Saturday, July 31, 2010

Twenty Hours With The Segerstens

In the short time we were in Söderköping this weekend, The Swede, Papa Swede and Sarianne cut a hole out of the wall for The Segersten Staircase Project 2010.
Pippi showed up...
...and challenged Magnus to a cage fight. 
And their garden put our little balcony paradise to shame.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

With White Trim, Of Course

How convenient!  If you want to paint your house typical Swedish red, and of course you do, you needn't bother trying to figure out just which shade of red would be lagom because it's already been decided for you.  Red paint.  Just as simple as that. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Take Your Business Elsewhere

We all know that working Swedes get a ton of vacation time, right?  And have I mentioned how much they love and appreciate summertime?  Well, what that translates to in July is a partial retail shutdown.  Many small businesses close there doors entirely for several weeks during the warmest part of summer and nobody thinks anything of it.  It seems a little counterintuitive since nice weather makes as least me feel like eating out and shopping more, but I don't hear anyone complaining.  And, ahem, this doesn't count as complaining.  It's just pure wonder.

Notice Anything Different?

Mom and I had our weekly Skype chat today and the topic of my blog came up.  She was uneasy about the new summer masthead photo.  "I knew it," I said.  "My butt looks super big."  "Well, no," she replied, "it's more that your head looks too small."  Well played, Mom.  So I did a little cropping.  And I changed the background and the layout a bit.  And I got rid of some of those crazy ads because with 57 cents made in nearly a year, this bad boy hasn't been quite the moneymaker I was hoping for.  And then I added a search function, which I love and hope you do too.  And then I looked at the finished product and my eyes hurt because it was too pink.  Pssht!  As if that were even possible! 

I Think You're Going to Enjoy This Too

And here is the follow-up.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Think You're Going to Enjoy This

Sorry, I'm feeling lazy today and I've been meaning to share this for awhile, but wasn't able to embed the video.  Check the link, though.  You won't be sorry.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coming To A Theater Near You

You know how, in America, movie theaters smell like popcorn?  And how, when the lights dim and everyone stops chatting, you can hear the sound of people chomping on the salty, buttery treat?  Well in Sweden, the theater smells and sounds like godis.  And it especially smells like the dreaded salt licorice.  Blech.  We, like many others, brought the bag that we had purchased at the grocery store in with us when we went to the movies on Friday, but you can buy it from bins in the theater lobby too.  We forgot about all things delicious when the movie started, though, because it was Inception, basically the best movie of all time and I wasn't able to use my mouth for anything other than hanging slack-jawed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

While You Were Sleeping

The Swede has been bringing me along to the office now and then during the past couple of weeks.  There have been some major projects going on, yet most of the staff is out of the office on vacation so I have had the opportunity to lend a hand.  I've scanned labels, packaged products, painted, helped build a wall and done a little data entry all while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of a Swedish business in July.  Though it wasn't as nonchalant as the Göteborg office, which is perpetually 15 minutes behind, or even the corporate headquarters in Cleveland where folks were literally snoozing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Idle Paws

It's hard to imagine, I know, but the recent heat wave has made these two even less inclined to contribute to the household upkeep than before.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Snacks for Nelson

I felt like I should give you a little update because things have gotten even nicer out there since the last post.

The Usual

Something awkward happened.  I went in to pick up our order from our favorite pizza shop and the dude behind the counter remembered me.  "Two Sundbyberg Specials?"  Uh, yeah, that's us.  This isn't the first time this has happened to me.  The summer of 2000 my sister and I went to McDonald's every day after work and ordered two vanilla cones at the drive-through.  It sounds bad, I know, but I lost 10 pounds that summer so withhold your judgement.  So one day, after a couple weeks of this routine, we came to the window after placing our order and the girl handed us two vanilla cones that had a suspect, crispy frozen coating on the outside LIKE THEY HAD BEEN PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME and then placed in a freezer to wait for us to come by.  It's too bad when this happens because I'm sure that the staff is just trying to make you feel welcome but all it make me feel is that I can never go back again.  Perhaps I would feel differently if I was a regular at, I don't know, the vegetable store or something.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Leave The Grass Skirt At Home

Mama and Papa Swede's favorite restaurant, Golden Cave, had a pig-grilling party last night and they invited us to join them there along with six other family friends.  It was a Spanish-themed soiree, but I'm pretty sure roasting a pig over a fire is Hawaiian and therefore American, but whatever, Golden Cave.  Regardless of who deserves the credit, the porker was delish, the atmosphere was festive and even the rain didn't dampen the beautiful evening.   

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet Sonic

Yesterday I didn't know what to blog about.  The Swede was like, "Um, hello?  The hedgehog."  And I was like, "Well, yeah, but what would I say?"  And he was like, "I'm 27 years old and today I saw my first hedgehog."  The Swede was full of good advice yesterday.  Additionally, upon the event of my first hedgehog sighting, he suggested, "you can pet it, but don't pet it backwards."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Hours to Balcony Bliss

Yesterday after The Swede got home from work and we ate dinner, we hopped into the car and zipped around town to get all of the stuff we've been talking about to pimp our balcony.  In less than two hours we selected wood floor planks, hanging and standing pots, soil, seeds and flowers from three different stores.  When we got everything home we laid the flooring, set up our table and chairs and planted everything within an hour and had the rest of the evening to enjoy our handiwork.  Even Cool Hand Luke came out to admire our skills.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


One day, years from now, we'll remember July of 2010 and how it was so hot that we dragged the mattress out into the living room so that we could sleep closer to the open balcony door, and we'll laugh.  Heck, why wait.  Let's laugh now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kål Slaw Sammy

Lately I've been craving a BLT.  It's the ultimate summer food, in my mind, and boy is it ever summer.  I was thinking I'd make some coleslaw for the side but ended up just slapping it on the bun with the B and the T in place of the L.  Feel free to use my brilliant recipe.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun as Hell, One Might Say

Holy cow, was it hot today!  I would have been happy to stand in front of the open freezer door all day, but we had plans to meet the Segersten's at Gröna Lund and I'm glad we did because it was a blast.  But, as I said, it was hot.  It reminded me of this fantastic trip to the Cleveland zoo The Swede and I took with Mom and Ray on an incredibly hot day last summer, which was certainly fun but decidedly hellish at the same time.  Fast rides equal a nice breeze, though, and it was hilarious taking the rides with the kids.  Their enthusiasm and commentary kill me every time.
My bag of bones is getting a little old for the physical catastrophe that is the bumper cars, but The Swede is a real do-gooder.
This is a little more my speed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

SPF 50

It looks like fun, that stuff in mama's hand, right, Dylan?  Well in half a second when she starts slathering you with it you're going to hate it.  And you're going to squirm and try to get away from the experience like a greased-up piglet.  But take it.  Nobody likes baked baby. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sittin' On The Dock O' The Bay

Since I started the blog back in September, I'm pretty sure this is the first time you're seeing Mama and Papa Swede's lake-side summer cabin.  The Swede and I spent a lot of time here last summer, grilling with the family, watering the grass and enjoying meals by the great Lake Mälaren.  It's only about 15 minutes from where we live and even closer to The Swede's office, which should give you an idea of the incredible opportunities to enjoy nature that we have very close at hand here.  We took advantage today by having a picnic dinner on the dock. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Girl Talk City

This is a sight I've seen quite a lot in the past week or so.  As you know, Petra and I have been helping her future in-laws with their cleaning business while they are on vacation.  Our commute is a little over an hour and the job usually takes between four and five, so our evenings together consist of nearly seven hours of non-stop girl talk.  Seriously, I've barely noticed it's work. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

This Bytes

Sadly this is not a trippy new screensaver.  This is the result of a split-second accident that will prevent any chance of recovering a single thing from my dear Dell.  Yes, I dropped it.  As far as I know, only the screen is broken, but you sure can't do anything to fix it if you can't see anything, can you?  So good-bye my friend and all of the photos, resumes, cover letters and grad school papers you held.  And thank goodness for the internet, which is holding the most important of those items securely for time and all eternity.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Catch You Tomorrow

No real blog post today, folks.  I'm sorry, but I'm just having too much fun right now with my fiance to take a break.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meet Cool Hand Luke

Yep, two blog posts today because I had to get this picture on the internet ASAP.  I literally giggle like a school girl ever time I look at this.  On the other side of the neighbor spectrum from the relentless smoker downstairs is World's Cutest Cat next door.  I feel a little like I'm cheating when I say that, but seriously!  Look at him... her... whatever, it doesn't matter since, sadly, our cats are fixed so neither of them could make dangerously cute offspring with little Cool Hand Luke here.  No, I've never talked to the human neighbor.  I named it myself, of course. 

The Life

Oh, you know, just fulfilling the summer reading requirements for my Swedish course.  In a bikini under the sun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bed of Roses

I would much rather live in the apartment over these rose bushes than over the unemployed chain-smoker stinking up the balcony below us.  I'm satisfied to pass by them on my walk, though.