31 August 2006

Passport Pictures, University

Today was a long day at work. I worked with my colleague, which was fine, but it was really really busy. We do have a new machine to take passport pictures with, and the background is even grey, but the flash doesn’t work all the time. The flash kind of works at random. That’s really annoying, especially if you have like 5 people waiting to have their pictures taken in our very small shop. It’s not much fun. We also have to turn the board with the background every hour or so, with every elderly person with white or light grey hair. We have many of those customers in our shop, so that means a lot of turning. It’s just very annoying and there’s not much we can do about it. I hope my boss is going to call the supplier tomorrow and that they’ll have an answer about the flash thing. My colleague managed to connect the camera to the monitor, so that saves a lot of trouble. I didn’t think it was possible, but she knew how to do it. Well, she just tried and found the right connection.
The passport pictures thing is so big an issue now in the Netherlands. About 30/40 % of all the pictures is being rejected right now by the people who accept them (or actually don’t accept them :s). The news even started with a small report on the pictures and how silly the new rules are. I’m just afraid that it won’t change anything. It’s those new passports which include a chip with all the biometric information and stuff.
Tomorrow evening I have to go to the university, the first time after the summer holidays. I have some mixed feelings about it. I’m glad that I can go back and that I won’t have to work in the photo shop all my life, but I’m sad to think about all the hours I’ll have to spend at making my homework and reading all the literature. I hope to see all my classmates again tomorrow. I don’t have any class yet, I only get my curriculum and some general information I guess. I think I’ll be done in less than an hour. But that’s fine.

30 August 2006

Shopping Spree

Today I had a true shopping spree. It’s funny how you don’t have a Dutch word for that term. I went to Pilates this morning, I took a shower and I had lunch at home. Then I went to the centre of The Hague to go shopping. I had bought slippers for at home but there was a hole in them after only two days, so I returned them and chose some others. I also bought 4 new pairs of pants: 2 pairs of jeans and 2 regular pairs of pants. I didn’t really needed all of these, but my current jeans is showing signs of wear and I can’t wear it for too long now. The two regular pants were very cheap, also made of cheap material, so I just had to bring these as well. I also bought a robe for at home; a really soft and fluffy very bright pink one. I hope no one will ever see it except for Martijn, because it looks awful, but I think it’s very comfortable. I also bought a CD player for in the bedroom. I thought these were cheaper by now, but I was a bit disappointed when I saw the prices. I especially wanted one that could play MP3’s, since all my music is now in MP3 format. This CD player also has a USB slot, so that I can use Martijns MP3 player if I don’t want to play a CD. Well, and after that I was out of money. I only went to buy groceries together with Martijn. I bought all the groceries that I will need for the next 3 days, so Martijn was a bit astonished with how much I was buying. But he was with me so he could carry the heavy things.
Oh, and tonight I prepared dinner and I kind of screwed up. I didn’t boil the eggs long enough, I didn’t add enough water to the potatoes and I messed up the sauce I wanted to add to the meal. I spent about an hour in preparing the meal, but it didn’t taste like I wanted it to. I was very disappointed.
I also bought a new mouse pad today with silver and with a space to add your own picture to it. I think I’m going to add this picture of the prairie dogs which we took in the zoo the last time. I’ll see how it turns out.

29 August 2006

Regular Day, Pizza, ANTM

Today was a pretty regular day at work. We still don’t make any passport pictures. My boss phoned the technicians again today and we might even order a complete new system to make the new passport pictures. That costs about as much as not selling passport pictures for one week. Yup, you make a lot of money with these pictures. We had one customer with 22 films today. That was fun :) (and a lot of money). It took us about all day to print those films, but we finished them in time. The only annoying thing today was the last customer we had. He ordered his pictures really late and I had to stay for half an hour extra to print his pictures and it wasn’t even worth that much.
When I got home, Martijn had already prepared pizza. He bought cheap prefab pizzas and created his own topping. Usually I’m not too fond of his pizzas, but today it tasted really good.
I also received a letter from Rosary Army in which they acknowledged that they had received my rosaries and thanked me for them. It was really funny: instead of Den Haag they had spelled Den Maag (The Stomach roughly translated). I was really glad with that letter. It’s fun to receive mail from the States.
Tonight was the season’s finale of Americans Next Top Model. We’re one season behind America’s season I think, so I didn’t dare check the website because I didn’t want to see who won the series before I saw all the episodes. And now I know who won and I’m not happy with it. Nicole won. And she’s the last one I wanted to win. She’s young and childish and very American and just stupid. I just wished Nic or Bre would win, because they were more mature and more pretty.

27 August 2006

Friday, Shopping with my Mom, Today

Friday was a regular day at work again. I worked with my colleague instead of my boss for most of the day, so that’s good. We tried to make some passport pictures, but one customer returned with his that they had been rejected for a passport. The colour is still way off. I don’t really mind, I just have no idea how they are going to fix this.
Yesterday I went shopping with my mother. She looked all right, I mean, I’ve seen her worse. Her hair is now really long, which is quite funny because mine is very short and it used to be the other way around. I didn’t have a very great time. We went and sat down for a drink 3 times, but the problem is that when I tell my mother something, she responds to it, but she doesn’t ask any further questions about the subject. She just listens. I’m not that great a talker, so the conversations are a bit difficult sometimes with these awkward silences. I can’t talk to my mother about Guild Wars, because she just wouldn’t understand :-) She’s about the only Dutch person without an e-mail address. She bought Martijn a really lovely morning robe (if that’s the correct English word) and she bought me this pair of Nikes as shown on the picture. It’s actually my birthday present, since it’s my birthday in one week. She was really happy to have seen me so it was good that I went. They did change the shopping centre of Almere a lot since I was last there. There’s a whole new part added to it with all these huge stores. I can’t really say that I like it, it’s big and a lot of concrete and stone.
Today I felt really bad. I was tired all day long. I went to church this morning but I was really glad when I was on my way back home. In two weeks time the bishop will be presiding our mass in our church. I’m kind of looking forward to that; that will be very cool. I went to bed this afternoon as soon as I got home. I slept a little bit, but not really well. The rest of the day I just hung around, watched some TV, and played some GW. My friend Xo, and I know he’s reading this, got back from his holiday to Paris, so we chatted a bit about what that’s been like and how his GW addiction has been. Hmm, I just remembered that I need to get the laundry out of the washing machine, as I should have done some hours ago. Let me post this quickly and I’ll go and get the laundry.

25 August 2006

Passport Pictures, Job Interviews, TV night

Today was a really busy day at work. I have to renew the photo paper twice. That is very unique. I don’t know if it has happened before, but it certainly hasn’t happened a lot of times. We printed 1349 pictures for one customer, and we still haven’t finished yet. It took us all day and we also had to print all the one hour service jobs and all the reprints and such. My boss was still working to get the passport pictures right. It’s still not working like it should. The lamps are in place now, but the colour of the pictures isn’t optimal yet. During this the boss’ wife was just walking around and talking and pretty much doing nothing. This meant I had to help all of the customers and do all the photo work. I wasn’t too happy with this.
We had two job interviews. I didn’t know about the first one; that was a bit of a surprise. She was a 22 year old girl, a mother, and the daughter of a friend of my boss. The second applicant was the one I had invited. He didn’t impress me as much as his resume had done. I’m convinced he could have done the photo work; I don’t really know whether he would have been good with the customers. So we chose the girl and she’s gonna start working for us soon. I’m curious to see how that’ll go.
Tonight I didn’t do much. I micro waved my food, I watched Dharma and Greg, Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI New York and House MD. I really like that last series. It started here last week and I’m really enthusiastic about it. Dr House just says the things as they are and I love that. It’s so refreshing.

24 August 2006

Really Really Bad Day at Work

Today I had a really really very bad day. It already started when I walked to the tram platform this morning. There was a whole row of people waiting for the tram. That was a lot busier than normal. I also couldn’t find the seat that I always like, so I started off wrong. Then there was the train. I wanted to take a certain train, but it was just too busy. I was in front of a door, but I couldn’t get in, because there were too many people there and I wouldn’t fit in. So I didn’t get on the train, and I waited 15 minutes for the next train. That train was fine. Then I entered the shop where I work. Everything was wrong and off, and all the photo frames were somewhere else and it didn’t look like the passport pictures thing was solved yet. They kind of moved the complete shop yesterday, and they left while being somewhere in the middle. The whole day we have been working at the passport picture problem and at tidying the frames and doing the regular photo work as well. I felt really bad. I don’t like it when everything is off the regular place and upside down and everything. Things don’t need to be really tidy, although that is sometimes nice at work. I just don’t like it when it’s this big a mess. Yesterday Martijn and I had taken a picture of ourselves so that we can give it to our parents so I printed one sample, and it was really horrible. The quality was not good enough to give it away. I was upset about that too, because this Saturday I’m going shopping with my mother and I wanted to give it to her as a present. Now I don’t have a gift for her. It was just an awful day, so I was really glad to be home and to play some Guild Wars. It feels like I’m in another world which has nothing to do at all with my work and such.
Tomorrow at work we still have to finish the passport picture problem and we have a applicant for the job opening. I’m really curious what that’s going to be like. He sounded nice on the phone, I don’t know what he’ll be like in person and whether he still wants to work in our shop once he has seen it. Well, we’ll see how that goes tomorrow. First, I’m gonna try to get some sleep.

21 August 2006

The Last 10 Days

It’s been another very long time since I last updated my blog. Last weekend and this weekend I played a lot of Guild Wars. My main character is now lvl 20 en my other character is lvl 15. They’re both doing pretty well. I found this really cool guild. It consists only of a few people, but they are really nice and they’re Dutch. Usually I don’t like Dutch people to play with, but these are cool. They live nearby and are just laid back people.
Last Tuesday I went to the Holy Eucharist to pray. I also prayed along with the first Prayercast episode. It was a pretty intense experience. I keep on thanking Jesus for my life at this moment, also for Martijn and for everything else. It felt really special.
Last Monday I think it was I spoke with my friend over the telephone. I hadn’t talked to her in a long time. I was glad to hear from her again. We updated each other on our lives and I told her about me going to church. I always find it difficult to talk about, but she was very enthusiastic and even told me that she’s going to do her first Holy Communion next year. I was a bit surprised by that.
At work nothing too special happened. We had a really busy period on Wednesday. We have lots of problems with our passport pictures. They changed the requirements, and we can’t make them according to the new requirements yet. It isn’t needed until the 26th of August, but you need to explain this to every customer. And sometimes the people who accept the passport pictures demand it to be according to the new standards already, so the customers come back. It’s so much fuss. It’s just annoying. And we’re still looking for a new employee. I placed an advertisement on a website. I hope I will have some new candidates tomorrow who checked the website over the weekend.
Martijn had a lot of re-sit exams the last week and he has the last one tomorrow. I hope he did all right. We’re going out for dinner next Tuesday, just because I want to.
Today I spoke to my mother on the telephone. She sounded OK, she was a bit bored because it was Sunday. She really doesn’t want to move to the new house they have found for her. It’s just a small room and she needs to share the bathroom and kitchen with someone else. She was really upset about that. I really don’t know what she has to do with her life. All I can do is pray for her I guess.
Well, going to work tomorrow, and that’s about it.

09 August 2006

Bad day at work, Bad King Kong

It’s still very early over here, but I’m gonna watch some TV and then I’m off to bed. I’m really tired. I didn’t really sleep much last night. It was a really busy, hectic day at work today. It was pretty awful. I worked with my new colleague and we had a lot of customers and a lot of bad things happened at the same time. I felt like I was flying and running all the time while she was just relaxed and not doing much. I’ll only have to work one more day with her and then I hope she won’t work with us anymore. Perhaps one day now and then, but I hope that’s it.
Last night and tonight I tried to watch King Kong, the new version by Peter Jackson. I had great expectations, because Fr Roderick said he liked the movie very much and I love the LOTR trilogy by Peter Jackson, but I really don’t like this movie. I watched the first hour last night, but that was very boring. I watched most of the second hour today with King Kong. It was just crap. Suddenly there were dinosaurs in the movie on the island. Why dinosaurs? By the way, I didn’t see the original King Kong, so I don’t have any connection to King Kong. They defied many laws of physics and the movie was just not believable. The good thing is that I rented the movie, so I didn’t buy it yet and I’m definitely not going to.

07 August 2006

Miraculous Stories

It’s been a couple of days since I have last written, but I will make up for it with this special story. I haven’t actually told anyone, because I don’t really know how to explain this when talking to someone. I think I can write it down though (and share with all of the world while at it :-))
I first have to tell you that I lost my Bible when I moved to this house last year. I had two Bibles, an older Dutch translation and the new, latest, translation. I lost this newest one. It must be in some box I can’t reach or it must have fallen behind somewhere I guess. Anyway, I have looked all over the house, but I can’t find it. When I went to church in April, I really wanted to have a Bible, but I knew I had the newest translation somewhere and I didn’t want to buy a new one, because that’s just too expensive. So I prayed to the Lord about helping me to find my Bible or helping me to get another one. The other day I bought the New International Version in English, because that didn’t cost too much money and I liked having an English Bible. Last weekend we went to visit my mother in law. She had said before that she had some Bibles for us, but I hadn’t really thought of that. But she had a bag for us when we left and at home we unpacked it. It contained 3 Bibles, one of which was the newest translation, including the books only the Catholic Church recognizes. I was so happy when I saw that. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that the Lord did answer one of my prayers. It took some time, yes, but I think this is my first official prayer-answer :-D
The other thing happened this morning. I was on the train praying along the ‘pray as you go’ podcast (www.pray-as-you-go.org) and they talked about that you had to think about the people around you. Are you too much alone? Do you spend enough time on your own? Do you spend enough time with other people around you? I was contemplating this when the idea of the youth-group of Catholic people kind of ‘re-entered’ my mind. It’s a group of young people who come together every Friday evening and just pray together, read the Bible, sing together and I don’t know what else. I had read about them on the Internet but I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do with this. But this morning it just hit me that I really should do that. So I found their website again and I mailed about when the next meeting will be and if I could come. I got a very friendly e-mail back that said that the next meeting will be on the first of September and that I am very welcome. He also wanted to know what my expectations are so that they can consider that. I’m pretty excited about it. The youth group is led by the Brothers of St Jan (http://www.stjan.org/) They also have a chapel for Eucharistic Adoration, so I need to check that out real soon, see if I can pray there. That was another one of my wishes :-)
That was about what I wanted to share with you. Tomorrow is my day off, so I’m gonna sleep in and do really nothing. Talk to you later.

01 August 2006

My Tuesday

This morning I had Pilates class by an American teacher. That was kind of funny, because she would mix Dutch with English. There was only one other person with me. That’s not really a good thing, because that means that the teacher can pay attention to you privately and she also notices every mistake you make and everything else you do wrong.
When I came home, I took a shower and I went shopping. I first picked up the two study books and after that I went looking for a gift for Martijn. I found a gift and two smaller gifts too, but I can’t say anything about it, because he just might read this blog. I also bought two really cool photo albums for myself. I needed some new ones, because my last one was almost full. I bought one at V&D with 100 black pages, and it’s a bigger size so that the bigger pictures that I order via the Internet will fit nicely in it. I also love the black pages. The price was only € 12.95 and they had a 20 % discount. When I would buy a comparable book in my own shop, the regular customer price would be at least € 28.95. The quality is better of course, but for these pictures of mine, which are not important, just my zoo pictures and of the weekends and such, this is just fine. I also bought 4 of my favourite pens which they had in stock. I’m really happy with those, because I had been looking for them for half a year. I love the way they write.
Then I baked a bread and I prepared dinner for Martijn and me and tonight I played some Guild Wars (but I quit after I had died twice), I finished one photo album so that we can show it to Martijns mother on Saturday and I watched JAG. And now I’m ready to go to bed.

Broken Machine, ANTM, Tonight

Today I worked, as usual on Monday. When I came in this morning, the screen on the printing machine was flickering. So I called Kodak and I tried to explain what was going on. That’s pretty hard for me early on Monday morning, but I guess the technician got the gist and he came over. Turns out that he couldn’t fix it like that. He tried adjusting the monitor with the buttons that are on the monitor itself, but that didn’t work. So the VGA-card is probably broken. He said he’d order it and that he’d have it as soon as possible, probably tomorrow. The result was that we’ve been working with a flickering screen all day, and it was a pretty busy day. After I printed some films, my eyes were all teary and I was wondering how that could be. But that must’ve been because of the screen. I hope he’ll fix it tomorrow, although I doubt that he will. I guess he won’t have the supplies he needs by tomorrow. I’ll see how it goes on Wednesday.
I watched ANTM tonight. It’s still so much fun. And tonight, they didn’t even eliminate someone, and I was really curious to see who had to leave. They’re off to London now.
I didn’t play Guild Wars tonight. I am so tired right now that I just finished some things (like listening to the new Secrets of Harry Potter episode: http://www.sqpn.com/?p=253 (listen all the way to the end ;-))) And now I’m updating my blog. I’m gonna read in my Bible and then go to bed. Tomorrow it’s Pilates and I’ll probably go to the centre of The Hague to buy my study books and to try to find a gift for Martijn’s birthday on Friday :-s

Profile for charda