Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy new year!

And so, yet another year has come to an end. Another year of experiencing and learning, a year of disappointments and discoveries. As the fireworks burn off we remember the year, cherish and regret, then forget all about it and make promises for the new one. Although most of those resolutions will be broken within weeks. New year’s is not a chance to start fresh. Your life wont turn over with as the date does – most of us will do the same things with the same people in the same area. Rather, I think of January as a time when a lot of people try to improve. That’s not a bad thing! Resolutions should serve as reminders of what we want to achieve, however distant. And to be fair, most people seem to try at least. It’s indescribably cliché, still I think that is the important part of New year’s resolutions.

My life has changed a lot this year. I have changed, for better or worse. That is to a large part thanks to karate. After the first session last January I was STUCK. Karate is more than just a sport, it’s a kind of philosophy. Mental challenges as well as physical. I had to be disciplined, persistent and concentrate. I grew more confident as I got to know myself, and few new people.

This year, I started writing a lot more. This blog is proof of that.

Most importantly, this is the year I quit eating meat. Here’s why.

For the new year..? Instead of the mainstream be-healthy-be-happy-resolution (with its many variations), my resolution is this: Learn to control my temper. Sometimes I blame my bitch-when-hungry-gene, sometimes my Irish heritage, sometimes stupid people and sometimes mean people. However, I suspect that it might be possible to stay nice and happy most of the time, despite overwhelming proof it’s not my fault if I go berserk. This year, I will exercise my karate patience even when I’m not in the dojo. It won’t be easy. It won’t be fulfilled immediately. It might be forgotten. Yet I’m gonna try, and work for it.

Happy new year everyone!

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Quote

Quote of the day

You know what “normal” is..? A setting on a washing machine. Nobody wants to be that.

Ashley Purdy

Autumn vs fall

Aren't these trees gorgeous?

Aren’t these trees gorgeous?

At the age of 14, I’ve already spent uncountable hours studying language. I’m confident enough to put stuff I’ve written on the net, still there is so much left to learn. I love English and I’m grateful for having gotten the opportunity to learn it, for being able to communicate with people on the other side of the Atlantic. Still, I’ve often cried over verbs, cursing my teacher for putting me through it.

Learning a new language is not easy. Although there sometimes are similarities to my native Swedish, English is still weird. There are hundreds of grammatical rules, of which none has anything to do with logic. I wrench my tongue trying to create the foreign sounds and they still won’t come out right. There are more words than could be crammed into a dictionary of reasonable size. It’s full of homonyms, strange prepositions and general uncomfort, still it’s THE most important language.

One of the biggest difficulties English learners find is the many accent. If a person from Texas and one from Yorkshire have trouble understanding each other, how are we supposed to understand them both? I’m not sure wether the English know, but they never pronounce words like they should. Take the word “horse” for instance. In school, at the age of eight, I was taught to pronounce it “hoors”, without the e, and the o-sound as in salt or shore. It took a few years before I found out that British people skip the h and r as well as the e – “oos”. The o-sound is the same, but everything else seem to vanish. American english is a bit easier to understand – “eoors”. Not always though: “wate” is more similar to its original form (water) than “wooder”.

Indian and Australian accents belong to a completely different category, which can only be sniffed upon when the first two are already mastered. I haven’t gotten there yet.

When learning English, you have to choose what type you want to speak – a mixture of Swedish, British and American won’t be accepted once you’re more advanced. Every teacher has their own version, so at some point you have to find the right accent by yourself. This can be tricky, as no one wants to be associated with either stereotype; the arrogant, posh English or the fat, lazy American.

Of course, both English and Americans are too proud to give up their own accent. Why should they? They understand each other perfectly well. And so, we are stuck with two languages – similar but different. Because no one could say a cookie and a scone is the same thing, right? But cookies are biscuits, biscuits are scones, scones are brödbullar and brödbullar are bread rolls. Fuck logic.

Hommage to Nelson Mandela

And so, just as I thought the world could not get much darker, Nelson Mandela dies. Expected, I suppose, but nevertheless sad.
I’m not going to talk about how much he inspired me, because I don’t think the way he affected me is any different from how he affected most [sane] people [who knew a bit about him]. That is not saying little; his legacy has meant a great deal both to the world and to me personally. I cannot enough emphasize the importance of people like Nelson Mandela. I cannot enough emphasize how important it is to stand up against injustice, great and small, even when it’s hard. It IS hard, otherwise people would to it a lot more.
There will always be crazy people with crazy ideas but they won’t change the world unless they are given the power to do so. Sadly, they too often are and sadder still, they often to find ways to persuade others that their crazy ideas are good. Taking apartheid as an example, I don’t think most people who lived under it were cruel. I think they were normal joes, who were just too lazy, too brainwashed or too scared to stand up against it. This is why we need people like Mandela, because someone has to take lead in the fight for justice. Someone has to show it’s possible to change the system, and encourage people to do so.
Still, it’s hard to understand so many people could live under apartheid and not try to end it. One might think it’s pretty obvious that a difference in appearance or origin is not equal to a difference in worth yet that seems to be a pretty common misunderstanding. In fact, it’s a misunderstanding that is getting more common in many parts of Europe.
We cannot choose our genetics or where we are born. We can, however, make choices. We can make the choice to listen to the other side. We can make the choice to vote for a certain party. We can make the choice to help someone. We can make the choice not to let an ugly nose ruin our lives. A lot of times, we can make the choice between doing what is right and what is easy*. In a time when neo-nazism is growing, making that last choice is just as important as always.
*Stole that one from Harry Potter.

Black Veil Brides Concert

Oh. My. God. I saw Black Veil Brides live this Friday. I still can’t quite fathom it. Me? At a concert? That doesn’t sound realistic. It wasn’t either – it was better than so. Such energy! Such skill! Such superawsomemegafoxyhotness! I can’t believe that only a few months ago I didn’t even like the band.

Black Veil Brides: AndyMy friends and I went up to Stockholm for the weekend (thus the delay of this post) and I was, to be honest, pretty damn nervous. I’ve never considered myself any sort of cool, concert going type. I wasn’t sure how to act, what to wear, when to sing along or scream. However, when the music started pumping I was completely swept away. No need to think, I became part of the enormous mass of pure energy that was released into the air. Perhaps people around me looked at me weird – I wouldn’t have noticed. (they probably did, I must have been the only person in the room whose eyeliner was thinner than my thumb) I wouldn’t have cared either. Horns in the air, bouncing up and down and screaming at the top of my lungs I felt more alive than I had for some time.

The two opening act bands were greeted without excessive amounts of excitement. Especially the first, Strawberry Blondes, weren’t exactly popular. Heaven’s basement were a bit more talented in my opinion. The singer’s strong cockney accent verified that they really had “come all the way from the UK “(unlike BVB, who had come all the way from California…). A punk-ish metal sound; might be something to check out. Still, BVB was what we were all waiting for.

Imagine the joy when they finally got on stage.

Black Veil Brides

I realized that a live performance is something completely different from listening to music on my headphones. As much as I love the latter (really, I don’t know how I would’ve handled the little setbacks of my life without them) there is something so alive about a concert. Although half the song lyrics are drenched by the audience there is something very honest, very direct about having the band only a few meters away. It allows them to do crazy, spontaneous things and make eye contact, so that the audience becomes part of the experience, rather than just passive listeners.

Black Veil Brides: AshleyIMG_1788

Another discovery I made was that Ashley is hot. In most pictures I’ve seen he looks, well, strange. In real life though – rawr! As is Andy (though I understood that a while ago). (And dad, they’re definitely guys).

The pictures are stolen from my friends because somehow I managed to leave my phone behind.