Crazy Dutchies: Part III

Tomorrow is a special day for us Dutchies: Queensday, or Koninginnedag, as we call it. It’s one of my personal favourites, since it’s pretty much one big ass nationwide party, and the atmosphere is great. Actually, every “real Dutch” holiday/event has an amazing atmosphere. Everything’s orange (that’s “our” colour), everybody’s having a good time (except for the unfortunate ones who don’t get a day off on Queensday), it’s just great.

Now, I could try and explain to all of you outside the Netherlands what Queensday is, but that would be a really long and complicated story. So instead, I’ve decided to let somebody else do that for me:

I just love the way this guy explains Queensday. And hell, he’s not even that far off! It’s the queen’s mother’s birthday (only because our current queen’s birthday is somewhere in the winter, not so convenient for an outdoorsy kind of party), and yeah, we like to move it around a little if that suits us better. Trying to sell your shit is a very important part of Queensday, I’ve even seen people sleep outside to get a good selling spot the next day! And then there’s the parties… Koninginnenach (derived from “nacht”, which means “night”) in The Hague used to be a lot of fun, but they’ve changed up some things, amongst which is the name, and I’ve pretty much lost interest. Amsterdam and Eindhoven are other places to be tomorrow, but too busy for my liking.

My favourite thing to do on Queensday is to just be outside and enjoy the atmosphere, watch people sell their shit, maybe even buy some shit off them, that kind of thing. And the weather is supposed to be very good this year, so I’m really looking forward to it! Just hoping that the crazies will stay far away again this time; in 2009 there was an idiot who attempted to drive his car into the bus that held our royal family, killing 7 people and wounding a lot more while doing so. He came off pretty easily himself; he died shortly after the attempt because he was severely wounded. Too bad, if you ask me.

Anyway… Enough negative stuff for now. Queensday’s fun, and that’s the way it should be. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and John Fealey’s explanation of Queensday, and to all my Dutch readers; have a great day tomorrow!

Love,

ML-X

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Annoyances: Part IV – Shopping Queens

I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately, and I’ve noticed that there’s a ridiculous amount of stupid shit being broadcasted these days. One is a show called Shopping Queens. Each week, five different “girls” get a shopping assignment from a stylist called Fred van Leer. He gives them a theme (e.g. a high tea party where our princess Máxima will be), and they have 3 hours and €400,- to put together an outfit to go with that theme. In itself, this isn’t a bad concept, were it not that a lot of the participants in this show, as well as this Fred guy, are idiots. Let’s take a closer look at our so-called stylist:

Fred van Leer

A pink blazer over a denim jacket over a dress shirt? And don't even get me started on those fug shoes. (Pic found through my friend Google)

Am I the only one who can’t take this guy seriously? And guess what… It gets worse! He’s a mean ass bitch as well. I guess that’s part of the show, being the “mean gay stylist”, but really… He should consider taking a look in the mirror if you ask me.

Now I’m not saying that I’m the Mother of all Style; I do my own thing and I like it like that. And sometimes, there’s a contestant on the show that does exactly the same and keeps close to her own style, twisting it to fit the assignment. I guess not everybody wants to look like a freakin’ clone project. And what does Fred do? Bitch about it. Together with the other contestants.

Two days ago, one of the contestants bought all her items at thrift stores, because she has a certain vintage style of her own. Part of her outfit was a pair of culottes (a sort of hybrid between a skirt and trousers), which is something the other oh-so-stylish contestants had never seen before, and of course, Fred totally bashed her look. That made me wonder; when did having style mean that you had to do everything a certain way? Isn’t the epitome of having style doing things the way you like them and looking great while doing so? Truthfully speaking, I wouldn’t have put on that girl’s outfit if my life depended on it because it’s not my thing (and short people like me shouldn’t wear culottes), but she rocked the hell out of it, and made it work.

Sure, there’s a lot of serial fashion faux pas committers out there, and I’ll probably post about that too, but you can’t make a show on style and then verbally abuse every contestant who actually has a style of their own and picks something you wouldn’t wear. Style is what makes us different. And bashing those who have it, isn’t stylish at all, my dear Fred.

What’s your definition of style? Do you like to play safe and go with the flow? Or do you just like to go crazy and do your own thing?

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Love,

ML-X

Song Of The Day: Led Zeppelin – Kashmir

For today’s Song Of The Day I’ve got a Led Zeppelin classic for you. And guess what… It’s not “Stairway To Heaven”;

Despite the fact that it came out waaaay before I did (pun intended), I absolutely love it. And the melody is really “modern”, it doesn’t have that 70’s feel that songs from the seventies usually have. Does that make sense to anyone else but me?

I do have to admit that every time I hear it, the first thing I think of is Godzilla, due to Puff Daddy/P Diddy/whatever-his-name-is-this-week’s addition to that movie’s soundtrack. Which was -in my opinion- quite awesome as well, especially considering the fact that sampling and/or covering oldschool and awesome songs like Kashmir usually leads to disaster.

What do you think of Kashmir? And do you agree that Diddy did an OK job? What’s your favourite Led Zeppelin song?

Thanks for reading & listening!

Love,

ML-X

A Cure For The Darkness

It’s been spring now for a month, and I have to say, so far it hasn’t been a good one. It’s been pretty cold, dark and annoying, unlike last year when I believe we even had a heat wave this time of year, so I decided to add some spring to my home myself;

Tulips

Now this is floral madness!

It’s insane how much a bunch of flowers can do. They’re “instant happy”, and I love it. It’s just too bad they’re so damn expensive over here :( I’d love to get some more orchids as well (they’re supposed to last longer), but my blue orchid (courtesy of le man) seems to have given up on life so I’m afraid new ones won’t survive for long either :(

What do you do to ease the dark, wintery days?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

Supplies!

I’m probably not the only one, but I love to be surprised! In a positive way, that is… A few weeks ago, my boyfriend had me pick between two pictures we’ve taken on trips together. He wouldn’t tell me why I had to do that, so I kept whining (and thinking of insane but possible reasons) for almost two months until one day he was here, and simply stated that I’m really blind. Wait… What? Oh, right. There was a huge box in the living room, which I had completely overlooked!

Of course, the box was supposed to be opened. And in there was… A canvas! This one, to be exact:

Canvas

Look familiar?

I apologize for the shitty, skewed picture, I took it after we hung the canvas, while standing on a (spinning) bar stool! Some of you might recognize the setting from an earlier post, and indeed, the original picture was taken at the Dulle Griet café in Ghent! This time, we were trying out some new beers from their huge beer menu; the Satan and the Deugniet (which pretty much means “rascal”). Both were very tasty, by the way!

Not only is this the first wall decoration to enter the house, but it’s also a little piece of my favourite place on earth (and an amazing memory), right at home. I love it!

What do you think of my canvas? And can you guess why the post is called “supplies”? ;)

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

For The Love Of… Shoes!

I have a thing for shoes. I guess you could call it an obsession, or an addiction even. Currently, I own so many shoes that I could wear a different pair every day for at least two months! But it seems that there’s never enough. A little while ago I came across something that I didn’t have in my collection: Sneaker wedges. I don’t think there’s an actual name for them yet, but I guess you could call them weakers, maybe even snedges. Hmm… That actually doesn’t sound right!

Anyway, let’s forget about the name. I fell in love and decided to order them online and they finally came in the other day, so I wanted to share them with you:

Sneaker Wedges

Is it a sneaker? Is it a wedge? No... It's a Snedge!

Apparently, this sneaker/wedge hybrids are going to be a trend, and despite the fact that I’m not a trend following person (better yet, I usually hate trends and run the other way), I really love them. They’re perfect for me; I’m quite short so I’ve been wearing heels almost constantly, and now I have a hard time wearing flats because I get back problems from them. Stomping around on stiletto’s all the time isn’t an option, but wedges on the other hand are pretty damn comfortable! And they’re tough-looking enough to wear when I’m in a casual mood.

These particular ones are from a brand called Blink, and I got them from Hypebazaar, where they have them in quite a few different colours! I do have to admit that I’m not entirely sure if they’re pretty; maybe I just fell in love with them because they’re so fugly (although there’s worse things out there, UGGS anyone?).

So what do you think of this oncoming trend? Love it or lose it?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night!

Last Tuesday was the day; Surgery Day to be exact. And oh boy, I was not looking forward to it at all. Better yet, I spent the last few days before the surgery being scared shitless. There wasn’t any real reason for it, it’s just that I’m a total wuss when it comes to doctors and everything that’s related. It’s quite sad, actually.

After finishing my ususal morning routine, it was time to go. The clinic’s in Rotterdam, so mom and dad picked me up early to avoid the morning traffic jam. Once in the car, my best friend (who had laser surgery done three years ago) called to tell me everything was going to be okay. Not that it helped; the closer we got, the more I started to tremble. I was even hoping they’d decide that my eyes weren’t suitable for the surgery after all. But of course, I wouldn’t be that lucky. After taking a “wrong” exit I had some hope again though; we were lost! Unfortunately, daddy’s a living navigation device, so we still made it in time. By the time we arrived at the clinic, I was shaking so hard, one would think I was a heroin addict going cold turkey. First, a checkup was to be done by the opthalmologist, who told me I could bring one of my parents along to the surgery rooms. I picked my dad, because mom was freaking out almost as much as I was. Although I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea; dad tends to get mad and yell at me when I fuck up (tough love ;)), and I had the feeling I would do just that!

In the pre-surgery waiting room, where three other patients were waiting, we had to put on paper scrubs, shoe covers and surgery hats. I’d already taken off my glasses, but I could still see that I was the only one who brought somebody in there with me. Then again, I was the youngest there, so I had a good excuse to do so. Then one of the surgeons came in, to tell us that it’s really important to be really quiet and still during the first part (she actually called it the “hard part”) of the surgery. She explained what was going to happen; first, they had to make the corneal flap. In my case, the surgery style was IntraLASIK, meaning that there weren’t any knives involved. Instead, we’d get a plastic thingy of some sorts in our eye, which was supposed to vacuum seal itself to the eyeball. After that, the femtosecond laser microkeratome would create the right flap. If any movement would occur, the vacuum would disappear, which meant they would have to start over again. And if you messed up multiple times, they would have to do something else, but she wouldn’t tell us the details.

Obviously, I was still pretty sure I would fuck this up, especially after dad told me that I was the only one who was startled every time the nurse gave us eye drops. Thanks, dad! I really needed to know that… A little after the doctor left, two other people came into the waiting room, and it turned out I wasn’t the only one being chaperoned! That made me feel a little bit better (or a little less of a loser), but I was still scared to death. And then… They called my name, and my heart stopped beating for a short while. Upon leaving the waiting room, they handed me this little sweetheart:

The Surgery Bear!

How can you still be scared after seeing this guy?

Crazy as it sounds, that little bear made me feel so much more relaxed! So I went into the surgery room, laid down really still and squeezed the lady doctor’s hand and the bear almost to death. The lady doc was telling me exactly what they were doing, and how much longer it would take. A little under two mintues later, the first part was done. And I didn’t mess up! Hell, I didn’t even feel a thing. The nurse took me back to the waiting room, where my chaperoned colleague was still waiting for his turn. He was even more scared than I was, so I told him it was a super piece of cake, and that he would be fine. Then it was time for the next step; the refraction surgery itself. I had to go into another room and lie down again, while the surgeon placed a sticky mask all over my face. He had to move it around a little, so I asked him if they were going to epilate my face as well. He laughed, and said I’d get a free facial peeling. After the mask was in place, I was supposed to lay still and look at the green light. This wasn’t quite as easy as it seemed, because the surgeon had to open up the corneal flap, and at that point the green light is pretty much dancing all over the place. Luckily, after opening the flap, the light stopped moving and I was able to focus again. The light then turned red and orange-y, I smelled something burning, and 30 seconds later the surgeon was putting the flap back in place. The same procedure was repeated on my other eye, I got some more eye drops, and then it was all done. And I have to say, the most awful part of the entire surgery was when the surgeon took the sticky mask off my face! I got up, blinked a few times, and it was insane how much I could already see.

After the surgery, we had to wait for another hour until the first checkup. Everything was fine, and the anesthesia was starting to wear off, which was a little bit uncomfortable but nothing big. The most awful thing after that was my light sensitivity; I was already wearing sunglasses but outside was still too bright, so I had to wrap my scarf around my head to make it stop hurting. When I got home, the curtains were drawn but the “light” still hurt my eyes, so I kept the sunglasses on. Gradually, it got better and better, and at the end of the evening I was watching soccer again. My best friend came by the same evening, and he was flabbergasted that I was walking around pretty much like nothing happened; he had spent three days in bed in utter darkness after his surgery! Then again, he didn’t have IntraLASIK but another form of refractive surgery, with a longer recovery time.

All in all, I can almost say that the surgery was an anticlimax. I spent almost a whole week freaking out, and in the end it turned out that it wasn’t necessary at all! I do have to say that there were a few factors that made it all the easier; of course there’s daddy’s company (and the bear), but I also felt very comfortable with the staff and surgeons. The entire medical staff was so nice and friendly, that it was hard to believe that they were going to do something that would hurt. So, if you’re considering getting refractive surgery, I had it done at VISUS Oogkliniek in Rotterdam, and I’m super happy that I did it there. I promise, they didn’t pay me to recommend them (although I did get some “€100 off” vouchers to hand out), but I know how scary refractive surgery seems, and now I also know you’re in really good hands at this clinic!

It’s been four days now since I had it done, and my vision has been almost perfect the same evening. I can still notice that it’s getting better by the day; yesterday I could finally read the microwave clock display! It’s truly amazing to be able to see again, all the time, without having to screw around with contacts/glasses. I couldn’t be happier.

I hope I haven’t tired you out with this ridiculously long post, and I hope this story has been of some amusement or help to you! Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

P.S.: If you’re interested in a voucher, let me know. I’d be happy to help!