Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of august: middlesex

Don’t think I’m ahead of schedule here, this is actually my book of August from a while ago…So I’m little behind schedule, but here it is:

Middlesex

When I say a little behind schedule, apparently I mean three years behind schedule. *geeze* I am apparently a horrible friend. Okay, horrible might be a strong word, but I’ve definitely been slacking on my friend duties. My bad.

Let me explain. My friend Elizabeth and I (name obviously changed to protect identity) decided to do a book club. This book club consisted solely of the two of us. Meaning that we would both read the same book in a months time, and discuss it over Skype.

I did not read the book in a months time. Nor did we ever Skype about it. I mean I did finish the book just now, so we could theoretically Skype about it now…but I didn’t even tell Elizabeth that I’ve finished the book. This will be the first she is hearing of it. Alright I’ll say it. Horrible friend = me.

Let’s disregard that though and focus on the book. I don’t like to dwell.

Middlesex was on Oprah’s book list. Or recommendation list. Or some kind of list written by Oprah, you know the one:

Anyway, I think that is why Elizabeth suggested we read the book. Oprah knows her shit.

To be honest though, the book wasn’t exactly up my ally. Though you may have guessed that since it took me THREE YEARS to complete. I mean it’s not like I’ve been actively reading it for that long, there have been breaks….okay, nevermind.

It did get really good for the final third of the book. But it is really important you read the first two-thirds in order to understand the end…well the moral is, it may be a great book for you, but for me it was an exercise in discipline and determination to be a good friend.

I hope this makes up for it! … ?

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gröna lund

One of many Things To Do In Sweden, as listed by yours truly, is to visit Gröna Lund. Which is an amusement park on Djurgården island, which you can get to by ferry, bus, car, bike, skateboard, walking – and those standing scooter things that I assume were created to increase the spread of obesity the world over. And yes, standing scooter things is an official Google search term.

What I’m saying is, you can get there by many means. Once there, and you have paid the admission fee and possibly bought your ride wrist band or tickets, you are free to run around and explore the wonderful mini-world that is this amusement park.

I’ve been a few times, the most recent time being last summer. My personal favorite rides are the tallest ones, especially Eclipse where you can see absolutely fabulous views of Stockholm.

Gröan 2015

Grönan 2

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Of course no trip to Gröna Lund would be complete without Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

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All in all Grönan (as the locals call it) is a great time!

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the eggton

Eggton, the awesome blog which I dedicatedly stalk follow, is wittily named after Eggton’s own invention: The Eggton.

I know you just can’t wait to find out what this concoction will be! The wait is over my friends, the secret is revealed!

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The Eggton is the genius combination of croutons and scrambled eggs. The harmony between which create an absolutely scrumptious breakfast experience. Let’s get cracking! (I couldn’t resist).

Original recipe found here.
Ingredients:

  • a small pat of butter
  • a small handful of croutons
  • 2-3 eggs
  • a little of your favorite cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium to low heat.
  2. Toss in the croutons.
  3. Crack the eggs into the skillet.  Cook for a minute before breaking the yolks.  Break the yolks with your spatula and toss the eggs with the croutons, coating evenly.
  4. Add some cheese if you like.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and cook until desired doneness.

I went with croutons seasoned with garlic and parsley, and Eggton agrees that croutons with garlic are a good way to go. Just writing this post has me looking forward to Sunday morning breakfast!

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why this american is rooting for sweden

For all of the sports inclined people out there, it won’t be news that the Olympics are currently occurring. For all of the women’s soccer enthusiasts it won’t be news that the USA woman’s team has won four golds in the past five Olympics. Or I should say, six Olympics, as this Olympics marks a marked decline in the teams results with a loss to Sweden in the quarter finals.

Why, you may ask, would this American then be rooting for the exact team that dashed the USA team’s chances and dreams of winning a fourth consecutive Olympic gold? My answer is Pia Sundhage.

Pia Sundhage

To summarize the media coverage (and awesome memes), after the US lost to Sweden in a nail-biting shoot out, Hope Solo called the Swedish team a bunch of cowards. When asked about this comment Pia Sundhage said “Jag skiter i vilket. Jag ska till Rio, hon ska hem.” The popular translation of which is: “I don’t give a crap. I’m going to Rio, she’s going home”. My personal translation would be “I don’t give a shit…” but I suppose that makes for a slightly less child-friendly meme. So I understand the distinction.

Hope & Pia

What makes tonight’s final even more exciting is the nail-biting shootout win that brought the Swedish team here. After an initial loss to Brazil in group play, Sweden came to play this past Tuesday. Overcoming the initial loss was no small thing either, the two team’s first meeting this Olympics was an epic loss for Sweden with Brazil finding the back of the net a full five times. But with another grand display of defensive play the Swedish team did it again in five shootout shots, with two saves by Lindahl.

And yes, no one in Sweden has any finger nails anymore after all this shootout action.

The cherry on top is that Pia Sundhage was the head coach of the US women’s team for the past two Olympic golds. That is to say Sundhage is coaching tonight for her third gold in a row. Making their win over the US team a little sweeter for the Swedes, and her response to Solo’s comments all the better. But wait, this also happened: A reporter asked Sundhage if she could coach a men’s team. What do you think she said?

A whole country

Mic drop…

Now, I hope I’ve convinced you to also root for Sweden tonight. As we say in Sweden: Heja Sverige!

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the end of the school year

In 2014 I took an unplanned break from blogging. I got incredibly, surprisingly, busy. Upon my return I apologized, as one is want to do, and listed what it was exactly that was keeping me otherwise occupied. The end of the school year being one of those things.

Since 2014 I have concluded two other school years, that is to say here at pre-school we have welcomed the summer of 2014, 2015 and most recently 2016. Where I work we celebrate the return of the sunshine and warm weather in Sweden by singing songs outdoors. I find these songs to be particularly Swedish where the lyrics inevitably include flowers, swallows and mosquitoes. Because…what else?

2014 I was kept particularly busy as that was the school year I was with the group of children moving on to kindergarten after the summer. June that year was composed of many meetings, compiling documentation for the children and most memorably the quiet pang of nostalgia in my heart as I realized I would only very rarely see many of these children in the future.

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Receiving many thoughtful and kind presents was lovely, but I will hold most dear the letter I received from a small human whom I will always remember.

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I am happy that you have been my teacher.
You are a good teacher.
Hugs!

Coming to work daily and teaching the children left in our care is a wonderful privilege.

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surprising evelina on her birthday

Do you know how difficult it is to surprise Evelina? I’ll tell you, it is incredibly difficult.

Some of my failed attempts at surprising Evelina on different occasions have included such things from Christmas present shopping to trying to make dinner unannounced. Either I’m an open book to her, or she has some sort of magical intuition which translates my sentence “I’m on my way home now, I left late from work” to “I left work right on time, went to the grocery store and am secretly making a surprise dinner for you at this exact moment”.

Evelina may have a crystal ball.
Or be in cohorts with the NSA. Or whatever the Swedish equivalent may or may not be.

This year I finally did it! It took almost 6 months of planning, the careful disclosure of said surprise to select individuals (as to not thwart my plan), and a whole lot of anxiety on my part that I’d somehow let it slip. I didn’t though, and I gleefully completed number 28 on my 30 before 30 list.

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Speaking of turning 30, this year is the big 3-0 for Evelina. Hence the long drawn out process that was my preparing to surprise her. Like I said, it was a six month process that involved ensuring neither of us would be working on the big day (today); followed by planning and booking a week’s trip to Gotland, and then shutting up about it for the (seemingly endless) time up until Evelina’s birthday celebration.

Yes, the big surprise for Evelina’s 30th birthday is a trip to that island off the coast of Sweden that I wrote about back in 2014. The whole family will be going, all three of us. I still can’t believe my lucky stars that I get to share my life with this amazing woman. For every day that I have known you, I am grateful. I cherish dearly every moment that we have spent together. Surprise, my love, I hope you have a wonderfully happy 30th birthday.

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book of july: the paying guests

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Prior to reading this book I had read Waters’ first book Tipping the Velvet. If memory serves,  both books take a while to get into and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I didn’t find myself getting wrapped up in the plot of The Paying Guests until at least 6 or 7 chapters in. Though, once this book gets going it really gets going! I recommend just speeding through the first few chapters to get to the good stuff, you’ll be glad you did. Definitely a great summer read!

All in all The Paying Guests was a fun read, and I will definitely check out more books by Waters. This being the sixth book Waters has written I have a few to choose from, though I think I’ve already decided on reading Fingersmith next.

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