The Happiness Tag

A happiness tag, from Lisa of all people. Who would’ve seen that coming?! (That’s a compliment of sorts.)

The rules

  • List five things that makes you happy
  • Share five songs that makes you happy
  • Tag at least five bloggers that makes you happy

5 things that make me happy:

  • My family. Sure they sometimes drive me crazy, but in the end, they’re the constant in my life – the ones I know will always be there. (you know, metaphorically. irl we’ll all die.)
  • Randomly getting to hear Swedish. Being surrounded by Dutch and English, it always surprises me. Even that commercial that’s on tv here now, where they sing in Swedish (I was going to embed it, but I honestly don’t know what it’s for. Wasa? Volvo?)
  • Random acts of kindness. (a.k.a. the only reason I haven’t completely lost all hope in mankind yet).
  • Good books. As in physical books. If they’re made of pixels, they don’t exist. (I type, on this blog – the irony is not lost on me.)
  • Good music.

5 songs that make me happy:

(look Lisa, it works!)

And let’s add one video too, of female hip-hop collective Reykjavíkurdætur (Reykjavik’s daughters):


 

I’m terrible at tag, so let’s just say that anyone up for it should do it!

I’m in Stitches (j/k)

Here in NL, the health care is what I would call semi-private (probably technically wrong, but whatever). You’re obliged to have health care insurance, the cost of which varies depending on the company you go with and what extras (dental care etc.) you choose. Normal range is currently around €90-110 per month.

No company can deny you health care coverage, nor do dumbass things like “pre-existing conditions” matter. However. You still have the “self risico”, i.e. self risk, that you’ll have to pay.* That is currently € 380 per year. So anything up until that, you might still have to pay yourself. If you’re unlucky, your yearly health care costs will then be around € 1580 per year (medications not included!). If you’re lucky enough not to get sick, your yearly costs are still around € 1200.

I just got the bill for my hand surgery from last  year. Here’s a picture showing how severe it was:

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3 stitches, completely conscious, was out of there within half an hour.

Total bill: € 746.
I have to pay: € 25 (WHY?! I don’t get why most of it is covered but not all. I haven’t reached my self risk limit for this year, so why is it only € 25?)

All in all, not so bad. But decidedly more than what my mom – who uses much more health care – paid last year.

Also, I sent the above picture to my brother as I took off the bandage, and he replied that it looked like “kassler”. Here’s a picture of that for your reference:

kassler_i_ugn_kasslergratang_allt_i_ett_sas_ris


*some things fall outside of this. Visits to your house doctor don’t count, for example.

Top Ten Tuesday

As the previous time, I realize that TTT is now on a summer break, but I feel like doing this anyway, so I shall!

When scrolling through their list of previous topics, one immediately caught my eye; “Most Dislikable Characters”. “I can work with that!”, I thought. We will see.

Rated in terms of horribleness:

  1. Joffrey from A Game of Thrones. I’ve never wished a character in a book dead as strongly as I did Joffrey, and I may have cheered when he finally died.
  2. Cersei. Joffrey’s mother in A Game of Thrones.
  3. That guy in Fallvatten (how is it that this book hasn’t been translated into English?). I can’t remember his name, but if you’ve read it, you know who I mean. Eeeew.
  4. Julia Bliss Flaherty in Seveneves. Completely unsympathetic president who think they’re the center of the world. Does that remind you of someone?
  5. Humbert Humbert in Lolita. Hate is not a strong enough word for this guy.

And that was about it. I’ve looked through the books I’ve read in the last 2 years, and no other ones stick out. Apparently characters have to be really bad before I find them completely unlikeable.

I watched two movies

…like, on purpose, not just cause they happened to be on TV (they were not). This is kind of a big deal for me, so I thought I’d have to make you read about them!

The two in question were La La Land and Manchester by the Sea. Full disclosure: when it comes to movies, I’m a crier. I’d need more than my both hands to count the number of times I’ve had to explain to people in my life that “no no, I’m fine. It’s just this MOVIE/BOOK is very sad.”.

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La La Land
As opposed to my asshole colleague* M, I like musicals, and am not ashamed of it. I would have wanted to see this one in the cinema, but it didn’t go up in our local one and I didn’t care enough to travel further. Admittedly though, I was skeptical – I thought it would be too cynical and shallow.

Eeeeeh. Well. If you understand Swedish you should read this review by author Amanda Hellberg. Hilarious as always. While she quit after 44 minutes, I watched the whole thing!

Can we also please address that Gosling can’t sing for shit?** How do you get cast for a musical without being able to sing? ffs. My feelings for him are easily summarized in one word: meh. Emma Stone, however, that’s a proper celebrity crush! I thought she was great in both Easy A and Crazy, Stupid, Love,  PLUS she can sing:

There was absolutely no crying for me in regards to this movie, and the highlight was the song above (really like it). BUT. I so like Emma, I’ll probably watch it again at some point, despite Gosling’s appearance. The ending was also right up my alley.


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Manchester by the Sea
Alrighty, I’ll have to admit that I did think “clearly this is the more attractive Affleck brother”, before remembering that he was going around social media because he was accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment. So I take that back.

Since this movie was recommended by a fellow movie-crier, I knew there would be tears,  and boy were there. I enjoyed the pace of the movie – it took its time to tell the story and develop the characters. And, even though the above statement of Affleck stays true, to me he portrayed this person and his story very well, and had me crying there (duh). Michelle Williams should also be mentioned, and was equally persuading in her part. The movie is all about the men though, with Williams’ role being a side story (no matter how important) – so a thumbs down for that.

All in all, these were pretty well chosen movies, both of which I enjoyed watching. Manchester by the Sea was definitely more touching, although La La Land is the one I’m most likely to re-watch (despite Gosling’s singing…)


*I’ve also called him asshole to his face, when he insisted that “negerzoenen” (“nigger kisses”) were an appropriate term for a treat since they have “always been called that”. Helped very little, but at least I tried.

** Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh? I’ve listened to it again, and didn’t find it as bad as I did when watching the movie. I was cringing every time he sang throughout… I guess I’ll cut him some slack?

Project 2017 – Update #7

I have three goals for this year, and will be making monthly updates on them. They are:

  • thinking of my health and start moving more. no numbers, explicit goals or deadlines, but simply that – move more, be kind to my body.
  • favorize women! more female authors and artists
  • continue learning stuff.

So, how has month four gone?

Health: I lost the gym mojo again 😦
Then my mom and brother came to visit, and we walked so much. Now I will do my best to keep up the 10k steps at least 5 days a week.

The Ladies: I’m back at reading only women again, to get the percentage back to 75% for the books. I have to say, it’s a really good eye-opener when buying books. I’ll see something that sounds interesting and then put it back with a sad face cause it was written by a man. And please don’t misinterpret that: I don’t in any way think men write more interesting books, it’s just that most of the books on the shelf in the bookstore I pass most often are by men. That’s a choice by the bookstore, and they’re losing my business for sure.

Learning: Going semi-strong on that course I’m taking at Stockholm University. It’s an odd feeling when you hand something in thinking “oh boy, that is SHIT. there is now way they’ll let it pass”, and you get the feedback “Great!”. I guess the other participants suck? 😛