Friday, March 28, 2014

7QT - new photo, tv, & 2048

1. Have you played 2048? This is the latest internet game that I found out about from xkcd.com. I've been staying up so late at night to play this game. It is completely ridiculous, but I just want to win! My highest score is just over 19,000. So if you are doing the math, yes I had enough points to get to the 2048 tile, but no, I was unable to actually do so. I am getting better at getting to the 1024 tile though, so I think the 2048 tile is within my reach.

Actually, one thing I was wondering is if this is only really addictive for mathy-type people. Are you a person who doesn't consider themselves a lover of numbers, but also finds this game addictive?

2. I bought a turtleneck! Contrary to popular belief, turtlenecks are not just for moms and children. I really really love my turtleneck, and I'm so glad I was finally able to find one. Plus it was greatly discounted since most people are now buying clothing that is appropriate for seasons other than winter. Hurrah.

3. I started writing these for last week, but never got very far. So now I'm continuing, with the hopes of having seven by friday.

4. The good news is that we won 2048! Greg and I were both playing (possibly the night after I wrote that first take) and we both reached 2048 within an hour of one another. I don't think Greg played anymore after that, and I only played a few times more. Apparently winning the game is the key to healing the addiction.

5. Dancing with the Stars started again, and I just Love watching that show. I don't know what it is, but I could watch clips of the dances on youtube for hours on end. Or at least of the good dances. If they just added some folk dancing to the mix they would achieve perfection.

6. Greg has started the rule that I am not allowed to watch more than one hour of tv per day. Apparently I just really love tv, even though I've spent most of my past 10+ years of life hardly watching any tv. I blame the change on the discovery of two things. One is dancing with the stars. Two is the fact that the only method of learning Swedish that I find enjoyable is to watch tv shows with the captions turned on. It is probably the least effective way of learning, but so far it is the only thing I don't hate doing.

7. I found myself in need of a professional profile picture (think Linked-In, which I actually never had a picture for, but now I guess I do). Getting one sooner rather than later was sort of necessary, so I had to use the tripod+remote method, rather than waiting for a time when Greg would be able to be my photographer. I did a lot of research (reading articles on the internet) about what makes a good photo. The best technique was to just look at as many Linked-In profiles as I could and decide which photos I liked and why.

Here is the final result:
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My initial plan was to be looking directly at the camera, but I had seen a few photos of people looking to the side and thought they were also alright. So I tried just a few (of a hundred, literally) shots like that, and I ended up liking it best.

Once the sun was nearly set and I had a ton of options, I decided it was time to stop. So I quickly gathered up my gear and got my coat back on. Then I noticed that in the field behind me there was a pack of bunnies! I couldn't force myself to take my camera back out, I think mostly because my fingers were so cold. I had really high hopes that when I reviewed my photos on the computer I would see a series of photos that had been photobombed by bunnies, but alas, no bunnies appeared.

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The End & The Link-Up

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Recipes from blogs

I'm normally a girl who takes recipes from tried and true sources. But then again, I'm also a girl who will search endlessly for a recipe that matches the ingredients available in the house, sooo…

Anyhow.

What I mean to say today is that I have been finding really delicious recipes on blogs, so then I just need to try them because they look amazing, and then they do end up being SO amazing.

On Sunday morning I made a dutch baby for breakfast after reading about it here (although I used this recipe instead because I only had two eggs, plus it actually called for vanilla sugar instead of vanilla extract).

And the same day I made this delicious salad for lunch! I switched it up a little and skipped the strawberries, and used a grapefruit instead of a blood orange. I had never sectioned a citrus before, so that was fun. I collected the juices while I was slicing and made a grapefruit + olive oil dressing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

On last thursday

Last thursday was a mixed bag. Here are some sentences on that.

While walking to the office I felt like I had an eyelash in my eye. At the office I inspected it and found nothing, but my eye still wasn't feeling great. I tried moving my contact around a bit, because that usually makes things better. But it didn't work and it felt like my contact folded, meaning I'd have to take it out, which I hate doing without having saline solution available. When I took it out, I found that the folded feeling was actually due to the contact being torn almost in two.

So, what to do when you have just arrived in the office and find that you are not really going to be able to work until this situation gets under control. The options were to just take out the other contact and be content with bad vision (and sitting within eight inches of my computer screen), or to just deal with it (and the probable headache), or to go home and properly deal with it.

As I was complaining to Greg and trying to pro-con the best option, I realised that looking at my computer with one contact missing wasn't terrible terrible. So I decided I'd go home at lunch to get new contacts, and that way I would be able to minimize the time taken away from working for the day.

So I walked back home, which seemed to take forever. I saw a puppy though. And it was a sunshiny and beautiful day.

I got home and fixed my eyeballs, ate some food, and also started the laundry so that I wouldn't be in a rush to get home later in the day.

Then I even rode my bicycle back to the office, because all the snow is melted and we've been above freezing temperatures, so all danger of riding on snow/ice has past.

TaDa and done.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Recombobulating


I just finished reading The Secret Garden, which was such a perfect choice for me. I had never read it before, but had seen the movie. It was a lovely little book, and I read it at the perfect time of year. It feels like spring here. Although officially it is spring in Sweden? I guess they don't care about the equinox, but just start saying it is spring after reaching a threshold of consecutive warm days. 

For all the miserable cold that has been happening in the US, it has been just the opposite in Sweden. The winter was unseasonably warm, and the little snow we had gotten has been melted for several weeks. Yesterday was a perfectly warm day with lovely blue skies. 

In the name of 'spring cleaning' Greg and I washed our windows and did a bit of dusting and oven cleaning. I bought purple tulips, and we've put away the Christmas decorations (I guess we were a little late on that one). Broth is simmering on the stove, and my old world woman aspirations are soaring. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

7QT: The North & Lent & magnetic saints!

1. I went to the north of Sweden, where it was cloudy and we saw no aurora. I had a meeting there at the beginning of the week, so Greg came along to enjoy the fun. He even carried my tripod for me, which I never had the opportunity to use.

2. Highlights include: eating reindeer, seeing an old church which won the prize for Sweden's most-liked building in 2001, having seat-heaters in the back seat of the rental car, and lying on as many of the beds in the ice hotel as possible.

3. The Ice Hotel in general is completely awesome, and work a 'take' of its own. There are some documentaries on it that you could watch. Here is a quick summary video I found. Greg and I took a ton of photos, because many of the rooms are designed by artists from all over the world. I think I read that over 800 artists apply to design rooms, and the ones who are chosen do some really amazing things. Hopefully I'll sort through my photos soon and share some of my favorites.

4. My computer thinks it is British and is always changing my spelling to have s's instead of z's and adding extra u's.

5. I usually fail at even the simplest Lenten things, but I think it will be best for me not to ignore it entirely, so I've decided to give up chocolate. I really really enjoy sweet treats, but I know that if I try to give them all up I'd fail, so I needed to set a distinct line somewhere.

6. So here's to 40 (+some odd) days of no chocolate. When I was growing up we never counted Sundays as non-Lent days. Even now it just feels like cheating if I were to gobble down a bunch of chocolate every Sunday.

I already had a dream last night that I was accidentally eating chocolate.

7. This is probably the best Etsy shop to ever exist! I want all the magnetic paper dolls of saints!

Bonus!

8. I think I blog a lot more when I am feeling more stressed. That hardly seems to make sense when I type it, but somehow it is true. There is just something about writing things out, especially in numbered lists.

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The End & The Link-Up

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Humpa at Stornoret

Last weekend I spent some time in the woods. It is one of my favorite things, to go enjoy the slow life. The Swedes called our excursion a 'humpa' although I'm not sure most of them knew what a humpa was. But had a humpa we did! Here is the photographic evidence(:

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

two swedish-y things

This weekend I was twice asked, "Just how much of Swedish conversations do you understand?"

That is a very good question. Maybe I can understand up to ten percent? It is sort of hard for me to know. What their question made me realize though, is that often I am able to understand the general topic being discussed, but I am never understanding in real-time. Particularly, one Swedish friend noted that I don't participate in conversations that are in Swedish (not even with a response in English), but I do participate in English conversations. I realized the main problem is that I am usually about 30 - 60 seconds behind the conversation. It takes me about that long to think about and process what has been said. Sometimes if I am also thinking of a response, then I spend some time thinking about if I know how to say the thing in Swedish, or if I can come up with a way to say it using my limited Swedish. So you see then, by that point, the conversation has gone on, and any response I might have had is no longer relevant.

Now I will write an anecdote about an experience in my Swedish class yesterday.

We were to write a description of either a famous person, or a person sitting in the room. Then we all read them to the class and the class tried to guess the person. I am a type of person who doesn't really know famous people, and I really don't know which people are famous world-wide. There was one person I could think of that I knew most people in the class would know. So this is what I wrote (I'll translate to English here).

This person is a politician. He is tall and of average size. He has short, black and grey hair. He often wears a suit and tie. 

I had considered also giving it away totally by saying that he is the leader of the US. But I figured that since this was nearly identical to the first description of Barack Obama (except that the other person didn't mention how grey Mr. President has gone since getting into office) it wasn't necessary.

I think everyone sort of knew, but no one spoke up immediately. And then, a person took a guess. And you know what she guessed? She guessed that I had described a person in the room. Specifically, a young lady who sits near me. Nearly everyone burst out laughing, but the sad part was that she was completely serious.

Swedish word of the day: mittemot.