Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of august: othello

This summer I read many a book. 90% of them were children’s books under 20 pages long, so in my spare time it was great to sit down to a slightly more intellectual book. Othello is one of the classics, though I was never assigned to read it in school. Part of me is sad about this because I’ve missed out on class discussions and a teacher’s interpretations of the work. Yet, the more realistic part of me isn’t disappointed because I probably wouldn’t have read it then anyways.


If you haven’t read Othello, do. The plot is enjoyably dramatic, even if you already know the gist of it – it’s worth a full read through. Plus you get to experience what I assume to be one of the earliest uses of the word “holla” as well as the wonderful expression “light of brain”. Every part of me is excited to use that figure of speach as much as possible. I have absolutely no idea why “light of brain” has fallen out of use, as I personally have daily use for it. 

Enjoy fair readers!


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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 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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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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independence day

It’s here! The Fourth of July!

I love this holiday. Though for some reason I can’t fathom we don’t have the day off here in Sweden. I’ve written a letter to the local politician regarding the matter. I’m sure the positive response I’m waiting for is in the mail. While we wait let’s take a look back to last year’s celebratory activities.

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I hope your 4th is full of family, friends, food and fun!

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red sox vs. yankees

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Speaking of summary activities (see my memory lane series), this August my Dad and I caught a ball game together.

As you may have picked up on, I live in Sweden. I don’t know if you know this, but Sweden is not close to Boston. I mean relatively, it is close, when you take into consideration the expansive universe in its entirety. But it still takes me like 10 hours to get there door to door, so in my tiny human world, it’s far.

For Father’s Day 2015 I got us tickets to see the Red Sox play the Yankees in the major league baseball’s oldest ball park. Opening in 1912 Fenway Park….actually, you know what, you can Google Fenway park if you like, and this isn’t a public tour of the stadium. So back to the game.

The best road on Earth

My Dad is a die-hard Yankees fan, yet despite his best efforts his first-born was influenced heavily by the local atmosphere and became a Sox fan. This always ends in my embarrassment as we ride public transit in Boston and my father is fully decked out in Yankees gear. He has yet to be assaulted though, so that’s the up side.

Dad & Me

Play ball!!

Play ball!!

We enjoyed the evening thoroughly with good seats, great company and a little stadium food. Plus, with a 4-3 win for the Sox I was a very pleased Boston fan that evening. Though on the ride home my father became quite the surpuppa (as we say in Swedish). Surpuppa is not only a really fun word, but it translates to sourpuss, which is also a really fun word! Good times all around.

Mandatory Big Papi pic.

Mandatory Big Papi pic.

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memory lane: the royal castle

As my fifth and final installment of my memory lane series, please join me in the summer of 2011.

It was my first summer living in Sweden, and the Malloy clan crossed the pond to experience the Swedish good life. I say the good life because Sweden in the summer really is the good life, and there is no denying that.

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We visited the Royal Castle in Stockholm. Unfortunately we were not invited for tea with the royal family, but we did get to see their treasure. Before entering I forced asked my family in a charming and convincing way to pose for pictures with a guard. Now I didn’t test this, but the guards here are not like the guards in London, and they will assault you if you stand and yell in their face. Feel free to test that for me next time you swing by the castle.

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There are 3 museums in the royal castle, and since it was pretty rainy that day we gladly went in and saw the sights. We first entered some sort of cathedral. Upon further investigation, I now know that we first entered the royal church. A castle simply would not be complete without its own church.

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We then went on to the treasury museum and got to see all the jewels. Followed by a tour through some very intricate rooms. As you can see they have some pretty great art in the castle.

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Castle Art

Finally we went into the armory. You were allowed to try on the knight’s armor. My brother wasn’t breaking any rules. We think.

Ryan in the armory

Tyler in the armory

The very last thing was to catch a ride home.

My ride

It was good fun exploring the castle. Now I just want to do it at night when no one knows I’m there. Like a ninja in the night. Now that I’m a citizen they can’t throw me out of Sweden for “breaking the law”, so it’s totally fine.

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memory lane: the fourth of july

Won’t you take a walk with me? A stroll down memory lane?

In 2013 my littlest brother graduated high school, and I crossed the Atlantic to celebrate with him and my family. I like to call him my littlest brother because I used to make a habit of leaning on his shoulder. You see his shoulder was at the perfect elbow height for leaning. But we’re going to take a left at this fork in the road and continue our stroll along memory lane in the direction of the Fourth of July 2013.

Evelina and I travelled together across the Atlantic this time, and celebrated the Fourth of July on Lake Winnipesaukee. Celebrating the fourth at the lake is always awesome. There are fireworks, boat rides, water skiing, lobster, and volleyball. It’s basically a weekend of fun, no matter what. Yes, even if the Fourth isn’t on a weekend, it still feels like a weekend.

The Lake

Side Bar: That July we were actually even in Canada for Canada Day.
Which I don’t really know anything about, so let’s get back to the Fourth.

Evelina and I started the day by spending the morning at Fenway Park watching my most favorite baseball team.

Fenway 2013

Sox game

We then high tailed it up to the lake in time for fireworks.

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The next day I managed to convince Evelina to try water skiing, and it went wonderfully. The rest of the weekend was full of swimming, ping-pong and puzzling.

Water skiing

Wakeboarding

Fun in the sun

Until next time!

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memory lane: nj summers

As I was saying in one of my recent posts, it sure is nice to reminisce on sunnier and warmer times come fall. With that in mind I’ve decided to do a series of five posts within which I invite you to join me on a stroll down memory lane.

When we were young my parents would take my brothers and I on a trip down to the Jersey shore once a summer. If you’ve seen the reality TV show, yes, it is exactly like that in real life, especially when you’re 9.

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We’d spend a week in a rented house by the beach along with my Dad’s side of the family. I remember the weeks always being full of sunshine, mastering the boogie board, sand sticking to every part of me, and chasing down the ice cream truck realizing at the last-minute that yes, yes we did want ice cream.

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One summer after a day of gallivanting across the sandy beach and fighting through crashing waves, my cousins and I were wrapped up in our towels, freezing, as the sun began to sink. None of us thinking to get more appropriate clothing for the dropping temperature. My cousins took this opportunity to convince me that Gatorade was made of people’s sweat.

To my credit, I did resist the lie for a long time. I really made my cousins work to convince me of this. Initially thinking my cousins were being ridiculous, and definitely pulling my leg. The thing was that they continued with such conviction that by the end of the sunset, I totally bought it. Gatorade had to be made from people’s sweat.

Though, not to my credit, this was before Gatorade started running their commercials with famous athletes sweating in color. If you think about it, Gatorade may owe my cousins millions of dollars for essentially coming up with their advertising campaign.

I don’t still think Gatorade is produced in a factory filled only with people running on treadmills with large collection tanks below them. Though I do prefer Powerade.

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