Month: August 2006

Het Stofzuiger Paradijs


chap 1:  our story begins
during last tuesday’s fit of “i’m home; i shall clean!!”, i vacuumed the entire house.  upon finishing, i noticed that my vacuum cleaner bag was full.  i removed it, and threw it away.  tuesday night being the night the trash goes out, i then threw the trash away.  feeling contented with my hard work, i enjoyed the next day by doing small art projects. 

chap 2:  oh, crap!
this tuesday, after my student left, i noticed that the weekend’s cooking extravaganza had produced many small things on the kitchen floor, like garlic peels.  i decided to vacuum.  i remembered i had thrown out the old bag, and opened the new box i had bought a couple of months back.  when i went to install the bag, i noticed that the tiny piece of plastic that attaches the bag to the vacuum cleaner was … MISSING.  i had, moronically, thrown it away with the bag. 

chap 3:  geen hoovers in nederland
yesterday (wednesday), i went to the nearby Handyman store to see if they could order for me a replacement part.  the friendly man behind the counter helpfully informed me that hoover (the brand of my previous vacuum cleaner) was not sold in the netherlands.  i would therefore have to search on the internet, or in belgium.  two things to point out here:  1) belgium is walking distance from this same store and 2) i bought the hoover about 1 1/2 years ago in mediamarkt, across the river, but still most definitely in maastricht, and thus in the netherlands.  not belgium.

chap 4:  how many times can you cross a river in one day?
today, after a heart-bolstering cuppa, i got on fred’s bike (which has been donated to me!) and RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (1) with the following items:  my backpack, in which i carried:  a small notebook with the serial number and other relevant data, my change rubber thingy, and a vacuum bag to explain what piece exactly i had thrown away. 
i went into media markt.  i went back to the vacuum cleaner area.  i found a helpful young woman with curly blonde hair pulled into a tight braid.  i explained my problem.  also that i needed a new filter.  she found me the appropriate filter and told me i’d have to go around to the service area to order the new piece (outside and around the building).  i bought the filter (9 euros) and headed out back.
i went to the service area, explained the problem to the young man behind the desk.  he said that hoover has a 2 year warranty, and that if i can find the receipt or even my bank statement with the appropriate withdrawal on it, and came back with the vacuum, i could have it fixed. 
so i RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (2) home, where i dug into the old files, and found many media markt receipts from last feb/march when i must have bought it.  but none that said stofzuiger or hoover on it. so i looked at the bank statements, where i found an entry from media markt that i had written “no receipt” next to, which usually means matt had it for some reason.  so i called matt.  he thought i was nuts, but looked at the copies of the receipts he had submitted to medtronic last year for reimbursement.  no luck.
so i took my bank statement and stuffed my vacuum cleaner into my backpack (yes it fit) and RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (3) to media markt, where a different helpful young man in service managed to find that indeed, when he plugged all the numbers into his computer, that was indeed the missing receipt.  and he printed me a piece of paper saying that my vacuum had cost 90 euros, and that i could get a new one in the store.  so i took the piece of paper into the store, where i chose another vacuum cleaner, a bosch this time, which was 10 euros more expensive, and a box of vacuum bags, another 9 euros, and i bought them.  when i bought them, i thought to ask about the now-useless hoover bags and filters at home.  they told me to ask the curly-haired girl back in vacuums.  she said it was ok to return them opened, even without the receipt for the bags.
so i balanced the new vacuum cleaner box on my handle-bars and RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (4) to get my things.  made the exchange at home and RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (5) to media markt, to the service office, to return the opened packages.  the helpful young man didn’t believe me, and went to ask the helpful curly-haired young woman, who said it was ok.  so he took the two things, gave me about 16 euros, and i RODE ACROSS THE RIVER (6) home to my new vacuum cleaner and bags, with only about 10 euros fewer. 

i have no intention of doing any vacuuming at this moment, but isn’t it lovely when the system works in my favor?  🙂

Funny 80’s quiz

Mel sent me this.  I thought it was funny.  But it didn’t work when I tried to cut it away.  I need to work on that.  Sorry it’s so long.  My answers in orange!

You Know You Grew Up In The 80’s if:

1. You’ve ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
Of course.

2. You watched the Pound Puppies.

3. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
Remember some of the rap…

4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylishly sexy.
Well, i didn’t wear many skirts back in those days, so no.

5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-sitters club and tried to start a club of your own.
Of course.

6. You owned those lil’ Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.

7. You know that “WOAH” comes from Joey on Blossom
No.  Really?  Huh…

8. Two words: Hammer Pants
No. Please no.

9. If you ever watched “Fraggle Rock”

10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars… and spokey-dokes or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect
Yes.  Well, streamers.

11. You can sing the entire theme song to “Duck Tales” (Woo ooh!)
No. Not anymore..

12. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
Of course!!!!!

13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.

14. You saw the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the big screen..and still know the turtles names.
No.  I watched the cartoon a bit, though.

15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
No.  My earliest computer memories involved a turtle thingy, in junior high. 

16. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.

17. You played the game “MASH”(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
Of course.  Wish i could remember how it worked.

18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
No.  Too poor.

19. L.A. Gear….need I say more?
No… please don’t.

20. You wanted to change your name to “JEM” in Kindergarten. (She’s Truly Outrageous.)
No.  But it’s possible.  I don’t remember.

21. You remember reading Tales of a fourth grade nothing and all The Ramona books.
Of course.

22. You know the profound meaning of “WAX ON, WAX OFF”
Of course.  We were all grasshoppers.

23. You wanted to be a Goonie.
Of course!!!!! Who didn’t?!?!

24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us…head-to-toe)

25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.

26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

27. You took lunch boxes to school…and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.

28. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.

29. You still get the urge to say “NOT” after every sentence.
Of course.

30. You remember Hypercolor t-shirts.
Yes. Unfortunately.

31. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band.

32. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up.

33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
No.  But i did wear some of them.

34. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.

>35. After you saw Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure you kept saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
No.  Only sometimes.

36. You remember “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”

37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
Of course!  I loved the skating rink. Had my own skates, with two sets of wheels…

38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
No…. seriously?  i doubt it. 

39. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
No.  I don’t think so.

40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds.
Yes.  Many.

41. You’ve gone through this nodding your head in agreement.

42. You remember Popples.
No. This doesn’t ring a bell at all.

43. Don’t worry, be happy
Yes.  Had it in my head yesterday, unfortunately.

44. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks.
No. Not that i remember.
45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do..getting yelled at by younger hip members of the
Yes, but only once upon a time..

46. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
Yes.  But I didn’t do it personally.

47. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
Of course.  Bright light!!!

48. You know what it meant to say “Care Bear Stare!!”

49 You remember watching Rainbow Bright and & My Little Pony Tales

50. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
Yes.  My god.  I am ashamed.

51. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
Yes.  and he’s so cool.

52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool…and don’t even flinch when people refer to them as “NKOTB”
Yes, i remember that… but i don’t remember being a fan.  or i’ve deliberately removed it from my memory.

53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on “Saved By The Bell,” The ORIGINAL class.
Yes. Once upon a time.

54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi – SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.

55. You just sang those words to yourself.
56. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
Didn’t watch, but remember it.

57. Homemade Levi shorts.. (the shorter the better)
Yes. What’s the problem with cutoffs?

58. You remember when mullets were cool!

59. You had a mullet! 
60. You still sing “We are the World”
Just don’t start that godawful song around me, so that i don’t get it in my head.

61. You tight rolled your jeans.
Yes.  Sometimes.

62. You owned a bannana clip.
Yes. Several.

63. You remember “Where’s the Beef?”

64. You used to (and probably still do)
say “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?”
Actually, I had forgotten all about that until recently.  Don’t know why. 

65 You had big hair and you knew how to use it.

66. You’re still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren’t you!
yes. caught me.


                      ROCK ON!!!

very nice day…

after a late morning, did the following:

ate a delicious breakfast on the terrace, while it was still sunny out.  matt’s earth breakfast and my scones.  dick made coffee.  took photos with cranes in background.

walked around maastricht in the rain, trying to find shallots and ginger on a sunday.  success at last.

dick and i made panang curry paste while matt made leather armbands and copied a dvd for me.

michael came over and he and i made peach pie while dick made panang curry pizza and matt made cocktails.

played ticket to ride and ate food.

watched some of the scenes from kebab connection again…. funny funny funny.  even when reading the subtitles in dutch from german.  (which makes me slower)

walked dick to train station and ran into fred on way home.  stuck in rain.  soggy upon return.  cat unhappy with soggy humans trying to pet him. 

poor cat.  i think maybe he needs a relaxing shower…


ok… so i got friended by tha_w3rm.  does anyone have any idea what/who this is?  i went to their lj, and it’s fucking hilarious.  but i note that no one i know is on their friends list.  so i’m curious..

new sideways userpic… :)

not only is it a silly picture, but i couldn’t seem to figure out how to rotate it. yes, i’m a dork.

but really i’m on here to continue THE MOTORCYCLE SAGA…

ch. 1(well… not really, as you know): early last week, i still hadn’t heard from the mechanics about when they planned to be finished. so, since dick needed to call them anyway, he offered to ask them about it. they said they’d be done by the next day. so i called the RDW (like the DMV) to schedule an appointment. the RDW said that i couldn’t make an appointment for several weeks because they are booked, but that i could come in monday or tuesday morning between 8 and 12 with no appointment. worried about how i’d get the temporary license plate in time, i asked them what i could do. they said i could come into their office and get it printed out.

ch. 2: the next day, oh excitement, i heard from the mechanics. they were done, but said they’d need to also replace the tires or they wouldn’t pass inspection. shit. add 400 euros. i call matt about finances, mechanic calls back. i ok it, then when finished with work, hop onto metro then bus out to RDW, where i first get lost, then sit in the waiting room for 40 minutes, then the very nice lady tells me that i could have just called in and had them TELL me a license plate number, since i just get a number that i in fact have to write onto a piece of paper and attach to the back of my bike. silly, huh? anyway, then i wait for the bus back to the other bus back to jane’s house, total time since leaving work: just over 3 hours. then a bus to the train station to utrecht to meet matt and dick and then go to bauhaus concert. details on summer darkness to follow.

ch. 3: call mechanic to find out how early they open on monday, since the RDW actually allows people to begin the appointment line-up at 7:45. they say ok, you can come early monday morning, just call us before you come, so someone can be there to open the garage. oh, and by the way, we don’t take credit. shit again. so matt and i will need to use our american debit cards to get enough money out by monday morning to be able to afford all this, because our insurance just came out of our dutch account, and we are beyond even over-draft limits.

ch. 4: i screwed up and totally forgot that i can only draw a small amount each day from my tfcu card, and matt had left his card in maastricht. but i decided to try, and went to use my card at the train station, on the way to saturday’s concert events. i used the wrong pincode, long story there, and my card was blocked. i skipped all concerts that night because i was stressing too much.

ch. 5: this morning. 7:15. i call mechanic. no answer. 7:45. i call mechanic, explain that sorry, i can’t come in until after 2 or 3, when i can get a hold of my bank finally and fix problems. they, amazingly, seem amused, even happy about this. i go back to bed. matt and i get up around noon, pack up all our stuff, and leave dick’s. we get off the train at just about 2 pm. we see that there is a bank office near the train station, so we wait until 2, call tfcu, and explain the problem. the woman on the phone tells me that i can go to any bank and ask for a cash advance on my card, and take out the full amount, but that it will be impossible from a machine. we go into the bank office. it is not a bank. they tell us where to find one. we find it, they tell us they don’t have money services, but that we can use the machine. we explain the problem, they tell us where the most convenient branch that can help us is. we go there. they say we can only do that at a GWK office, which is a money-changer’s. the nearest one is on leidseplein, nowhere near where we are. we split ways at this point. matt thinks i’m crazy for even bothering any more today, and i’m simply desperate to get this done. matt has plans to meet up with miko, so off he goes.

ch. 6: at the GWK. long line. but good news: there’s no commission on such a large amount. yay! next good news: although the line is very long and slow, there happens to be a busstop for the VERY bus i need right on leidseplein, and i JUST make it, running through tourists with leathers, helmet and backpack in hand. and umbrella. next good news: when i call the mechanics, i find that indeed they will still be open when i get there, over an hour later. yay! then bad news: when i called the RDW to get a new one-day license plate number for tomorrow, their computers were down. luckily, 30 minutes later, still on the bus, when i called back, they were up and running and they were able to give me a number.

oh, but we’re not done yet.

ch. 7: when i finally get to the busstop i need, with help from a very kind young woman on the bus, who also offers to walk me part way to where i’m going, i learn from her that the address i have for them is wrong. they have moved locations in the past 2 months, and no one thought to tell me. so i call them. after sounding both annoyed and amused at the same time, they sent the mechanic, kees, who’d done the work on my bike, to come get me. then it started pouring rain. not just raining, by the way. pouring. then, although i had shaken the bike to listen for gas, and had in fact heard plenty of gas moving around in there, i ran out of gas a few minutes out of the shop. thinking it couldn’t possibly be the gas, i called the shop. they asked if i could just leave the bike there, and they’d go get it later. i said that, considering that i had no idea where i was, didn’t see any busstops, and don’t have any friends who currently have access to transportation, that no, that wouldn’t work. dick’s bike, as they know, has a dead battery. they know this because i’m picking up his new one from them for him tomorrow morning after my inspection. matt left his in maastricht because of all the rain, and everyone else i know is elsewhere. inconvenient. so they put kees on the phone. kees says, are you sure it’s not the gas? i say, yes. he says, just check. i do. they fixed my reserve valve (which used to be broken, and thus useless), and so… happily, i had a reserve tank. and i went to the nearest station, and filled it up. then i headed here. i walked in the door at 7:10 this evening. what a fucking day.

let’s hope that tomorrow goes smoothly. 🙂

oh, here’s a picture of matt looking cute:

yay! so, more news when i have it. oh, but it WAS nice riding my beautiful bike here. 🙂