Monday, October 31, 2011

Just another manic Monday.

This has been a proper Monday-Monday. You know, first day of the week. Not especially refreshed. More tired and "okay, let's get going" with somewhat of a sigh over the immense workload on my desk(top).

Alright, I might be exaggerating a bit when I say immense, but there are several news stories to write, internship applications to send out (the more the merrier for that specific task) and public relations chapters to read. In the middle of all this, I start thinking about how much I would like to volunteer somehow, somewhere.

Milon! First things first!

Okay, maybe the volunteering will have to wait until next week when, hopefully, at least a handfull of applications have been sent out and I have written these stories that seem to haunt me. This Monday has to last for at least another hour I guess.

Monday-Monday. We breathe in the fresh fall air and try to stay positive.

Just to clarify; yes, I do like to take pictures of the sun.

Oh, TODAY is Halloween.

There has been such a buzz around Halloween and since people around town went out to celebrate Saturday - because Saturday is a day for amusement and the like - I completely neglected the fact that Halloween actually is today!

No wonder there were no kids knocking on our door Saturday - today, October 31, is the day of trick-or-treating. Tonight is the night when the souls of the dead will play one last prank on those left here on earth.

Me and my sisters got a whole share of fun on Saturday, so we just stayed in tonight. But anyway, I wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just one more picture!

Just want to give you one more picture of the happy girls from last night. Kind of tired girls today, but now we are heading out to Barnes and Noble for a, hopefully, more productive afternoon than morning. Writing, writing, writing. Let's go, sisters!

The outfit that called for a dance floor...

...totally got a dance floor - and more!

The wigs. The dresses. The heels. The threeofive girls were a success! The Halloween party we simply walked in to (oh my God) was fantastic and we rocked the dance floor with our rehearsed routine.

The threeofive girls know how to do it. We had sooo much fun and smiled throughout the whole evening!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Exhausted, but excited!

Going through the list of suggested internships. Want to cry due to the fuss of the "fixing" process, but also of excitement! Read this, read this:

"Communications/Public Relations Intern:  You will work with the Director, Digital Marketing & Communications to determine strategy and topics for media outreach. The intern will be responsible for creating talking points and a pitch strategy, identifying media to contact, making the contact, following-up as needed and reporting on results. The intern will need to quickly learn about the mission and work of SOS Children’s Villages around the world, have excellent written and verbal communications skills and be very comfortable with social media."

We will see. We will see...

Home is where your heart is.

I just booked a flight ticket from Sweden back home to DC. My Christmas holiday in my hometown and my homeland will be a bit longer than I had planned, but the ticket I found was the most convenient one. And I guess it's not too bad after all. It will be two weeks of family fun and time to rest and prepare for the internship.

As I booked the ticket, I realized how much I appreciate my life at the moment. How much I like it here. How much I feel at home and how much I don't want to go "home," which is supposed to be Sweden. I actually wanted to leave my hometown around January 1, to get as much free time as possible in DC before the internship starts, but January 6 will be okay too.

I might be running around. I might be running away. If you ask me why and from what, I will not answer. I do have an answer, but I don't want to tell you. It's just that I have to do these kind of things, be out here on my own and live and learn.

Home is where your heart is and I want my home to be wherever I am. For that reason, I am keeping my heart for myself - and I take it with me wherever I go. Christmas holiday in my hometown will be lovely. Over there, my heart will be surrounded by the most important people in my world, so I guess I won't be missing this home too much in the end.

Speaking of Christmas - look at the snow outside my window!

Snow outside - chocolate inside.

37°F (3°C) and snow outside. It definitely calls for som coziness in the apartment. We bought some candy for potential trick-or-treating children, but keep our fingers crossed that there will be none and that we will get to eat all the chocolate ourselves.

Halloween Houses - and a little extra.

This is what the nearby neighborhood looks like in these times of Halloween. Halloween, by the way, originally from the celtic tradition All-Hallows-Even. One believed that the dead were kept in ban before leaving for heaven and on the eve of take-off, they played tricks on their friends.

For the trick-or-treating, the trick used to be children actually telling a ghost story, or the like, that their parents had taught them. For that performance, they were given a small treat. This time of celebration also marks a change of season, where there is lots of food from the harvest.

All this information from Professor Cramer, who found it important to teach us Swedes a little bit about American culture (after this storytelling he went on to baseball) and claimed that "you will pick up PR on your own." Amusing, indeed!

Anyway, the houses, yes. This is what they can look like. Holiday mood for sure!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spencer, where are you?!

"You should all get American boyfriends/girlfriends. Or, you know, just hang out in bars," was professor Cramer's comment on the overall English level in our class. He stated that we do speak good English, but still need that little extra.

Weeell, if professor Cramer says I should hang out in bars looking for men then maybe... You gotta do what your professor tells you to do. Right?!

At "Steve and Aidan's Bar" in NYC.

Mornin' - let's make it a good one!

Good morning from my hoods. Is it a good Friday? Let's make it a good Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The game of the job hunt.

So, tell me a little bit about yourself. What are your weaknesses? What did you achieve at earlier jobs? Why do you want to work here? Do you prefer working alone or with others? Why should I hire you?

All these questions! And I need to answer them. First of all, for a school assignment. But most importantly, for the upcoming internship interviews. The program I am attending consists of a five-month internship and now it is about time to make sure to get one. How convenient that the communications class I am attending is, at this point in time, dealing with interviews and working environment.

One thing I have noticed, is that grades, previous achievements and actual results of what you have done seem to be so very, very important in the process of looking for a job here in the US. I find this very different from back home in Sweden. Here, everybody is really pointing out the importance of showing good school accomplishments and being able to explain exactly what you have accomplished. It is also highly preferable if you have volunteered.

It seems to be so much more of a game here. Whether or not that is the case, I am about to find out. In general, I don't like playing games, but sometimes you don't really have a choice - do you?

Thursday brunch and studying.

The life of a student is sometimes quite neat. At least the flexible hours and the possibility to choose location depending on mood. Today's venue is Busboys & Poets on 14th and V - my absolute favorite spot for studying.

After this neat brunch it is time to start with today's tasks, which include writing a fact sheet for a hospital and working on a few different news stories. The student would like to have the weekend off so I better get to business.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Preparation in progress.

We have already established that Halloween is on its way. And we know that it is scary. I decided to be brave and take care of the two loons and take them costume shopping. It is always easier facing fear when pretending to be someone else. I guess that is why people dress out at Halloween in the first place.

Well, this is what happened...

Colors of fall.

The colors of fall are slowly but surely taking over the city.

Beautiful is not enough.

Let the colors speak for themselves.
Let the new season fall into place.
Let us be lucky to experience yet another change of air, mood and atmosphere.
Let us accept that nothing is consistent.

Go with the colors.

Let them lead you into new adventures.

I am ready. Are you?

Holiday Season is here with fright and fearfulness!

The Holiday season is here and we start of with the scariest of them all. Yes, my roommates and fellow morning powerwalkers find the Halloween decorations so scary we might have to change the morning route. Or I might have to change my fellow morning powerwalkers. Nobody really knows what institute these two scary ladies ran away from. Who are they, even? I am not sure I know them anymore.

There certainly is something creepy about Halloween. Whether or not I will come out of these holiday festivities alive is highly uncertain. From now on, I am constantly on guard against hazards.

The Art of Compensation

A totally unsexy Tuesday dinner called for a magnificent Wednesday breakfast. That is the brilliance of life - if you don't really get it right the first time, make sure to knock yourself out when you get a second chance. Because we often do get second chances. We just have to recognize them and seize them. And if we don't get them, well, then we just have to make sur to grab them anyway.

Nobody is perfect. It's difficult to get it right the first time. If you screw up once, just make sure to do it better the next time and you will be alright. Maybe even as fine as my Wednesday breakfast.

Delicious! But kind of boring.

Breakfast at its best.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DC Drag Queen Race 2011.

7:30 P.M. Waiting for the bus home to Pentagon. Kind of tired after a long day on campus. Most of all, we just wanted food and bed. But as we stood there at the bus stop, we started talking about tonight's event in Dupont Circle and got all excited.

Tonight was the night for the annual DC Drag Queen Race. It is a glittering, high heeled and colorful event that takes place the Tuesday before Halloween. Tattarn even read about this spectacle in her DC travel guide, so we figured it has to be something one wants to experience.

It sure was. What a festive atmosphere! Hundreds of people on the street, cheering on men being dressed, not only as women, but dressed up and out as everything you can imagine and more.

If you happen to be in DC around Halloween next year, get yourself down to Dupont and be a part of the Drag Queen fun!

By the way, my beret totally did not reflect the temperature.
It was a nice and mild evening. Around 60°F (15,5°C). We like DC fall.

Long day Tuesday.

After morning class. After gym. After sought-after noodles. Some studying in the school cafeteria before evening class - writing, writing, writing. Tuesdays are long days. We do our best to stay awake. Coffee and bars are good friends of ours. So is the gym. Oh, what would we do without it?

When focus is a bit wrong, yet still a bit right. Right?

Ok, so at last I recovered from the horrible migraine, got myself together and started writing an editorial for tomorrow's journalism class. But! Somewhere along the way I got a little lost. Me and my two roomies still awake started talking about having a proper Roomie Night this week. As the oldest in he group, I felt it my responsibility to make sure that our sleeping friend Iron Ass will get this message of great importance. And what could be better than sending her a press release? Said and done. Press release;

October 24, 2011
Press Contact:
(202) 812-2013

305 night!

THE PARAMOUNT Va. (October 24) - Wednesday October 26 there will be a Roomie Night at 305 consisting in pumpkin fun and watching Swedish comedy.

The approaching Halloween calls for some proper pumpkin activity, including making pumpkins into candle holders as well as figure out what to do with the contents. "I can't wait to pump up my Halloween feeling," said a very excited Tattarn.

In order to not forget the Swedish heritage during this very American holiday, the phenomenal Youtube will provide all participants with some proper Swedish comedy by Magnus Betnér. "I love Magnus always forever in my heart," stated Bobster who already started to google the best clips.

School books will be banned throughout the evening and late arrivals as well as early bed time will not be accepted. "I believe we'll have a ball," said Grandma.

# # #

For further information, please contact Grandma.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I loathe you Mr. M.

Yet another migraine day. I am taking the day off.

I slept bad, but thought I was fine when I woke up. I was not. This is awful. My head is about to explode at the same time as my face is almost numb. Weird and awkward feeling. Hunger and nausea wrestling in my body.

I cannot sleep anymore, yet to sleep is all I have the energy to do. I am a prisoner in my own head. I loathe you, horrible M. You are at the very bottom of my list.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And then came the Migraine.

I had a productive day in mind. Took a walk in the sun to Barnes & Noble. Started on my press release. Had a cappuccino. And then came the Migraine.

I wanted to keep on going, but after a while I just had to go home. Somewhere between a feeling of passing out and throwing up I gave up. My roommate's boyfriend gave me a painkiller that was supposed to help, I jumped into bed and slept for a few hours.

Did it help? No. I still feel like I have been run over by a train and dragged after it for several miles. I would like to throw up the noodles I ate and if I had not known that it would only make the headache worse, I would have cried like a baby.

Migraine is the feeling from hell. Not only do I want to shoot myself in my head to get rid of the pain, but I hate the fact that it ruins the whole day. I cannot do anything. It makes me sad and I just wish I had that special someone pushing the right buttons to at least momentarily relieve the pain.

I hate migraine days. I hate migraine life.

Sunday Studying.

Sunday Writing at Barnes & Noble at Potomac Yard.

Today's ToDo:

1. Press Release for the Red Cross (how I wish it was for real!)
2. Editorial - Are guns our only way to feel safe?
If time...
3. Revise story from Smithsonian Meeting
4. Start writing story about the Walk to Stop Diabetes

The American newspaper.

I am here to study journalism. One of my daily tasks is to read American newspapers, not only to know what is going on out there in the world, but also to gain understanding for how American newspapers are like. What they write and how they write.

My first impression was that the American newspaper is impossible to read. First of all, have you heard of staplers? The pages in The Post are not stapled together, thus the paper always falls apart. This becomes even more of a problem since the paper is organized so that the first page only gives you the beginning of a story and then you have to move on to some other page to read the rest. It is an annoying game of going back and forth.

Secondly, the stories are so looong. I once was told that American writers get paid by word when writing a textbook, which explained why the American textbooks I was reading at uni always were way thicker than the British ones. I am now wondering if this is the case for newspapers too. I kid you not, for one American news story, it goes at least two, or maybe sometimes three, Swedish articles.

These two things were my main issues in the beginning of my Washington Post subscription. But you know what - I am getting used to it. The stapler thing barely bothers me anymore. However, I must admit that I sometimes only read the first part of many of the stories. They often just go on and on and on and ooon...

Me and The Post are starting to get along, however I do still miss my old friend DN a bit.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I have no intention of reading minds.

I read the Washington Post's Style section every day to find out what the stars are telling me. You know, for fun. And maybe for some guidance. Today, they made me rather confused. Yet they might have explained why I slept bad last night.

"Someone who keeps everything inside forces you to pretend you're a mind reader. If you have to guess what another person is thinking, try to guess something positive."

As much as I would like to send out positive thoughts, I think I will just ignore this one and try not to figure anything out at all. Thank you stars, but today I go my own way.

Had I been Steve Jobs...

...I would have named my biography "Steve's Job."

Just something I thought about.

Play with your words, mate!

I am a language nerd. A play on words always makes me laugh - the dorkier the better. That is why I wasn't only giggling when I saw this big poster on the metro station, but also took out my camera and took a picture of it. And here I give it to you (and some free media to the Maca... too bad for them the whole name didn't show).

All the language nerds, all the language nerds - let's giggle together and then bring out the thesaurus and find some synonyms for a play on words. We can also be talking about:

- pun
- wordplay
- double entendre
- innuendo
- witticism
- quip
- bon mot

That's the word fun of today - keep on playing folks!

And a question regarding this poster: does the food look so delicious because
the food looks so delicious or because the man with the mussels is pretty hot?

The reporter is going out to cover an event.

Good morning America! Bright and early this lovely Saturday. How are you today?

I am being The Reporter today. With a pen, a notebook, a camera and comfortable shoes I will head out to cover an event. It is a fundraising walk hosted by the American Diabetes Association. This field of non-profit organizations, fundraising, charity and events in general is something I find really interesting so I am hoping that it will be a fun day.

That being said, The Reporter is off and wishes you all a lovely day. If you are in the D.C. area, come to the National's Park and cheer on the people who are walking to stop diabetes. I might run into you with my little notebook.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's been a good gym week - date wise!

This week, two out of three of the 305 gym girls have been picked up -  at the gym! One said yes. The other one mumbled something about a maybe, we can change numbers later and see you Monday. But really, how do you respond when somebody runs after you and ask if you like Spanish food?

How do you respond to the whole situation of being picked up at the gym? For sure, that is not where you bring your A-game, so it has to mean that there is still hope, right? Plus, you have already taken the strategically wise step of "lowering expectations" without even having to plan it.

I guess Grandma should play it more like the youngsters. How scary could it be with some tapas, after all?

Cheers and have a good weekend!

This is where I dream about doing backflips.

Doesn't it look appealing? Kind of Russian style.

The student on the Internet.

HERE you can find me, to find me here, at Milon in Washington DC. But then again, you are already here. So do you need to go to the link to find me there to be able to find me here? Or where did you find me first?

Facebook. Twitter (although I don't do that). Blogs. In-ter-net. It's an amazing world we live in. Right? An old friend sent me an e-mail the other day and when I wondered where he got my e-mail address from he said he just googled me. Wow. My Swedish blog was his first hit and his immediate question was then if all private detectives nowadays are unemployed.

Anyway, I lost track. The IBS Web site. Me. There. My blog. I am a student. But you know all this, because you are already there. Here. Out on the Internet. Surfing the web. Enjoy!

Exhibition at House of Sweden.

If you can't crawl under - jump over!

Surrounded by good people, far away as well as close to you, you can learn how to jump higher than you thought possible. Sometimes, you don't see all the solutions and you end up crawling around on the ground. That is when you need that hopping group of individuals. 

I make sure to only be surrounded by people who make me jump. Those who take the energy out of my legs and constantly hold me back on the ground, or maybe even push me under it, are not worth my time.

I can happily announce, if that message has not been made clear yet, that the people close to me know are of that jumping kind. It is quite neat to have found them, being miles away from my regular hopping team

Jump if you like New York!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ok, so the Libyan leader is dead. But what about the squirrels!?

My favorite e-mail, which is dropped off in my inbox every afternoon, is the one called "Afternoon Buzz" sent to me from the Washington Post, since I am a home delivery subscriber. It is such a cozy thing. Even though I am not always at home when I read it, I get the feeling of making myself comfortable in the sofa and I can almost smell the coffee.

This service is supposed to "keep you up-to-date on the news that has occurred since you received your morning paper". You would think that the first news story in today's "Afternoon Buzz" would be somehow connected to the killing of Moammar Gadaffi, wouldn't you?

Well, I did. So you might imagine how surprised I was when the first headline read: "The coming squirrel famine." Really?

Of course, I just had to read it. And this, I tell you, might have been the most entertaining piece of news story I have ever read. This is a story about how the squirrels in the area might end up without food because there might be a shortage of acorns due to Hurricane Irene. However, it seems the acorns on the ground are around average, so there might not be a problem after all. Furthermore, the walnuts on the ground could potentially make upp for possible loss of acorns.

If you are to read one, and only one, story ever in your life - THIS IS THE ONE TO READ!

On 5th and K...

...I'd like to sit here all day!

Busboys & Poets always delivers. Internet connection, coffe refill for free and good music - today, mostly from the 90's. I like this way of studying. Being in a lively atmosphere makes me creative and in the right mood.

However, in a bit I have to head home again. I will hold a phone interview and need a quite place. I wish I had my own office or some kind of working studio. Staying home is just so uninspiring.

Oh well, break over, moving on. First task - reading about interviews - is completed and next assignment on the agenda is writing a press release. Have a good study day, all fellow students out there. Learning sure is fun, isn't it?!

Crisis - a dangerous opportunity.

Did you know that the word crisis, in Chinese, is a compound of the signs for danger and opportunity?

Think about it.

Have you? What conclusion did you get to? That a crisis might actually be something good? That an event might be a disaster from one point of view but the best thing that could happen to you from another?

Paint the picture of you standing all alone on a road to, what it seems like, nowhere. Scary? It can be dangerous if you let it get to you and don't pay attention to the surroundings. But if you stay cool and aware of what is going on around you, it might be the opportunity of your life.

Don't be scared. Breathe and keep all your senses open - and the road will lead you to the exact place where you are meant to be.

Arlington, Va., October 15.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Così, così.

Things have been relatively slow the last few days - not so much to read, a few things to write - but my head is constantly in speed mode and I keep a constantly high flow. I don't want to go to bed at night, because I enjoy the silence of the late hour. I want to get up early every morning, because I don't want to miss an important second of the day. I pay attention during class and I work hard at the gym. And when I get a spare minute - I think. About stuff.

Thinking is often tiring. Especially when it is about stuff. And now, at Così in Crystal City, I am tired. I do have a few must-do's, but all I want to do is write from my heart and read about Carla Bruni's newborn daughter.

Writing from my heart clears my head from the thinking. Reading in French keeps me focused and unable to think of anything else than the beautiful language (that I miss speaking, by the way). My days are sunny and my heart is fairly light, but this always happens. After intense days of high speed, my head goes to overload and I just want to reload.

Old and wise as I am (question mark on that one), I let myself crash and burn from brain work overload. I press the break pedal for a second and then, when my heart gives me green light again, I step on the accelerator and start all over.

The sun is shining over my world and I just want to keep moving forward.

Word of the day - that's why I'm here.

Today's word from Merriam-Webster was a good one:

conversant (adjective) - having knowledge and experience

That is exactly what I wish to get out of my year here in the States - I want to learn by doing.

Before I came here, I thought I wanted to become a journalist, preferably write for a travel magazine and focus on sustainable tourism. However, now I wish to become conversant within the field of Public Relations. I think that could be the thing.

The fall in D.C. - watch out for sunburnt nose.

Super Sunday October 16, 77°F (25°C). We like good weather in the fall!

How is to live with strangers?

Living with complete strangers can be a tricky business. Especially for a perfectionist and dustofobic (it's a word!) like me. I believe, that what it all comes down to, to make it work, is the three C's:
- Communication
- Compromising
- Collaboration

First of all, you need to make sure that you can always have an open dialogue with your roommates. Listen to what they say they want and need and make sure that your voice is heard too. Communicate. If you fail this very first step, your will most likely run into situations that will become conflicts.

Secondly, you have to realize that you will not be able to get it your way every single time. Sometimes you have to let your roommates watch TV when you actually wanted to pump up the volume and listen to your favorite music while cleaning like a loon. The next time, it will be your turn to be in charge of the situation. Give and take - compromise.

And last, but absolutely not least, work as a team. Give value to the home that you all share and make sure you do your part to contribute to an nice atmosphere. If you collaborate, your roommates will do the same.

If you follow the three C's, these complete strangers might become your very, very good friends. Really!

The 305 girls must have done it right, or we are just a really good match.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011