March in hindsight

2018_March

Dutch Comic Con

I went to Dutch Comic Con and I had a blast! I can really recommend it to anyone, it’s a fun day out especially if you look at different things you can do and experience on DCC. Whether you’re into games, books, movies, television show or comics there is certainly something for everyone out there.

Reading and writing

March was the month in which I’ve finished reading the second book in the Monkeewrench series – Live Bait. I really enjoyed reading it. From the moment I started reading it I was wondering what was going on and I really couldn’t figure it out. Which makes it a good crime novel in my opinion.

Music and songs

I decided to add a new part to my monthly posts. One thing I can say for certain is that I’ve been loving Beth Hart latest album, her collaboration with Joe Bonamassa ‘Black Coffee’! It’s been one of the full albums which has been in my favorite Spotify list ever since the album came out back in January.

However my absolute favorite songs of the past month has been ‘This is me’ both versions of the song are on my Spotify list – the original movie version from The Greatest Showman’ as well as Kesha’s version. Both are beautiful, however I think that the the movie version is much stronger. Keala Settle has a powerful voice and she delivers the song with so much passion. I haven’t seen the movie yet – I really want to see it but I haven’t had the chance – however it is definitely on my to watch list.

Fitness

For a while I have been thinking about changing things around. Part of me was thinking about getting back to running, something which I did a couple of years ago however I the problem was that I had shin splints. A very painful injury which is really hard to get rid off. It comes back and that was what was happening to me. I know that my pain level is pretty high but this was so painful that in the end it made me give up. That was part of the reason why I started doing yoga, I wanted to do a sport and it helped with stress relief of course.

But lately I was feeling restless,  wanted to so something more active. So I decided to sign myself up for the gym. And so far so good, I’ve been going for a couple of weeks now about two or three times a week and things are going really well.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop of course!
  • My birthday is coming up – thirty-six! Ouch!
  • Vacation planning!
  • Camp Nanowrimo has started, I’m not participating but I do love going to those weekly meetings in the Library, it’s so good to see everyone. Even if it is just to talk and have a laugh.
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Dutch Comic Con

DCC_2018

On the last weekend of March, also known as the Easter weekend it was time for one of the coolest Cons in the Netherlands. Dutch Comic Con, and I was there. The event took place on Saturday and Sunday but I only went on the first day.

Every time I go to one of these events I’m in awe by all the creations made by fans. It’s so amazing to see what they come up with and how diverse the fandoms are. The whole creative process that goes into creating their perfect cosplay is amazing. You can only look at it with deep respect. Of course there are people who just buy a costume. But the majority is handmade, and that means that they don’t just focus on one creative process it’s often a combination of many different things.

No matter how you look at it, in my opinion cosplay is a form of art. An art form which comes in many different shapes and forms. And it is popular! There is a reason why there seem to be more and more Cons every year and there is even a television show catered to audience who love creating cosplays – Cosplay Melee and of course Face Off even though that one is probably more catered to the professionals. I think that a lot of people learned their craft by watching that show as well. There are whole Youtube channels devoted to the art of making Cosplay props, make-up and designing clothes. Sometimes I watch these channels not because I want to do cosplay but just because I love watching these types of videos. The way people talk about the creation of something with so much passion is always a fun and I often find it’s relaxing as well.

First off all there is the clothes that are often partially of completely hand-made, adjusted in one way or another. No matter what they do with it, there are hours spend on creating that outfit. And then there is the time spend gathering or making the props.

Personally the most brilliant cosplay I came across was a dude who was dressed-up as Carl from The Walking Dead with the inclusion of black angel wings. Which I thought was brilliant looking at the way this character developed. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a picture of him but I did tell him in passing that his cosplay was brilliant.

February in hindsight

2018_February

February flew by, of course it’s a shorter month than the rest of them but still it felt like we went from February first to the twenty eight in a heartbeat. I had plans and ideas but not much came together, I need to be better at this, I want to be better at this. I’m working on it, this post is going up tonight on March first no matter what happens! This is my February in Hindsight post and it is posted on the first day of the new month.

The Lion King

I had a blast this past weekend – the last weekend of February – on Saturday my mom came to visit me and I took her out to a restaurant in the city where we had a really nice meal. The ambiance in De Vooruitgang was just perfect, it looks gorgeous! Followed by a nice evening watching television and talking about stuff.

On Sunday we drove to Scheveningen to go see The Lion King – the musical at the Circus Theater. It was truly a beautiful musical. Definitely one of the best I’ve seen so far – with Wicked being my absolute number one. The musical is simply beautiful, the costumes and the way the different animals are presented. It’s really pretty! If you’re like me a musical lover you’ll definitively like this one!

Pinkpop 2018

The Pinkpop press conference has taken place and let me tell you the line-up is awesome! So much better than these last couple of years, especially last year was not my cup of tea.  I’m so looking forward to the show, of course there is always that nail biting moment when you’re trying to get the tickets but in the end it turned out to be a lot easier that I had expected it to me. The sale started at ten in the morning and at ten past ten I had paid online for my ticket. That means that I will be able to see Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Editors, Miss Montreal en Jessie J! And that is just a small portion of the bands that I’ll be able to see. I’ve seen the Foo Fighters a couple of times before and they rock! They are so awesome! Pearl Jam is one of those bands which have always had this vibe around them. Probably because of their legendary 1992 performance, the last time they were at Pinkpop was in 2000! That was my first year at Pinkpop, but at the time I can’t remember if I’ve seen them. I probably did, but I can’t recall it. I always wanted to see Jessie J live! And now I have a chance to see her perform. There is so much more to see and hear. I need to check out the Pinkpop Spotify playlist.

Reading and writing

I’m still working on that second book in the Monkeewrench series, the book is so interesting! I am about half way through it and I literally have no idea where this story is going. The storyline is all over the place, and so far except for some of the same character there has barely been any connection to Monkeewrench. So I guess that once they become involved in the storyline things will become clearer. This storyline is different than any other book I’ve ever read. Interesting book though, a book like this makes me curious and I want to know where this is going.

This is only the first post I’ll be making in the month of March, I still have some stuff up my sleeve. Soon another post will follow, about an album which came out a couple of weeks ago.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop!!!! I didn’t go to Pinkpop last year and the year before that I only went one day. But this year I’m going for three whole days. I can’t wait!
  • I’m meeting my vacation friends again, up for another fun day the first weekend of March.

 

 

January in hindsight

2018_January

The first month of the year is over.
It all happened so fast! Of course there was New Years Eve which I spend with a couple of friends from my writer group. We had of course way too much food, since every one brought something with them. And we played ‘Cards Against Humanity’ which is really cool. We had a lot of fun. In fact we had to keep our eye on the time because chances were that we would miss the celebrating New Year and the fireworks since we were so immersed in our game.

It was fun celebrating it with our writers group through the years we’ve become a wonderful group of friends so much more than just a group that meets up because we have a passion for writing or because we all participate in Nanowrimo. In fact without these friends my life would be pretty empty, we meet up for writing appointments, we go to the movies and sometimes we meet up at each others homes or we go to a convention or fair together.

New car

Okay, so my old Mint Green Opel Corsa 1.2 is twenty three years old! That is very old for a car! In fact I think that a car is called a classic when it reaches twenty five years! Nah, I’m just kidding with a color like that a car never becomes a classic if you ask me. And it was getting noticeable, every time it’s harder to get the car through the annual car safety test. And I was paying a lot of money to keep the car on the road. It’s not really surprising – and while it wasn’t anything bad it’s was just typical car stuff – that’s just the way it is.

I kind of made up my mind about it and I knew that I had to get a new car before September since that is the month when I had to renew my old car safety test. However I was not really doing anything about it – not yet anyway I figured I had some time. But my parents apparently had the same conversation amongst each other and they even started looking for a different car for me. I mean, that is so sweet, let’s face it the only way I can look at a different car is by looking at the aesthetics of it. Does it look good? Does it have the right color? I honestly don’t know anything about cars, I have my dad for that. He’s been working with cars since he was a mere sixteen years old in a garage, he worked on cars in the army and ever since he’s been working he’s done different jobs at a car factory for the last forty or forty five years. So I don’t need to know my way around cars unless it is to drive them or tell my dad something is wrong. But anyway on a Sunday afternoon I was minding my own business, reading a book – when I received a phone call from my mom. She and my dad had been looking around the internet and they had seen a car for sale which according to them had my name on it. I really liked the car it’s bright red! And it drives like a dream! And from twenty three years old I made an upgrade to a car which is only eight years old! So that is a huge step forward!

Reading and writing

I’ve not really done any writing during January except for my book reviews for Nevermore and Monkeewrench. And that brings me to the next part of my January post, reading. I finally read Monkeewrench, a book which I had on my to read list for a while but I never really got around to it. I started reading it a couple of times but for some reason it didn’t continue. I can’t really explain why that is, especially not now that I’ve actually read the book because I really enjoyed reading it. I’m currently reading the next part in the Monkeewrench series, really curious where this is going.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop press conference and the sale of the tickets.
  • I’m going to see The Lion King Musical with my mom. I have a huge weak spot when it comes to musicals I love them and I’m finally going to see this one!

The end is in sight

2017inhidsight

This whole year I’ve been working on my year in hindsight posts, each month I made one and we’re now at the end of my first year of doing this. I really enjoyed myself with this task that I gave to myself. In my opinion it’s something I’ll be able to look at in a couple of years to see what this year was like. And I have to say that it has been a very fun year. A year with lots of new experiences like my vacation to Sardinia, which happened in June. I never could have expected beforehand that it would bring me this much fun to go on a vacation with twenty two completely different but fun people who I’d never seen before. I’m so glad that I did it though, I wished I would have done it a lot sooner. But then again I probably wouldn’t have met this particular group of people.

But lets take a look back at the rest of the year;

Normally families celebrate Christmas in December but we celebrated it in January, the reason being that my sister and brother in law where literally on the opposite site of the world when Christmas was actually happening. February was quite calm, not really a month where I did a lot or where a lot was going on.

In March I had a chance to see Lindsey Stirling perform live in 013 in Tilburg, a wonderful concert which was even better than I’d expected it to be. Her show – because it truly is a show – is captivating and beautiful and a lot of fun to watch. Even though she ‘only’ plays the violin I can guarantee you that you won’t be bored. Not for a single second. She’s funny, reminiscent and honest, she doesn’t shy away from the things in her life that hurt her.

April was a month of opposites, I celebrated my birthday but I also had to go to the funeral of someone I knew. Both of those events happened literally days apart, it was a strange situation. May was another calm month, not much happened no big events. Though I did book my trip to Sardinia in May.

In July, August and in October we had a reunion with our vacation group and I also met up with two of them in September for the official reunion (which was organized by the travel agency). In July we went surfing, well some of us did. I passed on it, but we did have a very fun afternoon and we also a good meal at the beach club! Those Hamburgers were something else! In August we opted for an afternoon at the bowling alley, followed by a meal and a night of dancing. Six of us stayed at a hostel for the night. In September we had the official reunion from the travel agency which also gave us a chance to do an optional workshop in mountain biking or trail running. Due to my shins splint anything related to trail running is out of the question so I opted for the mountain bike tour. We did about 16 kilometers and it was in a beautiful environment. Yet again a very different environment that we have here in Eindhoven or in the South where I’m originally from. On October first we had another reunion, this time we decided to go for an Prison Escape – which is an different escape room in every cell which amounted to a total of twenty four rooms. Another really fun never before done experience which I can recommend to anyone.

November is traditionally the month of Nanowrimo, do I need to say more? If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while you know that without me repeating this here. This year I didn’t make it but what I did write was more than I possibly could have imagine to begin with, so I’m really happy about this years Nano.

And now it’s December, the last month of the year and a month filled with celebrations, one after another. We first had Sinterklaas on December fifth and of course that was followed by Christmas Eve and in our case the first and the second day of Christmas. And lets not forget about New Years Eve. This year I will most likely celebrate it with some of my friends, we’ll be playing Cards Against Humanity! We’ll see how that goes, it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

Here are some numbers that define my year

Here are some stats which I’ve received in these past couple of weeks from different websites.

According to Spotify I listened to it for 5679 minutes, which seems a bit low if you ask me. That is only 94 hours give or take and that translates to 3,9 days. Yet I listened to 785 different songs by 164 artists.

I also spend 404 hours on my XBox, that time was mostly spend on the Destiny and Mass Effect franchise but also Tombraider and The Division have been played a lot this past year.

Goodreads informed me that I read ten books this past year, which was my goal. Though I have to admit that I almost didn’t make it. Because I only started to read the last book on December 29th. That was about 3000 pages. This past year I’ve read a book with the most twisted character ever – Gone Girl. I read a book which got me thinking about the way we handle our privacy on the internet – The Circle. That was my least favorite book this past year. Yes, it got me thinking but it certainly wasn’t the best book I read.

This year I wrote 52 blog posts, lets see if I can beat that number next year. I certainly have some ideas of how I can achieve that. But first lets party!!!

2018

 

December in hindsight

December_2017

December, the conclusion to another year! The year has been good, all in all very positive year but you can read more about that in a ‘Year in hindsight’ post which will be posted on my blog right before midnight tonight.

December is always a busy month, effectively you have only three weeks of work but you are expected to do the same amount of work you need to do when you work every workday of the month. Intertwined in between those workdays we had Sinterklaas which was really fun. I celebrated it with my friends, we had a blast. I got a gorgeous present made by my best friends son and his dad.

And we had Christmas of course, which I celebrated with my family. For the first time in years my sister and brother in law were with us as well. So that was fun! And we also celebrated it with my grandmother and the extended family.

This past week has been a week off and I took some well deserved rest. I chilled at home with my parents. I went to the movies, I had to go see that last Pitch Perfect movie, I loved it! And there was time to read some books, watch some Netflix shows.

And tonight we’re going to celebrate New Years Eve with a couple of people from our writing group, how cool is that! Who could have guessed that we would now be a group of close friends who celebrate days like this together? Honestly when I started the group I was simply looking for some people who understood what Nanowrimo was about. Today however they’ve become true friends who I can count on when I need them.

Reading and writing

I read a couple of books this month, I finished reading The Circle. A book which gets you thinking about privacy and about what we do in the internet. But the book isn’t all that interesting unfortunately. And to be honest coincidentally a friend of mine borrowed me her blu-ray disk containing the movie. Honestly with a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Emma Watson I had high hopes that they could have made it worth my time. But the movie is definitely wasn’t worth my time. It could have been so much more. A true shame!

The other books I read are Everafter and Nevermore, a supernatural love story about vampires and wereshifters including two awesome women. I really enjoyed reading these books. They are easy to read, not too long and there is a really cool story intertwined. I really want to recommend these books.

Looking ahead:

  • 2018 is about to start, let’s take a look ahead.
  • I want to take another trip, right now I would say Croatia is high on the list but it might also be somewhere else. We’ll see what happens.
  • Pinkpop has some awesome names for this coming edition, though with those awesome names also comes a smaller chance of actually getting tickets. I have to try to get them though – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are among them.
  • There are many books which need to read – I want to make sure that the all of those unread books in my apartment get read.
  • I would also like to go to Disneyland Paris, I have been there once before when I was about twelve years old and I think I’m due for another trip to Disneyland. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a while.
  • We’re planning another reunion with the vacation group, Groningen is the plan – like it was in November the one we unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.

 

November in hindsight

November2017

All throughout this month I’ve been thinking about my ‘November in hindsight’ post and I decided that I wanted to post this on my blog on November 30th. To literally finish the month off in the only right way, especially since I’ve been posting these hindsight post quite late these last couple of months. So half way through the month I started to write the first couple of things for this particular post. So that I would be able to just add some last minute changes to in on the 30th before publishing it.

Nanowrimo

My November has been all about Nanowrimo and it was a good month. We’re now literally at the end of the month and I can tell you that I have a accumulated a grand total of 33 516 words. A word count which I’m really happy about. This is way, way better than I expected to do and I’ve written way more creative stories than I ever could have imagined. And even though I haven’t reached the 50 000 words which were our goal for Nanowrimo I am content with what I did. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about it – I struggled but in the end I was able to get to a really nice word count. A word count which is much higher than I expected to reach, so nothing to be ashamed about. Maybe I’ll reach the 50 000 words next year. We’ll see.

Our Epic Blue Unicorn group had four meetings at the Library on Friday afternoon, around five we would gather and sit at ‘our table’. The only thing missing is the fact that they don’t put up one of those plates with reserved on the table for us. But other than that we can easily call it our table. Next to our Library meetings we also had one Ikea meeting. We had so much fun, we’ve invited some new people to our group and I sure hope some of them will stick around for the future. This was the fifth year our group was active and during those five years I’ve made some wonderful friends who are really dear to me.

Reunion

I was supposed to go to Groningen for another meeting with some of my vacation friends but that didn’t happen. For several different reasons we had to decide to move the weekend to February or March of next year. Because December and January are just going to be too busy to make it work. Hopefully I can tell you all about my city trip to Groningen in the first couple of months in the beginning of 2018. I’m looking forward to it.

Efteling

Since Groningen wasn’t going to happen I was free to make some last minute new plans for the last weekend of the month. My parents were going to the Efteling – it was a day out to the park provided by my dads work – and my mom asked me if I wanted to join them. The Efteling is a beautiful theme park in the Netherlands, and during the winter months they turn the park into a winter wonderland of sorts. It always has a special atmosphere which is vastly different if you go there in the summertime.

If you ever have a chance to go to the Efteling you should really do so it is a really beautiful theme park, whether you go there in the summer or in the winter. The theme park is different from any other theme park I’ve been too. They have their very own style which appeals to young and old people alike. Most people in the Netherlands have been there at least once and the park has been voted best theme park many times over. This year the park has even been voted the most beautiful theme park in the world by the Americans. And the park has been scoring well on all types of theme parks lists. It’s an original park by which I mean that it is not based on Disney for example so it has a very unique style.

I’ve been to the park so many times and I still love it each and every time. From an early age on I’ve been going there, with my parents, with our school on a school trip and nowadays I often go there with a group of friends. It is always fun to see that people from a young age all the way up until the elderly enjoy themselves.

Reading and writing

Since November is all about Nanowrimo you have already been able to read all about my word count and writing for the month in the beginning of this post and in all the other posts I made about Nanowrimo. So it would be a little redundant if I repeated it all again. So for now this is all going to be about my reading.

I’ve finished up my latest book in the last couple of days of this month, it was The Circle. A book which really got me thinking about all the things we’re giving up when we aren’t careful with our privacy. I learned one thing, I don’t ever want to give my privacy up. Not because I have a lot to hide yet simply because we should be able to keep some things to ourselves if we want to. And everything – every single detail certainly isn’t a good thing.

Music and television

I decided to write some posts I haven’t previously added to my blog, the first one was about the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. One of my favorite shows of all time. Another post I wrote about a television show was the one about the Once Upon A Time season six finale.

I also managed to wrote two cd reviews from albums I’ve been listening to these last couple of weeks. The first one was about The Corrs’ new studio album, named Jupiter Calling. I’ve loved the Corrs for at least the last twenty years and I was really surprised when this album came out. The second one was about Pink. A singer / songwriter who I really admire. She has been at the top for so many years and each and every time she comes up with a new song or a new album which tops the charts. Beautiful Trauma is a great new album – with a wide variety of songs.

Looking ahead:

  • December is right around the corner, everyone in the world knows what that means, the holidays are coming!
  • December also means lots of extra time at work! The busy December month, probably goes for a lot of people at work.
  • We in the Netherlands have Sinterklaas, which we celebrate on December 5th. We do a Secret Santa type of thing which is always a lot of fun!
  • Of course there is the TGIO party (Thank God It’s Over) and that refers to the party to celebrate that we’ve survived another November full of writing. I’m going to Utrecht to meet up with my fellow Dutch Nano’s.
  • Christmas! Who doesn’t love Christmas? I know I do, it means I’ll get some
  • New Years Eve still sounds so far away but it is right around the corner! And this year I hope to celebrate it in a different way than I did previously.