Thursday, 30 June 2011

Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy RPG #1

In this RPG all of us are only human. We are one merchant widow (who runs the business now and has loads of money) named Lilja (Swedish for Lily) and her sword-for-hire named Evol. There's an orphaned 12-year-old girl who's something of a cleptomaniac. She's a tomboy, who hates girly stuff and taking baths (yup, that's my character). Oh, and her name is Neela. Then there's the cooky called Leithe and a knight called Runik.

We are all at an inn. Neela are walking around the guests and gets food thrown to her, but also recieves some kicks and empty cups while she tries to steal things from people's pockets and bags. The cooky Leithe stumbles over Neela and spills wine on Lilja's very expensive dress. Lilja wants compensation. The host refuses and Lilja is fully serious in her threat to burn down the inn. We all exit. Evol has a burning torch in his hand. The host is somewhat panicky hand has a weapon. Lilja throws some copper coins at him and declares that she has now bought his weapon. He attacks her. Evol sets fire to the inn's straw roof. Runik puts an arrow through the host's leg. The host crawls to the well to get water to put out the fire. From the well comes a grey, colourless hand that pulls the host down. From the well we can hear a chewing sound. Neela is very interested in Lilja's wagon. Lilja asks Neela to pick up the coins she threw at the host and asks her for how long she would consider herself employed for that amount of money. Neela pockets the 10 copper coins and is for three days an employee of Lilja's. Out of the back of the burning inn comes the most drunk people carrying the boar that would've served as dinner. One more disappears down the well and people start going to the river to fetch water for the fire. We make ourselves ready to leave.

It's dead quiet. No sounds of animals in the evening light. We find a shanty where the fire is still burning. Kind of big shanty. Runi knocks on the door. We can hear people quickly moving away from the door. They don't want to open. Neela is sent forward and manages to convince them to let them sleep in the barn for the night and just for a second the door opens and some blankets are thrown out. We light a fire outside the barn and Lilja asks Leithe to cook something that smells really good. Neela and Evol har afraid of the creatures of the night. They are watching us from the cabin. Lilja asks if they want food and that if they do they will have to come get it. Several children, a few women and a big man comes out. There's one boy about 14 years old who thinks Evol is the coolest thing he has ever seen. The boy himself tries to act cool and it all ends in a staring contest between the two. Runik is minding his own business and two children are talking over his head discussing what they think he's doing. Lilja are negotiating trade with the women and later the man. Neela is guarding the wagon and a girl in her own age wants to see what's inside. Neela says that she can't or she won't get any money or food. The girl says that Neela's mother is a bad person and Neela says she doesn't have a mother. That final comment makes the girl take Neela to one of the women and she's thoroughly nursed. The food runs out and Runik gives Leithe a bit of dried meat to do something with. It's dried meat from a nightcreature. This makes them all run back inside the cabin. ¨

We go inside the barn and make sure the wagon is inside with us. Following the advice of the man we put salt on the doorstep. Neela is bathed, has braided hair with flowers in it and she's wearing a dress. Her own clothes along with her slingshot are tied together in a very hard knot that she can't untie. A very pouty Neela goes to sleep with the rest. Evol can't sleep with worry. He unties Neela's knot. In the night the door opens and on the other side is a nightcreature. Evol rushes to his feet, but the creature stretches a hand toward him and the hand starts burning when it crosses the salt. The nightcreature takes off leaving the door open. Then he wakes up. It's morning again and the door is closed.

Neela changes back to her old clothes. Runik has gone out earlier. Lilja and the man negotiate and it's going well for Lilja. She recieves a very beautiful and valuable piece of jewelry in exchange for a year's supply of tools, iron, cloth and food. Lilja also puts up a route of what time her goods will arrive next year. When leaving Evol gives a knife to "his" boy. At a ford in a river we are stopped by a man with a big cane (he was named John Little by us, the players, and then we just waited for Robin Hood and the rest of his Merry Men) who's standing in the middle of the stream. The man claims that they can offer services to help us get over the very dangerous river (which he's standing in the middle of). He and Lilja negotiates. We notice that there are more men hidden in the bushes. John Little slaps Lilja and she gives a signal to Evol to attack. When he does we are attacked by the men in the bushes. Runik puts an arrow through a man in a tree who falls down and doesn't get up. Neela hides under the cape over the wagon with her slingshot at the ready. She hits John Little hard in the head. Evol attacks the same guy. Leithe is fighting a guy climbing the wagon with her frying pan (made us all thing of Rapunzel and Tangled). Lilja has stepped away from the fight between John Little and Evol. She kills another man coming at her with a knife. Another man climbs on the wagon and catches Neela. She screams and kicks. Runik kicks him in the head. The man is knocked out cold. Evol kills John Little. Leithe strikes down hard on the man climbing the wagon and he lands on his head. We tie down the unconscious ones to get the bounty. Neela empties the pockets of both dead and unconscious. She finds some wet tobacco leaves (she doesn't know what they're for and throws them in the river), some coins (that she gets to keep after asking Lilja) and a mouth harp that she gives to Lilja.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Dungeons & Dragons inspired fantasy RPG #1

I've been trying for ages to come up with a blog post for this RPG that actually works. But this RPG has been ongoing for almost 3 years and I've only been part of it for almost a year, so there's a lot of background story that I find out on the go. So as to avoid all unnecessary parenthesises I waited until a good spot came along, and now it did. I wanted to make a new character and a new guy wanted to join the RPG so we made a skip in the story to five years in the future. From this skip I'll start blogging :)

Right now we are one female high elf named Ariana (that's me), one male dark elf named Mirion, three people from an apparantly extinct (but very alive to me) race of people; one female named Razario and two males named Gapy and Starion and finally an "ordinary" person (well he's a hermit) named Needle Beard (translated from Swedish: Barrskägg. The needles from pine trees). Also there are the elves Lelarion and Herald.

Before the RPG starts this evening. Mirion and Starion have been in a coast city called Valgovana to find Razario (related to an older no longer used character of the RPG. She has no idea ofc). Razario is one of the few left of Starion's people so he wants contact. She makes her living as a whore and she's very, very paranoid. However stuff happens in the city which forces them to run from it and while on the run a man called Santiago contacts them mentally. Santiago is a very small magical person who lives in an ent :P Santiago tells them that there are three people in his house (in the tree tops of the ent) that all would benefit from co-operating.

Ariana, Barrskägg and Gapy are all in Santiago's living room. Barrskägg is playing chess against his squirrel (who lives in his beard) and Ariana is inspecting Santiago's bookshelves. The books are all in elvish and written by himself. They all contain very advanced information on herbs and plants. A magical door appears out of nowhere and out steps Razario with a knife at the ready. Starion makes an epic entrance with magical light etc to appear as a master magician, and then Mirion walks out of the door as if nothing has happened. Santiago invites us for dinner and asks us to all sit down at the table. Everyone do so except for Mirion who leaves to visit his sister (Something has happened to her and now she lives in a room there. She can't speak. That's pretty much all I know of that back story). The rest of us notices that there are only fruits and vegetables on the dinner table, no meat whatsoever. After that it's good night.

During the night Starion notices that we are being watched by an undead. In the morning we arrive at the swamp close to the Doors of Might and we exit the ent. We greet Barrskägg's silver cats (two in the size of wolves and one in the size of a horse). A marketplace further away. We get there. There is a camp for people. There are also knights with pipes on their backs (the number of pipes tells how many magic schools the person knows and the colour of the pipe tells which one. They are from a cult called the Light of the Elementar). Since the Doors of Might is a dwarven city it's also a dwarven marketplace. Gapy notices that what the knights with pipes are offered to buy is crap. Starion is being watched by a knight with one pipe that see-through (no one has seen that before). Black armour and the visor down. Starion asks Gapy to keep an eye on the one-pipe. We discover that Razario has disappeared after we have entered the Doors of Might. Starion leaves the find Razario. The rest of us continue on to the dwarven king. Thanks to Mirion (he's a prince btw) are we allowed to enter past the guards. They talk about Gwelvin (a dwarf Mirion has gotten a telepathic cry for help from). Mirion, Ariana and Starion go to Gwelvin's study/temple to check out his recipes in alchemy for an elixir that can give you the ability to breathe under water for 24 hours. Lelarion is there. He seems worried and tells us that something's happening. We can feel magic in the air, sticky and unfriendly. Mirion tries Scatter but fails. None of us know what kind of magic it is. Ariana uses perfect True Sight and catches a glimpse of a small creature (about 1 m) with black robes and green skin that disappears. The description fits someone Starion has seen before. Mirion senses a new magic from the notes. Uses Scatter and their appearance changes. Ariana and Mirion sits down to brew loads of elixirs. It still feels weird to be there. It feels like the magic has a mind of its own. Around midnight Starion comes back with a very beautiful woman whose name is Adia and archmage. The creature Ariana saw is a hobgoblin that's a necromancer. We make sure there are guards around the clock outside the room and that they are changed every second hour.

After breakfast we leave again. We're going out to sea. Barrskägg is opposed to this at first but then agrees. We are going to save Gwelvin (he's a dwarf that likes water). We go through a magic door and arrive at a small island with only a dock and a small boat. Lelarion calls for the White Swan. There's a blinding light and then there a ship. The figurehead is a swan's head. We climb aboard. After some time we arrive at a place that Mirion sense is the right one. In the middle of the sea. Ariana makes Night Vision on herself, Barrskägg and Gapy. We see a city at the bottom . We swim toward it. Only ruins. We sense the same kind of magic that we sensed in Gwelvin's room. We enter the temple of the ruins. Mirion's Perception doesn't work. Ariana buffs the others beforehand and then we go through the magic field. Everything except Iron Skin wears off. Ariana puts on Night Vision again on them, but nothing else. We continue down. Mirion uses Perception again to find Gwelvin and feels his presence but no direction. We choose right in the crossroad. There's a symbol for demon worshipping. Rare demons. They manifest as tornados, usually in deserts. Ariana uses True Sight and sees a hidden tunnel where a scaly creature stands with a two-handed spear. Puts True Sight on Mirion who activates his invisibility cloak to go check. There's not only one bu several. Mirion sneaks inside and kills one and decontaminates one. Gapy steps forward and immediately can't breathe. He's injured by the creature and fails himself to stab it. Ariana tries to use Breathe Underwater but is stopped by magic. Barrskägg uses Scatter and makes the magic disappear. Gapy can breathe again. Mirion activates his cloak to sneak past the last one. Starion recieve an arrow in his back but isn't injured. Ariana puts True Sight on Starion. Starion and Barrskägg see a man (like the ones in the tunnel) with a bow and arrow exit from a tunnel further down. Ariana puts Iron Skin on Barrskägg. We can't sense when magic is being conjured in that field. Ariana moves to the tunnel Gapy is in to put Stumble on the men coming from the other side. Gapy is by now injured pretty badly.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Heroes

[SPOILERS AHEAD!] (Unless you've seen all four seasons of the series...)

I'm having a trip down memorylane - again. This time asked Love to finish Heroes and after much nagging he agreed, although he knew it would all end in a huge cliffhanger. I have all the boxes. All the four seasons. And now when I'm re-watching it again I remember how I used to follow the series and sitting on edge waiting for a new episode. But seriously, do you remember how great it used to be?

A lot of unfair and unfortunate things happened to the greatness of Heroes. After the first season there was the writers' strike in Hollywood and second season was cut in half, which made it a very bad season. But oh, how I loved when HRG was killed. Why, oh, why did they have to save him?

Third season started out with a very interesting plot, turning all the characters upsidedown. Suddenly you no longer knew who was good and who was bad. But it was slow. It was an interesting plot, but it was a slow realisation of the plot, people got bored and the series lost viewers. Season three is also divided into 2 volumes; Villains and Fugitives. Villains was real slow and not until halfway in on Fugitives did the plot kickstart again. I love the re-introduction of Micah in the form of Rebel. On the other hand I hate the whole Niki/Tracy-thing. I always get nervous at the final episode of the third season. The killing of Nathan. Sylar has always been my favourite character, he seems to be the only character of the series that has a real depth. Third season is very much about Sylar and I love that.


Fourth season. Wow. I was very sceptical to the whole carnival thing with Samuel to begin with. But Samuel turned out to be way more smug and cunning than I originally thought and he made the fourth season so very interesting. I hate Emma. In this season I love the growth of Hiro and I continuously love Sylar. I love the re-introduction of Charlie and I wished so much that they would've brough West back in after Claire mentions him. The amount of viewers upped again after the fourth season, but that was at the same time as the economic crisis and thus the series was cancelled. 

Heroes has had a hard time all on all. First the writers' strike and then the economic crisis. I wish they'd at least end it like they did Firefly, with a made-for-TV movie that answers loads of questions. It would give a greater sense of finality than that stupid cliffhanger-ending we have on our hands right now :/

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Midsummer celebration

Yesterday we celebrated a holiday in Sweden; Midsummer. It's one of the few pagan ones we have left and although we hardly celebrate this holiday anymore I love the food associated with this particular holiday, especially the strawberries. Strawberries are the berries of summer in Sweden and we eat loads every summer, either with cream + sugar, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream :)

Anyway, the way we celebrate in my family only applies to traditional food. When I and my sister were small kids we used to have the may pole as well, but not anymore. Except the food what we have now is one of us go out on the fields and ditches close by and pick every kind of flower we can find to make a nice summer bouquet to put on the buffet table :) This year's bouquet (picked by me):


The traditional Swedish food is usually the same on Easter, Midsummer and Christmas with a few exceptions. On the Midsummer buffet table this year we had cherry tomatoes, radishes, pickled herring, salt herring, early potatoes, tomato herring, herb herring, smoked herring, fried herring (yes, any kind of herring is pretty much it for Swedish traditional), chives, sourcream, raw spiced salmon, salmon sauce, and egg halves with caviar on top.



And for dessert, of course, loads of strawberries with whipped cream =D


Obviously we couldn't have midsummer without some rain, cloudy skies and wind. Pretty much standard midsummer weather. After midsummer comes the real summer usually, when it's about 30 degrees and sunny every day. I hate it.

Anywho...

Happy Midsummer everyone :)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Religious discussion part 1

I'm having a religious discussion at a forum and I just have to share it with "all my readers" (if you really are that many). I'm an atheist and the guy I'm discussing it with is a hardcore christian, living in Spain cause Sweden is too godless :P

So I'm dark green and he's dark blue.

People aren't afraid to die, they are afraid of what's on the other side of death, since it's unknown. They are not afraid to die, they are afraid of being forgotten. They are scared that when they've died there will be nothing left to prove that they really existed. It's seen as frightening.

People who are afraid to die haven't yet accepted the fact that it will happen sooner or later, both to you and to those you love. When you've accepted this, that it's inevitable and a part of the natural order, the fear disappears.

I have done this. I'm not afraid to die, for a very long time I wanted to die. I no longer have any deathwish, but I'm not afraid. To the contrary, I have a pure interest in death and how it works. I don't want to know why we die, I want to know what happens when we do, both physically and mentally. Medically if you want. I don't belive in any afterlife. On the contrary I despise the thought. I like to see death as a final destination, when we have arrived there we've reached the end of the journey and that's where we stay. When you die you're gone. Either you get burned and turn to ashes, or you're buried in a box in the ground where worms slowly disintegrate the body. Easy. Simple. Nothing to be afraid of.


What's on the other side of death isn't unknown.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10
"For the living knows that they will die, but regarding the dead, they are not conscious of anything, neither do they have any wage, for the memory of them is forgotten - Everything your hand finds to do, gives to their own your power, for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in sheol, the place where you're going."

However I accept the life the Maker offers us further on.

The Book of Revelations 21:3-5
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "See! God's tent is among the men, and he shall live among them, and they shall be his people. And God himself shall be with them. 4 And he shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more; neither will sorrow or screams or pain be no more. What once was is gone." 5 And he who sat on the throne said: "See! I make everything anew." And then he says: "Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.""


What you're talking about is an afterlife. Something that does not exist. Besides, a life without sorrow and pain isn't worth living. Man is what she learns and experiences. Without sorrow and pain we won't learn the hardships of life. Even if we don't want sorrow and pain are they necessary. So if you cross out that you "live" with God after death (thus an afterlife) what is left? Then do you know what's on the other side of death? Or is it unknown?

Can you give an answer with your own words and not copy from the Bible? I would like to determine whether you can think for yourself or if you are completely brainwashed by the Bible and Christianity. Everything I've seen you write in the forum have been Bible quotes or very evasive answers that don't really answer anything. Do us all a favour and become somewhat independent. Can you stand on your own without holding the hand of God/Jesus? Are you a grown person?


Sad that you don't appreciate life

Oh, I appreciate life :) Since I've accepted death as the end I live as if every die were the last one, because I know it could be. There is nothing after death, no second chance, so I do everything I want to do now so I don't have to regret anything when the journey is over :)

You have no choice but to accept death, however accept the life God gives us, there you have a choice.

I appreciate life now, it doesn't stop me from accepting a continued life. There isn't a chance that you can manage to do everything you want to do in those 70-80 years we have.
Book of Revelations 21:3-5
http://www.bibeln.se/las/2k/upp#q=Upp...

Why wouldn't it be possible to manage to do everything you want in the time we've recieved?

In that case you can pin-point the day you've done everything you want to do. Besides, you don't know if you die tomorrow.

Exactly. I have no idea if I'll die tomorrow or tonight. So I try to make sure I do things that make me happy and make sure I die happy. You make me sound as if I have some kind of list of things I want to do.

Then you only chase after food and pleasure like an animal!? Not a meaning of life? Why are people so unwilling to see that the global warming is a fact that is slipping through our hands?

There is no meaning of life so it feels unnecessary to chase after it.

Animals are considerably smarter than humans give them credit for. Some of them are proved to be smarter than humans. Mankind only happened to be most adaptable and happened to have thumbs. I want to have fun. So yes, I only chase pleasure. That's what I want from life. I want to have fun and do things I think matter, not just for me but for things I think are of importance. For example saving endangered species, fight against global warming and protest against political injustice.

The climat change is a normal thing. It's proven that what forced the man apes to evolve into actual people with bigger brains actually was the climat changes several million years ago. What happens now is a natural change that we have fastforwarded with our industries. We will never be able to stop it completely, but we will be able to slow it down. Besides humanity isn't what is threatened by the global warming. Humanity lived through the last ice age tens of thousands of years ago and we can do it again. What the global warming threatens is our comfortable lifestyle. Global warming is no judgement day. January 1, 2013 I will laugh at those who thought the world would end in 2012. In such a case, what would kill us before the global warming is the super volcano Yellowstone in USA. That volcano only has an eruption every 5000ed year and it's 4900 years since last time. It's not an exact date either, it could happen tomorrow or in 500 years. That volcano will make a big ass crater out of all of USA and cover the earth with an ashcloud that the sun won't be able to break through. With no sun, no summer and no plants or trees. No plants or trees, no oxygen.

Research your possiblities of extinction before you start your preaching.


If there is no meaning to life, then why not erase the meaningless?

This climate change has happened in 150 years and that with the help of humans.


I don't understand what you mean by erasing the meaningless...

How much the climate can change we have yet to see. Those few degrees that the average temperarure have increased with are just the beginning. We didn't create the climate change. It would have come anyway. We just fastforwarded the process. So yes, partly with the help of humans.


If life is that meaningless, why live? Because we have a wish to live eternally. We make plans, we mourn the dead, we have abilities that aren't necessary for the survival of mankind and so on. We don't need to worry about nature, either there is a Maker or not, that the future of the nature will decide, not us. We have fastforwarded the process with millions of years in only 150 years of our rule.

Life has no meaning, everything is just a lucky (?) coincidence. It doesn't mean that everything is over and that you should be depressed and wait to die. Do what you can with your time instead.

I have no wish to live eternally. I can see myself as an energetic 90-year-old (just like my three greatgrandmothers, all of whom I've met ;)) who later will die happy because I've done the most and best of my time. Beyond that I don't want to live. People who want to live forever are just afraid to die.
http://elinchan.blogspot.com/2010/09/...
http://elinchan.blogspot.com/2011/04/...
http://elinchan.blogspot.com/2011/05/...

Yes, we mourn the dead. Actually not because they've died, but because we realise that we will never be able to meet that person again, never talk to him/her again, never hug him/her. It's a big thing. But I think the whole funeral ceremony in the churches are ridiculous. They are more for the mourning than for the dead (or do you think that the soul hangs around until we've placed the body in the ground?). Funerals have more and more become a way to express your support and condoleances to the next-of-kin and an opportunity to eat sandwich layer cake.
http://elinchan.blogspot.com/2011/01/...

Yes, nature saves itself, even without a Maker. Nature is its own Maker.

We haven't fastforwarded the process that would've happened during millions of years so that it has happened in only 150 years. Remember that it's 4 million years since the last climate changes and that that change ended only 10,000 years ago. Those 150 years we've had to affect haven't done a lot. The Earth is 5 billion years old, do you really think our 150 years of heavy industries will have that big of an effect? We have helped a little, very little, a process that would've happened anyway. But we haven't created anything.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0aFP...

Most of the links are from my blog. I've already blogged about everything we talk about, but more detailed than what I can write here.


If you have no wish then it's your choice, sad choice when you could have an eternal life, healthy, young, no deseases plus a fair government.

You describe the sorrow of death, why if it's so natural?


How can an afterlife by the side of God be that great if several of those who have helped create this world are there? This world sucks. How can that world be any different?

Death is natural. Sorrow is also natural. As I said people don't mourn that the person dies. They mourn that they miss the person and will miss that person for a long, long time. It's the missing they mourn, not death.


To be continued

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Game of Thrones

[SPOILERS AHEAD!] (Don't say I didn't warn you)

Just watched the last episode of the first season of Game of Thrones. It's amazing! I haven't read the books, but according to Love I could just skip reading the first book of the series and go directly to the second. That's how precisely they follow the story. But this is perfect. I wanted a new series to be crazy about since Heroes ended (boohoo :'( ) and I love this! The political intrigues, the detailed characters, the constant backstabbing + the supernatural element. It's perfect.

I actually didn't think they would kill Eddard Stark, since Sean Bean was the only known name and drawing card of the series. I didn't think they would kill off Drogo and Daenerys's son either. I thought they would mix up with the already existing war in King's Landing and make it a quick one :P But Deanerys is the Dragon. She can walk through fire. "Fire cannot kill the Dragon". And now she has three baby dragons. Next season's gonna be awesome!

I hope Sansa will do something next season. She seems to be starting up her own rebellion against Joffrey, thinking of pushing him over the edge. A kind of subtle rebellion, but I do hope she will get her own fierceness later on. I wonder what will happen to Arya. She seems to be able to handle herself. Now she's disguised as a boy and it seems like she's leaving King's Landing for the Wall. But what will be at the Wall? The Night's Watch including Snow has rode off beyond the Wall to look for wildlings and white walkers. Will they survive unlike everyone else who has ventured beyond the Wall since the series started? I want to think that Snow is one of the main characters and they can't kill him, but Game of Thrones doesn't seem to follow the common rules of not killing the main characters. I honestly can't say if Snow will make it out alive. Too bad. I like Snow.

And then there's Robb and Tyrion. Hopefully Robb will win his own war, avenge his father, save his sisters and kill the king :) That's what I want to happen anyway, but if that happened next season there wouldn't be much left so that's probably not gonna happen :P Tyrion has slowly become one of my favourites. Hopefully he will be able to spank some sense into Joffrey as the King's Hand. But I rather doubt it...

I just want the incest relationship between the Queen and her brother to be revealed, in the wake of that revelation it will become obvious that Joffrey isn't really a Barathian and he will lose his crown :)

Daenerys is by far my favourite character. She has grown enourmusly since the beginning of the series and now she's a wicked woman that can walk through fire =D


Season finale. Final scene. Daenerys. Do I need say more?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Horses

Yesterday and today I worked at the horse racecourse in Malmö on an event called American Days. There were American flags everywhere and there were special shows inspired by America. Like Western riding, Mountain shooting, Cowhorse/Cutting and Quarterraces. All foodstand there were Americanized. There were Panpizza, Doughnuts, Hickory Smoked Ribbs and of course hamburgers. There was a small area dedicated to American soldiers from the Second World War, so there were men and women dressed up as 1940's military (wish I'd brought my camera). There was also a small Native American fireplace with a tent close-by. Later in the evening there were tributes to Dolly Parton and Tina Turner on the small stage. There were also loads of old American vintage cars, cool and beautiful all of them.

Along with all this there were of course all the ordinary gallop races. Standing there watching the horses I suddenly felt like 8 years old again. Like all small girls I too loved horses. I wasn't dedicated enough to commit to riding and taking care of a real horse, but every chance I got to ride I took. I was, and still am, a little afraid of horses because they are such big animals (I have respect for all animals I know to be stronger and/or bigger than me). But while I watched those horses there were especially two that I completely fell in love with. One was lightbrown in body and mane, but the tail was half-white and it had white spots on its behind. It seemed a little rough to the body but seemed to have a very subtle nature and personality. Very likeable. The other one was jetblack, so black that it almost shimmered in blue. The mane and tail were long and wavy. It was a very thin horse, muscular and confident, but also beautiful and elegant. None of them seemed to win their races, though.

We had two places where we sold our things. One place close to the stage and one place close to the entrance. Down by the stage we had all the basic things and up by the entrance we had cotton candy and balloons as well. Down by the stage it was extremely windy. I hadn't brought a jacket cause I thought it wouldn't be necessary. But the constant wind added to only 17 degrees made it freezing down by the stage. Luckily Cicci (my friend who also worked there) had her mum come bring a jacket. Since we switched places every now and then, the one standing down by the stage wore her big wind jacket/coat. Also, down by the stage there was absolutely nothing to do except wandering back and forth or sitting down at the very-bad-for-your-back chair. Up next to the entrance on the other hand there was hardly any wind at all (we were between two buildings) and since that was the place with cotton candy and balloons, that's where all the families went. I think I made about 20-30 cotton candy that day and sold about twice the amount of balloons. That was fun! Later in the evening there was a sudden downfall that didn't end, so we decided to pack up and leave 1½ hours earlier than planned.

Today we had only the place up by the entrance. But it was very windy there too today. However I had borrowed my sister's wind jacket today so I was fine. There was hardly anything to do today at all. It was a very slow day and the only exciting thing that happened was that I was photographed by a newspaper (and the small sudden downfalls that had us taking in and bringing the balloons back out again over and over).

At 5pm we closed up and went back home. Now my back, feet and legs hurt from having to constantly stand up two days in a row. It's painful but at the same time it's kind of pleasant to feel that your body has been doing some serious working outdoors. There is a special feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes from throwing out empty boxes at the end of an event. I like my job :)

And the only song I could think of those two days was this one:

Friday, 17 June 2011

Stephen Lynch

Just got home from an awesome concert with Stephen Lynch! It was great to see him again after 3 years (already, that long!) and he announced that he was going to go into the studio after he got back from his tour! Yay, new album! =D

He started off with a few new songs like Lorelai, Dick Like Me, Tennessee and Queer Tattoo (all great), many of the old classics he played this time weren't the same as last time. For example he played Little Tiny Moustache, Beelz, Special, D&D, Priest and Superhero. I guess now that he's working on a new album the songs from his last albums also are classics by now. From that album he only played Dear Diary and A History Lesson.

The 2 hours were great and spent constantly laughing and actually had me bent over with laughter at one point. I never thought Whitney Houston's "I will always love you" could be hilarious. I never thought the Swedish language could be that hilarious. Apparantly he had been in Luleå the night before. Try saying Luleå with an American accent! xD Or kyckling for that matter... I never thought the films "40 year old virgin" and "Good Will Hunting" could be that funny.



All in all it was well worth the money spent. But except for playing four of my favourites (Little Tiny Moustache, Beelz, D&D and A History Lesson) I missed a few songs so here's some shamless advertising :P
Lullaby. 
It's a horrible song, but I think it's cosy... 
I enjoy listening to it.

What if that Guy from Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys?
I love this only because it's hilarious and never gets boring...

Craig Christ
Because... Since when is it boring to joke about religion?

There are so many more... Like Grandfather, Baby, Vanilla Ice Cream, Halloween, Talk to Me, America, Hallelujah, Down to the Old Pub Instead... He never gets boring! If you haven't heard of him or listened to his music I suggest that now is a great time to start!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

French, Murakami, music blog and some shopping :)

So it turns out (to no surprise) that I failed the exam in French literary history. It's OK, though. Only 3/4 exams were needed to be able to continue to the next level so technically I passed this semester and I'm ready for the next one. My resit is in August and until then I will have to study as much about French authors as I do kanji and Korean :/ I had actually hoped to pass the test right on the point, but guess not. Darn. Still not freed from the literary history...

I'm steadily finishing off my first book of the summer. "Kafka on the Shore", by Haruki Murakami. I had planned to read something of his for a very long time when a friend lent me this book. I must say that I'm confused as to whether I like it or not. It was very hard to get interested for the first few chapters. But then the supernatural factor kicked in and I got interested. Not in the sense that I couldn't put the book down, but in the sense that I couldn't stop evaluating the questions asked in the book. So I wanted to continue to read to get his version of things. It has an existentialistic element that I never thought I'd come to like, but sometime should be the first, right? I plan to read a lot this summer and slowly start to work through my bookcases. Something I haven't done since my early teens. The next book in line is a fantasy. "The Blade Itself", by Joe Abercrombie. Someone who has read it and has any opinions?

For the past few days (thereof the lack of posts) I've been going through this blog, and by doing so discovered a lot of new music. Mostly different types of rock and metal, but also classic pop songs. Like Talkin' Bout A Revolution and Shout. I'm not finished yet. I'm only halfway through 2010, but thought I'd share it to the world. His grammar keeps giving me chills (it's that bad), but I do enjoy listening through the songs he recommend. If you don't want to download them as I do, you could probably find them all on Spotify and YouTube :P And even if you don't understand Swedish you can still use this blog to find songs. The artist and song title are in the blog post title, you will just not be able to read his reasons for recommending the songs. I don't even read them...

I gave into the temptation last week and made a round of internet shopping at Shock. Yesterday I picked up these at the "post office" (click for larger):

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

More nuclear

This may not come as a surprise to anyone, but a majority of the Japanese people want to step away from nuclear, according to a recent investigation. It seems like after Fukushima people became aware of how dangerous nuclear really is. This applies for more than the Japanese; the Germans, the Swedes and the Italian as well to mention a few. No one wants to live close to a nuclear plant (close as in a few miles away). No one wants to have anything to do with nuclear anymore.

What happened at Fukushima was a worst-case scenario. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. After Chernobyl they said that the disaster was due to the low security of the plant and the fact that it was in a Sovjet country (i.e. not well developed). But Fukushima was in Japan, a technologically high-developed country with very high security systems, and still this happened. It seemed to open people's eyes, even if just a little. People now want alternatives and they want renweables. I squeal with joy everytime I read this somewhere, because now it feels like we're actually going somewhere.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Summer = Torture

People are usually surprised when I tell them that I don't like summer. I don't blame them, especially not in Sweden. Swedes love their summer; this is obvious seeing to the pop music. Sweden have about the same amount of pop songs relating to summer as the Japanese have relating to sakura (cherry blossom) blooming.

But if you let me explain it will soon become obvious why I hate summer. First off is the temperature. It's too hot, or at least it seems too hot. I live as far south in Sweden as almost possible. Here the temperature usually rises to about 30 degrees in summer, which is awful. In Tokyo I didn't think 30 degrees was that bad, but here... I think it has something to do with the air. When the temperature rises above 23 degrees here the air becomes sticky and heavy, like before a thunderstorm. This doesn't result in a thunderstorm every time, it just feels that way. But since the air is so sticky and heavy it feels hard to breathe, as if there's too little oxygen in the air. You know, the feeling you get when there are too many people in a small closed room.

Second is the sun. I don't like the sun for two reasons. First is because it makes my head spin and gives me a headache because it's always so bright. Second is because the sun seems to have mutually hateful feelings towards me. When I'm outdoors (or indoors for that matter) it doesn't matter if I constantly drink water and fill up with salt and sugar - my head still spins. It doesn't matter if I wear a hat against the sun - my head still spins. It doesn't matter if I wet my forehead and neck with cold water - it dries up in five minutes and my head still spins. I've started wearing sunglasses now, but I can't be indoors without getting a headache unless I cover up the windows.
Also, the sun hates me. If I as much as look at the sun without sunscreen on I get badly burned and a sunrash. Last week I was out in direct sunlight for about an hour without sunscreen. My back got really badly burned. It stinged and itched. Now my back is scaling and it still itches. My arms get full of sunrash after being in the sun for 30 minutes. As soon as the sun shows its ugly face in March I get freckles all over my nose and cheeks. I've even burned my scalp! After I burned my back last week I went to the pharmacy to buy the strongest sunscreen they had. I got home with a childrens sunscreen 50+ adapted for sunsensitive skin, and after putting it on I could actually be out in the sun all day today without getting burned or a sunrash. Still got the headache and spinning head, though.

There are other small reasons too that I don't like summer, one of them is the people. It's so hot and the air is so heavy that people are easily annoyed and easily exhausted. Summer is the time of year when people fight the most and are most pettish. Another is that you drink so much that you have to spend so much time in the bathroom. You're always sweaty and, except for me hating to get sweaty, it's smelly. You shower every day without it making a difference cause as soon as you step out of the shower you're equally sweaty as when you got in. You don't feel like eating because it's so hot, so you're either always hungry or you cover it up with ice cream. You don't want to stand in the kitchen cooking cause it's already so hot, so you rather go out eating. Being in a car in summer is torture. It's extremely hot getting in, but you have to keep the windows closed - otherwise the air conditioning won't work. The seats are hot and it's almost painful sitting down on them in shorts or short skirts and then you burn yourself on the belt buckle.

There are three positive things with summer in my book. First is that I can walk barefoot. Second is that I can go swimming outdoors in the ocean, in a lake or in an outdoor swimming pool. That is the only state of being acceptable in summer - completely soaked in water. Third is that you automatically lose weight, either by not eating much or sweating it out.

And since I'm Swedish these two songs are impossible to not hear during summer. A small taste of Swedens vast array of summery pop songs. If you've been in Sweden May-August you've probably heard at least one of these on the radio



As you can see and hear I'm close to a blasphemer and a criminal for being Swedish and hating summer :/

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

National pride

Yesterday was the National Day of Sweden. That is the only day I let myself feel proud of my counrty, otherwise I think it's ridiculous. Why feel proud of a country you only happened to be part of? You could as well have been born anywhere else in the world. It's not an achievement of yours to be born in your country, so why be proud of it?

Don't say it's because your country is your home. Nationality has nothing to do with home. Home is an abstract thing and has to do with where you feel at ease, comfortable and where you recognise your surroundings.

Only on June 6th I consider myself a Swedish citizen. Today and all the other days of the year I'm a citizen of the world. My looks tell you that I originate from a certain area of the world, but no more. I'm more proud to be Scandinavian than to be Swedish. I'm more proud to be European than Swedish.

On a different note, we suck at celebrating our National Day. But what do we have to celebrate? We don't celebrate our independence cause we are one of the few countries in the world that have always been independent. June 6th is however considered the day when the first step towards modern Sweden was taken. It all comes down to the rebellion of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century.

Only the two first verses are usually sung. 
The third and fourth are considered too controversial nowadays.

Monday, 6 June 2011

More on my generation and some thoughts on democracy

I worked this weekend and it was a small beer festival on the countryside. Quite pleasant actually. Most people are nice. At one point a man of about 60 walks up to me. He wants a bag of toffees I hear him tell his wife, but instead of telling me he just points at the bag and gives me a 500 SEK-note (about €50). I politely told him that I had recently recieved one of those and at the moment didn't have enough change for another one. This apparantly annoyed him and while his wife gave me a 50 instead he grabbed his bad and said that I wouldn't get much sold before walking off. Certain that he thought I was just a summer-working, good-for-nothing teenager, this had me angry for about 30 minutes. I'm 20 years old and I've probably succeeded better than he ever did. In four years I will have a Master degree in translating and Bachelors in two languages, moreover I will know three more languages and have the ability to work anywhere in the world. I have a job and a boyfriend whom I live with. Since this is Sweden we have the same rights as a married couple just by living together. So I got the education part, the love part, the family part, the job part, even the scarring part and soon the career part.

Then I figured that maybe he was afraid. Afraid of his own ageing. Afraid of his own closeness to death. Afraid of his generation being pushed aside by my generation. Well, I can say for certain that his generation is not yet pushed aside. My generation  is trying to put the older one aside, but we keep hitting a wall. That wall is the older generation refusing to let us in on society. The older generation that has ruled civilisation since TV and radio were new. But one day we will break through, cause you are growing older and feebler. We too are growing older, but still stronger. We have not yet reached the turningpoint between strength and feebleness. You no longer know whereto you're steering society in a time when radio and TV are almost becoming old-fashioned and outdated. Why not accumulate us who still have visions? We still know where we're going. Let us take over the steering-wheel. You've driven far enough. It's time for you to sit back, rest and watch in dispair as we tear down and rebuild everything you've helped build.

Instead of desperately fighting against us, why not help us into society? Why not help us learn so that you, in the end, can rest assured that the future of your co-creation is in good hands? To me that sounds like the better option for all of us, instead of the war-like setting between generations that we have today.

------------------------------------------------------

Last week there was an article in the newspaper telling us about how young people were more inclined to give their vote to the highest bidder, a.k.a selling their vote for money. This had some huge reactions from people. As one of those "young people" I can see where those feelings come from. We feel like we don't count so why bother? Unless you could earn some money on voting? Cause that seems to be the only way, except for continue to study, that will grant you some money.

A friend blogged about this in Swedish and I commented like this (translated):
I read the post and the comments with amazement. Has nobody noticed that us young people simply are being pushed aside by the adults? That we percieve it as if our opinions don't matter if we don't think the same thing as our parents? I haven't been considered an adult for long. I'm 20 years old and have participated in two elections, in both it felt as if it didn't matter what I voted for because it wouldn't affect the result. I went to the polling house completely aware that the result would be the direct opposite. But we have been force-fed democracy since elementary school, forced to learn that everything else is bad and that there are no other options. That our vote is a right and that we are close to criminals if we don't use that vote. Is it weird that we start thinking about other things? As a young adult one likes to participate in debates and express one's opinions. But one becomes very despondent and bitter on the surroundings when the response on one's expressed opinions is: you're young, what do you know? There is a reason why punk, anarchism, communism, nazism and fascism have started to gain more popularity again. Why young people venture to new political grounds: it's almost impossible to get in on the usual spots.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Graduation

Today it's two years since I graduated, but it still feels like yesterday. I feel happy for the ones who graduate this week and next week. They will have one of the most memorable days of their lives.
Graduation in Sweden is a very noisy business and I've heard others complain about it, but I for one want them to have this. It will forever be one of their fondest memories. Why can't people just remember their own happiness at the time and let today's youth have their go at it?
My time in sixth form still has a very special place inside my heart.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Kanji and Korean pt. 1

I said I'd start studying kanij and Korean this summer right? ;) Yesterday I started with both. I use the website with all the school kanji + a few more useful ones to study and I pick twelve I don't know or know badly each day. Yesterday's kanji were these:
竹糸虫貝草刀弓公引台地用光
I've seen all of them before, but since kanji have more than one reading and I wasn't sure on the writing and meaning I picked them. They are all kanji the Japanese children learn in 1st to 2nd grade. Take, ito, mushi, kai, kusa, katana, yumi, ooyake, hiku, dai, chi, mochi, hikari.
池羽考声形汽角谷麦直岩科
I've seen all of these before too and I can read them all, but writing and meaning is a little... less good. These are all from the 2nd grade. So these are the ones for today: ike, hane, kanga, koe, katachi, ki, kado, tani, mugi, nao, iwa, ka.

I also started Korean yesterday. In Seoul I bought a book called Active Korean 1. It has all the proper beginnings and a CD with listening practice. First chapter is all about hangeul, the Korean alphabet (which is much easier than the Japanese ones), but the sounds are on the other hand more difficult than the Japanese ones. I have decided to do one Korean chapter a week so I really learn everything. Yesterday I also bought a Korean dictionary similar to my Japanese one on the British Amazon (evading customs, oh yeah). I have no idea if this plan with Korean is gonna go well or not... But I want to try, since I actually have a book and a CD to learn from.

Backing away from nuclear

After the disaster of Fukushima, Japan Germany has made the decision to get rid of nuclear power by the year 2020. Many fear that that means they will return to coal and oil to still get enough electricity out of it, but facts are that they have decided to put their money on renewable resources. Their vision is to have 30% of their energy coming from wind power by 2020. I'm for once impressed with Germany, that such a conservative, heavily industrialized country decides to back away from nuclear. Thing is that this is that first step I've been waiting for someone to take. Germany suddenly rose higher in my point of view. This might also be the push that Sweden needs to finally back away from nuclear and close that shit down. We have way more potential than Germany to successfully get all our energy from renewable resources. We have way more coastline, way bigger streams, way more mountains... We can do all this! Germany proves that all it takes it the political will to go ahead with it. I'm tensely awaiting the reactions from huge industrialized countries like France, UK and USA to start pushing too. Sweden is always slower than the rest of them, so we need that push from several countries to actually have the political will.

But once again I doubt USA. The only country who never signed the Kyoto treaty. Will they ever, ever move away from nuclear and oil before they actually need to? I think not. Like I've said before: Americans seem to be too patriotic to notice that their country is going to hell and that they are falling behind other countries moving forward in terms of electricity, freedom, equality and welfare.

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