Archive for February, 2016

Touch In The Night

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on February 29, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Well then, let me tell you all about these two days of traveling we’ve had before reaching our destination. So, we started the entire fucking day off, Saturday, by getting up an hour early. And why is this mentionable? This is mentionable, because I was like “I wanna sleep another hour… but there is no time..” and once we’d finished packing everything, that’s when I realize I had my phone on Swedish timezone, and not British, meaning we could easily have slept another hour… oh well. Despite this, we almost ran late. But not too late, only late for the bus to take us to the busstation, which on the other hand, was very early.

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So we got to the busstation, got our tickets sorted out, got on the bus and then headed back towards London. It’s like.. a weird feeling in a way. You are looking out on the streets, and it’s not actually the same, but on the same time, it is. It’s just another bus on another high way, traveling between cities.

Once at Heathrow, we met up with Nathan who came all the way from Portsmouth to see us since he never made the show on Friday, so after a while, after quite the waiting, we managed to get a table at this coffeeshop where we had lunch together. He then stayed with us all the way up until it was time for us to go through security screening, and I shit you not, this was the hardest good bye I’ve ever done, at least in a very long time. Firstly, I don’t see him a lot, and secondly, I was actually really scared and nervous to do this trip to begin with, so I guess I found some comfort in Nathan being there.

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So, once inside the gates we did some last minute shopping. We planned to stay awake the entire first flight, getting loads of candy, drinks and snacks to watch the Hunger Games trilogy, found this restaurant where we had dinner before it was time to board the plane.

Lucky me, I had scored a windowseat, so it was all good. After take off an other routines, we brought up my mac computer and started off with the first Hunger Games movie, when it happened.

The stewardessess came with food. And simply asked if we wanted dinner. And we were like yeah, sure, and the next thing I know is I find a foodplatter slammed on my mac. So basically, I’m having the most surprise dinner on top of my mac when watching The Hunger Games. Surreal feeling.

Sadly, the long traveling day had worn me out quite a bit, and I was getting very restless, so despite saying we’d stay awake, we decided to sleep off. I usually get sleepy from flights anyway, so perhaps it’d sort itself out anyway.

I woke up like, what, two hours or so before landing in China. I checked out the stuff they had on the airplane television, and we found Cycle 21 of Americas Next Top Model so we decided to watch that until the stewardess came with another batch of food, but this time breakfast. Like honestly. What did I need the Chinese money for if I was just gonna get food for free anyway?!

As we were approaching China and Guangzhou, I was breathless by the view, it was just… stunning.

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Once at the airport, we did some quick hunting for food to eat – because I must admit, I was a bit stressed and rushed so I never got the chance to properly finish any of the meals, so we sat down and had one meal but first I picked up some gadgets in a tourist shop. It’s like, small porcelain figures on a string, I got two cats, one with stones and then this one with the turtle, which is now on my bag as my little mascot or token.

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We boarded the next plane, and this one… Seriously. Like, first of all, the plane was far from full so we had the entire four seat row to ourselves. And it seemed, it was more space between the seats, so we could easily put our computer on top of the traytables to watch Catching Fire without having to have the computer in my lap. Even when the dude leaned the seat backwards, all we did was to move the computer a bit, and all was good.

After finishing that one, we tried to sleep again, and I woke up some time like… 4 am. I had a dream that we were landing, so I had hoped to see us being in Brisbane, but instead it was three hours till then. Damn damn damn. Tried to get back to sleep, but then at 6 they put on all the lights, brought us washcloths and breakfast so that was a no can do.

TO BE CONTINUED

// Sara

Rollercoaster

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on February 29, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

I’ll continue right now where I left off yesterday.

So, we got off the flight and then we had to wait almost an hour or so, or at least it felt like it, for our luggage. I started to freak out, I mean, I guess I’ve seen too many of these Australian Border Controls episode to be completely freaked out, but I guess I was a bit scared about getting in as well, but everything went smooth as fuck. So that’s good. And then we had to wait like I said, and it took ages. I was really worried for a while that it wasn’t gonna come, but eventually, it did, so that’s awesome.

We got ourselves a little freshed up in the bathroom before going out to meet my best friends. A guy that I have known for almost ten years, but had yet to meet. It was superodd to see him in real life, you know, a person I talk to almost daily but never see. Jesus. It was long overdue. He had Dave with him, a friend of his that I got to know during Eurovisions last year, so it was great seeing him as well.

So, we got to the car and the thing is, Dave has a very little car. It was a bit of a deja vu from last year when going on our tour, where the company at the time also had a small car. Difference is I had one bag, now we had like, four suitcase and three other bags. But, Dave is the man so he managed to get everything in. Good riddance.

We got home to the apartment, landed, I took my time well in the shower to get off like everything from the shows, seriously, men’s sweat all over from the pits, and then the flights… it was good. Then we waited for Curt to come back from his dentist appointment, or actually, we had planned to go see Chiara, but just as we were about to go, Curt came home, so he came with us.

We went to the store she’s working at, and it was soo good to see her in real life too! We didn’t stay for long obviously, not to disturb her too much at work, and we went to get snacks and then went home to pass out on the couch to Family Guy.

Chiara came home to do a turn, headed to her pole practice (I think?) and I went for a “walk”, basically going around the house since, apparently, it does go pitch black here already at 19. That is superweird. Right before I left we ordered pizza, and I had the best timing ever since I came home right when the pizza came.

So we had dinner, Curt went to bed and Chiara, me and Michelle sat up for a good few hours talking about concerts, music, traveling, work, horses well, life in general I guess.

Really good first day, I’d say.

// Sara

YMCA

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, let me tell you a little bit about the day when we wandered about in Norwich. In reality, I’m on a plane now but I figured I’d schedule this so you’d get something to read while I’m many many feet up in the air.

Well, our main, or perhaps starting goal, was to find the city centre or shopping districts to get a temporary new hand creme for me. My hands can’t survive the winter without it, and they were getting in a real bad shape since I had seemingly forgotten it at home.

We started walking downwards, and mostly looked around. We found the cathedral, a house with a bull in the midst which we found hilarious. Strolling down the lane we found this wonderful bridge with an amazing view over the houses.

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I like the British architecture. It’s so… fairytale-ish. It doesn’t seem real, for some reason. I don’t know how to explain it, but walking around the neighborhoods was just surreal.

We found a store where we picked up on tissues and other things, a food store where we bought some vegetables and fruits before continuing our trip downwards. And much to my happiness, we found The Body Shop. Quick in, got my usual Moringa and then out again. Only to realize there was a town fair going on. We walked around in the tents for a while before we decided to go home again.

I wanna just tell you this. Once at home, while getting ready for the show, I decided to change my earrings. And what was the first thing that popped out when opening my jewelry box? My handcreme. Oh well.

// Sara

Sabaton @ The Nick Rayons LCR, Norwich, United Kingdom 26/2 – 16

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 27, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, finally the day was here! The day we were going to see Alestorm and Sabaton’s co-headlining tour, supported by the amazing Bloodbound. We started the day off wandering about in Norwich, but I figured I’d save that for it’s own entry that I’ll schedule to appear during our flight. But, later in the night it was finally time. We were unsure whether the time on the tickets was showtime or doortime, since in Sweden, it could as well be the show time as the doortime, so we figured we’d get there around 6 – just half an hour before door opens, or in case of showstart – we are there half an hour before the show starts. After that it was just time to get ready. It’s tricky when two ”costumed” bands play the same show – what band do you dress for? So basically, Sabaton gear and Alestorm make up. That should do the trick.

But then, getting there was interesting enough. First and foremost, gladly, we found a bus we could take so we didn’t have to walk for a good hour. The ”scary” thing is that there seem to be no such thing as station-announcer on the buses, so we basically just prayed to God that someone else was also going to get off at our stop, and I kept close track on the GPS to see when we got closer.

Gladly, a lot of people were getting off, so it was no issue. Then we arrived at this university campus, because apparently, the concert venue is on campus grounds. After walking around like lost squirrels for a while, we finally found the ”Heroes On Tour” trailer and the line for the show.

While the UK are a lot warmer than Sweden these days, it was still one cold wait for the doors. When they finally opened we got in, and it’s sort of weird in a way, because the line felt pretty long, and the venue was rather small, despite this, we were two people, TWO PEOPLE away from making it to the front row. So we stationed ourselves in the middle of the arena instead, and figured we’d remain there until it got too crowded, if it ever did. But first Bloodbound merch, and then, bathroom.

And while in the bathroom, I hear the tunes to Bloodbound’s intro song. Good riddance on me, that I was done. So I rushed back into the venue, had to struggle to get a hold of Michelle and then go get her because apparently she forgot where we were supposed to stand, haha.

Bloodbound opened with the song ”Iron Throne” strongly. It wasn’t a lot of people there, surprisingly, or well, at least not on the floor. They followed up with ”Metalheads Unite”, which is kind of interesting, because The Singer *NAMN* actually introduced ”In The Name of Metal” but they all were like, screw that.

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After this, they continued with ”In The Name of Metal”, followed by my personal favorite – ”Moria”. Damn, how much I love this song and this band. This was followed by ”Stormborn” before they wrapped up the set with ”Nosferatu”. Yes, you saw right. Somewhere along the way they lost ”When All Lights Fail”, which is sad, it was my favorite off ”Stormborn”.

After this, the wait for Alestorm began. Now, it started to get quite crowded. I’m not surprised though – they are actually co-headlining, and I must admit even I was looking more forward to Alestorm than I was to Sabaton. After some time, the intro got off and they opened their show with ”Keelhauled”. They followed up quickly with ”Over The Seas” and seriously, the crowd was going mad! I’m not surprised, because I did too, in all honesty.

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”Magnetic North” was next to be done, followed by a, according to the band, rarity of a song, “Surf Squid Warefare”. This was followed by “Nancy the Tavern Wench”, and then “Walk the Plank”. “The Sunken Norwegian”, “Wenches and Mead”… and I’m gonna tell you something. So, basically, LCR is like, they have stairs down to where the “floor” is, and during “Wenches and Mead”, I shit you not, I was pushed UP ON the staircase. The pressure seriously! This was followed by “Drink!” and it was during this song, and starting from here that Michelle and I decided to join in on the moshpits. “1741” followed, “Hungover” “Captain Morgans Revenge”

They wrapped the set up with ”Rum” before they and their duck left the stage. Lucky us, we had just planned to go and get water when Michelle caught the water bottle thrown out by Elliot. Free water, yay!

So, they left the stage and now the wait for Sabaton began. I swear to God, I was sitting there shaking like a leaf, had to sit down on the floor in attempts to recover. It sure has been sometime since SlipKnot, that’s for sure. Need to work out more, this stamina is absolutely horrible when it comes to metal shows. I’ll do over and do right for Blessed & Posssessed tour.

So, pretty much right on time 21.30 ”The Final Countdown” started and then the intro, and then of course the damned ”Ghost Division”. I told Michelle that if they open with ”Ghost Division” one more time, I’m going to fucking punch someone. And I almost did. It’s been eight years can we like… move on?

Anyway. They followed this song up with ”Far From The Fame” before they did the first surprise for me – ”Uprising”. I was glad to hear it, since it’s like the only song I actually care for on ”Coat of Arms”, what I did not care for though, was the people trying to mosh to this song. I mean, moshing is all fun and games, but seriously, to ”Uprising”? The following song, ”Midway” was on the other hand all cool to mosh to.

The band had really good energy, and the audience was insane. Jocke made a comment about it being too many pirates in the crowd tonight, but on the same time, Jocke, what do you expect? Haha, the heck.

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My beloved ”Wolfpack” was next on the list, and damn, chills every time. Also a little sad this is not a Karlstad exclusive anymore, but then again, the more people who get to hear this amazing song the better in the end! ”Wolfpack” was followed by ”Resist And Bite” and then ”Carolus Rex”, damn this song. This song. There’s no other song I think, by Sabaton that empowers me as much as this one. Not even sure why.

Next up was ”Swedish Pagans”. Like, Thobbe started playing a bit and Jocke made the joke that ”now we have to play it” and no, no you don’t. I know I title myself a Swedish Pagan to mark my spot in the Sabaton fandom, but seriously I’m so over this song. But, the crowd enjoyed it!

”Attero Dominauts” was next, or actually, it wasn’t supposed to be ”Attero Dominatus”. Jocke admitted right afterwards that they were supposed to do ”Soldiers of 3 Armies”, but he mixed it up. So, they simply followed up with it. Strange, this is the second Swedish band out of two on the same night who mixes up the setlist.

My personal favorite of Sabaton, ”The Art of War” followed and damn. If I didn’t have a slayerneck already, I sure as hell got one now. They wrapped up the first part of the set with ”To Hell and Back”. Damn I love this song live.

Here’s the funny thing. They left the stage, but I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Because they sort of left, and the ”Night Witches” intro started directly almost, so I don’t think anyone really noticed. But ”Night Witches”, ah what a song. This is the song they should open with. So fucking perfect.

But, to get back to ”where-they-really-leaving” part, imagine my surprise when they all of a sudden did ”Primo Victoria”, and then wrapped up the set with ”Metal Crüe”? And then it was over?

Sabaton’s set went by so fucking quickly, I barely even noticed it passing by! It’s insane. The setlist over all was pretty boring in my opinion – perhaps I’m comparing too much to Noch Ein Bier set, but seriously, where’s ”Gott Mit Uns”? I really missed that one. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. The gig per se was very scaled down, just the band and us. I liked that.

But. Despite the set being boring, I guess we can say they never fail to entertain, like, ever. Considering how fast it went by. God, I love all these men who performed tonight. They are the reason I breathe.

After the show, we headed over to Alestorm’s merchbooth to pick up on a shirt where I almost ran over Chris Bowes, and later wound up chatting and hanging out with the guys in Bloodbound. It was nice to talk to some people from home, and we spoke about everything from touring to Australia to Noch Ein Bier to early days of corpse paint.

We did a quick stop by Sabaton’s merchtable to catch up with Jaqueline before we left the venue and got home.

Seriously, thank you all for this amazing evening. You are great.

// Sara

In The Name of Metal

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on February 25, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So wow. The first day on our big bonanza trip and it started rather…. Odd I’d dare to say.

Seriously, everything was done and fixed – just putting in the last few things when my mother notices that my dear EPIC Wildlife Crate Zebra is broken. The zipper got a runner, so… what was a well planned morning turned into a stressed morning. We decided after a few ifs and buts that we’d get a new suitcase, since none of the ones we had were big enough for the trip.

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Once downtown, I was first heading to take out my exchanged money. And this also, turned out to be quite the ride. When I got there, they told me the order had disappeared from their systems somehow, but miracoulosuly, they had exactly the amount and currency I needed. So after a few stressful moments I got my money. And as Shania Twain put it, it can only go up from here, right?

Next up, was bag chase. At first I wanted to get another Epic Crate Wildlife, the black / white lepard one, but of course it was unavailable everywhere, so we got a turquoise Samsonite instead. Finally we got a bag, and then we repacked the entire thing in the parkinglot.

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Headed over to Bergvik to meet up with Michelle and our driver Linda to begin the roadtrip down to Gothenburg and Landvetter airport, which was fun, but not very eventful. We got to Landvetter, checked in our stuff, had a quick dinner at Espresso House and were still close to almost missing the flight, because apparently they did final call already like 20 minutes ahead of time. Luckily, we hadn’t gone far from our gate.

Flight went on good, and landed twenty minutes ahead of time, and the passport check and baggage claim went so quickly and smoothly that even managed to get on the early bus to Norwich, walked all the way to the hotel, dumped our stuff and went out to get pizza, because lucky us, there was a pizzeria open at 3 am in the morning. So now it’s pizza and Bloodbound.

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I guess you could say Shania Twain was right. It could only go up from here.

// Sara

Secrets

Posted in The Sims, Uncategorized on February 21, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

I didn’t realize how hard it would actually be. To start over. Again. I mean, I have done it before, with The Cullens. For those of you who are new to my blog and to me, The Cullens were the first family I ever made in The Sims 3 on the day it came out, and I kept playing the family all throughout the years until one day, my game decided to slaughter the family and some of the files.

It was hard. I had gotten so far with the Cullens, achieved so much… all gone.

Imagine then, my friends, how hard it was for me to once again go through this kind of loss. But this time, it was with Anna Arendelle, my pride in The Sims 4. Halfway through a doctors career, she had everything going for her… and then the harddrive in my computer decided to crash.

Since then, the computer has been fixed and a new girl has come into town, Aria Cavanaugh as I’ve told you about. The only thing is… it’s not fun.

I spent about six hours playing The Sims 4 today after work, but it was so… mono. Like… It’s hard to bounce back. Here I am, with a sim who knows nothing, has no money, nothing. Sure, I love the challenge, but I guess something died in me when Anna died, just like when The Cullens died, or even as far back as when I burned down the majority of Andersson-Svensson in The Sims 1.

Hopefully, it’ll pass, and that I’ll soon get the passion back to play with Aria, not because I particularly miss The Sims 4, I could easily install The Sims 3 and continue with Elsa Arendelle where I left her… but because Aria deserves it. Aria as a sim deserves to be played and loved, and to carry on Anna’s legacy where she left off.

So with that said, as soon as Aria has mastered the career of bartending, she’ll dive right into the doctors career. Bear with me, Aria.

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// Sara

Toto @ Fryshuset, Arenan, Stockholm 19/2 – 16

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized on February 19, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, it was time for the last concert on Swedish soil for a very long time, and I got on the bus already at 6 in the morning because of a work interview I had scheduled in the late mornings. It was pretty nice, I must admit, to go this early – first and foremost, you actually got somewhere in time and had time to do things. Secondly, the bus was pretty empty which is the best, if you ask me.

So, I got to Stockholm already at 10, locked up my luggage and headed over to the interview, which went quicker than I thought it would, so here I was, left with a lot of dead time to spare. I headed over to Motormännen’s office to get my international drivers license, only to remember they didn’t open ’til 12, so I went back to city to do all my errands – pick up a new case of translucent powder as I am, after a few years, starting to run out of mine, picked up sunglasses + a top at Gina Tricot before Australia, found some cheap sale earrings at H&M which will do wonders at Powerwolf if I don’t find the perfect ones… When all of this was done, the clock was really only around 11.

Damn damn damn. How to kill time? There’s only one place: Science – Fiction book store. First and foremost, it takes time to go there, and once there… yeah. This is my kind of place. I went over the Manga section pretty quickly, I still haven’t finished the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon mangas I already have at home, so I figured that could wait a little. Then I hit the Sci-Fi department… and got stuck there for a while. Partly I was looking for the books in the The Fifth Wave series, but since I forgot the authors name it took a bit of time. At first, I planned to get “Mazerunner”, “The Fifth Wave” and then a third book, which turned out to be “Divergent”, but I changed “Mazerunner” for “The Endless Ocean”. If I remember correctly, I could not wait to get onto the next “The Hunger Games” book, so I might as well have all parts in the The Fifth Wave series already from the start.

Gladly, this killed a lot of time, and Motormännen had finally opened so I went there, signed up for the license which only took 15 minutes to make, or less, really, so I was left there with SO MUCH time before the check in on hotel’s started. So I headed over to Espresso House to sit off some time, where I could also use my new phone. You see, for some reason, the SIM card won’t activate so I need WiFi for now.

After a while, Robert started to head into town, and I quickly checked into the hotel, dumped my stuff, fixed my make up and packed for Toto and headed down to see him. It was soooo good to see him again, and after looking around Shock for a small moment we went to C.U.M where we spent a very, very long time since Robert was getting his measurements for new pants, and me myself, I found the jacket I’ll be using for all Civil War shows in the future. Need to save up!

After this, we went and picked up Michelle at the bus station and went to a All-You-Can-Eat thai buffé and  I think we all overate. Seriously, I almost felt ill afterwards, and I thanked God it was Toto we were about to see, and not Korpiklaani or some other band we jump around to a lot.

We got to Fryshuset around 10 minutes past 19, which was decent time. Toto was about to begin at 19.30, and I got a little stressed getting in the bathroom line, but we all made it on time, and a little late, like, 19.35, Toto began their show with “Running Out of Time”.

They continued on strongly with “I’ll Supply The Love” and “Burn”. “Stranger in Town”, the ever so wonderful “I Won’t Hold You Back” was ripped off before the whole arena exploded in “Hold The Line”. What else to be expected?

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They continued on with “Georgy Porgy”, “Afraid of Love”, “Bend”… before it started. You know, that song.

“Pamela”

And I mean… I love this song. I think most of you might know it, or perhaps not, but ah damn. It was so great to hear it live again, and I died as much this time as last time. After this, we got a piano solo from David Paich before they moved on with “Great Expectations”.

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This was followed by “Without Your Love” and “Bridge of Sighs” before it was time for Steve Luthaker to grant us one of his amazing solos. Seriously, that man! “Holy War,” “The Road Goes On”, “Orphan” and lastly “Rosanna” wrapped up this night perfectly before they left for a moment only to come back.

At first they ripped off “On The Run / Goodbye Eleonora” before ending the whole show with an eleven minute long rendition of “Africa”. Seriously, the sing alongs in Africa, the rythms, I can’t even begin to tell you.

This was a great night, I tell you. A clam, almost… atmospheric night where you experience some of the finest musicians practice what they do the best – performing fine piece of music and arrangements that made me close my eyes many times throughout the night only to hear the music itself live without the sight.

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This was an amazing night, to the extent where I barely even know what to write about it. This was an amazing way to leave Sweden for a while. Thank you, Toto!

// Sara