Saturday Nienke, Kim and I exchanged winter gifts. I got Kim a colouring book about owls, pretty shower stuff and a dvd of A Knight’s Tale. It’s Kim’s favourite movie but it broke so it wouldn’t play anymore. She got me a bag of chocolate drops mixed with marshmallows to make your own hot cocoa with, a glorious bar of chocolate and a book called The Book of Ivy. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounds like a really good book. I’m looking forward to reading it. Captain spent the evening helping us unpack.
Sunday I took town the trees and Monkey needed to make sure I put the tree parts in the bag just right.
I have this week off work so while Milo looks disapprovingly at the weather outside, I cuddle up on the sofa with Captain “lazy bones” Blackbeard.
May 2016 be good to you all 🙂
I’ve been colouring my new Cat colouring book, it has really fun pictures.
I also received one of the Kickstarter rewards that I was waiting on. It’s a book called Dry Season Only, about a trip to Botswana. A group of artists went on a two week trip there with the express purpose to get inspired and make art. The kickstarter was to raise funds for the trip and the printing of the book. The book is absolutely beautiful. Filled with travel journals from all of them with text, drawings, paintings, photographs and tutorials how some of the bigger art pieces were made. A very fine showcase of the beauty that is Africa’s wild nature.
Yesterday was a fun day, in so far as national-blow-shit-up day can be fun. I worked during the day so that was business as usual. In the evening we watched TV, ate tasty shit and even played a board game. At Nienke’s suggestion.
So I pulled out a game I got a while ago but had’t gotten around to playing yet. It’s a game based on Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The game has three characters that move around the board. That board is divided in three parts.
In the first part all characters move separately without being tied to a player. That means that every player can move whichever character they want. The goal of the first part is to collect items. When the first character reaches the lake, the second part starts.
Now, all characters get on the raft and try to cross the lake. Again, each player can move the raft and the goal for the players is to collect items. When they get to the other side, the end is in sight. All they need to do is go up the lava stream and reach the exit. The players take turns and pay for the moves with the items they’ve collected. When the characters have reached the exit, the points of the remaining items are tallied. Player with the most points wins.
I got lucky with my item finds and won the game.
Today was a work day. At work we had divided the three holidays between the six of us. I chose today. There wasn’t a lot of work to actually do so it was a nice and quiet day of working at home. Followed by a nice and quiet day of relaxing at home 😀
The holidays are upon us!
Nienke and I started our gift exchange on the 24th. I had gotten her a cardboard cutout of David Tennant as Doctor Who. I’d hidden it at my Parent’s and then sneaked out in the afternoon to get it. I constructed it at my parents, walked it over to our front door, placed it and rang the bell.
Nienke opened the door and it was hilarious seeing her reaction. Full of surprise and laughter.
I’d also made a felt adipose to go with it. I found a pattern online and over two or three days made this. The feet are slightly too long, but it does help him sit better.
She gave me the blu ray of Mary Poppins, I love Mary Poppins! It’s one of my favourite musicals.
The rest of our gifts we exchanged the next day. I’d gotten Nienke a book of Ghost stories, a Supernatural mug, a small watch, guitar picks and chocolate sushi. She gave me a Supernatural book, a colouring book of cats, a box of chocolate and a Funko Pop of Anna from Frozen. She said one of the presents was still missing and that I would get that later. So I held back a present for her as well 😀
I love my prezzies: Anna fits perfectly with the Elsa I already have. I don’t have that many Supernatural books yet so more is always good, and the colouring book was already on my list.
The next day, Nienke was over at her parents, and my parents came over here for prezzies and dinner. I got Mom the new CD of Adele, Dad two nice animal prints and both of them some chocolate. They got me a nature documentary about the wild areas of the Netherlands, and a colouring book of the province.
We were going to eat raclette, so I pulled out the raclette set from the attic. I think the last time we used it was before I even moved out… So more than a decade at least. I plugged it in and we waited for it to get to temperature. But not two minutes later, the whole house went dark. A short.
Using my phone I made it over to the table to unplug the raclette. Then on to the cupboard to switch the circuit breakers back. When the lights were back on, I checked the raclette. It was really hot despite only being on for two minutes. It was quite obvious that the raclette was no longer safe for use.
We still needed to eat, so I piled the meats in an oven dish and placed that in the oven along with the veggies. In the end, the food was just as tasty like this. The desert was an ice cream cheese cake with caramel topping.
My buds 🙂
Wednesday I had another check-up after my surgery earlier this year. I took the bus there, and as such got there early. I had breakfast at the cafe in the hospital. Bread with ham, pineapple, grilled cheesse and apple chutney. Very tasty 🙂 Then I headed for the clinic for the appointment. The scars look really nice, the nipple grafts look good. The left one is even responsive. The only thing that bugs me is that the end of the scar, under my arm, is pointing outwards. The doctor agreed and we decided to get that fixed. Luckily that’s a small job that can be done at the clinic with just some local anesthetic. Just have to wait a while for it to be scheduled.
I then went to work for a few hours after which I met up with Gert to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I really enjoyed the movie. I’ve seen the other Star Wars movies once, years ago. I can’t remember everything anymore but I know enough to be aware of the general story. Plus, with Star Wars being so ingrained in pop culture, it’s hard to miss.
The new movie introduces new main characters while leaving some room for golden oldies to return. I like Rey and Finn and I love the new robot. I’m definitely keeping the BB-8 plushie from last year’s Nerd Block 🙂 The sequences with the golden oldies, Leia, Hand, Chewie, were charming and I hope we do see more of them in the next movies. I’m less impressed with Kylo, he seems too wimpy. But maybe he’ll grow into his boots. Other than that it was a fairly straight forward story with fun action sequences and good visuals.
Then yesterday Ingrid and I went to the Oosterpoort for a concert show by The Kik. We’d been talking about going to this, and then Ingrid gave me the ticket for my birthday. I’d not heard of them before, but the description of what they do sounded fun. They’re a band that plays music from and inspired by the fifties, sixties and seventies. They write their own stuff, but also cover existing songs from that time. The show wasn’t just a concert but a way of walking through their inspirations.
The stage was dressed with a handful of doors in the back, and a cabinet with vinyls at the front. They would pick a record from the cabinet and tell something about the artist or the song and then play a song by that artist, or something of themselves inspired by. Occasionally a doorbell would ring and there’d be a cutout of an artist behind one of the doors as an introduction to another song or bit of talking. It was an energetic and fun show, and I got to hear a new side of Dutch music.
…for decorating and other things related to the end-of-year holidays. I put up the winter trees. One on the small metal table and one in the corner. And, as is customary, I put an angel at the top 😀 The tree on the small table also houses the prezzies and the coffee table has its own little winter forest.
Today, Mom and I also wrote the holiday cards.
Caligula is a play written by Albert Camus just before World War two. It tells the story of the cruel Roman Emperor Caligula. He loses his sister and lover Drusilla and cannot deal with this. After wandering in the fields for three days he returns with an absolutist world view. Unable to deal with the relativitiy of everything, and most notably, happiness, he enters a reign of terror.
Everything becomes literal, freedom absolute. If a man desires his neighbour’s wife, he takes her. And if the neighbour stands in the way, everything is valid to remove the neighbour as an obstacle. Caligula’s word becomes literal law, marked by randomness and terror. In between these scenes, there’s moments where Caligula speaks with his mistress or one of his advisers and we get philosophical musings about the nature of existence.
I saw it yesterday, in the Schouwburg, performed by the Toneelhuis.
Because the play was originally performed for the first time after the World War, it has generally been interpreted as indictment against abuse of power and dictatorship. With the current international climate of extremism it’s gained a new poignancy.
I enjoyed the modern touches in appearance and set-dressing. The use of movable video panels as a sort of ceiling/back panel was very effective in framing the stage. The actors were really good, in particular Kevin Janssens as Caligula.
Thursday Mom and I were going to see The Kilkenny’s perform at MartiniPlaza. The Kilkenny’s are an Irish folk group. I’ve got their songs in my Folk playlist on Spotify and I really enjoy them. They have a distinctive voice both as a band as well as individually and pick songs that aren’t all that traditional. Of course there’s always a few, but they also play original songs and traditionals lesser known outside Ireland.
Unfortunately, during the day Mom had to cancel on me as she wasn’t feeling well. She’s been having some flu-like symptoms for a few days now so it wasn’t completely unexpected, but still a bummer. I asked Nienke and Ingrid if one of them wanted to come along, but neither could make it so I went alone.
The concert was great. They were energetic, played fantastically and managed to get the room full of stodgy northerners to move. No dancing, but there was foot stomping, clapping and singing along when requested. I had a front row seat and managed to shoot some video for Mom.
After the concert and encore were over I checked the time. The bus back to the train station only came once every half hour. If I could catch the next bus, I had an excellent connection to the train. Then the boys came back for an extra encore. I wasn’t expecting that, and neither were a lot of other people as many had started leaving.
I stuck around for a while, but I had to slip away before they finished that song. If I didn’t catch the bus, the next one was half an hour and then I’d have to also wait for the next train and so on. So I grabbed my coat and picked up the pace. Walking as fast as I could I raced to the bus stop only to miss the bus by a minute. Because it was early.
I wasn’t really in the mood to hang out there for half an hour so I checked the map and ball parked that I should be able to make it if I walked. So I went, and I did make it! Even though my leg wasn’t in agreement with this. 🙂
Yesterday at work during the daily meeting we all got a present for St. Nicholas. Every one got a personal poem (mine about my Pikachu hat), plus candy. It was a very fun meeting and quite a nice surprise.
After work I found a package waiting for me. It was the Goblin Zeppelin of the Warcraft lego I had ordered. Of course I spent the next two hours or so building it. It is a beauty.
Monkey, meanwhile, enjoyed the box.
I’ve been colouring in my Animorphia book some more and last weekend finished this bird. The day after I made gorgeous burgers with cheddar, alfalfa, jalapeno, fried onion and American sauce. They were delicious.
Wednesday I hit the city with Mom to go shopping. We’d been talking about doing a day out like that for a while but never got around to it until now. We started at the market square and I showed her Sostrene Grene.
They’re one of my favourite stores with knick knacks and random things that change regularly. This time around I got some fabric, some stickers, some cards, a blank book, a bell jar, wood chips, some christmas puppets and a tote bag.
We also went to the Bristol and there I found a nice pair of ankle high shoes for only € 35,00. Since winter is coming and I need a new pair that is warmer than what I now usually wear, I snagged them up.
After the market square we made our way down the main shopping street. We took our sweet time for everything and when we got to the Hema we decided a break was in order. We had some food and I had a beautiful iced coffee.
Then, from the Hema, we stopped at Zara and I bought the sweater I left behind earlier this month when out with Gert. Except I got it in a darker colour now. When we were done there, it was time to go back home.
The next day I had a double movie date with Gert, again. We saw The Good Dinosaur and Mockingjay, part 2.
The Good Dinosaur is a fairly standard Disney story. It takes place on a planet earth where the dinosaurs didn’t get wiped out. Main character is this dinosaur kid who’s clumsy and feels like he doesn’t fit in. His dad tries to help and sets him the task to protect their crops from vermin. The kid fails at that so he and his dad go out for some character building. Bad stuff happens, dad dies, kid feels guilty. He gets accidentally lost and needs to find his way back home. He then comes across the vermin, which is a little human boy. Except the humans aren’t very developed yet and the human kid basically acts like a dog. Together they set out to get dino kid back home.
The travel part where they try to get home is the best part of the movie. It’s funny and sometimes touching. The beginning of the movie where they give a peek into how dinosaurs run a farm is fun too. The emotional stuff is a bit heavy handed sometimes. The animation is very nice in some places, but okay in others.
Mockingjay was a very good film. As far as I can remember it’s still very close to the book. I liked how Katniss is really getting into her own and seeing through things now. I think I wanna see it again.
When I got home that night, a package was waiting for me. In it was this little statuette of Jonas. It is the final piece of my Kickstarter reward for the Wormworld Saga book 2.