Maladignia's blog
Sitting cat 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.

Last three days have been good.
On Sunday afternoon I suddenly decided, while staring at my thesis outline in progress, that I needed new pants. Green pants. And I happened to have a few pieces of green fabric; dark green on one side, light green on the other side. So I got to work.
I used a pattern for a size 46 pants (I have size 40/42) and altered it so it would fit me. That was the easy part. Then I had to decide how I would do the zipping. Of course I planned this project on the day that my mother went to England for a week, so I had to help myself. Long live second hand sewing books! I managed to put in a zipper in the way that zippers are put into jeans. You can't see it when I'm wearing the pants. W00t!
So now I have new green pants with some yellow decorative seams.

Monday I went to my grandparents at 10.00 hours, to clean up a bit before my grandma would come back from the hospital. She had left the message that I could dust and vacuum clean the living room. So I did. Then I helped her get comfortable and went home again after making an appointment for this Wednesday to do the toilet and bathroom.
Even though it is weird to have your grandpa around who's making remarks all the time, it felt good to do something for them.

Today I had lesson two of the thesis workshop, though I missed lesson one last week. It was a little bit useful and a bit annoying. The teacher seemed a bit unorganized but one of the exercises he made us do was quite useful; resulting in a conversation with two study mates about my thesis and project.

After that I had an appointment with my thesis teacher, Hans. He told me he had some doubts about my thesis subject (weblogs) because it's a relatively new phenomenon and he was wondering if there had been anything written about it yet. When I showed him my (quite impressive) bibliography he came around. We had a pleasant conversation about all kinds of thesis related subjects and made an appointment for over two weeks.
I left him my outline. My not so good outline, but still something that showed a bit of work.

So, tomorrow early up to go to my grandparents again. Clean the bathroom and toilet.
At 16.30 hours Matthijs will 'pick me up' so we can go to Laurens' birthday party at his father's place.
At 20.00 back to Ermelo for jazz.
Thursday morning or afternoon, not quite sure yet, to school for peer review session number 2.
Thursday evening a meeting with the Evolution Events crew.
And hopefully sleep in on Friday...

Written by Brenda :: 28 Mar 2006 - 19:42 :: 0 Comments :: Link

It has been almost a week since the last update and it wasn't because I was busy. At least, not really. I just didn't have much inspiration, even though a lot has happened.
My grandma has been in the hospital a couple of days because she was getting a new knee. There were some complications (fever, fainting) after the surgery so she has been in and out of the hospital all week. My grandpa is very confused now. His wife is about the only security in this world he still has and now that she has "fallen away" so to speak, he doesn't know where to look anymore.
So tomorrow morning I'm going to their house, to clean some things and help my grandma settling down again. This week it will be my job to take care of the cleaning and stuff there. My mother just left for England, for her next week of study. The partner of my uncle has a hernia, my other aunt lives in Almere, which is not very near. And all the men have to work of course. So it comes down to me.
It isn't that bad. I even get payed for it. But it is a bit weird, to be looking after your grandparents.

I have to go to school on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday for the thesis workshop and the meeting with Hans, and Thursday for the peer review session. Hopefully I'll be able to make an appointment with either David or Tom about my project. I've been focusing on my thesis this week (I got about half a page.. not much, but also read a lot) but I still haven't got a project.
I did manage to do the assignment for the thesis workshop, though I'm not sure the quality is alright. I even did one extra excersise.
On Wednesday evening Laurens celebrates his birthday at his father's place. And I kind of have to go there. I'm not all too excited about birthdays, but Laurens is alright and he is my boyfriend's brother so... And after that I have to go back to Ermelo for jazz.
It looks like it will be a busy week.

This weekend was Lextalionis and it seems to have been a success, despite all the bad luck we had with finding a nice location.
I didn't attend but in stead stayed home and had Sanne drop by. We have sewn one farmer wife costume and made a to-do list. It's a bit disturbing to see how much still has to be done. Lextalionis has the advantage that it is a modern time larp, so you grab something from your closet and you're ready to go. But Exodus will be a fantasy event and so we need a complete stock of costumes. Perhaps we could lend or rend some from befriended organizations. But still, there needs to be a lot of work done.

Written by Brenda :: 26 Mar 2006 - 14:06 :: Prrrr.. 1 Comment :: Link

After the peer review of last Thursday I started doubting about my project and thought about doing something else. But I wanted some help in the decision. One would normally go to the appointed teacher for an appointment and a heart-to-heart. But I didn't have a teacher yet.
Knowing that my teacher would be either David or Tom, I decided to contact David (Tom is on a two week holiday) and ask him for a meeting. What seemed to be the case though, David would be in London for one week. Argh!
David advised me to focus on my thesis instead of on my not-yet-sure-what-project and told me that he would see me again at the next peer review meeting. Great.
So I indeed started working on my thesis. I have about 20 sources at the moment and I have started at the outline of the thesis itself, with a feeble first try introduction.

I'm one of those people that need a bit of guidance and who like to know what they're up for. What are the requirements for the project? How will I know if the idea I have for a project is good enough, if I can't talk to a teacher about it? It really stressed me out. Until my mother gave me the same advice as David did: start on something that you do have a clue about.
Today was the first thesis workshop lesson, which I didn't attend because I had to go to the hospital for the last time. But I did receive a handout via e-mail. I'm having serious doubts about the workshop. It seems to be a lot of reading, the theses-how-to as well as theses from last year, and I don't think I need that much guidance. It also involves exercises that have to be handed in in twofold. I think I'll attend the next lesson, next Tuesday, and then make up my mind about it. Next Tuesday is also the meeting with Hans, my thesis-teacher.

This weekend is Lextalionis, but I won't go. Vampire: TM is not my thing. Instead Sanne will come to Ermelo and we will sew a bit for Evolution Events and probably work on the content for the Exodus site. It's really important that the website goes up soon because people are getting impatient. And after about half a year it is about time something real showed up on the site. It's just that sometimes school isn't really cooperative when it comes to time management.

Written by Brenda :: 21 Mar 2006 - 19:32 :: 0 Comments :: Link
Pandora part 3

First something fun: here you can listen to EnschedeFM. They have an item about Pandora at 20.15 tonight.

So, yesterday evening was the last puzzle. And it was huge.
We started with two sheets of paper with some little story on it and an encrypted hint. The first one was in dvorak and read 'bushalte' (bus stop), the second was a 9digit number that had to be transformed into a building number. That turned out to be 26, Oosthorst, on the other side of the campus.
When we got there all was quiet. My teammates went around the building and I went down a slope to see if there was anything hidden down there. When I came back up I saw someone ride in my direction. It turned out to be Eelco and he was my first kill of Pandora. I finally hit something! :-p
My teammates returned without having found anything and we went to the last bus stop that we hadn't checked. There we ran into the guards. They followed us with their car but we were too fast and split up. I got totally lost and tried to get back. I succeeded but had to get away again because the guards were still standing there. Later we found out that there was a hint near that place, though it wasn't on the bus stop.
Finally we all got home again, after some detours.

Since I haven't been sleeping much lately and didn't understand most of the puzzles I can't quite remember all the puzzles but I'm sure Matthijs will have some pictures on his blog soon.
Somewhat later we went back to Oosthorst and this time we found the clue. Never trust anybody who says he's sure there was nothing there, unless you have checked it for yourself. We were lucky that I had come along because Tristan's camera decided to stop functioning. Fortunately I brought a pen and wrote everything on my hand.
This night we had put in our Killer joker, because the puzzle joker had been put in on the night before. And in stead of just one kill, which we had all three nights before, we ended with 11 kills and only me still alive. Eleven kills of twenty points each, times 3 makes 660 points. We could have gone to bed at that moment since we were way ahead of the other teams. But since we had been the first to hand in all puzzles until then, we decided to keep it up and went on.
At 05.00 hours I decided it would be wise for me to get some sleep, since I had to get up at 07.45 again. Of course Matthijs pushed on.
I was told that at 13.30 we handed in the solution, eleven authorization codes. Just before one of the other teams did. First again!

The meeting at school went fairly well though I was quite numb. My concentration had taken some time off. It was quite useful and I'm thinking about switching again because of some feedback I got. *sigh* But only my project. The website I wanted to make was interpreted by my peers as a community. And I don't want to make a community, there are dozens of those out there already.
My goal in this project is not to facilitate a place to rant, chat and talk about weblogs; it is to develop my technical skills. So now I'm thinking about building a plug-in after some research about what is needed or wanted in the blogosphere.
But I have to talk about that with my project teacher, whom still isn't known to me.

I miss Pandora already. It felt wrong, not to be at the ending of it all, just sitting here at home.
It's like with a live roleplay event; afterwards you always want to go back again to the time that nothing mattered but fun.
I also miss Matthijs. Even though I lived in the same house for nearly a week, we didn't cuddle much. We were mostly too busy with the puzzles and when I went to bed, he still stayed up. But it will all be fixed this weekend, I hope.

Written by Brenda :: 16 Mar 2006 - 19:50 :: 0 Comments :: Link
How E.V.I.L. am I?

Since I'm going to join in on Pandora this year and our team is called E.V.I.L. I thought it would be nice to do this test. As you can see, I'm not quite there yet. ;-)

You Are 44% Evil
You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.
How Evil Are You?
Written by Brenda :: 07 Mar 2006 - 11:46 :: 0 Comments :: Link
Running around

Man, this week is going to be busy and perhaps even stressful.

  • Tomorrow evening I will go to Harderwijk to hear the presentations of the 'profielwerkstukken' of Laurens (Matthijs's brother) and others. Then I will sleep at Harderwijk and on Wednesday go home again. So I have to bring sleepingstuff.
  • Wednesday evening there's jazz.
  • Thursday afternoon I will go to Leiden to pick up the locker sewingmachine from Suusje.
  • Friday afternoon I'll go to Sanne's birthday and after that travel on to Enschede. So I'll have to bring my laptop, sleepingstuff, a present etc.

Sunday Pandora 2006 starts. On Thursday the 16th it will finish, but unfortunately I have to be at school at 11.00 that morning, so I won't be there when the winners are announced. But I look forward to a few nights of puzzling.

The presentation today went reasonably well. David was even enthousiastic about it, which is good. I hope to receive some news about which teacher is going to guide me in the project, but at least I know my project is approved. :-)

Written by Brenda :: 06 Mar 2006 - 22:42 :: 0 Comments :: Link
Stress about my project

This weekend Matthijs put me in some sort of crisis.
Tomorrow everybody has to give a three minute presentation about his/her project and this very weekend Matthijs pointed out to me that what I was planning (building a CMS) wasn't really useful. There are already a lot of open source CMSess out there and building a new one was like inventing the wheel again. Not such a good idea.
Also there was the problem that with my project I couldn't really find a subject for my thesis while project and thesis should be mutually dependent. That s*cked.
So, after a night of restless sleep and nightmares about not having a project I sat down for it again today. I was really not feeling well about it this morning.
Fortunate for me; I had bookmarked one of the pages where I got most of my resources for my paper of last year, and it proved a source of inspiration.
Now I am planning to write my thesis about the psychology of weblogs. I already have about 8 articles I could use.
And for my project I'm planning to combine some open source CMS and templating system so I can make a website where people can post their opinions and views about weblogs and such.
I already made some sort of presentation in html for tomorrow. Now let's hope that the plan will be approved and that I get a competent teacher.

Written by Brenda :: 05 Mar 2006 - 21:27 :: 0 Comments :: Link
Planning, or not...

Some people at my school should really learn how to plan. And I'm not referring to fellow students in this case.

  • Today we heard that we have to give a presentation next Monday. In my case not a real problem since I didn't have any plans yet except for sleeping in. Still I don't like to give a presentation, especially since it has to be about my upcoming project.
  • Another thing is that I will probably have the same teachers as for my groupproject. I'm not too happy about that either. Though there is a small chance that someone else will be my teacher.
  • I received the bill of 700 euros today. To be transfered the 13th.
  • Today I received feedback on my PREproposal while I had to hand in my proposal yesterday. It read: "Doesn't have a clear idea yet, has to make desiscions." No, really?! That is what I myself stated in the stupid thing.
In stead of giving me such feedback two days after I handed the darn thing in.. they give me feedback after it is too late. Great. Very useful indeed. And then they state something that I already stated in the preproposal myself: that I haven't got a clear idea yet but my ideas are the following:... .
Some people! *Sigh*

Written by Brenda :: 02 Mar 2006 - 19:00 :: 0 Comments :: Link

Matthijs visited me last Friday after he had visited Jojo in Wageningen, just because she had invited anybody to come by and visit. He came to return the bed he had borrowed for the Symbols Special (he always borrows a bed from me for larp). After he went back to Enschede again I went to the Kringloopwinkel ehrm.. second hand shop? I don't know the English word. But I got two books about sewing for only 2 euros! One from 1975 or so and one from 1983.

Today I went to school to pick up some CD's and DVD's we had bought for the last bit of our budget. And while I was in Hilversum I also went to Perrysport, to get two airbeds. The beds we have now are selfinflatable but when you wrap them up they still take half of all space in the backpack. Suusje showed me her airbed and how small it was when it was packed and I knew we had to get those too. Well, now we got them.
Through a snowstorm I went into Hilversum in search of the Perrysport and it didn't take me long to find it, though the snow wasn't helping much. Neither did those nasty "I-am-getting-payed-to-annoy-people-on-the-street-and-don't-understand-that-asking-students-for-money-will-not-work" people. I had to say "No" about four times before she backed off. And five meters down the road her colleague tried the same. Argh!

I also handed in my proposal today. I'm not sure if I'll get feedback or not. Ina said that I should talk to the teacher that will guide me through the project, but since there isn't one appointed to me yet I can't go ask him/her.
I should really get started looking for sources for my thesis and researching existing tools and stuff, but I can't seem to put my mind to it.

I did discover how to put video into Flash so you can embed it in a website, with controls and all. My mum wants it for her dogschool website.
After a lot of bullshit from both PCextreme and Lycos (her old hoster) Matthijs got the website and the redirects to work properly so the website is now online.
And like I predicted the subscriptions for the lessons that start this Friday are coming in this week. Last week my mother was worried that she had only had one subscription yet. But I told her that this week, when the deadline came closer, more people would subscribe. And they did. :-)

My diet isn't really working anymore. Since the first week of January I stopped eating sweets and cookies and chocolate to loose some weight. I lost about 2,5 kg but now the decrease stopped. I still don't eat sweets and stuff, but since I don't do much of sports either the progress came to a halt. And at this moment I'm still having a cold, so perhaps I'm "holding water". But I really should get moving.
Once a week on Wednesday I go to jazzdance, but that is only one hour in the week. And I try to keep my mother company while she walks the dogs for an hour every day, but it doesn't do much. I have no money (or won't accept money from my parents) for another sport, so perhaps I should go running. But then you get the custom bullshit: I don't want to go alone, the weather sucks (well... it does), I don't have good shoes, I'm not built for running. Etc.
And what time of day is good for sports? Before breakfast after the morningshower? (you'll get all sweaty again) In the afternoon? In the evening so that you can't get to sleep because your body is in state of alert, or right after dinner so you get cramp?
I should just start doing it, I guess.

Written by Brenda :: 01 Mar 2006 - 20:10 :: 0 Comments :: Link