Thursday, February 28, 2008

How I heart eighties movies

I watched Some kind of wonderful the other day. I had not seen it since it came out in the eighties, and I have to say, it was still a great movie. Of course it looked a little dated, but unlike some movies, it really stood the test of time.

Some kind of wonderful, for those of you who do not have a Watts obsession, is a John Hughes high school flick, in which an unpopular boy tries to win the heart of the most popular girl in school, but finds out who he really loves is his best friend Watts.

Watts of course is the gayest non-gay character in a movie ever. When I first saw this movie I did not know yet I was a lesbian, but I knew Watts was the coolest chick ever (she played the drums and she wore boxers!). I wanted to look just like her. I wanted to be her. I have to say, twenty years on, she is still cute.

Other great eighties high school movies by John Hughes include the Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s day off. All these are movies I really enjoyed growing up, and I still do to this day. Apart from the Breakfast Club, these movies are a little silly and boring, but I still watch them whenever they come on TV.

Another one of my favourite eighties movies is St. Elmo’s Fire. I own this movie on DVD and watch it at least once a year. It’s about how hard life is as a young adult, just finishing college and entering into the real world. In other words, it is all about self-created drama. It stars pretty much the whole Brat Pack, including: Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, and a very young Demi Moore. Some say it is dated, but I still love it as much as I did the first time I ever saw it.
There is just something about these movies. It’s hard to explain. I am never sure if these movies are so great because they are just quality movies, or because I first saw them when I was a teenager and they just made an impression on me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How not to catch a mouse

There is a mouse in our apartment. A tiny little field mouse. It’s been there for a week, at least. That’s when I first saw it running across the living room. I tried to catch it by running after it, without much luck. Because really, how do you catch a mouse?

A mouse is way too fast to just grab, and it’s way too cruel to just step on it. I decided I should just get some mousetraps, and because my roommate insisted, mouse-friendly mousetraps at that. Mouse-friendly mousetraps, for those of you who care, are mousetraps that do not actually kill the mouse, but just trap it in a little box. Of course, mouse-friendly mousetraps are also twice as expensive as the non-friendly variety.

I placed the mousetraps strategically throughout the house, filled with all kinds of delicious food. No luck. Apparently, our little mouse is way too smart to get itself trapped into a mouse-friendly mousetrap.

I did find the mouse a day later in our storage room, where it had managed to open up and eat some spaghetti. Of course, I was too lazy to keep chasing it until I caught it. When I looked again in the storage room the next day, the mouse was gone.

We haven’t seen our mouse for two days now, the mouse-friendly mouse traps are still sitting there untouched. But I know he is still running around the house somewhere. I just heard a scratching noise in the kitchen….maybe that’s him.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What have they done to my Alice?

I am an L word fan, I am not ashamed to admit it. I have watched the show since the beginning, and even though I am no longer as excited about it as I was the very first season, I have always thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

As most of you know, the storylines and characters on the L word aren’t always the most consistent. I generally don’t have a problem with that, because I see the series as a soap opera, not as a serious drama.

(The problem of course, lies in the fact that some of the people working on the L word mistakenly think it is a serious drama. Therefore they end up addressing too many serious issues, and they ruin the fun show by either including too many PSA’s or killing of beloved characters. But I digress).


One of the few consistencies throughout the seasons has been my love for Alice Pieszecki. From the very beginning I have always thought she was awesome; she is so adorable and fun, funny, likable, not to mention very very HOT. No matter what they did to the other characters, there was always Alice to laugh at, adore, and to love.

Until this season of the L word, that is. It seems it was only a matter of time, before even Alice got a personality transplant. Sure, Alice has always been a little selfish and inconsiderate, but this was always in a cute sort of way. Who is this transgender hating, fame loving, celebrity outing woman?

What have they done to my Alice? Bring her back soon please!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Do I look like a housewife?

These last few weeks I have been joking a lot about being a housewife. I moved back to the Netherlands after living abroad for a few years, so I am staying with a good friend of mine. Since I am in between jobs right now, most of my days consist of cleaning the house, doing grocery shopping, running errands and cooking dinner. I even manage to have dinner ready on the table by the time my friend gets home from work.

Needless to say, I have adjusted to my newfound role as a (temporary!) housewife pretty well. Not only that, I actually think it is kind of fun.

Even though I quite enjoy being a housewife, this does not necessarily mean I want others to perceive me as one.

I was under the illusion that there was no way anyone could possibly mistake me for a housewife, let alone a stay at home mom (!). Well, I have to rethink that one. It has happened to me a few times now, that shop assistants and other people that cross my path during the day, have assumed I was just like all the other moms out shopping.

I guess if you go shopping at times when other people are at work, it is not that strange that people assume you don’t have a job. Also, I have to admit, some of the stuff I have been shopping for has been pretty homemaker-ish (cleaning stuff, oven dish, mousetrap). But still…

Do I look like a housewife? Do I look like someone who has pushed out a couple of kids?* Do I appear maternal in any way?

Do I?

* Ok, don’t answer that one please.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Checking that sexual orientation box

When employing people at universities in the UK they like to be fair. They go out of their way to promote that they don’t discriminate, and will hire the best candidate for the job, regardless of gender, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation.

In order to keep track of what kind of people apply, and who is hired and who gets not, they employ a monitoring system. This basically means that whenever you apply for a job at a UK university they make you fill in a form where you have to indicate such details as your gender, ethnic background, nationality, marital status, religion and sometimes they also include sexual orientation.

I have no problem filling in these forms, but whenever I come to the section on the form that says sexual orientation, it always makes me feel a bit weird. I am out, and I generally have no problem with people knowing that I am gay. However, it is not something I would normally mention in a job interview.

This form is of course anonymous, or at least it is for administrative purposes only, and it is not supposed to be seen by the hiring committee. Still, every time I check the gay/lesbian box on the form I cannot help but wonder if this is going to affect my chances of getting the job.

Is this paranoia, or could the form designed to protect me actually do me harm? And if the latter were true, would I really want a job they would not have given me if they had known I was gay?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

TV Series (that) were better when I was a kid

Disclaimer: If you want to hold on to your fond memories of the TV series you loved as a kid, stop reading now (or at least don’t watch the You Tube videos).

When I was a kid, one of the scariest TV series around was V. I must have been 8 or 9 when it first came on television, and even though I do not remember much about the actual content of the show (some kind of sci-fi, futuristic show, with aliens, or half-human, half-alien guys, trying to take over the earth), I do recall vividly how scary it was. That is, until I decided to watch V again .




Needless to say, it is hard to imagine now why exactly this show was so scary to me as a kid. Perhaps it’s because I’m an adult now, or perhaps the series are just too dated to be believable, let alone cause suspense.

It made me think of other TV series I watched as a kid, and decided to have another look at them, to see how well they stood the test of time.

First of all, Knight Rider. When I was in primary school, this was the coolest show around. The idea of a futuristic cool car that could fly, not to mention speak and basically had a mind of its own was incredible. And let’s not forget, no one was cooler than Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff.

David Hasselhoff is of course mostly known for Baywatch, a show that, although I haven’t watched it since it first aired, I think I might still enjoy.* This, however, cannot be said for Knight Rider. I only have one thing to say about it: It’s awful!

Who can forget Alf, an alien from Melmec who crashed his spaceship and moves in with a human family. Everyone at school watched this show and loved it. Seriously?

Don’t even get me started on cartoons. I was stupid enough to look some of those up too. Cartoons that once appeared magical and entertaining, are now just dated eighties cartoons: She-ra Doctor Snuggles, Nils Holgerson.

Of course there are also exceptions. There’s a few TV series from my childhood that, even though they are very dated, I can still watch with fond memories and enjoy. These include: The A-team, Miami Vice, and let’s not forget Pippi Longstockings.

* For obvious reasons, which have nothing to do with plot or quality of the show.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stubbornness

I’m unbelievably stubborn. The better word for it is probably pig headed. I tend to believe I am right, moreover, I tend to believe that I know better.

It goes as far as me thinking I know better about stuff I know absolutely nothing about. Like the correct directions in a place I have never been before, or the right ingredients to a dish I have never made.

I was visiting my mother yesterday and she was making me one of my favourite meals, a meal she has made for me since I was little. It also happens to be a meal I do not cook very often, nor am I as good at making it as she is. Yet I found myself giving her suggestions, basically telling her how to cook.

What on earth is wrong with me?

I mean, obviously I do not think it’s a problem when it comes to taste, because it’s true, I have great taste.* So when it comes to taste I am usually right, and others should know this. However, I am not sure why I am always so convinced I know better, or why I even care that things should be done my way.

Sometimes I feel bad for the people that have to live with me. Although I must say, I do make a great housewife, so it can’t be that bad…

* Maybe next time I can blog about my modesty issues LOL. Well, at least it’s better than low self-esteem.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Well-meaning straight friends

I have been single for a while now. Personally, it doesn’t really bother me all that much to not be in a relationship. My friends, on the other hand, always seem to think it’s a real problem that should be fixed. And when I say my friends, I am mainly referring to my straight friends. Because who would choose to be single when there’s all these potential partners out there who could make you happy.

Luckily, they usually accept the fact that I hate to be set up, but now and then, they just can’t help themselves. They come up with the most brilliant suggestions of what I could do to end my lonely existence.

I don’t know how often I have heard something a long the lines of “I know and friend of a friend who knows a girl”. Sometimes I am stupid enough to ask what they are like. The reaction is usually something like “She’s a lesbian, and she’s single”. Yep. That’s enough for me to live happily ever after with someone.

The most unbelievable thing one of my straight friends recently suggested, was for me to hire a prostitute. I am not kidding. Apparently, there’s some who do women too. Yep. How else am I going to get some.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Seriously?

I would like to share with you some examples of why this country I’m currently living in (I like to fool myself by thinking it’s only temporary that I’m back in the Netherlands, and that soon I will move on to bigger and better things) is weird.



Divorce fair:
After years of successful Marriage fairs, where people can go to see and learn anything and everything that is involved in getting married, they have now come up with the brilliant idea of hosting a Divorce fair.

Yes, you read it correctly. This fair will tell you anything and everything you need to know about getting a divorce. Apparently there’s great demand for such a fair. According to the organisers, lots of people are getting divorces or are contemplating getting one, but they have nowhere to go to get informed about it.

Can you imagine what kind of people will attend? It will be a huge hall full of people in unhappy relationships. Thousands of unhappy people thinking of leaving their significant others…Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

Animal party:
The Dutch government consists of a multi party system; one of the small parties (with two seats, I think) is the Animal party. Their main concern is how animals are treated. Even though I think the notion of being more concerned about the animals in a country than the people is already a little silly, I was surprised, yet amused, to read some of their motions.

For example, they want to ban the fish bowl. Apparently, it’s very cruel to allow goldfish to only swim in such tiny circles. This reminds me of previous local elections, where one of the main topics was dog poo. C’mon people, can we get back to the important issues?


Queens day:
If you are not convinced yet we’re a weird bunch, I give you Queens Day.


Enough said.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tearless onions

It never ceases to amaze me, the totally unimportant or even utterly pointless things people do research on. As a researcher myself, who’s done her own share of unimportant research, I like to think I’m a pretty good judge as to what qualifies as just your standard boring academic research, and what research projects really are a waste of time and should have their funding pulled immediately.

Apparently, there’s some guys over in New Zealand who have developed a tearless onion. Yes, you heard it right, they have discovered a way to manipulate onions in such a way that they will no longer make us cry when we cut them. Now, isn’t that exciting groundbreaking research?

You can read more on tearless onions here. The part that especially cracked me up was where it said, “The breakthrough has caused ripples in international circles.” Moreover, the research has been published in international onion trade journal Onion World. Who knew such a journal even existed?

For those of you who cannot wait to start chopping tearless onions, I’m afraid they are going to waste another decade of research funding on getting the onions perfected.

All of a sudden I feel as if my own research isn’t as unimportant and pointless after all…

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Comic of the month: Dilbert

I’m not a big fan of comics in general. I love to read, and I basically read anything and everything, but this usually does not include comics. However, there are a few daily cartoons I really enjoy reading.

One of my favourite daily comics ever is Dilbert. Dilbert is about these dysfunctional rude cynical people working at some office. It’s all about the pointlessness of the work they do, the lack of motivation of the workers, and the cluelessness and incompetence of management.

The main character is Dilbert, an engineer who has some problems with the management of the company he works for. The cartoon typically depicts daily work-related situations that are often quite absurd, yet very recognisable.

Some of the other characters in the comic strip include Dogbert, Dilbert’s dog who’s very egocentric and cruel and dreams of world domination; Wally, one of Dilbert’s co-workers who is a huge procrastinator and does not even try to hide it, and Alice, another co-worker who seeks recognition for her work and has quite a violent temper.

What I love most about Dilbert is that everyone is so freaking sarcastic. Or sometimes they are just plain mean. I guess it’s a fine line between being sarcastic and being mean, and they often cross that line.

I like to start every working day by reading the latest Dilbert comic. It always makes me smile and most of the time it cracks me up too. If you like rude and sarcastic as much as I do you should definitely check it out!

Homesick

Never thought I would say this, but I’m homesick. It’s been two weeks since I left Germany and I miss it. I miss living in Germany and everything about it.

I miss the people, my workplace, my friends, the hills, my apartment, the weather, the food, the beautiful surroundings, the rudeness, the strictness, the rules, the environment-saving obsessions, and the always being on time. Hell, I even miss hearing the language.

This is so weird to me, because I never get homesick. Ever. I did not even get homesick when I left the Netherlands for Germany. All the time I was in Germany I complained, or at least I could name lots of things that were wrong with the place, and now I miss it? What on earth is wrong with me?

I don’t want to be homesick.




Who misses this? I mean, really.

Sigh.