Wednesday, November 25, 2009

just chillin

I bought the cutest flannel pants yesterday (at Kappahl). Super soft and warm. Even look a bit Christmasy.

With those pants on cuddling up in the armchair in front of the fireplace, with a cup of glögg and a good book. That can be pleasant.

performance anxiety is in the air

I had a meeting with Gustaf on Friday last week. I had a bad conscience since I had not done all the things I was supposed to. His reply gave me the motivation I needed but also more bad conscience. I do have a bit of performance anxiety when I have not done everything on time as I am supposed to. Gustaf said I need to stop focusing on the things I have not done and instead remember what I have accomplished instead.

When I come to the meeting feeling bad and excusing myself for the things I have not accomplished, it reflects bad on the other person in question (Gustaf in this case). Then I got a bad conscience because I came to the meeting trying to excuse myself. That is just a way to make yourself feel better, I guess you just want some response, any response, someone saying it is ok or not ok.

Then he remarked on the fact that Maersk is paying quite a lot for this service since he is a senior and hence more expensive. I have thought about it before as well and it makes me feel awful since I have this great opportunity and not always making the most of it.

Every time I leave Gustaf my motivation is on top. Usually I meet him at the end of the week and sometimes after the weekend that motivation is lost again. Leaving the meeting with motivation on top I hoped that it would stay at least until next week. And it did. And I actually spent a bit of the weekend applying for a few jobs that expired this weekend.

I feel kind of good now, since I have sent out ten applications in just a few days. Then there are of course other things I should have done, like making phone calls (those damn phone calls), but have not accomplished. But those things we are not thinking about now. I am focusing on the positive things (knowing that I need to do all the other things one day anyway.)

progress update #3

Job applications sent: 27
Interviews: 1 (however unable to go since I was in Taiwan)
Rejections: 12

Monday, November 23, 2009

gingerbread house

This is what you can see in the central station in Stockholm. Made of 693 kilos dough. What a cute little house to live in. However, there was no Hansel and Gretel around.

Consisting of:
294 kilos of flour
110.4 kilos of sugar
92 kilos of butter
66.2 liters of suryp
66.3 liters of water
2.2 kilos of ginger
2.2 kilos of cinnamon
2.2 kilos of clove
3.7 kilos of baking soda

That is a whole lot of dough

sunday reunion

I had a nice Sunday meeting my two friends from the Helsinki era. We had a nice Thai dinner and then some dessert at a café. Chatting a little bit about the good old times and catching up with the new times. M, the Canadian-Swiss was as unlucky with the four months of job searching in Switzerland as I am here. So no he is heading back to Canada again, but it was good to see him before he left.

Maybe I should give it a try going somewhere searching for a job. Although it is not the best times to do that. Have to give it some thought at least.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

this is the deal living in "stockholm"

I really... dislike... living in the countryside when a friend (that I got to know in Helsinki, who is Canadian and now lives in Switzerland) texts you at 9 p.m. saying he is in Stockholm and will have a drink with another Helsinki friend (another Swiss guy who now lives in Stockholm) and asks you to join.

Of course I want to join! However, I am sitting in the sofa right now in my sweats with greasy hair so I need to get ready first. Take a shower, pick out an outfit, put on makeup, fix the hair, the whole deal. I have to drive to the train station but since I had wine with dinner that is not really an option. In that case I need to get someone to drive me there, but since dad also had wine and no one else is home it will be tricky. So I will just take a cab for 300 SEK (or more?) to the train station. Then it will take me one hour to get into town. Then I have to take the last train home at 1-2 a.m. (or take the night bus home later, alone with all the drunks, which would take me about 1h40min until I reach home). Which would leave me around one to two hours in town. I will be there!

Let's see if he is sober enough for a lunch tomorrow.

(Notice to future friends visiting Stockholm: please let me know in advance and do not text me 9 p.m. asking me if I can come downtown for a drink tonight.)

my dinner

Tonight's dinner. A good salad containing chicken, ruccola, beans, bulgur, red onion, and pesto. I miss my salads, I used to eat them all the time as a student in Jönköping.

another cookie monster day

Baking another batch of the cookies. Although I am not as satisfied with this batch as I tried a new filling. I wanted to try making the Millie's Cookies variant with white chocolate and raspberries. Either I did the mistake of mixing in a bit too much flour or mixing the mix a bit too much. But then I made some changes to the mix and also had the cookies longer in the oven. So now they are quite delicious. Crisp but soft, just as I want them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

another no go

It is a no go for me and the Trade Council in Copenhagen. Unfortunately. Gave them a call today since I have not heard anything for a long time, hence I did not have that high hopes. She said that they had picked out two candidates that they were choosing from and she also explained what the candidates background. It was basically the same as me, they had a relevant degree and had worked and lived in Denmark. What they had that I did not was experience from previous work in the Trade Council.

Additionally she said they had received many applications, around 160 of them.

Better luck next time.


Apparently I took a break from my blog. Did not even think about it. You know, it has been so busy here... It has been so busy that I cannot even remember what I have been doing. Yesterday I actually tried doing some job searching, found a few that seems a bit interesting but not really connected to my major. I did find something that sounded very interesting and a good fit but they wanted people with a Ph.D., of course I am going to try anyway.

Otherwise? Well, I have been continuing my knitting. Bought some more yarn and have been trying to get that polo scarf just the way I want it, now I am on my fourth try and think it will be good this time. So I am still working on becoming grandma here. But it is fun to be knitting, and it keeps me busy. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

santa claus

I found the perfect job. My calling?

And I get an outfit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

practicing to become grandma

My Saturday? Did a little bit of shopping and now I have a nice pair of mittens for these cold days and also a nice pillow to rest my head on at night. My old pillow I have had as long as I can remember so I think it was time to switch it out.

My Saturday night? Was spent in front of the TV knitting. I have started knitting on polo-scarf thingy. It is actually quite fun to knit. Tomorrow I need to buy some more yarn.

Friday, November 13, 2009

friday's funniest #2

I cannot stop laughing! And I cannot stop looking either, I keep pressing the link for older entries. I think it is the strangest, most awkward, but funniest site I have seen in a long time. Don't you just love the Americans.

Check this link out (for me it took a while, do you see it?), and this, this one too, another one, last one. What are people thinking posing for these pictures? Several of them taken at photo studios, what was the idea with the pictures?

friday's funniest #1

This is what me and my sister are laughing at this Friday evening. (Kind of only works for Swedes.) Quality entertainment.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

what we learned today

No one ever calls my cellphone. First of all, it is crappy connection out here so I cannot really talk on it. Second, not much is going on in my life at the moment and I do not really expect any calls when I am at home. Hence my cellphone is usually lying in my room or somewhere where I am usually not.

Just now, getting in to bed I checked my phone as I usually do to see if something have happened to it while I have been gone. A text or a missed call. Usually not, see point two above.

Too my surprise there was a missed call. If I do get a call it is usually from someone I have in the address book and know. Now there was an unknown number with the area code of Stockholm. Of course I had to look the number up at, and my first thought was that it belonged to some of these sales stuff since it was a general number.

It was not, it belonged to 7-Eleven and Pressbyrån in Stockholm. It hits me that I applied for a job there. A trainee program. No email or no message left.

What do we learn from this? I should keep my cellphone with me at all times.

(What I also should do is to change my outgoing message on my voice mail, since it still says that I no longer live in Sweden and I can be contacted on my Danish number. I should also check my Danish number for any messages.)

too many photos from taiwan

A few days ago I started sorting out my photos from the Taiwan-Japan trip. The intention is to post some more photos here and also on Facebook. With the huge amount of photos it takes some time to sort them out. Now I am done with the sorting and have sorted out the ones I want to publish. However, taking a deeper look I realized that even sorted out it amounts to around 500 photos.

I think I need to take a second look. Take away a few. Also problematic since I want to edit several of the photos in photoshop.

I am guessing it might take a few more days until the photos will be published.

But you will get another sneak peak.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

tired night owl

Good night people. The night owl is heading off to bed before midnight. That only happens on rare occasions. Or if I have to work or something. The jetlag should have worn off by now so today I think it is just from work. 

The view one night from my apartment window in Copenhagen. I miss my apartment. And I actually miss Copenhagen.

keep it simple

Redesigning my blog. Was about time since I had the same layout since I started this blog in 2007. Since 200? That is many blog posts. And I even started before that, in June 2006 with another blog. This is actually the third blog.

I am satisfied with the layout but still struggling with the header. Until I know what to do with it all, I am keeping it simple. I love colors and patterns, but I also love simple. I guess it goes in cycles as reaction to the other.

I am leaving it be for a while. Been staring at different headers for a couple of days now. Maybe I will get some bright ideas.

a few kronor earned

Another day of work. Feels good to be doing something else. Tomorrow I do not have to work which feels good too. Hopefully I have some motivation for tomorrow to start with the job searching stuff again. I am working also on Friday so I hope I can manage to make some calls tomorrow.

I did get another rejection email today and unfortunately it was for one of the jobs that seemed very interesting. Better luck next time. Of the jobs I have applied for I think there is only one favorite left and a couple of non-favorites. I still have not heard anything for the job  in Copenhagen, I do not have too high hopes but still crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

back where i started

Every road seems to be leading to the hotel bar at Radisson. There I have worked many summers and now I am back. Always something to do while I am between jobs. Hopefully it will give me some kind of motivation, realizing that it is fun to do something else than wondering around at home.

Or some motivation to search for a job that I am suitable for. Now I am just an economist working as a bartender. I guess it would be nice to switch out 'bartender' for something else one day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

wanted: motivation

So it is Monday. I should be doing stuff. All I do is wondering around in the house, trying to postpone or forget what I should be doing. Every time I log on to my email I get a bad conscience. It is because of these match mails I have signed up to that send me suggestions every day. So what do I do about it? I instead avoid logging on to my email. Very healthy way to deal with your issues.

How do you find motivation to something you really do not want to do? Before leaving for Taiwan I think I hit bottom since the motivation was nowhere to be found. I could not stand even thinking about all the stuff. Now after three weeks off it all it feels a bit better, I am a bit above rock bottom but apparently not high enough. When there is something I do not feel like dealing with I just shut down, sometimes it can be good, sometimes not.

So know what? How do one proceed? How do one find motivation from empty air?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

cookie monster

Here we are eating yummy American cookies. On a whim I started baking today. Well, perhaps not completely not on a whim since I started baking the cake for father's day tomorrow. But then it just went on. I have not been cooking or baking much at all the last year and today I just felt the urge. I love baking. So I finally decided to try baking American cookies, although with a Swedish twist since I had Daim filling. They are yummy and soft, just the way I like it. Have to try later with white chocolate and raspberry in the cookies, I tried one like that at Millie's Cookies at the Hong Kong airport and it was truly delicious.Wonder if they have Millie's Cookies in Sweden.

Friday, November 6, 2009

the jetlagged night owl

I am usually the night owl. Able to stay awake for hours at night. I do not get tired sitting in front the TV or computer and is not always a good thing. Many nights have I spent in front of a movie or TV series and wanting one episode after another. Tonight though, I had to force myself to stay awake to be able to see the end of the movie. I really wanted to see the end, The Color Purple was on TV and it was such a long time ago since I last saw it.

I am babbling. To get to the point, I am dead tired at 12.30 a.m. which almost never happens. Can it really be jetlag? Perhaps, but strange since I did not feel anything yesterday. I guess you never know and just have to listen to your body and let it get rest and adjusted to the new daily rhythm.

I want it back. I am the night owl.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a good night sleep

Slept 13 ½ hours last night. I went to bed at 9 p.m. dead tired, barely able to keep my eyes open. I woke up at 8.30 a.m. which felt so early but then I remembered going to bed at 9 p.m. the previous night and realized I have gotten plenty of sleep. Feeling quite good I thought about get out of bed but had to wake up first. At 10.30 a.m. I woke up the second time realizing I had falling asleep again.

I seem to have gotten into a good rhythm right away as in Taiwan. Although I did not break the record of sleeping for 15 hours as last time. I somehow doubt I ever will. Unless I go through so many days/hours of not sleeping again. Who knows.

What else do I have to say? I love the snow falling from the sky and do not at all wish I was back in Taipei with degrees above 20.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

home sweet home?

22 hour of traveling and I am home in windy and cold Sweden. A really chilly wind met me when stepping out of the airport and I ran to the car and the warmth.

One degree Celsius. That is what I get when I come home.

What else did I get when I came home? Snow. SNOW?! It melted away though since it is not below zero yet. But I guess it will come for real soon.

So were should I go next for some warm weather?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

one last hour

All done packing. And I actually have one hour left before I need to grab a cab. Giving myself a tap on the shoulder since I am the incurable time optimist and always do everything in the last minute.

Now I am just waiting for A who is on his way back, and we will crab one last coffee (or tea in my case) before I leave. He has been the perfect host and let me stay in his apartment and all. Now he can have his apartment back and his girlfriend can finally move back in again. Thanks for the patience.

I still do not want to leave.

don't want to...

Now I have to start packing. It is 11 a.m. and I am supposed to met up the rest for lunch in a little more than an hour. Woops. I am always so good with the time planning.

Then my flight for Hong Kong takes of at 20.20 p.m. and I will spoil myself with a taxi ride to the airport since it is so cheap, an hour long ride which costs around 20 euros.

I guess it is time to almost say goodbye. I wish I could stay forever and ever.

best road trip ever

Back from the road trip that was truly amazing. Taiwan has really wonderful nature to offer, there are to few adjectives to describe it all. Here you get a few preview pictures from the Taroko National Park in Taiwan.

Here is our car on the winding, narrow roads in the mountains. When we got back we heard from the Taiwanese that it was crazy that we went driving there. Because you don't really usually.

Do you spot us? So you get an idea how big the canyons really were. Also notice that you cannot see the top of the mountains.

We were driving above the clouds. Our guess is that we were actually as far up as 3500 meters.