Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life is a can of wasabi peanuts

I have a confession to make, I am a horrible person with a temper like from hell. I shout at people when I get angry, even in public. I shout at people I don't know when I don't like what they do in traffic.

This afternoon I went skating, and a cyclist rang his bell at me when passing me downhill. I hate when they do that, because they don't seem to realize that braking for me is not easy and I need a lot of space. Yes, I take up half the road, but what's wrong with you using the other half, do you REALLY need to be on the same side I am?

My temper exploded, I flipped him off, he passed me and flipped me off, and then I shouted after him to slow down coward if you dare and we can talk about it, and he did. Then he proceeded to tell me about his hobby: from 1972 he has followed all the Italian giros. On his computer he has 37 Excel files with the names of all the racers and their ranks. It is a complicated hobby because the media sometimes contradict each other.

Ha. I feel strangely empowered. To yell at people in public and then get them tell you about their hobbies, that's a result.

Wasabi peanuts. I have said it before and I will say it again. Life is not a box of chocolates. It is more like a can of wasabi peanuts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

strange days



When I woke up this morning I was just having a nightmare. I usually regret waking up out of nightmares, because I don't want to leave the dream before solving the problem. This was one of those. My house was being invaded by something and I was busy defending it, with a friend. All the way to work I had that feeling of horror, of something happening that I couldn't stop.

My friend thinks nothing has changed here since the Dark Ages, society is still just as crooked. I think he is wrong. Yesterday on the radio I heard about the Somalian pirates so happy to be brought to court in the Netherlands, because our jails are luxury hotels to them, and not only are they in paradise, they get paid the humongous amount of 40 Euros a month for doing prison work. Prisons weren't paradise in the Dark Ages. Also heard on the radio: our Minister of Defence does not want to employ armed forces against Somali pirates at sea, because that would "re-enforce the agression spiral". I laughed my head off, that is so typically Dutch. The best defence is deflating your enemies "aggression spiral". Usually that sounds like good advice, but Somalis who come here in peace are branded 'economic refugees' and sent back with empty hands, while if they attack a Dutch ship and manage to get arrested, they are assured two years bed and full board in a clean "hotel" with tv and 40 Euros a month salary. When they go back home they can buy a house. One little voice in my head says that isn't a wise defence policy... if they get life they think they hit the jackpot.. and what do they do to get life? Seems to me that spiral also risks running the wrong way. But at least something has changed since the Dark Ages...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

stupid idea



Preparing for my life without tv...

Thought I could bake the bread on the grill but it started transforming into a giant marsmallow (thank you Dot :)

Plucked it off just in time, now texture and crust are ok but I forgot the salt!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

schizo telco

My (soon to be ex-) telco UPC suffers from schizophrenia. Over the phone they are extremely sympathetic and promise leniency, yet regular as clockwork two days after such a phonecall the blunt letter arrives telling me that I should not hope to ever get this unauthorized transaction reversed. The people on the phone are different ones each time, but the initials on each letter are the same.

They must employ the friendliest and most socially intelligent on customer service, while the people with the power are nasty and sour and have dried plums for brains.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

peace

Update on the porn front: although one of the offending porn sellers still refuses to credit my bill, the telco now have exteded me an ear. I have hopes that they will apply some rule that allows then to wipe my sheet clean, in the mean time I hope I have provided them with enough material to get their money back from the uncooperative webcam artists.

Update on the teeth front: #2 is out and it went superfast. Where the first tooth only came out after a minute or two of wriggling and applying some extra anaesthesia, the second was out with a plop in less time than it takes to blink an eye. On the way home the superkid wouldn't stop complaining about why I wouldn't take him to school. Blood still dripping from between his teeth, all he could think about was missing the teachers' birthday and his session of streetdance this afternoon. I told him they probably wouldn't let him in the school looking like he did, with his face full of blood, but he countered that a normal school probably wouldn't, but since his is a special ed school, his chances were good.

I honestly don't know where he got the totally-unphased-by-the-sight-smell-and-taste-of-blood genes from, it could not have been my side of the family. Unless it was my maternal grandfather, I never knew him but he is reported as a naval officer to have fought twenty muting chinese matelots recruited from the Shanghai prisons with his bare hands while they tried to cut off his big toes. He also performed surgery with a kitchen knife on a castaway they found somewhere in the Indian Ocean floating around on a raft, limbs rotting off. I had always thought these stories were pure fiction.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

naked blogging




Went golfing for the third time. Two more lessons to go. First lesson: swing, second: putting, third: chipping.

Weather was fantastic, but on the way back I didn't get to fully enjoy it because I couldn't stop myself worrying about the sk who had insisted on taking a shortcut along a dirt path with his trike on which I could not follow on my skates... being the supportive mom that I am I let him go, reluctantly, and all the way home I imagined him riding his trike in a canal, but of course he didn't.

and the Gwynner is... win!

The winner of the giveaway is KingOfAnkh, and the reason is not at all that I love him dearly and that he is the oldest and most loyal of my blogging friends, because that would be a really poor basis for a random net-neutral giveaway.

The random number generator decided. But I am happy the prize goes to Gwyn because he needs a decent meal of stroopwafels after all the dried noodles he's been dining on lately.

Could you please mail your current address to thyme@kpnmail.nl ?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

giveaway



This package I received from Dick - Eye on Texel today. I won his giveaway last week. thank you Dick :) I think you were a little bit disappointed by having to yield this prize to another Dutchman, but honestly, all these things except the clogs are as foreign to me as if they were from another country. Besides, Texel where you live isn't even attached to the Netherlands. If it weren't for the fact that you speak Dutch like me, Texel would be right out there with other foreign islands like Great Britain, Denmark and Hawai. The sheep-milk soap smells very lovely and exotic and foreign, and I am very much looking forward to tasting the "Juttertje" kruidenbitter. Apart from the fact that I have never tasted the kruidenbitter, it is so cool because of the name... we don't have "jutters" here in the south. Garbage men, maybe, but although I am highly fond of my garbage men and life would not be the same without them, a garbage collector on the beach of Scheveningen is worlds apart from a Texel beach jutter. Your gift could not have found a more grateful and more foreign recipient.

This was the first giveaway I ever entered, and coincidentally the first one that I won! So naturally given my 100% positive experiences with the phenomenon I am now vividly pro-giveaways, and I have decided to do one too.



If you think the clogs look vaguely familiar, you are correct. Given the fact that this is the soggiest, wettest and lowest-below-sea-levelest part of the Netherlands and possibly of all of Europe excluding some parts of the South French Camargue where all the pink bipeds you see are flamingos, clogs are a very useful piece of footwear. I regularly meet old people who wear them, sometimes not so old people, and kids too. With the consent of the original giver, who intended them to end up with someone not Dutch, I have decided to pass them on. But slightly personalized.

You will notice the change in theme; from sheep to windmills. Most of the many old windmills that remain in this part of the country were used to keep the land dry. They do not fulfill that function any more, these windmills here are now mere monuments and pumps have taken over.

This giveaway consists of:

One small bag of Old Dutch sweet liquorice,
One leather bound notebook with a drawing of a windmill by the classic Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn
One tin of Gouda stroopwafels (to make good for the liquorice), decorated with Delfts blue paintings of windmills
A bunch of coloured candy tulips
And a personalized set of miniature clogs.

I will appply the same rules as were applied in the Eye on Texel giveaway, if you want in, comment and I will assign you a number in the order of the comments. Only one number per commentor. Sunday May 10 at 8PM Dutch time I will let this random number generator pick a winner. Provided there is more than one entrant, otherwise I can do it myself.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Queens day 2009

There has been an attack on the queen and her family yesterday, on her birthday.

A 38 year old man drove his small black car at high speed through the audience and two barricades on purpose to hit the open coach the royal family were parading in. He just missed them, and a policeman on a bicycle standing in front of the monument he hit when his car stopped. On his way there he had hit 17 people in the audience, dragging some along a few meters, others flying in the air. 5 people died. The man is presumed to have lost consciousness shortly after the crash and at this moment he is believed to be brain dead. EDIT: - as I was writing this, the news came that he died.

Everything about this incident is shocking. How the festivities on a lovely day were transformed into a tragedy in seconds. The desperation of the man who did it. The utter desperation. maybe that is what scares me personally the most; that I feel more sympathy for him, than horror at what he did to 17 innocent bystanders and their families. He is described as a quiet, lonely and reserved individual who did not have friends, but people who knew him at a distance described him as intelligent, funny, and very kind.

He had been fired from his job a few months ago and was moving out of his appartment because he could not pay the high rent. He was supposed to hand over the key today.

He had never been in touch with justice and had no history of mental illness.

This act of desperation makes me feel so incredibly sad. The very fact that a person other people describe as "funny and kind" would want to do something like this. There is something wrong in this country.