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.