Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten: Gross

I used to love cooking...but never be very good.  When I came home from college I would make things for dinner for my family and they would eat them but with no high praises of my culinary expertise.  I'm not angry about this or anything...I really wasn't that great, but I can tell you that all of it was edible and my Tortilla Soup to die for.
Anyway, flash forward to living with a family where my job requires that three nights a week I make dinner for four.  Not just four, but one three-year-old who doesn't like much, one pregnant lady who can't stomach much, and one weekly delivery of various and changing vegetables leaving me to get creative with what I make as well as learn a whole lot about a whole bunch of greens I never knew existed.
Ok, yes eventually getting to the point.  Regardless of the ever changing supply of veggies, tomatoes seem to always be in the package.  And I hate tomatoes.  Ok...I did.  Well...I sort of do.  I know...I'm weird.  I went 24 years without liking tomatoes, spaghetti sauce (pizza was a different story...except for...see below), tomato soup, even salsa for a time.
But it all started with a salad.  The Mozzarella Caprice salad from Panera.  And I loved it.
But then I had a tomato again...and it was disgusting!
But after ten months of cooking with tomatoes I have figured it out...it's the seeds that disgust me.  They're gross, slimy, and taste foul.  But a nice plump skin of a tomato?  I think I actually like them.  Which is why I painstakingly carve out the seeds of every single tomato be it fist sized, or twenty different cherry ones.
And I realized I was like that with a lot of things.  There are foods that I look at and think I bet that is delicious...too bad I think (insert main ingredient here) is absolutely disgusting.
And with that being said...and with a new icon that I made...I give you...



Pizza - yes seriously there was a while where I was crazy and didn't like this Italian wonder

Guacamole (and avocados in general)

Hummus - I didn't trust garbanzo beans

Artichoke - except for the unmentionable artichoke sandwich incident of 2009

Salmon - maybe it was the pink

Cheese - any and all kinds...I know I was weird

Cottage Cheese - Not exactly cheese, but twice as questionable with its chunks.
To be fair...that looks disgusting

Brussel Sprouts - I think this stemmed from it having the reputation of "punishing food" in all children lore

Spinach - but still...don't give me no frozen crap...fresh all the way baby

However...I do not...and swear to my grave...that I will NEVER like mushrooms.

Word of the day:  tomaat - tomato

Monday, August 30, 2010

They're called siestas in Spain

Ok so...I still have to tell you about a ton of things.  Like 4th of July (maybe I'll post that one on the 4th...just to pretend like it was planned), Antwerp (or maybe not...Chocolate, beer, and waffles...done), Paris (that one might take a while), Fien's Birthday (including DORA cake), and London (from which I just got back!!)
But right now I'm going to bed.  And since I can't even stay awake long enough to skype with my family at home, I'll leave you with this...

We're trying to get Fien wiened of her necessity for afternoon naps.
Why, I have no clue, because I still enjoy the occasional one every once and a while.  But we're trying.

Also...it's not working...
Note: I was gone five minutes.

Word of the day: slaape -nap (or "a sleep")

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

She-Woman Man-Haters Club

Not only are there rain storms happening outside my window right now, but there are winds howling and reaching up to 30 miles an hour.  And there's this lovely garden next to my house situated between my house and another two story and it creates the perfect wind tunnel...perfect for rattling windows, and keeping me awake all night.  Even when it wasn't raining, venturing outside was a risk because it was actually difficult at times to push the stroller.  And then when Fien was walking the wind ALMOST KNOCKED HER OVER.  I kid you not.
So instead we had a wonderful day indoors.

Since we were going to be stuck inside all day, first we needed a headquarters.  A place to go to make plans for the day.  Hence...
The Fort
P.S. No boys allowed.
P.P.S. Papa doesn't count.

Fien really liked it...

Then we needed food.  And since being inside sucks all the energy out of you, what could be better than...
And no...they've never had them before.  And yes...they were delicious.  And no...you do not get cavities just by looking at them.  And yes...those were pink marshmallows. MMMMMM

Of course, eventually we had to take the tent down.  That was a sad time...

But I made it up by reading one of my favorite books which has now become Fien's favorite and also the only one she chooses for me to read (because it's the only one she currently owns in English)...

So overall...
Day deemed a Success!!

Word of the Day: vesting - fort

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten: Back to School

Wow it's been a while since I did a top ten hasn't it?  At least a typed one.  I'll try to be better about it.  It's pretty easy to do...
Anyway, since it's still back to school mode, I figured i'd do a Top Ten about that.  So I decided to do movies.  Now in order to avoid the entire list being 80s Brat Pack flicks, I decided to limit it to movies whose plots are about school issues/events not just have scenes that take place on school property.  So movies like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candle can be removed to make room for others.  Get it?  Ok.  So here are my...


Ferris Bueller's Day Off


Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Breakfast Club

Dead Poet's Society

Stand and Deliver


School of Rock

Napolean Dynamite

Mean Girls

Word of the Day: tiener - teenager

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a Pocahontas Reference

School has started!
Ok is it just me or does school just start earlier and earlier each year?  Here in Holland they only have six weeks of vacation!  That’s nothing!  What if you wanted to run off for two months?!?!  Not possible!!!

Well anyway, Fien had a blast at her first day…
And since her birthday was over the break, she got to have a little party at school which just made her super excited.

But it’s Friday so that means I’m going to do a…

Yep we’re going back in time.  About 15 years ago (give or take a month because I don’t think we started as earlier as these crazies.)  Anyway, fifteen years ago I started 4th grade.  But fourth grade was special.  Because for the first time, I was attending a public school!  For kindergarten through third, I was at a private school, two years of which consisted of the stereotypical schoolgirl plaid skirt.
But this year was going to be different!  I was going to wear cool clothes, and make lots of friends, and have tons of fun.  Not that I didn’t have fun or make friends at Challenger, but after a while the plaid thing seemed to fade.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I wanted to leave challenger.  It was quite the discussion.  But I suppose that Marie Calendar’s dinner is one for another Friday.
So there it is…the first day of school.  And we’re sitting at our desks and I’m staring straight ahead focusing on Mr. Suplick and thinking this year was going to be great!  And then Mr. Suplick asked us to write down what we wanted to learn this year.  And then we went around the room, introducing ourselves, if we were new here, and we talked about our answers.
Well it was my turn.  And as much as I liked being in front of people, I can be a bit awkward.  So I tell them I just came from a private school and I was really excited and…that I didn’t know what I want to learn.  To which the teacher asked if I knew everything (in a kind way…he was nice) but which then made everyone think I was trying to be a smart-ass.  But what I meant was that I didn’t know what I wanted to learn because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  Which is very profound for a fourth grader if you think about it.
Mr. Suplick then proceeded to tell me things we were going to learn and whether or not I knew them.  Most of which I said no.  Which me look like just an ass minus the smart.
It was a sad day.
I mean I eventually got over it and had a wonderful year and had my first crush and make a ton of friends (one of which was gotten by actually asking if she wanted to be my best friend…yes…awkward much?)
But I still think back to that first day and wonder what would have happened…
If I had just walked the footsteps of a stranger…I’d learn things I never knew I never knew…

Word of the Day: school – school (pronounced totally differently)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's where the Queen lives

On our way down to Antwerp for a weekend, Nina and I decided to stop in Den Haag.  I’ve been to Den Haag three times before…twice on computer related incidents and one with the family.  But this time I got to do some sight seeing! (...and shoe shopping)
First we walked around Parliament.  This is where the senate holds session and where the queen occasionally stops in to check in with her homies.  It’s a pretty cool area with a gorgeous courtyard…
We even almost got to see someone of importance.  I say almost because all we saw were the paparazzi.
Then there’s the entrance into the courtyard.  Apparently there’s something to do with ceremonies and important people walking through the middle and tiny people ducking through the sides.  We just took it as an opportunity to showcase how tall Nina is and I am not...
Yes same door and yes I am on tiptoe.

Then we went to the Mauritzhuis.  A museum with beautiful works of art mostly by Dutch artists including the haunting Girl with the Pearl Earring...
Too bad people were looking at it “from a distance” which just meant no one else could get close enough and risk being in their way.  So I couldn’t study the earring like I wanted too.  But it was still gorgeous.  One of the few works that lived up to its hype.  By hype I mean having read the book and a week after seeing the painting itself, watching the movie.  By hype I am also talking about the think that the Mona Lisa did not.

I also really liked these uncovered paintings of a family consisting of a mom and dad, and all eight of their kids that all looked alike.  I like to think of them as the original Jon and Kate plus 8…
But Nina and I were not in the stare-at-a-bunch-of-paintings-that-will-eventually-start-looking-the-same so instead we started recreating poses from the paintings.  Usually when alone.  Until I think two of the guards caught on and started following us.  Also we can’t be sure that there weren’t cameras behind all the mirrors in the rooms.  I’m sure there were security guards with tubs of popcorn enjoying the show.

Afterward we headed to the Escher museum.  It was SO cool.  I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Netherlands.  The museum is housed in what used to be the royal palace so it’s four stories of the abnormal.  Plus some really cool chandeliers…

The bottom floor was how he made his paintings.  The second and third were his works…

And the fourth was a really cool hands-on floor with experimentation in all the weird types of ways you can recreate what he did.  And boy did we...

We ended our trip with the obligatory shot in front of the beautiful pond that reflects the Parliament building…

And then it was on to Antwerp.  But Antwerp is a story for another day.

Word of the Day: illusie - illusion

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Blame Giambi

Usually when I talk to people here and they ask where I'm from I say San Francisco.  It's the easiest because if you know a city on the west coast, chances are it's San Francisco.  However if for some reason we start to talk about sports, they then assume that I am a Giants fan.  And when you assume you make an ass out of u and any other Giants fans out there.  Ok I don't actually hate the Giants.  And congrats to them for actually doing well...always.
But I am an A's fan.  Oak-town pride.
I discovered said pride ironically when I moved away from the green and gold to the land of blue/red (otherwise known as Dodgers and Angels.)  Because nothing makes you become more in love with your home then being 300 (or 5371) miles away from it.  And I LOVE going to baseball games.  It's one of the many things I miss being over here.
And yes...I know...we suck.  But we're doing better than the Mariners...knock on wood.

Anyway when I moved here, Mags, the Maine girl, had Fien looking like this...

But now (and thanks to Nina,) I'm proud to say that Fien looks like this...

Oh yea!  Go A's!

Of course when asked to say Go Anything, her response is "Go Nederlands."  So...

Here's a couple more shots from our little photo shoot.  Enjoy.

Don't you love how much Fien has grown up? It's incredible.

Word of the Day: baseball - baseball (yea, they don't play it so they don't have their own word for it)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Well I ain't no Dickens, but I'll take it

Anyone who has a blog is a writer with a story to tell.  And now with the wonders of the internet age, these blogs are turned into books, and movies, and tv shows, and any and all things.  And I like being a part of that.
So I'm writing a book.  Not just any book.  A children's book...series.  It's a series really.  And it's all about this little girl named Fien and her awesome aupair Libby.  And how they go on adventures.  Like in one book, they'll go to the circus.  And in another, they'll go on a sledding trip.  Where I come up with this stuff I'll never know...I'm just that creative I tell you.Anyway, here's your chance to preorder said books.  Get'em while you can!!!
Alright maybe that's a little preemptive.  Seeing as I've written twenty lines of a first book, have no publisher, can't draw to save my life, and will probably be a lazy butt about it for the next two months.  But if you really want a sneak peek...here's my picture for the very first page of the very first book...

That's Fien...plus my foot.
I know.  I can feel my amazon rating rising as I type.
Alright so maybe I'm not a writer...yet.

But I did find this fun online analyzer that tells you which writer your style of writing is most similar too.  It's called I Write Like.  Apparently the creators of the program were not the creative type themselves.
And apparently I'm all over the place.
When I write a travel entry, it says I'm like Dan Brown.  It's probably all the ellipses.
When I try and be funny with an anecdote, I'm P.G. Wodehouse.  Which is awesome!
And when I write about a significant experience, I channel Jane Austen.  Well she had to be in there somewhere I suppose.
And when I do an entire page of my blog (as in the last five or so entries,) I'm apparently Cory Doctorow.  So really...I'm meant to be a blogger.  I guess it was inevitable.  Plus i think he wrote a non-fiction book about Disneyland.

Anyway...have fun analyzing your writing.  And tell me who you're like!

Word of the Day: schrijver - writer

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A month later and I'm still upset

Alright you get to once again read about Nina being here! Aren’t you excited?
This time, I’d like to tell you about an event we did not plan for…the World Cup finale.  You all know that I officially caught World Cup fever and seeing as I wasn’t in one of the countries to get booted out immediately, nor were we eliminated in the first round thus negating all social responsibility to give a damn about who won, it was safe to say that WK fever was on a steady rise in the land of Orange.
So let’s take a journey shall we?
First there was the very first game of the series…Win over Denmark!
Then there was the impromptu sports bar in Barcelona…Japan goes down and we’re still surrounded by Orange.
Then there was stupidly cheering for Spain to win a game…this was before they were against us.
Then we missed the third of the series, plus the first elimination round due to not finding it on the TV and being passed out from having stayed up all night to catch a plane in that order respectively.
But then…it was time to get serious.  First, we hit Noordwijk to watch Holland come from behind to beat BRAZIL!  The team that was rumored to win it all.  After being absolutely ecstatic…
We came home to enjoy all the facebook and twitter stati claiming unrecognizable absurdity in the past two hours’ happenings...then we went and got poffertjes.
For the next game, we got dressed up…
And headed out again to Noordwijk.  And in a bar surrounded by large groups of red nosed Dutchmen and stumbling sixteen year olds, we watched Holland take the semi finals by storm…and by storm I mean something frightening, intense, and not knowing when it would be over, but only hoping for good (and that a cow doesn’t land in a tree.)  But we did it.  And we enjoyed celebrating.  Of course so did the rest of Noordwijk…

We had a little break before our next game.  So we took that time to rest and teach Fien the art of making a loud distracting noise with a piece of Orange plastic…

Of course these events meant only one thing…we had to go to Amsterdam for the Final.  Upon arriving to a sea of Orange…
We met up with Lily and headed over to Museumplein where there were screens set up, and free stuff galore.  We scored shirts, vuvuzelas, a large lion tooter, and some flags.  We were good to go.  And boy was it insane.  There were over 100,000 people there…in one square.  We were happy to be a part of the festivities…
There were DJs encouraging Dutch singalongs (Nina and I attempted it), boys jumping into canals, and even helicopters that dropped thousands of flower petals onto the crowd.
Of course once the game actually began we realized that there was no way I would be able to see a thing…and I got very sad…
I caught the occasional glimpse, and a play by play was offered by whoever happened to be squished next to me at the moment, but I still didn’t get to see everything.  And then…in the final moments of over time…Spain scored.  And Holland was once again…not the champions.  We walked towards the train station (a mile walk since the trams weren’t running,) Nina hurt her knee in the process, squished onto a packed train, caught a taxi home and around 4:30 in the morning snuggled into bed with broken hearts. 

And…the Dutch team helicoptered into NOORDWIJK after the series where they stayed in a super boojie hotel on the beach before heading into Amsterdam for a canal parade a few days later.  It was good to welcome the boys home.
And I know it means nothing because we still lost the important one…but did you know that Holland actually won more games than Spain in the entirety of the series? Oh well, there’s always the next one boys.

Word of the day: teleurstelling - disappointment

Monday, August 9, 2010

Well let's find a word that rhymes with DUCK

I've come to the conclusion that you will eventually read about the rest of Nina's trip.  Like when I feel like it.  But I want to write about something.  Because it happened today and it's hilarious.  In my opinion.
Ok so Fien and I went on a walk to feed the ducks...
See aren't they cute?
And look how much fun she's having!

Then we were walking back.  And it was as if every thing that could go wrong did.  Because first a duck started coming toward us scaring her into a backwards walk.  Then she does this drunken stumble kind of thing.  Then she catches herself on a patch of grass on the ground...that wasn't actually ground.
Do you see where this is going?

Yes that's right.
As if in slow motion, Fien fell INTO THE LAKE!
I am a horrible horrible nanny.

Ok, I was holding her hand, so actually I had her out of there before she even knew what happened.  And yes she was crying but she wasn't hurt in any way and my hugs were enough to calm the flood gates.  And yes she was soaked from head to toe, but I quickly got her undressed and into the clean clothes I always have in the stroller.  Then I took off one of my two shirts to let her dry her face.
And by the time we got back to the house, she was totally fine.

And by the time Mama got home, we were laughing about it.  Because really...this is all I can think of...

I'll say it again...horrible...horrible nanny.

Word of the day: eenden - ducks


Related Posts with Thumbnails