Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting ready...

Today my iPod went from 150ish songs to over 700, plus two movies, and a couple of podcasts. My iTunes library is at just over 4000 songs, several movies, and 6 podcasts. This is good news for my trip, since I'll have hours to myself when I'm traveling. Also, this is thanks to my dad, who lent me his external hard drive for the day.

"Santa" brought a few presents that will come in handy during my adventures - from isotoners (OJ style, as my sister said) to a new laptop bookbag, to a converter plug for my laptop chord. Kayla got me a couple of sunglasses that are super cute.

Christmas was great - we got to spend time with family and the food was delicious. (I don't eat pork, so I was grateful that we had turkey, as well as the other usual Thanksgiving type foods.) I had a hard time leaving. I guess it was realizing that I really won't get to see my family for several months. I'm not the sentimental type, but we usually see the Seviks several times a year, as we live only a few hours away. However, the thought crossed my mind that I'll see them for sure at Kayla's graduation party (assuming she has one, which I think she should), so that's gravy.

Tonight I started packing. My closet is so empty looking! The only major issue I'm currently having is figuring out the voltage of my electronic hair products, as my parents also got me a voltage converter. I have yet to pack my shoes or the clothes that are in the washing machine...

My mom received a note from her aunt the other day about a second cousin of mine (mom's aunt's daughter)... here's the part that pertains to me...

"Since you wrote to say Krysta will be in Sweden I have a daughter Ann that lives in Sweden. I'm sure she would love to get a visit from Krysta, I will give you her address & email. [address/email] Ann works at a large vacation & spa resort near her home."

How baller is that?! (Great) Aunt Sis' daughter lives in Tvaaker, which is only 120 miles north of me. I'm sure there's some train that I can take for very little money to get there. That would be so great to meet a family member in Sweden! I also hope to get a chance to visit the Netherlands, as my grandfather immigrated from there as a child. This whole Sweden thing just keeps working out better and better, so if anyone else asks me "Why Sweden?" then I have another reason. Yay!

Well, I'm hungry again and need to finish doing laundry.


Monday, December 22, 2008

terrible joke

I was reading an article on a site about Scandinavian stereotypes (I thought it was pretty interesting) and came across this joke...

A Swede, a Dane and a Norwegian are shipwrecked on the proverbial desert island. A genie appears out of thin air, informing them that they can each have a wish granted. The Swede immediately says, "I want to go home to my large and comfortable bungalow with the Volvo, video and slick IKEA furniture." So he vanishes. The Dane then says, "I want to go back to my cozy little flat in Copenhagen, to sit in my soft sofa, feet on the table, next to my sexy girlfriend and with a sixpack of lagers." Off he flies. The Norwegian, after giving the problem a bit of thought, then tells the genie, "Cor, I suddenly feel so terribly lonely here, so I guess I wish for my two friends to come back."

I've heard something similar with "a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead" but the addition of Ikea and lagers makes this one slightly more amusing.

However, I recommend this site, if you ever get bored enough. The link is provided above.

last full week

Today was the first day of my last full week in the US. We went out to dinner for my birthday last night (The Twisted Fork in Raleigh - it was GREAT!!!) and my parents gave me an iPod for my birthday. Now I can have my own music for the trips, which is something I already appreciate. Also, it makes gift giving easy for me, as iTunes gift cards are something I'll definitely use. Is that bad- I don't get an iPod until I turn 20? Everyone else seems to have one, but I know that I'll appreciate mine, especially compared to the mp3 player I had years ago. Also, it's green, which is one of my favorite colors.

This afternoon, just for kicks, I opened my luggage for the first time. I've checked online and from the luggage I purchased on Black Friday, I can take my two largest suitcases and my rolling duffle bag (two checked bags and a single carry-on). It took some time to look at the airline restrictions for luggage, especially converting from metric for Swiss Air.
In any case, I have more space than I thought, but still not a lot. I'll have weight restrictions, too. My current plan is to back my bookbag (assuming I have one by January) and computer, as well as one day's worth of clothing, a small air mattress, blanket and documents in my carry-on; in the small suitcase I'll pack some shoes and the clothing for the week in NYC. In the largest bag I'll throw in everything else. Fortunately there's the H&M to shop at and Ikea for cheap furnishings like sheets.
Here's a picture of my luggage, just to give you an idea of what I'm working with.

Speaking of work - I have tomorrow off and two days later this week. While working gives me something to do, as well as money, I am definitely looking forward to this break. Since exams ended, I have kept rather busy. For example, Christmas Eve I'm working at 6, get off work around lunch time, hanging out with Cassie (Jan's cute dog), singing at the 5pm Christmas Eve service at home, then immediately going back to Jan's house. I'm hoping that after Christmas I will have a couple of afternoons to pack.

I was reading a blog by Erin (a friend who will be in Madagascar next semester) and she was talking about what she will miss and what she has done in preparation for studying abroad. Pretty much all of her list I won't miss, because it will be provided (from cold weather to indoor plumbing) and I am so glad that I haven't had to get any shots to live in Sweden. It has been so stressful, trying to get things in order with my residence permit and housing arrangements, but I'm sure it's absolutely nothing compared to what she's had to do.

Well, that's enough for now. It's getting late and I've already seen this episode of CSI Miami.

Friday, December 19, 2008

t-minus 14 ...days...?

Hello world,
We're down to fourteen days until January 2nd, 2009 and life is putting along smoothly (albeit slowly). I have my tickets, visa and passport, have paid my rent, and have purchased luggage. As far as official checklists go, I'm right on course, yet my mind keeps reminding me that I can only take two suitcases and I still have work until January 1st, and I haven't found someone to sublet for me.
Other than that I'm not too worried. I have begun creating a mental checklist of wardrobe items that will be traveling with me across the pond and have already sent a few boxes home to the attic. I would like to see a few people before I leave; however it might be next to impossible.
I'm sure NYC is going to be a blast- what a great opportunity! I sound like such a lucky person when I get to say "Well, I'm leaving North Carolina on January 2nd for New York City, and I'll be headed to Europe on January 8th, from JFK."
My mom is a bit stressed about my trip too, but, as she told me earlier today, there's really nothing she can do about it. (Sorry!)
It really has only just begun to set in that in two weeks, I'll be gone for half a year. That's a lot, considering I drive to my parents' house a few times a month (sometimes week).
Well, sitting on my bedroom floor, typing, isn't going to get anything done, so I am going to clean and get to bed early.