Month: September 2006

Douglas Coupland

how is it that Microserfs has sat on my bookshelf for all these years and i haven’t read it?  i was sure i’d read it, absolutely sure.  but today, amidst a fit of important work avoidance, i decided to reread it.  and i haven’t read it in the first place.  although it’s got many similar themes to what i’ve just finished reading in Life After God, which i picked up day before yesterday in a bookstore in utrecht.  even some exact quotes.

i will return to it momentarily.  first i am heading to the jamin, to pick up some chewy sour candies or whatever similar treat strikes my fancy.  mmmmm….

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motorcycle, birthday party, etc…

well, i’ve just caught up on 2 weeks of lj posts…. i’ve even managed tiny comments in some of them, but wow!  it seems like everyone’s been having a very eventful past two weeks.  some good, some bad, some not sure yet.  it was good to feel like i’ve caught up a bit though.

so, i’ve also had an evenful last couple of weeks. 

last weekend i went to brussels to see miko and get a facial.  i had a great time, and it was really nice to catch up!  driving in brussels sucks unless you already know the city, i’ve found.  damn tunnels.  damn complete lack of signage.  this was only my second trip into the city by motorcycle, and i was well and truly confounded. 

then tuesday i went to utrecht to pick up my motorcycle, for which i finally had papers!  yay!  spent a nice afternoon and evening of driving around, by myself then with dick when he got off work.  it’s funny driving around in europe with american plates.  i keep expecting to be pulled over, but so far as i can tell, no one has even noticed that mine says minnesota on it.  heh heh. 

friday i went to my cooking group’s first meeting of the new year (yes, i still and probably always will think of new years as beginning in the fall).  had a great time, got a bit tipsy, and was taken to a fantastic member’s only supermarket after by molly and jacques, where i was able to buy ice and a cooler for the party!!! 

friday night, dick arrived for the weekend, and he and matt went to aikido while i did more small party prep.  then we all went out for drinks and pizza at pizza napoli, on the markt.

saturday we went on a long motorcycle ride here and there.  yay!  it was absolutely fantastic to ride through windy hills and villages on my own motorcycle finally.  when we got back we were all exhausted, so we attempted to nap before the party.

after the nap, my phone kept going off with people cancelling.  no big deal.  the people who showed up were plenty, and we had a great time.  we also had 4 people staying the night:  dick, ivo and marieke, and gea. 

our friends here are an interesting mix.  now that we’ve been here for over 2 years, what’s weeded itself out has been a very dissimilar group of people.  if you look at the mere appearances of the people who came, you would perhaps wonder what they were all doing in the same room.  but they have something more important in common:  they are all really interesting, and most aren’t very shy.  so, they talk about what they have in common, which tends to be more than they expect, and what they don’t have in common, which they usually find pretty interesting, because they’re all really curious and open-minded.  this makes for good parties, in general.  not perhaps as active as would sometimes be nice, but certainly good conversations.

i made lots of margaritas, and everything pretty much wound up around 5 am.  part of me wanted to stay up later, but i was starting to get slightly crabby, which happens to me when i’m tired and trying to avoid the necessary sleeping.  yes, i’m like a toddler, so when matt said he was going to bed, i agreed and went too.  leaving a couple of people sitting there unsure of what to do next.  🙂  whoops!  dev and i have closed parties down on our own at least once, and he was one of the ones still sitting there with a beer in hand when i left.  uh oh.  i have ruined my previous image of able to stay up later than anyone! 

notable highlights:  getting molly and jacques so happy for margaritas and new conversations that they stayed hours longer than they planned to, and left their teenage son george, who’d locked himself out, on the sidewalk for nearly an hour!  introducing sabrina, aurelie and olivier to laurent and claudia (claudia is actually italian) and having one of them (sabrina?) exclaim happily: oh! but you didn’t tell us this was going to be a french party!  aurelie and olivier are new-comers to our parties, and were looking a little shy until then.  seeing jane’s eyes light up when brenn and jimmy showed up, and watching her decide she also needs dreads.  this is fun because jane works in the corporate world, and it would be quite an adventure!  dancing to vnv nation in the livingroom and trying to talk peggy into just letting loose and dancing.  oh, hell… i can’t list every fun memory.

also fun was the great number of personal soap operas that may or may not have been going on.  🙂  i’m always glad when it’s not me.  i usually manage to make enough of my own!

oh, and minnesotans reading this:  remember how often i have forcibly ejected people from the kitchen at parties?  we have an open floor plan in this apartment, and the food was actually all across the room from the kitchen, but i kept having to eject people from the kitchen here, too.  even though mostly only laurent and i were mixing cocktails, which WERE in fact in the kitchen.

matt woke up around 11 the next early and made breakfast for all of us, which was lovely as usual. we sat around and enjoyed the weather on the terrace, while matt copied some of gea’s cds, which will be a vast improvement on our music collection.  gea drove home in the early afternoon.  ivo and marieke and dick and matt and i went for a walk around the town (there were some events going on, as usual), then ivo and klein (marieke) left in the early evening.  dick left in the late evening, and matt and i conked out.  i refused to speak dutch all day on sunday, although everyone who stayed overnight was dutch.  heh heh.  my birthday, my prerogative!  🙂  i don’t think anyone even noticed, actually, since i most always speak only english with friends.

today i’m not doing much.  i slept late, and have been cleaning, reading lj, doing laundry, and pampering myself with new bath products all day.  no plans this evening, but lots of plans through the rest of the week, which is great!  maybe i’ll go for a motorcycle ride later this evening, while matt’s at aikido.

finally! someone helpful!

well, jill, in response to your question:

yesterday matt sent me an email of a transport guy in rotterdam who thought he might be able to help.  today i finally got him on the telephone.  he got me on one line and an insurance guy on another line, and …

i will be able to drive my motorcycle for 3 months, starting today if the money can go through fast enough, in the netherlands and belgium.  with my american license plate.  yay!  now i’m waiting for the next email from him detailing what i need to do to make this happen.  i am supposedly going to a concert tonight in den bosch, to see an acquaintance’s band play… but they might be sold out.  but also, i might skip it altogether and ride my motorcycle!!!!!  we’ll see.  yay yay yay!