Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
When I woke this morning, they showed Lucia as it traditionally is, early in the morning with candles. I took this picture of the program on TV. The Lucia is the girl with the crown of candles.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
I have dubbed this building The Good Death Star. It's called Globen in Swedish. It's where all the big bands play, hockey matches take place, and other large events take place. Today I did some grocery shopping on my way home. I like passing by it on the tunnelbana every morning. I've moved again, so I see it regularly. I hope the sight of it doesn't get old. It's also the same area where Hammarby plays home football.
Monday, November 5, 2007
For times like now, I prepared a mix of music with Chicago connections to get me through. Here's the list:
Chicago 6:05 Sufjan Stevens Illinois 11 11/5/07 6:08 PM Protected AAC audio file
Dear Chicago 2:13 Ryan Adams Demolition 3 11/5/07 6:10 PM MPEG audio file
Skyway 2:06 The Replacements Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?? The Best of The Replacements 1 11/5/07 6:13 PM MPEG audio file
Double Vision 3:37 The Ponys Turn The Lights Out 12 11/5/07 6:16 PM MPEG audio file
Chicago At Night 2:47 Spoon Girls Can Tell 6 11/5/07 6:19 PM MPEG audio file
Happy When It Rains 3:37 The Jesus & Mary Chain Darklands 7 11/5/07 6:23 PM MPEG audio file
The Fall Of Troy 3:01 Tom Waits Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards [Disc 2] 5 11/5/07 6:26 PM AAC audio file
Ballad of the Sin Eater 5:22 Ted Leo & The Pharmacists Hearts of Oak 13 11/5/07 6:31 PM MPEG audio file
Love & Communication 4:35 Cat Power The Greatest 13 11/5/07 6:36 PM MPEG audio file
We're from Barcelona 3:02 I'm From Barcelona Let Me Introduce My Friends 9 11/5/07 6:39 PM MPEG audio file
Pink Bullets 3:53 The Shins Chutes Too Narrow 1 2/10/07 10:59 PM MPEG audio file
Misunderstood 6:28 Wilco Being There [Disc 1] AAC audio file
Via Chicago 5:34 Wilco Summerteeth AAC audio file
Sunken Treasure 6:51 Wilco Being There [Disc 2] AAC audio file
It Takes Two 5:02 Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock Profilin' the Hits 9 10/12/07 7:42 AM Protected AAC audio file
Never Let Me Down 5:24 Kanye West Feat. Jay-Z & J. Ivy The College Dropout 1 7/4/07 12:43 PM MPEG audio file
Wolf Like Me 4:39 TV On The Radio Return To Cookie Mountain 7 7/4/07 12:48 PM MPEG audio file
I Will Refuse 4:23 Pailhead Trait 3 7/22/07 12:17 AM AAC audio file
Did I forget to mention that it's starting to get dark here really early? Yes, no shit, you're saying to yourself. That's what we've been telling you for months. It came as a shock to be finally packing up to leave school just before 4 pm to see that the light was nearly gone. They even have these silly lamps for sun light deprivation for more southerly folks like me at my school. I use one at my desk at times. I really helps! Who would have thought! Nevertheless, here's a photo and believe me when I saw it was darker than it looked:
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This is glögg for kids. It's a sort of Christmas soda with a very distinct taste. Today I even found some in "light," which is the diet form of a drink here in Sweden. I would imagine this would mix really, really well with Absolut Vanilla; although, I'm not pushing a particular brand name. If you are interested and live in the States, I'm quite sure you can pick some up at IKEA, and also Wickström's and Erickson's on Clark Street. Quite a unique sweet taste!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Here are some photos from the new locale (click on any or all of the photos to enlarge):
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I rode my bike today for what may be the last for some time. Soon after I took this snapshot, my pedal fell off again, further elucidating the fact that the my right crank (a Eno one-speed) continues to strip itself of threading. Ugh! I just bought these last spring for a good deal and felt lucky to have such a good brand of crank. Nevertheless, the shot shows the waterway between Solna, from where I'm moving, and Danderyd, a northern kommun where my school stands up on a hill. More on my new school later. Nevertheless, I do get to take in some of nature's beauty on the way to school. Once I move to Söder (the southern, inner-city island of Stockholm), I'll have a longer and less aesthetically pleasing ride. Tunnelbana here I come!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Here it is.
Here's the write up for those who can read Swedish.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I quite often grow tired once the school year has gotten rolling and then I need some chill music to relax to. Some years ago it was the Swedish DJ J�sper Dahlb�ck. I happened across this at pitchforkmedia.com and it seems to fit the bill. I likehow the guitars are woven into the beats, licks almost like Pink Floyd at times.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
This song haunts with the beauty of "Pyramid Song" and I am now eagerly awaiting In Rainbows, the new Radiohead album to be downloaded (at your chosen price, for Christ's good will!) at inrainbows.com. In a rather adventuresome spirit, Radiohead has decided to release their album as a download first and allowing us buyers to pay what we think we should pay. I am quite sure the business world sees this as financial suicide, but I recognize it as a herald to the new age of partonship that once gave the poets a financial life on which to float while they wrote their great works, a la ancient Rome (and perhaps Greece, too?). And they created some good works back then, now didn't they.
A guy can dream a little, can't he?
Monday, October 1, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I turned around and took this snap shot because it's such an cool building and odd. Nonetheless, I go deep into the ground everyday that I commute via train and not cycle to work. It's got the deepest escalator in all of Stockholm.
The other day was one of those rainy days where you are happy to curl up with soup and a book. In my case, it was a cold sandwich and some lesson preparation. Not exactly ideal, but it worked.
Holy shit, these are good. They taste more like berry and less like fruity sugar. Go out and get yo self some or go on cheating yourself. The choice is yours.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Last Monday my new co-worker and football buddy Michaela and I got out for my second Hammarby match, this against another Stockholm team AIK. We stood on the correct side of Råsunda Stadion with the rest of the "away" fans, and I had a great time, learning and singing the songs and cheering along, even if my newly adopted team lost, again. I am starting to think they are the Cubs of Stockholm, well-loved but somehow lacking. But I have not lost faith!
This photo was taken at a particularly contentious moment. Since it was a derby, tensions remained high, especially after Hammarby showed so well in the opening minutes of the first half with a punishing strike. Too bad they couldn't keep up the punishment. Jävla AIK!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I was riding along the water, on the bike path that leads from northern Stockholm proper up into Sola, where I live, and what did I come across but... sheep! Yup, just about 150 meters from where I stay these sheep stood corraled in a pen, chewing away on everything within a neck's reach. The pen appeared to be part of a small petting zoo and playground. Kids in inner city Chicago could use some of these to get back to nature!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Over the weekend I walked the town here and there, basked in the sunshine and what the newspaper said was the last day of riksommar (real summer) and sure enough cool fall weather has set in. Time will tell whether or not I miss the Chicago heat, but right now I don't care. I come from a town of great modern architecture and on the whole, Chicago beats Chicago, but where Chicago has the new, Stockholm has the historical. The picture above shows Sergels Torg ("Sailor's Square"), a fascinating display of classic modern design. The chess-like floor creates an aesthetic of order that rolls out in all directions. The tower beyond the square is glass (I believe made by Orrefors, the glasbruk (a crystal maker from Småland, a southern provence). On the other hand, stadshuset (the photo to the right) where the Nobel ceremonies take place every December upholds tradition and stands as a symbol of the city and country.
Later in the weekend I spent some time soaking up the sun on a beach area a short ride from where I stay. At first the sun reached out one last time for the summer,
but in a flash, the rain charged in and I had to take cover, but soon enough the sun returned:
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
the pre-historic (Viking-style tattooing),
and everything else:
If it weren't so crowded I would have enjoyed taking more time to look at the work of others, but alas... It was. Good environment there. It took place on Södermalm, the part of town my grandfather grew up on. He came from a well-to-do family. As I left I wondered if he was looking down on me and approving or shaking his head.
I was wandering around Gamla Stan (Old Town) here in Stockholm a little over a year ago. I had certain experiences, rather mundane occurrences, that rippled up under my skin: a working class Swede doing his job on the street as a song that resembled Springsteen (perhaps Ulf Lundell) blared out into the open street; the cool morning air hung vaguely damp under a perfect blue sky; the wandering of the labyrinthine streets of old town; the heaviness of heart that frequently set in whenever I knew it was time to leave Sweden; and then, this song came on my iPod. Everything coalesced. A great sense of destiny made itself known, as a dream often has a sense of meaning without meaning anything in particular. This is why I am here.
The song is called "Ballad of the Sin Eaters" (despite the misprint on the intro reel to the recording), and it is by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I was lucky enough to see this particular performance and I do believe a good friend was able to listen vicariously through a voice mail I recorded when they played it. Nevertheless, there's a lot of me in there.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Since arriving here, I realized I would have to pick a team, as there are four teams in the Allsvenskan that are based in and around Stockholm. I thought about it some, read some team history, and settled on Hammarby, the traditionally work class team that locates itself in Södermalm, and since my grandfather Alf Thufvesson comes from Söder, it seemed right. They currently stand at the middle of the table currently, so it wasn't a case of picking the best team.
I figured a good derby (a match between two teams from the same city) would be a good place to start, since it would be heated and therefore extra fun and intense. That's exactly what Mike and I got. The match took place at Rådsunda, the stadium where the national teams play most of their matches, which is also a fifteen minute walk from where currently rent a room. Their opponents: Djurgården. Nevertheless, we decided to take the tunnelbana (Stockholm's "L" train), which turned out to be an event in itself. We got down to the station (it's like three stories down underground) and waited. The stop also serves as a place to change trains, and so, a huge crowd of drunken fans got off after a few minutes and waited to get on the train that leads to Råsunda, followed by a dozen of Stockholm's finest clad in full combat gear. The goons were every-so-swiftly cordoned off to the far end of the platform (click on the photo to get a larger view, where you can see in greater detail):
We soon realized that it would be quicker to hoof it to the stadium rather than wait for a train to pass that actually had room for us. Unfortunately by the time we arrived we were to too late to get up into our nose bleed seats because they lock down sections once the game has gotten started for crowd control purposes. Security reigns omnipresent, even if hooligans get a mircophone to get the crowds chanting (once again, click on the photo for more details):
As a result of our tardiness, we had to find a vacant place to stand, which ended up being immediately behind the goal:
What a view that was!
Unfortunately, when I purchased tickets for the wrong end of the field, where the Djurgården fans relentlessly sang, chanted and shit-talked Hammarby. Behind us stood an amry of blue (Djurgården). I didn't feel comfortable shouting for Hammarby with thousands of drunken fools shouting me down and breathing down my back. There was no getting to the other side to hang with the Hammarby fans, so we had to put up and shut up. Our team lost, despite looking better for most of the match. Next time we'll know! We won't be on the wrong side again.
Friday, August 10, 2007
The weather here has not outshined last summer here. No, scratch that. It's been competing with Seattle summers, really. I don't know if it's because I've been in such flux or because I haven't yet suffered the entire dark winter here like everybody else, but I haven't gotten down about it, at all. Here's a photo of the gloom from my balcony, which by the way, is a pretty nice balcony:
Thursday, August 9, 2007
(Sorry for the low quality photo. Camera phones, camera phones...)
I also found out yesterday that I will be traveling to Istanbul with my colleagues in a team building and curriculum development trip. I know, it almost sounds like a joke. The punchline: I don't pay for a thing. It's in December, so I'll be gone one week for that, then back a week to wrap up the semester, then back to the States for the holidays.
Hope all is well with everybody!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Here's a shot from our picnic place:
I cycled back down that hill and across town around ten p.m. when I took this shot from the bridge connecting Södermalm (literally "southern rock," which is a where I spent so much time growing up) with the southern outer ring of Stockholm where they live:
Friday, August 3, 2007
Park life in Stockholm attracts everybody. I've never been much of a park-goer, aside from one very nice afternoon under the new music shell a few years back with a special person and one afternoon I fell asleep grading papers early this summer in Wicker Park. Ok, wait... I've also played some fun pick-up soccer games lately, too. But anyways... I think I could get be a park regular here. They invite all into their loosely formalized dwellings with food and snacks (man, I love eating), statues, benches, grass/weeds (funny side note, weed is Swedish is ogräs, meaning nongrass) and flower beds.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Then there's the bulle (a type of cinamon roll) but this one has pistachio lining it and it's amazing, but costly at about a dollar and a half at most any 7-11 in Stockholm.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
After a great party with so many people I was happy came out to say good bye, as well as a delicious breakfast of blueberry pancakes with many of the same good, good friends, I made it down to Toyota Park with my dad to see the Chicago Fire outplay Celtic FC, the Scottish Champions, with a 1-1 result. The new player Blanco was to debut for the Fire, and he played so beautifully, tears almost welled in my eyes. Hope should now be simmering in the hearts of Chicago Fire fans. Nevertheless, I've had a great last day here in Chicago, and despite getting a bit lost in the revelry of the last 24 hours, I have to say that I feel very lucky to have all these great friends and family in my life. Believe me when I say that my only regret about moving is leaving so many good people behind. Having said that... come on over!