Friday, 31 August 2007

it's so unladylike to fish crumbs out of one's cleavage...

It's still weird having a nice cleavage. I'm definitely enjoying it, but little things tell me I'm not quite used to it yet. Little things like breadcrumbs and such, that fall down it. In the old days... (pause for dramatic effect) in the old days those pesky crumbs would have just landed on my clothes, but now I'm happy to show off my assets I've started to wear more revealing clothes and the crumbs fall on my chest and slide down... My boobs work like a funnel. And thanks to losing all that weight, I'm wearing my figure-correcting elastic sausage skin sometimes referred to as a corselet to keep the flab from flapping around too much. When the crumbs hit my cleavage, they rest awhile between my breasts, then slowly burrow underneath the fabric - and they itch like hell on my stomach!

It's so unladylike to fish crumbs out of one's cleavage...

Thursday, 30 August 2007

writing is...

I love writing, it's like thinking out loud with a rewind button.

things about me you didn't know and never wanted to

Someone just told me "blogging is more important than a digital shelf" and he doesn't seem convinced with my reply that "there's a widget I can add to my blog", so I'll take a short time out from this site to post something. (My profile is here, but don't expect too much, I only just started and the selection is decidedly random. And the going is slow because for every book I add to my shelf, there are ten I "have to" add to my reading list...)

Since I've already touched upon my slightly obsessive side here, I figured I'd post this list I compiled a couple of days ago:

  • I have a strange tic; whenever I am doing something else and then turn back to the keyboard, I tap the desk in front of it with the tips of my fingers, tap-tap, and then start typing.

  • I also have to tap the domed top of the rubbish bin at work with my nails every time I walk by it.

  • Sometimes I think I suffer from a mild form of synesthesia. For instance when I think I smell something strange, I will automatically turn down the sound down. (EDIT: I found another one: I just shielded my eyes to listen to something more closely.)

  • I had my ears pierced when I was six years old whilst I was with my grandmother. My mother was not consulted - or happy. These are the only two piercings I have, nor do I have any tattoos, brandings or such like.

  • I still have my favourite stuffed toy bear, Colargol, which I got shortly after birth and who slept in my arms for years. The pink fur is completely threadbare and the white parts were so bad that my mother crocheted replacement patches when I was around seven or eight years old.

  • I only have one eardrum, my hearing in the ear without is about 20%, fortunately the good one compensates a lot.

  • The left side of my face is "wonky" - my mouth is crooked and when I smile my eye pulls almost shut as a result of an accident during surgery on the inside of my ear which hit the facial nerve on that side.

  • For a couple of years in the early "naughties" I went to practically every match by my favourite football (that's soccer) team, home and away, including European cup matches in Russia and the Ukraine, warm-up matches against amateurs and even on training camps.

  • I can see a professional football stadium from my office window. One of my former offices was located at a football stadium, in fact it was directly underneath the stands.

  • Off the top of my head I can name at least six ways to get out in cricket: leg before wicket, caught, bowled, run out, handled ball, hit wicket oh and stumped makes seven. I think there are eight or nine in total. (In fact there are ten) But I've never been to a real cricket match.

  • I know two mobile phone numbers by heart and one of those is my own.

  • With a little stretching I could probably still do the splits.

  • I'm convinced that I heard one of our (my parents') dogs die several years ago. I woke up in the middle of the night and didn't hear anything else but was sure I had heard a dog yelping. I figured he had been dreaming and didn't go downstairs to check up on him. The next morning he was found dead in his basket. He had died of a freak, acute, colon problem. Now when one of their current dogs does it (the youngest dreams frequently) I have to check up on them. (except when they're sleeping with my parents)

  • Ever since I first heard/realised what was going on as a young teenager, I have never been embarrassed or put off by the sound of my parents having sex. I'm just happy that they're still enjoying each other.

  • I finished college debt-free. In fact I had a very comfortable stash in my savings account (it's all gone now)

  • I once paid cash for a new car.

  • I've touched a Formula One racing car and I sat on one of the wheels to have my picture taken.

  • I don't have a credit card.

  • I could read (a little) before I went to primary school.

  • I could join Mensa if I felt like it. I took the test (actually three tests) and got an invitation to join, which I ignored.

  • The local library rejected my application to become a librarian.

  • When I was two years old I looked like Shirley Temple, with long blond curls.

  • I didn't complete the parrallel parking during my driving test, however I passed the exam on the first try.

  • Whilst I enjoy memorising things for fun, I often have trouble remembering the simplest things.

  • I sleep with one teddybear (a new one, not Collargol), four pillows and at least as many books on top of my bed.

  • I don't really like gold jewelry but sometimes I make an exception for my grandmother's gold watch because it reminds me of her. (And not to show off, K…) But probably the best thing I inherited from her last year was the fan. (Especially because we had such a hot summer then.)

  • I've had a couple of dreams about having sex with Jesus. Partly they were inspired by a cartoon in a children's magazine.

  • I find it very funny that there's at least one person on this world called Siemen Cox, pronounced Semen Cocks.

  • When I go to the bathroom at work, I play Snakes on my cell phone.

Sunshine, this list was just for you! <3

Monday, 27 August 2007

kite runner

Earlier I wrote about the fun night of karaoke and sushi (and some warm sake and chilled wine) I had with K and Sunshine last Wednesday. This happened later that night.

On the train back, leaving at quarter past midnight, a black man wearing a stylish grey pinstripe suite and on his head one of those things that are a cross between a woolly hat and a hairnet (sorry, that's what they always remind me of), asked me what that book was, that I was reading. I almost had to get off, so I quickly rattled off some stuff about this boy growing up in Afghanistan before the Soviets invaded and then as a grown man went back there years later when the country was suffering under the Taliban regime.

A few days before that one of my colleagues noticed the same book as I was reading it in the lounge at work (there's a little lounge between wings, with a couple of seating areas and coffee machines) and said: "I think the whole department has read that one." I then proceeded to apologise for reading it in translation - rather fruitlessly because she didn't understand me until I explained that it wasn't originally written in Dutch. The reason I read it in Dutch is that it was a gift to my father from a neighbour. My parents both read it, which is extremely rare. And they both loved it.

So yeah, I read The Kite Runner, or more correctly De vliegeraar, and I... I don't think "enjoyed" is the right word. At one point I was almost in tears a couple of times, always as I was reading in public, of course... But yes, there is a certain satisfaction that comes from reading good books, interesting books, books that make you see things in a different light, through different eyes, books that make you feel something you hadn't experienced before, or books that make you feel you didn't experience it alone.

This is one of those books. For those who haven't read it: you should!

PS. Saturday I bought Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City and I'm more than halfway through it already, a very relaxed read but a good one.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

art of shopping

In The Netherlands the HEMA is almost a given. Everybody knows this department store, with it's usually cheap and cheerful products, which nonetheless always seem to have a well thought-out style. I was reading an article about kids preparing to go back to school recently, in which the mother and daughter ended up at HEMA. HEMA, which stands for Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam (Dutch Standardprice Company Amsterdam), was founded in 1926 and started out selling products at either 25 or 50 cents.

And it's not just the products, it's also the signs, labels etc. that are very recogniseable. Together, this has inspired El HEMA, a real store recreated by Mediametic, exploring what HEMA would be like if it were based in an Arabic country:

What would an Arabic Hema look like? Halal sausage? Arabic chocolate letters? Affordable high quality headscarves? 3 Arabic scarfs (kaffia) for the price of 2? Tunics or Djballas? School notebooks with lining for Arabic, which reads from right to left? Ali Baba and the 40 shoplifters? Camel milk? Arabic poetry on duvet covers? Jibril and Jamilah children's champagne? North African wine?

The project is based on the launch of five new designs for a more up-to-date looking Arabic script. I think it's an interesting exercise, I should stop by if I can.

EDIT: My apologies for the telegram style of this post, I was a bit tired last night, but wanted to share this before I forgot. I may clean it up and flesh it out a bit later, or you can just follow the links (although most are/end up on Dutch pages) or perhaps you can try a search engine. If any interesting articles come up in English, let me know and I'll link them.


My brother is getting married at the end of the month. He's my baby brother (my only brother), almost exactly five years younger. I lost my first baby tooth when my father took me to visit him and my mother on the day ne was born, eight days before my fifth birthday. I don't remember trying to peer through a window, slipping and hitting my mouth on the sill, but I remember my Dad picking me up from school that morning.

It was a Wednesday, a half-day, but that morning session always went on half an hour longer than the others - and I hated those thirty minutes. Someone, I presume it was a preserves manufacturer, had given us all these little booklets (in reality long strips of paper folded into squares) of "Tiels Flipje", a mascot for a jam factory. He's an enchanted raspberry.

At the age of four years and 357 days a propagandist comic book character made of berries left more of an impression with me than smashing my face against a stone ledge - let alone my new brother - I'm afraid to say.

And now he'll be getting married, six weeks before his thirtieth birthday (that's seven before my thirty-fifth if you're too lazy to do the maths yourself).

I wanted to write about a couple of surprises his fiancée's and his wife (who is a childhood friend of the fiancée) have planned for them, but I think it's best not to take any chances. What if, by some extraordinary coincidence, I must say, one of them stumbled upon this message? I don't want to run the risk of spoiling it for them, however small that risk may be. (One of the few things I like about Livejournal is the option to change the level privacy on individual blog posts.)

Last week my mother told me she's working on a contribution and that she might be sending me something (I'm not sure if she wants me to add to it, I figured I'd cross that bridge later, so far I haven't heard from her about it again) and now I'm wondering if maybe I can't think up something of my own. I've already got one idea, but I'll have to consult with Mom first. You, my faithful handful of readers, will be the first to find out - after the bride and groom.

Besides those, there are the usual presents. Perhaps people do register with some company here sometimes, but I can't say I've seen it happen before. Brother dearest and future sis-in-law, had a little envelope printed on their wedding invitations as a gift suggestion. I feel if you're going to ask for money, you should at least have the guts to spell it out: "Give us money!" Nowhere does it say the envelope has to be filled, or with what. I'm sorely tempted…

That's beside my other present, of course, which incorporates the other tradition of giving useless gifts with the more recent trend of giving money. I wouldn't just give them an empty envelope.


Friday, 24 August 2007

karaoke & sushi

On Wednesday K suggested I meet up with him and Sunshine, with whom he's been staying this week, for an after work drink. Not one to say no to a drink with friends, I said yes. We met up on the corner of Rotterdam's "gay street". Last time we went to a bar there that has done its best to look very trendy, but doesn't seem to attract much of a crowd. So at first we walked by it this time, but then K said, "actually, I think I'd like some place quiet". (wait, that's my interpretation, K wouldn't say "I think I'd like" he would just say "I'd like") So we had a drink in the quiet, trendy bar, then decided to move on to the slightly trashier and much fuller one almost next door.

There were binders on the bar and, as you do, we all started leafing through them. They were lists of karaoke songs for later on that night. But if we were going to hang around for karaoke, we had to eat something first… K wanted sushi, Sunshine and I thought that was a good idea, so we asked the bartender. He suggested a place just around the corner that had "all you can eat" for €20,-. Officially it's not all you can eat, but eight rounds of five items per person. But even if you stick to the nigiri, that's 40 pieces and most of the other dishes were larger. In fact they even warned us that we had ordered several big bowls. But we were stubborn - and almost completely full after the first round. We ordered a few more for the second round, but found it hard to get rid of them. (Our waitress warned that for anything you didn't eat there would be an extra charge, because the didn't want food to go to waste. I assume this is to prevent someone ordering 40 items and then leaving half of them…)

Despite all the pinkness on offer (there were different shrimp, salmon and tuna dishes), it was decided by all that the gayest dish was the mackerel nigiri with it's shiny silver skin and wonderful blue marking. Didn't taste bad either! We also managed to consume three bottles of warm sake. But all that only set me back €77,- (it was my treat to them), definitely worth repeating. I'm a little confused as to the name of the place, on the outside it says Shabu Shabu, but on the inside the menus and even the chairs had logos that said Sumo, but fortunately I think I can find it again.

As we got back to the Regenboog (rainbow), karaoke seemed to have just kicked off. K quickly got in his request for Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I was going to back him up. The only problem was that K was singing the song at about twice the speed as the music and lyrics. I was waving my hands in much the same motion as that police officer telling us to be quiet (see this story), trying to get him to slow down. Only when I started to sing to him rather than to the mic did it seem to have any effect - but not much.

After that Sunshine and K did Kids and Something Stupid and the three of us, with the help of one of the lesbian ladies (of which there were quite a few) sang Lady Marmelade despite the best efforts of the karaoke machine to confuse us by showing the wrong lyrics, or rather the right lyrics at the wrong time. And when I tried to do a solo version of Filthy/Gorgeous, the only Scissor Sisters song I could find, it seemed to skip and go completely haywire. No, you are not going to think that I broke it, I know you, you're a nice person. Aren't you?

I feel like I'm forgetting even more songs, but all I can remember, after I asked for the bill and the bartender had given us another free round of drinks, is that K decided to do Billy Joel's Mony Mony and did so enthusiastically. He was telling me I had to sing with him, but I couldn't remember knowing that song. He told me I'd know when I heard it. Although this was true, I have to say it was no thanks to his singing...

A song we didn't do was Islands In the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Which is a shame because I've always wanted to be Kenny… Strangely enough K had me pegged for Dolly. Go figure.

EDIT I did forget at least one song. Somewhere near the end of the night we sang I Will Survive. K was starting to repeat himself and told us several times he was going to do it in the manner of Eartha Kitt, but when the time was there, he'd forgotten about it. Although he did remember again later as we were walking home.

The next morning I called K but got his voicemail, so I left a message asking to speak to Ms. Kitt or Ms. Gaynor. A short while later he called me back. "This is Shirley Bassey" he said. "Diamonds are forever!"

tears and laughter

Tuesday as I was walking up to the building in which the "Conquer your somberness"-training is given, I saw two of the other trainees standing outside the door, so I waved at them. They waited for me and the three of us - upon concluding that none of the other two had a light for the smoker among us - went inside. We were chatting and laughing and generally quite boisterous. Just as we were entering the elevator another lady got in and she asked us if we were also there for the "How to handle stress"-training. "No," came the reply, still laughing, "we're here for somberness". I didn't see the look of surprise on her face, but the others were laughing their heads off. Apparently we didn't look the part. I added "And the training works very well."

Of course this only caused more hilarity and we were pretty loud at the coffee machine in the hall too. Also the fact that one put down a cup ready for the other one to press the button for the beverage of her choice - only to find out that it was underneath the wrong spigot. As we were falling over each other with laughter, the lady from the stress-training was coming towards us, but then thought better of it and turned around.

People who suffer from depressions are not necessarily depressed all the time, and even when they are in the middle of a depression, they may have periods or just moments when they forget. And even when they don't feel better, they may pretend to.

still around

Just kinda busy with work and stuff (I'll tell you about the stuff later). I stopped the silly mood of the day thing, it was boring me. Hopefully I'll post a huge backlog of blogs tonight.



Monday, 20 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Monday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, fine

How come? Last day of my three-day weekend. Had loads of fun (electronic) conversations with friends and even my sister. I set up a possible date (I hope so! - he may be reading this so I can't say too much... ;-)). On the down side, my back is still a bit sore, but otherwise I feel good. Right now I'm ripping Rufus Wainwright CDs so I can listen to them on Precious. Before that I added some Pet Shop Boys and the first Scissor Sister album to the stuff she already had.


Copied a couple of funny finds from Uroskin. First off, who doesn't want to see their name up in lights, or in big-ass letters on a hillside?

Secondly, some important news about me:

Feelings weighing me down? That's not emo, it's called depression and I'm trying my best to put it behind me! Also it seems they may have overestimated the seriousness of their quiz-takers. My idea of introspection is blogging and if I only have happy things to report, that's just fine with me.

Click on the pictures if you want to try either one for yourself.

Oh, I didn't think it was possible, but I swear I saw a guy riding a bike in a gay manner yesterday. I have a pretty good gaydar anyway, but that guy just totally gave himself away when he stuck out his arm to indicate he was changing direction with what I can only describe as a flourish. We were on the tram and I just burst out laughing.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Sunday, very short because most of it is in the previous post.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, happy

How come? Did lots of fun things.

fun Sunday

I had such a great day today!

It all started out rather ominously, leaving home knowing I'd be arriving late for the Unitarian Universalist ingathering and so would K and Sunshine. In fact I made it to Amsterdam Central before they did by ten minutes and after talking to K decided I'd head out to buy the turkey burgers we were bringing - it was a potluck type party.

When I got back to the station we took the first metro that left (it was either the red or yellow line) and got off at Spaklerweg, only to find out that the metro we wanted (orange, headed for the bottom left) wasn't going. The horizontal connection, with the green and orange lines, was completely severed because of maintenance work or something. Only we didn't know that then, so we took a metro to the next stop south, Van der Madeweg, then we found out what was going on and out of desperation, got a train back up to Amstel and then a cab to our destination. I wasn't that frustrated, but K was getting pretty annoyed. He has a little problem with patience sometimes...

The cab driver was nice, though. And K told me afterwards that he thought the cabbie was interested in me, confirming my thoughts, however he didn't take the opportunity I gave him when the boys were out of the car already and I was still in there with him, to pay, but also to have a quiet word. I asked him his name, he told me, but he didn't ask for mine in return. (K says you have to do all the work for Dutch men, shows how much I know... I only know how to handle the gay ones.)

So we arrived a bit (an hour) late, but it was a very nice gathering. These are great people and I feel at home with them. Here are the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism again, for those who missed them before and because they cannot be repeated often enough:

The Netherlands Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, as part of the worldwide Unitarian Universalist Association, covenants to affirm and promote
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Netherlands Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Afterwards the Reverend Derek and his wife gave us a lift to the metro station and this time we changed onto a tram at Station Zuid, that took us most of the rest of the way. We got off in the Leidsedwarsstraat and went to the Spijkerbar (check out the site, it's been redone since last I visited it, there's even a video about their darkroom - free condoms & lube). K calls it the sleaziest gay bar he can safely take me to, but I think it's not that bad. Okay, there's porn on a monitor over the bar and some homoerotic art scattered around (most of which you can't see when you get there because it's so dark - if you do go there, be careful when you go in, there are some steps leading down and your eyes will need to adjust to the darkness - the pictures on the site are well-lit though).

The guys there are always very nice to me (well most of them, a few studiously ignore me), but there was a bunch of them playing pool who were VERY nice. Kevin had put all our names up on the board so I had to play too. Bad as I am at it, it was so much fun! I know what I want to do, I know what I should do, I just can't make it happen. There's a mismatch between my brain working out the angles and stuff, and my hands delivering. It could just be a question of practice - which I never do.

K, who had a few drinks already, lost to a very sweet guy called John (he's one of the guys interviewed in the darkroom video on the site - not IN the darkroom, just on the subject of safe sex) who we met there before. So then it was my turn and as predicted, I sucked. But then by some miracle I won the match, I think John went in-off as he potted the black. So now I was up against Alan, who was kind enough to give me all kinds of advice before, and who was really good. I actually kept up with him for a while, but then fluffed a stupid shot and he finished off the last three balls and the black quite easily.

I then went in search of K and Sunshine - who had left in search of food - and found them on a bench at the Spuiplein, waiting for a girl they met last night at a friend's house. Apparently she's the person I want to become, totally confident about picking up guys and if I so desire, able to make him "drill me like the California coast" (I'm quoting K) and then tell him to get out. But K was so tired that we decided to call it a day.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Saturday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, achy

How come? Guess the staying up late-routine finally took its toll. Woke up this morning with a very sore lower back and no chance of going to that kickfun class I was supposed to go to. Slightly frustrated, but dealt with it okay, I think. Pretty sure I just made a great new blog friend.

pointy observation

I don't really mind my nipples showing, everybody has them, some more than two.

It's just that I wish they'd get their act together and only show as a pair. I just looked down and only the left twin was sporting a girl-hardon.


If you know anyone - and chances are you do - who thinks being gay is a choice, who doesn't approve of "the gay lifestyle", who condemns homosexuality for religious reasons, why not let them read this blog by See My Briefs. called A Legal Right To My Principles. Do not tell them what it's about or why you are asking them to read it.

Maybe, just maybe somebody will see the parrallel and learn from it.

Going back to the couch now, if you have me on MSN and really want to talk to me, I'm logged on, so message me and I'll notice it.


Three episodes later and I'm sick of Wonder Woman already... Perhaps because it's not nostalgia for me, like some other old series that I can watch over and over again because I remember how special it was watching them at the time. I don't have that connection with Wonder Woman.

I'm currently awaiting the arrival of Poltergay, on Jockohomo's recommendation. I'm also downloading Strange Bedfellows, apparently an uncannily similar movie to I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, published in 2004. So I'll watch that before I'll watch the remake.

Here are some videos I found on my extended blogsurf (Woke up with lower back ache, no chance I would go to the gym today... It's all I can do to keep a proper posture just sitting here.) I hope they'll keep you entertained for a while as I move over to the couch for some reading and writing (and if sudoku counts possibly some arithmatic as well). My father got The Kite Runner as a present from a neighbour and, quite surprisingly, both he and my mother read it cover to cover. They were so enthusiastic about it and I have good things from others that I figured it's about time I try it. Dad's version is a Dutch translation, but I'm trying not to let that influence me.

O yeah, back to the videos. Faithless with their controversial video for Bombs:

And some Electronic with Disappointed:

Funny how sometimes several different threads come together like this and from having no title for any of them, suddenly you find one to cover them all.

EDIT: Here's another one, Madonna with American Life, the original video which came out and was subsequently pulled at the start of the current Iraq war. The song is shockingly bad, but the video is shockingly realistic.

mood of the day

Week two, Friday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, tired

How come? Too much staying up late and having to get to work early (because I choose to, at least I'm keeping half of my resolve on that one). Hopefully when I get back to work on Tuesday I'll be able to actually start doing the work I was hired to do. Caught up on some blogging I meant to do (both reading and writing, some of it I still have to type up) and watched a couple of episodes of Wonder Woman. And the new David Duchovny show Californication, which K aptly described as Sex in the City for men. Straight ones, obviously, I was underwhelmed.

Friday, 17 August 2007

gay decoy

There was an article in the paper yesterday quoting the Amsterdam police chief Bernard Welten that he'll use "gay decoys" to catch gay bashers if necessary. He is considering this unorthodox method because our capital has been hit by an uncharactaristically large number of incidences of violence against homosexuals. Undercover officers would be used to catch the gaybashers redhanded. Crazy right-wing politician Geert Wilders proposed such a plan in June.

So far this year 21 gay-related cases have been recorded, more than in the whole of 2006. In twelve instances a suspect or suspects have been arrested. It's unknown if there are really more occurrances this year or whether more victims are prepared to come forward.

When asked what he thinks a "gay decoy" should look like, Frank van Dalen, president of gay pressure group COC pointed out that the victims weren't always obviously gay:

I have no idea. The Irishman who was beaten up in Amsterdam was not a stereotypical homo. I know men who do look stereotypically homosexual but aren't. In some cases to my disappointment.

He suggests simple surveillance by plain clothes officers in certain cruising areas is what's called for.

The officers do not have to hold hands.

you're a wonder, Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman!

All the world is waiting for you
And the powers you posess
In your satin tights
Fighting for your rights
And the old red white and blue!

Do I need a reason?

Mr. Sambu

These tiny leaflets that are sometimes left in the mailbox always amuse me. I decided to translate the most recent one.

Mr. Sambu


Even the most difficult and most dangerous problems. Or increasing
the number of customers for your company or business. To feel
better. To find that which you have lost again, win the boyfriend
or girlfriend back again. To find out exactly what's going on in
your life and future. Also if your husband or wife has left you.
To be succesful in several sports or other successes that one wishes
to achieve. Also rekindling family ties, jealousy, problems in your life.
In short all types of human problems.

remember the days when we were close to the edge

This is totally unoriginal, because it has been doing the rounds for ages, and I don't even know how much truth there is in it, but I think it's funny and this is my blog, so there...

The following is the transcript of an ACTUAL radio conversation in October
1995, between a US Navy ship off the coast of England, and the British

The transcript was released by the MoD on 10/10/95.

BRITS: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South, to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North, to avoid a collision.

BRITS: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: This is the Captain of US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

BRITS: Negative. I say again. You will have to divert your course.



BRITS: We are a lighthouse. F#@k off.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Thurssday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, relaxed (it's starting to bore me too, you know...)

How come? Work was q- no I'll let you guess. I went to visit one of the other 'trainees' tonight, it was very pleasant and also quite interesting. Talking to others in a similar but not-quite-identical position often puts a new perspective on things. For both, I suppose. It's very late, I'm having trouble getting to bed early, not because I can't sleep but because there's so much I want to do! O yeah, I watched the first episode of season three of Weeds earlier and now I'm watching Wonder Woman (I really am gay, after all...)

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Wednesday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, happy.

How come? Had another quiet day at work, so I got some writing done on the side but fortunately things finally look like they've started rolling and I should have access to more programs now. Went to the gym tonight, it felt good.

the other side

This one was actually mostly written on my way to work.
What will one day become of us?
We'll grow as grass under their feet

--Scissor Sisters -- The Other Side

It's gloomy, it's raining and the green tint of the bus windows gives everything an eery glow. Why am I hearing that song, those lines, in my mind? I know I often get fixated on specific songs when I'm feeling down (although just as often I don't want to listen to music at all). Last time I was depressed it was Pet Shop Boys' version of Numb, but I hold the Sydney Harbor Bridge celebrations organisation committee responsible for that one, they're the ones who decided to open 2007 with that song. It has to be the song that defines this year for me, despite Mika and Rufus Wainwright's album releases, despite the fact that in two weeks' time I will have been feeling good for six months. (It wasn't really their fault I was getting depressed and I was already developing an unhealthy fascination with that song before January.)

All this talk about music is just a smokescreen to say I'm scared of getting depressed again. With the rain and the gloom I'm making it sound like I have Seasonally Affected Disorder, but I know that's not the case - I'm just as capable of becoming seriously depressed in beautiful spring or glorious summer. But there is a sadness that comes with rainy days (I could have chosen "Rainy Days and Mondays", as in "always get me down", as the title but that would've been misleading - it's Sundays that have traditionally gotten me down, I've always liked Mondays!) that gives me a sense of foreboding. Inevitably I am going to get depressed again some time, or at least I'll start to. Will I be able to stop it from now on? I hope so as sure as this bus reeks of disinfectant. (I worry exactly what warrented such a thorough cleanup...)

By the way, it takes time to compose such brilliance, I'm on a different bus now - and there was a train inbetween. Getting on board, I was greeted by Mika singing Relax, Take It Easy on the driver's radio. With lines like "It's as if I'm scared, it's as if I'm terrified" you'd think that wouldn't be a big help right now, but this one usually cheers me up!

Someone at the training last night mentioned that as their sadness receded, their anxiety of falling back grew. That's what drove me to seek help. Since then, the anxiety has all but disappeared, but I do still get a nervous itch once in a while. I have to learn to accept that, and learn to recognise and differentiate between a case of nerves and when it does get serious.


This post was written earlier today, while I was at work.

I think you know at least twenty.

-- One colleague to another on the subject of Abba songs.

I’ve never really liked them, but they’re all-pervasive, so I wondered how many I can name. (It’s a really slow day...)

Within the first four minutes I came up with these:
Mama Mia
Super Trooper
Winner Takes It All
Dancing Queen

Then my inspiration seemed to have dried up already. I usually remember when I hear them, but mostly I try to tune them out of my mind – except when watching Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, of course. I was very young in the seventies and to me Abba was something old people listened to. I know now that, like their music or not, they were very good at what they did, but at the time I had no appreciation for them at all. I still remember the time, I think I was 15 or 16, when I discovered several Abba records (this was in the late '80s when as far as most of us were concerned, it was still all about vinyl) in a friend's collection. I seriously contemplated disowning her. But I admired the way she stuck to her guns.

They're still talking about it, I can't help but hear them, and they're singing examples to each other, such as

Knowing me, knowing you
The Day before you came

Uh-oh, now the discussion has switched to Boney M!


This post was written earlier today, while I was at work.

I’m getting quite uncomfortable with the attention I’m getting – I was going to say “from the opposite sex”, but as of Tuesday morning, not exclusively so. I am finding pleasure in showing off my new-found figure; I’m pretty happy with the part above the hips. - Of course there are "contraptions" that help one show one's figure in the best light. I didn't think I'd ever wear one, but since I bought it, to wear at my baby brother's wedding, Ive hardly gone without it for more than a day. Perhaps it appeals to my kinky side to feel slightly constricted… Sometimes it works so well I almost get vertigo looking down and only seeing the twins. - But much as I like the idea of people looking at me like that, the practise I find harder to handle.

You have to understand that I've always had trouble accepting compliments and now that people are starting to pay me more, both verbally and in appreciative looks, it's become even more difficult to ignore the trouble I'm having believing they're being sincere. Because how could they possibly be seriously interested in me?

And then I feel guilty and of course I feel even worse the next time.

Yes, poor little me, moaning about looking better than ever. But I want to find a way out of this. All I have to do is think of a way of not scaring them away as soon as I open my mouth. I fear I sound too sarcastic. (Do I?) And I'm afraid I will have to insist on a man of some intelligence. I don't consider that snobbery, I just don’t see how I could be compatible with someone I can't have a good discussion with.

Perhaps giving them this URL isn't such a smart move either… But if any of the (very few) that I have still like me after reading about my fag-hagginess and other demons (not to mention my wicked sense of humour), that might count for something.

I have a lot of time to write at the moment, because it's less conspicuous than reading a book at your desk. It's very slow at work. My proposal to help out my old colleagues was more or less shot down ("Let's not do anything for the time being" - next week this project is supposed to take off and I won't have the time anymore) - but I have secretly helped them out. The problem is that I can only help them part of the way, and because they're so busy back there, I'm streaking ahead now.

Just as I was finished typing this up in an email to send home (I can email but not go online), I received a message to say some of the priviliges I need had been "processed".

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Tuesday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, amused.

How come? Just found a very funny website (see previous post), although I grumble about the training sometimes, apparently I do "get" something from it, K just told me I sounded like I was high or something. He sounds pretty good too, I'm very glad to hear.

My goal for next week is to go to the kickfun class at my gym on Saturday morning. One of the other trainees was talking about it tonight. She's going on holiday now, but we really should meet up there some time after that.

Jeebus was a top

This is the funniest blog EVER! Totally hilarious! Please read these excerpts from the post Homosexual Blog Joe.My.God. Should Be Deleted and the Author Arrested (Admit it, it's hard not to guffaw at their chosen champion's name...):
It is hard to fathom that even the worst of our society, the sodomites, would consider the vulgar and often blasphemous tone of Joe’s ramblings entertaining. Then again, given that his target audience has turned their back on decency and natural law, and chosen a sinful lifestyle, I really shouldn’t be surprised.

Warning: Joe.My.God. is NSFW and NSFC. Proceed with extreme caution.

Remember Friends, A Vote for Sam Brownback is like a Vote for Jesus!

Sam Brownback in 2008 and again in 2012, because Sam probably doesn’t want homos in his church either!

[italics & links by SubtleKnife]

On the phone earlier, K referred to a passage in Corinthians, that might have been poorly translated (which probably goes for most of the bible, IMO) and that Paul* only had a problem with effeminate men. I can't really be bothered to dig into this right now, but it's a very plausible suggestion. In the Greco-Roman tradition there was little shame on the man doing the penetrating, he was just acting according to his nature, whereas the man letting himself be used as a woman was denying his masculinity, and should be ashamed. I believe it was not long after Paul's death that it was written into Roman law that no free citizen should let himself be used as a woman by another man (of course it was okay to use slaves).

* Paul, the first born-again christian, the first televangelist , the first christian fundamentalist, possibly the greatest influence on the way christianity developed - and he didn't ever meet Jeebus.

Monday, 13 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Monday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, energised.

How come? Had a good workout (had to slow down a bit because my left knee and hip were getting sore, but did a fair amount of excercise nonetheless - and no aftereffects) and a sunshower. At home I caught up with some blogging and did my homework. The parents were wallpapering my cousin and her husband's house, for some strange reason they're the family wallpaperers...

thinking of taking up a new hobby

more than meets the eye?

I think not.

good old days

bloggers of the world

Not all of you, sorry...

But there are a few blogs that have been in my favourites for a while, and that I have gone back to, however irregularly, over a period of time. I think it's time to add them to my list. Not just because I find it easier to use those links than my favourites and hope to remember to visit them more frequently, I swear, but also because they're interesting/emotional/ insightful/sad/important/funny/informative/exciting/and basically because I want to!

If you can see a pattern to the new additions, there probably is one.

(If you want to be included, let me know. I'm not promising anything, though...)

mission accomplished

Well I accomplished the goal I set for myself this week, went to the gym twice. I knew it wasn't really a hard task, in fact it's something I should have been doing all along. It's just that after 9 hours a day I don't always feel like dragging my sorry ass to the gym. I just have to accept that not feeling like it is not an excuse anymore.

As a special treat I took a sunshower. I'm not a great fan of tanning as some kind of competitive sport, but it might be nice to get rid of this deathly pallor. I actually tan very easily, I just don't go out in the sun, or I stay mostly covered up when I do. Going out in the garden/on the balcony and just sit there bores me. (I can't read because the sun on the pages hurts my eyes.)

quote of the day

Stumbled across this one:
Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything -- anything -- be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in.

Sam Harris (1967-)

Harris is the author of The End of Faith.

board gag

The Simpsons Movie.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

mood of the day

Week two, Sunday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, nothing special.

How come? Bit mad at myself for again having to clear up at the last moment before my parents arrived, but it wasn't as bad as other times. Must try harder to keep the house tidy.

mood of the day

Week two, Saturday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, content.

How come? Had a lazy day. It started with sleeping in late, then watching Sunshine (the movie, I liked it), some surfing (not the wet kind) and quite a lot of blogging (as you can see). O yes, I've been in touch with a couple friends who I hadn't 'talked' to for a few months.

the chicks have flown the nest, I repeat: the chicks have flown the nest

I quite forgot to mention that Sunshine posted a video of Clarice's chicks taken earlier this week.

I love those babies! On August 4th when I saw them they didn't even have all their feathers, and yet five days later they left their nest in K's flowerbox.

(The title is something that could follow this: "'Allo, London, zis is Night'awk.")

Saturday, 11 August 2007

the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit

For the second time this week I find myself squeezing oranges between 11 and midnight. My neighbours must love me. Nothing much to report, just that I thought of that headline whilst I was squeezing and couldn't resist using it.

monument in lights

There's a fascinating blog called strange maps which I don't visit often enough. I was just looking through my bookmarks and seeing it triggered a memory. On May 14th of this year, a very special memorial was held to the victims of the German bombing of Rotterdam 67 years earlier.

As a monument in light a series of 128 searchlights drew a map the edges of the firestorm in the night sky over the city.

Lasting a little over ten minutes, the May 14, 1940 bombing unleashed a devastating firestorm in the heart of Rotterdam. Around 800 were killed, 80.000 were left homeless, the heart was ripped out of Rotterdam, and although there was new building it now has an ugly city center (my opinion, but shared by many). The statue pictured here is Zadkine's memorial Destroyed City, which clearly illustrates this loss.

After the rubble had been cleared:

The church and viaduct you see in the previous picture are also pictured in the top left of this one, taken some time before:

Moving pictures of the devastation:

The Rotterdam City Archives have a site devoted to Rotterdam in the Second World War.
See more pictures of the memorial on flickr.

the destruction of the American family

I finally found out how the queers are going to do it. Wanna find out? Click this Lewis Black video to see for yourself.


There's a debate over at Joe. My. God. about Raed Jarrar, who was almost refused entry on an airplane because his t-shirt read "We Will Not Be Silent" in both English and Arabic, suing the carrier and the US Transportation Security Administration. Apparently the Arabic script made the other passengers uncomfortable. (More on the story here.)

At first I responded with a post saying I thought more "moderate" muslims should speak up, show these nervous people they're "just like regular folk".

Then this morning I realised I made a shocking mistake in assuming this guy was a muslim at all. Just because he had arabic writing on his t-shirt.

I realised I was doing the same thing he was "speaking" up about: assuming things about someone because of a name, looks, accent or language. And I feel guilty about that. I guess I'm a little bit racist too...

Avenue Q - Everyone's A Little Bit Racist

Friday, 10 August 2007


K and Sunshine left me to watch Sunshine, so I figured I'd have a look at it too. I'll let you know what I think later.

On a completely different note, I wanted to upload a video, but it seems Precious and the PC are no longer on speaking terms...

mood of the day

Week two, Friday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, still tired

How come? I overslept this morning, but with flexible working hours that's not so much of a problem (at least not when you're aiming to start early). I still managed to get off work a bit early, too, just not as early as I'd have liked to. Again, not feeling bad or anything, my brain is just a bit dull from lack of sleep. Secretly typed up some of my other homework at work, I plan to keep it all neat and uniform and print it out every week.

EDIT: I accidentally replaced Thursday's edition with this one... For the record, I rated it 7 too.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Poor Little Gay Boy Molested By Straight Woman

Poor Sunshine... K and I are very tactile and we will touch and hug and kiss each other a lot when we're together, even in public. But Sunshine doesn't seem to be too fond of touching those scary women (or just scary me...) I know I've startled him a few times and I really try to "announce myself" these days when I want to give him a hug, so he can make a quick escape if he wants to, but sometimes I forget and he just has to suffer suffocation in my boobs - okay maybe I'm not that bad!

The only contact he seems to initiate on his own is flicking one of my boobs, or pretending or threatening to. Oh, and once he toasted my right tit with a glass (I don't remember if I mentioned that here. When I said something about it, he thought it was because the left one was jealous, so he toasted that one too.)

(And yes, dear, I know you're not very huggish, not just with women. It's okay, sweetie.)

mood of the day

Week two, day two, Wednesday.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 9, whoohoo!

How come? This morning the stupid Security department sent me an apologetic email, something unheard of (sez Flex co-ordinator)! Have also been commended from several sides for being proactive and suggesting I should help my old team instead of just hanging around doing nothing in particular. Both team managers liked it, my boss at the agency liked it, the Flex co-ordinator sounded a bit stressed out at so much... flexibility.
Also I went to the gym, as planned. It took a little bit of time to get my ass into gear after I got home, but I did it. Of course no records were set, I walked (not ran, that would kill my knee- and ankle joints in no time) 3 kilometers and then rode 9 km on the exercise bike. Watching re-runs of Mythbusters on Discovery and listening to Mika and Scissor Sisters on Precious. O, my Precious... She's going to come with me every visit to the gym from now on. And music definitely helps with my moods. Not all music, not the stuff that reminds me of boring Sunday afternoons of my youth.

Allowing myself a short summary here: I was assertive, proactive and energetic today.

lost and found: episode 3

On today's edition of Lost & Found, I present to you a letter left on a bench at the bus-stop at the back of Hollands Spoor train station in The Hague. I want to reassure you that this is not likely to be mail theft, it was lying there in an unaddressed, open envelope. If anything it was my duty to check it to see if I could return it to someone.

Anyway, it turned out to be an unadressed email printout that has been copied at least once (but I suspect more often). A cursory search online for this miraculous girl gets me no further than this same email - or something similar - being quoted by other bloggers, with differing stances on it's validity... No pictures, no reports by reputable media (at least not in English, my Portuguese is too rusty for a google search), nothing.

Itaguaí is a town in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, there isn't much more that Wikipedia has to say on it.

Gotta run, gotta get to the gym!

nothing new

Americans got bored with hearing about Vietnam before they got out of Vietnam; Americans got bored with hearing about Watergate, and what Nixon did or didn't do--even before the evidence was all in. Americans are already bored with Nicaragua; by the time these congressional hearings on the Iran-contra affair are over, Americans won't know (or care) what they think--except that they'll be sick and tired of it. After a while, they'll be tired of the Persian Gulf, too. They're already sick to death of Iran.

As I reported before, the wonderful K has leant me a copy of John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989).

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

mood of the day

Tuesday, new session tonight. We had to set ourselves a concrete, but manageable target today. It could be anything as long as it was aimed at combatting your depression - which I don't have anymore, but there are still lots of improvements to make in my life!

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, okay

How come? The work I've been doing, waiting to start the actual work I should be doing, is running out and I still don't have the necessary authorisations. On top of that the person who's supposed to train me won't be back until a week from Monday. Got a bit frustrated with ICT Servicedesk and from them got the email address for the Security department that sent me a cryptic email. Sent them an almost bitchy message. And then I missed the stupid bus, which led to missing the stupid train. Of course the one twenty minutes later had another five-minute delay, so I got home just over half an hour before the training started. I had meant to read through the reader before I left (only five pages or so), not to mention eat, but all I could do was print out my "Mood of the Day" blog posts as evidence of my diary-keeping, jump on my bike and race for it.

What's my target? To go to the gym twice this week (Wednesday and Monday) and possibly even a third time if I'm not busy over the weekend. The psychologist thought it might be a bit steep, but I'll reach it. I should have been reaching it all along...

Monday, 6 August 2007


This is a quick recap, mostly in pictures, of several things I meant to post but never got/took the time to.

In no particular order:

  1. I was photographed at Gay Pride Amsterdam this Saturday by newspaper Het Parool. If you want to see all the pictures taken by the ladies with digital cameras they sent out (I didn't see any gentlemen), click here.

  2. Last week I noticed that the ladies' and gentlemen's bathrooms are really in the same room, separated only by a partition. Not that I'm particularly active on the feminist front, but wouldn't it be easier (not to mention make more sense) to just make them unisex?

  3. Somehow I changed the settings on my telephone without realising so that for a time I took low-quality pictures with it.

  4. Last Thursday I noticed these nifty "tree-holders" - to prevent young trees from toppling over before they've sufficiently taken root. They're a lot prettier than the rough wooden poles with a canvas strap that you see elsewhere.

  5. Eleven days after having had some blood drawn for tests, the bruise on the inside of my left elbow has finally faded. Here is a picture taken roughly 26 hours after it happened. And no, the phlebotomist didn't miss the vein or poke around or anything like that; the only thing I can think of is that it's because of the meds, which are counterindicated with drugs like warfarin after all...

  6. K has a nest of starlings in one of the planters hanging from his balcony (he has dubbed Mom Clarice, the babies are as yet unnamed). The parents are very liberated: Mom and Dad take turns feeding them - and it's a full-time job for both of them. There are three chicks now, although K tells me there were four to start with; I was a bit worried for the smallest of the three left, but I think it'll make it, it was not letting getting it's siblings get on top of it - literally. Mom and Dad are doing a good job of bringing in worms and bugs for their brood, they're growing so rapidly I swear every time I went over to sneak a peek they were bigger, had more feathers, were moving around more!

  7. I took a picture of K's splashback, because I know my parents are rather obsessed with Delft (blue) tiles like those. In fact I'm sure they have several of the same ones behind the fireplace of their cottage.

I think that's about it for now...

mood of the day

Last day of the first week, let's get this over with. Next session tomorrow night.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, reflective

How come? Spent a very lazy day at K's, only going out to buy this device that zaps mosquito bites with little sparks. (Sounds weird, but I think it's just about the only thing that works. I woke up in the middle of the night, stumbling around the apartment around 4AM to find K's thingy and it killed this terrible itch on my hand stone cold so I could go back to sleep.) K also got me started on John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Yesterday, actually, but I really got into it today. It's great, as I knew it would be, both from Irving's reputation and K's opinion of him. As the previous Wikipedia link says:
The novel deals with several lofty spiritual issues, such as the importance of faith, social justice, and fate.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

mood of the day

Day six.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 8, content

How come? We took a leisurely stroll to a pretty Amersfoort square, had so-so Italian food with very good wine, saw St. George slay the dragon like clockwork *wink* and watched four episodes of Tom Baker as Dr Who (four episodes would comprise one whole adventure in those days) accompanied by Chinese food. And tomorrow I have the day off.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

mood of the day

Day five, Canal Parade day.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, concerned, however not anxious

How come? Went to Amsterdam to see K and Sunshine, the boat trip turned into a long walk (my poor feet!) then we tried to find the boat for ages and when we got there most of the parade had gone by. K got drunk. We walked to the bar where the DA pub night was held and He made a bit of a fool of himself, but I think it was okay. Then we all went back to his place. Still, I'm worried about him. I completely empathise when he says it's difficult being him, but I don't like the way he's trying to solve it.

Friday, 3 August 2007

mood of the day

Day four.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, calm

How come? Worked all day, didn't let stupid bureaucracy bother me (received a warning over new rules that were implemented without telling me, I decided it was their problem). Got more or less blackmailed into cleaning the bird cage, slightly resentful and pretty icky. Not sure what the plans for this weekend are. Still have my eye on K's duck ravioli with cheese and spinach... Hoping to keep K out of too much trouble tomorrow.

as requested

As requested by our resident fashion freak, here's a list of the things I bought yesterday:
  • a light beige trouser suit (loving the cut of the jacket, I'm still excited about wearing tailored clothes again)

  • a mottled beige t-shirt with white & blue (flowery) prints and one of those really narrow strips of collar - don't know the name

  • a white cotton shirt strips stitched together to create a ribbed effect with vertical lines and a 3/4 sleeve that rolls up if you want (but I like it better rolled down)

  • a long beige shirt with different shades of brown vertical lines

  • a grey ribbed jersey tank top with some faded print (I think it was € 3,-- so I'll forego my aversion to logo-like and readable prints, if nothing else I can use it when working out)

  • a straightforward rust-coloured t-shirt, also for € 3,--

  • a corselet. Yup, you read that. I bought a corselet, the granny type (well a slightly updated version), not the kinky version. It pushes and pulls in the right places, giving me even more shape than I'm already getting. The problem with losing weight is that the fat rolls don't really disappear, they just get less dense.
So I don't know the fashion lingo, sue me. The first three (the jacket only in case of unseasonal weather - but let's face it, that's not that unlikely over here...) are intended for my brother's wedding and I've been all but sworn not to touch them until that day (August 31st).

I walked by a full-length mirror today and was shocked at the bagginess of my khaki pants, especially in the seat area. Guess I'm getting less of a big-ass after all! I wish my thighs would follow suit.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

mood of the day

Day three, almost forgot, tired.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, tired

How come? Went shopping with Mom, wasn't the disaster I feared, still not a fan. My feet hurt and I stayed up too late ironing. Really should be in bed right now.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

mood of the day

Okay, day two and I'm still with it.

Mood of the Day

How did I feel? 7, stabile

How come? Started new job, unfazed by - to be expected - chaos of person supposed to train me having the day off and me not having authorisation for all the necessary programs. Very clear and direct to team manager about the things I wanted to know from her. Lunch with woman I met at bar in random restaurant last week who turned out to be colleague was fun. Not so good: having procrastinated on the cleaning all week I had to do it all in two hours tonight before my parents arrived.