Min dvd-spelare har fel regionkod.

God Jul to everyone, and a happy new year to boot!

For the holidays, I purchased my favorite Christmas movie, Joulutarina. Since I’m planning on moving to Sweden (and because the American version of this movie is a horrible horrible English dub and does not have a subtitle option), I purchased it with the European region code.

Of course, as any American may realize, this is where things got annoying. You see, I didn’t purchase it for normal DVD where I could easily hack my DVD-ROM to play any region. Oh no, in my infinite wisdom I said to myself, “Spazure, get it on Blu-ray! It’ll be gorgeous! You’ll watch this with your kids someday!”

The problem here is, the only Blu-Ray player I currently own is my PS3. Sadly, there is no *simple* way to hack a PS3 to unlock all region encodings, and I’m not about to brick my PS3 just to watch a Christmas movie on New Year’s Eve. This means I either need to shell out another $300 to purchase a Blu-Ray player that’ll play European discs (keeping in mind I only currently own ONE region 2 disc)… or, I could be a genius.

I decided I’m going to purchase a BD ROM for my computer. I will then lock it to region 2, so I will have a blu-ray drive (and normal dvd drive, all in one, yay backwards compatibility!!)

“But Spazure, how will you then play it on your TV?”

Well, self, you see, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player isn’t all bad. I can play a Blu-Ray disc from my computer on my Xbox 360 over my LAN, because I’m a dork like that.

One step closer to home. :)

Jag fick förnekade för programmet. :(

I did not get accepted to the foreign exchange program. Apparently I must have a full year (two semesters) of University of Oklahoma under my belt before I qualify. Although my mother is very ill and partially disabled, she is not currently “bad enough” to count as ill for the sake of me being able to move to Sweden in order to help her. I mean, that’s still my reasoning.. but I need a better reason to convince Sweden to WANT me to come over. I’m thinking of changing my major to a “hard” science, now that my degree is really going to be my only way to get into the country. I need to start doing some research on what type of professions are in high demand in Sweden. It’s starting to look like I may switch to Computer Science after all.

Ingen nyheter.

Still don’t know if I got accepted to the OU-Lund foreign exchange program yet. Been slacking on my Rosetta Stone, but since my b/f and I just moved to our new apartment, it’s just about the perfect time for us to reinstall the software and get back in the saddle for doing that.

tl;dr I’m not dead, just nothing new to report.

Gravid i USA.

Last night I watched a documentary entitled “Pregnant In America.” This eye-opening documentary pointed out many things about maternal, prenatal, and postnatal care in the United States. For example, looking at pure numbers, Sweden is in the top five best countries in the world to have a baby in terms of lowest probability of losing the child during or soon after birth. By comparision, the United States is THIRTY-SIXTH. The numbers for maternal death rate also are pretty ugly. In 2008, Sweden lost 5 per 1,000, whereas the United States lost TWENTY FOUR out of every thousand mothers.

Now, I’m aware of the possibility of the Michael Moore effect, so keep in mind that the sources I used are NOT the same sources used in the documentary. They’re independent facts I found by googling “infant mortality rate” and “maternal mortality rate,” the fact that the numbers I found coincided with the documentary just lends more weight to the information being correct. Still though, I did feel the whole film was slanted towards a particular POV, so I did some additional poking around. I then watched The Business of Being Born, which also touches on some points the other one did not. Most importantly, it gave the medical community a voice as well — it told the story from both sides. Even in doing so, it ultimately just strengthened my desire to ensure that I am in Sweden before I settle down to have my family.

That being said, my most recent Swedish lesson went well. I still don’t know if I got into the foreign exchange program for Lund this Spring yet, but at least I’m able to “sort of” hold a conversation in Swedish now. I can ask questions, ask for clarification, make spontaneous sentences out of my existing vocabulary.. such as the ever-important “Var är toaletten?”

Lycklig mors dag!

It’s finals week, which means I’m too busy studying for finals to write a real blog post. Still, being as this is a new blog and I don’t want to lose the readers I’ve gotten so far due to blog inactivity, I thought I’d share an interesting tidbit I learned yesterday.

Apparently, the Netherlands requires people to be ok with topless beaches and homosexuality in order to get a visa [workpermit.com 06 April 2006]. I think this is FREAKING AWESOME, and would love to see other European countries follow suit. So thank you, Netherlands, as I would have never even thought that this sort of screening process could exist. Now that I do, I’ll be spreading the word in the hopes that it can get more support across the continent!

… and now back to finals, but not before saying HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers out there. Without you, none of us would have ever been born. You’re the reason humanity exists, and just know that you are loved! <3

Baby åtgärder.

As I have read on several different sites, the process to get my residence permit to live in Sweden can take as little as 3 months. Once my mother’s residency is official (which should be sometime next spring), I should apply for my residency as soon as humanly possible according to Migrations Verket:

Other close relatives
In exceptional cases, you may obtain a residence permit if you have lived in the country of origin with the relative now resident in Sweden. This category covers, for example, children over the age of 18 and the parents of the person resident in Sweden. If you belong to this category, apply for a residence permit as soon as possible after the date when your relative was granted a permanent residence permit in Sweden.
You must be able to prove that you lived with your relative immediately before they moved to Sweden and that you were dependent on them in the country of origin to the extent that it is difficult for you to live apart. In this context, ´dependent´ means that you are financially, socially or emotionally dependent on your relative who lives in Sweden.

Keeping that in mind, I’m getting paperwork and such together now so I’m not scrambling when the time comes. I’ve already saved the forms (yay pdf!) I’m going to need, but right now it looks like I need to work on the supporting documentation. My mother and I were kind of travelling gypsies (not literally, but we did move a lot) in the time period right before she moved to Sweden, so digging up sufficient proof that we lived together prior to her move will be difficult, but not impossible.

On a (somewhat) unrelated note, I just read an interested blog post regarding the downfalls of the Swedish social system. I found it to be an interesting read, and something I will certainly take into consideration when raising my own children in Sweden.