Monday, August 13, 2007


Pie, always look how far you have come through the difficulties, rather than how far you've still got to go... and look at what you have and count your blessings, and not at what you miss or lost, however dear that was to you...

Be strong, I'm near you... and remember to keep positive and happy, you know you have a good heart and good things are coming at you... and will keep coming...

And be proud of yourself, I know I am proud of you...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Miracles do happen

I was watching E! tv... in all honesty, it isn't the best kind of tv you can imagine, reporting gossip and stories about Hollywood personalities, parties and so on... those kind of things I personally couldn't care less about, to make things clear.

But I normally watch a show, called "Dr. 90210". It's a show about few private clinics in Beverly Hills, specialized in plastic surgeries and other procedures to improve looks, and the quality of life together with it. Normally they deal with women willing to improve their breasts or nose, or trying to liposuck themselves back to teen age beauty.

Amongst that, already once I saw one episode where few doctors flew down to Mexico and helped "pro bono" a lot of locals with all kinds of physical deformities.

But the latest episode I watched really touched me. It was about a young Mexican man, just 18 years old, who was born in south Mexico and found his way up to the U.S. in search for a better life. His name is Juan.
Juan was born poor and with a really bad cleft lip and cleft palate, so bad you could see through his throat and skull. Needless to say, he was ashamed, he had severe speach impediments and he probably knew this is how he was supposed to be for all his life, unfortunately. Probably because of his condition, Juan is a very humble and reserved man, simple but his eyes tell words about his heart. One day, while selling fruit at a street corner, a woman of good heart called Ivonne, a hispanic american, stopped by him and made contact. She was so touched about his story, took at heart Juan's condition and wrote a letter for help to dr. Robert Rey, a plastic surgeon in BH.
Dr. Rey is an adoptee from Brazil, so he knows the hardship of a unfortunate childhood, but hey, he made it in style graduating at medical schools in both UCLA and Harvard! But most importantly, he is a top class surgeon and a seemingly very good and kind person. Read his resume, he is really... wow... what he has done and achieved speak volumes.

After reading Ivonne's mail, dr. Rey decided he needed to help Juan cos his courageous life deserved it. So he and fellow surgeon dr. Charles Stewart operated Juan's badly damaged face at the Summit Surgical Center and they arranged full care for him at the Majestic Recovery Retreat and also arranged some speach pathologist to take care of him. And it was all done in good will to help Juan's life, as he could never afford such procedure.

It was such an amazing beautiful human story, and I'd like to share it because sometimes people remember that after all, there isn't much better than do good in life to someone in need. The satisfaction and gratification cannot be described when you do it, but all too often we forget this.

Needless to say both Juan and Ivonne were overwhelmed and grateful for such a life changing experience. They both cried in joy and disbelief, it was just a sweet moment to witness. Juan now has normal looks, boosting his confidence and allow him to express himself too, articulating words he couldn't even dream to pronounce.

Hopefully now Juan will have the good fortune of a better life under all aspects. Good luck young man!

Thursday, August 09, 2007



"one day you are alive, the next day you die and there is no physical evidence you ever existed... life is strange..."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Today my little "sister" passed away... she was a real cute sweet smart little cat, and she delighted my family with her presence and company for the past 18.5 years.

When we found her, she was nearly starving as the family who took her abandoned her on their way to holiday. She was a little cute cute kitten, and I didn't know what to do except for giving her some ham and try to see if she would eat. But she wouldn't. At that time, we used to have another cat, Tigre, a really beautiful ginger-color male, maybe about half a year older than this cute white-&-black baby cat. I thought, as she couldn't eat, that Tigre would eat the ham instead. But for the second time, I was wrong. Instead, he sat near her, watching over her and keeping her company till she eventually found the strength to eat. From that moment on, we adopted her and we had two cats, Tigre and Micia.

Sadly enough Tigre passed away about 4 years later, as a car ran him over. It was a sad day, we loved him, and he was a really sweet cat.

But Micia claimed a very special spot in our hearts. At just over 1.5 year old, she got pregnant. Eventually she delivered 4 wonderful tiny kittens, with all places, on my very own bed, forcing me to move :) well, there could have never been a better reason for that. Anyhow, her kittens delighted us, especially my dad, for a while, then it was time to part with them and give them to families that could provide them with a loving environmet. ALL of them were pretty wild little cats, and because of their behavior, mainly, unfortunately they never reached the age of 3.

But Micia was there. She survived starvation right after birth, she survived a car that almost killed her and broke her tail, she survived a couple of surgeries. Every time she came back better and healthier. To all of us, she was the most beautiful loving cat we could wish for. As me and my brother moved out, my parents were left with her to care for, and their bonding grew deeper. Every evening Micia would wait for dad to return home in front of the door, as she recognized the sound of his car. Then she would seat on the kitchen bench near him while he dined, and sit ON him on the couch, if he watched tv.
She would even sleep in their bedroom. Or she would engage in funny conversations with mom. That was rather hilarious. She had become their little baby, and although it might sound strange to those who never experienced it, she was really intelligent and understanding.

In any case, about two years ago she contracted a kidney disease, due to age, and the vet back then said, if taken care of with weekly I.V. and medicines, she could survive one or two more years, but surely not more. Well, she did. Needless to say, my parents cared for her just as they would have with a kid of theirs. But the vet was right too, unfortunately. She survived in relatively good health for the past two years, till when, on July 23rd, my last day home on my visit, she fell sick. And never recovered.
The thing that comfort me is to know she had the best life she could possibly have, and that my parents never let her miss any care and love. I think putting her alseep must have been really hard for my folks, and we all will miss our little fury ball.

As for my folks, they spent every day with her being around, holding her and stroking her, caring for her, spoiling her and enjoying her and I wonder how it feels not to have her anymore. Even my brother and his girlfriend, who normally were a little more detached, didn't take it well.

As for me, I spent more than half of my life with her as a family member, and it's difficult to realize she is suddenly gone and I won't be able to play with her next time I go home. At least I got to see her one last time in July...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No limits

I read on Yahoo!sports a story that made me ask myself a very serious question: when it's too much, with the risk of falling into the non-sense?

Michael Strahan is an NFL player, and what he does best is collecting sacks for his NY Giants. Probably for one last season, according to his age.

But lately, he got sacked. Badly. By his wife, well, ex-wife. Or maybe simply by a dumb-ass judge that ridicously awarded her whatever she demanded, and MORE! Nevermind she filed for divorce cos he allegedly cheated on her. Nevermind if he is way less than an ideal husband. He might probably have been. Any reason could be a good reason, if it's time to go.

The thing is, he makes 4 million dollars this season, extremely good money for my standards, but far from star salary in the NFL or compared to any other pro-sports in the USA.

She was awarded 15.300.000 dollars. Well, this in itself is outragious. That is WAY more than he made over the past 4 years, not counting that a big chunck of it has been spent already, and the main beneficiary has been his family anyway. Because really, I seriously don't understand the false and stupid mentality where, by all means, the wife should retain the same lifestyle standards of before. That's simply impossible. Now there are many more expenses to take care of, and it simply cannot be done. Plus, she is not going to be the wife anymore, so I guess it's not the right way to proceed. I'm not saying to totally disregard her life and future, it's right to protect her life and well being. But don't make the issue so ridicously immaturely exaggerated.

I mean, 15 millions is a huge sum. That is more than I will ever make in my next 3 lives. So, what's the reason for it? She doesn't need ALL that money to safely make it till retirement. She needs much less than that. 5 millions, a thank you and a bye bye wasn't enough? I think it would have been MORE than enough.

But this wasn't all. She was also awarded the family's 1906 NJ mansion, which is 22.000 square feet, with 12 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and a garage able to accomodate 20 cars, worth about 3 millions.

Plus, because all this wasn't quite enough, nearly 18.000 dollars a month in child support. Plus, 311.000 in backdated child support, plus 91% of schooling for the kids till they are actually out of school, in 2026. This, for 6 years of marriage. And, by all indications, a LOUSY one.

By the way, an estimate was made and found mr. Strahan be worth about 22 millions.

So, all in all, Michael Strahan, pending appeal, would owe his ex wife 15.3 million cash, 3 millions worth of the house, 311.000 of backdated child support and 215.000 annually for child support. Ooops, plus schooling, because with all that money, she won't be able to afford it, right???

This is so f**king stupid, it's not even funny anymore. Unless, you are ms. Jean Strahan, who was reported to say "I'm going to Disney World!" laughing outside the divorce court in January. This comment alone gives you the right indication of how "out of this world" and beyond any common sense the ruling was.

What do these kids eat and wear for demanding 215.000 a year? That is more than I make and I live quite comfortably, frankly speaking. Does this "lady" need a 3 million dollar, 12 bedroom mansion? Well, if she was able to WORK for it and buy it, why not. But given the circumstances, no, she doesn't quite need it, and especially, she doesn't deserve it.

Would have been so bad, say, that the judge awarded her with mr. Strahan 2007's salary (about 4 millions), plus a nice 5 bedrooms condo or house in a beautiful place for about, say, 2 millions?? What would she need more than that, provided that was not too much already? Wouldn't she be able to live great for the rest of her days? Believe me, she would!!
And why is always the wife that needs to retain the same lifestyle of before and not the husband?

These things seriously disturb me, but most of all, are a sign of a sick judicial system that simply doesn't work right.

Considering that she phisically didn't earn any of the 22 millions of her ex husband and she is walking away with basically all of it, it's extremely unfair and stupid. And, totally unnecessary. This is like giving a life sentence to a guy who just passed with a red traffic light. You need punishment, but in respect to the offence, not a random one.
And sometimes these judges should also be punished for mis-handling and abusing their position.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spreading love

Just like a crooked cop, who is supposed to serve and protect but obviously doesn't, so a priest that doesn't live up to his mission to spread the word of the Lord is the lowest form of life.
I'm fed up with the rule "do as I tell you, but don't do what I do" attitute of those who decide to live a life of example, but they fail miserably.

Have a look.

And this is nothing compared to those ones who abuse kids or laundry money...

July 2007

Back from Italy...

Had a few days relax there... really enjoyed the scorching hot weather, but I didn't know I was enjoying it till I came back in Holland's winter-like conditions, and I felt like my complaining about the 40+ degrees in Italy were out of place. At least, it was summer. At its best.

After a night duty, I got to Italy with Air Berlin again. I like this company (for the time being that is, till they step on my toes), so I enjoy their trouble-free check in, their new fleet and small but anyway present on board service, which is more of a rarity these days for low cost airlines and not. Till I dropped into a semi-coma sleep.

Anyway, this time I decided I would try to enjoy my country. I normally go home to visit my folks, so I don't really have the drive to do things and especially, I don't feel on holiday.But this time, I decided it would be otherwise and I had a day on the Lake Como, precisely in Bellagio, where I enjoyed few drinks in the shadow on the lake shore and went around through the narrow hill-side streets of this pretty city. Really nice and enjoyable, since it was midweek and not so crazily crowded.

Another day, I went to Milan to check out the summer sales. Unfortunately, I found no sales for Rolex Daytona watches, so I had to settle for something else :). Something else more in line with my poor bank account.

Then, I had a day visit to Portofino, not only home of great Italian explorer Christopher Columbus,

but also a place where the riches like to hang out and enjoy the commodities of their amazing villas and yachts with beautiful views, where mountains drop directly into the sea. But even if it's a place where the wealthy meet, I had a lunch of trofie al pesto, fried sea and shell food, water and coffee that costed me less than a starter in Maastricht's iper-expensive Thai restaurant S. (only the initial for it, no need to find customers for them). Oh, I love pesto. And it is original from this area, so I really had to refrain myself from ordering a second portion.

Next day, off to Slovenia. Since the drive is longer than I could be bothered to endure, I stopped for an afternoon in Venice. Last time I had been there was 2002, and I once again liked the city, although the heat was just getting crazier and crazier. Every single tourist was trying to find relief in the shade, but the dry heat was everywhere. So I decided to sit and drink something in San Marco square, with its amazing style.. As my glorious countryman Cpt. Bertorelli would say, what a mistake that I make! One sandwitch, one diet coke and a coffee, 33 euros. By the way, there was a 10 euros surcharge for music (you read correct!), so I kind of complained when the band took a break. I pay, you play. Fair and square. And it's not a words game.

One weird thing I saw... an old lady, a beggar, just outside a juwelry shop... hold on a second, is that a Luis Vuitton bag she is kneeling on??? Only in highly priced Venice you can see that, I guess...

The next day, finally Slovenia. Once again, what a pretty country it is. So green, so clean, so much to offer. My drive from Nova Gorica to Ljubljana was very comfortable, and I checked-in into the hotel my bro Tad booked for me. The Grand Union. Funny enough, in the same street they have 3 of them (!!- although the web site is only for 2 of them) with the same name and obviously, mine was the last, which means at each stop I parked my car and tried to check-in, in vain. Till, I arrived to the correct one, that is.
The hotel, breakfast, service is good. And it's right in the heart of the city, which is nice and handy in the evening. Finally I got the chance to see li'l T, who was born on June 21st and spent the first 3 weeks of his life in a Slovenian hospital due to some serious blood problems, but luckily enough he is right back on track, and finally home. I enjoyed seeing Tad again, a man with a heart as big as Slovenia. And his girlfriend M is always so lovely, so sweet. And their li'l T very cute, poor boy. And after having delicious Slovenian dinner with them in Trbovlje, I went back to my hotel and out at night for a drink. Amazingly, the riverside is literally packed with bars and restaurants, and each and every one of them was fully booked. The atmosphere was great, I enjoyed walking around there. I really need to dedicate a full week to Slovenia and one to Croatia sometimes, they are really worth a visit.

The only regret is that during this visit to Italy I met my brother only once, as he was busy between the hospital (where he works, no need to worry :) ) and some time off in the mountains. And even worse, I didn't get to meet his girlfriend, as she left for 2 weeks of Kenya the same day I arrived. Too bad. Have a great holiday, Monica.

Now I'm back, so it's businness as usual. Waiting for another break to come my way!