Friday, June 12, 2009

the return

I really enjoyed my last few days in Sweden. Emma and Dave were such gracious hosts and I am so thankful for having had a place to stay.

Yesterday (wow, I can't believe it was only yesterday) I woke up at 6 am (midnight EST) and finished getting ready for my departure. I was so convinced that my bags were both overweight - that was stressful.

Louise and I took the bus (and all my luggage) to central station and caught a train to the airport in Copenhagen. It turned out that my bags were only 17 and 23 kilos. What a huge relief!!!

They didn't weigh my carry on and I made it through security with a bag much heavier than should ever be allowed.

I only had to wait about an hour before my plane began boarding. Or maybe it was more time, but by then it felt like no time at all.

The flight home was loooong (naturally). It was over 8 hours and I can only sit still for a while. One great thing was that my traveling buddy (as I like to call the person sitting next to me) left her seat for a row that was open and so I had a ghetto upgrade - 2 seats to myself! In economy this is not actually a lot of space, but I'm short and used that to my advantage by laying on my side and catching about an hour of sleep.
The food was surprisingly good and distinctively Scandinavian. From the yogurt selection to the cheese and bread combo to the meatballs and potatoes, it was just what I wanted.
In short, flying Scandinavian Airlines was not an unpleasant experience.

I had a 2 hour layover in Washington, D.C. but I spent half of that in the seemingly never ending line for customs. The very nice (and cute) guy was super friendly and I actually enjoyed going through customs for once. It also helped that my former traveling buddy was in line with me and she's from near where I was born and we had a lot to talk about.

Then I called and texted some people upon arriving in the States. That was great... I got a few "Hello...?" answers, as if they weren't really sure I was calling and one loud scream from Katie.

My United Airlines (Star Alliance with Scandinavian Air) flight was shorter than expected and my traveling buddy was Carol, who has a daughter who went to my school and another who is at App (where my sister is going). She was friendly and we had fun waiting for luggage together. Especially when I saw the man with unfortunate facial hair (Hitler 'stache).

My mom was a little late meeting me, because my flight got in a bit early, but we still had to wait for luggage, so that was fine. A bit of a fiasco getting it to the car, but we did it.

I had pot roast for dinner, a meal which I asked if we could have. I also had it for lunch again today. So good.

Then I went to Sunni Sky's with Jordan and Meg, since yesterday was Meg's birthday!!!!
We ran into some guys from high school and then ate our ice cream at the usual spot and went to Raleigh for Krispy Kreme.

That was great fun, but by the time I got home and got ready for bed, I'd been awake for more then 24 hours.

This morning I awoke at 6 something, fully refreshed, but went back to sleep until my deadly loud wind-up clock alarm went off shortly after 8. Then I mozied around the house until 10, when I went to the chiropractor's office. Yay for holistic healing and spine realignment.

When I got home, I reheated the roast for Kayla and myself and we watched The Cosby Show together. I had some time to play guitar, too, which was a breath of fresh air. Just as she was about to set off for Borders for an afternoon of reading new books without paying for them and I was going to lay out on the porch, our mom came home and we had a long discussion about chores.

After the discussion, I caught some rays by mowing the lawn at an alarmingly fast pace. Apparently I'm much stronger or something than the last time I tried to do that.
My shoulders are brown and I didn't get weird sock tan lines. Win.

I cooled off by sitting on the marble hearth (a trick I picked up from our dog) and watched a few youtube clips. Then I showered and I'm waiting for my mom to wake up from her cat nap so we can have some sipping chocolate, like she wanted to do.

That's pretty much the jist of my last two days.
Now a few more things.

One...
tomorrow should be great. Katie made an event on facebook for people to meet up at Smithfield's for lunch tomorrow. Even if only a handful of people come, I'm so excited to see them all. After that I have my sister's baccalaureate and then I guess we'll all spend some time together as a family for the first time since January 1st (my dad flies in tonight, after the game).

Two...
the game is tonight. If you don't know which game I'm talking about, then I feel sad for you. It's the final Stanley Cup game and my favorite team (the Penguis -- sorry Hurricane fans) is playing. Can't wait for that. GO PENS!

Three...
How to Beat Jet Lag, by Krysta Gahagen.
First, get extra sleep prior to your journey. It's important that you don't already feel tired before you've even thought about changing time zones.
Second, drink killer amounts of water on the plane. Keep hydrated! This also keeps you going to the bathroom, which means you're getting up and walking, and that always makes for a better flight.
Third, stay awake by any means necessary. For me, this was eating coffee ice cream at 10 pm and hanging out with some crazy girls. I guess it probably helps to sleep on the plane, so you are making a deposit into your sleep bank, but I didn't need that.
Fourth, plan something relatively early (if you're going from east to west) on your first day home. That way, when you wake up early you have an excuse and don't feel disoriented. Having said that, don't allow yourself to wake up when your body says it's time. Go back to sleep for a few hours until you should be waking up in your new location.

These guidelines probably won't work for anyone else, but I'm writing them down for posterity's sake (and in case I travel like this again).
Can you believe it? I had more jet lag going from Raleigh to Seattle than from Sweden to the east coast. In any case, I'm super stoked that I'm adjusting so well to sleeping (even if I'm having a harder time adjusting to living with my family again).

That's all for now. Time for sipping chocolate and ukulele solos.

peace.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

only 58 hours left

I have 47 hours left in Scandinavia. That's officially less than two days.

This morning I went through my bags and relieved them of even more items again.
At this point in time I'm trying to find ways to lighten my bags, so my planned travel outfit is:
Jeans, cami, button down, vest, scarf, heaviest winter coat, rain boots, and anything else that I can attach to my personage.
I love the fact that I'll arrive in Raleigh in rainboots and a heavy winter coat.

Although....
I have to keep my carry on to under 8 kg. So, that means that I'll have a bit of space in there and once that mess is weighed and I'm through security, off goes the winter coat and in go the rain boots.
I hope.

I'm wondering if I'll sleep on the plane. I would like to, just so I wouldn't have so much jetlag, but I've been resting at Emma and Dave's house (where I'm staying) so much that I think I might not be able to.

Had another dream last night. This one was much more disappointing.
In my dream, I arrived at the airport and was so excited to see my mom, but she kind of just helped with the bags and we didn't speak on the ride home and then when we got home Simon was excited to see me for about 20 seconds until he realized I didn't have food for him and then he ignored me and I had to ask my mom about dinner and she pulled some hamburgers from the fridge and said "Here. Here are the hamburgers you wanted." then my mom (who was wearing a monk robe) took my guitar (it was missing a few strings and looked pretty beat up) and handed it to my sister and told her that she was late for her lessons and Kayla took the guitar and left and I was so furious that my beautiful guitar was so messed up that I walked away and kept walking until I was in England, in a deserted parking lot at a fairgrounds and it was raining and nighttime and a Royal Guard gave me directions but then a gang of kids came up on me and were going to attack but then I woke up.

I'm glad that's not the reality I'm expecting, haha.

Off to work on my secret project now...


peace.

Monday, June 8, 2009

t minus 77 hours

I had another dream about driving my car last night.

Wonder what that means.

(It keeps happening.)

peace.

slut means end (in swedish)

It's true.

I can't believe how little time I have left here, all that I've seen in the last week, and that I'll be sitting on the couch in the living room at home this time next week.


Let's start where I left off...

I was going to go swimming with Marsha and Suvi in the harbor. Well, Marsha ended up staying in Copenhagen overnight and the weather wasn't quite nice enough to go swimming, so we postponed and now Suvi is gone. Without swimming. It's a shame.

Friday night I went to University Island and we played circle of death for a while and then went out to a club. It was the first time I've heard hip hop in a club in half a year. So refreshing, although we ended up on the electro dance floor, since apparently it's impossible to dance to hip hop.
I stumbled home some time before 4 and had a nice rest. When I awoke, however, I was horribly ill (not a result of drinking... well, I'm sure it didn't help, but this was an actual sickness). It took me all afternoon to pack my bag for the Poland trip and I couldn't stomach anything. I decided to face the problem head first and met Marsha at Burger King. There I could have food of substance (I had only bread product in my room) and Sprite, which is good for illness. Whilst waiting for Marsha I had a chance to leave a voicemail with a friend at home and call my mom. While we were talking, I ran out of minutes and we went to catch the bus. Too late. The online schedule was only for the week days and we were traveling on a Saturday.
I can't express my aggravation with certain forms of transportation and my inability to work with them enough. We ended up taking a taxi to the airport which was twice as much as I had planned on spending. In the end, we made it to the airport with plenty of time and had an awful flight (which lasted a bit over an hour). The flight itself wasn't so bad, Marsha and I each had the emergency exit row to ourselves because we spoke English and they wanted an English speaker there. However, there was a crying, no - not crying - WAILING toddler on the plane. From the time we sat down until the time we exited the plane, that kid would not stop screaming. Seriously, she should consider being an opera singer with those lungs.
We landed safely, everyone clapped, and the next thing we knew, we were on a bus that was careening along the roads.

So far the scariest drivers I've encountered are the Poles. I don't think it's them, persay, more of their traffic laws. The things that they can do on the roads a) scared me, b) would be super illegal in the States, and c) made me soooooo car sick. I spent 90% of the time on the road wishing for fresh air, to stop moving, and maybe just to never see a road again. My motion sickness has progressively gotten worse - I can't even do porch swings for more than 5 minutes without feeling queasy and there I was, on a bus that seemed like it was about to roll over upon every turn.

We ended up in Krakow (having landed in Katowice) at the central bus station, but there were no buses or taxis. Deciding to find a place to seek shelter from the rain and figure out our next plan of action, Marsha and I came across Golden Hostel. The receptionist was great and so very helpful, from calling a cab for us to giving us hints on how best to go about our sight seeing, even though we weren't staying in his hostel.

The cab got us to the Dizzy Daisy Downtown Hostel (ridiculous names, I know) and we went straight to sleep. By 10 in the morning, we were showered and ready to go exploring. Louise wasn't set to arrive until after midnight, so we had the day to chill around town. It was kind of rainy (you'll see that rain follows me on my travels), but not unpleasant. Marsha got an awful caricature done of her and we went to the castle. The clouds went away and I took a few pictures of our surroundings. We discovered that for 1.30 or 1.50 PLZ (which is less than 50 cents) we could buy bread from street vendors and the cheese bread was the best. After walking around we went back to the hostel to rest a bit more from our adventurous night. I was feeling 80% better by that time, which was great.

We ate dinner at a disappointing so-called Mexican restaurant and then back to the hostel for movie night. Only, they weren't having movie night (it is supposed to be every Sunday at 8 in the common room, but it was already 9 and they were watching soccer). So, we picked out a movie and watched it. After that was over, I stayed up waiting for Louise, so I could tell her our plan for the next morning (which was starting early).

After going to bed around 3, I woke up at 6 and started getting ready for the day. Louise had arrived around 2 and then some guys were (apparently) having snore wars that night. It was like having 3 of my grandpa in one room. So loud!

By 8:30 we were on our bus to Auschwitz. We watched a movie on the way there that showed actual footage from the liberation of the camp by the Soviets and I regretted not having any motion sickness medicine.

I don't really want to talk about Auschwitz here. I can say that it was a very sobering experience and that it was highly informational, but the rest I have to say in person. If you ever get a chance to visit a concentration camp, please go. If you want to talk with me about it, we can grab coffee sometime.

After we left Auschwitz, I went to the hostel to get more batteries for my camera, Marsha got coffee, and Louise purchased a memory card for her camera. We met up again for lunch and before we knew it, we were on a bus for the salt mines.

What did I expect from the salt mines? No idea...
It was good. We met Colin from Canada and Masha from New York.
Imagine the mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings (even better if you've read The Hobbit). That's what the salt mines most reminded me of. I ate a little salt off the wall and enjoyed (in part) the dry humor of Sebastian, our tour guide. Again, I can't describe what it was like to be so many meters underground where people had, for centuries, chipped away at a resource that was (at times) more precious than jewels.

We enjoyed our new friends and had dinner with them in Old Town. Then Louise went back to the hostel to rest and Marsha and I went with Colin and Masha to Colin's hostel (The Good Bye Lenin), where his roommate, Liam, joined us. We went out for drinks (Marsha and I stuck to water, because we were so tired) and then returned home.

Having planned on meeting our new friends, we wandered around the city, after we checked out of our hostel in the morning. However, we had no way of contacting them, so we just perused the place. Then, as Louise was checking her phone and saying that they hadn't called, our friends walked up to us.

They took lunch while we toured the inside of St. Mary's (I believe that's the name). Then we joined them and all of us, with the exception of Marsha on account of her asthma, climbed the highest tower of the church. What typically would have been a bell tower was actually a trumpeting tower, so there were no loud noises while we were up there. About half way up, a sparrow attacked Liam and Masha, which was hilarious. The view from the top was astounding.

After that we toured the city with a guidebook Colin had. However, our adventures were cut short by an expected train.

We hurried back to the hostel and gathered our belongings and took off to the train station. Long story short, we caught the correct train but missed our stop because the platforms did not have informative signs. This caused us to miss our flight check-in by 5 minutes. Needless to say, we were not pleased. Our options were waiting 2 days and catching the next flight back to Malmö from Katowice or traveling to Warsaw and catching the 2 PM flight the next day. We opted for the latter and booked seats on a train that traveled at 1 in the morning. That way, we didn't have to have a place to stay for the night. By 5 AM, we were in Warsaw.
This is how things went in Warsaw:
-train arrives
-figure out which bus to take to the airport
-admire the architecture (without actually taking pictures)
-catch a bus to the airport
-sleep all day at the airport on metal benches

I'm sure my parents are proud, haha. Louise and I had a breakfast there that was quite nice and reasonably priced and I finished reading my favorite book again (thanks Katie for sending me that!), but it was a rather uneventful day. We knew Colin and Liam were in Warsaw, but we were too exhausted from our debacle of the previous night. So, sadly, we did not meet up with them.

I got back to my room in Malmö later, took dinner, and started packing for Gotland and my return home. Again, I didn't accomplish much for want of sleep.

At 5:45 the next morning, we were off. Louise and I had an amazing trip to Gotland and my only regret was how little time we had there. I did take advantage of the hours of transportation and managed to sleep some. The roads in Sweden are much more favorable to my stomach and even on the ferry, I managed to keep ill feelings at bay.

Even though it was raining the entire time we were there, I have fallen in love with Gotland and Visby. The nature is so beautiful, the people are kind, and the ruins of old architecture is enchanting. We took pictures and had fika. It was great. That was the first relaxing vacation. We weren't too worried about the time and had an entire dormitory building to ourselves (if you don't count the cat).

There was a whiteboard at the hostel and we played hangman. We found cards and played Uno. I found a soccer team and watched them practice for a while. Very simple times.

The only problem we had was (again) with transportation as we were trying to get home. The taxi company claims that a cab was sent for us at the appointed time, but we never saw it. However, we fared better than before and made it to our ferry just on time, after Louise and I took turns dealing with the man on the phone and our then-current driver. The driver was great, managed to get us there just in time and gave us a huge discount.
I slept like a baby on the ferry and most of the way home via bus. We had two hours between our ferry ride and our first bus, so we ate sandwiches and played cards in the park. I managed to get just a touch of sun on my shoulders.

We arrived back last night and I had my room inspection this morning. I explained to the land lady that I needed lodging for one more night and she allowed me to stay, which was awesome. My bags are "packed" but I have more things to put in them. I slept all afternoon and then had dinner with Louise and Ezgi in Rönnen. Then I fetched Louise's bike from University Island, where I last parked it and now we arrive at the present, where I'm sitting on the floor, eating some candy (to lighten my load, of course) and looking listlessly at my luggage situation.

I'm not sure if I'll have internet again over the next few days. I'm staying with friends of Louise for three nights and then I'll be back in my own little IKEA bed at home.

I really am going to miss this place.


peace.

Friday, May 29, 2009

crazy day and many more to come

Today was awesome.

It started off (technically) at midnight (duh) with us (me, Oliver and Thomas) moseying over to the student pub. Sadly, they were closing at 1, and we arrived at 12:30, so we couldn't stay long, but we did get free admission.

I ended up hanging out with Oliver until 4 (when I had snacked and talked off the alcohol) and then I biked home. I slept from 4:30 until 9:00 and then got up and got ready for the day. By 1, Marsha and I were on a train to ROSKILDE. I've decided that Roskilde is one of my favorite places in the world. It's so quaint and they have this amazing Mexican restaurant. We visited the tombs of the kings and queens of Denmark, which is in a cathedral and managed to get a guy to follow us (he worked there and decided to go wherever we went). I have a ton of pictures from there. Then we went to the town hall where my parents were married. They didn't let anyone upstairs except by appointment, but I just removed the "visitors forbidden" sign and we walked upstairs. It was weird, seeing a place that has (I guess) had such an impact on my life.
Then Marsha and I were having a bathroom crisis and couldn't find the mysterious public toilet that everyone was talking about, but we came across a hotel that I think my parents might have stayed at (the lady inside said it was over 300 years old) and we asked to see the honeymoon suite. There were two bathrooms. Lucky day.
Then we went to a Mexican restaurant called [something... maybe Los] Gringo's. It was the best Latin American food I've tasted, this side of the Atlantic. The waitress was super friendly, too. Very Danish.
After that we went to Copenhagen and hung out in Christiania for a while. Then I came back to our beloved city of Malmö and went to University Island for jello night. Everyone was busy, so I hung out with Gordon for a little while and ate my ham and gouda sandwich that I made (love sliced gouda with deli cut ham and good bread - it's the only ham & cheese I'll eat). Then we were playing hearts with Natalia and Sam, but Natalia's friend arrived from Poland so Pets played for her.
Long story short, we ate jello, burned a watermelon, and played cards until 2:30 in the morning. Which brings me to now. I'm home and hour and a half earlier than last night and I have so much more to do in the morning.

First, I must pay my rent for the next week (so stupid). Then I have to see if Louise's camera is ready to be picked up. Then I'm meeting Marsha and Suvi and we're going to harbor for a swim. After that I'll try to catch a nap or something, because later I'm probably going to the student pub with University Islanders (it's their last night, so the drinks will be cheap) and then out to a club somewhere, as our last real weekend in Sweden together.
Then Saturday will be crazy with laundry, packing, and cleaning. And then flying to KRAKOW, POLAND!
I'm jealous of myself. I can't believe that my last two weeks in Sweden (and Poland) are so busy.


I'm loving every moment of it.

peace.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

swimming

Today was kind of epic. At around 1:45, Marine and I arrived at University Island (another student accommodation). We walked to the beach with Oliver and Gordon and bore witness to way too many old ladies tanning without their tops. Seriously. Ew.

We then walking into the Baltic Sea. It was unlike any other beach I've been to, but I would most compare it to the beach at Jordan Lake. There was a ton of seaweed stuff and the rocks were abundant. However, while it was technically salty, it was fresh enough to open your eyes underwater, which I (naturally) did. Did I mention it was cold? Oh yeah. It was cold.
And we were in some warmer waters, because it was so shallow. We walked to the end of a pier's distance and I could still barely touch. Marine and I swam to the pier and walked back on it because she hates seaweed and my feet hurt from all the rocks.

It was so great.

And then the wind, which was crazy again today, blew us dry.

On the way back, we stopped by the casino at a hamburger stand and Marine and I purchased burgers. Perfect way to make up for all the energy we had spent in the sea. Then I fell asleep for three hours and had a horrible dream and just recently awoke to the thunderstorm that's happening right now.

I'm loving the sounds of the storm, but I'm afraid we'll go back to the nasty weather we experienced last week with semi-continual storms.

Anyway, we are hoping to go back to the harbor sometime soon and go swimming again. The difference there is that the water is deep enough to just jump into (of course, with it being a harbor an all), while at the beach you have to wade in. I prefer jumping in directly when it's cold water.

Well, I had a fun lazy day. I hope you did, too.

peace.

Monday, May 25, 2009

bullet points, more like

My parents have twitter. That greatly amuses me. And to think, when I was in middle school I was allowed online before dinner because we had dial-up and it would keep the telemarketers from interrupting cooking time.

Tomorrow I am going swimming in the ocean with Oliver and Marine. We are trying to get more people to go with us, but we doubt anyone will, because it's sooooo cold!

Today we had a seminar on leaving Sweden and re-entry to our home countries. About 12 hours before the seminar, when I was going to bed, I realized that I'm absolutely not ready to leave.
Also, I ate some kind of salmon sandwich today - be proud, parents, we can go out to Kemp's or some place when I get home to celebrate my new found toleration of seafood.
And I won a tote bag that reminds me of the bags my dad brings home from trade shows.

Fed the birds at the park at 2 am. I'm going to miss that. Was almost attacked by a mother goose while standing at the park this evening. Not going to miss that.

I might go to Stockholm...? It depends on if Ximena is interested in going on the same days as me. That would mean that I don't need to find accommodation (except in Stockholm) for the few nights after I move out.

I'm very tired and it's almost midnight, so I'm out.

Last chance to send letters, I guess. Since I'll need to receive them before the 6th of June and it takes a week.

peace.

Friday, May 22, 2009

tweeted

Do you have a twitter? Follow me at https://twitter.com/kryset

Now I sound like an official gossip blogger.

I've decided I'm kind of glad that I'm not in NC for the hockey season. Let's just say the last hockey game I went to in Raleigh, I wore black and gold.

In other news, I washed all my dishes tonight. I'm going to put all of my laundry away tomorrow and clean, clean, clean!
Maybe I'll go read a few chapters of a book (either The Princess Bride or The Chamber, which I bought, in English, for less than 50 cents at a second hand store). Louise has been sunburned the past few days, being a redhead and all. Having spent some time in the sun myself, I have yet to show any signs of pigment change. Guess I'll have to wait until I'm back in the States before I get a tan.

Today we booked the hostel for Cracow, Poland. Three nights in Poland, here I come ... at the end of the month. I also booked my buses, ferries, and hostel for Gotland. Ready for that relaxing vacation time.

Basically, this is how June is looking for me... I am in Poland from May 30th to June 2nd. Then June 4th I leave for Gotland and get home on the 6th. On the 7th or 8th I have my room inspection and have to leave. So... that means that from the 8th until the 11th I'm officially homeless. Fortunately, that's only 3 nights of finding some place to sleep. I'm hoping on staying with friends, but in the worse case scenario, I'll stay at a cheap hostel in the city.

Once Marsha gets back from her European continent trip, we're going to Denmark for a day and I'm going to visit Roskilde and see where my parents were married!!! Then we'll probably chillax in Copenhagen in the afternoon.

So, I'm keeping busy. I guess this is my last full weekend in my beloved city, since I'll either be in Poland or Gotland for the others. Oh well.

I should go to bed now, since I have laundry at 9:00.

Again, if you have twitter, follow me. And if you don't... then... add me on skype.

((20 days))
Peace.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

eternally amazed by the sun

When I awoke to sounds of someone using a wood chopper outside of my window at 7 am the other morning, I was certain that I must have slept in until noon, because it was sooo bright outside.

Today, our play ended and the sun had not started to set. That was at 9. At a quarter til 10, I made this video.


oh, and the show went fine. we kind of need more audience members.
peace.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Palin hair... or like Marie Antoinette (according to Marine)

To my credit, my hair was even bigger and my stage make-up more drastic when I went out in public after rehearsal. The elements (especially wind) made them a little less "lady of the night"ish. People in Sweden - please make it worth the stares in public and come see the show!!!
For guaranteed seats, book tickets at 0762279579 or through me!



peace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

fire at will

Have you ever noticed that in movies when someone says "fire at will" the person firing seems to will very much to fire often?

I have only one more month here and in that time I have so much to do. Our play premiers in one week and runs through the 16th. I'm hoping it will be successful. I'm going to Poland with Marsha and Louise (and maybe some other people) at the end of the month. I want to go to Gotland, too. Gotland is an island off the coast of Sweden (near Stockholm) and it's supposed to be beautiful.

Basically life has been all about some rehearsals lately, which is fine, as it keeps me on a schedule. Tomorrow I am going to see Seven Jewish Children (another play) again and then look for shoes before rehearsal, when we'll be setting up lights and everything.

Today I had fika with Marsha and Shana from the play once rehearsal was done. We went to Wayne's Coffee and I had the best scone in the world with cream cheese and jam.

Well, right now we're just staying up until 3:30 when Shatarra's cab comes to pick her up and take her to Central Station. Then she's going back to Fayetteville and I'll be the last American. So sad.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I'm hanging out with the Mexicans and they don't seem to care about the holiday much (although it's technically the 6th here, as it's after 2 in the morning).

Good night & peace!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

almost 6 minutes of me rambling



This is what happens when you don't leave comments (except for 2 or 3 people).

Oh, and I didn't mention that I'm super excited to be going to Poland at the end of the month. Marsha and I booked our flights yesterday and we're not sure of who else will be going. Butttttt --- the total cost for the round trip flight from the airport in our city to Cracow was *drumroll* 20 euros. That's pretty much amazing.

And that's all for now, since it's so late.

peace.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

movie update

A quick movie because I'm too uninspired to write more.





Friday, April 24, 2009

John Williams (composer)

Just a little post about John Williams - the composer, not my high school principal.

I was watching the Star Wars movies and had decided that, next to Philip Glass, whoever composed the soundtrack would probably be one of my favorite composers. The music also reminded me of the soundtrack for the Jurassic Park movies and Hook. (Sorry if I'm a 12 year old boy in my selection of movies, but I love dinosaurs, pirates, and space stuff.) Yesterday, Marsha hummed a bar or two from the Harry Potter soundtrack (which I am not at all familiar with, since I only saw one of the movies and it was over two years ago and on television when I was trying to do homework) and I thought she was humming something from Hook, so I asked her and she said, no it was from Harry Potter.

So I just wiki searched "Star Wars composer" and the result was John Williams. Turns out, my ear wasn't far off... (I apologize to all of you who keep up with movie trivia, but I'm terrible at it) he composed the music for all of the Star Wars movies, the Jurassic Park movies, Hook and Harry Potter!

Not only that, but he has also done some other amazing works, such as Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, E.T., the Indiana Jones movies, the Home Alone movies, Schindler's List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Superman, A.I., Catch Me if You Can, and War of the Worlds. And I loved the music in all of them, without knowing it was composed by the same man. I feel like everyone else in the world already knew this and I somehow missed out, because I can't remember names of lead actors in shows, let alone who wrote the score.

We even sang a song from Amistad in high school.

Wow...


So yes, props to Mr. Williams on his amazing talent.

peace.

crunch time

Well, I'm back for one post now. Due to lack of comments, I've taken to writing in a journal instead of writing here. And don't say that you didn't comment on the last post because it was all movies, which meant I spent basically no effort on it - I had already given up hope on comments by then. (Hopefully my guilt trip has already begun working and you're just itching to leave me a comment.)

A few things...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of telling someone, "Go Heels!" and they actually knew what I meant. Marsha and I were walking back to her apartment after rehearsal and there was a small marching band ensemble outside. One guy looked like he was wearing a windbreaker that had the State "S" on the back - and he did! So I walked right up to him and said "Go Heels!" and he said "huh?" and I repeated myself and then we had a little debate on whose school was better (he said that he had attended school there) and it ended with me telling him that it was ok, because at least he didn't go to Dook and him telling me to close the door behind me fast, or else.
Marsha seemed to think it was weird.

The weather here is vastly improved. I caught the "just after midnight" bus back from Marsha's last night and didn't even need gloves when I was at the bus stop. The sun keeps setting later and later - by the time I leave it's supposed to be rising at 4:30 and setting at 9:50. That should be interesting.

Also, the play seems to have a glimmer of hope, if we can get our acts together (pun kind of intended). I need to work on my lines in the very last scene, which we did for the first time yesterday, and then focus on not getting upset with our "weakest links".

Pretty much everyone has gone on a cruise to Norway this weekend, but due to financial reasons I stayed in Sweden so I'm left behind with a few stragglers who aren't going. Kendra and I were going to try to visit Swedish stonehenge (Ales Stenar), but the buses don't run to the town it's in on weekends. Furthermore, this is Kendra's last weekend before she goes back to the States and graduates from college (congrats!).

I have less than 50 days left until I go back "home".... I don't want to leave. I would be perfectly fine spending the summer here, but that's not happening. I really think that this place makes a great "third home" for me - first home is where I grew up, second home is Chapel Hill, and this is third home. I'm glad that I can call this place home. I really felt it like that after the girls left and I was on my way back from Denmark - I was just so glad to be going "home" and being able to sleep in my own bed again (instead of a hotel floor).
Another reason why I don't want to go back is because everyone else has had their own life while I've been gone and only a few people have actually kept in touch with me on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong - I'm really excited to see my friends again and all the people I've missed, but the seniors will have graduated and Carolina friends will be back in their hometowns or busy with summer school or opportunities elsewhere, so those dynamics will end up being the same as if I had just stayed here.
Once I am home, I'm sure I'll be ready to pick up my instruments and refresh myself on how to play those, see if driving my car will be a challenge since I haven't driven anything, let alone a stick shift, in months, and try to adapt to the summer heat again (when I leave here, our daily highs might reach the mid 70s). I bought a swimsuit (much cheaper moneywise - not qualitywise - here than in the US) a few days ago, and I'm looking forward to wearing it (as much as anyone can look forward to seeing themselves in a swimsuit) so let me know if you want to go to the pool or beach once I'm back!

Got to go finish my laundry now...
peace.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

back on the train again, back on the chain gang

I never knew poptarts could taste so good. Today I grabbed one on my way out the door and ate it at rehearsal. Very, very tasty.

I've decided that the thing (note: thing, not person, etc.) that I miss most about home is my guitar. While I miss being able to play it often and I'm looking forward to play it again, I'm not looking forward to the pain of having soft fingertips. Yup, I said it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 60s, so Marsha and I are thinking about having a picnic to celebrate the overwhelming warmth (yes, my idea of warmth has changed). I have some moldy bread to feed to the seagulls and other birds, although I'm still iffy on them since watching The Birds (see previous post).
I'm excited about the temperature change that comes with the change in seasons. However, I'm wondering if North Carolina will feel too hot and humid when I return. The best way to deal with that is, I guess, riding around in my car with the top down.

I had a very vivid dream last night about finding my bike. I am very sorry about the loss of Bambi's Mom. I guess she really was like Bambi's mom... she abandoned me when I needed her the most and I thought I could rely on her, but no... someone had to come and take that security away from me.
Enough pity party business. At least it's getting warmer and walking everywhere won't be so chilling. I don't want to jinx myself, but considering the weather here and all the germs that I had never before encountered, I've managed to stay rather healthy. My longest bout of illness was a 24 bug way back in January and that wasn't bad enough to phone home (I like to call my mom when I'm sick because she's able to offer advice and motherly support).

In recent news, facebook has been bothering me. Well, not facebook, exactly. More like what people want to post on their status updates. Seriously, I did not realize that I was fb friends with so many middle schoolers (and I use this as an exaggeration). Also, I've realized that an alarming number of my classmates from Fuquay Middle are still friends with each other. I guess this is to be expected, as they all live in the same area, but even in college... I can click on one person's pictures and recognize 90% of the people and I haven't even seen many of them in over 5 years.

I think that's about all from me for now. We had a dramatic rehearsal (no pun intended... well, a bit of a pun intended) this afternoon and I'm determined to know all of my lines by next Monday and be really familiar with them by our rehearsals later this week.

Got stuff to do.

peace.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

back to life as it was (plus more walking)

Yesterday was Copenhagen - we took a canal tour and got several good pictures of the city, a few death glares from this little girl, and pretty cold. Dinner was at The Hard Rock Cafe, since we had never been to one outside of the States. The girls left just after 5 this morning and at 8:03, I was on a train back to Sweden.
I slept a little more, watch Hitchcock's The Birds (horrible idea btw, since there are millions of birds here), got ready and went to mass with Kendra and Shatarra. It was the first time that I've attended a Catholic service in recent years (sans a funeral) and it was very different than what I'm used to for church. But the service was in English which beats not being able to understand. There aren't any United Methodist churches here and I don't know of any other services in English. The homily was very interesting though - at some parts he went on about how we need to come to mass and confession but the majority of it seemed strikingly familiar. It was based off of this (click the link) and was followed by "when you feel the wind blow across your forehead, it is like God kissing you reminding you that you have fallen astray from the path and need to come back to him." Then he told a story that started off "There were two soldiers in a hospital room with one window. One was sitting next to the window and the other was laying in a bed and could not see anything from the window." The messages seemed very much like the bombardments of email forwards that one receives on a regular basis. The sources were quoted as having been read from "somewhere" if that helps.
In any case, Kendra, Shatarra, and I ended up chatting in the stairwell for a while once we returned home and then my parents called me. We talked on Skype for over an hour and it was good to catch up with them. My mom is on vacation in Seattle, visiting my dad, and they seem to be having a good time, even though the weather isn't the best.

As for the weather here, it's been delightful. I am absolutely loving springtime and can't wait until I can ditch the jacket altogether.

Well, I'm jonesing for some chocolate, so I'm off...

peace.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

last day

Today we're eventually headed to Copenhagen. The girls are up late again today and then they got upset that they slept in (which I think is a little ironic, since they both woke up when the alarm went off and had a discussion about it before going back to sleep).
They're packing now and then we'll be off.

What we do in Copenhagen is up to them, since there have been differences of opinion thus far. See, I was under the impression that they were old enough to decide what they want to do and they were under the impression that I was responsible for them. When they made me responsible for them, I took charge in the typical "type A" way and that upset them because I was trying to control them. But when I told them they were on their own, they got upset and told me I was going to get in trouble; apparently all this was because "no one speaks English" and everything was so confusing, even after 4 days.

Since it causes problems if I'm in charge or if I let them do stuff on their own, I'm letting them be 100% in charge of the day. I've written a currency conversion chart, so they can figure out how much everything costs and I've booked a hotel for us to stay at tonight.

Time to take out the trash and then head out.

Oh, and my bike was stolen, which is just ... great.

peace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

flan's biggest fans

Tonight we had our "family dinner" with Las Almejas (aka Nerea and Cristina). Nerea's mom and cousin were visiting from Spain and Fabio's brother and sister and parents had just arrived in Sweden, too. Cristina and Dan came to dinner and I brought Kayla, Meredith, mild wings, and mashed potatoes that Mere helped make.

Dear Cindy Barkley,
You should be very proud of your daughter for eating 90% of her flan. She really doesn't like this food, she was already full from dinner, and they gave her a large portion. Yet she ate most of it and appeared to enjoy it.
Regards,
Krysta

Side note: Kayla did not appear to eat her flan. This, however, was not the case because when Meredith dropped what was left of her flan on Kayla's plate, it expanded and replaced the eaten part of her food.

One thing that I must say is that the girls haven't been hungry at all since they arrived. I'm always the one saying "ok, just let me know when you're hungry" which means "I'm hungry, let me know when we can eat or I am going to start getting snacks along the way". After tonight, I doubt they will ever need to eat again - they are so full on mashed potatoes, wings, couscous, tortilla de patatas, rolls, and all other sorts of yummy foods.

Kayla is complaining now again, so I have to go write her complaint down to file it in the box (a new system I have for dealing with how awful and lonely Sweden apparently is).

peace.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lund day

Today we went to Lund and took a lot of pictures. The girls (especially Kayla) complained about their feet hurting for the longest time.
The pictures will be on facebook if you want to see them. I might post a few here later, if I get the chance.


And I've included a movie for my illiterate "readers".

peace.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"delightful" is the word of the week...?

The girls arrived safely yesterday (for any of you who were wondering) and we kept things rather low key. They're obsessed with being online to talk with their friends and boyfriends and seem to be under the impression that my room's only function is for internet, sleeping, and getting ready.
This is partly true, but the sleep thing seems to be lost on them.
We went to bed at 11 last night and woke up at 3 to watch the NCAA Men's basketball game and my school won!!! We were the preseason pick to win and we pulled it off -- officially number one in the nation in college basketball.
I have a friend or two reminding me (in a not so pleasant way) that I "missed out" on the experience. My only kind response to that is: yes, I did not get to rush Franklin St. or attend the game or watch it on a big screen with a bunch of friends, but I wouldn't trade these six months for that one night. Yes, it's a big deal to all of us Carolina students, but in 10 years I think this trip will have a longer lasting memory than that one game, or even the entire season.
I can't spend my time here wishing I was somewhere else, that would be such a waste.

Something that I'm proud of - yesterday, we went to the grocery store and Meredith and Kayla bought some of the food and then I bought some. The lady spoke in all English to them and had me translate some and then when it was my turn (and she had heard us speaking English) she spoke only in Swedish to me and we had a little conversation. That was pretty cool.

Today was much more full of adventure. We slept in because the girls were jetlagged and then started walking. We ended up at a mall and Kayla probably found her prom dress. Then we ate at China Box. After that we went to Entre (an even bigger mall) and spent most of our time there at H&M. The girls seemed happy with their purchases. Somehow we ended up in the Jamaican girls' room and then went home and made pizza for dinner.

Now the girls are goofing off and will probably be going to sleep soon. We plan on going to Lund tomorrow maybe, but I really want them to get a chance to meet more exchange students. I think we'll probably attend a superhero theme party this Friday for a hot minute, but what to wear? As of now, we are thinking of checking out some consignment stores for potential costumes, as that would be the cheapest option.

It's time for me to go now, but I'll try to keep this updated, for those of you who are missing the girls.

peace.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

however you'd like it



Good weekend here, for the most part. I realized exactly how I miss just hanging out and remembered why I like hanging out with guys more than girls (in general- I love hanging out with my female friends, but the dynamic with guys is much more chillax). I really miss Marine and Kendra and everyone else who is gone (including those visiting Stockholm). A shout-out to Derek for keeping me somewhat up to date on the gossip at work *cough*Elizabeth*cough*.
Kayla and Mere are going to arrive tomorrow afternoon (as you can see, I spend an awfully long time in the video trying to count the hours) and I am super excited. They will be on a plane in 4 hours and we're still facebooking about last minute things. I still can't believe that the highly anticipated visit is less than 24 hours away. You get the picture.
I really don't know what I'm going to do the week after the girls leave while Marine and Co. are still gone.

Notice, also, in the video that it's after 8pm and that's the sunset outside. For the time being, I'm choosing to enjoy the later sunsets (they help me feel not as bad about how late I sleep in).

In other news, I was told last night that the way my brain works is that "you put 5 spiders in a room and they start making their strings across the room and you never know where the next string will be" which actually kind of makes sense to me.

Time to clean... or something.
peace.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

a vlog?




Yeah! A video, officially making this blog become part vlog (video blog... or log..?).
Here's the breakdown:
weblog -> blog + video -> vlog
Or maybe it's just video + log = vlog.
I prefer the first.

peace.

What krysta means...

Hellooooo Swedish people?!?!?

How am I going to be in my 4th month of living in a country before someone tells me that my name is actually a word in Swedish???

This is what "krysta" means, as explained to me by the cast of Getting Out.
"It's like when you are having a baby and what the doctor is telling you to do. Not just a regular 'push' but a really hard one. When you're pushing something from a smaller space to a larger one."
"Yeah, or if you are trying to make a joke and make it fit to a context that it doesn't really go with you would 'krysta' that joke, but it doesn't quite go. So, in that case, you're taking something from a really large space and trying to push it all into a very small space."

After hearing this, I did a little research of my own...
synonyms for my name are: pressa fram, trycka, anstränga sig, stånka
which translates to: squeeze, press, effort, pant

The verb forms of krysta are: krystande (present participle), krystad (perfect participle), and krystat (supine... which is when you add an auxiliary verb to to produce some compound verb form, like ska krysta -- will push). There are 50 (and I counted) different forms of krysta depending on what tense and who the verb is referring to.

Anyway, that was my fun fact of the day and that explains to me why Swedish people have no problem with spelling my name. Congrats parents - you always claimed to have used the "European spelling" with the K and the Y and you got it right.
Knowing that my name is also a Swedish word makes it a whole lot easier to introduce myself to Swedes. I can say "My name is Krysta, like you'd do if you're having a baby."
And that's just hilarious.

I would also like to take a line or two in this entry to wish my dad a happy *mumbles some number* birthday!! (Even though I was the first to tell him, since I went on Swedish time.)

That's about all for now.

peace.

Monday, March 30, 2009

maybe it's genius

This morning I awoke to the most frightening noise. I purchased a little alarm clock at IKEA yesterday that doesn't run on batteries. You just wind it up each day (or night) and it has an alarm. Now, I've had alarm clocks before - the electronic kind. This one has the two little bells on top and a mallet between that rings and rings like Satan. It was the scariest thing. I froze in my bed for five minutes.
Then I decided not to wind the alarm up at much anymore, because it was the loudest, most unpleasant noise to wake up to. A much briefer "alarming" will do.

Later, I was cutting up carrots for a snack at rehearsal and I cut my index fingers on my left hand pretty bad. It was about as bad as a cut can get without needing stitches... I'm just glad it was on the top of my finger, so that when it cut to the bone, it wasn't going through too much muscle. That was about the same time that I realized how incompetent I am when it comes to medical gauze and tape. Also realized that I didn't have bandages except for this giant one that I'm sure will go to good use eventually in my ever clumsy ways.
I would go on to describe the entirety of my "wound" story, but I don't want to worry my mom.

Having finally managed to subdue the bleeding with exceeding amounts of pressure and a heck of a lot of gauze, I went to rehearsal. I figured it was kind of pointless, but we did get some work done on my first scene. Then I went to Coop with Marsha because I needed bandages and she was headed there anyway. While in the grocery store, an old crazy man asked me if I was from Hollywood, California and then said I must be. When I told him I wasn't he told me that I have Mexican eyes, so I must live in California now, but I was from Mexico. Then he asked me if I had seen *something unintelligible* and I said no and finally got away.

After that I hung out with Marsha some at her apartment and we ended up getting dinner at this really quaint restaurant. It was nice and I had pork for the first time since last summer, because I ordered chicken, but that (apparently) wasn't clear enough. Still, it was cooked in a way I had never seen before and I thought it was just the bees knees.

I bought a grapefruit today and I'm looking forward to eating that for breakfast tomorrow (today I ate cookies Marine baked for b-fast), so I should start getting ready for bed, or at least stop writing here.

peace.

one more week...

Kayla and Meredith will be on a plane over the Atlantic at this time in one week exactly.
Yay! (I know, I keep going on about this, but this is BIG!)

Went to IKEA with Marine and Kendra today and got an extra sheet, pillows, and pillow cases, as well as some other essentials.

My phone didn't alert me to the fact that last night was daylight savings time and since I lack short-term memory, I forgot and woke up an hour late. Thankfully, there weren't that many people at IKEA, considering it was a weekend day. We did manage to count a bunch of pregnant women though. Good think Sweden is #3 in the world in maternal health.

Go Heels! We've made it to the Final Four and I was actually able to watch my first basketball game since we were in New York. During the games I usually keep up ESPN.com's box score, but this time I actually watched the whole game, which was exciting, even though it wasn't a very intense game.

Oh, and this afternoon, I watched Three Amigos with Marine and the Mexican boys. They were excited that Steve Martin was in it and seemed to enjoy the movie, overall.

I've just finished mending a shirt that I think I might want to wear tomorrow, so it's time for bed. More later.

peace.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

in a box beneath my bed is a letter that you never read

Today is over.
Finished.
Finally.

Last night, I couldn't get to sleep for a while, again. I think stress has been keeping me awake at night. Tonight I'm up only because of frustration.

This morning I was up bright and early and when I say bright, I mean bright! Daylight savings time is this weekend (I'm pretty sure) in Sweden, so not only will I go back to having 6 hours of time difference from home (it's been a mere 5 hours difference since the US had their early DST), but also it won't be so darn bright in the early morning. Maybe I was getting used to the sun rising later in the morning and setting mid-afternoon. While the building behind Sommarstaden glows like the sun with its tan coloring, I'm just glad that I'm not on the other side of the hall, where the sun actually rises in their faces. Not gonna lie - I'm kind of scared of how my body will react to the really really early sunrise come May/June. The sun rising at insanely early hours and setting late, late at night is not something I have ever experienced. I've told the girls visiting me to bring sleep masks, not just for the plane, but because it's the only way to sleep past 7 am in my room.
Anyhow, I woke up early and went to the printers to get my book. I met Marsha who was only 11 minutes late for our scheduled meeting (which was amazing, considering that she has a tendency to be late to everything) and we got our books. They didn't look bad. We headed straight to class and had a few minutes to spare in a classroom with GUITARS and PIANOS. You have no idea how amazing that was, especially after our teacher told us that we are allowed to play them (which I had been doing anyway). Presentations took from a quarter past 9 until just after noon. From noon we had an hour to grab a quick lunch before heading to a course evaluation meeting. For lunch, I had falafel for the first time. I think I'll try it again before commenting on it, because the first time might have been not-so-good just that one time (based on advice from Melanie Mangum).
During the evaluation, it seemed that our instructors didn't really want us to give feedback or suggestions for improvements. They spent most of the time justifying why they taught the way they did. Pointless, for the most part. Maybe the written evaluations that we had to fill out will be more useful.
At 2 we had a guest lecturer, who I thought was very interesting, since I'm an American and all. She talked to us for about an hour about literature written from 1970 to 2005 about the Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to America (mostly Lower East side NY) during the 1881-1924 period. A point that really hit home was when she mentioned that most of the books were written by 3rd generation Americans who were in search of their ancestral roots and family history. As a 3rd generation American on my mom's side, I am fascinated about learning more about my family's roots in Holland and I really want to visit the Netherlands to see what my grandfather (whom I never met) spent some of his life with.
It took me forever to get home, I might as well have walked my bike. I'm still seriously the slowest cyclist in southern Sweden, plus I was tired. When I got home I just remember trying to stay awake for a few hours and then sleeping from 7 until 9. I'm also in the process of listening to Frankenstein, so I needed a break from that. Most of the recordings have been good, but this one lady who narrated chapters 11, 12, and 13 keep messing up and having to repeat sentences and what really bothered me was when she said "cursed wench" instead of "cursed wretch" ... I don't even have the text, but it was a man talking about himself... I doubt he would call himself a wench, as that's feminine.
Later, I went to Austrian Christina's Mexican themed birthday party. It was alright. I'm glad it was in Sommarstaden. But there was plenty of drama (Shaniece helped calm some of it at the beginning) and I'm exhausted again.

That was my day (in a nutshell, kind of).

[Reminder to myself: movies that you have to watch again - Hook, Finding Neverland, and "FR"]

I'm debating going to bed now or waiting a while to see the end of the game. There are still 14 minutes left in the game, but that could be forever.

Looks like bed is winning this debate...
peace.

Friday, March 27, 2009

a few quick thoughts... about the weather

Presentation at 9 tomorrow morning, but before I go to bed...

The sound of the rain on my window sounds like someone is trying to get in. Good luck to me sleeping tonight.

When they said "oh, but it doesn't snow much here in Malmö" I think they should have followed it with "compared to other Swedish cities, such as Abisko or Kiruna." Seriously. I got snowed on again. I don't mind it so much, but my knee was wet from the snow and it was in my eyes and I blow dried my toes when I got inside because they felt like they were going to fall off (yay Chuck Taylors with your plastic toe part).

And tomorrow is calling for rain.

Usually after complaining this much, I would like to make a light hearted reference to Young Frankenstein and say "It could be worse... it could be raining." However, that's pointless.
Today, I will say, "It could be worse... it could be flooding." Having said that, I am praying for my relatives in North Dakota that they are unaffected by the floods or have at least been able to evacuate.

Time for bed!

peace

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

because i can't procrastinate too long...

Hi all,
I cannot wait for this week to be over! Tomorrow morning, I have my Children's Lit final exam (for which I studied 5 hours with a group yesterday) and then rehearsal in the afternoon/evening. Then, on Friday, I have to present my final project for that class, which is still in the process and attend a lecture in the afternoon.
Then my life can return to "normal" (whatever that means).

Between school work and rehearsals, I think I'll spend most of my time cleaning. Spring cleaning. Mopping floors, airing out my room, and hijacking a couch from a friend.
I'm ready for the girls to be here already, so I can stop thinking of things to tell them. I'm pretty sure the packing list I sent them had way too many explanations of why they do or do not need to bring certain things, but they should have no trouble getting from the airport to the train because I gave them very specific locations of pay phones, ticket stations, and exactly where I'll be when they arrive. By the way, if any exchange students want to wait with me, let me know - I'm sure I could use a little company, in case their flight is delayed or their luggage goes missing (like mine did).

And a reminder to people at home - I'm still collecting addresses to send postcards to, so let me know yours!

I think that's about all for now. More later... after Friday?

peace.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

swedes are sweet, in any case

Let's see... what has gone on in the past 48 hours? (Thank goodness time is universal - I would hate for there to be a different, metric version of time.)
Saturday I was going to pick up my bike from Värnhem which is near Rönnen, but I forgot about it, due to crazy dreams that we preoccupying my mind. I decided, instead, to go to Malmborg's for groceries, since I was down to rice, peanut butter, peanuts, and raspberry preserves. I had the most frustrating time at the store - it was one of those days when everyone seems to be in your way. Louise called me while I was at the store and asked if I could cut her hair, so I hurried back. I took a few inches off her hair, since it was scraggly at the ends and falls down her back pretty far. Then I trimmed her bangs. So, I'm up to three hair cuts now and I'll cut yours, too!
After that, I spent some time in my room, but then hung out in Shatarra's for an hour. I stopped by to tell her the plans for the night, but we ended up speaking for a while. She gave me some pasta and it was delicious. Kendra, Shatarra, and I went to this local "club", Debaser. It was free to get in before 10, so it was worth the money. Right after we go the there, we were interviewed and photographed by a reporter doing a story for the free newspaper in town. We doubt we'll be featured, but if our names appear at all, I'll grab a few copies, cause how cool would that be?! After lounging for two hours, the live band came on. Three songs into the set, we left and went to Sybilla for the second night in a row. And, for the second night in a row, a random guy fell asleep while we were there. We finally left around 2 am because there was a fight outside and the "polis" were trying to get things under control (and we were nosy, not to mention tired).

Today we were invited to go to tea at our teacher, Björn's, house. I got on the bus at Södervarn and called Shaniece to say that the bus would be at Värnhem in 5-10 minutes. She said that they were already there. Between the two stops, Marianna got on the bus. At Värnhem, Catrin, Suvi, and Alice got on the bus, but we didn't see the Jamaicans. As the bus left the station, we saw them standing at some stop that the bus wasn't going to. Catrin and Suvi let the bus driver know that the girls needed to get on and the girls ran to where they assumed the next bus stop would be, but the driver didn't care, so they didn't get to come to tea.
Other than that, it was an awfully pleasant day. Although the weather wasn't the greatest, it was soooo "mysig". Sorry about the Swedish, but that's the only way I know how to describe the day. We first went on a walk through a nature reserve near Björn's house with his family and pet dog, who was so adorable. After that excursion, we retired to the living room and had tea. There were traditional Swedish treats that are eaten only on Sundays (and fettisdag - Mardi Gras) during Lent, biscotti type treats that Catrin brought, and cinnamon rolls. It was so yummy and filling. The tea was especially great, since we had just been outside for a long time, and it didn't need any milk or sugar.
After tea we had "an activity" that the family had prepared for us. We had white coffee cups and paints, so we painted a cup each which will sit for 24 hours and then be baked in the oven at 150 Celcius for 30 minutes. (Think Amazing Glaze or Crazy Glaze at home.) Then we all worked together and made one for Björn that said Children's Literature Spring 2009 and all of our names (we included the students who weren't able to make it - Mark, Stephen, Marsha, Shaniece, Gerda, and Melina). Once we were done with that we had 45 minutes until the next bus came (it runs every 2 hours on Sundays). So, we went to the basement and played a game (it might have been called rounders) of table tennis where everyone is playing and you switch what side you're on each time you hit it. The goal is to be the last person standing, but I made it to the final 5 in the third, and last, round and that was good enough for me. Once we had built up all our energy from the sugary foods and playing sports, we got back on the bus for the 45 minute ride home and almost fell asleep. I got off early and retrieved my bike and it seemed to take forever to get home, but I'm back now and need to work on my illustrations, since my childrens' book is due at the end of the week.

I guess that could be summed up as a good weekend. Busy exam week ahead and the weather has already turned sour in anticipation of the storm tomorrow.

k, peace.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

frustrations

I took 86 pictures today, but my camera and computer deleted all but 3 of them.
I'm so upset about that right now.
We visited the new mall at Varnhem and feed the mean geese at the castle today. Tonight we were going to a club called Debaser, since it was free to get in before 10, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we ended up at Sibylla (cheap fast food place) and a guy fell asleep behind me. Later we went to Golden and this is where the story gets good. At the bar, this guy asked us where we were from. Kendra and I said the states and he said "wow". Pretty funny.
Well, later I go to the bar to find out what kind of chips they have and as I was walking back to our table, this guy gets my attention and asks me where I'm from. I told him the US and beckoned me to come closer, but I didn't. So he took his hand and put it on the back of my neck and tried to pull me closer, but I backed off even more and his friend told him to let me be. He then asked my name and I said "Krys" and he goes, "What is your age?" When I told him that I'm 20 he looked a bit surprised and said, "Oh, you are young." Then he told me his age and I said, "Yeah, so's my dad" and walked away. He looked mortified when I told him that my dad was the same age as him. Best put-down of the night.
Later, the guy who said "cool" when we told him where we were from went to the toilets, which were located just past our table. On his way out, Marsha kind of hit him and asked him why he had said what he said. We ended up talking with him for a while and many laughs were had by all.

In summary, it was a good day and I'm upset that most of my documentation of it is gone forever.

peacey p.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

spring is in the airrrrrrr

There are flowers blooming and it has been sunny (albeit windy) for three days.

This weekend we will be in the mid 40s!!!!
Sunday morning Marsha and I might try to go to church with Louise, but that's still up in the air, since the service is all in Swedish. Sunday afternoon, we're going to our teacher's house for afternoon tea, etc. I'm looking forward to it, but I don't really know what to expect. Bjorn (our teacher) told us to wear shoes that we can go for a walk through the woods in and that his daughters (the oldest is 14) are looking forward to meeting us.

Louise wins the prize for best roasted vegetables. She made some to go with a rotisserie chicken from Malmborg's and I grabbed garlic bread and coke and it was amazing! After dinner she brought out a bag of cheddar popcorn and a large chocolate with Daim. What a delicious meal! Marine, Louise, Marsha and I all had a good time chatting and feasting.

I really want to get healthy, so that when I get home I can go to the Y with my mom and feel great in a swimsuit, as I plan on frequenting the beach and pool.

Last night was an Interact organized night at the student pub. I'm still sticking to nonalcoholic beverages and discovered that the 7-up is a relatively good deal. I had a chance to speak with Swedish Karin - she's so nice! Valerie and I rode bikes back and she had a bit much to drink, so that was fun, haha. The music at the pub stunk. When you enter there is music playing that is generally alright and then in the club section there are usually DJs or bands. There was some "Ras Trent" DJ group last night. Basically it was a bunch of white guys with dreadlocks trying to play reggae music that they put a dance mix with. We left when they took a microphone and started singing.

Last night I had the weirdest dream where I told my mom that I didn't want to play music anymore since it had been too long. Eventually, I had access to a gold trimmed white baby grand and my bass guitar and then I changed my mind back and admitted that I really did want to play musical instruments. When I woke up, I was said.
And angry with the sun. Because it was bright.
I'm soooo ready for daylight savings time (which comes to the rest of the world at the end of the month). The only disadvantage is that I will be 6 hours from home instead of the current 5.

I have started planning everything that we will do when Kayla and Mere are here. There is actually more to do than I was originally thinking. Hopefully there will be nice spring weather and not too much wind.

We went to the American store this afternoon and I am still in sticker shock! Can you imagine paying $8 for a bottle of Hidden Valley ranch dressing?! They had everything from bumper stickers (which is pointless, since they are in English and no one uses bumper stickers here) to A1 steak sauce to margarita mixer to gold fish. The only Jif peanut butter they had was extra crunchy and I asked the clerk if they ever had creamy and she said that they had just sold out. Lies, I'm convinced.

I saw an '89 Volkswagen Cabriolet today and thought simultaneously of Meg and my car. I miss them both greatly.

This week has been kind of crazy with a lot of things to do. Not exactly sure what this weekend has in store, but I guess I'll find out later. One week until my final exam and children's book project is due.

That's about all, for now, I guess.

peace.

Monday, March 16, 2009

out with the bad

Kayla is sick and my mom said that she is taking her to Apex Urgent Care, since our doctor closed a bit early today. Hopefully she'll be feeling better soon.
When I talked with my mom earlier she said that she had fun on her retreat this weekend. I'm so glad she enjoyed it.

I really want to start solidifying summer plans - beach trips, cookouts, IKEA trips, visiting Seattle, etc. So people, shoot me a message on facebook and let me know what you want to do and we can figure out when. I come back in June, just before Kayla's high school graduation and party.
Also, the date of my return is Meg's birthday. I still think it's cool that I arrived on my birthday and come back on hers. Hopefully hers is better than mine was (not to discredit anyone - my family did a good job with my birthday dinner, I appreciated the gifts from Meg, and Lena did a great job with visiting me and dinner at Harry's Pub). I think it should be, as I'm coming back and we can stop depending on Skype which is unreliable, at best.

I'm beginning to think that I should have been born in a different decade. I think the 1950s would have suited me. Ugh, and I say this because I keep getting the feeling that I'm "old fashioned" compared to a lot of my friends, whatever that means. I mean, I'm sure that I'm more liberal in my ideas than, say, my parents, but really, sometimes I am just appalled by the idea of what my peers find acceptable. Especially when it comes to what kind of relationship they'll settle for (and I'm sure most people don't think they're settling, but I could never do it). In the past 16 months I have had a few different types of dating experiences and I finally feel like I finally have some semblance of an idea of what I need. I have this mental list and if someone doesn't reach the minimum qualifications for that, then we can be just friends. This isn't me trying to sound superior to other people or trying to say that other people aren't "good enough" it's just that I have friends who feel they can't "afford to be picky" but who cares, really. We're young, there's no point in throwing in the towel now. Unlike a lot of my friends, I want what my parents have.

I came across a video on my computer today that I made a while back. I had recorded myself playing a song I liked, so I could hear how it sounded. While watching this, I realized that my sister and I share several mannerisms, especially when it comes to singing.
And needless to say, it made me miss my guitar, a lot.

Mini-rant number two:
I am so tired of Americans who are apologetic for being American. Thank goodness we have a good group here (Kendra and Shatarra are great and I haven't met the other two teachers who are in the same program as Kendra). But even reading something that people have written at home (facebook notes, etc.) where they are apologizing for being a nation full of individuals who are constantly striving for more is pretty upsetting. Yes, maybe our nation has taken to overconsumption and materialism, but really... at least we have some aspirations. And you can't measure peoples' hopes and dreams with a GDP - so it turns out that statistics are going to measure only material goods. Sometimes when I talk to people from other nations, they mention things they know about America and while some are quick to say "Bush" or "rap music", there are a lot of people who want to visit, because it's a cool place. Ok, we're the land of the free, for goodness sake! This isn't just a line in a song, and I think that we, above everyone else, should value this. We are a melting pot with people from every place in the world who have come, at some point or another, searching for new opportunities. And I don't want to hear the BS excuse that some people came to America way back when because they had no choice- guess what, they had the choice to stay. And that's what people did - they came and they stayed and they wanted to give their kids better than what they had and they knew that in our country they could do that. So call it ambition or greed or whatever, but that's what makes our country different. See why I hate when people apologize for this? It's what makes us Americans and why should we be ashamed that we have this potential and are striving to reach it?

On a completely unrelated note, I have this plan for something when I get back home and I'm going to need peoples' help if it's going to work. Let me know if you're in.

In one month Kayla and Mere will be here! I'm super excited for that.

Well, it's awfully late, so I'm out for now. Sorry about the blabbering, as I said - it's late.

peace

Sunday, March 15, 2009

change of pace

This weekend was different.
For once, there wasn't some party to attend somewhere. Interact hosted a scary movie night, since it was Friday the 13th (again), but I didn't make it. One of my friends lost her grandfather this week, so Shatarra and I (in Southern tradition) made dinner for her, but she was extremely late, so by the time we were done eating, it was midnight. The dinner was really good! I only made wienerbröd (Danish pastries), but Shatarra made baked chicken with veggies (marinated in balsamic vinegar) and spinach pasta.
After dinner, we were standing in the hall, talking, and Louise joined us. I went to my room, rather than joining the "salsa party" they were having in the second floor common room. I don't mind the constant salsa music or Mexican music or Spanish music or general Latin American music, but it's getting super redundant. All of the events I've been to recently have required us to spin and spin and spin while we're dancing and I get motion sickness.

Saturday evening, I went to La Empanada with Kendra and Marsha. This restaurant boasted of having "Latinamerika" food. This was not really the case. First, Kendra's parents are from Nicaragua, so she knows Latin American food. When she asked if there were any dishes with beans and they say no, we were all slightly disturbed. Second, when I order a chicken enchilada, I expect it to be made with shredded chicken. Nope, it was cubes of chicken. The whole meal was lacking, in general. I don't know what Kendra ordered, but Marsha got chile con carne and I'm pretty sure we could recreate that recipe - all we would need would be a few chile beans and maybe a tablespoon of ground beef over a bunch of rice with some sauce. Their idea of Latin American food is actually quite disturbing, thank goodness it was cheap. Over dinner, Marsha and I discussed setting up a study group for our Children's Lit class, as the final is at the end of the month. Also, I agreed to play a minor role in a play she is producing for another class; I believe that I have mentioned the play before, as Shatarra and I were brought in to explain the culture and language in the play.

After that we went back to Sommarstaden and got Marine, Abihu, and Jose to join us for drinks at Golden, the cheap pub. However, once we got there and the Mexicans saw that "the game" was on (some soccer game), we left them near the television and us girls sat at a booth. Jose didn't feel well by the end of the game, so Abihu came and sat with us. We saw some interesting people there, including a guy with the world's tightest pants, a guy with pants that had the pattern from the game Twister on them (good times with that saying "left foot red! right hand yellow!"), and a very large man wearing make-up and womans' clothing. I had ordered a Carona, but I couldn't finish it - I couldn't even drink half of it. I just wasn't in the mood, I guess. (To be honest, I was craving a strawberry milkshake and large order of fries from BK.) I said that I wanted water, but didn't want to pay for it, so when Marsha went to order our two plates of nachos that we wanted, she got two glasses of water for free. When she sat down, Kendra said "free?" and gestured at the waters - to which Marsha replied (not having seen her point) "the waiter?" "No! The waters!" it was a pretty funny incident. Once I got home, my feet were soaking wet. It was only raining enough to be a nuisance, but the ground collects puddles and my boots aren't the best for rain, I guess. Next time I'll try to remember to wear my rainboots, even though no one else wears them here. On our walk home, we stopped in Video 12 and I bought a Daim ice cream cone. Mistake! It tasted soooooooooooo good. I like the Daim candies (chocolate with hard caramel in it) but the ice cream combines the goodness of ice cream with the deliciousness of Daim. I could go for one now, but I have chocolate chip yogurt in my fridge (yes, chocolate chips in my yogurt) and I think I'll settle for that.

Earlier this week, I bought new deodorant, because mine had fallen to the floor and was starting to break. It was just Dove original, but it smells different from the one I had before. I really like changing deodorants, because every once in a while you get a whiff of this new, fresh smell and it's quite pleasant. I'm sorry.

I was able to speak with Meg on Skype the other day (reminder to everyone - I can be contacted via Skype, just search my name) and that was just great. Slow blink!

There are Hannah Montana posters randomly throughout Malmö, since her movie just came out two days ago in Sweden. They are quite frightening. Oh, and we got pictures with one. Be sure to check those out once Kendra is able to upload her pictures - I'll be tagged in one.

I think that's about all. Well, I guess not - Spring break is over for Carolina peoples, finally. They are all talking about how it was too short, but I missed seeing them on Skype and other online forums this past week. Welcome back.

peace out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

while my toes thaw...

I would like to thank weather.com for getting the forecast correct today when they predicted partly cloudy. And by party cloudy they meant blinding snow.

They've changed their forecast now to predict light snow. I wouldn't really call it a forecast, as they changed it in hindsight. And it really is a "light snow" (as in it's sticking, but hasn't accumulated much). Regardless, I would hate to be out there on a bike in that. Oh wait.
I just was.
Yes, it was cold and I was dripping when I got inside. Not a huge problem- I took those wet clothes and replaced them with dry ones. It's really about my eyes. When my eyes are watering because giant snowflake monsters are attacking them with each inch gained, it's no longer fun times.

But I'm inside now. Safe, dry(ing), and warm(ing up) for the night.

Oh, and the Americans (joined by Louise) went to China Box at Gustav Adolfs Torg tonight. It was good. Marine's phone went straight to voicemail, so she's currently MIA which gives me a mystery to solve, once I am fully recovered.

peaceeeeee.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

as far as i'm concerned...

I, the hater of all things seafood and seafood related, have turned over a new leaf. Last week I ate FISH STICKS which doesn't sound like much, but they were actually made of real fish and have a lot more substance than what we call fish sticks at home.
Tonight was even better- I ate SUSHI!
Marine made sushi with tuna and crab and I at the ones with crab (I'm all for trying new things, but I will never touch tuna fish, that is just disgusting).
That probably doesn't sound like a big deal to anyone, but my family and close friends know that I really can't stand seafood at all. The closest I get to that at home is the occasional "popcorn shrimp" doused in Heinz ketchup, which counts for nothing.

And for the record, I'm not disliking my time in Sweden, I'm just wishing that I wasn't missing out on so much at home, which is to be expected. It really makes me look forward to my sister (who I apparently go on and on about) to visit next month and all the good times that are to be had this summer. Here's a picture of me standing/dancing(?) on my car, so you can see why I'm looking forward to the summer heat and driving with the top down:

My beautiful little convertible that my sister so badly wants to drive. Oh well.

Anyway, yesterday ended up being a relatively good day. I talked with my mom on skype for a decent amount of time and I got her recipe for chocolate chip cookies which are (pardon my outdated slang) tha bomb!
Now for the conversion to metric...

Let's see, I also received a card from my grandparents. They informed me that they are taking good car of One Ear (aka Swarley) the squirrel and that they have several other woodland creatures that they feed on a regular basis. I first met Swarley when I stayed with my grandparents for a few weeks after my senior year of high school. Cute squirrel and he'll go right up to Pap and eat the food set out for him. Gram accused Swarley of breaking into the house once, but I'm not sure how true that was. In any case, they also included a fridge magnet for me!
I collect magnets- especially bottle openers and free magnets you can get at stores or whatever. My dad sent me one from Quiznos near Olympia, Washington and now I have one from my grandparents. I can't really describe it- basically it's an attorney who specializes in boat owner rights, so I call him a pirate attorney, which sounds much more thrilling.

My mom's birthday is tomorrow, which is only a few minutes from now in Sweden, as it is almost midnight. But I don't have to go to bed early today, since all I have to do tomorrow is laundry and picking up my books from the post office.

This past weekend I cut Nerea and Cristina's hair. That was so much fun, as I've only had experience cutting my own hair and helping my mom with hers. I guess after years of watching my mom cut our family members' hair, I felt I was ready to give it a go. And it worked out great for everyone, I think. The girls said they liked it, I did what they asked, and they didn't have to leave their room or pay for an appointment. They did feed me dinner, but they are Spanish, so they probably would have given me dinner even if I had just been hanging out in their room. That was cool accomplishment, I reckon.

Today was absolutely the worst. My first class was alright and then I hung out with Gerda between lectures and that was cool- she's super nice. Then a majority of my class attended an "optional" lecture on "interculturalism"... let's say that the speaker didn't define what interculturalism is until the last 10 minutes of class. Basically, at the break a bunch of people left and my teacher had already peaced out. Suvi and I wrote notes about how silly the whole thing was and I learned a Finnish word "höpö höpö" which means "nonsense!" (which is what the lecturer was talking). She used examples that would appeal to a ten year old and tried to trick us (epic fail) which ended up with her saying "I actually made up that story about my friend- that wasn't true" to which Suvi replied "Tell me something I didn't know" and that was quite funny. Plus Kim said something about how it's hard to get into Swedish peoples' houses and it sounded a lot creepier than she intended, so we all got a good laugh out of that. The lady said that she hoped we would all join her again on Thursday, but that's going to be a struggle. Oh, and the worst part was that no one was correct. She had an ideal answer for each question she asked, so when we answered every time she looked to the sky as is to say "I'll consider it, but that's really not what I'm going for" mixed with "why can't these people answer a simple question?!"

So yes. Crazy day. Followed by a 2 hour death nap and sushi. And then random clips of Monty Python. I think I might go watch UHF now, cause I'm in that kind of mood. Alrighty then...

peace.

Monday, March 9, 2009

feels like freezing

The weather here is getting better- today it's in the upper 30s, but feels like freezing with the incredible amounts of wind.
So, I haven't ventured outside yet. Good news is, Thursday - Saturday are supposed to be in the very low 40s, but hey! it's the 40s!!

I'm kind of in love with "I'd Lie" by Taylor Swift.

Recently I have been struggling with not playing the "what I would be doing if I was home" game. This is especially true, since it's Spring Break for my school and I wanted to go to Arizona with the Wesley people, if things didn't work out with studying abroad. But they worked out, which I'm happy for, but still...

My mom's birthday is this week. I would have liked to cook dinner for her. And my dad won't be home for that either. We've found out that my dad will be in Seattle through the end of June, for sure. That's a lot of time. He'll have been there for almost a year. The only upside to it is that Kayla and I will get to visit him, I think.

I also really miss my guitar. I have gotten to the point where I know all the music shops in town and I'll go by them and just look at the instruments or I'll go inside and look at them. I feel awkward walking in and picking up a guitar though and they're never really tuned.

Ok, enough moping.
I don't want people to think that I'm not having a good time here, but I've managed to idealize home enough to really want to be there. However, I'm so looking forward to the weather when I get back!

And I still think Lost has the best music. And I've finally managed to watch all episodes of The Office that are online. Good times.

Peace.

Monday, March 2, 2009

just

For the record...
Michael Giacchino is an AMAZING composer. He's up there with Phillip Glass.
Giacchino does the score for Lost (and some other tv shows/movies) and it is sooooo good! Whenever I'm watching I can feel myself getting caught up in the subtle, yet powerful notes.
Ahh!

peace.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

why is this show so addictive?

While I'm waiting for an episode of Lost to load, I'll fill you in on my lame weekend and recent thoughts.

Friday I finally got down to the supermarket to pick up my second package from home after I paid next month's rent. (Remember, there are no real post offices, just places to send and receive packages in other buildings.) At the same time I sent home an envelope containing a few postcards, which my parents can send to people. The cost of that envelope to go home was less than half of what individually sending each post card would have been. I included a few tasty (and not so much) treats for my sister.
So now I have my Jif peanut butter as well as a few Tootsie Pops and a package of after dinner mints.

I've been telling some of my friends that my "sisters" (we'll refer to Meredith as a sister in this blog, since she basically is one) are visiting next month and everyone is very excited. I have started a mini-care package list, which includes goodies from America. Hopefully Kayla will be able to bring ingredients for Smores, grape jelly, Quaker grits for Shatarra, and a few other things. Don't worry Meimei, it won't be too much stuff and our parents will help you put it together!

From what I gather from facebook statuses, State, Meredith, Campbell and some other schools are having their Spring Breaks this week. I guess that means Carolina's break will be soon. And I've seen that NC could be getting a decent amount of snow tonight. Weird. Either I'm adjusting really well, or I have not adjusted to the weather at all here and that's why it's feeling so much warmer, but hey- I'm not complaining. Shatarra was wearing capris with her boots the other day and I went outside with a jack, dress, stockings and flats. Today I even ventured to Burger King with Marine for milkshakes (which they didn't have) without gloves on. After class/author presentations on Thursday, Marsha and I sat outside for almost two hours eating lunch because there were no indoor seats. WHAT?! Our fingers were frozen, but we sat there talking until a crazy started feeding the pigeons near us.

I miss my guitar more than anything right now. I'm so worried that when I get home, I'll pick it up and it will be like I never learned. And I have to go through the whole process where my fingertips hurt like the dickens for a few weeks, since they are all soft and mess again.

Friday was a joint birthday party for a few girls in Celsius. I went, to say goodbye to the American girls, since they were leaving at 7 the next morning. If they hadn't been there, I doubt I would have stayed. I did learn some interesting information about a few people while I was there, so I guess it wasn't a total waste of time.
Saturday was about equally productive. Louise cooked stirfry for Marine and I, which was delicious and then we all went to a "party" at University Island. It was a lame party (not gonna lie) but I had fun chatting with people and trying to dance tectonics with Marine.
Don't worry, people at home, I do more than just go to class and parties. I just don't think that many of my other stories are worth listening to right now. For instance, no one wants to hear that today I cleaned all my dishes and listened to music and watched Dane Cook videos and studied and wrote a poem and cut my hair or whatever I did.
I am, however, biking a lot more. It's almost 2.5 miles to get to University Island, so I biked around 5 miles yesterday. I hate biking. I'm pretty sure I'm the slowest cyclist in the southern part of Sweden. Ok, I don't hate biking. I hate biking with other people, because I like to go at a pace where I'm not sweating or red-faced or short of breath. Cycling should be pleasant. It's something you do in the summer when you're meeting friends at the park for a picnic or you want to get an iced drink from Java Divine but don't want to waste time walking or waste gas driving.

Speaking of summertime... in a conversation that I was having with my mom this evening, she informed me that we will probably not be doing family vacations anymore. This will be the 3rd summer without a family vacation, meaning that since I graduated from high school, the only family trips we've taken have been for weddings, funerals, and Thanksgiving (which is never a "vacation"). This means no Ocracoke. This means no sitting on the beach all day, no eating hamburgers and hotdogs from a charcoal grill at sunset, no walking to the harbor to watch the Fourth of July fireworks show. That's fine and all, since I can always go to the beach with my friends or sister. But what I don't think my family realizes is that I am counting down the summers that we still have together- cause I don't know if next summer I'll have an internship or live in Chapel Hill, like I did last summer. I don't know if I'll even stay in North Carolina once I graduate. It's not that I want those lazy days down by the ocean- I can get those anyway. It's that I'd like to have the memories, for the days that are quickly approaching when "family" becomes just me and they all become "extended family."

Anyway, that's pretty much all that's on my mind right now- Lost is almost done loading, so I'll go watch that now. More later, I'm sure.

Peace.

Friday, February 27, 2009

more

With February at an end, I am looking back to the most amazing two months I've already had.

The first week of the year, I was in New York City with an amazing group of people. What we did and learned there, especially visiting the AIDS clinic will stick with me for a very long time. Right after that, I headed to Sweden and I've been here since. I've done so much, learned so much, and yet I feel like there is so much more that I could do. Marsha and I grabbed lunch after class (and our big author presentations) today and I was telling her how I'm interested in getting more hands on experience with performance studies, to see what aspect I like most of it. It turns out that her Theatre and Social Justice class is in need of some help (not really sure what that means, but she mentioned potentially acting) and I am looking forward to whatever that entails.

When I start thinking about my future, like, really thinking about it, I freak out. I have no idea what I want to do (realistically) after college. I keep being told by people that I should know by now. It's not that there's nothing that I would like to do- it's that there is so much! And I love North Carolina and I don't think I could leave there just yet (for more than a semester, of course). It feels like if I make a decision about something, then there will be five more decisions to make and 10 alternatives to that original decision that present themselves after the fact...

Ugh, don't let me listen to country music ever again- it makes me think too much.

Another problem I have is that I want to do everything, but when I get overwhelmed I don't do anything. Also, I don't take chances. It's so much easier not to- which is terrible, I know. Instead of feeling like crap because I tried and failed, I would much rather just not try. Until now I've been able to live with the idea "I might have been able to" rather than "I'm not good enough." At this point I think my mom would ask, "Well, what are you going to do about that?"

I don't know.


peace.