Rammstein at Bråvalla, 28 June 2013.

This is not the first time I've gone off on a fangirl rant about Rammstein, nor is it the first concert of theirs I've been to.  I was wandering around the town I live in back in wintertime and saw an advert for a pretty popular Swedish music festival, and the word "Rammstein" jumped out at me.

I knew I had to go.  But one major difference this time is that I have a boyfriend who actually wants to do stuff with me.  I asked him if he'd go (despite his relative indifference with the band) and he said yes.  It's the first time anyone's ever gone with me to a concert.

This wasn't a heavy-duty Rammstein concert--this was an outdoor music festival.  It was in Sweden, not in America.  There were some notable similarities and differences in the experience which I will highlight first, in case anyone's interested in how the two compare to each other.

Similarities between the festival and the closed venue concert:

  • I got impregnated from the divine penis of Till Lindemann and will be birthing a savior one day.
  • I screamed so loudly that I broke several eardrums and people around me were staring.
  • Till locked eyes with me and I pissed myself.
  • They put on one hell of an amazing, hypnotizing performance. 
  • People old and young, metal and poin-Dexter, showed up to listen and enjoyed themselves.
  • I was front row like any good doting psycho band stalker groupie wannabe.  
  • Till was perfect, and again inspires me to be the eccentric weirdo I was born as. 
  • We got sprayed with Till-semen from his huge soap rocket thing at the end of the night. 
Differences between the festival and closed venue: 
  • The festival was less "pomp and circumstance" and far more relaxed atmosphere
  • Till was even joking and smiling once or twice.  He also grabbed his crotch a lot more.
  • He also dry humped a lot more things which caused me to moan and cry and scream a lot.
  • The festival was shorter time-wise.  
  • The people at the festival were also more relaxed.  No shoving! No pushing! It was awesome.
  • Since it was Europe, they performed "Buck Dich" and Till mimed sodomizing Flake.  
  • Which by the way, I am pretty sure I came.  And Till's semen smells like licorice, for the record.

We took a train to Norrköping, the town where the festival took place.  From there it was a bus to an airfield and a long walk in urine-mud.  The setup was pretty awesome, though.  Several stages, lots of amusement park rides, and a nice grey overcast day.  We got some churros (Churros in Sweden....that was weird for me) and ate some sandwiches, looking at merchandise and fucking around all afternoon.  I have never done anything with anybody like this, and Henri is the absolute best person to be with.  He makes everything more fun, and I feel so safe and at ease with him.   Plus he's hot.

Henri's favorite turned out to be the infamous "Till cooking Flake" during Mein Teil event--one I'd seen back in Denver, and my favorites were Benzin and Buck Dich.  In Benzin, they brought out a large model gas station tank, (which Till was grinding against and that was one of the times I lost sphincter control) and he set a stage guy on fire using a flamethrower from the gas nozzle.  The stage guy was running around trying to get offstage, but Richard and Olli kept blocking his exit and laughing at him, all while continuing to play.  Buck Dich has a pretty infamous event--Flake reveals he's wearing assless chaps, and he puts on a ball gag and Till flops out a pretty sizeable fake penis and then they mime having anal sex while Till spews gallons and gallons of artificial semen (OR IS IT ARTIFICIAL?? IS IT??? ISSSSSSSS ITTTTTTTTTT) on those lucky enough to be up front.

The thing is, when they did that trick in America back forever ago, Chicago police arrested them for "lewd acts" and Till and Flake spent a night in jail.  This triggered Rammstein vowing to never come back to America, a vow which they stubbornly kept for a decade.  When they did the 2012 tour, it was their first time back since the incident.  And they weren't happy with America anyway.  Maybe it was because this was a festival, but they seemed more comfortable the second time around.  Sidenote--at the end of the night Till said "Tack så mycket" and I almost died a million deaths.  Anyway, you can bet they put away the fake penises and assless chaps for the American tour.  I never thought I'd get to see it in person.  I feel extremely privileged.

It's kind of mindblowing to know that the band I've adored since I was 15, I've "met" twice now, in barely more than a year apart, in two different countries.  Music means a lot to most people, and seeing their favorite band in concert is a treat few of us get to experience unless we're rich bastards with a lot of time on our hands.  I'm not rich, nor a bastard, and I don't have so much time.  I'm very lucky and humbled.  Who knows, maybe I'll see them a third time one day.  Henri was certainly impressed and said he'd love to see them again (BEST BOYFRIEND EVER) but whatever the case, I am thrilled I've had these two opportunities.

(These are photos from the festival, by those with the more professional cameras.)



My First Midsommar.

A few notes about Midsummer:

If your friend's propeller has broken, make sure that you make him a fondant cake in the shape of a propeller despite never having worked with fondant before.  It'll turn out great.  Your boyfriend's kitchen will look like a war zone.  

If you have a UTI and can't drink alcohol, make sure that you don't mind being around a bunch of drunk people while you're entirely sober.  It's funny for about ten minutes, then it gets ridiculous.

If you want to make a flower chain, don't worry about those fancy ridiculous DIY tutorials all over Pinterest. All you need are flowers, branches, and the spirits of the Vikings to help you out.  Maybe some festive, pretty music too.  

If you have as beautiful, wonderful, and magical people in your life as me, you're certainly lucky indeed.

Aren't they all awesome and gorgeous people? God we could be like, Swedish models.  Despite mine and Madi's destructive faces.   I love my pretty Swedes (and Americans!)

This last photo was taken by Henri.  He immediately liked it, but I wasn't too sure about it.  It had been taken while I was mid-talking and I thought my mouth looked a little derpy, my eyes looked a little tired and I for some reason looked really old in the photo.

  But then I showed it to Derik and mentioned the lines under my eyes and how I felt old and he said, "You're not old.  You're young.  What you see on your face is your wisdom."  It was so touching it made me fall in love with the picture.

All photos were taken with Joacim's amazing camera!!! I'm in love with it. 
No idea about specs though.  What does this look like, an informative space? Psshh.  


Finding My Richard Parker.

Have you guys seen or read Life of Pi? It's a pretty amazing book that was made into a movie by Ang Lee, and both the book and movie are fantastic philosophical and allegorical masterpieces.  It's the story of an Indian boy named Pi who survives a shipwreck but is stuck on a lifeboat with an aggressive, deadly Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.  A lot can be said about the symbolism in the book, and I would write a whole review on it but I'm so physically and mentally exhausted I'll save it for another time.

To summarize, the tiger is the allusion to the fearsome, cruel survivor in people.  The boy, Pi, wanted to give up and die while being stranded, but fear of the tiger kept him alive.  Tending to Richard Parker is what saved him.  I watched the movie again last night with Henri and I realized...while I may not be out on a boat in the Pacific, I have to push through and survive while dealing with depression.  I have to find my Richard Parker, the "terrible one who keeps me alive" as Pi says.  It's a similar concept as the wolves in the Grey, which put fear into the plane crash survivors and keep them on their feet and moving.

When one is suicidal, it's nice to have support and hugs from loved ones and friends, but that's never what saves us truly.  It's that inner instinct, the fighter.  The Richard Parker, if you want to call it that.  I don't know exactly what part of me is the tough survivor, but I know it's in there somewhere.  Just gotta get it out somehow.  Now go watch or read this story if you haven't and be inspired.  I'll be over here missing my cat.

"What do you see, Richard Parker?  Tell me."


Surrendering to Depression.

“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes I feel like I'm a wrongly accused criminal and depression is the police.  I've escaped my prison cell and I run and have this amazing elated feeling remembering every time what freedom feels like.  Remembering that life is good and worth it and should always be fought for.  But eventually I get tired, or I fall, or I get hurt, and those chains and guns surround me again and I always have nothing to do but surrender.  There's no match to be made.  I can't claw my way out of it with only my hands.  I have to go back to that prison cell and wait.  And wait.  And wonder if things will ever change again.

And they do, because things always change.

I've not been wanting to admit it, but my depression has returned.  I have accomplished a lot since my very suicidal December 2012 days, and I feel like admitting I'm not happy, that this darkness has crept back in, makes me even more of a failure.  Who the hell moves to their dream country and gets in a dream relationship and then is depressed? The answer is of course, me.  I can't stop this, like I said, and I know that now, but it doesn't make me feel any less defeated.  Or upset.

Maybe the worst part about this round is that I actually want to be happy, for the first time in my life.  For the first time my train of thought isn't "do I deserve to be happy?" "do people like me get to be happy?" "does happiness matter?"  All those questions have pretty negative answers in my head, but they just don't matter to me so much right now.  I just want to be happy.  Living in Sweden has heightened my understanding of the world and given me a little bit of self-respect and I don't want to lose those things to depression.  But the double edge of this sword is that I have now accomplished something to be proud of.  I can have those nagging "this is my best, I've reached my peak as a person" thoughts.  What a horrible turn on victory.

Since May I've had some anxious episodes, and things have improved since my week full of panic attacks, but only on the surface.  I know I'm slipping down that slope again and this is the part where I put my hands up, throw down my cards and surrender.  So who knows what will happen.  I never do.  I just go along with it.


Madi Arrives // Armageddon // Viking Witches

Sit down guys, I'm going to tell you a story.  There will be laughs, there will be magic spells and Viking curses and romance and rolling Swedish island hills.  As with all good stories, this one ends horribly leaving your wants unfulfilled and an empty dead feeling in the pit of your stomach.  And there are plenty of pictures, so you won't even have to rely on my tapestry-like weaving of words to guide you along through this tale.

Madi arrived from America this Thursday.  I picked her up from Arlanda myself, feeling kind of proud that I've gone from a touristy visitor to a local who can route my way to the airport and back no problem.  I also felt happy that my friend would have someone meeting her right away, as opposed to the terrifying proposition of making it to T-Centralen alone, which is what I had to do for several visits to Sweden.

We spent the day walking around Old Town and then hanging out with Henri and Kristian, before calling it a night.  The best part is that my boss called me and told me I could stay in Stockholm for the weekend, giving me a full four days to tourist around.  We decided to make the most of it with Friday going to a hilltop park overlooking the city and barbequeing, and then Saturday going to Birka, the Viking island, via boat.

What could go wrong? Nothing, absolutely nothing, of course.

Except for of course the part where the end of the world happened.  Storm clouds rolled in and we had
to say goodbye to the sun, probably forever.  We tried to hold out for awhile against the storm.

It didn't work.

The rain poured in and we got SOAKED.  We headed for a nearby pub.    It was magical.
I guess if you're going to be wet and miserable, it's best to pair that with being drunk and cynical.

But once Friday was over, we started looking toward the best experience ever: BIRKA!!
Joacim has a boat, and though I'd never been on it before, I felt confident that it
would be amazing and beautiful and wonderful and relaxing.

At least I was right about that part.   
The ride to Birka and Birka itself was really lovely and amazing.
We all had a great time, and Birka is a wonderful place.
It looks exactly like all the storybooks about Viking times.

Rolling green picturesque hills and a quiet solitude and a big high windy rock.
Probably the rock you stand on and curse out Odin at. 
We didn't curse Odin, but we did have a picnic, and then some of us danced on 
some super old Viking burial mounds.  Oops. 

Maybe that's what cursed us later on.

I told Joacim "Look Viking."  Nailed it.  Also, just for the record, Joacim is the best human ever.
I am so grateful for his friendship, and I was excited for my first boat trip in my life!! Other than
the whole Riga cruise which went slightly less horribly than this boat trip.  More about that later...but
I love you Joacim.

This is a photo of the aforementioned dancing.
We are heathens, I know.

Birka has an old Viking settlement set-up to show what life was like back in Birka's heyday.
We of course went there and acted like a bunch of five year olds.
But it was great.  Also, I managed to fit in a nap on the picnic rock before we went.
So I was totally ready to take on acting like a moron in some clay and stick buildings.

It's like the witch luring in Gretel.  Oooooh creeeeeppppyyy.

I made a poultice from tar.  Weehurrhurhrur.

Before I get to the good part of the story I want to give a shout out to Georg, who was (and always is) our chief organizer and get-togetherer and tour guide.  He's a Swede who has a lot of pride in his country and knows a ton of history and is always willing and eager to share.  But even more important than all that, he is a superb friend, has a great sense of humor, and somehow I always feel safe when I'm with him.  Might have something to do with the fact that he is terrifying and huge and can scare off any predator up to and including polar bears.  Either way, I love you Georg.  Thank you for making everyone's summer so special.

The sun was setting when we left, and I was looking forward to a nice cool refreshing boat ride home.
But thanks to the choppy water and my asshole physique, I got hellaciously seasick.
It was all I could do to huddle in the back of the boat trying not to get drenched and say to myself,
don't puke don't puke don't puke.  

I didn't puke.  At the time, I thought barfing over the boat sober while a bunch of drunk people laughed at me would have been the worst thing to happen.  As it turned out, that wasn't the worst that could've happened and I would have been really happy to have puked if it meant not going through the ordeal we DID have to go through.

The propeller hit a rock.  And got busted.
Or Odin sent a bunch of Viking warrior zombies after us,
probably the ones we awakened by dancing on their burial mound.
 And they stuck their swords in the propeller.
Just as the sun was going down and we were getting cold and everyone had to pee.
We were stranded out on the lake.

Our survival plan included me trying to pee in a bucket (I had stage fright, couldn't do it)
everyone manning up and taking a turn at rowing with the two oars we had,
and docking in someone's backyard and knocking on his door to ask for help at 10pm.

He was not thrilled, but he did help us and let us keep the boat docked.
And then we stood around and got eaten by mosquitoes until we all died.

The end.