These Kids from Minnesota Crack Me Up

by bicyclemark

I’m not being sarcastic either. These guys are hilarious.

I’m referring to the group from some higher education institution called Carleton in Minnesota. They’re here on a seminar I helped organize on everyone’s favorite topic “New MEdia”.

Today I made sure the allstar vlogger herself met some of the Amsterdam vloggers, to join in that ritual we call thursday night vlogger drinks.

We Want to Join Europe, the sign reads.

And if you yearn for real information, skip this bla bla and go watch what Richard posted on Insane Films, a video of the news that doesn’t get reported in Iraq. It is very eye-opening and should rightfully drive you insane. Like the fact that its too late for a New Jersey absentee ballot.

Job Does Not a Person Define

by bicyclemark

It is liberating, when you’re at a party and someone asks “where do you work?”, to respond: I DON’T. And don’t smile. Just give a look that says – this makes perfect sense, what I’m telling you. The person talking to you will look confused. She might laugh. Or just change the subject. Chances are she won’t try to get your number. But it is still liberating!

Tomorrow at the fishtank, I’ve requested the finest pies in all of Amsterdam. Cause hell, it is my goodbye-you-lost-your-job party and when they asked what food I desire, without thinking twice I said BAKKERSWINKEL.. which bakes up magic.

Then lots of people will come eat these pies with me. It will be fun but it will also be uncomfortable. Especially when someone asks “So what will you do next” and I’ll say NOTHING. And some will laugh because they’ll see in my eyes that Ive got plans but I also don’t give a shit about 9 to 5 jobs anymore.

Of course there’s more to this: That same girl who asked me on the dancefloor about my job and then felt odd when I said NOTHING. Just when I thought she would walk away, she asked one more question that cleared everything up: “But aren’t you the bicyclemark that people talk about.. with the radio on the internet and the videos?”

Suddenly I do smile and I do remember that there’s more than nothing up head. There’s me.. and my work. Not the punch the clock go to meetings type of work, but my work; my podcast; my vlog. That which falls somewhere between journalism, art, commentary, nothingness, chatter, and exploring the world through people. Thats what is next.

Turns out she has a boyfriend. Ah well, I still get the best pie in Amsterdam.

I Rocked the FreeMason Lodge

by bicyclemark

Yes I did!

The Free Masons have always been a wacky bunch in my mind. Funny people who probably have funny handshakes and hide themselves in the mysteriously funny buildings that have almost no windows. That and I figure they control the world and its money.

Last weekend I noticed the Amsterdam area Free Masons carried out a mini-media blitz to get the word out that they were having open information days where anyone could come into their lodges and ask mason-people questions. It was 3am and there I am watching the replay of the local news as I ponder what will become of my life once I am unemployed. I jumped out of my seat – FREE MASONS, I’M THERE!

So after being turned away, strangely enough, on the weekend. Last night I took a bunch of people from work with me and we visited with the main free mason lodge in Amsterdam. Yup.. it was us and the brothers. Even the grand cleaver was there.. maybe.. I mean I think.

First impressions: for a building that is so impressive on the outside, especially with the little ornate details around windows and doors, inside the building screamed of MEN. As in, brown, yellow, brown, colors, old brown furniture, and yes… lots of old men.

As we walked in the door, all the grand poobas and junior poobas seemed insanely friendly. Every single person doing that very Dutch thing where they shake hands and tell you their full name… as if I’m going to remember every mason-boy from the mason lodge.

Hmm.. I’m being mean. These guys deserve better than this. They were so dam nice it was kind of nice when it wasn’t creepy. A really kind ex-school teacher from the middle of nowhere (Drenthe) Netherlands came to sit next to me. Didn’t ask me much of anything. Let me ask all the questions I wanted.

Unfortunately the answers were all either lame or lame. Why aren’t women allowed? Why don’t lodges have windows? Are you political? Are you a sect? Whats with the dollar bill? Do you control governments? Are you racists? Do you parade around in robes and swords?
No matter what the question, the answer always seemed to lack something. Every other answer was “you give your own meaning to what you do here” or the most common answer “no we’re not, we don’t, we won’t”. Even the dollar bill explanation was vague and wikipedia could probably explain it better.
In the end we got to sit in their temple room, which was like a funky planetarium with astrological symbol thingies on the walls. I felt like Leonard NiMoy’s voice would start at any moment and explain the universe. but instead they fed us more crap about symbols and self improvement and knowing yourself. Bah.

One interesting factoid, apparently the Heineken family were or are masons. They built or acquired the bulding for the Masons. And get this. the red star in the Heineken insignia: masonic symbol! AAAAAH!

All in all, a hilarious and perhaps enlightening exprience. I tried to keep my distance from the recruiting types, ate lots of cookies and drank my share of apple juices. Free Masons know how to party. Sadly they didn’t allow me to take pictures or video, and even sadder, they didnt give the full tour so I didnt get to touch a certain book on the shelf and get whisked away to their secret room of torture.

You’ve won this round Free Masons! But I’ll be back. (no I wont)

bmtv22 Agony of De Feet

by bicyclemark

As the season winds down, here’s one last ultimate frisbee vlog. Our team lost.. alot. But hey.. sometimes you eat the bar.. and well… Camera work by Lenny… Im number 34 on the field, obviously.