Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Weeds

...just got very interesting. I very much enjoyed the *cough* end *cough* of episode 12.

wet dog

Last night the Chinese area of Amsterdam – it’s not big enough to call it "Chinatown" - smelled a lot like wet dog.

After spending the day to try and install new car speakers (all our hard work was to no avail, the evil manufacturer turned out to have installed three-screw speakers while all the ones being sold in stores were four-screw) K and I gave up and headed for Amsterdam.

It was still pretty early, so we had a drink (standard: dry white wine) and then I called my date. Who turned out to be still at home because he hadn’t heard from me for three days (see my previous post about the EUU fall retreat).

I was so pissed off that I decided I couldn't answer him right that moment and told him I'd be in touch later. Then I decided I was going to have fun with K instead. We hung out at the Engel van Amsterdam the whole night, except when we went to New King for dinner.

When we got back, having gained at least one clothing size during the excellent meal, we had a few more drinks *winks* and got into a nice conversation with photographer Jan van Breda and getting the bartender to play some more 'palatable' music (70s, early 80s, stuff we remember, you see, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're getting on a bit..) It was so much fun!

And the Zeedijk smelled like wet dog all night.

retreat

If you missed me this weekend, thank you very much for noticing. I was away at a retreat with members from several European Unitarian Universalist (UU) Fellowships. This is a very long and probably very boring post to anyone who wasn’t there.

Organised by the Dutch and Belgian branches, this year’s fall retreat was actually held in Münster, Germany, only three hours’ drive away. I didn’t really know what to expect because I’d never been to a EUU retreat before, but I know that UUs are all wonderful people so I didn’t worry.

So Rio and I picked up K in Gorinchem and V in Amsterdam (this is a very roundabout way to get to Münster from Delft, but it happened because K is 1: lazy and 2: fickle. Also he finds it very hard to say no to Sunshine. ;-)) Once I managed to extract myself from the Hotel California-esque warren that is Amsterdam’s infrastructure, it was plain sailing. When we stopped at a petrol station almost exactly halfway between Enschede (33 km) and Münster (32 km) K offered: “Why don’t I take over from you?” With him at the wheel I navigated us into town and straight to the youth hostel we’d all be staying at.

The weekend was also very relaxed because my phone service was very sketchy. It would work for a while and then it would cut out again. If I took out the battery and the SIM-card, I could get service for a few minutes. At first I woried about this, but later I decided I didn’t need to have my phone on at all times. Especially not at a retreat. Besides, everyone whose calls I would want to take knew I was in Germany and I figured would be considerate enough to take that into account.

(By the way, if you are one of those people and sent a text message or left a voicemail, they’re all gone. All I’ve got was a few from Sunshine on Friday.)

As we arrived there were lots of people milling around as we registered and it was good to see quite a few familiar faces. Apparently the Dutch Fellowship was making up a disproportionate chunk of the attendees. Originally I had said it would be okay to bunk with K and he had later told the organisers that I wouldn’t mind if V joined us in a four-bed room. However V had major surgery within the last month and minor surgery within the last week, so she had good reason to ask for a private room. This couldn’t be arranged, but she was paired with a much calmer roommate. I like her a lot, and I’m not shy, but it was a bit more comfortable for me (and I expect for K too, although he’s even less shy) to be able to walk around our room (semi-)naked. (Maybe V wouldn’t mind, maybe she’d join in, but our friendship isn’t at that level that I can predict either way.)

Our room was supposed to be dominated on one wall by four bunk beds, two on top of the others, however one of the top bunks was missing, presumably broken. Although there were no special features in the main room, the spacious bathroom was equipped with all kinds of supports and other features for handicapped visitors. On Sunday morning I managed to trip one of the alarms by reaching behind the shower curtain and pull a cord. So K, who doesn’t speak German, had to convince someone from the youth hostel who didn’t speak English, that I was okay and not to barge in.

The meals were a bit disappointing, but then even if it was at a good youth hostel, it was still a youth hostel. In Germany. There were many starchy foods, noodles, potatoes, and red meat, accompanied by overcooked vegetables. The salad bar was good, though, but except for Sunday brunch, desserts consisted of either semolina, rice pudding or both. Although at one point there was a great red fruit sauce accompanying it – I just had some of this “rote Grütze”.

After dinner an icebreaker meeting was held in the basement. This included a ceremony of joys and concerns (I lit one because V was able to be with us) and a rather chaotic attempt at recreating a native American dance consisting of two circles, one inside the other, the people facing each other. To the beat everyone was supposed to step right, so that one ring would move one way and the other in the opposite direction (they were facing each other, remember?) Even if the execution wasn’t exactly flawless, it did break the ice.

Later we went to a gay bar called “Nah Und?” (which I believe has meanings and connotations between “So What?” and “What are you looking at?”) on Friday night. The DJ played Mika for me and Scissor Sisters for K (I asked him about Mika, he looked at me and said: “the latest?”, I told him sure, not knowing which one that was. It turned out to be Big Girl You Are Beautiful. I’m taking it as a compliment), we danced to the latter.

There was very little eye candy there and in Münster in general, however - although I did like the bartender. But I told K I really should stop checking out guys’ asses as if I could actually do the things I wanted to do to them. At least until I could be assured of a good result from the operation. (no, I wouldn’t really want to have it, not permanently anyway, I want to switch between genders whenever I feel like it.) K had an admirer across the bar, who looked uncannily like Niles Frasier.

Upon returning we hung out with some of the other night owls. Apparently we’d missed a night of song and dance in the basement. I’m not too sorry, personally I wouldn’t mind less singing during meetings (that’s services), too many creator-references for my taste. K staggered off to bed at some point, making everyone laugh as he had to navigate around the pool table.

I’m very, very sorry that we overslept on Saturday morning and didn’t get to hear Rev. William Schultz, former president of Amnesty International USA, speak. We only got there in time for the group discussions afterwards. That’s the thing about UU, though, nobody’s going to think worse of you because you didn’t participate in a particular activity. Although in this case they might tell you how good it was and what a shame it was you missed it.

After lunch there were workshops, divided into two sessions. For the first one I had signed us up for a guided tour of Münster. I can’t really remember what the other options were, except that V, who obviously wasn’t up for a two-hour walk yet, took one in meditation. It was quite interesting to see the old Rathaus where two important treaties were signed in 1648 – the Germans naturally stressed the Westphalian Treaty which ended the Thirty Years War, but for the Dutch people like me the Treaty of Münster (apparently brokered in Osnabrück, but signed in Münster) which ended the Eighty Years War (or the “Dutch struggle for independence”) is equally as important.

We didn’t go inside, however, as this was planned at the end of the tour, and, after seeing a rococo chapel built by a Bavarian prince-bishop and elector, a bronze scale model of the old city – complete with braille captions and shards of glass – loads of stones from different places in the new Hanseatic League and an old ‘palazzo’, K and I snuck away from the group for a beer and a “Kaffee und Kuchen”. Then we just wandered around, bought a bottle of perfume for me (Gucci by Gucci, I smelled Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb because I was curious, but that’s very not me) and a couple of bottles of Portuguese vinho verde for the both of us, and slowly made our way back to the hostel. As we approached, we actually ran into the group again.

I was inspired to buy perfume because the second workgroup I wanted to take part in, although I hadn’t actually signed up, was the perfume workshop given by Aude. (Others on offer in the second session involved folk music and decision-making.) She gave us loads of strips sprayed either the night before or recently, to distinguish between the top notes you smell when the perfume is fresh and the so-called “dry-down” that you smell after several hours.

She asked us to write down our favourite perfumes and which types of smells we didn’t like (I wrote “nothing too floral, nothing too musky, etc.” Then she read out a list of smells and we had to write down whether we liked them or not, followed by a list of characteristics, with the same task. Afterwards she had a little look at our favorite smells and whether she could make any suggestions for us to try. In my case I started out by telling her I love variety, so I may wear a very fruity, citrus-y scent one day (I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re marketing it at young girls) and a much heavier, musky or spicy one the next day.

Dinner wasn’t great again, after which the RE-group, the kids, started off a talent night with a ceremony. The little girl who often accompanies her mother to our services was insistent she also be allowed to light a candle. She’s taken quite a liking to K and he was very kind to help her. As she was doing it, he commented “Isn’t she cute?” into the mic and after she was finished, she first sat down, then ran back and grabbed the mic: “I know I’m cute!” She’s four years old and when I asked her when she’d be turning five, she said: “When Santa Clause comes”. I believe that means her birthday is December 5th, when Saint Nicholas visits the Dutch children.

There were some truly great performances during the talent night, I was particularly impressed with the instrumentalists. But it was getting so hot in that room that I had to follow some of it from out in the hall of the building. Suddenly K informed me we were taking a kid to the ‘kermis’. That threw me for a few seconds, as it always does when he suddenly uses Dutch words. What he meant was that he had persuaded one of the moms that he was responsible enough to take care of her son, who desperately wanted to go to the carnival.

So the three of us, together with another two ‘responsible’ girls and three or four more kids, set off to the fair. There K, myself, “our” kid and another boy headed for this horrible contraption consisting of one long beam turning around it’s center (like a two-winged windmill) with seats on either end. When the whole thing started to spin and gained enough speed, these would be pulled out by centrifugal force and the passengers were going over the top upside down at what looked like 100 meters (300 feet).

I let the guys get it out of their system and decided to keep both feet on the ground. However K, being the proud owner of a male ego, obviously couldn’t let the kids go on their own. Whilst he was standing in line for the ride he begged me to get him some Dutch courage from the bar across the lane, then continued to lecture the kids on how these rides are taken down and built up again and again, increasing the likelihood of something going wrong. They didn’t care and they all went anyway. Even K seemed pretty elated when they returned, but that may have had more to do with getting back down safely.

Unfortunately, that was all we had time for before we had to get back if we wanted to make the kids’ curfew on time. Upon our return we found some people enjoying a bottle of Sekt, German champagne, we got there just on time to enjoy the last couple of sips. So we had another bottle of wine (did I say the hostel sold bottles of decent Pinot Grigio for € 6,50?) and lots of fun and laughs.

I should mention here that one of the recurring themes this weekend was K and I having a baby together. I can’t remember how it started exactly, but K ran with it. At one point, as he mentioned it again, I stopped him dead in his tracks by saying he’d have to change diapers. Apparently that didn’t fit into his perfect little plan… Also there are slight inconsistencies, such as when I suggested we should get a beagle together, he said we wouldn’t be home often enough to take care of it.

K isn’t exactly secretive about being HIV-positive, so when he went outside for a cigarette, one of the people around the table leant over to me and asked in a concerned voice what would happen to me if we were to have a baby. First of all I explained that this wasn't a serious plan. And secondly, since we would have this child, as K calls it “the way nature intended it” – with him and his boyfriend in a separate room jerking off and handing the result to the nurse – they could apply a technique called sperm washing, which separates the dangerous seminal fluid from the safe sperm. (Wikipedia mentions doubts about the safety, but at the same time reports there are no known cases of women becoming infected.)

Anyway, I don’t know. Perhaps if we ever get that apartment together. (And thank you K for reminding me my eggs aren’t getting any younger…)

Again, K had to excuse himself first (a good thing, because he had been asked to read something in the Sunday service), but I didn’t make it as late as the night before either. Fortunately, it was the end of Daylight Savings Time in Europe, so all the clocks went back and so effectively I still got my eight hours.

Speaking of which. I set the clock on my phone back, because that’s what you’re supposed. However the next morning when K woke me, slightly panicked because it was already ten past eight, I told him not to worry because it was only ten past seven, really. But we were awake so we got up anyway. When, freshly showered, I entered the cafeteria, breakfast was already going on, meaning it was past eight AM after all… It turns out my phone automatically set its clock back an hour too.

This all turned out for the better, as I now had time to pack my bags before checkout at 9.30AM. Unlike others, the three of us could of course simply store our bags in the trunk of the car after checkout.

At the service, Derek, our minister in Amsterdam, handed K a slip of paper, which he later read. It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s famous poem First they came for the communists… which always moves me. Rev. Schultz spoke very charismatically and the French UU Fellowship invited us to come spend some time with them in Spa (Belgium) for the EUU spring retreat.

Then it was all back to the cafetaria for an “American style” brunch. I believe there were ribs, but as I wasn’t interested in red meat I can’t be sure. I did see bowls of cereal, although I didn’t partake of those. I had a pancake, however it was European style, i.e. thin.

After that, people started leaving. The three of us (myself, K and V) and one of the kids from last night (the “other boy”) were planning to go to the fair before first, but this was delayed when it turned out K’s little friend had left the light on inside the car and her mother’s car’s battery was now dead. Finding someone who had jumper cables took so long K suggested trying to push-start it. Fortunately that wasn’t an option (Is that because it’s an automatic? I don’t know how those things work, I like doing my own shifting.) When someone with the right equipment was found and their car parked next to the broken down vehicle, nothing happened.

So perhaps it wasn’t the battery after all. I was starting to wonder if I should call the Kia international help service, my emergency team ready and waiting if anything should ever happen to Rio, and try to pass her car off as mine but kept running into the one fatal flaw to that plan: she was driving a Toyota. Fortunately another pair of jumper cables finally did the trick and a very relieved mother and very tired daughter were able to be on their journey.

In the meantime our fairground plan seemed to have picked up two more kids, so when we set off we were three adults and three kids. Poor Rio took us there, with K behind the wheel. I navigated him to the fair, but then when I said he should take a left in front of it, K just kept on driving. We ended up doing a very wide circle that actually brought us back behind where we started from. So then I navigated him to the fair again and made him turn left. There was a paid parking lot right there for only 4 euros.

On our second circle we were stopped at a light when K drew attention to an erotic cinema. This led to a funny, but also slightly awkward, discussion, mostly between the kids, culminating in the first boy saying matter-of-factly to the others “It’s just porn.”

It was so much fun. I can’t remember ever really having fun at a fair, I usally start to get annoyed pretty quickly, but the kids’ enthusiasm was contagious. They went on to all kinds of rides and K showed off his shooting prowess with eight hits out of ten (he actually winged the other two, but they didn’t shatter and so didn’t count.) I got to pick the prize, a little stuffed devil. Of the two extra kids, a brother and sister, the 13-year-old girl was a great shot. She took her time, but it was obvious she knew her way around a rifle. I think she got seven hits. The boys later shared ten shots and got five or six, I believe.

The older boy, the “original” one that Sunday, was completely entranced by the knife stall. He fell in love with one of the knives. But he didn’t have enough money on him. So he called his father, asking if he could buy it to add to his collection, and if he could get the money from him. Dad said it was okay, so I leant him the money to buy it. It was a white metal, geometrically decorated sheath, with blue ‘gemstones’. I suppose it wasn’t completely without value or beauty.

Then the other kids’ mother and father came and picked them up and a little while later the boy’s father joined us. Independently from each other, K and I had both found out the night before that we know his Dad very well. The five of us went into the ferris wheel, which was a bit cold as it was starting to get dark. The few sips of jäger tea I had – more would’ve been irresponsible as I was driving – weren’t sufficient to keep me warm.

We stopped just outside of town at the same gas station as on the way in, for a bathroom break for the ladies whilst K looked at starter cables for Rio. He thought he’d found a bargain but when I paid it turned out to be less so. Still, I feel better having those in the trunk just in case.

We dropped V off in front of her place, then went through the IJtunnel into the center of Amsterdam and parking right in front of our favorite bar, Prik. We only went there to pick up something K had forgotten there a while earlier, but of course while we were there we (K) had to have a couple of drinks and I wanted to finally eat the chocolate-covered banana-on-a-stick I bought in Münster (yes, I brought it all the way back with me). I asked Gerzon what would go well with it yet had no alcohol and he gave me a frothy, minty concoction, that, despite getting almost as many comments from the “gentlemen” as my banana, was very nice. As always there were loads of nice, funny, sexy, intelligent people around. That’s why I like Prik.

After that I drove us both home to Delft, slightly panicking over the gas level (K, I knew you were right and I could have made it home, it just didn’t feel like it) and we slept like babies. Except when K got up at 3:06 AM opening all the doors except that of the bathroom looking for water.

(And no, we didn't make any.)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I love Mouse

I took my sweet time about it, but I finally started reading the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin, after the publicity for his latest book Michael Tolliver Lives!, which (I understand) revisits the same cast of characters twenty years on.

I haven't read the last book yet, but after the first two books (I asked and got the second instalment for my birthday, I should have asked for all of them!) I am thoroughly in love with Michael "Mouse" Tolliver. Figures.

Maupin stopped writing about him after six books and for a long time a revival seemed inconceivable because it simply wasn't realistic that Mouse, like most of his generation in San Francisco and elsewhere, would have survived that long.

Thanks to modern phamacology, and of course with the deepest gratitude to Mr. Maupin, I am now looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

massage

Any volunteers? I definitely need some work, I had a headache yesterday that I'm sure was caused by the tightness in my neck and shoulders. Today I would like to stop it before it happens.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

competition

We were at the Regenboog bar one day, K, Sunshine and myself, quite early on in the evening. Ah, I just remembered it was the karaoke night I blogged about earlier. This was before we left for sushi and the bar was still quiet.

We were discussing wether or not we were going to sing karoake, what we were going to have for dinner and leafing through the binders with the list of songs. A few stools down was a North African-looking guy, trying to look like he was ignoring us, but, according to K, sneaking stealthy looks at Sunshine. This turned into a little discussion because Sunshine thought he was looking at K.

Then when we got back we noticed that he was now joined by a voluptuous black drag queen and it all became clear...

Friday, 19 October 2007

more girls

Continuing from yesterday's post, here is a picture of a poster for a women's magazine I just took whilst waiting for the bus.

It reads:
Have you got children?
Or are you a mother?

Thursday, 18 October 2007

funny exchange

A funny exchange from the comments on Joe.My.God. replying to a story about Oral Roberts University (go here if you want to read more):

stroll: Who names their kid "Oral"?

chubby hubby: because Anal Roberts didn't sound Kosher?

girls will be...?

As Lynette rightly wonders, what the fuck are Playskool up to?

I really thought we were past this... But when parents who try to give their children a gender-neutral upbringing face such opposition, will we ever get there? I guess those little girls can always get a college education in how to be a good wife.

Quick aside: much love to my parents who, perhaps not consciously striving to do so, were so open and realistic that no-one batted an eyelid when I played with legos and my brother with dolls.

On the other hand, I think we have to be very careful not to look at feminity, girliness or domestic tasks as somehow inferior and belonging to a submissive person. They can come in many combinations, none of which is objectively better than the other. I can be feminine and quite dominant at the same time, thank you... ;-)

(As for housework, let's not go there - I don't if I can help it.)

Return to Oz

I can now report on the movie Return to Oz after watching it all the way through last night. I was wary of watching it for a while (I think I may have mentioned that in connection with other movies/books/etc.; I don't generally "do well" with remakes, sequels and movie adaptations. I remember seeing myself in a cartoon with a man sitting in the front row of the cinema, looking up from reading and saying "The book is better"...) but I knew I had to, if only to be able to fully appreciate the references in the Scissor Sisters song Return to Oz (see below).

As it turns out, I enjoyed the movie a lot. At first it was a bit strange to see such a young Dorothy, but it really makes sense, doesn't it? I shall be watching it again this weekend as I am stuck at home in case someone comes by for my birthday. Fortunately there won't, as K feared, be a big Dutch birthday with the whole family gathered around in a big circle (find a copy of UnDutchables if you don't know what I'm talking about), but there may be a few people stopping by.

Return to Oz
(J. Sellards/S. Hoffman)

Once there was a man
Who had a little too much
Time on his hands
He never stopped to think
That he was getting older
When his night came to an end
He tried to grasp for his last friend
And pretend
That he could wish himself health
On a four-leaf clover

He said is this the return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws
There’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a crystal town

It’s three o’clock in the morning
You get a phone call
From the queen with a hundred heads
She says that they’re all dead
She tried the last one on
It couldn’t speak, fell of
And now she just wanders the halls
Thinking nothing
Thinking nothing at all

She says is this the return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws
There’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a crystal town

The wheelies are cutting pavement
And the Skeksis at the rave meant
To hide deep inside
Their sunken faces
And their wild rolling eyes
But their callous words reveal
That they can no longer feel
Love or sex appeal
The patchwork girl has come to cinch the deal

To return to Oz
We’ve fled the world
With smiles and clenching jaws
Please help me friend from coming down
I’ve lost my place and now it can’t be found
Is this the return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws
There’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a crystal town

Hans Klok 'comes out' in USA

For those who were in any doubt, Dutch illusionist Hans Klok has announced that he is gay on gay.nl, in advance of an interview in Q Vegas! magazine next week.

Until now the magician, who will be finishing his 27-week run of Vegas shows assisted by Pamela Anderson in early December, has been coy about his sexuality whilst he was in the States.

According to Spits newspaper he wonders what the response will be,

After all, this isn't The Netherlands.

I always thought the fact that he just wasn't interesting was a far more important thing to know about him. But then I'm Dutch, so maybe he has a point (Pamela still beats him, she's got two).

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

bored

I was more or less guilted into staying home tonight and I'm in one of those moods where none of the things I could do (and I can think of many, that's not the problem) seems remotely interesting.

My mother coordinates the door-to-door collection of money in our neighbourhood every year for the charity that pays for research into better treatment of burns victims and for specialised hospitals. She had informed all the volunteers who do this important job that last Saturday was the deadline for handing in their collection boxes, but a full six of them didn't make it.

My parents left for their cottage (hence the deadline) and I was busy on Sunday and Monday (helping Sunshine move on Sunday, having lunch with K and the mayor of Amsterdam on Monday - the mayor didn't show - and dinner with my "secret" admirer) but I agreed to be home on Tuesday night to receive the stragglers. So my mother told them I'd be there at seven, however she didn't count on the fact that I often work a bit later when they're not at home, or on the fact that busses and trains aren't always reliable.

So I got there at 7.15 PM and apparently had already missed two of them and now I'm here again. It's past 9 PM and I'm going to have a shower because some of us have to get up early to go to work in the morning...

PS. I just remembered I had Return to Oz, so I watched the first twenty minutes of that. I may return to it later, while I'm letting my hair dry before bed.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

invisible man

Someone linked to this picture on another blog and I thought it was cute.

"Cute?" you ask.

"Yes, cute," I say.

Just embiggen and you'll see.



(Just between you and me: I think the guy that posted the link is cute too, we're going on our first date tomorrow night.)

EDIT: Check this out! Someone was inspired by that picture and set up a wiki to translate the whole bible into LOLCat. Thanks to Buttermonkey for the link.

HIV & me

part two tonight

Monday, 8 October 2007

courtroom drama

A British judge's mistress has finally won a five-year battle, backed by his brother and sister, to have the inquest into her lover's death reopened.

The first inquest ruled that judge Andrew Chubb's death in 2001 was accidental, after his garden shed was engulfed in a ball of fire, less than two hours after he had asked his wife for a divorce because he was leaving her for his mistress.

The widow, Jennifer Chubb, claims her husband was suicidal.

Chubb was one of the prosecutors in the case against serial killer Rosemary West.

EDIT: I admit, I only posted this for the picture.

pitchers

No, not the ones filled with Cointreau margaritas we had at that festival in Belgium last year, these are just a couple I took - with a little help from Precious.

First there's the sky from my office window around 7.30 AM last Friday:


And then a collection of collection boxes after my parents had sorted them out and before they went out to distribute them to the volunteers in our neighbourhood:

(Yes, that is part of my father's collection of cartoon videos in the background.)

Sunday, 7 October 2007

is it or isn't it?

Riding on the train into Amsterdam a girl sat down next to K and pulled some sort of device out of her purse.

It was a one inch wide and two long pink cylinder with a rounded end and looked suspiciously like one of the very small vibrators women use, the ones that are only interesting because they vibrate. (Other women, not me - see previous post.)

Then I noticed there were two wires attached to it. First I figured it was remotely controlled, but I thought it was a bit odd to take it out in public like that. Fortunately I then noticed there were earbuds attached to the wires!

I sent both K and Sunshine a text message, as I was already messing around with my phone, saying "The girl sitting next to K has an mp3-player that looks just like a little vibe." And then, oh shame!, she was looking over at K's phone while he read the message. I'm not sure if she got it, she didn't seem to, anyway.



Those pocket vibes I assume are very nice when traveling, but not while you're traveling...

Saturday, 6 October 2007

what's that?

Last night K came over for a couple of drinks and then he crashed at my place. So far, nothing spectacular; it was very nice.

There were two weird factors about it, though. First, my parents were there. But they love him, so it's mostly in my head, I guess.

The other thing I didn't know about until just now, when K said next time he could do without being hit in the head by my dildo next time.

...

(I'll remember not to leave it between my spare cushions from now on.)

don't you just hate name-droppers?

Like people that are sending their picture with Bill Clinton to everyone they know. From my computer.



(He knows I love him, really. I hope...)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

a paper a day

I don't know if this is going to work, but I thought it would be a nice experiment for me to collect the articles from one particular newspaper that somehow attracted my attention and show them to you. Today's paper is the free newspaper Sp!ts

  • During his life the average Belgian eats a third of a horse, 5 cattle and calves, 7 sheep and goats, 24 rabbits and game, 42 pigs, 43 turkeys and other fowl, 789 fish and 891 chicken.

    I just wonder about all the bugs they swallow whilst sleeping...

  • The number of civilians killed by violence in Iraq in September has halved compared to the previous month. With 884 casualties this was also the lowest number this year.

    Does that mean anything? Did the surge work?

  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been forced back to the Netherlands because the Dutch government stopped paying for her protection whilst she was in the USA. The Dutch taxpayer has been coughing up for her protection while she worked at the American Enterprise Institute, AEI, because the US authorities aren't allowed to protect civilians... (?)

    As long as she's back here, she'll have protection again.

  • BearForce1 left for a US tour today.

  • Fuji Speedway will refund over 2 million euros to spectators of the Japanese GP Formula One last Sunday. Thousands were inconvenienced because the temporary stands they sat on hadn't been properly positioned, leaving them with little view of the track.


PS. I'm not really going to do one a day.

Monday, 1 October 2007

HIV & me

Okay, this BBC2 program is probably going to freak me out...

Stephen Fry: HIV and Me
Tue 2 Oct, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins [Those are UK times, SK]

Following on from his widely acclaimed series The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, Stephen Fry sets out to tackle the largely forgotten world of HIV and AIDS in a timely and powerful new two-part documentary series.

Since the early 1980s when little was known about AIDS, 25 million people have died and over 40 million now live with the virus globally. 70,000 of those are in the UK - three times more than 10 years ago - and infection rates rising at an alarming rate. On an extraordinary journey, Stephen sets out to examine the world of HIV and AIDS today and, horrified by these figures, look at how it came to fall off our radar and who is most at risk today.

Astonished to discover that young straight people are now one of the fastest growing groups of new diagnoses in the UK, he goes out on a night out in Doncaster - once crowned 'HIV Capital of the North' - to give out condoms and chat to young people about current attitudes to HIV and risky sex. On Canal Street, Manchester's gay heartland, he goes clubbing with young gay men and meets one man who tells him he can count on one hand the number of times he has worn a condom but who bravely lets Stephen sit in as he takes an HIV test after a recent spell of unprotected sex.


BBC Two

human rights

I just saw this on Joe.My.God., NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Chairman Julian Bond sent this letter to President Martha Ellison of the Florida NAACP, who have taken a stance against Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle's homophobia.


Dear President Ellison:

Thank you for your courageous stand against homophobia in your community.

I am astounded by those who believe hostility toward homosexuals and the denial of civil rights to them is not a civil rights issue.

That's why when I am asked, "Are Gay Rights Civil Rights?" my answer is always, "Of course they are."

"Civil rights" are positive legal prerogatives - the right to equal treatment before the law. These are rights shared by all – there is no one in the United States who does not – or should not – share in these rights.

Gay and lesbian rights arc not "special rights" in any way. It isn't "special" to be free from discrimination – it is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship. The right not to be discriminated against is a common-place claim we an expect to enjoy under our laws and our founding document, the Constitution. That many had to struggle to gain these rights makes them precious - it does not make them special, and it does not reserve them only for me or restrict them from others.

When others gain these rights, my rights are not reduced in any way. Luckily, "civil rights" are a win/win game; the more civil rights are won by others, the stronger the army defending my rights becomes. My rights are not diluted when my neighbor enjoys protection from the law – he or she becomes my ally in defending the rights we all share.

For some, comparisons between the African-American civil rights movement and the movement for gay and lesbian rights seem to diminish the long black historical struggle with all its suffering, sacrifices and endless toil. However, people of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others, that is has been so widely imitated, and that our tactics, methods, heroines and heroes, even our songs, have been appropriated by or serve as models for others.

No parallel between movements for rights is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans were enslaved for more than two centuries, and people of color carry the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination – sadly, so do many others. They deserve the laws' protections and civil rights, two.

Sexual disposition parallels race – I was born black and had no choice. I couldn't and wouldn't change if I could. Like race, our sexuality isn't a preference – it is immutable, unchangeable, and the Constitution protects us all against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

Many gays and lesbians, along with Jews, worked side by side with me in the '60s civil rights movement. Am I to now tell them "thanks" for risking life and limb helping me win my rights – but they are excluded because of a condition of their birth? That they cannot share now in the victories they helped to win? That having accepted and embraced them as partners is a common struggle, I can now turn my back on them and deny them the rights they helped me win, that I enjoy because of them?

Not a chance.

Opponents of homosexuality have the right to their opinion: they do not have the right to use their beliefs to denigrate and marginalize others. A people who suffered bigotry in the past and suffer from it today ought to be the last people in the world to tolerate bigotry towards others.

Best wishes,
(Signed)
Julian Bond, Chairman
NAACP National Board of Directors


In response to Naugle's plan to install "robo-potties" that will open automatically after a preset time (so that those infernal gays can't have sex in them) the website Flush Naugle was created.

giggles

My favourite gay bar has a mailing list and of course I'm on it. I just noticed their address to unsubscribe from the list:

icanthandleallthatprik@prikamsterdam.nl

Love it!.

(I haven't been there in ages, though, I really should stop by this weekend.)