hAmsterdance 2

So I am in Amsterdam for the IBC (international broadcasting conference) for Adobe's After Effects 4.1 Launch and Premiere with Real Time.

Dave Barry's column today is all about the Netherlands

here's a sampling:

The Netherlands is beautiful, and the Dutch are a friendly funny, low-key people who are not opposed to beer. As an added bonus, everybody in the Netherlands, including dogs, speaks English more fluently than, for example, Dan Quale.

Today's missive will be slightly racier. Where last we were dashing off with Lode and Melanie... we walked a great deal around the supposed Red Light Distrcit, but since it was daylight, the lights weren't on, the portitues were probably catching a cat(house) nap, and except for various advertisements for special services, it was pretty tame.

But this was where Lode remembered a wonderful Indonesian restaurant. It turned out to be Andeka Ras, and we did have the famous Rijstofel (the Rice Table Indonesian smorgasborg of never ending dishes served over ... rice.). The food was spicier than anything served in Bali. The lamb things were especially good. As were the fried bananas at the end, and the weird gelatinous spice cake. And it was most wonderful to get to talk to Lode and Melanie again, whom I hadn't seen since they returned to their native Belgium after being California blondes for so long. . . Lode teaches design and graphics. Melanie was working on a novel last time I heard.

After dinner, we all walked back to Central Station, a gilt and stone carved monstrous confection serving as transportation center to Amsterdam. Lode and Melanie went off for their car and I returned by tram -- my new favorite mode de transport here-- to check back at the hotel for Adobe-type thingies I might have missed.

Last night's party was supposed to be the shocking Intergraph/Softimage event of the year. Now, I have heard for four years about these parties, notoriously peopled in the past with seedy troupes of "performers" and drag queens, doing acts upon guests and each other that are only spoken of in unmixed company and only in hushed, furtive tones. Ok, so maybe I'm jaded, or maybe Burning Man left my heart open to higher possibilities for humanity -- and parties in particular :) -- but I far more enjoyed the dancing for four hours straight to a passable live DJ mix then the "entertainment" of theatrical DQs and their smack-addled cohorts in a collection of cheap lingerie. The S&M masked dancers emerged around 1 AM, and promptly took over two raised daises wearing "FIST" and "SUCK" on their black cropped tops didn't do as much for nitrous-balloon-headed audience as two tradeshow bunnies aping their antics on the dais after they left. I did hear the stories of the mysterious boat ride, which took guests onto the canals from the Mellkweg, where the party took place. Apparently, some unsuspecting person was blindfolded until they reached a dark canal. Then, in one case, a tall beautiful woman wearing a long sheath, a string of pearls, and a fish mask -- nope, I wasn't there, it was just very well described to me by one of my shaken developers (from New Zealand, where they don't have such entertainments) -- came towards the blindfolded man. A pillow was placed down, and she put her head into it, and then projected herself into a perfectly controlled headstand. Then she split her legs. Her dress of course fell to her shoulders and she wasn't wearing anything underneath. Then one of her partners placed raw oysters on the available and newly presented, ummm, surface, and the blindfolded man was led forward to eat them. I heard some mumbling about a similar event on a different canal trip last night that involved a woman being blindfolded and made to use a cigar cutter on a cigar that was placed precariously close to an actor's penis.

And the grande finale, sometime around 3AM, was a giant plastic penis being chopped to bits by a sword-weilding dominitrix.... Whatever. They seem to have a facination with Bobbiting around here.

Here is a friend of mine's first person recounting of the same boat trip.

Sooooo, guess where I am headed off now? To a canal boat trip / dinner / candlelight tour with the Adobe gang! I am quite sure no one invited any of last night's participants to come aboard, so unless I see any blindfolds, I will assume this to be a fine evening.

Tomorrow Bruce and I are conducting our After Effects DEveloper Conference all day...

Send your comments, requests, suggestions and porridge to rocket@bullwinkle.org. Return