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R.I.P. Frank McCourt (1930-2009)

Dear friends, a man who in my eyes is a legend, has passed away. Mr. Frank McCourt, irish-american, who wrote my number one favorite book Angela's Ashes and the sequal to this 'Tis.

The complete honesty who used, was so compelling the first book that he brings me to tears everytime I read all the hardships he faced as a child in Limerick, Ireland, his family was poor, not normal poor, but stone-broke poor, begging for food, a father who drank the dole money as soon as he got it, a mother who lost almost al her children, she had 7 in 5,5 years, three who died very early. But still, you want to read on, to see if he makes it, to go back to America, back to New York where his parents had met and married.

I can only tell and advise, read it, you'll love it.

"My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. Instead they returned to Ireland when I wsd four, my brother Malachy, three, the twins Eugene and Oliver, barely one, and my sister Margaret, dead and gone.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was of course a miserable childhood, the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood, is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.
Above all-- we were wet."

And that's just the start...

We'll miss you Frank

new shoes

Only a true woman mourns the loss of dead shoes, but I think I got a pretty good pair to replace them.. :-)



Shocking Queens Day

Queens Day, always a day of happiness and joy in Holland. A day where we celebrate our Queen's birthday. Officially it's the Queen-Mother's birthday, but to keep her memory alive our reigning queen's birthday is celebrated on that day. A day full of parties, celebrations, and every year the Queen picks out a city/town to visit on this day. This year since it's the 100th anniversary of our Queen-mother's birthday, it was in the town Apeldoorn, where our royal family lived for many years.

Today was not a celebration. It started out this way, about about 1,5 hours ago around 12 pm (dutch time), a badly busted up car, drove into the crowd, missing the bus with the royal family BARELY, maybe 10 seconds after it drove passed. It ran into a national statue which is called 'The Needle'. I don't have much information, but I can tell you it's a terrible shock. Images of a shocked royal family in the tourbus they were in. Realizing that if that car had come 10 seconds before he would have hit the bus with all things that could follow.
All celebrations have been cancelled in Apeldoorn and the family has retreated to the palace in Apeldoorn.

We've heard that at least 23 people (including driver of the car) have been injured, this includes at least one child of 7 years old. Two people have passed away, one at the scene and one later at the hospital.

When I have more information I'll post it here.

Updated news, 6 badly injured...


Pictures of the car...



At least 5 people have since died, 2 women and 3 men. The attacker has been called brain-dead by rumors. (if he wasn't already.).. It was now heard a Clear attack on the royal family. He's a white male from the Netherlands, 38 years old. He had recently been fired from his job as a security agent, and planned this attack in detail, getting all the info and factsheets on where the family would go, how they would travel. Stopped his lease on his house and left to do this....

Writer's Block: LiveJournal Book Club

Out of all of your favorite books, pick just one you'd recommend everyone read. As a bonus: why did you pick that one?

Well for those who Haven't yet, shame on you! J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, it's a classic, it's packed with something that would grasp any type of readers. Not much else to say about this one really...

Finally Some Good news

Finally some good news from my brother!

After shorter chemo's that we didn't really expect to work, worked! The activity of the cancer has bee lessened, and the tumor has also shrunk in size!! We're all so happy! It's not full clear yet of it will be enough for surgery, but he still has 2 sessions waiting for him and then we'll see again. But we all needed some good news.

Thanks for the continued support!

P.S. title slightly revised from Robbie Williams, I Will Talk And Hollywood Will Listen

100 questions

Answers under the cut

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Writer's Block: Desert Island Time

You're packing your bag for that magical desert island that happens to have electricity, a TV, and a DVD player—what five DVDs do you take with you?

Such a difficult question! Hmm, let's see.

Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames
The Dark Knight
The Bourne set (ok, officially three, but count as one..)
LOTR (same deal as with Bourne Trilogy)
What movie, whether it was nominated by the Academy or not, gets your personal vote for Best Picture of 2008?

Best picture, definately Dark Knight. Now before you start screaming, it's over Heath Ledger, let me stop you a moment. I miss the actor, yes. He was fantastic for his portrayal as the Joker. But so he was In a Knight's Tale, Ned Kelly, and the others. Did he get credit for that? Not really. He got a good amount of credit for Brokeback Mountain, but I think a lot of that came because of the topic of the film. That's bound to get people talking.

So why am I still voting for Dark Knight? The picture itself is stunning. A good balance of slight comedy, action, love, drama, but it also raises a thought to me. Are we all doing the right thing because of it? Are we fighting for justice and right in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan? No I'm not meaning to talk trash about the services of just the USA. Holland is upto it's ears in it too. Even close to me as a colleague of mine her daughter is now in Uruzgan. Those brave people are fighting for good, or so we keep hearing. But what puzzles me, if we're fighting for good, who are the others fighting for? Aren't they in their view also fighting for good?

Batman fights for justic in Gotham City. Hmm, ok, his methods aren't exactly 'proper'. He's being hunted. He keeps the streets safe, but hardly receives credit. As my dear dear Alfred says. "you are the only one who can make the right choice, as he's looking above it. Maybe we need a Batman in our world, a dark shadow somewhere looking at us, helping us when we need it. Someone although his methods may not always be P.C. could actually work.

Of course Of Course Heath Ledger deserves credit for the excellent work he's done for the film. His portrayal of the Joker was stunning, I still shudder at his laugh and his cold but amazing line, "Why So Serious??" Props to the script writers. So let's give this movie the credit it deserves not just because of one man, but the entire crew.

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