Blog-nill Busyness

This has probably been one of the longest blackouts in my the history of my blog. Fairly certain of it. I would say that it’s not because I’ve been insanely busy, but because I have FELT extremely busy. You know how some days you feel like there couldn’t possibly be enough time for all the things you have to do, then you manage to do them all and feel so exhausted from the achievement that you plop into bed early? It hasn’t been like that either.

 

But I have felt really busy, because I am writing my BA in English Literature, and baby-sitting two wonderful children, writing poetry again, playing Skyrim and trying to use any left-over seconds and minutes on spending time with my husband, because it is what holds me together.

 

I realised yesterday that certain things just go once you’re too busy. Amazing super-hero couples who get children start slacking off in areas of their lives where they were always on top off the things before. Organised young women become less organised. OCD young men start realising that maybe their disorder wasn’t so serious, because the mess doesn’t bother them anymore.

 

Here’s a list of things I realised go when you’re “too busy”:

 

1. Blog.

Don’t think I need to say much here. Unless you are a very popular blogger, whose life it is to blog, who spends a minimum of two hours a day on their blog and commenting and networking… you’ll probably stop blogging for a while. Strangely enough, it’s when life gives you more to blog about that you don’t have the time to blog about it. (Though I very much doubt that anyone would WANT me to blog about my 25 page essay on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the various forms of critique it has been subject to. Though it’s actually really interesting. It is!)

 

2. Social life

“I would love to come, but…” becomes your new catch-phrase. Often you would love to come, but there is also a certain relief in being able to hide yourself under heaps of busyness and let the rest of the world socialise with itself for a while. They’ll be fine. They may accuse you of being a hermit and boring and that you don’t love them anymore, but they’ll come around once you’re out of the bubble again. I hope.

 

3. Cleaning

Now that you don’t have people over anymore, and you are either out of the house doing busy things, or in front of your computer doing busy things, or in your bed reading about busy things… You stop noticing what your floor and your bathroom looks like. I remember very well indeed, days and weeks when I had absolutely nothing to do, which would tend to end in someone or other coming home and me trying to subtly get them to notice how shiny the kitchen had become while they were out, or how the lamps are a bit brighter, and the toothbrushes whiter… When I am restless and bored, I clean. But when I’m busy, I clearly don’t.

 

4. Personal hygiene

Or grooming, maybe I should say. Though showering becomes one of those “did we shower yesterday or the day before? Can’t remember. Can’t be bothered. I’m probably clean” things. But plucking your eyebrows turns into this ludicrous waste of time, attempting to make your hair look a little less like a sad dog before you leave the house is a no go, and whether your clothes are matchy or just serve the purpose that is currently required of them (right now warm, waterproof and covering all my rude bits) is not really a question anymore: the matchy goes.

 

5. Sleep

This should be further up the list, probably. The busier we get, the less we see those few hours of empty brain-ness as time-wasting crap. The problem is of course that the busier you are, the more tired you are, and the less sleep you allow yourself, till you just want to cry because you’re so tired but you just have to finish writing this assignment first…

 

6. Food

First, you stop cooking anything complicated that will take too long. Then, you stop cooking all the meals you used to. Finally, you live on snacks and toast. Or snack. Singular.

 

7. Health and fitness

Let’s stop thinking of this list in chronological order, because this should really go at the top. If we have any excuse in our lives to stop working out, we usually do. But with the busy comes this feeling that we can’t allow ourselves to be ill, to have colds, headaches, muscle-aches… So out of the house you go, face imploding, because you are too busy to take a break and let your body get back to normal.

 

8. More stuff

What goes for you when you’re busy? What are the first things you give up/neglect when life comes around and starts getting you terribly involved in living it? Besides your blog, of course… say your blog… it’s not just me, say it… please…

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Stumbling through time

Of late, I have found myself restless and worried. It’s quite common for the mood to shift with the seasons, and autumn is undoubtedly arriving, at least up north here in Sweden. With it come the colds. I think most everyone I know has been posting about how sniffly they are and their sore throats on facebook for the past two weeks.

In this restlessness, I found myself looking for a new facebook game to play. Yes. I was actually looking for a new facebook game. Actively. And I already play 3. Well, two that I play, one that I have lost my addiction to. So I stopped what I realised must be a clear sign of desperation and sat down to write out things that me and my husband like to do, that we are good at. We intend to start our own company, but all the things we are good at are fairly… insubstantial. Creativity, writing, story-telling, analysing, prop-making… and most of those are just my husband’s. So attempting to start a company, based on passion alone, with no funds, and little actual professional experience, has proven a frustrating process. (If any of my beloved readers have suggestions based on the things I wrote above, please, tell me. I would love comments with suggestions).

So after I stopped myself in the hunt for a new facebook game, and then put the company ideas on the shelf until further notice, I delved deeper into my latest obsession: Stumbleupon. I can, honestly, sit for hours and just “stumble”. I felt that my posts need some form of gimmick, so from now on, I shall attempt to end my posts with a few links to things I recently stumbled upon and thoroughly enjoyed, for one reason or another.  So I shall kick this off by sharing a LOT of things that I enjoyed on Stumbleupon.

This man creates an “image” on the wall through the shadow of objects. Quite astounding.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4yvz0l/catinwater.com/2012/08/21/rashad-alakbarov-paints-with-shadows-and-light/

This picture made me smile… a lot 🙂

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/323KpH/media.al.com/birmingham-buzz/photo/goldie1971jpg-a0de64e9bd62fd9b.jpg/

These pictures of snowflakes are so incredibly beautiful. I know macro-photos of snowflakes aren’t new and exciting any more, but I will always find them extraordinary.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2pnYmj/www.petapixel.com/2012/12/07/ethereal-macro-photos-of-snowflakes-in-the-moments-before-they-disappear/

This is an amusing, interactive page.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1n6win/www.drawastickman.com/episode1?o=66-69-32-67-82-69-65-84-73-86-69s66-89-58-32-84-72-69-32-66-65-78-68-69-69/

And finally, an adorable video of a grizzly bear cub playing with a wolf puppy. Daaaaaaw!

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/30xLvD/www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL8x7LcA-Y4/

In Motion

You know those days when you feel the need to write a blog-post simply because you haven’t in such a long time, and it doesn’t seem fair to keep your very small number of followers waiting any longer? This is one of those days. I don’t have any idea what this post is going to be about. It’ll have to be one of those famous rambles of mine. About nothing and everything. It might turn out all right in the end. But I doubt it.

Today signifies the beginning of the New Year for a very large number of the world’s population. It’s the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese horoscope. Incidentally, I happen to be a dragon-born. Yup, full-blown scales, fire-breathing, sheep eating and all that stuff. According to the Chinese, this is going to be an absolutely awesome year for me and my likes, especially in the career department. Dragon’s stand for luck, power, daring, they are guardians and protectors but also conquerors and warriors. Known for their giant ego’s, radiant charisma, vivacious and impulsive personalities and traits of that nature, I think just as much bad as good can be said for my reptilian pals and myself.

So far I’ve come across a ridiculous number of predictions for the upcoming year. On the one hand the stock-market should go up in the U.S and down everywhere else, there will be an abundance of natural disasters and lots of disruptions on the political and military front, with uprisings and protests and conflict between world-leaders. On the other, it is supposed to be a lucky year, one where you should proceed with caution but follow your gut-feel, where you should heed the advice of others yet make your own way. Basically, whatever you do this year, there is no way to tell if that is going to be the wise plan of action or not.

I do my best to live my life from tiny moment to tiny moment nowadays. For a very, very long time I’ve been stuck in the Then. The Then is a place where I have a career, where I have found a spot on earth that feels like home to me, when I have travelled all the places I want to go, know 4 languages, have been signed for a record-company, am a loving mother of 2 and sexy wife of 1 and still do my utmost to share all the good things in my life with the ones I love and the ones who need it the most. This Then that I have made up is such an awesome place that the me now wants to be there instead of here, and somewhere along the road the anticipation for the Then managed to kill off any of the enjoyment I could have felt in the present, and replaced it with impatience and a looming sense of failure. (The latter which is probably pretty much on the mark. Still trying to find a foundation which will cover that huge L on my forehead.)

Some part of my brain just forgot that even though some lucky people get all those things, they tend to get them in time, not right away. Certainly not at 23. Once I caught myself bashing my poor present with great stories of my made up future so many times, I realised it had to stop. Funnily enough, my school-work this past semester was very much all on the theme of choices, reality-check, wanting to be some place other than where you are and things of that nature. Writing a short paper on this topic, I came across a poem by one of my all-time favourite Swedish poets, someone whose poetry I have loved since a very early age indeed, and as a cryptic word of advice for the upcoming year, I have translated it for you, and will share it for you in these following lines. Because I discovered that as soon as you decide that the present is good enough for you, it becomes a lot more awesome. Enjoy, my dears!

In motion by Karin Boye, translated by me.

“The sated day, to me, never comes first.
The best day is a day of thirst.

Yes there’s a point and meaning to our road –
but it’s the way that makes it worth the load.

The best goal is to live from night to night,
where bread is shared in haste by warming light.

In places where you only stay so long,
the sleep is safe, the dream is full of song.

Rise up, rise up! A new day is at bay.
Unending is our adventurous way.”

Contemporary me.

Hello my darlings! Have been a tad inactive here again I see, so since my brain is slightly fried with exhaustion and school-work and I have to get up in less than six hours, I won’t write anything profound at all. Just a list. (You know how I love my lists). So here are a few things that are relevant to my life as of right now;

E-cigarettes. These handy little thingumabobs enable you to smoke indoors without actually smoking, to smoke around other people without blowing harmful second-hand smoke into their pretty little faces, and even though there has not been extensive tests and research made yet regarding their harmful effects on those who use them, they are sure to be less harmful than cigarettes. Plus they almost like look real cigarettes, so you don’t have to feel like an idiot using them.

Dark Angel. A tv-series from 2000 starring Jessica Alba. I never thought much of Alba as an actress before, and though I do still feel like she isn’t the most outstanding of actresses, she is certainly good enough to do what she does. She is also very very attractive. Like very. The series is fun, it’s about a post-crisis – of the global financial kind – and Alba is one of several genetically modified children which have escaped from a lab-facility where they were being trained into super-soldiers. If nothing else, this series is a fun glimpse into how much of the 90ies that were still left in 2000 – and how much of the 80ies which had seeped its way into the 90ies.

Christmas. Don’t think anyone will need a summary of what that is. Or I hope not. I’m usually not a big fan of doing anything Christmassy pre-December but seeing as how the 1st of Advent was on the 27th, I went to my little-sisters and we baked ginger-snaps and lusse-katter all day… or at least 4 hours of it. We forgot to put on Christmas-songs, we made roughly 80 lusse-katt buns (that’s a LOT) and we went and got pizza afterwards, real thin-crust ones with ruccola and prosciutto on top. It was a lovely day. Next stop; toffee and chocolates at my place.

Tests. I have three major ones coming up soon – two of them tomorrow – and I’m getting rather nervous about it. I know I’ll do well, at least with the English ones, most likely with the Swedish, yet I always get nervous before tests. And maybe that is the secret to why I do well, I don’t get so overconfident in my own abilities that I neglect studying or preparing myself. But I’m going to be holding my thumbs and crossing my fingers, as always. If you want to say some kind of little prayer for me, to God, pasta, Eddie or whomever you believe in, that’d be welcome.

Dreaming. Ever since I moved to this flat a few months back, I’ve had lots and lots of dreams, mostly weird ones, only one or two actual night-mares, and not that many that I’ve woken from in a happy or blissful state. Just strange dreams, where tons of things happen, I wake up several times during the night and only remember scattered details for the most part. It makes it harder for me to go to sleep, it makes me more tired, more out of it during the day. But I’m hoping it will stop soon. Maybe when I finally get down to repainting the bedroom.

Working out. See, the flat gets rather cold at times, and my solution to this (because our radiators are pretty much cranked to the max, so it’s not like we can turn it up any more) is doing a few sit-ups, squats, shaky and pathetic push-ups, etc. If it looks extra cold outside, I’ll work out a bit before I step outside, to make sure my pulse gets up and my system is on the go already. If my toes are too cold and it’s bedtime, I just bounce around a bit so I’m nice and toasty instead of curling up and shivering under the blankets. So my solution to heating problems, which will cost you nothing and get you fit, is just to work out a bit.

Cheese. To counter-act my work out (because for every healthy thing you do you should also do something unhealthy, yin-yang balance kind of thing *coughs*) I’ve started over-indulging in cheese. I just wish someone would help me by eating the cheese before I can get to it. I’ve had the kittens help me out a bit but too much dairy isn’t good for their tummies. Well it’s not good for mine either of course. But you get me. So, the general obtaining of cheese has to be stopped for my own good!

Books. I’m currently trying to finish the last of the Harry Potter series (Don’t hurt me! I can’t explain how I haven’t read it yet! It was an accident!) but I’m only a third into it because for Swedish we had to pick one out of five classic novels and I chose “Pride and Prejudice” (translated into Swedish of course) because I’ve read that before, I own the English version, I’ve seen the movie and so on, basically it felt like a good choice because I already know what I need to know about it in order to discuss the book. Yet my honesty forces me to re-read it for this assignment. And then there’s “Rant” by Chuck Palahnuik (< = dude who wrote Fight Club) which I haven’t even touched yet, because I haven’t had the time.

What has there been a lot of/ too much of in your life of late?

Was I asleep? Had I slept?

A Belmont sent to me out of that love that only respect brings about and a Corona bought at the liquor-store out of the sheer wish to have something that I once drank in the place where drinking became something else than a wish for alcohol. Two such simple elements and yet the silence on the balcony turns into a blaze of memories; a fire-pit at 4am, where I shared moment upon moment of bone-numbing, surreal clarity with two of the people I love the most in this world… a backyard where wailing cries of “I want to go camping!” fell on deaf, exhausted ears… a Cinco de Mayo where I learnt of my surprising resistance to tequila… moments that have a magic all of their own, and that I wish to never forget. They somehow manage to come alive in the fall air which has taken on that curious quality where you can actually smell the cold itself. But it is much more than a scent, and seeps into the apartment where I wear the dressing-gown on top of my clothes or do sit-ups in silent waiting for the radiators to do their job. The darkness falls faster. It will not be long until the clocks go back. I read books from long ago; “Mister God, this is Anna” by Fynn, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach. The words turn me inside out in the light of flowers as I struggle for peaceful sleep in the wee hours. I never know what the morning will bring; another attempt at finding work, more school-work, home-made apple-sauce with ginger and lemon, or like this morning (I think it was this one) when the sound of the neighbours drilling into their cement walls drove the kittens to hide in horror under the covers with me, as I cooed my comfort to them and hoped that the rapid beating of my heart could not be heard by their sensitive ears. The uncertainty of what the morning will bring is not what disturbs my sleep. It’s the same reason that I seem to see everything just a little bit clearer yet at a distance, that sounds come to me uninterrupted yet distorted, and my head is filled with a fog slowly lifting. It’s because I walk around in that state of sleep just before you wake from a dream. I just pray that when I wake up it will be on the right side.

For the time being

I think it’s been long enough of a forever by now that I can write another post. I used to have this down to an average of one post every four or five days. I don’t know what happened. Life maybe. It’s not like I don’t have the time to write as often, I think it’s the energy that’s fading. This post is just going to be a bit about a couple of things that have dominated my life of late with their presence or absence.

Sleep

I have treated myself horribly in the sleeping-department the past couple of weeks. With a maximum of seven hours per night being the average, when I allowed myself to go to bed without setting an alarm, I woke up twelve hours later… at 4:30 pm. I’m worried that I am returning into the same old habits that I used to have when I lived on my own in Sweden for what seems like a miniature lifetime ago now. Back then, I averaged at four hours of sleep per night, so in a sense this in an improvement. At first I thought it had something to do with how my bed was placed. I moved it further into the room, then I woke up with a nightmare and turned myself around in the bed. When I still didn’t sleep any better I moved it next to the window. It will probably stay there, I don’t think it’s the bed any more. I don’t know if you guys have any theories but I have a feeling it’s this restlessness, this worry combined with the feeling of never doing enough, this feeling that I should probably be some place else and three steps ahead instead of sitting where I am and just enjoying the moment. Believe me though, I try. I consciously stop myself sometimes and force myself to just enjoy the moment and let go of any “whatifs” and “hastobedones”. I’m just really bad at it, but maybe with a little practice, I will be able to sit down and just watch a show or read a book without getting up ten times in the process to fix something or do something else.

Kittens

God has there been an abundance of kittens in my life of late! The two little crazy bundles of claws and fur and ginormous eyes have made my life so much brighter and cuddlier but also a lot more hectic. When you’re trying to get a paper done that needs to be turned in the following day, battling two kittens that are doing their best to chew off the numerous cables and wires sticking out of your laptop is very distracting and far from helpful. When you step into the bathroom only to discover one of them has decided to try their hand at modern art on the floor with their own excrement as paint, it does not exactly make you bubble with joy (I still kind of smile at the memory though). But yet these two, at only ten weeks of age, came into the 95 square metres that me and my room-mate had recently installed ourselves into. And they came into it so naturally, without any complaints, they started playing around the first evening on eventually after long discussions and arguments the little turtle-patterned female Saga realised the error of her ways and started using the litter-box as well as her ginger brother Selon. Never have I known two kittens from the same litter that have such different personalities! I mean, they’re both playful like mad, bloodthirsty, climb anything they can and can’t, cuddle and purr like nothing else… yet they appear to have two very different kinds of intelligence. When running after the cat-toy, Saga waits and calculates to then pounce and snag the mouse-like appendage with skilfulness, whereas Selon just bounces after it and often has his paws on it but let’s go too soon. Saga is a bit of a gourmand, whenever we eat she gets extremely curious and often-times after Selon has started munching away at whatever has been put down in front of him his sister will move over to the stove and start mewing in the most pitiful way she knows how. “Why do you want me to eat that crap? I know you have something better. Selon is busy eating so just give it to me. He’ll never know.” It’s still the best feeling in the world when a sleepy kitten crawls up on your lap and curls into something oddly ball-shaped, and then just falls asleep there in a relaxed lump with no resistance at all, somehow trusting that your warmth and size gives them the safety they need to sleep with abandonment. Well, the only thing more heart-melting might be when said kitten makes its way up your chest to nuzzle your face. That might do it.

School work

So much reading and writing. The lack of sleep does not make it easier. I think when you write a lot for school it makes you want to write less for anything else. But the worst part is over soon. When I hand in my paper on a book by a Swedish working-class author tomorrow that is the last thing I need to do for the first stage in Swedish. The second stage starts in two weeks but even a temporary respite is a welcome one. Then I only have to spend four days straight reading and writing about the conflict in Northern Ireland. That should be fun. Great fun. I, who never gets affected by what I watch or read, and who do not get severely depressed when reminded about the stupidity of mankind. I have to do this. Great fun. At least with the English class I don’t have any extra school work burdens; we get barely any home work at all, which might well be one of the many reasons that the class isn’t going anywhere. I can’t wait for university. I’ll get to learn things. *faint smile of hope*

That has pretty much been it for my life of late. What is there too much or too little of in your life right now? What engulfs you, what occupies your time and makes it impossible to do other things?

Special Edition

I think we all know why this is a special edition. Because I haven’t written a blogpost in ages. And I feel horribly guilty about it. I know I know, life gets busy sometimes and that’s a great excuse, but when your blog is only words and ranting it’s not that much of a bloody effort to sit down for a half hour every once in a while and post something remotely interesting. But to make up for this cold-hearted lack of posts for the past two weeks almost, I shall write about a TON of stuff in this post. BE WARNED!!!!!

Why Life got Terribly Busy all of a Sudden

First off, I have no good explanation for why I capitalized that title so randomly. It just looked right. Anyway, for those of ye who do not knowe, I started studying three courses at high-school level the 8th of this month. I am doing this to make up for grades that I don’t have because I was home-schooled and I only have an American high-school diploma and not a Swedish one so there are certain things I need to complement my studies with in order to get into the university here. So I’m taking English B (which is like second degree English for high-school students), Swedish A (which is first degree Swedish for high-school students, you are getting this!) and International Relations (which most high-school students don’t take because that would be like an elective or something). On top of all these studies (of which Swedish and International Relations are both proving tricky and head-ache inspiring) I now also have a job. This is how that happened;

I went to Fotografiska (which is like a huge art-gallery for photographic art in Stockholm) with Daniel, Jessica, Tilda and one of Daniel and Jessica’s friends. On the way to meeting up with us at the subway Jessica noticed a sign in the window of this quaint sushi-place, announcing that they needed new staff-members immediately and to apply inside. It just so happened that I needed a job, and Jessica insisted I should apply there, to which I agreed heartily. The thing was, after the Fotografiska – which was really awesome, and if you come to Stockholm to visit and there’s a good exhibition on at the time we are so going! –  we met up with some more friends and went for a few beers at a nice pub a short walk away. Now, I hadn’t really eaten much that day. “Not much” means like one fruit and a small bowl of yoghurt. So understandably, drinking at the pace I do and the beer being 8%, I was mildly tipsy after two of them. So when we had happily waved good-bye – the “us” and “we” in this story being mostly me and Tilda – and I had promised Jessica I’d go apply for that job right away, I turned to Tilda. “I’m kinda tipsy. I don’t think it’s the best idea that I apply for a job in this state” I admitted sheepishly. “One really can’t notice that you are tipsy” Tilda responded, and this reassured I went on my merry way into the sushi-place and onto greater things. Greeting me was a short blonde girl, very Swedish-looking in appearance. “What can I do for you?”  she asked in a sloppy, disinterested manner. “I saw that you were looking to hire people” I reply, all of a sudden more humble and unsure of myself. “Wait a second, I’ll get brmrgl”. No, she didn’t say that, but I couldn’t catch the name. So out comes brmrgl, this short, adorable looking Japanese girl, who after taking my name and phone-number – and I ask her to write down her name, which is Mafune, not brmrgl –  instantly calls her boss and starts up a brief, lightning-fast conversation with him in Japanese. It was all “Hai! Hai! Hai! Wakarimasta!” and then she turns around and asks if I can start the following day. I said yes. I skip and jump for joy all the way home. Poor tired Tilda cannot create enough excitement to join in my celebration.

Now I’ve been working two shifts there and tomorrow is my third. It’s inconsistent there, slow for hours, fast-paced during some. The waitresses are nice but mostly bland and just talk crap about everything. One of them seems a little racist. I don’t like that. But well, because of this job and the courses I’m taking on top of just having moved into this place, life has gotten more busy than it used to be.

How to remove a spider from your home without hurting it;

You will need;

  1. something thin and stiff, like cardboard ripped from a milk-carton or cereal.
  2. a glass or jar, fairly big, just in case the spider is big, so you don’t squish any legs.
  3. a small amount of guts, in case the spider gets out.
  4. fairly quick reflexes to undertake the action required.
  5. preferably someone to open doors for you (this is optional).

What to do; first, notice the spider. The spider will have to be of a fairly considerable size for you to a) notice it and b) get so uncomfortable that you do not want it in your house. Then, if you do not have the required objects at hand, gather them quickly while keeping on eye on the above mentioned spider’s position. If you are not very brave and have a very strong dislike for spiders but hate hurting things, you might want to be standing on an elevated surface and carefully direct a friend or family-member as to how the disposal of the spider should proceed in a high-pitched and panicked tone of voice. Should it still be you carrying out this task, quickly place the glass upside down over the spider. It is now trapped but unharmed. (Unless you managed to put the rim of the glass down on the spider’s legs or body, in which case you did not have the reflexes necessary for carrying out this task. Proceed to page 124, “How to bury a spider that you killed accidentally while trying to save it”). If the spider however is still unharmed at this stage, carefully slip the piece of thin cardboard or other flat and hard paraphernalia under the glass. It should now look something like this;

The only thing remaining to do is to gingerly but swiftly move the entire spider-cage to a location outdoors and at a safe distance from your house. Then hastily remove the glass and retreat. (If the spider has clung to the glass you might just want to tip the glass over and then run). Once you can be sure that the spider is nowhere near the vicinity of the glass or carton-scrap, bring them inside and keep them in a safe and accessible place for your next spider-rescue mission.7

How not to take care of an ant-problem in the bathroom;

You will need;

  1. hour of day later than 10pm, preferably just as you get home and you are really tired
  2. bathroom-floor
  3. large pot with large plant that we can assume houses ant-hill
  4. wet dishcloth

What to do; first, enter your apartment. This will have to be at a late hour so that you are sure to be exhausted and ready to just fall into bed. Turn on the bathroom-light. Discover between 20-30 ants scattered over bathroom-floor, sometimes trickling out into hallway and further into kitchen. Curse loudly, in several languages if possible. Grab cloth from under bathroom-zink. Wet under tap in bathroom-zink. Apply the cloth to any ant that you are able to spot. The ant should now a) get stuck in the cloth and/or b) get squished by the cloth. Continually dab your way across the floors and lower walls, rinsing the cloth as it gets too full of ants and then continuing this process until no more ants can be spotted. Do not consider removing the plant from within the bathroom to an outdoor area where the ants will not be such a bother to you. Grumble about this and then go to bed to repeat this episode later when you get up to pee. Repeat 1-2 times as necessary during night.

Special Notes for Certain Readers

Sarahsmmmm; I am very sorry that I didn’t make you a guest-post. I have an honest and really stupid explanation. When I got your e-mail, I only read it down to where you signed it with your name. About a week later I wondered why you hadn’t invited me to write a guest-post. A few days later yet I went back to read your e-mail in an attempt to answer it, upon which I noticed the detailed instructions on how to help contribute with a guest-post to your blog, right after your name was signed in the e-mail. Yes, I felt like the embodiment of the r-word. But I love you. So in order to somehow make up for this, I am encouraging all other readers to click on this link and go read Sarah’s blog. She inspired me to do something like this. She is really f-ing awesome at blogging and will probably make you want to blog more, unless you already blog more, in which case she’ll make you want to blog the most. Srsly. Go read it.

Patches; I don’t know if you got my post-card yet but I hope you did. I’m sorry I didn’t send one earlier, and that I’ve been horrible at keeping in touch. I’m sorry that I haven’t checked your blog of late. Please send me a link so I can find it again because remember when we tried to google your blog and didn’t find it? Yeah. That’s right. Also, please say hi to my sausage-friend. I know what that looks like to some people, but I will let their minds remain in the gutter. *hugs*!!!!

Sierra-bean; I’m sorry I didn’t read your blog before you pointed out its existence the other day. In fact, I thought your only blog was the poetry-blog, I hadn’t noticed that you had a personal blog all of your own. I’ve read two posts so far now. I’m also sorry that I haven’t replied to your facebook-message yet. But I will, maybe this weekend. And I hope to get something in the mail soon, it isn’t here yet 🙂 *love*!

English-friend; I haven’t heard about your life in a while. How do the aliens fare? How’s Richard? And the little ones? I haven’t read your very latest post yet (I don’t think) because I like having some time on my hands to read them to make sure I can comment on anything of interest to me. Also, I don’t think there are Japanese vampires. Especially not ones that would use garlic as a decorative touch in their restaurant. So I think I’m fairly safe, for now, unless there are other super-natural beings there.

Everyone else; (Like Jessica, Tilda and any other awesome people who actually take the time to read my blog every once in a while) thank you. It makes me happy to know that someone reads this and thinks it’s sort of good 🙂

Shiny and New

I know I write a lot about new things and changes. The reason why is simple. My life the past month or two has consisted of new things and changes. And like most other bloggers, I write about what mostly affects me in my life right now. So here’s some more of the above mentioned.

 

Remain

I love this place. At first when I stepped inside my newly acquired humble abode, it was empty, echoey, blank and bland. Slowly the space is getting filled, first with visions, then the physical manifestation of these visions. My flat-mate and very good friend and I seem to have the same ideas for the common rooms. French farm-style in the kitchen, Chinese in the hallway, Moroccan in the living-room, tons of lights and plants on the balcony. The half-bath is becoming Japanese, the bathroom itself fresh and contemporary and chrome and shades of blue and green. My bedroom will turn into something I have long wished for; a cloud. An oasis for thought and peace. White upon white in numerous shades, thin fabrics, fluffy blankets and pillows, pictures in black and white. But all in time. First we need someone to come here and repaint the walls. Before that I need to call this person. Before that I need to find the time and remember to do so… This has been what my life has looked like for a little over two weeks. Endless to-do-lists. One thing gets done, another thing gets added to the list. I really should make a physical list this time because for once there are so many things I barely have room for them in my head! But one day, our little home which is now still rather bare and incomplete, will get turned into a magical wonderland of culture and style, ensuring that whosoever enters will leave thoroughly confused and bewildered about where they have been.

Do

Of the hair kind. Once upon a time I had never done more to my hair than trim it every few months. Last year in the fall I started off gently; first a nice sort of red, then taking a step further and moving towards the blond but never quite reaching it, then dark-brown to counteract that though that faded rather quickly, leaving room for roots and then some lighter hair where the blond still would not give up. A few months back, after about half a flask of tequila and a lot of convincing my lovely friend Sarah to take a pair of scissors to my head, my hair got a lot shorter than it’s been since I was probably 3. The bob-cut with bangs that I had been dying to try for years and years was finally mine! Upon returning to the Swede-land and growing tired of my lighter tips, it’s now a solid dark-brown, and will probably stay that way until the tips of my hair give up and I win the war. There is also the matter of clothes. I gave away as much as I possibly could when I left Canada, knowing I couldn’t possibly bring all that on the plane and hoping that someone would love my clothes and knick-knacks the way I had (well I loved them but I certainly didn’t take good care of them!). To my great dismay, 4 large sacks of my wardrobe from years ago awaited me upon landing. So after going through that and discarding of nearly half, I am now wearing the clothes that I didn’t have much time to wear before I moved to Canada, and so despite how long ago I got them, seem new to me. The “white-period” will have to come at a later time.

Learn

Oh gosh where to start! Being home-schooled (or unschooled if you will) I never truly learnt to learn in the way that people normally learn. I just absorbed information or went out to hunt for it. I was never asked to sit down and shove information into my brain in an ordered manner. Well, if we don’t count the time that I took a beginners course in Chinese, or when Phil so kindly agreed to teach me some French. But now! Books upon books especially written to help me study things, teachers demanding things handed in before deadlines, the books I need not coming to me so easily, the teachers not being so organised or clear on what they require, me writing e-mail upon e-mail to get to my books and my teachers… ah. What can I say. It is both a frustrating, exasperating experience and some of the most fun I’ve had in my life! I feel so challenged, so invigorated with this whole new thing! I actually enjoy doing the school-work and the exercises, I love doing them well and handing them in on time and doing my utmost to reach whatever goal is set, and pass it if I may. I am so scared that I will fail or not do good enough, so worried that my lack of book will be frowned upon by the teachers, so worried that my classmates will find me dreary or high-brow, and that my preconceived knowledge in both English and Swedish will make them hate me for taking the courses at all. I already got to correct the English-teacher on how to spell “tires” (actually he asked me to write it with a “y” on the board since he was convinced it was supposed to be a “y” so I just got up and did it, knowing that it was wrong. And then he got to figure it out for himself afterwards. It gave me great satisfaction to know I was right and yet not throw it in his face. I mean I totally could have but I resisted the evil temptation!). I have great hopes and fears regarding this my education. Only time will tell.

Be

I am learning to be with myself again. And with friends. And new friends. And strangers. Mostly, I am learning how to be alone and be fine with being alone, and be fine with being with others too. I am getting more at peace with life in general, not because life is peaceful but because I focus on the sensation of peace. I get happy over the little things, and when I feel the sadness welling up inside I stop myself and start focusing on something else. I won’t pretend I don’t get stressed, or sad, or angry, or frustrated. All of this things I experience on a daily basis. I just think I’m getting more conscious about them, and this in turn helps me handle them better. I am also slowly diminishing my judgement of others, and learning that there are so many ways to live, not only isn’t there a right way, there isn’t a wrong way either. Of course there are still some basic things that appal me or upset me, but after the initial sensation I try to stop myself and consider what it would be like if I’d been in that persons shoes. If I find that the answer is I would never under any circumstances be in those shoes, even if they were cleaner or say, yellow, then I will probably go ahead and judge, or at least have negative feelings regarding whatever action or word the person has uttered which previously upset me. But in most cases I realise, there is no possible way I could judge, not when being human is to err, and we only learn from our mistakes, and that what one person might see as a crime or betrayal another just sees as an inevitable part of life. Above all, I am very slowly, hesitantly, softly… moving towards forgiving myself for my mistakes, and understanding that certain things are not wrong, and that if something feels right then that’s probably because it is. And I’m being more ok with not being perfect for every second that goes.

What about you? How do you feel about your home and surroundings right now? Have you made some positive changes to your demeanour that makes you feel different? Are you learning something new that you’d like to share? Are you being kinder to yourself?

Solitaire

This post is sort of about being single. I don’t know a lot about it but what I know or think I know I am now about to share.

After a break up.

Being single after a break up can either be a relief if the relationship was bad or the worst thing in the world if it was good. Either way it’s mildly confusing and very unstable ground. One second you enjoy your freedom, the next you yearn after whatever you shared with that person in the good times. Nostalgia is a very frequent visitor in these early days, making sure you doubt every decision you made, all the way from getting together to breaking up. It makes you think about your former partner in a number of different ways, how wonderful they were so you should get back together but then all the bad sides, and why you’re better of on your own. Then the self-doubt. How can you make it on your own, isn’t a mediocre or slightly depressive relationship better than none at all, what if the other is happier on their own, is that because you were not enough, could have done better, could have been more? The first few days, weeks, sometimes months after a break up are certainly very analytical, of yourself, your ex and your entire relationship.

Healing.

If your relationship was even remotely serious at any point, a break up is in most cases almost like an amputation. You lose a part of yourself and proceed to crawl around on the ground like a wounded animal, focused on the missing part with every breath and thought. Then comes the day – or night – when something changes inside you and you realise you can actually make it without that part. And though your arm, leg, whatever else it might have been, was quite unhealthy, it wasn’t all bad. Losing it was a relief but having it was still good. You can now start looking back with less regrets, anger, resentment, bewilderment. You can possibly even forgive yourself and the other for what was said and done. You are no longer necessities in each others lives and so if you stay in touch that’s for the joy of communication and interaction more so than the need and reassurance of the other being there.

Amki’s list of things that will help you heal;

  • Not thinking too too goddamn much about the other person, no matter how hard this is.
  • Spending lots of time with friends and out of your house. (This will in turn help with the above mentioned point but also help you think about the other awesome people in your life).
  • Picking up a new hobby. This might sound clichĂ© but if you think about it, doing something you never used to do with your ex certainly helps.
  • Looking at old pictures/reading old diaries. Pre-the-other-person. To remember what your life was like before, and focus on a time in your past when you were single.
  • Doing couply things on your own. Like going to the movies, eating out, taking a stroll etc. It will help you realise that these things are still enjoyable without someone else there.
  • Getting a pet. Sometimes the urge to love someone becomes very strong, and having a pet there to splurge your affection on is just the right thing. Just don’t marry it.
  • Meeting new people. NO. I didn’t say “dating new people”. I really meant meeting people, like making friends. This way you will have a new and awesome friendship, where this person won’t discuss your ex or even know who they are. It’s a blank page for more funsy-times. (I’ve yet to make new friends since I got back to Sweden).
  • Pampering yourself. Having nice hot baths, massive dinners and lots of time to sleep in actually helps. You’ll feel more relaxed and at peace with being to yourself.
  • Reading. When I read I disappear into another world for as long as my eyes are glued to the page. And in this other world there is no you, past or ex.

The Next Step.

I can’t really write much about this one. I mean obviously either you stay single or you start dating someone else. I don’t really see that as a step though because well then you are just single naturally and you don’t focus on being single any more. Of course you might be the type that desperately seeks for someone to fill the void of your previous relationship. That totally sucks. Not only for this new interest but also for yourself. Because if you do it that way you’re just trying to tell yourself you are over someone that you might not be. Give yourself space and time to make sure you are truly done before you dive into something new or you will just regret it. If you are uncomfortable with being on your own,  there are lots of alternatives to the dashing-right-back-out-into-the-dating-game. In fact being uncomfortable with your own company is probably a good sign of that you are not ready to be with someone else. If you don’t stand you, why do you expect someone else to? I don’t pretend to have inner peace (please! hah!) but I can enjoy afternoons or days with just myself. I LOVE going to the movies on my own, or exploring the city, or just having that strange, lonely freedom which is known as not asking someone else what ought to be the next step.

Your turn. What do you guys think is good help to heal the break-up wounds? What should you avoid in a break-up? What do you enjoy about being single? What sucks about it?

The Journey

It’s time for the story of how I spirited myself away from the people I love so much to the other people I love so much on this planet.

Leg 1

After tearful goodbyes for the last week, I was finally on the actual plane. I was sad yet excited. I can’t really explain the pain of tearing myself away from my life and the people I have been so close to for the past 3 years in order to join the other people whom I love and explore the world as a student. The first part of my flight was joined by Lorapope, we discussed the contents of the latest “Cosmo” magazine, it was fun ^^ It still hadn’t really hit me at that point, because you know I was still in Canada and the flight was only a little over an hour. I felt rather fine. Like I was taking the bus somewhere. I arrived in the sweltering heat at Halifax and me and Lora said our goodbye’s, she was heading on to go meet LENORE! YAAAAAY! Personally I stumbled out of the plane, retrieved my painfully heavy luggage (no, it wasn’t that heavy but it was heavy for me :p) and then proceeded to drag it around the airport in search for one of those modern smoking-booths with the fans in them you know? I didn’t find one so I went outside to a place that didn’t have non-smoking signs. Halfway through my cigarette a lady came out and said there was “no smoking on the upper level, you have to take the elevator down and turn right”. Of course I forgot the last part of directions, so I just went down and outside and sat down on the grass. I called Gerard with the last 10 dollars on my phone and then had to escape as angry wasps interrupted my second attempt at smoking. Well back inside I bought a 3 dollar ice-cream and sat down to play Mah-jong Titans on my computer. (My laptop is kind of big. It gets a lot of “that’s the biggest laptop I’ve ever seen” when I bring it out). Then I decided that 4 more hours of Mah-jong Titans on a dying battery wasn’t what I wanted to do in the Halifax airport so I went and bought “Paradise Lost” by John Milton and got through the first 50 pages. After much waiting and attempting to get the weird non-verse that is used in this book, I got on my second flight.

Leg 2

Halifax to Keflavik in Iceland. In the lineup outside the airplane while people were trying to get into their seats a little woman, who was probably from Thailand or those parts, commented on my sweater. She thought it looked really nice. I do too. My oldest brothers fiancĂ©e knitted it for me some years ago, I wore it when I got to Newfoundland and I wore it when I left 🙂 I sat next to a nice old couple and decided to watch Avatar since I’d never seen it before. I must say I really enjoyed it, even on the tiny shitty screen embedded in the seat in front of me I jumped and squirmed at the wonderful special effects. Foreseeable yes, bad no. Though I did mostly like flying with Iceland air I was unimpressed by how they missed our row while serving people and then took forever to bring us two glasses of juice. I started getting tired then but wasn’t nearly tired enough to sleep. When we landed it was raining. Gone was the streak of gorgeous weather that had followed me so far on this trip. They instantly security screened us upon exciting on the old French-Canadian woman who’d sat next to me mentioned how cold it was. I didn’t feel it. It was early morning and Iceland, what do you expect? On the flight the stewardess had announced through the speakers that “personnel on the ground will help you if you have a connecting flight”. The only help I got was this one guy who told me that arrivals and people with connecting flights had to go in the same direction. After that, I walked through the airport a bit paranoid, and decided that even though there was no one to ask all the signs pointed towards that the flight I thought I would be taking was the right one and that I didn’t have to check in and that my luggage would indeed go straight to Stockholm. But then…

Leg 3

Well all those things did happen. However, do you remember how I said I’d had a problem finding those smoking-booths in Halifax, and how there in fact where none there? Well, I started circling the airport with my 9 pound laptop over my shoulder (I told you it was big) and after walking around it 3 times I decided to my dismay that there were none here either. And I didn’t want to spend money on iffy food since I had gotten a Starbucks frappucino in Halifax. So I walked back towards the gate that would have my plane next to it in 2 hours, and broke down crying. It was very embarrassing because if anyone came up to me and asked what was wrong I’d just blubber out “is there a place to smoke anywhere?” But I guess it had finally occurred to me. I was no longer in Newfoundland. I wasn’t even in Canada. I was alone without help and with 2 hours and nothing to do and I hadn’t had a cigarette for a looong time by now and I missed all my friends and I missed Gerard and I was just so so sad. So after attempting to stop crying for a while I walked into the ladies and cried a bit there. Then I walked back and sat sadly in the same spot for a while. Then I walked to the ladies on the opposite side of the airport. And out of the corner of my eye I saw it. Gloriously double-doored and with an airflow from outside through barred walls. A smoking-area. A place where people with a stupid and self-inflicted addiction to making their health worse can go to do just that. And I was so happy. It was a little sign of acceptance in a big world of “you are alone”. I can’t even explain. So then I got on my flight after that and endured the American lady on my right talking to her husband across the aisle on my left while some young girl was doing her best to poke her feet through the seat-back of my chair, despite my best efforts at pushing her feet back. And then I finally landed in Sweden, and Daniel and Jessica and Anna were there, and they had flowers for me, and they brought me home and made me food, and Tilda came over, and we watched Sex and the City, and I finally got to sleep, and all was good.

What do you love about travelling? What are your pet peeves? Is there any place you’d like to go especially? What makes you feel alone and helpless?