Wednesday, 31 January 2018

May the birthday holidays commence

Last year's success, with a birthday week, a surprise party and waking up at a castle/parador, can only be topped with one thing:

An Even Longer Birthday Celebration.

So I will have three birthday parties spread out during the year. It has already served as inspiration for another friend to celebrate hers in a similar way. Such a good idea, right? To not leave all joy for just one day.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Did this really happen?

 Mmm my camera has a new charger <3 This is what I found on it what I had no memory of having taken place! In "You are not so smart", a pod about neuroscience and its friend research areas, a researcher told about her study when people were able to create false memories. As I now seem to remember these photos, did I induce a false memory or do I actually remember? Slightly meta.
 Regardless, this was in Cartagena, Spain, and this is a BIKINI SKIRT. Swedish brand. Love it, looks dressed.
 Scarf, a gift from Spanish colleagues. 
 Friend who is convincing her friends she can be very tanned and they don't believe her because she is in a place where it is winter now and have not gotten to see the evidence.
This mystery building is potentially photographed by someone else: I passed my camera around.
My next project will be to try making a hologram, I think. There are many strategies - one of them being taking loooots of photos from different angles and morph them together. But which object should I go for?

Monday, 29 January 2018

One of the future Nobel litterature prizes will go to...

...a screenwriter. It is very easy to imagine because of the many series and films, where, technically, every line pronounced is poetry uttered. The twist is that the script is rarely followed by 100.00%; there are changes and improvisations, so the prize could be argued to only concern either the written script or, mayhaps better, that the improvisations that took place could happen because of the way the script was written. Come to think of it, this prize could encompass the entire works of a film production team :)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

"Ru" by Kim Thúy

I love Thúy. Her language is tender as an ao dài in the wind, the underlying meaning deep as a chasm. There is poetry in the saddest or ugliest memory and every page an independent novel. It starts with the Tet offensive and the peace came to resemble war more than war resembled war itself. Lifelong pain in lifelong love, memories in the touch of a vaccination mark on a skin now hidden by a tattoo. 

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Today I will tell you something about unicorns.

This text message came:
Which was a bit unexpected. Squad 123x25 and I are usually less formal. I opened the door to meet them downstairs, and was to my big surprise greeted by a very serious unicorn and a Matrix lady.
I had no choice but inviting them for dinner, and they gave me flowers just to see me happy. 
 Luck has it that every week for quite some time now, someone different always has given me a bouquet. Next week, I think it will be Sandra: she asked me what my favourite flowers are.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Hi there, beautiful.

 On my way down to Lund, I exclaimed an "ah" - not because a guy I know from my university was seated two rows behind me - what are the odds? - but because FOG. Look at this wonderful mist, hanging in there, making everything a fairytale. What seems to be a lake in the distance is the fog, not a lake.
 It was also snowy a bit like in a fairy tale. 
 And more mist.
 This is taken in an angle typical for dedicated photographers: the uncomfortable one.
But on the way, somehow, the white magic melted. What is more confusing is that when I was going south, for a long time there were banks of snow until none was left, and when going back to north - Stockholm - it was not freezing anymore. The snow was somehow inbetween. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The confusing reported deaths (warning to sensitive readers)

Do tell: when you read about a murder/massacre/death, what are your thoughts?

On a more objective plane, I am surprised about that it is information that is so sinister, and since it already happened, I can do nothing about. It is frustrating. Is the function of this reporting entertainment? Because many people do find murders intriguing, just look at all the podcasts on this topic. It is a warning finger, don't go to place X and do Y? Or with the angle "this can happen to everyone, even you", is it there to make us appreciate life more?

The idea could be, maybe, that when the press sets the tone and focuses on one particular crime, so do the authorities and one thing leading to the other in combination with public opinion, things change for the better: new effective routines being introduced and lessons being learned. Sometimes, more feminism hopefully is introduced - read for example about the case of Delhi braveheart from 2012 (the article is a brief summary of events).

Good reporting makes regimes unable to keep secrets for long and in theory, when we are aware of the world events, we can stop history from repeating itself. But then - why are there so few people that react to the sitiation of the Rohingyas? When the Swedish minister of foreign affairs came there to hear their stories, the women would not let her go and held on to her clothes: she and another co-worker were the first who had come to listen. Such an article can make me want to react and help, but I in my current role as an ordinary citizen "far away" might not have the means to stop the slaughter immediately. I don't speak the right languages, do not know all there is necessary to know about the cultures and history of the people involved and I need a so-called window of opportunity for the right snowball effects.

And why do we not cherish connected to life more? Like babies being BORN. That is, apart from being a "miracle", a lot to be said about logistics around birth and it's aftermath. Insurances to improve, female bodies to glorify.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Tour de chambre: pick an animal

 After the passive-aggressive message about cleaning the common kitchen area, came sunshine shaped as a party suggestion. Idea is: pick a farm animal, make that a theme for your room, including the invention of a (table) game. Every person in the student corridor will join in, play the game, drink a bit and then it's time for the next room to be crammed. 
I have inside information about one animal, are you ready?
A tray with an otter on it will be used for a game called Otter Nonsense. 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

"Vitsvit" ("White Blight") by Athena Farrokhzad

It's very shiny and difficult to capture with a camera - but the content is at least as fantastic. It's the first poetry book I have liked from cover to cover, ever. I want to learn almost every phrase. Short and deep. Short and poetic, not all poetry is. Identity, language, family, war - I am with her, I understand her mother, I understand her father, I understand her grandmother and I understand her uncle and brother. They are the voices that speak, and ask her - who's father are you writing about? I want to be buried in a country where people can pronounce my name. Only when you have buried your mother there, can you call the country yours. AND OTHER WISDOM.
In high school, we got the task to work with Geoffrey Chaucer's work. I found his English books and while waiting for the translation to come from a different library, which would happen next week, I translated it myself. This is work behind the scenes teachers had no idea about. Then came the official, brilliant and intricate translation and I saw, with the the very experienced eye of a 17 year old, that my attempts were fair but should for equally fair reasons be ignored. My point is: you just witnessed an impovement of a brief translation session more than a decade later.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Museum Mission (Barranda, Spain): don't be pregnant at the Music museum in Barranda

 "You will love it", everybody said. And indeed:
 The most peculiar instruments with most curious and beautiful sounds are collected here. Museo de la musica etnica de Barranda
 But there is one minus: the guide. For two reasons. 
 If you hit this incredible powerful gong from China, the vibrations can cause miscarriage, the guide said, and hit the instrument with a cruel smile. There were two women who could have been pregnant attending that demonstration, and he gave us no chance to leave before he intiated what could have been the cause our future children's death.
Second reason: he introduced an instrument from Thailand or Indonesia, unfortunately I do not remember which, used to call on people who were KILOMETERS away. I covered my ears while he played it catiously; he stopped playing and I let my hands fall down. He seized the moment and hit it again - hard. That vibration was hard to forget.
With a less self-loving guide, I assure you, the experience would have been radically different. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I write fragments of poems, friends review

Every sunset is actually a rainbow practicing climbing the horizon 

Friend 1: "it is a marvelous image"
Friend 2: "haha poetic but scientifically not accurate"
Friend 3: "it is nice. But 'actually' is entirely imho unpoetic"


The dreams we see are new worlds under construction 

Friend 1: *encourages related business ideas*
Friend 4: "aww it's nice"
Friend 3: "ok nice critique: it's sweet. Tough critique: I think the idea is poetic but not the language. It doesn't become new in any way. More work on the language is needed (but it's just my taste)"

Friend 4 shares, when asked, his favourite authors that transmit the style of language as lightning (the idea of which I also like): Mallarmé, S. Plath, Ginsberg, T. Hardy. 

Cool, I will take a closer look! 

Now, here comes the most new line, never shared before because it is as fresh as the snow that falls outside my window. Inspiration from the book "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang that I started reading a few hours ago.

The body so thin, the shadow almost transparent 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Capturing capitalism or "How much screaming and disappointment was needed to produce your shirt?"

So close but so far, like the fruit in front of me I cannot take unless I hand over some cash first.

We use money to measure a lot of things, like services; some attorneys charge 3,000 pounds per hour, some artists 50 euros for the same amount of time. No money - not much gets done. But how much are we willing to do for money?

I am asking this because even though a job gives us a meaning, colleagues that become friends for life and not the least, it pays the bills - there is a reason to why a boss can call you the worst words at work. That reason is: If you object, you will be forced to leave; there are other people prepared to be yelled at without complaints who will happily take your job.

Therefore I wonder about (so far) quite unmeasurable things, for example:

How many disputes took place for the garment I am wearing to be manufactured and sold? (And with this information at hand, would it stop you from buying this shirt?)

Sustainable - sure. Good. But did every person contributing to its making have a good treatment?

Going further, did everybody in the crew feel that they were listened to, happy, felt they could develop in their professions? 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The internet Orbuculum

I am thinking that the most safe bets of all crystal balls telling the future offers is the internet one.

All your search history, all your films watched, items paid for, future dreams research made adds up to a profile showing 1) your type of personality 2) your probable profession(s) the coming year(s).

The best- and probably scary - thing would be to team up with the people who are like you. As Pinterest suggests, "you might also like..." - but people, your age, who are at exactly the same career spot, looking for exactly the same thing.

As usual: you know where you heard it first.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Directly after a party

 As you can see, this is the natural reaction after an evening with salsa, folk dance, PhD discussions and (semi)funny stories :D

Monday, 8 January 2018

Vague (summer) plans

Maybe it's time to leave Europe. Cross the world. Javier, a colleague and friend, made big eyes when I said that I have never visited Africa, Asia or the Americas. In that case, I am curious about South Korea. (He promoted Morocco.)

But I want to see Europe too. Turns out, Germany has Maglev trains! I have to book a ticket. And while in Germany, I will visit Ilo, who makes big preparations. Two summers ago, in Berlin, she prepared a scavenger hunt for me and L. Now, for Hamburg, she sent me outfit themes before I start packing - three options, each connected to an activity I can only guess about judging by the shape of the clothes. SO MUCH FUN.

And then there is the special feast week in April in Seville.

And then Croatia has waterfalls I want to see and a music festival the first three days in July which is supposed to be good-great.

And then a friend is doing parts of her PhD at Yale university for three months and wonders if I am passing by.

My guess is that I will end up in London as the first destination of the year - a birthday gift from a friend. Till then, hopefully, I will have found a charger for my camera.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Photo session with friend's new camera

 "Look!" he pointed happily at the manual. "The eye is in one third of the picture, just what they say about portaits!"
 Well - we were TRYING settings. So I have to complete the photo by saying: I am wearing a belt you cannot see which wraps up the knitted material beautifully. 
 Ear decorations were popular on this city's most visited fashion webs in 2013 or so. Call me fashion-recyclist. 
 Friend brought painting from basement and that I have to explain I am pretending to paint it is really unsuccessful pretending. 
It's new year, by the way. I came back to reality after having written thesis day and night and went like WAIT WOW. I did see the fireworks and all, but was a bit unfocused on the present.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Latest fashion in student diets

For breakfast, dinner and lunch: ginger bread, soft cheese and occasionally, water. No, not the tears about the essay :)

Monday, 1 January 2018

When you are in love - a totally normal conversation with substance:

*pause for smiling*
"What are you doing"/"Miss you"/"Look at this cute thing"
"I am doing this thing"/"I miss you too"/"Ohhh it's so cute"

This works over the phone just as well as irl.