Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m an energetic, slim, reasonably pretty thirty-year-old. However, I reside in a rather shocking, obese, aching, apathetic 56-year-old body. I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes dizzyingly quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat, willful ignorance, bone spurs, spiders, and walking or cycling in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty-three years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the US, with kids who have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (but not that much).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I’d like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good debate.

If you want to know more about how I ended up in America and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 20-year-old son as B, and my 18-year-old daughter as R.)

Zwarte Piet : Putting Him Into Perspective, Again!

 

zwarte piet again

Image: cnn.com

 

So let me get this straight:

Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still hand out candy.
They can still wear the same costumes.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and kruidnoten,
and taai-taai,
and suikerbeesten,
and amandelstaven,
and chocolate letters,
and marzipan,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Music Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you (also a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (again, a relatively new phenomenon).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
People can still exchange gifts.
Everyone can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.

The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.

And this is how you react?

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(Welcome in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)

Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?

 

My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.

When I was a Kid : Showing my Age

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When I was a kid my mother was against school uniforms.

When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.

When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine. Continue reading

Propaganda’s for Chumps

trump shooting on 5th ave.

Image: Snopes.com

“I love the poorly educated,” said Trump when he won the primary election in Nevada. He consistently lies about everything factual, but as far as his character and attitudes are concerned, he’s also consistently an open book. I’m sure he does love the poorly educated, in that he can make them believe anything, that they will let him get away with anything. “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” That right there tells you what he thinks of his voters. They’re schmucks, useful idiots. Continue reading

The Thanksgiving Gremlins

Halloween wreathIn her book Daring Greatly, self-help guru Brené Brown talks about gremlins as being the voices in our heads that tell us we must do this, we must behave so, we should have done that, etc. The gremlins are the critics–our parents, society, or our own (unrealistic) expectations for ourselves. The idea is to identify those gremlins and then basically tell them to shut up. There’s a little more to it than that, but that’ll do for the purpose of this post. Continue reading

The Zwarte Piet Debacle From the Outside, Again

zwarte clownOkay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading

Dubious!

Okay, today’s prompt is too good not to link to yesterday’s post!

Playing the Scammer

20170507_173005And now for something completely different.

Friday morning, when I planned to sleep in and then do some work, I got a call from my Microsoft support company, or so I thought. Continue reading