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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sunny morning and Go

This morning I woke up from a ray of sunshine falling in on my pillow. <3 After a long, dark winter that's got to be one of the best ways to wake up! Early morning sunshine through the window, it even got past the blinds just to wake me up. *giggles*

As it is a lovely day, I'm a bit sad to be working inside most of the day, but it can't be helped. At least I'll be able to wear my dresses. <3 I hope the weekend will be as lovely, if so we can play Go outside. :) Lately, my Go has been changing a lot... The games before my break was pretty haphazard, since I didn't know much about whole board strategy back then. Now, however... I don't know, but it feels like I've gotten several stones stronger by just taking a break and coming back. I'm reviewing pro games at a daily basis, and although I do confess that they're far beyond my level I do learn interesting things from them.
When I was younger, my only goal with a game was to win it, but right now I feel that I have a bigger goal - to be strong. First goal is 1 dan, I can't slack of if I want to reach that goal, and I can't back down because of losses. Also...trying new things, new strategies, new moves is part of growing stronger.

We've started recording games as the go club, which is a great opportunity for me to review my own games and learn from the mistakes I make. I've been playing my beloved, and by doing so I also realise I need to learn how to count points now... I've crushed her with more than double of her points even with her having four handicap stones. I don't think I'm strong enough to give her more than two more stones, but somehow I feel that what it's not so much that I need to add handicap stones, but learning to get a balance in power and territory - and count points. I'm terrible at judging how big the difference is.

Here is a game that I came across when I was reviewing, that really stumped me considering how it starts. I have never seen a first move at 6-4 before, it's a first for me. Of course, that move pretty much affected how the entire game went on... If you have a little Go-knowledge, feel free to have a look. :) It's an exciting game, even if you don't understand the motive behind every move.

Ko Reibun vs Ohashi Hirofumi

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Warm day

I love sunshine, I do, but today has been quite a lovely day despite the cloudy skies. The wind is calm and not cold, and the air is warm. It's perfect weather for dresses, and I'm so happy. <3
I've decided to treat myself a little... My sister is going to Japan again at the end of March, and I thought I'd give her some money to buy something for me when she does. Of course, there isn't much money to spare, but I feel that it's worth it since... Well. It might be another three years until she goes again (or I've finished my studies and got a job) and all work and no fun won't keep me going for long.

So. Treats. <3 I thought about it a long time, and then I remembered the pictures I've seen of Japanese fabric stores. With rows and rows of adorable buttons and berlocks in all shapes and colours. So... That's the plan. :) I think that should she find such a place and get some for me, they'll last quite a long time. Ah! I really hope she does! <3 There is so much cuteness out there that I'm disappointed in how uninspired Swedish fashion is... :( I mean, there is so much - why stick to blah designs? Most people don't even try to find classy clothes, they just go with the dreadfully boring everyday fashion... >.<

Come on people, it's not hard!

Er, anyway! ^.^;; Cuteness! <3

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Spring - and exams

Phew! It's been a while now! I'm sorry, I've just been so busy. ^.^; The last few days have been really lovely. <3 Sunny and beautiful, and the snow and ice have started melting away. Spring flowers are starting to come up, and birds are returning. It's early - much earlier than usual - but spring is on its' way. :)
Of course, spring and warmer weathers mean one thing: begone pants, welcome back skirt! <3 It's been a little chilly in the evenings, but oh, I'm so happy to be able to wear my dresses again! <3 Now I just need time... Exams are coming up - I have one mock exam on Friday and two real ones next week, so I really don't have time to slack off and play. Or sew. I do confess, though, that I have set off Saturday afternoons for playing Go...

Maybe I should say something about Go here for you who never heard of it. It's a strategy board game that is one of the oldest board games around. It's played with black and white "stones" on a large board with 19x19 lines - and you play on the intersections. Think of it as a battlefield, or a map. Your stones are soldiers and they need to put down the enemy... Or at least make him flee. ;) Simply put: the idea with it is to surround territory (empty intersections) and make sure your territory is larger than your opponent's territory. Go is, however, a way too complex game to simplify like that, and it would take much too long for me to try. It's a game you can play for a life time and still not master...
A blogger (here) said it beautifully: The Goban (Go board): a battlefield on which players have danced an intricate dance for thousands of years, continually expanding human understanding of a game of unparallelled complexity.  A game that is considered a martial art (rather than a game) in some cultures.

And now, it's back to studies again. :) I'll try to not take so long before my next post.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Melon Bread

It's been such a stressful week, that this weekend just ran away from me. x.x Tomorrow it's school again, and I was at a total loss what to have for my lunchbox. I thought about making pancakes, but we didn't have enough eggs, and I didn't feel like eating anything with rice...which excludes a whole lot of the regular lunch box repertoir.

And then it struck me. While it's not exactly lunch material...I thought I'd make Melon Pan (also known as Melon Bread). I've never made Melon pan but... I thought I'd try. :)

Here's the recipe I used if you want to try yourself:

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm well aware that not everyone celebrates Valentine - some even hate it - but I think that even if you are not currently in a relationship, Valentines day doesn't necessarily have to be about showing you love someone. It could be anything you want it to be. The Chocolate Day, the Lolita Day or the Spoil Myself Day. I constantly hear people say they hate it, but I wonder what it is they really hate. Is it so bad not to be in a relationship? I mean, loads and loads of people out there are in relationships with people they don't love. Not really. Many never knew real love and mistook it for lust. Or the need for attention.

Either way, I don't think there are any valid reasons to hate Valentine's Day because of what it stands for. (Of course, this excludes if you have something truly sad to connect to the 14th of February. Not getting roses doesn't count.) But I'm straying from my point. I love Valentine's Day. :) And not because of gifts or flowers - no I love it because this time of the year so many cute things appear in the stores! <3 Everything from soft toys to cute underwear. <3 The perfect time to stock up on cute Lolita-things. :) And a lot of delicious cookie-recipes pop up. Yum! <3 And they sell adorable pastries in the cafés and bakeries. <3

I was also listening to Morning Musume (Morning Girl/s) this morning, it's been a while. I love this conceot. No, I really do. Western pop idols are not very good role models in my opinion. Anybody that sexualises themselves, do plastic surgery, drink, smoke, use drugs and or cover their whole faces in make up are hardly approriate role models for young girls. I just find it so sad when children look up to people like Britney Spears or Amy Winehouse, bless her soul. They just seem like such sad, unhappy people.

I'm not saying that Japanese pop artists are not exploited - of course anyone in such a position show up everywhere, on posters and concerts and lunch boxes... - it's part of the whole thing. But let's look at the concept instead. What do the children see? For idol groups such as Morning Musume, a lot of the western behaviour is not accepted. If any of the girls are caught smoking or drinking - or even visiting inappropriate places - they'd get replaced because they would not be good role models anymore. I think that's very important, and I find it sad that us westerners always try to spoil talent. I cry when I see parents sexualising their young daughters in children's fashion contests. I'm sad when I see people who used to be children's idols end up dying in the most grotesque way because of drugs or alcohol or both. I just want to close my eyes and ears and don't have to listen when I hear scandal upon scandal and I know - that sooner or later the children that loved the music will grow up and realise just what kind of role model their idol was.

No. That's why I think this is so much better. Morning Musume just being an example, of course. An example of healthy, happy young women that sing of happy things, that tell children that smoking and drinking is bad, and that you should be kind to everyone. I think that's so much better.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Cold days

For a few weeks now it's gradually gone colder and colder, and I'm getting weary of it. I want spring now and warmer weather, because I'm tired of wearing pants. :( It's so unattractive and uncomfortable. I've done what I can to pimp my outfits without going too far...but "normal" clothes are so dreadfully boring. *sighs*

And I want a new dress, but there's not enough time for one as it is. Especially not now, since there's a test today, but maybe...maybe in a few weeks. My birthday is coming up, and you really know you're an adult when you make plans to work that day. ^.^;; I'm holding a lot of lectures during spring break (at least students below 19 have one, not us), which is going to be fun. :) I'm also planning on keeping a workshop at Ichigo Café. That's going to be fun. <3

But right now...I want spriiiiiiiiing! *pouts*

Fawn was finished last week, now I have a currently headless Rainbow Dash on my ironing board...