Stumbling through time

Of late, I have found myself restless and worried. It’s quite common for the mood to shift with the seasons, and autumn is undoubtedly arriving, at least up north here in Sweden. With it come the colds. I think most everyone I know has been posting about how sniffly they are and their sore throats on facebook for the past two weeks.

In this restlessness, I found myself looking for a new facebook game to play. Yes. I was actually looking for a new facebook game. Actively. And I already play 3. Well, two that I play, one that I have lost my addiction to. So I stopped what I realised must be a clear sign of desperation and sat down to write out things that me and my husband like to do, that we are good at. We intend to start our own company, but all the things we are good at are fairly… insubstantial. Creativity, writing, story-telling, analysing, prop-making… and most of those are just my husband’s. So attempting to start a company, based on passion alone, with no funds, and little actual professional experience, has proven a frustrating process. (If any of my beloved readers have suggestions based on the things I wrote above, please, tell me. I would love comments with suggestions).

So after I stopped myself in the hunt for a new facebook game, and then put the company ideas on the shelf until further notice, I delved deeper into my latest obsession: Stumbleupon. I can, honestly, sit for hours and just “stumble”. I felt that my posts need some form of gimmick, so from now on, I shall attempt to end my posts with a few links to things I recently stumbled upon and thoroughly enjoyed, for one reason or another. ¬†So I shall kick this off by sharing a LOT of things that I enjoyed on Stumbleupon.

This man creates an “image” on the wall through the shadow of objects. Quite astounding.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4yvz0l/catinwater.com/2012/08/21/rashad-alakbarov-paints-with-shadows-and-light/

This picture made me smile… a lot ūüôā

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/323KpH/media.al.com/birmingham-buzz/photo/goldie1971jpg-a0de64e9bd62fd9b.jpg/

These pictures of snowflakes are so incredibly beautiful. I know macro-photos of snowflakes aren’t new and exciting any more, but I will always find them extraordinary.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2pnYmj/www.petapixel.com/2012/12/07/ethereal-macro-photos-of-snowflakes-in-the-moments-before-they-disappear/

This is an amusing, interactive page.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1n6win/www.drawastickman.com/episode1?o=66-69-32-67-82-69-65-84-73-86-69s66-89-58-32-84-72-69-32-66-65-78-68-69-69/

And finally, an adorable video of a grizzly bear cub playing with a wolf puppy. Daaaaaaw!

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/30xLvD/www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL8x7LcA-Y4/

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Bureaucracy is hard to spell

After yet another black-out, I return. Countless events have transpired since I last saw this tired page. Mostly a battle with the Migration Office and the Tax Office in Sweden, to get my husband-to-be a personal number. Sweden, the land of democracy, justice, acceptance… not too democratic, just or accepting. Even now, riots and burning cars crowd the suburbs of this ‘fair’ capital. Apparently it is to protest youth unemployment and immigration. Too much of the first and of the latter, too much discrimination. Oh, we may rant and rave about the U.S and the difficulties to enter those states, but strangely enough, the fact that my fianc√© is an EU citizen makes it more difficult for him to get in… and the fact that we are getting married in two months makes absolutely no difference. The backward thinking of the bureaucracy of this country is astounding.

Yet, it does appear as if we’ll be able to get married, processing of certificates willing. Mind you, first we have to pay a visit to the British Embassy and then wait for 21 days, and oh, pay ¬£130 for a notification of marriage and a certificate of no impediment. But hey. Getting married was never supposed to be easy. I often joke and say we can skip the “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health” bit, because we have been through so much already, there’s no need to promise what we already know.

However, on the 27th of July, there should be a glorious beach-wedding, with a ludicrously low budget, and I will be sure to blog about the decorations, menu, dress, venue, suit, preparations and so forth… once they are under way. What with the two of us studying up till now, and having not a penny to our names, this wedding will have to be fairly last minute, in the ‘purchasing’ and ‘preparing’ department.

I would just ask my native country one thing: do not make things any harder than they already are. Let my husband stay here with me. Don’t rain on our parade, or our wedding-day. Give me a job with an income. Any income. And don’t you dare give me anything but A’s on my grades this semester.

Till next time, me hearties.

One Wedding and No Funeral

Yes. It has been almost a year. I know. I’m shocked to see that there are occasionally people still checking in here, almost every day! I do not have a long, elaborate explanation as for why I haven’t written. Life happened.

 

Last time I wrote, my oldest brother and his fiance had just had a little boy. He is now about 8 months old, and a proper person, but a lot smaller than most of us. It’s my job to talk English to him, so he grows up knowing several languages. I have no problem with that. Well, not just my job, mine and my fiance’s.

 

Oh yeah. Remember that amazing person I mentioned frequently back when I was still blogging, last year? We’re engaged to be married this summer. It’s rare, not only in it being my first, last and only marriage to anyone, but also in it being a full-blown WordPress wedding. Oh yeah. Do you remember how he was a blogger and we met through WordPress? Well, he’s still a blogger, he’s been a lot more active than me over the last year, and right now he’s working on some exciting updates to his page. It just so happens that his 2 year bloggoversary falls on the 17th this month, so give him a wordpressent by visiting him a lot!¬†It will be fun, because the changes are happening gradually.

 

What else? Last time I wrote, I was still finishing up courses to get into university. Well, I did a summer course on “Visual and Material Objects”. Does it sound complicated, pretentious, weird? It probably was all of those things, but I enjoyed it immensely. My – occasionally – overly analytical brain thoroughly enjoyed picking apart and decoding images and various forms of art. I feel like I have had good use for it in my current field of study; English. I did English all of last fall, and now all of this spring, and then I will spend all of this summer planning our wedding.

 

So the one wedding should be fairly obvious by now. Best get to the second part before you claw my eyes out.

 

A wonderful, beautiful person in this world has died. Sierra, a girl that I have known since I was 16, and whose blog I actually linked to once or twice, chose not to live any longer, and I have to deal with that over Christmas. I was not angry with her – though I have the feeling that her relatives were, because they did not have a funeral – ¬†I was just sad that she was so sad that she could not carry on anymore. Sierra had a wonderful sense of humour, was very caring, hated conflict, drank like a champion, rocked short hair, gave the best of hugs, doted on Audrey Hepburn and could not stop smoking. I love her to bits and pieces. I still feel tears welling up when I think of her “too closely”, but at the same time I am grateful for having known her, and happy for her that she doesn’t have to be as unhappy as she was anymore. Ironically, her last blogpost is titled “the queen is dead”, and the last thing she wrote in a book we sent back and forth, like a letter, was “BUMMER!”

I can’t bring myself to leave you on such a sad note. Think about all the wondrous and joyous things I will share with you this summer! I am sure to blog about the wedding and the wedding-plans, because apparently everyone does that, and I have noticed that women become absolutely obsessed with that date as it draws nigh, so I’m sure I won’t be an exception. Also, with the permission of my brother and his lovely lady, I will post a picture of the most adorable – to me, and yet – baby ever born!

One thing my English course has taught me – so far – is – besides quite a few things that I know happen to be incorrect, because my fiance is not only English, but good AT English, and most Englishmen would cry if they knew what they teach us at this university – how to write a very boring, overly complex, fancy, abstract, and to most good writers, unacceptable, text, which needs a conclusion that repeats everything you have just told people. To that end (clears throat): In short, I have studied a lot, I have a wonderful little nephew, my friend is dead and I will get married this summer to the most wonderful person I have ever met and then get to spend the rest of my life with him.

 

Write you soon.

In Motion

You know those days when you feel the need to write a blog-post simply because you haven’t in such a long time, and it doesn’t seem fair to keep your very small number of followers waiting any longer? This is one of those days. I don’t have any idea what this post is going to be about. It’ll have to be one of those famous rambles of mine. About nothing and everything. It might turn out all right in the end. But I doubt it.

Today signifies the beginning of the New Year for a very large number of the world’s population. It’s the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese horoscope. Incidentally, I happen to be a dragon-born. Yup, full-blown scales, fire-breathing, sheep eating and all that stuff. According to the Chinese, this is going to be an absolutely awesome year for me and my likes, especially in the career department. Dragon’s stand for luck, power, daring, they are guardians and protectors but also conquerors and warriors. Known for their giant ego’s, radiant charisma, vivacious and impulsive personalities and traits of that nature, I think just as much bad as good can be said for my reptilian pals and myself.

So far I’ve come across a ridiculous number of predictions for the upcoming year. On the one hand the stock-market should go up in the U.S and down everywhere else, there will be an abundance of natural disasters and lots of disruptions on the political and military front, with uprisings and protests and conflict between world-leaders. On the other, it is supposed to be a lucky year, one where you should proceed with caution but follow your gut-feel, where you should heed the advice of others yet make your own way. Basically, whatever you do this year, there is no way to tell if that is going to be the wise plan of action or not.

I do my best to live my life from tiny moment to tiny moment nowadays. For a very, very long time I’ve been stuck in the Then. The Then is a place where I have a career, where I have found a spot on earth that feels like home to me, when I have travelled all the places I want to go, know 4 languages, have been signed for a record-company, am a loving mother of 2 and sexy wife of 1 and still do my utmost to share all the good things in my life with the ones I love and the ones who need it the most. This Then that I have made up is such an awesome place that the me now wants to be there instead of here, and somewhere along the road the anticipation for the Then managed to kill off any of the enjoyment I could have felt in the present, and replaced it with impatience and a looming sense of failure. (The latter which is probably pretty much on the mark. Still trying to find a foundation which will cover that huge L on my forehead.)

Some part of my brain just forgot that even though some lucky people get all those things, they tend to get them in time, not right away. Certainly not at 23. Once I caught myself bashing my poor present with great stories of my made up future so many times, I realised it had to stop. Funnily enough, my school-work this past semester was very much all on the theme of choices, reality-check, wanting to be some place other than where you are and things of that nature. Writing a short paper on this topic, I came across a poem by one of my all-time favourite Swedish poets, someone whose poetry I have loved since a very early age indeed, and as a cryptic word of advice for the upcoming year, I have translated it for you, and will share it for you in these following lines. Because I discovered that as soon as you decide that the present is good enough for you, it becomes a lot more awesome. Enjoy, my dears!

In motion by Karin Boye, translated by me.

“The sated day, to me, never comes first.
The best day is a day of thirst.

Yes there’s a point and meaning to our road –
but it’s the way that makes it worth the load.

The best goal is to live from night to night,
where bread is shared in haste by warming light.

In places where you only stay so long,
the sleep is safe, the dream is full of song.

Rise up, rise up! A new day is at bay.
Unending is our adventurous way.”

The truth shall make things convenient for you.

First off, I’d like to apologise for my absence. My internet has been down since Thursday morning and I got it back just this evening. As I mentioned in my previous post, I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions and even if I had, posting more often would not have been one of them, but since I was hoping to write this post sooner, even if none of you knew about this intent, I’d still like to apologise, maybe to the post itself. Also, this post is sort of dedicated to Mr. Richard Bach and his wife Leslie Parrish-Bach, since their story and writings got me thinking about this topic a bit further than I usually do.

I have been thinking an awful lot about belief, truth, right and wrong, fact and fiction of late. More often than not do we humans think we have the answers to these questions, even if we’re not aware of it. Scientists often believe that what they have found is the truth, though they might – just so that no-one can question their answers – call them theories, and say that it has not been asserted. Is anything ever more than a theory? I don’t think we can say it is. Because in order to have a theory, we must use some basic guidelines, hold something for the ultimate truth, decide that something is pure fact and reality. Life would become horribly unstable if we did not have these common agreements.

But did you ever look at what you hold to be the irrefutable truth, a fact so basic and simple that a child with the most undeveloped of vocabularies could express it, and ask yourself if it in fact is? When someone says “just as the sky is blue and the grass is green”, is that the truth? Because “sky” is simply what we call the stretch of atmosphere and space for as far as our own very limited vision can reach, and not an actual physical place. And in so many cases, the sky can be black, grey, red, yellow… are any of those colours blue? And the grass is indeed not green, in fact it’s the only colour it isn’t, since it cannot absorb green, thus reflects it back and just appears to be green. And even these two explanations are just based on yet more explanations for something that science itself has found to be true.

“As sure as you and I are standing here”. How can we ever know we are? How do we know we’re not just dreaming, or hallucinating, or that we have bipolar disorder or our brains feel like going all “A Beautiful Mind” on us? It can sure feel and seem like we’re standing here, but what if we’re not? What if we, as limited creatures, simply cannot see the whole picture, or even part of the picture, as it actually is?

Science and religion are often looked at and spoken of as polar opposites. On the one hand we have fact, on the other blind faith. But to any person who truly believes in a certain scripture, deity or faith, religion is fact, and whatever tries to dispute that fact is lies, confusion, fear and evil. Many people have their children believe in Santa Claus even though they do not for a second believe in this jolly, bearded old man themselves. To them, Santa Claus is a lie, something to make Christmas more exciting because apparently it’s not exciting enough to get to spend time with your loved ones, get free stuff and eat a disgusting amount of food. To me, Santa Claus is a possibility, because since no-one can truly, actually prove that he does not exist, how do we know he doesn’t? “Oh sweetie, they’ve been all over the North Pole, there are no flying reindeer or little gnomes making Buzz Lightyears anywhere, trust me”, you might say. But how do we know he lives on the North Pole, or if he does, that he hasn’t managed to create a good enough cover-up that we can’t find him? Because if we did, he would not be able to work in peace, that’s for sure, and a lot of polar bears would have to be removed in order to fit a mail-box big enough up there.

My point is, that whenever we say something is the truth or a lie, we can never go further than to say that to me it is. To me, as I see it, according to my own personal believes, this is how the world works, this is what this person is like, this is what you should be wearing or how you should raise your child. But considering how infinitely enormous the universe is, and how often we’ve discovered we’ve been wrong about something ¬†very fundamental and basic like the general shape of the planet we’re on or if that big, bright ball in the sky is circling around us or we around it, or how often we find new species or places or historical relics or ways to cure diseases we didn’t even know were diseases hundreds of years ago, considering all of this, how can what we know ever be the truth, or even part of the truth?

In a world where technology has reached such a great importance within just the past few decades, and is now moving forward faster than an oiled penguin in a stream-lined water-slide, the answers to what we believe to be true are also changing ever fast, from one moment to the next. Who knows what we’ll believe to be the ultimate truth in ten or twenty years from now, or even a few weeks? It is my personal belief, and what I hold to be true, that we with our own perception shape our own individual truths, which can never be forced upon or applied to others. They say “before you judge someone walk a mile in their shoes”, or “let him without sin cast the first stone”. Well, the shoe-thing, I don’t think that works in the real world since a mile isn’t very long and walking it in fluffy slippers might change your ideas about foot-wear a bit but in the long run it probably won’t give you that much of an insight into the previous shoe-wearer’s life. The stone-thing, however, I happen to think is pretty smart, and kind of works to this day. Who can ever be without sin when every single person has a different definition of what is truly sinful? So no, maybe I don’t think that “the truth shall set you free”. Because I believe that the only thing that will – and boy, now we’re getting into the definition of the word “freedom” and I don’t even want to go there right now – ¬†is the realisation that truth does not exist as more than a frame of reference, a basic tool of measurement and value that we need to apply to every choice we make in order to have this world look like anything other than a Picasso-painting inside a¬†kaleidoscope¬†inside a M√∂bius-band turned inside out.

A word of caution.

It seems to be somewhat of a trend here on WordPress to write about the past year, the way one of my favourite fellow bloggers did, regarding the lessons you learned and the things you experienced. Though in most cases when I attempt to keep myself up to date with trends, I fail miserably, I figured I’d give this one a shot.¬†

Tips for future me to remember

  • Yes, kittens are just as cute as you remember them to be. They are also vicious, selfish, loud, destructive and never asleep when you want them to be. And though they might be warm, fuzzy, soft, with adorable eyes and purrs and smell like summer-rain and honey a lot of the time, they can also be a tornado of claws smelling like litter-box and bad fish-breath
    Friend or foe?

    .

  • Attempting to recall, in detail, the worst nightmare you ever had, especially when alone in your home at 4 in the morning, is an absolutely horrible idea. Yes, you may be on the phone with a person who makes you feel reasonably safe and there may or may not be a katana standing next to your bed, but it doesn’t mean the panicky mess that is your brain and racing heart will listen to the voice of reason. So just don’t do that again.
  • Remember how you dyed¬†your hair red, then dark brown, then something that was almost blonde, then dark-brown, then more red, then black and then how you tried for ages to get back to normal again? Look away from the Hazel Gold 601 missus. You are not dyeing your hair again!
  • Apparently, you can get more muscles and stamina from working out in your own home than you did when you went to the gym all the time. But without the high expense and the public humiliation. So just keep at that, it’s not so bad.
  • If you get the chance, invent a time-machine, go back to August of 2009 and stop the idiot on the back-porch from lighting that first cigarette. She doesn’t realise the gravity of her actions. Please inform her of how that puff will lead to many nights of freezing in the snow just so she can kill herself a bit more, and even more moments and guiltily moving as far away as possible from her non-smoking friends so she won’t blow second hand smoke in their faces. It’s not going to be worth it. Also, slap her for me.
  • The more you worry about your grades and doing well in them, the better you’ll do. It’s when you relax and get over-confident that you’re screwed. Also, keep double-checking with teachers when it comes to assignments and what they require of you. They’re bad at telling you that.
  • It is possible to miss people every single day. Now go get really rich so you can fly all over the world and see the people you love on a regular basis instead of sitting here missing them.
  • The end of the world will come and go many times, but the only thing that constitutes the end of the world is your own, personal end of the world. (Even if we all die, the world is pretty damn likely to go on. I don’t think it’s a big fan of us and won’t mourn our loss a whole lot, anyway.) My end of the world is the same day that books are no longer read or used. If you find me with one of those internet-book-pads in my hand, that is probably a sign of our upcoming demise.
  • Allie Brosh probably won’t write another blog-post in a long while. Don’t cry yourself to sleep over it, but rather treasure the rare times that she does.
  • Your friends are still the best part of your life and they will probably always be. So just take good care of them, and get better at keeping in touch. It’s not that f-ing hard.
  • Watching countless episodes of “House”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Office”, “Glee”, “Sex and the City” and “Black Books” does not count as being productive. Not even if you’re knitting while you’re watching them.
  • The blogging world is ridiculously exciting. Once you click a new post or check out a new writer, there’s no telling where you’ll end up. Be careful, be safe, but keep exploring.
  • Remember that dream you had where you had a bunch of cavities in your teeth? Go get a dental check-up.
  • You’ll turn out ok. At least if you keep thinking that you don’t have to worry so much about it.

Contemporary me.

Hello my darlings! Have been a tad inactive here again I see, so since my brain is slightly fried with exhaustion and school-work and I have to get up in less than six hours, I won’t write anything profound at all. Just a list. (You know how I love my lists). So here are a few things that are relevant to my life as of right now;

E-cigarettes. These handy little thingumabobs enable you to smoke indoors without actually smoking, to smoke around other people without blowing harmful second-hand smoke into their pretty little faces, and even though there has not been extensive tests and research made yet regarding their harmful effects on those who use them, they are sure to be less harmful than cigarettes. Plus they almost like look real cigarettes, so you don’t have to feel like an idiot using them.

Dark Angel. A tv-series from 2000 starring Jessica Alba. I never thought much of Alba as an actress before, and though I do still feel like she isn’t the most outstanding of actresses, she is certainly good enough to do what she does. She is also very very attractive. Like very. The series is fun, it’s about a post-crisis – of the global financial kind – and Alba is one of several genetically modified children which have escaped from a lab-facility where they were being trained into super-soldiers. If nothing else, this series is a fun glimpse into how much of the 90ies that were still left in 2000 – and how much of the 80ies which had seeped its way into the 90ies.

Christmas. Don’t think anyone will need a summary of what that is. Or I hope not. I’m usually not a big fan of doing anything Christmassy pre-December but seeing as how the 1st of Advent was on the 27th, I went to my little-sisters and we baked ginger-snaps and lusse-katter all day… or at least 4 hours of it. We forgot to put on Christmas-songs, we made roughly 80 lusse-katt buns (that’s a LOT) and we went and got pizza afterwards, real thin-crust ones with ruccola and prosciutto on top. It was a lovely day. Next stop; toffee and chocolates at my place.

Tests. I have three major ones coming up soon – two of them tomorrow – and I’m getting rather nervous about it. I know I’ll do well, at least with the English ones, most likely with the Swedish, yet I always get nervous before tests. And maybe that is the secret to why I do well, I don’t get so overconfident in my own abilities that I neglect studying or preparing myself. But I’m going to be holding my thumbs and crossing my fingers, as always. If you want to say some kind of little prayer for me, to God, pasta, Eddie or whomever you believe in, that’d be welcome.

Dreaming. Ever since I moved to this flat a few months back, I’ve had lots and lots of dreams, mostly weird ones, only one or two actual night-mares, and not that many that I’ve woken from in a happy or blissful state. Just strange dreams, where tons of things happen, I wake up several times during the night and only remember scattered details for the most part. It makes it harder for me to go to sleep, it makes me more tired, more out of it during the day. But I’m hoping it will stop soon. Maybe when I finally get down to repainting the bedroom.

Working out. See, the flat gets rather cold at times, and my solution to this (because our radiators are pretty much cranked to the max, so it’s not like we can turn it up any more) is doing a few sit-ups, squats, shaky and pathetic push-ups, etc. If it looks extra cold outside, I’ll work out a bit before I step outside, to make sure my pulse gets up and my system is on the go already. If my toes are too cold and it’s bedtime, I just bounce around a bit so I’m nice and toasty instead of curling up and shivering under the blankets. So my solution to heating problems, which will cost you nothing and get you fit, is just to work out a bit.

Cheese. To counter-act my work out (because for every healthy thing you do you should also do something unhealthy, yin-yang balance kind of thing *coughs*) I’ve started over-indulging in cheese. I just wish someone would help me by eating the cheese before I can get to it. I’ve had the kittens help me out a bit but too much dairy isn’t good for their tummies. Well it’s not good for mine either of course. But you get me. So, the general obtaining of cheese has to be stopped for my own good!

Books. I’m currently trying to finish the last of the Harry Potter series (Don’t hurt me! I can’t explain how I haven’t read it yet! It was an accident!) but I’m only a third into it because for Swedish we had to pick one out of five classic novels and I chose “Pride and Prejudice” (translated into Swedish of course) because I’ve read that before, I own the English version, I’ve seen the movie and so on, basically it felt like a good choice because I already know what I need to know about it in order to discuss the book. Yet my honesty forces me to re-read it for this assignment. And then there’s “Rant” by Chuck Palahnuik (< = dude who wrote Fight Club) which I haven’t even touched yet, because I haven’t had the time.

What has there been a lot of/ too much of in your life of late?