Posts Tagged ‘the Exfactor’

I haven’t done a bloody thing all day, except for walk the Überhund numerous times at odd hours, sleep on the sofa several times, and get my hair cut in a really funky ‘boy do I look good’ style. Sometimes I sat on the sofa in an upright position with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and I would catch myself falling asleep with my head having fallen forward as if I was a rag doll that was falling apart.

Now, this is normal for me in the spring and in the fall, to go through these strange sleeping patterns. Last night I was up in the middle of the night, sitting behind the computer, doing things, and then I woke up with a sore head where it had been laying on the ridge of the keyboard. I do spooky things in the middle of the night again, but luckily, I had the good sense to go to bed and go back to sleep like a normal person and sleep until 7 AM. Still, that did not prevent me from feeling that I had to sleep some more during the day. I am like a cat, aren’t I?

I had a most wonderful time at the hairdresser, but I had already told you that I enjoy going there to watch the women get their hair done. I am always truly amazed at what a good hairdo will do for a woman, no matter how bad looking she is, but that may be the unflattering light around the mirrors that makes me say that. It does reflect you back in all your most basic glory. You need to squint when you look at yourself, or be extremely forgiving. Especially when you sit there with wet hair and a towel around your neck, you have a tendency not to look your best and you have to put on a brave smile and not be embarrassed in front of the rest of the customers. Even your well applied make up doesn’t look that good anymore.

Wel, you know, you grow up and you learn these things and you deal with them and you hope that when you are done you will have a brilliant haircut and that you will not have to sneak home to redo your hair quickly in the bathroom before anyone can see you and laugh at you. I happen to have a very good hairdresser who cuts my hair just the way I want it and we see eye to eye on what looks good. She never fails me. She is a treasure, but no matter what, newly cut hair is just that and you always want to fiddle with it to get it just right. I brushed mine two hours after I got home and then fixed it as close to how I wanted it as I could get it, but it won’t be perfect until tomorrow when I have slept on it one night. I don’t know why that is, it just is.

I talked to the Exfactor on the phone and told him that what I miss about not being married is the ability to tell each other the every day stories about the every day occurences involving the Überhund and the Minion cats. So very often I want to tell him something and then I don’t know if I should call him and share that particular story with him or not. It’s a little bit like having lost a very good friend. I suppose that we will work out some sort of working solution to this that will be non threatening and non invasive to the both of us. I don’t think either one of us has found another person to replace us with in that manner.

When I ask the Überhund if he wants to eat and I get out the bag of dog food, he walks away indignantly if he does not want to eat, so that message is very clear. There is no mistaking that. He stays away until he is sure that I’ve put the dog food away again. Since he is overweight, it is okay if he doesn’t want to eat twice a day, like he did yesterday. He had some little snacks today and a bowl of food and I guess that was enough.

I totally don’t recognize my sister in her new car. This afternoon she practically ran over me and honked her horn before I realized it was she. She is always coming and going and doesn’t have a peaceful bone in her body, she is so the opposite of me. She is very restless and always has to be doing things and have a full calender. I am more of the slow and contemplative kind. She is more of the fast and impulsive kind. She was 10 years old when I left home, so I have no idea why she turned out the way she did. I missed all that part of her growing up and didn’t come back to the Netherlands until she was 32 years old. I did see her in those years, of course, but I really got to know her once I was back here again. In some ways we are neurotically alike, in other ways we are very different. Of course, I am older and that makes a difference too.

I have official confirmation now that I am getting rent and healthcare subsidies. It came in the mail today and I am so relieved about that, because paying the full rent and the full health insurance fees has been expensive with the kind of money I have coming in. I will celebrate with a glass of wine once the money is in my bank account.

I have decided this afternoon to exchange the black cardigan for a smaller size. The one I had ordered was a little bit too big, I thought, I was not quite happy with it and arranged to have it picked up and have the other one delivered tomorrow. i think that is also the day that my ankle boots will be delivered so it will be a fun day all around. Oh, I do so love new items of clothing. I am a real woman, if there was any doubt about that. I may have been a tomboy when I was a kid, but somewhere in my thirties, my female genes kicked into action something fierce. I love and adore clothes, although I don’t spend a fortune on them, I am a frugal shopper. I like feminine things. I like necklaces and lacy bras and perfumes and pretty tunics and dresses. I love colors, besides basic black. Every once in a while I buy something that just doesn’t work out, but mostly I do a fair job. My mother would have been proud of me.

Well, now I am going to take this newly done haircut and the rest of me to the bedroom to get my pajamas on and then I am going to veg out in front of the silly box for some mindless TV watching. Soon enough, I’ll fall asleep and have to drag myself to my cozy bed. The Überhund has already gone there to lie on his pillow.

How wonderful that tomorrow the weekend starts. How sad that I will have to vacuum the whole apartment.



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Where did the day go? Already it is getting dark outside and pretty soon I have to take the Überhund for his last walk.

Well, I do admit that I wasted a lot of time trying to download Linux for free when everybody knows there is no such thing as a free lunch. I downloaded different versions of it a few times, and that took forever, but I didn’t get them to work for me, so I suppose I will have to lay my hands on a bona fide CD and install it properly. I don’t know why I suddenly have this bee in my bonnet about Linux, but suddenly I have decided that I want it. Mmm, rather strange. Why don’t you write me if you have any experience with it.

I also got it in my head to change browsers, so I went from Firefox to  Opera, and  I don’t know why I did that either. Actually, I think they are all diversionary tactics to keep me doing from what I really need to do, and that is write letters of objection. I thought this morning that I had to make a few copies of some financial papers, but I ended up making 20. I am sending these to various people who have to know that they are not doing their job properly. It all makes me sick and I have written two letters already. I don’t even want to talk about it. People are laying down on the job.  I think they are stuck behind their desk with two fingers stuck in their noses and their eyes half shut humming nameless tunes.

I got up late in the morning after i had been up for a while, but decided to go back to bed. It does me a lot of good, that extra sleep. Just two hours or so. Then I hung out behind the computer postponing the inevitable, walking the Überhund and he was being so good about it, until he just couldn’t wait any longer and there was a dry spell in the rain that was coming down.

After I had gone to the store to make all the copies, I felt pretty disgusted for having had to make them and wanted to complain about it to someone, but my sister wasn’t home, so I called the Exfactor who told me he was on his way over to come and do laundry because his washing machine was broken. So, I waited until he got here nd complained loudly and then he complained loudly to me about Social Services too, because they think he can pay me a hefty amount of alimony. So we both bitched for a while.

Then we just visited like ordinary people and I realized that we have actually developed a normal friendship and that the Exfactor felt completely at ease to tell me about the long weekend he had just spent with the Paramount and that it didn’t bother me one bit and I asked questions about it and felt fine with it. We can even discuss our relationship very casually and talk about relationships in general and what fools people can be. So that is good.

He came back later, after he had gone to the hospital for X-rays and a new cast on his arm, and picked up his laundry and will be back for my birthday on the 7th. Such pals we are.

I am going to keep this short, because i am beat and I want to take the Überhund for his walk and get into my pajamas and veg out in front of the TV. I have no other desire but to put my mind on zero exertion.

Have a good day and ad vise me about Linux if you can, is it really the great thing it’s supposed to be?


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I fell asleep on the sofa at 4 PM this afternoon and now I am semi-awake, but slightly disoriented and I keep thinking that somebody is going to come home any minute and I cringe every time I hear a motor engine or a door slam. I have just made myself a large mug of coffee and I hope that with the aid of it, I will soon return to the reality that is my life and not this half awake life in which I am only imagining things. I am sure you all know this feeling of waking up in the middle of the day and having to place yourself in the right context again and sometimes that takes awhile.

The Überhund is sound asleep at my feet. His solid presence comforts me and i realize how much he has changed and how nice and mellow he has become. He used to be such a pain in the neck and constantly want attention and beg for it by being slightly obnoxious, but he does none of that now. He is a nice and quiet dog and talks to me if there is somethings he wants or needs and I can usually figure it out. I think he was in competition with the Exfactor for the Alpha dog role and it made him insecure.

I am not sure which role I have now. When we go for a walk, I am the boss, I made sure of that, but I don’t know for sure if I’m the Alpha dog at home. I hope I am, because he does listen to me and follows me wherever I go, so I must be. When I get home, he is very happy to see me, but he always turns his butt to me to be greeted, does anyone know what that means? Is that submission? Or the opposite?

I have decided on Facebook, that as soon as a person I am ‘friends’ with keeps adding friends at a phenomenal rate and does not communicate with me, I remove them as a friend. I have gotten rid of two so called ‘friends’ that way today and I think I will be removing more. It is after all not a competition to see how many ‘friends’ a person can gather, although that seems to be the purpose for some people. I am not in it for that. I like to approach people myself and sometimes that works out, but sometimes people approach me and I take a chance. There is always the remove button, though. It’s nice to have your occasional comments reacted to. It means people care and are paying attention.

We’ve had a hot weekend, but just now it has started to rain. It is assumed that this was the last of the summer weather and that now the fall will start, although it seems to us that process has been going on already for a while. I was just about to go outside to water the potted jasmine, but now I won’t have to. It looks like it survived it’s haphazard transplant and i think I will have a really healthy plant there next year. With any luck, it will bloom this winter.

The weekend went by quickly. I didn’t actually do very much, except for vacuum and that was a real fun job, because i had changed the bag in the vacuum cleaner and then it always works extremely well. It would suck up the cats if they didn’t get out of the way. It works well on the new area rug and that is good, because I was hoping it would take care of the dog hair there and any fleas or other nasty things that decided to drop off the animals, although I think that the Überhund is flea free now. I ended up buying him Frontline, as I thought the stuff that the vet gave me wasn’t working that well, but the Frontline seems to have done the job. He is also wearing a flea collar, but I don’t have much faith in it. Vacuuming a lot does the trick.

In a way I am happy that the weekend is over. I do like the laziness of it, but tomorrow i have creative therapy and I am looking forward to that, when I finish peeling the backs of those images and start putting the paint washes on. It also means the bureaucracy starts up again and I will have to gather the paperwork on why I don’t want to pay city taxes to go with the objection I sent per Internet this weekend. Basically, because I don’t have an income and I have to show that.

I also have to make an official objection against them withholding my welfare check. It’s all a pain in the butt, but it has to be done. I have to find out where to send the paperwork.

Well, my pall the Überhund really wants to go out now, so I suppose that’s what we will do.

Have a nice end of the weekend and tell me how you deal with adversity, I would so like to know.


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I notice that I have been calling the Exfactor by his regular name again and I want to stop doing that right away, because it gives the appearance of a familiarity and intimacy that is not there and that I do not want to be there, so he is the Exfactor again from now on. The dog will be the Überhund and the cats will just be the cats or the minion cats as it pleases me. The other woman shall still be named the Paramount. I am still the editor of the script and I still pull the strings.

My sister told me yesterday, that she was under the impression that I had forgiven the Exfactor and I said, “Oh, for God’s sake, no, I will never forgive him. I never forgive anybody, that’s not my job.” She equated being friendly and polite with having forgiven and she could not be more wrong. I do have a great sense of pride within myself and a sense of self worth and I don’t like for anyone to come around and seriously damage that to the point that the Exfactor did. So no, I have not forgiven him and I never will. I have a memory like an elephant.

Anyway. I pulled the same trick this morning that I did yesterday, I got up early and went back to bed to sleep some more after I let the Überhund piddle out back.

I am rereading the Memory Keeper’s Daughter and I’m pretending that I don’t remember any of it so that it will all be a surprise to me. Luckily, I fall asleep with it quickly, so I never get to the point that things start to look real familiar. It is that, or a psychological book called Illusions, which I am not in the mood for right now. It’s a self improvement book and I will become amazingly self knowledgeable after I am done with it, but it seems like too much work and I think I know so much already. Mmm…well…

I suppose I’m not really in the mood to dig too deeply right now, not on my own anyway. I am cruising along comfortably now and I don’t want to rock the proverbial boat. I think I don’t want to join the Personality Disorder Group later this year. I think that is asking for trouble. They want to do a very deep analysis of my childhood and I have done that in the past and let me tell you, that is no picnic. I think it would be a bad idea for me to do that now, especially since I don’t seem to be suffering from a personality disorder at this time. I did not before my marriage and I do not afterwards, which makes me think I don’t really have one. I think it was artificially induced and maintained.

I no longer have short rapid mood cycles. My moods are for the most part always the same, or I should say, they are as normal as anyone else’s. I don’t go from an 8 to a 3 to a 5 to an 8 all in one day anymore. I react appropriately to the circumstances and bounce back well. I am an optimistic person and see the glass half full. It’s my disastrous marriage that screwed me up royally and I didn’t know it until it was over, although at the end I started having many suspicions. Like, why did I always fall apart in the afternoons when the Exfactor came home? And why was it as though he fed my hypo manic and depressive moods?

It’s best not to think about it anymore and let it be in the past where it belongs. I am living this life now that is so much better. A quiet and meditative life with moments of busyness and great hilarity. The occasional stress I can handle too.

Well, it’s time to watch the news and be a well informed citizen. How good and well behaved of me.

Have a great day, or what’s left of it.


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The day started off with me getting up at 5AM and fixing myself a mug of coffee and turning on the computer, but all the while I was sitting there kind of bleary eyed as if I wasn’t quite in my right senses. I tried to remedy this by drinking the coffee and eating some toast, but it was all for naught and at 6AM I was forced to go back to bed and sleep some more, which I did very easily. All I had to do was put my head on the pillows and pull the duvet over me.

I woke up at 10 AM and finally felt awake enough to stumble out of bed to the Senseo machine to make myself some coffee and have a nice leisurely wake up with numerous mugs of coffee and equally numerous cigarettes, except that suddenly the Exfactor showed up to come and get some motor parts and I was still in my pajamas which he didn’t seem to notice at all. He was never observant that way. We had a cup of coffee and then he was on his way and I called my older sister and had a nice leisurely chat with her. That way the morning was a complete waste of time. I did check my bank account and found out that I am solvent again.

Then I carefully picked out what i was going to wear and took the Überhund for a walk and he surprised me with three baggies full. Luckily, I am always prepared.

I cleaned the house and then noticed that my back tire was kind of low and called the Exfactor to find out if I had a bike pump anywhere. it turned out I did and I proceeded to try and pump up my tire and I did it wrong and in the process let all the air our of my tire and couldn’t figure out how to work the pump to get the air back in, so i had to call the Exfactor again to ask him what to do. He was kind enough to come over and show me what I had done wrong and how to do it right the next time. Isn’t that awful? A Dutch woman who doesn’t know how to work the bike pump?

Anyway, I made rice in chicken bouillon for the Überhund who knew exactly what I was doing and was waiting very impatiently for me to get done with it. The cooling off period is the worst, because he knows that it is done, but he has to wait. Actually, I am now becoming quite adept at cooking rice, which was not one of my strong points before. You just mustn’t let yourself get intimidated by it.

I am trying to read so many blogs now that I have to take out a few hours every day to read them all. I do want to leave comments, as I appreciate it so much when people leave comments on mine. I would like to get paid for reading blogs, that would be a good part time job for me.

I need to go walk the Überhund as it is starting to get dark outside and I don’t want to wait too long, besides, he is giving me signals that it is time, so I better go now. See you in a while…

So, we had ourselves a nice little walk, although there are always various bushes and other interesting nooks and crannies that i have to pull him out of, where he looks for (in)edible stuff to munch on. He has very strange taste in food stuff. Pretty disgusting actually. He acts like he is a starving street dog who never gets anything to eat. His nose is always to the ground looking for, what to him is, food.

I have been drinking decaf for a while now and I am slowly winding down. After I am done writing this I will watch some TV and then head off to bed. As soon as I start yawning I know I am getting close to calling it a day. I am craving a huge cold vanilla shake, but do you think I can find one of those around here? The cola light is all gone, so I think I will drink a huge glass of cold milk.

You have yourself a great day and a dog with discriminating tastes.


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The one enormous thing I did accomplish today was vacuum almost the whole apartment. That was something anyway. I am rather proud of that, because today was a day of interruptions and I could not keep my mind on one thing too long, because then another thing came along to take my mind off of it. As I tried to read blogs, the phone rang and as I tried to answer mail, the phone rang and as I tried to pay bills, the phone rang and it just kept going like that all day long.

I tried to pay attention to everything and everybody, but sometimes I slipped up and entered the wrong digits in the bank account numbers while talking to someone at the same time over the phone. That does not work and ends up in you having to call the help line and having to do things all over again. There was mostly good news in the mail and I think that was because I wished for it very hard before I opened the mailbox, that and the fact that the Uberhund followed me to it, that must have helped too, he helped me ward off evil mail.

Vacuuming the apartment is always much easier than I remember it to be. I think, “Oh no, I have to vacuum,” and agonize over it, but once I am doing it it turns out not to be such a bad job at all and it is a very satisfying job to do around here with all that dog hair. I can reach the bedroom and the hallway without having to unplug the cord from the living room socket. Such planning in furniture arrangement.

The Exfactor came by quite unexpectedly to get more motor parts and had a coffee. He was most agreeable and only stayed for a while, so it was not unpleasant. He is calm and quiet when he is with me on his own and doesn’t rattle on and on like he does when he is in company.

Tomorrow morning, very early, I have to go to Amsterdam to get an authorization form notarized at the American Consulate in order for me to get a certified copy of my marriage certificate from California. It is very involved and I have been trying to get it for a month now, but they are holding it hostage. My daughter is negotiating the terms. I don’t especially want to go and do this, but I must. It is a 2 1/2 hour train ride and then a tram ride to the consulate. I had to make an appointment and your purse and body get carefully searched for dangerous weapons. I may be a Muslim terrorist disguised as a middle aged Dutch woman and carry an ignition device in my mobile phone and attack someone with my reading glasses.

The train ride round trip costs 40 Euro’s. I just happen to have that money laying around. I have a tree out back that I grow Euro’s on, crisp new notes that grow overnight. A whole damn blossoming tree.

I have to go to bed on time tonight and get up very early to get all of my morning rituals in. I don’t want to be rushed. I’ll forget to do something otherwise. It is very important to schedule some time for navel staring.

I wish I could take the Uberhund with me for companionship, because I hate to go alone, but alone I must go. It will be character building. I just think about tomorrow night and how relieved I will be to have the trip behind me. And yes, I will be exhausted and no, there is no more smoking on trains or train stations.

Well, people, time to end this and get ready for the eight o’clock news. First a Cup a Soup.


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Well, it’s been another busy and eventful day here at he Pondorosa. On top of everything, the weather decided to be a scorcher, so we poor Dutch people were walking around with many body parts exposed and sitting at sidewalk cafés trying to find some refreshment. I am working on a cold bottle of Coca Coal myself, which is helping me quench my thirst and making my stomach region cold. The apartment is pretty cool, because I ‘ve kept most everything closed and the heat hasn’t had a change to sneak in. I just have some little top windows open for a little bit of circulation. An old trick I learned from a native Californian. Do not by all means throw open your doors and windows when it is hot outside. It will fill your house with heat and flies.

This morning I had my appointment with my SPN and i decided to be serious and not have one of those half baked conversations in which I say how great I am doing and then leave again. So, this time I really took my time to talk to her carefully and answer her questions with care. Her concern is that maybe I am hypo manic and I keep having to tell her that, no I am not, I am functioning just fine and am standing with both feet on the ground. I rate myself at a 7, sometimes at an 8 when I am feeling especially good for a little while and sometimes at a 6 when things don’t go as planned, but mostly I am a 7. I don’t think that’s a grade to be concerned about.

I told her, there is nobody jubilating behind my eyes and thinking life is just one great big party and a dream I can’t wake up out of. I think everybody is surprised that I am doing as well as I am. They had expected a hopelessly helpless Irene who wouldn’t have known how to deal with the situation and instead they get this. A competent human being and then some.

We went and saw our divorce mediator this afternoon. We are on agreement on everything and now she is going to write a covenant, which is a divorce agreement between the Exfactor and me and when it is written, we will sign it and it will be presented to the judge, Then we will be divorced in two months time. That’s the normal legal time it takes. She said in the meantime we could consider ourselves divorced for all practical reasons.

The Exgactor and I get along splendidly for small portions of time, but i wouldn’t want to spend a whole afternoon with him, because he starts to irritate me with his lack of attention to detail and his absentmindedness. He forgets half of what you ask him to do, because he writes nothing down and it creates irritation with me who is a stickler for detail. It’s a good thing that we go our own way. We are avoiding a lot of stress this way. Imagine having to be reliant on someone who is so absentminded all the time. Hanging your life up to that particular hook. Very dangerous and unsettling. No doubt it was the source of a lot of my insecurity, because he would not relinquish control.

Well, enough said about that, that’s like getting old cows out of the ditch, as they say here.

I came home to an Uberhund who was very happy to see me, but we could only go for a little walk because it was so hot. The Uberhund would walk for miles, not realizing he was overdoing it and collapse by the side of the road somewhere and I would have to call the animal ambulance. I don’t even have their number in my mobile phone, a good one to add.

So instead we find ourselves here with him laying beside me on the cool floor and with me staying cool while typing this. I am listening to my favorite MP3 player, the one with the weirdest music. I like to wake up with it and go to sleep with it. It’s got I don’t know how many songs on it. Quite a few. Sometimes I listen to the more mainstream ones, when I am feeling more regular and mainstream. Sometimes I just have this need for very odd music. I go through a lot of batteries, but they are all rechargeable, so I am constantly recharging batteries.

I have a tendency to get very sleepy in the evening and start nodding off when i want to start reading blogs. I am going to give it a try now and see how far I will get. Have yourself a good rest of the day and enjoy your evening.


P.S. Here is something I had forgotten about but that needs to be addressed. Two very nice ladies have given me awards. Babaloo for Fairymix.com has given me this award:

And Debs from the Lehners in France has given me this very nice award:

Which leaves me in kind of a quandary. When I left blogger and I came to WordPress, I left all of my awards behind and you know how smitten I was with all of those awards. I gave them top billing on my blog and it was hard to miss them when you opened my page. I thought getting awards was very important and that it equaled being liked by people and being accepted and being appreciated.

Since I left all of my awards behind me, I have had a change of mind and I found out that i did not miss them and did not have the least inclination to import them to my new blog and show them off. I realized that they were no longer important to me and that having them was no longer a sign to me of being one of the gang of accepted and well liked people. That was my interpretation I put on it and it was no longer valid.

So, the next decision was, what to do about any future awards I might get, what would I do about them? Do I gracefully accept them and display them for a day and then get on with life?

I need to hand them out to deserving people, don’t I? But how do I choose, because everyone who reads my blog is a “deserving” person.

I could have a free for all and tell everyone to just take an award when they come upon one, but most people are bashful and will not do it. Nobody will just take an award when it is offered for free.

I have come to the decision not to accept any more awards and to not display them if I do happen to get one, no matter how special and beautiful it is. So, these two I am displaying now are the last two that I will. After that I am taking a page out of Stinking Billy’s book and am not going to clutter up the site with awards anymore, although my reasons may be different than his.

I realize that there are so many awards out there that sooner or later everyone will get at least one. But i say, lets just write for the fun of it and for the beauty of it and for the entertainment value of it and not bother with the awards. The awards lie in the readership and how moved it is by what you write and the comments that follow. That’s what my interpretation is going to be from now on anyway.

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