Friday, January 6, 2012

My Top 5 Bands of 2011!

Last year was rather eclectic for me musically. I was all over the place like a musical Christopher Columbus, discovering new worlds left and right. (I think it has a bit to do with joining Tumblr.) And after reading my best friends' blog post about her top 5 bands of '11 I got inspired. Seriously, check her out.

The bands I decided on might not have come out with new material or been on tour but they have impacted me greatly for the past year. In no particular order:

1. Oh Land

I first heard Oh Land on youtube. Her video for Wolf & I was suggested after I had been watching a ton of Björk and Lykke Li videos. Unexpected is probably the best word to use for what I felt when I heard Oh Land. Her voice is so melodic and the music is teaming with electronic beats and the jams just make you want to sway. After getting the album I found that I adored every song. She's awkward and beautiful and talented. I suggest you get into Oh Land ASAP to fufil your awesome quota.

2. Rhapsody aka Rhapsody of Fire
credit: heavyparadise.blogspot

My boyfriend knows how much I like power metal. Last year a ton of power metal bands were booked to play Wacken '11, including Rhapsody. I love the epicness of the vocals, think symphonic perfection. Fabio's voice has the power of 200 Seraph. The stories sung through Fabio Lione are tales of mythical beasts, astounding adventures, and mighty warriors fighting for honor. The intricate assemble of thundering guitar riffs and pounding drums all glued beautifully together with the soothing bass lines and peppered with dynamic keyboard numbers.


I've always known about Behemoth. One of my ex-boyfriends got me into Slaves Shall Serve. I thought it was HILARIOUS to say the least when I first heard them. I know black metal bands take themselves seriously, maybe not Immortal, but that is why I think they are so funny. They think of themselves so highly. 2011 we received a mix CD with Behemoth's song Ov the Fire and the Void and I became obsessed. I literally listened to it everyday for weeks. And once I got their albums I became more and more in love with them. Not to mention my boyfriend got me their DVD+CD combo for an anniversary gift. Smart lad. I understand their extreme ideology isn't everyone's taste. They are very angry, and I think that makes their music what it is. The tones are soft and yet epic. Their sound is very death metal and I think that is why I like them so much. I'm not particularly a black metal type of gal, but death metal the essence of Nila. I like how they sound dark and smooth, like evil chocolate. And, honey, Mama's got a sweet tooth.


I honestly can't remember when I got into Kpop. But I did. And 2011 was the year I almost overdosed on Kpop. And it was because of SHINee. I found out about them while watching a variety show with SNSD, a kpop girl band, and they were really cute and funny. I watched their music videos over and over, first and my favorite is Lucifer. UNF! I love love love them And then after watching more reality shows with them, it seriously wasn't healthy. I can honestly listen to them for days. Each member brings something different. Taemin has the snazzy moves, Key's voice brings a lightness to the songs, Minho is the smooth rap talent of Shiny SHINee, Onew has a great voice and a comedic spirit and Jonghyun's voice is what got me obsessing actually. He has the range and passion that every singer should have. I love them. Something about how hardworking Korean artists are makes me respect them fiercely.

5.Sonata Arctica
credit: Sonata Arctica homepage

Now I don't know how I can summarize my intense love of Sonata Arctica. It's like trying to describe the warmth of fire in the middle of a Swedish blizzard. I first heard SA when I moved to Sweden, their song Flag in the Ground was on a mixtape my boyfriend had in the car. It was just so much epicness poured into 4 minutes I couldn't help but listen to it over and over for the majority of the year. Not only that but the fact Le Boyfriend had most of their albums helped. I realized a few months back that when I hear a band I tend to picture them. Their physical selves tend to be a factor when it comes to certain bands I enjoy, it's sad but true, but with Sonata I don't see them, I feel them and it is intense. I have cried several times from listening to their music. It moves me to much I just can't hold all the emotions they create back. I feel so alive when I listen to Sonata, and I haven't felt that way about a band since Nirvana or Dio. I love bands, but not like I cherish Sonata Arctica.
They are power metal at it's finest. The blending of drums and bass is flawless. The keyboard and guitars entice you as they create their dances of riffs and solos. Then there is Tony Kakko. The genius vocalist of Sonata that makes my heart sing! He has a gift of creating beautiful and creative stories through lyrics. Tales of cruelty and love, of magic and power, of wizards and wolves. It sounds cheesy but think if you could fit an entire action packed fantasy film into 4 minutes. The melodies are so effortless and smooth that it flows like a soft stream through the air.
I was able to go see Sonata Arctica this year at Getaway Festival. I was tired and hot and frustrated but once I had my gut pressed snugly against the barrier at the front of the stage the adrenaline kicked in. And the high had me flying above all the others there. I don't know if nobody really knew much about them or just didn't show it like I did, I think that Europeans are more calm at shows than Americans. We tend to lose our shit at a good show. And I fucking lost it. They played every song I love. And singing along with guys that you idolized, just standing 7 feet in front of you, you feel this paramount force of love fall upon you like a warm fleece. It's a commanding presence in your ear holes. And it demands attention. I suggest you fall in love with Sonata Arctica immediately, just if you are interested in completing your life.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

The past week or so have been super cozy, or should I say lazy. I have been getting up at 2 in the afternoon and just reading by the fire all day. And I regret NOTHING! I love sleep, I love reading and I love watching the dime size snowflakes drift past my windows every day.

I have been cooking a lot too. I've realized that it's sort of an American thing thinking about food all the time. My meals are a sort of sun that my plans revolve around. It was the first year we hosted a Yule/Christmas diner in a place that is OURS. It was great, and entertaining, having the family over. I made bbq ribs, at the boyfriend's request, and my moms sweet potato pie. Everyone loved it. They ate the ribs with napkins and silverware though. They didn't really understand that you eat it better with your hands. And I thought it was hilarious watching them look cautiously at the pie and say "Sweet potato..?" and then take a bite and become wholly surprised that it taste nothing like potato. Everyone wanted more but there was none left. And I just smirked to myself thinking "LIKE A BOSS". I'm becoming a better and better cook. Which I have realized is extensively rewarding. I want to cook food that makes people happy and have them get excited about putting what I cook in their bellies.

On new years eve I made a chicken parm for the boyfriend and me, mine with veg schnitzel. And it was more than AMAZING but I think the boyfriend didn't like it much. He's apparently not into Parmesan. To which I was super disappointing. I didn't expect to actually feel circumvent over someone not liking what I make for them. I got over it eventually though. We watched the Swedish traditional New Years' poem thing that this old dude reads after a ton of singers do their performances. He's really into it too. I don't know his name but he wrote it a long time ago and reads it to all of Sverige just before the count down. His timing is good. We went out into the blistering cold then, 7 °F cold, and we watched the fireworks. Living on a farm in a town where you can see about 10 miles in all directions means we could see 4 different firework shows going off all around us. It was gorgeous. And the sky was unbelievably clear. I could see the milky-way and every constellation as if I were floating out there on my own. The fireworks looked like they were trying to transform into the stars that looked down from above. It felt magical. After a few minutes I brought Moshi, our cat, out to watch too. She was terrified at first but once she was in my coat and we all stood still she seemed to really like the lights. We stood there and watched for about 20 minutes. Making the new year a pretty good one! far anyway.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Update....After forever.

Where to start....Lets go by months since I have slacked so much with this blog.

My birthday month! I honestly don't remember too much from it besides my bday which was awesome. I had a small get together with about 10 friends and ate a ton! I made sangria for the first time and think I would have done my Aunt Sonja proud. I also made cornbread and my famous spinach artichoke dip. Which was devoured in like 30mins. My friends all brought food too. One thing about living here now is that I have soo many international friends. My Brazilian friend brought Caipirinha(?), my Italian friend brought baked pasta, my French pals brought tiramisu and french wine.
And not expecting to get anything I got not one but two presents: Andy got me Död Snö on dvd! (Norwegian nazi zombie movie with swedish sub) And his parents got me an awesome new computer! My old one was...well old and slow and had viruses and not enough RAM etc. So I was so super effing happy when I saw it, I almost cried.

I was super excited about having Halloween in Sweden. Bringing it to a country that doesn't go all out for the holidays. I didn't even see a fake spider or pumpkin anywhere. But there was a trip to Italy and guess when the departure date was? HALLOWEEN!

Well I was in this place called Potenza for a conference. It was a week long. We first went to Napoli, which is basically the hood. Like for real for real, straight ghetto. We ate a ton of food, sometimes the food wasn't that great. Because we had such a big party and went to small mom/pop pizzerias the pizza we normally got would get burned which sucked. But in Neapels we walked into a tiny corner restaurant and the dude whipped out 5 custom wood baked pizzas in like 3 minutes. We went to this place called Matera, its history goes back to 600s AD and we toured the old town where the homes were built into the cave homes. It was great. That's pretty much the only place I would go back to.

A couple weeks later Andy and I went to visit the states for a week. We were in Chicago for a couple days and it was awesome! I got to see a few of my friends who I hadn't seen since college. We ate out at Chicago Diner, which is one of my absolute favorite restaurants! It's all vegan and even Andy (hardcore meat eater) loved it. Then we were in Charlotte for the rest of the week with my family. He finally got to meet my mom and brothers. Mom loved him from the start, as I knew she would. My brothers were apparently surprised by him. I guess they thought he was going to be smaller than he is or something. Aaron said he looks like Thor when his hair is down and I thought that was hilarious because I think so too. Jordan was planning on trying to intimidate him, like every other guy that has come to my moms', but after seeing him he just leaned over to me and whispered "Dat dude big as hell". Yes...he is quite built now.

I got to see my doggie Peanut after soooo long! She remembered me and followed me and Andy EVERYWHERE. She really liked him which is good because next spring she is coming to Sweden to live with us. She's a pit bull and so she needs room to run and get that energy out. Living with my lazy ass brother and my mom who suffers from arthritis can't walk her. So I'm excited about her coming to live with us. But I am a bit worried about how she will be with the cows and horse and stuff. She's gunna go a bit insane with all the land. I can't wait to see that.
Here's a little video I made of her!

I got to hang with my friends! Especially my BFF Alyce! It was so good to just be in her presence. For real. You know when you're best friends with someone and they just get you? They know what you're thinking and can say stuff that will continuously surprise you? You know when you're best friends when just being around them makes you feel better? Not many people make me feel that way but Andy and Aly do. We all ate....a LOT. It was Andy's first Thanksgiving and mom did it up like the best black momma can. She made; fried chicken, ribs, turkey, ham, corn, cornbread, collard greens, potato salad, pumpkin-marshmallow casserole, two queso dip, three lemon pies, pumpkin pie, and a pound cake. All. By. Herself. My mom is a beast!

After we got back to Sweden I had literally one week to pass my final exam at SFI. I set up several study groups with students and split the subjects I needed to work on to different days. And guess what. I PASSED! Barely but damnit I passed! And I'm super proud, I worked so hard. And now that I passed within a year I get a bonus!

In the spring I found a photography studio whose photographer is pregnate and they needed someone to sub for her. I'd like you to note: 1. I studied photography for 7 years 2. Swedish maternity leave can be between 6 months to 18 months. So I have a job in a field that I studied for a good amount of time. And now that I am out of SFI I can go to college. And Swedish college for me is free since I'm a resident. Plus! Found a school that is within an hour away that has the program I want to enroll in! It's really perfect.

So at the moment I am working. Trying to improve my Swedish on my own, and failing a bit. As well as being completely obsessed with KPOP. I have no idea how it happened but I am on this hardcore kpop kick. I love love love it. And I love that all the idols are in the public eye and on variety/game shows all the time. I feel like I can get closer to them than the US pop stars of my childhood. I feel like western celebrities don't work as hard as eastern idols do. And I love the enthusiasm.

To Come...?
Well the holidays are coming up and I am making all the gifts I'm giving. They are heating bags made of wheat seeds that you pop in the micro for 2 minutes and it lasts hours. I made some for people in the states when I went and they all loved them and said that it was very useful.
Heading to a friend's tomorrow to see their newest puppy!
That's pretty much it.
Hopefully I will blog again soon!
Blessed be!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible. But it'll be hard. While I was away from this blog I attended not one but TWO giant metal festivals. One was Getaway Festival my boyfriend won tickets to! I was so stoked because I didn't know if we could afford two big festivals and one of my favorite bands Sonata Arctica was on the bill. It was tough because standing for so long and nowhere to sit and then the walk into town, the bus ride to our bikes to get to Grandma's house to get to sleep to do it all over again was wearing me out. But when a good band came up I would get that adrenaline rush and become so aware of everything on that stage it was intense. There were so many bands I liked my phone ran out of battery juice by 5 every day so I missed a lot of picture opportunities. But here are some I did get.

Second was the all amazing, biggest metal festival in the world: Wacken Open Air! We left to fly down to Germany at like 4 am and arrived at Wacken at 4ish and got the tent set and went to look at the vendors and the wrestling tent. There's an area dedicated to the middle ages and Renaissance era. Here you can buy tapestries, kilts, and drinking horns as well as archery equipment, swords, and axes! Even if you're so shitfaced you can't see straight.

I got my first tapestry! It is black and amber and a celtic design of the tree of life. I love it.
I had a battery powered phone charger said it was going to work but it didn't so I only could take a couple pictures but I'm going to post a couple other pictures from tumblr I found so you can see how many effing people were there!

Long time no blog!!

It has been months since I've blogged and I have no excuse for it! I feel a little ashamed I neglected this. Oh so much has happened I'm trying to keep it all straight.

Let's first talk about my garden.
I took out the spinach because I had a slight pest problem and apparently the pests only wanted my spinach. It was horrible. I feed them to the chickens and made space because my pumpkins started growing and grow they did! I thought at least a few wouldn't sprout but apparently every seed had to produce a plant 3 times larger than expected. I also didn't quite expect them to have spikes. They are not very large or super sharp but I can't handle the plants without gloves, that's for sure! And they have proceeded to attempt to kill everything else that comes near it.
The sunflowers behind it are long gone, and it has reached out across the garden bed to my cabbages, and even worse OUT of the bed to my pot of sage! I had to do a major trimming and found that it was also growing through a crack in the wall near it and growing into the basement. Invasive is an understatement. I just wanted pumpkins for Halloween and I get a plant that is basically screaming "I DO WHAT I WANT" at me every time I see it.
Cherry Tomato, anyone?
Also all of my tomato plants have grown, 3rd surprise! I love love love tomatoes so I don't mind. But The constant threat of the pumpkins and the fact that the tomatoes have grown so high is a bit concerning but I have amazingly tasty tomatoes now!
Delish giant tomatoes!

I have a cat now! We got him at 7 weeks old and he is now 4 months. His name is Moshi Lovegood.

We thought he was a she the first few weeks but once we realized it we just kept the name, cats don't care anyway, right? A friend who has a stray cat problem gave me one of the kittens on his property. He was such a nervous little thing when we first got him. But soon he learned the lay of the house and he and Andy bonded! Men. He follows me around the house and attacks feet. He's a little psycho. Climbing is now his specialty. And he's discovering it's okay with Mamma to kill bugs as often as possible so he's taking advantage of that as well. He's awfully cute, but that's his M.O. He lures you in with a promising look of snuggles and fluff but as soon as you even take a step he's gunna try and eat your fingers, bub! (except with me, I lay down the LAW)
Sleeping on the warm computer

Yesterday my Kindle came in the mail! Best Dad in the world bought it for me knowing I will lug an 800 page book and computer around in my purse without a second thought. I love it!
Killian LeKindle
I downloaded a ton of books and finished the novel "Lucinda, Darkly" today. I loved the story just hated the writing. The author just writes in a way thats not exactly... smooth. What should have been a 2 day affair turned into a 4 day relationship. I just found out 3 other series have new books I haven't read yet so I think I'll start those tomorrow. After PACKING! We have been packing for a few days now because later this week we are switching houses with my boyfriend's parents! It's exciting. A bigger house. More storage! A library/ritual room!!! So excited.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Went shopping today and found this!!!

lychee juice!

A lot of people don't know my obsession with lychee. I could mostly only find it at asian grocery stores or restaurants. I first had one when I visited a distant relative in the south, and then I had it again at a Japanese store with little lychee pieces and that is where it started. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about lychee. The sweet softness...ahhh so I am in heaven right now.

Just wanted to share :D

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tried something new and things dying because of it.

I noticed a few days ago a few of the plants have been nibbled on. Swedish bugs are HUGE and I hate them all....HATE. They bite me, try and eat my food and now: they want my veggies. So I googled some light homemade pesticides. I found one that kept popping up on several sites and thought okay I'll do this one. It's part olive oil, part hand soap, part water. Good enough.
I sprayed my little babies down yesterday and they looked sooo good and shiny. But this afternoon, after a stifling and humid 77 degrees fahrenheit, I go to water the veggies and my radishes are practically destroyed. All the other plants are doing well, just my little radishes.

Which isn't too bad because I got the seeds on accident. The packet had drawings and I thought it was pink flowers. Nope. I don't even eat radishes. But apparently the bugs do because when I started pulling them up I saw something had munched away on the biggest radish. It was a disappointing but not too horrible that it made me feel like a failure. Now I can plant my sunflowers in their place! So that's a bonus.

A classmate has two kittens and once they're able to be away from their mamma, I get one! XD I am excited. I miss my dog Peanut but this lil girl will be my bonding buddy. I'm thinking of names but it's also a bad time for the family giving her away so I want to let them have time and not pressure about the kitten, and they are good friends.