Sunday, 31 August 2014

Something old, something new, something far away, many things blue

One of the reasons to why this church was chosen is its colour: pink. The other reason could definitely have been the priest, who told us a (more or less) horror story and gave us three tasks to think about. When it after some tension turned out that our responsibilities as wedding guests was to cheer the wed couple and show joy, many could breathe out and relax.
The same priest made a joke about that on a hot day, one should not be throwing rice at the newly wed but pieces of soap. We did go for small pieces, but of coconuts and almonds.

Very many guests were blue. And happy. And let me drive their cars, like five different brands, in the middle of the night. I felt like being in an episode of "Top Gear"! And I enjoyed every second.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Walking inside clouds + Indiana Jones

 Yesterday, we drove north for about four hours. The countryside we arrived to is far enough from big societies for me to see the contours of the Milky way in the middle of the night hemisphere for the first time in my life.
The next day, after walking through the clouds on the ground to the wooden tiny house next doors and meeting up with some of the other wedding guests, we wandered down to the river outsides the window on a path that I found, humming the Indiana Jones theme song.
And we were met by this amazingness of a river!

Friday, 29 August 2014

The extra sense

Ian sniffs at my shoulder.

"Is that PERFUME?"

"Yes, why?"

"Are you going somewhere?"

"Yes, I am going to Skype with a friend."

And I assure you that the friend at the other end of the line appreciated the gesture :)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

What I wore this summer, part II

The magic bag in the middle matches pretty much everything I own, so it makes me happy in a somewhat materialistic way. The shoes to the right are plain comfort (as long as one takes care of them. Did you know how much care leather needs? Taking care of these sandals is almost like having a pet: feed them with this cream, don't walk them in all kinds of weather, spray and wash them, touch them to see if they are all right). Both trousers displayed were a last cry out in the Swedish summer: it was deadly hot and I could only find either autumn pants or hot pants when I needed shorts, so I bought these on an extreme sale (it made me wonder why the prices are tossed up so high in the first place) and cut them as much as I dared to.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Museum Mission: Tensta Konsthall

This could of course be drawing no. 551 of what Tensta should look like, but I get a feeling that this architect never erases stuff he draws; there is no need, there is perfection all the way. I would not mind getting that talent back (I could paint as a gifted professional at the age of five; then, I was sent to drawing classes and I barely squeaked by with an A at high school).
Local (news)papers.
Most of the exhibitions pleaded to the ears. Most impressive, however, is that in the middle of the art hall, lectures are hold to teach people Swedish.
The office is impressive, too. It is behind the glass wall and perfectly visible for anyone who wants to see.
There were ten ongoing films at the same time, so it was like being inside a TV store! Except the stuff here is much more interesting. A Turkish lady was talking about how the human body and language become political and concern everyone: by law, certain words can become forbidden, and so can certain parts of the body, which changes us and even how we move our bodies.

And besides: entrance fee at Tensta art hall is optional.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The postcard harvest

Snailmail from USA, that traveled surprisingly fast all of a sudden, both ways. The letters I sent took two weeks to deliver, or three days. It varied a lot.
I own like 30% of this card from Zürich - while addressed to Ian, it also includes me: " Dear Jana and Ian..." (Love the colour on his top, it matches the Swiss sky).
Today came Tanzanian zebras! Fashionably striped, as S. partly put it.
The zebras were accompanied by some of their colleagues.

Myself, I sent this to Poland, slightly edited as you can see to the left. I also sent a survival kit overseas - and got a survival kit myself, basically instructions on how to lose cargo. If I would ever need that.

Monday, 25 August 2014

My first PhD thesis!

Ian put it like this. Then, he also suggested that the author's wife should have a higher priority on the list if the author ever wants to get sex again. Me, I have previously made it to a Master's thesis namewise, but that also was a surprise. Anyway, I am super super super happy about this! (Guisheng, all you have to do now is to get famous.)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Top secret official report from a bunker in Tierp.

Easy to find this party place! :-D It just takes two hours of driving from Stockholm.
From a military ponit of view, it is rather impressive that bunkers in Sweden are being sold to people. So once in posession, what does one do with it? Hold a birthday party, of course.
The lady in the red cap gave me a key named "Mexico C 38". Mexico is the room you see, C is the bed and 38 was a green metal box in a different room which one could use for local secrets.

The theme was "come dressed as a hippie", so some came in long red wigs and round glasses and paintings on their faces. After somebody offered me marijuana, I decided to not stay for much longer, though.

Museum Mission: The Drottningholm suite or "Don't jump on the beds"

Photos inside prohibited as usual, but the more to experience: Drottningsholms slottsteater was partly used as a potatoes storage after Gustaf III died, so due to a 150 years long break it is well preserved and there are plays performed here using the original equipment, like thunder machines, and there are guided tours. We attended the latter and were told that we were not to touch things (like the wallpapers, that are actually nailed to the walls in case one would want to remove them) or jump in the beds (in the architect's room, for example). We were also told that a theater professor yesterday had expressed the feeling of being inside the theater as delicate as being inside a violin.
 Animal behaviour 101: bored swans waiting for food from tourists. Sorry, we are not tourists.
Previous visit at Drottningholm this year found here.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A castle and some dynamite

"This picture is good, you have to use it", Louise said.
This is the cozy reason to why we went to the Wenngarn castle: the outdoor cinema about explosions. Meanwhile, some of the other visitors participated in what I am hoping to do some day too: they were solving a murder. The made-up characters are wearing clothes from different centuries and hand out an especially printed newspaper with news and details about the case. It seemed rather interesting! A bit of a warning, though: castle's webpage is great, but the announcements are a bit too happy. Not all of the promised activities are up and running, so double check if the event you want to visit will actually be happening - the maker space was not open, for example, when a few friends went there to visit.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Vernissage! and an artistic surprise

The shortest guided tour in my life was when Louise and I stepped into this exhibition by Linn Fernström, "Talk Bubble on a Straw", and one of the visitors turned around and eagerly described the way to the table with alcohol which was less than one meter away :D

After we left, I kept thinking. And thinking. And it struck me: wait, have I not seen Fernström's work before? I did recognize her at the art gallery, I just did not realize that I had recognized her until after I left - though I saw similarities in her black sculptures with those of another artist and confused the two at first. I googled and found an article that mentioned her painting with balloons being one of the most expensive sold in modern times, and when I saw that, I could place the style and connect it with the right artist: it was one of her paintings that I cut out from the newspaper about eight years ago and kept for a long time. It was, and is, provocative because of the lying dead squirrels in between thin black shadow-like trees, among which the painter herself sits on the white, almost non-existent ground - and is well made both technically and in the sense that it seems attractive and scary simultaneously.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Creative meetings: my favourite kind of meetings

Totally unprepared, we were instructed to simulate students' behaviours in a classroom and did so very properly. Everybody came up with one scenario that could be troublesome and one scenario that could be absolutely positive, each of which we wrote on a sticky note and then acted upon in groups where we had the roles of tired/active/inattentive/.../ students, lecturers, course leaders and observers. One of my favourite scenes was when we were in an actual lecture hall, seated wherever we found it comfortable (to many, this is at the far back, which is one of the hardest spots from which and to which one can communicate) and one "course leader" in the middle of a sentence got the announcement that the "lecturer" just had crashed with his car and that the "lecture" now had to be saved on the spot, at the same time as two "students" arrived late, unaware of that there has been an accident, and started asking questions about the coming up "assignment". I guess you now see why this is great way to learn how to handle different situations! We never got to my sticky note though, about how a lecturer can deal with that a student falls in love with her/him, and vice versa.
Then, we tried out to build the student profile development throughout the course using Lego.
This graph of attentiveness was very successful.
This student is always late for lectures and is loaded with the cargo of literature and responsibility.
An exchange student that goes straight to the student bar right after each lecture.
Thank you for a great meeting, everyone!