I had to make this blog entry. If I didn’t make it before the 18th, I would have gone a year with only seven posts. Am I really that much of a slacker? Perhaps I am. I am unemployed again after having screwed things up at my little jobby job. I really feel like I am unfit to do much of anything. For the forseeable future I will be a poker player and hopefully a student before too long. I did nail the GMAT, so perhaps business school is not out of the question. However, I just don’t know if I want to go back to business school. There is a lot I don’t know right now, so I am sitting on my arse and trying to figure it all out. Give me a year or two, I might get a clue.
“Let’s sit down and grab a baguette,” I said. “No, it does not really look like rain,” Christine replied. About 7 minutes later we were stuck in a torrential downpour in the only place in Paris where there is no cover for blocks around. We wound up huddling under a small wall on a bridge over the river Seine to try to stay out of the rain, as you can see in the picture. Finally, we just decided to go ahead and get drenched. It has been a while since I willfully got soaked in the rain, and Paris turned out to be the perfect place to do it. I had a ton of fun!
So Paris was two weekends ago. We walked around the city for hours and went to a few museums. The WWII exhibit was quite cool. I knew so little about the French perspective on the war that it was quite fascinating to learn about the resistance and the Vichy government. We also saw Napoleon’s tomb. A huge coffin for such a tiny man. Probably the lamest museum I have ever been to was right next door. It was French military uniforms throughout the centuries. I am sure those little Frenchmen looked dashing in their poofy shoulder pads, but why should I care? We left quickly.
This coming weekend we are heading to London and from there to Valencia, Spain. I have never been to Spain and I am looking forward to using my Spanish and seeing a new country. So far this summer Brussels is the only new place I have been.
And to follow up on the last post, no we did not get booted. I cut a deal with the landlord to basically rent the apartment downstairs but stay in ours. He is a complete ass, but manageable. The weather in this country SUCKS! The clouds move so fast that I expect a sonic boom at any time, and you can set your watch to the intermittent rain storms. It should only be this cold in August in Antarctica. However, we are still enjoying it but starting to miss home. We fly back on the 20th, and I think that will be just about the time I really start hating this place, so the timing could not be better.
The word boot can mean many things. In the UK it can mean the trunk of a car, it can mean to vomit, or it can mean the tire clamp used on illegally parked cars. For my purposes this morning it means the good old fashioned American kick in the pants. 86’ed. There is really no experience quite like being awoken at 9 AM by a landlord you did not know you had who barely speaks any English and finding out that you are being booted from the apartment you had apparently rented illegally. Oops. As it turns out, the person we rented our summer apartment from in the Hague was not entirely forthright in letting us know that we should vacate the apartment if the landlord decides to drop by to fix the roof. Now we are looking for a new apartment for our last month here. Gotta be out today. How fun for us! Why could he not have come by a few days ago when we were back in the US?
Yeah, we flew home. I was in Vegas for two weeks and Christine joined me for the weekend. I was there for a trade show and the World Series of Poker and then we had a mini convention for the web site I work for. It was a great time, we got to meet people who we only knew by screenname. I would like to post pictures but I kind of have to move now. Ugh. The Hague is fun for the most part, I will post more when I know more. You know better than to believe that.
NEDERLANDER! Yes, I am oficially part of the Nederlander family! For those of you who are clueless about my life at the moment, I am living in Den Haag (pronounced Den Hu-ggh with a loogie sound), Netherlands. Christine is doing an internship here prosecuting Yugoslavian war criminals and I am just tagging along.
I have been here for 2 weeks and I already feel like a local. I bought a cheesy used bike today so I can get around. Since the Netherlands are so flat I can get anywhere on my bike. The first day we got here was rather odd. Apparently it was the day of the Pentacost and everything was closed. We were beginning to wonder if there were any people living here or if everything is just closed on Mondays. Thankfully that is not the case. We have been in a hotel until our apartment was ready. We are subletting a very nice apartment. It is up three flights of murderous stairs in the attic of a converted brownstone. We have no front door, but anyone who can make it up those stairs is welcome to our paltry belongings. They’ve earned it.
Den Haag is a bigger city than I had thought. It is about 400,000 people so there is plenty to do. We went and saw the third Star Wars movie and giggled at the funny words on the subtitles. I feel bad chuckling but sometimes Dutch is just kind of a funny language. I have made minimal effort to learn it because everyone seems to speak English. The only person I met who did not speak English was a cab driver, but that is no different than when I lived in New York City.
One fantastic thing about the Netherlands is all the Turkish people. As a result of their presence there are tons of ‘Snackbars’ that serve Turkish pizza. Yum! Nothing like a tortilla covered with indeterminate meat product and wrapped around random vegetables with garlic sauce on it. For 1.50 Euros it is the cheapest way to eat.
So this is home until August. So far I am having a great time. I have been spending a lot of time in a hotel lobby, as they have free wifi. I would say I was in a coffeeshop, but that has a very different meaning here. We are planning a weekender to London and maybe one to Spain or Italy if we can find really cheap flights. Maybe Prague if it tickles our fancy. I will try to be more dilligent about updating this blog now that interesting things are actually happening to me!
Ever seen two Galapagos tortises having ‘relations?’ I have. At the San Diego Zoo on Saturday. Could not stop laughing! I guess the third grader in me will never die. 🙂 I was in San Diego after going on a cruise that I won playing Poker. On the cruise I won an additional $10K+. If you were unaware, I keep a separate blog under my poker persona “ammbo” where you can find my report on the poker tournament. If you are looking for more frequent updates than here, tough. I am a slacker on both. Christine and I had a good time on the cruise. We got to hang out with my boss, his wife, and their 16 month old child. We went back to Mazatlan, Mexico for the first time since out honeymoon but our favorite smoothie place seems not to have survived the three years since we were there. It was a great trip but I still feel worn out. If only vacations were not punctuated by a day of travel I would be a happy man.
As you may know, I have a real job. I truly feel it is the best job ever. It hit me when we were doing laundry. Christine was folding one of the ten+ pairs of pajama pants that I seem to get every birthday, Christmas, and Arbor Day, and remarked that I have so many. I replied that I should get rid of some and she came back with, “No, you need them to wear to work.” What a great job I have. I sit at home, manage a big website, and play some poker when I get the time. The real problem with working from home is being able to turn it off. I find that there is always more to do on the site so I just keep at it. Being the neurotic perfectionist that I am, I tend to stay on task until I fall asleep. Then I wake up, start up the computer, and get right back to it. Repeat as necessary. I am not complaining, I love what I am doing. I just need to make better hours for myself.
On the poker side of things, I have not been playing a lot because I work so much. However, when I do play I have been doing well. I will be going on another cruise in about two weeks after having won my way in. It will be the Party Poker Million, the same one I went on last year. Hopefully this year I come away from it with a few thousand dollars rather than just a good story. Wish me luck!
Saying that I ignore my blog is getting so boring and passe. Maybe my blog ignores me. Ever think of that?? Huh?? Lots has happened lately. I went to the Bahamas, won 9K by taking first in a tournament, got my car towed by the NYPD which consequently destroyed my differential and forced me to stay in NYC for another 5 days while the shop fixed it leaving me with exactly one clean pair of underwear, a lonely cat at home, and a boatload of work to catch up on. I never thought I would say that I am happy to be back in Ithaca with 14 inches of snow on the ground but here I am. Blech. I have so much to say I don’t know where to begin. I guess I will have to post some pictures later. Stay tuned you never know when the sporadic urge to update this thing will hit me again.