Monthly Archives: October 2013

Short little update

Tom and I went to Oxford between Sunday-Monday and stayed with his parents, since he had to get a wisdom tooth removed at a hospital nearby on Monday morning. He came home from work today, had dinner, then fell asleep on the couch and has been sleeping soundly since then. Bless. I haven’t had any wisdom teeth removed and while I knew it hurt I didn’t think it made people so sleepy. Then again I have reason to believe that Tom’s reactions to medicine and surgical procedures (and contact lens examinations) is probably not the normal reaction. Usually I take a photo of him to shame him when he falls asleep this early (usually after 1 beer). He’ll get a pass this time though because he’s going to be sufficiently grumpy anyway because I made this blog post.

On an unrelated note, today I Skyped with mum’s dog (and mum and my younger sister). I miss him so much. I worry a lot about my family when I’m away, and that was my main hindrance against coming/staying here. The dog is fine, unfortunately mum has hit a rough patch again health wise after years of being relatively healthy, which is pretty much everything I feared before going here. She has some form of borderline/psychotic depression that’s been going on since she was a teen, but with long periods of being relatively healthy. I wish I could believe that, because she’s hit rough patches before and eventually things became OK, it will be OK again but the truth is that sometimes anti-depressants and anti-psychotics just stop working, and sometimes there’s no more medicine or therapy to try, and sometimes it’s been close – scary close – that everything ended the worst way possible. But I’m trying to stay positive and think about how she has a lot of resources that other people with mental illness don’t have access to. It’s hard to be so far away though when you kind of want to have a constant eye on someone.

On a second unrelated note, I’ve written a long post about hair (and I haven’t even had anything done to mine). Don’t worry, it will all make sense when I post it. I think. I doubt I’ll finish it tonight though. I hope it will be interesting, it’s tidbits of the social history of hair that I find particularly interesting. You’d think that it would be a bit disheartening that the posts that takes me the longest to make, the article styled one about whatever topic I find interesting, are the ones that very rarely gets any attention at all. To be honest, I’m just happy I have people reading my blog at all. I got a notification a while ago that I have received 100 likes and almost 50 followers, which is much more than I expected, even if a good few of them might be bots (I don’t know why someone would create bots to follow blogs, but if you know, please enlighten me). If you haven’t noticed already I try post a mix of posts relating to my personal life, recipes, funny stuff and more serious article style posts. What I’m trying to avoid the most is that kind of blog that is all about image crafting and showing the world how great your life is; what’s the point in that?

To finish off this very odd update (that I only thought of making because it’s been a while and it’s going to take a while longer before my hair post is done), here’s a photo of the aftermath of St Jude that I thought was really funny.

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My suggestion for the next diet fad

Atkinson was replaced by GI, GI was replaced by 5:2 or primal or whichever diet fad is winning. I “developed” my own diet, or maybe my diet was forced upon me by fate, poor motor skills and general body failure. My diet includes three easy steps for anyone willing to try.

1. Put as much food as you want on your plate, but make sure to drop half of the content on yourself, the table or the floor while attempting to eat it.

2. Buy a slice of cake. Get an allergic reaction halfway through and donate the remaining half to the person next to you because your mouth is swelling up.

3. Eat a delicious dinner at a restaurant. Get a massive acid reflux attack at 3 am in the morning and throw everything up.

In memory of this cake that I tried to eat.

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Please give me a reason to wear a suit

When I moved to London I only brought two bags of luggage. In this luggage I included my suit/blazer, since I might need it for interviews. The job interviews I’ve been to has been jobs where, if you worked there, you certainly wouldn’t show up in a suit, since kids may throw up on you or because you have to wear scrubs anyway. When I worked in elderly home care I was told to wear my least favorite clothes to work, because even if they don’t get thrown up upon, you will eventually associate them with changing diapers or cleaning wounds. So anyway, in short, it just haven’t been the kind of interviews where a suit is necessary, and I really want to wear my suit! I’ve been offered a job now, but maybe I need to attend some more job interviews in case I’ll get an interview that calls for the wearing of a suit.

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… I may have walked around in it a bit before my last interview. It makes me feel important.

The stupid thing is that I completely missed the international suit up day on October the 13th. 😦

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The suspension is killing me!!

Okay, this is my last post before some radio silence. I’m going to do my best to avoid internet and TV until I get a chance to view the final of The Great British Bake-Off, which I won’t until 11pm, and I don’t want to find out who wins before I’ve gotten a chance to view it. I won’t check the comments in this post either so don’t try to spoil me here.

Speaking off spoilers… just one thing before I’m gone… I have “liked” Criminal Minds on FB and they posted the weirdest description for episode 9.05 (which I think will air in the US tomorrow) and now I’m dying to find out what the fuck happens. The description is obviously spoiler-y but you can read it here. It’s the official episode description, spoil much CBS???Is this a flashback episode or what the hell is going on??? I NEED TO SEE IT NOW.

Edit: OMG I just realized there’s no way it’s a flashback episode due to how things went down during that storyline.

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Stone or tooth??

I think I may have swallowed a piece of tooth.

I was chewing carrot sticks when I bit something really hard. It got stuck really far back in my mouth, so I tried to get it out with my fingers but inadvertently ended up swallowing it instead. Now I got a tingly tooth. So much for eating healthy snacks.

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Rainy day

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Woke up by the rain pounding against the window so hard that I thought it was hail. We’ve had a proper autumn storm today! Lightening and everything. Love it! The rain went away for a while during the early afternoon, but then came back and took me by surprise when I was out for a walk. I got pretty much soaked despite having an umbrella with me.

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Dreams and other fucked up things the brain does

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I know everyone hates hearing about other people’s dreams, but dreams as a phenomenon is freaking interesting! No one knows quite why we dream, but of course there is a lot of theories. Some say that dreaming is the brain’s way of filtering the events and thoughts of the day, which makes sense until you consider that dream you had about your primary school teacher that you haven’t thought of in years yelling at you for crocheting obscene art.

And why do some people dream so much more than others? I dream every night and I remember my dreams when I wake up. My boyfriend rarely dreams at all, and when he does he wakes up screaming because he dreams of bees. I think I’ve always been fascinated with dreams. When I was a kid I would sneak in to my younger sister’s room and whisper random things into her ear to see if she would dream about them. In general, I feel like she was the subject of most of my psychological experiments as a child. That’s what older siblings are for, I guess.

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Dreams are also interesting when you consider what the brain actually does when dreaming,- it pretty much shuts down both your ability to think logically and be self-aware. I’m sure everyone has experienced dream logic at some point, but brain scans has actually shown that the prefrontal lobe is more or less deactivated when dreaming. Some people claim to be able to become self-aware and presumably capable of logical reasoning while dreaming, which is called lucid dreaming. The point of lucid dreaming is being aware that you are in fact dreaming and being able to manipulate the dream. I tried to master it when I was younger (there’s a lot of online instructions on how to do it) but it only worked for a short period of time.

Another interesting (and sometimes horrifying) thing is how our bodies become paralyzed when sleeping to prevent us from hurting ourselves (or others) by acting out the movements that our dreamself is doing. For some people, the brain shuts down body control too early or turns it on too late, the so called “sleep paralysis” , when you realize you are awake and can’t move. Others, like my mum, seem to lack this function entirely and ends up doing a ton of stupid things while asleep, like rearranging the furniture. I think the most terrifying story of sleep walking that I’ve heard was about a friend of a friend who woke up to discover all of his kitchen knives laid out neatly on the kitchen table. Luckily nothing happened, but it really makes you think about what could happen.

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Of all the crap the brain pulls when dreaming, the thing I hate the most is hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations. Hypnagogic hallucinations is what you might hear or see just before falling asleep; hypnopompic hallucinations is what happens when you wake up. My number 1 reason for never wanting to drop acid is because my infrequent but terrifying hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations makes me think that me on acid is just a bad, bad, bad idea. I once woke up and screamed my lungs out and threw myself to the other side of the bed because I thought there was a spider the size of my head on my wall. More commonly, when I’m about to fall asleep, I hear a loud, monotonic beep that sets my heart racing. A common element to all my hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations is that I jerk awake with a feeling of panic and dread even though the thing I see/hear aren’t that scary by themselves. Thanks a lot, brain!

Anyhow, so why can’t we read in dreams? Things like reading a text and looking at a clock are often hard to do in dreams, but there isn’t a solid explanation as to why. Some people also experience that the palms of their hands are messed up when dreaming, but that has never happened to me. One theory is that some part of the brain that is involved in reading text or the sense of time is deactivated during sleep.

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Bell peppers stuffed with feta, mushrooms and chickpeas

Here’s the recipe that I was meaning to post:

Ingredients:

3 Big bell peppers (any color)

1 white onion

1 egg

2 cloves of garlic

350g mushrooms

200g Feta cheese

One tin (400g) of chick peas

100g grated cheddar

Rice

Instructions:

Chop the onion and the mushrooms finely and fry until they have a nice color and the liquid has been reduced. Put the mix aside to cool off. Chop the feta into pieces and put it into a bowl, then add the chickpeas and crush everything into a mash. Add an egg and work in the onion/mushroom mix. Split the peppers in two, remove the pit and put them in the oven on a foiled baking sheet for roughly 20 minutes at 225*c. When the peppers have 5 minutes left to cook, sprinkle the grated cheese on top and let the peppers stand until the cheese has melted. Serve with rice!

If you really like bell peppers, use 6 bell peppers instead of one and gut them without splitting them in two and fill it with stuffing. They’re a bit harder to cook this way since they tend to fall over, but you can create some support for them by scrunching together the tin foil in a circle around them. Nom! Enjoy.

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Mr, Mrs, Ms, Misc?

I received a birthday card in the mail addressed to “Misc Johanna”. Now, I’m new to the UK and a little unused to using titles, but I think the only logical explanation is that if you aren’t married and you aren’t enough of a lady to be referred to as “Miss” you get to be Miscellaneous instead. If not, I suggest that this should be the new system. From here on I will only be referred to as Misc. Johanna.

OK, it was probably just an innocent typo on behalf of the sender. I think it’s funny to send people nice things in a package and then decorate the outside of the package with something embarrassing or write a weird nickname for the recipient on the address lines. A couple of months ago I sent some nice chocolate addressed to a Mr Tom “Hairybum” Surname and got called disrespectful by the postman who delivered the package. I like to think my message in doing this is: “I’ll send you nice things, but to show that you want it bad enough you will have to go through shame and embarrassment to collect it”.

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Saturday in London

 

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Today I visited the Scandinavian show in Tobacco docks to hunt for lingonberry jam. I was a bit disappointed because I expected more representation from smaller craft companies and delicacy brands, but instead there was mostly big names like Fjällräven which are already well established outside of Scandinavia. I did find my lingonberry jam so it wasn’t a complete disappointment. Oddly enough, Kimberly from The Great British Bake-Off was there too, although I’m not sure if she was there to shop and eat like the rest of us, or whether she was there on some form of business. Maybe she was there in hopes of learning more about the Swedish cinnamon rolls…? Anyway, I didn’t approach her so the only thing I can say for sure is that she’s taller than I imagined. I think she’s my favorite on the show at the moment, because I keep mixing up Becca and Frances, and while Ruby is talented she kind of annoys me by being so self-deprecating. I feel like her constant apologizing inadvertently makes the judges go easier on her than the other contestants and that’s not fair to the others.

On our way home we took the Emirate Airlines cable cars to the O2 and had a wander about, then took the tube to London Bridge and checked out Borough Market before taking the train home.

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