Saturday, January 29, 2011

Penny for your thoughts

I thought Nathalie was reading a book but obviously she had been observing me when she asked if any of my thoughts actually stuck. According to her my facial expressions whilst playing some Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook weren't in line with the games I played so she concluded my mind must have been occupied with some other stuff.
I really had to think about it but I hardly could remember any of my thoughts even though I know I had them so to answer her question I had to say no.

But which thoughts are running through my head during Bejeweled? They are clearly important enough for me to give attention to but not enough for me to remember. Is this the awake version of the resetting mind? I'm both puzzled and intrigued but not enough yet to start digging for answers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feed the hungry

I was already halfway through making dinner when Nathalie called that she wasn't going to make it and would grab a bite on the way. A shame really as I had started the chicken I marinated yesterday already. No way back.

A little frustrated I continued, realizing at the same time I had done this to her on perhaps even more occasions. Luckily my mood got better with every step I took towards completion. That's when I heard my neighbour come home and decided to see if she wanted to share dinner with me. The fact Simone is a few years younger, easy to talk to and not at all bad looking has of course nothing to do with my invitation. It's just that I had food to spare. She accepted and came over, bringing a bottle of white wine.

We had a great time eating and drinking and talked about pretty much everything. I now know that my neighbour is addicted to chocolate, single again, looking for a career change and thinking of having a child even if it so happens that there isn't  a man in her life. Why I also know that her breasts have such a different size that she has to have custom made bra's and which sexual positions she favours is beyond me. It must have been the easy-going atmosphere.

After putting most of the dishes in the dishwasher (it came with the house and I gave in after 6 months of not using it) and a quick thank-you-for-dinner-kiss (on the cheek) Simone went home. She has promised to return the favour one day and I'm looking forward to that.

When Nath came home she looked around in the kitchen and asked if I had eaten all the food myself. At which point I, being me of course, had to tell her I had taken a younger version of her for a test run. And left it at that.

Curiosity in her eyes.
(She's asleep now and will probably read this tomorrow.)

Friday, January 21, 2011


Amongst the stormy conversations and bad news discussions there was something that made me smile this week. Twice somebody told me confidentially that an old employee of us had gotten a promotion. So confidential as it was I decided to call him to congratulate. Here is how it went:

Me: "Hey Tom, this is H, I'm calling to tell you you have a confidentiality problem."
Tom: "Huh, we don't. We run a tight ship here."
Me: "Okay, if that's the case I have to tell you something, confidentially of course."
Tom: "Shoot, it is safe with me."
Me: "Yeah okay, well congratulations on your promotion then."
Tom: "What? How? Damn, the decision was only made yesterday."
Me: "I know. I was told that too, confidentially of course."
Tom: "Anything else I need to address?"
Me: "Yup, you need to get a better bonus deal."
Tom: "Oh boy, we have a problem indeed. Can we meet for dinner?"
Me: "Sure, call me next week or perhaps even better: Put it in your schedule. I'll get note of it soon enough."
Tom: "Funny, I call you next week."

If there is something I can really take pride in it is the fact I'm a vault when it comes to information that is private or confidential. Because I don't share that sort of info people often assume I don't have it and combined with my reputation that I don't share they start telling me all sorts of stuff. It doesn't make sense really but it is the way it works.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day two of the feared weekend

This day started with a family gathering of the other half of my family. I think it was the first time that I have seen my entire family in one weekend. There is a good reason for that. Not that I dislike them but they get on my nerves with little things I don't want to be involved in. Because of that I limit the get together's to a minimum.
This one however I was called upon to mediate over some issues with an inheritance. I thought having this meeting on a Sunday after many had gone to church would mellow the mood but the sermon must have been aggressive when I go by the reactions later on.
Anyway, I listened to the different arguments and listened some more to the same arguments before I decided I'd had enough. I asked if they could agree on respecting my advice as binding before I gave it and somewhat surprising they did. They even went as far as handing that in writing to me. Not something I'd asked for by the way.

For me it was funny in a way. Here I was, the youngest of the lot, getting all the attention as if I was Delphi's Oracle where not so long ago they didn't want my views even if I had paid for them to listen. But, in all honesty, they took my advice without complaining. I saw a few disgruntled faces but no words were spoken. After I finished I got an applause which I found a little over the top but savoured anyway. After everything was put in writing and all had signed I had to leave in a hurry to be in time for the last obligation of the weekend. Tuxedo time, Yay! (sarcasm once again)

Nathalie had been invited to a concert where the B's would be played. She made clear it was very important to her that I came so I promised I would go with her. After which she told me the B's stood for Brahms, Bach and Beethoven, that is was a formal thingy and that I had to wear a tuxedo. LOL, (Do you think she knows me?)
Although I feel as being put into a straight jacket wearing a tux I have to say I was able to enjoy the music. A good mix from the more festive compositions the three have made and performed brilliantly. Next to that I managed to escape most of the boring conversations and on the one occasions I almost got trapped into one Nath rescued me. She must have seen the anxiety on my face. I'm glad I went for Nath's sake and the dinner we had afterwards was perhaps even better.

Looking back I don't know why I feared this weekend. I survived the family, we are a few signatures away from a profitable deal and I scored good points with Me Lady.
Again next weekend? I don't think so, LMAO (or any other weekend for that matter)


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day one of the feared weekend

If there ever was a weekend I'd run from it is this one. I have 4 things scheduled and I don't really like any of them. But I don't have any excuses to not honour them so I have to bite the bullet.

Day one: First up was a meeting with a client. Whatever promising work may come from a meeting I just hate to have them during a weekend. I will work during weekends but I don't like to involve clients in that because then it gets a planned thingy. But I guess having a client make a stop in Amsterdam during a trip from London to Hong Kong is enough of an ego-booster for me to make an exception. I'm optimistic on getting the job so perhaps I should count my blessings and shut up.

Next up was a family meeting to plan for a party later in the year. Yay! (sarcasm) I took a seat at the back and have to say I don't know what was actually said or agreed on. I figure I get an email some day telling me what I need to do. The reason I didn't take an interest in the conversation is that I got my mind in a twist over the use of nicknames, probably helped by the fact I don't like to plan these things. Afterwards there is always someone to comment and I don't want that aggro.

Back to the nicknames. Hardly anyone uses my first name when they call me. Most of my family members and friends call me Huis or House. A short version of my last name, which I only share with my dad since my sis got married. All the other brothers and sisters have different last names as they are family through marriage. So it is kind of unique enough to be used in gatherings.
House became popular when the tv-series started. I just hope they don't see me the same way House is often perceived, arrogant, anti-social, brilliant and over the top self-centred.
Nath and my closest friends call me H. Strangely enough they all use the English pronunciation which in itself has led to occasionally calling me Aids. This in reference to my birthday that coincides with World Aids Day and some of the charity work I've done. Using Aids has raised a few eyebrows from not-knowers though and I don't accept that from just anybody.

And with that I occupied my brain for the best part of two hours only interrupted by accepting a beer or two. Oh, I can't wait for day two. (sarcasm again)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A look back but not a break down

I don't really like to keep looking back. Being an evolutionist I can only explain the fact we are unable to fully rotate our neck by declaring it wasn't meant to be but I can't let my 2010 get off that easy.
Personally I've had a perfectly divided year. The first three months my focus was on moving and decorating, with work suffering. What followed were six months of hard work and some rebuilding the relationship. It wasn't needed but had to be done if you know what I mean. And then the last three months I've been dealing with the hernia/pain but also rediscovered my passion for writing columns.

Moving must have been the best thing I did. The hard work is rather normal and the pain is slowly going away. Let's hope it won't travel with me for long this new year. The most enjoyable though was writing again although some of the reactions I've gotten my 'policeman-brothers' qualify as possibles-to-get-serious. For now I just rank them as not-too-fond-of-my-writing.
But really, I do like to turn my attention to things that are not part of my normal life and have my say about them. And yes I do like the reactions on them. I always hope to put a smile on people's faces but I know now that I don't always succeed. I do better this year.

Oh...and thanks to my companion for the last 15 years. You made the hard times lighter and the light times harder.