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Showing posts from October, 2014

Taking Kindness for Weakness

Yesterday at work I saw a guy with an old rickety van broken down on the street.  I'm a nice guy and all, so I was ready to go out and give this guy a hand.  He looked to be a bit older and people were walking by while he was apparently trying to parallel park his big rickety van while it was in neutral. It looked to be a painstaking process.  He was going so slow.  I wanted to be the hero.  The American that swoops in and saves the day.  I'm the guy that sees the world and wants to help it.  Go on out there, Jon.  Save him! But did I save him?  Of course not.  And not because I've become a Swede.  No, that's not it at all.  I still have a grasp on my friendly, southern, American side.  The thing is, I've sworn off all vehicular assistance after this one incident:A few years back, I was working as a manager for FedEx in New Jersey.  Part of my responsibilities was to make sure the drivers weren't leaving customers' packages in risky places.  So occasionally…

Some Tricky Swedish Phrases

There may be some American-English phrases that foreigners find weird.  I can admit that.  But here, I'm the foreigner.  And Swedes have some strange and sometimes confusing phrases that they use.  Just when I think I have the hang of this language something new is thrown at me.  I'll break down a few of my favorites:Helt Okay
This phrase is a perfect description of Swedish people.  Helt Okay.  It means "completely okay".  How is that possible?  Can something be completely (a superlative) okay?  I don't think so.  It's strange every time I hear it.  A friend of mine went to see a movie.  I asked how the movie was and he said it was "helt okay".  So it was an absolutely average movie?  Does a helt okay movie get relegated to "wait for the DVD" or "catch it on cable"?  I need more details.  To me, helt okay matches the Swedish attitude.  This isn't a culture where excitement is expressed often.  If you don't believe me, wat…

Worst Road Trip Ever!

I get around nowadays mostly through public transportation.  The infrastructure here is amazing and the associated phone app is almost always on point.  I can find my way around easily.  I have become a podcast fiend, so my phone always has some goodies for me to listen to while I ride.  This is so much better than driving or riding in a car.  There is pressure to entertain in the car.  You have to listen to agreed upon music or talk about an agreed upon subject.  With public transportation it's all about me and what I want to do to pass the time.

The simplicity of public transportation here has made road trips basically nonexistent. We've only been on one and that was coming back from Göteborg to pick up Swedie's car that we shipped from the States.  We took the train out there and drove back.  That road trip was pretty uneventful.  I normally look forward to road trips.  When we were kids, my mom would take us on road trips and play old Sam Cooke songs.  When I hear his …

A Break-Up Story: The One That Got Away

This weekend I drove my body to the limits.  I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking that I’m still a young buck.  This may have been the last straw.  Maybe this break up was just what I needed.
It started on Friday.  I got off of work at about 7pm and went home to get ready for my boy’s party.  I missed the last party that they threw, so it was a must that I check this one out.  What kind of friend misses two parties?  So – arm twisted and everything – I had to go.  Plus, our podcast endorsed the party, so basically this was a business trip.  Swedie understood. 
I had a good time that Friday night.  I knew I had to work on Saturday at 9am, so I didn’t go too crazy.  I had a few drinks and grooved to the great mix of Hip-Hop/Reggae/Dancehall that always accompanies these parties.  I even left before the end of the party like a responsible adult.  I got home at about 2:30am. 
My friend William recently turned 30.  He was celebrating on Saturday.  There was a full day of festivities …

Everything is Hazardous!!!

Bash has his low crawl technique perfected.  It was so cute when he first learned to go from point A to point B.  He would be frustrated with his body not doing what he wanted it to do.  It's like me on the basketball court, so I completely understand him.  But now he's like lighting.  The problem now is point B is normally something that can kill him.  Two minutes ago I had to grab his legs and pull him away from the surge protector right before he started playing with the batteries that are charging.  Apparently the charge light attracted his attention.
Bash has been lucky that his parents are awesome and popular, so he's gotten a lot of toys.  Unfortunately for those awesome parents he doesn't seem to care about said toys.  Jasper's blue chew bone is more exciting.  And Jasper being the Jersey douche that he is loves to drop that bone right in front of Bash.  But when I want to play fetch with that bone he won't let it go.  Go figure.  
This crazy kid also l…