Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh man

So. First I must apologize for taking forever to post! But so many things have just been going on and you lose track of time sometimes. Anyhoo, prepare for a novel.

Well, the first week was great!! I went on a few pub crawls and met soooo many people that I felt immediately better. The first one was with a bunch of Swedes and the second one was with exchange students, many of which were Australians, go figure. I just wasn't expecting to meet them in Uppsala of all places. Yes there were a few Americans, and yes you can spot them a mile away. The accent carries. Haha... I also met a lively Frenchman who I swear sounded utterly British and if I had been drinking a bit more could have definitely fooled me. I did also meet an actual British person but she was a girl this time and very nice. And there were several Irish people. And one arrogant Canadian (if that's not an oxymoron then I don't know what is). She could pass for a snooty California Valley girl if she didn't go around saying "aboot" all the time while flat out denying that Canadians have any accent whatsoever. Don't get me started.

The Swedes I met were really great and at one point during the evening I found myself sandwiched in on a bench at a table in one of the many pubs while my seatmates proceeded to regale me with all the Swedish drinking songs they could possibly remember. When they ran out of those they moved on to Astrid Lindgren songs such as these. I knew those (finally) so I happily joined in while the rest of the non-pub crawlers glared sneakily at us :D When we started in on "Jag ser en hövdning" I knew for sure I was in Sweden. Sooooo good.

I finally got a bike about a week ago, which is an absolute necessity here. Apparently Uppsala is the most cycle-riding city in Sweden, and you can totally see why. I mean, there are rows and rows and rows of bikes locked up everywhere. The infrastructure for a cycle society actually exists for once. It is so cool! That is, when you're not pumping away up some hill, huffing and puffing. I suppose this is good for me. Americans need exercise right? I mean, if the 87-year-old lady can pass me on her bike then I had better be able to at least make it up that stupid hill every day. It's not even that steep. I'm definitely feeling that saddle though. I wonder how long it takes to adjust to, because I'm learning about muscles I didn't even know I had.

One big part of student life at Uppsala is being a part of the Nations. Membership is required to take your exams at the end of the semester so you have to pick one of them, but I ended up choosing V-Dala. They had a big free welcome dinner for the freshmen and they played traditional Dalarna music and showed off the different programs the nation has to offer. Plus they did skits and stuff, which is always slightly entertaining.

Anyway, the big Freshman Formal is tomorrow. It starts at 3pm and goes until 2am, and then I promised I'd go visit some family in Stockholm the next morning. That means I have to be up at 8am. What was I thinking... Well either way it's going to be a great night :) Everyone dresses up and you eat a three-course meal then dance the rest of the evening. And it's full of traditions and singing and drinking... I have really noticed that the young people here really do love to get wailing drunk. All the time. But don't worry, I certainly don't join in. I have heard one too many "so does anyone know how I got home last night?" and "man I totally crashed my bike last night while drunk driving home" stories to steer clear.

I also have become slightly addicted to Ikea and all the wonders it contains. My room looks like a page from their catalogue, except more sparce and less cute. Plus I can't get used to not having a trunk to haul all my purchases home in, so I always get stuck lugging those huge blue reusable bags on the bus and trying not to bump into too many strollers and old people on the way to my seat.

I do the same thing with groceries too. A few days ago I was at the really big supermarket a few kilometers away and ended up buying 4 bags worth of things. My bike only has a package holder and a little basket on the front! Luckily I had my friend with me and he graciously offered to take the other two on his bike. It was way too much to ride with though so we were forced to walk out laden bikes all the way back. Ugh. Never again. I am just used to a super sized lifestyle.

Okay, enough rambling. It is now after 2am my time and I always have stuff that needs doing. So tomorrow is also laundry day :P And errand day. And not-enough-sleep day. Ah well. That's what youth is for, right?

I will leave you with something that I am shamelessly obsessed with. I can't get enough of Alfons Åberg.

Puss och kram. God natt!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I wish I had a bike....

Ran lots more errands today. Bought a much-needed watering can and some clothes in preparation for the colder weather I KNOW is coming. That's my new favorite excuse: I will need this at some point in the future and therefore should buy it immediately. That was my excuse for the iron and the candle and the chocolate and the magazine and...

I caught the bus out the Ikea this afternoon. Late afternoon. I had less than 2 hours to get what I needed and to get out. I came prepared with my Ikea bags and a backpack but I'd already done some shopping earlier so I was already at 50% capacity. This could get tricky. I managed to play it safe and only buy what I really needed. I also decided against buying the wooden boxes for my shelves and instead chose some nice light wicker baskets. A wise choice.

I only filled one bag and stayed well within my budget so I was pleased with myself when I left the store at closing time. I was on the way back to the bus stop when I saw the bus pull away as I was coming up. I checked the schedule and saw that it was the LAST BUS that day. O.o Ikea is a ways out of town. A long ways. Thank god I'd bought the wicker and not the wood. So I shouldered my load and prepared myself for the slog back to downtown when it was already after 8pm.

After I'd walked for about 5 minutes I passed another bus stop and since there was someone sitting there I decided what the hell, go read the schedule again. Sure enough it said the last bus left at 7:50. I asked the guy if he was waiting for the bus and then told him there were none. He was shocked and double checked. Turns out, I'd been reading the schedule for Sunday, not weekdays. THANK GOD.

So I plopped my stuff down and prepared to wait, except the guy continued to want to talk to me. I tried to get the message across with body language that I was not interested and wasn't particularly inclined to talk about my life to a stranger thankyouverymuch. Needless to say, I had to curtly decline to give him my number, Facebook, go to dinner, or do something over the weekend. Wow dude. Get the message.

Anyway, I made it back and now am seriously exhausted. I have so much to do tomorrow: register for classes, buy books, open a bank account, then go out later. And I'm up at nearly 3am because my neighbors keep having sex loudly and repeatedly for the last hour and a half. I am torn between severe irritation and extreme amusement. What I really want is sleep though.

God natt!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The beginning

Wow so I moved in! In Sweden! At Uppsala! I can't entirely believe that I am here sometimes but I really love it so far. I was ready to feel displaced and isolated at worst but it's been completely opposite of that. Spending a week with family and friends has really helped me feel differently about the upcoming year. I am relieved and excited for winter now instead of wary and glum. It sounds like way more fun than we have at home because there actually is a winter and they make the most of it. All the sports and traditions and snow!! I know I'll be eating my words in a few months but from where I sit now it just sounds fun :)

So. My room. Is HUGE! Well... compared to last year. I have THREE chairs, my OWN bathroom, an ENORMOUS desk, OODLES of shelves and a BIG window!! I am so pleased :D I was gearing up to have to buy lots of furniture once here but it's all taken care of. I still had to buy all the rest of the stuff you need to survive in the semi-urban jungle but that was still considerably better. They even had lamps already! I had a tiny dark one last year in a dark room with a small window. And roommate. Which I don't have now! Own room. Own space. Own decisions. (Wow does that sound cliche.) I put up my few posters but I haven't started with the rest of the little stuff I brought. I think that'll be the fun part. There are several postcards and lots of cutouts from calenders of oldtime posters- they're like posters, but smaller and cheaper ;)

My desk is a complete mess and I've lived here for 3 days already. I just don't have the place for them that I want and I suppose I just don't feel organized enough myself to start cleaning it up haha. I will have to make another trip to Ikea for organizers! The clutter is driving me a little crazy.

Today I slept in for the only the second time since I arrived and I definitely needed it O.o Woke up around 11 and missed the first day of registration... But not to worry, it continues all week and I already reserved a spot in my classes. So I took my sweet time getting ready and headed out the door to walk into town. I didn't rush and took apparently the longest possible way because I made it there 35 minutes later. Ah well.

I took care of some pressing business- but not all of it, sadly- and paid my membership dues to the student union and V-Dala nation. Yay! Official nation member :D Then I took a stroll around the neighborhood- just a little. Mostly I just stuck to shopping. Oops. I made some unnecessary purchases at Gina Tricot and some necessary ones at Åhlen's. Now I have a coffee press and a new outfit! What could be better?!

I turned in my application to have internet access turned on in my room and was told it will take ANOTHER 5-ish days for them to get it done. Omg. I am using my neighbor's wireless connection because he took pity on me and gave me his password. I wanted to not impose anymore (figuratively speaking) and stop piggybacking on his network. Plus, he downloads a lot of stuff and it slows everything down a bit... Not that I should look a gift horse in the mouth or anything... That would be rather ungrateful. Ahem.

I met some really great people last Saturday at a roof party someone was throwing and we're going out again Wednesday for a pub crawl! Yay! I was so worried I wouldn't meet people and here I am, meeting people. How anticlimactic. But I am somewhat relieved that the student life is such a big deal here. Somewhat because my corridor mates to throw all-night parties and blast their music at times but overall glad that people are willing to socialize. I spent most of the night explaining to people where I was from and inwardly chuckling at their amazement at my level of fluency. HAHA looks like I'm a bit of an oddity. Hope that will work out in my favor.

So much more to do tomorrow. It just won't end... Sigh.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Pre-Game Gitters

I leave in less than two weeks and it has yet to sink in that I am moving away for a year. That will hit me soon enough though so I'm trying to enjoy my rapidly dwindling days of blissful ignorance while I can. Nothing is really packed yet (insert image of my mother's chewed off nails... not really) mostly because of the fact that I'll be buying 80% of it all there. If all I have to pack are clothes and some books I don't want to leave myself with nothing in the closet too soon. I have to pace myself. Plus, it leaves more room for my denial to hang out and make itself comfortable.

I am really excited though to hang out with Stina(!!) who graciously offered to stay with me the first few days after I move in to help me get comfortable with the town and meet some of her friends there. Then she's off to Cannes and the glamorous occupation of au pair (I am seriously jealous!) with a wonderful work agreement and nice family. Did I mention she'll be in Cannes? I think I'll take a well-timed visit down there during the film festival next May...

So lots to do, lots to see, lots to stress about... but that's all to come and right now I'm enjoying a relaxing day of denial and sunshine.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It never seems like much until the moment is upon you.

I can see that I am not much of a blogger... Hmm I must try to make an effort in future.

School is nearing the end- I am released for a summer hiatus as of 4 June and obviously am greatly looking forward to it. I have managed to avoid doing most of my actual homework and have relied almost exclusively on my cramming abilities. They have happily been serving me well.

I am also in the middle of filming a short currently titled "Waiting Room" with some students at the Art Institute of Seattle and I'm really pleased with it so far. It is not an assignment and therefore is benefiting from the easy access to good resources and the students' desire to do some legitimate work without any studio pressure. All in all, a great vibe. It was a very busy two days which didn't even include any dialogue shots. That's all next weekend. So yesterday I and the audio guys engineered a makeshift foley room and recorded some steps. It felt like building a fort when you're 10. So fun. Audio guys are always the most chill and effortlessly cool part of any crew. There were several excellent dolly shots and complicated set-ups which the entire crew wanted perfect- understandably- so the schedule was scrapped in exchange for a better final product. Cheers all around!

I will be doing a one day shoot out on Harstene Island on the 6th on a project I have yet to learn the name of. My part is "Cute Girl" and it's in a local feature but haven't heard much about it yet.

Today I am ignoring the need for a shower and have gloriously wasted much of said daylight hours doing much-needed catch up with emails and general internet fodder. I'm not online for 3 hours and I suddenly have 20 emails. What is the world coming to?

Recently I have been getting little flashes of inspiration for stories and have tried to write them down with enough detail to serve me when I actually have a moment to expand on them. Creativity is something I have been trying not to squash with incessant internet surfing and Hulu-watching but it is more easily said than done.

I think I have decided to take intensive French this summer as well as a website design class. I really want to get a website and don't want it to look terribly amateur. And I really want a Flip Mino camcorder. Wow. So flashy and nice.

Alas, the shower is calling.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Take One

I've now got 38 days until I wish everyone adieu and hop across the pond to chat it up with some east enders and hairy parisians. Then it's off to Scandahoovia to catch up with los relativos and do some serious shopping. Mi mejor amigo is not all that involved in the planning process because I happened to make the mistake right from the get-go of assuring him I had it all under control and he really didn't have to do much... Wrong. In any case, I assumed he would shoulder some of the responsibility anyway and show off as a real respectable man, which of course did not happen. Typical. But in any case, I'll be stuck with him for 25ish days and will have to deal.

I have been listening to old radio shows from Xfm, more specifically The Ricky Gervais Show and seriously want to wring Karl's neck. He sits around moaning and griping and he is truely an idiot. Of course, it doesn't help that I agree with everything Ricky Gervais says (the man just makes sense), so I tend to be influenced when he shouts at Karl and christens him as such. Well done, Ricky. Spot on. Speaking of Ricky Gervais, he'd probably enjoy this:

I have also recently received my copy of The Host via and cannot begin reading it because I know from past experiences that all normal activity will cease and I will become blob-like on my bed, curled up for two days as I immerse myself. Not the best plan of action as tbe quarter draws to an end. I will have to stand strong and hold off until after finals. This will truely be a test of endurance.