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17 March 2009 @ 12:06 pm
I'm sorry to all you mothers, but really, when your kid reaches two years old, just say two years old. Don't say 27-month-old. Honestly, I think the month stuff should end after one year, but really, by two, it's just getting silly.

So yeah, a bit of a peeve of mine. Feel free to ignore this. Just needed to vent.

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Current Mood: bitchybitchy
11 February 2009 @ 06:27 am
I've woken up at 5 a.m. the past couple of mornings, but this morning, I gave up on trying to fall back to sleep. It's kind of hard to sleep when you're feeling all weepy. Why was I weepy? Because due to Facebook and the fact that I've found a few old friends/acquaintances from my Florida days, I ended up remembering some details of my 10th grade year.

Tenth grade was the year that I went to three different schools in two different states. I found out we were moving to North Carolina the day before I started 10th grade. I was miserable. I was starting at Evans High School the next day, which was a new school to me, but I knew people already from ninth grade (our last year of junior high before Orlando switched to the middle school program), and best of all, my best friend was going there, as well! We had both gone to private schools in the past, but were both going to be at Evans together finally, even though she was a year ahead of me.

I was in the gifted English class that year at Evans, and I remember the teacher taking one day out of class to let all of us voice any anxiety, misery, stress, etc. that we might be dealing with in any part of our life. This was inspired after one of her students had killed himself and no one had known he was dealing with so much unhappiness. We were a small class but there were a lot of stories that day. In one sense, it was great, because I realized that people who seemed so together were having troubles, too. On the other hand, though, I was soooo not able to talk about how unhappy I was. I cry easily, but I hate crying in public and I knew that I was bound to end up in tears. Plus, I just didn't feel capable of talking about all my fears about the upcoming move. So I lied and said my life was fine. Ha!

When we did eventually move, it seemed like all my worst fears were coming true. I hated the first school I ended up at in North Carolina. People were incredibly non-welcoming and at times, downright mean. It was looking to be a very long two and a half years if I was going to have to stay there.

Fortunately, we found a house (we'd been living in an apartment while we looked for a permanent place) in another school's district. It was my third school that year, but this time I didn't mind leaving the previous school. I figured the new place couldn't be any worse, but just may be slightly better. In fact, it was considerably better. I ended up being taken under the wing, so to speak, of a group of seniors who I met in my European history class. It was a senior-level class, but as it was the closest the school had to my previous world history courses, I got stuck in there. I still don't know what the rest of the tenth graders studied in terms of history that year.

I even ended up with my first serious boyfriend that year, although I freaked out a bit that summer and broke up with him for no reason. I still feel bad about it to this day. I think it was a case of when summer came, suddenly there was no more stress and pressure, at least, not like I'd been dealing with, and in a way, I guess I didn't want any reminders of that tough year. He was a reminder and a source of some stress, in the general sense of the stress of any relationship. I was notoriously bad about freaking out when a guy suddenly showed interest in me. I was such a weirdo!

So yeah, that was a rough year for me, and that summer even got a bit rough when I went back to Orlando to visit my best friend and things seemed different. It's all something that I haven't thought about in years, decades! Suddenly thinking about it at 5 a.m. probably isn't the best time to do it. It's too easy to start feeling sorry for your 15/16-year-old self. ;)

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22 December 2008 @ 03:41 pm
My mood wasn't so hot this morning as it was, since I didn't sleep well last night. In fact, despite going to bed around 8 p.m. -- ostensibly to read for a few minutes before likely falling asleep soon after -- I didn't actually get to sleep until after 3 a.m.

Things took an even greater turn for the worse when the mail arrived. There was a large envelope for me from the Gemeente Utrecht. Official mail is never a good thing. Sure enough, they seem to be telling me that I have to sign up for the inburgering, basically language and cultural integration courses with a big exam at the end. The thing is, per what I was told at IND, I thought I didn't have to do this, since I'm here as a partner of an EU citizen. (G's Italian nationality has proved to be highly beneficial in our move and has exempted me from various hassles.) If he'd been Dutch, I would have had to take the course -- and paid a lot more for my temporary residence, etc.

I'm pretty sure this is just a mix-up on the Gemeente's part, but now I've got to find where it officially says that I don't have to take this course/exam. I also need to make sure that I won't need it to get my permanent residency in five years. It's all quite confusing. It's not that I'm not trying to integrate, after all. We're even taking language lessons from a friend! She's coming tomorrow for another lesson. I suspect much of the lesson will be taken up with asking her to read a few websites, along with the information packet I received today, since it's all in Dutch and the Google Translate site is doing weird things with the translations today. Nederland/Nederlands is being translated to England/English, and at one point, Utrecht was translated as Singapore!

Anyway, now I'm all grumpy and pissy and despite the fact that I finally found ground/minced chicken, it's frozen solid and I'm not sure it will be defrosted in time for dinner. On top of that, I'm not sure if any of our default restaurants are open tonight, today being a Monday.

And I had uitsmijter (minus the ham) for lunch today. Don't tell me I'm not integrating!
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
18 December 2008 @ 05:33 pm
Not much of that these days, is there! Even my Utrecht journal has been a bit short on content, although I've added some photos recently.

Since I do talk about food a lot on this blog, I'll talk about our dinner tonight.

A few days ago, we were at the Potdeksel (our local) and were talking with Kris, who is the son of the owner of the bar. We've become quite friendly with the whole family, thanks to the people from whom we bought our house. Anyway, it was a quiet night at the Potdeksel, and we were the only ones there for much of the evening. As well as playing some pinball (each of us won one round, as it turned out) and seeing old photos of the bar and the family, we ended up getting a tour of the basement area where they store the kegs and various other bar sundries. It's quite impressive! A behind-the-scenes tour, so to speak!

We also got to sample the smoked sausage that the family had had for dinner that night. They had some leftover and Kris gave us some to try. Delicious! Amusingly, it comes from Hema, which is a great store that's a mishmash of food, clothing, hardware, kitchenware and various other wares. We were out running errands today in that area anyway, so we stopped in today and bought some of the sausage, along with another sausauge that has cheese inside it. To accompany this, we'll be having the zuurkool stamppot (sauerkraut mixed in with mashed potatoes). Of course, we've got a spicy stone-ground mustard, as well, which goes perfectly with sausage.

We also stopped in to a fancy Italian market today to look for stuff for our Christmas day feast. We didn't find what we were looking for, but we did find burrata, one of my absolute favorite cheeses. We picked up some salami and a nice wine, as well, so the trip was hardly a bust.

To cap it all off, G's person at UPS sent a nice thank-you package that included the ubiquitous calendar, but the not-so-ubiquitous wine decanter and two bottles of Chilean wine. Not bad!
18 December 2008 @ 05:25 pm
Via tgrfan23
I actually got a nice one first, but it was boring and there were too many nuns. The naughty one was much more fun!
Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In September I had a shoot-out with rival gang lords on the 5 near LA (-76 points). In August I gave change to a homeless guy (19 points). In March I broke kicksie's X-Box (-12 points). Last Wednesday I helped aspirantekiwi see the light (8 points). Last Thursday I ruled Asscrackistan as a cruel and heartless dictator (-700 points).

Overall, I've been naughty (-761 points). For Christmas I deserve a lump of coal!


Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:
Current Mood: hungryhungry
09 December 2008 @ 09:30 am
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

--Albert Einstein
Current Mood: calmcalm
08 December 2008 @ 04:42 pm
A music meme copied from friends and posted here and on Facebook:

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: For those who are guessing -- looking the lyrics up on a search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own

(I threw in an easy-ish bonus song at the end to make up for the Italian song. Post your guesses in the comments.)

1. Looking at the room/I can tell that you
2. honey yer junkie ass is fryin
3. Now there's a lifestyle/ With painted lips
4. I'm a rolling thunder, a pouring rain
5. Al had the guile and the sideways smile
6. The roots go deep below ground/ I like to walk with you in the evening
7. Louise only got from me innocent poetry
8. My love, tell me what it's all about
9. When I die and they lay me to rest, gonna go to the place that's the best
10. My aunt is living in the country in a house by the water
11. Me with the floorshow/ Kickin' with your torso
12. Well, you get up every morning/ And you see, it's still the same
13. E' una passione giocosa/ Un buon sentimento
14. You are apples and I am tangerines
15. I'm trying not to stare, it's too late
16. I walk along these city streets you used to walk along with me
17. Rock y'all/No stop y'all/ To the beat y'all
18. There's an angel on the stairs/ (as if you'd even care)
19. Two to one you don't love me/three to one you don't care
20. Trying to remember what I know I should forget.
21. Christopher Robin and I walked along/ Under branches lit up by the moon
22. Young teacher, the subject/ Of schoolgirl fantasy
23. Never used to be that bad/neither was it great
24. [song title] Made a deal for some angel food
25. Tires type black/ Where the blacktop cracks
26. Disarm you with a smile
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Current Mood: amusedamused
03 December 2008 @ 09:18 pm
I'm dying here! A friend in London has a suddenly spare ticket to see Fat Freddy's Drop tomorrow night and offered it to me, but I just can't justify the airfare right now, even on airlines such as easyjet. *sob*

I've been dying to see them, but they just won't come to the Netherlands! It would be even more fun to see them with her, as she's a fellow NZ music fan/freak. Stupid broken economy! Why can't London be that little bit closer? Why can't they play here?
Current Mood: sadsad
24 November 2008 @ 03:51 pm
Although I may not sound Southern, I am a Southern girl at heart. I love okra, grits, cornbread, collard greens and pecan pie.  I was worried that I'd have trouble finding a few of the ingredients necessary for some of these dishes once I moved here to Utrecht, but I've been pleasantly surprised.

The outdoor market on weekends at Vredenburg has been a goldmine of Southern ingredients. First I found okra; then this past Saturday I found corn meal (grits and cornbread!) and pecans. There's also a British/American food store that sells Karo syrup, so I won't have any trouble making my beloved pecan pie with it's ooey gooey filling that makes me so happy.

Despite my difficulty in finding baking soda today, my first batch of cornbread (sans baking soda) turned out quite good! I added a few shakes of the chipotle Tabasco I did have my mother send me, and I added a small bit of grated Dutch oude kaas (aged cheese), and now I'm looking forward to dinner. Princess Pamela's Soul Food Cookbook (inherited from my grandparents) has never done me wrong when it comes to classic Southern recipes.

Current Music: For the Love of Your Eyes - Leather Nunfo
08 November 2008 @ 04:46 pm
Pippo saw his first horses up close today. I just took him out for his evening toilet run and two police horses went "off-road" and ended up walking through a bit of the honden toilet just as we got there. Pippo didn't seem to know what to make of these really big dogs! For once, he didn't even bark or growl, although he did rear up a bit as I tried to hold him back as they passed us. I figured it would be better if he didn't look like his usual psycho in front of the police.

He kept his eye on them until they turned the corner and then proceeded to do his best scent-hound impersonation, sniffing their track like the world's most dedicated police dog. Even after I tried to drag him away to another spot well passed where the horses had been, he couldn't get that scent out of his nose and kept dragging me back to where they'd been.
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Current Mood: amusedamused