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.


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


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...

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.


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...


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.


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.

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).


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".


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.


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.

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.


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.