Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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looking back: 2015 resolutions

Did you realize I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? I did not. Not until now at least, as I’m looking over the past year.

It’s okay though, no need to fret. I’ve come up with something.

Celebrate!

Have you heard of the reverse bucket list? I hadn’t until recently, I stumbled upon this…blog? I think blog. Article? Probably not actually an article…Website? I’m really not sure. Anywho! The idea is that you create a list of, not awesome things you want to do – as you would a regular old bucket list, but a list of awesome things you’ve already done. As a way to celebrate the past, and realize how awesome you are.

Now, my wife would state (accurately) that I don’t need any help thinking I’m awesome, but I’m gonna go ahead and reverse bucket list my 2015.

  1. Ring in 2015 with great friends in Boston
  2. Compete in kvalserien
  3. Complete all the Swedish as a Second Language courses
  4. Attend summer weddings (Maegan & Joe and Max & Amelia)
  5. Get pregnant
  6. Rehab my shoulder injury
  7. Read a book a month
  8. Go to Paris
  9. Get accepted to university in Sweden
  10. Complete a year of PN coaching

I haven’t yet written about all of these events, though feel free to click on the ones in blue to read about those I have blogged about. And, don’t you worry, I plan to fill in the blanks. In the coming months you can read all about it.

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a resolutions update: follow up plan

Let’s get this post off and running by first calling attention to the fact that I have yet to share my 2015 New Year’s resolutions. Now that we’ve called attention to it, I’ll get back to that in a minute.

As I left you after my resolutions update in November, I was focusing on making a lasagna that Evelina likes as much as I do, and finishing my painting. I did make a lasagna. I did not paint a lasagna, or anything else for that matter.

First, let me tell you about the lasagna. Step one involved getting Evelina’s favorite meat sauce recipe. Ground beef, crushed tomatoes, yellow onion, salt & pepper. Not complex. I soaked my lasagna noodles in warm water with oil while making my sauce. I carefully layered sauce, noodle, sauce, noodle, sauce, noodle. Finishing with noodles on the top was strategic, as I coated the top layer with cheese. This top layer is then easily removed, because of Evelina’s distaste of cheese. Popped that bad boy in the oven, and waited for the complements.

Latest lasagna

The best I got, was that it wasn’t as bad as the last one. (Y’all remember my pastelon?) Thanks babe. I was then informed that Evelina’s mother’s meat sauce recipe is not in fact her favorite recipe. So the quest continues. I have one final plan, the plan to top all lasagna plans. Garfield would be impressed.

On to the painting:

painting?

This is the current state of my painting. So, yeah, painting is a generous term for this. But this leads me nicely into my New Year’s resolutions for this year. I’ll be continuing my tradition of carrying over my as-of-yet incomplete resolutions on to the upcoming year. Here you have them:

  1. Do a hand stand push up
  2. Paint a painting
  3. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do
  4. Do 5 things off Pintrest successfully
  5. Watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Seven Samurai

If you noticed that my “run a marathon” resolution was not carried over, kudos to you. It is still a long-term goal of mine, but in an attempt to be more realistic, I am not including it as a goal for 2015. Maybe 2017, 17 always has been my favorite number.

With one month of 2015 already behind us I’ll have to be sure to be particularly effective this year.

See you out there.

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a resolutions update

Guys, did you know 2014 is shortly coming to a close? We’ve got less than two months to go here. I learned this from listening to the radio. That’s the kind of good reporting going on here in Sweden.

Well, when I heard the news I realized that there’s not much time left to check off all the resolutions on my list of resolutions! Now, the marathon didn’t happen this May as planned. My hip just was not up to it, as you may recall from this post. That leaves lasagna, painting, reading and handstand push ups.

As you know I’m well on my way to getting the perfect lasagna recipe. Despite the pastelon attempt, I feel as though I’m right around the corner to finding the perfect combination.

I have made progress on my handstands. Check it out!

head stand

This is as far as I’ve gotten though. So it’ll be a while before I’m up on my hands, and a little while longer before I’m doing push ups in that position.

Reading has gone well! My book of the months for January, February, March, and May of this year complete my fourth resolution.

Last but certainly not least is my painting. Which hasn’t gone much farther than how it was looking this summer. So I’ll have to focus on this one before year’s end.

To sum it up, I’ll be cooking up a storm and painting the town red between now and New Year’s Eve.

Wish me luck!

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more movies: pulp fiction

I’m sure you all remember my New Years Resolutions for 2013. In case you’ve forgotten, and are now struck by curiosity, feel free to click here. I wanted to watch more movies, and I was semi successful at that. Although I did not write about it in 2013, I did watch Pulp Fiction with Evelina last year.

Pulp Fiction

picture found here

It was quite educational really.

What I learned from Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, and his top-notch cast:

  • They made some pretty bad ass movies in  1994
  • I now understand all jokes made about Quentin Tarantino
  • Samuel L. Jackson has now explained what a pilot is in perfectly understandable English – finally, I understand.
  • Burgers are a good breakfast food
  • You can buy a pack of cigarettes for $1.40 (in 1994, let’s be clear on that)
  • I realized I do not know how to do the twist
  • “Zed’s dead” is fun to say

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The movie was great, I definitely recommend it. Have you seen it? Did you find it equally as educational?

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my resolutions – in a timely manner

Alright guys, here it comes.

2014

Last year I was a little late on the uptake, and posted my New Year’s resolutions a full eleven days after New Years. Poor form. This year I’m totally on the ball. (I tell myself, it’s good to give positive reinforcement, especially to oneself.) My New Year’s resolutions read as follows:

  1. Find a lasagna recipe that Evelina likes as much as I do
  2. Paint a painting
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Read 4 books off of Francine Prose’s List of Books to be Read Immediately
  5. Do a handstand push up

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Let me explain. The avid readers out there will notice my first two resolutions mirror, almost exactly, my first two resolutions from last year. Let’s be honest, so many of us repeat New Year’s resolutions year after year without ever getting anywhere. (Unused gym membership anyone?) I’m putting a stop to all that. This year I’m getting it done. Certainly 1 & 2. I’m going to set a specific date for my accomplishments, and track my progress once I start. And I’m telling you all about it. You guys are gonna hold me accountable, right?

  1. Lasagna. That bad boy has got to be accomplished before the end of winter. That means by March 20th I will have completed this task.
  2. Paint a painting – as with children, there is just never a good time, you gotta jump right it, and learn how to swim on the fly. Don’t let my wandering metaphor confuse you. What I’m trying to say is although I may not feel like I have a ton of time for painting, I need to just set a date, and get things done. I’m going April 1st on this one. Not because this is a prank, but because I may be taking a trip in April, and I want this one done before then.

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Oh no, I’m not stopping there. Setting a specific date for your goals is an important part of seeing them through to completion. I’m gonna go ahead and do it for the last three resolutions as well.

  1. Marathon. In my list of things to do in Sweden (found by the header) I’ve mentioned the Asics Stockholm Marathon. That takes place May 31st this year. It’s time for me to get my run on. When you visit their website they’ve posted that today there are 149 days until the marathon. I’m now nauseous.
  2. Books – I have acquired over my years the following titles, which appear on Prose’s list: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In following my book of the month posts/goal I will read each one of these books during the following months:
    .          January: Moby Dick
    .          February: Franny & Zooey
    .          March: Little Women
    .          April: Bleak House
  3. Handstand push up. This one seems a little harder to set a date for. Seeing as it is on my 25 before 25 list…oh wait, all of my resolutions/goals are from that list. Funny how that happened. Any who! Seeing as it is on my 25 before 25 list, I will give this task a completion date of one day before my birthday. June 15th here we come.

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Looks like I’ve got a busy 6 months ahead of me. Check back in for periodic updates on how my resolutions are going. That’s not all! I’d also love to hear from you, have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

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achieve your financial dreams

I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know, and stalk over the Internet, have made resolutions involving money-saving. This is great, I say, I’m all for saving money.

money money money

more money

While banks and financial groups tend to release money-saving tips, or money spending don’ts this time of year, I feel I have something extra to bring to the table. So I want to share that with you. In my years, I have implemented quite a number of money-saving strategies, and I feel I have now been able to wade through the get-rich-quick schemes, and the save your way to millions ploys to deliver you what really works, in three simple to follow steps:

Tips on saving money for 2013:

  1. Cut up all your credit cards. The trick to saving money is to stop spending it. While you’re at it you should cut up your debit cards, and increase the security on your bank accounts so that it is required to take a week or more to withdraw any sum of cash. That’ll teach you.
  2. Minimize shopping, only buy the necessities. In today’s day and age marketing and advertising is just screaming for you to spend all your money and spend it now. In order to avoid temptation it’s probably best you never go outside. Or watch TV. Or read.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it. On the surface this may seem like the most difficult of the three tasks, but I think you’ll find without access to money and no temptation whatsoever to spend it, it’ll become wonderfully easy to follow the plan you lay out for yourself. In fact if you can survive never leaving your living space with an excruciatingly limited access to your funds this third task will be the easiest of them all!

Live long and prosper.

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because everyone else is doing it

and that’s always a good reason to do something.

2013 Resolutions:

1. Paint a painting.
2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do.
3. Make home-made macaroni and cheese.
4. Bake a rulltårta.
5. Watch more movies.

And yes, I did cheat. These are all off my 25 before 25 list. Seeing as most people plan on cheating on the completion of their resolutions I am fully okay with cheating on the creation of my resolution list.

Happy 2013.

2013