Thursday, 31 January 2019

Robots dreaming of digital sheep and other nice things from the recent

- a friend was going to bed and wished for particular kind of dreams, so I placed an order.

- I finally played Ticket to ride (a table game). So many people love it; I turned out to not be the biggest fan. Still fun! We also played Bananagrams, which is like Scrabble but with the clock ticking related to the others. Each player gets his/her own "board" and you say "banana" and "peel" depending on how much ahead you are in the game. I got to say "peel" once!

- went to a concert on the countryside.

- got more kitted for that cold trip I intend to make. More on that later.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

"Call me by your name" by André Aciman

Like the swiping blurry but suddendly, for a moment, stingy dreams of the teenage past, even further romantically spun into the volatile clouds of a summer vacation, it is easy to recognise the love Elio feels towards the summer guest in the house. Elio is 17, Oliver is 24, and both are very, very aware about what is going on around them. They are sharp observers, but rarely share it to others, and when they do it with each other, about each other and their (simultaneous) romantic whereabouts, all communication is electric, more code-worded than diplomacy and full with symbols they know only the other would recognise. The best part: we also get to meet them twenty years later, when they are equally surprised to meet each other. And they never forget. It was a love that stayed, never went away, and yet they maybe were both not sure how to handle the magnitude of it.

The writer André Aciman teaches literature at the university (specialised in Marcel Proust). How cool isn't it to be the lecturer who has written a book that 1) gained so much attention 2) that it became a film 3) that the actors of the film will be talked about for some time ahead? There is just one minor detail: the film is not nearly as nuanced as the book. Oliver is far too chatty, tempo much higher. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

If I was a lecturer...

...I would wear a specific shirt each time with a print or pattern connected to the particular lecture. A chain necklace if the theme is emancipation, etc. Would contribute to the learning. 

...and super fancy shoes with no comment.

...I would prepare carefully selected jokes to amuse the students with.

...and great books that would be optional but so good and relevant, they will be hard to sustain from.

...add sound and light effects for the total experience. Some students would say, 'this is better than the movies' 'or Disneyland on a budget'

...ask students to be active in their studies. They can embody the happenings in the material, perform a play, sing a song with the course-particular vocabulary. 

...encourage them, they are the future in all their endavours. 

Preparing for a northern trip, step one and two

This shoe is not photoshopped, it actually is like 35% of my body size. THIS is what you want to wear in the Arctic. It provides you warmth up to, sorry, down to, -100 Fahrenheit. 

We are not going as far up as the Arctic, but close, in two weeks time. Fresh -27 degrees Celsius in the air, when you almost don't breathe out white clouds but icicles. And I am not buying this shoe. What I did buy was LOUD pink salopettes. And as an inside source said, I will need oil instead of the usual facial cream: the facial cream will freeze. So now I will look for some fancy oil. Suggestions, anyone?

Sunday, 27 January 2019

If a friend is crying,

Chances it will feel better increase with this game. First the friend pours the heart out of course, then you get started. Rules: try to have fun. Idea is to give perspective. You choose the right questions, so below are some ideas. 

You: this past year, I have never had my hair as short as now.
Friend: *supposed to say something hair-related, but about her/humself*

You: this past year, I have travelled to two new countries.
Friend: *talks about travels or wishes to travel or the climate changes and the trains saving humans eventually*

You: this past year, I have cooked one entirely new dish from scratch.

You: this past year, there is one book in particular that left me with a great feeling.

You: this past year, I coughed loud enough to wake the dead, but now there is not a trace of that left.

You: this past year, I met two hot people who I loved and who loved me back. 

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Good things from the recent

- Got massage by a professional (gift card ish) and was reminded of it quals exercise. Just like after a visit to the gym: drink a lot of water, don't exercise after, prepare for potential muscle ache the following day.

- Got myself a long black party dress of the kind I have never had before. It has the type of cleavage that makes conversations stop and spaghetti straps, the latter being on my wishlist since almost forever. To be inaugurated in the summer.

- Got flowers again! Pink tulips selected by the criterion "they match your cheeks".

- I found this interesting clip about stuntwomen - see below. It seems to take two for one film character.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Rhinoceros on a sofa, and some galaxies sent

Welcome comfortable-looking rhino, hiding a London message inside. I am being asked about my new years resolution(s). I have a few! Will respond in a bit.
The stamp on THAT letter is paving way right into the history books. This happened, I think: the letter-checking machine broke, so Royal Mail just hired thousands of extra-working students, equipped them with pens and HERE WE GO.
Me, I spread galaxies and stars to the close and distant south. Germany got some, Belgium will, United Kingdom in the line.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

From the archive: the reception committee

As I set my foot on Spanish airport ground with three bags that contained I all thought I needed for the coming work year, I was received with these signs a friend held up. I tried to keep them for as long as I could and wanted to frame them, but eventually I had to let them go. The portrait friends gave me for an old birthday, where my face is made of pasta (the hair is spaghetti) and beans (friend said: given the material, it is actually similar), also had to face (!) the same destiny.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

"Like a dream"

Last year's vacation, as remembered by someone I was travelling with. 

For my part, I express parts of the England-Wales-Ireland trip with a particular reference to the bushes, which offered us a solution to a quite a big problem (sleeping on the beach or not, unknowingly whether there would be storms, thieves or other unexpected elements).

The bushes opened up and a pilot, now on vacation and only in shorts, offered us to stay in his cabin while waiting for the fluorescent plankton to show in the sea below.

Bet we are going to bet this the coming summer. One of the perfect ingredients is a black party dress I found that IS the party already. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Code "Charlotta" (an appetizer)

This chocolate tale goes a follows:

Colleague A has girlfriend C. Well, she is the Charlotta in "code Charlotta", which I used to check if the idea A. had actually would take place. 

C. works at a chocolaterie. She has created one of the desserts herself, which contains white chocolate, mousse and yuzo to name a few deliciousnesses. But - from last Friday on, it ceased to exist. She will now create something new. 

So colleague A., a.k.a. her boyfriend, decided to bring her creation to his workplace to celebrate this farewell. With the help from colleague B. In a big, big box.
This creation, which looks nothing like one imagined it to be when "chocolate" comes to mind, had equally unexpected tripped over one another. We saved most of it eventually. 

Nor was colleague A. alone with the sweets. There also were other codes, for other get-togethers, to celebrate wide apart occasions. That day alone I had a cake, this chocolate "theatre" of flavours and three different buns.

A good story to read just before dinner I think ;)

Monday, 21 January 2019


After the fire that took place in the early winter, I now face the challenge of 'getting access to saved furniture and clean it from dangerous particles'. 

'Piece of cake! Rinse them off and you are done!' - mentality doesn't work here, unfortunately. To quote the inspector: A25 could be used. That's a chemical used by the industry as a soap, as I understand it. The dangerous particles are bound to the surface chemically and this goes for everything that was there when the fire started: porcelain. Metallic knifes. Food packages (a lasagna package was open and it's incredible that every single piece of it smells like burned plastic). Three carpets, all of them from different materials. Jars with food - spices, canned tomatoes. 

I want to give it a try before I throw things away. As I am an optimistic soul, I am letting it take time and think of this as a Japanese philosophy that is gaining popularity: cleaning your house from things is refreshing and cleanses the spirit. 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

To describe how cold it is, a lovely request I got:

Sunday morning:
Vill du träffas någon dag ? För en promenad och riskerar ditt liv att gå på en sjö ?
If I want to meet up and risk my life for a walk on an (icy) lake.

And I reply: Yes, of course, let's just choose a smaller lake to be on the safe side.

(More proof of how cold it is: the friend who said she goes into hibernation...)

Saturday, 19 January 2019

The great burger experience in Stockholm - continued

Miss Behave Bar 
It's fine - the burger is good but not a memorable experience of the kind I would drag friends there for. Fries ok but not impressive. The best part of this place is the location - Gamla stan, next to the water - and there is potential in the indoor part, which can get very loud, however. Verdict: why not, when you are nearby.

It's difficult to get a spot here normally, and the opening hours are very focused on lunch and dinner. This place is GOOD. I talk warmly about it in hamburger matters as the "perfect date burger", because no sauce ran out while enjoying it bite by bite, so it was possible to stay gorgeous all the way through. Note: crowded and few seats. Hipster vibe. Verdict: YES.

Yes, it looks like any hot dog street department - but the hamburgers are very nice and this place has its own beverage - a sweetened ice tea. I got to know it existed because of teenagers handing out flyers at the corner across, next to stadsbiblioteket - which is far more crowded - and a random man passed by and shouted kindly that Böres have the best burgers in town. It COULDN'T have been orchestrated, he seemed to really mean it and the timing was impeccable. And good it was. Note that there are very few places to sit indoors. If Franky's was maybe 20, this is maybe 6. Verdict: yes!

Previous burger experiences.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Good things from recently

- I opened the window, shouted "FALLING TREE" and threw out the old Christmas tree in the bushes below. Bypasses kept focus on their lattes, not an eyebrow raised, probably because it was a much more safer action that in now sounds like in text.

- Ran into a friend of a friend, from London. He is very happy to go on a speed date arranged by me in the future!

- Bought the perfect note pad with a long-lasting hard cover to scribble in and keep for later use.

- Took a class in lindy hop with a bunch of friends! I chose to be the leader and it was SUCH A GOOD DECISION. The fun you can give - make a person you dance with smile and make every partner enjoy as much as possible - is really energising. 

- Got a link from a friend about the absolute necessity DRONEBRELLA.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Comparison: single shots at Goldman Sachs or in a relationship

Your merits are carefully balanced, then you are thrown in a culture where your soul and time are owned by your company. You have to dress to live up to your image, go to certain bars only, and if you are not coping with it, the next person, just as smart and as willing to sacrifice anything will take over. It doesn't matter if you are taking drugs and don't sleep at night to get more work done; your sacrifices are worth nothing the moment you collapse and the company certainly will not take credit (sorry, responsibility) for the problems its culture has caused many of its employees.

We can call it tough. We can also agree to call it to be a top job.

Compare it to a relationship. Your partner's merits are not fully known from the start, unless you have known each other for many years. The partner wears all kinds of weird clothes and eats foods you didn't consider having on the menu before. If that partner fails in any way - say, tells untruthful information - then that is damaging the (trust of) your relationship. But it's not very likely that you will have a serious agenda meeting together with the relatives of you both about it, even less likely that there will be reprimands. The lying party is likely to come with not very realistic excuses, but you don't fire the partner. Instead, you see the situation in a bigger perspective - there were reasons to lie, given the petson's tough background - and give the partner another shot and open up for solutions: ways of various remedy. The partner is then more likely to forget about the event and repeat the behaviour.

So why not alter this, and only give the partner one shot and replace with the next eager candidate? Why are you to suffer from what it not your fault? After all, this is a person you spend a lot of your precious time with. The partner better be gold.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Around the globe - but long, long ago

"I am not into antiquities", I answered to the question about how old I thought the globe on the bookshelf was. I reasoned further:

"These days, things can be produced to look authentic. Though it does look broken..."

"Look at the names", said my acquintance, and I gasped.
Really old. Could be a great gift for someone who likes history and geography. Prof. d:r Krauses Nya Handels- och Samfärdsglob, with old Swedish spelling. Stated to be new and adapted for merchants, with dotted lines - all you need to know about telegraph cables, steam boat tours, important flight routes, railway routes and which lakes boats can sail in. Not the least, my favourite: the spark-gap transmitter's placements (gnisttelegraf in Swedish). 

Second favourite: if one takes a really close look, one can tell that special stickers have been glued on what used to be Austria-Hungary, which probably implies there were many copies of this map from the start that have been modified since it was first printed... before, or in, 1918.

Scale 1:38 600 000.

Let's take a tour.

At this time, Yugoslavia still was a country.
So was Siam
(in the old Indochina, in Swedish also known as Bortre Indien), 
And above Korea, there was Manchukuo. (The resolution is nah, absolutely. The explanation is that this globe is so old it is covered by a layer of sticky dust.) Manchukuo existed in1932-1945, so we get a hunch of our globe being from within this time slot.
There also was Persia, Baluchistan, Belgian Congo, British India, British Egyptian Sudan (which is a complicated matter, just like the other de jure), Abyssinia (The Ethiopian Empire), Betsujanaprotektoratet (in Swedish) but Bechuanaland Protectorate in English, South Rhodesia and North Rhodesia, South African Union, Italian Somaliland (which, as I understand it, merged into Italian East Africa in 1936 - so our globe is from 1932-1936!), Portuguese East Africa (Moçambique), a small Poland and the Sunda islands - to name a few. (Sunda islands still is a name in use, but the way the name is written on this globe, it seems to have been used as the name of one of the countries - probably Indonesia, as the majority of the jurisdiction of these islands belong to Indonesia today.)
Of course with a compass on the foot.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Tasty mail + choir

This year started exceptionally well parcel-and-letter-wise:
 I got chocolate directly in the letterbox! Which was tasty! Double joy, covered in several layers of paper, just perfect for the right suspense. 
I think my camera broke to some extent, so sorry about the tilted Christmas tree, which is a belated invitation to a concert in January by my deceased friend's parents. This year, I finally can go!

Monday, 14 January 2019

A lunch at the van der Nootska palace - a recommendation

 It's scarce with the photos, I know,
 but believe me when I say the food is very tasty, filling and the staff very kind. You can also have a look around in the 1600's environment, of course with crystal chandeliers etc.
This is van der Nootska, at Södermalm in Stockholm, only open at lunchtime on weekdays. 

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The neighbour chronicles.



"The LOW cost"


Says any standard ad about habitation.
Lemme also introduce a piece of free entertainment:


One in particular, someone who lives above me and I have never met but have HEARD so much about. 

My neighbour thinks it's a good idea to start a party 1 a.m. Then it's an even better idea, my neighbour showed, to have a second party at 3 p.m., on a weekday, of course.

My neighbour exercises. Something jumping, using a skipping rope. Sometimes using a heavy object my wildest ear fantasy cannot think of. That thing that went viral, when someone on the Internet said "Had I known my neighbour had a pony, it would all have made sense", could have been a bit true. Except there is no pony.

My neighbour appreciates hard rock as "come on, you can do it"-music, preferably all the adjacent apartments' walls vibrating to spread the vibe, we can say, if we want to be using positive terms.

My neighbour enjoys playing online games with sound effects from time to time. My neighbour & friends are good losers, because no one has ever screamed "OH NO I LOST" or even close. No one has ever screamed, actually. Thumbs up.

My neighbour has had a phone conference with probably India 4.47 a.m. till 6.00 a.m. about sensitive matters, judging from the tone.

Most recently: my neighbour puts on Cuban salsa music and SINGS ALONG. But not really accordingly, if you hear what I mean.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Fluffy mittens - how hard can it be? (Plus some clothing reflections.) Part I

You just guess and cut, huh? I guessed and cut out of paper first. 
Then I cut again,
and again,
and the same for the second mitten. Note that all the fluffiness is meant to be inside, because what is the point to not give your hands the best treatment? The downside of this is the looks. I've tried it before, to ignore the looks of clothing and just go with the feeling. Literally, I ordered a hoodie of a silk and cotton mix and didn't look in the mirror. It felt awesome, relaxing and comfortable. Then I peeped and the mirror reflection was NOT a pleasant view (why is that button here? Why does it stretch so weird there?). I sighed and returned it. 
Second dilemma is how to make the wrist part tighter for the fluffy preciousness not to fall off. With a hair clip? Some rubber? Just sew it in a little? I went for rubber that matched beautifully with two roses (cliffhanger omg how did THAT look?). Speaking of fluffy, all the fluff of this fabric flew around me had I carried a miniature sheep with me that I cut a little all the time. 

Last test is: will it be warm enough? I prefer it to be - I will go to Kiruna in February and really don't want to come back without fingers. So came thw day when I took them out for a walk and then walked hurriedly inside again. Check - a second layer needed. Maybe I shall be smart and sew it to allow for padding to be inserted? Oh I am so smart. 

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Cracking a story (he, he)

 Gold and history! 
 Yours truly has been to the Opera house in Stockholm! I was asked if I was the solist by my ride.
 No, I told her, but I will have my own show later this year. And she was interested in coming, yay! I shall get started with the promotion bit more anytime now.
 This night's show was a ballet though, not standup or opera, but a Swedish take on the Nutcracker. It's kind of family tradition. Always sweet and with cute costumes. I liked the crackers in red skirts a lot. Before, there was a bird on roller skates. Snowmen seem to stay permanently. New this year was a real poodle (!).
 We discovered that my brother is too tall for the top seats; his legs simply do not fit. Next time, we have no option but to sit downstairs. Or ask for long legs discount? 
And this was the most jolly crowd. Content and tapped discretely along with the music.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Museum Mission: Sickla ovan och under (Sweden)

"I'll be back", the underground machine said. (For younger readers, this is a Terminator reference. Watch The Terminator, he is sweet in a sci-fi way.)

Welcome to today's underground tour, dear readers. Hosted by: Länsmuseet, Nacka municipality and the companies Atlas Copco and Atrium Ljungberg. Tickets booked through Dieselverkstaden in Sickla, just a little outside of Stockholm. I am not sponsored, rather facilitating for you to find this museum on your own.
Conference under ground.
A drill of cool chemical compounds that are researched on.
I come to think about references to the Matrix, do you?
Stone is probably even stronger than one thinks. I asked a geologist I know once, how to think of its strength. He said that on a stone tunnel with houses on it, the houses can be calculated as if not there (!).
So what is this museum about? You learn about the industrial history of the place by going under the ground, through a building one normally wouldn't notice (if you are used to big entrances to malls like I am). You get to wear helmets for protection and see exhibitions about techniques for different drillings and explosions and the machines necessary. 
And the exit is at a compleeetely different place, how cool.
What is underground's "Yes, captain"?