Tuesday, December 4, 2007

everybody's not happy now

i found a piece about dystopias, mainly brave new world and 1984, called "everybody is happy now", written in the guardian (unlimited books) recently, by margret atwood. the title comes from brave new world, for those of you who hasn't read it. i think the piece is good, as it compares the novels with what we're seeing in todays world, to see if they "measure up" and to see which one of them says more about today's society. (so read it!)

just like atwood writes, both have points. orwell with the control and surveillance us citizens have to endure from the governments in more countries than not it seems and, post-9-11, thoughcrime; and huxley with the überconsumption and promiscuity we're indulging in as well as the issue of genetic engineering and prescribed drugs.

i've read them both. i read 1984 when i was 17 and i loved it. i am a bit reluctant to re-read it cos i know that i will find things i don't like in it now, and don't want to destroy what the novel has meant to me for more than 10 years in terms of political awakenings. after all, i have since then embraced feminism and i have read a lot of things since then that i've had problems with because i see gender everywhere. this is the case with brave new world.

i wrote a review of brave new world earlier this year. here it is.

the idea behind this novel is such a great one - really one of the best sci-fi ideas i know of - that it really depresses me that huxley made a novel out of it. being a sci-fi fan and having heard so much praise over this novel, it made me disappointed reading it, to say the least. the characters are flat and uninteresting with few exceptions, and the plot is awful! the only thing next to the idea - that is the society he creates and what it stands for - that i like is the conversations that some of the characters have about that society. stereotypically, only the male characters have those conversations. but then huxley is not the first, nor the last sci-fi author to create great new societies and conditions for humans and others but totally look pass gender injustices.

in my opinion, huxley should have taken his great idea and made it something other than a novel, or he should have asked someone else, who could actually write novels, to help him write the characters. i'm sorry to be hard on a classic, but there it is.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

the fantasy of

i just read an awesome post called the fantasy of being thin, about how the idea of dieting and getting thin is not only about what you weight but how much more fun and great life would be if you were thin. about how depression, failing relationships and other big issues (in everybody's life) are somehow tied to the fact that you are fat and if only you were thin it would go away.

it's a great read and the psychological thinking behind it is really adaptable to other destructive thinking, such as my own fantasy, which i guess i could call the fantasy of being awesome and handling everything. which, i have to say, is really fucking up my recovering from this stress exhaustion thing. but that's for another post.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

readability

this was way fun. click and try.

the blog readability test answers the question "what level of education is required to understand your blog?"

cash advance

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

southern romance

i've just watched elizabethtown for maybe the 10th time (thank god for dvd) and as usual i crave alt-country. i love this movie. it makes me wanna go to kentucky (!) and fall in love with kirsten dunst too! the connection between orlando and kirsten is really great and believable and sweet. and i love the fact that there's so much music in it, and that kirsten's character makes the most awesome road map with soundtrack and everything. i wanna do that too!

it's weird cos before i was sucked into cameron crowe's universe (read: almost famous and elizabethtown), alt-country wasn't really something i did, you know. (on a side-note mr crowe's also responsible for the fact that i, despite years of not understanding my father's love for him, now also listen to elton john.) i didn't do alt-country, i just listened to sheryl crow. (she did make an awesome cover of guns n' roses' sweet child o' mine btw).

the soundtrack to elizabethtown is awesome (both of them actually). it has tom petty, elton john, patty griffin, my morning jacket, ryan adams. i especially love patty griffin. the song on the soundtrack alone made me buy her album and it's really great (well, except for the strange 5 minute long tango song in spanish at the end). her voice touches my heart.

the hard thing about liking alt-country, i've noticed, is that i don't know anything about it. i have a few friends who's into it, but it's not really what i mean, it's more that i'm used to having the references, of knowing the story, the big guys, but here, on the country side of things, i don't. i don't know what's authentic and what's not. well. i know elton john's country-ish album is a fake, cos british homosexuals aren't really country are they. but it still has some really great song on it though.

i guess i'm used to knowing what is cool and what's not. not that i by default choose the former, but it still feels good to know. you know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

on tool

tool (official, wikipedia) is one of my favorite bands and has been for years. i started listening to them through a friend i made in high school, whom i've by now grown apart from and lost contact with, and who was equally into nine inch nails, pearl jam and alice in chains around that time.

we're talking around 96-97, their album aenima was recently released and i heard it at my friends place and liked it well enough to borrow it and tape it. it wasn't until a couple of years later that i grew to love it like a part of my own body. once that happened i remember listening to it again and again, loud!, and actually feeling the changes in mood and rhythm in my heart. and i still do. it's a very emotional album and, while not as focused perhaps as their two later albums but, artistic.

i'm not a great authority on technicalities in music (read: like my dear friend dave) which makes it hard for me to explain its effect on me, but tool has, unlike any band in the genre, an artistic element to their music, and with that i don't mean lyrics and artsy stuff that other bands indeed have, but the music itself. their albums sounds like a beautiful painting, or even a perfect brush stroke of thick paint. it's as if the intensity of the music follows an emotional pattern, something that i can really relate to.

the singer, maynard keenan, makes it perfect. he has a range of voice from soft whispers to full screaming that sounds good! he both sings and screams with emotion and his voice can make me both cry and scream. they way he sings them, he can pull of songs like hooker with a penis, dealing with a poser that's made him angry for criticizing them for selling out - that would make any other singer sound obnoxious and even embarrassing, sounding genuine, at the same time make songs like pushit, dealing with the emotional backlash of loving a dependent (i think, could be both related to depression and drugs too), sound so emotional it gives me real angst listening to it.



everything just comes together great; the music, the lyrics and maynard's voice. this goes for their live performances as well. i've seen them twice (at roskilde festival '01 and '06) and the first show was as close to having a religious experience as i've ever came, in the sense that i experienced something that i can't explain, something that made me - for lack of a better word - high. next to the above mentioned elements of their music, the visual impression took it a step further and it was truly an extraordinary experience.

the two later albums; lateralus and 10,000 days, is even more conceptual. the lyrics seems to go together in obvious as well as non-obvious ways. the music moves in cycles almost, where you recognizes things here and there and it takes quite a few times listening to the albums to make out the pattern. also, listening to tool is listening to albums, not songs, because if you split the albums and listen only to the songs randomly you'll be missing so much. listening to one song by tool is like watching only 15 minutes in the middle of a film.

generally i think you can say that tool demands a bit more from their audience than your average band and i know i'm not the only one with this opinion. i know i've read before that, like reading literature or watching movies with lots of references makes you feel smart and involved when you get the references - especially the obscure ones; tool makes its audience feel smart and involved, and i agree. because the effort pays off! there are hidden aspects to their music that you can't find the first or second time you listen to their albums. but once you do, it stays with you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

open minded

You Are 68% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

sugar level: high

i love birthdays! when it's your birthday, everybody loves you, and i think that's great.


sister and lars and myself had a mini-party with chocolate cupcakes and cake. yum! and i got presents! books i wanted, and a great cd, and a round thick candle. i love to burn candles, and they smell great!


i'm getting a global knife from my parents (this one). they are the greatest knives ever, ones you've gotten used to using them you don't ever want to use other knives, i promise. however, they're a bit pricey, but that's what parents are for, right? :)

it's been a good day, and now i'm tired.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

twenty-nine

november 14, 1978 at 10.19 CET. that's when i poked my head out into the world. time flies.

on piracy

wow. i just finished reading a loooong post about piracy and the music industry;

When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of Record Industry Suicide.

read it! it's awesome. it's long but so worth the time. i don't know how to review it right now (and i'm hungry!) so just go there and read it first and you'll get my thoughts in it later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

old times

i was digging through old links and found these two pages, fantastic in different ways, and both funny as hell.

the music nerd test, mostly for contemporary/modern music fans though (sorry dave, but give it a shot!), at which i scored "54.34783% - Super Music Nerd". part of me wants to score higher, but parts of me realizes that i'm still not socially inept so scoring somewhat high but not, you know, HIGH is actually a good thing. the girl who's created the test, and the site, has the good taste to really like douglas coupland (url is couplandesque.net) and it's from her i learned that the word couplandesque is actually used! i love coupland's books, but that's for another entry.

a person paper on purity of language is a great satirical text dealing with inconsistencies, prejudice and bias in the english language. to make a point about how excluding expressions and grammatical rules are for women he exchanges women for blacks and men for whites and the effect is obvious. one thing that's really great is that he uses the same argument as the defenders of the generic he does (i've read a lot of texts about that..) which only makes me think less of it (not the text that is). i found it while studying english linguistics a few years ago and doing a thesis on language and gender. it's a great read; eyeopening and funny, and not just for language geeks such as myself.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

welcome to scotland

so, me and lars went to glasgow for a week and in retrospect, maybe late october/early november wasn't the best season to visit scotland, but we did it and we liked it. we made these observations on scots

1. they are friendly
2. half of the time even people with good knowledge in the english language (read us and the foreigners we talked to over there) can't understand a word they're saying
3. they don't seem to mind the constant raining


we lived in a backpackers hostel owned by a crazy canadian who, during our stay, celebrated his 40th birthday, but you couldn't really tell if he's really 40 or if he's 15. the people working there, mostly girls 20-25, backpackers themselves, were friendly and helpful. we stayed in a 14 bed dorm, the cheapest, for a full week. now we know that's too long. the other guests came and went, most quiet and harmless but some annoying. i wouldn't mind staying at hostels in the future but it had its drawbacks.

most of the time we spent walking around town or in the park, going through bookstores and drinking coffee at starbucks. we also hit a few museums. i loved the bookstores cos they were filled with fiction in english (!), a luxury here. mailorder aside there's no real place to go through shelves with fiction written in english here. i bought 4, too few, but it's not like i'm rich.. the two newest couplands, the virgin suicides and one i really liked, the bitch goddess notebook.

starbucks got a lot of our money though. i got hooked last year when i was in edinburgh, and lars joined in after his second cup. there is no starbucks in sweden.. :( the white moccas after a long day of walking around town getting sore feet is like heaven.

bagpipe players in front of the royal concert hall

i found the record store avalanche - also in edinburgh, where i spent £50 last year - in glasgow and found a few cds i really like, some belly singles and hope sandoval and the warm intentions. the best thing about the store is that they have great music, and it's not expensive. the record stores here with the best music tends to be the most expensive ones..

we also went to edinburgh one day, and it was as beautiful as i remembered it. the old buildings, the narrow streets in the old town, the castle. we even had some fish & chips there on the royal mile. we spent some time and money in the avalanche store there but mostly we just walked around. we took the train back to glasgow with sore feet and marks&spencers sandwiches.

the royal mile

the canadian's birthday party was on a friday and we joined in, we didn't plan to but we did. and it was fun. a lot of the guests were there, and the staff and some of his friends, and we talked to a lot of them, especially two american guys studying in london and two canadians who were friends of the owner. the american guys were fun and we talked a lot about politics actually - they were torn between our interesting conversation and the two pretty german girls who they tried impress by joking about the holocaust, no it didn't work, surprise. i was however surprised i wasn't more drunk considering how many beer i had that night, but except for running to the bathroom at least 6 times during the night i was fine.

we took almost 300 photos, mostly buildings (my fault), and i really don't feel like sorting them :) all in all we had a good time, it was worth the money and i got what i sought for; change of scenery and relaxation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

making it out doors

found some pretty street art when walking with lars earlier today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

there are things i really love about the internet, things that makes me wonder, seriously, what we did before we used the internet for it. such as


* finding new music - how did we do it? read every music magazine, talked to clerks in record stores (we're not all so lucky as to have a high fidelity type record store in town..), made sure to have cool friends, .. sounds to me like hard work! much too hard for a misunderstood music lover..

* finding out lyrics that was annoyingly enough not printed out! - ooh, i hated this, all the trying to hear what they sung. how embarrassing do you think it got for a second language english speaker like myself? i'd rather not say..

* keeping track of friends - and actually avoiding talking to them at the same time! the unsocial has become the new social.

* buying crap you could never get your hands on before - cheaper cds, clothes, books not distributed in this far away country of ours, .. stuff!

* tests - as in the one i just posted. i shiver thinking of a world without stupid online tests!

but most of all; the endless hours, time you can't give any account of, spent doing.. something; clicking, reading, scrolling, testing, re-reading, lurking.. what on earth did we do with that time before we had the internet?

multiple answers tell all

You Are a Chick Rocker!

You're living proof that chicks can rock
You're inspired by Joan Jett and the Donnas
And when you rock, you rock hard
(Plus, you get all the cute guy groupies you want!)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

another story girl

i would like to listen to stina nordenstam's albums - especially memories of a color - while floating in a warm sea somewhere.

unfortunately the bathtub didn't work as a substitute.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the advise

i went to a counselor and she says there are 3 piles

-the have-to pile
-the want-to pile
-the feel good pile


and to get better i have to minimize the have-to pile, semi-ignore the want-to pile and focus only on the feel good pile. it may sound easy but think about it. i don't think i've ever really focused on that pile.

Friday, September 21, 2007

perspectives

i just read in a comment on a blog i sometimes read someone, american i assume, calling hillary clinton far left. it's funny how different we see things depending on what we're used to or how our society works. no one in sweden would call her anything other than right. politicians here who agrees with her belong to the right, not far right, but the right. according to swedish standards democrats and republicans are right and right +, respectively. no wonder some think of sweden as a communist country. of course they are heavily misguided, but still.

_i_ am far left. hillary is not even close. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

damnit!

getting a doctor's certificate in this city has proven to be a kafkaesque nightmare! am i just being cynical or do we have all this bureaucracy just to drive people who's already got problems insane?!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

life in all its glory

when your life really sucks, how do you answer people who asks you about it? i never got any good at that.

to begin with many people asks how one is doing to be polite, right, it's just what you say. when you haven't seen each other for a while you ask how they're doing. i get that, i do it myself, but do we really want the answer if it's not a fine? and so if it's really not fine, what do you say? do you lie? do you say it's fine even when it's not to remove the awkwardness that follows every other reply? cos there's always awkwardness. the other party doesn't know what to say, or is simply not interested in what was just said and for either reason feels embarrassed because of it.



still, i don't want to lie to my friends, even the not-so-close ones. i've always hated shallow. but on the other hand i don't really feel like pouring out how much my life sucks to everybody who happens to ask either. for my sake, for their sake. trap. it's like what allison (pretty picture above) says in breakfast club about sex
Well, if you say you haven't, you're a prude. If you say you have you're a slut. It's a trap. You want to but you can't, and when you do you wish you didn't, right?
or something like it at least. either way, i hate it. i can't make my mind up. i know you'd think i've gotten it by now, i mean i've had close to 29 years to figure it out, but no.

i'm a terrible friend. funny and nerdy, but terrible.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

scotland here we come

i'm going to glasgow on my november break! yay! me and lars just booked a trip there october 28 - november 4; a full week! i'm so happy. last year at that time i was in edinburgh for 4 days and it was just lovely, so i just had to go back. and now, with a full week there's lots of time to explore the place. i'll have to show lars around edinburgh and we'll have to see some of the highlands.


oh, i can't wait! scotland is beautiful. people talk funny. the beer is cheap. they have lots and lots of starbucks! [i love their coffee, and sweden is totally without :(] the only thing that's possibly not great is that we're staying in a dorm with 14 beds at a hostel, but hey, it'll sure make for interesting anecdotes. i know, cos it's the same hostel that sister and her friend stayed at when they were there in april, and they came back with interesting anecdotes (like the one with the american girls who repeatedly said "i'm so excited" without any trace of excitement either in voice nor facial expression).

who wants postcards? ;)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

cake and television

the birthday cake was a success! nice craftsmanship. i'm quite proud of it. sister lent a helping hand with the roll out of the marzipan. it was a bitch, let me tell you. but it turned out beautifully and tasted just right too.


now i have to wait 2 months for my own birthday cake. i hate waiting.

Re television addiction; like i wrote the other day, i had a chat with the principal, what with the crying and everything, and when we talked she mentioned giving the kids an assignment to watch something on television and write about it and so i said that i don't know what's on anymore since i don't have a television and she wondered why. i told her what is true, that i can't be trusted with tvs, that i tend to turn them on and get temporally lost. and then i took full credit for her praise about me being strong-minded and daring for not just talking about getting rid of my tv but actually doing it. it's nice to know that my boss finds me extraordinary.

of course i didn't tell her that i download a whole lot of tv-series that, really, apart from being a conscious choice, have the same effect on me. but hey, not even jesus told people all his secrets, right?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

crash

sometimes working with teenagers, teaching or otherwise i assume, is the greatest kick, and sometimes it's like hitting your head on a brick wall. today was the latter.

most of them are darling kids with not much of a clue, just as we've all been when we were 14 or 15 (or 26, this is just random when we grow up isn't it). still the bunch that refuse to acknowledge that other people also have feelings and does not deserve to be stepped upon drowns me of energy sometimes. i know it has nothing to do with me personally, but today i lost it. i just couldn't take the throwing things, the yelling and aggression so i just left the room and started crying.

the first time i cried at work i had some conflicting ideas about dignity. boy are those thoughts gone. it actually felt kind of good sitting in the principals office having a cry and unloading. i guess i'm lucky to have such understanding and sympathetic colleagues. then i went home, cos ones i've started crying, every obstacle however small gets me going again and i can't really deal with crying in front of my students. right now i'm mending my scratches with gilmore girls (rory and jess has just started seeing each other and it's so cute i wish i was 17 again!) and rilo kiley.

today's also lars' birthday and i plan on baking an awesome cake for this evening, let's hope it doesn't turn out to be yet a brick wall.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

sunflowers

the other day while walking to cin's i discovered a "garden" of sunflowers very close to where she lives. luckily i had brought my camera. here's a few of my shots.




Friday, August 31, 2007

sugar and bananas

the other day i baked. go me.

the lorelais

it's not fair. it's bad enough that i woke up this morning with violent loud machines in my head and that i've caught a cold just when i've had a major fight with some of my students so i couldn't be at work to sort it out. now it's taking forever to download the middle part of season 2 of the gilmore girls! who's cranky?

i wanna be lorelai. no, i am lorelai. without the attachment disorder. and without the teenage daughter (but really i have a similar relationship with my sister, you know, the one where the one part is crazy and the other is trying to get her back to reality; that would be me and her, in that order) and the dysfunctional parents. yeah, you get the picture. i totally got the coffee addiction though. and i would so much want a close friend to run a diner so they could serve me fresh coffee all the time.

but i guess that if i were her, i would've already gotten it on with luke like years ago. guess that's why she's fictional and has her own tv-series and i'm just stuck on my couch with nothing better to do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

goodbye kitty


i'm not morbid. no, really, i'm not, i'm really a nice person. really! i just can't help myself when it comes to david and goliath/stupid factory. even thinking about kitty in a blender makes me giggle.


all it took was a friend of mine giving me a stupid factory key chain saying "boys are stupid throw rocks at them" and i was hooked. now i totally want all of them, the posters, the buttons, the tees, the magnets, the snow globes! especially these!

i wonder if this fucks up my karma.


post-thoughts

there are actually a few things that i am kind of proud of in my life. one is that i can be very productive, when i really want to. unfortunately i tend to forget that. yesterday i went to the gym for the third time in seven days (yay!). after that i also thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and ripped down the wallpaper (what kind of idiot puts wallpaper in a bathroom!). then i vacuumed the whole apartment and made dinner. after dinner we started watching a movie but before we could finish i had to pause to bake a bake cos i still had energy left.


today me and my sister rode our bikes to ikea (about 15 minutes in each direction) to buy like 2 things each (ok, it ended up being a little more, as always with ikea) and have coffee.



then when i got back (after also picking up groceries on our way back, ending up swaying with my bike all the way back) and read the newspaper i got annoyed by an article and decided to write a letter about it.

why didn't i just drag my ass to the gym much earlier?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

dave's been visiting

just to sum things up:

"yeah..

..i'm gonna..

..have to..

..ask..

..you to NOT..

..take..

..more pictures, that's be GREAT, m-kay?"


this was really lars' idea but it was such a good one i had to steal it. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

welcome

:)