A book about a different sort of creature

I’ve been reading part 2 in Siri Pettersen’s Ravneringene (English: Raven rings) Röta.

I love this book. A few reasons why:

It opens by quoting a NIN song I’ve been listening to on repeat. Ruiner. (Mentioned here.) This is undoubtedly a dangerous game to play because if you don’t already know and love the song, it’s going to be an annoyance, or at best meaningless. But for those of us who do…we’ll basically love this book by default.

There are other reasons though, completely unrelated to NIN. What I mean is, in the end, the NIN quoting is of no importance. It’s just a bonus.

I love the surprise setting; the previous book was set in some sort of fictive Viking age, Scandinavian woodlands, in this one, we start out in present day England. I.e. we’re dealing with parallel worlds, main character Hirka has moved from her world into ours. And it works beautifully. Unless you’re offended by our world described from the POV of someone who just got here, and who is kinda disappointed with what she sees.

Our world described as a hell, a place to send criminals, it just seem so right.

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“Do you like it here? Do you think it’s a good place to be?” […] so they sent him here. It was his punishment.”
While I struggled with the tailed creatures Pettersen created in the first part of the series, I love the creepy creatures she’s created in this one. The man born out of a crow, with claws and un-seeing eyes – it’s pure myth. I love mythology.

Pettersen also quite successfully keeps us in the dark as to whether he’s one of the good guys or bad guys. I love the not knowing. I’m hoping that by the end of the series he’s both/neither. It’d be very Norse.

Sometimes, I find the switching between different narrators, or different POVs is just annoying. More often than not one of the multiple POVs is just plain boring. Not so here! The switching between the different perspectives works beautifully, Pettersen keeps it interesting no matter what the angle.

And the characters. I basically want to know more about all of them. They’re far more interesting than they need to be.

There might be a couple of things that sort of makes me love it slightly less:

  1. The love story. I am in no way convinced that it’s a. necessary, and b. that Hirka and Rime are in love. I lack evidence.
  2. The final fight. First of all, I don’t buy it that Naiell is actually evil. He’s been hanging out in a crow for centuries, and his one claim to evil is calling Hirks Sulni and a blood bag? Come on! I need more than that. He needs to do something evil, not just say things that are insulting/lies. That being said, the final fight reminds me so much of Twilight. The fight reads more like a slight commotion, brush the dust away, and carry on, than a fight. Not convinced the two sides really hate each other enough to start a war, which they kind of need to. You don’t start a war with people who’re slightly annoying.

 

Now! Best to throw myself at Kraften immediately or save for a later time?

100 day song challenge #70

#70 A song you’re currently obsessed with

I am a bit smitten with Casey, been listening to (or if we’re being honest, watching) both Teeth and Hell on repeat. You know, that band I discovered because they were opening for Being as an Ocean in Glasgow.

Since I already mentioned Teeth in my February wrap up post, let’s do Hell:

I really would like to see them again. I know they’ve on the Impericon Festival in Manchester in April. Would like to go. But I do realize that is never going to happen. You can’t be going to Manchester to see a band play for what, 30 minutes? You just can’t.

But if I wasn’t moving next year, I would.

Preparing to move #2

I need to prepare mentally as much as practically for for this move.

To distract myself from the fact that I love where I live, and moving is a hassle, I like to list all the things I can look forward to once I move. Such as:

No more breakfast at work! I get up so early in the morning it makes no sense having breakfast before I get to work. This is something I’m not particularly enjoying. Because it means prepping + bringing more things to work, it’s just an annoyance.

No more commuting! Commuting was old even before I started commuting. Theoretically, I will be able to walk or take the bike to work. Might be to lazy, but I could!

In theory, it’s going to be cheaper. Rent is cheaper, and living closer to work I won’t use the car as much. In reality…it will only be cheaper if the interest doesn’t rise. Not counting on it exactly.

Separate tumbler/dryer; i.e. no more visits to the laundry room because my current combined solution doesn’t dry bed linen particularly well.

Downsizing. Space is great and all, but less space means less cleaning. I’m a fan!

WATER. I’m moving to a place where the water is a. tastier and b. softer. The latter is excellent news for hair, skin and clothes. EXCELLENT!

Closer to the gym. I can go to workouts at all sorts of hours! I.e. regular Saturday morning workouts, yay! And Sundays too!

When I worry that I’m burning down the house with my hot tools, or that I forgot to lock the door, or when I actually do forget my lunch, I can go home and check/get it!

Traveling will be easier. Because you always travel south, and you always go from where I currently live to where I’m moving first.

I could visit the cats more often. Not that it’s something they give a fuck about. But you know. Anyway.

The general clearing out of things that is the unavoidable result of moving. It’d be great if I could learn to not gather so much stuff, but until that day…

100 day song challenge #55

#55 A song with great vocal harmonies

 

Can I argue that any song featuring vocals by Martin Gore has great vocal harmonies? Well I’m going to.

And anyway, there hasn’t been enough Anton Corbijn directed Depeche Mode videos in this challenge.

The Dave + Martin combo, it’s just vocal perfection.

If I could have a screen on my wall showing Anton’s Depeche Mode videos 24/7, and it wasn’t just a waste of energy, then I would. Especially the grainy videos he did for Depeche. The high visual quality we’re going for these days, I don’t get it. I want it dirty, grainy and dark.

On my wish list

I just got tickets to see Architects in June, so this year is saved, but it’d be kinda neat if the following could be arsed to come around these parts:

Northlane. Saw them last year when they opened for Amity Affliction. Needless to say, they were brilliant. And they just released a new album this morning, so it shouldn’t be completely impossible??

Casey. Again. Saw last year, was quite impressed. Because they’re quite active on social media they’re always on my mind. This social media thing, it truly is brilliant PR, they don’t even have to talk about their music, just make sure we keep thinking about them. Maybe Brighton this time?

Russell Brand. Yea, yea, he’s not a musician, but he is touring. Been before and it was lots of fun. But it was also Glasgow. No type gig sucks in Glasgow. Exception confirming the rule: Proclaimers.

Glasvegas. But to be fair, I’d settle for a record release date. Or you know, some news? Anything?

Editors. I have no excuse and am probably sick in the head. Just not a festival.

HIM. I love HIM but never been to see HIM, that’s just wrong. They’ll be touring this year and from the looks of it they’re going just about everywhere except here. And to Glasgow in December. That is where I draw the line. One cannot be going to Glasgow in December. Also it’s sold out so that’s one thing I don’t even have to consider…

Nine Inch Nails. I hear they’ve booked a couple of dates in the US. Is it too much to ask they also swing by Europe? I could expand “these parts” to include Berlin. For NIN anyway. Actually…Berlin’s current gig selection is looking pretty good already. So maybe Berlin regardless?

Was thinking that I’d just not go anywhere at all this year, to save money for wallpaper and such. But I am so easily distracted. Who needs wallpaper when I could go to Oslo to see Architects? I mean twice in a year, that’s…also not enough?

Greed. Such greed.

100 day song challenge #58

#58 A song you had to look up the lyrics to

That gives me a selection of just about all songs ever.

OK not quite, but I randomly look up the lyrics of songs I listen to. It doesn’t mean anything other than I’m terrible at hearing/paying attention to lyrics.

Here’s one I looked up the other day; Deaf Havana’s Subterranean Bullshit Blues.

Do I remember any more words than all I know is I’m wasting my time?

Nope. I do not. Looking up lyrics; pointless exercise.

 

..and in case you were wondering, no I did not burn down the house this time either. All (two) hot tools were neatly placed in the doorway so that I’d be able to see I’d pulled them out when walking out the front door. But clearly I didn’t look.

Preparing to move #1

So what if it’s 53+ weeks until I actually move, I need to prepare!

Very sensibly, I’m starting by trying to guess if I can bring all of my furniture. I am downsizing, from a 2-bedroom 65-square meter apartment to a one bedroom 54-square meter apartment, so it’s basically unlikely it’ll all fit.

I’m using a trick my mother told me: draw up the space, then draw up and cut out your furniture according to scale and simply see if they’ll fit.

Well acually, I just copied + enlarged the actual floor plan, because I’m not great with measurements.

(I’ve excluded chairs and some shelves, they take up like no space so what’s the point.)

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Floor plan

A few options:

Conclusion:

It would be best to get rid of a piece or two. Large desk and two chest of drawers are current candidates.

Piano. Can only go it I can fit it into the storage. I mean it fits, it’s just I don’t know if they’re planning on putting up shelves in that space or not. Or if I need it for other things.

..should probably abandon the idea of bringing it. Should probably look into selling it.

Another reason I should not be allowed straighteners

I am 95% sure I am burning down my house as we speak. Reasons:

Thought to myself last night, should straighten my hair now because that way I won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off the straightener when I leave the house. But I was too tired. It couldn’t be done. BTW. I go to bed at just after nine these days, that’s what the commuting has finally done to me. And I had to think about if I needed to move???

I’ve been distracted lately. Last night I spent a good half an hour looking for my phone to finally realize I’d left it in the car. That pretty much never happens. Did it once before. ONCE.

It is true that I frequently worry that I didn’t turn the straightener off. I’ve been out the door and had to turn around to go back and check. Never once has it been on.

Which is the main reason I didn’t turn back today. I was already in my car well on the way to work and it’s never on. It. Is. Never. On.

But. I didn’t do my usual routine. Because my head is a mess. I wasn’t doing things in order. So I’m not sure. I can’t remember if I turned it off. But then I never can.

I do remember this: I did think it’s not a good straightener. Which is why it’d be ironic if I burned down the house when I worried that I couldn’t possibly have left it on, when it’s not even a good straightener, and the final nail in the coffin, when I’ve typed out this post in an attempt to convince myself it’s not on. Becuase that is exactly how my life works.

Will I spend rest of day thinking about how I can escape work without anyone noticing? Yes, yes, yes. Will I manage to do so? No, no NO.

I’ll be keeping my phone nearby though. I’m expecting a call from the fire department aaaany minute now.