The Summer of Country

Do you remember the girl I was talking about like 8 months ago? The girl who did NOT wear Vans to our first date and became my girlfriend anyway. AKA, New Girlfriend. I guess I sort of moved in with her but not completely because you know, lesbian stereotype and everything. Only my room is now referred to as The Storage. Where I come to switch clothes and books listen to a song have a smoke and leave again.

Let me introduce you to my new home, Queer Island, population 6. Including 2 cats, Luxor and Flamingo and two (sort of married) men called M. Croquette and The Gypsy. I hangout with The Gypsy a lot and what we mostly do is eat and bench watch series on Netflix. But sometimes we have intellectual (read semi-drunk) talks about life. Or, if we leave the couch we photograph, paint, draw and exercise. The Gypsy and I are very alike, lazy is or second nature.

We have announced that the summer of 2014 is going to be the summer of country music on Queer Island. What’s so great about it is that almost every song includes beer, girls, trucks, and guitars. Most times combined. There is a song called “People are Crazy” by Billy Currinton, which is this week’s favorite. It goes like this: “God is great, beer is good… and people are crazy.” What is not to love? YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKpQRjj_WbU)

- Bye.

Score an average 7 one school semester & Get my propaedeutic.

Actually it seems quite easy scoring a 7 on average but my school had some very weird definitions in my first year. We had 11 courses every block (10 weeks) where every course was 1 ECT except for one which was 4 ECT. If only you had the work of 1 ECT it would have been easy but instead of the 28 hours it was more like 56 hours you had to put in. Since I have a social life and work next to school I of course didn’t spend so many hours on these courses. My second year though is better in that way, with fewer courses and more realistic hours. So far I got a 7 on average for both my first and second block. Also got my propaedeutic, I still had to get 0,5 ECT from my first year, stupid yes, it was a 10 minute conversation I managed to miss twice. Public transportation and a room change messed things up. Probably also lack of planning on my part. The 10 minute conversation was changed to an assignment to test the 4 basic CMD skills. I was a little nervous because you couldn’t prepare this assignment, except for bringing pencils. So on Monday morning, an hour early, I was sitting there waiting with my backpack full of pencils and bags under my eyes from sleep deprivation. I got a satisfactory grade and now I have my propaedeutic.

51. Go to the beach

The beach, a fun free activity, I like it. It’s very therapeutic, the sand, the sound of calm waves a nice little breeze and very few people in winter. Yes. Only this time it was more like exercise with wind force 8, muddy beach and free sandblasting. Good for the skin though. I was going on a date with the girl I referred to in one of my previous blogs, you know the one I met when I was totally drunk on a party and forgot how she looked like and is now my girlfriend. Yes her. Her roommate drove us to Heemskerk. We walked for a couple of hours, I tried to minimize my complaining about the wind (wind scares me) as I found out that complaining on dates is unattractive. Nevertheless it was a fun walk and I wore a cap so at least my hair didn’t got messy. We had something to eat in a nice restaurant afterwards. Beach, new place in The Netherlands and going out for diner, three Day Zero goals in one day and a date with a pretty girl.

50. Go bowling & 56. Play air hockey

A few months back I went to the arcade hall. About ten years ago I went bowling for the last time. You know when they still put those things on the side so the ball doesn’t fall in. Yes… I guess I still need those. At the same arcade hall I played air hockey. A game I played a lot when on holidays in Italy. Still haven’t lost my tough it turned out.

43. Go to 10 concerts. [5]

Tegan and Sara

On June 24 I went to see Tegan and Sara in Paradiso, Amsterdam. A beautiful venue I might add. I had already seen them a few years back, also in Paradiso. Since then they released one new album, with a complete different style then their others. There stage performance had become more mature it was more about the music and less about the jokes. It was fun show and I would go and see them again.

Sleeping With Sirens

I went to see Sleeping With Sirens on September 20 in a venue called Effenaar. I really like their music on cd but damn they play bad live. I think it was a combination between poorly adjusted sound and bad vocals. Big disappointment I didn’t expect them to suck so much live because they had become pretty popular in the last few years. I was with a friend and we decided to leave early.

Impericon Never Say Die Tour

A friend of mine asked me to go to the Impericon Never Say Die Tour in Tivoli. I looked up the artist who would play and I had heard of them but never listen to their music. Tickets were 30 euros. Tivoli though is 10 minutes from where I live and I know someone who works their so I managed to get on the guest list, big thanks. I went there with no expectations and it turned out that all bands were really nice. Betraying The Martyrs were my favorite that night with their incredible stage performance.

Me with Aaron Matts form Betraying the Martyrs

Vans Warped Tour

Every year I drool a little when I see the line up of Vans Warped USA. It was a pleasant surprise to see that Warped was coming to Europe, with a very nice line up. So on November 10 I went to Vans Warped Europe in Klokgebouw. I saw so many bands, most of them for just a few songs:

-       The Charm The Fury

-       Crossfaith

-       Memphis May Fire

-       John Coffey

-       Parkway Drive

-       Billy Talent

-       Watsky and Wax

-       We Came As Romans

-       The Maine

I really wanted to see Parkway Drive, Memphis May Fire, Crossfaith, We Came As Romans and The Main, the other bands were just nice extras. These are bands I have listen to for years but I had never seen live. Klokgebouw itself was a nice venue for Vans Warped, hopefully there will be many more.

Me with Crossfaith and a friend at Vans Warped

Skip & Die

New girlfriend asked if I would like to go to Skip & Die with her, I had never really listen to Skip & Die before but when I listen to some of their songs I thought it ought to be fun. So on December 19 we went to Tivoli to see Skip and Die. Amazing performance and I really liked how they connected with the audience. I would defiantly see them again.

15. Try 10 new flavors of thee. [10]

This was an easy one. I tried some weird flavors like ‘blueberry muffin’ and ‘vanilla caramel’ and some others of that sort, but they are a little to sweat for my taste. I also tried some tea that is supposed to have some benefits for you health like ‘sleepy time’ and ‘energy for woman’. Although they taste nice I do not notice their benefits. A friend of mine gave me organic green tea and I loved the taste so I tried some other organic tea and I am sold.

Little problems make your life easier

Since the start of the new school year, in September, Utrecht Central station has been through some major changes. My guess is they removed some bicycle parking spaces. The last few weeks were absolute madness. There just isn’t enough space anymore. I now have to leave 5 minutes earlier from home so I can find a place to put my bike. I know this is bad, but sometimes I drag someone else’s bike out off the rack and put my own in.

No longer. From tomorrow on I am taking the bus. I have had three bikes stolen, headlights broken, paint scratched off, flat tires and today somebody managed to destroy my brakes. I’d rather get fat, poor and lazy by taking the bus than to undergo this for one more day.

Did you know it is human nature to focus on smaller solvable problems than thinking about serious problems? It’s like oh we are destroying earth with our behavior… well… I don’t really like to think about that today, or ever. However stupid this may sound I think we just need to be ignorant about things to cope.

I am a very practiced, being ignorant, denying things, not dealing with problems, kind of person. The past month sucked big time, first my breakup and a few weeks later I lost a friend. So to deal with it I focus on the solvable issues, like my little bicycle parking annoyance. I have many more of those. A long line in the supermarket because of a slow cashier. Pigeons that don’t go away when you try to pass. My purple pencil missing. Clothes not being color sorted. You see, I like to keep busy.

So embrace the smaller problems and the feeling of accomplishment when solving them, they do make your life easier.

Doomsday

It’s the year 2033. We knew they were coming for a year now. Every attempt to communicate has failed. As well as every attempt to destroy them. A year ago they appeared on the radars of NASA. A fleet of alien vessels. The world leaders came together, all disagreements and wars stopped. Humanity now has a common enemy. We worked hard to build spacecrafts, manufacture weapons and ammunition and train special forces. We now go by the name of The United States Of Earth. After the aliens attacked the fighting went on for a month. The aliens lost. But so did we, we lost 2/3 of earths population. Everything was destroyed, nuclear reactors blew up and we had no food left. Earth is now a wasteland existing of small communities fighting over what’s left.

Okay this probably won’t actually happen. Though I do believe with the current way humanity treats earth I will be witnessing the day everything goes wrong and civilization, as we know it, will stop to exist. The odds are against us. There are a few things happening, first off all the world becomes overpopulated. Overpopulation causes pandemics, well not really causes it maybe so much as spreading it so fast we can’t find a cure in time. Overpopulation also causes environmental problems, which cause natural disasters. All of this of course leads to food shortages. Food shortages lead to war. Then there is the possibility of extreme depreciation of the value of money. Which leads to mass panic and war. See the point here? Oh right, we might just skip this all and wait until stupid people throw some nukes.

Lately some people are extremely scared of this and start like filling basements with food and weapons and toilet paper. You might now think that I am one of those people because I think such an extreme disaster will happen. I am not though. I think I am just being realistic and facing the facts. But when it happens it happens and preparation is useless in my opinion. Instead I would recommend to try to stop it from happening, because it’s not too late. If we were only a little less selfish.

Maybe if God had put an eleventh rule on the Ten Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not throw gum on the streets’, it would have been prevented. Luckily the pope thinks of the environment by forbidding condoms, I mean all that rubber right. Overpopulation and children born with diseases are so much better.

So don’t waste food, leave the lights on, or leave the tap on when you’re brushing your teeth. But you probably already know that.

Right?

Bodensee – travel day and Austria

My girlfriend and I have different personalities. Six hours before the ride she found out that she forgot her passport. I was completely annoyed and stressed about it and instead of stressing she fell asleep within 5 minutes. So after my 5 hours of not sleeping and stressing about everything we had to make a detour from Utrecht to Veen (about 1 hour extra). I drove. I don’t like driving but I wanted to be there fast and I drive faster (with a total lack of traffic rules). When we arrived the navigation system she lent from her brother failed. Well even before it failed I was a little worried about it because she told me ‘I have a TomTom’ but it was actually some weird unknown Arab brand. If only I knew sooner. So you can imagine my next ‘are you kidding me’ moment. After 15 minutes it started working again. Thank God! Off we go, finally. The travel took 13 hours. Where my father (who used to drive on holidays) drives 20 km/h faster than the speed limit, girlfriend drives 20 km/h under the speed limit, I had my little frustration moments, but I took some naps and we arrived safely. I couldn’t have done it myself, I am a complete danger on the road.

driving

The hotel turned out to be really nice, 4 stars. We really just booked something that was cheap and near the lake, there wasn’t much choice anymore because we booked a little late. I wondered why this 4 star hotel was so cheap, thought something must be wrong, but nothing was. For anyone who is interested at visiting Bodensee, the hotel is called ‘Seevital hotel Schiff langenargen’ it has a view on the lake, a wellness center, a restaurant and a terrace with lake view. We paid 75 euros per night per person.

Bodensee view

After a long long sleep we went for breakfast. Missed the hotel breakfast that’s from 07:00 till 10:00. Next to the hotel there is a coffee/sandwich place. The coffee was so nice. Damn my senseo machine should take a lesson. We had nothing planned yet so we went for a walk alongside of the lake. Went back to the hotel, looked on the internet and decided to go to the hills in Austria. Only a 30 minute drive. Perfect. However before we went I had a big fight with the navigation system, which we named Pamela. She was totally forcing her own way and only after I threatened to throw her out of the window she did what I told her to do. There was a possibility to take the cableway up to 1064 meters. The fee for 19+ was 12 euros but when the girl behind the pay desk asked how old we were I figured we could pass for 19. So 8 euro per person later we went up.

Cableway

Once up girlfriend realized she smoked too much and I realized that hill was steeper then it looked. So after walking around for a bit we went for coffee. Girlfriend figured she would get it along with some healthy food. Okay this was really the most disgusting thing I have ever seen or eaten. And I think it was pork, so not healthy at all. Girlfriend also doesn’t know what she was thinking when she bought it. We both had one bite and then put it in a far corner to never be eaten. The coffee was nice.

Disgusting food

After the mountain hike we went to a really large supermarket and bought some food and drinks for the evening (I had redesigned the hotel mini fridge in the evening, but wine and Malibu just needs to be cold). After dumping everything in the car we went for a walk on the boulevard, nice view, temperature and a little breeze. We wanted someone to take a picture of us together, but the first person managed to not take a picture at all and the second person made one with a nice composition but it was way overexposed. Conclusion, give them your phone to take a picture not your SLR. Then we had some nice Italian food and drove back to Langenargen.

I’m getting old.

I am old, civil and an adult. How the hell did that happen? I thought I had at least until 30.

So basically the last couple of weeks, my days exist out of 50% panic attack and 50% acceptance.

It all started in my second school semester. I had a realization that maybe partying for 2 or 3 times a week is not such a good idea if I want to get satisfactory grades. With a little withdrawal it was soon diminished to a neat 1 time a week, only Saturdays no weekdays. In the same period I found myself a girl whom I liked more than for just a few weeks and got myself a steady relationship. When this news appeared on Facebook a lot of people thought it was a joke. Thank you very much! After that everything went downhill. I stopped doing drugs, I started drinking less and I even started exercising. I am an adult.

One spring morning I was traveling to school by train, reading the daily news. There was an article about the youth using abbreviations and the danger of parents not knowing what they mean. There were abbreviations which I don’t know what they mean. OMG. Big panic attack. I am old.

Meanwhile, I still don’t know how this happened, I started to watch what I ate. Not just like not eating too much fast food because it makes you fat. I watch that I don’t eat too much salt, sugar, meat and preservatives.

Also while most of my friends go on party vacations I go on vacation with my girlfriend, by car, to a big lake with small villages where we can enjoy nature. And I even like it. Just last week we were drinking coffee and watching the news in the morning. What the hell? We are one step away from a fixed telephone and bringing or own food on vacation. Shoot me if that ever happens. I am civil.

So 50% of the time I panic and think what is happening to me. But the other 50% of the time I like the new me. It is actually really relaxing and safe. OK I am starting to panic again by the word safe so I am going to stop now. I mean safe = boring, right?