February 3rd, 2004



At least 4 of the blog writers I read are currently in the process of putting out books based on their web writings. Another one announced her upcoming book (to be out in 2005) today. Brave new world. It's a little envy-making, but at the same time it's so ENCOURAGING!

Transported Back to High School by a Memory Master: Fresh Meat by the She-Dork

Lots of projects that would be fun at work if work was fun going on right now. I just got the proofs back for the four posters I designed for the new offices and they look great. I have another poster ready to go and have to do small signs for the "quiet rooms" that we will have in each of the wings, which include a photo and a name. I'm working on the move newsletter, too: a special edition for the employees that gives info about the new building, where to find things, tips about working in open landscape seating, etc. Yet another piece of bad news about the new building: apparently they keep the temperature very low all year round. One of our new employees that worked up there previously says it's freezing inside all the time. Oh joy.

Since I got nothing done at home last night due to the fatigue/chills, tonight is dedicated to getting the family website update finished or as near finished as possible. I watched West Wing and was so out of it that I couldn't keep up with the rapid-fire dialogue exchanges. Then I went to bed and read some more of Almost French, which I am enjoying so very much and after I put it down to go to sleep, I couldn't. Go to sleep, that is. argh

Blonde Joke My Sister Sent Me That I'm Thinking of Trying at Work: Two factory workers were talking. "I know how to get some time off from work." said the man. "How do you think you will do that?" said the blonde. He proceeded to show her...by climbing up to the rafters, and hanging upside down. The boss walked in, saw the worker hanging from the ceiling, and asked him what on earth he was doing? "I'm a light bulb," answered the guy. "I think you need some time off," said the boss. So, the man jumped down and walked out of the factory. The blonde began walking out, too. The boss asked her where did she think she was going? "Home," she said, "I can't work in the dark."

Whaddaya think? Will it work? >:)
  • Current Music
    Steve Winwood—Arc of a Diver


It's so interesting reading other expat's takes on the culture shock and acclimatization process. I both see myself in their experiences and wonder at their reactions. Partly it can be the difference based purely on the fact that I've moved around so much in my life AND that we lived in Europe when I was a teenager that gives me a different perspective. Partly it depends on the culture that is being absorbed and dealt with. I suspect I would have found it a great deal harder to live as an expat anywhere else than Europe, and especially northern Europe. Not that it would stop me from trying it should the opportunity arise, since I'm almost always open to that kind of adventure (thanks to my parents) but even with the myriad small differences that continually surprise one in Sweden, it has definitely come to feel like home.

It's probably also partly due to the fact that I've lived outside of the States for so long. I'm past the easy repatriation point of five years. Moving back now would be like moving to a new foreign country, not back home.

Substitute Swedish each time you read the word French: On a deeper level, I think compromise became possible because of an important realization: each of us is doing their best. I say this with hindsight, because it's only once it has ended that the conflict acquires clarity. (He) begins to realize that I am struggling on many fronts. With the French language and people and myriad cultural differences that ensure life is never boring but which occasionally leave me feeling defeated. In the struggle to find my place in France I've discovered a million details that matter to me—details that define me as non-French. Much as I'd initially wanted to fully integrate, I knew now I never would, not completely, I couldn't, I didn't want to. This wasn't a choice, it simply wasn't possible. I will never be French.

Another passage* which struck me: For an expatriate, the whole matter of 'home' is an emotional conundrum riddled with ambiguities and caprice. Paris is my actual home: it's where I live. It can pull at heartstrings with a mere walk down our market street in the morning. But Australia is the home of homesickness and my history—a powerful whirlpool of family and friends, memories and daily trivia that I used to take for granted but now seem somehow remarkable.


For those who have a hard time cleaning up and getting rid of the accumulations of years, travelertrish just wrote an excellent instruction on how to make the job a little more organized and easy: The De-Clutter System


Today I received proof of thoughtfulness from someone who is rapidly becoming the best kind of long-distance friend. Thank you so much for the postcards, ozswede! I love them and even if Mr. Dullaway finds no inspiration in non-Australian animals, he's found a fan in me!

*both passages excerpted from Almost French by Sarah Turnbull