Pardon me whilst I melt down here, real public like, m'kay?
Obviously, I've been fighting my own sort of writer's block, and today? Well, I guess today it all came to a head and popped like the zit my life sometimes becomes-but again-self inflicted gets no pity.
One minor prollem has been the fact that my 'major' computer acts all friendly like we are getting along just fine, then all of a sudden it shuts off and eats whatever I was working on, which is majorly depressing. That leaves me stuck with my little netbook, which is all cool and groovy until you want to capitalize something with your left hand, then you are expected to have a mutant pinkie finger that stretches WAAAY over thataway ----> I don't, so I have to stop and THINK whilst I type, which is kinda like rubbing your head and patting your tummy. Must be left brain, right brain conflict-that's what Momma would say, I'm sure. But I digress.
The MAJOR prob, howevah, has been my reluctance to face the fact that YES, VIRGINIA, we are, in fact, back and have been for what? About six weeks now? And I have posted once, I think? (BTW...for some reason, blogger quit informing me that I had comments, so I have not responded to them 'cuz I simply didn't know they were there-soggy!) In any case, I got up today determined to accomplish SOMETHING, and decided to start "small" and do laundry. Now, ordinarily this wouldn't be a big deal, but due to the flood that occurred during our absence, our well was fouled, and despite the two thousand dollar filtration system we have installed, we have been once again fighting fartwater and rust bacteria, both here at the houseboat and at the house (for some odd reason, the rust bacteria problem has never been adequately addressed, in my HUMBLE FARKING OPINION), so despite the fact that I have TWO, count'em, TWO washers and dryers in two separate households, I have to go to a laundromat to wash my white clothes. Now, normally (normal being when the Innocent Bystander is offshore) I keep my laundry done all the time, but when he is home, I can't spread things out in piles on the couch (because he is so efficiently holding it DOWN), so I save most of mine up to do when he is gone (hush-I live on a houseboat-I have enough shorts and tanks to last a month!). Add to this the fact that I have been in denial since we've been back, and it will explain how I did not, until just one hour ago, unpack my suitcase (because I knew I had some treasured white shirts in there that have not yet been subjected to fartwater.) *blushes* Yes, I am that big of a procrastinator. Anyway, I did not just unzip a suitcase, I unzipped so many memories that I was overwhelmed and burst into tears. Sometimes I forget how awesomely I've been blessed in this life, both in the things I have been privileged to do and see, but also by how blessed I have been to have you all in my life, and I do realize how selfishly I've neglected you all.
So. I'm stepping back in, albeit slowly. I just looked through my Amsterdam pictures and realized that we only took TWENTY pictures the whole time we were there-we've been three times now, so most of the stuff we go to see is repeats, which the IB is not inclined to take pictures of, and he is usually the photographer, SO. Mostly we got pictures of Igor trying some of our favorite things ^^groucho eyebrows^^ which is not strictly illegal for iguanas anywhere that I am aware of. We amazed ourselves in that we almost did not even need our streetmaps anymore, as we pretty much either have memorized where everything is by now, or managed to stumble across what we were looking for OR stumbled across things we weren't looking for but managed to find anyway. It was all good.
Our hotel was magnificent. The Banks Mansion is located right on one of the five major canals (the Herengracht) and is about two hundred yards from a tram stop, so it was pretty much centrally located for us. The service was outstanding-it seemed like every time we left the room, someone came in and tidied up and checked to see if we needed anything. Anything, in this case, meant pretty much ANYTHING-this place included a full service breakfast as well as both an in-room mini-bar and a very well stocked 'living room' downstairs, which had a nice selection of liquor, beer, wine and soft drinks as well as light appetizers all day and night, which is included in the price of your room. They also had a wonderful coffee machine that made custom blends at the touch of a button, which was very nice to come back to several times a day as it was very cold and rainy most of the time we were there. We have never stayed at the same hotel twice in Amsterdam, and love to try new places, but I would seriously have to think twice before I stayed anywhere else the next time we go-this place had too many perks and may well deserve a repeat visit.
We always go to the Rijksmuseum, which has many paintings we both love to visit, in particular Rembrandt's The Night Watch. We also always go to a place called Museum Ons' Lieve Heer Op Solder, which translates to Our Lord in the Attic, which is a beautiful church concealed in the top few floors of an historical home that is roughly 350 years old. What always amazes me in these places is that the art and historical objects are RIGHT THERE-they generally aren't behind any kind of protective barriers and there is very little security evident anywhere other than in the room that The Night Watch is in. It just boggles my mind that these three and four hundred year old paintings and sculptures are an arm's length away. We also always take at least one canal boat ride, which are very informative and give you a very broad view of the city in a short period of time. All of these attractions and many many more are all included, as is all in city metro/tram transportation, in the IAmsterdam card. For one set price, you get free or majorly discounted admission to almost all of the museums in the city plus the transportation hop on hop off feature AND coupons to many local businesses and restaurants. They are available in one, two or three day versions, and are WELL worth the price-we paid fifty eight euros apiece for three day passes and they always more than pay for themselves.
One place that is not included is the Anne Frank house. We did not go last time we were there, but we went again this time. It is a very sobering experience if you take your time and try to put yourself in that position, and one of the reasons we don't always go is that I always end up in tears when we leave there. It is THAT powerful.
How do I convey the laughter of running down rainy sidewalks that turn to bikepaths of doom with coffeeshop breath? Giggling over the IB's pronunciation of the street we stayed on (Vijzelstraat-in Dutch, the ij combination is pronounced like a long i, with the j silent, but the IB insisted on calling it vajizzlestrat, a la Snoop Dog. I'm sure it loses some of the humor in translation-but I tried my best to impress on him what a vajizzle actually is. Just sayin'. *wink*)The menus for things that are not strictly illegal for iguanas anywhere that I am aware of, and the variety of flavors and scents of things that are not strictly illegal for iguanas anywhere that I am aware of? (Kind of like going to a wine tasting, only NOT.)
One thing I can and will convey is my newly aquired distaste for what the locals consider an improvement. In an effort to clean up the city, the famed Red Light district has been condensed. Now, we always take a stroll through at least a small section of the district, as it is the IB's trip, too, and I'm all for anything that is going to translate to some bump and grind action of myne own. HOWEVER. Before the 'cleanup', we would walk down these little alleys with the red lights over the windows, and it would be one Playboy centerfold after another-a blonde, then an Asian, then a redhead, then a brunette-all flawless, beautiful girls. Now that they are all condensed, it is more like walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where the most outstanding features of some of the girls are the colors of their bruises. There is no longer a young ho' section and an overweight fiftysomething ho' section and your basic crack ho' section-they are all lumped in together now. SOMEHOW, we ended up walking for what seemed to me like hours around the same four block area. I won't say WHO was directing us, but he had a PENIS, and apparently it was acting as a divining rod for tired out ho's. Anyway, the longer we walked, the more pissed off I got. The last straw was when we saw this not so bad looking working girl come out of her window to negotiate price vs. activity, and I got to see her potential customer. It's all good when it is an even match, but I blew my top when I saw this sweet youngish thing fixing to go get PawPaw's groove on for him. Kinda sucks any pretense of romantic images right outta the park, and I grabbed the IB by the...ARM...and wrestled him back into the real world.
How's that for a start? Now...where is that laundry I was so anxious to do?
- I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at email@example.com