Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections on 2007

So it's December 31st again, so, as a tradition, this is the moment for me to look back on this past year, and kinda decide on the good things and the bad things that have happened over these past 12 months. I always like doing this, so that a year later I can read it back, and sorta compare the stuff I wrote back then, with the current situation.

So, let's start with the good stuff. In January I started with my current job. I remember being a bit apprehensive... would I be doing alright? What if I downright sucked? Turns out: it's going really well. I like my job, I like my company, I like my co-workers! It's all great. Next week I'll be doing this for exactly a year, and I still like it as much, if not more, as I did one year ago.

The second most important thing I achieved in 2007, is quitting soking. On september 11th, I puffed away my very last cigarette. Since then, I haven't smoked again, not even one tiny puff. And to tell you the truth: I don't miss it, at all. I feel better, smell better, have a lot of spare money left. There's really just no advantages to smoking, so I'm really pleased, and really proud of myself for being able to quit. If I would have known it was this easy, I would have quit ages ago.

Of course, then there's the stuff you never really take the time to appreciate. I'm thinking of being healthy, having family and friends, living in a great city. You know, stuff you normally just take for granted, but really do deserve praise every now and then.

On the bad side: I still haven't been able to keep a relationship going. Earlier this year I sorta hooked up with E. again, except that hooking up isn't really the right word. We went out for three weeks and we kissed, but after that, it basically really ended between us. There are days when I just can't seem to cope wih it, and there are days when it's all just fine just the way it is. I guess it may take a while for it to really be okay, but I'm getting there.

As I cannot really come up with any more lows for this past year, I guess it's safe to say 2007 has been good to me. I sure hope 2008 will be even better!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Getting better

For the first time in four days, thank God, I'm finally able to breathe through my nose again. Guess those multivitamins are paying off finally. I know I'm a bit of a whiner, but I get so annoyed when I catch a cold. Nothing's fun to do anymore, and it seems as if the weekend has no use at all, since all you are able to do, is stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself.

Well, none of that for me anymore. This afternoon I'm going shopping! Now that the Christmas insanity is behind us, I suppose it's finally possible to go downtown without being mobbed by thousands of people from out of town, flocking here to buy their Christmas presents. We're finally getting back to some degree of normality, whatever that means.

So, since my family doesn't do presents on Christmas (this may sound strange for foreign readers, but actually in the Netherlands it's only a custom since a couple of years, we've got ourselves a different celebration for giving, called Sinterklaas, on december 5), I've got loads of money left to spend, which is exactly what I'm planning on doing this afternoon!

When I'm done, tonight Leendert's coming over for a beer, which I'm sure will be a nice evening. It's good to know the weekend isn't completely ruined by my cold!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Please cure me

Since Christmas, I've been having a terrible cold, that seems to be getting worse. I've been sneezing like hell for three days now and I really really want it to stop. What makes matters worse is the fact my throat feels like a truck has run over it, so I try to talk as little as possible.

It's not as if I'm not trying to cure it. I bought myself multivitamins and fresh juice, but so far it doesn't seem to be helping that much. I sure hope I'll be back on track before New Years' Eve...

At least tonight there will be a great movie on telly: Love Actually. I've seen that one on New Years Daay 2004 at the cinema, so I guess it will be nice seeing it again! That, and the fact I ordered delicious Chinese takeaway, will hopefully give me some kind of Fridaynight feeling.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The not so A-list

As Christmas dies out and New Year's Eve approaches, it's time for that very irrational way of looking back on the old year. I know that when it actually gets to December 31 everything will be different and I will look back on all the good things this year has given me, like my new job, and quiting smoking....

Right now I think I'm in this phase I'm in every year between Christmas and New Year, the phase where it feels as if I've acomplished nothing and just enter the new year as one big loser. Maybe it's true and maybe it isn't. I know not to take myself very seriously in this phase, so I don't.

It's a thing really, I know this from high school, it's what I do every year since I can remember. Don't listen to me, I get back to you with a new list, a GOOD list, with things actually acomplished!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So this is Christmas

Just got back home after two days at my parent's house, celebrating Christmas. I sure had a great time! Thuesday morning I arrived at around noon, so I was just in time for lunch, which actually meant stuffing myself with every sort of food there is. I guess that's the way Christmas is supposed to be, right? I sure know I'll be a lot heavier after these days, but I guess I can swim in off over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, for dinner we went gourmetten (I'm sure there's an English word for this, but I don't know what it is...) which is like a family tradition. As usual, it was delicious and a lot of fun! After dinner, we watched some movies and played some games, so basically everything went the way a family holiday is supposed to go.

This morning I was still at my parent's house, so I took a really long bath. When I got out, my sister, her husband and their two children had already arrived. Again, a great day with lots of food and drinks.

All in all, I had a great Christmas! Can't wait for the next!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you all have a great celebration!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Spookingly quiet

It's weird going to work on the Monday squeezed in between the weekend and Christmas. When I left my house this morning, it was spookingly quiet in the streets, and the busy was almost empty as well. Then, when I arrived at work, there was practically no-one there as well. For a minute it left me pissed off, since I did make an effort dragging my ass over there. This feeling lasted only shortly, though, cause the good thing about being there with just a bunch of people, makes you kinda connected to each ther, which calls for a cozy day.

And a cozy day it was. Besides that, I did actually manage to get quite some work done. It's a good thing, too, because of course it's not a very good prospect to know that after Christmas, on Thursday and Friday, I would be extremely busy. As of yet I don't think the two days off will really affect the routine for the rest of the week.

So now I'm at home, with Sara coming over in a couple of hours. Tomorrow morning I'll leave for my parents in Leeuwarden, but tonight I'm just gonna stay in.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter wonderland

It has been quite a busy weekend, exactly the way I like it. Friday after work I attented the goodbye function of a co-worker I've known for about 4 years. It was sad to see her go, but at least she ended it in style, with shitloads of wine!

Saturday I had to get up early, cause I was to visit my brother and his girlfriend, to see, for the first time, my new nephew. Travelling to Hilversum actually made me feel as if my relationship with Emiel had never ended. Just like in the old days, there were delays everywhere, so it too me over 4 hours to get there, instead of the two hours it's supposed to. Anyway, once I was there it was all forgotten, cause my nephew looked adorable.

After visiting them, I travelled along to Utrecht, to go and have drinks with my friend Arjen, which was a great way to spend the afternoon. Travelled back to Groningen (again, with delays, but not as horrible as it was the other way round) to spend the evening with Sara, which rounded up a great Saturday.

This morning I slept in, so now I'm just fucking about a bit. Because of the upcoming Christmas days, all the shops are open today, so I guess going shopping will be a nice way to end the weekend.

Tomorrow I have to go to work as usual, but then of course thuesday and wednesday will be Christmas Day and Boxing Day (allthough we call Boxing Day ' Second Christmas Day' in Holland) so it's gonna be an easy as pie week for me! Besides, it's cold outside, but at least there's a little bit of snow, so it's kind off a Winter Wonderland!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My karaoke pictures

Remember how I wrote about doing karaoke at my office Cjristmas function last week? Well, here they are, the samefull evidence! Actually, I think the pictures are quite nice!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Comfy on the couch

Because of the holidays coming up, everything needs to be done before a certain date this month. Well, actually, we've got this every month, the differnce is this month everything needs to be done a lot earlier. I kind of enjoy that, because it ensures me being busy all day long, which is always something I like.

Even better is, after work you get home kinda tired so nothing feels better than to lay on the couch or have friends over, especially when it's as cold as it is right now. So, having people over is exactly what I did. In about 5 minutes Leendert is gonna have a drink with me and do some catching up. It's a good way to end a quite hectic day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My own values

Because of an email I just received from one of my readers, I feel like setting the record straight. In these past few posts, where I was pretty pissed of on American politics, and, more in particular, the Christian Right, I might have given you the wrong idea. I do not, let me repeat that, do not hate Christians at all. I was raised a Christian myself, and as many of you may know, once raised that way, you never really lose it.

While I think it goes too far to say I'm a real believer, relegion is something that gets me thinking, which I think is one of the main goals of religion in the first place. While I may not have all the answers, it's good to take some time once in a while to think it all through, and sort of find your place in the universe. Each person needs to do this for themselves, and wether the outcome is God, Allah, JHWH or whichever entity you prefer, that's up to you.

This is exactly what brings me to the anger I expressed in these last posts. While I do not hate Christians, or Christianity an sich, I do hate the fact that may religious people (this doesn't just go for Christians, but for other believers as well, the point is these past posts have been about Christians so I'll stick to that subject) try to impose their believes upon the rest of the world. I want to be able to choose my values, my believes, and my way of thinking. I want to be able to express them, just like I think a Christian has the right to express his or hers values, believes, and way of thinking.

The difference is, I'm not trying to get someone else to think the same way, through brainwashing, or, worse, legislature. Just because I'm gay, that doesn't mean the whole world has to be, or even to be accepting. As long as it doesn't lead to any hate speech or hate crimes, I suppose a homophobe can do whatever he wants. Why then is it, that as soon as relegion mixes with politics, suddenly the entire population is pushed to take on the values and believes of that particular believe system?

The ironic thing is that in the United States the Christians got so much fuss about Muslims trying to impose their faith on others, while Christians in the United States are doing the exact same thing. Again, there's nothing wrong with believing in God or in Allah, but please keep the 'live and let live' idea in mind. I like to be able to make up my own mind.

Screw the Republicans

You would almost think I'm an American citizen, the amount of posts I'm using to write about the upcoming elections, but I guess it's just something I'm really interested in, so pardon me for doing so, but here's another one.

Today I'd like to talk a bit about Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor (as was Bill Clinton) Republican second tier (at this moment, but who knows what happens) hopefully for the White House. I suppose Kuckabee isn't as high profile outside of the United States as Clinton, Obama or Guliani, but I do think he's a force to be reckoned with. What seems to be the case? The entire Christian Right, lead by fuckers such as Don Wildmon and James Dobson is flocking together to support him as the Republican (what else when it comes to the Bible Belt) candidate.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this. Both American Family Association (AFA) and Focus on the Family (FotF) are tax exempt organisations. Now I may not be an expert on the subject, but as far as I know this status prevents them from taking on a political statement, let alone actually supporting a candidate. So how do they do it? Simple: Dobson only makes 'personal statements' that of course have nothing to do with his ministry, while AFA, through OneNewsNow, is very very selective when it comes to the news items they post. In order words: only news that's positive for Huckabee, or, even better, negative news about the other candidates or (God forbid) the Democrats.

Anyway, needless to say Huckabee is another homphobic, pro-life, conservative nutcase, but the scary thing of course is that those are exactly the kind of people who might have a chance of winning in the United States. For some reason the evangelists are a force to be reckoned with. Let's pray to God (how ironic is that) the Democrats will conquer, not just for the Americans, but for the entire world!

Models and mindfucks

To me, nothing's better than a good start to a new week. When a Monday goes disastrous, usually that' a sign it won't be much of a good week to come. Luckily enough, today everything went fine, so I guess it's gonna work out nicely the next couple of days.

At work, it was just a usual day, nothing really special. Sometimes it's good to have a usual day, sort of to get you going. That's exactly how I felt today, so I was glad nothing surprising or stressful happened, and I could just do my job.

After work, I went home for dinner, and then into the freezing cold (we're not really used to extreme weather in Holland) to Ziena's place. The finale of Holland's Next Top Model was on, so of course we needed to watch that. I'm glad to say that even though my favourite (Kassandra) didn't win, at least it wasn't that stupid bitch Carmen either. Really, how little brain cells can a person have?

Anyway, while watching the show, we were playing Trivial Pursuit as well, and I won big time, so of course I was in a good mood. Now I'm back home, so it's bed time for me. Sorry for not having anything really interesting to write, I'll make it up to you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christian Right are insane!

Does anyone of you know who Norman Podhoretz is? The answer will probably be 'no', even though Podhoretz is a pretty influential neo-con, being quite involved in several American administrations, perhaps most notably the Reagan admin. A couple of years ago, he got rewarded with some big medal, handed out to him by George W. Bush (how much of an honour can that be???), so it's safe to say he's kind of a big shot.

So why am I writing all this? Well, I just read an article about this guy, and to me it proved once again the Christian Right is insane. This guy wants to bomb Iran as soon as possible, thinks gay marriage is a farce and actually thinks Bush is a great president.... How fucked up is that? Have the Americans found out some fancy new brainwash technique or something?

These past couple of months, because of the upcoming elections, I've been reading quite a lot about the Republicans, especially the Bible Belt where the so-called Christian Right originates. These people are honoustly insane. I think it has something to do with inbreed in those incest states, but they seriously act as if they're retarded. Just listening to their stupid accent proves to me there is no place as bad to live as America. Land of the free? My ass! All they want to do is impose their religious believes on the rest of the population, and they don't give a fuck how they do it.

I've never been to the United States, so, granted, all I know is what I read or see on television, but I guess the ignorance a lot of Americans show in just 2 minute interviews, makes me fear the worst. I would really love to go to the States on holiday one time, but to live there? Never!

Trivial pursuit

Ziena's birthday has been great! I used up the enitre Saturday afternoon to go buy her a present, which I eventually did by getting her Trivial Pursuit, the board game with all the questions that make everyone look incredibly ignorant and therefor is so much fun! Anyay, I'm glad I got er the gae, cause obviously I really like playing it myself as well, so hopefully she'll indulge me tomorrow after swimming!

Got there at about 9, only to find out I was actually running a little late, since all the other guests were already there. I got to meet her boyfriend's parents, which was nice! The rest of the guest list stayed up until about 1 at night, so afterwards it was just Ziena, Harm Jan and I. We decided to go out for a drink and some clubbing. After surviving the Arctic feeling cold, we ended up in a place called Tramps, where we had a nice beer. After that, it was up to The Golden Arm (the local gay club) which was fun, albeit not very crowded.

Went home at about 3, so I felt pretty good today, and enjoyed a very nice afternoon at my parents. As usual, a great weekend!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy birthday Ziena!

Happy birthday to my best friend in the whole world Ziena, who turns 25 today! I have to go birthday shopping, cause tonight we'll be celebrating the occasion!

Singing bee

Ysterday it was time for the annual Christmas function at work, and boy did I have fun! As usual there was karaoke, so of course I was deseperate to get uo on stage, but Ziena didn't want to. So, when a pop quiz came along, I pushed her on stage, so she hates my guts now haha. Actually, I think she already forgave me!

Anyway, Co-worker Ciska and I performed Wannabe, which is of course the collest Spice Girls song ever, and I think we were pretty much a hit, according to the way people in the audience were cheering. It was totally cool!

And speaking of karaoke, my office mate Harm Jan and both filled in the application form to be a contestant on Singing Bee, which is like Pop Idol but without the talent. All you have to do is know the words, you don't need to have a great singing voice! I really hope we'll get ourselves into the screentest!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Same old, same old

The movie was great, uplifting, loveable... and now I'm in a terrible mood for not having a boyfriend. Fuck, I almost forgot how shitty it is to be alone in December, with all the holidays coming up. As I wrote before, Alles Is Liefde is like a Dutch version of Love Actually, and come to think of it, a couple of years ago, when that movie came out, it got me in a bad mood as well, for the same reasons.

It seems as if everyone has a boy- or girlfriend in December, except for me. And you know what the stupidest thing is? It's the same every fucking year. It doesn't matter how long whichever relationship lasts throughout the year, but it's sure enough to end right in time before the holiday season, ensuring I'll spend both Christmas days at my parents, and New Year's Eve with friends.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with celebrating the holidays like that, except I'm sick of watching them all kiss each other every year at twelve, while I'm just hovering about a bit. Damn, I really really really do need a boyfriend...

All is full of love

Yesterday evening indeed Ziena and I went swimming, which is always the time to talk (and espcially gossip) ourselves through the past day. There is some gossip going on at the moment, you wouldn't believe it, but unfortunately there's no way in hell I would be able to post it here, in case the people involved would read this. Anyway, it always makes for nice evenings.

After swimming, as usual, we went to Ziena's place to watch a movie. This time it was Bram Stoker's Dracula, mostly because of Ziena's obsession with Keanu Reeves. Well, actually I think he's pretty hot myself, but that's our little secret okay? Anyway, it's a nice movie, even though I've watched it like tons of times. At least one horror movie that doesn't scare the shit out of me!

Tonight I'm going to the cinema with Anneke, to watch the Dutch movie Alles is Liefde (it could be translated as 'All is full of love') . For people from outside of Holland who will probably never see this movie: think of it as a Dutch version of Love Actually and you sorta get it. I think it will be a nice evening, this movie has broken box office records here in Holland so it can't be all crap, right? Besides, of course it's nice spending the evening with Anneke, so of course we also go for a drink to catch up!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Planning ahead

In just two days the weekend kicks in already. Incredible how fast a week can go by when you're busy! This weekend has potential of being great! Friday I'm having a Christmas function at work, so I think it's going to be really nice rasising a glass with my co-workers on the year past and the one to come.

Saturday I'm going to Hilversum to get a first look of my new nephew! He was born last week, so it's about time I get to see him. While I'm in Hilversum, there's nothing wrong with doing a little shopping, so that's exactly what I'm planning to do! I've got a good reason too, since I have to go buy a birthday present for Ziena.

Which brings me to Saturday night, which I will be spending at Ziena's house celebrating her birthday with her friends, family and her boyfriend. Sunday I'm planning on going to Leeuwarden to visit my parents, so that will round up a nice weekend.

But let's not plan ahead too far, there's two days to go. In just half an hour Ziena and I are going swimming (you'd think I'd gone straight and Ziena's my girlfriend judging by my posts, but don't worry, that's not the case) and watch a movie afterwards, probably Bram Stoker's Dracula, starring Keanu Reeves and stealing bitch Winona Ryder haha.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

3 months, and counting

Can you believe this? It's actually been three months since I puffed away my last cigarette! Since then, I haven't even taken one drag, so I think it's safe to say I'm officially smoke-free. Even better: if it wasn't because of other people noticing, I wouldn't have even thought about it today, so this special moment would have past without notice.

During these past three months I definitely started feeling better, heathier. As you know I exercise quite a lot nowadays, and I sure enough can feel I get more breath and can be more active without feeling exhausted. You can notice the first differences almost immediately, but after a couple of months it actually feels as if you've never been an addict.

Not a day goes by without me being happy not to be a smoker anymore. For instance, as I'm writing this blog entry, it's raining outside. Imagine I'd run out of cigarettes just a minute ago. The former addict in me would have insisted going on a 15 minute walk to the gas station to buy a new package, no matter what fucked up weather it would be. In contrast, imagine me sitting all warm and cosy in my house, with a nice glass of ice tea, listening to the rain outside. Need I say more?

When you're reading this as a smoker, I can wholeheartedly recommend quiting. It may seem like an intolerable sacrifice, but really: it ain't that hard! You'll love yourself for it afterwards.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tickets and parties

It has been a very active, and really great weekend! Friday night, after work, there was a party at my former student's club Cleopatra (because it exists for 22 years now). There were many people I hadn't seen in quite a while, including my ex-boyfriend R., with whom I had a beer. It was a nice party, albeit one withjust a little bit too much booze haha.

Saturday morning of course I had to get up early to buy my Kylie Minogue KYLIEX2008 Tour tickets at Ahoy Rotterdam, so when that paid off I was really thrilled. To celebrate I also bought myself the brand new double DVD White Diamond - ShowGirl Homecoming live in Melbourne (also by Kylie of course). Great set, and I really can't wait to go and see Kylie again! The last time was ShowGirl in Rotterdam, so it's about time!

After acquiring my tickets, I went out for lunch with Ziena and Harm Jan (Ziena's boyfriend). I'm a big sucker for going out for lunch, so of course this was a pleasant way to start off the afternoon. After lunch, I went shopping, so before I knew it it was about dinner time.

After dinner, my good friend Bo came over for a drink. He lives in Utrecht nowadays so it's always a pleasure seeing him again whenever he's in Groningen or I'm in Utrecht. We had a couple of drinks and then went to a birthday party. My friends Remco and David are celebrating their birthday together every year, and this year was no exception. Nice party, talked to loads of people, really enjoyed myself!

Sunday afternoon I went to Leeuwarden to go visit my parents. It was my mother's birthday last Friday, so we went to celebrate on Sunday. Besides my parents, also my sister, her husband, and their two children were present. Went back home after dinner and enjoyed a quiet evening doing nothing, which was a good thing after all the frenziness!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I've got my tickets!

I'm just too thrilled! I've got my tickets (general admission, floor) for KYLIEX2008 at Ahoy Rotterdam, june 23! To celebrate I also bought the new White Diamond/ShowGirl Homecoming DVD! This is a Kylie-tastic weekend!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Once, twice, three times a baby

I got uncle for the third time! My brother's girlfriend has given birth to my new nephew! Of course, I haven't seen him yet, but I'm sure he looks the same as every baby does, which is generally quite good. So, now I've got a nephew of 2.5, a niece of 0.5 and a nephew of 1 day. This is gonna cost me so much money in birthday presents hahaha!

Anyway, since my brother lives two hours away from me and this Sunday I need to go to my mother's birthday party, I don't think it will be before next weekend to go visit, but then again, how much can a baby change in one week?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Here comes the steamboat

Today it's Sinterklaas in Holland, which is a local folklore foreigners will probably not know. Think of it as a Dutch version of Sanata Claus, except Sinterklaas is more fun, less commercial, and celebrated on Dec. 5. Late November Sinterklaas arrives in Holland by means of a steamboat, traditionally on a large scale in some city for the televized event, and then on a somewhat more intimate scale in every city in the country. From that point on, there are festivities leading to the big night on dec. 5.

Of course, all of this is mainly intended for children, but I guess I can talk for a lot of Dutchies when I say I still get nostalic from the whole thing, and I really like it all. Traditionally Sinterklaas comes to visit my office every year, so I had a chance to go on a photo with him. Of course I know it's just someone who's dressed up, but I guess it's like Disneyland: you know it's just a person in a big mouse-costume, but at that moment you could swear it's the real Mickey.

Seeing I don't have any children or little brothers or sisters, I won't be celebrating it tonight, but the fun upfront was good enough for me! Santa Clause eat your heart out!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The return of the Spice Girls

Yesterday was opening night of The Return Of The Spice Girls Tour 2007-2008 at the General Motors Place Arena in Vancouver, Canada. I had a chance to buy tickets for the show in Cologne, but didn't, because of transportation issues. After seeing pictures like the one at the top of this post, I feel really stupid not going. The show seems awesome!

Standard but lovely

The weekend has been very nice but went by, as usual, way too soon. Friday after work I went home for some sitcom watching. At about ten I went into town for some drinks. Turned out to be a great evening, perfect way to start off the weekend.

Saturday I went to get my hair cut, and then went back into town for some shopping and a drink with Dirk. Then at night Martijn came over, and I went to sleep at about two in the morning (without Martijn obviously, in case it would sound that way).

Sunday I went, as I usually do, to Leeuwarden to visit my parents. Another great day! All in all, a pretty standard, but lovely weekend!
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