All Posts By LP



I am moving. For anyone thinking: “But wait, didn’t you move into this place like three years ago?” Yes, I did. And I was planning to stay here forever, as this was my absolute dream house in my dream neighborhood. Sadly, that dream has turned into a bit of a nightmare.

But let’s start at the very beginning. In 1998, I got my own apartment on The Island. 43m2 (about 462 square feet) all to myself. I was so happy! Sure, it was a bit noisy, and sure, we (the 10 of us that lived in the apartment block) were living next door to student housing, so we did hear parties a couple of times a year. But hey, we’re in Amsterdam: you should be thankful to have a roof over your head.

After about 7 years however, things started to change: our apartments were incorporated into student housing. As soon as someone with a “regular” contract moved, the apartment was rented out to a student. This led to a high turnover of neighbors. It was also around this time that people stopped introducing themselves upon moving in. Part of it had to do with the fact that they weren’t going to live there for long: it takes at least two to three years to be able to rent these apartments because of the wait list, and as soon as you’re graduated, you have to move again. Part of it was also a change in the type of people who were still able to afford studying in Amsterdam. Let’s just say that the percentage of assholes increased significantly. There were of course still nice people who introduced themselves, but the number of people who have lived above me, but who I’ve never met, far outweighs them. For a while, I would make the effort to introduce myself to every new neighbor, but at some point I got sick and tired of walking up 4 flights of stairs to be met with complete indifference, so I gave up.

With the increase in the number of students in our apartment building, the noise complaints became more frequent, and more intense. I know there’s people going: “But they’re young! You have to accept that! If it bothers you, you should move to a real home in a normal neighborhood for adults, you ancient loser!” And while I agree with this to a degree, there’s of course a huge difference between an announced party until 01:30 on a Friday or Saturday a couple of times a year, and unannounced “parties” that consist of yelling, squealing and singing until 06:30 on a random weeknight. And I’m not even going to talk about that one time they decided to do a full blown hazing ritual in the apartment above me on a Thursday night.

A bit about me being an ancient loser in/next to student housing: here in Amsterdam, if you are eligible for a rent controlled apartment, you have to register to Woningnet, where listings are posted that you can respond to. Depending on your situation, there’s certain types of homes you’re allowed to rent. A single person for example, is only allowed to rent a one bedroom apartment. Depending on your income, there’s also a maximum price you’re allowed to pay, as there is a maximum to the refund you can get. It’s a whole system designed to try to get everybody into a home most suited for their situation, basically. In the years that I lived in my old apartment, the prices of rent controlled apartments of course also went up. I did check regularly, only to come to the sad conclusion that with my income at the time, I had little to no options. And even if I was able to afford a more expensive apartment: I am definitely not going to pay twice as much for an apartment that is in a worse condition than the one I was living in, in a less enjoyable neighborhood. On top of that: when I moved into my apartment, it was a “real home” with a regular lease, it was only turned into student housing about seven years later: I had the legal right to live there. In hindsight, our rental agency should have offered “the oldies” like me, who still had a regular lease, a different place to live when they converted our apartments into student housing, but they didn’t.

So I had to make the best of it. As years went on, this became harder and harder. At some point, I was done meeting my new neighbors for the first time in front of their door at 02:30 while wearing my hooded tiger robe, while asking them if they could “please, tone it down”. In those moments, the desperation drove me to tears, but what could I do? I needed to be thankful that I had a roof over my head. And I was. Of course it was exhausting to keep trailing after the rental agency to get them to fix things, like the smoke alarm that would ring at all hours for no reason at all, but again: a roof. Over my head. Thankful. And despite how it sounds, I really did love my place. It was a nice apartment, in a neighborhood that was fine, and for large parts of the year, living there was, honestly, fine.

Then, a couple of things happened in short succession: they started works on the outside of our building. To cut time, they worked on both sides of the building simultaneously. Every day from 07:00 to 17:00 they would sand and chisel, and the whole building would shake and tremble non-stop. In those days I was in the middle of trying to finally finish my @!#$ BA degree in English, and being already overworked and exhausted, I could not handle this. I got so stressed out that “not sleeping well” became “sleeping 14 hours a week max”, with most of those 14 hours of sleep happening during the weekend. More often than not, I went to class and did exams and presentations on zero hours of sleep. I would study for 36 hours on end to get things done, only with 20 minute naps in between, and those were usually because I would just fall asleep on my keyboard. It was my “Get a BA or die trying” period, and as we all know, I nearly did “die trying”.

After my stroke, I noticed that I was more sensitive to noise. I also noticed that the little patience I used to have, in general, but specifically for unnecessary loud racket at all hours, was gone. And when in the following years my living room flooded twice, and they LOST my (only!) living room window during repairs, meaning that I had to live in the dark for 9 1/2 weeks, I was done.

Thankfully this time, there was a solution: I was going to get married, and we would both be moving into a new home. I checked Funda (the real estate website for non-rent controlled apartments and places that are for sale) and in the beginning of September, I found my absolute dream apartment. I sent an email to the person I was going to marry, titled “This is where we’re going to live”, despite knowing that it was months before we were going to be able to move, so not gonna happen. This apartment was located in the Watergraafsmeer neighborhood. It is a very green, quiet, residential neighborhood, with mostly families and older people living there.

The first time I ended up there, was in 2005. At that time in my life, everything kinda totally sucked, and I felt like a huge loser. I remember seeing the Voltaplein for the first time and thinking: “I wish I could live here. That would mean I made something of my life. Then I wouldn’t be this huge loser anymore”. Knowing that I would never be able to live there, I cried biking all the way back home to my apartment, and told myself I just needed to be thankful that I had a roof over my head. Can you imagine how ECSTATIC I was when, a mere 14 years later, I did end up being able to move to the Watergraafsmeer? To that dream apartment that was miraculously re-listed at the exact moment we started looking for a home? That was located so close to the Voltaplein, that I can see it from my living room?

Things started off great: the neigbors around us were friendly, and the neigbors next to us turned out to be classical musicians. I had finally finished my BA in English, my old student loans were paid off, I was married, I lived in the Watergraafsmeer in my dream apartment: things were looking up! Of course, there was some remodeling going on on the other side of the street, but oh well, that would be done soon. I had more space, an office with doors to a balcony looking onto a courtyard. We even had pigeons!

Then the pandemic started. We would be in lock down for two weeks.


Part two will be posted tomorrow, 10 february 2023.


This Month – December


Read – Online

British Museum confirms talks over Parthenon Marbles It’s about time;

Putin signs law expanding Russia’s rules against ‘LGBT propaganda’;

2ManyDJs on 20 accidental years of mashups and mayhem: ‘It’s more fun when it’s a little bit naughty’;

Jonathan, the world’s oldest tortoise, marks his 190th with fanfare and salad cake;

Creative people: A note on the creative class by Bucket Siler;

Runaway Teenager Killed in Long Beach Identified After 44 Years Quote: “Kenny, as his family called him, ran away a lot, according to his sister. However, he always came back. When he didn’t return that last time, they looked for him, and hired a private investigator. But eventually they assumed he’d started a new life somewhere. They never reported him missing”. A kid that “runs away a lot”, hiring a private detective but never reporting him missing, assuming he started “a new life somewhere” at 15: all completely normal behavior of course;

Chateau Marmont Staff Wins Union Contract in Bruising Years-Long Battle;

Point Reyes Lighthouse’s rebirth: Mystery solved, $5 million renovation done Are they looking for a live in care taker?

In the Natural Hair Community, Inclusivity Is a Moving Target;

Faithless lead singer Maxi Jazz dies aged 65;

Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, Former ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ DJ and ‘SYTYCD’ All-Star, Dead at 40;

How Rui Da Silva’s progressive house hit ‘Touch Me ft. Cassandra’ broke the pop mould;

Andrew Tate: Romanian police to hold influencer for 30 days Let this please be the beginning of the end of his “influencer” status;

Dame Vivienne Westwood: fashion designer dies aged 81;

Today in “Unsurprising”: Study Shows L.A. ‘Street Sweeps’ Are Not Helping the Homeless;

Spielberg tells of guilt over harm hit film Jaws may have done to sharks And rightfully so!

December was P-22’s month:

Mountain Lion Stalking Hollywood Hills Will Be Captured;

P-22, L.A.’s Favorite Free-Roaming Cougar, is Caught: Could Be Killed;

P-22, L.A.’s Beloved Hometown Cougar, Has Been Euthanized;

P-22, Hollywood’s celebrity mountain lion, ends his reign;

P-22, L.A. celebrity mountain lion, euthanized due to severe injuries;

SoCal Native Americans Urge Tribal Burial for P-22 Cougar in Griffith Park;

A Eulogy for P-22, A Mountain Lion Who Changed the World;

Stunning photos of L.A.’s celebrity mountain lion P-22.

Listened to – Music

Francis and the Lights – See Her Out

TEEMID – Electric Feel

Rui Da Silva – Touch Me ft. Cassandra

Listened to – Podcasts

Heavyweight – Another Roadside Attraction “When Stephanie was in high school, a bookstore seemingly dropped out of the sky into her small Texas town. Then, just as quickly, it was gone”. This one is HEAVY. You have been warned.

Watched – Films and Documentaries

Everything – The Real Thing Story

Homemade – Phyllida Barlow

Art in the Twenty-First Century: Chris Ware in “Chicago”

Candy The Candy Dulfer documentary.

Watched – TV and Youtube

The Commodification of Fall | Internet Analysis

Her TINY HOUSE is the size of a garage, & it’s really cute!

Daddy Issues Onscreen – Why Our Culture Mocks Abandonment

The Absurd Logistics of Concert Tours Not that absurd if you ask me, but interesting nonetheless

First on SoundCloud ’22: A spotlight on EKKSTACY

Miscellaneous awesomeness

(re)Discoveries An art fair for artists who either started making art later in life, or got recognition later in life;

On the wall: Museum Beleving – Noses;

*BRB moving* The Futuro House by Matti Suuronen;

There is one where you can stay the night Futuro House at Marston Park;

Science Inspired Jewelry;

The Gävle Goat stayed up this year!




First, I would like to wish everybody a better 2023! Completely regardless of how your 2022 was, by the way. The Holidays are a strange period for me, as I don’t celebrate Christmas. I also don’t really feel the “We’re starting anew!”-vibe of the new year, especially not since I’m living on an academic timeline again. What do you mean, the end of the year? I’m not even half way through! For me 2022 was part of the 2021/2022 academic year, which went GREAT. 2022 was also part of the current academic year, which isn’t going so well.

Since the summer, when I was shortly admitted to urgent care because I was physically not doing well, after which they changed up my medications, things have been… not ok. I don’t know if it’s the medication changes, or if it’s the backlash of The Pandemic, but things have been extremely mediocre on all fronts. Between September and December, I twice caught a serious cold that stuck around for more than two weeks each. This resulted in me falling behind with my studies to the extend that I’ll have to repeat the class next year.

Back in the day, I would have literally almost killed myself to try and pass the class anyway, but I’m doing this thing called “Learning from your Experiences”. While I am proud of myself for this progress (and progress it is), it is of course highly demotivating to have to drop out of your first class of the year. I have seriously considered throwing in the towel, especially considering the hell that was my BA degree. Despite dealing with an infection in my jaw (for which – fear not! – I’m being treated), I am going to try and do the full time class in January. If I don’t manage to pass that one either, I’ll reconsider my life plans. For the 8 millionth time in my life. No wonder I’m exhausted.

Writing didn’t happen in 2022. Despite not believing in writer’s block, I’m clearly dealing with writer’s block. Everybody and their grandma knows that I have a difficult relationship with writing. This goes from thinking “Why bother?” to actively wanting to burn everything that has any relation to (my) writing, including my laptop. This is not a new phenomenon, I’ve had this intermittently since my high school newspaper days in 1863, but it resurfaces with a vengeance when I’m not feeling my best. As you’re not supposed to make drastic decisions during a crisis, I will post the December 2022 round up this Friday. Reasonably on time for a change.