So I swear, I was just going into the shoe shop because I have a wedding to attend this weekend, and I needed a new pair of black shoes. I found the shoes I needed (so cute!) and then, just for fun, because I’m a girl and that’s what we do, I tried on another pair of black heels.
As I was turning left and right in the mirror, another shopper turned at the end of the aisle and saw me. She gasped a long and loud “ooooooooh beauuuuuutifuuuuullll!” while looking at my feet.
I looked down at my feet and thought, “Lady, you are sooooo right.”
And so I bought them too.
Proof positive that I'm a sucker for a compliment.
If I had to give advice to someone who was going through a hard time, I would say to them: Keep it to yourself. Don’t share your hurt, don’t share your sorrows, just keep it to yourself.
I didn’t keep it to myself. I was hurt and I told people that I was hurt, I lamented the pain, I wanted a shoulder to cry on, and I showed my bruises to friends. That’s me and my ‘open book’ policy I guess (Hello, My Name is Amanda, and I’m a Blogger…).
But now I really regret it. I should have kept everything to myself. Now, here, on the other side of the pain and hurt and hard times, here where the grass is much, much greener, I am constantly being reminded that I was once hurt and in pain.
Friends, who are only doing so because they care and are interested, keep asking about the pain. “You know that hurt that you felt? Does it still hurt? Do you still feel that pain? That pain that you’re trying to forget?”
They poke the bruises where the skin is still tender, and they ask questions in front of people who don’t know what I went through, so it spreads like a virus, and more people ask questions.
“You were hurt? You went through pain? How bad did it hurt? Was it painful?”
So my advice to anyone in a similar situation? Just….keep it to yourself. Because when you’re over the pain and ready to move on, the last thing you need is the whole world poking at your fading bruises.
I’m trying to share everything with you, I really am. I am trying to write at least every day for a few days until I get all of these thoughts I want to share out in the open. They’re not even super-intellectual thoughts, or thoughts about the war in Iraq, or Gay Rights, or really much more than my usually blah blah blahgs, but still I want them written, I want them done.
But I looked at my schedule and I don’t have a spare second within the next 5 days starting from noon today, and that made me panic. How to blog when there’s no time?
I just saw that I have 85 unposted drafts of blog posts. EIGHTY-FIVE.
Yeah, a lot to say. And apparently I hoard my unfinished words like I do my toiletries – packed down in the dark where no one except me can see them (I’ve been working on that, by the way. You’d be proud. Not super proud, but maybe more proud than before).
So there is a lot to put out there, but no time to finalize the thoughts and post them. And it’s not like the next 5 days are steeped in work obligations, although it’s a bit of that as well. It’s mostly social events, meeting up with friends and what not.
So I’m not complaining. I have friends! I like that I have friends!
But at some point, when there are places to be 24/7, I have to stop and think, “Damn. This time last week I had absolutely nothing to do but swim in the Mediterannean and this was my view:”
An island in the sun.
“And now I have a To-Do list as long as a tapeworm, and this is my view:”
Also water, but coming from the sky.
And while I thrive on to-do lists (call it the one proper Virgo trait that I have) and meeting with my friends, I’m thinking right now that I’d just like it all to be done already (and on a To-Done list) so that I can have a bit of space to breathe again. And to blog again.
So last month a little anniversary passed by, and it was only on my walk home from work at 5:30 in the evening that I remembered that that particular day (25th of August) was the day that I moved to Amsterdam 5 years before.
I’m sure I had a lot to say about that only-to-me-momentous occasion, but if I did it is now forgotten. It probably went something along the lines of “Oh my it’s been 5 years, times have been good, times have been bad, I’m still here, baby, wooot.” Although I hope it would have been more flowery and poetic.
Also, I think I would have added a Josh Ritter song to the post, because it was just before my move from Brussels to Amsterdam that I had been first introduced to his music, and I fell in love with the sound immediately.
On the train to Amsterdam, I listened to one album in particular for the entire 3 hour journey. I was striking out on my own, feeling vulnerable and sensitive, having just left my home, my friends, and my relationship, and it felt not unlike a bird taking flight for the first time on shakey wings (oh hey look, guess that flowery and poetic post is still in me somewhere!).
Several songs, it seemed, were made for just such a trip. For instance the aptly named “Leaving“, or the appropriately titled “Roll On“. And, of course, “Come and Find Me Now“, the lyrics of which made my heart weep wondering had I made the right decision:
Though I’m here in this far off place
My air is not this time and space
I draw you close with every breath
You don’t know it’s right until it’s wrong
You don’t know it’s yours until it’s gone
I didn’t know that it was home ’til you up and left
Anyway, since that trip just 5 years ago, I have seen Josh Ritter live in concert three times in Amsterdam, and once in Ireland. He is a fantastic performer- he and his band really give a lot back to their audience- and I fall in love all over again with his music every time I see him smiling and singing on stage. I have mentioned him on this blog plenty of times. His music stepped in at an important time in my life, and he continues to deliver with every new album.
So I guess it’s no surprise that I saw him again on Tuesday night. Which I suppose means I average one Josh Ritter concert for every year in Amsterdam. Can you see why his music is so special to me?
Because of several factors (weather, work, stress) , I really wasn’t feeling social that night, and I was just sort of coasting through the concert when one song in particular started. My friend, who is normally very reserved and doesn’t get outwardly excited about much, leaned down and whispered to me, “Have you heard this one yet?”
I hadn’t, but something about his question and the look on his face made me perk up and listen harder. If he was this excited about a song, then it must be good.
It ended up being a song so beautiful that it made me cry.
Here it is:
I was so swept away by this song, that I didn’t take in all of the lyrics. I remember being a bit confused by some of them, but it wasn’t until later when I saw the official video that it all made sense.
This amazing video is by the drummer from Josh Ritter’s band, Liam Hurley, who is apparently a puppeteer as well! I haven’t been able to stop watching the video or listening to this song since I heard it first.
If you ever have a chance, and you haven’t seen Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band yet, please please go see them live (they’ll be back in Amsterdam in April!). And then think of me, on the train to Amsterdam, striking out on my new life, or in the balcony above in Paradiso, listening to this music with tears in my eyes.
Man, is it just me or are Spammers getting very….creative of late?
Three examples that I got just now:
The Confusing Sentimental Approach:
“My husband and I were conversing about how we spent our lives in the past few years and life in general. I always enjoy spending moment with him through a wonderful conversation. Our professor gave us a school project where we have to write a song regarding life in general. I’m studying Art and Music in a college in our city and I’m really excited to begin working on the project we were asked to do.”
Um…..okay? Thanks? What the fuck are you selling anyway? (Answer: it was a link to a social networking site with no profile.)
The Shower-Me-With-Compliments Approach:
“Hi there blogger, really nice web design, really nice. Is this wordpress? How easy is it to change the colors? Thank You a million, hope to hear from you.”
Wow, compliments! Shower me with compliments! I’ll buy whatever it is you’re selling! Which is….. (Answer: It linked to an article about an event planner in Boca Raton, Florida. But no email, contact details, name, etc.)
And finally, The Aggressive Approach:
“Why have you deleted my post? It was very beneficial information and i promise atleast one person found it helpful unlike the rest of the comments on this web site. I’ll post it again. Tired of getting low amounts of useless visitors to your site? Well i wish to inform you of a fresh underground tactic that makes me personally $900 per day on 100% AUTOPILOT. I could be here all day and going into detail but why dont you simply check their website out? There is really a excellent video that explains everything. So if your seriously interested in producing hassle-free hard cash this is the site for you.”
Well screw you and your mother, spammer. I wouldn’t call them “low amounts of useless visitors”….it’s more like “low amounts of incredibly great visitors” (HI MOM!). And who says I’m not already loaded? I don’t need to tell you this, spammer, but I’m ROLLING in the pennies! At least two fistfuls! So take your not-so-passive aggressiveness and AUTOPILOT on out of here.
I’ve been busy. Super busy, socially busy, busy with thoughts, busy in every aspect of the word. And I have a lot to say about it.
But it appears that the thoughts that have been swirling in my head have bottlenecked along the path to my fingertips, and so they are stuck, jammed there and not able to make the whole journey to the keyboard so that I can share my thoughts with you.
How to unstick these thoughts, that’s my question of late.
Like, for instance, I went to the States recently! Well, it feels like recently…it was actually 2 months ago, but I had an amazing time and still have not written about it.
And the other night I went to a Sea Shepherd benefit event and listened to Captain Paul Watson and Rutger Hauer speak, and drank maybe one too many white wines for a school night, and I have a lot to say about the feelings that that stirred up in me too. But so far nicks, niet, nada, nuttin’ honey.
And I turned 30 years old on a beach in the Mediterranean and I have a positive BOATLOAD to say about that, but again: zip.
So I guess this was my way of trying to unstick my thoughts, and say that I am here (hello!) and I hope you are too, and that when life slows down and gives me both a minute to collect my thoughts in an orderly manner, and another minute to tippity-type them out, well then I have a whole shitload of words for you.
Until then, can I suggest reading some of the blogs that I read? I love these bloggers:
Look everybody! Veggiemacabre has a face that moves and speaks words! Go listen to his face speak!
Apricot-Tea and her husband are going through an interesting period in their marriage. I wish them all the best, I have no doubts that their love is strong enough to weather this storm, and I applaud them for the courage to blog about it throughout the difficult process.
And while you are stuck at work in your office, head on over to see where in the world Conortje is right now. For real, that guy is on a trek that will make you seeth with jealous rage and then keep going back to get your fill of the where’s, how’s and OMG’s of his amazing round-the-world voyage.
There’s many more links I could share, but I don’t want you to get so distracted by all these other wonderful bloggers that you don’t drop back here for a peek, because hopefully I’ll have the time and inclination to blog again soon! So see you in a bit!
Disclaimer: This post was written on the 3rd of September but not posted until the 6th of September so that no one mentioned in this post would have their privacy invaded while still in the hotel. But I am totally invading it when they leave.
So a man walks into a bar…OK, so maybe not a bar. Say, instead, that a man walks into a hotel…
And so begins my little story.
Rewind two and a half years ago when I started work at this hotel. I started as the night porter (11 pm to 7 am shift) at the hotel’s first location, and at the time (because it was a much smaller hotel than this new one) we were allowed to roll out the bed and get some sleep if it was quiet and we were able.
Normally, I am a girl who can sleep anywhere, in any condition, no matter what is going on. But after a few months this was no longer the case at the hotel. I started having nightmares, hearing things in the quiet hotel, getting freaked out, etc. So instead, I would just stay awake and watch episodes of ‘Scrubs‘ on my laptop, interrupted several times a night by the FREAKSHOWS that would try to get rooms at 3 or 4 in the middle of the night.
I think by the time I quit the night shift because the daytime fatigue was too much to handle, I had not slept my way through 5 or 6 seasons of ‘Scrubs’. So ingrained is that show with my first position within this hotel, that I can’t hear the opening theme song or Zach Braff’s nasely but loveable voice without picturing this very sleeping spot, under a fluffy duvet and in front of a warm lovely fire, laptop balanced on my legs.
My bed for a few months.
The fire in front of the couch, Hotel V Victorieplein
So flashforward again to today, tonight. I had already been discreetly informed that an American actress had been staying in the hotel a few days ago, but not recognizing her name or knowing much of what she had been in I didn’t really pay attention that well.
So when a couple came up to the desk to rent bikes, I didn’t realize who I was speaking to. But a tiny voice in my head thought that maybe the guy looked familiar. It wasn’t until they left on their bikes that I went to their reservation and realized that she was the actress who had stayed a few nights before, and had checked back in again for the last leg of her trip, and he was her boyfriend (husband maybe?).
And that’s when my mind when: “………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………ting! Actresses and actors date OTHER actresses and actors. So maybe he looked familiar because…..www.google.com”
Staying in the hotel at this very moment is one of the actors (Keith the intern) from the very same show that I used to watch throughout the night every night when I first started this job. How very surreal.
And I had absolutely not recognized him.
And now that I do know, I have to act like I don’t recognize him.
Here’s a video I made the other night during some downtime at work. In it, I let slip that I sometimes used to Skype at work, so if any bosses are reading this (Hi boss!) I would like to point out that this was during the slow winter season, and before I got promoted into a more responsible position. Please don’t fire me.
But then again, I remember one night where it was so dead I actually painted my nails and dried them before another guest came through. Should I stop incriminating myself here? I feel like I am saying too much.
I’m going to stop writing now before my boss has ample reason to fire or demote me. I wanted to share this video because I love my job, I love the hotel, and it’s an awesome place to have to spend your working hours every day.