January 29, 2010

I’m off to Estonia this weekend.  Get away from this stressful Uppsala lifestyle, you know?  Anyway, a yarn will be spun upon my return.  That’s it.  No content for you today.  Because I’ve been busy doing school things the last few days.  Exciiiting.


Really, California?

January 26, 2010

It would seem that Merriam-Webster’s 10th Edition Dictionary joins the list of banned books.  Words are SCARY, in’t they?  Read about it here.  Good luck with that United States, glad to be a world away.  Speaking of the European front, who’s been up to date on the Irish blaspheme laws?  Here’s a nice blog about it.  And that’s my chunk of Western World News for the day.

On the personal front, not too much interesting happening.  I am, however, standing an anthropological observation project at the Cafe Carolina in the university’s library for my ethnology course.  For those of you wondering, the difference between anthropology and ethnology is whether or not you are studying culture from the outside or inside, respectively.  As it is a more student centric part of Uppsala, perhaps it is still in part ethnology, as there is definitely a difference between student/youth culture and national culture.  There also seem to be a great deal of academics from abroad wandering through the Cafe Carolina, so perhaps this, too, ties me to it in a more ethnological sense.  Furthermore, as the observations come from my own personal experience, not drawn upon texts and works of others (yet, although published text will eventually factor in to the final project), I could even say this is part autoethnography.  Here I am writing about the start of this project, bringing the focus directly to me.  This is my project and my observations, giving it a very first person, less ‘culturally broad’ approach.  Of course, then I’ll have to get political.  Hmm… here’s a game: see how much people enjoy talking politics while getting fika.  And whether they speak in Swedish or another language.  All kinds of fun questions I can ask myself during this project.  Another fun part: the interviews.  I have a legitimate reason to hang out in a coffee shop and sit down with random strangers to ask them questions.  How exciting.  That’s all for today.

Listening to: An Eluardian Instance, Of Montreal

Sweden fail.

January 23, 2010

With such a large English speaking population, you would think this could be avoided:

In other news, I seem to have Facebook again again.  Turns out Swedes don’t use phones.  Just Facebook.

Listening to: Empty Spaces, Pink Floyd

I’m a terrible American.

January 22, 2010

I’ve been accused of being a terrible American.  Apparently, I don’t watch enough television.  I found this out when talking to a pair of Irish and a pair of Swedes at last night’s pub quiz at Kalmar.  It also seems that I don’t know enough about football and too much (which is actually very little) about soccer.  I was also shamed into admitting that I have not taken part in a toga party.  Nor, really, any frat parties.  Well, I’m not too ashamed about the frat part, but I’d always kind of assumed that toga parties were synonymous with college.  On that front, I do feel quite deprived.  Let it be known right now, friends back home, that when I return I fully expect a toga party to be thrown in my honor.  And by the by, I think that bit of egotism puts me back in the American running, yeah?

Fun fact: I was at the university library’s cafe the other day (the Cafe Carolina), and was quite stunned to discover lätt öl on the menu.  For those of you unfamiliar, lätt öl means “light beer,” and is the kind of beer one might find at a grocery store (meaning, it has 3.5 or less % alcohol content, rather than the heavier stuff that one can only find at the Systembolaget [the government’s liquor store monopoly]).  If I might reiterate, although it’s light beer, it’s still beer.  At the library.

Listening to: Tes Lacets Sont Des Fées, Dionysos

Let them eat paste!

January 17, 2010

After a running an errand or two today (getting class info, finding buildings, etc etc), I built up quite the hunger.  Good thing the Swedes keep their stores packed with kaviar… in an easy-2-squeeze tube!

Now that is a classy dinner.  In other news: I got Skype, so look me up.  Keep in mind, though, Sweden is located 7 hours in the future from those of you in the States.  I’m also not operating on legitimately accessed internet, so… give me a couple of days to get that situated.

Listening to: Ampersand, Amanda Palmer (in honor of her wedding to one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman)

Välkommen till Sverige!

January 16, 2010

I have arrived.  The past few days have gone a little something like this: get off plane, “wow I’m in Sweden,” drag baggage to bus, “wow I’m in Uppsala,” drag baggage to Akademihotelet, “wow I’m in Uppsala too early to move in,” drag baggage to hostel, wish I’d packed lighter, stay in hostel, drag baggage to Akademihotelet, take bus (or two) to Flogsta, wish I’d packed lighter, move in (yay!), have no internet (boo!), drag myself back to Akademihotelet, use their internet, wander around town, then finally make my way to a little reception for internationals like myself at Västgöta.  After so much wandering, it seems self evident that I should need a bicycle, so I ask.  “Well, you could either see if anyone in your building has posted something about selling one, or you could get it the Uppsala way.”  “?,” I respond.  “Steal one.  That’s how I got my bike.  Otherwise they sell for about 800:-”  And that’s the official word.  Couldn’t get any advice about classes, and precious little about the orientation week, but I have immediately been told to steal a bike.  Oh, and was told where to find the nearest Systembolaget.  Anyhow, I went to a little market today and bought a small ration of tomatoes, bread, salami, and apples which will serve as my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next few days until I’m forced to spend more precious kronor.  Hopefully I’ll be opening a bank account soon, probably tomorrow.  If banks are open on Sundays.  Seems like I can’t do anything until Monday.  Like get internet (oh, yeah, I’m stealing mine  right now — thanks Sberla!).  Time to munch on some apples and wander off to a meet and greet.  La la la.

Oh, and here’s my room:

There’s also a floor kitchen just a bit down the hall, maybe photos of that later… not tonight, though.  Like I said, tonight’s meet and greet.  Grumble grumble.

Post-facto Addition Edition.

January 13, 2010

Here’s the back cover to that glorious VHS I grabbed the other day…

In the upper left-hand corner we see what appears to be a furry/pedophile/cannibal/tasty-treat crossover.

And it’s true, I’ve never had as much fun birdwatching as I did watching this video.  Except for back when I was a kid and actually went birdwatching, which gave me a sense of adventure instead of alcoholism and child abuse.  Thanks San Diego!

Listening to: Candy Floss, Simdiese6 (I want to buy this music so badly.  For now, however, I have to settle for listening to it on myspace: