October 31, 2004

Two weeks to go!

Whfumph! And just like that it's only two weeks until O and I head to sunny Jamaica for our holiday. Such good timing, since autumn is raging on hardcore here. And daylight savings time is about to end in a couple of hours. =(

In preparation for going to Jamaica, I bought prescription sunglasses today. Well, I get them in a couple of weeks, i.e., perhaps the day before we leave, heh. It's the first time I've had prescription sunglasses, and I haven't worn any sunglasses at all for a few years now, so it will be kinda weird. But they say the sun is very strong in the Caribbean, so I want to be prepared.

Happy Halloween to anyone reading this. I really miss all the Halloween stuff that goes on in the US; you can't even find a proper pumpkin here to carve, though Halloween parties are becoming more common, so maybe I should make more of an effort. Maybe O and I could watch a creepy movie...

Fear and Lies

Recently there have been a couple of excellent political documentaries on tv here. The first was something I just came across showing on one of the public Dutch channels, and then I later found out I was probably the last person to hear about it since it's been showing in movie theaters all across the US: Outfoxed, a look at how Fox News should be avoided at all costs, and makes a strong case that their slogan "Fair and Balanced" is laughable at best and downright misleading advertising at worst. From being fairly responsible for Bush being wrongly and prematurely declared president by most news stations to hosting right-wing crackheads like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, the news station has worked constantly to push a right-wing viewpoint. The documentary may sound like the work of equally nuts liberals doing what they can to take stabs at the right, but it is well-supported by clips from Fox News and includes many interviews with former Fox employees. Hell, the co-producer is even a former Republican and evangelical so he knows the true evils of the right.

The second show is actually a series of three shows on the BBC titled The Power of Nightmares, an in-depth look at roughly 30 years of history that lead us to the present world of terrorists and Al Qaeda. The message of the series is that so many of these events happened because leaders (on both sides, in the east and the west) built up fear in the people, based on lies and myths, which lead to violent acts of anger, a cycle we've not been able to break out of. The analysis and presentation of the history is remarkable; it should be shown in every US history class in America, though it can be a bit heavy at times, and even I get lost in some of the political philosophy. The final episode covers the events from September 11th to the present, and it airs this Wednesday at 9 PM British time, so if you can tune into the BBC, please do so.

October 28, 2004

It was unintentional, I swear!

In a fit of egotism, I was searching on Google to see if this humble little blog showed up yet. It wasn't in there yet, but just to be sure, I entered variations of the name. When I put in "bubbly red" (minus the quotes) , the first link that came up was titled "Bubbly Red Sex recipe", a link to a recipe for a mixed drink of that name. So maybe I should print a disclaimer that the "stuff" in the title of my blog is not a euphemism for sex or anything sexual. I do however recommend that you try making the Bubbly Red Sex drink sometime, it sounds really damn good.

The Dutch have no shame

Volumes have been written about the differences between the Dutch way of healthcare and that of other countries. Well, ok, volumes of moaning and whinging has been written on expat online forums. But still, there are a lot of differences, and when it's about your health and getting it properly taken care of, you want it done right, so if you feel it's not being done right, it's easy to see why people get a bit ruffled. The biggest complaint is that Dutch doctors don't seem particularly proactive in their work and many times seem to think that you should know more about your problem than them since they ask so many times "Well, what would you like to do?" In addition, general preventative measures that are the norm elsewhere are considered above and beyond here, perhaps due to the socialist nature of the society. It is difficult to get a general check-up done, women don't get yearly exams, an early ultrasound isn't done on pregnant women, and everyone has a story of being sent away from their doctor without any medicine or advice beyond "Come back if it's not better within a couple of days." It all makes for a frustrating experience for expats who expect much different things when they take a trip to the doctor.

My own experience with doctors has been fairly mixed. I'm still intimidated to death by my general practitioner, but I don't think I'm used to their more blunt, rushed way of going about things. A good bedside manner is not something I think many of them can honestly put on their CV. I think doctors in Amsterdam and other cities have it even worse since there is a shortage of doctors, so they are more stretched to their limits. But in healthcare's defense, when I had to have a (non-urgent) surgery last year, I must say I felt the treatment I received from the surgeon was very good, and he did tests that put me at ease in knowing that he wanted to be sure things weren't more negative than they looked.

Besides the care itself though, there are strong differences in the way the care is done, especially for me as an American. My first visit to the doctor was particularly odd when I found out that you don't see the doctor in an exam room, but you are called into his actual office. He sits behind a desk and you take a seat in front of him and start describing your complaints. It all feels very much like a job interview. In the corner of the room is the standard exam table, but it is only used if really needed. In most cases the doctor does an on-the-spot exam, which at times can be a bit awkward and uncomfortable for me and what I'm sure the Dutch would call my prudish American sensibilities. Because in the US you always change on your own and then put on a gown for examinations; it's nearly the standard procedure after you are taken to the exam room. But here, I go to the doctor and he needs to look at something on my back, and he says "Ok, remove your shirt" and it's like "What, here? In front of you? Aren't you going to turn around or something?" And it's silly, it's all clinical, but still, it just feels weird.

A couple of days ago, however, it went a step worse. I went to a clinic to have an ECG done (where they monitor your heartbeat). The woman doing the ECG lead me to a changing room and I thought she asked me to just take off my shoes. But when she had me come into the room where she'd do the monitoring, she said "Oh, do you not understand Dutch? Could you please take off your shirt and also your bra because I have to put a monitor under your breast." Uh, right. Sure, I'll just strip, no problem. I should have expected it almost, but I still wanted to say "Don't I get a gown or something?!" though I know that'd be futile. So I removed my shirt and bra (in the changing room, which seemed a bit pointless since I was going to just come out half naked anyway) and she asked if I was done and I came out into the room with my arms automatically crossed over my chest to hide my breasts. I felt silly looking so obviously uncomfortable and nearly shameful, but I didn't feel like just strolling into the room hanging all out. I then laid down on an exam table and I had to put my arms at my sides for the monitoring. I lay there for about 15 mins totally topless while she did the monitoring and took blood. At least it was a woman clinician, and at least the room was warm, and I eventually got over the fact that I was lying there half naked, but geez, it is just not normal. Do Dutch women really not mind this? Is there no room for gowns in the budget? Maybe she was playing a trick on an unsuspecting foreigner. I wonder now, though, and am terrified at the thought of what happens in the rare cases that a woman actually gets pap smear in this country. Do you get to lie there in a wonderfully compromising position and not even get the decency of being covered meanwhile? As if women weren't uneasy enough having them done. Maybe if I ever have to have one done here, I'll come prepared with my own robe or blanket or something. If they laugh, they can just chalk it up to my prudish American sensibilities.

October 25, 2004

Friendly neighbourhood shooting

Last night, O and I happened to be watching the local Amsterdam news channel, when we suddenly heard the name of our street being mentioned. After a moment for our minds to go "Huh? Did they say the name we think they said?", we listened to what the news was to find out that there had been a shooting in a house on our street early Sunday morning. Brilliant. It didn't happen next door or anything, but our street is not very long, so anything that happens in it would be rather close to us. In this case it was about 10 houses down. And we heard nothing, were completely unaware of the load of cops that had arrived, that we were now watching on the news. It's weird to think all this was going on just down the street while we were snoozing away. No one got hurt fortunately, it was some guy going nuts on a bad trip, but still, shots being fired are shots being fired. A bullet could have gone through a wall, ceiling or floor. And to think people have been telling me that I've moved up by living in this new neighbourhood over the old one. Aye.

October 24, 2004

Hidden domestic dangers

For the most part, the new house is great. We need some furniture here and there, but the bedroom is much larger, we have a huge closet, two nice balconies and the living room is cosy. There is however one major disadvantage to this house. And that is...

dun-nuh dun-nuh dun-nuh


The Despicable Doom of The Shelf Toilet

The Shelf Toilet is, I believe, a uniquely European object. It may even be a uniquely Dutch one, I'm not sure. But it is without a doubt disgusting, and I have one in my home.

It was awhile before I found out that our new house had one of the dreaded Shelf Toilets because we didn't take a close enough look in the bathroom while being shown around. But once I found out that our bathroom was equipped with one, I was seriously depressed. Why? you might ask, it's just a toilet. Oh no, it is not. The Shelf Toilet is called such because instead of having the hole near the back with a little puddle of water back there, it has the hole near the front with a large flat area in the middle of the toilet (the horrendous "Shelf"). Without getting too graphic, when you do your business, it does not hide away down near the bottom of the toilet in some water, it sits there on the Shelf in visual and smelly nastiness, just daring you to flush it away. I have found though, that flushing just makes it stink even more, so really there is no good solution.

I do not know who designed The Shelf Toilet, or more to the point, why anyone would place one in their house, but someone placed one in our house, and I'd love to get rid of it. O though doesn't see what the big deal is -- one moment where his Dutchness seems to be peeking through. I discussed The Shelf Toilet, though, with two co-workers -- one Irish, one English -- and both find it to be a disgusting thing to foist onto someone else. The Irish co-worker also shared the story about a mate who once threw up the morning after a night of drinking, but it wasn't from the booze -- it was from the stench that emanated after using a Shelf Toilet. I tell you, the things just ain't right.

Neither O nor I know any plumbing to be able to get rid of the thing on our own, plus he doesn't have the motivation to change it. I'd almost consider buying the Time-Life Guide to Plumbing so I could learn how to replace a toilet and I'd do a switch one day when O is not home. But I don't think that'd be happening any time soon. In the meantime, I apologize to all visitors to our house who use our toilet. We didn't choose it, it was there when we got here. But if you have some plumbing skills and some time to spare, you could help put us (or, rather, me) out of my misery.

October 21, 2004

Be as gay as you wanna be in the (Dutch) Army

In the midst of our ongoing unpacking, I came across a brochure I got once titled (in Dutch) "Homosexuality and the Military." Ok, neither part of that title is particularly pertinent to me, so you may wonder what on earth I was doing with the brochure in the first place. It turns out there's a handy Dutch govt. service where you can get all sorts of information on all parts of Dutch govt. and life, and order brochures and booklets, usually for free if you order 10 or less. If you've seen Dutch tv, then you know the little PSA's from Postbus 51 that appear at the end of the commercial blocks. Anyway, I went to the site once and ordered a bunch of stuff that looked interesting, and yeah, I had to see what a booklet titled "Homosexuality and the Military" was like.

Of course it should come as no surprise that such a govt. publication exists in this country. There ain't no "don't ask, don't tell" here. But still, gays going into the military may worry about how their sexual preference is received, and this booklet is here to tell them it's all ok. The photos say it all. I wish we had our scanner set up so I could post the photos, but it'd probably be a copyright violation or something anyway... So I'll just have to describe the photos. On the cover is a photo of two men in uniform, one casually tapping the other on the elbow and smiling as if to say, "I heard you're gay. I'm cool with that!" or perhaps "I know the best gay bars in town. I'll show you them Friday night!"

Inside the booklet there are more depictions that gays can lead normal military lives and not have to hide anything. Except their face: One photo shows a man in uniform (with a gold ring on his left hand!) reading "De Gay Krant" ("The Gay Newspaper"), but the paper is held up so that the page blocks his face. It's an odd way of coming across as very obvious and hiding something at the same time...

Below this man though is a man who is not afraid to hide his face... or his partner's. He sits at his desk having a cup of coffee and doing some work, and the caption points out that the military strives to create "a situation where even homosexuals can place a photo of their partner on their desk."

Lest you start to think that only men are in the military, or gay, there is a page with a photo of two women about to hug. I'm not sure if they are meant to be co-workers or partners who both happen to be in the military. Either way, the one whose face we see keeps up the smiley happy look that everyone else in the brochure has (minus the guy hiding behind his gay paper) because the govt. wants you to know that being gay, and in the military, is like being in one big happy family!

All joking aside, I think it's great that they are so open and equal about it. There's even an organization that takes care of gay issues in the military. It's better than treating it like it doesn't exist, or perpetuating the myth that someone who is gay is gonna start macking on all of the people of the same sex around them. There is support available though for those experiencing discrimination because even the Dutch military isn't perfect.

October 20, 2004

Office with a view

I haven't posted in quite a few days, and so I return with... photos! Maybe not the most exciting photos, but rather photos from...

The Evil Office Building of Corporate Bastardness

My view

O's already posted the cool photo of my new office building's main staircase. So I shall post photos I took of various views from the building. Above is the grand view from my window. In the very foreground, looking rather square and grid-like, is a parking garage for the very tall Deloitte and Touche building next to ours. Yippee. The blue arched bit behind that in the centre of the photo is Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. I get to stare out and dream of being on the international trains that go through there on their way to Belgium and France. And beyond that are a bunch of office buildings. It's a very horrible business area. This direction also faces pretty much towards where I live, which is kind of nice/kind of a sad reminder of where I'd rather be. But I do face the window, which is great, there is always stuff to watch or at least I can just sit back and not think about work for a bit. This is the best part about the new building.

Another view

This photo looks in almost the opposite direction from the direction I face at my desk. It looks towards part of the industrial western harbour area of Amsterdam. O's office building is not too far from that big smokestack to the right. And in the bottom right corner, you'll see that our building is right next to a Mercedes garage.


This photo has some horrible reflection in it, but oh well. This is sort of towards Amsterdam centre. The south side of centre. The two tall buildings in the far distance are, I think, the two tallest buildings in Amsterdam, next to the Amstel station, the one to the left being the Rembrandt Tower with the blinky light on top. And in the foreground a big glassy KPN (Dutch telecom) office building. This view is way higher since it was taken from the 23rd floor, as opposed to the level of my measly 8th floor.

Hm, I guess I haven't actually showed what the building looks like from the outside. That can be found here. Not incredibly ugly, but not incredibly inspired either. It feels weird to work there, but then a lot about work has changed, not just the location. A co-worker keeps saying our parent company is like the Borg and they're assimilating us. 'Tis true enough.

October 15, 2004

Site update

I added an update to my little Elliott Smith webpage, adding a link to the story that is in this week's Willamette Week.

Rocked my vote

I sat down last night and filled in the little bubbles on my ballot like I was taking the SATs all over again, but in this case I got to choose the answers. And my answers are right, damnit! I was glad to get it out of the way (and I wanted to be sure it'd have time to get to Oregon before the deadline), so now it's just fingers crossed that Bush is booted out and that the Oregon constitution isn't admended to exclude gays from marriage. Those are my two biggest worries of what their outcomes will be.

In the process of voting last night, I was reading the voters' pamphlet and there was a series of ranting religious arguments in favour of the gay marriage issue, Measure 36. My ire was just starting to rise when I realized that they were actually taking the piss out of your typical right-wing, conservative, Christian, anti-gay statement. The series of four arguments were written by a certain M. Dennis Moore, representing such imaginary groups as "The Beaver State Defense of Beaver Coalition" and the "Traditional Prejudices Coalition". In connection, there is a similarly tongue-in-cheek website (of course) at oregondogma.org. Actually, I see now that the website is run by a group called the Special Righteousness Committee that apparently "has been placing satirical, tongue-in-cheek 'Arguments in Favor' of religious-right ballot measures in the official Oregon Voters' Pamphlet since 1992." I'm guessing from the year (and their name) that they were spurned to action by Measure 9, which sought to stop gays from having any "special rights" (because they get tons of perks, you know). Anyway, check out the website. There are links at the top where you can read each of the arguments that the group placed in the voters' pamphlet.

October 14, 2004

Vacation nearly beckoning

I almost forgot to mention: a month from today we leave for Jamaica. Ohh ohhh yeah. We're going to some disgusting all-inclusive resort, but we don't care, we want to be spoiled. We decided to go to Jamaica after some roundabout searching for our next vacation destination. We first decided we wanted to go somewhere that was neither the US nor Europe, since we've done those enough and need to branch out more. Then, since it would be a fall holiday, we wanted somewhere warm, so we looked around for interesting tropical islands to go to. I was initally interested in Jamaica, but O had his doubts, though I dunno why. We eventually settled on Mauritius, and I researched it to death and had all sorts of plans, but then we went into the travel agent to get an estimate of the price and it was too expensive. So we started looking again and I convinced O that Jamaica would be great and it fit our budget, and now we are totally looking forward to it. It still feels distant though since we've had so many other things to worry about lately, but now it's only a month away. Bring it on.

Working holiday

Today our office is very, very quiet due to a national train strike. Various unions have been flaring up with strikes lately because of policies the government has been passing. I don't know the details of it all since I hardly understand these things when they happen in the US, but the workers are not happy. A few weeks ago the public transport workers striked in Amsterdam so there were no buses, trams, metros or ferries. My mom was visiting at the time, so we had to get around by taxi a couple of times. Rather costly day. In a country as small as The Netherlands, many people fully rely on public transport (myself included), so these strikes do hit hard. And that is very evident at my work. In my department, only 4 people are here out of 14 or 15. Well, ok, some are on holiday or away on a business trip, but still, about 5-6 people would have been here if not for the strike. And that's just my department. I'm enjoying it though, I'm all alone in my bit of the office, playing Radiohead and The Veils and Neutral Milk Hotel on the computer, without headphones, and being remarkably productive. I think my eagerness to do work has died out though, and thus I'm writing this.

Earlier some people finally delivered plants to our offices. They're rather large leafy things in various forms. The one near my area resembles Jack's beanstalk, and has soft fuzzy-ish leaves. These are all the plants we get since our corporate overlords won't allow personal plants because they might have diseases they could kill these apparently very sensitive plants that they just brought in. You didn't get any choice of what plant was placed near you, but the few of us here took advantage of the quiet and did some switcheroos, wheeling about plants from office to office until it fit our fickle asthetics. Nothing is sacred if you happen to be out of the office.

And I am increasingly worried about what goes on when we are out of the office and the cleaners are here... I never worried much about the cleaners in the old building. I wasn't happy when they mussed about my desk in what must have been a vigorous wiping of it, but they seemed like decent people. But now... Ok, minor thing, but my garbage can wasn't emptied a couple of days ago, and it was potentially very smelly due to some fruit I had thrown away in it. More bothersome: This morning I found that a newpaper I had left on my desk yesterday had magically moved to a desk across the room. My guess is that someone had a sit and read my paper and didn't bother putting it back unnoticably. Even more bothersome, though this could very well be a rumour: I heard from a co-worker that a friend of hers came in and found a used condom next to her garbage can. Ew ew ew. And apparently when she complained to the people in charge, she was told "well, it happens." Nice.

October 13, 2004


Right, I finally get to try out posting some photos. I want to post a couple of things I've taken recently.

This first one was taken only a day after we moved into the new house. Some young people happened to be moving as well, into a place across the street. (I dunno what it was with moving last weekend. Not only was there us and these guys, but two sets of people were moving out of houses two doors down from our old house. The street was clogged with rented vans and trailers.) I watched two guys and a girl unload stuff from a small trailer hitched to a car. Eventually I noticed the sign which the girl is carrying in the photo:

Yr too damn high!

Translated, the sign says "You are too high. Go back." I'm assuming it was stolen from an overpass or parking garage. I totally want to print up signs with this message on it and flash it to any overly tall Dutch person I come across. Except maybe I'd change it to "Ga weg (Go away)", which would be particularly useful at concerts.

And no, I'm not a voyeur for peeking from behind the curtains to take zoom photos of our new neighbours.

The second photo is more simple, just the lovely sunrise from this morning. This is out our bedroom window.

October 10, 2004

The Big Move

The Big Move went down yesterday. All in all it went well and the core part of the move went amazingly fast. Moving everything out took 1 hour and 45 mins; moving everything in took about half an hour. It was a gorgeous fall day for it: blue skies, and mild temperatures to help cool you down after climbing stairs so much. A co-worker of O's wimped out in helping out, but we gained someone when this guy walking by recognized one of my friends who was helping out. I had no idea this British expat lived only the next street over. He was just heading to the store to return some empty bottles, but he offered his help and was very useful.

So now The Big Move has turn into The Big Settling In. There's so much unpacking to do, and things to get and such. Fortunately we have the day off tomorrow so we can get a few more things done. Today not much unpacking got done because we spent the afternoon cleaning the old house. I hate cleaning, but fortunately O's mom is keen to do it, so we mostly left her to it and I worked on taking out the garbage and recycling. It's so good to get everything out of there, since there were still some bits and pieces left behind.

But I'm really excited to get the new place all fixed up. It will take time to do all I want to do, but I do want to put in more of an effort than we did at the old house. Photos are forthcoming, once I get that all set up.

October 8, 2004

Team-building exercise

That's what it felt like we were doing when O and I decided to flip around the doors on our new fridge so that they opened in the opposite direction. It was such a pain to do, but it would have just bothered me otherwise since it only made sense to have them go the other way. So there was much unscrewing and prying out pieces of plastic and flipping around and then screwing things back in. We kinda gave up on the instructions after awhile and just figured it out on our own, especially due to the instructions having no words on it so they could "work" in whatever language was spoken in whatever country the fridge has just been purchased in. All there was was diagrams with a bunch of arrows supposedly indicating "unscrew this" or "pull out this" with numbers indicating the order in which you were supposed to do it. In the end the diagrams just looked like they were depicting weird air flows around the doors of the fridge, or complicated, yet funky, dance moves to be done by floating screws. So it was best for O and I to just put on our thinking caps and sort it all out ourselves. We made it through without any argument breaking out, and had some humourous moments, so I think it was a success. And I ended up a happy camper with fridge doors that open the right way.

Our stuff arrived to the new house early in fact, so no sitting about for hours. We were on our way there when the delivery guys called and asked where we were. Apparently, since it was a Friday, they were eager to get through their deliveries as fast as possible and head home early. And damn, if only those guys were for rent for when we move. They hauled the fridge and washing machine up two flights of stairs as if they were just plastic shells of appliances.

Update on The Big Move:

The packing is winding down and the house is full of boxes and crap laying about. Tomorrow is The Big Move. It hasn't really hit me yet that tonight is our last night here. We've been in this house for almost 3 years, in which time a lot has happened. I'll miss it, though yeah, there are a lot of things I'm looking forward to in the new place. We hope to have internet by Monday, otherwise I guess I won't be online again til I return to work Tuesday.

October 7, 2004

Choose for choice

I often read the New Scientist online at work since it has really good bits of breaking science stories, as well as interviews and book reviews and so on. O calls me a "science geek" now since I read it so much, as well as subscribe to the Annals of Improbable Research. What can I say, I like science and learning more about our world.

Anyway, New Scientist is currently featuring a series of articles on scientific topics that the next American president (whomever he may be) cannot ignore. They cover all the hot current topics from global warming to stem cell research. I can't admit to having read all of them, but today I did read the one on the US's abortion policy. It is a rather depressing but enlightening read that shows how hurtful Bush's decision was to cut funding to any global family planning clinic that promoted -- or even associated itself with another organization that promoted -- abortion. It is far more reaching than a few unwanted babies being born, and nothing has shown that the ruling has reduced abortion rates. I can remember when Bush put this rule into effect, only days after he took office, and I realized what sort of president we had to deal with now. Unfortunately I hadn't even begun to imagine what the next four years would be like.

On a brighter -- and completely unrelated -- note, the essay this week in Tomato Nation made me giggle more than a few times. Sars writes about her family and her cats, fail-safe topics for a good laugh.

Update on The Big Move:

Nearly everything is packed. Tomorrow is the last real packing day, but I think what we have left is definitely do-able. Tomorrow morning we have to go over to the new place and sit around waiting for the new washing machine, fridge and microwave to be delivered. I'll be glad to get that out of the way, but I'm also almost hoping they arrive late so I can arrange the kitchen cabinets in the meantime. But new big stuff - whoo hoo! And the first microwave I've had in 4 years...

October 2, 2004

Throw your life in a box

...Or a few hundred of them. Well, ok, we haven't packed that many boxes yet, but oy, with the packing already. I've only done 5 boxes, but I'm tired of it. I do like, though, getting rid of tons of stuff that should have been binned long ago. But does this mean we should move every few years just to do a proper spring clean of the house?

In completely seperate news, I've received my absentee ballot. Ooh, such power in my hands! I think. Hrm. Anyway, I found that Nader is on my ballot, even though I had just found out that he has been disqualified from the Oregon ballot because he didn't submit enough valid signatures. Does that make mine then a special limited edition that could be worth thousands someday? Um, yeah, probably as likely as Nader winning...

October 1, 2004

So speaking of moving...

We move house in only a week. Scary. The boxes have been delivered, so the packing needs to begin. As well as fixing some things in the new house, getting appliances delivered and doing some pre-moving next week. Aye. But this is part of the reason it is kinda good for me to start a blog now, it's one big turning-a-new-leaf kinda time for me, so I thought it'd be nice to document it.

In the meantime I have moved at work, and it was an exhausting first day in the new building. Just so much to absorb. How to work the fancy new coffee machine, where to find paper towels, where to find your own bloody desk and all the boxes with your stuff in them... I'll never be happy being suddenly in a 23 story building with 1700 people, but it's reality now so I gotta deal. I do have a lovely view from the 8th floor, just a big window in front of me to stare out of, so that's nice. Try to get that in the US as a lowly admin worker. And it now takes me at least half an hour less to get to and from work. Though I actually kinda liked the train ride to work. When am I gonna read now?! Bah, I'm sure by the end of the year I'll hardly remember the old ways...

Welcome to Bubbly Red Stuff

So... I decided to start a blog. Join the masses, why not? And this is like the worst time to do this, since I'm about to move house and my work has moved and my mom was visiting and stress stress stress... But I had the idea and once I had it, I had to act on it because I can never wait on things if I get excited about it. So here it is. My blog. Enjoy.