zondag 30 oktober 2011


I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif.

I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us.Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people.

Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.

By then, I lived in New York, where I was trying to write my first novel. I had a job at a small magazine in an office the size of a closet, with three other aspiring writers.

When one day a lawyer called me — me, the middle-class girl from California who hassled the boss to buy us health insurance — and said his client was rich and famous and was my long-lost brother, the young editors went wild.

This was 1985 and we worked at a cutting-edge literary magazine, but I’d fallen into the plot of a Dickens novel and really, we all loved those best.

The lawyer refused to tell me my brother’s name and my colleagues started a betting pool. The leading candidate: John Travolta. I secretly hoped for a literary descendant of Henry James — someone more talented than I, someone brilliant without even trying.

When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif.

We took a long walk — something, it happened, that we both liked to do. I don’t remember much of what we said that first day, only that he felt like someone I’d pick to be a friend. He explained that he worked in computers.

I didn’t know much about computers. I still worked on a manual Olivetti typewriter. I told Steve I’d recently considered my first purchase of a computer: something called the Cromemco. Steve told me it was a good thing I’d waited. He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful.

I want to tell you a few things I learned from Steve, during three distinct periods, over the 27 years I knew him. They’re not periods of years, but of states of being. His full life. His illness. His dying.

Steve worked at what he loved. He worked really hard. Every day. That’s incredibly simple, but true. He was the opposite of absent-minded. He was never embarrassed about working hard, even if the results were failures. If someone as smart as Steve wasn’t ashamed to admit trying, maybe I didn’t have to be.

When he got kicked out of Apple, things were painful. He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn’t been invited.

He was hurt but he still went to work at Next. Every single day. Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was.
For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.

He didn’t favor trends or gimmicks. He liked people his own age. His philosophy of aesthetics reminds me of a quote that went something like this: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.”
Steve always aspired to make beautiful later. He was willing to be misunderstood.

Uninvited to the ball, he drove the third or fourth iteration of his same black sports car to Next, where he and his team were quietly inventing the platform on which Tim Berners-Lee would write the program for the World Wide Web.
Steve was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him.

Whenever he saw a man he thought a woman might find dashing, he called out, “Hey are you single? Do you wanna come to dinner with my sister?”

I remember when he phoned the day he met Laurene. “There’s this beautiful woman and she’s really smart and she has this dog and I’m going to marry her.”
When Reed was born, he began gushing and never stopped.

He was a physical dad, with each of his children. He fretted over Lisa’s boyfriends and Erin’s travel and skirt lengths and Eve’s safety around the horses she adored. None of us who attended Reed’s graduation party will ever forget the scene of Reed and Steve slow dancing.

His abiding love for Laurene sustained him. He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere. In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic. I try to learn from that, still.

Steve had been successful at a young age, and he felt that had isolated him. Most of the choices he made from the time I knew him were designed to dissolve the walls around him. A middle-class boy from Los Altos, he fell in love with a middle-class girl from New Jersey.

It was important to both of them to raise Lisa, Reed, Erin and Eve as grounded, normal children. Their house didn’t intimidate with art or polish; in fact, for many of the first years I knew Steve and Lo together, dinner was served on the grass, and sometimes consisted of just one vegetable. Lots of that one vegetable. But one. Broccoli. In season. Simply prepared. With just the right, recently snipped, herb.

Even as a young millionaire, Steve always picked me up at the airport. He’d be standing there in his jeans. When a family member called him at work, his secretary Linetta answered, “Your dad’s in a meeting. Would you like me to interrupt him?”

When Reed insisted on dressing up as a witch every Halloween, Steve, Laurene, Erin and Eve all went wiccan. They once embarked on a kitchen remodel; it took years. They cooked on a hotplate in the garage.

The Pixar building, under construction during the same period, finished in half the time. And that was it for the Palo Alto house. The bathrooms stayed old. But — and this was a crucial distinction — it had been a great house to start with; Steve saw to that.

This is not to say that he didn’t enjoy his success: he enjoyed his success a lot, just minus a few zeros. He told me how much he loved going to the Palo Alto bike store and gleefully realizing he could afford to buy the best bike there. And he did.

Steve was humble. Steve liked to keep learning. Once, he told me if he’d grown up differently, he might have become a mathematician. He spoke reverently about colleges and loved walking around the Stanford campus.

In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn’t known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus.

Steve cultivated whimsy. What other C.E.O. knows the history of English and Chinese tea roses and has a favorite David Austin rose? He had surprises tucked in all his pockets. I’ll venture that Laurene will discover treats — songs he loved, a poem he cut out and put in a drawer — even after 20 years of an exceptionally close marriage.

I spoke to him every other day or so, but when I opened The New York Times and saw a feature on the company’s patents, I was still surprised and delighted to see a sketch for a perfect staircase.

With his four children, with his wife, with all of us, Steve had a lot of fun. He treasured happiness.

Then, Steve became ill and we watched his life compress into a smaller circle. Once, he’d loved walking through Paris. He’d discovered a small handmade soba shop in Kyoto. He downhill skied gracefully. He cross-country skied clumsily. No more.

Eventually, even ordinary pleasures, like a good peach, no longer appealed to him. Yet, what amazed me, and what I learned from his illness, was how much was still left after so much had been taken away.

I remember my brother learning to walk again, with a chair. After his liver transplant, once a day he would get up on legs that seemed too thin to bear him, arms pitched to the chair back. He’d push that chair down the Memphis hospital corridor towards the nursing station and then he’d sit down on the chair, rest, turn around and walk back again. He counted his steps and, each day, pressed a little farther.

Laurene got down on her knees and looked into his eyes. “You can do this, Steve,” she said. His eyes widened. His lips pressed into each other. He tried. He always, always tried, and always with love at the core of that effort. He was an intensely emotional man.

I realized during that terrifying time that Steve was not enduring the pain for himself. He set destinations: his son Reed’s graduation from high school, his daughter Erin’s trip to Kyoto, the launching of a boat he was building on which he planned to take his family around the world and where he hoped he and Laurene would someday retire.

Even ill, his taste, his discrimination and his judgment held. He went through 67 nurses before finding kindred spirits and then he completely trusted the three who stayed with him to the end. Tracy. Arturo. Elham.

One time when Steve had contracted a tenacious pneumonia his doctor forbid everything — even ice. We were in a standard I.C.U. unit. Steve, who generally disliked cutting in line or dropping his own name, confessed that this once, he’d like to be treated a little specially. I told him: Steve, this is special treatment. He leaned over to me, and said: “I want it to be a little more special.”

Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.

For the really big, big things, you have to trust me, he wrote on his sketchpad. He looked up. You have to. By that, he meant that we should disobey the doctors and give him a piece of ice.

None of us knows for certain how long we’ll be here. On Steve’s better days, even in the last year, he embarked upon projects and elicited promises from his friends at Apple to finish them. Some boat builders in the Netherlands have a gorgeous stainless steel hull ready to be covered with the finishing wood.

His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding. We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.

I suppose it’s not quite accurate to call the death of someone who lived with cancer for years unexpected, but Steve’s death was unexpected for us. What I learned from my brother’s death was that character is essential: What he was, was how he died.

Tuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up to Palo Alto. His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.

He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there.” “I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”

When I arrived, he and his Laurene were joking together like partners who’d lived and worked together every day of their lives. He looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze. Until about 2 in the afternoon, his wife could rouse him, to talk to his friends from Apple.

Then, after awhile, it was clear that he would no longer wake to us.
His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before. This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.

He told me, when he was saying goodbye and telling me he was sorry, so sorry we wouldn’t be able to be old together as we’d always planned, that he was going to a better place.

Dr. Fischer gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through the night.
He made it through the night, Laurene next to him on the bed sometimes jerked up when there was a longer pause between his breaths.

She and I looked at each other, then he would heave a deep breath and begin again. This had to be done. Even now, he had a stern, still handsome profile, the profile of an absolutist, a romantic. His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude.

He seemed to be climbing. But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.

Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.

Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.

Steve’s final words were: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW”.

Mona Simpson is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She delivered this eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs, on Oct. 16 at his memorial service at the Memorial Church of Stanford University. 
(Bron: The New York Times  30 oktober 2011)

vrijdag 28 oktober 2011


Vandaag één jaar jong en meteen vragende partij.
Valt de appel niet ver van de boom? Bent U die fanboy/girl?

donderdag 27 oktober 2011


Sommige al-dan-niet-tè-ná-ijverige familieleden en andere verre kennissen menen met een bijna ziekelijke zieligheid te stellen en weten bovendien met onwaarschijnlijke zekerheid dat ik al jaren ongegeneerd op grote voet leef. Wel, om alle tergende twijfels eeuwig te wissen: het Double U-mes snijdt aan twee kanten. Doorgaans draag ik maat 44 à 45. Maar God schiep jaren terug ook voor mij de dag en dus loop ik erdoor met maat 48. Kwestie van overschot te voorzien tegen diverse voetblessures of je noemt het een bewuste bufferruimte tijdens het hardlopen. En U, ook een maatje voor niets? Of betrap ik mezelf met ordinaire stemmingmakerij door de maat tussendoor als een fait divers es te nemen? Meten is weten, zelfs tot na de komma!

woensdag 26 oktober 2011

Dag D

De D in het Latijn staat voor het aantal dagen regeringsvorming. Ik wil en zal het niet aan mijn hart en portefeuille laten komen want binnen XIII etmalen vertrek ik voor XII dagen op jaarlijkse herfstcruise vanuit Civitavecchia richting het financieel geteisterde Griekse Piraeus en Athene via Chania (Kreta), Istanbul, Kasadasi en Efese (alle drie in Turkije) langs Messina (Sicilië) naar Napels, Capri en Rome (alle drie in Italië).  Dit kan tellen al is het met de oerdegelijke Romeinse cijfers. Want wat deze regeringsvorming samen met de Euro-malaise elders aan de Belgische brave burger op termijn extra en meer zal/gaat kosten... Als ik geen spaargeld meer op mijn rekening heb, kan en moet ik ook niks van die nieuwe (fake crisis) belastingsheffing betalen wegens ... niet aanwezig in de spaarkous. Al het water stroomt naar de zee. Lang leve de natuur want die is en blijft baas tot het bittere mens-einde.

maandag 24 oktober 2011


Als je naar het verleden kijkt, draai je je rug naar de toekomst. Blindelings in balans blijven is dus daarna de boodschap!Meer dan dubbele bodem bij 'celebrating' gezien de liefde van mijn leven vandaag jarig is, één jaar jonger dan én tijdgeest-genoot van ... maar ook de wereldwijde verschijningsdatum van zijn biografie... ongetwijfeld 'the bestselling of 2011'. En daarmee sinds jaren vanavond dan eindelijk es vroeg onder de wol met de leeslamp lang aan, liefst 656 bladzijden!

zondag 23 oktober 2011

Stemmen Des Tijds

Komt dat zien, komt dat zien! Geef je ogen en oren de kost.

Van 24 tot 30 oktober organiseert het REC Radiocentrum, voor het eerst in Vlaanderen, de Week van de Radio. Tijdens deze week worden overal ten velde vele activiteiten rond radio opgezet:
  • Radio On Stage: vijf unieke live radioshows op locaties in Vlaanderen 
  • Brave New Radio:  symposium radio in de nieuwe crossmediale context 
  • IBBT Crossmedia Challenge 
  • Fotografie en literatuur omtrent radio in openbare bibliotheken. 
  • Open Radio Dag: Vlaamse radiozenders zetten hun deuren open voor het publiek 
Voor alles is er een start, een begin: dit is meteen de eerste keer dat ik niet actief en ad hoc participeer. Wapenstilstand in radioland? Neen. Het oude model is dood, alhoewel vandaag 10 jaar geleden.... Media zal zich terug moeten her-uitvinden. Ik ben deze week zoet met andere stemmen des tijds.

woensdag 19 oktober 2011

Tim's Team

Like many of you, I have experienced the saddest days of my lifetime and shed many tears during the past week. But I’ve found some comfort in the extraordinary number of tributes and condolences from people all over the world who were touched by Steve and his genius. And I’ve found comfort in both telling and listening to stories about Steve.
Although many of our hearts are still heavy, we are planning a celebration of his life for Apple employees to take time to remember the incredible things Steve achieved in his life and the many ways he made our world a better place. The celebration will be held on Wednesday, October 19, at 10 a.m. in the outdoor amphitheater on the Infinite Loop campus. We’ll have more details on AppleWeb closer to the date, including arrangements for employees outside of Cupertino.
I look forward to seeing you there.

maandag 17 oktober 2011


Er is nog hoop voor mij in deze wereld want 100 jaar worden is een optie zo blijkt om marathon weliswaar in 8u25' uit te lopen. Gisteren werd Fauja Singh de oudste marathonloper te Canada tijdens de Toronto Waterfront 2011. Zeg nooit never.

Klik op foto voor alle tussentijden!

zondag 16 oktober 2011


Of de verontwaardigden, een nieuw woord goed voor de 2011-eindejaarslijstjes. Al sinds het begin van de financiële crisis in 2008 roept de Spaanse socioloog Manuel Castels elke zomer een aantal topintellectuelen samen. Ze denken na over de crisis die zich onder hun ogen ontpopt en steeds nieuwe vormen aanneemt. The Aftermath Network  is de groep gaan heten, naar de nieuwe wereld die aan de andere kant van de crisis zal verschijnen. Metamorfose van een crisis , een prima VPRO-productie uit de reeks Tegenlicht - uitzending 19.09.2011
Zal ik mijn geld maar rustig doordacht opmaken voor onze huidige regering ze claimt. Of voor de de aanstaande ons nog meer en verder afkalft en pluimt. De Arabische lente en de euro-crisis waren de aanzet voor deze verontwaardiging tegen een door hebzucht op hol geslagen economie. Het draait vierkant, gelukkig is de aarde in deze vorm nog voor even rond en draaiend of we stonden reeds lang letterlijk stil. Misschien op een plein? Take the square - indignados!

vrijdag 14 oktober 2011

An Apple a day

Worldwide alleen vandaag één week na zijn begrafenis.
Zelfs in België én meer bepaald in Bergen zet Laurent Renard van i-Movix (die i- in de bedrijfsnaam is louter ook toevallig) zijn Apple-fan-boy-schouders onder een Waalse samenscholing van Think Different-geeks. Zo te lezen zonder veel suc6 ... Meer volk zondag aanstaand op Stanford University's campus for the invitation-only service? Follow the guide and his last journey! Met een all time high on the stock exchange of $ 422 per share of de een zijn dood is de ander zijn appeltje voor de dorst.

woensdag 12 oktober 2011

A day Made of

Had Steve Jobs naast Apple en Disney ook bij Corning geen aandelen... Hun globale glasvisie cfr. art & technology in everyone's daily life sluiten naadloos aan. BTW - de AAPL stock quote blijft dagelijks stijgen richting nieuwe kwartaalcijfers van volgende week dinsdag. Niks dan blije board members.

vrijdag 7 oktober 2011

Apple is ...

Achievement: prestatie, succes, wapenfeit, daad
Persistence: volharding, koppigheid
Perfection: perfectie
Life: het leven
Enjoy: genieten
Deze onderlinge inhoudelijke combinatie is typisch treffend 'so Steve'. In 1976, twee jaar vòòr de geboorte van zijn (door hem vooralsnog niet-erkende) eerste dochter Lisa werden de eerste Apple I computers gebouwd in Jobs ouderlijke garage. Twee jaar later in 1978 introduceerde hij het prestigieuze project The Lisa. Ook al gaf de documentatie bij deze computer zijn dochtersnaam aan, officieel stelde Steve dat de naam een afkorting voor Local Integrated Software Architecture was. Wederom een acroniem of bleef hij toen koppig zijn vaderschap niet erkennen bij zijn schoollief Chris-Ann Brennan? Voorwaar iedereen heeft zo zijn kantjes .... 
Steve is vandaag - volgens het (gelekte) certificate of death - in huiselijke besloten kring hier begraven in het Alta Mesa Memorial Park van hometown Palo Alto.
Netjes in goed vertrouwd gezelschap tussen zijn Standford University-eredoctoraat, dé beroemde garage te Los Altos (de stad waar ook techneut co-founder Woz werkt en woont) en Infinity Loop (Apple HQ). Maar er is ruimte voor méér in de toekomst: Apple Campus II
Is dit Back to the future of E.T. achterna? One step ahead?
Download de slideshow van Steve's laatste levende plan hier

donderdag 6 oktober 2011


Talent is als een scherpschutter die een doel raakt dat voor anderen onbereikbaar is. Genialiteit is als een scherpschutter die een doel raakt dat anderen niet kunnen waarnemen.  (A.S) Visuele vanzelfsprekendheid or Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address (June 12, 2005)

woensdag 5 oktober 2011

A plus

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It clears out the old to make way to the new. Right now, the new is you! Thé Mister Apple has left the building with a remarkable A plus. His visionary legacy will live on the intersection of Arts and Technology. It inspired me since I bought my first Mac in 1987.
i-Thank you Steve for this Aswesome Job! Anytime - Anyplace.

maandag 3 oktober 2011

Uit koers

Een schitterende nazomer - men noemt dat blijkbaar oud wijven (zomer) weer - komt ten einde. Sinds 2000 maakt de natuur steeds meer rare bokkensprongen; niet onbegrijpelijk dankzij de roofbouw van de mensheid romdom u.
Nooit eerder was het gat in de ozonlaag boven de Noordpool groter dan de voorbije winter en lente. De terugloop van ozon was een gevolg van een nog niet verklaarde langere periode van extreem lage temperaturen in de stratosfeer, op 20-30 kilometer hoogte. Zelfs op volle zee tijdens onze cruises merkten we een verschil en voelden dat er iets gaande is vanwege het uit koers zijn...

zaterdag 1 oktober 2011


Dit duo -twee kaarsen indachtig- tijdens de Saucony-maidenrun van één uur, gewikt, gewogen en getest maar vooral voorop voor het goede gezonde doel. Ook elders en onlangs een gelijkaardig initiatief: a race for cure. Deze eerste editie is dus van harte voor herhaling vatbaar. The race is not over yet!