Friday, 30 September 2011

Autumn

Last post of the month. Summer seems to refuse to let go and today the temperature was back up above 20 degrees, even the air couldn't stay chilly. The other days this week, the sun's been out and it's been about 18 degrees but the air and wind have been chilly enough make one want to wear a jacket, and I like that. Tomorrow it's October and officially autumn, let's just hope the weather realises that too.

I refuse to accept that it's not fully autumn yet and I've put away all my shorts and brought out all my tights and knitted shirts. It's time to sit in the sofa in the evenings with a big knitted shirt and woollen socks and a steaming cup of tea! The scenery outside is astounding. A breath-taking mixture of yellow, orange, red, brown and light green. This is what the university library looks like nowadays:

This day I've spent cleaning. Scrubbing this flat 'til it gleamed. I've heard of spring cleaning, but I'm more of an autumn person, so cleaning for the winter suits me better ;) Well needed anyway. Didn't have any classes today so I spent the day hoovering, washing the floor, doing the dishes and doing the laundry. On the other hand I got to spoil myself with sushi and crisps with dip in the evening :D Tomorrow I'm going to IKEA with Mum and hopefully that will mean curtains, hatrack and larder. There are some things to do still until this place is exactly the way I want it. I'm trying to get it that way until my birthday when all of my family is coming here, and I want them to see "the finished product" ;) But those three mentioned above are must haves tomorrow!

Autumn is the season of acoustic songs. But I couldn't decide if I should share "You" by the Pretty Reckless, or "Heartbeats" by José González, so I'll go ahead and give you both :)

"You" - The Pretty Reckless
Cosy song, one that will most definately end up on my new autumn playlist :)


"Heartbeats" - José González
If you recognise the song it's probably from this TV ad. I love it and can watch it over and over. Colour is pretty.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Alice: Madness Returns

Okay, so I started playing this game yesterday. I must say that I love the screenplay, the screenwriting, the game is beautiful! However it's always leaving me frustrated, increasingly frustrated. My game sessions always end in me rage-quitting. Why? Because I'm a n00b at platform gaming and since Alice is among the upper level platform games, I'm in way over my head here. I'm a turn-based game geek and I'm totally out of my league here. I originally set my game play level to Normal, but had to admit crushing defeat and rage-quitting in tears and changed the level to Easy.

I manage some jaw-dropping amazingly beautiful dodge-attack moves, solely by button-mashing. I'm a button-mashing n00b. But I'm still clumsy with the controls, I misjudge the space between platforms and if this game counted deaths I'd be aiming for the World Records - this is why I never managed to play Super Mario, cause I died at every goddamned hole and turtle. This is why I'm glad that this game does not give you a specific amount of lives, just a health bar and an unlimitied amount of tries.

So this far I've been jumping on mushrooms, shooting pepper at flying pig snouts, shrinking to get through key holes and flying on steam. I've met the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter and The Duchess. Now I'm at the end of chapter one and the Hatter's Domain. All I have to do to move on is to defeat a humongous Menacing Ruin that keeps shooting fire at me. But if I managed to kill three tea-shooting Eyepots which were assisted by three Insidious Ruins, I guess I'll be alright as soon as I figure out this guy's weak spots (do not tell me). My favourite enemy? Probably the Madcaps at this point.

Another thing I like about this game is that you collect teeth as you collect coins in Super Mario, and lifepoints are in the shape of red roses. Despite my continuing rage-quitting I do like this game and I will finish it, although it will take forever, and all of my blood, sweat and tears :P But it's a good game, every major fight leaves me with my hands shaking from adrenaline :D

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Les Misérables in Malmö #1

About the headline... We have already booked tickets to go see it again, because sometimes the actors change. Anywho...

Yesterday evening I, Love, Kajsa and Tiffany went to see Les Misérables in Malmö. I was really looking forward to it, although I was a bit sceptical and wondered whether I would agree to the Swedish translations. For some reason it seems impossible to sing pompously and majestically in modern Swedish and for some reason they always have to make the lyrics somewhat oldfashioned.

(All links to Swedish songs are from the 1990 musical in Stockholm)

Anyway we sat down and waited for the show to start. The intro was great and I didn't even react to the fact that they had changed Valjean's number from 24601 to 25601 (simply because 4 contains two syllables in Swedish and it doesn't work in the song) until Love told me so. Speaking of the intro, can someone explain the wolf to me? I liked Dan Ekborg as Valjean, although it bothered me for ages that I had seen him somewhere before but couldn't remember where. Of course Fred Johanson was absolutely spiffing as Javert, but who'd expect otherwise?

Continuing on to Fantine (Karolin Funke), I thought she looked old and it bothered me that she wore a wig. I mean how hard can it be to find a blond girl suitable to play Fantine in Sweden? Seriously? Her voice was spot-on (I Dreamed a Dream / Jag Drömde en Dröm), and her performance was nice. Another small detail that bothered me was the colour of her dress. I want Fantine to be dressed in white because Cosette sings of a woman all in white in Castle on a Cloud (I Himlens Slott) and I've interpreted that as she's singing about her mother, but she doesn't remember that it's her mother. Little Cosette and little Éponine were amazing though. I'm also not too sure about the general performance of Lovely Ladies (Sköna Damer) because they had made most of the extras who were whores were dressed as marionette dolls for some reason.

I liked the Swedish version of Master of the House (Herre i sitt Hus), but I was so disappointed in David Lundquist as Thénardier. He looked ragged and disgusting, somewhat like a zombie. I've seen pictures of the regular Thénardier, Peter Harryson, and it's still not how I picture Thénardier, but at least he doesn't look slimy. Madame Thénardier (Evamaria Björk) was very convincing and I liked her performance a lot.

Moving on to Paris. Gavroche sounded too cute in Stockholm Swedish. Maybe I'm spoiled with Robert Madge, but even the French 1991 version of Gavroche is cockier. We all agreed that Cosette (Mathilda Ahnell) sounded to opera-y to be fitting for Cosette. But the students were awesome! The guys portraying Enjolras (Anders Gjönnes) and Marius (Philip Jalmelid) are hot! :) I actually prefer the Swedish version of Red and Black (Rött och Svart) on the other hand the Swedish version of Do You Hear the People Sing (Folkets Sång) was bad. The translation was bad. The English version is true to the French original, while the Swedish has a meaning somewhat resembling the English/French ones. It's still a battle song, but not as awesome as the English/French ones.

I liked the stage, I can say as much. I also liked the Sweeney Tood-esque costumes and aura of the play. I liked how they had set up the scene of Master of the House, the whole bar was awesome. Still don't get the wolf though. Can someone also explain why the bushes in the park later on was formed as Christmas trees? Or why Cosette is in a cage?

During intermission we were nerdy enough to stay seated instead of stretching our legs, use the toilet and buy sweets. We sat there discussing the play thus far and comparing it to the original book, the French version, the original London cast version, 10th anniversary and 25th anniversary. None of us liked Éponine (Ida Högberg). Why does she resemble a Joker with a big fat green bow on top of her head? We liked her voice and her singing but not how they had styled her appearance.

The second act started and there was not much new to tell. I liked to watch the fighting at the barricade, it was well done. It was also my first time seeing the death of Gavroche. I cried some when Éponine died, which I didn't when I watched 25th anniversary, so I thought it was well done.

When it was all over we got out of the stage room, decided not to go to the stage door to get autographs and walked out through the doors while singing Do You Hear the People Sing. All in all it was a great night :)

Coming home I booked another viewing almost immediately. Today I've been listening through the soundtrack in French and Swedish. I've also found some songs in Danish and I also stumbled across some songs in Japanese! Gavroche sounded too cocky there! xD

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Edguy

Yesterday I went to Malmö with Love to go to my second Edguy concert. It was the same venue as when they performed there in 2009. I was a little worried, cause their new album felt too much power metal, I love the heavy metal part about them, but I'm always second-guessing the power metal part. This time Malmö was also the first city they went to on their Age of the Joker Tour 2011, which meant that we set the standard for all the other cities xD Kind of cool.

Unfortunately just like last time they had two support acts, but this time there was no pleasant surprise like H.E.A.T, this time it was simply boring. The first band, Fullforce, was your generic power metal band (thing with Edguy, and especially Tobi, is that all other power metal sounds mediocre). The only fun thing about that band was to watch the drummer who seemed to be having the time of his life and enjoying drumming way too much :D The second band was called Kottak and I soon learned that their frontman was the drummer of the Scorpions; James Kottak. But you know why the drummer is always in the back, both on stage and on press footage? It's because drummers are not supposed to be frontmen or singers. It was bad. Really bad. They sounded like a punk band trying to be metal. Their lyrics were on the same intellectual level as Ramones, but without the humour. If they had toned down the disted guitars a bit they would have sounded more like a punk band and it would've sounded so much better than what it did now. Kottak's performance actually made me want to leave for some fresh air and not having to listen to the noise. Kottak was too American, too obnoxious and made too much of a big deal out of being from L.A. He's almost 50 years old! Stop acting like you're 15!

It took forever for the roadies to fix the stage for Edguy and my mood dropped to the bottom. But it soon switched back up again when they finally got on stage. Tobi's energy was contagious. The show started with the intro of Mysteria ("Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freakshow") and thus it took me a while to realise that they weren't playing Mysteria when they got on, but Nobody's Hero off of the new album. Tobi got the entire audience going. I don't recognise the songs off of Age of the Joker yet (the new album), and Tobi was aware that many hadn't learned their new songs yet but still got us going. Still they played many songs off of the new album. The older songs, however, got the most cheering from the crowd as usual; Tears of a Mandrake, Lavatory Love Machine, Superheroes, Ministry of Saints, Vain Glory Opera and the encores Land of the Miracle and King of Fools. King of Fools is my absolute favourite song by them and just like it was last time, I knew it would be in the encore, because it is one of their most popular songs. Land of the Miracle, Tears of a Mandrake and Vain Glory Opera are all really old songs, both Land of the Miracle and Vain Glory Opera being from the 90s and Tears of a Mandrake from 2001. It was my first time hearing Land of the Miracle live and Tobi mentioned that it had been a long time since they last played that song, but it worked amazingly well live!

On a sidenote I can mention that the girl in front of me caught a plectrum, as did the guy to my left and the girl to my right caught a drumstick... Why can I never catch anything? :(

"We live to fight the hand of doom. We got the pride to strike a fool. Vain Glory be my wicked guide." 
- "Vain Glory Opera", Edguy 1998


Keep on railing at what I believe
Call me insane and I'm proud to be
And I walk the wicked way
We don't wanna be like you
Don't you get that King of Fools?
We don't mind your life is trite
You are the King of Fools
We are never gonna be like you
We don't follow King of Fools
You're the blind to lead the blind

Everything is as it should be after a concert; my neck and throat are sore from all the screaming and headbanging. Going to bed yesterday my ears rang. Going out of the venue the chilly night air was the most lovely thing in the world, being sweaty from all the jumping, headbanging, screaming and waving hands. Getting back to Lund that McFeast was the most delicious thing I had eaten that day (I was so hungry and so thirsty). Went to sleep around 3am, got up again around 11am. Tonight it's time for Les Misérables in Malmö! This weekend is already amazing!  

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Swedish Idol 2011

This show started in 2004, but the only part I've ever been interested in are the auditions cause it's fun to watch people making fools of themselves. But last year there was a guy who got me interested in the show; Jay Smith. He also ended up winning the whole thing, and I have a fangirl crush... on his voice. I can listen to his versions of Like a Prayer and Heart-Shaped Box over and over. He was my favourite from the auditions. He auditioned with Black Jesus:

Anyway Jay's success in last year's Idol got me hooked on this year, and I wasn't disappointed. First day of auditions in Stockholm this wonderful girl shows up. Her name is Moa, she's 16 and she's incredibly cute!
Audition:
Moa%20Lignell%20-%20When%20I%20held%20ya

Solo in final auditions:
Moa%20Lignell%20-%20Solos%C3%A5ng

Last day of auditions in Stockholm this girl is "kidnapped" to the auditions after a tip made by her sister. She's also 16 I think. Her name is Linnea, but called Lini, her voice makes my heart tremble.
Audition:
Linnea%20-%20Leaving%20home

Solo final auditions:
Linni%20Barresj%C3%B6%20-%20Solos%C3%A5ng

In Falun a boy shows up called Mikael. He's 17 and he looks so sweet. His voice makes him sound like a woman, which is incredible. He's the sweetest character... 
Audition:
Mikael%20Fogelberg%20-%20The%20drugs%20do%20not%20work

Solo final auditions:
Mikael%20Fogelberg%20-%20Solos%C3%A5ng

Then there are of course others that are amazing as well, but these three are the ones I follow with utmost attention, I want one of them to win! The jury is guessing that it may be a girl winning this season, cause there are so many young girls that are amazing this year. Two of them that still makes me dumbfounded that that little girl can be so amazing are Frida and Amanda, both 15. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

How school has been so far

Woke up today with an extremely sore throat. I wouldn't have minded it, I've gone to school with a sore throat before (that's about everything I get when I'm sick with tonsillitis), but when I tried to get up from the bed I got very light-headed and felt very weak, so I decided to stay home from class. This is such a bad week for me to get sick, seriously! I got a debate in French tomorrow, and we hardly ever have this guy's classes. I didn't speak a lot last semester and I had firmly decided to do so now so that he could get an idea of how much French I actually do know. And now I'm sick, the world is a cruel place. Earlier today I wanted to go tomorrow no matter how I felt when I wake up, but I think I have decided against it now. It's better if I send him an e-mail explaining that I'm sick and apologising for not being able to attend the debate. That way I can rest one day more, seeing as I'm going to a concert on Friday and the theater on Saturday.

I have not told you anything about this semester, have I? Well, it's much better than last semester! Remember those girls I hated on? They're not here anymore. Also the class consists of only 9 people myself included, which somehow makes me feel a little safer and I talk more, I laugh more and I try to reach out more. Of course the classes are also more advanced now, everything is in French, they only translate single words, that they don't expect us to know, into Swedish. Our first class for the semester was called "Text and production of text", a fancy way of saying literary history. Yes, we still have that. This year we're going to read books by Mauriac, Le Clézio, Balzac, Beckett, Ionesco and Nadeau & Barlow. She started out and I felt proud after that class. Proud that I had understood everything she had said and actually been able to listen to her (she has a very annoying way of speaking).

That pride was soon taken away as we had our first class in the next subject "Writing and translation". I'm pretty sure this girl is originally Swedish, but she speaks French like a local and it's extremely fast. She asked us once if she talked too fast and everyone (including me) said no. I want to learn to understand her! She can't speak slower for us! This subject includes one translation, review or some small writing to be done and handed in before or at every class. Meaning one or two hand-ins a week! We also have grammar during these classes, but the grammar now isn't the elementary things. It's advanced. It's all about those small picky things that you hardly ever notice. I had that in English C-level in sixth form as well, so I know all about picky grammar. But just to be certain I bought an extra grammar book to read in Swedish just to be sure I get all of it down. This class is actually the hardest we have.

Third class introduced was oral, with the same guy as last semester. He told me after the exam last semester that it was hard for him to decided whether or not to give me a passing grade since I hadn't talked a lot during classes and discussions, and I was so incredibly nervous during the oral exam. So I decided, as mentioned above, to try to talk as much as possible. I'm also reading the recommended side-lecture for this course, just to get on the top of my game. This class will probably be the hardest on my confidence as it was last semester.

Fourth and final class introduced is phonetics. It's also the only class we have midterm exams in, then it's over. It will come as no surprise to anyone that this is the most boring subject there is. The book is extremely confusing (my huge grammar book contains phonetics too. Lucky!) Fortunately we have the best teacher ever. Best teacher ever in the sense that he makes phonetics fun. Phonetics was the only class we had on Monday and it consisted of him talking about how it worked all the while giving away funny anecdotes and making funny gestures. We got to learn Parisian accent (sounds extremely weird and funny!) and then he ended it with a little game. Amanda got up to the whiteboard, Sara said a French word (from a list in the book) and Amanda had to write it in phonetic signs and we got to tell her if it was right or wrong and correct her. They switched roles. Then it was my turn to get up to the whiteboard and Terese to tell me a word. Same procedure, then switch roles. Amina and Göran got up. Final pair was Marlene and Simone. In the end I was the only one to get it right to begin with. I got words of praise from both teacher and and some of the students. Once again English C-level plays a role. We did phonetics there too and the only new phonetic signs I had to learn were the nasal ones. But the appraisal had me walk on clouds the rest of the day. This will probably be the funniest class of the semester.

I started another blog to blog in French, just to be able to work on my French and get used to thinking in that language. I'm serious about this semester and I will work hard to pass my exams. If I feel better tomorrow I have a lot to do...

Since I've been sick today as well, the day has mostly consisted of doing nothing, also almost eating nothing. I lose every ounce of appetite I have as soon as I get sick. Got up around 11am. Had breakfast (half a bowl of cereal) and read the news. Sat on sofa with cover and pillow from the bed watching episodes of Gummi Bears and random episodes of Code Lyoko. Love gave me an ice cream before he went out to have lunch with a friend. Took a nap while he was gone. Got me a huge home made (the boys, e.g. Fluff and Love, were baking this morning) cinnamon bun when he got back. Moved from sofa to computer (about 1m) to build houses and play The Sims 2, mostly build houses. Love bought me sushi for dinner and watched an episode of Heroes with me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Scandinavia and the World

Scandinavia and the World is an amazingly funny web comic about country stereotypes. This far we've seen most of Europe, some Middle Eastern countries, some Asian countries as well as America, Canada and Australia :) There are a little over 200 strips there and most of them are really quick reading. What takes time is you trying to stop laughing. These two are my favourites:

Italy invented the Latin alphabet, but the Nordic countries have to mess with it, obviously.


Another thing I love is that here England is portrayed as the father of USA, Australia and Canada. There are a lot of pictures, not as many comics, that show this relationship and this is one of my favourites:
Enjoy your reading :) Don't forget to read the descriptions of every comic as well! You might learn something :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Nostalgia

Lately there's been a lot of nosalgia around here. We've been looking through old cartoon intros in Swedish on YouTube. I even made a playlist that will continue to grow little by little. Yesterday we only looked through Disney intros like Gummi Bears, TaleSpin, Duck Tales and Rescue Rangers. Not to forget Pokémon, Digimon (although not in Swedish) and Sailor Moon! I also had to look through my favourite song of my favourite cartoon film when I was a child; the Swan Princess:

Yesterday ended with me finding and downloading four out of six complete seasons of Gummi Bears in Swedish!
Today however I was more inclined to old Cartoon Network shows, so while I looked at the PowerPuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory intros, I accidentally came across an old cartoon that I remember that I absolutely loved and that scared the hell out of me at the same time; Courage the Cowardly Dog. I first came across the intro in English and by some easy clicking I soon enough found it in Swedish as well, and right now I'm downloading all the 52 episodes :) There will be a Courage marathon here as soon as I have the time! Seems like I was morbid already when I was 10 years old!

However speaking of old cartoons. I remember one cartoon I used to watch, before I was old enough to go to school, so about 5 years old. I don't remember much except that there was some kind of purple space alien who lived in a cave down on earth and was friends with two children, one boy and one girl... Other than that I don't remember anything, except than I liked it. Anyone?

There's also this show that I distinctly remember. The Ketchup Vampires. Can't seem to find it in Swedish though, only found the intro in German (of all languages?) on YouTube:

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Movie nights

The last three weeks Love and I have been having "movie nights" every Sunday. We get to choose a film every other week. I started to choose and I chose Titanic. Simply because Love had complained so much about it being so bad. Point is last time he saw it he was 10 years old. Titanic isn't really made for 10-year-old boys to like. I like the film because it looks so big-time. Especially the scene where the ship is sinking and the water is rushing everywhere. That is the best part of the film according to me :) I also love to watch the dresses Kate Winslet wears. After the film was over Love had to admit that it wasn't as bad as he remembered.

Week after that it was Love's turn to choose and he chose to watch Shawshank Redemption, simply because I hadn't seen it and because it's the top of IMDB's top 100. When we started watching it I remembered having seen bits and pieces from it before. However I liked it a lot. I've realised that I usually like films that star Morgan Freeman. Shawshank Redemption is a real feel-good movie and I recommend it!

Last week was my turn and I started to educate Love in film history, as Kajsa has been doing with me. We watched Arsenic and Old Lace, an old Cary Grant film. It's a Halloween comedy so it's kind of morbidly funny, but most of the time just funny. It uses shadows to make things scary, something that has kind of disappared now that we have all those CGs and special effects. I like the entire old-fashioned feeling about it :) CHARGE!!!

Tonight we are going to watch Silence of the Lambs. Love wants to see it since he hasn't seen any of the Hannibal Lecter films! O.o Tonight's gonna be awesome! The weather is just right too...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Little People

Is it bad that I can relate to this, despite being 20 years old?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Dorama mania

Okay, this person made a post about Japanese boys/actors/singers and seems to have gotten me into a new period of watching dorama. I was only going to download more subbed episodes of Gokusen, but I ended up discovering that they had made Ouran High School Host Club to a dorama and spent some time looking around for it on the net. Later today I also discovered that they had made a live action film for Paradise Kiss!!! OMG, gotta have that! I looked around everywhere, but I can't seem to find it subbed to English :/ My Japanese is far from that great yet :/ But I was able to find a raw version, so I'll have to go with that for a while... Here's the trailer for Paradise Kiss:


So now I'm sitting here trying to download loads of dorama that had me interested before. Like Liar Game season 1 and 2 and the film, Densha Otoko, Anmitsu Hime SP 1 and 2 and Stand Up!!. I'm also trying to find Sentou no Musume?! with subs but it seems almost impossible :( I have only found softsubs for the first seven episodes :/

I can also take the opportunity to tip all of you off on some doramas that I have seen and liked a lot: Hana Yori Dango first and second season + film, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi), Koizora and Gal Circle.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11

I've been pondering this subject the entire week, thinking of whether I actually should go ahead and blog something about this or not. In the end I decided that I'd do a small post about it, simply because today I relived 9/11 through the eyes of an adult.

I was 10 years old on September 11, 2001. I remember coming home from school around 3.10pm (GMT+1), right around the time when the second plane flew into the other tower. I remember my mother telling me to come into the living room and watch the news with her. I understood that something big had happened. Something serious. I was struck by the horridness of the deed, but I didn't understand much. I didn't understand what consequences would come from this, I didn't care that the stock market fell rapidly. I understood that it was bad what had happened, but I didn't care much since I knew the US was far away and thought it wouldn't affect me here in Sweden. In the end I actually got kind of annoyed by the same footage being showed over and over on the TV, I got sick of seeing all those horrible pictures.

Today when I got up to read my news feed during breakfast as is the norm for me, I saw that the news paper (Svenska Dagbladet) had uploaded the first news program on TV after the attacks of WTC and Pentagon. I watched it ofc and it was a completely different feeling seeing and hearing all that now, and understanding it, understanding everything and all the effects from it. In hindsight now I know what has come of those attacks.


In it they talk to different people in high places, including the Swedish Prime Minister at the time and different experts on terrorism. We also get to see snippets from the speaches given by George W Bush, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, the Palestinian leader (I tend to forget his name) and even some words by Usama bin Ladin himself. We can see now that they got it right, that the attacks led to increased suspiscions and control, but it also led to the world's democracies fighting against terrorism as one as said by Putin. Not only did these attacks make us suspiscious of one another, but it also erased the borders and made us fight this new evil together. It gives me hope that the world isn't all that bad.

On a sidenote I feel like I also have to devote some thoughts to Anna Lind. A very popular and well-liked Swedish politician and the Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time. On September 11th, 2003 she was murdered. This however, I remember more clearly than 9/11 and this I do not need to relive. Still I felt that she shouldn't be completely overshadowed by 9/11 and also given some space. If she'd lived Sweden would probably have stayed Social Democratic for an even longer period of time. Almost everyone I know, left or right, agrees to this. Everyone liked her. And Sweden misses her.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The gym, Pottermore, Les Misérables

So I started going to the gym last week. Not to get a muscular body, just to get rid of some fat that I don't think I need. Simply I'm just doing 30 minutes of spinning and then, since I'm going easy on myself, two reps on some machines for the shoulders, lower back, chest and abdomin. I actually think I like it. Today I woke up lazy however, so there was no trip to the gym today. I needed a lazy day so I've just been hanging about at home. Tomorrow however I'm going again. Next week I think I'll buy a pass card. If I can get that flat belly 'til the end of February I'll go get that pierced navel again. Better to do it in springtime, rather than during the dogdays as I did last time... About 5½ months, exercising about 4 times a week... You think I'll make it if I try to stay away from sweets and ice cream as well? Christmas this year will be tough!

On a different note, Pottermore is making people crazy. Kajsa got her entry mail today and after she got sorted she called me to vent her frustration of being placed in Slytherin other than her House of choice; Hufflepuff. Slytherin really doesn't fit her at all... Not like it actually did me after I got over the first shock of not being placed in Ravenclaw (#lunadontleaveme ;)) I couldn't help being quite amused by it all, sorry hon, but one kind of gets into a happy bubble when one is able to enter. Just now I read on Facebook of another friend who hasn't gotten her mail yet, and she's getting seriously frustrated by that. Even threatening to write and complain if she doesn't get her entry mail in the coming batches of mails being sent out! While I myself am being completely frustrated that the second book; the Chamber of Secrets, isn't available to explore until February. FEBRUARY! What am I going to do 'til then? Brew friggin' potions?! At the moment I'm re-exploring the first book; the Philosopher's Stone, for the fourth time, and re-reading all Rowling's thoughts and news on characters, magic and places.

#lunadontleaveme that I wrote above comes from when Evanna Lynch twittered after she got sorted on Pottermore. I'll copy the article from MuggleNet:
Ahhhh umm errrrrr.... Just got sorted. Slight identity crisis. Need to sit down and process this... #pottermore
I'm in Gryffindor. #Pottermore #confusion #shock #pride #happiness #LUNADONTLEAVEME!!!
 I don't know what to do. I feel like Jo just told me I'm a man. I'm SO utterly confused.Gryffindor! Woahhh what an honour! I'm so happy! But confused! But happy! BUT CONFUSED. #Pottermore #farewellravenclaw
Dammit, now I have to change my whole bleedin' wardrobe!!! #pottermore #butredandgoldarenotmycolours
Sorry for the tweet explosion... I'm just...having a moment. #farewellravenclaw #pottermore #JowhathaveyouDONE?!
Tonight we re-watched Les Misérables 25th Anniversary in Concert at the O2. This time it wasn't as painful to watch Nick Jonas, he's not that bad although he's still leagues behind the rest of the cast. I'm getting slightly nervous. I, Love, Kajsa and Tiffany are going to watch the Swedish version of Les Miz in two weeks and I wonder if it will be as grand? I'm guessing not, I never get my hopes up really high for a Swedish version of anything really. Swedish doesn't really have that big of a vocabulary, and compared to English it's a very small and limited language. I'm not that fond of it actually, except maybe the spelling that can be beautiful sometimes. Beautifully strange :P Also, will I like the songs as much as I like the British ones? Will they sound as great? Will they ruin my favourite songs; Master of the House, Do Your Hear the People Sing?Look Down and Lovely Ladies? Anyway, I hope that they will prove me wrong. I'm actually looking forward to it, despite being nervous about it.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Joe Abercrombie, Aesop and François Mauriac

So the last couple of weeks I've finished reading three books. Remember that I started reading Joe Abercrombie's "The Blade Itself" in the beginning of the summer, but then put it on hold to read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" once again? Well, I've finished it now and I think I like it. It's the first book of three in a series called "The First Law", and this book is pretty much just a prelude where you get to know the characters and what they do. There are some suspicions, what's the Arch Lector really up to? And of course this is also the book where all the characters are assembled and where they go on their great journey. Since this is pretty much a prelude there are no real exciting moments, but the book can pretty much be defined as interesting. It's not exciting, but there's something about the book that makes you want to continue reading it, something that makes you want to know what'll happen next. My favourite character is by far Sand dan Glokta, an ex-excellent swordsman who was captured by the enemies during a war and tortured 'til disabled. He's in his thirties but have to live like a man in his eighties. We often hear him complain about stairs (lifts aren't invented yet) and how everything important is placed on the highest level in every building. He can no longer work as a soldier and has taken up work as an Inquisitor and as such often has to torture people during interrogations. He seems to enjoy torturing people, making them feel the same pain as he did. He's a sadist, misanthropist and an incorrigible sceptic, even when the First of the Magi, Bayaz, shows up he refuses to accept magic as part of the world. Simply put; I love him!
And then if we turn to look at Bayaz... He's pretty much a childish old man, kind of like Belgarath. But every high fantasy novel needs its fair share of Belgarath ;)

Well, I said I'd go through the bookcase starting at A, right? Next book in line that I hadn't read was "The Fables of Aesop". An old copy in Swedish. It was pretty interesting. All of them were of course very short, but they all contained some kind of proverb or apothegm. Some of them I recognised from having heard elsewhere in my childhood. However, it's always interesting reading in old Swedish. It's far from incomprehensible, but it's still different. Like the plural conjugations of verbs don't exist anymore. I am going to read everything in our bookcase, including the Bible, although I will read that one last :P After "The Fables of Aesop" I started reading "Oncle Ben's Cabin", also an old Swedish copy.

Our first assigned book in French as "Thérèse Desqueyroux" by François Mauriac. It was interesting reading it, maybe because it reminded me a lot of "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert, only "Thérèse Desqueyroux" is written about half a century later. Maybe a more modern version of "Madame Bovary"? Anyway Thérèse has me interested from the beginning, her behaviour is something out of the ordinary and extremely destructive. As most of these old important classical works it didn't seem to have a proper ending. It always bothers me.