My buds 🙂
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.
Time for a new Nerd Block! Theme for this month is ‘Tis the Season. I didn’t really see the theme in the items, except for the shirt and the shot glass.
The first item that I saw when opening the box was a Titan vinyl figure of Sherlock. This is from the same brand as the Tenth Doctor and Spike figures from earlier boxes. I’m becoming a fan of these vinyls as the faces are a bit more detailed and each figure comes with a prop. In Sherlock’s case, a magnifying glass. Or maybe a slide for under a microscope.
Aother fantastic item is a Serenity ornament. A metallic painted model of the ship from Firefly, which is one of my favourite scifi shows.
Continuing with scifi, the next item is a Star Wars desktop calendar. I have no use for this and since 2016 is getting nearer, I don’t know if I can find someone to give this to in time.
Then, the shot glass. This is a plastic item and comes from The National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I’ve never seen that movie, nor do I want to. The shot glass is funny, though, so I’ll keep it for now. Maybe I can use it for laughs at my next birthday.
The shirt is a mash-up of Back to the Future and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I like the shirt, the graphic is pretty, the colour is nice. I’m not a big Back to the Future fan, but I do love The Nightmare Before Christmas.
On the bottom of the box I found an art print of Bill Murray and I love it. I’m a big fan of Murray and this is a very fine addition to my slowly growing collection of art prints.
Showtime again 🙂 This time around it was Jochem Myjer performing his latest show at MartiniPlaza. Mom wanted to go to this so I agreed. I generally like Jochem Myjer, but sometimes it’s a bit too much for me. So I wasn’t sure what I’d think of a live show. Luckily, it turned out to be a great show. Too bad about the seats being so far away. The show sold out so fast that by the time I ordered these were one of the few still available.
The stage was empty except for this giant head. At first I was confused and thought it was former Queen Beatrix. But then the lights got better and I realised it was an oversized bust of Jochem himself. When the show started, he came out of the bust at the head.
The show itself was a mixture of his regular physical comedy but this time around interspersed with serious bits. The skeleton of the show was him reading from his hospital journal when he was being treated for a tumour in his back. From the journal he would side step to flashbacks of his youth and other bits where he could be more physical. He did imitations, sang songs, and ran around the stage.
All the while, the head was used as an almost living piece of decor. Visual effects were shown on the head and sometimes Jochem would disappear in and reappear from the head.
I really enjoyed the show. It was very nice to see him being serious occasionally, it allows a different peek into who he is.
Guess what day it was? Double feature movie day!
After work yesterday I had lunch at La Place and then took a stroll around the store before meeting up with Gert. We did some browsing in various stores.
We took a coffee and cake break at Hema before slowly heading towards the cinema. With one last stop at Zara where I found a gorgeous sweater. It wasn’t in the budget for this month. I hope it’ll still be there later.
The first movie we saw was Pan. It was a fun adventurous romp without substance. Hugh Jackman was fun, but I didn’t expect the Nirvana rendition.
We followed it with Spectre. Now this was good. I’m not well versed in the Bond universe. I’ve seen Bond movies, and I’ve seen the first two Daniel Craig ones. I’ve not seen Skyfall so I didn’t understand all of the bits that referred back to the events of that.
I don’t really have any judgement on if it was a good Bond story or all of that. I just know that from the moment it started with the whole Mexico City action sequence I was gonna have fun. It had all the things I expect from a Bond movie: action sequences, high speed car chase in expensive cars, many different countries, a pretty woman, and an interesting plot.
The only downside was that it got shown in the big theater and there weren’t many movie goers at that time of the evening. This results in a very, very cold room.
After Spectre was done, I had some time before my bus. We decided to warm up with a coffee at Subway. And sitting there, with the front door open, it was warmer than the movie theater…