A-Ha

The A-Ha erlebnis:

Noun

Aha-Erlebnis n (genitiveAha-Erlebnissesplural Aha-Erlebnisse)

  1. (literally) an “ahaexperience“. An experience which gives a sudden insightsolution or answer to a problem that has troubled someone for some time.

(Apologies for the Wiktionary source,  even dictionary.com did not bring the word up.)

My lovely friend B sent me a really nice message with advice from a playwright she had met and passed it on to me.  Reading the words of encouragement, I realised that when it comes to writing I:

a) don’t really consider giving it up.

b) don’t worry about getting paid for it.

Let’s go a little Freud on this…

Point A . I just write a lot and always have. I mean I still  seem to have this need to write here, even though my brain is in actual pain trying to piece the Other Project together. (Hopefully  more on that on a later date.) But if I did not write experiences down here, I might well do this in a notebook by my bedside. (Ok, on the floor next to my airbed – you know what I mean.)  And maybe I do. I just don’t want to come across as that sad.

Point B. That surprised me. It really did. I usually worry about how to make money you see. I’m sure I still will as soon as… well the Other Other Thing that I will write about soon, has been and gone. For now though, life is pretty much chosen poverty and I can still eat so I’m not complaining. (What was that thing a very insightful someone once said: a non-working non-starving actress? Point made.)

Suddenly I understood what people meant with ” finding a way to get paid for something you love doing so that every paycheck is a bonus.” Between understanding a sentence and feeling a situation is a world of difference.

Step one is done: I have definitely found the thing I love.

Step two is just life in progress.

To be continued…

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

It’s our Queen’s unofficial but real birthday today! Hoorah! She is one of the eldest reigning monarchs the Dutch ever had and apart from, or thanks to, an unchanging hair-do the past 31 years she’s still  going strong. As the whispers for her son to become king are becoming louder ( our monarch is allowed to abdicate and enjoy the quiet life in the country)  I believe this is only because we would see his cute little girls more often. Leave those girls out of the spotlight for as long as possible: Happy birthday Your Majesty, hope you have a lovely day!

 

Sweet Dreams

Trip down memory lane… Don’t ask me why I got to think of this tonight: about ten years ago during very dramatic and confusing nights (and no, tonight was not one of those; quite the opposite, perhaps that is why…) I would lie on the living room floor listening to songs. I am sure I don’t have to explain or apologise for my terrible taste in music any longer, we have covered that ground and what can I say: I was a late 90s kid, we got screwed.

As the hours ticked by and life just seemed too overwhelming, I would just lie there and listen. Putting on terrible song after terrible song. Sometimes the terrible songs would evolve into other songs: CD’s would be replaced with LP’s. Classic songs, gospel songs – it’s funny what happens in the still of the night when it’s just you…

As this blog is not therapy I won’t bother you with the details, but this is a sweet version of one of the songs  to wish you a good night:

Friday riddle

Yes it is that time of the year again: Valentine’s day, the day of love is upon us. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from a well-known department store trying to sell me this for my (non existing) man:

As it is Friday (you are reading this – stop pretending to do work) just contemplate a moment about how and where exactly a man can work this.  I had to look it up but you’ll be surprised how easy this is… You can scroll down for the answer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: ¡ʇɥƃnoɥʇ ɔıʇuɐɯoɹ ʎןǝʌoן ɐ ʇɐɥʍ ˙ɹǝddǝd sı ʇɥƃıɹ puɐ ʇןɐs sı ʇɟǝן  :ʇı ɯoɹɟ ןןıds ןןıʍ ƃuıɥʇou puɐ ǝןʇʇıן ɐ ǝpıs ǝɥʇ oʇ ɯǝɥʇ dıʇ ʇsnɾ noʎ ¡ǝsɹnoɔ ɟo uǝɥɔʇıʞ ǝɥʇ uı

To be an Empress… one day.

When  I was younger (not that much younger – just a little bit) I wanted to become Empress of The World.  I wrote about this before, and I recently got reminded again by my arrogant cousin (note: not the one in the previous blog, I have many cousins – my grandmother’s generation were Catholics…) who unknown to me was apparently planning to do the same. Must run in the family.

My career plan up til then looked like this: baker, doctor of non description, gynaecologist, actress… and Empress of the World kind of seem to be a logical follow-up.

How I would become Empress of the World was not really an issue. There was never really a time line: when I thought of this ambition 25, let alone 26 *gasp* was not on my radar. It wouldn’t be. Twenty, which was a mere four years away, seemed a different generation. (That’s when you had moved out and had become a real adult –  haha, no such thing.)

Thinking about the idea now, becoming an Empress should be more of a long-term project. The title in itself lends itself to a more mature woman anyway. Let’s face it, even young Padme Amidala is a Queen and she gave birth to galaxy saving offspring.  Yes, becoming an empress is definitely something to achieve later in life:

I mean, you’d have to wear beautiful shoes and dress for any kind of weather. You would know the roads in all kinds of random places in the world. You would have the patience for yoga and meditation and be in better shape than some twenty-somethings. You would remember your loved ones’ birthdays and send them a card that arrives on time.  You would slide into local customs as if they were your own and eat chickenfeet without batting an eyelid. You would be able to speak the same way to the Pope as to a kindergarten teacher and remember their names and their interests. You would wear make-up that compliments your face and take it off every night before you go to bed. You’d drink 1.5 liters of water a day and only two glasses of alcohol during one evening (but you could down a shot like the rest of them.) You could cook a gourmet meal out of the left-overs in your cupboard. You’d wear Chanel No. 5 . You would be friendly but not suffer fools gladly. You would have a handbag that at all times contained: mints, a pen and a tiny notebook, paracetamol, some change and a packet of tissues. Children would automatically love you. You would keep the plants in your garden or home alive. You would have a library in your home and a comfy sofa before an open fire at safe distance. You would have a popcorn-maker. You would humour but appreciate the ambition of the young and try to give them a head-start, and you would have forgiven those who could not see that far – a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.

What’s the story…

Forgive me if my updates seem somewhat slow, I am also working on another project at the moment that is frying my brain during the day.

So I am about to watch the Big Lebowski. I have very high hopes for the Coen brothers rendition of True Grit (to the point where I’m asking my sister whether it is out yet about 3 times a week. It is not. Until February.) Then I realised that I have never seen the film that christened Jeff Bridges The Dude.

Of course there are a lot of films I haven’t seen (Annie Hall – still on the list) and with the Oscar nominations coming out yesterday I wondered what makes a good film? So I looked at the list of nominees and though I haven’t seen them all, here’s my humble opinion.

Inception I saw twice. Picked up different things the second time. I liked it, it takes a relatively complex concept and turns it into a piece of accessible entertainment. Some will say the film simplifies the concept too much but even then the special effects are amazing and support the story not compensate it.

I also liked The Kids Are Alright. Pretty simple story again but with a twist because it now involves a lesbian couple. That’s why this simple story works, because it is a variation without making a big deal about a gay couple. Gay people are normal people, their relationships have similar ups and downs as straight relationships. Grand, and it was funny too.

The King’s Speech did similar, it focussed on the relationships between the characters and the big events of the time (abdication, WW II) are merely used as a backdrop. This made the story more human and interesting. (We already know about the big events.)

Toy Story 3 – cute but I’m not sure if it should win. The main reason why it was good was the recognition of the struggle between ‘sticking together to the old.’ and  ‘having to move on’ . Also a great example how a good children’s film has many layers that adults can enjoy too.

I haven’t seen The Swan, The Fighter, The Social Network, 127 Hours or Winters Bone yet. (Oh and True Grit obviously) so I cannot really comment on those.

It is true that all stories have been told but the audience needs to be able to relate to it without getting the feeling that they have already seen it. So we need added creativity and suspense so people are surprised and impressed. Be memorable.

It is that easy 😉

Come on everyone be happy

It is a cruel cold world out there this Monday –  a row over sexism comments in football ,  suicide bombers on the metros in Moscow, Dutch man on trial for murder, carers who eat the food meant for patients … Today is officially Blue Monday.

No wonder that some visionaries have started Action for Happiness. This group aims to change society’s outlook and priorities to make the world a happier place. They want to achieve a shift in culture: no longer should we pursue the rat-race, aim for more and better material things in life.

Funnily enough, Lord Layard (one of the founding members of this group) is actually a professor in Economics. He specialises in the topics like unemployment and education. He is convinced that the ultimate aim of public policy should be to make people happier.

Happiness should affect everything not just our individual lives, but how we build our homes, how we act in our work places, amongst our communities and how we teach in our schools.

I could be cynical about this, it is very convenient when unemployment is soaring and let’s face it happiness is not going to pay the electricity bill or any other bill for that matter. Then again, nor is unhappiness.  So let’s play along, the BBC got on the bandwagon and it challenging you to join the happiness movement.

For those who cannot be asked to download the PDF – here the short cut:

Be Mindful. Be Grateful. Be Kind.

Simple? Yes because it is. Happiness is basic, it is the only thing  worth pursuing when you strip all the other things away: wealth, power, romance.

In the BBC challenge under Be Mindful, they suggest you meditate for ten minutes a day. I am not a big fan of meditation especially when you are forced to do this and like yoga it is all too arty for me. Ten minutes of doing nothing, just enjoying doing nothing – that I can appreciate.  No stress about having to achieve something. Just sitting around, day dreaming.

Be Grateful, they suggest you write down three good things that happened in your day. Why don’t we start with one… A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I played this game: “What was the best part of your day.” just before we went to sleep. One rule only: you are not allowed to say Now! The challenge also suggests you write a letter to someone you are grateful for. I suggest you write a postcard (much brighter and easier to fill) to a friend you haven’t spoken to. E-cards don’t count – you lazy people.

Be Kind. Do we need to go into this? The BBC gives you a list of suggestion, in case all the cynical cells in your body have eroded any trace of common courtesy.

I leave you with this, hope it makes you a little happier today. ( Unless you don’t like Rufus, in which case… ah well, keep on smiling!)