Grin and bear

Spent half of Sunday down the country at my friend L.’s surrounded by toddlers. Was relaxed in a way, but had work on my mind. Woke up today with a soar throat which got worse during the course. Shiver shiver. I *cannot* afford to be ill this week, so just grin and bear it.

Bought my first Elmore Leonard book, not really into crime fiction but had to try man – so many films are made of his books now. ‘Out of Sight’ is the novel the film with Clooney and Lopez is based on – it was hard not to read the book with their faces in mind. These books are very quick reads, I finished it going to and coming back from Hilversum on the train.

Managed to encode half of the videos last night while watching tv and cooking dinner. It’s a multi-tasking life.

We watched parts of a guy’s ‘interactive movies’ – the guy also came to talk to us about them. ‘Interactive movies’ are ok-ish… they’re not as exciting as real computer games, I think. Why would I want to watch an interactive movie? I want to see a film, want to be awed by what the director makes up for me – magically. Having an influence on the scenes makes it unnatural. Film is total immersion. It can’t be that if you can affect the outcome.

Bed early, am shivering.

Deadlines

… don’t you hate them? I actually need them… but would very much like to know about them some time before they’re due. Well… it doesn’t always work that way and so I am facing a few of them for next Wednesday and Thursday. Small problem: I’m on that course on Monday and Tuesday… which gives me zero time, unless I work at it this weekend. Which is not exactly what I had in mind. Last night I tried to block it out – fixed my eyes on the telly and taping Fatima Mansions stuff for someone. Found myself almost headbanging to some of the tracks… laughed at myself for being an old fogey with an interest in rawk and rawl.

This morning I enjoyed my first shopping spree since my injury. Didn’t get much and it soon became too crowded in town, but enjoyed my mobility nevertheless. Got Mansun’s new album… typical ‘difficult second album’ kind of record – not as clear cut as the first one. They’re a bit too… metal… almost Black Sabbathy sometimes, I enjoy their quieter moments.

Got myself a mobile phone card for my mobile… no monthly fee. Actually missed having my mobile when I was on crutches… they’re handy for calling cabs. (And ordering pizza when you’re on line ;-) . I just thought my colleagues should be able to reach me when I’m on the course. The 50 guilders worth of calls will last me a year or more (only they expire after a year). Must remember to wipe my ex from the list of numbers. It will make me feel good.

It’s bloody freezing! It’s 9 degrees out, and the cold is wet. It reminded me of Dublin, actually, those cold winter trips I’ve made. Talking Dublin, I sent Gav a cool ‘Adam n Eve’ card for his birthday… it’s a pop up thingy that has Adam saying:’ Nice apples’ to Eve, who replies: ‘Big leaf!’. Corny… but he’ll appreciate it.

Also got prezzies for L’s kids, toy cars for S. and a squeezy duck for E. I thought I might go into work tomorrow… but fuck it, it’ll be Sunday and I promised to drop by Louise’s for coffee. If I don’t make the deadline, fuck it. If I get fired… fuck it. Right now… I worry, but don’t care too much. Let’s enjoy the weekend…

(All I have to do is…. capture 18 songs off video… encode them to Real Audio. Design the front of a site… with lots of stuff that moves and blinks to impress the clueless. Record audio files. Make animated gifs and roll overs. Later today. Tonight. Not now.)

October got colder

Work is taking over my life – I think things will be hectic for the next 7 weeks while I’m on the course. I’ve a few too many things going on at the same time. I need to write some instructions quick so the others can take over some of the regular tasks & I can dedicate my time to the larger projects.

I won’t have much time or energy for ‘Dag’, I think. All I think of is ‘bed’ once I come home.

Half a liter of Haagen Dazs was NOT a good idea. Neither was taking that valium last night that I’d left over from the visit to the hospital for my leg. Thought it would help ease the massive headache, and I suppose it did, but it also made me feel pretty worn out in the morning… as I should have known. Ah well… I don’t have any more so that takes care of that.

I’m worrying about the design I have to do for our debate show’s new pages…. I worry too much full stop.

Oh… new pet hate: company politics.

Course II

Tough day at the course – had to do the most complicated of thinking right at the end of the day when our brains were running over with theory. Got a bit fed up in the end – a lot of my energy goes into having to work together with other people. I have my own idea about things – I like to work my plans out myself, I do not like bouncing my ideas off other people because I don’t like them to be changed. Sign of a true control freak, I suppose.

Went straight to bed after dinner, but felt revived after a while and got up again. Back to normal work tomorrow… don’t have to think about the course until next Monday.

Walked about a kilometer today… ignored the pain. The exercise will do me good.

Course

I’m going on a course next week… only it was this week. Got a call at work at 9.45 where the hell I was. Brilliant, we’d been told it was next week. Took a cab to the course, only 5 minutes away.

Interesting course – my boss and I are the only people who’ve any experience with web site making, the others are all tv makers from other broadcasters. Quite useful to hear the way they think and approach the ‘new’ medium. Teacher seemed knowledgeable too. Had to analyse a site with the help of a questionnaire, wasn’t too difficult – was easy to spot its faults. Will probably have difficulties once we get to storyboarding and scripting the concept – I’m not an ideas person – not very good at thinking up all these “FUN” ideas to go with a tv/radio show. Think on the whole it will be very useful course… every Monday/Tuesday for next 7 weeks…

Went for drinks with boss and other woman on the course after work. Three large beers done me in. Mussgettintobedearlyish to sleepitoff… zzzzz.

The Ostrich

Whatever you do, avoid restaurant ‘The Ostrich’ in Utrecht.

Having been turned down at two other restaurants – fully booked – we finally got an ‘ok’ at the Ostrich. A table would be ‘free in seconds, just wait at the bar’. It was 7.20. We had to be at the cinema at 9.30, and we were told that would be no problem.

Half an hour later it was obvious they’d forgotten about us. We asked again and they seated us outside. Nice table – menu looked ok – we were both going for ostrich meat, why not.

They were finding it hard to cope with the amount of customers. The waiter kept bringing round the wrong dishes to the wrong tables – and he looked panicky.

At 8.45 (!), having waited an hour and 25 minutes, we asked if it was going to take much longer. We were told the food would be ready very soon. We emphasised the fact that we had to be elsewhere at 9.30.

At 10 past 9 we asked again. I told the waiter that we would definitely be going if they didn’t deliver. ‘Any minute now,’ he said.

At 9.20 I told him to bring us the bill for the wine. It took him another 5 minutes to get it. ‘That’ll be 37 guilders.’

Excuse me? 37 guilders for half a caraffe of wine? ‘Yes, you had Perrier at the bar, and two beers, and the wine.’

We never had any beers, and if you are asked to wait at the bar, the water should be complimentary. The wine came down to 25 guilders. Ridiculously overpriced. I will never, ever, set foot in that place again – and I think I’ll write management a letter about it.

the Ice Storm

The film we saw, The Ice Storm, was good, but depressing. An excellent cast effort, beautifully filmed. Starts out as a tragi-comedy… but ended full on tragedy. I haven’t figured out why the kid has to die.

It makes you wonder whether your parents were like that in the 70’s.

The warm weather continues this Sunday – but I’m stuck at the desk doing my tax form. I’m only 5 months late.

Another short weekend – and I’ve the feeling I forgot to do something important (like… work on an intranet design, grab video images from a tape I brought home from work, get that vote script to work…)

You know what… let’s work on the vote script now, before Star Trek’s on.

Cabbie

Took care of business today – got cab into town, stopping by my p.o.box to finally get the mail, then had a haircut & agreed with J. (the girl who cuts my hair) to grow it. Haven’t had my hair long since 1987. I’ll try it for a winter… if it doesn’t agree with me next summer I go crew cut again. J. wants to move to Amsterdam as well – her friend lives in the Oud-West area & she’s grown very fond of it. She too originally comes from around Amsterdam. Maybe we’re all going back to our roots?

The cabbie was talkative – they usually aren’t over here as we’re not a nation of chit chatters. Got talking about the Internet and he said with perfect ease that he knew nothing about it, had surfed once and had gone straight for the sex sites. He wasn’t ‘admitting’, he wasn’t coy… just straightforward ‘I went straight for the sex sites’. We casually talked about porn on line. Fifteen years ago, this probably wouldn’t have been possible, not because we were shy about it, but because it was not “p.c.”.

The mail brought me some exciting stuff I’d ordered from Amazon and other unexpected delights. Someone I’m taping some music for included a fab looking book (Slow chocolate autopsy) which looks like a combination of art & literature. It follows a character around London. The other books were ‘Dutch Graphic Design 1918-1945’ and a book about the Stenberg Brothers.

Will be going to see ‘The Ice Storm’ tonight with D. Drinks and dinner first – she’ll have to cart me around on the back of her bike. Looking forward to being in town again – amongst people.