I’ve been back in London for a couple of days and have jumped right back into the maelstrom of events (GameCamp and WarbleCamp last weekend). My trip to the Netherlands was pretty successful: new haircut, new braces and new lenses… new Mel:

New Haircut

I love my new haircut! Although I’m not completely sure yet how I’m supposed to dry/style it properly, it’s so different then how I usually have my hair. It’s gonna take some time till I’m fully used to it, but I love how it looks.

I got my braces last week Tuesday; I don’t remember the braces hurting this much the last time I had them! I’ve been living on liquid/soft/non-chewable food for the past week, not being able to chew without my teeth hurting. I know the pain eventually will go away, I just don’t remember having this much trouble with them when I was 12.

New Haircut and Braces

Then finally, my lenses. So much trouble with these still. I’m trying to make the jump to hard lenses, and got a new pair to try out. I thought the only difference would be the size of the lenses (a larger radius), but the vision in my left eye is horrible. I’ve only had them properly in for one day, so maybe I just have to get used to it, but I’m so sick and tired of not being able to see properly.

Sorry for the peace and quiet on my blog the past couple of days. As most of you know I spent the past two weeks in the Netherlands, celebrating my birthday with family, but also making some must needed trips to hospital, dentist and optician. Anywho, I arrived back in London two days ago, and am slowly getting back into the daily rhythm of work.

The main change for me is I’ve got to switch to hard contact lenses (I’ve been using soft contact lenses for 10 years now) and it’s proving quite a challenge. Remember my blog post during Christmas where I went to the optician and found out my eyes had declined even more, and that I had to go to the hospital first before I could get any new lenses? Well, I went to the hospital, they checked my eyes and everything is fine. My eyes have declined quite a bit, but that happens more often and they can’t see anything weird going on.


So I went back to the optician where they had a new lens specialist who measured my eyes again. She explained to me that my astigmatism is now so high that soft lenses might not work properly anymore. Astigmatism is caused by the curvature of your eye; the higher the astigmatism the more irregular your eye. When the astigmatism becomes to high, what can happen with soft lenses is that when they dry out or when you blink, the lenses warp and the wearer can’t focus properly. Hard lenses don’t warp, so they don’t have that problem.

I’ve gotten test sets for both soft lenses and hard lenses, and I already notice the difference. I just can’t see properly through the soft ones anymore, while with the hard ones everything is so much sharper and precise. But my eyes need time to adapt to them; each time I put them in my eyes tear up terribly and there’s nothing I can do about that. It takes about 2-4 weeks to fully adapt your eyes, and I’m now on day 7. All I can do is keep wearing them and hoping my eyes adjust to them as quick as possible.

I’ve always wanted to switch to hard lenses, but was always too busy, and didn’t want to spend time getting used to them. Now I have no choice in the matter and I’ve got to make time to adapt my eyes to them. It’s annoying and time consuming, but in the end I know it will turn out better. The great thing about hard lenses is that they last way longer than soft ones (like at least 2 years) and they only cost €230 (in comparison to 4 times €160 in 2 years). So fingers crossed that my eyes will adapt quickly.

My Birthday Presents!

February 23rd, 2010

Today it’s my birthday! And the past week leading up to today has just been fantastic. For almost the entire week, I’ve been in such a good mood. Things have just been going so well and half the time I’ve had this silly grin just plastered to my face.

It started last Tuesday with a great turnout to the first Movie Geeks of London. I am so glad that event went well, and that people were just excited for it as I was. It’s always tricky launching a new event, so I’m happy it seems to be an event that actually fills a gap in the event space. I’m definitely going to do another one next month (end of March-ish?), so if you missed the previous one, keep an eye out on my Twitter for any announcements. Then I celebrated my birthday last Saturday with friends, feasting on pizzas, donuts, cookies and cocktails. I might have overdone it a bit (my stomach still hasn’t settled down), but it was awesome to spend that day with friends.

One thing that totally contributed to my good mood was the fantastic presents I got this year. First off, from my parents, brother and sister:


A PlayStation 3! Squeeeee! I kind of knew that I’d get that this year, but I thought later in the Netherlands while I was there. Instead my mum conspired together with Cristiano so that I unwrapped it on Saturday morning. Plus it came with 2 controllers, loading dock and 3 games:


I’ve already started Darksiders and Soul Soul Calibur IV and I’m loving both of them so far. I haven’t started Uncharted 2 yet, mainly because I haven’t had the time yet, but also cause I’m not sure whether or not I should play the first one first. Besides those 3 games though what really has me psyched:


It’s not been released yet, but I’ll be getting the Collectors edition of FFXIII on 9th of March. That includes the game, plus soundtrack cd, a special hardback book featuring artwork and designs, 3 artprints of the Eidolons, and a decal of l’Cie brand. Awesome!

From Cristiano I got my very own iPod Touch:

iPod Touch

I’ve been wanting one for ages! Then I got some great gifts from friends:

Priest-Affirmation Priest-The-Extremes The-Glamour

I loved The Prestige (both the movie and the book), but I hadn’t taken the time to check out any of Priest’s other stuff. Priest seems to be brilliant though at building weird intricate stories which I adore.


Regular readers will know how addicted I am to Lush! I got a bunch of lovely Lush stuff, including the tasty Sweet Lips in the picture above. It’s one of Lush’s new products and is so far the best lip scrub I’ve found (mainly because you can lick your lips clean and just eat the sugar once you’re done).

Besides these presents, I got some yummy chocolates, Body Shop giftbag, book vouchers and a chocolate recipe book. My friends are awesome…

To top it off, I’ve gotten screening tickets to Kick-Ass tonight! I’ve been wanting to watch this movie for ages and being able to see it a full month before it actually comes out? Sweet. I won’t be able to write about it though (there’s an embargo until sometime March), but you might guess my mood from my tweets later tonight.

Sorry, it’s been a bit quiet here the last few days. I’ve been enjoying the Christmas/New Year aftermath and trying to catch up with some reading while at my parents (the more books I finished while there, the less I had to bring back with me to London). Anyway, yesterday we got back to London, and while it was great to visit family again and spend Christmas there, I am kind of glad to be back home.

It wasn’t all fun and games this trip though. Somehow every Christmas (at least for the past 5 Christmases) I manage to discover “something” that makes me have to do to doctor/dentist/etc. 5 Christmases ago I sprained my ankle really bad, 3 Christmases ago was the saga of my wisdom tooth surgery (if you weren’t around then yet, here’s the complete story). This year: it’s my eyes. Last time I went to Holland I got my eyes checked for the first time in 4 years. Of course, there was quite a jump and my eyes had each declined about -.50 (instead of -3.50 and -4.25, they were now -4.00 and -4.50). It didn’t feel right though and I went back 3 times to try different strengths out. In the end, I knew it wasn’t completely right, but didn’t have time to try out more and ended up with a set that was sufficient, but still not right.

So this time I got my eyes tested again. The verdict was my eyes had declined another -0.50 (now -5.00 and -5.50) and the optician felt uncomfortable with providing me new contact lenses until I’ve gotten it checked out by an eye doctor at the hospital, because it’s jumped twice in one year. Grrr. What I think happened is that it gradually got worse over the past 4 years and that last time they just didn’t check it properly.

I had an appointment on Monday with the GP about my eyes (not sure how it is here in UK, but in the Netherlands you always have to go through your GP to arrange anything at the hospital) and as I expected it was 3 minute meeting with the doctor going “nope, I can’t do anything, I’ve faxed your details to the hospital”. Now I have to wait until the hospital has time for me, so I’m guessing I’ll have to book a trip around February/March again. I know it’s better to have them checked just to make sure there isn’t anything wrong, but it feels like I’m wasting time.

Next to that my Dutch sim card died. Okay, not a problem, I thought, just go to the KPN store and ask for a replacement. Went to the KPN store and was told it wasn’t possible, because I’ve got a prepaid card. What I had to do was buy a new sim card, call customer services to get my old number transferred. Now normally I wouldn’t even have bothered with transferring my number, I would have bought a new sim card with a new number and live with that. But my bank account is linked to the old number and I didn’t want to go through the hassle (and the time) to get that transferred. I thought transferring the number would be easier.

Wrong. I ended up buying a new sim card a couple of days later at another store where the guy said the same thing. Buy a new sim card here and then call customer services to get the number transferred. So bought the new sim card and once home I called customer services. Call number 1: the girl told me they didn’t do that over the phone, but that it was on the website. Okay, easy I thought. I checked the website, couldn’t find the option. Call number 2: no, no, we’re not able to transfer numbers for prepaid cards, maybe if you call the department of “Nummerbehoud” (number retention?) on Monday they can help.

So on Monday I called, and unlike all the previous people I talked to this one actually knew what she was talking about. What I should have done and what all the other people should have told me was to order a new prepaid sim card on the KPN website checking the box “transfer this number”. There was no way whatsover to transfer the old number to the new sim card I got.

What did I do? I ended up keeping the new number (which is also way easier to remember than the old one) and transferring my bank account details. The stupid thing is I’m mainly annoyed with the amount of time I wasted, because the four people I talked to first each didn’t know what I should have done.

Sorry for the rant, readers. I know it’s the second one in two weeks, but I’m now back in London and hopefully I’ll get my regular postings back on track.

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year, dear readers!


May you all have a fantastic 2010!

Tags: Other

Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 25th, 2009

Have a Merry Christmas, everybody! Thanks for coming by and reading Miss Geeky the past year. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tags: Other

Arrived in NL

December 23rd, 2009

Just a quick post to let everyone know we finally managed to arrive in the Netherlands yesterday night. Our plane was 2 hours delayed! Not as disastrous as it could have been, but still very annoying.

We were at Gatwick airport pretty early, having had no problems with bus or train, and went through check-in and security much quicker than I expected (15 minutes while last time at Stansted it took us 1.5 hours). So we had about 2 hours to spare until our flight. No problem, I had my laptop, book and ipod with me, plus shopping around the tax-free shops is also always fun.

The most irritating thing was the lack of updates. Now this isn’t as a severe situation as the whole Eurostar saga of last week, but some short quick updates to the passengers could have helped a lot. What happened was that the info boards initially showed that the ‘Gate opens at 16:25’ (this for a flight leaving at 17:05) and we would see to which gate we’d had to go. 16:25 came and went and still no change. A couple minutes later it changed to ‘Please wait’, nothing else just ‘Please wait’. 16:40, 16:50, 17:00 and still no word. Finally around that time it changed to ‘Gate opens at 17:40’. No other information, just that our Gate would open then. Eventually it only actually opened at 18:00, and we rushed to the gate, only to stand in line for even more minutes until the dispatcher showed up.

I think it was somewhere after 19:00 that we finally took flight, two hours after we were supposed to go. The thing is: in the plane we were told that the reason the plane was late, was that it got held up in the snow in Manchester. They knew pretty early on that there was at least an hour delay. If we were told that we had an hours delay around the time we were looking at the boards, we could have gone on shopping around and not being in constant ‘stand-by’ mode, peeking every few seconds at the board to see if there was any change.

Anyway, we arrived at Schiphol airport around 22:00 local time. I’m at least glad we managed to get here! Bring on the Christmas!

Travel Stress

December 22nd, 2009

This is not the type of post you’re used to seeing from me here, but I’ve got to moan and rant a bit, just to calm down a bit more. Almost every single time I have a major trip, I become a bunch of nerves. It hits me each time again even though half the time it’s a trip I’ve done before without any trouble. In part, I guess it’s because a lot of it depends on factors I can’t control: the weather, buses riding on time (or even showing up in the first place), trains being delayed.

A part of me can’t help but wonder if it’s the geek in me that makes this all the more difficult. I have to think everything through, think of each possible outcome, no matter how bad, and make backup plans accordingly. Yeah, overloading myself with everything that *could* go wrong isn’t exactly the smartest thing to do, especially when I know how stressed out and nervous I can get.


This time around I’ve gotten more and more nervous since the snow of last week. Flights being cancelled, the Eurostar is completely messed up, it seems an impossible task to get out of the UK. The stupid thing is that our initial plans were to leave on the 18th, but we decided to postpone it (mind you, we booked 2 months ago). Still not exactly sure why we decided to go later; up until last Thursday I’ve been moaning about how we should have booked a longer trip and should have left earlier… like around the 18th. Looking back, I’m so so glad we didn’t do it, but even now traveling out of the UK is riddled with problems. Yesterday Gatwick was closed, because of the snow, and tons of flights were cancelled and delayed. It’s open now again, and I’m hoping hoping hoping that everything goes okay.

Another thing that gets me always worried too though, is packing. Do I have everything with me? Am I forgetting anything important? Passport? Check. Keys to get back into the flat when we’re back? Check. Reservation number? Check. And yet I almost always manage to forget something. Often it’s something small, but it annoys the hell out of me that a simple object was able to elude my mind and not make it into the suitcase.

An added nuisance this time around is that we’re flying out, and are restricted to 40 kilos of luggage. That’s an awful lot, I first thought, we shouldn’t have any problem. Ehm… think again. Christmas presents alone were 20 kilos, filling practically one suitcase. Argh! I’ve had to ditch an extra pair of shoes, some clothes (which admittedly I don’t really need) and extra goodies for my parents (like Australian BBQ sauce). I *think* we’re just under the 40 kilos now, and I’m holding my breath that the airport scales say the same.

Okay, rant over. Thanks for listening, dear readers. Hopefully, you’ll hear from me tonight that we’ve safely arrived with no problems. Fingers crossed!

It’s that time of the year again that I’m listening to Christmas music, but my playlist always has some non conventional choices. This year I thought I’d share them with you! I love Nightmare Before Christmas, so (of course) most of the songs are in my Christmas playlist.

My favourite though is What’s This? And it has the most Christmassy feel to it. I really like Danny Elfman’s voice; I’ve tried searching, but does anyone know if he has sung any other stuff? Enjoy:

This post was written in December 2008, but it seemed like the perfect time to repost it here.

I’ve already finished all my Christmas shopping for this year, so I thought I’d give my best tips.

1. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

My best tip has to be: not to wait until the last minute. Don’t go the day before Christmas to find your presents. For starters, you’re not the only person with the same idea; it will be one of busiest days in the high street. Plus, there’s less chance you’ll find what you are searching for.

2. Don’t See It As A Chore

If there is another thing you shouldn’t do, it’s this. Seeing Christmas shopping as a chore will only make you postpone it, and thus, leaving it to the last minute. I always like to see it as a challenge, as a puzzle, trying to figure out what present is suitable for which person.

3. Don’t Give Gift Vouchers, Money, Ties or Socks

In my book, a big no no. Unless they are cute knee high black-and-white striped socks, this is just an easy way out. Just think about it: if everyone started doing this, what’s the point of exchanging presents? I’d be much happier with a smaller gift that’s worth maybe less than a gift voucher with no real thought behind it. (Mind you, I am talking about direct family present exchange here. If it’s a not too close friend or a distant family member, it should be fine)

Christmas In Circles

4. Pay Attention Throughout The Entire Year

So how do you get someone a gift that he/she really wants? Now the best way is just to pay attention throughout the year. Be aware and keep note of what the person says when they want something. Also handy: drill people two months before Christmas about what they want. If you do it right (meaning sneaky and not too suspect), you’ll end up with loads of ideas. Plus you can’t really do it a couple of days before Christmas, cause then the person will know what it’s all about.

5. Analyze Your Subject

If getting tips from the person doesn’t help, you’ll have to figure it out all by your lonesome. So: analyze your subject. What does this person like to do? What hobbies? TV shows, sports? The really geeky way is to make a mind map out of it all, and just write everything down that pops into your mind.

6. Keep Your Receipts

I actually don’t always do this myself, not with all receipts at least. But there are a couple which you definitely should keep: 1. clothing (in case it doesn’t fit), 2. gadgets/electronics (often the receipt is also the guarantee), 3. cd/dvd/book (in case the person has it already, unless you think you’ll always be able to flog it to someone else).

Nightmare Before Christmas Presents 2

7. Remember What You Bought (And Wrapped Up)

You should always write down and keep a list of all the stuff you’ve bought, with how much everything had cost. Next time you go shopping, take that list with you, so you know who you still have to get something for. Then what I always do is wrap stuff up without remembering what was in it; always handy to keep track of this too.

8. Shop Online

Every time I mention to someone that I do a lot of my shopping online, they stare at me and tell me that’s cheating. Cheating?!? How does me knowing what I want to get and order it at a place I know that has it classify as ‘cheating’? How is that worse than you buying socks the day before Christmas? The thing you have to keep in mind with online shopping is that you shouldn’t go for the ‘top 10’ lists and stuff like that. You have to KNOW what you want to get.

9. Try To Avoid Weekend Shopping

Easier said than done, right? Cause when you can otherwise shop. Well, (and I know this isn’t perfect) a lot of stores are open to quite late, especially in such malls like Westfield (they’re open till 11pm on week days).

Christmas Shopping in Oxford Street

10. Create A Present “Diary”

Yeah, so this isn’t really a tip for now, but one for next year. Remember tip 4 “Pay Attention The Entire Year”? Do this next year. And take it one step further. Write it down when someone mentions they want something or when they mention they’re looking for a certain item. What I mainly do is keep track of the stuff I see in stores, always shelving certain items in a mental bookshelf as possible gift ideas for one person.

Any tips you can give me that I’ve left out?