Football/Soccer: UEFA EURO 2012 Finals

Tonight’s the night! The Euro 2012 finals will be played by Italy (surprise!) and Spain (not so surprise!). I think the key word for this year’s Euro’s is in fact “surprise”. Some really great teams didn’t make it into the quarter finals, others were just one hell of a disappointment (can you say Dutchies?), and I still can’t believe that Germany lost from Italy in the semifinals.

There’s one thing that has made me very, very happy: Portugal is exit! Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Portugal in itself, but that self-obsessed, arrogant Cristiano Ronaldo has annoyed the living hell out of me. I think he’s spent more time rolling on the field in acted anguish than actually running. And then there’s the changing hairstyles every damn time… Ugh! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, or just want to have a laugh, check out this “ode” to Ronaldo HERE.

I do have to admit that Ronaldo isn’t the only strange guy out there… In fact, there’s one in Italy as well: Mario Balotelli. Seriously, that guy is insane! But hilarious at the same time. Check this out:

I showed this video to my dad last week, and he laughed so hard, kind of waving his arm, that I thought he was going to hit me! And there’s lots more crazy shit he does. Either way, it promises to be very interesting tonight :)

As for Spain… Well, they weren’t my favourites ever, but they can play so beautifully, in that typical Barcelona style. It’s such a delight to watch them. Well, at least, most of the time. Their game against the aforementioned Portugal wasn’t all that good, in fact, it was rather boring, so I’m very curious if they’ll step up against Italy.

Despite that I’d never expected Italy to make it to the finals, I’m totally rooting for them tonight; not only because Balotelli is hilarious and Spain has won the last Euro AND World Championships, but because I have a strange fondness of the Azzuri. Whatever happens, with both of these teams I think we can expect a great match.

Will you be watching, and if yes, who’s your favourite of the two?

Thanks for reading!



Independent Woman, My Butt

Approximately 99% of the time, I like to think of myself as an independent woman. I earn my own money, pay my own bills, do my own housekeeping, and I get along with myself very well most of the time. But every once in a while I’m confronted with my own weakness, and realize that I’m not all that independent. Why? Because I’m a scaredy cat.

That’s a more positive way of looking at it! (source)

I have an irrational fear of spiders; I’m so scared of those darn things, that I don’t even dare to kill them with my own hands. Or any other object in my vicinity, for that matter. No, sir. So what does Miss Independent do? Ask the man of the house to do it for her. But here’s the catch; le man isn’t always around when the eight-legged freaks are, and since he lives around two hours away, it’s not an option to call him everytime there’s one of them around. So far, I’ve been lucky enough not to see one (or more) when he’s not here, but I don’t look for the day that’s going to change. And with some kind of summer coming, I think it’s going to be soon!

Despite this silly fear I’m rational enough to realize that arachnoids and other insectlike creatures should be the least of my concerns; it’s freaks of the two-legged persuasion that are most dangerous for a small girl all on her own, especially now that there have been a lot of robberies in the neighbourhood. But they just don’t freak me out as much.

The reason I was inspired to write this post, is that I’ve been hearing a really weird noise coming from the exhaust hood in the kitchen the other day. It was a creepy scratchy sound, maybe like little claws or a larger insect (cockroach, anyone?). I know there are mice in the garbage basement here, so I figured anything’s possible. And that’s when the panic started; le man was already on his way, but only just, meaning it would be another hour and a half until he’d arrive. I had two options: either be a man and open the damn thing up and see what’s in there (I was already having mental pictures of a gross nest of bugs of some sort), or stay the fuck away from that thing and put on some music as loud as necessary.

Usually, I’d try to challenge myself into facing my fear, but not that day. Oh hell no. Luckily, my dad called to tell me he was on his way to check out something (the apartment is permanently under construction!), so I thought it would all be over soon. And I couldn’t have been more wrong! Despite a difference in traveling time of pretty much an hour, le man made it in before dad. But that didn’t save my sorry butt, because even he didn’t want to open the hood. He did, however, try to chase the thing away by banging on the hood. It didn’t help one bit.

Eventually (and prepare for an anticlimax!) dad arrived, opened up the hood and unmasked the culprit: a newspaper that we’d shoved in there somewhere during the winter to try and lessen the underpressure in the house caused by the combination of drafts and automatic aspiration of air through the vents, amongst which was the hood. It had sagged a little, and one of the corners was scraping against the netting of the hood’s filter.

I felt like a total ass, but in the end we all laughed about it. Maybe I’ll learn something from it, like that things aren’t always as scary as they seem. If nothing else, I might be able to convince le man that I really, really need to get a cat if he doesn’t move in any time soon. Cats eat bugs, right?

Until next time!


Football/Soccer: UEFA EURO 2012

After having to wait for almost two years (or four, depends on how you look at it), it’s hardcore football time again. The European Championships have finally started!

Let the games begin!

I am quite the football fan, and whilst having followed the earlier mentioned Eredivisie, the prospect of the EURO’s got me even more excited. I’ve watched them (and the World Championships) ever since I was a little girl, but 2010’s World Championships were extra special; they’re the reason me and le man are an item.

I still remember what happened; we were out in town with the company, watching The Netherlands play against Brazil on the biggest TV I’d ever seen. It was hot outside, and I couldn’t see anything because of all the people so I was standing on some kind of ledge and he was standing in front of me so I didn’t fall off. The funny thing is that despite thinking he was cute, we’d never talked all that much. Hell, I even hated his butt when he first came to work for us, because I figured he’d steal my job (long story). But he didn’t, and gradually we’d started exchanging words every once in a while.

Anyway, back to the point. As I said, it was scorching hot out there and I had my beer-cooled hand on his neck to cool him off, the game was great and against all odds… We won! Holy shit, we won from Brazil! Everybody was extatic, yelling and hugging random strangers and we… We just kissed. And that’s how everything started.

Obviously, football has been extra special after that, for the both of us. Some might find it boring, but we watch games together whenever we can and want. And when we can’t watch together, we watch seperately and text about it. It’s also our little inside joke; the other day there was a show on TV where the participants had to answer, “What’s the best place to fall in love?”, and he simply said “During a football match”. Of course, that wasn’t the right answer, but I loved it!

We’ve watched the first two games together (Poland vs Greece and Russia vs Czech Republic, although I missed the last bit of the second one), but unfortunately couldn’t watch The Netherlands against Danmark (which the idiots lost!) and Germany vs Portugal together because he had to work. Tonight we’re both off and the third pair of games will be played. There may be war; I’m an Italy fan (my current hair colour is red with black, like AC Milan!), while he’s more into Spanish football, and that’s the first game scheduled for tonight.

I do hope The Netherlands will pick up their pace after yesterday’s game, because it would be a shame if they wouldn’t go to the quarter finals. The atmosphere here back in 2010 when they did so well was simply undescribable. Yep, football beats the shit out of Queensday! And for the last few weeks, there’s been orange everywhere, and supermarket and drugstore chains have dealt out all kinds of football-related goodies with every x-amount spent. Yeah, it’s great to be here when the football craze is on!

So to all of you watching the EURO’s I’d like to say: Enjoy, and may the best country win! And to you who might want to start watching but don’t know how to; check Fiction In Crazy Mode’s post here on how to enjoy these games at their fullest.

Until next time!



Guilty Pleasures: Eurovision Song Contest

When I was a little girl, there were two nights a year I could stay up late. One was of course New Year’s Eve, and the other was… Eurovision Song Contest night. And twenty-something years later, it’s still a bit of a mother-daughter thing for me and my mom. Traditionally, we criticize and rate every song, trying to guess who’s going to win this year’s contest. Despite having extremely different musical preferences, we still both manage to guess pretty well.

Here in The Netherlands, the ESC is seen as a “gay thing” mostly and in a way interest in it will be frowned upon. I’m not sure what sexual preferences have anything to do with a music contest, so my best guess is that the Dutch aren’t into the contest any more because they haven’t made the finals in quite a while. I’m just perplexed that they think they even stand a chance, with the absolute crap they send in. Now I do have to admit, there’s a lot of strange entires, like Russia’s this year. But they came in second! And despite not being all too pleased with that, I can understand why that happened. Russia’s entry was funny. Holland’s wasn’t (and it was off-key as f*ck, while we’re at it). They just take themselves too damn seriously, but they don’t even consider sending in any of the actually talented artists we have here. Hell, they might even be better off sending me in! ;)

All in all, I have to say this year’s ESC was pretty okay. I’ve seen quite some things that I did like, and among my personal favourites were Sweden, Serbia and Slovakia. The latter unfortunately didn’t make it into the final, which was to be expected, but I still thought it was very awesome. Sweden won this year, and Serbia took third place, thanks to the grannies from Russia! So I guess now y’all know why I wasn’t too pleased with their coming in second ;) The only thing that really bothered me this year, is the fact that the counting of the votes was boring. Sweden took the first place all the time, there was no doubt she’d win, so the counting part was quite a waste of time.

So, my European readers, have you been watching the ESC this year? Who were your favourites? Of course, the rest of you are free to comment on our silliness too ;)

Thanks for reading!



What Goes Up…

…Must come down. And it did. Not too long after my previous post, everything simply collapsed. I went over to my folks’ to help out with the painting, and le man came over to lend a hand too. Everything was perfectly fine, up until the part when he got horrendously ill out of the blue. It was awful. I saw the strong man that I’ve known for so long now turn into… A mess of nothingness. And I couldn’t do anything about it.

My parents figured it might have something to do with the fumes of the paint or the cleaning solution we’d used the day before (it had gotten me sick the last time as well) so I made him some chamomile tea, and just sat with him. He could hardly keep his eyes open, and I couldn’t handle it. I hated myself for not being able to make him better, and I was scared. So scared that when he finally managed to fall asleep, I checked up on him every five minutes to see if he was still breathing. Just in case.

The time I didn’t spend with him, I didn’t spend helping out my parents either, making me feel even more useless than I already did. Especially when my mom decided to help out instead of me; she’s got some health issues of her own, but she’s insanely stubborn and simply refused to get off the ladder and give me my paintbrush back.

After le man woke up I tried to feed him a little but he threw up the bit of cucumber he managed to shove down his throat almost immediately. So we “hung out” in the bathroom, and seeing him hugging the toilet with one hand and holding mine with his other just broke my heart. For fuck’s sake, why couldn’t I fix this?! I know, I might be a little irrational but I just wanted to make everything OK again. But I couldn’t, so I just had to wait until it fixed itself. And it did, a little at least. An hour or so after our “toilet date”, he finally started to feel somewhat better, and I silently thanked “the powers that be”.

During the day that followed he was getting better little by little, and yesterday he was feeling good enough to go back home. The paint job at my parents’ turned out great, it’s a light, minty green now and I kinda wish I’d thought of it when I was moving in here, because the sensitivity of my white walls is driving me insane! But I’ll manage; cleaning a wall isn’t nearly as awful as the  last two days have been.

One of the worst side effects from this episode is the fact that it got me thinking… I couldn’t handle not being able to help, so what if I have children later on in life and they get sick? And I’m not talking about heavy stuff like this, it’s just that I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle my child(ren) having a freakin’ cold and me being unable to help them. It’s gotten me to doubt my abilities as a mother, and that’s hard for me. But maybe I just wasn’t meant to be one.

I apologize for the long rant, I just really needed to get it out of my system for a while. Thank you for reading, and until next time.



Just Making The Most Of It

You might have noticed that my posts have been a little sparse lately, but I’ve been a little busy. With what? Well… Just making the most of life as it is right now. I’m currently in a flow of just doing things I enjoy, and I’m enjoying them even more than usual :)

I’ve spent almost three days having a great time with le man, and this weekend I’m helping my folks out at my old home because they’ve been redecorating a little. So I’ve been “Bob Ross-ing” some walls and getting downright dirty, and I love it. I’ve always had a fondness  for home improvement, and now I also feel like I can give something back to mom and especially dad, because they’ve helped me out so much when I bought my apartment.

Despite almost being officially without a job (two more days to go now!) and stressing out finance-wise, I’ve been… Extremely happy. And that’s very rare for me. I’m going to end this post with a moral: Enjoy life as it is, and appreciate the small things. No matter what you may lose someday, if you can get a smile on your face from the small things, you’ll never lose your happiness.

Thank you all for reading.



Time For Some Closure

As I’ve already told you in my post about my last day on the job, I said goodbye to pretty much everybody at work. But I didn’t mention that there was one person whom I didn’t see that day, while I should have, and that’s the company owner. I was told he wasn’t feeling well, and that he’d give me a call later that week. He didn’t.

Him not calling me wasn’t entirely unexpected; I’ve known him for three years now, and he’s… Well, let’s just call it “special” for now. Although mentally deranged would be a more adequate description. Nevertheless, I had a hard time with it. It made me feel like I was some kind of criminal, who had done everything to ruin his company. We’ve had a couple of those in the years I’ve been working there, so I didn’t quite see where I fit in, but okay.

Three days ago, the unexpected happened; I received a text message from him. He asked me how I was doing, apologized for not saying goodbye, and asked me if I wanted to meet up to do it after all. After I replied to him that I’d like to, he was genuinely surprised that I wasn’t angry, and asked me if I’d like to have dinner and a drink. I said yes. So we planned it for tonight. And I’m nervous about it. Maybe even outright scared! I mean… Why did the decide to contact me after a month? I might be paranoid, but I don’t trust this entirely.

Of course, I could’ve said “no” and let it go, but like I said, I felt really awful for being “treated” like that. I need to say goodbye to let it go. Now I really have to mention here that the company I’ve worked at was very small, so in a way, it was like a little “family” we had there. Hell, it even felt like it was “my company”. And that’s what’s making all of this so hard for me. So I really hope that after tonight things will be better. I will let you know, but in the mean time, keep your fingers crossed for me. Just in case…



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!



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

Blast From The Past: Mortal Kombat

Way back when I was a little girl, somewhere around 8 years old if memory serves me well, I really used to look forward to the summer holidays. We’d always spend five weeks at my uncle’s, where I had two cousins who were pretty much the same age as me and my brother. Those weeks there were the only time I would see them, but they were amazing. Way back then, kids still used to play outside, and so did we. Thinking back, we were quite the troublemakers! But it was all good, especially considering how kids behave these days.

If we weren’t outside, we’d spend hours playing on the SEGA Mega Drive (a.k.a. Genesis). We’ve played a lot of different games, but Mortal Kombat II and III were our favourites. Quite violent for a couple of 6-to-9-year-olds, but we loved the hell out of them. Everybody had a favourite character, and we even used to “fight” in real life, pretending we were these characters. Those were some really, really good times.

Fast forward to now; a lot of things have changed, and I haven’t seen my cousins in years. But I still have a great fondness of those games. And thanks to my best friend, I had a little “blast from the past”; he’s loaned me his XBOX, together with a copy of “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe”. And for a while I was an 8-year-old again, playing with Kitana and basically just pushing random buttons until my fingers hurt and the opponent was killed. And oh, the fatalities! And babalities! And even friendships! Back when I was a kid, we lived for those, practicing and practicing until we finally got them right. They were the ultimate awesomeness.

Now of course Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe isn’t the real deal; not even close. Even the fatalities (which are “googlable” these days, yay!) aren’t as icky and awesome as they used to be, despite the huge improvement of the graphics. And don’t even get me started on my dislike of the DC Universe characters (which I just ignore or beat up ;)) and their stupid “Heroic Brutality” thing! But all in all, it’s still able to get me to a good place, a carefree place, which is exactly what I need right now.

Have you ever played any of the Mortal Kombat games? Or were you more a Tekken kind of person? What’s your favourite character?

Thanks for reading!



YouTube Hopping: Watch The Throne

I love YouTube Hopping; when you start listening to a song on YouTube, and then click on one of the recommendations because you might like that song too, and then again, and again, until you’ve spent two hours hopping through songs. In fact, I’ve spent the last two days doing just that; first with my mom when I was visiting my parents, and the next day with my boyfriend. Mom and I went for really old songs (let’s say between the 70’s and the 90’s), and it was a total blast from the past.

Le man and I, on the other hand, started out with something a little more new(ish), some guy called Twista (I didn’t know him, but shit, that dude raps FAST!), who happened to lead us to Kanye West and Jay-Z, and more specifically their awesome collaboration called Watch The Throne.

Oh, and how awesome it was! It’s very rare that almost every song on an album is good; usually there’s only two or three of them at most. Another exception to that rule is Iron Maiden’s Brave New World, and don’t even get me started on the soundtrack of Queen of the Damned! I think that’s the only album I’ve loved entirely.

Anyway… Back to Watch The Throne. Did I already tell you it was awesome? Oh, yes I did. Well, fuck it, it is. There were only two (yes, two!) songs on it we didn’t really like; “Lift Off” and “That’s My Bitch”. I was kind of bummed out about the latter, because we made a game out of predicting which were going to be good, and I mentioned that one… Fail :( And it wasn’t the only time I was wrong. But that’s okay, because I’ve discovered quite a few new awesome songs, which is always the best part of YouTube Hopping!

I’m curious; do you ever hop through YouTube? And what’s the most awesome thing you’ve found by accident? Let us know in the comments ;)

Thanks for reading, and have a great Easter!