kareina: (stitched)
When last I checked in here I had just enjoyed a lovely weekend at home, and was getting ready to travel for work in a couple of days.

That trip went well, if a bit full-on and tiring )

Unsurprisingly, I didn't accomplish all that much that Friday as I recovered my energy levels from the week.

The next day we drove two hours inland to attend the Jokkmokksvintermarknad, an annual winter market that has been happening since the early 1600's. During the drive I finally managed to finish the nice, warm, fur lined hood that I started last winter--the perfect thing to wear when attending an outdoor market north of the Arctic Circle.

We spent a couple of hours wandering in the market, and then drove 30 minutes back this way to a village where a friend of [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar works at the hotel. We stopped in to visit her at work, and a large group of people he knows were having dinner in the restaurant, so he got hugs all around and I got to meet a bunch of new people.

When she got off of work the three of us drove back out to Jokkmokk, where we attended the Folk Music and Dance session, arriving just as things began at 21:00 The hall where the dance was held is a very old timber building, with only a fireplace in the corner to provide heat. The temperature outside was -30 C (-22 F), and they were just starting the fire in the fireplace as we got there. There was no thermometer in the room, but I am fairly certain the room was below zero when we arrived. Certainly it was cold enough that I left on my fur lined hood for the first three dances. After that there were enough people in the room, and I had moved enough I could take off the hood, but I never did need to take off the wool tights or wool trousers I had on under the dancing skirt, nor did I need to take off the wool sweater. I don't think I have ever danced in such a cold room, but it was so much fun!

We danced till midnight, drove the friend back to her village, and then did the long drive home--managed to get to bed that night at 03:45 that morning!

It isn't really a surprise that we didn't go anywhere that Sunday--not even to our normal folk music and dance sessions. Oops.

This week was a normal level of busy at work--with too much to do, and not enough time to do everything I want to accomplish each day, but I didn't have to go anywhere to do it (worked from home some days--skied to the office on others). Monday was Dance practice at our place, Tuesday was Choir, Wednesday and Thursday evenings were spent on errands and projects, and Friday was an extra choir practice to prep for an upcoming performance, so the week slipped by so quickly that I somehow never did sit down to update LJ.

Today was a mini-gaming convention, and we had signed up for the morning and afternoon games. This morning we played Kagematsu, and this afternoon we played Sagas of the Icelanders.

In the morning session we were villagers on a small island which used to depend on pearl exports for cash money, but trading hasn't gone so well since the pirates started coming around demanding bribes to go a way and not plunder us after all of our men folk went off to the wars. We thought things would go better when a samurai got shipwrecked on our shores, and we managed to convince him to stay and be our protector, but then the pirates attacked in greater numbers than we could handle, and the village was destroyed. A tragedy, but a fun game to play nonetheless.

In the afternoon we had to deal with a potential blood feud sparked by the death of one man at the hands of the shield maiden on the next farm. Lots of dealing with honour, valour, tabbos, revenge, gods, witchcraft, etc. An all around fun day.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar flies to Stockholm for two weeks of work. I am hoping that I can use the opportunity to make great progress on my research for work, without too many distractions. Wish me luck.
kareina: (me)
Today's progress was very minor. The good news is that I have found out that Uni employees get free entry into the gym during business hours (and we are expected to use it a couple of hours a week), so today I picked up my gym card. Will need to remember to bring workout clothes to keep in the office for those moments when I need a break from work that involves movement. (I won't even need to go outside to go to the gym--every building on campus is connected via underground tunnels.)

I had downloaded the program GoCad yesterday, but when I tried following the instructions from the IT guy to explain to my computer were it could find the licence on the uni server I got an error message. So I emailed him back and let him know, and this morning I had an email suggesting I ask the PhD student across the hall for help, since he uses that program. I did and he gave me the number for the IT guy that he always works with to get the licence working, and he said that it is always difficult to get it working. So I called the IT guy and told him I had encountered the error message, so he took the time to install the program on his computer and checked to see if he could get access to the licence on the server. He could.

Then he came to my office and tried getting my computer to see the licence. Nope. He checked to see which version of the program I have (version 3), and compared it to the one he installed (version 2) and decided that perhaps it would help if I uninstalled my copy and instead installed the older one. Nope, no help. At that point he decided that he needed to go to lunch (he has a dog that needs a mid-day walk), and said he would come back later. Later didn't happen--partly because he wound up in a meeting, and partially because I was tired enough after lunch I wound up heading home for a nap (though I did take care to email him to let him know I wouldn't be in the office, to which he replied that he was relieved as several other things had come up on his end, and he would see me tomorrow).

It is probably a good thing that it will take a while before I get any data to work with, given how long it takes to even get the programs I will need to be using, let alone learn how to use them.

It was kind of weird to be so tired and low energy this afternoon, after having had such a productive and energetic Friday and Monday work day. Then again, after work on Monday I joined some friends for a game of The Daughters of Verona and it was so much fun I stayed up rather later than I should have (the game didn't end till nearly 22:00, though we started at 17:30). I really strongly recommend this game--it can get very silly.

The game is a Shakespeare play in progress--specifically a comedy. There are not many rules to get in the way of creating the story, and what few there are make it more fun (e.g. "if an identity can be mistaken, it will be"). The game is set up for five players, each of which plays multiple characters in the play (and at any time a player may trade characters with another and take over speaking that character's lines--even in the middle of a sentence). Each game has four lovers, two "blockers" (who work to complicate the lover's lives and attempt to prevent them from getting married), and one "fool" (who always sees things clearly and speaks those truths that others would not dare to mention). Because the play is a comedy it always ends with the happy marriages of the lovers (though not necessarily to one another).

For this story it turned out that the city of Verona was being besieged by Cassocks (please keep in mind that this is a low-budget play and that no research was done for the play so anachronisms are to be expected). One of our lovers was the young daughter of the leader of the Cassocks, who had disguised herself as a man to march with the army as a solider. The other three all loved her. One of them was her father's right-hand man, who was the only person in the army aware of her true identity. The other two were a brother and sister, children of a wealthy merchant of Verona, both of whom loved her thinking she was a man. This lead to many funny situations and lots of cross-dressing for the siblings pretending to be the other.

Tonight's choir practice once again showed me that I understand only enough Swedish to get myself into trouble. I understood our leader when she asked who was interested in volunteering to sing the "solo" for the song we were learning, but I thought that she said that more discussion on that topic would take break during the break. When it was time for the break I got out my stitching and stayed in my chair, intending to mend my nålbinded gloves. However, much to my surprise most folk left the room, and a small group gathered around the piano and begun to sing. It turns out that what she had said was not that it would be discussed during the break, but that she would teach the volunteers the part during the break. As soon as I realized that I had misunderstood I took my stitching and went out to the hall to join the others--save the solo parts for people who can pronounce the words correctly and know when they are singing the notes that they are meant to be singing!

As I type [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar is busy doing a bit of plain weaving to make a strap for carrying things using a small rigid heddle he made back when he was a child. Can I tell you what a delight it is to live with someone who also does projects?
kareina: (me)
I am spending the weekend in a small town near the Swedish city of Umeå attending a role-playing game convention. The weekend has been fun all around--I and my friends are based in the "Indierummet" (room dedicated to "independent" role-playing games), which is the home-ec room in the school we are using for a site, which means we have not only a full kitchen, but enough stoves and ovens and sinks to ensure that we can all cook at the same time if we feel for it.

I have enjoyed all of the games we played so far, but tonight game, The Daughters of Verona is by far the most fun game I have played in a long time.

The game is run like a Shakespearean comedy in five acts. Like all of his comedies the play ends in a wedding, but, as is expected, there are characters who are attempting to block the lover's and prevent their joyous union. Each player in the game is an actor, and each of us has two (or more) character cards before them at any given time. Unlike most other role-playing games it is possible for actors to trade cards and thus play any role one is inspired to play at the moment. Also unlike many other role-playing games rather than speaking in the third person we describe our actions in the first person, for in any play the audience in the cheap seats in the back of the theater might not be able to see what the actor does as he kneels to pick that lock, they will still hear him when he says "Now I shall kneel and pick this lock so that I may enter the door to this room".

We played the game tonight with the man who wrote it, who is a friend of mine. He tells me that he wrote the game in 10 days (during which he continued to work his normal day-job) as an entry into a Shakespeare-themed game competition. I am truly impressed with that accomplishment--to write a game in his second language, and to take the time to create so many character cards (each one illustrated with a reproduction of an actual period portrait) and so many "scene cards" embellished with appropriate quotes from Shakespeare's plays all put together on a tight deadline.

I strongly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys playing games or watching plays, or reading literature, or any combination thereof.
kareina: (me)
I took this week very easy in an attempt to stay healthy. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar had a sore throat for a couple of days, and I didn't want one, but would have been exposed to whatever triggered his. So I drank lots of echinacea tea and rested and had frequent hot showers, and managed to avoid most symptoms--I did get some sniffles accompanied by random sneezes on Friday, but they were gone by Saturday morning. This is good because we had company for a gaming day on Saturday. One of our local friends runs a mini gaming convention here in Luleå at not quite random intervals wherein everyone who wants to participate fills in a google docs spreadsheet with games they are willing to run, puts their names next to games offered that they want to play, and lists which days/times on the appointed weekend they are free to play. He then devises a schedule wherein everyone who wants to play plays in some games in all of the time slots they signed up for, possibly even the games they said they wanted to play (though I gather that he puts more effort into seeing that each game has the appropriate number of players than in matching everyone to their first choice games--since most gamers will be happy with most games, even if some sound more fun than others).

Life being busy [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I only signed up for the shifts for Saturday day time and Saturday evening this time, which is good because it gave us Friday evening to finish recovering from the cold, do some grocery shopping, and tidy up the house a bit. Saturday during the day we ran a session of the While the World Ends game (he blogged about the last time we did this), and in the evening we participated in a game of "Squire's Oath", a rules-light fantasy role playing game set in a world wherein young people come to the castle to start their training as a squire--a path that could ultimately lead them to being knights, or harpers, or healers, or any number of other careers. Having done most of my gaming in games like D&D which are really rules-heavy (and having relied on friends who had the rules books memorized) these sorts of games are quite a contrast.

I like the much easier playing style, and the fact that when things happen it takes no longer than it does to tell about it for it to happen (even when dice are involved), rather than a 15 second battle lasting 45 minutes. However, being a reader, not a writer, I am not yet completely comfortable with the fact that *I* have to make stuff up about what we discover. I would rather say "I look for tracks", and be told what I find, rather than saying "I look for tracks, and I notice..." Perhaps because life is more like the former--I decide what to look at, and what to do with the information I find, but I don't get to decide what is actually present in the world to see.

The other players, clearly, are not inhibited by the "make stuff up" part, and they gleefully added in any number of plot twists that I could have happily lived with out, as well as others that I was delighted to hear about. But then, the difficult to experience plot twists are what make it an adventure, aren't they?

Today we slept in (he much longer than I), and this afternoon we are expecting a visit from a friend who will go to Folk Dance with us in the evening.

In other news, I finally took photos of the Bronze Age technique of the overcast blanket stitch edging that I have been experimenting with (and like so much). I like this technique much better than plain blanket stitch--plain blanket stitch tends to have issues snuggling up to the edge of the fabric and staying there (in my experience), which are solved by winding another thread around the blanket stitch. When I first read of this technique on figure 27 of this page I assumed that it was done in two steps, first the blanket stitch, then doing the overcast stitch with a new thread on the needle. However, when I sat down to do it I decided to start the stitch in the middle of the thread, with one half of the length set aside for the overcast stitch, and the other for the blanket stitch. By wrapping the second thread around the first as I went I was able to do both stitches at once, using only one needle, and never needing to switch the needle to the overcast thread at all.

I like this ever so much better than plain blanket stitch, and doing that extra twist does not really slow down the process at all. I did this using a thin single ply wool yarn that is easy to twist a new length onto (which is good as one needs to use fairly short lengths while stitching because otherwise it bunches up and breaks), so now it looks like I did the whole length of the project with a single continuous thread. Once I work my way around to the beginning I will loop the last stitch through the start and then tie it off--so there will be only ONE lose end for the whole project to weave back through the stitches.
kareina: (me)
This has been yet another busy week full of progress on projects in addition to the normal round of social activities.

We have nearly finished a new wooden ice chest to take with us to Double Wars (we leave on Friday)--my old wooden ice chest is in quite bad shape from years of heavy use and several intercontinental shipping experiences, so it is time to replace it.

I finished nålbinding my sun hat, felted it, and have sewn it to a frame to dry in the shape I wish it to be. Sadly, I forgot to get photos of "before"--it was huge, floppy, and the brim was very, very ruffled--it covered my entire head with folds hanging loosely to my shoulders. After felting the brim was still ruffled, and was floppier than I want it to be, so I dipped it in water containing cornstarch, ran it through the centrifuge in the laundry room, and sewed it to the frame, where it sits yet. The sewing process got the brim to flatten out and become large--it now looks very much like the straw hat I had to leave behind when I left Italy because I didn't have space to bring it on the plane, and couldn't pack it safely into boxes to be shipped. Hopefully it will still look like that when I take it off the frame.

I have managed to accomplish some armour repair that needed doing, and even cleaned off some sword marks from the front of my shield. I had to, really. One of the black sword marks just happened to be positioned over the closed eye of the sleeping cat, exactly perpendicular to and centered upon the eye, so that it looked like the cat had and X instead of an eye--just like a cartoon dead creature. Very funny looking, but so not acceptable! (again, I didn't think to take a photo--somehow I never do. Then again, do I really want photographic evidence of a dead cat on my shield?).

We got the last of the fitting done for my 12th Century underdress done--there is just a bit of seam finishing left to do on that one. I did this one with the really, really long sleeves that runch up on the forearms. The upper arm is only just exactly wide enough to put my arm in it, which puts the square underarm gusset exactly in my underarm, giving me a good fit *and* full range of motion. We got the body to be exactly the same diameter as my ribs just under my breasts, which means that the gown is fully supporting--I can jump while wearing it and my breasts don't go anywhere. Yay to not needing to wear a bra! When I take in my bliaut so that it, too, fits properly across the shoulders and ribs this outfit is going to be so comfortable. Granted, it will then be very important to neither loose or gain weight in such a way as my diameter over ribs or upper arms changes, but since I am quite happy with my current shape this should be easy enough to manage (not losing any mass shouldn't be an issue--there isn't a whole lot available to loose over my ribs, anyway).

On Thursday we went to a sewing workshop with the local Folk Music and Dance group. The project of the evening was a traditional man's shirt, so that [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive and the other musicians will have appropriate costume for upcoming performances. I was very delighted to see that fashions in Northern Sweden never really changed. While the shirt cuffs are late period in design, with the full sleeve gathered to a buttoned cuff, the torso and sleeves are a straight rectangles, with a square underarm gusset--the same style they have been using for many centuries! We did take photos of some of the completed shirts that were available as models, and of the cutting pattern we settled on--used every scrap of that bit of wool--it was necessary to take one of the underarm gussets from the neck hole, because the end of the fabric wasn't cut straight at the store. I might make time to post those photos another day.

Friday we had a couple of people over for a gaming night as part of a mini gaming convention that a friend of ours runs. Sadly, our weekend was so booked we got to play in only the one game, but it was quite fun. We played While the World Ends, which was written by the guy who organized this mini con. This is the game we played at Gothcon early this month that I so enjoyed. It was fun this time, too )

This makes twice now that I have played this game, and I really enjoy it. It is much more like reading a book (or even watching a movie) than traditional role playing adventure games, but it is a shared activity with friends. Even though I think of myself as a reader not a writer, with the formal structure of the game it is easy to come up with things my character might do towards achieving his goals, and so it is easy to set the scene. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys gaming, story telling, reading, and just spending time with friends

Saturday morning was an SCA bbq and fighter practice. After practice the local knight authorized me, so if he has done whatever paperwork goes with that I am good to fight at Double War next week. In the evening we had a party for the choir. Not many of us could make it, which made it a fun night, as we were able to play games )

Sunday we didn't have fighter practice, since it was on Saturday this week, so we used the time for projects, and also skipped the folk music session in favour of project time. However, we did attend folk dancing in the evening. This is the last practice before our performance, the day after we return from double war, so we had live music and everything, and we ran through the performance set three full times, working out last minute details to make it all flow smoothly and prettily. I also picked up the costume I will borrow for the show, which will need slight modification to get the vest to fit me properly.

My goal to pedal at least 10 km a day, five days a week is progressing nicely. I didn't actually manage a ride a week ago Friday because [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive had the day off of work and I spend the time with him instead, but the week before that I did an extra 10 km, so it has all averaged out. I did manage this Friday, but only barely--I got distracted actually working on that paper from my research, and suddenly it was 16:00 and I hadn't gone yet, and it was necessary to start some soup to feed myself and the gamers. Luckily, about the time I went to the kitchen to start cooking [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive came home from work, so I left him to cook the soup, and I went for a quick lap around the lake (which is not quite 10 km, but I had done a bit more than 10 the day before), getting back just as the food was ready.

In other news, I have booked my tickets back to Australia--I will be flying on 30 June, the day my visitor visa expires here (assuming that there are no volcanically caused flight cancellations then, of course). I land in Sydney on 1 July, which is a Friday. I still need to book travel for within Australia, but the tentative plan is to head straight to Canberra to head that Monday to the Swedish Embassy there to submit my visa application to move to Sweden to live permanently with [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive (which paperwork *must* be submitted in one's home country--one may not apply for such a visa from within Sweden). Once the paperwork is filed with the Embassy I plan to visit Melbourne to see my mother and step-sister and her family (mom will be visiting Australia for around a month, so that timing is nice). Then I will go to Tassie to await the visa approval. While there I plan to meet with my PhD advisor and finish up paper(s) for publication. I have no idea yet when I shall be able to return to Sweden--the paperwork processing on their end could take a couple of weeks, or many months. I will be renting a room from [livejournal.com profile] mushroom_maiden while her usual housemate is in Iceland. With luck the timing will work out for me to head back to Sweden before the housemate returns from Iceland.
kareina: (Default)
On Wednesday I posted that I thought it was time to start doing regular progress reports again. I haven't posted a thing since. Clearly "regular" as used in that sentence didn't mean "daily" no matter what I may or may not have been thinking at the time. So, what have I been doing since then?

Thursday: Woke up reasonably early, with plenty of energy, and spent the morning doing four loads of laundry, mostly fabric which will someday become sewing projects, but needed to be washed first. In between the first pair of loads and the second (the laundry has two washers available) I mended a pair of trousers which also needed washing so that I could do them in the second set. However, during the second set of loads of laundry being washed and dried I just spent time catching up on reading LJ, FB, email, and blogs. Once the laundry was done I was sleepy, so I took a nap, and when I woke up, sadly,I didn't seem to have any energy thereafter. Being low energy I tried reading more of the above, but there hadn't been much in the way of new posts and I was soon out of things to read in each of those places. Realizing that I was only engaging in the equivalent of thumb-twiddling I called a friend and asked if "now" was a good time to return the popcorn popper I'd borrowed from him before we purchased one of our own.

It was, so I got a hint of exercise (10 minute walk each way) and some fresh air + an hour visit with folk over there before returning home to bake some scones and whip some cream. This snack was ready to eat about the time [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive got home from work, and, of course, after we ate I then spent a few hours hanging out with him before finally settling in to do some Uni work starting around 22:00. A very late start to the day, but much better than not working, and having gone to the effort of working out what needed doing the day before once I started work I just jumped into doing it, which was nice.

Friday I finished the tasks I'd started on Thursday during the day (but also took many breaks for naps and e-mail etc.), and in the evening I had company. One of our gaming friends here was sponsoring a small informal gaming convention this weekend--everyone who was interested running a game let him know in advance what game, what language (since there is more than one of us who is limited to playing in English) and he created a spreadsheet of what games were available. Then all of the players indicated which games we were interested in joining and which times of day & days of the weekend we were available to play, and he then created a schedule that would permit as many people as possible to play in games they were interested in playing.

Since [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive when to Finland for a work related gathering I decided to participate in the gaming con, and offered up my home for one or more games to be played at. I choose to only sign up for Friday and Saturday evening games, thinking that way I'd at least have the option to do work during the days. The schedule worked out beautifully for me. Friday I had three visitors come over and the four of us played a role-playing adventure in a Fantasy post-apocalyptic setting (magic, which used to be at least as common as technology is in our world "broke", and destroyed much of the world in the process). This was my first experience playing in a one-time only game wherein characters were created by the game master in advance and all we had to do was choose one. It turns out that I like this *much* better than creating my own character for a game. Perhaps if anyone cares I might take a stab at writing up why another time (when I am not so sleepy).

Two of my guests stayed over, so I got to feed people dinner and breakfast, too, which was nice. They left early though, since they were both scheduled to play in other games starting at 08:00. I have a bit of hair-envy for one of the guests--a lovely young man of 20 whose pony tail is close to twice as long as mine is.

Saturday I didn't actually make any progress on writing up my research. Instead I started writing up my accomplishments, instead. I had applied for a job some time back which warned in the advertizment that persons who were deemed to meet the qualifications would be later contacted by e-mail and asked to write a narritive explination of they ways in which they have met or exceeded a list of qualifications. I woke up to a letter in my in-box letting me know that since I am deemed qualified for the job they would like me to please answer the following questions and send the answers back in promptly. Therefore I started work on that project, rather than doing the research itself.

Saturday evening's game was scheduled to take place at a friend's house, and we decided to do homemade pizza for dinner before the game. So I kneaded up a bread dough before heading over there, and they cooked up a tomato, onion, and garlic sauce, and we each added our own toppings (I chose spinach, tomato slices, and artichoke hearts. One of the others used Swedish meatballs, bacon and cheese, and the third used the meatballs, banana, pineapple, and cheese). However, we didn't wind up playing the planned role playing game because some of the other players were sick or otherwise unavailable at the last minute. Instead they introduced me to the card game Monty Python Fluxx (I won the first round in very short order, due to the traditional beginner's luck). After several rounds of that the one who has a game to run tomorrow excused himself to finish game prep and the other proceeded to beat me at an amusing round of Knightmare Chess. They then inflicted me with a series of cartoons to educate me culturally about my new home.

It is now after midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I am unlikely to do much/any useful work yet tonight (though, of course, I reserve the right to change my mind about that)
kareina: (me)
Still loving falling into an already established social life. This morning [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive's parents came over for a visit. This was the first time they'd seen him since his birthday last month, so they brought cinnamon rolls, and we baked a cake. This cake was sweeter than I normally go for, since he thought his parent's would prefer a sweet cake, but since it was filled with fruit (bananas and raspberries) and cream and frosted with more cream and decorated with segments of mandarin orange and kiwifruit I happily ate a slice anyway. (His dad had 4ths of the cake over the couple of hours we visited, so I think he approved). I like his parents, but wasn't able to talk as easily with them as with his brothers and sisters, as they don't speak English as fluently as the kids do. They left at mid-day, which left time for lunch and snuggles before heading over to gaming.

I'm enjoying the gaming--the group of people are fun, and the characters they are playing all have distinct personalties. After gaming some of us stuck around for dinner (and a few others joined us), which was early enough that I was still able to eat. It is nice to enjoy a meal with others now and then. After that we came home and practiced reading aloud to him from children's books. I really appreciate his patience in being willing to do this with me. While I'm still not good enough in Swedish to want to attempt to speak it in front of witnesses, trying (and failing and getting corrected till I can say it correctly) while curling up in the lap of a loved one is very nice.

I am very happy here, and really enjoying being in a relationship again. I know that he must have some points upon which we aren't compatible (everyone does!), but though I've been here a month, and we had a month of video conversations before I arrived, we still haven't found the places where we are incompatible. Even our taste in colour is matched; I have to look closely at the clothes after washing them to determine whose is whose because the colours are identical. Now that I've got a local phone number he gave me an old mobile phone he had lying around to put my Italian SIM card into, in case I get any calls to that number. Normally I prefer a plain phone--no fancy wallpapers or themes for me, I'm content with a solid colour (blue is good) with no embellishments. This phone came to me with a weird blue wallpaper that has some sort of blue ball in the middle, and swirls of other blues around it. Wanting something plainer I spent some time trying to find something I'd like better. Eventually I gave up and commented to him that I'd failed in my quest to find anything on the phone that is prettier than the one he'd used. He agreed that it wouldn't have been his first choice, either, but it was the best of what was available.

Tomorrow is the SCA fighter training in the morning, music and folk dancing in the late afternoon and evening. If I'm really lucky I'll also find a bit of time in between to do some uni work--last week's effort was back up to the kind of hours I think I should be working (well, if you count Swedish homework as well as geology stuff), and a few hours on the weekend will help keep the average number of hours worked up where I want it.
kareina: (me)
Tonight I went out with [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive to a local restaurant which has decided to experiment with inviting folk musicians in to play and let people dance if they will. I have no idea if it was a successes from the restaurant's perspective, but it sure was fun from mine! I already knew he could dance from the SCA event at which we met, and from a bit of playing around with dance in the narrow kitchen here at his apartment. But now I know that he can DANCE! I'd liked the bit of Swedish folk dancing I was exposed to by the Tasmanian Folk Federation dances, but they are even more fun with a partner who knows them. Tonight we did the: schottis, hambo, masurka, polska, vals and perhaps some others. They all involve enough spinning to make me happy (and boy am I glad I have my dancing skirt with me--that much spinning needs a skirt which keeps moving when one stops or changes direction!), and it is a joy to dance with someone who leads with such confidence that it doesn't matter that I didn't know the dances before we started. I really look forward to much more dancing with him--it is so much fun now I anticipate that it will be even better when I *know* his signals and can just dance, rather than doing some guessing as to what I am meant to be doing.

Sometimes he chose to join the other musicians and play the violin instead of dancing. For those dances I just danced on my own, combining elements from a variety of different dance forms that felt right at the moment. I received a few compliments on that, too.

Yesterday was also fun--one of his friends invited us round to roll up characters for a role playing game, Ironclaw, which game has one playing anthropomorphic animals as characters. I opted for a Lynx, which has the career of explorer. I think it will be interesting to play this game--it approaches the stats very differently from other games I've played. Instead of rolling the dice and assigning them to the various categories, one assigns a dice type to each category--one may distribute two d8's, three d6's, and one d4 to each category (body, mind, will, speed, species, and career). I gather that during the game we will then roll those sized dice depending on what needs doing. I'll keep you posted when I know more.

The good news about the gaming group (which did not surprise me at all) is that while I've never met any of these people before I felt instantly at home--his social circle is really very much the same as those I've had in other places, only the details of who is present are different. Have I mentioned that I am really enjoying being in Luleå?
kareina: (me)
I took today off of work. Went for a walk this morning, and since my path happened to go past the Saturday market, I slowed down to look at some linen shirts, and wound up purchasing one. I am very glad that fashion has dropped the waistline on shirts back down again--the shirts one could purchase in the store back when I was living in Canada (2004) left my tummy cold. Today's shirt is long enough that I could wear it with a pear of tights and be considered decently dressed in any non-Muslim country (not that I'm likely to do any such thing out side of the house--I'd be more likely to wear a skirt or jeans under it...

This afternoon I finally finished the stitching on a nålbinded hat I've been working on for months. I foolishly didn't take photos of "before", which is a shame, since the shape *really* changed when I washed it in hot water. The initial shape wasn't too different from the hat that [livejournal.com profile] racaire1 made when I taught her this stitch., though the top of mine wasn't quite so round, since my initial decrease once I'd gotten it as tall as I wanted was a bit much. I was expecting it to shrink and tighten up, like the heavy hat I made with this stitch out of a thicker, less heavily twisted yarn (sorry, no photos of that one, either--it is at home, and the camera is with me at Uni). However, instead it grew! The stitch is one which can really lengthen, and it did. The hat is now conical, and I think I'll like it. I'll try to remember to take photos later (it is at home drying).

However, I do have some nålbinding photos I can share )
kareina: (me)
I took today off of work. Went for a walk this morning, and since my path happened to go past the Saturday market, I slowed down to look at some linen shirts, and wound up purchasing one. I am very glad that fashion has dropped the waistline on shirts back down again--the shirts one could purchase in the store back when I was living in Canada (2004) left my tummy cold. Today's shirt is long enough that I could wear it with a pear of tights and be considered decently dressed in any non-Muslim country (not that I'm likely to do any such thing out side of the house--I'd be more likely to wear a skirt or jeans under it...

This afternoon I finally finished the stitching on a nålbinded hat I've been working on for months. I foolishly didn't take photos of "before", which is a shame, since the shape *really* changed when I washed it in hot water. The initial shape wasn't too different from the hat that [livejournal.com profile] racaire1 made when I taught her this stitch., though the top of mine wasn't quite so round, since my initial decrease once I'd gotten it as tall as I wanted was a bit much. I was expecting it to shrink and tighten up, like the heavy hat I made with this stitch out of a thicker, less heavily twisted yarn (sorry, no photos of that one, either--it is at home, and the camera is with me at Uni). However, instead it grew! The stitch is one which can really lengthen, and it did. The hat is now conical, and I think I'll like it. I'll try to remember to take photos later (it is at home drying).

However, I do have some nålbinding photos I can share )
kareina: (me)
I arrived in Seattle on Friday morning, which required getting up at 04:00 to get ready and get to the airport on time for my flight. Landed, went straight to my mom & sister's house to drop stuff off, then went Christmas shopping with Mom so that I could try on the things she wanted to buy for me. We then met my sister for lunch at a restaurant. Whilst there we realized that it was the first time the three of us had been out to eat together with no one else present since before she left to be a foreign exchange student in high school (~1985). From there we went to the Birkenstock store in the U district to replace my poor worn out sandals, which have been on so many adventures that the cork has been breaking at the toe joint. However, they were out of the kind that I wear, so they ordered it and gave me a 10% discount. They assure me that it will be delivered to my sister's house before I return here on the 5th of January. Then we went grocery shopping to get things to make mom's birthday cake, and went home to bake cake. I used both grated carrots and grated golden beetroot in the cake (along with butter, yoghurt, brown sugar, eggs, white flour, lots of walnuts, and a bit of rye flour to make a nice moist, dense, heavy cake (yum!). Then, after dinner, we unwrapped presents with my nieces for their second Christmas this month (one when our step sister visited a week ago, one for my visit, and the next one will be on the day itself). Then we had to play Apples to Apples, which I'd picked up while shopping on an impulse buy. I have wanted a copy of that game myself, but not seen it in stores, so when it was on display in an isle stand on the way to the store we had to go to, I picked it up for my sister and her family (since it won't fit in my luggage). My five-year old niece won the game. She's one smart cookie. It was nearly midnight before I did my yoga and went to bed.

Saturday was Mom's birthday, so we celebrated by making pasties (note: short
a" sound in this word. The long "a" version is something one puts on one's nipples, not the yummy Finnish food we so adore). We did lots and lots using Grandma's recipie (coarse ground meat (1/4 pork, 3/4 beef), potatoes, carrot, onion, salt & pepper) and a smaller amount of vegetarian ones (zucchini, golden beet root & greens, broccoli, potato, carrot, leeks, sunflower seeds, spices, pie crust dough). After that I was so sleepy that I did my yoga at 8pm, and was asleep soon after.

Today the plan was for Christmas cookies, but first my sister, her husband, daughters and I walked to the local school and played in the playground. Then I made the dough (Voitaikina) for the Joulutortut and put it into the fridge to cool. Then my friend [livejournal.com profile] josiestraka came over, and she and I went for a walk before playing games with my nieces while my sister baked the cookies.

Voitaikina )

Joulutortut )

Tomorrow I fly to Anchorage, and I'll be in Alaska through to the 5th of January.
kareina: (me)
I arrived in Seattle on Friday morning, which required getting up at 04:00 to get ready and get to the airport on time for my flight. Landed, went straight to my mom & sister's house to drop stuff off, then went Christmas shopping with Mom so that I could try on the things she wanted to buy for me. We then met my sister for lunch at a restaurant. Whilst there we realized that it was the first time the three of us had been out to eat together with no one else present since before she left to be a foreign exchange student in high school (~1985). From there we went to the Birkenstock store in the U district to replace my poor worn out sandals, which have been on so many adventures that the cork has been breaking at the toe joint. However, they were out of the kind that I wear, so they ordered it and gave me a 10% discount. They assure me that it will be delivered to my sister's house before I return here on the 5th of January. Then we went grocery shopping to get things to make mom's birthday cake, and went home to bake cake. I used both grated carrots and grated golden beetroot in the cake (along with butter, yoghurt, brown sugar, eggs, white flour, lots of walnuts, and a bit of rye flour to make a nice moist, dense, heavy cake (yum!). Then, after dinner, we unwrapped presents with my nieces for their second Christmas this month (one when our step sister visited a week ago, one for my visit, and the next one will be on the day itself). Then we had to play Apples to Apples, which I'd picked up while shopping on an impulse buy. I have wanted a copy of that game myself, but not seen it in stores, so when it was on display in an isle stand on the way to the store we had to go to, I picked it up for my sister and her family (since it won't fit in my luggage). My five-year old niece won the game. She's one smart cookie. It was nearly midnight before I did my yoga and went to bed.

Saturday was Mom's birthday, so we celebrated by making pasties (note: short
a" sound in this word. The long "a" version is something one puts on one's nipples, not the yummy Finnish food we so adore). We did lots and lots using Grandma's recipie (coarse ground meat (1/4 pork, 3/4 beef), potatoes, carrot, onion, salt & pepper) and a smaller amount of vegetarian ones (zucchini, golden beet root & greens, broccoli, potato, carrot, leeks, sunflower seeds, spices, pie crust dough). After that I was so sleepy that I did my yoga at 8pm, and was asleep soon after.

Today the plan was for Christmas cookies, but first my sister, her husband, daughters and I walked to the local school and played in the playground. Then I made the dough (Voitaikina) for the Joulutortut and put it into the fridge to cool. Then my friend [livejournal.com profile] josiestraka came over, and she and I went for a walk before playing games with my nieces while my sister baked the cookies.

Voitaikina )

Joulutortut )

Tomorrow I fly to Anchorage, and I'll be in Alaska through to the 5th of January.

a fun day

Mar. 7th, 2009 12:18 am
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Woke up motivated to work pretty much straight away this morning (yay!), and managed to finish up the last couple of figures for chapter 4 and do a few minor edits on it, and got it sent off to my advisor. Then I turned to the southwest coast samples--set up the calculations for the first one, and got an error explaining that the program crashed due to encountering a negative square root. I double checked; yes, this is a sample that my advisor ran calculations for ages ago, and yes, he got it to work. It looks like I'm using the same data, try again. Same error message. So, I did the sensible thing and took the rest of the afternoon off--went and made more of those yummy gluten free almond/coconut biscuits (see post from early this week for th recipe--perhaps Monday) for tonight's gaming session. Then started some vegetable soup (potatoes, silver beet, beet greens, kale, and green beans from our garden, and lentils, broccoli stems, and carrot from the store + butter, curry powder, cumin, coriander & pepper) in one pot, and some spiced brown rice, purple rice, and white rice with pistachios, sesame seed, flax seeds, chia seeds, and tofu with cubebs and saffron in the rice cooker so that we'd have gluten free food for the gamers when they arrived. Once it was cooked I enjoyed a bowl full, since I was hungry and they weren't expected till after 6:30, which is later than I care to be eating, given a choice(the contents of the two pots, whilst spiced very differently, blended very well). Then I went and picked some blackberries. It is still very early in blackberry season, so only a small percentage of the berries are ripe, but there are enough bushes along our creek that I was able to get a small bowl full, so we had plenty of yummy, and mostly healthy, gaming food. I even managed to get in a walk--heading up the road as far as Sandfly (45 minutes) before our gamers reached me, and I hopped in their car for a ride back to the house.

The game was quite fun--just one of those sessions where our heroes are trying to get from point A to point B and faced some random encounters along the way. The two assassins who were foolish enough to try to take us down on the road had clearly not been warned about the tiger in the party. When looting the bodies we determined that the one suit of studded leather armour was too badly damaged to be worth salvaging. The very, very large snake which dropped on my huge, beautiful, barbarian in the jungle took a bit more effort, but we dined on roasted snake that night (and lots of it). The next day we were very fortunate in that we heard the Allosaurus coming, so my magic users had time to double my size (yes my armour and weapons too!) and add some Bull strength into the mix, and even more fortunate that I happened to roll a 20 in my first attack against that dinosaur, weakening it enough for the first fireball to finish destroying the "poor thing", and the following day's attack by the Dinonychus-riding lizard folk took a bit longer for the party to deal with, and a few more healing spells and potions to recover from, but was still handled nicely, with only one spare tiger summoned to assist. We may now be close enough to our destination as to face the true villains again next gaming session.

Now I need to do yoga, read my 1000 words of geologic literature, and get some sleep. With luck I can get the calculations working in the morning before it is time to head to the SCA Newcommer's Feast in the afternoon. No, I will not also be heading to the Tournament on Sunday--after gaming and feast already this weekend, I can't spare the time for another diversion, no matter how much fun I'd find it.

a fun day

Mar. 7th, 2009 12:18 am
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Woke up motivated to work pretty much straight away this morning (yay!), and managed to finish up the last couple of figures for chapter 4 and do a few minor edits on it, and got it sent off to my advisor. Then I turned to the southwest coast samples--set up the calculations for the first one, and got an error explaining that the program crashed due to encountering a negative square root. I double checked; yes, this is a sample that my advisor ran calculations for ages ago, and yes, he got it to work. It looks like I'm using the same data, try again. Same error message. So, I did the sensible thing and took the rest of the afternoon off--went and made more of those yummy gluten free almond/coconut biscuits (see post from early this week for th recipe--perhaps Monday) for tonight's gaming session. Then started some vegetable soup (potatoes, silver beet, beet greens, kale, and green beans from our garden, and lentils, broccoli stems, and carrot from the store + butter, curry powder, cumin, coriander & pepper) in one pot, and some spiced brown rice, purple rice, and white rice with pistachios, sesame seed, flax seeds, chia seeds, and tofu with cubebs and saffron in the rice cooker so that we'd have gluten free food for the gamers when they arrived. Once it was cooked I enjoyed a bowl full, since I was hungry and they weren't expected till after 6:30, which is later than I care to be eating, given a choice(the contents of the two pots, whilst spiced very differently, blended very well). Then I went and picked some blackberries. It is still very early in blackberry season, so only a small percentage of the berries are ripe, but there are enough bushes along our creek that I was able to get a small bowl full, so we had plenty of yummy, and mostly healthy, gaming food. I even managed to get in a walk--heading up the road as far as Sandfly (45 minutes) before our gamers reached me, and I hopped in their car for a ride back to the house.

The game was quite fun--just one of those sessions where our heroes are trying to get from point A to point B and faced some random encounters along the way. The two assassins who were foolish enough to try to take us down on the road had clearly not been warned about the tiger in the party. When looting the bodies we determined that the one suit of studded leather armour was too badly damaged to be worth salvaging. The very, very large snake which dropped on my huge, beautiful, barbarian in the jungle took a bit more effort, but we dined on roasted snake that night (and lots of it). The next day we were very fortunate in that we heard the Allosaurus coming, so my magic users had time to double my size (yes my armour and weapons too!) and add some Bull strength into the mix, and even more fortunate that I happened to roll a 20 in my first attack against that dinosaur, weakening it enough for the first fireball to finish destroying the "poor thing", and the following day's attack by the Dinonychus-riding lizard folk took a bit longer for the party to deal with, and a few more healing spells and potions to recover from, but was still handled nicely, with only one spare tiger summoned to assist. We may now be close enough to our destination as to face the true villains again next gaming session.

Now I need to do yoga, read my 1000 words of geologic literature, and get some sleep. With luck I can get the calculations working in the morning before it is time to head to the SCA Newcommer's Feast in the afternoon. No, I will not also be heading to the Tournament on Sunday--after gaming and feast already this weekend, I can't spare the time for another diversion, no matter how much fun I'd find it.

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