So, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve joined yoga class. Like, one of those proper hippie ones in a basement that smells of incense, one of those classes where participants actually do the weird, heavy breathing and look ridiculously healthy and peaceful, where the instructor actually moves around during class correcting your positions (yeah…). As you can probably discern from the language I am using right now, I obviously have some preconceptions about this.
But I LOVE yoga. I always have. I‘ve just never gotten very far with it, because I’ve always done yoga in big gym with instructors that are going through the motion and don’t explain things properly, big gyms that are always packed with people and where it’s usually hard to even get a slot for yoga because everyone pre-books the very second the slots are released.
So now I’ve signed up for a class where the spot will always be mine. The instructor is great. The people are nice. Nobody is shoving you to get more room. And like I said, the instructor actually corrects your stances.
For instance, whenever people in the past have said “Ooh, Downward Dog is such a wonderful resting position”, I’ve been all like “Fudge you, lady! Downward dog is fudging breaking my back and killing my shoulders, what the fudge are you talking about?!”. And then I went to this class. I was standing in the Downward Dog position and was shaking all over and feeling like a proper noob, even after ten-twelve years of now-and-then yoga, when the instructor comes over and just… corrects it. And I get it. And it actually IS kind of a resting position, after all. And my brains goes “Ahaaaaa… Gee, now I love this even more”.
This dog isn’t doing Downward Dog, it’s doing the Cobra
This dog might be doing Downward Dog
I have no idea what this position is called…
I don’t even know where I was going with this post, because I have distracted myself with funny dog pictures… Oh yeah! Do you sorta like something and would like to like it some more? Consider taking a class. It’s fun.
Also, the name Downward Dog is funny. I can’t help giggling every time I say it. Because I’m twelve.
Just found myself on Google maps street view. I don’t know why I think that is so funny, I just do. Rocking!
This is a public announcement:
I did something grown-up this morning. I looked at thermometer and noticed that the temperature had dropped from -3 C to -11 C. And then I dressed in very warm clothes before heading out. And it worked. I did not wear my flimsy shoes. I did not freeze to death. I even brought a travel mug with hot tea.
Freaking awesome, you guys.
I am now officially middle-age.
But it was a very pretty morning, for sure!
This is the obligatory New Year Woot Woot blog post! Happy new year! A bit late, maybe, but never the less.
I should have taken down our Christmas tree the other day, but instead I ate some chocolate. Chocolate is said to: decrease the risk of a stroke, reduce the likelihood of a heart attack, control coughs, and help you with your mental math. Since I’ve been pretty stressed out the last year, and got a cold worthy of Golgomath that has left me coughing for over a month, I felt that my choice was a valid priority. Also, I am trying to be frugal and budgety this year, so I’m sure that mental math thing will help too. In fact, I might need to buy new chocolate.
Christmas was thoroughly enjoyable and full of good stuff, such as family time, sweet gifts and homemade food. It was celebrated at our house this year, and because of this the cat had a very busy time with his strict kitty controls (everything new we bring into our apartment must be sat upon, slept upon, scratched or chewed little bit, and then loudly and promptly meowed at. If whatever item it is can take that, it’s approved. And possibly elected to be his new favourite sleeping spot).
I have not made any official “new year’s resolutions”, but I inevitably have a long, mental list of things I would like to achieve and hopes about what this year will bring. Some of them I have written down in my notebook, some of them I have shared with those close to me, but I will not announce it here in any sort of fancy fashion. There are some things I have DECIDED to do this year, as a challenge for myself, and I have noticed that Big Announcements kills the whole thing for me. And I don’t want to squash the spark.
I have however used an app on my phone to always display a short bullet point list of things I want to remember to do more often. Because I’ve realized I’m too easily distracted to actually remember those things I wish I did more often. I look at this list as a friendly reminder to myself. So far it seems to work pretty well.
We have already had a heck of a lot of snow in Stockholm this winter. A few weeks before Christmas the skies just opened up and the snow would just not stop falling. We had a proper white Christmas, yay! Then it melted and became icy (with complimentary icy rain that blows right up in your face) and then it snowed some more. It’s a whole snowy/icy/slippery/slushy mess. And winter ain’t even over. Usually February is the most winteriest of months, and then it’s a guessing game whether spring will come early (will there be bare ground in March?) or late (will we have frekking snow still falling in May?).
What I yearn for is a bit of daylight. Some sun. All we have right now are heavy clouds. But it will surely clear up in a few weeks. Days will start to become a little bit longer. In a month or two there might even be the slightest bit of light on the horizon when I go to work in the mornings. Then the snow will melt and the streets will be swept of all the gravel, and then we can wear comfy sneakers again, and wear scarfs because it’s cute, rather than because we need to dress ourselves in a cocoon to protect ourselves from the cold. We’ll be able to have a cup of coffee outside in the fresh air. Feel some sun on our cheeks. And it shall be glorious.
Oh my goodness! The end of November 2012, already? I have my birthday in November, so now I have turned 34. Since I am very fond of lists and retrospective round-ups, I’m posting a random list of 34 random things I have done since my last birthday (here I would like to add, in a fit of completely unnecessary honesty, that I typed 24 instead of 34. Three times in a row… Meh).
Since my last birthday I have:
- had a goal to do something creative every day for 365 days
- not done something creative every day for 365 days, but a lot of them none the less, and have had the most creative year in a long, long time
- handmade a lot of gifts for friends and family
- shipped some of my handmade items from my Etsy store all over the world
- attended a gorgeous, fairytale wedding in England whilst suffering from double-sided pneumonia
- visited London Zoo with my darling Jed
- climbed the Giotto bell tower in Florence for the second time in my life
- ended up in the yearly Chianti festival in Greve, by luck and happenstance
- went on a romantic weekend to Copenhagen with my boo
- found a wonderful pen friend, Micu
- gotten many lovely letters in my mailbox
- met my penfriend Micu in real life!
- started making mail art more regularly
- started the project Mail a Smile with my friend Micu! (We still need help! Check out the blog!)
- gotten an Espresso story published over here
- taken some portraits of my friend Cecilia (you can see some of them here)
- participated with 3 photos in Photo Sunday(click here to see)
- participated in the worldwide event Aday.org with these here photos
- took photos at the 1 year anniversary of my friend Vanja’s awesome SwapShop (have a look in their FB album)
- started a small photo blog, but haven’t found a good theme for it yet
- , like the crazy cat lady I am, celebrated my cats 7th birthday
- reread “The hobbit”
- read The Little Prince
- filled two notebooks with miscellaneous ramblings, lists, doodles, plans and projects
- learned how to make crumpets
- played The Secret World
- played Rift
- played Halo 4
- had several crafting crops in my home
- documented a lot of good memories
- made several scrapbook layouts, some of my favourites: this, thisand this
- drunk oodles and oodles of tea and wah-hay too much coffee
- found new friendships
- had a lovely, lovely year with Jed
Now, I would like to extend the list to things that happened just around/after my birthday, many awesome things, but that would be cheating, so I’ll save that for another post.
Podcasts has become one of my staples in life. Who’d have thunk? I’ve gone from having a constant stream of music in my ears to a half-time podcast junkie. There are so many great ones out there, well produced, good sound quality (which is a must, or I can’t concentrate), and one for every possible topic one could be interested in. I just love the fact that so many people out there have so much motivation and enthusiasm, and spend time and effort on producing great content about things they love, and that they share it.
One favourite podcast of late, thanks to my friend Oakfairy, is Drabblecast. This podcast is completely addictive to me, and I am working my way through the archives in a fast pace, like the story glutton that I am.
Drabblecast has strange stories for strange listeners, it’s a free, weekly, audio fiction podcast featuring short stories at the far side of weird. So, in other words, loads of the stories that fascinates me the most, like post-apocalyptic stories, or stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft.
These are some of my favourite episodes of late (but as I am going through the archive I am very sure I will find many more):
As I said, the content of this wonderful podcast is free and non-profit. However, if you appreciate the show, you can always donate, and all donations goes towards paying the writers of the stories. So, as a fan, of course I donated!
Anyway, hope you will enjoy this podcast as well. Happy Wednesday!
First week after vacation is always a bust. Whenever I have proper time off my body clock sets for my natural, comfortable geek schedule that I have had since I was ten years old, i.e. at night I am REALLY AWAKE! and my brain is REALLY ACTIVE! and my general state of mind is SLEEP IS BORING I HAVE SO MANY FUN THINGS I WANT TO DO!
Whenever I am on my compulsory grown-up schedule (the I-have-to-go-to-work-in-the-mornings one) I still don’t sleep well, but still get out of bed at six. Also I do generally tend to keep waking up early on weekend mornings and swear bitterly over the unfairness of life and sleep deprivation.
So, it’s Friday, first week back from vacation is over and done with, and I am grumpy, because my brain has been going non-stop all week and I am sickingly tired when I am at work, and very awake in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. Boo!
In other news this week:
My cat Sixxten was walking around on my keyboard the other night and managed to not just open a browser, but to start a google search for “50 Shades of Grey”. Seriously. It freaked me out. Was his intention to order an erotic novel, or was he doing research about 50 shades of grey fur?
This morning when we got to our regular coffee shop there was a bit of a queue. But when we got to the front of the line to make our order the girl had already prepared our usuals and all we had to do was pay. Then she gave us a big smile and wished us happy weekend. She’s such a sweetie! Walking in to a coffee shop early in the morning, after a week of no sleep, and just having someone place two large, perfect lattes (one vanilla, one regular) in front of you is nothing short of epic. She should have a super hero cape.
It’s the weekend now. I am off! Meanwhile, here’s a photo of the cute otters at the London Zoo. Toodle-pip!
I have not kicked the bucket, but am now back from a three week vacation. It was maybe not the vacation we planned for, due to many unexpected events, but there were also so many good moments that the bad ones will, in time, become comical anecdotes, while the good memories will be remembered and scrapbooked and cherished. So there.
This would be a very long blog post if I were to describe the entire trip, so I’ll do it shortly in list form. Because I love bullet lists. Maybe I’ll post some photos later. Here goes:
- Jed got pneumonia two weeks before we were going on holiday (-)
- Jed got penicillin (+)
- Jed got better (+)
- I got pneumonia one week before we were going on holiday (-)
- I got penicillin (+)
- I realized I couldn’t have my ceremonial glass of wine on the plane (-)
- I realized I couldn’t have any wine during the first week or our vacation (-)
- I thought I was better (+)
- We flew to England (+)
- I got a bit worse (-)
- We went and stayed with Jed’s sister (+)
- Jed got to play BF3 with his brother-in-law (+)
- We got to cuddle their cat Beau (+)
- Beau had gotten arthritis and had a wonky paw (-)
- I got to have a crumpet for breakfast (+)
- Everyone drove up to Jed’s parents to celebrate his dad (+)
- We had a really, really nice pub lunch with the entire family (+)
- I got even worse (-)
- I could hardly move without getting completely out of breath (-)
- I realized I could hardly breathe at all (-)
- I had to go to the hospital (-)
- I got really good help at the hospital (+)
- I got to try some extra oxygen for the first time (+)
- I got a cup of tea (+)
- In English hospitals they serve tea every other hour (+)
- I got two more kinds of penicillin (+)
- I realized I could not have any wine during the second week on our vacation either (-)
- I started feeling better (+)
- The first seven days of our vacation I was pretty much wrecked (-)
- I still managed to buy a dress for the wedding we were invited to (+)
- Jed found a really nice suit (+)
- Jed looks really hot in a suit (+)
- The weather forecast for the weekend of the wedding was pretty grim (-)
- We got to help decorate the ancient English stone barn where the wedding party were to be held (+)
- English people keep making cups of tea, no matter what’s going on (+)
- The old stone barn looked completely fairytale-gorgeous when we were done (+)
- I was well enough to celebrate our friends getting married (+)
- They got married! (+)
- They looked fantastic (+)
- The outdoors ceremony was beautiful and very moving (+)
- It didn’t rain during the outdoors ceremony (+)
- It didn’t rain until we were all indoors (+)
- I got to take loads of photos (+)
- The party was a hoot (+)
- They served pig roast (+)
- There was an open bar (+)
- I couldn’t drink (-)
- They had a really nice Celtic-welsh band playing folksongs and Foo Fighters covers (+)
- The wedding cake had a white chocolate icing that gave me quite a sugar rush (+)
- The ancient stone barn was very, very cold (-)
- I, the impaired, Swedish pneumonia-girl got wrapped in blankets (+)
- People kept bringing me hot beverages (+)
- I met a lot of really nice people (+)
- After a week I was clearly on the mend (+)
- But I still had the most disgusting, phlegmy cough (-)
- And I still lost my breath when I moved (-)
- But I went bunker hunting with pneumonia, because I am that bad-ass (+)
- We found bunkers! (+)
- We got bitten by a million mosquitos and Jed is very allergic (-)
- Jed almost got septicemia (-)
- Jed DIDN’T get septicemia. This time. (+)
- We went on an outing with Jed’s mom to look for a crazy sheep shed built by a crazy architect (+)
- We FOUND the crazy sheep shed built by a crazy architect (+)
- We went to our favourite antique bookstore and found books and maps (+)
- I finally took my last penicillin before our last weekend in England (+)
- We went to London and stayed in a cosy hotel (+)
- Turns out I was allergic to the penicillin and I got a severe allergic reaction causing burning rashes all over my arms and legs (-)
- I had to walk around in London with warm, all-covering clothes during a heat-wave (-)
- I had to buy a pretty dress with long sleeves (+)
- I walked around London for three days with a burning rash all over my arms and legs, because I am that bad-ass (+)
- Jed and I had lunch and dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant just across the street from the hotel and I finally got to have a glass of wine (+)
- The served the tastiest olives I have ever eaten outside of Italy (+)
- Some of my favourite museums were only a 10 minute walk from the hotel (+)
- We finally got to go back to the Natural History Museum and see the blue whale (+)
- Entrance to some of my favourite museums in London is free (+)
- We had a long and lovely walk through Hyde Park (+)
- My legs were burning quite a bit from all the walking (-)
- I had half a day on my own and went to crafting- and paper shops and had lots of coffee (+)
- We walked down Charing Cross Road and looked in loads of book shops (+)
- We spent our last day in London at the London Zoo! (+)
- They had monkeys! (+)
- They had tigers! (+)
- They had penguins and otters! (+)
- We took loads of photos of monkeys and tigers and penguins and otters! (+)
- I got to spend a really nice weekend in London with my boo (+)
- Then we got to spend a whole day with Jed’s sister (+)
- But she’d gotten acute chest infection (-)
- Possibly from me (-)
- We went to a lovely town by the sea and went shopping and looked at old ships and had dinner (+)
- I still looked like a polka dot burn victim (-)
- But I had pneumonia no more (+)
- And Beau’s paw was also better (+)
- We were in time at the airport (+)
- The baggage drop was chaotic and took an alarmingly long time (-)
- We had 20 minutes to get through security and get to the gate (-)
- We got through security and got to the gate in 20 minutes (+)
- I had some wine on the plane home (+)
- Me and Jed came home safely with all our luggage (+)
So, that was our holiday trip. In short.
Last week was slightly interesting. First Mr boo got pneumonia. A couple of days later I got some sort of flue. This weekend was a very quiet one. Today I am at work, but feel like a blubbery dish rag. It feels awesome that Sweden has a national holiday on Wednesday. We get a day off from work, to celebrate our great country. I planned to have a crafty day and maybe write on a story, but I will probably celebrate by spending the day in bed.
It’s like we have our own pharmacy right now. See below illustrative photo of our meds:
Sixxten the Cat is very happy, though. He likes the company. Also, he has started a new project to beat the standing Cat World Record of SLEEPING ON ALL THE STUFF. It is going well.
Here is a random list of things going on right now:
Reading: I just finished The Little Prince, a novella written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first published in 1943. My friend Micu sent it to me, which was a very lovely surprise, and not something that happens everyday! It is a certain something when someone says: “Here, this is a favourite book of mine, I want to give you a copy so you can read it too”. The narration is lovely and funny, and so are the illustrations, and it has a viewpoint that strikes a certain chord with me. If you get a chance to read it, DO so. It is wonderful!
Listening to: Podcasts and Amanda Fucking Palmer! I joined as a backer for her exceptionally successful kickstarter, and of that I am very proud. She did something amazing, and revolutionary, and I dare to hope that we will look back at this in a couple of years and smack our foreheads and say “Doh! But of course! It works! There is a new world order!”. In return of being a backer AFP has so far sent out 3 tracks, which I listen to on repeat, when I’m not stuck listening to a podcast. Right now I am going through a backlog of I Should Be Writing, and also MMOReporter’s The Secret World Podcast, regarding the new MMO Secret World, which will be launhing very soon…
Which leads me to the gaming situation: I, once again, made the decision to move on from EQ2. I have done that before but always returned. I probably will again. It’s just that after a while the upkeep of my two accounts and 13 characters I’ve been honing since 2004 sometimes feel like a process, a project or a job. At the same time it also feels very homey and safe, of course. Because I’m really good at it. So I cancelled my two subscriptions. Again. Then I though “Hey, wait a minute, I still have some rather low level characters on the European servers that I haven’t thought about, maybe I should try the free-to-play version”… And I changed region and logged in on my free-to-play account and then cringed at all the limitations and red squares in the interface. It almost made me cry. So I thought that “Hey, maybe trying free-to-play in a game I’ve played for 8 years isn’t such a great idea, maybe I should try it with a new game?”. So I downloaded LOTRO and tried that out. I started out as an elf, and played through the first 15 levels. And, hitting lvl 10, I pretty much stated to strategize my character and the stats and the crafting. Again. Just like in EQ2. Just like in WoW. Just like in Rift. Some games just have so many fundamental things in common that it doesn’t really matter which one of them you play. Very soon you kick into the grinding gear.
Which is why I am now completely obsessed with Funcom’s new MMO, The Secret World. Is it pre-ordered? Yesh! I have a special place in my geeky heart for Funcom. Their game Anarchy Online was my very first MMO love story, back in 2002. It was my gateway drug into MMORPG’s. I also really enjoyed Age of Conan, even if EQ2 (also known as Evercrack) won me back in the end. One could say that Anarchy Online was my very first teenage infatuation, but I ended up marrying Everquest2. Divorce is pending.
So… The Secret World… I think I sort of fancy you… Wanna hook up?
I am a musical omnivore, but it is no secret to anyone that knows me that I completely loath anything that has to do with the Eurovision Song Contest. The music gives me a rash (this is actually not an exaggeration, I do genuinely get stress hives from it. Though, this is information that I should probably not be giving away quite so candidly, in case some secret agent ninja would want to torture me for information). Of course it generates a lot of social functions among my acquaintances, functions which I never attend. There are a lot of things I would expose myself to, if it meant hanging out with my friends. Austrian brass bands in lederhosen. Potato races. Rolling perfectly good cheese down a hill. I even went to see the finals in some sort of European soccer championship on a big screen in a park once, to get to hang out and have a beer with people I like.
I digress. And I have never rolled a cheese.
Anyway; I usually don’t even know what the winning song sounds like, even if they play it everywhere-all-the-time, because it just doesn’t register for me. But since I read newspapers online, there are headlines that sadly can’t be ignored. Because my eyes can’t magically filter out text before I’ve read it. Crap eyes…
I bet cyborgs would have that sort of filter. Their eyes would be programmed to not read crap.
So, because the headlines are everywhere I have now learnt that there was a semifinal this week. And that there’s a group of really popular Russian grannies that are threatening the victory for the Swedish competitor, in the lottery that is the Eurovision Song Contest.
And then curiosity overtook me.
Because, in my mind, this popular group of Russian grannies would have to be something amazing with all that press; a wrinkly granny-equivalent of the singing monks, and ethnically exquisite with exotic harmonies that would shake everyone to the very core of their being. I actually expected a song I would like to listen to.
So I youtubed it. And this was not the case.
Party for everybody, dance. Come on and dance. Come on and boom, boom.
In all fairness, if one reads an English translation of the lyrics and just reads the part that is actually translated from Russian, the lyrics are pretty life-affirming and beautiful.
They are adorable, of course. The littlest one remind me a lot of my great grandmother. And they seem to be a fun bunch of courageous old ladies that wanted to try and raise some money for their church. But it really wasn’t the raving sensation I expected. I really wish I hadn’t watched it. It can never be erased from my mind (certainly another advantage with being a cyborg). And I curse the headlines for making me curious enough to youtube it.
But mostly I curse myself for allowing myself even a smudge of hope before I started searching for the clip.