Eye troll

For the second time in a month, I’ve gotten a nasty eye infection. Yes, yes I know it’s my makeup and it’s all been thrown out now to make way for new, fresh, not-digsuting-bacteria-contaminated makeup.

The eye infection causes my eyes to swell up, turn red and develop hideous bags that go into my cheeks. I’ve taken to wearing one of those Venetian masks to the dinner table so that everyone can eat.

On Monday, we had some repair people coming to the house. I didn’t want to scare them and they had their own keys, so I took to the forest to pick blueberries for four hours.

It occured to me that I would have to go deep into the forest so as not to frighten joggers and small children. I already had a vision of someone coming up to me, tapping me on the shoulder and then running away in horror as I turned my freakish head and hissed.

We live in Scandinavia where there are numerous tales of gnomes and trolls living in the forest. I’m starting to realize where some of these tales may have originated.

My eyes are healing now and I feel confident enough to head out into society where I can buy some fresh makeup. I was a bit afraid they wouldn’t sell it to me during the height of my infection and ask me to leave the store by the back door. In which case, I would have turned them into billy goats or demanded they answer a riddle before I left.


Autumn is like a mini-Christmas

Autumn is the time to put away the flip-flops and bring out the fall jackets. No more sunglasses for the next 9 months, they are replaced with scarves and gloves.

I realized my gloves were missing and figured I lost them last year or they were taken by glove gnomes (cousins to sock-gnomes), but then when I pulled out my fall jackets, there they were, stuffed in the pockets!

Yea! What a lovely surprise! I also left some used kleenex from last year in case I had a need to catch the same cold again. I decided to pass on that, but it’s nice to know how thoughtful I am to future me.


How fairytale is this kid?

This headline was on CNN this weekend. “Boy sells enough lemonade to buy pony.”

Does this kid only get to read and watch books and shows from the 1950s? This is great!

Number 1: How quaint is it for a kid to sell lemonade these days?
Number 2: How many kids ask for a pony? Not a PlayStation or phone, but a pony. It’s like a storybook!

This kid is great. Every kid should be like this.

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I’m not applying for Subway

Today I had a one-sided video interview scheduled for a customer service position with a billing invoice company. I spent 15 minutes on makeup and hair, 30 minutes researching the company and taking notes and 15 min going over my resume to get ready for questions about my qualifications and background. I set up an account to reach the video interview, pressed start and the first question appeared:

“How would you make a perfect sandwich?”

Noooooooo! Interview over!

I’ve been working for 25 years, I have skills, qualifications and self respect. I’m not answering the sandwich question. This isn’t some hipster Google company, it’s a customer service job at, frankly, a really boring company.

How about focusing on why I’m qualified for the job instead of playing games with these 1990s personality questions?

Back to the job hunt …


Aboriginal Field of Study

I’m always applying for jobs to supplement my translating (it doesn’t pay the big bucks), and most of the time, especially with today’s technology, it takes me about one minute to copy and paste a letter and CV or just click a button on LinkedIn.

However, there are still some companies who insist on having you sign up on their special recruitment sites that have 6 pages of information to fill out.

On the particular job I applied for today, I got irritated by the time I made it to page 4. I had to choose from three drop down menus for every education I’ve ever had. By the time I got to the third, I was so sick of going through the drop-down menus, that I started choosing everything from the top of the available menus – whatever started with the letter A.

So according to this application, I completed a Swedish course in “Aboriginal Field of Study” and a Photoshop course in “Acoustics.”

It’s 2016 companies. Just go to my LinkedIn page.


Unsuccessful soap ad

You think maybe they had a falling out with their advertising illustrator?



Laugh tracks

I read an interesting article today on BBC news about the origin of “laugh tracks” for television shows. It’s an interesting read – http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160926-where-does-canned-laughter-come-from-and-where-did-it-go

All of my current favorite shows do not use canned laughter, as it hasn’t been popular for many years now, and I have to say that I’ve noticed how odd it feels to go back and watch a show I used to enjoy, and hear canned laughter behind it. It’s hard to find it as funny.

My favorite part of the BBC article is this, which is something I’ve also thought about:

“Even 1960s cartoons such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons used laugh tracks, though the device made no intuitive sense in that setting – no sane viewer suffered the illusion that a human audience was had watched these animated characters.”

I’m glad that these days, we as a home audience are finally being trusted to know when something is funny without a prompt.

Of course, I wouldn’t be opposed to laugh track use on political debates and news.


No… no, they’re not.


In the latest Hipster Cat vs. Badger news…

This article was in The Local.

My question (besides why I never get to see these badgers and beavers that apparently walk all over town ) is, how did they know the cat was a hipster?

Does it have very long fur and not bathe? Does it wear a 1940s hat? Is it a vegan?

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Menu with pictures not a hit

I thought I’d start a new thing at home where I make a menu of what we will have for breakfast during the week. Normally the kids love sausage & bacon, but now for some reason, they say they aren’t hungry for it anymore. Oh well – more bacon for me!


My experience in a parallel world

I had a parallel world experience yesterday.

I went to pick up my son after school. I walked into his section of classes. After looking everywhere, noting that they had done a little re-decorating since the morning, I couldn’t find him, so I asked a teacher. She mumbled something in Swedish, which I took to mean he was probably playing outside, so I thanked her and said I’d check out there. On the way out, I noticed they took my son’s nametag off his locker and replaced it with another student’s name.

I walked outside and couldn’t find my son anywhere. That’s when I realized, I hadn’t been on the right floor.


Important news

This is the only story I felt was worth reading today on CNN. It was far more interesting than tennis injuries and political fighting. More of this please, CNN.

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Our visit to the doctor’s office

My youngest son got a tick in his head this weekend. It was removed by a camp doctor but unfortunately, the head broke off and is stuck. So my son has a tick head in his own head.

He said, “It’s a good thing it’s not like that cartoon I watched where these creatures enter your head and take over your brain.”

“Yeah, I’m glad you’re not controlled by some evil creature,” I replied.

He looked up at me with a creepy smile and said, “Or am I?”

So he’s taking this quite well.

Anyway, the school nurse also tried to get it out with no luck and recommended we visit the “närakuten” which is like a mild form of emergency room. It’s not like a ‘your leg is falling off’ emergency room, but more like a ‘you got the flu after 3pm and couldn’t make a normal doctor appointment’ kind of emergency room.

After a 30 minute wait for our number, we were foiled by the evil receptionist. When I told her my son had a tick head that broke off and we needed it removed, she snapped, “Just go home and do it yourself!”

Gee, it never occured to me to simply not subject myself to 30 minutes in a disease filled waiting room and just do it myself!

I told her that both a camp doctor and a school nurse had advised us to go to the doctor. She said, “Ugh, fine let me see it.”  My son showed her. “Nope. Just go home and figure it out. NEXT!”

I tried to explain what happened to my husband, but felt I wasn’t getting the story across properly, so I was inspired to illustrate our experience. I think I captured it pretty accurately. What do you think?


Butt roll-on with fox scent

I’ve been doing some translating work on beauty products this week and thought I would share with you how tricky it can be at times.

This particular company has a translating system that already uses a program with a few mistakes I have to correct. Sometimes it’s close and sometimes I get things like this:

“This perfume has scents of lavender, daffodil and fox.”


“Nike Butt roll-on for the active man!”

Honestly, it says ‘But roll-on’ because “men” in Swedish is “but,” however, it’s hard not to read the product as a roll-on for butts every time I see it. New idea for a product? You heard it here first!


CNN knows how to get people to read boring ocean science stories

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Life NOT better for Brits in the 80s

I’m not talking about Margret Thatcher or the Falklands War.

I’m talking about THIS horrible show, watched by British children in the 1980s.

A moment of silence please, for the victims of “Fingermouse.”

Everything was better in the …

… insert decade here.

I’m sure you’ve gotten one of these emails before, or seen a post on Facebook about how much better it was in the 1950s.

“We didn’t have to wear seatbelts!”  “Our kids could run and play in the neighborhood all day!” “Families ate dinner together!” “Kids listened to their parents!”

Besides the idiotic ‘no seatbelt’ thing, our family has all of these today, so anyone longing for this time should focus more on their own behavior rather than a particular decade.

And of course those emails never mention the horrible racial discrimination, the Cold War, polio, … the list goes on and on. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make today.

Today, I was thinking of what people might say to each other in a few more years when their memories fade and perhaps “The 80s” will be the golden decade.

The reason I started thinking about this is because this morning, I asked a friend of mine how she was doing and she replied, “I dropped my phone in the toilet.”

And that’s where the argument for the 80s starts to take shape. No one dropped their phone in the toilet in the 80s. Most people didn’t have a mobile phone and if they did, tit was too big to fit in the toilet.

Let’s see, what else could they say to glorify the 80s?

  • Our phones were shaped like Snoopy and Garfield.
  • Lots of arcades and pinball machines.
  • When you popped in a video game to your console, it started immediately. We didn’t have to wait for updates.

I’m afraid I’m stuck now, but you get the idea. However, if they really get those pizza delievery drones to work, I don’t think anyone will be arguing that the past was ever better than the present.






Get the leeches!

One of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches is “Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber” with Steve Martin. In this sketch, Theodoric gives his medical expertise to the people of his village, mostly involving bloodletting, which seems to be the cure for everything, including mass bleeding.

But the part of the sketch that always stays with me is when a mother brings her very sick daughter for medical advice, and Theodoric says:

 – You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter’s was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach.

Every time I get sick, I can’t help but think of those lines as I run through the causes of what might be wrong with me. For example, last week my back was in terrible pain and after a few days I got a bad cold. Today I woke up with a swollen, infected eye.

To me, the toad or dwarf theory is sounding pretty plausible at the moment. I think the creature moves around to different spots. It’s certainly not a slipped disc, virus or contaminated make-up problem. And it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with aging, so I’m with Theodoric on the toad/small dwarf theory.

I wonder if anyone in the Old Town still performs bloodletting?


Actual news story or “It” promotion?

I can’t be the only person who sees this headline on CNN and wonders if someone just really wants to promote the new Stephen King “It” movie remake.

(Also, before posting this story, I had to add a category to my post. I went with “parenting,” as it’s good parental skills not to let your kid play with clowns in the woods or sewers.)


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Conversations in Italian

I like to travel with my family to Italy twice a year, so I study at least two lessons a day on my Italian Rosetta Stone program. It’s a great program, but sometimes I get too involved in the attitudes and lives of the people in the pictures.

Example in the pictures below:

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These people greet each other (they look like they’re on a date), then the girl asks the guy how he’s doing.

He says he’s fine and asks her how she’s doing.

She says she’s COLD!

Then they go to the performance and then say goodnight. She has no extra jacket on.

So in my eyes, this guy is a jerk and didn’t even respond when she complained that she was cold. Where’s the panel where he offers a jacket or rushes her inside to the warmth? It’s like he just ignores her and then dumps her at the end of the performance back on the cold street.

I’m waiting for more advanced lessons when there will be more panels that teach me how to say, “You’re a jerk.” “Why aren’t you listening?” “Give me my money back!” “This show is terrible!”

But that’s probably more around level 15. For now, I’m stuck on bad Italian dates.


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