:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zondag 29 februari 2004

[Sorry it's been a couple of days - blame the Internet, not me. I'm going to go yell at Yvon and Ted in the office tomorrow... AGAIN...]

What is it with Utrecht on Saturday? I swear, all the crazies, like, come out of hiding just for that one day. I went to the station yesterday afternoon to meet Martin and while in the city we saw all kinds of things – a group of girls dressed in Halloween costumes, a guy running down the street while shouting something on his cell phone, some girls singing at the top of their lungs… Oh, but the crowning touch. While I was standing at the meeting place waiting for Martin’s train to get here, this guy came and stood next to me and started babbling about babysitting for twins. “Ik heb gisteravond op een tweeling gepast. Een tweeling. Twee meisjes. Het is leuk als je op een tweeling past.” And then he just walked away! LOL! He had one of those faces where you can sort of tell that something’s not ‘quite right’... I fear for those poor girls that he babysat... Anyway, crazy day. But we had Turkish pizzas – yum yum yum! - and I got a computer microphone, too – sweeeet!

Then Tristan came over and we went to see Lost in Translation, which was a very good movie - Scarlett Johansson is in it, the girl from The Horse Whisperer, and Bill Murray is of course always a winner. But T and I both agreed that there was a lot of 'symbolism' there, which we haven't completely figured out yet... has anyone seen it? Leave a comment!

Then today we went to McDonalds and the woman gave me a chocolate shake instead of orange juice. Had I known she was going to do that, I wouldn't have ordered the ice cream... :S (Lotte: thus I am not holding up my end of the bargain here, I'm afraid... LOL!) And then, since T had his big ol' American van, we went and picked up my bike from Zeist... then thought about going to the Veluwe, changed our minds, and ended up just going back to Rheyngaerde and watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding, laughing hysterically and then practically falling asleep. LOL!

Anyway, then I finally got online, and so Martin and I have been sitting here talking and making faces over the webcam for... uh... well, 57 pages in Word, so time-wise that's... *checking Plus features* ... four hours and 45 minutes, or somewhere close. Wow...

Anyway, I'm gonna go now - a few mails, then a shower, then BED!!! Plans tomorrow: class at 3, lots of difficult translating before and after, and hopefully a few nice conversations stuck in there. :) By the way, everybody wish a lot of luck and strength to Martin and Tristan, ok? I won't go into details, but they could both use some support right now...

zaterdag 28 februari 2004

If the Net refuses to cooperate at the exact moment when I have to register online for classes for the upcoming UF semester, I am really and truly going to have a meltdown.

ISIS, I might add, the internal UF student system, is already doing quite a nice job of not cooperating. I finally get the Net for a few minutes and they're doing internal maintenance. Of course.

Can I be a chaperone on the Stanton spring break trip next year? I'll be 21... thus technically I can... right? Catie? Info please? ;)

vrijdag 27 februari 2004

Oh, one more annoying thing about the new internet, which I was just reminded of by chatting with Mom... when people talk to me, they can't see the first few messages I send. So for like five minutes they think I'm not there, when I'm really typing a whole long story or something...


Sigh. As I said... problems with the Comments pages. I can read them, but not answer. Olga, I was trying to answer what you wrote about translating names, but it won't let me post it. So here it is: "'Ik zie je punt' :) maar mijn docent zegt dat als je iets naar het Engels vertaalt, dat je 'audience' dan niet meer Nederlands is, maar Brits of Amerikaans. Dus je moet alles of bijna alles veranderen naar iets wat een Engelssprekende audience zal verstaan - Karel --> Carl, bijvoorbeeld, of de Dom --> clock tower... snap je? Je audience moet de tekst kunnen lezen zonder te voelen dat ze een vertaling lezen... vandaar."

(But then, sometimes you get really bizarre ones... what in the world would you translate the name Pleuntje (an old lady) as??? LOL!)

Bye for real now.

Hello hello!

Is anybody else having problems with the Comments pages, or is that just one MORE side effect of our horrible 'new' internet? To make a long story short, it went down again (for two days) and when they finally fixed it, they did so by replacing the entire main hard drive. So whatever effects THAT has, I don't know, but it seems to mean that web pages load (MUCH) slower, that I get randomly kicked off of MSN once in a while, and most importantly: that our router doesn't work. This means that only ONE of us can be on the internet at a time, and that blows. Especially for me, because when I get 'reconnected', it takes around 45 minutes before my computer 'realizes' that the connection is back. It usually takes around 5 minutes. One MORE lovely side effect... any ideas from you computer people out there?

Anyway, not so much to say... it's Friday, so I had translating class, and it once again went very well, because the translation was Dutch to English. However, for Wednesday and Friday of this coming week we have the longest one yet... it's British-style old-fashioned English and it has to be translated to Dutch. Wish me luck... any volunteers to proofread?... ;)

Anyway, because of the internet thing I won't be online nearly as much as usual, and I have plans tonight and tomorrow with friends anyway, so don't worry, I'm not dead - just temporarily unreachable. :) Except via SMS... I do still have a reasonably-functioning mobieltje...

Talk to you guys later!

woensdag 25 februari 2004

OK… LiLo? Wanna explain to me why my BUTT muscles are sore from squash? (And don’t make any sick jokes, LOL… I’m serious… it HURTS! Hahaha!)

So, hi. The weather has been so weird today – snow and hail and rain – but the sun has been shining! LOL! You never can predict this Dutch weather…

I went to translating class this morning and the teacher came to me and said, “Jess? …This is going to be difficult, isn’t it?” meaning the class for me. (I’d tried to tell her…) So we talked for a while and she made a joke about me needing an editor, but basically said that she’d still rather have my own work than stuff that my friends help me with, even if it’s not entirely correct, because then she knows what level I’m on. Her concern was whether or not I could understand the Dutch well enough to know what was ‘meant’, or something… to know how I should translate it… so I assured her that I had absolutely no problem understanding what was meant in Dutch as long as the words are already there, but that I still had problems with producing ‘spontaneous’ Dutch (to use a linguistics term). The translation we had for today was Doornroosje, that thing I stuck in the entry yesterday, and that was really easy for me and I told her so.

So she said okay, and then asked me how long I was going to be here. “Indefinitely?” She apparently didn’t know I was an exchange student. So I told her I’d be here until July and she asked me how long I’d been here already. I said “Six months” and her whole attitude changed. “Six months! I thought you’d been here a few years!” Suddenly she couldn’t do enough to help me. LOL! We have a ‘big’ translation we have to do in a few weeks, where we pick some big American literary work and translate part of it to Dutch, then find an ‘accepted’ Dutch translation of it and compare them and write notes on how they compare. That’s part of our exam grade, if I understand properly. Anyway, so she offered to let me translate from Dutch to English instead, which is, needless to say, WAY better. So now what I need to know is, what’s acceptable?

Pauline, I think you’d be a big help on this one… I asked what sort of things would be okay and she told me I could translate something from Mulisch, for example… so do you think she’d also be okay with Renate Dorrestein? I still have that book of yours, Het Hemelse Gerecht (forgot about it for a while, but I’ve just about finished it now) and I just ‘felt like it’ this afternoon, so I translated a piece of that of the appropriate length, just to see how it would go… and I can translate that very ‘invisibly’, to use a ‘professional’ term, haha… I mean I can do it in a way so that if you’re reading it in English, it doesn’t feel like a translation. So I’d really like to do that, but is she considered one of the ‘respected’ writers like Mulisch, someone who would be in the “canon of Anglo-American literature” if it were in English, or do you think I need to find something else? Can anybody answer this so I don’t waste any more effort on that piece? (I just happened to think, I don’t even know if that book is available in an English translation… it better be…) And: English names that sound like Ange, Irthe, and Gilles would be nice… can anyone help? :)

Anyway, so today when the teacher chose people to read their (English) translations of Doornroosje, I was the first one she picked (of course, just like I will be on Friday when we have another English one, LOL), and she really liked mine, especially the phrase ‘palace psychiatrist’. Even when she read her own translation, she asked me a couple of times, “Jess, what did you say here?” So I think she’s reassured now that I CAN do this… I’m just as good as everybody else in the class, better even; I just need the same ‘advantage’ that they have, of going to my own native language.

Anyway, I’ve really been in a writing mood this afternoon – Tristan got me inspired to write my “life story” haha… except that it’s already six pages in Word and I haven’t even started on Stanton yet, LOL! But the childhood part is cool…

Okay, well, I have another assignment to do, for Dutch Present-Day Society, so I’m gonna go now.

dinsdag 24 februari 2004

Another gezellig evening at Lotte's... we went and played squash, like I said, and I actually liked it... for the first ten minutes I couldn't even hit the dang ball, but like Mom says, I always catch on to sports pretty quickly... after the first few minutes it started to get better. So afterwards we decided I'd go to Zeist with her, but she had her car, and it was raining, so we decided to try to stuff my bike in the back. Well, it didn't fit. So we had to leave the back open, but we had no bungee cord to hold it closed. So we fashioned a very interesting contraption out of garbage bags and twist ties and a rubber band.... which tore only a few streets away... so we made another one... long story, but we did make it there. :)

Anyway, so now I'm home again and I've just finished my translation of the satirical look at Sleeping Beauty. See what you guys think.

Grimm’s fairy tales are really rather strange, as I read them with adult eyes. For example, Sleeping Beauty, the slumbering princess. A nice story, but read through it and try to imagine how it must have gone.

Once upon a time there was a queen who very much wanted a daughter, but never had one. One day she went to bathe in the pond. Look, here, it’s already starting. Who bathes in a pond? The idea! Then a frog came up to her. Yeah, that’ll happen if you’re going to sit in a pond; just the frog itself would have been enough for me to start screaming and clawing up the bank. But going on: the frog said: Within a year, thou shalt give birth to a daughter.

What did the queen do then? I’d be interested to know what she said at home, after her little dip. How would the conversation have gone at the dinner table? Something like this?

Say, George!

Yes dear.

You know, I swam in the pond today, and…

You swam in the pond?

Yes, it was so warm out, I just thought, come on, I thought, a little dip in the pond.

But you can’t do that; what will the employees think?

Hey, stop nagging. If I WANT to go in the pond. Anyway, so within a year we’re going to have a daughter, the frog said so.

Who said so?

The frog in the pond.

Did the king lay down his napkin and call the palace psychiatrist? That’s not included in the story at all. Anyway, a daughter was born at the end of the year, but personally I’m sticking by my opinion, that that frog had absolutely nothing to do with it.

They had a big party for the baptism. Twelve fairies were invited, but the thirteenth one wasn’t, because they only had twelve gold plates. See, that’s just plain stupid. If you ask one, you have to ask all the others, otherwise just don’t invite any of them; that’s true of birthday parties as well. She could have just given them all enamel plates.

All twelve fairies came with a spell and a little outfit from the Hanna Anderson catalog. And the angry aunt Fie who wasn’t invited came anyway, without a present and with a Curse. For someone to reveal themselves that way. Are you on the soup course? she asked sweetly. Don’t trouble yourself, I’ll be gone in a minute. I just wanted to say that that child’s going to die on her fifteenth birthday. Because of a spinning wheel. Enjoy your dinner. Bye!

The twelfth fairy, aunt Adeline, said comfortingly to the queen: Come, come, she won’t die, dear. She’ll just sleep for a hundred years.

Arrived at this point of the story, I’ve got to stop and think. Asleep for a hundred years. Is that a curse? It doesn’t seem like a curse to me; I think it’d be great. I’d rather like to do that. Thorns will grow up over my house, so that no one can get through, not even the IRS. I’ll miss the elections, a big plus in itself. In a hundred years a prince will kiss me awake. Well, a prince… it can be less dramatic. A nice well-situated man from the insurance business, for example. Wake up! It’s already 2062! he calls, kissing me. I’ll slowly open my eyes and say: Are the Russians here yet? Get outta here! he says, They’ve been gone for eighty years. It’s commonplace now to take the bus to Moscow for five days for 70 guilders. It’s the Eskimos now. Their aggressive attitude gets worse by the day. Oh, I’d say. So the taxes are back up again, then? Even higher, he says. But we’ve gotten some more houses. A good forty. The Y-tunnel is almost finished. You know what, I say. I think I’ll nap for another hundred years. Good night.

Good thing that children see Grimm’s fairy tales differently.

zondag 22 februari 2004

Okay, my hair looks a lot better now than how it did in the picture, so someone please revive my mother, whom I'm sure is lying prostrate on the floor somewhere, haha!

Nice relaxed weekend... Tristan did come over (and brought some Bami, a noodle concoction he makes at work... lekker!) and we watched Big (yay for pianos on the floor!) and caught up a little... then today we slept in and then went to town for a while and bummed around until New York Pizza opened... then we took a pizza home to Rheyngaerde and watched The Sixth Sense. I didn't know there was a person left on EARTH who hadn't seen that movie (LOL, sorry T), but he was rather smart in the questions he was asking... I was afraid he was going to figure it out before the end. He didn't, but it was a close thing. (Every time I watch that movie, I remember the first time I saw it... sophomore year, at Jason's house, with Mandy and Craig and Becka and the whole gang. Is anybody reading this who remembers those good old days? Remember how Jason's uncle, like, slammed open the door and leaped into the TV room right at one of the 'shock' moments? LOL!) Anyway, so Tristan went home ('cause he's a workin' man now, haha) and I had a 'girly' meltdown moment of "stupid-religion, why-can't-we-be-more-than-best-friends"... but I'm all better now, so good for me. And, one thing that went a very long way towards distracting me...

...I HAVE KAZAA LITE!!! FINALLY!!! Huub sent it to me... thank you thank you... Kazaa with no spyware, yaaay!!! So I'm hard at work trying to find the CORRECT version of Marco's new song, "Voorbij". You Dutchies know it - the one with Do. It's all over TMF and The Box and all. The problem is that he already has a song called 'Voorbij' (yes he does too, and yes you do know it, the one that goes like, "En er gaaaaaat nooooooooit een daaaaaag voorbij... dat ik jou niet meer voel, en dat ik jou niet meer mis...") so that's complicating things a little. When does his CD come out again? I forgot. Before June anyway, because that's when the concerts are. And Linde, you said you and Alette had tickets for the 9th; well, mine are for the 12th. Are yours veldkaarten? Because I'd love to switch and go on the same day as you guys - the 9th is better for me anyway, since I'm still planning to meet Faith in Paris - but only if that means we'd all be on the field... I'm not giving up my field spot, LOL!

Hmm, I feel like I had more to say, but I guess I don't. Bedtime for Stormy. I really should list my nicknames on here sometime. Actually, I'll do that now. Because Martin, my new favorite chat buddy (haha!), called me 'Jessica' tonight, which nobody ever does, so it got me thinking about what people DO call me... all manner of things.

Okay, so my real name is Jessica, or Jessica Leigh to be exact, but most of the world calls me Jess. David calls me J, Olga calls me Dilletje, Mr. O'Connor sticks stubbornly by Stormy (as does the rest of Stanton), Tristan calls me 'schat' (or 'lazy butt', depending on the mood... LOL!), and Granddaddy has never called me anything else but Jessie since the day I was born. The baby twins that I babysit back home call me Jessie too. (Actually, wait, they're 3 years old now, hardly babies anymore. WOW... I'm not even going to recognize them when I go home... I've known them since they were only eleven months old...!)

(So Martin, if you don't like 'afkortingen', you'll just have to come up with your own name for me... you sure have enough free time this week to do that, so let's hear it! LOL!)

Further: Grandma calls me Jaybird (a Southern thing?), Dad tacks 'Sport' or 'Sportette' onto the end of my full name, Elise calls me Hans or La Vieja because of our Spanish State Conference plays, and uhhh... I suppose that's it for the moment. I got called a few random things in gym class - Netherlands, for one, and Maverick a couple of times because of the movie Top Gun - but those aren't important.

No wonder I barely recognize 'Jessica' as being me anymore. I looked at it just now and thought, wow, that's a really pretty name. And then I realized - it's my name! LOL!

I think that's my cue that I need to go to sleep. :)

zaterdag 21 februari 2004

Haaaaaiiiii!!! (No, Peter, I don't mean 'shark'... ;))

Saturday, yay! I woke up at 10, stumbled to the bathroom, and then dropped right back down into my warm bed again... until 13.00. Now I'm perky and happy, and you know what? The days are getting longer. No, I'm not just imagining it, they really truly are! When I wake up to go to my early classes, it's already sort of light out, and it's now 17.15 and it's only JUST beginning to get dark.

That translation of Sleeping Beauty is so much fun. I'm putting it off, not because it's hard, but because I don't want it to end. I like it. It's a satirical analysis of the story, so it's a funny piece to read and so the challenge is making it just as funny in another language. Fun fun fun!!! (No sarcasm intended there, for once.)

And - I cut my hair. Yes, you read that right - I didn't 'get my hair cut', I cut my hair. Don't freak out, Mom - it actually looks good. I just felt like a change, so I gave myself a general trim and then gave myself bangs. Here is a pic; see what you think...???

Okay, Tristan will be here in a couple of hours... I guess I'll start putting away these clothes which are (still) hanging on the drying racks...

vrijdag 20 februari 2004

Hi. Taking a commercial break from Family Law...

Friday, woohoo! I was so mad last night... I worked so hard on the translations, and then the printer wouldn't work. Scott took his computer with him, so I had to hook mine up to the printer and try to 'Add A Printer' and all that stuff. It spit out the alignment page, so I thought, okay, but then when I closed the Add A Printer window, it wouldn't do ANYTHING anymore - not even turn on. That was last night around 3.00 and I was almost in tears - all that work and then I couldn't GET to it. Anyway, so I went to the office this morning and begged Ted to let me use their printer, and he did, but apparently he's not a computer person - he had to get on the phone and ask the network people how to 'find' a memory stick once we'd connected it. (There's some complicated network system that they're connected to; that's why I couldn't find it.) But it did FINALLY work out, and I got on my bike and went to school.

(Random: Okay, how many times have we seen that stupid Tele2 commercial?!)

Got to school, sat through class - it was pretty good. We talked about the Anne translation and then got out early. The teacher called on me once to ask me to explain the word 'homely' - she said she couldn't explain it. I tried, but it's sort of an old-fashioned word - I said it was just a more polite, poetic way to say 'unattractive'. But anyway, I think most of the class now knows I'm not 'one of them', which for some reason makes me feel better. Anyway, so I sat with Birgit and we talked to each other and a little to the people behind us. I recognized one of those people, a guy from my linguistics class in the first block. I don't know his name - he's 'Babyface' in my head because he has one... big blue eyes - but we ran into each other again in the Albert Heijn To Go... which was weird because that was like an hour after class was over. Anyway, we've never said more than Hi to each other, but it's still cool to recognize people - makes me feel more 'at home'.

So Birgit and I went into town after class to look for a birthday present for her brother - she bought him the DVD of What Women Want. We stood around the Neude for a while, talking about the camps we've worked at - sounds like she had a real b#$%@ of a camp director. Anyway, then I stopped by the AH ToGo and bought boerenkool met rookworst - looks gross but it's good, especially with spicy mustard - and a bag of little chocolate Easter eggs, filled with different things like caramel and nuts. There's only one of the fillings I don't like - it's called 'advocaat' - which means 'lawyer'. Weird! :) Anyway, it's yellow and has egg yolks in it, I think.

So now I'm puttering around, going between the computer and the TV. Family law is over and I'm waiting for Strong Medicine. I don't normally watch a lot of TV, but since Scott's gone, I can 'take it over' for a few days... and today is Friday, so the last day with 'my shows' on... Hopefully Tristan will make it here tomorrow so we can watch Big - on Net5 @ 21.00 for those who care. (Yes, Mom, Tom Hanks with Dutch subtitles... LOL!)

I get to translate the coolest thing for Wednesday... Doonroosje, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty... but it's not the story, it's a satire on it - and it's from Dutch to English! This is going to be sooo cool; I laugh every time I read it. I won't even mind going up and reading in front of the class. I'll post it on here when I'm done; you guys will ALL be able to read it. :)

Okay, I'm starving (and Lotte's not helping by chatting to me about the pizza she ordered... ;)) so I'm going to go whip something up so I can eat while Strong Medicine is on. Ciao!

donderdag 19 februari 2004

As of now I am FINISHED with the translations. FINALLY! Anyway, BIG BIG THANK YOU TO JOHN FOR HELPING!!!!!!!!!!

Going to shower and go to bed now... got to wake up in 7 hours.

HAHAHA!!! Still working, but John just so totally made my day!!! I sent him my Anne of Green Gables translation to show how bad I was, and he fixed a couple of things and then said that there were still small things here and there, but nothing that he could easily correct. So then I told him he was scaring me because I'd found that translation fairly easy in comparison to the other one, so if THAT one had problems...

So I sent him the following stukje of that one through MSN, the part I'd just completed:

"Ik was zo gelukkig in Bombay. Ik werd gerespecteerd, ik had een bepaalde status, ik werkte voor een belangrijke man. De hoogste van het land kwamen naar ons vrijgezelle appartement, genoten van mijn eten, en overspoelden me met complimenten. Ik had ook vrienden. ’s Avonds kwamen we samen op de stoep onder onze kamers. Sommigen, zoals de dienaar van de kleermaker en ikzelf, waren bedienden die op de straat woonden. De anderen waren mensen die naar dat stukje straat kwamen om te slapen. Fatsoenlijke mensen, we moedigden er geen schorem aan.

’s Avonds was het fris. Er waren weinig passeerende mensen en, afgezien van af en toe een dubbeldekkere bus of taxi, ook weinig verkeer. De stoep werd geveegd en gespronkeld, beddengoed gehaald van schuilplaatsjes, kleine olielampjes aangestoken. Terwijl de mensen boven kletsten en lachten, op de stoep lazen wij kranten, speelden kaarten, en rookten. De aarden pijp ging van vriend tot vriend; we werden slaperig. Ik sliep liever op de stoep met mijn vrienden (behalve in de regenseizoen natuurlijk), alhoewel in ons appartement een hele kast onder de trap gereserveerd was voor mijn persoonlijk gebruik."

...and his response was, in total seriousness, "Dit moet naar Engels?" ["That has to be translated to English?"]

HAHAHA... awesome... !!!

Somehow it's going much easier now. :)

I just watched Finding Forrester and really really liked it. But I liked it too much, because now I have to buckle down and translate the rest of this stuff for tomorrow and I can't do it. I feel really sad and frustrated and I'm not sure why. The movie, if you haven't seen it, is about a black kid who has the 'homie', basketball-playing side of him, but who also befriends a famous writer and turns out to have a really 'deep' side. I got mad while watching it because I kept thinking stuff like, 'that could have been me'. People tell me constantly that I'm a good writer and that I should 'do something with it'. And even though I was never the star (except in high school gym class, haha), I played basketball for five years too. I sat there watching him play and had an 'itch' to play myself. And hearing everybody compliment his writing made me think, "I could do that." I guess I just identified with the kid or something... but anyway, at the moment I feel really restless and agitated and the last thing I want to do is schoolwork. I feel like sitting and doing my OWN writing. But I have to finish with Anne of Green Gables and then move on to the even less fun Bombay piece... and to make matters worse, every time I get started, someone comes onto Messenger and starts talking to me and won't shut up, and I don't have time. So it's 'stappen' night in Utrecht and LiLo and her friends are going to The Jam and having fun, and I'm sitting here behind the computer, feeling unloved and trying to translate 'skunk cabbage'.

I NEED A HUG!!! A long one... and no, John, the ({) isn't going to cut it this time, sorry. This is one of those times where I just need to sit and have someone hold me and just close my eyes and try to calm down, and not talk.

Sorry if I sound depressing again, L - by the time you talk to me, it'll be over, but a blog is for how you're feeling at that moment... dus...

I'm awake, really awake - always good! Got to leave for school in about half an hour, so I'm sitting here doing a little more translating before I go. I have no idea how I should translate names like Walter and Bertha, or places like Avonlea or Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia. Walter's an acceptable Dutch name already, so that's fine, and I translated White Sands to Wittezanden, but Avonlea and Bolingbroke aren't really translatable. And I love this book, I read it over and over as a kid, and I can't bring myself to turn the names into something else. I remember when Dad gave me this... I was nine or ten, I think, and I was a speed-reader - always have been - and he called me out into the frontroom and gave me that book. I was proud because it was the fattest book I'd ever had until then. I didn't think I was going to like it, but I did, a lot! So now I'm kind of reluctant to change stuff...

Okay, well, back to work then...

[P.S. Tristan, is er iets? Je was echt asociaal net - niet 'jezelf'! Of (heel kinderlijk, maar) ben je boos op me ofzo?]

woensdag 18 februari 2004

Me again... I'm tired, but can't sleep! Oh well... so I'm sitting here chatting to Paul and listening to the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack (yes, kindly shut up...).

Lotte and I are working on a 'diet plan' or whatever you want to call it... we both agree that food is our best friend and so the focus has to be on exercise/sports... the problem is that all we can agree on is playing squash 1 day a week. (If you can't come up with anything better than that, L, then I'm just going to MAKE you play basketball or swim...!!! Haha!) We had a (crazy) conversation with Paul, all 3 of us in one chat, asking him for weight-loss ideas, and we were all getting really silly and disgusting the way you do when it's past midnight and you've had a lot of chocolate... and he decided that we should post an ad: (English equivalent) "Women, 20 years old, looking for guys around the same age to lose weight together. No diets, no exercise - just lots of intense sex every day!" LOL!

Anyways, that translation that I was so proud of is NOT as good as I thought (hoped) it was, apparently, but oh well... at least I feel good about it, right?

Phooey on guys who don't mail back. And - for Tristan's sake - phooey on girls, too. LOL!

::sings:: "One more time, let's do it again, show no shame, just call my name..." Yes, I have changed the music - this is my bargain-bin, sixth-grade-songs, exclusive-for-night-driving CD. Waaahh, I want my car...

Guess I'll try to sleep again... class at 13.00 tomorrow...

Well, I just tried the first translation, the one from the Norton Anthology, and it's pretty interesting but it sucks to translate. There are a lot of words I don't know. I finished it, but there are a LOT of "___"s stuck in there that I have to go back and look up later. But it took me a really long time (plus some help from Paul, haha :)) and so I just had 'geen zin' in finishing it right now. And Scott just left for... somewhere... with his big backpack. Paris maybe. So I really just wanted to go veg out in front of the TV. But the longer I looked at the second translation, Anne of Green Gables, the more I thought, "Weeeellll... I could just start it..." And now it's going really easily! Granted, she's an eleven-year-old girl, so she talks on an easier level, but it IS 'older-style' dialogue and stuff... anyway, I'm having fun. I'll paste a stukje here and you guys can see it. The Dutchies can laugh at the inept translation and the Americans can stare at the weird words, knowing it's something almost all of us have read. LOL! It's the part where Marilla's driving her to White Sands to try to give her away to that other woman, the mean one - I've forgotten her name. Anyway, I'm not pretending I've done a very good job here, but just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff we have to do...

“Weet je,” zei Anne vertrouwelijk, “Ik ben tot een besluit gekomen dat ik van dit ritje ga genieten. Het is mijn ervaring geweest dat je bijna altijd van dingen kunt genieten als je tot een vast besluit komt dat je dat gaat doen. Maar dat moet dan natuurlijk een vast besluit zijn. Tijdens ons ritje ga ik niet denken aan terug naar het weeshuis te gaan. Ik ga alleen denken aan het ritje. O, kijk, er is één klein vroeg wild roos al! Vind je dat niet prachtig? Denk je niet dat hij vast blij moet zijn om een roos te zijn? Zou het niet geweldig zijn als rozen zouden kunnen spreken? Ze zouden ons vast zulke prachtige dingen kunnen vertellen. En vind je niet dat roze het meest betoverende kleur ter wereld is? Ik hou ervan, maar ik kan het niet dragen. Roodharigen kunnen geen roze dragen, niet eens in fantasie. Kende jij ooit iemand wiens haar rood was toen ze jong was, maar een ander kleur bleek te zijn toen ze groot werd?”

“Nee, zo’n iemand heb ik nog nooit gekend,” zei Marilla genadeloos, “en waarschijnlijk in jouw geval ook niet.”

Anne zuchtte.

“Nou, dat is nog een hoop weg. Mijn leven is echt een begraafplaats van begraven hopen. Die zin heb ik eens in een boek gelezen en ik zeg het weer om mezelf te troosten als ik teleurgesteld ben.”

“Ik snap zelf niet hoe die zin troostbaar is,” zei Marilla.

“Nou, omdat het zo leuk en romantisch klinkt, net alsof ik een heroine in een boek was, weet je. Ik val op romantische dingen, en een begraafplaats vol met begraven hopen is één van de meest romantische dingen die men zich kan voorstellen, vind je niet? Ik ben nogal blij dat ik er één heb. Gaan we vandaag nog over de Meer van Glimmend Water?”

“We gaan niet over Barry’s Vijver, als je dat bedoelt. We gaan vanwege de Kustweg.”

“Kustweg klinkt leuk,” zei Anne dromerig. “Is het wel zo leuk als het klinkt? Net toen je ‘kustweg’ zei zag ik het voor me, net zo snel! En Wittezanden is ook een mooie naam, maar die vind ik niet zo leuk als Avonlea. Avonlea is een prachtige naam. Het klinkt als muziek. Hoe ver is het naar Wittezanden?”

“Vijf mijl, en aangezien je kennelijk moet praten zou je tenminste nuttig kunnen praten; vertel eens wat over jezelf.”

“O, maar vertellen over mezelf in het echt is niet echt het waard,” zei Anne enthousiast. “Als ik eens mag praten over wat ik me allemaal over mezelf voorstellen zou je het vast veel interessanter vinden.”

Hey! We cracked 2000 hits! Woohoo!!!

(Granted, a lot of those were probably from me while I was redesigning, but still... big number!)

Eureka!!! REVELATION... something that has been nagging at me ever since I got here just made itself plain. I'm sitting here eating hagelslag, those sprinkles that the Dutch put on bread, and those of you who've been with me a while on this site will recall that waaaay back when, I asked what vruchtenhagel tasted like. I said that I knew it tasted like some candy I used to eat as a child, something like SweeTarts but that it wasn't those. Well, with the first bite, I remembered: PEZ!!! Those tablet-like candies that you eat out of the dispensers with the heads on them? THAT's what it tastes like. I'm glad I finally remembered that - it's crossed my mind every single time I buy the stuff and I never resolved it.

Well, I had that translating class again this morning at 9 and man, am I scared. I have TWO assignments to do for next time - Friday - both English to Dutch, and both considerably longer than the first one. One of them is from last time; I have to do it now because I don't have the Norton Anthology that all the English majors have, so I couldn't do the assignment for last time. Anyway, so there's that, PLUS three pages of Anne in Green Gables. Now, that's nice on one hand - it's a book I've read, like, a hundred times - but for those of you who have read it: remember how Anne talks? All those big words and dreamy eyes and all? Wish me luck at packing all THAT into my mediocre Dutch... oh well, but I did start talking to this girl after class who had the same problem with the anthology - what was her name - Birgitte? Anyway, she asked me something 'practical' about the class, where to get the handouts or something, and I answered that I didn't know how everything worked yet... and then I went on to say that I was getting scared because I was the only one with English as a first language. Her eyes went wide and she said (still in Dutch) "I hadn't even noticed - couldn't even hear it!" That was reassuring. :) (Tristan: it means that that one horrible night in the car when I had a sore throat really ISN'T how I normally talk... phew... *wipes sweat off brow*) Anyway, so she and I 'kidnapped' the teacher's book and photocopied some of the texts we need, so I'm set for the next week or two.

Anyway, so then I swung by Broese and picked up my book for Dutch Present-Day Society, which finally came in, and then dropped by the Albert Heijn for the essentials and then came home. But somewhere in between those two I got accosted by a member of an animal rights group. "Mag ik iets vragen?" Sigh... I never stop for those people, I just smile and shake my head or pretend my music is too loud and I can't hear them, but for some reason I did stop for her, and she launched off into a monologue, complete with pictures, about all the things they were trying to stop from happening. Anyway, she was asking for money, of course, so when she finally got to the 'important' part I first tried laughing her off, "No, sorry, I'm just a poor student, no extra money..." but she kept on going so finally I just said "You're very convincing, but not now." She left me alone then. Sigh.

So here I am again... home. And my bedroom is sunny for a change and there are purple and white and yellow flowers coming up outside (no, wait, it's not spring yet, stop growing!) and although I'm tired, I'm actually in a very good mood. Which will, sadly, soon evaporate, because I have to start on those translations. We don't really get 'graded' on those in the sense of a grade out of 10, but we have to turn them all in and they have to be reasonably good.

Better start now, dus.

dinsdag 17 februari 2004

Laundry done! Go Jess... and Paul, we have a deal: I'll do your laundry (NO IRONING) if you cook for me! LOL! I'll do pretty much anything for people who cook for me... whoa, that came out wrong... :S ...you know what I mean. It's a good bargaining chip, is all I mean...

Tristan, you left me! :( No warning... did someone pull the plug? LOL! Anyway, sweeeet that you're getting ADSL, it's about time!!!

Paul, you left me too, just now! My messages suddenly stopped going through... don't know what's with this I-net today... anyway, you know what my last message was: "ciao!(K)" ... zoals altijd he... :)

My whole room smells like laundry detergent now... yuck...

And I am SO TIRED!!! And I have to get up at 7.30 tomorrow for my 9.00 translating class. Argh. Don't wanna, don't wanna, don't wanna...

Burning Questions:
Why does Scott walk into the bathroom like 10x a day, look in the mirror for a while, then walk out again?
Peter: if that ring on your finger isn't from the Russian stripper, who IS it from? ;)
Why do I ALWAYS feel like I would feel so much better if only I had a hug?
Tristan: do you REALLY believe that dogs are not going to start following you home if you keep that meat market job?? ;)

2 weeks and 2 days until the Shania concert (yay for Paul for going!)
2 weeks and 3 days until the Staatsexamen (yay in advance for Jess, for passing)
(Uhhh...) 16 weeks and 4 days until the Marco concert (yay WAY in advance to Lotte for going!)
21 weeks and 2 days before my residence permit expires... no Yay for that one...

Headache, headache, HEADACHE... going to take a shower and then think about bed. I know it's early, but I'm sleepy and I have to actually wake up tomorrow.

I have to do laundry... but I don't want to... GEEN ZIN. Oh well, it can't be helped - I guess I'd better hurry down there before everyone else gets home and grabs the machines. It wasn't a very unusual day - went to class, got a broodje Mario on the way home, and now I'm settling down in front of the computer with some Toblerone (for you Americans: that's SWISS CHOCOLATE!!! Errug lekker!...) Anyway, nothing very exciting's happened so far apart from a creepy Dutch guy starting to talk to me (over MSN) and almost immediately starting in about sex and "we should meet sometime"... I suddenly remembered a bus I had to catch, LOL! (He's now blocked, dus geen probleem... Ain't MSN great?)

But Tristan, where are you??? :(

Lotte, I just read your site - what was that quote from me you forgot? Give me some context and I'll see what I can remember... I should show you the Quotebook sometime. That's a high school tradition that I started and that my sister's carrying on... writing down all the funny things that teachers and students say throughout high school.

And Mom, I just had to go offline for one second to plug Scott back into the router... I didn't mean you should LEAVE, I was back within 5 minutes! Oh well, I'll talk to you again soon, then...

Bye for now... but leave comments, people!!! :)

((Approaching 2000 hits on the counter... woohoo!!!))

Aaahhh, my little sis is so cool, she remembers what I taught her, even though it was way last year! ...See, my thing is, when I'm learning a new language, I want to sort of 'pass on' what I'm learning just because I think it's cool, and the only one who won't (read: can't) run away when I'm 'lecturing' is Catie. So last year when she turned 16 I taught her a very short Dutch sentence to that effect. (I've also, throughout the course of the year, gotten her hooked on stroopwafels and Marco Borsato.) Anyway, so her birthday was yesterday and I just looked at her MSN name and it's set as "Caity --> Nu ben ik zeventien!" She rocks! *pride* :)

Tristan, if you're reading this: we just keep missing each other, LOL! Sunday... yesterday... and today your message did wake me up this morning, but you didn't have time to talk then either... jammer. Anyways, I should be back from class around 16.00, maybe a bit later if I go to the store. I want to hear all about your new job (beyond "Sucks!") and the site and all... and I have to give you your "(K)(})"s which you haven't gotten the past few days, haha! And you were in my dream again last night, even though I have no idea what you were doing there... (Sunday night I dreamed Peter had married and divorced a Russian stripper, so if that's an example, maybe you don't WANT to know what you were doing, LOL!)

Okay, time to get ready for class. It's the small group today, yay! Ggggezelligggg!!! :)

maandag 16 februari 2004


Gezellig (or, as our teacher would say, 'gggezelliggg'!) avondje bij Lotte net... as you can see from the fact that I'm now writing in Dutch, which I absolutely did not mean to do. Weird! Anyway, backing up. Sorry I haven't been available the past couple of days - I got a couple of confused SMSes from Tristan (which made me feel good, T, btw, that somebody cared... haha... so don't go thinking you're an old fart or something. :)) asking where I was. Well, I went to Zeewolde mid-afternoon Sunday to (finally) see Peter's new house... and it is gorgeous. At least I think so, but then, you've all seen the nursing-home-turned-craphole that I live in. But his place is the sort of house I always 'see' in my head as myself + significant other living in, if that should turn out to be here in NL... you know, like what Linde's family lives in... combo kitchen/living room on the ground floor, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, plus an attic which is also a bedroom, all with big bright windows. Anyway, *jealous* *jealous* *jealous*. (Peter: "En terecht!") :) Anyway, so we made food with the Wonder of the Friteuse (makes it sooo easy to make fries... wish we had these at home) and I introduced him to some of the Wonders of Kazaa Lite (how many songs do you have NOW, hey? ;)) and we watched some TV and stuff... just a nice time; I'd missed him. (Yeah, YOU!)

Anyway, so today I had class again, and it turned out to be all about the monarchy... borrrrrring... a bunch of date-copying and stuff. (L, you can get those notes from me if it turns out we need them...) Anyway, I started talking to Francesca and Lauren, more American exchange students in the class. (Lauren has the prettiest red curly hair - like Annie. Bet she hears that all the time!) Anyway, so I ended up walking to the bank with her to interpret what the ChipKnip oplader said - she knew her money was going onto the card, but then she couldn't spend it. Turned out she hadn't activated it - she couldn't read the Dutch on the screen. Five seconds and her troubles were over. Anyway, it's good to be making friends again.

So then tonight I went over to Zeist to watch GTST with Lise/Lotte/whatever your name is... maybe you'll be LiLo from now on, LOL! Anyway, so that was where this whole rambling entry started. We made pancakes (or, rather, Lotte ruined the first batch and we ran to the store for more mix, THEN made pancakes :) ...Teasing you, L, I know it was the pan/the mix/the American in the room/anything but your cooking skills, right?? ;)) Anyway, pancakes, GTST (for those who care, Pascalle was murdered and there's a big investigation) and chocolate mousse, yum yum yum... then channel-flipping, Net-surfing, Bailey's-drinking, talk talk talk, bugging MSN people, etc. ...Speaking of which - Paul, sorry if she scared you off, LOL! (Misschien hadden we een beetje teveel Bailey's op...) Anyway, very nice night. (And now I have someone to go to Marco with me in June, YAY!!!) L: je moet ook snel een keertje bij mij komen eten... dan kun je je kamer vergelijken met een 'echte' Utrechtse studentenkamer, haha!!!

Okay, well, I was just writing this to try to 'wind down' a little... I have school tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed now. Anyway... leave some love and TTYS!!!

zondag 15 februari 2004

Hey - just a quickie - I'm in Zeewolde and it has just come to my attention that 800x600 resolution does NOT work if you are trying to view this page. You should see a light blue page with a darker blue sidebar on the right. If the dark blue appears BELOW the other text, your resolution is too low. I'll try to find a way to post a 'permanent reminder' about this later on, but for now - 800x600 sucks anyway, consider changing it permanently! :) Ciao for now!

zaterdag 14 februari 2004

I'm turning into a creature of the night... it's almost 2 AM and I'm still awake. Oh well. Anyway, so tomorrow I'm going to sleep late and then try once again to go see Peter's new house. (It feels so weird to use full names... I always use initials when writing, even with, like, diary entries...) Anyway, so I have to get the train to Duivendrecht so he can pick me up on the way back from work. So that's tomorrow's amusement and then Monday I have class again. Dutch Present-Day Society. Our teacher talks in such a weird way... she's Dutch, of course, and speaks British-sounding English, but with an American 'R'... very exaggerated. So you think, okay, it's not her first language... but then her Dutch is just as weird! She has the hardest 'G' of anyone I've ever heard. She keeps telling us that it's because she's from the North, but it's still weird... she chokes on the word 'gezellig' ("ggggezelligggg") like it's a hairball, LOL! I like her - she's very nice, and knows what she's talking about - but her manner of speaking is still very... unusual.

Thanks for the V-day e-card, Paul... you were the only one... HINT HINT... haha. :)

Anyway, Tristan is hard at work on his website, and says he'll probably post it tomorrow. I was just asked to write a "200-word essay" about myself so he can put it there... and a picture... I'm gonna be famous, LOL! (T, we need to have Camera Day sometime soon... and Fondue Day... LOL! Enne... je hebt me net 'schat' genoemd... die vind ik ook leuk :) ... maar je moet een beslissing nemen: ben ik 'lekker ding', 'schat', of 'lazy butt'? Of alledrie? LOL!) ...Sorry, it's late and I'm talking $#!@, haha.

Anyway, it's probably time to go to bed, otherwise I'm going to start eating again. :) Talk to you guys tomorrow.

P.S. Lise, I just happened to think - did we have homework? (I vaguely remember copying down website addys?? What was that for?) Leave a comment if we have to actually do something... LOL...

I've just added a Comment feature, so you guys can comment on a post if you want to. (See Catie, it's just like LiveJournal!) Coming soon: a list of my favorite blogs to read...

Happy Valentine's Day!!! My gift to you all is this new site, which I've done via Blogger. It doesn't look all that different from the old one, I suppose, but it took me forever - I had to stick all the archived entries in ONE BY ONE, and that took an insanely long time... P (Enschede) can attest to that, he printed them all out, LOL...

I'm thinking about abandoning the whole first-initials thing - it's getting too confusing. I now have 3 Ps, 2 Ls, at least 2 Ms... Okay, it's official - I'll use names from now on. Scary huh? You guys are gonna be famous...

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new site/layout/etc., and if you have any ideas for me. T said last night - oops, forgot, names - Tristan said last night that the text was too big, so I made it smaller, but the problem is that I have a widescreen laptop and so my resolution is different from everyone else's. The text on the other site was almost too small for me to read, for example, yet I never heard anyone else complain. So if anything looks 'funny' or you think it could be better another way, let me know, because it probably doesn't look the same to me as it does to the rest of you.

Off to work on a last few finishing touches...

vrijdag 13 februari 2004

Okay, I'm going to abandon this project for the night, but I'm pleased with what I've done so far. That nice darker blue on the sidebar looks good - took a while to make it look exactly right, but now it looks really nice. It's just the archiving crap I have to figure out now.

Ah, tomorrow is another day...

Oh, but go visit L - she and I were working on our sites at the same time tonight and she's got cool new stuff like a forum and Baby Idols videos... LOL!

Well, I hope I can make this [Blogger] work this time. I'd like to be able to sync it with my current site - it would be way easier - but I seem to remember having a lot of trouble with the archives when I did that before. That's why I just started doing it myself. Oh well, we'll see. The three choices are sync it with Comcast, move my page to be hosted on Blogger, or abandon the venture altogether. :)

Current Music: Volumia – “Ik was eventjes d'r naam kwijt”

Just a couple of quotes I forgot to throw in:

(during class, video about Holland)
Video girl: (flaky voice) “…but Erik insists on me seeing as much of the country as possible… by bicycle! ::giggles::
(shots of a couple on bikes, riding through woods and laughing, with ‘emotional’ background music)
L: (the only Dutch student in class) “Oh, ik ga emigreren!” (= “I’m gonna leave the country!”)

T: “Why are the words ‘to hell with it’ running through my head?” (Please, don’t ask for context on this one…)

L: (statement, not question) “Je gaat naar Amersfoort. (You’re going to Amersfoort.)
Me: “Ja...”
L: “Voor een broodje!” (For a sandwich!)
[discussion follows that Subway is hardly ‘just’ a sandwich...]

[discussion as to why the Dutch are so tall]
P zegt:
ik weet wel waarom we langer zijn...
(I know why we’re taller...)
P zegt:
in de jaren na de oorlog [WW2] hebben was er een voedsel tekort in europa
(In the post-war years, there was a food shortage in Europe)
P zegt:
en men is het vee toen vet gaan mesten met hormonen zodat het sneller zou gaan groeien.. vervolgens heeft iedereen die hormonen ook weer binnen gekregen.
(and people started giving lots of hormones to the livestock so they’d grow faster... so all the people also got those hormones..)
P zegt:
heb er eens een documentaire over gezien.
(I saw a documentary on it once.)
~ * J e s s * ~ zegt:
maar dat wordt ook bij ons gedaan.... het is niet legaal, maar wordt wel gedaan
(But that’s done in America too... it’s not legal, but it does happen.)
P zegt:
bij de amerikanen werkt het hormoon meer in de breedte ;)
(With Americans the hormone works more towards width.) ;)

Okay, really going now. :)

Current Music: Volumia – “Jij”

Hey everyone. It’s Friday the 13th, are you superstitious?? ;) I’m not, but I am actually not having the best day in the world, so maybe there’s something to this, haha…

Last night was fun – actually, all of yesterday was fun. T and I had the idea that we wanted to go to Amersfoort and have Subway, so I went to class while he sat in my room and amused himself with my computer, LOL… class was pretty boring, a horribly cheesy video (Holland: The Best Friend You’ll Ever Make) and a long lecture from the teacher. L and I sat there eating Starburst-like candies and giving each other LOOKS whenever something particularly off-the-wall came up. Anyway, so I went home and found out that T had done my translating assignment for me – have I mentioned lately how much you ROCK?! And if you’re reading this, you really should have gone to university… you enjoy doing OTHER people’s homework so much… LOL! :)

So we went to Amersfoort and found out the Subway wasn’t there anymore, had in fact been gone for like six months according to the people next door. So we had KFC and read the paper and stuff, nothing very eventful. While reading the paper we saw that School of Rock, that movie with Jack Black, had just started, so we decided to go see it. Then while driving back to Utrecht I got an SMS from L saying that she was going to be in the city until 9 and did we want to go do something? So we arranged for her and a friend of hers to go to the movie with us. It was, as L said, ‘waardeloos, maar wel lachen’ – worthless but still a good laugh. If you’re seeing it for the first time, that is. It’s not something I would ever buy on DVD – it doesn’t flow well at all – but a couple of those kids have real talent and are fun to watch.

Anyway, T and I went to Charlie Chiu’s and had fries and milkshakes, then took the bus back to Rheyngaerde. He went home and I sat down in front of the computer again to check over what he’d written. I ended up changing a few words but leaving it almost exactly the same. It was 3.15 before I got to bed and I had class this morning at 11. However, I ended up missing it. I DID set my alarm, I DID, because when I woke up this morning the little ‘alarm’ icon was still present… but I have absolutely no memory of hearing it go off. I remember waking up once – it was bright outside – and thinking, uh oh, I must be late. But then I checked my clock and I don’t remember what time it said, but I very clearly thought, “Oh, I have another hour and a half,” so I laid down again. And then woke up at 11.30. Bah. Anyway, I raced over to school and got there as class was ending, so I turned in my assignment and got the next one – Dutch to English, thank goodness. This’ll be easy.

Anyway, then went to Albert Heijn and then came home. I actually bought one of those microwave-dinner things – boerenkool met worst – and I’m planning to have it tonight, so we’ll see if it’s any good. Hopefully that’ll help me out here… my body is ‘trying’ to get sick but can’t quite do it. I’ve had a sore throat off and on for the past couple days, and I can feel that something isn’t quite ‘right’, but I haven’t come down with anything yet – I keep taking my vitamins and all… maybe if I go to bed early tonight I can throw it off.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and Jess is officially single. Not so nice. Oh well, it’s not the end of the world, I guess.

Oh, and before I forget: P (the Enschede one) printed out my ENTIRE site (the archives, I mean) to read, and he printed both sides of the paper and still said it was like 70 pages. Wow. Anyway, he gave me a lot of compliments about my writing style, etc., so THAT was at least one good thing that happened today… thanks P!!! :) That gives me some motivation to keep updating regularly… even when I feel like I just can’t be bothered.

I don’t have anything to do now… maybe I’ll go to sleep again. Oh, but I have discovered one bad thing about S and I having switched rooms – that I never get to watch my shows anymore. Strong Medicine at 6.45 and GTST at 8… it’s sort of my little ‘routine’ that I eat while watching those shows. But I’ve only gotten to see 1 day this week because S always has friends over or is watching a soccer game or playing the PS2. Oh well… once again, TV isn’t the end of the world, but that little block of time is just something I enjoy. I can think about OTHER people’s problems for a while, no matter how unrealistic they are, haha!

Okay, well, I’ll go post this and then probably start on this translation… but I don’t see it taking longer than about 30 minutes. The text is shorter and much easier than the one we did yesterday, since for the rest of the class this will be more difficult than the first one. I’d actually like to do something a bit more complicated… oh well.

Tot de volgende keer!

woensdag 11 februari 2004

Current Music: Volumia – “Jij”

Me again. First thing: AAAAAHHHH!!!! So I had my first translating class today and, just as I thought, I am the only native English speaker. In fact, I’m the only non-Dutch person. And because as a translator you generally translate into your native language, that means that throughout the entire block – with two assignments per week – TWO are from Dutch to English. Two. The rest are all from English to Dutch which is, needless to say, MUCH harder for me, especially considering the whole point of translating is to make yourself ‘invisible’ and ‘keep the mood’ of the original text… basically, the point is that no one know they’re not reading the original. So, let’s think for a second. Everyone else in the class is native Dutch and they’ve studied English since they were around 11, so about ten years now. And then there’s Jess, who is a native English speaker, but who has studied Dutch for, oh, let’s count… less than a year and a half. Anybody see a discrepancy here?!

Here’s a small stukje of our first assignment:

"...With all this in mind one can construct what would be, from a 'News of
the World' reader's point of view, the 'perfect' murder. The murderer should
be a little man of the professional class - a dentist or a solicitor, say -
living an intensely respectable life somewhere in the suburbs, and
preferably in a semi-detached house, which will allow the neighbors to hear
suspicious sounds through the wall. He should be either chairman of the
local Conservative Party branch, or a leading Nonconformist and strong
Temperance advocate. He should go astray through cherishing a guilty passion
for his secretary or the wife of a rival professional man, and should only
bring himself to the point of murder after long and terrible wrestles with
his conscience. ..."

Anybody REALLY seeing a problem now??? LOL! I can do it, yes… and I’m NOT dropping the class, it looks fun and there are a couple of nice people… but the point here is that we’re supposed to be worried about picking the exact right phrase to carry the connotations and all, while I still have to check my GRAMMAR in Dutch sometimes. A bit overwhelming dus.

Oh well, at least I’ll do really well on the English pieces… maybe I can make myself some friends that week, being the only native when we do those assignments… LOL.

Oh, and “friends link friends” – webmaster rule :) – so here is L’s website. (No, not L who lives in Leeuwarden… L from my Dutch Present-Day Society class. I’m not sure why I never give anyone’s full name on here…) It’s in Dutch, but check it out anyway… she has cute little graphics too. (Love the swinging Tarzan, L!) :)

Uhh… oh yeah, while I’m giving recognition: petje af to P (no, not the Utrecht OR Buitenpost ones… this is a new P) for chatting to me for HOURS yesterday and today and keeping me amused LOL…

I have way too many people on my MSN list. I just deleted a couple of them, but I still have 36. Let’s see who I can delete. I’ve got Mom and Dad and Catie, of course, not deleting those… let’s see who else.

On My List:

Friends from high school: 2
Friends from UF: 3
Friends from camp: 6 (all international… how come USAers don’t use MSN?)
Friends from NL: 17
People I only know from online: 9
People with no category: 4

Okay, nu moet ik aan de slag gaan… 1500-word essay and also that translating… so bye for now!

dinsdag 10 februari 2004

Current Music: Volumia – "Hou me vast" (yeah, again)

Mom Quotes of the Recent Past:

[watching Renaissance Man]
Me: You know, it might be fun to be in the army… do the Victory Tower and all… just not full time.
Mom: Yeah Jess, but you have to submit to authority… that’s not your strong suit.

[talking about me sending my application home with no personal note attached for Mom]
~ * J e s s * ~ blij dat ik weer op school zit!!! zegt:
LOL... sowwy
~ * J e s s * ~ blij dat ik weer op school zit!!! zegt:
i wasnt feeling creative
CJW zegt:
you, not creative? just an off minute I suppose


Anyway, so it’s me again. Yay for school starting again! My teacher talks funny – very ‘exaggerated’ – but she’s nice. We already have a 1500-word essay due Thursday, but that‘s no problem. The whole class is exchange students except for one Dutch girl, L (and of course she and I have already teamed up, LOL). We sort of have a bond because she’s the only Dutch girl in this class and I’m most likely going to be the only native English speaker in the class I start tomorrow. (And it’s scary…) So we promised to help each other. But I like the class, it’s cool. There are only two of us – me and another girl (yeah, okay, and of course L too) – who have been in the country for a semester already; everybody else just got here. So it should be a no-brainer…

::sings dramatically:: “Vraag me niets, zeg me niets, sla je armen om me heen... Praat niet met me, hou me stevig vast... Woorden schieten toch te kort, als ik mijn hart bij jou uitstort...”

Sorry, LOL, I just love that part of that song...

Well, Saturday is my six-month anniversary of being in this country. It’s also Valentine’s Day, not that that really means anything. I think T and I might go do something… we’ll see.

Translating class starts tomorrow – can I get an AAAAAHHHHH!?!?!?!?!

Haha… I’m in a really great mood today… considering everything, I really shouldn’t be, but I’m glad I am. :)

Going to get ready for school now…

zaterdag 7 februari 2004

Current Music: Volumia – Hou me vast (héél érg mooi!)

It’s thundering and lightning outside… it’s a good ol’ Florida storm! Never seen one like this here in Holland. HAVE seen the wind, though – a tree came crashing down the other day not five minutes after T had driven under it. And on my bike today, I had to get off and walk it because I was barely moving – it was blowing straight in my face. This guy next to me did the same thing and we laughed about it for a while.

Further news… not much. T and I just had a religious debate… why does this always happen with me and my friends? Those things are pointless; you can’t prove anything because it all comes down to, as Dr. Phil says, “what works for you”. And I think every single person in this world probably has a slightly different take on religion. So why all the debate and controversy? Because we’re trying to prove a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’, just like in politics and in law… our world is ridiculously black and white. What’s wrong with a gray area???

Enough of that. Other news. Never did get to Zeewolde because P’s parents decided to ‘surprise’ him with a housecleaning. LOL. Nice of them, though. But speaking of ‘housing’, I really love this new room!!!

What I did today… got up early (for me) and laid around trying to go back to sleep. Couldn’t, so got up and messed around on the computer, discovered my Internet wasn’t working, listened to music for a while and then went out on my bike in search of GOOD English-Dutch and Dutch-English dictionaries. For once, mission accomplished! I need those for my translating class; I’d almost forgotten. My good old Prisma isn’t going to cut it at this level. :) Also went to Albert Heijn and got the essentials… milk, cheese, cashews, chocolate :) haha. No, really… also pasta and orange juice and stuff. Anyway, got on the bike and came home, struggling against the wind the whole way. Got here (REALLY overheated) and the Net was working, so I sat down and I’ve basically been here for the past five hours… LOL. First surfing and all, then chatting, then proofreading something of T’s that he’s been working on in English, then that religious debate… and now this entry.

So there’s my day in a nutshell.

Going to go now… I really need to plug into the wall, but S is using the Internet too. Hurry up and take a shower, man…

woensdag 4 februari 2004

Current Music: none

Me again. Well, a lot has happened the last few days, or however long it’s been… I’ve lost track of days and dates and everything lately.

Well, P and I broke up (mutual decision), and I don’t need to go into any further detail on that because if you’re someone whom I want to know about the situation, chances are you already do. Bottom line, we’re still close and my life is slightly less complicated. So. Moving on. What I’ve been up to the last few days…

I happened to be chatting with T at the same time as that ‘final decision’ was made, so he ended up coming and picking me up and we went to his house and watched movies and blabbed for hours (we’re good at that…). I think that was Saturday night. The next day he came over here and we once again just laid around and talked and talked and talked (S came home somewhere in there and he had H with him, who is still here) until we realized that it was 22.30 and we were hungry. So we went to McDonalds (very Dutch of us, hey?). Then yesterday I went to Emmeloord with him and met his family and also his sister-in-law who has, if I may say so, The. Cutest. Kid. I. Have. EVER. Seen! I wanna take him home with me… And then we saw The Fighting Temptations (not stellar but good) in Amsterdam (COOL theater) and then today we were back in Utrecht again and we ‘really’ cooked, or, rather, T really cooked and I stood around and made myself useless haha… meaning we had meat (happy, Mom?) and those yummy yummy potato-ball things that I had at P (the Utrecht one)’s parents’ house… and beans with bacon chunks, and salad, and ice cream. Real food… woohoo!

So I’ve basically been a lazy bum for the past few days, but we had a really good time and it was definitely good to have someone to talk to, to keep me from feeling lonely during that first ‘difficult’ few hours… y’all know what I mean.

Tomorrow: normal day (read: boring) and then going to Zeewolde in the evening to see P (the male one :))’s new house. Friday: maybe doing something with T again. Saturday and Sunday nothing, and Monday school starts again! Bit nervous about that because on Wednesday I have the first class of the ‘vak’ that’s taught in Dutch… *gulp*… Wish me luck, everyone!

(Oh, by the way, Uncle J, if you’re reading this: number one, WHY in heaven’s name didn’t you call me when you were at Schiphol??? And number two: Aunt K said you said my website was all “music and boys” – well, you ought to be pleased with this last stukje then, hey? ‘Cause so far it is indeed almost all boys… LOL...)

Oh yeah, and Dad said he needed a guideline as to which letters stood for who. This is as close to a ‘public’ one as I can give…

S = my roommate, a guy friend from home
H = S’s girlfriend, from France
P = (the female one) my first Dutch teacher, lives in Utrecht
P = (the male one) my now-ex boyfriend
D = everybody knows/remembers who this is, I think :)
O = D’s mom, also a good friend :)
T = guy friend from Emmeloord
L = my first Dutch friend, my co-counselor at camp, one of my closest friends
A = L’s identical twin sister
M = my second Dutch teacher, also lives in Utrecht

If I left anybody out, let me know… but I think these are the ‘main’ ten in the Cast of Characters. :)

Oh! Oh oh oh! I forgot to share my news… I moved!!! Or, rather, S and I switched rooms. He didn’t think I’d like the idea, but I like this one a lot better… I think because it’s all mine as opposed to how the living room was kinda half mine and half S’s… this room is all for me. It’s smaller, but my bed is smaller, so that works, and it has a door to the bathroom too. Which is good since I pee a lot more often than S (inherited that from Mom…). Anyway, so all my pictures and stuff are up on the walls and it’s a very gezellig room.

(One last random thing: O, if you're reading this, I was there one of those times you were on MSN, and I was typing to you, but you couldn't see me and so you left again! I sent a message to your cell phone to that effect (didn't want to call because of the hartkloppen you get from that now, haha)... but anyway, I WAS there, it was just the computer, so don't quit trying!)

I’m going to go now… maybe attack some of that leftover ice cream, but I kinda don’t think so… I kinda think I just want to go to sleep.

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