Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble." ~ Macbeth

I am sure that all of you have already celebrated since Halloween fell on Sunday this year :(  But if not, go out and be a ghoul tonight!!!

I have had a crazy weekend so far!  But the best part of the weekend is that it is leading up to Monday... Weird to say?  Yes, BUT on Monday SAM ARRIVES!!!! I can't wait to see him and show him everything here! 

Until then I will let you know what I have been doing:

Friday I went to school as normal.  I worked all day in the hot shop with this Norwegian guy that just started named Vegr or something like that.  His wife is currently in the second year Nordic Program and he is starting his first year.  He has been here about 2 weeks so far and they have been keeping him in the hot shop almost the entire time trying to catch him up to the other Nordic students.  He worked with a glory hole for the second or third time on Friday.  He is really good and you can see really enjoys the challenge.  He was an architect or engineer or something before this.  I taught him how to make a handle also on Friday.  It was a day of many firsts.  I made these big vases which were wider at the bottom then the top but in the same drop method.  Some looked more like pitchers (like for water or something) so those got handles.  Vegr called them water mugs most of the day.  He worked on making bowls and plates some.  He doesn't really know how to make a plate but we figured it can't be that different from a bowl so you just get it really hot and spin until it goes flat! 

In the afternoon, we had about an hour left of school, Vegr was exhausted and wanted to stop.  Bjorn had lost his partner at some point in the day so he was working with us.  I just assumed that Bjorn and I would continue to work together.  But the Bjorn walked over to Nick (who was cleaning up not even working) and wanted him to work with him.  Leaving me with no one to work with! I was horrified! I had invited Bjorn into my pair with Vegr, taking away turns that I could have used at the glory hole and then he DUMPS ME!?!??! Ass hole.  I ended up going to the factory to look at the bowls that I had made on Thursday so it was OK in the end.  Here are some pictures of those bowls:

 The brownish green ones have some yellow and black dots in them too.  Very hard to see the color, I didn't like it so much but Maja really did.

 And, here is one drop vase I made.  It was a nice size and I put a pour spout at the top. Maybe it could be a single person's wine decanter?  Haha who knows! I made some more, but I forgot to take pictures of those.

After school I went back to Kirsten and Anniina's and cleaned like mad! I washed their sheets (since Rosanne stayed one night we had used both their beds), vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom! I even put their sign on the door! I worked and worked and the place was spotless! 

Then I went for my riding lesson.  I got Poseidon, thank goodness since it was a dressage lesson.  I have realized that I need to get a horse terms dictionary for dressage.  Pia tells me to do something and I understand the movement she wants but when she asks me what it is called in English I have no idea! It is kind of silly, but I have never really been exposed to dressage terms that much.  I guess since I have tried to avoid it like the plague! 

I had a really good lesson and was not the most exhausted looking person at the end of it for once! It is weirdly warm here and the poor horses were very sweaty since they have so much winter hair! I think it took me 30 minutes to dry Poseidon off and then I still had to leave him with a cooler (fleecy blanket) on instead of his regular night time blanket.  I felt kind of bad for him.  I also forgot my carrots for him! I guess I forgot with all my cleaning... so I fished out some cough drops from my purse and thought maybe he would eat these.  No, he is no Justin, he didn't even take them in his mouth! I guess I got spoiled by having Justin who would eat ANYTHING I gave him and think it was a treat.  Oh well.

After riding I went back to Kirsten and Anniina's to eat some food (all my food was still in their fridge) and take one last shower in that amazing shower.  I ate, showered and was sitting on the couch watching sometime on TV and checking my email and fell asleep! I woke up around 4:30 AM and was like "shit! I don't want to walk all the way back to the student house!"  I stayed on the couch and slept like a baby until 10:30!

I got up and took all my stuff back to the student house.  My apartment there was OF COURSE a complete mess! The girls had even left dirty dishes in the sink! WHO DOES THAT?!??! If you are leaving for a week at least WASH YOUR DISHES YOU SLOB!  So, I cleaned this place to be spotless.  It was like deja-vu of the afternoon before.  I cleaned the kitchen (foul!), the bathrooms, the living room, vacuumed all the rugs (including my room) and threw out all the recycling that they had let pile up for the whole month I had been gone! How could no one take it?!?! I went and it took me less than 5 minutes to sort it and put it all away! Idiots.

Then I went to Nybro to go to systembolaget to get beer and wine for the party and when Sam arrives! Rosanne thought maybe she had left her ID there and asked me to check.  I didn't think anything of it but then realized that I can't say anything about her ID in Swedish... So, I had to ask in English.  This promptly made the entire place go silent and EVERYONE stare at me.  I mean, all three cashiers stopped beeping and everyone in the store got quiet and looked at me.  It was kind of weird!  They didn't even have her ID.  Sheesh.

Then grocery shopping, I got a ton of food but I realized not really anything to eat for dinner until Sam arrives.  Whoops.  I guess I will have to live off the mountain of lunch food I got.  I got some more lunch meat, and this time I have no idea what it is... it looks like salami and roast beef, but I don't know if it is roast beef... do they have that here?  I was too in a hurry to really investigate it at the store.  Oh well, lunch meat is lunch meat.

I picked up Kirsten at the train station! She had been traveling for over 24 hours from the north of Norway.  She said it was amazing and can't wait to go back! She said they have everything, ocean, mountains, walking, fishing, hiking, surfing (in the snow)! I hope she moves there so I can go visit! Haha.

She laughed really hard at the sign on her door that said "Welcome Home Ladies!" and then was amazed at how clean the whole place was! It is always nice when someone notices your hard work!  I realized that I had left my frozen stuff at her place... most importantly my Kanelbullar! I left a bag out of the freezer when I got home to have for when Sam arrives ;)

Saturday night was the Halloween party upstairs in the boy's apartment.  They were so disorganized they said the party was going to be Saturday and/or Sunday, and when I asked what time Jonatan said 6:30, Nils said 8, and Nick said "whenever you want to get here!"  Very helpful.  Rosanne and I got ready at her place and pre-partied a little.  The loud music had been on upstairs since 3 in the afternoon so I expected the youngsters had been drinking since about then.  There was no way we could show up stone cold sober!

We got there and there actually several people there! It was impressive that actually people showed up since no one had any idea what time or anything like that! Here are some pictures of the evening:

 I was dust, or a dark corner, or your worst nightmare, or the thing that hides under your bed... or something with cobwebs and Rosanne was a fairy!
 Nils was Facebook.
Jonatan just had a Hitler mustache... lame.
 Nick was an outdoorsy marathon man... 
 Marja (Finish version of Maria) wore a toga and found the devil stick and then she became a sex fairy.  She would tell you when you are going to have sex again... some people it was like 2 years! haha
 Here she is working her magic on Rosanne who looks disappointed with her results.
Fredrick in the back is dressed as a gynecologist which was most funny because he couldn't say the word.
 Jonatan stole the Dr's syringe and filled it with beer.  I was hoping he would stick it up his nose or something but no, just drank it super boring... oh well funny picture.
My cobwebs got kind of messed up sitting down...
 They started to go further and further down my legs as the night went on...
 Bosse had a painted on mustache and then store the broken devil stick... 
 I like this picture except Nils messed it up! My eyes are the same color as my lips! haha
 Here we realized we were together.. FAIRY DUST! which prompted Rosanne to keep hitting me with her wand... not so fun it turns out, I have bruises I found today!
 Melissa was the devil.  And the real owner of the devil stick.  She mostly walked around told people either they were a naughty bitch or she was... She is Finish, what can I say? haha
 Bosse the French Man
 Now, we have a French gynecologist... would it be better if your gyno had a hot french accent or worse?
 And, here is Thomas who really came dressed as a Frenchman with the beret and bottle.  He even did the weird French laugh all night.
 I don't know how this started but it lasted for a really long time and got more and more absurd.  The innocent toga girl and the devil together?!?!
 Good and Evil...
 Right after I took this picture Rosanne nailed me in the head with a roll of toilet paper... really hard!
 I retaliated... which started a tp war!
 OK, it doesn't look much like a war but it was!
 And then, we ran out of toilet paper...
Rosanne won, and she is gloating...
 I ended up dancing around with toilet paper stuck to my ass for a while... embarrassing!
 I have no idea what we were doing here... but it is a hilarious picture I think!
 The spider webs just kept tangling around my feet more and more!
 More absurd dancing... 
And here is Rosanne at the end of the night.  She didn't want to walk back to her apartment so she slept on the couch and Thomas thought it was important to put the two couches together, even though they aren't the same size... But she looked cozy... and drunk.  Haha good times :)

And, now I am sitting in my kitchen.. the ceiling is vibrating due to the loud bass music upstairs and I want to die.  Well not really die but my head my explode in the near future.  I think I am going back to bed.  I am super confused also because the time changed here.  We went back on hour.  But this doesn't happen in the states until next Sunday... now I am 5 hours ahead of East Coast Time.  Weird.  I am supposed to take to Sam at 10AM his time... he has to get up and get ready for his trip HERE! But, I have to think way too hard about the time difference now! Uhg....

Oh, and this morning Kirsten called me (she didn't go to the party, too tired) and was like "Can you do me a huge favor?!?!" and I was like "yessss?" but very suspicious... I am hungover and she is asking for a favor?!?!   Her car didn't have any electricity in it since it has been sitting still for a month.  Whoops.  So I had to drive over my (well Eva's) car for her to jump start the motor.  First I pull up the wrong side and the cables won't reach.  Then I have to move it the other side... they still won't reach because my battery is on the far side of the engine or something.  Her car is parked with the nose pulled up to this barrier so I can't park right in front of it.  I have to back up and pull up again as close to the car as possible.  At this point my poor head is throbbing and I just want to get back in bed.  I haven't showered, I put on jeans and a sweater over my costume from the night before and I realized I put on my sweater BACKWARDS! We finally got her car started and she is now at the gym... working out... I am tired just thinking of it.  But the good news is that she invited me to dinner tonight for tacos! I pick up Anniina and Kirsten feeds us!!!! Hooray! I will get their spare bed then for Sam to use while he is here! I have to cram it into my tiny little room somehow! I can't wait!!!!!!

Now, back to bed!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." ~ Alice In Wonderland

My entire body aches right now.  It is amazing how exhausting it is here! I am currently sitting on the couch recovering by watching Discovery's Life (in Swedish) and drinking a Carlsburg... :)

In the morning I worked in the school's hot shop with Malin.  We worked on making bowls with curly feet again.  I cheated a little bit by making 4 feet instead of 3 because those are SO hard to space 3 evenly.  Malin wanted to make whiskey glasses with 2 handles as a spin off on kid's sippy cups! Her sister just had a baby so she is making cute baby things all the time.  We also made some of the long skinny vases with colors and tried to make them bigger.  At that point Bjorn came by and wanted to see how they were made.  We explained how simple they are in theory (blow a bubble and keep it really hot then let it drop towards the ground) but how difficult they really are.  He made one small one with great success and gave us that look like "yeah, this is difficult... psh!"  Bjorn often learns things very quickly and I think it has given him lots of confidence.  His next turn he tried to make a bigger one and it fell INSTANTLY on the floor! Ha! I was like "Seeeeeee! It is tricky!"  He and I made a few absurdly big ones that I have a feeling might crack or be too thin in the end.  Oh well, it was fun.

In the afternoon I went back to the hot shop in the factory with Maja.  She did not have a good day and I don't think she made a single bowl... She kept getting mad and throwing it out before I could even bring her a foot or anything.  She wouldn't just toss it in the trash she would SLAM it into the trash and bang around a whole lot.  It was a mess.  So, after a while Micke came over and calmed her but she said she wasn't going to make any more just assist me.  During the break Bosse  came up to me and was like "Are you two getting along?  Is everything OK?" I tried to explain that its not so much that we aren't getting along more that she isn't getting along with the glass and is freaking out.  He suggested that I talk to a teacher about getting a new partner, I explained that I already had and we only work together when I don't have anyone else to work with because the first year Nordic students are in the cold shop.  Then, very sweetly, the older, very tall and skinny, Danish guy Anders (though it is pronounced weirdly... Anash or something) said he would be happy to work with me one day, or any of them, their class is a big mix of skill levels and etc.  It was very nice.  I guess maybe Maja and I's very loud discussion did not go as unnoticed yesterday as I thought, or her tamptrums today.  That is very sweet of them, but I feel kind of embarrassed that it has gotten so obvious and awkward.  Thank goodness for Micke today calming her down so much today!  Here are the bowls I made yesterday... I made more but they broke in the annealer.. These two made it!
 Orange and purple bowls!
 Super thick!
Curly pig feet!

After school I took a nap and did a HUGE mountain of laundry! Then I got to go riding today! I got the stables and my name wasn't on the list :( I asked Pia and she said "Lady!" Sooooo, off I go and try to tack up Lady.  She was in a HORRIBLE mood today, she tried to bite me and stomped her foot at me! She quickly got her halter put on and tied up tight in the stall! 

 Look at her... such a Lady... aka a complete bitch today.

I put the saddle on and the girth barely reached her other side! I went snooping for another girth and found some but they are all really small and Lady is a big girl.  I got to the lesson a few minutes late and Pia laughed when she saw that the girth was on the first hole on one side and the second hole on the other side.  I got on and she said that now I have to make sure to always have more contact and more leg.  I have to use so much leg that she wants to canter or gallop and then hold her back in the trot or small canter.  I have to do this as soon as I get on the horse and I have to start holding my hand closer to my body.  I have always moved my hands up the neck when I shorten my reigns and have strong contact.  Now I have to have my hands on the withers (right in front of the saddle) at all times! I guess I have graduated to big girl riding... but damn is it hard!  Then when we went to jump Pia made me put my stirrups up even shorter.  She said it would make me sit up more and use my hands more.  My stirrups were so short it felt like I couldn't even squeeze with my leg much less stay on! After I rode my first course she laughed and said she had never seen someone put their heels down so far trying to lengthen their leg on the horse.  Today we jumped a jumper course and the jumps weren't very high (2'6"-2'9", less than a meter) but they were REALLY wide! The oxers were about 2 feet wide I guess, it was very strange and made me nervous at first but it was fun to jump.  We didn't have to take the jumps down for once and I got to take a picture of my course for you guys!
The course was: 
1. Left lead over the oxer in the middle where the man is standing
Turn right
2. Purple bending line coming home in 6 strides (Lady did it in 5 a few times) the first jump is behind the horse to the jump on the left of the ring. 
3.  The combination in one stride going away, starts with the X jump to the yellow and striped oxer.
4.  Right lead over the line on the far right in 6 strides.  The end oxer was super wide!
5.  Go right in front of the camera, turn right and jump the orange and teal jump going to the right
turn left on landing
6. Jump the first jump again where the man is standing in the middle.

The guy riding in the picture changed the jumps some but some of them are the same size and width as when I did it!  That horse in the picture was BEAUTIFUL and amazing! As was the guy... I think it was a professional trying a new horse but I am not sure.

When I got home I went and messed around on Facebook some, I took one of those silly quiz's "What Fairy Tale Do You Belong In?"  This is what I got:


This classic tale was written by Lewis Carrol, and the story has been well-loved for over one hundred years. The main character, Alice, was modeled off a young girl he secretly loved and dedicated the book to. Filled with symbolism, parodies, riddles, and sometimes utter nonsense, Carrol even invented quite a few words in his work. While Carrol loved little girls, he despised little boys (an allusion to the baby boy that turns into a pig, in his book). The things that suit you are madness and strangeness.

Pretty funny I thought since Alice inspired this title of this blog.  Sweden Through The Glass instead of Through The Looking Glass.  It isn't a close link... but it did inspire the blog.  Who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland?  Now, off to bed, school starts super early tomorrow and I have another riding lesson!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details." ~ Roald Dahl

Nothing too exciting to report today... sorry : /

I worked in the factory all day with Maja.  In the morning we worked on making bowls with 3 feet like before but with color this time! We made them bigger and thicker by doing a different sort of gathering technique which was very tricky but fun once it started working.  I had a pretty spectacular save on one attempt.  It made the cooler look really weird and hopefully it will be as awesome when it is cool and the inside won't be messed up by the bubble twisting inside.  We also practiced making some animals.  Micke says that it is good to play with the glass while you have free time and make these little animals, teaches you to read the glass and use the different tools.  We tried to make cats, mice, swans, snails and something else... no, maybe that was it.  I made a few keep-able cats.  I had made one a few days ago but forgot to give it a tail! 
Here it is:

We continued to work in the afternoon and even had a sort of heated discussion at one point.  She was having a hard time and kept making a point at the bottom of the bubble/bowl.  She was getting really frustrated and I asked if she wanted me to go get Micke so he could help her.  It ended up something along the lines of me saying I didn't mean to offend her and saying that she can't take her frustrations out on me I was only trying to help.  She said she was sorry and then we moved on.  It was kind of loud and with raised voices.  Luckily, it is so loud in the factory that I don't think any one noticed the very loud conversation or awkwardness.  

After school I have sat around and planned my next few days! Lots to do before Sam arrives on MONDAY! First, I have to clean this apartment I have been staying in, 2. clean the apartment in the student house, 3, go to the grocery, 4. go to systembolaget (liqueur store where they sell stronger beer and wines) 5. do a MOUNTAIN of laundry, 6. ride twice, 7. pick up Kirsten and Anniina at two separate times, 8. paint my nails and etc... See? Lots to do! It won't take that long but it is a lot to remember.  I might make a list...  OH! I got a head start on making this place presentable again... I made this sign to put on the door for them when they get home! 

Now it is time for an early night! This week has been exhausting at school for some reason... Better rest up before Friday since it starts so early!  Good Night! Sov Gott!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted -- stay up all night or eat ice-cream straight out of the container.” ~ Bill Bryson


That is INSANE!! I love stuff like that! I can't help it but I want to try all those things, I doesn't matter that I can't ski or that I can't hardly skateboard... I want to fly through the air and defy the limits of gravity and then land with incredible balance and grace... I might also be lacking those two things too.  So, first I need to learn to ski, skateboard, do back flips and dive... then acquire balance and grace... I'm on it! (I also really liked that song!)

Now, this is what I did today instead:
I worked again the morning on making the bowls with the 3 curly feet in a group of 4.  It was good though because we were working much faster and we all got to get more turns and all did better today then yesterday.  Here are the ones I made yesterday so you can see what I mean by curly pig feet.
 I will cut off the top part to make it more bowl shaped and less egg shaped.

In the afternoon we got an introduction to fusing and slumping and using enamels.  I had already gotten a little of this but it was nice to hear again and to hear everyone's ideas and inspirations.  Oh! I got my fish tile today!

I am pleased with it! Now I just have to figure out what to do with it...

Then I found some great colored pieces that had been thrown in the recycling and smashed them with a hammer to make a cool fused mosaic thing of more fish.  I don't know why I am on a fish kick but I think I have a good idea.  After I smashed them to smithereens with a hammer I realized that the color is only on one side of the piece and TONS of clear on the other size.  Not so good.  I finally realized if I was careful I could cut off the clear with a SAW! Yes, I got to use the glass saw! I was totally sure I was going to cut off a finger or toe or something even more crucial but it turns out it doesn't cut skin.  Well, it does after my skin has turned to mush from all the water but not badly.  I cut off a finger nail or two but that was the worst I did.  Here is my afternoon best friend: 

I went to evening class today to finish the endless cups! I polished 'em up and signed them bottoms.  I am pleased with them and feel kind of like I have made real useful things that people could have in their home and not just sit in the corner somewhere gathering dust but looking pretty.  

 9 whiskey glasses, 6 water glasses, 7 aperitif glasses
A sea of glass...

Then... after all that I went to Kalmar with Rosanne to finally get her a freezer.  The car I am borrowing was the only one big enough for it to fit in.  We stopped at McD's on the way, I only ordered a Sprite but got to try some fries in bearnaise sauce... verrrry nice! Then we got the freezer, easily slipped it into the car with the help of the guy selling it.  By the time we got home we were confident in ourselves and thought that we could carry it into the house ourselves...  if not all the way upstairs at least into the building... it was so light when we put it in the car.  Well, it was about -3C (26F) when we got back to Orrefors and we were freezing and tired... we got it out of the car and onto the pavement right behind the car... but then it occurred to us that we couldn't pick it up to carry it anywhere.  Why?  Several reasons: 1. it was heavy and we couldn't stop laughing, 2.  My arms were too short to reach all the way around the freezer, and 3.  The ground was getting icy.  So, we called Bosse (Bart Simpson guy) and went to pick him up to help us.  The problem was that the freezer was right behind the car... We couldn't move the car... We finally managed to move the freezer a few feet to the side and hopped in the car to get Bosse.  He easily picked up one side and carried the heavy end up 3 flights of stairs! Sometimes you just need a big guy to help carry things.  Especially when (for the first time in my life) your arms are too short!!!!  

Now, time for bed after a long day of glass and freezers... irony.... glass in Swedish is ice cream! Where do you keep your glass (ice cream) in?  THE FREEZER! hahahahaha!!

I need some sleep.