Je t’aime, Paris!

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Marking the fourth trip of 2015, my boyfriend and I went to Paris, the city of romance, for the weekend. The trip was a birthday present for my 21st birthday, as you might have read about. We’ve both visited Paris before, and the weekend was about rediscovering places we’ve already seen, and discover new things we might have missed last time.

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Currently Playing: Hearthstone

Part review, part diary, all Cactus – in Currently Playing I share what has been going on in my gaming life lately!

currentlyplayingGaming, like every form of entertainment in my life such as reading and watching TV, has it’s ups and downs. Some weeks I might not boot a game at all, while others I cannot be torn away from my screen. One game, however, has been pretty constantly played by me throughout the last year – Hearthstone. This card game by Blizzard, featuring various characters from the Warcraft franchise is one of the coolest casual games I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

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Orphan Black – First Impressions

orphan_black_2_poster_2After catching up with Penny Dreadful, The Big Bang Theory, and Daredevil, I’ve been in the search of a new TV series to watch. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and the show with most mentions is Orphan Black.

The posters of this series are all pretty bland – showing the lead actress Tatiana Maslany in various versions. The posters weren’t very appealing to me, so I never gave it a try without the push of my Twitter friends.

The plot, as set up in the first three episodes, stands as follows: Sarah sees a woman who looks just like her jump in front of her train. Since Sarah is in dire need of money, she impersonates the woman to get into her savings account – but then she gets caught up deeper and deeper into the dead woman’s life, and the mysterious circumstances of their relatedness.

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Rock am Ring 2015

It has been rather quiet on the travel front here on Irresponsible Cactus after my last two trips to London and Bruges. But summer is finally here, and with summer come awesome festivals like Rock am Ring! This German music festival was held from June 5th till June 7th on an airfield by Mendig. Three days of sunshine, music, and very little sleep.

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On Productivity

It’s hard to get the most out of your time, especially when there is a project that just has to be finished before a certain deadline. If you’re anything like me, that deadline will be looming all over you and killing every inch of motivation you might have had. I had this unpleasant experience trying to get through writing three academic papers at the same time.

There are literally thousands of posts out there that all claim to have discovered the holy grail – the one sure-fire way to “boost your productivity”. I’m more of a pragmatist, and subscribe to Stephen King’s motto: butt in chair, hands on keyboard. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cool tips to make life easier, but honestly, without any actual butt-in-chair time, nothing will get done.

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Daredevil – First Impressions

Last Saturday, nothing was on television. I had heard many great things about the new Daredevil TV show, so we gave it a shot. After watching the first four episodes, I can admit that I’m hooked.

The premise is fairly simple. Matthew Murdock is a blind lawyer by day, and superhero by night. Set in New York neighbourhood Hell’s Kitchen, he and his friends become increasingly tied up with the city’s underbelly.

First off, the show looks absolutely fantastic. The cinematography is amazing, and I feel like I could just take some stills from the series and put them on my wall. Comparable to other Netflix-produced show Hemlock Grove, the backdrop is gloomy and often filmed with a greenish filter.

What I appreciate most about the series is how the narration is handled. Marvel movies tend to be rather cliched (sorry) and a bit tame. They tend to follow a safe pattern, and make every point in the story as accessible and clear as possible. In this TV series, the viewer isn’t coddled. We’re given hints, bits and pieces, but it’s up to us to piece it all together.

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Confession Time: I’m Lonely

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to post this. But since a few lovely people on Twitter were very supportive, and I tend to feel better about issues once I write them down, here it goes.

You know that people say high school sucks, and that your time at university is going to be the best time of your life? Well, those people are wrong, at least in my case.

In high school I had a fantastic group of friends. There were three girls and four guys I saw basically every single day. We spent time in class together, saw each other on the weekends, and even if we didn’t meet in the flesh I tended to speak to most of them every day, either on Skype or MSN or in a computer game.

Come university time, we were spread all over the country. At first, many of us went to the same uni. Within a year, most of us decided this uni wasn’t for us, and we spread even more.

And then everyone started building a new life for themselves. They got new friends, new hobbies, new interests. The only time I see them is on birthdays. They went from being people I saw every single day to acquaintances you only make small talk with once in a while. And I completely get it and I don’t blame them, but I’m the one who got left behind.

I tried to make friends at my new university. Sadly, I’m studying a dying course, having only nine classmates, all female. After a long series of disappointments, of failed plans and awkward conversations, I discovered that clearly a small group doesn’t mean a tight one.

So I did the sensible thing to do when you’re lonely – find a club. I joined two book clubs. One I couldn’t stay in because of time constraints – the other disbanded without anyone even telling me. I’ve been in two ballet classes, but in both there aren’t any people my age.

I feel like I constantly meet new people, both in real life and online, but none of them truly stick. We might have a nice chat once in a while, but it never becomes a habit.

And for me the worst thing is that this has been going on for years. I haven’t truly been part of a group of friends since high school – and I graduated in 2011. The only people that ever text me or call me are by boyfriend and my mom. And they’re both lovely, but they can’t fill this void with just the two of them.

So yeah. If you’re lonely too, I’d love to be your friend.

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Addendum: Thank you all for the absolutely amazing comments and messages. I appreciate every one of them 🙂

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A Small Intermezzo…

Thursday is the day I usually post on Irresponsible Cactus. Just a few weeks ago I talked about how I manage two blogs at the same time; and right now is one of those times where real life is just so terribly busy that it’s too much to keep up with everything. So instead of doing a lengthy post, I thought I’d just share some updates.

Currently working on: I have to classes and a thesis to complete until I graduate. One class is not that much work, one class is a ton of work, and my thesis is a beast I have yet to tame. Only nine weeks left until deadline. Eesh.

Currently looking forward to: Vacatioooon! I can’t wait for summer holiday. I will read all the books and won’t do anything academic at all.

Currently reading: The High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks. I haven’t been reading much lately (for obvious reasons)

Currently playing: Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. At a LAN I was at last week I renewed my WoW subscription. Although it’s an easy game to get lost in, it’s also fantastic for relaxing. Heartstone is an ideal work break. You can easily stop after one or two or three games, depending on how much time you have

Currently listening: The Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle. Such a fantastic album; I love this kind of music when I’m doing any school-related writing.

That’s basically what has been going on in my life! In case you haven’t seen yet, I posted a very fun post about how reading is like falling in love over at Nyx Book Reviews yesterday. Hope you all have a great week!