Friday, 30 December 2011

Another Harry Potter questionnaire

The first one I did is here.

1. Favourite book in the series.
Deathly Hallows. It answers everything as well as ends everything :)
2. Least favourite book in the series.
Order of the Phoenix. It's painfully obvious when I read it nowadays that she really had no idea what to do with that one when she started it.
3. Favourite character.
Dumbledore. He's just awesome.
4. Favourite villain.
Bellatrix Lestrange. She's so deranged it's fascinating O.o
5. Saddest moment.
Death of Dumbledore
6. Favourite professor.
Professor McGonagall
7. Least favourite professor.
Gilderoy Lockhart. Yes, he beats Umbridge!
8. Favourite subject.
9. Least favourite subject.
Divination. It's just a bunch of crap.
10. Favourite shop in Diagon Alley.
Either Florean Fortescue who sells ice cream or Weasley's Wizard Wheezes... I'm not sure.
11. Most handsome character.
Sirius Black. Not Gary Oldman. Just Sirius Black.
12. Most beautiful character.
Lily Evans.
13. Most missed dead character.
14. Favourite book cover.
Now this is a tricky one. I'm not a big fan of the original British covers and I don't really like the American ones either. But I used to really love the Swedish covers of Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkban and Goblet of Fire (the first four and also those I've read most in Swedish). I also like the adult cover of Deathly Hallows. I'm not too sure about the signature versions. I think the colours are too bold.
15. Favourite Tri-Wizard Tournament challenge.
The Third Task. The hedge maze. It's fantastic. A perfect way to let the best win. The one who knows enough magic to beat whatever is thrown in front of them.
16. Favourite Hogwarts house.
I'm a Slythclaw. And I can't really decide between them.
17. Favourite animagus.
18. Favourite unforgivable curse.
Am I too morbid if I say the Cruciatus Curse?
19. Favourite horcrux.
The Slytherin locket
20. Funniest moment.
"I've got a good feeling about going to Hagrid's"
Or potentially "I've always wanted to use that spell" and "Boom!"
21. Most emotional moment.
Death of Dumbledore
22. Aspired Quidditch position.
Chaser. I think I'd suck a little less in that position than at everything else :P
23. Whose pantronus is your favourite?
Luna's. A hare.
24. Your own patronus.
Probably a dolphin or a rabbit.
25: Favourite Dursley.
Dudley :D
26. Favourite wand.
I think I'll have to say James' or Lily's... Or maybe Draco's...
27. Favourite magical ability.
The flying Voldemort and Snape does. It's Dark Magic but who wouldn't want to be able to fly? Honestly?!
28. Favourite death eater.
Bellatrix Lestrange
29. Favourite Hogwarts portrait.
Hahah! Sir Cadogan ofc! :D
30. Favourite spell.
Accio. I'm lazy enough to like that.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A kind of girly questionnaire

Okay, so recently I've found four of those questionnaires that you're supposed to do over a month, answering one question a day. But I hate doing that and I haven't actually seen many people finishing one of those xD That's why I take it all in one go. This one is originally in Swedish so I'll translate the questions. But it's also very girly and, actually, I'm not too sure if I'll be able to answer all of the questions ^^; But I'll do my best :P

1. Tell us about yourself
Well, my name is Elin and I'm 21 years old. I'm a linguistics geek and I love to learn languages. I'm a nerd overall and I like to play games and learn way too much about certain things. Harry Potter is my biggest subject. Right now I'm studying French at the local univeristy and this autumn I'm going to continue on my Japanese. The goal is to be a translator or maybe a linguistics expert. I'd also love to live in Tokyo.
2. The city you live in
I live in Lund. Sweden-wise it's a large town, world-wise it's very very small. We only have a little over 100,000 inhabitants in the entire municipality. Anyway we have one of the best and largest universities in Sweden. It's a very old and cosy town and I love to live here. Many areas in the city centre are still left the way they were in the medieval period. This is beautiful, but it also makes for a very difficult city to drive in xD Probably the reason why almost everyone bike everywhere, always, even with half a mtre of snow...
3. Your friends
I don't have a lot of close friends. I usually only count 6 people into that category and out of those only two are very close. But there are still friends I hang out with a lot. Most of them are nerds just like me. Most of them are also weird in some way. I tend to run into all those weird people :P I like it!
4. A person you look up to
Hmm. If we're talking role models then I don't have any.
5. A picture of yourself from a year ago
Picture of me taken in Japan in 2010... That will have to suffice.

6. The blogs you read
Pretty much only my friends' blogs. So that'll be those in the list to the right.
7. Who's the funniest person you know?
Does it need to be someone I know and have met? Otherwise I'll have to say this guy.
8. Picture of your mobile

9. The content of your bag is...?
I don't really have a handbag... But what I always bring with me are mobile, keys, camera, iPod and wallet. But usually in my pockets...
10. What does your future looks like?
I have seriously no idea, and I don't like to plan things too far ahead. Right now the plan is to finish my education and get my degrees. Then we'll see.
11. A picture of someone you miss

12. A picture of an animal that means a lot to you
The picture above and these two gamines:

13. A picture someone else has taken of you
This is one of my favourite pictures of me. Taken in Tokyo.

14. Your biggest dream
To go back to Tokyo and be able to live there and stay there for a very long time. Also travel all over Asia.
15. A person/star you wish you'd met
Alice Cooper. Next time he comes to Sweden or Denmark I'll make sure to buy a VIP pass!
16. This is what I do on weekends
Play games, blog, write, read, study, hang on communities, hang with friends
17. This is where I want to go before I die
To be quite frank: I want to see all of the world before I die :P
18. This is where I prefer to shop
19. Your closest friends
Cicci, Kajsa, Tiffany, Didrik, Rickard, Love
20. Picture of what you bought last
21. Favourite place
Actually I think my favourite place is in Malmö in summertime. The bridge in the canal that's next to one of those trees with hanging branches that touches the water. You can sit on the edge of the bridge and bathe your feet in the chilly water. It's a really cosy place and a place where I can stay for hours. There's also a kiosk nearby that sells soft ice :)

22. A TV-series you love
A present one? I'd have to go with Sherlock or Downton Abbey.
23. Your favourite nail polish
I really don't do my nails very often. It's years since I last did it seriously. But I do own a black one. I don't have any favourites though.
24. A picture on your computer
From when we went on hanami alongside the Meguro River. I think this is one of my favourite pictures from the entire trip to Japan.
25. I'm addicted to this
I have no idea. Right now I guess I'm in a new period of The Sims 2, so I can always say that...
26. Something you want right now
27. Your future wedding
I'm not really planning on getting married, and unlike most girls I haven't planned my wedding since the age of 5. I hardly even care. As long as I'm with a person I like I don't really care if we're married or not.
28. Picture of the makeup you usually use

29. I had this for breakfast
My breakfast habits changes. For spring and summer it's usually milk and cereal. For autumn and winter it's usually oatmeal and for Christmas it's gingerbread curdled milk. Right now it's the latter:
30. Five good things that has happened during these 30 days
Well I can't really answer that question properly. Good things that has happened in the last thirty days? 1. I passed my course. 2. I finished my essay. 3. Christmas. 4. Meeting with old friends. 5. Finding a friend who loves the story I'm writing :D

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Post-Christmas 2011

The Christmas holidays are finally over with. I've been living in a bubble at my parents' place. It's cosy being back there and I like being there! But I know that I'll only like being there for as long as the holidays go on. As soon as school kicks back up or I have to get out of the house and realise that I'm back at that hellhole I won't like it anymore. That's why even considering to move back isn't an option!

Anyway, back to Christmas...

This year Christmas was very traditional and I won't even go into details. There will be other years when I can describe my standard Christmas. I got some really nice gifts, though! Mostly things I needed (a sign of growing up, yes?) rather than things I really wanted. This is what I got: a new mattress pad for my bed, a clotheshorse (needed to dry bath towels on!), a breadbasket (way better than having all those different kinds of bread lying about), new towels and bath towels (yay!), a warm cosy wool blanket ^^, a new stereo with iPod docking (!), Nightwish's new album, a package with bath salt, body lotion and body scrub, and 200 sek :) It was a good year :)

Now I'm back on the training track. I can't believe how much I've eaten over Christmas (as per usual) and from today on I'm starting early with my New Years resolution; no more sweets or chocolate. I've had this one before, but now I really think it's going to work! I don't like sweets anymore. It just doesn't taste good anymore. As for the chocolate, well usually I'm done with it after just one piece so why bother getting it at all? Now I just need to convince my brain that I actually do not like sweets so that it stops bothering me with requests of sweets :/

I'm going to start working on a new layout soon! A new year makes for a new layout! And tomorrow I have a big dinner with my closest friends :D Is gonna be awesome as usual!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas, the controversy

Unless it actually starts to snow I doubt I will have time to make another post so I'll just go ahead and make this one.

I love Christmas. I do. It's the cosiest holiday around. I love the atmosphere around it. The burning candles and most of the food. I love the family traditions. But seriously there are parts of Christmas that I can't stand and that I'd love to just not hear about.

I hate it when people exaggerate the lights. Americans are very good at that. Swedes tend to just have an electric candlestick or a star in each window and then we're done with the lights. But there are those who stick those friggin lights in every tree in their garden, every bush at their front yard. Blinking Santas and reindeers just drive me crazy.

Then we have to thing with Christmas shopping. Eveery goddamned year we beat the record. Every damn year we beat last year's sales and go past this year's expectations. Why? Why, why, why? I feel bad inside when I hear the rapports of how much money we spend on shit. Apparantly it's how many presents you get that counts, not what's inside of them.

I hate that everything is so exaggerated. Like with the food. We spend 11 months of the year trying to eat right, exercise and stay away from things that are bad for the heart and colesterol and everything. Then we go eat loads of meat and sweets in two-three friggin days. I probably eat more meat during Christmas than I do for the rest of the year. It's not that I don't like the taste of it. I do. It's just the sheer amount of food...

Then we have the shoppers. The streets are teeming with them. Shoving, hurrying, yelling over the phone... Completely stressed out people. They say that we are stressed out from work, but sometimes I wonder if it's not the Christmas stress that shows for the rest of the year. I dread going out these few remaining days until Christmas. It's gonna be crazy. It's been bad for the last two weeks or so, but now it's just gonna be ridiculous.

This is what I will have on repeat for a few days now.

Christmas baking part 2

Last part of the Christmas baking! First part is here.

So this time Dad, my sister and I started out making the almond cakes. We have three shapes; hearts, circles and diamonds. Most of them are diamonds. It's pretty funny to make them. You butter up the inside of the frame with melted butter. Then you take a small lump of the dough and then you use your thumbs to flatten it across all of the frame. Not too thin cause then you can't get them out of the frame, but still kind of thin so the finished product still has a kind of hole in the middle. Because of the thumb thing we call them thumb cookies usually xD I tend to forget their real name xD
Before being taken out of the frames
Finished product :)
I'm not usually a big fan of these. I think they're too dry and you have to take a sip of water in-between every bite or your mouth will completely dry up. But this time we accidentally used too much butter and too little flour and suddenly the cakes were very luscious and not at all dry :) Success!

While we were making the almond cakes, Mum was starting out on the dough for klenor.This dough has to be made the day before. So today she tucked it out and started to shape the cookies. It's kind of interesting cause you make a kind of diamond shape and then a cut in the middle of it. The top goes into the hole and you turn the whole piece inside-out :P Then you fry the cookies in coconut fat. Here's the procedure in pictures:
Pieces turned inside-out
Fry pieces in coconut fat
Finished product

After a coffee break (my sister and I had hot chocolate), Dad started making the rosettes. He's pretty much the only one in the family that manages to make them properly xD Basically you have some kind of iron with a flower shape on. You dip it in the mixture and then again dip it in coconut fat. The trick is to make sure that none of the mixture happens to get on top of the iron (just in the bottom and around) or it'll stick to the iron. You also have to make sure that you don't keep the mixture in the coconut fat for too long or the rosette will fall off the iron. The rosettes are then dipped in sugar and left to dry :) They look like this when finished:

Also, my sister managed to talk my mum into making toffee this year. We don't make it very often cause my mum doesn't like to melt sugar xD That's one of the reasons why we no longer have any gingerbread house. Another is that last time we made a gingerbread house Dad managed to drip melted sugar on his thump that ran alongside it and later he got a huge blister across the entire side of his thumb xD That's why. But she talked Mum into it this year and we got delicious delicious home made toffees! Yay! :D

Fourth of Advent has now come and gone. Christmas is at the door. I have two gifts left to buy, but I know what they'll be. Christmas is at the door. Now I'll go make another post about that...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Problems in the labour market

Today I heard on the news about threats and violence on the Swedish version of the Employment Office. Unfortunately I can't say that I'm surprised. The current situation is unsupportable, it's crazy. I've mentioned previously that my age-group is a big one and that it seems to come as a surprise for the authorities every time we gain another level in society. I don't know anybody who has been at the Employment Office and felt like it went well. I've never felt welcome walking in there. "Yet another one", they seem to be thinking.
How can people be surprised that we are getting so frustrated that we turn to violence and threats? No one listens to us. We do not count. We are not important. This should not be happening and the fact that it is should be an eye-opener, but somehow I doubt it. In the current situation I can say, without hesitation, that I have no faith for the Swedish labour market. It seems to be non-existant for my generation. That's one reason as to why I want to go abroad. I put all my faith and hope to the labour market abroad. Hopefully I will find a place where my presence is valued rather than frowned upon.

Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy RPG #3

We're back in Gwelvin's temple. The others are there too. Lelarion tells us that a dragon tried to turn the ship over so he made the decision to teleport it away. Narampyr (the Dwarf king) is out of town and has gone to the other Dwarf Kingdom. There's a rumour running about a wedding over there (no dwarves get married out of love). There's a knock on the door. Razario, who is closest, opens it. A dwarf guard in full armour is there. He says that someone is looking for Starion. Starion leaves. While he's gone Razario asks us why we're on this trip. Starion comes back. Starion walks to the pool and the water rises to form the face of a dragon. Razario is out of there. Starion tells the dragon that Gwelvin may be dead. The dragon doesn't react. Mirion says the same thing in dragon language and the dragon turns back into water. Starion and Mirion have a telepathic conversation. We hurry after Razario. We catch up with her and the dwarf Bellur before they arrive at the market. (Lots of innuendos on Razario's and Starion's behalf) Starion travels to his library with awesome wings. The rest of us travel to the elven forest below ground. We arrive at a tavern. Ariana and Razario eats and drinks beer. Get drunk. Continue downwards. Arrive there and they're out. (Zzzzz) Thanks to some nuts they're just mildly hungover the next morning. By then they're back above ground.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Nerd pictures!

I wanted to blog about something nerdy, but couldn't think of anything nerdy that I had been up to lately. So I decided to give you a taste of how I put nerdy in my environment :P

1). My Potter shelf. Two copies of each book (Swedish and English) + Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them + Quidditch Through the Ages + The Tales of Beedle the Bard + Harry Potter Page to Screen + Harry Potter Film Wizardry. 2). Harry Potter Trading Cards + game board + Pokémon Trading Cards + Harry Potter Quidditch Card Game + Death Note Deck + RPG dices with bag + Charmander figurine + a Neopet. 3). My DS + console case + games + game cases + PokéWalker. 4). Harry Potter notebook from Wizarding World + a replica of Bellatrix Lestrange's wand

1). Winnie the Pooh box with memories from Japan from Tokyo Disneyland + soda can with Hello Kitty + fruit drops can with Hello Kitty + two boxes with Mame Goma. 2). My two Gloomy bears. 3). Munchkin Board Game + Monopoly The Nightmare Before Christmas. 4). Pot with Pikachu.

 1). Marauder's Map Wall Scroll. 2). My teddy bear with a Konoha forehead protector. 3). Poster with Morning Musume. 4). Books of Greek mythology, Japanese design, Korean and Pirates.

 1). Slytherin crest key chain on my rucksack. 2). Slytherin crest key chain + Les Misérables 25th Anniversary key chain on my keys. 3). My Ravenclaw scarf. 4). My DVDs with Phanom of the Opera 25th Anniversary and Les Misérables 25th Anniversary.

Now I am planning on buying more Potter-related books so my Potter shelf my have to expand. There will overall be more Potter objects in the future :) I'm also considering buying myself a third Gloomy bear, this time a purple one. But all in due time and when I have money. More Hello Kitty items will probably follow as well...

And of course I forgot to take pictures of some things that I have on other places in the flat. But at least you'll get the idea ;)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas baking part 1

Didn't have time to do it all in one day xD We will be continuing on Sunday :)

For this round we made gingerbread, saffron buns and Christmas sweets. My sister and I started out with the gingerbreads while Mum started making the dough for the saffron buns, while the stereo in the living room was playing Christmas songs. It's always a lot of fun making gingerbread, or rather Christmas baking overall is always a lot of fun :) We never have any icing on the gingerbread though, Mum doesn't like icing ;) So that takes away a part of the baking, but we've never done it and we don't really miss it. Anyway, we buy the dough for the gingerbread premade. Gingerbread dough is heavenly, though! Tastes so much better than when the cookies are done :P Incidentally so thinks our dog. She loves gingerbread, and not only the cookies, but also the dough!

We always make all the classic gingerbread forms; Christmas trees, hearts, hubbys and ladys ;) But we also have some special ones. Two huge forms, one of Mickey and one of Donald that I think my parents bought in the States when they (and I) were there at Disney World in 1991 (don't remember shit). They are really huge and usually we don't make these anymore (used to when I was little) because they have to have an oven sheet all to themselves or the smaller forms will burn. But the special ones we do make are Pippi-forms and Moomin-forms! Here are some pictures :)

I forgot to take pictures of the finished saffron buns! It's really hard to make those look good! Only Mum got the knack for it! It's a lump of dough you roll in your hands so they become long strings and then you make shapes like S:s of them. It's really hard! Here's a picture of the unfinished product:

Then of course it was time for the Christmas sweets. I remember when it was Mum doing most of this and my and my sister's jobs were to put almonds on top. But now I make them ^^ Simply you put water in a saucepan and wait for it to boil, when it boils you turn down the heat and put a soup-plate on top. In the soup-plate you put milk chocolate (in Sweden there's specific melting chocolate :P) and wait for it to melt. Then there are various ways to make sweets. We usually have four different kinds. The first kind is small almond icing cubes covered in the melted chocolate and then we put an almond on top of each. The second kind is puffed toasted rice (I don't really know what it's called in English, this kind) and make small lumps of puffed rice and melted chocolate (heavenly!). Those first two kinds are made with milk chocolate. The next two are made with dark chocolate. The third kind is practically the same as the first kind, although made for the adults. Before putting the almond icing cubes in the chocolate Mum puts a drop of punch on each cube. Other than that they are the same. The third kind is usually cornflakes and raisins mixed together with the melted dark chocolate to make lumps similar to the ones with puffed rice, but we had forgot to buy cornflakes xD So we chopped up the rest of the almonds and made lumps with chopped almonds and dark chocolate instead. Hopefully they will taste great anyway :) 
And I forgot to take pictures of these as well...

Next time we will be making klenor, rosettes and almond cakes.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Something small...

Sorry for the total lack of posts lately. Exam anxiety is taking over my life! This week I have two exams and then the semester is pretty much over. For Christmas I have an essay to write and a resit to study for (hopefully just one) so there will be time for me to relax and regain control of my life :P Which I really need the things in my downloads folder are piling up, some of it I downloaded months ago!

Things that I have done while studying has been to watch all the seasons of Friends (episodes of only 20 minutes are great to watch in-between studysessions!) and just like last time it feels like something died inside when the final episode is going towards the end and the camera zooms in on the six keys lying on the table... Wow, the memories!

Today I made time for watching a concert with Morning Musume. It was a graduation concert of the leader who had been in the group for ten years (longest ever) and of course I couldn't help but crying my eyes out during the graduation ceremony when all the members gave their messages to the one graduating and they all cried (some of them could hardly get any words out at all). She was probably the best leader they ever had.

This will be all for now. You can expect a Christmasy post on Sunday or Monday since I'm going to my parents place on Saturday evening (after the exam) to do some Christmas baking on Sunday ^^

Friday, 2 December 2011

Thoughts on education

I've been thinking about my education lately. I don't really care what kind of a fancy job it leads to as long as I like what I'm doing. As long as I can live on the amount of money the job pays me doesn't really matter as long as I like it.

Lately I'm getting more and more freaked out about not passing my upcoming exams (and I'm kind of worried that I didn't pass the one last week) and if I don't I'll only be studying part-time next semester. It will feel kind of nice to have a small break, but if I'm not going to be able to continue to the next level of French because I fail this one then I'm considering skipping it. French has been really really hard on me, although very fun and satisfying at times. I love the language but I just don't love it as much as I love Japanese. If I skip the next level of French then I won't be eligible for the Master programme of Translation. So if I'm not eligible I'm going to study part-time next semester then go back to Japanese by autumn, get a Bachelor in the language and go on to the Master programme of Linguistics. It's a road that's even more shaky than the original one, but at least I'll do what I like.

Any thoughts?