Fashion

My youngest son made a cape for his brother. When his brother tried it on, it was so tight around the neck that it choked him a bit. When he asked if they could cut or loosen it, the youngest son said:

“Well, you have to take risks when it comes to fashion.”fash

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Noisy neighbors

In Stockholm, there are laws about how close apartments can be built to a highway because of noise pollution. Buildings with apartments from before the law that are already too close are protected by special walls to help diffuse the noise from the street. Some areas in the city close off streets in the summer to reduce traffic and noise.

Then we turn to the other side of the globe, to China, where I saw this picture today. Honestly, it reminds me of when I went to Disneyworld in the late 1980s and there was a monorail that went through a hotel. I thought it was super cool. As an adult, I’d rather not have a train going through my building (the teenager upstairs with bad taste in music is enough noise for me), but I was glad to read in the article that at least there’s a stop for the train IN the building. So you get something good out of it if you live there.

Can you imagine stepping out of your apartment door, walking across the hall to open another door and getting on your train to work? Could be interesting, could be depressing. At least with the monorail in the Orlando hotel, your destination is always “the happiest place in the world” and not a cubicle with 50 other depressed workers.

More photos and article here.

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Unrealistic language courses

I do a few lessons each day on the Rosetta Stone program in Italian. Today, my problem is not necessarily with the language, but with this situation:

  1. A man comes in to buy a new TV.
  2. The salesman asks why he needs a new TV. This is the first indication that something is wrong. A salesman would never ask WHY you need a new TV. He would ask WHICH KIND you want.
  3. The man says he needs a new TV because his old one is broken. Where do I start? Do I start with the fact that this guy is holding a TV with 2 knobs made in the 1980s, while there are obviously flat screens behind him, which would mean he has been using this 1980s TV for about 30 years? Also, I don’t even think those type of TVs have worked for several years now that everything is digital.
    But what troubles me most of all is….. WHO BRINGS THEIR BROKEN TV TO THE STORE TO BUY A NEW TV?! Why would you bring that in the store??!!!

I’m very much hoping that as I get further along in the program, this story will continue. Is he a time traveler? Did he escape from a mental institution? Does the salesman call security? Guess I’ll have to keep learning Italian to get the whole story.

 

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Food trucks

We may finally have hamburger and taco trucks in Stockholm, but we still haven’t reached Lisbon’s standards:

Flea market finds

At a flea market in Lisbon last weekend. If only it could have fit in my suitcase.

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Pay this if you want to live

I was reading our national newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) online last week and clicked on an article called “How to Change Your Lifestyle to Prevent a Stroke.” But when I clicked on the article, I got a message saying I had to pay to view the rest of the content.

I imagine hospitals around the country are now receiving stroke patients and saying, “There’s another one who didn’t want to pay the online newspaper fee. What a shame.”

I’m doomed.

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It’s dangerous to be an archaeologist

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Why I hate online video news

Why does every news story I click have to have a video automatically start playing with the report? I just want to read what happened and move on! I don’t want or need to see the video and I always have to take the time to hit the pause button.

Today was a great example of why video news is awful – some of them run commercials before the story. I give you the screenshot of what I saw when I clicked on this story about an attempted kidnapping.

I always knew there was something messed up about Jack.

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Ah, the comforting sound of the… peacock?

On our upcoming trip to Portugal, our hotel shows photos of peacocks that roam the walls and streets of the area. This was charming and exotic when we booked, but lately, I’ve been reminded of the sound a peacock makes. This may not be the relaxing trip we were hoping for.

Jellyfish and wine

My husband and I are soon leaving on a long weekend trip to Portugal. I was able to pack for the trip 3 months ago as the temperatures between Lisbon and Stockholm differ 25 degrees. That’s Celsius of course. After 17 years of turning my brain away from  Fahrenheit, I’m too tired to switch back again. Google it.

In preparing for this trip, I realized that I know nothing about Portugal except for the dangerous ‘Portuguese Man o’ War’ jellyfish, which apparently doesn’t have much to do with Portugal except that the shape looks like an old 1800s Portuguese war ship. I guess you learn something every day, though what I needed to learn was something about Portugal.

At this point, I’ve researched castles, churches, restaurants, local food, customs, etc. My husband prefers to go with the flow and research nothing, except possibly a restaurant or two. I think our traveling styles probably compliment each other. I like to know that I’m not missing anything by researching carefully before leaving. My husband likes to simply discover things he didn’t know about, which must work out great for him since I lead us to places where things are actually interesting.

When asking him if he knew what kind of food the Portuguese like to eat, he replied, ‘I know they drink wine, so we’re good.’

He doesn’t care much for seafood though, so unless the wine can take away fish taste, he might end up a bit hungry. Luckily his amazing wife, me, has done plenty of tapas, steak and pasta research.  I should totally start a travel agency.

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Your guide to Venice (or, yes, I’m still bored)

I’ve made a family fun guide to Venice in case anyone’s looking to convince their family that this is the place to go!

Neighborhood fox update

So now this shows up on the neighborhood forum:

“Idag på em var hela familjen och lekte i lekparken, sonen hade sin gula fotboll med sig och efter att ha lekt runt lite i parken ser vi plötsligt att bollen är borta, den försvann nästan mitt framför oss. Efter att ha letat en bra stund i parken och runtomkring gick vi alla hem, ledsna för att någon tagit min sons boll. Så om ni ser en gul fotboll någonstans kan ni väl säga till.”

Translated:

“This afternoon, our whole family played in the park, our son had his yellow soccer ball with him and after he played a while in the park, we suddenly realized that the ball was gone, it disappeared almost right in front of us. After looking for quite a while in the park and the surrounding area, we went home, sad because someone took my son’s ball. So if you see a yellow soccer ball somewhere, please let us know.”

Now you know what I am very tempted to post in response to the above.

MAYBE THE FOX ATE IT!

(Thank you, if I didn’t share that thought here, I might have actually had to post that and caused a neighborhood war.)

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What does the fox say? “I WILL EAT YOUR CAT!”

Well, the big news around our neighborhood this week is that we allegedly have some foxes going around EATING PEOPLE’S CATS!

Once again, these are animals that everyone in my neighborhood sees (last year it was badgers) but I never catch a glimpse. We live next to the forest and I walk through there all the time. No foxes, badgers or beavers that I can see. Plenty of deer and rabbits.

Anyway, it’s been fun to read the threads in our neighborhood group. On one side you have the cat people “Protect your cats!” On the other side, you have the bird people, “It’s good that the foxes eat the cats because the cats eat too many birds!”

A few more choice favorites are the guy who posted that “city cats are WEAK! A country cat could take out a fox any day.”

And just for fun, if you hit Google translate on some of these, they get really weird. Here’s a case where a woman is talking about a 3-legged deer in Swedish. Google turns more gruesome:

I called Marshall who came here and shot a “Three-legged” kid in my garden for a couple of years ago. I didn’t know if it was right or wrong

Yet another Google translate mistake (with the name of a street) turned another post into something quite poetic:

“I saw a fox last week at the ancient path. It had a cat in his mouth and went with a firm step against the park in front of the ancient house. He seemed very fearless.”

I will do my best to keep you updated in the “Neighborhood Fox Saga.” I hope it lives up to last year’s “Badgers in our Gardens.”

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The secret to happiness

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Chores

Sometimes my husband and I wonder what our kids might say to a therapist when they get older. Last week, we got a little preview from our 9-year old.

We assign the kids at least 2 chores each week. Last week, when I mentioned that I might ask one of our kids to vacuum, our youngest son said, “Vacuuming shattered my view on life!”

“um… why?”

“Because one time, you guys told me to vacuum, and then when I got to your room, it turns out you were both lying in bed watching the Simpsons while I had to work!”

Busted.

Oh well. Life lessons.

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Super Awesome Travel Video (or what I do when I’m bored)

Some friends of mine are going to Nice in April and asked if I had any tips. I decided to make them this handy 1-minute travel video. I think I may have a career in professional video making (in the 80s). What do you think?

Searching for jobs again

This one sounds exhausting. A whole country?!

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Brothers… all the same

My youngest son was talking about how he wishes we could hurry and invent teleportation.

“We’d already have it if it weren’t for the Marx Brothers.”

I thought about this for a while, but could remember no scenes relating to teleportation in any Marx Brothers movies.

I asked, “How did the Marx Brothers ruin our chances at teleportation?”

“Because they invented the airplane, so everyone focused on that instead!”

“Um, you mean the Wright Brothers.”

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Healthy food/Tasty food

I was telling my oldest son about an article I read in Reader’s Digest about the Best Foods for your health. He said, “Yeah, I started to read that too, but then I realized it was about healthy foods and not best tasting foods, so I skipped over to the joke section.”

 

 

Buried news

With all the government news lately, I’m starting to feel that we might be losing focus on what’s happening in other fields. On CNN today, there was a list of stories all having to do with governmental issues, except for one buried right in the middle. Do they expect us to glance over this, because it’s the only one that really caught my eye.

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You see it too, right?

After reading the article, I understand that it’s about growing specific human organs in pigs for organ transplant and not, as this avid Doctor Who viewer originally thought, a race of pig slaves. That was a relief. I wasn’t ready for a Dalek invasion right now.

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