Category: Journal

New Office

My company just moved to another office and it’s been an interesting process. The last time we moved offices was quite a few years ago and I remember that to have been a pretty smooth transfer. Admittedly, we were a bit smaller then. This time it didn’t go quite as smoothly.

Yesterday, upon arriving at the new office, which is in an area of Amsterdam where there are currently many construction projects, I found that the building we’re in is still under active construction. It turned out that not just our building, but also our office was still under active construction. Small things, like water in the kitchen was missing and we only had one sink in the bathrooms that provided water. But more legit things like missing toilet doors and only two working electricity outlets. The latter was exciting, since we connected everyone to these sockets and it was a miracle that everything was sort of up and running.

We started unpacking boxes, arranging desks and clearing some of the mess. By the afternoon, when most of that had been done, the office actually started to look kind of nice. We still had construction workers roaming around, drilling everywhere, and everything is kind of covered in a perpetual layer of dust, but it was turning out alright.

The whole place has a bit of a dead-tech, post-modern, industrial feel to it, but it looks kind of cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a few cool photos once things are looking a bit more presentable and I can share what the office looks like. Until that time there is a lot of freewheeling, troubleshooting and unusual shit to take care of. Hurrah!(?)

A Funny Incident

My weekend has been wonderfully lazy. Joasia and I went to see a film, had some dinner together, and generally just lazed around. On Sunday morning we decided to go to Staring at Jacob for a late breakfast. The weather being as wonderful as it was, we sat outside, enjoyed some really good food and chatted together. We cycled back home and about halfway home is when it happened. I suddenly felt like I had a strange, almost out-of-body experience. It felt as if I had taken some MDMA. A general wooziness that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. I think perhaps my blood sugar levels may have been impacted by the food. I have never really experienced it, so I am using this post to plant a flag and remind myself in case it happens again.

No Longer an Eligible Stem Cell Donor

Years ago I submitted myself as a potential donor for stem cells. I went through the whole rigamaroo of giving blood, getting tested, etc. Unfortunately, I was just called by the organisation that arranges this to go over my medical history. Unfortunately, the thrombosis and subsequent pulmonary embolism I suffered in 2013 makes me no longer eligible to be a donor. Kind of sad about that.

Birthday Celebrations

This year my birthday celebrations came the weekend after my birthday. Jim had flown in like a rockstar friend and we went out to dinner on Saturday evening. It was Joasia, my brother and sister, Jim, and Luba who was visiting my brother. We went to the Beefsteak Club where we had a great meal. Initially, my sister wasn’t liking the idea of paying a boatload of money for the food, but she seemed to come around once the food actually hit our table. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, which made me happy.

Afterwards, we made our way to the¬†House Bar for drinks. I had arranged with Thomas, the bar manager, that he’d make sure that there was a welcome punch for the guests and he had cleared some space for our party. We were there right on time, and Bodil was already there, finishing up her shift behind the bar.

Interestingly, there was an American lady by the name of Beth at the bar who started talking to Jim and I. It turned out that she lived in Chicago for the past three years, but both Jim and I were a little surprised that she had very little knowledge of Chicago and its neighbourhoods. It was a nice enough chat, but we left it at that. Later, she was suddenly standing next to me and handed me a note with her number on it and an invitation to let her know what the plans were for the rest of the night. I thanked her for the note and she left the bar. Very flattering, and kind of brave on her part because Joasia was sitting right there. Joasia handled it like a cool cucumber.

People started arriving. Alina, Thomas, Ed, Dennis, Moulsari and Kim, my cousin. Kim and I are about three months apart in age and she and I grew up together. So it will be her fortieth birthday soon, too. People tell me that I look young, but she hasn’t aged a day over 25!¬†Another person I really enjoyed meeting was Marc, Bodil’s boyfriend, who turned out to be a really nice guy.

Then I was surprised by Morven and Zak, who suddenly showed up out of nowhere! They had been celebrating gay pride in London and had decided to take the last flight out to Amsterdam in order to be there for my birthday celebration after all! They completely caught me off guard, and it was an incredibly nice surprise.

People started leaving after midnight, and we were left with the hard core. Unfortunately, my brother and Luba left around midnight, too. Apparently, they decided that they didn’t get to see each other very often, and therefore wanted to leave. I understand it from Luba’s perspective, since she doesn’t care about my feelings, birthday, or my relationship with my brother, but I was very sad that my brother decided to leave.

We stayed at House Bar until about 2 o’clock, when Mounir had showed up after finishing his shift at the Taylor. We took one last shot of bourbon and paid the bill. (Ouch!) We jumped into taxi’s and made our way to Club Nyx. My taxi arrived a bit later than the other one so when I showed up at the club the people who were already there had gotten pizza’s!

After pizza’s (and an impromptu shoe wear change on Morven’s part) we were in the club and I had a great time, consisting mostly of a) dancing and b) shots. We decided around five to leave and we said our goodbyes. When we were home, Jim and Joasia went to sleep, while my sister and I decided to walk over to the train station and wait for the first train to take her home. That took a while, but eventually I got to bed around eight or so.

And that was officially the end of my birthday celebrations.

A few days afterwards, Eva was telling me that she had been at a yoga retreat, practicing some metta meditation and right as I celebrated my birthday she was sending me all her karma-chi-love vibes. I believe I felt them, because that night was pretty awesome.

A Challenging Week

This week started with my birthday, but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to really celebrate or enjoy it. At work, two new developers started on the day of my birthday, and it was my intention to get them settled as quickly as possible so that they could hit the ground running. In the past, we’ve had people start who didn’t have the welcoming or productive start they deserved. So I wanted to do better. I think I succeeded, and after having a short review of the week with them individually today, it seems they feel the same way.

It meant a lot of scrambling, running around and fixing things. It also means I didn’t settle in any rhythm this week, which usually leaves me tired. Jim is arriving shortly, and tomorrow I’ll have the chance to really celebrate my birthday. Hopefully that will soothe some of the stress of the previous couple of days.