Your friend LP

Updated every Sunday

Anti-bucket list

As I spent this weekend either sleeping or writing essays, I had less than zero inspiration/material for a blogpost. Sure, I could post (yet) another “me and Clark are snuggling“-picture, because he really IS the cutest, but then I’d have to rename this blog “Your friend Clark” and make it a cat blog.

The Daily Post’s writing prompt to the rescue! While they’re always good prompts prompt-wise, I have never really felt the need to answer one of them, because they’re usually not relevant to my life in general and to this blog specifically. Today’s prompt however, was perfect: “What are the top items on your anti-bucket list — those things you never, ever want to do, places you never want to visit, books you never want to read, etc.?”

I often feel like my life is ruled by schedules and to do lists, and I am aware that that gives off the impression that I’m trying to do ~all the things~. Trust me, I’m not, I’m just having THE hardest time doing the preselected things I need/want to do, because like I said on my Dutch blog: ‘At the end of my energy, there’s still stuff to do left’. File under: the joys of chronic illness.

7 semi-random things I’ll never ever want to do ever (again), an incomplete, medium-sized anti-bucket list:

  1. Go camping/trekking/backpacking;
  2. Read those horrible click-baity, SEO-friendly listicle blogposts;
  3. Write one of those horrible listicle-blogposts, maybe except for one called “10 reasons why I don’t care about your wannabe pro-blogger, SEO-friendly listicle blogposts”;
  4. Live without a cat for a longer period of time;
  5. Do any kind of studies at the UvA after I finish my BA;
  6. Finish books/movies/series I don’t enjoy;
  7. Hang out in places/with people that make me uncomfortable.

I am quite sure that I’ll think of at least 23 other things when I’m in the middle of polishing up my last essay in (hopefully) 20 minutes, but this will have to do for now. As always, feel free to (dis)agree and/or add your own (anti-)bucket list items in the comment section! :-)

Not a plushie

Clark cuddlesI repeat: real cat, not a plushie.

November update

With the last month of the year upon us, let’s do a recap!

Dropping one of my two classes seems to have been a good idea, as I have now passed the midterm of the class I didn’t drop (like duh!) and will this week be starting with the preparations for a (socio)linguistics project. Yes people-who-love-to-fill-in-questionaires, prepare yourself because it will be happening soon! As any info about my research would influence the results, I can’t say what I’m going to be researching, but I will say that I am absolutely looking forward to it.

The picture taking for my Sketchbook Project 2015 entry is coming along nicely too. Sometime in the next few weeks, when it is less humid/foggy, I am planning to go out and take pictures of some of the light sculptures that are part of the Amsterdam Light Festival, I might end up using some of them in my sketchbook, and if not, I’ll post them on my flickr and link them here.

And because “Why not?”, I have offered my back stage help to a group of my fellow students who are going to be performing the Shakespeare-based musical “Kiss me, Kate” on the 19th (at 20:15) and on the 20th (at 16:00 and at 20:15) of December at the Universiteitstheater in Amsterdam. Tickets are 5 euros and can be preordered by sending an email to the lovely people who are in charge of the tickets (not me!) at kissmekate.uva@gmail.com.

ETA: apparently I’d mis-scheduled this post, so it didn’t appear on Sunday the 30th. Oops, sorry about that! :-)

I love being an adult

On the internet, things tend to go in waves. Sometimes there’s a current reason for something to pop up (Christmas videos, anyone?) and sometimes things go viral for no obvious reason. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of “I hate being an adult” sentiments, like this comment/message-type thing

Adult no thanks[x]

Which, by the time I screenshot it, had about 154,398 notes, so it’s safe to say it strikes a chord with lots of people. And while I’m not wanting to discredit anyone’s feelings, I just wonder why. Because I quite like being an adult.

I didn’t really like being a child. No, strike that: I HATED being a kid. I’ve heard people say they hate being an adult because they miss the carefree days of their youth, when they had no worries and could play outside all day with their friends and didn’t have to worry about mortgages or rent. Me personally, I prefer having to pay rent and taxes to having to worry about being bullied, made fun of, ridiculed, not taken seriously. I prefer having tiring coworkers or frustrating conversations with my rental company to the constant fear of having to be around other children who could (and occasionally would) hurt me, with the adults (teachers and adults-not-my-parents) looking on and not caring, or even implying I deserved it because I was “weird” (which was partially shorthand for foreign) and “not social enough”. Fear not, I’ve had intensive therapy to deal with the aftermath of these happenings and my childhood wasn’t all bad, but when I think of my childhood I remember feeling powerless, dependent and trapped a lot of the time.

But even when I leave the traumatic things out, adulthood still wins: I can decide where I live and how. If I want a cat, I can get one. If I wanted 10 cats, there would be nobody stopping me. Well, I would be stopping myself because that’s an excessive amount of cats, especially for my apartment, but that would, again, be my decision. I don’t have to be friends with somebody I don’t actually like, just because they’re the only other child in the neighborhood. If I feel like going on holiday, either all by myself or with somebody else, I can. If I want to stay home, I can too. If I were to decide that I want to move to Paris next year, I’m quite sure I’d get further than an 8 year old who decides the same. I actually know so, because I tried: I got to the end of the street. Which probably proves that I didn’t understand the concept of being a child, because what 8 year old wants to move to Paris by herself because “I liked the Eiffel Tower and I speak French”? File under: ways to make your parents cry.

This one also struck me

Adult places[x]

Because that is how being a child felt to me: waiting to leave school, waiting to leave my grandparent’s couch, waiting to leave the car after a 3 day car ride. There was a lot of other waiting too: waiting for the dreary-as-f*ck, cold war, bomb-is-about-to-fall-any-minute-now, jikes-these-clothes-are-ugly 80s to be over, waiting for that BORING Sunday in that boring town to be over. Waiting to be an adult.

Granted, many of my present day freedoms are a result of having completely and utterly failed at life and thus automatically not adhering to any of the very rigidly imposed “trappings of adulthood”. And while I definitely wouldn’t describe my adult life as a walk in the park, maybe that’s where the “I hate being an adult”-people and I differ: not only did they have a nice(r) childhood, they might as an adult now have, for lack of a better term, specific “rigid adulthood”-related burdens that are heavy to bear, both in itself and in comparison to their childhood.

Anyway, I’m not even sure what my point is, if I even have one, I’m just thinking out loud really. However, I am quite curious what other people’s ideas on this matter are, so please feel more than free to leave your thoughts, feelings and theories in the comment box below.

In progress – a short Sketchbook Project 2015 update

Although the deadline has been extended to March 2015, I have decided to want to finish it before the end of this year. With the book already done, it’s now on to the insides: text and pictures.

I have chosen City Lights as my theme and am now in the shooting and scribbling phase.

IMG_20141110_182821

City Lights, stolen from my own Instagram

If everything in my life goes according to plan, I’ll be editing and selecting at the end of December, then glueing everything together and sending it off at the beginning of January. If things do not go according to plan, I have almost three extra months to get it done and sent out, so I’m not too worried. So that’s where this project is at right now, the next update (of course, as always, with pictures) will be of my favorite part: the glueing phase.

My make up favorites

Since cleaning out my make up stash, and more specifically since I’ve taken up wearing wigs on a almost-daily basis, I’ve gone back to wearing make up regularly. Knowing what products I have, and not having to dig through a pile of stuff has made getting up and doing a full face a quick process: I’ve got it down to 17 minutes now.

I’ve selected 8 most frequently used favorites and shot them in my new softbox mini-studio. To make it seem as if I know what I’m doing, I’ve split the products up by brand and have posted them in alphabetical order. All products were purchased with my mother’s my own money. As usual, all collages can be embiggened by clicking on them:

Fyrrinae

Fyrrinae collage

Fyrinnae is my favorite make up brand in the world. There, I’ve said it. I will now live on in terror that they decide to close up shop, because things I love have a tendency to disappear. Not that I’m superstitious or anything. On the left is a new favorite: Lip Lustre in Dragon’s Blood. Despite it being in a tube (this is the tiny tester sized one), it’s not a lip gloss, but a lipstick. On the right is an older favorite: eye shadow in Because Cats, because duh. To be honest, I chose this one as a favorite for this post because of the name, I have about 10 Fyrinnae eyeshadows (they have trial sizes for all their products) and they’re all wonderful.

I did not swatch either, because they are impossible to photograph in a way that does them justice: like a perfect starry sky, Fyrinnae products are best seen in real life. I also find that their eye shadows look best when they’re patted on, not swiped, preferably onto a very VERY light coat of their Pixie Epoxy. Use liberal amounts of face powder under your eyes to deal with fall out, and you’re good to go.

Hourglass

Hourglass collage

Sometimes I see things and I know that I NEED to have them, and if I don’t get them, I’ll regret it forever. Readers of my Dutch blog will know this as “De Aas“, which best translates as “Eyeing the bait”. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light (left) was one of these things, so despite it being quite expensive (45 dollars), I bought it and wow. Best. Powder. Ever.

The blush on the right is not only very beautiful, but also has the funniest name ever: Dim Infusion. Despite using it daily, the lowering of my IQ has not been registered yet. File under: things that sounded way funnier in my head.

Lush

Lush collage

The people who’ve been reading this blog for a while, might remember the post I wrote about the launch of the collection about two years ago, where I mentioned the product here on the left: the Eyes Right mascara. I still love it as much as I did then, I have in fact not used any other brand of black mascaras since (this is my nth bottle).

On the right is the lipstick that I chose (or that chose me) during the colour reading and that I didn’t buy at first, but went back for: Passionate. It’s an in your face statement colour, and although I don’t believe in make up “rules”, I tend to not wear it to class, especially not when said class is at 9 a.m., but it is my go to colour for other occasions.

NYX

Nyx collage

And finally, NYX. On the left: LSS612 LALA, the perfect (well, to me) everyday lipstick. The only disadvantage is that it is VERY creamy, so you go through a tube quite quickly. Which wouldn’t be as much of a problem if LALA was sold in The Netherlands. Which it isn’t. *breathes deeply in and out*

The product on the right IS sold here (and I also have 2 back ups): PB11 Taupe. Although technically a blush, I use it to contour the absolute #@$@#$ out of my face. If you’re on the paler side of average and you’re looking for a contouring powder that isn’t too orangey and doesn’t have glitter, Taupe is the one.

Since long post is long, I’ll leave it at this. I hope you enjoyed watching/reading this, and if you have any questions about these products and/or make up in general, just hit me up in the comments!

Health issues and Halloween

Last week was a real culmination of s*ck: after three weeks of “I feel sick” – “I feel better”- “Nope, I feel sick again”, I actually developed a fever and had to stay home. I also decided that I had to drop a class, because I know that if I don’t, I will end up ill and overexerted by the time this semester is over and I still have a (very packed) second semester to go this year, so that would be a recipe for disaster. I am however seriously bummed that I had to drop the class, but I know it’s for the best. And because misery loves company, Clark had to have emergency surgery to remove a lump that, against even the vet’s expectations, fortunately turned out to be benign. He is recuperating well and is back to his core business of snuggling. He’s actually doing so right now.

Because of this, I am still catching up on things like this blogpost, that should have happened on Sunday. To make up for this, two things:

1) Clark and I during our Halloween party (read: I put make up on, woke him up, we took a picture, I took my make up off and we both went back to sleep:

20141031_234711

2) On Monday morning, when I was feeling like death warmed up (I am a night person, people!), a classmate asked me where I lived. When I told her I lived in Amsterdam, she asked “Do you live by yourself, or with your parents?” Which I found beyond adorable, considering I turn 39 in about 6 weeks. :-D

Next week, I’ll have a post about make up. To quote Dr. Frank N Furter:

Honest with myself

A bit ago (I’m deliberately being vague here), I got an invitation for a get-together. My first response was to go, while simultaneously thinking “Well, I’ll better buy myself some water proof mascara, as I will most likely end up crying on the toilet or the bus ride home again, ha ha!” And then I realised what I was actually saying, and how it’s actually not funny at all.

My ability to laugh at myself and/or difficult and painful things in my life, has gotten me through a lot. My ability to act like I’m fiiine when I’m most definitely not and to “make it look easy for the people” has too. But when it comes to the whole “I go to a party and end up in the toilet, crying on the phone to my mom, then feel awful for two days afterwards”-thing, it’s time I start being honest with myself: I can’t deal with being around people who excessively drink and do drugs.

Although I myself don’t drink and don’t do drugs, I have always thought that I was fine going places where I was surrounded by other people who do. I chalked my feelings of stressed out nervousness up to my special snowflakedom and just told myself to get the f*ck over myself. I mean, people were being nice to me? They included me in their conversations and even confided in me by telling me all their romantic issues, life problems and even their drug dosages? Why then do I feel so upset to the point of crying and why do I feel so utterly, utterly detached from everything?

I realised that that is because I AM detached from the goings on. First, there’s the simple fact that when everybody does A Thing and you don’t, you’re the outsider. See also: being the only person at a party who doesn’t play World of Warcraft. Second: drugs and alcohol change people’s mental states and the way they interact, usually not in a positive way.

There’s the loss of boundaries: while I have never had the heart to be a dick to a seriously intoxicated person spilling their guts to me, I actually don’t want to know about a random stranger’s self-declared “complex romantic misery”, their “you REALLY need to talk to a professional”-level personal problems or how many grams of what drugs they are on and where they got them. I REALLY don’t want or need to know these things. I don’t. Telling them so doesn’t work either, because they are completely in their own world. So I get another iced tea and listen, while thinking: “Woman, you need to get the f*ck away from here”. Yes, I admit I’m not handling this well either.

And then there’s the drooly fake chummy emotions. A former housemate of mine, who is a recovering alcoholic, once called it “alcohol fueled empathy”. It’s the phenomenon where, after [foo] units of alcohol, people who at best hardly know me, start proclaiming how much they loooove me, say that I’m THE BEST EVER, find it necessary to tell me I’m going to do amazing things in the world because I’m so ~awesome~, assure me that we’re going to be Best Friends Forever, then, completely out of the blue, proceed to hug me and pat me on the head like I’m their pet or something, while not even remembering doing any of it the next day. Hell, they don’t even remember me. Explaining why all of this gets to me would take a book, so I’m not going to, but fact is that it gets to me. It really, really gets to me.

I know that the whole self-care thing is getting a lot of flak nowadays, mostly because some people use it as an excuse to be irresponsible, but I do believe it’s important. As a child raised on Oprah, I do believe that you need to take care of yourself first. Which is why I have decided that I’m staying away from parties, (university) drinks and other occasions where I know I’ll be the only sober one in a group of heavily intoxicated people. Although I am relieved that I don’t have to keep forcing myself to attend these types of functions, I am also curious-in-a-scared-way how it will work out for me, social/life/”networking” wise. To be continued at some point.

First 7 weeks are DONE!

With the first seven weeks of the new academic year over and done with and exam week coming up, it’s time for a recap. Despite not feeling too well in the last two weeks, I did manage to keep on track with everything, making this the first time EVER (well, except for when I did my summer session at Berkeley) that I am completely uhm, completely on track with everything. I have even started preparing for my exams next week and it would be really nice if I managed to pass this part of the class in one go, so I don’t get stuck with resits and things piling up on top of things and the misery that follows.

After this week, this class will continue with a different teacher, which kinda makes me nervous because I have no clue how that’s going to work out teaching style and course load wise, but there’s nothing I can do about it but see how things go. The teacher I had up to now is super effective efficient and I like his way of structuring things. Thankfully, he will be teaching the second class I’m taking this semester, so I sorta know what to expect.

Apart from that, not much news here. Both Clark and I sleep a lot and are slowly starting to feel better, so that’s a win. And in line with the whole debittering/”treat yo self” thing I’ve been on since the beginning of 2014, I’m going to watch myself some Monkees now. This is my favorite episode ever:

Blurry

Both Clark and I have been under the weather for a couple of days now and we both feel as blurry as this picture is:

Clark blurry

Fear not, the strange bulbous thing on the left side of his face (and the right side of the picture) is just an artefact caused by him moving. And now on to some more pain killers (both), inhalers (me) and neti-potting (also just me).

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