Monthly Archives: February 2018

From the deck of the orange couch…

GG is sitting on one end with Lientje on her lap. I think they are mining for crypto currency or planning other sinister things. Henry and George are in the middle, curled up like yin and yang and snoring in concert. Me? I am at the other end of the couch, drinking tea and plotting which city to move to.

I have been comparing so many houses and cities that my glasses are need of a new layer of anti-glare coating! Yesterday I was in Leiden, working from the house of my remaining intern. He and his girlfriend live in this tiny old loft that is part of an enclosed complex that women once lived in. It’s known as a hofje which translates to little court. It It was right on the canal and is located all the way at the top, above the big gate that is the entrance to the complex.

Leiden is full of mysterious little courtyards and alleys that go between houses and wind behind them. It’s a very different topography than Amsterdam. Still cold though. It might be possible to skate on the canals on Thursday!

I’ve been pretty busy, with all my OpenEdx classes on everything from Project Management to Indigenous Education. I still would like to get that Master’s from UBC… However, not sure I want to leave Europe. Plus an amazing person came over from the US and I was busy bringing her across the Netherlands and her message of diversity in engineering. We had a great time and she recharged my battery.

Plus I am building knowledge bootcamps to expand skills and increase the diversity in tech.Next week I need to pitch my first one to the people from the US. I am excited by the chance because I would much rather reach 2000 in a single year than 60. This is making other people nervous since they were kind of happy with trying it 15 students at a time 😉

You could say that I am keeping myself busy with creating the next part of my working life 😉  I have definite time lines and goals in mind. One month from today and I will be on my way back to Seattle. I can’t wait to get a tofu scramble from PCC!!!



I am really disappointed… it was a total disaster inside, 100 times worse than what I was expecting. Not only that but I am sorrowful that such a beautiful house has fallen on such hard times, through neglect. There were holes in ceilings, animal droppings that I couldn’t recognize even with my years of pet parent experience, smells that defied the imagination and so much lack of care.

It’s a project that we can’t even begin to tackle, especially given the ridiculousness of their asking price. I gave the showing agents a rather forward piece of my mind, also for their reluctance to share information ahead of time and what I felt was a lack of professionalism regarding a transaction like this. They looked at me like I was two burritos short of the combo platter, which tells me that their job is way too easy. It is unbelievable that they didn’t even have reports of the measurements of the house or any other information.

There’s so much potential in that house, to be unlocked. But first you’d have to wade through 44 plus years of total neglect. I know it’s only a building but I couldn’t help thinking “What the hell is wrong with people?”

I think it is also fair to say that I am kind of mad. Not just disappointed but really mad. I know that I got myself super excited about this house and that’s on me.

I think I will have to pick it all away during my banjo lesson tonight. And try to wash it all way with a lot of hot water because I am not entirely sure that I didn’t pick up an entire collection of health hazards in there.

Back to the drawing board, damnit…

One more day to go…

Tomorrow, it’s the viewing of the potential site of the Crazy Train Project. I have been waiting a very long time (3 plus weeks) for this. I am sure that by the time I finally fall asleep tonight, I will be having all kinds of dreams involving a massive, run down monumental building and my mom going through it, making comments about which projects she would tackle first.

I have a good feeling about this one. I know I have said that before, in this eight month search for the right place. I am not scared of the mega project from hell in terms of renovation and rehab. I am not scared of walking through the massive front doors and saying in my outdoor voice “OMG, I am in love”.  By now, we’ve looked at enough places that GG and our realtor don’t even bother telling me to keep my enthusiasm slightly less obvious 😉 I will be paying attention to see if I hear Mom!

Rollins on Monday was fabulous. By accident, we were right in front of where he was standing on stage. He was presenting a slideshow of his travel photographs so he wasn’t in the center. Which I think might have disappointed the people who scrambled to be in the very center of the front row. He was powerful, funny, inspiring and a reminder of so many places and people in my life. I can never get enough of him.

Last night at the meetup I was hosting, one of the attendees tried to sell me on the idea of moving to a farm in France, where the cost of living is much lower. One small problem, my French is abysmal and well, I think I will try it out as a vacation destination first!

Anyway, think I am going to go and torture GG with some more ideas…



Rollins tonight!

Tonight we’re off to Eindhoven – also known as the home of Philips – yes, that one, to see Henry Rollins in his Travel Slideshow spoken word. It will be good to see him again. However, we have to go via the part of the country where the most and worst traffic jams occur so we’re leaving here pretty early. I think a little too early but I am not driving today. I am the nose blowing passenger.

I am holding off on taking the dwindling supply of Alka Seltzer under an hour before show time.

Last night I had a long talk with my brother about the Crazy Train Project. It’s a nice thing to be able to bounce some ideas of someone who is definitely a serial entrepreneur and can share that advice with me. He gave me some things to think about regarding this project. Even if this doesn’t turn out to be the right location, I really want to see this project come to life. I realized while I was talking to him that one of my inspirations for the project is DubSea Coffee. Which then started me thinking about 50 other possibilities!

Yesterday I ended up with a text message on my phone from someone who used to work with me a very long time ago, when I worked at the airport. That was definitely a trip down memory lane and it made me realize how much my life has changed since those times, good and bad. It also made me wonder how much have I changed myself. Needless to say, I gave myself so many things to think about, I ended up having very vivid dreams 😉

I think one thing is for sure, I don’t need to have an answer to every question anymore. Now, that’s progress in itself. For some people, they need a concrete understanding. There are some things in which you need to have it. For me, I think I am pretty good with just knowing that there are multiple possible answers and actually, the answers are not that important. Furthermore, there are some questions where there just are not any answers for that make any sense.. 😉 and that could only be something from a TV drama.

Anyway, one week from today and it’s the open house for building that the Crazy Train Project is based on. I wish it was today already!


Still snotty…

Okay, it’s going on more than a week now and every day brings a uniquely special experience – which sounds much more pleasant than symptom. Today, the green snot is making it’s debut. And let me tell you, judging by how hard I have to blow my nose, it’s not that eager to exit into the world.

I had tried the approach yesterday of holding off from consuming Alka Seltzer cold medicine, to see if I could hang tough like the Dutch and take the day off sick. Nope. I still worked.

After I finish my coffee this morning, I am going to dig into my shrinking stockpile of cold medicine and give in. Luckily, I am going back to the US next month so I can get some more.

A vacation decision has been made. We are going to France for three weeks. On the coast of Brittany, in a stone house that is 50 meters from the beach. Of course, this is the northern coast of France so the average temperature for June is 61 degrees F which also matches the water temperature. Put away your ideas of tanning on the beach and think instead walking for miles with wind and hair standing somewhere above your head – along with two small dogs and a great deal of French bread 🙂

It’s the first year that I do not have to focus on the last month of the fiscal year so we are able to go away early before the high season starts. This was a matter of some debate since Dutch vacation habits are to go in either July or August, depending on which province you live in. This mostly has to do with school vacations since children don’t have ten weeks off like they do in the US. We’re making our own rules 😉

Okay, time for Alka Seltzer… achoo!