Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The trip that changed my life

When I was 17 years old, I went on a hiking trip in Wales with my best friend. I’m not sure why I agreed to go with her. I was completely uninterested in endless fields full of sheep, and time has not changed this.

We were planning to hike every day for about 20 miles, or however far it was to the next camping site. This would not have been too bad, except for the fact that Wales was experiencing a heat wave for the first time in 15 years.

On top of that, the camping sites were a little more “basic” than I had anticipated; often it was just a field near a farm, without so much as running water. Before long, I started to complain, blaming my friend for suggesting the trip in the first place.

After a few days of hiking, we visited some of her friends. They had a lovely little house at the end of a narrow, winding road. Next to the road was an abyss, about 70 feet deep.

While we were there, my friend decided she wanted to learn to drive a car, and that she would learn under the guidance of her 17-year-old friend, who did not have her driver’s license. And stupid me got in the back of the car. To this day, I still don’t know what made me get in the car.

My friend was driving slowly along the little winding road. She was doing well; she paid attention to what she was doing, and did a fine job avoiding some sheep. All of a sudden she accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the clutch, and the car raced forward.

Both girls in the front panicked, started to scream, and if things weren’t bad enough already, my friend let go of the steering wheel. I can picture myself sitting in that car so vividly. I grew very quiet, and watched as the car sped faster and out of control off the road, heading straight for the abyss.

I remember thinking, “I cannot believe this is happening”, and “I am going to die.” I was waiting for my life to flash before my eyes, but nothing happened. Then again, at 17 I hadn’t accumulated very much life.

Instead of falling down into the abyss, we crashed into the one lone tree standing on the side of the little winding road. In fact, we wrapped the entire car around the tree. Lucky for us, the tree did not break, and even luckier that none of us were hurt, besides my friend needing four stitches in her chin. But that was the extent of the damage to us.

I had never been so scared before in my life, and I had never been so glad to be alive. I can honestly say that this hiking trip in Wales changed my life. Not only did it teach me to never again do something so stupid, but it also made me value being alive in a completely new way. It has been 14 years since that hiking trip, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Bettens on EurOut

wwwI’ve always loved Sarah Bettens ever since I first saw her perform live in 1996. She has a great voice, gives a wonderful performance and is also a very sweet person and very down to earth. Not to mention hot.

So when I was thinking about which queer European artists I should blog about for eurOut the choice was easily made.

I might go see her in concert at the end of the year, if I have found a place to live in the city she is performing. House hunting is a nightmare I do not wish on anyone.

In case you have never heard of Sarah Bettens before: Where have you been hiding the last few years? Even worse, in case you do not like Sarah Bettens: What the hell is wrong with you?

Read my entire blogpost here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good but weird TV: Pushing daisies

I have been watching the first season of Pushing daisies for the last few weeks, trying to figure out whether I like it or not. I mean, I enjoy watching it I guess, but it is soooo weird.

That might sound like a strange complaint coming from me. It is true, I usually quite enjoy weird and strange TV shows, but Pushing daisies is a completely different kind of weird.

Not sure what I am going on about? Watch the trailer:



You might think it does not look that strange, but hold on…the guy you heard talking over the trailer, he actually does that kind of voice over during the entire show. Moreover, you might think it is a comedy, but it is not…or maybe it is. Who knows?

It is confusing to say the least.

And then there’s the actually premise of the show, which is weird as well. There is still guy who can make people come back to life by touching them, but when he touches them a second time they die again.

To make it more complicated, if he does not touch them again within 20 seconds, someone else dies instead. So all in all, not a very useful gift to have, even though there seems to be a great demand for it on the show. When the guy is not making pies, he is touching dead people to make them talk and confess stuff.

There is also a girl (isn’t there always?)…who he brought back to life and did not kill again within 20 seconds, because he has a huge crush on her. Nice isn’t it, he let someone else die so she could live again.
Problem is, they can never ever touch, because as soon as they do she will die. Very original I must say, but how long can you watch a couple who can never ever get it on before it gets old?

I don’t know. Like I keep saying, this show is very very weird…I keep watching, but I am still not quite sure whether I really like it or if this show is truly too weird even for me.

What do you think?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Music Memory Moment: Madonna’s 1987 Who’s that girl? tour

Now that Madonna is touring Europe it makes me think back of another time…many many years ago…when she was also touring Europe. Back in the summer of 1987 she visited the Netherlands during her Who’s that girl tour.

I was just a little 10-year-old back then, but a huge Madonna fan nevertheless. I had the t-shirt and the bracelets, and I knew all the songs by heart. When I heard she was coming to give a concert near where we lived I got all excited.

I got even more excited when on the night of the concert my parents took my little sister and me to the stadium to experience some of the excitement. This was my first time near the huge football stadium and I remember being very much impressed by it all.

There were so many people and they were all there to see Madonna. Some even wore the same t-shirts and bracelets I did, only they were grown ups. How weird. I vaguely recall my mother contemplating whether or not she should by some last minute tickets they were selling outside.


I think the extremely high prices put her off and she decided just being near the stadium was excitement enough. And it was. Once the concert started, you could clearly hear the songs, and even though we could not see a thing this really did not matter to my sister and I.

I can clearly recall us standing on the gates surrounding the stadium singing along with Madonna’s songs at the top of our lungs. At one point it even started to rain I think, but we really did not care.



It has been over 20 years, but just watching this clips makes me feel like it was only yesterday…

Thursday, September 25, 2008

YouTube Thursday: Five reasons why Bridget McManus rocks

She is a very funny lady…
Stand up at the Improv


She says stuff like this…
Confessions of a cheerleader


She sings songs like these…
You wouldn’t fuck me when I was fat


She can even make a delivery uniform look hot…
Rhonda Rapid Delivery on 3Way


She has the coolest Vlog on AfterEllen that is now also airing on Logo.
Brunch with Bridget

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What would I do over if I could?

This question made me list all the things I regret, everything I could have and should have done differently. I did not just recall events from the past year, but went back 10 years, 20 years and even farther.

I am one of those people who tend to remember everything, including every little stupid thing I have ever said or done. I am also the kind of person that enjoys making lists. After thorough consideration and deliberation, I came up with my most crucial, or what I like to call my If only’s.

If only I had joined the other kids playing in the sandbox in kindergarten when they asked me to, instead of shyly remaining stuck to my mother. Those kids had such friendly smiles, not to mention cool little sandbox toys.

If only I had come out when I knew I was gay at age 17 or 18, both to myself and to the world, instead of waiting until after college. Those supposedly best years of my life were wasted on keeping my distance from both guys and girls, and worst of all, on actual studying.

If only I had never taught my mother how to use the internet, and explained what chat rooms were all about. Then maybe she never would have divorced my father after 26 years of marriage and left him for another man she met online.

If only I would have taken the time to think before I spoke, or at least counted to 10. This applies to numerous occasions, too many to specify. I probably would be a lot less outspoken today, but I also would have pissed off and unnecessarily offended a lot less people along the way.

My first if only example, me as a 4-year-old on the playground, would be the ultimate do-over. I would go back in time 27 years and do over that first incident I can recall when I refrained from doing something I wanted to do because of shyness.

I would find out in kindergarten what it now took me until high school or even college to learn, that the world is not such a scary place, and simple human interaction will not kill you. In fact, sometimes it can be very enjoyable.

But you know what? Even though I’ve made mistakes, and there are things I could or should have done differently and things I would love to do over, the things I did wrong helped make me who I am today.

Going back in time to do over the things I don’t like about my life might ultimately result in changing not only my life, but also changing who I am. And the truth is I love who I am today, faults and all. So even if I had the power to go back and do it over, I would keep everything exactly the same.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Have you heard of EurOut yet?

A new website for lesbian and bisexual women has just been launched called EurOut. EurOut was started as a European reaction to the popular American website AfterEllen, which I am always plugging on here.

EurOut is basically an entertainment and societal website aimed at European queer women. It will feature the latest European entertainment news, as well as queer books, comics, and films. In addition, the focus will also be on more societal issues and European politics.

Currently the site is still under construction, but you can already check it out to get an idea of what it is going to be like. There’s also already plenty of blogposts on there to give you a taste of what is to come.

The reason I am plugging this site, is not just because I think it is awesome, but also because I am going to be blogging for them. I’ll be covering anything and everything to do with gay entertainment. Pretty much like I do on here, only with a more European focus.

Check out my first contribution about queer author Nicola Griffith here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Clown night

This weekend I went over to my sister’s house for Clown night. What is clown night, you might wonder. Well, let me tell you. Clown night is this awesome idea where you download some of the worst and weirdest evil clown movies and you watch them all in a row while drinking margaritas.

It was simply awesome.

As you might recall, I really do not like clowns at all. In fact, I think they are all evil. Don’t agree with me? Well, it is not for nothing that there are so many movies about evil clowns out there. There is just something terribly disturbing (not to mention wrong) about grown men dressing up in a clown suit, paint their faces and try to amuse little children.

I pretty much feel the same way about mimes and Santa Claus.

Anyways, some of the awesome movies we watched include Clownhouse, Drive Thru and It. Let me just briefly explain why each of these movies are disturbing and/or awesome.

Clownhouse is a movie about a boy with an extreme fear of clowns. One night three psychopaths escape from a mental institution, kill the local circus clowns, dress up like them and break into the house of the boy with the clown phobia.

You might think that plotline is slightly disturbing, but it is nothing compared to Drive Thru, a slasher movie in which the killer is a Fast Food clown named Horny who kills anyone and everyone who comes in his way.

I like it because it is both a nice Scream rip off, as well as it makes fun of McDonalds. Most of all, this movie is extremely bad. And yes, the clown is really called Horny. There is something very disturbing about being chased by a psychotic murderous clown who is also screaming that he is horny.

Finally, It is of course a nice classic that looks very dated, but still manages to amuse. I mean, c’mon, it is about an evil clown from outer space who lives in the sewers and eats little children!

Watch this space for some more in depth reviews soon!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Space: There’s no reason to keep it all public

Everyone seems to have a MySpace page these days and those that do not are probably thinking about getting one. Online communities are the world’s newest obsession. It is no longer about talking to each other face to face or even by phone, but instead we send each other comments on MySpace to let someone know how we are doing or what we think about something.

Moreover, more and more people are starting to use MySpace to find out how others are doing and especially what they are doing and with whom they are doing it.

If someone does not have a private MySpace profile, anyone and everyone can see who their friends are and what they are all talking about. Not only can you look at that person’s page, you can also easily have a peek into all of their friends’ MySpace pages, and their friends’ pages.

Before you know it, you basically know what everyone in your town or at your university gets up to. That is the main problem with MySpace, people seem to forget, or they just do not care, that everyone can read the comments that they are sending to each other.

This would not be so problematic if people would only refrain from talking about personal stuff. But no, so many people feel the need to send MySpace comments about their love life or their relationship problems or worse even, about other people’s love lives and relationship problems.

I have heard too many people say that they actually keep track of what their ex girlfriends get up to via MySpace. It is getting a little bit out of hand and the only thing you can do to stop your exes, your family or complete strangers from reading what you are telling people and what they are telling you, is to hide your MySpace comments.

You no longer have to worry about your friends finding out who is sending you comments, your ex girlfriend can no longer check how your new relationship is going, and complete strangers who have no business knowing about your business won’t be able to anymore.

There really is no good reason for you to keep your MySpace comments public, unless of course you actually enjoy the whole world knowing about what you get up to. In that case, by all means keep your MySpace comments public, but for anyone else I would say: Hide those comments now and save yourself a lot of hassle later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is it cheaper to be single?

I have only been at my new job for a few weeks and already I am struck by all the discrimination that is going on. No don’t worry, this has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity or even sexual orientation.

The only thing my new workplace discriminates against is single people. Yep, you read that right. They have lots of nice rules, bonuses etcetera that only apply to people who are married (or an equivalent like domestic or registered partnership).

For example, because I have not found a house yet in the town I started work I have to commute a lot and sometimes I even have to stay the night at a hotel. They have this great rule where they pay you back a certain percentage of the costs that are involved.

At least, I thought it was a great rule until I found out there are different rules for different people. If you are married they pay you back 90 % of your hotel costs, but if you are single they only pay you 60 %.

WTF?

I cannot think of any reasons at all why this would make sense. It is not like it is cheaper to be single. Ok maybe it is, but my hotel room costs just as much as that of the married person. Being in a serious relationship or not does not really have any connection with hotel expenses, or does it? If you can think of anything, please let me know.

Now companies often have rules that discriminate against single people (or as the married folks like to say, give married people extras because it’s so expensive to raise a family blah blah blah), but at least in most of these cases it actually makes sense.

Actually, I never think it makes sense, but at least I can try to see where they are coming from. In this case, however, it is just ridiculous. One of my straight friends (yep, the same one who does not understand the concept of online dating) has already offered to pretend to be in a domestic partnership with me.

That’s sweet of her, although she did not get why I refused. It is not about getting the extra money (60 % would have been fine with me), but it’s about the fact that some people are getting more only because of their marital status. How come that is legal?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

YouTube Thursday: Movie bargains

I love bargains! After getting lots and lots of cheap cool books at the book fair recently, I now came across a video store that was having a clear out. All there DVD’s had to go for ridiculously low prices.

Of course I could not resist the “10 DVD’s for 25 Euro” advertisements and came home with my arms full of DVD’s. Some of these I really wanted, while others I just threw in there just for fun.

Curious what I got?

Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.

I bought some awesome thrillers I have already seen or never got around to watching, including the Grudge, Saw, Venom and the Descent.

The Grudge


Some documentaries, comedies and guilty pleasures were also part of the collection. One movie I am particularly excited about is Tankgirl. Not the best movie ever made, but such fun. Plus it has a killer soundtrack.

Tankgirl


There were also some lesbian treasures among my findings, including the fine art of love, about innocent young girls at a secluded boarding school where they are trained to be ballerinas. School girls in love or lust always make me uncomfortable…

The fine art of love

Weird, artsy and probably very cruel and wrong, with an unhappy ending.

The other film is Unveiled (Fremde Haut), a German movie about an Iranian lesbian who flees to Germany to avoid getting hanged. When she is refused refuge, she decides to stay in Germany illegally and she takes on the identity of an Iranian man.

Unveiled (Fremde Haut)

It’s about the harsh reality of life for queer Iranians, yet at the same time it’s also a love story. Check out my review soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Walking funny with…

I’m not a very sportive person. That is probably the understatement of the year. I really cannot stand most sports, especially if they involve teams, balls or worse, both.

The thing is though, you have to exercise. It’s good for you, it’s healthy and it prevents you from becoming the kind of person who needs two seats on a plane. Blah blah blah.

It’s not even that I dislike exercise. In fact, you can get me to do just about anything as long as you can convince me it is not a sport. I’m weird that way. A bigger problem I have is that of lack of motivation.

Sure, I want to exercise, but I am just too lazy to get my ass of the couch. At least, that is the way it used to be. Then I started thinking I really should be getting more exercise. Thinking let to contemplating and I was almost there.

What finally made me get off my lazy bum was this Vlog by comedian Jenny McNulty called Walking funny with. In it she and her guest, which is usually a queer comedian or sports person go on a walk while she interviews them.

Not only that, but she also tries to encourage the viewers to walk more. I enjoyed her vlog from the start, but to be honest at first I just let her talk. I wanted to start walking, but I wasn’t just going to stand up and walk at my desk. So I started thinking I should go out to walk, but the weather kept being bad.

Weeks went by with Jenny telling me I should just go out and walk. So finally one day I did. It has been a few weeks and I am still walking. Every night I leave my apartment and walk for an hour. Sometimes alone, and sometimes I’m with my roommate.
It’s great, I should have done it much sooner. Who would have thought I actually enjoy walking. Thanks, Jenny.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My new favourite show

This might just become my new favourite show…

Fringe


…from the creator of Alias & Lost.

Check it out!

Online dating

One of my straight friends is obsessed with online dating. That is to say, she is not actually dating anyone online, nor is she meeting up with anyone she has met online, she is merely obsessed with the thought of online dating.

Ok maybe a little bit more than just the thought. She actually signed up with one of those dating sites and for weeks now I heard her talk about what a wonderful invention this is.

She kept telling me about all these guys who sent her messages. I was assuming she was replying to them, perhaps trying to get to know them better. Nope. She was merely reading their messages and profiles. The whole idea of actually getting into contact with these guys had not even crossed her mind.

She seriously told me “Well, I guess I could reply to the ones I like. But what if they want to meet me or something?”

I tried to explain to her that that was the whole point of these online dating sites. She did not seem to get it. It does not stop her from talking about it though. Apparently, men from all over the world find her interesting and exciting (My words not hers).

She still has not responded to any of them though.

I told her she should just give it a try and start dating some of these guys. She said she would if I would do the same. Find some women online to date, I mean. Great.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Katee Sackhoff to play a detective

On Friday (sorry guys, real life is interfering with my blogging time these days) it was announced that Katee Sackhoff is going to play a detective in Lost and Found, a new crime show from the producer of Law and Order.
Katee is supposed to play the main character of the show, “an offbeat female LAPD detective who, after butting heads with the higher-ups, is sent as a punishment to the basement to work on John Does and Jane Doe cases”.

That sounds like her character is going to be just a little insubordinate. I wonder why that sounds familiar.

Now I heart Katee Sackhoff, so I would watch her in anything, but this sounds like it might actually be a good show. Unlike another TV series she was supposed to have a recurring role in.

Are you excited? I know I am!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Song of the week: Guns N Roses-November rain



When I was younger I wanted this song to play at my funeral. What can I say? I don't any longer, nor am I as preoccupied with death as I used to be. I still think it is a great song though.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Because you’re hot: Random hotness part 2

I just had way too many pictures I wanted to post for last week’s Random hotness that I decided I needed a second week to give you another peak into my great hot women JPEG collection.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tellofilms and other lesbian entertainment

I love that more and more websites start to appear that provide us lesbians with some cool lesbian content. It used to be the case that besides a few informational sites, there really was not that much as far as entertainment goes.

These days there is lots of fun stuff for us to choose from. Whether it is cool entertainment websites (AfterEllen, EurOut), Webisodes (3Way, Girltrash), Podcasts (My Lesbian Radio) or fun blogs by lesbians (Dorothy Surrenders, Final Girl, Comedy Double Standards).

You are probably all familiar with most of the above sites, but have you already heard of Tellofilms?

I stumbled upon this site by accident. Ok not completely by accident…I was actually looking for fun stuff on YouTube when I came across an interview with a link to Tellofilms.

Tellofilms is this cool website full of lesbian related videos. Like a queer You Tube if you like. Not only do they have a really nice collection of videos (e.g., Michelle Paradise’s Ten Rules short, Uh huh her videos), they also do interviews with anyone and everyone.

That is really why I love this site. Not so much for who they interview (so far this includes pretty much anyone who’s ever been on AfterEllen. In other words, all the queer ladies in LA), but how.

These interviews are seriously funny. At least they cracked me up. Who needs the usual serious and boring interview questions when you call talk about random stuff instead?

Check it out Tellofilms, I can guarantee you are going to love it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

YouTube Thursday: Pinkpop 1996

Ever wondered what I got up to twelve years ago? Well, probably not, but I am going to tell you anyway. I used to love to spend my time going to music festivals. I was heavy into anything then termed “alternative” or indie if you will.

These days we would just call it guitar rock I guess, but back in 1996 it was all kinda new. New and exciting. I thought it was just me being nostalgic, but then I decided to look up some of the line up of one of the Dutch festivals I visited that year: Pinkpop.

Radiohead, Bush, K’s Choice, Alanis Morissette, Skunk Anansie, the Gathering, Rage Against the Machine, Therapy, Supergrass, Sepultura, and well, a few others.

How awesome is that line up? Very. Even awesomer is that I was there. As a very naive and probably very stoned 19 year old. Oh those were the days.

I still love most of the performances I watched that summer 12 years ago. Curious what you missed? Check out some of the actual performances right here:

K's Choice and Skin: Not an addict


Bush: Bomb


The Gathering-Strange machines


Radiohead: Creep


Alanis Morissette: You oughta know


Skunk Anansie: Weak


Therapy: A moment of Clarity

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I heart this song

Just wanted to share with you how much I heart Burnin' Bridges by Chris Pureka. Don't ask me why...although it's true I am a sucker for songs about relationship drama.

It's not the same though when you're single...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Book fair

I went to a book fair the other day which was awesome. I love books and I love reading, so any kind of book fair is such fun for me. However, the only thing I like more than a great hall full of cool books, is a great hall full of cool cheap books.

Every year in the Netherlands we have this huge book fair during which they sell all the back stock of the year very cheaply. We are talking only an average of 2 euro for perfectly good books.

I tried not to go overboard, but I still went home with about 25 books. Pocket books mainly, so-called suspense novels. In addition, I also picked up with really cool 6 book box set of James Herbert novels for hardly any money at all.

Just thinking about it makes me happy. Over the years I have bought so many books I have lost track of what books I actually own. Therefore I have made this great Excel spreadsheet that catalogues every single book I own, along with a nice rating system.

Yeah, I know, I am such a geek.

I am hoping to one day have an entire wall in my living room that is covered in books. You know, like my own personal library. That would be awesome. I’m getting there. Give me a few more years.

Oh how I heart books!

Monday, September 8, 2008

TV shows you should own on DVD: Firefly

Firefly is the brilliant TV show by Joss Whedon that never got the chance it deserved. It was cancelled after it aired for only 11 episodes in 2002. They did shoot a total of 14 episodes that you should buy on DVD if you don’t own them already!

In case you’re not familiar with this series, let me briefly give you an idea what it’s about. It’s set in the future, in outer space. The show mixes science fiction with westerns, which sounds a lot stranger than it is. Like many of Whedon’s shows, the strength lies in the great characters and their bond with one another.
There’s some great dialogue, cool stories and the show manages to be both serious and humorous. Unfortunately the entire story of this series never got told, even though a good effort was made in the 2005 movie Serenity.

Only Joss Whedon makes a successful movie out of a cancelled TV series (or a successful TV series out of a crap movie, like he did with Buffy).

A little more about the back story of Firefly: The main character is Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a war veteran of the resistance against the Alliance, an organization that attempted to achieve the unification of all humankind under a single imperial government.

The resistance lost the war, and therefore, a central core of planetary systems have fallen under Alliance control, while settlers and refugees in the farther reaches of space enjoy relative freedom, but lack many of the amenities of a high-tech civilization.

Malcolm now owns a small Firefly-class star ship, after which the TV show was named, making cargo runs and performing various other tasks, both legal and illegal, in order to make a living for both for himself and his crew.

The crew consists of Zoe, a wartime friend of Malcolm and second in command; Wash, Zoe’s husband and pilot of the ship; Inara, a companion (which is basically a high-class hooker); Kaylee, the ship’s mechanic and a really sweet girl;

Jayne, a rather straight-forward and not too intelligent thug; Shepherd Book, a preacher who is not all what he seems to be; and Simon and River (played by Summer Glau), a brother and sister on the run from the Alliance.

The show's plot pits these characters against various criminals and schemers, Alliance security forces, the violently insane Reavers, and the mysterious men with hands of blue.

Even though all these enemies are very creepy, it was especially these so-called Reavers that freaked me out. It is not really explained whether they are human or not, but they are portrayed as wild men who like to hunt, kill, rape and eat people.

Read the entire review here.

I love this show, just like I love almost every single show Whedon has every worked on. Even though enjoyed this first season and the subsequent movie very much, I think it is a shame we never got to see more of these characters.

I would have loved to have seen a few more seasons of Firefly. Go get your own copy and let me know whether or not you agree.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Because you’re hot: Random hotness


Not a specific person or topic this time. Just thought I would share with you a few random pictures of women I think are hot.

It is not so much about the women, even though they are of course all beautiful in their own way, but about the particular shots of them that I love.

Interesting isn’t it, what 2 years of stealing JPEGs from AfterEllen and Dorothy Surrenders can gives you…quite the collection of hot women photos.

Enjoy!
P.S. I had way too many pictures to select some for just one week. So check back next Saturday for more photos of hot women.






Friday, September 5, 2008

Breastfeeding etiquette

Today on the train I was sitting opposite a woman who was breastfeeding her baby. I’m not usually around babies let alone breastfeeding mothers, so I wasn’t quite sure how to act.

I mean, of course it is a perfectly normal thing and the kid probably needed to eat, but still. It did not change the fact that a perfect stranger was sitting opposite me with her breasts exposed.

What is proper breastfeeding etiquette these days? Should women feel free to breast feed in public or should they try to be a little less obvious about it? More importantly, how is the observer of this practice supposed to act?
I did not think it was necessary to look away, but somehow I don’t think I was supposed to ogle at her breasts. Right? Good thing I had a book with me, so I did not have to worry about it.

Not much, anyway. Am I a horrible person for noticing she had amazing breasts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

YouTube Thursday: Making fun of Germans

When I lived in Germany one of my favourite things to do was to make fun of the Germans. Obviously Germans did not always get it or like what we were doing, but my Dutch colleague and I sure had a lot of laughs at their expense.

I want to share a few fun videos with you that illustrate just exactly why Germans deserve to be made fun of.

P.S. I love Germans. Honest.

The “classic” MTV Gunther commercial about German stereotypes:

I especially love the David Hasselhoff poster.

Why learning to speak proper English is important:


Even the Simposons and Southpark chime in to make fun of stereotypes:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I look way too young

When I was a teenager people always said I looked older than I was. When I was 12 or 13 they thought I was 15 or 16. I guess I just hit puberty rather early, which set the whole looking older thing in motion. It did not last very long though.

At some point I stopped looking older and maybe I even stopped aging altogether. Ok that is not exactly true, but I do know that from the moment my age went past 21 people started thinking I was younger.

I have a sister who is three years younger than me and most people used to think she is the eldest. I always found that quite embarrassing, especially because people treat you differently when they think you are younger than you are.

Hell, they even treat me differently depending on my hair colour. I’m a blonde but I usually dye my hair brown and believe it or not whenever I am blonde people act differently around me. They think I am dumber and guys hit on me more. Weird.

Anyways, these days I still look much younger than I am. I’m 31 but most people think I am somewhere in my mid twenties. That serves me fine, especially if this keeps up and they will still think I’m much younger when I’m 40 or 50.

However, the other day I had my haircut slightly shorter than I usually have it and that was a really really bad idea. I think I look like I’m 12! Ok no one would actually think that I am 12, but I might pass for 21 or under 21 even.

I hate it. I do not care about age or I like to think that I do not, but secretly I am an ageist at heart. I am kind of prejudiced against young people, in the sense that I do not threat college age people the same way as I do anyone older than that.

Therefore the thought of anyone thinking I belong in that age range is simply horrible. Is there anything one can do against a baby face? I know it helps to dress a certain way, everyone always thinks I’m older whenever I wear a suit.

I know this isn’t really all that important, but still it bothers me. I’ve just started a new job and I do not want everyone to wonder what that kid is doing at their workplace. I want to be taken seriously.

Hmmm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You should read it: Anita Blake vampire hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton

I just finished reading the Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton, book 14 of her amazing Anita Blake vampire hunter novels. These novels are not like your average vampire novels, but instead they are so much more.

More of what? Well, I could sum it up with more demons, violence and sex, but that would not do these books justice. Although it is true, that especially the books later in the series include a lot of demons, violence and sex. A lot of sex.

The series are about Anita Blake, a vampire hunter and necromancer. The latter means she can raise the dead, which is very convenient for a lot of people. She actually works for a firm where people can hire her to raise the dead for them.
For example, lawyers hire her when they need someone who is dead to testify or tell them how they died. In the world of Anita Blake this is all perfectly normal. So is the existence of vampires and shape shifters.

In fact, in the world of these novels (which is present day United States, only an alternate reality version of it) vampires and shape shifters are treated as humans or at least have many rights to exist and live a normal life.

The series starts out with Anita Blake as a righteous person who just wants that one special person to share her life with. Pretty soon she finds out that things aren’t as black and white and learns to redefine her morals.

That is when the violence and sex parts come in. She starts dating the master vampire of the city, which of course is not the smartest thing to do if you are a vampire hunter, and through acts of metaphysics becomes his human servant.

At the same time she is also dating another guy, who is a shape shifter werewolf. Through all kinds of weird and mainly meta physical circumstances, she ends up with about six boyfriends by the time we get to book 14.
When Anita is not having sex she is killing demons, vampires and other evil guys. Just writing all this down makes the books sound very very bad, but trust me they make for a great read.

If you are into this sort of thing of course. They would probably make for a great TV series if they made everything a little less graphic. Like Buffy, only much more adult and more grim. Hmm. Or a movie. I would go see that. Would you?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Beverly Hills 90210 remake

The all new Beverly Hills 90210 remake is about to start airing and I have not made up my mind yet whether or not I am excited about this.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved 90210 the first time around just like every other kid around the world. It was simply the first really well done show about teenage drama. Oh and what a drama they all experienced!

I used to have a bit of a crush on Dylan, although looking back on it now I think I really wanted to be him. He simply was the coolest guy I had ever seen. Even cooler than Andrew McCarthy.

The girl I loved the most was Emily Valentine, who was only on the show for a couple of episodes as Brandon’s crazy girlfriend. But damn she was hot…or I should say cool, which is what I thought at the time.
The other woman I really liked on 90210 was Brenda, played by Shannon Doherty. Apparently, she is coming back for the remake. I guess she must be playing someone’s mom now then. Weird.
Other people that are making an appearance in the remake include Jenny Garth, who I always really hated as Kelly. But not as much as I hated Donna. Yes I know it is not a popular thing to say, but I could not stand the girl.

I hated both the way she looked (I’m sorry but she looks like a cow. There, I said it.) and her dumb naive “I’m saving myself for marriage” attitude. Who does that? I remember when David could not wait any longer and had sex with…what’s her name?

I do not remember, just that she was hot and I felt Donna deserved it. I was such a horrible teenager. Didn’t David try to have some sort of rapping career? Too funny. Oh the one other person I could not stand on the show was Steve.

He was such a dumb guy and I hated his curly hair. I hope he is not coming back. Who I do want to come back is Andrea and all of the original cast really. Of course that will not happen.

That makes me wonder why I should watch a show that has the same name and same premise as the original show, but has nothing to do with it. At least most of the people playing in it will be different.
Maybe I am just getting too old to enjoy shows about high school. I have tried, but I really do not understand what’s so great about Gossip Girl or even South of Nowhere for that matter.

I did used to love the genre, if you can call it that. Besides 90210 I also watched Popular, Dawson’s Creek, the OC and a few other shows like that. Perhaps I should check out the new BH 90210…even if it was just to come back to tell you guys how much I think it sucked.