Archive for the 'leuk' Category

My sneakers mo’ cleaner than yours…

I don’t know who this adorable child belongs too, but this picture makes me day. You know what else makes my day? The prospect of moving from my current dorm. With shared bathrooms and kitchens (that are not cleaned as regularly as they should be) it’s OK if you’re here for a semester, but not for a year as I plan to be. The hunt has begun. I pray that it ends very, very soon. Stay tuned. Anyway, today’s song is Mastered, brought to you by Lupe Fiasco and A-trak. Well, at least think it’s Mastered. I’ve seen this .mp3 called Mastered, Running Man, or Sneakers. For the sake of today’s picture, let’s stick with Sneakers. Download Sneakers by Lupe Fiasco and A-Trak

No spoilers here:

(Stolen from Koreanish, and he took it from someone else.) This is a wordle rendering of my thesis. It’s odd viewing a piece of work like this. It’s like all those months of work boil down to a bunch of keywords. There’s something sad about how easily is can be reduced to a pile of words, but I love neat little cells, so it’s also strangely appealing about this.

After this summer’s revision, I want to watch the words shift. Some of them need to get smaller, and others need to get larger.

Een jaar?

Apparently, academic years at Leiden are very similar to real people (i.e. not American academic) years: 365 days. I wonder what that means, really. Does that mean that I’m there for the whole time? Maybe I’ll peace out in May? I’m not certain. The classes don’t go on into eternity, but maybe I’ll still be writing my thesis then. It’s scary to write “thesis” in the prospective sense again, and so soon, but it’s worth it. Can somebody tell me how master’s programs at Leiden work? I can’t find a detailed English academic calendar to save my life. I’m sure there’s a break in there somewhere.

If there isn’t, I totally don’t mind. I’d love to be in the land of cheese and bicycles for a nice long time. I like being abroad. As much as I (and Miffy) love New York, I think that the further I am, the faster I’ll grow. That’s not a hard and fast rule for everyone, but I know this is the case for me.

If I didn’t get into Leiden this time around I was like, “Meh, maybe I’ll take a year off.” But to be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of limbo. I get anxious in those situations very easily. I’d rather use my momentum than lose it. I’m 21 now, so I might as well do it while I’m young.

I do not expect study abroad, the sequel. I was in Amsterdam with a bunch of other little American undergrads. This is a different story, and perhaps a preferable one.

…you make my heart sang

Here are some stills from Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.


Dutch Word of the Day
Deze illustratie van een konijn is de leukste.
This illustration of a rabbit is the cutest.

I didn’t know that Miffy the Bunny was Dutch! I just assumed she was Japanese like Hello Kitty. My bad. But you must admit, they share a strong minimalistic cute resemblance. But I like the little “x” that stands in as Miffy’s nose. Or mouth? Ah, who cares! If you can create an ambiguous facial appendage on a cartoon character and not scare the kids, that’s pretty cool in my book.

Her name in Dutch is originally “Nijntje”, because the word for little rabbit in Dutch is Konijntje. Too. Cute.

There’s a Dick Bruna house in Utrecht. I kind of want to go and absorb the sappy cuteness to the fullest. The illustrator, Dick Bruna just turned 80, and Miffy herself is 50. She looks great! I guess konijn don’t crack.
Get the entire adorable story here.


Not to re-rep the serif again, but I’m in love with this book cover redesign contest they have.

Dijken to Watch Out For

Dutch Word of the Day
Deze mouwen zijn lelijk.

These sleeves are ugly.

It’s a shame because other than that, it’s a hot shirt. It from Uniqlo, Japan’s better dressed/priced answer to the Gap. They’ve actually made a bid to purchase Barneys which blows my mind. You can read about it here.

Anyway, Uniqlo has a series of graphic tees from artists and graphic designers it looks all well and good. Most of the designers are from Japan, but there is a shirt from Toko, a Dutch group from Rotterdam. “Duik in de Dijk” means “Dive into the Dike”, and is a reference to the Oostzeedijk (east sea dike?) section of Rotterdam.

I like the font, I like the Dutchness, but dang it: I hate the sleeves.

Furniture Hooks

Dutch Word of the Day
Ik kan zonlicht opnieuw zien!
I can see sunlight again!

It’s really getting nice here in Amsterdam. It’s supposed to be 72 degrees tomorrow (which they call 22). Too bad I still have some papers to wrap up now. Sometimes tt’s either too rainy to compel oneself out of bed, or to nice to want to stay inside cranking out a paper.

This is Amsterdam at around 8 PM. These are furniture hooks at the top of the homes along the canal. Since the doors are too narrow to move furniture through, they move in through the windows. I’ve seen a piano get moved into a window with a conveyor belt. The hooks are there for decoration only now, but they’re still quite fun to look at.

PS This week’s episode of This American Life is amazing. Worth the download.

Two Things I Wish I had Pictures of:

Dutch Word of the Day
Dat is veel lelijk…maar veel leuk!
That is so ugly… but so cute!

There seems to be an ugly-cute theme to today. Here are two reasons why I wish I had my camera with me:

1. The scary huge eyes of this creepy baby at Coffee Company. I was waiting on line behind his/her mother who had the baby in one of those Baby Bjorn carriers. She suddenly turns sideways and I see this tiny, tiny baby with these huge radioactive green eyes just staring at me. After a while it started smiling and gurgling, but it still looked frightening as hell. Kind of wanted to run, but I waved at it instead. “Niiiice baby…yeah, don’t bite me.”

2. A man smacking his pug in the face. It was starting to drizzle and the pug was starting to bark and complain, when his owner (who’s this very fussy looking short guy who’s already carrying the dog) goes, “Ssh!” and gives him a sharp little smack on the nose. Yes, I did give him a look and yes, he did seem rather guilty.*

*Apparently, pug dogs became the official breed of the Dutch Royal Family after one of the breed saved the life of William, Prince of Orange, by giving alarm at the approach of the Spaniards in 1572. And they’re one of my favorites breeds, too.

Vondelpark & Westerpark

Dutch Word of the Day
groen: green
Ik ben de groen hart van Amsterdam geweest.
I have been to the green heart of Amsterdam.

I went to both Vondelpark and Westerpark today, but unfortunately didn’t bring my camera to either. More pictures next time, though. Both parks were lovely. Since the weather’s nice (but going to drop down to 65 in a few days) everybody and his mother was in Vondelpark. There are a lot of ponds and fountains. I didn’t get to explore the whole thing. I just picked a nice shady bench and read.

Then I went to Westerpark which is a lot closer to me that I thought. You just walk to the end of the Prinsengracht, make a left and keep walking. Good thing I found it the instant it got nice out. It’s really pretty. There were a lot more families and less tourists in this park than in Vondelpark. Sooo many little kids. This one girl kept trying to feed the birds, but it wasn’t quite working out. Rather than just throwing the bread to them, she’d march after them with a very business like gait while speaking Dutch and flinging slices at them and they’d quickly scurry away. I don’t know if she was expecting them to turn around and thank her or what, but it was very cute.

Of the two, Westerpark is currently my favorite.

I hear all this music and it breaks my heart

Dutch Word of the Day
Nederrap: Dutch rap
Dit Nederrap is een vers moeilijkheid!
This Dutch rap is a hot mess!

But before I get into that, Happy Easter! Yes, this is a Scientology Church some blocks from me. Yes it is everywhere. My parents and I went to the Madurodam, the Keukenhof and Delft. The first is a miniature replica of Amsterdam, the second is a huge flower garden with massive amounts of tulips, and the last is the place where they make all the lovely blue porcelain that comes from here. I recommend visiting all.

I picked up a “Party Squad” CD today. I asked the guy for some Dutch rap and he gave me this. The good thing is that it’s a compilation from a bunch of Dutch rappers. But it’s a hot. MESS. The beats are really good (most of the time), but they’ll have these hard Germanic sounding parts, and some very English phrases like “This is for my boiz!” or “Fuck dat!” in these thick Dutch accents. The most cringe worthy one is “Het is AAN!”, which is literally “It is ON!”

This one dude on the track “Dat is die shit” sounds like R. Kelly singing in Dutch. WEIRD.

So far my favorites are “Non stop” and “What wil je doen?” but I can’t listen to this with a straight face. Especially with the shoutouts to Amsterdam and Den Haag.

And I think to myself…what a wonderful world…

Dutch Word of the Day
leuk: nice, cute
Dat was veel leuk!
That was so cute!

This is in reference to my Dutch Social Policy class’ visit to a school/community center in De Pijp, a neighborhood outside of the center. I got very lost on the way there, but I’m glad that I found it.

The kids were making us dinner. They have a cooking club and were quite busy taking our orders and putting drinks together. They were very serious and very, very adorable. I didn’t understand what they were saying because they don’t speak English yet, but they were patient with my rudimentary Dutch. And the food was quite good! There was even tiramisu for dessert.

(I know, right? Damn!)

They really should have cooking programs like this in the US, especially with our childhood obesity problem. Once people learn that it is more fun, healthy, and cheap too cook instead of doing takeout/fast food all the time, it’ll change everything. But we can only dream.

One of the kids mixing the drinks actually looked like a very young picture of my brother. I was like, “Mini-Mart? No? OK….”

January 2022
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