Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Today is a day of national grief in the Netherlands. Today is the day we remember those who have passed away in a horrible way. I myself had just safely arrived in Spain when I heard about the crash. I was shocked. Despite telling myself that I would spend as little time on my phone as possible, I kept looking up information about what had happened. It felt so surreal. Too tragic to be true.
A couple of people who were on holiday with me received phone calls and texts informing them that someone they knew had passed away. This is one of those disasters that affect so many people. Lots of people knew somebody who was on the plane or knew somebody who had lost a relative or a friend. It was a black day in the history of our country.
And I saw quite a few comments saying that suddenly everybody cared about these deaths but nobody cares for Palestina or victims of other wars. I understand that thought and I find every innocent life lost is one too many, regardless of where they are from or who they were. The reason why so many people are in shock about this, is because it happened so close to home and in a terrible way.
These people thought they were going on the holiday of a lifetime. They were going to visit relatives or build up a new life. They boarded the plane without a care in the world and then it was all over within the blink of an eye.

I am watching on tv how some of the bodies are taken to a place to be identified. Cars stopped in the middle of the highway. Thousands of people gathered at the side of the road to pay their respect. It is amazing to see that the victims are being honoured even though this tragedy shouldn't have happened at all.

War is a terrible thing and even though wars have been fought for centuries, what has it truly brought us but sadness and pain?

The victims of MH017 will never be forgotten. And I hope that all innocent lives lost in wars and disasters around the world will be remembered. There are no words for comfort. There is nothing that makes us less fragile. The only thing that can truly make a change, if we put down the weapons and let love conquer.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

It's done!

It is done. Fini. After months of writing, the first draft of my novel is finished. It hasn't become a long novel. At 61,000 words it is considered quite short, but I might add things when I start editing. I might also delete a lot of things. But whatever I do with it, I finished it. I finished my first book. I never thought I could. I always stuck to short stories because they were easy to get done and not as much of a commitment as a whole book. I'm printing the first draft now to let someone else read it. When I get back from holiday, I will read it myself and the gruelling editing proces will begin. Once I'm satisfied with it, I will translate it into English.

I am incredibly proud of myself. There were times when I just wanted to quit. I thought I didn't have any inspiration any more and then it came back all of a sudden and the writing went extremely quickly. I just don't know what to say. I've been typing all day long today to make sure I finished it before I leave tomorrow and I did it. I DID IT!

I just wanted to let you know that. Also, I won't be online much for five days. I know you will miss me, but you're big boys and girls, you will manage.

Did I mention I finished the first draft of a novel? Gosh it seems so surreal now.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

That time I sang a song on stage.

Yesterday I went on stage and sang a song in front of people. You might think that that's nothing to remarkable, but it is, considering it's been 8 years since I stood on a stage and sang solo. That didn't go too well. The keyboardplayer played the song in the original key which was too low for me and I was too shy to stop the song and tell him to go lower. Which meant it was a disaster and as it was a schoolthing, I had to deal with mockery for a loooong time.
That's fine. Shit happens. I kept on singing, although I was afraid to be on a stage again and to sing by myself which meant people could actually hear my voice. I know I'm not Beyonce and I don't want to be. I sing because I enjoy singing and it makes me happy and for a long while I kept it to myself because I didn't want anyone to take the joy away from me again with their harsh words.
Cue the end of 2012. The opportunity to sing on stage with Mika as part of the Polka Dot Choir arose. I first watched videos of the choir in the US and their audition videos. Most of them were amazing singers and I thought I'd never in a million years would have a chance. But I wanted to do it so badly because no matter if I'm singing or dancing or acting or even reading a story, I feel happy on a stage in front of people. So by the time the opportunity to send in a video for the European dates came around, I was very nervous and of course I got a cold so I didn't sound too great. I knew there were going to be a lot of entries for Amsterdam so I thought I might send in my video for Cologne, but then I thought, fuck it, it's Paradiso, worth a shot.
Long story short, I saw someone on facebook mention she was in, I checked my email and I also got one. I screamed really loudly. I hadn't been on a stage since I was 15.
So, the gig happened and at first I was incredibly nervous, but once I got into it, I really got into it and it was amazing to see the crowd respond and to be part of something that makes so many people happy. After that I wanted to improve my singing, but it wasn't until February this year that I actually decided to take vocal lessons. Luckily, I got a really lovely vocal teacher who is just as eccentric as I am and incredibly patient. Whenever I would be down cause things didn't go the way I wanted to, she would highlight the positive. We'd focus on one technique at a time. Main goal was to get rid of the air I used when singing, as I pretty much sounded like a lame Britney Spears tribute act. We practised with Love of My Life by Queen and she told me to sing it without air which I did and then try it again with air, but the air was gone and I couldn't get it back. That was the point where I realised I could get better.

She asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would like to sing at the end of year presentation. I refused at first, as I still had the disaster of teenage me in mind. She persuaded me anyway. At first I wanted to do Thinking of You by Katy, but it was still a bit too hard so I chose Stardust by Mika instead. I was one of the last to go on and I was incredibly nervous. The room was pretty crowded and I just thought 'what if I'll fail?' It was the first time the pianoguy played the song and we hadn't practised together. So he started the song too fast. This time I did stop and asked him to slow it down. I'm glad I did. I sounded rather shaky and uncertain until after the first chorus. Then I started to really enjoy myself and I realised why I wanted to do this in the first place. I did make a lot of mistakes but overall I think I did well. You can watch it below:

Stardust from Ingrid Chant on Vimeo.

The people in the audience were quiet throughout the whole song. My vocal teacher was really excited and proud. Most importantly, I am proud of myself. I'm proud that I did it despite being scared. Fear is the worst advisor. I'm not scared of criticism anymore. I know my strenghts and my weaknesses. I know that I have a long way to go but I only want to improve for myself and to make myself even prouder. That's why I share this video, because I'm proud of myself.

I hope that I continue to improve myself and I hope that I will get more chances to be on stage and to do what I enjoy doing most, whether it be in front of 15 people or 1500.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Why it is important to be inspired by others.

I am halfway through with my novel. I'm pretty pleased with myself and I never thought I could get so far. I know I'm not quite there yet, but the end is in sight and the further I get into my story, the more excited I am to keep on writing. I have found the right story but I have also found the right people to inspire me.

Because let's face it. Everybody is inspired by somebody. No matter how unique we feel we are, we always need somebody to encourage us. Whose work inspires us to create our own fantastic pieces. Of course, it is great when your family and friends tell you that you are super awesome and that they have never read/heard/seen something as brilliant as you've just created, but they are the people closest to you. It's kind of their duty to not slag you off. I really appreciate all the great comments and feedback from my friends and family, but I have found out that feedback from people whose work I truly admire are of immense value to me in my quest to be able to say: "Yes, I wrote a novel. Guess I'm a true writer now. Go me!"

There have been two people who have truly inspired me to keep on writing. When I was about 12, I stopped writing altogether because I felt like it didn't suit me any purpose anymore. I wasn't going through a good time and I couldn't cope with writing anymore because it made me relive emotions I tried to keep away from me. It was a foolish thing to do as I threw away that one thing that made me cope. But we always find out stuff like that until we are older, don't we?
I discovered Mika's music when I was 15-years old and inspired by his ability to create a whole world around his songs, I slowly picked up writing again. It felt good. I wrote lyrics and poetry which were really awful, but they helped me process my thoughts. The more I wrote, the more comfortable I became with words. In 2011, 5 years after I had picked up writing again, I wrote a short story collection based on Mika's songs. Looking back at it, those stories were really quite bad. But I was proud of myself for managing to pull through and create something. I did give it to him and he seemed to like it. Probably because of the pretty illustrations.
I decided to keep on writing and wrote a longer story. It wasn't really all that bad, but I had barely done any editing and it was filled with flaws. I had it printed, but on the day I was planning on giving it to him, I got cold feet. What if he would laugh at me? My friend Laura convinced me to give it to him anyway and I did and I am glad I did. It was just the two of us and him (and the band) so there was no rush. I told him I had something for him and gave him the book. I said it was still a draft and it wasn't really that good, but he said that he loved it and showed it to one of the bandmembers (who couldn't give any fucks). That was enough for me, so I kept going.
Last year, I wrote a collection of poems and lyrics, and got some copies printed. I called it Chasing the Sun because I have an obsession with the sun and moon (which will be evident in the novel I'm writing) and I feel like chasing the sun is a good metafor. The sun is the biggest star after all, and just chasing the stars is for pussies. I'm actually still really proud of that book (first time) and love the illustrations (thanks to Ana).
I gave it to him last year after I first had to snap my fingers in his face.

He looked at it and genuinely liked it. He said he'd look at it in the car and held on to the book until he actually got in the car, while he gave all other gifts to his assistant. I had already gone by the time he got in the car, but when I saw a picture of him holding on to the book, it made me very happy.

I don't know if he has actually read the books (it's ok if he skipped the first two), but just his response every time I give him something I've created is enough for me to keep on going. I hope that I will be able to give my novel to him by the time it is finished. But we'll see that in the upcoming months. I first have to finish that thing.

The second person who inspired my writing was Neil Gaiman. I first read Neverwhere after picking it up while on a trip to the UK and I immediately fell in love with his writing. He is a master storyteller and that is something I want to become as well. You can write the most beautiful sentences, but if you can't tell a story, you're fucked.
Anyway, when I found out he was in my country I dragged my friend over to Rotterdam and we listened to him talk for 45 minutes and then entered the back of the queue to get my books signed. I wanted to say thank you for his stories, as by that time I had read almost all of his novels and especially his last one (Ocean at the end of the lane) had touched me deeply. So I did say thank you. And we talked a bit and he suddenly asked me if I was a writer. I said I tried to be, as I wasn't really sure at that point if I could make it. He said "Good, keep writing."

 I had no excuse now. Neil Gaiman told me I had to keep writing so I did. I had started many stories and had failed at finishing all of them. I almost gave up but then I realised I had to keep on writing if I ever wanted to get better. So I started writing short stories again and poems. I wrote so many things until at last the puzzle pieces of stories in my head came together and actually formed a concrete story. The one I'm working on right now.
I tweeted that a year ago Neil told me to keep writing and that I did and that I got so far already. And without expecting it, a new interaction popped up on my timeline:

I am so sure now that I will finish this and that when the story is done I will be proud of what I have accomplished and proud of the characters I have created. There are many more writers who have inspired me (such as Angela Carter and Kurt Vonnegut) who have unfortunately passed away. I am just happy that the people who have inspired me gave me hope and confidence that this is something that I can do. That I can accomplish something. It may not mean a lot to them, but it sure means the world to me. I am still trying to find my voice and I'm certainly not at the top of my game yet, but I will continue to get better and no matter what happens with the story once I finish it, it is certain that I will finish it.

So, if you have a dream, if you want to create something but are afraid to do so. Don't be. Don't listen to those who say you can't sing or dance or write. Don't listen to those who say that you will never be a professional drawer. Believe in yourself and strive to get better. You will be amazed at the results.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Where inspiration comes from

I have written 20,000 words so far. I feel incredibly proud as it is finally starting to shape up to something, which is marvelous of course. I plan to write a blog every time I've written another 10,000 words, so yay, here it is!

I was at my grandmother's birthday party the other night and my cousin told me that she thought it was amazing how people could just come up with stories and build entire worlds with nothing but their imagination. I agreed it was amazing. I'm not at the point yet where I can just create a world like J.K. Rowling did or come up with hundreds of characters and keep them all apart like George RR Martin. However, while writing my story now I find that often the story seems to write itself. The longer I'm working on it, the easier it gets.

Inspiration is a bitch. When you're looking for it, you won't find it. When you're not even thinking about finding it, it will hit you. I see a lot of people ask famous artists what inspires them, but I feel like it shouldn't be about what inspires them, but when they find inspiration. You can be inspired by everything. A man picking his nose in the train? Yessir! A cat chilling on a front porch? Inspiration right there! A woman who randomly spits fire in the streets? Stranger things have happened but it is inspiring alright!

I have spent a long time trying to write longer stories but I always failed because of so many reasons and I never understood why I couldn't just get shit done. Now I get it. I didn't have the right stories back then. I've found the right story now. Regardless of what happens with it after it's done, I'm already proud of it.

I will keep sharing my adventures in writingland here so I hope you will keep checking back.



Saturday, 14 June 2014

Song of the day: The Bed Song

It's already late at night and I should be in bed right now but obviously I'm still awake and I felt like writing a blog. And I don't know if I've ever written about this song, but I don't care. When I'm writing, I'm inspired by music and by powerful lyrics. However, there are few songs which give me chills down my spine and make me tear up. One of those songs is the Bed Song by Amanda Palmer.

A powerful video and an even more powerful song. I have noticed that whenever I'm writing, my stories tend to be about lost love and heartbreak because it is a subject that fascinates me. I am fascinated by the fact that two human beings can love each other so much that having to let go causes physical pain. And in today's society it is easy to lose sight of one another even when you're living under the same roof. Much too often do lovers become strangers. It seems like we have forgotten how to communicate. At least for me this song does show that no matter the obstacles, love does survive. We only tend to forget it sometimes in our hectic lives.

I'm a sucker for songs which tell stories and The Bed Song is a beautiful story. You have to be made of stone not to be touched by it. It makes you think which is something many songs lack these days; the ability to move us and make us take a closer look at the world around us again.

I hope you will enjoy the song while I will go to bed.



Thursday, 5 June 2014

Update on what I am doing.

I know I've been awful at keeping up with this blog. That has a reason as I am very busy with writing my first novel. I'm used to writing short stories, but this is a whole new thing for me. I have tried writing novels in the past as well, but somehow I always got stuck and that sucks because it makes you feel like a failure. Now I realised I didn't fail at writing all those other novels. I just didn't have to right story to tell yet and this time, I do have a story that has to be told.

 I won't tell you what it is about just yet. That's a secret. But I do want you to know what I'm working on. Sometimes the story comes easy. It just nestles its way into my head and I won't stop writing until inspiration has run dry. Sometimes it is harder though and it seems like the people in my head refuse to come out on paper. Those days are annoying, but necessary I guess.

 I hope that I will have the story finished by the end of the Summer, both the Dutch and English version. And I hope that when it is as perfect as it should be, I am able to share it with you. That's all really. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that soon I will be able to thank you for reading my book. As for now, here's a sketch I did about a part of the story. Please know that I suck at drawing but I make up for that in fabulousness.




Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The sexualisation of women

Today while I was attempting to write my essay on the novel Disgrace, I heard my brother listening to a song. Two guys were rapping. I hadn't heard the song before, but it basically spoke about women the way most hiphop songs do. Like objects. "I like pussy. I like cunts, but I don't like women" one of them shouted. I was disgusted. It seems to be not more than normal to view women as nothing more but objects who have to listen to men, because, well men are superior, aren't they?

I'm not a feminist. I don't go around burning my bra, screaming how awful men are. Because I've met quite a few good men along the way. However, the thing that bothers me is that there is still a large majority of guys who think it is normal to treat women like they are of no importance. Like they are just there to please men. In the novel I have to write an essay about, there is one quote that particularly sparked my interest: “She does not own herself. Beauty does not own itself.” This is not just a quote from a book. It is sadly what some men perceive to be reality.
Whenever a girl walks down the street in a pretty dress and men whistle, she is supposed to feel honoured. She is supposed to feel good about the fact that she looks good enough to be whistled at. To be considered an object of desire. But how honourable is it to be whistled at by strangers, asked for sexual favours and more often than not, after you decline, being called stuck-up or a whore? Yes, everybody likes attention. Everybody likes to be considered pretty. It's fun to flirt. But that doesn't mean that a girl wants to flirt with every random guy on the street. It doesn't mean that a girl is appreciative of your sexual comments. It doesn't make someone feel better. It only makes them feel scared and insecure.

I remember when I was 19 and I was alone waiting for the train. A guy came up to me. He was my age and he started talking to me so we had a nice conversation. When the train came, he followed me and sat opposite me. At a sudden point he would start stroking my leg and I felt very uncomfortable about it. I was afraid to speak up because I was rather shy. He asked me if I wanted to come to his house to have sex. I politely declined. I had known this guy for half an hour and he already thought it was okay for him to ask me for sexual favours, just because he was in the mood for sex and I was the first vagina he spotted.

Women are sexualised in the media, that's a fact. And I think that it's okay for women to use their sexuality to a certain extend. There is nothing wrong with nudity as long as it is tasteful. There is no shame in the female body. But how often do we see half-naked men on Page Three? How often are men called manwhores for having sex with a lot of different girls? Women are sluts the moment they enjoy their sexuality and sleep with more than one guy. Why is a man a hero when he slept with 5 girls in one weekend? 

Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, even Beyonce who is seen as the rolemodel for female empowerment show themselves as sexual objects in their music videos. It's fine when you want to show the world that you are comfortable in your skin, but the fact that the ladies perform all kinds of sexual acts in the video, while the men are usually just watching it happen is strange.

In her latest video, Jennifer Lopez turned the tables around and had hot half-naked men perform the role of video hoes. And what strikes me most is that a lot of people were actually surprised by the video. As if men can't be objects of desire. As if us girls can't lust after a guy without being called a whore.

When girls get raped, there are people who dare to say that it is the girl's fault. That if she hadn't dressed 'provocatively' it wouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with clothes. It has to do with values. It has to do with respect. It seems that we live in a world in which boys are taught that women are inferior, whether by their environment or by what they see in the media. Instead of blaming girls for being put in the position of lust object, we should teach boys that you treat a woman with respect. That you do not touch her if she does not want you to touch her. That you do not go up to a strange girl to ask her for sex and call her names if she doesn't comply. Because men don't own women. We don't wear a sign around our necks that says I'M A WHORE, USE ME AS YOU PLEASE. 

Sex is a great thing and it is a powerful thing. It's great when two people are in love and make love. But it has to always be consensual and all the parties involved have to be respected. I fear we still have a long way to go before we're truly equal. Until that time, dear media, instead of just throwing boobs in our faces all the time, at least show up some penis action too. You know, for equality.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Victory of the Bearded Lady

Yesterday was the Eurovision song contest as you inevitably must have heard. Unless you're not from Europe, then you have an excuse to not know whaddup. Anyways, those who follow me on twitter could read my fantastic live report as I was tweeting whilst watching the show. The sport of it all is too be witty and entertaining. Being a bit bitchy is allowed as long as you don't make it personal.

Yesterday was the final and it was more than just entertainment. Of course, we all installed ourselves in front of the television with our laptops and phone in hand, ready to share every thought on social media. But this year the Eurovision wasn't just about who wore the best/worst dress or had the weirdest act. This year the world outside of the Eurovision bubble managed to invade and it was magical. The Eurovision Song Contest has always been about politics, neighbours voting for each other etc. It had little to do with music and more to do with extravagence. But this year, Austria entered the lady with the beard, Conchita Wurst. To some it might have been a witty act to garner attention, but to many others, including myself, it was a statement. A statement of being who you are and nobody who can touch you.

Ever since the semi-finals, Conchita has been my favourite and the favourite of many others. She did not just perform an act but she was honestly amazing. Her voice sounded phenomenal and the song was truly empowering. It was no surprise that she went through to the final and eventually won it.

The final was entertaining, although most acts were exactly like they had been in the semi-finals, with the additional countries which go through automatically for paying most money to finance to whole thing. Nobody was impressed until Conchita took the stage and owned the show. Social media went wild. It was a done deal.

Why yesterday was a statement? Well, because of the current political situation in Russia mostly. Russia, Belarus, Azerbeijan, they all wanted to ban her performance and when that failed, they aimed to not air her performance in their countries. Outrageous.
But hate doesn't win. It never does. And Europe showed that yesterday. The large majority of Europe united in their support for the bearded lady and Austria got vote after vote after vote. What's more is that at the mention of Russia alone, the crowd would start booing, the people on twitter started booing and we all brought Conchita her victory and with her victory, we brought ours as well. Because only if we fight together, we can fight intolerance and increase acceptance. I felt sorry for the Russian twins who had to endure the boo'ing, but it wasn't aimed at them and it wasn't aimed at all the people of Russia. I know enough Russians who have no problem with gays or people who are different. It was mainly aimed at Putin and the politicians who support his conduct.

After the final, a Russian politician posted: "There's no limit to our outrage. It's the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don't have men and women any more. They have 'it'." But it is not the end of Europe. It is the beginning. Because regardless of our differences, we all agree that everybody should be able to live their life the way they want it to. To look the way they want to look without being insulted. To love who they want to, without being condemned. And that is a victory and there is no man whose hunger for power can stop that.

So congratulations Conchita. Congratulations to my own country for coming in second (hey it's been a while) and congratulations to Europe. We're one step closer to acceptance.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Short story - Destiny

I haven't posted any writings I've done here in quite a while and as I'm working on a bigger story right now, I thought it would be nice to share a little short story with you today which fits the theme of the other one. I like to stay in that same kind of mood. I hope you'll like it and I promise I will try to write more. Ugh, life that gets in the way. So annoying.

Anyway. Here it is. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Sometimes I wonder if you can hear my voice travel through the layers of time. You didn’t want to go, I could tell by the way you looked at me. By the way your voice broke when you said the words. When you told me that you loved me. I was there. I held your hand and I kissed your lips and I whispered sweet nothings in your ear, hoping that it would make it all the more bearable. “I’ll see you on the other side,” I said and a faint smile appeared on your lips. But I knew you didn’t believe me. I knew it was the end and so did you.

I rested my head on your shoulder. You were already cold and distant. I never realised how much I truly cared for you until that moment. Until I was losing you. I held you close. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that you weren’t the person you used to be. The one I gave my heart to. All that mattered was that we were here. Together. Until the last breath. “Don’t give up on me,” you said and I replied that I wouldn’t. I sang you a sad song. I sang you a happy song. I sang a song about missing you. But I never sang a song about forgetting you. How could I? You were a part of me.

I saw you staring in the distance. Your eyes looked a thousand worlds away. I gave way to tears as I held your hand for the last time. I saw you smiling. A smile of an angel. A cold evening, a lonely morning.

And I stayed by your side. Until the sun faded and the moonlight was nothing but a memory. I stayed by your side. Until my skin was wrinkly and old, my hair white and my body fragile. I stayed by your side until my heart stopped beating. Until we were one. We erased the times we lost each other. We cherished the moments we shared. You lived within me, so we never had to say goodbye.

It was...destiny.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience Tour

I haven't posted here for aaaages. I guess I was just lazy. But yesterday I was fortunate enough to go to Justin Timberlake's gig in Arnhem and I really have the urge to share my thoughts with you.

I was 12 when I went to my first gig and well, it happened to be Justin Timberlake in the exact same venue. Back then I was seated in the back and I was just amazed at how huge the arena was. I can't really remember anything about the concert itself as it was too long ago, but when I read that JT was coming back 10 years later to the exact same venue, I just knew I had to go. Back then he was about 23 years old and now, I am that age. It's a funny thing.

 In the past ten years I have gotten quite a lot of concert experience, from small venues to huge arenas. I think every venue has a certain charm to it, but I like big shows when they have these great massive productions. I had heard I was not going to be disappointed when it came to that. The venue did not look as huge as it did when I was 12, but I am still amazed by the enormous amount of different people going to these shows. There were a large amount of wannabe hipsters, teenagers, fashionista's and everything in between. I did feel a little old when my cousin and I did our white girl dance moves and 14 year old were throwing us these "what the fuck do you think you're doing?" looks.

At exactly 20.30, the countdown started. It was the first time I went to a concert which started exactly at the time it was supposed to start. And for a moment I felt like this 12-year old girl again. We were in the back yet again but right in the middle so we could see the entire stage. We got up and danced and did not stop dancing until the very end of the show. It was just the right mix of old songs and new and some really great covers. Justin's voice was on top form and his dance moves smooth. And the band, oh my, the band were impeccable. I thought it was great that Justin introduced them as JT & The Tennessee Kids, instead of just taking the limelight for himself. But really. Wow. I have rarely seen such amazing musicians play live. 
I read a tweet saying that the show was just a little too well-rehearsed as if it was a negative thing. With smaller gigs I really like spontaneous moments, but with a huge production like this, if something goes wrong it can only be distracting which is confusing for everybody on stage. Yes, ever move was thought-out, but in the best way possible.

My personal highlight was my favourite song Mirrors, as the final song. The fact that an entire stadium sang along those words gave me goosebumps. I don't know why, I'm just a sucker for these moments.

Here's the moment. Note this is not my video.

I was sad that it ended. I could have gone another few hours and I am a bit sad that I can't make it to the Amsterdam show. Back when I was 12 I was a big JT fan but I kind of lost that when he decided to become an actor. After last night, that feeling is back again. Nothing can beat a great performance with amazing music.

If you have the chance, buy tickets to see one of his shows. I promise you won't regret it.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Spirited Away

Considering the fact that I've had a lot of spare time lately, I am finally watching films which I've always wanted to see but never got around to watch. One of those films was the anime Spirited Away. I was told the film was fantastic so I was rather curious about whether it really was or not. I'm quite a fan of animation films, especially when they are well made and have a good plot. Nowadays there are quite a lot of 3D animation films, which are really great, but I do prefer 2D animation, especially when it is hand-drawn. Perhaps that's because I've been traumatised as a child by the Lion King and that always kind of stuck with me. I mean, who did not bawl their eyeballs out during this scene?

Anyway, I digress. Spirited Away. A film made by Hayao Miyazaki, apparently a living legend when it comes to anime. I am the first to admit that before watching this film, I didn't know that much about the genre. I was a big Pokemon fan, I had watched a few episodes Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z, but this kind of anime was of a whole different kind.

I stole this summary from IMDB:

Chihiro and her parents are moving to a small Japanese town in the countryside, much to Chihiro's dismay. On the way to their new home, Chihiro's father makes a wrong turn and drives down a lonely one-lane road which dead-ends in front of a tunnel. Her parents decide to stop the car and explore the area. They go through the tunnel and find an abandoned amusement park on the other side, with its own little town. When her parents see a restaurant with great-smelling food but no staff, they decide to eat and pay later. However, Chihiro refuses to eat and decides to explore the theme park a bit more. She meets a boy named Haku who tells her that Chihiro and her parents are in danger, and they must leave immediately She runs to the restaurant and finds that her parents have turned into pigs. In addition, the theme park turns out to be a town inhabited by demons, spirits, and evil gods. At the center of the town is a bathhouse where these creatures go to relax. The owner of the bathhouse is the evil witch Yubaba, who is intent on keeping all trespassers as captive workers, including Chihiro. Chihiro must rely on Haku to save her parents in hopes of returning to their world.
 I was pretty hardcore and watched the film in Japanese with subtitles. The fact that I only did that because I couldn't find an English version is not important.
The film does live up to the hype around it. It is different than animation films in the western world in which it is more important to have an action packed feature than it is to have a good story. Spirited Away was started a bit slow, but it doesn't matter because it was drawn so well that just the magic of the animation was enough to catch your attention. The whole film exudes this kind of magic, and it seems like only the Japanese have mastered this skill. I am someone who loves dark Fairy Tales, so for me this was the perfect film.

It has a really good story. I often feel like animation films don't have strong plots because that seems to be less important than good techniques used, but this is not the case with this film. It is not a standard: "and they lived happily ever after" tale. Some moments in the film are actually rather scary, considering the film is aimed at children. I admire the fact that the main character is a kick-ass girl. In many films, girls are being put in the damsel in distress box, but that was not the case in this film. It reminds me a bit of Coraline.

Unfortunately the maker of the film (and many other animation films which I now want to see) is retiring. It is a shame because there are only few people left who hand-draw films, simply because it's not interesting to do so anymore commercially speaking. Apart from that it is of course a lot of work to create a film like this.

If you love animation and have a rich imagination, Spirited Away is definitely a film for you. As for me, I already put a new film on my to-watch list:

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Goodbye Flappy Bird

Dear Flappy Bird,

I got to know you on a pretty average Friday afternoon. I had heard you were quite popular, so it was only a matter of time before I would install you on my phone. I had heard stories about you. I was told you were the reason for a lot of frustration. I did not believe it. I knew that you and I, we would be different. I was convinced of it. Flappy Bird, despite the fact you more resemble a fish with blown-up lips, I knew that we had a special bond. We were going to show the world that you weren't as bad as they portrayed you to be.

Flappy Bird, how could I have been so blind? For just a second you reminded me of the good old days in which I played Super Mario on my Gameboy. I was incredibly good at it. But the nostalgia soon disappeared the moment I could not get you through more than 1 tube. I did not give up. Giving up is for losers. So I wasted hours of my precious time on you. And after all that time my highscore was just 26. And that was just luck. Soon I was so frustrated and angry that it was impossible for me to think straight. This was my response whenever you fell down again:

Dear Flappy bird. I removed you out of anger. I couldn't handle it anymore. I thought our relationship would be different. I thought you were going to make me feel that I could make a difference. That I was the only one who could get you through those damned tubes. 

And now you're gone Flappy. Your creator couldn't deal with it any more eiter. I don't think he could beat my highscore and that says a lot. Flappy, you ruined the lives of many. It's time you learn that you were not meant to fly. Stay on the ground and bite the dust. Our relationship is over. I don't ever want to see you again. It was frustrating enough for as long as it lasted.
You did give me inspiration for Valentine's day:



Sunday, 2 February 2014

Broken hearts don't ease the pain

It's the middle of the night and I can't seem to make myself fall asleep. I guess it's true what they say, a heart can really be broken. It's the first time I've ever experienced it this badly and I hate myself for allowing someone else to hurt me this much, because I had lowered my defenses and thought it was save to let him in. It wasn't.

I have been in love before. It didn't mean much and after I sent this long ass email explaining exactly how I felt, I never got a reply. And it hurt. And I moved on. It took a while for me to open up again and I did and I ended up getting hurt once again. So I told myself I wouldn't let my guard down until I was absolutely sure I was save. I thought I was now. I was wrong.

And it's not that I blame him. You can't force things to work out. I blame him only for not letting me know before I fell. For giving me hope.

This quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman describes how I feel now perfectly:

I will be fine eventually. I will put up my walls again and won't let them fall down anytime soon. And I hope my heart will stop beating this fast soon. It's annoying.

Now I will try to get some sleep.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I have a confession to make...

Hey kids!

I know I haven't blogged in ages, but that's because I was extremely busy. And lazy. But mostly busy and I still am. But because I know that you can't survive without my wisdom, I have decided to sit my ass down and write you this beautiful blogpost to satisfy your never-ending hunger for my words.

So today I want to discuss a very stressing issue that I as a member of the female species have to deal with. I only thought about it today and damn, it was an eye-opener. You see, I have a confession to make...I am...hopelessly unromantic.I have never seen a Nicolas Sparks film nor have I read any of his book and I never plan to either. On those lonely nights that girls sometimes have, I never feel like downloading the Notebook and eating a jar of Ben&Jerry's as substitute boyfriends. Just give me a good thriller or a comedy in which feminism isn't set back 100 years and we're good.

Oh, and Ryan Gosling...what the hell is up with him? Women around the globe apparently wet their panties at the thought of him alone but I am not feeling it. I don't get the fuss about him. Yeah, he looks good but so do many other actors who do have more charm than he does. Just saying...

I recall leaving the cinema after the first Twilight film (I know, I am still traumatised) and a group of girls went to the bathroom as girls do (why do us girls always travel in packs to the toilet? I am perfectly capable of doing that myself. But I digress) and one of them shouted: "I also want a vampire as a boyfriend!"
No. You don't. Or maybe it's just me but I don't find it romantic when a guy stalks me around all the time and breaks into my house to watch me sleep and then ends up knocking me up with a baby that eats me from the inside. That is not marriage material, girl. You should get him a fucking restraining order.
I also could not understand why in the second film, that bitch was just sitting there, staring out of the window, moaning because her stalker vampire lover had left her. Really? Get a grip. Stephenie Meyer, what the hell were you thinking? Take a look at the Hunger Games or Hermione from Harry Potter. Those are lead characters with balls.

I don't believe in the fairytale that women have to sit around until their prince will come. The women who do believe that end up in a flat with 30 cats and twilight posters everywhere. I guess, girls expect too much of their boyfriends and are disappointed when they turn out to be as romantic as a barstool. I don't have such high expectations. I am content with sweet words and that special look in someone's eyes when they are really into you. There is nothing Ryan Gosling can say straight from his well-written script that can beat those looks.

So yay for all the unromantic chicks out there. Yay for us who don't want and need the struggle of romantic comedies. Yay for not having these high expectations. There is nothing better than love, even if it's not just like the movies.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Blacklist

I am very particular about the series I watch and rarely do I like a show so much that I write a blog about it. People have told me to watch Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and more shows like that, but even though I'm sure these are great shows, I never felt the need to join the hype and bother watching them. I know people who watch every popular show out there, but I simply have no time to keep up with different series so I am picky and until a few days ago, the only show I still followed was How I Met Your Mother.

That changed though. On tv I saw an ad for a brand new show called the Blacklist. It stars James Spader, who is an incredible actor. I've seen him before on Boston Legal, a show I loved as well but did not really follow. It was from the creator of Ally McBeal though and I adore Ally McBeal.
But I digress, so James Spader was on this new show and even though crime shows such as CSI did not interest me, I decided to give it a go.

And holy shit. It is fucking amazing.

The Blacklist is a show you must watch if you like clever plots and interesting characters. I'm halfway through season 1 now and basically I grasp for breath multiple times every 10 minutes because something completely unexpected happens. There is never a dull moment. You are constantly on the edge of your seat.
I also really like how it's written. It's clever, it's fast-paced and there is still room for character development. I find that a very important aspect when I watch a show. No matter if it's comedy or thriller, there has to be some sort of depth. In the Blacklist, not only the main characters have a well-thought out backing story, but also the bad guys have a background story, which is good because nobody is evil for no reason.

And really, James Spader as Reddington is phenomenal. He is my favourite actor along with Robert Downey Jr. (and he's going to play Ultron in the Avengers...with RDJ again. My heart is already bursting of joy). He is the perfect bad guy but so cunning and manipulative that you can't help but love him.

I really recommend this. Even if you don't like shows like this, trust me, it's amazing. And thank fuck it is renewed for a second season! So what are you waiting for, watch it as soon as you can!