Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's snowing!

For some reason I woke up at 7.30 today. On a Sunday. :S

Anyway, performed my daily rituals of showering and getting dressed. Opened the curtains and this amazing view appeared out of nowhere.

It's snowing in the city. Beautiful!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stuff that's going on

I'm an Uncle
My brother and his girlfriend had a baby! Anna Femke was born October 9, which effectively makes me an uncle. Congratulations Michiel & Wina! Can't wait to see the pictures...

Friends coming over
Next week, Marko, JJ and Joël will be visiting! I took one week off of work and they’ll (all !?!) be sleeping in my room… :S

Made it to Program Manager
I’m managing a few projects and people at a time now at my current client. The certification preparations are also still continuing.

The weather is changing
Finally, the climate seems to be improving. Most people here might not agree, but I must add I like it being in the 60’s (between 15-20 Celsius) for a change at least. Lot’s of people are affected though. Nearly everybody I know has been sick for at least one day (including myself).

And last but not least
Finally started Yoga… The Turkish baths were OK (too many Russians), but the real relaxing is coming now. Although I’m sore with muscle-ache, I will definitely be going again another evening this week.

Good stuff...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Defining the black hole

Man, there’s so much to say and so little words to describe what I really mean.

A small go at it again below. A little impression not thought trough well enough to take too literal.

The black hole, speaking with Gaulliaume.
Gaulliaume is the person I've been discussing impressions with most. I call him the "Mexican" guy since he’s lived in Mexico City for year. The recurring theme's been the black hole of people. Better known around the world as the part of the iceberg that's harder to reach.

The part that defines people, the part you don't regularly see. Or necessarily might be a better word. We've agreed that at the end of the day, we're both interested in that part the most. We like to pry. We want to know who we're dealing with when we do deal with people. Apparently (and famously) something US people are not famous for being primarily interested in.

Just that it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it's not true. Christine.
US people seem to prefer to define each other by appearance.

I've discussed the "American" stereotype with some US people. And generally they seem to feel upset when I confront them. Possibly for good reason as well. For all I am is a visitor in their country, who gives me the right to question anything they might be doing or have been doing at all? Who gives me the right to judge or criticize or reflect? Nobody. I can’t seem to help it though…

You will change. Dino the landlord.
I also had a chat with Dino the other day. Dino is the landlord I'm being the "Apartment manager" for. He seems to think I'm a great guy. This makes me feel good for sure. But having experienced US enthusiasm for a while, also I exercise some caution in taking anything directly at face value. (People just might reconsider at a whim).

Dino warned me: When I’ll be here for three years, I will think completely different. And when I manage to finally make the money I should, I’ll be trapped in NY.

Reflecting the Dutch (Ton)
Spoke to one of the people I respect most in process level management so far that week (Ton). Please respect the intentions I have here if you’re reading this from the US or UK. Do let me know if you’re affected or interested more, it’s the only way I will learn to do better next time.

Expressed my feeling that the `polder model` levels (niveleert). It seems to work. The difference between the rich and the poor, but more important, the good and the bad are averaged by talking more, by having everybody involved does actually work. It seems more efficient than what happens here. It seems to be something the Dutch should be proud of.

New York impressions to the Californian (Eric)
A friend of Brynn has stayed here for a week. He was considering moving top New York. This was interesting for the way it made me speak about my impressions of the city. The intensity of it all, the crazy ride we’re in.

About the blog contents, anonymous
Oh and by the way, I have had people tell me that though there's a lot of words in my blog, at the end of the day, there's not a lot I'm saying. A gave that a quick thought and must conclude it has something to do with part of the audience I think I have.

People in the US are extremely easy to upset. You might have been able to read my impression of that between the lines, especially if you know me a little better. Interestingly but disconceringly people seem not to be looking to find the truth in New York at all. Some people seem scared of the truth. Hmmmm. I wonder what it means.

Also, I do make an effort to be precise. To say seem and appear as much as possible. Because after 5 months, it's not possible for me to know yet. It's only a first glance. Some stuff might be expressed stronger or completely different later.

Here’s my first attempt to organize what I’m trying to say a little better. Reading it over doesn’t give me the feeling I’m quite there yet. It is however another impression of a part of New York life. From a different perspective again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Things We Can Learn from a Dog

Doing another quote here, one day I'll be able to write down my own take on wisdom, until then I guess I'll have to pass on others:

For this one, I'm thanking Christine.

"Derive pleasure from life, integrate your work with what you love, and approach life as if there were no limits.

* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
* Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
* When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
* Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
* Take naps and stretch before rising.
* Run, romp and play daily.
* Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
* Be loyal.
* Never pretend to be something you're not.
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
* Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
* On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
* When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
* No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout .. run right back and make friends.
* Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.

About Me: finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. tomorrow is a new day. you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

- ralph waldo emerson"

Monday, September 10, 2007

End of summer

As the summer in New York is getting to an end, things are becoming more serious.

Started on my PMP preparation before the weekend and this baby is going to take some of my time. Have been working on it for a couple of hours in the weekend, and today, I was the only one left in the office after 8. The actual guided course will start tomorrow.

For those of you who don't know it, PMP is the formal US approach in project management ( Project Management Practitioner is the name of the certification and I'll be taking the quiz in November. It's really an extension to the LPMD certification I acquired from Sogeti a while ago and it is different from the PRINCE II certification.

My last assignment has ended and with the start of the new season, tension in the office is increasing as well. I have to say, I'm just happy the peak of my 3-month-in low (dipje) appears to have been the week after I broke my toe.

Summer is ending and the weather is starting to change accordingly. Temperature is dropping to a more agreeable one at night (no coats yet, but it'll happen soon I'm sure). There's still lots of stuff to do (as I imagine will be the entire year) but my need to go out and act silly has been changed.

New Yorkers are hard to understand sometimes. To find out what they want and what they expect is taking more effort than originally anticipated. I´ll update you guys as I go I guess. I've been instructed to slow down by one of my guides (Roland from Australia). Slow down and enjoy the ride. As I am intending to follow his advice, I created a sign on my door saying just that. It seems to be helping. "No-one said it was going to be easy" helped a lot as well.

I’m not quite ready for Yoga classes yet, but I will be finding them soon I guess. Until then, the sign works just fine.

Anyway, that was it for the periodical update I guess, how is the start of spring treating you guys? Did any events happen that I should be aware of?

Speak later, Wouter

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wear sunscreen

Quote: "Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen. "

Chicago Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

Monday, August 27, 2007

A little word of warning

Hi guys,

Just thought it to be fair to warn you all. The next post has a different mindset. It's personal, about my feelings and the word I is in there quite a lot. I've considered not posting it here.

I do feel good about expressing this myself, but for people expecting the next lightweight ozoheapy, please skip and go to the Las Vegas story.

For whoever is interested, feel free to continue. And comment as you like.

Take care.


P.s. for the title of the next post; take it as "No pain, no glory". I'm not intending on pulling anything crude without consulting you guys first, ok?