fri 22 aug 2008 04:39:39 witte de withstraat
other things that have been happening
in beijing they've been having olympic games. lots of people have been paying attention to that.
sarkozy tried to broker a deal between the russians and georgians so the russian military would depart from what everybody else agrees is georgian territory (except for some of the people who live there).
in general sarkozy seems to be playing large the french role of current president of the EU. it seems far fetched that he would ever relish passing the torch to, say, some guy from latvia.
then the americans signed a deal with poland so the poles would host some kind of US "missile shield" base. russia is really mad about that, enough so that they're threatening to withdraw any cooperation with NATO. it almost seems like bush got together with putin and made some kind of deal by which they could restart the cold war before they both leave power. and really fuck shit up for the incoming US president.
don't worry, the missile shield is only meant to thwart missile attacks from places like iran, says condoleeza rice, trying to soothe russia's nerves. which i'm sure is doing wonders for relations between the US and iran.
i wonder, why don't all these nations just fuck off and leave us people alone? russia, iran, georgia, serbia, france, nederland and the USA, to name a few. they're all *bugging* me. pesky things.
recently my beloved has been keeping in closer contact with me. the other night she phoned me to say she wanted me to hear a song. sometimes she says she wants me to be right beside her. but she doesn't ask me to leave amsterdam. while she visited here, i enjoyed just sitting next to her she working on the one computer and i on the other, sharing the ashtray and drinking coffee and not even talking. there was something weirdly right and romantic about it.
in early september i am going to america for a few weeks for work. this time i will be staying not in jazztown, but someplace across the street from jazztown. i actually want dvr to go there with me briefly, and handle some settling of some technology issues. trying to figure out how to arrange that.
today i caught up reading the blogs of kh, vinz en nicole. each of them is cataloging their experience with a very fine granularity, which seems sometimes surreal to me, but at the same time somehow the work seems very important. as if it's a kind of manifest destiny, that we are obliged to quantify the universe through observation and recording, and thereby somehow change reality itself. i will not remember all the recipes and funny street signs, but i'm glad they are recording it. in some mysterious way this seems absolutely necessary.
i just wish i could see the foto blogs of people living in centrum amsterdam in february 1941. those are the details i hopelessly crave to examine. last night i talked about it with dvr as we sat outside de nachtwacht in thorbeckeplein. i told him i wanted to see for myself what happened here on 9 february 1941. and he pointed to a high window in an adjacent building: "but you should watch it from up there."
the people at de nachtwacht all call me "mister collins". i asked why the mister, most people just call me collins. tom said "i don't know, we just call you mister collins." "zo is het, en niet anders," i said. this has become one of my favorite expressions lately. "it's like this, and not some other way," is how i translate it to english. which made lisa laugh when she came to jk's party.
last week one of RTL's cameramen got killed in the war in georgia. today somewhere in limburg or wherever, his funeral was covered on RTL television. in dutch a funeral is called an "uitvaart". heaven help me if i ever go to one, my american sense of phonetics will probably keep me giggling uncontrollably through the whole thing. "where were you today?" "I had to go to an out-fart." "an out-fart?" "yes, an out-fart." "oh, well i suppose that's better than the other kind."
at the end of july i paid a huge tax bill to nederland, a few days before they were threatening to come confiscate all my possessions. to do so, i had to borrow briefly from a friend, whom i was fortunately able to pay back two days later.
in general i have a problem with how this works. instead of just paying taxes on the money i earn, i am obliged to predict how much i will earn, then go earn it just so i can pay the taxes on time. it's an unworkable system, unless i were to start hoarding money -- and that would feel like bad form.
i've had some grumpy moments recently. and other moments when i felt okay.