Saturday, November 30, 2019

Apartment Tour!

I realized that during the.. oh my god, THREE years I've had this blog, I've never done an apartment tour. We've also happened to have lived in three different apartments during that time. We haven't even moved every year! Well, three months ago we moved to a bigger and cheaper apartment (but further away from the city centre), and we've just now finally finished everything. So let me show you around our home!

Front door and hallway - Featuring coat hooks in my height!

Bathroom - Not very glamorous...

But I love all the space we get here!

A bright green closet, what's hiding in there?

A whole mess, LOL

Kitchen with a bright orange feature wall

Simen's gaming room

With a sleeping couch for guests
(Also a big poster of me that I haven't let him hang up before now)

Dining table

Basically what sold me on the apartment. Painted in the corner!

IKEA bookshelves with more DIY shelves added in.
I can add or remove shelves as needed!

Vintage cabinet from America that I thrifted for €50!

Newly installed fireplace.
Our old one was beautiful, but them pesky fire regulations...


Yes, we still have our stuffed animals, ok.

Loving the huge closet!

So that was that! I didn't want to write too much, since there were a lot of photos. Hope you enjoyed, and like the way we made the place our own! We own all the furniture shown (not counting the kitchen itself and the big bathroom stuff), and a lot of it is second hand, and even free! You can definitely take the same goth approach to clothing and apply it to home decor. Live the best spooky life you can!

If you're curious about anything, just ask. And now that it's December, I will put up some of our (black) yule decor! I think I'll just post photos of that on Instagram, but we'll see. I have at least planned a post about the highlights of 2019, and another about music. So you will definitely have that before the year is out! I might do a post about the holidays if I have time. See you soon!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Being diagnosed with aspergers at 25

Days before my 25th birthday, I was finally diagnosed with aspergers, a part of autism spectrum disorder. I had no idea I had it until I started seeing a new psychologist when I was 22 - she asked me if I had ever considered it during our second session. I had not, and it absolutely blew my mind, the more I learned about it. Fictional characters I sympathized with (for once) like Lisbeth Salander, Sheldon Cooper and Temperance Brennan all are suggested to have it. But all of this meant I had to get to know myself all over again. How much of ''me'' is autistic traits? I thought I was just an INTJ! I've still got a long way to go, but I've learned a lot about myself, and wanted to be open about this, Girls and women on the spectrum are often missed, just like I was, and we tend to get diagnosed DECADES later in life than boys. So if this can help anyone, that would really make me happy.

I've always known I was different, since I was a small kid. I had no idea why. Was it because I was a nerd, and later because I was alternative or depressed? But even as I got older and lived my life the way I wanted to, there was still something that felt off. Looking back I can now see some of the signs. I'll share everything I can come up with with you, mostly what I still struggle with now.

I didn't like playing with other kids my age that much, I preferred reading. If I socialized, I preferred to discuss different topics. I've always felt like an old soul, and I still do. My friends get older and older, and often I can't relate to people my own age, because of state of mind or life situations.
I didn't learn to smile properly, tie my shoes, ride a bike, roller skate, swim and other sports until very late. I'm still not good at physical things. And when I was supposed to learn most of these things, I would always cry because I felt so pressured by the adults who tried to help me. I ended up learning most of it on my own, at my own pace. I also walk with my toes pointing inwards, and somehow I don't trip all the time (though I'm terrified of it!). Being physically clumsy / uncoordinated seems to be common.

All infographics used are by The Little Black Duck

A big autism trait is to have very sensitive senses. Taste, smells, physical touch, lights and sounds. I can easily become uncomfortable by things other people don't even notice. I have a huge problem with food textures, tastes and smells, which makes me eat like a child (I could eat the same thing every single day for years). Luckily I am in good health, but I know this will probably become a problem for me later in life. It's hard to be 25 and basically never eaten a fruit or vegetable in your entire life. I've tried small pieces, but I usually end up gagging instantly and crying. I can smell much stronger than most people, you can probably imagine how uncomfortable that can become. There are random things I can't stand, like touching velvet the ''wrong way'' or a knife on a wooden chopping board. Light and sound are what I handle the best, but I don't like bright lights (I sometimes have to turn away at concerts while I wonder how other people can stand it) and loud, usually unexpected sounds.

Socializing can be pretty hard for me in general. It's often very exhausting, and I often need days of relaxing peace at home after a few hours of socializing. And yes, after going to festivals I need weeks! When I am tired in general, I tend to go non-verbal.
As a kid I would always come home from school after being quiet all day and nag a hole in the head of my dad. Probably ranting about how stupid the other kids were and whatever I was interested in at the time. Crazy how I seemed to be two different people every day.
I do something called masking, where I basically observe what other people do socially and use that as a template when socializing myself. I had no idea I was doing this. I was aware of some sort of masking a few years ago, but I attributed that to depression. I am still not sure what is me and what is the mask. This is also why my autism wasn't noticed until I was in my 20s. Girls and women are especially good at it too. I imitate people's behavior, speech and vocabulary in general.

I've always had a hard time making friends, and usually I get along with boys better than girls. I guess they tend to be simpler when it comes to friendships, while girls can be complicated and twofaced. Generalizing very hard here, you get the idea!
In a group I usually sit an observe people in conversations, and rarely say anything. Often I have a hard time knowing when to speak, what is appropriate to say, and if what I want to say is correct. And while I contemplate all of this the topic has moved on. Though I still feel I'm ''in'' the conversation. Often I have no idea how to react to something, like if I should be sad or laugh. I don't know what to say either, so I might not say anything at all - that also goes for when I'm not interested in a conversation, especially smalltalk.
And yeah, I have some trouble with "common decency", like saying please and thank you (mostly in person), what to say and do, and what is appropriate, I guess.

I take a lot of things literally, especially jokes. I've gotten quite good at sarcasm though! I also often see things in black and white, and can get offended by what people say, even though it wasn't meant to be offensive or anything. 

I lack empathy and sympathy. I can't picture how someone else might be feeling, or be there for people emotionally. When someone has a problem, I come up with practical solutions, and that's usually not what they want. And when they don't say they only want to rant or just someone to feel sorry for them, I get very frustrated. I can also tend to be pretty narcissistic. I never ask people how they are or certain questions they have asked me back to them. I answer questions about myself, but it doesn't occur to me to ask them the same things. I usually don't care either, lol.

I have a hard time making eye contact. I've been aware of this for years, so I've been working on it, but it's very uncomfortable for me to look straight at someone, especially if they're looking at me too. If I'm sitting right across from someone it's a little easier, but if I'm with friends and they're at my side, I won't look at them at all, maybe their shoes at best.

And of course I have a lot of (social) anxiety, lol. I'm terrified of phone calls, the doorbell, talking to strangers, physical stores, and public transport. This also ties into having to plan and visualize everything before I go somewhere, cause something unexpected gives me so much anxiety.

Other things... I can't fantasize / visualize very well. Writing stories, playing as a child, stuff like that. I need to plan everything, nothing can be random. This is why I can't make small and insignificant choices as well, that stresses me out. I need to make planned, fact-based decisions!
Trouble sleeping seems to be a common problem for people on the spectrum, which is something I've always struggled with. I probably have some sort of sleeping disorder, I'm just not sure what. I tend to be wide awake in the evening / night, no matter how tired I was during the day. I need 10-12 hours of sleep, sometimes more, but sometimes I can have a lot of energy and be awake for 24 hours without being tired. And almost no matter how tired I am, I still can't fall asleep for hours. I usually need to listen to a documentary or podcast and focus on that so I can drift off.

Nowadays I'm trying to figure out how much I am able to work. For most of my adult life I've worked a lot of shorter periods, but the circumstances have always been different. I was always so exhausted and often even depressed. I get tired so much easier than other people, because of.. well everything mentioned in this post, lol. So I end up exhausted by something a normal person would barely notice. Since I didn't know I have ASD, I of course didn't know that could affect my ability to work either. I hope that I can find some sort of balance.

I also have OCD and dermatillomania. The former has gotten better since I was a kid, or I'm comfortable with my compulsions, but the latter hasn't. I can't even stop after the blood is pouring, and even when it's infected and weeping.

But being an aspie isn't all bad. You might have heard of autistic savants, people who for example cannot speak, but are amazing at a certain thing. I have a few talents, but for some reason I don't really like to talk about them. So these might come as a surprise to a bunch of people: I can sing in perfect pitch and often imitate singers' voices without knowing anything about music theory (not sure about my range, but around from higher male voices to soprano),  and speak 8 (almost 9) languages without an accent (and not knowing much about grammar). I can also read over 700 words per minute on screens and around 1000 on paper.
I have a pretty good memory, especially when it comes to facts. I still remember the full names and maybe even birthdays of everyone in my year in first grade. If I am interested in something, I usually get pretty obsessed and have to know everything about it. I will read entire webpages, wikipedia pages, books, etc. just for fun. I love to learn about things I'm interested in. If I'm not, I don't care at all.
I am a multitasker, I love doing several things at once (preferably three), or else I get bored. I need a lot of mental stimulation, but this can also backfire and leave me tired cause I've been so intensely active mentally for hours all of a sudden.
I am also incredibly organized. I mentioned earlier that I plan absolutely everything and that I have OCD, so I have mental systems for most things, and can't really function if it's not done my way. I do a lot of research, make lists and all that. People loved being in a group project with me during school, but it was frustrating for me. I did all the work, but at the same time I wouldn't trust other people to do it either. I'm lucky to have my fiancé in that he's so chill, he lets me be myself without interfering, supports me and helps me with the things I struggle with.

Now, all of this is just MY story. Every person on the spectrum is different. Even people who aren't autistic can have traits, but it's when you have a bunch of them and it affects your life it might be ASD. In boys these traits are usually noticed pretty early, even as early as a few months old, because of the stereotype that boys aren't supposed to be quiet, calm and smart, but girls are. I hate it. I even have a friend who was raised a boy who was tested for it, but she wasn't. Surprise, she was really a girl! That's what I mean. Since girls are raised the way we are, and since we tend to be a little better at socializing, autism in us goes unnoticed. If I can make people more aware of ASD by telling my story, I will have made a difference. While there is no ''cure'' for it and not very much treatment, just knowing that you have it, why you are the way you are and do the things you do can be incredibly comforting. And of course you can reach out to others who have similar experiences! If you're on the spectrum and are reading this, feel free to share your experiences in the comments. If you think you or someone you know has it, read up on it and reach out to a professional. Thank you so much for reading!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Daemon by Mayhem Review

Now this album has been out digitally since October 25th, the physical release was pushed back to November 8th, and I forgot to check my mailbox, I didn't see it was there until Monday. So that's when I heard it in its entirety for the first time, prior to that I had only heard the two singles - and they were pretty promising! Mayhem's last album Esoteric Warfare came out in 2014, but I wasn't super impressed by it. I prefer the old Mayhem! I saw them play De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas live in 2017 and it was amazing. The first time I saw them (2013) they weren't very good, so they are getting better! Now let's dive into Daemon!

The Dying False King
The album jumps right into intense black metal reminiscent of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Then it slows down a little, and it reminds me a little bit of Satyricon. A truly epic song that gets you excited for the rest of the album.

The Hungarian verse translated: The king of injustice ruled the world and now the fallen feie has fallen into the dust. He was doomed.

Agenda Ignis
Awesome guitar! A little ''calmer'' than the last song, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's a really nice song! Ignis means ''fire'' in Latin by the way - which makes the lyrics make more sense.

Bad Blood
No, not the Taylor Swift song. Way more epic! And bloody. Taylor Swift got nothing on this! There's so many great bits in this one (even a solo!), keeping you engaged all the way through.

Kind of your typical slow, classic black metal. And like classic black metal (especially in the case of Mayhem), we got some bad Latin going on. Google Translate can't translate all of it, but some makes sense, and some.. doesn't. But it sounds all ooky-spooky!

Falsified And Hated
Ok creepy sounds in the beginning. Then we jump into the main riff, which sounds like what I call fun dancy black metal!

Aeon Daemonium
Love that cold atmosphere at the start, and they keep up a good soundscape throughout. This is the longest song on the album by one second (6:04), Daemon Spawn (6:03) being the second longest.

Worthless Abominations Destroyed
I felt this one was a little meh. Not really anything wrong with it, I guess it just isn't super creative.

Daemon Spawn
Great spooky atmosphere. The guitars are great, and I love the chanting. Like Bad Blood, we are taken on an epic adventure.

Of Worms And Ruins
Immediate De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas vibes! Fast and hard. It ending so suddenly is like coming out of a concert or club at the end of the night with your ears ringing, it kind of hurts, haha.

Invoke The Oath
Then we are eased into this one. A slow, epic riff getting louder. Some tempo changes in this one, from slower with an occult atmosphere to the ''fun dancy black metal'' I mentioned earlier. It fades out at the end, as this is supposed to be the last song on the album. But wait! I bought the mediabook CD, so I have two bonus tracks!

Everlasting Dying Flame
This one also reminds me of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. So good!

Black Glass Communion
Kinda hits you in the face after the last song fades out. More fun dancy black metal, but some tempo changes and epic vocals and chanting in (probably bad) Latin. And just like that, the album is over.

Mayhem have circled back to over 25 years ago and gotten back that old sound, and I love it! Wonderful atmosphere, it's like you've taken a trip to hell (in a good way). So if you love De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Deathcrush, definitely check this out! Lots of epic artwork that really fit the album as you can see in the photos here, and these aren't even everything! Not sure if it's exclusive to the mediabook though. If you want it, hurry and get it, cause it's limited!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Et Rop Om Hjelp by Schnodig Review

Last month Tollef (the man behind the lyrics of Schnodig) came to Bergen, and we got to meet up. He gave me this album on CD, which was super nice of him! When I heard it, I instantly fell in love. So I thought I'd share their music with you guys! Even though the lyrics are in Norwegian, I think you'll enjoy it. I bet a bunch of you listen to German bands without knowing German, so there you go. I'll try to give you the jist of the meanings. The title of the album means ''A Cry For Help''. Oh and fun fact: Tollef was also in Anax Imperator - I happen to have their Hælvetes Dyster EP!

Schnodig on:
Facebook     Spotify     Youtube

Flagget I Bakken
The mood is immediately set. Super dancy synthpop! The lyrics are very reassuring; when you're depressed, tired, stressed, etc., take care of yourself and your life, fuck everyone who expect things of you!

En Nesten Vanlig Mann
Equally dancy. I love that the lyrics of the first verse incorporate an old norwegian christmas song. ''Nerver i en bunt'' is also used, which is the name of their first album and its title track. The lyrics are about being an almost normal man, and that it's okay to be different. The ending of the song is great.

Love the synth in this one! The title means ''the fear'', and the lyrics are about the world being.. well, nuts. A small percentage owns the majority, people don't feel safe, and people spread hate. Don't feed the fear, and be nice to each other!

Et Rop Om Hjelp
Great title track! It's about getting older. ''I can live with the fact that the body is old, looks like wax with hair, and that the wax looks like it's melting - a little more for every year that passes by'' - fantastic! And realizing that you're as old as those grumpy old guys, but you don't have to be like them.

Great soundscape in this one. ''When the miracles stay away, and everything just hurts, make sure to keep your head cool, don't do anything stupid. When the miracles stay away, and life is a bitch, grab faith by the tail and swing it like a sledge(hammer)'' - yes, bitch and sledge(hammer) rhyme in Norwegian.

Awesome synth! Kinda stereotypically for this type of music the lyrics are about the future and technology.

Drive Dank
The title means to do nothing, basically. I can't come up with a similar phrase in English. ''I just wanna dress nice and never trust anyone who's slender'' - amazing, haha. I can relate to the lyrics; I love doing nothing, and I can easily get tired, even though I haven't really done much.

Epic synth! Apparently the title is ''Geosynchronous'' in English, didn't expect that. Good thing I looked it up, or I would have written ''Geostationary''! Great synth as always, as well as the beat!

Love this! Super sexy sound. I had to look up the title, cause it's not a word used around here. It means ''the other people''. In this case basically the mainstream crowd, and that it's easy to ''howl along with the pack'', but if you're okay with joining them or not.

Siste Dans
So cute, very 8-bit sounding! Beautiful vocals on the chorus. The title means ''last dance'', so it's about the last dance at the club and wanting to go home. So it's the perfect song to finish the album with.

10 songs and 40 minutes go by fast with this album! It keeps the vibe really well throughout the whole thing. The replayability of it is great too, I definitely won't get sick of this for a good while. If you like synthpop, futurepop and stuff like that, and maybe happen to be a nerd, you'll love these guys.

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