Welcome to my home-cooked journal.
Here you will find my rants about every day life and things that keep me busy.
In the past I have frequently written, but there's no saying if I'll continue on that path. It all depends on how busy I am.
Have fun reading my scribbles.
Xenophobia III is done
So now there's a bit more time to breathe. We had so much time to prepare for the event (more than 6 months) and still it seemed like everything that had to be done was crammed into the last 2 or 3 weeks before the event itself. A good thing that I don't have a (demanding) job at the moment. Sorting mail and delivering it takes some time (about 10 hours a week) but leaves enough space for sawing, screwing, painting, printing, latex-ing etc. Matthijs has the good fortune to be a one man business (zzp-er) so he could just 'drop' all the work and focus on Xenophobia for a while. Soldering, coding, screwing, breaking stuff and fixing them again late at night, etc.
I didn't see much of the event itself. I was mainly busy in the dressing room or helping build up 'De Waard' (the nucleair facility that the players were going to raid). I hadn't had any time to read the final plot either so I have little clue as to what the players did (or were meant to do). However, all the good stories and some pictures make clear that it was a success and it was well worth it. Xenophobia IV is going to be the last episode of this story. Hopefully we'll be able to plan all the preparations a bit better and make it even greater than III.
All that work for Xenophobia meant that I had to 'drop' some personal stuff too, or at least postponed it. Like cleaning the house (my god what a mess!), book a centerparcs weekend with the discount scrounched together at Jumbo, finally tidy up my dreads colllection (bought some nice hooks at Xenos, had to put them into my closet door), 'belastingaangifte' (taxes), tidy up the attic (looks like something exploded in there), put all loose crocheting print-outs into one notebook and most importantly my homework for the job searching thing. Cleaning the house has been done yesterday (though I still need to do the windows), tidying my dreads has been done too, taxes are up for coming Monday (Matthijs needs to make some time for it to help me), the attic will be done this Sunday, the crocheting notebook is in the making (halfway there) and I prepared some stuff for my homework.
The homework consists of finding some people (on LinkedIn) that work as a makeup person (grimeur) or costume designer and ask them if they would be willing to tell me about their job (how they got it, what it entails, good stuff, bad stuff etc.). And to find out what it would take to become a freelance illustrator. So there's 3 possible jobs here that were the result of searching through a 4000-jobs database. Sadly most interesting jobs had a 'very low chance of finding work' notification. Some jobs that sounded interesting (tattoo artist, writer) are a no-go because I don't think I got the talent or the drive for it. Makeup person, costume designer and illustrator were the 3 most promising jobs. Though voice actress (found on LinkedIn) tickles something too. And there's also the "I just want to make pretty things that other people buy" idea. There's just a few things that spark an 'hey that might be interesting' vibe, but no 'yes!! that is it!'. And most stuff that sounds interesting is a 'small' job to do alongside a 'real' job that actually pays the bills. Most makeup persons that I found started their own business aside from the regular job they do.
Still, when I look around I see a lot of people that are doing what they like best in life. Perhaps not earning tons of money, but having fun doing their thing. If they had the guts to take that step, and if they can do it; why shouldn't I?
Isn't it ironic?
So, you park your bike at the station from where you take a train to a job inverview (which was more like a small training and signing of the contract; I'm a parttime mail delivery gal now) and when you return, after having told the interviewer that you have a good bike with good big bags, your bike is missing....
Instead of panicking, which I used to do not so long ago, I decide to take a good look around and notice how 'neat' the whole parkinglot actually is. This might have been a clean-up action by the municipality. So I call the number that's on the "bike missing, call xxxxx" signs, get redirected and finally get a man on the phone who can confirm that my bike is in the depot. After lunch Matthijs drove me there on his bike and I had to pay a €15,- fee to get my bike back. Lesson learned: even 10 cm away from the actual iron bike-standard-thingy is 'outside of the parking facilities' and gets your bike taken hostage.
Fortunately I was in a good mood (got a tiny job, weather was nice) and I didn't think too much about those €15,- gone to waste. But it was a bit ironic, don't you think?
The first assignments for my job counseling sessions are done. Mostly 'getting to know yourself' stuff and so far not a lot of surprises for me. I've actually done some tests on the internet every once in a while in my own search for 'what to look for' and most of the things I value were already known to me. Now let's hope that these will lead me to work that makes me happy.
Today I got a call from Sandd that they have a neighbourhood near me available. At first I turned it down: it means working on Friday while I have a few of my Fridays planned full already and it is only for a few hours a week and well... I'm looking for my dream-job and blah. But after I hung up I realised that I'm being a bit of a spoiled brat if I do not want to work on Fridays either (weekends are definitely off-limits, but Fridays?) and looking at my schedule I noticed that if I would just start as early as allowed in the day (08:00) I could still manage with the stuff I have now planned (mainly larps). Also, this would mean more of a rhythm in my weeks and a little bit of secured income. Aside from that working outside (yes, even with shitty weather) appeals to me and it is a job that you're doing on your own, in your own time with only you being responsible. It would only be for a few hours a week so it wouldn't pay enough for mortgage, but it keeps my options open for other work interviews or even my own business. It is also a new experience even if it doesn't work out. So, after consulting my job-coach and Matthijs I called them back and told them I changed my mind. I am now invited to a real interview next Tuesday (3rd of February). Fingers crossed!
Another new thing in my life and my daily rhythm is the '30 days shred'. Some workout program (a hype I missed?) that I stumbled upon via a blog post of my belly dance teacher. The idea is that for 10 days you do level 1 exercises for 30 minutes a day, then 10 days of level 2 and after another 10 days at level 3 you should've lost quite some weight (if available) and some inches and gained more muscle definition. Since my usual morning workout seems to have lost it's effect (no muscle ache at all.. meh) I thought I'd try this one. The idea is that by switching exercises after 10 days your body can not 'get used' to it and develop an efficient way to handle it. So the workout keeps its effect. I've seen some really impressive before/after images on the internet. My goal is to loose some 2-4 kilograms again, that I've gained by getting back to way too much spreads on my bread and candy in the evenings, and to get some more muscle definition in my abs. A subtle six-pack (keyword subtle!) would be nice. These exercises not only work on strength but also on endurance/fitness (translation for 'conditie'?) and that part of the workout really got me sweating the first time this morning. Didn't feel much effect on the abs yet, but the arms were burning at some point. Next to this new workout I also started watching my bread spreads again and I now start the day with a bowl of oats. I can do this!
Well, I've been working on this computer long enough for today. Time to do some crafting. Last night in bed I had the idea of felting a small dragon to sit on a glass jar... let's see if I can get that to work.
Realizing that I wasn't going to find out a path for the rest of my life on my own, I've looked for and found some help. After a pleasant intake interview I decided to 'go for it' and scheduled my first real appointment (with homework) on the 27th of this month. We are going to find out what my strengths and weaknesses are and what would make me happy in a job. Of what I am looking for in a job. And then we're going to narrow down to fields of work that would suit me. We'll be at it for over a month and it will cost me up to near 1000 euros but I rather put that money into something useful (I'll have to work for nearly 40 years of my life yet, it better be something I like) than keep in on my bank account for the Belastingdienst (taxes) to eventually find...
Having taken this step gives me so much peace of mind. I no longer hear the nagging at the back of my head; "why aren't you working, you're not making money, make yourself useful!" I'm going to get somewhere and I am not in a hurry. So there's time for what I would like to do (crocheting stuff, at the moment) and what needs to be done (costumes for Xenophobia, a website for a new larp that's coming up) without me worrying that I am not going through pages and pages of job openings. There's not much use in applying for a job now while I'm trying to find out what I should be looking for. My savings will get me through this period of unemployment easily. Let's enjoy it then!
Lots of nice stuff to look forward to; balfolk stage, concert of Marike Jager, another Sibbe Sunday (hopefully without rain), mission-weekend with EE, rehearsal weekend with Amersical. My weekends are filled up until 7/8th of March. But now, I'm off for dinner and then belly dancing in Utrecht.
Parnassos Anniversary 2014
So, for the 20th year of existence for Parnassos I participated in a belly dance performance. Performing 5 times in one week (10-13 December); it was great! We had a varying amount of audience (from 0 to up to 50 people I think) but a lot of fun.
On the left the end pose of my solo. On the right our group (minus one, she fell sick on the last day) in our blue-and-gold costumes.