Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Veganpizzadagen!

Jag har hört rykten om att idag skall vara en stor nationell högtid, nämligen veganpizzadagen. En hel högtidsdag dedikerad till att äta delikata saker (vilket förvisso de flesta högtider tycks gå ut på nu för tiden) är helt klart något jag kan ställa mig bakom. Så dagen till ära skall ni få om inte ett recept, så åtminstone ett förslag, på världens godaste pizza.

Grönkål, kantareller och butternutpumpa. Av en lycklig slump råkar ingredienserna dessutom vara helt i säsong, om du har lyxen att ha ett gäng kantareller undanstuvade i frysen, eller torkade i skafferiet. 

Instruktioner, typ:
Gör en pizzadeg enligt ditt favoritrecept (med jäst blir godast, med bakpulver går snabbast, med surdeg ger dig ett tusen hipsterpoäng). Bred på ett lager tomatsås (innehållande förslagsvis krossade tomater, lök, chili och örtkryddor). Lägg på tunt skivad butternutpumpa, som du först har fräst (eller gräddat) nästan mjuk i olja. Lägg på hackad grönkål, som först har blivit lätt ångad och saltad. Lägg på hackade kantareller, som har blötlagts alternativt tinats från sitt frusna tillstånd. Strö över riven (smältbar) vegansk cheddarost, och strö över nymalen svartpeppar efter smak. Grädda i 225 grader i 10-20 minuter, tills osten smält och degen fått lite färg i kanterna.

Ät och låt ditt sinne transporteras till ett tillstånd av fullständig lycka.

Kärlek och pizza,
Winterdragon

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sonata Arctica on a perfect Saturday

Still in a mellow sort of euphoric rush after having seen Sonata Arctica live in concert yesterday in Copenhagen, together with a loved one. The music, the energy, the joy. Headbanging, jumping up and down, and singing along to songs like this one:




Ah, pure bliss. And we also had time to visit a vegan restaurant; Firefly Garden. Without a doubt among the most delicious food that I have ever eaten. Rather pricey, but well worth a visit if you feel like going to a fancy restaurant sometime.

Mm, I'll fondly remember yesterday for a long time to come. Now I'm trying not to think about the fact that it is Monday tomorrow and that there are approximately a million things I need to get done. I managed to get through yesterday without a single moment of panic. Good job, head! I might have  finally leveled up the handle-social-situations-without-freaking-out skill, or there might be lurking the Backlash From Hell around the corner. Soon I'll find out, in the meantime I really hope for the former.

Love and music,
Winterdragon

Friday, 25 January 2013

Explorations on Danish soil and the joys of swordplay

Gods, it's nice to be home again. I hade a long and splendidly fun and cozy vacation, mind you, but it feels so overwhelmingly good to be at my own place, alone (save for the cat), again. I can feel the sanity coming back to me.

Today has been a good, if busy day. Started out with skipping a seminar in favour of going to explore the city of Copenhagen together with a friend. It was really nice; we had lots of fun and the weather was terrific. Between minus five and minus ten degrees, snow covering the ground, and the sun shining down from a clear sky. Combine that with good company and interesting places and you get a happy me.

Also, tonight I after much mental struggling managed to overcome the social phobias and the angst that my brain insists on throwing upon me at inconvenient times, and went longsword fencing! Gods, how I've missed using my sword. It's been a long time since I've practised martial arts on a regular basis, but I still have a lot of it programmed into my muscles and the back of my head, I realised. I'm so looking forward to going there again next week. As long as I manage not to freak out until then I will go back, and stay, for sure. I do so hope that I will make it, I have missed it so terribly much. Bloody stupid angst and phobias! Get the hell out of my head, please.

Oh happy day!
Winterdragon

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A new year: contemplations and resolutions

2013 is here, and after a monstrosity of a sleep-in (even by my standards), I thought this might be an appropriate time to reflect on the year that has come to an end, and perhaps share a few of my hopes for the new one.

2012 was a hell of a year. Seems like I've been saying this every year for the past ten years or so, but this time as well it holds true that as the year ended stuff had happened in my life that I despite my wild imagination hadn't thought possible at the beginning of the year. If 2011 was a year of getting back on my feet after unfortunate and tumultuous events, 2012 was a year of using that momentum to accomplish things, and riding the waves of success. A fun year, an intense year, a year of disappointment and success, and most of all a year of learning. My favourite kind of year.

I succeeded in at least two of my goals for the year: to finish my bachelor's degree in astronomy, and to successfully participate in NaNoWriMo. Apart from the joy those things brought me I also managed to do quite a tremendous amount of things. 

I went to five gaming conventions. A habit I hope to keep up, since I know of hardly any other place where I feel so at home and have so much fun even when surrounded by strangers. I decided to stick to a vegan diet even after my one-year pledge ran out. I moved to a new apartment together with my co-habitant. Yay, twice as much space! I went to China on tour with the orchestra. I went mountain-hiking with good friends to the top of Kebnekaise. I got a summer-job at the department and learned a tiny bit of radio astronomy in the process. I did, for maybe the first year ever, not fail a single one of my exams. I saw Emil Jensen, Opeth and Dark Tranquility live in concert, and on a related note re-discovered the joys of headbanging. I started running and made some progress in the quest of learning to love it instead of hating it. Still have a long way to go, but it's a start. I got to know a whole bunch of lovely new friends, but also drifted further away from a few old ones. I fell in love, but also got heartbroken. I took up role-playing again, but also let my sword lie neglected and unused. I dreamed and hoped, and saw some of it turn real before my eyes, but also watched a good deal of it crumble into pieces. I was not sick as much as last year, and I might have procrastinated a tiny bit less than usual. But then again, I might merely have found new ways of procrastination. I learned a great deal, about others and myself, and also about the Universe in general.

Well, that pretty much sums up the past year, as seen from the centre of my own egocentric world. Maybe it would be more constructive of me to reflect on the political situation in the world instead, but I figure I have to get myself sorted before I can even begin to understand the mayhem around me. That, or maybe I'm just scared to take a look outside my comfort-zone. I care, I really do, it's just that reading the news fills me with such a feeling of frustration that I just want to cover my eyes and ears and pretend that everything is all right. And I do try to make the world a better place, if not by screaming at the barricades then by my everyday choices. I believe that form of activism is essential if the demonstrations and opinionising are to have any effect in the end.

So, 2013. Happy new year, I hope. I will make two resolutions publicly, with the intention that this will spur me further to fulfil them.
  • I resolve to finish draft number two of the book I wrote during NaNoWriMo in 2013. Knowing me and my ambitions this will be a tough challenge indeed, but bring it on I say! I stand ready with the pen in my hand, and I refuse to further muzzle this creativity of mine.
  • I resolve to be brave. I will not let silly little notions such as "it's scary" stop me from doing things I really want to do, or from saying things I feel are important.
How about you, dear reader? Do you have any resolutions to make, or any hopes of what the new year will bring? Or do you think that the practice of using the fact that the Earth has successfully completed another orbit around the Sun as an excuse for introspection is silly, and just won't bother? Either way, I wish you will live the following year in interesting times. And if you consider that to be a curse rather than a well-wish, then I suppose it must suck to be you.

Love and hope,
Winterdragon