All things come to a beginning

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Aaaaand we're back in the game

Friday, September 14, 2007

Un qui aime et un qui est aimé

Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon:

“[My dad and uncle] taught me that in every relationship, the person least interested in maintaining it is going to dominate it, because they’ll never compromise. So you have to always maintain that position of least interest, and you’ll always control the relationship.”

Harsh. And dangerous. But is it true too?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Workin' it (part 2)

Um, yeah. I may have jinxed it. A single white envelope and bamm, my current job is mine no more. Or it won't be from October onward. "We thank you for...and wish you the best in your future..." I had to sit down for a bit, I can't lie. Right there, in the post office.

The person I replaced is coming back, and there's no need for an extra person, so thankfully it's not a lay off out of discontent with my work. Which doesn't change the fact that in a few weeks, I won't be walkin ginto this office anymore. The prospect of - for whatever amount of time - being out of work (I refuse to call it "in between jobs". When you slip off a chair you're not "in between altitudes", you just fell on your ass) is very dual.
Cons: not having a job. Or an income. Feeling guilty, lazy and inadequate. Getting frustrated reading job postings with less energy & spirit than Britney at the VMA's (seriously, sleepwalk much?)
Pros: my first days off since, oh, August 2006. No more bus rides, doing my make-up in a bathroom stall and having breakfast in the elevator. Time to travel and finally get my driver's license (ha!). And the opportunity to find a new job, somewhere else. Something that relates more to what I studied, or is even further removed. Something closer to home or way out there. Something deeply serious or only-acceptable-when-you're-under-25. I have no family to support, no loans breathing down my neck, little reason to worry. So you know what, October? Try me.

Oh boy

I wouldn't say I have a specific type in men. Not superficially, anyway. Looking back at the guys I have dated, semi-dated or would have loved to date, they're a smorgasbord of ages, races, heights & widths. Gorgeous in my eyes, but never classic. As far as personalities go, though, I'm starting to detect a pattern. And considering the sorry state of my dating history, maybe it's time to step away from it.

They're quirky, but in an interesting, social way. "Intriguing", I guess, as juvenile as that sounds. They have a story, a history, a fair amount of family-related bagage. Which adds to the interesting-ness. They're professionally or at the least very intensely involved in the arts - photography, music, literature, theatre, you name it. They're verbal, know how to phrase an idea without having to resort to sighs, head scratches and "or something"s. They're creative and have an acute sense of style, as well as issues with compromises and sacrifices. They're determined, firmly behind the wheel. You're more than welcome to climb unto the passenger seat and even push some buttons - something I can rarely resist - but the route is all theirs to call. And the typical scenario so far has been an immediate attraction, a very swift sealing of the deal, a few lovely weeks, a few weeks of nagging doubts & swallowing my words, an emotionally cold conversation and a gradual easing into decent friends. Or not. I feel liberated, released and a little more worried about finding someone who fully and confidently and thrillingly digs me and is himself diggable. The end.

Do I place myself in that position, do I seek out hard-shelled men because I secretly hope I'll be able to crack them? Or is it a "birds of a feather" situation? Both, neither?

I'm meeting some friends tonight at a gallery in Brussels. It's the opening night of a photo exhibit by a famous photographer/choreographer and I suggested we go & crash the reception. The perfect place to meet men who are by no means creative, clever or brooding! Right? Sigh.


Monday, September 10, 2007

That thing that you do

When you feel like things are going wrong, I feel like part of the solution always lies in making your world both bigger and smaller. Bigger so you put things into perspective. And smaller so you take care of the fundamentals. Sleep, eat, take off your shoes, let your hair down, wrap yourself in something woolly, make some tea, reach out for a hug and take a break from beating yourself up about the million ways you feel you're not cutting it. Quality comes into the picture too. Too many consecutive days of vending machine food, watery coffee and vacuum tv drags down the overall quality of your body & mind in a "you are what you take in" effect. The bit of effort that goes into surrounding yourself with higher quality products (and people!) is more than worth it.

I got my fair share of quality this past weekend, having won two tickets for a visit to the Museum of Eastern Arts sprinkled with extras. It was a bit of a road trip to find the place thanks to confusing directions and poor planning. My friend and I ended up being given a ride by two cops in their police car: a guy with huge biceps and a woman with beautiful dark hair who obviously were happy to be partners, it was straight out of Third Watch and wicked cool. But once we got there, we were first in line for a free 15 minute shiatsu massage. A woman with beautiful wavy red hair took her sweet time to find "pressure points" and pull my back and shoulders in juxtaposed directions.

Another woman carefully prepared Japanese tea (handpicked in the mountains of Somewhere Divine and on the market for a whopping 150 Euro a tin) and pulled out all the stops: a tatami mat, a kimono, white socks, all sorts of nifty tools, and Japanese treats. The museum itself is stunning, and spending time in an oasis of zen (note: I'm sure the use of "zen" is historically and culturally entirely inappropriate here, and it's not simply a synonym of "chillax" as non-Easterners tend to assume, but...humor me) where competent people shared their skills with us was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Last week, I signed up for music lessons. It's funny walking back into the school I spent so many Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings as a young teen. It feels ridiculously familiar, I remember exactly where everything is. The only thing I've noticed that is very new are the security cameras. Hmz. Point is, I enjoy sitting next to a teacher on a piano stool, I enjoy listening to their know how, being corrected and guided to a higher level. They know what they're doing, I don't. But I get to be part of it, and that's not half bad.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Workin' it

Just as I had hoped, I'm fully digging the working life. I don't write about it much here, because I wouldn't be the first person to get in trouble for blogging about their boss's weird mole, coworkers' BO or absurd company policy. Not that I have much to complain about. The fact that, a good couple of months in, I still don't groan when I hear my alarm clock in the mornings, is nothing short of stupefying. I just think "The sooner I get to work, the sooner I get to breeze into the coffee room and maybe hopefully bump into that cute guy who works on the 5th floor" and hop to it. I realize I'm still in the early stages and nowhere near what can be called a "career", hey, it could all be over before I know it, but I'm taking it day by day - tackling new assignments and old routines as I see fit.

Equally satisfying: the "After Hours" part. Having my nights & weekends wide open to go on day trips, get back into old interests (I signed up for music lessons & met my teacher last night, she seems great. Lovely eyes too, which I'm sure will swiftly go from kind to empty with despair and panic when she realizes how little I remember about scales, chords and basic musical theory), take up new ones (cliffhanger!), spend time with good people and go out to restaurants. Like last night, when Stijn and I hit up an amazing Italian place (the garlic/scampi aroma of my main course was so strong it completely infused the outift I was going to wear to work again today. Harsh wake up call on an empty stomach this morning.)

Stijn was probably the first of my same-age friends to start work. After hearing time and again that university is the best time of your life and you should milk it as much as you can, I think we weren't all that convinced of the sense of his choice. No extra degree? Even though you can afford it? Why would you do that? How are you even going to find a job?
Not surprisingly to me, he's done phenomenally well and is perfectly happy in his current position. When you're on a roll professionally, it's such a satisfying feeling. There are methods & procedures to learn, people & deadlines to meet, money & changes to be made. I would love to keep moving forward the way he does - figuring out my strenghts and playing off of them. Rewarding those who trust me to get something done. Rising up to the challenge. With the occasional plate of late night pasta.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

NYC 5.9 - 12.9

Uh, I most certainly did not get bangs, a tight leather jacket and wrinkly brown boots after watching Anne Hathaway/Andy Sachs's "The Devil wears Prada" make over. Nor do I check religiously, giving it priority to my work email, serious news websites, sending my grandmother a card for her birthday or even personal hygiene. It is mere coincidence that I know the Fug girls are about to report straight from New York Fashion Week - which kicks off tomorrow - on Now if you'll excuse me, the latest edition of Wall Street Journal is calling my name.

Monday, September 03, 2007


"Politique des Poètes" - Erwin Mortier

Sta in alle tekens op de punt van de tong
In een mond zonder zang.

Omspan met slijtbaar vlees ondenkbare holten
tot gapen.

Toon vormen van genade: Laat steenslag van dorst
naar luchtlaag vergaan.

Betreur het, dat adem geen jaarringen kent.

Verzamel spraakgebrek. Beween daar doden
en daders karig mee.

Kef, scheld als het viswijf, stink uit je bek.
Jank als het moet.

Stamel geduldig vervallen syllaben - maar stamel
niet al te vaardig.

Wankel nooit lenig.
Laat niets in het woord aan het woord.

Het woord is aan ons niet.