Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesdayblog. My 'dutch top 2000' list versus my "real" list.

Since 10 years in The Netherlands there's a yearly top 2000. It started in 1999 as best of songlist for the turn of the year 2.000. It was such a big hit that it is repeated year after year. The complete 2007 list is on my MP3 player. To be honest I hardly ever listen to it because it's too much, too overwhelming.
This year I made for the first time my own list. Quick. Intuitive. Not thinking. Voting for the songs that came first into my mind. Above is my list compared to the "general"  list of year 2009. Observation. I prefer woman singing. 50% oldies and 50% more recent. My choises are not very popular.

Why am I sharing all this to you? The above list of me (JeanD99) is not representative for what I am listening to since I found BLIP-FM via Twitter. If I have to make my "real" list it would be this:

Observation. This list is much longer (22 compared to 6). Still mostly woman. Only song that appears on both lists: Beatles/ Something. Kate Bush with two different songs. Only 1 dutch song (Eva de Roovere). Mostly portugese/ brasilian music. My choises are not mainstream dutch.
Biggest difference for me between two lists is the fact that I choose "relevant" music for the dutch top 2000. Ana Carolina, Marisa Monte and other portugese/ brasilian music is non-existent for dutch ears. Never (really?) any song of any of them on the dutch radio. I could have voted for my real list but it would have been senseless.  E isso ai.

P.s. Search or scroll yourselves? Dutch top 2000 songs. Download list 10 years (1999-2009): artist, title and listposition. Format XLS
P.s.s. Listen to my favourites? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bookreview Kawakami 'The teachers briefcase'. Lovestory: slowly as a river is fed by water in the yearly seasons

Finished reading Kawakami's book 'The Teacher’s Briefcase' (in dutch 'De tas van de leraar'). Never read a japanese novel before but if this is representative for japanese literature I'm interested. Lovely and slowly moving book. Slowly as a river is fed by water in the yearly seasons. 37-year-old office worker Tsukiko mets her former highschool teacher ('sensei' in japanese) in a pub. Sensei tells Tsukiko that he had seen her a few times before.  She had not seen him.

Slowly. Very slowly they fall in love. Mostly meeting by accident. They let time pass by in bars and restaurants.  Sometimes eating alone. Mostly eating together. Watch people.  Silence. Lots of silence. After a while she realises she is in love with Sensei. She tells him. He doesn't really respond - as readers we don't know why. She falls asleep in his arms. Tired. Very tired.

Distance. Tsukiko takes care that they don't meet by accident for months. One night she enters their favourite pub/ restaurant again, finding out that Sensei is sick. She goes to his home telling "nothing". He is "silent" as well. After a couple of days (weeks?) Sensei calls on the phone. They agree to meet again. They meet. Sensei proposes to have a "real love relation". Tsukiko agrees. After quite some time - Sensei is hesitating because he hadn't made love for a long time - they make love. Finally.

P.s. I wrote about this book before. Interested? Read this.
P.s.s. Bookreview by Janet Ashby.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Postponed encounter

This morning I opened for the first time Hiromo Kawakami's book 'The Teacher’s Briefcase' (in dutch 'De tas van de leraar'). Did not open it before. It was patiently waiting for me  in my study as a little treasure.  I postponed my encouter.

Read first and last page of the book - as always. Aaaaaaah ... that's what I like and love to read. Last two sentences (translation @JeanD99): "On nights like this I open Senseis briefcase to peek in it. An absolute emptiness yawns at me. There is nothing but the desperate, gaping void." Aren't we all surrounded by books, things, dreams and so much more of the ones we love(d)? To be continued ...

99 names we all are very familiar with

Read this long list! Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Sovereign, Most Perfect, Source of Peace and Safety, Granter of Security, Guardian. Still there? Self Sufficient, Irresistible, Tremendous, Creator,  Rightful, Fashioner of Forms, Ever Forgiving, All Compelling Subduer, Bestower, Ever Providing, Opener, All Knowing, Straightener, Munificent, Abaser, Exalter, Giver of Honour, Giver of Dishonour, All Hearing, All Seeing, Arbitrator, Utterly Just, Gentle, All Aware, Forbearing, Magnificent, All Forgiving, Grateful, Sublimely Exalted, Great, Preserver, Nourisher, Bringer of Judgment, Majestic, Generous, Watchful, Responsive, Vast. Patience :) we are almost halfway. Wise, Loving, All Glorious, Raiser of The Dead, Witness, Real, Dependable, Strong, Steadfast, Protecting Friend, All Praiseworthy, Accounter, Originator, Restorer, Giver of Life, Bringer of Death, Ever Living, Self Subsisting Provider of All, Finder, Illustrious, One, Unique, Eternal, All Able, Dominant, Expediter, Delayer, First, Last, Manifest, Hidden, Patron, Self Exalted, Most Kind, Ever Returning, Avenger, Pardoner, Compassionate, Owner of All Sovereignty, Generosity, Equitable, Gatherer, All Rich, Enricher. Only 9 left! Defender, Harmer, Benefactor, One Who Creates the Light, Guide, Incomparable, Ever Enduring, Heir, Infallible Teacher and Knower, Timeless.

Sounds familiar these names don't they? It's the names we give our lover when we are fallen-in-love or are in love. The sweet and sour of love - it's not always perfect. Just pick a random lovesong and I bet you'll find a name in the above list of 99 that resembles it.

The funny thing about the 99 names is that they don't point at our lover. They point at the 99 names of Allah. Allah? Yep, the mono-theistic God of the Muslims. Strange isn't it? I'm personally convinced that the names of JWH, God and Allah are not given to humanity by Him via a holy book but are given by human messengers to Him. Given to Him. Not the other way around. Messengers, messiahs or profets who gave their mono-theistic God names they were familiar with by personal experience. It's the experience all 'homo sapiens' share and know about by personal experience when we are fallen-in-love.

Nothing can compete to fallen-in-love. Lover = God = One. 1 step further, nothing can compete to a distant and unreachable Love. Question: is there something that can?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Observation KaDeWe

Berlin march 2009. My wife and I spend a long weekend in Berlin. Sightseeing and shopping. After shopping for a few hours in KaDeWe we went to the restaurant in the top of the building for someting to eat. 2 cafe latte macchiatto, 1 soup (for me), 2 sandwiches and 2 coleslaw. Alltogether almost EUR 30. "Pfff , pretty expensive here", I told my wife. We sat on a table near (5 meters?) the cash desk. Small talk. Observe people. Enjoying our lunch.
A family of 6 at the cash desk. Man, wife, 3 kids and an older lady. He: nice elegant  long man 40-50 years old in a grey business suite. She: very beautiful  elegant woman with long dark hair 35-45 years old. Kids: girl 10, boy 8, girl 6. Older lady: her mum. I observed this succesful and beautiful family. Asking myself: diplomat family from France? Is the older lady her mum or is she a south-american nanny? The way they talked  and looked to eachother and the kids convinced me it was her mum.
I couldn't hear him talking to the cashdesk lady. I only saw that he was not content. It was pretty bizzy and noisy in the restaurant. I only saw him talking and couldn't hear his voice. Was he talking German or English? With an French or Spanish accent? I can't tell because I couldn't hear his voice. This beautiful family had 2 trays loaded with french frites, steaks, coca cola and sandwiches. She had to pay the bill. I saw a few minutes before that he gave to her 2  EUR 20 notes. Was that all she had? Didn't she have a wallet herself? More noise from him. More not being content signs with his hands and eyes. The cashdesk lady had to recount the items on the bill. 2 minutes passed. The sum seemed the same. He got very angry. He signalled to her, "let's go!" The youngest girl was just nipping on her coca cola. There they went with the 6 of them. As little ducks following their mum they went downstairs stepping behind him. He with his head in the sky and full of selfconfidence. Or was it only a mask? The cashdesk lady was in shock and giggled to her colleague. The loaded trays abandoned.

I couldn't keep my eyes off all this. It's was just too beautiful. In retrospect ofcourse. Still puzzling where the family came from. Still puzzling why they didn't pay the bill - just like me. Lack of money? Cultural differences? Shattered expectations?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stick to Epicurus' concepts

Sometimes I feel as if I throw away my life. Once in a while I feel so without dedication, ambition and drive to be the best in whatever. There's no need, voice, or demon in me that tells me: climb the mount Everest, become next years gliderchampion, write a book or write an article about Old Egypt's concept on happiness.

I always stick to Epicurus' (341 - 270 BC) concepts "Live hidden and stay away from politics" and "The cry of the flesh bids us escape from hunger, thirst, and cold; for he who is free of these and expects to remain so might live in happiness even with Zeus." All the rest is vanity.

Am I too dutch to feel an expert in nothing? Am I really excelling in nothing? K. Anders Ericsson tells  us that excellation is above all more than 10.000 hours of transpiration. The key to excel in anything or to become an expert  is above all transpiration. Not 1 hour or 1 month but at least 6 years and 3 months.

What did I do with my life? In which subjects did I invest more than 10.000 hours?
  • Books. I must have read thousands of books. To be honest all I learned from them is that I know "nothing". There's is so much more to read, to discover and to experiment. When I read a book I always discover thousands of things and details I never thought of before. Details that shift my opinions, judgements, prejudices and assumptions. It's like a floating river. Never solid ground.
  • Lover, husband and father. Being loved and loving. It's what 'homo sapiens' all share. We all know by personal experience all about "love". To be more precise it's the foundation under our species' procreation. It's the reason why I was born and the reason that my four kids were born. And I hope it's the reason that my grandchildren (till eternity) will be born one day too.
  • Let time pass by. Above all I am an expert on just doing "nothing". To read a little, to dream a little, to write a little, to tweet a little, to blog a little, to blip a little, to look out of the window a little,  to smell a little, to think of you ... a little. Nothing more and nothing less.
When I am dead all the above, all ones ability to live ones life, all the "knowledge" and "wisdom" will fade away. Blown away with the wind.

Question: where did you invest more than 10.000 hours in?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


On days like this I miss most:
* Eyes - your eyes ofcourse
* Drinking hot choclate with the two of us
* Your mouth and tonque everywhere
* Write with you a poem in our bed
* See you smile
* Your smell & my nose in your hair
* Fact that the amount of days like this rapidly decrease

Friday, December 11, 2009

Interested in Dulce M Cardoso. Just because of 1 sentence

Sometimes I read a book just because of 1 sentence. Sometimes I’m interested in a writer because of just 1 line he/ she wrote. Right now I’m fascinated on Dulce Maria Cardoso. I read last week a review about her new book ‘Os meus Sentimentos’ (dutch ‘Violeta en de engelen’). The strange thing is I don't want to read this book. It’s about a very fat lady who looks back on her life while dying after a car accident. It’s about the dishonesty and cruelty in which “we” treat other human beings who are “ugly” & how they feel themselves. Well … ‘e isso ai’. For me no reason to read this book. I’m not interested in the subject.

I’m fascinated in the writer Cardoso because she said “I love just let time pass by” (dutch “ze houdt ervan haar tijd zo’n beetje te verdoen”). That is exactly how life feels for me. Just read a little, write a little, tweet a little, look out the window a little, watch a movie a little, think of you a little … just let time pass by. Not because I’m bored or not interested but because that’s what I like best. I don’t have to climb the mount Everest. I’m not interested to become next years gliderchampion. I just love to breath in and breath out. Listen to my own thoughts. Let the flow of my life float.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lost world: the smell of woodfire

The world is full of little treasures. The world is full of lost worlds. If - and only if - we take the time to take a closer look. I descent from a family of farmers. My grandfather was a farmer. My grandgrandfather was a farmer. My father was the first one who broke the line. I descent from a christian family. My father is a christian. My grand(grand)father was a christian. I'm the first one who broke the line. I remember sitting alone with my daddies mum in the old kitchen of her. Silence. The clock tapping. The smell of woodfire. The smell of food on the stove. Jesus on a cross.

The smell of wood and the yearly routine of christians. It's lost for me. Ofcourse there is Christmas and ofcourse I light a big woodfire a few times a year but the necessity is lost. For my daddies mum it was just the way it was - without realising it - day in day out, year in year out. Wood had to be cut into pieces to light up the stove for warmth and cooking food. Going to church 4 or 5 times a week to celebrate her inner belief.

The world of woodfire is lost for me. Gather wood. Store up cut wood. Store up the twigs. Dry and wet wood. Wood of pine, oak, birch or aspen. How to light up a fire in an stove. How long a piece of oak or aspen burns. The smell of wood when it's wet. The light pinewood gives. How to regulate the stove for cooking. And ... - there must be more hidden treasures in the world of woodfire?

I like to take a walk in the fall and winter. Pass old houses where a woodfire burns. Mostly remembering my daddies mum and the world that went with her death.

P.s. I was talking about my fathers side of my family but the story is exactly the same for my mothers side.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's your amount of being a stoic? Or on the stupidness of the #red tag.

I am always very afraid for 'Democrats' and other mono-theistic believers. Remember the #red tag of yesterday on Twitter for World AIDS Day? Still remember it or already lost it in a cloud of tweets? I considered the #red tag as stupid! It's fake and words only! I always get shivers for "movements" like this. It's too mono-theistic. Two weeks ago I wrote about 'Democray as a mono-theistic religion'. I'm not afraid for democrats - I consider myself as one too. I'm not afraid for discussions - I love to. I'm afraid for democrats who see their belief as the One and Only. What I'm most afraid of is the fact that they don't want to talk or discuss about their belief. They don't really want to discuss. For them it's not a belief. For them it's the One and Only way of life that does Right to all human beings. They simply can't imagine that not everyone shares their fair, honest, right, sincere, human and down to earth point of view.

To be more precise I'm afraid for democrats who see their belief as God = Democracy. I'm afraid for the stoic kind of democrats. The ones who say "All or Nothing". Read the quote below. After reading it you will find out that I'm an epicurean. I belief in the little and in small steps. The strange thing is I'm a mixture sometimes. Sometimes I'm in an "all or nothing" state of mind too. Well that must me the epicurean in me too. What about you? What is your amount of being a stoic (All or Nothing) or epicurean (step by step)? Did you test your future/ present partner on it?

P.s. If you can smile :) on this week's blog you are my friend. If you can't or feel like sending me hate mail -you will be my friend as well- than consider this blog as your mirror and please check your amount of being too stoic.

"Some thoughts about the Stoics and the Epicurean
Who are nowadays the Stoics and the Epicurean? How can you recognize them? What do they look like? That isn’t hard at all. A stoic is an individual who obstinately beliefs in his moral mission: a mission he has to fulfil. He always is in need of a Great Plan that gives his life meaning, but in fear that it will actually be fulfilled, he chooses a very difficult, probably not fulfillable plan, that above all can not be fulfilled by normal human beings. What counts is to suffer in name of something that has moral meaning.
Everybody who believes in the one, eternal, indissolubable Great Love is a stoic. It is clear that they will never find that, but that doesn’t keeps them from furiously searching for it without compromising. There motto is: ‘Everything or Nothing’.
Christians, real christians are stoics. There final destination is Paradise and they will reach that by purification of the body and elevation of the soul. Their favourite slogans: ‘We are born to suffer’ and ‘The first will be the last’. Marxist are stoics: their destination is Justice for All, without any exception. They are also confronted with a destination that will not be fulfilled on short term: the Sun of the Future, the word tells it all, will be catched in Future. In expectation of it revolutions, dictatorship of the proletariat and other equally difficult phases are on the program.
Marco Panella is a stoic: he wants above all to solve the problem of Hunger in the World, in the whole World. If we would propose a less ambitious program, e.g. the hunger in the Napolitian quarter San Carlo all’Arena, he would refuse that immediately, probably because the target could be reachable. And because he lives in a country where tortures hardly exist, he is forced to torture himself and that is the reason why he fasts, he ties himself and suffers.
The epicurean is made of other stuff: because he is aware of the fleeting of life, he is targeting for goals who are reachable on short term.
An epicurean is an employer who will ask for raise of salary to solve a problem within a year.
An epicurean is someone who prefers to vote on a party who doesn’t promise him Justice, Freedom and Happiness, but a gradual improvement of his life, through a policy of step by step.
An epicurean is someone who will continue his relationship with his partner although he is no longer really in love, but who arranged living with his partner in which they agree to differ.
The advantages and disadvantages are equally divived between the two worlds of thought. On the whole epicurean are more serene, more in peace with the world, almost always cheerful. On the other hand stoic work hard: when they play cards they will do that with much dedication. Epicurean do hold politics in contempt and they will almost never succeed as big industrial: he cares more about his private-life than about society. To become Pirelli, Pirelli must have been a stoic: an epicurean would have been satisfied with a little tire-store.
It would not be a bad idea when partners, before they get married, instead watching the stars and there constellations, they would measure the amount of being a stoic or epicurean of their future man or wife."

Quote. Source: Luciano de Crescenzo, ‘Storia della filosofia greca, da Socrate in poi’. Translation by @JeanD99 from dutch into english.