Saturday, 30 April 2016

April favourites 2016

Can't believe this month is already over! Where did it all go? :o Tonight's Walpurgis night so let's hope our bonfires scare the winter away and make room for spring. Sköna maj välkommen~~~

Books: I managed to complete five books in April. Only four of those did I begin to read in April. The last one was my breakfast book that finally came to an end. This month it's a tie. I can't decide which book I liked best out of Welcome to My Nightmare: The Alice Cooper Story by Dave Thompson and J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by Marc Shapiro. So I'm gonna put both as this month's favourite!

Music: There's been so much ESO this month that most of the songs forever in my head have been the bard songs from ESO. Luckily they are very well-made (much more so than Skyrim's). Another favourite is an original bard song from the Skyrim quest mod Falskaar (which also is more professional than the base game's own songs). I've also found a new love for Three Days Grace.
• Elder Scrolls Online - "Stagger and Sway"

• Elder Scrolls Online - "Three Hearts as One"

• Elder Scrolls V: Falskaar - "Heart of the Gods"

• Three Days Grace - "I Am Machine"

• Three Days Grace - "Human Race"

Games: Do you need ask?

Tv shows: I discovered a new show a couple of weeks ago, that for some reason hasn't been able to leave my head. It's weird, because it wasn't amazing and it wasn't a new scenario, but it's still stuck in my head. Containment.

Other things: Hanami in Stockholm, and me and Toni celebrating our 4-years anniversary :)

Friday, 29 April 2016

My last 5 books: Biography, Dragon Age, and Japanese

1. Deadman Wonderland, vol 1, by Jinsei Kataoka.
This is the first volume in a Japanese manga series. It was really cool. This ordinary school boy gets accused of murdering his entire school class after being the only survivor of the onslaught of an entity only he could see. Because he's so young he's sent to prison for life rather than being sentenced to death. He comes to the prison called Deadman Wonderland, which has a very specific hierarchy, its own economic system, and if you don't take your meds you'll die. Definitely looking forward to reading more of this series!

2. Welcome to My Nightmare: The Alice Cooper Story, by Dave Thompson.
The first biography I've ever read. It was really cool, actually! In the beginning it was kind of slow, because I already knew all that about his religious ties in the family, and how he moved around a lot as a child. The fun part started when the band that formed on a whim in high school started trying to get signed. So many ups and downs. I felt really tiny there for a while, because the author listed all the bands they were up against that were really cool and popular in the 60s when they started out - and I knew maybe 1/4 of them... But the most interesting part was that while this biography treated Cooper's musical career it also told the story of how the musical industry has changed from the 60s all the way until recently. I'm young enough that I don't know any specifics of what the industry was like before the new millenium, but it seems like then and now are lightyears apart. I love how Cooper's managed to stay with the times, like he still keeps the feeling from the original band, but the tunes change with the times (I give you some songs to compare). I'm really looking forward to reading his other biography as well!

1970s - Ballad of Dwight Fry. 1980s - Poison. 1990s - Lost in America. 2010s - Last Man on Earth

3. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol 2.
Honestly, I started reading this book on January 2nd. But it's such a big book that I wouldn't be able to bring it with me on the train, so this book was banished to be my breakfast reading, and since I only have about 10-20 minutes a day (and work days only) to read for breakfast it took me over 3 months to finish. I wouldn't say that the second volume was as good as the first volume, but I still really liked it. It's a lot of background fluff for fans of the games, things that you may not know if you miss a comic, or a novel, or some piece of dialogue, or a codex entry. Everything we've ever been told about the world of Thedas is found in these two books. And they're so worth reading ♥

4. Tsuji-chan no Ribbon Days, by Nozomi Tsuji.
This is one of two books by her that I bought while in Tokyo. Back then I bought them both with the goal to be able to read them some day, because I certainly couldn't back then. Now I can! So to clarify: Tsuji Nozomi is a 4th generation member of Morning Musume. She started the group in 2000 and graduated in 2004. For 2 years she was in another group with her best friend, until her best friend caused a scandal that broke her (the friend's) contract and the group was disbanded. Tsuji continued with other activities until 2007, when it was announced that she was pregnant. She quickly engaged and married the baby's father, and for the next 1½ years nothing was heard from her. Then she showed up again. This book basically tells the story of her early life, how she came about auditioning for Morning Musume, some of her memories from that time, but mostly what happened after the press conference that announced her pregnancy and marriage. The book was released in 2009. I bought it in 2010, and since then she's had two more babies. Tsuji is one of my favourite members of the group, for her personality, voice and comedic talent. This book was very interesting and actually told me a lot I didn't already know :)

5. Non Piisu: Tsuji-chan no Hibi Smile, by Nozomi Tsuji.
The other book by Tsuji that I bought while in Tokyo. While the first book was very interesting and well worth a read, this one was a disappointment. Named after her blog, I should probably have realised already by the time I bought it, but this is simply a collection of her blog posts and photos collected under different headlines and transformed into chapters. Not a lot of text and not really in a format that I enjoy reading (seriously, Japanese blogging really "sounds" like a child speaking - no full sentences and lots, lots, lots of emotes). So I mostly skimmed through this one, read a few sentences here and there and looked at the pictures. I mostly enjoyed the cooking chapters ♥

So there we go :) Mostly positive this time around!

Hanami in Stockholm - 6 years since last time!

Every year since I got back from Japan (can't believe it's been 6 years!) I've missed hanami. It's not a big deal in Sweden so it's possible to miss it. But every year I've wanted to go. This year for the season, I have a job in the centre of Stockholm and the office is very close to the Royal Gardens. So this time I decided to take a trip there after work last week.

I was sort of disappointed tbh. There are one-day festivals of cherry blossom viewing at different places in Sweden too, and particularly at the Royal Gardens they tend to make a fuss as soon as the flowers bloom. But it was so small. I thought the whole place would be pink, instead it was just one corner of the area. Also it was Spring showers that day so it rained every five minutes.

Here are some pictures from the day:
 The last picture is a shot of the whole area. Not very impressive, is it? Still, it was nostalgic to walk around the sakura again :3

For nostalgic purposes I'll also throw in one picture from each time we went hanami in Japan. There was more than one occasion!
 First time (10-03-20) in Kyoto. Second time (10-03-30) at Meguro-gawa, Tokyo.
 Third time (10-04-01) at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. Fourth time (10-04-06) in Ueno, Tokyo.
 Fifth time (10-04-25) just outside the metro station in Sakura shimmachi, Tokyo where I lived. Sixth time (10-05-03) at Namsan outside Seoul, Korea.

 And also two songs that inevitably makes me think of those times we went hanami:
miwa - "Megurogawa"

Morning Musume Sakura Gumi - "Sakura Mankai"

Monday, 18 April 2016

The world stops when you enter an MMO

It really doesn't, but I wish it would. For the past 2-3 weeks I've been living and breathing ESO, which is also why my weekly posts died out.
I started playing a Skyrim quest mod called Falskaar at the end of last month, and while I was exploring I started to feel the need for ESO. I picked it up and continued on the character I created some weeks earlier. I had a lot of fun with it and decided to stick around, so I asked for any casual guilds in the chat. I got two hits very quickly. One was a very small guild with a very enthusiastic guildmaster, and as soon as he realised that I was a veteran in this game he made me second in command. I have a lot of fun with those guys :) The other was a big bustling trading guild with over 200 members. They are very active in the chat and we're always engaged in odd conversations (most recently I promised to tickle Molag Bal's belly when I took him down. Another night we learned that pizza is a vegetable, but also that it kills your soul). Chatting with those guys is now half of the fun I'm having. And I love not having to look in the zone chat for random people to do dungeons with - I just ask my guildies and 99% of the time someone is willing to team up. I used to avoid the group dungeons because I dreaded LFGing in the zone chat, now I volunteer every time someone mentions dungeons. For the first time in the two years I've played this game I've found guilds who are casual and fun. I don't like serious guilds who analyse everything, it takes the fun out of it imho.
And now I'm back to trying to talk my IRL friends into playing the game. I can't believe it's been two years and I still don't have any IRL friends who play. I can't believe I'm still trying to convince people two years later -_-
But hey, I'm having fun and I don't even mind that they keep calling me "he". I haven't been very obvious with me not being a guy. I've mentioned the boyfriend a few times now though, so I guess most of them have figured out I'm a girl, or they just think I'm gay. I don't mind either. And tbf I also assume that everyone I talk to is a guy before he says otherwise. They just tend to be mostly guys :P

Friday, 1 April 2016

March favourites 2016

Books: I managed to complete 7 books in March. Tbf four of them were manga volumes and thus didn't take too long to read although they were in Japanese. My favourite book from this month is easily the last book in the Hunger Games series: Mockingjay. Impossible to put down, I finished it very quickly.

• Tommy february6 - "Little Red Forest"

• The Pretty Reckless - "Burn"

• Simple Plan - "In"

• Three Days Grace - "Fallen Angel"

• Morning Musume - "One and Only"

Games: Half this month consisted of Fallout 4, the other half was Portal, ESO and Skyrim. I must still say that Fallout 4 was the best game of the month. None of the others made me feel withdrawal symptoms for being away from the game :P

TV shows: I've watched a lot of shows this month as per usual. But the best one is X-Files. Can't stop watching that show!

Other things: Easter was fun. I also saw the first butterfly of the year which was nice.