Your friend LP

Updated every Wednesday

Using my brain again

Although I have delayed my thesis – and therefore my graduation – I have started on my absurdly long “Things To Do After My Studies”-list, because life goes on. So asides from continuing Project Decrappify Your Residence in a slow but steady pace, I have also enrolled in the Coursera specialization I’ve had my eye on for about a year now.

The specialization is comprised of 9 sorta kinda stand alone courses, that get tied together in the tenth course, which is the Capstone Project. The specifics of this Capstone Project are still a bit unclear to me, but I assume I will get more information once I get to the project itself.

I quite enjoy doing something “brain related” that is not related to my studies, which says enough about my deep, deep hatred of my studies. I sincerely hope that having some positive learning experiences and being away from my university for a while will “mellow me out” so to speak, so I can return in February and finish things up without bursting an aneurysm due to frustration too much stress.

Speaking of brain issues, I was a bit nervous that I would encounter some cognitive issues while studying, but I didn’t. Although I was aware that with me having zero cognitive problems in daily life, it would be highly unlikely (probably even impossible) for me to all of a sudden have issues with study-related activities, there was still this little voice in the back of my head going “Well, you never know. You might be the first zebra/special snowflake hybrid!” But I’m ok. No issues whatsoever. THANKFULLY.

Another fear was also conquered: my fear of falling while on blood thinners. Last week, I tripped and fell on my face right in the middle of the street. I did have a bit of swelling and bruising, but my fear of “I will fall and blood will just burst out of me, like, from EVERYWHERE!!!” did not materialise. This was such a relief that I didn’t even really mind that I lost my wig in the process and had to put it back on again on the tram with people staring.

Next week, TBK and I are going on a three day trip to the North, visiting Groningen amongst others. And seeing that it’s been 4 months post-hospital and I still haven’t driven a car yet, I will be doing some driving too.

Palmtrees in infrared

How cool is this?

Around here

With the amount of doctor’s visits finally winding down for real (my previous claims of “From next week on, I won’t be seeing doctors 3 to 4 times a week!” was clearly a case of wishful thinking), I am finally getting around to catching up on things around the house.

First, there was a huge pile of zines that needed to be sorted out. I soon found out that I still had unopened envelopes containing zines that were sent to me in… August 2014. Yeah, that’s embarrassing. There were also a huge amount of zines that I had enjoyed reading, but that were now hidden in boxes, not being read by anyone. I felt they needed an adventure, so I send them on their way to Australia! I mean, Nyx’s website tagline is “I love the zines, and the zines love me.”, so I figured that would be a good match.

Then, with the zine situation sorta kinda sorted into a “keep” and a “read” box, I went throught all the magazines still lying around. Turns out I was more up to date than I thought, with only a couple of issues from the beginning of March still unread. Having read most of them since, I am almost completely up to date with regards to my magazines. Score!

After all that, I had to get through all my papers lying around, and make sure all Official Forms were filled in and filed correctly, which they now are. Seeing that I was energised and enthusiastic, me and The Big Kahuna went through all my clothes and shoes, and donated all the no (longer) worn items to the second hand store. I even had two bags that have needed repairing for about 8 million years to the taylor/bag repair person AND remembered to pick them up, so I am very proud of myself.

Amidst of all this, I also had to clean out my university email account, as it will cease to exist soon: having decided (or, realised actually) that I will need more time to recuperate, I am taking a break from finishing my BA until February 2017. I have also deferred my MA offer until September 2017. It took me some time to get to this point, to actually accept that this was not an issue I could just ignore and “Keep going, hardcore-style”, that I REALLY need to start taking better care of myself.

In the coming weeks I’ll continue to clean up my house, and get rid of rehome the things that no longer fit in my life. I will also continue work on the sketchbooks and the zines that need finishing. And watch a ridiculous amount of Casey Neistat videos, that too.

afk

Does anybody even use “afk” anymore? Or *brb [insert some activity or other]*? Life questions, I have them. But yeah, I have been away from keyboard for a while. Mostly still due to “LP’s Great Health Scare – ‘We’re Getting To The Bottom of This’-edition”-tour, but also because I spent a week in Rotterdam listening to poetry.

As some of you might remember, I was interning at Poetry International when shit went down, and although I was unable to assist at the festival itself due to just not being physically fit enough to run around all day, they still gave me a wristband to attend the festival with. Which I thought was super cool! I have tremendous respect for the art of poetry, which is why I leave the poet-ing to people who know what they’re doing and don’t dabble in it myself. #stayinyourlane2016

It was however very (for lack of a better word) inspiring to see and hear things that I normally wouldn’t necessarily seek out myself. I have a tendency to limit my “intake” to things I like, which makes sense since there’s so much to see/hear, so little time. The downside of this is that I hardly ever run into something unexpected or totally new to me. This festival made me realise that I do need to step out of my familiar zone once in a while.

Short sketchbook update

Finally finishing up a project last week gave me such a boost that I decided to continue working on my other long overdue projects. The first one that I am “tackling” is my Sketchbook Project 2016. The deadline has already wooshed by (15 April), so there’s no hurry, although I am aiming to have it done by the end of this week. I had already chosen the theme Here & Now, which turns out to be very appropriate right now. Pictures of the process and the finished project will of course be posted here.

Keep writing postcards project

I have been subscribed to Hope’s Keep Writing Postcards project for a while now. Here is how it works: every  month, Hope sends you a letterpressed postcard she created herself. One half of it you keep, the other half is for you to fill in and send back. There’s usually a prompt of sorts that you have to respond to.

Wanting to start up my creative life again, I figured that filling in the small heap of postcards I still had lying around “to be done AMS (= After My Studies)” would be a good start. Turns out I still had at least half a year of postcards to return… Oops!

CardsThat’s at least 6 months of postcards for ya…

So today I went through them all, put them in a big envelope and sent them out to Oakland. To not make this post ridiculously photo heavy, I’ve selected two cards out of the bunch to show you.

First up, the Holiday Letter card, where I answered the questions first on a piece of paper, then filled them in on the backside of the card:

Holiday cardYup, that’s pretty much what my actual Holiday Letter would read like!

The other card was more of a meditation exercise:

60 secondsNow you know what happened in 60 random seconds of my life today: not much.

More cards from other peeps can be seen on the Keep Writing Postcards Tumblr.

Nothing to say

Ever since grade school, when my teacher (for those who follow my Dutch blog, yes, it was the same asshat teacher as in this story) told me he thought my “write and draw every day” project was “forced”, I have gone against the notion of “art and creativity are ~inspired~ activities that come to you” or similar crap: it’s work, people. If I would only put pen to paper if I was feeling ~inspired~, I would hardly ever write anything ever. Or do anything else, really. I mean, despite people thinking otherwise, I am not joking when I say my (oh, how I hate that word) hobbies are sleeping, showering and doing as little as possible.

That is why I had planned to get back to my “work” ASAP: I am always afraid that once I stop doing things, I will realise that it is all futile and why bother and just quit. See also: how I got through most of my studies. Or my life, really. Sad, I know. So when the deadline for The Sketchbook Project 2016 came up, my first instinct was to do what I always do: just go for it and finish it, in any way possible.

However, thankfully/unfortunately, I am not sure which yet, my current situation made it impossible for me to do so: not only was I physically tired (visiting on average 4 doctors a week for 6 weeks will do that to you), but I was also emotionally/mentally exhausted and on top of that, had nothing to say. And this time it was not the regular “I have nothing to say but if I keep pushing I’ll come up with something”: having seen nothing but doctors, hospitals and bus 172 for weeks on end apparently does not make for creative fuel. So I let the deadline fly by.

That was almost a month ago. I am hoping that, now that the doctor’s visits are slowly becoming less frequent and I am starting to slowly feel better physically and mentally (because despite my tendency to always go “I’m ok! I’m fine! Nothing to see here!”, I am really having a hard time with, well, everything in the last few weeks), I will soon regain my “something to say”.

So now what?

When I was admitted to hospital, I figured this was it: I had a hard time speaking, could only see half of what I was supposed to see and was told that what I had thought was a two day migraine, had actually been a stroke – in short: I was f*cked.

“Once your blood pressure and other physical ailments are in check, you will have to go to a rehab facility to learn how to live with this” was what they told me. The only thing I could think at that time, was “well, nobody will ever be able to tell me I am a lazy person who pretends to be sick and who should just suck it up anymore – I had a stroke, I no longer have to prove myself now!” Yup, this is kinda sad. Which in turn is an understatement.

Of course, I was beyond relieved when after a few days I quite magically regained my speech, sight, and also my senses. But I was still convinced that I wasn’t going to finish my BA or do Anything Ever In Life Again. I figured that, while doctors might be convinced that my cognitive abilities were not affected in the long term, the fact that I didn’t understand evidentiality was a sign that my ~academic career~ was over. Until I realised that the week before I went to the hospital, I also didn’t really understand evidentiality – because I just don’t understand evidentiality, really.😀

Then I thought about how much life I had wasted already trying to get this BA, and how awful I would feel if I spent another 3 months on it, and then died within the year. Yes, I am quite dramatic. Apart from the fact that – if things continue the way they are going and nothing freaky/accidental happens of course – this “me dying within the year”-thing is not very likely, I then also envisioned a worse situation: what my life would be like if I keep living for another 5, 10, 15, etcetera years, but DON’T finish my degree, and DON’T go to Kingston for my MA. That would actually be worse. And then I had to quit one of my medications due to side effects and started worrying about how I am supposed to study while guineapigging (being a Zebra, it might take a while to find the right combination of medications) because how am I supposed to study while in pain and… aaaaaaaaargh.

So currently I am in (thankfully less) pain, worried about my health and my future, and totally unsure what to do. So I figured I might as well try and rewrite that proposal for the umpteenth time this week. As they say in Dutch: “you never know, a cow might catch a hare” meaning “the unlikely could happen”. It wouldn’t be the first time that it did. *wishes for the unlikely to happen*

 

 

Exhibits

In the last few weeks, I have visited a couple of exhibitions. The first one (pre-hospital) was the “David Bowie is” one at the Groninger Museum. I had wanted to see it in London in 2013, but was unable to, since I was travelling to Berkeley that summer. *coughgodIsoundlikeanassholecough* Thankfully, I then learned that it was going to travel to Groningen, which is about 2 1/2 hours away from where I am, so as soon as the tickets went on sale, I snipered two of them: one for me and one for The Big Kahuna, aka my mom. This was sometime in November, way before he and Clark made a pact to leave this earth on sorta kinda the same day and go chill out together somewhere. File under: ways in which I try to cope with Clark’s death.

Anyway, enough about me. It was not allowed to take pictures, so the only picture I have is of the David Bowie cake type thing TBK had after the show:

Bowie cakeHow awesome? So awesome!

The next exhibition I dragged myself and TBK to, was the Covert to Overt – photography of Obey Giant by Jon Furlong one at the Melkweg Galery. I was fresh out of the hospital and too tired to live, but since this show was only going to be on for three days, I schlepped myself down there and took some pictures: click! More info about this exhibit can be found here.

And last but not least: Catwalk at the Rijksmuseum! Info about tickets and such can be found on their website, it is still on until the 16 of May. My pictures, with relevant and not so relevant captions, can be found here. Enjoy!

Unholy laughter

A thing that has most definitely not changed around here, is my inability to judge how long it takes me to select pictures and write captions. Having shuffeled (you really can’t call it walking) to not one but two exhibitions in the last week, I had hoped to share a couple of shots I’ve taken, but that’s still a work in progress that I’m hoping to get done sometime tomorrow.

To make up for this, have a video that has, since my introduction to it in the summer of 2011, been my go to in case of feeling Le Miserable. Yes, I think this is funny to the level of literal tears streaming down my face. Yes, you can judge me for basically having the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy, I judge myself for that too on occasion. Usually when I’m not semi-dying of laughter at this video:

 

*brb forming a band again*

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