My, my, my ...

... where has the time gone.

It's been a while since I wrote stuff and let's just say: I blame Santa. And next year I'll get him for it.

We had a fun time during christmas. Diner with Kamiel on the first day, books all around, a nice meal with scotch, silly fun with christmas crackers and then: The Sound Of Music. Really odd thing: Kamiel had never seen the thing in its entirety. Huh. Living in a western country and never having seen The Sound Of Music ... I'd have expected that to be some sort of crime, really.

All in all I think dinner was great and this is something I want to continue doing for a load of christmasses to come. Because it's fun. You haven't had christmas until you've had four paper hats on your head at the same time. I will endeavour to make desert something nice to look at as well, though, next year.

Second day we were at Susie's mum's place. Again fun and games ensued. And dinner, naturally. I finally encountered a Wii-console and it's sort of nice. But I suck at tennis. I do not suck at 'picture this' which is another sort of game all together ... and I think we won. Though I'm not sure and perfectly willling to cede victory to any interested party.

After this ... there was one work day for me in a deserted DMB.

A lot of closed doors. Which was good. Because there was some mail left over from days past. So, I got to do that. I'm looking forward to more of that next time I'm there ... which will be the 2nd of january. Joy!

Whilst I was at work, though, Suus was entertaining my nephew, Nathaniel. Sweet kid. There were potatoes. There were movies. There is playmobil.

Then, the next day ... we traded that one in for another nephew, Matz. Sweet kid. There was playmobil. A lot of it. And trust me: you haven't slept under duress until you've had someone sing a mangled version of Oh, Denneboom at you at 5:30 in the morning. Awesome. Never again.

He was very sweet even when we took him to Aikido and he had to be relatively quiet for an hour nd a half. Unfortunately from there on out my day soured a bit (and consequently the day of all my beloveds) when I fell victim to a rather hefty migraine. Which was a shame because in the evening there was bowling planned and, though, I'm not a big fan of trying to walk in someone else's shoes (though the Depeche Mode song is kinda cool (on Songs of faith and devotion) ... I'd have liked to join. But alas I had pain. Or was stoned in the shower. Or asleep. Or a combination of all three.

Which brings us to now.

Today we shall undertake some sporting activity yet again, when we assail the torture chambers of Randers/De Geus by doing ... fitness. Which is something I have done a grand total of once. So, em-bare-ass-ment will be my goal and my target. Whether I try for it or not. We shall be three. Francisco has kindly offered to leave us all in the dust of his personal programme so: yippie! Honestly that man is a lunatic. But a huggable one.

Should be fun.


Yesterday ...

... I learned something funny: 10% of dutch people think that Santa Claus is a biblical figure. And, you know, NOT an inventention by the Coca-Cola company. Or maybe they think Coca-Cola is in the bible too. Maybe ingesting too much cola is how they got to the point where they think that Santa is in the bible. Maybe they invest too much belief into cola ...


It was funny.

I went outside just now lured by the cries from sealions. There's something else you don't hear very often outside of a zoo. It seems that for the wintercircus four sealions are needed and they had there little pool just behind Carre. And that is just half a block behind my workplace. So, I went there and saw some impromptu performance from four sealions. They were singing and clapping and waving all for the benefit of the gathered cameras. They were funny and sweet and it was the nicest thing I've seen in quite some time. It was christmassy. And very cold. But a lot of fun!


To ...

... whom it may concern: I'm fine. I've just forgotten my phone! It's on the table, somewhere. Nothing wrong. Just, you know, forgotten. I'm defencelss. I'm ... alone ...

When did we become a race of gerbils, ladies and gentlemen, chattering away on our mobies? When did it become de rigeur to be able to reach someone, anywhere, any time? I bought mine, years ago, to be able to be in easy reach if my grandmother took a turn for the worse and after that issue was resolved I was sort of stuck with it and everyone's expectations. I still feel uncomfortable using it to call in public. Must be a generation gap there ... I do like SMS, though. The high-tech equivalent of smoke-signals or two cans and a bit of wire. Modern morse code. That's sort of fun. Oh well ...

I'l probably curse myself if it turns out that the trains are delayed and I'm unable to call my girl.

Often when I see two people talking on their phones I imagine them calling each other. It's a persistent image, bollocks at best, but it's entertaining, somehow. And maybe a bit sad.

But I'm fine.

The christmas gifts of the DMB have been passed out today. And I, as hired hand, here already for 6 months (does time fly or what?), was not deemed worthy enough to receive one. I'm at peace with that, they probably need the budget but it's striking. And bad public relations. I know I have no need of one, certainly since I've seen the contents of the box but I notice that to my mind it emphasizes the outsider position I hold and I seem to care a little less about my duties, today.

Fortunately my true employers have not forgotten me ... they do love me! Ha!

Another thing that strikes me is that people are rather graceless in accepting the things bestowed upon them by their grateful employers. It's never good enough. Oh, LeSigh. It's disheartening to listen to.


Just ...

... saw something on TV that was ... well, amusing.

They (whoever they are) rifled through their (or whoever's) archives and came up with some old music from old concerts. One was by Sammy Davis jr. and another couple of songs were taken from a concert by Jaques Brel.

The amazing thing was that these two gentlemen knew how to engage a room completely with nothing but a good song and maybe some comedy. Very minimal to our modern eyes. Brel was just ... standing there. Microphone. Accoustic guitar on his knee. Leg up on a normal wooden chair. Just belting out 'Les Flamands'. It was wonderful.

Now, I like Brel. He was ... brilliant, I suppose. The other guy, Sammy davis jr. he never ever really appears on my radar. Not my thing. But it was a thing of beauty, the way he played with an audience. He had a band with him. And he sang. And he danced a little. And he told some short jokes. But it was very intense and funny.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I guess what I like to say is: if you cannot do it beneath a bare lightbulb then you cannot do it. Also: it's very impressive that these gentlemen dared doing stuff like this. I'd be shitting my pants. Also: maybe we depend too much on the trappings of modern technology in music and concerts.

Maybe that's why I appreciate the new Nirvana DVD, unplugged. (That and it's basically a wake for Kurt).

Maybe these days it's all too easy to hide behind electronics like auto-tuners and effects and super production. But I'm convinced that the truth will out, that true genius and talent wil reveal itself.

But maybe only when the electricity fails ...

Buy some Brel, he's excellent. there's some power there in music and lyrics ...

On to something else. We have a christmas tree. It's huge. We have decorated the house. We are in a christmassy sort of mood. I like this time of the year and I'm happy that it's here again. Also happy that the insane month of december is almost gone. Too many parties, people. We cram things into that final weeks simply because we're afraid of things ending I suspect. Here's a newsflash: life goes on past the 31st of december. Spread the wealth, people .... dump some stuff in january. If there's ever a boring month it's january. Truly boring, boring, boring ...


Talking about Brel I decided to do some YouTubing:


His most famous song ever and I guess one of the best songs ever recorded ever. The only tiny problem i have is that Nina Simone (whom we adore as well even if she was madder than a hat full of bees) did a version too:


... and I can't for the life of me decide which version I like better. I like them both. It's ... a fairly painful tune. Enjoy.

And tell me which you like better.

EDIT ... again.

There's loads of them. Really. People should not be covering this ... I wouldn't dare. Here's another one with the french subtitles. For those who want to see what he's singing.



Several ...

... things.

If cocks crow I think it's only fair if crows learn how to cock. Animal rights organisations should look into this.

Further: Doris Lessing thinks blogging is a waste of time. Which makes me giggle. Because I blog about it and because I wrote my thesis on her ...


Also note that that page is filled with stupid ads. And it's on the internet. Thus proving that it's useless to fight progress and internet porn and WoW and LOLkitten and PostSecret. Seriously though: read more books. Or else Doris might come and haunt you.

Also today:

Some serious wonderful panoramic pictures. Enjoy.



Yesterday ...

... was the day of the bishop of Mirra, Sint Nicolaas. So, we gave eachother gifts. There has been a severe amount of money spending going around and, speaking for myself, I can honestly say that i like the result.

Let's see now:

There were loads and loads of DVD's. Dr.Who DVD's. House season 1. GilmoreGirls season 7 (yay! Complete!) Fraggle DVD's. Henson was god. And I suppose he's up in heaven nbow ... animating ... something. Then there was the Nirvana unplugged DVD. A chilling piece of TV if ever I saw one. The last will and testament and wake of Kurt Cobain ... and there was a Dr.Who encyclopedia.

My girl got PlayMobil. And the newest Quentin Tarantino movie on DVD. It's all a bit shocking.

I'm happy. I watched fraggles being great on DVD before going to work today. That was bliss.

Of course after folding 300 letters and accepting a request for a permit that came in a fucking cart (it was that large) I thought I was going a bit simple. So, you know, that suited the Fraggles well, I suspect.


So ...

... at work.

It was a most interesting day, work-wise, as it is the first day that I have had to create and send the announcements of impending doom or, you know, other stuff, like waterreleases and stuff on my own. Without the aid of a blonde girl. She's sorely missed. Mostly because now I have to act responsible and all that malarcky.

Yesterday I had a nice karate training. I was lowest in rank, a low green belt. then came a blue, then a brown and then four black belts. Needless to say the trainer took the opportunity (few students and a lot of high ranked people) to really dig into some difficult stuff. The bunkai of pinan godan. ... the application of one of the forms. That might be clearer. All in all quite a nice lesson, though difficult.

But having auntie Tineke there always helps. She's nice.

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i8unA3hBdU



So ... the birthday celebrations have come and gone and I'm one year older officially. Still waiting to become wiser but there you go. Can't have everything.

I got treated to drinks and dinner by two lovely ladies on the 30th and that was loads of fun. And on the 1st everyone and their pets came over to hug and kiss and eat and drink and it was awesome. I ... was happy.

Also: booze.

Anyway. My girlfriend has given me the gift of wrestling with eagles and we appreciate it. Toying with the big birds is, well, fun. As long as they don't take away important elements of ones' physique ... as soon as we've been and know what's what we'll let the world know. Provided, of course, I can still type.

All in all pretty good fun! I'd recommend it to anyone this birthday thing. You get to see people, talk to them and stuff.

On a side note: congrats to Francisco's little fighting men (Marco, Vincent) and woman (liesbeth) for being awesome and scoring a first, second and third place for their trainer. Now, I know he's the only one who actually knows about this blog so I can savely state that they would all be utter shyte without your help, dude.


Even Marco.

I mean: Vincent won something. You know, other than the "Too many knees will kill you competition"-in coördination akwardness. Really impressive. And slightly unexpected.

So, you must be doing something right!