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A Tribute to Magoo, 1999-2007 2007 June 15

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Family, I miss..., Miscellaneous, Off-topic.

Magoo and Me

Just two weeks ago, I had been getting ready for a big night at my nation. It was the last club night and I was working in the kitchen, and later we would hit the dance floor and party like fools. It turned out to be a great time with my friends and a great end to the school year. The next day was a little painful (bright sun, quite the headache!) but as I cycled home from a friend’s place, the sun was so warm and the weather so beautiful that I could not be any happier than I was in those moments. It wouldn’t last long, though.

By then, it was Saturday afternoon and when I got home I rang my father. He was a bit concerned because my dog, a 7½-year-old Chinese Shar-Pei named Magoo, had developed a sore spot on his leg and was not eating again, although they had changed his food. He was becoming rather thin and they decided that it was time to take him to the vet.

On the next Monday, the vet examined Magoo. He was in a bit of pain, as I could hear over the phone when I called my father. It was unbearable to listen to. The vet figured that it was an infection, especially since Magoo also had a fever. I told my father on the phone my concern that this was something much, much more serious than a simple infection. I was, for the first time, really afraid that something was very wrong with my dog.

You see, Magoo had been “my” dog. Although I went away to school almost four years ago, I went home enough to see Magoo and spend some good time with him. It still wasn’t as much as I would’ve wanted, though, and had been used to while in high school; Magoo, having in the beginning slept in a dog crate, starting sleeping upstairs near all of us and then soon by my door. Soon thereafter I let him sleep on my floor in my room. He listened to me a lot and followed me around a lot. When we first got him in Chicago seven years ago, I was the first person to see him at the door. And I played with him and stayed by him constantly. Although he belonged to our family, I’d like to think that Magoo and I had the strongest bond.



Don’t make me leave! 2007 March 12

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been pretty busy; I have three courses at once, so I spent a lot of my time reading and attending class. I will be going to London at the end of this month and Helsinki sometime next month. Before I leave Europe, I probably will have spent a few days in Berlin.

I’m working on the Paris series and I have decided that I am going to back-date all of my posts; everything about France will be posted under the date it actually happened, or if I summarize it’ll take place after those several days. It makes it easier to get through everything, and I’ll just write a summary of the entire trip in one post.

I am enjoying my time here so much that I have discovered I don’t want to leave. I have definitely settled in here; I’ve figured out what I like about Sweden, what I definitely do not like about the United States and what at home I can live without. I know it will be nice to get back home and see my family and friends, but I will have left a lot here that I intend to return to at some point.

Of course, I hate thinking about that already. I know I’ve got three months left here and I’m going to make the best of it.

Back from holiday 2007 January 11

Posted by @jennyjenjen in American Holidays, Miscellaneous, Travel, Weather.

So, everyone keeps asking me where my posts and pictures from France and Spain are!

I’ve got them, and I’ve got plenty to say, but I haven’t posted anything yet for two reasons: one, it’s time-consuming; and two, I’m kind of lazy coming off of holiday.

All right, and I’ve got other things to do. Things like cleaning my room (a never-ending chore), laundry, and finishing papers. I’m also kitchen bitch this week. Those sort of things that are easy to put off, and I told myself I can’t do much else until I’ve gotten that finished wth. Yet, here I am, typing away on the computer…

I will say this, though: it was absolutely magnificent to see the sun so high up in the sky for so many days in a row. There were a few overcast and rainy days in France, even some foggy and icy ones too (when we were in Bourgogne), but overall, I got more sun there than I’ve gotten in a while. Not to mention the 18-degree (Celsius!) weather we had on the coast in Coulliere, near Perpignan. It was fantastic!


Season’s first snow in Uppsala 2006 November 1

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous, Weather.

The first snow of the season began to fall yesterday, the last day of October. It was Halloween in the United States, and we were celebrating it anyhow.

As for the snow, I’ll take pictures tomorrow when it’s light out. I don’t know why, and it’s not like you don’t all know what snow looks like, but there is something neat about the first snow of the year.

And I carved a pumpkin last night! It was pretty neat. I’ll snap a picture of it, too. I named the pumpkin Harald, after King Harald III of Norway. What can I say? I’ve been reading a lot of history lately.

Anyhow, much to come quite soon! I’ve been rather busy, so I’ve got some catching up to do.

Rainy days, an expensive night out, and familiar friends 2006 October 3

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous, Social Life.
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It’s been rainy here in Uppsala for at least the last week, making for an interesting commute to town every day, through puddles and mud and the like. It’s a good thing I found a rain coat last week, and I think it’s the best purchase I’ve made the entire time here; it’s not very fun trying to balance an umbrella while riding a bike, and being soaked all the way through anyways. I’ve been told by my corridor mates that the weather will be like this up until early December, when the snow arrives at full force.

Up until Saturday, I had only run into one friend who had studied in Colorado as an exchange student from Uppsala. I had been keeping in contact with my friend Peter, who had studied at CU last year, so it wasn’t a surprise that we’ve been able to be in contact since I’ve gotten here. However, there are students from past years from Uppsala with whom I became friends, and I hadn’t seen any of them at all. That is, until Saturday.

Saturday was full of a few unexpected occurences, good and bad. Fellow Coloradoan Bergin and I went out to Norrlands with our new friend and co-worker David, a German guy who has been living in Sweden for the last four years. We were planning on seeing Eskobar play live, but even though we paid for a ticket (a whole 120 SEK – almost $20 US! Cheap for a concert but expensive for just cover!), we ended up having to wait to get in by order of the ordningsvakt (security) because the place was too crowded. After numerous tries to get in, we ended up not even seeing the show! We’re going to try and get our money back this week, but anyway, we weren’t very happy and decided to try and enjoy the night even though the concert was a bust.


What I miss (part one) 2006 September 26

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Food & Drink, Home vs. Sweden, I miss..., Miscellaneous.

Although I’m having a blast here and it’s a great time, I’d thought I’d write about a few things I miss quite a bit:

  • Peanut butter. Sure, you can find it here in Sweden, but it’s kind of expensive for the rate at which I’d be using it. My mum says she’ll ship some to me.
  • The mountains. Even the hills here are sorta weak. Though, I have to admit, there are some advantages to being at this lower altitude!
  • Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. I mean real rock ‘n’ roll. There’s really no such thing here. There are some great musicians, yeah, but it seems like there is no familiarity with “anything with a guitar.” Bergin and I were talking to a French student about music and he didn’t seem to get the fine lines between rock, folk, bluegrass, country, etc., and it’s pretty much because you can’t find too much of it on this particular side of the pond. It’s like it gets lost once it hits the UK. Of course the bigger acts are known here but it’s not necessarily the bigger acts who have the best rock. Anyways, there’s a good amount of hip hop and house at the clubs, plus some of the good 80’s stuff and decent pop, but it seems it’s either that side of the spectrum or really angsty metal music.
  • Baseball and American football. Practically nobody around here would know what the heck I was talking about if I talked about blocked punt returns, infield singles, the seventh-inning stretch or rushing yards.
  • Driving. It’s not so much being able to get somewhere by car, it’s driving itself. I’ve always loved driving and I am a pretty good driver at that. I think I would love highway driving here.


Flogstaskriket 2006 September 11

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Corridor Living, Miscellaneous.

Every night, at 10:00 pm, there are screams.

And more screams. And more screams. It goes on for about five or ten minutes, and if you didn’t already know what was going on, it can be really, really confusing.

It’s the Flogstaskrik, or the Flogsta scream. It happens every night around 10:00 pm, and it starts with a few howls from a group of people who were likely watching the clock and eagerly anticipating the chance to scream their lungs out at nothing in particular. Then another building will answer, probably a group of people who were waiting for that initial scream. Before you know it, there are screams from every building, and in some places, the noise is nearly deafening.

Flogsta is a student housing center, so it’s not much of a bother to students. How others on neighboring streets feel, I don’t know, but I have heard that a few there, too, take part in the Flogsta scream.

Nobody knows for sure when it actually started, but there are a few good guesses:

  • Students in the 1970s were so frustrated with exams that they started screaming out the windows during exam weeks to get rid of their frustrations.
  • A few students in one of their courses read that there was a misunderstanding as to how prayers were offered when Uppsala was Christianized in the 12th century. So they decided to imitate this in Flogsta.
  • Others have said that this started when a student committed suicide by jumping off of one of the roofs in the 80s. So now people scream about it. (We’re not sure if someone was just being morbid in spreading around this one.)

So I have included for you all a sampling of the Flogsta scream:

Oh Zizou, why did you do it? 2006 July 12

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous, Off-topic.

Everyone’s talking about it. Even the people who know nothing about football (err, soccer, for some of you out there). Everyone wants to know why the man who is a hero to so many football fans in the world lost his temper and exchanged years of glory for mere seconds of rage.

Zinédine Zidane’s infamous headbutt has been making headlines all over the world, gathering attention from everyone from local sports anchors to political pundits and self-entitled soccer moms across the world. The general opinion, especially from those who never knew who Zizou was before the headbutt, is that Zidane is a moron and cost his team the World Cup. Perhaps he lost the title that would have solidified his career in the football world, but the man is no moron.

For those who have followed his career, he’s been known for his temper and has done such things before. In the 1998 World Cup, he stomped the Saudi captain in the back. In 2000, he also head-butted a Hamburg player during a Championships League match. Zidane’s temper, especially in reaction to verbal assault, is almost as well-known as his incredible work ethic and, ironically, his tendancy to remain quiet and calm.

But calling the man a moron is ignoring the great career he has forged throughout the years.

As the hero of the French team in 1998 at the World Cup, which was held on the team’s home soil, Zidane skyrocketed to fame with his amazing performance and two goals scored in the final. Zizou then racked up many more honors in the European Champions League, along with honors in the Italian and Spanish leagues, but most importantly winning FIFA’s World Player of the Year honor three times. His story of climbing up from the tough streets of Marseille as a French-Algerian teenager and becoming one of the world’s best footballers is not only admirable, but it has become stuff of legend.