Friday, July 30, 2010

Rather be dead than listen to classical music

Today I did most of the listening on the Youtube. Below you can see the version of "Für Elise" I listened to. Really nice piece. The version on the keyboard is only a minute long so some parts were, not to say the least, very unexptected. Other pieces I listened to were "Moonlight Sonata" and also "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" with Mozart.
Classical music is not what I expected at all. Since I started to listen to it, it has started to grow on me. The one I thought would be very difficult listening to was Mozart, and I kind of like his music now.
A fun thing happened at work last weekend. My collegue was early and I told him he could take a break before he took over the shift. He went to the kitchen next door and at the time I listened to Pachelbel. I wanted to hear better so I raised the volume, a little bit not to loud. After the piece had ended I lowered the volume again and looked back to see if the collegue was ready and I saw that he had closed the door to the kitchen! It has never happened before. Well, he is young and I laughed since it reminded of me at that age. Rather be dead than listen to classical music. :)
I feel like I have matured enough to listen to classical music, but I don´t know if it´s because I started to listen to it, or is it just my age?

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Today I watched a program about Beethoven, In Beethovens footsteps. It was interesting to learn about his life and compositions. I had no idea that it was he who had composed "Für Elise" (one favourite on my keyboard) and I got surprised when I recognized parts of the 5th, 6th och 9th symphonys. The conductor Kurt Masur talks about the dissonance in the ninth symphony. Thank you!! Now I know it isn´t me just being ignorant and tonedeaf, the false tones are an actual fact. Masur called this dissonance "genious" and very modern, and that it was "hard to digest" for the listeners at the time and probably scared them away.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Third weekly challenge - listen to classical music

This week I´m going to listen to different classical composers and pieces. The reason for having this as a challenge is not only because I heard that classical music is good for the brain, you study better and the synapses build more connections, but I was also curious why people enjoy classical music and wanted to understand this, see what I have missed.
Today I will start with two cds I borrowed from the library. One is with the Berliner Philharmoniker playing Albinoni, Bach, Pachelbel, Vivaldi, Mozart and Gluck, the second cd is Oboe Concert Vol 2 by Albinoni recorded at Rosslyn Chapel, London.
I already started listening to the first cd at work last weekend. I listened to it for more than 5 hours. I found then that I loved the Pachelbel´s piece aswell as Albinoni´s immeditially. Listening through it today I enjoy the whole cd! Vivaldis Concerto for Flute, Strings and Harpischord in G minor, op. 10 no.2 "La notte" and Bachs Air are very pieceful to listen to. Gluck´s Dance of the Blessed Spirits is very beautiful. In my mind I was in a lusthouse with jewel curtains, surrounding trees and the sky were just mere colours. And when finally listening to Mozart´s Serenata notturna in D major, K. 259 I saw a huge canvas full of living music, maybe I got too relaxed. :) Normally I don´t like music that has very pompous parts mixed with slower parts and then the POM-POM-POM again, but I really like how it got my imagination started.
To summarize the first day: I think it´s the violins I love in the music, but I also enjoy the flute. I listened to Albinoni the first time when I was pregnant. I don´t know if the hormons made it easier to get connected to the music, but I have loved the one piece since. But if I tried listening to other classical music I could only hear dissonance and would pretty soon be feeling sick. Today, and specially after last Sunday, I don´t feel like I "overeate" classical music. I feel relaxed and I´m thankful that I learned to listen to this kind of music. I mean, so far so good.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Failed the second weekly challenge

Today I haven´t been in a good mood, probably because I failed the second challenge. I didn´t succeed in reading and listening to the whole Arabic course within a week. It doesn´t feel good failing already, well it doesn´t feel good failing at all. I thought the second challenge was doable and I understand now that I had forgotten to much of what I had learned earlier.
I did start reading the course and finished a decent amount of chapters. I find it fascinating that I understand more than I did when I started just a mere week ago, so I have gotten really motivated. Which was the intention: getting started with Arabic again.
But these are challenges! I have to step up, get my grips together, whatever it´s called. I have to understand if I´m up to a challenge, if it´s a possible task. If not - do it anyway!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I found this nice composition on youtube. Listen and enjoy! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Music for the brain

A few times I have tried to start listening to classical music. I think the reason is that I read somewhere that this kind of music makes you smarter. :) Once I actually did something about it and surfed to the e-library. I thought I would listen through the whole collection of classical music and started with the first one available, which happened to be Albinoni´s Adagio in G minor for Strings and Organ. I downloaded it and listened to this piece so many times and everytime I started to cry (and still do), it´s so beautiful. I tried a few other pieces aswell but didn´t find any more that I liked. 
I´m  thinking that I should have classical music as a challenge (will put it on the list). By that I mean, listening to different composers and pieces, finding more beautiful music and trying to teach myself in liking the pieces that are "difficult". In doing so I think I will benefit in ways that I yet don´t know of.
I have borrowed a cd, which I am now listening to, and actually found one more piece that is really beautiful, Johann Pachelbel´s Canon and Gigue in D major for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

At work

Yesterday´s post "please write comments" feels almost like a cheat  :) What can I say? I was at work, doing nightshift this weekend, and saw the clock closing in on midnight. None the less, I would be happy if someone would write a comment. Btw in any language I understand is ok. :)
I tried to study Arabic at work yesterday instead of watching "Saving Grace". I managed it for an hour and a half, then I got to sleepy. The only thing I can do at that point is either work or watch TV-series and movies.
Today I´ve slept 8 hours and feel like my "jetlag" is gone, so I hope I can study the whole night through. Hm working and studying at the same time? Yes it is true, I´m even working right now. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

In Swedish is OK

I would be happy if you want to write a comment. In Swedish is OK aswell. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weekly challenges

I have been thinking about what challenges I´m going to do in the weeks to follow and came up with a few ideas:

Walking 10 000 steps a day. Today I´m walking, on an active day, maximum 5 000 steps. When I have been working nights hardly 500 steps...
Early riser. Could sleep less hours a day. From 00.00 - 06.00 would be a challenge.
Reading The digital photography book: Scott Kelby volumes 1, 2 and 3. By many recommended as the best books in how to learn photography.
Listen to classical music. I´m widening my musical horizon and I`ve read that classical music is good for the brain.
Detox. I could do with one. I probably have tons of toxic inside me.
Raw food. Would be interesting to try not to eat processed food. Good for the body.
Event week. Could be fun for the children if we went out a little more and did stuff.
Project week. I have a lot of projects I want to do. They have been piling up for many years.
Create an artwork in different material every day. That should be a fun and creative challenge.
Speed-reading. Learn how to read faster. That would be very useful! I love to read and I could finish even more books.
Spa week. I could do my nails, have massage, do the hair... How wonderful that kind of week would be, and much needed.
Organic week. Buy and eat only ecological products. Good to avoid toxins for a week at least.
Bake bread. A new recipe every day.
Step outside personal boundaries. It sounds scary, but if one never tries to step outside them one never knows what one is capable of.
Only water to drink. Now I have learned to drink water. To only drink water and avoid coffee and tea would be good, also to avoid lemonade with sugarsubstitute. I don´t drink alkohol or soda so that is no problem.
Do a sport for an hour a day. That sounds like fun and it could activate my kids aswell.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arabic - the second weekly challenge

Salam aleikum!
Well, today I started to read the Arabic course. I read through the 2 first chapters, just 13 more to go this week. Takes some time to read and listen to the chapters. I wonder why I didn´t think of having "learning to speed-read" or "early riser" as a challenge before anything that has to do with reading..? :)
Strangely I felt really thirsty and ended up drinking 7 glasses of water today. I think I will keep up the good work as long as I obey the thirst, and drink the whole glass at a time. Kind of remember that I supressed the thought of drinking many times prior to the challenge and only sipping when I was drinking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First challenge completed

I did it! I did it! :)
To summarize the first weekly challenge: not as difficult as I suspected. The water did finally run down my throat and it seems like I´m always been drinking water (?!) I believe I even drank more than 8 glasses a day since I sometimes forgot to make a mark. Better safe than a cheat...
My stomach does feel a lot better when I drink water, I´m not more energetic though which I anticipated. I have to find something else that makes that happen.
I´m going to continue to drink water, but not as many as 8 glasses a day. I´m going to make it a habit of drinking a glass of water before meals, which makes it 3-5 glasses a day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Next weekly challenge

The next challenge is for me to finally read the Arabic coursebook I have been borrowing from the library many times but never read past page 1... It´s 265 pages incl glossary and 3 cds. I have some previous knowledge in Arabic, mostly from the beginners course I took at university some years ago, but also from daily listening to my partner telling the kids "kul wa uskut" ("eat and shut up";) ), not to mention the TV which is constantly on either of two arabic childrens channels, so I can hopefully manage it by making a serious effort. Actually just by reading it through is going to set some standard. ;)
The coursematerial is from Living Language, beginners course in modern standard Arabic.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I am like a butterfly in the wind, changing course of interest by the gentlest of breezes.

I will write down my major interests and see where I go astray, instead of following some big plan, which I feel I´m not ready to do yet. Writing down my interests maybe makes it clearer about what goals I really want to accomplish in life.

Living healthy. Today I drink to much coffee and don´t eat enough of the healthy stuff. Also I want to teach healthy living to my kids.
Lose weight. Now I´m 71,5 kg (two pregnancies), ideally I should weigh 58 kg.
Become fit. I have never been fit in my whole life. I just wish I had the condition to run after the bus without my legs going numb halfway (as they usually do).
Taking care of my appearance. I wish I were doing my nails, make-up, spa treatments etc on a regular basis instead of having an inspirational day a year.

That was the easy part, now to the other part, where I am like a butterfly in the wind, changing course of interest by the gentlest of breezes.

IT-forensics. I recently discovered the name for this subject but I´ve always felt a fascination for it. Can see myself working as an it-forensic as a profession.
Mathematics. I have enlisted in the pre-university course during this summer. I´m now behind schedule unfortunately but that´s not a big surprise to me. Don´t know why I´m studying mathematics except for the love of it.
Webbdesign. I´m also enlisted in the webbdesignprogram at the Linnéuniversity since last year. I did finish 30 p out of 60, falling behind here as well, don´t know if I can catch up to continue the second year.
Arabic. I have been enlisted in the beginners course at the university some years ago, finished 3 p out of 30. I love the language. My kids speak it, my partner speaks it, I still don´t understand more than some words.
English. I want to be an English-Swedish translator. I can see myself doing the subs for the TV-series... :)
French.  I read some French in school, learned petite and have always wanted to learn it fluently. Have no urge to go to France though, well not unless my partner finds job overthere (he´s almost fluent in French).
Iphone-apps. I picked up a book saying that you can earn some money by doing apps. Of course I have to learn Objective-C first, install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on my PC (don´t even know if it´s possible with the hardware I´m having) and then learn to use Iphone SDK and Xcode tools...
Play the keyboard. I own a nice keyboard. So far I´ve learned to play "Annies song". I have had the keyboard for 7 years. I really like to learn to play for real. ;)
(by no means is the list complete)

Listed above are major fields in where I want to improve myself, so the challenges I pick has to relate to any of these fields.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

8 glasses of water, 7 glasses of water...

and finally the last glass of water! I had to drink the 3 last glasses of water almost straight ahead since I forgot to drink them earlier in the evening. Painful! :)

Self-improvement trap

I googled on challenge yourself and stumbled upon Finer Minds. There you can find lots of interesting articles about self-improvement.

I read an article about falling into the self-improvement trap, which is when you learn something but don´t apply it. The things you´ve learned don´t stick for some reason. It can be that you learned things that you really don´t have any use for or interest to continue practising in real life, or that the learningprocess wasn´t that vital. I have a history of learning random things from books and the internet, things that I either didn´t learn well enough, or didn´t put in a bigger picture, or silly things like... making balloon-animals. :) They take a lot of time and effort from real knowledge which accumulated will lead to wisdom.

Lesson learned: I have to see that I use the gained knowledge from the challenge for it to be worthwhile. To find worthwhile goals I have to set up the big plan.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Completed yet another day in the weekly challenge

Drank my 8 glasses of water, 2.4 liter, without problems today.
Every night I have to accompany my daughter to the toilet, she´s only four and really giddy at night. But since I started drinking a lot of water I have to wake up twice since even I nowadays feel the urge. That is really a downside with drinking water... :(
On the other side, my stomach feels a lot better. Before I were constipated and well... now I´m not. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yet another day in the weekly challenge...

It has been very hot today again and I have been at the pool with the kids the whole day. We went to my brothers where a new poolarea has been built nearby, very nice there. :) The wind blew fairly hard so we didn´t get that warm, instead did we grown-ups changed skincolor from scandinavic pale to scarlet pink. Yeah my brother doesn´t take care of himself either :)
I did drink my 8 glasses of water today aswell, and I must admit I could drink a glass at a time straight up, feeling really thirsty. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Managed the challenge of today

I finished the last glass of water for today at 23.18. Phui... :) Now I feel the urge from a full bladder and the sensation of my head almost exploding (slight headache) from the waterpressure..? :)

The first weekly challenge - drinking water

It has been tropical weather here in Stockholm for the past few days, well almost for whole last month. The other day it was 35 degrees C and it is very nice after the long cold winter. I have seen to that my kids drink excessive amounts of fluids, wear sunhats and whatever, but I´m not that protective of myself. I´m almost fainting after a long day playing out with the kids and have little, or no, energy in the evenings.
I decided to start to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Maybe you are laughing "that this is no challenge" :), but I´ve tried it before and it didn´t work. I just don´t feel that thirsty. I drink several cups of coffee and maybe one or two glasses of juice at dinner, that´s it.
Water is the foundation of life: drinking water makes you more energetic, makes your bodily functions work better. I even read that not drinking enough water is the main reason for many diseases.
So far I´ve been drinking 4 glasses today despite the hot weather, two and a half hours to go for the next 4. It´s going to be tough. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



I´m a woman from Sweden and I´ve just recently started thinking about what I have accomplished in life. For some reason, not all that obvious to me, I didn´t accomplish that much.
I´m not wealthy. I´m not well educated. I´m not fit.
I´m in a relationship and have two children. I have a parttime job.

So, why this blog? I´m going with this blog challenge myself in learning or do things I really want to but earlier been to lazy, occupied or had 2 billion other reasons not to do. Why in English? Well, this is my first challenge, writing a blog in a language I wish to get better at. I´m going to give it a year, even if no-one except family and friends is reading it:) , and by that it´s going to be the challenge.

With the help of this blog I will also try to be a closer. Slowly by practising to finish things I´m going to feel more and more like a closer instead of a quitter. Which I am today I´m sad to admit.
Maybe I also can be of some inspiration with this blog to anyone who wishes to make better in life? Well humblest of my wishes anyway. :)

How I am going to go about it? I have one challenge, at least a post a day on this blog, for the duration of one year. Also I´m going to study English during this time, not only so this blog gets readible but also so I can understand american tv-series better :). I´m also going to challenge myself at least once a week. By the end of this year I will at least have accomplished 51 worthwhile challenges.