Im Big in Boston

by bicyclemark

As so often mentioned, Radio Open Source is an excellent podcast, not mention a regular radio show on NPR in Boston. I not only listen, but I throw in my 2 cents in the comments and recommend guests when possible. In the past few months, some of the staff have gotten in touch to ask me certain questions and pick my brain on some topics. As you can imagine, I love contributing to their show.

Well last night I stepped up and helped them get most of their guests as the topic was related Tolerance, Radicalism, and the Netherlands. I also sent a big email talking about my own reflections on the country’s general attitude in relation to terrorism, extremism, and all those nice things.

I stayed up extra late listening to the show live, and it was very exciting to hear my own name in the credits. Made me want to call my mom and say “listen to this!”. As a bonus, it is also fun to see my email is featured on their site. I guess I should say welcome if you’ve come here from there. This is my blog, wipe your feet, browse around, try to play nice in the comments.

Lastly, thanks to everyone at ROS (Robin, Greta, and former intern Henry), for all the work you do and for involving me.

I Must Swing

by bicyclemark

Some fairly big news in my life, and what better night to announce it than a sunday when you’re all off doing more important things. I’m fairly certain that as of early October, I will no longer be employed by the university. That is… at my current job, my contract is up and won’t be extended in any way. I’ve got many other jobs, mind you, but they are all freelance. Which means more free time to work on my real passion, citizen journalism. The money part I will figure out, with help from my fantasic network around the world.

I was thinking about how life will change, while boat riding around town with Brooke the other day. Yup, the Brooke is back as a resident of Amsterdam… amazing how life works in circles, sometimes in a good way. And as we boated around, we came upon these children hanging from a rope off a very tall bridge:

Watching this somehow put things into perspective for me. As the children swang back and forth, hanging on as long as possible, before letting go of the rope and jumping in the canal. Then came the next group, again swinging back and forth.. almost as if they didn’t want to make the jump too soon; a familiar feeling.

One thing I decided right then and there: especially considering that I’ll have more freetime this year, I’m climbing up that bridge and swinging on that rope. Because it looked dam fun to jump in.

Don’t Wake Me, Amsterdam is Sleeping

by bicyclemark

“Again last night I had that strange dream, where everything was exactly as it seemed. Concerns about the world getting warmer, people thought that they were just being rewarded. For treating others as theyd like to be treated, for obeying stop signs and curing diseases. For mailing letters with the address of the sender, now we can swim any day in november.” (Postal Service)

I think about that song alot while cruising down the canals or playing a late night of ultimate during this Amsterdam indian summer. Seems like every year this happens. The fall barely exists and we have summer in september and then switch instantly into winter at some point. It would seem that global warming, at times like this, makes this famously bad weather city, into a tropical paradise. That is, of course, as long as you ignore that the water levels are rising and they’ve announced the big dijk that keeps the ocean out, up north, has to be re-enforced and heightened. And of course they’ll do it in a grand way with all the latest whistles and bells as only the Dutch can do… but at some point you have to wonder how long this country can hold its breath against the heating of the earth that threatens to flood it all.

Yet another reason why I live here now. Situations like this, you can’t wait til later, cause there may not be a later. Next time someone asks, how long will you stay in the Netherlands, maybe I can be annoyingly clever and answer “Til global warming swallows it up.” (then I’ll finally move to Berlin)

One classic moment that pretty much represents my life over here came last night, and I thought to share it in this post. I’m cruising towards home after an evening of sailing tamisevans around town, and I receive an sms from the MacDocMan. I call him and he says “Why don’t you come join me for a drink at So-and-So bar.” And I say, “OK, I’ll park the boat and run over there.” To which he replies “Ok, Ill put your name in the book cause its members only.” And I look at my sandles and dirty sleeveless frisbee shirt and I tell him “Wait, I’ll never get in that place. They have a guest list and Im coming in dressed like a beach bum.” He immediately shouts back, “PLEASE, you can wear whatever you want, this is a total leftist club that doesn’t give a shit.” -click.

And indeed, it was.