Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

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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




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


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


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2016 looking forward

As you know, I didn’t do any resolutions in 2015. Whether or not that was intentional or not is up for debate. Along with celebrating my accomplishments in 2015 I’d like to take the time now, at the beginning of this year, to do a retrospective.

I got the idea from Nate Green who runs a fun little blog over here. The idea is to focus on three questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What’s not working?
  3. How can I fix what’s not working for a better result?


With this in mind I’ll be focusing on my personal life in the following points.

I’ll take another look back over 2015 to figure out what is working:

  • I have a good idea of where I want to be going in 2016 and have laid the ground work in 2015 to get there
  • I’ve taken responsibility for my own health and happiness and work daily at these two things
  • I’ve had the chance to travel, and taken advantage of that chance

Now on to what’s not working. Personally, I choose to focus less on the negative and more on the positive, so I’m going to take this question to be instead what I hope to improve and/or what I’d like to be better at.

  • Strengthen the current relationships in my life
  • Refocus my eating habits
  • Continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty

So, how can I fix what’s not working for a better result?

  • Strengthening the current relationships in my life: My first thought on this one is less phone time. Phone  world is fun and entertaining but also a huge time suck. I’m going to research apps that track phone usage and will give a reminder/alert once I’ve reached a certain amount of phone time for that day.
  • Refocus my eating habits: Though I have yet to write my final posts about PN I’m going to use what I learned there and continue to improve my nutrition. First thoughts on this is more vegetables in my life. Mid PN journey I was eating vegetables at every meal consistently, I want to get back there and beyond.
  • Continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty: I’m going to print out my rehab schedule (up until now I’ve used a version on my phone). After each completed session I’m going to cross off the workout. I did this one summer and saw huge increases in my consistency, and consistency is key for rehab. (And any lasting change).

Nate recommends that you write for 15-30 minutes on the three questions found at the top of this post. I say write for as long as you like, until you feel you are done. Though this exercise probably isn’t meant to take hours on end, so keep that in mind.

I’ve also tried to give concrete actions that I can take in order to work towards my new goals/improve what’s not working as well. If you check out my answers to the third question you’ll notice three things that I can do (basically immediately) to get the ball rolling. To reiterate:

  1. Download phone time tracking app
  2. Buy vegetables for my fridge/freezer
  3. Print rehab schedule

What’s in store for the future? One thing is for sure, more sneak attacks!

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30 before 30 update

I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that I’ve actually posted all seven “upcoming” posts I enticed you with this past summer. Now, this isn’t fully a completion of number 14 on my 30 before 30 list, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction!

In keeping with the title of this post I’d also like to draw your attention to a few more semi-recent posts off my 30 before 30 list. Evelina and I got married, and then traveled to Iceland to celebrate. I finally found the perfect lasagna recipe that Evelina enjoys as much as I do, and while in the kitchen I cooked up a couple things off of Eggton’s blog. I’ve watched a number of movies in continuing to top off my 25 before 25 list. Pintrest has even inspired me to do it myself.

30 before 30 Update

Stay tuned for more, there’s a lot left to go before the big 3-0!



the 200th

Well here it is. Much sooner than I thought.

text graphic courtesy of WordPress

text graphic courtesy of WordPress

When I started out on this grand adventure, I never could have imagined what my blog would become. And now, only three months away from my three year anniversary, a lot has changed. Not only on the blog.

Since day one I’ve written 30 book of the month posts. (And read as many books!)

Since day one I’ve completed 17 things that I’ve always wanted to do. (Check out the 25 before 25 and 30 before 30 lists to read about them!)

Since day one some things have happened. I’ve learned a new language, I’ve travelled, I’ve made memories, and met people who are impossible to forget. I’ve used this blog to catalogue the great things. The adventures and smile bearing small moments.

There have been some bumps along the road, some that I’ve casually mentioned, but I try not to dwell. I do hope you fabulous readers do know that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I do prefer to highlight the good though. Positivity builds on itself to create more good. So when I’m down I can pick myself back up by taking a little peek at my own corner of the internet. It usually works.

Let’s start a tradition then, and focus on the good, like how many different places in the world my blog has poked it’s nose into your lives.

Stats 200

statistics courtesy of WordPress

That’s 75 countries y’all. How many views does your country have?

I hope you enjoy what you see.




do you remember

Do you guys remember my first blog post ever? I certainly do. (And if you can’t be troubled to click that little link and read up you’ll get the gist of it anyway.) Not to say I can predict the future, but I totally can.

What did I say in that first post ever? That I didn’t want this to turn into 10th grade English class? Well, it has, my friends, it has. I am both behind on my reading and my writing. Although this time it is all self-inflicted, it seems to matter all the same.

Side bar: Does this mean I actually enjoyed 10th grade English…if I keep bringing myself back there…? What would Freud say?

Anywho. What I feared would happen has happened. I have promised many a promise and post, and have yet to deliver. I’m here today to tell you about ALL of the posts I’ve said I’d post. (And haven’t yet.) In list form of course, I love lists. I’m going to Tarentino this bad boy and start at the end…which is really the beginning:

Let’s start with 2012:
In a post entitled things i’ve been up to I’ve listed a list of things I had been up to (as my listy list suggests) the following is what has yet to be written about.

  1. Celebrating birthdays
  2. Visiting Spain part 3
  3. Last week at my job
  4. Working out
  5. Gardening
  6. Trying out DIY stuff off of Pintrest
  7. Germinating lemon seeds, trying to grow avocado and hoping my pineapple bush won’t die
  8. Riding motorcycles

Moving on to 2013:
If you check out my book of the month list for 2013 you’ll notice a few things. First, both June and August have yet to be posted. These are now, seriously, delayed. If you were to start clicking on some of the links you would notice a couple rather incomplete posts. These are the, soon to be more complete, BOTMs coming to a screen near you:

  1. February – Läroplan för förskolan Lpfö 98 by Skolverket
  2. April – Godnatt, Alfons Åberg by Gunilla Bergström
  3. June – The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  4. August – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

In October I mentioned my own personal troubles getting on SJ trains, and promised a future story.

Also in 2013 I made five New Year’s resolutions. Two have yet to be completed:

  1. Paint a painting
  2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina likes as much as I do

Finally, 2014:
A trend has started, and I have yet to post the following BOTMs for 2014.

  1. March – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. April – The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

In January I talked about throwing a sun party, if you’re curious how that went, stay tuned.
In March
I mentioned lördagsgodis, a future explanation is clearly on its way.

I also wrote a post only a few weeks ago expressing my regrets in my absence from writing. There I listed the following future posts.

  1. Wrapping up my Swedish as a Second Language course
  2. Running like a mad woman
  3. Travelling across the Atlantic
  4. Hosting a friend
  5. Party planning
  6. Taking my driver’s test
  7. The end of the school year

As I’m sure you realize, this is quite the list, but it actually doesn’t include it all. I will also be updating previous posts, and editing and fine tuning what needs to be edited and fine tuned. If you like math you will see that this totals 26 up and coming posts.

This whole idea, posting all of the things I’ve said I’d write about, can be found on my 30 before 30 list, number 14. I know I’ve been talking about this for a year, but I feel new motivation coming on. When I’ve posted all these posts I’m hoping my blog will have a more complete and cohesive feel. That I can actually pretend that I have a bit of focus and thought behind what I do. I like pretending.



the godfather: part ii

As you know, my brother was here to visit early this year. As wonderful and kind as my brother is, he was glad to help me complete some of my 25 before 25 goals. By watching movies with me. I know, what a good guy.

picture found here

picture found here

The first of a number of movies we watched while Ryan was visiting was The Godfather 2. Evelina and I had just recently watched the first installment, and we were itching to see more of young Al Pacino. (Understandably.)
The Godfather 2 is an exceptional movie, and comes highly recommended. The things I learned from this movie, I feel, are applicable to other life situations, so I feel it is my duty to share what I have learned with you. (Spoiler alert – stop reading now if you have not seen the movie.)
  • If you beg to Don Ciccio he will shoot you – don’t beg
  • You can get by in New York City only speaking Italian – if I were to learn Italian, I wouldn’t need to speak English in NYC!
  • Vito Corleone never forgets – this may not be applicable outside of the world of The Godfather, but it begs repeating
  • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – this age-old adage clearly came from this movie – #wisdom
Luckily for us there’s an actual built in intermission in this movie. We had come prepared with lots of snacks and drinks beforehand, but the intermission was well received as high time for a bathroom break.
Good times. Good movie watching fun times.

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i have a plan

Time to dust off the tools.

Time to dust off the tools.


I have a plan. A plan for the future.

The future of my painting. As mentioned in my 25 before 25 list, and my New Year’s resolutions, I want to paint a painting. I haven’t painted for a long time, and this summer Evelina bought me canvases for my birthday. It’s really just a matter of time.

The plan started out in my head with an idea, which I slowly developed, after lots of pondering. Pondering is a key first step in painting. Now I’m ready to make it a reality. But first I’m going to draw my painting. A little.

Let me explain. I’m going to sketch onto the canvas the basic idea of what I want my painting to be. I’ve managed to bring my easel and paints across the vast Atlantic, so my tools are waiting. I already know what my painting will be called. But that’s going to remain a secret a while longer.

Stay tuned for pictures.




book of november: wuthering heights

This book has been on my “to read” list pretty much since I was 10 and my mother bought me a copy. Probably for one of those gift giving holidays. Or the tooth fairy brought it. (Yes, the tooth fairy actually brought me books. Yes, I do know the tooth fairy is real, and you cannot convince me otherwise. How else would I have the book?)


When a book remains on the “to read” list for that long, it usually means it’s not my style. Not a book I can really get in to, and after all these years have avoided reading. What a surprise it was to read this book. I was immediately enthralled in Brontë’s world and writing style, which made this one an exciting read.

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is just what’s in order to get through the long fall nights. This book comes highly recommended by me. And Francine Prose. Check this one off the list!


seems like i might know this stuff…

A goal of mine, on my 25 before 25 list, is to learn Swedish. Thus far I’ve discussed how I will forever and always have an accent in Swedish, or at least that’s my outlook at the moment. I’ve shared my joy in how I actually understood a store clerk.

Now it’s time for an update on my mad Swedish skills. At least I hope they’re mad skills. I’ve started with the class Swedish as a Second Language 1. In this class we’re reading two books. One is a text-book that we read excerpts of (and is surprisingly well written). The other is a novel. Which will be the first official book I have read in Swedish. Craziness.



SAS 1 is the first of three high school level classes in Swedish. The third one is apparently optional. This means I could possibly be done studying Swedish FOREVER come next summer. Craziness. I might opt to take the optional class, seeing as I am not a native speaker, and the more Swedish learnin’ I get the better. But we shall see. It may be time to move on to bigger and better things at that point.

Time will tell. signature

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listen to your calendar

Do you know what I always say?

Listen to your calendar.

Do what your calendar tells you to do.

For instance last week, I had forgotten I needed to immediately bike to the ServiceCenter to sign up for an online Swedish class after work. Unfortunately I had made plans with my Evelina for that afternoon after work. But, it was really the only time in the next three weeks that I was able to go there to sign up for my class. When I got off work and saw the calendar alert on my phone, I was jarred away from my pleasant daydreaming of my pleasant afternoon plans. Stupid calendar. Stupid phone. It REALLY was the only chance I had to sign up. So bike away I did. It was the right choice. (Despite my now lack of pleasantness.)

People: listen to your calendar. Your calendar knows best.

Luckily today is a fun day to listen to my calendar. Why? You ask. Because this is what my calendar told me to do this morning: today august 15 So eat chocolate for breakfast I did. It was beautiful. It looked a lot like this: chocolate for breakfast I hope your calendar has equally as beautiful things for you to do today. signature