Sunday, March 20, 2011

På hästen

... which means, "on the horse."
JenniferWhile Joe's been 'enjoying' skiing (he still has visible bruises), I've doing doing a little physical therapy. As a part of that, I went out to a local(ish) riding school to try out horseback riding. I have sat up on a horse a few times before in my life — when I lived in Stevensville (9 and younger), the people behind us had a pony and a horse, and the neighbor kids and I would just hop up on one sometimes, and ride around the paddock bareback (we weren't supposed to do it, so don't tell my parents...). And I remember taking a long trail ride in Colorado once, probably also before I was 10.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Works in Theory

JoeI think everyone is a little over-anxious for spring now. This morning, Jennifer opted to wear her "spring time in Sweden" shoes—a pair of black leather walking shoes, good for getting rained on, but not for walking on ice—so naturally we got three inches of fresh snow fall this afternoon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Doktorand Who Tried Skiing

Every Whom
Down in Whom-Vale
Liked Skiing a lot…

But the Doktorand,
Who lived 500 km southwest of Whom-Vale,
Thought down hill was rot!

The Doktorand hated down hill! The whole downward direction!
If you want to know why, it won't take much detection:
It could be that his poles didn't function quite right,
It could be, perhaps, that he was skiing at night;
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that it always led him to fall.

Whatever the reason,
His poles or his skis,
(Or the bruises that covered his hands and knees)
He sat there on Sunday Eve, hating the hills,
Gulping glasses of water with his painkiller pills.
For he knew every Whom around Whom-Vale, you see,
Was busy now, planning their Monday morn ski.

"And the bars are closed!" he snarled with a sneer.
"I've been out skiing! I want a cold beer!"
Then he growled, with his Doktorand fingers rapidly typing,
"The internet isn't even fast enough for skyping!"
But, tomorrow, he knew…

…All the IT department girls and boys
Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for the slopes!
And then! Oh, the skiing! Oh, the skiing! Skiing! Skiing!

To be continued…

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hat? What hat? I don't have a hat.

JoeI suppose that the national honor is safe once more, as the Swede who won last year's Vasaloppet has just now managed to win it again, beating a Norwegian (who had steadfastly refused to share the lead all day) by less than a second after a 90 km slog. Update: actually, the rude guy turns out to have been a Czech. The best Norwegian placed fourth.

So how does that leave the modern state of Swedo-Nordic relations? Allow me to give a brief survey of yesterday's Expressen newspaper by way of illustration. The headline was "Nya Skymfen Mot Sverige: Northugs Hån På Mållinjen" beneath a picture of the incident itself, complete with an added speech bubble in which Northug insults the King, Björn Borg, and Ingemar Stenmark (he didn't actually have time for all that at the finish line, of course, so the verbal insults had to wait until he was interviewed on Norwegian tv a few minutes later). The front page of the sports section breaks down the five different ways that Northug insulted Sweden on Friday (including making a quip about the wife of a Swedish sports commentator). The coverage then continues for all of the next 8 pages, with second-by-second stills of "the insult."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I need a new hat

JoeI told my Swedish teacher my "Fel mossa!" story this week, and without hesitation he said, "Nu är det Ski-VM i Oslo och norrmännen är fienden…"

In the meanwhile, things have gotten much worse. Much, much worse. I assume everyone has been keeping up with the events unfolding in Oslo—how could you not, with the constant television coverage?—but in case you missed it, the end of the men's relay is worth watching. Petter Northug, (the Norwegian) is in red, Marcus Hellner (the Swede) in white; Northug's antics start just after he tops the last hill about 35 seconds in, but the real insult comes just after the 50 second mark.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

At least I looked a little Swedish

JenniferSo today marks a real milestone in my life: my first job interview for a non-academic position, and an interview held in a foreign language at that.

When I was offered to have a job interview with Livsmedelsverket, I had answered the phone and then set up the time in English. The potential boss, who called me, and who would be doing the interview along with three others, said that it would be okay for us to have the interview in English. But somehow, when I got there this morning and said hello and a few other words in Swedish to him, he decided that there was no reason not to do the whole thing in Swedish. "Men du får svara på engelska, det går bra," he said.