It is fucking cold. And rainy. It is also July. Unlike April, which was blazing hot without a drop of precipitation. I am learning about Belgium. It is confusing.

Things have been good though, and I like that. I have settled nicely into my job and I work in an office, which I still find unbeatably hilarious. My coworkers are nice folks, I don’t have to dress up too much and I actually get an office of my own which surely trumps cubicle livin’. Plus benefits-wise I get all the coffee I want. 35-40 cups a day and I’m still riding high…

Really, it’s not bad at all: a structured but not micromanaged office environment for me to leverage my most marketable skill: my native-speaker-level command of the English language. It’s 100% legal and steady employment, and I get medical and dental… the whole bit. I even got to go to Cyprus a couple weeks ago for the Annual Meeting. A business trip!
What did I think of Cyprus? I don’t know. I didn’t see anything.

But the thought was there.

In return I write press releases, update the website, and edit ‘Networking‘ the European Journal of Standardization. I am also the Official ‘Unofficial’ photographer. So I write and take pictures. Which as far as office jobs go, is A-OK with me. In my slow hours I am able to keep my blog well up to date and work on some other writing projects. Paid and unpaid. But mostIy unpaid. Including some works for a forthcoming hiphop project called ‘Overboard.’ I am also busy learning my lines for my upcoming Belgium Theatrical debut. I will be appearing as “Maniac” in Dario Fo’s ” Accidental Death of an Anarchist.” I’m really enjoying the rehearsal process; it’s reminding me what it’s like to be on stage knowing beforehand which lines to say. There’s a copious amount of lines to learn, many of which will be delivered in a variety of wonderful and geographically inaccurate accents whilst outlandishly costumed: ‘Maniac’ is a master of disguise.

Anyone who will be in Belgium at the end of September is keenly encouraged to attend. Or you can catch us for one weekend only in the town of Bedford, England. Also at the end of September. Exact dates I’m not sure of. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll hook you up.

I turn thirty this month. July 31. Frankly I don’t know what to think. If you’re around or want to be around there promises to be some sort of celebration for the death of my carefree twenties.

And the birth of my carefree thirties.

Otherwise the news is Chiara’s protracted bout with mononucleosis is in the late stages, with her expected to emerge bruised but victorious. We’ve also got a ‘holiday’ planned for mid-August. Could be just a weekend in Paris, although we may take the sleeper train to Rome from there for a few nights as well, depending on how the time-off campaign goes. Brussels has plenty of summer events and festivals that we’ll hopefully get to indulge in, without leaving the comfort of our city. Also: I passed my ‘French for Idiots’ class this spring and plan to enrol in the next level for the fall, so that I can actually make French sounds with my mouth when I attempt to speak French. Thusfar it is a heavily qualified success.

So that’s it. That’s enough. If you want more you can check me on the Boom Chicago slice of the shiny podcast.

that’s love,

Ryan leMillar

PS: How are you doing?