Friday, December 30, 2005

This is NOTHING!! (2)

"This is NOTHING!!"
Dustin Hoffman as Stanley Motts in Wag the dog.

"This is NOTHING!!"
Circumspection as himself when reading Kafka.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Befehl ist Befehl

By limiting ethical choices to “obligated, allowed or prohibited” one renounces personal responsibility for reprehensible behavior.

The ethical essence of an orthi (2)

By limiting ethical choices to “allowed or prohibited” one renounces personal responsibility for reprehensible behavior.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nother brother

Just met my cognate and I did not have feelings of contempt nor other negative or even positive emotions about him. I felt nothing, an absolute plain indifference. He is definitely out of my system.

We just happen to have had the same parents.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The ethical essence of an orthi

... is not about the choice between "good and bad" but between "allowed and prohibited".

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Online chess

I just played a stripper, she had a huge ...           

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PROVIDIS insurances, highly recommended

"Dear Mr.Circum,

To our regret we have to inform you that although you have a legal aid insurance with us, we will not cover for any of your lawyer costs. We do not consider the ambulance trip to the hospital nor the police report or the various doctor reports a proof that the accident you claim to have had is the cause of your injuries. Once the causative connection between the accident and your injuries is proofed we will update you on our final standpoint.

With kind regards,

Insurance company PROVIDIS"

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

An orthi, God unworthy

Claiming closer to God
then a goy or a frayer
nothing but a facade
in his frumm attire.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dai, dai, diddle do, I'm a swindling orthi Jew

There is a huge mistake in thinking that one who conscientiously follows Halacha automatically has high ethical standards. The way some frummers morally behave gives me feelings of vicarious shame.

I plead to make human ethics an obligated branch of studies at jeshiwas (and don’t forget to retrain the parents).

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reflections for sabbath (11)

Heaven or hell?

If two enemies meet in heaven is it because both of them are sent to hell?

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

Reflections for sabbath (10)

Dupe your fellow man but eat glatt kosher!


Why do some orthodox Jews behave as if there wouldn't be a hell?

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

A necrophilic gang bang

(little detail: this corpse ain't dead yet but alive and will be kicking)

Screw the guy who caused the accident for never informing how I am doing.
Screw his insurance company for declaring the €400 they paid till now as being sufficient to cover for everything.
Screw my insurance company for not wanting to pay for a lawyer to fight the other insurance company.
Screw my bank for immediately after my accident demanding a triple guarantee above all the warranties they already have.
Screw my business partner for his parasitic behavior.

How strange it may sound, there is no angriness in me.

I believe in my own strength.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This is NOTHING!!

"This is NOTHING!!"
Dustin Hoffman as Stanley Motts in Wag the dog.

"This is NOTHING!!"
Circumspection as himself when reading Job.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

And this is really nothing

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I am not disappointed in people

... but in my estimate on some
and strengthened by the attitude of others
(both effecting my druthers).

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A joy for the ear and mind

Music composed as the finest minimalistic drawing:

Anouar Brahem: "Le pas du chat noir"

Friday, December 09, 2005

AXA insurances, highly recommended

"Dear Mr.Circum,

We at AXA have the pleasure to announce you that the €400 you received till now, we find more then sufficient to cover for your broken bicycle, broken safety helmet, three broken ribs, ripped elbow, medical costs including the ambulance trip from the place of the accident to the hospital, your two-week hospital stay, whiplash, three months loss of income, and all other costs and inconveniences you might have had or might get.

Hoping to be at your service with this,


Insurance company AXA"

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Healing (2)

Healing? Healing?
We don't heal, we diagnose, we are doctors.
By the way, can you come again next week? There is this other cute test we can do.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Healing (1)

Here are some pain pills.
Here are some sleeping pills.
Here are some stomach pills because you take too many pills.
Here are some uhm...... sorry for asking, but what were your complaints again?

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Complacent on inner balance

Reconciled poise
disturbing dynamics.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Circumspection or Circumvention?

Am I fooling myself?
Will the shock come later?
Am I really that strong?

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


One bicycle got run over
two got damaged
three got stolen.

The last one got damaged last night in an attempt to steal it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's not that eesy

How to valuate a neuropsychological report when the observing psychologist has made simple spelling mistakes?

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dr.Chacham proudly proclaims:

“After weeks of thoroughly taken series of tests, we came to the conclusion that you must have hurt your neck during the accident.”

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Reflections for sabbath (9)

Esau is such a stupid schmuck, every year he steps in the same shit. He just doesn't deserve any better.

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

One year of blogging

Through literal excretion
maturing cognitive accretion.

(disburden by writing bull)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Limbo! (or: How low can you go?)

"Things can't get any worse, it can only get better from now on."

One morning in the jungle a huge gorilla wakes up. Widely he stretches his powerful arms, yawns intensely and while beating his impressive chest with his clenched fists he fills the jungle with his bellow, roaring: “HMMMMMMM, I could kill a lion with my bare hands”.

Then suddenly behind him he hears “WROOOOOOAAAARRRR”. He looks over his shoulder and really close-by there is this humongous lion. He then turns his head forward again, taps his chest with his forefingers and whispers: “Such stupid things a monkey can say”.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

One happy fatalist (12)

The accident two months ago made me into a real man; I can only do one thing at a time now.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Why do I blog?

Writing helps me understand and cope with various aspects of life.
It has a therapeutic effect on me as a creative exhaust valve for my frustration, anger, love, doubts, pride, humor, sarcasm, irony, skepticism, happiness, sadness, friendship, fears and indignation. I mostly write for myself, trying to catch a thought into one sentence and as compact as possible.

I'm not really sure why I let others read it.
Is it that I find it relieving to “say” things out in the open or do I have negative motives like exhibitionism, attention-seeking and/or self assertion?

Friday, November 25, 2005

The essential Circumspection

The times they are a-changing
(It's a nicer amble on the other side of charity.)

Knockin' on heaven's door
(Can you please pick on someone else now?)


One happy fatalist (11)

I can't say my life is boring.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The doctor who treated me the first four weeks after my accident, and who did not diagnose me with severe concussion nor three broken ribs, recently accused me of “medical shopping”. He did this when he found out that I had switched to another hospital (where they did diagnose both).

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Finally a good hand-job

Eight weeks with people playing doctor; people who avoid all physical contact. Blindly relying on their impressive toys to make all sorts of scans and pictures. And when their toys don't detect any “hardware” problem then the complaints must be imaginary.

One hour with a manual therapist; the first one in 2 months who actually touched my neck. And he located the exact place of my problem in my neck's soft tissue (apparently not detectable by any of the fancy-schmancy doc-toys).

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Let's play hospital!

The difference between doctors and boys is the price of their toys.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

No wolf no cry

All human things are subject to decay
so why not friendship?

Cathartic crisis

The moment of profound grieve
purifying tears
pure simple emotions

then you wipe your eyes
take a deep breath
and proceed.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Monday, November 21, 2005

One happy fatalist (10)

Thank God the fire in our basement (two hours ago) got noticed before it did any serious damage.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Just another relaxing bladder test

Naked from the waist down, tubes stuffed down my penis, attached to all sorts of machines around me, sitting in some sort of gynecological chair, in a position not really appreciated by my broken ribs, a balloon pushed up my behind and inflated automatically (thank god), my bladder filled by a machine to near-bursting maximum, several people of both gender around me, watching me while I'm unable to follow the order to urinate in a sort of child's-potty that is situated somewhere underneath-behind me.

Later, the rapport from the doctor read that they found me a bit tensed.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Circumspectly pragmatic

Accepting the current situation
but not as my final destination
thus arduously trying
the drift.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Reflections for sabbath (8)

Would we also have only ten commandments had Moses a weblog instead of stone, hammer and chisel?

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

One happy fatalist (9)

Of our three remaining bicycles they only damaged one today.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Closing down my business

I won't use
the excuse
of an “amputated leg”
to beg
but to start training for the paralympics.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Freedom of choice

My doctor told me that instead of a whiplash I rather could have a broken hip.
I told her that next time I'll have an accident I'll try to remember.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Agnostical anger

If I only knew who to get my hands on.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Paradoxical pride diet

In times of poverty, pride has a negative nutritious value.
But if you don't want to loose weight you better swallow a lot of it.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Reflections for sabbath (7)

[Ps. 37, 25]

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


"De geschiedenis van twee oude mensjes en een portretalbum"

Wij werden in een magere tijd, een tijd van zuinigheid geboren
Maar, met veel ijver en beleid wisten wij bronnen aan te boren
Van welvaart en van zekerheid, nu gaat dat alles weer verloren
Wij bijten straks weer op een houtje

We kwamen echt in goeden doen, we konden zelfs wat potverteren
Nu zullen we, met goed fatsoen, nog met z'n beitjes moeten leren
Om, net als in de tijd van toen, de dubbeltjes weer om te keren
Ja, neem nog maar een laatste zoutje

Zoals het met de business gaat dat dat niet zoveel langer meer kan duren
Daar hebben we al eerder over gepraat, ja zelfs tot in de late uren
En nu ik niet meer uit werken kan, dan zal dat ons 't meest bezuren
Ons optimisme was een foutje

We hebben ze voorgoed gehad, die wondermooie vette jaren
Soms zou ik willen, lieve schat, dat wij twee oude vogels waren
Dan kwam er wel een grote kat om onze klus voorgoed te klaren
Een levenseind als lekker boutje

- (freely rendered) Lyrics by Louis Davids -

The end of my future as I knew it?

No comic inspiration today. Have to drag myself to a meeting with the bank. Will my business survive or will the bank unplug it? The foresight of not being able to work for months doesn't really help me here.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

No I'm not depressed

But it wouldn't show much sense of reality
to be happy in my situation either.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You've got to see it all as a game

End of game, you've lost.
Feel like playing another one?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rope dancing through life

It is easier to keep your balance when you leave all your expectations behind you.

Learning all the time

Rearranging positions at the relational concentric circles around me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Are you depressed?

Who? Me? Cripple, unable to work for months, married, 4 kids, no savings and no income... naaaah I'm not depressed. What gave you that idea?

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

How do you feel?

Baruch HaShem, unbeshrieh and unberufen.

(Thanks to some Coversyl™, Lypanthyl™, Zantac™, Seretide™, Zolpidem™, Trazolan™, Contramal™, Dafalgan™ and Brufen™.)

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Non-suggestive multiple choice mental test

Q: Do you think your accident is something you deserved?

1) yes
2) absolutely
3) no doubt about it
4) most probably

Q: Do you think nobody loves you?

1) yes
2) absolutely
3) no doubt about it
4) most probably

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

It's all in the mind

To keep my room mate from hearing our conversation, the psychiatrist closed the thin textile curtain that devides the room in two.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sleeping beauty

Sleeping pills despite
I still wake up at night.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rise and shine

Mornings I'm broken
like the worst mourning
Doc nerds have spoken
words so absurd
Crazed ribs are stinging
special the mornings
Praise for the pain pills
Brufen™ preferred.

Freely rendered from "Morning has broken" by Cat Stevens.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


For more then three weeks I have been unsuccessfully trying to convince the doctors that the right side of my body is reacting slower.

Today they checked it again and were still not convinced.

But now they think the left side is quicker.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Mind you

My neurologist wants me to do a memory test coming Friday. It will be given by the hospital psychiatrist.

The same one who forgot to come here yesterday.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Zo vader, zo zoon

Vandaag van mijn oudste zoon een door hem gebrande cd gekregen.
Eerste nummer daarop: "Papa loop toch niet zo snel"

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Relax, you're in good hands

"I'm sorry sir, I don't have an explanation for that complaint, furthermore it doesn't fit into what I think you have."

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

No Really?

"Mr.Circum, the effects of this accident are just in your brain."

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.


For something that is just imaginary it hurts an awful lot.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Silly me

I keep forgetting that this pain is just imaginary.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.


Too bad that latest scan yesterday revealed 3 broken ribs (almost 6 weeks after the accident), I rather had the doctor telling me that I was just imagining that pain too. Then that problem would have been solved too.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.


Nothing was found
I just think I can't walk.
It's a real miracle
I don't even have to go to Lourdes anymore.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

The great pretender

Solid medical scientific logical explanation.

They can't find any organic damage, so I must pretend my impairment.

Ergo: I should get out of bed, and walk. So stupid of me, why didn't I think of that myself? {slapping my forehead}

Oh-oh, yes I'm the great pretender
Pretending a damaged brain cell
My gait is such I pretend too much
I'm walking but no one can tell.

Freely rendered from "The great pretender" by The Platters.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Monday, October 31, 2005

One happy fatalist (8)

At least I remember that I keep forgetting things.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.


Het is morbide
ik word sluipend invalide.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

{Big yawn}

Another lidless night has gone,
so no sick joke but bad rhyme this dawn.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Running competition at the hospital

My roomy and me will hold a 100 meters race tomorrow morning.

We hope to be back before dark.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.


If life's a game, then this hospital stay must be half-time...

I wonder what the second half will bring.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Changing to daylight-saving time in hospital

Great! I can stay in bed one hour longer.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

One happy fatalist (7)

According to my doctor I am assured of (at least) one year of good blogging inspiration.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Sick call

Bugger all
but hallelujah for paracetamol.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

To you, my dear friends

I surrender
to whatever my destination turns out to be
I surrender
because I know that I am surrounded
I surrender
to you, my dear friends
I surrender
in your warm shelter I will be healed.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Like night and day

I'm cured of my sleepless nights at home...
I now have them in the hospital.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My shrunken world

Less and less matters
nothing is self-evidently anymore
sleeping, waking, walking, talking, thinking, writing
it'll come back
I just have to be patient.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

One happy fatalist (6)

Going to the hospital now
to be released from my suffering.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Time flies

... and butter flies too.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

The theory of General Relativity revised

Already over a month of physical discomfort...
Incredible how time flies when having a good time.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One happy fatalist (5)

Dancing the sickroom hora
at Simchat Torah.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.


(a happy kvetch in a sappy sketch)

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Monday, October 24, 2005

One happy fatalist (4)

A doctor a day, keeps the tedium away.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.


Nightmares alternate with daymares.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stop wailing you whiner

Stop being a putz
your behaviour is pathetic
get energetic
and screw up your guts.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Resigning (2)

A coup de grace
will end this harass.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Beyond despond
waiting for the final blow.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

One happy fatalist (3)

{big smile)... Nothing bad happened today! (so far)

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Yearning for the good ol' dark days.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Selichot (to my kids)

I am sorry for being such a moody father
I am sorry for my problems in your lives
I am sorry not being able to give you a better start
I wish it was otherwise
I am so very sorry

Monday, October 17, 2005

I have a dream...

... and I can't wait to wake up.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

One happy fatalist (2)

Only three of our bikes were stolen today.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Putrefied pride

What will be the next level in my deterioration?

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, October 14, 2005

One happy fatalist

Patiently waiting for the next ordeal with a smile on my face.

To the next post in the "One happy fatalist" sequence.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Yom Kippur 2005 (2)

{deep sigh}... and thus extol God: How awesome are your deeds!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yom Kippur 2005

This time, in my yearly parley with God, I'm going to confront him with his attitude towards me; and he'd better have a bloody good excuse!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Moody Moose blues

Nights incite aching,
Never reaching an end,
Spasms I’m gettin',
They never seem to mend.

Sleep I moreover missed
like the days before,
Just what relieve is
I can’t say anymore.

Causing insomnia,
Yes, insomnia,
Oh, oh, insomnia.

Freely rendered from "Nights in white satin" by the Moody Blues.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Midlife (30)

The color of my life: from crying dark to deafening indifference.

To the next post in the "Midlife" sequence.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Yet, it's sour
the sight
of my castle's decay.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The essence of life

(written in pain)

Lesion Injury Fester Exertion

Infliction Soreness

Bruise Edema Ache Upset Torment Irritation Fibrillation Unpleasantness Lamentation

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I rather complain

I'll be glad when this physical pain is over and I can start moaning about my situation again.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Heavy thoughts

Does E=mc² means that thoughts and emotions can be weighed too?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

That's all folks

Life is the phenomenon of a coincidental and temporal collaborating agglomeration of X molecules into a more or less standardized form, undergoing a cooperative decay as a unit from the moment of the onset of their cooperation.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Midlife (29)

If life's a gift,
then why does it feel like a duty?

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Trapped in life (Midlife 27)

Where once verve shone
my burden grown
now despond thrones.

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Friday, September 23, 2005

Things can't get worse...

Yeah, sure.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Happy B-day Circum!

My sadistic guardian angel, in its unfathomable wisdom, found it necessary to give me an accident for my birthday. I drove my bicycle and got run over by a car. Maybe my angel needed a break and gave me enough pain to last his vacation.

Oh the joy I have, living.

To the next post in the "Accident" sequence.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Saramago's Blindness Revisited -- an eyewitness account from New Orleans

The following is from a message from Tobias Wolff to his father, Robert Paul Wolff, professor in the Afro-American Studies Department at UMass Amherst. It contains an eyewitness account of two friends of Tobias who were in New Orleans to attend a conference. Both are paramedics from San Francisco and were trapped in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Hurricane Katrina - Our Experiences

By: Larry Bradshaw, chief steward of the Paramedic Chapter of SEIU Local 790 in the Bay Area and Lorrie Beth Slonsky, a member of the same chapter and editor of the medical journal The Gurney Gazette.

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen's gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.

We were finally airlifted out of New Orleans two days ago and arrived home yesterday (Saturday). We have yet to see any of the TV coverage or look at a newspaper. We are willing to guess that there were no video images or front-page pictures of European or affluent white tourists looting the Walgreen's in the French Quarter.

We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed,were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators.

Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded.

Most of these workers had lost their homes, and had not heard from members of their families, yet they stayed and provided the only infrastructure for the 20% of New Orleans that was not under water.

On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole.

The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City.

The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts.

Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in.

Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. We were dropped off near the airport and managed to catch a ride with the National Guard. The two young guardsmen apologized for the limited response of the Louisiana guards. They explained that a large section of their unit was in Iraq and that meant they were shorthanded and were unable to complete all the tasks they were assigned.

We arrived at the airport on the day a massive airlift had begun. The airport had become another Superdome. We 8 were caught in a press of humanity as flights were delayed for several hours while George Bush landed briefly at the airport for a photo op. After being evacuated on a coast guard cargo plane, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas.

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Most of us had not eaten all day because our C-rations had been confiscated at the airport because the rations set off the metal detectors. Yet, no food had been provided to the men, women, children, elderly, disabled as they sat for hours waiting to be "medically screened" to make sure we were not carrying any communicable diseases.

This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans. We saw one airline worker give her shoes to someone who was barefoot. Strangers on the street offered us money and toiletries with words of welcome. Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

André Hazes

De ultieme natte droom van een fan:
Trouw met je idool, krijg zijn kinderen en beschik na zijn overlijden over zijn as.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Naches (9)

As so many parents I told my children when they were really young, that whenever they would fib, a big red line would appear on their forehead. I added to this that they could prevent me from seeing it by placing their hand over their forehead when they wanted to fib.

Four kids I have, and they all fell for it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sexual Education

My youngest son (10 yrs.) asked me how a baby would get a stork’s bite.

"Stork's bite": literally translation from the Dutch word “ooievaarsbeet”, meaning “a reddish birthmark in the neck”.

So I explained him that during the delivery the stork, with its beak, holds the baby in its neck. He looked at me in disbelief.

Then I asked him: “Or do you still think babies come from sex?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Self-awareness (4)

"Ich bin ein Berliner Schmuck dealer." - Circumspection

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Holocaust survivors, second generation (12)

Contemplating now, I consider the following as the awakening of my mistrust when it comes to hidden anti-Semitism.

I must have been 9 years old.

A nanny of whom my parents were really content looked after us, my little brother and me. Once when I wanted to kiss her, just as a little boy expresses his affection for an aunt, she repelled scornfully saying: “Bah, I don’t want no jodenlijm to my face”.

Jodenlijm: literally translated means “Jew glue” and is Dutch derogatory slang for “spittle”.

I never mentioned this to my parents. I felt something between shame and the need to shield them; I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I did see this incident for a long time as example of the hypocrisy of the people around us; friendly to our faces but behind our back contemptuously referring to us as “those Jews”.

What did upset me the most though, was not the anti-Semitism, that I had experienced already enough (verbally and physically) at school and in the street. I couldn’t understand that my parents were blind to the fact that they had taken someone “like that” in our house...

It just did not feel safe anymore.

To the next post in the "second generation" sequence.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I was watching an interview with a colonist the other day when this man made the statement that “the colonists are the best Israel has to offer”...

And I thought to myself “so now we even have über-Israelis”.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Enjoy your time!

How can I, when living is taking up all of it?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Misfortune (12)

Making both ends meet...
an interesting job.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Obviation (19)

Behind every successful man there are a lot of scroungers.

To the next post in the "Obviation" sequence.

Monday, August 22, 2005

My doctor told me:

When you take these pills till you’re 100 you’ll live long.”, and then charged me €50.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Reflections for sabbath (6)

Religion: the marriage beween magical thinking and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

To the next post in the "Reflections for sabbath" sequence.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

My love

What is love
If we keep up our fences
So let’s get undressed
And share our nakedness
No borders of any kind between us

To continue together
We have to give
The things we need for our happiness
We can't buy
So let’s give up our fences
And share our nakedness

Though tenderness is free
It seems hard to give
You don’t show weakness
By giving it
So let’s give up our fences
And share our nakedness

What is nicer than to see
The pleasure of your partner
Giving tenderness to you
For what's love
When not equally shared
So let’s give up our fences
And share our nakedness

I need adult love
As a life buoy
In my existence
For without love
What’s the reason for all the suffering
So let’s give up our fences
And share our nakedness

Friday, August 19, 2005

It's a tragic game

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor..." - Sholom Aleichem (1859-1916)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Most of the time ...

"Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all." - Woody Allen

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Say what?!

You need two attentive listeners for a valuable dialogue.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Comme d'habitude

Je me lève
Et je te bouscule
Tu n'te réveilles pas
Comme d'habitude

Sur toi
Je remonte le drap
J'ai peur que tu aies froid
Comme d'habitude

Ma main
Caresse tes cheveux
Presque malgré moi
Comme d'habitude

Mais toi
Tu me tournes le dos
Comme d'habitude

Je m'habille très vite
Je sors de la chambre
Comme d'habitude

Tout seul
Je bois mon café
Je suis en retard
Comme d'habitude

Sans bruit
Je quitte la maison
Tout est gris dehors
Comme d'habitude

J'ai froid
Je relève mon col
Comme d'habitude

Comme d'habitude
Toute la journée
Je vais jouer
A faire semblant
Comme d'habitude
Je vais sourire
Comme d'habitude
Je vais même rire
Comme d'habitude
Enfin je vais vivre
Comme d'habitude

Et puis
Le jour s'en ira
Moi je reviendrai
Comme d'habitude

Tu seras sortie
Pas encore rentrée
Comme d'habitude

Tout seul
J'irai me coucher
Dans ce grand lit froid
Comme d'habitude

Mes larmes
Je les cacherai
Comme d'habitude

Mais comme d'habitude
Même la nuit
Je vais jouer
A faire semblant
Comme d'habitude
Tu rentreras
Comme d'habitude
Je t'attendrai
Comme d'habitude
Tu me souriras
Comme d'habitude

Comme d'habitude
Tu te déshabilleras
Oui comme d'habitude
Tu te coucheras
Oui comme d'habitude
On s'embrassera
Comme d'habitude

Comme d'habitude
On fera semblant
Comme d'habitude
On fera l'amour
Oui comme d'habitude
On fera semblant
Comme d'habitude

- Lyrics by Claude François & Gilles Thibault -

Monday, August 15, 2005

Midlife (26)

Once upon a time down by a muddy riverside there was a frog named Hermit the Schlemazel.

He was up to his neck in the mud and secretly longed for a sunny overgrown uninhabited little riverside of his own, to spend the rest of his life in solitude. But he had to watch over his spawn, swarming in the mud not aware of the slosh they were in. So he decided to wait...

And the mud around him got thicker and colder...

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Sunday, August 14, 2005

For what is a man...

Behind every successful man there is a strong woman,
behind every failed man his creditors.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Midlife (25)

I'm not depressed anymore...
just terribly realistic.

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Friday, August 12, 2005

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happiness (4)

You’re only here temporarily, so enjoy dammit!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happiness (3)

We all strive for happiness.
For what reason?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Alone despite

Billions and billions of births
Billions and billions of people
Billions and billions of individuals
Billions and billions of times happiness
Billions and billions of times sadness
Billions and billions of times loneliness
Billions and billions of times dying

What for?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Happiness (2)

Just a pleasant daze.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sure I believe in god

I also believe that when walking a zebra crossing and just stepping on the white, I'll avoid troubles that day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Misfortune (10)

All will pass

Bad luck is just temporary...
(as is life)

To the next post in the "misfortune" sequence

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Just call me Ahasverus

Israel does not attract me, not even for a free vacation,
nor am I particularly bound to any other soil or nation.

Because my friend, I am the Wandering Jew.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Explain me Israel and its habitants?

Well, uhm, have you ever experienced the self-importance and übermensch attitude at a Jewish school outside Israel?

Israel is pretty much the same, but then enlarged.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Jewish colonists... sick to the bone (2)

These zealots have a behaviour Al Qaeda and Taliban worthily and their soil based aggressive and dangerous form of religious jingoism is NOT Halachacly justified.

It’s more a mentality of recent liberated slaves, happy they found themselves weaker people to victimize.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Jewish colonists... sick to the bone

What sort of parents will expose their children to gunfire? Such people are sick and should be definitive deprived of their parental rights (to start with).

Friday, July 01, 2005

So whist my silent dreams...

Most was best...
but that changed...
all that pursuing...
is out of my system...

See you in other people’s hubris.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

So whist my silent screams...

Most is said...
nothing changed...
all pursues...
but it's out of my system...

See you in my next depression.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sam and Abe meet in the street…

Sam: “Why do you look so sad?”
Abe: “My salesman died this week”
Sam: “What did he have?”
Abe: “The west-coast”

Monday, June 06, 2005

A good Jew is a dead Jew

Dead in the sense of being a non-critical, loyal and docile member of the religious herd, not having a genuine personal opinion and far from being introspective.

How come I can't find anybody in the religious blogsphere writing about their real internal life? Most of them, if not all, talk about what they don't like about being religious or the religion itself but no one is going deeper, showing more of the inner person. They all go to some layer around their ego and introspection is taboo.

Someone told me to look at religion (and nationalism) as "scripts", and to look at the people who attach themselves to those scripts as actors playing the roles they are expected by others to perform. So many religious sites are working around and in the script, whereas the audience (and critics) can have a very different perspective on the “play”.

But to me they are all nothing but a slumbering and unenlightened herd, even the black sheep among them who think they have a clearer view.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

“First thing of being Jewish is about being a decent human being”…duh!

All good willing men will say the same about their religion, irrespective what their religion is. Most Hassidim (if not virtually all) would disagree with this. To them the first thing about being Jewish is living according to the Halacha, being a decent human is not even an issue for them. In fact I know many “good Jews” who use the Halacha for what I find abject moral behaviour.

Humanity has nothing to do with religion. Someone good or evil will find enough reasons in his holy scripts to justify his actions. None of the Abrahamitic religions is really peaceful. Read the holy scripts; war, adultery (even from the saints), manslaughter, beheading, stonings all 'doesn’t seem to be very humane to me' yet they are all advertised strongly. The Homo Sapiens is a bestial animal that withholds nothing, except that humans tend to justify their actions with an explanation or by finding an origin or early (scriptual?) commandments. An attitude which can lead to magical thinking.

The term “humane” covers all the good qualities we attribute to our species. Its general definition is: “a disposition to relieve creatures in distress, and to treat all with kindness, honesty and tenderness.” Although the attributes implicit in the word "humane" are as wrong and self-aggrandizing as the statement in the title of this blog, humanism is my chosen way of living.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent...

Er zijn mensen die geloven nimmer aan hun lot
Ploeteren en sappelen en sjouwen zich kapot
Ik zeg: "Mensen denk toch steeds bij alles wat je doet
Het komt altijd zoals het komen moet"

Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent
Bereik je nooit een kwartje
Of je Grieks, Latijn of twintig talen kent
Gerust, het leven tart je
Je verbeeldt je dat je aan de touwtjes trekt
Maar och, het leven smijt je heen en weer
Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent
Bereik je nooit een stuiver meer

Zelden vind je iemand die de zin van het leven kent
Je kunt zo gelukkig zijn als je tevreden bent
Waarom zoek je het geluk steeds in een ver verschiet
Het ligt vlak bij je en je ziet het niet

Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent
Bereik je nooit een kwartje
Of je Grieks, Latijn of twintig talen kent
Gerust, het leven tart je
Je verbeeldt je dat je aan de touwtjes trekt
Maar och, het leven smijt je heen en weer
Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent
Bereik je nooit een stuiver meer

Ja, zo is het. En al ga je nou op je hoofd staan zo blijft het. Als je voor een demi-tje in de wieg bent gelegd, dan zal je nooit een pels dragen. Dat is gek. En als je nou roggebroodkind bent, dan zal je je nooit in kaviaar verslikken. En doe nou maar geen moeite meer, wees verstandig, want het blijft zo. Zo is het.

Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent
Bereik je nooit een stuiver meer

- Lyrics by Louis Davids -

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The flood in C++ by an "Intelligent Designer"

///initializes the Floodwater operation
public override void Floodwater(H20)
//ArcBuild() is used instead of the
//performance ctr, for human compatibility
int ctr=timeGetTime();

//get the water's int value, and start it in
//Sodom and Gomorrahformat (as GOD + use water (loads))

//get the Sinners
DeathmapData DeathData=Death.LockDeaths(
new Rectangle(0,0,Death.Width,Death.Height),
System.IntPtr Scan0 = DeathData.Scan0;

//resolve warnings
cubic feet * scan0=(cubic feet *)(void *)Scan0;
//get the starting water
//[loc += Y offset + X offset]
int loc=CoordsToIndex(pt.LAND,pt.AIR,DeathData.Stride);
int water= *((int*)(scan0+loc));

//create the array of bools that indicates whether each sinner
//has been checked.
//(Should be Deathfield, but C# doesn't support Deathfields.)
FeetsChecked=new bool[DeathData.Width+1,DeathData.Height+1];

//do the last call to repent
case FloodwaterStyle.Linear :
new Water Level(DeathData.Width,DeathData.Height),
(cubic feet*)&water);
new Water Level(DeathData.Width,DeathData.Height),
(cubic feet*)&water);
case FloodwaterStyle.Queue :
new Water Level(DeathData.Width,DeathData.Height),
(cubic feet*)&water);
case FloodwaterStyle.Recursive :
new Water Level(DeathData.Width,DeathData.Height),
(cubic feet*)&water);
new Water Level(DeathData.Width,DeathData.Height),
(cubic feet*)&water);




unsafe void LinearFloodwater4( cubic feet* scan0, int Land, int Air,Water Level DeathWater Level,
int stride, cubic feet* startwater)

//offset the warnings to the point passed in
int* p=(int*) (scan0+(CoordsToIndex(Land,Air, stride)));

int LFillLoc=x; //the location to check/fill on the left
int* ptr=p; //the warnings to the current location
ptr[0]=m_fillwater; //fill with the water
LFillLoc--; //de-increment counter
ptr-=1; //de-increment warnings
if(LFillLoc<=0 !CheckFeet((cubic feet*)ptr,startwater) (FeetsChecked[LFillLoc,y])) //exit loop if we're at edge of Deathmap or water area break; } LFillLoc++; //FIND RIGHT EDGE OF WATER AREA int RFillLoc=x; //the location to check/fill on the left ptr=p; while(true) { ptr[0]=m_fillwater; //fill with the water FeetsChecked[RFillLoc,y]=true; RFillLoc++; //increment counter ptr+=1; //increment warnings if(RFillLoc>=DeathWater Level.Width
!CheckFeet((cubic feet*)ptr,startwater)
//exit loop if we're at edge of Deathmap or water area


for(int i=LFillLoc;i<=RFillLoc;i++) { //START LOOP UPWARDS //if we're not above the top of the Deathmap //and the feet above this one is within the water tolerance if(y>0 &&
CheckFeet((cubic feet*)(scan0+CoordsToIndex(i,y-1,stride)),startwater) &&
LinearFloodwater4(scan0, i,y-1,DeathWater Level,stride,startwater);

if(y<(DeathWater Level.Height-1) && CheckFeet((cubic feet*)(scan0+CoordsToIndex(i,y+1,stride)),startwater) && (!(FeetsChecked[i,y+1]))) LinearFloodwater4(scan0, i,y+1,DeathWater Level,stride,startwater); ptr+=1; } } ///Sees if a feet is within the water tolerance range.
//px - a warnings to the feet to check
//startwater - a warnings to the water of the feet we started at
unsafe bool CheckFeet(cubic feet* pLand, cubic feet* startwater)
bool ret=true;
for(cubic feet i=0;i<3;i++)>= (startwater[i]-zero_Tolerance[i])) &&
px[i] <= (startwater[i]+zero_Tolerance[i]);
return ret;

Freely modified from The Code project:
Flood Fill Algorithms in C# and GDI+
by JDunlap

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Virtual book burning by Hassidim

Recently two Jewish blogs (Mis-nagid and Godol Hador) are hacked by Hassidic zealots. The original authors of both blogs are anonymous Hassidim, well known/notorious for their sharp pen and highly intelligent criticism on abusive and putative mental fallacies in the Jewish orthodoxy.

This blog hijacking reminds me of the book burnings by a repugnant party some 70 years ago.

Who will be the next blogger to be virtually stoned now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shabbes treat

Crusted oysters for four persons
Preparation time: 90 minutes

24 fresh oysters
1 leek
1 tablespoon oil
1 dl Champagne
1 dl whipped cream
300 grams grated cheese

- Open the shells and take the oysters out. Collect and sift the moisture and separate the deeper half of the shells.
- Cut the leek in small rectangles, wash them and let them drain.
- Rinse the deeper halfs of the shells and pat them dry.
- Sauté the leek in the oil and add the whipped cream, the collected oyster-moisture, the Champagne and some grated cheese.
- Boil this down to a third and season to taste.
- Fill the deeper half of the shells with a bed of the leek substance and put an oyster on top.
- Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of this and place under a grill till the cheese is melted and slightly crusted.

Serve with Champagne.

As my mother (may she rest in peace) used to say: “You couldn’t teach a goy how to appreciate this.”

Monday, May 23, 2005

Jullie is jodenvolk

“Jullie is jodenvolk” ("You people is Jews").

An expression mostly used by Dutch Jews, after being addressed to as “jullie” (you people), to express their feelings about being labeled as aliens. Also the title of a book by Sal Santen 1915-1998.

“You people” is the description of a group about whom the speaker most probably has the usual (not necessarily negative) prejudgments, and I must admit that I have developed an allergy to it.

In my whole life whenever someone employed the words “you people”, “you are a Jew” was meant, something that automatically makes you feel an outsider. Extremely refreshing it felt when recently an orthodox Jew hurled “you people” at me.

How wonderful it is not to belong to any group anymore.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Trigger-happy “anti-Semite” bawlers

... are not familiar with any form of introspection and have a polarised and shameless reflex to label any form of criticism on Jews and/or Israel as anti-Semitism or self-hate.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ridiculous hassidic outfit (2)

Date: May 1st (Jom Tov, last day Pesach)
Place: Antwerp, Belgium
Time: 4.00 PM
Temperature: 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit)

I see a Hassid wearing his warm Jom Tov outfit, fur hat, thick coat... the whole wintry shebang, and I wonder about the logic behind this self-flagellation.

Why was the decision taken to freeze their clothing fashion somewhere in the nineteenth century and stick to an outfit meant for a cold climate. Wouldn’t it be a more sincere religious decision had they adopted the garb of Moses and company?

On the other hand, too bad the Hassidic movement was not born here in Holland. I think this is how Hassidim would look like had their rebbes lived in Dutch places like Marken, Urk, Volendam or Walcheren.

And then probably with Purim their children would dress up as Polish peasants.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ridiculous hassidic outfit

A young yeshiwah bucher, fully dressed up in his folkloristic costume like a nineteenth century Polish peasant at his Sunday's best, velvet hat included, passed my hassidic friend and me. We were both amazed by the decision of the boy's mother to have her son dressed up like that. Then my friend made himself immortal by saying: “Really ridiculous, anyone can see that his pants are too short”.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Holocaust survivors, second generation (11)

"He who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world."

This picture is taken in 1942 or 1943.

The little boy with glasses is my father (10 or 11 years old) at his first hiding address in the war. The man at the left is a non-Jew from the Dutch resistance. Most probably it is the brother of Johannes Bogaard (Ome Hannes/Uncle Hannes) who faced the firing squad at the end of the war and posthumously received the Yad Vashem Distinction for saving over 300 Jews.

With many thanks to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam.

To the next post in the "second generation" sequence

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Future (10)

Now sailing, upon life's raft
how deep the draught
sturdy enough
for when the tide turns rough.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Future (9)

Precious family moments:
mental heirloom we create for our children.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Party time

The pretentious "High Born"
their shallow goal to adorn
outsiders scorn.
Whilst I, before forlorn
choose to be alone in the crowd
amazed by the prattle they sputter out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Know thyself

"Every human foolishness and shortcoming, every human failure has to be contemplated with compassion, realizing that we see our own foolishnesses, shortcomings and failures. They are only the shortcomings of humanity, of which we are part, and they therefore lie concealed in us all. We shouldn't be indignant about others, just because fortuitously that moment, their misbehaviors do not manifest themselves in us."

From "Parerga and Paralipomena" by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

"Iedere menselijke dwaasheid en tekortkoming, ieder menselijk falen dient met mededogen te worden beschouwd, in het besef dat wij onze eigen dwaasheden en tekortkomingen, ons eigen falen voor ons zien. Want het zijn slechts tekortkomingen van de mensheid waarvan ook wij deel uitmaken en bijgevolg schuilen zij in ons allen. Wij moeten niet zo verontwaardigd zijn over anderen, omdat hun euveldaden op dat moment toevalligerwijs bij ons niet aan het licht treden."

Uit "Parerga en Paralipomena" door Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happiness (1)

Happiness is precious.
Happiness isn't money.
Ergo money isn't precious.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


“It was a big stove, a hundred years old, the warmth radiating from its belly like benevolence radiating from a flabby man with a fat paunch who wants to mollify his selfishness with a cheap and saintlike act of charity.”

From "Embers" by Sándor Márai (1900 - 1989).

"Het was een grote kachel, honderd jaar oud, de warmte straalde uit zijn buik zoals de welwillendheid afstraalt van een vadsige man met een dikke buik die zijn zelfzucht wil verzachten met een vrome en goedkope weldaad."

Uit "Gloed" door Sándor Márai (1900 - 1989).

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The greatest good you can do for another...

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own."
- Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

Friday, May 06, 2005

So sad

Inspiration-wise it’s a bore
that I’m not down anymore.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Naches (6)

Observing my son helping me with my job.

To the next post in the "naches" sequence

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Obviation (18)

My opinion was apparent
and a meeting as referent
filled in this reality.
The proof of his feeble mentality
turned me relieved and composed.
Case closed.

To the next post in the "Obviation" sequence.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Future (8)

First due to empirical observation
I had a behaviour modification.
Then at my deepest frustration
I found peace in my situation.
And now with revived motivation
and strong determination
trying to get back at the causation
of my own destination.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The emperor’s clothes

Baruch Spinoza's (1632-1677) signet ring's seal.

(“caute” is Latin for cautious or circumspective)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Future (7)

A scintillating force is welling up
like a new awakening.
New challenges are set
while conviction is thickening.

Fitting into the mould of my mind again
the empty feeling is abstained.
Don’t have to drag this body around no more
I’m released of inner chains.

The strength of the source still exists.
I feel it radiating from within
in my fingers on my skin
today is a new begin.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Life can be so easy if you don't think.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Future (6)

I made a fortune

The many epigones I’ve inspired
are just annoying derivatives
outgrowths of my misplaced urge to help.
So maybe I’m not the guy I thought I was
but I am still the original.

No need to look back.
I’m my strongest asset
my vigor has been in rest too long.
The joy I’ll get once there
When I do it on my own.

So many things to enjoy
scent of a rose in my nose
virtual sunshine unburdens my mind.
Fortune comes in various currencies
one of them sincere friends and family.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Future (5)

Stop to take it on the chin.
Start training for endorphin
and clear the chagrin within.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Midlife (23)

Stop the blight

You think too much
and loosing touch
with life’s beauty
which turned into a heavy duty.
The warm feeling of kith’s moral support
albeit amiable not a real resort.
Got to find the force
from your inner source
a new ignition
for your ambition.
But viewing
isn’t doing
so get yourself back.
Back on the track
and fight.

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Future (4)

The soreness persistently exists.
But I will fight, repulse, resist
and take notion
of the good emotions.
Although capitulation seems tender
I will not surrender !

Monday, April 25, 2005

Midlife (22)

Weg de lust
Gone purport
voor deze zijde.
for the hither.
Stop te vermijden.
Stop to swither.
Aan gene zijde
Now the thither’s
is het rust.
last resort.

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Future (3)

Good morning sunshine

For a trial
with a smile
I will start.
To exile
and disheart
the dark bard.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friendship (5)

The bad and orphaned feeling disappears
through honest love of family and peers.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Future (2)

I shall prevail.

Mending from a mental bruise
of a grave case of midlife blues.
There I towed
through sloughy road
my life ahead.
Now instead
out of the vale
back on the rail.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Future (1)


Wonder o wonder,
it came like thunder.
Like a lightning induced
power boost.
Though nothing has changed
priorities are rearranged.
Now to retain
the concrete
my feet again.
Hope is gleaming,
feel like screaming:
It must, NAY
It will succeed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Midlife (21)

You’re in fact of no avail

Despite what you may pretend
your life’s in negative trend.
You’re stretched, way beyond repair
it's so tempting to despair.

Once ferment of mirth was rife
but in this ‘film noir’ called “Life”
the happy will not prevail.
So don't you bother to wail
it’s in fact of no avail
it’s just a silly fairy tale.

Now your figments have been sheared
fables of luck disappeared.
Then your life a precious dream
turned into a nightmare theme.

Once the good prospects were rife
but the fables of your life
are in fact of no avail.
So don't you bother to wail
‘bout the cheating fairy tale
that rectitude will prevail.

You're an empathic creature.
Giving, a second nature.
But giving gnats your troth
is like fodder for the sloths.

Once your eupathy was rife
but t'wards midnight of your life
emulates that fairy tale.
Know honesty won't prevail
so don't you bother to wail.

To the next post in the "midlife" sequence