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Today’s most Awesome Quote

Which is, I guess, actually Wednesday’s quote, as it’s from Weekly:

“What kind of lame-ass Pacific Rim city is this, anyway?”

New other blog

For those of you interested in what I write in Swedish:

this is the place for you: http://tatortstimotej.blogsome.com/

And that’s pretty much all for today, guys.

Laundry rooms: the bane of the Swedish existance.

There is a piece of… I supposed common knowledge, collective consciousness, or whatever, about laundry rooms in Sweden. They cause disagreement and dislike among neighbors. Now, until today, I thought of this as something make up, like people getting lost at IKEA (oh, alright, my mom did that once. Bad example.) However, I have seen the light. Or, rather, I have seen the deep, impenetrable, darkness.

See, all rental-until-collections (whether it is single buildings or complexes) have laundry rooms. There are no laundromats in Sweden, and the laundry rooms are included in the rent, not coin-operated. A key to the laundry room is generally given at the same time as the apartment key, as it’s kept locked. In the laundry room is The Holy List. The List is where you sign up for laundry times, something you can generally do up to two days before. You sign up for a few hours a time (depending on the opening hours of the room, there can be anywhere between two and five shifts in one day) and may use the machines at that time. Kid wet the bed? Tomato soup all over the living room? TV exploded? You ain’t got no laundry time, you ain’t doing’ no laundry. You also can’t sign up for too many times (usually one a week is alright, more if you can justify it.) Having a laundry time is a valid reason to leave work early or getting there late. Now, during your hours, you need to do all your laundry and dry it, as well (despite the fact that the person after you can’t reasonable do their drying until at least thirty minutes into their time slot.) Normal decency, like emptying the lint filter and taking your stuff with you, always apply. Extra rules are optional for each location.

Why? Because we’re Swedes, we’re masochists, and we love bureaucracy.

Now, at the complex where I work, each time slot is half a day – six hours. It starts at seven a.m. and goes on until 1 p.m or starts at one and go until eight. We start work at eight, so we lose one hour if we have the morning shift. Also, care receiver is severely handicapped. She needs sheets changed at least twice a week, shirts every day, pants very very often, has an extra set of tops worn under the corset she needs to sit straight -tops changed daily, corsets when needed. And unlike the icky old people in the complex, she showers every day. There’s a lot of laundry, and there’s only two machines.

This complex has special rules. Like ‘mop the room when you’re done’. What the hell? I understand ‘clean if it’s dirty’ but if it’s not even dusty, there’s no. reason. to. mop. twice.or. three. times. a. day. Also, I was whined at by person-after-care-receiver’s-slot for picking up my last things five minutes BEFORE the slot was over.( “everything needs to be out and cleaned by one!”) and just generally whined at by a person why just hung around because the OTHER assistants don’t clean up after themselves. PERHAPS it has to do with us having one hour less, twice and much laundry, and more important things to do than time laundry times?

So yes. I am ready to kill now. Interestingly, at PLU there were no time slots and the laundry room was open 24/7. At Byrn Mar there were three machines, no time slots, no schedule, maybe fifty tenants, and everything worked out fine. Imagine that. In the Ballard apartment, we only share machines with one other apartment, so I am sure it will be fine.

Actually, I am glad to have grown up

I rather frequently hear people talk about the innocence of childhood. The “I want to be six again” poemesque thing is a well-known, nostalgic declaration of loss of innocence. People grieve that they have lost the ability to be happy over small thing, to have no real worries. The weight of income tax, getting groceries and affording a vacation is heavy on their shoulders. To declare that one wants to be a kid again, though, is ridiculous. Not only are a child’s problem as real and terrifying to them as income tax is to an adult, but that “innocence” if always topped with a fundamental powerlessness related to fundamentals of life.

I am glad I am an adult.. I live among mostly civilized individuals; if someone attacks me on the way from work, they are breaking the law and the police will, hopefully, recognize that. When I was in primary school, I was afraid of going home from school every day. An older girl, perhaps by four years, had decided it was a fun sport to catch me and pull my hair. All her friends, and mine, agreed. After all, I reacted. I cried and whimpered. And the teachers and my mother sighed and said I oughtn’t encourage her by reacting. Who would say something like that to an adult? “Well, I know your neighbor meets you in the stairwell and hit you every evening, but it’s basically your own fault, you oughtn’t be such an amusing person to make fun of.”

I’ll take income tax before that any day.

I get to cook and choose my own food. I never have to eat spare ribs or liver again, and if I don’t feel like pasta today, I will eat something else. I discovered a year or two ago that it wasn’t as exciting to eat certain meals as it used to be, and it took me a while to realize that it was because I didn’t have to suffer two weeks of food I didn’t like (yes, I am a picky eater) before getting my favorite. I make that choice now, and although I might have to compromise with a partner or friend, no one puts a plate before me with “eat this, or go to bed without dinner.”

I wear the clothes I like. Perhaps not to work, but no one makes me wear the itchy, blue jumper that I hate.

It’s worth cramps.

I pick my own bedtime. Granted, not always with the best result (getting up at six after a night at the computer? Not so great.) If I can’t sleep, I can stay up. If I want to nap, no one will ask if I am feeling sick. And related, I can stay indoors on nice days, or take a walk in the rain. I can midnight run to Crispy Creme. Well, I can’t. But if I had a license and a car, and if I was in the US, I could.

I can read. I don’t know what I did before I read, but I must have spent hours looking into empty space. Books are my friends, and I don’t rely on others to read them for me.

For the most part, people take me seriously even when they can’t help me. When they don’t, I generally have somewhere else to turn. Personally, I find that worth the price of not being able to see, that that chair is really a spaceship.

Freedom of stupidity, not of speech

I doubt anyone has missed the commotion in Europe right now. The topic is a few caricature drawings of the prophet Mohammed, which originally appeared in Danish newspaper (Jyllands-Posten) in September. A few days ago, Moslem groups voiced protests, and the drawings where then republicized, and later appeared in newspapers in a number of other countries, most notably France, with conflicts, flag burnings and export stops as consequences.

What I find interesting is that the focus is on freedom of speech; no Arab countries have the right to react, because journalists have the right to print whatever they want. And yes, they have that right. But to compare this to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses is just… cheap. In the latter case, it is a conscious provocation, but one made from within a culture. It is also a book, and according to some a rather good one. In the former case, it is a small number cartoon-sized caricature drawings, made by Danish artists and publicized in a large, Danish magazine. There is a world of difference.

The main difference regards perspective; the drawings weren’t made to show disdain for Iran, Palestine or Saudi-Arabia. It was a big, fat fuck-you to all moslems living in Denmark. The last few years, xenophobia and racism has been growing in Denmark, both in culture and in politics (immigrations laws prevents non-European naturalized citizens from marrying non-Europeans and residing in Denmark, the xenophobic Dansk Folkeparti (The Danish People’s Party), the leader of which, Pia Kjärsgaard, has made several racist statements, is winning ground.) The publication of these pictures is really just a logical consequence of that development. While the editor in chief semi-apologized by saying that they “never intended to offend anyone,”
it is quite obvious that that was the original intent; “we will not only make fun of your prophet, we will further humiliate you by doing this in a manner forbidden by your religion; visual depiction of a holy person. Oh, and in the process, we’ll depict Islam as inherently terrorist.”

And France, that has the one of the longest histories of moslem citizens in Europe, and that already have a conflict with this population after the outlawing of head scarves in public schools, followed suit. What I am trying to understand is what the hell these idiots, sorry, editors, are thinking with. I am not saying it is right to burn Danish flags in Palestine, or to threaten Danish citizens. I am saying that it was incredibly insensitive and straight out dumb for anyone to public these pictures to begin with. This is not a matter of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of freedom of idiocy.

Swedish Newspaper Sydsvenskan‘s editor-in-chief Peter Melin defends his paper’s choice of not printing the drawings in this article: http://sydsvenskan.se/varlden/article140141.ece . He gives the following reasons:

1. I don’t see the publication -or not- as a matter of freedom of speech. Nothing prevents Sydsvenskan from displaying the depictions of Mohammed if we find reason to do so. This has happened and yesterday we printed the cover of the children’s book that is the cause of the last days’ commotion.

2. The caricatures are primarily a provocation. This is rarely a good starting point for good journalism. We don’t print anti-semitic drawings for the sake of provocations either.

3. The drawings can be seen as political persecution of an already vulnerable group.

4. There is a moral dimension. I find some of the images repulsive. They remind me of anti-semitic caricatures from the 1930s.

5. The images can be understood as sacrilege.

6. The drawings are in some cases so blunt that there is a risk that printing them is against Swedish law. They are dangerously close to a verbal hate crime (the law in questions is the law against hateful agitation against a specific ethnic or social group.)

I really couldn’t have said it better myself. I stay with my old position: people are dumb.

Contact me

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Thank you.

About Me

This is me.

Well, this is a certain aspect of me. The black-and-white-and-orange, English language blog aspect of me; if you prefer Swedish, my Swedish blog is called eftermigfloden and can be found here.

I am thirtyish, I’m a front-end web dev  and UI designer* who live in Seattle with my husband and cats.  I was born and grew up in Sweden (which may or may not be referred to as “A Small, Dark Country in the Far North” for the purposes of this blog.)

I bake for fun and cook out of necessity, and other than the very old entries, this blog focuses on the baking.

Annamatopoetry

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