amruniel: (love)
*gasps* I can't believe the month's already over! I will really miss this!
Which leads us to my final entry.

29 - The Little Things

Some years ago my linguistics professor told us to "count your blessings, every evening!" - he, of course, followed this advice up with "and say your vowels", but that's not what stuck with me :)

Anyway - for quite some time these previous years I couldn't see any blessings in my life. I couldn't see past the pain and the anxiety, and I most of all couldn't see anything good happening around/to me.
Thankfully, this darkness has passed and I've gradually been able to notice the little things, the wonderful -sometimes magical- moments that life throws at each of us randomly, once more.

I still remember the day I got up and suddenly had a song stuck in my head. I know, this sounds like something really bad or at least very annoying, but for me it suddenly brought home a fact about me I had never noticed before: when I'm feeling good, there is always music flittering around in my head. And for quite some time before that day, this music had been missing without me noticing. While I've been dealing with my depression and my anxiety, I've constantly had things running through my head - things about what could happen, what could go wrong, what I did do wrong, etc., but never something even remotely uplifting or happy.
And then this one morning I got up and these thoughts were replaced by a silly song that hopped around in my brain and suddenly I could look out of the window and be happy that the sun was shining. I suddenly looked up and things seemed to be a bit brighter, a bit more friendly, a bit more welcoming.

Since that day, I cherish those annoying songs or part of songs getting stuck in my head. I now know that getting up with music on my mind means that I'm doing well. And if the song stuck in my head keeps me from falling asleep for a bit at night - no problem, I've had a good day mentally, and that's what matters.

These last months, nearly years, I have been able to notice the little things, the joy and beauty that can be found in the smallest things - and I've tried to consciously see them, to look for them and -what's more- be thankful for them. In a way, I finally listened to my beloved professor and started to count my blessings. And surprisingly enough, there are quite a few of them, even on the bad days.

Sometimes it's a beautiful sunset/sunrise, sometimes it's feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, sometimes it's a squirrel crossing my way, and sometimes it's the people I meet.

Typing this, I remembered an incident when I was in London nearly 8 years ago. We were doing the most touristy things possible and after a visit to the Tower of London, we simply HAD to see the Tower Bridge. I remember being dead tired on my feet after days spent walking around the city and nights of very little sleep. When we were ready to go up to the walkway there was a nice elder gentleman checking our tickets and - I still remember it as if it happened yesterday - when he gave me the ticket back, he smiled at me and told me to "have fun, sweetie". I'm sure he's said the same to hundreds or thousands of people, but this nice gesture lifted my spirits and stayed with me over the years. It's been the first time ever a stranger has called me anything nicer than "miss" and while it surely was nothing more than an empty phrase, it really made my day then.

It's the little things, the things that are often completely meaningless to others, that brighten our days, that spark our passions and that make us happy.

This Fandom Fest made me take a look at the many things that I have and which I love. It's been a real joy to take the time to think about things that are oftentimes overlooked or just so "normal" that I don't notice them any longer. I've had great fun doing this, and I'm thankful I decided commit myself to this reflection.

And before I post my last entry, I want to thank everybody who actually read me posts ;) - yes, that's you, [livejournal.com profile] silvan_lady and [livejournal.com profile] gattodoro! *hugs*
amruniel: (love)
28 - Oscars

For obvious reasons I've waited until today to mention my love for the Oscars.
I'm sitting here armed with a strong cup of coffee, waiting for the show to begin - or at least for the stars to arrive at the red carpet.

I sincerely hope that Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get his very well-deserved Oscar tonight. I want to write my bachelor's thesis about at least one Oscar-winning movie! (If I'm not allowed to write about LotR *sigh* *cries*, let me have that at least, please!)

As I mentioned yesterday, I dream about a career at the movies... and, obviously, getting nominated for the best-known film award is something I tend to daydream about from time to time :) (not to mention that I'd love to wear one of the wonderful dresses you need for an award show of this size and esteem ;) ).

Anyway - I've been an avid watcher of the televised award shows for the last 10+ years, and below the cut I'll give you my personal favourite Oscar moments ever.

Videos!!!! )
amruniel: (love)
27 - Films

I love films - always have, always will.
I started studying Theatre-, Film- and Media-Studies first and foremost because of the "film"-part. I've always liked theatre and quickly learned to love certain aspects of my theatre studies for their own sake. And media is so much part of our lives that it's hard not to be interested in them. But my first love has always been the movies.

I used to dream of a career in the film business. I've always seen myself as a kind of Peter Jackson of Austria ;) Not because I thought I could ever be as good as he is, but because I loved (and still love) the fact that he is director, writer and producer all in one. It's like the holy grail of making movies.
I actually worked in a film company for a few months and had a great time there. Sadly, the producer who took me under his wings turned out to be a bit of a backstabbing asshole, so my stint there was cut short even before we finished the first project I've been co-working on. It was a hard job, it sometimes brought me to my physical and mental limits, but it's been an experience I wouldn't want to miss for anything in the world.
Maybe one day when I'm doing better mentally I'll try to get back into the business. The good thing about film is that you're never too old to do it ;)

Anyway - very unsurprisingly my most favourite movies ever are the Lord of the Rings films. They are just perfect. In every way. Every time I watch them (and I watch them regularly *grins*) I'm deeply in awe by the genius work of PJ. Sadly, the Hobbit movies never even came close. I'd have loved to love them just as much, but it shouldn't have been, it seems.

Below the cut you'll find a bunch of other films I love!

Films ahead! )
amruniel: (love)
26 - Viggo's Art

One of the reasons I love Viggo so much is his versatility and creativity.
I love that he is so much more than "just" an actor. While I fell in love with his presence on screen, I very quickly learned that there is so much more to love in this man.

I envy his ability to express himself in paintings.
I adore his inclination to capture even the most mundane things on film, thus turning them into a timeless reminder of moments and feelings.
I'm deeply in awe of the way he uses words as a canvas of his emotions.

No wonder I spent the first paycheque of my "new" job on his books.
By now I'm the proud owner of 7 of his books and a few CDs. And I'm certain I'll purchase some more very soon.

My precious books ahead... )

I wish I were even a small percentage as talented and creatives as he is.

Viggo Mortensen, a true artist.
amruniel: (love)
25 - Tolkien

Obviously, I'm a huge Tolkien-geek. I've read LotR for the first time in early January 2003 - some weeks after I've been dragged to watch "Two Towers" in cinema, where I didn't understand ANYTHING about the story, couldn't distinguish between the Hobbits at all (until I've read the books I thought there were just 2 short guys with curly hair in the movie *snorts*), and fell asleep bored halfway through. The only thing I noticed: a sexy as hell rugged guy wielding a sword, and a very beautiful blonde guy who had quite some skills with a bow.
Anyway - after reading devouring all three books in slightly more than 48 hours, I've been hooked and things have just become more and more intense during the years to come :)

I've re-read LotR completely at least once every year since, and have selectively read parts of it again and again more often. These books never get boring.

And of course I've read quite a lot by Tolkien and about Tolkien ever since. He's just such an incredible writer and linguist all around. I'm always on the lookout for a new book by/about Tolkien and, fortunately, there's quite a steady stream of new things to discover.

Well, and then there are the films... There is so much additional literature to be had there. There is so much merch I love to bits and pieces. It's a dream for any film-student, let me tell you! ;)

There are quite a lot of scientific texts about both the movies as well as the books, which is another aspect about this fandom I love.

Anyway - while scrolling through the pics on my phone yesterday, I noticed that I snapped part of my Tolkien-collection for a friend of mine the last time I went through my books (I'm still trying to figure out a system to organize them... *sigh*). So I'll give you a glimpse into my craziness below the cut ;)

Books and Magazines! )
amruniel: (love)
24 - Sunrise & Sunset

I've always loved the moments when a day begins and ends.

Being a night-owl I think I can safely say that I've watched more sunrises than sunsets over the years. It's very easy to miss the moments when the sun leaves the sky - on a normal day we're usually busy with something else during this time of day. But sunsets are hard to miss - you notice the moment when the night leaves and the birds chirp their greeting to the coming day.

Over the last 10+ years I've taken pictures of more than a hundred sunsets and sunrises. I've had some of the most beautiful moments of my life during sunsets and sunrises - taking pictures of them are a way to remember these moments.

Under the cut I'll post a bunch of pics taken during the last 2+ years. They're not great and more often than not the colours don't do justice to the real beauty of them because they were all snapped with my phone.

Too many pics ahead--- brace yourself! )
amruniel: (love)
23 - Summer

I LOVE summer. Not just the time of year, but especially the temperature!

I'm a perpetually freezing person. I constantly battle cold hands, and more annoying: cold feet. And once my feet are cold there's no way of staying warm for the rest of my body. It's a nightmare. (And probably will sometime in a married future be the reason for divorce :D - I'm constantly shoving my poor frozen toes onto any available warm body part in reach... Himself has been known to shriek like a girl in the middle of the night after the first contact with my frosty limbs ;) )

I feel okay-ish in a temperature range between 20 and 25° Celsius. Anything below 24 means long sleeves, but I usually am okay with the world as long as temperatures stay above 20.
From 25 to 30° I'm good. Not perfect, but happy enough.
Things get great once the thermometer hits 30° Celsius. That's where I feel alive, and happy, and perfectly content with wearing tops or sleeveless dresses.

I know, almost everybody suffers in this kind of weather, but for me it's simply perfect! I don't think I could have been any happier with the heatwave 2015 :) All around me people were groaning and complaining and I was perfectly content and all was right with the world :)

So yeah, summer! Love! Happiness! Perfection!

Clickety-click for summer pics )

Since we're living right outside Vienna and therefore right next to the Danube there's also another side of summer we encounter pretty frequently: flooding.
We usually have one or two cases of high water during a normal summer. Most often it's nothing more than a few flooded basements in those houses built right next to the river. But every few years there are real high floods, and in 2013 we've had what the clever meteorologists termed a hundred-year flood (never mind that the last one of this size before the 2013 one was in 2002 *shrugs*).
Frankly? It's so amazing - any single time! Himself and I have been known to drive down to the river to go "flood watching" in the middle of the night when the water levels rise above their "usual" high water levels.
And -of course- we're on the scene when the flooding gets really bad - yes, we're weird like that ;) But then - we're certainly not the only ones! It's a sight to be seen!

Pics of the 2013 flood ahead )

Despite the somewhat regular "bad" sides, summer is definitely my favourite season!
I just hope it'll be hot again soon! ;)
amruniel: (love)
22- Bruce Springsteen

Or maybe the correct headline would be "Bruce Springsteen's Concerts". Thinking about it now I have to say that I hardly ever listen to Bruce on CD - I sometimes catch his songs on the radio, but that's it, really.

But then everybody who has seen him live will confirm this: his concerts are something else.
There is a huge difference between his published works and what that guy does on a stage. I've been to many concerts in my life, and I can say that his are without any shred of doubt second to none.

Sadly, he hardly ever stops by in Austria, so I have been to just three concerts in the last 12 years... but each of them was unique, inspiring and simply wonderful.
He certainly isn't the best singer around, that's for sure, but what that man does on a stage is breath-taking. I have never had the pleasure of watching anybody more in love with what he's doing right at that very moment - and I've never seen any music act so in touch with their audience. And this very special atmosphere is what makes his concerts so wonderful.

I've seen this guy play with the stadium-lights on because he should have ended the show an hour before, and still managing to have the whole audience eating out of his hand. There was no light-show, no special video-effects, just him and 50.000 people on their feet dancing the night away.
And I haven't experienced that feat once, but all three times.

It's a pleasure watching him, it's one of my most favourite ways of taking a break from whatever life has in store for me for three or more hours, and the energy these concerts gave me oftentimes lasted for weeks - even when I was battling my own demons at the same time.

And while this is in and of itself a feat, he also managed to make me cry during his last two concerts - something that I experience very seldom when dealing with music alone.
Yes, there are songs that made me cry, but that's usually because they resonate with something that bothers or occupies me at the time. So the music in these cases is just an extension or outlet of my current emotions. But music that makes my cry for no reason at all, just because it's perfect in this very moment? I hardly ever experience this. And it's even less likely that something like that happens in the middle of a crowd having a great time.
I'm not sure what it was that touched me in those moments, but I cherish them because they are so rare.

Videos below the cut )

I just hope that the Boss will come to Vienna again soon. I can't wait to get another chance of having a wonderful evening... And he isn't getting any younger, right? ;)
amruniel: (love)
Since my 19th post was dedicated to the male body, I guess it's only fair that number 20 belongs to -

20 - Women and the Female Body

Women are sexy. I love the female curves, I love their softness, I love their looks.

Contrary to men where I'm pretty fixed on which look I go for (blond or brown hair, blue or brown eyes, more or less androgynous, preferably with long(ish) hair), it varies quite a bit in women.

Some women I find incredibly sexy are:

Cote de Pablo

One of the most beautiful women on TV, I think. A great body, wonderful style and whenever she laughs it's like the sun goes up.

Liv Tyler

I adore her eyes. What a great colour! And frankly the whole face is to die for. It's not perfect -at least not in a classical definition-, but it fits her and ... ah well, she's gorgeous! I think I'm in love with the Snow-White look ;)

Emily Brett Rickards

A lovely girl and in her role as "Felicity" in the TV-series "Arrow" she's just a hottie. A nerdy hottie.

Kate Winslet

A beautiful lady that gets better-looking with any year that passes. I particularly adore her curves. She's sexy and she isn't afraid to show it :)

Cate Blanchett

What a woman! I'm regularly stunned speechless by her beauty and her sense of style. By far the best-dressed woman in Hollywood!  Another example for an incredibly beautiful woman whose face doesn't conform to "classic" beauty.

Eva Green in Kingdom of Heaven

While she's certainly a beautiful woman in real life, it's her looks in KoH that I find particularly sexy. I love her dark-rimmed eyes and this beautiful face framed by the luscious curls.

So yeah, there's no rhyme and reason to my favoured female look :)

However, there are some things I generally love on a female body - and yes, "on" is being the operative word here. I usually favour a woman in a state of "near nakedness", rather than completely nude. I think it's incredibly sexy when women play with the imagination of the people looking at her.
Just think about the difference between a stripper and a burlesque artist - it's easy and a bit boring in the long run to simply take off your clothes, it's way more sexy if you don't show everything - if your nakedness is alluded to, rather than thrust in the audience's faces.

NSFW pics ahead )

So much for my tribute to the female forms.

Let's get to the next one...

21 - Pizza

Since it's Sunday, and Sunday is my traditional pizza-day I'll leave the recipe for the "best pizza dough EVER" (actual quote from a bunch of people who had a taste of my treasured pizza) here:

(Forgive me for using grams, millilitre and degree Celsius - I'm too tired to try to convert it... I usually fuck up big time even when in possession of all my mental facilities... it's better if I don't try to calculate it now :) )

For the dough you'll need:

250 millilitres warm water (I usually make it a bit on the hot-ish side, it cools down so quickly after all)
4-5 gram dry yeast (the recipe says 7 but I usually use less for better taste), or roughly 20 gram "normal" yeast
a teaspoon (granulated) sugar
350 gram all-purpose flour
a teaspoon salt
a tablespoon oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

First step: mix yeast and sugar and 50 millilitres of the warm water, let the mixture rise at a warm place for 15 minutes

Second step: mix flour, salt, oil, the remaining water and your yeast-mixture in a bowl. Once everything is mixed, take it out and knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface - knead in more flour until it's a smooth non-sticky dough. Knead the whole 5 minutes, even if your dough is smooth before that! Put the dough back in your bowl, cover the bowl with transparent foil/saran wrap and let it rise on a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Third step: think about the yummy toppings you want to put onto your pizza ;)

Fourth step: pre-heat oven to 200° Celsius. Take the risen dough and knead it for another 2 minutes - it should look something like this:

Now it's time to form your pizza (I know it's frowned upon, but I usually use a rolling pin with no negative effects ;) )!
Add tomato-sauce and your chosen toppings, top it all off with cheese (I prefer mozzarella) and put it in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes (I usually take it out after exactly 25 minutes, if you like it crisper/darker you might want to wait the additional 5 minutes).

AAAAAAAnd it's done ;)


(My fructose-free pizza with mascarpone instead of tomato-sauce and a mozzarella-topping...yum!)
amruniel: (love)
It's Friday ladies... no better time to talk about ...

19 - The Male Body

:D
Or more specifically, the things I love in a man apart from personality ;)

Let me start by saying that I'm a lover of the more androgynous look in men. Nothing too girly, obviously, but I love the more delicately built men. Which might explain why I love long-haired men as well, but let's not think too much about that :D
Anyway - one of the very few exceptions of this preference is Viggo. So yeah, for variety's sake, I'm sometimes quite taken with the ruggedly handsome look as well (think: Aragorn - a PERFECT mixture of very manly man paired with long hair... I'm forever in love!)

Right, I'm going to add a bunch of pictures to illustrate my point - and thankfully for all of us the lovely Orlando makes a very good example :D

Find out what I love under the cut ;) )

And that's it for today ladies! ;) I hope you had fun with the lovely Orlando pics at least :D
amruniel: (love)
And here we go again folks!

15 - Coffee

Yes, I'm a coffee-addict. I can't function without the dark brew of goodness and -quite frankly- I don't want to...

I'm the kind of anti-morning person that I'm not able to do more than grunt (on a very good day) before I've had my first sips of coffee. (Yes, I'm the first to admit that I'm a grumpy monster without coffee in the mornings... don't ever stand between me and the coffee machine if you want to live!) After approximately the first quarter of my cup I'm willing to try and talk - in short sentences... and after half a cup I'm a perfectly nice person who can converse fluently if needed ;)

But the morning pick-me-up is not nearly enough. I need a more or less constant caffeine-supply throughout the day to function properly. And on a stressful day I've been known to top it all off with a Red Bull or three ...

Pics that describe my relationship to coffee perfectly ahead )

16 - Orlando's Bum

Yes, you've read that correctly :D
Or - maybe I should title it "the way I react to Orlando's butt"?

To sum the backstory up: I've pleaded with Himself to get his hands on "Zulu" one way or another after I heard that the lovely Mister Bloom has a certain scene in the movie. Days, possibly weeks later I get a FaceTime-call in the middle of the night. I pick up and my lovely, lovely iPad-screen is filled with Orlando's gloriously naked bum. Thankfully for you, I've had the presence of mind to snap a few screenshots while squeeing happily... and I'd recommend you to wrench your eyes away from the naked glory to the top right corner to see my reaction ;)

Screenshots!!!!!! )

17 - Adult Colouring Books

I know, I know, from naked bums to colouring books is NOT a step you anticipated...

Anyway - my newest obsession started when Himself gifted me with a colouring book for Christmas. I was - sceptically delighted?!
I've never been a girl who liked to colour things. Or rather - I did like it, but I've never had the patience to stay within the lines when I was younger. And subsequently I always ended up being disappointed by my "drawings". So there's never been any love lost between me and colouring books.

But now that I am a responsible adult *coughs* I figured I'd at least give it a try before I ruled out that there was any possible fun to be had with those books. If it's advertised as THE thing people do to de-stress these days it can't be THAT bad, right? Plus I had an unused pack of artist pens in my drawer that I needed to buy in case the very remote possibility of me needing something like that ever arose - and voila! Here was the opportunity!

So I fished out the pens, dusted them off and set to colour in my first flower... needless to say, the next time I put the pens down was several hours and half of the page later! :)

Now, two months later, I'm officially obsessed! I'd never have thought, but the grown-up me really loves colouring - AND somehow somewhere I did pick up the patience to stay inside the lines ... Will wonders never cease?

A bunch of pics of my coloured pages ahead ;) )

18 - Photography

I love to play around with cameras and consequently with all the little things like lighting, motive, shutter time,...

Sadly, I don't do it as often as I should to get a real grip of the whole art, but I have fun none the less - and that's what counts most, right?

Apart from the general fascination with the art of photography, I particularly like the way your perception changes when you look through a view-finder. A simple walk through streets you've walked a thousand times suddenly becomes a journey of discovery once you stop hurrying along and take your times to find the beauty in the buildings and people around you.

Since most of my photos are on Himself's computer I'll give you two of my most favourite shots of Himself I've taken while we were out playing with night-shots nearly two years ago...

two more pics )

And.... I'm caught up! Who would have guessed that I actually manage to do that before the end of the month?! ;)
amruniel: (love)
Since I've been in bed with a splitting headache yesterday evening, today's summary-post is even longer ;)

12 - Penguins

I've grown up with "Pingu" on TV and the sweet little guy started a life-long obsession with those animals... Years later I've met my match ;)
Himself is probably an even bigger fan of those sweet little guys in their black and white suits. And because he's worth it, I've got him a very special present for his birthday in 2010 - the wonderful Zoo Vienna had a -very costly- "Behind the Scenes" baggage which included the opportunity of meeting and feeding the penguins ... Let's just say we've had the time of our lives :)

Pics and Videos ahead )

13 - Stephane Lambiel

Complete story under the cut because it needs pics and videos :) )14 - My Phone's Wallpaper

Yes, the 14 should probably be dedicated to Himself, but since the good guy ignores Valentine's Day, I'm ignoring him *pouts*

So, this spot belongs to the next best thing - the picture that makes me smile every time I use my phone :D

Screenshot ahoy! )

Right, I think I'll stop here for now - it's 2 am and I should be on my way to bed sooner or later and there are still some comments waiting to be answered... I'll try to recap the next three days tomorrow, promise!
amruniel: (love)
Ah well, there's a lot of catching up to do :) The first of a few summary posts...


08 - 50s Style

Read why ... and pics ahead ;) )

09 - Skiing
Klick for gushing and pics )

10 - Horses

and another cut with pic )

11 - Legolas' Background Faces

cute pics ahead, obviously! )

Okay, I think I've bored you all enough for one day! :) I'll try to catch up to the current date tomorrow... hopefully :)
amruniel: (love)
Napping

Yes, I've reached the stage in my life where I ADORE taking a nap.
There's nothing better than taking an hour or two out of your day to catch a few Zeds, and I usually have the BEST dreams during those naps (might have something to do with compulsively reading yummy fanfics before laying down...).

Whenever I hear toddlers or pre-schoolers complain about not wanting to take a nap I'm about 5 seconds away from cutting into the conversation, demanding that I can have that nap instead ;)

Ah yes, the joys of cuddling your pillow during the day *happy sigh*
amruniel: (love)
Baking

I love baking! It's one of my most favorite past-times and helped me get through tough times.
Even in the middle of my worst depressions I could find some peace and solace while measuring and mixing, icing and decorating.

I have no idea why, but somehow baking speaks to me on a subconscious level. I love the feeling of kneading dough, I adore the precision of decorating cookies and cakes. And who couldn't love the smell of a cake or pastry baking?

I'm usually not a particularly patient person, but when dealing with decorations or measuring exact amounts of ingredients, I can gladly lose myself in minute details, no-one but me gives a damn about.

Below the cut I'll give you a glimpse into the things I've baked these last few months...

Pictures of yummy things ;) )

I usually can't eat what I create (thank you, fructose intolerance *pffffft*), but I like baking so much I don't really care about that little fact (and I can't get fat from what I can't eat ... so I selflessly help the people around me gain weight :D ).

And before you ask - I'm completly pants at cooking! There is NO relation between these two things at all! ;)
amruniel: (love)

Books

The lovely Goodreads-app tells me I'm the proud owner of approximately 500 books. Which is a very low estimate since these are just a) the books I've scanned so far and b) the books that are actually somewhere on my shelves. Seeing that there is quite a bunch of my books somewhere in the attic, and that a few of my babies are either at Himself's or at various other places I guess there are some 750 or 800 books in my possession.

And yes, I've read most of them. Nearly all of them, quite frankly. There are very few books I haven't read and/or haven't finished over the years.

As you might have guessed by now I'm a compulsive reader ;)
Some might even say "addicted".
Which reminds me of the following:


(that awkward moment a TV series diagnoses your addiction)

My mum taught me to read very early. I think I was able to read easy texts/children's books at the age of 4 all by myself and I've never stopped since.
I think instilling my love of reading is one of the things I'm most thankful for in my upbringing. I don't know how I would have survived my childhood and teenage years without my lovely books to hide in. Or how I would survive my adult life, for that matter ;)

In my younger years I've finished 3 or 4 books a week, more during the holidays. These days my reading habits have changed quite a bit. Since I own a tablet and fanfics have become portable and instantly accessible (THANK YOU, smart phone!) I read a lot less actual books and a lot more ff's. But every few weeks I still get the urge to go through my lovely books and then there's books galore for a few days.

There's nothing more beautiful than owning, touching and smelling a new book. That's why I'll never change to eBooks, I think. For me, smelling the ink, actually turning the pages and lovingly feeling up the covers of my newest babies (yes, I'm weird like that!) are things I can't live without - and an electronic device will never be able to replace these feelings. However, I do have the Kindle-app on my tablet and it's full with free books I enjoy very much. Free books by -oftentimes- self-published people are something I usually wouldn't have access to, so this facet of eBooks is something that speaks to me. It's another, new, path of discovering stories worth being told and read. (And frankly, FREE is a huge incentive for a girl who could very easily spend the majority of her salary on a single trip to the bookshop.)

Anyway - changed reading habits or not, I guess I still read some 300.000 words or more a week. Which, now that I think about it, is a sure sign of addiction. Uh, well, why not? A person needs a vice, right?

And - even though it's probably obvious - to conclude today's "I LOVE!!!!"-post let me reveal my most favourite book(s):

The Lord of the Rings

Well, duh! ;)

amruniel: (love)
Since I've been spending my evening watching the Vienna Opera Ball on TV instead of working, the obvious choice of things I love for today is:

Dancing

I've started dancing at the age of 3 or 4, doing ballet for 7 years, which I loved very much. I stopped dancing ballet because in the end my love of food won over the love of dancing. Looking back now, I sometimes regret this choice, because the love for ballet stayed with me and I oftentimes wish I could turn back time and see where that path might have led me. (But then I see a cake or something else delicious and all thoughts of "what if" are forgotten ;) )

Since I never stopped loving to dance I very quickly got back to dancing. At the age of 13 I started some cross-over dancing class where I learned everything from boogie to line dance and back again. Quite fun, but not really something that could hold my attention for very long.
So I stopped doing this, but stayed at the dancing school and did what any teen around here does at the age of 14 or 15 - I started a class on classic ballroom dancing. Needless to say: that was SOOOOO my thing :) My then best male friend shared my love for ballroom dancing and we stayed on and took classes for about 3 years together. Our friendship broke, but I stayed at the dancing school and went through my share of more or less talented dancing partners, like the dancing slut I am. Whenever a young man needed a dancing partner my instructors would ask me to step in and I usually did.

During that same time, or rather very soon after starting ballroom dancing for the first time, I joined a modern dance class the daughter of my instructors founded. We mostly did choreographies for pop-songs (think those choreographies everybody danced in their music videos in the late 90s and early 00s), but there was a hefty dose of hip hop, jazz dance and -to my endless pleasure- ballet thrown in. Let me tell you: I've found heaven!
We pretty soon graduated from "once a week" to "3 or 4 afternoons a week" and started to dance semi-professional and publicly dance at various special occasions. During our high times we had gigs in front of 4000 people or more. It certainly was hard work and came with a lot of sweat, tears and injuries, but I still miss those times. Our group broke up after 5 successful years and while we tried to find replacement for the girls we lost, we never got another group like the original one and gradually went back from semi-professional to the original "once a week"-dancing-for-fun idea and stopped completely about 5 or 6 years ago.

Right, and now we come back to my first sentence of this post - the Opera Ball.
As is traditional around here, I -as most teens do- started to be part of the opening formation dance at balls. (Or as it is known in other parts of the world: debut in society ;) - although as far as I am aware you only debut once, whereas you can be part of the "Jungdamen- und -herrenkomitee" (roughly translated to Young Ladies' and Gentlemen's Dance Committee as the lovely internet tells me) for years.)
Sadly, I've never had the chance to debut on the Vienna Opera Ball - the timing never worked out - which would have been a dream come true, but I've been at so many balls and opened nearly all of them that I can't really complain here.


(a much younger me in 2009)

These last years I've dabbled in Salsa dancing (we've had the most enjoyable evenings spent in a Cuban bar dancing the night away), Zydeco (which is endless fun, let me tell you) and various other styles, but by now dancing has taken a backseat in my life. At least for now. Knowing me, I'll get back to dancing sooner or later.

A short aside and fun fact for your amusement: I've met Himself at the dancing school. But not only that - he is actually the son and brother of the instructors I mentioned above. You could say I "married" into my dancing school ;)
amruniel: (love)

Inspired by the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] silvan_lady I've decided to try and partake in the February Fandom Fest. Knowing me I suspect I won't be able to post daily, but I'll try my best to cover the month in summary posts.

Let's start with the first three things I love:

01 - Fandom

Let's start with the obvious, okay?
I've started my career of being an obsessed fangirl in the Lord of the Rings fandom some 12 years ago. I've had much fun discovering fanfictions and started writing my own fics a few years later. From there I somehow stumbled into the Harry Potter fandom where I spent a few fun and frustrating years, until things in my circle of friends went downhill big time after the release of the 7th book. So I cut my ties there (mostly) and went back to the LotR-guys and girls where I happily read my way through hundreds of thousands of pages until one glorious day, [livejournal.com profile] surreysmum opened my eyes to the glorious world of VigOrli RPS - and what can I say? I've never looked back since that particular discovery :D

I've been very late to the fandom and obviously missed the golden years, but I've steadily read my way through (most?) fics still available and am still stunned by the creativity and love I've found in the fandom. And, of course, I'm the luckiest girl alive for having authors like [livejournal.com profile] ranmaru_fics, [livejournal.com profile] gattodoro and (of course) [livejournal.com profile] silvan_lady still writing amazing fics that keep the fandom very much alive! Ladies, you are simply the best!!!!

02 - Climbing

In June 2015 Himself got the crazy idea that his life will not be fulfilled until he learns to climb. When asked to take a class with him, I -very nicely- told him to fuck off and find another idiot to do it with him... which he did. So I've suddenly had a sporty person that spent more time on climbing walls than with me at my side (or, in this case, not at my side ;) ). Which was quite nice, because it left me to enjoy the hot summer in peace, reading and swimming, what more could a girl want?
Then, in July or early August, I've found myself in the vicinity of the climbing wall where Himself spent his afternoon and I decided to pay the boys a visit (and maybe laugh my ass off a bit - only really strange people spend their afternoons on a wall doing sports while the sun is burning down on them and the temperature in the shade comes in over 30° Celsius, right?).

Well, to cut a long story short, while watching the boys a plotbunny bit me big time. I only had to witness the boys doing their partner check once and the homoerotic subtext and possibilities became... well, brighter and clearer than the sun, really :)
Being who I am, I subsequently needled Himself with questions upon questions concerning everything from "how do I put that harness on" to "what does it feel like with your life literally hanging in the hands of another person". Himself indulged my curiosity for a few days, made only a little fun of my for seeing slash in everything, and generally behaved like a supportive member of the "spouses of a crazy person"-club... until one fine day at the end of August his patience snapped and he told me that "if you want to know how it feels, you're doing it yourself!", threw sport clothes at me and forcefully dragged me to my first climbing experience in about 17 years (I've had the dubious honor of spending a few PE lessons on a boulder wall in my early teens and I've hated it. I've also had a very brief 5 minutes opportunity of trying real wall-climbing back then and remembered that I've found it to be much more tolerable than bouldering, but nothing that left a lasting impression all things considered). Needless to say - my first try wasn't really fun, neither was it very successful.


(me begging to be let down again)

However, a few years ago a climbing hall opened in our hometown and a few days after my first climbing-disaster I consented to checking the place out with Himself, because he needed somebody to belay him, since his usual climbing partner was on holiday. And what can I say? This time, on much smaller walls, the climbing bug bit me. The instant gratification of scaling a wall appealed to me, and the fact that it's usually only a few minutes on the wall really comes in handy for a lazy person like me.
10 days later I went out and bought my own harness and shoes and at the beginning of October we purchased an annual pass for our local climbing hall and I've been spending my evenings there roughly 3 or 4 times a week.

And yesterday, on the 2nd - that's why climbing is my number two - I've FINALLY scaled the competition wall. I've been wrestling with this particular wall for months and haven't been able to cross the overhang, particularly because I had to do it in lead climbing, which always posed a struggle in and of itself for me (sooooooo scary *grins*)... and yesterday? I'm not really sure what I did, but somehow I got up there and let me tell you one thing: coming down from that wall I have been feeling prouder of myself than I have done in years!

So, I'm hooked, and there's still a fic to be written... good times all around!

03 - Onesies

I love them, I love them, I love them! There's nothing better than snuggling into a fluffy onesie on a cold winter-evening. It's perfect! And the only way to keep me warm once the temperature drops below 10° Celsius.

I'm the proud owner of (currently) 5 onesies and my favorites are these two:



Yeah... not the sexiest things to wear, I know, but SOOOOOOOO comfy! (And after 10 years together Himself simply has to live with my non-existent fashion style *grins*)

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