Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ugly Truth

I took off for the movies on my own the other night - and decided on a chick flick. The Ugly Truth had just been released so I picked up tickets for that one. I had really no idea what movie it was - but funny enough, it takes place in Sacramento. Nice! Not really sure exactly where they shot all the outdoor scenes - but judging by them, this is a pretty nice place to live.

The movie thrived on male-female stereotypes and under the belt jokes. There were some points where I had to look around and see if the more prudish Americans would be laughing...

Oh, well, it was a nice evening out and nice to get some areal footage of Sacramento.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


One thing that fascinates me when reading the morning paper is the obituaries. The are presented under a section called Remembrances and each person deceased is presented with a photo and a short story, where they were born, what they have been doing in their life and who will miss them. This usually takes up a full spread and you can read some fascinating stories there. Sure, you can find obituaries in Swedish newspapers too, but they are more rare. In the major newspapers, it's usually more short notices, a symbol, the name and family members' names. They're more of an "announcement" compared to these small life stories.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back to work

After almost two months away, working in Sweden and vacationing both in Sweden and here - I'm back at my desk in California, trying to remember how run my desktop after weeks of using my laptop. I opened my calender the first time in weeks and Outlook took a long time to download all messages from late June.

But summer is far from over - the heat is still on - and will be for a couple of months to go. I can head off to the pool after work or enjoy the warm evenings outside - despite being back on my "fall schedule". And for another couple of weeks most people at work will still be away. Summer holidays are long in Sweden - even though the sunny days are few.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Swedish books in American press

A week ago the Swedish book "Grabben i graven bredvid" by Katarina Mazetti was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly. The title translated to "Benny & Shrimp" (for those of you who read the book in Swedish you know that the female character is called "Räkan" i.e. "Shrimp").

"Here is a romance novel for the hip and smart - a zingy, gently, funny ode to sex and love and the emotional awakening of a self contained man and a woman", the reviewer wrote. The book got a A-, which is a pretty good grade. Maybe I have to read it again... Or watch the movie I'm pretty sure is in my Swedish DVD library. Must have been over 10 years since I read the book. I really like the fact that it might become a hit here - always nice to see Swedish authors at Borders.

This week, the second book in the Swedish author Stieg Larson's trilogy, "Flickan som lekte med elden", title translated to "The Girl Who Played With Fire" got a full page in Entertainment Weekly. The book got a B-.

Great month for Swedish authors in the US!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apollo 40 years ago

There is something about the Apollo adventure that has fascinate me the last decade or so. I have a bookshelf with books and DVDs and have read most of the astronauts memories. On Monday, July 20, it's been 40 years since those first steps on the moon and this anniversary is being noted a lot at least here in the US. The book stores are filled with books on Apollo and the moon adventure, the news sites have special Apollo coverage and the science and history channels show programs.

One of the cool websites on this is the We Choose the Moon website, by the John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum - where you can follow the Apollo 11 mission second by second - hearing the live transmissions etc.

Pretty cool. If you're an Apollo nerd...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Michael Jackson R.I.P

Michael Jackson was part of my childhood and him passing was sad news. It sure was an icon disappeared. I was in Stockholm when the news came, an early morning right before leaving the island for downtown. The next few days I followed the news and I had the chance to catch the memorial in Los Angeles live on TV once back in California. I've gone through my mp3 library and made a Michael Jackson playlist, each song bringing back memories....

Last week a dance group in Stockholm organized a street tribute to him, I saw the video clips on different news sites and on YouTube. They've put together their own "official" video - from two of the events the same day. You get a glimpse of Stockholm - and the changing weather. OK weather at midday, then pouring rain by night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mini vacation to the coast

After resting, sleeping off the jetlag, getting the son a twin size bed making night time rearrangements a bit easier, we packed up the car and headed out to the coast.

There is nothing as soothing as the sound of waves and the smell of the ocean. The weather in Monterey, a mere 3,5 hour car trip away from us, was nice and cool (compared to our glaring heat) and we enjoyed the beach and the aquarium.

These are the times when I love living in California - to have all this so close by, so easy to get to.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


After five weeks of being on top of things, trying to stay ahead, and at the same time not being home but far away, I have realized I'm pretty exhausted. Taking the kids across the world and back, is hard work. Not ever getting to sleep through the night isn't really helping the situation and when the Husband got down with the stomach flu when we got back, didn't really help either.

I need a vacation from vacation and need to find a shady, quiet place with a comfy chair with a good book and spend a couple of days alone to regain some energy...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Things I will miss and things I enjoy

Things I will miss from Sweden: magazines! I'm not sure why there is such a difference - but I just love Swedish magazines. I bought them by the dozen when in Sweden. It's not the language... it's just different... more features, more articles... Most women's magazine over here are pure fashion oriented with few features.

Things I enjoy in the US: milk in one gallon jugs! After five weeks with one litre tetras I LOVE being back to our big one gallon jugs, knowing I can pour myself a big glass of milk and not emptying out the stock and these days I actually prefer the American milk taste (yes, they do really differ).

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

This year's 4th of July was a quiet affair. The house was full of jetlagged people - so we just hung out in the backyard, barbecuing and just enjoying being back.

I had ordered t-shirts for the kids from my favorite t-shirt store, Life is Good, and we took pictures of the kids in front of the flag, like we do every year. That was about what we had energy for. I was sound asleep before the neighbor started the firework crackers on the street outside.

Speaking about the flag - when we checked out our hotel room at Arlanda Sky City, we had a view over the shopping area where they have a flag "wall". We happened to have our room right above the American flag. My daughter happily turned around and told me - "Look mom, there it is, our flag"...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Lufthansa with kids

For the first time I flew Lufthansa with the kids. Our "usual" route with SAS through Chicago is out due to the cancelling of connecting flights from O'Hare. That means an 11 hour flight on a jumbo from Frankfurt to San Francisco - and then a car trip for about 2 hours. If there is no traffic... (we arrived the day before the 4th of July weekend - and the Daughter got car sick - it took us over 4 hour in the car to get home from the airport...).

The Lufthansa flight has no in flight system. They show two movies on the cabin TV screens. Two movies on an 11 hour flight. I was prepared with my own entertainment - bringing my netbook loaded with kids' movies and shows. Only to get blue screen and demand for the boot CD. With 5 hours to go.

The kids' meal that was served smelled so bad that the Daughter got nauseous (it was three "purees" and one big cold (?) meat ball). Luckily enough the food I got was edible so I divided it among the kids to eat. The hour between 6 pm and 7 pm (Swedish time - you arrive in San Francisco at 12 noon, 9 pm Swedish time) was the slowest hour I've ever, ever experienced. The kids did good- it was just their personal entertainer - oups, I mean mom, that was exhausted...

Oh, well. It's going to be another year before I do this again - and by then I will have forgotten all about it... hopefully...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Time to go home

It's finally time to pack up and head home to California. Five suitcases need to be closed. The last night I'm spending at Arlanda Sky City - our plane leaves at 6 am and every hour you can save before the long trip is valuable.

I sure will miss the wonderful Stockholm I've seen the last two weeks, but I can't wait to get back to my house, my world, my routines - and my Husband. Even though these weeks are extremely important for the kids, and each minute they get to spend in Sweden, meeting family, speaking Swedish, experiencing Swedish culture is crucial, it has a price. Family means team work and after five weeks I can't wait to be reunited all of us together again. Being alone, living out of suitcases, living as guests, moving places is hard work.

First I just have to deal with the looooooong trip back home.