May wrap-up

May in Sweden. It’s kind of disappointing. Someone on Twitter made this striking observation “Do we even have seasons anymore or is it just on shuffle?” It was an insane mix of snow, sunshine, warm and cold. Just make up your mind!?! I can’t dress for this!

Listened to

Unbeliever and Red Eyes by Architects. New favorites (old tracks). Odds that they’re in the current/future setlist…? (Might be pretending I don’t know what’s in the setlist. Mebbe.)

Sea Change by Thrice. New Thrice track, and it’s such a treat! Surely we’re not so lucky it means a new album is in the works? It was just a one-off right? How does one get news about Thrice anyway?

Read

Storytel. Apparently my book streaming service of choice. Turns out I was wrong thinking audiobooks were definitely not for me, even if I’m on the distracted side as suspected. It’s also the one thing that’s currently keeping me “reading”.

Fördömd. Novel by Johanne Hildebrandt; clearly my favorite writer of all the writers. Was an excellent company on my walks.

Wore

Best eyeliner in a while:

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Clearly so rare it needs a special mention.

Come to think of it, it was in fact not in May but the end of April when I went to see Little Jinder, but never mind! Loved the outfit too, men’s camouflage hoodie + fave H&M shorts, biggest hoops I could wear and Vagabond boots. Sis has OK:ed for wearing to maybe a more appropriate occasion such as metal gig. (What’s the fun in that?! I’ll dig out some flowery dress or something such. Because being inappropriate is highly entertaining?)

Gave eyebrows another go. It’s as if I’m not meant to have eyebrows. Or I’m now so used to having no brows I just think it looks wrong (on me). May as well clear out all brow products. Not that I have many, but still.

Watched

Reign. On the one hand, Catherine is some sort if carrier of feminist ideas, on the other, all other women on this show are malnourished. Severely. I don’t particularly approve of this ambivalence. Surely it could have been avoided? And I miss Francis. They’re ignoring history anyway, couldn’t Bash die instead? They could just pretended that it was Francis because he wanted out of the whole being king deal. Or something! I dunno. It just makes no sense to ge rid of a perfectly good character like Francis and keep a pointless character like Bash.

The Handmaid’s Tale! 💕

And can we just quickly mention Twin Peaks…first two episodes, not bad. Third one. Third one I could just not get through and gave up. Mistake?

Food things

Red wine. As in tried to learn to love red wine (again, used to be v. v. fond of it) failed miserably. It just makes my stomach turn. And I’m not even talking about as a result of much wine, we’re talking one small glass (I don’t normally do small glasses of wine).

Cava. Might be even better than Sauvignon blanc. Had some Freixenet and it was amazing. And yes HI I’m a wino, what of it?

Protein. I’m all about the protein these days. Top 5 proteins (in no particular order): Bean pasta; which I like to add to bean dishes. Edamame beans; add to some rice, sprouts and roasted broccoli + mustard or wasabi and that’s all you need. Rice protein; add to pancakes. Sea weed tofu; add to purple cabbage, aubergine puree, mushrooms and pasta. Veggi fake meat; fry up with strong spices, add kale and roasted beets. Bit of roasted garlic mayo (Astrid & aporna ♥♥.)

Miscellaneous

Penntricket. I do still love Penntricket, but the episode where they collab with Lillelördag was kinda painful. I mean suuure, it aptly illustrates how some women are completely clueless when it comes to feminism, but that also means that they more or less had to step away from the feminist topic because you can’t discuss any topic with people who are not aware and apparently also lacking interest. The conversation just went in the wrong direction and never found its way anywhere near back.

Maria Nila. I hate it that Maria Nila is so expensive but so undeniably the best. I was using Lee Stafford’s heat protection, which works really well to keep your hair straight once you’ve straightened it. However. Turned the ends of my hair into all knots, basically, so I switched to the Maria Nila heat protective cream spray. It is good. Similarly, disappointed with Lush’s Retread conditioner, so, again, switching to Maria Nila.

Plans for June

  1. Architects! Just the one show, because I’m practicing moderation.
  2. Catch up on actual reading. I’ve got a week off work, is there anything better to do with a week off than try to get out of this reading slump?
  3. Spend quality time with cats.
  4. Resist the urge to book a trip because I’ve got no business going anywhere and it’s bad for the environment and my finances. And I should suffer. I’m sure it’s what I deserve.
  5. Last hair dye in a while. I love having red hair, but I hate how the dye stains literally everything for weeks afterwards. I can’t deal. But I’ve still got some dye left. So. One last time.

3 thoughts on Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

I was off to a slow start with Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It is a pretty straightforward retelling of the norse sagas and I’m not overly keen. To be honest. Mythology interests me just fine, the sagas for some reason not so much. Probably because a. the Norse gods are not likable, and b. their concerns are kind of foreign to present day people.

Despite the slow start, I got really into it. I would have liked the book to never end.

Can we have Neil Gaiman read all the books? I listened to the audiobook. Neil has one of the most pleasant voices there ever was. Sometimes even bordering on Alan Rickman. (Obvs another fave.)

The Aesir got what they deserved. I don’t know if it was the way Gaiman told it, but I just really felt for the Fenrir wolf; knowing they would lose in the end, it felt right.

Why aren’t any of the stories about the norns? I love the norns, the Norse version of the fates. My favorite characters of all the characters. Not even sure why that is, it’s not as if there’s a lot of info about them out there.

Actually. I’m currently reading a new interpretation of Norse mythology focusing on the female deities. I’m hoping it’ll shed some light on the norns. Because who cares about Frigg or Freya? No, not even Gaiman managed to make them anything like interesting.

Gaiman’s got a nice intrepretation/rendition of the norns in Sandman, which you really should read if you haven’t already. Not only because of the norns, but that is defnitely one reason of hundreds to pick it up.

Top Seven Sunday; Instant attraction

I’ve been meaning to finish this post for literally months. It’s really one of the Top Ten Tuesday topics from The Broke and the BookishTop ten things that will make me instantly want to read a book.

I’m just going to ignore the fact that I’m so late the party’s been over for a very, very long time now, and just get on with it anyway. Because I really did like this topic.

And because I’ve already written the post, I know this list does not include 10 things, but rather seven, so let’s keep with the alliteration and just call it what it is.

Disclaimer: I may want to instantly read a book for any of the following reasons, but there are still any number of things that will discourage me a second later.

Norse mythology. I have  a long-going Norse mythology obsession. To be fair, I’m quite interested in mythology in general; what I find most appealing about Norse mythology is that we seem to be missing pieces of the puzzle, it makes little sense at the best of times. Which means you can fill it with content of your choice. I love it when authors take the basic idea of Norse mythology and runs with it. Examples: The Valhalla Saga, Sandman, American Gods.

Music references. Not music in general, specifically music I know and/or love, obviously. This also applies to fictive music, e.g. books set in a music industry context that also manage to be convincing, such as How to kill a rockstar. Other examples: Röta, Eleanor & Park, The Sex Revolts.

University setting. I’m a sucker for university setting. I was even before I started working at uni. Examples: You had me at hello, Rebell med frusna fötter, Fördömd – I also hear Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story is set at uni. I keep meaning to read it for that very reason.

Feminist satire. Is there anything better? Examples: Egalia’s Daughters, Hur man botar en feminist (English: How to cure a feminist), Jag är din flickvän nu (English: I’m your girlfriend now).

Feminist anything. In general. Fiction and non-fiction alike. I will give anything a go, the problem is, there are writers with faulty understanding of what feminism is, i.e. writer and me are not on the same page = they are wrong, and that will make me stop reading. I prefer feminist works of what people would probably call radical or extreme. A few favorites: Feminist Political Theory, Dirty Weekend, The End of Men, The Women’s Room, Det kallas manshat (English: It’s called hating men).

Well-written biographies. I don’t limit myself to people I know/like. I do prefer music bios about musicians I like, but I will read about just about anyone. At the same time, I’m quite particular when it comes to the quality of the writing. Which is unfortunate in this genre, as it tends to be a poorly written genre. And yes, I will immediately want to read if a reviewer says it’s a good bio. Can’t seem to learn that in general, reviewers and me don’t have the same idea of what constitutes a good bio. Examples: Scar tissue, The Heroin Diaries, It’s So Easy, The Long Hard Road out of Hell.

Books that put interesting historical figures (fictive or real) in new contexts. For example if you make up a story Karin Boye, or Medea. I know I’ve read several books like this but right now I can only remember Texts from Jane Eyre.

Preparing to move; Decluttering my record collection

This getting rid of most of my CD:s business is way harder than I thought.

I have started. I did a first cut. And a second.

(Why am I showing yout this? I don’t even want to see this myself.)

Explanation: CD:s placed horizontally are the ones I’m getting rid of. While I’ve made some definite progress using the following mantra: Will I ever pick this recod out to play it in the car? Yes > keep, No > throw.

Number of records I’m keeping: far larger number than I care to count.

Let’s distract ourselves with my tiny vinyl collection instead. It’s been kept under excellent control, making decluttering a piece of cake.

Really. If I made any sense, I’d get rid of the lot; my record player has been in storage for years. But one simply does not throw out:

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Did you know Sisters of Mercy’s  First and last and always actually has a better sound on vinyl than any other format? Yea. That’s just an attempt at an excuse. I have literally no excuses. I just really like it. Throwing it out would be blasphemy. (I have my own religion, OK?) In short, I ♥ First and last and always. And you should too.

If you haven’t already, give the title track a listen. You won’t regret it! Promise!

Ach Andrew Eldrich. Such a lovely voice.

Similarly, if you listen to Janis Joplin and own Janis vinyls and you don’t just get rid of them. You just don’t. In addition, this one is actually my mum’s, so you know, permanent fixture in my life until something truly horrific happens.

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Another must have, Bruce, you don’t throw Bruce out:

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In general, I don’t listen to Neil Young, Harvest is the one exception, and I love it.

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The next one was one of the very first albums I ever owned/stole from parents/listened to, plus, I just really like this artwork. And I do still like the record. It’s a keeper.

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Coincidentally, Marie Fredriksson is also featured on this lovely covers records, which otherwise reads as the Swedish 80s rock elite sing songs by folk singer Cornelis Vreesvijk, which probably sounds awful but it is truly brilliant. Also a steal from my parents; wouldn’t feel right to throw it out.

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…I might be keeping this next Echo and the Bunnymen record on account of the fact that the cover is by Anton Corbijn. And I like it. As good a reason as any?

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Speaking of which, artwork is the only reason I’m keeping this record by The Churches. I can’t even remember a single song on it. But I love the cover.

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Obviously, you need your AC/DC Highway to Hell on vinyl, keeping.

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And it makes absolutely no difference that I probably haven’t listened to these Hole 7″s since I was in my 20s. Never throwing out. You’ll have to pry them out of my cold dead hands.

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So there you have it. A study in unreasonable.

I did also get rid of a bunch. What I’ve got left is just a few stray copies, completely manageable. Even if makes no sense to keep a format I’m not actively using.

Did I mention that I fail at minimalism?

A discussion on a recent H&M purchase

Don’t you just love it that regular stores, such as H&M, stocks band tees? I recently made this little find in the men’s section:

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A BMTH tee with a big fucking bird on + one Manson tee from the Smells Like Children era (♥♥♥) that I found in the men’s section when I was looking for a new hoodie (how else does one find a reasonably sized hoodie??)

Forgot all about the hoodie. Manson!? BMTH!? In regular nice-to-the-touch material?! GET IN MY CLOSET NAOW.

Despite being an overgrown fangirl, I don’t own a lot of merch. For that very reason. The quality of merch is just disappointing. Or maybe it’s not quality, but the fabric used is often unpleasant and fit horrible, no matter what size you get. (Apparently making a regular tee is an art?)

I’d be more than happy to live my life in merch if it’s a fabric that’s pleasant on the skin. Because it makes sense for me to support the groups I like in any way possible. Even if I much prefer the strategy used by Neubauten known as the Supporter Project.

Band tees at H&M, makes me happy no end. Sure, the selection of bands isn’t great. Unless you like Metallica, GN’R and/or Nirvana. …which I suppose most people do. Well, beside the point.

The point is. Why is whether or not H&M and the likes should be allowed to stock band tees a topic of discussion?

Is it because it makes life too easy?

Is the problem that little girls will be able to wear what you wear and that would somehow make you uncool by association…? Is that it?

The way I see it, it’s just one more way for your fave band to make a living. If people who don’t even like your fave band also throw money at them, well then that’s great right? Means they can keep making the music even if they don’t have the biggest audience. You should be happy?

Or or could it because it can be interpreted as false advertisement? That liking a band is a skill and only those in possession of this skill should be allowed to wear the merch? In which case, where should you draw the line? Do you have to love also their very first demo? And how do you deal with the records the band itself doesn’t like much anymore?

This is a nonsensical discussion.

Personally I’m jealous. I also want to wear merch of bands I don’t know/like. I mean I only wish I could look past the fact that however much I’ve tried I do not like Metallica. Their merch tho, not so bad looking. Mainly because that logo, it was a stroke of genius. But you could not pay me.

If H&M keeps this up I won’t have to shop elsewhere ever. Makes life simple. In short, I approve!

Vegan protein banana pancakes

You might have noticed I’m a bit obsessed with pancakes. Tiny bit.

Most recent version was a result of the following:

Watched a video about PCOS. Person in video claimed that if you suffer from PCOS you should count calories for 3 days, because that is knowledge you need. How many cals you consume on a daily basis. My Ed*: Counting calories you say!? We must!

I know this makes no sense. Not only because lousy reason but because:

a) I don’t have PCOS, I have PCO, not the same.
b) Even my PCO status is unclear, currently bleeding approximately every 2 months, highly regular for being me.
c) Nobody needs to count calories ever.

But I’m at a place right now where I’m listening to Ed. I get Lifesum (again) been using (far longer than 3 days).

Lifesum will also show you percentages of carbs, protein and fat.

In general, I strongly believe you don’t need to make special efforts to get protein into your diet if you’re vegan. Who ever heard of anyone dying from protein deficiency around these parts?? Nobody that’s who. It doesn’t happen. Make sure to have some B12 supplements, and iron if you’re struggling with iron uptake, the latter goes for any diet, and you’re good to go!

Despite this, my reaction is 10% protein!? My hair will fall out! Clearly, what I do suffer from is anxiety. And a bad case of unreasonable.

I’m upping my protein like a woman possessed.

Here’s an easy way to pack 20 g of protein into one (vegan) meal:

Find yourself a nice protein powder. My choice: a rice protein, because it doesn’t taste anything. Take 20 g of your protein powder of choice, 30 g flour, 1 tsp baking soda, pinch of salt, 1 banana, 50 g soygurt, if you want a thick batter, if not, use water or any type plant milk instead. Optional: bit of flaxseeds.

You could mix by hand, but I prefer using a blender.

Gives you about 5 small pancakes. And yes, they’re supposed to look like that. I ♥ rustic.

Serve with raspberries sprinkled with a wee bit of ginger, maybe a bit of agave and cinnamon.

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________________
*Ed is a pet name for eating disorder.

3 thoughts on Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Do we need a defense of the male chest hair? Do we? Really? An entire section about how men shouldn’t remove chest hair? I feel it is only fair that they should have to concern themselves with unsightly body hair too. I mean if we’re going to.

I don’t get American comedy. Mindy lists her favorite moments in comedy and I’m staring blankly. I’m slightly disappointed. UK comedy, you don’t like it? No? You know about it? Like really, how is there nothing UK on there??? (Yea yea, with the exception of Gervais, but he just doesn’t count.)

She has the best reason for not engaging in the debate on whether or not women are funny: it’s a nonsensical argument. Just like that. Of course it is! Just like so many things; they keep trying to distract us from the issue at hand with stupid debates that have no bearing and are beside the point. This strategy can be applied in any number of scenarios. In any discussion about women, always question whether or not it’s relevant. 9 times out of 10 it is not. Use your right to simply not engage. If you must, make up similarly inane arguments.

And if you’re wondering if this is a book worth reading I’d say the answer is undoubtedly yes.

3 songs called England

When I ws younger I was always annoyed at songs having the same title. Especially songs that are popular to any extent. Like really, do you lack imagination completely??

I’ve since grown to enjoy this trait. It makes for a fun an simple exercise in comparison.

Obviously, there is more than one song called England. Here’s three I find in my playlists:

PJ Harvey. Actually, if you’re going to listen to one of these, don’t listen to this one.

The National. You’re much better off listening to The National’s EnglandPut an ocean and a river. Between everything, yourself, and home.

Deaf Havana. This is by far my favorite. Not least because I listened to this track, specifically the lines: ‘Cause the world isn’t old as a vampire. England just might be
‘Cause it wears me out, drains the joy thinking Why is he trash-talking England, that seems mean! (My love for the UK is unreasonable, I know.)

And that is how I found out this is an English band. Was so sure they were from the US.

What I’ve been watching on Netflix

I go through periods where I subscribe to different (video) streaming services; I’m a notoriously disloyal customer. Currently, I’m on a Netflix subscription, because I ♥ Reign.

So far I’ve watched:

Reign. It did not disappoint. I feel that if you’re one of the (unfortunately quite few) people who’s fallen for this series you’re going to like this final season too. It has managed to retain its identity quite well, unlike say Vikings, which I just don’t get at all anymore. Not sure I like what they’ve done to Elizabeth though. They’ve made her into a petty woman; was that really necessary? Also not a fan of the fact that in order to be cast in this show you apparently cannot be a day older than 16 and have a malnourished physique. The character Catherine basically makes up for it tho, she’s mean and old and clearly feminist, challenges a fair number gender stereotypes. And did I mention she’s mean? I do so love the female villain.

How to Be Single. I’m confused as to what this movie is trying to say. But that could well be because it didn’t keep my attention particularly well.

New Girl. I mentioned binge watching here, even though I’m not exactly in love with it, it’s been good for background noise.

The Americans. I used to love this series so much. Right now. I need to remind myself to watch it, and 9 times out of 10 I’m just not in the mood.

Diana. The Naomi Watts rendition. I swear I did give it a chance but oh God. It was not good.

Santa Clarita Diet. I dunno. My interest was purely based on the fact that Drew is in it. Turns out that is not enough of a reason to actually like it. Even if I did finish watching all the episodes available. Mainly because I wanted to see where the hell they were going. Not convinced they know where they’re going.

The Matrix Trilogy. Well I tried. Because I recalled really liking it back in the day. Started watching the first movie. Yeah. That was a no go. Did not even get far at all.

Stepmom. You know the Susan Sarandon + Julia Roberts movie? Not as good as I remember it.

I’m giving up. I don’t know what else there is to watch. Nothing catches my interest.

So. I’m cancelling my subscription to switch back to the horrible HBO Nordic. Apparently that’s where you can watch The Handmaid’s Tale. Obvs a favorite book of mine (feminist and dystopia you say!?! Actually I think my mum pushed it on me aaages ago, her taste in books is flawless), and obvs v. v. interested for that very reason. But also. I keep hearing people who’ve watched it saying it’s true horror, which makes me even more interested. Need to binge it asap!

A book I might have read before?

Do you ever struggle to remember which books you’ve read? Because I do. Quite a lot actually.

More than once I’ve opened a book, started to read and gotten quite far before going Wait, hold on, this is very familiar!?!

This time though, I cannot decide if I did read this book before and remember it all wrong, or if it just makes me think of another novel. No idea which.

And that is why it’s good to own book. Usually, you can tell by the book if it’s been read or not.

So not doing myself any favors by starting to use a streaming service for audiobooks. But that’s what I’ve done.

I’ve never been drawn to audiobooks. My reasons:

  1. I like the written word. Texts; big fan.
  2. The selection has up until now done nothing for me. I don’t do crime.
  3. It’s more expensive than Spotify. That makes no sense to me.
  4. I’m so very easily distracted.

But! The selection has improved, and I’m just about trying anything to get out of this reading slump. Even if I’m distracted, I’ll probably be able to listen to most of the book…? And, excellent company for when you’re out spazieren, which I do quite a lot now that it’s not winter.

Obvious first choice of book: a book by Johanne Hildebrandt called Fördömd [English: Damned] I somehow haven’t read yet. Maybe?

The story is basically a feminist take on Indiana Jones set in Sweden with a bit of The Exorcist thrown in for good measure. It’s a lovely read. Bonus points for including university drama.

Now. In my mind, I seem to recall one of the characters, who’s this goth type girl with a keen interest in demons. And I seem to remember having read a book where this character more or less accidentally summoned a demon for some stupid reason and then me being upset about this because it seemed like goth prejudice. Or something to that effect. I should ask my sister, because she was the poor unfortunate soul subjected to my rage, the way I remember it anyway.

It’s not what happens in this book though. But I could well be remembering it wrong.

Also. I kind of did fall asleep during the final fight so I’m not sure what happened. I would have rewinded, it’s just, it was the third time I fell asleep listening to the damned book and trying to figure out at what point I fell asleep turned out to be such a hassle.

The other two times I spent a significant time listening to parts I’d already listened to because I couldn’t remember at what point I became unconscious.

I knew that would happen.

I’ve already started a new book, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Fallen asleep twice. Not because it’s boring! Heavens no. It’s just I’m so damned tired but still thinking just a few minutes. Maybe I’ll get the hang of it. Eventually.

Either way. I think I’ll have to get a paper copy of Fördömd. It was that good.