Random stuff

Today

I woke up to the sound of a lot of cars driving around outside. It took me a while to realise why. I suspect they’re full of families here to pick up their kids for Easter. Now I feel all sad that my family is so far away and that I’ll be all alone here for Easter. *sigh*

Idea

I was thinking about something the other day. There’s a big problem with people drinking and driving. I think it might make a difference if it were made into law that whenever someone enters an establishment that sells alcohol, that they must leave their car keys at the door (if they brought them), and that they can’t get them back unless they pass a breathalyser test.

It wouldn’t stop people from driving after drinking at home, but it might cut down on people getting drunk in town and then driving home. Right?

Medication

So I had some tests done recently and it was confirmed that I have PCOS . I saw a gyno to talk about treatment options. Most of the time the birth control pill will solve a lot of the problems, but I’d been told that due to a history of blood clotting in my family I shouldn’t be on the pill. The gyno checked it out and apparently I have what is called Factor V Leiden which means that instead of the risk of getting a blood clot being 1 in 1,000, it is 1 in 125-250. So no pill for me. Instead I am now on metformin.

This means that my blood sugar levels will be regulated (insulin resistance is a common part of PCOS) and then my ovaries will stop producing too much testosterone. My skin will clear up, my periods will be normal (you totally wanted to know that!) and I might actually lose weight. Especially if I manage to get some exercise as well.

The only problem is that it commonly causes gastrointestinal problems to begin with (again something I’m sure you wanted to know!). *sigh* I guess I’ll just have to suffer for a while.

Future plans

My original plan was to stay in England once I’d finished my degree. That has now changed. I have decided to go back to Iceland and get a BSc in Nursing. My interests are too varied, it’s hard for me to settle on anything. :P

I started out determined to study languages, preferably ancient ones. Then I realised I had no idea what I wanted to do with that (other then being super cool and being able to read Latin) so I switched to Geography. At first I saw myself as a scientist, I’d know all about the weather, and volcanoes, and nature. I’d be traipsing about outside all the time, doing science-y stuff with soil and stuff.

Then I realised that while the nature stuff was interesting, it didn’t really grab me. So I turned to Human Geography and started learning all about the geographical patterns of people and what they do. Super interesting. Then I learned about international development and my interest was piqued. Finally I found out about Health Geography and I was set. Global health and developing countries? Totally my thing!

Now I’ve been in England for a while learning all about exactly that and I love it. I’m dying to get out there and help people! While my degree is cool and very useful, I still didn’t feel quite done. I needed something more, I wanted a wide range of skills. Mostly for the sake of being brainy and cool, but also for the sake of being as useful as possible.

So nursing it is!

I’ll go to Nepal in June, and then go home in the beginning of August probably. I should be able to finish my dissertation at home and then just get someone over here to turn it in for me. Then I’ll have time to settle down before school starts in the fall. Unlike here in Sheffield it starts at the end of August back home.

Random bullet points

  • Baking flat bread is cool.
  • I watched Black Hawk Down the other day, I’d forgotten how good it is.
  • Dominos Pizza have this garlic and herb dipping sauce. Dipping my pizza into it is delicious!
  • I spent way too much money on music on iTunes last night.

Dating

Did you know there are dating sites for rich people that are all about the “sugar daddy” thing? So women (or men) can go there looking for rich men to pamper them and the men go there to look for beautiful women (or other men) to pamper. It’s hysterical. I signed up for sugardaddyforme.com just out of curiosity. Mostly I thought it was incredibly funny and kind of pathetic…then I found a guy who is gorgeous, makes more than $1,000,000 a year, is 38 years old and lives in London. I almost wish I were a gorgeous bimbo just so I’d stand a chance. The operative word here being almost. I’d really rather go join the effort to save the world.

Advertisements

Eastern Europe

This is the Lithuanian Eurovision song from this year. It’s awesome. It’s also remarkably smart and it makes me feel ashamed of myself and my country. Check out the lyrics:

You’ve seen it all before
We ain’t got no taste we’re all a bore
But you should give us chance
Cause we’re just victims of circumstance
We’ve had it pretty tough
But that’s ok, we like it rough
We’ll settle the score
We survived the reds and 2 world wars

Get up and dance to our Eastern European kinda…
Get up and dance to our Eastern European kinda…
Get up and dance to our Eastern European kind of funk!

Yes Sir, we are legal we are, though we are not as legal as you
No Sir we’re not equal no, though we are both from the EU
We build your homes and wash your dishes,
Keep your hands all soft and clean
But one of these days you’ll realize Eastern Europe is in your genes

Get up and dance to our Eastern European kinda
Get up and dance to our Eastern European kinda
Get up and dance to our Eastern European kind of funk

(emphasis mine)

Every year we here in Western Europe go on about how the Eastern European countries send crap songs to Eurovision and then only ever vote for each other and how they are spread out all over Europe as migrants and that they’re ruining Eurovision. It’s disgusting and it needs to stop. They tend to vote for each other for the same reason we tend to vote for each other (the Scandinavian countries are the worst!): because they like the music! Their music tends to not appeal to us and our music tends to not appeal to them. It’s as simple as that.

Also, I need to stop talking about us and them. We’re all just people and we have as much right as everyone else to enjoy our music, feel sympathetic toward the people/nations closest to our own and not be prejudiced against just because of where we come from.

I work at a nursing home and my coworkers come from all over the world: China, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Lithuania, Poland, etc. They are all wonderful people! They work hard, they are funny, they are kind and they are just as awesome as the Icelanders I work with. I’ve always been very positive toward migration and immigrants, but after working there I have learned that even I am and have been incredibly prejudiced and I’m working on that. It really hit me especially one day when I heard that one of the girls from Lithuania had been crying because she’d had a difficult phone call from home. It made me think that I’m moving to England in the fall and it’s going to be difficult. It’s not different for her or other migrants and we need to show them more consideration.

Eastern Europeans are not our slaves, they are no more criminally inclined than anyone else and they are not here to steal our jobs or live off our welfare system. They are just people searching for a better life and they are welcome to do so as far as I am concerned. I’m proud to work by their side.

My first degree!

So I have just about finished my first degree. Go me! I have finished everything, all grades are in and my graduation is on Saturday. Four days from now I will be a Bachelor of Science in Human Geography.

My thesis ended up being something of a pain. Due to anxiety I put off working on it for too long and then what I did wasn’t good enough for my instructor. I pretty much ended up writing the whole thing in about a week and a half. But I finished it and got a decent grade so all is well.

Here’s the abstract in English:

The aim of this thesis is to explore the effects that globalization has had on the emergence and spread of infectious diseases around the world since 1980. Theories in health geography, geopolitics and political ecology are used to illuminate this development. The conclusion is that emphasis on neo-liberalism and marketization in modern globalization creates and perpetuates inequality and restricts the access of the poor to healthcare and medication. Insistence on more productive production methods has an effect on the environment and nature and increases the emergence of new infectious dieases and increased migration has led to the spread of disease around the world. Attempts to react to the problem have remapped the borders of the world and even increased health inequality.

It’s crap, I know. :P Still, I learned a lot from writing it (mostly that I’m a dork and need to stop being the world’s greatest procrastinator) and my hatred for neo-liberalism has risen to incredible heights. Most importantly I realized that what I’m studying and what I have planned for the future is exactly right for me. I’m even more excited for next winter than I was before.

In September I will begin my post graduate studies at the University of Sheffield. The programme is called Master in Public Health in International Development (read about it here). In January we go on a field trip to KENYA!! I can’t even tell you how awesome that is! I’m going to have to work on my spider/creepy-crawlies phobia until then, otherwise I’m likely to be twitchy the whole time while there and not sleep at all. I’m silly like that.

For the moment I’m just working at a nursing home, trying to save some money. It’s remarkable how hard that is in the middle of a recession. Everything is so expensive it’s fucked up. I moved in with my parents to save on rent and phone bills and such. It’s been really nice, mostly because my mom is laundry-master-extraordinaire. I’m going to miss it when I leave and I’ll have to take care of my own laundry again. *sad face*

I leave for Sheffield in the middle of August. School doesn’t start until late September, but I have to arrive early to try to get a part time job. It’s only about 2 months away and I’m starting to get a bit nervous. Still, it’s going to be awesome!

I’m stuck in Vestmannaeyjar!

Yes, I suck. I haven’t posted in forever.

Mostly I’ve been busy. I moved in with my best friend Helga, we’ve been trying to unpack but we haven’t really had much time to do it properly. The apartment is a complete mess. I’ve also had quite enough to do with my new job and school.

I’m currently on a school trip in Vestmannaeyjar. We arrived on Sunday night and my group and I have spend most of our time getting people to fill in questionnaires. Vestmannaeyjar is a very volcanically active area (they had three eruptions in less than 100 years) and we wanted to see how the people who live here feel about it. We’ve got all the questionnaires fill out and I will start working with SPSS as soon as I can, but so far people are pretty relaxed. In fact I think they’re too relaxed.

I will post our results as soon as we’ve got them all worked out.

We’re kind of stuck here right now. We had originally planned to sail back tomorrow at 4pm, but the weather forecast was so bad that we tried to go home today. Then the weather got so bad that the last trip for the day was cancelled and I’m not too hopeful that they’ll sail tomorrow either. Apparently the ship was stuck in the waves somewhere between Iceland and Vestmannaeyjar for over an hour. We’re hoping we will at least be able to leave tomorrow night, otherwise we’re stuck until Saturday. We’re all kind of bummed because we were so very ready to go home.

I took some pictures on Monday when we went around and looked at the old lava from the 1973 eruption. Click on the picture below to go to my flickr set.

I haven’t had much of interest going on lately, that’s basically why I haven’t been blogging. But after this weekend I’m sure things will quiet down a bit. :)