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 :’)

so you think you can ride that chocobo

so you think you can ride that chocobo

The past few weeks have been nothing but work, editing, and playing FF13-2 whenever I felt sick of the other two – so it’s been pretty quiet on the Lannie side.

Just before Christmas I received my first 80 pages of material for editing and the request to completely rewrite the ending. I basically had to retcon a character death that had been in my heart for the past six years and it’s been very heavy going. While I now realise that it’s for the better that she lives and the whole thematical character arc might be better, I had this hugely impacting, tragic and painful ending, and I had to change that. I am so very terrified that people will feel like it was a cop-out, that I didn’t *dare* to go into that darkness, that I feel pretty shitty about the whole deal, even though I feel like i did manage to put in some very clear emotional punches there. It’ll yank on the feels, I hope, it’s just less heavy on the devastation.

Apart from that it’s been re-read, edit, edit the edits, re-read, edit, rinse & repeat on most of the story. We’re now at the last 50 pages and I’ve read this story so many times now that I am sick of it. Thankfully my proofreaders are amazing and they help me lots, and my editor is nothing short of fantastic, and I don’t get why I’m whining because I am living the dream, aren’t I? But it’s the third week of January, work is busy, the additional workload of editing is heavy (srsly i’m making 60 hour workweeks right now, when you add the edits to my normal workload) and I guess I’m just a bit tired.

I’m unwinding by playing FF13-2, which is basically my reward system. While the plot is shakey and has holes that you could drive a truck through and I want to stab Noel in the face, the battle system is lovely and the missions are fun, so I’m having huge amounts of fun anyway. The game doesn’t take itself hugely seriously (I am solving spacetime anomalies with puzzles that are a mix of connect-the-dots and memory) and the music is a mixed bag of awful (the jpoppy soundtrack) and amazing (the battle sequences and the crazy chocobo theme), but it’s fun enough. It keeps me off the streets.

Having said that, next week we’re off to Conception. I am SO ready for a vacation :D