Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure." ~ Irving Wallace

It's nearly my BIRTHDAY! So, I will share with you my birthday presents thus far (they are grrrreat):
 From Jennifer (older sister) I got last week some more Toe Warmers, a card and these awesome earrings:
 Hahaha I love them! I wore them to my party on Saturday!  Speaking of party, here are those presents which I didn't already eat:
So, then there were also brownies and a giant gummy bear from Rosanne, cookies from Annina, cookie things from Bjorna and Jonatan, and some Nutella from Fredrick!

 And, yesterday I received a package from Valerie, one of my best friends who lives in Colorado:
 Martini card, THIN MINTS and a hilarious tee-shirt!  The pink card is from Sam's mom which arrived on the same day.  It was super sweet of her to send a card all the way here for me!  
 Yes, that is a mustache next to the neck of the shirt...
It has directions in the back!
"Pull shirt collar over mouth during all mischief, capers, funny business. shenanigans, tomfoolery and waggery."
I can't wait to wear it!!! 

Also, as a gift to myself (which has slowly become a tradition) I am going to Lynchburg to see Sam for a few days! Surprised?!?! I think he was too!  
I leave this afternoon to take the train to Copenhagen where I will spend the night with Martin at his friend's who has an extra room.  We don't know what we will do yet, maybe go out, maybe take it easy... depends on what we are in the mood for.  

Tomorrow at 12:20 I will board my plane to the US of A!!! I will land in Washington DC around 4:15 then zip down to Lynchburg hopefully in time for dinner on my actual birthday with my boyfriend!!! How great is that?!?! I am so excited I can't stand it and I had originally planned to try to surprise Sam but because I couldn't help but hint around at an "upcoming surprise" and he is very clever he now knows.  But, I think that the looking forward to something, the anticipation of a great thing is half the fun!

I am rockin' and rollin' with just my purse and camping bag full of glass and clothes so hopefully everything will go smoothly!  On the way back on Monday I will spend a few hours in New York City with my two very good friends there, Jenny and Brooke!  I feel very metropolitan being in all these cities and jetting from here to there... I should get something that makes me look as cool as I feel... like a super long cigarette holder like in Breakfast at Tiffany's!! Haha, except I don't smoke... details, details.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

“Long is the road from conception to completion.” ~ Moliere

I would like to announce that today is my last day of THE SHRED!!!  I am now "shredded" and I am so happy it is over.  I am never going to sign up for something like this again!  I have to admit I am stronger and fitter... I couldn't do the things in the last level at the beginning! Annoyingly enough I have lost my measuring tape so I can't see if my body has changed.  Maybe I can find one tomorrow at school?  I don't think I have lost any weight, but I didn't follow the food/diet plan... that would have been way too hard! I can't believe I have finished it!!!  I am not going to lie, I didn't do everyday with full effort, some days were just too hard and I was too lazy... but its DONE!!

In glass news here are the bowls I made on Friday:
I couldn't find a match book so I used a lighter... does that work the same?  
 Either way, its pretty big... would be good for a gold fish I think!
 This guy is a bit smaller but very nice and almost half circle!
This is the first one again.  It is the one where I made the foot just using the paper! It turned out well I think for my first attempt! I like it, would be good for candy I think!  A godis bowl!  It felt so cool to literally squeeze the glass between my fingers to make the foot!!

Now, I am off to try to get some sleep.  Still having a hard time sleeping... not sure what that is about.  I've started taking this Valerina herbal pills... supposed to be good for sleeping and anxiety... but sometimes take a while to start really working.  They aren't working yet and I've used them twice... so we will see!

Next day additional info:
I found a measuring tape at school and quickly measured myself to see what changes The Shred brought about.  Now please keep in mind I am not sure I measured exactly right, or in the same exact spot... but here are my very unscientific results:

Right upper arm: +1.5 cm
Left upper arm: + 0.5cm
Right thigh: -1
Left thigh: +1
Upper waist (bottom of ribs sort of): -4cm
Belly button: -13
Hips: + 2

Talk about confusing!! Ok, so keep in mind I measured myself this morning, a completely different time from the first measurement, also using a tape that was only 48cm long.  AND 1 cm is only 0.39 inches!  I am not sure what I think of the results... why are my hips bigger and one arm only grew half a cm?!  Anyway, take from it what you will.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Damn, the girl thick, but she ain't no 26" ~ Birthday Girl by The Roots

Yesterday evening I had an AMAZING birthday party!! One of the best so far, I would say!  Rosanne had helped me plan and invite people so I thought it would be good, but it exceeded my expectations.

First, Rosanne came over, helped me set up (put some candles out and chips, make ice) then we got ready together.  It was very girly and nice, chatting about nothing while doing our make up and hair.  She also has great hair things, like a straightener and this powder that makes your hair keep its volume.  Nifty stuff!  About half way through the getting ready we went to the Orrefors Pizza place and split this bad boy:
 Meet the Alcopocu! It has mushrooms, sausage, onions, jalapeƱos, taco sauce (spicy sauce) dribbled on top and then some sour cream stuff.  It was like seasoned sour cream to help cool it down from the jalapeƱos and spicy sauce.  It was REALLY good but some of the peppers were really hot and made our noses run!  We went back, made some pre-party drinks in the kitchen:
 And they were HORRIBLE! Maybe some of the worst stuff I have drank that wasn't just plain alcohol!  I was trying to make Kamikazes which are vodka, triple sec and lime... they were disgusting! Thank goodness I had also bought a bunch of cranberry juice so that helped saved the drinks!  Rosanne got this really horrible rum which was maybe the cheapest thing at the store and tried to mix it with tonic = bad, orangina = really bad and then coke cola = still strangely gross!  I am not sure how she managed to drink it in the end... I think she just switched to my vodka.  

Then it was back to getting ready... I straightened my hair... it looked super boring so she took over.  Next thing I know she is also redoing ALL my makeup! I had this painful and huge pimple on the top of nose (of course) which she worked some sort of magic to get rid of!  At one point she goes "I am making you a new nose... and it won't have any freckles!" and I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best.  It turned out really good and I felt super cute all night :)  Here is me, Saara (Finnish roommate) and Rosanne all dressed for the party!  
 Seeing as how this party was in Sweden everyone was very punctual!  It is a good thing, then there is no awkward sitting around waiting for the party to get started... it starts right away!  I was very surprised and excited because I got presents! First I got a bar of Finnish chocolate from Saara called Karl Fazer, supposed to be reallllly good.  I got a cool candle holder from Ida and Sophie (the two new girls) which we instantly lit up and set out.  Then I got two ear warmers from Annina and Kirsten and some cookies! Annina makes the ear warmers and I have always been jealous of Kirsten's so it was perfect (one white and one green).  I put them on right away, instantly destroying Rosanne's hair masterpiece... luckily she put so many products on my head I think it bounced back.  Here I am in one and with a present I got from Fredrick:
 Some of you may recognize the picture of me on the present full out laughing from Facebook.  He got me some Nutella because he saw that on Facebook one time I wrote "I <3 Nutella!" haha.  Also, Bosse gave me some glass colors!  Very beautifully wrapped in tinfoil... they are white, black and some brownish red!
 Next I got some sort of cookies from Bjorn and Jonatan.  They said they had these dreams of a big strawberry cake with layers of cream and stuff, they couldn't find any strawberries and then the decided to make meringues, but neither of them bakes... they barely cook normal food.  So, they turned out like this: 
 Super sweet, sticky and brown... but good! After this I lost Rosanne and was about to go look for her when I walked out of the kitchen straight into her coming into the apartment with a cake and EVERYONE singing happy birthday to me in Swedish! I was so surprised I almost hugged her while she was still holding it with lit candles! I thought they were done with the song and started to clap and all of a sudden they all go "HURRAH HURRAH HURRAH" super loudly and I was so startled I think I just stood there gawking like an idiot! The cake it turned out was a giant blue gummy bear!  She also baked some chocolate cup cake things, it was her first time baking!
 It took forever to cut the damn gummy bear but I finally got an ear off dramatically went for the first bite:
 It turned out to be super hard and chewy... big surprise!
 We all dug in, sawed away at the bear, ate chocolate hockey pucks, I mean cup cakes that Rosanne made.  Some of them were super hard, but they all got eaten they were that good!  Then back to the drinking and dancing!  Here is Kresten who made a blue drink... a little vodka and a chunk of bear... mmmmm.  It was kind of gross, the bear didn't dissolve at all!  I don't think there is anything natural about that blue bear!
Kresten also had downloaded the song "Birthday Girl" by The Roots which he played and then twirled me all over the place.  It was a long song so we were both a little dizzy and tired by the end but it was really cute.  Then today I looked up the song and it is really dirty! It is all about turning 18 and now the guy can finally hook up with the birthday girl legally! Kind of creepy...

 At one point Jonatan decided we need to do a party shot... so he and Rosanne dolled out the bad rum and vodka:
 Then Annina gave a toast which was something along the lines of "Like So-and-so (I forget who) said 'girl, I didn't come here to make toast'!" haha whatever that means.
 I think that was the point in the night where most people started really feeling the alcohol and maybe a few got sick who got the gross rum as a shot!  This was a big highlight of the night also:
 Nils wore his hair like that almost the whole night!
 Then more dancing... we danced to ever type of music I think!
 Then people started to go home... first Annina and then Rosanne and some others and only the real party people remained! Haha, I think it was around 1 AM at this point.
 And I was sad to see my friends leave I guess.... who knows...
 And then the bear lost its head... 
 And then these two lost their heads!  Bjorn is on my bed and Kresten is on a floor, both drunk and melting!
 Thank goodness they didn't stay there or I would have been on the couch! Kresten slept on a couch for a little while, then bolted up and stumbled to his room like a zombie!  Bjorn went upstairs with Jonatan who was probably the most sober out of everyone (well except Saara who hardly drinks) which was the opposite of normal.  I slept soundly until 12 the next day only to be woken by these boys who came to help me clean!
 This picture perfectly captures how we all felt!
 Here is Kresten, Jonatan and Bjorn who were all super sweet, helped me clear away all the cans and bottles and even scrubbed my sticky tables!  Then we saw the Nutella from the night before and decided to make pancakes.  I brought the nutella and jam,  Jonatan went for the milk at the store, Bjorn provided the stove, flour and eggs and Kresten brought a melon and the butter.  It was a team effort.  Luckily once it got started I just sat and waited for pancakes to appear while Jonatan and Bjorn ran the kitchen.
 Even the cheese puffs were hungover...
 I guess Jonatan was super proud of this one... he took the picture... I don't know why really.
 Then we debated the pressure points that help release a headache.  Kresten said under the eyebrows where his pinkies are.
 Bjorn said you should rub your temples...
 I accidentally poked myself in the eye... and Saara laughed at me... some friend ;)
And here is a breakfast of champions!  Swedish style pancakes (thinner, sweeter and different from American) with raspberry jam and nutella, orange soda and melon!  It was glorious!  Then I went home and crawled back in bed for a few hours.

After a while I got up, mopped the apartment, everything was super sticky and smelled weird.  Then Rosanne came over for dinner (left over spaghetti with meat sauce I had) and we ate all my birthday cookies I had left. All in all, I would say the weekend was a success!  There are a million more pictures and I will put some of them up on facebook after a while if you are interested.  Soon I really will be 26! 

Here is that Birthday Girl song:
Pretty absurd.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin' world go round!" ~ Queen

Even though it is more then half way through March and this weekend is the first day of Spring... this is what I woke up to this morning:
 By the end of the morning it was approximately 5 inches of fluffy white SNOW! YUCK!  I really thought that maybe we were done with it... the birds have been singing, the horses shedding, the snow melting... BUT NO! Mother Nature just wanted to remind me that the calendar means nothing and she is Queen! OK, I will stop bitching and moaning now... for a while at least.

I went to the hot shop in the factory today and worked on more of these:
 Half circle bowls with feet.  I just wrote "feet with bowls" haha!  I did make one really big one and also another one with a fat stem and a foot on it! I made the foot using the paper, literally I just squeezed it round! It was amazing and felt really cool! I can't wait to show Pappa that trick!

After school I went to the barn to ride! It was a jumping week so I was looking forward to this lesson with Lady.  I don't think the snow improved her mood... here she is even AFTER I gave her some apple:
We did this sort of figure 8 course over just 4 jumps which was interesting.  Pia wasn't there today so we had this younger girl give us a lesson, I think her name is Erica.  She kept the jumps very low at first which made Lady hardly work at all.  I had to convince her to pick up all 4 legs to go over the jump, she kept knocking down poles.  After a while she asked if anyone wanted the jumps higher and I said I did, I was the only one! She put them up to around 2'9" for me to do the course again and Lady was perfect and finally a little more awake!  At the very end she put up one jump (an oxer) to nearly 3'6" and told me to do a bending line to it!  After some arguing with Lady to convince her to really canter... not just plod along we galloped up to it and were perfect! I didn't realize when she put it up that she took the ground rail (pole on the ground usually just in front of the jump) up to make the fence higher so when were coming up to it at first I didn't see a distance at all but it just felt right so we kept going... and it worked out! It was a neat feeling, not able to see exactly how far away we were but having the feeling, confidently, of it's going to work out anyway.  Here is a picture of Lady and I at the end of the lesson in the mirror... I don't know why we stopped right in front of the string that hangs in the middle of the mirror... that was kind of dumb!
Maybe now you can picture us better galloping around in our lessons.  She is a big girl... everything about her is big: feet, bum, head, attitude, stride... but that makes it lots of fun!  Sometimes I sing this song to her when we are going around the course:

Now I am off to bed, tomorrow I am having an Early Birthday Party at my place!  I better get my beauty sleep ;)  What if someone shows up wearing leather pants and suspenders tomorrow?!?! hahahaha that would be amazingggg!  I will take a picture if it happens, but it is doubtful :(

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Why should you never iron a 4 leaf clover? Because you don't want to press your luck!" ~ Unknown

Well, today for the first time in my life I was the only person wearing green on St. Patty's Day! It was weird!  I don't know what is wrong with Sweden... they are missing out on a great holiday!  I spent the morning in the hot shop with Rosanne making more half circle bowls with feet.  It was pretty frustrating... apparently this is a SUPER hard shape to make... which doesn't make me feel much better, but maybe a little more inspired to try harder.  Haha, I am trying hard, but I am frustrated.  Here are the ones from yesterday:

 "four little bowls sat on a table contemplating leprechauns...
 "two said they exist and proved it using the rainbow and bucket of gold theory...
 "two said they didn't exist and used the Loch Ness Monster theory...
 "Then they started telling 'your Mamma' jokes and they forgot about leprechauns!"
The End! 
(hope you enjoyed my St. Patrick's Day story!)

In the afternoon I went to the cold shop to work on some deep cutting.  I was tired and thought I would have a long day with riding after school so I figured cold work would be good.  I am trying to do this criss-cross pattern on some of my cylinders, it is very tricky but I am slowly getting it!  I will have pictures soon I am sure :)

After school I got ready to go to the stables, I was going to take the bus and then get a ride home with Martin.  I was a little nervous because I had to walk a ways after the lesson to get to Martin and would arrive about an hour early for the lesson on the bus.  I walked to the bus station about 5-10 minutes before it was supposed to come by at 17:50 (5:50PM) and waited and waited and waited.  I had heard that this bus isn't always so reliable, often not on time and sometimes doesn't seem to come at all.  But what kind of bus doesn't come at all?!?! Well, either I missed this one or it didn't come... stupid effing bus! I got stood there until 10 past in the snow (yes, snow in MARCH!) and then finally went home.  On the way I decided since I had already eaten and decided I was going to go riding I would call the taxi but OF COURSE they couldn't get me until it was too late! Stupid effing taxi!  So, I went home.  

After I sat at home for a few minutes being disappointed and frustrated I walked to Tempo to get some muffin tins to make some of those Nutella Brownie/cupcakes!  I decided it was St. Patrick's Day... I was going to drink a beer and make something delicious to eat!
For this St. Patrick's Day rendition of Nutella Brownie Delights you will need the following items:
 Beer in a green can, flour, NUTELLA, cinnamon, an egg and some muffin tins... this is in no particular order.
 Mix everything together except the beer, you drink that while mixing.  Put them in tins, put the tins in the oven... hopefully an oven much cleaner then mine! yuck.
 Drink your beer for about 10 minutes, take out delightful chocolaty goodness and let cool...
Just cool enough to eat of course! Enjoy with your beer from a green can! You could even dye your beer if you are feeling super ambitious... but I didn't, it was in a can... I had thought that these might need frosting but I don't think so, they are very good and the little bit of cinnamon gives them a sort of wholesome taste! 

Now I am off to bed so I can get up super early tomorrow and not have to bolt directly from bed to the factory with only a multivitamin in my stomach! That wasn't too pleasant today haha!  I think I will bring the rest of the Nutella delights to school and share, I made about 20 and only ate 1! Also, tomorrow is day 26 of The Shred... ALMOST DONE!!!!