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Showing posts from 2016

I Did Stand-up At My Job!

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I have to start off by saying that I love my job.  Everyone has been very welcoming there, I like my coworkers on my team, my boss' style goes great with my working style and I LOVE the general corporate environment in Sweden (at least the part of it that I've experienced).  There's a lot of freedom here.  It's like you're trusted to do your job, so no one is breathing down your neck and adding a new layer of stress.  There are no TPS reports. It's been great to apply my skills and knowledge to a new company.  There's also this feeling that I can be more of my "off-the-clock" self when I'm "on-the-clock".

I got my job because of a contact created through "Yrkesdörren".  It's an awesome program that I blogged about here that was created to help integrate skilled immigrants like myself into the seemingly impenetrable Swedish work force.  I like the program so much that I agreed to be a part of a commercial they were doing…

Our First Handshake!

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Hey! Yes I still blog.  I just took a month off because I didn't have anything nice to say after what was for me a very disappointing US presidential election.  I won't delve into that subject now.  I'll write a bit about something that makes me feel better about everything.  BASH!
Handshakes are one of those things a parent teaches their child about.  It's a part of the first impression.  Make it firm.  Establish respect right away.  Look the person in the eye and smile.  I'm not quite there with Bash just yet, but I'm already prepared for that conversation.  He'll never have a "dead fish" handshake.  Nor will he be that guy that squeezes the fuck out of your hand while staring intently into your soul.  That person is actually worse because they make YOU childish and you start trying to squeeze back while trying not to show the pain.  But you're already at a disadvantage because that asshole started squeezing first!  Or you try to wither out…

Gender Norms

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If you would have asked me six months ago how I would react to Bash wanting a pink toy or wearing nail polish I would have proudly said it is no problem for me.  I'm a progressive and enlightened man, right?  I know that the color pink has nothing to do with femininity.  I don't buy into that tired old way of thinking.  My child will grow up knowing that whatever he likes, he likes.  It won't affect the way his father loves him.  In the end he will be secure in himself and he'll truly have the trust a child should have in their father.  That all sounds good until that time comes.

Well that time came for me.  My progressiveness was recently tested.  Swedie and I have discussed this topic at length.  We agreed that if we're out toy shopping and Bash likes a "girl toy", Bash gets that toy.  So I was surprised when Swedie called me one day asking if it's okay to buy this chair Bash wants.  I rolled my eyes.  Here we go again.

       - How much is the chai…

Daddy's An Idiot

People ask me if I speak English or Swedish at home with Bash.  Obviously I speak English to him.  I do so in part because I want to be able to fully express myself to him.  Me searching trying to translate my thoughts into my second language for him would be frustrating for the both of us.  I also want him to learn English like I speak it.  Here they learn the queen's English in school.  That's not exactly Miami talk.  He would benefit from learning Daddy's language from Daddy.  Another major factor is my confidence in my Swedish.  I understand just about everything and can make myself understood, but my Swedish grammar is far from perfect.  Bash would certainly pick up bad habits from me if I spoke Swedish to him.  Furthermore, he would realize at a way earlier age that Daddy is an idiot.  I'd rather he figure that out as a teenager or so.  Like we all do.

Recently Bash and I went to the park.  I like spending time together just Bash and me.  Father and son.  It'…

Hole Day Ruined!

It's summertime in Sweden.  That means EVERYBODY leaves.  At work it's basically a skeleton crew.  Mainly me (the sucker that took vacation early in the summer) and another guy who is waiting until the fall.  Mother nature hooked us up this year with a beautiful summer so far, so that makes it a little less fun to be cooped up at the job.  The good thing for me is learning so much on the fly.  Sometimes I HAVE to find answers on my own because I'm the only one there.  Learning by doing is the best, right?
Friday was a super crazy day.  There was a buzz about the office.  The mood was pretty much brink of insanity.  My counterpart forewarned me that at 2:45pm at the latest he was going to be getting out of there.  He had some summer stuff to do.  My brain immediately did a poop/lunch schedule check.  I could poop at 5, but I'd need to grab lunch at around 2ish.  Thankfully (and unfortunately) there is a Burger King across the street from my job.  The universe has tested…

Now that the jet lag is gone...

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I'm back!  I know I've been back for a while and haven't updated this, but I'll explain later...

That vacation was real!  I had no idea it would be so awesome.  Swedie and I make a great team.  We (by we, I mean she) planned it all out well in advance and we (now I mean we, but still mostly she) executed it well.  We began in Florida at the Holm Home as my previous blog detailed.  We love them and miss them already.  The rest of the Florida leg of the trip was awesome.


Miami
I had my fill of conch salad during my trip home.  Moonk really does know how to hook up a conch salad!  I got to see my younger cousins (can't call them little anymore) and hang out a little bit with them.  I spent so much time in my youth trying to be the loudest and funniest and wittiest that I never realized how funny my cousins are.  Reggie and Julius had me cracking up!  Grandmother is still rocking her raccoon wig in public.  She's fun and I hope she gets the courage to make that fligh…

Bienvenido a Miami!

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For the first time in a year and a half I'm back home!  We didn't go at all last year, so now I was extra hype to get back.  This trip would be all about Bash.  I was concerned that there would be a language barrier that got in the way of the bonding I longed for between him and his American relatives.  He understands English, but would he understand that no one else understands his Swedish?  It was time to find out!

Of course with our luck, Bash came down with a fever the night before the flight.  He was in good spirits (as always) so we just gave him some medicine to get the fever down.  Everything would be fine.  We got to the airport and almost missed the flight because for some reason the airport officials thought boarding early was a good idea.  Don't they understand the concept of CPT?  We had to get some food.  If the flight leaves at 2:55pm, why would they board at 1:55?  Who does that?  The lady came out all mad at us and rushing us onto the plane at 2:30.  I ref…

Using "The N-Word" in my comedy: A recent critique

I had a gig the other night at Södra Sällskapet.  It's one of my favorite clubs to perform at.  It's a basement, nice room, normally a good, energetic crowd.  I have fun when I'm on stage there.  The gig went very well.  I got laughs and applause.  I felt good.  I stuck around for the rest of the show and some drinks and socialization.  The night was good.  I met with some comics and some of their friends upstairs and began chit-chatting.

One Swedish guy told me that I was funny.  It's always flattering.  I gave my normal "Thanks a lot, man!"  It really means a lot to me when someone tells me I'm funny.  You should try it.  Go up to a comedian and tell them they're funny.  I promise you you'll make their day.  However, this guy followed it up with a "but".

       - The only thing I would say...

Here goes.  Another person that doesn't get on stage telling me what I should do the next time I get up there.  Let me guess, "Talk mor…

One Year As a Comic!

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I made it!  For one year now I've been going on stage and trying to make people laugh.  It's been such a fun journey thus far.  I remember that first night like it was just yesterday.  Some American comedians were trying out material for their tour called "Team Amerika".  Cool!  My now friend Yemi called me onstage for my first set.  I was terrified.  I said my jokes and felt like the funniest man ever.


This comedy thing was going to be a piece of cake!  I was on cloud 9.  I blogged about the experience.  I called it "My Next Chapter".  I was sure that I was on the road to realizing my calling... Never mind the fact that I loaded the crowd with friends and family.  I had a dozen or so people there supporting me.  Of course I got laughs!
Guess what I didn't blog about... My very next standup set.  I went up the next week and asked Yemi for a spot.  I'm sure he could see the desperation and hunger in my eyes.  He asked if I minded going first.  I kne…

This Immigrant's Job Search in Sweden

Most of my blog posts about Sweden are filled with my affection for my new home.  I'm glad to be here and I love this country.  HOWEVER, the job search alone made me consider going back to the US.  I became completely frustrated by what seemed like a total disregard of my professional experience.  The worst thing is the way I'm received in social settings.  It's completely misleading.  Most Swedes are open and inviting to you when they find out you're American.  They are interested in you and your American story.  They want to know your journey and how you got here.  It's great.  My confidence was soaring as I filled out application after application.

I must admit that there is a cultural difference here when it comes to one's relationship to their occupation.  I like to say that in Sweden you work to live, in America you live to work.  We wear our occupations on our sleeve.  One of the first questions we ask someone is what they do for a living.  Then we take …