Sunday, November 30, 2014

7QT: swedish, and jumping on trees, and posture

1. I think these are the most important Swedish words I know. First, fika. Second, lagom. Third, jantelagen. These mean, approximately and respectively: coffee and sweet treats, everything in moderation, and don't try to stand out above any others.

So pretty much Sweden suits me just fine(:

2. Just two short weeks ago I wrote that I really wanted to make an effort to just speak Swedish at school. I just have to be honest and say that is not really happening. I am doing a good job of hearing Swedish, but I am starting to develop the habit of responding in English. I'm really slow at formulating things to say in Swedish, and I also find it nearly impossible to express myself in Swedish. So for now, English dominates. le'sigh

3. I think it is safe to say that making friends at folk dance school is pretty much nothing like making friends at the office of a job in academia. Guess which one shared this link on fb and which one shared this link. And to be honest I didn't even read the first article, but definitely enjoyed watching the video from that second link. (And apparently 50 years is not enough time to change the fact that NASA is dominated by white men with moustaches…)

Anyhow, I didn't start this intending to go that route. I intended to make some comments about how unusual it is for me to feel so close to people that I haven't known for very long. For one thing, we are physically close because we spend all our days dancing together (and also, that general strong affinity for hugging). But there is also an emotional closeness that comes from spending all day, every day interacting with the same small group of people. You quickly move on from discussions about the weather to topics with a little more heft, which suits me and my introversion just fine.

4. Greg and I were laughing about how our facebook feeds exploded with halloween costumes on halloween. I commented about how strange it was that there were at least four alligators, surprised that this was the most popular costume choice of the year. He kindly pointed out that I was probably looking at mostly dinosaurs. Good point, my friend, good point.

5. I really like this video.

Ever since watching it, I've been thinking about how I'd like to be able to jump onto a tree like that (go ahead and skip to 2:30 if you don't want to watch the whole thing). So the other night I just tried it out. My tips for those wanting to try this: choose a tree with no low branches, and just commit!

6. Apparently posture has become such a central concept in my life that I am now dreaming about it. My posture needs improvement, and now I am just thinking about it all the time. Plus maybe we all read this already, but I am coming out of ten-ish years of being hunched over a computer screen full-time. So I've got some correcting to do.

7. The other day Greg was watching some MJ videos. I commented that Smooth Criminal was probably my favorite song of his. But then I had to quickly correct myself, because that and the song from Free Willy are both favorites. Just so good!

Fun fact: I've gotten into the habit of writing these posts over a timespan of… weeks maybe? So every time I would open a yet-to-be-finished post and read the takes I had already written, I'd find that I wrote a reference to 'yesterday' almost every time. For example "yesterday Greg was watching some MJ videos." So I'm trying to learn to just type "the other day" because it keeps things more honest around here.

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The End!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

flood of consciousness

Hej there you old blog, you old pal. I think I want to be one of those people that keeps track of some daily details of life. These people exist, right? It started when they installed this new bike counter leading to central station. Realistically, there are probably over five main ways in which bicycles can arrive at central station. On the one that I use regularly, they just installed this bike counter. It is amazing. I don't know how they can even do these things. Not counting people. Not counting too many bikes. It works through a sensor that is installed under the path, and what happens when a unicycle goes by? These are important things, but from what I've seen, it looks accurate. So then I decided to start writing down which bicycle number I was each time I passed. This is at least once or twice a day, depending on whether I go directly home or go in some other direction. I've got big plans for making some sort of plot with this information once I've gathered up a good collection.

Sometimes I think I only write about bicycling so much to give myself more dimension. It doesn't feel bad to me to be so enthusiastic about folk dance, but I can see other people register my enthusiasm as overzealousness. Overzealousness doesn't win hearts, but neither does an awkward attempt at hiding my enthusiasm or making it seem less. I'm not bothered by my love of folk dance, but I'm so sensitive to people having a negative reaction to it. I don't expect people to match my enthusiasm (or even be anywhere close to it). I sort of expect that the majority of people would have a neutral and open opinion about folk dance. Even if they don't share the same enthusiasm, they understand what it is like to be enthusiastic about a thing. Sort of a "That's cool that you are really into a thing that you love. I'm like that about [insert enthusiasm of your choice]." But it makes me sad when I'm made to feel like it is a bad thing. I don't want to hear people tell me that I shouldn't want to dance more in the evening if I already danced all day long. I have so many feelings about this, but it is not so easy to put words to it. The words really help to sort through the feelings, so I'll keep thinking on it and perhaps come back with more later.