Happy Birthday To Moi

February 23rd, 2008

Sometimes I’m not the brightest. For some weird insane thinking I thought it would be okay to schedule the second wisdom tooth removal 1 week before my birthday. True, I booked it only minutes after I had done the first one, not fully realizing how long it would take to get better (last time it was also “only” 11 days before Christmas). But you would think I could have maybe thought it through a bit more better. Sigh. So here I am, drowsy as anything with a sore cheek/mouth/jaw and barely able to eat on my birthday. Yes, sometimes I’m not the brightest.

As far as birthday’s go though, it been pretty okay. Lots of best wishes and birthday cards, be it virtually or physically (what’s the correct opposite of “virtual”? I’ve been racking my brain over this, but I can’t come op with the right word) and a great bunch of birthday presents (I’ll blog about this later). I’ve stayed most of the day on the couch (what else can I do?) watching dvds: No Country For Old Men, Blades of Glory, 1408 and the new Knightrider pilot. Being the movie geek I am though, what more can a geeky girl wish for?

Tags: Personal

Tooth Hurty 3

February 23rd, 2008

I haven’t blogged in almost a week, but then again it hasn’t been exactly my perfect week. Last Monday I got my second wisdom tooth removed (both bottom teeth were impacted) and, believe it or not, the surgery itself was even worse than for the first tooth. The aftermath though seems to be a whole lot smoother, so thank god for that.

With the previous tooth, the surgeon first drilled through the tooth and then sawed through it, eventually breaking it into two and pulling both parts (the top and the root) out. This time around it felt as though the surgeon literally was attacking the tooth. He would drill a bit, break a bit off, drill again, break again a bit off and so on. Plus unlike the other nice surgeon that explained every single thing to me, this guy barely spoke to me and when he did it felt very condescending.

It somehow also felt way rougher than last time. I even got a bit of bruising around my left mouth corner, where he kept pulling my mouth open. Also the way he put the stitches in wasn’t that pleasant. I think, I got at least four stitches now. I’m not really sure; the guy didn’t tell me and I also can’t really see in my mouth how many there are. They also put a iodine soaked gauze into the wound, hoping that it would prevent an infection such as last time. It will be taken out next Monday; let’s hope it did it’s job.

As expected after such a rough procedure, it also hurt a lot more when I came out of it. The anesthetic hadn’t even worn off yet and I was already in pain. It swelled up in a different manner than on my right side and it hurt right down to my collarbone. Hooray, for painkillers though! I only get so drowsy from that stuff; I’ve slept most of the last 6 days.

So what’s my status now? The good news is the swelling is almost gone and I’ve barely had any real bruising. It hurts, but with painkillers it’s bearable. The bad news? I still haven’t got any feeling in half of my bottom lip and chin. I think they hit a nerve, which depending on the damage can take days, weeks or months to heal. I’m hoping it will be sooner rather than later. I’ve also got no way to know if it’s gotten infected or not. I’ve kept it clean, but then again I did so last time and it also got infected then.

Monday morning I’ll be going to the hospital to get that gauze removed. Fingers crossed that all goes well. I’ll still have to get my top wisdom teeth removed, but luckily they’re not impacted, so it shouldn’t be such a hassle as with these bottom ones.

Tags: Personal

Before I start this post, I have to say I’m tired. Knackered. Exhausted. My mind is completely foggy and I should get some sleep (but blogging is way more interesting), so excuse me if this post isn’t all too great.

It’s weird how some things turn out. After blogging daily for over a month, the last two days have been somewhat quiet from my side, mainly due to me traveling. Surprisingly though I’ve gotten more visitors these two days than ever before. One of my posts (this one) got stumbled and, boy, am I seeing the effects of that. Here’s a screenshot from my Google Analytics statistics from the past three days:


That’s like more than 10 times the amount of visitors I got in one year! I’m only hoping those visitors also took the time to see the rest of this blog and will be coming back for more delicious geekiness. A warm welcome to all you new Stumbled readers out there; I hope I can entertain you.

Why have I been quiet the past few days? Monday I’m getting my second wisdom tooth removed, which I’m getting done here in the Netherlands (better insurance, cheaper, etc etc). Seeing that I live in London, means having to undergo a nice “little” trip from there to here. Now most of the time I go during the day with the bus; although it isn’t as great as going by plane or train, it’s a whole lot cheaper and still doable. This time though I was a bit late with booking and decided to go with the night bus. Yeah, not a good idea, that.

The bus was completely full. I luckily got a window seat, but got stuck next to a kid who tried to curl up in her seat and played the most annoying hip-hop/rap music (using of course the terrible white iPod headphones). Of course, I also had to pick the one seat in the bus that wouldn’t recline properly. Then to make things worse, a mother and her 3 kids were sitting behind me and at times the youngest was crying, screaming and screeching. I’ve never experienced a more annoying child than that one.

Suffice to say, I barely slept that night. I got at my parent’s place at about 11 this morning and just went straight to sleep. Woke up at 6 and now (at 3 in the morning) I’m again completely exhausted. Tomorrow though I should be back in blogger mode and I’ll be posting a couple of items, including a review of Be Kind, Rewind and your weekly Trailerrific.

Tags: Personal

First Time Running

January 28th, 2008

Since New Year Cristiano has been running weekly and yesterday I finally decided I should join him. So today I went running for the first time and I am just completely exhausted now. I haven’t done any exercising or sport since August 2006, so I’m really glad I’ve started doing something again.

Even though I haven’t exercised for so long, I haven’t really gained weight and am certainly not chubby or anything like that. Hell, although I say so myself, I still look good! No, the main reason I wanted to sport again is because I don’t feel that healthy at the moment. The past year felt as a real low point for me; I think I’ve never been as many times sick in one year as the past one. It feels like I need to get back into shape again.


So, I’ve started the same schedule as Cristiano is following, which came from this website. I’ll be running 3 times a week and build it up gradually over the course of 12 weeks, until I can run 15 minutes straight. I started this week with 5 times 1 minute running and 2 minutes walking. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but at the end of it today I was completely knackered. I’ll keep you guys up to date with what I’m doing; keeps me motivated to keep it up.

Tags: Personal

2008: Resolutions

January 2nd, 2008

I wasn’t planning to write down all my New Years resolutions in a post; why should I bother other people with what I’m trying to do better this year? The answer (of course): commitment. By having it in black on white on this blog where people can hold me accountable for my actions, I’m committing myself strongly to actually upholding my resolutions. Let’s see how that works, hey? I’ll first get all the boring, normal, unoriginal stuff out of the way.

  1. Work out more, be healthier. It’s not that I want to loose weight, feel too fat or anything like that, but I feel as if I’m not at my healthiest at the moment. I think I’ve been more times sick last year than ever before and don’t want to have that same feeling this year. So more healthy food and cut back on the ice cream and chocolate.
  2. Work more organized and more regularly. I’m going to try and get up everyday at the same time and to actually try and keep a detailed plan.
  3. Stress less. I tend to over-think things way too much and always come up with all possible worst-case scenarios. Okay, not too bad, but then I start worrying and believing in those worst-case scenarios. I hate it that I can completely get stressed out by the simplest thing. So, I’m going to take a step back and think things calmly and logically through.

Healthy Food

Okay, now some blog related resolutions I want to keep.

  1. A Video A Day: This might be a tad ambitious, but I want to see if I can post and write about one video every day. It might be movie or Tv or geek related, but could also be just funny stuff I’ve stumbled upon. I’ll post 2 today, cause I already missed yesterday.
  2. Rewind: I started this a time back as a recurring topic about old obscure Tv shows. I’ve got a list of more than 40 shows I can write about, so it’s about time I actually start doing it. I’m going to try to post at least once a week.
  3. Trailerrific: A weekly recurring post about all the movie trailers that have come out that week.
  4. Pageturner: A recurring (maybe eventually weekly, but not yet) post about interesting books I’ve read. Mostly fantasy with a touch of romance.


Finally, there are a couple of other stuff I want to do:

  1. Start organizing events. I’ve said it before, but never have written it here yet. I want to get more involved in helping with the organization of events, like Geek Dinners and maybe even eventually a BarCamp (let’s start out small first, right?). For starters, I’m hoping I have time to organize a London Werewolf night this month and will let you all know how that works out.
  2. Finish my degree and get a job. Sounds easier than it is :D.
  3. Get a “real” camera and learn more about photography. I sold my camera to my father last week, mainly because he dropped his and needed a new one. Plus I was only getting frustrated with it anyway. This year I want to get a digital SLR and really learn how to shoot great photos.

Werewolf at BarCamp

So, that’s about it, I guess. Most probably within the next hour I’ll come up with all other stuff that I’m completely forgetting now, but these will just have to do.

Tags: Personal

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the holidays as much as I am. Even with all my tooth stress, I had a great Christmas at my parents place. This year I really enjoyed picking out and thinking up the appropriate presents for everyone; although, I must say, Amazon has really made it easier for me this year (last year I was still in the Netherlands and the shipping fees are really not worth it). I had also ordered Threadless t-shirts for my brother and sister back in November and strangely they still haven’t arrived yet. I’ve already contacted Threadless and they were no help at all; I have no idea now, how to figure out where my package is.

Anyhow, Santa was very generous to me this year; I got a great bunch of presents (a whole lot more than I expected). Here’s a list of all the stuff I got (hope I’m not forgetting anything):


Christmas Presents

Heroes: Volume One: Ever since the first episode of Heroes aired in September 2006, a short comic has appeared online (in Flash or PDF) every week, as a supplement to the tv-series. I only found out about it at the end of last season and never got around to catching up on all of it. Now the comics during the first season (34 episodes) have been published together as a hardcover graphic novel. A must-have for every Heroes fan.

V For Vendetta: I loved the movie and have been meaning to get the comic ever since. I just know I’ll hear Hugo Weaving whispering in my mind whenever I’m reading though.

Sin City 3: The Big Fat Kill: I’ve already got Parts 1 & 2 and I’m hoping I can complete the series before they change the look and size of the edition. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s mismatched book series.


Christmas Presents

Ash: A Secret History (Mary Gentle): An interesting book about a female mercenary leader in the Middle Ages, who hears a voice in her head. The book is set up as if it was written as an actual biography of a real person by an English history professor and includes letters to an undisclosed university publisher.

The Tawny Man Trilogy (Robin Hobb): I read the Assassin trilogy a few years ago in high school and it sketches an original and imaginative magical world. I’m curious to see how the characters have changed after so many years.

The Rule of Four (Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason): I hadn’t heard of this book before, but it seems to be a history-quest mystery in the vein of the Da Vinci Code. I didn’t like the overhyped Da Vinci Code (preferring the earlier Angels and Demons), but I’ll give it a go and see how it is.


Christmas Presents

The Prestige: I’ve seen this film now thrice this year and it still doesn’t fail to amaze me. Complicated storytelling, but still gives room for the viewer to figure it out (and conquer the movie). Plus Hugh Jackman AND Christian Bale. Double swoonfest.

The Fountain: More Hugh Jackman! One of the most thought-provoking films I saw this year. Again complicated storytelling, but this time open to your own interpretation. Got to love the space traveler in a giant bubble!

The Dark Crystal: Gelflings! Cutest fantasy creature ever (I’m counting the Ewoks now as Science Fiction creatures). I’m slowly building up my collection of childhood fantasy movies. Already got Labyrinth, still missing The Princess Bride, Return to Oz and The Storyteller tv-series.

Serenity: Do I even have to explain? My only gripe with the movie is that every time I see it, I’m saddened by the stark realization that if they had continued with the tv-series the plot and mythology of the show would have just been phenomenal. Stupidest mistake of Fox evah (along with the cancellation of Angel, Dark Angel, Journeyman, Wonderfalls, Kitchen Confidential, Futurama, Tru Calling, Roswell, The Pretender, Point Pleasant, Drive, John Doe, Freakylinks, Harsh Realm, The Visitor, should I continue? This might take a while).

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales: Actually this wasn’t my present, but Cristiano’s. But come on! After 5 years of virtually being dormant, J. Michael Straczynski is back!

Blood & Chocolate and Ultraviolet: I actually tried watching both of these films, but just had to switch it off halfway. I read the book Blood & Chocolate is based on when I was 13 and was hoping for (but truthfully not expecting) a good movie adaption, which unfortunately is not the case. Ultraviolet is a complete different story. It was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, the genius behind Equilibrium, but the cut that made into cinemas and now DVD isn’t his, but the studio’s (they found the original too emotional). The film is basically scene after scene of action sequences (beautifully choreographed though) with incomprehensible snippets of dialogue in between. I’m desperately hoping that someday there will be a Director’s Cut, cause I can see glimpses of the brilliant film that it’s meant to be.

Other Stuff

Travel Chopsticks
Christmas Presents
Aren’t these just cute? Now I can have sushi whenever I want!

Body Shop Goodies
Christmas Presents
I love Body Shop stuff, especially the lip balm Born Lippy.

Cute Tweezers
Christmas Presents
These are just so cute! My sisters says it’s a dominatrix, but I’m convinced it’s a ninja.

Microwave Mittens
Christmas Presents
Sweet, little mittens for the microwave. They even have magnets in them so they stick to your fridge.

Travel Hairdryer
Christmas Presents
After all the traveling I’ve done this year and most probably will be doing next year, this will be nice and handy.

Business Card Holders
Christmas Presents
Now I can store the business cards of all the people I meet out there.

Christmas Presents
I love my new hat! And was straight away useful at the Fireworks last night.

Phew, quite a list, huh? All I can say is I’ve been really lucky this year and got some serious reading and watching to do. So what presents did you get this year?

Tooth Hurty 2

December 31st, 2007

I know, I know, I haven’t blogged for quite some time now (more than a month now actually) and you might be wondering what’s been going on. Well, for starters I am a student in what are hopefully the last couple months of getting her degree. I will keep blogging, but I’m just letting you all know that the next couple of months will be bumpy and busy and that blogging will have to take a second seat.

Now next to that I had a very nice trip to the dental surgeon (read my sarcasm, please) two weeks ago. I have to warn you, this is a very, very long blog post, way longer than I expected. If you’ve been following my blog longer, you might remember that I had to go to the dentist a couple of months ago. He discovered then that my bottom two wisdom teeth were impacted, meaning instead of growing in the normal way vertically, they grew horizontally against the other teeth (see picture, only with me there’s still gum completely covering it). I would have to go to the dental surgeon to have them removed within the next 2 years (at the moment they’re not doing any damage or so, but eventually they will get infected).

Impacted wisdom teeth

Two months ago I phoned to make an appointment with the dental surgery at our city hospital and the first free slot was two weeks ago on Friday. The weird thing though was that when I phoned they knew exactly who I was and what had to be done (bottom wisdom teeth removed). Oh, okay, I thought, the dentist must have sent them all the necessary info and forms already. Then I showed up on Friday and they had no idea what had to be done and if I had the referral of the dentist with me. Ehm, that would be a ‘No’. So I explained my situation and got on the spot new x-rays, but will still have to get the referral from the dentist for insurance issues.

I then had a ‘nice’ conversation with the surgeon; first, she told me they could only do one side, which (while logical) means I’ll have to go through this whole thing a second time in February. Then, she explained that they’ll also have to do the top two wisdom teeth (which I was expecting), but that they would have to wait for them to come out some more. However, even if they lowered, the place was very near my nasal passages (ugh, I hope I’m explaining this right) and they could create a passage between my mouth and my nasal passages. Eventually this can heal, but it means you can’t blow your nose for about half a year. Right, great! Finally, on my x-rays it seemed that the wisdom teeth went straight through a nerve. The problem though was that because it was a 2D image they couldn’t be actually sure it was actually like that or just layered over each other in photo (over projection). They wouldn’t know until they pulled the roots out and exposed a nerve (or not). She explained that if that happened, by pulling out the tooth you can damage the nerve, which leaves your lip and cheek senseless for about a year (eventually it will heal). Ah, okay, nice to know, but you can’t do anything about that and the teeth have to go out, right? Right.

So I sat back in the dentist chair with a great view of the peaceful trees outside, which quickly got obscured by the big blue sheet of paper with a nice big hole for where my mouth would stick out. I got 2 big needles of anesthetic, which numbed my cheek pretty much up, but left me reasonably wide awake and conscious of everything that happened. The dentist was considerate enough to tell me exactly what they were doing. “First, we’re going to pull back the gum to expose the wisdom tooth.” I decided to keep my eyes shut, cause I really didn’t want to see what type of tools they were going to apply to my poor jaw. Good decision, because shortly after that I heard this ghastly saw like sound. The dentist explained that they would first saw a bit and then drill through the tooth, until they could crack the top part off. The ‘cracking’ was actually the scariest part, because it didn’t go in one go; they decided they had to saw and drill some more. The actual pulling of the tooth (well, the roots in my case) didn’t really seem that bad. Plus no nerves were exposed so I’m not paralyzed. I got a couple of stitches and I was ready to go. Great! It didn’t hurt at all and I was done in half an hour!

And now Stupid Mel comes into action. Instead of realising the anesthetic is pretty strong and that my jaw had just been through a serious ordeal, I began chatting and talking away, as if everything was fine. Of course, by the time I got home, the anesthetic had worn off and the agony commenced. I can seriously say I’ve never been in that much pain before in my life. The quarter of an hour it took for the painkillers to kick in, were the most excruciating, unbearable minutes I had ever been through. With the painkillers though, it wasn’t too bad. Although I did look like an asymmetrical chipmunk.


The next couple of days I just spent on the couch: reading books (managed to finish 4 in 4 days 😀 ), sleeping and slurping soup (I could only open my mouth 7-8 mms, so any other food was out of the question). Then on Wednesday night, one of the stitches came out and this weird combo of blood and yellow ickiness (pus) came out. Stress time! “It’s infected!”, “I won’t be able to eat during Christmas”, and all other thoughts down this line of reasoning kept spinning through my mind. So Thursday morning I phoned the dental surgery and was told that if the pain hadn’t increased and if the cheek hadn’t swollen up more, I should continue rinsing with salt and all should be fine.

24 Hours later nothing had changed, but I decided to phone the dental surgery again. Remember this was the 21st of December, only 4 days before Christmas and I still couldn’t open my mouth more than a centimeter (yes, there at least was some progress). Plus I would be leaving for London again on the 28th, so I really wanted to make sure it was all better before I left. Anyhow, I phoned again and they managed to squeeze me in during lunch that day. So exactly one week after the “surgery”, I made my way to the hospital again. This time I got another doctor; my previous one wasn’t working there anymore (“yeah, we fired her, she wasn’t that good”, the doctor joked).

Luckily I’m as paranoid as I am, because there was some light infection. The surgeon gave me another anesthetic; this one tasted horrible, but worked much faster. Only a couple seconds after giving it, he made a small incision into the inside of my cheek. The remaining stitches were taken out and the hole/gap/whatever was thoroughly rinsed. he then inserted this thin piece of gauze (I think that’s what it’s called at least in English) into the small incision. Ouch! I would have to come back that Monday (24th of December, the day before Christmas) to have the gauze removed. He reassured me though that I would be perfectly able to enjoy Christmas dinner.

After the pain from the incision wore off, it actually didn’t hurt as much as before and the swelling had lessened somewhat. That night I could even eat again and by Sunday I was even singing! The return visit on Monday was very short. The surgeon removed the gauze (very icky) and rinsed the wound by spraying a stream of water into it with a syringe. I then got my very own syringe to keep it clean until the wound closed itself. This is a whole lot trickier than when the dentist does it. I’m hoping I did it right, but a part of me thinks I wasn’t doing it properly.

Christmas and Boxing Day everything went okay; no increased pain, no ickiness, no swelling. I still wasn’t using the right side of my mouth during chewing, but at least I could eat, right? Then Friday 2 hours before we’re leaving for London, disaster strikes. No, I’m exaggerating, but it was enough to get me into stress mode again. As before yellow ickiness was coming out the wound. I phoned the surgery again and actually talked to my doctor (instead of a secretary like the time before). All I could do was to remain rinsing and eventually it would close and heal itself.

It’s now 2 days later and there’s still ickiness coming out of the wound. I think it’s lessened (I’m hoping it’s lessened) and I hate it that all I can do is just sit and wait for it to heal. The worst part of this story is that in February I’ll have to go through this whole ordeal again for the bottom left wisdom tooth!

Tags: Personal

Last Day In Berlin

November 9th, 2007

It’s exactly a week ago that I arrived in Berlin and I am now just so exhausted. So much has happened in these last seven days, that I haven’t even had time to blog about any of it yet. To make sure I actually will blog about it and not let it go completely to waste in the obscure labyrinth that is my memory, I’m making a promise now of the posts you’ll see from me in the next couple of days:

  1. Barcamp Berlin + After Party
  2. Web 2.0 Expo Berlin + Web2Open
  3. Girl Geek Dinner Berlin

Not sure yet when I’ll post them, cause I’m just so tired now, but you should expect them to roll out the next couple of days. If not, feel free to kick me :D.


Hello Berlin!

November 4th, 2007

It’s been a bit quiet on my blog the last couple of days, but with a good reason. After a few days travel (it’s not as dramatic as it sounds), I finally spent my very first day in Berlin (Germany). The trip didn’t go as smoothly as we expected though:


All the last times I went to Holland I took the Eurolines bus; it’s a whole lot cheaper than plane, train or any other means of transportation between the UK and the “Continent”. This time though Cristiano wanted to take a RyanAir plane, because it didn’t matter that much in price and (of course) is a whole lot quicker. I find it ridiculous though that you now have to pay an extra fee for every piece of cargo luggage you’re taking with you and that you have to pay extra for being able to check-in online, but that you also have to pay extra if you want to check-in at the airport (either way you have to pay extra!).

Anyhow, we took the Terravision bus from Liverpool Street Station to Stanstead Airport and neatly arrived at the airport 15:35, 1.5 hour before the plane left. We checked in straight-away and after zipping all our 100 ml bottles of liquid in bags we still had 1 hour and 10 minutes left. The boarding time was 16:25, meaning we still had half an hour left. Now comes our stupidity: we didn’t realise that the gates that we saw weren’t the final boarding gates, but the security check. So we first had something to eat, arriving neatly “at time” on 16:25 at the “boarding gates”, only to discover we were in a very long row for the security check. Oops! It took us 30 minutes just to get through there, which left us desperately running for the plane. And of course, it would have to be one of the furthest gates! In the end we did make it, but it was a very, very close call. After landing in Eindhoven, my parents picked us and drove us to Arnhem.


This day we didn’t do that much traveling; we spent the day shopping in Arnhem getting the last couple of items we needed for Germany.


Originally the plan was that Reinier and Alper would pick us up at IKEA Duiven at 13:00. However, Reinier had spent the previous day driving back and forth from London and only arrived back in Holland at 5 in the morning. The 13:00 became 15:00 so that he could get at least some sleep. Now normally it takes only 20-30 minutes to get to Duiven from my parent’s place; we left at 13:30 to keep some time over for lunch. Today almost every possible route was blocked; it took us 1.5 hour to get there! This meant that we were right on time, but that didn’t help that much. Not only was almost every road around Arnhem blocked, every major highway towards our meeting point was congested (apparently some truck driver drove himself off a bridge). Reinier phoned us to tell that they would have an hour delay! Brilliant, now we had time for lunch anyway! Finally at around 16:00 they picked us up and we made our way over the border into Germany.

Once in Germany we found out that the navigation cd for Germany that we had with us had to be unlocked first, making them completely useless. And of course we also didn’t have a “normal” map. Heck, we didn’t even have the address or the telephone number of Eelke, with whom we would be staying in Berlin. Luckily we could phone in the help of several people, who gave sufficient information to lead us safely into Berlin. Next time, I’m definitely going to plan all this stuff ahead and create some contingency plans in case the “digital” maps aren’t available.

So Friday night at 23:00 we finally arrived in Berlin! Phew, not the smoothest journey, right? Anyhow, yesterday was the first day of BarCamp Berlin, so keep an eye on this blog; I’ll (hopefully) post about it soon!

Upcoming events

August 23rd, 2007

I haven’t posted much lately (being 2 weeks in the Netherlands), but that’s going to change. The next couple of weeks are going to be busy, busy, busy. So what’s on my schedule:

Sunday 26 August and Monday 27 August: Notting Hill Carnival
Saturday 1 September and Sunday 2 September: London Film & Comic Con
Saturday 8 September and Sunday 9 September: BarCamp Brighton

If you want to follow/see more of what I’m doing, check out my Upcoming page.