Everything you need to know about STAR WARS in exactly 6.000 words

(*** Caution: this post consists of 0,5% silly wordplay, 0,5% nudity and 99% spoilers)

Has it ever happened to you that you totally unexpectedly meet a person with whom you have ridiculously many things in common, almost getting the feeling as if the Universe was plotting to unite you all along. The feeling of absolute bliss and understanding, the feeling of utter completeness, the sound of angels singing and happy bells ringing.

But then, all of a sudden, a big obstacle the size of a second Death Star arises?

(…)

This is what is happening to me… I have met a SUPER DUPER GREAT person, but there is one big obstacle…

The force isn’t strong in this one.

He doesn’t like Star Wars…

kang_and_kodos

I swore I would never get involved with someone who doesn’t like this mega awesome saga but sometimes you can’t always get what you want…

wrongidea

Since he doesn’t like it *kuch* (LOSER) and I am obviously very passionate about it, I want us to share this interest, even if it’s just a little and I want to see if I can train him into becoming a Jedi Geek just in time for the 14th of December.

Him: “What’s the 14th of December?”

diealone

For him it’s just a regular day of the year. And this is exactly what needs to change in his feeble little brain because the 14th of December is the day all STAR WARS geeks (at least in Germany and the UK) are living for. It is our Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthday combined. It is the day Episode VIII: THE LAST JEDI arrives in theaters.

the-last-jedi-theatrical-blog

You: “So why doesn’t he like Star Wars, Evvy?”

Ha! I guess he doesn’t want to jump on the mega mainstream train. Or something went terribly wrong in his childhood… BUT he likes comic books so there is a little REY of NEW HOPE that the FORCE can be AWAKENED. (See how I just made a triple Star Wars reference? Anyone?)

hermione sarcasm

Even though he might be a ‘loser’, he’s not a lost cause. I just need to use the right Jedi mind tricks to tickle his Star Wars interest. So far I came up with:

  • A gorgeously hot woman in a golden bikini

princess leia

  • Kick-ass action sequences
  • Funny droids
    droids
  • Aspirational characters like Han Solohowareyou.gif
  • A ❤ storywalkingcarpet
  • A walking carpet
    chewie-db_2c0efea2
  • A general sense of understanding of life and the importance of staying on the right track => certain schools actually teach Star Wars philosophy classes!!!
  • … Ahm… Merchandised popcorn?

I will continue to explain him that if he opens his mind to this wonderful universe he will be enchanted by its depths, he will be able to connect with like minded people, he won’t feel so left out anymore in daily conversations, he won’t feel as if he is missing out and he will understand TV shows much better: Friends, That 70’s Show, Family Guy, Big Bang Theory…  They all make references to Star Wars and there’s nothing more frustrating than missing the joke.

phoebe-leia

Also. And this applies for every not yet Star Wars fan: You can run but you can’t hide. Considering the pace with which Walt Disney is refueling the Star Wars craze (they have just announced AN OTHER trilogy) the Force will probably haunt you until the end of your days. If you can’t beat them -and believe me you can’t- then there’s only one thing left to do: TO JOIN THEM.

Ok so let’s commence the training!

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away 

Every Star Wars film starts with yellow letters floating into outer space. This is called: the opening crawl.  It basically unravels a background story in a couple of seconds, opening the floor to whatever is about to happen next. It enables you, the viewer, to be sucked into the action straight away instead of having to endure 1 hour of film before you come to the good part.

I made a little opening crawl just for you. Click here!

Picture 2017-11-10 om 15.24.40

What’s quite extraordinary is that the very first Star Wars movie (Episode IV: ‘A New Hope’) starts somewhere in the middle of the big Star Wars narrative. Without any character or scenic introduction the yellow letters inform us that the Rebel Alliance have stolen plans from the Death Star in order to destroy the Galactic Empire and bring peace to the Galaxy where …

Him: “STOOOOOOOP!”

Me:
double indemnity

Don’t freak out. When the yellow letters rolled over the screen the first time in 1977 no one knew what the Death Star was or how the Galaxy looked like. You will get there! … But maybe I can’t jump to the plot line just yet….

Let’s go through some fundamentals first. In order to understand Star Wars you have to get an insight in its time line as it’s a little tricky with the different trilogies, episodes and spin offs.

The important thing to know is that:

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope chronologically is the FOURTH film out of the series even though it’s the FIRST one that was ever made. Released in May 1977. 40 years ago to be precise.

Let’s jump into history-hyperspace for a quick second:

Time-Machine-These-Incidents-Prove-Time-Travel-Existed-in-Ancient-Times-2

Writing the 1970’s. President Nixon had just burnt his hands on the Watergate scandal, many people withdrew from politics altogether and turned from a hippie way of life to a pop culture–easy lifestyle. They listened to 8-track tapes of Jackson Browne, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer and Marvin Gaye and smoked even more pot than they had in the 1960s. In general, by the end of the 70’s, many young people were using their hard-fought freedom to simply do as they pleased: to wear what they wanted, to grow their hair long, to have sex, to do drugs. Their liberation, in other words, is intensely personal -especially once the ‘personal computer’ finds its way to the people, which changed lives drastically- and science fiction finds its way into cinema.

People hear about ‘this far out movie’ being released in their nearest (drive in) cinema directed by ‘this guy named George Lucas’. It is described being a ‘space opera’. The people don’t really know what to expect but the movie poster shows some crazy cool glowing sword and a girl with cinnamon spice buns as a hair do. Totally revolutionary!

Tom-Beauvais-Star-Wars-1977

Even though the science fiction genre was -at this time- not very popular and a lot of movie distributors turned Lucas’ story down. It’s even been said that when Lucas showed the film to Spielberg and De Palma they were pretty much disappointed. Or potentially jealous? The first movie, however, was an unexpected box office success turning Star Wars into a pop culture phenomenon in no time. It captured imaginations with an irresistible force and had a huge effect on the film industry later on.

C3PO PEOPLE

Catch the joke: a robot on the cover of PEOPLE

The first ever blockbuster was born and stayed record holder until E.T. decided to phone home and win the audience’s heart over in 1982.

ET-Yoda

Remeber when E.T. bumps into a Yoda costume during trick or treating and refers to him as ‘Home’?

Two sequels followed: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) making it into a trilogy. Throughout these three movies (respectively referred to as Episodes IV, V and VI) there are three important protagonists, played by three young performers who were instantly catapulted to superstardom.

triostarwars

  • Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), => Even though she passed away in 2016, she will continue to stay Princess Leia (aka the golden bikini girl) for all eternity. She will appear in Episode VIII for the last time.
  • Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), => He is the farm boy with the light saber. The franchise hero. This guy is a god. He will also appear in Episode VIII. Potentially for the last time?
  • and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) => He is the good looking cool guy with the space ship (Millennium Falcon) and the walking carpet (Chewbacca). Thanks to Star Wars he landed the part of Indiana Jones and went on to become one of Hollywood’s finest actors. He will still play a small role in Episode VIII but more on that later as I don’t want to give away toooooo many spoilers at once.

    indy

    Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Again E.T. is present. Not referring to the Indian guy in the back.

16 years after the very first trilogy, another trilogy was made. Again directed by -the at this point very famous- George Lucas. This trilogy, however, was not a sequel but a prequel. The prequel trilogy describes what had taken place over 32 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and primarily focuses on a young Darth Vader originally known as Anakin Skywalker (played by Jake Lloyd and later Hayden Christensen) and a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor). It was the last trilogy to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Star-Wars-Episode-III-Revenge-of-the-Sith

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) was the first of the three.

OK brace yourself. Remember I mentioned E.T. before? Well… watch this little clip from ‘The Phantom Menace’ and prepare to have your MIND BLOWN! => This is why E.T. recognizes Yoda in Spielberg’s blockbuster. 

Two more films followed: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). These movies basically tell everything that happened until Episode IV.

Well yeah ALMOST everything, since the very recent spin-off ‘Rogue One’ (2016) also takes place before the first trilogy.

Him: “STOOOOOOOOP!!”

Me:That-70s-show-star-wars

Him:tumblr_mvatac4a9F1qaqu1ro4_250

Me: “Ok then try to replace the light sabers with something you like, for instance … Errrr… French baguettes! And let’s go over it again in a nutshell.”

 

You have the original trilogy => Where the glowing sword and the cinnamon spice buns play quite a big part. Three movies that CHANGED the life of people all over the world until this very day => 16 years later another trilogy was established to reveal the history of the first trilogy that DIDN’T CHANGE the life of people all over the world since it kinda sucked => But the brand new trilogy (VII, VIII, IX) which follows the original trilogy (IV, V, VI) brings back the sentimental feelings the original trilogy brought to this world now 40 years ago.

Bear with me darling. It’s about to get better.

screen shot 2015-10-05 at 1.27.46 pm

Let’s go through some fundamental lexicon:

THE SITH vs THE JEDI
Shit… AHM, I mean ‘Sith’ are basically the bad Jedi. They are overcome with hate. Jedi like Obi-Wan, Yoda and Luke Skywalker are good knights who use the metaphysical power of the Force to guard justice in the galaxy. They greet each other by saying: “May the force be with you”.

jedidumbass

Ok then what is THE FORCE?
As Obi-Wan states himself in 1977’s Episode IV, A New Hope: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together”.  The Force is mystical energy inside everything that can be controlled by certain people and is often said to be inspired by Taoist philosophy. Just like yin and yang, you have a light side and a dark side and they constantly interact with each other. On each side you also have masters/lords and apprentices. Darth Vader is the pupil of Lord Sidius (Emperor). Kylo Ren is the pupil of Emperor Snoke. Luke Skywalker was the pupil of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.

***

Let’s start chronologically:

What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the first TRILOGY (these are the basics my friend):

  • The trilogy has 3 famous protagonists: Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo
    These are the good guys. Well, Han Solo at first doesn’t appear to be a good guy, he is a rogue, but eventually he turns out to become a hero. He flies the ‘Millennium Falcon’, which is a space ship, together with his BFF and co-pilot Chewbacca aka Chewie aka the walking carpet. He is a 7-foot-tall Wookiee, a hairy, bipedal mammal who only makes gurgling noises. The two encounter Luke and Obi-Wan, a Jedi master, in a cantina in A New Hope and go on to join them, and later Leia, in Rebel attacks against the evil Empire. Luke has his own reasons to seek justice because his aunt and uncle -his legal guardians- were killed by the Empire.

    lukeauntdied

  • There are -of course- antagonists too 
    Darth Vader is the most famous one. But also Senator Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious or the Emperor). They master the dark side of the Force and want to control the Galaxy.

    breathingproblem

palpatine1

Senator Palpatine before and after his make over into The Emperor / Lord Sidius #plasticsurgerygonewrong

Jabba The Hutt is also an antagonist. He is the most powerful crime boss on Tatooine, who has a bounty on Han Solo’s head in ‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi‘.

Jabba_the_Hutt_in_Return_of_the_Jedi_(1983)

Flattering character

  • The Death Star is the Empire’s ultimate weapon
    A huge spherical space station over 100 kilometers in diameter capable of destroying a planet with one shot of its superlaser. The Death Star is a very powerful and threatening piece of imagery throughout the saga. This space station is also populated by Imperial Storm Troopers. They are the troops of the Galactic Empire.

    Rebels_stormtroopers_bw-2400x1200-780667296424
    => The Death Star evolution:
    1. In Episode II the Death Star plans are being handed to Darth Sidious by Darth Tyranus.
    2. In Episode III the Death Star is under construction.
    3. In Episode IV the Death Star is operational but gets destroyed by the Rebel Alliance right after it blows up Aldaaran, the home planet of Princess Leia.
    4. In Episode VI a second and much bigger Death Star is being constructed but gets destroyed as well by the end of that movie.

deathstar

  • Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader’s son! 
    If there is any quote from the movie you know, it’s probably : ‘Luke, I am your father’.no
    These famous words are being spoken by Darth Vader at the end of ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ and is until now known to be one of the biggest plot turns in history! Vader wants Luke to join him on the dark side to rule the Empire but Luke refuses since he’s a good guy. They get caught in a sweet light saber duel where Luke loses his hand but he finds a way to escape. One year later, after an intense training becoming a badass Jedi Knight, father and son Skywalker face each other again in the second Death Star. Luke defeats Vader and cuts off his hand in a revenge light saber match. The Emperor orders Luke to kill his father. Luke infuriates the Emperor because he refuses to do so. The Emperor tries to kill Luke but Vader intervenes and rescues his son by killing the Emperor. Vader eventually dies and Luke cremates him. The Empire is defeated. The people rejoice.
  • Luke and Leia are actually brother and sister
    luke-leia2
    Luke doesn’t find out until ‘Episode VI The Jedi Returns‘ that Leia is his twin sister. They were adopted by different families right after they were born. This causes a little bit of awkwardness since at first Luke crushes on Leia and they actually kiss in ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘. Yuk! But it was merely a trick pulled by Leia to make Han Solo jealous and eventually -after a lot of bickering- Han and Leia fall in love at the end of the third film. In ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ (2015) we find out that Leia and Han Solo actually have a child. A son called Kylo Ren. More on him later. And YES young Padawan (*): this means Princess Leia is Darth Vader’s daughter.leia and vader

(* a Padawan is a Force-sensitive adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a full-fledged Jedi.)

  • Other important characters are:
    R2-D2 and C-3PO.
    Built by Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO was designed as a protocol droid intended to assist in etiquette, customs and translation, boasting that he is “fluent in over six million forms of communication”. Along with his astromech droid counterpart and friend R2-D2, C-3PO provides comic relief within the narrative structure of the films. C-3PO was strongly influenced by the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang’s classic sci-fi film Metropolis, and played by British actor Anthony Daniels. Kenny Baker, a circus performer, got the role of R2-D2. Standing as an adult at three foot, eight inches (1.12 meters), Baker was short enough to fit into the robot and strong enough to operate the heavy machinery a child would have not been able to do.droids
    Funny fact: While the film may show an unbreakable friendship between these two droids, the actors actually couldn’t stand each other and hardly talked to each other during filming. Baker passed away in 2016 aged 81 and got replaced by Scottish actor Jimmy Vee who will make his first credited appearance in Episode VIII this December.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
Obi-Wan-Yoda-Force-Awakens
These are Jedi Masters and Luke becomes their apprentice. Yoda is that dyslectic little green goblin on the right. Instead of saying “We must destroy the Sith” he says: “Destroy the Sith we must”. He is the most powerful of Jedi and dies at the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi at the blessed age of 900. Yoda plays a big part in the prequel episodes I, II, III since he is Obi-Wan’s master. Obi-Wan becomes Anakin Skywalker’s master until he turns into the evil Darth Vader. Kenobi then continues to train Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan dies in the first film of the original trilogy (Episode IV) after a duel with Vader, his former apprentice. Instead of being cut into two he vanishes into thin air. A technique evolved by Obi-Wan and Yoda.

lightsabereric

What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the SECOND TRILOGY:

  • N-O-T-H-I-N-G!
    Well that’s not entirely true. Let’s just say that the only thing you need to know is that the story evolves around Anakin Skywalker and his transition from being a young kid to becoming an adult and all the challenges related to it. The Force is very strong in him and he is believed to become a very promising Jedi. HOWEVER. When his mother gets brutally murdered, he feels the pull of the dark side growing stronger in himself and his surroundings. He ends up killing a bunch of Jedi and turns into the evil Lord Darth Vader (=> TAKE A MENTAL PICTURE: ANAKIN SKYWALKER IS DARTH VADER) 

    rubbbsyffypy
    His turn to the dark side happens right after he marries Queen Amidala (also known as ‘Padmé’, played by Natalie Portman) and impregnates her. When she finds out Anakin is a baddie she slips into a critical condition. Obi-Wan confronts Vader. The two engage in a duel which results in Vader suffering the loss of his limbs, severe burns, and damage to his lungs.  => THIS IS WHY VADER WEARS HIS MASK AND SUIT AND HAS TROUBLE BREATHING. Obi-Wan leaves his longtime friend and former apprentice for dead but Sidious (The Emperor) rescues Vader and encases him in a life-support suit.

Queen Amidala dies in childbirth, and the Skywalker twins, Luke and Leia are separated; Leia is adopted by Senator Bail Organa and his wife on Aldaaran. She grows up as a Princess and later on becomes a secret member of the Rebel Alliance. C-3PO and R2-D2 are also in the custody of Bail Organa with C-3PO’s memory getting wiped in order to have the twins split-up and protected. => SO NO! C-3PO WAS NOT AWARE ANYMORE THAT LUKE AND LEIA WERE SIBLINGS WHEN HE SAW THEM KISSING

c-3po-knew-luke-leia-were-brother-and-sister-but-2743263
Luke is taken in by his uncle and aunt on Tatooine but we all know what happens to them at the beginning of Episode IV …

lukeauntuncle

Roast beef anyone?

Kenobi disappears in exile on that same planet and from then on calls himself ‘Ben Kenobi’. Luke, Leia and Kenobi discover each other in Episode IV A New Hope. They bundle forces in order to restore peace in the Galaxy since Sidious and Vader succeeded in taking control of the Senate and later the galaxy forming the Galactic Empire. The two Sith oversee the construction of the first Death Star, a glimpse of the dark times to come.

I would suggest NOT to watch Episodes I, II, III but would advice to look for a re-cut instead.

Apparently Topher Grace (yep, Eric Forman from ‘That 70’s Show’) is such a big Star Wars fan he re-cut the three episodes into a 85 min film. That is the shortest Star Wars film ever made! He showed the film publicly to about 50 people, but it’s not currently available to watch in any other way, likely due to copyright issues.

topher-grace-star-wars-386x600

Topher Grace playing Luke Skywalker in ‘That 70’s Show’

According to Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta, who attended the screening, “Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith,” and continued by saying, “What’s better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.”

Or watch this clip where you basically learn everything you need to know about the prequels in 3 solid minutes .

And while you’re at it you might as well check this video (2015) too:

Of course this video doesn’t yet speak of the recent trilogy from which we’ve only seen ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’.

Therefor: What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the THIRD TRILOGY:

  • It almost didn’t exist
    Chronologically ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ is set around 30 years after ‘Episode VI Return of the Jedi’. Lucas originally planned a sequel trilogy in the mid-1970s, but had abandoned these plans by the late 1990s. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012 and then announced the production of a sequel trilogy. Unlike the previous two trilogies, whose films were released approximately three years apart, the sequel films are planned to be released two years apart. ‘Episode VIII The Last Jedi’ is set for release this December, with Rian Johnson as screenwriter and director. Episode IX was to be directed by ‘Jurassic World’ director Colin Trevorrow but he departed from the project. Shortly after, it was announced that Abrams would return to direct the film. It is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2019.
  • It’s still very much a family affair (but maybe the last Skywalker one)
    It is very clear that STAR WARS has always been a family affair (siblings kissing, father issues, children watching their parents die, a repetitive history of orphanage and exile, …) This road continues in the recent trilogy where Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo, steps into the footsteps of his grandfather Darth Vader.
Kylo_Ren_Vader_Helmet_Chamber

Grand daddy issues…

Kylo Ren continues Vader’s legacy by setting up ‘The First Order’, a new collective of bad guys with the help of Supreme Leader Snoke (his mentor).

snoke

Snoke

FUN FACT! Snoke is being played by Andy Serkis who you may know as that other ugly creature… 

gollumgif

Gollum

Just like with the original trilogy there is another father-son face off in ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’, only this time resulting in the tragic death of one of Star War’s most loved characters: Han Solo. It’s all just a little bit of galactic history repeating  but of course the fans love it. It captures the original Star Wars spirit where the prequel failed to do so.

  • There is a new Death Star and a new R2-D2 in ‘The Force Awakens’
    More history repeating!
  • > Starkiller Base
    starkiller base
    Starkiller Base was a mobile, forested iceplanet that was turned into a base operated by The First Order looking very similar to the Death Star. It got destroyed at the end of ‘The Force Awakens’ by the good guys.
  • > Meet BB8
    BB8
    In ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ the ball-shaped BB-8 droid gets introduced. In the film, the robot is the astromech of the Resistance X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Poe entrusts him with a map that must be delivered to the Resistance headquarters in order to determine the whereabouts of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. While Poe is captured and interrogated by the sinister First Order commander Kylo Ren, BB-8 flees across the desert of the planet Jakku and finds sanctuary with the plucky scavenger Rey. Eventually Rey, the renegade stormtrooper Finn, Han Solo and Chewbacca  bring BB-8 to Resistance leader Leia Organa, and ultimately reunite him with Poe.  => This story echoes the story of ‘Episode IV A New Hope’ where Princess Leia hides the plans to destroy the Death Star inside R2-D2 along with a holographic recording. R2-D2 flees to the planet Tatooine together with protocol droid C-3PO in order to bring the plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi but bump into Luke Skywalker first. From there on the saga begins.

    helpmeobiwan

  • Emancipation is a big thing now
    Aha! Finally something different. Luke Skywalker has always been the franchise’s hero and has now been dethroned by a woman. Not a princess, but rather a ‘female Han Solo type Jedi heroin’ named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who was left by her parents when she was a child. Much of her past and familial lineage is shrouded in mystery. And thus THE BIG QUESTION that keeps itching fans’ brains is: Who are Rey’s parents? According to director J.J. Abrams : “Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII The Force Awakens, so I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.”

    Is Abrams just trying to throw fans off the scent of Rey’s real parents? The current online theories go from Rey being Luke Skywalker’s daughter to Kylo Ren’s sister, to being willed to life through an immaculate conception, to being the daughter of a new character played by Benicio del Toro, to being Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter, … More on that in this very interesting/entertaining read.

=> Personal note : Rey being Luke’s daughter could be the most obvious and therefor boring plot line but, nonetheless, makes the most sense. The original idea was that STAR WARS was going to be about three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him and if there was another seventh, eighth or ninth film, it would be about Luke’s children. However, Lucas changed his mind off and on. As announced by Lucasfilm, this recent trilogy also would mean the end of most of the existing Star Wars expanded universe, in order to give “maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience”.

LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

Who are Rey’s parents? What happened to Luke these past decades? Will Kylo Ren move to the light side of the Force? WHO IS THE LAST JEDI AND DOES THIS MEAN THE END OF THE JEDI ORDER???

What we know about ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’ so far is that the action picks up immediately after the events of 2015’s ‘Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens’ which ended with the film’s heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) coming face-to-face with an elderly Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), now living a life of monastic solitude on a planet called Ahch-To.

Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-Alternate-Ending

The only information IMDB cares to share is the following:
Having taken her first steps into the larger Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

Details about the plot are being kept under wraps, but director Rian Johnson has hinted that the film will be a war film, explaining that its tone was influenced by Second World War classics ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and ‘Twelve O’Clock High’. “Particularly Twelve O’Clock High, a lot of that made it in there,” he said in July. “It ended up being a really personal part of it.”

Be prepared for some surprising plot twists. And potential kill offs… The Star Wars screenwriters have never been afraid of going all ‘Game Of Thrones’ and killing off main characters. Think of Obi-Wan, Yoda, Darth Vader, Han, … I can only imagine more favorite characters are likely to die. Possibly Luke Skywalker since the next trilogy (it has just been announced that Episodes X, XI and XII are coming) will move on from the Skywalker family. But then again, this is merely personal speculation.

picture-2017-11-14-om-14-50-33.jpg

14 REASONS WHY Episode VIII will be another box office smashing blockbuster. THESE ARE THE FACTS: 

  1. It’s tradition: Star Wars is one of the most intergenerational movies in the history of cinema. Passed on from father/mother to son/daughter (trying not to be stereotypical here)
  2. It’s all about reconnecting to a lost childhood. #nostalgia!
  3. The movie trailer broke records. This is the first time people were actually aware of a trailer being able to do that. The clip shows Luke training Rey to use her Force powers on his rocky mountain outcrop, before telling her “I only know one truth – it’s time for the Jedi to end.” WATCH IT HERE
  4. There are too many questions that need answers ASAP. For instance: WHO IS THE LAST JEDI? Conveniently, Rian Johnson cleared this up speaking to the New York Times in September, he said the title referred to Skywalker, but added that there might be “wiggle room” for other interpretations. “Luke Skywalker, right now, is the last Jedi. There’s always wiggle room in these movies – everything is from a certain point of view – but coming into our story, he is the actual last of the Jedi. And he has removed himself and is alone on this island, for reasons unknown.”
  5. It will be the last time you’ll see old school heroes Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford. *SNIF* The film will include a funeral for Han Solo, who was killed by his son Kylo Ren in ‘The Force Awakens’. Fisher will appear as Princess Leia one last time as all her scenes had been filmed by the time of her death in December 2016.
  6. These are films you just have to watch on the big screen.
  7. The Lucasfilm advertising machine promises us a mind blowing, not to miss, experience. Already interviewed in 2012 after the announcement of the new trilogy, Lucas biographer Dale Pollock already said that he had, in the 1980s, read the outlines to 12 Star Wars episodes planned by Lucas, but had been required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Pollock said: “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.'”
  8. There are going to be more movies coming so you might as well jump on the train pronto if you don’t want to be left behind.
  9. It’s already a pretty sure thing that ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’ will be a piece of brilliant work otherwise Lucasfilm would have never commit to hiring director Rian Johnson to helm a whole new trilogy (X, XI, XII) if they weren’t impressed with his work. One more reason to be excited about this latest development!
  10. RED FLAG: Something HUGE is about to happen. It is said that this 3rd trilogy will be the last one focussing on the Skywalker family. And chances are pretty real the makers won’t wait until Episode IX to begin this big shift. The red letters are a major RED FLAG!

 

This isn’t the first time the yellow logo has changed to red for a movie — both ‘Return of the Jedi’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ had red logos. Both movies are the end of their respective trilogies, and also both considered to be the darkest. In Return, we’ve got Luke finally defeating the Emperor and the death of Darth Vader; with Revenge, we’ve got the fall of the Galactic Senate, the death of Padmé…and the death of Anakin Skywalker. Knowing that both movies featured a prominent Skywalker dying (even though they were both Anakin), this could mean Kylo Ren is going after his mother (Leia) and/or uncle (Luke) ending the Skywalker heritage?!

star-wars-red-logos-226723

  • Incoming: an evil R2-D2 !! Has R2-D2 moved over to the Dark Side??? Well, no… But after the introduction of BB-8 in ‘The Force Awakens’ there is more fresh droid blood on its way! BB-9E will make it’s introduction in ‘The Last Jedi’ as the evil version of BB-8. According to Disney he belongs to the “astromech unit of the First Order that keep their starships and machinery operational.” We don’t know much more about BB-9E except that he’s probably Kylo Ren’s sidekick.
    170830125931-sphero-toys-780x439
  • Crazy Celebrity Cameos. This is probably the main reason for fans of old UK boybands and the British monarchy to check out the movie. As it’s been said that Take That-singer Gary Barlow has been given a character of his own, while Prince Harry and Prince William will make an appearance as Stormtroopers.

    gary-barlow-joins-the-star-wars-cast-in-episode-viii-01.gif

    I Sith you not. The royal brothers payed a visit to Pinewood Studios last April and were completely fascinated as they explored the backstage area, and showed off their sibling rivalry with a playful lightsaber duel.

    prince-william-z

    Actor John Boyega went on to confirm in a BBC Radio 4 interview that the royal brothers filmed cameos in the upcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The actor reportedly revealed that the Princes had non-speaking parts as Stormtroopers, although he believes their scene was cut from the movie. We will have to find out for ourselves!

    Tom-Hardy-Star-Wars-8-rumours-751344

    A big name that will definitely make an appearance as a Stormtrooper is TOM HARDY. Really following the footsteps of Daniel Craig (Hardy is said to become the new James Bond) who also played a Stormtrooper in the last Star Wars installment ‘The Force Awakens’. Find the clip hereNew major additions to the cast include Benicio Del Toro as an unnamed villain, Laura Dern as Resistance fighter Amilyn Holdo, and Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, another member of the Resistance.

    13. Look! It’s a new cuddly mascot!

    porgWhile ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ had the Ewoks, a kind of living alien teddy-bear, ewoks
    The Last Jedi has porgs. According to LucasFilm these furry, birdlike creatures are native to the islands of Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s new home, so it’s possible the Jedi has befriended a few of them.

    14. Make up your own final reason why you wanna watch Episode VIII and start crossing your galaxy calendar!

    YOUR TRAINING HAS COME TO AN END. THANK YOU FOR APPLYING TO THE JEDI MASTER CLASS. WE SINCERELY HOPE YOU WILL CONTINUE TO PICK THE FRUITS OF YOUR TRAINING THROUGHOUT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

May the force be with you

kick-sparks

XO

OH RIGHT I ALMOST FORGOT! 

Since I have spent days putting this post together, doing a lot of research, reading a lot of theories, digging deeper… I came up with a personal theory on the future narrative of the saga.

Investigating the background of Kylo Ren’s name, I discovered that the expression number of the name ‘Kylo’ is 9 which basically means the following:

“Kylo are idealistic who embrace the principles of compassion and forgiveness. Kylo are visionary who is wiling to make a better world and have the ability to influence masses. Kylo are also creative and imaginative that gives them an artistic talent.”

My educated guess? Kylo Ren will eventually step over to the Light Side and will marry Rey in some reversed Anakin-Padmé story.  They will have kids of their own who will carry out the next Star Wars generation and in their turn will flirt with the Light and the Dark Side of the Force. ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer basically confirms this theory with Kylo Ren reaching out his hand to Rey.

Got any Star Wars theories of your own? Feel free to share them!

Thank you for listening, the exam will be TOMORROW.

XO

 

BLONDE & B R O K E in Berlin: how to tackle food cost?

How to survive on a budget in one of the coolest cities on the planet? 

Find out in the following bit!

So as you know I am now free living and freelancing in Berlin. I am not near the point where I make shit loads of money YET (especially if you have read what happened to me in the previous post) so that’s why I have to tackle my money business in a clever way.

(…) Me going to Ibiza for 4 days probably wasn’t the cleverest of ideas but I considered it more to be an investment since I had the time of my life with people I love and care for. Bonus points for mental health yo! 

Picture 2017-09-27 om 15.37.56

The traveling threesome ❤

But this cannot mean I can go on a Spree. No matter how close I live to this river (…)

The truth is: Good things in life don’t come for free so I have to really think about what I spend and if that correlates with what I get out of it.

For instance: I could stop eating. That way I don’t have to spend money.

True. But there is no point in not taking care of my body as I don’t want to get sick as I don’t want to spend money on doctors and medical bills. Hm, do I even have insurance, I wonder?

So I have made some calculations and I have estimated myself a 15 euro allowance per day to spend on ‘surviving’ (rent not included). With this I can anticipate in basic needs. Food and beverages come first. That should be more than enough right?

Rrrright… But when I need toiletries, laundry soap or tickets for public transportation this also has to come from the same allowance which means I have to do some creative shifting here and there.

Especially in case I would want to buy shoes or clothes. LUCKILY I stopped buying that shit ages ago! I don’t feel like spending money (considering the previous mentioned correlation theory) on things I don’t really need. I’m usually ahead of fashion any ways (:-p) so I much rather put my money where my mouth is.

mileymouth

Okay, so how to tackle food cost in Berlin? Actually it’s pretty darn easy…

  • EXPLORE DISCOUNT PARADISE
    Germany is ‘Die Heimat’ of Lidl and Aldi. So if you want to hit the jackpot involving discount shopping: you’re in the right place. Next to those you also have Penny, Netto, Kaiser’s and Kaufland. I suggest you visit them all and see where you can nibble some extra cents of certain products. Believe you me, it’s the ‘LIDL’ things that count!
  • RECYCLE YOUR BOTTLES 
    This one is a little trick to actually earn money. When you buy plastic bottles in the shop you can collect them in a machine and get 0,25 euro back per bottle. Glass bottles are worth 0,08 euro a pop. So be wise and recycle yo! It’s good for the environment and for your wallet. But for the sake of ‘Nächstenliebe‘: when you find empty  bottles or cans in the street or in the metro, leave them for the homeless so they can have a little pocket money too.
    bottles
  • MAKE FRIENDS WHO INVITE YOU FOR DINNER
    It’s always advised to make friends. Especially when they have a kitchen and a big fridge. Dinner parties are pleasant, cozy and budget friendly.

    moss

    You can bring a cheap bottle of wine if you feel like returning a favor. These days even a nice bottle of biological Italian wine from the BIOMARKT costs only 2,90 euros.
    cannibal
    It’s even nicer when you cook together with a bunch of people! This way you can have a gorgeous round of cooking and split the costs all together.

    cookingwithhany

    Cooking with honey, I mean, Hany

    Big meals are much cheaper than cooking for 1. Life for a single gal not only comes with a price, it’s also pricey!

  • GO TO THE MARKET
    huling
    Why would you want to pay 3 euros for 1 avocado when you can pay 3 euros for a bunch of avocados? Der Genter Wochenmarkt (U-bahn Leopoldplatz) is an insider tip for your fruit and veggie fix. It has been a well kept secret for over 80 years now. Be prepared for some old fashioned market trader shouting as well as a big crowd of customers. You can find everything here from a new zipper to a vitamin boost. You can have a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice for 1 euro. Only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

 

 

 

  • FAST 
    Coming back to the ‘not eating part’ here. Actually that’s not a bad idea at all. I have done some research on the matter and there is compelling evidence that skipping one meal a day actually improves physical and mental health. There is a whole nutritional war going on right now aiming to bring down the breakfast lobby. It’s all just a bunch of marketing from Captain Oats and Tony The Tiger. I feel most energetic and productive in the morning when my body solely runs on black coffee. I have a whole storage cabinet of fat cells for my body to tap into, so I’m sure I won’t starve from skipping one meal a day.
  • DOWNLOAD ‘TOO-GOOD-TO-GO’ unnamed
    This is absa-fucking-lutely brilliant. It’s an app – you can download it in the German iTunes Store for free – where restaurants offer leftovers at a ridiculously low price. It’s a great way to cut down food cost as well as food waste and to be more sustainable in regards to the planet. Basically this app is doing everyone involved a HUGE favor.
  • EAT OUT
    This may sound a little contradictory but in most cases going out for dinner can be cheaper than buying ingredients and cooking a meal for 1. Compared to Antwerp, Berlin is much cheaper to eat out. You can easily find a big healthy meal between 4 to 7 euros. And there are so many healthy choices including a lot of vegan options. Vegan cuisine is big in Berlin. I get my vegan fix at VEGO in LychenerstraBe (Prenzlauer Berg). In this neighborhood there is a wide array of restaurants -especially Asian- who offer alternative vegan or vegetarian dishes. For vegan cocktails you must go to ‘Chaostheorie’ in SchliemannstraBe and on the corner with LettestraBe you have to swing by ‘Wohnzimmerbar’ for the vegan soup of the day or a nice soy latte. Creative, cute and cozy! My favorite work spot to date! Speaking of dates….

    (Left: vegan burgers at VEGO; Right: cozy outings at Wohnzimmerbar)

  • GO ON A DATE !
    If chivalry isn’t dead, you will be golden with this one. Meet a guy for drinks, have a nice talk and maybe go for a little bite to eat, charm him with your magical charming wand and before you know it he picks up the tab and you don’t have to spend one nickel. It happened to me twice already, and I wasn’t even doing it on purpose. Every time I went out, the guy picked up the tab. It was twice at Kreuzburger though… which usually doesn’t cost more than 5 or 6 euros. Tofu burgers cost a little bit more than meat ones :-p
  • LAST BUT NOT LEAST: ALWAYS KEEP EYES AND EARS OPEN
    A good insider tip might just be one station away…bestplace-berlin-amen-01

If you stick to these basic ‘budget hacks’ you will hardly burn through your daily allowance. When this is the case I like to treat myself to a yummy coffee somewhere… Preferably with a little side order of brain food.

There is always money for a little comic relief. 
“Swallow me whole”, that’s exactly what that vegan bowl at ‘the Commonground’ said to me later that night! 

If you want to check all of this out for yourself: there is currently an amazing offer to come to Berlin practically for FREE!

Picture 2017-09-27 om 17.41.28

3 days in a 4 star hotel including breakfast (that damn breakfast lobby) for only €49,50! @vakantiepiraten.nl

Come and live FREE with ME next to the SPREE!

It is such a GREAT city!! ❤ ❤ ❤

XO

Pretty darn lovable

You: “Hi Ev, you still around? Helllooooo? (echo – echo – echo)”

Me: “Yup. Rrrright here.”

wine

You: “What’s up?”

Me: “That depends. The old me would have said: ‘Yo dude, everything great. Work is gooood. Life is goooood. Errythang’s gooood.’ But lately I cannot lie to save my life. When people come up to me and ask me what’s up, they get TMI.”

You: “Transmitted Mind Illness???”

Me: “Err.. no, ‘Too Much Information’…”

I don’t know how it happened, or when, but lately I’ve been giving people the hard truth and nothing but the truth. It’s like word vomit, I cannot help it. Once I get started I can’t stop puking all the toxins out.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been experiencing rather extreme ups and extreme lows. And yes. It’s got everything to do with ….

johnnydeppkiss

ROMANCE. 

I’ve been feeling down, bitter, … down, did I mention bitter? Also hurt. Ahm… (what else do I feel…) Hungry. Naah I’m always hungry…. ANYWAY: I don’t feel too good.

And usually when I don’t feel too good. I turn to a dear friend. A psychologist, who has helped me through many tough moments, who has stood by me on all my travels, I am talking about: MY BLOG ❤

You: “Then why-hy has it been so long since we’ve heard from you Ev? Why didn’t you turn to us sooner?”

Me: “Aha! I had a new blog post ready but I had to postpone it because it kind of involves a ‘go’ from the bank. So you can expect this one very soon I hope.”

Anyway. All this waiting kind of got in the way of necessary sharing sessions and that’s why I reach out to you today.

Okay, so romance.

I kind of got romantically involved with someone. As in ‘past tense’. It’s over now. Finito. Schluss.

The way it came to an end, however, was rather painful.

Usually when I’m devastated about someone, I feel weak and sad. But now… well…

diealone

Let me just start from the beginning…

I’ve known this guy for almost a year now. And it wasn’t until the beginning of this year -when I returned from Canada- I started to notice him differently. Actually he had been on my mind in Canada too, which was kind of weird cuz I never really noticed him like that before. When I first met him I thought he was…well…

amook

But that’s the thing with girls: we’re capable of changing our minds. If we don’t like a dress at first sight, we will find a way to make it work. Pair it up with some nice bracelets, some cute sandals, … If a guy sees a shirt he doesn’t like, he will never bother to see the potential.

I knew he fancied me, so all of a sudden we fancied each other AND I thought I had the cat in the bag but the moment I reached out -guess what?- he lost his interest.

You: “Whuuuuut?”

Me: “Suddenly he was all emotionally unavailable and not ready to be in a relationship and yadda yadda yadda.” #commitmentissues #bigbaby

Now, for a Libra I’m pretty stubborn. Unfortunately I don’t take no for an answer. And that’s where I went wrong. I sort of made myself believe I could be with this guy without being emotionally involved… Basically we became FWB.

You: “Friendly Whale Brothers?”

Me: “No you idio… FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS!”

Youlovedeclaration

Me: “I know, it was the worst idea ever. I am waaaaay to emotionally wired to do something like this but you never know until you try right?….Am I right…?…?”

wrongidea

Soooo to make a long story short: we had fun, the sex was ah-mazing, then I got ‘relationship muscle memory’, he spasmed out and I zoned out after he gave me quite a big uppercut when saying he will never love me and I will never have to expect a love declaration from him.

And that was that.

hermione sarcasm

We both messed up. And ever since … I’m left with an emotional hangover.

pennyhelp

And that’s how I decided to reach out to you today and share my story. But most imporantly:

SPELL SOME SHIT OUT FOR THE NEXT ONE IN LINE

lovealgebra

I’m going to put some things out there for the next guy who crosses my path or even thinks about sweeping me off my feet. This is not a manual. It’s a MAN-UP-ALL.

Why you probably can’t handle me but why you definitely should try: 

– I’m a handful
Also literally. I have curves. I am a woman and I expect to be treated that way. With respect. I’m not a shallow girl you can boss around or control. If we’re going to be in a relationship, we will treat each other as equals. I’m not the boss of you, you’re not the boss of me. (Unless it’s part of some sexual fantasy)

– I’m probably less crazy than you think
Guys tell each other horror stories about girls they date who turn out to be complete mental cases. Occasionally I hear about those too. And I can assure you: I am nowhere near that type of girl. Yes I have traumas and I carry emotional baggage and yes I can get a little goofy at times, but I’m not CRAAY-ZAAY.

thanksbrain

– Who said I want to get married and have yo babies?
You all have this evil friend who makes you nervous by saying all the wrong things, like: “Watch out with her, she’s pushing 30 she probably wants kids soon and wants to get married. Run while you still can!”
=> Dump that friend, he’s a douche.
=> I’m nowhere near ready to have kids. And I’m too cheap to get married. Let’s just take the money and invest it in a teepee in Portugal!

I am socially capable of getting along with your friends, parents and pets (I will not raise your kids tho)
Guys who have kids from previous relationships = > sorry, see previous bullet point

– I am funny and witty and smart
(But can be boring, tired and insecure too)

– I am not here to CHANGE you…
Fo fuck sake, why do guys always think girls want to change them? Or the way they live their lives? The only thing we ask is to integrate us in your current life. And relax, you don’t have to introduce us to your parents and family right away. Also don’t feel the need you got to be someone completely different. Or think you have to turn your schedule around and can’t hang out with your friends anymore. Just continue your life, let us live ours, but give us a call every two days => There is no Siamese twinship. I have a life and priorities too you know!

– …But do keep in mind I can change my mind too
After a short period of being in a relationship, I could lose interest in you. Relationships aren’t an exact science. Girls usually are quicker to start a relationship because they are willing to take the jump and try. Guys fear a relationship means ‘staying together until they die’. #WRONG! What’s wrong with taking it day by day? I’m not here to chain you. (Again: unless it’s part of some sexual fantasy).

– Get bent 
If you’re taking it up the butt. I’m taking it up the butt.

bitbit

In other words: once we’re in a relationship you will have the sole proprietorship and thus advantage of unlimited sex with me! * What a lucky SOB (son of a bitch) you would be!
(* After a dry period of 9 months or after marriage, that is. I’m catholic. And a virgin. That’s right, I reclaimed my virginity and I got the certificate to prove it)

paper

– Man up and take a chance on love, it could be the one thing you’re missing the most
For this final one I am going to quote a 73 year old customer from the bar who has been married for 47 years:

“You don’t have to look for the complete package with one person. A good marriage combined with good friends is all you need to live happily ever after.”

rosscrying

 

Any questions or objections? You know where I live.

XO

PS: WHOOF I FEEL MUCHO BETTER ALREADY! THANKS FOR THE FREE PSYCH SESSION!

B*tch don’t kill my vibe

I’m a sinner who’s probably gonna sin again. 

Lord forgive me. The things I don’t understand. 

Sometimes I need to be alone. 

B*tch don’t kill my vibe. B*tch don’t kill my vibe. 

________________________________________________________

Last time we spoke, I told you how I decided to quit my job as a newspaper journalist. Some of you were slightly panicking after this read. Asking me about my next projects and stuff. Of course I couldn’t really answer this question.

I was restricted.

I couldn’t tell a soul, and things were still very much pending. It was a horrifying wait. But now I’m so very extremely relieved to announce I’m currently the proud contributor of my very own column in the newspaper.

I feel like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City!

carrie-bradshaw-typing

(Minus the smoking and the Big (shoe) obsession)

Actually I’m definitely more of a Rachel kind of gal.

rachelpregnant

My first column got published Wednesday 26th of April.

IMG_1576

The basic concept is that me -a millennial- is corresponding with a baby boomer.

Picture 2017-05-05 om 01.17.53

Picture 2017-05-05 om 01.19.00

This baby boomer (her name is Frieda Joris and she’s a very respected former journalist) actually used to be a colleague of mine while I was still working full time at the newspaper. During the five years I walked around the office, we hardly exchanged a word. We were too caught up in our own thing. Researching, making phone calls, discussing with the editor-in-chief, writing, erasing, writing again, … There was no time for chit chat.

By the end of 2016 we both closed the door. She, because she had to. After a successful career of 45 years Frieda had to retire. And, after a promising career of -poor old me- only 5 years I took a sabbatical, to eventually cut the umbilical cord one year later.

We never really realized how intertwining our roads were and would become. Until we started getting in touch once the rush and the stress of the deadline slowly but surely crept out of our lives. Ironically we discovered we had much more in common than we could ever imagine. That’s how the idea grew to have a millennial and a baby boomer discuss life as they know it now.

Still a little uncomfortable in their new skins. Trying to give direction. Find balance. Keep busy. Stay productive. All while maintaining a good sense of humor. Self-mockery is rule n°1 for basic survival mkay?

And this, lovely people, is what we bring to you every Wednesday from now on in ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’. Only the biggest and best read newspaper in the small country of Belgium.

A couple of days ago our second column was released.

IMG_1565

Again, Frieda is the first to address me. (Don’t worry, next week it’s my turn). Telling me a story about how her first love suddenly showed up on her door step a gazillion years after they first met and fell in love. Of course my answer is slightly passive-aggressive. I would give my left arm (it’s ok, I’m a rightie) to have similar plot twists occur in my life. I wonder if you could hire a director to integrate more romance into your every day life.

IMG_1500

Me: “Ok guys listen up, we need dim lights, a Channing Tatum lookalike, some decent catering and cowbell. Definitely more cowbell.”

Me: “First assistant what do you think?”

cowbell

Fo Sho.

Ok romance-wise I’m not living the fairy tale. But damn this column is making up for it. It is the one thing I dreamed about ever since I started discovering my writing skills. That and writing a book. But who reads books nowadays anyway??

anchormanamIright

I feel super blessed I got the chance to explore this new way of communicating and reaching out to hopefully as many people as possible. I feel this column comes at the best moment in my life. Even though I have been wanting it for a long time, I wasn’t ready before. I didn’t really have a story to tell. And I was too insecure to speak my mind.

Now it feels super organic to talk about my every day thoughts, my occasional struggles, how small and meaningless they may be on a global scale.

Everybody struggles. Everybody hurts. Everybody loves. And everybody celebrates. It’s this constant up and down that keeps us on our toes. That keeps us alive. And that connects us. If only we would drop the act and be more open about our REAL emotions I guess a lot of people could benefit from it.

This is why I’m closing the gap. One millimeter at a time. Closing the gap between ‘showing the world how we want to be seen’ and ‘showing who we truly are’. There are too many digital platforms where we boast our personality and every day personal life into something it is mostly not. Trying to pretend everything is peachy 24/7.

 

cut

THE

crap

I’m not suggesting you should share every bad hair day, physical ache or act of domestic violence on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. (In this last case you should defo go to the police) But I see a lot of people stressing over their lives because they believe other people have their shit together all the time.

masterandservant

No Dave, I meant your other quote

↓↓

Depeche-depeche-mode-34120679-500-286

Therefor, every Wednesday, I will tell you how I don’t have my shit together all the time. About how I desperately miss some romantic dedication in my life. How I wonder what I’m supposed to do until my retirement. How I ask myself why people enslave themselves, often working a job they genuinely hate, just so they could spend a comfortable old age. Knowing, when you reach that age, you don’t have the same energy to enjoy life like you did when you were young.

Balance is key. And I’m looking for that key in order to open the door to my personal happiness. I’m sure it won’t fit your door. No one’s alike. And thank God we aren’t.

I am thankful for backpackersguidefortheblondeandtheclueless to come about one year ago. It really helped me to find my voice. Thanks to you readers I discovered this type of authentic storytelling brings an added value to everyone who needs it. It helps us to accept that we are all struggling. And it’s our DAMN good right!

Tell me what you don’t like about yourself. And let’s fix it together.

Keep it real, peeps.

XO

Man it feels good to blog again.

Frankenfiction

I have been away for a while. According to the reports it has been two weeks since I posted something on this blog. And for that I am sorry.

But my absence has got nothing to do with a lack of inspiration, motivation or enthusiasm. It is much bigger than that.

The truth is…. I was held captive. In a different era.

***

It all started when I had my doctor’s appointment with my parodontologist Victor Frankenstein that faithful morning.

Dr. Frankenstein: “Evelien Delgouffe? Am I pronouncing it right?”

29-penny-dreadful-w529-h352

Me: “Absolutely, doc!”

billie

Dr. Frankenstein: “Come on in. Why don’t you take of your clothes, ahm, coat and install yourself on that big chair there.”

penny_dreadful_s2_harry_treadaway_16x9-1

I hung up my coat and lied down feeling somewhat excited and nervous at the same time. Even more, because I didn’t really know what the surgery was for. Together with my dentist they had decided to remove a piece of my lip connecting my gums. It was of most importance, they said. So I underwent.

Dr. Frankenstein: “Now open wide.”

vicfrank

“Ahm…Your mouth, miss Delgouffe”

Me: “Oh, right, I’m sorry, I have a gynecologist appointment later on. I guess I’m a little nervous.”

Dr. Frankenstein: “There’s nothing to be nervous about, love. The only thing that will hurt a little is the narcotics. After you’ll be in ultimate bliss.”

penny-dreadful-s3e5-victor-experiment

He took a big syringe with a huge needle of his utensils tray. As he brought the syringe closer to my face, the needle went straight into my gums. One time. Two times. Three times. By the fourth time my entire chin was as numb as a rock. His assistant Dr. Jekyll was holding my lip down so Dr. Frankenstein could perform the surgery. I felt a little drowsy and I didn’t want to see two pairs of hands fiddling different objects in my mouth so I decided to close my eyes for a bit. Find a happy place.

***

All of a sudden it was as if I got flushed down a vortex of some sort. Like a washing machine. Or perhaps even, a toilet. When I flushed through the strange type of birth canal all the way to the other side, I found myself in a water basin in some kind of weird work shed.

penny-dreadful-brona-lives

As I regained my hearing I heard horses passing by. And carriages. Gentleman talking in low voices. Females laughing in a girly high pitch.

What is this place? Where am I? And why am I naked?!

brona

The last thing I could remember was Dr. Frankenstein pricking that big needle in my gums. But here, the doctor was nowhere to be seen.

Me: “Dr. Frankenstein? Hello?? Anybody??”

In the nook of the roof I saw a little window. I climbed up the webby wood work to gaze through it and find a point of recognition. Maybe the MAS. Or the Schelde.

town

I saw people in historic garments in the streets. Women in long skirts and coats with curly hair. Men wearing high hats and leather shoes. I saw little boys selling newspapers for a penny. Smoke coming from the gutters.

Me: “I woke up in a basin in the 19th century??”

Dr. Frankenstein was so friendly to leave an appropriate gown for me on the chair next to the basin. Or maybe it was Dr. Jekyll. He had a little gay vibe going on there.

corsets

I hopped into the clothes and found a way out of that shed in order to find a way back to civilization!

I was racing through the streets. I was making myself stand out instead of blend in but I was kind of in a hurry to go back. I only paid the parking meter for 1 hour and 15 minutes and I didn’t want to be fined AGAIN.

While I was rushing I accidentally bumped into a young man.

p12

Young man: “Careful there miss. Why is a beautiful woman like you in such a rush?”

Me: “I need to find my car.”

Young man: “Haha, I like a woman with wit. And a sense for emancipation.”

He reached out his hand and introduced himself.

“My name is Dorian Gray. And who might you be?”

Me: “Errr… Frankenstein. Lily Frankenstein.”

That’s what the sow-in label in my dress said.

He turned my hand to his face and kissed it.

Dorian: “Nice to meet you miss Frankenstein. Lily. Will you walk with me? To your car? (wink wink)”

Me: “Well…Mister Gray…. “

lily_and_dorian

Dorian: “I got a better idea. Let me invite you to dinner. At my place.”

Me: “Dinner?…Well a girl’s got to eat!”

At the end of the street we entered a beautiful piece of property with a magnificent inner court garden.

lilydorian

The mansion was nothing I had ever seen. With big chandeliers on the ceiling and countless paintings on the walls.

Episode 106

Classical music was screeching from the gramophone.

Dorian: “Can I have this dance?”

I was overwhelmed by the need for passion of this young man. Who, to me, was still a complete stranger.

lily-dorian

Me: “Err… Don’t get me wrong Dorian but you look a little young for me.”

dance

Dorian: “Well, yes I am. I am immortal, you see. I am forever young.”

Penny-Dreadful2.gif

cheaocawyaem8yo

Me: “Ok Dorian, I had a rough day. I woke up in a basin in the 19th century. With no clothes and no memory. I will probably have a fuckload of fines on my car’s windshield. And I still need to pay for my dental bill at checkout.”

I tilted my skirt up and made my way to the front door.

Dorian: “Wait, don’t leave yet. I want you to meet some of my old friends.”

Me: “Old? Like my type of old?”

Dorian: “Old acquaintances rather. I invited them over for dinner. To catch up on old times. Will you stay?”

dorian-gray-penny-dreadful-36879463-250-162

His begging bedroom eyes were strangely convincing when all of a sudden the door bell rang.

Dorian: “Ah, the first guest has arrived. Miss Frankenstein, may I introduce you to my good friend….

Mister Dracula.”

dracula1

Dorian: “Mister Dracula, I would like you to meet Lily Frankenstein.”

Dracula: “Enchanté. De-Lily-cious.”

dracula

“And thank you for having me for dinner, Dorian. I haven’t had a bite in a while.”

Me: “Yeah I know what you mean. I’m supposed to be on this cycling diet but it’s hard as hell. It’s much easier to stay off the bottle.”

Dracula: “Off the bottle? So if I would bite you, there would be no alcohol in your blood?”

20160621_205610

Me: “Cero coma cero, cero, cero, cero my friend… And I had a vegan burger yesterday so you’re probably not interested in this broccoli bun.”

Dracula: “Grose.”

images-3

DING DOOOOIINGG

Dorian: “Woops, there is our next guest.”

lily-and-dorian

Me: “Ok with one girl and two guys already present, the next one should either be a housewife or a queer guy according to the rules of reality tv. Or maybe both.”

tumblr_no8wxl6my81rnvi8to4_400

A surprising presence entered the ball room and filled the void with what could only be described a James Bond-ly charm. His aura was so bright and strong I felt a minor tremor in my belly.

pennydreadful-ethanjpg

“Hello”, the dark handsome man spoke to me. He reached out to kiss my hand and spoke more. “And who might you be?”

Me: “Lily Frankenstein…I guess.”

Handsome man: “Your eyes are like two full moons in a pitch dark night.”

Dracula: “Yeah, even werewolves would cry for this tasteless piece of meat”

Me: “Oh bite me, Dracula.”

anigif

Handsome man: “Haha, she’s got attitude. I like that.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

Handsome man: “It’s Fyodor. Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”

Me: “Nice to meet you Frodo.”

Episode 104

Dostoyevksy: “It’s Fyo…”

Dorian: “Shall we sit?”

penny-dreadful-3-40

Fyodor was so kind to take my chair back and help me sit down. He installed himself at my side and continued to pick my brain form there.

We only had commenced our conversation or there were already a bunch of servants eager to fill up our glasses.

Me: “Oh, not for me I’m on a strict alcohol ban.”

Dostoyevsky: “Really? What’s your trauma?”

tumblr_n82v4fymbs1ttowf2o1_500

Me: “Oh it’s silly, really. I’m participating in a big cycling event in a couple of weeks and I’m staying off the bottle. But I could go for a coke zero if you have one cold.”

pd15

Dorian: “Miss Frankenstein seems to be coming from a different planet. Earlier she was looking for her car. She feared the parking rangers would fine her.”

All together: “Hahahaha. The parking rangers. You are an extraterrestrial miss Frankenstein.”

Dracula: “With no seasoning whatsoever.”

images-3

tumblr_n82xqg2lbr1ttowf2o3_500

20160621_205610

Dostoyevsky:We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. You are an enigma miss Frankenstein. A puzzling and inexplicable occurrence.”

Me: “And you are a fine poet mister Dostoyevsky.”

Dostoyevsky: “How did you guess? I write about psychos, sadists, downtrodden persons, drunks and murderers. I see desperate and hopeless people everywhere. My literary hunt is to passionately find a way out for these lost causes. I am a chronicler of the soul. “

cheaoecw0aaiw9d

Me: “I too am a chronicler of the soul, sir! A troubadour of the world. I keep all my stories on my blog. A compendium of thoughts.”

Dostoyevsky: “I’ll drink to that, miss Frankenstein.”

ethan

“So where can I read this compendium of yours? You got a manuscript with you?”

avlcsnap-2014-06-02-16h06m10s50.png

Me: “Heck no Frodo. I’m not even wearing underwear right now. You can find everything on the internet.  Wait, you got Whatsapp? I’ll text it to you that’s probably easier.”

Dostoyevsky: “Your vocabulary is quite advanced. The internet? Whatsapp?”

Me: “Oh right. Silly me! Those are inventions of the 20th – 21st century. Let’s just say I am continuously editing my life story in a global network connecting millions of computers that will be possible to read in a couple of hundred years. It’s a story about finding a way in life based on 100% hope and 0% prejudice. Staying true to yourself and your beliefs. Even if the world thinks you’re just being blonde and clueless.”

pd-1x04-11

Dostoyevsky: “Blonde and Clueless? It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

Me: “You got that right. But it’s a bumpy road to follow, I can tell you that.”

Dostoyevsky: “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

Me: “That’s what I say! I often have the feeling I am the only one asking questions. The only one who has the courage to dig deeper. To decipher the inner clockwork. To find some hidden design. People just say I’m full of illusions. That I’m a lost cause, hopelessly going the wrong way.”

Dostoyevsky: “To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid…”

“Plus: Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time, isn’t it miss Frankenstein?”

tumblr_njebkgtnwu1r05fd6o3_r1_250

Me: “Damn right, Mister D! I hope you don’t mind me saying this but I think you could be the ‘Backpackersguidefortheblondeandtheclueless’ avant la lettre! My counterpart in this century! I will try to print out some of my excerpts and bring it to you next week when I have my second appointment with my doctor to remove my threads.”

22-penny-dreadful-billie-piper-mocks-caliban-0208

As I pronounced the words ‘threads’ I felt someone pulling me away from the scene. Like someone was sticking a needle into me and pulling a thread through it. And again. And again. And again. Removing me from this place entirely.

lily

As I floated away, looking down on the scenery from a bird’s perspective…

penny-dreadful-seance

I felt like I was looking at the decor of the parlor game I had when I was a child: 1313 Dead End Drive.

13deadenddrive

A place of Crime and Punishment.

At that moment, while floating somewhere between the 19th and 21st century with the narcotics running out, I felt it.

theatre-techbs

Enlightenment.

A feeling that something was coming.

A change.

A positive one. For as far as I sensed it.

Either professional or romantic. I don’t know yet. But something is about to put my life in a completely different galaxy soon.

joshhartnettbilliepiperpennydreadful

In a distance I heard my friend Dostoyevsky telepathically dispensing his final life advice to me. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi connecting to Luke Skywalker.

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness. Calculate your happiness, miss Frankenstein. Even if you cannot see the sun. Know that it exists. To know that the sun is there – that is living.”

Me: “10-4 Fyodor!”

I’m ready to jump to hyperspace.

Back home. Back to the present.

star-wars-jump-light-speed-hyperspace

Me: “I am one with the force, the force is with me. I am one with the force, the force is with me. I am one with the force, the force is ….”

wakeup

Dr. Frankenstein: “Welcome back miss Delgouffe. Seems like you had a wonderful journey.”

Me: “I have a feeling it is only the beginning, doctor.”

square-1462035546-billie-piper-penny-dreadful-01

***

To be continued.

Source fan fiction: Penny Dreadful season 1,2,3; Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Notes from Underground’, ‘White Nights’, ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ ; ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Rogue One’. 

A jelly dilemma

After the previous entry about illegal substances, we’re taking it the next step further and stay in the forbidden candy department.

You: Speed? LSD? XTC? Molly? Miley?

miley

Me: “Nope, jelly beans.”

You: “They don’t have drugs in them … Do they?!”

Of course not, how off the handle do you think I am? However, Celine’s son was supposed to bring some edibles to the NYE party but that plan got sabotaged.

jellybeans

(Robert Downey Jr is so great in this movie ‘Tropic Thunder’. You know he struggled with a severe drug addiction at one point in his career? One day he was driving around with a trunk full of drugs like he was Raoul Duke-ing his way to Vegas. fear-and-loathing

He pulled over to have a burger at Burger King and was so disgusted by what he ordered he then tossed all of his drugs into the ocean, deciding then and there to clean up his act. Last year he was the most lucrative actor of 2016 earning 1,1 billion dollars. It’s one of the most impressing and inspiring stories.)

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4.gif

mariah-carey-rep-responds-to-rumors.jpg

“I wish I could make a glorious comeback like that.”

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

Anyway. Having brought this interlude to the table…

ludes.gif

… It’s time we get this story going.

So no drugs for me on New Year’s so I had some yummy jelly beans instead. It was the first time I tried these sugary bullets of pure happiness. I had a hand full and threw them all behind my grinders one by one. At one point there were only two left.

The dopamines in the sugar had brought me into an elevated state of being. Like I was in a vortex, levitating like a human lotus.
lotus.jpg

There was a voice inside my head commanding me to chose a jelly bean. My inner Morpheus. One jelly bean would bring me back to two years ago. Where I had my own house, my future to be husband, my career. And all this wandering around would just have been a wicked dream.

The other jelly bean symbolized the continuation of this adventure track. The not-knowing, the risks, the adventures, the dangers, the butterfly I have been chasing down this rabbit hole. Sliding down the big question mark. Not knowing if the stairs of this organic life will go up or down.

catupordown

Pussy going down. Or up?

It struck me but I hesitated way longer than I would have thought. There was some part inside of me that wanted it all back. For the first time.

I was conflicted.

There was a part of me that wanted to go back to my old life. Suddenly.

So I turned to my spiritual guide woman.

theoa.jpeg

Me to Celine: “Hi woman, I’m feeling all hormonal. I have these weird feelings and thoughts in my gut and gulliver.”

Celine: “Spill it.”

Me: “It’s all fresh snow in the beginning but after a while it gets slushy. I don’t know if this gypsy life will continue to benefit me?”

Celine: “Well sometimes you have to go through a little mud to get to where you want to be.”

Me: “Like a lotus?”

Celine: “Yeah like a lotus.”

Me: “Well if I only knew where I want to get…”

Celine: “Ok, here’s what you got to do. Take a piece of paper and write down the three things you want to create for yourself in 2017. No, wait, write down the ten things and pick out three that are most important to you.”

Me: “Ok…”

The three words that shot into my head were:

  1. LOVE
  2. COMFORT
  3. SECURITY

Any other day and I would have chosen:

  1. LOVE
  2. ADVENTURE
  3. CLOTHES

But these were my words of choice today. Which was very interesting… And very conservative for my taste.

I continued to scribble on the piece of paper. And came up with a bunch of stuff that I want to (continue to) create for myself in the new year.

4. CONTROL/STABILITY
I am an adrenalin junkie and I love being able to just take a chance every once and a while but it’s not how I want to spend every hour of my life. I want to live an adventurous one but still have a certain amount of control and stability to balance things out. When I feel like I don’t have control and things just slip between my fingers like sand, I get stressed.

5. A SCHEDULE
Not a fix routine or anything but I ❤ a schedule that gives me time to do stuff before and after I go to work. Sit on my bicycle, walk around in my own head, go and have a coffee somewhere. I don’t want to be caught in a rat race.

6. NO STRESS
Being able to turn off the phone and have a quiet evening. No stress. No traffic. No last minute work things that can come up.

7. MONEY
I feel good about having money and being financially independent. Money gives me freedom to do what I want.

8. FREEDOM
I love this feeling of being free, being able to go places and not have as much stuff as I used to. It feels great to have just enough and to have an overview.

9. HEALTH
Actually this one should be way up! But I guess it’s part of ‘2. COMFORT’ since I want to continue feeling comfortable in my body (not being sick, injured, etc) and also in tune with my body and mind.

10. HAPPINESS
I’m so happy, thankful and grateful for everything the universe has given me. The privilege of being a human emotional being. Being able to feel, see, smell, touch, taste, learn and grow. Also being able to let go of things and to rise with resilience.

***

It made me feel really good to write all of this stuff down. I encourage every one of you to take a paper and do the same thing. I always thought it was bad to plan stuff in advance, as if it would take away all the impulsiveness and surprise but there is plenty of room for improvisation. This just helps you to sort your priorities out and man does it feel good to have those! Otherwise you just feel like a missile being launched into outer space, not knowing where to hit so you just keep orbiting and orbiting and orbiting. Burning all this precious energy, burning up before you find out your true destination and reach it.

If I can continue to live in this mindset then 2017 will be a sweet year. Just like 2016 has been a sweet year for  me. All the traveling I did, all the challenges I faced, all the things I learned. What 2016 has definitely generated for me is getting me de-constipated.

shitface.gif

Figure of speech.

It feels great to have such a natural flow now. To speak my mind, to dare to show myself to others, to share bits of my life, to videotape my journey and make aftermovies and snapchat stories for you guys to see.

I write openly, live my life openly and encourage people to live their lives according to their own needs and desires. I connect to people. And they connect to me. It is a wonderful state of being.

ilikeitalot.gif

Speaking about connecting to people. Some freaky shit happened these past couple of days. Things I could only describe to be: big time sign posts.

It all happened when I stayed at Alain (Celine’s dad)’s place in Toronto. He’s a chef with some big catering company in the city. But he’s also a Reiki master. It’s not something he talks about. If Celine wouldn’t have casually mentioned, I wouldn’t have known. But I knew from the first time I spoke to him, that there was this kind of centeredness about him. And he’s super fit. He’s pushing 70 but still hasn’t got one grey hair on his head and still takes his backpack out to go to Mexico and Belize by himself. His place looks like it’s almost falling apart but everything is harmonized according to the principles of Feng Shui. He has these spiritual proverbs hanging on his walls and a ton of books filled with wisdom and knowledge. I couldn’t help but grab one that was on the table. It looked like some kind of astrology almanac. He saw me pick out the book and gently took it from me asking me what day I was born.

He looked and looked and looked as if he was digging through the layers of years.

Alain: “Ah, here it is. October 19 1988. Aquarius Moon. Mh.”

Me: “‘Mh’? What does ‘Mh’ mean? Is that good or..”

Alain kept his eyes on the page and replied with another grunt. He even added a pair of raised eyebrows to it. Not really clearing anything up for me.

Me: “What’s Aquarius moon??”

Alain: “Well, it’s good. It means you’re a warrior.”

Me:

surprised.gif

A warrior?

I went to check what else it said:

  • You are likely to be a unique and somewhat progressive individual. There may be something about you that somehow “separates” you from everybody else;
  • When an Aquarian Moon individual has a clear idea, they are unlikely to easily change it.
  • Your position as someone already ‘on the outside’ gives you the ability to interpret the world around you from an often unique point of view.
  • With the Moon here, you may also tend to operate as an outsider or lone wolf, preferring to maintain a detached view that is only possible from the outskirts.
  • Often, this born with the Moon feel very different from the environment in which they grow up. The outsider experience is felt at a very early age. Accordingly, you may be so aware of your unique qualities that you tend to instinctively keep yourself separate from others.
  • Others will find you refreshing to be around because your ability to remain calm and civil can be especially sort out. Your vision and imagination is collective rather than personal, and you may be instinctively attuned to the future, able to sense what is on the horizon through reading the mood of the status-quo.
  • This position can also suggest a degree of eccentricity, and you may be highly original in some way. If you have creative interests then this placement can give a very unorthodox way of seeing the world.
  • Aquarius is also a sign associated with radical change, and you may find that you have a need to rebel or break away from situations you perceive as being stagnant. Your need for freedom can manifest in many ways, and you are likely to best in relationship with others who understand the need to give you space.
  • As the Moon can also describe how you experience home, you may tend to move around a lot. This position can suggest a person who needs to experience constant change and fluctuation in the regular circumstances of their life. You are likely to prefer light and airy places that give you an overall view.
  • At its best, Aquarius is an egalitarian and freedom-loving sign.
  • Born with the Moon here, you are likely to have an innate need to establish space and equality in your own and others lives.
  • Your sense of objectivity is your best asset, and your ability to connect with others is based mostly on your capacity to simply see others for who they are.
  • As a civilized being, you thrive in situations that bring people and conversation together. Though at times you may feel the outsider, life will always go best for you when you find your own like-minded group.
  • Deeply original, you will have a flair for independent analysis and thinking outside the box. You can be a great friend and supportive colleague through your ability to see the human condition in all its myriad and amazing forms.  
kungfupanda.gif

“FINALLY!”

This is so empowering. Most of the time I felt I was making a chaos out of my life but everything I do is just textbook ME. The constant moving from one place to another, the freedom seeking, breaking away from things that are stagnant, the thinking outside of the box, daring to be expressive and eccentric, having pure values like equality, objectivity, filtering out bad ego, … Wauw!

suprised

“Feed me more knowledge!”

Unfortunately Alain had to scram, leaving for Ottawa to stay at Celine’s house so me and her could stay at his place and explore Toronto together.

picture-2017-01-05-om-05-07-03

I stayed at his apartment for three days being in ultimate peace. Everywhere I looked I felt inspired by words surrounding me. Every book or box I opened spoke to me. Like the box of tarot cards I opened with the first card being the angel Gabriel suggesting me to keep a diary and to write shit down. The book of happiness I found in the bathroom suggesting me to keep a healthy ego and to choose transcendence over desire. The apartment was right on the corner of the Lucky Coin laundromat. I grew up in a street with a laundromat on my corner. It was all so very familiar and so interstellar. As if there were patterns everywhere.

On our last night in Toronto, right before Celine and I would leave for Ottawa and stay at her place, we had one last supper at the New Ho King, a Chinese restaurant. At the end of our meal we received a platter with fortune cookies. Each of us took a random cookie and we opened it simultaneously.

Celine’s cookie stated: “You are sympathetic to the problems of others.”

My cookie stated: “The time is right to make new friends.”

Catch the joke: we were sitting there with Celine’s friends Mel (yeah, the one with the pot) and Erin, just having had a wonderful dinner with really meaningful, funny and positive conversations. And they too had just opened a tailor made fortune cookie!

fb_img_1483000036132

This was all sooooo nice. And the next day, when I randomly took a newspaper in a coffee shop and bumped into my horoscope it read:

 ‘The self in exile remains the self, as a bell unstruck for years is still a bell’, writes poet Jane Hirshfield. I suspect that these words are important for you to hear as you prepare for 2017. My sense is that in the past few moths your true self has been making its way back to the heart of life after a time of wandering on the outskirts. Any day now, a long-silent bell will start ringing to herald your full return. Welcome home!”

After a 6 hour train ride, I was so happy to be reunited with Alain and Celine’s family once we arrived at Ottawa, two days before the end of the year. Even Audrey, our Kung Fu friend who’s also from Canada, came to have a sleepover. After 8 months the Kung Fu Angels were reunited.

kungfuangels

We had a nice dinner, watched a movie and the next morning we had breakfast and Audrey left for Montreal.

In the afternoon Alain and I had picked up the wonderful idea to go snowshoeing in the forest. We both looked at it as a way to finish the last day of the year on a high note. We had never snowshoed before. But we figured we’d manage, since we’re both backpackers and all.

20161231_140930

Hot date with Celine’s dad.

Funny thing: his daughters never call him ‘dad’. They always address him with his first name. But when they do, it sounds like Frau Farbissina, the right hand of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers, when she orders to send in the clones.

fraufarbissina

“ALAIN!”

I had a first walk with Alain in the snow on Christmas day. It’s nice to pick his brain, but I also enjoy to quietly be in his presence. And just let our energy fields play like arctic wolves in the snow.

Alain: “This is awesome. I will definitely add this to my bucket list.”

Me: “Oh yeah definitely!”

… “Wait, whut? Did you say add?”

Alain: “Yeah, I think it’s better to add than to remove.”

Me:

mindblown

Mind => blown

How deep, yet so simple. Alain just made my universe explode to expansion.

20161231_142358

Following in big footsteps here. Also literally.

While I was still recovering from my mind being blown, Alain suddenly paused in front of me and turned towards me as if he was going to release something ponderous onto the world.

Alain: “It’s time to make a snow angel!”

He let his body fall into the snow as if he would plump down into a big bean bag. He didn’t really make the wings. The imprint looked more like a fat cherub, but the timing was very amusing.

As we made our way back through this thick, ever spreading blanket of snow, with our big snow shoes on, I had a big deja vu.

picture-2017-01-02-om-00-49-00

Not that I had been here before but I definitely experienced something similar. Two years ago I rang in the New Year in Dubai. Exactly this time of year I was walking in the vast desert. Over endless hills of sand.

received_10204674111485723

Now I was doing the same in the snow. On January 2nd 2015 I went to a water amusement park and tubed down a huge water slide. January 2nd 2017 I went tubing in the snow. And I didn’t plan any of those activities, they just got handed to me by chance. Maybe by faith.

received_10204674113205766

I even visited a liminal space between life and death when I was in the UAE. Disguised as an art expo. 

I don’t know if this is all just a big coincidence or if history just has a way of repeating itself or wanting to be understood. Or predicted even. But I’m sure there is some spiritual analogy to it. Some hidden message I’m not ready to see yet. As if I can’t get in tune with the universe because of some bad reception or something. Something blocking the message.

reception

“Hello?”

Well since I have this newly found trust in the universe, I know I will get the message when I’m ready. But I will sleep with one eye open. I wouldn’t want to miss the rise of the aquarius moon. Or the awaited ringing of the long-silent bell.

I’m ready for my return.distanceyourselffromthenegative

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

That, and I would also like to add I won’t let anyone poo, pee or even fart on me in 2017. That would be my new year’s resolution.

Just sayin’.

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

Enter narrator’s voice: 

And that’s how …

You: “Evvy, wait!”

Narrator: “How rude…”

You: “Did you take the red or the blue jelly bean?”

# ‘Narrator.007’ has left this conversation #

Me: “Neither. My stomach got all queazy so I switched to chocolate chip cookies. Don’t know what their metaphor was but they sure tasted nice! Don’t forget to write down what you want to create for yourself in 2017! Make it work like a charm!”

Nama-stay real y’all! 

XO

 

Mrs. Grinch

* It’s that time, Christmas time is here
Everybody knows there’s not a better time of year
Hear that sleigh, Santa’s on his way
Hip, Hip Hooray, for Christmas Vacation*

Writing Saturday morning December 24th, 2016.
I wake up in a children’s bed in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Celine had let me borrow her niece’s bed for my first Canadian night. I rub the dream crusts out of my eyes, scratch the poor ol’ gulliver and take a look outside the window.

20161225_114022

Behold a wonderful white deck of fresh snow. The white Christmas I was dreaming of.

Tonight’s my very first American Christmas and I feel super charged. Rumor has it we’re celebrating in Mono Mill, a town a little over an hour away. We’re expected at the Christmas dinner table of Stephanie’s (Celine’s sister) in-laws. And since the place is so far away we’re taking our sleeping gear with us to spend the night all together. And spend another Christmas day filled with food and candies the day after!

elf-film-still-with-will-ferrell

(I love my candies)

So at about 4 pm, after spending the entire afternoon in our onesies watching ‘The Polar Express’ we start to get ready to take the drive up to the North Pole. Err, I mean Mono Mill.

polarexpress

All aboard!

countingheads

Counting: Celine, Celine’s three sons, Celine’s husband, Celine’s dad, Celine’s sister, her husband, her two kids and Kevin, ahm, I mean me 🙂

Just before we got out of the house and into the car I had a chance to Skype my parents and wish my family back in Belgium a Merry Christmas. They were already rounding up their Christmas celebrations. Having dessert. Unwrapping presents. Topped with some annual good old drama.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family but every year for Christmas there’s always a little bit of tension going on. I guess that’s what happens when you have a bunch of different minds and characters crammed into one space together. I was looking forward to a drama-free Christmas and checked with Celine in advance if her family usually has a lot of dramas this time of year.

Celine: “No, we don’t. But this year is a little different since we’re invited over to spend Christmas with my sister’s in-laws. There will be some neighbors and other people I’ve never met before.”

Me: “I see…”

Either way, I was feeling pretty good about it. And I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that Canadian turkey! Gobble gobble!

Too bad it exploded the day before…

dryturkey

Just kidding.

A firm hour and a pair of numb butt cheeks later, we arrive at Casa Christmas! The place is beautiful. And huge! We’re sleeping over with 15 people and there will be a total of 20 something people coming over to have dinner. Inside the house is decorated with wooden floors, a big American kitchen, christmas lights and a stunning tree. I feel at home right away! Especially since Leona and Carl, who were hosting, were such nice and welcoming people.

Leona and Carl: “Say, you’re not Chinese.”

redkitty

Me: “Ahm…no I’m not…”

Leona and Carl: “Well we thought you would have been since we heard Celine had met you in China. How funny we just assumed, right!”

016-that-70s-show-theredlist

Me: “Hilarious :-)”

Carl: “So where are you from then?”

Me: “I live in Belgium.”

Carl: “Belgium hey? Well sit down I’ll get you some Canadian brew.”

Waw, what a lovely home. I was just about to print out some adoption papers to slip under these people’s noses later tonight when all of a sudden the door bell rings.

Leona: “Oh hi-de-ho neighbors come on in!”

It was a woman of around 60 with her two daughters and her husband coming through the front door. They looked like a lovely family. No drama hazard here!

griswolds

*Hip hip hooray for Christmas vacation*

I hopped over to go meet them and shake their hand when I suddenly came across a fifth person entering with the bunch.

thegrinch

Grandmother Margaret.

Better known as ‘Marg’. A 5 foot 8 dame that has been walking this planet for 81 years straight. Unlike her daughter Debbie she doesn’t live next door but in an apartment in Toronto. She just tagged along for the occasion.

grinchanddaughter

Marg and her daughter Debbie checking out the hors d’oeuvres.

Her fingers were incredibly long and lean, I noticed, when she came over to shake everybody’s hand.

grinchhand

When she arrived over to where I was seated -minding my own business, quietly enjoying my Canadian brew- she hunched over to me, sniffed up my perfume, looked me straight in the eye and asked:

“And who might you be dear?”

grinch

Me: “Err, my name is Evelien. I’m Celine’s adopted Chinese daughter…*grin grin*”

Marg: “A smarty mouth hey?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m just visiting from Belgium. I come in peace.”

She didn’t bother to go into the conversation any deeper and continued her stroll around the house.

Marg: “Thank you for having me Leona, …

socialinteractiongrinch

Leona: “Oh no problem dear. What can I get you to drink?”

Marg: “You know my drink. Rye with ginger ale and water.”

Leona: “Coming right up!”

I was amazed by this woman. She was turning 82 next week but she was walking around the house as if she was the Queen B. She had this super intense aura over her and -by the looks of it- enjoyed male attention very much. Except for that of her son in law. You could tell she hated his guts. When he accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee, her eyes shot laser beams.

grincheyes

jerk

Apparently he had always let her walk all over him and never managed to get rid of her bullying since. He was whipped.

Marg: “So have they got houses like this where you come from, Evelien?”

I was a little offended by her asking me a question like that. As if I came from some hillbilly country where we live in containers. But I guess she was just looking for a fresh and spineless fiddle to fiddle. I wouldn’t let her tickle my nerves that easy. She likes to provoke people and make them feel uncomfortable in her presence. I looked through her game straight away. Heck, I invented that game.

Me: “Yeah we have houses. We build houses like crazy.”

Marg: “So what brings you to Canada for Christmas, you don’t have a family?”

Me: “Well, I’m not an orphan. My family’s at home celebrating Christmas right now. It’s ok, they understand I have places to see, people to meet. We did our Christmas dinner a week earlier.”

Marg: “So you travel a lot hey?

Me: “Yes ma’am.”

Marg: “So what do you do? In life? What do you do?”

Me: “Well …. (I decided not to give her the long story about me taking a gap year and all. I just send her off with the short summary)”

Marg: “Oh you write for the paper? Do you have any kids? A man in your life? So you have nothing hey?”

loathegrinch

Marg sure was testing the waters there.

Me: “Nope, I’m a free bird”, I replied with a straight face.

Marg: “Hahaha, free bird hey? Good for you. I’m gonna go smoke a cigarette. Anyone who feels like joining me, I’ll be in the barn.”

I don’t know what it was that got me all worked up but I felt a tantrum coming up and I was aiming for the snack bowl.

I have nothing? That’s not true. I have a lot. It’s just not a house. Or a husband. A pension fund. A hospitalization insurance or a presently well defined job for that matter.

Next time when I meet people and they ask me what I do, imma be straight up and say:

“I’m a 28 year old kid in the middle of an existential crisis walking around with monopoly money bluffing her way through town hoping she will make it at the end of the ride. I’m freaking Peter Pan and all I want for Christmas is for Tinkerbell to light my path and to hang out with the Lost Boys.”

2016-12-29-10-14-43

Bangarang there’s room for at least one girl!

Marg: “So is this free life working for you?”

Me: “Sure…” (liar, liar pants on fire!!)

Marg: “Do you want a husband and kids?”

Me: “I don’t know… Maybe one day.” (stupid Grinch, give me my Christmas back!)

Marg: “How old are you if you don’t mind me asking?”

Me: “28” (Going on 92) 

Marg: “Oh, you’re a baby! The best is yet to come.”

Me: “Yeah right. Not to be rude or anything Mrs. Grinch -err- Margaret, but I feel the best has already been had. I’ve had the settled life, the career life, I was a question at the annual quiz of my birth town in 2015, … Honestly I feel I had all the cards dealt to me once and I royal flushed them all down the toilet. It’s all downhill from here.”

Celine: “Stop it! If you think that, then that’s what you’re gonna get!”

Marg: “Just ask yourself a basic question: what do you want?”

Me: “In life?”

Marg: “Yeah, in life, what else?”

Me: “… I don’t know. I don’t know what I want… Do I even have to have a destination in mind? If you live in the now isn’t that the worst thing you could do?”

Celine: “Well you have to let the universe know what you want in order to get it.”

Me:

jackie-chan-meme

(Getting my chinese rude on)

“Is the universe really concerned about me getting what I want? Why would it give a rat’s ass? Do you really think the universe wants us to have a nice Christmas Eve together? Earn a lot of money? Build a lot of houses? Do you really think the universe cares?”

Marg: “Were you traumatized as a kid or something?”

meandthegrinch

Me: “No, I just question my entire existence a lot. It doesn’t make sense to me why we’re here. It doesn’t make sense to me that we are born into this world that destroys oneself with war and terrorism, it doesn’t make sense to me that we are born into this system that expects us to clean up other people’s shit all day just so we can have a comfortable old age. It doesn’t.”

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-1966-cindy-loo-who

Marg: “Your life is just beginning. Believe me. Take it from someone who has lived a long one: live in the now. Enjoy your life now. Before you know it you’ll be walking in the mall looking at your reflection in the mirror wondering who that old woman is. Life has its ups and downs. You will have bad breaks and disappointments, but don’t give up on life. Live it. There are wonderful things coming. Things you will want to work and live hard for. So live.”

tolivepeterpan

Bangarang! When did Mrs. Grinch turn into Wendy Darling?

2016-12-29-13-22-44-1

The Grinch was right. Or maybe it was the bottle of rye inside her blood that was right. I definitely want to live and work hard for the things I love. Traveling the world to discover all there is to know about life. Picking up stones and discovering what lies under them. Looking into mirrors and understanding everything there is to be seen in them. And one day I would love to love again. Deeply. Profoundly.

My wandering thoughts were interrupted with a deep grunt of discontent =>

eatingbecauseimbored

Marg: “Well it’s already past my bedtime. Son in law! Haul the truck we’re leaving.”

As she was waggling towards the cloakroom to get her coat, I ran in behind her.

Me: “Marg, wait!”

girlemail

“…Do you have like an email address or something?”

Marg: “Me…? What, you want to send me an email?”

rye

Me: “Well I would very much like for us to stay in touch. I didn’t think it straight from the beginning but… I think you kinda rock.”

grinchkiss

Marg: “Well *cough* I, ahm, I ….”

I think I had just made the Grinch blush.

… Before she turned into her old sassy self again.

Marg: “Well I can’t email on Tuesdays….

dinnerwithme

… But I would love to stay in touch.”

She scribbled her email address on a napkin and handed it over to me with eyes as soft as velvet.

Marg: “You are a truly gorgeous girl and you will have your ball. Just never give up on that.”

teachinggrinch

(Enter narrator’s voice:)

It was the night the Grinch stole Christmas.

And returned it the same day. 

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-2000-09.jpg

*Merry (belated) Christmas to every single one of you*

XO

Read all about me arriving in Toronto, visiting Niagara Falls and smoking the christmas tree next time on the blog. Gobble gobble!

picture-2016-12-30-om-15-16-50

Fire

(! Caution: this read could cause altitude sickness. And could contain traces of drugs, nuts and nudity.)

I touch the fire and it freezes me.
I look into it and it’s black. 

Why can’t I feel?
My skin should crack and peel.
I want the fire back.

(-Once More, with Feeling
episode 7, season 6, 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer-)

People: “How do you do it? I’m already working my 6th consecutive Sunday in order to pay my bills. Damn girl, you’re living the life. How silly are we.”

People: “So you’ve traveled half the globe, went directly to the Tour de France and are now living the bohemian life in Ibiza. What’s next on the agenda, Ev?”

Me: “Worrying. Potentially with the outlook of living in a box for a while.”
People: “Sure. Since you live such a hard life party . LOL”.

Reality catches up on you like an FBI agent wanting you to comply to the rules everybody has to comply to.

mranderson
And it seems it’s time to go back to every day life.

That cruel, pitiless place that is nothing like the colorful sketch we see in romantic comedies or read about in novels.

It looks like I will stay in Antwerp for some time to come, to recalculate and find a temporary job to pass time. And top up my finances. (Since tax payers don’t pay for sabbaticals anymore.)

Money makes the world go round. And makes me go around that world. And since I’m not a gay dancer receiving 500 euro tips from Arabic bobos in Ibiza night clubs, I have to find a real job and walk the line for a while. The production line.

shes-all-that-laney-falafel-hat-job

It didn’t help splurging all my ‘Tour de France’ money in Ibiza. But that’s all part of living in the moment and leaving the worrying for after.

Err…Yeah, I didn’t really succeed in doing that last part either.

The idea sounds simple. Just living in the moment, sand between my toes, sun bathing, shutting down the hard drive, recharging the batteries, hakuna matata.

But, the truth is, I have always been a terrible in the moment liver…

fatty-liver

Due to some serious binge-traveling I knew I would be left with a financial and possibly emotional hangover. It was immanent. The thought was everywhere I went. While I was standing on the dance floor. While I was sitting on the back of the scooter clinging on to my best friend Cedric like grabbing on to life. While I was lying on the beach… Everywhere I looked I saw people enjoying a hard earned holiday. When I flew over me, I saw escapism. Topless escapism.

Picture 2016-08-18 om 17.18.02
Somebody who escaped everyday life in order to live in a dream bubble for a while -with unsupported breasts!- but soon that bubble would explode like Cinderella’s carriage that would turn back into an ugly pumpkin. And she would be left in the gutter. With one shoe. And saggy tits.

My head was under attack with these thoughts. At first I thought I was just PMS-ing.

Picture 2016-08-19 om 11.45.49

Picture 2016-08-20 om 12.33.06

But it was something much worse.

I got hit by melancholy.

anchorman

Wiki: Melancholy or nostalgia is a state of mind that tends towards depression and is characterized by a sad look on the past or an unfulfilled desire.

Somebody else puts it this way:

I think the eternal melancholy of grown ups is: the desire for deep tenderness. Tenderness that goes so deep there is no worldly problem that can come between that. Giving everything. Receiving everything. Always receiving. It sounds immature but I think the base of melancholy is the lack of maturity. The desire for eternal protection.”

(Goosebumps, ammiright?)

It’s about 15 years ago I first came in contact with the word ‘melancholy’. (…) During an episode of Dawson’s Creek.

1997 The cast of "Dawson's Creek." From left to right: Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), James Van Der Bee

I was too busy with the superficial love story and was just waiting for Joey and Pacey to finally kiss that I didn’t really give a lot of attention to Dawson’s obvious teenage depression. I just thought he was a big nag really.

first world problem
Only now: it seems I’ve come down with the Dawson syndrome myself. THE WORST PMS EVER!

According to the internet:
Melancholic
people are emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic introverts.

No shit! I am emotionally sensitive and a big time perfectionist. Otherwise I wouldn’t have given up ‘the perfect job’, ‘the perfect relationship’ for some more meaningful life I know is just out there somewhere.
Reality is my biggest (fr)enemy. I want my dreams to be reality. But reality doesn’t domesticate that easy. And the introvert part? Well I don’t like people that much so I live in my own head a lot. Thinking, dreaming, worrying, … Worry if I will ever make it in this life. If I will find a balance between providing for a future while not forgetting to live and breathe and enjoy the ride.

carrie-bradshaw-annoying5

You: “Then why didn’t you just stay a newspaper journalist with a stable life and a fix income. Do you know how much people would kill to be what you were?”

Well I couldn’t.
Exactly one year ago, Angelo started a fire in me.

20150807 Angelo Valkenborgh - Mokri Potok
Deep in the Slovenian woods he taught me there is more to life than working your head off, paying bills and being a slave to society. “If you don’t like where you’re at in life, change the decor. If you don’t like the road that’s laid out for you, pave your own. If you don’t like the future that’s ahead of you. Draw a new one. The secret of leading a rich life is to let go. And find wealth in less.”

I was spoilt to land a job like that at such a young age. My golden ticket was handed to me, just like that. But I felt I was achieving for someone else. I was not living for me. So I went to confront, challenge and comfort myself. Comfort myself with the thought I stayed true to my gut. And dared to be me. Free. Instead of trying to be someone I was not. Caged.

But that morning in Ibiza. I was mourning.

IMG_2016-08-05 12-08-44

The fire Angelo ignited was slowly dying. Like somebody took a piss on it.

It was only later I discovered the new moon had poisoned me…

You: ??

Apparently there was a new moon rising. And apparently ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, ets.) take control during a new moon. New moon night is a golden opportunity for the ghosts to cause distress to man. It’s only since meeting Helmut in Tasmania and studying some Chinese philosophy in China I started to pay attention to the moon. And it being a carrier of human emotions.

My thoughts churning: “I’m alone. Alone with my responsibilities. And I’m tired. I’ve traveled so far. I have gained. And I have lost. Was it all worth it? I would love to be carried on a meandering river. Like baby Moses. Knowing I will reach a destination. Instead of taking this thorny road*.”

* Remembering a passage in ‘The Art of Learning’, a book I was reading, by Josh Waitzkin:

“To walk a thorny road, we may cover its every inch with leather. Or we can make sandals.”  (Indian parable)
Picture 2016-08-19 om 14.40.28

goose_with_sandals

Make sandals. Got it. 

Some people admire me for making the decision. Throwing away securities to dig deeper, find a deeper meaning, savoring life to the fullest.

But that morning in bed, I couldn’t help but ask myself:

Is it nobel to live according to your ideals? Or is it just dumb, self-destructive and naive?

Is this the time I wake up, lose my innocence and change into the pessimist everybody else has already become?

joker

error

I mean how stubborn can you keep holding on to something?

I just wanted to crawl into a big sweater. One that fits my knees, curl up and whisper: “Life be gentle on me. Don’t drown me. In regret, financial debt or other heart ache. Life be gentle on me. Don’t drown me. In regret, financial debt or other heart ache. Life be gentle on me. Don’t …”

unsupported

 

Argentinian summer love*: “Hey Ev, wanna watch the meteor shower tonight?”
(*For those who don’t know, I had an Argentinian summer love in Ibiza. See previous post!)

Me: “M…meteor shower? Yeah, sounds great.”

“…Do I have to wear a bra?”

Argentinian summer love: “Err..no…”

That night at dinner, I turned to the Argentinian for a piece of advice. Since he studied Psychology.

Yes…:

mygirl

And sexually…

Anyway.

He’s a big realist. The opposite of the big dreamy drama queen I can be. And a Fire sign. Exactly what I needed.

lostintranslationlostintranslation1

To him, life is just life. You don’t have to have it together always. You just have to always live. (…) And if you fail to do so, take some drugs, it will lift your spirits right up and get rid of your anxiety.

firetrip

Me: “Err, that’s not really my cup of tea. I mean, I thought about taking a pill in Ibiza, like that Mike Posner song suggests, but I changed my mind. I don’t do drugs. I’ll just stick to this bottle of wine.”

Argentinian: “Alcohol is potentially the worst drug out there. It’s just because it’s accepted and drugs aren’t that people think it’s okay. Coke is a natural plant. In the 19th century cocaine was to be considered a panacea for everything from headaches to indigestion to aches and pains. For instance, it helps against altitude sickness. I chewed some coca leaves while I was climbing Machu Picchu.”

Me: “Uhu.”

Argentinian: “A lot of brilliant scientist and geniuses established their best work under the influence of drugs. Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was an avid cocaine fan. The guy who discovered the double helix structure of DNA was under influence of LSD. Same goes for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and The Beatles.”

“You think you’re healthy cause you don’t take drugs? There are enough bad chemicals in food and pharmacies. Society has each and every one of us medicated and drugged. And it’s often worse than we think. Relax, I’m not saying we should all shoot heroin.”

Me thinking: “I’d rather have you shoot me with your loaded gun.”

loaded gun.gif

Argentinian: “I’ve seen you worrying. You’re absent. You live in your mind too much. Let me just tell you: the future is not here yet. No matter what you choose, there are no bad choices. Whether you choose to leave or stay, it is going to be good.”

Me: “Okay cut the psychobabble bullshit, Freud. Let’s watch the stars and touch each other!”

I don’t know if it was the wine or the meteor chemistry above our heads but I was slowly starting to come… alive again. One scooter ride later we were on the roof of our Spanish hacienda. It was pitch dark. Only the sky was lit in an emerald glow and every 5 meters street lights were stitching the sky deck to the earth. While the bright celestial fire balls were bravely sliding down the atmosphere, something changed inside me. I felt a flow. -No, not my period.- I was feng shui-ing again. The bad demons of the new moon had left the building and I was released from evil spirits. (…) And pants.

That night on the roof, …

I got the fire back.

XO

People: “Gee Ev, you talk so openly about your intimate… thoughts. Aren’t you ever embarrassed to show yourself this naked? Or afraid of what your parents might say?”

Me: “Err no, my parents raised me this way and I don’t take myself seriously. At all. I am a free spirit. I’m breaking down my barriers, releasing my inhibitions. And spreading the word of self-love, self-development, self-reflection and self-deprecation.

 

 

When life gives you lemons…

lemons

be creative.

 

Same goes for watermelons.

watermelons

Let’s just all embrace our blonde/cluelessness together! 

cable-guy-jim-carrey-visits-matthew-broderick-in-jail-review

Peace out.

 

Se7en

Following my latest blog post, I started thinking about relationships. And why we’re in them.

Not only is a vast majority of people I know reproducing, …

sheldon-cooper-spray-can

… there are also couples breaking up before my eyes. Good friends of mine who turn to me for relationship advice and who are just battered and bruised from the process of desperately trying to stay together.

Hence the question: Why are we in relationships?

We get brought up with the idea we’re half a coin. A Yin without a Yang. Someday you have to find someone, your missing puzzle piece. This idea is forced upon us by media, advertising, religion, parents, …It is such an obvious thing that we forget to ask ourselves: Why?

Aren’t we all complete persons already? And isn’t it possible that having a +1 could potentially devaluate our coin? You could be a gold medal trading it in for silver or bronze. Or tin.

Why are people so scared of ending up alone?

loveorloneliness

I haven’t been in a relationship for two years now. Only recently I feel like I am ready to potentially start a new one. I had my time to catch up with myself, put my own needs up front for a while, and now I feel I’m ready to walk the road with someone next to me. But I’m not forcing anything. The right relationship will come around when the time is right.

And that’s what some people just don’t have the patience for.

I feel like a lot of people settle just to settle.

1. For some it’s the outlook of unlimited sex.

2. For others the warranty of reproduction. Caused by unlimited sex.

3. For others it’s a sense of security/safety because they’re scared of being alone.

Usually things go well for a certain amount of time, but when that relationship comes under siege, it’s very hard to keep the ship afloat.

shipcan'tsink

ludes.gif

I have a friend who’s holding on to the cracks in her boat in order to keep the water out. She’s putting in all her effort and energy eventhough she knows the ship is going to sink. And the orchestra is already playing their final tune.

Then there is another friend who’s married and has kids. Her husband also has a second girlfriend. She knows, and he has promised to leave the other woman many times, but he still hasn’t, and they just stay together for the sake of staying together.

When it comes to relationships, is it sensible to bend not break? Or should we just stay true to ourselves and take the high road?

sinking minion

12-The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street-quotes

In my opinion there are 4 distinct types of relationships:

1. the full on romantic relationship (this one is all about soulmates and true love and is very rare to be seen in real life),

Picture 2016-08-09 om 13.42.43

2. transitioning relationship (band-aids to heal from a previous ‘full on romantic relationship’, aka ‘rebound’. Usually one focusses only on physical characteristics and compatibility and refuses to build a deeper connection with the person),

hair

3. the forced relationship (forced onto people by family, environment, themselves),

Picture 2016-08-09 om 13.41.14.jpg

4. the professional agreement (love is replaced by money and the relationship is merely a status symbol)

Leo

For me, option 1 is always the goal. I would really love to find that one true puzzle piece. To fall madly in love, to share the rest of my life with one person. But is that thought realistic? Maybe love is a losing game and we should all stop believing in fairy tales.

cinderalla

The older I get, I can’t help but thinking true love is something that died with Shakespeare. Monogamy is a hoax and ‘Till death do us part’ is just a metaphor for : ‘When I found someone better and leave you behind’.

Even the best things get boring after a while.

french fries

Why do we try so hard to ignore the equation if we already know the outcome?

Roses die.

You either make potpourri and appreciate it for the little scent it spreads or you throw them out and get fresh ones every once and a while.

Your loyalty towards someone changes when your needs change. And in that opinion we are living in a time where everything and everyone is easily replaced.

For instance: Why invest in a quality razor if you can shave almost equally good with throwables? You don’t have to worry about maintenance, customs, and the possibility of accidentally leaving it somewhere.

Maybe true love is more like true friendship. You respect each other. Adore each other. But stay individual persons with individual needs. Love is replaced with lust. Lust is to be find in different places. But you stay true to a friendship.

sandy

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of the idea either. I’m just putting some observations out there, since ‘open relationships’ are all the rage these days.

But as far as I’m concerned a good relationship is all about simplifying things. Toning down expectations and putting things into perspective.

girls

Whenever I would meet someone I would always try to envision a future with that person and then decide if it would be someone I would want to invest in.
That’s silly, of course you cannot know from the very beginning. You’re only sabotaging yourself by creating these high standards, cause no way you will ever achieve them. And you will end up only disappointing yourself.

In that mind set I tried the concept of a summer love. It wasn’t a well thought plan or anything. It just happened here in Ibiza. He’s from Argentina and -at this moment- he makes me feel good about myself and I enjoy my time with him.

I don’t envision a future with him. And that’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It’s a bit weird at the beginning. But it’s all part of living life in the moment. And following your gut instead of your brain.

 

Knowing that, I finally gave up on the idea of ‘saving myself’ for mister right. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This stays between you and me okay? I have had a total of 6 bed partners in my life. Now, I’m not proud of it, if it were me I would have only sticked to one but life pushes you to make some mistakes along the way in order to find what you are really looking for. Anyway, there was something about number 7 I didn’t want to give up to just anyone. So I saved myself. And lived like a nun while traveling Australia, China and Japan.

Friend: “Maybe you should drop the whole magic number nonsense. I already reached seven when I was 14!”

Well, now I can say… I finally reached seventh heaven 😀

seven

You: Gee Ev, you have to kiss a lot of frogs not f*** them!

happymonica.gif

And especially for this occasion. Music maestro!

XO

Oh baby.

It’s a girl!

A little over 27 years ago my parents must have shouted it from the roof tops. I was a girl alright. A 4 kg heavy ball of delicate skin and bones. The hairs on my head, raven black. No, I wasn’t born all blonde and clueless. Life made me that way.

2014-11-20 21.35.50

My brother obviously loved me from day one ❤

It was October 19th 1988. A Wednesday. I was born a Libra. Pisces would be my ascending sign. It’s the sign that comes up, moves, or transitions at the exact time you are born. It would explain -years later- how an independent perfectionist Libra like me, who struggles to make decisions on a daily basis, suddenly threw all her comfort zones overboard to experience new things and explore the world.

IMG_5156

*This Libra / Pisces likes to shoot from the hip*

When I was in my early twenties, I always said I would start having babies by the time I would reach 27. Reality is: I’m further away from having babies now, than I was then. At least I had a relationship at that time. And I was very much convinced we would have babies together. Oh cluelessness.

By the end of 2015. While I was silently preparing my way to escape every day life and obligations,

escape-from-alcatraz

people were apparently doing the exact opposite thing. They were settling down. And having loads and loads of reproductional sex.

reproduction

It’s unbelievable how many people I know had babies this past month. My brother, one of my best friends, a friend from college, friends from friends, … I started looking into it (read: getting my Facebook spy on) and discovered how old class mates -even the biggest geeks alive- were already married, having children, starting families, building futures, … They we’re giving their love and being loved in return.

Friend: “I think I’ve missed my train.”

Me: “Whut?”

Friend: “I think I’ve missed my train.”

Me: “What are you talking about? Your car is parked right outside.”

Friend: “No… My train in life. In love. Where am I going to find someone? I’ll be 30 soon and everybody I know is settling and having kids. Maybe it’s just not meant to be for me.”

Me: “Hey! Are you crazy? You’re the sweetest girl alive and incredibly gorgeous, you are not missing your train, do you hear? If anyone is missing her train, it’s me.”

1f631

I never really realized it until I said it.

But while I was sitting on the perfectly tiled terrace of my new found baby momma friend, gazing over to my three Sex and the City-girlfriends, I suddenly realized: if life is a board game, I’ve been dealt the shitty cards here.

Picture 2016-07-30 om 10.07.37

*Smiling though slightly panicking*

The friend who supposedly missed her train has just bought an apartment all by herself, the baby momma -obviously- just had a baby, already has a flatter stomach than me and is going to get married in Spain next year. And the other girlfriend is living together with her boyfriend thinking about having loads and loads of reproductional sex too.

why sex egg and sperm

*His Storm Troopers attacking her Death Star right about now*

1c1ade937015fe2c

I’m pushing 30, I have no property of my own, no more savings left, no boyfriend, no job and no sex whatsoever.

I couldn’t help but feeling everybody was passing me and I was somewhere hanging in the back. Waiting for a broom wagon to pick me up and put me out of my misery.

broomwagon

* Broom wagon : the vehicle that follows a Cycle Road Race picking up stragglers (or sweeping them up) who are unable to make it to the finish.

Ten years ago I was the first of all my girlfriends to have a job, a career, a relationship, a house, a dog, … I was the bloody Chris Froome of the peloton.  Suddenly I became the red lantern.

Picture 2016-07-30 om 10.42.00

I’m 27 and I have no clue what I’m gonna make of my life. While my friends are leaking milk for a higher cause, I will be partying in Ibiza this week with a bunch of bronzed gay gods pouring milk over their hot torsos. And that’s about as far my outlook goes!

(…)

While I was fretting over my future and stuffing my face with hummus at my friend’s place, I decided not to give in to these negative thoughts. They’re way too easy. And I haven’t crossed half the globe to be defeated this easily.

Shifu Gao won’t let me.

gordon_liu_pai_mei

Me in a bid to pick myself up: “Let me put it this way. If you could go back in time, would you really have wanted to trade all your life lessons to have the secure life at 27?”

“Well….no…”

Since, first of all, I don’t yet feel the need to reproduce, as I still am very much a child myself. And second: no matter how much of a terrifying and uncertain mess my life came to be, I am extremely happy I chose to live my life in the most honest way possible. By staying true to myself and care after MY needs first before saying ‘I do’ to a partner, a house or a family. I felt I needed to learn before I could love. And so I traveled in order to go do that.

If I get a baby soon, and my hubby decides to dump me for not finding me attractive anymore, at least I will be strong enough to 1) proper Kung Fu kick his ass and still know I am an amazing person and he is just a douchebag who will get his karma bill presented sooner or later and 2) provide a sane environment for me and my child, the most valuable people in my life.

But, for now, I don’t know where my unplanned life is going. It’s impossible to know. And -in the end- nobody does. A baby or a husband or a bunch of bricks aren’t going to ‘unchaos’ my life. I just need to have faith in things happening and letting go of the process.

It’s hard work. Especially when your surroundings are constantly putting you on a shelf to analyze you. Looking for holes in your game structure.

chess

Well, don’t bother, my game structure is full of holes. I play with my heart on my sleeve. With my queen exposed and vulnerable. I get hurt easily. But it’s the only way to live this life profoundly.

checkmate

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The race is long, according to Baz Luhrmann, and in the end it’s only with yourself.

I’ve decided:

I’m not in a rush. Society is trying to set a pace for me but I’m not participating. Life’s not a Time Trial. I much rather enjoy myself and the scenery in the back of the gruppetto* with the rest of the underdogs than fly over the finish for a yellow jersey, a stuffed animal and a big pay check just for the sake of being the first.

cav

* The autobus or the gruppetto is in bicycling terminology the name given to the group of cyclists in a road cycling race who form a large group behind the leading peloton.

I have the power and freedom to follow my own path to success. Because I have something many people forget to invest in. Me. And whoever wants to share the road with me, can tag along. But I’m not compromising.

hqdefault

Attached to that thought: I have closed my Tinder profile. It wasn’t for me anyway. I don’t want to find a man who’s on Tinder. And why would any serious man want to find his girl on there anyway?

I’m too much of a Libra/Pisces for that.

009_romeo+juliet_blu-ray

Up to Ibiza! Mommy’s gonna pour her some milk!

lecheeeee

XO

By the way: I used some cycling lexicon to bring this blog post about. As you may or may not know, I just came back from one month worth of touring and traveling France as a PowerBar hostess in the Tour de France. It was b-e-a-utiful! My job consisted of keeping the riders energized, healthy and happy ❤