Friday, 27 July 2012

Countdown

T-1

I will spend 16 days travelling coast to coast with Kate, with the original reason for the trip: going to the wedding of our friend Jonna in Utah happening halfway into that period.

Then 12 days back with my family; time to calm my mind, rest, be happy.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Countdown

T-2!

NYC, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, the Uintas, Bryce Canyon Natl Park, Yellowstone Natl Park, San Francisco, Austin, Hillsborough, and all the places inbetween them: Here I come.

:-)

Acquisition

My new hat is the bastard child of a cloche and a trilby, and there will be no photos of it for quite a while unless Kate manages to take a picture I thoroughly approve of. (There, a challenge.)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Opinions (Rant'n'ramble, written under the influence of fever dreams)

For more than a decade I have been careful about expressing political opinions. This does not mean that I do not, did not, have opinions or felt strongly about something, only that I was not really up to discussing for various reasons (I might or might not get back to that in a different post - remind me?).

The past couple of years I have slowly started having opinions more or less publicly again. And a funny thing happened: People keep expressing surprise at my opinions. They mostly expect me to say different things than I do.

Why is that? Are there such strong preconceptions tied to my background?

Environmentalist, queer.

Most people that know me know I am happy enough to pay taxes if that means I get working healthcare and medicines when I need it without having to cough up money at that point, and a working infrastructure etc etc. They fully expect me to approve of gay marriage, acknowledging polyamorous relationship constellations, and so forth. I am expected to be against whaling (I am not), against drilling for oil (I am), against nuclear power (I am not), and for sustainable energy like wind and solar power (partially - great areas of land can be needed to cover our needs and that too is problematic).

I am expected to be against the military (I am not, but I am against the military dropping poisonous materials into sensitive nature and drinking water sources), against gun ownership (I most certainly am not), for world peace (yes, bring it on, but until that day comes good men and women need to stand up against the evil ones).

I am expected to be for the right to abortion (I am), against marriage as an institution (I am not, but I am against people of any gender marrying and then divorcing for all the wrong reasons, and I am against making it a political benefit thingum), and I am expected to think that socialism is the only way to go.

That last one is interesting. Because I don't. I think socialism has worked well in Scandiland, but that it is working less well all the time as it gets watered out and people lose faith in the system. Distrusting people abuse the system, and more people start to distrust. I also do not think it could be implemented anywhere at any time. I also think there are several ways to make a country run. What I do think is that we have to decide on one path, we can't do it all simultaneously. We can't cut taxes and have a working welfare state, or start a welfare state without getting working taxes, and people are going to protest either of those.

Most of all, people don't like change. Change is scary.

Most of all, people need freedom. Not to be tracked and watched all the time, not for someone else to decide everything you do. Freedom of information, freedom to move around (within financially responsible limits), and the right to privacy.

You can do whatever you want as long as you don't push it up my nose (don't try to tell me your religion is awesome, please) or hurt, restrain or threaten others (cause I can't stand for that). Do me the same favour.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Wind Chill




It is windy.
And cold.
I am freezing.
My joints are stiffening up in the wind chill, painfully so.



But in five days I will be somewhere warmer, and not back for a month!

Yay!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Surprise food

So, I have a vicious headcold. I will survive, but I am not happy. The worst thing about it is the headaches. Yesterday afternoon I realised I needed to eat something.

I looked in the cupboards.
I looked in the fridge.

Nothing that could make a meal.

I looked in the freezer, without much hope.
Two unidentifiable frozen meals, both cooked by me and put in a box, and, I hoped, put there for a reason.

The reason preferably being that they were edible.

I picked the one that looked most mysterious and thawed it out. And struck gold.

Soup, root vegetables and plenty plenty of beef. F'yeah! Perfect cold-food!

Beach Weather

For the past four years or so I have tried to post a photo of my feet with the water as proof that I have been to the beach. A lot of the times I probably forgot to post it, only taking the photo, but there's a bunch of feet+water photos in this blog's backlog (examples: 1 2 3).

This summer has not offered a combination of weather+opportunity to go anywhere where such a photo would be appropriate. So here is a bonus photo that will stand as a symbol for this year without summer:


It's simply too bloody cold to go to the beach, even without swimming, I don't want to be outdoors. I haven't even planted anything on my balcony because it's not nice out there, brrrh!

So bathtub it is.

Bedtime, said cat (last night)


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hello Internet.

I am feverish and bored. Entertain me please? :)

Head like a balloon

With the most perfect timing ever, it seems I am getting ill again. Of course I am, I am supposed to leave for the States in a week! I have a tradition of being deathly ill and on long sick leaves and weak as a kitten when I travel stateside, why break the trend? (The incidents include a severe concussion and pneumonia.)

Yea, I am a bit annoyed. Will dose myself with the rest of the C-vitamin packets Erik left here, as well as Nyquil tonight. Hope I can kick this without getting sick for real.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday.

Data halls. Climbing on the roof of one of them. Drinking too much coffee, feeling queasy.

Fixed my computer when I came home (and feel irrationally proud that I managed in commandline).

Supposedly lots of day left, but I am tired. Maybe I should just call it a day and go to bed?

Countdown

8 days!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Self-challenge

30 days. 30 subjects. On some of them I have no idea what I should write, others seem easy. It doesn't matter: The point is to challenge myself into writing more regularly, and think about my writing.

A simpler challenge is to take my favourite point from the last challenge I did: "A moment" - and do it daily. I might do both.

I am leaving the country in ten days, travelling for a month. So this is bound to be interrupted and continued later. Or I might start when I get home - any of my blogging friends that want to do this paralell with me in september?

  1. Ten random facts about yourself.
  2. Nine things you do every day.
  3. Eight things that annoy you.
  4. Seven fears/phobias.
  5. Six things you have in your bed.
  6. Five things you can’t live without.
  7. Four ways to win your heart.
  8. Three words you can’t go a day without using.
  9. Two things you wish you could do.
  10. One person you can trust
  11. Tell about the best day of your life.
  12. Who has made the biggest impact in your life, and why?
  13. What were you like as a child?
  14. A picture of your family, are you close to them, yes, no?
  15. Recommend 5 songs.
  16. Recommend 8 books.
  17. Recommend 2 websites.
  18. Worst injury you got, and how you got it.
  19. Do you believe in love at first sight - why?
  20. 3 of your favourite experiences.
  21. To go to a party or to stay home - why?
  22. Favourite book and why?
  23. Favorite type of music.
  24. Favorite place on earth.
  25. 10 things (not people) that make you happy.
  26. 10 things you want to do this year
  27. Where have you traveled?
  28. Tell about an adventure you have had.
  29. How you see yourself by the end of the year
  30. Something you want to do before you die.

Writing

Re-reading some stuff I wrote before the rain. More than a year ago, closer to a year and a half, and before that.

I can quite obviously write better than I do nowadays. Gotta make an effort, push myself. Maybe I need another of those 30-day challenges to force myself back on track. Anyone got one I haven't done?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Vasa Museum/Royal Castle





The splendid sculptures of the Vasa. 

Cannon! 

(Detail of another cannon)

The German dog! <3 <3 <3




Old Town

  






The German Church in the Old Town. I always go there if I have five minutes to spare.
Why you say? Ask me in private and I might tell you. 


A very narrow alley: 








More cannon! What is that you are hiding behind your back? A very unmanly ice cream cone? :)


Monologues inside my head

If I argue with someone I much rather be friends with, I am always left feeling somewhat adrift, confused, aimless. I keep talking to the person in my head. Not just trying to resolve the quarrel, but I get a greater urge than usual to talk about my day, things that happen, things that can be funny, or things that have annoyed, or the shape of the clouds, or...

I am not sure what to do with all these thoughts. Maybe I should take up blogging daily again? But does anybody read these thoughts, or are they just my echoing space? Does it even matter? I suppose not. 

Today I had a different cleaning lady here, because my regular is on holiday. The substitute is called Tatjana. She did a good enough job, but she managed to crash my ubuntu box by placing something on the keyboard - on the printscreen button. There was nothing on the keyboard when I came home, but there were two-thousand-and-some printscreen dialog boxes, the computer was running hot and blowing the fan as if it was an airplane about to take off, and not *really* responding to anything I did (though I could click cancel on each dialog). In the end I rebooted it and felt like a complete idiot doing so, but it was the quick way out - and less humiliating than asking for help. Though I ruined that by going public about it, didn't I?

Stockholm Visit


I have had two separate visits from the States this summer: First Erik, Wayne and Patty were here for a week in June, and this weekend Kate was here (Juho came over from Finland too). 

High, high up one can get this kind of view if the weather is good. 

But what is a West Chester police vehicle doing in Stockholm? 

Drottningholm












Pet cemetary



Countdown

10 days!


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Result of dye-job

The only photo I could get where you see some of the blue (there are several
stripes among the green), but the bright light made it kinda wishy-washy. 



Before dyeing the hair I cut it short. This is very short to my perception.

(And yes, I do cut my own hair without help.)

Dye job

Why pick one colour when I can do them all? 


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Margarita Edwina

I have a policy. Don't drink and knit.

Lately however, I have been unable to resist - particularly when I am drinking margaritas. The latest is that I started knitting this shawl, according to a pattern called Edwina, under the influence. It was a bit confusing trying to figure out what I had been doing the morning after I started, but then things went well after that. The first part of Margarita Edwina is finished and it is time to begin on part 2 - a different lace pattern. 

I knit fairly well when drinking tequila, apparently..