Category Archives: Uncategorized

25th Anniversary of My Emigration

Today it’s twenty-five years ago that I emigrated from the Netherlands to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, USA. And for the last twelve years my family and I have been living in Austin, central Texas. So it’s time to make a list of ways I have changed, living here, and, to be fair, by and simply by being a quarter of a century older.

  • I often eat with one elbow on the table.
  • I have learned to whoop like the best at concerts.
  • I have lost interest in fashion.
  • I think and dream in English.
  • I no longer walk, cycle and take the train or bus everywhere, so I’ve gained about 70 pounds.
  • I eat more healthfully, overall, because I’ve become more conscious about saturated fat and empty calories. (The memory of rookworst no longer makes my mouth water.)
  • I can spot a bullshitter from a mile away.
  • I put off going to specialists and the dentist, because it costs an arm and a leg.
  • The mention of “health insurance company” drives my blood pressure up to dangerous levels.
  • I gave up taking my own grocery bag to the supermarket, and I have a hard time remembering to now that it’s finally a thing here.
  • I have learned to like (diet) Coke.
  • I say Howdy and y’all.
  • I have a dog and multiple cats (instead of just one cat) and I’ve become quite find of T’s horse.
  • I don’t keep our home perfectly clean and organized (because none of the others in my family do, so I gave up).
  • I eat out several times a week.
  • I’ve become more politically outspoken while at the same time being more careful how I word things. (Yes, I was worse before!)
  • I love long road trips.
  • I read a lot less and I hardly ever put on music at home.
  • I don’t garden anymore; in fact, I hardly spend any time in our huge yard at all (too hot).
  • I seldom drink hot tea.

Nevertheless, I still feel 100% Dutch. Being an immigrant here is a permanent part of my identity. It gets easier, but it never goes away.




My New and Improved Blogs: Yes, Plural!

The Big No-No, fascism, fascism in America, American fascism, authoritarianism, WordPress, WordPress business plan, fascism in American society, authoritarianism in American society

Image: mine

I’ve created a separate blog about fascism in America titled The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism. It comes with a Facebook page. For now, titles of the emigrated posts will stay here, with links to their new homes.

I keep coming back to authoritarianism in American society and it was crowding this blog, which should focus on immigration and related issues.

Setting up the new blog took a long time and blood, sweat and tears – don’t ask – and now it’s up. It’s on the WordPress business plan, which means, among other things, that I get SEO (Search Engine Optimization) support. This is great – I learned a lot, like that I’ve been doing everything wrong! No wonder I only have about six regular readers on Resident Alien. So, from now on I’ll be SEOing my tail off, and sometimes that will hurt my language a little. That took me a long time to accept, but ultimately the goal is to get my point out there.

So yes, I know, that subtitle needs a verb, but the perfect title for SEO is fifty to sixty characters; therefore The Big No-No: An Outsider Addressing American Fascism didn’t work. Let alone … Fascism in America.

I’ve always liked to come up with creative, intriguing titles for my posts, but I now know that for search engines they might as well not exist. From now on my titles will have as many of the important keywords in them as I can cram in, as well as a headline. Both on The Big No-No and on Resident Alien. I might retroactively change the titles of my Resident Alien posts, too.

I’ll bold keywords throughout the text, as well. If you see bolded keywords that should be hyphenated but aren’t, and I do have the same keyword hyphenated somewhere else, that’s because some people will look for the term unhyphenated, not because I’m not sure how to deal with hyphens.

Well, about 75 posts have emigrated to The Big No-No and anything else I write about Trump and the dangers of fascism and authoritarianism and police violence, etc. I will publish there. Having two separate platforms will allow me to write more on Resident Alien as well. For instance, I really wanted to write about the undocumented immigrants and the child separation at the border, but I was in the middle of a series about black and white social and wealth disparity and I didn’t want to break the order of the posts. Now I can. (And on the business plan I can add a series plugin to posts in a series, so even if I don’t write them all one after the other, they’ll still show up as a series.)

I emigrated posts with comments and all, because in some cases there is more in the comments than in the actual posts. They definitely add value that I didn’t want to lose. If you have commented on any of the posts and for some reason you don’t want your comments to show up on my awesome new blog, let me know and I’ll delete them.

The Big No-No has a plugin that provides more privacy for blog comments. According to the creator “it hides the input fields for e-mail and URL in new blog comments and omits storing the IP addresses of commenter in the WordPress database. It also disables the notice that e-mail addresses are not being made public. This helps to reduce the data collected from users.”

Another nifty plugin allows you to edit your comments for a brief period after publishing them.

If you followed Resident Alien primarily because you are interested in my posts about American politics and fascism and authoritarianism and such in American society, I invite you to move to The Big No-No. If you were getting annoyed with all my posts that really didn’t have anything to do with the original intent of Resident Alien, I apologize that it took me this long to think about simply creating a second blog, and you’re welcome. If you’re interested in both, great! Hop on over, follow me, share me, follow and like the Facebook page (there’s a link to it on the blog, too) and share the heck out of that as well.

I hope to see you here and there!


Trump’s Telephone Tangle, Untied

Fox and Friends interview Trump 4-26-2018


In an interview, the interviewers generally ask questions and the interviewee answers as best he can. Here’s an analysis of Trump’s interview with Fox and friends this morning.

I listened to it, and then I listened to it again, writing down the questions and only anything, any combinations of words, that formed direct answers. I did need to paraphrase here and there. Then I timed my reading the questions and the actual answers: just a little over two minutes. The interview lasted thirty minutes, so obviously he said a whole lot more, but the rest of it was  just a lot of static and deflection and stream-of-consciousness filler. Continue reading

The Myth Of Parties Of Ideas

Today’s conservatives and the GOP have no values. They just have talking points.

via The Myth Of Parties Of Ideas — This Ruthless World

Adrift in Books

007_edited-1Today’s writing prompt is the perfect excuse to revisit the post about my raft book collection.

I’m not big on collections. I used to be. I had all sorts of collections. If I saw something I liked, I would start a collection. Until I felt that I was surrounding myself with things just for the sake of surrounding myself with things, and I got rid of most of them. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

I left Las Vegas in the dead of night. My wonderful husband T told me to at least make a little vacation out of it, so I did. I spent the next four days driving home road trip style. Taking 3- and 4-digit roads wherever possible.

On one of those roads, just outside Gallup, New Mexico, I saw this sign. I think it’s a good one for the photo challenge.

cross and native american sign

More on my little road trip later.

Hmm, Puzzling!

crosswords, crossword puzzles, New York Times Sunday crosswordsDo any of you do crossword puzzles? I do. Specifically the New York Times Crosswords. I have a book of 500 daily crosswords in the bathroom, and I have a book of 500 Sunday crosswords in the car.

The dailies are generally a lot easier than the Sundays. I finish about 8 out of 10 dailies in single sittings, but when I finish a Sunday crossword, it really feels like an accomplishment.

Continue reading