Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dutch Style

So I have surmised that there are two kinds of Dutch interiors. For the sake of argument, I'll call them Dutch Traditional, and Dutch Modern, though I have no idea what their real names are.

Dutch Modern is totally clutter free, and uses paradoxically large pieces of furniture in small Dutch spaces. Houses look like they have been staged, and no one really lives there. Very high style, slightly sterile, nothing on the countertops, plants encased in glass vases, big modern art on the walls, etc.

The Traditional design goes like this: Take every piece of kitschy crap anyone in your family has given you and fill in the gaps with tacky store-bought statuettes and fake tulips until there is no space on any counter, windowsill or bookshelf. Keep it dusted. Don't let anyone touch it. Get frilly curtains, fussy overwrought tables, and every kind of fucking garden gnome on earth for that paved back yard with the fake grass. FAKE grass. Because we don't want to have to take care of it.

Here's the thing, no one has a sense of decorative irony. I'd like to think I do. We have a fairly modern house, but we have a bunch of those little "kissing girl and boy" Delft Blue figurines. (We give them to each other every time we make up from a fight. Don't ask how many we have.) I bought some old-fashioned milk jugs and display them all together. I like REAL flowers, and all frilly shit is absent.

I told D I thought it would be funny to get a garden gnome for the yard and do something funny with it, like spray paint it purple and cover it with rhinestones and let the kids play "find the gnome" with it. He looked at me like I was mental.

I really like our house, but since no one here does in-between, I can't help wondering if our guests think "Nice house, if only they'd get rid of/add more crap."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And tell me this...

How can a man who eats raw fish slathered in raw onions turn his nose up at my baked stuffed chicken with apple/walnut stuffing?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Should I be flattered or horrified that most people find my blog by searching for "Amsterdam Tranny"?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Open Letter to the Dutch

Here is something I've been meaning to say to you people...

We all know you are pale and come from a sun-free country. Embrace it and PLEASE STOP TANNING!


Forget that it ages you and causes skin cancer - You look RIDICULOUS! This is not Spain. No one is buying it, and your faces look like catchers' mitts.

There are young, lovely women here with great hair, figures, clothes, etc., and their faces are full of deep brown wrinkles.

So girls (and guys), don't lay out in the "sun" when it's 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll catch a cold. If you want color, ride that 1950s-looking bike of yours as fast as your skinny-bitch legs will go until your cheeks are flushed pink. It works so much better on you!

I'm no swarthy lass, but I know enough not to hit the tanning beds. I am just waiting impatiently for lily-white skin to be "in." (Has it ever been?) My own son is so pale that if he were a little less attractive, he might be mistaken for a resident of You Know Where. (UKnow where...)

I too, have grown sickly pale during my residence here, but I will NEVER, EVER use a bottle tan, God help me. I don't want to look like I'm from Jersey, after all...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Of course, of course

There are two kinds of people in the world; fanciers and non-fanciers.

You know what I'm talking about. People who have Persian cats and therefore buy cat magazines, join Persian cat clubs, chat about Persian cats online, debate the merits of cat fur "colors" and superior breeding and brag about their cats' "unique" temperments.

Let me make something clear - These people are freaks.

I therefore find myself in a quandry, since my stepdaughter has now begun horseback riding lessons. You're either a horse person or a non-horse person. There is no kinda horse person. You can't go half-horse. (I suppose you can go quarter-horse, but onward...)

In the US, horse people are very horsey. Here, I think they are less so, since Dutch people are outdoorsy and active, and practically horses themselves.

Horsey people are always horse-crazy. They are also invariably tween-teenage girls with giant white teeth, big horsey thighs and fuzzy helmets that look like oversized Junior Mints. They sit in their classes and draw horses on their notebooks and always have this snotty air, like "I'm a horse person and you're not. My hymen is broken from horesback riding instead of sex. Neener, neener, neener. "

I don't want to be a horse person! I don't want to be a horse-person parent (which I'm sure is like a pageant/stage mother for the horse-set). I don't want to make small talk with other horse parents or be designated for apple duty once a month. I don't want to subscribe to Horse Fancy magazine and rent Black Beauty and talk about horseback riding like it's a sport instead of a lazy person sitting on a big, sweaty animal who does all the work. I don't want to go to tack shops and buy things like saddles and bridles and reins and stirrups and crops and leather boots and all the other things that I previously have only seen as sex props.

The closest I want to get to being a horse person is wearing a ponytail. The closest I want to get to seeing a horse movie is watching The Godfather, Equus, or the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they trot around clicking coconut shells together. This is going to be tricky.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Toe, nou...

So my good buddy Pat sent me these pictures of myself from a self-portrait series I did when we were in college together. He hoped they'd cheer me up.

These are my conclusions:
1) Depression is nothing new to me.
2) Photographs of me smoking & crying with dark roots make me look like a Mexican hooker.
3) At least I've always had fabulous lips.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can't rant

Can't rant. Can't rave. Can't get out of my own way. I am sorry I am not writing much. I am really depressed. I hope you'll all still come visit me. I promise I'll be good. I'll be better. I'll write more. I'll make you laugh.

If anyone wants to make ME laugh, email me at

Sad panda.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snap, snap. Yip, Jip

So D came to bed last night two hours after me and started talking to me while I was sound asleep. (He always does this. It's really irritating.) This time, though, it was kind of important.

It seems he took Jip ("Yip") out for a walk before bed, and Jip was attacked and bitten by a big dog. Once in the neck, once in the hind leg. He's OK, but skin was broken, and being a small dog, he could have been killed.

(<--This is not Jip)

The worst part was that the dog's owner - who was very nice and apologetic - was STUNNED. He had never seen his dog behave that way, and he has a small child at home. Before you ask, it was some kind of Lab/retriever.

I guess they always remain animals, but at least I can be sure that if Jip snaps, the kids will only end up with a few scratches. We have friends with a "sweet," hyper pit bull-type puppy (aka The Dog of Peace) who would "never hurt anyone" until he snaps and kills a couple kids. Oops.

I was reading an article last week about a family in the US with two pits, a litter of pups and a dead grandpa in the basement. They aren't SURE what caused his death, but I'm betting it had SOMETHING to do with the puncture wounds in his chest and aorta, but no one else was home, so we may never know.

A couple weeks before we moved here, there was a small crowd on a bridge watching something. I stopped to see two pit bull owners trying to pry their dogs' locked jaws off one another. Every time they got them apart, one would latch on again. Charming.

Here, Rottweilers are the boogeyman breed. I think they've actually been banned here. A lot of Dutchies I know were bitten by them as kids, D included, followed shortly thereafter by his mom.

Breed apologists aside, I agree with the words of wisdom of a friend - You never hear of a Cocker Spaniel flipping out and killing its family.

I think the big lesson here, however, is: Don't come to bed at 1 a.m. and talk to me. Or if you do, don't be irritated when I keep YOU awake with questions. Payback's a bitch, stud.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crispy like a wet sock

You know what I love? A nice sunny, crisp fall day. I call it "football weather."

You know what we don't have a lot of in Holland? Nice sunny, crisp fall days. Or football.

It's not that I don't enjoy soccer, because I do. I find it similar to ice hockey in pace and excitement, but it's what it lacks in toughness that makes it almost unwatchable for me.

I understand that sometimes you need to exaggerate to get the penalty, or "boo" for the bad guys, but soccer players act like such incredible pussies.

In American football or hockey, they're more like "Ow, my nose is bleeding. S'ok. Might be broken, walk it off. No, no! Don't take me out. I'll show those bastards!"

Here's a soccer player, "Oh, that guy's foot almost got close enough to mine to maybe make me trip a little. Oh no! I fell down from that and now my shin hurts! It really, really hurts, like I might never be able to do ballet again! I'd better roll around screaming so everyone gets me to the emergency room... Oh, no penalty, damn. I'm ok, I guess."

Once in awhile, ok, but this happens like every 30 seconds in soccer. Man the fuck up. Forget the penalty, shake it off and grow some balls. Otherwise people will think you're French.