Monday, December 29, 2014

"It is so hard to leave - until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world"

Paper Towns by John Green
The people are the place is the people
This past weekend in the Ardennes I finished reading Paper Towns (2008) by sexy middle-aged father figure John Green. With a couple days off from work over the holidays, I had put the book aside to end the year with. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Today commentary is the content

South Park s18e10 #HappyHolograms
#savethelivingroom

People either love South Park or hate it.

I fall into the first category.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

That's a wrap on 2014!

Getting my "Decision" on.
Another year in the books. And what a year at that.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"A meeting room as a reference is deadly"

Guillaume Van der Stighelen - How To Turn Your Brand Into A Hero
Welcome to the collective memory.
First and foremost, thanks to my former colleague Liselotte for lending me this book. The best of luck at Kunstmaan, guurl!

Friday, December 19, 2014

NOOOOOO!

Boston Celtics trade Rajon Rondo to Dallas Mavericks
I can't believe it.
When I went to bed last night my world made sense. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On top of my Game of Thrones

Game Of Thrones - Season 5
Oh my GOT!!!
I'm not a "series" person, but when I find something I like, I become a fiend.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how"


BuzzFeed's book listicles: a neverending source of inspiration.

This time I picked Man's Search For Meaning (1946) by Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl from the viral site's 21 Books That Will Teach You Something Important list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end"

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diáz
"A person doesn't mourn forever"
I just finished reading This Is How You Lose Her (2012) by Dominican-American writer and writing professor Junot Díaz. The short story collection was recommended to me by the goold old Bol.com algorithm, which did a great job bringing up 13 Reasons Why to me last year, making me more than willing to give it a try.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to engage with comments on Facebook ads

Facebook advertising comments
Sneaky Facebook is sneaky
I'm relatively new to social media marketing, and there's still plenty of it left to unravel, but in the trenches at Queromedia you tend to pick up a thing or two.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Random NBA Observations: November 2014

November 2014 NBA Storylines
All is not well
Oh, how time flies.

The first month of the 2014-2015 NBA season is already in the books. That means the time has come to dust off my Random Observations concept. Here's 10 things you need to know about what happened in November:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shady Vs. Everybody

Shady XV album review
The gang's all here
Just three short months ago, Eminem announced new Black Friday release Shady XV. With MMLP2 already a year old, some thought it could have been a brand new album. Others hinted that Shady XV would be a greatest hits compilation. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1

That girl is on fire
This weekend I watched Mockingjay - Part 1, the next-to-last installment in Lionsgate's highly succesful Hunger Games movie franchise. It had been just little over a year since Catching Fire came out, but in my humble opinion this movie couldn't come fast enough. And that for several reasons:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do you want to ride an elephant?

AuthenticElephantRides.com
"Does my perkiness offend you?"
Then you are probably unaware of the brutal abuse that goes on behind the scenes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

21 & Over

21 & Over
"My shit is bananas, girl"
Last week I watched 21 & Over (2013) by The Hangover screewriters Scott Moore and John Lucas. I remember seeing the teaser trailer for the college comedy on WorldStarHipHop.com and being only vaguely amused, so I had not sought it out, even though I am, like, the biggest Miles Teller fangirl. E-ver. The movie struck me as an uninspired crossover between The Hangover (drunk protaganists tracing back their steps) and Project X (young people drinking and partying in outrageous manners), which made me OK with not checking it out. My knucklehead friends somehow managed to convince me otherwise.

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Maybe it's true that you can use up all of your tears"

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"Nothing is beautiful and true"
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) by Washington-born writer Jonathan Safran Foer is one of those books that stares directly into my soul every time I find myself in a bookstore. At long last I decided to buy it a couple of weeks ago, rushing through it in a few days when I finally found time for it. I must admit that said "rushing", however, happened with reluctance. Extremely Loud, I quickly figured out, is something truly special, and I wanted to savour the New York Times Bestesteller for as long as I could. Unfortunately for me, I wanted to find out what would happen even more.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Maleficent

Maleficent with Angelina Jolie
Evil has a beginning
Earlier this week I saw Maleficent (2014), Disney's dark fantasy re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. The movie was vaguely on my radar, mainly because of the ginormous billboard for it in the Disney Studios, but I hadn't really warmed up to it for two reasons:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to the woods

Cabin in the woods 2015
Cosy
Time flies. This past weekend marked the fifth edition of HalleWeen, a spooktacular two-day stay in the woods in Halle, with only a bunch of scary movies and our nightmares to keep us company. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Classic.
Last night I finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Presidential Medal of Freedom recepient Harper Lee. Turns out I mapped out my reading pretty well, since the last moments of the book also take place on October 31. So jot that down. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

8 Things the Boston Celtics showed us in the preseason

Boston Celtics 2014-2015 preseason
"I missed the Celtics THIS much"
Wit the 2014-2015 now just around the corner, the time has come to take stock of the Celtics. GM Danny Ainge partook in quite some wheeling and dealing, bringing in guys like Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton, Dwight Powell, Will Bynum and draftees Marcus Smart and James Young, and trading away Keith Bogans and Joel Anthony. We only have glorified scrimmages the preseason to go by, but the Celtics definitely showed a lot of potential in those games, going 5-3. Do preseason games mean anything? Heck no, but, just like last year, I did take away a couple of things.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) by Michael Bay
Cowabunga dudes
Last week marked the first edition of Quero@TheMovies. While most of my colleagues decided to check out The Drop (the sophomore feature film of Belgian director Michaël Roskam), myself, Jeroen, Mark & René decided to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the only right option out there. Sure, director Michael Bay is known for serving up hot garbage, but the TMNT franchise will always have a magnetic pull on me. I have many fond memories of the first animated series, the theme song for which gives me chills to this very day, the awesome figurines, and the 1990 Steve Barron movie. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Minor roster tweaks instead of major splash for Celtics

Boston Celtics acquire Will Bynum
BOOM goes the Bynumite
Celtics fans all over the world knew that two things could happen this summer.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by Wes Ball
aMAZEing
James Dashner's The Maze Runner series has certainly taken our family by storm. Earlier in the year, I bought the books, and I had to literally fight my siblings for a chance to read them myself. My sister Margot, in particular, got completely lost in the fandom, feverishly tweeting @jamesdashner and director @wesball, making an epic fan video, and getting herself invited to an exclusive fan screening in Amsterdam. On Saturday, she fixed us all tickets to the three-screen, Barco/Kinepolis "The Maze Runner Experience". 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Runner Runner

Runner Runner by Brad Furman
All bluff
On Friday night I saw Runner Runner (2013), directed by Brad Furman, whom you might or might not know from The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) with Matthew McConaughey. I remember having seen the trailer at some point, but I guess it hadn't stuck, perhaps because I never saw a review for the crime drama or even had a friend talk it up to me. Now, I'm the first to acknowledge the many skills of Justin Timberlake, and I think he's definitely a solid actor, but he's not leading man material. In Time had a cool concept behind it, but I had a feeling that Runner Runner, too, was just a bunch of empty calories.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"If content is king, then context is God"

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
K.O.
I recently read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (2013) by Wine Library TV and VaynerMedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk. When the social media marketing book arrived in the Queromedia Library (joining Small Is The New Big, The DipThe Conversation Company & Hatching Twitter, among others), I immediately claimed it. Critical acclaim for it was simply too high to be ignored, as marketing guru Seth Godin called the work "condensed, general and helpul" and Darren Rowse from Copyblogger praising the book as well (can't find the link to the article, I'm sorry!).

Monday, September 29, 2014

"One eye was on my work, the other on my master"

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
Captivating
Last night I finished reading Twelve Years A Slave (1853), the memoir of Solomon Northup, which was turned into a movie by Steve McQueen accoladed for its cast, screenplay, design, score and cinematography. I must admit that I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but I assure you that I'm making work of it. Solomon's slave story is as brutal as they come, and I'm very curious to find out how McQueen brought it to life and depicted the inhumanity of slavery.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

#shutdown4chan

Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures - The Fappening
4chan must go
The Fappening is still happening, and it's disgusting how little is being done about it. Last week, a second wave of nude photos ("The Fappening 2: The Second Cumming") was released by 4chan hackers, victimizing Jennifer Lawrence (again), Kim Kardashian, Meagan Good, music video model Emily Ratajkowski and Gabrielle Union, among others.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skateboard P is still rolling

Pharrell Williams - Sportpaleis
Happy feet
Pharrell is a hit-maker. 

Granted, he has used his groovy skills mostly to craft hit records for others, as demonstrated by a long and glorious producing resume that includes Drop It Like It's Hot, I'm A Slave 4 U, Hot In Herre, and most recently Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Boyhood

Boyhood by Richard Linklater
"It's always right now"
Two days ago I went to see Boyhood with my lovely lady Sarah and hip hop'd out sister colleagues Anke and Liselotte. There simply was no getting around the IFC Films product, which won Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival in June. Bald Bryan's praise on The Adam Carolla Show, the movie's 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and, of course, all the talk about director Richard Linklater's stunt concept had really warmed me up to it. A movie that was shot over 11 years? Following one boy's life? This I have to see.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Washington Wizards

Paul Pierce - Washington Wizards
The Truth arrives in DC
2013-2014: 44-38

After winning just 72 games in his first three seasons with the Washington Wizards, 2010 No. 1 overall pick John Wall exploded in his fourth go-round, starting all 82 games and posting career-highs of 19.3 PPG, 8.8 APG and 1.8. SPG. For the first time since 2007-2008, when DeShawn Stevenson went head-to-head with LeBron James, the Wizards reached the playoffs, even defeating the fourth-seeded Chicago Bulls in the First Round. Sure, they couldn't resist the Indiana Pacers, losing 2-4 in the Conference Semifinals, but for the first time in a long while, the Wiz were relevant again.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"If it's not going to put a dent in the world, quit"

Failure's an option
I recently read The Dip (2007) by marketing guru Seth Godin. I'm a daily reader of his wonderful blog and I had also checked out Purple Cow and Small is the New Big - all three of which are fantastic reads - so when I found this book about "when to quit and when to stick" in the Queromedia library, I knew I had to bring it home with me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If I Stay

If I Stay by R.J. Cutler
"You're my home now"
Last night I watched If I Stay, the movie adaptation of Gayle Forman's bestselling YA novel from 2009. The book has been on my to-read list since forever, but I have yet to get to it. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production wasn't really on my radar, except for the constant social media push provided by insanely talented Kick-Ass and Carrie actress Chloë Grace Moretz, who totally reminds me of my goofy Swiss cousin Elisa. Or nah? Anyway, I'm a huge Moretz fan and I was very curious how she would fare in a drama film.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets 2014 offseason
Back to the Rockies
2013-2014 record: 36-46

The Denver Nuggets had a tough campaign in 2013-2014. The front office was shaken up, Brian Shaw came over from the Pacers to replace George Karl, and do-it-all forward Andre Iguodala (acquired from the 76ers in the Dwight Howard trade) was shipped to the Warriors. Add already-recovering Italian stud Danilo Gallinari and season-ending injuries to Javale McGee, sparkplug Nate Robinson and J.J. Hickson to the equation, and you can see why the Nugs weren't necessarily clicking on all cylinders. With a healthy core and the addition of Arron Afflalo (shipped to the Magic in the Dwight Howard trade), Shaw's Denverians should be much better in Year 2.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Milwaukee Bucks

2014-2015 Milwaukee Bucks
The Young Bucks
2013-2014 record: 15-67

The Bucks got a bit carried away with last year's Riggin' For Wiggins tank fest, beating the tank-happy 76ers at their own game, and collecting a franchise-low 15 wins in 2013-2014 to improve their odds in last June's NBA Draft. Unlike Philadelphia, GM John Hammond doesn't intend to stay in the lottery forever. He added No. 2 pick Jabari Parker and some solid pieces to his young core, brought in a new coach to guide the youngsters, and is generally steering the franchise in a new direction.

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons 2014 offseason moves
The center of attention
2013-2014 record: 29-53

The Detroit Pistons were a bit of a mess last season. Their towering trio of bigs - Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith - didn't really gel on the court, coach Maurice Cheeks apparently didn't get along with Smith and Will Bynum, and the team generally lacked a system. The arrival of former Heat and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy will solve at least some of their problems, and while they won't be contenders, they should at least be able to churn out a few more wins in 2014-2015.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"We need to be cautious and smart and ruthless"

The Killer Order (James Dashner) review
The before!
On my recent trip to Turkey, I finally finished the Maze Runner trilogy by beststelling author James Dashner. My Maze-crazed sister Margot had also brought The Kill Order (2012), a prequel to the series, so I decided to check that one out, too. I'm always a bit skeptical about prequels - oftentimes they're just obvious attempts at milking the success of something - but Margot (and Marlon, and Sarah) assured me my reservations were unwarranted. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Chicago Bulls

Pau Gasol to Chicago Bulls
Pau chicka wow wow
2013-2014 record: 48-34

I don't know how they do it. Even without superstar point guard Derrick Rose (who tore his meniscus just 10 games after returning from an 18 month ACL recovery) and Bulls lifer Luol Deng (traded for Andrew Bynum and three future draft picks at the February deadline), they still managed to grab the No. 4 seed. Sure, Thibodeau's pesky troops got over-run by the Washington Wizards in the first round, but it's not hard to see why: their hard-ridden core guys and rag tag crew of in-season additions simply ran out of gas against the excited kids from the capital.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Offseason winners: Dallas Mavericks

Chandler Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks
Chandler Bang in the Big D
2013-2014 record: 49-33

Just 3 short years ago, the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title. Last year, they barely made the playoffs, taking the Champion San Antonio Spurs to 7 games before ultimately falling short. With Shawn Marion gone to the Cavaliers, Mark Cuban decided to surround re-signed championship holdover and Mavs franchise hero Dirk Nowitzki (3 years, $25 million) with a healthy mix of veterans and youngsters, drastically improving their odds in the Western Conference.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bad Neighbours

Bad Neighbours by Nicholas Stoller
IT'S ON!!
On Sunday night I watched Bad Neighbours. It was raining outside, I enjoy the works of Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, and I craved some laughs. I was pretty confident that this Universal Studios comedy would do just the trick. Especially with director Nicholas Stoller at the helm. You might remember him from such films as Get Him To The Greek (2010) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008).

Monday, September 1, 2014

I feel I must address this nude pic issue

the fappening 2014
The day the interweb exploded
Public figures still have a right to privacy.

2014 Offseason winners: Cleveland Cavaliers

It's that time of the year again. Fresh talent has entered the league via the Draft. Free agents have found new landing spots. Other players were traded. Some teams got better, others got worse to get better in the long run. The NBA landscape has changed a lot in 12 months. Just like I did last year and the year before, I will select seven teams that I believe will take steps forward from last season, be it marginal or not. Sometimes my selections are slam dunks, other times not so much.

My 2014 Offseason Winners are:

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Kids don't do what they're told, they do what they see"

A Life of Bright Ideas review
Hippie, but tasty
Shame on me. I had A Life Of Bright Ideas (2012) by Sandra Kring lying around since Christmas (thanks again, Mom!), but with so many books to go through and so little time to do it in, I had it on the back burner. When I was packing for Turkey, though, I thought "Hm... this might be perfect pool reading!"

Monday, August 25, 2014

"A man loses lots of habits in time"

Butcher's Crossing review
Buffalos before hoes
A favorable review in Humo. A 3-for-the-price-of-2 deal at the book store. That's all it took for Butcher's Crossing (1960) to get into my bookcase.

Eminem to release a new album on Black Friday

Shady XV on Black Friday
15 years and counting
He just wrapped up his six-date Monster Tour with Rihanna. His eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released less than a year ago.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

We are Groot!
I had heard tons of great things about Guardians of the Galaxy - the latest from Marvel - from my brolleague/Dan Bilzerian lookalike Mattias and bromosexual life partner Tom, so I decided to check it out on Sunday. Hardly knowing what to exactly expect, other than their raving recommendations and the trailer I saw a while ago, I ended up having a great time. Lend me your attention, idiots, as I tell you why you should definitely go see this awesome movie.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cookin' it up in Turkey

Marmaris Park in Marmaris, Turkey
Me & Marlon
I just returned from a weeklong stay in Marmaris, Turkey. With the non-summer going on Belgium and having been at work for nearly 8 months now, a sunny chillcation was just what I needed.
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