Today was long for two reasons. First, I had to go the immigration office in Solna, a municipality just outside Stockholm. For those of you who are just tuning in: I'm an American immigrant to Sweden. I've been here for just over two years (WHAT) and there are still things that need to be settled and finalized, like a completely worthless piece of plastic that cannot legally function as ID and has zero bearing on the legality of my stay here.
I should tone down the snark, though, because it's not that difficult to actually obtain. What it represents (one's permanent or temporary residence permit) is a little trickier—that requires lots of scans of pieces of identification and questionnaires and a not insignificant amount of money. But I finished that ages ago; I received the decision on my permanent residence permit in November. (Hooray!) But the email said "if we already have your picture and fingerprints, your card will arrive within a week," and it was the last push for NaNo, so I figured I'd wait and see if I got the card before booking an appointment at the immigration office. The week came and went, and I never got the card, but because I should really be more organized I didn't even remember that I needed new prints and a new picture until it was Christmas.
"Ugh, I'm not doing crappy bureaucracy stuff over Christmas," I thought, and put it out of my mind until the New Year. Last week I finally sat down and made the appointment (for today). And it was painless! I don't know why I have such an aversion to booking and showing up for bureaucratic appointments, but there it is.
Of course, today my bangs looked like hell and I had a huge pimple on my chin, but whatever. It's an card literally no one will ever see—I have the standard ID card that every other Swede has and that's what I'm supposed to use instead, so...whatever!
The other reason was that my Russian textbook is due back at the library this week. Yes, Russian! Like I mentioned in the last 5 Fandom Friday, living in Sweden (well, living in Sweden and having a Swedish personal ID number) means that I have access to free classes! In a lot of things! I finished Swedish last year and took a break, and now I've decided to start on Russian. But since the textbook is not free and is $100, I tried my best friend the library and they had it! But unfortunately, I can't renew this particular checkout so I'll have to return the book 3 weeks before the class is over (and it's only a 5-week course!). I'm doing as much work ahead as I can before it's due, so as soon as I got home from Solna I dove straight into Russian studies.
I'm glad I chose a language I'm fairly familiar with (even if it is in random patches); nearly everything so far has been more like a refresher than anything new. The only problem is that it's a distance course, so I have no chance to practice speaking or listening (downside of my best friend the library: the CD that came with the book is scratched beyond usefulness, even after trying to repair it).
That's why I'm not getting around to sharing one of my newest pieces with you until right now!
This one is only a couple of days old. I'm trying really hard to clean out the bead box, so this can definitely be filed under "stash-buster." That's the last of those turquoise nuggets!
|Newtonian Constant of Gravitation Necklace by Kokoba|
I guess I've been on a turquoise kick lately:
|Speed of light in glass, aluminum, and waxed cotton thread. (Not yet listed)|
|Multistrand pi bracelet in glass and mother-of-pearl on waxed cotton|
And I don't know why! I guess I'm just really, really done with winter? We're just coming out of the darkest time of the year here and I couldn't be happier. Then I remember that Stockholm is pretty far south in Sweden, relatively speaking; I don't know how anyone up in Norrland actually survives, honestly. Full-spectrum lighting and lots of coffee, I guess?
Anyway, this latest creation features the Newtonian constant of gravitation, a number I don't work with too often and have been trying to utilize more over the past few months. If I don't make a conscious effort to broaden my horizons, everything in the shop would just be math. Endless, endless pi. But when you look at my sales and keywords, people are buying a lot more than just math jewelry—and they're looking for more than that, too! So I've been trying to lean a little more physics recently.
The disadvantage to this particular number is that it's short: it's a physical constant, not an irrational, so it can't go on forever, and even compared to other physical constants I have less to work with it's rather brief:
Newtonian constant of gravitation: 6.67408: 31 or 32 beads for the digits (depending on the design), and 5 for spacers (if I decide to use them)
Speed of light: 2.99792548: 55 beads for the digits, and 8 for the spacers (depending on the design
Avogadro's number: 6.022140857: 35 or 36 beads (depending on the design) and 9 for spacers (also depending on the design)
so gravity is one of those that ends up being too long for a bracelet, but too short for a necklace (I guess I should start using the concise form, which ironically would be longer?). It's good anklet length but who wears those anymore?
Of course, the other option (which I've done on occasion) is to bead a focal piece and then add a chain on either side to make it a comfortable length. A fairly elegant hack, as this allows you to put the entire number on display instead of hiding the first and last few digits on the back of your neck. On the other hand, necklaces tend to slide a lot and so you'll probably end up having to adjust it a couple times a day, or just be cool with the focal point getting pulled halfway up your neck.
This was the rare case where I had beads large and chunky enough that just by themselves, they were a perfectly acceptable size for a necklace! And the colors are really eye-catching:
|Turquoise, white, and "gold" Newtonian constant of gravitation necklace: detail|