Look who we have here!


First of all, right on the cusp of February: Happy 2020! I hope everybody entered this year with the exact same amount of limbs, pets, and house mates as they had before the fireworks started. And my wish for the coming year is that this will be the one in which The Netherlands gets their shit together when it comes to the laws regarding said fireworks.

I have two pet peeves when it comes to blogging: 1) bloggers that abandon their blogs without any notice, and return months later saying: “Sorry for not blogging”, and 2) the list of excuses/apologies/actual reasons why they haven’t blogged. Because while there are of course exceptions, it’s usually not relevant nor interesting. However, for the first time in my almost 18 years of blogging, I will put my feelings concerning this aside and both apologise and explain:

I’m sorry for abandoning my blog without any announcement or explanation. I am well aware that I haven’t been missed by millions, but I am of the firm opinion that that doesn’t matter: no matter if you have 5 or 500.000 readers, you don’t just ghost on them. Why I ghosted anyway? Because every week I was convinced that “this will be the week in which I catch up”, and every week something new happened which caused me to not finish my blog post. There’s 53 semi-finished blog posts waiting in my drafts folder as we speak. This post will be the first post I managed to finish since April.

Because despite fancying myself ~an artiste~, I completely lack any natural talent. I was literally 35 years old by the time I learned to write sorta kinda decently (let’s not talk about the level of my other artistic skills), and it’s still a difficult process to get there. Contrary to what people seem to think, I’m not somebody to whom writing comes easy. Crafting a text takes up mental space, contemplation, and time to let ideas “marinate” a bit, so to speak. And the little energy I had for that kind of process in 2019, I spent on finally finishing my thesis.

2019 was intense. I constantly felt like I was standing in front of a tennis ball machine set to warp speed, with the added handicaps of not only having extremely mediocre tennis technique, but also having to play with my ancient wooden Dunlop racket. It was just one damn thing after another, and while I do have a lot of experience solving ad hoc problems (it used to be my job at some point), when it comes to solving issues that concern me personally, the mental load in particular is a lot heavier. On top of everything, it was the year that I moved out of the apartment I had lived in for the last 22 years. It was the year that I returned to California for three weeks. And it was also the year in which there finally, finally, FINALLY came an end to the absolute HELL that was my BA degree.

As to be expected, I then fell face forward into post-performance depression, after which I caught the sonic death flu.

It’s January 24 today, in a bit I’ll be putting on my cap and gown and pick up my diploma. For the non-Dutchies: we do not wear cap and gowns at graduation here in The Netherlands. In my case, it’s not even an actual graduation ceremony: I will just be going to student services, where a bored student doing his temp job will shove a piece of paper in my direction that says “BA degree in English, good luck being unemployed!” or whatever it says on there. As this is too depressing of an end to my 8 year struggle, I am going in full regalia, because it’s my party and I’ll be as extra as I can be if I want to. After this, I’m done.

This year, 2020, I don’t have to do “anything”. No studies to finish, no housing coops to convince of the fact that maybe they should fix the roof and not let us live in wet squalor, no moves to plan, no paperwork to organise, no travels to plan, no hospital tours to manage. I don’t have to do anything at all.

While doing “absolutely nothing” is my greatest ambition in life, I know I’m not the type who can keep it up for long: two weeks has been my max. Therefore, I have decided to start with the basics: catch up on my journal writing, catch up on my blog, finish up projects that have been lying around since I don’t know when, weed out 40.000+ pictures, unpacking, sorting and recycling the stuff in the last few boxes that are still in a corner somewhere, finally arrange my new office and move my stuff out of the living room, read the 60 books on my TBR pile.

This is the first time in my life that I am fortunate enough to have the privilege to be able to finish up all my stuff before I (have to) embark on new things. It is also the first time in a long while that I will have the time to figure out what that “new thing” will be. I can’t say much about it at this time. Not because I’m afraid of jinxing anything, but because I literally have no idea. Everything I wanted to do in life, I have either done by now, or are things that are outside of reality. Yes, I have a 3/4 finished blog post about this lying around somewhere, to be posted at some point.

TL;DR: sorry for ghosting y’all, I am back, how you doin’?

This month – April


Read – Online

If you thought a job in academia was a great and secure thing, think again: The Death of an Adjunct: Thea Hunter was a promising, brilliant scholar. And then she got trapped in academia’s permanent underclass.

On a happier note: The Adult Brain Does Grow New Neurons After All, Study Says.

Why Excessive Consumption Limits your Creativity.

I’m apparently not the only person who dislikes support groups: When Support Groups Make You Feel Worse.

Impressive: Sarah Mirk is Making 365 Zines in 365 Days.

11 Unproductive Habits You Want To Quit

“The Modern Paradise – Los Angeles, LA” .

Peter Doherty: ‘If I was drug free, I’d be a force to be reckoned with’

A Grande Dame of the Perfume Industry Turns Ninety-Five

The Instagram Aesthetic Is Over.

Listened to – Music

Listened to – Podcasts

Hiplet: can hip hop save ballet? In the world of classical ballet, black dancers are conspicuous by their absence. Eric Underwood, a former soloist with The Royal Ballet, wants to understand what might be restricting their participation.

Pentatonix: The Art of A Cappella – Broken Record. Malcolm Gladwell, along with guest-host, Daisy Rosario, talks with the five members of Pentatonix from GSI Studios in NYC.

Watched – Films and Documentaries

The white crow. Not a documentary, but an entertaining interpretation of what happened to Rudolf Nureyev in 1961 in Paris.

Watched – TV and Youtube

Darude Sandstorm on Boomwhackers!

The Story of ‘Sandstorm’ by Darude.

Immortalized in Ink: The Tattoo Artist with Terminal Cancer.

Leena Norms’ The truth about ‘YouTuber Burn Out’.

Avocado Toast Soap

If I lived in San Francisco, I would definitely get out of retirement and join this class: Adult Beginner Ballet.

I Built a Guitar Out of 8 Mega Jawbreaker Candies.

Kondo-Culture: The Fall of the House of ‘Stuff’, a video essay.

Miscellaneous awesomeness

The phenomenon that incompetent people think that they are super competent apparently has a name: Dunning-krugereffect!

This month – March


Read – Online

The Dutch language department at the VU University in Amsterdam has ceased to exist. Emma van Meijeren advises the faculty to look inward to understand why this has happened.

Keith Flint passed away.

Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files.

An interview with Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of the book Daisy Jones & The Six, that I finished in one day earlier this month.

An Echo Park Man Is Taking a Stand Against People Who Are Bad at Street Parking.

Arabelle Sicardi writes about How our online beauty buys are being used to identify us as customers and criminals.

A new month, a new scandal in beauty land: Kat von D’s attempt at damage control is highly unsuccesful.

One of her ex-boyfriends who is a member of Mötley Crüe, tries a similar thing: “Nikki Sixx on Rape Story in Motley Crue Memoir: ‘I Have No Clue Why It’s in There’“.

And finally: Netflix’s Mötley Crüe movie ‘The Dirt’ highlights why a musical #MeToo reckoning is so difficult. And no, I haven’t seen the film, nor am I going to.

Listened to – Music

“Shape of you” Ed Sheeran cover (Anna Straker on Pocket Operators).

Storytime with LP: once upon a time a very very long ago, I found myself by myself on the dance floor of a mediocre club during a high school party. As in: I was literally the only person on the dance floor, the rest of the attendees were getting their liquor on at the bar. #thispartysucks Anyway, I was busting some moves when all of a sudden the best track EVER was played. For years and years I’ve tried to find it, and now I have. Have a listen and go bezerk: Chicken Techno

Mark Ronson, just drop the rest of this demo, ok? It must have been an illusion. To compensate for that godawful cover of “Bongo Bong” you produced. #neverforget

Listened to – Podcasts

It was a month without podcasts.

Watched – Films and Documentaries

The Matrix.

Watched – TV and Youtube

The Broken Formula of Music Biopics

IKEA Hacking: Upcycling a Drawer Unit (Moppe)


Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture. Strange. Very strange.

Antiqueseller Alex buys an entire and very full house. Of course this is only the beginning of an amazing story, which he shares in his The Potters House series.

Hasan Minhaj takes a look at the iconic streetwear brand Supreme.

DIY Old Farmhouse Using Cardboard Boxes.

Miscellaneous awesomeness

Alice Potts makes art out of sweat. Yes, this sentence is correct.

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