Merry Victorian Christmas pt. 1

It’s that time of year again… time to wonder what kind of drugs people in the Victorian age were on when they made Christmas cards. Also time to wonder what their deal is with frogs.

I give you, Victorian Christmas card number one. Frog and Beetle dancing on beach with a dragonfly playing tamborine.

If you can get past a frog and a giant beetle dancing together, much less that they would make a tambourine small enough for a dragonfly to play, I still say the beach scene makes no sense at Christmastime.




As usual, today is simply “Thursday” here in Sweden. I have nothing Thanksgiving-ish to say, so I leave you with the most disturbing pictures I could find on the internet.


Blender of Fire

On my YouTube recommendations today. My questions:

  1. Why?
  2. Just what have the kids been looking at when they hijack my account?
  3. Should I fire-proof the blender now?


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Took the kids to the movies yesterday to see “Fantastic Beasts” and they were literally on the edge of their seats. In fact, I had to push my youngest back three times because he sat so far up that he was basically breathing on the neck of the guy on the row in front of him. At least he had nice popcorn breath.

I have a friend who pops her own popcorn and brings it to the movies. I used to think that was strange and thought “well I want my popcorn warm,” but realized yesterday that my 35 SEK ($5) box of popcorn actually cools off in about two minutes, so I think she’s onto something there. Plus, if I start making my own popcorn at home, I can put bacon salt on it. I could also bring one of those electronic warming things I keep in my pocket on cold days and set it under the popcorn bag.

I already save the 3D glasses each time so I don’t have to pay the fee for the new ones. Now I figured out the popcorn. I think all that’s left is special non-stick shoe covering and I’ll have conqured the movie theater.


Mars exploration

Last night I dreamt that interstellar flight was available and we could travel to Mars. When I got to Mars the first thing I did was to take out my phone to turn on Pokemon Go so I could catch a rare Pokemon.

When I woke up, I realized maybe our society doesn’t deserve to explore the galaxy.


Bad parent

According to my kids, here are the reasons I’m a bad parent this week:

  1. Ordered clouds to block view of SuperMoon in Sweden.
  2. Did not buy chewable Vitamin D, but nasty adult swallow-type pills.
  3. Forgetting 5-day Pokemon catching streak and having to start over.

My kids have it very hard. I hope child services won’t be called.

On the plus side, I did agree to protect them from the evil eye of Cthulu’s heart, should he ever emerge from the depths of the Earth, so I gained a few points with the kids there.


Chicago Cubes

While we were in Italy, we heard the news about the Chicago Cubs World Series win on the radio. Of course, it took us a while to figure it out since the Italian announcer congratulated the “Chicago Cubes.”


Back from Italy

We’ve been in Italy the past week, offline and relaxing.

People ask me, “Why are you always going to Italy?”

I think you can see here just why Italy is so great:


Victorian Halloween

Sometimes I think it must have been terrifying to live in Victorian times just based on their holiday cards.


I am a mole person

My husband posted this on Facebook yesterday:

“The official report is in: Stockholm had only 35 minutes of sunlight in TOTAL over the last two weeks.”

This is true. I haven’t seen the sun for many, many days. My pupils are growing larger, skin is getting paler and I sleep like a sloth.

Today I see a very small bit of sun peeking at my balcony. It’s not full sun, just a sliver, but I’m going to have to get my sunglasses.

Winter in Sweden – a mass conspiracy run by the Vitamin D corporations to increase sales.


(Artwork by Simon Stålenhag. A Swedish artist who gets the lighting and mood of winter exactly right.)


Kids don’t like my costume suggestions

It’s Halloween time again. I found these great costumes from the 70s for our kids to wear. Apparently, they are refusing on the grounds of:

  1. “We have no idea who Mr. Kotter or Donnie & Marie are.”
  2. Those are the saddest, lamest costumes ever.


Ungrateful kids.

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Not sure the news is real anymore

CNN, front page.

  1. It’s not a real person, though maybe now Linda Carter can take over the UN if she wants.
  2. Why doesn’t the UN just have the Justice League solve all our problems then?
  3. Is this our future, when one of the most powerful organizations in the world start naming fictional characters as ambassadors? Can we vote for Papa Smurf for President of the U.S. now?

I’m going back to bed.

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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 –

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.


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