April 17th, 2008

Rob is standard

In all seriousness

Yesterday would've been Bart de Graaff's 41st birthday. For those of you outside of NL: Bart re-invented TV and proved that if you have a dream, you can always find a way to reach it. Bart suffered from kidney failure and a growth malfunction, stopping his growth at age 12. He made his first TV appearance in a cookie-commercial around age 22, and his enthousiasm was so infectuous that a national TV station gave him his own kids show.

He gave it his all and his popularity grew, along with his notoriety for questionable taste (he played types like a weatherman with Gilles de la Tourette syndrom, Teletubbies lookalikes with drug- and drinking habits, and dared to wake up celebrities at their home in the middle of night). But aside from that, he never hid the fact that he was ill and probably wouldn't get old. He lived life to the fullest and managed to fulfil his greatest wish: His own TV-station / broadcasting organisation. A few years later, his body rejected a donor-kidney, his health declined rapidly and he died shortly before his 35th birthday.

In his commemoration, the BART foundation was started, to help seriously ill men and women fulfil their dreams without drawing attention to their illness.

Bart de Graaff. You either loved him or hated him. But everyone had respect for his fighting spirit, his willpower, his determination and his neverending enthousiasm. Yesterday, I visited his grave and wished him a happy birthday. The many fresh flowers there showed me that I'm not the only one who still remembers him. I wish I could've met him at least one time. His organisation lives on, making daring TV and radio, exactly in his spirit. Sometimes shocking, sometimes 'on the edge', keeping the 'established' media on their toes. Remember the stunt with The Donorshow last year that became worldwide news? That was BNN (Bart's Neverending Network). The show managed to raise a huge buzz and caused an increase in organ donors. And this year they caused a storm in national politics for wanting to broadcast Deep Throat, the movie on national TV (after midnight and after two documentaries about the movie). They did.

So Bart, I hope you're having a good time up there. Know that down here your legacy is still going strong.
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Rob is standard

Housing. Bleh.

OK, I've been living in Katwijk for quite a number of years now. I still like it, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking around for another place. One for myself. In all honesty I think it'll be at least a year and a half before I have some financial reserves. Hopefully house prices will have dropped somewhat by then (not betting on it). So I stumbled upon a website talking about the starterloan and -grant. Some cities in NL will help a first-time buyer get his house by financing a part of the money with a loan that's free of payments AND intrest for at least 3 years. Trust me, that helps.

And today I found out that nearly every city has one specific condition. You must already be living in the city where you want to buy your house, only THEN can you apply for the starterloan. Great. I can get help buying a house in Katwijk. I don't WANT to keep living here in this sleepy religious fishing village. I much rather want to have a place of my own in a somewhat bigger town that actually has somewhat of a nightlife. Leiden, Alphen, Hilversum, Schiedam, that's the kind of town I'm looking for. Meh.