Monday, September 30, 2013

Malfunction

Things have been going a little weird since I'm back. Everything feels quite natural and that's good. But there have been talks and things have been said and I'm not sure what I think about all that. So I don't really know what to do. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy the vacation and the 4 days off I have with Michael. No use in fighting and ruining our relax time. 

I'm leaving it in limbo for now.

We've bought 2 little bookcases for only 15 dollars! It's very nice dark wood, I'll take a picture!

At first we bought one, to put besides my side of the bed. I constantly have to put my water bottles and phone on the floor, it's a little inconvenient. When we saw how good the quality for the price was, we decided to put it on the living room instead. But when putting it together, Michael accidentally put the bottom plank upside down. And the bottom of the plank is light brown instead of dark brown. Unfortunately  he already hammered the nails in there so there was no repairing it. Or, as he himself said: High Risk, Low Reward.

Thus we bought another one for the living room, and put the failed bookcase in the bedroom where noone will see it but us. 

Next, we had the problem of not having a dinner table and chairs. I myself value dinner at a table with the tv off, highly. It's very important to me. Dinner time is the time where you sit with each other or your family and have a little quality time. Sitting on a couch with your plate in your lap, looking at the tv, does not qualify as quality time to me. So we were hunting for a good deal on a dining set.

We visited a lot of places but in the end settled a table in Walmart and separate chairs in Walmart.
There was a mix up though, which resulted in us getting only one set of chairs for the price presented. The other set we would have to buy for 30 dollars more. Yeah... that's not going to happen. So we bought one set. We will go back today, to see if the lady was right or if the offer is still going and buy another set. If we can't get another set, we will bring the chairs we already bought back and search for something else. Michael doesn't mind having 2 nice chairs and then buying 2 uglier ones, but that's a no-go for me. You just CAN'T have 4 chairs at a dinner table that don't match.

So we'll see! I'll let you know if we manage to get the pretty chairs. 

God I even bore myself with this blog, my apologies. Homely things going on here, and they aren't always interesting.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Flying overseas


Today is Sunday. I arrived Friday evening in Jacksonville. Unfortunately Michael got stuck in traffic, so he picked me up late. There I was sitting outside with my luggage, waiting for 40 minutes. It was a bit anti climatic to be honest.

The flight itself was alright. I was flying with United Airlines, I have to say it's a bit of a budget airline compared to Delta and US airways. It has tiny tv screens, really tiny. And instead of what Delta had - choosing your own film from hundreds of options at any time you wish - it had 4 channels playing movies that started automatically. So before I realised that, all movies had already started. Sad panda!


The meal United Airways offered was, unlike US and Delta, meat only. The other 2 airlines both had a vegetarian choice but United did not. Now, it's good that I never take the risk and always call to make sure they have a vegetarian meal for me. Michael even tried to talk me out of it this time, claiming they always had a veggie option anyways. But I insisted! So they did have a vegetarian option for me, but it wasn't bound to my name. They just had it in the cart, and had no clue who it was for. So when I mentioned I was vegetarian, they gave it to me. But it could have been possible that another vegetarian who's turn it was before mine, and didn't tell them in advance they were vegetarian, could have sniped my meal!

And as for the snack that they gave 2 hours before landing, they did not have a vegetarian option. But - and this gets United Airlines style points - they then went to first class and got me a tiny plate with 3 delicious fresh cheeses, fresh grapes and 2 crackers to eat it with. Talk about luxurious! So that kind of made up for it.

The domestic flight to Jacksonville had me a little stressed at start. There was this relatively old (70?) asian/american lady in MY SPOT. She was in my SPOT. My spot that I picked out months in advance with extra care. So I showed her she was sitting in my seat, but she was really vague and weird about it. Then she suddenly got up, left all her stuff there and did something at the front of the airplane. I was so confused. So I asked the lady next to her what the heck was going on and that I didn't understand why she was in my spot. That lady told me she thought the seat directly next to it (also an aisle seat, same row) was her actual seat. I then sat there, but I was stressed out that someone would come along and tell me it's their seat. The old asian lady came back and I decided to just stay put and hope for the best.

Then this guy in a suit starts asking people if their seat is 14d (the seat I was sitting on, the asian lady was sitting on 14c - my spot - ). Which makes me panic ofcourse, here is a guy going to steal my not mine seat. But apparently he was from the airline, and the old lady had lost her original ticket and they found it. I pointed them towards her. She then also realised she was in the wrong seat and offered to change with me. By now I had already accepted the loss of it, so I told her it didn't matter and she could stay there.

Isn't that noble of me? :D

layover in Washington

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A simple update

Tomorrow I will leave for a vacation to see Michael. I will return the 14th of October. It's about time to see eachother again! Almost 5 months we have been apart, only having skype and online chats to keep in touch. For a little more than 2 weeks we can catch up and have lot's of huggles. Michael will have to keep working, so it won't be optimal, but seeing eachother every morning and every night in real life will be so much better.

It's also looking like the visa thing is well on it's way. I have submitted the first forms to the consulate in Amsterdam. The next step requires me to collect data, like a birth certificate, a form of good conduct and evidence of our ongoing relationship. When I have all of the forms I will need to send another  form saying I have everything. Then I need to get a medical exam at their doctor, and once that is in order they will schedule an interview.

Back to packing now. Almost done. I'm bringing a lot of stuff for the emigration already. My cooking knife set, the wii, my jewellery equipment and my paints + miniatures.

Gotta look forward!

ps. Let's hope I don't die. I have once again chosen the optimal seats and taken precautions! I WILL SURVIVE.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good news

*UPDATE! The morning after I wrote this update I got a wonderful envelope in the mail!


It's so exciting and awesome!! Having that letter in my hands makes it all feel so close and real.

****************************************

Good news! The application to apply for the visa has been approved! So we are now officially allowed to apply for a visa. Yes you read that right. Apparently it's this thing called bureacracy. Such an efficient and well oiled machine.

I was afraid the approval of the application would take ages and set us back. But we got lucky. It got done way faster than the worst case scenario.
However, when I gave the Christmas estimate, I hadn't taken into account the time this step would have taken. So even though we got approved fast, my personal estimation of when I would get a visa, now has been adjusted to January. And I don't know if things slow down during the holiday season. If they do, perhaps begin February.
But still, finally some progress, a step in the right direction. Little steps, but steps nonetheless.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wetter by weather

Just the other day I was wondering how funny it is that Dutch people are always toting around their jackets. Even on lovely warm summer days. Because here in the temperate climate, the weather is unreliable. The morning dew drops might sparkle and burn away in the rising sun, but after a day of work the clouds will have creeped in and are pouring themselves out right when you go home.
And as such, we have trained ourselves to always have a jacket with us.

A record breaking drought that's been going on for weeks? Doesn't matter, jacket.

On vacation in Egypt? Doesn't matter, jacket.

Travelling by car to an inside destination? Doesn't matter! Jacket!

It's simply the norm, one always has a jacket with them. Some tie it around their waist, stuff it in their bag, hang it over their arms or just dump it on the ground in a corner. Because not having a jacket means you could be cold at some point. And then you'll regret it, wistfully thinking of the coat you left at home.

Me and a friend wearing our
sweaters around our waist during a hike.

You might be utterly convinced, that the heatwave that has been torturing our country and makes you melt like butter in a desert, will surely keep you warm enough at night. It might, but then it rains. Now you are wet. Now the wind will start blowing. Now you are cold. If only you had your... jacket.

When I am in Florida, or Alabama for that matter (because that's where I spent the majority of my time with Michael) I always carry a sweater around. At the start I actually brought my jacket to places. But Michael soon taught me the weather in the South is quite predictable, and to be honest,  is Florida EVER cold enough for a jacket?

But I have to bring back-up clothing to keep me warm and/or dry no matter what. I am simply unable to go out in the "wild" without AT LEAST a sweater. If I don't bring one, my whole day will be one of regret. The air-conditioned shops and buildings are often a tad too cold for me. Having a sweater with me, gives me the option, the possibility, to do something about that. Would I have left my warmer clothing at home, I'd be wishing for it the whole time through. Being absolutely sure that I would most definitely be more comfortable if I had an extra piece of clothing.

So I was wondering this the other day. Then 2 days ago, I had my coat with me like always. Even though the weather has been incredible lovely the last 4 days, and not a drop of rain had fallen. All days my coat has been with me at all times, and not once had it been used. Not even at night.

As it was however, I got onto my bike and 3 minutes in, thunder erupted in the skies, echoing on all the buildings around me. Loud and close by. Then a silence, like the world is inhaling. For a few seconds the earth seems to be waiting. And then, the rain came down like a waterfall in spring. Interspersed with hail. So intense that the water was obscuring my vision and I was wiping furiously at my eyes to try and see anything. Now you are thinking, WOW, good thing Doni had her jacket with her!

All that carrying around my jacket and then when it finally rains, I get to actually use it. Reward myself for being so diligent about it.

Well.

I cycled in that almost tropical storm for 15 minutes - which was actually fun! - and by the time I got to work I was soaked through and through. My shoes were wet. Socks were wet. My pants seemed to be a darker shade green, so wet were there. And my jacket? The rain was so bad my jacket was completely saturated with water, and my shirt underneath even got wet THROUGH my coat. Water was forming puddles at my feet.

Good thing I had that jacket. I wouldn't have wanted to get wet. Wait what?
Oh right...





Sunday, September 1, 2013

A low quality wrap

I had been pondering it for a while actually. If you never experiment with it, how will you know if you can do it? Ofcourse it seemed ridiculous, I was actually laughing at myself before I had even made the attempt. But what if you have a talent, but never managed to discover it. Your whole life you would be thinking you were average, good at nothing, while there was this gleaming pearl hidden inside of you waiting to be discovered. These thoughts cross my mind often, together with the "what if we have superpowers" thoughts.
However, even if this one thing would be a thing I'd excel at, it would be problematic. And did I really want to disappoint myself by trying something I knew was silly? Probably weeks passed while I tossed the idea back and forth in my head. Thinking how well it worked for Amy from Karmin. Why not for me. 


I've always been someone who acts on an idea, instead of letting it sit and wither away. So I would act. I would try. I would rap.

The song would be vital. That could make or break my determination and assessment of my skill. It should be something easy and a rap that didn't go too fast. Preferably a song I actually liked, because I'm not a fan of actual rap. It just sounds terrible to me. In fact, I don't like rapping at all. But the decision has been made, and will be stuck to.

Keeping my experiment a secret, I made the decision alone. It was to be Gold Dust from DJ Fresh. While cycling it popped up a couple of times on my mp3 player and it had a nice beat to it. The one rapping was a woman, or at least sounded like one and didn't go too fast for me to be able to keep up.

On a night that I had to myself, I sat myself down in front of my laptop and found a good YouTube video with lyrics to the song. Listening to it twice, I had a grasp on the lyrics and the rhythm of the song. I would refrain from doing the singing parts and focus only on the rap.Right before the first rap verse I would pause, reread the lyrics, unpause, and launched myself in what was my very first rap attempt. I stumbled over the words and made up them up in places where I got confused, but I doggedly continued. Not one to give up I restarted the song and dived into it again. About 4 replays later I felt I could rap it without tripping over my tongue too much.

It went well and sounded good to me. I excitedly double clicked the voice recorder of Windows. Would I be a small white girl rap wonder? Was this to be my moment? 

Angelic. 

That is the only way how I could describe my rap result. I sounded like a little angel harmonically rapping. And it was WRONG. So very wrong on so many levels. Like having Captain Jean-Luc Picard wielding a lightsaber while riding a unicorn fighting off Magneto or imagining Snooki as a virgin. 

It was too strange to hear such a girly angel like voice trying to rap a song that's supposed to sound cool and edgy. I was at that moment, the uncoolest kid in town. If I'd been in highschool I would have been bullied forever.


There was no shame though, I was laughing my ass off. I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Michael HAD to hear this. The next day I told him about my failed attempt and that I wanted him to experience it. Because words can't describe Doni rapping. It's a real treat. Ofcourse he told me he reserved the right to turn off the video or cut me off if the rap turned out to be too embarrassing for him to witness. Trying not to laugh myself to bits while rapping I gave Michael a short one verse rap, as to not tax his poor state of mind. 

He politely agreed I did not have the right voice for rapping. That it did sound quite a bit too angelic. You, dear sir, are far too kind. Sjalien too, was very subtle when I showed off my amazing rap skills. "Perhaps you should stick to singing". Perhaps I will Sjalien, perhaps I will!


This is only funny for people who have played Diablo 3! All others, scram, you won't get it! 


Then we started to play Diablo3. We had played for a good 30 minutes when we entered a cave, and I suddenly saw Michael's character running back out the cave. I asked him what he was doing, but he didn't answer.
One minute later he came back in the cave and typed; Tonight you gave me a Low Quality Wrap.

Get it? A low quality wrap? It's FUNNY!

He actually saw the item lying on the floor, flashed back to my poor rap performance 30 minutes before, thought of this brilliant and funny joke, ran back to get it and pasted it to me. There was the Michael I know! I was perhaps slightly insulted at the moment, but for days after I have laughed at his joke. So much laughing that I decided I had to dedicate a blog update to it to honour it.

Nothing is better than to laugh at yourself.