Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy 2014!

It's that time of the year again! In fact, it's the last day of the year again! HURRAY! Best news of all is that we've made it out alive again! Go us!

This won't be a blog post about whatever happened this year because nobody wants that and people only comment on those posts on facebook because they feel it is polite to do so. 

I could post a really long message about all the things I wish you for 2014 (positive or negative) but I felt like these images say it much better than I ever could:


Happy 2014 people! Let's make it a good one!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Creativity is not a talent

A few weeks ago at college we were shown this video to inspire us:

I'm pretty sure everybody knows who this man is (unless you either lived under a rock for the past few years or if you were only just born). John Cleese. A brilliant actor and comedian and pretty much a creative person, you'd say. However, in this lecture he points out that creativity is not really a talent. It is a way of operating. It was an eye-opener for me. I always considered myself to be quite creative, however, there always seemed to be people who were even more creative than I could ever be and I always considered it to be quite a talent to have. But in his lecture, Cleese explains that it is not a talent at all which means we can all be creative. YAY!

A quote:

MacKinnon showed that the most creative had simply acquired a facility for getting themselves into a particular mood -- "a way of operating" -- which allowed their natural creativity to function.
In fact, MacKinnon described this particular facility as an ability to play. (5:11)
Indeed he described the most creative (when in this mood) as being childlike. For they were able to play with ideas… to explore them… not for any immediate practical purpose but just for enjoyment. Play for its own sake.
 Awesome! Screw maturity! Which is a valid point indeed because if you think about it, adults are too limited by their need to be accepted and their desire to come off normal and well, mature, that they are often unable to cross those boundaries and seek inspiration beyond that. Children on the other hand are not limited by anything, simply because they have not yet learned they should be. Play is the most important thing for children. Exploring the world is an important thing for children. As adults we can learn a lot from that.

Cleese describes two modes. The closed mode and the open mode.

Basically the closed mode is our mature side. We have to get things done. We get stressed and feel like we need to get on with it. In this mode we are not very creative because, well, we're too stressed out for that. But in this mode we are purposeful.

The second mode he mentions is the open mode. It's the mode in which we are not pressured to do anything and in which 'curiosity for its own sake' can operate. We don't have to get anything done so we have the opportunity to explore.

However, we do need both modes in order for creativity to be effective.

But let me make one thing quite clear: we need to be in the open mode when we're pondering a problem but once we come up with a solution, we must then switch to the closed mode to implement it. Because once we've made a decision, we are efficient only if we go through with it decisively, undistracted by doubts about its correctness.
For example, if you decide to leap a ravine, the moment just before take-off is a bad time to start reviewing alternative strategies. When you're attacking a machine-gun post you should not make a particular effort to see the funny side of what you are doing.
Humor is a natural concomitant in the open mode, but it's a luxury in the closed {mode}.
I personally find that when I have a brilliant idea, I start dwelling on it for too long and do not get back to business to make the idea a reality. Which is wrong. Time to get into that stressed mode to make things happen. Work hard, play hard, as they say.

He mentions five conditions which are necessary to get into the open mode. Space, time, time, confidence and humour. Just listen to what he has to say. It is very interesting. It is maybe why the best ideas come when you are in the shower or on the toilet. You have time to think. You are relaxed (well usually. but I don't want to hear about your toilet issues, thank you very much). You can think and who knows, a genius idea might pop up?

But, do not always go with your first idea. This is something my teachers keep mentioning to me. "Oh what a great idea that is. Now come up with something else." Picking your first idea, however brilliant it may seem is always the easy way out because there are always better ideas out there, or at least better variations of an idea. So get that brain working kids!

I guess the most important thing I learned from this lecture (and this one too) is that it is important to be confident. It is important to not fear mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. You learn from them. And who says that teaching monkeys how to do karate is a bad idea? Take the opportunity and create the things you want to create.
At the moment I am working on two different projects which are both very weird and sinister in a way. I know that there will be responses of people who won't understand my reasoning behind them and will dismiss them as mistakes. If they do turn out horrible, well at least I learned from it. But I'm going to take a chance anyway because these are the things I want to create. These are the things I came up with in my open mode. These are things I would like to see/read.

Ah creativity. A mythical thing. I hope that watching this lecture will have given you motivation to go out there and play. Explore your boundaries and make a difference. After all, if we try, we're all artists.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Are we taking popmusic too seriously?

I consider myself to be a big fan of pop music. I enjoy listening to every kind of pop music by a variety of different artists. Some music I consider good, others are merely guilty pleasures. I am also very interested in pop culture and know quite a lot about it if I may say so myself. I also have an opinion about most things, which can differ from "Hmm this is reaaaally bad" to "This is fucking awesome!" and everything in between. Before social media was a big thing, my friends and I would sit together during lunch breaks and discuss all the latest events in pop music and of course have an opinion about it.

However, with the rise of social media, something has changed, Fanbases of a variety of artists are more out there now as they have a platform which they can use to express themselves without being tied to message boards for such activities. That is good on one hand, but on the other hand, it is a negative development.

It seems as though fans of a certain artist do not accept anyone being negative about their favourite artist. Even if something is not really negative but just an opinion on an aspect of what an artist does. A performance or a video for example. Yet when overly devoted fans find out about someone speaking their mind, it is not uncommon for them to be harassed, called names, stalked or even told to die. I have experienced this myself, and why? Because I did not agree with one choice my favourite artist made. That's all. Cue months of being bothered by overly 'loyal' fans who need to tell me how disloyal I am and how much said artist hates me.

Bullshit.

Yesterday I logged in to twitter to find a similar discussion going. The argument started over this blog: http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/70419008785/booty-and-the-beast. Nothing negative. Just an observation made. But apparently, you do not say anything about Beyonce that does not hail her existence. So this happened: http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/70443846069/a-war-of-words

It angered me. It angered me because I had just come out of a discussion on a forum about a similar kind of thing. I wasn't told to die of cancer, but I didn't feel like I was allowed to give my opinion either because the feeling was that we should all support our favourite artist regardless of the choices they make and regardless of if you agree with it or not. When I literally stated I thought the artist was too talented to appear on a talent show as a judge, I was still told I should support him because he knew what he was doing and otherwise I could always leave. In her blog, Jameela stated Beyonce was too talented to get naked for a fully-clothed man, yet all these Beyonce fans took this as a reason to harass her and call her names. Why? Why is it necessary to insult someone for their opinion? Why can't you just say: "Well that is your opinion and it's cool if you think that but in my opinion..." Nobody is right or wrong. It are all matters of opinion. The thing with me is that when I feel like I'm being pushed and not taken seriously, I will defend myself. Just because I want people to listen to what I have to say, not to agree with me.

Has it come to the point where we take pop music too seriously? When did the feeling arise that you have to like EVERYTHING your favourite artist does in order for you to be a good fan? Nobody likes everything someone else does and if you say that you do, you're lying to yourself. And it's okay to admit that. It's okay to disagree with someone. As long as you keep respecting each other.

This should not be the norm:

You are not defending your favourite artist by wishing cancer upon those who disagree with you. On the contrary, you're not doing yourself, nor your favourite artist a favour.

I think different opinions are important. I will always support my favourite artists in as many ways as I can, in the things that I find interesting. I won't buy something just because my favourite artist is the spokesperson of that product or if they designed something I am not too fond of. That's ok, I will buy the things I do genuinely like, just as I will always support the music of my favourite artist and go see them live as many times as I can to show my support. Yet I do expect to be able to say I am not fond of everything my favourite artist does, without being made feel like I am a bad person. My opinion is not going to change a thing, but that doesn't mean that I am not allowed to state it. We live in a democracy here, not in George Orwell's 1984.


It is just pop music. It are pop artist who are just doing things for a living. Don't let your admiration dictate your life to such an extent that you feel you need to resort to negativity. Just enjoy the music you enjoy. Lighten up!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The magic of Mika's music.

I was very happy last week when I read that Mika was going on an Italian tv show and was actually going to sing. Yes, he had been on Italian X-factor for months but there was no focus on his music at all. I have the feeling a large majority of Italians who discovered him through X-factor only liked him as X-Factor judge but few of them actually realised that he is an amazing singer.

So when I saw this yesterday, I felt happy:


I didn't feel happy because it was Mika on tv because I honestly give zero fucks about tv shows in languages I do not understand even if my mother was on it. Well maybe then I would because she would make me watch it. You catch my drift. This time it was different. Pictures leaked of him sitting behind a piano. My initial thought when I saw that was "YES! FINALLY!"

When the video was put online, that was still my thought along with feeling all nostalgic and shit. Because it felt like he was finally back where he belonged. Just him, a piano and two bandmembers. No duets. Just him. Fuck, I missed those moments. Yes, I know he has done festivals last Summer, but it seemed like in the past few months the focus had been more on him as a celebrity and less on him as a singer. Which is fine, even though I am still not interested in these talent shows and the whole shebang it brings along. But no one, not one single person can tell me they prefer Mika being a judge on a talent show in a language they don't understand (most likely unless you speak Italian) over him being on stage, singing those amazing songs.

And yes, he should do whatever makes him happy but this performance showed that he can create magic by just sitting behind a piano and doing what he does best. Performing songs.

I sincerely hope that next year will bring us new music and a new longer tour in many countries which won't just include festivals. I personally hope that the talent shows will be a done thing and he will conquer the world again with his music. Good music. The kind of music that made him famous and kept us captivated for 3 albums already. Performances like the one he did at the Italian tv show. Performances like this one:


I hope in 2014 Mika will surprise us again by creating magic with his music. Santa, I've been good this year. Could you give me that one thing?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Goodbye is goodbye until we say hello again

Yesterday was a rather tough day for me. It didn't start out tough but when I went over to my dad's house to pick up my Rottweiler for a walk, he told me that he was taking one of the Chihuahuas to the vets. I knew that he wasn't doing well. His stomach had been bloated for a couple of days already and he refused to get up or even eat. He was a heart patient, but when he was last checked it didn't seem so bad.

We knew that realistically speaking, not much could be done for him anymore. But perhaps the vet would say differently so there was a tiny spark of hope. However, my stepmother didn't want to go along as it was too hard for her. I offered to go because I wanted him to know that he was not alone and that he was loved so much. My stepmother asked if I was strong enough. I said I had to be.

The moment I put him down on the table, the vet was shocked at how bad his condition was. She asked what we wanted to do and my dad said: "Let him go" and after a short pause, "or is there anything you can do?" She said she could TRY to stretch it another few months, but we refused to do that. He was never going to become old with this condition anyway and it would be selfish to keep him around just because we didn't want to let him go yet. He barely ate so we would have to force him to take the medication which would have been even more stressful for a dog that was already a bit nervous. Had we done nothing, he would have slowly suffocated and I didn't want that to happen. It was better this way.

And I thought I was strong. And I stayed strong because he needed me to stay strong. It was the most heartbreaking thing I had ever witnessed in my whole life. I held him as he first was given anesthetics. He saw it coming. He started to panic. I whispered to him that he had to calm down. That everything would be fine and soon all the pain would be over.
He was strong. He fought against the sleep because it made him feel like he was suffocating. I kept saying his name. I held him close and I kissed him but every time he was about to fall asleep he fought back again. He was given some extra anesthetics and the vet helped me keep his head up so he wouldn't feel as if he was suffocating. He then peacefully fell asleep into my arms.

The vet went to prepare the final shot and told me I could lay him down but I refused as I had promised my stepmother I would hold him until the end. His little heart was still beating. It wasn't the end yet.

She came back and I put him on the table. He didn't move anymore. She listened to his heart and said it was barely beating. He was almost dead just being asleep. She gave him the final shot and even though it would take 2 minutes for it to work, it worked after a few seconds. He was gone.

We wanted to take him home. Leaving him at the vets would mean he would just get thrown away and he didn't deserve that. I wrapped him in a blanket like a baby and cradled him until we were home. My stepmother took him from me and said her goodbyes and cradled him too. We then put him on the floor so the other dogs could say goodbye. It was fascinating to watch. They wagged their tails as they sniffed him and licked his face. Then they all went separate ways until the four of them crawled into his bench, all together. As if they knew.

We dug a hole in the garden and buried him there after which we had a drink in his honour.



Goodbye little Ralphi. Goodbye shy one. Thank you for the love you gave us for the past 10 years. You will always be loved.

Monday, 9 December 2013

True friends...

It is said that every 7 years you change your group of friends. Some people might move far away or develop different interests than your own. That's fine, we can only evolve if we meet new people who teach us new things and bring us new perspectives.

Yet sometimes, sometimes you find a friend that will survive that 7-year-itch. Someone who knows you so well that you can't keep any secrets. Someone who makes you laugh and smile even if you haven't seen each other in months. A true friend who accepts both the good and the bad in you.

I'm fortunate enough to have such a friend. We met 10 years ago when we just went to middle school. It was a scary time for everyone, especially when you're an awkward teenager. I can't think of anyone who enjoyed their teenage years...

Anyway, over the years, we got to know each other better and a friendship was born just because we were both weird and crazy. We only ever had one fight and I can't even remember what it was about, but as it was probably petty teenage drama, it was sorted within a few days.

We were each other's prom date because boys sucked at that time and even our graduation did not stop us from meeting up and having fun.


We don't live as close now anymore but that doesn't matter. You don't have to see each other every week to be true friends. On the contrary, if a friendship survives even when you don't see each other that often, you know it's a good one.

So to my partner in crime, my crazy bitch and the awesomest chick in the world, thank you for the past 10 years. I hope that when we're old and grey we'll still be having fun together. And as my girl Katy sang, I will love you unconditionally!

 


Friday, 6 December 2013

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela...

The world has become a little less brighter. We have lost a hero. An inspiration to us all. People from different races are united in their grief for this man who did not only change lives, he changed history. He fought against Apartheid, the worst word in the Dutch language, Those who called him a terrorist did not understand that change does not come by remaining silence. Change comes by fighting for what you believe in and never giving up hope.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

 Thank you Mr. Mandela for teaching generation after generation the importance of freedom and love. Thank you for being a fighter. You won't ever be forgotten.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Trying out my new best friend.

For months I had wanted a new camera because ever since studying at art school, I had become more interested in photography and filming. So, now I finally have my camera and today I decided to take my four-legged-friend and experiment with my camera. Here are the best results of the day:






Wednesday, 4 December 2013

What is art?

Hello my darlings!

Today I want to write a blog about something that has kept me thinking for a while, especially now that I'm doing an art course myself. Today in my philosophy class we've been discussing the following question: What is art?

I have to be honest. I don't see art in everything. If I go to a museum and I see a black painting with a white dot on it, I can't consider it art, even though there must have been an amazing concept behind it. A classmate of mine, who studies classical piano, said no true classical music was made after the 1950s. All matters of opinion really. What I consider art might not be art to you and vice versa. It's an interesting thing.

I have learned much more about art in the past few months. I've learned more about processes behind pieces of art and I've learned how to cooperate those in my own work. It made me appreciate art more, yet still I find myself wonder why something is so easily classified as art just because the artist said it is. I was relieved that even the art students questioned everything.

For example, the following piece by John Cage called 4'33". It's basically 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. The only sounds are produced by the audience. Do you consider this art?

I get the idea behind it. We never really sit in silence to listen to all that's around us, while really, we make music without realising it. But, as another classmate remarked, this is more of an experiment than a real composition. But when should it be considered art?

Music, especially, is an area full of artistic blurred lines. We can all agree that Beethoven's fifth symphony is a real work of art, yet music like that is barely made anymore. Is Justin Bieber's 'Baby' art? Is Lady Gaga really as artistic as she claims to be? Difficult. To the fans of certain singers, everything their favourite popstar does is like a holy grail to them. I have learned to be a little more critical. For me a modern popsong hardly ever is art. Not unless it matches a song like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in genius. For me personally, I am only interested in and consider a singer a true artist if I understand and appreciate not only the music but the whole concept and ideas behind what someone does. For that reason, I think, yes, Gaga is artistic but I can't consider Artpop the album to be an artistic masterpiece. It seems pretty mindless to me, with mostly empty lyrics and beats I can't get into. It's not art to me. It's just mindless pop music and it's okay if it is just that. I just don't really get why she wants to portray it as any more than that. It is hardly revolutionary.

As I'm typing this, I'm listening to Britney's new album. Whereas I can see Gaga's artistic side, I don't consider anything Britney does as art. I think she is a good entertainer. An ok singer. Not more than that. But to her fans, what she does might be seen as the most artsy thing ever.

It's strange, isn't it? It's weird how our own tastes influence how we perceive things around us. But as my philosophy teacher said: "The truth is created by humans in different circumstances in time." Is there really good or bad music or art or photography if there is someone out there who truly enjoys it? Does everything have to have a deeper meaning in order to be art? So much to think about. I guess we never stop learning.


Monday, 2 December 2013

To my unborn child,

I do not know your name yet and quite frankly I do not know if you'll ever be born. But just know that you are welcome wherever you are and whenever (if ever) you will come here. My darling, I have so much to tell you and I'm sure that there will be plenty of times when we'll argue, when I'll give you advice and you refuse to listen. I just hope that if I give you this advice now, you will listen now. If only this one time.

Wherever you may be, you probably see that the world is a fucked up place. Excuse my language there. The world is filled with darkness. With bad people who are filled with greed. Everyone is replaceable. We're just numbers in the system.
Yes, in this world it appears that you're not allowed to be who you really are. In some places you are not allowed to fall in love with whoever you fall in love with. If your love is of the same gender, you could get insulted, beaten up or even killed. We live in a world which allows those hungry for power take more and give less. We allow dictators to do what they want to do, because we're afraid of the consequences for our own prosperity when we defy them.

We live in a world in which we preach acceptance but mostly can't even bother with tolerance. We have developed tunnel vision and hold on to our own truth. But truth doesn't exist. There is no truth in spoken word, nor is there in written word.
There are bad people out there. People who will want to hurt you. Bring you down with the things they say. Don't pay attention to those people. They only have their insecurities and thus feel it is necessary to hurt you. Jealousy is a nasty companion.

It may seem like the world is an awful place. But it isn't. For every bit of darkness, there is a little bit of light. Be that light when you come here. Inspire others the way others inspire you. The only true advice I can give you is to look around you and cherish the little things. No matter what happens, stay strong and keep on fighting. Don't worry about things going wrong. That's part of life. We live and learn. Just try the hardest you can to be a good person and create the world you would like to live in. Shadows won't ever overtake the light of the sun.

Most of all, my dear, I hope that you know that you're loved already, unconditionally.

Until we meet...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

For the Love of Dog

I'm currently studying at the Academy of Arts and had to do a photography assignment. It had to be about the day in the life of a certain character. I chose an old man who had lost someone he loved, but no matter what happened, he was supported by his dog. My father was the old man and my dog of course, played the role of dog. I am actually really proud of those pictures so I felt like sharing them.






Saturday, 30 November 2013

Let me be

I wrote this in Philosophy class as I was bored and I thought I'd share. So here you go.


~

I wish I saw things more clearly, like how much you really meant to me and what I would have truly given to make you stay. I valued the wrong things, cherished the treasures which would not satisfy me in the long run. It felt as though a thick mist had taken hold of me, surrounded me like a veil. I used to say that I was blinded, but I wasn't really. I was just too afraid to give you everything.

This was my shield. My armour to keep myself away from you.

'Let me be,' I said, as you tried to catch me. You can put the bird in a cage but it will always want to spread its wings.

Watch me high up in the sky. Watch me from a distance. You're afraid of the fall but fear won't ever bring change.

I'm not the one I used to be. It doesn't matter how hard I try, in some people's eyes I will never be able to do it right. But I no longer live for permission. I live to fly.

And it is not that I feel like I'm safe and comfortable or that I believe nothing can touch me. I'm really just broken trying to pick up the pieces. I just felt lost. I felt like I lost everything, because the thoughts of others created my world. But no longer.

I will try to touch the sun. Foolish as it may be, I am convinced my wings won't burn. I've seen too much and I've said too little, but now my voice will echo through layers of time.

And if you see me reaching out my hand to the burning star, don't try to understand it, if you're mind can't comprehend. Just let me be.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Signing, champagne and balloon party in London

Hello my darlings!

I just got back from a short trip to my favourite city in the world apart from Amsterdam: London!

As most of you know, we went there to attend Mika's Swatch signing and just to spend some time in this awesome place. A few days before we also got notified that there would be a party, and as we love ourselves a good party, we hoped and prayed on our bare knees (but not really cause it's cold so pants are mandatory unless you want to get pneumonia and die) that we would get in. I really needed a good trip to take my mind off of everything, so I was excited. YAY!

Niko and I drove to the airport really early in the morning, met up with Luke and were soon on our way to London. We got to our hostel and prepared ourselves before heading down to Oxford Street.




When we arrived, we met up with Rosie, whom I immediately adopted. I may or may not have stolen her innocence that day. Sitting on our asses, looking like homeless people was literally a cool thing as at a certain point I feared my foot had to be amputated because it was frozen solid.

We met a lovely Swatch staff member who agreed with me that Rosie sounded like Hermione Granger and it was not much later that Mika arrived. People were going nuts, filming through the window and nearly dying of excitement. At this point my only concern was how to get as close to a heater as possible in a short period of time. Needless to say my heart was filled with joy the moment I set foot into the store and was greeted by warmth and champagne. The awesome staff member kept us company and we spend our time discussing various twerking techniques with him.
Before we realised it, it was almost our turn. I ended up being last of the 4 of us, and had to deal with a woman who was so excited to be there she jumped right in front of me before I could even move. That was okay. My feet got a little warmer.
Then it was my turn and I had a nice chat with him. It was short but good and even though there were a few things I wanted to say and ask, I figured that I'd keep that for a next time as he had to go through quite a lot of people. I said bye and went outside so we could go to the pub for the party.

Rosie smelled her first glass of illegal champagne and found the pub in no time. The first thing I did when we arrived was kick my heels off and run around overly excited. We said hello to the girls who were already there, claimed all the food and got drinks which resulted in me being slightly tipsy even before most people arrived.


More and more people arrived and we were having a good time when Mika walked in. I didn't notice it at first as I was too busy declaring my love to whoever happened to be near me, but as a group of people jumped up I figured something had to be going on. He did a nice speech which was lovely and then wanted to walk around but people were a bit up in his face. This is a phenomenon I don't understand. Maybe I'm too down-to-earth for this, but I feel like everyone, no matter if they are famous or not, have this thing called a personal space and it is not respectful to invade it. Especially not when it is completely unnecessary. I personally don't really appreciate it if people stalk me around and point cameras in my face so I don't really do it myself, but whatever, that is just my way of looking at it.
Anyway, it wasn't long before he said goodbye and that is when the party really started. Most people left, but they missed out on great stuff. We talked, we danced, we acted crazy and it was absolutely wonderful. It was a night of catching up with old friends and making many new ones. I have never hugged this many people in my entire existence. Time passed by so fast and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to everyone.



But of course our party did not end there. We had taken the balloons that spelled Mika and decided it was our mission to walk around London with these and pose in random places. It was hilarious, especially when we were on the underground. Funnily enough nobody minded us trying to get the big balloons into a very crowded train. We apologised about a million times but everybody said it was okay and one woman even said: "It's fine. You're bringing a party on the train!" We got quite a few looks (and comments like "those are some big ass balloons!") and quite a few people stopped to ask us about them and we of course talked about Mika and everybody said they really liked him. Bonus points! I made a video of our tip on the underground:



 
 The next day we had some fun with the balloons before we left them for the cleaners to enjoy. Funnily enough when we had breakfast at some place, Relax come on the radio and we all reliving the night again.

To conclude this overly long blog post, I want to say thank you to everybody involved in making this party happen. Alex and Deb for putting in a lot of effort. It was amazing and for me it was much needed to keep my mind off things and relax for just an evening after all these anxiety attacks I've had in the past few months. It was great to just hang out with amazing people and not having a single worry on my mind.

And of course, thanks to Mika, who had the brilliant idea of throwing this party. It was such a kind and thoughtful thing to do and I feel fortunate that I have been able to have been there.He's probably never going to read it, but I just wanted to say that I am very proud of him and how far he has come. I hope that the years to come are filled with many more of these exciting moments and I know that even greater things are ahead of him. So thank you Mika. And thank you for always inspiring me with your kindness and hard work. I'm happy that you're happy and free as you said and I hope that I will get to see you again next year. You never fail to amaze me.

So yeah, I will stop typing now as I really have to catch up on some sleep!

Ingrid

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The fear of nothing

Those of you who don't really know me might not know this, but those who do know me do. I am quite easily stressed out. About minor things really, things which did not seem of much importance to anyone. And when those events were over, I was back to my old self and all was well and we lived happily ever after.

Yet the older I get, the more prone I become to panic attacks. I guess they first started when I took my driving test for the second time. My head filled with thoughts about miserable failure, I started sweating and was about to cry. Needless to say, I failed. It was the first time I experienced a panic attack and it worried me, but for a while after that it all seemed to be fine.

But it wasn't fine. As my last year of college drew nearer and the pressure was on me again, I became more and more stressed. For weeks my whole body ached, I could hardly breathe and suffered from hyperventilation attacks. I had too much to do and I wanted it to be perfect so badly that I forgot to think about myself. I didn't even know what it felt like to be relaxed.
One night, my body just couldn't handle it anymore. I was so tired of going through this pain both physically and mentally that I just started crying all of a sudden. My heart skipped beats. I panicked. I couldn't breathe. I panicked even more because I thought I was dying. My mother had to come and calm me down. That was the turning point for me. I decided to postpone a few things to give myself some peace of mind. I forgot to put my own happiness before other people's expectations of me and that was a mistake.

I didn't go to class the day after the attack, yet when I did return and my classmates asked about it, I heard the same thing many times: "I know exactly what you mean." It was a relief to me that I wasn't the only one. One of them even exactly described the feeling of having a hyperventilation attack and it made me feel less alone.

So, if anyone who is reading this knows the feeling, just know that it's okay. Yes it is annoying when people tell you to calm down because obviously you are trying hard to do so. But just take a deep breath and move on. There is no problem that can't be fixed and you shouldn't worry too much. There is a solution for everything. Don't strive for perfection because you're never going to reach that. Just do things at your pace and don't forget to relax and have fun.

I still have minor panic attacks at times for no reason at all, but I've learned to kick my own ass and calm myself so it's getting better. Just remember: every little thing is going to be alright.




Monday, 11 November 2013

MTV EMAs

Ok, I'm back to life. I know that you are all DYING to read a report about what went down at the EMAs last night so I'm going to give it to you. Bring it on!

Saturday

It all started on Saturday. After a lot of trouble I arrived in Amsterdam and met up with the others. I had made reservation at this Italian place I thought we went to last time in Amsterdam, but it turned out I had the wrong one. It's ok, even though my Tortellini wasn't half as good as it was supposed to be. Anyways, enough about food!
Flor got an email saying that we had to pick up our tickets at the Conservatorium hotel. Now I'll have you know, that place is fancy. But not just fancy. You take fancy and you double that as many times as you can until you think HOLY FUCK THAT IS FANCY! Anyway, we made our way down there in the rain and as we casually wanted to walk in, we were pushed back by this security guard because apparently when big stars are in town you can't casually walk into places. Which is lame. Anyway, we told him we were there to pick up tickets and were then escorted inside.
The place was HUGE and chic and it was probably the most amazing hotel I've ever seen. There was a problem with the tickets so a lot of arranging and stress and us chilling on the very fluffy couches pretending to belong there when finally the tickets came down and we were kindly asked to get the fuck out.

Sunday

Sunday consisted mainly of getting ready which took hours because you have got to look fabulous at an event like this. At 5 we finally went down to the Arena Boulevard and had some very lady-like food. Kebab, yay!

We walked to the Ziggo dome where we took weird photos with the MTV sign.


We then went to the queue and waited until we were let in. My feet were frozen at this point. The queue next to us was the regular one and I was very happy I wasn't in there. The pushing and screaming was insane. When the door finally opened, madness came down upon Amsterdam. I talked to our security woman and she said she was glad she wasn't on that side.

Anyway, to the imporant part; We went upstairs and we got FREE ALCOHOL! I am not usually a drinker of alcoholic beverages, but these waiters were looking at me with their puppy eyes and I just couldn't say no. I asked what all the mixes were, forgot right away, and grabbed a glass which I later found out contained vodka and something else but it was so sweet that I didn't notice. Hence the headache today. Anyway, we decided to walk around some more, I spotted a famoussss Dutch person and was all excited, then we got free make-up AND all the drinks were free as well, so basically it was one big festival of free stuff. Which I like.


As the time passed we spotted Jodie Harsh in the crowd which I was excited about but then 5 minutes later Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande casually walked in to the artist area right in front of us and I was super excited and really, Ariana is so petite and pretty it should be illegal.

The show started and shit went down and we had an amazing time.

First Robin Thicke performed a medley of Blurred Lines and a song I already forgot but he was really good. Then Bruno Mars was all adorable picking up his award and Katy's performance was incredible as you probably all witnessed live on MTV


Katy came into the artist area and casually sat there having a drink and not giving two fucks about anything:


And then she won the best Female award and we went crazy. When she went backstage again, we shouted her name until she heard us. She saw Niko and shouted BUBBLES! BUBBLES! then looked at all of us, did some weird things with her hands trying to get across a message to Flor but failed and was like "whateves" and then waved at us and blew us kisses. Yay.

Other highlights of the night were Miley's performance. Girlfriend can sing if she wants to and is not twerking on anyone near her.


Eminem's performance was a big deal apparently. I am not really into Eminem that much lately but I liked his older stuff and it was cool having seen him live.

When Miley walked into the artist area, only 2 people managed to get up to her for a photo as the rest were kept away from her as she was just being Miley, posing on the couch.


I will also let you in on a little secret. Everybody was so shocked about Miley lighting a joint, but we could see her backstage from where we were and she put it out right away backstage. Sorry to ruin your controversy Miley :(

I liked this photo too:


All in all, it was an amazing night and I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to be there.



Friday, 8 November 2013

Life in a day

No long written post today, but will leave you with this interesting documentary by Ridley Scott


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Dear World,

As I was browsing my newsfeed on facebook, I came across this article: http://www.thegailygrind.com/2013/11/06/russian-neo-nazi-group-kidnaps-tortures-gay-black-south-african-student-latest-attack-video/. I reluctantly decided to read it, even though I knew it would mortify me. And it did. How come we are okay with this? How come the only thing we do about it is say that it's not okay for this to happen? How come we do not act? Why is it okay for any society to threat humans the way LGBT people are treated in Russia?
Don't get me wrong. I am sure that there are people in Russia who fight for gay rights even if they themselves are not gay. I admire that and I hope they will continue to do so. I just find it incredible that the majority of the population threats this group as dirt, tortures them and kills them even just because of who they love. I once spoke with a Russian person who said I don't understand their culture. I have no need to understand a culture when it is filled with hate against a certain group. I have no need to understand why the Russian government is fine with exterminating someone just because of their sexuality. I don't have to understand it because it shouldn't have to be understood. This flaw in the Russian culture should not exist.

This year was supposed to be a year to celebrate the friendship between Russia and the Netherlands. However, it all ended quite badly when a Russian diplomat was arrested in the Netherlands for beating up his children and driving under the influence of alcohol. Russia was very angry, after all, a diplomat can do whatever the fuck he wants, even if he hurts his own flesh and blood in the process. The Netherlands apologised, which I think should not have been necessary, and surprise, a Dutch diplomat was beaten up in Russia. Why are we all okay with Russia doing whatever the fuck they want but other countries have to bow down to its greatness? I don't think so.

Fear is a strong factor in forcing people to remain silent about issues that are dear to them. I understand that many Russians fear speaking up against their government because they don't know what could happen to them. You can't blame anyone apart from the people participating in these hideous crimes and those who cherish these hateful thoughts. But we can't stay silent. And I realise that my words are also just words, but words are powerful. If we all speak up together, we might make a change.

We should not be okay with a country led by a government which decides who someone can or can't love. We should not sit back and say it's fine when people who speak up about it are put into jail and tortured for speaking their mind. We should not be okay with teenagers being humiliated on the internet just for being who they are. It is disgusting. It is sick. These practises remind me of the Second World War. Don't we all remember Hitler hating the jews? Do we all know how that ended? It has to stop now, not tomorrow.

I know that it is a utopia to wish for a world in which we are all united. I know that we live in a world in which the rich and powerful decide who gets to live and who doesn't. But I guess that if we all stand up and let our voices be heard, we can truly make a change.

So speak up now.






Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lost memories (short story)

 This was my final assignment for writing class. The original story is written in Dutch and as I translated it, I hope it will still come across well. My theme was: Lost memories.

*


Time. Time is relative. Sometimes time passes by quickly and sometimes it feels like it just slowly crawls on. And sometimes, sometimes it feels like time freezes. As if it doesn't matter. As if the memory of time is enough. I didn't need anything but the memory of her. It was my oxygen. For twenty years I just lived with that memory. No, I didn't live. I existed. Every single day I woke up to look beside me, but the pillow on which her head was supposed to rest was always unused. I tried to keep her alive, it was the only importance in my existence. I had to keep her alive in my words and in my thoughts. I wouldn't let time erase her. I couldn't let her go.


Sometimes I wonder if I could have saved her had I been with her. I wondered if everything would have been different. An unbearable thought. I knew that there was nothing I could have done for her, but that didn't ease the pain. Everywhere I went I saw her. It drove me mad. There was nobody who could help me. Everybody had moved on with their lives, but I was still standing there alone. I had enough of it. I wanted to be with her again.


It was a Tuesday afternoon in September. A cool breeze tickled my skin as I walked tot the woods with an old worn backpack. My footsteps touched the soft soil. Leaves creaked underneath the soles of my shoes. The wind appeared to whisper my name, like an old friend.
My heart was beating fast. I could feel the fear, but there was no turning back. Keep going. It is now or never.


The path on which I walked was exactly the way I remembered it to be. Every tree, every flower was still the same. It felt as if I had never left. But I had, despite having sworn never to return again.


Yet still I was here. My mind did not know why, but my heart had the answer. Twenty years had passed by as a blur. I remembered nothing of the days after she was gone. I was still the boy who was hopelessly in love, deep down in my heart. I only remembered her smile. How we used to run across these paths and pretended to be king and queen of this forest. I remembered looking at the river in silence and wondering where it would end.


I arrived at the clearing. I could see an old oak tree in the middle. The leaves of the tree were of a deep brown colour. The branches reached high into the sky as if they tried to touch heaven. That tree. I remembered how she used to sit against the trunk, reading from a book. She always laughed when she saw me running towards her, galloping on an invisible horse. This place was magical. Everything we dreamed about happened here. Nothing was impossible, because we believed. Time didn't exist for us.


The magic disappeared on a said day. It was raining outside and I wasn't planning on going to the woods, but I couldn't reach her to tell her. I had a peculiar feeling and decided to go to the clearing anyway. I brought something for her, a necklace with a heartshaped pendant. My mother had told me to give it to her. I wanted to give it to her to ask if she always wanted to be mine. The necklace would be the token of our love.


I ran the last few metres until I reached the clearing. I was out of breath, but it didn't matter. I knew she was here.


A deafening silence took hold of the clearing. Usually the sound of singing birds was heard but now, nothing. Nothing except emptiness. I didn't understand. And that's when I saw her. Her feet barely touched the ground. Her limp body hung from a rope around her neck. She was sodden. I thought it was a joke. I walked towards her and took her hand in mine. She was stiff and cold as ice. I took the small stool, climbed on it and removed the rope around her nek. I could only just catch her when she fell down like a rag doll. I let myself fall on the ground and pulled her body on my lap. The eyes which ones told so many stories were empty. They seemed to stare in space, her mouth slightly open as if she was surprised about something she saw in the distance. I screamed her name but it made no difference. She was gone.


The feeling of emptiness came back as I stared at the tree. I tried to get rid of my fear, walked to the tree, took a rope from my bag and placed a small stool near the trunk. I climbed on the stool and tied the rope around the branch. I tied a loop at the end of the rope and put it around my neck. Everything was ok. I had nothing left to give.
It started to drizzle. I closed my eyes as I felt the rain touching me. The trees moved in the wind. They said goodbye. I put my hand in my pocket and felt the necklace with the heart pendant dancing in my hand. A smile appeared on my face. I took a deep breath and felt the air fill my lungs. I felt liberated.


I wanted to kick away the stool. I wanted it all to be over and done with. And then, then I saw her. She approached me from the other side of the clearing. She looked at me and whispered my name. “Oscar?” Was I already in heaven? The lines between dreams and reality were blurred. She observed me from a distance. She still looked the same, she was still fifteen years of age. I didn't know what to say. Finally after 20 years. Finally we were together again.


“What are you doing?” she said softly. Her big eyes looked at me. I was lost for words. I took the necklace from my pocket and reached out my hand to her. “This is for you. I kept it for you all those years.” I said. She smiled. I felt her hand go through mine as she took the necklace. It made me shiver. She put the necklace on and looked at me without saying a word.


“I want to be with you again,” I said, while I could no longer fight back tears.


She looked sad as if I told her something she did not want to hear. She came closer, until her face was right in front of mine. I looked at her and noticed I could see right through her. “Live, Oscar.” Your life is so much more than my memory. I will always exist in your heart. And yes, slowly the memory of me will fade away, but I will always stay,” she said while she took a step back.


“Why did you do it? I wanted to help you,” I begged.


“There was nothing you could have done Oscar. I was already dead, only my heart was still beating. At least I feel no pain anymore,” she smiled carefully.


She turned her back on me. “You have no idea how wonderful life is,” she spoke softly.


She came back to me and took my hand in hers. “Live,” she said again. I closed my eyes but I saw nothing but emptiness. When I opened my eyes, I was alone in a clearing. I didn't know what I was doing here. I had a rope around my neck which I quickly removed. I stepped off a stool and looked arlund confused. I felt warm from the inside. Complete. The sun broke through grey clouds. I returned home.


*

I was in my bed while I stared at the ceiling. My body was old and worn out. I was tired. Very tired. I couldn't go on any longer.
Almost asleep, I saw her. I didn't recognise her, but it felt as if she was an old friend. A love from lost times.
“Are you coming?” she whispered. I nodded. I got up and no longer felt the pain in my bones. I looked at my bed and saw my body. Everything was perfect.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Why salespeople should not act like stalkers.

Do you know that feeling when you haven't even set foot in a shop and a salesperson is already up in your face to 'help' you with your needs but in reality just wants to slam us much money out of you as possible? They do not seem to take "No thanks, just having a look around." as an answer. They will kindly tell you that they are just around the corner if you need help. And they literally are. You can feel their eyes burning in your back and more often than not, it will result in you fleeing from the store.

I know sales techniques. I work in sales. The key to it all is to be subtle and honest. Most salespeople fail at this aspect. Today I was in a shop to check out cameras. I know what I was looking for, I didn't need any help. I wasn't offered help either. Instead, with every step I took, I had a salesperson taking two. I was being watched and basically stalked as I looked at cameras. It made me feel so uncomfortable that I left and as I walked away, the salesperson followed me until the end of the aisle.

Perhaps he thought I was shoplifting. Which makes sense of course, because nobody will notice me trying to pull a big ass camera out of the display while 2 employees were watching me. Especially when looking at things like cameras, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that people want to take their time and try out a product before buying. Rule number 1 of not scaring away customers: Don't make it too obvious that you are keeping an eye on them.

Also, don't lie to customers. That's something which happens all the time in clothing shops. I tried on jeans which made my ass look like a skippy ball and it looked like my crotch was only inches away from the floor. The girl who was supposed to sell it to me said it looked AAAH-MA-ZING! She had never seen a pair of jeans and a person who meant to be together like we did. Luckily my cousins were around to assure me it looked shit. So we left without buying anything.

I like to take my time to look at products, consider my choices, check reviews online (even for make-up). I sometimes take ages to make up my mind. One time I was in London, at Boots, when a woman came up to me after I had been walking around the shop for quite a while just to kill time. "You look lost," she said, "Can I help you?" She startled me so at least she did the 'keeping an eye on the costumer without them noticing' well.

I guess I'll just resort to shopping online.

Monday, 4 November 2013

The art of creating things

At the moment I'm studying Art, Culture and research at the University of Arts and as I'm halfway through now, I'm starting to realise that I adore this so much more than what I do now. Don't get me wrong, I love studying the English language and I enjoy working with children, but there is a certain kind of magic in starting with nothing and creating something out of it.

Right now I take 3 courses; Creating a performance, creative writing and creating with media. In the first one I study performance arts and we get to see different ways of looking at the world. Shakespeare was right, all the world's a stage! We're also creating one big performance as a group which is an incredibly interesting process. We're with quite a lot of people and everybody has his or her own idea about what they want to happen and it's interesting and rewarding to see all the ideas come together. I am sure once the performance is done, it will be a joy to watch and I'm sure we will all be proud of what we accomplished.

This week will be my last day at creative writing before I will have to do something else. I will miss it a lot because, as many of you know, writing is my passion. I enjoyed sharing work in class and discussing it. I will perform my final piece this Wednesday and will of course post it here when I get my final grade.

Last course is creating with media. I find this the most difficult one as the teachers are really critical of our work. I hope that we get to do more individual assignments in terms of photography and film as I have some very good ideas about what I want to do and I now have the tools to make awesome things.

I love the creative processes. I love thinking outside of the box. I love just having an outlet of creative energy and I'm sure that I will continue creating things when I'm done in February. I want to not only become a better writer, but I want to become a better artist and inspire others, the way I was inspired.

I will aim to make good art. Every single day.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

This day a year ago..

Today this was a year ago:

For 12 hours in a row, we had been packing paper bags with heart balloons and cards and this was the result. Why would you do such a crazy thing, you ask?

Well, for this moment:


The four of us were sleep-deprived, annoyed and hungry, but when we saw this, we felt proud. Especially his reaction is amazing. The whole day was special, minus the sleep-deprivation. As sometimes memories need to remain personal treasures, I won't share everything that happened that day, but it was special. That entire week was special. It started off the Saturday before in Paradiso, then in Cologne where I got to share the stage with my friends and also Brussels was a friend party. We were given so much freedom that we did not end up using, but it was great that we were trusted to that extent.

People often ask me why I go to see the same artist over and over again, whether this is Mika or Katy or whoever. It's hard to explain and I guess hard to understand when you're not that involved with any specific artist. It's just that whenever you walk into a venue and the lights go down and the first beats of your favourite song starts playing, you get lost in this magical realm that lasts for two hours. It makes you forget your worries, forget the pain in your legs. Just you and the music. And you want to relive that moment over and over again because it makes you happy, no matter what others may say.
I've been fortunate enough to create great memories at gigs which will stay with me for a life-time. Not one show is the same, that's for sure.

I hope that many more great memories will follow soon. I'm sure the magic won't get lost.



Saturday, 2 November 2013

Embrace the child within.

It was in the afternoon right after class. I had to wait a while to see the teacher about a story I wrote, along with a few other people. As I was bored, I took out my 3ds and started playing. A classmate passed by. "What? You still play Pokemon? Who still does that?" He said, probably in an attempt to make me feel embarrassed. I shrugged and said: "Obviously I do."

Pokemon was important to me in my childhood. 7-year old me was obsessed with it. I knew every single one of those pocket monsters and could name them in the right order. I collected cards, plushies and all kinds of other merchandise. The first ever film I saw in theatres was Pokemon: The First Movie. I played all the games and was heartbroken when my Pokemon Red cartridge was stolen. The thief later returned it, but not until he/she did a new game and saved it. Everyone who played those games knows how painful that is.

Then suddenly, Pokemon was no longer hot. Yu-gi-oh cards and other shit became the bomb. I was the only one left on the playground, holding on to my gameboy tightly, unwilling to say goodbye to the monsters I trained for hours just because the next big thing had arrived. No matter how many people told me Pokemon was lame, I continued playing it. All of the games, up until now. Why? Because it were the games that made me happy in my childhood. I have fond memories of meeting up with neighbourhood kids and trading cards and battling via cables (there was no such thing as wireless back then).

When we grow older, we're expected to be completely mature by the age of 21. We are no longer allowed to like the things that made us happy as a child because it is for children, right? Does it really matter that a professional businessman collects My Little Ponies as a hobby? Does it hurt anyone if a teacher is a fan of Hello Kitty in her spare time? Does playing a game you used to play when you were young make you immature? I don't think so.

We live in a fast-paced world where children are forced to grow up far too quickly. I was a child who was forced to be mature at the age of 12 for many different reasons. I'm just happy that the things that gave me joy back then are still around and available to me. I'm no longer meeting up with neighbourhood kids for trading, but instead technology has made it possible for me to trade with people all over the world.

It was Pokemon for me, but for you, my dear reader, it might be something completely different. Don't let anyone tell you off for still embracing the child inside of you. If it doesn't hurt anyone or get in your way, then why bother? As long as it makes you happy.

Friday, 1 November 2013

It's NaBloPoMo!

It's November! Which means many things happen. Yes, Summer is definitely over and the times of freezing to death are near. Men grow moustaches because of Movember. But most importantly, it's NaNoWriMo!

My intention was to finish a novel this month. I'm already well on my way, but this would be a great challenge for me. Just finishing the damn thing. However, that doesn't seem very likely at the moment. Even though I decided to take it easy, there are still a shitload of things that need to get done, which are, quite frankly, more important for now. But do not fret, that story will somehow get finished before I turn 80. Yay!

So, instead, I decided to do NaBloPoMo. Which basically means I will post a blog every day in November. 30 days of blogs filled with nonsense and my thoughts on a variety of topics. Oh the joy. I promise I will try to keep it entertaining, so if you have an idea for me to blog about, send me a message on twitter or via email.

It will be a challenge for me, as I sometimes write a lot of blogs, but at times I forget. I will think of great topics to write about, but then not do so because I'm too tired/lazy/*fill in the blank of lame excuses*.

Not this time though. The past few months have taught me that writing is my future. I make up stories all day in my head and I enjoy sharing them with the world. Of course, I'm still learning, but every single day I get more and more motivated to do what makes me happy. Which is writing.

I've been writing ever since I was about 7 years old. Even then I tried to write in English, which I did surprisingly well for that age. I wrote poems and songs and short stories, mostly about how I felt. These stories weren't very good, but at least my notebook gave me an outlet to vent all my thoughts because even at that age I was a thinker. There were also a lot of bad things I had to deal with, and putting it all on paper was a way for me to deal with it and move on. I still have those notebooks and wil try to post some of them on this blog tonight.

Some people live for dancing. Others enjoy collecting things. I find my joy in writing and I hope that I will give you, whoever is reading this, joy in reading my words.

Until tomorrow,

Ingrid


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Decisions

Everyone who knows me well, knows that I am easily stressed out about things which may not seem really important. I wish I had inherited the calmness my father has, to deal with all kinds of situations that don't seem to matter.

I recently had a very severe panic attack. It ended with me hyperventilating until the point that I thought I was dying. Not cool, you guys! All because of stress. Stress of having to do many things at the same time. Stress of having to live up to expectations I couldn't live up to. Stress of not being able to be myself because of other people's ideas of how everyone in a group should behave.

I'm done with that now. I've decided to choose myself for a change. So I am not going to finish my degree this year but will take an extra 6 months. I have decided not to live up to any expectations others have of me. I have expectations of myself which I will try to leave up to, but if I don't live up to expectations of others, that's their problem, not mine. And most of all, I've decided not to conform to any group dynamics I do not agree with. It has caused me to be stalked in the past. Called names by random people on the internet. I've decided not to care anymore. I've decided that if I have something to say, I will say it. I've decided that I'm not going to tiptoe around the truth, afraid to hurt someone's feelings, even though nobody should feel hurt. And when I'm wrong, I won't be afraid to admit that I am wrong.

I have been sleeping much better after deciding this. I've distanced myself from the things that caused me stress. It's already making me feel much happier than I used to be. Contrary to what I used to believe, I don't have to explain myself to anonymous profile pictures on social media.

I feel free now.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

8 years old and sentenced to death

Magazines are read for entertainment. I read quite a lot of magazines when I want to relax and not think about anything. Yet sometimes you read articles that touch you, make you think about your own life and the way you live it. Today I read one of those articles. It was about cancer. A sad subject. The most horrible disease in this world. Especially when the patients are children.

The youngest child was 8. She said she had cancer ever since she was 4, so half of her life. The oldest was 13. I had a heavy heart reading this article, because it is not something that should happen to young children. They should live a carefree life in which their only worry is who to play with after school or what's for dinner that night.

Included in the article were large pictures of the children. I didn't see sad and frail human beings. I saw children with courage and bravery in their eyes. Who didn't see themselves the way the world saw them; lost causes.
It was so inspiring to read a little girl's only concern not being her health, but the fact that her teddy bear felt uncomfortable in the hospital. A true fighter. And this boy, whose mother just heard that he is incurable. "You are going to die. Didn't you hear what I said?" His mother cried. He said: "I heard you. Would you please stop pushing it?" He then said he was just having fun in life until it stops.
Another girl's dad told her she might die, but she said she's okay with that because it would mean she would be reunited with her beloved pet in heaven. It is all so confronting. Here I am worried and stressing about the little things in life while there are children out there fighting for their lives when they shouldn't have to.

I think a lot of adults could learn from these children. Whenever life doesn't treat us well, we tend to get depressed and give up. These children don't give up. Most importantly, they are not afraid of death. They see it as a new adventure.

I remember vividly when a classmate I used to hang out with in high school. One day he was very pale and extremely tired. Not long after he visited the doctor, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He never gave up. He got better. He was allowed to go home. Then he got the flu, but his immune system wasn't strong enough to fight it. He got into a coma and died on Christmas eve.
Hundreds of people gathered for his funeral. As I was standing there in the back of the church, I remember thinking that all these people shouldn't have been there that day. He shouldn't have been in that coffin. He was far too young to go. He should've just come to school the next day and tease me like he always did. Get on my nerves, tell fantastical stories, dress up like a pirate on Pirate's day. But he was gone. It was unfair.

Cancer. It's something you don't even want to happen to your worst enemy. It tears families apart. It shatters hopes and dreams. I get insanely angry when I see someone use cancer as a swear word. It's not. It's serious. But instead of fearing it, we should continue to fight it. Not only for the sake of these children, but for the sake of everybody who suffers from it. We should take these kids as an example, be brave and eliminate this terrible disease.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Let the light in: PRISM!

So, today I want to talk to you about an amazing event in the history of music. The release of PRISM by Katy Perry. Yes, I know, I'm biased, but if you want to listen to good music with a message, this is the cd you need.
Katy is huge. After Teenage Dream everybody wondered if she could top herself. And she did. Prism is a commercial success already. Reviews are not all positive, but then again, what do music critics know? Music is about the feeling it brings across so all those technical terms blabla are not important.

I read a review which said that Prism contains too many poetic lyrics and Katy couldn't pull this off. I beg to differ. In today's day and age we are used to mindless pop music about sex and partying. We are scared off by songs with actual meaning and lyrics which speak to us and confront us with our own lives. Katy and her team of writers have written some wonderful lyrics which have actual meaning. They speak from the heart. Some of the songs are about her relationship with Russell Brand, and I find that those touch me the most because they appear so sincere. Especially By The Grace Of God and Ghost are beautiful in that sense.

Of course, not all the songs are deep. Birthday, This is how we do and International Smile are rather superficial but there's nothing wrong with that. As long as it's not a complete album filled with mindless tracks, it's all good.

I love Prism. I don't equally love every song as much. I find myself skipping International Smile and Birthday at times but that's just because they don't appeal to me as much. It's all a matter of taste. I think Prism shows Katy's evolution as an artist and as a person even more so than Teenage Dream did. I know some fans want the One Of The Boys era back, but honestly, pop is what Katy does best and I'm excited to see what the future will bring for her.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Fright Nights

I haven't blogged in agessss! I promise I will post something worthy soon. For now, here's a video of the Fright Nights I went to:


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Bangerz

Let's be honest, we all have an opinion on Miley Cyrus. And well, she does one thing right; everybody is talking about her. I personally am getting a bit tired of the gimmicks. I wasn't shocked about her walking around half naked. A body is a body and for all I care, she goes grocery shopping without clothes on. I just feel like her attempts at shedding the Hannah Montana image are a bit too desperate. It feels as though she's trying too hard to be gangster. Instead of it all being an effortless process, it seems as though every 'shocking' thing she does is too calculated and too focused on being controversial.

However, in the end it's all about the music. At least it is for me. I can like an artist but I won't give two shits if their music isn't my taste. I wasn't particularly fond of We Can't Stop, although I did find myself humming the chorus at times. Wrecking Ball took some time getting used to. I think it's an okay song. I refuse to watch the video though. Not because she's naked and sexually assaulting sledge hammers, but because it was directed by Terry Richardson, a notorious pervert who exploits young models sent to him. I don't feel like supporting anything like that. Plus, watching the video made me feel a bit dirty.

Anyways, as I think the music should speak for itself, I decided to give Bangerz a listen. I went into it completely without judgement. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish listening to it. To be fair, some of the beats were okay, but most of the time it had all been done before but 10 times better. It wasn't an unpredictable album. Basically, every song was either about heartbreak or partying, getting money and sex. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it's done well. Justin Timberlake's 2006 album Futuresex/Lovesounds was basically all about sex but it was original and well-thought out. Bangerz is not. It goes from one heartbreak song, to a party song to another heartbreak song. The lyrics are hardly original and quite confusing at times. From all the songs I've listened to, I think Wrecking ball was musically and lyrically the best song on the album.
That doesn't mean I didn't like some of the tracks. I thought the sampling of Stand by me on my darling was quite well done and entertaining. Her country song ft. Nelly 4x4 was good and surprising. But for me personally, those were the only highlights on the track.

I don't think Bangerz will be a classic as Miley hopes it will be. For those who like this kind of music and Miley's voice in particular, I'm sure this album will be great. I was expecting a little more, especially since Pharrell Williams was involved in this album. Unfortunately he couldn't give her the perfect song which would mark her transition from childstar to serious popstar (like I'm a slave 4 u did for Britney).

I hope for Miley that she will evolve some more and find a way to be herself without having to constantly do something controversial. It's getting tiring at a certain point. Yes, we've all seen boobs before. The shock factor is gone. She needs to have more tricks upon her sleeve in order to keep the momentum going. I hope these tricks will include some seriously amazing and surprising music in the future.