Your friend LP

Updated every Monday

Online Business Writing Class done!

Despite my current pneumonic misery, I finally have happy news: I finished my Online Business Writing Class! *cheers*

As is obvious from the name, this 8 week class was taught completely online except for a short introductory meeting in the first week. The class focussed on extremely practical things like informal and formal writing, how to write a letter/email to ask for information regarding university courses, how to write a CV and cover letter for a job or internship, how to write a report, a memo and invites.

You’d think that as an English BA student these things would have been taught to us at some point, but nope. For some reason our department is apparently convinced that it’s more useful to teach us phonology once – and to never speak of it again, than to instruct us how to write an appropriate cover letter. They probably figure that since we’re getting a BA in English, we’ll never get a job anyway, so why bother? #bitterbitch

But semi-joking bitterness aside, I do think it’s a big loss that this elective does not get (more) promo. It is quite unknown in general (there were 9 people doing the course) but more specifically to English BA students. I myself came across it by accident: waiting outside the study advisor’s office I saw a folder on the corkboard advertising this class. I then has to call twice (no answer) and email somebody to figure out the details. Knowing about and registering for a class should not be this much of a hassle, people.

But yeah, the class itself was awesome and very useful, and I’ve inched 8 more study points towards graduation! *cheers again*

The sick and the suck – continued (plus one of my favorite songs)

After a couple of days in which I seemed to be better, yesterday morning I woke up with a throat ache, a fever and an up-and-coming sinus infection. Because misery loves company, my dear catfriend Clark decided to start walking even funkier than he already did. I’ll spare you the details, but it was quite terrifying and I was scared that This Was It.

After a horrid night with no sleep I immediately took him to the vet for an emergency visit, who thankfully reassured me that Clark is ok. Considering, of course. I mean, I know he’s bound to die, but I just didn’t want it to be today, and it’s not. Clark himself is of course unaware of all my worries and is nosesleeping in my bed as we speak.

All in all, this wasn’t the best of days, especially not since I’m now slowly but surely losing my voice too: the squeaky noises I produce are interesting, I sound like a cross between a seagull and… some other sea animal that makes hoarse noises. Insert your favorite.

To thank you for reading this entire misery fest, have a video of one of my favorite songs ever. From the “Made for Dolby Surround” opening to the fantastic vocal finale (from 4:30 or so on), I deeply love this song:

Back(ish) on the horse

Not much news around here, the last two weeks have been a string of “I feel sick – Hey, I feel better – Nope, I feel sick again”, so it’s fair to say I haven’t been a happy camper. Or a happy anything really, especially not since I am once again at a point where I need to start catching up on things. Yesterday, while still feeling Not Quite, I managed to catch up on two weeks of homework for my online course in a 12 hour homework session. I was so proud of myself that I literally patted myself on the shoulder. It probably looked really weird, but whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

Interestingly enough, the KLM (that’s the Dutch airline company) keeps sending me emails that go “Fly to LA for, like, almost no money!!!eleventy11!”-emails about twice a week now. Thankfully, I am beyond broke or I would click the link, book a fight and go chill on a beach for uhm, 3 minutes. Longer would be very unwise, because I’m a paley pale face and burn like a mofo unless I am 1) underneath a parasol, 2) wearing SPF 50 and 3) fully clothed. Which can probably be arranged, seeing that heaps of models live in LA and they’re usually not allowed to tan either.

Speaking of paley palefaces, I did again not celebrate Halloween due to the sick and the suck, but decided to dress up today anyway for “My Instagram life is perfect”-purposes. The following picture is brought to you by Wonky Eye in collaboration with Busted Eyebrow, lots of industrial light and magic, working my angles and filters:


As you might have guessed, I am supposed to be Wednesday Addams but, like I also mentioned on my Insta, I just ended up looking a freakish lot like my dad. I mean, I usually already look a lot like him, but the combination of “big dark eyebrows” + “old timey filter” takes it into uncanny valley.

So today’s Reader Participation Question is: Have you ever taken a picture in which you look more like somebody else than like yourself? And if so, was that on purpose or completely accidental? *goes off to clean the 2 mm thick layer of Kryolan tv paint stick in “Ghostly Pale” off her face*

Post-week 8 study update

With week 8 behind me, time for a study update. So, how are things going? Not so great: I am still struggling with my thesis proposal. Yes, I know: it’s almost November, the proposal is not done yet and my thesis deadline is at the end of January. I have rewritten this damn thing so many times that I don’t even know what my point is anymore and I really wish I had just chosen something completely different. No clue what, but something completely different.

On top of that, I did not manage to do one of the two exams I had to do earlier this week. I wasn’t feeling too well health wise, didn’t sleep too well, started worrying, managed to queeze out one exam, and was unable to do exam #2 the next day as I was sick as hell. Same shit every year in the first semester and I’m tired of it.

For those thinking “Well, just stay healthy and stop worrying!”: Wow, that’s a novel idea, thanks! I’ll let you know when I figure out how to transplant the immune system of one of those 20-year-olds smoking in front of the university building – I have to fight myself through a group of them every time I want to get to class. They apparently have health to spare or something. No, I’m not bitter, I’m angry, that’s something completely different.

Not having passed this exam means that I’ll have to do the resit. Which is going to be in the 2nd week of December, the same week in which I already have two other exams… Oh, and did I mention I still have to write a thesis at some point, while having no clue anymore what I’m going to write about?

All of this combined makes me want to quit even harder than I want to quit on a daily basis, mostly because I have no clue 1) how to pass this semester and 2) what to do if I don’t pass this semester. Sure, I want/need this degree (or something, I’m not even sure if this is true and if so, why), but I just physically and mentally cannot do this for one more year. I’ve been miserable since week 2 of my studies: that was 4 years ago. I just don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t graduate at the end of this semester. And yes, that feels about as ominous as it sounds. This Wednesday, I’ll go and have a talk with the study advisor again and see if she has anything useful to say. To be continued. For now.

Unfinished Sympathy

As I am barely holding it together with two of the worst exams of my ~academic career~ coming up tomorrow and Wednesday, here’s a video of one of my favorite songs & videos ever:

Protip: if you have time (or are procrastinating), look up the street where she walks on (wiki is your friend), go to google maps and do the walk yourself while listening to the song. It’s oddly calming.

“I thought it said ‘university’ on the door?”

Back in prehistoric times, I studied philosophy at the same university I’m studying English at right now. I still vividly remember the day I walked out to never return. It was during a logic class where nobody was paying attention. The frustrated teacher wrote a formula on the blackboard:

If A = yes
If B = yes
A = B

If A = no
If B = yes
A ≠ B

Or something similar-ish. Next to me, a girl who kept introducing herself to everybody as “I’m a model, so you now think I’m stupid but I’m not!”, raised her hand and said: “I don’t understand. You keep saying “is not” while you write down that weird symbol.” The teacher then proceeded to try and explain to her that the sign for “is” with a strikethrough meant “is not”. To no avail.

Then, semi-simultaneously, this piece of shit excuse for a human being dude behind me said to his friend: “Being a pilot, I’ve fucked a lot of hot chicks, but since I also study philosophy I get to bang even hotter ones!” BAM. I was of course having other issues both related and unrelated to my studies, but this was the final straw: when the class was over, I walked out of the building and didn’t return for 15 years.

I was recently reminded of this incident during one of the classes I am taking right now: nobody is paying attention, everybody is on Facebook, people talk amongst themselves, our teacher is frustrated to the point of kicking people out and there’s even somebody doing the “I don’t understand”-dance. So basically, it’s this video:

The only difference being that the person in our class doing the “I don’t understand”-dance IS paying attention: they are apparently just utterly and completely incapable of abstract thought. Which is both sad for them, because they really do try, and terrifying, in that they’ve managed to get to the final year of their university BA without abstract thinking skills.

As you can imagine, this class is unbelievably exhausting: after these two hours, I am just done for the day. To be honest, I am quite impressed with myself that I haven’t gone “Fuck this shit!” yet and walked out. Anyway, it’s just one more class with this poor teacher, then the exams and then 7 more weeks with another teacher and hopefully less abstract material. Wish me luck!


There’s so many reasons I’ve never wanted a Facebook: the fact that it basically started out as a Nice Guy™ initiative for checking out “available chicks”, the “closing off” of a huge chunk of the internet, which to me goes against that the internet should be about, the real names policy, which is annoying at best and actually dangerous at worst, the complete lack of security, the whole “like” culture which has stifled most communications on blogs, the “friend collecting” culture, the “my life is awesomer than yours!” culture, the peer pressure to join, etcetera. There’s actually nothing about Facebook I like.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I have lived a detoured life. On top of that, I have a unique IRL name. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my own life, let alone with the lives of the people around me: I literally don’t have the time or energy to keep up with the minutiae of the lives of the hundreds of people I have met throughout my various careers, schools and other activities. And honestly, even if I did have the time: I don’t want to. It sounds mean to say that I don’t care, but it’s the truth: I don’t.

The vast majority of them are lovely people and I hope they’re all happy and well, but we’re not in each other’s lives anymore. So I don’t really care about their mother-in-law, what they ate this morning or their opinions about the current refugee crisis. And I honestly can’t be convinced that all people with hundreds of Facebook friends really DO care and/or are interested in each and every one of them.

I think this is what I hate most about Facebook and social media in general: it has made it impossible to just move on, to lose touch with each other in an organic way. Now you’re “stuck” with each other forever until you actually unfriend them — which often seems too harsh an action towards somebody who actually never was your friend to begin with.

All of this wouldn’t bother me as much if I had the option to stay off Facebook forever, but unfortunately I last week I HAD to open a Facebook account because of my (awesome!) internship. I even gave them my trufax IRL name. After which Facebook proceeded to tell me that I apparently don’t know how to spell said trufax IRL name… I am not going to use it other than as an inlog to post on a community page, I am not going to add anyone and as soon as I am done interning, I’ll delete it. But still, it bothers me.

It made me think about the cost of things, and how much I want or even need to compromise for my ~career~*. I have written before about me quitting going to places where people drink a lot. But what if this is the way people interact in my chosen future profession? What if I can’t afford to NOT to hang out at networking places with the booze and the bla? Should I maybe start drinking myself as well?

People say that having a career, especially in this field, is “a matter of wanting it bad enough”. Is it? And if so, do I want it enough? How far am I willing to compromise? Does anyone reading have any experiences, opinions and/or tips they’re willing to share? Because yup, that’s how my brain works: other people just open a damn Facebook and continue with their day, I start generating existential questions. And on to my Philosophy of Science homework I go!

* Just to make sure: in a world in which people have to mine uranium to survive, having a Facebook account I don’t want isn’t that big of a deal, I am well aware of that.

Moon adventures!

Last week was not the best week sleep-wise. My newish upstair neighbour decided singlehandedly that he would use his apartment for a fraternity “get together” that existed of lots of loud singing, screaming and cursing that went on until 2 am. Why anyone would “voluntarily” inflict this crap onto other people/submit themselves to this kind of mental abuse is beyond me, but there’s nothing I can change about that.

I did not punch him in the face, but did sent him a nice but firm letter basically telling him that I will report his ass to the rental agency if this ever happens again. After which he apologised(!) and promised never to do it again. File under: highly unexpected response was highly unexpected. Now let’s hope he really likes his apartment and that the fear of potentially losing it wins out over peer pressure.

All this to explain why I was awake on Saturday night and went outside in my pyjamas to take (freehand, as I am not comfortable shooting on my tripod at night all by myself) this picture of what I will call the Pre-Moon (all pictures can be clicked to embiggen:

IMG_4737Nice huh?

The night after, I was asleep and had no plans of waking up to shoot the SuperBloodyMegaMoon, or whatever they called it, but for reasons unknown I DID wake up and then decided that, since I was awake anyways, I’d go outside and tripod it up:



For those thinking: “That’s weird, that her handheld picture is not shaky at all, while her tripod picture is a little”: I know. I blame te waaay longer shutter speed, in combination with being on a big ball of matter that is hurling through space/the object photographed being a smaller ball of matter hurling through space/cars driving by/me doing a “Red globe! It’s a red globe!”-dance a bit too closely to the tripod setup. Note to self for the next red moon in 2033: no dancing close to the tripod.

And because I’m still baffled by the concept of being able to shoot with 6400 ASA(!!!) I also took this ~artsy~ picture that actually is a more realistic representation of the colour of the moon than the previous one:


See also: bonus stars! Yay!

ETA: none of these pictures have been Photoshopped/filtered/whatevered. :-)

Guess who’s an intern?


Yup, from 1 October on I will be travelling to Rotterdam once a week to intern at Poetry International! Seeing that I only have one (very full day) of classes a week, I figured it would be a great way to get myself out of the house and do something I enjoy in a creative environment. As the new web intern, I will be editing, writing and helping out with all other matters (semi-)directly related to the website. Yes, I have already greeted the copy machine and no, I don’t think I’ll have to do coffee runs. Though I must admit I don’t really mind doing coffee runs, as (back in my secretarial days) I have had some of my best Original Ideas™ during coffee runs.

Apart from that, in the past semester I have come to realise that I function better as a student if I keep myself busy-on-the-brink-of-exhaustion, as that leaves me no time to think. Because as well documented on this blog, thinking about my studies leads to me wanting to drop out and seeing that (if all goes well – *knocks wood*) I will be done forever in 19 weeks, that would be a bit of a waste. Understatement intended. Anyway, I am very happy that they chose me and am looking forward to my start next week.

In the meantime, I am still trying to catch up on my life: having gone to London a week and a half ago to check out potential MA degrees (and go to Lush) has seriously messed with, well, everything. Pictures of my adventures will hopefully be up on my Flickr sometime this week, I will make sure to post a link next Sunday.

“Let it gooo, let it gooohooo!” (Nope, this post is not about Frozen)

Earlier today I finished the book everybody everywhere is reading or has already read: “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. As I am one of these people who seems to be incapable of not be surrounded by Crap I was very interested in the what and the how. Although in the last 15 years I have managed to downsize from “half a step removed from a complete trash heap” to “still on the messy side, but livable” and managed to keep it that way by throwing things out on a regular basis, I would really like to get to a point where I don’t have to do this anymore.

According to the book, this is possible. I must say that at first I wasn’t entirely convinced. Some of the things she advises, like throwing away all paperwork like bank statements and pay slips, are just not practical here in The Netherlands where you’re supposed to keep them for at least three years/you are required to show them if you want to receive unemployment benefits, grants, study loans, or if you want to rent/buy a house. Other things are honestly too involved for me: I am really sorry, but I am not going to spend the rest of my life taking EVERYTHING out of my bag every day, put it in a box and then put stuff back in the next day. Sure, it’s only 10 minutes each day, but I am quite sure that when I’m on my death bed I won’t be thinking: “I wished I had unpacked my bag every day”. Or maybe I will, but I’m just going to take the chance. #livingontheedge

What did strike a chord felt like a punch in the face was the following quote:

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future”.

“An attachment to the past or a fear for the future”… File under: the essence of my being, in 11 words. And indeed, many of the things that have long served their purpose, but that I haven’t managed to get rid of until now are things that remind me of what I used to be (or worse: could/should have been, but didn’t get to be) or things that I’m saving because “you never know”. Ouch.

So the first thing (well, apart from taking my bank statements to the unemployment office) I will be doing After My Studies is go through all my stuff Konmari style. It’s going to take quite a while and will probably not be very pleasant, but I am quite looking forward to no longer being surrounded by stuff that indicate I’m stuck somewhere attached to the past, fearing the future.


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