Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Back in Europe

So I made it back in one piece from the US. Actually I got back over a month ago but there been so much to take in that I just had to let the blog rest for a bit. Otherwise I really had to sit down and quantify what I felt when I landed on European ground again, and I knew that would take a while so I procrastinated it away. But here we go: First impression was literally, wow its nice to see a car again. And by car I mean a normal metal box with four wheels which I can see over if I am standing next to it, and not the monster of SUVs and trucks and pedestrian-scaring things that is driven in America. Well, first it looked kind of funny from the bus window, like little Lego cars speeding next to me, but then I got used to it. Secondly, I had forgotten how grumpy British people were. As I was plodding along in Heathrow I was looking people in the eyes and saying hi, but I after four angry looks I remembered Oh, thats not the way we do it over here so I shut up. By the time I had reached the bus driver I had gotten so many angry looks that his jolly jokes took me by complete surprise and I had to stand and have a chat with him. Anyway. I eventually got to Oslo where I realized I had said goodbye to summer and my flip-flops and had to buy a thick leather jacket to survive. After a few weeks in Norway and Sweden, seeing mum, dad, brother, stepdad, brother's girlfriend, old friends etc, I returned to Leeds, where I go to University normally. It rains a lot in Britain. This could have something to do with the mould in our bathroom. I hear its in the 80s in DC. Thats unfair. I only know about 4 people who are still here at Uni in Leeds. Feels weird when the people you want to tell about your day is an ocean away. And I am crap at emailing. Its not all gloomy though as my housemates and me have started a cooking scheme, so I am responsible for dinner sometimes and subsequently have to eat something more than pasta with ketchup ever night. Awesome! Its also nice to see some investigating, impartial journalism too. Thank god for the BBC/NRK(Norway)/SVT(Sweden). Anyway, DC is well missed, friends and also the city. From what I remember the sun was always shining there... But hey, if you're ever in Britain come and say hello!

Ps. Above is my puppy Svea and below my car (both technically my dads). Just to show what has been keeping me busy. I know!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Aug 09. 07

After spending too many hours reading The Sartorialist at work, I have come to the conclusion that in the future I want to only date men that dresses like Cary Grant. For me, he is the ultimate male style icon; crisp, well-cut, traditional but with a spark. Also, I saw the Police this weekend at the Virgin Festival and Sting is another very well-dressed man. I mean, not particularly for dating, but if you are going to be in one of the world's greatest bands you SHOULD look like that in a pair of incredibly tight, black jeans and a black t-shirt. Fantastic.
Anyways, Jude moved out of our apartment today, the walls look really big because they are really empty. I am going to start packing this weekend since I am going to New Orleans next week, and then I come back and I am gone to Europe. I am looking forward to seeing the South, I dont think I have any idea what to expect.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not long before I leave DC now.

One business trip to Chicago and one just-for-fun trip to Boston in the last two weeks and now its suddenly less than a month before I take off from America for good. I have long forgotten Europe really. No military superpower? Not on my map. No right turn or red and no ridiculously light beer? Not on my map.

I have definitely not dealt with the issue of leaving yet. Neither emotionally or practically, I mean, my life is here now; my girlfriends that I talk to the television with whilst drinking tea, my stupid drunken friends who pick up street signs and take them home on nights out, my clubbing European friends, my beer snob friends, my lazy friends and my smart friends. And 15 pairs of shoes. How am I meant to leave any of that behind without having a little corner of my heart aching forever? And to add on to that; DC. Adams Morgan on Saturday nights and the Diner on Sunday mornings, Foggy Bottom metro, my lousy apartment with only one stove plate working and only two spoons, Georgetown, Dupond Circle and Kramer Books, the little park on 23rd, all the annoying interns, Eastern Market tomatoes, the Saloun, Madams Organ, the homeless man with a Frisbee on K st? My life as I know it will come to an end.

Ok, so my heart is now already aching a little bit in one corner writing this so I must return to work. At least I am going to V fest in Baltimore this weekend and seeing the Police, the Beastie Boys, Amy Winehouse, LCD Soundsystem, Peter Bjorn and John, and M.I.A. and that should heal me. Temporarily at least.

Ps. European friends and family; I do really love you. Please don't delete me from your phonebook/email address book/facebook/life/memory after reading this. The US is pretty cute. You should come and visit.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My mum is worried..

So, after the previous blog post about partying on Shelter Island I get the best email from my mum, and I quote (translated from Swedish):

Daughter, now you actually have to calm down a little bit. Believe it or not but people your age does actually become alcoholics. This isn't looking well, so sharpen up. All this partying will get you tired, you might not notice it now but you will see it in the future so please calm down. Did you email Louise? Love Mum.

I love her. And I love how she after lying into me switches tone completely and just go: "Did you email Louise? Love Mum." She is a brilliant human being. I called her up directly after reading it and asked what that emailed was about, and she laughed and said: "I knew you we weren't going to like that". Well, she knows how to get me. The only thing is I think I am turning into my mum more and more for every day that goes by. We both moved abroad young (I was 16 to Scotland, she was 17 to Berlin), studied and lived there for a long time (she moved back when she had me at 36) and even if she doesn't tell me I knew she had a good time at those beer places in Berlin. Probably as much of a good time as I am having right now. So Mum, don't worry: You Turned Out Just Brilliant!

Monday, July 09, 2007

4th of July part two

I can think of a handful of signs that indicate I had a very good (and very American) 4th of July weekend:
1. I was on water more than I was on land.
2. I was wet more than I was dry.
3. I was drunk more than I was sober.
4. I was outside more than I was inside.
5. I have a lot of salt water in my hair and sand between my toes. At work. On a Monday.
6. I have quite a few serious scratches on my legs from flipping with a small catamaran.
7. I have quite a few burn marks on my arms from being stung by jellyfish.
8. My nose is pink from the sun and my eyes are dark from not sleeping.
9. I haven't eaten anything that wasn't chargrilled since Wednesday.

I feel like I did it justice. Having said that, I was actually quite disappointed in the DC 4th of July. I was imagining a large majority of people I would meet to be wrapped in an American flag with a hand on their heart. At all times. I was expecting spontaneous (not just planned) parades on all streets and small flags to be waved around everywhere. It really was mainly like any other Wednesday. No flags, no parades passed by my apartment. I also missed the fireworks, but I guess that was my own fault for taking so long to get ready for a night out in Adams Morgan.
Anyway, the expectations were then saved by the weekend on Shelter Island, NY (in the Hamptons ca.). There I actually saw fireworks on Saturday, and spent the rest of my time on board different kinds of boats, mostly on a party raft my cousins built (I kid you not it has a VIP floor, a toilet and several bars, it is also almost falling together after seven years in full 4th of July use - I will post a picture when I get home). I was also on a Hobie Cat (the catamaran we flipped), two different row boats, some ferries, as well as a canoe with a tiki torch wired to it. The sun was always up, the sunset was always pink and the beach was packed. We danced salsa on Saturday and swam on Sunday. I left Manhattan at 4.40 this morning and went straight to work when I got to DC. God bless America.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

4th of July!

Yay, I am so excited about tomorrow! I dont know what to expect but I am very excited about it! Yay!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dressing up as a dictator..

So my German friend's Dress-Up-As-A-Dictator party went down on Wednesday and it was a success. Surprisingly, I found that the only dictatorship outfit I could construct with my already existing wardrobe was Saddam Hussein. I went for khaki linen from top to toe and wrapped my houndtooth patterned H&M scarf around my head. Who would have thought? I walked around feeling about as awkward as a clownfish in a piranha tank. Not because of the crowd there, they are all good friends, however it just felt a bit offensive. but is it really more offensive to dress up as Saddam then Hitler, or the Pope? Is it offensive at all, they are all historical, sometimes comical, figures? Anyway, it was too hot for all of us and 30 minutes in we all half-Stalin/half gay-pride or what ever t-shirt went under that 20 pound military jacket. Mustaches flew off 10 minutes later and we just continued the party in old-school-early-twenty-something fashion by drinking cheap rose wine out of tea cups and Leffe beer out of wine glasses and discussing the meaning of life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hardest outfit to find ever?

Dressing up for fancy dress parties is always awkward. You never look cool, definitely not sexy. Just weird. Nobody can tell who is being who. You just drink more to ease the embarrassment over that you aimed to look like a Sexy Panda but instead look Abused By Your Spouse In A White Bikini (I actually saw this last Halloween). So people get really drunk and mistakingly think they are having fun because they are dressed up (while it is actually just the 4 more glasses of Chardonnay talking), and the cycle repeat itself. I cant wait till I am 40 and do not get invited to fancy dress parties anymore. Because I am sure that is a safe age right?

So tonight I'm going. My German friend is hosting one, and he is going away for a while so I guess he can do whatever he wants to do with his goodbye party. Naturally however, the theme is Dictators. Following this, I have come to the following conclusions: 1. There really are no female dictators. Yay for us! 2. The most famous dictators came from cold countries or at least favored/favors dressing in big jackets (Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Kim-Jong il etc). Me being female and DC being about 100 degrees hot magically transforms these two conclusions into tangible problems in the dressing-up part of tonight. I have yet to figure out how I can out of this mess without missing the party.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On Paris..

I'm 22 now, the -00 is, like, my generation. My decade. So I guess its my fault as much as everyone else's, I just dont want Paris Hilton to be the defining personality of my generation. Next to Diana, Michael Jackson, and the Beatles or what? Because she's big and I am talking big, not just like the Oasis, who were gooood, but big as in small-children-in-South-East-Asia-know-their-name BIG. I guess the Larry King million dollar interview and the fact that everyone (including me, my uncle, the tramp outside my apartment and my boss) still talks about her has sealed the deal. So in the future, when you are watching those nostalgia programs on TV about the -00 she is going to be on there. And someone (under the age of 12) is going to ask: Who is that mummy? And everyone in the room will look a bit embarrassingly at each other with that sense of Who Is Going To Explain It This Time.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Blog has an Identity Crisis...

So somewhere in between finishing my exams, dancing in LA, walking in San Fransisco, sailing on Shelter Island and showing my mum DC I forgot to write in this blog. Well, it wasn't so much that I forgot but more so that the blog just got a sudden identity crisis. For a while I wanted to scrap writing all together and just post music. The blog wanted to be a music blog. But then I like writing so that wasn't a good idea. Its just a question of what kind of writing I should do. I estimate the blog's readers in the following categories, in order of reader frequency: 1. Random people from the DC vicinity I don't know. 3. Random people from rest of the world I don't know. 2. People from DC that I do know. 3. Folks from Europe that I do know. 4. My parents and assorted family members. 5. Boys I like/ex-boyfriends.
This collection creates all sorts of problems where following clashes occur: I Cant just write about my obsession with the new Brasserie Beck on 10th and K because some people would be rather bored (its so good though! Have the rabbit and a Saison-Dupond beer). I Could write about last Friday in the Saloun in Georgetown but then all future family dinners would be awkward. I Couldn't use the blog as my personal Craig's List missed connection site towards category 1 (for that one guy on the Orange Line Metro last week who got off at the Smithsonian) because that would not be good for category 5. Or 4 for that matter. (Ooops, maybe I just did).
So all that leaves me with something else. A Blog identity Crisis. But at least now I wrote something, maybe that is my start on the poor blog's recovery!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scandinavians in DC

DC has a lot of Swedes. I live only 5 minutes away from our beautiful embassy. Quite possible the most beautiful embassy in DC, right? Yeah anyway. There is a lot of Swedes around, I met one in my class, Anders. He is a good friend now, we sometimes play Kubb on GW University Yard. Kubb is this really fun game which consists of lots of pieces of wood and you try and knock the other team's pieces of wood before they knock down yours. Its not like you are just chucking them around though, it is an orderly fashion, it is Swedish after all. The only thing that is weird playing it in DC is that you dont have a beer in your hand. In Sweden you always have a beer in your hand when you play Kubb. But you cant drink in public in this country, not even at a picknick, so no beer. Weird. But I also sometimes see Swedish people on the street, mainly in Georgetown. Like when I saw this girl, she was stunning - and on her phone - and when I walked passed I heard her speak Swedish. I should have known. Or this other time when I was outside another Georgetown establishment and these two guys was standing behind my girl friends and me in the que (line, whatever) and they started talking about us (my accent is more British than it is Swedish so they didnt know, although I am tall and blond which I guess could have been a clue), they were saying stuff like oh, that one is cute, she probably has a boyfriend, wonder what it takes for her to cheat on him etc etc. Nothing sexist but they were still quite embarrassed when I turned around and told them that girls like this usually prefer if a guy talks to them face to face, rather than about them behind their back. Anyway, my point is this, Swedes are everywhere, everyone has met a Swede, knows one, been drinking with one. What is missing in DC though is some Norwegians. Today was/is Norwegian National Day and I tried to find some fun Norwegian stuff to do in the city but it seems like DC is missing a lot of Norwegians. Shame because 17th of May is this crazy celebrations where everyone takes to the streets and sing, dance, walk and be Norwegian! Its v cool. Someone once described it as a mix between the Rio Carnival and a Wiemar Republic military march. I know DC, you are really missing out.

Oslo's main street on 17th of May 2007.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Finding my inner-self..

I have finals this week, and I am the worlds worst (and when I say worst I really mean it, its not like those words people use to really make a point, I mean worst as in I have never ever heard or met anyone else WORSE) time manager in history of the earth (and by history of the earth I mean since dinosaurs were living her and not the kind of earth that people think was created by God a couple of years ago). I have for about three months bopping around, doing my little things, living in little Stine world (and by that I mean getting drunk, playing soccer, going to the zoo, drinking coffee and lying in grassy places..this bracket thing is getting rather annoying, right?) without even considering opening a book until two nights ago, following that I have written over 50 pages of essays and final projects and well, stuff. I have borderline cried a couple of times, lost my soul, been so tense in my muscles my jaw is no longer functioning as it should, drank an unhealthy amount of crap ice coffee and seriously considered trying to score some Advil (or what ever that drug is called for kids with ADD is called but college kids take because they are stupid). But then, woho then, I listen to this relaxation/mediation tape my mum got me for Christmas that has a women talking really sleepy over the sounds of waves telling me to go to my inner place in nature where I will wait and then meet my inner self (this is my intuition by the way), then I sat down with said inner self and presented a problem to it, then we solved it and fused together as one and I was told I was being filled with love and wake up. So. I feel better now. Just 5 more pages to write today, and exam tomorrow afternoon. But I'll be fine, Im filled with inner love for myself, thank god. I recommend it deeply.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

More Shameless Family-Promotion (also Flängan)

Ok, so it was only a few posts ago that I introduced my cousin Rutte and his brilliantly working mind, but I now checked his flickr page randomly again because I am bored in the library reading about Turkish/EU identity and I came across even more brilliantness. Plus it is really cool because these photos comes from where we spent every single summer together growing up (and still do but more sporadically). Its an awesome place just a couple of hours north of Stockholm. It it my grandmother (on my mother's side) and her sisters that all grew up there, then the next generation moved into the houses and build new ones (they are our parents) and then they had kids (us - there are about 10 of us or something like that) and then we all spent our summers up there being really Swedish and running around a lot even though we all live in different places normally. One family even lives on Shelter Island here in the States. The place in Sweden is called Flängan - which doesnt really mean anything, although Flänga kind of is a verb that means to run around, back and forwards, casually (hm. something like that - I dictionaried it and I got the answer Flänga: #(no translation given)# - it is a very difficult Swedish word to translate but it is very representative of what we usually do in Flängan). When we grow up (the 10 of us or whatever) we are going to move in to the houses in the summer and play around like we did when we were small. We played a lot of football and ate loads of community meals where everyone of our parents brought something each. It is very idyllic. No concrete roads - and a little lake that we swim in, loads of woods and green grass fields for the football (these pictures are from winter so they are slightly gloomy - but that is the great thing about it - in the winter Flängan turns into this little, dark, gloomy, warm, moist, snowy thing - almost unrecognizable to what it is in the summer - contrast is good)

Rutte's mum, with milk and some flowers - she is the most stylish woman I have ever met.

God intended us to have sex. Stop preaching abstinence.

This is actually, no joke, our toilet. Its a little bit chilly in the winter - but thats what we swedes are built for. Similarities to Stalin's Soviet is completely accidental.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mission Accomplished, half-way anyways.

So I came to DC in August last year to go to class at the George Washington University and yesterday I had my last class so yay! - mission accomplished. Its a cliché but it went so bloody quickly. Of course there are a small mountain of stuff left to do, I have yet to see the White House (just driven by really really quickly), and, and lots of other touristy stuff. But I have been pretty good on doing other DC stuff - mainly getting drunk some of the finest (and some of the more questionable) establishment of this city - Madam's Organ, The Brickskeller, The Guards, Lucky Bar, Garrett's, the Saloun, 9:30 club - you know, all that stuff that matters. I also have actually managed to fulfill two lifelong (I say life long I mean post age 11) aspirations of my own - become a published journalist (Ok, its for the University news paper but still) and get a proper job (I know, I was a weird 11-year-old). It is actually much easier than it seems. Especially when you can write your columns about the finest (and some of the more questionable) establishments of this city and what to do in them. Then its just kind of fun. And the job thing has also worked out well - Ive been hired for the summer, which means I can stay in my beloved city (if the Visa Gods extend my J-1 visa thingy and my JS-21 or what-ever-the-hell-they-are-called-to-let-a decent-hard-working-Swedish-immigrant-stay-in-this-country-for-a-little-while). Summer here is going to be awesome (American word I am now started to overuse), I am very excited about it - not sure how to handle the heat but at least my building have a pool. Nice. Ok, at this point I now feel this post is just kind of rambling on about nothing and that is because I have a very important and big paper to write and it is therefore more fun to ramble. But enough and peace out. And all that jazz - I just wanted to share the mission accomplished bit because those words are always fun to use in a DC setting, right mr P? (but I think he was somewhere else when he said it....Oh right, paper...)