This list has been circulating through the LiveJournal community; it’s a list of book titles. The idea is to bold the ones you’ve read, italicize those you’ve started but never finished, underline those on your to-read list, then add three of your own and post to your LiveJournal. I like the idea; however, the list has now grown to over 400 books, and Blogger does not use LJ-cuts (links to allow you to link long items or pictures in a separate location), so out of those 400, I’ve just listed the ones with bold print (67), italics (23), or an underline (7). All in all, I’ve got 97 books, which is almost 25% of the list – not bad!
Books I’ve Read:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Louis Carroll
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Anne of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
The Twits, Roald Dahl
Holes, Louis Sachar
The Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M. Auel
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ½, Sue Townsend
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
Danny, Champion of the World, Roald Dahl
George’s Marvelous Medicine, Roald Dahl
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
The Giver, Lois Lowry (***AMAZING BOOK!!!***)
James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
The Green Mile, Stephen King (***ALSO AMAZING!!!***)
Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
The Witches, Roald Dahl
Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
Heidi, Johanna Spyri
The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
The Iliad, Homer
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume
The Awakening, Kate Chopin
The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams
The Odyssey, Homer
Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
Books I’ve Started (But Not Finished):
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin
1984, George Orwell
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
It, Stephen King
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. O'Brien
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Jester
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
Paradise Lost, John Milton
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
The Silver Chair, CS Lewis
Books I Want to Read:
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
The Cider House Rules, John Irving
…Anybody else have a recommendation? Leave a comment!
Two things: 1) I did send that mass e-mail with the Al Gore attachment, but my computer 'farted' right in the middle of it, so I hope you all got it. 2) I hate the new Blogger layout; can we have the old one back, please?
I’m going to be mean and write in Dutch for a minute. Half of you will be able to read it, the other half will not. But I only have 23 days left to be able to use it, so... yeah. Hang in there, English-speaking folks; more readable entries will soon follow.
Als ik het zo schrijf, is het tenminste een beetje ‘geheim’ van de persoon waar het over gaat. Ik heb net een MSN-gesprek gehad met – uh – met de vrouw uit wie ik werd geboren (het NL woord lijkt teveel op het Engelse woord, haha!...) en ze zei iets wat mij echt liet denken. We hadden het over geneeskunde; ik was haar aan het vertellen over hoe een kindje in de baarmoeder een jongen of een meisje wordt enzo, en ze zei toen, ‘Jij zou in de medische onderzoek moeten gaan werken, als je neef – je bent er zo geinteresseerd in.’ Ik zei, ‘Nou ja, ik vind het wel heel erg interessant, maar ik zou er mijn hele leven niet in willen werken; dat is iets waarvoor je je totaal op moet geven en ik heb ook veel andere interesses.’ Zij was het daar mee eens, maar toen zei ze, ‘Maar – aan wie er veel gegeven wordt, wordt er ook veel van verwacht. Het zijn mensen zoals jij die de wereld veranderen.’ En toen zoiets als, ‘Er is een gift aan jou gegeven en je moet het niet verspillen.’
Dus nu ben ik weer aan het denken. Het is aan de ene kant natuurlijk wel een heel groot compliment, ‘het zijn mensen zoals jij die de wereld veranderen.’ Maar dat over ‘verspillen’... Ik weet voor mezelf dat als ik wel gelukkig ben, dat dat genoeg is, maar nu vraag ik me af... is het echt een verspilling als ik niets erg speciaals met mijn leven doe – geen belangrijke ontdekkingen, geen prijzen? Ben ik iets ‘schuldig’ aan de samenleving omdat ik een beetje slim ben en omdat ik de capaciteit heb om iets ‘groots’ te doen? Moet het, gewoon omdat het (in theorie) kan?
Ik weet dat het antwoord nee is, en ik weet dat mijn ouders toch van me zullen houden wat ik ook ga doen, maar het heeft me toch aan het denken gezet.
Mom just forwarded me a couple of awesome things. The first one is Al Gore's speech from three days ago. It's brilliant, but it's unfortunately 13 pages long and so I'm not too inclined to stick it here. I may send it out in a mass mail later on.
The second one was this.
Democrat vs Republican
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don't know where I am."
The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are 31 degrees 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees 49.09 minutes west longitude."
"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Democrat."
"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist "everything you told me is technically correct but I have no idea what to make of your information and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."
The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican"
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"
"Well," said the man "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met but somehow now it's my fault."
Went to Six Flags today. It was fun, but three is a bad number for amusement parks - Mark and Ann-Christin were of course paired up almost the whole day - sitting next to each other in roller coasters, sharing food, kissing - and so I was the third wheel. I didn't feel awkward or anything - they are both very nice and made sure I felt included - but I did wish Martin were there too. He SMSed me all day, but it wasn't the same.
Anyway, there's not a lot to tell. Roller coasters, ice cream, and buses and trains. Oh, but Mom - I have to confess something here. I'm really upset about it and you'll probably be the same way... I lost the necklace you gave me for graduation. :( When Martin and I went to the sauna/spa-type place last week, we had facial treatments, and I was told to take it off. So I did, and I handed it to the woman, and then afterwards I totally forgot about it. The woman didn't say anything, and I ordinarily never take it off, so it never occurred to me to ask for it back. The next day, I realized it was gone, so we called, and they said that it hadn't been turned in and that it had probably been placed in the pocket of my bathrobe while I was on the table, in which case it had gone out with the wash. They claimed that the laundromat always checks the pockets, so we gave them Martin's number, but they haven't called. So today, since I was in Harderwijk anyway, I went by to ask about it. The woman behind the desk was very nice - checked in three different places and let me look through a box of jewelry that had been left behind (there was a lot) - but it wasn't there and she said that if it hadn't surfaced by now, it wasn't likely to, and I had to agree. That SUCKS. Martin says he'd like to buy me a new one, and that's very sweet, but it won't be THAT one... I hope some miracle happens and they find it...
Anyway, I'm going to watch the rest of A Knight's Tale now.
Okay, I'm really going to be glad to get out of here. Scott is driving me insane. Martin was here last night because we went to the Efteling today, and he wanted to come watch horseback riding; we'd had it planned for a while. He asked if there was a bike for him and I said, "Scott never uses his bike, and he's staying in that night anyway; you can take his." (Because he really NEVER bikes; he takes the bus every single day.) So he got here and we sat around and talked for a while and then we realized we were running out of time and that we still had to make a grocery run before we left. So I went to Scott's room and asked, "Hey - would you mind if we borrowed your bike for a couple of hours?"
Instead of the "Yeah, that should be okay," which I expected, he said, "Well, I don't really want to let anyone else use it, because I got a flat last time." (I had used it a day or two before he went to Paris, way back in October or November, and there had been no flat tire when I put it back, but I noticed one a few days later when I went to get my own bike. I thought maybe he had used it before he left, so I asked him via MSN if he knew that he had a flat, and he hadn't known... and then the bike sat in the shed literally all winter long with that flat...)
So I said, "Well, if anything happens to your bike, I'll pay to get it fixed." In my mind, that should have solved all the problems.
He basically repeated himself, "I just don't feel like lending it out, because I got a flat last time after you used it."
I was getting mad by this point and said, "There was no flat tire when I put the bike back, I told you that. If there had been, of course I would have gotten it fixed myself."
"But still, I had to go get it fixed, and it was a pain in the butt, and I don't want to deal with that again."
"I just said - if anything happens, I will take the bike in and I will pay for the repairs." What I was really thinking was, you never use the damn thing anyway; this is just a power trip. "And you know - if you felt like I should have been the one to fix it, why didn't you tell me?"
He didn't really have an answer to this, just sort of sputtered out the same sentence for a third time and said something like, "Sorry, but no."
I haven't been that pissed off in a LONG time; after we got outside, I actually started crying just because I was so angry - first at his selfishness, and second at not being believed. That he would think that I would do something like that - break his bike and purposely not fix it, just for my own selfish reasons. He still believes I got the flat and then just didn't want to take the trouble to walk it all the way into the centrum; I know he does; he doesn't believe me, and I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT STAND IT when people don't believe me. I am a lot of things, but I am absolutely not a liar.
So let me take this opportunity to say how AWESOME my boyfriend is... he took me THE WHOLE WAY to horseback riding and back with him pedaling and me sitting on the back of the bike. Even up the hills. That whole trip, there and back, is probably a bit under ten miles. My butt and thighs aren't too happy today, but I did at least have the presence of mind to take a sweatshirt along to sit on to make it softer. Anyway, how many guys would do that??? :)
Anyway, so we went to the Efteling today; that was fun. And yes, I have pictures, but none that are spectacular enough to warrant uploading. Anyway, it's basically the Dutch version of the Magic Kingdom, but it does have a couple of distinguishing features - namely the Sprookjesbos (Fairy Tale Forest in English). You walk through the woods and there are all kinds of little houses and people and stuff - Little Red Riding Hood is there at Grandma's house... and Sleeping Beauty is there, sleeping in her castle... and Snow White... of course, they all have Dutch names, but the stories are the same. They even have some things we don't have, like Klein Duimpje; I don't know the story, only that it has something to do with a tiny man (Klein Duimpje), a giant, and some boots. But anyway, there are displays which read aloud to you, and one where you can 'call' Klein Duimpje from his hiding place by speaking into a microphone... and you can make the Hansel and Gretel witch talk by pulling the handle of her front gate... there are all kinds of little tricks like that, and everything is described with little poems in old-fashioned Dutch. Aside from the Sprookjesbos, there are a couple of roller coasters, a haunted house (though not half as good as the Haunted Mansion at Disney!), a boat journey around the lake, and a really cool circular thing which gently lifts you up into the air and turns you around to give you a view of the whole surrounding area. It's like the Magic Kingdom - aimed at kids - so it wasn't really 'oh-my-god-cool', but it was worth the entrance price (23 euro).
Oh, and some of the trash cans are people - they have round open mouths and say, 'Papier hier!' (Paper here!) and one of them (in the Sprookjesbos, of course) even goes on with, "Hurry up, I'm so hungry" and things like that. It's a pretty clever idea - kids are literally combing the ground for pieces of trash to put in there.
Tomorrow I'm going to Six Flags with Ann-Christin and Mark - that was a last-minute invitation which I decided to take. I feel like everything I do now is 'for the last time', even though I'll of course be back, so I'm trying not to miss anything that comes along.
So here's how the schedule looks now:
28 - Six Flags!
31 - no class (ascension day)
1 - city walk (looking at Utrecht historical landmarks) instead of a seminar :)
2 - Wim's last lesson, and first day of HARRY POTTER 3!!! (Got 3 tickets for the 20.30 show!)
3 - assignment due for Utrecht in the Middle Ages
7 - lecture
8 - last day of classes
9 - Marco Borsato!!! (We're going to Rotterdam at, like, 9 AM... the concert starts at 19.30.)
10 - go to Paris!
11 - Paris! (Faith arrives)
12 - Paris!
13 - leave Paris
14 - Utrecht in the Middle Ages paper due
18 - beach with Linde
21 - go home! Either Martin or Linde or both may take me to Schiphol.
Scott is gone and so I have captured the wall connection, but I don't know when he'll be back, so here are some short updates:
Martin booked his ticket to America and will be there from August 7th until 28th.
I have discovered the yummiest cheese ever - cheddar with red things in it which taste suspiciously like pimientos.
Also, I have a new, very soft, white teddy bear who needs a name.
After a wait of almost an hour and a half, I have booked my ticket to Paris!
Martin and I are going to the Efteling (like Magic Kingdom with roller coasters) on Thursday.
I have permission to use my essay topic of Middle Dutch for an essay on the culture Middle Ages.
I also have permission to write my 3500-word paper for Children's Lit in English!
I'm going to the beach with Linde three days before I leave.
This week will be my last week of horseback riding here.
I need something to give Wim as a gift, since next week is probably going to be our last lesson.
Peter probably wants to buy my bed when I leave.
I am in dire straits qua laundry and am about to go remedy that situation, hopefully with a better outcome than last time.
03 days till M and I go to the Efteling
16 days till the Marco Borsato concert!
17 days till I go to Paris
20 days till I come back from Paris
25 days till L and I hit the beach
28 days till I go home!
It's not that I want to go home, absolutely not. I still maintain that I could live here very happily. I love the ways of thinking here - people aren't so incredibly prudish and afraid of everything like back home. I think that's going to annoy me when I do go back. But I'm tired of the situation I'm in now - paying way too much for a crappy apartment which I can't afford, not being able to work, not having any books with me, not having a car... the list goes on. I'll be glad to be back - to go to camp, to work, to eat enchiladas and 'my' macaroni, to be able to wear shorts and flipflops, to feel the sun, to drive with the music cranked up, to buy cheap Target clothes and not have to worry about warmth or about fitting them into a suitcase. But I'm going to miss all the people I've gotten close to here, and I'm definitely going to miss the attitudes and such. And the healthy food - everything tasted funny when I went home in January and I'm not looking forward to that plastic-y, fatty taste. But really, if we could combine the people of the Netherlands with the land and resources of America, we'd have a great country. The Dutch never should have given up New York.
I really like the fact that I'm able to ride again. But I have yet to find a place as good as Robin's (the instructor I rode with for seven years). There are some things about this new place which I don't like at all, starting with the dark, dingy stall areas and the narrow spaces that the horses have to squeeze through to get into the ring and the back stall area. Then you have the fact that they don't clean their tack or (usually) even brush their horses after they've been ridden. And as for the instructing, I really hate the way it's done. Thijs (instructor) calls out 'trot' or 'canter' and the horses usually know his voice, so they start doing it even before you ask them. But we never do any of the 'work with the horse' stuff like Robin did. "Stand up in two-point and move around a little until you find that position that you could hold all day, where your lower back says 'ahhh'." "Take up your reins until you feel your horse's mouth. Imagine there's a straight line going from your shoulders all the way down to the bit." "Your head is the heaviest part of your body; it's like a bowling ball. Turn your head and look where you want to go, and your horse will feel it." That stuff really works, and they don't do it here.
But now I'm going to mention something which may not seem so significant, but any horse person who knows what they're doing will see the red flag. Actually most of you should see the red flag. Nothing is ever said about keeping distance between your horses. "A horse length" of distance, say some. "Look between your horse's ears and see if you can see the hind feet of the horse in front of you", others say. But they don't abide by that here at all. The horses walk literally nose to tail. Robin always told us that it was dangerous because they could bite or kick, and that's certainly true, but I thought of something else tonight. That, combined with the fact that their commands seem to be limited to walk, trot, and canter, means that the horses are paying more attention to what each other is doing than what the rider is asking. I realized this tonight when we were all on a trail ride, about twelve of us. Thijs was leading and we were cantering through some tall grass. Nose to tail, of course. Suddenly, as we started a turn, a horse at the rear decided he wanted to speed up and cut across so that he could catch the lead horse. So he tried it, flying past the rest of us on the right hand side. So then the other eleven horses all decided, "Oh, it's a race!" but they weren't playful about it - they started skittering nervously and doing all sorts of crazy things. Nobody was in control and we all lost our places in line; my horse, Jakoba, ended up almost at the front.
We finally managed to get them a little bit calmed down, but then three girls on horses came flying out of the woods to our left, galloping fast. All the horses started again, swerving and bumping into each other and scaring each other even more. This went on for five or ten seconds, so the girls were a good piece down the road, out of our line of sight. But then the instructor's horse swung his hindquarters around and bumped into my horse, so suddenly she was not only tense and frightened, but first in line. She tried to run and I held her back, but in the process, she got turned around to face the receding hindquarters of the other three horses. And took off. I was surprised that she went after them when they were so far away, but she did.
I did everything I'd been trained to do - sat way back, pulled hard on the reins, then pulled intermittently on the reins, then seesawed the reins (first one, then the other) - but nothing did any good. I had my whole weight on the reins - and thus on her mouth - but she didn't even seem to feel it; she was bound and determined to catch those girls. And she did - spooking their horses in the process, me trying to stammer an explanation in Dutch and control my horse at the same time. I got her turned around to head back to the group, and after a few balky sidesteps and prances, she got on with it. But then she saw where we were going - back to 'her' group of horses - and so she took off again. Again, I couldn't hold her back. She of course stopped once we got there, but she was still edgy and so were the others. We eventually got back into a line and got going again. Everybody kept asking me, "Are you over the shock?" and stuff, and that was when I realized - I wasn't even scared. Not for one second. I was never unbalanced - never had a moment of 'Uh oh, I might fall'. I stayed 'with' her the whole time. There was no adrenaline rush - I wasn't shaky or anything after we got back to the group. When I realized she was going to run, I had a 'flash' of 'oh crap, I really don't feel like dealing with this', but that was it - no 'oh my God, she's going to run away with me!' feeling. So I was rather proud of that.
But that's what I mean - the horses learn to respond to what the other horses do rather than what the riders do, no matter how good the riders are - and, as you can see, that can have disastrous consequences. Yay for Robin and good training.
OK, ALLES IS GEREGELD!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going home on 21 June. If you look at the counter on the right, you'll see that it's changed... and I'm going to work at Ton-A-Wandah, and I'm probably getting a Nokia 6820, and everything is working out great!
Oh, and check this out. I don't get any response from the guy for two weeks, and when I email (disapproving of his recruitment skills but not overly nasty - you guys know I'm good at that balance, and even Mom said it was a good letter) to tell him I'm not interested anymore, I get an instant reply. Check this out:
Hi Jess-Sorry for not getting back to you sooner however we did find someone else for the position.I think you will find in life that immeadiate gratifacation is not always possible.Im sorry if you feel I did not get back to you soon enough however I also dont need a lecture on how to conduct my buisness.In retrospect we obviously made the right decision in not hiring you.What made you feel you were the only one being considered for this position?Relize that the whole world does not revolve around you and your schedule.Please do not contact us again.
Hmm, no spaces between sentences, no apostrophes or commas, run-on sentences, and spelling errors... all packed into a seven-sentence email from a supposed business professional. Impressive. In a bad way.
Here's what I replied:
OK, then how about a lecture on proper spelling and punctuation?
It would have been nice to at least know that there was a consideration going on; as it was I was totally in the dark. I notice that you replied immediately that you had found someone else; if that's true, I would have appreciated being told. Don't worry, you won't hear from me again. Best of luck this summer.
LOL. Asshole. He's totally fricking illiterate. Like Mom said, no wonder he didn't e-mail me back. Yes sir, and 'in retrospect, I obviously made the right decision in BLOWING YOU OFF.'
OK, so apparently I can book my ticket to Paris now - I'll go on the 10th, spend the night in the hotel with Margaret and Rhonda, friends of Faith's mom, and then the next morning I'll go meet Faith at the airport since M and R have something else planned. Cool, cool, cool!
Had a nice weekend: bought a Vliegende Panters CD, drove a train, had lasagna... and then I saw Linde today; we had coffee and dessert at Broers and then shopped a little for earrings and purses and the new Phil Collins CD (I say shopped, not bought, because I didn't spend one cent) and then she ran into someone she knew from Leeuwarden working at Australian so we got free ice cream. Melon, yum. And then we set a date to go to the beach next month. She's going sailing with her boyfriend for a few days (it's funny, the two of them met on the exact same day as Martin and I did) starting tomorrow... hope that goes well.
I just got my grades for my exam translations in the mail - three 8s, which is awesome. The Dutch saying goes, "8 is for really good students, 9 is for teachers, and 10 is for God," so I guess I did pretty well, haha. And my teacher agreed that my translation of A Heart of Stone was much more natural than the 'professional' one, yay for me!
But I still have no answer from Mr. Big-Shot at the camp in Florida - Mom has been on the phone with him twice and says he sounds like a jerk - and so I've decided that if he doesn't answer me by tomorrow or Wednesday, that he obviously doesn't care enough to pursue me, and if that's the case I'll go work at Ton-A-Wandah. It's a thousand dollars less pay, which sucks, but at least they're friendly and I know everything like the back of my hand.
It’s really getting so close that I can count the days. I don't have a ticket yet - that depends on the camp people - but according to my rough schedule, there are only 36 days left. Look:
18 – Wim’s lesson in Doetinchem
19 – horseback riding
20 – sauna/spa day with Martin
21 – Jeugdliteratuur mini-test due
22 – Ann-Christin’s party
25 – class all day
26 – horseback riding
31 – NO CLASS
1 – Utrecht city walk
2 – Wim’s lesson in Doetinchem; horseback riding
4 - 3rd Harry Potter movie released
8 – last day of real classes
9 – MARCO BORSATO CONCERT!!! 10 – Paris! 11 – Paris! 12 – Paris! 13 – Paris! 14 – final paper due!
16 – horseback riding
18 – beach with Linde
20 – Daan’s birthday
21 – see Linde
22 – go home (probably)
23 – unpack, pack for camp
24 – organize stuff for moving to Gainesville
25 – see friends, haircut, etc.
26 – drive to camp
27 – start work at camp
There are definitely things I still have to squeeze in somewhere, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is the Efteling. There are more, but I forgot...
And hey: I really, really, really want to go to Discovery Cove! Who wants to come? Mom, I know it's expensive, but doesn't this look like a good family thing for us? Or maybe just me and Catie, if you guys don't want to... they only let 1,000 people in per day, so it's never busy, and you can swim with dolphins and stuff. Looks awesome!
I got to to drive a train! LOL! I got to sit in the front twice, which isn't allowed to start with, not even for Martin - only the machinist can sit there. But the first guy actually let me sit in the seat and use the brake and control the emergency foot pedal and all. He let me stop at a station and then he picked up his walkie-talkie and called Martin and asked (in Dutch, of course), "How did we stop?" Martin: "Very slowly!" Machinist: "Well, I didn't do it!" LOL! Really really funny. Anyway, nobody say anything, 'cause that's way illegal, but I don't think any Dutch police members read my blog, at least not as far as I know.
And I've gotten an e-mail from Bonnie, the Ton-A-Wandah director, saying she would, quote, LOVE to have me for July and August, that it's perfect because she's overstaffed for June but understaffed for August and there are 225 campers in July so there can never be enough counselors, haha! Anyway, so it's like I thought - just say the word and I'm in. So now I need to hear back from the other guy. Mom, I already MSNed this to you, but could you maybe call him today and tell him I really need an answer? I have to book a flight home, and Martin and I went to D-Reizen today to check ticket prices and I found a flight to Jacksonville for only €683 or something, so I want to book before it all goes away...
I'm going now - I'm in Emmen and we're having lasagna for dinner and then some chocolate thing for dessert which looks AWESOME.
Last thing: my official height in meters is 1 meter 64.5 centimeters.
Update. No sign of Mr. Posterior Orifice. His clothes are still sitting there in a soggy heap right where I left them. Nice. Wonder if it would be mean to take revenge with, say, candle wax? Those stains never come out. Just ask Scott.
I, on the other hand, made the not-so-smart choice (luck of the draw...) of hijacking the one machine with something wrong with the spin cycle. I just went back down there to get my clothes and they are wetter than those in the Posterior Orifice's pile. Luckily, there was another machine free, so I just shoved them in there - short cycle, no detergent - and so if I go back in 52 minutes, they should be quite a bit drier, thanks to the centrifuge.
Yes, did I mention? 260 people. 5 washing machines. No dryers. Just drying racks in your apartment. Who thought of that wonderful system?
Some unpleasant posterior orifice of a person has taken up EVERY SINGLE DAMN WASHING MACHINE, and set them all on the 2.5 hour cycle instead of the short cycle of 56 minutes the way the signs say to. I had a few pairs of pants slung over my arm, only needed ONE machine, and was sick of it all - I've had nine months of this - so I stopped one of the washers and slung his wet things on top of the machine, then put my own in. You can just WAIT, Mr. I'm-So-Important. 260 people and 5 washing machines. Have a little courtesy.
That was an hour ago. I'm going to get my clothes now. I hope the posterior orifice didn't take revenge.
And I hate, hate, HATE the fact that neither of the camps have e-mailed me back yet. I always answer e-mails right away (even if I can't always SEND them right away, because of the router) and I really hate it when other people are not as courteous. I need an answer from them before I can book a flight home...
To update you guys: the director of that camp I mentioned called my house (in Jacksonville) and talked to Mom and said he really wants me, since they need lifeguards, but says I have to come for the full eight weeks, not just four. Which means I'd have to be there on, like, the 14th of June. Which, needless to say, I don't want to do. In theory it could work - my classes are technically over on the 8th even though I'm supposed to stay until 2 July - but can we say RUSHED? I'll be in Paris that weekend so I would have to fly home with Faith on the morning of the 13th, which means I wouldn't even have time to unpack.
So I gave him an ultimatum, saying I really wanted to do it, but I couldn't unless I could be there a few days or a week later. We'll see what he says. Mom and I don't expect that he'll give it to me, so I e-mailed Ton-A-Wandah to see if they could squeeze me in for the July and August sessions (beginning 27 June - yeah, that's better). This will be my eighth year and I don't think they'd say no to me, even if they were swamped for staff, but the downside is that I'd earn almost $1000 less than at the new camp. Oh well. One gives more money, the other gives more time... both good, right? :)
Okay, so I love my friends, but I don't always love them at odd hours of the night.
I got home from horseback riding around 22.45, watched a bit of TV, ate something, then went to bed. And laid there, and laid there, and laid there, not able to sleep. Finally, just as I started to drift off, I heard the familiar da-da-dum of MSN. My status says sleeping... Da-da-dum! Damn, and I was almost there, too... Da-da-dum! Whyyyy didn't I turn off the sound? Da-da-dum!
They kept coming, so I got up and went to the computer to see who it was, fully intending to simply turn off the sound and go back to bed if it were anyone but Martin, Lotte, David, Olga, Tristan, or Linde. It was David, so I sat down and typed an answer. It turned out he wanted Kazaa Lite, that he'd lost the first file I sent him via computer problems. So I tried (about ten times) to send him the file, but the router didn't want to cooperate, so I promised I'd try again the next day. And went back to bed. That was around 1.30 or 2.00. I laid awake until at least 4.30. Just couldn't sleep.
I did finally drift off. And at 9.00, I woke up to the brrrrr-sound of my vibrating cell phone. I ignored it and tried to go back to sleep, but then there went MSN again... da-da-dum! Da-da-dum! Da-da-dum! Sigh...
So this time it was Lotte (both the SMS and the MSN), telling me I had to wake up because there was a crisis, that this time she really could barely fit into her pants and that she wanted 'a plan!' So I decided I'd never be able to get back to sleep again and that it didn't matter anyway, since I have to go to Doetinchem in a couple of hours, so we formulated a rough plan, swimming early in the mornings. My 'assignment' is to think about details while she's gone for an hour, so here's what I've got: swim on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, and on Saturdays if we feel like it, and try to eat reasonably healthy. (And 'reasonably healthy' does not mean counting every calorie and depriving yourself of every chip and cookie like you did last time, LiLo, 'cause that makes it even harder to stick to, at least for me. If you're exercising, your body needs more calories, not fewer.)
Anyway, so I didn't get a lot of sleep.
But I did go riding last night - we went on a sort of short trail ride, across a 'typically Dutch' stretch of land, through tall grass and even through a patch of shallow water. That was fun. Then we came back and did some more lesson-type stuff. My horse, Eva, was really good on the trail ride and not so good in the ring, but apparently we were still 'good enough', because they asked me if I want to come in the first hour next week, which is the advanced hour. Cool. :)
I've got to leave for Doetinchem on the 13.20 train. And if we're delayed again, I'm seriously going to throw a fit. It seems like I end up SMSing Wim every single time to say 'sorry, first train delayed, thus missed second train, be about 30 min late'.
Rest of the week: going to Emmen tomorrow (it seems like a year since I've been there), so that's the weekend, then class Monday, then no seminar on Tuesday, YES! Riding on Wednesday (Martin's going to be in Utrecht so he's going to come watch, haha, which means I'll screw up), then going to that spa thing on Thursday - a 'beauty farm', they call it - which looks interesting. And I see from my planner that I have to turn in a 'tussentoets' on Friday, which is interesting, seeing as I know nothing about this. And Ann-Christin has written 'Party' on Saturday, and says I'm supposed to bring 'everyone'... hmm... we shall see.
And yes, I realize I haven't said anything about the presentation I was so nervous about. That's because I had good reason to be nervous and I feel like it went horribly. I heard myself making all kinds of Dutch mistakes and I'm sure I talked too fast, because that's just what I do when I'm nervous. I've realized I can either focus on speaking Dutch or I can focus on what I'm supposed to be talking about, but not both at the same time yet. I hate this. Every time I think I'm really getting a leg up on this stuff, something like this happens and blows my confidence to shreds yet again. Oh well. It's not a required course for me, I just had to take something to get credits, so I suppose it doesn't matter.
I'm back at work on the book, by the way, and I'm very open to ideas - in fact, I need ideas - so please... hit me! :)
Stole this from Catie's LiveJournal... she had already stolen it from someone else... don't you just love the Internet?
Scary Things Republicans Believe
1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
4. "Standing Tall for America'" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veteran's benefits and combat pay.
8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
11. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
13. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
17. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
18. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.
19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
I hate the new Blogger layout
My presentation is tomorrow and I'm scared
My e-mail still won't load
Stephen (from Dutch class in Florida) is coming to Utrecht tomorrow - yay!
So I went to Emmen for the weekend and then today to Raalte - finally saw David and his parents again. I hadn't seen D since January, when he and Tristan and I went to Duinrell, and I hadn't seen his parents since before the breakup, back in August. It was actually awkward for the first minute or two, because I hadn't been there for nine months, but at the same time, it all felt so damn familiar that it was like I'd never been gone. Bottom line: it was great to see them. (And for some reason, Dutch comes out very easily around them... maybe because they've known me practically since 'the beginning' (I've been studying Dutch for 20 months and that family has known me almost 16 months) and they've given me a lot of help.) Anyway, so we stayed there and chatted for a while and then D and I came to Utrecht and hung out - tossed Scott's football around out behind the complex (and rescued it from the water, and rescued it from the prickly bushes, and fell onto it in a helplessly laughing heap of tangled arms and legs when D tried to tackle me...) and ate Pringles and chocolate and watched Silence of the Lambs. Anyway, it was a nice day. I always say this when I see him after a long period of little contact - I realized all over again how well he knows me. This came up during the car ride... I don't have to apologize for always having to pee, he doesn't have to apologize for acting crazy when singing along to the car CD player... we just know those things about each other and don't even think about them anymore. Regardless of how little I see him, that's still one of the most valuable friendships I think I'll ever have.
And for those who know about my 'twijfelings' about my relationship (Andre and Lotte among them) - things are much better. I finally got up the nerve to tell M I was feeling uncertain about things, even if I couldn't give a concrete reason why, and for some reason, just telling him and getting his reaction and talking about it made me feel so much better. Unbelievable. Normally, I'm not one to hold things back, so I guess I never realized how much of a relief it could be to finally come out with something you've been keeping to yourself. Even if you read about it in books, you don't really feel it. Anyway, he reacted just right - didn't freak out to an extreme degree (or at least didn't show it) and just reassured me, said he'd been through the same thing in the beginning, etc. And the end result was that I was more eager to see him this weekend than I've ever been. Anyway, I'm sure this is all of interest to no one but the two of us, but I'm happy, because that rock that's been sitting in my stomach for the past couple of weeks has been reduced to a pebble, and there are times (like right now) when it's even gone altogether.
Oh - and I have my Marco tickets! Martin wants to go but doesn't know if he can get the day off (and won't know for a while), and David, the second-in-line, is in the same boat. Next up would be Tristan and Pauline, whoever is fan enough to be willing to pay E60 for the ticket and thinks they can stand an evening hanging out with Jess and Linde and Alette. (Don't worry, I hear that Jess girl is really nice...)
Still haven't heard anything from the camp. I know it's the weekend, but I want to know!!! I can't book a flight home until I know, and that makes it harder to start making plans...
Went riding again yesterday. I borrowed Wendy (instructor)'s half-chaps and they really helped - covered the tongues of my sneakers so the stirrups couldn't get stuck behind them, and plus just the feeling of having something very tight around my calf as opposed to looser pant legs makes SUCH a difference. Everything feels 'tighter' and more controlled, not like last week - last week I was still the best of the group, but it didn't feel quite as 'smooth' as I remembered it all being. This was much better. And this time I have absolutely no pain or bruises or anything like last week - I think my body 'remembers' that it used to do this every week for seven years (LOL), 'cause it's readjusted very quickly.
So Lotte's and my silly online search for fat camps may really have turned up something for me - I suddenly got hit by the idea that we shouldn't GO to one as campers, we should WORK at one! Then you get money on top of it all. So I searched around and found New Image Camp in Lake Wales, Florida. That's only three hours from my house, instead of the (at least) seven hours to Ton-A-Wandah. And it looks *awesome* - there's an air-conditioned indoor gym, an Olympic-size pool, all kinds of stuff. And we sleep in air-conditioned dorms instead of cabins. That's amazing. I'll never be able to go back to Ton-A-Wandah again! LOL! Anyway, there's a four-week-long 'end-of-summer special' session from 14 July to 10 August, which would just work for me - I could come home a bit earlier than I planned and then I would be done probably the exact same day Martin comes to Florida (if he gets approved for the extra week he wants, otherwise I'd have a few days in between). Lotte doesn't seem so enthusiastic anymore - she says she has no experience and that she can't teach any of the activities on the list - so it looks like it'll be just me. I've e-mailed to see if they still have space for counselors. If they do, I don't see why they wouldn't take me - I've got tons of camp experience under my belt, as a camper (YMCA Camp Immokalee, Space Camp, and Ton-A-Wandah make 7 years) as well as a counselor (3 years), and I'm a lifeguard to boot. (If you check out that website, you'll see that they have tons of water stuff.) Anyway, I really really hope they take me. Once I'm home, I'm going to have my car back, which means I have to start making my own car payments again, plus saving up for my master's program plus all the little miscellaneous things that always come up... so it'll be nice to have a jump-start on the money situation this way. Plus I have no choice but to eat healthy! :)
Anyway, so tomorrow I have class from 15-17u, and then I have to rush over to the station to catch the 17.32 train and go to Zwolle and trade tickets with Elske. (Yes, yes, YES, I am FINALLY going to have the tickets I need!) We both arrive at exactly 18.40, me from Utrecht and she from Leeuwarden. And it turns out that Martin has a new shift and does NOT have to work until 1.00, so he'll already be home, so I can just keep on rushing (hope E is on time...) and catch the 18.55 train to Emmen. Then I'm there at 17.47, and we'll be home just in time for GTST... haha... funny how that all works out... I hope Charlie will be able to walk tomorrow... (we all knew she wasn't going to be permanently in that wheelchair, didn't we!)
Anyway, so I'll be in Emmen tomorrow night and all of Saturday (there is a slight chance that we might go to this spa-type thing that's in the area) and then on Sunday I'm going to Raalte, and then D's going to bring me back to Utrecht and we'll hang out here for a while and he can finally get his Starbucks, haha. Saturday is his birthday, so everybody send your congratulations (Dutch) or your Happy Birthdays (English), whichever culture you're from, haha!
But this means I have to finish all my homework, like, now, because on Monday I have to turn in an outline for one class and then on Tuesday I have (gulp) my presentation. I was rereading the article today, and there is just not a lot to talk about!
Request of the week: I also have to give examples of recent 'meisjesboeken'... books meant specifically for adolescent girls... can anyone help me? English or Dutch are both fine; they never said I couldn't use English. ;) Mom, could you ask Catie, or look in my bookshelf? The only ones I can think of are Lurlene McDaniel. (I have so many books that I don't even know them all myself.) Does anyone else have any ideas?
Three cheers for Andre - it finally happened for him, and he didn't even have to do anything, lucky bastard. We should all be so lucky. :) (By the way, Andre, I'm sorry yesterday's post was the first post of mine you ever saw, LOL, taking into account all the plastic surgery talk... I swear I'm not really that shallow.)
So Boris won Idols! He deserved it - he has an amazing voice, undoubtedly capable of more than Maud - but still, a part of me would have liked to see her win. The thing I liked about her was that she was so personable and yet still down-to-earth and relaxed about the 'game' of the show... she seemed 'real', and Boris never really reacted to the crowd or anything very strongly - he stayed serious, and seemed like he was always 'calculating' and taking it all very seriously. Who knows, maybe he was. But still, I think Maud has more of the 'Idol personality'.
(Note: I agree with the jury 100% - those two should just build a career as a duo! If you didn't see their duet of 'It Takes Two', go download it - really fantastic! I thought it was the best thing all night.)
I came back from Emmen on Sunday, got struck with the idea to turn my weblog into a book (thanks to Lotte for all the ideas), and have basically been writing ever since, pasting in all kinds of old blog entries and pieces of chats and other multimedia. I had 50 'loose' pages, not really flowing, then had the convo with Lotte and started over, and now it's down to 35, and much 'tighter'. We'll see if I ever finish it. Usually I abandon projects like this halfway through, but with this I have the idea that I'm actually going to finish it, even if there's no publisher crazy enough to want it... Anyway, I'm planning to write it and then let it sit for a week or two, then read it again... that way it's all 'new' and I have a better viewpoint for what flows and what doesn't, what's interesting and what's not, etc. If anyone has ideas for an actual plotline instead of just a bunch of descriptions, please let me know. I'm working on something, but it's weak. (Why do I have the persistent feeling that Stacker is going to comment with a bright idea?... LOL!)
And yes, I know it's rather weird that I just all of a sudden go, "Oh yeah, I'm writing a book," but it's something I've always wanted to do - just never did, because when I write, I just write open-ended short stories three or four pages long that never go any further. But for some reason, while sitting in the train with Martin on the way to Zwolle, it hit me that I already have all the material, I just need to stick it together in a comprehensive and somewhat interesting way. So I'm working on it.
By the way, I've 'afgesproken' with Elske (student in Leeuwarden) to meet in Zwolle on Friday and exchange the Marco tickets. So it looks like I am really 100% for sure going on the 9th. (Linde, Alette, do you guys hear that? I get to go with you!) However, Lotte informed me the other day that she was really only going for my sake, and wasn't really a Marco fan... so I decided to take Martin instead. However, there's a big chance he won't be able to get out of work. David, if he can't, you are still second on the list... I know you told me (a long time ago) that you would probably have to work, but I know that you really are a fan and would think it's worth the 60 euro you'll be paying me, haha. :) Anyway, Tristan and Pauline would be the next two on the list, but Lotte, don't fill up your calendar yet, because believe it or not, there's a big chance that none of these people will come through... great friends, eh? ;)
So I spent most of Sunday and today writing, but then around 17.30 Lotte popped up on MSN and said she felt like making tapas and did I want to come over for dinner? So I finally got out of my pajamas (LOL) and went, and we checked out some Spanish cookbooks, then went to the grocery store across the street and got all the fixings for tacos. Lekkerrrr! So we ate those - making a big mess in the process, of course - then washed the dishes, then ate dessert and had coffee while watching GTST. (Someone please explain to me why, if there's nothing wrong with Charlie's legs, why the #@$% she can't walk?!)
'Extreme Makeover' came on after that, and so, being girls, we got to talking about what we'd want changed if we were on the show. At first we both just said liposuction (stomach and under the chin), but we joked that 'you can't get on the show unless you REALLY need some work!' and so we started making up more stuff - half-joking, half serious. She decided she wanted breast augmentation, so I said I wanted breast reduction, and then she said she wanted her teeth fixed, and I said I wanted Lasik for my eyes, and it went on and on, right down to permanent hair removal. We even made a list of what we wanted done (competing to see who had the most) and then went to the website to check out the requirements. (Neither of us could do it even if we wanted to - Lotte's not an American citizen and I have a family member who works for an affiliate of Walt Disney... at least I think I do... Dad, Comcast and Disney have just joined up, haven't they?) Anyway, it was all pretty much just a joke, but we were rolling around laughing.
But you know... I realized there wasn't all that much I'd really want changed. The chip in my tooth will get fixed eventually - my orthodontist is a perfectionist - and so will my eyes, at least if I have anything to say about it - my eyes are so incredibly bad that I'm sure my insurance would at least consider paying. I wouldn't want to change anything on my face - happy with that as it is. And a little more exercise is a lot better alternative than liposuction... hahaha! We both eventually agreed on that... so then we started surfing the net for fat camps! (While watching a show about transsexuals...) As you can see, it was 'one of those evenings'... but a lot of fun.
Tomorrow: lecture at 13u, werkcollege at 16.30, and the Anne Frank movie on TV at 20.05
Wednesday: riding lesson at 20.30
Thursday: Lotte's and my long-planned shopping spree!
Friday: class at 15u, meet Elske in Zwolle at 18.40 to exchange the tickets, then going to Emmen
Saturday: in Emmen (and happy 23rd birthday to David!)
Sunday: going to Raalte (at least that's the plan now) and then to Utrecht with D (in the car)... he'll finally get his Starbucks
Tuesday: PRESENTATION about 'het meisjesboek'... (ben schijtnerveus!)
...and that's as far as I know right now.
And you may all interpret this however you care to, but here is the song lyric of the moment - Phil Collins' "One More Night".
I know there'll never be a time you'll ever feel the same
And I know it's only words
But if you change your mind you know that I'll be here
And maybe we both can learn...
Hello again from Emmen. Martin's at work and his parents and I just took a long bike ride (with stops along the way for ice cream, garden viewing, and peeking in the windows of unoccupied houses) and I'm now cloistered in his room, printing out maps of America. These people think Florida and California are next to each other. They also don't know the difference between a hurricane and a tornado. So I'm taking it upon myself to give them an education.
So I survived Koninginnedag! Martin came to Utrecht on Koninginnenacht, 29 april, and we went into the city and bought some things in the Hoog Catherijne and wandered through the vrijmarkt (as best we could, considering we had to walk shoulder to shoulder with everyone else) and got something to eat at 'our' Turkish restaurant (a little hole-in-the-wall place by the Hoog Catherijne; on the day we met, we went there and had Turkish pizzas, so now it's sort of become a tradition) and checked out Kermis on the Neude and then, figuring we'd seen everything, came home. Then the next day, actual Koninginnedag, we came to Emmen (I got an orange 'Feestje!' banner for free at Utrecht Centraal and wore it for the whole trip) and checked out the vrijmarkt and got ice cream, then came home and ate Chinese food, then played tennis and volleyball (okay, I just watched the tennis, but I did play volleyball) and then came home and watched the Lotterij and the performances on RTL4 with his parents, while snacking on leftover hors d'oerves (spelled right?) from a birthday party and bread with yummy German cream cheese.
So I'm sure it wasn't as exciting as Liselotte's time (yeah, yeah, Miss VIP-on-the-Radio-538-platform-in-Amsterdam!) but neither M nor I are really 'party' people anyway, so it 'viel wel mee'.
And now it's May! When did this happen? Last time I checked, it was still cold outside - I'm currently wearing a tank top and shorts. No, I'm not toasty warm, but I'm not freezing, either. The time is really ticking...
Anyway, I think we're going to eat fairly soon, and it's not gezellig of me to sit up here typing while his parents are downstairs, so I better go.