My vote…

for the Nobel Prize would have gone to Leonard Cohen long before it went to Bob Dylan. As fitting, I am listening to his new album that came out this week. While I am certainly not part of the Nobel committee, tomorrow morning GG and I are heading to Stockholm for the weekend. Too late to have an effect on this year’s selection, unfortunately… 😉

My other vote, for the presidential elections, went by mail last week to King County. I hope that the excessive postage applied means that it will arrive on time and that it will count. People that I come into contact with here ask me quite directly “Who did you vote for?” In all counts, when I give my response (for HRC naturally) the next question that comes up is “Do you know anyone who is voting for Trump?” Umm, yes, I do. There’s also a series of articles in the paper this week about Americans in Muncie, Indiana who tell their stories to Dutch reporters and why they are voting the way they are. In all of them, it’s for Trump – which definitely says that yes, there are people voting for him.

I take voting seriously in the sense that when I am offered the chance to do so, I will. Last year I was eligible to vote for the candidates for the Dutch Water Line – this is the group of people that technically are responsible for the water management practices of the Netherlands from the dikes to the drinking water. This year, I will be eligible to vote in the Amsterdam elections since I will have lived here for three years as of Sunday. I am not able to vote in the national elections, with their 80 different parties (and members of all of them get elected). For the US, I can do it by absentee. There’s always the cynical viewpoint that does a vote actually matter? But since it hasn’t even been 100 years since American women got the right to vote, I take it seriously.

Today Amsterdam is 741 years old. Yeah, I had to look twice at that number too. I know there are older places. For example, in Bern last year, I sat in a town square on benches from 970 something. Of course, they were stone benches so I didn’t settle down for a two hour sitting.

It has been an interesting week. Since my decision last week to activate my job hunt, I have been a little busy. Next week I have my first interview, externally. On one hand, I know that change is something I am looking for and I need a different set of stimuli. On the other hand, I have feelings of sadness regarding looking away from the company that has enabled me to do some amazing things. Then again, I need to really do some deep thinking on what the benefits of change are vs. the benefits of making do. Like most things, I will go into this with the intention of seeing it done – that renowned Taurus tendency. 😉 It doesn’t make it easier. The thought of staying and waiting for something to come along internally appeals only to the 5% of me that worries about uncertainty and risk. However, sometimes that 5% has a microphone hooked up to a stadium quality sound system and has a great deal to say.

The change is important for other reasons too. As I spend time with little C, I am reminded of how important it is to go for things, because the outcome and timelines are unknown to all of us. That’s not a pessimist thought. It’s an awareness of not to take anything for granted and not to make choices that are guaranteed to preserve the status quo. It also helps that as I am busy self selecting out of chances, she gets up on a figurative step stool to smack me upside the head and tell me that “Of course you are technical enough to do that, DUH”. I need that sometimes when the 5% band is performing 😉

Last night I went to a silly photoshoot. It wasn’t meant to be silly, I chose to experience it that way. GG and I were in their store last weekend and they asked if we wanted to participate in a photoshoot. Because I am learning to be a thrifty Dutch person, I thought “I could use a new LinkedIn profile photo. I bet I could make this work”. So last night under the directions of a bearded German photographer barking out commands I ended up posing for some 38 shots. It was HILARIOUS. I have never done something like that before so for the campiness of the experience alone it was worth it. He was very hipster arty and kept telling me what do in German which doesn’t work for me, so then he would hand me a prop and use body language. I think my very favorite one was the one I call my Eva Peron look. dsc_0024

I’ll save you the search effort, this did not go in my profile pic. 😉 It is kind of weird to have someone so close to you with a camera. Okay, maybe not for most people but I have a pretty defined barrier of personal space!

I’m looking forward to Stockholm… I have never been to Sweden and it is still my goal to take Astrid to her birthplace in Trollhattan. Although, I will be waiting for summer weather to do that. I also want to go to the Pippi Longstocking themed amusement parks. Yes, there’s more than one of them!

I don’t know a damn thing about Stockholm. I’m choosing to go there that way so I get to experience it without any preconceived notions. I booked the trip because it was in one of those 99 euro roundtrip fare emails that KLM knows I am susceptible to! GG has been before I think… she speaks Swedish anyway. My Swedish is reduced to imitations from the Muppet Show. We’ll see how far that gets me 🙂 But just to be safe, I’ve practiced throwing kitchen utensils up in the air tonight when I was making dinner.

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