Pet hate

A friend asked me if I could help him find a scrolling Java applet. I’ll do my best for him, but…

I don’t like Java on the web. It usually takes too long to load, and more often doesn’t add anything to either the content or the design of the site. Macs have problems with Java and I can’t say it runs too smoothly on my Windows machine either.

The other day, my colleague was asked to ‘Come up with a solution for the problems the Macs are having with that Java application’.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! :-)

Word of the Day:
Uglet. n. The ugly grey patch on a web page which occurs when a Java applet is loading.

Change

Dutch telecom upped their prices per July 1st, and narrowed down the off peak hours. This means they’ve taken 2 hours away from my on line time. This is good, it gives me more time to read, breathe, live and listen to music.

Too often we want things to stay as they are. Music fans often don’t appreciate an artist’s change of direction. It’s understandable. When you like something… you want more of the same. You want your apple pie to taste the way your grandmother baked it.

But change is good. Good things must end, die, go away. They need to make place for the new, the young, the fresh – before they go bad. If good things go on forever, they become boring. Good things need to be unique.

A large part of Luka Bloom’s new record ‘Salty Heaven’, to me, sounds like more of the same. It’s in the way he strums his guitar, it’s in the melodies he writes and the rhythms he prefers and the way he ‘raps’ his lyrics.

When good things turn bad there’s always a little sadness. And so I’m a little sad today, playing Salty Heaven.

PS. Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word?

On my stereo: Luka Bloom – Salty Heaven, Imaani – Where are you

Fatigue

I’ve just about heard enough about football now. All around me people are obsessed… and in typically Dutch fashion, although the team are winning, everybody’s moaning about everything: the coach isn’t using the right players, the players are assholes and they probably all hate each other, the referee is an idiot, all the other countries’ fans are morons and all the other countries’ commentators are plotting against ‘us’.

The only thing people seem to be proud of is the fact that the mad Dutch fans in France aren’t violent. That makes them better than the other fans, you know. People allow themselves a very simplistic view of the world when they’re swept away by the World Cup.

“What are you all going to do after the World Cup… there’ll be a big black hole,” I joked. “No, we’ll have Wimbledon… and then the Tour de France!”

Sigh.

It’s only a game.

Sex sells, I seek sanctuary

Every morning I run into the newagent’s to get a magazine. And every time I walk past the women’s magazines, I’m reminded of a poem I wrote a long time ago:

Cosmo’s Catechism

Pick up the issue of Cosmo madame
See the young bodies on show
Read about multiple joy madame
aren’t you ready to go?

Rub in that feeling of fear madame
count on your fingers your loss
dip in the labours of love madame
and apply that shiny new gloss

This the flesh upon flesh they say
this is the skin upon skin
this is the time of your life they say
the only way up that is in

this is the thing we all do they say
this is the essence of us
this is achievement for you they say
this the thing that you must

these are the do’s and the don’ts they say
these are the rights and the wrongs

no! these are the men you won’t get I say
these are the women you’re not
these are statistics that suck I say
this is what we haven’t got

this is the burden of wanting it more
this is the yoke we must bear
this is the hunger that comes from within
this is the joke we can’t share

this is the age of talking I say
the age of talking too much
this is the wasting of paper I say
to answer the question of lust

this is the age of learning to walk
when all we achieve is to crawl
we do what we can to get it I say
and then we don’t get it at all

Gift of the day: Netscape 0.9, sexy software for your pleasure…
On my tv: Holland vs Yugoslavia

Child

My mother died when I was 12 years old. I had been sent on a holiday to Indonesia because she had been ill for a while and she was in hospital. Halfway through my trip I was rushed back to the Netherlands. She died the morning of the day I arrived.

As we drove away from Schiphol airport, my uncle stopped the car on the hard shoulder. I had gathered from my relatives’ puffed up eyes that something was very wrong – I think I could guess what it was, but I denied it until they told me.

One last time I saw her. The nurse ushered me into the room where she lay on that hospital bed. I didn’t want to, but I did kiss her forehead when the nurse told me to. She was pale and cold.

I have pictures of myself on the day of her burial. I’m playing with my niece and I’m smiling. I’m wearing the black slacks I had insisted on getting made for me in Jakarta. My aunt thought that was creepy.

I don’t think I fully grasped what was going on or I wouldn’t have been smiling. I probably shut myself off from everything, protecting myself from the pain and avoiding the thought of the gaping hole in front of me. What was going to happen now? Who was going to take care of me?

It’s raining outside, it has been raining for weeks. I’m pissed off and moody. I’m 35 years old, I have learnt to take care of myself. I don’t miss my mother but I wish I knew who she really was.

On my stereo: Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain

Beautiful people

I last remember seeing Pam Grier in the film Fort Apache – The Bronx, starring Paul Newman. That was 1981. Since then she has apparently appeared in a number of films including Escape from L.A. and Mars Attacks! but I hadn’t seen her since she played th drugged out, razor toting hooker ‘Charlotte’ who ends up rolled up in a carpet on a dirtheap in The Bronx.

What a waste of a beautiful woman. True, make-up may be doing the trick, but who needs supermodels when there’s women out there like Pam Grier, or Sophia Loren… aging, and beautiful in their age with strong, expressive faces that have seen and lived a real life.

Quentin Tarantino casts the best people for his characters. He’ll stick the star in the supporting role, and find the right face for the main parts. Pam Grier *is* Jackie Brown, she’s lived that life, she’s had those setbacks. She worries about her bum size… and looks great in a bathrobe & with her hair undone.

Women like Pam Grier remind me of my mother, my grandmother and my aunts. My very own beautiful people.

Seen 26th June – with Diana.

Popcorn must be the most inflated snack in the world. Last night I paid 5 guilders 50 ($2.75) for a half decent sized carton of it. I cut my gums on its salt.

Obsessive

Yesterday evening as I came home after watching Holland mess up a 2-0 lead over Mexico I switched on my computer to download my mail. Dialling in to my account I received the error message ‘no dial tone’.

I fiddled with the modem. I fiddled with the computer. I fiddled with Win 95. I fiddled with the phone… the cables… I took bits apart and put them back together again. No dial tone.

Eek. I had a sickly feeling in my stomach. I phoned maintenance on my mobile, but they couldn’t fix anything on the spot. I’d have to wait. No mail.

Annoyed, I grabbed the remote and watched tv, trying the phone every few hours. But the line remained dead.

This morning I checked my mail from work. There was absolutely nothing of real interest in there. I almost wished I hadn’t called maintenance, and had just left it till Monday. A weekend without the internet… that’ll be the day.

I’d like to be obsessive about snail mail again. I used to run down to the mailbox every 5 minutes to see if something had arrived. I guess I’m just obsessive by nature.

ps. Upgrade to Win ’98? No way.