Monday, 25 February 2013

Novella: Dawn

I published this on an old no longer existing blog before. But I really like this little novella that I wrote when I was 16 (can't believe it's already that long ago!) So I'll upload it again for people to read and, hopefully, enjoy.

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She paused, suddenly very aware that there was a scent of something in the air, telling her that something was going to happen and she knew she couldn’t do anything to break the way of destiny.

It was a cloudy, windy day in the early days of November. It felt like she could touch the wind when it blew between her fingers. Touch it, grab it and bring it home with her, something so highly impossible that seemed so possible. But the wind was lovely, even though its strength forced her to move forward. She couldn’t help it, she just smiled and couldn’t stop. In that minute she was undoubtedly happy. Happy enough to feel like she could do anything – and live through it.

The tensity in the air seemed to grow stronger the closer she got to the beach.

It was still dark. The wind had tempted her to go outside in her nightdress and coat, but she wasn’t cold, at least not noticeably cold. The wind was cold, but just the air itself was chilly, and the tensity thrilled her. Somewhere in her subconscious mind a voice told her that she was bordering on pneumonia, but she didn’t care, as long as she could have this time together with nature, she didn’t care what disease she pulled upon herself.

It was perfectly quiet, despite the wind’s howling. The birds hadn’t awakened yet and the dawn was very soon to start. The birds were late but this fact didn’t bother her. Perhaps they just didn’t want to fly and sing in the chilly wind? It was a perfect reason and in this she trusted.

When she reached the beach the wind seemed to calm down. The tensity was unbearable and suddenly it just bursted. A second later the sun started to rise from the horizon and the dolphins that had been hanging around the last few days began talking and jumping in the water.

She smiled softly as the sun’s first light struck her bare feet. The sun didn’t warm them, it was just the wrong season for that to happen, but it felt nice and she was happy.

The sight of the sun colouring the water red and orange was astounding and the most spectacular she’d ever seen and she wouldn’t trade this moment for anything in the whole wide world. This was her moment and she was going to keep it in her heart forever. Keep it and care for it in the deepest parts of her heart. She was never to let it go. This moment was hers.


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I had a thing for dolphins back then. A little too much perhaps. But I still do love the water. And I love being barefooted.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Liebster Award

So a couple of days ago I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Viktoria! Thank you :D It's been years since I got anything even slightly similar ^^

The Liebster Award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, and the nominated pass it on to other bloggers and help people discover new blogs to follow :)

The 'rules':
When you've been nominated you're to write a blog post including: 1) 11 facts about yourself. 2) Answers to the 11 questions given to you by the one who nominated you. 3) Provide 11 new questions to the ones you nominate. 4) Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate. 5) Contact each blogger, via any network you like, to tell him/her about being nominated. 6) Thank the person who nominated you.

So let's begin with the 11 facts about myself:
1. I love bunnies. Cats can go "somewhere". Bunnies ftw!
2. I'm not picky when it comes to food, but I hate fish (salmon and tuna being the only exceptions).
3. I'm not a social person. I prefer to listen instead of speaking. I'm shy and quiet in new environments.
4. I don't categorise people after their colour, their sex or their orientation.
5. I still buy CDs.
6. I used to be afraid of dogs, then my parents got the cutest 1-year-old short hair border collie girl for my sister.
7. I am, however, terrified of clowns, certain dolls, and pigeons.
8. I can completely destroy my own self-confidence and self-worth in 2 seconds if something doesn't go my way.
9. If I find myself with some extra money I always treat myself to some clothes.
10. I can't go to sleep before midnight.
11. Between the ages of 7 and 17 (+ a relapse at 19) I hated skirts and dresses and only wore them for special occasions or on scarce whims I'd get in the morning when deciding what to wear.

And then the 11 questions asked by Viktoria:
1. If you could move anywhere in the whole world, where would it be?
Tokyo. I was never bored. Ever.
2. What is your absolute favourite food?
Udon. Soup or fried doesn't matter.
3. Top three favourite movies are?
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Tangled, Tonari no Totoro.
4. What was the best trip you ever made?
Tokyo. Once again.
5. All-time favourite book?
Harry Potter. Do I have to be more specific? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
6. What is your dream job?
I want to work from my home. Something along lines of a freelance translator or something. I'd love to decide my own hours and get the work done during the hours of the day I feel like working. I'd also love to be a part-time fantasy writer.
7. How many countries have you visited?
Wow. Erm... Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, England, Scotland, South Korea and Japan. So 10 (11 if you count USA when I was 1 years old).
8. What would you choose: to never eat ice cream again or to never eat candy again?
Candy I think. Candy is great for a few pieces and then it easily becomes too much. Ice cream is the best.
9. What's your favourite perfume?
Erm... I don't know. I don't use perfume. I had one when I was 16 that I liked. I think it was Paco Rabanne Black XS.
10. Do you have any tattoos? If yes, how many? If no, would you like to get any?
I don't have any, but I have two small ones planned. The kanji for "dream" on one of my wrists, and Hogwarts' motto (Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus) on one of my shoulder blades.
11. What is your favourite TV-series?
I don't have any that I'm absolutely crazy about atm. The only one I've been totally fangirly about has been Heroes. But I love Firefly too.

My nominees are:
1. Morrica - You're no different to me
2. Yvonne - Kultisten
3. Caro - Carorinrin
4. Erika - Swingin' it in vintage
5. Gisela - Modern odes on:
6. Tiffany - Stuff by Tiffany
7. Jennifer - Glitterglans
8. Douglas - The Dawg's thoughts and experiences
9. Sara - Enyira
10. Rewa - Extraordinary
11. Erika - Fröken Jenn

And here are my 11 questions for you guys:
1. What's your favourite song?
2. Something that makes you very nostalgic?
3. Do you have a role model? If yes, who? If no, have you had one?
4. What do you want to do/accomplish before you die?
5. Where is your favourite place in the world?
6. What's your favourite book?
7. Something you'd prefer if people in general didn't do?
8. What do you usually like to do on your free time?
9. What do you consider being your greatest accomplisment to date?
10. Something that you couldn't leave home without?
11. What super power would you like to have?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Valentine's Day and a party

On Wednesday Toni showed up and on Thursday it was Valentine's. For this day I had talked him into going with me to see Les Misérables (second time for me), and let's just say that he wasn't disappointed and he's been humming "Prologue / Look Down" ever since :P For dinner I had some ideas. My first thought was the Japanese restaurant we went to last time he was here that serves a whole bunch of Japanese courses from sushi and sashimi to tempura, gyoza, kara'age, yakisoba and udon. But since the place is kind of expensive, we ended up having dinner at Casa Mia (which we later realised was kind of cliché - Italian restaurant with Italian music on Valentine's...). Anyway, before dinner and cinema I went and bought myself a new mobile (Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini) and we also made our now mandatory trip to the Sci-Fi bookstore :) Where, most notably, I ended up with the first volume of Sandman. Neil Gaiman goodness! :D

Friday was a very relaxing day. I got some studying done and otherwise we mosyl spent the day watching the first season of Mad Men. I recently bought the box and decided to see if Toni'd like it - he did ^^ Saturday there was a party in Lund planned by my classmates and some of the Japanese exchange students. The idea was that the Swedes would bring Swedish foods and the Japanese would bring Japanese foods and then we could eat eachothers traditional dishes :) I brought Toni along with me and we ended up having quite a nice evening. I only ever took one picture that night - a blurry one of the first set of food on the table:
Something I did realise at the party was that I'm much quicker in forming complete sentences in Japanese than I am in French, which should be strange since I've studied more French than Japanese. But anyway Japanese has always made more sense to me :P Thinking back now I'm kind of impressed with myself by how quickly I must've answered the Japanese students in Japanese, and without really thinking about it either. So either I made a complete fool of myself and saying everything wrong and just imagining I did everything correctly, or I might actually be better at Japanese than I thought.

About the music it started off with Asian Kung-Fu Generation, and then I didn't recognise much until some of the girls started this song:

I'm not a fan of AKB48. But this song is way too catchy to pass up on. Nah, I'm not an AKB-girl. I'm on the MoMusu side. I actually had a short conversation in Japanese about MoMusu and how I've liked them since 2005-ish and how it's nostalgic.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A very Japanese day

When the alarm went off at 6am this morning I didn't want to get up. Bed so comfy. So cold outside. And it had been snowing all night apparantly. But I did get myself out of bed in the end and although my brain hasn't been completely functional for the entire day, I did have one of the most memorable school days yet. Our first lesson on Tuesdays is pretty much reading comprehension. Immediately in the beginning of the lesson one of the administrative people of the Japanese department came in and reminded us of the Japanese professor that was going to visit today; Usuba-sensei. Our teacher also told us that he'd be in the cafeteria during our 3-hours long lunch break and that we should all try and talk to him.

So during our lunch break while we (the girls) were sitting together at a table and talking, our teacher comes along with the professor and the administrative person. The teacher leaves us with them and we start to talk in Japanese. He's a professor researching how manga and anime are used outside of Japan, so he asked us some questions about our manga and anime preferences and basically we just talked about random things until some other second years from our class and some first years showed up. They moved to talk to the others and we continued where we left off.

Then we had our last class and that class is always great fun. Especially cause the teacher is always so energetic and happy ^^ Since Valentine's Day is coming up she had a large box of chocolate that she passed around the classroom while we were working on our video projects for this semester :3 We were let go early from the last class so that we would have time to get to the official meeting with the Japanese professor. Basically we filled out his questionnaires and a bag of Japanese hard candies was passed around. After everyone had completed the questionnaire he showed us some forms of iai-kenjutsu, which was really cool! He even passed around the katana for us to hold and feel (the blade wasn't sharpened). After that we asked some questions and the bag of candies was passed around one more time.

All these questions gave me the itch to start reading manga again. Lots and lots of manga, and maybe start watching anime again... I kind of miss that. I don't miss having 12 tabs in my browser (excluding the ones I always have) of different mangas I'm reading. But maybe I should just go to mangareader and press 'random'...

Today's random singing moments:
"Japaner i pyjamas..." ♪
"Matcha matcha man..." ♪

So basically lots of conversation in Japanese, Japanese sweets, martial arts and a katana :3

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Western vs Asian

Since Yohio advanced to the finals of the Swedish outtakes to Eurovision Song Contest there's been some rageing about it. How he dresses like a girl, how it's a freak show etc etc. Mostly I've encountered some hating against Asian music and the Asian scene overall and I must say that I don't get it. If Yohio had sung in Japanese in his song, people would've raged even more. But there's not a word about the guy who sung half is song in French, cause that's perfectly alright. Why? There wasn't alot of rageing against the girl from Norway two years ago who sung the chorus of her song in Swahili. That it's a European language is no excuse there. So why's Asia so bad? Is it cause the stage performances are different? That the stage show is different? That the fashion is different? Or has Asian music simply gotten a bad reputation here because of all the high-pitched anime intros? So I'll show you a few examples of how Asian music isn't that different from our music. That may get you to learn something or maybe even realise how wrong you've been to have prejudices against all forms of Asian music.

Bubblegum pop: Toy-Box vs. W


Pop: Katy Perry vs. Girls' Generation


Dance pop: Rihanna vs. Morning Musume


Crazy music videos: Lady Gaga vs. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


Rock music: Coldplay vs. Bump of Chicken


Guys in make-up and strange clothes: Twisted Sister vs. Yohio


Extensive make-up on guys: KISS vs. Karasu


Heavy metal music: Soilwork vs. Dir en Grey


Rockballads: Avenged Sevenfold vs. Kamiki Aya


Pop rock: Avril Lavigne vs. SCANDAL


Boybands: One Direction vs. Arashi


All-girl groups: Spice Girls vs. Morning Musume

I chose this song from Morning Musume cause it's from around the same time as the song by Spice Girls, and this song sold over 1 million copies. Otherwise I would've gone with AKB48.

So how is Western music different from Asian music? Except that it seems more publicly accepted that a guy dresses like a girl in Japan - it's even considered something nice! In the Western music stage make-up on guys and flamboyant clothes seems to be a way of rebellion, while in Japan it's part of some musical styles that not only focus on the music but on the whole package too. Now, I wasn't around in the 80's, but there seems to have been more of the same kind of movement going on in Western music back then, both on the pop scene (Madonna) and on the rock/metal scene (every goddamn rock band of the 80's). Where did that go? And why don't we have that today? Why is it such a fright when a pop/rock artist makes a flamboyant performance? Why are only rock and metal bands (Alice Cooper, Lordi, Slipknot, etc) and some special few pop artists (Lady Gaga) "allowed" to have flamboyant performances in the West? Why is cross-dressing wrong unless you're gay? I've heard a multitude of straight guys complaining about how there are no fun clothes at the mens' department, and that sometimes they'd want to be girls just for the clothes. I think it's interesting how Japan can be so advanced and yet so outdated when it comes to sex and sexuality.

So no, I don't see much of a difference really. So what is it with Asian bands that make people so reluctant to like it the way they like any Western band? One of the best moments for me last year was when I was on the bus to school and the driver had the radio on and Gangnam Style came on. Hearing Korean streaming out of the speakers and actually hearing an Asian song on Swedish radio made me very happy, and I thought that maybe, maybe we were actually evolving towards accepting Asian music.

Defending Asian music Gangnam Style:

Monday, 4 February 2013

The musical year of 2012

Way too late, I know, but I had to come up with an alternate way to do this, since the way I did 2011 didn't really work with 2012. Because in 2012 I kept track of way more releases than in 2011. So I've come up with a way to do it easily and without so much text:
Group/artist name. Genre. Amount of releases. My overall grade of releases. Favourite song.

Seems easy enough, right? Let's go.
Because I decided to check out some bands I had only heard a few songs of before and H!P creating new units and Toni showing me bands... Well, the list somehow got bigger than last time xD
Anyway...