Your friend LP

It's been real! 2011 – 2016

Month: April, 2014

Cleaning out my closet (literally) – part 2: The Make Up Stash

Way back in the days of Ye Olde Livejournal, someperson had an avatar a userpicture that said “a clean house is a sign of a broken computer” and it’s true. So a couple of weeks ago, during the second bout of No Internet to be precise, I decided to clean out my ri-di-cu-lous make up stash. Of course I took before and after pictures.

Let’s start with the before one (all pictures can be embiggened by clicking on them:

Bathroom before

Yup, everything on the left side and in the sink is make up. I know that it is an absurd amount of make up, especially for someone who nowadays mostly doesn’t even wear make up during the day (I did do my make up every day when I still worked). And while 99% of it is not of high end brands and 80% of the rest was bought on sale/at a discount, I am aware that all together, it still adds up to a significant amount of money… Hi! I’m LP, and my make up buying behaviours are on the addictive side. But considering my current stress levels and the fact that, of all the coping mechanisms I had/have in my life, this is the least toxic one, I have decided to just keep it “issue status: acknowledged” for now.

With my issues acknowledged and on full display, it’s time for the after picture:

Bathroom after overview

Pretty, right? 🙂 I feel like there is a joke in here somewhere about being ready for my close up now, with everything being organised and a couple of close(r) up pictures following, but I can’t find it. These are the top and middle shelves on the left:

Bathroom after Make up 1 + 2

This is the bottom shelf and the plant pot thingie I use for my brushes:

Bathroom after Make up 3  + brushes

I didn’t take close up pictures of the things on the right, because it’s hair stuff, face creams and tooth stuff, basically. If you are curious about any of the things, either on the left or the right, just ask me in the comments and I’ll gladly let you know what is what. The plastic containers I used are from my favorite store in the world, the HEMA. They are however not entirely truthful in their description of stuff that fits, as demonstrated in this side by side comparison:

Bathroom Hema not entirely truthful

The Q-tips, the nail polish and the lipstick are identical to the ones on the leaflet, so the whole “well, you didn’t use HEMA products, no wonder they don’t fit”-argument is invalid. But yeah, my make up. All organised. F*ckyeah!

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How the class was

Although it feels like a month ago because it’s one of those weeks in which everything you’ve been waiting months for happens at the same time because The Powers that Be woke up from hibernation apparently, it has been less than a week since I taught my class.

So, how was it? Well, quite a lot of people showed up. “24 people and me” according to The Big Kahuna, who is a wizard when it comes to counting the amount of people within a group in one go. Though some people had to leave earlier, nobody walked out unexpectedly. And most importantly: nobody threw things at me and I didn’t have to throw stuff at people, so I think we can say it was a success! But seriously, things went well. Of course I did beat myself up for hours afterwards for not remembering ONE F#@CKING WORD, because apparently becoming less of a neurotic special snowflake is a process with ups and downs. But now that I’m a bit further removed from it, I am okay with it all.

At first, I was afraid (I was petrified…) that I didn’t have enough material for a two hour class, but I ended up having to cut some examples due to time constraints. Thankfully, they weren’t really needed anyway, because everybody understood what they were supposed to do. I think that was the hardest part of the preparation: since the sessions are on a drop in basis and everybody is welcome, you never quite know how much explanation is needed. Though there were a couple of new visitors, none of them were absolute beginners, so the group was at quite a level, uh, level.

People were very receptive and some intense writing and rewriting was done, which was the point of the session, and I even got a couple of ladies to read out loud, so yay. Also, I might at some point have done a very toned down version of the Snoopy dance when somebody Got It. But let’s keep that between ourselves, okay?

So, in short: class done, people happy, f*ck yeah.
And now on to the next challenge: I have been cast (well, actually I cast myself, but that sounds way more Orson Welles than I’m comfortable with) as Witch #1 in Macbeth. Yes, I will be acting… I’m quite sure it’s going to be… interesting.

The What and the How of that Linguistics survey

So, remember that survey for actual trufax science I did in January, for my linguistics class? I seem to remember promising to give more details on The What and The How as soon as the complete results for that class were posted. This still hasn’t happened because of Reasons, and by the time it does happen, if ever, no1curr about this thing at all anymore. So I thought “Whatever, I’m just going to post this thing and get it over with”. But then I remembered this:

Students who make a completed assignment, exam or other piece of assessment available to other students without reason, are considered to be plagarising. The faculty sees this activity as undermining the education provided, and will confront the student concerning his/her responsibility for the quality of the study programme. The student will also need to consider that his/her work may be plagiarised by others. In cases of plagiarism, the Examinations Board will investigate whether the author of the source material was an accessory to the fraud. Students who grant access to their assignments, etc. online therefore run the risk of becoming involved in a plagiarism case.

I now wonder if I will get into trouble for posting this quote. *yells “Come for me!” because she watched way too many RuPaul episodes back to back earlier today* But yeah, this is (a part of) the departments “rules” regarding plagiarism. And on the other hand they’re complaining about students never working together. Gee, I wonder why. So I’ll just go for a short and non-specific explanation of what it was all about:

My hypothesis was that the ability to perceive the constitutive sounds of a word is affected by the pronunciation of that word in the native language of a test subject. And since in Dutch words starting with “ps” are pronounced as two separate sounds, I had expected the native Dutch speakers to pronounce English words starting with “ps” the same way, despite the “p” being silent. This would then mean that native Dutch speakers would more often give a higher (= incorrect) amount of sounds for a word starting with “ps” than the native English speakers.

I then compiled a list of 20 test items, 10 starting with an ‘s’ and 10 starting with ‘ps’, both pronounced as ‘s’ in English. And to deflect from what I was actually testing, I added 40 filler words and made sure all words were medical terminology. I set up my survey, found 10 native Dutch speakers (who of course also spoke English) and 10 native English speakers and away we went.

After studying the results, I realised that the way I had set up my experiment was unsound and that the results didn’t prove or disprove my hypothesis. Which is unfortunate, but not a huge issue, since a failed experiment is also an experiment and can be written about. I was even able to figure out solutions to all the issues that surfaced during this experiment, so it all worked out in the end. *all together now: “Yay!”*

Bio writing is hard, yo! (spoiler: I’m teaching a creative writing class!)

Hi, my name is LP and I had to write a biographical blurb about myself and it was An Ordeal. How I got myself into this pickle? Let’s start at the beginning: a group of students started a creative writing group guild, where once a month a person teaches a class. They also have critique sessions, but since I haven’t written anything other than rambly blogposts since this summer, I haven’t participated in them yet. I have heard only good things about them though. So when I came back from the Berk, I offered to share my knowledge acquired and teach a class. What I hadn’t counted on, was the need for a head shot and a bio. Oops.

In my notebook next to my pillow, where I scribble things while I’m mostly asleep, I found the following “Note to self: never again decide on anything within two weeks of returning from California. Make sure to let the oppressive mediocrity and hopeless despair of your Dutch existence saturate every fiber of your being before offering to do things that require bios and headshots.” Apparently I’m still a bitter bitch when I’m ¾ asleep.

But as Buckaroo Banzai says “No matter where you go, there you are” and well, here I was. Fortunately, the headshot was taken by a professional photographer who not only has mad photography skillz, but who’s also a magician apparently, making me look alive and well on a day that I felt like death warmed up. So that only left me with the bio writing. Oy vey.

First, there’s the strange referring-to-yourself-in-the-third-person thing. Second, I am 38 years old. I have lived an… unconventional life? A detoured life? A crazy beautiful life? Oh no, wait, that’s Kesha. Let’s just say that my life hasn’t followed the traditional school – study – job – marriage – kids path and that I’ve done a lot of different things in my life up to now. How was I to select the parts that are relevant, while also giving an (as) accurate (as possible) description of myself? And third: why wasn’t I taught this stuff at school? I went to Montessori, I learned a lot of strange stuff, a class on “How to write about yourself in the third person” wouldn’t have stood out AND would have been very useful! I’ve yet to put my awesome macramé skills to good use.

Frustrated, I wrote down a first attempt:

<Actual Trufax IRL Name> studies English at the University of Amsterdam. Most days she wishes she didn’t and had gone to art school instead. Not that she knows how to draw, but apparently she doesn’t know how to English either. She used to be awesome at ballet and figure skating about 20+ years ago and still hasn’t been able to top that. She also had an actual job once, one that made money. Well, a bit of money. She co-wrote a book that sold, but it’s out of print now. Despite calling herself a zinester and a (pronounce this really fast) shitstorywriter, she hasn’t written a zine in 1 1/2 years because she has been Eaten By Academia, but hey, who’s counting? She loves to write suffers from a compulsive need to write and has finally made her peace with it. Also, she was clearly manic when she agreed to teach this class.

I thought it was HI-LA-RI-OUS, mostly because it’s super bitter and kinda sad. Yes, I have a strange sense of humor, especially when it comes to myself. Of course I didn’t send this one out, because although in essence it’s true, it’s also the most unflattering way of rendering that truth. A bio should be realistic, but not too bitter. Lighthearted but not too quirky. It should mention past accomplishments, but not be too has-been-y (or worse, too never-was-y). It shouldn’t be too modest, but also not too braggy. And most of all, it shouldn’t be too inside joke-y. Clearly, my first attempt failed on all points, which I think is pretty impressive.

So, after rewrite 2 to 78, I ended up with 145 words and the amazing sentence “When she grows up, she wants to be Buckaroo Banzai, but in the meantime she’s trying to avoid having to move into a van down by the river”. Which I then had to cut when chopping it down to 100 words. 😦

So, with the bio done, it’s on to the good part: the preparation and eventually the teaching of the class itself, which I’m REALLY looking forward to! Peeps interested in attending my class on Short Story Editing (it’s in Amsterdam on the 9th of April from 18:00 to 20:00, all ages and levels welcome), can email me at LogPoes@gmail.com for deets.