Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Weird people

(Really, it's not that big...)

Scene from Burn After Reading

For some reason it's stuck in my mind these days. Sometimes I have a little voice in my head telling me something along these lines. "So what did we learn from this? Not to do it again I guess. Whatever the fuck it was that we did in the first place." The actual quote shows I'm paraphrasing.

CIA Superior: What did we learn, Palmer?
CIA Officer: I don't know, sir.
CIA Superior: I don't fuckin' know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.
CIA Officer: Yes, sir.
CIA Superior: I'm fucked if I know what we did.
CIA Officer: Yes, sir, it's, uh, hard to say
CIA Superior: Jesus Fucking Christ!

The scene as a whole can be seen here although if you haven't seen the film, it won't make much sense. If you have, it is indeed one of the funniest scenes in the whole flick. The quote above can be seen from about 2:40 onwards.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Bibs et al from all over the place

Over the years I have been lucky enough to get to know a lot of people in different places in the world. Some of them are people I have never met in person but I know them from the internet and have been interacting with them for so long that I have little to no doubt that if I were to meet them in person, we would have no trouble getting along like old friends.

Some time ago I asked these 'internet friends' to send me little bibs (slabbetjes) or burp cloths (spuugdoekjes) from where they live. So far three of them responded with lovely packages. I will post pictures of their treasures here. (Alas, they will remain nameless - such is the nature of the internet community. Please rest assured that I at least know who they are.)

From Las Vegas, US

From (Northern) Ireland

From England

Short update

So here's my belly at the moment, how I see it from above. On the floor below a ray of sunlight because Spring has arrived! What the picture does not show are the movements inside my tummy. It sometimes also shows on the outside. Ploink ploink ploink, like little kittens under a blanket.

I have not posted much lately because I am constantly either working or recovering because I have the flu and it just won't go away. So today is another day spent at home doing useful things for very short periods of time followed by resting resting resting. I had hoped to be able to work more now but it seems that the body says NO to that. And I have got to listen. And so I do.

(Still sucks though.)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Revelation of the day

It was the Autumn of 2008. Someone had decided to pay me some money for an article and I decided to spend that money on a kick-ass leather jacket I wanted. It is green. It is awesome. It is the perfect jacket to wear in Autumn and Spring. I love it. And then this happened just now. My thought processes, approximately:

- Oooh, my kick-ass leather jacket! I love that one!
- Bet I can't wear it now anymore, with my big belly.
- I love it.
- Okay, let me give it a try anyway.
[Puts on jacket, elastic band has no trouble with belly, zipper goes up.]
- Hurray! It fits! How awesome.
[Feels happy about how kick-ass leather jacket is even more kick-ass than anticipated.]
[Turns around and faces self in mirror.]
[Sees something like the picture above.]
[Takes off jacket. Not to be worn this Spring.]
- Pfffff.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Life is for the living

(14 April 2010, Amsterdam)

Life. I frequently engage in online conversations about how people choose to spend their lives. I don’t mean in terms of family, home, car, job. I mean in terms of taking risks, following their hearts, listening to that little voice inside. (This ranges from total rehauls of their lives to intuitive eating, by the way.) It is interesting because although many, if not most, people agree that following what feels right would be the right thing to do, only so many people do it. It seems that “life gets in the way”.

Wasn’t it John Lennon who said that “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”? Lennon was shot dead on December 8 1980 just after a three year career break to take care of his son Sean. He had just released a new album. There was of course a lot of outrage at Lennon’s death. It was murder after all and that is always a life cut short. Yet reading about his life one can hardly say that he wasted it; it was pretty full. (See for example wikipedia.) Was he just making plans or was he living them?

Somehow this connects in my mind with films like The Bucket List (2007) in which two men escape the cancer ward to check off things they want to do before they die, or ‘kick the bucket’. Heck, I even though of The Last Holiday (2006) with the ever-fabulous Queen Latifah as the heroine who decides to spend her last days on earth treating herself to some luxury. Things she wouldn’t have done had she not known she was about to die. Two works of fiction, two fairytale productions. Things don’t happen like that in real life. “Life gets in the way.” After all, we all know we are going to die, don’t we? At some point our hearts will give in or some weird cells in our boobs go berserk or a taxi driver will be speeding, making a phone call and adjusting his radio at the same time. Or we fall off our bikes, like that girl I know about when I was still in school. She was biking on the road with her family, fell on the pavement, hit the side of her head and that was that.

So does that mean she shouldn’t have biked? She was sure to be busy making other plans than falling down and dying. She should have been, she was barely a teenager. How lucky I am, or someone like me is, that I got to experience all the things that I experienced after the age that she reached. School, kisses, champagne, sex, vacations, feeling pretty, comforting other people, tasting new foods - all those things. But was her life any less full than mine because she didn't experience that? Was she any unhappier than me, just because her life ended so soon?

So I’m not saying that I feel lucky just because I was more fortunate than that girl and got to live longer, only that I am lucky at all. You see: I have possibilities. I have the luxury of being able to sit down and make a bloody bucket list, should I want to. I am in a position to look at my life and make the changes if I need to.

Even now with two kiddies on the way; two kiddies I already love with all my heart yet who will define a large part of the rest of my life. I will have responsibilities beyond anything I have ever had to care for before. But the gods know that it was very much my decision to have them. (Granted, the ‘twins’ aspect of it was a bit of a shock…) This is an experience I want to have, and I am lucky enough to have it now.

The kiddies but also every other aspect of my life are more or less the result of the realisation that I am the only one who can change anything about my life. Either that or determine my reaction to what life throws at me. Nobody will do this for me – it’s in my hands. Actually that makes me one of the luckiest people in the world, doesn’t it?

What's with the chopper?
It landed on the field in front of our building last week.
Two medics came out, only one went back in when it took off.
The other stayed in the flat nearby. I couldn't see what was happening there.
It took a long time. The policeman by the door looked very bored.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Photo of the day

(6 April 2010, Amsterdam)
Another waiting dog...

Ridiculous phenomena

Some time ago I already reported about the strange phenomenon so... artistically... illustrated above. (Drawing was never my best subject.) I am also starting to notice more practicalities that are hardly ever described in books, blogs or other information sources about pregnancy. Not even for twin moms.

For example:
The special supporting belly bands and underwear, so convenient for helping your muscles, sinews and whatnot carry all that extra weight, have to hold on to something. That something is you. The fact that they need to support means that they need to be tight-ish. O-kay. This does not help with the belly breathing so emphatically taught in yoga class. Nor does it agree with my kidneys - or rather, my kidneys do not agree with the situation. So I'm constantly adjusting the damn things.

For example:
My friend D reported on her trouble with parking. In Holland we do a lot of parallel parking and that means you need to look over your shoulder to see the back of the car. Can't turn. Luckily (...) I usually avoid parallel parking when I can. But that's not because of the belly. That's because I am a total girl when it comes to parking.

For example:
(please note, this one may be TMI: too much information!)
How do people with big beer bellies manage it? I am usually not too big and not all too flexible but okay. Now I am finding that my tummy gets in the way when I'm... um... finishing off in the bathroom. Reach the other way around now, babe! Haha! It's not like I have such ridiculously short arms or anything! I'd say they're normal length...

To think I'm only at 5 months...

Monday, 5 April 2010

Photos update

Um... I admit it. I totally failed at making a picture each and every day. I carry my camera with me at all times but often I simply forget to shoot a picture. I make photos for other things, like my work, but not for myself. I should really do that more often! Remind me.

Here are some of the photos that I did shoot in the past few weeks.

(19 March 2010, Schiedam)
This man took his shoes off while waiting at Schiedam station. He had just put them again on when I shot this picture. Please note: it was really cold that day!

(22 March 2010, Waddenzee)
On the boat to Schiermonnikoog. That is Friesland (Lauwersoog) there in the distance.

(23 March 2010, Schiermonnikoog)
This little fellow was waiting while his people were up on the bunker. He had the same resignation in his stance as most people I have seen waiting for trains, trams or other people.

(5 April 2010 - today, Amsterdam)
The Flemish chips shop in the Voetboogsteeg in Amsterdam is famous as the best one in town. It is too. There is usually a long line of people. And lots of people sitting and standing around eating their chips. This boy had spent quite some time and effort on obtaining his perch for eating. (The ladies in the front don't seem very amused by my camera action.)