Not perfect

On some level I guess we all know we're not perfect...

My constant reminder is the fact that a lot of danes think I'm speaking swedish, even though I use danish words. I'm fully aware that (for the first time in my life) I have a strong accent. I'm also fully aware that my danish grammars have left something else to want.

But on the other side... I think all danes trying to speak swedish sounds... entertaining - so no judgement on my part.

But I do believe that in general we should be more understanding of the difficulties in - not just learning a new language - but also learning about a new culture and society...


Sunday greys

Wind and rain and leaden skies.
Inexplicable sadness grips the heart.
Every breath makes me want to cry.
Looking out the window rips my soul apart.

I want to curl up under the duvet and never ever leave.
The comfort of my bed.
But I'm tired of curling up alone.
Want the warmth of another.

I think all I really need is a cup of tea and a hug from someone who cares about me.

But even simple things can be hard to come by.

So I guess I'll just have to settle for whatever I can get.

A cup of tea and the Sunday greys.


An unexpected turn


This blog was originally intended to be a translation of my Swedish blog, but after a short while it seems things have taken an unexpected turn...

This blog now seems to have a life of it's own.

I write different things in English and Swedish, but at least everything I write is all me.

Unfortunately I don't seem to be as humorous in English as I sometimes am in Swedish. But hopefully time will remedy that.


Sometimes things just take on a life of itself and you just have to go with the flow.

I've always been really bad at going with the flow, but that's changed dramatically over the past eight months. It's not like I'm just waiting for good things to happen - I actually try to help them along. But I've definitely gotten more adept at seizing the opportunities as they come along.

Last one might actually land me a job in Denmark, before I've even moved there (which I intend to do in a few months time).

Carpe Diem, good people!


Things that happen while I'm busy being depressed... part two

Here are the realisations:

I've realised that one of the things that really makes me happy also can make me really sad.

This mysterious thing is the ability to find joy and beauty and happiness even in the seemingly small and insignificant things in life.

Like the steely scent of the sea on a stormy winters' day, and the way this sometimes almost seems to take on a physical shape of piercing coldness.

Or the sound the wind makes when playing in tall, wet grass on a morning during early spring.

Or the warm, organic, almost tangible saltiness of the ocean that seems to embrace you like a tender lover just after sunset on a hot summer day's eve.

Or the feeling of rich, black mud seeping between your toes when you walk barefoot through the forest on a cold night late in the autumn.

These things and many more makes me almost indescribably happy.

So one might think I would be the happiest person in the world. Right?


The reason why these things that brings me joy also seems to have the ability of bringing me down is this - there's really no way I can share them with anyone.

Firstly because most people seem depressingly incapable of appreciating the small things in life or, as they say, "to stop and smell the roses".

And secondly because whenever I try to speak of these things, or write about them for that matter, I always seem to come across as this super pretentious hippie-poet-romantic-wannabe jerk. And when even I find it difficult to take me serious - how could I possibly expect someone else to!?!

Another thing I've learned about myself is that I feel at my very best whenever I have a goal to work towards. And I usually set myself fairly high goals, which also leads to some unhappiness since I never really seem to be able to reach my goals.

But the good thing is - the older I get the more realistic my goals get. Like now - for example - when I've set myself the goal to move to Denmark to study, since I truly believe that the education I'll get there is the education I need in order for me to have the freedom of choice I crave as to what I'm going to work with, and the freedom of not being stuck doing one thing for the rest of my life.

Turns out this goal is highly realistic since all that remains for me to achieve the goal is to find a place to stay and to organise the move which, by the look of things, should be a whole lot easier than I first thought. So now I know where I'll be and what I'll be doing for the next two years - and it feels great!

And one final, very important thing I've realised (although, this I've been suspecting for a while now) is that I feel really crappy when in doubt as to where I stand in relation to others.

I don't mean that not being held in high enough regard brings me down. I mean I'd rather know for sure what people's honest opinions about me are - even if the opinions are not positive - than being kept in limbo by people telling me one thing and signalling another.

All I can say to those who don't want to hurt people's feelings by telling them they don't like them is - don't be such an idiot!!!

People will notice. By the tone of voice, by your body language, by the way you can't help but rolling your eyes ever so slightly when they speak...

And by not telling them you'll most likely hurt their feelings even more since they might get to thinking that perhaps you do like them after all. Or you don't. Or you do... Things like that are guaranteed to send people to the loony bin.

So just tell them, and get it over with!

And, funnily enough, some of the people I've told that I didn't like are now close friends of mine. Turned out that by telling them why I didn't like them we got to communicating in a new way and found out we had a lot of common denominators and the reason I hadn't liked them was because they hadn't liked me and that the reason for all this dislike was really just a misunderstanding...

And the people I've told that I didn't like who didn't become my friends? Well most of them may still not like me, but they do respect me.

And the infinitesimally small number of people I don't like remaining here? Well, there's really no reason why I should bother with them anyway. If people can't accept the fact that they can't be liked by everyone, they're not people I want to be around anyway.

People who are constantly afraid of being disliked are frankly quite boring.

I should know - I used to be one of them! =)

Oh! I should probably point out that there are very few people I dislike.
There are also very few people I like.
It's just the way I am.

And on that note I will finish my ramblings for now...


Things that happen while I'm busy being depressed...

After spending most of my time since around late October/early November in what can only be described as a deep, dark hole of quiet despair, I have finally begun to rediscover the brighter sides of life.

This has also led to a series of discoveries about myself, to which I will get back in a little while.

The thing about my depressions is - I need them to feel good. It may seem like a cliché that in order to feel good, you sometimes need to feel bad. But in my case this couldn't be more true.

Ever since I was a child I've been curious about the world, fascinated by it, frightened by it, enamoured by it and tried to learn as much as I can about it. This may seem like a perfectly normal thing, and I guess to some extent it is. The thing about me, though, is that I have a tendency of not processing all these new and exciting things as I go about my daily business. Instead I gather the information in my head, much like a sponge absorbing water.

The thing about a sponge is, it can only absorb so much water until it's reached the point of complete saturation. Now, the healthy thing for a sponge to do might be to just stop absorbing. Or perhaps to squeeze some of the water out in order to make room for some other kind of water. But not this sponge!

No, this sponge is a sponge that instead of shedding water or stop absorbing gets what can only be described as growing pains. When I was younger it used to manifest itself as me getting a terrible stomach ache, which had me doubled over for about a week or so, and which disappeared on it's own accord without any rational, medical explanation.

Nowadays it leads to a depression which usually comes about every year or two, and which usually lasts about a month.

But every time I've been suffering from these growing pains, the strangest thing has happened - I've actually grown! Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. So instead of loosing the excess water this sponge just keeps getting bigger and bigger... =)

But growing is never easy and it usually comes at a price.

I had in fact been feeling almost too good about myself for more than two years, apart from some minor sadnesses, so I was a little worried that this growth spurt would be particularly bad. But as time passed and no depression came I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, I had finally grown enough to be able to grow just a little at a time.

But, boy, was I wrong! Instead I've been living in this pitch black hole of despair for several months - much longer than usual.

I can't say it hasn't been hell.

But as I'm finally beginning to feel this darkness dissipate I can see that it hasn't been to no avail. But I can also see it's taken a high toll on me - especially physically.

I've always been skinny, but as I happened to see myself naked in a full size mirror the other day I was chocked and appalled at how much weight I've seem to lost over the past few months. I know I haven't been eating enough - I just haven't had any appetite. But I didn't realize it had been this bad. Since I'm usually not depressed - and therefor suffering from a lack in appetite - for more than a month at a time I've never actually realised just what effect a more long term depression could have on me...

It seems my body can take long periods of eating like two grown men and long periods of barely eating at all without me actually gaining or loosing any weight to speak of. But it also seems there comes a point when my body reaches critical mass (or rather lack thereof, as it were) and starts burning calories like mad. I've heard others describe this phenomenon before - I just never thought it would actually happen to me.

So the thing I'm gonna do now is try to regain my weight and hope it also leads (which seems rather likely) to me feeling more energetic. The good news is - I love food! (I just keep forgetting this whenever I'm depressed).

And now for the discoveries;

(To be continued in the next post...)


A tiny little ad...

I would just like to tell y'all that my dear friend Patrik Carlsson, who's not just a very nice person but also a highly talented graphic artist, has recently launched his very own website!

The link will be on this blog permanently.

It's only launched in Swedish this far, but the graphic art speaks for itself, and I think you can all recognise an e-mail address (here's a hint - it's info@piktografika.se)...

So if you like what you see - don't hesitate getting in touch with Patrik!

I myself have a truly wonderful piece of customised artwork of his making my wall very beautiful indeed!

Tchüss meine Liebchen!


The Facebook application from hell - update


The developers still haven't responded to the thread about this privacy intrusion their application is doing.

Even more people have blocked the application. (Thank goodness for that!)


As it turns out, blocking the application is not enough!

Even though I blocked this application four days ago people can see me as being online!

Except I don't show up with my profile picture displayed in full colour. I show up as a white box with a blue questionmark.

(This is the standard icon used on Facebook for anyone who hasn't uploaded a profile picture or for anyone who has chosen to set their profile picture as being private (using the same privacy settings this application overrides)).

But when you hold the pointer of you mouse over the picture a label appears showing my name and "status".

Status is a way of quickly letting everyone in on what you're doing - like "Eira is blogging" - that you manually change whenever the mood strikes. The only things in your "status" you can't change is your name appearing and the word "is". (Which is a whole other debate on Facebook).

And if you click on the questionmark it seems to work as a link to my profile, since that's where I end up when I click it!

Now I don't know about you guys, but to me this seems highly unethical.

Much, much worse than anything Facebook itself has ever done (that I know of).

Now, I really don't know what choice I have. I don't want to have to leave Facebook (that I happen to like) because of one single stupid application programmed by some stupid, and either incompetent or just plain evil, developer(s). But something has to be done.


(Hey - I know! Let's start a Facebook group about it!)

Once more - the name of the application is Who's online and it was developed by Applehat Studios.



The Facebook application from hell

Well, I guess it's time even for me to do some complaining...

But it's not Facebook in itself I have complaints about - it's an application.

On Facebook there are a number of applications developed by companies or private persons. These applications which can be added to your profile are not developed by Facebook, but Facebook offers you the service of using them. They've also (in their much debated terms of use) made a disclaimer saying they do only accept responsibility for the content of the applications developed by themselves and they are therefore not responsible for the content of these other applications.

Some applications seems mainly to be a way to distribute spam, others are mainly for fun. There are also applications designed to make it easier for the users for example to find their "friends".

Yesterday morning I became aware of an application called "Who's Online" which was developed by a company called "Applehat studios".

The purpose of this application is to display - on your profile - which of your friends are online at the moment and which of these have been recently active. It does this by displaying the presentation picture of those friends. The recently active ones show up in full colour, whereas those who haven't been recently active are faded out.

This sound quite good - doesn't it?

Well... The only trouble is that in your Facebook profile's privacy settings you can decide whether you wish to display to others whether you're online or not. If you choose to not appear as being online you won't appear as this when people view your profile and you won't appear as being online when people use Facebook's own function in the "Friends" roll down menu where you can view your friends for example by who's been online in the past five minutes or who's recently updated their profile, a s o...

Now, this "Who's Online" application overrides this! In reality this means that even if you've changed your privacy settings so as not appear to be online you still appear as being online on the sites of your friends who've added this application.

Seeing as how many people have broadband connections that in effect means they're online 24-7 lot's of people have chosen to change their settings so as to not appear as being online. But, as I've pointed out, this application overrides that!

If any of your friends have added this application the developers seems to believe they have the right to access your information. You don't even have to add the application yourself - it's enough that one of your friends add it! This means that you can (since you haven't given your permission to them to access your information) completely oblivious to the fact, be sharing information that you've made a conscious decision not to share.

Yes, I am aware that every time I go online a whole bunch of information is gathered about me.
Yes, I'm also aware that in most cases I haven't given my permission to this (not expressively anyway).


Seeing as how this application overrides your privacy settings and seeing as how there are potentially millions of Facebook users who can have their privacy violated and not even be aware of it, I've decided to bring this up anyway.

On the discussion board for this application I started a thread about this privacy intrusion yesterday morning, hoping to get a response from one of the developers. The response I was hoping to get was that they would fix this. But no response came. What did come was responses from other Facebook users who agreed that this was unacceptable and should be fixed. Several users have now chosen to report this application as violating their privacy, so hopefully this will be continued...

For now the only thing that seems to work is to go to the applications site and block it. That will stop you from appearing on your friends' sites since you're blocking the application from accessing your information.

I would therefore like to ask that anyone who finds this manner of intruding on people's privacy appalling (yes, Facebook users are people, too) to spread the word about what this application does.

I would also like to ask all Facebook users who find this appalling to block the application and report it to Facebook.

There is power in numbers! If enough people react perhaps we can make something happen.

If you're curious about the company who developed this application you can visit http://applehat.com/

I did...

I would be very surprised if this was the only application that violates the Facebook users' privacy. So before you add a new application - find out what it does and how it works! As they say: better to be safe than sorry.

Happy surfing!


Facebook fray

In the newspaper today the front page headline was "Facebook owns your pictures".

Then there came an article about how baddie-bad-bad Facebook is for putting a clause in their "Terms of use" that says (and I've highlighted the potentially offensive sections for your ease);

[...]User Content Posted on the Site

You are solely responsible for the photos, profiles, messages, notes, text, information, music, video, advertisements, listings, and other content that you upload, publish or display (hereinafter, "post") on or through the Service or the Site, or transmit to or share with other users (collectively the "User Content"). You may not post, transmit, or share User Content on the Site or Service that you did not create or that you do not have permission to post. You understand and agree that the Company may, but is not obligated to, review the Site and may delete or remove (without notice) any Site Content or User Content in its sole discretion, for any reason or no reason, including without limitation User Content that in the sole judgment of the Company violates this Agreement or the Facebook Code of Conduct, or which might be offensive, illegal, or that might violate the rights, harm, or threaten the safety of users or others. You are solely responsible at your sole cost and expense for creating backup copies and replacing any User Content you post or store on the Site or provide to the Company.

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.[...]

And in "Facebook's privacy policy" it states that:

[...] The Information We Collect

When you visit Facebook you provide us with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected by us and Web Site use information collected by us as you interact with our Web Site.

When you register with Facebook, you provide us with certain personal information, such as your name, your email address, your telephone number, your address, your gender, schools attended and any other personal or preference information that you provide to us.

When you enter Facebook, we collect your browser type and IP address. This information is gathered for all Facebook visitors. In addition, we store certain information from your browser using "cookies." A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's computer tied to information about the user. We use session ID cookies to confirm that users are logged in. These cookies terminate once the user closes the browser. By default, we use a persistent cookie that stores your login ID (but not your password) to make it easier for you to login when you come back to Facebook. You can remove or block this cookie using the settings in your browser if you want to disable this convenience feature.

When you use Facebook, you may set up your personal profile, form relationships, send messages, perform searches and queries, form groups, set up events, add applications, and transmit information through various channels. We collect this information so that we can provide you the service and offer personalized features. In most cases, we retain it so that, for instance, you can return to view prior messages you have sent or easily see your friend list. When you update information, we usually keep a backup copy of the prior version for a reasonable period of time to enable reversion to the prior version of that information.

You post User Content (as defined in the Facebook Terms of Use) on the Site at your own risk. Although we allow you to set privacy options that limit access to your pages, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. We cannot control the actions of other Users with whom you may choose to share your pages and information. Therefore, we cannot and do not guarantee that User Content you post on the Site will not be viewed by unauthorized persons. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Site. You understand and acknowledge that, even after removal, copies of User Content may remain viewable in cached and archived pages or if other Users have copied or stored your User Content.[...]

[...] Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (e.g., photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalized experience.

By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States.[...]

Personally I'm not overly concerned seeing as how I always expect people to hi-jack everything I do/publish online and I therefore do not do/publish classified or "secret" stuff, or pictures I'd care if others use...

Sometimes I think people are just a little too trusting when it comes to this whole internet thing.

But still - writing clauses about "owning" whatever information the users of a service sends through the net is getting more and more common, so you should always read through the terms of users agreement carefully before signing up to anything. Who'd ever sign a contract for a mortgage or sign up for medical experiments and NOT read the fine print?

(Yeah - I know - loads of people! But It's not very clever, now is it?)

Well, if Facebook collects information from this blog and finds it to be in disagreement with their terms of use they have the right to shut down my account which would be a bitch since I like the service they provide. But seeing as how these policies can be found at public sites I don't see how it would be in disagreement with them. And I don't really think there's something strange or unusual with these terms of use - I've seen far worse.

I guess we'll just have to see if I still have a Facebook account by the end of the week.

Woah! That was a long post... Sorry.

Oh, yeah. One last thing - by "you" I don't necessarily mean you in particular. That was meant as an all encompassing "you" as in "me, you - everyone".

That's all for now. Will be back!


Oh, no not I - I'm still alive...

I just haven't been able to find the time to blog lately...

But to prove I'm still around I thought I'd make this very short post and also share something funny...

If you guys don't know what RTFM stands for - Read The Fucking Manual!

A great big hug to anyone who reads this!