What’s up?

I haven’t blogged in a long while, and I have missed writing down words and putting them together into some sort of sentences, so here’s a haphazardly random blog post about my rather mundane life.

So, I’ll just imagine that you, dear reader, just turned to me with a glass of rosé in your hand, asking me: “Giiirl, what’s up in your life?!”. And I’ll be like “Hey giiirl, so much is going on!”. Of course, in this scenario, I am also holding a glass of rosé, and I might just have exaggerated a bit, because, not all that much HAS been going on, in my opinion. Rather, I have been trying to save up some energy to do much at all, by not doing much at all. I’m getting there. Somewhere I will find my balance, and I won’t feel as out of sorts anymore. I have a pile of “important things I really want to pay attention to and sort out”, including all of my correspondence for this spring, sorting out permission for my driver’s license, backing up my photos (yikes), possibly actually post-process some of them and generally just get my life in the state of order that I like, that sweet spot of order that makes the squishy insides of my brain relax.

So, let’s go: Giiirl, what’s up? Well, the biggest news is that I got a new job. It all went very quickly, so I am still in a state of surprise. I applied for a job I was really interested in, got to go to a couple of interviews and then signed the papers within ten days. How the heck that happened I do not know. I guess sometimes it’s just about luck and timing.

Been at the new place  for a few weeks now, and my brain still thinks that I am on some sort of temporary visit, and that I’m going back to my old job any time soon. It’s a weird feeling. I was at my old place for over six years, so I was pretty set in my ways. So far I’ve managed to end up in the right place in the mornings, but it wouldn’t surprise me if one day I’d just go on auto pilot and go to my old place. Wont I be confused… Better stock to a strict coffee breakfast.

As far as timing goes, the two weeks we’d booked for going over to the UK this spring to visit family happened to be booked just a couple of weeks before I started my new job. So that was lucky! It was so lovely to see the in-laws again, as always. I wish we could go see them a bit more often.

We spent time with the family, took a small weekend trip to the Eden Project in Wales, and spent a couple of days in London. I took a ton of photos! If I can get my ass in gear, I’ll post some of them here.

These are the main events recently. Other than that I have mostly been trying to get my mojo back after a rather challenging start of the year. There was quite a few months where I spent most of my energy at my job, so I am far behind with everything else. Email, correspondence, seeing friends, seeing family, gaming, crafting. Books have been piling up on my bedside table. I haven’t been very good company to Jed. I’ve missed birthdays and other important occasions.

I am slowly catching up; with life, with happiness, with inspiration. I’ve been focusing on slowing things down and centering my life around things that will make me feel relaxed and give me energy. Sometimes that thing has just been about doing nothing at all. Sometimes it has been about letting go of thoughts and trying to craft and create art. It’s not always easy to find your way back. It’s a bit like yoga; you have to strengthen your core to find balance.

Bloody Monday

It’s another bloody Monday, peeps and popcicles! Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr is filling up with happy or grumpy messages about another start of another week, the hope of new possibilities or the woes of even getting out of bed. Personally I am always rather torn; getting out of bed on a Monday morning is always a struggle for me. On the one hand, the bed, which is not really a very great bed, is oddly enough never as comfortable as it is at 06:15 in the morning on a Monday. And the onset of a new week at work seldom feels very positive for me, since I have usually spent half the night awake trying to organize the week in my head I am acutely aware that no matter how much I plan and prepare for work, there is no chance in hell I will ever get everything done in time, and that something critical and more prioritized will come along and ruin my plan anyway. So, I am most certainly a Monday grouch.

Oooon the other hand: a new week means a full new week of new pod casts, youtube eps, books to read, movies to watch, music to discover, crafting projects to start or finish, art to make, stories to write, exciting research to be made, poems to be written coffee dates with my boo; a new chance to do all the things I want to do, if I am lucky enough to have any energy after work. Last week was horrible; after-work-hours found me comatose and the week ended with me getting a cold, but, you know… in the best of worlds, a Monday means all that new and fun shit.

Winter all in all is largely comatose for me. I am like a little fuzzy hermit bear who wants to sleep all through the cold and dark. But, another month or so, hoping for an early spring, might mean I’ll get back in the saddle and maybe have some energy to be social and such again. The winter is no joke for a vitamin D-deprived, misanthropic introvert like me.

So, that was MY Monday grumble! Bet you wish you could have those minutes back? Ha! Here comes a round-up:

 

Bloody monday

 

Crafting
Made some new earrings recently, and finally got around to taking pics and putting them up on Etsy. The style varies a lot from one pair to another, which is what happens when one spreads out one’s entire stash and mindlessly just starts experimenting and let one’s mind wander while watching a funny movie. Anyhow, don’t be shy to check them out, maybe you’ll find something you like! There are also some new silver pieces up there.

Reading
I finished “Flowers for Algernon”! A book that’s been on my to-read-list since I was about 12, but I’ve never gotten to it. Until now! Because Micu sent it to me for Christmas! Books are such awesome gifts <3 There is just something special about reading a book that someone gifted you, saying “Hey, I really like this book and I hope you like it too”. And since I’ve had some really tired weekends, having a great book to read has been blissful.

Gaming
LOTRO Online – I have uninstalled you, so sorry. WoW – You always tempt me, especially when my friends asks me to play you again. Secret World –  I miss you. EQ2 – I miss you the most, baby, don’t ever change. EQ Next – I have you on my dance card. City of Steam – Colour me intrigued… Halo, all of you, I want to hug your CD-cases and call you George. Effing Candy Crush –  I fricking hate you.

Android Apps I cannot live without
Wunderlist. How I’ve even managed to remember getting dressed in the morning without this app, I do not know.As you might guess, it’s a list app. You make lists (plural, for sure) and cross things off. You can use it on your phone or their website, and it all syncs up. You can share lists with other people. It seems to be an app for a lot of different platforms as well, at least I know I’ve seen it for iPhones too, if anybody cares about that.

Health & such
I keep going to yoga and it’s always GREAT. I mean it. You know how people say that everyone would benefit from going to therapy? Ditto for yoga.

Movies & TV
Having a bad cold, when all you can do really is lie on the couch and sort of blink your eyes, and half fall asleep every so often, is an excellent time to watch everything worth watching on Netflix. Which I have now done. We’ve had the service for four months now, and are sort of done with it. And all they’ve added lately is season 2 of “Modern Family”. Besides that and Fringe, there are not much else we want to watch on Netflix, which is bothersome. Also, speaking of bothersome and Netflix, here are some of my pet peeves: One show claim to have 30 episodes on Netflix, and when I reach ep 15 they stop. Shows that have already been airing all their eps, maybe 3 or 4 seasons worth, a long time ago and is done and cancelled, still only have the first season up on Netflix. The suggestions for “Comedies” and “dramas” are COMPLETELY off. The suggestions for TV Comedies are ALSO completely off. Especially since most of the comedy shows they actually HAVE are not even in that list of suggestions.

Lofty plans that needs proper planning!
My trip to Budapest! Vacation in the UK! Midsummer! Worlds sweetest sis-in-law coming over! Running/jogging/crawling a race in August! Birthday bash in November! Woop woop!

 

logo_uppside-down

 

That was it for this time. Have a happy week!

I’m Down with the Dog

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
This dog might be doing Downward Dog
I have no idea what this position is called...
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.

Bloody Monday

It’s a new year with new, but still very uncommitted and undefined, hopes and expectations. A new year with new wonderful fandoms waiting around the corner, new books to read, new games to play, new music to discover… Likewise, there’s that warm and fuzzy feeling in the belly regarding reacquainting oneself with the old (favourite shows airing a new season, past fandoms making a comeback, reading old books, rediscovering ones favourite music, and possibly maybe logging in to one’s old accounts in one’s old favourite games and say hello to one’s old characters). One of the beauties with being a geek is how one can very easily get equally enthused by both the past and the future, because there is Just So Much Goodness.

But I digress. This was supposed to be some sort of recap. Have i actually done ANYTHING yet, in 2013? Doesne’t feel like it. Here goes!

 

 

Post-Christmas WTF:

  • It seems that we still have Christmas in our house, because ALL THE DECORATIONS ARE STILL UP. Because I am inherently lazy. And I am also very good at just… stop noticing stuff. The only thing I did to de-christmasify in our home was to take the red table cloth off the dining table. Jed suggested we’d just through a blanket over the Christmas tree and leave it there for next year. I feel inclined to agree.
  • Besides the decorations, there are still a plethora of other post-Christmas stuff lying around; boxes, ribbons, gifts, Christmas cards and crafting stuff. Maybe I should just give up and celebrate a 2nd Christmas.
  • One really fun post-Christmas WTF is that we got a sausage-maker-extension for my Electrolux kitchen assistant, and that we successfully have made our first batch of our own sausages (English-type bangers). They turned out GREAT. And we know exactly what is in them, which feels epic.

Reading:

  • You know what? I haven’t picked up and started to read a book yet, this year. And January is almost over. Shame. Shame! I have been listening to podcasts and reading blogs like crazy, but not picked out the first book to read this year. But that will soon be mended, because I got two GREAT books to read from my friend Micu for Christmas, so I am not in a panic. Think I will try to make an effort and register more books on Goodreads.com this year. My friend Hanna is very good at this and it’s fun to follow! I like it.

Movies:

  • I finally got to see The Hobbit! About a month or more after the rest of nerdverse, but still! Yes, I went to see it in 3D and with the higher frame rate, I did, and I only did because I am a sucker that can’t NOT do that when I have the option. And I sort of regret it and wish I’d just gone and seen the normal version. I love the story, of course, and some bits of the movie was truly amazing, but watching it I couldn’t help but feel sometimes that I had been thrown into a camp of larpers. I loved the movie – awesome actors, beautifully made, funny in many place – but I wasn’t as blown away as when I saw Lord of the Rings. But I will see it again. Many, many times.

YouTube:

I have been on a YouTube bender lately. There’s just so much fun happening right now, people producing their own stuff and making their own channels, with no networks involved. Exciting times!

  • I am of course completely hooked on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (which, naturally, is on my all-time-high-must-read book list). This show was created by another YouTube favourite of mine, Hank Green, from the Vlog Brothers. Also, so much fun that one of the characters is just allowed to break free and pursue her own story line, showing us stuff that the original book never portraits. Love it! If I would call this The Most Epic FanFic Ever, would somebody hit me in the head?
  • Another great YouTube series is Squaresville, which will soon be back with more eps. Woo!
  • My drunk kitchen. It’s not only that watching someone cook and and get drunk at the same time just clicks with me like a warm carrot-onsie hug, but also, Hanna Hart is adorable and seems so genuinely charming.

Podcasts:

My most recent loves include:

  • Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler. So many awesome interviews with interesting people, ranting about video games, action movies, comic books, fast machines, sex, small batch spirits, bar fights, and blowing sh*t up
  • Risk with Kevin Allison. True stories, boldly told. It is a live show and podcast where poeple tell true stories they thought they would never share in public. Some are funny, some sad, some horrifying, but all in all:  Good stories!

Gaming:

  • Shamefully low amount of gaming during the last month. As a gamer I always expect to have oodles of time to vegetate in front of my PC or Xbox during the holidays, and just have days and days where gaming is always more prioritized than, say, showering. This wasn’t the case this Christmas, so now I feel like I have to sort of schedule my gaming in Google calendar or something.
  • I did however get to have a whole day of pew pew with some work mates, game of choice that day was Blops II. It really was a lot of fun, much thanks to actually playing with your peeps in the same room, nobody taking it too seriously or anything like that.
  • Of course I am stuck in the android-app-game-hell where I am playing some game or another that needs upkeep and activity every day if you don’t feel like spending any actual money on it (that would be the day that hell froze over). There’s been a variety of parks full of dragons or monsters or balloon animals or whatevs, and at some point you just cannot build anything new or fun and all you do is collect gold or sparkles or candy canes or the like. That’s when I uninstall it. Then on to the next one. It’s a vicious, time-stealing circle of non-life. Sometimes I remind myself that this sort of everyday grinding was the exact reason I stopped playing SimCity and the Sims and WoW and a whole bunch of other games. And then I uninstall some more apps.
  • I might or might not have tried to patch the latest updates in EQ2… It took ages and I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t get a chance to log in. Which is probably just as well. I miss that game every day, but I know what happens if I start playing it. I will start to manage my characters as if it was a career. I have so much invested in my two accounts, I cannot leave any character behind and just play and go on adventures with one of them. And I cannot get used to the free-to-play version, I am so sorry. It’d have to be the full monty (e.g. two full subscriptions) or nothing. I think if I would invest more time in an excisting MMO right now it would be in a game where I only have one toon, still. Like Rift or Secret World…
  • But there is always the lofty promise of EQ Next in 2013…
  • I should stop rambling now.

 

 

That’s it, peeps! Have some coffee. Eat some chocolate. Have a good day!

 

 

omg I did something grown-up

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!

The Obligatory New Year’s Woot

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.

 

Snow day - But I never get to stay home

34 Things Since My Last Birthday – Because I Love Lists

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:

  1. had a goal to do something creative every day for 365 days
  2. 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
  3. handmade a lot of gifts for friends and family
  4. shipped some of my handmade items from my Etsy store all over the world
  5. attended a gorgeous, fairytale wedding in England whilst suffering from double-sided pneumonia
  6. visited London Zoo with my darling Jed
  7. climbed the Giotto bell tower in Florence for the second time in my life
  8. ended up in the yearly Chianti festival in Greve, by luck and happenstance
  9. went on a romantic weekend to Copenhagen with my boo
  10. found a wonderful pen friend, Micu
  11. gotten many lovely letters in my mailbox
  12. met my penfriend Micu in real life!
  13. started making mail art more regularly
  14. started the project Mail a Smile with my friend Micu! (We still need help! Check out the blog!)
  15. gotten an Espresso story published over here
  16. taken some portraits of my friend Cecilia (you can see some of them here)
  17. participated with 3 photos in Photo Sunday(click here to see)
  18. participated in the worldwide event Aday.org with these here photos
  19. took photos at the 1 year anniversary of my friend Vanja’s awesome SwapShop (have a look in their FB album)
  20. started a small photo blog, but haven’t found a good theme for it yet
  21. , like the crazy cat lady I am, celebrated my cats 7th birthday
  22. reread “The hobbit”
  23. read The Little Prince
  24. filled two notebooks with miscellaneous ramblings, lists, doodles, plans and projects
  25. learned how to make crumpets
  26. played The Secret World
  27. played Rift
  28. played Halo 4
  29. had several crafting crops in my home
  30. documented a lot of good memories
  31. made several scrapbook layouts, some of my favourites: this, thisand this
  32. drunk oodles and oodles of tea and wah-hay too much coffee
  33. found new friendships
  34. 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.

Happy Birthday, Little Guy

This is how my little Sixxten looked seven years ago:

I can’t believe he’s seven years old now! It doesn’t seem like that long ago when he climbed up in my lap, the heaviest little lump of the litter.Since then he has been a constant funny, entertaining, comforting, annoying, talkative, playful, cheeky, fluffy, hairy bundle of joy. It would be very empty without him.

Of course we had to make him a little tuna mousse cake:

Happy birthday, little buddy. Thank you for always sleeping on my belly when my tummy is aching, and waking me up in time for work on weekdays.

Drabblecast and Podcast Junkie

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!