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  • When I lived on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean, instead of saying, "I live on shore road" (which could be anywhere on the island), we spoke about places by Plantation name. There was Little Princess, and Estate Whim, and Mary's Fancy, and Sion Farm. Other places were called things like Estate Love, Estate Profit, Estates Hope, Envy, Prosperity, and even Jealousy. There was Longford, and Munster, and Tipperary (guess where those owners came from!). We lived in Cotton Valley. But one name used to stick in my head all the time: Estate Work and Rest. This week, I told my trainer about [...]

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    I told my trainer this week that I learned a new word in Dutch. Proberen. To try. "Forget it," he said. "It's useless. It means nothing. What does it mean to try? You either do it or you don't." So I said, "Who are you? The Dutch Yoda?" I wrote a week or so ago that I was having stamina problems and also problems just getting started. My trainer gave me a good piece of advice (and sounded like a Nike ad). He said, "Don't wait for Monday or the 1st of the month. Don't wait for tomorrow. Just start. Now. This minute. Don't worry that you didn't do it yesterday. Don't remember that you used to[...]

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    Everyone country has its own national character.  If you visit or move to a new place, people will bombard you with these generalizations until you start repeating them too.  Dutch people are straightforward.  They don't beat around the bush.  They say what they mean.  They're frugal with money.  Your credit card isn't going to work most places so carry cash.  And you will more likely get run over by a bicycle than a car. I've been living in the Netherlands for three months now, and there are a few things that have struck me about living here that I have never heard anyone say in any [...]

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    Concerning Stamina

    This week, I've been thinking a lot about stamina. As you know if you've been following me for very long, one of the most aggravating symptoms of my UC is a lack of stamina. A lack of energy or stamina is what stops me from doing a lot of things that I'd like to be doing. It's very frustrating. Any plan I make can be foiled by the onset of this symptom, which seems to happen randomly. Sometimes it lasts a couple of hours. Sometimes it lasts all day. Sleeping more or eating right doesn't affect it at all. My lack of stamina is one of the reasons I've decided to embark on an [...]

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    Anyone Can Learn a Language

    This post has been kicking around my head for weeks. But something happened this morning that made me want to post this right. I follow a page called SaySomethingIn by Welsh language guru Aran Jones (also author of the hysterically funny and deeply moving book about recapturing your hereditary language, Some Sex and a Hill which you MUST read). I found Aran's Say Something In Welsh course online when I was preparing for a role as a Welsh woman and one of other characters in the play "tests" my character to see if she can really speak Welsh. The play was written by a Canadian who didn't speak [...]

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    Diary of an Extrovert

    I must apologise to you all (esp to Lisa and Keith) because I just realised today that there were comments on last week's post that I never approved. I am so sorry! I have been operating all week on the assumption that no one commented on my post, and it turns out that my notifications got turned off in the last WordPress update. Whew! I thought I'd pissed you guys off or something! But the big reason I didn't notice there were comments is that I wrote that post the Friday before it launched and I've been sick ever since. It started out as a cough that I thought might have been [...]

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    If You Build It, They Will Not Come

    Has This Ever Happened to You? I've seen it a million times. Someone makes a thing. Then they decide they want to share this thing with other people. So they start a business to sell the thing. But that's all they do. A few months later, they announce, "My business didn't work. Oh well." News flash: you didn't start a business. You made a thing. If you don't tell people about your thing, they aren't going to magically know about it and come find you. Yes, the internet and social media have made marketing a piece of cake. But you still have to DO SOMETHING. That [...]

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    First, my long-awaited Comedy gig last week in Eindhoven! https://youtu.be/aG-i4VWaptg Also I'd like to thank you guys for being supportive when I was whining my ass off on Tuesday. Everyone is allowed to have an off day and that was mine. As I mentioned, I was feeling "the party's over blues" because I'd done my stand-up set last week. Plus I ran out of B-12 and was feeling terribly run down. And I spent most of Sunday night on various trains trying to get back home after a signal failure cancelled our usual train. But today I write to you having successfully opened a Dutch bank [...]

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    So I did my three minutes (plus) on stage on Wednesday at The Hub in Eindhoven. You can see my set in a video on my timeline on Facebook. I'll post it to the front page of this site as soon as I'm not cheating someone else's internet. Hope you like it. It went well. It went well mainly because I hung out with the professional comedians before the show and they gave me tips. The microphone was cutting out and they showed me how to hold it so it wouldn't. One of them had the staff readjust the speakers because half of the room wasn't hearing things properly. And most important to me [...]

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    In which I build a &quote;Tight Five&quote;

    It's waiting for me... So as many of you know, I went to an English Language Comedy Night last month and had the nerve to ask the organizer if he knew of any comedy open mic nights in the area. He didn't (he lives in Amsterdam, not down here "below the rivers") and told me to check Google. But then he told me he'd give me five minutes in the January show if I wanted. Then he handed me his card. Immediately I started building my "tight five". If you watched the first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon last year, you'll have heard her talk about a "tight ten". There is a[...]

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