The end of a beautiful dvd collection

April 11, 2003, at 21.40 CET i published a present: The beginning of a beautiful dvd collection.

dvdcollectie

Donnie Darko, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Buffy season 1 / 5, Lord of the Rings Extended Fellowship of the Ring, Angels season 1.

Today i’m writing the post The end of a beautiful dvd collection.

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I do think the last dvd i bought was either Dollhouse s2 or Caprica. That must have been the end of 2010. Five years ago. I was downloading already. But yes, i did enjoy having the dvd’s, of special shows i love. I enjoy the packaging, the special features.

My favourite dvd’s still are the extended ones form the Lord of the Rings. The bonus features! The first one, which i already had in 2003, had this special bonus on color correcting, which i loved. I should watch these again soon. Not the movies itself i’m afraid. These were broadcasted on television so many times, i can probably dream these. But yes, the special features!

The movies are mostly from the mid 00’s. Cube i haven’t watched entirely. 24 i liked. True binge watching. I stayed up until around 5am, thinking every time i pressed next that it was going to be the last one, but i couldn’t resist. But 24 did fade away , especially after season 5 or 6.

My Joss Whedon fandom is clearly visible. Buffy, Angel, Serenity, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Most of the first year Buffy comics. I am curious what Whedon will start up next. Even do i did enjoy the two Avenger movies, i’m happy Whedon has stopped working on these and is back to creating his own world once again. I’m curious!

And of course Battlestar Galactica. I missed the first two seasons when it was broadcasted here in the Netherlands. But once i got to see it, i was hooked. I love the story telling, the acting, Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell especially. The human Cylons were great, and delivered a special view on humans and how they were perceived by their own makings. Since two days i’m watching the series once again. Friday i watched the mini series. Yesterday, saturday, i watched the first season until episode 8 Litmus. I will watch the rest of season 1 this evening. I’m also reading the reviews on the A.V. Club website. It does give many insights into the episodes which i only half noticed. Or not have noticed at all!

…my interpretation is that it’s the first time the show makes clear to its humans, through a web of subtext and semiotics, that humans will have to be something other than human in order to survive. It’s not clear what, for sure. But this transference of sexual imagery to the machine—and then Kara’s transformation from a ground-crawling human to person that can kind-of-sort-of fly, using her feet and hands — is not an image that is just thrown into the story for funzies. There is something very intense here — a meditation on humanity, a meditation on survival, a reckoning of the very drives that make us people. And an exhortation, perhaps, to walk in someone else’s shoes — or to fly with their wings — or to look through their eyes, after you’ve given them over to the Commander. (from You can’t go home again)

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My second bread! With sunflower pits and flaxseeds. I did knead it longer this time, around 10 minutes. The rising went better. I ate the first slices straight after it got out of the oven. I had two slices with butter, and two with tuna salad i made half an hour before, with self made mayonaise. Gorgeous!

Published on January 11, 2016 at 6:00 by

David Foster Wallace

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This article from the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, published 14 December 2012, has been hanging on my board for the past three years. It is about Wallace himself, about his books, about his recently published biography. It is a Dutch article, i won’t be translating it. Sorry.

The last two sentences

In a world of pure panic, of smouldering suffering, artificial irony doesn’t have a place anymore. It doesn’t even scratch the fucking surface.

Published on January 8, 2016 at 6:00 by

Bread

Today i baked my first bread ever!

I haven’t eaten it yet. It is still cooling down. I will take a slice this evening. Curious!

It does feel heavy. But when i knock on the bottom with my finger, i hear a good hollow tick.

I did use a recipe from Nigel Slater which was published in the Guardian. I did divide it by two, since i only wanted to make one loaf. I also left out the parmesan. I didn’t have any. The honey and the walnuts i did add. I had plenty of those in my house.

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Ingredients

  • 200 g spelt flour
  • 200g rye flour
  • 50 g wheat flour
  • 5 g yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1,5 tbsp honey
  • 50 g walnuts

It wasn’t very difficult. But i do know, since it is my first, that many things could have gone wrong. I might have kneeded it not long enough. Or too long! I might have baked it too long. A bit.. like 5 minutes. But still, it was a good thing for me to do. I still have enough flour to make 4 other loaves. I will buy some more seeds, i like that. And yeah, i might give the parmesan a try.

I did do some research beforehand. Especially about sourdough. But most recipes for that said it would take a couple of days to make. So i’m starting with yeast, simple dried yeast. I will make a sourdough starter one day. Curious!

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Add all the three flours into a large bowl together with the dried yeast and the salt and stir. Warm the water with the honey slightly, mix with the flours. Once everything is mixed, put the sticky dough on a floured surface. Knead the dough by hand, pulling and stretching the dough, for a good five minutes.
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Lightly oil the bowl, put the dough back into it. Cover with a tea cloth or clingfilm and set aside for an hour.
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Remove the dough from the bowl, knead again for around two minutes, this time adding the nuts. Shape the dough into a nice oval long shape and leaf for half an hour. Set the oven to 220ªC 15 minutes before. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp.
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This bread should keep for a couple of days, wrapped in foil or film.
Published on January 7, 2016 at 6:00 by

My Favourite Things

Around Christmas and Old Years Eve television takes out all the known favourites. No, sorry US people, that is not The Wizard of Oz, i’m sad to say. In Europe there are many movies in the end of year season. Last Sunday it was Singing in the Rain, on the afternoon. I didn’t see the whole movie, but i did love it. Well, apart from the large musical pieces in there. I prefer the more intimate scenes. Other movies where the Indiana Jones movies on the BBC, which i love. The Harry Potter movies too. I do hope next year they will broadcast the entire series, and not miss out on the Half Blood Prince. Grrrr.

But the best movie this year, one i have seen many many many times before, was The Sound of Music. I love the singing, i love Maria, i love the children, i love the love story, the failed love story of the two youngsters, and i love it they continue after the marriage with the escaping run over the Austrian and Swiss mountains.

I had several numbers in my list. Do Re Mi i do like. Sound of music as well. But in the end i decided for this one, My Favourite Things. I do enjoy the rhythm, the rhymes, the playing with the colors and all the different sort of things you may like. From the exotic, raindrops on roses, to the plain, brown paper packages tied up with strings. Silver white winters that melt into springs. Love love love!

My favourite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

The original scene from the Sound of Music

Published on January 6, 2016 at 6:00 by

A walk in Rotterdam: the Kralingse Bos

A walk in the Kralingse Bos today. It did start to rain a bit halfway, i was happy to have a hood on my coat.

I went through some parts i never visited before.

First i walked through the children’s farm. I had seen it before, but went around it then. This time i looked at the rabbits, the chickens, the ravens outside looking for the food of the chickens, the goats, the sheep, the ponies, a cow, the birds. There was a huge grey bunny, sitting there washing himself. Huge!

I went to the Heemtuin after that. This is sort of a botanical garden, with a focus on communities. The Heemtuin was close to the water, with long curvature paths all through it.

I walked past the lake towards the golf terrain at the east side of the forest. It started to rain pretty hard then. I did remember the shepherd telling me there were orchids flowering near the golf terrain. But that is in summer. Even though i could see new plants coming up and buds on the branches, because of the unusual warm wether the past weeks, orchids need a bit more warmth i suppose.

I walked out of the park, went up the Laan of Nooitgedacht. Discovered the tram, as of today, would not go this far because of work on the roads. So i walked up to the tube at the Voorschoterlaan and went home. Two and a half hours it took me.

Some people said hello, some said good day, some said nothing, didn’t even look my way.

When i entered the tube station a woman sitting across on the other platform was watching me and smiling while i looked into a mirrored wall and slightly adjusted my hair. I smiled back.

I remember sitting on a bench and watching the city skyline. The sounds of far off cars was all around. I don’t think you can find a silent spot anywhere near the big cities in the Netherlands.

I also picked up a worm crawling on the asphalt path. I set it down in the grass. No idea if i helped him with that. It just seemed to me to be a better spot for the worm. Ground to dive into.

Enjoy the photos i made!

Read more…

Published on January 5, 2016 at 6:00 by

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Last week, in my one week off, my one week holiday, my one week of not thinking about posts, what to write, photograph, sing or make, last week i went to a movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In Cinerama, on Wednesday 30 December 2015, starting at 14.10 CET.

I told in The world is terrible i did see the original first movie in 1977 in the cinema. I went together with my nephew. We went out to eat a Big Mac in the new McDonald on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, before or after.

What I did not mention, i never saw the two upcoming movies in the cinema. I was into new wave music, read less science fiction, and i didn’t go to these blockbuster movies anymore. So yeah, even though i was a sci fi fan for quite some time, that did disappear too for around ten years.

I did enjoy the movie. Especially the beginning. Some parts i was puzzled by. Some parts i felt were taken very lightly.

I will talk about this after the break. Completely spoilerish! So please, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, stay away from that part!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Read more…

Published on January 4, 2016 at 6:00 by

The world is terrible

A morning in December 2015 i saw the episode Botox from the Dutch television program Keuringsdienst van Waarde [1]. One of the presenters asked a lady, about to have some botox injections, if she was aware that botox is a poison.

“Zo zou ik het niet willen noemen.”

“I wouldn’t want to call it like that.”

It is a poison. Botulinum toxin. Botulinum is the most acutely lethal toxin known. I didn’t make up the previous sentence. I copied it from the Wikipedia page [2].

inbetween

My mind crossed over to the sinking boat disasters [3] happening over the past years. Specifically, the one in Italy and the one in South Korea.

“Capt. Lee Joon-seok of the Sewol, the South Korean ferry that sunk last week, has come under heavy criticism for abandoning the ship while hundreds of passengers remained on board. Dozens of them died and more than 200 were still missing Monday”

“Witnesses said Schettino jumped into a lifeboat to flee the ship, even though hundreds of passengers were still on board. In his trial, the captain said he fell into a lifeboat when the ship listed sharply.”

inbetween

“You’re a faker!” the lady on the train berated me while my two small children looked on. “If you can read that book, you aren’t blind.”

I have never thought about the issue of the cane for visually impaired people. To face this seems to me almost impossible at times [4].

It also reminds me of scenes in The Big Bang Theory [5], in which Leonard walks into a wall or a pillar. He is supposedly completely blind without his glasses on. I have always thought this weird. I wear glasses myself, -5 and -3.5. But the world is simply a bit more vague and blurry without them. And with movement and depth, the world is perfectly navigable without glasses as well.

inbetween

The PGB system in the Netherlands is a personal care budget. It has worked well for around 15 years. People who needed it had a budget to hire the right people to help them. This year this system has changed. Now the SVB, the Dutch Social Insurance Bank, has taken over. Since the beginning of this year the bank was behind paying the budget. The money involved with implementing the new rules has tripled. It is not €50 million, but €150 million. The administration for this budget is so much work, i heard on television someone say that her mother was going to leave the PGB in January 2016.

People who have talked about the pgb-chaos are actually told by the SVB to not talk to any press, with a fine of € 35.000 if they do [6].

The National Ombudsman has concluded, in August 2015, that all human interests have been completely lost with the implementation of this new law [7].

The main driving force behind the changes in this system is that the government wants to cutback this way of budgeting. It is supposed to be susceptible to fraude, administrative difficult and expensive. Many people, who have a PGB now, will be cut out of this system eventually.

inbetween

I am not a nun. I do feel admiration for people choosing this way of life. But i am not overtly religious myself. I still like to find someone to share my life with. Reading about people still choosing this life does perk me up though. It does seem very ancient, not of this world. But that is only a story to make this world seem smaller and narrower, a story many people believe [8] [9].

inbetween

I love sci fi. I went out with my nephew to see Star Wars, in 1977. I was 13 or 14 years old. We got ourselves a Big Mac. In the McDonalds on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Which is still there, even though it is completely rebuild this year.

I love to watch sci fi movies. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, Harry Potter, Looper, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Solaris, Alien, Back to the Future. TV series: Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Enterprise, Voyager, the original series. Firefly is one of my all time favourite tv series.

I love to read sci fi books. When i was around 12 years old, i read my first sci fi book, Torenhoog en Mijlenbreed [10] written by Tonke Dragt [11]. This was the start of me reading Dune by Frank Herbert, books written by Jack Vance, Robert Heinlein, Asimov, Simak, Ursula LeQuin and many more. In 2000 i discovered Peter Hamilton’s books. Pure space opera. I loved it.

I don’t know how this works in Hollywood. I don’t know who decides what script will be made into a movie. I don’t know who decides which director will make the movie. I do know after two big movies, Joss Whedon [13] decided to stop working on them.

“He remarked that not having created his own fictional universe in over five years felt wrong and intended to use the proceeds made from Avengers: Age of Ultron for such ventures.”

Most of these movies give a pleasurable rollercoaster type experience. They work. Definitely. But these movies are also picky in their choice of scares and nightmares and oppressions [13].

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We are doomed.

We are all guilty. We try to live a carefree live, with a multitude of pleasures.

The food industry is providing us with meats, sweets, superfoods, bags of special herb selections for a good curry, soda, milk, fish. The news stories about horse meat sold as cow meat scare us for a few days. Then it slides away. Another news story is there to frighten us.

We watch the tv shows. True Detective. Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead. We love to get frightened. For an hour. Love to think of our society being transformed by a unnatural disease into a bloodthirsty mob of zombies, chasing us into a corner and eating our necks and eyes and hearts and legs.

Our world is collapsing.

We stand today on a precipice of annihilation that Nietzsche could not have even imagined. There is little reason to hope that we’ll be able to slow down global warming before we pass a tipping point. We’re already one degree Celsius above preindustrial temperatures and there’s another half a degree baked in. The West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing, Greenland is melting, permafrost across the world is liquefying, and methane has been detected leaking from sea floors and Siberian craters: it’s probably already too late to stop these feedbacks, which means it’s probably already too late to stop apocalyptic planetary warming. Meanwhile the world slides into hate-filled, bloody havoc, like the last act of a particularly ugly Shakespearean tragedy. [14]

This post, We’re Doomed. Now What?, from 21 December 2015, made a big impression on me.

Between self-destruction and giving up, between willing nothingness and not willing, there is another choice: willing our fate. Conscious self-creation.

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Our news stories repeatedly tell the same story over and over again. About failings. About murders, refugees, attacks, wars, accidents, suicide missions, disasters, bankruptcies, etc. etc.

nu.nl, thursday 24 December 2015

  • Police agant stabbed to death on a German station
  • Surely 50 deaths with bus accident in Afghanistan
  • Deaths and wounded after car road into an English coffee bar
  • No driving in Rome due to smog
  • Mosque in Berlin gets send half a swine’s head
  • Ninth suspect assault Paris detained in Brussel
  • American assault airplanes attack goals in Afghanistan
  • Surailie I. detained for deathly shooting Waterfront in Amsterdam
  • Syria wants to join the peace talks

nu

inbetween

The world is terrible.

The world, our world, is also extraordinarily stunningly exquisitely beautiful. Awe inspiring breath taking away gorgeous. Filled with live bursting from every pocket, from the poles to the deep seas, from the marshes to the forests to the rivers to the mountains.

NASA had a press conference this year. They had found water on Mars. Some people are thinking about colonizing Mars. Because, well, our earth is full? We want to start again?

Our planet is quite a rare planet in the universe. Our sun is not too small, not too big. We are set in a outer spiral arm of the Milky Way [15]. A quiet neighborhood. Our planet is accompanied by a rather large companion, the moon. A quarter of the size of earth. The matching of apparent visual size of the moon and the sun is a coincidence [16]. A coincidence.

There was an asteroid slamming into our earth, around 66 million years ago [17]. It wiped out around three-quarters of the animals and plants. Which made it possible for mammals to rise to dominance.

Of course there are other planets in the universe with the same sort of coincidences and accidents as on ours. Not that many, but still, if only a 0.0000001% of all the existing planets can bear life, that means, ooh man, i don’t know, several hundreds? thousands? tens of thousands of planets out there in the universe with life on it. Maybe on some the dinosaurs weren’t wiped out. Maybe on others evolution got stuck on reptiles. But i’m also guessing that on several a human like form evolved.

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I know many people are working hard to make this world a better place. I hope to do the same thing. Hoping doesn’t make it any easier to find the right thing for you, fitting with who you are, what your talents are, fitting with what you really want to do.

For me, personally, i realize i took a really long time trying things out. Science, design, drawing, painting, photography, typography, html, flash, actionscript, javascript, writing, singing, making video’s.

I also took a long time doing nothing. I’m not sure why. But i do feel it is part of the process.

I have found a few things. I’m happy to say.

inbetween

Our world is beautiful. It is a place to treasure. To take care of. With animals to love, to enjoy, to be careful of. With all the knowledge we gained over the years.

Not a world to own, to milk of every juice we can get out of it, to change to suit our needs as we please.

I’m thinking, what do we really need, truthfully?

I’m thinking, what it boils down to, what, in the end we do need, is love. Love of the earth. Love of nature. Love of all animals. Love of all people.

Love. Truthfully.

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Footnotes

  1. Keuringsdienst van Waarde
  2. Botulinum toxin
  3. Abandon ship? In recent maritime disasters, captains don’t hang around

  4. What a white cane really means

  5. The Big Bang Theory
  6. SVB: monddood om pgb-ellende
  7. Overheid faalde volgens ombudsman aan alle kanten bij pgb’s

  8. I am a hermit

  9. The modern hermit living in an end-of-terrace house

  10. Torenhoog en Mijlenbreed

  11. Tonke Dragt
 (english)

  12. Joss Whedon
  13. The Topics Dystopian Films Won’t Touch

  14. We’re Doomed. Now What?
  15. Solar system
  16. Moon
  17. Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event
Published on December 25, 2015 at 6:00 by

The best of 2015

My music listening this year was mainly with spotify. The past week i’ve been reading best of lists, on Pitchfork, the Guardian, Youtube, Spotify. The best news was today, that the Beatles are entering the streaming services as of tomorrow. Yay!

My favourite new star this year is Jess Glynn. I love her voice. I do like her singing on Tinie Tempah’s song Not Letting Go. This music right now makes me feel very happy.

The best song is Let It Go from Idina Menzel for the movie Frozen, a couple of years ago. I was thinking of singing this song again, this time with a video, but no, i decided against it.

This past year of 2015 is one the best years of my life. It was a year of discovery. The singing. The video’s. It was a year of beginnings. And endings. The end of lfs.nl. The start of ellenpronk.com.

It was a year in which i felt myself going through dreams, thoughts, wishes. I still don’t know where i will end up. I still feel that my life could be a silent life, a quiet life, a life working on my own. But i also know it could be a full life, a busy life, a tumultuous life. There are many things i wish for in the busy life. Friends. Someone to love. But you never know, it could be in the quiet life as well. And maybe the division is simply a way for me to make a decision. Maybe the division is not real. Maybe the lifes are the two sides of the same life.

I do remember thinking this year that i was just a normal person. This is not true. I’m extraordinary. I’m not the only one. My friends are extraordinary as well. Everybody i know tries to lead as good and as right a life as they possibly can. Within the means of this world we live in. I’m not sure how wide those means are, how flexible they can be. I’m thinking it is time to try to find that out.

As i said last week, next week i won’t be posting anything. A week off! One more post, tomorrow.

I’ll be back 4 January 2016.

Love and kisses!

💋

Published on December 24, 2015 at 6:00 by

Vanilla Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Sauce

Today i made Vanilla Ice Cream. I searched for a good recipe. I do not have an ice cream machine, so that is something to keep in mind. On the BBC website i found a good recipe, vanilla ice cream with only double cream, yolks, sugar and vanilla as ingredients. Great!

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Ingredients

  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 500ml cream
  • 70g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks

Method

  1. slice the vanilla pods lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds, keep the seeds apart
  2. add the pods to the cream, heat it up till it boils, add the sugar and stir it until the sugar is dissolved
  3. whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl, slowly add the cream mixture
  4. add the vanilla seeds, keep on whisking till it cools down, pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2-3 hours
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The cream with the pods slowly shimmering.
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The hand mixer i took with me when i left home thirty years ago! I did a search for the brand, Ruton, but i found nothing. Nothing. This hand mixer could be from the 60s. I don't have a stand mixer, but this way works pretty good, with the lettuce sieve on its head on a towel, and the mixer standing on the sieve.

Keep the egg whites apart. I might make a meringue later in the week.

For a Salted Caramel Sauce i used Nigella’s recipe. I did look for golden syrup in the supermarket today. I had seen it before, but it was sold out. I decided i was going to use honey.

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g golden syrup – honey in this case
  • 125ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, any type you want

Method

  1. melt butter, sugars and syrup or honey, let it simmer for a couple of minutes while swirling the mixture
  2. add the cream and the salt, taste to see if you have enough salt – please cool the mixture by blowing on it, it can be quite hot!
  3. put the sauce in a glass pot to save, keep it outside the fridge until it is completely cooled
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This pan i got for my birthday around.. hmm.. counting.. 27 years ago? I did get it from friends from art school. I was really happy with this present.

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When i made my Vanilla Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Sauce, the ice cream wasn’t completely set yet. I wasn’t going to wait! So i twirled the mixture a bit. The sides were frozen, the bottom was too. The middle was still a bit fluid. When it was all mixed i scooped out a bulb of ice cream and added the salted caramel sauce. Yummy!

Published on December 23, 2015 at 6:00 by