Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
How NOT to be an Inconsiderate Prick
People constantly calling you names you just don't understand? Can't keep out of fights in traffic jams? Spouses keep divorcing you even though there's nothing wrong with YOU? Then this course is for you!
Among other topics, we'll cover:
--Why the sun rises and sets (HINT: Nothing to do with you!)
--How to stop getting punched and chased with crowbars
--Using an ashtray in place of houseplants
--Remembering to acknowledge special occasions (Not just for the elderly anymore!)
--R-E-S-P-E-C-T; More than just a catchy tune!
--The words "I'm sorry" and why the heck everyone's so nuts about them
--Loneliness and depression - Why they aren't solved by condescension and ridicule
--The End of the World and why it won't come about by lack of mopping
--Overcoming the scourge of Dutch heritage
Special Companion Course taught by partner of the above teacher:
How to Become an Inconsiderate Prick--No curriculum submitted. Bring your own comb.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I had a girl in today who kept her nose stuck inside her shirt because she can't stand the smell (which I don't get, since there is no smoking), and asked what she should get her father for his birthday, since he's a hardcore hash smoker.
I gave her a nice piece of Zwarte Nepal while her boyfriend asked me if I could giftwrap it.
What fucking planet do I live on? Please?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I went to the bike store, a place I don't normally go, in the morning, On a tree nearby, I saw a sign for a missing cat. Being a bleeding heart, I always read such things, hoping to one day be a hero. This one was a common black and white cat with a collar and a white ring around its tail.
Hmmm. That would be something you could actually spot, I thought. A cat with a white ring on its tail.
Later that day, D tore into me about not returning the glass recyclables that I "insist" on collecting instead of putting in the landfill, much to his chagrin. They were taking up too much room in the closet. OK, fine. I put them in the bakfiets along with baby M and head the opposite direction towards the supermarket.
In Holland when you recycle glass, you throw it in an underground bin, listening to each one shatter at the bottom. This was my first visit to this particular glass bin, and didn't I see the goddamn CAT foraging for food behind it.
Collar, white ringed tail, eating garbage, meowing at me, but not coming too close. This was my man.
I couldn't get close enough to read his tag, and I didn't want him to take off, so I did what any animal lover would do, and hauled ass back to the sign, a mile in the other direction.
I called the guy, breathlessly, and he said he'd go right over and hung up. Then I though, oh shit, what if there is more than one container and he goes to the wrong one? What if he comes so close to finding him, and then is at the wrong side of the parking lot?
So, I peddaled back to the supermarket, and sure enough, there was a guy wandering around by the wrong glass container. I waved him over, and he said "are you the one who called me?" I said "Yes, I'll help you look."
As soon as the guy got over to where I was, the cat materialized from between two cars, and meowed his way over to him. "Blacky!"
He scooped him up and said "Wow, he's gotten thin."
Me: "How long has he been missing?"
Him: "More than two weeks. OK, thanks." And he walks off.
I went home, just tickled pink with myself. I thought about the kids who would be so happy to see him - because, let's face it, you don't name a cat "Blacky" unless you're under age 10.
I thought, "they'll call me any minute to thank me. As soon as he gets home with the cat, his wife will call me to thank me." I thought, I definitely won't take the "reward" advertised on the sign. I was just SO HAPPY I found him. What are the chances I would be in two places I never go on ONE day, and find a cat that's been missing for weeks? Wikkid cool.
I figured as soon as they were done hugging and greeting their little lost cat, someone would say "Hey, let's call that lady and say thank you."
As depressed as I have been lately, it really lifted my spirits to think about. What a nice Easter surprise for the kids.
Here's the thing though: They never called to thank me. Not even a text message with a big "DANK JE WEL!" I don't expect a reward, but WTF? Do you know how much it would have meant to me to be thanked for going out of my way like that?
Am I an egotist? Do I seek praise where praise is not due? Should I be satisfied with a cursory "bedankt"? Would I treat the return of one of OUR beloved pets the same way? No fucking way.
See, this is what you get for having American expectations in a Dutch neighborhood. No wonder people mind their own business. Why bother helping anyone?
Are my expectations way out of line here?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The teacher tells Sedaris that he has it all wrong, and it's a BELL that flies in from Rome to bring chocolates to all the children. He can't figure out why the bell would have to come from so far away when all the bells in Paris are just sitting around doing nothing. Would a foreign bell even get work? And why the fuck is it a bell? She says something like, well, why the fuck is it a bunny, then?
I highly recommend not only this passage - which made me laugh so hard when I read it that my sides ached and I was crying - but the entire book, which is hilarious; especially when you are a depressive, deprecating sack of shit like I am.
I said something to Achmed about the eggs being symbolic of rebirth and resurrection, i.e. THE Resurrection. The Wiki on the Easter Bunny fails to mention this. This theory of, well, mine, apparently.
Monday, April 6, 2009
(Hopefully I can do ok despite the fact that I am having a reaction to my medication and I can barely stand up from dizziness. I hate my medicine. I hate it almost as much as the illness. Mental illness. I am mentally ill. I am mental. With this medication reaction, I actually feel crazy - motherfucking crazy, insane and unstable - for the first time in years. My poor kids. They don't know what they're going to get any second.)
Even if I make 50 cents an hour, the tax breaks make it well worth it. God, I hope I don't trip and fall, puke, or lose my hearing, memory or vision. All the charming, CHARMING effects of the "cure." Instead of being a mental deficient, I can be a physical one. YAY DRUGS!!!
I'll let you know.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Book swap, actually. I am organizing an English language book swap because I am sick to shit of having to write my own material in order to have something to read. Libraries don't have enough, and bookstores make you pay 15 euros for lousy chick-lit fluff novels, nevermind a decent page-turner. I could easily blow a week's grocery money on books that would only take me a day or two to finish. (Similar to a week's worth of groceries. God I have a fat ass.)
I've already posted to a couple expat forums, but I thought I'd clue in my VAST readership (both of you). So, anyone in The Netherlands who is down with it can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll count you in.