• Amuses

    Back to the beginning

    Today, I received confirmation that I am to be enrolled on my coveted graduate course on Language and Logic. Great stuff. Now I am back in the world where the professor is God. I already went through an initiation procedure. Granted, the professor in question was very nice. He was just a bit worried about me wanting to do something practical – “this is not what we normally do ” 🙂

    The situation below depicts life until I have completed my own research. Which will take until my retirement – only 10 years away ….

  • Amuses

    Great news, negative results!

    My husband spends a lot of time reading, particularly when he has to wait for me to complete my weekly schedule at the gym. He is so much more efficient 🙂 When I finally come down, I usually find him engrossed in an article. He will look up and say: I have been waiting for hours! and smile. Then he will tell me about anything of interest that he came across. Today it was this, an article in the Volkskrant.

    Wonderful story about how difficult it can be for a specialist to express himself without causing confusion or misunderstanding.

  • Amuses

    Own thy name

    Today I received a mail via Geneanet containing this phrase: “I just happened to look into my family tree, which by the way I started many Years ago, and discovered change of ownership. What I like to know is; what gives you the right to claim ownership over a family tree to which you’re not related?”

    Where does one even start to put an end to this confusion?  I could not help making a quip about the genes on his side of the family not being very friendly. Then I referred the man to the Geneanet help-desk, hopefully they can sort him out.

    However, this incident has left me with a question. What does “ownership” mean in this particular case? A particular stake on Geneanet? Obviously I did not take over any family tree, he must have come across  my name because the same names are in my tree. Or a claim to exclusiveness on information about my great-grandmother who bears the same name as this irritable guy? I collected all this information by myself from Dutch archives, but then he might have done the same. Or the right to exercise administrative power as pater or mater familias to the family tree? Is my name mine or someone else’s? As it happens,  my official name is not the name that I was born with, and I do not feel I own either name; I am, in fact, nameless. There is a beautiful Dutch poem about not being named.  I will post it below . It has meant different things to me at different times of my life.

    It is strange how I felt compelled to defend myself against this alleged theft of ownership, without knowing what the word actually means in this particular context.

    The Dutch poem I referred to just now:

    Mijn moeder is mijn naam vergeten.
    Mijn kind weet nog niet hoe ik heet.
    Hoe moet ik mij geborgen weten?

    Noem mij, bevestig mijn bestaan,
    Laat mijn naam zijn als een keten.
    Noem mij, noem mij, spreek mij aan,
    o, noem mij bij mijn diepste naam.

    Voor wie ik liefheb, wil ik heten.

    Author:  Neeltje Maria Min, 1966 

    In translation: My mother has unremembered me/ my child is not yet aware  / now who am I? Name me, confirm my existence/ let my name be a like a chain/ name me, name me, address me/ o, call me by my deepest name. For you my loved ones, I will have my name


    This story has an unexpected ending. You remember me somewhat acidly suggesting to the guy who wrote me the email, about his gene pool not being very friendly? As it turns out, he is a very friendly guy AND family. He knew my maternal great-grandparents; he was their nephew. He emigrated to Canada many years ago. We are in regular touch now.

  • Amuses


    Ik ben de blauwbilgorgel.
    Ik ben de blauwbilgorgel,
    Mijn vader was een porgel,
    Mijn moeder was een porulan,
    Daar komen vreemde kind’ren van.
    Raban! Raban! Raban!

    Ik ben een blauwbilgorgel
    Ik lust alleen maar korgel,
    Behalve als de nachtuil krijst,
    Dan eet ik riep en rimmelrijst.
    Rabijst! Rabijst! Rabijst!

    Ik ben een blauwbilgorgel,
    Als ik niet wok of worgel,
    Dan lig ik languit in de zon
    En knoester met mijn knezidon.
    Rabon! Rabon! Rabon!

    Ik ben een blauwbilgorgel
    Eens sterf ik aan de schorgel,
    En schrompel als een kriks ineen
    En word een blauwe kiezelsteen.
    Ga heen! Ga heen! Ga heen!

    Cees Budding (Dordrecht 7 aug. 1918 – Dordrecht 24 nov. 1985), Nederlands dichter en prozaïst, debuteerde met de bundel Het geïrriteerde lied (1941), maar maakte vooral naam met zijn Gorgelrijmen (1953), verzamelde nonsens-poëzie. Zijn literaire loopbaan liep langs uiteenlopende tijdschriften, zoals het anekdotische Criterium, het experimentele Podium en het nieuw-realistische Barbarber. Zijn poëzie is onder meer beïnvloed door het surrealisme en de jazz. …

    My husband has suggested that I translate this poem into English. Now there is a challenge…

    The Blauwbilgorgel poem is a bit like Lewis’ Jabberwocky, but unlike that poem, the Blauwbilgorgel does have meaning through its apparent nonsense, well, a bit more. Maybe. Which is interesting in itself, shade of meaning of nonsense. Judge for yourself.


    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    from Through the Looking-Glass, and
    What Alice Found There



  • Amuses

    A beginning

    The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legends fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the third age by some, an Age yet to come, an age long pass, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

    From: The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan