Category Archives: Music

Ok, here’s the horrible list

I ended last week on a nice note with beautiful Christmas music.

So now here’s my list of TERRIBLE Christmas music! It’s a great list to have if you want to get rid of holiday guests.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/563SjwRd9aKl8s9QNTRmw5?si=mJd13JqeRvG-tDiEQhPSow

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Actual nice Swedish Christmas music

Most years, I share my list of horrible Christmas music, but today, I’m sharing some Swedish Christmas music that’s actually very nice!

So if you have Spotify, and would like some very beautiful Christmas music, check out my list:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1K02pO8YQ6WmHfWVxSCpdL?si=MFQoXSuGQta1j5mv9fwNxw

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What to wear, what to wear…

I’m going to two “musical events” this week. One tonight and one tomorrow. Trying to figure out what to wear to each one. Hope I don’t get them confused.

Tonight – Icelandic band Hatari
Tomorrow – Ballet at the Royal Opera

Frightening sick children

My son was sick last week with a bad cough and fever. After giving him some cough medicine and tea, I told him to rest. I then put on some music for him to relax. Unfortunately, the Horrible Histories album was already cued and when I hit the power button, the radio blared, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”

I spent the next few minutes assuring my son that he did not have the plague.

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#15 – Sweden’s Biggest Cultural Export is Pop

On my podcast this week:

Akash, from India, moved to Sweden expecting a heavy metal mecca. This was not quite the case. But he’s developed some rather useful apps to help these pop-music Vikings and also has a plan to change the culture here into a place where people talk to their neighbors. Good luck with that!

Wherever you listen to your podcasts, just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” and find the episode! Available on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, etc.

vikingcrawfish

#11 Why not spend the winter building synthesizers?

On this week’s podcast…

Leo, from Los Angeles, makes his own synthesizers and shares his knowledge on his YouTube station LeoMakes. He also thinks Swedish coffee is the best and is full of tips on how to keep yourself busy during the winter with cafes, walks, rock climbing and maybe even building your own synthesizer! Why not? It beats falling twice a day on the ice.

iTunes

Spotify

iceandsnow.se

or anywhere else you get your podcasts. Just enter “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow.”

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Life is a Highway, but not on park trails

I got pulled over for the first time in Sweden this past weekend. Ok, I MAY have been driving on a bike trail, but I had a very good reason. (I had to load very heavy music equipment by the forest, because that’s what you do when your husband wants to make a music video in the forest. We’ve all been there, right?)

But anyway, someone reported the car, so right when I got on the main road, the police were just arriving.

Luckily, in Sweden, the police aren’t looking to make quotas. They are smart and reasonable and more focused on serious crimes. We explained the situation and were simply told not to do it again. And of course they were right, and no, I will not be doing that again.

But what my husband thought was funny was when the officer said, “You can’t make a music video in the forest.”  And my husband asked why not. I agree and I did check the sign in the nature reserve and it does not say you can’t record music videos in the forest.

The officer said, “umm…. well, you’re disturbing the animals.”

I think my husband said something like, “Well how do we know they don’t enjoy synth music?”

And I’d like to back up that argument with a photo that I totally took in the forest and did not steal from a synthesizer ad I found on Google.

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Lucia madness

December 13th in Sweden is Lucia day. It’s basically a celebration of light in the darkness, based on an Italian saint who had her eyes gouged out (really gets kids in the Christmas spirit).

All over Sweden, choirs of children dress in white robes while one girl (the Lucia) has a crown of lit candles on her head. The other children carry their candles.

I volunteered to be the helping parent for one of my son’s classes on this celebration. All I knew was that I was required to stand on the side with a bucket of water in case someone caught on fire. Sounded kind of exciting.

It turns out that kids catching fire was the LEAST of my worries.

First of all, I had to help the teacher accompany the kids from the school to the church. This was like trying to herd goats that are constantly stopping to make and throw snowballs at each other. (Yes, goats totally do that.) I almost had 2 kids get run over because they didn’t stop at the crossing light and were way too cool to acknowledge my screaming “STOP!”, causing them to be stuck in the middle of the road with cars speeding past.

During rehearsal, no one caught on fire (good thing, since they didn’t give us our buckets for rehearsal), but 2 kids almost fainted and a few burned their hands on dripping wax.

I think that all parents should have to assist with a class activity or outing to understand what these teachers have to deal with every day. Not just observing the class, but actually having to herd them, instruct them and keep them alive.

To sum up:

  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • Kids are like goats.
  • I am never volunteering to help out with a school class again.

 

P.S. The actual Lucia concert went just fine. I think these kids behave a lot better when parents and cameras are watching. haha!

One step removed celebrity recipes

A family member posted a recipe today for a Pinapple pie. The recipe was listed as being “Johnny Cash’s Mother’s Recipe.”

Why would this make the pie any better? As far as I know, Johnny Cash’s mother was not a famous cook. Also, Johnny Cash did not always look the picture of great health or “fun” eating. Just saying.

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Album art

My husband made a special frame where we can display images from our computer that looks like a framed photo on the wall. We’ve been doing a lot of 60s retro-future posters, but now he has a new idea. He wants to display record album art.

I said I could find some great album “art” to display, but when I sent him the list of album covers that I found, he wasn’t too thrilled.

Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep

I was “treated” to 30 minutes of my son singing this song OVER and OVER on the way home from school yesterday. This was after taking him to drum lessons, where he apparently forced his drum teacher, a well-respected and talented drummer, to play drums for 20 minutes to the beat of this song. The teacher came out at the end of the class, just looked at me and said, “We just spent the entire lesson drumming to Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep.”
I could see a bit of pride and dignity melting away in his eyes.

So to spread the horror that my brain has been repeating over and over and over since yesterday, I give you “Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep,” on a 10 HOUR LOOP just in case you don’t have children of your own. Oh, and as a parent, I can say that you’re lucky to get away with only 10 hours. It’s on at least a week-long loop or more at our house.

 

Public Service Announcement for Parents

Heads up. My kids have been singing this since November. Apparently it’s getting even bigger. Warning: Extremely stupid…. but extremely catchy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is you’ve been warned. Embrace it or buy some noise-cancelling headphones.

Quiet? I don’t know the word

I’ve spent the last 5 days alone with the kids and their various friends who come over to visit. My life has a running background soundtrack of Pokémon, Minecraft and Skylanders. It’s non-stop.

How can they talk this long? It can’t be possible.

They might not be human.

Also, you know when you get a snippet of some annoying song in your head? Well, I’ve had that experience at various points all week when that happens with a live chorus. They can repeat one song line over and over and never stop until someone (me) goes crazy.

Examples:

“Ducktales, woo-hoo!  … Ducktales, woo-hoo! … Ducktales, woo-hoo!”

(No other lines, just that line…. OVER AND OVER)

“Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer.
Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer.
Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer.Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer.”

(As if the entire song wouldn’t have driven you crazy anyway, now it’s just the one line.)

I’m just writing this down so it’s understood that when I start writing complete nonsense soon, people will understand how I lost my mind.

(I’d like to add that I was interrupted while writing this for my youngest child to say, “There’s this video with a dinosaur and he goes EEE! EEE! EEE! and then the other dinosaur goes “GEE GEE GEE!” …. which is now causing 3 children in the next room to start screaming/singing EEE EEE EEE! GEE! GEE! GEE!)

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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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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.

 

Cancellation requirements

I bought some tickets for a show tonight. I had the option of buying cancellation insurance. I decided to look through the requirements to see if anything seemed reasonable. I declined the insurance – mainly since they didn’t cover anything nuclear or radioactive. I mean, c’mon! Doesn’t someone in that situation DESERVE a refund?

Also, there must be a lot of angry customers arguing about supersonic speed damages.

Actual quote from cancellation insurance page:

We will not pay any consequence of war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolutions, insurrection, military or usurped power, riot, civil commotion, strikes, lockout, terrorism, malicious intent or vandalism, confiscation or nationalisation of or requisition or destruction of or damage to property by or under the order of any government or public or local authority. We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by:

  • ionising radiations or contamination by radioactivity from nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste from the combustion of nuclear fuel;
  • the radioactive toxic explosive or other hazardous properties of any explosive nuclear assembly or nuclear component thereof.

We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by damage or destruction directly occasioned by pressure waves caused by aircraft or other aerial devices travelling at sonic or supersonic speeds.”

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So many types of royalty

Friday’s conversation with the kids:

Me: The kids at school will probably be talking about it so I thought I should let you know that Prince died.

Kids: Our prince? The prince of Sweden?

Me: No, no no!  The music artist. Do you remember who that is?

Kids: (with sad face) Yeah, it’s the one who sings “We will, We will Rock You.”

Me: Um, no that’s Queen, but I can totally understand the confusion.

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Special Lady

There’s a chain of restaurants in the southern U.S. called “Waffle House.” It’s a good place to go if you’re:
– Poor
– Hungry after midnight
– In College

Back in the 90s, my friends and I fit all of those categories quite often, so we spent a lot of time at the Waffle House. Now, the Waffle House food is nothing exciting, but the reason to go there is because of the Waffle House jukebox. Every Waffle House has a jukebox with your usual standard fare in the south (lots of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and strange pop R&B songs that were popular, well, back in the 90s). But every one of their jukeboxes also has their own Waffle House themed music.

Yes, they have their own label and musicians that write and record songs about food and experiences at the Waffle House. My friends and I would save our quarters just to choose the following song and play it over and over depending on how much money we were able to put in the jukebox. I give to you, “Special Lady at the Waffle House.” It’s a real song and apparently after you go in and play it several nights in a row on repeat, the employees of the Waffle House will unplug the jukebox – I speak from experience:

And if you enjoyed that, you should also check out some of these other wonderful Waffle House originals:

Waffle House Family – https://youtu.be/lYQUB5Wb_FM

Raisins in My Toast – https://youtu.be/N_LnuPFnJXY

 

 

Prince hit by snowball

This headline was on CNN top stories. It was the only story I clicked on to read. However, it was not what I thought, but just a piece about Prince William of England playing in the snow with his family.

Of course it wasn’t what I thought. No one would ever do that to Prince. He’s awesome!

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Librarian work is way more exciting than I thought

This job ad came up over the weekend. It’s for a library assistant. I think they’ll get a lot of applicants now.

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