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Alexander the Great

Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2017

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I'm glad you have coping strategies, @Athena :) I can't talk to my parents, they don't know anything's going on with me. I've never really opened up to my sister about the things that make me see my therapist - she does know some things, but very very concisely. I also don't want to bother her with it, she should focus on her baby right now. I don't have a girlfriend. My best friend, who I could always talk to about everything, left me. I have some other friends, but I don't want to really bother them and one of them is acting weird anyway. I have one friend I can talk to, but I kind of don't want to pour it all on her. And it's different from my best friend. I miss him.

 

The book made me feel bad it's kind of lingering. It was so triggering. 

 

I can't seem to read at all today. I just want to curl up and cry. I feel nauseous and like I'm choking up, like my mind is imploding. I went to the supermarket yesterday and I just had to get out. There were too many people and the store felt so big even though it's just a little one and I felt like I had to think about every step and movement.

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I'm sorry you don't have as many people to talk with :(.

 

I'm sorry the book was so triggering for you :empathy:.

 

It sounds like you were feeling pretty bad :(. I didn't feel like reading yesterday either. I thought my reading slump was over... I guess not. I was feeling pretty down yesterday afternoon, and very tired.

I have trouble too sometimes, going to the supermarket (or any area that features other people I don't know well).

 

I hope you feel better soon!

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@Athena I hope your reading slump is over, those are the worst :( When I'm in a reading slump and I don't want to go running and don't want to watch anything, it feels so paralysing, because I usually take comfort in those things. And then the less I do, the more crippling and suffocating everything becomes. Luckily, my therapist is back. This week's session was very rough, but I'm so glad she's back. I'm not feeling loads better, but I can breathe again. 

 

Vele hemels boven de zevende review

 

As I mentioned earlier, this novel really punched me in the gut. I've been putting off writing a review, and I still don't feel like I can really do it justice. 

 

This novel is written from the point of view of seven characters whose stories all meet at some point. Most of them are from the same family and you only learn how they're related and what happened in this family as you read along. I like when authors do this - drop you in the story and let you figure it out, rather than cleanly explain everything. The characters are very different and while it was easier to relate to some than it was to others, as a reader I could really crawl into the skin of each character. 

 

The novel doesn't rely on plot. There is no grand story - just a glimpse of a few months, maybe a year in the lives of these people. At first, this reminded me of the Saskia De Coster novel I read earlier this year, but Griet Op de Beeck has her very own voice. Op de Beeck is a Flemish author and I could really sense that. I usually read in English, but it feels so good to return to my roots occasionally. This is part of my identity, this language is my language.

 

The key event profoundly affected me. I hadn't cried over a book this much in a long time. The kind of crying where you're choking up, can't see through the years, yet you still have to keep reading, even though it seems to tear you apart.

 

A very strong debut that I would recommend to anyone wanting to try out a Flemish author. I don't know if it's been translated, though, and it is the kind of novel where so much would get lost in translation.

 

Gij nu review

 

This novel was also written by Griet Op de Beeck. This features fifteen short stories that aren't related to each other character-wise and plot-wise. 

 

I was less impressed with this work. I feel like fifteen stories was overly ambitious. In many of the stories, the characters didn't come to life. Too many of the stories were weak as well, which became painfully clear when contrasted with much stronger stories. There were some gems in here which felt very unfinished and other stories felt so redundant. Short stories are an art Op de Beeck has yet to master - not a single one felt both completed and satisfying. Toward the end, I also felt the themes were a bit repetitive. Grief, loss, loneliness - if used too often, the effect of it wears off. Some time jumps within the stories were also jarring. The intent was good, the potential is there, but the execution is lacking.

 

It also feels like some changes were made to sell more in The Netherlands as well - some very typical expressions for The Netherlands that are never ever used here, like "hij zit op kamers" when we'd say "hij zit op kat", and "ze is gaan stappen" when we'd say "ze gaat uit" - I had to read the last one a couple of times to even get it. No offence to any Dutch people - I love Dutch people, my favourite band is Dutch, and I love Dutch authors. But boy, do I hate it when Flemish novels are changed to include Dutch expressions we never use. It almost feels like abandoning your roots, selling out. Like going back in time to when we were an unimportant province to use as coin in exchange for better things.

 

 

These were two novels a fellow runner from my club gave me, after I'd been saying during the run that I was nervous having almost finished my book and not having a new one lined up. I usually don't read two similar novels one after the other, to avoid comparison. I usually need a rebound, or a very different genre. I had to make an exception here, and I remember why I usually apply this rule. Maybe I'd have enjoyed "Gij nu" more if I hadn't read it right after "Vele hemels boven de zevende". Op de Beeck has another novel, which that fellow runner also owns and has recently finished, but I really need something else now. Beautifully written novels, but I'm not in the right state of mind to handle more of it.

 

I think an English novel next will be best, as well as a return to a familiar favourite author. Next up is John Irving's "The Fourth Hand".

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10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

@Athena I hope your reading slump is over, those are the worst :( When I'm in a reading slump and I don't want to go running and don't want to watch anything, it feels so paralysing, because I usually take comfort in those things. And then the less I do, the more crippling and suffocating everything becomes. Luckily, my therapist is back. This week's session was very rough, but I'm so glad she's back. I'm not feeling loads better, but I can breathe again. 

 

It's not over yet, but I am feeling a bit more like reading :). I agree, it can be paralysing :(! I'm glad your therapist is back  :).

 

10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Vele hemels boven de zevende review

 

As I mentioned earlier, this novel really punched me in the gut. I've been putting off writing a review, and I still don't feel like I can really do it justice.

 

I'm sorry this novel affected you so much :(.

 

10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Gij nu review

 

This novel was also written by Griet Op de Beeck. This features fifteen short stories that aren't related to each other character-wise and plot-wise. 

 

I was less impressed with this work. I feel like fifteen stories was overly ambitious. In many of the stories, the characters didn't come to life. Too many of the stories were weak as well, which became painfully clear when contrasted with much stronger stories. There were some gems in here which felt very unfinished and other stories felt so redundant. Short stories are an art Op de Beeck has yet to master - not a single one felt both completed and satisfying. Toward the end, I also felt the themes were a bit repetitive. Grief, loss, loneliness - if used too often, the effect of it wears off. Some time jumps within the stories were also jarring. The intent was good, the potential is there, but the execution is lacking.

 

What a shame this was a disappointment :(. I prefer novels over short stories - and short stories can be very hit or miss for me, a lot of them I don't really get along with.

 

10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

It also feels like some changes were made to sell more in The Netherlands as well - some very typical expressions for The Netherlands that are never ever used here, like "hij zit op kamers" when we'd say "hij zit op kat", and "ze is gaan stappen" when we'd say "ze gaat uit" - I had to read the last one a couple of times to even get it. No offence to any Dutch people - I love Dutch people, my favourite band is Dutch, and I love Dutch authors. But boy, do I hate it when Flemish novels are changed to include Dutch expressions we never use. It almost feels like abandoning your roots, selling out. Like going back in time to when we were an unimportant province to use as coin in exchange for better things.

 

Even though I'm Dutch, I actually really like to read Flemish words and expressions in books written by Flemish authors! I think it makes the book more authentic. That said, I probably sometimes wouldn't notice if the author used a Dutch expression instead of a Flemish one, because I'm not that familiar with Flemish expressions (or which ones are typically Dutch rather than Flemish). Where I live, I've heard both 'ze gaat stappen' and 'ze gaat uit'. But then where I live is close to the Belgian border, so. But we would use 'hij zit op kamers' rather than 'hij zit op kat', that second one I've never heard around here. With your explanation, I can understand that these things bothered you in the book :(.

 

10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

These were two novels a fellow runner from my club gave me, after I'd been saying during the run that I was nervous having almost finished my book and not having a new one lined up. I usually don't read two similar novels one after the other, to avoid comparison. I usually need a rebound, or a very different genre. I had to make an exception here, and I remember why I usually apply this rule. Maybe I'd have enjoyed "Gij nu" more if I hadn't read it right after "Vele hemels boven de zevende". Op de Beeck has another novel, which that fellow runner also owns and has recently finished, but I really need something else now. Beautifully written novels, but I'm not in the right state of mind to handle more of it.

 

I think an English novel next will be best, as well as a return to a familiar favourite author. Next up is John Irving's "The Fourth Hand".

 

I hope you enjoy The Fourth Hand :).

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@Athena I usually don't even bother with short stories to be honest, but I'd already committed to reading this book by the time I realised.

 

I mistyped, by the way - it's "op kot gaan" and not "op kat gaan". It was also very glaring because this didn't occur at all in her debut novel. It was very obvious the publisher forced this to sell more in The Netherlands. I love the country, I really do, and I love Dutch fiction. But I dislike when the language gets into Flemish fiction.

 

The Fourth Hand isn't bad so far, but it doesn't feel like the usual Irving. It might be me, though. I haven't read a page in my book in three days now. This has never happened, not once before in my life. Stuff going on I guess. Jeanne's doing great, but my sister isn't mentally and I worry. I'm not doing great mentally either.

 

I do have some exciting things. Epica's new EP is being released on Friday and my order got shipped on Monday so I should have it soon.

 

I also bought sunglasses from Simone Simons, the Epica singer. I always get really cheap ones and I've been wanting a decent pair for ages. She has many and was selling a few. I contacted her and she was very nice. I'd mentioned my goddaughter and she congratulated me. I mailed her last Wednesday, paid right away, and the sunglasses arrived today. It's so awesome to have these cool sunglasses - and to know she's used and approved of them. I mailed her to thank her for the congratulations and to let her know the package arrived. I ended up writing that in a silly short poem - classic AA BB rhyme. Then I went ahead and thanked her for everything Epica's meant to me the past twelve tears and told her how much the music has helped and inspired me. I got a bit carried away and the mail turned out to be quite long, but they just left to tour the US so if she sees that e-mail now, I guess she has time to read it sometime during travels! I don't expect a response, but it was nice getting to share that with her.

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9 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I mistyped, by the way - it's "op kot gaan" and not "op kat gaan". It was also very glaring because this didn't occur at all in her debut novel. It was very obvious the publisher forced this to sell more in The Netherlands. I love the country, I really do, and I love Dutch fiction. But I dislike when the language gets into Flemish fiction.

 

Now that expressions seems a bit more familiar to me! It makes sense you don't like it when the Dutch language gets into Flemish fiction, that makes sense to me. I probably wouldn't really notice it as much (and I don't always look into where an author comes from before reading a book), but I can totally understand such a thing would bother you.

 

9 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

The Fourth Hand isn't bad so far, but it doesn't feel like the usual Irving. It might be me, though. I haven't read a page in my book in three days now. This has never happened, not once before in my life. Stuff going on I guess. Jeanne's doing great, but my sister isn't mentally and I worry. I'm not doing great mentally either.

 

I'm sorry to hear you and your sister are not doing great mentally :(.

 

9 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I do have some exciting things. Epica's new EP is being released on Friday and my order got shipped on Monday so I should have it soon.

 

I hope you like the EP :).

 

9 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I also bought sunglasses from Simone Simons, the Epica singer. I always get really cheap ones and I've been wanting a decent pair for ages. She has many and was selling a few. I contacted her and she was very nice. I'd mentioned my goddaughter and she congratulated me. I mailed her last Wednesday, paid right away, and the sunglasses arrived today. It's so awesome to have these cool sunglasses - and to know she's used and approved of them. I mailed her to thank her for the congratulations and to let her know the package arrived. I ended up writing that in a silly short poem - classic AA BB rhyme. Then I went ahead and thanked her for everything Epica's meant to me the past twelve tears and told her how much the music has helped and inspired me. I got a bit carried away and the mail turned out to be quite long, but they just left to tour the US so if she sees that e-mail now, I guess she has time to read it sometime during travels! I don't expect a response, but it was nice getting to share that with her.

 

That sounds really nice :)!

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The EP is wonderful ❤️ I'm trying to avoid reading reviews, though. I always have a hard time reading anything negative about something so dear to me. I couldn't avoid this one review, which was not very positive but not completely negative either. But it bothered me so much that the writer said Simone's lyrics are "wonky as always", then he gave an example of lyrics that were written by Mark. Like, dude, do your research, you know? Somewhere else I read a review for THP and that author justly pointed out that Simone's a much better lyricist than Mark is. She writes more poetically and is much better at building up the story. Mark's lyrics are usually much more clear-cut, straight-forward and out there. I still like most of his lyrics, don't get me wrong, but when I hear a phrase that makes me go "what now?" it's usually something he wrote. I just get so annoyed that this author slammed Simone for something she didn't even write. Dude.

 

I'm now also super excited to see them live again. I mean, I always am, but they did say they'd be playing one or two songs off their EP the coming live shows. And I have a new favourite Epica track that comes from the EP, Architect of Light. But then Decoded Poetry has a beautiful choir right in the middle. These are the songs that didn't make the album but they are SO good. Fans are now discussing which songs definitely should have made the album but didn't, and which made the album but shouldn't have. I agree that songs like Tear Down Your Walls and The Cosmic Algorithm are good songs, but not as good as some of the stuff on the EP. But I also feel like it's pointless discussing this - and in a way, isn't it great that this stuff is better than some of the album? The band did explain they had to keep some things back to make the album not too overwhelming. It makes a lot of sense. And I prefer this happening - getting these really, really good songs on an EP in between albums, rather than all the best songs having made the album and then getting an EP, which you eagerly wait for, and having to conclude you kinda get why these songs didn't make the cut.

 

My preorder didn't arrive yet, but I'd also preordered the EP on iTunes and while the official release was on Friday, around 11.30 pm on Thursday I got a notification it was available and I listened right away. I'm now anxious for the bundle to arrive, to really take in the excellent artwork and try on my new shirts and hoodie. One of the shirts is a glow-in-the-dark:  european-legion-t-shirt.jpg

european-legion-t-shirt.jpg

 

I like how it says 2017 because this year has been very much an Epica-year for me.

 

Apologies for the rant - I get carried away when it comes to Epica.

 

About reading. I didn't read on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Five entire days. This has never happened to me before - I'm the guy who reads the breakfast items. I read every second I can. Ever since I know how to read, I've not gone a single day without reading. But I was mentally blocked this week, it's been a very tough week, I could hardly breathe at times. I'll be glad to see my therapist on Monday. I also got a chance to hang out with my goddaughter on Friday - I went home for lunch and got to hold her, and then after work (I left on time, I usually work overtime on Fridays) and I got to cuddle with her and then sleep with her next to me, my hand on her, and she was sleeping with her fist against my nose. Before that, when we were cuddling, I was talking to her and she is so incredibly responsive. Babbling, making faces, it's adorable. I love her so much. 

 

The Fourth Hand review

 

I gave this book one star. It barely feels like an Irving novel at all - and it pains me to not have enjoyed it, because he's my favourite male author.

 

This was a lot shorter than his other novels and it didn't have the trademark themes and characters. Irving does seem to have a thing with sex-related quirkiness, but it was just too much in this novel. There was no story, no arch, no drama. The characters felt very flat, not at all like real people. There was nobody I could connect to. They were all just so weird in a pointless way. At times, I wondered if maybe Irving was taking the wee at himself. It almost felt like someone was trying to write a parody, and failing.

 

All in all, a very forgettable novel. I'm moving on to Tommy Wieringa's Joe Speedboot

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm glad you're liking the EP! Stupid of the reviewer who didn't do his research.

 

I'm sorry you had a rough week and that you've been unable to read. I hope you feel better soon. I'm glad your goddaughter is doing well.

 

What a shame you didn't like The Fourth Hand. I hope Joe Speedboot will be a more enjoyable read.

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On 4-9-2017 at 9:15 AM, Athena said:

I'm glad you're liking the EP! Stupid of the reviewer who didn't do his research.

 

I'm sorry you had a rough week and that you've been unable to read. I hope you feel better soon. I'm glad your goddaughter is doing well.

 

What a shame you didn't like The Fourth Hand. I hope Joe Speedboot will be a more enjoyable read.

 

This week, the bundle with The Ultimate Principle (which holds The Holographic Principe and The Solace System), two shirts and a zipped hoodie arrived. They're so awesome - I can't wait to wear the glow-in-the-dark shirt to the concert. 

 

For his birthday, my dad got a coupon to have a sports item personalised at the sports store. I'd said for a while I'd like a shirt with my name on it, so my parents gave it to me. I got this done on two running shirts:

 

21462399_10155617289703389_2910996374206 

 

21369299_10155617289728389_4232778750563

 

I also got this Epica keychain in this week:

 

21430630_10155617289663389_5240070631171

 

Simone, the singer, also liked a tweet I posted about The Solace System that had an Epica pun in it :D 

 

Joe Speedboot review

 

This novel came out over ten years ago and I remember a lot of fuss being made about it. It was an instant classic. For some reason, I hadn't got around to reading it, however. A few weeks back, when a newer colleague noticed how much I love reading, she mentioned how she had read this book as a teenager and hadn't liked it at all, then a year later had to read it for school and then she liked it much better. So I picked it up.

 

I was very pleasantly surprised. The last book I read was a disappointment, the one before that wasn't satisfactory either, the one before that was good but punched me in the gut. This novel really sparked my love for reading again. It wasn't particularly special, there is no grand plot with big adventures. But I like how the author mainly focuses on two or three characters, with some others thrown in there because characters do need family and friends, without it becoming too complicated. I felt it was quite toned down, and I liked that. It's very, very Dutch, though. Some words I didn't understand and culturally, it's also very Dutch. But the author writes fluently. He clearly cares about the characters, yet still manages to keep his distance. Everything is written from the main character's perspective, and still Wieringa finds clever ways to tell us more about the lives of other characters without them just telling the main character.

 

I liked the flow of the story as well. The pacing is excellent, the time jumps are not too abrupt and usually described by the changes in nature. I don't usually like reading about nature, but it worked really well here. The ending also came naturally. It involved one choice made by the author I felt was unnecessary and at first, I felt it kind of brought down the novel. But he ended up making it work. It was not too short, not too long - just right. And that describes this entire novel to me: "Just right."

 

Moving on to a next book, I've ordered three Stephen King novels today, but those will only arrive tomorrow. So I picked up Matilda by Roald Dahl. After Joe Speedboot, I don't feel like I could really read another Dutch novel now without comparing. I need something else entirely.

 

 

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The T-shirts and the key chain look nice :).

 

I hope you enjoy the three Stephen King books you ordered and that you like Matilda :).

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I'm sorry you've been having such a hard time :empathy:   It's a good thing that your therapist is back though! :)  It was nice to read about your niece, you're a great uncle :) 

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11 hours ago, frankie said:

I'm sorry you've been having such a hard time :empathy:   It's a good thing that your therapist is back though! :)  It was nice to read about your niece, you're a great uncle :) 

 

It'll probably sound weird, but what I love most about my therapist beside the fact that she knows me so well is that I can get angry with her, or confused, or express any kind of emotion without having to be scared of the consequences.

 

My niece changes so much within days' time, it's insane. She's now discovering her hands and it's delightful. She's very alert, always watching everything intently, following with her eyes, making faces. Last Sunday, I was carrying her around after she'd had her bottle, then sat down with her in the rocking chair. She sat on my leg, her back straight against my stomach (because she'd just eaten) and my hands were folded over her stomach, and she fell asleep like that and it was the most wonderful thing I've ever felt. The baby drink's on Sunday :) 

 

I've not been feeling great lately, but I hope it'll get better. It did get better reading a good book again. I go running twice a week and spinning twice a week, but I still wonder if maybe I don't get enough exercise? I'm considering getting a new bicycle - the one I have now is 15 years old and just not suited for me any more, and I can't make any speed with it. So I'm thinking of a more sports-oriented bike, maybe even a mountainbike. I think I'd much easier take the the bike to work or the library or whatever.

 

Reading Matilda feels so comfortable. Miss Honey was my first crush.

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Awww, your niece sounds cute :).

 

I hope you feel better soon :(. It sounds to me like you're getting quite a bit of exercise, but if you think it helps you to cycle more, that's certainly something you could look into :).

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22 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

It'll probably sound weird, but what I love most about my therapist beside the fact that she knows me so well is that I can get angry with her, or confused, or express any kind of emotion without having to be scared of the consequences.

 

Doesn't sound weird at all! It sounds amazing. That's what a good, professional therapist is for. :yes: You can be you!  I don't think I ever got angry with my therapist or at my therapist back in the day.. either I didn't have a reason (I was more the weepy type!) or I felt I couldn't get angry. I don't know, I don't remember. But I'm really kind of amazed by your therapist! :)

 

22 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

My niece changes so much within days' time, it's insane. She's now discovering her hands and it's delightful. She's very alert, always watching everything intently, following with her eyes, making faces. Last Sunday, I was carrying her around after she'd had her bottle, then sat down with her in the rocking chair. She sat on my leg, her back straight against my stomach (because she'd just eaten) and my hands were folded over her stomach, and she fell asleep like that and it was the most wonderful thing I've ever felt. The baby drink's on Sunday :) 

 

Awwww :) They grow up so quicly! The first 2 years go by so fast it's annoying! You don't want to miss a single thing! I'm jealous, I wish I had a niece or a nephew. 

 

22 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

I've not been feeling great lately, but I hope it'll get better. It did get better reading a good book again. I go running twice a week and spinning twice a week, but I still wonder if maybe I don't get enough exercise? I'm considering getting a new bicycle - the one I have now is 15 years old and just not suited for me any more, and I can't make any speed with it. So I'm thinking of a more sports-oriented bike, maybe even a mountainbike. I think I'd much easier take the the bike to work or the library or whatever.

 

 

Running twice a week and spinning twice a week sounds enough in my books! It sounds like a lot, actually, but I'm a lazy sod these days :D Whatever makes you happy is the way to go, I'd say :) 

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On 9/14/2017 at 10:28 PM, Alexander the Great said:

It'll probably sound weird, but what I love most about my therapist beside the fact that she knows me so well is that I can get angry with her, or confused, or express any kind of emotion without having to be scared of the consequences.

 

That's not weird, I think it means she's a good therapist! With my old therapist (I don't see him anymore), I have got sad, angry, and confused before.

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9 hours ago, Athena said:

 

That's not weird, I think it means she's a good therapist! With my old therapist (I don't see him anymore), I have got sad, angry, and confused before.

 

I really hope I won't have to stop seeing her for any reason other than me feeling I'm ready. I've had to stop therapy ten years ago when I didn't feel ready for reasons beyond my control. Then I also saw someone when I was in college for ten sessions, but we didn't click at all. I hope you've got a great bond with your current therapist as well.

 

@frankie I went to the bicycle shop today. I was going to go to the sports store where I get my sports clothes because the clothes are quite cheap there and very good, but my mom said that a friend of hers used to buy her bikes there, but now goes to a shop closer by. This shop has a bigger selection, which is better since the bicycles at the sports store are a limited selection - the chance of finding a good bike which allows you good posture is smaller there. And obviously, it's easier to buy a bicycle at a shop that is at biking distance. I went today - they had a very wide range. I was lucky, though - the first bicycle I asked to try out was the right frame size for me. I tried it out and it was amazing. The saddle is really good - my dad agreed, he tried it out too. I'm usually not a big hero on the bicycle - since I fell a few years ago, I've become quite scared on my bike (to fall). When I tried this one, I felt I really had a lot of control and I was even able to make sharp turns and ride in small circles around my dad without that paralysing fear I'd fall over. It's this one:

 

Allant_7_2_Matte_Dnister_Black_2.jpg

 

I do feel like the grey is darker IRL. I'm picking it up next week - they're going to add a carrier, mudguards, lights and a stand. It'll be ready by next Tuesday, but they close at 6.30pm and I have to work until 6.30pm, so I'll go on Friday (I work until 4pm on Fridays).

 

Yesterday, my parents were watching tv and I was in the kitchen getting coffee when they asked if I have an app on my phone to recognise songs. My phone was upstairs charging - there was a car commercial and they knew the song, but couldn't remember the name of the song or the artist. So they asked me to listen if I knew it, but not to look at the car or I'd get distracted. So I sat down and I closed my eyes, they started playing the commercial and about three seconds later I ask: "Isn't that Paranoid by Black Sabbath?" And of course, the typical reaction is: "Yes! That's it!" They then said they'd been wondering for weeks, racking their brains. I asked why they hadn't asked me before and they said; "Well, you're never home!" Apparently I was always doing something sports-related or in the shower :D Then I also said: "Guys, I'm slightly offended you think I'd need an app to recognise the probably most famous song by the band that pretty much invented metal. I know my roots!"

 

Matilda review

 

I haven't read this since I was a kid - and it was my first time reading it in English. I loved it every bit as much as I did when I was a boy - and I fully understand my younger self experiencing a first crush on Miss Honey. Dahl has a wonderful way with words - his language is playful, fluent, but never showy. He limits the amount of characters he focuses on, and then really finds unique ways of portraying them. In a children's book, I don't expect fully fleshed out characters with complex inner lives. Reading Dahl is always about fun.

 

I do have to say that whereas being a kid, I just thought Matilda was awesomesauce for being strong, independent and going her own way - it's so different reading this as an adult. As a kid, you root for the kids and it is so satisfying that their plans of small revenge work out. As an adult, I was shocked at how little Mr & Mrs Wormwood care for Matilda. I kept trying to imagine how you can have a child and then not love her, kept wondering how they managed to feed her and buy her clothes and furniture for her room and such, without seeming to care a bit about her. It is immensely sad at how they emotionally abuse Matilda by depriving her of a fundamental safe home - which becomes a reality at the end of the novel. Reading as an adult, I felt so sorry for Matilda, and worried about how this would affect her later on in life. As a kid, I fistpumped when Matilda was allowed to stay in England with Miss Honey. As an adult, I found myself wanting her parents to at least put up a bit of a fight, to show an indication they want her around.

 

This is one of those really good children's books that give you different things reading at different stages in life. The kind of book you read as a kid and know you will read to your own kid. I fully remember why Roald Dahl was my favourite author as a kid.

 

 

Edited by Alexander the Great

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14 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I really hope I won't have to stop seeing her for any reason other than me feeling I'm ready. I've had to stop therapy ten years ago when I didn't feel ready for reasons beyond my control. Then I also saw someone when I was in college for ten sessions, but we didn't click at all. I hope you've got a great bond with your current therapist as well.

 

I hope that for you, that you won't have to stop seeing her until you're ready to do so.

 

I have a great bond with my current and with my previous therapist. I was going to both for a while - as the rules changed so I had to start seeing my new therapist, whom I had also seen some time ago for different reasons (it's.. complicated), as she is doing multiple 'tasks' in her job. So I was seeing two therapists for some time and I found I didn't really needed to do that. My old therapist, I had to go to him, whereas my new therapist does house visits so she always comes to me. It was a lot of effort for me to go to my old therapist every time - I don't drive so I always had to ask one of my parents to take me. As I found it was not needed for me to have two therapists - albeit with different specialties - I stopped seeing my old therapist. I think he was going to retire this year anyway, so I just stopped seeing him a year earlier than I otherwise would have done.

 

14 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Yesterday, my parents were watching tv and I was in the kitchen getting coffee when they asked if I have an app on my phone to recognise songs. My phone was upstairs charging - there was a car commercial and they knew the song, but couldn't remember the name of the song or the artist. So they asked me to listen if I knew it, but not to look at the car or I'd get distracted. So I sat down and I closed my eyes, they started playing the commercial and about three seconds later I ask: "Isn't that Paranoid by Black Sabbath?" And of course, the typical reaction is: "Yes! That's it!" They then said they'd been wondering for weeks, racking their brains. I asked why they hadn't asked me before and they said; "Well, you're never home!" Apparently I was always doing something sports-related or in the shower :D Then I also said: "Guys, I'm slightly offended you think I'd need an app to recognise the probably most famous song by the band that pretty much invented metal. I know my roots!"

 

How cool you knew the name of the song :D!

 

14 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Matilda review

 

I haven't read this since I was a kid - and it was my first time reading it in English. I loved it every bit as much as I did when I was a boy - and I fully understand my younger self experiencing a first crush on Miss Honey. Dahl has a wonderful way with words - his language is playful, fluent, but never showy. He limits the amount of characters he focuses on, and then really finds unique ways of portraying them. In a children's book, I don't expect fully fleshed out characters with complex inner lives. Reading Dahl is always about fun.

 

I do have to say that whereas being a kid, I just thought Matilda was awesomesauce for being strong, independent and going her own way - it's so different reading this as an adult. As a kid, you root for the kids and it is so satisfying that their plans of small revenge work out. As an adult, I was shocked at how little Mr & Mrs Wormwood care for Matilda. I kept trying to imagine how you can have a child and then not love her, kept wondering how they managed to feed her and buy her clothes and furniture for her room and such, without seeming to care a bit about her. It is immensely sad at how they emotionally abuse Matilda by depriving her of a fundamental safe home - which becomes a reality at the end of the novel. Reading as an adult, I felt so sorry for Matilda, and worried about how this would affect her later on in life. As a kid, I fistpumped when Matilda was allowed to stay in England with Miss Honey. As an adult, I found myself wanting her parents to at least put up a bit of a fight, to show an indication they want her around.

 

This is one of those really good children's books that give you different things reading at different stages in life. The kind of book you read as a kid and know you will read to your own kid. I fully remember why Roald Dahl was my favourite author as a kid.

 

Roald Dahl was one of my favourite authors too as a kid. I love Matilda. Great review, it's interesting to read the differences of you reading the book as a kid vs. you reading the book as an adult.

 

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On 14/09/2017 at 9:28 PM, Alexander the Great said:

 I'm considering getting a new bicycle - the one I have now is 15 years old and just not suited for me any more, and I can't make any speed with it. So I'm thinking of a more sports-oriented bike, maybe even a mountainbike. I think I'd much easier take the the bike to work or the library or whatever.

 

Unless you intend to go off road, I would suggest that if you're looking for a bike to make some speed, a mountainbike is possibly the worst sort of bike to get - that's not what they're built for after all. Equally, unless you actually intend to use your bike for sport, then a sports-oriented bike certainly has zip, but doesn't provide the greatest ride for biking to work/library etc.  For that sort of thing, I ride a reasonably tight geometry hybrid (an older model of the current Trek FX2) which has enough nippiness to be really fun to ride, whilst being an excellent utility/commuter bike, and which has been used for short tours too.  Also, if it gets stolen, it's not going to wreck the bank, although I'm rather fond of it!

Edited by willoyd

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1 hour ago, willoyd said:

 

Unless you intend to go off road, I would suggest that if you're looking for a bike to make some speed, a mountainbike is possibly the worst sort of bike to get - that's not what they're built for after all. Equally, unless you actually intend to use your bike for sport, then a sports-oriented bike certainly has zip, but doesn't provide the greatest ride for biking to work/library etc.  For that sort of thing, I ride a reasonably tight geometry hybrid (an older model of the current Trek FX2) which has enough nippiness to be really fun to ride, whilst being an excellent utility/commuter bike, and which has been used for short tours too.  Also, if it gets stolen, it's not going to wreck the bank, although I'm rather fond of it!

 

I did end up buying a hybrid - a Trek Sport Sport Allant 7.2 :) I didn't want to get a racing bike since I'm not going to be competing, and spending that much would feel uncomfortable. I'm quite happy with the one I got!

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17 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

I did end up buying a hybrid - a Trek Sport Sport Allant 7.2 :) I didn't want to get a racing bike since I'm not going to be competing, and spending that much would feel uncomfortable. I'm quite happy with the one I got!

 

Checking out the specs, it looks like the Allant is one up from the FX:  Great minds and all that.......!

 

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1 hour ago, willoyd said:

 

Checking out the specs, it looks like the Allant is one up from the FX:  Great minds and all that.......!

 

 

Now I have even more faith in Isaac :D (That's what I decided to name my bike)

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11 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Now I have even more faith in Isaac :D (That's what I decided to name my bike)

 

It's cool you have named your bike :D!

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2 hours ago, Athena said:

 

It's cool you have named your bike :D!

 

I name most of my stuff. My previous bike was named Vincent.

 

... only now do I realise Vincent is the name of Simone's son, and Isaac is the name of one of Epica's guitarists XD

 

I'm picking up Isaac tonight!

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2 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

I name most of my stuff. My previous bike was named Vincent.

 

... only now do I realise Vincent is the name of Simone's son, and Isaac is the name of one of Epica's guitarists XD

 

I'm picking up Isaac tonight!

 

Awesome :lol:!

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