Spring, Food, and Missing Home

I know. It’s been a while.

In the past few weeks I haven’t done much, as I’ve been nursing some injuries obtained from working out at the gym. I am rather competitive, and since January I’ve been gaining muscle and losing weight by pushing myself at the gym three-four times a week. More weights, more reps, higher intensity running… it took its toll when I hurt my knees jogging, and then hurt my shoulder with pull-downs, which caused a pinch in my neck, which then lead to a two-week headache and an aching scalp. That’s right. My scalp hurt. Apparently when this neck nerve gets hurt it irritates the entire side of your head. I originally thought I had a fast-moving ear infection that was growing up the side of my face.

But, it turns out, the cause of my pain is just that I’m not young. Not quite old per se, but certainly no longer twenty-two years old, with a twenty-two year old’s agility or ability to heal. Phooey. Almost-forty sucks.

As for my research here, I do not have that much time left—just over seven weeks. In that time I will write a draft of my entire proposal and an introductory chapter of the thesis itself. Though the proposal and chapter will likely change over the next year, outlining the plan on paper is a good way to get decent feedback as well as clarify one’s own thoughts and direction. When I return home I will do three comprehensive exams and then spend a year writing the dissertation. So far, I’m on track.

This is Month Five of my six-month adventure, and is the first time since being here that I’ve truly felt homesick. I miss my cats, my bicycle, and a damned grown up bed.

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Dorm living is not for real grown ups who’ve paid their own rent since they were eighteen. I’ve regressed and there are no midnight cheerleader pillow fights to show for it.

I also miss real coffee.

In this pretty city of Trondheim, spring is trying to make its appearance. We had a high of 14 degree Celsius today, the highest temperature so far.

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I’ll gladly suffer seasonal allergies for some greenery.

The sun is now setting at around ten p.m. and sets ten minutes later every day—a strange experience, as even at home at the height of summer, nine p.m. is usually the latest. By June 21st, I’m told that the day will last for twenty-two hours.

Another reason for my quiet on the blog is that I’ve been saving monies. I have adventures planned for the last month, including a trip to the Lofoten Archipelago

Even Norway’s sleepiest fishing villages are still breathtakingly beautiful.

…as well as Estonia to present at the annual CESNUR conference.

Magic and Media, yo.

My panel brings all the boys academics to the yard seminar room.

Despite the wallet-gouging prices here in Norway, I’ve managed to keep costs low by mixing cheap one-dollar food…

Canned tuna: cheap in every country.

Canned tuna: cheap in every country.

…with six-dollar-bags of spinach. Occasionally, I splurge and buy steak, and it’s the BEST THING EVER.

This cost me a month's rent.

This cost me a month’s rent.

When I’m feeling gastronomically adventurous, I try something unpronounceable yet visually appealing, to greater or lesser success.

My first meme.

My first meme.

But mostly, I stick to Norwegian staples.

Norwegians are obsessed with bad frozen pizza. Seriously, it's a real thing. Norway jokingly calls it their national dish.

Norwegians are obsessed with bad frozen pizza.

Seriously, it’s a real thing. Norway jokingly calls frozen pizza its national dish.

It’s Saturday night now and I’ve spent the day writing, so I’m going to go to the gym and try to sweat out the aches for home and the affection of my feline furkids. I may also buy chocolate, because chocolate cures all.

Just none of that Norwegian chocolate, because, like a true nerd, the foreign labels can’t tell me if I’m allergic to its ingredients.

And me without a bathtub.

And me without a bathtub.

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