frog

New obsession ahoy!

So, yeah, Avengers Assemble. It blew my mind twice a minute for the duration and then... well. What do fangirls do upon having their minds blown? They start fangirling, that's what. Fanfic. And fanart. And stuff. But just a question for those on my flist who might know more about the whole Marvel universe than I do (I didn't read Marvel comics when I was little, I read Conan the Barbarian, Tintin and Asterix). What's the deal with the Norse gods?

Y'know, being a Norwegian and having grown up with the legends, I'm sort of confused by the Asgardians of Marvel fame. Is Thor a god or a superhero, or a sort of crossbreed? I guess Sif is supposed to be the equivalent of the Norse Siw, but in the legends she was Thor's wife and that's just confusing. Oh, and I have surmised that Thor/Loki is a popular ship, with brothercest being what it is. I find it funny, though, that in Norse mythology, Loki is actually Odin's foster brother, making him not Thor's brother, but the creepy uncle. Which makes the Thor/Loki pairing a lot funnier, in a twisted, kind of disturbing way.

If anyone is at all familiar with the Marvel 'verse and want to talk to me about it, feel free! I'm officially curious now :)
frog

Back, but not in business

I've been absent from the great blogosphere for ages now. Well, not really; I've been keeping up my Norwegian blog, but that's more serious and private and I've just linked it to my Facebook account so people who actually know me in real life can stay up-to-date if they want to. My darling LiveJournal blog, on the other hand, which has been my outlet for nearly ten years, has been shamefully neglected over the past months. Year, perhaps. Anyway, I've decided to do my level best to become an active blogger once more.

However, there's about to be a big change around here. I am determined to be brutally honest with my LiveJournal hereafter, because there's been a bit of a change in my life and I want to use this blog as an outlet. I think it'll be good for me. Or, you know, annoying to people who may or may not read it. But regardless, it is time for a full dose of honesty. This blog will act as my very personal journal as I deal, in my own way, with my newly diagnosed depression.

My doctor thinks it's a light depression, and I couldn't agree more. I am extremely high-functioning; I get good grades and I like my work, I'm part of all sorts of social activities and I have a large circle of friends. The problem is, despite how perfect my life is, I'm just not happy. For the past year or so I've worked myself into the ground in an attempt to ignore how miserable I feel, resulting in straight A's from my term in Dublin, extra responsibilities at work, volunteer work for my band and a host of other little projects which all work towards rendering me exhausted and stressed out. Which is, I suppose, better than the alternative: me sitting in a corner with a hot bottle, crying my eyes out without knowing why.

And it's made me think that perhaps this is symptomatic of our modern society: everybody's life improves year by year, but our mental state deteriorates quickly. We're unhappy, angry, anxious... Do I even know anyone who's happy anymore? I used to think I was, back in the day. When I was twenty, I was perfectly happy with my life and convinced that I could do anything I liked. Since then, literally nothing has changed, and I still think I can do whatever I want with my life, and I'm apparently little miss Perfect in every respect, but still I'm not happy. In fact, I am very unhappy. I cry all the time. I feel lonely no matter how many close friends assure me they're there for me if I need it. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is, "What's the point? I might as well hibernate for a year or two."

It's not that I've lost the ability to laugh and enjoy myself. It's just that there's this deep-seated, underlying feeling of being sad and miserable which never abates, never goes away. Even when I'm having fun, it just takes a stray thought to bring the sadness right back. I don't like it, and I don't want to stay like this. So I spoke to my doctor and he referred me to a psychologist.

He said I seem like a reasonable person and that he doesn't see why I shouldn't benefit greatly from some "conversational therapy". I don't know if there's a technical term for this in English. This is very encouraging, seeing as I don't really want a diagnosis, and I really don't want the zombie pills that were the second option. I've heard people talk about their experiences with antidepressants and it sounds a lot worse than my teensy little depression. What I've got isn't even very serious; it doesn't keep me from studying and working and doing everything I want to, it just keeps me from being happy. Which, let's face it, isn't a big deal. There are people starving in Africa and I bitch about not being happy in my perfect little life? Disgusting.

That's another aspect of the whole mental illness thing, I guess. I don't feel ill at all, which kind of makes it a bit of a guilt trip to hog all the health care resources that will be put into my being talked through a light depression. Wouldn't everybody be better off if I just pulled myself together and let the really distressed people have my spot in the psychologist's waiting room? I almost feel like a leech. But then again, if I'm happy and stable and strong and resourceful, I can be there for others who need someone to lean on. And I have a lot of friends who need someone all the time. If I were happy, I could help them to be happy. Perhaps.

Anyway. TL; DR. Rambling entry is rambling. So I'll let this be the kick-off mark; I feel like using LJ for what it started out as again: a personal, digital diary. Only with the option of feedback. I like it better that way.
frog

My new ink

So, a picture of my newest ink was requested. Here you go, darling f-list! :) Created and tattooed by the very skilled Sascha at ColourWorks Tattoo, Dublin.

Photobucket

The runes were there before; I had them done when I was 18 but they're very badly done and I'm going to have them worked on some time in the future. The cross, however, is brand spankin' new and I love it ^^
frog

The Ink of Dublin: Reviews

I have just had my most recent tattoo finished. The search for a tattoo shop in Dublin was something of a hassle, because I didn't know any of them before I came here and their Facebook pages were a bit out of date. But now my tattoo is finished, I'm very happy with it, and I thought I might offer my experiences as a potential guide to people who might be considering getting some Dublin ink themselves. But first, a few pointers on what to look for when going to a tattoo studio for the first time! I have six separate tattoos now, and the artists and studios have varied greatly - so be careful when you're choosing where to get what done!

1. Is it clean? Does everything look orderly and well kept? Is the artist wearing disposable gloves? More people than I can count have had their new ink infected, and it's not always due to bad aftercare. Make sure everything is hygienic before anyone is allowed near your skin!

2. Are there portfolios available, either in the studios or online? You should look at a selection of the artist's work before booking an appointment. If you don't like his or her style on paper, you probably won't like it on your skin, either. Different artists have different styles and specialize in different motifs, so look around before you decide.

3. Do the artist and other staff make you feel welcome as a customer? Do they let you bounce ideas off them, do they speak to you in person about designs and colours? A tattoo is going to stay on your skin until you laser it off or cover it up with another tattoo, so you need to be perfectly sure about the design and location of it. I would rather trust a tattoo artist who said, "It's not going to look great on your ankle, would you consider putting it somewhere else?" than one who just shrugged and told me it was my body.


Really, these things are important - as anyone with ink probably already knows. So before I bore you all further, I will proceed to the reviews :) These are the tattoo parlours I visited, in the order that I visited them, and what I think of them:

Snakebite Tattoo
The staff met me with a smile. I was told all about their regulations and methods, which artists were good at what style, and when they had time available for appointments. The studio and waiting room were clean and orderly, their portfolios were well stocked. This seemed like a great place to get any ink done, and it would have been my first choice if I hadn't bumped into the artist that I ended up with.

Connected Ink
The studio turned out to be very well kept and clean-looking - when I could find them. The problem with this studio is that it occupies the basement of a completely unrelated store, and if it hadn't been for a sign on the sidewalk I never would have found it. You actually have to go through the store to get to the tattoo studio. But once I got down there, it all looked much better. The artist was very forthcoming and eager to talk about possible designs, and his portfolio looked very good. The reason why Connected Ink wasn't an option for me, is that the artist there specializes in Maori tattoos and dotwork designs, and I had something more austere and old school in mind. But if you're looking for dotwork, I can really recommend this place!

Classic Ink
There were many reasons why I didn't have my tattoo done at Classic Ink, despite the fact that it came highly recommended by a local bartender I met. The first reason was that I never got to see the actual studio, only the waiting room, and thus I can't know if it's a health hazard or perfectly sterile. The second reason was that the artists who work there seemed horribly sexist; in the twenty minutes I was there, they managed to tell two different women that certain tattoos are only for men - or, in their own words, "We don't do those on girls." No questions asked. But the third and most important reason was that they made me feel horribly unwelcome. They made it quite clear they were uninterested in my custom. I was very interested in this studio, since I'd heard good things about it from Steve, the bartender. So I went there and tried asking about the design I had in mind. The man behind the counter told me to look at the drawings on the walls, to see if I found anything there. I tried coaxing him to look at my very rough sketch, but I am no artist, so I guess he didn't think much of it. I tried cajoling him into giving me some feedback, any at all, but to no avail. After having hung around and desperately tried to make them interested in my tattoo for twenty minutes, I left in disgust. If they have enough male customers not to care about the female ones, then good luck to them, but somehow I doubt it. I suggest any and all people interested in getting a tattoo in Dublin shun this place like the plague.

Colour Works Tattoo
This was the place I wound up getting my tattoo. It was actually a stroke of luck that I met the tattoo artist; I was in a café just after having been so rudely ignored by the people at Classic Ink, and I noticed a guy who had great tattoo sleeves sitting by the window. I went over and asked him politely where he got them. He promptly walked me to his studio; the Colour Works. Said studio is very well kept and clean-looking, with disposable gloves and cleaning equipment all over the place. They had a fairly open calendar, which suited me fine, since I wanted to get my ink as quickly as responsibly possible. The artist I had met - Sascha - was very accommodating when I told him what I wanted and where; he immediately found some designs to start off with and told me what he would like to do. It was just the sort of thing I had in mind, myself, so I set up an appointment. When I returned to get my tattoo, Sascha had drawn it up for me and explained in great detail what he thought we should do. I did my tattoo in two sessions, since I came in late the first day; one session for the black linework and another for the colours and touch-up. It healed perfectly, without a bump or scar, so I must assume he did a very good job. Also a tattoo shop I strongly recommend!
frog

Audition?

So, I joined the university's glee club, properly called the Musical Society. They were so eager by their stand during fresher's week; the guy recruiting people smiled so nicely and told me I could be super helpful even if I didn't want to sing, act or dance at all. So I joined them. It's not like I've got to come to rehearsals if I've got other plans, right?

I've watched a few episodes of Glee. I can be a backup singer; I don't have a great voice, but I have a good ear and I can learn music very easily. I can be like one of the characters who never sing solos but fill in the gaps, right? Right.

Then I got an email from the auditor of the club where he invited everyone - regardless of experience level - to attend the auditions for the club's next project: Cabaret. The musical, you know the one with Liza Minelli? The club is performing that musical in a month or three.

Should I go to that audition? I mean, I've never had anyone assessing my voice before. Ever. I've sung in choirs and I sing in the shower like everyone else, but I don't really know for sure that my voice is good enough to even be a backup singer. I'm kind of curious. It's not like I'll be running home crying if they don't like it.

I guess I just want to know if anyone has any experience with these things. It's a university glee club; it's not like I'll be ridiculed in front of professional musicians. I go in there, I sing a song, they tell me I can have the part of third chorist from left, back row. Right? Or...?

Auditions. Why can't I just stick to the sci-fi/fantasy society and otherwise do my homework?
frog

Writer's Block: Freaky Friday

If you could become a member of the opposite sex for just one day, what would you do?


A lot of people would probably use this precious opportunity to change the world, get a new perspective on things, end sexism and other good things. A lot of people would use this precious gift for the benefit of the world. Me? I would hit on my gay friends to see if we'd be compatible if I lacked boobs but had other... protrusions. Then I would have sex; lots and lots of sex.

Come on, don't lie: you know you would, too. Have sex, I mean. No matter what your preference is, wouldn't it be awesome to try and feel what it's like with a different anatomy? It would be epic! I would go out and do my best to get laid, because come on, it just has to be fun! I might even have sex with another girl, though I'm not attracted to them, just to see what my awesome new body could do. But preferably I'd have sex with another man.

I always did feel like a gay man trapped in a female body.
frog

Aspiring writer asks for input

So, hello all. I've got a conundrum to work out, and I figured I'd ask people's opinion as a sort of nudge for me to actually make a decision.

Thing is, I've got an idea for a novel. Not anything good, nothing serious and definitely nothing worth people's time, but funny. I think. Chick lit, only with more coarse jokes and sex. Porn with jokes, or something. Anywho, I can't decide what language to write it in - English or my native Norwegian.

You see, the setting for the novel is something which would undoubtedly work best in Norwegian, since it's... well, not exacltly culture specific, but this setting works differently in different countries and I only have sufficient knowledge of how it works here, not in other countries. So, the setting suggests I write this novel in Norwegian. However, Norwegian is a... difficult language. Not that it's difficult to use in everyday situations, but it has far fewer words in it than English, and, well, when I write stuff in English, it's vibrant, for lack of a better word. There's joy in my usage of the English language, and there are so many lovely words and expressions that simply lack direct equivalents in Norwegian. English is fun, and full of artistic life, and accessible to a wider audience (!).

I'm struggling to see how my Norwegian, in this particular language, could come out as anything other than vulgar, which isn't exactly what I was going for.

Any thoughts? I'd be very grateful!
frog

Guess where I am???

That's right, in Dublin. Finally! Four whole months of Celtic studies, Kilkenny-induced drunkenness, rugged nature and lively music lie ahead of me. I rejoice ^^
frog

Writer's Block: Friends 4 ever

Do you have a best friend? How old is your friendship?

I've had a best friend ever since I can remember. She's three years older than me, lives two houses over, and I've known her since before I could walk - in other words, for more than twenty years.

When we were little, my parents - being the defeatists they sometimes are - used to warn me that people grew apart; that some day my best friend would forget about me and have other things to think about. They wanted to prepare me for the day when she, being three years older, would get bored with me and move on with her life. I defiantly told them that wouldn't happen. And lo, I was right. She never outgrew me, and even when I sometimes think I've outgrown her, she shows up and proves me wrong by saying something absolutely amazing.

Sometimes I remind my parents that she and I are still the closest of friends; not to rub it in their faces, but just to gleefully remind us all that true friendships aren't predictable at all, save for the fact that they're sure to last. She's the one person in the world who just gets me, without my having to explain it at all.

Now if you'll excuse me, she and I are going to eat junk food and discuss yesterday's rather successful party :)