Thursday, December 30, 2004

More Peace in 30 seconds

Your cell phone is about to become accessible to the telemarketing hordes. To put your cell on the National Do Not Call List, pick it up and dial 1-888-382-1222.

Monday, December 06, 2004

HRH Prince Bernhard, 1911-2004

Although it is a holiday (Sinteklaas, the old Dutch version of Christmas), that's all been overshadowed by the passing of the Queen's father, who died a few days ago.

Bernhard, a German Prince by birth, fought fiercely for his adopted country in WWII,shooting at Nazi planes from his palace, fleeing to England to train and serve as a fighter pilot. He was married to Queen Juliana for over 60 years, smoke and drank heavily his entire life, went from a passionate hunter to conservationist and co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund. He crashed several cars, got tainted by a bribery scandal, had an open falling-out with his wife about her reliance on a faith healer (the government stepped in to mediate), and he won the love of millions of subjects, from veterans to factory workers to the country's jet-set. A big life, lived large.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Happy Hour Talk

Landed at 10 in the morning, in the train by 10:45, picked up at 2:00 and at a bar for a happy hour celebrating Sabine's mother's 60th birthday by 4:00. Fifteen women, aged 40-60, in a cafe decorated to look like a cave with a giant fireplace (which I stayed near, since it is cold and damp, as you'd expect.)

Funnily enough for the Dutch (probably one of the most direct and outspoken people in the world), the folks who met me as the-friend-from-America didn't say a word about politics, although they were full of questions abour Georgia and my living here and the general differences in lifestyle. I finally started things up a little with one of the more colorful ladies, and we had an interesting talk about how incredibly fast things have changed, both in the Netherlands and in the US.

The line I remember most, on the subject of the gay marriage witchhunt: "That kind of thing could never, ever happen here. Not because people don't hate people, although nobody cares about the bedroom part of other people's lives really, but even people who hate people don't think they can put their hate in the country's consistution."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Philly Food Court Ponderings

Pleasantly killing some time in the Swiss-clean, very tricked out Philadelphia International Airport. I'm wondering what kind of conversations I'll have about America's (sad) situation, post-election?

I was in Europe for the whole of the first Gulf War, lived in Holland during most of the Clinton era, and visited the last time a year after 9/11, each time finding a very different set of perceptions and commentary from the people I met.

Time to board...

Off to Holland Today

Going over for a week to spend some time with my friend Sabine. She and I met way back when I first moved to Holland and worked in the Ralph Lauren boutique housed in the very swanky Maison de Bonneterie. She is Grace-Kelly gorgeous (although Grace never got to star in a German music video as Sabine did in high school) and even smarter and kinder than she is stunning. She's been a bit under the weather, so we're planning what she terms a "granny visit:" lots of catching up over tea, watching movies, a little shopping, all the good things you do when it's raining and 30 degrees outside and you don't have to be anywhere.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Worthwhile Magazine

It's an honor and a thrill to blog for Worthwhile: a new magazine dedicated to "Work with Purpose, Passion, and Profit."

You can find it at major bookstores across the country, including Barnes and Noble, which you can locate here.