Happy Easter!

image(142)My parents house has a playground in front of it. It makes for a tight-knit neighbourhood. My parents organize an Easter egg hunt each year. My brother, sister and I all live on our own but still join the search. This year was a little sad, because my parents decided that after sixteen year they would hand the organising job over to the neighbours who do have kids in the proper age range. Symbolically they handed over the cartons in which the found chocolate eggs are collected. The cartons my brother came up with a couple of years ago, because he couldn’t stand my mother recounting how many eggs were already found every five minutes.

This year there were only 48 eggs to be found, and 46 were actually found. I held up my reputation of being the worst searcher and found non of them. Not that I tried this year. Afterwards the tumble bars and my brother were the favoured jungle gyms. He provides after school care for primary school kids. It was cool to see him play with these kids, because I can see that he enjoys his job. After everybody went home, we had an Easter lunch, which was a good ending to a good day.

p.s. There was some good news in the paper, my aunt will get a job in the town council. That’s interesting because her sister, also my aunt, was considered to be major.

Review: That. is. not. my. name.

Title: Spartacus
Length: 3.5 season, 2010-2013
Ending: absolutely conclusive

Stars: Andy Whitfield, Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Daniel Feuerriegel, Peter Mensah and Lucy Lawless.

Rating: 9/10

For most people the story won’t be a new one, because it’s historical fiction and several main plot points are part of the history books. That doesn’t make for a boring story, because the Spartacus story is great to tell. A Thracian soldier sold into slavery gets the chance to become a gladiator. At the Ludus, he gets the name Spartacus, a new identity he has difficulty to embrace. He will become the leader of a major slave uprising.

What makes this version of the story stand out are great characters and excellent visuals. It looks like a gory comic book movie, it has the scale, big fights, lots of colour, blood and just plain epicness. What gives the show extra credibility is that the dialogue is written with slight tweaks in grammar. This makes the show sound alien without making it difficult to follow. I have no clue if it is historically accurate, probably not, still cool though.

I like the ‘lieutenants’ in Spartacus’ army. All people with different motivations to join and different personal lives and different views on the way to succeed in the war. They are more than two-dimensional extras. Another great character is Lucretia [Lucy Lawless], she is the the evil bisexual widow of gladiator school owner Quintus Batiatus [John Hannah]. I had doubts about who to put down as the stars from the show. Mostly because the cast was big and all around awesome. Also except Manu Bennett, who has been killing it – literally – on Arrow, the actors were all new to me, or if I have seen them before I did not recognize or remember them. So I went with both guys who played Spartacus and the actors who played the most episodes.

I hear you think ‘both actors?!’, that can’t be a good sign. I agree recasting is often distracting and makes it seem like the character suddenly changes personality. This however isn’t the case in Spartacus. When they had to change the actor [Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with and later sadly died of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma] between the first and second season, they made an excellent choice in Liam McIntyre. The slight change in the character fits in with the actual change in his circumstances. The delay in production caused them to spoil the fans with a spin-off prequel story Spartacus: Gods of the Arena which is also excellent, which I counted as the extra 0.5 season.

I would recommend the show to everyone, but there will probably be some who can’t appreciate it. There is graphic violence, explicit sex and cursing, which you need to be open to. The best comparisons I can make are Game of Thrones with more violence or Banshee in ancient Rome. So if you like either of those, you probably will like this.

A new start

image(77)Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Last year was hard, there weren’t many highs and the lows were really low. Not that really awful things happened to me, mostly normal life stuff, but I couldn’t handle it. It is hard to admit that I was stuck. Luckily there were people around me who noticed.

Then I needed to make changes, most important of those is doing more stuff I like. Thus I need a list of things I like and want to do:

  • Reading crime novels
  • Being a scout’s leader [Link in Dutch]
  • Artsy-stuff like; painting, knitting, colouring, sewing, claying and others
  • Going to the movies
  • Young adult fantasy/dysantropic audiobooks
  • Going to the gym
  • Watching my favourite TV-shows
  • Snowboarding [although way to expensive]
  • Playing games [my new fave is Munchkin]
  • Rowing
  • extreme organizing and living in chaos
  • Visiting museums [my favourite painter is Caravaggio]
  • Collecting postcards from my favourite painting
  • Swimming
  • Biking in the sun, though the dunes, or walking along the beach
  • Reading Philosophy
  • Buying trainers [Also a little to expensive]
  • Maths
  • Going to lectures about education with my dad
  • Learning new things
  • Yoga/meditation
  • Keeping a journal

And since I now have my blog keeping it up, certainly deserves a place on the list. Most of these are things I’ve done before and want to do again or want to keep doing again. I also made a bucket list of new things I want to experience.

  • Travel to Australia
  • Learning sign language
  • Run a 10 km race
  • Learn to surf
  • Learn to cut hair
  • Paint a mural
  • Learn to skateboard
  • Get a tattoo [although my parents may disown me]
  • Go to the airport take a random flight and have an adventure
  • Learn a martial art
  • Go to all the seven continents
  • Get my driver’s license
  • Become fluent in French, German, Swedish, Arabic or Russian [I already have a little knowledge about the first two.]
  • Learn archery
  • See the pyramids in Egypt
  • Ride a motorcycle [and since I probably won't be able to learn to ride one myself I would be content with riding on the back of one]
  • Go waterskiiing
  • Go kiteboarden
  • Visit the USA

And that’s it for now… maybe later more. Suggestions are welcome

Thenera party day

image(134)Yesterday was a very special day, dubbed ‘Thenera Feestjesdag’, which translate to Thenera party day.  It was twenty years ago that my foster-sister came to live with us. A good reason for a small celebration. The five of us [My parents, brother, sister and I] had diner together, waffles and ‘bowl’ [something like non-alcoholic punch]. A menu with a high nostalgic value, because that is what my grandmother often used to serve us.

It was ‘gezellig‘. A typical Dutch word which knows no translation in English, but means as much as fun or pleasant. My parents and my sister bought presents for everyone. My parents gave everyone a mug with a picture of the time we celebrated that Thenera lived with us for half a year. Back then my mother wanted to celebrate but didn’t dare to take us to a restaurant, so we eat together at home and all dressed-up. My brother like a pirate, my sister a grandmother and me something non-recognizable 20 years later. The highlight of the evening was my father Nico, in a purple sundress of my mum and two little ribbons in his hair, as Nicolientje.

My sister got everyone a card with a very sweet message and a matching gift. My brother got dish brush holder looking like a frog, My father a pen tray looking like plastic plant, I got alphabet stamps and my mother giant Mikado. So after dinner we had a ferocious and hilarious Mikado match, the win shared by me and my mother each with 12 points. It was an awesome evening and I’m so very glad that my parents decided that they wanted more kids.

I can’t remember what life was like before my sister came to live with us. I was seven, almost eight, so I have memories from before. But no memories of a family of four and how it was different. So in my memory she always was my sister. I do however the day we picked her up from the home she lived at and this is a very substantial and emotional one…

We had to pick her up by train, because back then my parents didn’t use to have a car. We were walking to the station, the five of us for the first time really as a family, when she realised that she forgot her teddy bear. The one she got from her birth mother and couldn’t sleep without. Not wanting to miss the train my father ran back to pick it up. And my most vivid memory of the day is my father running with is backpack bobbing up and down and me deciding that I will never in my life run with a backpack, because it looks ridiculous.

 

Zero to Hero, day 1

image(45)I joined a challenge, to be more precise, a blog challenge. It’s called Zero to Hero and takes 30 days to complete. The goal is to give a good start to your blog. I started my blog on January 26th this year and am almost three months in now. Perfect timing, it seems to me. Each day comes with a new goal.

Todays goal is to write an introduction about who you are and what you want to blog about. Something I already have on my blog, namely the ‘About me‘ page, which gives some background on my personal life and explains that my blogs name isn’t as random as it seems. I also already wrote an introduction post – cleverly called ‘Introduction‘ – on why I decided to start my blog and I hope that the menu gives some inkling what my blog will be about… I’ll give you a hint: my life, creative things and TV reviews.

Basically I covered most – if not all – the questions asked. This makes it hard for me to decide what I could and want to write today. I feel like not writing a post is cheating on the challenge, something that is not done – even more so on the first day. Neither did I want to rehash all the things I already put out there. Therefore I give you this update about me thinking what to do and deciding that sharing the thought would suffice.

Only 29 more days left!

Life skills…

image(1)I possess several life skills and sometimes I have this urge to gain more. Some are very practical. I can fix my bike if needed, I can assemble Ikea furniture and I can read a map. Possible some other useful stuff also. I like learning new skills. This year I relearned how to knit [I was able to knit when I was about ten, but never really got the hang of it so I gave it up.]

Over the last five days I gained a very important new one. It all started with an intriguing object I found in my parents study. I did some internet research [Youtube is your friends] and now I am pretty okay at it. I’m kind of proud of myself, because this was something I really wanted to learn. I gave it a bad try earlier, but now I actually accomplished something.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can solve a rubik’s cube! I admit it’s a completely useless skill, but one I now am proud to possess. There are more useful and useless skills I want to acquire, among them being sign language, handstand, French, skateboarding and programming in something more sophisticated as HTML.