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
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?
För 10 år sedan började jag plugga på Stockholms Universitet och åkte till Irland över sommaren för att jobba på en pub. Jag bodde i en liten mysig etta på Telefonplan i Stockholm.
2. Vad gjorde du för 1 år sen?
För ganska exakt ett år sedan började jag gå på lägenhetsvisningar med Jed, och den första (av många) vi tittade på är den vi bor i nu. Vi sade till varandra att “Så skulle vi vilja bo någon gång i livet – Men vi kommer aldrig få den här nu”. Men det fick vi!
3. Fem snacks du gillar
Gönsaker med sourcream- & oniondip, ostbollar, ostbågar, Salt- och vinägerchips, och Fazer mjölkchoklad.
5. Fem saker du skulle göra om du var mångmiljonär
Ta en vää-äldigt lång semester. Resa med Jed. Betala av banklånen. Ta med mamma och pappa till Skottland. Flytta till England.
6. Fem dåliga vanor
Slänger tepåsar i slasken (förlåt, Jed). Går aldrig ut med soporna (förlåt, Jed). Rensar aldrig avloppet (förlåt, Jed). Glömmer ofta bort att tömma diskmaskinen (förlåt, Jed). Tillåter andra att stressa mig (förlåt, mig).
7. Fem saker du gillar att göra
Resa, fotografera, skriva, pyssla, spela spel.
8. Fem saker du aldrig skulle klä dig i eller köpa
Allt marinblått. Tights som ser ut som denim. Tights som ser ut som lack/läder. Foppatofflor. Ironiska glasögon.
9. Fem favoritleksaker
Som barn? Bilar, lego, Starwars, Heman och My Little Pony
This is a part of the 10 Day Challenge List,and I’m very late with this last post, I know, but it was a hard choice. The last subject is “Write about 1 person that means a lot to you”. Yeah, sort of hard to choose. I could write about my dear parents, who has always been there for me and helped and supported me, but it would be hard to choose just one of them. I could of course write about Jed, who makes me smile and laugh and feel happy and loved and creative, and how this last year has just gone by so quickly. And there are a lot of fantastic friends that means the world to me. But, since it is her birthday today, I will write about my friend Sara:
This is my friend Sara. I met her in my early 20’s. The first time I met her I gave her a big hug, which surprised us both.
She’d been studying in another town for a time and met a friend of mine, who never really had his life in order. She moved in with him in an apartment in Stockholm, and that’s where I met her. My first impression of Sara was that she was a person with both feet on the ground, an actual real person, and there was nobody she couldn’t straighten out, even that friend of mine. I felt relieved. Hence the hug.
One of my best memories is that time we spent two hours in a steak house in Riga (Latvia), had meat and beer for lunch and read books. In complete silence. Because we were both reading very good books.
It is a rare thing, I think, to find real friendship as an adult. To find companionship and understanding and someone to trust. Sara is a friend who has always stood by me, when times were hard and life just felt so hopeless I didn’t think I could take it any more; without the drama, without the ego trips, without unwritten rules, without asking for anything back. I have always had support. I hope she feels the same.
Happy birthday, Sara. You mean a lot to me!
That’s it, for this challenge! If you want to read all of it, follow this tag!
This is a part of the 10 Day Challenge List, which is almost over, and this is about two things I wish I could do.
This is an incredibly wide subject. Well, they have all been like that, but this one feels tricky. Do I go for the childhood-like dreams like “fly” or “go to the moon” (who wouldn’t wish they could do that?) or things that has always been personally unattainable, the things that will never be? I could risk to indulge a bit in being emo and go for the delicate mistakes, or the “I wish I could believe I could do anything well”, or “I wish I could trust people”, but hell, that’s been done, and it feels a bit to depressing. I guess I’ll just wing it. As usual. (… “I wish I could write something with a purpose”?).
Day 9: Write 2 things you wish you could do
I wish I could play the piano flawlessly. I love music; I’ve played many instruments and have been singing all my life. Music has an ability to let you feel a bit lost from the world and all its troubles for a while. It’s easy to immerse yourself in. It connects. Being able to sit by a piano and just play a piece and almost forgetting it’s actually my own fingers dancing over the keys is one of the greatest feelings, and I regret having lost that ability.
I wish I could make a living from doing something creative. I feel it’s not enough having hobbies. I want more.
This is a part of the 10 Day Challenge List, and this is the list with things that annoys me. Gee, only three things?
Day 8: Write 3 things that annoys you
Asshats that don’t recognise that people around them are actual people, not puppet and pawns in that asshats’s life. Examples: The train is full of people going to work, and the asshat (Der Asshatten in German) punches his or her way through the crowd, shoving their bag in everyone else’s head or pushing their shoulders, because, what does other people matter? Or the sort of asshats that expects you to drop everything and just focus on them and help them out with THEIR life, and then gets angry when it turns out you actually have a life of your own. “I’ve decided you have to do this for me on Thuesday.” “Can’t, I have other plans that day.” “What?! Really?! Hmpf.”
Repetitions. Seriously, life is too short. If you have a favourite anecdote you always tell everybody, all the time, and you have told me SEVERAL TIMES, please keep track of that. Or is it just hard to remember that you had this conversation with me 10 times before? At least have the courtesy to say “Stop me if you’ve heard this before” and then stop when I say I have.
People that ALWAYS have to be right. About the fricking smallest most inane things. Pointing out obvious mistakes and making it into a “I know better than you” issue. You win, ok? I don’t really CARE about the correct way to describe something I really have no interest in. Some things simply don’t matter that much, it’s just ordinary effing conversation; let’s keep that going instead of ending up in some loop about the accurate percentage of the ingredients in mayonnaise. And DON’T, for the love of everything, bring it up one year later when you have googled the right answer. And, sometimes it’s actually me that’s right. Don’t spend a year trying to undermine me by trying to find obscure and weak counter-arguments.
This is a part of the 10 Day Challenge List, and it’s time to write about 4 memories I will never forget. This is a tuff one. Life, after all, is cluttered with abstract recollections and made-up reconstructions of things that happened, and sometimes you remember the big, and sometimes you remember the small. Everything changes, in retrospect. Something that felt very monumental at the time, it fades, and as time goes by and you get a bit of perspective your priorities change. They always do. You are never the same now, as you were then.
This is a list of a few memories I will never forget:
Day 7: Write 4 memories you will never forget
1 – When my parents turned 50, they had a hell of a big party. In a castle. True story! But they didn’t want it to be dull, so they had a line-dance theme. None of us new how to do it, but we all got dressed up and had a try, and, surprise, that party was anything else than conventional.
There were a lot of great moments that night, but these particular two I remember the most: All the guests got on a leased bus and arrived in one big group to the party. My mum and dad were waiting for us, and as the guests got off the bus, one by one, they went up and greeted them, it all got very emotional. Friends they hadn’t seen in years were there, particularly the “kids” they’d mentored, as they were sea scout leaders in their teens. I just wish I had had a better camera back then, that I would have been a better photographer, because nothing can describe the smiles and laughter and tears during that moment.
Their old cubs held a speech at the dinner. They wanted to explain their gift: Two lanterns, one green, one red. One for starboard, one for port. They said, many of them were troubled as kids, and without my mum and dad they would very surely have gotten themselves into trouble, and possibly would not have been there that day.
The other moment that night was a speech made by my mother. She looked at my dad and talked about how much fun they’d had together since they met in their teens. Their time as scout leaders, that was fun! Their time in the archipelago, their trips, that was fun! Having so much in common, playing golf together, that was great! And then; starting a home, and having my brother, having me. That was fantastic. The biggest adventure yet.
2 – That party was fantastic and went on long into the night. I had to get home and get some sleep though, because the morning after I was getting up and getting ready to be a maid of honour for my friend Sara.
I met Sara in, what I think would be called Sixth Form (“gymnasium” in Swedish) and she was the only friend I had for those three years. I just didn’t fit in, at that age, anywhere. Now, you now how you got burnt all those times and think that love can never last and you will never meet anybody and that is something out of a fairy tale? Well, Sara and her husband Tor had been my proof all these years, that that it’s just not true.
Anyway, I managed to get myself in order and get to church in time, and the wedding was of course beautiful, but what I wasn’t ready for was the massive serge of emotion when I saw my friends at the altar. I think the feeling was this: “It’s done now, we can all be safe. There is love in the world.”
3 – Last year my dear mum and dad turned 60. My mother always dreamed, for years and years, of going to Italy. It just didn’t happened, it took a while for this dream trip to come true, but now, at last, we all went. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a birthday, can you? When the plane took off, my mother had a little happy cry and said: “Finally!”
The first week me, my mum and dad rented a tiny car and drove around in Tuscany. We new what hotels we had booked for us every night, but other than that we were free to go wherever we wanted. We explored and enjoyed, but all good things must come to an end, and the last day we took our last detour, through wild forests and rainy mountains, to a little town called Grosseto. It was a Sunday, and we had been driving for a long time, clothes wrinkled and (as I imagine it) covered with dust from the roads. We were dying for some coffee and found one open little coffee bar in an otherwise deserted town.
Of course, it felt deserted because everyone was in church. Apparently it was a custom to go to this coffee bar after the church service, dressed up in fabulous clothes (Italians wouldn’t do it any other way) and have campari drinks. So, fabulous, fancy and fashionable Italians pour in to the café, and they look at us, the dusty, wrinkly, fashion-challenged Swedes, and they wrinkle their noses and order more campari. We smiled and ordered more cappuccino. It sounds awful, but it was really a very funny moment on that trip. I can’t explain why.This is my favourite picture from that trip, and it’s from that café:
4 – I always wanted to go to Scotland. Last year, I finally got to go. Sometimes, all that you imagine about a place comes true. That trip was all I’ve ever wanted from a vacation. I think I can honestly say that that trip was the first one where I felt completely relaxed, at ease, and had a chance to really ENJOY while I was actually there. Usually there are to much stuff going on that you can’t take in and appreciate it all while you are experiencing it; instead you process it and mull it over and start to appreciate it all afterwards. Not this trip. It sounds silly, but I was in the moment.
Scotland really was just as beautiful as I imagined. The trip itself was immaculately planned by Jed, with the purpose of giving us time and flexibility. We drove from east coast to west, from Edinburgh to Kennacraig, making stops wherever we wanted. Then we took the ferry over to Islay.
I don’t know why the remoteness of it all made me so happy. It was just a very private couple of days; it was a very undisturbed, isolated and secluded, painfully rugged and beautiful place. The people were friendly, the food was hearty, the beer was good (the whisky even more so). I was truly content and happy. Just thinking about it actually makes me a bit sad, that I am not there right now.I still have some pressed heather in one of my note books. It’s supposed to bring you luck.