Oct 16 2009

My interests Pt. 4 – Music

Almost everyone is interested in music in some way. I am not more interested in music than ordinary people but since it is one of my interests just as any of my interests it should be a part of the series of blogposts about my interests. I’ll try to write about what music means and has meant to me during my life.

First something about creating music. When I grew up making music was a part of my family’s life. For example I had a brother who sang more than he was talking. Even though my parents had quit playing instruments it was a matter of course for me and my brother to play instruments as well. As really young kids we played with instrument toys such as drums and guitars. But when we became older it was time to play real instruments.  Since I always have wanted to do the straight opposite as everyone else I chose to play the trombone. I was one of  the only two girls playing trombone in Norrköping. After five years of industrious trombone playing I realized that I have no tactfulness, by then it had been long time since I had realized that I can’t sing and so I put the music making on the shelf.

Me playing drums.

Me playing drums.

What I have enjoyed more in life than making music is listening to music. As kid I was basically fed with Carola by my parents. When she won the Eurovision song contest with Fångad av en stormvind in 1991 I thought she was the best artist ever (I still know the lyrics by heart). I still like Carola, she’s a great singer and artist but it is not the music I mainly listen to.

During my teenager years I was a punk rocker. I started to listen to swedish punk when I was around 12 years old, at around 15 I discovered the skatepunk and after that it was only punk that existed for me. Swedish punk, english punk and american punk. Some of my favourite bands back then were Dia Psalma, Charta 77, The Clash, Blink 182 and Lagwagon.

Me with spikes in 2001.

Me with spikes in 2001.

Five years ago I regained my common sense and realized that there are other music than punk rock music worth listening to. I started to listen to rock, pop, some synth music and so on. Still I don’t listen to most of the music played on the radio but I have a much broader spectrum of music that I listen to. Since Spotify came I am also listening even more to music. Spotify is constantly running on one or two of my computers these days.

Some of my most played artists are Coldplay, Melody Club, Sigur Rós and Gavin DeGraw. The punk rock artists are rare in my playlists to be honest.

Oct 11 2009

No computer in bed

My plan was to write part four in the series of blog posts about my interests today. But I have spent this sunday mostly in bed and since my laptop is confiscated by my school I haven’t written anything. I’ll try to do it as soon as possible. Now time for bed. Good night!

Oct 5 2009

My interests Pt. 3 – Teddybears and Bamse

Computers and technology in all its glory but today I am going to write about my most geeky interest. This is the one of my interests I usually don’t talk about so I think a lot of my friends don’t know about it. It is also my oldest interest because it all started the day I was born.

So, 26th of June 1982 I was born at the old hospital in Norrköping. My aunt was working at the maternity ward at the time so she came to visit me and my mother. With her she had brought a Steiff Teddy Bear. And for you who don’t know about Steiff, Margarete Steiff was the woman who made the first teddy bear in the world in 1902. That little bear I got was my first reason for loving bears. To bad I have no digital picture of that bear but nowadays he has a broken arm and he is blind in one eye.

In 1986 I started to read my first issues of Bamse. Bamse is a comic for kids about the strongest bear in the world. And ever since I am stuck with Bamse. I just love that little bear and all his adventures. He has beaten Winnie the Pooh by far in my opinion.

Me giving Bamse a birthday hug on his 30th birthday, 2003.

Me giving Bamse a birthday hug on his 30th birthday, 2003.

When I graduated from High school I got a big Bamse teddybear who got to sit on the top of the car roof on the way home.

When I graduated from High school I got a big Bamse teddy bear who got to sit on the top of the car roof on the way home.

On Christmas Eve 1987, I got the teddy bear I’ve worn and loved the most and I don’t think you need to guess about the name I gave him. Today, only about 70% of his fur remains on the body.

Me and my best friend.

Me and my best friend.

In 1995 I decided that I would collect all the issues of Bamse. Said and done, I took my bike and went to second hand shops, flea markets and so on to find as many issues as possible. I also made tables in Excel of my collection and handed out to my family members so they knew which ones I missed if they would happen to run across an issue or two. When I got Internet at home a new market opened up for me and it was now even possible to search for issues of Bamse all over Sweden. Although it turned out that I wasn’t alone about this interest. When the Internet became mainstream the awareness of the value of  Bamse issues came and suddenly it was expensive to collect Bamse. Although I have managed pretty good I think. At the moment I have all the issues of Bamse that has been released except from three issues, one from 1973 and two from 1974. And the most expensive one of them was 10/74. I paid 750 SEK for it, which actually is cheap since it is a very difficult issue to obtain. But if you read this and have anyone of the issues 1/73, 3/74 or 8/74, I am interested in buying them, and I pay well!

So, now I have revealed my most geeky interest in the blog and now everyone knows how crazy I am. Some people say it’s a sign of  being healthy but you are free to judge me however you want to.

My most expensive issue of Bamse 10/1974.

My most expensive issue of Bamse 10/1974.

Sep 27 2009

My Interests Pt. 2 – Fashion and the fashion industry

I hope you have been longing for part two in the series of blog posts about my interests, because here it comes.

Some interests in life you get from your parents and for me this is one of them. My interest in fashion is something I inherited from my parents and it is also something that has been growing bigger inside me when I’ve become older. Both my parents have been studying textile in their younger years and as a teenage child to a couple who can talk about the properties of viscose at the dinner table you reject their interest as something not cool enough for you.

And that is exactly what I did. I didn’t care much about fashion when I was a teenager and I was just wearing what I thought was comfortable, like a pair of jeans, mostly one or two sizes too big and a college sweater.

But when I was 16 and it was time for me to start working, my dads job was the first place to go to for a holiday work during the summer. The fashion store Lagos Mode was the place. I’m sure a lot of 16 year old girls would be jealous at me if I told them that I worked in a fashion store when I was 16. And I wasn’t even interested in fashion. I liked my job though and continued to work there every summer and Christmas holiday during high school. My fashion interest didn’t really grow bigger during those years and when I moved to Sundsvall to study computer engineering I took a pause from fashion. Although, the first summer after I moved back to Norrköping I was back at Lagos Mode again.

Some months later when they needed a stand-in at the goods receiving department I took the job and I think it was here my fashion interest started to grow. I started to like working with clothes. My position included a lot of contact with suppliers, purchasing managers and other players in the industry which also made me more interested in the fashion industry over all. 1,5 years later when I quit the job to move to Stockholm I even felt that I would miss the fashion industry. Afterwards I have also realised that I know more then ordinary people about fashion and the fashion industry.

When I did my first internship at my current education, I chose to do it at Habit (the biggest fashion industry magazine in Scandinavia). At Habit I felt that I wasn’t completely lost at the editorial office. Nah, I could actually work independently and I had a lot of knowledge that was useful for my work there.

So where am I today in this fashion jungle? I continue to read Habit, I follow all the fashion companies I have found on Twitter and I try to keep myself updated about what is happening in the fashion industry. I work with web communication for Lagos Mode and their owner Sandströms, trying to market them on the Internet without any budget. I like to shop a lot more than I used to do and I do care about what I wear. I still have my own style that doesn’t always correlate with the latest fashion trends. And despite everything that is trendy doesn’t suit me, I like to look at other people who have nice and trendy clothes and I like to  see what suits other people and what doesn’t suit them.

Me when I was posing for the boutiqe blog I worked with last summer.

Me when I was posing for the boutique blog I worked with last summer.

Sep 21 2009

My interests Pt. 1 – Technology and computers

When I was a kid I had a few dolls that I had got from my parents. I never understood the fun in playing with them. Instead, I preferred to play with my brother’s cars, built cranes with his Brio Mec and cities with his Lego. The only own properties that I really liked to occupy myself with were my puzzles. Puzzles were apparently girlish enough to have my own ones. I even had a period when I had to do at least one puzzle every day before I went to the day care. All this was just the beginning of what was to shape me into the engineer type.

When I was about 6 years old the computer came into my life. My dad borrowed a “portable” computer from work that I was unable to lift. Its screen had two colours, dark orange background and bright orange signs. I thought it was fantastic. I played games called Pacman and Frogger and I wrote on it. I wrote and wrote, completely pointless things, just to get to sit by the computer. For example, “Mommy is cooking, she has a red shirt today, now Dad came home, he said hi to mom.” I soon began to nag at my parents that they would buy a computer, but they thought it was too expensive.

Then a summer day in 1990 my beloved father won a Commodore 64 in a running race. The happiness was complete! We had a computer at home and you could connect it to the TV and play games in different colours! My brother and I played every day. A couple of years passed and when we came home from Grandma and Grandpa late Christmas Eve 1992 there was a big box in the living room. On the box, we read “Merry Christmas to the Hägglöf family, from Santa Claus”. You can probably guess what the box contained … Well, there was no PC. Thanks to my old fashioned and stingy father there was a used Commodore 128 including monitor, disk drive and any other accessories you can imagine. The carton also included a book and with help from that book, I wrote my first Basic code in green signs.

10 PRINT "Maria"
20 GOTO 10
The little hacker is having a cold.

The little hacker is having a cold.

Years passed and I still liked to build things even if I became too big for toys. When my parents bought furniture from Ikea, it was always me who put them together. When a cable would be deducted or dad had bought a technological gadget, I was always there to help with the installation. When I was 12 years old, we got a PC to the classroom at school. Since we didn’t have a PC at home I used to remain after school and sit by the computer in the classroom. Here is where my former teachers deserve thanks for allowing me to sit there.

Middle school was worthless in every way. There was a computer classroom where we weren’t allowed to be and because we still did not have a PC at home, I didn’t have any computers in my life any longer. But my friend Johanna came to the rescue. She had got Internet at home, the year was 1996 and we sat by her dad’s computer and chatted at aftonbladet.se. Oh, how I wished that we had a computer with Internet at home so I could explore the Internet alone, in peace and quiet.

Autumn 1998 it finally happened, what I had longed for half of my life. My mom took a lease-PC through her work and we also got the Internet. I started chatting at IRC, used ICQ, downloaded MP3’s and build my first website. Internet became my life, fairly quickly, and when someone in the family had problems with the computer, I was there to solve it.

This is what is left of my first website.

This is what is left of my first website.

When I finished high school, I had given much thought to whether I would continue studying economics (it was the numbers that made me choose economics in high school) or if I would choose something technical. After much reflection, I followed my heart and chose the Information Technology program at Mid-Sweden University in Sundsvall. At the university I learned more about programming and even though I understood that I don’t want to work as a software engineer, my interest in technology will always be a big part of my life. My interest in technology is the one of my interests that has characterized my personality the most and although I have many different kinds of friends that I like, it is with the company of my engineer friends I feel “at home”.

Sep 20 2009

When you say nothing at all

Since no one has commented on this post yet and I am eager to get started I have after a little discussion with Sanna made my own unanimous decision about that I will write the series about my interests. If everything goes as planned it will be nine parts and I will start as soon as I’ve got time to sit down and write. I won’t write more than one post in the series per day and I won’t write every day either. But I will start very soon so keep your eyes open!

Sep 19 2009

A series of blog posts?

Sometimes I feel that my personality may seem a little schizophrenic with all my different interests. The combination of my interests sprawl all over the blog and together they become a really odd mix. Therefore I am thinking about starting with a series of blog posts about my interests in life, explaining what they mean to me, one interest per post. Could that be something you may like?