Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Trees...America vs. Sweden

Fredrik and I have been...umm...debating what kind of Christmas tree we'll have when we celebrate our first Christmas together (instead of on separate continents which is lame.) But he says we must have a 'Swedish' Christmas Tree. (aka none of what makes my christmas tree awesome. Personal memory filled ornaments dating from up to 50 years ago, colorful lights that fill a room with warmth and color (personally I find this to be a desirable aspect to the tree, especially if we're in Sweden the land of 2% sunshine in November...yeah apparently that's how much sunshine was around this November...I have to say...I agree I was there for most of it.) Hand strung popcorn that was made while watching christmas or holiday films on a Sunday night. And the biggest point of debate, is when do you put up the tree. My family tradition usually sticks to the first weekend of December. We moved up to the more American standard of Thanksgiving while in college only because it was practical.

Fredrik does not agree with any of this. White lights. Standardized ornaments. And worse of all: putting up the tree on the 23rd of December.

Umm...where do you put the presents?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Master of Letters

I received notification last night that I qualified with merit for a Master of Letters (MLitt) from the University of Glasgow in Decorative Arts and Design History! WOO!


Thursday, October 29, 2009


This blog is quiet now ... so just check out my other blog if you wanna :)

<3 <3

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foggy day in Linköping

So a few things of note this morning.
1. My boyfriend is really hungover, and it's a little funny...even though I feel bad he left his wallet here and can't get into his office. Looks like I'll be making a trip to campus here ina few minutes.

2. He's actually very brilliant. The housing company decided that 7am till 11am was a great time to redo the floor in the common room...meaning no on was allowed into the room for that amount of are you supposed to eat breakfast (I guess that good 5 hr block of time from 12 till 17 just didn't work for know when no one really needs to get into the common room because they're on campus our busy..) anyways... Fredrik, being as smart as he is, decided that inorder to have breakfast, we have to bring it to us, in our wee little room. So since it's so chilly outside at night he decided to hang a bag with the milk, yoghurt, cheese and butter outside our window last night (even when drunk).

He is brilliant, because it totally worked. I love him...and how damn smart he is...I would never have thought to do that (I was pushing for cinnamon rolls for breakfast..see where my brain is..ha)

3. the masquerade ball in Kalmar is this weekend, and I'm almost done with my massive sewing projects. Check out my costuming blog at I update that a lot more than I do this one at the moment.

4. I'll be home in a month. See you all soon..

5. oh and Home Improvement is showing the Christmas episodes and it's totally reminding me of being a little kid...and I love it.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

learning Swedish

The best way to practice your Swedish listening skills is to watch Svenska Hollywood Fruers.

California has been 'good' to them. They speak....slowwwwwwwwwwwllyyyyyyyyyyyy verrrrrrryyyyyyy ssllloooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyy.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

'tis the season'

I've had a little laugh from facebook today, and I wish to share it with you all.


 It seems, that across major cities and college campuses throughout the United States there has been this ongoing trend of fall/winter wear worn by women. It consists of a few basic pieces, but is still costly to put together.

1. White T-shirt usually oversized and preferably the v neck Hanes you buy from your local superstore (Target of course being the fashionista's choice). This, is the best piece of the ensemble. I love these shirts. They're soft and 100% cotton, comfy, and cheap. Not a lot not to love really. Plus V necks are pretty flattering for most girls.

2. Spandex pants. Ok. This is where things start to go wrong. Why? Well, we'll discuss this later. However Just know that they're usually black, as standard leggings go. However it must also be noted that since this uniform is usually worn on a college campus, they're usually 1. old. 2. too small. 'Why do you say too small?' You's simple really. Beer. Beer + Drunk food= Fatty. If you took finite, you'd know this. Not only does this mean they are wearing old spandex, but usually the bum is too healthy to fit into them in a way that is decent for grandmothers to see and for their lower body blood circulation. But that's beside the point.

3. Ugg boots. Ugg. Enough said. STOP WEARING THESE GOD FORSAKEN BOOTS THEY'RE UGLY. I say that Uggs and Crocs should burn in shoe hades. Good riddance.

4. A fleece nortface pullover. Usually black, but can come in a variety of colors. Northface is a popular and really good outdoor know...for when you're hiking in the woods on a cool fall day...or camping...or live in colorado and would like something that helps keep you dry that isn't a full blown parka. However are they truly needed for a lovely fall day? No. They're not. Plus can we just gently refer back to the whole Beer + Drunk food= Fatty equation. wool sweaters...may be comfy..but it's not exactly flattering for a girl who is still in her 'i'm a senior in highschool and smoking hot' mentality. Sorry sweetheart, you've gained the Freshman 20. We all do it. I did it..:I just didn't wear spandex to amplify it.

5. (Optional) A badly dyed, dirty, messy mass of hair that is somehow tied up to the head in some weird ass way. It's hard to understand..all you know is that it looks like a dead animal is up in there burrowing for the winter.

6. (Optional) Cigarettes.

7. (Optional Depending on Weather and Severity of Hangover) Oversized Sunglasses. These are fine. I like big sunglasses. I have light sensitive eyes.

7. (Optional but common on Mondays and Fridays) Stale Beer Perfume. smell a college campus again...

I'm sure, if you have followed this blog at all, you know the type of girl I'm talking about (and since most of my readers are in college...I'm sure you know exactly what I am talking about.

Alright. There's the backstory now here is what happened on Facebook today.

Daniel H (his facebook status): saw some uggboots, leggings, and northface action today....tis the season!
 A girl named Katherine: were you at miami? because thats the staple fall uniform here
 [additional random facebook comments]
Abby C (me): god damn i wish those walking fashion disasters would just freaking stop. They look worse than their beer, grease, and ciagrette smoke weave smells.
Katherine (yes, that one I just mentioned): ps I am sporting that outfit today haha.

Yes. That's right. She posted that immediately after my mini rant. (i died..laughing...)

It was cause for a good laugh. I am not sorry. It's true.

JUST SAY NO TO THAT COMBO. It makes you look like trash.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweden likes and dislikes after 1.5 weeks.

Alright, I've been in Sweden now for about 1.5 weeks and I've realized a couple things that are absolutely stupid about Sweden.

1. This whole 'dual' duvet for big beds. I went to Ikea with Fredrik this weekend, and I saw 1 duvet that fit a larger bed. What the hell is up with this 2 duvet thing? I'm sorry, I know you Swedes are used to it, but really...but 1. Why buy 2 and deal with 2, and wash 2, have to find 2, match 2, where you could buy...1. Single. Solitary duvet and duvet cover. For being socially progressive I did find it a *tad* neo-1950s. Seriously. How are you supposed to cuddle with your partner if you are holed up into your own personal duvet? Hmm? What a crazy mess that would make in the mornings. You don't have to make 1 bed, but might as well be making 2. Twice the work. Twice the hassle. One big duvet, Sweden. Let's get with the program here.

2. Tampons. Fredrik and I went to the massive ICA this weekend, and I remembered that I should buy a box of tampax for my upcoming week of misery. In drugstores, gas stations, any where really, in America I have a healthy selection of Tampons. Do I want plastic or cardboard applicators? Travel size? Teen, Lite, Regular, Super or Super-Plus? (Yes, Sweden, in case you weren't aware of this, the women of the world have different feminine needs depending on their maturity and birth control intake. One single tampon option will not cut it!) And what's up with the crazy pad selection? Is the Swedish government and/or grocery chains being bought out by Always? Happy Period, my arse. (Glasgow will always affect me in some way...) Maybe It's ridiculous, and frankly cruel to only give me 2 tampon options, because, Ob is not an option. Ok. Please work on this, I don't want to have to deal with this delimma again.

Alright, those are my 2 major beefs with Sweden. Now for the thing I like.

1. Bicycles! I am always humming the Queen song in my head when I am (finally) going on my bike. As most of you know, I am not great on a bicycle...not even really that good. I'm getting better, it's true, but I'm obviously someone who really knows what they are doing on a bicycle. I ususally have a false start when I'm trying to get on, or get moving from a complete stop at a light, but I am improving. I have not wrecked or fallen off, I have gone great distances, and worked my legs a great deal. I hope my thighs are even better toned after this stint in Sweden. I dig it, I really do. Especially the lack of cars on the roads and the ample huge pretty bike paths that actually seem to cut time away from travel. Just like Fredrik said that America was geared to travelling by car, Sweden is geared to travelling by bike. You always get there quickly, just as quick as with a car really. You never have to worry about finding a close parking spot, because you just put your bike where ever you want and no one will bother it. And I challenge you to find a really fat person on a bicycle. It's difficult, and I would argue that the said fat person is not actually a regular bike rider, but pursuing an attempt to lose some weight....or their car is not driveable. So yes. I am also wondering the difference in celluite from bicycle riders vs. non bicycle riders...I feel mine deminishing as we speak (or after I crawl up 3 flights of stairs after a power bike up hill back home from Ikea).

2. Dairy Products. I also would like to see a study of American women vs. Swedish women and the regularity of osteoperosis in these women. The amount of dairy products in Sweden seems to be fairly common subject of banter amongst the internet crowds, but it really is astonishing once you're in a grocery. Cheese, Yoghurt, Milk, Creams, that strange sour milk product, and other stuff. It's just. Wow. And EVERYONE is about the milk product here. In Fredrik's flat I doubt there is never someone who is not eating something that has dairy as a main ingredient.

3. Stripes. Like dairy, every one (mostly girls) wear stripes of some nature. I guess because they are all so skinny from their bicycles that horizontal stripes are easy to get away with. However, there are some mistakes to this truth. Here is my first major fashion no-no. I don't know what this girl's problem is. You can tell she's Swedish by what she's wearing. Khakis, and stripes. She's blonde and at a student party. Here's the problem...and I really don't want to be cruel, but I have to be honest...she's not skinny like normal Swedish women. Alright, I'm not trying to pass judgement on body types and sizes, I don't know this girl's story. However, what she is wearing is unexcusable. Please, everyone, for the sake of simplicity, when buying the new 'retro' look clothes that channel the horrid 70s and 80s please keep one thing in mind. Pleated Pants Are Not Flattering. This is even more true if you have a tummy. To make matters worse, if you have a tummy do not, I repeat, do not Tuck In a horizontally striped shirt into the pleated pants. Why? Because that is what you look like. A Fashion Victim in a drunken train wreck. (I barred out her eyes...not that you can really see her face anyways. She totally saw me take a picture of her too....not sorry. I couldn't stop staring, for all the wrong reasons).

4. These coverall parties. I'll just post some pictures so you can see the fun Fredrik and I had my first weekend here. It was fun. :) I like pretending to be a student...though I am technically an 'adult' now. Even Fredrik (cough cough 25) stated this weekend at a student bar, 'I think I'm getting too old for this....I don't recognize anyone' Which is true. What I find oddly funny is that at 25, in America, people would be shocked he wasn't married, with a carrier, and a kid really. Nope, my boyfriend refuses to grow up in some aspects, the good ones I guess. He's an adult when it comes to laundry though...but that's a different story.. Anyways, here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

This final picture is of a square in the city centre of Linköping. I think it's a beautiful city.

Overall, I really like Sweden so far. I am starting to pick up on some may-jah cultural difference, but I think that it's a really amazing country with a cool mindset. So, we'll see how the rest of my 90 days go...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Hey what's up Linköping?

I've successfully made it Linköping Sweden for a few days now, and am starting to get a bit relaxed for my temporary resting place. I've been a bit sick, but I think it's just a cold/allergy/sinus mess I got from weather changing and Fredrik having a touch of something when I got here.

so far so good. I like Sweden very much on a shallow level. The inner workings of the gov't and all that jazz isn't what I'm about at the moment. I'm just a tourist right now enjoying hanging out with my boyfriend for a little while before I head home to America.

It's been fun. Fredrik and I went to this big party on Friday and I got to wear 'standard' Swedish college party wear....according to Linköping anyways...

it was a good time, and then the next day was this big tug of war event that we went to. Also a good time....watching a bunch of drunks tug o war themselves into a drag usually or some sort of crazy costume is always good for a laugh.

Other than that it's been fairly quiet. Fredrik and I went and rode bikes yesterday...about died right there....I'm getting better at it...mostly taking off from stop is tricky for crosswalks and i are not friendly yet....but makes people it's the least I can do.

I guess we'll just see how long it takes for me to get more adjusted while I'm here. I'm listening very closely to when people speak swedish...I hope to improve at least a little bit...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1 year

It was exactly one year ago that I had just finished packing for Glasgow and was trying to calm my nerves before leaving September 9th for Glasgow with my mom.

Today, one year later. I am not nervous, but ready for the next leg of the adventure known as my life. Tomorrow evening I will be leaving Glasgow for Sweden to spend the fall with Fredrik. That time last year, I was in the air on my way to Glasgow.

How amazing this year has been. How life changing.

More to post later. Too much cleaning to do now. The next time I write- I shall be in Sweden!

<3 <3

Saturday, September 5, 2009


1 toilet flat.

Said toilet decided to break at 11 pm on a Friday night.


(Note: Once I posted this, an advert for toilets came up from Google Ads. I found it funny.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Window Cleaners

Who decided that it was alright for a bunch of window cleaners to barge in at 930 am?


One guy told me it was noon. It was most definitely not.

I am not happy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Later this week I will try to post a more 'reflective' blog about my year spent in Glasgow...

people keep asking me why I'm leaving and if I'll miss Glasgow.

The answers are simple...kinda.

I'm leaving because I want to be in Sweden with Fredrik, begin to learn Swedish and enjoy a few months of 'holiday' before moving back to America to save money for the 'big' move to Sweden which will hopefully be possible mid to late 2010.

I always miss the places where I have been and have left an imprint on. I will miss my friends. The nights in Fredrik's kitchen cooking dinner. The HRC complaining about school and life over a pint with my coursemates and friends. Things like that. I'll miss my happy memories.

I will not miss the drunks, the weather, the lack of nature or the peace and quiet that I am blessed with at home.

Oh- And I will definitely not miss my flat. *Note to potential University of Glasgow Students (International or 'Local') Don't live in the University Accommodation. It's rubbish..if you want to make friends when you first arrive- go to all the international/freshers events at the beginning of the year and go to the Primary on Thursday nights. Trust me, you'll be fine, and much happier in a let flat. :)

<3 <3

Sunday, August 30, 2009

100th blog post

The post below was my 100th blog post!



:) :)

<3 <3


I'm packing again...this time for my long visit to Sweden.

I leave September 9th.

Trying to think of a new name for the blog...something that still has at least 'Scotland' in the title, but clues people into my more Scandinavian settings.

Check out my other costuming blog too, if you're bored.

<3 <3

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Hmm how ironic almost 1 year ago today, I was waiting to go to Glasgow..and now I'm waiting to go home.

Fredrik is currently in Prestwick airport getting his stuff together to hop on a bus to Glasgow bus station...

only 1 more hour till he's here and 7 hours until I'm on my way to the airport!

eek! no sleep tonight!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have just put the final touches on my master's dissertation. I will be turning it in this Friday...and I cannot wait! I can't believe how relatively...painless (?)... the whole thing was. However, when you're not doing anything else most of June and all of July, I do not think the process is as miserable as it has been for some of my coursemates who are still fighting it out with their papers.

I'm not going to lie, I am so glad I finished early. Fredrik is coming in exactly 1 week, and we'll be flying home next Thursday. This means that from Friday afternoon until December my life is going to be geared on sewing, planning the next step, and learning how not to worry. I am so looking forward to this time off. Even though I do know that I will probably go bat-shit crazy with boredom at some points over the next few months. My main goals this fall are to learn Swedish as best as I can and as quickly as I can and to successfuly create Fredrik's masquerade ensemble (read about it here.)

I guess sometime in September I will give a massive blog about what my year in Scotland was like, all reflective etc. As of now, I am just so geared on being finished with my dissertation and enjoying what's left of this summer, that it is all I think about. I don't have time to think about missing Scotland..and I definitely wont miss my gross flat.

I can't wait to come home and see everyone!

<3 <3

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Educating the Swede for America

As we speak, I am currently educating Fredrik on some of the beauties of being from Indiana/Kentucky/Mid-west.

You know what I mean...

country music..

I think he wants to kill me now, with the amount of music videos I'm making him watch...haha...

So far I've made him watch, Garth Brooks- Friends in Low Places, some George Strait - Cross my heart, and George Jones..

I really do think I'm driving him bonkers, but I find this really fun...haha

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All the little bits and pieces

So I finished the final chapter to my dissertation today, and if I can keep to my schedule, I'll be completely finished and turning everything in by the beginning of August, which will give me almost 2 weeks to relax and plan things and prepare for home!

I'll be so happy to get this burden off my shoulders!

22 days till I'm home!!

<3 <3

Friday, July 17, 2009

I love summer...

...especially when it is spent in a small room that also functions as my bedroom and living space sitting in front of a computer writing 15,000 to 20,000 words.

It's swell.

On the plus side, I finally get to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince tonight with Kat and Hanne. It's my one social event of the week (well, I did get to get lunch with Karen and Kat yesterday I've had 2 social events this week! YAY!)

I cannot WAIT to go home with Fredrik.

I. cannot. wait.

Read my other blog, Stay-ing Alive, if you want to know how my 18th century clothing making is coming along...I'm being fairly good about updating that..but that's because I'm actually making progress and have something to write about, instead of writing about nothing here, because I'm not doing anything but working on my dissertation and watching Boston Legal.

<3 <3

Sunday, July 12, 2009

London, Liverpool and Home, oh my!

Official Announcement:

Fredrik and I will be arriving in Louisville International Airport on August 13th! I'm coming home for 2 weeks! I cannot wait! I'm so excited ! Bliss Bliss Bliss!

Ok, enough of that

So last weekend and the beginning part of this week was spent reuniting with Brooke for some good 18th century research touring around London and Liverpool. We tried to get into the collections at the V&A and London but they were not having it (nor was Manchester..lame...all the damn collections are closed to researchers..lame lame lame). Anyways, we had a fabulous time in London, and it was great to be back in one of my favorite cities! We spent the day at the National Gallery where I was in art history nerd heaven. Every single early Netherlandish Renaissance painting on display I had studied at the Arnolfini's Wedding painting. Bliss. They also had great Tudor paintings. I'm much more interested in that than Brooke is, so I tried not to bore her about what they were wearing...the eighteenth-century stuff was wonderful as well... I just adore Gainsborough. His lose brushwork and how he highlights the faces is just to die for. This one is one of my favorites, and it is at the National Gallery. We then had a nice lunch and toured Bond Street where I drooled over Alexander McQueen and yawned at the other designers. For being high end/couture, their sewing was shitty. Prada, why would you not finish a hem? Um, if I wanted unfinished hems, I'd go to Top Shop. Disgusting.

Brooke wasn't feeling so hot, and she wanted to see about Top Shop, so we went to Oxford Circus (um...oops?) It was nuts, and we weren't feeling it. Brooke and I are the same when it comes to traveling and shopping. We don't want to be crowded and we triple check everything Our conversation example:

Brooke: "Okay. Wallet. Check. Phone. Check. Camera. Check. Keys. Check."
Me: "Ok, and I have everything too, and I have my camera in case your batteries die, and I also have 2 copies of our train tickets for later so here is yours and here is mine, and I was thinking we should get to the train station about 30 minutes to an hour before departure so we wont be rushed?"
Brooke: "sounds perfect!"

We never ran late for anything.

The biggest surprise of our afternoon, which was a bit of a shame because we got there not too long before closing and had a long and enjoyable tea (with clotted cream and jam on a scone!) We went to the Tate and for 18th century was to DIE for. I had never been, but I want to go back, just because we didn't get to examine them as closely as we would have liked. Also, I really want to get a better look at the glorious Pre-Raphaelite work (love love love).

We then took the train to Liverpool and spent the next day in the Liverpool National Museum collection, where I got to examine a pair of 1770-80s never before worn stays and all of its intense inner workings. A man's waistcoat (research for Fredrik's), and Brooke and I oohed and ahhed over a number of 1770s-90s gowns. All very similar to the style that we draped and cut out for my masquerade gown. (which we did on the train and in the hotel rooms late at night. however, no pictures of that shall be posted until after the masquerade)

We spent the entire day in the collections and had great fun talking to the staff at lunch. Pauline Rushton (curator of costumes) is lovely and super sweet.

That night (Tuesday) we headed back to Glasgow. Because that morning we went to the Burrell (my 3rd trip now) and looked at some gowns, a corded pet-en-l'air and a sleeve which was really horribly stained...sad sad. It was sad though, cause then brooke left for Wales...I've had the best time with her when we've seen each otherthis year. It's been really great though, having someone to talk to about 18th century clothing. She's the best go to...and to help me drape my gown...I can't even begin to gush about how lucky I am for that. She did a great job with it, and the bodice is almost I'll be able to get a lot of it done when I'm at home i think...which will be nice. We talked about me coming for a visit to Cairo in the fall, and I am really looking forward to that...1 because it'll be great to visit Brooke and 2. I've always wanted to go to Egypt, and this is probably my best shot.

So, after Brooke left, I had a meeting with Sally my dissertation Supervisor, and got a lot of that sorted out (had my official mental breakdown cry fest a week now i know I'm in the downhill stretch) and all that's left is to write my dissertation. I've already been writing now it's just finishing it and making it good. Though I have to admit I'm fed up and want it over with and I just want my damn degree.

That's my life right now. Dissertation and Sewing. I still haven't finished my stays..but all that's left is to do the eyelets in the body and to finish the straps...just...I'll get around to it in an afternoon...

I'm so excited to come home...I can't wait to see you all!!!

<3 <3

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Grades and Toilet Humor

So I found out my grades yesterday! I am satisfied with what I have received as it was a vast improvement from last semester (I definitely learned a hard lesson last semester, but I do believe that my improvement shows that I learned it.) I did not come here to make straight As, nor do I think it's possible in my program. I just want to get my damn master's and be done with it, and I will be doing that by August. Huzzah!


Funny Sweden Story Time:

The first few days I spent in Sweden were in Solvik which is an area about 30 minutes outside of central Stockholm. It is a camping paradise next to Björn Borg (?) and Mark Hulio (sp?) 2 very famous Swedes..for various reasons which I wont get into...I was just bragging.

Anyways. They have 2 toilets in this camp complex which are not the typical American hole in the ground with a little stinky wooden house on top. Nope, these things were high tech, electric inferno poop burning machines. No smell (well...except when the incinerator was working), and you get to know what it's like to poo and pee in paper bags. Well, the rule was that boys pee in the woods, and girls can use the toliets to pee in, Fredrik didn't know that rule, and so at 2 am guess who was having to pee like no body's business in the woods wearing a maxi dress? (1 was me). Anyways, so, of course the next day when I decide I can't hold it any longer (I was going against nature at this point and conserving my peeing amounts), I go to this high tech poop burning toilets.

They're beeping with a red light.

This, is never a good sign.

I had not used the toliets before this very moment, I must make this clear. None of what is about to happen is really my fault. Of course, it being my luck, I am the one who feels like the moron for 'breaking' the toilets.

Well I tell Markus about the beeping, and he says it's probably just because someone didn't put enough liquid in the bag and so it didn't go to the inferno properly. So he says to flush a bag of water down to make it work or attempt to fix it.

I did this.

It did not work.

Well, what do to? Playing in water, thinking about how badly I need to pee..and only pee.

Screw it, I'll pee and add water. Can't hurt.

I was wrong. Dead. Wrong. The amounts of water I put down the toilet along with other waste product (hint hint, my release) are now coming out of the bottom of the toilet. This is what I sounded like, "OH SHIT! OH HOLY SHIT! NO NO NO NO NO! SHIT! GOD DAMNIT!" etc.

I go and get Markus. To make a long story short, I went with Jose to go dig a shit hole in the woods, all the while, Markus is fixing the two broken toilets. As it turns out, if paper gets into a certain part of the toilet, it doesn't incinerate anymore...meaning that there is a back up issue. It's a safety hazard if paper gets in the wrong area (talk about setting your pants on fire. haha), so 30 people over 4 days, many of whom were drunk boys (and we all know what happens when you drink too much). Yep. Gross. Gross Gross. Markus, being the trooper that he is, cleaned out both toilets to working perfection. He is demanding a discount/refund from the people. I think it was well earned.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a testiment to my ridiculous luck with toilets and bodily functions.

Sometimes, it's just better to shit in the woods.

<3 <3

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Swedish Coffee, Boyfriends, and Cheese Slicers-- My Swedish Vacation

Hello Lovers

I have, very regrettably, returned to Glasvegas from Sunny Sweden.

I loved it.

I know, I know, I know, that I was blessed with some of the best weather Sweden has to offer, but you all need to understand, that even if Sweden isn't always like that (um can we say 25 C slight breeze and no clouds? Oh yes, I think we just did.) It is still far superior to anything I've seen from Glasgow (except that mysterious summer weather that made an appearance when I was in Paris, since I wasn't here for that, I refuse to believe it actually happened.)

I loved Sweden. LOVED IT. Sweden was exactly what I was expecting with a few surprises. The first being that Kalmar, where Fredrik is from, is like Sweden's answer to Troy, Ohio, where my mother is from, where my grandparents still live, and where I would love to live some day. Why? Because it's pretty, safe, picturesque, and not too large, but with a large city close enough to do serious shopping damage in (as we all know this is nessecary to my survival). Kalmar is beautiful and quiet and calm. It is medival with a castle, on the sea side, and the streets are covered with bicycles. Wildlife and pretty people are everywhere (mostly Fredrik, I hadn't seen him for a couple weeks, so he was looking like Adonis to me). I just really loved Kalmar...I can't really say anything other than that I guess? Plus, I got to see some of his friend's flats, and I was (and still am) playing the "This is what Abby and Fredrik's Swedish Flat will look like!" Game. It's one of my favorite games. Plus, IKEA has come out with this awesome home decorator free software...Um..totally obsessed.

On top of Kalmar I also visited (briefly) Stockholm, Öland, and Göteburg. From what I saw of the two main cities (aka Öland is excluded from this discussion, but I will give my opinions in the next paragraph), Stockholm is prettier than Göteburg (Gothenburg). After seeing the beauty in Stockholm, Kalmar, and Öland, I was just a bit dissappointed in the industrial-ness of Gothenburg... It wasn't very picturesque...very much just...a big city. Of course, I only saw a tiny fraction of it, and very briefly...However, except for Kalmar, that was how all of my tours went. Briefly. So my brief opinion is that Stockholm is prettier.

I preferred Kalmar over all....Gothenburg has the shopping. So train rides for weekend shopping trips is perfectly doable.

Öland was just amazing.

Fredrik grew up there, he is a 'real' islander. His grandmother (mother's mother) still lives there, and still owns the farm where she grew up, and where Fredrik played as a little boy. It was very cool. We paid a visit to his grandmother and helped her out around the place since her husband has passed and she lives alone. It was an interesting experience...mostly due to the fact that she is really hard of hearing, my Swedish is rubbish, and she would still mumble to me in Swedish. So it was a good time. The island is also cool, because 1. there are viking burial mounds 2. old wooden windmills are everywhere and 3. you can see the sea on either side of the island.

On top of seeing where Fredrik was from, I finally got to meet (everyone?) that has influenced Fredrik in one way or another. I was very happy to finish meeting his massive amounts of friends (and re-meeting ones I have met before). Everyone was so nice and really friendly (keeping in mind the swedish stereotype of people being standoffish, having a swedish boyfriend helps in this matter i they're cool people anyways). Karl had a bbq and that's where I finished meeting most of the people. Mostly the girls with a couple of boys that didn't make it to Scotland in April. I had one interesting experience that I really want to write about, mostly for her, and for anyone else who has this 'fear'. One of the girls in the group was, I am assuming and was basically told, was nervous to speak to me in English. She understood everything I said, in English, but was nervous and did not like the idea of speaking English to me. Mostly, from what I've gathered, is because she was concerned about being judged on her English by a native English speaker. This is not the first time a non-native speaker has done this, and probably wont be the last. However, I wish I would have known this at the party, because I would have really made it clear that I don't judge people for speaking a second language, no matter how 'bad' it is. How can I? I have no right to do that, especially when I am not bi-lingual in any language, and am barely understanding Swedish. She was already way ahead of me in the ball game if she could understand everything I said, because I couldn't understand her. I just feel bad when people feel this way, because, it's an unnessecary fear. I honestly can't think of a single american friend of mine (or British really) that would judge someone for speaking English poorly...especially when you're in their country.

It was just a bummer, because I was looking forward to meeting her and having some sort of chat. I dont want people to be nervous in any situation..especially if it involves talking to me. It's ok though, I will just have to practice my Swedish more. Maybe the next visit we can have some sort of Swenglish conversation.

But speaking of Swedish-English conversations..I had a humerous observations in Kalmar. Fredrik, some of his friends, and his family (mother in particular) take a sharp breath in with an 'ah' sound (like you're gasping for breath kinda or shocked) as a way to say 'yes'. scared the crap out of me when I first heard his mom do it. I thought something bad had happened or was said. This wasnt the case, but it scared me nonetheless. Then I became acutely aware of it and noticed that almost everyone does it. Then, it just became funny...and really interesting, and finally, when I was in the care to Gothenburg with Fredrik, Petter, and Elin, I asked, 'what the hell is up with the breathing thing?!'. Of course, Fredrik was totally confused at first and I had to really explain it...then he looked at me like I was a bit silly, and either Petter or Elin (or both?) said it was probably just them saying 'yes'.

Elin and I had a really great chat when we met about visas etc. Her boyfriend is Turkish, and they had to go through the whole visa ordeal to get him into Sweden. She and I chatted about the whole process, and what it was like, and the time it took. Also, that my blog is perfect to use as a way to prove Fredrik and I's relationship (Hej Migrationsverket!) since this thing has documented our whole relationship (I even write about meeting him for the first time September.) More and more, it is looking like I will be moving to Sweden within the next year or so. This is for different reasons, but mostly Fredrik and I can't stand this seperation and I am ready to leave the UK, and I really want to move to Sweden. Glasgow has served its purpose, and I fulfilled a long dream to live here, but now, I'm ready to move on. So, more than likely (highly likely), I will be moving home sometime in the fall/winter. Either 1. to get a job and prepare for Fredrik to move to the US to do his thesis work with an American engineering company or 2. to work to save money up for when Fredrik finishes his work and has a job in Sweden, so I can move, and we can get by while I learn Swedish and find a decent job (hopefully within my field. Fredrik and I have agreed that it is really possible for me to get work as an English speaking guide for art museum/castles/etc). However, I am leaving my options open. I would not be moving to Sweden to start an amazing museum career (though it would be cool), but I would be going to be with Fredrik and to have a chance to learn from a different country, a different language, and have an adventure. As long as I have a job I enjoy and I feel good at, then I'll be happy.:) Plus, I loved Sweden, so I think I'll enjoy myself...I'll just need to buy a huge 'Happy Light' for those dark winters.

Ok.. so I took over 200 photos in Sweden, clearly that's too much for this blog, so here is my facebook album link. Enjoy.

And that, my friends, is at least one Sweden post. I have other funny stories to write about, but I just dont have it in me at the moment.

<3 <3

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life Updates and Paris

Hello Lovers,

Well, I am slowly recovering from Fredrik moving back to Sweden. I'm going there on Friday to celebrate Midsommar and have my first official visit. I wish I had my Kirsten American Girl Doll to carry around with me. ;) Though I didn't have her springy/summery outfit. Mostly winter clothing...


Life update.

Right now, all I am doing is working on my dissertation and trying to figure out what I am going to do after Glasgow. Scotland's weather is really getting to me, and the entire lack of summer...though we've had warmer and sunnier days the past week (I say this is the Universe trying to cheer me up, but only partially succeeding. Give me an 82 degree sunny day, then we'll talk.) My dissertation is due August 27th and from then on, I really don't have to go to school ever ever again. (Until I decide (stupidly) that I want to do a PhD. (haha.) My 'summer' is being spent working on the dissertation (18th Century women's clothing & Comfort--focus on stays). Travelling to Sweden on Friday and staying for a week, then I'll be in London/Liverpool with Brooke to look at clothing collections and hang out (I'm very excited for my grand return back to Londontown after 3 long years! Even if it is for only a day)

After that, depending on my schedule and my dissertation I'm going to desperately try to get home in early/mid august with Fredrik (this is becoming a greater challenge as time goes on. grr). He's never been, and with us trying to figure out our next step (this long distance thing is unnacceptable to both of us.) We have three options. 1. I stay in the UK and he comes here. 2. We move to America (he found out he can do his thesis work in any country, and there are a lot of Swedish companies that have posts in of which is in Chicago --- though I want to be in Virginia. 3. I move to Sweden! I am more willing to move to Sweden than to stay in Glasgow at this point. Though it's just as far North, I like the idea of the adventure that moving to Sweden and learning Swedish will bring. So, we dont' know what we're going to do yet, but hopefully the decision will be easy, successful, and a good one. :)

Also, I'm continuing my massive Masqurade 18th Century project. Stays and a waistcoat are next. Fredrik's shirt is finished, and I'll post it on my new blog 'Stay-ing Alive' (haha get it?) I haven't really updated it yet (surprised? I think not) but that's where I am going to try and put up all of my projects so it's organized and wont clutter this blog. I got all my fabric for my gown and Fredrik's Breeches and Waistcoat (lovely golden yellow and white silk stripe)


So...I went to Paris.

:) Mom & Vicky came for a lovely visit to Glasvegas with an AMAZING 6 day stay in Paris! Our hotel was amazing, and the weather was even better. Mom and Vicky had a balcony and so many a night was spent watching the 18 year old parisians throw a party next door, get busted by the cops, and spy in people's flats. (It's creepy, but I really like knowing how people decorate)

Our first full day was spent at Versailles, where I got to see a wonderful 18th Century Court Costume exhibit. Most of the clothing was actually from Sweden (oddly enough), because of the damn French Revolution destroying so much stuff. It was great though, just a little crowded at some points. When I'm in situations like that, and I am really there because of my love for the subject, I get incredibly pissed off when there are tons of school kids there who actually don't give a damn. It's annoying. Actually, the tourists at Versailles were just annoying in general. Tons of tour groups. Tons of kids, tons of flash photography (omg I wanted to break everyone's camera when we were in rooms with textiles)

Versailles was cool...but all the tourists clog the energy of the place. You can't just enjoy're rushed, pushed, shoved, hot, annoyed, and fighting with everyone to get the 'perfect' picture of Marie Antoinette's Bed (like, okay 10000000s of tourists who don't actually care about it, are you EVER gonna look at those again? I think not.)

It was lovely though, Versailles is just aboslutely majestic, and it was enjoyable to think about what the life there would have been like. (Like an oversex drug and booze filled High School?)

The next day Fredrik and I went roaming around Montmatre, which was a huge goal of mine. We had this card deck of walks around Paris (brilliant product), and there were several Montmatre walks, so we saw ALLLLL of Montmatre, including the horrible tourist traps. It was much prettier when the mass crowds are gone. Paris can be a very quiet and cozy city when you're in the right areas I discovered. We had crepes and wine for lunch, again, lovely. :)

We also went to the Eiffel Tower at night, Musee D'Orsay, some other random neighborhoods, and hung out with mom and vicky too. They had a slightly different agenda so we didn't do too much with them, which was a bummer. However Fredrik and I went to the Jewish Quatre in Paris, and Mom and Vicky met up with us, and that was nice. I really liked that neighborhood. :)

Sheesh...I'm forgetting what all we was all a blur.. are some pictures that Fredrik took.

Paris was good. :)

Alright, it's time for me to get going....but first I need to change my layout back to the old way, I'm not a fan of the new one.

<3 <3

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Mom's left.
Heloise left.
Fredrik left today.

I don't think I've cried this much in a week since my dog died when I was 16.

Time to distract myself with my dissertation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1780s Jacket Completed..minus trim...

Hey hey lovers that have probably given up on me.

So my jacket is finished, and has been for a while, I've just been too busy/distracted/unmotivated to post about it. Now, I'm going to do a finishing post with pictures! (woo) Ok, so when we last left off (eons ago) I had whipped stitched my back pieces together and here is what they look like...brooke and i were splitting a bottle of wine over chinese food when we decided to patter these out, and my clumsy-ness accounts for the wonky fit of the far side pieces, but it didn't/doesn't matter as they were hidden by the sleeves.

After that I did about a half/half construction of the sleeves and the bodice. Brooke and I already knew that the bodice was going to be crazy large for the fit from the start, so I was prepared to hack off a large chunk of it during the fitting. And, luckily for moi, my amazing engineer of a boyfriend is also an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING (did I say AMAZING?!) fitter! OMG Fredrik was a god's send. Absolutely. So once I got my bodice pieces and their linings sewn together it was time to venture to fredrik's and got to the fitting. I ended up cutting off serious chunks of bodic fabric in the end, but the fit was lovely, and i'm really satisfied with it. Though I've noticed with every fitted 18thC piece I've contructed my stays ALWAYS take a peek from the neck line, and it's annoying. Grr. Anyways, picture time!

Doesn't he look thrilled?

Me being a nerd. The fitting looks so wonky with me not in a shift. However at this point I hadn't made a shift yet, so..yeah just wore a cotton top. No difference really, it just looks dumb. The shoulders straps proved to be a pain later when fitting the sleeves, and that caused a late night tantrum, but I pulled myself together and got it all fit. Back to being shiftless, I kinda like how you can see what the stays do to your 'healthy' bits, makes them useful. ;)

Next, I was working on my sleeves. I have a big arm issue, and I really like having tight sleeves with my 18thC clothing. That means, the sleeves drafted for me are never small enough (and I'm always hesitant to fold fabric over when sewing the lining in etc. So I'm always left with really re-doing the first sleeve...did it about 3 or 4 times? yeah. blah. 2nd time around my memory recovered and it turned out a lot nicer. I got them to fit nice and snug around my arms which was good. Fitting them to the bodice was a bit of a challenge (no surprise there) and Fredrik again proved to be sent from heaven. God bless him. He managed to fit my sleeves and put the pleats in as best as he could to where I wanted them and made everything fit as smoothly and as snuggly as possible. (I see his head growing now as he reads this..har har har).

Both sleeves one is either finished or folded just so yall can see what they look like.

This is a photo of my crappy backstitching of my sleeves (backstitching = what machine stitch comes from..but it's better)

Funny Story Time: I was trying to fit my sleeves myself at Fredrik's one afternoon while he and everyone else in the house were gone. That day, the power to most of Glasgow and parts of Scotland got cut. Fredrik lives in a suburby area and I was in his room when everything went dark and their burglar alarm started beeping (see where this is going?!). Well first I had images of 'SCREAM' running through my head (Rauchill isn't the safest part of Glasgow), and then panicked I was going to set the alarm off, and would have to deal with cops and what not and it was just horrible. Plus other house's alarms were going off along with car alarms. So I decided (like a moron) to just stay in Fredrik's room and try and work until he came back. I called him several times (he was climbing) and to no luck. So I kept working until it was too dark outside to see properly, and then the power came back on. What does this mean? Well 1. The internet returned and I could entertain myself on facebook. 2. I didn't know if the alarm had reset itself and so I was trapped in Fredrik's room for around 3-4 hours waiting for him to come home.

He came home with no burglar alarm set. I wasn't actually trapped in his room. He laughed at me. The End.

Ok, so now after fitting the sleeves it was time to do the skirt. I'm fairly happy with it, but I should have made it a bit longer. I had enough fabric with a nice selvedge that I decide to use that to avoid hemming. Also, I really enjoy pleating (though I totally eyeball it and never measure...not like I had a ruler until yesterday anyways) and pleated that up quick quick. I couldn't remember if Brooke said to slip stitch or top stitch the skirt in, but I opted for top stitching just because the skirt was being a menace and I was short on patience. It's ok, but I'm annoyed that there are ripples in the back, especially since I know it wasn't like that before the skirt. However topstitching, no boning, and no weight kinda made it do sort of out of my control. Here are the pictures.

It was a lot of fabric, but I cut off the top bit.

Here is the skirt attached. One other thing that is bugging me is the lining is peeking out and it's annoying the crap out of me..however no one really notices it, and i'm going to make sure that doesn't happy with the masqurade gown.

So, now the jacket is 'done' I still don't have it trimmed. Mostly because I was sewing this, a shift and a petticoat for the fashion show. Shift is rubbish, but it works, and the petticoat is needing some fixing. I literally did it in like 4 hours, and it's a bit too big and the hem's screwy. So I just need to fix it a bit, but I just have been too lazy/busy. (Repeated theme.)

Also, sadly, there are no pictures of me in my jacket. however there pictures of it being worn at the fashion show! (That devil that took over my life, final project for my work placement.)

Model: Kirsty. She was really close to my size, but almost too big, so the fit was crazy tight...She has the kerchieft on to cover her girls and also to help with the outfit...but it's done! it's been worn! I will trim it! Woo!

I personally thinks she looks fabulous, and my lovely red shoes are sweet too!

The End.

<3 <3

Monday, May 18, 2009



so ive been crazy crazy busy the past month + thus no real desire to update here in blog land. however now i have reached the point where my classes are done, the fashion show is finished, the exhibit has opened, and i went on my course trip to liverpool (very cool btw). Now its just on to dissertation and what not. Im going to try and be better about updating, i just lost the desire to do it as it was becoming more of a chore than something i was enjoying. But i think im just going to try and not write as much, as that's what is so annoying..i feel like i sit here and write for eons. Anyways, here's the update for the summer events of my life.

1. Mom comes to visit! (next week!)
2. Paris avec mon mere, Vicky and Fredrik!
3. Mom leaves. :(
4. Fredrik leaves :( :( :(
5. I go to Sweden for a few weeks! :D
6. Spend July roaming around the uk looking at collections with brooke and working on my gown and such for the masqurade ball (we're offically going!)
7. Hopefully finish the dissertation by august.
8. Go home for a visit.
9. Turn in dissertation Aug. 27th.
10. Job?

Here's hoping.

<3 <3

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1780s-1790s Jacket- A Mini-Series

Hello Lovers,

So you will probably notice a new aspect to my blog, titled "mini series". Let me explain... as I mentioned in an earlier post, Fredrik and I are going to a masquerade ball (18thC) at Kalmar in October, and I will be making....everything. Shifts, shirts (fredrik is, but I want to document it), petticoats, gowns, trim, waistcoat, breeches, coat, etc etc. And I've decided to try and keep an regulary updated blog about what I'm doing and how it's going (i've had a few requests). So the first thing I am working on is a 1780s-90s fitted jacket to prep myself for the gown i'll be making for the ball (brooke's amazing idea!)

So, this is the first post, and I have progress to report, and a few pictures.

First, Brooke cut and draped the pattern to me, and I cut out all the pieces in plain muslin for the lining and then the deep red cotton for the fabric.I have 4 back pieces that are now whipped stitched together instead of taking one large panel of fabric and pleating it down like I did in my nightgown. I'm doing this because this will be how the back for my Zone gown will be for the ball. The only difference is that I will be adding boning to the back of the ball gown to give it a better look when I add a bum roll etc etc.
cutting out the back pieces

One of my bodice fronts all cut out.

As of right now I have completely lined and whipped stitched the back pieces (all 4) together, and I will post pictures of them shortly.

Next on my list is to attach the lining to the front bodice pieces.

Then from that point, I can either A) Fit the front to the back or B) make the sleeves up before doing any fittings at all.

I'll probably do B just because it's easier to take around with me. However classes are done at the moment, so it's not like I have a lot of places I need to be.

However I need Fredrik's mirror to do the fittings well, as mine is very very tiny.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


hello lovers,

So apparently in Scotland they actually sell convertibles. Clearly Scotland has a high demand for roofless cars. I mean, it's so damn hot and sunny here all the time, it's really the only way to try and enjoy this crazy hot weather. Yesterday, I felt like I had reached the 7th level of hell, I was sweaty, hot, gross, exhausted from hauling my bag around in 57 degree weather while the red Ferrari holding two douche bags zoomed passed me without their top on. Oh, and then came the VW Bug converitble, some ugly Ford, that French car brand, and another VW, a Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, etc etc. you get the picture.

Ok. So. I was kidding about the 7th level of hell thing. That's not true. It was nice yesterday, and it was nice the day before. In fact spring has been welcomed to Glasgow for a full 3 days of sunshine and warmth. It has been lovely, I get to wear sunglasses and not walk around in a wool coat.


But, I have a rant: (as if you didn't pick up on that already)

Why would citizens of Scotland own convertibles?

Can we say "waste of money"?

Convertibles are at prime use when the temperature reaches around 75 degrees. The only time the weather in Scotland reaches that temperature is in the middle of July at the peek of "summer". Not in mid March with the first glimpses of a nice spring and 50 degree weather. Dudes take note: it's warm in the sunshine, but it's still chilly in the shadows, and you driving around in your car with your top down is not going to be a warm and pleasant driving experience. How on earth were they comfortable? It's like me (a person who knows what heat is, and 57 degrees is not it), walking around in tights, jacket etc, and watching stupid girls walk around in tank tops. Same thing as the convertibles...IT'S NOT WARM ENOUGH YET. PUT YOUR TOP ON. (haha what a pun)

I really didn't get it. I mean, the convertibles (and lack of clothing) weren out in full force yesterday on Sauchiehall Street. I guess this is like crazy hot for Glaswegians, but's not warm enough to justify a car that has a removeable roof. Not in this country, and not in this climate.

However, I do need to clarify that most of the cars were extremely high end (yes i did see a red Ferrari convertible with 2 douche bags in pink button ups included)** So I'm assuming that these wealthy Glaswegians own more than 1 car and this was their "yay it's warm car!" and had the extra money to drop on an impratical purchase, but ... i mean... really... a convertible?

It's like driving a snowmobile in Florida.

They spent all this money on a convertible that you can drive maybe 7 days out of 365?


Get a sunroof.

However the weather here reminded me how nice it will be when Fredrik and I go to America in July and I can actually be jacket less. woo hoo!

Now, it's time to get back to my essay!

<3 <3

**To clarify (after my "white trash" critique, I'd really prefer not to have douchebags send me hate mail, as they're just annoying): Not all Ferrari owners are douchebags, nor are all men in pink shirts douchebags. However, I feel justified when two guys in a red Ferrari convertible in Glasgow rev their engines to go 10 yards from one stop light to another in an attempt to over compensate for what must be extremely small appendages.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

oh dear it's mid march!

talk about a total failure. I haven't updated in ages! i'm sorry lovers, life has been busy here in scotland and i just haven't found the time to sit and post an update.

so now

an update.

still no response from anon. sadly...but i'm glad all you lovely readers out there enjoyed my response. i know i did. haha

Laura's visit went smashingly, and I will miss her dearly until I see her again. We kept the whole visit pretty chilled...and on friday we went to Pitlochry for some hiking etc, and it was lovely. i'm looking forward to going back when the weather is better. it was rainy for the vast majority of our time in pitlochry..of course i didn't realize that i had an umbrellla in my purse until after the hike was over and laura and i looked like drowned rats. ... she didn't appreciate that.... ooops.

saturday we did a sub pub crawl in her honor, the crowd was smaller than last time, but we had good fun. it was a rangers game and so the cream of the crop of glaswegian society was out a-drinking that saturday and we just so happened to be in the southside of the city when the game was was damn crowded.

then i had a week or so after laura left and then brooke came to visit me from Egypt!! we also had a marvelous visit and we did a lot of sewing. so i have some projects going on of an 1830s cotton dress and a 1780s to 90s jacket. The jacket will be mine, and the 1830s dress for Pollok house, but i will also be using the jacket in the fashion show...which will be marvelous..

i also will have to make a new petticoat, kerchief, neck tucker, elbow ruffles, etc for it. joy joy joy

brooke and i also got our hair cut (finally) mine is the standard, but its so nice to have bangs (ahem fringe) back. ahha

i have an essay due about 16th century costume due in 2 weeks, which will stress me out...but it'll be over soon and so i will be quiet happy about that. then itäs the fashion show and the studen exhibition and wam bam thank you ma'am i'm fini.'s thesis time! eek!!

My personal life is going wonderfully..i've had great friends come for a visit, and also i have been reminded that I have the best boyfriend ever...but i'm not going to get mushy...i promise, nor do i think he would really appreciate me gushing about him on my blog. But i have very exciting news, Fredrik and I are going to go to an 18th century masqurade ball at Kalmar Castle in sweden where he's from! I'm sooooooo excited!! I'll be making our clothing and it should be marvelous. i'm nervous about fitting fredriks clothes, but it should be alright.

we're also planning to go to paris with mom and vicky in may, and then i'll visit sweden for an extended week in june, and then we'll be returning to the usa in july! it should be really great. He's never been, and i'm looking forward to having a big human pillow to sleep on on the flight over and a travel companion.

so that's really it for now... not much else is going on...

oh...i met the "inlaws" this weekend..hehe Fredrik's mom and sister came to visit and they were lovely. The language barrier is frustrating, but after a while and once we were all at a comfort with eachother, it was really his mom decided she wanted a red purse...clearly we are going to get along!!! haha :D


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Critique by Anon

Hello Lovers,

So I woke up this morning to find my Gmail had a new message for me in my inbox. I had received 2 new comments here on my beloved blog! (Off Topic: Laura's here and I'm so glad. We're having a ball. Pictures will come later. No time to be on the computer). And...well...they weren't exactly what I was expecting to see first thing on a Wednesday morning. Anyways, I thought I would post what this person wrote (since the comments are not private and are for everyone to read anyways...if they don't know/like that feel free to email me and I'll remove them, but I just feel I need to give everyone a background) This person is Anonymous, and so I'll just call them Anon.

Anon writes:

I just ran into your random blog about the random band member of the random band. And yes, if they were in Kentucky they were on tour. They live in Scotland and often go to local clubs after they perform and dance and drink. They are just regular guys. As for the bow and the politeness that is just how they are to their fans which is why they have "groupies" from all walks of life and all age groups and from all over the world. My grandaughter has loved them since she was two. She is five now. One of their oldest fans died recently at 80 something. And there are a whole lot of us that wouldn't appreciate being called middle aged white trash. I don't know what you look like nor do I really care, but trust me, you were nothing special to him I can assure you! People like you are a dime a dozen and they band knows PLENTY of your type.

February 18, 2009 at 5:35 am
Anonymous said...

I do apologize for my stupidity. They were in Scotland. As you mentioned Glasgow and the Kentucky Ren Faire, I thought you meant Glasgow, Kentucky. They have been there quite a few times and I didn't read your whole blog. As for the rest of my comment, it stands.


Wow. I guess this is what happens when people who aren't your friends/family/friends of family read your blog? Ok that's cool. I feel like what I wrote was a *little* misunderstood. Here's what I wrote so everyone knows what it is that this person is so peeved about.

I wrote:

Second random story. So Mom and I saw this band called Albannach at the Kentucky Renaissance Faire (hello nerd stamp...) and they were really good. I liked them...tribal scottish stuff..good drum beats to trance out to. Anyways, they're from Glasgow. Apparently they're not on tour at the moment because once we arrived at this teeny tiny club. Guess who I saw? A band member, drunk and dancing to house music. Made me laugh. I introduced myself and told him I knew the band. He bowed down to me...well deserved I must say. (probably was just amazed that a woman under the age of 35 knew of the band and wasn't total white trash/groupie....cause that is what seemed to be the fan least when I saw them). Anyways, it was just odd. Only my life would I run into a random band member of a random band.

Alright, so that's what I said, and everyone has seen/read the response to my tiny social commentary. Here now, is my response to "Anon"...

Dear Anon,

First I cannot decipher if you are male or female. However, I am taking a guess at saying female, perhaps between the ages of 25-50 who is from Kentucky and is a frequent attendant at the Kentucky Ren Faire. I am also taking an educated guess that you also are a great fan of Albannach (no reason not to be, as they are very fun to listen to and great performers). I also have a hunch that you are not a fan of me. Which is a shame, as I pride myself on being a sociable and likable person (at least my 635+ facebook friends tell me so). I have no need to censor myself on this blog, because I am writing from my point of view. I also write my blog as a train of thought. Personally, I have been told that my writing style and how I present my opinions is fun and entertaining to read (of course now I have received my first hate mail, congratulations, you should get a prize).

You have taken a small and rather random (and old) topic to choose as a way to rip me a new asshole. Sadly, you did not succeed. First, I feel rather justified in my observation because when I saw this band at the Ren Faire, the groupies that were dancing half naked, on the side of the stage were not pretty little 17 year olds nor young children. Yes, there was a wide audience in attendance, including myself (I am definitely no where near the age of 35, and my mother is over 50). That were sitting on the haystacks enjoying a (hot) but good music set. However, my attention was constantly drawn to the women desperately trying to get the bands attention with pseudo-sexy dance moves that they must have picked up from the local YMCA belly dancing for beginners class.

On that note, when I ran into the band member in Glasgow Scotland, I was not doing pseudo-sexy dance moves that I picked at my local YMCA Belly Dance Class. On the other hand, I was simply showing my appreciation to this band member for their music. I would not have even considered pursuing him, because my boyfriend would not have appreciated that. Nor frankly, was I interested. So, Anon, you are offended because I was simply making a truthful commentary on Kentucky's colorful culture (which by the way is also my home state) that I observed at the ren faire. However, for you to insinuate that I was trying to take this band member home, and that I am a "dime a dozen" and that they know "PLENTY of your [my] type" is just flat rude.

You write, "I don't know what you look like nor do I really care, but trust me, you were nothing special to him I can assure you! People like you are a dime a dozen and they band knows PLENTY of your type."

If you do not know what I look like, then how do you know I am a dime a dozen? You don't. How do you know that I was nothing special to him? You don't. You were not there. In fact, you did not even realize that I was talking about Glasgow Scotland, even though my blog is titled Scotland Bound. I am not a club-rat, nor am I a slutty groupie. I have a strong distaste for women who pursue bandmembers just because they are in a band. However, if I see a musical artist that I recognize, specifically if they are in a small, not incredibly well known band, I just wanted to let him know that I thought their music was good...and that I liked his tattoos.

As for the white-trash comment. Any woman parading around half dressed, drinking arbor mist and smoking cigarettes in a horribly tacky belly dance fantasy (very much NOT Renaissance) costume, with poorly bleached hair, and blue eye shadow, classifies as "white-trash".

If this is not you, then no worries. If it is you, be proud. You're special and make Renaissance Festivals worth going to.



<3 <3

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


So here's a video of some people protesting just about everything yesterday on campus. Mostly Palestine/Israel/Socialism (pro?)/and the good old stand by, G.W. Bush. Cause clearly a former president is worth the effort. He's off into oblivion kids...just leave the village idiot and (rumored to be at it again) alcoholic alone. We have other more important issues, like domestic abuse between R&B couples (shame on your Chris Brown!)

It's shorter than it should be ... but whateves...enjoy. I personally like the bit about "our campus! our school!" etc etc.


<3 <3

White Socks and Sock Etiquette at Scandinavian Parties

Helloooo Lovers,

So this post is a little later than I had intended to post, but it's been an interesting/busy/stressful weekend, and I just did not have the chance to do it. Plus I left my video camera at my flat and I wasn't there at all this weekend.

Right, onto my story.

Last Wednesday I attended a little get together organized by two friends of mine, Ida and Julia, both are from Sweden. As most of us know, it is almost Mardi Gras, and in Sweden they have a pastry that they always eat for Mardi Gras. Julia and Ida decided to make tons and invite people over to eat them. I was invited, and I was very excited about it. (um, duh, pastry?)

So I get there, Fredrik was running late, and I was lucky enough that I did not have to wait in the snow for him. As I was turning around to go waste time in a convience store (I did not know how to get to the girls' flat) I ran into Cecilla. So I walked with her to the flat, and once we get there, I was reminded of a stead fast Scandi tradition. Removal of footwear when entering a house. (No this entry does not end like that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie got a pair of Manolos at the end, though it would have been cool to get a pair of Manolos..if anyone wants to send me a pair, I wear a 9.5 in American and a 41 in Euro. K. Thnx.). Well, it was damn cold outside that day, so I wore 2 pairs of socks, and on top of this I was wearing black jeans. Now, beign American, and not giving a damn about socks (I wore horribly mismatched socks when I was in like 4th grade...I really don't care about socks), I just had on my lovely $6 6-pack Champion Socks from Target on. I had just bought 2 bags before moving to Scotland, so they're still fairly clean. I didn't really think much of it at the time of removing shoes, but as the night wore on...I noticed something.

I was the only one in white socks. I was 1 of 2 Americans. Jose had on grey boy-ish socks, he didn't even have white socks on.




I felt like I had just committed the worst Scandinavian fashion crime EVER. I instantly became self concious and just assumed that all the Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish conversations were in regard to my sock color choices. ("Abby's great, but you can so tell she's American. LOL Look at her socks!" "Only my grandfather wears white socks! LOLOLOL!" get the idea...)

So for most of the evening, post realization, I sat on my feet until I decided it was time to go. I checked out early because I had to be at Pollok House first thing in the morning.

As I was leaving I was talking to Fredrik about my observation, and he looks at me and says (a little bit like I'm an idiot, though I know he didn't mean it that way), "well it's a rule, dark pants, dark socks..."

wtf. no. You wear clean socks. no matter the color. In America, at least where I live, we leave our shoes ON, meaning, SOCK COLOR DOESN'T MATTER.


This means that from now on, next time I'm at a Scandinavian Social Gathering in a flat, I must wear only tights, or better socks.

Looks like I'll need to go sock shopping.

Anyways, here are a couple of videos from the night, and then also some pictures from the evening. It was good fun...minus the sock stuff.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sneak Preview

Sneak Preview to my next post:

The titled is called: White Socks and Sock etiquette at Scandinavian Parties.

Summary: What happens when an American girl goes to a Scandi/European party where everyone takes off her shoes to realize she's the only one in white socks.

Feel free to laugh at me.

<3 <3

Monday, February 2, 2009


So it snowed in Glasgow today. Big fat wet flakes with lots of wind. Watching it from the comfort of a warm and cozy room means that it was lovely. Walking in it sucked. I had to walk in it a lot...more than what I got to sit and enjoy from the comfort of a warm and cozy room.

I'll try and remember to take pictures tomorrow...not like an inch of snow is really that big of a deal, but England is freaking out about it.


<3 <3

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Huzzah! I got to paint!

Helloooo lovers,

Well as most of you all are suffering without electricity, extremely freezing cold temperatures, ridiculous amounts of snow and ice, I just wanted to write about how lovely the weather was in Glasgow this week. Upper 40s and sunny most of the week. Yay! It was a lovely pick me up. Also, it's been extremely lovely being this far up north, as sadly before the winter solstice it got dark incredibly fast, but now that we're heading into spring and summer, it's been staying brighter and brighter much quicker. Before I left for home in December it was dark by 3:30 or 4. Now it stays light until after 5 or so. Which is great, the more daylight the better.

I had a good week this week, despite a rough sunday (Drinking game called toyko drift + whiskey=not a good combination....). I had a meeting with Sally, my Palaces and Castles class to discuss my dissertation etc, and she had a lot of really good feedback for me...which i'm very happy about. First she said that the idea was good enough to do a whole PhD on (not for a few more years I think.). My writing needs a lot of work, because it's not academic enough, but she said that I had a good 'eye' when analyzing and looking at images. This made me very very happy. When reflecting on my education at IU, I think I can credit them with helping me develop that skill, as we spent a great deal of time looking and analyzing images and so on. However, I do wish we had professors who really worked with writing. I was always frustrated about how we were required to bust out essay after essay but no one really gave us much feedback on style? A quality vs quanity thing I suppose.

Friday I worked at Pollok House, which was good fun. Helped with a tour in the morning for some school children, after that Beth and I sat in on an art class and I got to paint for a couple of hours, which was good fun, and I just tried to enjoy myself. I focused on playing with color and color theory with Delacroix the whole time. :) Then we worked on the fashion show planning which..

Da da da DAAAAHHH!! Is APRIL 18th! So, if you will be in the Glasgow area, you should either be in attendance or participating.

Then I had a great dinner with Kelly at the Islay Inn, a bottle of wine and 3 hours later, we were talked out, and happy. I consider myself quiet lucky that we made friends on facebook before coming. [Same for Heloise too!]

Saturday was spent hanging out around the flat, talking to mom, and then i ventured out to city centre and back in the evening just to get some air and excersize before Amy showed up at 7 and we devoured an extra large Papa John's Pizza. I can't stand Papa John's at home, but's heaven. ;) After that we went to a party at a flat where she knew the girl. I had a lovely time, and went home fairly early.

This week will be a nice one. Tapestries in 16th Century Palaces and Castles! WEEEE!!!

<3 <3

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question: How does the old man get across the road?

Answer: By demanding me to walk him across that road.

Side note: Man had very few teeth and what were left were a gnarly yellowish-orange color. His mouth kinda reminded me of Jabba the Hut's. Which makes me feel bad because I like old people. He just should have gotten dentures about 30 years ago. I's not like there isn't free health care in the UK or anything...


A comment on weather:

Glasgow, Scotland is 45 F today, partly cloudy with a slight drizzle this evening.

Borden, Indiana (hometown just north of Louisville, Kentucky): 25 F (way below 0 C), freezing rain, and apparently lots of snow.

I prefer the 45 with a bit of rain.

Yay Glasgow!

<3 <3