Monthly Archives: May 2018

Words of wisdom

GG sent me this picture this morning after our discussion that while I might be getting enough hours of sleep, the quality leaves something to be desired. This is due to the exceptionally vivid and intense dreams that I am having. Normally I wake up a few times in the night (Fitbit tells me this) so the dreams I have a interupted. For the past few weeks, I have been sleeping through the night. This is good on one hand but it also means that now I have dreams that are the length of three full acts. And they have some very common themes!

WhatsApp Image 2018-05-27 at 11.21.45

With so many changes happening right now or about to happen, I feel like I am not making any progress in any direction. Note that I said “feel” because I know logically that isn’t true. I think that the fact that all of these changes carry at least two emotions, it is like I am one of those giant sodas (or Slurpee) from 7-11 where you would mix all the flavors together. It would come out with a strange color and a Β flavor tasting of not much other than sweet.

For example, on Thursday, in the morning I met with the lawyers about the ending of my employment contract. They gave me some things to consider, that I would not have thought about. I would say that it was a positive meeting, even if most people would have gone there with the intention of fighting to keep their employment. In the afternoon, the lawyer for all the other stuff was very low key and serious. However, she did not tell me “No, that’s not possible” and she gave us the structure and organizational plan for the new business and the foundation. Going back to the car, I was super hyper because I felt like things are really moving forward. They are.

On the other side, there’s the news that we won’t be able to move until the end of September. Ugh. Which stretches the time out longer that I will feel like I am in limbo. Plus the whole visa question. Plus the house in Seattle. All first world problems, I know. I want to make the best choices.

Last night, Marianne celebrated her birthday at Cafe Lennep which is located right on one of the canals. The weather was fantastic… how does she make that happen? πŸ˜‰ On the bike to and from reminded me again of what a beautiful city this is. While we were there, we met some of her colleagues and the conversations were deeply interesting. It was a great way to start her new year!

Tomorrow, it is back to statistics, data science and banjo. Hah, in that order as well if I look at my calendar.

No visible signs of maturity…

We survived the island of Terschelling. Or perhaps I should say it survived us. It was a birthday that somehow fit me very well. From the hurried scramble and swearing in traffic to get to Harlingen for the last fast ferry on time, to GG telling me at the bicycle rental that she should take the bike with the dog trailer due to the fact that she was a much more experienced cyclist to arriving at the vacation villa (that’s what they call them) at the end of a 15 km bike ride to find out that they had given us one that did not allow pets. This was only on Friday night πŸ˜‰

Saturday, we had perfectly overcast weather which made it ideal to walk the beach and try out the water. Well, at least George and I did. GG and Henry are not cold water types so they stayed safely out of the wave’s reach. If I remember correctly, I think I was chill for about an hour, due to the combination of wind and salt.

On my Sunday, the weather was sunny and bright. Perfect birthday weather if you are not a grouch like I am πŸ˜‰ Birthday cake for breakfast and then off to the another part of the island. As evidenced, this was much more to someone’s liking:

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I feel like Henry should come with a label that says “Resistance is futile, you cannot avoid being charmed by me!” Sunday, we all caught a sunburn. The combination of the all the fresh air, the wind, the sea, the bicycling everywhere were really good for inducing sleep. At night, it’s very dark there and positively still. Which I liked alot. I would go back, but in the fall.

On Monday, we loaded the bikes back up to head back to the harbour. This time, things did not go smoothly. Somewhere right outside of the vacation park, George decided he absolutely did not want to be riding in the dog trailer and damnit, he would find a way to get out. The 15km ride took two hours because we had to keep stopping to figure out ways to convince George to leash his inner Cujo. He was so determined to get out, he kept throwing himself against the side of the doggy trailer until he put a hole in the screen that he could then get his teeth into and tear through until he had a big enough opening to hang his body out of. While this is going on, Henry has also had enough and proceeds to bark at the top of his lungs the whole way through. Every village received the message that we were passing through, without a doubt. WhatsApp Image 2018-05-23 at 21.09.37

I was rather at my wit’s end when we reached the harbour. I was so mad at George that he tried to ignore me for the rest of the day because he knew he was not in good graces. At the bike rental, they were very nice when I talked to them about the damage and they suggested next time that we use the bike basket instead of the trailer type. They did give us our deposit back because another dog previous to us had eaten the top so they didn’t feel like they could charge us and not them. Which is lucky for George because he doesn’t get that much allowance!

Of course, here he is on the way home, while I am getting gas. Looks like the very picture of well behaved dog, doesn’t he? πŸ˜‰WhatsApp Image 2018-05-21 at 20.00.59

Tomorrow it’s a lawyer day. In the morning to the lawyer about the ending of my employment, to make sure everything is covered from a contractual piece. In the afternoon, to the lawyer for the paperwork for the new house and the future business. I am excited!

OH— I passed my Dutch as a second language exams!!!!! Not by much, but I passed all four exams at Level 2 all the same!!!!

Hi Mom,

I thought I might write you because as you probably know, I am just a little cranky. Today is a day that I start dreading at least ten days in advance. As each day gets closer, I get progressively more unpleasant to be around. πŸ˜‰

So right now, with the Gipsy Kings playing and the dogs snoring in their basket next to your old desk, I thought I might do something with all this feeling and write you a letter. I know that I normally talk to you in the air. I feel like there are so many things I am wrestling with this week, that I need to put things onto (digital) paper.

Mom, I remember where this photo was taken. It’s one of my favorites with you. I’m so glad we took that trip together. When we were walking for hours on this island, you were on the quest for more shells. I remember looking at my watch more than once and also trying to see if I could possible get any cell phone coverage. No luck in the middle of the Sea of Cortez and that was okay.

Being with you on, near and in water was a really fun combination of relaxation and stress. Keeping an eye on you while snorkeling while at the same time just letting go in the warm water generated such peace. We were doing this, having these adventures and falling asleep by 9PM in our tiny cabin.

You’ve been really present in my thoughts over the past few weeks. Not only due to Mother’s Day. The new house, the work I am doing, the work breakup all make me wish that you were here to share these things with.

Next weekend, we are going to one of the islands via fast ferry and rental bikes with dog baskets to spend the long weekend in the dunes, on the beach and probably only looking at the cold water. It came about a bit last minute (two days ago) because I figured I would do what you would have done, just go! I miss that, Mom. Sometimes things are too scheduled here for me.

I love you. Talk back sometime, I could use it πŸ™‚




So, the meeting this morning was what it promised to be. As of the first of June my job is finished. There were several pages of paper printed out and stapled together, in heavy duty Dutch. I wonder if this where they get sample texts for the language exams that I took? πŸ˜‰

I am surprisingly okay. It could have been the Sabaton I was listening to on the bus or the double dose of lavender oil under my nose or it could have been the awareness that it was actually a relief, to have it finally spoken out loud.

Either way, I maintained my composure and offered feedback about future versions of this program. And dodged the questions about I would do next πŸ˜‰ My inner juvenile delinquent was secretly saying “That’s for me to know and you to find out, sucka!” HA. Just reading that sentence makes me laugh.

Poor GG. I was up at 6AM because I couldn’t sleep any longer and it was not one of those mornings where I sneak about quietly and try not to make any noise. Oh no, it was 25K volts of energy and noise making. I made George look calm πŸ˜‰

This afternoon, I am working on my own certification track so I can catch up with my students.

As my mom would say “Have a Day”. πŸ˜‰


I’m looking out at the field where Ajax plays during the year in the Johan Cruijf Arena (what was formerly known as the Amsterdam Arena). Today, while I was at lunch, my manager called me. I called her back afterwards, since I was having lunch with someone from our big competitor with regards to the topic of partnering together to create some cool skills programs.

When I called my manager back, I got the news that tomorrow morning I have to be in the office at 9AM to meet with her and the representative from HR. So, it looks like the job is coming to an end. To be fair, I knew that one year ago when I took this role, it wasn’t on the organizational chart and could end up not being held into the future.

Looks like that has come true. Afterwards, I will just head here and go back to work with the data science students. We don’t have another coach tomorrow so even if they didn’t need me, I need them πŸ˜‰ Watching them grow more and more confident with the skills they are working so hard for is an incredible privilege and a reminder of all the things that are still possible, for me and for them.

It’s not the best timing, of course. But big changes and chances rarely subject themselves to a timetable. πŸ˜‰