Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chapter75 will go on as THE BLOG EDITOR!

BLISSFULNESS! It's finally! Gosh, this new blog name has given me some nerve-wracking days...Even after following instructions carefully, the internet would not let me connect my blog to my new custom domain, and even with the help of many forums, I could not figure out how to fix it! Mitchell's friend put some great efforts in helping me out over WhatsApp, but whatever we tried, things remained the same. It was day 3 and I had almost given up hope at that point. Eventually I went to Elonisas in Nijmegen, whom I am FOREVER THANKFUL! One of the guys did some smart-computer-guy-stuff on his PC, and then it was all fixed, just like that. I was pretty amazed.

Okay so you might think, What the heck is up with this blog name change?! Good point. Well, thing is that I never was quite content with my previous blog name, Chapter75. Almost one year ago, I felt the need to set up a blog again to have a space to share the many things that I wanted to share. Even though I had already an impressive list of possible blog posts before the first was even published, coming up with a blog name appeared the most difficult thing. IT'S SO HARD! I came up with a dozen names, but a dozen others had already thought of it first. I looked at the internet for inspiration........only to come across messages like: "If you are so original to start your own blog, you should at least be original enough to come up with your own name..." I could be original enough to come up with a thousand names that are not yet claimed by other bloggers, but besides the name being original, the blog owner, in this case myself, should like it as well!! More importantly: it should suit the blog owner! I mean, it's your BLOG'S NAME. It's what everyone will see first when visiting your blog, meaning it's super important, and no matter how original your name is, if it doesn't suit you, it doesn't make any sense. So yea, being frustrated - I really wanted to drop articles on a blog - I just put the first OK name that wasn't already taken. I knew this cool cocktail bar that had the word "Chapter" and some number following as its name, and it sounded cool, so I just put another random number and surprisingly, the first number I tried worked - the domain was free for me to use. So I just went with it. No meaningful story behind that name. It's like a tattoo that does not stand for any health-promoting spirit or passed-away loved one, but is rather put into permanentness because the owner "kinda liked it",

The best ideas come at night when coming home drunk. Or maybe just sometimes. And maybe just when you're only OK-drunk, somewhere between tipsy and barfing-drunk. I came home one night by myself, scrolled through my Instagram-feed (great thing about following a lot of foreigners is that people post a lot at night) and I just read the words "the edit" somewhere, which made my alcohol-drenched brain think of "the blog editor". I liked it right away, so I checked if the domain was still available and then bought it just there, in the middle of the night. Then I texted my mom to see if she thought this new name was cool (I expected her to agree, as I knew she didn't like the name Chapter 75 at all, as in, her and dad couldn't memorize it - and she was kinda right though. Part of the problem was that the name was too hard). I went to sleep, dizzy but excited, and woke up the next morning to find out that I wasn't able to change blog names yet, uuughhhhh#@&%*$!

Peace has returned, and now I'm writing my first post to my freshly named blog! Woohoo!!

The next thing the reader might wonder is: Is there any less randomness in The Blog Editor compared to Chapter 75? Sure there is! Glad you asked. Part of the reason why I liked The Blog Editor immediately when I first thought of it, is because I felt it suits me at least more than my previous blog name did. It may seem far-fetched but....Did I ever mention that it is my dream job to become editor-in-chief of an (online) magazine when I grow up?! (becoming a freelance writer and photographer makes a fair second) So yea, the word "editor" somewhat stands for some long awaited goals...:-) Anyhow, a blogger is usually its own editor, so 'the blog editor' makes sense, right?

Google tells me 'editor' means 'publisher' in Latin *Be aware of the Latin nerd coming in right now* from the Latin verb "edere" which they claim means "to produce, to put out" (or, according to wikipedia, "to bring forth, to bring about"...but last time I checked, "edere" meant "to eat"...which would make an "editor" "someone who eats"...which would change nothing about the suitableness of my new blog name to me tho. (I really need to review my Latin, I think I'm starting to lose it. Latin was one of my fav subjects in high school and it really got my wonder why I always like things that are completely useless for further life and things like career, and, I don't know, installing a new freakin domain on your own blog?! To me this confirms only more the life-view that I have of the "unfair world", in which all delicious food is unhealthy, all fun classes are useless, all good-looking guys are taken (I'm guilty in this one), everything costs money, innocent people get killed, only christians go to heaven.........It's so messed up, like, what God would come up with this nonsense! For real)

My laptop is about to die......and I'm too lazy to get up and get the charger (I do agree I am an absurdly lazy piece of person, although physically, and I do not find it fair when people say I'm generally lazy! Because I am by farrrrr mentally lazy, like, I would do the Olympics if only I had Mathilda's brain!) so I'm just going to say BYE to you all & go to bed, because I'll be meeting up with Janne tomorrow (Who took the picture in this blog, All photo credits to her) and I need my sleep to come at least close to her fabulousness.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Croquet et Croquettes 2016

Croquet & Croquettes is the event my sorority/fraternity Ovum Novum may be best known for. Every year in May, one of the groups of gentlemen consisting out of individual ON members of different years - called HG Sabre - organize the Croquet & Croquettes tournament, to which students from other associations are also invited - the reason why the event is so widely known. Although the main activity is a croquet tournament, another thing of importance is the unlimited amount of croquettes that guests can enjoy, while drinking champagne (this is indeed a great combination). Oysters and cocktails are equally present. Ladies and gentlemen are expected to dress up - ladies wearing large hats and pastel dresses or skirts, men wearing spencers or suits - and thus completing the whole scene of gentility and decency. During the day live music is being played, guests play croquet, eat croquettes, drink champagne, chill at the fatboys laid down onto the grass, socialize, and laugh and chat away. At the end of the day there’s barbecue food and an indoor after party to top it off.

To us this is perfect entertainment. You could tell by the ambiance that everyone was having fun. The bright weather had a large share in this. The day was very laid back and relaxing - although not in a Netflix-kinda way. Perhaps that is because everyone looked so incredibly beautiful for the occasion! We don’t dress up like that on a daily base. It’s so completely different from what the girls mostly wear when we’re having an intern party at Ovum Novum’s club different that is from the glamourous way everyone looked at C&C!

Another reason why C&C is commonly known: in the days after, beautiful photographs of the events and its guests are all over the internet. Everyone suddenly adds a new profile picture on Facebook. Everyone looked pretty so of course they all want to be in the picture, but even more because of the quality of the photographs of previous years - everyone wants a photo like that. Photographs from previous years were the work of Tobias van Stijn, someone who taught me a lot of what I know about photography. As I'm in the photography committee of ON, I had hoped he'd ask for our assistance this year, as I would most readily want to volunteer - but when I asked if any assistance was preferable, I heard he had not asked the committee, neither did he have needed assistance in previous years.

Then, perhaps 3 days before the event took place, I received a message from Tobias himself. He wasn't able to make it this year, and the photographer who would replace him had just broken his arm. He was in desperate need of a replacement, and had first thought of me. I could hardly imagine why me, but apparently some of my photos that I had put on the internet were enough to make him feel that I could do it. Of course I was up for the job. I felt very honoured, while at the same time quite pressured, as many guests expected much of the photographs taken at C&C, comparable to previous years. Not to mention that the photographs are important for the way both C&C and ON are presented to outsiders. How could I ever meet those expectations!

Eventually it all turned out pretty well. I was fairly content with what I had produced, and I worked my butt off to get hundreds of pictures through Adobe Lightroom before morning's dawn. Besides the positive feedback, seeing all the new profile pictures on FB that came from my hands was an enormous compliment! I was glad I took the opportunity, not only because of the result, but equally because of the great day I had walking around that field, clicking away with my camera! I was repeatedly asked if I was enjoying myself, concerned that I couldn't bear taking photos all day long, while I may have had the most fun of all!

In this blog post some of the pictures that I took at C&C are featured. All pictures that were taken that day can be found here (pictures by me, Tobias van Stijn and Dante Tatipata).

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MUST-READ The Girls by Emma Cline

After hearing multiple people talk with great enthusiasm about "The Girls" on social med, and it sounded much as if this enthusiasm was different from the enthusiasm  readers of 50 Shades of Grey tend to express (a book so awfully written, that I couldn't bear reading any further than the first chapter) I got curious to this debute novel by Emma Cline. As I thought of it as a light read perfect for the holidays, I took it with me on a relaxing holiday to Curacao. There it took me only a few days to finish it, something that only the empty hours of a relaxing holiday allow now I'm not in elementary school anymore, and I liked it a lot more than I'd expected from a 21st century novel.

I think of The Girls as an incredibly well-written and entertaining story. Refreshing, would be the word, for it was completely different from most popular books of this era. It's not so much about love and romance, neither about a life most of us can relate to, but yet it is comprehensible, and rather interesting because the subject was quite unknown to me.

I will try not to spoil too much of the story, but I feel like some explanation on the plot would be preferable here. The book is written from the perspective of Evie Boyd, who, as a late-adult, looks back at this one particular summer of her teenage-life, in 1969. Being only a 14-years-old and rather unpopular, having only one actual friend and divorced parents, Evie is not quite a happy teen. Then one day she notices a group of girls at the park, of which one in particular, named Suzanne, and she is fascinated by them. Coincidence makes her run into Suzanne twice more, and the latter time she is invited to come with them to a place called "the ranch". It turns out these girls are involved in some sort of cult, and they all admire the spiritual-ish leader Russell as if he were a god. To Evie, the ranch is a wonderful place: none is greedy, everyone loves each other, freedom is all over, just like rebelliousness and equality. It doesn't matter that they are poor, they have and love each other and that's more than Evie ever had before. Becoming obsessed with Suzanne, Evie gets more and more involved in the cult herself, and therefore also in more and more in some darker stuff...

While reading, it becomes sort of logical while Evie wants to be part of the group at the ranch. Where many others would have turned away from it, Evie was in the right position to be drawn towards it, and even though the descriptions may not actually make you feel as if you'd like to be there yourself (like in the way readers desperately desire to be at Hogwarts), it still gives you the feeling that it makes sense why Evie does want to be a part of it.

Besides the story, I found Emma Cline's writing style rather pleasing. Her way of describing things was sometimes extraordinary, but at the same time right on. For example, when describing the way the main character was feeling when she thought of her own boring and awkward life compared to the adventurous ones the people of the cult had, she wrote: "...Reclining in the dentist's chair, hands politely in my lap, while Dr. Lopes worked in my mouth, his gloves slick with my idiot drool.". Her choices of words and phrases, her use of metaphors, her almost poetical style of writing, create the sort of tone that makes the book so great. It's straight-up brilliance. I like stories that are beautifully and brilliantly written, like a song with deep meaning sung by a beautiful voice. When surroundings and characters are not just boldly described to explain something quickly, but when they are vaguely described to create certain feelings, visualizing something more intense than a precise description ever would, as the image comes with certain flavours, smells and emotions as well. It's such a delight.

The Girls is the product from a great story told in a great way. A book to my heart.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

I love my bathing suit but my boyfriend hates it!!

You might have noticed that it's been a bit quiet on the blog lately, and those who already follow me on Instagram may know that I've spend past three weeks in Thailand. I was on Koh Phi Phi only days ago! It's crazy how fast time flies, and Thai time seemed to go even faster than time does here. We had three weeks, two of which we spent on diehard traveling around the mainland, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and in-between, then back to the south where we lived the island life for a couple of days before returning to the ever-cold Netherlands. Here another exciting week is waiting: together with some others I'll be leading a group of new students through their orientation week, which is, some orientation and a lot of partying and fun. (Lord, help me)

Surely more detailed posts about our Thailand trip will be featured on the blog, it's just not on top of the list now (I hate myself for somehow creating an endless To Post-list, but I promise Thailand news will be somewhere in the middle, so it will be here eventually! for real. In the meantime I'll keep wondering how other bloggers manage to keep up with their blog and seem to synchronize their life & blogposts in some way, while I feel like I should be in prison so I'll have seas of time to catch up!) Here's something not quite so much Thailand-related, but the photos where shot at the Thai island Koh Phi Phi: wearing my black kinda-basic bathing suit!!! To be honest this is not what my perfect black bathing suit looks first I was looking for something somewhat more revealing, but I didn't succeed so much, when at the end of last summer I found this piece forgotten in the sales department, and took it home. I had almost forgotten about it, so I renewed my search for a black bathing suit when suddenly this old fellow turned up somewhere! Now I actually like it a lot, although my dear boyfriend disagrees.....he much prefers a bikini over a one-piece bathing suit, probably for some obvious man-ish reasons that we should not care for when getting dressed!! I must say that I find this bathing suit much more comfortable than most of the bikinis I've ever had, plus you don't have to suck in your belly all the time when wearing one ;-)

Besides getting to wear nice swimwear, there's really nothing fancy about going to the beach. For example, my hair and the sea are not a great match. I know beach waves are legit & everything, but at the same time it must be an all-known fact that "tbeach waves" is a nice term to make a hairdo sound nice that really is "wild, untameable and tangled"... After making a fashion-statement with those beach waves at the beach - read: forgot to tie up my hair before getting into the water, then having it all wet so there was no way to tie it anymore - I am extremely glad to get rid of those damned beach waves in the shower, when I soaked my hair in a whole bucket of conditionner.

Second inconvenience when at the beach: I feel freaking nervous the entire time, would I bring my camera-baby or my cell phone, for someone greedy to steal my stuff! Not so much for the stuff itself, but the more for the thousands of irreplaceable photos that they contain! When these photos in this post where taken, I first bought an entire new memory card so I could safely leave my others, filled with what's good for three weeks of memories, at home.

Well, what's more to this awesome beach look that is so well-thought put together? Besides a one-piece bathing suit covering so much of your body to leave something for imagination, and some sticky and salty beach waves, all you need is a pair of sunglasses to cover your make-upless eyes and a pair of hairy legs (i swear I shave, that shit just grows faster than the blink of an eye), and you're totally beach ready! That's the very best thing about the beach: you don't have to think much before going, besides "will this shit last in the water" (keys and money may also be something that should be thought of as well) and you can pretty much leave your house with your "I woke up like this"-self!

Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gurl, I like your style!.....Manou and her dungarees in Amsterdam

Me and Manou went into Amsterdam for a museum visit a little while ago, and as it was a beautiful sunny day I got some pictures while we were there - INCLUDING some of my friend Manou herself!! She was wearing these lovely denim dungarees on a striped top, together with a cute little backpack and a green jacket, and doesn't it look good on her?! Thankfully she did not (very much) mind that I took some photographs of her near an Amsterdam canal, and now I'm showing her off on the blog ;-)

I love being in Amsterdam (especially when the sun is shining) as there is never a dull moment and a great city to come down to armed with your camera (Thank god students travel for free). It's even fun to just sit down somewhere and watch other people, like this street artist kinda guy who blew huge bubbles, then seeing an old lady - at least 60 years of age - come up and enjoying the bubbles, trying to kiss them - I'm not even kidding. It looked ridiculously cute. 

Much thanks to Manou for being in my pictures and on my blog & Much love to all of you.