Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The day I won a luxury dinner

I won a luxury dinner! I found the competition through this blog and applied with the motivation about how nice it would be to hang out with people of different ages, and got to go to an actual apartment in Solna last Thursday where a couple and their two small children live, where the luxury restaurant Strandvägen 1 had moved in for the night. There were like 25 guests, and a dj, and cool chefs, and a discrete TV-team.
The waitor didn't think I should be choosing between the desserts, but should have both.

Splendid idea. The OTHER waitor was in minor shock about this.
The chef responsible for the desserts, that I mentioned was cool, was actually THIS cool.
She is not entirely done with this tattoo, either. It goes on.
Next to me was a nice married couple that had met at work, one could say. For six months did they say hi and throw glances at each other. As she told us: girls, one day HE will just be there. 

We had a lot of delicious courses. I also decided to remember the names of some wines.
My delightful company.
Cozy atmosphere: it is someone's home we are at!
And luckily, there was some alcohol free champagne too :)

Monday, 30 May 2016

This weekend was awesome.

Thank you Louise for the brunch and the walk, and Mikaela for this picture.
 Plants are lovely, as you know, and here is proof.
 Inspiration for future summer cakes at Ulriksdals slottsträdgård.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

"Dept. of Speculations" by Jenny Offill

Never liked poetry: never know in what mood I should be when I start to get the most out of it.

This is like highly enjoyable poetry, though. Whilst raisingchildworkinghardlivingwithapartner, and reflecting about statistics on...life, and research, and that "sleeping like a baby" definitely could mean screaming in somebody's ear for five hours, it is a shaking and mundane (and therefore even more shaking, nerves are chords) dense story I enjoyed the way some people enjoy well-made horror films.

Good material for book clubs, for example. 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Museum Mission: Kronobergsbageriet (secret room edition)

Today was a special day: various "secret rooms" around in Sweden opened up. Museum-like buildings that normally are closed to the public, but belong to you and me as a cultural heritage (these exact words uttered today by one of the guides), are displayed every fourth year.
 You probably recognize this building. It used to be Teater- och musikmuseet. 
 From a different angle.
 One part of it was a bakery for about 300 years. Technically, there were two buildings, that later were built together and could produce up till 60 000 loafs of bread per day - all for the army, following special royal recipes. 1.7 kg bread would have to last for two days for a soldier and was so dense that it had to be dipped into water before being eaten. It was called "the secret weapon of the army".
 Some rooms are litterally not in use. 
 On the attic, there is a concert hall. 
 The flour was sliding down in big packages, as I understand it. 
 The bread made especially for the officers were softer and tastier, and available for us to taste today.  I liked it! I took the recipe home and will try to make one myself. Next to me stood a lady who said that when she was a child and passed by the bakery, it always smelled so nice. By that time, the bakery also had started producing bread to the public.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

"Something is not right" by Martina Haag

A praised book by many on not really divorce, more the prelude of a separation, but a divorce just as well. Full with spot-on quotes, many say. Many are also happily surprised by the new style - Martina Haag has previously only written humouristic books.

There are many great quotes, quotes long as one phrase but also many long phrases put together. I am not all too taken by it though - maybe because I have not been through a divorce, but I still understand the actions and thoughts of the main, female character. Mayhaps is my lukewarm reaction also the result of having read too much about this oeuvre before actually reading it.

Most updated readers also know that this is based on a true story, experienced by the author herself. The even more updated reader with a pinch of insider information knows that there is not always room for the entire truth in a book that you want to be a bestseller. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

On shopping: there should be lust,

two people recently said.

In detail, person one said that she never buys anything that is not connected to joy. She could just grab a toilet paper roll anywhere - a hotel lobby etc, but she would totally buy a dress. (I wonder how that works in practice. Where does she find toothpaste?)

Person two just buys everything she finds nice.
"You can't do that!" her husband said in horror.
"Of course I can."

Sunday, 22 May 2016

My previous governments

You might not know that I have been a prime minister twice already. Here are some traces of my inside communication with my Minister of Justice from 2013.
Translation of the answer:
Minister of Justice! We have candy and coffee, we do not want to take more of the tax payer's money
/ Prime minister (me)
Good Morning! Just wanted to remind of me being a bit late today. Hope that is ok. 

/Minister of Foregin affairs

Just saying: do not post things on Facebook... 
(/Prime minister - me!)

We also got tired of fighting our (slowly growing) enemy Northland and asked on the behalf of our minister of foreign affairs if their Minister of Foreign Affairs wanted to go on a date (after having sent regrets on her divorce). We sent a white collar-image (like five years old, taken at a party when the "minister" probably was very drunk) with the comment "you have seen my beauty portrayed on several press photos". She answered ("she" being simulated by the stab at the Swedish Defence University) "thank you, but I am happy with my new girlfriend". 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

I never got used to thunder

My friend from Iceland tells me that they get to practice in schools what to do in case of an earthquake: hide under a table, stand in door cases.

But there is no thunder in Iceland. So how does one handle thunder? I have experienced that quite a few times, but I imagine: if I had never heard or seem the sky explode in zigzags, of course it would be a tough phenomenon. Still I find this fact of no experience in thunders very cute.

Friday, 20 May 2016

How to meet a deadline with style

A student enters the library (which at this late hour only is accessible to students with a special digital key), steps heavy as a military watchman. He logs in to one of the computers (which, as usual, takes forever) and explains to me that he took a taxi from home, asked the driver to wait outside (in heavy rain) while he printed his essay, and would then go back home to read it through and make corrections.
No waste of time on subway and buses.

Nine hours left.

When it was about twelve hours left, I saw another student multitask to not waste seconds: he passed by the library with a busy look brushing his teeth (so he could have started on the subway, or before walking through the entrance to the building...).

Students are so innovative <3

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Thank you, dear author (and researcher)

There was a researcher's name that kept coming back. In economics, in political science, so often, that I thought that he must be informed. (He is not as productive as the Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdõs, he is more of the normal kind.) I wrote to him and said: I want you to know that your books are widely read and used. I like them, thank you. I also want to become a researcher myself one day.

And he replied. He was very happy; it was the best mail in many years.

Even if you get to go to worldwide conferences and spread your word, research can be lonely. Of course some people like that. But it is also nice to know that your efforts are appreciated. So if you can make a researcher happy with an email, please do.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

"This made me think of you", Ilo said

Oh snap. But true. It takes on average 7-8 years before a blog becomes really popular. This sign has more readers because it has an advantage my blog does not: a spot in town :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Back to Basics: the life cycle of a "why"

"But why?" "What is...?" - common question asked by kids. And parents have to quickly come up with a brief explanation that is easy to follow and understand.

Then, at schools, before entering a university, the same kids are assumed to know what meanings are hidden within a word. They get to interpret entire themes and write essays about that.

And at university, it is childhood all over again. In fact, it is a praised quality for a researcher to constantly ask "why". Nothing is taken for granted and seeking the answer to how things are actually constructed is a full time occupation. This time, the answers have references. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Physics in Russian in India

When USSR fell, and everybody knows it was very strong in the field of physics, its physics books were sold out very cheap (I wonder, why? I strongly question this part of the story). India bought them in bulks. Since they were so good, Indian engineers learned physics in Russian. A common phrase would be: "Have you also read [name of that famous physics book]?"

So says my friend's Indian friend.

And I say: this can only be true for older generations; if true at all, all of those books will have been translated by now. And I have an Indian engineer friend who knows physics, but not a word of Russian.

A story to come back to. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Club Nouvelle.

 This club is super new.
 We are writing short stories and give each other feedback. Aim is to improve our writing. One can even try writing letters of referral if one wants. You know, you have to practice to become good. My current feedback is that I write funny, my characters' geographical replacement is easy to follow and that it is good and unusual that the she in the novel inspects the room standing on a table, not in the corner like everybody else.
 This lady decided I should write about "my dog____ and my first encounter with death" till next time. To press the limits of my comfort zone.
And I decided that this lady has o describe "a common day of a make up-artist".

Friday, 13 May 2016

Scientifically based norms, perceptions - and air flow

Conversation with a technician in a secret room at my school, where the heart of the air-providing pumps beat.

"You guys at school don't have cooling aggregates", he says.
"Oh but we need them."
"[What,] you work in the summer too?"
"No, but it is hot now already."
"That is true, unusually hot for the season. But it would cost you a million for installation and only be used for a week [per year]. You guys are totally dependent on scientific norms, but at companies, if you perceive it is hot, they will make it cooler, just to take your mind off from it so you can focus on being productive. It is a psychological thing. At Campus Konradsberg, they have the best climate systems [I think he meant un building related to the education system - here is where you study in Stockholm to become a teacher], but people feel depressed there, because it is not possible to open the windows. You know, one wants to feel free and opens a window. And you can't."

Thursday, 12 May 2016

I have been climbing many rocks, like millions

 I climed a rock. I destroyed these glasses in the process. I damaged a sandal. A finger was thinned out by a rock that fell over it. There is a small blood scratch on my right ankle. Apart from that, it was awesome! So glad I didn't wear high heels.
 An apparent selfie.
 The red bugs at the back a buses.
See the French people down there? This stone heap is huge.
 Fearless femme.
This is how great they were, the glasses. Reflecting the sea and fitting perfectly. Well, I will change the glasses.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Museum Mission: Artipelag

 Artipelag is a beautiful place.
Building is airy with what people call a great view. Brunch looked also very, very promising. I will get back to you on that.
The Legacy of Andy Warhol is the current exhibition, ongoing till September. These Brillo boxes are a fun story that can be summed up with "many were made". Even the company itself was contacted for more and eventually contributed with some, that were all accredited Warhol.
I really like this place. Perfect to bring a date. You can go here by boat, too. 
"What would a warhol look like?" "Like a war hole, a hole in the ground after a bomb."
Note that those to the right are mannequins.
And so is this.
When this is art, I draw my line. Sure, we can discuss why portraits of humans and objects should be standing upright, but we do not have to do it while watching. 
Every second visitor this weekend must have been French.
As you noticed, this exhibition in particular was not a favourite of mine, but as I told my company, those who made it probably had quite fun.
And I thought it is best going here in autumn, grace to all the colours.
I was proved wrong; you can go here any time, it is always beautiful.
Warhol's artistery can be summed up as "the more people that produces it, the merrier, and the harder it is to prove that you did it, the better". Clever: in this way, much art can be connected to him anf the iconic status remains intact.
Bye, modern art. See you some other time.
 Oh, and don't miss the rooftop terrace - I did the first time I was here.
And the brunch is fine.