October 6, 2018

Norway, Day 1

I had so many plans for Norway. In the end, we didn't do 95% of them. Planning is fun and the actual trip is fun and what you end up doing that you'd planned for is a teensy part of the Venn diagram.

Mrguy excelled at navigation and accommodation-picking. We got to 2 D√łtre in the late afternoon and found a gift bag waiting for us, a present from my cousin. Chocolate, a book about the wooden houses of Bergen, and two rain ponchos. She is so thoughtful.

We looked around the neighborhood. This is the view down our street. Our apartment was just a few blocks from Greig Hall.
I loved the architecture, and how buildings were set at random angles next to one another.

After dinner we went to Garage, to see a band called Virkelig. I'd done my research beforehand, because I wanted to see some rock music by a band who performed in the norwegian language. The venue, The Garage, was great. Just the right blend of grubby and cool. The crowd was small -- maybe 50 people, mostly younger, and a few who might be the parents of the band. The band played as if for a stadium, and all the kids in the audience sang along. It was such a sweet scene.

So ends day 1 in Norway.

Stockholm, Day 3 and 4

Next was presentation day. We got up early and headed over to the venue. And when I say we, I mean that mrguy resumed his role as my manager and stayed with me. He sat through a morning's worth of presentations in Swedish, and then went record shopping after mine had concluded. You can imagine the impression he made on everyone (just by being himself, of course, but sitting through Swedish presentations? Everyone was swooning because of his chivalry).

My presentation was the first after lunch. I should say that the venue was a small ballroom in a very old hotel. It was really lovely. All presentations are a bit of a crap shoot because local conditions vary. In this iteration I used a borrowed PC and wore a headset mic for the first time. And the folks from the Scandinavian office came to see me. No pressure at all!

At night we went for dinner and then drinks with new friends, a presenter and her husband. I swear we would have kept into the wee hours were it not for jet lag. Such interesting and funny conversations. These people were really cool. She's the archivist for a publishing house. He is a video producer.

The next day mrguy and I went to the Scandinavian office and the team gathered for a q&a with their boss and I. Then we found some lunch in an arty spot where we sat in the fog under heat lamps and blankets. It was a music venue, and Grandmaster Flash was doing soundcheck below us. We could only hear the drums, but whatever.

We got together again with our friends and did some communal record shopping and beer consuming. In Stockholm they do that thing where the alphabetize the music by first name.

So, right, you find Human League, "Indian Records" and INXS in that order. And lots of signs explaining that everything is by first name. Some day I'll get to the bottom of the reason why people choose this organizational scheme.
 Just one more record sleeve:

We had already eaten, but our friends had not, so we met up and had a beer with them while they ate. This gave us ample time to check out the restrooms, which were also interestingly organized:
I wish our new friends were local. They were so much fun. We shared all our favorite television shows, music, thoughts about how people problem-solve and interact. Again, were it not for wanting to sleep we would have spent more time with them. 

Bye, new friends!

September 29, 2018

Stockholm, Day 2

On our second day in Stockholm we wandered around the town until it was time to go to the speakers' dinner, provided by our host.

Hotel With Urban Deli was wild and great. Our room was downstairs via glass elevator or spiral staircase. Our floor also contained a public space with carpeted risers and large work tables.

The carpeting in the hallways has a "undressing on the way to the hotel room" motif, and there were shower rooms in the hallway that were for "dirty little girls" and "dirty little boys". I don't even want to know why.

The deli upstairs was super fancy. A glass-fronted freezer for single-serve mochi covered ice creams. I guess that's a thing.

The pre-made salads were impressive, they had a shrimp bar and had a special sauce which they named after Sean Connery, with no apparent explanation

We had a few free hours on Day 2, so we walked around and got coffee. Mrguy found us a very satisfying thrift store where he bought records (a theme on this trip) and I bought printed denim fabric and a teensy watercolor of a chicken, from 1920. All for the princely sum of 17 Swedish Kroner.

Speakers' dinner that evening was a delicious moule frites kinda affair, with lovely conversation with other archivists and our host whose father was a famous director of infamous Swedish movies. Our host took a different route, to business school. Lovely fellow.

Then we came home and had a nightcap in the hotel bar:

So ends Day 2.
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