Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Week 4 of 2017

Reading: I continued reading Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. I finished Ghastly Beyond Belief, and also read a bunch of other short stuff from Neil Gaiman's Humble Bundles: Day of the Dead, Manuscript Found in a Milk Bottle, A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff, and Love, Fishie.

Gaming: I played some ESO. I also finished Baldur's Gate and continued on Dishonored 2. Dishonored 2 drove me up a wall of frustration, but Baldur's Gate was amazing.

Working: Four days this week. Nothing special happened. But I've come up with a system that allows me to catch the early train home rather than having to wait 30 minutes, when I have the evening/closing shift.

Watching: I started watching X-files S08, and also watched the old movie The Old Dark House from 1932. Toni and I also finally watched the movie adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Fun stuff: Mostly it was after we had watched Miss Peregrine. For the first time Toni had read the book before seeing the movie and he went around all disappointed saying "They changed it" over and over. And I was like "Welcome to 10 years of my life!" Now he understands what I'm all about when I complain about the Harry Potter movies :P

Annoying stuff: Dishonored 2 tbh. I like the game overall, but the mechanics suck so it's perfectly set up to be annoying and frustrating.

Stuff bought: Only food stuffs :)

Shared on social media:
Stuff from Facebook:
And some important lessons from Tumblr:
Didn't use Tumblr all last week...

Monday, 23 January 2017

Week 3 of 2017

Reading: I finished reading The Shining and picked up my next King book; a short story collection called Skeleton Crew. I also continued with Ghastly Beyond Belief, and I managed to catch up on One Piece and FairyTail.

Gaming: I played some Baldur's Gate this week, and now I have managed to get into the story and the characters, though I'm sure I've made some mistakes along the way, but that's bound to happen the first time you go into a major RPG. I've also played some ESO. Yesterday I tried some PvP for the first time in a long while, and for the first time ever it was actually fun.

Working: Six days this week. It's been the standard way this week. I wake up intent on being positive at work, and by the time half my shift has gone I'm ready to just pack up and leave because people are idiots. Not the tourists, I don't blame them for anything (except for being rude and angry with me for not knowing their language - yes I'm looking at you Finns), but the shoppers are a constant pain in the ass who left their brains at home before going out, if they ever had any. And why do all the rich old ladies look like a mix between Mrs. Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances and Ellinor Dahlén from Rederiet?

Watching: I've been watching lots of The X-Files S07 as well as two old black-and-white movies (Carnival of Souls and Black Sabbath). We also watched the last episode of Sherlock S04 together.

Fun stuff: Nothing special this week.

Annoying stuff: See "Working" above.

Stuff bought: Too many snacks.

Shared on social media:
Stuff from Facebook:
And some important lessons from Tumblr:
Women who don't conform to the standard can be sexy.
Last request from Obama.
A collection of the amazingness that was President Obama.
Showcase of how beautiful ESO is.
How to accept a full variety of gender roles.
Rasaad in Baldur's Gate is adorable.
Depressing side quest.
How to loot in Dragon Age 2. 
Cullen Care Guide.
The annoyance of getting carded.

Watching old, old movies part 6

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)

16. La maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (1960)
I watched this just after Christmas, and it was really good. Not sure what I expected but not that I would be this drawn in with it. This was the first movie from the list that was in Italian. It starts by showing a woman and her thrall being accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake with the Devil's Mask nailed to their faces. A couple of hundred years later a professor and his apprentice stumbles upon her mausoleum and her living descendants. The daughter of the family looks exactly like the woman burned at the stake. The professor and his apprentice accidentally breaks the glass of her coffin, and the crucifix that was poised so that she would see it at all times breaks off and she is free. The witch is free to have her vengeance upon her descendant relatives. She tries to kill them all and use the daughter's life-force to make herself young and beautiful again. Kind of like a vampire. I really enjoyed every part of this movie, apart from the fact that the apprentice apparantly loves the daughter (You met her three days ago! Get a grip!)

17. Carnival of Souls (1962)
Throughout this whole movie I felt like it didn't make sense. And it didn't until the end. So it was one hour of total confusion, before the story connected, and when it did I realised that I had it all figured out from the first 10 minutes. A car with two boys pulls up next to a car with three women (all of them in the front seat, good ol' 60's car safety!), the boys challenge the girls to a race and off they go. After a while the girls' car falls off a bridge and sinks in a smudgy river. When the police are dragging the river for the car one of the girls climb out of the river, apparantly unscathed, and my first thought was "She's not really alive, though, is she?". She gets a job as the church organist in another town and drives over there. When she gets there she becomes enthralled by the old abandoned carnival there, and she keeps being haunted by ghosts. More than once she falls outside of the world, in a semi-existing state where nobody can hear or see her, and not until the end she realises that the ghosts are haunting her because she doesn't really belong in the world of the living. The ghosts finally catch up with her, and she disappears. Flash forward to when the police finally manages to find the car in the river and pulls it up, revealing the corpses of all three girls. I feel like this movie was a waste of time. I realised what was happening in the first 10 minutes, and there's no explanation whatsoever why she's pushed towards the old carnival and goes exploring there. The ghosts are everywhere around her anyway - why does she need to go there? Maybe they explained it but the sound was wonky (music really loud and talking very quiet) so I might not have heard it. The first ghost-guy that showed up and kept following her around was sort of creepy, though, but that's the only positive I can say about this movie.

18. I tre volti della paura (Black Sabbath) (1963)
Second movie from the list that was in Italian. It was odd, though, because it was made in Italy, but it was obvious that all the actors had said their lines in English and then there was Italian dub on it. I had no idea what was going on until it was all explained to me in a forum post on IMDB. Apparantly Italian movie-makers at the time didn't record the sound and the images at the same time. So they let the actors keep whatever language they were speaking and then put the sound on top of the finished product. Boris Karloff was in this movie and I was excited about that, until I realised that this was 30 years after the other movies I had seen with him and he had gotten old, and somehow in the process lost everything that made him uncanny in the 30's. Anyway, this movie consists of three shorter stories, all of them about 30 minutes long. The first one is called The Telephone and tells the story about a woman who is terrorised in her apartment by anonymous phone calls from the same person. This person is later revealed to be her ex-boyfriend who she had got into prison for something or other (not really explained), but now he has escaped and wants revenge. After drama with a friend, who ends up dead, she manages to kill her attacker. The second story is called The Wurdalak, and is basically a classic vampire story, with one twist; the vampire only drinks the blood of the ones they love most. So a stranger on his way to somewhere stops by a family for some rest. The father comes back after five days at the mountain and he behaves strangely. Everything goes very quickly after that, one after the other the family members die, and the stranger flees the place with the daughter he "loves" (you've known her for two days!). The most horrifying moment was when the now-dead toddler knelt at the doorstep begging his mother to let him inside. The story ends with everybody being dead. The third story is called A Drop of Water, and tells the story of a nurse who's called to an old lady's house (by the housekeeper) because the old lady has died. She helps put the old lady in funeral garments, and while she does that she sees an old valuable ring on the dead lady's finger, which she promptly steals. She accidentally overturns a glass of water on the bedside table which then proceeds to drip down onto the bedpan. And she's being annoyed by a stubborn fly. She comes home and puts the ring on her finger. Immediately there's a stubborn fly, and then the water starts dripping in the bathroom, and then the kitchen, and then the old dead lady is everywhere in her apartment, finally coaxing her into strangling herself. This last story was the best one imo. The old dead lady literally looks like a plastic prop and yet she's creepy as hell. Whatever special effects they had in the 60s have been used to make the third story haunting and creepy. And the ending had a nice twist that tells you it's not over yet.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

My last five books: Gaiman and King (II)

1. Pet Sematary, by Stephen King. First time I read this was probably 12-13 years ago and back then I thought it was amazing and went on a quest to find more King books; back then translated to Swedish. Then I got sick of old-fashioned 80's translations and stopped reading King. What stayed with me throughout these years from the first time I read the book was the ending, how his wife came back and said 'Hello, darling'. And that was basically all I remembered. Pet Sematary was just as amazing to a 26-year-old as it was to a 13/14-year-old, and it's thus far the best King book in my on-going marathon. I still felt a little annoyed twitch at the end, when I realised that from Ellie's POV absolutely nothing was resolved. Her baby brother was still dead, her cat was still (technically) dead, and now her mother is dead and most likely going to kill her father. She's better off just staying with her grandparents. King is still the master of leaving loose threads.

2. Outrageous Tales from the Old Testament. This is a comic book from Neil Gaiman's 2015 Humble
Bundle. It's a collaboration between a whole bunch of comic book writers and Gaiman isn't in all of the comics. Now, I'm a firm atheist, but I went to religious daycare and so I knew all of these stories from before. But you don't really consider exactly how outrageous they are until you see them in pictures. The Old Testament is completely outrgeous through and through. I particularly liked the one where Moses went up on the mountain to get the ten commandments from God and his people were listening below and following them precisely, which ended in Moses having no people at all left when he came down because everyone had been worthy of being killed for something according to the ten commandments xD I hope the Old Testament made sense when it was written, otherwise I have no idea how a whole religion sprung from it.

3. Rare Bit Friends #2-3, by Neil Gaiman. A very short comic included in Gaiman's 2015 Humble Bundle. It's his contributions to a short-lived magazine called Rare Bit Friends. All of these short comics are based on Gaiman's actual dreams, which was neat to read. All of them delightfully weird. I particularly liked the ones with the organic spaceship and the one with the rockstar (Alice Cooper cameo!)

4. Sculpture Stories, by Neil Gaiman. A short-story collection from Gaiman's 2016 Humble Bundle. Some of these I had read before. The stories included in this collection are:
• "Don't Ask Jack"; about a broken jack-in-the-box that the children won't touch because of an inert feeling that the box is evil and/or haunted.
• "Good Boys Deserve Favours"; about a boy who plays the double-bass. He's being told that if he cares for the instrument, then the intstrument will care for him. And it does.
• "The Sea Change"; a song or long poem about a sailor and his longing for the sea even after the sea almost drowned him.
• "Sweeper of Dreams"; a story that explains why people go crazy if they don't dream or sleep...
• "The Stuff Dreans are Made of..."; an interview with Neil Gaiman.
• "The Daughter of Owls"; a story about a girl who was raised in the woods by the animals, and protected by them when the men came.
I really enjoyed Don't Ask Jack, The Sweeper of Dreams and Daughter of Owls. They were all that sort of creepy stories that I enjoyed. Creepy without being scary.

5. A Fall of Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. A story-collection from Gaiman's 2016 Humble Bundle. This book collects a bunch of poems and a short story from the Stardust universe. Not really being a fan of poems in general, my favourite from this book was the short-story. I kind of like the fact that it was a sort of growing up story for girls. Not really coming-of-age, but still about a girl growing up ahead of her older brothers they way we sometimes do. But mostly, this book reminded me that it's been way too long since I read Stardust and that should be remedied.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Week 2 of 2017

Reading: I'm continuing reading The Shining by Stephen King, though that will be finished soon. I also finished the e-books A Fall of Stardust and Blood Monster, both by Neil Gaiman. As well as started on another e-book from his Humble Bundle called Ghastly Beyond Belief, which is one of the first books he ever published. I also decided to catch up on One Piece, which I haven't read since November 2015. I didn't quite manage, but I will be caught up soon.

Gaming: I've only played Elder Scrolls Online this past week. I even started a new character! My dungeon raiding group is still awesome and I love hanging out in the guild they all come from. I've been recommended for promotion there! Though, I have no idea how that's coming about or if it's even going to happen. Still I feel really at home there :3

Working: Three days this week. I've been in a good mood mostly throughout this week so no emotional drama from me at work this time :) I also sent out 10 cold applications to different hotels looking for full-time employment :)

Watching: I saw the old movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from 1920. Toni and I went to the cinema on Wednesday evening and saw Rogue One, and of course we also watched the latest episode of Sherlock S04.

Fun stuff: The cinema definitely counts as fun stuff. During the hours between my shift ending at work and the cinema starting we were originally supposed to go to the Sci-Fi bookshop and have a look, but they were closed due to taking inventory :P So instead we ended up at The Royal Armoury. The admission is free and it's the oldest museum in Sweden, and I think such places are so cool! Clothes, armour, weapons and other things from all the old monarchs! It makes history feel so vivid. The first display was the clothes king Gustav III wore during the masquerade ball where he was murdered - old bloodstains on display and everything. Seeing the actual stuff makes history less like stories and more like something that actually happened. It feels like the people were really real and not just made up characters. It really helps that the place is located in the cellar vaults of the Royal Palace :3
Then on Saturday we had a kick-off party at work. I haven't laughed so much in in a long time; it was great :D And all of us got pretty hammered. We started with a Jeopardy style quiz about Stockholm and tourist-y things that we should be aware of. My team lost, but it was lots of fun anyway. Afterwards we turned into a music quiz thing, which started off as lots of fun when we were guessing songs from a "Best of 00s" playlist on Spotify, it turned less fun when the boss of the playlist was changed and we started guessing among songs from the toplists from the past 3-5 years... I don't know anything about any toplist music. Haven't listened to the radio since 2004. I've heard Adele's "Hello" only once - that might give you an idea of how much I know about mainstream music. But the mood shifted as soon as old songs started popping up again. All in all it was an amazingly fun evening :3 Here's a song we sang along to more than once.

Annoying stuff: The weather on Wednesday! The one day we pick to spend together in Stockholm turns into a grade 2 storm warning with lots of sleet and sudden gusts that almost made you fall over on the icy streets. Cobble stone and ice don't mix!

Stuff bought: Nothing except for food! Economic week! :D

Shared on social media:
Stuff from Facebook:
And some important lessons from Tumblr:
Shit's seriously going down in Thedas. Here are the facts as we know them from the three games.
Gender bent Golden Trio. Love this :3
Travelling in Dragon Age: Origins is a hassle...
2017 is a big year in the Potterverse
Hilarity from Fallout 4

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Game completed: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition

This post is long overdue - I finished this game over a week ago!

After realising that the Special Edition wasn't very special, it simply became a matter of getting all the achievements for me. I decided that when I had done that I would be done with the game and move on with other things.

The Special Edition added some extras on graphics. New glare, better water etc, but all it did was basically things that mods had been doing for the past 5 years. And a lot of mods could do it better than the Special Edition actually did itself. Surprisingly they had done nothing about the bugs from the original. All of them were still there and the Unofficial Patches are still very much needed. But I got it for free so I shouldn't complain. In any case it gave me the opportunity to replay Skyrim from the beginning, with popping achis, which was a lot of fun :)

I decided to do the roleplay I've done for a while now, so basically just a replay of my last Skyrim jaunt. I'm a Bosmer who's been the hero in every single one of the ES games (including ESO). I have a headcannon that several turns of vampirism has helped my character to live for about 1000 years, and while I'm playing a lot of the conversations with NPCs happen a lot differently :P

There's not much else to say about Skyrim really. I've talked about it a lot before and everyone knows it. So I'll just show you some pictures from the Special Edition :)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Week 1 of 2017

Trying something different for my weekly updates. Let's see if this is more fun to write. The ones from last year got boring.

Reading: This week I've read two small e-books from Neil Gaiman's Humble Bundle, and I've also started reading The Shining by Stephen King. I've seen the movie several times, but this far the book is very different. Though I still see Jack Nicholson in my head for the main character. The Wendy in the movie is an insult to the Wendy in the book though. Book-Wendy's got a lot more spunk. The first Gaiman e-book I read was his contributions to a short-lived comic book called Rare Bit Friends and they were basically comics based off of his actual dreams. They were extremely wonky and a lot of fun to read. Too bad it was so short. The second was called Sculpture Stories and was basically a short-story collection, most of which I've read before in other collections, but with little drawings and illustrations to go with. It was nice. I also started reading another of his e-books called A Fall of Stardust, which is a compilation of short stories and poems related to the world of Stardust and with illustrations by Charles Vess. It's promising this far. On top of that I also found a new Harry Potter fanfic to follow, which seems promising but not as good as other fanfics I've read. It's called The Potions Assistant. And yes, that's more Snamione if you didn't figure it out by the title ;)

Gaming: I've been playing Skyrim Special Edition and Elder Scrolls Online. I decided that I would consider Skyrim done and completed by the time I had gotten all the achis. After that I was supposed to continue with Baldur's Gate, but a friend of mine picked up ESO and I wanted to play with him and then I fell back into it. Now I've found and amazing dungeon group in one guild and a really nice group for raids (trials) in another guild. I'm not gonna allow myself to get stuck in ESO again and only play that for months and months, so I'll try to play other things as well.

Working: 5 days this week. And I've been feeling tired and easily annoyed the entire week, so people have pissed me off more than usual this week. Basically, not a good work week. The fact that it snowed and public transport can't handle snow althought it happens every year, didn't improve my work mood.

Watching: Doctor Who Christmas Special (which was amazing), Call the Midwife Christmas Special (which was really good and I'm so looking forward to the next season), Penny Dreadful S03 (so sad that it's over), Sherlock S04 (yes!!! finally it's frickin back!!!), The Big Bang Theory S10 (continuation since autumn, this show gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling), and The X-Files S07 (getting close to the end of the original run now, sadness)
Start at 0:40
Penny Dreadful parallells

Fun stuff: Met up with a friend after work on Wednesday. We had lunch and coffee and then went to the Sci-Fi bookshop where we accidentally spent over 2 hours just talking about books, shows, and movies, and buying stuff.

Annoying stuff: Spending the first week of the year with a cold counts as annoying. Toni spent the week home from work, but I don't have the luxury of paid sickleave so I continued working. Just pop some pills and go to work!

Stuff bought: When I was at the Sci-Fi bookshop with my friend I bought one of Neil Gaiman's latest, a book recommended to me by my friend (which I had heard about from somewhere before), plus a book I found randomly that interested me.

Shared on social media:
Stuff from Facebook:
And some important lessons from Tumblr:

Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 in categories

List stolen from Ell and translated.

Music of the Year: It's been a very mixed year. Top 5 songs from iTunes are:
Mostly girls, which is an achievement considering that male fronted is a lot more common than female fronted when it comes to hard rock and metal :)

Best Movie of the Year: It's been a very bad movie year. We only saw two movies at the cinema; Deadpool and Fantastic Beasts. I've watched almost 20 black-and-white movies though, and we did make an effort to watch all the X-men movies. But being the way I am I have to say Fantastic Beasts. It's been so long since I've been looking forward to a movie like that, and the fact that it didn't disappoint just made me so happy. 

Best Book of the Year: It's been a good book-year, and despite that it may not be the absolutely best book I've read this year, no other book has given me feelings like the Cursed Child. Good feelings. And no other book made me cry for 15 minutes after I had finished reading it (although The Fault in Our Stars came close). So this award goes to Cursed Child.

Best TV show of the Year: I follow so many. But I've been hooked on X-files for most of the year so the award can't go anywhere else. 

Most good-looking: I hardly ever think of these things long-term anymore. It's usually just a fleeting "oh s/he looks nice" and then I forget about it. And thinking back now, trying to remember, I come up with two guys and I can't decide which one so here we go: DJ Ashba from Sixx:A.M. (couldn't stop looking at him during their live at Sweden Rock), and Chris Pohl from Blutengel (because I always find myself staring at him while watching their videos halfway forgetting the music). 

Most Important Happening of the Year: I quit from my first ever job and it felt great!

Did you do something this year that you've never done before? See above. But I also went with my dad to Germany to do some B2B at the world's largest confectionary convention in Cologne, Germany.

Do you have any New Years resolutions? No. I don't do that. Ever.

Did any of your friends become parents this year? Not any of my friends, but a large chunk of my acquaintances did. My Facebook wall is overflowing with pictures of babies and babybumps. 

Which countries did you visit? I'm assuming travelling back and forth in Sweden doesn't count :P I went to Germany, Denmark and a couple of hours in Finland. 

What was your biggest success in your career? Getting many more hours in my current job, making it almost stable.

And your biggest success privately? I've almost taught myself to like fish.

What did you spend the most money on? Books, probably xD

Best buy? I don't know. I've been trying to save money all year so I haven't bought much. But from what I can remember... Possibly my Garrus Pop Vinyl Figure.

Did anything make you really happy? Nothing brings feelings like really good concerts. I cried when Lordi played Blood Red Sandman, and that's probably the happiest feeling I've had this year.

Were you happier or sadder this year compared with other years? It's been pretty much the same level since 2012 :P

What do you wish you'd done more? Write. I haven't written more than a couple of sentences in the last 6 months. 

What did you do for your birthday in 2016? A job interview that failed and also work. Who has time for celebrations mid-week in mid-November? :P

How would you describe your personal style in 2016? Same as recent years. Black. And mostly jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts. 

Anything you missed in 2016 that you want more of in 2017? Money :P

The food you mostly ate in 2016? It's either chicken or sushi. I love chicken.

Biggest wish right now? To get a full-time job that pays me well enough that I don't have to worry. I doesn't have to be an amazing salary, I don't need to be rich. I just want enough that I don't have to worry about it being enough to get me through the month. 

Is there anything that would make your year better? If people could stop dying, that would be great.

What made you feel good? Knowing that the manager at the job I quit was fired shortly after. Avarice feels good.

Who did you miss? My best friend. We did not talk as much as I would've liked this year.

What makes you the most proud? Nothing has really made me proud this year. None of my achievements have been that grand...

Sunday, 1 January 2017

December favourites 2016

Books: I read 2 books and 4 comics in December. To choose which one was best is an easy matter.

Music: This month I filled my iPod with female fronted metal.
• Amberian Dawn - "Magic Forest" & "Incubus"

• Epica - "Dancing in a Hurricane" & "Design Your Universe"

• Leaves' Eyes - "Fire in the North" & "Ragnarök"

• Sirenia - "Seven Sirens and a Silver Tear" & "Absent Without Leave"

• Indica - "Humming Bird" & Theatres Des Vampires - "Parasomnia"

Games: The only games I played in December were ESO and Skyrim SE. ESO wins.

TV shows: Out of everything I watched in December (and it was the saem shows as in November) there are only two that come close to being the best, and it's a tie between them. Westworld and X-files.

Other: Double Christmas + New Years! :D December is easily one of my favourite months due to all the festivities.