All good things...

Hey "everyone"~ [insert echo here]

One might realize I've been a bit skimpy on the updates, if one can call missing an entire fucking year. The reason for that is multifold, but it essentially boils down to a couple of things that I'm going to list.

The reason
If I'd have to name a single reason, it's because the last 2 of 3 years, I've had precious little to say, and my enormous posse of loyal readers (two, off the top of my head) had posted a grand total of some 10 comments over the time. That is not to say I'm not grateful, and I'm definitely not blaming them (hell, I haven't posted a single comment in 2014!), it just reflects blogging about my life is as boring and trite as it seems. I'm just an average guy trying to make it seem slightly more than average, but when push comes to shove I'm just a Shampoo fan with his up days and quite the slew of down days. Besides, I've lost touch with them, and as much as I regret it, I guess it's just a part of moving on.

Down days? What down days?
I started writing here to vent my frustration and on-setting depression, but now that I look back on things it seems so pointless. Yes, bad shit happened, and trust me, a lot of bad shit happened to me in 2014, too (I will write about this later on. It's going to be quite the read, sorry for that). One down-side of the lack of enthusiasm is also the feeling that what I wrote is all so pointless. I vent bad shit, more bad shit happens. I do not vent bad shit, more bad shit happens. But much more importantly, I'm growing tired of shoving my bad shit in someone else's face. Even if that someone else is future Alex.

Sharing is caring
Besides, I've got someone to share my feelings with. Not only is it more rewarding, I feel more motivated to grow into a better person. This one girl who isn't Shampoo is changing me for the better so quick even I am having trouble believing this. In the last few months I've started taking up old hobbies and I'm not quite done yet.

Ooh! Shiney!
This is something I'm kind of embarrassed about, but that's what this journal was for to begin with: Airing some of my "darkest secrets". When I started writing more verbose entries I sometimes caught myself in the middle of a paragraph going "what the hell was I going to write?!" sometimes turned to often, often turned to "I haven't written a single paragraph yet where I didn't freeze for a bit!". Perhaps my head's just a whirling mound of chaos (let's face it, that hasn't really changed and I don't expect it ever will), or perhaps my brain is so astounded by my verbal/textual diarrhea that it just (wet) brain farts every once in a while. I find Twitter to be a better outlet for my fandoms, "rants" and opinions than LJ/DW nowadays, and those who know my past rants about Twitter know what past self thinks of my current self doing that. He might not even say something, just... shaking his head.

I'm a cis-straight-white guy
Let's face it - Blogging is now for the "lesser-privileged", which includes any of the opposites of the words in this paragraph's title. Unfortunately I am who I am, and that makes me a bad person by default. I'm either privileged, but apparently not aware of it, homophobic, even when I'm not (sorry for being straight), definitely a racist because I write about politics and I'm white, or sexist because I'm a man. To add some pack to my punch, I've actually been blamed of two of these allegations with similar logic. Any opinions I'd vent (and trust me, this year that'd be a shitload of them!) would be shot down or ignored for any combination, and to be honest, I'm a bit tired of the faux-SJW thing. Another reason for me to stay away. And really, anyone who knows me well enough should know by now I'm an equal-opportunity hater. Did I mention I'm also not fat and an 'atheist', for as far as that term applies to me? Yeah, it's fun being me, but at least I'm fucking privileged.

So what happened to me since I've been gone? Well, in main lines:
  • I got a job that I hated which led to a near-burnout, so that's fun. I learned I am not a web developer. I hate web developing to the core, akshually.
  • I got another job where I feel at home and very comfortable. Also, at the time of writing, I'm finally starting to let some shit of the last year go thanks to that. I'm actually having a good time.
  • I got a new cat that died 3 months later. Just enough time for me to form a bond with him that drove me even further in despair. It's especially painful since I actually saw him die. He came running up to me, keeled over and that was it. I performed CPR on him and learned that the animal ambulance only services from 8 to 5 and I should take my already dead cat to the clinic in Utrecht (45 minutes of public transit) to see if they could save his life. Turns out he had some sort of heart failure.
  • I lost another cat, but he died due to old age. Moos went very peacefully in the night. I tried to stay up and say my final goodbye, but fatigue got the better of me. He had been in a bad state for a couple of days and the job also helped in wearing me out completely.
  • Conventions! So many conventions! Kitt is a dealer, so there were a lot of conventions for me. Some in cosplay, some partially, some without. I was Shampoo once more, but I gave that up. I grew out of my cosplay and I'm not one for insulting Shampoo.
  • Kitt sacrificed her apartment. We're very intent on starting a future together, and this makes me very happy. She's living with her parents for now, but a lot of her shit is in my apartment and it's a bit of a mess. We're finally getting the last few bits organized.
  • I've had my first near-accident with a car! I went into a skid and got the car back on track. Not an epic feat, seeing as it's a four-wheel-drive, but still. Felt pretty bad-ass.
  • I got a new phone, the OnePlus One. Yep - Alex went full retard and got a smart phone. It's a nice, decent priced high-end piece of machinery and I haven't regretted using it yet.
  • I also got a ProForm 500ZLE movable Cross-trainer. I'm hoping this will at least motivate me to keep in shape a bit. Besides that, there's no proper bus connection to where I work, so I'm also riding a bike every work day.
  • I got inked. I got inked good! There's now a 25-ish cm high Shampoo on my right shoulder and she looks gorgeous. Not sure if there's going to be another one, but if there's going to be, there's going to be even more.
  • Alex got glasses again. After 9 years glasses free -2/-1 is a bit too much to feel safe on the road. With precious cargo in the passenger seat, it was high time to give up my vanity. Besides, the thing looks great on me!
I suppose that's it (maybe for now, who knows?). if anyone's interested in a lot of babbling about Shampoo, ponies, anime, anti-politics, anti-SJW's and general anti-stupidity, my Twitter is still pipin' hot. I've recently resumed fancelling, so my DeviantART is somewhat active again, too. People will always know where to find me as long as they have my Trillian, Google or MSN credentials, or of course my Steam, if you're more of a gaming person. It's definitely time to shut this down. I hope I'll see and/or talk to you guys again, but it will likely not be via this platform. Take care and be smart!
--- The An End ---
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Shampoo dream number 3

Last night I had a slightly upsetting, but nonetheless wonderful dream about Shampoo. This would make my third dream that I could remember ever.

Anyway, the reason it was slightly upsetting was because I had a chance to explain to her how I felt. If I hadn't met Kitty in real life this dream would've felt a lot better, but I think a lot of the dream (specifically Shampoo's reactions) may have been inspired by her. Another part was clearly inspired by Breaking Bad, which I've recently been catching up with (which isn't really hard, seeing as that is over).

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I already can't remember most of it, I'm mostly missing out on some of her reactions and some stuff we said, because when I woke up (next to Kitty) I couldn't help but wonder if the dream had been about her. I also felt kind of ashamed when I remembered it really wasn't. But then again, that was a dream, this is reality. We can both pretty much see the line in between.
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I am no longer sure what to write

For those who haven't been with me from the start, this journal, or rather its predecessor, LiveJournal, was a project for me to overcome my depression on my own. Bad shit happened, and I no longer want to look back on it. Needless to say I sometimes still look over my shoulder in the mirror and I catch a glimpse of my former self, the one I managed to lock away in a corner of my mind with no small amount of thanks to my readers and commenters. This is you, obviously.

Even though I've recently had a blast from the past, as I'll call this unfortunate incident, I don't feel the need to write it off anymore, also in no small part due to my girlfriend. Simply put, she gives me life, reason to breathe - if you will. I'm quitting my current job, and heading to a more localized, more organized and very likely better managed project. After all, it couldn't be much more disorganized than this (global) project. While the local project is getting management from both my team leader and our local (very capable) manager, the rest is generally a melting pot of whirling chaos and politics.

This brings me to the title of this post. I used to be able to write everything off me. I used to be able to jokingly say "one day I'm going to choke that motherfucker", knowing it would never happen. Back then people had a sense of what was meant and what I said just to vent. Hell, back then I used to know exactly who was reading this, and I generally still do (hello, Iz-chan~). I've always been careful to hide my identity from unwanted readers (hello, American 'Security' people~), and I've always done my best to hide names of people involved in my life (hello, mismanager~). All with the goodwill because I don't really want to smear anyone's name, I don't want to kill people (some I want to wound, but that's beside the point), I don't want to differentiate (except when it comes to intelligence).

I just want to vent instead of actually shooting someone. Sometimes, I really wish I could, just to improve humanity's gene pool, life style and general mood. Instead, by typing the last few sentences (which, as usual, I'll post as-is), I've probably triggered two or three national security instances and, if I'm lucky, one or two world-wide ones. The Internet is not the friendly place where I could be the person I want to be anymore. Instead, we're being trolled on large scale by Americans who feel everyone should have the same life as they have (and call it 'democracy', whether we want to or not), money-hungry Europeans (oh wait, it's called a 'stability' fund!), terrorist nations (notice how I didn't say Arab and/or Muslim. There are others!) and paranoid East-Europeans (Не волнуйтесь, я не буду ничего говорить , чтобы оскорбить вас, ребята *кхе кхе ЛГБТ*). Society is being non-subtly beaten, bought and bombed back into the middle ages.

Anyone who dares to protest nowadays meets the local and/or military police, our pension funds (or 401k's if you will) are being sucked dry to fund politicians we don't need and if I'm 'lucky' enough to survive the oncoming World War, I'll probably witness the fourth. And while I wanted to avoid the sexist shade of this post, I have to admit I'm pretty sure all these problems are caused by people who have penis-size issues. My biggest life problem, however, lies not with the oncoming bombings, but with the faction that will do this. It could be muslims who believe anyone who doesn't believe in Islam should perish as the infidel they are, it could be local bible-belt extremists because we've lost our way to the one and only god and thus should be sent to him/her, or it could be a country with their head so far up their ass that they think anyone who doesn't think the exact same thing they do is against freedom. And then there's the people that believe at least one of these groups AREN'T terrorists. But in the end, the only real definition of a terrorist is someone who imbues terror. And while the loss of lives by suicide bombers and gun-toting reli-freaks is definitely terrifying news, I'd say the biggest terrifying item of 2013 comes from the world's newest hero: Mister Edward Snowden.

You know, that guy that the US is now trying to apprehend because he's wanted for "Theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person (June 2013)." ([1]) Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I never authorized governments to record everything I say. Like I said, this blog is pretty much a 'fire-and-forget' blog. I write because I want to get these thoughts out of my head so they don't fester and I go nuts.

Bottom line: The Internet (and the people in general) have lost a great deal of its sense of humor and have really kicked up the 1984 vibe. It scares the living shits out of me to know anyone could be selling my information to anyone. By that logic, anyone I talk to, anyone who reads this could be a potential terrorist and governments have a legitimate reason to spy on their people. Circular reasoning. Gotta love it.

Editorial note: This piece has been in development since the beginning of this month. I was unsure whether I should post it because it may contain some skewed facts and I am not sure about reception of the piece. In the end, I'm still deciding to post it because... Well, I want to.


Well, I figured I'd do a quick update seeing as it has been over a month. I'm still alive, although the summer is kicking my ass, and right now I might be suffering from a slight self-induced fever. I am quitting my current job to become a junior developer on another project, that is much better coordinated. Moreover, the company I'll start at is much smaller and more controllable, which shows in much better coordination and more successes. This also means I'll have to work much harder than I am doing now, and I'm wondering if I still can do it. I've grown a bit numb in terms of being result-driven... Still! If there's a company that could do it, it's a company where the boss has an open-door policy for all its employees... So here's hopin'! : )

My relationship is blooming very well. We're toying with the idea of moving in together. The big problem is that we're both in a stressful situation right now and it wouldn't do our relationship any good if we would do this right now. Luckily the girlfriend realizes this and managed to talk this into my head. For the time being, we'll just stick to the weekendly visits, which seem to be further and further apart, even though she's staying longer and longer and it's still every weekend. I wouldn't be able to have a weekend apart right now, I think.

The cats are doing well. They're really adjusting to the apartment life and seem to be much less bothered by the heat. Moos needs a shot, and I have yet to plan a visit to the vet. Max has been coughing up some epic hairballs recently, but I guess that's normal, seeing as he's shedding quite a lot of fur. Probably a summer thing. He really detests the hairbrush, unlike Moos, who really sees the advantages, I think. Wisdom comes with age, no? XD

My computer's dying quick, and recently I've begun to plan out a new one. It will be a reasonably modern rig with a slightly outdated videocard, mostly because of price issues and the fact that I'm still very impressed by the running stats of the GTX 660Ti chipset. I need to decide on whether I go with the ASUS motherboard or the Gigabyte one. They both have their upsides and downsides, but they both have what I'm looking for and I think they can stand up to the job. When this is all done and I'll have my new rig next week (I'm ordering it either tomorrow or saturday), I'll need to figure out what to do with my current one. It's essentially a nice piece of machinery still. I think it just needs some maintenance or a reinstall - however, to limit the damage should I break it and since I need more power from my machine in the first place, I'm waiting with the experimentation until I get the new one. Not sure what I'll use for primary disk, either. both an SSD and an HDD have their merits, but I think overly stressing my SSD with an operating system will be significantly shortening its life span.

That's it for now. See you in a month, I suppose? XP

I should really check the state my LJ is in, too.
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Animecon 2013 - A couple of pictures and a small debriefing

Long story short: The Hague just doesn't have the same feel that Almelo did. They did, however, still have the same bungling tech people, a very nervous announcer who forgot to turn off his mic often, and a lot of shitty AMV's (to be precise: 2/19 AMV's were actually worth watching! The rest was just emotional crap with a lot of dizzying unnecessary effects.) The place was astoundingly big, but there were no proper indicators to point out where the different rooms were, so I mostly spent the time in the dealer room with my girlfriend, who had a stand there.

Speaking of the dealer room - it was massive. If there was one notable improvement over Almelo, it would be that. Also clearly better was the notable increase of seats in the theater room which was shockingly hard to find, despite of its size. I spent so much money in the dealer room that it made the ridiculous amount of €35 for a saturday-only ticket seem cheap, which it damn well wasn't. Getting old, I guess... I feel that may have influenced my view, so this may not be a completely fair one.

I can't say much about the outside, but from what I've read on the forum, there were indeed some grab-handy people outside. Still, the price to me wasn't worth the increase of space and awesome cosplays - if I go next year, I will be a part of the Keep In Mind stand, selling girlfriend's art and cheap Copic markers (seriously, there's no place to get them cheaper, which is awesome!)

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More pictures soon, probably. Also a lot WITH a top on. XD
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Last two weeks && upcoming Animecon

Haven't updated in a while, and stuff happened. Mostly, I helped my girlfriend sell some stuff on the Bazaar in Beverwijk. It was my first go at attending a stand for three consecutive days, albeit 'short' days. I was still completely broken after the third day. It was good training and we got a couple of things from the 'black market', as they call it: Two awesome dragons with removable swords, new cartridges for the printer which had been failing his prints with the internet-ordered ones and a campaign setting book for D&D - Eberron. The printer actually worked fine with the new, dirt cheap ones.

Last weekend we visited a 3D-printing demo, which was surprisingly informative. Girlfriend doodled a quick Shampoo and the guy behind the stand photographed and 3D-Printed it. All with Apple gear too, I must add! Now, I've never been as big an Apple hater as I may have pretended to be (although I despise the fanboys), but that was flat-out impressive. The whole program was developed in C++, and with a KickStarter campaign, they actually managed to get funding for a device that will help people to both easily Doodle 3D-stuff and send it to a home-made printer.

The Animecon is coming up. I've got the saddening feeling that this will be the last con I will visit as an actual visitor. I'm not even really looking forward to it anymore.

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    anxious anxious

Elf Fantasy Fair 2013

Last weekend I went to the EFF in Haarzuilens. My girl had a stand there (as she regularly has on conventions). I generally assisted her, but I also did a small walk around a part of the place, and was forced to end the tour prematurely as my wallet was getting lighter with ever stand I was passing. XP

I got a nifty d20 in a necklace and a pretty awesome looking sword, along with some other stuff, and took a whole of six pictures.

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I had a lot of fun there, but I was really drained at the end, and even today I'm still not completely recovered. XD
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Of tooth- and butthurt

This weekend has been quite eventful, unfortunately a lot wasn't exactly positive. Let's start off with the more positive, and I'll gradually work my way down.

Things are going well between me and the girlfriend. I've actually never felt happier than when she's around, and am currently actually suffering from withdrawal symptoms after she leaves. this is including but not limited to the shakes, crying and generally not being able to support my own weight anymore and collapsing on the floor.

Two weeks ago my girlfriend and me checked out two cats at the shelter, and last Friday I was finally cleared to pick them up. I now have two senior cats - one of 12 and one of 17. The 17-year old is deaf and has spots in his eyes (which generally can happen with older cats and isn't necessarily a sign of sickness or anything). He's a beautiful, slightly overweight black cat with yellow eyes that sheen a little greenish in the dark. The 12-year old is equally overweight-ish and is a red/white male with pure amber eyes. They both have those enormous paws, which I really like about big cats.

They haven't found their way around my place yet and aren't as affectionate as advertised. Which left me a bit doubtful about whether they will really fit in, and subsequently made me wonder if I ever really wanted cats. I'm still hoping this is some form of still getting used to the critters, because I really want them to have a nice time while being here.

The big downer of the weekend was Thursday evening, when part of a molar broke off. It didn't hurt, so I wasn't really worried in the beginning. However, when I called the local doctor's line, it soon became clear that a LOT of political bullshit was waiting for me. You see, I live in one place, and am 'subscribed' to a dentist in another. Apparently, unless it's an actual emergency (and apparently a broken tooth doesn't count as one), they refuse to help you in a town if you're not subscribed in said town. So, being Friday, I called my own dentist, who in turn, didn't answer his phone. Instead I was advised by his answering machine to contact the doctor's line in Amsterdam. I called and was put on hold. Since I have a limited amount of funds remaining on my pre-paid card and I had cats to pick up, I decided to 'press 1 and leave a message'. They never got back to me.

In the end I'm left with the shocking realization that to the dentists of the Netherlands, I am nothing more than a cash cow, to be milked when they please. However, when the cash cow breaks a tooth (which seems to me like an excellent reason to milk some more, after all, insurance won't even cover everything, so the only loser in the process is me), he's left to rot until his tooth does so. This, incidentally is deemed emergency enough, but at this point the tooth will have to be removed as opposed to filling it, which can probably still be done now. Since I can't do that myself, here I am typing an entry with a broken tooth and the only thing I have in my mind right now is that I have to remain polite, because goddess forbid I actually get angry about this whole clown circus.

One thing's for sure though - this was my last time at my current dentist. I am subscribing to one in Amersfoort, because I don't want somwthing like this to happen ever again. Incidentally, this isn't the first time this happened - a similar event took place on the other end of my jaw. I had to wait about 4 weeks to get that fixed because my dentist was "on vacation".
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Magnificent birthday is magnificent

Well, it's finally over for the next 360-ish days. And I wish there was anything I could complain about, but our birthdays went pretty awesome. There was no family drama whatsoever and I got SUCH awesome gifts I just HAD to brag about them as if I were 12 years old. XD

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It's a weird combination of scary and awesome to see how easily I was accepted by Kitt's friends and family. Words cannot describe how much I love her.

(But that won't stop me from trying, every once in a while XP)
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A poetic update, partially Dutch

I've been trying to get back into my word-smithing. I've produced something Dutch and something (short) English. The latter was inspired by a Dutch poet that inspires me a lot.

Van mij

Je vroeg me een keer te vereren,
te schrijven hoeveel ik van je hou.
Je bent een veels te bijzondere vrouw,
maar ik ga het lekker toch proberen~

Je verwelkomde de Shampoo in mijn leven,
en maakte haar met tekeningen (deels) jouw eigen.
Ik vind het fantastisch ze van je te krijgen,
en hoop dat je ze zal blijven geven.

Ik ben op mijn slechtst als je niet bij me bent
maar op mijn best als ik bij jou mag zijn.
en denk dat jij dat gevoel nu ook wel kent.

De afstand tussen ons, zeer haalbaar per trein -
en dan in jouw armen, waar ik zo aan ben gewend,
zo'n situatie, kan ik nu zeggen, vind ik fijn.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Here I sit, lonely and sad,
pining for what I had
yesterday. Man, I've got it bad
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