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August Rome trip [Sep. 11th, 2014|08:13 pm]
Tem
Late August, I went on a 4 day trip to Rome with my mother.

Back story: my mum turned 65 this year. She threw a party and invited lots of friends and family, who asked me if they should get one big gift or just give an envelope with some money. After some back and forth emails, we decided to not do anything big, but give her a hint about what to do with the money, which was taking a holiday by plane (which she's never done before - I've had to hear "oh I've never been on a plane, I wonder what's it like" since I was a kid, so, yeah, time to get that over with).

The first idea was a trip to Spain or Turkey, since our local airport covered a few locations in those countries. But those were really just beach holidays, and, to quote my mum: "why would I want to go on a beach holiday when we have a beach right here?".
So, next plan, a city trip to somewhere in Europe. She seemed to settle on Rome very quickly, even though I urged her to look at other cities before deciding. But Rome was firm on her mind, and a week later we booked our trip at the local travel agency.

The actual departure to Rome was fairly uneventful, apart from some turbulence while taking off. Which was kind of fun actually. This being my first plane trip in eight years, I rather enjoyed myself in general. My mum fell asleep about 15 minutes after we took off, so yeah.

Weather in Rome was around 31°C when we arrived (difference of about 10°C from home), so that took some time getting used to. We got to our hotel, which was really, really nice and have no complaints about whatsoever... well apart from maybe the tiny tiny shower, but otherwise it was one of the best hotels I stayed in and at almost half the price of far worse hotels in Paris or London. Very helpful receptionist and friendly staff throughout our stay, so yeah, I was very happy with my choice of hotel.

It was around 5PM by the time we unpacked and freshened up a bit, so it was time for our first event: a ride in one of the tourist buses. I thought it was a good way to start our trip and get to know the city a little better. I only really researched stuff we would visit, so the rest of the city was pretty much a mystery to me. The biggest surprise on this tour was definitely the "Altar of the fatherland" aka "the Vittorio Emmanuele national monument" aka "the typewriter" aka "the wedding cake". I'm talking about this:
Altaar van het Vaderland
It's huge and really impressive up close, and it might give an idea how some buildings in ancient Rome might have looked, but on the other hand, it's completely over the top and reeks of fascism. Even worse is that they destroyed some other archeological sites on the Capitoline hill, so I have very mixed feelings about it. Apparently it's not very popular among Romans as well, and with reason I guess.

Anyway, it was fun getting a first taste of the city, and I was impressed with a lot of things I saw... I mean, the Colosseum!! It's huuuuge!! And we saw several other ancient Rome stuff, some of which we would explore the next day...

Day 2. We started by going to the Baths of Caracalla, a recommendation by a friend. This must have been one of the most impressive buildings in ancient Rome, and even now walking through the ruins, you can't help being deeply impressed by it. I tried to take some pics to show the scale of it all, but trust me it's far more impressive in real life. We went through it with an audio guide, which is pretty much a must since there are only a couple of info panels. We took our time and spent no more than 2 hours there. Part of the site was closed though, and there's an underground thing which was locked as well. But it was well worth going, and I'd definitely recommend it.
Afterwards we had lunch in a little café close to Circus Maximus, they had very very yummy pastry.
Thermen van Caracalla
In the afternoon, we did an "Ancient Rome" guided tour. Which was basically the Coloseum, the Forum and the Palentine, all in less than 3 hours. Obviously that's not enough to see everything, but it was interesting enough, and the guide was pretty good. The group was fun as well, especially the American tourists who were completely clueless about ancient Rome... at every turn they were all "OMG really? Romans did that? 2000 years ago? No!!" Ha. But we had a good time, it was certainly nice to be inside the coloseum (something to cross off my bucket list) and get a tour by a real Roman.
Oh, and to get to this, we were picked up by a driver with a minivan, and seeing him navigate these tiny up-and-down streets at least 50km/h was an attraction of its own!
Boog van Constantijn en Colosseum
Tim3

We had pizza for dinner... and it was very nice but so huge I couldn't even finish it :( After that we went to a show at the Forum of Augustus... I failed to get tickets for it, but we could still watch the projections on the forum from the street, but if you bought a ticket you got an audio guide thing explaining everything. Still, I was happy to have seen it, and I think stuff like this (projections and modern technology) should be used more in museums and such, especially 3D projections could be handy to make things seem more "real".

Day 3. Our last full day. I wanted to go to Castel Sant'Angelo (yes mostly because I played Assassin's Creed Brotherhood) late morning and then make our way to the Vatican museums where we would get another guided tour. The walk to the castle took a lot longer than I thought (someone warned me about this; distances on a Roman map are deceiving), but it was worth it, passed the Mausoleum of Augustus and walked along the Tiber.
Tiber
We didn't see everything in Castel Sant'Angelo, but my main goal was to go to the top and see the angel, and the view of Rome of course. The base of the building (the mausoleum of Hadrian) must have been pretty impressive at the time, but the castle built on top of it isn't half bad either. It has quite a bit of history and it was interesting exploring the different layers of the castle. The view on top was great as well, it was one of my favourite places in Rome.
Castel Sant'AngeloCastel Sant'Angelo -Standbeeld aartsengel Michael
Tim2

After that we slowly made our way to the Vatican... we had time for a quick bite and something to drink... but I wish I had the reviews for this place... a tiny sandwich and two drinks: €28. There are a lot of beggars and thieves in Rome, but was the only time I felt like someone stole from me.

Anyway. Vatican museums with a guide. She was pretty good, gave a lot of insider info and historic background (like a rough timeline of how the Papal states and Vatican city came to be). Again, we only had 3 hours which wasn't nearly enough to see all the seperate museums, but we did see a fair bit, thanks to it not being a crowded day (no lines at all to get in, guide said this was only the second time ever she saw so few people in her 30 years doing this). My highlights were the Sala Rotonda (including the dome) and the ceiling in the map room. You can probably spend a day or two here visiting all the rooms, but in the end I was pretty happy with what I saw. Lots of stuff I knew from (art) history... uni wasn't a waste of time after all!

Sala Rotonda - Koepel van Michelangelo
Vaticaans museum - Sala Rotonda

On to the Sistine chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica. Sistine chapel is obviously impressive, not sure what more I can say about it. Saint Peter's Basilica was... pretty good I guess. We got to visit the crypt which was more interesting than what was above ground heh. The dome was nice with the sunlight through the windows...

Sint-Pietersbasiliek - koepel

We were already pretty tired from walking, but I had planned for more, lots more! First a short stop for an ice cream, then off to the Pantheon... and I got lost trying to find it :'( Stupid little streets that are confusing as hell. Eventually found it, went inside (so many people), looked up at the dome, saw the tomb of Raphael (who knew one of the Turtles was burried in Rome?), left. Next stop was the Trevi fountain, which was... under construction. Great. Back to the hotel then... and have another ice cream for dinner ehehe.

Day 4. I wanted to get up a little earlier so we could still do a little tour around the forums close by (we were only a 10 minute walk away from the Via dei Fori Imperiali). Took a closer look to everything in that area, including Trajan's column, and what was actually depicted on it, I never saw even a picture of the full frieze, but now I could, and it had a lot of interesting stuff on it.
Since it was still fairly early, there was almost no-one around, it was really peaceful and just slowly walking around the forums and the monuments was definitely one of my favourite moments. Took lots of pics but some didn't come out as good because -oh shocking- the weather was getting very cloudy!!

Forum van Augustus
Zuil van Trajanus
Back to the hotel, packed our bags, then subway, then train to airport, then wait. We were 3 hours early... which was more or less what I thought it would be, but still. Better early than late I guess. Anyway. There was a rude woman at the Alitalia check-in :( Only rude person we've met, everyone else had been really friendly and patient with us dumb tourists until that point. Plane was delayed/moved gate as well, but we had a comfortable flight back home.

So, as you might have guessed after reading all this, it was a really great trip, pretty much everything went according to plan, we didn't get sick, got robbed (which was the first question one of my mum's friends asked when we got back), had a great hotel, etc. etc.
I fell in love with Rome. Really. Okay, I fall in love with pretty much every new city I visit, but Rome resonated with me far more than I expected. No doubt part of that is because I'm a history/archeology geek with a preference for Ancient Rome stuff, but there's still more to Rome than that. Like, the people. Okay, they wear their sunglasses on top of their head and never stop talking in their phone, but in general they've been quite friendly and willing to help us in English (not-so-good English, but they made an effort anyway).
And yes, there were a lot of beggars, peddlers and no doubt thieves, but to me that was part of the experience, and I thought to myself "well, it must've been like this in ancient Rome as well!"

I guess we were also lucky that we went the last weekend of August, not a lot of people, not a lot of tourists, weather not -too- hot (it only bothered me on the first day). Hotels get more expensive (sometimes a lot more!) from September on, so it really was pretty much the ideal time to go.

Rome sometimes feels a bit weird when you see old Roman buildings that are now churches, and that cross in the Coloseum, and that saint on top of Trajan's column. Not to mention all the statues that are now in the Vatican museums. In one way I hate that this happened, but on the other hand you have think: what would've happened to all the ancient roman stuff if a few people in power didn't take an interest in all this? You'd have even less statues, less monuments, less everything. It's not ideal, of course, but it's better than nothing.

Lastly (this entry has been too long already), I want to go back!!! I still need to do the Capitoline museums, the villa of Livia, the museum of roman culture, and I want to take the train to Ostia Antica and maybe even Tivoli. Rome is actually pretty small, but there's really so much to see, you could easily spend two weeks here and still not have seen everything.

So yeah, I definitely want to go back. Let's be honest, do you think I could ever hate a place where people constantly eat pizza and ice cream?

(more pictures here if you want them - I recommend doing the slideshow if you want to see them full screen)
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2014 [Jan. 7th, 2014|11:47 am]
Tem
Happy New Year everyone!

...anyone?

Since no-one reads this anymore, I've been thinking about using this journal for some socio-political rants. The last few months I've had a couple of topics I wanted to write about, but not really sure where to put them. So I suppose this is a New Year's resolution: update this blog when something is bothering me!! Since there are elections in Belgium this year, I'll have plenty to write about, but it won't be just that. I have more topics in my head, like discrimination in the LGBT community, fracking (yes yes I also have to think of Battlestar Galactica whenever I hear that), gender issues, political correctness... You know, I get annoyed by so many things hah. It's probably good for my sanity and general health to have an outlet for this. Since there aren't many people I can talk about stuff like this face to face, so you'll have to do, internet!! 
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You know I have to post this every summer [Aug. 31st, 2013|04:29 pm]
Tem
Blanche - Another Lost Summer



I vowed this wouldn't be

another lost summer

I've looked around but I can't see

that old time summer


it's still hot but I look at what I've got

and all I feel is number

I guess it's too late to plant those seeds

it's not worth it to pull the weeds

they'll just die; like I'm doing inside


my brother and I were the best of friends

more than just brothers but now I pretend


is it a crutch? that I expect so much?

I promised myself I'd be strong this year

but here I am again filled with summer tears

and the fish ain't biting and I'm through fighting

the same situation the same frustrations

'cause summers almost gone

the love I planned to sing about never came along

and I can't figure out where I belong

but ever year I sing the same old song

where's that old time summer?

it's another lost summer

another lost summer

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You know I have to post this every February. [Feb. 28th, 2013|06:53 pm]
Tem
(even though I haven't posted this since 2009, and it's already March in some countries)


This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song



Welcome to the school of song

We'll help you achieve perfection

Destroy your record collection

It's for your own protection



You're late again

Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence

No really, do sit down

And what on earth is that you're wearing

This is an educational establishment, not a night club

Put your hand up

Don't mumble, don't interrupt

Wipe that idiotic smile off your face

When you're here you do what I say

Walk in the corridors , I said walk - don't run

Double detention in the school of song



This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song



Welcome to the school of song

We'll help you achieve perfection

Destroy your record collection

It's for your own protection



Right everybody, you're going for a swim

Get changed into your costumes and line up by the pool

Yes I know it's February

You lot need a bit of toughening up

You're weak and spoilt... look at you

I don't want to hear any of your excuses

Girls and boys from this school fought and died in the war, you know

Get undressed, you're going in

Double games in the school of song



This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song



We hope you've enjoyed your time here as much as we've enjoyed having you

I know we haven't always seen eye to eye

But I think you'll come to appreciate our methods when you go out into the world

Some of you will achieve greatness

Others of you will succeed in a more modest capacity

Some of you... well

We want to read about you for the right reasons

Congratulations to all of you

A grade A from the Black Box Recorder School of Song



Welcome to the school of song

We'll help you achieve perfection

For your own protection

Destroy your record collection



This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song

This is the school song
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2012 and 2013 [Feb. 5th, 2013|08:23 pm]
Tem
Hi guys! Wow, LJ changed since I last updated... And this is my 10th year of writing entries here (birthday of this journal's 17 April 2003). Hmm, when I'm in the mood I might look through some old entries to find a few funny/noteworthy ones. Actually last week I came across something that's even older than my LJ account... read it and weep! nd then weep again. Aah, good times, good times. 

Anyway, I might as well talk about how my 2012 has been. It has been pretty awful, but most of that was my fault entirely. And it had some good, great moments. I prefer talking about the good things hehe. I already said things in this journal about my London visits, right? Well I met two people there that have become very close friends, especially the guy I stay with every time I go to London. Calling him a soulmate feels wrong and isn't really true I guess, but I can be myself with him, with all my good, bad and ugly sides, and he doesn't complain (much). His friendship alone cheers me up (though I still have my dark moments and doubts), and I apparently have the ability to cheer him up, and I'm a good listener, or something. And he appreciates my sense of humour. 
He's really become my best friend and my year would've been so much worse without him. So annoying that I have to go to London to see him hehe. I try to go every 3 months, once I have a job I might do a short visit every month or two. 
Oh, something he once said to me: "you're like a cat... you can just sit there, quiet and content, and all you need is a little bit of  food and a cuddle now and then". <3

The other friend, well, it's not the same as with the first guy, but he listens to me when I talk, and sometimes I get the feeling I can talk to him more about my darker feelings, as we have certain things in common. He's much more emotional than me, which can annoy me at times, but he's still a good friend. 

As for my feelings: I don't think I'm depressed or anything, but I'm definitely at my lowest confidence level ever. It's making finding a job even harder than it already is ("why even bother? they'll see right away that I'm useless"). I've also left the house far less than I usually do, be it random travelling, going to gigs, or whatever. This is something I want to change this year, but again it's money-sensitive. I am going to London again later this week though, and I'd love to go to Manchester again to meet some other friends. We'll see...

Last month I started something I planned to do a long time ago: collecting Lego again!! For this year I'm just going to concentrate on Star Wars, and the first set I bought was the X-wing. Really nice set, took about 2 hours to build. TIE Fighter is next I think, and after that probably the Y-wing or A-wing. The Lord of the Rings sets are nice as well though, hmm.... 

I also started enjoying blogging again, and I'll do it a lot more I think. Especially reviewing games, films, etc. I started a series of PC videogame reviews on my blog, loved doing them, and it's also easy since I can take some screenshots of the games myself. So that's something I definitely plan on doing more. And maybe even review some more non-conventional stuff (at least for me) like Lego sets. Too bad no-one actually reads my blog though, even when I mention it on all four of my twitter accounts hehehe. 
Well, to conclude this entry, I might as well link some entries here:

timxtended.blogspot.com my blog!
2012: videogames
2012: cinema visits
2012: music
2012: tv-serie
and an oldie: forgotten horror films

Also, I started using my tumblr a bit more again, but it's mostly just entries copied from my blog, and reblogging stuff I like. I should give both a new lay-out, but you know, too lazy. 

So, next entry will be...well, at one point in the future. 
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You know I have to post this every summer [Aug. 31st, 2012|11:27 pm]
Tem

Blanche - Another lost summer






I vowed this wouldn't be

another lost summer

I've looked around but I can't see

that old time summer


it's still hot but I look at what I've got

and all I feel is number

I guess it's too late to plant those seeds

it's not worth it to pull the weeds

they'll just die; like I'm doing inside


my brother and I were the best of friends

more than just brothers but now I pretend


is it a crutch? that I expect so much?

I promised myself I'd be strong this year

but here I am again filled with summer tears

and the fish ain't biting and I'm through fighting

the same situation the same frustrations

'cause summers almost gone

the love I planned to sing about never came along

and I can't figure out where I belong

but ever year I sing the same old song

where's that old time summer?

it's another lost summer

another lost summer

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Adventures close to home [Aug. 12th, 2012|09:39 pm]
Tem
Hey guys, what's up?

Better talk about a bit about the past month or so. First the boring stuff, then some music stuff :D

Shortly after my Alps holiday, I visited my friends in London again!

Read more...Collapse )

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Alps 2012 (Valmeinier) [Jul. 11th, 2012|10:55 am]
Tem
Some random thoughts on my Alps holiday!

Hotel was alright, 2 stars, with a swimming pool. Our room was pretty big (basically 4 beds). At first I wanted to sleep on the top bunk bed, but decided to sleep in the "normal" bed next to my dad. That meant I was closer to his snoring, but it would be easier if I need to get up in the middle of the night to pee heh. Just being practical!
Food was okay, not that much choice or not that great in quality... but I had lots of chips and pasta anyway. My favourite day was on a rest day, where I had chips and pizza as lunch, and chips and a hamburger as dinner. So good hehehe. 
There was something special about the hotel! Tom Boonen stayed there a few years ago!!! Wow!!! Maybe he slept in my bed!! Maybe those supsicious stains on my bed sheets are his! So exciting! 

I get the feeling we did less hikes than previous years, but reading my previous reports I guess it must be about the same. We had 3 non-hiking days, two because of bad weather, and one because I requested a resting day (more about that later). 

Like I said two years ago, my dad is getting old, and it's obvious we hike at very different speeds. He always shrugs it off with a joke, but it's really apparent, and it's annoying for me. He always says I can go first, so I do, and after ten minutes I turn my back and he's nowhere to be seen. I usually have to wait about 1 or 2 minutes every 10-15 minutes, so he really is slowing me down. I know it's not a race or anything, but a lot of times I work up a certain hiking rhythm (I get "in the zone", and I love it), and having to wait for him messes up that rhythm. I mean, it's something small to complain about really, but still. 

Another thing is that he complains a lot about some minor (I guess?) pains he's feeling after each hike. His knees especially seem to suffer, and it's why I requested a special resting day, even if the weather was good, just so he can rest a bit. Now, I have to say, the first 2 hikes, my knees were troubling me as well, especially my left knee. I already mentioned this before I think, this only seems to happen when I'm wearing those heavy hiking boots. But funnily enough, after that resting day, it was never as bad as those first few days, I guess my body got used to the boots. Anyway, the condition of the resting day is that I went swimming, at least twice. So I did. And the day after, my leg muscles ached more than on a normal walk haha. I'm not that keen on swimming really (mostly because of the thought of other people's fluids in the pool...), but it really is the best workout you can get. 

As for my favourite hike...don't really have one, but there is one path to the Col des Marches, which has a bit where we had to jump over a river. I absolutely loved doing that, we went that way three times, and I still wanted to go back there on the last day (dad said no, because getting there is actually quite a steep climb). I could do that bit a hundred times without getting bored, really. It's my inner child again I guess. 
The walk to the Lac Vert ("green lake") was nice as well, not that steep, mostly along a little river, and on the last day we saw that there was trout in the river! Had fun making a lot of river and lake shots that last day. 
Most annoying hike was probably the one to the lac of Rochenoire (close to Col des Marches), because at the highest point we couldn't see the path anymore because of snow and many rocks. We went through anyway, with not that much difficulty in the end, but it took us a lot of time to find a nice way through, and still it was a little dangerous. Not like there were any instant-dead drops, but still parts that could've seriously injured us if we slipped and fell down. 

I didn't really get any "battle wounds" as I call them, but I did get sunburnt pretty badly on my arms and my hands(!!!), took ages for my skin to return to normal, and even now, two weeks later, the skin is still peeling off a bit. Other than that, I'm healthy. A bit fatter, but I actually feel physically fitter than before. 

As for entertainment, there was Euro 2012 (though I wasn't that entertained by it - and certainly not entertained by boring Spain winning), but unfortunately no Wimbledon. Well I did get to see one match in full, but that was thanks to streaming it on my laptop, as there was nothing Wimbledon-related on tv. Tour de France started in the second week, but since it was just the first week it wasn't that interesting for me. 

Bought some books along, and predictably only read one and a half. "A beginner's guide to acting English" by Shappi Khorsandi, which is SO GOOD. Laughed a lot, and uhh, got something in my eye several times as well. Second book was "Roma" by Steven Saylor, a collection of stories involving Rome and uhh, and winged phallus. First three stories are awfully written, but then it becomes pretty good. 

As for any films, I just watched Alien and Aliens again, and random stuff on tv. Didn't game a lot either, but did start Ocarina of Time 3DS. 
Music: downloaded a couple of albums just before I left but didn't really listen to them haha. So just the usual suspects. Oh, and the dub version of Grace Jones' Hurricane. And kept up the tradition of listening to Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain when we leave at 6AM and say goodbye to the mountains. Perfect music for when you see the sun hit the mountain tops, and everything slowly becomes more sunny. "If I lived forever you wouldn't be so beautiful..." etc. 

Anyway, pictures in the usual place. Since I took way too many I'd still like to show a sort of "best of", exclusive to my (2) LJ readers!!!!!

See more...Collapse )

Okay, that's it for this year :) 


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stuff! [May. 20th, 2012|08:04 pm]
Tem
The last month or two, I've been pretty depressed - more than usual anyway. Apart from the London visit, I just didn't enjoy the things anymore that I usually enjoy. I got bored with everything, including myself. And since last week, I had this feeling of absolute uselessness; no-one needs me and I don't contribute to anything or anyone. 
Since this week though, my mood has been somewhat lifted, I'm enjoying my hobbies again and I don't feeel as bored anymore. This may be temporal so I'll enjoy it while it lasts heh. 

Anyway, let's talk about some of the good things:

I haven't mentioned this before, but a couple of months ago my mum bought a new car. A Peugeot 107 to be precise. It's a cute little car. You know I'm not a fan of cars, and definitely not of driving a car, but this one is actually quite fun to drive. I went for short rides with my mum at first, but since then I've used it by myself. Once to my dad, which is an hour away, and to a friend (also about an hour away, using the GPS because it was the first time I went there by car). It was fun! I think I'm a fairly good driver, at least when you consider the last time I drove a car was 8 years ago haha. The only thing I can't do is park the car properly, I really need to practice on that. Otherwise I think I'm going to have fun with it in the next couple of years... 

Alps holiday is confirmed, by the way. In Valloire, looks like it's a pretty nice area. Read some bad things about the hotel, we'll see how that works out. The worst thing (so far!) is that we're going at the same time as Wimbledon, I'll miss the entire tournament except the men's final! Well, the hotel has wifi in the lobby, I'll probably be able to stream matches but most days I'll probably be too tired or just won't feel like sitting in the lobby staring at my screen for hours! Still going to do an effort to at least watch the quarterfinals and semifinals (depending on who's playing of course). But it obviously won't be like watching it at home on tv.
In any case I'm quite happy to be going back to the Alps, after our little failed Austrian experiment last year. 

And I might go to London again for a week or so, but the guy I was staying with has some job trouble, depending on what's happening with that, I may or may not go. I'd really, really love to go, that guy has become a great friend and I might meet up with some other people as well. It should be fun... but I'm going to consider the worst case scenario so I won't be disappointed when I can't go heh. If I can't go I might do a short trip to...somewhere. Or do some more festivals. 

Pukkelpop! In August! After last year's fiasco, I'm keen on going back. Line-up so far isn't anything special though, all stuff I've seen or stuff I'm not really interested in, the only exception being Björk. And I don't like her last album that much anyway... still, I haven't been to a big festival since 2009, so yeah... I was planning on just buying a day ticket for Björk day, but in the end I bought a 3-day ticket. The last day has a lot of famous bands (and day tickets are already sold out), but really nothing that I like, so I just might end up doing 2 days or so. Meh. We'll see. 

Earlier this week, I've been to my first gig in about 6 months -_-
Loooong music talk!Collapse )

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...oh hi. [Apr. 23rd, 2012|09:09 pm]
Tem
Soooo I thought I'd do an lj update. I feel like talking about random stuff. Twitter no longer does it for me, to be honest. There are some nice people on it of course, but mostly I feel like I'm talking to myself. Well, I feel like I'm talking to myself whenever I do a blog/lj entry, but here I don't have 250 people 'following' me. You know what I mean? Heh. Okay, that was my first rant of the day.

What else. As some of you know, I go to uni. Buut...I'm sort of done with it. I have no motivation at all. It's been like this for about a month now, and it only gets worse. Right now, the only options I see is quitting right now and try to find a job as soon as possible, or riding out the year, putting some effort in learning for the exams, and maybe even do the re-sit in September. Right now I'm leaning towards the second option - I already paid for the books and everything, so why not at least try to go on for a bit? Also, to be really honest, it's part laziness as well - I could do with a relatively slow, stress-free summer, after having the worst summer ever last year.

On to happier things then. I spent a week in London earlier this month. Stayed with friends I met on the internet! Obviously I got drugged, raped, etc. I got what I deserved really. Never trust people on the internet! 
But seriously, it was so much fun, I was really down for a week when I came back from London. I always have this. It's like, when you go to a good gig or something, you're still buzzing from it the day after, but the day after that, you usually feel pretty bad. Withdrawal symptoms!! So I was on drugs all the time in a way, but it was a natural high. And I discovered new things about myself! But that's not something for this journal heh.
As for the 'normal' things we did: we saw that  'Passion of Jesus' thing on Trafalgar Square. We had to sit on the ground for 2 hours - Jesus wasn't the only one suffering!! It was sort of fun, well put together, the guy who played Jesus did a great job. I could've done with less blood and suffering, but that's christianity for you I guess. Still don't get that - violence on tv is bad, but Jesus all beaten up, suffering and dying is okay to show the kids. 

And I did meet up with one of my friends from twitter!! The awesome @ztardust - the guy who I have a pretend-crush on, I talked about this last year I think. And he still wanted to meet up with me! I told him I'm horribly boring in person, but he still insisted. He's a really nice guy - and handsome!! - it was nice meeting up with him even though we didn't do much else than randomly walk  places and talk a bit. I had to think about my meetup with Jen a lot that day heh. 
Didn't really do much else, I had one day of 'freedom' where I was on my own, walked around central London a bit, did a fairly short stop at the British Museum, got caught in a thunderstorm, but I still did my little 'London walk' (about 1,5-2h in which you see most of the big London touristy things), even added a new route to it of sorts. Exciting! 
Also, now that I've done both the Louvre and the British Museum - the Louvre wins. Easily. Even if you have to pay for it. British Museum feels more...clinical and sterile, of sorts, while the Louvre feels more...alive and vibrant. If you know what I mean. Of course the Louvre is both museum and art gallery, but still. I enjoyed my time in the Louvre more than either time I went to the British Museum. 

I hope to go back this summer, actually. It's weird how I'm getting used to London, it's like I've been using the tube for years now. Sometimes I no longer consider myself a tourist, honestly! I actually wouldn't mind living and working in a place like Hounslow (where I stayed), it's far from central London but still in tube-range. 

Some pictures from London are in the usual place. There aren't a lot, because I forgot to take along an sd card so I could only rely on the internal memory...I could've taken quite a few more but I already have pictures of pretty much everything. Random architectural obsession of the day: the Royal Court of Justice. Such an awesome building. 

And unlike last year, there's a good chance I'll be going to the Alps again with my dad. Last year we did a one-week vacation in Austria which kind of sucked, so now I'm looking forward to seeing mountains again! Proper mountains. Last week I saw this awesome documentary 'Beyond the summits' (see the trailer here), it had some absolutely stunning footage of the Alps. It also helped it was in HD. But really, it was impressive, also how strong that woman must be mentally. Good stuff. 

Last week, I broke my laptop screen!!! Repairing it costs almost as much as a new laptop, so... Right now, I'm using it as my room-laptop, I just hook it up to the tv in my room. And I use my old (2006...) laptop in the living room when I'm watching tv. We also bought a new PC tower a few months ago as a replacement for our old tower, that used to belong to my sister, I think that one was from 2003 or something. New tower is awesome, it was very cheap, but it has a pretty fast processor and a good graphics card, so I use that one a lot to play games on it heh. So until the old laptop breaks down, I probably won't be buying a new one. 

Still have more random things to talk about, but this is long enough for one entry I think! 
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