Unsuccessful soap ad

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

 

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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.

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No… no, they’re not.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.”

or

“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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

Bugs! Get them off me!

 

This is why I can’t have any indoor plants. The minute I spot one bug on them, I throw them off the balcony!  At least they have a chance to survive out there.

But a whole apartment full of plants? I feel things crawling on me just reading about it.

 

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I’m on this new bee diet

Many people wonder why people in Sweden don’t get fat at the end of the summer after eating loads of ice cream, hot dogs and chips. Well, I’m here to let you in on the secret to Swedish summer weight loss.

Bees.

August is the time when the bees tend to swarm in our area. Apparently, once the weather starts turning to autumn and flowers start running out of nectar, the bees charge on a desperate search for food. Those of us who like to eat dinner on our balconies are plagued by bees crawling all over our meals. People getting outdoor food from a food truck are likely to get a BURGER FULL OF BEES as we did this past weekend.

I once saw a Duncan Donuts in Germany covered in bees. There were bees on every donut on the display and the workers didn’t seem to care at all. What could they do? The doors and windows are open all day.

This is the one time of year that my kids refuse ice cream. Normally they don’t care if it’s snowing outside, they want their ice cream, but during this time of the year, ice cream and sweets attract hordes of hungry bees!  A trip to the park was completely ruined last year by bees crawling all over my children’s ice creams. And even when they threw their ice creams in the trash, the bees just went for their hands and faces because they were covered in sticky ice cream. (I tried to make this a lesson to always use a napkin, but they couldn’t hear me through the terrified screams.)

So there you have it. Swedes lose all their summer weight in August because our food is covered in bees.

Feel free to market this wonderful diet plan. I’ll take 20% of the profits.

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Fruitopia

We seem to be having an early season for apples and other fruits here in the Stockholm area, and I’m lucky enough to live in a place that used to be a fruit orchard at some far point back in time. Or maybe it was a dump where lazy people threw out rotten apple cores and plum seeds. Whichever it is, it’s paying off now! Earlier this season the cherry trees were full of fruit, and now we’ve moved on to apples and plums. I’m also lucky to have young, eager climbers to get up and reach the good apples. The freezer is full of pies, breads and muffins.

And if I’m not in the mood to search around, people in my neighborhood who have an abundance of apples and plums from their trees often put out baskets for anyone to take extra. Just walking for ten minutes, I passed seven baskets of fruit (and came home with two bags full, while still leaving plenty for other people).

I was thinking how this wouldn’t work in the area of Texas where I grew up. People would probably just steal the basket.

However, people do have the neighborly, sharing spirit there, just in other ways. Instead of fruit, people put their old couches and televisions out on the curb. It’s understood that anything on the curb is free to take. Once or twice when one of my parents would put something like that out on our curb, I would hide near the window to see how long it would take until someone took it. I never had to wait more than five minutes.

Meanwhile in Sweden, I have this bike I bought for about five dollars that I hate and I can’t get anyone to steal it! There’s no lock on it and it’s out in front of the building. I know I need to take it to the dump, but that requires loading it into the car, which requires muscles and time. I have a limited amount of both.

Maybe if I put the bike in a giant basket and hang some apples from it, someone will get the idea. It’s worth a try.

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Pet Rock – The Next Generation

I told the kids I had a Pet Rock when I was their age. They thought I made it up.

Then I showed them the exact one I had, on the internet (pictured here), and they laughed so hard they actually fell on the ground.

They have now collected 2 big rocks with the plan of painting eyes for them. Now I hear them discussing their rock plans in the bedroom. “Mine is lava, so it will be a fire type!”

“Sulphur floats! It’s a water type!”

And now they’ve just come out to tell me they’ve invented Rockémon and they’re going to start battling rocks.

It’s cheaper than a Playstation, I guess.

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Spara

The only way I will fly Delta

So Delta airlines had pizza delivered to waiting passengers on a plane during the recent delays caused by their computer system. My thoughts:

  1. Can we please just do this every time instead of airline food? I will pay extra.
  2. Do the delivery guys get tips in airline tickets?
  3. And still, Pizza Hut won’t deliver to my neighborhood.

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