#27 A song that will always be in your top 5 favorites
I have some issue with this category; I am old enough to know that nothing lasts forever and we both know hearts can change. (Yes HI, ex GN’R fangirl here, quote November Rain lyrics, I can do it in my sleep.)
I’d say there is a fair chance that Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romance will remain one of my absolute fave songs ever for a long time yet. I’ve listened to it for hours on repeat, been including it in my playlists for years and years, still nowhere near tired of it.
It’s been a while! I felt less than inspired by the past few Top Ten Tuesday topics from The Broke and the Bookish – not because they were bad topics. Heaven’s no! It is, unfortunately, more of a case of struggling to find books fitting the topic. What can I say; at times, I’m a bad reader. Or forgetful. At best.
But this week’s topic, it appeals to me! The topic is Back To School Freebie. So any type list related to school. A chance to make my very own Required Reading you say? Would not pass it up! See, I always want to beat people over the head with books. It’s my favorite threat of all the threats.
This list is required reading for, well, mankind really, but especially those of you who’ve asked your fave YouTuber, when she’s making a Q&A, how she remains looking so svelte (whose content is not even about dieting); YouTubers in tears because they’re “not pretty enough” to make a living off of YouTube (OH FFS, it’s not about pretty, it’s about the fact that you for unknown reasons are not doing the stuff you’re actually goddamn brilliant at); those of us stuck in the vicious circle of restricting and binging, especially those who think they’re “well” but still subscribing to project thin; us lot especially require this reading.
1. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Starting with the obvious. It’s been translated to many, many languages, pick a choice! Also; you don’t have to read it all in one go. Pick whatever appeals to you at the time, save the rest for later. I always like any part about menstruating.
PS. Best book for beating. This is a true brick.
2. Hur man botar en feminist (How to cure a feminist) by Nanna Johansson. Now this is a bit tricker unless you’ve got a fairly good grasp of the Swedish language. I’d be happy to translate it for you though. Again with the menstruation:
3. Unspeakable Things by Penny Laurie. Mentioned I love this book a while back. And I really do. My English copy still awaits reading, so looking forward to!
4. Feminist Political Theory by Valerie Bryson. This is my go-to book for feminist theory. It was on the reading list when I studied gender theory, the lecturer warned us the author was a left-wing sympathizer and we should keep that in mind while reading. I.e. perfect for beating some sense into the most insensible of persons? Favorite chapter: the one on radical feminism.
5. Kroppspanik (Body anxiety) by Julia Skott. Because this book talks a lot about that which just isn’t (cannot?) be said enough:
I want you to step off of the scale, stop pinching your fat, real or imagined, and stop worrying about three or eight or forty kilos too much or too little. Regardless of what you look like, regardless of what you weigh, it’s a waste of time to worry and feel bad about it.
6. Mina vackra ögon(My beautiful eyes) by Nina Hemmingsson. Really, any of Nina’s comics. I love her drawings and sense of humor. Always puts me in a good mood.
7. Under det rosa täcket (Under the Pink Cover) by Nina Björk. This is a Swedish classic, and rightly so. My copy is starting to disintegrate. My favorite chapter: where she discusses Dirty Weekend, Thelma & Louise, and Ambition.
8. Det kallas manshat (It’s called hating men) by Carin Holmberg. There is only ONE thing that’s not great about this book; it’s very slim, not made for beating really. But you’ll be able to read it through quickly enough. Obviously means you can read it a number of times too, easy.
Needless to say, the soundtrack of last week was mainly Architects, with a bit of Amity Affliction and Bring Me the Horizon thrown in for good measure. In fact, my brain was so into listening to Architects it down-prioritized sleep. Slowly starting to accept that sleep is not at the top of my to-do list. Not last week, not this week, unlikely to be any time in the near future.
We’re all loving Gone with the wind an extra lot. How unpredictable.
First workout class of the semester. And I worry. I worry that I’m over Friskis. I was so thoroughly bored I nearly left. And they’re still not playing Throne. How is no workout class ever playing Throne? That is just wrong.
Spent my last couple of days of summer vacay in the UK. 24 hours in London, followed by a couple of days in Brighton. Lots of walking and lots of shopping.
Saw Thrice play at the Forum. It was all sorts of good. Just a shame about the complete lack of oxygen at the venue. I was about one song from unconscious by the time we left. Also: opening act Milk Teeth. How I wish it was my cup of tea.
Discovered my new fave look: orange eye! It must be good because complete strangers have complimented me on it (??).
Had lots fab vegan food. Seriously, Food for Friends and Rootcandi; basically reasons to visit Brighton.
Got some good wear out of my platform sandals. The fact that I didn’t break anything while teetering around London, carrying all of my luggage, and all over Brighton, including the pebbled beach is nothing short of a miracle. I feel as if I’ve got mad skills. Had to order me a more season appropriate pair, a pair of Roobin’s.
All and all: good week. Should have prepared me for the hell that’s first week of the semester. It obviously did not.
#52 A song with featuring a great guitar solo guitarist
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that for a while, this guy graced us with his presence, making our existence a little less dreary:
I for one feel unbelievably fortunate. Once I get past the whole Really!? There was no one else you could take!? I could think of at least 10 other musicians that we could have sacrificed! And I’m talking about good musicians, not the ones we’d be better off without. I mean I get it, this was clearly payment for something. You can’t pay with something that is useless.
I mentioned on Sunday that Architect’s Tom Searle passed away on the 20th. Didn’t know him, never met; it still makes me feel as if it’s a little hard to breathe. (Don’t tell my mum, she’ll disown me.)
I wasn’t going to do repeats in this challenge unless absolutely necessary. Necessity is questionable, but I’m going to anyway. This is going to be another Architects song.
Despite being a complete guitar illiterate, for me, the guitars were a main selling point, what finally convinced me I should be listening to this band. Point in case: I’ve been sat listening to this more than once. And I don’t play the guitar. At all.
Architects is clearly a given for this entry. Even though I had planned to pick something else entirely; there was always the risk that this would just read like a long list of songs by Architects, so I’m making a conscious effort to choose other songs. Had I not I already mentioned A Match Made in Heaven in another post, that would have been my pick; the intro alone made me think FFS NO, this band can’t be this good, I can’t take it.
For this category, let’s have a song from their previous release Lost Forever // Lost Together. Let’s have Naysayer. Not only because it’s a great track, but because there are some mesmerizing effects in this video. ..and maybe because I want to go a little easy on you and not put you off.
The band’s still going to tour (can’t even begin to imagine how hard it’ll be, bless them and all the love ♥♥♥). I’ve got tickets for two shows already, and I’m making plans to use my last two days of vacay and add another date to my itinerary. Surely I don’t have to explain why?
This time, I am actually quite excited about my read! So get your pen and paper, or GoodReads, or whatever you use; you’re going to want to add Blythewoodby Carol Goodman to your list.
Or maybe not. I know there are people who are really less than impressed by Carol’s work, but me, I LOVE Carol. Her books, or the ones I’ve read, are all quite similar: there’s generally a mystery, the setting is generally school, and there are supernatural features, Faerie is frequently mentioned, as is Scotland. I’m sure there are people who’d complain that her work is “too samey” – but I don’t mind it one bit! Probably because she incorporates many of my favorite features.
If I was going to say one thing that could be a negative it’s that the mystery, you can usually figure it out. But then, doesn’t that just make you feel awfully clever? That’s kinda nice, right? But I guess some people don’t want that (??).
In addition, this time, she’s set the story in my favorite era: the early 1900s. Same era as many of Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s work, same era as The Knick (♥♥♥). This is a random and inexplicable obsession of mine; there’s no logic behind it.
The plot, the plot, what’s the plot? I’ll just give you the blurb, because I’m not sure I can say anything sensible and not just plain gush:
At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.
But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.
So this is like if Harry Potter was a girl, and kinda, romance?
Like my previous read, this was also a book I was looking forward to reading, but unlike last time, I was not disappointed. This book comes with my highest recommendations! I’m ordering part 2 and 3 asap. Not sure how to fit it into my challenge, guess I’ll have to be real creative.
1 hand mirror; learned the use of these as late as back in May when I was caught out in lots of rain. Verdammt! Won’t catch me leaving the house without a mirror no more.
1 kabuki brush + a NYX finishing powder. I had a Real Techniques travel brush and a BareMinerals loose powder that basically lived in my handbag, but they’ve gone missing. These will do for now.
The darkest brown Makeup Store eye shadow + travel size Real Techniques brush. Instead of eyeliner under bottom lashes, to touch up.
2 eyeliners, 1 Lumene (wing) + 1 Soap & Glory Supercat (lid). The idea is that because I go to work so early in the morning, cat eye is applied at work. So far that has not happened. But you know, just in case I’m ever in the mood/severely bored.
1 purple eyeliner; for touch ups on days I wear purple eye shadow.
1 Sleek eyebrow pen; just in case brows start to slip. ..it could happen..?
3 hair clips. To get hair out of face if I’ve made some sort of misjudgment. V.v. important.
A couple of painkillers; never know when you might need them. I’ve got a pair in all sorts of places.
Most importantly: 1 lip primer and whatever lipstick I’m wearing that day. This day I was wearing my fave NYX matte in Minx.
Started watching Broad City. Like the rest of you I can’t wait for Gilmore Girls to be back; been searching for something to watch in the meantime. It’s an OK way to pass time. When you’re tired of having Amity Affliction shouting at you.
Dug out my mittens. In August. I fear the winter.
Got some last wear out of my shorts and short-sleeves before winter:
PS. Wearing the shorest shorts + poncho to not freeze your ass off. It makes much sense. + Behold the tiles in this bathroom! I wants it so bad. If I find an apartment for sale with this tiling, I’m having it. That’s all there’s to it.
In terms of makeup, halo was my absolute fave this week. Used all different colors, here’s the purple version, up close + from a distance (shows pretty good from afar too, no?):
Course. I was missing my NYX Full Throttle quad + a thick lick of liner by Friday, and why wouldn’t I be?
Love me some red shade, I really do.
Have been looking at London maps like a crazy person. Regretting deciding against going to Glasgow/Edinburgh. Oh the luxury of traveling sans maps and being able to walk all places! But that’ll have to wait till November.
Finally got my new glasses. And as per usual, they are made for people that’s not me. Price tag, nearly SEK 6,000. Kind of a lot for something that fits me so-so. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the invention of contacts. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without them.
Still, I like my new frames well enough to be excited about creating a few looks for glasses. It’ll be my last chance too, because I am now so blind that putting on makeup without contacts, it’s a gamble. Was hoping it was a light thing; turns out it’s not.
Conclusion of first week of commuting to work: I’m testy. So very testy. It’s either a result of the goddamn commuting or:
PMS. Strikes me as slightly unlikely as my bleeding is kind of erratic. And I’m on day 69 in my cycle, strongly indicating kickstarting period using hormones is necessary.
Hating work. It doesn’t deserve it, but I’m not the most sensible of people.
Actually, no so excited about this one. My book of choice was Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam. How I’d looked forward to reading this book! It’s the last part of trilogy that started with Oryx & Crake, followed by The Year of the Flood; both of which I really liked – it’s not for nothing I’ve read them twice. The fact that it took me almost 2 weeks to get through MaddAddam wasn’t only because I was distracted by feminist comics. There was something about this book that just left me a bit meh.
Part of me wants to blame the Swedish translation. It felt as if, at times, it just didn’t read that well. At the same time. I don’t think the translation was necessarily bad, but it seemed to lack in flow, which makes it slightly more difficult to follow. I kept getting stuck in throughts about language. Then again, maybe I just wasn’t interested in this story, and that was why my mind wandered? You can’t like all the books. Unfortunately.
About 200 pages in I was slightly more interested in the story – hey, pigs (er, well, sort of pigs..) collaborating with people to bring down the bad guys? If I was PMS:ing I’d cry because that’s a beautiful idea. However, if it wasn’t for the reading challenge, I hate to say it, but it’s more than likely I’d left this story unread.
In theory, I don’t understand why MaddAddam leaves me cold. A story set in a world where most of the human population has been eradicated by a biological catastrophe (who doesn’t love this scenario??), the few left have to find creative ways to survive, oh and there’s a bit with a bear and I want to say Arctic tundra too – it was someplace up north, probably not the Arctic, but since having read The Expedition: A Love Story I imagine all places up north to be the Arctic – and, there are characters that I know and love – I should at the very least like it. I’ve read worse, but I don’t think I’ll read it again.
Again, truly this is a challenge. How do you pick one? It’s too soon to be mentioning Architects again, isn’t it?
I’m going to go with Jonathan Johansson’s Centrum. I’ve got two reasons: 1) I saw him when he toured Klagomuren (the album this song is on) and it was without a doubt one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and he had zero fancy gimmicks. Not that I know why fancy gimmicks would make any show better really. Good songs + good performance; it is truly all it takes. And 2) One of my favorite lines is in this song “Snart kommer tårarna ett regn i Sahara. Snart ska vi ångra, vad vi hoppades på.” (Soon there’ll be tears like a rain in the Sahara. Soon we’ll regret what we hoped for.) Just don’t ask me why I like it, because I don’t know. Could be something as simple as phrasing. I do, however, remember trying to convince my sister of the greatness of this line pre-show, trying to convince her she was really missing out. She remained unconvinced. For a while. He got to her too in the end.
So here you have it, the impossible to resist Jonathan Johansson: