red giant

red giant

so time’s a-wooshing by. I’ve been to barcelona for work, which was lovely! the city, that is. i worked hard and the client was extremely welcoming and pleasant. usually when i train on location, it’s harder to get everyone to shut the hell up and listen to me, because i’m treading on their turf and they feel more secure in their shit stirring since they are at home, with their own colleagues, and it’s an odd day, etc. not our barcelona client, though! it was all warm smiles, genuine thankyou’s, and eagerness to learn. they were lovely!

because the hotels in the city were all overbooked because of some mobile event that was going on, i was booked into a b&b in sitges, which is a 50 min trainride away from the client site. the b&b is owned by a lady that used to be one of our clients (i trained her way the fuck back when in 2010 i think) and she showed me around. i didn’t have much time for sightseeing because between the spanish long workdays (they go on longer, since they take 1.5hr lunchbreak) and the two hour commute, i didn’t get home until 8pm. unfortunately i couldn’t see the gorgeous promenades and meditteranean bay by day, but even by night it was stunningly pretty. and the weather! omg! 18-20C and sunny, such a different from the dreary rainy 5C that we had here!

so it was a lovely 48 hours in barcelona, and a return home at midnight. the next day i worked from home, and i still had to do two webinars. i was kind of exhausted.

then the weekend came and we went to celebrate IJdo and Carolien’s bachelors party. they did their party together, since they kind of share the group of friends and they didn’t want to break up according to gender. we went lasergaming (Tijs owned everyone’s asses, i was semi-alright, and Olli used the second game to film everything, the movie is fantastic!) then we went for dinner and a few drinks, and we were home by midnight. i think we’re getting old; nobody felt like partying all night. :’)

and lastly, i’m currently planning a book presentation with a few fellow authors. it’s going to be a fun day, if all goes the way we want it! it’ll be less of a book presentation and more of an event, where the books are also presented, but people who want to attend have to buy at least one book, and we’re going to do workshops and stuff. should be fun!

of course that just makes me realise that the book’s coming out in five weeks. i’m getting more and more nervous… what if the readers don’t feel the feels i felt when i wrote the thing? what if my execution is shit? what if they think it sucks? what if they hate my changed ending? what if they think i took the easy way out? (it’s not, this makes it actually HARDER but i’m afraid people won’t understand). anxiety is part of the process, i know, i know…

lastly, ‘red giant’ by barrows might very well become my song of the year. yes, i know this ALREADY. just check it out. this song is so bloody amazing. that buildup to the riff, that false climax, that second buildup and then that PAYOFF just makes me a little bit wet, if you get my drift. this song couldn’t be any more perfect if it tried.

youtube says it’s psychedelic space rock, but don’t listen to them. it’s just very well executed post-metal. instrumental, and so fucking tightly played. love it love it love ittttt!

saturday afternoon chats

saturday afternoon chats

another week gone by. i was back to work on monday and apart from some light sniffling, the cold/flu thing seems to have cleared up by now. the great thing was that all of my winter lurgy seems to have faded as well; i felt pretty good all week. i was on top of my huge to-do list at work, despite the fact that every minute was spent tackling that thing, i never felt stressed out. instead i was pretty accomplished with all the stuff i did; i even got some ideas for improvement on our internal processes (the magic idea? video instructions instead of webinars. that’s going to save us SO MUCH TIME). that felt pretty good!

yesterday i was in amsterdam, helping tijs out with his new pad. he and kat finally got an apartment that’s bigger than a stamp. size-wise, it’s kind of comparable to what we had in the siriusstraat, which is perfect for two people. it just needs a lot of work, because the place is completely bare. so there’s a lot of work to do. olli’s already been there twice, and i spent yesterday painting the ceiling of the living room.

when the evening came, my neck and upper arms were aching something fierce, so i spent the night soaking in our bath tub. that seems to have helped, because now on saturday i’m just a little stiff.

in unrelated news, i’ve been managing my calorie intake for the past month, and i’m happy to report that there’s 2.5kg gone by now. so if all goes well, i’ll be hitting double digits by the end of march. i’m making plans to finally start going to the swimming pool when i come back from barcelona. because you know; tracking those calories just drives home how useful it is to get off your lazy butt and do something? walking bodhi for 20 mins is good for 100 kcal; so it even makes going on longer walks with the puppy more attractive. :D
i’m proud of myself for finally doing something again. i’ve felt like a fat slob for so long, and all my friends are now doing healthy things and slimming down… i don’t wanna stay behind and be fat all on my own. :(

…i just realised i never talked about barcelona. or malta. yes. well, work’s been internationalising over the past year, so i get to go on internation trips now once in a while. this november i was in prague, tomorrow i’ll go to barcelona for two days, and at the end of next month, i’ll be in malta.

this all sounds more adventurous than it really is, because most time i’ll be spending inside an office, training people, and the rest of it being utterly exhausted or on the way to the airport, but still. it’s adventure! especially malta; that’s the furthest i’ll have traveled in my life. also their IT guy is really sympathetic, so if that’s an indication of the rest of the company, i should be in for a pleasant time. on the downside, that’s *exactly* when i’ll receive my print test for Bloed, so it might be a bit stressy after all. oh well, we’ll see. between the international trips, the wedding of ijdo and caro, and everything else, this winter is pretty goddamn busy!

standing on the edge of the crater like the prophets once said

standing on the edge of the crater like the prophets once said

it’s so funny how it goes, with concert cycles and everything. it seems to be that I have on-years and off-years where it goes to festivals and concerts. disclaimer: of course even during my off-years I still see more concerts than most people, but that’s really not the point. It probably has to do with favourite bands having new albums coming out every two years or so, so then it’s time to see them again. last year was a bit of an off-year, where I skimped out on going to certain concerts (I should have gone to Cult of Luna, stupid) and festivals (Dunk!festival, *sob*), but this year this seems to be not the case.

motherfucking GHOST BRIGADE!! :D

it’s now february and i’ve already had two major great concerts: Ghost Brigade and Toundra, both in patronaat in Haarlem. I would have gone to Insomnium next month as well, but then i’ll be in malta for work, so shit out of luck there. soon, insomnium… soon… i think you’re the As I Lay Dying of this decade for me: the band that i keep missing out on for various reasons until the day i’ll FINALLY fucking be able to catch them.

but let’s talk about ghost brigade and toundra, because seriously, that was soooo good.
ghost brigade i saw last week; on valentine’s day. because, you know, who cares about being romantic when you can go see ghost brigade, right? they were fantastic. the setlist was terrific (seriously they played everything i wanted to hear: into the black light, breakwater, clawmaster, wretched blues, and they ended with ellama on tulta, which was fantastic. you know that thing with the outro that lasts just a little bit too long on album? turns out when it’s live, that’s fucking amazing because you really don’t want the song to end), the crowd was into it, and i finally got to rock out to ‘ellama on tulta’ in real life, which made my month. i had such major muscle aches in my neck the next day… i really needed a good metal concert, it seems. :D had the chance to thank the singer afterwards as well, which is always nice. he’s shy as hell, omg! kind of adorbs.

the guitarist from toundra – that’s how close he was to me. i nearly got whacked with his guitar in the face a couple of times. :D

and then toundra last night! they played in patronaat café and for some reason, the show was for free. so we were in this café and it was pretty much packed, and we were on the band’s lap. seriously, i had to watch not to get the guitar in my face; the guitarist was quite expressive and bouncing around. they were so expressive and smiley and full of energy, it was so much fun. i had this one moment where i squealed because i recognised the intro from cielo negro so i squealed about it to either brenda or olli next to me, and the guitarist heard me and he gave me just the biggest grin. it must be amazing to come all the way to the netherlands from spain and find out that people KNOW YOUR SONGS and that they are fans! again, fantastic setlist (i rocked the fuck out to cielo negro and ara caeli and magreb and oh, zanzibar and kitsune and and… well, you get the point), and a beautiful energy in the room. and when i came to buy merchandise from them, the guitarist actually THANKED me because i gave him so much energy :D

good times, good times.
did i ever mention that i LIVE for this shit?

it was worth nearly dying with coughing because i’ve been sick this week. :’)

so this is the final form

so this is the final form

i finished Bloed yesterday afternoon.

i’m trying to make not such a big deal of it because god, my friends must be getting REALLY FUCKING SICK with me talking about it all the time, but i’m really fucking pleased with how those hundreds of hours (not kidding here) have paid off. i’ve seen its final form and it’s kind of beautiful. funnily enough i’m still at 74K when all’s said and done, so i haven’t even lost any words in the editing process. the new ending gave me 2K extra, which i promptly lost in other places because wow, i tend to really bog down during action scenes. what’s up with my characters, that they sit down to wax poetically about The State Of Things while things around them are LITERALLY exploding? i so need to work on that. anyway, that crap’s gone now, and i’m comfortably at 74K again, as if nothing was changed in the first place. that probably means that the book will probably end up with roughly 270 pages, which is good enough for me.

i can’t believe i took that motherfucker down, though. it’s been seven weeks, give or take, in which i used pretty much every free moment i had to edit the snot out of the story. seven weeks and it feels like forever. now all i have to do is wait for the print preview, make some final edits in the setting/print, and then we’re finally fucking done. *sobgiggle*

then this baby is born. my second baby :’)