About me

I am Marcel-Jan Krijgsman. Welcome on my page.

Who am I? Well, they say one should not just identify with his job, but being a Hadoop specialist / data engineer and learning to become a better one, takes up most of my time, if you discount sleeping. Luckily it's something I like to do most of the time. How I started working in Big Data is something you can read all about on my work page.

At the March for Science 2017 in Amsterdam

Me at the March for Science 2017 in Amsterdam (Photo: Marvin Janssen)

Something else I like to spend time on, is keeping up with developments in space and astronomy. You can read more about that on my space page.

To keep fit, I do spinning in the gym. And when the temperature outside rises above 20°C, I go cycling on my racing bike. Where I live only seems to be urban area, but actually you can get to "the Green Heart" of Holland pretty quickly and spend hours of cycling in the green fields, between Dutch mills and along little or large rivers. Here's a photo album of pictures I took along one of my favourite rides from Gouda, to Schoonhoven, Krimpen aan de Lek and back to Gouda.

Keeping fit really worked for me in the last few years. I used to be about 95 kg, but in the last 6 years I've managed to get that down to 83-87 kg. How did I do that? The answer is competition. Since 2007 I participate in the relay quarter triathlon of Deil (a village in the Netherlands). This means I'm doing the 42 kms of cycling. I'm still invited to that event by my old employer Transfer Solutions. Which is great.

After a couple of years I wondered why so many people were so much faster than me and why my best time never went under 1 hour and 18 minutes. I started thinking about buying a really expensive carbon-carbon bike. But then I started wondering what the advantage of that was. Mainly the lesser weight. And how much? 1-2 kgs? But there was a much cheaper way to lose that weight and with much larger gains: lose weight myself. I used a great tip from the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath: when you want to change, make sure you often have feedback if you are on track. So I started standing on the scales nearly every day. You can read what I learned from this data on my old blog. Anyway, I lost about 10 kgs initially and managed to get a new personal record at just about 1 hour 16 minutes and a couple of seconds.

Despite all this, I like cooking. I used to be more into cooking a couple of years ago, when I devoured all kinds of cooking shows and books. I still like good food, but I like to cook a little faster, so I have time for the courses I follow (the learning kind) and the open source stuff I'm experimenting with. More on cooking on my kitchen page.

Another thing I do, is acting. I've followed a couple of stage acting courses in the last few years at the "Utrechtse Centrum voor Kunsten" (the Utrecht Art Centre). I've been on stage in one production and would like to do that more. What's interesting about learning acting, is it's not just about doing a performance on stage, it's about learning to understand how other human beings feel and why they act. If you want to perform in a way the audience believes you are being that person. And while you learn that, you learn something about your fellow human beings, I think. I hope that makes sense.

The MAAN production at UCK

Me at the MAAN production at UCK in 2016 (from video footage by my dad).

In 2017/2018 I've followed a year long course at UCK on acting according to the Meisner method by Herman Bolten. That method is something else. Before Meisner, if you'd act a dialog with another player, you'd mentally prepare yourself how you'd like that your personage would act. After Meisner, you observe what the other player feels like. And how you feel about that and you'd work with that. You always have to be in the moment, never to lose track of what your fellow players are acting. It's almost a mindfullness course and an acting course rolled in one. And I can tell you, it really took me some time to get the hang of it. I'm an analytical IT guy after all :)

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