Rachel, from the UK, discusses her hatred of saffron buns and Lucia, why you can’t name your kid Ikea here, and lots of talk about stabbing!
All on this week’s podcast episode of “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow.” Hope you enjoy it!
Lots of people like to ask, “Hey, where’s my hoverboard?” in reference to what we thought our current lives would look like by the 2000s.
I stumbled across an interesting article on Mashable with illustrations of what people living in 1900 thought the world would look like by the year 2000. Apparently, walking on water was of large interest to them. Kind of odd as we’ve had boats for thousands of years and that’s worked out fine.
If you check out the article here, you can see some of the other ideas they had – many of them involve balloons. I’m not sure what to make of that.
Today is Swedish mother’s day and I got one present from my youngest son a day early when I picked him up yesterday afternoon.
Mamma, I got you a present.
(digs in pocket)
Here! It’s mascara! I found it just sitting on a wall by the street. It’s still got some in it! I thought you could use it to color in your eyebrows! You’d look cool with black eyebrows!
My kid does this once a month to his face and all he needs is an old Sharpie marker. I’m not paying for a special “freckle marker.” This is going too far.
I like to wear jewelry, but I also like to be practical. Fortunately, I found the perfect necklace!
Jacket for sale – $10.
Message from Woman: I’m interested. I’d like to try it on.
Me: Ok, here’s my address. (I write address).
Woman: I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
— next day —
Woman: Is the jacket still there?
Woman: Can we meet at the Central Station?
Me: No. The jacket is at my house. At the address I gave you. I’m not going into town.
Me: If you want to come to my house tomorrow, sure.
— 2 days later —
Woman: Will you be near Central Station during the week? (No mention of not showing up the day before.)
Me: Fine. I can be there today at 1pm.
— 12:30 pm —
Woman: I can’t come today. Someone at my job is sick.
Me: Ok. I have someone else who wants the jacket anyway.
— 1pm —
Woman: Are you here at the Central Station?
In my old hometown newspaper from Texas, there is an article this week about a sophomore student in high school asking the School Board to remove the ban on boys wearing earrings in school.
I have tried to explain to my Swedish husband that when I went to school in Texas, you could not dye your hair, boys could not have hair past their shoulders, no facial hair and no earrings for boys. That was combined with the usual skirts past the fingertips for girls and no hats allowed for anyone.
Apparently the schools in the place I grew up finally took away the rule about long hair for boys (fairly recently). I know the earring and facial hair rule are still in effect, as well as the skirts and hats, and I’m not sure about hair dye but I think that is still banned as well.
When my husband went to high school here in Sweden, he went through purple hair, bright red hair and blue hair, among many other colors. He also had an earring. And no one cared. He was a smart and great student. No one in class was “distracted,” as some Texas schools like to say in these situations.
Imagine at your job if a man walked in with an earring (many men at your job probably already wear one or more), facial hair (shocking!) and purple hair. You might say, “Whoa Todd, cool hair!” and then do your job. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “There is just no way I can file insurance claims when I can’t take my eyes of Todd’s earring.” or “I would save this woman’s life, but I can’t perform surgery when the ambulance driver who brought this patient in has purple hair. It’s too distracting.”
My oldest son dyed his hair orange most of last year. All this week he has been wearing fake mustaches to school, nerd glasses and a hat that looks like Sonic the Hedgehog. Surprisingly, this does not affect his work or the work of his fellow students, some who have dyed hair, wear shorts or even a rabbit suit pullover (yes, I’ve seen this twice).
I live in the real world. I ride the subway. I’ve seen people dressed as zombies, people with face tattoos, people with piercings and chains. I don’t mind any of those people as long as they TAKE A SHOWER (and don’t eat my brains, of course).
When I fell off my moped this weekend and ripped up my jeans, both of my sons said, “Well, now you’ll be in fashion.”
I saw this ad today on our neighborhood sale group for someone selling jeans. It translates to “Jeans with tears, completely NEW”
I guess you would have to emphasize that they are new, because you just never know with that fashion.
Now I’m thinking I can sell my ripped jeans on the neighborhood sale group too! My ad will read, “Jeans with tears, completely AUTHENTIC”
I haven’t been writing much lately as I don’t have time between having accidents, putting on bandages and bleeding everywhere. Also, wearing a bandage on your face really brings your self-confidence down. Speaking of that, why did all my appointments and meetings have to be scheduled last week when I was forced to wear a bandage on my chin in front of people? You know everyone probably thought I was covering up a zit instead of the half-dollar sized bleeding scab. Swedish culture dictates that it’s not polite to ask why someone’s face is all messed up. That’s why I prefer other immigrants like me, who flat out say, “Whoa! What’d you do to your face?!” Let’s just get it out there.
After going through a set of bandages and almost an entire box of Band-Aids for my chin and hands, I was finally presentable enough to take them off by Friday, a week after flying off my bike like a moron by hitting a curb full speed at the wrong angle.
So what did I do to celebrate? I took out the moped Saturday and ran it into a curb at the wrong angle, falling down and ripping up my knee, as well as my new jeans. Plus my whole right leg is covered in bruises. My husband was sent back to the store once again to purchase more large bandages that I will run out of soon because somehow my knee is still bleeding 2 days later.
I’ve learned two things over the past 2 weeks:
- “Flesh”-colored bandages on your face make you look like a serial killer.
- I should not be allowed to ride things with two wheels.
I’m leaving the house in a few minutes and walking to the subway, where I will trade in disgusting sores and bruises for contagious colds and flus. Instead of financing the bandage industry, I’ll be moving on to tissues.
Found this shirt for my husband, but he didn’t want it. Man, he’s picky when it comes to fashion.
Children who don’t eat their vegetables are sent outside in the “Bucket hat of shame.”
(I hope you know I’m kidding.. The truth is, I have no idea why he was outside like this, other than it’s sometimes fun to put a giant plant holder/bucket on your head)
This is what happens when you need to shop for lipstick and leave your kids alone for 5 minutes.
We inherited this book from the 1960s that was apparently given out to Swedish citizens. It’s called “If the war comes” and it’s an instruction book on what to do in the event of war. In my opinion, the best parts are the nicely dressed 1960s housewives with their pretty skirts and gas masks. They seem totally unconcerned. A close second is the men in suits. Gotta look sharp when the nuclear bomb drops. Here’s a few pictures from the book:
If the war comes…
The Ikea table can withstand an atomic bomb. Don’t forget to casually put on your gas mask! Watch that hair!
Stop, drop and roll is universal. I like the look on his face as his suit is on fire. It’s a look of mild discomfort.
Honey, put on your coat, we’re late for dinner!
Dinner time is an important meal for the whole family to spend together. We talk, learn about each other’s day, and discuss important topics of concern to us all.
The other day, that topic was the Incredible Hulk’s pants and superhero clothes in general.
So when Bruce Banner changes into the Incredible Hulk, all his clothes shred off except for his pants. Stan Lee and Marvel have tried to explain this as a special fiber that allows the pants to stretch, but our family has other questions:
- Why do the pants tear at the ankles but not the upper thighs?
- Why doesn’t the butt seam break apart like it does on normal people’s pants when they wear out?
- How many pairs of these pants does he own and how much do they cost, because obviously he has to replace them every time he changes back?
This also leads to questions about another superhero:
- Superman wears his costume under his clothes. Where’s the cape tucked in?
- Superman removes his suit (usually in a phone booth) to expose his supersuit and fly off. What happens to his discarded business suit? People steal that right? What would you do if you found a nice suit crumpled up in a phone booth? How many suits does he have? A reporter doesn’t make that much money.
That’s as far as we got because then we were done eating dinner, but I feel this topic could easily be explored further.
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.”
My husband started the morning by showing our young boys the indestructible power of an old Commodore 64 joystick. Now, I could write about how we are low on money and I eat mostly crackers at the end of the month just to save while apparently my husband NEEDS to buy two old Commodore joysticks for the Commodore that collects dust on our shelf and is never played…
But that’s not what this is about.
No, this post is about the dangers of letting young boys know that something has been labeled ‘indestructible.’ This word doesn’t exist in a young person’s vocabulary. Instead, it is automatically processed as a challenge. I have a feeling that even though these joysticks aren’t hooked up, they won’t last long.
My son likes to tell the story of a friend who claimed his new phone case protected his phone so that the screen would never break, and then demonstrated this by throwing his phone directly on the edge of a piece of concrete where it of course the screen was completely crushed.
I think this destructive habit never really goes away in boys or men. It’s the reason fireworks sales are huge.
Once at the optometrist, a man in front of me complained to the receptionist that he was not happy with his ‘indestructible’ glasses. He said, ‘I throwed ’em on the floor, stomped on ’em with my boots and the lenses got all scratched up!’
Again, it’s not a selling point, it’s a challenge. A challenge that should be reserved for water balloons or pie. Cause at least that would make me laugh.