Fun

Swinging High

As I sit down to write this post I’m quite exhausted after an eventful weekend so if it turns into a bit of a ramble please bare with me. I spent most of Saturday shopping for new clothes and not playing games. I spent today hanging out with family on a rather special trip that we spontaneously planned a few weeks ago.

The IJ in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam right across the Central Station there’s a building that used to belong to the company “Shell”. I’m sure a part of the building is still used as office but they’ve also commercialised it where you are able to buy tickets to go to the top of the building and have an amazing view of Amsterdam and surrounding areas. I could even see parts of my own hometown up there, that’s how clear it was and how fare you could see. It was amazing enough to go up there but they also had an experience called “Over the Edge” where you would be strapped into a mechanical swing and swing over the edge of the building whilst enjoying a spectacular view. Ofcourse it was way overpriced and the whole swinging experience was only one minute long it was still a blast and I’m happy that I went.

On the Swing

And because I honestly don’t really know what to write about anymore I’ll leave you guys with a few more pics of Amsterdam as seen from high up 🙂

Dutch Day: De Efteling

The iconic entrance!

After reading Tessa’s post over on her blog I suddenly got a massive burst of inspiration. She mentioned having a goal to visit the Efteling and what it means for her to do so (if you want to know more, please read her post). It inspired me to start on a (hopefully) weekly segment where I take something typically Dutch and try to explain what it is and what makes it so important to our country and our culture. So from this week on Thursday will now officially be Dutch Day! And the first topic I’d like to write about is the mention that gave me inspiration: De Efteling.

The most basic explanation is that De Efteling is a Dutch theme park. It consists of a plethora of attractions including rollercoasters, a bobsled course and a number of iconic children’s rides that have marked my childhood. The catch is that in the Netherlands it has the same status as a Disney theme park and has a prominent place in our culture and upbringing of our children. There may be a few exceptions but I dare say that the majority of people in the Netherlands have experienced de Efteling at least once in their lives. Either as kids or as adults. It is THE Dutch theme park and it’s not odd considering it’s been around since forever and it keeps expanding over time.

This donkey poops money, as in the fairy tale “Ezeltje Strekje”

The theme park is built around fairy tales, some commonly known throughout the world like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella, and others more local to Dutch Culture like “Ezeltje Strekje”. For the smaller children there is a Fairy Tale Woods area where they get introduced to the fairy tales via exhibits that narrate them. Even as adult it’s a delight to go there and see all the fairy tales. Most of which have been around since I was just a little girl myself (so that’s over 20 years ago!). Then you have the iconic rides like the Python roller coaster, which was the first roller coaster in the Netherlands that had loopings, Fata Morgana which is a boat ride through an Arabian themed fairy tale and of course the Droomvlucht (Dream Flight) that is a ride through a fantasy world.

Aerial view of part of the park, with the iconic Python in the foreground

Then there are the more odd rides like Monsieur Cannibale which consists of spinning pots that make you nauseous as hell with a comic type character cannibal in the middle. Carnaval Festival where every country is represented in their grossly over the top stereotypes and my personal favourite Villa Volta. Villa Volta tells the story of men who used to plunder the countryside in the province while riding goats. They broke into a church and subsequently got cursed. You as audience are asked to break the curse and are led into a room that makes it seem like you’re spinning upside down but you’re actually not. I know it sounds a bit odd but it really is one of the most entertaining rides to be on!

Papier hier!

Next to the well known rides de Efteling also has trash cans called “Holle Bolle Gijs”, also based on a fairy tale, stationed throughout the park. I’ve linked the picture to give you an idea but the thought behind it it’s that it’s a man with an insatiable appetite… for paper. When you walk past them you can hear them say “Papier hier!” which translates to “Paper here!” indicating you can throw away your trash. Next to that there’s also mushroom statues spread throughout the park that play soft music if you put your ear to it.

The whole place has a whimsical and magical feel to it and it’s the most beloved and most popular place to take your kids to on an outing. Some of the rides may feel a bit outdated, but that’s what gives them their charm. I can’t even begin to properly do this park justice and I’ve not even described half of the rides you can actually go on, I would but it would make this post just too damn long. It may be a cheesy line but you really do need to be there to experience the atmosphere properly. So with that I leave you with a picture of the Dragon statue that still scares kids by coming alive if you touch it’s treasure.

This badboy blows steam from his nose and moves around when you try to touch his treasure!

Status: Happy


I have gotten into a new FC on my main character a few weeks ago to properly prepare for Stormblood. I didn’t want to go into another expansion without a group of people I could do content with so I made it a priority to find a group and so I did.
I’m super happy I’ve taken this step. It’s a very active FC that organizes a lot of events for their members. I’ve seen a grand FC lottery so far, an evening of pony farming, clearing old coil synched, clearing A10S and much more. There’s always friendly people online to help with things and I’m more than happy to help these people myself aswell. It feels nice being able to log on to this type of community after trying to find one for a very long time. Hell it’s made me think of my old World of Warcraft guild of ages past where being in a guild actually meant that you had people to play with and do content with. Where helping eachother out was normal and you would always be doing something with someone and enjoying yourselves.

All of this has made me really eager to start up Stormblood. We are less than two weeks away from early access now and I can’t wait to jump into all the new content. I’ve settled on playing Ninja as main. I know some people are disappointed with the Ninja design in Stormblood so far but I’m actually quite happy that not too much is changing. The class really needed a pruning of some abilities that, honestly, were never used. From what I understand we’re losing smokebomb and silhouette together with dancing edge and sneak attack. All for the better. Poisons will now be a standard passive buff, so you can’t forget to apply them, but we will lose the Mug heal as a consequence of this. Unfortunately mutilate has also been put on the chopping block meaning that, with the changes to the rest of the skills, ninja will just have all three step combo’s from now on. One for armor crush, one for spinning edge and one for shadow fang. I’m not too thrilled with this (they could’ve kept shadow fang a two-step combo) but I guess this is the direction they wanted to go in. Luckily for me switching to any other class is not really a hassle in this game so I’ll just wait and see how things will work out.

In the meantime I’ve been on this rather weird levelling spree. I had gotten my DRK to 50 in my last blog post but since I’ve also levelled my Machinist to 60 and completed the questline on that. Running Palace of the Dead may be slightly mind numbing, but it’s by far the best way to level your classes right now and it took me about 2-3 hours to get the last two levels for my Machinist that way.
I’m not really sure where I want to focus on next. There is still the Relic Light grind looming over me that I will have to start doing at some point. I know that doing level 60 content fuels it and I know that farming A1S is the best and fastest way to get this step done but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to do it. I’m also a bit torn on what I want to level next in PotD. It’s either going to be Summoner or White Mage. The problem I have is that I have 0 casting gear for level 60 while I do have a full healing set ready. So both classes are doable if I intend to go Scholar at 60. Which I actually am trying to avoid. Seeing as the expansion is only 11 days away though it doesn’t really matter what I pick up at all since I won’t be bothering to level anything but Ninja for a while. That being said I will probably spend most of my time getting my classes up as high as possible through PotD so I won’t be too far behind come Stormblood.
Which means a lot of idle hours in Quarrymill… Shooting fireworks.

All in all the Stormblood hype is getting more and more intense. I really hope the expansion is good, the new relic weapon will be interesting and the new classes will find their niche in the raiding world. As for now I’m going to dive into some more PotD. Catch you guys later!

A Breath of Air

Yesterday evening I had invited myself over to a friend’s house on a whim for today. We met eachother through gaming and it’s always nice to spend a day with a fellow geek that loves games and anything games related as much as you do. He asked me to bring over my copy of Bravely Default so he could see what it was about, seeing as he was thinking of picking up the sequel. In return I nabbed his copy of “Ocarina of Time 3D” so I can play even more Zelda games than I’m already doing.
Speaking of Zelda, I’ve been poking around in “A Link Between Worlds” and am currently at my second dungeon, the House of Gales. I saved just before so I haven’t really peeked in yet but so far I’m enjoying the game. I have a little witch who flies me everywhere and I can rent any weapon I want, which ofcourse is super neat. I’m also carrying around monster guts. No idea what purpose they serve but hey, I’ll figure it out sooner or later. I do like the Zelda games. I’ve never really been into them as kid, but now I can appreciate the line of games a lot. They all tell a nice story and the Action oriented RPG is a nice breath of relief after being used to playing games like Pokémon and Final Fantasy, which are all turn based when it comes to fighting stuff.
I hope I can push through on LBW so I can start OoT, which apparently is one of the better installments in the series. That will also probably help me understand Majora’s Mask better.

As me and my friend were hanging out at his room and PC he decided to fire up Witcher 1 and play some. Having bought Witcher 3 myself I do know the series, but I never played enough to really get into anything. Not long after playing we came to the conclusion that Witcher 1 basically evolves around having sex with people, getting drunk and killing stuff. Ofcourse this is more hilarious to play together while commenting on what decisions to take and to try and find out which ladies we could talk into bed. We managed to woo some kind of princess by feeding her raw meat but other than that no one seemed to be really interested.
We laughed hard though at all the options in the game, and although it may not look that good graphics wise it’s still a seriously good game, firing up the desire within me to pick up my copy of Witcher 3 again and give it another go. The problem is that right now I have so many games to divide myself between that I don’t think it’s the best idea if I do that, but my interest in playing is certainly back.

In other news. I’m back on Azeroth.
I had gotten my tax money back last week and figured ah what the heck, I’ll buy a WoW sub. With Legion coming out in about 3 months time I’ll have enough time to earn some gold before it actually hits. Or well “earn”. Basically abuse the Garrison mission system while it’s still in place. It’s nice to just log in and do my daily gold stuff and log out again. When I feel like it I log in for a bit longer and farm some old raids for mounts that I haven’t obtained yet (I’m looking at you Invincible) and sell the gear, which in turn makes me money. It’s a nice thing to do and WoW has been, and always shall be, my comfort game. I’ll mostly be online after work just sorting out missions etc, so I don’t think it’ll take away too much of time from FFXIV which I still see as my main MMO for now.
I do kind of feel like the spark to game and get stuff done is slowly getting back to me again and it’s a very nice mood to be in. Coupled with my team coordinator being back again at work and me starting a rigorous training this Thursday to finally lose weight I can only say I’m feeling really positive at the moment. And I hope I can hold on to this feeling for a while.

Exhausting Days

The past week has been slightly crazy for me. I’ve had a lot of IRL obligations, that were all fun, and worked for four days non stop. Right now I’m looking back and wondering how the hell I managed to get through all of it. Even now I still feel tired, even though I have had today off. I haven’t done much besides lying on bed, drifting to sleep every  now and then and just feel tired and slightly miserable in general.

All in all I did have an awesome week though. Monday was mostly a blur since I slept badly due to still having some pain in my toe. I could walk, but not that fast, and I was happy to be home and go to bed super early. I don’t think I’ve been to bed at 21.00 in a very long time, but boy it did wonders for my mood on Tuesday.
Which was very necessary since on Tuesday I attended an Ellie Goulding concert, one I had been looking forward to for a few months. I went with one of my best friends, who had never been to a concert before, and we had a ton of fun. I walked a lot that day and that was very noticeable on Wednesday as I got up to get to work. Due to getting home late after the concert and my foot/toe acting up again I really had a shitty day at work. And again I went to bed very early, at 22.00 this time.

Party Hardy
Yesterday evening was almost the culmination of my week though. One of my coworkers is getting married and since she is of Turkish origin she is celebrating it Turkish style. This means that there is a “henna” evening which is women only. It’s almost like a bachelorette party, but much more official with some traditions and lots of dancing. This night was yesterday and I attended with all of my other coworkers… And it was an absolute blast. We danced, we ate good food, we saw our colleague looking beautiful in her dress and took a few really cool pictures in the process.
Tomorrow (saturday) will be the actual wedding party and I’ve been warned already that I need to prepare… Because she is expecting about a thousand guests. This is a scale that is seriously unheard of in most Dutch weddings, so I hope I can cope with all the people there. Luckily we have a table reserved for us, so atleast we will be sure we can sit down during the night. I’m really curious and very excited to be part of this all, it’s probably something you only live once in a lifetime if you’re not from that culture.

Games?
I haven’t really felt motivated to do any games at all the past week. After I’ve come home from work I either went straight to bed or was out of the house for the rest of the evening. Even on my day off today I barely touched any game, except for some games of Hearthstone to secure my January card back. And honestly I have no idea or motivation what game to play at all right now. Due to me not really logging onto Diablo for a while I’ve fallen behind on all my friends. In FFXIV I don’t really have a goal except level my Bard and Botanist and work on my Anima relic. In WoW I logged in briefly today to do some Garrison stuff and I’m half planning to do the Timewalking event over the weekend… But that’s mostly it. I’m staring at my games on Steam and the ones lying infront of my on my PS4 and just really don’t feel like playing anything at all right now. This will probably change tomorrow or Sunday when I don’t feel like I’ve walked a marathon anymore. But for now I think I’m just gonna watch some League of Legends and relax.

The Elephant In The Room

As I got home on Wednesday evening I browsed Steam for a bit. I always check out what games are on offer, even though most of them are really not my thing. Whilst doing this a game with a rather peculiar title caught my eye: Tembo the Badass Elephant. It was on sale for €3,24 and it looked to be some sort of silly platform game. I went to check it out for some fun and giggles, looked at some screenshots, looked at the trailer… And was hooked.
This game essentially brings me back to the 16-bit console days that I experienced as I was growing up. I had a Sega Genesis (called Mega Drive here in Holland) as a child, a present I got for my sixth birthday. My dad has always been a bit of a technology geek and he had seen the rise of video games early on. I’m pretty sure we still have a very old Atari game system in the attic somewhere… My mum wasn’t very much an avid gamer but she liked puzzles and eventually got one of those wannabe Gameboy type things that only had Tetris on it, which she was actually quite addicted too (and quite good at aswell I might add). Anyway, they decided to gift me a Sega which at the time came with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. I’m not really sure how many hours I spent infront of this console, but it must have been quite a lot. I had a few Sonic games, a ton of Disney games and even a Jurassic Park game. My heart broke when eventually you couldn’t get any new games for the console anymore, even though I’ve only really finished a few of them.
Looking at Tembo, and the developing/production companies (SEGA and Game Freak, yes that company that developed the Pokémon franchise, that Game Freak) I felt like I needed to have this game, even if only it was on sale now so I could get it cheap.
The story of the game is simple. You are a Rambo type military elephant that needs to save Shell City from an organisation called Phantom. You do this in a platform type, sidescrolling game setting where the companies have tried their best to combine a lot of fun 16-bit game mechanics. It has the speed of Sonic, there’s some Donkey Kong and Yoshi’s world elements in it… And it’s just overall seriously hilarious. A level takes about 5-10 minutes to play through, depending on if you just want to finish the level or also want to complete all the objectives for that level. It’s simple fun, the style used in the game itself is very colourful with a lot of comic book elements (see picture below).
All in all I only have very good things to say about this game, except for the one flaw that is resolutions. In settings you can’t go higher than 1920x1080p, which is fine for me… But for people with higher resolution screens it obviously isn’t. Personally I would recommend just playing windowed, since fullscreen can be a bit buggy when shutting down (ie. I had it crash on me a few times) but if you’re looking for a fun sidescroller with a lot of 16-bit elements, this might just be the game for you.
MMORPG shenanigans
Season 5 of Diablo 3 has started yesterday and for the first time since the first season I’ve immediatly started to play at launch. I rebirthed my existing Monk and am well on my way to 70 already. If I didn’t have to go out today I would’ve been 70 before dinner easily, but alas. My monk is “stuck” on level 61.5 and I’m having a blast so far. You can notice Blizzard overhauled a lot of things with the latest patch and so far I’m having fun playing.
I’ve also been poking about in FFXIV a lot, leveling my Bard, my Astrologian and since Friday my Botanist. Endgame Gathering and Crafting has been the one area in FFXIV I haven’t poked my nose into yet and I really want to with this expansion. Seeing as the only crafter I have on 50 is Weaver… And the mats I need are gathered by Botanists… I figured why not just level that up and start working towards that level 60. So right now I’m doing about an hour or less a day of BTN leveling. It’s quite soothing in a way. Doing levequests to just gather things, doing a “get me X materials” quest every 5 levels. It allows me to zone out a bit and still feel useful. I hope I can get my BTN to 50 by the end of this week atleast, but seeing as I’ll be having a lot of free time, that shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Especially considering that my only other goal ingame right now is to finish my Dragoon Zeta. Which shouldn’t take very long either.

Sunday Scale – January

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly weight check up column type thing. I’m actually not sure how to call this but I just want to check in once a month and “report” on how my weight loss is going. I’m planning to do this on the first sunday of every month… Which will also be the time where I choose to stand on the scale.
I don’t like looking at my weight, since it’s mostly a confirmation of the horrible year that 2015 has been for me, marked by inactivity, binge eating and lots of therapy. I’m slowly coming down from that again now though and am currently 70kg (as you can see on the picture). As you can also see, my goal weight is 60kg and with the rate of weightloss I’m having now I should reach that goal in +/- 10 months.
I’m basing this off the fact that I’m more or less dropping 1kg per month now and that is on a pattern of technically not going to the gym and only on the activity I get on my workdays. I’m hoping to start dropping more weight, since one of my New Year’s resolutions was to go to the gym more often, which I am actually planning on doing.

Reward System
To keep me motivated to stay on my path of losing weight I bought a few Disney Infinity figurines yesterday that I want to use as reward every time I lose 2kg. Depending on how lazy I am this can mean I get one new figurine every two months… Or one every month. I’ve packed them up and stored them away in a cabinet so I don’t know which figurine is which anymore, thus making it a true surprise when I open one up. Something I will absolutely share on the blog here with you guys! I’m really excited to see this through and forcing myself to make atleast a monthly update will hopefully keep my motivation high aswell.

Music Wars
I entered an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend after he linked me a videoclip by Limp Bizkit… Who I never liked. I told him I could find way better music than that and with that started a sort of musical War. The rules are a bit unclear but mostly it’s about linking songs together. This can be done through various ways. It can be the same artist, there can be words shared in the title but also more complicated links are allowed like titles sharing a same theme or songs being on a same compilation CD. I even managed to link two songs together because they were directed by the same guy. Oh and I linked Led Zeppelin to The Who due to Keith Moon basically giving Led Zeppelin it’s name. So far it’s been a really fun game which we can keep on playing on and off inbetween the rest of our conversations. It took up most of my evening last night, preventing me from playing any games. But it’s totally worth it having a night filled with music and fun with a friend.

And who knew you could ever link Lady Gaga to U2?