Your friend LP

It's been real! 2011 – 2016

Category: Opinions I haz them

Facebook

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.

Trudging through molasses

In the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with writing blogposts. Part of it is time and energy: I’ve had deadlines every week for the last couple of weeks and this will unfortunately continue for the foreseeable future. The rest of it is that I am really done with writing posts about my studies and more specifically the type of “I am frustrated because nobody at that place knows how to plan and/or communicate said (lack of) plans in a proper way, making me have to schedule and reschedule my schedule all the #@$#$@ time”-posts. Unfortunately, this is a very big part of my life right now.

It is SO terribly frustrating to have EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY. be like trudging through molasses and to continuously have “emergencies” on my part pop up due to bad planning and awful communication on their part. Every time I manage to solve one of these “emergencies”, a new one presents itself at the most inconvenient time. For some reason, The Powers That Be seem to think that students have nothing going on in their lives besides waiting for their half-baked instructions, that then get reworked and updated again at least 5 times. There are few things in life that I hate as having my time wasted and right now, that’s what happening.

Unsurprisingly, I am having the hardest time keeping myself motivated and staying positive. Which is a bummer, as I was doing so well with the whole debittering and basically fooling myself that I’m somebody else. On Thursday, I’ll hopefully know how to handle the latest hurdle that has quite unexpectedly been thrown in front of me, and on Friday I have yet another deadline for a paper that will hopefully make me pass a class, so I’m forcing myself to continue despite wanting to just pack my bags and my cat and start walking in a general direction of Paris. This weekend however, I’m going to 1) go shopping and 2) finish up my Sketchbook Project 2015 entry. I will of course take pictures and write a blogpost about it. I’m seriously looking forward to it.

Back on my feet – sorta

Some of you might have noticed that I didn’t update last Sunday: I unfortunately got struck by the tail end of the Sonic Deathflu™ that was making its rounds around here. My illness was short but heavy, only by Thursday was I well enough to venture outside for a doctor’s visit, who concluded that it was indeed the Sonic Deathflu™ and nothing more serious. I am still extremely tired, but will be starting classes again this Tuesday.

In the meantime all sorts of things have happened at the UvA: the Bungehuis building that was occupied by students was evacuated by riot police, and now the Maagdenhuis building is being occupied. I am quite curious what, if anything, will come out of all the talking and consenting finger-waving happening there at the moment. I personally feel zero need to involve myself with the proceedings, as I personally don’t believe (the Humanities at) the UvA can be “saved”, nor that they should be saved in their current incarnation, really. Had I known beforehand what I know now, I would have never even started this degree, let alone at this particular university, but now that I’m “stuck” here, I just want to get it over with and leave, never to return again. Just 10 more months.

This “getting it over with” is slowly but surely moving forward: I just got word that I passed the linguistics class I did the questionaire for, so I will soon be writing a post on the what and the how of what I was researching. But first I have to rewrite the rewritten version of the second first draft of my thesis proposal, to be handed in this week. Wish me luck!

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! 🙂

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.

Summer Bloggin’ Day 14: On Zines

July is, as always, International Zine Month, which has an awesome calendar with things to do for each day. One day, I will do all the things on that list, but not this year: I am prioritising actually WRITING a zine (or two). It’s been so long since my last zine that I almost feel like I can’t claim being a zinester anymore.

Things I will be doing is catch up on the zine world: I am also completely out of the loop regarding zines that have come out and/or that are a must read, even from my favorite zinesters. I will also be going through my zine collection and see if there are zines I am ready to part with, and find a new home for them. It just feels like a waste to have zines locked up in a box where they could be in a zine library somewhere, being read and enjoyed by many. And it’s of course also part of my ongoing sepsis attempt to downside my belongings to half a shipping container. Yes, including furniture. Which is still quite an amount of stuff for one person and a cat, really.

I have also been thinking a lot about my ~future~ as a zine maker. Between me being a total disaster at self promotion/networking, there not being much of a zine community in The Netherlands and both printing and postage costs rising significantly, I’m not sure how long it will make sense for me to have printed copies of my zines available. While it does break my heart a little as one of the main reasons I love zines is the tangibility of it, I do write zines because I want them to be read: having boxes of my unsold/untraded zines gathering dust on top of my drawer is completely useless. Just putting them online as a pdf on Issuu would be easier and cheaper, but still, I’m conflicted. Any thoughts/ideas are, as always, welcome.

Summer Bloggin’ Day 6: Nails & Thoughts (while waiting for the nails to dry) (part 2)

Part 1 can be found here.

So while in London I of course bought some new nail polishes, because I am a shopaholic, basically. Have a lovely “definitely staged and reworked to make the colours seem more like they actually are”-picture:

Barry M polishes

From left to right we have 356 Berry Cosmo, 349 Rose Quartz Glitter (this is a re-buy), 273 Raspberry and 421 Bikini, which is a limited edition gift with purchase colour. It’s also really pretty.

Of course I again had some wonderfully random thoughts while waiting for the polish to dry, that will most likely prove that I just don’t understand life, really. Here we go!

– For the longest time, I thought Sex and the City was a comedy, as in: a parody. Apparently it’s not, and there are heaps of women who take it very seriously and who aspire to be like the ladies in the series. This still baffles me like whoa.

– In the same vein: all those misogynistic “b*tches on my d*ck”-type lyrics? I thought they were ~ironic~, in the sense of “what is the most offensive thing I can think of to say?”, and then say it. You know, a bit like school kids yell “Pooop!” and feel like they’re all cool ‘n shit? Or maybe I was right and it is? Is there somebody out there who knows more about this lyrical phenomenon?

– Semi-related because lyric-y: the Rum Tum Tugger out of the musical Cats. Apparently, he’s “a curious cat”. This statement is backed up by the following lyrics

“If you offer me pheasant, I’d rather have grouse
If you put me in a house, I would much prefer a flat
If you put me in a flat, then I’d rather have a house
If you set me on a mouse, then I only want a rat
If you set me on a rat, then I’d rather chase a mouse”

Uhm, no. Everyone who’s ever been around a cat can tell you this only proves that the Rum Tug Tugger is a completely ordinary cat. A terrible bore that is always on the wrong side of every door: yes. But not a curious cat. Thinking about this also reminded me how I absolutely loathe Cats the musical and how disgustingly catchy it is.

But what I mostly thought about was how useless it was that I was doing my nails, as I’m starting a week of screenprinting workshops tomorrow. Oh well…

Nails & thoughts (while waiting for the nails to dry)

It’s the first week of a new semester and like always, it feels like the calm before the storm. Well, the relative calm, because of course I am still waiting for results from last semester, half my books aren’t here yet, and I am waiting for Executive Decisions from The Powers That Be. But hey, I attended a screening of Shakespeare in Love last night, which was a lot funnier than I remembered, and went to a very entertaining poetry reading this afternoon, so yay. File under: debittering.

Also filed under debittering: I have apparently also reentered an ~I LOOOVE doing mah nailz~ phase. I really don’t know what triggers it, but I go for months without putting crap on my nails polishing my nails and then I get back into it hardcore. I’ve tried photographing today’s adventure (Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in 43 Miami pINK, tipped off with Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in 40 I’m Dynamite) but all pictures came out horrid. So you’ll have to use your imagination.

And because I’m quite sure that there’s nothing you like to know more than the things I think about while I do my nails, a short list of Things I Think About While Waiting for My Nail Polish to Dry:

– Why are California gurls undeniable? The song just states that they are, but gives no reason. And I also want proof, because I’m quite sure there must be California girls that get denied all sorts of stuff on a regular basis. Or is that because they aren’t gUrls? And also: how is that “we’ll melt your popsicle”-metaphor supposed to make any sense? And is there a link between that metaphor and having no clue how anatomy works because of the lack of sex ed in American schools?

– What is up with the whole “to be deleted” trend? I’ve been seeing it more and more recently, mostly on Tumblr, and I just don’t understand. Has “to be deleted”, like “to the left”, turned into an idiomatic expression meaning something along the lines of “this post contains really private and/or TMI information, reader beware” or do people actually mean that they’re going to be deleting their post? And if it’s the latter, why would you post something knowing that you’re going to delete it later? What is the point? *so confused*

– I know it’s a proverb and it shouldn’t be taken literally but people, can we for a moment discuss how the proverb “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” is not only ablist as f*ck, but also just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever? I mean, if there was a land in which EVERYONE is completely blind, wouldn’t you think they’d arranged their society and public life in a way in which sight is of zero relevance, let alone importance?

I’m a right philosopher, I am. Sweater Dude ain’t got nothing on me. Answers, thoughts and/or pointers in a general direction are, as always, welcome. And now, on to printing a 40 page article on somekindoflinguisticphenomenon that has to be read before tomorrow morning, 9 am. I know.

Waiting makes you old

For some reason, I do some of my best thinking in the shower. Complete, coherent, structured stories and blogposts just materialise while I’m rinsing some fancy conditioner out of my hair. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found a way to record my thoughts while I’m actually IN the shower, so (not unlike those brilliant, world changing epiphanies that strike me 3 seconds before falling asleep that I’m never able to remember when I wake up) those wonderful, fully developed blogposts are more often than not three quarters forgotten by the time I’m wrapping a towel around my hair. What follows are the remains of one of those magical blogposts, because the subject matter is relevant to my life right now and I want to post it to either elaborate on or refer to at some later point. So, here we go:

I was in the shower, thinking about how destructive waiting is and how much waiting I’ve been doing recently. Being someone who is always trying to get to something or get to somewhere, you could say that I am always waiting for things to be finished (zines, essays, exams) and dates to arrive (graduations, shows from favorite bands, the new RuPaul episode), but that to me is different: they’re either happy things that I’m anticipating or there is clearly an active element of working towards things where I do have (some) influence on the process (write faster!).

The kind of waiting I’ve been, I’m tempted to say suffering from in the last few Idon’tevenknowhowlongs has been the draining kind of waiting. [While I’m thinking all this, a song by my favorite Belgian musician Daan pops up in my head in which he sings “I’m not waiting, waiting makes you old”. I haven’t thought of this song in at least 6 years. Welcome to my brain.]

Amongst other things, in the last 6 months I’ve been waiting for grades, for people to email me back, for paperwork, for permissions, for letters promised that never arrived, for information, for medical results, for me to stop feeling so miserable, for my studies to finally stop s*cking, for my new neighbour finally to buy some damn headphones (for the record: he did! It took him a year, but he did! Everybody rejoice!), for me to know where I’m at, for me to be able to make some decisions and for my life to finally start going forward again. Because all this waiting just makes my general existence feel very stagnant, like I’m on stand by. It’s getting pretty old. And so am I.

Activism is the new black

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a lecture at Spui 25 by Dr. Gaston Franssen on how the concept/practice of being a writer has changed since the second world war. He (amongst other things) argued that in this day of online media, being a writer is more than writing, it’s also projecting the image of (what other people think it means to be) a writer. He of course did this way more eloquently and I was really glad that despite it being ridiculously cold I decided to go.

One of the things he mentioned was capitalism’s well known tendency to commodify everything. He used the way hippie terminology (Natural! Free! Green! and the like) has been used to sell anything from avocados to cars as an example.

Today I got two newsletters: one was trying to sell me Rage, the anarchy edition for the PS3 that I don’t have and the other one promised me AXE Anarchy deodorant for her as a gift with purchase if I bought something else I didn’t know I needed. Which, together with this picture I took sometime in January

Activism is so hip...

and the fact that for a while now everybody who, at some point or another, has expressed an opinion (that might or might not have been their own) refers to themselves as “an activist”, seems to indicate that we have A Trend on our hands…