I’ve got 99 problems and you are one

Stop running when things get hard
This takes me back
to the time I broke your heart
Why do I even bother?

Here I sit waiting again
Been here too many times before
This wasn’t part of my plan
You just run off without a word

Did you think I was going to hold back
We both know I’m as real as it can get
I really hope you get back on track
But stop getting offended by the truth

Yo, why are you ignoring me?
I’d rather have a fight
than to feel this lonely
But we’ll do it all again

If you really want to go
Leave me with a note
and just fucking say so
Cause I didn’t get the memo

And I still want you to come back
I know I’m crazy
but we keep each other in check
Is that the white lie you want to hear

What do you want me to say
“Your behavior is very normal
and it’s totally not getting in your way”
Just because you know, doesn’t mean I can’t mention it

Yo, why can’t I speak up to you?
You cry every time
But I just wanna get through to you
Next time this’ll happen again

And what’s up with the way you get down
when I just need something to nag about
You cry so much you just might drown
You know I’m just saying

I say too much
and you say way too less
Can we get back in touch
Cause I’m not leaving until I get a whatsapp

Needing your space isn’t pararell
to me shutting my mouth
You know this very well
Don’t we have enough problems

I’ll just sing my anthems
That are directed at a certain someone
I’ve got 99 problems
and you are one

Writing with music

Usually when I have to work I like to do it in silence. I get too distracted by music when I’m writing an essay or any other assignment. But there’s something about writing with music on that works.

A song tells a story in its own right. Every song is a little story that conveys one mood. This is why it’s no surprise that I use these songs whenever I want to get into a certain mindset. Putting on the right music can really set the tone for your story. Just a word or feeling I get from the music can pop up ideas in my mind. Whenever you’re stuck I highly recommend you listen to music. As I said, I usually like to write and work without any noises but sometimes I just have to put on some tunes to get the words flowing.

For our story Intertwined, Amy and I have created lots of playlists for (main) characters. The playlists I make are usually really long, but do have songs categorized in the mood that the character is in. It’s funny to see that all of my lists seem to feature a certain type of music that I love.

This is the longest playlist I have made thus far. I’m pretty proud of it. Shogo is a playboy that steals the hearts of all girls. Almost literally, because he has the power to suck out someone’s life energy/soul. He tries to drown his lack of love with dating girls, but as the songs get darker he gets confronted with his own fears and dark actions more and more. Seeing as most people make playlists of like 12 songs this is insane, but I still feel like every song fits so well. Not to mention Shogo is a musicjunkie, so that also fits.

If I have to mention any band that inspired me it’s Paramore. Thanks to their music I’ve thought of some crazy plottwists for Intertwined. Do you know that zone you’re in when it’s just you and the song and then it starts becoming so much more? This is what I get with making these playlists and it’s amazing. If you’re a writer and a musiclover, I highly recommend it. It’s a nice hobby healthish obsession  maintaing this inspirational helpers. If you’re ever having a writersblock, try this! You won’t regret it.
I have made these playlists using my Spotify account, but of course you can also use regular old Windows Media Player or YouTube.

Do you put on music while you write? Can you concentrate better with or without music?

Eleanor & Park

To some books may just be meaningless words on paper. Endless time consuming chores. To me books are an opening to a whole new world. Sometimes it’s a fantasy one, sometimes it’s one that’s closer to reality than we would like it to be. Eleanor & Park is one of the latter. This is one of the few books that made me laugh out loud and- alright I’ll admit it. I cried about two hours over the ending. Eleanor & Park made me feel.

Eleanor is the new kid at school. She’s moving back in with her mom, her mom’s awful husband and her siblings. It’s not easy for Eleanor. They don’t have money to pay for shampoo, toothbrushes, let alone ‘normal’ food and bills. On top of that Eleanor is getting picked on by Tina who calls her ‘big red’, among other names. Eleanor isn’t your typical thin smoothhaired girl. She is chubby and has untamed wild red curls. She’s snarky and always has a comeback. Maybe that’s what Park likes about her. Park, the asian boy on the bus. The one she was forced to sit next to. The one that shows her the world of comics, mixtapes and so much more. But Eleanor knows good things can only last so long.

e&pThis is the cover that is used for the edition I bought. It looks beautiful if we’re speaking from a designpoint of view, but what was the publisher thinking? Just look at that topright girl. That’s not Eleanor! Eleanor is chubby and has wild curls. It’s not this stick with straight hair. Did the graphic designer even read the synopsis?! [/RAGE RANT]

Eleanor & Park tells the story of a chubby redhead and a Korean-American boy. It’s not love at first sight by any means. Park thinks Eleanor is weird and Eleanor thinks Park is stupid. Slowly this changes and the two outcasts find comfort in each other’s geekiness.
You know what, lately I was getting fed up with romantic stories. Not just in books, but also in televisionseries. I wrote an article where I confessed that I didn’t fully understand all the ‘shipping’ going on in fandoms (when it goes against character development). Ever since the populair Twilight there has been a huge flood of romantic stories, that in my opinion aren’t executed very well. Why? Because they are in no means realistic. It’s always love at first sight. The ‘heroine’ is always a lovestrucken girl that can’t do anything else but think of the boy she loves. And I know this is a part of falling in love. You are head over heels, but usually there are also feelings of anxiety and pain. It’s not just one positive stream of thoughts that these books tend to focus on, for me there’s also a fear of rejection. I think we’ve all heard the phrase ‘better lovestory than Twilight’ because books like that aren’t realistic. They cater to fantasies we girls sometimes have and quite frankly – I’m getting sick of it.

I thought I wouldn’t care for romantic stories for a long while, but then Eleanor & Park came along. I don’t want to call a book perfect, because that is a word you shouldn’t use to describe every good book that comes along. I think Rainbow Rowell’s novel comes close though. It’s not a perfect lovestory, but it’s a perfect portrayal of a real love. In the light of yesterday’s Valentine’s: I want my own Park! Not because he’s perfect, but because he felt real and cute. And as Eleanor fell in love, as did I.

I also have to mention some quotes. The things Park thinks or says are so cute. But when you’re reading the book they don’t feel sugarcoated. It feels like he means them. What do you think of these quotes?

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” – Park

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

tumblr_mzlrttio0U1tqrqsso1_500Some wonderful fanart I spotted on tumblr. Unfortunately I don’t know the original source.

Eleanor goes through extreme situations, but these are things that do happen. And you don’t see them very often in young adult novels. Unfortunately some schoollibraries in America have banished this book, because the word ‘fuck’ is used a lot. There’s also a scene where Park and Eleanor get a little bit of foreplay (but nothing too much). Rainbow Rowell thinks readers of 14 are approriate for this book, but I think it depends on the person. I do however think it’s horrible to ban people from reading a book. I’d go as far to say that all books should be legal, so we humans can learn from it. Eleanor & Park should be a novel that everyone can read, because it shows teens and above that there’s more than fantasies. Yes, there is swearing, violence, kissing and sexual feelings. Rainbow Rowell chose to write about how real love really happens and I think more writers should start doing that.

I’ve read The Subtle Knife before this, but I love Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell so much that I chose to write a review about this first. Have you read this? What did you think? Is there anything like this book you can recommend me? I haven’t read Rainbow’s other books, but.I.must.read.them.

I read this book again in February 2017. You can read my new review here.

Maria Mena live @ 013 Tilburg 10-2-2014

Last year I went to see Maria Mena live. I loved it so much that I had to go to her concert again when she played at my hometown. It was so worth it. This time I actually got to meet her.

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I’m so bad at making pictures, but I want to get better. I actually love photography though no one could tell. I used the zoom feature on these, which apparentely ruins your quality. Would that be it? These are shot with my iPhone 4s btw. I figured if I wanna learn taking pictures it’s good to get down the basic with a phone camera or my old digital one. Bad idea? Also, I don’t have the money for a fancy one.

 

IMG_0175Anyway, back to Maria Mena. I only spoke two sentences to her. “I saw you at Eindhoven as well and you were great. You were really fantastic here as well.” Or something along the lines of that. The girls that spoke to me before her said it was their first concert and they had been listening to her for about five years and I wanted to say I listened to her longer than that, but I was doubting if that would have been mean towards the girls. Which wasn’t what I was going for. I just wanted to tell Maria she has been a big inspiration and that her lyrics helped me get through stuff in life, but it felt so stupid to say that. I regret not saying it though. I just imagined what it would be like to hear those words from someone myself and then I thought it was kinda creepy. It must be so weird to have fans.

Nevertheless Maria Mena was great. She’s a nice person and really took time for everyone. I wish I would’ve said more so we could have talked longer, but I really loved that she even takes time after EVERY concert to interact with her fans. Just look at her smile. You know someone’s great when they can still smile like that after 20 photos. She also walked up to a girl in a wheelchair which warms my heart, because one of my friends is disabled and sometimes we notice not everyone takes time for her. This photo and just speaking like 2 sentences to her was so worth my time.

 

Favorites of the year: food

I have posted some of my favorite books and movies + tvshows of 2013 in past posts. I know we’re already in the second month of the new year, but I wanted to post these nevertheless. Who doesn’t like food?

Red velvet cupcake

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Photo by im-horngry.tumblr.com

These things are delicious. They are the perfect combination of sugary sweet with a little spice. I’d never thought I’d like cream cheese icing. These cupcakes are my go to whenever they’re in stock at a coffeeshop. I tasted my first ones at a little flea market. They were by Tea(Cup)Cake. I really think I need to go to one of their cupcake tastings now that I am thinking about those cupcakes. I think I bought two!
My love for red velvet isn’t limited to cupcakes. I tried some red velvet cake at Waterstones in Edinburgh after climbing Arthur’s Seat. Even after being very hungry and exhausted I was stuffed. With heavenly sweet goodness.

Fudge by The Fudge House

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Last summer I went on a citytrip to Scotland’s capital. When I had taken my first bite out of these I decided I probably would go back to Edinburgh just to get some more of these. I wasn’t a huge fan of fudge before this. I liked the taste, but prefered chocolate. Not when these came along. They were incredibly soft and tender. It really felt like a luxurious product. I really hold onto them for as long as I managed. That sums up my biggest fight against temptation of 2013 :P. I really recommend the Pistachio & White Chocolate flavour. I think it was my fave, although Mocha Coffee Cream was also pure heaven. Yep, it’s decided. I need to go back.

Happy Italy in Tilburg

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My best find of the year is this ‘fast’ Italian restaurant in my hometown. They serve the best pizza for a price range that’s about 6 to 15 euros. Hands down the best pizza I ever had and you know it means a lot when I say this. I mean, who can decide the best pizza? Pizza is always good. This one is great, though. The crust isn’t very thick, but this encreases the taste of the topping. All the ingredients taste like they’ve just been delivered. Also, this restaurant has a great interior design.

Pesto

pesto pizza

See that green stuff on my pizza? That’s pesto ladies and gentlemen, also known as the green paste that I need to put on just about everything. I got really addicted to this. I eat it with rice, toast, pizza, grilled cheesus and pasta. Anyone know any other uses for this? Maybe I just need to start putting it on my sandwiches with a spread of butter. I even order pesto when I’m out of the country like in this photo. It was taken at an Italian restaurant that has lots of store chains all over Britain. I think it was called Bella Italia, but I’m not quite sure. When I was in London last year we ate several times at this place.

Fish & Chips

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I heard so many good stories about Fish & Chips for years that I needed to try it. Usually when you hear a lot about something it gets hyped, but this was so good. The batter was crispy but defined. This place was in Edinburgh. They claimed to have the best fish and chips in town. Usually I’m sceptical about this, but after tasting this I’m not so sure. Guess I’ll have to try all the places when I visit again ;).

Sushi

sushi
Photo by Stéphanie Kilgast

I would eat sushi all day, every day if I could. Too bad it’s so expensive. I love the fresh taste of sushi. My favorites are (spiced) salmon, kappa maki and grilled cheese sushi. You either love or hate this. I love it and try to eat it at least once a month. It’s just that good.

Homemade risotto

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I’m not the best cook there is, but this is one dish I serve with pride. As you can see I love my Italian food. I’d always heard about this dish, so I decided to make it. I modified a recipe I found online to my own taste. I frequentely make this. I use green union as a base, then I add the risotto rice, then comes the vegatable stock. Once the stock has really soaked into the rice several times I stir some red bellpepper and mozerella with it. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunately this takes 40 minutes to make.

Japanese curry

Another Japanese dish that I enjoy. I first got introduced to this several years ago when my Japanese studying friends introduced it. It’s supposed to be a no-fail recipe, but I couldn’t help failing a bit at it xD. Even if your dish fails it’s still super delicious. I use Golden Curry paste myself, because it’s the only one they have at my Asian supermarket. It’s good. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but I need them in my curry. It’s definately food that feeds you well.
These are my favorite food related things of 2013. Chocolate is a life favorite, so that doesn’t need its own category in this list ;). Do you have any favorite foods? Is there anything I must try? I’m always willing to try new things.

A thing that I didn’t like so much this year was Chinese food, because I got foodpoisoning for two days when I tried some. I still haven’t eaten any to date. I’m a little scared to try again.

 

 

 

Short hair

I am a natural curly girl. Maintaing my hair has never been easy. Everyone that has sleek hair might dream of having natural curly hair, but they don’t know how hard it is to take care of. I’ll admit that I couldn’t do it with my long hair.

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Here I am with long hair. You can see a sneek peak if my bewildered roots on my shoulder. Photo by Elize IJzenbrandt.

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What is this? Medusa’s hair?

I held on to my dream of having lush healthy long hair for too long. I wanted the glamorous curls that just weren’t do-able for me. I’m a lazy person when it comes to doing my hair and make-up.

Whenever I had a knot it took me three hours to comb it out. You may think I am over exaggerating, but I’m not. I counted the hours as they strolled by! My arm felt heavy ten minutes in. When I finally got a knot out, it would be back again the next morning. Granted, this only happened in the ‘last stages’ of my dying hair, but it was insane. Obviously I didn’t comb it that much (which makes curly hair really frizzy anyway).

I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, but I knew something had to stop. I decided to go to the hairdressers with a picture of short hair. I was worried that it wouldn’t fit my facetype or that I just simply hated it. I also wasn’t looking forward to wild curls that would curl up on their own will.

[insert drumroll]

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IMG_0126 the sushi times

Here I am with my short hair! I have to say I am loving it more and more. I’ve also tried sweaping my bangs to the side and using a bobbypin to pin one side of my hair back. I keep on telling everyone that I should have done this more and more. It looks healthier and I can comb through my hair in a minute ;).

What is your hairtype? Do you have trouble maintaining it? What is the hair you wish you had? Let me know in the comments.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

You might have seen this quote floating around on the internet. Or maybe you remember it from a certain movie. I recall hearing it in the movie adaption of this book. It was a quote I couldn’t let go, because there is so much truth in it. That one sentence made me understand a situation I was in much better. I can’t have been the only one, because this quote and the book it belongs to has gathered a bit of a cult following. We’re talking The Perks of Being a Wallflower here.

There is a kind of unwritten rule when it comes to booklovers. Never watch the movie, before you read the book. I tend to ‘sin’ on this rule sometimes, but in the case of The Perks of Being a Wallflower I haven’t suffered any consequences. The story is still very much the same. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age story about a boy named Charlie. Charlie befriends the older Sam and Patrick, whom give him many first experiences. However it is not a happy go lucky story. Charlie has problems due to his autism and troubled past.

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I can’t say I enjoyed the movie or the book more. They were both different experiences because of the point of view that the book is written in. Everything is told through letters of Charlie. I don’t know what it is about these letters, but it worked for me. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I wanted to read in one sitting. I couldn’t stand to put this book down, while mostly I prefer to read books in a lot of sittings. Not this one! I had to read it all the way through, even before getting to my Christmas dinner.

I think the writingstyle helps with telling the story. I feel as if this would have been a ‘normal’ point of view, I would have thought there was too much drama or things happened to fast. This way it feels natural and Chbosky can get away with a lot. It worked seeing everything through Charlie’s – often confused – eyes, because this helped create tension and suspension in the story. This book helps with many hard themes like: sexuality, suicide, gay relationships, self acceptance, drugs, rape and other types of abuse. All while having some less hard themes like first loves. Somehow it still didn’t feel overpacked, but I know I would have thought so if it weren’t for the letters.

There are some things Chbosky doesn’t get away with. I’m not familiair with the use of drugs in America, but what I got from this book is that it’s very easy to get and very cool to use. Charlie is a so called Wallflower, but still goes to parties where he drinks a lot and uses a lot of drugs. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought a wallflower was someone that doesn’t ‘participate’ and stays on the sidelines a lot. Then how come Charlie goes to all these parties with his friends? Even if the ‘cool’ kids aren’t there. I’d say I was a wallflower in High School (probably even now in college). Mainly because I didn’t go to any parties, never drank or used drugs (I still haven’t used any and I’m from The Netherlands). Media nowadays portrays the use of drugs and partying like a normal thing. Maybe it is these days but this kind of concerns me. It makes me feel like I’ve really missed out on something in my teenage years, because apparentely these are the experiences you’re supposed to have. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t use any drugs if someone asked me to, but is it really that common? This book made it seem like everyone did it. I only know of a few guys in school that did it and to me that was kind of like a huge BAD thing. The point is, you’re not a Wallflower if you go to parties. Stop whining Charlie, there are some of us that didn’t have much of a lovelife in high school. I’m not saying I would have liked to read a book about a kid that didn’t go through anything. The experiences that Charlie has with his new friends are very lively. I loved the book and I loved the movie, but I hope this isn’t a realistic portration of the current youth.