What the hell is with this aqua-blue colour. Can't read a damn thing I type!!! This blog is dedicated to my time spent in and around Amsterdam. With some luck there will be plenty of photos and videos to view, and I'm sure there'll be more than enough insane ramblings as I spend the lonely evenings with my pondered thoughts and a bottle of whiskey. So sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Getting Your Own Back

After numerous complaints of the length of my posts, here's one for all you Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disoder suffering kids out there.

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and
cackling: "You're next."

They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them
at funerals.

Happy now?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Continuing Saga of Herman & Reginald

2 desperate men, 36 beers, 1 long night.


It is 5pm and Herman and Reginald are on the hunt for love. The sun still sits heavily in the evening sky like a bloated fortune teller, beckoning to those with asperations of flirtatious adventure. The young and the beautiful are out in droves, flitting like pixies from terrace to terrace, their smiles and labidos beaming brightly in the soft spring rays. Among them, but somehow seeming apart, are Herman and Reginald, hidden in a shadowy corner of the terrace. Herman has just finished picking his nose and raises his finger to appreciate his globular find. He shows it to Reginald, who lifts an impressed eyebrow.
"Not bad, Hermy," says Reginald reaching into his pocket. He pulls out a small piece of folded paper and slowly unfolds it. "But nothing like this beauty here I picked out last Thursday."
Herman leans over to inspect the hardened lump, then gasps in wonder. "No way," exclaims Herman. "How did you manage that?"
"Dairy," is Reginald's simple reply.
"But you're lactose intolerant!"
"Yep, this is a week of built up cheese and milk, baby."
"Respect, man. Res-pect!" Herman flicks his tiny trophy into the air in defeat. It lands unnoticed in a girl's ice-tea. Reginald gently folds his prized possession back up and returns it to his pocket.
"What can I get you guys to drink?" The two casanovas look up to see a pretty waitress standing over them. She wears her hair up and a short t-shirt displaying a shiny bellybutton ring. She flashes them a flirtatious smile. Reginald blushes; he's the quiet one.
"Cream-of-sum-yung-guy," blurts out Herman, barely repressing his mirth. He's the cool one.
"Excuse me?" says the offended waitress, her smile buried instantly. Reginald bursts out giggling, a line of dribble landing in his lap.
"Just kidding, sweetheart," says Herman . He slaps Reginald on the shoulder. "This here is Reggie, and they call me Hermy."
"Great. Do you want something to drink or not?" asks the waitress coolly.
"Sure. A couple of beers, and keep 'em coming, babe."
The waitress spins around and leaves, cursing under her breath. Reginald manages to control his hysterics, drool lining his chin. "You are so cool, man. Did you see how she was all, like 'excuse me' and stuff. Wicked."
"Yeah," says Herman relaxing triumphantly into his chair. "We are so going to get laid tonight."

Here endeth part one. Let me know if you'd like to hear more of the continuing saga of Herman and Reginald.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Memories of Production

I came across this piece I wrote during the production of DOWN. My memory is a little hazy, but surely it couldn't have been this much fun!

As the second hand on my watch crawls towards its eternal goal, I stuff yet another Marlboro between my dry cracked lips. The sounds of night remind me how lonely it is to be a cricket. My only worry now is that the gas in my lighter will run out before my cigarettes. The clinical lights in my office gnaw into my brain so I stand on unsteady, dying, twiggy legs, and let the head-spin subside. How many hours has it been since I last used them. I look at the clock on the wall that wavers drunkenly before me and decide I don't want to know. Stepping over the rotting body of a Production Assistant (taking the half bottle of whiskey from his limp hand) I leave the dank office - in search of an answer that has no question...It's callsheet time again.

The corridor is empty as midnight approaches, the tortured screams of extras emanating from a distant source. The ash from my forgotten cigarette falls into the whiskey bottle, but its taste is as evilly comforting as ever. A red door hovers in front of me, but the handle keeps dodging my hand. I kick at it in frustration and stumble stupidly backwards onto my ass thinking how absolutely amusing it is to be short. There is a dull sensation of heat on my thigh, and dropping my eyes I see the cigarette burning into my leg. Standing solves the problem, and again I try the door, not ready to be defeated by dead wood. I stumble into a dark room to find the teamsters seated around a dimly lit table sniffing cocaine. Wide eyes greet me and an outstretched hand offers a small mirror lined with magic powder. But the sight of the half-dressed wardrobe girl being devoured by the vampiric drivers forces me out and back down the spinning hallway.

At the Make-up door I stop to lean on the wall and take a long sip from my bottle. I wanna cigarette. Opening the door with considerably less trouble than the first, I enter the Make-up room. Again it's dark, but low grunting noises direct my attention to a corner where I see the Production manager humping the catering girl. She leans hard up against the mirror, her sweaty palms slowly sliding down leaving ghost cloud finger streaks, her face painted dementedly with fresh make-up, like the tormented off-spring of Satan and a clown. I had such a crush on her - the bastard. Fueled by rage and alcohol I throw the whiskey bottle hard at his head. It strikes with a dull thud and smashes into the mirror. Glass and liquid explode as his body slowly slides off her, but she remains, staring at me in the few shards of mirror that remain; numerous expressionless demons. I stand, transfixed, wavering. Suddenly she brakes out laughing, maniacally, hysterically, yellowed teeth bared like a tiger's for the kill. I leave but can't get the laugh away from my ears, or the demented face from my mind.

Where are those damned callsheets!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Blind Painter

Dreary days that pass unnoticed
upon the canvas unravelling beneath my feet.
What picture I am painting never will I know
as I can only look back on it’s initial creation,
unable to go back and change the accidental strokes
and unable to highlight the ones I like.

Before me stretches the unmarked canvas,
allowing me to make fresh strokes,
new colours.
Its completion relies on my own,
and in so being I will never see it complete,
but must hope that those that remain,
still involved in their own art,
will appreciate mine, as I can see now
what those who proceeded me have done.

I hope people will look at it once completed and say:
“I’m not sure if I understand it, but it’s bold and passionate.”

I hope my painting is nice.

Sure it may be soppy, but think balance, people!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Eight Nine Seven Explained

There has been a lot of consternation recently about the number pictured to the top left of this blog. So to settle the matter once and for all, I'll tell you.

897, if you all really must know, holds a lot of personal and emotional value for me. You see, it all started on my fifth birthday when I got my first bag of rat poison...and a rat (ISIRTA). What fun we all had watching him squirm, and, oh, how we laughed at its little thrashing legs. To keep the merriment going I convinced granny to pour a little of the rat poison into my baby brother's bowl, but due to her arthritis, parkinsons, and partial blindness, she spilt the entire contents into her own mouth. Ah, granny was a one for jokes, I'll tell you that. She rattled about on her walking-frame, the rest of us in hysterics, until she bellied-up right in the kitty-litter.

Due to my newfound poison obsession, by the time I was eight I was the only family member not buried in the backyard. Child services picked me up soon after and I was taken to The Gallows Home For Boys, where, as an initiation, I was ritualistically stripped naked, smothered in juniper berries and...

unfinished - must run, will complete later...sorry guys...(curious statement, really, as it contains two consecutive lies; I won't complete it later, and I'm not really that sorry. No, not really.) But to conclude, as one must, the number 897 is just the number of the template that I so economically used to paste my blog onto. Nothing more. Nup, sorry, no big, absurdly profound meaning behind any of it. The dude who designed this template called it 897, and so it is...

Friday, April 08, 2005

See Previous Post

Yeah, you're going to laugh. Thinking the famous last thought: "Well, I made it this far..." I garnered my spirits and pushed on through for that extra hour, just so i may be able to provide that glorious sunrise shot we all dream of experiencing. Two things I forgot: (1) Daylight Saving; (2) Holland's weather is completely abismal right now...there is no chance of a glorious sunrise.

So it's off to bed with aching joints for the next couple of hours until those pesky sing-song, happy-go-lucky morning birds skwark me to waking again. Damn nature, and curse all beauty and purity!!!!!

Behold the Eye of Beauty

So I had this desire to get a picture of the sunrise and write a magical post about it to remind us all of how beautiful the purity of life can be. Hadn't thought it through that well, as it turns out. It's 4:09 in the AM and I'm only just remembering to cling to the frayed ends of the thread of my consciousness. To get this far I've had to drink an inhumanly huge amount of energy drinks (replace 'energy' with 'alcoholic' if you prefer the truth, if not, please ignore this parenthisisisis), I've smoked more than a bezillion cigarettes, and the sky outside laughs as darkly as it looks. No sunrise in sight. All thoughts of purity left me about four hours ago, drowned in the bitterness of my drink and suffocated by copious amounts of nicotine. How can I rightly post a piece on beauty and purity while my body is rank with its nemisis? Easily! I have two options: the first is to lie, and the second is... I've forgotten the second one. No, that's it, to philosophise the crap out of it. Which, in other words, is to lie really cleverly so no one picks up on it.

I'll take the second option, thanks Jonathan. So here it is:

Appreciation of the beauty of purity has nothing to do with the perceiver's own relation to that purity but his own perception of that beauty or purity. That is, can not a completely unartistic man appreciate a work of art? Can not a miner appreciate the astronaut? Can not the dude who punches the holes through toilet-paper to make the perferations appreciate the deep-sea oil-driller? Of course he can! Therefore, a man riddled with grime and sin can also raise his junk-rimmed eyes to view and appreciate beauty and/or purity. So in answer to my own question (How can I rightly post a piece on beauty and purity while my body is rank with its nemisis?): because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and purity is in the eye of beauty.

Ha! What a wonderful load of trollop. And I still don't have a picture of the sunrise. The sky isn't even slightly grey. To hell with it; here's the sky as it is over Amsterdam at 4:49am on Friday, April the 8th. Just imagine this exact same picture an hour later. Mmmm, beautiful, isn't it. (Makes me think, perhaps I can hold out those next 60 minutes...)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Old Man River

This photo is an advertisement for Hollands favourite beverage. That's right: the McDonald's milkshake!! No, it's a picture of my stern young friend, Hans, and his lovely girlfriend, Neeltje (sorry if I spelt that wrong - it's phonetic). Hans is the one on the left. This didn't actually happen on the day this was posted; it was actually last Tuesday. What's more, this post wasn't even posted on the day you see! Sneaky fella.

It was a lovely time on the boat, although cut short. Hans called me to let me know he was on the water, so I responded eagerly that I would join him but had to be at a meeting by 7pm. A strange thing happens to a man when he's on the quiet waters: the chugging engine lulling one's senses, the trees scrolling listlessly past one's vision, the beer clouding one's perception of time. At a moment during this drifting blissfullness I was talking to a friend on the phone who brought me to the startling realisation that it was already almost 7pm. In a panic we stopped the boat where we were, I clambered out and zig-zagged my way to the nearest tram.

I made the meeting, so you can all stop holding your collective breath, but I would have loved to stay out there drifting like a lazy thought beneath the bridges and along the canals until the stars poked through the blanket of night. I'm not dismayed; summer hasn't even arrived yet. There'll be more of this, I guarantee you.

Thanks to Hans for getting me out of my narrow world, and thanks to Gabe Mac for telling me the time.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Steve & The Enormous Two-Inch Man III


NB: If you have not yet read Parts I & II then scroll down to read them first

The story so far: Naked Steve has met an enormous two-inch man in a café where all the patrons were staring accusingly. Steve sits down with the huge midget and tries to talk to him, and through skillful techniques is about to make a connection with him when the barman calls in the police, who are about to arrive...

“Quick,” I turned to the wee giant. “Come with me. We can hide together.” But he just sat there, like a deer in the headlights, confused beyond reckoning.
I dashed to his side and tried to pull him up by the armpit, but his hand shot out involuntarily and gripped the table. The poor enormous two-inch man must have been in a frightful panic, and with no other option I began to pull him by the shoulder.
“You’ll be safe with me, just let go,” I yelled in a panic.
I had managed to drag the little big man a few inches, and must say that for a short person he weighed an awful lot, but his grip wouldn’t loosen and the chair and table came with us.
At that moment three heavily armed and legged policemen entered the café. This sight must have triggered something in the gigantic shrimp for he let go his grasp and we both tumbled to the ground in a heap of flesh and size deformity (not that it’s a deformity).
“Help!!” He yelled.
“I’m bloody trying!!” I yelled back, heaving at his waist in an attempt to haul him to his feet.
It was no good. It was as if, in his panic, he had gained weight (which is also not uncommon in persons afflicted with size abnormality). There was only one thing for me to do; a brave and selfless act. I flung myself at the approaching police.
“Take me instead!” I wailed as I flailed into them.
They seemed only too happy with this new arrangement, and I was quickly cuffed and covered in a blanket, which was awfully nice of them as it was getting rather breezy. They then escorted me to a waiting cruiser and I was whisked away to spend a night in a small cell. B came down the next morning and bailed me out and after telling her the entire adventure she was ever so proud of me. We even stopped for an ice cream on the way home to celebrate.

I never did learn what became of the enormous two-inch man, but I am sure that if we do ever bump into each other again he’ll be more than delighted to come home to sample some of my party-size frankfurters and B’s shortbread.

The Very End.

Steve & The Enormous Two-Inch Man II


The story so far: our naked hero has entered a café looking for shelter and has noticed an enormous two-inch man sitting at a nearby table. The other patrons of the café are all in shock at the sight, so feeling pity for the man, Steve is about to do something. Let's hope it's something exciting...

Still, I saw no reason for everyone to continue their childlike, shameless staring. So I did what any decent citizen would do, feeling pity for the man, and walked over to join him at his table. As I walked over a beer coaster, which had been stuck to my left buttock cheek (which was still a little damp), fell to the floor. This was unfortunate, for as I bent down to pick it up the patrons all gasped. The enormous two-inch man must have done something while I was distracted, but when I bent back up he was just sitting there trying to avoid eye contact. To this day I never found out what it was he did. So I sat down opposite this creature of immense magnitude, doing my best to appear unbothered and natural.
“Hi. My name’s Steve,” said I with a smile.
“Go away,” was his quick reply, and he buried those enormously small eyes in his half-drunk beer. He obviously felt I had come to taunt like so many before.
“You have nothing to worry about,” I continued, “I know plenty of people with stranger afflictions than yours. Why, I even have a second-cousin whose friend knows a hermaphrodite.”
The giant midget said nothing, but his eyes darted to all the watching patrons; unused to the familiar attention I was giving him, obviously. I happen to know that it helps when you relate personal problems to others, so I pushed on.
“I read once that a two-foot woman lived to be 40, so I’m sure you have a few years left.”
“I just want to finish my beer,” he said, and I saw the blush come into his cheeks. Poor sod.
“I know how you feel. It must be hard finishing off a normal person’s sized beer when you’re so small. God, all your life only being able to eat half what others eat, drink half what others drink. But listen, that doesn’t mean you have to achieve half what others achieve or love half what others love. You might only be an enormous tiny person, but in your huge teeny heart you’re just about as good as some normal people.”
He looked at me hard and long, and I knew my words were sinking in.
“Get away from me,” he said flatly, but he didn’t believe in the words he said. It was a mere memory reflex. A defence. Deep down that itsy-bitsy overgrown heart was opening up to me.
“What do you really want to say to me?” I asked, smiling warmly.
“You’re a freak.”
Knowing more than a little of the psychologist’s field I knew he was entering what is professionally known as MT (Mirror Therapy). It’s where the patient pretends he is an outsider commenting on himself in order to understand what it is he or she is feeling queer in the head about. I knew that now I had to play ‘him’ – but the ‘him’ he needs to be, which was no problem as I’ve had ample experience in theatre, including a role as the horse’s rear-end in a school play. I even hunched a little in my chair to seem shorter.
“What, because of my size?” The real him I was playing and showing him had to stand up for himself. To emphasize the point I stood, tall and proud. “Size doesn’t matter.”
“Look mate, no one wants you here. Why don’t you just leave?” he added; a sure indication of his ostracised youth. I could see the therapy was getting him worked up as he regressed into his tortured past.
“Because whether I dangle my deformity in your face or in private it will still exist. One day, sooner or later, whether you like it or not, you’re all going to have to embrace it. And then you’ll see that although I look small on the outside there’s plenty of room within.”
His nervous eyes flashed past my waist to the barman. I spun angrily and saw the barman pick up a phone and make a hushed phone call whilst looking in our direction. What, were they going to call the authorities to come and take him away, stick him in a cell, poke fun at him and jeer and scorn? This was outrageous.

What is going to happen to our hero and his new friend? Will Steve ever manage to put some clothes on? Stay tuned for the final, and thankfully shorter, chapter...

Steve & The Enormous Two-Inch Man 1


This unlikely story all took place on a rainy Tuesday, which was all the more unlikely as it was a weekend. B and I had decided early that morning that we should very much like to go and see a mad cow flog a dead horse, but as they were out of town (to have their poetic licences renewed, I believe) B decided to stay indoors to read a good book by the fireplace. So, as soon as I had found a good book for her to read and built a fireplace for her to read it by, I ventured out alone into the drizzly streets.

It wasn’t long before I was wet through, and only a while longer before I found shelter in a small café. It was a good thing I was naked as otherwise my clothes would have been soaked. The patrons all looked up in unison at my entrance and each gave their own interpretation of a stern glance. It was plain to me, being a worldly sort of person, that they were all trying to tell me something. A silent warning. A sly, curt nod told them I was aware of their warning and I’d keep my eyes open for anything suspicious. After shaking my naked flesh vigorously to rid myself of the last few raindrops – much like a dog would, which is exactly where I learnt this handy trick – I assumed a very inconspicuous aspect and made my swaggering way to a vacant table. The stares continued, and some even looked horrified. I can only assume that the horrified glances came from patrons unpractised in the art of staring, and had no idea their stares looked nothing like warnings. I forgave them their faults as this was a pressing circumstance and my full concentration was needed for the task. I pretended to read a menu, but actually used it to distract any unwanted onlookers from what I was really doing. I was really cunningly scanning the crowd for the source of the patrons’ alarm. It doesn’t take a trained eye like mine long to root out an inconsistency, and sure enough, within seconds, I found it.

Sitting at a corner table, keeping very much to himself, was the smallest man I have ever seen. Now, being a man of the world, I’ve seen my fair share of small people. Why, during a safari in the wilds of Balgowlah Heights I came across an entire flock of short people, all penned in by a fence and running around screaming, as short people are often found doing. A testing sight to say the very least, but still nothing compared to this poor fellow. I admit to having needed a second glance to confirm my initial finding. He was, in my estimation, no taller than two inches from toe to top, but perfect in proportion.

Now, there are stranger things in the world than a small person. Why, only the other day I saw an incredibly small, fur-covered elephant drop a dead mouse at my front door. As we all know elephants are quite all of a flutter when it comes to mice, so this was a strange sighting indeed. But by the way the patrons were aghast at the two-inch man you’d think they’d seen the beach lapping up onto the sea (which is indeed a queer occurrence and has happened only once to me in Rangoon). I must say I was shocked and a little appalled by their behaviour. Hadn’t their mothers told them not to stare? This was no freak of nature to be gawked at; this was a vertically challenged, special person.

On any other day I would have stood up and waggled things scornfully at them. However, this was no ordinary two-inch man. For in fact, and I had to forgive the patrons’ ill manners, this was without a doubt the largest two-inch man I had ever seen. It was unthinkable. If we take size of our common reckoning and think eight-foot is giant for a normal man, then this was beyond comparison. He was easily pushing 5’9”, possibly 5’10”. Now, for a two-inch man that is an enormous growth. Doing a quick calculation in my head I figured he was about 72 times taller than a normal two-inch man, and so figured that if he were born a normal sized man with the same deformity (not that shortness or hugeness is in anyway, shape or form a deformity, and I can say this quite comfortably as I am a friend to short people and one of my closest friends is short anyway) he would be approximately 432 feet tall. Needless to say we were all witness to a phenomenon, and hence my reined wrath.

Stay tuned for Part II of Steve & The Enormous Two-Inch Man

The Unofficial Uncensored Origin of the Tulip

I find myself writhing within the wee hours of the morning, those being the hours that occupy the moments when most respectable persons dream of tulips or mongooses – or so I have been told – while I remain awake to ponder things other than tulips and mongooses, so I figured I may as well share these pondered ‘awakenings’.

To be honest I haven’t had any yet. Not to worry, they usually come in spurts and should not be hurried.

Any moment now…

Ah, the hell with it.

Tulips, eh? What’s with them? Their origin is universally agreed to be The Netherlands. But it’s not true. I’ll get to that later. The Dutch don’t call them tulips, but tulpen (pronounced: T~oól’p.é). They, of course, got the name from the Latin “Tulpiun” meaning tiny cup. There’s an interesting story about that that I recently came into contact with which I guess I’m about to share with you.

In 72AD in Handeiros, a town three miles to the north east of Pompeii (and a popular spot for midget catapulting), the local magistrate, Monogimus, wished to dedicate a species of flower to each of his eighteen wives. I won’t go through them all, but flowers which had previously been called names given them by the druids of the Time Before were now called Geranium, Rosius (now just rose for short), Chrysanthemum, and so on. And these names he gave to his many wives. However, when it came turn to name a flower after Monogimus’ youngest and most petite wife, Androdginus, he decided to twist the rules. You see, poor Androdginus, unlike the other seventeen wives, had a terrible lack of frontal magnitude. Yes, she was as flat as a very flat board suffering from undulation starvation. In fact, she was so flat that one night Monogimus accidentally opened her instead of the front door. Anyway, Monogimus decided to name her AND a flower together. It was of course the Tulpiun (Tulip), meaning “tiny cups”. And this is where we get the saying: “Always check the peep hole before answering the door”.

You thought that was silly, just wait until you hear my theory on mongooses. And you'll have to wait, as I don't have one yet.

A New Day, A New Beginning

Rise and shine people, it's time to move on. Wow, that was a heavy night last night, as you can tell by the previous post. I guess I needed to expell some bad vibes. "Out, out, you bastard demons!"

But today is dew-drop-new, and who knows what it may bring. I feel good about it. I even brushed my hair this morning, maybe one day soon I'll even wash it...but I'd have to be in a pretty darn good mood to do that. Hey, look! I've got two little shiney things on my butt! If you cover the top half of my body the bottom half looks like a praying-mantis. Or just a pair of legs that go up and make an ass out of themselves. (BeCool)

So here's what I'm going to do. To inject this blog with a little lightness I'm going to post some silly stories. Enjoy!

The Darker Side Of


There's only so long a candle can burn to share its warmth. The light cannot fight off the creeping shadows indefinitely. Eventually the darkness that bides its time like a patient cancer will consume all. And so it is that I have only been able to distract myself from myself for so long.

The light of the drunken smiles and aimless chatter is wearing thin and through it I see my own dark reflection. I can turn away and pretend it's not there; have another drink, force another laugh, but I know I can't keep this up forever. Eventually no matter which way I turn, I'll have to face myself; my choice.

Is moving-on supposed to be this hard? My limbs are like lead, refusing to respond. My heart hangs so heavy in my chest I can hardly stand. I shield my eyes from the sun and cower from the dark. Too tired to sleep and too weak to rise. I live constantly half in the light and half in the dark, not ready to face either. Not willing to try.

So I'll open another bottle and let it flood my vision. It's a temporary distraction, but then again, so is life. I'll smile at the parties and nod at the blurred faces who's voices drone incoherently in front of me while I try not to look through the failing light and see my reflection beyond. Then, at the end of the night, I'll return to my darkened room, wait for the shadows to creep over my body, and pray that by morning I'll have no more memory of the light I loved so much; the light that could burn no longer.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Getting down to it

Yeah, I know. So I have all this drama in my life and the best way to solve my problems is to get on with it and make a name for myself. So my friend Benjamin and I are developing a television series with which we will take the world by storm. The only obstacle is this damn fine weather we're having here in Amsterdam at the moment.

As it turns out we just managed to finish what was needed that day and the series is undergoing some development by the production company. Phew! Let's hope it starts to rain again soon so I can concentrate on my work.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Very Next One

So this is the next one, even though it's probably the first one you see. That's just the way these guys do this kind of thing. Fascinating. Actually, this is just a test. Let's go see if it's working now, okay?

The Very Last First One

Okay, so this is my attempt to log, blog and vlog my life as it is. The first post is just so I can view my blog and play around with it until I feel somewhat satisfied with its condition. Still not sure what it'll all be about, and maybe I'll change my mind as often as my underwear, but for now I think it'll be a life reflection, moody pondering type escapade. Okay let's see how this looks. And so it is...