Monday, 31 October 2011

It's horror time! :D

Happy Halloween everyone :)

I'm not very big on the dressing up part, but what I love about Halloween-week is the horror theme. From tonight all the way to Sunday (All Hallows Eve on Friday) there will be at least one horror film every night. I had some idea of some kind of crappy but still pretty scary horror films that I wanted to see, but I needed more tips so I asked IMDB. IMDB's horror list is pretty funny. I should make a project of going through it. There'll be a whole lot of crap! I'm not big on gory horror films, I want the psychological part, the nagging part. The films that make you scared, but you have really no idea why you're scared. I love those. I also love the jump-out-and-scare ghost films. I get tense, I get scared and jump up half a metre and then I laugh my ass off. I remember in 2009 there were two good jump-out-and-scare horror films at the cinema; My Bloody Valentine and Friday the 13th (which incidentally premiered on Friday the 13th, I went to see it on Valentine's as a date). It occurred to me while going through IMDB's list that I've seen quite a few horror films, more than I actually thought. Even more if I count those I've only seen clips from.

Anyway, I've downloaded six horror films, four of them I've already seen and liked. I have a few back-ups in the shelf and also I've got all the four Scream and all three Exorcist on the computer already. Here are the six:
Thirteen Ghosts (2001). This was the first horror film I ever saw completely alone. On Halloween. When I was about 13. It made me paranoid then and it can have that effect still. Also the film contains some amazingly funny puns.
Ghost Ship (2002). This film contains both the psychological element as well as the jump-out-and-scare element. And some paranoia. The story is actually incredibly sad beyond all the ghosts. Not gory. Not horrible. Just sad. I think that's what made me like it.
The Haunting (1999). I remember seeing this with my mother when I was very young. I must have been about 11 or something like that. It kind of amazed me. It was horrible and refined at the same time and it contained one of those incredibly evil ghosts... That didn't actually do anything at all. You were just told stories of him that made you fear him without him practically ever showing his face. Once again the story is incredibly sad and this is one of the films that does not have a happy ending. This film stars some surprisingly well-known actors; Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson and Lili Taylor. Is it ironic that the first film I ever saw starring Liam Neeson was a horror one?
The Shining (1980). The classic. Jack Nicholson is the actor that knows how to play mad. I haven't actually seen many screen adaptations of Stephen King's novels, although I love his work. I have It on my computer, but I'm terrified of watching that one alone. Phobia of clowns and all that you know. This one I loved as a child and I must have seen it about five times.
The Mist (2007). A screen adaptation of Stephen King's book with the same name. I thought I'd catch up on some Stephen King screen versions and I've heard of this one before.
YellowBrickRoad (2010). Never heard of this one before. The summary of the plot on IMDB sounded interesting though and by the time I found this one that seemed interesting I was up on results 300-350. So I decided I'd pick this one.

All I need now is some dip, a big bowl of crisps and some lit candles and we can begin! :)


Friday, 28 October 2011

Pre-exam anxiety

Sometimes I doubt my ability to remember things. Sometimes I doubt my somewhat photographic memory. My first exam of the semester is tomorrow and I'm scared and nervous and the anxiety is just ridiculous. I think it may be because I put all those high standards on my shoulders and now I'll be back to feeling like a complete failure if I only get a passing grade and not the highest grade. I'm weird like that.

Thing is that if the language was Swedish or English I'd just be able to write rubbish for a really long time and in some way manage to get everything I need across. I can't do that in French cause my vocabulary sucks. The resit for this exam is in December, but I really don't want to have to go through all of this again. I don't like the subject there are so many words to remember, so many new terms. What do I care about phonetics? I guess I'll just have to go to the exam tomorrow and write everything and anything I can think of and hope that it all goes really well. I hope I'm lucky and he asks stuff I have studied for a lot. I may study some more in an hour or two, but right now my brain is completely fried I can't stuff any more stuff in there and it makes me worried and nervous about tomorrow.

That study schedule I made didn't last. I haven't had time to do most of it. All I've been doing is studying phonetics and it still feels like all of it isn't stuck in there yet. I had two happy moments this week though and one of them was ironically enough my oral presentation. After class everyone left real quick as per usual, except for me cause I take my time to put on my scarf, coat and bonnet and collecting my stuff and putting it in my rucksack. My teacher approached me and said that it was much better than last time and that I had approved a lot. I was very happy about it and I explained to him that I'm always nervous when I talk to and infront of people and that I was nervous even talking to only him. He said that I had gotten a lot better than last time and that small sentence had me dancing on clouds for the rest of that day. Also the regular weekly assignment, which consists of translating a small text to French and making a small personal text relating to the subject of the translated text. My translation was well recieved with her and when we got back our personal texts from last week I discovered that I had actually gotten a comment of "Very well done". I'm still at war with the French prepositions, but heck that made me happy.

Hopefully all this worrying is just my mind playing tricks on me and everything will work out fine tomorrow. I need more time to rehearse but time is running out fast! Wish me luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Within Temptation

Yesterday it was time for the long-awaited concert with symphonic metal band Within Temptation. There has been some troubles with this concert. The date was first set in March at Store Vega in Copenhagen, however at the end of last year the singer of the band announced that she was pregnant and thus the entire tour was moved. My concert was moved to October 25th. Soon the venue was sold out and to be able to get more people to the concert the venue was changed to KB Hallen (where I previously have seen both Nightwish and Disturbed). However about a month ago there was a fire at KB Hallen and for some time I was worried the concert would get cancelled, but instead they changed the venue again to a place called Falconer Salen.

When we got to the right place (after a very nervous (on my part) walk from Copenhagen Central Station to Falconer Salen) we discovered that the new venue was a real fancy place. Big glass walls and everything. We got inside, payed for wardrobe, bought our tour T-shirts, got something to drink and entered the hall. I had read nothing about a support, for a moment I though there was none. But turned out that there was. It was a three-piece metalband called Triggerfinger. Although I remained unimpressed by the music I was throughly amused by their performance and I looooove their image; three men properly dressed in suits. The singer/guitarist had a backslick, the bassist was bald with sunglasses and he never said a word, the drummer was as hyperactive as drummers are supposed to be (as was the singer/guitarist). I liked their performance, but I probably won't listen to them again since I didn't enjoy the music. A live band through and through.

The support played for about 30 minutes, then we had to wait another 30 minutes while the crew fixed the stage and then they got on. I haven't listened much to their knew album. It's different from their other stuff and I wasn't overly impressed with it. But this tour was to promote that album and thus I knew they were going to play songs from it and in the end it wasn't that bad. I actually came to like a few songs. Albumwise (newest first) these are the songs played (may have missed one or two):
The Unforgiving:
Shot in the Dark
In the Middle of the Night
Faster
Fire and Ice
Iron
Sinéad
The Heart of Everything:
The Silent Force:
Mother Earth:
Mother Earth
Ice Queen

I loved that they had a huge screen at the back of the stage that either showed the official music video or a videoclip made for the song. The screen also gave away which song would come next. When the intro was shown/played for Stand My Ground I swear the ceiling lifted. This was the only song where Sharon told the crowd that we could sing along if we wanted to. And if we did! Wow. Same thing happened when What Have You Done started. It was perfect. They were very good at getting the crowd going and there was always loads of arms up in the air, heads banging and people jumping up and down or singing along. All of those make for a perfect concert experience. One of the best made-for-concert songs was Our Solemn Hour. All those "Sanctus Espiritus" were perfect as crowd chants. What Have You Done was second best, the crowd really screamed "What have you done now?" everytime that line showed up in the lyrics.

Any song I'd wish they'd played, but they didn't? Maybe It's the Fear or Hand of Sorrow or The Cross... Would Deciever of Fools be a good concert song?

I'll end this post with the two videos that made me like Within Temptation back in 2005 (especially the first one):
Stand My Ground

Angels

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Les Misérables in Malmö #2

Today it was time again and I'll try to write something of a more professional review. But I'm still quite the newbie at theatre and musicals so my expectations and opinions may be somewhat faulty and well... childish.

Scenography. I was impressed with the scenography last time as well. The wolf still sticks out like a sore thumb though. I still not get that one. Although I loved the Paris scene where all the extras press together and spread their arms it somehow seemed less amazing this time. Still an impressive scene though.
I still love the bar scene. It's a drunken place with raggedy, drunken, happy people (probably the way it was until they woke up the next day, hung-over, and only to discover they'd been robbed). I hate hate hate Lovely Ladies. I hate how the extras are marionnette dolls. The misery of the scene may be kind of accurate, but weren't the whores kind of bold women? Didn't you have to "have some balls" (lacking a better expression) to be able to continue living on as a whore? Still don't like the whole cage-thing with Cosette, nor the Christmas tree shaped bushes. I found myself approving of the barricade. It seemed accurate to me that the barricade consisted of whatever sturdy material the students had been able to come across to help build it. The actual use of guns (cap guns) made it seem more real. All in all I like the scenes.

Jean Valjean. Dan Ekborg's Valjean has grown on me. Before going today I listened through the soundtrack of Les Misérables in Stockholm in 1990 and Tommy Körberg's Valjean sounds kind of, well, bored. he's boring to listen to. While Dan Ekborg puts loads of feeling into his voice. It's not just lines here. He's not just standing about saying his lines, but he's actually moving and acting and actively taking part in each scene he's in. I like his Valjean a lot. The way he's dressed also seems appropriate in my eyes.

Javert. Fred Johanson. Do I need say more? He's like a mixture of Norm Lewis and Roger Allam. With a voice similar to Norm Lewis' and facial expressions similar to Roger Allam, he makes for the ultimate Javert. He's incredible! Also his proper completely black clothes are very fitting. I like the top hat.

Fantine. It was Karolin Funke this time 'round as well. I'm still not impressed by her. Not only because of the producer obviously having a hard time finding a blond girl in Sweden (the wig bothers me), but because she looks nothing like I picture Fantine. I picture Fantine as a very beautiful fairly young girl (as beautiful as Cosette grew up to be). I'd set her maximum age at 25. The foreman is supposed to have the hots for her and I get the image that she's somewhat younger than the other girls working at the factory. They accuse her of being a whore (obviously she's more good-looking than the other girls and they're jealous). She sings of her man "taking her childhood in his stride" so she can't have been very old when she got pregnant. Karolin Funke looks somewhere between 35-40 and she's a squat woman. The clothes and the wig bother me. I don't like her at all in this production.

Mr. Thénardier. This time (I made sure of it) I got to see Peter Harryson as Thénardier and I liked him. He wasn't as lively as David Lundquist but it wasn't necessary. He got the job done and he did it well. He may be a little too old for how I picture Thénardier but otherwise I like his performance. He wasn't just sitting around, but he was moving about and he used his facial expressions and the feelings in his voice. He was perfect at the Wedding! Still don't like the ragged clothing of Thénardier, but I really liked how they dressed him in the Wedding. Also the perfect Thénardier in my book is Alun Armstrong. They got it right the first time! Matt Lucas is great too...
Mrs. Thénardier. Kajsa and Tiffany had mentioned how Marianne Mörck wasn't any good so I made sure that I got to see Evamaria Björk as Mrs. Thénardier again. She's great. I love how she's doting on Éponine and how she's pretending to be loving of Cosette when Valjean shows up. She puts on a great show. I also like how they've dressed her.

Little Cosette / Little Éponine. Same little Cosette as last time and she seemed less nervous this time. She's adorable and she sings Castle on a Cloud (I Himlens Slott) as perfectly as Mia Jenkins whom I love as Cosette. It was a different little Éponine though and she wasn't as great as the other one. The other stuck her tongue out at Cosette, teased her when she had Cosette's doll. This one behaved like a spoiled child but she only showed some kind of expression towards Cosette when Valjean put on Cosette her dress and she managed to look extremely envious and pouty. The dressing of Cosette is actually very fitting. The dressing of Éponine is less so. If she's so spoiled she should be dressed as a princess in a frilly dress like her mother.

Gavroche. Oh my my! This Gavroche was sooooo cute! I just wanted to grab him and bring him home. He was obviously nervous, but he still made a better show than the other kid. This Gavroche may have been 7 years old while the other kid we saw last time could have been about 11. His (this one's) Little People was perfect and he actually managed to shout "Listen to me!" before they all went quiet anyway. The introduction of Gavroche in Look Down (Gavroches Sång) is still too measly, but that may just be the Swedish language... He's dressed perfectly and his news paper boat hat in the beginning is extremely fitting. I cried when he died.

The students. Marius is still hot (and tall!). Philip Jalmelid makes a very convincing Marius. Enjolras (Anders Gjönnes) seemed to be less nervous this time and made a good job at being a convincing leader. I love love love Grantaire (Glenn Daniel Nilsson). I love how his playing around with his wig and being all theatrical. I've never really payed any attention to Grantaire before but this time I rather looked at him than at Enjolras. I like their clothes but I'm not that happy about the (very revealing) striped pants (they have to be stuffed with a sock or something, right?) I also like Grantaire's relationship with Gavroche! As per usual I didn't really pay any big amount of attention to Feully and Courfeyrac.

Marius. As mentioned above he's tall. He managed to hit his head in the ceiling of the cage! He's awkward but still very gentleman-y in front of Cosette. He seems the most grown up of his friends and he's very good at stepping all over Éponine's feelings as usual. He has the best clothes out of all the students. No striped pants to be seen anywhere. He's a skilled singer and he knows how to express sadness with his eyes.

Cosette. I'm not a big fan of Cosette. I do not like her in any way. Emmi Christensson, however, made a much better Cosette than Mathilda Ahnell. I don't know what else to say about her. We are always given very little of Cosette. Emmi sings well and she can act a happy lovefool very well. The feelings were present in her voice when she begged Valjean not to die yet at the end. Her suspicious looks from a distance at the Thénardiers at the wedding were very well done. The dress could have been of a different colour though. Yellow/Gold is usually not a very flattering colour for blonds.

Éponine. Same Éponine as last time. Ida Högberg sings great. Her voice is fitting of Éponine. But it's hard to feel any kind of compassion when she looks like Little My from Moominvalley in a punk rocker outfit. I hate her clothes so much more when she's all grown up than when she's little. What was the producer thinking?! A Little Fall of Rain made me cry again, though so there's no problem acting on her part.

Extras. David Lundquist (Thénardier last time) served as an extra this time. I'm seriously wondering if he shouldn't be diagnosed with something regarding too much energy. He's a clown. As soon as he steps out on stage he steals the attention from everyone else. This didn't make me like him better, if possible I now like him even less. Although he made a great job playing the bishop in the beginning! Speaking of extras. I've already mentioned that the marionnette doll whores bother me. What else bothers me is that the soldiers are dressed like traditional London soldiers. I mean, come on! Doesn't the producer know any better or did he just think those hats look cool? I also hate that all the servants are dressed in a fashion 100 years out of style. The musical takes place in the 19th century, not the 18th. No powdered wigs, okay?!

Translations. I listened through all the Swedish songs from Stockholm 1990 to know something of the songs when I got there today. Imagine my disappointment when I discover that they've changed the lyrics at a fair few places! Also mayor in Swedish has 4 syllables (borgmästaren) so when Javert sings "but monsieur maîre" it sounds very forced and wrong. Do You Hear the People Sing (Folkets Sång) sounds very weird in Swedish although the both songs basically sing the very same thing in the very same order. I don't like the Swedish version of On My Own (För mig själv) maybe because "I love him" in Swedish has 5 syllables (Jag älskar honom) but it doesn't work with the song so instead she only sings "I love" (Jag älskar). Songs I do like in Swedish are Red and Black (Rött och Svart), Drink With Me (Drick Med Mig) and One More Day (Än En Dag).

Rött - för blod från arga män
Svart - för gamla tiders hat
Rött - för sol i gryningen
Svart - för natten som blir dag

Friday, 21 October 2011

Breakdown

Yesterday I had a mental breakdown. It's no longer strange for me to feel like I'm eons behind the rest of the class in knowledge and performance, although I'm probably not. I slouched off a bit last week and now I have to pay for it. The exam next week is looming over me and I feel like I can't get it all into my skull. At the same time I have to finish "Le Père Goriot" before Monday, which wouldn't be such a big problem if Balzac didn't use every single darned word in the entire French vocabulary! I feel like I undestand half of what's written on every page. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the fact that we are supposed to write an analysis of the story later and that a paragraph to translate most definately will come up on the exam in December. Or if it's not a paragraph it's most definately going to be on one of the big questions (basically if you fail completely at one of the big questions you fail the exam). If that's not enough I have my big oral news presentation on Tuesday which I have to finish and which has to be great because I need to show this teacher that I can speak French and that I'm not completely useless. I don't think I managed that last semester, so now I have some proving to do. I took this entire week off. I didn't go to a single class just to stay home and study and I still feel completely stressed out and like I'm not going to be able to do any of it.

Most of what's on the exam I think I know. Sort of. But I don't want it to be "sort of"! I want it to be stuck in there perfectly! I want to get back up on the highest grade! I want to return to being the overachiever I used to be in elementary school, in secondary school, in sixth form, in my first year of university! Maybe I'm just being too hard on myself. I've read 130 pages of the 360 page novel "Le Père Goriot". I have to read it all in three days and I'm not even gonna be home for two of them! I need to learn the vocabulary. I need to understand the story and I want to understand it without having to read the synopsis of it on the English wikipedia!

They are not nice enough to give us the week before the exam off. On the contrary this coming week is the toughest yet. Balzac done 'til Monday, oral presentation on Tuesday, the regular weekly assignment to hand in on Wednesday and an essay to start writing on Thursday. The exam is on Saturday.

We had more subjects, more assignments, more tests in sixth form before holidays, but I never ever felt like just cuddle up in a corner, hide under a cover, cry and wait for it all to just go away. I think I need to get back up on my old disciplin. I can't slouch off no more. From today 'til the 30th will be my gauntlet.
The disciplinary schedule:
Friday: Finish off the vocabulary of the first chapter (130 pages) of "Le Père Goriot". Study more phonetics for the exam. If possible make the oral presentation better.
Saturday: Read Balzac on the train to parents place, in the car to grandparents place, in the car from grandparents place and on the train home. Anti-motionsickness pills, here I come.
Sunday: Read the rest of Balzac. Start working on the last of the vocabulary. Study more phonetics. Hone the oral presentation. (Go see Les Misérables in Malmö somewhere in between there)
Monday: Study more phonetics. Hone the oral presentation some more. Start working on analysis of Balzac.
Tuesday: Study more phonetics. Make regular weekly assignment. Write on analysis. (Go to concert somewhere in between there)
Wednesday: Study more phonetics. Catch up on grammar. Start working on Dossier 2 which there will be a debate on. Write on analysis.
Thursday: Study more phonetics. Study more grammar. Write on analysis. Work on Dossier 2.
Friday: Repetition of phonetics (although it should all be stuck by then). Study grammar. Write analysis. Work on Dossier 2.
Saturday: EXAM TIME! Afterwards: Celebration.
Sunday: Finish analysis (handing in on Monday). Finish work on Dossier 2 (debate questions to be handed in on Wednesday). Start reading "En attendant Godot" by Samuel Beckett.

October 31st to November 6th I have my week off. If I can keep this schedule I might have done just about enough to actually be able to take time off studying that week. On October 31st it's time for me to go get some old exams to practice on before the next exam takes place on November 26th. Probably should get old exams to practice on for the final exam on December 10th as well...

I should be getting started on this. I just need to give you this song once again and this time I'll translate it:
Who got this crazy idea
to one day invent school
It's the damned Charles the Great
damnCharles the Great

Without leaving us in life
except for on Sundays and Thursdays
It's the damned Charles the Great
damn Charles the Great

This son of Pepin the Short
Have given us loads of boredoms
et we have a thousand sorrows
towards him

Who got this crazy idea
to one day invent school
It's the damned Charles the Great
damn Charles the Great

Past participle
4 and 4 makes 8
lesson in French
Mathematics
Nothing but work
Damn damn damn damn Charles the Great

He should have caressed
his flowing beard for a long time
oh oh damn Charles the Great
Damn Charles the Great

Rather than boring us
with Geography
oh oh damn Charles the Great
Damn Charles the Great

He only had to deal with
battles and hunts
We shouldn't be obliged
to go to class every day

One has to learn to count
and make loads of dictations
oh oh damn Charles the Great
Damn Charles the Great

Past participle
4 and 4 makes 8
lesson in French
Mathematics
Nothing but work
Damn damn damn damn Charles the Great

Because without him in our lives
There wouldn't be anything but Thursdays

oh oh damn Charles the Great

oh oh damn Charles the Great

oh oh damn Charles the Great

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Harry Potter questionnaire

This is supposed to be one of these things that answers one question a day. But I don't like the thought of having forced themed posts for a whole month. So I'll do them all in one go :)

1. Your favourite book?
Tough one. During the gap between fourth and fifth my favourite was Prisoner of Azkaban, although later on I liked Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. I think I have to say Deathly Hallows.
2. Your favourite film?
Once again Deathly Hallows. Both of them. Thanks to the book being split into two films they managed to make the final story the best one. The other films are just abysmal, although the first two are quite well-made as well.
3. Is there any of the film adaptations that have made you angry because they've ignored important parts of the book?
Goblet of Fire is without doubt the worst film. But the only film that has made me angry instead of just disappointed is Half-Blood Prince, which tend to be more of a high school romantic drama than a real Harry Potter film. I know that there's a lot of love and couples in the sixth book, but the main story is Dumbledore's lessons with Harry, teaching him about Voldemort and Horcruxes which we don't see that much of in the film. Also, Dumbledore's death left me completely unemotional in the film, whilst I had to read it three times over and over in the book (while crying) to actually realise that it was true and that left me feeling empty and sad for days.
4. Favourite male character and why.
Albus Dumbledore. Already in the first book he became my hero. My would-be go-to person. Not even what was revealed about his past in the final book could remove him from that pedestal. This is also why I hated Michael Gambon's portrayal of him. I loved Richard Harris, although a bit more lively would have been good. So the greatest Dumbledore would have been portrayed by a Richard Harris who wasn't sick with cancer.
5. Least favourite male character?
I think I have to say Cornelius Fudge, although this is a hard one. He seems sympathetic enough in the first two, three books and then he's transformed into this proud, ignorant, indifferent, negligant bastard. I just want to smack him.
6. Favourite female character and why.
Minerva McGonagall. She's a wonderful person. She's so strict and yet she's a person who loves Quidditch. She's patriotic towards her House and she loves her students. She wants to protect them and hates it when she has to punish them. I love Maggie Smith's portrayal of her. Especially in Deathly Hallows part 2. I also love that we are given her full background story at Pottermore :D
7. Least favourite female character and why.
Easy. Dolores Umbridge. She's sort of made to be hated.
8. What House would you want to be in?
I think I would be a Hatstall. I think it would be between Ravenclaw and Slytherin and I wouldn't mind either. I don't want to be in Gryffindor, that much I know. I don't think I'd want to be in Hufflepuff either. Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin, and after googling and reading all of Rowling's Welcome letters and descriptions of the Houses I feel like Slytherin suits me the best, although I thought myself a Ravenclaw for years.
9. What do you think would be your favourite lesson?
Probably Charms. Possibly Defense Against the Dark Arts.
10. Horcruxes or Hallows?
Hallows.
11. What character would you say you are most like?
As a child I resembled Hermione most. I'm still an incorrigible know-it-all. But I don't think I'm that Hermione-esque anymore. I think I'm kind of a mix of Bellatrix-Hermione-Minerva...
12. Favourite ship?
I've read the most fanfics shipping Harry/Hermione and Harry/Draco. Although I must say that my own favourite ship is Albus/Minerva ^^
13. Least favourite film?
Goblet of Fire.
14. Team Voldemort or Team Harry?
Do I have to pick a side? I think I'll have to say Team Harry. Simply because I'm liberal and Team Voldemort in my opinion stands for oppression and conservatism.
15. Who would be your best friends at Hogwarts?
In the Marauders' time it would've been Lily and Severus. In Harry's time I'm not so sure. Maybe Ginny and Luna?
16. Favourite professor?
You have to ask? McGonagall!
17. Favourite Harry Potter actor/actress and why.
Another tough one. Maggie Smith (McGonagall) or Evanna Lynch (Luna) for favourite actress. Alan Rickman is simply the best actor on the set.
18. Least favourite book?
Order of the Phoenix. Thinking back now that book distinctly shows the signs of her (Rowling's) writer's block.
19. Do you prefer the books or the films?
Books. Not even glancing at the films.
20. If you had to meet one member of the cast, who would it be?
Evanna Lynch. Unless I can count Rowling into the cast? In that case, definately Rowling!
21. Out of all the characters that died, if you could bring one back, who would it be?
Fred. I feel so sorry for George having to lose his twin.
22. Harry Potter or Twilight?
Isn't that something of a stupid question? I'll answer with this picture:
23. Any part of the books/films that makes you cry?
Books: the deaths of Dumbledore and Dobby. When Harry uses the Resurrection Stone.
Films: Death of Dobby.
24. Any particular scene you wished would have been put in the film but it wasn't?
I'm a huge fan of Quidditch in the books and in general the films have contained way too little Quidditch. A scene I would have loved to see on screen is for instance the Quidditch final in Prisoner of Azkban. Also there's way too little of Keeper Weasley and Grawp in the sixth film, but the sixth film is lacking in most areas.
25. Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different?
Actually I was sincerely hoping that Harry wouldn't survive and that both Harry and Voldemort would die. I'm not a fan of happy endings and I was extremely disappointed by the epilogue when I first read it. I've gotten somewhat accustomed to it now but I'm still not a big fan of the extremely obvious ending.
26. If you could be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be?
I'm considering Impervious, the water-repellant. Would make umbrellas completely useless and that annoying drizzle wouldn't be as annoying anymore. I'm also considering the Disillusionment Charm. Imagine to be able to go practically invisible at will! :)
27. Would you rather own The Invisibility Cloak, The Resurrection Stone or The Elder Wand?
The Invisibility Cloak. Easily.
28. Do you listen to Wizard Rock? What do you think of it?
I used to listen to Harry and the Potters. The lyrics were hilarious at first, but after hearing them over and over for some time I got kind of sick of them and stopped listening to Wizard Rock altogether. My favourite songs at the time were The Foil (Malfoy), Luna Lovegood is OK and The Dark Lord Lament.
29. Did you enjoy A Very Potter Musical?
Seeing it is on my to-do list :)
30. What affect has Harry Potter made on your life and how much does it mean to you?
I think I've covered this question before. So I'll just redirect you to my previous post:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Monday, 17 October 2011

Plants vs. Zombies

I watched Love play this on his computer last year I think, or maybe even in 2009... Anyway, quite recently he bought it for his PS3 and he and Will played it for a while. I gotta say it's friggin' impossible not to watch it while someone is playing it. Love pestered me for a while and wanted me to play it. But I hate the controllers for video games. I can't use them without button-mashing. However yesterday I gave it a try and went Walnut Bowling :P Turned out that it was surprisingly fun and yesterday evening I started playing the adventure and  played through four levels xD I will continue today I think. All studying is postponed! We'll see...

Gameplay. First level of the adventure.
This guy sucks at playing.

Walnut Bowling gameplay. 
This guy sucks too. I think it's the same person...

While looking for gameplay videos on YouTube to put here I found a gameplay from a Nintendo DS version. If I can find that one... My average student performance will drop really bad! Still the way this person plays the game... Wow... Just wow... It's so bad:

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hair and old old pictures :)

So I redyed my hair. It had gotten too blond again. Now I'm back to a really really dark red (probably new profile picture tomorrow if I can get a good one). Dark hair again! Wooo! :D

I know that in most parts of the world (it not all over) my original colours and looks are the ideal. Fair blond hair, big blue eyes, tall, really fair skin... You get the picture. In any other part of the world I'd look special and interesting and unusual. Here I look like any other girl. I'm standard Swedish, standard Scandinavian, standard northern Europe... I got sick of it when I was 15. That was the first time I dyed my hair. I wanted it black, but I didn't read the instructions and the recommendations thoroughly enough and I ended up with purple hair. Got no picture of that on my computer, but I know there's supposed to be one photo somewhere at my parents place of how I looked back then. Purple hair and black eyeshadow. Then the dye disappeard and I got blond again. I kept it for a while but cut it really short. It was kind of cute the way I styled my hair back when I was 16.

When it got long again I tried my luck with bangs. Shouldn't have done that. The worst idea ever. I looked really cute in bangs as a child, but not as 17. Then I started dyeing my hair again. Red. It's pretty much always been red since I was 18. There have been periods when I've been back to blond but not very long periods. Because of the red it's also been all different shades of orange and pink.

In Japan I was pretty content with my blond hair for a change, but then on the other hand I didn't see that darned blond hair all the time on all the other people. Also I had a pretty nice haircut :P

This year I've tried my luck with brown, copper (no picture) and now really dark red.

Also Kajsa got the idea to try out pin-curls on me a few months ago. I haven't shown you the pictures from that adventure. I'm not sure if I liked the look of it, though. But it was pretty fun :)

I'll end this post with this comic from Scandinavia and the World. It's a stereotype, but unfortunately it's not that far from the truth...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A rant and some writing

I feel like blogging. I usually do. But my life is at a very uninteresting point right now consisting only of studying, eating and sleeping - in that order of priority. University is a bitch. I felt somewhat proud today though. One of my teachers usually talk very fast in French and she's full of energy and does everything very fast. Today on the other hand she was ill and low on energy. This meant that she was speaking more slowly and taking things at a more understandable pace. I actually understood everything and I talked (imagine that) I expressed by opinions and I spoke up if I thought I had found a solution to a problem. Usually I only sit quietly with a headache as company cause I put all my concentration on trying to understand what's going on. I don't have this problem with any other teacher, but I don't tell her about this. Why? Not cause I'm shy but because I want to learn to understand that fast talk as well. Anyway, is it bad if I wish she'd be ill(-ish) for the rest of the semester so that I can pass my most important exam?

I'm getting kind of worried about my upcoming exams. It's the beginning of October and I realise that this semester has been ongoing for over a month and it still feels like the first week. I feel like I'm in way over my head here and that I will fail every single exam. The first of which are in three weeks. I started to study for that exam this week. It's crazy! I never study for an exam a month in advance! I'm worried. That looming essay does nothing to make me feel better. Still when I read I feel like I understand loads. I feel like the language is kind of flowing naturally when I write although I make many mistakes (usually in the shape of prepositions and personal pronouns). When I talk it's a completely different story, but I've found that if I relax I don't get stuck on words and I won't stutter and it will simply sound better. Seems simple enough but it took me ages to figure out what was the problem.

Oh well, now I've been ranting and complaining some and that wasn't even what this post was supposed to be about. I felt like blogging and thus I was going to post some old writings of mine. On an old blog of mine (no longer existing) I posted a short story called "Dawn" that I wrote during a boring class in sxith form when I was about 17. I still like it a lot, though, and I will post it again at a different time. This time I'm going to show you my four poems originally written in English. I don't write many poems and I'm not very good at it (cause I never practice). Last time I made a poem was actually in 2009 but before that it was around 2006. I have poems in Swedish as well, but it's harder to write poems in Swedish cause I always want it to rhyme. That doesn't feel as necessary in English.

My first English language poem called "Vampire Princess" (I was 15 and depressed, ok?)
Vampire Princess
In love with the night
Help me live through this life
Dressed in black I follow
Life around me
Alive on the outside
Dead on the inside
A heart full of chaos and sorrows
My element is the chilly winter night
Candles and coats
The Northern wind, please, come play with me
Be my company
Cause I've got no other
The Stars and the Moon, please, shine upon me
Help me see through this darkness
Help me find my path
Cause I seem to have forgotten the purpose
Of my life

The second one is called "The Little Girl" (still 15 and depressed)
A little girl
She seems so nice
Bleeding heart and crying eyes
Dry but still crying
A sore soul
She wants to believe that there's something more
Warmth and love
Two elements undone
A cruel world
A world she has to meet
Cause there's no other
She wants to let go, but she cares too much
It demands courage
Courage she doesn't possess
She won't do it

Third one is called "The Time"
Only the narrator knows
What lies ahead
Time will tell
But will we?
The time flows
Forces us to go on - go away
There's no telling 
What it can do
What it will do

It hurts
But it's the truth
The truth always stings

I know that's the way it's said
Should we believe it then?
Should we trust it?
We try not to put our lives
in the hands of time
But we fail
Everyone fails
Every time

Even you

The last one is called "Daydream"
You're my daydream
You're always on my mind
Your face is always visible
If not direct, then indirect
I can see you

And when I'm with you
All I want to do is to keep looking at you
Never lose sight of you
Look into those eyes
Drown in crushed glass
Blue glass

I never thought one could feel so safe
in someone else's arms
But I know that in your arms
I'm safe
I can't be hurt
Because you won't let them
And I love you for it

I said I wasn't any good, so if you have to bash me do it nicely, please? 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Love Never Dies

I wanted to wait for the 25th Anniversary album to be released before I listened to the sequel, but I wanted more Phantom. I looked in vain for a recorded DVD-version of the musical, but when I found none I downloaded the concept album instead and read the synopsis on wikipedia. Since it's a sequel I had no hopes for it, sequels are usually not as good as the original. I don't know if it's equally good (I hate the Vaudeville stuff) but it's great in a different way than Phantom of the Opera. I love how the characters have evolved. I also love that it's "my" Phantom and Christine (Ramin and Sierra), exactly as it should be.

I've listened through the musical 2½ times and I have three favourite songs, and no, my three favourites do not include the most known 'Til I Hear You Sing (lyrics), which I find simply boring. There's nothing in it that appeals to me. My favourites here are Beneath A Moonless Sky (lyrics), The Beauty Underneath (lyrics) and Devil Take the Hindmost (lyrics). I'm one of those who can see The Beauty Underneath. Listen to the song! I can relate to it so much! Beneath A Moonless Sky is simply beautiful and shows their (Phantom and Christine) true feelings for eachother. Devil Take the Hindmost is the song where the Phantom challenges Raoul and I love it cause he (the Phantom) seems so proud and sly. I love it!

There are so many twists and turns in this story that I don't know what else to say without spoiling the whole thing. But I can tell you as much as that the opera in Paris was burned down by an angry mob, the Phantom was believed to be dead, but with the help of Madame Giry and Meg he was smuggled to America where he built Coney Island with their help. Raoul has turned into a drunk gambler and sourpuss with huge debts. Christine hasn't sung in years but she's had a very succesful European career and she's invited to launch her American career... where? At Phantasma in Coney Island. Invited by a Mr. Y. This story takes place 10 years after Phantom of the Opera and we have moved from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. All the candles have been exchanged for electricity and I'm not sure if I like this development.

Another thing that I like about this musical is that the story reveals more about the relationship between Christine and the Phantom. It reveals that Christine really loved (loves!) the Phantom and when he finds out about this his self-confidence gets a huge boost. The timidity is exchanged for pride and he challenges Raoul.

I'm torn as to whether I want to see this musical if it comes to Sweden or if I get a chance to see it in London. I mean, it won't be "my" Phantom and Christine. I wonder if that's because I totally adore Ramin's voice and his Phantom, or if it's because I'm sceptical as to whether anyone can portray the Phantom as well as he does. I learned that playing the Phantom has been a dream of his and that usually make for great portrayals.

Three Phantom-related posts in one week... Yep, I'm pretty much lost. I tried to play the soundtracks in French (1991), Swedish (1990) and English (25th) for Les Misérables yesterday. But there's something missing, suddenly.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Music of the Night

Seeing the Phantom of the Opera gave me a huge fangirl crush on Ramin Karimloo. Since Monday I've been looping this song over and over on YouTube:

His voice is amazing, this song gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it! Look at his eyes! The expression in them is absolutely wonderful. The way he whipsers "touch me, trust me" is amazing. His final tone in "night" is incredible. I also love the way he portrays the Phantom as bold but still awkward. If you take a look at his hands, he never really touches anything, he's just holding her in place. Still he seems to want to get close to her, but everytime she seems close to kissing him or touching his mask/face he turns away, suddenly shy. I love it! I can't stop watching it! It also helps that he manages to look cute/handsome even with the mask on!

Thing is I have to force myself to listen to other kinds of music, other artists, other groups, because my brain stops working when I hear this song.

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Phantom of the Opera

When I showed Les Misérables 25th Anniversary to Love he was, as I was before, enthralled by Ramin Karimloo who played Enjolras, one of the students. Partly because he's insanely hot and handsome, partly because he's a great singer and actor. I looked him up to see what else he'd done and found out that he was going to reprise his role as The Phantom for the 25th Anniversary in October. Love and I wanted to see it in London of course, but the tickets sold out in less than 30 minutes. We were somewhat sad about that until Tiffany mentioned that they were going to show it live from London in Malmö  on October 2nd. We immediately went to that cinema's webpage (Spegeln) to book tickets, but they were all sold out. Then I got the idea to check the similar cinema in Lund (Kino) and it turned out that they had tickets left! We immediately booked three tickets (me, Love, Kajsa) and yesterday it was time.

The show began at 7.30pm with an introduction of how the musical came to be with interviews with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh and several others who helped the musical come to life. At 8pm the musical started. I can tell you right away that I'm not a big fan of opera. The arias of the sopranos usually gives me a headache, that said I have nothing against male opera. As soon as the show started I started thinking: "Where is the Phantom?", "I want the Phantom!". He's the only character that I've found interesting when I've read short plot descriptions. But then I also have a thing for Beauty and the Beast-ish stories, my favourite always being the Beast.

The music wasn't as fun and upbeat as the music of Les Misérables, still it was extremely beautiful. My favourite is the kind of heavy score called The Phantom of the Opera. But I also enjoy Music of the Night. All the others sort of flow together. The song with all the notes is kind of fun to listen to :)

I love the climax and the final scene. I wasn't disgusted by his face when she removed her mask at the end. Not because I knew that it was make-up, but because I never look at people's faces first. I look at their eyes, their manner of moving, their manner of speaking, I look at their general behaviour. All I wanted to do was to comfort the poor soul. He's a wonderful character who's been forced to live a hard life because of an unfortunate facial distortion. I can't do anything but to feel sorry for him and want to help him.

I loved this musical and leaving the cinema I felt really happy. I had enjoyed this musical a lot. I've gone and went all cultural! Never thought that would happen :P

I realise that I've almost only talked about the Phantom here, but I love this character.

I'll end this post with the song that got me interested in the Phantom of the Opera to begin with: