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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Kidnap

One of the scariest things that can happen to a parent, or even just plain simply THE scariest thing that can happen, is when your child goes missing. Really missing.
When I worked in a kindergarten this was always my biggest fear. Even more so as my parents raised me with: ‘if it’s not yours, be even more careful with it’. Even though this was meant for things you borrowed from friends, I took this advice very, very seriously. So when it came to babysitting or watching someone else’s children, I’ve always felt, in a way, even more responsible.

One of the places I worked, me and my colleague had a very quiet intern. Very quiet. And yes, my colleague and me could talk a bit, but it wasn’t like that. The intern truly barely spoke a word, even though she smiled a lot.
One could tell she was a friendly creature by how she treated the kids. She did speak and sing to them as part of her training. The girl was about 18 years of age when she came with us, and I had, in a moment of being silly, found out she was in fact a mother of a two-year-old. I had been quite shocked about that, but in a funny way. I believe I wrote about this specific experience in another blog.
She had told us her own mother would be coming over from Russia to visit to see her grandchild for the first time.

‘My mother is a bit funny’, the intern had told us. And only because I asked. It was a bit of an understatement, too. Her mother had send her away to the Netherlands for better educational chances as the girl was quite gifted when it came to Gymnastics. Then, when she was here, she fell pregnant at the age of 15. Het mother, having been a teenmom herself had been furious and cut off all contact after that. So her coming to meet her grandchild really was quite special.

One morning, I remembered this again. As the girl didn’t talk if you didn’t ask anything, I did have to keep up with the things we spoke about. Otherwise I wouldn’t know how to act around her, as I would, quite simply, have no idea what was going on inside her head.
So I asked her: how are your mother and little one doing? To which she answered, shockingly:
‘My Mom took her away. She didn’t think I was raising her well enough’, she seemed relieved to have said it, but to tell you the truth I was ready to buy a ticket to that darn country and tell that grandmother what I thought of her action?!
‘How did she manage that??’ I asked, shocked. It turned out that the house the girl was living in with her daughter, had a code to lock the doors. Mom had known the code and simply took her grandchild. Travelling by train, apparently she didn’t need a passport, as that was still present in the room.
‘How did you manage to keep so quiet?!’ my other colleague, whom I told the story, asked the girl later on.
‘I just live day by day. It’s the only thing I can do at this moment’.

In the end, the police of both countries were contacted. The grandmother and the grandchild got daily visits from the police until the court there decided that grandmother had unlawfully taken the child. It was about three months before they were reunited. It was all well in the end, but it ended my fairytale of grandmothers being nice persons by defenition.

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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Daily life

 

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Acupunctuur/ Acupuncture

Omdat ik weet dat de ervaringen met dit type behandeling enorm persoonlijk zijn, schrijf ik hier simpelweg op wat ík ervan vond.

Ik ben niet zo van de alternatieve geneeswijzen. Ja, dat slaat ook op dit type behandeling. Ik heb ooit een opleiding tot Apothekers Assistente gedaan en daardoor weet ik dat een patiënt op z’n minst enige overtuiging nodig heeft dat het middel wat hij/zij krijgt, ook werkt, voordat het daadwerkelijk werkt. Niet dat dat de gehele werking van elk middel is, maar dat is wel een begin.

Acupunctuur is een vorm van therapie waarbij je feitelijk vertelt wat je klacht is, waarop de specialist een dossier aanmaakt. Ik weet niet of dat bij iedereen hetzelfde gaat: ik moest m’n tong laten zien, de therpeute tekende dit op een stuk papier, vroeg hoe m’n stoelgang was, en na een korte samenvatting van hoe m’n week was geweest (ik kreeg kruidenpillen om te nemen, bijvoorbeeld), ging ik liggen op een bed (denk fysiotherapie) zonder sokken en nam ze m’n pols op. Daarna volgden de naalden.

Dat is nog zoiets: je moet tegen naalden kunnen. Ze doen geen pijn, maar ze maken onderdeel uit van dit type therapie, en daar moet je simpelweg tegen kunnen. Je voelt ze gewoon, pijnlijk of niet.

Ik was erg gesteld op mijn therapeute, had een prettig gevoel bij haar. Waarschijnlijk ben ik daarom langer blijven hangen dan had gemoeten. Ik voelde namelijk echt geen shockerend verschil met voordat ik haar bezocht. Ik kan me een moment herinneren waarbij ze, na een hoop naalden in me te hebben gestoken, ineens juichend riep dat ze een bepaalde kracht of wat ook, weer voelde in m’n pols. Nee, niet m’n hartslag *zucht* maar ik weet ook niet meer wat wél. Ik voelde gewoon geen verschil waar ik iets mee kon. Het soort verschil wat je ook hebt als je je ogen laat meten bij de opticien, en je eigenlijk het verschil niet ziet tussen het ene glaasje en het andere erbij of er juist af.
Ik ben dus uiteindelijk gestopt, want je begint toch met een therapie met het idee dat je een bepaald resultaat behaald. Dat gebeurde bij mij dus niet. Bovendien waren de pillen daar ook te duur voor. Allemaal met chinees opschrift ook nog, en niet echt een bijsluiter. Dus nee, mijn ding is/was het niet.

Because I know experiences with this specific type of treatment are very personal, I will only write down what my thoughts are of mine.

I’m not a great believer in alternative medical treatments. Yes, that matters greatly for this kind of treatment. I’ve done my training of Pharmaceutical’s Assistant well enough to know that for a treatment to work, the patient at least needs some sort of believe that it’s working. It doesn’t do all, but it’s a good start.

Acupuncture means you tell your problem to the therapist, who then makes your file. I’m not sure it’s the same for everyone, so to bare a bit of my treatment: I had to show my tongue, the therapist would draw it on a paper, asked me how my stool was, and after a brief moment of evaluating how my week had been going (she gave me herbal pills to take, for instance), I would lie down on the bed without my socks and she would take my pulse. Then started to put needles in me.

That’s the other thing: you have to be able to handle needles. It doesn’t actually hurt, but they’re there and you will feel it!

I did like my therapist a great deal, so I probably went on with it longer then I should have, but I didn’t feel anything. I recall a moment where needles were put in me, then my pulse was felt and I heard her say: ‘oh great! There it is, I didn’t feel your *** but there it is!’ No, I can’t remember what name she said there, but it doesn’t matter.
Didn’t the herbs help me then? I did feel a little different, but so does a diet at times. I could never truly say if it was because of the pills or anything else.

My problem wasn’t solved by it, so at some point I decided: she is a very nice lady, but this treatment just isn’t for me. Those pills were too expensive to keep it going for something I didn’t feel different about.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Daily life, Opinion

 

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Gilmore Girls

This series is about a mother & daughter, Lorelai and Rory, who are living in Stars Hollow. The moment where the series start is crucial: on the edge of adulthood for Rory. She is about to start private schools, a big dream of hers as she is so keen on learning that she’s no longer satified with what her local school has to offer. It’s her goal to go to Yale one day.

Lorelai got pregnant with Rory from her high school sweetheart as a teenager. As their parents were trying to force to couple to get married, Lorelai decided to run away and took control of her own life.
Not without success. She is the manager of her own hotel, has a bunch of madly and lovely coworkers and is so able to provide well for herself and Rory.This alone is a lovely example of how a woman alone is perfectly able to live well above welfare level without help from people who are nothing but negative. The city she chose to raise Rory in has been a marvellous substitute family as it soon shows.

Rory is a delightful and smart girl that has been growing up in Stars Hollow for as long as she can remember. She is polite and still cheeky, has the best relationship with her mother ever and still manages to appear more or less ‘normal’. Rory reads so many books and watches tv and bad films with her mother so regularly that the both of them are just a perfect example of how one can fill ones brain with both important stuff while enjoying utter and complete nonsense. A fine balance of living life. It shows how it’s possible to enjoy general knowledge while you entertain your brain with the occasional brainnut too.

Some darkishly clouds appear in that first episode when Lorelai turns out to be unable to pay for the private school she and Rory had set their eyes on.
This problem turns out to be quite a bump in the road. The school wants the money quickly and Lorelai soon finds herself without the resources she thought were good to go on. Five days before the school starts, she’s found absolutely no way to provide the money, while Rory is already deeply exited to go to this school. As Lorelai deeply wishes she has a different choice, she decides to at least try to ask her parents for their financial support. A tricky one.

Her parents are able to help her, but: ‘now we will have a financial relationship, we want something in return. An emotional bond’. Lorelai’s mother wishes to see them every Friday night for dinner. That’s the agreement.

So it starts.

I have seen a lot of series and this one has been, this far, the only one that puts women in a truly strong fundament. Relationships come and go as it happens, and except for the last one (I hated him, truly, I thought he was such a complete dickhead, couldn’t help it) they are just part of the life the two women lead. This series is a true example of feminism. Strong women, build on knowledge, skills, social happenings, what it means to have hard times and still pick up the pieces and go on.

If you’re done watching the Kardashians, Miley Cyrus’ and all those great women who keep taking off their clothes, yell one ‘fuck’ after another ‘I’ll kill you’, I’m sure you’ll will agree with me that Gilmore Girls should be the ones being an example of how to expose yourself and be proud of what you did.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Humour, Opinion

 

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Baby’s in de kinderopvang

We kregen een brief van de kinderopvang. Wat wijzigingen. Waaronder het opvangen der baby’s. Die groep zou, zou zei de brief, ‘volledig zelf gaan draaien’. Waarom dat is, werd niet vermeld.

Ik weet toevallig wél waarom.

De GGD is allergisch voor mensen die creatief zijn met regels. Echt regelrecht allergisch. Houden ze niet van. Wat de GGD voorschrijft, moet tot op de letter gevolgd worden. Bleek voor mij, toen ik hoorde dat baby’s niet meer dan 4 paar ogen op een dag mogen zien. Kennelijk. Wat houdt dat in? Dat baby’s naar de crèche brengen voor het beleid daar gevolgen heeft. De leiding moet er in zo’n geval voor zorg dragen dat baby’s inderdaad niet meer dan 4 ogen ontmoeten. Op een dag staan er 2 leidsters op een groep, wat overeenkomt met het vier-ogen-beleid, en meer dan dat mogen het kind ook niet aankijken. Dat er andere ouders zijn die ook hun kind komen brengen/halen, dat is dus eigenlijk al teveel. Het liefst zou de GGD die ook een zak over hun kop trekken om te zorgen dat de baby niet teveel in de war raakt.

Ik kan me niet herinneren dat ik ooit gelezen heb over onderzoek waaruit zou blijken dat het baby’s van een bepaalde leeftijd zo enorm zou schaden als ze meer dan die 4 ogen zien. Vriendjes, vriendinnetjes, hoe zit het daar dan mee? Dat onderscheid maakt de GGD namelijk niet. Die zegt: er mogen maar 2 verschillende volwassenen zijn op zo’n groep, die zich met de betreffende baby bezighouden. Wat de GGD kennelijk niet doorheeft, hebben u en ik wel: een baby maakt geen onderscheid tussen ‘grote’ en ‘kleine’ mensen. Is hun besef nog niet groot genoeg voor. Nee, echt niet.

Een kind heeft er sowieso gemiddeld een jaar (12 maanden, ja) voor nodig om tot het besef te komen dat al die rondzwaaiende, wapperende onderdelen die de hele tijd voor zijn/haar ogen komen, z’n ledematen zijn. Dat dat allemaal aan ‘m vastzit.

Zodoende ben ik benieuwd hoe de GGD tot hun conclusie is gekomen:
Hebben ze langdurig onderzoek gehouden onder kinderen die al van jongs af aan op de crèche zaten?
(en zo ja, hoe heeft dat onderzoek er precies uitgezien?)
Een groepje overenthousiaste eerstejaars studenten statistiek op wat cijfertjes losgelaten en aan de hand daarvan leuk wat beleid geschreven?
Of, nog leuker, iemand die sowieso al niet wilde dat kleine baby’s naar de opvang worden gebracht een subjectief onderzoek laten doen?

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Opinion

 

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Legally Blonde

This film is two sided for me. Because it’s sold as ‘airhead goes to Harvard and becomes majorly important lawyer’. This is the punchline. Elle is expecting a marriage proposal of her longtime boyfriend Warner, who instead dumps her as he wants freedom for when he will be attending Harvard.

Elle isn’t the kind of girl who just lets go like that. She decides to apply to Harvard aswell, to become the woman of Warners’ dreams. Meanwhile it appears that Warner has simply dumped Elle to persue a new relationship with a girl he met there.

Elle, played by Reese Witherspoon, is just not that dumb to begin with. It appears to me that her ‘airhead’ status is richly underqualified. The kind of things that she specialises in, are just simply a completely different world from the law department. It’s in fashion. There’s a mixup here in whether knowing a lot of gossip is part of that, too, but other than that, I don’t see an airhead to begin with. I do see a major career switch. Made by someone who’s madly in love.

The film itself is a breezy watch. It is light entertainment with a dash of what I mentioned above. Elle Woods gives Harvard a touch of Princess Pink and a little attitude. Given that she likes to help people and the students at Harvard mostly seem to be self absorbed, it’s easy to take her in. Just don’t expect any of it to ever happen for real 😉

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Films, Opinion

 

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The Killing, Netflix

This American series, based on a Danish one, starts with the murder of a girl named Rosie Larsen.
If you’re used to quick and witty detectives and quite like those, don’t start on this series. It takes two entire seasons to solve one case.

The Danish or generally Scandinavian culture in filming simply has a different kind of structure. Actors can be part of the scenery. When they’re silent, you feel the emotion that is meant or at least accept the inner struggle that is there.

The Killing doesn’t provide Danish actors, nor those sceneries. I’m not saying the actors (Mireille Echols and Joel Kinnaman ) are bad, but the scripts are quite clearly depending on them making the same kind of silent moves. The sort of ‘slow motion’ acting that can sometimes be shown to prove a point, is used here to imply an emotion that was already displayed.
Plus, being sort of used to Sherlock Holmes, Luther and other superdetectives, it disappoints to see that the detectives here genuinely don’t seem to know anything else than what’s shown. You’re getting frustrated, thinking: ‘let me handle this!’

Also, it doesn’t have the same rhythm of solving any case. It takes two entire seasons. The road that’s been taken is put out there in almost every detail. Meanwhile, the characters don’t show that much emotion or personality. It’s quite shallow, all in all.

What’s left is, I have to admit, a certain intriguing factor: no Hollywood-nonsense. No typical attraction between the two detectives, no quick solving of problems, plot twists that keep turning and turning. Whose no longer of interest, doesn’t show up anymore.

In season two several things happen that don’t make too much sense though. Who has, by then, gotten to know detective Linden, will not find her actions that believable for her personality. Nor what happens to Holder. It’s human, yes, but these two haven’t shown those specific emotions when it has concerned anyone in their casefiles.

The ending is a bit Hollywood-like, as it is happy, but thankfully the Danish have at least done it in their way: in the middle of something, instead of where you’d expect it. And yes, that’s about as clear as I’m gonna be on the subject.

It’s not for everyone, this series, and it ends because I’m sure the audience just didn’t grow.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Opinion

 

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Actors and actresses

I’ve liked watching films from a young age. Pure for entertainment values, though I did like to believe I had a chance of being in a film once myself.
Of course, that didn’t happen.
Instead, I always rented films when I felt like it. Especially after I moved out of the house, it was such a deeply satisfying business! It took me a while to notice, however, there were actors and actresses that guaranteed a film to be a joy to watch. And those who offered quite the opposite. Note that I’m an avid film watcher but NOT, I repeat NOT a theatre visitor. I watch films in my own home, on the couch, with access to my own opinions and foods and distractions and so on.

So here, my opinion on a few of my favorites and my non-favorites. This list could be added to due to watching more films or realising I’ve forgotten someone 🙂

Jack Nicholson, the actor in the first film I bought (‘As Good As It Gets’). He has been known to be a successful addition to a film. I did used to buy any film that had him in it. Pleasure to watch and usually good acting.

Helen Hunt: good actress in usually good films. She is pleasant to look at and doesn’t just take any role, as far as I can see. Ofcourse, What Women Want wasn’t the best film, but she made it work.

Catherine Zeta-Jones: lovely to look at, unfortunately not reliable on her own. She did pick several shit films. If she’s surrounded by other good actors who I know will be good, I’ll watch it.

Kirsten Dunst: hardly ever plays a pleasant person and is even less reliable. Lots of others surrounding her (like in ‘Mona Lisa Smile’) do tend to make her better. I don’t mean to say she is not a good actress, but as she hardly ever plays a pleasant person, I at least need someone to have that vibe to be able to watch anything she plays in.

Maggie Gyllenhaal: excellent choice of characters, usually picks her films with care and acts her ass off. For a film, that’s quite pleasureable 🙂 For her, I’ll buy a film.

Jennifer Aniston: though I liked her performance in Friends quite a lot, she never seems to play a different role than that of Rachel. Only ‘The Good Girl’ is a bit different. And there it’s still mostly Jake Gyllenhaal making her fun. Jennifer Aniston is anything but a reason to buy a film. She usually picks very shitty ones. The moody, Rachel-like type. It gets old after ‘Friends’. If you don’t even like that series, don’t watch a film with her in it.

Tyne Daly: this actress has marvellous principles and somehow this reflects bloody well in her work. I’ll watch anything with her. She does mostly tv-work. I very much loved her power of acting in Judging Amy. If not more people became social workers after seeing her in action, I don’t know. She was the best commercial for it on her own.

Helen Mirren:  fantastic actress. Has made some unfortunate choices filmwise (‘Arthur’, WTF??) but I loved her in RED. I’ve also seen several interviews with her and she is just so funny and feminine. Really picks the bull at the balls if necessary. Love that.

Mel Gibson: until ‘What Women Want’ he was messfree. Then it started and it never really healed. Unfortunate. Films made during the 90s or before tend to be good, after that: not so much.

Whoopi Goldberg: I loved her in ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘The Color Purple’. She doesn’t always necessarily choose the best films, but for her I’ll buy a film.

Meryl Streep: is such a perfectionist that a film with her is nearly always good. You even forgive her for a weird choice as ‘Mamma Mia’ or a dreadfully dull one as ‘The Iron Lady’.

Angelina Jolie: great actress, not always the best films, but she acts great in them. I won’t necessarily buy a film with her though. If other actors that I know are good are in it too, then yes. Angelina has a name of being quite active in a film which makes it nice, but if there’s basically no story-line, well…what’s the joy of watching it then, eh?

Jim Carrey: aside from the few OKish films he made, he’s just not the actor I wanna see. He doesn’t really act, is just a wild monkey. He has his moments in films, but if you’re already potty-trained, it gets old quite quickly.

Melissa McCarthy: I totally loved her in Gilmore Girls. She is just such a spontaneous and happy character, no matter what she plays. She has attitude, but it’s a sweet one too I loved her most in ‘Bridesmaids’.

Lauren Graham: also from the Gilmore Girls. Hasn’t had the best picks in scripts, I think. I do like her, but somehow she always ends up in religious crappy films. Which I don’t understand, as she had such a delightful free of mind character in Gilmore Girls.

Richard Gere: was good in 90s films, but kind of lost his hotness after that.

Hugh Grant: I’m sorry he doesn’t like to act, but the guy bloody well knows how to deliver a line. I will buy a film with him in it. The guy is just such a natural. Except for that one film that I can’t even remember the title of, yes. He was very bad in that, but thankfully he noticed and he never did such a stupid thing again. So woohoo!

Emma Thompson: because of various other British actresses, she popped out for me a bit later, to be honest. I do love her distinct voice of humour, the character she brings along whenever playing a role. She can be anything. Dramatic, funny, weird. I haven’t seen her sexy. I think? But after this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJF22bluCRE and her ‘clash’ with Stephen Fry on QI, I can’t say that I don’t love and adore this lady. It’s impossible.

Cameron Diaz: a flirty actress. Flirty with live, I mean. She doesn’t really pick her films with care as far as I can see. Which means not all of them are necessarily good or entertaining. I did like Charlies Angels and In Her Shoes, but I hated The Sweetest Thing. I can’t call that acting. She has a very slender figure and knows how to dance, which seems to get her most of the parts she’s going for. And it has to be said: it’s nearly impossible to stay still if she starts moving her bum around.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Films, Opinion

 

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