To Read Or Not To Read: New In! – I

Being the avid reader that I am, I love buying books, and series of books in particular. Wait… Make that series with awesome cover art. I know, I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but damn… I just can’t resist beautiful covers! And it’s even more awesome when you find a beautiful edition of something that you’ve wanted to read for ages :) So a while ago, I decided to finally get these:

Pretties!

But wait… There’s more:

Ooh! This makes me feel like a kid in a candy store :)

It’s very rare that I read a book because I liked a particular movie adaptation, but this is one of those cases. I’ve watched The Night Watch a lot of times, and I’ve read the first book way back when it came out, but after seeing the movie again not too long ago I decided I really needed to read the books. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to the “reading” part yet (my to-read stack is too damn big these days), but I’m totally looking forward to it. However, now that there’s a fifth book in the making I guess I don’t have to rush things… There’s little I can stand less than having to wait for a new book in a series!

Now, for the ones of you wondering about the books… Basically, they’re fantasy/science fiction, but in a crazy Russian way. I don’t read much of either genre at all, but I don’t think there’s anything like this series. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not even going to try and explain what in hell they’re about. I’m not even sure if I could! I might give it a shot after I finish reading, but I’m not going to promise anything ;)

So… Have you read the Watch series or seen the movie? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

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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

The Hunger Games Dilemma: Final

Like I’ve already mentioned in Part II of the great Hunger Games dilemma, I went to see the movie. And oh boy… I don’t remember the last time I left a movie with such mixed feelings!

Let’s start with something positive! There were some things I really liked about the movie; the casting was pretty well done! There was one exception, but you’ll have to read on to find that one ;) My favourite “side” character in the books was Cinna, who’s portrayed in the movie by the amazing Lenny Kravitz! So that was very pleasing. Another thing that I liked, were the special effects. They were done very well, and I loved the “extra” peek in the Game Maker’s office; this wasn’t really mentioned in the book as such.

The movie was quite like the book, meaning that they didn’t screw up the storyline or whatever to make it more appropriate for a movie. They did a pretty good job on that, especially considering that quite a large portion of the book is basically Katniss’ thinking.

And now… What I didn’t like. The last thing I stated as positive, works against the movie as well, at least in my opinion. For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet; I must warn you, this might be a bit of a spoiler! At a certain point, there’s Rue, and Katniss has a great fondness of her. However, if you haven’t read the book (like for example my best friend, who came along to the movie), it’s a bit of a “what the fuck-moment”; aren’t they supposed to kill each other off? What’s so special about that kid? Of course, if you’ve read the book you’ll know that Katniss has a weak spot for Rue because she’s the same age as her sister Primrose, but the thing is, a lot of people haven’t.

There were a lot more things that were hard to understand if you didn’t read the book; at one point, my best friend asked me why the people looked so weird. After the movie, I had to explain him the whole background story on the different districts and the Capitol. Another thing I was missing, was the story of the Mockingjay Pin. Why the fuck was that changed up in the first place? Katniss didn’t get it off the market, for crying out loud. I really dislike the way they’ve made it into something that’s pretty much meaningless!

Another disappointment, which is a bit more personal I think, was President Snow. When I read the books, I imagined him to be a bald, creepy looking motherfucker. A little like Baraka from Mortal Kombat (google it!). In the movie though, he reminded me of Santa Claus. And we all know Santa Claus isn’t really evil! So this was a bad casting, if you ask me.

Considering that the movie was over two hours long, I think there might have been room for some more “depth” in the story. For example, another one of the things I liked in the book, was the way it fucked my mind the whole time because I was wondering if Peeta was for real or not. In the movie, this isn’t shown at all, and I’m really wondering how they’ll explain this (and the earlier mentioned Mockinjay thing) in the sequel (which I’m guessing will come) because it’s been a very important storyline in the books.

All in all, I was really disappointed. Maybe I had set the bar too high, I don’t know, but at one point I was glancing at my watch to see if it was almost done. I used to check the time when I was reading the books too, but only to see how much more I could read and still manage to get a bit of sleep because I had to work the next day. I know it’s really hard to make a screen adaptation worth seeing, but I believe they could’ve done a lot better.

I’ve already made up my mind; I’m not going to see any sequel. What did you think of the movie? Am I completely wrong here? Or did it really suck?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

The Hunger Games Dilemma: Part II

As I’ve already told you a while ago (in fact, it was my first post ever), I’ve been in a huge dilemma about the Hunger Games movie. But I’ve finally made up my mind! Actually, somebody made it up for me, and I’m going to see it tonight. Yay! I’m really curious how it’s turned out, and if I’m gonna hate it as much as I usually hate screen adaptations. I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s really good, although none of them has read the books… So still not sure what to think. But I’ll let you know!

By the way… Has anybody else been “bothered” by folks bitching that it’s a Battle Royale rip-off? I’ve had exactly that same discussion with my best friend (yes, the Chili Chicken guy!), and later on I’ve come across it a few times as well, for example on 9gag.com;

Hunger Games VS Battle Royale (pic courtesy of 9gag.com)

Hunger Games VS Battle Royale (pic courtesy of 9gag.com)

Admittedly, it’s fucking hilarious but I’ve seen (and loved) Battle Royale 1 and 2, and I still disagree on this point. Sure, kids are killing each other in gruesome ways (I’ll just assume for now that’s not only in the Hunger books but in the movie as well), but there’s more of a storyline to Hunger Games. Oh well, either way I think I’ve won the discussion, because it was my best friend’s idea to see it tonight. Ha!

So… Wish me luck! Or don’t… Bitching about the movie will make a far more interesting post ;)

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

I Don’t Do “80%”!

Yesterday was “D-Day” part II; I had the aforementioned job interview at that big company. I’ve spent quite a few days doing “homework” on them, and studying Google Maps to make sure I wouldn’t get lost on my way there (I have a special talent for getting lost), so I felt really prepared. Yay me! So yesterday, I got up, had my coffee, got suited up, slapped on some make-up, put on a pair of heels and off I went. I had to take a train to a station nearby them, and from there it would be a 13 minute walk, which I had not only memorized, but drawn and written down as well. Just in case.

Everything went perfectly according to plan, until the walking part. According to Google Maps I’d have to take a right on a certain road, but that road was never found. Nevertheless, I found the place, although the walk took me 25 minutes. I was 30 minutes early, which I figured would look nice because they all love punctuality. So I entered the lion’s den, received a “visitor” pass from one of the ladies at the front desk, and waited. Unfortunately, punctuality was not the strongest suit of the two I had the appointment with, so I had to wait a bit longer than expected. No big deal, I wasn’t really nervous anyway, and there was enough to do with all the people walking by.

Ten minutes later, a woman walks up to me, leads me into a sort of glass box that’s supposed to be the interview room, and tells me to stay put until she gets her colleague. A few moments later, the party is complete, and we can get started. She tells a little bit about the company structure, and how it’s still a bit of a chaotic company. I reply by telling her that chaos is my favourite work environment – not a lie by the way. Then she asks me to tell something about myself, and I start blabbing, about where I live and my current job (didn’t quite mention that I’m not working any more), and that I love challenges and learning new skills. And then the questioning begins.

“What do you think you can learn here?”

“Well, I think I can learn… Uhm…” *blabs something about how it’s a different branch so I must be able to learn how this branch works or something*

Oh shit. Then they disagree with me that it’s really different, and I’m thinking, “you have no idea what you’re talking about”. But okay. Whatever. More questions:

“If we talk to your colleagues, what will they tell us were your strongest points?”

“Hmm, I have to say I’m not really good at talking about my strong points. But I think they’ll tell you I’m very driven, and very thorough.”

“Okay. So what are your weak points? Points that you need to work on? That must be easier.”

“Well… I’m a little impatient, I don’t like it if I need somebody to do something for me and they’re really slow.”

“Oh really? And what do you do when that happens?”

“I tell them nicely that this is important and it needs to be done within a certain time limit. The trick here is to let them think they’re doing something really, really important. Then they’ll do everything you say.”

True story, I promise. I expected them to be totally wowed by this insight, but they just stare at me like I’m some kind of lunatic. But then the best part starts; the “what ifs”:

“So what do you do when you have, let’s say, a deadline on Friday, and you need somebody to do something for you, but they don’t have the time for it? Because everybody has their own priorities.”

“Well, I try to get them to do it anyway. And if not, there’s always a Plan B, another way to get the results you want or need.”

“Okay, but what if you have 80% finished?”

“I don’t do 80%.”

“Fine, but what if you have 80% and you need to hand it in?”

“Then I give 120% next time.”

“But you can’t always give 100%. It’s a hectic, dynamic environment here. We’re satisfied with 80%.”

“Well, then I guess giving 80% is what I can learn here.”

People, believe it or not, but I was totally flabbergasted. One of the biggest Dutch companies is living off 80% of work, commitment and whatnot. For a moment, I thought I was stuck in some kind of Twilight Zone or something like that. Then the guy asks me the following:

“So what would you do if you’re organising a huge discount campaign, which will be in the newsletter, and in the end it turns out that your supplier didn’t send the goods yet so they won’t be there in time for the campaign?”

“Like I said, I always have a Plan B. We take it out of the newsletter, replace it with Plan B, and then I’ll contact the supplier to see what the hell he’s doing. I’ll probably get away with an extra discount, because we had an agreement here, and he didn’t hold up his end. At least, that’s how it usually goes when something like this happens. I can be very convincing.”

Again, they’re staring at me like I said that I will go out and murder the supplier or something. But in my experience, if you’re a good client, the supplier will do everything to keep you as a client. And I can be very persuasive; I guess in a way I’m a professional bitch.

They rushed through a few more questions because it was almost lunchtime (very professional, huh?), and then I was free to go. They said that they’d discuss the interview, and they’ll call me next week. I politely thanked both of them for their time, and got the fuck out of there. I’ve had a few job interviews before, I swear to god, these were the most boring, arrogant and humorless people I’ve ever met. I’m somebody who likes to brighten up the mood by being funny. They didn’t even smile. They do know how to market themselves though; if you read the “working with us” page on their website, you’d almost think working there is like working at a Dutch version of Google. Newsflash: they lie.

All in all, I don’t think it was a big success. But to be really honest; I couldn’t care less. I can hardly remember the last time somebody made me feel so small, and I’m an ass for letting “80% people” make me feel like that. I don’t need to learn from them; they need to learn from me how to give everything.

Thanks for reading, I hope I’ve managed to make some of you laugh. And if not, I know the perfect work spot for you! ;)

Love,

ML-X

Twilight Saga: To Read Or Not To Read?

It’s time for another movie/book dilemma, just a tad different; to read or not to read? I’ve been considering to try to go through the Twilight Saga. The pressed version, that is. Why in hell would you want to read about sparkly vampires, you ask? Well… Beats me. I guess I really like the book covers ;) And I might have heard that the books are way better than the movie, and being, well, me, I tend to believe that’s possible.

I’m a little OCD-ish when it comes to books; if I start on a series or trilogy or whatever, I *need* to read own all of them. I don’t care how many they are, they must be in my collection. And read. In the case of the Twilight Saga, there’s four of them, and books don’t come cheap where I’m from. Especially when they suck. So the real question here is; should I invest my rare time and even more rare money into this?

Admittedly, I’ve watched the first movie a few months ago. Not because I really wanted to, but because I was bored and there wasn’t anything else on TV. And in a way, it amused me. Not so much that it turns me into a drooling idiot whenever I see what’s-his-face-playing-Edward-Cullen, but more like… Oh hell, I don’t know. I’ve even considered looking at the rest if they happened to cross my path… I think you could call that “passive interest” or something. I guess it has something to do with girls being attracted to sparkly shit ;)

Now I’ve had a thing for vampire related everything pretty much as long as I can remember. I’ve seen all three (yes, there’s three, but don’t bother with the second two) Dracula movies, I’ve seen all the episodes of True Blood (and read all the books, plus I have pre-ordered the latest), I even read the first four Vampire Diaries. Apparently, there’s a TV series of that one as well, but there’s no way in hell gonna watch that shit, because I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a persona in a book as much as that Elena Gilbert chick. Damn. And then there’s -of course- Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series. Read and loved. Hell yeah.

I’m probably forgetting a few, but the main point here is that all those vampires are dark, sexy and dangerous. Not blonde, sparkly and underage-looking. So why am I even considering Twilight? Especially now that I’ll see Kristen Stewart’s face all the time when I’m reading? Seriously… WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! You know what… Don’t answer that.

Yeah, I’m losing my fucking mind. So I need your help… Should I give Twilight a shot? Or should I just shoot myself throught the fucking head for just considering it?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

Movie Time: The Butterfly Effect

As mentioned earlier in my Hunger Games post, I’m not really a movie person. It’s not like I don’t like movies or anything, it’s just hard for me to find a movie that can catch and keep my attention the way books can. The other day my boyfriend and I decided to watch “The Butterfly Effect”. And now, after seeing it for the first time, I almost feel ashamed that I’ve had a copy for almost 5 years, and just boycotted it because Ashton Kutcher was playing the main character (nothing agains Ashton, really, but he just didn’t seem credible to me, in a “serious” movie).

Now, I can’t really describe how I felt after watching this movie. In a way, I hated it, because it’s so incredibly sad how everything Evan does to make things better, in the end makes everything worse. The story was so well made up, I don’t think there was a second I lost my focus and interest. And that ending… So, so sad and beautiful at the same time, it got both of us crying! Of course, the beautiful Oasis song during the credits wasn’t making things better for us either;

What I also loved about this movie, is that it just got me thinking, you know? It sounds really lame, but after seeing it, and especially the way it ended, I just appreciate everything I have a little bit more.

All in all, I think this one’s going into my top 10! And for all of you who haven’t seen it yet: GO SEE IT NOW! I promise, it’s gonna be 2 hours of your life very well spent.

Have you seen The Butterfly Effect? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X