rats promised me and more importantly: if has left me with no loyalty to this company whatsoever. For a measly £500 they have lost my loyalty and willingness to put in the extra mile for this company. It isn't the amount of money. It is just that I feel betrayed.

And now that £500 has been spent on a fucking espresso machine!! And he just does not see that it is best to keep his mouth shut about it rather than gloat to me on how fabulous it is and how you can not get just any machine but that the business paid for it so he could get a really good one.

Of course the fact that they felt it was important to send 5 (FIVE!!!) people to a seminar in Paris about smart-card technology did not sit very well with me either. Call me jealous but in a company of some 32 people, 5 need to go to Paris, including 3 directors and 2 engineers?????? Puhlease.

I have decided that I am going to actively look for a new (read: better paid) job. I am sorry for my team as they are really nice and supportive but I just don't trust myself not to tell my boss to stick the coffee up his arse and give me the raise instead.

28 November 2004

Monster...or not?

Finally saw "Monster" last night. The film about Aileen Wuornos that won Charlize Theron an Oscar for Best Actress.
It is a very disturbing film. It left me feeling very sorry for this woman who seemed to have nowhere to go but down. Most painful moment is when AIleen tries to clean up her act and get a job. She has been a hooker since the age of 13 and has no work experience at all. Everyone laughs at her and calls her stupid. On her way home from another humiliating moment, she gets picked up by a cop who feels she owes him a blowjob because he did not send her to prison the last time she got picked up. She tries to explain she is changing her life but he laughs at her and calls her filthy whore. So she gives in and blows him.

The whole world seemed to want her to go down. Not saying she was right to kill all those men (although the world is better off without some of them) but she just had nothing else to d with it as nobody was willing to give her a chance. Even the girl she was with, Shelby, drove her deeper into the shit by demanding Aileen to provide for them by prostituting herself.

J. and I were left feeling emotionally drained and flat when the credit rolled. An experience rather than just a film. More so because of the story than because of fabulous acting. I seem to be the only one who did not think Charlize Theron was superb. I felt Christina Ricci was much better (it helps that she is much prettier.....). The film put Aileen fully inthe role of victim, not killer. Understandable the first few murders, but in the end, her haterd for men is so big, she shoots even the guy who offers her a lift home and does not want sex at all.
I think Theron's performance is overrated, perhaps because the make-up turns her from beautiful into ugly. But it really is Ricci who shines.

I think this film may do to Theron's carreer what Boys don't cry did to Hillary Swank: ,ake one deeple emotional movie that touches people and wins loads of prizes, and then it can only go down from there. After all: what other fab movies has Hillary Swank been in since she won her Oscar?

Hmmm...not a very structured and meaningful post this i. Doesn't really add anything to the debate. Oh well, just see the film.

25 November 2004

I am an atheist



So, nothing new there then......spot on. God does not exist so can all the Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Catholics please stop fighting eachother?

24 November 2004

Posh gives up singing

Oh dear!! Posh Spice (who is no longer a spice as the Spice Girls no longer exist) has announced she is going to stop singing!! Now we all know she never started singing in the first place but hey, in these days of doom and gloom, we should all applaud Posh for making the world a better place in her own small way.

And in other strange-but-true news: English comedian Jo Brand has presented the Retail Week Awards of 2004. Now I love Jo Brand but I would not really think of her as the ideal person to dish out awards. Would you not use a hot sexy blonde for that?

22 November 2004

I gave up smoking...

...the thing in my mouth is just the inflammable nicotine replacement stick.

21 November 2004


We lost another rugby match today. 22 - 10 it was. I am totally shattered fromall the running. I have moved from being an open-side flanker to being in the second row. This means I am also the one jumping in the Line outs. I love line-outs as I seem to be quite good at them. It has taken me a very long time to find confidence inmy rugby. Well, a very long time for me that is. After all, I only started playing in September. Rugby is by far the most difficult game I have ever been involved in. But I have actually never really done a team sport and I am enjoying this so much. I have made friends, I have a sort of social life, I run around the pitch on a SUnday. It is great. I am always looking forward to the matches. And J. has joined the team as well. I am a forward and J. is a back, usually the in/outside center.

Our squad has about 9 players who play less than 1 season so it is not surprising that we keep losing as most of the teams we play have been together for years. But venthough we keep losing, I am terribly glad I started playing rugby.
I wish more people in The Netherlands would realise how cool a game it actually is. And how difficult and how versatile the players need to be.
Now I am off to the pub for the all important after-match drinks. Who cares if you lost: just have an extra drink!!

17 November 2004

Repetition and pride

Imagine: 37 pages of spreadsheet.
Names, addresses, job titles, phonenumbers.
Only a paper copy.

And we need an electronic copy......

So I got to work: scan 37 pages with OCR software (Optical Character Recognition Software).
The software does the trick but not completely faultless of course. It messes up tables and names and lay-out. So I spent the past 2 days copying and tidying up line by line of the spreadsheet. 1000 lines in total. I have serious Repetitive Strain Injury from the work but I have just printed off the finished list.

Well, almost finished. Now I will need to do a final hard-copy check. Side by side to make sure all the phonenumbers and postcodes have been scanned correctly.


I do know now what God feels like: Creating order out of chaos. I am secretly proud of my work when I look at that list. Quite sad actually that this sort of rubbish work makes me proud.

15 November 2004

You know you are settled when...

..as a lesbian, you know kd lang is on the radio and you decide to watch The Simpsons instead.

kd lang managed to kill off some wonderful songs on her latest album. Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is one of them. Turned it in to a bloody crooning ballad!!! Ugh.

13 November 2004

Bridget Jones

Went to see Bridget Jones'Diary 2 this evening. Don't bother. It is really really shit.
It has reduced Bridget to, according to The Times, the human equivalent to the Bananaskin-joke. It is not funny, contains the token confusion about lesbians and is generally crap. Managed to take a picture with the phonecam but just missed out on the Lesbian Snog. Sorry.

So for those who are considering going: They get eachother in the end, eventhough Bridget ends up in a prison in Thailand, almost shags Hugh Grant and the girl who she thinks is after Marc Darcy is actually after her as she is a lesbian. Cringe moment of the evening: Bridget confronts Rebecca with the affair she thinks she is having with Marc Darcy. Rebecca says: how can I have an affair with someone when my heart is already broken because the one I love is unavailable? You, Bridget, I love you. From the moment I saw you....yawn yawn yawn.... She then snogs Bridget who does not mind at all as she is happy the woman is not shagging Marc Darcy.

I am really pissed off. It is just too easy to use lesbians and gays as the funny people in films. Yuk.

Still fancy seeing it? At your own risk. And don't say I did not warn you.

12 November 2004


OK. I am convinced. I *like* the new Mozilla Firefox. Go on and try it out today. Such a nice looking un-cluttered interface. Yum. Really nice for people like me who still have a tiny screen. No bars to clutter your screen.

Office life

No wonder I feel depressed at work if this is the state of the office plants......

My new hobby

Please tell me it looks like a camel. I tried to add a touch of 'Camel nibbles tree in deserrt' to the picture. Not sure it worked.

My point exactly...


11 November 2004

The Weird bunch

English is hard for a lot of people. Not for me and I always wondered how it could be hard for others. But now I can understand. Read this sentence:

"He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas."

What is strange about it? It contains seven 7!!!!!) different spellings of the [i] ("ee") sound.

Or this one:

A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

Found out what is interesting about it?
It contains nine ways the combination "ough" can be pronounced. Yes. Nine different ways to pronounce the same 4 letters.

Please forgive me for ever thinking English is easy.

Networking at the BBC

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time at the new BBC Birmingham building, The Mailbox. I was invited by a nice man who has lived in The Netherlands for 5 years and spoke Dutch. Cool.

I explained to him that I was trying to get back into media but that it is proving to be very hard in the UK. He then invited me and gave me the tour of the new premises. Really nice but I thought that idea of Open Office was abandoned years ago as it does not help people with their concentration. The place is one huge open space with desks and a cacophony of noises going on. It would exhaust me. Walking around the newsroom, I realised how much I miss being in the Media.
James gave me a lot of useful tips and hints, people to contact, roads to try. I came away all hopeful and happy about people being willing to help complete strangers for no reason at all.

Unfortunately the day ended not so good. British trains are not the best and it was proven yet again by a Virgin train getting stuck at Coventry Station due to a technical fault. People were moaning and bitching but I said out loud: if they have a problem with their brakes for example, would you prefer them to travel on before fixing it? I don't think so, so let them fix it.

They weren't impressed it seems. Brits are a weird bunch. Never step out of line as they will think you have lost your mind. I have also discovered they can not read. My carriage said NO MOBILE PHONES. It seems that switching off a mobile phone is like giving your baby away. People are simply not capable of it.


So he is dead. Good. Now Sharon should die too and hopefully there is a chance for the 'Peace Proces' in the Middle East. New faces are needed. New people with new ideas. Wihtout the old childish emotions that have stopped the proces for so long.
Arafat should have accepted what was offered to him at Camp David. He could have had almost the entire land he claimed. But it was not enough. He wanted it all. And Israel threw a hissy-fit.
On Radio 4 today, i heard this interesting comment. If Arafat was fighting for the palestinianns to get their own land, why was he nog fighting against Jordan and Syria in the years before 'his' land was given to Israel? The fight only started when Israel was created. Seems he was fighting more against the Jews than against Israel.
Oh well, let's hope Israel and the Palestinians can now move on and get their arses in gear.

Dutch making headlines....

My little country is making the headlines all over the world. And not for anything to be happy about. In all the papers here in the UK, big articles about Dutch tolerance finally ending after the recent murder of film maker Theo van Gogh (for his film Submission that you can download now).

The most tolerant society has met the most repressive religion in the world. Heads will roll. Comment on one of the hundreds of weblogs around the world who are discussing the recent troubles. If you want to know more, Zacht Ei is particularly good. And it is in English too.

On his weblog, Tim Blair discusses it at length with some Dutchies.

The Daily Telegraph called the Islamists New Nazis: Dutch find the strength to take on their 'new Nazis'

Even the most liberal society is illiberal when it is a question of survival. The Dutch see those who dream of Europe under a revived caliphate as a threat to their way of life. The prospect of Islamist imams imposing sharia law on Dutch cities amounts, they feel, to a new Nazi occupation. [...]Holland is now the crucible of Europe. Not even the most tolerant people on earth can tolerate the Islamists.

In The Times, lengthy articles try to analyse how it got this far in The Netherlands.
Many of Holland’s 1m Muslims consider the Dutch government to be depraved in its acceptance of “abominations” such as drugs, prostitution and gay marriage. They want nothing to do with it.
At the same time, Dutch tolerance no longer extends so readily these days to immigration and religious diversity. In graffiti scrawled on walls all over the city, the message is seen repeatedly, “Go home if you don’t like it”.

I can only agree with that comment.

- Jihad wrecks Dutch race harmony
- Police injured as Netherlands erupts in ‘violent maelstrom’
- Film-maker's funeral sparks violence
- Bomb attack on school as Dutch racists target Islam
- Dutch MPs taken to safe houses
- Dutch police hurt in 'terror' raid

Headlines I never thought were possible in The Netherlands. I guess being ultra-tolerant means accepting lots and lots until the bomb finally bursts. I think there will be a backlash that is difficult to oversee at this moment. Churches are being attacked in retaliation for mosques being burnt down.

I should think as a Dutch journalist at the moment, I should be able to get some work from this. Maybe get on the radio and talk about how wonderful it is to be Dutch and how glad I am to be away from the country at the moment.................

10 November 2004


(old but still fun)

In light of your failure to make the correct decision in electing your President, thus showing you to be unfit to govern yourselves, we hereby give you notice of the revocation of your independence effective as of Monday 8th November 2004. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she doesn't much fancy.

Your new Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair M.P., for the 97.85% of you unaware of the outside world, will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated in twelve months time to determine if any of you noticed. To aid your transition into a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. All citizens are to look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. While there, check the pronunciation guide for "aluminium" - this may be surprising for you. Generally attempt to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary". Using the same 27 words interspersed with "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable form of communication. Look up "interspersed".

2. There is no such thing as "U.S. English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.

3. Learn to distinguish British and Australian accents. Its not difficult.

4. Hollywood will henceforth be required to occasionally cast Englishmen as good guys.

5. Re-learn your original anthem, "God Save the Queen". Please ensure that you have complied with the first law before attempting this.

6. Stop playing American "football". There is only one kind of "football".
What you refer to as "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you aware of a world outside of your borders may have noticed that no one else plays it. Play proper football instead; to start with get the girls to help you - it is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, eventually, be allowed to play rugby, which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like nancies.

7. Declare war on Quebec and France, using nukes if they give you any merde.
The 97.85% of you unaware of the outside world should count yourselves lucky
- the Russians have never really been bad guys. "Merde" is French for "(clever alternative swear word)".

8. 4th July is no longer a public holiday. 2nd November will be the new national holiday.

9. American cars are hereby banned. They are crap; its for your own good.
When we show you German cars you'll understand.

10. Please tell us who killed JFK. Its been driving us crazy.


09 November 2004

Australia wants you...

...if you are a hairdresser that is. Out of sheer boredom, I had a look at the website for Immigration to Australia. Some die-hard fans might remember I was trying to move to Sydney some years ago. The thought still lingers in my head and it would still be my ultimate achievement if I can manage to get a place in Sydney some day.

So I checked my chances and found Journalism is worth 50 points in the Skilled Migrant category. Fair enough that doctors are worth 60 points and administrators are worth 40 points. (You need a total of 120 at the moment and you get points for language, age and work experience).

What pissed me off is that hairdresser is also worth 60 points!! We all know hairdressers are either screaming queens or the tyical Sharon or Traceys from the council estate around the corner. And there was the Australian government, telling the word they rather have another Sharon coming to their shores than me, a university trained, experienced broadcast journalist.

Fine. Keep your hairdressers. Seems like they have reverted back to their old antics Down Unnder: get the lower classes to Australia in the hope it will make Britain a better place to live.

[oh how nice to be politically incorrect]

08 November 2004


Today was an excruciatingly boring day at work. Humbug.

Muslims and extremists

Last week a film director was shot for making a film that is very critical of the Islam. It cost him his life. I admit to being one of those people who has always said that people were overstating the threat of radical Islamists in The Netherlands or in Western Europe. Why did I think that? Because The Netherlands is a tolerant society. Or so I thought.
Because maybe we are not.

In the past weekend, 1 mosque had its doors blown out by a small bomb, a number were plastered over with pictures of pigs and profanity aimed at Muslims, and a few had threats painted on their walls with red paint.

On the other side, more threatening letters were found that promised death and serious harm to a number of politicians who are critical of Islamic extremists.
I think The Netherlands are at a crossroads. Tolerance can go too far when it turns into: everyone can do what they want because it is politically incorrect to tell people to confirm to the laws and culture in this country. On the other hand, it can not be that we tell people they should all become Christian Dutch people and denounce their own faith and language when they come here.

But when people can not accept that in The Netherlands, there is, as much as possible, a separation of Church and State, people should ask themselves why they want to move here in the first place.

I am shocked at the way people simply equate Islam with terrorism. I am sort of aware of what it feels like to be tarred with the same brush as a bunch of extreme idiots. I always get asked why all gay people (read: men) have sex with many people and are so feminine. I spend a lot of time explaining that is simply not the case and that most of 'us' are pretty boring people, leading normal boring lives. Day after day I see gays being ridiculed in the media by people who think it is fun and we are an easy target. And it angers me and makes me feel excluded from society. Straight people say 'it is only a joke, don't be such a bad sport'.

I can understand young Muslims being angry and annoyed to always be equated with murder and terrorism. I can also understand that they feel they have no future in a country that treats them like murderers and terrorists. Most of the extreme Muslim youngsters are actually born in The Netherlands and see this as their home. But they are not accepted here. Nor are they accepted in Morocco, where most of them come from They have no place to go. Only to the Mosque.

We should understand these young men and try to help them. But I think the time has come to see that helping someone can sometimes be giving them a good kick up the arse. After all, when your kids refuse to listen after asking them nicely a million times, you smack them. And usually they get the message after that.

We should not react against Muslims and vilify all if them. We should react against those who are placing themselves so far out of society by following extreme religious paths. We should act against those who plan and commit crimes. Just like we would with other people who plan and commit crimes. Not mollycoddle them because they are poor boys without a chance in society. Fuck that.

If you don't like the place you live, go and live somewhere else where you do like it. I did.

04 November 2004

Kerry wins!!

Well, in the rest of the world at least (Thanks to Mannetje van de Radio for the picture).

Why did the Americans vote for Bush? Not because of Iraq, not because of the massive tax cuts, not because of the education system in ruins. No, they voted on moral issues. In the end it turns out that, to a mother in the poor south of the USA, it is more important to stop gay people on the other side of the country from getting married than it is to get her own children a good education or her husband a job. In the end, the rich businessman who made his millions in the casinos in Las Vegas by ripping off gamblers is concerned about a 14 y/o girl having a *gasp* abortion after not having access to contraception. Please people. What is needed it seems is Christian Democrats. Christian Radicals have hijacked the Republican Party and the biggest bastard of them all is The President.

Yesterday I was depressed all day. Every once so often I get depressed about why people hate gays and lesbians so much without knowing them and when it does not even concern them.
Why is it so important for straight, happily married people in a town where they never see gay people, to make sure that gay people do not get the right to get married? In Ohio, the people voted for a ban on introducing 'any kind of union designed to approximate marriage'. So not just marriage, but any kind of union, civil or otherwise, that gives couples the same human rights are married couples or even unmarried straight couples who can decided each other as de-facto spouses...

I had a massive sulk and felt hated all day. People at work asked me why I was looking so sad. I did not go to rugby training and when J. came home, I had a rant about Americans and then I had an almost hysterical crying session about rugby and insecurity. I am insecure about my rugby. I feel like I am the person hanging around the side of the team, never really appreciated and always first on the list to be substituted. Not true if you look at the bare facts but J. joining the team and getting in the starting line-up from day one made me upset. And then another girl was brought in by the coach and she is his protégé and I feel threatened by this as I feel she will get more chances. This is probably all irrational but it made me upset because it stems from my total insecurity in what I am doing. Since I feel I am doing it all wrong, every new person looks like they are better than me and thus they are a threat to my already flimsy position.

I don't take my meds when I go to training. Maybe I should. When I do something wrong, I am hard on myself and get all stroppy and negative. I don't know if Ritalin stops that from happening but maybe I should try taking the stuff at night as well when I go to training and see what happens. J. stopped short of calling me disruptive at training sometimes (this sent me into an even bigger flood of tears) when I am angry at myself.

The friendly match on Sunday has been cancelled after our first win last Sunday. Monday is a special training for Forwards. I'll go and give it my best. I did not feel like going last night as I would have been devastated and disruptive after every error I made. But I would have liked sitting on the side listening, watching and learning.

And all that because idiots in America voted for a religious nutcase.

03 November 2004

Fuck off to your own place!!!!

Yesterday a Dutch filmdirector was shot and stabbed to death in the streets of Amserdam. Theo van Gogh had recently released a film about women who were abused by their Muslim husbands in name of the Qu'uran (how do you spell that???) He portrayed these women naked, dressed in see-through garments with Islamic texts printed on the garments. Very provocative and needlessly hurtful for millions of Muslims who do not beat their wives, who manage to see the Holy Book in the same way most Christians see their Holy Bible: A book of guidance, not a set of rules. Van Gogh did enjoy provoking people. He did it for fun and did not think about who he hurt by doing it. I will not miss him. I thought he was a pig. And I was not alone in that thought.


The thought of him being murdered for what he did is shocking. The murderer shot him 8 times, then cut his throat and pinned a note to his chest with a knife, waited for a few minutes to see if he was really dead and then walked away. He was later shot in the legs by the police and arrested. In the middle of the day, out on the street with dozens of witnesses too shocked to act (I would not act if a gunman was shooting around...)

The murderer is a man with dual Dutch/Moroccan nationality. Everyone therefore assumes that the motive has to do with the criticism of Islam in Van Gogh's latest film. And this is where I take issue with immigrants. And if that makes me right wing and racist, then fuck that.
You are a Muslim in a country where you can be a Muslim without trouble. But you are a poor Muslim. And you would like to be a rich Muslim. So you come to The Netherlands where people tell you the streets are paved with gold and social benefits. Obviously you know that The Netherlands is a Christian country but you want so much to have a better financial future that you still decide to move there.

Then why the fuck do some Muslims feel the need to criticise the country they move to as being immoral and wrong? And why the fuck does this Muslim feel he has the right to kill someone who criticises the Islamic faith? If The Netherlands are so hell-bound and full of sinners, why move there in the first place? Why not stay home in the place where you came from? Where you can enjoy the Islam the way you always have? Sure you would not have a lot of money but at least you would be true to your faith. Isn't that the most important thing?

If you are not prepared to adapt to your new country, then don't go!! Dutch society is renowned in the world for being hospitable to foreigners. But we are also known for basically assimilating with people in countries Dutch people move to. Keep your own faith, keep your own traditions. But accept the new laws and rules of the country you have moved to. If you can not do that, then go to a place where you can or stay a-fucking-way.

I am all in favour of a multi-cultural society and allowing people to express their faith and opinions. But I was brought up respecting the countries I go to.
Hell, there is a reason why I will never ever ever move to the USA: I can not live in a place so ridiculously Christian. So instead of moving there and fighting what seems to be a majority of the people there, I simply do not move there. I go to a place that suits me better. If you do not have the brains to think something like that through, then I certainly don't want you to come to my country. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Italian maffia.

Americans should die

...well at least the ones who voted for George Bush. I had high hopes for these elections when I went to bed last night. kerry was leading in the exit polls and the high turn-out would prove beneficial for the Democrats. But as I woke up this morning, it had all gone pear-shaped.

In the mean time, Americans have voted for legislation that bans gay couples from getting married. Fair enough if you don't want to included gay marriage in your state laws, but how sad are you when you create a bill that actively BANS your state from introducing it?

I saw a guy on TV last night. When asked what his main reason was for voting Republican, he answered 'I don't want gays to get married'. Not his taxes, not his familiy, not his safety, not his job security. No. He did not vote for himself. He voted Republican ONLY to ban someone else to do something that would have NO impact on himself or on his familiy.

THAT is why all the Americans who voted for George Bush deserve to die. Let Canada rule the world for a while. Will make things a much better place.

02 November 2004

Go Kerry

Kerry is leading in some of the swing states!!!!! Go Kerry Go Kerry. Go Go Go Go Go Go!!

01 November 2004

Amazing info about homosexuals

You always wanted to know why fashion models are so freaky and thin? Here's the answer:

Another example of the victimization of heterosexuals by some homosexuals is the use of skinny female haute couture models by fashion designers (the typical high fashion designer is a male homosexual). These skinny female models closely approximate adolescent boys

Elsewhere on the page, he shows us pictures of suspiciously young girl as a model for what a normal girl should look like. He warns us they are not work safeand has put little blobs on her nipples. But strangely enough not on her pubes......
(There are some pictures there that are not safe for work....)

This site, Amazing Facts about homosexuals is a little like program currently on Channel 4 here in England. It is called "Ban this filth!!". It is 3 little old ladies showing us all the filth and nudity we can see on TV for the coming week so that we don't have to corrupt ourselves with watching the programme....

This site is a lot like that in fact. In order to be aware of what to look out for:

See some pictures of stuck colorectal objects here. See pictures of amebic procteocolitis (an intestinal infection) and butt plugs here. Click here to download a zipped file showing a male homosexual transvestite simultaneously accommodating three fists in his rectum.

A convenient .ZIP file? So you know what to look out for? Puhlease. I am sure the author has had great fun collecting this stuff.

He links to a site that gives reasons why homosexuals go to hell. I like this one:

“But don’t some animals engage in homosexual activity? Doesn’t this prove it is natural?”

Answer: This would only suggest that homosexuals have the IQ of sheep.

I would laugh if these people were not actually serious.


One of the links took me to this site where I found a useful table to deter people from having a penis inserted into them. Very compelling evidence to become a lesbian...look at how wonderful the vagina is.

• has an acidic environment which hinders bacterial and viral growth
• has an alkaline environment, which promotes bacterial and viral growth
• is lined by a thick layer of stratified squamous epithelium which is resistant to tearing
• is lined by a thin layer of simple cuboidal epithelium which can tear easily with unnatural forces
• secretes a lubricant during intercourse
• does not secrete a lubricant, only expels feces

Flip Flopping President

John Kerry is accused of Flip Flopping. But he isn't the only one:

Presidential Flip Flops. Shame the Democrats did not hammer this issue home the same way the republicans did. The Democrats did a lot wrong this campaign. Please let them win. Please please please.


New look (Again). Not so dark. I like it. Eventhough it is a plain Blog*Spot template.

US Elections

31 October 2004

I am mingling with the upper classes

Had my first posh party with the English upper class. J. went to a private All Girls Boarding School so she went to school with a lot of kids whose parents had a good deal of money. And Saturday one of these girls had a 21st birthday party. Estimated cost: £10,000...... I was very very apprehensive about going. The invitation said the dress code was Black Tie for the men and Posh Frocks (dresses) for the girls. It immediately pissed me off that someone would assume everyone can just afford to pay money for a dress or a suit to come to a party. Here is my Social Justice brain speaking. I immediately went up in arms against the whole class society of England.

J. is used to her fair share of posh people around her, having been to an expensive all-girl private boarding school, but even she was apprehensive to go to C.'s party. We raided her mother's wardrobe as we had no clothes that would be remotely suitable for the occasion. And there was no way we were going to wear a dress. J. was prepared to wear one but I begged her not to. I would have been the only woman not in a dress which would have made me look like such a lesbian, with J. on my side looking gorgeous in a dress. And because I have a wonderful girlfriend, she understood and looked ravenous in a trouser suit.

To cut a long story short: we were both nervous, the venue was fucking posh (mansion-style) and we were not the only ones who felt out of our league. So did the 5 other friends from J.'s old school. The food was salmon and caviar, quail's eggs and duck pate..... that was the finger food.

I was a little worried by the fact that all waitresses of the evening were black... I thought slavery was abolished years ago. In the end, the evening was not half as bad as we feared it would be. I wanted to try all the different bits of fingerfood but I was not sure if it is 'posh' to keep eating the food or that you are supposed to just nibble every once so often. But hey, I don't get to eat caviar and duck pate every day you know. So I stayed close to the waitresses and engaged in conversations with them whilst sneaking food into my mouth, hoping the hostess would not know my incessant eating. Wonderful.

Anyone saying Britain is a classless society is a liar. I have seen that it is alive and well on Saturday night. After all, I went to the pub for my 21st. My folks did not throw a £10,000 party for me. And it did not even occur to me to throw a party with a dresscode and black tie.... it was an interesting experience.

27 October 2004

Ritalin, shrinks and the NHS

When I moved to England, I had a letter in English from my shrink, saying that I need Ritalin and the dosage. When I went to my GP here for the first time, she only wanted to prescribe me with a 2-week supply because she was not familiar with ADHD in adults and she thought my dosage was a bit high. That made sense as the dosage is partly based on body weight and a kid that weighs 11 stone would be quite scary.
Anyway, I went back today for the repeat prescription and the doctor, a different one from last time and a young lady, said she wants me to see a shrink. She was quite defensive actually when I tried to explain that I have been on the stuff for a while now and that I had a letter explaining this. She was honest and said that she was not familiar with ADHD in adults and that nobody in the practice actually was.

Great. It just showed me how lucky I have been in The Netherlands with the more advanced research in the subject. All it takes is a few people who are interested in a disorder and to start researching it. Obviously in Britain, nobody has bothered enough yet to make a national impact on GPs.
She reluctantly prescribed me enough pills to last me a month. In the mean time, she will find me a psychiatrist to talk to. He/she will need to re-diagnose me and confirm it with the GP so that I can get the Ritalin on repeat prescription.

I am not looking forward to having to go to the shrink again. After all, I will have to convince him/her that I am an adult with ADHD. And if the people in this country know very little about adults and ADHD, chances are that he is going to think I am making it up. And then I will have to fight all from the start to get my medication.

Bugger. Getting all depressed now.

26 October 2004

Bush voters likely to be found in darkrooms

A Dutch website has done a survey under gays to find out who they would vote for in the US elections. 90% would vote for John Kerry. That is not surprising. How can you vote for someone who dispises your very being?

I was very amused by another little snippet of information that came out of the survey. Kerry-voters have more sex. But Bush voters are more likely to go to darkrooms!!

Thinking about it, it is no surprise. A gay Republican, voting for a man who hates him and denies him his basic rights. You don't really want to let your political friends know you are a homosexual. And you don't want your wife to find out. So you go to a darkroom for anonymous sex.

I doubt that is the kind of gay vote Bush wants. But it one he has created himself: men who cheat on their wives in darkrooms because they are too scared to come out.

My first decent contact!!

Getting work in the media is hard. And it is nearly impossible if yo udo not have any contacts at all.
But I might be starting to get there finally. Last week I went to the media Carreers Day in London. Surrounded by 16-year old wannabe presenters, I managed to have a chat with Richard Gaisford of GMTV news. I explained him my situation (I am experienced but have no network in the UK and I want to get back into broadcasting) He gave me the name and email of a guy from the BBC in Birmingham (conveniently close to where I live). I mailed the bloke and he mailed back right away. he has taken the time to give me a list of options I could try, from volunteering (can't do for lack of funds) to free-lancing (can't do for lack of own equipment). But he also suggested two options I will pursue. He promised to give me relevant names and numbers for the things I am interested in and he offered to show me around the new BBC building in Birmingham, The Mailbox.
He was really friendly and helpful.


It is a tiny tiny step on the ladder but at least I am now off the ground. Eventhough I have not reached the first step of the ladder yet but have merely stepped onto a piece of paper.

Just such a bitch that I have no savings to sustain myself even for a few weeks without work. iif I could do that, then I could volunteer for a local radio station for a few weeks to show them I can do it and then get a paid job based on the work experience perhaps.

First things first: let's meet this nice man.

Band of Brothers

J. is a huge fan of Neil Finn, the guy of Crowded House and, in the eighties, Split Enz. He has also done some solo stuff. I like Crowded House but I don't think I would have gone to a concert of Neil Finn on his own. Neil has a brother, Tim Finn. Neil and Tim were both in Crowded House for a while but brotherly rivalry sort of stopped that after their album Woodface.
The Finn Brothers have released a new album, Everyone is here. A lovely piece of work. And yesterday, we went to see them perform in Wolverhampton. It was totally wonderful. I really enjoyed it. They have lovely harmonies and they did some Split Enx stuff like Message to my girl, I got you (I don't know why sometimes I get frightened) and I see red. Of course they could not get away with not playing any Crowded House stuff and it was wonderful. It made me feel part of something quite special actually. I mean, Crowded House split up a few years ago and I started appreciating them after that. So I assumed I would never get to see them live. But effectively I did last night.
Neil Finn is clearly the most talented one of the two brothers and throughout the night, I could feel there was a certain tension between the two. Quite interesting vibes there.

Afterwards, J. and I wandered to the stage exit and waited for about 45 minutes until the guys came out. There were about 50 people waiting. J. was not sure 'it was her thing' but we waited anyway. But when they came out the door, one guy ruined it for us (well, for J. and me). Everyone wanted a signature of Neil and Tim and this 'fans' decided to start discussions by constantly shouting things like

"Neil, what has happened to Some Song. I LOVED that song, Best tune ever written!! And Tim, when will you play Song title again? I LOVE that tune man. I think you guys are great. Why don't you play Song Title anymore......."

And one and on he went, shouting over people's heads. You could tell it pissed Neil and Tim off somewhat. And it certainly pissed me and J. off. To the point where were almost too embarrassed to stand in line and wait for our tickets to be signed. We just did not want to be associated with that guy by even standing next to him.
He just hogged the entire 5 minutes with his voice shouting over everyone. Really annoying. Pissed the guys off so much that they disappeared into their tourbus very quickly. And J. felt claustrophobic so we pulled away. That was a tad disappointing.

Oh, did I mention the support act was.....Minnie Driver! Yes, the actress has released an album and is touring with it. It felt kind of strange to be watching a famous Hollywood actress on stage as a singer, and a reasonably good one too. Nothing really great, but nice to listen to. Sort of shows how easy it is if you have enough money: one day you decide you want to make an album, you pay musicians, hire a studio and record as long as you like. And record companies will release it because you are Minnie Driver. But unlike many actors-cum-singers, she actually pulls it off.

But the best part of the night was being out on the town with my girl who was really excited and bouncy because she had seen one of her musical heroes again. It is wonderful to see the one you love smile with a big broad grin all night. Wonderful.

25 October 2004

Freaky stalker

Someone at work has a stalker. He is on holiday this week and has left me his phone in case any important business people ring. I am informed of 2 numbers in the phone that are 'hers' and I don't answer the phone when those numbers come up. But on Friday, I answered he phone when it came up with a Withheld number.


Hello, M. speaking
[stalker] Hello
[stalker] Hello
Hello, how can I help?
[stalker] Who is this?
This is M. Who is speaking please?
[stalker] I want to speak to X
Who is speaking please?
[stalker] Who are you?
Who are YOU?
[stalker] I want to speak to x
He is not in a position to answer his phone right now. Can I take a message?
[stalker] No. I....I just...I want to speak to x. Put him on.
Sorry, I can not do that. He is not answering his phone. What is your name and I will tell him you rang.

A silence follows as I can hear her breathing get more desperate and suddenly her worst fear pops into her head. The fear in her voice is audible when suddenly she bursts out:

[stalker] Are you his girlfriend?
I am the person answering his phone at the moment; can I help you at all?
[stalker] Is x there? I want to speak to him.
He has asked me to answer his phone. Can I take a message?
[stalker] Are you his new girlfriend? Well...are you?

I don't want to say yes or no as I have seen the pain this woman causes in x's life. I am not sure if it is giving her hope if I say that I am NOT his girlfriend. Or that it will ignite rage and anger if I say that I am indeed his new girlfriend. So I stick to my non-committal answers. But I am getting seriously freaked out by now. This woman is mad.

I am answering his phone at the moment, that is all I will tell you.
[stalker] But is x there?
He is not answering his phone at the moment.
[stalker] but is he THERE?
I am answering his phone. It does not matter if he is here or not, he is not answering his phone. Now can I take a message or not?

I am getting freaked out by now. Should I be rude and treat her like the stalker I know she is? Or should I treat her like any other stranger whom I just happen to speak to?

[stalker] You are a work colleague, aren't you? Oh God I am so sorry. PLEASE don't tell x I am behaving like this. He will be so angry with me if he finds out I have been rude to you. Please don't tell him. Please. Do you promise?
I will tell him you rang.
[stalker] Ok. But can you at least tell me if he is OK?
I will tell him you rang.
[stalker] But is he OK?
I will tell him you rang. Goodbye now.
[stalker] Surely you can tell me if he is OK?

And I end the conversation. My heart is pounding for some strange reason. Like I just escaped my own stalker. My God, this was only one phonecall. X's life must be pure hell. I wonder what she will do next.
It only takes a few seconds for me to find out. His direct line rings....I pick it up....silence.
The general office number rings. Receptionist picks it up and puts it down again. Obviously the woman hung up.
And then the mobile starts ringing again. I don't answer. The mobile keeps ringing for the next 20 minutes. And she leaves him voicemail messages. And text messages.
And when I arrived in the office this morning, there were around 20 missed calls on his phone. All hers I assume.

It is enough to put me off even the though of ever having an affair. it is like Fatal Attraction but worse. Poor X. I can only imagine the rage and anger she is pouring out over him in her voicemail and text messages. I am DYING to find out. But I am a good girl. I behave.
She threatens to kill herself if he does not call her. If he changes his number, she calls his ex-wife. She is mad. She tells him she has painted the bedroom in his favorite colours....he tells her to go away, she goes mad, he tells her he will call her later....

He wants her to stop, she does not stop. He says he has tried everything. But he has not really gone to the police. Or phoned BT to cut off her phone under the fair use policy. Or bar her calls from his mobile.

What is it in a brain that makes a stalker think FUCK OFF means I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO STAY WITH YOU?


24 October 2004

Crap crap crap

For some reason, I can no longer post via FTP on this bloody weblog. Hence themove to the Blogspot address...... I am not ahappy bunny about that so to speak. I am however still alive so don't forget about me OK.......

19 October 2004

Aaaahhhh Space

Once again, I have run out of disk space at the place where I am hosting this bloody log. So it willhave to move again. Have no new address yet (Will be bloody NTL I am sure) soplease make sure you link to http://www.bunnyfactor10.com and everything will be allright, no matter where I go.

13 October 2004

The pig has flown!!!

We have internet at home. Well, almost!! It turns out it was not the registration that was wrong. Nor was it the modem that did not work. It was.....hang on.....THE TECHNICIAN HAD FORGOTTEN TO SWITCH OUR CONNECTION ON IN THE CABLE BOX OUTSIDE THE HOUSE!!!!!!

Yes. I am screaming on purpose. Fucking bastard. I shall now phone the NTL customer service and wait for 50 minutes and then demand that they restart my free two months internet from today rather than from September 20. What a load of wankers they are. If I had known they were so stupid, I would never have gone with them. And judging from this website, NTLHell,I am not the only one.

You say what???

The Conservatives won a major election victory in Australia. Smug bastard John Howard gets his fourth term in office. Howard was still washing Bush's shit off his face, from having crawled so deep inside George's arse, when he held his victory speech.
According to Little Johnny, Iraq was not an election issue for the Australian public. Just as well because it was a major one for Little Johnny. Unlike John Kerry, Howard was smart enough not to talk much about Iraq during the election campaign. Most Australians probably want their troops home by Christmas so Howard managed to more or less avoid the election disaster by simply not talking about Iraq. So, not a major election issue.

And what was one of the first things he said after his victory:
Australians might be divided over the Iraq war, but the election result proved most backed plans to keep troops there.

Excuse me? I HATE how politicians just take one issue and run with it. Just because Australians don't like foreigners, gay marriage, high taxes and all the other Labour/Democrat issues does NOT mean they voted for them on that ONE issue alone. It is a combination of things. So how the hell can Howard suggest that just because he got voted in again, Australians agree with the troops being in Iraq. Sleazebag Howard is making Iraq an election issue after the fact by ignoring it during the campaign and stating afterwards that it is obvious people like the troops being in Iraq.

What else did he say?

"I don't seek to take sides in what is a domestic decision for the American people, but my respect and regard for George Bush is very well known,"

Fuck off you smug little sad git.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australians had made clear foreign politics choices in the elections. People never vote on foreign policies. They vote on what makes their life easier. They vote on education, pensions and all that. According to Downer, things are much better now in Iraq than they were before:

There are more active terrorists attacking Iraqis and the foreign forces helping the Iraqis there, it's true, but what was there before was Saddam Hussein, and you have to weigh these things up.

Who weighs what up? For the world it may be better than Saddam is gone. And all those nasty terrorists seem preoccupied with operating in Iraq at the moment, so that the world has become a safer place. Is that what Downer means? I am sure ordinary Iraqis don't agree with that assessment of World Peace. Yes Saddam did horrible things but at least most Iraqis were able to keep their head down and get on with their lives. I am not saying Saddam was good, but it is ridiculous to say things are better now.

Fuck off.
I fear for the American elections in November. I fear Bush will win. Big time.

12 October 2004

I will be a millionaire soon....

I got this most interesting email today. This man is offering me millions for just using my bankacocunt for a little while. Apparently he has a familymember who died in a plane crash and now he needs to get the money out of some African bank account.
He sounds like such a nice person too:

I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business, so please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take urgently.

I will email him right now and offer him my help.
His name is Frank: frank_hambeu@mail2world.com and Call me on my direct telephone number for details: 00221 513 2211

My fingers are itching to reply to this bloke but people tell me this could be dangerous. I would LOVE to call the number and just lead the guy on. But I am a little afraid to get into trouble so I will leave it for now. Anyone interested in becoming a millionaire, just mail me and I will give you all the deails.

We're going on a holiday!!!

I am going snowboarding again! Some of you may remember my last experience with The White Stuff. I had a bruised coccyx for months after that. And in fact, I believe the thing is still a sore spot. But never mind: we are going at that makes me very happy. We are going to where I went in 2003: Kaprun in Austria. Quite cool as my old flatmate from The Netherlands is a ski/snowboard instructor there so we will know someone when we get there.

Not so happy about the fact that J. will be paying for it from the money she will get for her birthday in December. Her parents will give her the money and 'strongly suggested' that her little sister would like to go on a skiing holiday.....so now J. is using the money to pay for a skiing trip and her parents will cover the costs for her little sister. But as she does not want to go without me, we had to look very hard for a way to make J's money stretch enough to include me. We managed but only just. And that is only for the flight, hotel costs and lift pass. We still need to eat and pay all other stuff. I suppose it will just be a very cheap holiday. We will probably stay at the local youth hostel so that we can cook our own food at night. That saves money again. I don't mind that sort of thing at all. I like having a holiday that gives me all the fun I want and yet is reasonably cheap. Rather than moan about how I would like to have loads of money to go for a pampering kind of holiday, I like making do with the things I CAN do.

Snowboarding is fun. I am SO looking forward to it. Will be kind of nostalgic too. The last time I was in Kaprun, I had not met J. yet in person. I spent the entire week on the phone to her, racking up a massive mobile phone bill. I was going to Austria and then to meet J. the next week for the first time in Warwick. God I was so nervous. And look at us now; almost 2 years later...I like my life right now. Well...most of it.

My official debut!!

I made my official debut in a league match for the Old Leamingtonians Ladies Rugby team!! Ok, it was only for 10 minutes towards the end, but still. We were doing really well, playing against Whitney. There was a strong wind of which we managed to take advantage in the first half. At half-time we were leading by 10-0. 2 tries were scored but because of the strong wind it was not possible to convert them. Fair enough. It was a really good match, lots of fun. I was on the sidelines and the coach promised me some minutes on the pitch. I told him the team is important, not my personal interest. If the team is doing well, why would you substitute someone? But the good thing about rugby is that at some point, someone WILL get injured.

In the second half the wind proved to be the most important thing of the day indeed. Whitney scored 2 tries but did not convert either of them due to the strong wind. So we were at 10-10 and about 2 minutes later, Chris stormed across the touchline and made it 15-10! Nice of the ref to award us the try even though Chris admitted to dropping the ball behind the line, rather than pushing it down on the ground. Oh well, you want hear us complain. Unfortunately we did not convert the try and this proved to be decisive for the match. Whitney scored another try and they converted it as well 15 – 17. Bugger.

About 10 minutes before the end, I was sent on. I had no clue what my position was. I had to think: Who am I replacing? Oh yes, that makes me a forward....
We got into a ruck and somehow I just took the ball and ran. I was not afraid at all (I always though that I would be afraid to run into contact) but I did not want that realy nasty big lesbian ....I mean woman, to tackle me, so I sort of shook her off and ran a bit further. Then I got tackled and everybody fell on top of me, apparently in an organised fashion to protect me and the ball. One result from my little run was that we managed to get the ball across the touchline!! Unfortunately our player was on her back with the ball on her chest and that is no score of course. SHIT!!

I think I did reasonably well the rest of the match. But I was not as pro-active (or brash if you prefer) as I was in my first minute on the pitch. I started to think too much about what I should and should not be doing and I forgot to just tell people I was going to take the ball and run with it. I waited around the back of the ruck instead of diving in there like I had done the first time. But in the 10 minutes that I was on the pitch, we managed to get the ball across the touchline twice. Unfortunately both times the ball was held up over the line, rather than a try scored. Bugger bugger bugger. So in the end, we lost 15-17. Really annoying because I felt we were actually playing really well.
I have learned lots of things in the 10 minutes I was on the pitch. Mostly that it is incredibly difficult to keep an eye on the people around you. When I had the ball, I simply did not (have the time to) look around me to see where my other team mates were and to check if I could pass them the ball. I just ran straight forward.
The backs were pretty annoyed afterwards. Because for the last 10 minutes, the ball did not leave the hands of the forwards. All we did was drive, pick and drive, pick and drive. Nobody seemed to think about passing the ball wide to the backs to see if they could maybe score in the last minute. Oh well, can't have it all. But I have the Bug now. I can not wait for the next match to start. Even though I will not be starting, I really enjoy being part of a team.

J. is coming along to rugby as well these days. I think she would be a mighty fine back. Good. Gives me a chance to just be a nice forward. Now all I need to get tougher. It is a shame my parents won't be able to see me play when they come to visit me in December. We have an away match that Sunday and I won't be going to play as it, quite ironically, is near London and they are flying to Nottingham Airport after I told them they should......

Too long this post too long. I am sure most of you have given up already!!

06 October 2004


Ever tried to get internet through NTL? Don't bother. You won't get it. It goes something like this.

Day 1
Technician comes to install internet. Installs all cables and tells me there are no modems. But a 'guy in a van' will deliver one later today, before midday.
Ring...ring...ring...."Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
I give up

Day 2:
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello, this is John speaking how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post today, not happy.....
Yes, there is a shortage of modems in your area but I will put one in the post right away and you will have it tomorrow. If you don't get it, call me back on extension 5017.

Day 4:
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, this is James speaking how can I help?
What the f**k!! I did not expect to get through this quick (Run to desk to get pieces of paper)
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post yesterday, not happy, was promised modem would arrive yesterday but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please?
No, sorry, can not put you through. I will see what I can do for you.......(waiting music) yes, shortage of modems in your area. John should not have promised you a delivery date. Will see if I can get one out to you before the end of the week. If you don't get it, call me on extension 5052.

Day 6 (end of the week):
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Margaret speaking, how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post already, not happy, was promised modem would arrive 2 days ago but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please? Or James on 5052.
No, this is the Scottish call centre so they don't work here. How can I help?
Please hold and I will see what I can do....(waiting music).....I will send a courier out right now to deliver it to your house. Are you home?
No of course not, I need to work to pay for internet! Pop it through the mailbox around the back of the house.
OK, will tell him that. Bye now.

Day 9
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Lynn speaking, how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post already, not happy, was promised modem would arrive 2 days ago and then it would arrive yesterday, but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please? Or James on 5052? Or Margaret in the Scottish call centre?
No, sorry but I can maybe help you. Hold the line (waiting music). Yes, I will send one out to you today, I will call you at 4.30pm to check if it has arrived. Bye now.
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Jim how can I help love?

[insert entire story here] had no call back from Lynn and modem has not arrived yet. Am getting pissed off as I DID receive a letter saying my direct debit was now set up and they are sure I am enjoying my internet.
Ok Love (love?????), let me sort it out. Oh yes, there is a note on the system: if customer calls back, apologise and tell her we could not call back due to technical fault. Still not arrived? Oh dear. You must be annoyed, love.
Yes I am so solve it!!
I will put you through to the dispatch unit in Cambridge to discuss a delivery time. Bye now, Love.
(waiting music.......)

Hello Fatima speaking, how can I help?
[insert story here] Jim said you would help me out this time.
Let me check...(waiting music)....yes...ok. I have checked and we should be delivering one tomorrow. However, I will make sure the teamleader calls you in the morning to confirm that you are home.

Day 10
I am getting all excited now so I got to work this morning, waiting for the call......did not come. So at 12.30, I call the Dispatch Centre in Cambridge. After 45 minutes on hold!!!!!! I get through to a bloke whos name I can catch because as soon as I say my name, his trainer jumps in (Remember "Your calls may be monitored for training purposes". Apparently it is actually true!). I suppose it is because they are getting sick of me by now. Anyway, she asks if she can help and I explain that I am awaiting a phone call and that I thought I would be pro-active and find out myself if arrangements had been made to drop the thing off..... I get put on hold for 10 minutes...and then a bloke comes back to the phone and his only words are: They dropped it off this morning, have you not got it yet?

Thanks for the phonecall buddy!!

So in my lunch break, I drove home and as I got to my back door, I saw about 500 pigs fly!! There it was, sitting outside the house, waiting for me. Ran in to the house, tried to install internet on my computer...no such luck as it does not allow for installation on a Dutch Windows system, only English. Fuck. So I tried it on J.'s computer. That works. Up to the point where I need to fill in my home telephone number. I do not have a landline. And so it does not accept my registration....I think I will call the helpdesk again. I am building relationships there. I can now choose to speak to either

John, James, Margaret, Lynn, Jim, Fatima and two people at Dispatch.....

05 October 2004

University life

And so the new season starts. J. is in her last year at university after having switched from Maths to maths and Business studies. This means that this year I cna finally discuss her studies with her. I will be able to understand what she is talking about. Marketing mix makes more sense to me than differential equations.

This will be a difficult year for me. I was crap at studying and I can see that J. does not really have much patience for it either. Procrastination is high on the list of sins for both of us. I will have to be careful not to be patronising and tell her to go and study every night. This will be a big challenge. I will have to trust her to sort herself out without me peering over her shoulder all the time. And I have never lived with a student so I will have to work hard at keeping my mouth shut. it is none of my business. I should help her and support her, not lecture her. Actually, I don't think I will need to lecture her. She will do fine on her own.

I guess it makes a difference now that she will be doing something I actually care about. We will be able to discuss things like marketing and have interesting conversations about it. Cool.

Now go and sit back in your hole Marieke and leave J. to it!!!!

01 October 2004

The world is a better place.....

In the first of the presidential debates on American TV, George Bush claimed the world is a better place now that Saddam is gone. Julie illustrated her anger at this beautifully but posting a picture of a man with a (dead?) child in his arms after another bomb explosion in Iraq.

The world COULD have been better off without Saddam Hussein than it is now. The world would have been better off if they had approached it slightly differently. Now it is a mess. The worls is a more dangerous place, terrorism is worse than before.

Apparently, the Americans do not get half of the bad press about Iraq that Europeans get (don't know about Australians). That is why a lot of people in the US still believe things are going well in in Iraq and that Bush did a good job.

No matter how much I hate Bush, I think Kerry is betting on the wrong horse by making the elections all about Iraq. His point should be that Bush has ignored EVERYTHING else since he went to Iraq. Economy, healthcare.... education....... Kerry won't win on Iraq alone. Especially since his own war-past is not something most Republicans like.

At one point in the 'debate' Kerry said: "Just because YOU (Bush red.) believe in what you are doing and because YOU are prepared to fight for it all the way, that does not mean you are actually RIGHT." Go Kerry.

By the way, the debates are hardly debates. The audience is carefully selected; nobody with extreme views on either side gets in; audience is not allowed to speak or ask questions and the weirdest of all is that the television networks are not allowed to make cut-away shots. (Cut away shots are short shots of the audience, the person who is not speaking etc to give cameramen the opportunity to change their position whilst their shot is not on-air). Neither of the cadidates wanted the networks to use cut away shots because it would show the responses of the person who was listening or they might get caught in a moment of unattentiveness and that would make them look bad.

Fox decided to use cut away shots after all. Good. Nobody should dictate what the networks can broadcast or not. it is fascinating how people see the same debate completely differently. For CNN, a Democrat and a Republican blogged live during the debate. They had a completely different view.

24 September 2004

Janis and memories

Am listening a lot to Janis Ian again lately. Yes, you guys think she was dead after scoring a massive hit with "At 17" in 1975!! But she is very much alive. Anyway.....I used to listen to Janis A LOT a few years ago. In fact, it was almost the only thing I listened to. But now.....I am ashamed to say I simply FORGOT to get tickets for her UK tour! How bad is that. I just forgot. And now that I remembered her tour, I pulled the CDs out again and am listening to them again.
And memories come flooding back. It is mostly the melodies of Janis' songs that touches me. Hence there is no sense in my posting lyrics to some of the most 'meaningful' sings. The lyrics are not meaningful to me most of the time. But U remember what I was doing when I was listening to those songs, who I was with, what dreams I had back then and so on.
Needless to say that most of those dreams never came true. I never managed to move to Australia for example. However, it is odd that most of the time people seem to relate music from their past with unhappy times. Eventhough I would not call Janis Ian sings happy tunes, they still remind me of happy times. And sad times of course. But mainly they just remind me of 'a time of my life', rather than a single event. So when I listen to Janis Ian, I go back to 4/5 years ago. With all its good times and its bad times.

Mind you, this does not take anything away from the fact that some of janis' songs can make rocks cry, so beautiful. I will just never be able to listen to the 3 albums I listened to around that time ( Revenge, Hunger & God & The FBI)without connecting it to events that happened back then. I guess I am lucky that those events are very important to me, that I don't look back in anger but with a kind of fondness and that the experiences I had back then have shaped a large part of my future in a vey positive way.

So to round it off, lyrics to a very hopeful song Janis wrote when she was down on her luck.

(Janis Ian)






(You can get free MP3s on her website by the way)

Twenty Straight Questions

1. When did you discover you were heterosexual?

2. How did you know?

3. Have you tried same-sex relationships to prove to yourself you were straight?

4. Have you ever wished your sexual orientation was more flexible?

5. How did your parents react to your decision of living as a straight person?

6. Are you happy about being heterosexual?

7. Are there any benefits about being heterosexual?

8. Do you know any other people who are heterosexual? If yes, do you know for a fact that these people are really straight?

9. Some non-straights think their lifestyle has greater value for mankind than yours. The argument is that straights are carelessly overpopulating the earth. How do you feel about this?

10. Statistics show that most child molestations are performed by an opposite-sex adult. Do you believe this says anything about heterosexuality or is sexual orientation different from deviant sexual behaviour?

11. Statistically speaking the most dangerous place to be for women and children is the home. If this is true, is it morally defendable to uphold the heterosexual nuclear family as the ideal?

12. With 10 and 11 in mind, do you think it is appropriate for heterosexuals to have children?

13. Do you believe there a relation between heterosexuality and inequality between the partners in an opposite-sex relationship?

14. Heterosexuality is closely connected to shame (sexually aggressive women are called “whores”, etc.). How do you feel this impacts your life?

15. Given 10, 11, and 14, how would you react if your child would turn out to be heterosexual too?

16. Do you believe it appropriate to assume anything about a young person’s sexual orientation, eg is it appropriate to assume that a two-year-old boy “likes girls”? Is it typical for heterosexuals to make these assumptions?

17. Do you feel that society gives positive affirmation to the straight lifestyle? If so, how?

18. Do you feel that straight people and the straight lifestyle are correctly portrayed in mainstream cinema?

19. How would you describe the straight lifestyle to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

20. Do you believe science will one day find out why people become heterosexual?

Shameless ripped from Butch This

Au Au Au Au Au

And so it happens...my first proper rugby injury. Got stamped on by a team mate in training on Wednesday night. Not nice to have someone land on your foot with their full weight when they are wearing football boots with nice studs on them. Au Au Au!! It wasn't too bad until I was in bed later that evening. my feet (yes, both of them!!) were throbbing badly and of course there was no Ibuprofen in the house. Or any other painkiller for that matter. And with Jane gone, the pain was worse because there was nobody to help me in my moment of pain. Nobody to aknowledge I was in excruciating pain......
Tossing, turning, light on, light off, read a book, try to fall asleep, turn light back on, pain in foot, throb throb throb, 3am, 4am, 5am...oh those poor people with insomnia...how horrible.
So in the mornign I went to the doctor who told me it was bruised badly. Duh. I stayed home for a day with my foot covered in ice. I was bored stiff. So today I am back at work. Just walk a little more careful today and I will be fine. I feel like I have survived the Rite of Passage: the Rugby injury!!

And I did not really mind staying home yesterday. Wednesday I landed (AGAIN!!) in the middle of an office row. The situation:
I was doing a job, someone else was doing the same job. I suggested to the MD that maybe this was a waste of time and we should work together.. He suggested I don't tell her as she would just get upset. So on Wednesday I had to tell her I had finished designing this thing because she had finished designing hers. Of course she blew up at me for doing her work behind her back (after all, SHE is the Marketing Manager and she should be in charge of designing things etc...fair enough). I was so sick of being dropped in the middle again by the MD. I had sent him a number of emails asking him to solve the situation because I feared it would all explode once she found out I was doing the exact same job but not telling her.... he never responded. So I decided I owed him no loyalty. I explained to the lady that I had been told to keep my work a secret because it would just upset her. I had to spend some time convincing her that I was not just covering my own ass. But in the end, she is a manager, I am an asistant. If the MD tells me to do something, I have to do it, no matter how much I think it is wrong.

So I told her if she was angry about it, I was angry too and we should talk to the MD because he handled it badly. Or rather: he did not handle it at all. Seems the MD thinks it is a problem between me and this lady, that we can not work together. but in fact, the problem is not that at all. I mean, if I was that lady, I would be majorly pissed off too for people working behind my back.

I am sick of it. And that is probably why I was not concentrating at the rugby training and it got me injured after all.

On Monday, the MD is back and my direct boss has said that he wants to sort it out once and for all on Monday because he is pissed off that one of his people got more or less stitched up like this.
Yes, I love my job.

21 September 2004

Lesbians: Pay attention

Are you any good at:

- tipping over a 110kg ram
- fitting a set of snow chains
- digging in a fence post
- backing a trailer with a load of hay
- blowing a dog whistle
- opening a bottle of Speight's® without a bottle opener
- jetboat sprinting on Lake Wanaka

Then you may very well be The Perfect Woman. Now to me, all of that reeks of Lesbians, but surprisingly, the winners of past competitions all seem young feminine girls. I guess in New Zealand these thigns are essential for every woman and have nothing to do with being masculine. After all, the women who have won before are all daughters of sheep farmers etc. They work on farms so to them these things are nothign special. I wish I lived in New Zealand. Then I could do all these things....

20 September 2004

Gone again...and some rugby

I was going to blog about how I played my first rugby match yesterday. But then Jane phoned to say she will leave tomorrow morning at 6am and return on Friday evening as she has to go to Lancaster for something work-related. That means 3 whole nights on my own. Last week was only 1 and that was bad enough (Did I tell you I am actually a little scared to be home alone?). Ugh. I suppose I will learn to be alone so it is sort of OK but I just don't like it. On the other hand, I can drink, smoke and booze as much as I like now for the rest of the week.......will have to cycle to rugby training on Wednesday. And won't be able to go swimming for lunch as I have no transport to the pool. Just as well that Jane says she is getting paid handsomely for doing this.

Anyway, back to the rugby.

I played my first rugby match yesterday!! Yay!! Three cheers for me.

Well, I played part of it. Christ on crutches, these women are BITCHES. And I am SURE some of them were actually MEN and not women at all. Although they had tits, they were HUGE. There was no way I was ever going to tackle them. I just stepped aside when she stormed towards me. I like my face and I did not need her fingers clawing at my eyes, trying to poke them out! So instead the bitch pulled my ear!!! Being vile and vicious does not make you any friends on the pitch but hey, it wins you matches which is all you really want I guess. I can not even remember the score but I know we did not score a single point and conceded at least 5 tries. Humbug.

I only played the last 20 minutes when one of our players went out injured (read: it was already a lost cause by the time I came on...) One of our MANY players I should say. If I ever needed a reason why I don't like Jane playing rugby, I found it yesterday. There is no way I would be able to concentrate on the game if Jane was lying on the floor after a knock on the head. But when I came home, Jane said the same thing: that she is a bit scared that she will get a phone call telling her I am injured when playing. I guess that makes sense.

I was very scared to go on. I did not really want to play but the other girls were all nice and trying to help me. I still fucked up big time though. I was in the way most of the time.

See, I don't mind going on to the pitch knowing what to do and doing that wrong. After all, I still have a lot to learn. But I felt really horrible when I went onto the pitch not knowing what to do so I could never do it right. I did not know where to walk, who to tackle, when to take the ball, when to leave it alone, when to stay on the floor, when to get up, when to run, when to wait, when I was off-side, when I was on-side..... I knew nothing. This means other players had to coach me as well as play their own game.

I felt horrible and useless. And exhausted. And I consider myself to be quite fit with all the swimming and going to the gym.....I was totally exhausted.

But it is fulfilling its goal though: I am having fun off the pitch at leat and it is nice to have something for myself, something without Jane. After all, I don't do anything social without Jane. She is all the social contact I have. Or used to have. And that feels nice. Even though I am very stiff today, joining the rugby team is well worth all that.
And of course, no sport is complete without getting drunk in the bar afterwards. I am still not used to England's drinking culture. And I actually think that is a good thing so I have decided not to get used it. Ever. At all.