January 29th, 2010 § § permalink
At the hotel right now, and there is so very much filing to do. And guests to take care of. And reservations to book into the system. And small problems to fix. And phone calls to put through to rooms. And a myriad of other things that take little energy but much attention. It sounds like I’m complaining, but actually I much prefer this to a night with nothing to do but watch the clock tick slowly towards the end of my shift.
That being said, I’m going to need a drink to get through all of this work.
Some may call that a problem, but I like to think of it more as a solution.
January 28th, 2010 § § permalink
I just went through the notebook that I started in 2008 where I kept all of my scrambled thoughts, to do lists, goals, and ideas. I kept this with me through 2008 and most of 2009 until life exploded all over my face. It’s not so much a diary as it is a book of lists and things I wanted to accomplish and how to do so, ranging from the mundane “Bathe the dogs” type of daily tasks to the lofty “Save the world” type of goals.
Flipping through it just now, I began yet another lists of the larger and more important goals that I wrote down and didn’t accomplish. 22 things to be exact. And reading through them now, in 2010, they just don’t speak to me anymore. Somewhere along the way, from the time that I wrote them to now, those goals just vanished in a puff of smoke. I don’t know where the girl is who wrote those goals, but she’s not here anymore.
This leaves me feeling a little…lost.
I have no more goals. I can’t think of anything that I want to accomplish, no direction in life that I want to take. What am I doing? Where am I going?
Yadda yadda and so forth.
Awhile back a group of jazz musicians stayed in the hotel and the drummer invited me to their show in Paradiso. The night before the show, as I talked to him at the hotel bar, we hit upon the topic of doing what you love for a living. This was as he prepared to be the drummer in a band that was touring Europe and playing the next night, and I prepared to serve him drinks in a hotel bar.
Yes, doing what you love. At least half of us were there.
He told me how great it was to wake up in the morning, when you knew that the only thing you had to do that day was something that you always dreamed of doing. And the next night I watched him on stage, and he was brilliant- so completely and utterly in his element, up there doing what he loved, and giving it one hundred and fifty percent.
So I sit here and wonder if the day will ever come where I wake up and smile, knowing that the only thing I have to do that day is something that I have always dreamed of doing. How is that supposed to happen when right now I have no dreams of doing anything?
January 28th, 2010 § § permalink
So last night my mother bombarded my blog with 26 comments going back as far as my August 2009 posts, showing me that:
a) she loves me
b) she doesn’t follow my blog regularly (Ha! GOTCHA!)
So this photo is for her, to show her the new hairs, as per her request under my last post.
snip snip snip
Can I just say here and now that the girl that cut my hair at The Graduates (believe her name was Fay) was really sweet and amazing and she listened and gave excellent advice, and this is exactly what I wanted. Totally recommending them to everyone.
This haircut is one that, in my experience, women like and men hate. But as we all know, women dress and style their hair for other women, not for men. If we wanted to impress men, all we’d have to do is get naked. Women, on the other hand, want to see what other women wear, how they do their hair, where they got it cut, what jewelry they have on, how it all works together, what message it gives.
That’s the fun stuff!
So ladies (in Amsterdam): try The Graduates on the Overtoom! They’re good people!
January 25th, 2010 § § permalink
Scene: The new hairsaloon on my street which has gotten very good reviews so far.
Her: Hi can I help you?
Me: Yes hi I need a haircut but first I want to ask how much you think needs to be trimmed. It’s pretty dead on the ends but I want to keep it long and (ADMISSION ONE: I do not trust hair stylists.) I know that hair stylists sometimes go a bit crazy on a trim and cut off everything that they think needs to be trimmed but I would really like to keep the length because my hair grows really slow and it’s taken me FOREVER to grow it this long. (Here I take a breath and pull my hair from the collar of my jacket.) But I know it needs a trim bad, so I want to know how much you think needs to be cut off?
She comes around from the counter and examines my split ends.
Her (fair play to her that she went along with this pop quiz without making a face): I would take off about this much.
It’s not much and it’s a length I could still live with without tears.
Me: Great! Let’s do this. When can you see me?
Her: Wednesday at 11 am. Have you been here before?
Me: Well…I’ve made appointments before but (ADMISSION TWO: I am not to be trusted or relied upon.) I’ve had to cancel it twice so I never actually got my hair cut here yet.
Aaaaand with those two admissions, ladies and gentlemen, I think I firmly secured that special spot in a hair saloon reserved for PROBLEM CUSTOMERS.
But seriously, folks. I am not about to watch THREE YEARS OF HAIR GROWTH get culled in one fell swoop.
Homey don’t play that.
Beauty like this doesn't just sprout overnight.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I still have hair on Wednesday.
January 23rd, 2010 § § permalink
So it turns out that when you have a full time job and you’re not sitting around in your pajamas staring at the wall or facebooking, that there is actually little time for blogging.
There’s not much else going on in my life except glorious banality and some sticky red tape that is causing problems in many areas of my life and that I’m trying to get around, all to naught. It turns out that when you’re a foreigner in the Netherlands (and by that I mean from even further fields than EU countries), you’re pretty much NOT TO BE TRUSTED OH MY GOD DON’T EVEN LEAVE HER ALONE BY A CHILD SHE MIGHT RUN AWAY WITH IT.
So that was surprising to realize after 4 and some odd years of living here. And this time it wasn’t even an immigration problem! I left all that mess behind me years ago, thank the stars. But besides one day where I spent the morning crying with my head under the covers, I’m actually ok with it all. It just means I have to try harder and get all my ducks in a row and all those other metaphors for getting my shit together.
Which I’ll do…you know…some day. When I get around to it.
In the meantime, does anyone know where I can forge a Dutch passport?
January 18th, 2010 § § permalink
How to tell if you’ve maybe studied more languages in your lifetime than you should (and more than your brain can hold):
Phone at the hotel rings.
I answer: “Hello Hotel V, Amanda speaking.”
Caller: “Ah, hello. Parlez-vous francais?”
Me: “Oui, un petit peu.”
Him: “Ah bon. Blah blah blah blah- something about needing to see if the dates 6 and 7 March are free.”
So far so good. I check the reservations and see that those dates are free. This is when things go wrong.
Me: “Oui*. Les jours sont…..free**. And um….si vouz voulez**** reservatie***** maken….um….vouz***** pouvez regarder onze******* website.”
* I start in French. Good job.
**Oops forgot a word, change to English.
***Three words later change back to French.
****Oh hello, Dutch, didn’t think I’d leave you out did you?
*****Crap! He doesn’t understand Dutch! Back to French! Think! THINK!!!
******Nope, Dutch again.
Needless to say, he was completely confused. And so was I actually. All I needed to do was mix a little Spanish, Italian and Japanese in there and BAM! You’ve got a beautiful, albeit intelligible, alphabet soup of every language that I’ve ever tried to learn.
A shining example of when languages go horrible, horribly wrong.
Amanda: Burning the bridges of communication since 1998.
January 17th, 2010 § § permalink
One recent past-time of mine is to contemplate my life and all of the patterns that seem to appear, the history that repeats itself, the character traits that I seem to have picked up along the way (or maybe had the whole time). Not that this helps me prevent or even shape my future, mind you. It all just repeats despite my best efforts, leaving me to contemplate it even more, making- ironically enough- another pattern! (wwhhheeeeeee!)
A character trait (insert “flaw” here as you see fit) is that I swing like a pendulum between periods of heavy boredom and periods of overwhelming busyness, and that these two states are in direct correlation to eachother. In other words, I get so terribly bored sometimes that I take on lots of projects, extra work, make dates with friends, sign up for classes, and do anything to keep that boredom away. And then (surprise, surprise) after awhile like this I suddenly get overwhelmed and bogged down with responsibilities, and appointments, and dates to remember and promises to keep.
So (and here comes the back pendulum swing) I go into hibernation mode. I cancel appointments, take on less responsibility, stay in more, just take time to breath again.
…and then I get bored.
Aaaaand repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
I don’t actually have a problem with all of this. I’ve grown accustomed to just being this way, bored then busy. Busy then bored. But I suppose I forgot that I’m not the only player in this here ballgame.
Three times in the past few days I’ve gotten messages from friends thinking I’m either ignoring them, too busy for them, or done with them altogether. Once is a coincidence, twice is strange. But three times? Three times is a pattern.
The third time came tonight when I met up with a very, very dear friend whom I haven’t seen in maybe two months. After a nice catch-up chat and two cups of tea, she braced herself and told me that she had recently written (but not sent) me an email because she got the distinct impression that I was no longer interested in being her friend and that if that was the case and then it was okay but just to let her know.
Shocked, I sat up straighter and the tears welled up in my eyes. Had this been the first friend to say something along these lines I probably could have laughed it off, but because this was the third time that I had heard something similar and because in this particular case it couldn’t have been further from the truth, it hit me kind of hard.
“You…you were going to break up with me?” I asked.
“But- I thought that’s what you wanted!” she said.
“What?! No! Why? No, no, no. I love you! I never want to break up!”
Blah, blah, kiss, hug and makeup. In the end we sorted it out and laughed and moved on with plans to meet up a lot more often, but as I went on to my next engagement I couldn’t help but take a long hard look at myself and how I deal with friends and relationships.
It seems that my pendulum swinging doesn’t just affect me and my level of boredom, but also friends who maybe don’t understand that sometimes I’m social and want to go out and want to drink, and other times I just want it to be me, a bubble bath, and a cup of tea….for two weeks straight. Or, if they do understand, then maybe don’t know the signs of which is when (Hint: bad weather = hibernation. If it’s good enough for the grizzly bear, then it’s good enough for me.).
So I guess that’s something that I’m going to have to work on, now that I know it’s a problem to others, because the last thing I want to do is lose any friends. One near-breakup is enough, thanks! Welcome to my new complex, ladies and gentlemen!
And can I just say that this is a purely female predicament, as you will never hear one guy questioning another about their friendship. Here is how that conversation would go:
“Dude like, you never want to hang out anymore. What’s the problem, bro? We not friends anymore or what?”
“Man, shut the fuck up and grab me a beer, the game is on.”
And they’d live happily ever after. End scene, credits roll.
January 15th, 2010 § § permalink
Friend: yoyo perino
Amanda:yoyoyoyo baby pop
Yeah, you come here, gimme a kiss.
Better make it fast or else I’m gonna get pissed
Can’t you hear the music’s pumpin’ hard like I wish you would?
Now push it
(neh neh neh neh neh)
Push it good
(neh neh neh neh neh)
P-push it real good
…I’m still waiting for his reply.
I may or may not have gotten up to “push it” around the living room when I found this video. God its good to be home alone on a Friday afternoon.
Get up on this!
January 13th, 2010 § § permalink
Last night, plagued by boredom and proximity to a pair of scissors, I cut my own bangs. Again. I’ve blogged about this before, but all the photos were lost, so I’ll try and find them again and repost it.
Anyway, I get into work this morning and chat with a colleague. After a few minutes I say, “What do you think of my hair?”
Should I take it as a bad sign that his response was: “Yeah, I noticed but didn’t want to say anything in case I offended you…”
January 3rd, 2010 § § permalink
- Walks in the park
- Early mornings
- Time with friends
- Home cooking
- Takeaway Pad Thai
January 2nd, 2010 § § permalink
I am typing this from the bathtub! Hullo technology! Don’t know about anyone else but you certainly have improved my life for the better! Had anyone bothered to ask me when I was 6 how I pictured my 2010 to be, it would definitely include updating my blog from the confines of a warm and bubbly bath.
I sit here not because I thought that a relaxing bath with Lush products would be just the thing, but more because my boredom (which I will admit is not unlike an attention-starved three year-old) was driving someone else up the wall, and that someone else made the executive decision to dump my ass in the bathtub, probably because the bathroom is the furthest room from the living room and my cries of “I’m bored, what shall we do tonight?” can go unheard (or ignored).
So, bath it is.
The Lush bath ballistic that I chose was one shaped like Santa, and is supposed to smell like satsumas. I get the overwhelming smell of dog hair. Not sure this is what Lush had in mind, so I guess I can chalk this down to my first Lush disappointment.
In other news, how is everyone’s new year going? Have we been keeping our resolutions? I got up this morning and went in to town to the ultra-fancy Krasnapolsky hotel to meet Jolanda for a champagne breakfast. If that’s not a great way to usher in the new year, then I don’t know what is. I would post photos of my new year’s eve celebrations, but I didn’t take any! Too busy enjoying the moment and the 360 degree view of the fireworks from Andrew’s rooftop terrace. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it forever- Amsterdam is one of the very best cities to party in for New Year’s Eve.
So see you all here in 12 months?