Monthly Archives: December 2017

Night of the boom booms…

It’s raining and I am secretly hoping it starts raining even harder. The fireworks in the neighborhood have already started and they will go on til 2AM or so. The boys are very uncomfortable, even with Rescue Remedy on dog cookies. I anticipate there will be lots of accidents to clean up tonight. Hopefully, only from the four legged residents.

Last night, we were invited to go and have a drink at Sabine’s. She lives in Amsterdam North and it seemed reasonable to go via bike instead of via public transport. Well, the city was so full of people, that it took us 30 minutes to cycle to Central Station – which is almost slower than walking. Then we took the ferry (5 minutes) across to North and proceeded to follow the directions on GG’s phone to get to Sabine’s… We nearly ended up in Alkmaar because the GPS points were completely off. What should have been a 35 minute bicycle ride from door to door ended up taking 2 hours. In the dark and the rain. We should have literally taken a left at the windmill – however, technology said otherwise 😉 For future trips, I think I am going to listen to my own directional sense and not rely on Google maps!

After our buttnumbing ride, we had a really great evening as is always the case when spending time with Sabine. Originally, we were hoping to use last night to celebrate being the lucky future owners of a house in Delft that we were bidding on but it didn’t turn out that way. So, yeah, on to the next house…

Looking back at this year, I am really thankful that there were so many new things to try, so many different ideas to think about and so many chances to be involved in the lives of others. I hope that in 2018 I can scale up accordingly 🙂 I might need to learn to be a little more patient with myself and how long it can take to make change!

I’ll be starting the New Year with the beings who love me most, I think 🙂 I hope your 2018 starts the same way!

Off to church…

Well, in a few hours. As it is Christmas Eve, the little church at Marum is open for a special service. I pass the church every time I go to Groningen for work and the team is now used to me saying “Hi Mom, love you” as we pass it. I never stop with the team in the car because I feel like that might be really pushing the boundaries of team building. Then again, with my particular team of curious young people, maybe not.

I’ve spent the past few days with a low level feeling of dread. I know what it is, the feelings that this time of the year evokes, all swirled around each other like some messed up mega lollipop with 40 different colors. I also know that I have survived this time of the year before… and that the discomfort eventually recedes after the 16th of January.

I am restless right now. I don’t really want to write. GG is watching some terrible Netflix 😉 and the pets are snoring. My upstairs neighbor is playing his angry music again. He probably knows a thing or two about feeling unsettled. Maybe I should go knock on his door and see if he wants to go chop some wood or something with me? I can only imagine his reaction! 😉

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you all 🙂

And another two weeks goes by…

I am really out of sync when it comes to writing lately. Not because I do not want to. Instead it’s more of thinking that I will find time to do it that day and then it falls off the list.

Tomorrow night is my last class of my night school program. It will be a good end to what was pretty interesting. If nothing else, I learned two very important things. The first being that I can indeed play my banjo in front of a room full of people, provided they do not know what the banjo actually should sound like 😉 I had to do that last week as part of my Ode to Freedom. The second being that I think I might be ready to look at a Master’s program for real now. I’ve thought about it on and off again over the past few years. Now I think I might be ready to pursuit one. I need to find the right one, which might be more difficult than it sounds. Lately the Master’s in Philosophy has been appealing – I know, not exactly great for future employment prospects but it would give me plenty to think about!

This morning, I was thinking about returning to the US. Not sure what I will do with that idea. Maybe it represents more of a question about where do I want to go next and what do I want to do? You know I get restless after a certain amount of time and am ready to change things up again. I think part of it also because as usual, I am spending too much time in my own head and asking myself all sorts of questions. I wonder if I will ever learn to be still? 😉

GG and the pets are good, everyone is healthy. Little C is through her last operation and we had snow last week – which was beautiful! I’m taking some days off next week to have a little bit of disconnect time.

I am still struggling at this time of the year, with Mom’s birthday right around the corner and that it’s been nearly 5 years since she left. I can’t really wrap my head around that. I was reminded of her yesterday when one of the university professors asked me if I wanted to sign up for a PhD in her program – thinking of my mom at my graduation from UW and her remark that I should go on to pursuit a PhD in Nanotechnology because there were not any women on the stage. I had to disappoint the professor because I don’t even have a Master’s. I don’t think I will end up with a PhD in Nanotechnology! However one in Computing and Society might be pretty interesting 😉


Running around again…

Let’s see, before I make myself dizzy, let me start at the beginning. The dinner with my interns was really great – the food turned out edible and it was really great to have them around the table. I was actually two chairs short so I ran down to my local bar and asked if I could borrow two of their chairs. They were happy to lend them.

Last week we also went to see 2Cellos – front row seats. Then on Friday, it was the Sinterklaas celebration. You know, where poems must be written, a surprise made and gifts purchased. It’s a big deal in GG’s family and I am seriously outclassed. This year, it was at my house so the boys could be part of the mayhem. Here’s where I admit, I did write all of my own poems, but in English this year. GG was the person I was supposed to make the surprise for – and I had to outsource it to her to do it. I couldn’t show up without one, but I seriously ran out of time and she doesn’t have to work on Fridays 😉 Since no one in her family knows about this blog, I feel okay admitting here that I did not make my own surprise for giving, nor did I buy the gifts. I did, however, put a lot of thought into writing the poems. They were much funnier in English than in Dutch.

This weekend also saw the start of the Great DeCluttering Experiment. For my school program, I have to pick something that symbolizes a value that is important to me, that I am afraid I will not succeed in and be able to turn it into some form of art. Well, the value I chose is freedom – being able to make any choice that I would like to without being weighed down by material objects or immaterial ones, such as doubts. I have until the end of the month to complete it. I will say that over the weekend I made some good progress. During the process, I found my old FiloFax. Which prompted me to think about how I think about time. I’ve made a decision to go back to a paper agenda which will really require me to think about each meeting that I say “Yes”to. This is important because this country has a meeting culture and it sometimes makes me very impatient…

Luckily, I turned GG’s attention to the kitchen cabinet. By the time she finished indulging her OCD tendencies, I think we had recovered an extra 3 square meters of space in the house! If we keep this up, we won’t need to move!

Last night we went to see Margaret Cho. She wasn’t great, only mildly funny and I felt vaguely disappointed. I also had a banjo lesson right before that since I really need to get my stuff ready for next week. Paul once again suggested that I go with plan B 😉

Tomorrow it’s off to Groningen again with the remaining interns to meet with the teams up there, tomorrow night school and then finally home. Saturday is the monthly meetup hosting and Sunday we’re going to see the Rock Goddess Anneke van Giersbergen and her band Vuurwerk perform – whoop whoop.

Lastly, on Friday, Meredith had a birthday and a moving day! She and Rupert have found a house of their own and the deal is done 🙂 Super excited for them (and for me) since they have a roof terrace!

There’s more stories to tell. I need to spend a little time working through them first 🙂