Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stop studying...just stop!!

Method to my madness
Pierre calls me everyday around lunch time just to see how I am doing...isn't that cute??
Anyway, he knows that I am sitting here studying for an exam that yesterday I felt alot more positive about than today. I am taking a business law class which is an introduction to domestic and international laws that I may run into to once I am unleashed onto the swedish job market. The amount of papers and information is overwhelming and I am praying that my teacher will, quite frankly, keep it simple. Its not a class which I will recieve academic points for but my teacher's approach is to make it as comprehensive as possible. The only positive is that I been so absorbed in my studies that I have not really noticed the weather. The key to winter in Sweden is staying as busy as possible so that when the sun goes down at like 4pm you don't feel like its time to go to bed. Anyway, Pierre has told me to close my books and sit and relax a bit before going to pick up the munchkin, so that is what I intend to do.
Earlier I did a little recording from the Kee Kee Kam so here it is, I apologize in advance for the bad quality.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THe Weather Report Said....

Winter Morning in Råcksta

The weather in Sweden is extreme to say the least....people talk about the weather all the time and when you have such variety in weather ...its actually possible to discuss weather at length.
So, last night they showed the map of Sweden just covered by this snow storm which I am not sure is moving in from the East or coming from the West...anyway...it will snow for three days, NON STOP!!
Oh yes, let me clarify when I say snow you might imagine large fluttering fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky like cottonballs from a sugar coated heaven...

This isn't that..

Its flurries of tiny ice rocks that fly right into your eyes...your nose is running and your butt is numb...its awful.


Mable loves the winter and inspires me to see the positive side of it...she is my little Viking
At least I have a cute jacket though- one of my latest purchases from Zara!
Its like 4pm in the picture! We won't get into the winter darkness issue.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

SVT: Grotesco - Blanda Upp



Grotesco is a comedy show that is running here in Sweden.  Basically its all about classic political satire.
The theme for that particular week was race relations in Sweden.

This video really tripped me out!

Pumpkin Cornbread- Thanksgiving Family Feast

Click here to see the recipe for the newest addition to my Thanksgiving menu:
Pumpkin Cornbread

Every year I add a new dish to my Thanksgiving menu so that by the time Pierre and I have purchased our dream kitchen, in whatever place it might be, either in a city apartment or country house, I will have the m0st amazing Thanksgiving spread to offer our guests. My first Thanksgiving dinner, in Sweden, was a potluck and three couples (all American-wives and Swedish-husbands) got together and put our dishes together.

 It was fine..I was really stressed since I had the turkey and Pierre managed to slice his finger open, just as I started to film, but whatever... it was a Thanksgiving to remember..not the best, but at least gave me enough motivation to continue the tradition.
One of the great things about not being able to spend Thanksgiving at home is that it forces you to learn how to cook these recipes that you grow up with. Even though my Granny didn't write down her recipes I use my "oral memory" to recreate the same tastes and that is what it is all about anyway!

So, do I have a future Thanksgiving invitation list in my head?

You better believe it but are YOU on it??

Blog Question: Do you eat the same food on Thanksgiving and Christmas???

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stockholm photo......I believe this weather will return...I do believe it!

Kyana at KatarinaHissen

The Katarina Elevator is a passenger elevator, originally constructed in 1881,  that connects Slussen ) to the heights of Södermalm, my future home...at least it will be one of the Malms!!  Ok, I hope!

Isn't Stockholm beautiful?? I love it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Update on the Immigrant shootings Malmö

The 38-year old man in Malmö who is arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in Malmö was today formally remanded into custody by the district court of Malmö today. 


Racist shootings suspect remanded in custody - Stockholm News


I hope justice is done and Malmö can start the healing process.

I pray that the shootings will stop!

Reebok, Butts and Study Breaks

I want a pair of Reebok Easy Tone shoes for Christmas. The plan is that I will wear them all winter in doors and when its time to premiere my butt again...it will be EASY TONED! Alright...I know I will have to work out as well but at least I am thinking in the right way.



Today I am suppose to be studying for my business law class, which is generally covering issues that I might need to know if I continue to work with international marketing and sales. I have a list of questions that I have to answer and websites to visit and one website is for the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman.

You can visit their site at www.reklamombudsmannen.org.

The Swedish Advertising Ombudsman promotes ethical marketing communication in Sweden. What was interesting was that I saw that this commercial had been criticised for "objectifying women". I had no idea, but I have noticed that its not getting as much airtime as it once did. This is great commercial...sometimes when it came on...I would ask Pierre a question just to watch him struggle to concentrate.
I know, bad girl!

Here is the link to the article about the "objectifying women" charge...
On the profitable butt-commercials of today - Stockholm News

Enjoy...I have to keep studying. Its almost time to pick up my little monster!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hibernation

I feel like I'm going into hibernation. The sun sets early now and it is complete darkness by 5 pm. It will only get darker and darker. Some of my reserve energy is now delegated to the task of keeping my body warm. I take a deep breathe as the reality that Fall is slipping away and winter is just around the corner, settles into my bones. It's about having faith that summer will return but I mourn the flowers and the bees.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Speaker and Racism

Today was my final class in Cross Cultural Communication. On schedule we had a Swedish woman that was to lecture about the American business culture. I was curious to hear if the experiences she shared with the class would be positive or negative. Swedes have a love/hate relationship with the United States. I don't want to make generalizations but its like there is an obsession with the US and people are extreme in their feelings about it. Either you are 100% a pro-American or you hate it, that's it..there is no indifference here about the US.
Anyway, overall the lecture was interesting and at times really funny until the subject of racism came up. Now, you have to understand that Swedes do not think that they are racist or that racism exists here. Today, there is a serial killer running around targetting immigrants in Malmö, the third largest town in Sweden. There are problems with integration here...I mean entire areas in Stockholm where there are only immigrants that live there, but when she mentioned that her real estate broker in the US thought that she would be able to get an apartment because she wasn't black or Jewish my classmates were appalled. My lecturer's reaction was, "yes, these things happen even today in the US" but ask anyone in Sweden with a certain type of last name if they felt that they have been denied an apartment or a job and you hear that yes, these things happen even today in Sweden.
http://schaberhistory.wikispaces.com/
I didn't feel comfortable with the issue of racism being brought up, because its complicated and something that a white foreigner really could never understand, much less attempt to explain. I am african american and I still can't wrap my head around racism at times, so its not appropriate for it to be "just a bullet point" on a powerpoint presentation of  a Swedish woman who lived in the States for seven years. As a consequence of this racism -as a subject dabbling, a few of my classmates started to ask me questions...yippee.... about the situation and what its like to deal with racism in the US.
I started off with my view that its a completed subject. I had to explain that I didn't feel "held down by the shackles of the man" on a daily basis. Yes, I was aware that there were country clubs that did not allow Blacks to join but I had to explain, that I didn't know where they were. It wasn't like I was shaking the guard gates screaming, let me in, let me in. Yes, I did agree that the American dream was a myth to most but that only in the US, could the phenomenon that is OPRAH be an example of a dream made real. I also had to point out that poverty should not be exclusively assigned to a racial group. Most Swedes, because of negative media, believe that most black people are poverty stricken and that isn't true.
So, I did appreciate the lecturer's viewpoint that racism is bad but it left too many unanswered questions or too much room for people to draw the wrong conclusions. Racism is everywhere. Its human nature to divide ourselves and create "otherness". At least in the US we admit to our weaknesses and don't try to pretend that the problems don't exist because they do, but as long as people need to feel better about themselves at the expense of others it will continue...just like the shootings in Malmö.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Any News?? Lots of People have irritated me this week!!!

Today I stayed home because yesterday I almost lost my temper in class. Sometimes I feel like my school just hires anyone to teach us the "practical" portion of our education. Actually the international sales and marketing education has theoretical blocks as well so we earn academic credit for those classes. Anyway, the practical classes are taught by individuals who have their own companies and sell their courses to our school.

Some have been great teachers and others while having fantastic qualifications in their subject, just can't teach.

Yesterday, I was appalled by my teacher insisting that instead of confronting an issue "head on" with another person, from a different culture, that instead we form the problem into a question asking if whether or not what said person is doing, is normal in their country or culture.

This only works if what said person is doing is positive..."oh can you show me, we don't do that in the States". Instead...if an Italian is invading your personal space or you're at a business meeting and your Irish colleague is drinking too much...that is when you are supposed to form the problem into a question and insert nationality.
Do all Italians stand close together? Do all Irish people drink as much as you?

I would say if you form the question wrong and its already tense, you offend someone.