Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eyes Opened

An ex-colleague of mine gave me a certain music album for my birthday last year. He thought I'd love it. Back in the days we'd use to talk endlessly about music and such, and my colleagues and I had a habbit of bringing our favorite CD to play that day, make the others listen to it and share what . There's always these little this and that that would jag my memory to make me miss them :)

Anyway, with the big stack of music piled away and the huge mess from house renovation, I never got to play the CD. Until tonight. I listened to it, and the only thing that came to my head was how good my colleague knew my taste. Even then he already had this way of joking about my quirky habbits which I wouldn't really realize about before. The music he gave me was a mixture of upbeat an mellow, somewhat mainstream, but still had the haunting quality that gets me into wishful thinking mode. Thus this blog :)

In the past few years living in Holland, I've got to know several people, none had really become a really really close friend, someone I'd call up impatiently every time something exciting happens. Or did that change when Its came in? I have pieces of stories I scatter here and there, but there's nobody who really has a lot of anything. In my race against the clock, accumulating knowledge, honing skills, did I leave out the more essential things?

Or do I leave it out because it's not that essensial to me anyway? Right. Since when did I not crave for intimacy? Or, is my need for intimacy so fulfilled that I only leave scaps behind? I've got a wonderful husband, whose main goal in life seems to be to make me happy, even though it means listening to my jabbering for hours a night, or follow my whimsical wants - he's like a drug that seeps in slowly, before you know it's already too late, you know its an addiction you can't get rid of, even if you wanted to. I have a group of such dear friends that I've learn to know over the decade. We're scattered in different continents, but these girls are in my blood, through the lines they write down they cruise through my vein, and I can laugh and cry and feel so alive just because of a few lines.

Maybe the need isn't that crucial. Because I already have more than enough.

Thanks angels...

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dose of Light

Yaaaaaayyy...welcome SUNSHINE!!

It feels soooo good being able to go to and from the office when it's still light!! Really, it's THAT good!! The joy of waking up to find sunshine behind the curtains, being able to cycle in the bright sunlight...and no need to worry whether you have your bike lights with you when you cycle back's such a blessing :D.

Here in Holland we've got two types of lights on the bikes, one that works with a dynamo, powered by the rotation of the wheels, and the other is clip on light, working on batteries. I have the latter, which means during dark days, I have to be sure to carry the lights in my bag if I don't want to end up walking my bike home - the police here can fine you for biking in the dark!

The only minor part of the sunshine is, with no clouds above, the past few days has been FREEZING COLD!! When you look outside you get this sunny and warm feeling, and the forcast preditcts 7-8C sun, so you go out in your stocking and skirt, only to find that it's frozen air out there - thin steam coming out of your mouth when you talk...brrr!!! NOt to mention the moments I get over-enthusiastic and dare the cold without handgloves, biiiggg mistake!! Oh well, the only remedy then is to take out long coat again, then I'm ready for the freezing sunshine

^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ ^-^

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Comfort Coffee

Back in highschool and uni, I was a pro-coffee drinker, one of the obvious signs of being a lazy student - you know, those who had to spend the whole night long staying awake just to cram half of the semester's study inside their heads during the precious hours of darkness. I got to a point where even after several glasses of black coffee, I'd fall asleep anyway.

Well, life has been kinder without obligatory books to study, and my need of coffee somehow disappeared. In time I developed my natural intolerance to caffeine, and would end up staying the whole night up just because of a mug of coffee in the morning. It was absurd. My husband would look in panic if anybody offered me coffee after dinner, which is customary here, since if I said yes, he'd be the poor soul keeping up with my chats until early dawn.

Well, there's actually another reason why I stopped drinking coffee ever since I came here: I don't like the coffees here that much. It's always either black or espresso, and I cant bear cappucinno or any creamy versions - the cream they use here is absolutely horrid to me. I've never seen any cold version - even in the middle of a heat wave people still sip their steaming espresso. So with the joy of re-discovering all the yummy lattes at Starbucks when I travel, I decided that I'll just try to drink at least one glass of coffee in the office, so if I do feel like coffee based drinks, my body can handle it.

The office has a Nescafe machine that pours various kinds of coffees - cappuccino, espresso, café crème, café au lait, café macchiato, wiener melange, hot chocolate - don't remember what else, but I usually stay clear from most of the buttons since some kind of milk or cream would be involved. So I learned to make my own version of dirty mochaccino in my jumbo mug: 1 part coffe, 1 part esspresso, and 1 part chocolate. I've tried 2 parts espresso and 1 part chocolate, but it's still a bit too sweet for me. I call it dirty since the taste is just so so and there's only a wee bit of milk in the chocolate...

Anyway, I found this site,, a petition to open Starbucks in Holland. I'm not really sure it's ever going to happen though. Dutch people love being, well, is boring is a cruel word, but well, let's just say they like things plain then. Fancy is overkill if done too often. Coffee is best served black, or with milk and sugar, whipped cream and a drop of liquer is as far as they go. Give them lacings of caramel and a wide veriety of syrup and you've lost your market.

Doesn't mean the Dutch don't like their coffee. They do. They even have special coffee machines where you can put in coffee pads (yes, PADS) to make 2 single servings of coffee, straight into the mug. Now here's the catch: the mug size is 150 ml. This is the serving size we're used to. Espresso mugs hold 100 ml. And so the tall Starbucks size is already threateningly big, an excessiveness Dutch people most likely aren't likely willing to pay for.

In most asian country - OK, I'm only guessing here, since I've only been to like 4 asian countries and that's including plane stopovers - they sell coziness of the cafe, where people sit for hours at a time sipping their tall or grande or whatever. The size then makes sense, and the popularity. Here people don't relax over coffee, they relax over beer. Anything involoving other types of drinks and food, when coziness is the measure, are preferably be done at home. If you check the pricing at local cafes and pubs you'll know why. Besides, most Dutch I know have clean cozy homes anyway.

So, I guess I'll be depending on overseas trips for my comfort coffee drinks for the next few years!

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Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year Resolutions - made to be kept or to be broken?

So....what are your new years resolutions?

It seems that mine are either still to be carried out, or have been broken - I don't really make any real resolution, only think of the things that I'd like to do better, which is, eh, the same, right. But how do you guys do your new year resolution anyway, in your head? On paper? Reminders on your mobile?

Well, here is the more general part of resolution!

Eat more healthily
I've so far managed to buy more veggies, but have only eaten the brussel sprouts.

Sport regularly
mnn...promise I'll go tonight!

Read better books
well, in the course of one week I've finished one Mary Higgins Clark book and am working on the Riftwar Saga. The only thing improving is the quality of my dreams, litterally!

Be better friend/sister/daughter/wife
OK, actually I should really think on what I should do to make myself the above. What needs of my friends/sister&brother/parents/hubby that I can fulfil this year?
(note to self: let's work on that one!)

Not complain as much least I'm balancing it with this happy blog!

Not buy unnecessary gadgets
the problem is, glaring from the window display, they ALWAYS look necessary, and you can find out 101 reason why they're necessary, but come next year, you realise they're not that necessary after all!

Not maxing the credit on fashion items
As long as I stay in the limit, right? And it's discount time, and I'll only buy it when I really really want it, not only because it's cheap. (Girls, you know what I mean, right??)

Well, I think the first week of 2008 wasn't that bad!!

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sunshine and Rain

Good morning sunshine!!
>>what do you mean sunshine?? The sky is gray from dusk til dawn!

The days are getting longer though, spring is coming!
>>Spring is coming?? Winter just started officially for 2 weeks!
Well, at least it's not raining!
>>Not YET - you know how it drizzles constantly out there.

And it's not freezing cold either.
>>Tired of this gray weather, no snow in the winter, no heat in the summer!
Alright, these jeans still fits, december didn't do much harm!
>>Oh, don't you see the muffin effect there?? And this isn't even your skinny jeans!

Well, better get going to the gym again then.
>>Right, try convincing yourself to go when it's dark and rainy out there, you failed the last couple of months, what makes you think today is any different?
What about housecleaning then? That will burn some calories, and the clean house will make you happy!
>>Ehm, and where do you suggest to start? The bedroom? The pile of dirty laundry? or the clean ones on ironboard? The dirty dishes? Vacuuming? Scrub the bathtub? And the kitchen tiles?

Ugh...why did I even bother to drag myself out this morning??

And that's how I normally sabotage my own happiness!

There will always be two sides to everything, practicing which side to focus on is most difficult. Why is keeping the sunny side up so difficult? Maybe if I remind myself often enough
flipping to that side won't be such a struggle!

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