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books, life

End of year summary; Favorite reads

You know when you schedule yourself for a workout class but spend considerable time looking for an excuse not to go?

I’ve found the perfect excuse: spending more time looking for an excuse to not go to the gym than you would actually spend at the gym in itself is a reason not to go. For the sake of your sanity.

There is literally no way I’d enjoy it, and then what’s the point?

So I’m skipping it and spending my time catching up on my tea-drinking and listing my top 8 reads of 2016.

Far less easy than the albums of the year list.

Top 8 reads of 2016

Estrid by Johanne Hildebrandt. Because it has all that I love: feminism, mythology, Vikings, a well-thought out language.

Uppgång & Fall by Liv Strömquist. Because she tells us about important things we need to know in an easily accessible way. The fact that she’s funny too is just a bonus.

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky. This idea is just going to stick with me forever. It’s pure brilliant; that if fangirls really put their minds to it, there is nothing they can’t do. Overthrow governments? Piece of cake. If only that’s what they’d use their power for.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham. Again, the idea of this book appeals to me such a lot. Because it’s about knowing your days are numbered and still only wanting what everyone else wants, messing up like the rest of us; not finding the love of your life and traveling the world. Any unhappy story about the imperfection of people; ♥♥♥.

Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny. (Her name is so confusing! I can never remember which is her first and which her last name.) Non-fiction feminism; funny and accessible.

Blythewood by Carol GoodmanI’m so in love with her school settings, the worlds she creates and the creatures in them. There’s definitely a pattern to her stories, the good news is, if you like this pattern you will love all of her books.

Hur man botar en feminist by Nanna JohanssonFeminists have the best sense of humor. Need I say more?

Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen. Not quite through this book yet, but I quickly went from WTF is this? Tails!!?? to just being completely caught up in the story. I don’t want to ever leave this world; cursing myself for not adding part 2 to my cart in my last book order.

So apparently, I like my music by men and my books by women? I’m going to call that a trade-off and stop feeling bad about the horrible male dominance of my listening habits.

xo,

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life, movies

Let’s talk about snow

I finally got around to watching Before the Flood – if like me you’ve been putting it off, no need to. Yes it’s a serious subject but they’ve made it such an easy watch, even if I do feel kind of embarrassed about my own ignorance.

For example, I had no idea that there are people who don’t believe in global warming – as if it was a matter of belief and not science – and who are also allowed to broadcast this view to millions of people – and not as a joke. I’m just speechless.

Also didn’t know China is making large investments in renewable energy. Doesn’t that give you some sort of hope for the future?

These things aside.

I’m bothered. I’m bothered by the argument that we have to take care of this planet so that future generations get to see snow.

There are so many valid arguments, this one however. If I never saw snow again it’d be too soon.

Let’s have a look out my window.

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Started snowing on Thursday. This is where we’re currently at. It hasn’t snowed this early for a few years. NOTE. I do not consider this evidence of global warming being a lie, myth or similar. I’m stupid but I’m not that stupid. I’m just complaining that we’re not as lucky this year as last year.

I know there are places with far more snow by this time of year, this isn’t exactly the polar circle (let me just google it real quick to verify; yes, good, it’s not).

That being said.

Only people who don’t live with snow would think that this is a climate people should experience. Honestly. The human being; not made for snow. I spend winters worrying about suddenly finding myself in Andrée’s expedition. I.e. sudden collapse of our infrastructure, snowed in, no electricity, heat or contact with the outside world AND WE DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY POLAR BEARS TO EAT??!!

I’m on board with the whole we need snow because no snow = polar circles will melt and all hell will break lose; I get it. But we’re not going to save the planet so that people can enjoy snow. We’ve got no business being in places with any amount of snow.

OK then. Breathe.

Let’s sum this rant up; saw Before the Flood, loved it. Go watch it if you haven’t! Yes that’s an order.

PS. it is also excellent vegan propaganda. We all need a bit more of that. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, as an individual, there is hardly anything better you can do for the environment than going vegan. But, as pointed out by Liv Strömquist (and I’m sure millions of others), our current environmental problems aren’t going to be solved by individual choices. I.e. doesn’t matter which tomato you pick at the supermarket. Cause for relief and despair all at once I’m sure. What we need is political change. 

Also. If being vegan seems daunting, apply Roxane Gay’s approach to feminism; I’d rather be a bad vegan than not vegan at all. That’s what I do. 

And I’m not a fan of snow.

That’s all, bye now!

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books, favorites, life, music

October favorites

I’m swapping my weekly summaries for the classic monthly favorites. Becuse time, time is currently an issue. Anyway. Here we go!

Music

I’m still enjoying Architects, Amity Affliction and Bring Me more than what seems reasonable. But I’ve also been loving Northlane’s Node and EditorsIn Dream.

The new Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire track Violet is everything you’d want from Roddy.

New faves tho; Novelists. Hopefully I’ll love them for longer than a week.

Books

Clothes + makeup

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I love combining red and pink. Since dying my hair a reddish type shade I’ve been loving wearing the pink shades in the Makeup Revolution Chocolate Vice palette and just anything pink.

And knits! The necessity to survive this month. And what I needed to get back to loving the cooler weather; should have started wearing the knits sooner.

Other faves: the NYX Lingerie Beauty Mark + NYX blush in Coraline

Social media

Ah yes, the month of Vlogtober. I already mentioned it, but I have been enjoying Leila Buffery’s vlogs.

Food

Vigårda; my new fave eatery in Stockholm: vegan burger + sweet potato fries. Bonus points for their white wine, a lovely Sauvignon blanc for a mere SEK 55  (basically a steal for being Sweden), and let’s not forget about the lovely elderflower + gin drink for the same price. Again; cheap. And good!

This bar, it’s what got me through my Sthlm + Gbg weekend.

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Can’t quite figure why it has no vegan stamp of approval. Am I not reading it right?

Series/movies

I’m currently watching YouTube only. But, while on the topic, since the release of this Gilmore Girls trailer I’m looking forward to the new season really a lot:

Question: I did watch a movie or two. Nothing worth mentioning, except for, I finally caved and watched Fault in Our Stars because I wanted to see something sad. …didn’t exactly think it was sad. At all. Just really awful. There was literally nothing about it that I did like. Maybe that’s just me.

Miscellaneous

Can I mention Architects again? Yes I can! Probably my favorite thing of all the things this month; Architects live.

Plans for November

  1. Go to Glasgow; have lots of fun.
  2. Go to Stockholm; see Bring Me the Horizon.
  3. Dye my hair redder still.

xo,

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liv strömquist uppgång & fall
books, challenge

Reading challenge; A satirical book

Having read a review of Liv Strömquist’s Uppgång & Fall (Rise & Fall) at DN.se I immediately threw myself at it. Not only does it fit the reading challenge perfectly; I already know and love Liv’s work. I just wasn’t exactly up to date on her publishing schedule.

Anyway.

I was not disappointed; it is truly brilliant.

It’s a comic book, which makes it all the more genius because it makes satire more easily accessible for political morons like myself. Which surely is the target audience?

I read this book and thought to myself Bless her for taking the time to explain this to us. If that comes out as sounding sarcastic, it’s not, I really do mean it.

These are some of the things she explains:

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Oh you know what it’s like, this talk about how the Western culture is all wrong.

Despite popular belief, the Western world excels at living in the now. Basically, there is no other way to explain our abuse of the Earth’s resources.

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I think can stop global warming all by myself by buying this organic tomato! // I don’t think politicians have to enact a single law or for a second consider “constant growth” or make any restrictions to our lifestyles…I think the free market will sort out this global warming issue all on its own!

And no, our environmental issues are not going to be solved by individual choices. Choosing organic tomatoes just isn’t going to cut it, nor is the free market. If anyone ever believed that.

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She’s a dope fiend – why didn’t you just say so?!

She talks at length about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Finally arriving at the conclusion that it’s all a result of Ayn being a dope fiend. The relief I feel that there is one more book in this world I need not bother with.

liv strömquist uppgång & fall

Well, it’s because through hedge funds, which is what Chris works with, you can make money on making other people poor! E.g. by something called short selling

She explains the problem with Chris O’Neill. Or really, why we should stop worrying about our monarchy and focus on what it is that this man actually does for a living. Probably not him as an individual as much as the fact that there are people in this world making money on making other people poor.

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4. Lost in master-slave morality

She explains why The Left Party seems completely unable to grow. I’m particularly convinced by her master–slave morality argument.

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Eradicte extreme wealth

Finally, she explains that, again, our focus is all wrong, we should be focusing on eradicating extreme wealth, not poverty. FacePalm. I need more reads like this in my life.

Your fangirl,

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books, life, music, tag

October blog challenge 2016 part 1 of 5

Lise is doing this challenge, which seemed like fun so I thought I’d join.

While I have no concerns what so ever about spamming your feed (Hello, Captain Obvious here, how can I help you?), since October is already well on its way and since I’ve got posts planned for..well most days to be honest, it’s going to be a weekly affair.

Today we’re going through 1–7.

 

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ONE. October goals

I don’t do goals. I am severely uninterested in competition and thusly goals. You have no idea the extent to which the line WE’RE GOING NOWHERE appeals to me. I’m just pure impulse. No, it’s not great. But you know, people don’t change (Nick Cave says, so it must be true); I’ve long since accepted that this is who I am.

Not that I’m not aware I should have goals, I’m sure I should structure my workouts, work on finding a job that doesn’t bore the life out of me, drink less tea, practice mindfulness, just make a goddamn effort in all sorts of areas in order to reach one destination or another…but what’s the fun in that?

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TWO. OOTD

Today is Sunday, this is my standard uniform for weekends:

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leggings // over-sized tee // over knee socks + warmer pair socks

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THREE. Story behind my blog name

Weeellll..to paraphrase one of my fave bands when asked about their name; it leaves all doors open. If they wanted to start crooning, they could. I.e., if I wake up tomorrow and feel the urge to croon, I could. Or you know, write about people who croon. It’s just a name with no particular connotations.

…let’s pretend it wasn’t just pure lack of imagination. And lack of goal. Do I have to specify I’ve pretty much no idea what I’m doing? I have no idea what I’m doing. OK. There.

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FOUR. Who inspires you

Lots of people inspire me all the time. Because I’m easily distracted and excel at the art of being a fangirl.

Currently, a main inspiration is Roxane Gay. I’ve just read her Bad Feminist and I find her ideas and writing truly inspiring. Almost makes me want to embark on an academic career. Almost. What stops me: knowing that with this type of writing that I do, you’re not meant for academia. Also, kinda think you need to be goal oriented to do academia. ALSO, just spoke to someone doing a licentiate this very week, he wasn’t exactly raving about it.

Getting off track as per usual…

In general, I’m quite inspired by people who dare to be different and who have a bit of a oh fuck it attitude. Oh and bitter and angry feminists in general. They are my heroes, the lot of them.

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FIVE. 5 things about you

  1. I have the worst blood circulation; I live in a pretty much constant state of freezing.
  2. I live in fear of people with social skills trying to engage me in conversation. Social morons like myself is fine; I can carry on a conversation with people like that. Mostly. But with people who expect certain things out of a conversation, I’m just going to disappoint, making one and all uncomfortable. They’ve got themselves to blame tho, there is nothing about me that reads open for conversation. 
  3. You know when you call some sort of service function and you get to talk to someone who’s positively hostile and you’re left wondering just WTF that person is doing working there? Yeah. Hi. That’s me.
  4. I’m deeply offended by the following assumptions:
  • That I drink coffee.
  • That I don’t eat bread (i.e. trying to avoid carbs and for the record NO, I ♥ carbs).
  • That I like Disturbed. Or Metallica for that matter.
  • That Pinterest thinks I’m interested in Johnny Depp. I’m sure he’s a lovely fellow, but he’s as irrelevant to me as I am to him, you know? Now give me pics of ppl in metalbands! Or at least Oli Sykes. Please?
  • That I don’t know In Flames. I ♥ In Flames, OK?
  1. I still dream of having TRez’s shoulder muscles, you know, the ones in the Hurt video. It’s not a goal; is a completely unrealistic dream.

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SIX. Thankful Thursday

I find this being thankful thing quite difficult. It’s too positive. I’m not overly fond of positive. I much prefer bitter and negative; shocking right?! You never saw that coming, never heard it before.

Also. Who am I supposed to thank, really?

Let’s just say. At this moment in time, I feel fortunate that I am in a position to lead a fairly comfortable life, that I’m happy with where I’m living, that my work allows me time off at any sort of random time, which enables me to see bands play. I also feel fortunate that I don’t consider the fact that I’m really too old for this type behavior a problem at all.

Again, who am I thanking? The Fates..? I’d be OK with the Fates.

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SEVEN. A day in life

GOOD MORNING. Matching my socks with me eye make; giving the terrible shorts another shot at proving themselves. POSITIVE my neighbors are thrilled about my choice of music at this hour, starting the day with some Architects; Alpha Omega.

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ON THE BUS. Last few pages of Roxane Gay + The Amity Affliction keeps me company.

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BREAKFAST. At work. What a sad affair. But hey, I’ve got raspberries, banana and a cup of good herbal. Listening to Editors.

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SLOW START. Trying to get some proofing done. Giving Helios a go. It’s not bad.

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STARING AT CREDIT TRANSFER. You want to transfer credits from the course you’re currently taking to well, the course you’re currently taking. YOU CAN’T TRANSFER CREDITS ON THE SAME COURSE. How am I the only person getting that?!!?? Course coordinator already OK:ed the application so now I’m going to have to sort this shit out. Playlist returned to default and is playing me Architects again.

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MIXING TEA, WAITING FOR TEXT TO PROOF. First cup of the day (herbal doesn’t count). This corner of my desk, it’s the focal point of my workday. Gawd the exciting life I lead. Playlist has found me some of the Editor’s latest release. Will have to make an effort soon.

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LUNCH. What will it be!?! Exciting! Grabbed the last frozen meal I had in my freezer no idea what it is. Fingers crossed it’s not just chickpeas.

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Score! Roasted broccoli, pureed aubergine, kidney beans and pasta. Spent rest of lunch hour searching HappyCow for places to eat in Gothenburg.

AFTERNOON. No internet, more tea, message from person with text that it’s not coming after all (editing is taking longer than expected he says, me: really), listening to Balance & Composure, because a certain singer in a certain band just tweeted that they were good. It’s a bit of hit and miss, sometimes he’s spot on sometimes…we just don’t have the same taste at all. This is not bad, but for the time being, I’ve got other preferences.

The afternoon wasn’t completely wasted, found a recipe for bean pesto. Bean pesto! Genius stuff. Not that I’m going to follow a recipe, but I’ll do something similar.

LEFT WORK EARLY. Had taken stock of my knits the night before and decided that I could use a couple more. Threw some money at a store that wasn’t H&M for a change.

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BUS HOME. Liv Strömquist’s latest comic book keeping me company. Might have been some more listening to a certain band starting with an A. Starting to feel like a guilty pleasure it is.

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FORCED MYSELF TO MAKE DINNER. This week has been impossible. Dinner has been raw veggies + Ryavita all week because cooked meal, who can stand it!? Today my brain was all about the peas. It wanted nothing but peas. Finally convinced it pasta + peas + some asparagus + half an avocado and cabbage roasted in mustard was a good idea. The wine was also quite good.

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CLEANING. Was a bit lazy and only cleaned half the apartment while listening to Thrice on loud, lifting weights in between.

WATCHED LAGGIES. And then I was off to bed.

PS. If anyone knows why it’s called Laggies and/or what that means, feel free to inform me. I’m. Confused.

xo,

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books, face paint, favorites, life, music

Weekly wrap up; Birthday week

Like the introvert I am I don’t particularly like to mention my birthday at all. Might draw attention to myself. The. Horror. 

In this context though, I feel it needs to be mentioned. Because I set out to have just a little bit of a decadent week. So you know, I did this on purpose.

I started by ignoring my reading challenge and reread 2 of my favorite booksBlixa Bargeld’s Europa kreuzweise and Tiffanie DeBartolo’s How to kill a rockstar. The latter is one ridiculous novel, and from a feminist POV it’s… well garbage is probably an appropriate word, if you want to be nice you’d say it’s problematic, regardless I do love it.

Bargeld’s book always makes me want to have a glass of wine, a glass of wine, a glass of wine. So I did. Have wine. Many glasses.

And apparently, there shall be more wine. Because sis gave me my fave type wine glasses.

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Watched the No more shall we part recording session documentary for the 5784th time. The Blixa again, main reason to watch this. His dancing, his pin stripe suit + fuchsia tie, his throwing a fit when The guitar is not in my headphones.

Then I bought lots of makeup I don’t need. A matte Sleek palette + the ever so popular Sleek highlighter palette Solstice, as well as two NYX Lingerie; Beauty Mark + Corset. Having tried it all out, I was very happy with my purchases.

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Provided me with a new fave combo makeup; the shade Orbit from the Sleek eyeshadow palette + the NYX Lingerie in Corset. Fave makeup of the week easy.

While at H&M, I just couldn’t resist buying even more makeup. Necessity doubtful: one H&M yellow matte eyeshadow and 2 H&M mascaras. I ♥ H&M as Blixa would say. In Europa kreuzweise. If he liked H&M at all. I’m suspecting no. PS. mascaras work for ppl with sensitive eyes + if you want to buy CF. Just saying.

If I bought clothes while at H&M? Do you have to ask? 3 tops + 1 long cardi, and then also 1 pair of low-waist jeans from Monki (please come back in style, this high-waist shit does not work well for me); which is practically H&M if we’re being honest. No shorts tho, boo. I really wanted more shorts. Wanted; not needed.

On Wednesday, instead of a workout and dinner, I had a few pieces of liquorice + big glass of wine → early bed. Zero fucks given. And I’m sure the best way to treat a migraine.

Treated myself to some straightened and volumized (is that a thing?) hair. I’ve missed my hot tools. I ♥ hot tools.

9 o’clock workout on Saturday morning. Might sound awful but it is my fave. I’d do it every week if I lived in the same city as this gym. Bonus: they played My Chem at the workout. Finally! A track that makes sense.

I ordered books; part 2 in Carol Goodman’s Blythewood series, Johanne Hildebrandt’s EstridLiv Strömqvist’s Uppgång & fall – in addition to which I was gifted 4 books.

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Yesss. That might just be the final nail in the coffin for my reading challenge. I’ve got all these books to read! I ain’t got time for no challenge. I’ll see if I can be creative, but if no, then the challenge has got to go.

Soundtrack of the week:

New discovery via the Spotify Discover weekly; track that convinced me: Salvation. Really, my soundtrack should have been vi är så nära nu, det är så långt kvar; i.e. Den brända jorden by Jonathan Johansson. Because that’s what it feels like. This month cannot end soon enough.

 

xo,

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