:: 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)

woensdag 31 maart 2004

I think I'm getting spring fever. I had so much energy today - I wanted to play a basketball game or play Ultimate Frisbee or do a buoy swim. But of course I couldn't do any of that, so I hopped on my bike and just rode... in the opposite direction from where I usually go, then made sort of a really big semicircle and went back through that new neighborhood where Lotte and I got lost with the car last time (LOL) and kept on going... I decided (just randomly) that I wanted to ride to Bilthoven, but I think my mental map of all those little towns around Utrecht is still a little off. I know that Overvecht is to the north, Zeist to the east, and Bilthoven in between, but I thought Hilversum was to the south and I was wrong; it's north. So I didn't follow the right signs and I ended up in Maarssen and Oud-Zuilen. But oh well, I rode down some pretty little avenues with trees lining the sides and even passed a couple of windmills.

Anyway, that bike ride lasted a total of three hours. I got a bit lost when I started trying to come back; I knew I would run into more signs sooner or later and be able to get my bearings, but my thighs were really getting tired. They weren't sore, and still aren't - my legs are majorly strong and can handle pretty much anything I throw at them - but I could just hear them quietly saying, "Okay, Jess, we've had about enough now." I can still feel a trace of that feeling, but at least I had a good workout. And on Sunday I'll be in Emmen again and I get to go swimming! Yay! Haven't done that for a long time, not since Tristan and David and I went to Duinrell back in January...

Anyway, so I haven't really been hungry all day. I had cereal and orange juice this morning (around 11.30 or 12; I got up late) and then went on my bike ride and came back and was sort of shaky from low blood sugar, but I didn't feel like 'really' eating, so I had some crackers with herb cream cheese, some M&Ms, and milk. Usually when I exercise I lose my appetite for an hour or two afterward and then I get ravenous, but that didn't happen today. But then I was chatting with Martin around 21.00 and collapsed into helpless giggles at an inadvertent pun in a completely normal comment he made ("ik heb [mijn gsm] verzekerd voor de zekerheid") and decided I was getting loopy and needed something whether my stomach knew it or not. So I fell back on an old trick of Mom's, tomato soup with melted cheese, and then ate some more chocolate - too much, actually, but I was watching American Beauty and not paying attention - to top it off... but oh well, I burned enough calories to be able to splurge, I guess.

So, the point is, absolutely no homework got done today. But I guess that doesn't matter. Yesterday was my last class - I have an exam on Monday for Dutch Present-Day Society and I have two translations to finish (those two translations are our exam), and I have to write one last essay for DPDS too, but I'm totally done with going to class, at least until block 4 starts. Yesterday was actually a fun class - we all brought our 'objects' that represented our views of Dutch society, so there was a lot of laughter. (A sample: high heels, a brick, Nutella, and a bicycle key.) And I got my highest score ever on one of the assignments, an 8. For those who don't know, the Dutch system is one through 10, and there's a joke that "8 is for really good students, 9 is for teachers, and 10 is for God." And Emmeline is a tough grader, but she liked my last assignment, even gave me a bonus point. Uh, maybe because it was the only interesting chapter in the entire book, which did not drone on about pillarization and policy management and blah blah blah. The information in the book is good but it needs to be better organized - the 'chunks' are far too large even for me and I'm a native English speaker! (75% of the students have other first languages.) We got to critique the book and advise whether or not to use it again, and everybody agreed with me when I made that point.

Anyway, I'm rambling. But tomorrow's going to be a homework day, and Friday too, and then Saturday afternoon I'm going to Emmen... and I'm taking my laptop along, because Martin has wireless internet at home so I can finally have WORKING internet... and he of course has a working printer too, so I can print out all these assignments that I'm going to get done in the next two days. LOL. So, working plan: translations tomorrow (and a trip to the grocery store), essay Friday, and studying for the exam on Saturday before I go (and in the trains if I'm feeling highly motivated), plus Monday before I go to class.

Sound good? Yeah, sounds good.

I get to swim on Sunday! I am way more excited about that than I should be... but it's been so long... and I really feel like exercising and playing sports now. In the winter I felt so sluggish and sleepy all the time but the past week or so I've just gotten more and more 'perky'. I am so joining a basketball league once I get home... there must be one on campus somewhere, even if I have to pretend to believe in God in order to join it, LOL! :)

And it is officially Thursday now, so only 8 days left till Spain. And yes, I've already got everything packed, at least all the things I don't need to use again before I leave. You guys know me; I love to pack and hate to unpack.

Okay, going to read for a while and then go to sleep. Ahhh, the joy of not having class! I like being busy, but I've had class every single day this block and so it's nice to have a break. In block 4 I'll have every Wednesday and Thursday free. Woohoo! (But murderous Tuesdays... oh well... there has to be a tradeoff, I guess.)

Hmm, I just figured out where Scott's been all day - at the Oranje game. He just signed on and his name, which he obviously set before he left, says "op weg naar Oranje". I thought he was in Paris again or something.

By the way, American Beauty is really a disturbing movie. Download it if you haven't seen it.

Welterusten allemaal!

maandag 29 maart 2004

Registered!!! It didn't work so great at first, but I solved the problems - college algebra has no spaces left, so I switched things around and am taking astronomy this semester (need that physical science credit) and a math course next semester... and one of my linguistics courses wouldn't let me register for some strange reason, but a couple of well-placed e-mails solved that. So here's the final verdict:

LIN 3201 Sounds of Human Language
LIN 3460 Structure of Human Language
AST 1002 Discover the Universe
SYG 2430 Marriage and the Family (which is an SBS credit, yay!)
TSL 3370 Intro to TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
PEL 1122 Swimming II

Or, to look at things another way... here's my weekly schedule.

Monday: (begin at 8.30) swim, swim, linguistics 1, TESL, [break], SBS
Tuesday: (begin at 10.40) linguistics 2, astronomy, astronomy
Wednesday: (begin at 8.30) swim, swim, linguistics 1, TESL, [break], SBS
Thursday: (begin at 10.40) linguistics 2, linguistics 2, astronomy
Friday: (begin at 10.40) linguistics 1, TESL, [break], SBS

And then I have 8th period (15.00) free, which is when Dutch is offered, so I can go horn in on that once in a while if I so choose. Nice hey?? :)

Short update: went to Emmen on Friday night and stayed till Sunday night. Watched Idols (goodbye Alice...), played tennis for the first time, tried 'kibbeling' (kinda like fish nuggets, if such a thing exists), rode bikes to Emmen centrum, had a really awesome dinner (tiny grill on the table, everyone cooks their own little bits of meat and fish and stuff), talked to my dad via Martin's webcam, etc...

Anyway, it's now Monday and I've e-mailed my teacher my assignment along with the message that I unfortunately won't be in class today since I have to register online for UF classes. Only problem is, ISIS is still "closed for internal maintenance". I know they do that at night, but it's almost 8 AM there now...

Everybody wish Lotte a fast recovery - she's not only got a cold and a fever, but has to go to the hospital and to the hand doctor for that finger of hers (the knuckle keeps popping out of place)... heel veel beterschap!!! xxx

Oh, wow - I totally forgot - I'm supposed to be having dinner with Pauline and Anna tonight! Good thing I just checked the calendar... I don't have a clue where we're supposed to be meeting, just "somewhere at five". OK then... SMSing now...

(11 days till Spain!!!)

donderdag 25 maart 2004

I love those little tiny candles... 'theelichten' I think they're called here, 'tea lights'... makes me think of the last night of every camp session, when we all walk silently to the lake after the ceremony, carrying our little paper plates with the tiny candles... and then we set them in the lake and if the wind is right, they float away... a lake of tiny bobbing lights...

I don't think I ever really did that with the others, at least not more than once or twice. My first year, I was a two-weeker so I wasn't there for that night, and ever since my CIT year I've been a tower singer - a few of us are picked to go up onto the Blob tower to sing certain songs, and what we sing signals the girls to put their candles in, or to gather for Taps, or whatever. I like it - the view is great from up there.

Sorry - tangent. The point is, I had a sack of 50 of those candles, so I lit a whole bunch of them last night when Martin was here - just felt like it - and those candles weren't completely 'used up', they still had a little wax left. So I decided to light them all again tonight just for the fun of it, so they'd be completely gone. One by one they went out, and the room got steadily darker. Those little lights are so cheerful...

Oh, and I got shoes today. (Finally! says Mom.) Not really cheap - 59 euro - but I have picky feet, and that's about the same as what Mom and I end up paying at home - $70-something. They're nice - New Balance, a brand that always fits me. Light blue, gray, and white. So yeah, I'll be the only Dutch-speaking girl walking around in sneakers - you don't see that on the girls here - but so what. On guys, sure, but never on girls - they always wear boots or heels or very occasionally the 'trendy' style sneakers... you know, the ones with the completely flat soles that wreak havoc met Jess's feet... It's a joke that if someone is wearing sneakers and white socks, that's a sure-fire way to identify an American. LOL. Oh, but this time they did NOT speak English to me when I asked to use my Visa. Probably because Martin was with me and they heard us speaking Dutch. But still. Progress. :)

(That was weird - I almost said I would be "the only Dutch girl" walking around in sneakers. I caught that mistake as I was typing, but also, I've just reread the above paragraph, and I've accidentally said 'met' (Dutch for 'with'), smack in the middle of an English paragraph. Didn't even notice. Hmm. Think it's bedtime.)

Other news... I turned in my big assignment for translating, and I only have one assignment left to do. Well, two things, but they're both part of the same thing... my exam. Two bits from short stories - one Dutch, one English - and we have to translate them. They're more modern than the stuff we've been doing in class lately, thank goodness, and I have until 6 April to finish. But I'm sure she doesn't expect me to do the Dutch bit all on my own, even if it is an exam, so who wants to help proofread? Tristan, you ASKED me for homework, so I'm looking at you! LOL!

I've discovered a bunch of nice new songs lately... here's a sample: Jamelia - "Superstar", Trijntje Oosterhuis - "Don't Say That You Love Me", and Hilary Duff - "Come Clean." Oh, and Catie, pay attention: Marco's new DVD came out on the 18th and there are 5 songs which I specifically want to recommend to you - to everyone, actually, but especially to you because you won't hear them otherwise... "Afscheid nemen bestaat niet" and "Voorbij" (those two are slow and have already been out for a while over here... "Voorbij" is a duet with Do, the one who sings "Heaven"... did you know she was Dutch? I didn't), plus "Zeg het maar", "Laat me gaan", and especially "Dat ben jij." Those are all fast, and especially that last one has been in my head for days now, it's awesome... Anyway, get on Kazaa! :) Otherwise I can hook you up via MSN. Oh, and you have to see the video for "Afscheid nemen bestaat niet"... sooo touching... As everyone knows, I am not a crier, far from it, but even I get a bit choked up. :)

Okay... bedtime for the caught-between-languages girl... no class tomorrow, yay! Vrijdag (Friday) is thus really a 'vrije dag' (free day)... as the name would suggest... and David, no jokes about Vrijen-dag! LOL! ;)

dinsdag 23 maart 2004

P.S. I've just added some links in the sidebar to some of the best blogs I've found on the Internet - I swear, I spend more time reading about the lives of people I don't know...

Anyway, some of them are pretty funny, and two or three of the authors are actually 'real' writers, with book deals and all... so feel free to check them out.

Good morning!

I'm only going to say one thing about the job thing, and that is that I emailed my translating professor last night to ask how to 'get my foot in the door'. She's been doing freelance translating for 20 years and she likes me, so she should be able to help me at least a little, to see if that might be an option for me... Oh yeah, and a second thing: that Mom is right and taking a year off to work before I start grad school is a Very Good Idea. :)

Not much on the agenda for today - class at 13.00 and going to the grocery store. Oh, and I have to find somewhere to print my paper for translation - it's that piece I did on Renate Dorrestein. I really enjoyed it, but when I went to print it out last night, I discovered that our printer cartridge is almost empty. Maybe they'll let me do it in the office...

Rest of the week: Martin's coming over tomorrow night, and then I'll be in Emmen for the weekend - the twins' and my Saturday trip to the travel agency has once again been called off, for multiple reasons, but namely because Alette doesn't know yet exactly when her vacation is. Anyway, so then Monday I have to register online for my UF classes - the Internet better not die on me! - and then that night I'm having dinner with Pauline and Anna. I haven't seen either of them in an incredibly long time, so that's exciting. :)

17 days till Spain!

maandag 22 maart 2004

Okay, new plan. Martin reminded me yesterday that not only Linde and Alette and Samantha are coming to visit, but he as well, in mid- to late August. (You might end up helping me move into La Mancha, LOL...) Anyway, the EMT thing is just not going to work. Correction - the First Responder thing is not going to work. The EMT program would fit in nicely, but I'm just too busy in that time window between 23 July and 23 August - I can't even squeeze in 40 measly hours of prerequisite training. Bah.

That sucks. And I can't take the EMT program in the spring. If I could, there would be no problem, but that semester it's given in the daytime and it'll conflict with my other UF classes - it has to be fall. Bah again. Oh well, it's not like the Santa Fe people answered me anyway. I guess I'll just see if I can take one of the First Responder courses at UF during the fall semester and go from there. Then I've at least got it out of the way. Who knows, maybe if I did the very first one, they'd let me take First Responder and EMT "overlapping" or something...

Hmm, and the early graduation thing just reminded me of something else - that I have to start looking harder at grad schools over here... That was always the plan, since there are - duh - tons more language opportunities in Europe than in the US, and plus grad school is WAY CHEAPER over here, something I didn't find out until recently...

Oh, that's another perk to the EMT thing: it's something I can do in the US as well as over here... being an interpreter or whatever, you're usually dependent on the language(s) of the country you reside in, but I can't think of a single country that wouldn't need emergency medical personnel...

Everything's changing really fast these days, seems to me. I suddenly have to find a grad school and a 'career' and all a lot sooner than I thought I'd have to. But if I were to take a lot of crap classes and drag it out until 2006, I wouldn't feel any more ready then than I do now. Bite the bullet and go for it, that's what I say.

Off to class...

zondag 21 maart 2004

Back - I forgot to add two things:

First: I rode along with Martin on the train again this afternoon... he had a schedule with Utrecht as the 'hub', something like Utrecht - Den Haag - Utrecht - Den Haag - Utrecht - Rhenen - Utrecht - Zwolle... anyway, so I rode along to Den Haag and as soon as we got there we heard that there was a broken 'bovenleiding'... the wire that hangs above the track... between Utrecht and Woerden. So we couldn't go back to Utrecht at all, and everybody who needed to go there (passengers) had to go via Schiphol (and thus also via Duivendrecht, of course). Really ridiculous... to give the non-Dutch an idea: picture a triangle. The connection I'm talking about is sort of like making the 'peak' of a triangle when you could make the connection in simply the bottom 'line' of the shape.

Anyway, so we sat around in Den Haag for a couple of hours and then got on a train which was supposedly going to Utrecht. Only it didn't; it went to Woerden and then there was another problem and it couldn't go any further. (Martin of course got swamped with people asking questions.) So we decided to take the bus to Utrecht (15 minutes), and got there just late enough for Martin to miss the train to Rhenen, so he had nowhere to go until 22.30 so we sat around in the 'verblijf' for the NS conductors and ate dinner and talked and stuff until I realized I really needed to go home, since I had my bike... so I went, and it of course started RAINING... grrr... but anyway, so that was my adventure and here I am. :)

And second: I LOVE THE NEW MARCO DVD... but I want to play the audio tracks on my mp3 player and I can't. If anyone knows how to rip DVD audio, please let me know...

Home again...

That fold-out couch in Lotte's room sleeps soooo nice! I'm realizing all over again how awful the one I have is, LOL... but yeah, what do you expect from Ikea...

Anyway, so where did I leave off? I went to the centrum with Lotte's mom and brother, and her mom is so nice - she bought me a new purse. I was looking at them and I picked one up, put it back, then went back to it again and said, "Misschien koop ik deze..." and she immediately snatched it from my hand and started marching to the counter, saying, "Dan krijg je hem van mij!" Haha... is that sweet or what? Anyway, so Lotte got home around 16.00 but then we didn't go to the Matrixx after all - we were tired and didn't feel like it. So we just hung out at her house and watched Idols and stuff. Alice is still in it, amazing... but I didn't agree with the decision to kick Ron out. I liked him, and I really felt that Erik should have been the unlucky one... he stank...

I've just realized something rather scary. That I'm probably going to graduate in spring 2005 instead of 2006. I was just checking my degree audit and I only have 4 more required classes for my major. Add a couple of major electives and a couple of GE things and Jess is done. Wow. I tend to forget that I'm not just over here hanging out with friends and having a good time - that these classes over here really are 'worth' something and they're not just to keep me busy. I've knocked off two major requirements and also a GE class without even realizing it. Of course, they don't show up yet - that won't happen until I've been home for a few months - but Albert Matheny has reassured me that I will indeed get the credit I think I'll get. Haha.

Anyway, so I changed my schedule slightly - removed one course and added two others. I have to register a week from tomorrow, and it now looks like this:

LIN 3201 Sounds of Human Language
LIN 3460 Structure of Human Language
MAC 1105 College Algebra
SYG 2430 Marriage and the Family
TSL 3370 Introduction to TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
PEN 1122 Swimming II

Total credits: 17. So yeah, sign language is gone (it would have fit, but 21 credits is just too heavy of a course load; I'd have to get special approval and all), but I've got space for it next semester. I really wanted to take the TESL course as soon as I could because teaching Wim has gotten me more interested in what a class like that would entail. (By the way, for those who don't know, I can pick up a TESL minor without taking any extra classes... I can swing it based only on linguistics classes... go me! LOL!) Like this, my schedule has several advantages... first, that I have extremely easy Tuesdays and Thursdays... second, that all my required classes are out of the way and I have more 'swinging room' next semester, and third, that I have eighth period free, so I can go hang out with the Dutch class... maybe audit it or something.

Cross your fingers that my Internet hangs on until Monday afternoon! LOL! I have to officially register online at 16.15... which means Dutch Present-Day Society will be skipped, but whatever. Stupid time difference. It's really 10.15 in the morning. Oh well. But if the Net does go down, mark my words... even you Americans will hear the explosion!

Okay, well, Internet Explorer has been kicking me off every five minutes, so I better highlight and copy this before I post it... and if you're reading it, then you know it's all worked out. LOL.

Hey, Tristan? When you finally get your butt down to Utrecht (LOL) can you take a look at my computer? I haven't installed anything new and I use Kazaa Lite so I shouldn't have spyware, but I've once again got weird toolbars and stuff in IE. You solved it for me last time, so... heel erg alsjeblieft??? LOL.

zaterdag 20 maart 2004

Princess Juliana is dead... hmm, there's a lot happening with the royal family during my year here... a new baby, then the ex-Queen dying...

Anyway, I'm on Lotte's computer and I only have a few minutes, but I wanted to update... fun weekend so far:

Lotte and Martin came and had dinner with me on Thursday and they both liked my macaroni and cheese, hahaha, imagine that... shrimp and salad and Vienetta ice cream rounded it out. :) Then we watched GTST and talked for a while, and then Lotte went home. The next morning Martin went back to Emmen and I went to class, then to Doetinchem to give Wim his lesson. He's really doing SO MUCH BETTER than before... it's cool to see progress.

Anyway, so then Lotte's mom picked me up, since Lotte herself was still in Utrecht working, and we went back to her house and then L turned up later and we all ate dinner and watched, what else, GTST. We were having dessert when suddenly we heard the strains of the music from the TV, so Lotte leaped up from her chair, "Oh!" Like dominos, her mother also leaped up, "Oh!" And then of course I leaped up too, and the three of us went charging into the other room, while her father (not a GTST fan) laughed until his face turned red.

So then I got to lie on Lotte's tanning bed - cooool :) - and then later we went out and before we went to the club she let me drive her car around the parking lot. It's a stick-shift so I wanted to practice. I never left first gear, but did a lot of stopping and starting. Only popped the clutch two or three times. But when we switched places again, Lotte realized the emergency brake had been on the whole time! LOL! The whole car smelled like burning rubber...

Anyway, so the club (Havana) was nice for a while, but then it got simply TOO BUSY and it wasn't fun anymore. So we left and got home around 1.00, laid in bed talking for a while, then fell asleep. Lotte had to get up early and go to work again, and I woke up for approximately five seconds when her alarm went off, then fell asleep again and slept until 12.15. Finally, some real sleep... mmm...

So then I woke up and came downstairs and had breakfast and talked to her mom, and now her brother is here too and we're all getting ready to go into the city, so I've gotta go... Lotte and I are going to Nijmegen tonight to some club, the Matrixx, and then tomorrow I'll be coming home.

But anyway, I'm not dead. Catie, what did you need to talk to me about? I won't be on MSN until tomorrow night when I get home. (And I want to see my icon!!! LOL!)

Ta ta...

woensdag 17 maart 2004

CJW zegt:
happy st patricks day
CJW zegt:
your eyes are green so that counts
Jess zegt:
good, no pinching

...So apparently it's St. Patrick's Day. I hadn't even given it a second thought. At home, when I was younger, Dad would take me and sometimes Catie along to the Gilfoils' St. Patrick's Day party at their apartment. I'm not sure why they had such a big party for it every year, but they did. Dad and I used to 'perform' at those, and do our "Rindercella" bit. For those who don't know, it's called 'spoonerism'. Know how when you look at yourself in a spoon, your image flips upside down? Well, this is the same thing, but with words. So instead of Cinderella, the story is called Rindercella, and the first line of the story goes "A tong lime ago in a coreign fountry..." You figure it out. I'd learned the whole thing by the time I was eight or nine and Dad and I would do it together sometimes in situations like that.

Grrr, the First Responder course at UF starts on 6 July - too early!!! (But thanks for calling them, Mom.) It has to be after 23 July, and preferably after 6 August since it's not nice to be running all around the state while I have guests. But anyway, so I need help. I can't take it at UF so it has to be UNF, FCCJ, or the Red Cross in Jacksonville, or Santa Fe in Gainesville. But nobody has dates posted and no one is answering my e-mails. HELP! It can't be THAT hard to find a class... I mean, I'm going to dump six hundred dollars into their lap, it should be easier to find than this!

Yay for Marco Borsato. I'm going to bed now so I can be up early and waiting in front of MediaMarkt to get the new DVD. Wheeeeee!!!

Hmmm. I have an interesting "Search EXE" toolbar that now pops up when I open Internet Explorer - no clue where it came from, since I haven't installed anything new... weird. And annoying.

Yes, Jess is once again going to be a busy little bee when she gets back to Gainesville... I gravitated back to that paramedic thing that I was talking about in December. It struck me as a good thing to have for one MORE reason: it's a job that I could have no matter which country I end up living in. With translating, the need depends on the country. For example, there's no need for Dutch in the USA, just as there's no real need for Spanish here. But anyway, aside from all that - like Mom says, I keep gravitating toward medicine, and this is a way that I can do it without having to go to school for a dozen years. So I'm planning to take the EMT-Basic course at Santa Fe (the community college in Gainesville) in the fall semester - classes three evenings a week and clinical shifts on weekends. Plus my regular UF classes, which, as I posted last week, will be two linguistic classes, college algebra, swimming, and sign language - so nothing too difficult.

...So I may not have time for that job after all, unfortunately. Which sucks, because I was really enthusiastic about it. But the difference here is that this is something I could potentially do long-term (and which earns a LOT more money), whereas the child care job is just a sort of earn-money-and-stay-in-one-place-in-your-life kind of job. Being an EMT is a step up, and it's something I've always wanted to do. And it only takes a semester. So I figure, why not just do it and see if this is really something I could see myself doing? So I e-mailed the Santa Fe people and also the UF coordinator, because there's a 40-hour course I have to take there before I can enroll in the EMT program. But anyway, so I'm going to have a busy first semester, but it's worth it - it'll finally settle that what-if-I'd-done-medicine question that keeps hanging over my head.

Helene is here, by the way - Scott's girlfriend from Paris. She got here yesterday. And I have to admit, the two of them together are a.) really cute, and b.) really efficient. They took out the trash (I was finally about to give in and do it, even though I'd done it the past two times, but then they suddenly did it... nice one) and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors - a chore we haven't done since, oh, September. I always feel uncomfortable in the apartment when she's here, though - I can't explain why that is, but it's a sucky feeling. I like her a lot, it's nothing to do with her personally... just a feeling.

Anyway, Lotte and Martin are coming over tomorrow for dinner, so that'll balance it out a bit. ;) They're going to try my REAL macaroni and cheese, haha! And shrimp... and what else? Weird to be playing host... :)

Bought new earrings today at Six (Americans: it's like Claire's, or Afterthoughts, or any of those teeny mall stores which are basically all jewelry and a little hair stuff). So I got those glow-in-the-dark ones I wanted (blue and white, so not TOO tacky - they had pink and yellow...), plus two pairs of dice (white and black - on the same card), and then a pair of those long dangly ones which look like pieces of silver string going through your earlobe and then hanging down again on the back side. Of course there's really an earring back, it's just an optical illusion, but it looks cool. I am so addicted to earrings...

Anyway, I'm off to finish my Dutch Present-Day Society assignment... ciao!!!

dinsdag 16 maart 2004

Um... Mom... that comment you posted about "does the phone have a GPS"... I thought you were being smart-alecky, and maybe you were, but - in fact, there is a GPS "shell" (cover) for the phone (which you can buy separately) which converts it into a GPS! Check it out.

...Ahem... needless to say... wanna wanna wanna!!! LOL!

maandag 15 maart 2004

Whoa! How could I forget?!

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Karré on the birth of her second child, a little girl, Benthe Margriet!

And those congratulations extend of course to Ronald and Tristan and Laura and little Daniel ("Baby, baby!") and everybody in the family! I'm so happy for you guys!

My song of the moment... I'm trying to get back into Spanish since I'll be making a trip soon... and, go me, I found a couple of errors in the lyrics and turned out to be right... see, I can still do this... maybe not as well as in my Spanish Queen days, but still, I can... and, surprisingly, my fingers still "automatically" know how to make the upside-down question mark. I couldn't remember the number for the Alt-command, so I just stared at the screen and let my fingers move, and they did it right! Dormant knowledge waking up again... wacky...

And I understand everything in this song, too - which I'm happy about. I had to really 'look hard' at some of it and really think, but in the end it 'surfaced' and I realized what was being said. It's not as easy as it used to be, but it's still there. Nitza would shoot me... come to think of it, I should mail her... OK, I'll stop rambling - here's the song.

Tú robaste mi corazón
Selena & Emilio Navaira

Como he llegado a caer aquí contigo
Entre tus brazos de sed, amor
Qué bonito es encontrarse al fín
Después de tanto tiempo solo

Cómo es que todo se ve mejor contigo
Cómo es que nada parece igual
No puede ser amor lo que siento en mi
Es mucho más de lo que imaginaba

En un momento el corazón perdí
Sin darme cuenta todo te lo dí
Y en mi pecho siento nueva vida
Donde mi corazón dormía

Tú, tú robaste mi corazón, ¿qué puedo hacer?
Me siento presa de ti
Y no me quiero escapar de tu vida
Tú, tú llenaste mi corazón
Con tu querer
Con tu alma y tu ser
No te quiero perder
Nunca, nunca

En un momento has cambiado todo, amigo
Lo que esparada al fin llegó
Lo que nadie más pude encontrar
Sin esperar caí en mis manos

Cómo es que todo se ve mejor contigo
Cómo es que nada parece igual
No puede ser amor lo que siento en mi
Es mucho más de lo que imaginaba

(coro 2x)

Okay, I have officially decided that I do not want to keep my current phone when I go back to the States - I've just found the coolest one ever! Check it out, the Nokia 5140. Even a built-in flashlight, LOL!

I've also been thinking about the issue of the teeny-tiny room I'm going to have at La Mancha... and one possible solution might be to put my dresser in the closet. Wonder if that would fit? I think it would.

This is weird - I'm actually starting to get psyched up about going home. It's not like I want to leave here - I don't, not at all - but all the stuff I've been thinking about lately - my new UF schedule, my possible new job, having my car back, hooking my stereo up to my computer, getting internet that WORKS, arranging my room at La Mancha, and now this cool new phone... I'm really looking forward to all that.

But if you notice... all of those things are materialistic... and to get them, I have to leave Martin and Linde and Tristan and Lotte and all my other friends here...

Ah, well, anyway...

Aaaaahhhhh! I can finally load Blogger! Quick, J, post everything that's happened within the past two days before it all goes away again!

First: Internet is ONCE AGAIN having issues. The only time I get that whiny "I wanna go home" voice in my head is when I'm sitting in front of a computer with no internet connection and I have some thing or other that I desperately need to do online. I repeat, if our Net goes down again at the precise moment when I need to register online for my classes in Florida, I am going to have a first-class fit.

Second: I found a day care center in Gainesville where I might like to work next year… the money situation I’m in right now is making me realize (even more than I already did) that I need to find employment pretty much immediately when I get back, so I did an online search for places to work with kids. A Child’s Academy looks really nice. It’s Christian – all the places I want to work seem to have a religious connection, sigh – but in looking at the site, especially the things for the babies, it really looks like a place I’d enjoy working. Also, it looks pretty ‘swanky’ – meaning I bet they pay well. Anyway, so I mailed them, and look what they wrote back!

"Thank you for contacting us. We would love to talk to you about a job. I'm kind of rushed now but within the next few days, I will e-mail you an application and you can return it to us. You sound like an amazing person. I will look forward to meeting you. Thanks again!"

Woohoo, sounds like Jess may have a job!

But then I think – a day care center. Come on. Is that really considered valuable work experience? The thing is, I have yet to figure out exactly what I want to do as a career and as a 20-year-old college student who has only worked in two nurseries and a summer camp, it’s hard to find anyone who wants you. I know I’m intelligent, trustworthy, etc. etc. etc., and that I’d make a good employee for someone, but on paper it doesn’t look too impressive. I have good references in the area of child care (nine years of babysitting, two years in church nurseries, three years as a camp counselor, and four years of volunteer work in the newborn nursery of the hospital), but that’s not something I plan on doing for the rest of my life. And in every other area I have zilch. (Well, except for lifeguarding.) I really have no clue in the world what I want to do. The translating thing is fun and I like it, but I’ve looked into some companies and it’s the same thing – you have to have experience. Well, how do I GET experience if no one will hire someone WITHOUT experience? Sigh.

Moving on…

Third: I am so good, I did 3 of the 4 questions for Dutch Present-Day Society yesterday in between movies and they’re not even due until Thursday. Plus did some of my translation and that's not due till Wednesday. Go Jess!

Fourth: I had a ‘Jess day’ yesterday – Saturday too, actually - watched movies, ate mac and cheese with shrimp (yum!), drank tons of water, and basically just took it easy and tried to heal a bit. I folded my bed up into the couch so I could sit a bit more comfortably while watching, and then left it that way last night while sleeping… it's surprisingly really comfortable!

Fifth: Yesterday I went to the station around 17.00 – Martin was working and one of his trips was from Utrecht to Baarn and back again, and I can ride free (and in first class ;)) if he’s there, so at least we got to see each other briefly. Easier (and cheaper) than the two-and-a-half-hour train trip to Emmen. Plus it got me on my bike (to go to the station) – I felt so fat and lazy Saturday, not going anywhere. Oh, and I also got to go ‘behind the scenes’ into their little area in the station – it’s nice. Snack bar, bathroom, TVs, etc. And a patatje met = 75 eurocents. Wow. That’s half of what it is “on the outside.”

Anyway, if anybody has any other work ideas for me, let me know. Just in case this day care thing doesn't pan out. I need something above minimum wage – I earned $7/hour at the first nursery I worked at and so I’m spoiled now, LOL. The problem is, anything I could find in Gville (or Jville) that has to do with languages is probably going to be on campus, and anything on campus is going to pay $5.15/hour, the minimum. And I need more than that. Lifeguarding gives a little more, something like $6 or $6.50, but my card runs out in April 2005 so I wouldn’t even be able to work a full year before it ran out. I guess I need to renew that…

Anyway, start thinking, people! :)

Yesterday was an ‘anniversary’ for me – seven months here. It’s really flown by – it doesn’t seem that long. Three or four months, maybe.

Oh AND I found someone who wants to trade Marco tickets with me! AWESOME! So now I can go on the 9th with Linde and Alette, and that also means I can stay longer in Paris with Faith. WOOHOO – EXCITED!!!

Annnnd – even better – while chatting with my dad, I remembered that while I was home in Florida in January, my National Merit check for the semester arrived. (The small one, from the actual corporation, not the one from UF.) And that when I deposited it, I did so into my savings account, not my checking account. So the bottom line is, I have $375 that I didn’t know I had. Sweeeet!!!!

As for the National Merit thing, yes Mom, I faxed it today.

Just got up and counted. 25 days till I go to Spain, 130 days until I go home.

Uh oh, water's boiling. Be back later...

zaterdag 13 maart 2004

Lately I seem to have this thing for Celine Dion and her song "I'm Alive" - I've had it on repeat for like three days now. I'm also getting back into my Spanish music, which is a good thing, considering I could really use the practice...

I'm working on that translation, the big one from A Heart of Stone. And it is fun, just like I thought. We were expressly forbidden to look at the 'professional' translation until we had our own version complete, and I did resist, but boy, was that tempting... I kept on thinking, screw the dictionary, it would be so much easier to just take a peek... But I finished my own version and then opened up the 'professional' English translation, eager to see what was there, and... wow... I couldn't believe it... mine is so much better than the published version!!! Maybe that sounds arrogant, but it's true. There are of course a few things that the professional translator did better, but in general mine 'flows' a lot better than hers. (Judging by her name, she is Dutch, thus probably not a native English speaker.) That was a big confidence booster - in class I often get depressed because I have a lot of trouble with the English-to-Dutch translations and I know that I can't be as good as the others no matter how hard I try... but this was great, sort of a reminder that when it's in my native language, not only can I do it, but I can do it really, really well. So I'm happy now.

And I have an insane amount of movies downloaded! Now that I have my 24/7 connection back, all the stuff I had in Kazaa is finally finishing. So I have American Pie 2 and 3, What Lies Beneath, Love Actually, Drumline, and Remember the Titans... with Hannibal, Meet the Parents, and Jurassic Park still downloading. So this is definitely going to be a movie weekend.

On that note... off to watch Drumline. :)

vrijdag 12 maart 2004

OK, so here's what we have about the Spain thing:

ETA wanted to attack before the elections, and in December a similar ETA attack (also on the train system) was foiled. And the explosives were Spanish-made and similar to things ETA has used before.


ETA usually gives a warning and claim of involvement, neither of which they did this time. On the contrary, they deny involvement. The scale of this attack is also much larger than anything they have ever done. And U.S. officials don't think they could do it alone, even if they were involved.

Further, synchronized attacks are a hallmark of al-Qaida. A van with detonators and an Arabic tape was found along the same commuter line which was bombed. And the explosives, although similar to those of ETA, are more modern. Also, a claim has been received in the name of al-Qaida, even though the reliability has not yet been proven. Plus, al-Qaida obviously has the motive - Spain is a key U.S. ally.

So, to get into the psychology of it - ETA could be denying it simply to mess with people's heads, because they know there's another scapegoat, or al-Qaida could be claiming it because they WISH they had done it, and they're trying to 'keep their threat alive', so to speak.

So I'm not sure what to think...

I saw this on someone else’s blog and thought it was a cool idea, so here we go.

100 Things About Me

1. I am an Aquarius, and my birthday is the anniversary of the date that Hitler came to power
2. I don’t smoke and never have
3. I had a bone deformity when I was 13 that is usually only seen in middle-aged women
4. I speak three languages
5. I am a lifeguard
6. But my biggest fear in the world is drowning (or dying in any way in which I can’t breathe)
7. I had braces
8. I am addicted to SMSing.
9. I love everything written by Jean Auel
10. I worked for four years in the newborn nursery at a hospital
11. I learned to read when I was three
12. And I read really fast
13. I really want to have twins one day
14. I have very oddly-shaped thumbs
15. I have one sister, but we do not look one bit alike
16. I lived my entire childhood (0-18 years) in the same house in Jacksonville, Florida
17. I am usually the first one to finish tests of any kind
18. I lived in Europe for a year, in a building that was once a nursing home
19. I am chronically the last one to see movies (still never seen Star Wars or Forrest Gump)
20. I love to re-read young adult novels
21. Especially ones about, as my mother calls it, ‘death and dying’
22. I don't like fruit, except for strawberries and orange juice
23. But I like almost all other food
24. I am a National Merit Scholar and thus have a full college scholarship
25. Yet I sometimes have shockingly little common sense. My mother will gladly give examples.
26. I love making lists
27. I have my ears pierced twice, and I always wear earrings
28. Old Navy is probably my favorite clothing store
29. I attended the same summer camp for seven years, as both camper and counselor
30. I am constantly amazed at how talented my friends are
31. I spend way too much time on the Internet
32. I love backpacks, purses, suitcases, and anything with lots of zippers and pockets
33. I cannot believe that I am getting older
34. I have a Volkswagen New Beetle
35. I love theme parks and roller coasters
36. I finally enjoy my mom's company ;)
37. I took horseback riding lessons for seven years
38. I am afraid that I won’t be able to raise my kids, when I finally have some, as well as my parents raised me
39. I love Target
40. I still love getting letters via snail mail
41. I admit thinking the American Pie movies are funny
42. I also admit that I saw Titanic five times in the theater.
43. I used to have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi
44. It really annoys me when computers do not perform at lightning speed
45. I love photography
46. I take a multivitamin every day
47. Baseball is the one sport that I absolutely cannot play
48. But I am otherwise very coordinated and athletic
49. I used to be insane for Shania Twain, but I don’t care as much anymore
50. I went to her concerts on 3 dec 1999 and 4 march 2004
51. I also met her on 3 dec 1999 – got invited onstage.
52. I really hate the smell of cigarette smoke
53. I am a fan of the Dutch soap opera Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden
54. I cannot roll my tongue
55. I am terrified of bees and wasps
56. I love driving
57. I need lots of hugs
58. I want a profession involving languages, medicine, traveling, and children, but so far I have not found one.
59. My all-time favorite TV show is ER
60. I am not at all religious
61. I think French fries with mayonnaise are delicious
62. I have big feet for a short girl
63. I wear contact lenses without which I am practically blind
64. I almost never wear makeup, except for lip balm
65. I love hoodies
66. I have a very poor sense of smell
67. I have never been ‘totally wasted drunk’
68. I am totally spoiled by the Florida sunshine
69. I use Dove body wash
70. I kept a diary – several, actually – from age six through thirteen.
71. I eat much more junk food than I should
72. My hazel eyes look brown, but in the light, you can see that they’re really quite green
73. I really like the movie Armageddon.
74. I sometimes feel awkward in social situations
75. When it comes to school, I can be a real perfectionist
76. I adore just having ‘silly’ moments with people, like splashing each other in the pool
77. I love almost all seafood.
78. I am not as terrified of death as most people seem to be
79. I have a chip in my front tooth from a fight with a windowsill when I was ten
80. I'd like to go to Africa
81. I did the IB (International Baccalaureate) program at the high school ranked #1 in America
82. I absolutely love macaroni and cheese
83. I value openness and directness above almost all else
84. I have 15 cousins
85. I love the Disney Channel
86. I am sick of people discriminating against each other
87. I would kill to go into space one day
88. Writing has always been a way for me to sort out what I’m really feeling
89. I hate anything grape-flavored
90. 6 is my lucky number because I won a spelling bee with it when I was ten
91. I have extremely short hair
92. I love swimming and diving from a diving board
93. As I'm typing this, the water is dripping in the kitchen sink and hitting the dishes which I still haven’t washed
94. I hate nightgowns but love pajamas
95. I am a night owl, yet not a big fan of going out and partying
96. I love ice cream
97. Most of my friends are Dutch (thus live in the Netherlands)
98. I am not judgmental about many things
99. But the thing that I hate most in the world is when people treat me like I’m helpless and naïve
100. I love candlelight

donderdag 11 maart 2004

Okay, the translation is 'done' in the sense that it's all in the computer - all I have to do now is go back and look up the words I didn't know, which are in caps. So I'm taking a quick break. It's a night of lists...

First... Stuff I Still Want To Buy: those earrings from Six, Cool Water perfume, jelly bracelets, good shoes, those photo things, a new bag, and new jeans.


Big Things I Miss About America:
my family (especially my sister - this is an important year for her and I'm not there)
my car (no explanation needed! ;))
school (a schedule with short classes, a campus that I know, free sports)
the weather (wearing shorts and flip-flops nine months out of the year)

Little Things I Miss About America:
not getting looked at funny when you order or ask for water to drink
the non-smoking laws
microwave dinners
certain brand names, like Playtex and Kraft
seeing the CURRENT seasons of shows like Friends and ER
being able to wear jeans and sneakers every day and not get stared at

Big Things I'm Going to Miss About NL:
***my friends*** (I have more and deeper friendships here than at home, hands down)
public transportation
the awesome food (it tastes REAL... when I went home in January, everything tasted weird)
the challenge of speaking a language other than English every day
the openness and directness of the people - you not only MAY have an (honest) opinion about everything, you SHOULD!

Little Things I'm Going to Miss About NL:
the fashions
Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden
being able to bike everywhere
candles!!! These people are candle-crazy and I love it!
the confidence I get from knowing 'the systems' and speaking the language, esp. next to people who don't
McDonalds fritessaus
occasional snow

I'm sure I'll refer to these later, as I think of more things...

I'm in a fairly bad mood at the moment, but in general it was a pretty good day. I finished my assignment with lots of time to spare this morning and then rode my bike to class... and it turned out we didn't have class, that the teacher was going to miss another day (one of her close friends passed away last week). So we stuck our assignments in her pigeonhole and Lotte and I went shopping in the centrum. She bought shoes, a bag, and a few small presents for people. I didn't buy anything, but saw lots of stuff I liked... there are these earrings in Six that look like those balls Catie and I used to play with when we were kids. What are they called? They're made of long rubbery stretchy strings - we had a red, yellow, and blue one, and then another one... Anyway, these earrings look like those, and they glow in the dark, and they're exactly what that cute little girl in the train had on yesterday. So I'm definitely going back to buy those. And I saw those long plastic things that hang on the wall with pockets for photos - the things Marrit had last year that I so desperately wanted - but now I'm twijfeling over whether or not I really want them, so I didn't buy them... I'm sure I can find them online somewhere, but I can't seem to come up with good search terms. What do you CALL those things, anyway?

Anyway, so then we got sandwiches at Bakkerij Bart's - panini Spaans, lekker!!! - and while we were in there I got an SMS from Martin that he had booked the trip. So we ARE going to Spain, on 9 April - YAAAAAAY!!!!! (More about that later.) Anyway, so then Lotte and I looked in some other stores and then Lotte went to meet a friend and I went home. The first thing I did was dump my laundry in the machines downstairs, and then I checked and realized that the UF registration schedule for fall was finally up! So I figured out my schedule, which took around an hour and a half, meaning my laundry sat in the machines for a lot longer than it needed to. Oh well, at least it's done - it's hanging all around my room now, drying.

As for my schedule, it's great. I wanted two classes which didn't pan out - Accelerated Introduction to Portuguese (accelerated since I've already studied Spanish) and Frisbee (yes, they have a class for that) - but I was patient and found other options. I can't officially register until 10.15 (which means 16.15 for me) on 29 March, but I have everything written down so I can be as fast as possible when that day comes. So now my schedule is:

LIN 3201: Sounds of Human Language
LIN 3460: Structure of Human Language
SPA 1612: American Sign Language
MAC 1105: College Algebra
PEN 1122: Swimming II

15 credits total. Nice, hey? Those first two are required for linguistics majors, and I'm 'overdue' with them, so I stuck them both in there, and I also have 1 math requirement that I still need to knock off, so I'm doing it in the easiest way possible - college algebra - LOL! And I wanted some sport, and I've already done basketball, so swimming won. And yeah, you're all wondering about the sign language. Well, it's something I've always been interested in, and all linguistics majors are advised to take at least one non-Romance, non-Germanic language, so that we can get a better idea of what actually constitutes 'a language'. Sign language was one of the ones recommended, so I'm taking it. When I first started learning Dutch, I often used Spanish words without meaning to, until my vocabulary grew. And now that I'm on a higher level, I'm 'losing' my Spanish because I don't use it anymore. So I wanted to continue with languages in a way that would not compromise my skills in Dutch or Spanish, and this seemed like a good happy medium. Plus Aunt Kathie can help me. (Right??? LOL!)

So why, you ask, am I in a bad mood? Well, first of all because I'm sick - but I do seem to be getting better; I'm entering the 'dry cough' phase, which usually signifies the end for me. But also because two of my friends really made me angry today. However, I do know that they did so out of concern for me, so I can't really be mad. I get tired of having people worry about me, but I suppose that's what friends (and parents ;)) are for. I just don't like it when they 'touch a sensitive spot' (I know we have an English expression for this, but all I can think right now is 'gevoelige snaar aanraken', the Dutch version) and make me question myself. Normally I can handle it, but at the moment I'm sick and I've also had a lot of stress lately and those two factors combined do NOT make me a pleasant person to be around...

Okay, I've got to go translate now. Oh yeah, that's the other reason I'm in a bad mood - this translation is of a part of Robin Hood, and it's the most difficult one we've done yet - archaic English, with 'thy's and 'thou's and all. So I know I have to use 'gij', and David just helped me on a certain aspect of that, but really, there are certain sentences in here that *I* don't even understand, and this is English! I'm curious how the others will react...

Bye now.

Based on the stuff coming out of my nose, this is not a cold - this is a sinus infection. Splendid. Oh well, at least the sore throat is gone, even if my voice is still about six octaves lower than normal... LOL!

Almost done with my Dutch Present-Day Society assignment. Then I have to go to class. Then I have to translate part of "How Allan-A-Dale's Wooing Was Prospered" - a piece from Robin Hood. Which I absolutely cannot do on my own, all that archaic English which has to become archaic Dutch... so I'm hoping Tristan will come online, or come over... LOL! Anyway, so then I need to start on my Heart of Stone project... and I have to do laundry... and I have to go to Albert Heijn but I don't think I'm going to...

Sigh. And all I want to do is sit here at the computer in my pajamas... all day long... blowing my nose.

woensdag 10 maart 2004

Hey, I know the Americans can't read this, but this is where I'm probably going in Spain next month. It's on the island of Tenerife. Excitedness - WOOHOO!!!!!

Aparthotel Caledonia Park (all inclusive)
vanaf € 449

Caledonia Park is een prima keuze als u voor een aantrekkelijke prijs geheel verzorgd in een all inclusive accommodatie wilt verblijven.

De afstand naar het strand bedraagt circa 800 meter en het centrum van Playa de las Americas ligt op 2 kilometer. Op 500 meter van het complex zijn verschillende bars, restaurants en winkels te vinden.

Receptie, lounge, lift, twee bars, restaurant, minimarkt, zwembad met geïntegreerd kinderbad, poolbar, terras met ligbedden, speeltuin, kinderanimatie, tennisbaan, squashbaan, volleybalveld, tafeltennis en biljart.

De studio's (ca. 36 m2) zijn geschikt voor maximaal drie personen en voorzien van een woonkamer met drie slaapbanken, telefoon, kitchenette met koelkast en elektrische kookplaten, badkamer met bad of douche en toilet en een balkon of terras. De appartementen (ca. 50 m2) zijn ook geschikt voor drie personen maar hebben een aparte slaapkamer voor twee personen en een bedbank in de woonkamer. Het gebruik van een kluisje is inclusief (borg voor sleutel). Een babybedje is gratis beschikbaar.

All inclusive
-ontbijt, lunch en diner in buffetvorm.
-frisdrank en lokale alcoholische dranken tussen 11.00 - 23.00 uur.
-warme snacks en ijsjes van 11.00 - 12.00 uur en van 15.30 - 17.30 uur verkrijgbaar bij de poolbar.
- thee, koffie en koekjes van 15.30 - 17.30 uur.
-dagelijks entertainment en twee shows per week.
-u kunt gratis gebruikmaken van de sportfaciliteiten. U dient een borg te betalen voor het gebruik van de sportbenodigdheden.

De appartementen worden drie keer per week schoongemaakt waarbij ook de handdoeken worden gewisseld. Het bedlinnen wordt éénmaal per week verschoond.

All inclusive.

...Tomorrow I'll know for sure if we're really going... going to sleep with crossed fingers, LOL!!!

Busy day... woke up exactly six minutes before my alarm, but I freaked out because it was already light and I thought I was late. But I wasn't, and so I went to class on my bike and turned in my translations and photocopied the LAST of the translations, only 3 left to do (plus of course the test ones and the long excerpt from A Heart of Stone, but I have forever to do those). Then I went to the station and looked AGAIN for shoes and didn't find any, so wandered through V&D until it was time to go get my train to Doetinchem. Which was late (AGAIN) so I missed the connection in Arnhem and had to wait for the next train a half hour later. When I finally got on that train, a woman and her daughter, around 4 or 5 years old, got on a few stops later and the little girl was really hyper, playing with the folding seats and all... but she was adorable so I'm afraid I encouraged her, LOL, since I was next to her...

So I walked to Iselinge and gave Wim his lesson, and then walked back to Doetinchem station and - coincidentally - the woman and her daughter were there again! So we started talking, and the girl had just as much energy as before, so she and I were sort of playing... and then we got on the train and she chattered away to me the whole way. Her name was Soraya. She was smart, too - even knew what a bladder infection was - and very verbal. But her mom looked a bit worn out... understandably... LOL! Anyway, right before they got off the train, her mom and I were explaining to Soraya where America was ("waar Papa een keertje naartoe is gegaan") and how far away it was... and I told her I had to fly for 8 hours and she pretended to faint because it was so far away, then said she wanted to go too. So I asked if I should put her in my suitcase and she started laughing and said no... Anyway, gezellig. It's that kind of social contact that I miss, just talking to random people, and it was nice to do that again.

So then I got back to Utrecht and rode my bike home and once again had perfect timing - had just enough time to make my macaroni before ER came on. And boy, did I eat. I didn't have a real lunch because I was at the station - just a loempia out of the wall... (no, wait, in English it's 'lumpia' I think...) so I ate an incredible amount of macaroni. Saw ER and GTST for the first time in a week and a half. Laura has been accused of Pascalle's murder, and Barbara is throwing herself at Jef trying to make him stay... but I think he's going to go. Anyway, we'll see. And I know who the murderer really is, or at least I do if Lotte's "secret source" is right, but I'm not going to say it here because I don't want to spoil it for anyone...

Random Thought #1 - Why do people spit so much here? It's disgusting.

Random Thought #2 - I have to put those Marco Borsato tickets on Marktplaats and see if someone will trade with me... I really want to go on the 9th with Linde and Alette. Plus that would be easier seeing as I'm going to meet Faith in Paris on the 11th... not nice to have to leave again the next day when I could otherwise have stayed until Monday.

P.S. I definitely have a cold now. Grrrr.

P.S. They DO have ER DVDs... or I saw the first one online, at least, so there are probably more... Hint to Mom and Dad about what to include in that next package!!! :) Haha... oh, and a pair of my size-8 jeans, too... I need some inspiration... ;) LOL!

Have to go to class in a few minutes... that godforsaken 9.15 translating class. But at least both my assignments are done.

It's time for me to have a Jess day, I think... or a Jess evening, at least. I'm going to ride my bike to class, sit through class, ride to the station, get on a train to Doetinchem, do my homework for Dutch Present-Day Society on the way there, give Wim a long-overdue English lesson (it's been like a month), ride back (possibly working on the Friday translation which I know we will receive today... I seem to work efficiently on the train for some reason) and then get home around 17.30. Then I plan to make my macaroni and cheese, which I still have not done, and sit down in front of the TV for ER and GTST. I have a cold and a sore throat (it's not too bad yet and I'm hoping the bike ride might chase some of it away; exercise helps me a lot when I'm sick) so I'm overdue for some Jess time. :) TV, dus!!! :) Haha!

Okay, going to get dressed now... I'll be back tonight.

dinsdag 9 maart 2004

Hey hey! I'm in Emmen now... Martin's at the hospital having his head examined, oops, I mean his neck. ;) LOL... sorry, I'm in a very 'flauw' mood this morning. Anyway, I ended up coming here last night totally unexpectedly - I think he was nervous about today (neck biopsy), but he wouldn't admit it. Anyway, so he's at the hospital and I'm sitting here doing homework, uh, I mean Blogging...

I am sooo good, I almost finished the 1850's translation before I left last night, and I knocked off five pages (handwritten) of the Sherlock Holmes one on the way here. Just needed a little motivation to get finished, I guess :) seeing as it all has to be turned in tomorrow... Anyway, I am also sooo good because: the train left at 19.22 - straight to Zwolle, none of this Deventer-Zwolle crap, haha... and I had been feverishly working on that first translation, so I was standing in front of my apartment at 17.05 waiting for the bus, not having had dinner yet, going in my head, "This is never gonna work, never gonna work..." but then the bus turned up a couple minutes later so I got on and then put E1,50 in one hand and my pinpas in the other... we got there around 19.15 so I just ran... up the escalator, over to 'the wall' to grab a sandwich (thus the E1,50), back in the other direction to the kaartautomaat, got my ticket (thus the pinpas), ran to the board, checked the platform (11a/b), ran to the platform, and got on... with a minute and a half to spare. Go Jess!

Request of the moment: can anyone who has a nice ringtone please send it to me? (It is possible to send ringtones from one phone to another, isn't it?) I'm really getting sick of the 'standard' ones that came with the phone, and the Internet doesn't work on my phone for some reason so I can't download any, either. Greatly appreciated!...

OK, I'm going to 'really' translate now. And I should be home tonight... going to make my mac and cheese and (hopefully) actually get to watch ER for a change... I saw it the very first night it was back on TV, a week ago yesterday, but not since then. I think Elizabeth's character has joined the show since then. Hey, do they have ER DVDs the way they do for Friends and Buffy and stuff? They should...

maandag 8 maart 2004

Till now, a pretty good day. My package came, with A Heart Of Stone, the DVD from camp, and no less than EIGHT packages of the cheese mix from Kraft Mac & Cheese. Dad, you rock!!!

This means that Martin, you have to come and try REAL macaroni and cheese, and Linde, you have to come and watch the camp DVD... :)

Anyway, I'm not allowed to even open the book yet - my assignment is to choose a portion of the Dutch version and translate it to English, then compare it to the 'professional' English translation. It's a really cool assignment and I'd like to get started now, but I can't because I have two other assignments, which are much less fun because they are from English to Dutch. Oh well. Anyway, I haven't decided which portion of the book to translate yet... but it's going to be difficult to do it in an 'unbiased' way, because you guys know me - when I read something that I enjoy, I sort of memorize it without meaning to. So when I read the Dutch version, the English version pops into my head unbidden. I have to try to 'turn that off' and think of how I would do it if I had no 'guide'...

Complaint of the Day: Why is it that whenever I ask a cashier IN DUTCH if I can use a Visa, they immediately switch to English??? Is it that big of a tip-off? Geez! That's really annoying...

OK, time for some food.

zondag 7 maart 2004

No one leaves comments anymore. :( Why not? Catie gets tons of comments on her page... then again, half of them are from people expressing their views on the Homosexual War that she started a while back... but I'm still proud of her for that. Hear me, sis? I've taught you well! LOL!

Anyways, quick quick quick update:

Saturday: more Staatsexamen. The writing was actually sort of fun, I didn't mind it, but the speaking was something else again. I can speak reasonably coherent Dutch if I'm talking to a PERSON, but this was to a computer, with headphones on... all sorts of robotic stuff... "U gaat luisteren naar... blah blah blah... U hoort eerst een voorbeeld... blah blah blah...U moet alle plaatjes gebruiken... blah blah blah..." Argh. Plus I was practically hyperventilating... anyway, it's over and done with and I get the results in six to seven weeks.

So then I went to Emmen and met Martin's parents and had dinner with them. His mom is German - I liked her right away, one of those faces that's always smiling. His dad is Dutch and I liked him a lot too - makes a lot of jokes - but I have trouble understanding him through the accent (Drenthe). I'll get used to it, I suppose - I mean, I can (usually) understand Martin just fine - but yesterday it was difficult. But I suppose my lack of sleep contributed to that.

Anyway, so then today I came back to Utrecht... another two-and-a-half hour trip... and then went to Bilthoven to meet Linde as we'd 'afgesproken'. But when I got to Bilthoven, she wasn't there. So after about 20 minutes I called her, with my dying GSM (apparently T-Mobile doesn't get good service underneath Martin's staircase, where my coat was... LOL!... so it did a Network Search all night and drained the battery) and she said, "I thought we were meeting at six?" I told her that she had told me to take the 15.39 train and I heard, "I did?"... and then the phone died. So I hopped onto the train back to Utrecht, which was already there, and went home and got rid of my heavy backpack and charged the phone as much as I could in the 15 or so minutes that I was there, then went back to the centrum and met Linde and Esra at Broers (a cafe at Janskerkof, for those who don't know).

Anyway, so we sat there for a while and then Linde and I walked back to the station and took the train to Bilthoven (again) and I had dinner with her family. Typical Dutch meal: meat, potatoes, vegetable. (And for dessert, if there is a dessert, maybe some yogurt-type thing.) That's what I had at Martin's and also at Linde's. Not bad - lekker, really - but different from what I'm used to. We eat that kind of stuff, sure, but not three and four times a week like here. I'd get bored with that, I think.

So Linde and I looked on the Internet for cheap plane tickets - she and Alette (her identical twin sister, for those who don't know) are still planning to come back with me, and probably Samantha as well, a friend of theirs whom I met at New Year's. Anyway, we did set tentative dates - 23 July to arrive and 6 August for them all to leave - but we didn't find anything, and we figured out that we'd have to go to a travel agent anyway because we all want to be on the same flight and sitting together, but the three of them need round-trip tickets and I need a one-way. You can't do that via the computer. So we gave that up and turned the computer over to Jaap Enno (L's brother) and his friend and the rest of us (me, L, her parents, and her sister Marianne... Alette wasn't there) curled up on the couches to watch How Stella Got Her Groove Back on Net5. I really love spending time at their house... it feels like a 'real' family house... there's always lots of bantering and talking and yelling and it just feels friendly. Like tonight, Jaap Enno got some weird phone message via the regular phone line (not an answering machine) which Marianne ended up hearing instead of him, and we all got into a discussion of how those messages could be left, what the girl's name was, etc. etc. etc., plus of course teasing JE about what the girl had 'really' said. And Linde kept getting SMSes from the new guy she's seeing, so we were reading those, and we were all (except their parents) complaining about how cold it was (L and I were huddled under blankets), so her mom told us to put on sweatshirts, and I was wearing a sweatshirt, so more sarcastic banter followed... it turned out that the thermostat, which had been on 18 degrees (which is already low for winter) had been turned down instead of up, to 15 degrees. So we all had to yell at/tease their dad for a while... and then of course we were all making comments on the movie, and so on and so forth. Anyway, gezellig!

Okay, this is not short.
And I'm exhausted.
And I still have to do those two translations and the DPDS assignment.
And I wish I hadn't agreed to tutor Wim on Wednesday because otherwise Martin could have come, since my class is so early.
And why haven't I seen Tristan in like two weeks? T, I miss ya... :(
And why will my Utrecht map not stay on the wall?
And ... I'm (maybe) going to Spain next month! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!

vrijdag 5 maart 2004

Okay - can we say DRAINED?! I mean, I've been having a great time... but that Staatsexamen is just like taking an IB or an AP. You know the content and you can do it, but you have to focus so hard that you feel sooo mentally drained afterwards...

Anyway, backing up. Yesterday was Thursday and we all know what that means... Shania day! So I went straight from school to the station and picked up Martin, and we went back to my apartment and bummed around for a while, looking at pictures and stuff, then went back to the station, grabbed some Burger King (how healthy of us) and sat there having one of those 'alles en nog wat' conversations... about portion sizes in America, how you could 'tell' if someone was Dutch or not, etc. I think it ended when we were trying to guess the gender of the person at the next table, who was sitting with his/her head leaning on his/her hand, staring into space, looking like an absolute picture of depression... so we tentatively concluded that it was a woman, and I said, "No matter what 'it' is, 'it' doesn't look very happy," and Martin said, "Yeah... in a few minutes she's going to be under our train." LOL!

Anyway, so we took the train to Rotterdam and then the Metro to Ahoy, and got there just in time - the warm-up act started their first song just as we came out of the bathrooms. They were pretty good - two girls who had Swedish-sounding accents and sang ABBA knockoffs. Then the lights came on and the camera guys climbed up to their positions and finally the real show started. She opened with "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" but after that I lost track. Anyway, it was a good show - I still like most of her old stuff better than most of her new stuff, but nonetheless she did very well. She dressed a little more 'normal' and didn't do as much of the 'sexy' dancing stuff as before, and it was really more enjoyable this way. She still has every single one of the same band members, and they're really just as much fun to watch as she is - hamming it up. I was also having a great time watching the man in front of me - one of those big guys with a belly who has one of those always-smiling faces - because he knew every single word to all of the Up! songs. Really amusing.

She changed clothes three or four times, the last time being jeans and an orange Oranje jersey. And at one point she disappeared and turned out to be sitting in the Tribune seating (behind us) and she sang "The Woman In Me" from that vantage point. We were in the fifth row - excellent seats, I might add - and everyone was standing on their chairs to get a better view. So I did the same, and a guard made me get down. But the girl right next to me - and the rest of the section - were allowed to remain on their chairs. So after he walked away I started yelling in Dutch about discrimination against the American - only half joking - LOL! Oh well, but when she ran back to the stage for "That Don't Impress Me Much", she ran right past me. So that's something...

Oh, and she signed my ticket - well, okay, so about twenty people were crushing up against the podium and waving tickets and mine happened to be one of the lucky ones that got under her pen, LOL. It's really just a squiggle, but I'm pretending it's an S... :)

Anyways, so the concert ended around eleven, and Martin stayed over since the trains wouldn't have been running long enough to get him the whole way home to Emmen - he would have been stranded in Zwolle. So he stayed in Utrecht and then the next morning - this morning - we went back to the station and went our separate ways... him to Emmen, me to Lunetten... and then the real work began...

...the Staatsexamen! Antoanete from Boswell had mentioned in a mail to me that she would be there, but there were a lot more than just her - Mirela was there too, and we also ran into Habib and Yana and Fereba and a couple of other people we knew. I was in the same room as A and M for the first part, the reading, but for the afternoon part (listening) we were split up. Anyway, the reading was pretty easy - not eeeeeeaaaasy easy, but it was just a question of taking the time to read carefully. I feel like I got pretty close to a perfect score on that section.

So then we had an hour-and-a-half break for lunch and M and A and I walked to Albert Heijn and bought a bunch of random stuff - bagels, cheese, orange juice, chocolate-covered peanuts - and had a picnic beside a canal, by the shopping center. LOL! It was cold, but gezellig. Antoanete was completely silly and jumpy and acting like a little kid - I couldn't stop laughing at her all day. When some people behave like that, it's annoying, but when she does it, you can't react in any way except laughter.

Then we went back to 'work' - split up into our different rooms and the listening began. Three parts, A, B, and (what else) C. There were actually two separate texts in A, and they were both very easy - I'm sure I got every answer right. But that was just lulling us into a false sense of security, because B totally kicked my @$$. But that was partly because I had a (very) full stomach and so I had that 'sleepy' feeling, and we had already done a long test that morning... I was having trouble concentrating. C was better, but I don't know if that's because I woke up again (they managed to break the CD player and have to go trawling for another one, giving us a breather) or because the text really was easier. We shall see.

Anyway, so then we were done and M and A and I - after a long discussion about whether or not strippenkaarten and abonnementen can be used in the trains - took the train back to Utrecht and went shopping in the station shopping centre (Hoog Catherijne). And I tried on so many shoes, but what IS it with the shoes here - either they're boots which are too tight for my legs, or they're completely flat shoes with absolutely no support on the bottoms. And I have 'picky feet'. So, to keep a long story short, I'm still looking...

So Antoanete left and Mirela and I walked around the V&D for a while, but then we ran into Laura - another girl from our Boswell class, but from C1. Apparently she'd taken the test today too, but I hadn't seen her. She and I had been good friends in C1, but we'd somehow lost each other's numbers. So then Mirela left and Laura and I went up to the top floor and got something to drink and chatted for a while - or, rather, she vented about work and I smiled and nodded and drank my strawberry whatever-it-was... really, she must have gone on for like twenty minutes straight, no exaggeration, and I was practically falling asleep...

So I finally managed to extract myself from her and I got on the bus and came home... and here I am, typing this entry in Word at 18.34 and waiting for the computer to 'realize' it has a connection so I can put it in Blogger for real.

Tomorrow: second day of Staatsexamen (speaking and writing)
Sunday: SLEEPING... oh yeah, and going to Linde's
Monday: 15u class, also have two translations and a mini-essay to do
Tuesday: 13u class, finish those assignments which I won't finish Monday
Wednesday: 9u class, then to Doetinchem (English lesson for Wim)
Thursday: 13u class (turn in mini-essay)
Friday: 11u class

...And that's as far as I know so far... hoping to squeeze a few more friends in there (Martin, Tristan, Lotte, and maybe the long shot David) but we shall see...

It's almost ER time... let's see if I can finagle getting the television...

P.S. I am allowed to do Renate Dorrestein for the translation, and the Dutch version of A Heart of Stone (Een hart van steen) got here yesterday. So now Mom and Dad's package just needs to get here... with the book and that cheese, mmm... you sent it one week ago today, so it shouldn't be long now... my guess is Wednesday... hope so!

P.P.S. Favorite song of the moment - "Eye of the Tiger" from the 'Rocky' soundtrack. Catie and David, my fellow understanders of the greatness of what makes a Driving Song... DL it!!!

woensdag 3 maart 2004

I am becoming that which I despise. The one grammatical error that always sticks out (to me) like a sore thumb, and rereading my last entry, I realize that I just did it. About my dream: it should be "Scott and ME". Not 'I'! Bad Jess!!! *slaps wrist*

Also, the Internet is supposed to be fixed tomorrow. Supposed to be. We shall see.

[The Comcast situation seems to have resolved itself – you guys can all see that title banner up there, right?]

I’ve actually had a fairly productive day, even though it doesn’t feel like it. I got up at 7.15 and went to school, but first I had to sneak into Scott’s room – thus waking him up – in order to print my assignment. He got mad about that but there was nothing I could do – he was already in bed last night when I finished the thing, around two A.M., so rather than wake him then, I thought that if I waited until morning he’d be a little more appreciative – maybe even already awake. But he snapped at me that I should do that sort of thing the night before. Excuse me - I think translating an 1850’s short story to Dutch would keep you occupied for a while too. I’d estimate about three weeks for you, actually. So cut me a break – I had to do it in two days.

Anyway, so I went to school – on my bike, I might add – see, Lotte, I am working out… attacking those hills on the bike in the morning cold/dark/fog! …Anyway, Birgit wasn’t there (she somehow never is on Wednesdays) and so I sat alone. But it was a pretty good day – we all traded translations to analyze each other’s and although mine had errors (I warned the poor girl ahead of time, LOL), there weren’t as many as I expected, and I had some good solutions too. (That’s the bad part about translating – it’s much harder than people realize. Like the teacher said today, you can have twenty brilliant solutions and no one will notice, but one mistake, and everybody picks it up. And we may think it’s pretty good to have only three or four errors in some excerpt we’ve translated, but multiply that by the number of pages that the real thing would be…) So that’s all rather discouraging. But the girl I traded with really had to laugh about my paper because the copy of the story I had used was missing the top line on the second page. So in the middle of a sentence, I typed ---[deze regel werd niet gekopieerd]--- (this line wasn’t copied) and then just picked it up again. There was nothing else I could do, but she was reading straight through and not expecting that disjointed bit, and so it caught her by surprise and for some reason at that moment it was extremely funny and we had a good laugh about it.

Then I went to Kruidvat and Albert Heijn (Americans: Body Shop and Publix) and then home. Usually, the productive part of my day stops when I get back, because I immediately sit down at the computer. Which is what I did today too, but Scott had the Internet, so there was no point to it. So I watched Love Actually, which I had just downloaded via Kazaa Lite. It’s pretty cute, if you guys have seen it – especially that little kid. His story line is the one that ‘makes’ the movie, I found.

Then I filled out that huge survey for SSH (Short Stay Housing). I wasn’t very positive in my answers to their questions (I really complained about the Internet, in several places), but I wrote some comments which I considered to be ‘helpful’ (haha!). For example, they asked ‘which of the following accommodations we would prefer, taking income into account’ and there were a number of choices. I chose the E350/month option of having your own 14-square-meter bedroom and sharing all other facilities with 7 others, and I added a comment that that was what I thought most students would go for – the cheapest option wherein they still had a private bedroom. Because with all the cheaper options they gave, you had to share a bedroom too. And they gave only two blanks to fill in things that we thought should be changed about the accommodation we were living in – so I wrote above and below the lines, too. Internet (obvious reasons), full bathtub, option to have a double bed (extra fee if necessary) and (in capitals) an OVEN. I added a comment about how this country has many more meal options suited for a REAL oven than a microwave oven. And something that I remembered while I was writing and then forgot to mention – darn – the darkness. This place is not well lit, not at all. The hallways are especially dark, but the rooms as well. Except for the kitchen. I mean, during the daytime it’s fine because the windows are so huge, but at night it’s really not adequate.

So then I turned on music and cleaned my room. I mean really cleaned my room – so nicely that I took pictures to remember the occasion. Throwing things away, putting certain things I don’t need anymore into my huge suitcase in the closet, etc. And that big American flag which was intended for Peter never made it to Peter, so now it’s hanging over the window on my door. (Tristan – you’ll approve, haha!) Next time you guys are on the A2 and you pass by my complex, you’ll know right away which room is mine.

Anyway, then I decided to continue my ‘good girl’ streak and start on my assignment for tomorrow, for Dutch Present-Day Society. But it’s book work, and that makes it totally unappealing. Anyway, I lay down on my bed to read the chapter (40 pages), but any horizontal position was a mistake after going to bed at 2.30 and waking up at 7.30 – I fell asleep before I knew it. Slept for around three hours – just long enough to miss both ER and GTST, darn it – and had a weird dream about Scott and I being roommates in a big house with wooden floors and trampolines. And now I’m awake again and typing this. It’s 21.30 and I still don’t have the Internet, and I’ve decided I’m not going to ask for it back until my assignment gets done. Otherwise it won’t get done. And I have a feeling me printing assignments is going to be a sore point between me and Scott for a while. Oh well, I warned him that I was going to need a lot of printer access this block… Anyway, so I don’t know what the ‘posted’ time will be, but this is actually being written at what is still a decent hour of the evening. :)

It’s fiiiiiiinally almost Thursday! This is a really exciting weekend… Shania concert tomorrow (fifth-row seats!) with Martin, Staatsexamen Friday and Saturday (there was also talk of David maybe coming by on Saturday, but it’s Annika’s birthday so probably not. Gefeliciteerd, trouwens!!!), and then on Sunday I’m going to Linde’s – she has vacation this week – to eat dinner with her family and catch up on things. I haven’t seen her since New Year’s, so it’s about time!

Anyway, so, needless to say, I’m really looking forward to all of that.

[Martin – what in the world am I going to feed you tomorrow? LOL! Neither one of us can cook, and I just realized that my dinner tonight consists of a chunk of cheese and a chunk of ontbijtkoek – haha! We might have to go out, like it or not…]

Going to return to my assignment now. Anybody got any insight into government intervention in Dutch business life?

No, me neither. :)

dinsdag 2 maart 2004

Grrrrr! Comcast has caught me! My banner doesn't show up and if you click on any of the sidebar links (or try to go to the splash page) you get error messages. Dad, WHAT IS GOING ON??? This is not a free server like Geocities or Angelfire or something, so I SHOULD be able to have 'accessory' pages there and have the main page somewhere else (blogger). So why is it doing this????????

David's latest spark of creative quote-making-up genius:

"Forget the things I've said, but remember I meant every single word."

Nice one, hey? I like it... that's a deep one... :) Oh, but according to him, it's copyrighted ;) so don't steal it, people! LOL!

I remembered the other thing I wanted to say...

'ER' IS BACK ON TV!!!!!!!!!! Yessssss!!!!!!

I am never buying Tropicana in NL again. I usually buy the Albert Heijn brand, but they were out, so I settled for Tropicana... and I just spent almost ten minutes trying to get the top off. Mom can attest to this - that when *I* have trouble getting a top off of something, then it's a job for a wrestler. We don't have one of those cute little rubber things that you can use for leverage, so I used a towel, my shirt, a garbage bag... nothing worked. Finally in desperation I took a knife and performed surgery - cut the top away from that ring-thing holding it on, expecting that it would then twist off easily. Not so. The @#$%^& thing is STILL stuck. Luckily it was one of those wax-cardboard cartons so I just opened up one of the 'corners' the way you do in school when you have those little cartons of milk. That was a struggle in itself because of the stupid orange top sticking off the side, but I managed. So then I took my first triumphant slug, and it's full of pulp. I hate pulp. So now I'm sitting here eating cereal and gagging down thickened slurps from the torn corner of an orange juice carton... whose plastic orange cap is still mockingly glued to the top.

maandag 1 maart 2004

Hi guys,

[Argh, there is no Undo button on Blogger! I just accidentally deleted a whole section. OK, typing it again...]

I've decided that there are 'high' and 'low' points (or, better said, 'full' and 'empty' points) in my life when it comes to guys. I'm on the tail end of a 'full' one right now. Lotte said over MSN today (in Dutch), "You're really into the whole dating thing - how come?" And I don't think anybody has ever seen me as being that before. Because that's so not me. Americans, back me up on this. I tried to explain that she had just met me at one of those 'full points', but I don't think she believed me... LOL!

I just got into a discussion over MSN about kids. I am 100% convinced that when and if that day comes, that I want to raise my kids bilingual. At the moment I'm thinking English and Dutch, of course, but who knows... Anyway, there are tons of reasons for it. Being bilingual creates certain pathways in your brain and often makes it easier for you to learn new languages, because you already know how to differentiate between them. Also - once again, one never knows what will happen, BUT - if I were to live over here, my kids would obviously have to know Dutch, but also, English is practically indispensible these days as a world language. I'd never forgive myself if I didn't raise my kids speaking 'my' language, especially when it's so valuable to know. They'll have a lot easier time in school. ;) Also, a bit of a selfish reason perhaps, but: I'd like to be able to speak my NATIVE language to my family once in a while... But then, thinking on the other hand, if I were to live in America (and marry an American), then why in the world do I KNOW this language (Dutch) if I can't speak it to anyone? And if I were to marry a Dutchman, he'd have the same arguments for them learning his language as I just gave for mine. So anyway, that's pretty much a set decision in my mind, no matter which language I have to speak... even though that day is years and years away...

Anyway, I don't quite know how we got onto that topic, but we did, so there are my thoughts.

Still haven't made much progress on that translation. But tomorrow I *have* to - don't have a choice.

I bought a webcam today, woohoo! Yeah, Dad, I know my digicam works as a webcam, but it drains the batteries within a couple of hours and the one I bought is especially for laptops, clips onto the top.

Things to celebrate:
+ only two more months of rent to pay
+ Shania on Thursday (and seeing Martin again...) ;)
+ Staatsexamen on Friday and Saturday - fiiiiiinally going to be 'certified fluent', LOL!
+ Kazaa Lite rocks
+ Mom and Dad sent me the 'good' cheese for my mac&cheese, along with that book A Heart of Stone... they're not here yet, but will be soon! (You guys insured it, right?? No lost packages like before? ;))

Okay, it's bedtime now...

I slept wrong on my back last night, and now the left side really hurts... owie...

Martin is at the hospital right now - GOOD LUCK!!!

Hey, and I found another kid who's studying here - a friend of a friend of my sister's. He's 18 and in high school in Amsterdam. He has a blog too: right here

I should be translating. Why am I not translating? Oh, I know - because there's noooo waaaay I can translate all this old-fashioned British stuff... *defeated sigh*

Class in 2 hours and I'm still sitting around in my PJs. Going to amend that situation now...

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