The lovely Easter celebrations of 2018

Maybe it’s presumptuous of me to assume that not many of you missed this – but recently, it was Easter. And like many other quasi-heathen non-God-fearing Swedes out there, I took the opportunity of this Christian tradition and its off-workness; and got drunk in the company of my (grown-up) family at 3 PM on Easter Eve after already having 1½ days off of work.

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Along with singing songs and downing spiced booze one milliliter at a time, we ate pie and then the classic Swedish princess cake with the only holiday-difference that the marzipan was dyed yellow instead of green. Entangled with the eating and the drinking was talking about life and its mysteries, and getting to take part in my father and my boyfriend getting along very well. After the intense eight hour family dinner, I ventured on to another gathering that plied me with Dragon’s Blood (which is the onomatopoeic version of “Oh God what did I do last night?”) and I got to talk loudly about ancient monuments with a person that was actually interested!  

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Spot the Fireball and the hand of future regret

Later on, much like the miracle of Jesus, I succumbed to the celebrations (being drunk sometimes is my cross to carry) at half past three on Sunday morning after being out and about for thirteen hours, and came back to life on Sunday afternoon. Well, I wasn’t gone as long as Jesus, but hey, no one’s perfect. And, like a miracle; I wasn’t hungover when I woke up! If that’s not a sign I celebrated the right way, I don’t know what is.

A little more than “lagom” level of celebration, I’d say!

My fantastic use of Ipad Pro + Pencil and GoodNotes!

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I’m studying at the university, at a distance. Having the perks of not being in school every day gives me the freedom to work and put in my hours whenever I want to. The downside is that I have to travel to school and put up that expense about six to eight times a year. The first time I traveled to school, it was 13 hours away by train. The introduction would last for eleven nights and required bringing books and, since I would be gone for so long, my laptop to do further school work. And then of course, a thousand other things since I was about to be gone for so long.

When I arrived in town at 7.30 AM after having taken the overnight train, I lugged that big red suitcase around all day because my inn didn’t do check-ins before 2 PM, and man, dragging that thing around town and then to the university and back, I was finished. A few days later, I changed rooms from a 6-bed to a single room. And of course, because I had to check out at 8 AM I had to choose between dragging my suitcase around with me another day or leaving it unsupervised in the luggage room until the afternoon.

Uhm. Dragging it is.

Since then, the scheduled visits have been shortened to around four-five nights and I’ve moved closer, so I don’t need to pack as much stuff or travel as far. But I was still carrying too much around with me day-to-day while away. Books, laptop, chargers, notebooks, pens, papers, cellphone, wallet and add to that the days when I traveled and brought everything with me everywhere. It adds up quickly.

Enter; the iPad

One day I was at work when my colleague pulled out a huge, A4 size shiny golden iPad out of her bag. I had seen it before, she usually draws her designs on it being a tattoo artist and all, but it wasn’t until now it had caught my eye. I looked on a little while she sweepingly created things on the screen with the pen, in total control of the line thickness and moving her drawing around with the pinch-motion. An iPad huh. My materialistic side had awoken. I wanted one. But for what?

When I got home, I exhausted Google on all its relevant information about the tech-thingie and its pen which was the selling argument for me. So you can draw it, I knew that. Oh, you can write on it too (well, it’s obvious ya know but I was informed about good apps for it)? Oh, scan papers? Mhmm, read on it. Listen to podcasts? Also, play music of and surf the internet of course.

So that means that I… can surf on it, scan all the school handouts and parts of literature and put them in there to read and annotate on, take notes in class by hand, have my complete DIY calendar with me AND entertain myself at the long boring evenings at an inn with just this little flat piece of technology? OH OKAY.

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Oh, so almost no difference in how much I'll carry around then....

After that realization, having made a few of those trips to school and moved house three times within the last 18 months, in a fit of internal rage I flipped a mental table and mind-threw everything weighing over half a pound in the trash can, yelling “I WILL CARRY MYSELF TO DEATH NO MORE! I’M GETTING MYSELF AN IPAD DANGIT”.

And so it was! Even though I’m not the greatest Apple fan, I think IOS works on a tablet and the UI don’t annoy me like it does on my laptop where I want a more “computery” style of handling things.

I’ve had it now for almost a year, and what do I do with it? Let’s make a list!

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Scan all the things!

The apps I use the most: GoodNotes (annotating, reading, keeping calendars and lists), the podcast app, Procreate (drawing), Genius Scan (scanning papers), and then the usual media; Pinterest, Bloglovin, Feedly, Youtube, Hemnet (SE, for looking at houses), Safari.

I read, write (by hand and by a little bluetooth keyboard), keep a regular calendar and a bullet journal, draw in Procreate, scan pages and papers in order to keep them all in one place, and import existing documents from my computer. I make my own “printables” and import them into GoodNotes so I can track things just the way I want to do it instead of following someone else’s templates. I have made my own calendar and a couple of different templates adapted to what I’m keeping track of, like school, or just things I want to get done. The star of the show is GoodNotes though.

 

GoodNotes

GoodNotes is “a new take on note-taking”. In this sync-between-units-app, you can create new notebooks or import existing PDF’s and images to read, annotate, draw on etc. I use it with everything that regards school and planning my life. We always get the instructions by PDF from school and there are often articles to download and read during the courses. I collect everything in GoodNotes, together with my own DIY getting-my-shit-together-documents in order to keep track of everything I have to do and when the deadlines are.
The times when I have to travel and the instruction calls for a specific chapter of a book being handled in upcoming lectures, I scan that chapter and import it into GoodNotes so I can read it/use it in school without having to bring the entire book with me.

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Take notes and then highlight the actual important stuff

During the lectures I take notes in GoodNotes, on dotted paper that I’ve made, being able to move the text around if I want to add something or create a new page in the middle of pages. When the course has ended, I export everything into PDF’s so I can save all that collected information for later if I need to go over it again.

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I've made my own calendar in Photoshop (not ideal, I know but it's what I've got) with dates and holidays and everything, and I love trying out different layouts and systems. No paper waste if I suddenly get the itch to switch things up! I just saved the thirteen pages with a front page and now that I'm running out of months, I just add one at a time and fill in what plans I have. It's a lovely adaptable way of keeping my shit together. The layout you're looking at now is my third and I find that it's quite suitable for my needs. Further instructions on school assignments and stuff dwell within another document, with check boxes to see that I've gotten through everything I need to do. 

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Sort-of easy to find overview, all the notes and highlights show here so I don't need to search page by page after what I've noted as most interesting.

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My book tracker, it hasn't gone very far yet. This is the front page I made, where I write on the books which one's I've read. On the next page, there's a list of books I want to read.

You can drag-and-drop pictures into your notebooks and resize after taste. And if your handwriting is fancy enough, you will be able to search your own notes and convert your handwritings into text. I on the other hand, cannot. From the pictures it may appear why. Hehe.

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Yeah I'm pretending I'm one of those people that can manage having big goals in life, when really, it's all little tiny steps forward in all categories. Hee hee.

The app costs around 6.50 euros and its worth so much more than that! So, if you’ve ever thought about what the fuck people use a tablet for (I was one of them one year ago), this is my favorite aspect of having one. Just scan it all and use it for the paperless home office! Thank you for reading this ESSAY on this little subject, I tried cutting it down but I couldn't. It's so good, I wish I WAS sponsored. Instead, I'm just a fan. 

Until next time, toodiloo! 

Ellet goes international

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Yes! It's time. I thought I'd just branch out just a little and make myself eligible for creating contacts extending outside the borders of Sweden, so I'm gonna start writing in English. I can't promise that Swengrish won't get into the mix, and I do realize that I, like the native Swedish speaker I am and by media inundated by both American and British English, will mix both versions of English because I most often don’t even consider what word is of American or British persuasion. I hope you swedies don't mind the change, it's gonna make my presence on the internets just a tad easier and easy is the way to go nowadays. 

Little by little I'm gonna translate the current posts on the blog into English and sort through and tidy up a little. I have to change all the labels and buttons and stuff, so that will happen over time too.

I've been thinking about this for a while now, and I think it's the right decision. Let's hope I don't change my mind and have to redo everything again later on. 

Cheerio! 

Too Faced Chocolate Gold - both form and function

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Natural daylight

Yes! I seldom do any kind of reviews because the whole internet is FLOODED with them, but I can't help myself this time. Maybe part of it is the need I feel to immortalize its beauty and shiny sparklyness? Gold and sparkles and greens and coppers, what’s not to love, says my inner magpie.

I kind of keep up with the beauty industry, mostly makeup, because I think it’s fun and makes it easier to not buy stuff (somehow that works?) and partly because it’s nice to fall asleep to news that doesn’t include violence and death. But when I first saw this palette, perhaps a little bias against Too Faced and their somewhat... shaky quality of limited edition eyeshadows, I thought to myself “NICE PACKAGING, but that doesn’t make me buy an eyeshadow palette”. Then I saw Beauty News destroy it and thought “Nice metallics, but I already have a heap of those so that doesn’t make me buy an eyeshadow palette”. Then I saw someone try it out and still thought, “It’s nice, but I won’t buy it”.

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THEN, I watched a review video complete with swatches, close-ups and try-on look. And then I bought it.

Ahem.

Yeah, it was kind of hard to justify of course, I didn’t NEED it, and even though I had googled lots of pictures and rummaged through my own collection of eyeshadows and decided that it has its place among my shadows, I still felt kind of guilty for ordering stuff I don’t really need. But then I got it delivered, and tore open the box, and managed to get the thing out of its packaging without breaking it. Opened it, and that whiff of that chocolate pudding powder (it definitely doesn’t smell like actual chocolate, I don’t know what kind of chocolate americans eat ;) scent, which is nice! I nervously put my finger in one of the metallic shades and oh. Oh.

I bought it four weeks ago and since then I’ve used it exactly every single time I’ve put on makeup, which is about 20-ish times. Only the crazy pink one and the bluey silver one is untouched, and the last one mentioned will probably remain so, as I’m not a particularly big fan of neither blue nor silver.

The metallics work with a brush but as I’ve figured, they’re better off with a sponge applicator or just your fingers. The matte shades blend like a dream with my regular brushes even if I happen to dust on a little too much (that happens A LOT). Perfection I say!

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Under halogen lights

The shades Love & Cocoa and Classy & Sassy looks the same in the palette men on the skin they’re quite different. Holla for a dolla could be a tad more olivey green but mostly turns into a darker brown on the lid, and the light Rollin’ in dough is just a little too light for me to mindlessly use it as a base and a little too dark for use as an inner corner highlight. The dark purple one is a little whimpy but it’s fine with a bit of work. The above points are the worst things about this palette, totaling into a GOOD GRADE!

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So, final judgement: I use it ALL THE TIME, I love the colours (apart from the bluey silver) and the mattes are super blendable and nice. It smells nice and lasts all day on me with my NYX eyeshadow primer (works better for me than both Too Faced’s and Urban Decay’s, bleh). The palette has a great big mirror and the packaging is lovely to have in my makeup stand. I’m actually giving away a bunch of my other metallic eyeshadows because I feel like these are all I need nowadays.

It is still available for purchase on Sephora in Sweden, for way too much money.

All in all, Five Fancy Friday piggies out of five!

My favorite podcasts: Part 2

The Swedish pods I will write about in Swedish because.. reasons! 

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Språket i P1 med Emmy Rasper. Från små till stora frågor angående det svenska språket, dess utveckling och nutidens påverkan. En stor del av programmet ägnas åt lyssnarfrågor vilket bidrar till spridningen av frågor som behandlas och hittills har jag inte hört ett tråkigt avsnitt. Yes!

  


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Living with the Gods on BBC 4 med Neil McGregor. This is no longer an active podcast but there are 30 fifteen minute long episodes, taking on the subject of man and her relationship to the gods. Objectively and in a very British fashion they press so much information in those fifteen minutes as possible and it’s one of those podcasts that I can listen to without doing anything else at the same time.

 


Casefile is a true crime pod with Australian descent that does objective but relaxed storytelling without the unnecessary drama that some pods add to their telling (for example, the reason why Sword & Scale isn’t on this list). It’s well researched and with the charming Australian accent makes this a favorite pod. Of course, it’s about terrible crimes and their victims, but I’m no better than all the other true crime fans out there and can’t help but to listen to the misery.


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My Dad Wrote a Porno. Of course, My Dad Wrote a Porno has to be on this list. After all, it’s the only pod I’ve listened to in its entirety twice. Jamie Morton, the creator of the pod, was handed a manuscript of a book that his father had written and for some reason wanted his son to see, and Jamie realized that this had to be shared with the world. So it was, together with two dear friends he reads Rocky Flintstone’s books about Belinda Blumenthal and her unreasonable colleagues. Don’t worry about the cringing, Jamie’s friends will catch all the feelings you experience and say them out loud, which makes things feel better. Can recommend if you’re not afraid to laugh uncontrollably/visibly cringe to yourself or in public on your means of transport. Season four is due 2018! Excited!


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Seriemördarpodden. Ja, här kommer vi till mänskligt elände igen, men det är svårt att hålla sig borta ändå. Dan Hörning berättar om samma gamla vanliga seriemördare som vi inbitna crime-fans redan vet om, men mer invecklat och ofta med detaljer en inte har hört förut. Som en sidonot så har han också en podd om Palmemordet som tydligen är populär, som jag inte har hört. 


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Vetenskapsradion Historia i P1, med Tobias Svanelid. Såklart en favorit hos mig. Tablån består av historia och arkeologi. Diskussioner med experter, lyssnarfrågor och på-plats-reportage om svenska och utländska utgrävningar och andra intressanta nyheter kläms in i 44 minuter kvalitet. 


There! That was my favorite list of pods that I listen to the most. There’s more, and I’ve added more that I haven’t listened to enough to make a judgement of yet. I love podcasts, it’s great. I listen to all these through the Apple podcast app so I don’t know where you might find them otherwise, I’m sure they’re everywhere. Spotify has a podcast tab nowadays, greatness!

It’s an ever changing jungle of podcasts coming and going, so I hope I’ve added some value your search for something nice to listen to in the daily grind of transports, walks and house work! Happy listening!

My favorite podcasts: Part 1

Even if I often feel like a sighing stone age man when confronted with new technology and it’s speeding information flows and inability to put the shit down and do something in real life, there’s some parts of the daily technology access that are dear to me. I appreciate all sorts, from parts of the social medias to spending a Friday night lying on my couch, digging deeper and deeper into archaeological search databases (Fornsök på Riksantikvarieämbetet!) just to see where the nearest grave mound is located.

But medias that makes me free from staring at a screen does have its obvious use to me too, those medias that allows me to do real life stuff without getting bored for real, like walking somewhere. Or cleaning. Or folding laundry. Of course, it’s podcasts that I’m talking about. Audio books have their place too, but in the everyday life of mine, the podcasts win. So I just thought I’d share my favorite podcasts with you guys, because “everyone’s a journalist nowadays”, right?

And, if you see me with headphones, laughing to myself in a random corner like a mad person in a grocery store, it’s most probably one of these shows that tickles my ears.

The descriptions of the Swedish podcasts I’ll leave in Swedish because ya know, if you don’t understand Swedish you’re maybe not that interested anyways.

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Pod Save America. A podcast by John Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer och Tommy Vietor wuth taglinen "A no-bullshit conversation about politics.". Alla fyra har tillhört Barack Obamas administration och pratar högt och varierat om olika delar av amerikansk politik med diverse gäster. De är roliga medan de gör det, och varje tisdag och fredag morgon när man vaknar har man en timmes samtal att lyssna på. Och för att vara helt ärlig, det blir en hel del bullshit, särskilt i form av deras utsökta vis att binda samman politikerna de pratar om med reklaminslagen de gör på sitt helt egna sätt.


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Filosofiska rummet - "trekvart om människan, etiken och existensen". De två växlande programledarna Peter Sandberg och Lars Mogensen bjuder in gäster och för samtal efter utvalda teman. Med frågeställningar vrider och vänder de på människan och hur hon uppfattar sin omvärld. Ämnen som "Vad är tänkande?" och "Finns det ens ett jag?" förgyller stunderna när man står på alla fyra och torkar damm från rören under handfatet - igen, och definitivt överväger meningsfullheten i sin existens som människa. 


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True Murder: "The most shocking killers in true crime history and the authors that have written about them". Dan Zupansky is the host of this podcast and with his ever awkward interview style, he talks to authors of books that tell stories about crimes and their victims. The episodes, because they’re based off of interviews, vary in quality. How much we actually get to know about the stories are up to the authors and some of them don’t want to reveal all in a pod, but to sell the book instead which is understandable. Overall, it’s interesting stories that are told and it’s a good one.


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Det blir inget podd-inlägg utan P3 Dokumentär. Högkvalitativa, aktuella och brett varierande ämnen framforskade och framförda av kompetenta programledare kombinerat med intervjuer gör detta till ett måste. Ba in och välja något intressant, om du nu mot förmodan inte har gjort det redan. 


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In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, BBC Radio 4. Melwyn dives into new areas in every episode together with guests that have a deeper understanding of the subject, which naturally varies widely. The conversations are incredibly British and I love it, with their understated kind of humor and kept-togetherness. Interesting areas of conversation makes this a favorite and one of the pods I’ve listened to the longest, at least four years by now! Then, when they joke around with each other, still understated and very British, just cracks me up. Love it!

10 years with endometriosis

Here I have an English version on top, and a Swedish one at the bottom.

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When he said ”You may have endometriosis. I’d like to check up on that. It’s not normal to experience pain every day” he was the first one in four years to take me seriously. The average time from when the symptoms appear until diagnosis is settled, is around eight years. My four years was the fast lane.

After being dismissed by midwives, chief physicians, OB-GYN’s, gynecologists and doctors, I finally got the answer I had been searching for. I wasn’t just making shit up or exaggerating the normal standard of “feeling the different phases of your menstrual cycle”. Bah. And somehow, it was also extra annoying that the first person to take me seriously was a man, when all the earlier dismissals had been done by women.

But with the laparoscopy surgery that was suddenly done a couple of weeks late came the surgeon’s opinion; “I really understand that you’ve been in pain”, but with the recognition and the diagnosis followed desperation. When I lay there on my couch, super sore from the surgery and googled endometriosis, I found forums, support groups, groups for family of endometriosis sufferers. No solutions. And then it kind of hit me. I’m never getting rid of this.

Fast forward to six years later, and I’m at the stage where I and my doctor have tried getting me menstruation free for a year, without succeeding. The summer before the last the pains started changing character and I didn’t really keep up. First we tried putting me into the classic chemical menopause but it didn’t work, I still bled but just six weeks apart and lots of it. So I quit that.

The following months were the worst I’ve had so far. It just started off as regular annoying cramps and sort of morphed into the worst pains I’ve experienced. Every 30 seconds pains seared through my stomach and ended up sitting completely still on my couch for two days before I could move around a little. I actually took the following days officially off of work and went home to a friend and sat on his couch instead until Wednesday, when I could move more freely again. It seems my endometriosis has spread into tissues and reacts to bowel moments, ever so little ones.

When it repeated itself the month after I called the hospital crying, and I couldn’t take anymore. I didn’t want to call because the only solution is birth control pills, and I can’t with birth control. Under hormones, I lose everything that is me, the depression comes with all its ugly symptoms of not wanting to see anyone, lose the motivation for anything. The sex life fades and I stop getting in touch with people. The last time I ate birth control pills I felt completely blank inside for three months before I stopped taking and suddenly, life returned to me.

But that isn’t an option now. It’s too bad. I have to treat it with hormones. And the consequences are here. I’ve kept a close eye on it in fear that the hormonal depression would appear again, and even then I somehow managed to miss it. It wasn’t until I realized I sleep 13 hours a day that I got it. It’s here.

My only option is to try another type of hormones but I’m terrified. Right now, it comes and goes. Some days are fine and some days are clad in darkness. Sometimes I look at my new infatuation and feel that something’s missing, and just go to bed because I can’t bother being awake. Other days I’m in love, horny, happy, motivated and hopeful. If I change the type of birth control pills, maybe the good days I have now disappear. Like earlier, maybe only apathy will remain. I don’t know.

And what happens after six more months of hormonal depression?

Sometimes it feels like a cruel punishment, being happy and normal under the weight of the hormones. I fantasize about a little cottage in the countryside with a plum tree, I know that under all this I’m in love like a teenager. The feeling that I won’t get to experience the joy of all this and things to come weighs on me. The hope that I will find a type of birth control that I can handle is small because all the types I’ve tried so far has done the same thing; depleted my happiness.

To live with this asshole disease, I have to snuff out the flame of a life in happiness.

It’s cruelly ironic.  


10 år med endometrios

När han sa till mig; “Det kan vara så att du har endometrios. Jag skulle vilja se närmare på det. Det är inte normalt att ha ont varje dag”, så var han den första som tagit mig på allvar på fyra år. Den genomsnittliga tiden från det första obehaget till diagnos är åtta år, så för mig gick det fort, skrattretande nog. 

Efter att ha blivit avfärdad av barnmorskor, överläkare, gynekologer och vårdcentralspersonal så fick jag äntligen på papper att jag inte bara hittade på. Det var inte bara en inneboende hysteri och hypokondri som jag upplevde. Det var också ett extra litet hugg att alla som avfärdat mig med en handviftning var kvinnor, och att den första som tog mig på allvar var en man.

Men med titthålsoperation, en kirurg som stod framför mig och sa “Jag förstår verkligen att du haft ont”, och den efterföljande diagnosen kom också desperationen. När jag sökte på det, googlade lite på kvällen hemma, så kom stödgrupper upp. Forum. Tillochmed anhörigstödjande organisationer. Det var någonstans där som insikten slog mig.

Jag kommer aldrig bli bra. Aldrig fly detta.

I ett år nu så har jag tillsammans med en läkare aktivt försökt att få mig mensfri, eftersom smärtorna runt mens under kort tid förr-förra hösten eskalerade så pass att jag inte hann med att förstå vad det var som hände. Först försökte vi med nässpray och misslyckades, och sen med p-piller. Uppehållet däremellan är det värsta jag har varit med om. Förra sommaren, när min syster var i stan, så åkte vi till en nöjespark på lördagen. När vi var där fick jag mensvärk, hanterbar. Jag gick hem för att vila på eftermiddagen och sen var det kört. Jag har aldrig haft så ont någonsin, var 30 sekund så skar smärtan genom kroppen. I två dagar satt jag helt blick stilla i min soffa bara för att inte göra det värre. Inte förrän på onsdagen kunde jag vara ute och röra på mig. Min endometrios har spritt sig inuti vävnad, är teorin. 

Gråtandes fick jag ringa gyn och säga att jag inte orkade mer. Jag ville inte göra det, för behandlingen är med hormonella preventivmedel. Jag tål inte hormonella preventivmedel. Jag tappar allt, förstår inte vad som är poängen med att leva, varför jag ska gå i skolan, varför jag ska umgås med vänner. Sexlust försvinner, livslusten ersätts av apati. I mitt förra förhållande spenderade jag tre månader med att inte känna någonting, tills jag slutade med tabletterna och fick livet åter. 

Men det är inget alternativ nu. Det är för illa. Jag måste behandla mig med hormoner. Och konsekvenserna har kommit. Jag har hållit noga utkik efter symtom på depressionen som alltid följt hormonbehandlingar, och trots det så lyckades jag missa dom. Det var inte förrän jag insåg att jag sover 13 timmar om dagen som det faktiskt klarnade: Depressionen är här. 

Mitt enda alternativ är att byta hormonsort och testa något nytt. Men jag är livrädd. Just nu kommer det och går, dagarna är olika. Ibland förstår jag ingenting, tittar på min nya kärlek och känner att något saknas, går och lägger mig för att jag inte orkar vara vaken. Men andra dagar så är jag glad, kär, kåt, förhoppningsfull och motiverad. Byter jag sort kanske allt det försvinner, rakt av. Det kanske bara blir apati kvar. Och vem vet vad som händer efter sex månaders test av tabletter om de tar bort allt jag håller kärt och som gör livet värt att leva? 

Ibland känns det som ett grymt straff, för jag vet att under tabletterna så är jag lycklig. Hoppfull. Fantiserar om ett torp på landet och är kär som en tonåring. Men det är inget jag kommer få uppleva ostört i fortsättningen som det ser ut nu. Förhoppningen om att jag ska hitta en hormonsort som inte påverkar mig på det här viset är liten, eftersom alla har gjort det.

För att kunna leva med min sjukdom, så måste jag lägga en filt över livslusten.

Det känns grymt ironiskt.