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Peter Gysemans

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Househunt [23 Jun 2013|01:38pm]
Houses are like easter eggs.

You wander around aimlessly and stumble upon egg after egg. Some of them are really big but turn out to be dark chocolate. I don't like dark chocolate. Some are big and made from white chocolate. I luuuurv white chocolate. Jen hates it though. The next one is milk chocolate. We both like that! It's tiny and covered in cat pee. The hunt continues.

After a few houses you get a pretty good idea of what you like or don't like and more importantly what your S.O. doesn't like.

Location: not super important for me. I spent most of my time at work anyway. For Jen it is.
Light: likewise.
Size: likewise.

We notice a trend.

I would've bought a house way earlier in the hunt if it was just me, but I'm glad it isn't. If I see now what we ended up with I can only be super glad Jen stopped us from buying too early.

Some hunt-highlights:

The bathroom in the living room.

When you entered the house there was a small hallway. You see a door to the left. You go in and see this mega-cubicle with walls that don't reach to the ceiling. It contains a toilet, lavabo and a bath. You wonder about the sanity of the people that lived here before you. You go to the staircase to go to the first floor. There's a one-person-lift attached to the staircase. The old lady couldn't walk upstairs anymore so they put the bathroom in her living room. Houses have stories.

The unsellable house

This one was in Tâm and Kris's street. Yes, there's a giant highway in front of you and a giant wall behind you. But there was no noise problem. Still, location-value is close to zero. It's super small. It's so small that they put 2 giant 1000l containers in the basement full of mazout and put the CV on the terras. Yes, on the terras. At least there's no ventilation problem there. On the terras there was a smelly hole in the ground. 'for a second toilet'. I see. Upstairs there was 1 bedroom and 1 toilet. Hmm.. so bathroom? Oh, there's a shower cell in the toilet. The lavabo is around the corner from that in the middle of the hallway. These people were inventive. The yard is 6 square meters. That's probably too generous. It's still for sale for € 169.000.

The auction

There it was! A dreamhouse. Big and lots of light, right behind the station in Kessel-Lo. It needed a LOT of work. They put heating elements in on gyproc walls without the proper tools and they were coming lose. You don't want to have a heating element falling on your toes. Also, heating elements without an actual heater don't work so well. The whole house had been 'renovated' by clandestine nomad tribesmen. I have nothing against nomads, but they're not so great at building houses. A fountain also exploded in the middle of the house and created extensive waterdamage. Still, so much potential! Generally when a realtor says 'the house has potential' you should run away screaming. But this place actually had it. So, off we went to the auction. First we couldn't find the room, but eventually us and maybe 10 other people were there to bid on their dream house. One of them was the roommate of my new collegue that started that week. Leuven is a small world. In the end the war was between us and the dad-half of fille-è-papa. The fille seemed to be in a very good mood after they won. The dad just seemed pissed I cost him about € 40.000. That was a good feeling, I can't deny

'The House'

The one we bought. It's gigantesque. It will take 3 weeks of living in it before we know for sure what door opens into what. It has a living room, a dining room opening into a kitchen, a bathroom, a veranda, a 'waskot', 4 bedrooms, another bedroom and a lot of attic space. Oh, and an 80m yard. In Heverlee. W00t! The catch? The roof is from 1915. Insulation is non-existent. The central heater is from the sixties. It used to work on coal but got converted to mazout. The electricity works but doesn't live up to modern standards. That's it really.

The feeling of dread and doom

You walk around in a house for 15 minutes. After 2 minutes of deliberation you decide to spend € 245.000 on it.
Sounds crazy, right? That's because it IS crazy.

Now comes the stewing period. We made this incredibly life-changing decision but can't actually see what it's like yet for another 3-4 months. The mind boggles.

We'll get through it. It'll be grand.

You're all invited to a housewarming party featuring the 'Euro-gaming room (painted in black to avoid all distraction', the 'party-gaming room with fluffy pillows and lots of purple', the 'Kaia-floor'. (Yes, the child will have her own floor, enter at your own risk), the art-studio (Jen was instantly inspired), lounge-area's 1, 2 and 3 in the yard with a pool, a jacuzi a sauna and a tennis court. We're not sure yet about the 18-hole golf course.

Keep on dreaming!
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theme of the week: random review! [01 Aug 2011|11:07pm]

It's a Danish show that was so good that it got turned into an American one. We watched the Danish version (which was aired on BBC and subtitled).


A girl is murdered. We see the detectives trying to solve the case and we see the parents trying to deal with losing a child. There's also a mayor election going on that gets tied into it and the lead detective has a messy private life because she works too much.

Sound so unoriginal and boring you're falling asleep, right? And yet.


- Best acting ever. All the protagonists are simply outstanding. Most shows get away with a few good actors (like Dexter) and throw in some bad ones. Some shows only have bad ones (*cough* *dollhouse* *cough*). The Killing only has really good ones!

- Best writing ever. I'm really tempted to study Danish for a bit. They seemingly need so little words to say so much. Maybe that's why it seems every bit of dialogue is totally spot on.

- omg Danish is the cutest and most concise language on earth (and possibly beyond).

- The three major plot elements (detectives, family, politics) are interwoven perfectly.


- It's completely addictive.
- Only 20 episodes. You get hooked and want to see more, but alas.
- There's actually a second season too but it hasn't been BBC-d yet and the available subtitles are horrendous apparently. Study Danish I must.

Get it, get it!
You won't regret it.
8 comments|post comment

Music [27 Jul 2011|06:52pm]
Music 1

It's SO fun when you hear something new that's really good.

I was listening to some Bedhead again. It must've been 5 or 6 years. I was sitting behind my PC and suddenly decided to look them up again on our favorite downloadsite and 'lo and behold, they had one of their albums. 10 minutes later I was taking trips down to memory lane to when I was an incredibly nerdy student taking delight in studying the most basic of philosophy courses.

So, why not wiki Bedhead and see what happened to them. They quit in '99 and reformed with most of the old members in a band with the awesome name: The New Year.

Oh, favorite download website has an album from them too!

The guy that uploaded them has 4 other uploads called '99 best covers'. I was intrigued and downloaded the first one and...

New music heaven

Music 2

Up to now Kaia's music taste was limited to music from Disney-movies, various cartoons and the inevitable K3, but yesterday we were having dinner and I put the 4 more soft songs up from the Velvet Underground Banana and she liked them a lot. With every song she asked what it was and what it was about.

Happy daddy

Music 3

You probably know the feeling when you really like a movie/song/artist/game and you want to share the awesomeness so much. You probably also know the feeling then of sharing it and the other person politely saying 'It's .... nice!'.

It sucks.
Not in that it's-the-end-of-the-world kinda way.
But still.
3 comments|post comment

The Steerswoman [12 Feb 2011|07:36pm]
A while ago, I read The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein. Jen had recommended them to me and she reads just about anything she thinks could be good in all genres so I had no idea what to expect. It starts out as a normal fantasy book and turns into science-fiction at the end, but telling how or why would be spoiling the books forever!

What most of the later books in the series is about is super interesting though. How do we look at alien lifeforms? How do we look at alien lifeforms that seem to be extremely vicious and can kill at whim. There's no hope of ever communicating with them, but the steerswoman observes them and tries to figure things out about their culture. Anthropology, psychology, history, ah, what's not to like! And in the end Sokrates rules the brain-waves once again.

If you don't know goodness, you can't be good.
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BBQ! [11 Jul 2009|10:41am]
For everyone who didn't know yet because I forgot them on the original mailing list, tomorrow there will be a birthday bbq for Kaia & Jenifer's birthday at our place.

We're changing the schedule a bit because the weather forecasts aren't the best.

Festivities will start at 3pm instead of 11am and we'll start with bbq-ing straight away. :) 

See you then :)
6 comments|post comment

Pixies! [02 Jul 2009|05:48pm]
The Pixies are coming to Vorst on october 14th.

Ticket sale starts on Friday. Who's in? 
3 comments|post comment

Baptisisation [19 May 2009|01:07pm]
Kaia is getting baptised this Sunday (May 24st) in Sint-Lambertus at 3pm.

That's the big Heverlee church on the church-square. :)

We're doing it now because her second godmother, the other one being my sister, is coming over from the USA for the first time since she was born.

You're all invited to come and see the *sploosh*ing of the water.

We booked it through an internet form btw. No phonecalls were made, no visit to the church, we just got a confimation email with the time and date.  

*impressed *

17 comments|post comment

Antony & the Johnsons [20 Apr 2009|06:42pm]

This guy has been around since 1999, but I only 'discovered' him this year. To be honest his own albums vary from sucky to mediocre, but let him sing a cover and you get heartwrenching stuff. 

On a related note, it must suck to be Leonord Cohen.
He rights the most amazing songs, but noone notices until they get performed by someone who can actually sing.
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[30 Sep 2008|06:05pm]
The whole going-to-bed-thread has caused some discussion in our household.

Jen is mainly upset with

- people trying to give more advise while the already posted that our solution is working. 

- noone reacting to the fact I shoved her out of the room.

Personally I think she's having another paranoid attack and that things will calm down again eventually.

Meanwhile, don't give advise unless specifically asked to. :) 
4 comments|post comment

pretty [22 Sep 2008|07:07pm]


Go to their song collection and listen to Tiger Mountain Peasant song.
It's a Fleet Foxes cover obviously, but their voices have such amazing harmony, sort of like Laïs on steroids.

spinal shiver guaranteed!
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[25 Aug 2008|11:21pm]
Vrouwen regeren dus de wereld.

Ze komen twee keer per week samen in het dienstencentrum van het OCMW. Mannen hebben ze niet meer. Al jaren dood, op gezegende leeftijden gestorven, dat wel. Maar niet zo gezegend als zij.

De verhalen gaan nog wel sporadisch over hun venten. Het waren stuk voor stuk 'goei', ook al sloeg de ene al wat harder dan de andere. Zuipen konden ze ook allemaal.

Sommige vrouwen zijn dat ook beginnen doen. Niet zozeer om hun ellende te vergeten, ook al zijn er tal van ongemakken en hartverscheurende eenzaamheid bij tijd en wijle, maar gewoon omdat ze het nu kunnen. Als een kleuter van 3 zich op de grond werpt in een hysterische woedeaanval zal niemand echt vreemd opkijken en als een 80-plusser zich lazarus gezopen heeft en het hele restaurant bij elkaar schreeuwt wordt dat ook deemoedig weggelachen.

Zelf zal ik het dus nooit meemaken. Mannen zijn gedoemd als eerste te sterven. Maar het lijkt me wel wat, die onverschrokkenheid van de oude van dagen. Hoe wet nog moraal geldt. Hoe ze kunnen cocaïne snuiven, stelen uit offerblokken en elkaar genadeloos de duvel aandoen.

Ouderdom geeft macht en maakt vrij.

Het zolang uithouden tot ge onaantastbaar zijt, mag best een doel op zich zijn.
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Stormdaisy [21 Jul 2008|11:37am]
When I was 16, there was a band called Stormdaisy. It was a local band and they were absolutely awesome. That's what we thought at the time anyway. In the last year of highschool I made a trip to Greece with my classmates and a few teachers as is the custom in belgian schools. 10 days of actually seeing what we had learned in the last 6 years was fantastic and so were the music tapes we had made to play on the bus. Leonard Cohen, Primus, Nirvana, dr. Alban, 2 unlimited, vivaldi... our musical tastes were very eclectic. ;)

Stormdaisy was on those tapes too with 'we don't fake it no more'. The nostalgic feeling in the song was a perfect fit for our trip where we mournfully celebrated the end of our lives (as we knew it) and that of Socrates in his cell on the agora in Athens. If he'd have had a tapedeck in his prison I was sure he would've played that the last day before his death.

The lead singer/lead songwriter of Stormdaisy was called Gunther Van Passel and he died a few months after our trip, falling of a mountain in the French Alps and that was the end of Stormdaisy.

Why I post this now? Because there's a website now www.stormdaisy.be with all of their songs, some archives, youtube video's, etc.

As with all old things the music wasn't all that great in hindsight, but that one song 'we don't fake it no more' is as great as ever.

Check it out!

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ze meme [09 May 2008|09:50pm]

Song Lyrics! Some are easy, some are hard :)

1. A friend in need is a friend indeed, a friend with weed is better. JanD

2. So we play the roles that they assigned us
She does nothing to conceal it
He touches her 'cause he wants to feel it
We blame her for being there
But we are all GUILTY

3. Er war sehr attraktiv
und auch sehr muskuls
Er war ein Traum vom einem Mann.

4. And the devil in a black dress watches over
My guardian angel walks away
Life is short and love is always over in the morning
Black wind come carry me far away

5. I didn't see you not looking when I messed up
Settling down in your early twenties
Sucked more blood than a backstreet dentist

6. Sucking on my titties like you wanted me
Calling me, all the time like Blondie
Check out my chrissy behind
It's fine all of the time
Like sex on the beaches

7. tlp, is ne party dj
moa skratch solo's hoa tie nie brieng
sex i zynne lust en zyn leven
tlp, de gentse porno-king

8. Im cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor.
Illusion never changed into something real

9. He's got morning glory and lifes a different story
Everythings going jackanory
Touched with his own mortality
Hes reading balzac, knocking back prozac

10. And I ain't down here for your money
I ain't down here for your love
I ain't down here for your love or money
I'm down here for your soul

11. I know you think it's a real drag
To suck my cunt when I'm on the rag
Quit making up stories, ah, give me a break
'Cause I really don't believe that you've got a headache

12. Je ne suis pas une communiste
Je ne suis pas une cycliste
Je ne suis pas une catholique
Je ne suis pas une footballiste

13. Als ie maar geen voetballer wordt ze schoppen 'm misschien half dood
Maar liever dat nog dan een bord voor z'n kop van van de zakenman want daar wordt ie alleen maar slechter van

14. Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play

15. I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track
I looked 'round, And I knew there was no turning back

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[30 Apr 2008|02:04pm]

The 'fanfare' is a great song! Horns oozing with nostalgia is all a man needs to slide down to memory lane. 
I've had this song in my head for a while now and last Sunday the nostalgic feeling washed over me like a waterfall (not Niagara, but Coo maybe). A few old friends were sitting on a 'terraske', having a fine old time playing a boardgame. I knew all 3 and have sensational good memories about spending time with all of them, but they all date from years back. 

One of them once said that you rotate friends every 5 years and that you only meet someone worthwile every 2 years or so. He's probably right. The thing we call 'real' friends is more of a mythical ideal than anything else, right?. I've had quite a few friends in my life and most of them I never see anymore. Why's that? I have no clue. 
People just grow apart I guess like they do in any relationship. In a love-relationship when you see it happening you usually make the effort to 'grow' back together a little bit but for friends there's no motivation to do that.

So I look at the marvelous 3 and see them laughing and it hurts a little bit. 
But I know my life is so much better now than what it was when I knew them best. 

"Thanks for the memories and maybe we'll hook up again some day when we have more things in common again." is the only thing I could come up with to say to them. Too bad I only found that out while writing this. :)
3 comments|post comment

Ethics! [01 Apr 2008|04:48pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Euthanasia is in the news again thanks to mr. Claus and the new debate about euthanasia for kids and severely demented elderly people. 

Personally I think every chance people get to make their own choices is a good one. And euthanasia is on the same list as abolition of slavery, legalized abortion and gettting rid of the death penalty. They are essential elements in the long road to civilization humanity is undertaking. According to that little list only a handful of countries in the world can call them self civilized. 

France failed the civilization-test just last week when some judge decided that poor woman with a face tumor and agonizing pain couldn't be assisted in dying because... 
See, there's the problem, noone can give a good answer to that except: 'if we allow it for this woman, more will follow! People will abuse the system and murder!'. That's why, as a society, you make laws that prevents abuse from happening. Duh.

Why can't French politicans and judges don't think of this. If this case would've presented itself in the USA there would be a bunch of religious nuts protesting in the streets in the same way they bomb abortion clinics, but this is France; home of the French revolution, the values of egality, liberty and the declaration of human rights. 

How come the French stopped evolving ethically and the Dutch/Belgian/Scandinavians haven't?

There's plenty of other examples of still existing barbary in the 'western world' :
Why can't the USA not abolish the death penalty which is considered a truely barberous act by just about every European?
Why is abortion still not legal in Ireland?
Why do the US have special abortion clinics? Did they run out of rooms in normal hospitals?

So Jen brought up an interesting theory. Ethical advancement is linked to quality of life. If the average quality of life is very high in a society, there's room to tackle issues like euthanasia, gay marriages and abortion and sure enough Belgium, Holland and Scandinavia are probably the countries with the highest standard of living in the world for the biggest percentage of inhabitants (unlike the US for example where the average standard of living is high but so is the gap between rich and poor).

In other words, societies need decent social security before they can advance ethically. And social security has to be seen in a broad light. The other day I told Jen we have a goverment agency that gives counceling to Lotto-winners. She cracked up.

Does the world need a new revolution?
One where all lotto winners get counceling?

I think so. 

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Money [08 Mar 2008|09:36am]

Yesterday I had to go to the post office to send some letters to the US for Jeni. First; I speedrace to the ATM but it refuses to give me money! The insolence. I check the balance and it says € 7,51. It's the 7th of the month and broke already? That seemed a little harsh. I head back home, check my webbanking and indeed... there's no more money. Panic strikes! While checking I see that I didn't get any 'child money' for Kaia since august 2006 (when I started my new job). I call the good people at the RSZPPO and the lady on the phone asks me to wait while she looks it up. 5 minutes later she's back and says:

she: 'euh.. yeah.. we kinda screwed up. We owe you € 1200' 
me: 'Oh, that's nice, and when will I get that? tomorrow I hope?' 
she: 'hmm.. in a few weeks.. we're really sorry!'.  

So money is incoming, but still doesn't solve the immediate problem at hand. 

Oh, tax-people! They still owe me €900 and they said they would deposit in my account before the end of december. I check my balance again, but no sign of tax money. I rummage through my stuff and find a 'circulaire cheque' for the correct amount dated on Valentine's day.

Me: 'wee money!'
Jen: 'wtf, wtf, WTF!!!'

I head to the bank. 

bank: 'Oh, sure we can cash this for you but it'll take 5 days to get on your account.'
me: '...'
me: 'on the back of this cheque it says you can get it in cash in the bank that issued the cheque. Is that true?'
bank: 'I'd be surprised... hmm.. I guess you're right'
*I look at the giant post symbol on the cheque*
me: 'so any post office will do?'
bank: 'should do yes'

I speedrace to the post office.

Silently I give my cheque and ID card to the post-lady. I'm expecting violent protest or at least some Kafka-esque bureacracy bullshit.
She sighs.

Then she gives me my €900 and asks me to sign the receipt.


I remember the lettres I had to send and ask her to deduct the stamps from the amount.

She frowns and chucles.

Filled with glee I head back to the bank and deposit most of the money.

Life can be full of unexpected adventures. ;)

5 comments|post comment

Nick [03 Mar 2008|04:48pm]
So, Uncle Nick (did you *see* his moustache?) is coming to Vorst on Labour Day. 
Tickets are a meager €38.

Anyone want to join me?
8 comments|post comment

Juno [08 Feb 2008|06:06pm]

Was everyone informed Juno is a seriously good movie?

Part of the charm is the music. I've been playing the soundtrack over and over. The introduction to the wonder that is Kimya Dawson (Regina Spector eat your heart out) was greatly appreciated!

Another gem on there is from Barry Louis Polisar.

3 comments|post comment

pre-New Years party [24 Dec 2007|07:26pm]

Since it's hard for us to go anywhere with Kaia and don't want to keep her awake till well over midnight we'll have our own little informal pre-party around 7pm. 

There'll be snacks, drinks and charades!

Just leave a message here if you want do drop by. :)

8 comments|post comment

formation crash! [01 Dec 2007|03:39pm]

Leterme resigned.

Blue-Orange-Green or new elections? 

Le sigh

6 comments|post comment

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