Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer adventures

After a week at home I've realized how much I've missed spending some time alone. It's strange how some times you don't know what you've missed until it's actually there - and then you dread losing it again. One more week!

Although I've mostly been doing a whole lot of nothing, I did find one fun thing to do. I'm not quite sure where that thing is going, but at the moment I'm just enjoying the journey. However difficult the directions may be..

Now if it would only stop raining..
The sound of rain is nice enough when you're inside, but
inside does get boring when it's the middle of July and it's
supposed to be summer out there...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When Night Falls...

The room is dark, but there are sounds outside a door. No light, no footsteps, no voices. Just the sound of someone, or something, breathing, moving on the floor. The silence is eerie, but soothing. After all the screaming and yelling it's a relief to know night has come and the voices have stopped.

It's not a small room, the floor and walls are made of wood. It looks old and doesn't have any furniture. A crate in the corner and some beams to hold up the roof. It looked like there might have been a window in a corner once, but it's too dark to see now. The darkness is the only thing that can protect you here.

When morning comes, the men will be back. You don't know where they'll go, what they'll do to you today. Some days you hear muted screams in the distance. Some still have a fighting spirit left in them, others are too worn down to care anymore. But they all scream when they're taken away. And nobody ever comes back.

The next day, after someone is gone, they'll usually come for you. Not to take you away, but sometimes you think that would have been easier to deal with. The younger of the men is always in a strange mood on days like that. Like a subdued ecstatic one. I wonder if they know the red drops on his shoes are visible. I wonder what he does to them. I wonder, as they take their turns and kill another few pieces of my soul, whether I'll be next.

No wonder I'm always tired when dreams like these fill my nights. This was only a small part of one of a few last night. I seem to be in one of my "two weeks of violent dreams"-periods.. I haven't had one of those for a while, my dreams are usually a lot happier than this.

This dream ended well though. When I was younger I tended to give up, now I fight more in my dreams. Although I do wake up kinda freaked, it did feel pretty good to fly over the ocean at the end, leaving the psycho killers behind..

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Note to self : Bikes

Do not go riding your bike for miles when you haven't been on it for longer than a mile in a year.

Also, do not go riding your bike for miles when the weather report says wind, cold and rain. Especially when you haven't even checked the weather report.

Man my butt hurts..

Time to snuggle up with a movie and something warm, hope I can stick it out for two whole hours!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Home Alone

For the first time in a year!

This evening the rest of the family leaves for the Canaries and I'll have the house to myself for two whole weeks!

What to do for two weeks?

My friend Sleepy simply suggested I host an orgy. Right. He's Dutch. I wonder what that would be like though, creating something like the infamous Plato's Retreat in a tiny town like this. Imagine the drama!

... I should probably stop watching documentaries starting well after midnight...

Two weeks and no plans.. any suggestions?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Explosions in Kampala

So far 74 people have been reported dead, and at least as many injured, in two bomb attacks last night in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The bombs targeted crowds in two locations where people had gathered to watch the World Cup finals Sunday night.

Somehow this feels closer than any attack in a neighbouring country ever could. I've lived in Kampala. I've been at the Kyadondo Rugby Club where two bombs went off, killing at least 60. It's a relatively small club, very cosy with a couple pool tables and an outdoor barbeque. And a big field where people tended to walk off hand in hand, seeing where their passion, and the eternal summer nights, would take them.

I can't help but think of the people I know there, people who were likely to have gone to watch the World Cup final. Hell, if I had been in Kampala I would probably have been there myself.

Somali militants are said to have placed the bombs, three in total. Uganda has African Union peacekeeping troops in Somalia, a country which has practically been taken over by extremists the past years. The statement from the Somali militants reads;
"We know Uganda is against Islam and so we are very happy at what has happened in Kampala. That is the best news we ever heard."
They obviously haven't been in Kampala; there are as many mosques as there are churches.

It doesn't make much sense, killing people who are gathered to watch a football match. Then again, extremists who aim at killing as many innocent people as possible never did make much sense.

I'm just waiting to hear from friends in Kampala. I know people who lost friends in the attacks... I have to say this is quite surreal. Africa sounds dangerous to most people, but I would never have thought anything like this could ever happen in Kampala.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meow she said

Kitten jumps in my window, sits there for a while looking out.

Kitten vomits some creature's insides all over the window sill.

Small creatures have long intestines.
Intestines smell ... bad.

I'm really not sure if I could get any more grossed out right now.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Can-on, Can-not

How stupid am I when it takes me a year to figure out the memory card for my camera can be inserted directly into my Asus eee, thereby making the wires redundant and transferral of photos a whole lot easier...

I knew the slot was there. I even tend to take the plastic bit inside it out when I'm bored and waiting for a page to load (strangely enough it's oddly soothing to push it in and out of its slot, feeling it click into place).

Now all that remains is to wait for the first time I forget to take the memory card out of the slot and put it back into the camera. I'm sure it will happen on a day I really really need to take some pictures, and I'm sure I will curse the day, this day, when I figured out it was a good idea to take the card out of the camera in the first place..

Monday, July 05, 2010

US: Texas Republicans oppose Sex, Homosexuals, Sodomy, Freedom, History, Education... and Intelligence

The NY Daily News reported yesterday that the Texas Republicans wish to criminalize oral sex. This does not seem to have reached the European media yet, probably because no one would ever take it seriously. Well think again, fellow Europeans.

I've read through the entire final state platform for the Texas Republicans for the coming two years. It was 25 pages of sighs, eye rolling and flat out shock and open mouthed awe. The Texas Republicans do want to ban oral sex. Or at least "sodomy", which the dictionaries define as;
"Any of various forms of sexual acts held to be unnatural or abnormal, especially anal or oral copulation or bestiality."
Sodomy is only one item on a long list they want to ban or criminalize and is only mentioned once or twice. Their real mortal enemy? Homosexuality!
"We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God"
There's clearly no arguing with God.

Homosexuality should not be presented as an acceptable lifestyle, "family" can never include a homosexual "couple" (their qoutation marks, not mine), and homosexuals should never be able to marry or form a partnership of any kind. Anyone who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple would be facing a jail sentence.

Nor should homosexual ever be able to have custody of a child. In fact, the Texas Republicans group homosexuals and child molestors together, and preferrably such people should not even be allowed to see their own children (if they have any) at all;
"[...] visitation with minor children by such persons should be prohibited but if ordered by the court limited to supervised periods."
And that applies to homosexuals, not just molestors!

I could go on and on, but I think the position of the Texas Republicans comes across quite clearly: "We don't want no damn homos!" Or something like that.

Let's move on to more fun matters: Sex!

I already did mention the sodomy, and that deserves a second look. But wait - there's more!
  •  "We oppose the legalization of sodomy."
  • "We support raising the age of consent for consensual sex to 18 years."
  • "We oppose sale and use of the dangerous “Morning After Pill.”"
  • "We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage.".
  • "We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools."
  • "We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually–oriented businesses." (ie. strip clubs etc.)
  • "We urge the return to the requirement of blood testing in order to obtain a marriage license."
  • "We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade." (legalization of abortion)
Other than homosexuals, there is nothing the Texas Republicans hate more than abortion. If they have it their way it will be criminalized. If they don't get that, they have a number of other goals. For example should all public funding for abortion clinics and counseling be cut and schools should not be allowed to mention abortion as an option (makes sense since they want to remove all school clinics and nurses, and only teach abstinence).

But then it gets weirder. They want to pass a law stating that "abortion providers" have to "provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives" and "information about the nervous system development." Basically, you should not be allowed to have an abortion before you know the sex of the baby, if it's healthy, how far along in its development it is and so on.

If a woman "orders an abortion", the doctor must explain the pain the fetus will experience, and provide pain relief (for the fetus, the woman is not mentioned). A child should never be in pain, even before it is born (or can feel anything). A child is precious and innocent, and should not be harmed in any way.

Then comes this;
  • "[We] oppose actions of social agencies to classify traditional methods of discipline (corporal punishment) as child abuse."
  • "We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline [in foster homes]."
  • "We urge the Legislature [...] to remind administrators and school boards that corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas."

This is only one of the many contradictions on these 25 pages. Every quote I've posted can be found in the platform document.

I am amazed. 

This isn't some crackpot's ramblings, but the final and official programme and platform for the biggest, most popular and influential party in the second largest American state. They even explain their embargo on Cuba simply by stating that it will last "until democracy is restored". Hello? Saudi Arabia? Your best bud? Ever heard of it?

But I guess I shouldn't be surprised, this comes form a state where the Board of Education recently voted to stop referring to the US as a "democracy", but rather as a "constitutional republic", to make it mandatory for students to find reasons why (not "if") global organizations such as the UN are trying to "undermine U.S. sovereignty". They want to rename slavery "Atlantic triangular trade" in textbooks, and any mention of important Hispanics in American history has been denied. Even Thomas Jefferson has been replaced in the books by Christian thinkers, as examples of a an important political philosophers in US history.

One of the board members explained that; "There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections".

Again - there is no arguing with God.

I have barely touched upon education in this post, unfortunately there are plenty of reasons why I should.

On the brighter side - 

- the Texas Republicans do worry about more than banning homosexuality and sodomy, preventing abortion and sex before marriage, and changing the curriculum to please God. They also care about traffic lights and cameras.

On page three, before any of the other nasty stuff, under the headline "Preserving American Freedom" - "Limiting the Expanse of Government Power";
"Banning the Use of Red Light Cameras – We oppose the manner in which alleged vehicle violations are documented and fines levied against individuals without proof of their having been the driver of the offending vehicle and we call for a ban on Red Light Cameras in the State of Texas."

I say bring on the cameras!
Maybe they'll get so preoccupied they'll decide to keep out of people's bedrooms.

Let the sodomy begin!