Friday, 30 May 2008

Singapore Air Force finds Mas Selamat

After many weeks of well planned search and discovery missions, the Singapore Air Force has finally found Mas Selamat Kastari, the terrorist who managed to escape through a window of a toilet at the high-security detention centre where he was held. This picture of Mas Selamat and unidentified helpers was taken yesterday at Bukit Timah. Singapore ground troops will soon be send to the area, and the government is confident that the terrorist will be captured "within the next few months". Interior Minister Wong Kan Seng said: "We know from the pictures that the escapee and his friends are heavily armed. Still, we are confident that our well trained army will be able to make its way through the thick jungle of Bukit Timah, and will be successful in capturing the terrorist."

Gilbert O' Sullivan - Nothing Rhymed

A beauty.

Strong stuff

I was not planning to go to work today (it is busy, but I didn't feel like working), until my bosses and colleagues all decided to stay home so I was needed to man the office and pick up the phones. That was bad news as I had arranged to meet KE for "coffee" in the afternoon. I called the most junior employee and asked him if he could come in at least during the afternoon which fortunately he could for a few hours. So I kept my appointment with KE, he asked me to bring some stuff and we shared a joint and beer. After leaving his place I needed to go back to the office to lock up and only noticed when I was back on the road that the stuff had been heavy. Felt so slow and tired. Normally my trip between home and work takes 30 mins but I needed a full hour today.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Gilbert O'Sullivan Life in Amsterdam

I just came home from a Gilbert O'Sullivan concert. A couple of months ago, when I saw the announcement that he would perform in Amsterdam, I was very surprised as I hadn't heard about him for ages. I grew up with his songs that were my older brother's favourites around 1970, so when I heard about this concert I called my brother and he was immediately interested to go. So tonight we went and were not disappointed. Aged 61, Gilbert is still a great singer and performer and we enjoyed listening to all our old favourites (Nothing Rhymed, Matrimony, Claire, Get Down, Alone Again (naturally)) and some new songs.

Gilbert O'Sullivan - Happiness Is Me And You

When the evening is over
Put your head upon my shoulder
And I'll tell you something
I believe is true
Happiness is me and you

In a world so distorted
Where the worst is best reported
Love may be something
That will see us through
Happiness is me and you

There may be girls that I remember
Who've made me happy for a while
But none of them compare with you my love
How ever hard they all may try

If the bus that we're taking
Has for ages kept us waiting
What does it matter
Even in a queue
Happiness is me and you

There may be days that you'll discover
I'm not the man you think I'm am
But through it all we will recover
Without the aid of any plan

When the weeks turn to hours
And in June it's April showers
I'll tell you something
I believe is true
Happiness is me and you
Happiness is me and you
Happiness is me and you

Monday, 26 May 2008

Even a frog may not be crucified

O my god, those Christians don't have a sense of humour: a sculpture of a crucified frog that went on show in a Bolzano (Italy) museum this weekend has sparked a backlash from local clerics and politicians who want the work removed. The metre-high work by late German artist Martin Kippenberger belongs to his Fred the Frog series and depicts a warty, pop-eyed amphibian nailed to a cross with a frothing mug of beer in one hand. "The crucified frog has shocked many visitors to the Museion and has hurt their religious feelings", local bishop Wilhelm Egger said. "Even if this was not the intention of the artist or the Museion, there is a law in place that says religious feelings should be respected. Today the symbols of Christian faith are often held in contempt, and an exhibition of works like this do not help to create peace between cultures and religions", he added.
I wish religious people would loosen up a little. After all, every religion is man-made.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It was a busy weekend. On Saturday I dragged RE to the city of Groningen to meet with CA and JC who just bought a new farmhouse - it is huge and nice. After our visit to CA and JC we went to see my brother and his family and finally we went to ERV and TK's place for our usual card playing get-together. A good day to see so many people and also to spend 5 hours with RE in the car and catch up in detail about each others' lifes.
Today I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - quite an entertaining movie with good quotes: "You fight like a young man; eager to start and quick to finish" and (Jones answering his ex-wife when she asked if he had other women after her): "yes, there were a few, but they all had the same problem: they weren't you."

Dima Bilan from Russia wins Eurovision Song Contest 2008

Russia continued the "revenge of the East" tradition of Eastern European countries winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Notice the camp dancer who is ice dance champion Yevgeny Plushenko.

Friday, 23 May 2008

A severe outbreak of orange fever

The Netherlands is experiencing a severe outbreak of a local disease called "orange fever". As every so often when the Dutch people have the vain hope that the national football team will win a big international tournament, local people are preparing for the European Championships to be held in Switzerland and Austria in June. Entire streets, mostly in poorer neighbourhoods, change to the national colour, orange. As long as the national team will do well, the entire country will be in party mood and few people will pay attention to work, family, friends and other stuff less important than football. And while the stock market was in negative territory today, beer stocks such as Heineken are doing well.

Travel advice: Gambia

Gay travellers to Gambia run a severe risk of being beheaded and should leave the country forthwith. Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has threatened to behead homosexuals and told a political rally that gay people had 24 hours to leave the country. He promised "stricter laws than Iran" on homosexuality and said he would "cut off the head" of any gay person found in The Gambia.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Small office irritants

I have been busier than ever at work - so many things going on and I am spending long hours in the office and working a little in the evenings and weekends. So my semi-retirement will have to wait even longer.
So it seems I will have to get used to small daily office irritants like these:
1. colleagues who don't give me a little time to settle in in the morning and approach me with questions the minute I arrive. I just want to switch on my computer, get myself a coffee and maybe go to the toilet, please give me 5 minutes, ok?
2. colleagues who don't keep a certain distance. Hey, we are just colleagues and we are not going to kiss, so why are you so close to me when we talk?
3. colleagues who don't flush the toilet after use. Gross.
4. colleagues who suddenly show up behind me and stare at my screen to see what I am doing. It is none of your business! (I have re-positioned my desk so this is no longer possible)
5. colleagues who tell long, uninteresting stories. Why do I have to suffer that they don't have any friends?

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Picked up by a woman

It had been a while, but today I think I was cruised by a woman. I had left my bike in a repair shop last week and went there to get it back. The lady (around 35, a bit butch but in a nice way) was very friendly and she explained in great detail what they had done to my bike (ignoring the people who were waiting) and insisted I come back in a few weeks' time to have the spokes adjusted. I don't know why she likes me - might have been my suit or the fact that I have a nice bike. (in normal countries women go for guys with nice cars, here in the Netherlands a nice bike will do) Anyway, when I was about to leave she said "make sure you come back on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday - those are the days I work here".
Biking home tonight I had to think about the first time I was picked up by a girl. I must have been 14 and we had a school party. There was this girl MJ - I liked her but was confused about what I wanted. At the end of the party (which was at MJ's parents' house) most guys were kissing a girl; I sat down in a quiet corner and MJ came and sat next to me. The family had a cat and MJ took the cat on her lap and started talking to the cat: "I think happyamsguy is a very sweet guy, don't you agree?" etc., etc., all to the cat. She put an arm around me but didn't dare to proceed. And I was too confused to move at all. At least these days I know very well how to handle women!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Enrique Iglesias has good taste - for men!

This is an example that shows that real straight men don't have a problem with gays. Thanks Enrique, you are great.

Good news from Cuba and California

Cuba's gay community celebrated unprecedented openness -- and high-ranking political alliances -- with a government-backed campaign against homophobia on Saturday. Cuba's Parliament is studying proposals to legalise same-sex unions and give gay couples the benefits that people in traditional marriages enjoy.
Around the same time, California's top court has ruled that a state law banning marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for California to become only the second US state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriage. The decision is expected to re-invigorate the fight for same-sex marriage rights nationwide, say gay activists and legal experts.
And also this weekend, there was a "kiss-in" at the Homomonument in Amsterdam.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Restaurant Graaf Bernstorff, Schiermonnikoog

We had a fabulous dinner in this restaurant on Saturday evening. We reserved the library of this great restaurant for our group and had a 4-course surprise dinner which was very, very good. The Spanish red wine was excellent, too, and most of us had enough to drink after the 4 1/2 hour dinner. I fear that the young pretty waitress was not so impressed with the attention that the straight men in our group were giving her. We had a (kind of serious) discussion about mid-life crises during the afternoon, and looking at their behaviour towards the waitress it seemed that some of the guys are seriously suffering from this illness.
The rest of the weekend was nice as well. As so often on the Wadden islands the weather was surprisingly good and we hiked and biked many hours. Good to catch up with the group.
In other news, MA managed to get tickets for our entire gang for the "Sticky and Sweet" Madonna concert in Amsterdam on September 2. Yeah!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Going to Schiermonnikoog

In a few hours I will be going to the island of Schiermonnikoog for our annual reunion of University friends. I rented a big house for the weekend - there will be 14 of us. The warm weather is no longer with us, after 12 days of hot summer weather the temperature is back to a more normal 18C. So it will be too cold for the beach and we will be spending our time hiking, biking, eating, drinking and talking.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Too much drama

While the rest of the country was at the beach as a result of the unusually nice weather, I went to the bars tonight. They blocked off the street so we all could stand outside and enjoy the balmy weather. It was IV's birthday and IV2 was also there and being too friendly to me. HE and CC ended their relationship and there was a lot of drama with HE being so sad and CC on purpose walking away with another guy - sometimes the gays are such children. TO from Japan / Moscow was also in town and it was nice to meet up with him. I just got an SMS in which he apologized for going back to his hotel alone - I had too much to drink anyway so no hard feelings. And when FR went to the toilet his boyfriend CH was in my pants with his hands (good title for a song: "In my pants with your hands".) Anyway, I had a great night out with the usual too many beers.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Why do I blog?

So why do I blog? Partially, I blog for others:
1) for people I know that I am sure that they read my blog because they post comments (sgboy, Colin, agent-X, DA in SF,....);
2) for those I know who tell me they read my blog;
3) for people I know who I suspect that they read my blog;
4) for people I don't know that have commented here that they have become regular readers;
5) for people who do a google search and end up on my blog (most popular searches: senior citizen porn, male prostitutes in Amsterdam, masturbation and 2 hour wanks,.....)
And partially, I blog for myself. I think it is cool that in 10 or 20 years time I can look back on my daily life. This week, my daily life was mostly work (too bloody busy in the office). Here are some pictures of my commute to work. Perhaps boring for you, but then again, in 2028 I hope they will remind me of my life back in 2008.

Ready for departure

Crossing the A10 Amsterdam ring road

Bike path next to Gooiseweg

Crossing the Amstel river

Apollolaan - Beethovenstraat crossing

Leaving Vondel Park

Arrived at the office

Friday, 9 May 2008

Singapore Airlines censors Little Britain

I read today on a Dutch gay website that SQ censors British comedy series "Little Britain" on its in-flight entertainment system: the only gay in the village has been cut out. I wonder if they also got rid of Maggie Blackamoor, the vomiting lady who is extremely racist? Or is SQ only homophobic and are passengers allowed to laugh about some good old racism?

Monday, 5 May 2008

Being in love

I read this great quote from American writer Ambrose Bierce: "Love: a temporary insanity curable by marriage". I had to laugh and while reflecting on the quote found it to be really true and to the point. Most of us know that being in love doesn't last forever, and the best way to bring it to a premature end is by spending lots of time with the subject of your desire. After all, nobody is sexy, funny, sweet and caring all the time, and if you spend day after day with your loved one you will soon find out that he can be boring, foul and unappetizing, too. So the best way to keep a love alive is to keep some distance. Quite true.
Mr. Bierce was a wise man. Here are some more quotes: (mostly from "The Devil's Dictionary")
"Christian: one who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin."
"Heathen: a benighten creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel."
"Pray: to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."
"Scriptures: the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based."
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Summer has arrived

Summer has arrived in Europe - here in Amsterdam it was 23C this weekend and the week ahead is forecasted to be sunny and warm, too. So I did my first serious bike trip today to the new Amsterdam suburb of IJburg. It has been (and still is) fascinating to see the construction of IJburg which is built on 7 artificial islands. The islands were constructed in the late 90's, the first buildings were completed in 2002 and currently more than 9,000 people already live in IJburg, growing to 30,000 in 2015. The architecture varies from terrible to quite nice, I can't understand why they are still building big square concrete blocks of apartments.

Am I into older guys?

It is 5:03am and I just got home from the bars. Tonight I met an ABC (american born chinese) who looks like 37 but is 53. I am really wondering now: why do I always hook up with my seniors these days? Is there a logical explanation?

Friday, 2 May 2008

Queen's Day and other parties

We had 2 public holidays here and today was MA's birthday so I have been partying a lot. I only went out from 3pm until 7pm on Queen's Day so it was all very decent. The gang came out and RE joined in full leather gear as he was going to a dress-code leather party later. The weather forecast was bad but in the end it turned out to be a nice afternoon so we had our usual street dance at Amstel.
Yesterday was Ascension Day so another public holiday. More drinking and hanging out with the gang in Soho. RA from Groningen was in town, he kind of shocked me by telling me he is 51 years old, I would have guessed he is no older than 35. He is so my type so it is a pity he is happily married and he and his husband are monogamous. (I think)
And tonight there was a small party at MA's place. Again I talked with RA and also with two Thai guys from Houston (friends of friends) who are more Texan than Thai. As PA said: "They have become very American and talk too much". Actually, I didn't mind talking with them.

Not all Lesbians are lesbians

Women from the Greek Island of Lesbos are unhappy that their place has been made famous by women who love women. Actually, reading this story carefully, it is a man who has problems with using the word "lesbians" for gay women. Perhaps Mr. Lambrou is gay himself. Straight men usually love to see lesbian women making out.