Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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thanksgiving, y’all!

Here in Sweden Thanksgiving is not a national holiday. Which means I was in class. Despite the numerous e-mails arguing to the contrary, my professors saw it imperative to hold our seminars as scheduled. Though they failed to provide me with a better explanation for it than “this is Sweden”.

A what I’m getting to is the fact that we had Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was a gleeful event, where family and friends joined us at our place for food and fun. Everyone said they enjoyed the American style food, so we’re just going to have to take them on their word.

Not pictured: green bean casserole á la familjen Johnsson, cranberry sauce & sweet potato casserole.

 We fit 14 people around our table(s), which is just about maximum capacity. 

This photo is the first time I’ve considered getting/seen the need for a selfie stick. That being to avoid weird corner faces. Now I know.


Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving, whenever it was celebrated. There’s so much to be thankful for.


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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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happy wedding max & amelia

This summer two amazing people tied the knot. Maxwell & Amelia celebrated their love surrounded by friends and family on a beautiful island off the coast of Maine. The rehearsal dinner was entertaining and celebratory, the wedding ceremony was beautiful and lead seamlessly into an amazing night to remember.

Rehersal Dinner

Wedding

The entire weekend was made all the better as many of my high school friends were in attendance and we had our own mini reunion. The weekend surrounded by great friends was made all the better with fun activities.

Lobster dinner

Lobster dinner

On a boat!

On a boat!

Brunch

Brunch

Relaxing after jumping off the HUGE rock!

Relaxing after jumping off the HUGE rock!

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Ice cream!

The weekend on Frye island is not one I’ll soon forget! Congratulations again Max & Amelia, what an amazing weekend!

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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
.
Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

.

Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

rip stick

You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

Foam roller

Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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april april

Here in Sweden you don’t shout “April Fools!” when you trick someone today. You smirk and quietly state “april, april”. People in Sweden don’t shout much. That’s how you spot the Americans in Sweden; the loudest people in the room – and their clothes. I’m American, so I can say that. Also, in Swedish the months aren’t capitalized, some knowledge for you. Now, I haven’t played any tricks today (yet) but last year I played a pretty good one.

I posted as my status that I was moving back to the Greater Boston Area. Man, I thought to my self, I am hilarious. Apparently not everyone thought so. Once I outed that it was an April Fool’s joke people were not pleased. One friend in particular got pretty upset about it. Katie*, please accept another official apology, I did not set out to get your hopes up and then allow them to come crashing to the earth, although that may be what happened. I’m sorry.

*Name changed to protect identity, I always change
all the names on my blog. In case you didn’t already
know. May name may not even be Meredith. You’ll
never know. Another piece of knowledge for you.

Anywho, last year my boss played a pretty good April Fool’s joke. She sent an e-mail saying the head of the school had told her that we were going to professionally ventilate two wings of the pre-school. Therefore we would need to vacate the premises between noon and 5pm Monday through Thursday. We would need to relocate about 80 children. For five hours. I remember reading the e-mail, laughing out loud, and then replying that I would be on vacation, so my colleagues would have to make the call on what to do. I totally bought it. And I was totally ecstatic I would not be there. They have a word for that in Swedish: skadeglädje, which basically means thinking things are funny when harm is done to others. Turns out the wings did not need to be professionally ventilated, and my colleagues were not forced to vacate the building. Too bad.

ClosedThis year the headmistresses went on vacation, so no alarming e-mail in our in boxes. I was thinking we should have closed the pre-school today. As a joke of course. To pull one over on them for a change. But realized the back-lash on that one would have been pretty big. I’m also not convinced I could have gotten my colleagues in on it.

Although today hasn’t been a very tricky one for me, you all should definitely keep your eyes peeled.

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liseberg

I don’t know if you heard. But there was a woman who fell out of the tallest wood-steel roller coaster, at six flags Texas.

Last year I feel like there was also an incident where someone fell out of a roller coaster. Maybe it was the year before that.

This is clearly terrible news. But, aside from freaking me out a bit at the time, it hasn’t really affected me in the long run.

Yes, this means I’ve been to amusement parks the past few summers in a row. I’m not sure what that says about my intelligence. But, I’ve always gone before these accidents have happened…and not to the same exact park. Helps?

Liseberg day

Anyway, two summers ago I made my first ever trip to Liseberg in Gothenburg (Göteborg for all you Scandinavians out there). Evelina got train tickets and tickets to the park for me for my birthday. I was thrilled. Because a) I love amusement parks and b) they had just opened the highest free fall roller coaster in Europe. It’s name is AtmosFear (the cunningness of which is reason in and of itself to ride the ride – if you ask me). It’s 146 meters above sea level, and drops you at 110 km/h. Yeah I had no idea what that meant either. That’s 482 feet above sea level, or about 2/3rds of the way around 1 lap on your average track. At 87 miles/hr, or fast enough to get you a killer of a speeding ticket on a state highway. Not bad I say, not bad.

AtmosFear

Gothenburg is a beautiful city, and catching the view of it from the top of AtmosFear is certainly worth it. Unless you’re terrified of heights. This may not need to be said, but: don’t ride the ride if heights terrify you.

But summer fun isn’t the only thing that Liseberg has to offer.

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During the winter months Liseberg becomes a spectacular winter wonderland. No, the rides are not operational, something about whipping around at 100km/h when it’s -10 degrees Celsius just doesn’t add up. What they do have to offer is a Julmarknad, or Christmas market. They also have a charming Christmas atmosphere to offer. And really that’s the best part. No, I’m not being extremely sarcastic, so don’t read it like that. What’s even better than the best part is going there with great company. (Still serious.)

Julmarknad

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