Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bestiality on the Rise

According to The Local, an English newspaper printed in Stockholm, bestitality is on the rise in Sweden. I find this to be a bit odd. I mean, with all the hot women here it seems bizarre. I would understand in other places, like Arabia, Wales (with all those sexy sheep), or New Jersey... but Sweden, come on now.

Apparently the ban on bestiality was lifted in 1944 along with the ban on homosexuality. And since then things have been taking off gangbusters. Same sex marriages are legal here now, however this doesn't extend to trans-species unions.

Curiously enough, the main concern in the article is that people are hurting the animals. At first I thought... no way is a normal man going to hurt a horse, but then Ingrid told me they often use a knife to cut the animals first (I can't imagine what for but she assures me it's common).

Until next time... remember if you are going to have sex with an animal, do it in Sweden where its legal. But don't do it in front of me. Because I will call the police on you anway.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Time to Get Serious(er)

Well I am over my jetlag and over my sickness and Monte is gone although the hangover still lingers. Now it's back to finding a job and learning more Swedish.

Thursday was drunken and Friday was insanely drunken. I can't remember what we did Thursday but Friday Linda Monte and I went to a museum, The National Museum, which is more or less free and features some great design from the past 100 years plus paintings from Northern Europe over the past 500 years.

Monte and myself really seemed to like the Bacchus & Ariadne paintings the best because they all show people drinking and fucking. Linda seemed to like the ones with horses but that's no surprise (not because she likes to fuck horses although she did marry me, ha ha).

That night we went on a "cheap beer crawl" which went from 4:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m. and ended up not being cheap but very fun and scary so who cares. I am still shuddering over some of the things that transpired.

Saturday night I was hungover as a mother and Linda and I went out to Drottningholm to have dinner with the King's neighbor. If you recall its where we stayed earlier... almost four weeks ago. It's the large white house that has been to two World's Fairs... Paris in 1886 and the one in Rio (I don't know when that was and am too lazy at the moment to Google it).

Before when we stayed on these same grounds, we stayed in the guest house so we never got inside the main house. Well its like a museum. There are ivory sculptures, Chinese cabinets, and other worldly artifacts, fanciful woodwork, a wine cellar stocked with up to 300 year old wine, and my favorite thing of all, a wireless internet connection.

The man, whose name I will not mention by name for fear of embarrassing him, was absolutely funny and cool for such a successful international businessman. He made jokes and told anecdotes that were actually funny, invited his own friends and neighbors to meet us, as if we special people, and tried to plan out the rest of our lives in Sweden by making suggesting where to buy property and how to avoid paying more than one's fair share of taxes.

For dinner we had champagne and beer and for the main course a Mongolian Beef Stew which is served in a large charcoal-fueled copper pot which is filled with water. When fuel is added at the bottom a jet of fire five feet high comes out the top and scares everyone at the table (everyone was a bit taken aback by the host's enthusiasm for this unique feature of the pot). Inside the pot everyone puts meat and veggies and kind of eats them after they are cooked like a fondue... and at the end you eat the soup that the pot makes. Yum.

After dinner we had coffee and ice cream and cookies and brandy and whiskey and talked until 1:00 a.m. Nobody could believe how late it was and he drove us home because the buses were closed and it was not too far. He is going to meet up with my dad in Washington next week and apparently they are good friends so I will probably see him again. My dad just got a new job as a board member of an international sugar corporation in London (he has been retired for 7 years and now he has like 5 jobs, mostly honorary positions, at 63 and I can't even find one job and I am 34) so he will be visiting us in Sweden a lot which means more visits to the King's Neighbor. In truth we were already invited back so I must have done something right.

But I am torn between living a slacker life and getting serious and getting another 9 to 5 and try to make some money. I have completed a novel which I think is publishable but nothing is happening, not that I am trying very hard for it to happen. I am about to finish another novel which I feel is better. And there is the book of short stories. I need to get an agent and then get published... so I can travel and drink and do readings and then I wouldn't need to hang out with my Dad's friends who have somehow mistaken me for a serious person. Although that would still be great. Ah, but I am rambling now... so until next time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hungover in Huvudsta: Part Två

Monte came back from Prague and we stayed in. I don't think he slept much in Prague. He said it was dirty and made him glad to come back to Sweden where everything is clean and people don't look at you like they want to rob you. The next morning we started drinking at 9 a.m. and then headed out to El Giganten electronics store to buy a certain DVD player which came with a free mountain bike which I being the cheap bastard that I am was going to give to Linda for her birthday present. Well she wants a bike, I reasoned, and and I want a DVD player so it all works out.

But like everything there is a catch. I used to be a bicycle affecianado and I can't buy her just any bike, it has to at least be something decent. The ad is short on the details of the bike so I haven't bought one yet because the store doesn't have them in yet. Monte noted that the salespeople looked in dread of the whole bike giveaway deal. That last thing they want, he noted, was to deal with 10,000 bicycles being shipped to the store on top of the usual retail hassles.

When I checked the store with Monte, the bicycles weren't in yet so its a bit of a stalemate. I was feeling paranoid in the place and I was afraid of having a panic attack and freaking out. Luckily I didn't. I had a whole host of irrational fears running through my head that I cannot explain. Monte and me pointed ourselves to the closest drinking establishment, a nice outdoor cafe in Medborgarplatsen and stayed there until 5:00 when the indoor pubs openened.

We hung out in the area because its where all the cheap drinks are. Cheap means between 5 and 7 bucks a beer mind you but at least there is none of "that tipping bollocks" (as an old Welsh mate called it) like in the USA. I justify it to myself to that every time you pay $7 for a beer you are putting kids through university and putting food on the table of old folks and subsidizing the Swedish welfare state. I am all for that, as I will soon be benefitting from it, especially if I keep up my drinking.

Monte and I hit some pubs in the Slussen area, inlcuding a disappointing O'Leary's Boston Pub that I was hoping would be showing some American sports but only had lame Champions League football like the British and Irish pubs. The guy that started the pub wasn't even American, he was a Swede who married a yank back in the 80's and decided to capitalize on it. The place was filled with Boston sports memorabilia (8 million kronors worth apparently) but the beers (Sam Adams in bottles for 36 kronors) were cheap although the atmosphere was a bit corporate and we are not that corporate (especially when we've been drinking all day)so we went to Kellys for shots, beers, and dinner and then to Stringfellows in Saint Eriksplan for a final beer before washing down with a Lapin Kulta at 7-11 before coming home and passing out.

Today I went shopping at H&M since it was there Spring sale and some cool Winter stuff was now on sale (its still freezing here if you ask me... spring or no). Then I went to sign up for Swedish Immigration classes. I love the idea of being an immigrant. How cool. I hope when I have kids and they find out they are children of an immigrant they don't get alientated and turn out to be crack dealing vandals that tag the Tunnelbahn with indeciperable scribblings.

More drinking to come...

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's 10:34 am and I am listening to 2-Pac. I don't know why. I am not really a hip hop fan but I admit I like to listen to it sometimes. It seems weird to sit with my morning coffee in Stockholm listening to songs about drive-bys and brothers converting to Islam and skeezers and bopping to all those slow bumpy bass lines. I have about 2,000 albums in my mp3 collection and I like all of them, even 2-Pac.

The past week I have been hanging out with Monte in Stockholm. Last Friday he went off to Prague for the weekend and I went South for the weekend (Southern Sweden that is) to Jonkopping to visit the in-laws.

Monte and I had a great time taking the Tunnelban (Stockholm subway), walking around the city, sailing around the city (the subway passes work on the boats), and of course drinking on the docked boats and all the cheap bars we managed to find.

The cheapest bar was one called Kellys in Sodermalm, which is the south island of Stockholm (Stockholm is kind of like an archipelago). In Sweden people don't use apostrophes so if you want to say "Kelly's Bar" you would just say "Kellys Bar". This doesn't confuse them because you don't add an "s" to make things plural like in English.

Kelly's has 19 kronor ($2.80) bottles of Tuborg beer which is the cheapest in Stocholm. Salty licorice shots are also available for 19 kronors ($2.80). There is also a mandatory 15 kronor ($2.00) coat check so if you are on a extra small budget don't bring coat. There is a mini casino in the pub like in most Swedish bars. I am against gambling on principal, although I admit its probably a good way to make money to have gambling in a pub.

The theme of the bar is American, vaguely stereotypical, with steer heads hanging from the wall and old wagons and that sort of ghost town cowboy motif. The music in Kellys is Heavy Metal in nature and they play Guns in Roses, Metallica, and all the other hard rock hits of 15 years ago. I was never what you would call a heavy metal or hard rock fan, but I actually like the Guns and Roses a little... I can admit it now... they were like a bad auto accident you just had to look sometimes.

So I admit I am not building up Kellys very much. Did I mention the beer was the cheapest in Stockholm? When the dollar gets stronger or when I get a job I will probably find a new hangout but until then its a great place to enjoy drinking without worrying about the bank account. The fact that its the cheapest bar in Stockholm makes all the crazies come out and its easy to hook up there (Monte managed to find a very Swedish cutie there in less than 2 hours and went home with her).

I remember a comment he made to me while he was snuggling with Angelica at the table. Earlier in the day while we were walking around Stockholm I made a comment that I had a weird dream in which I called Tiger Woods on the phone to congratulate him on his winning his 6th Masters and ask him if he wants to go camping. This is weird because I am not a golfer, and I hate camping. The subconscious is a fucking mystery to me.

So Monte related to me when THIS HOT 20 YEAR OLD SWEDISH GIRL JUST SITS DOWN AT YOUR TABLE NEXT TO YOU AT A PUB AND ASKS IF YOU WANT TO COME HOME TO SLEEP WITH HER that is just as weird as dreaming of chatting up Tiger Woods about going camping. Of course it was me with the weird dream and Monte sleeping with the Swedish girl so some weirds are better than others. But I guess I have a Swedish girl of my own so fuck it. And come to think of it... so does Tiger Woods. So maybe the six of us should go camping after all. I hate sleeping outside but I bet Tiger Woods could buy us a nice RV, a couple eightballs, some Tuborg, and we could have a nice party.

Monte comes back from Prague today. I bet we'll end up back at Kellys tonight.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hungover in Huvudsta

Linda and I are settling into the pad in Huvudsta, a little residential neighborhood in Northwestern Stockhol. I don't think its hit me yet that I've moved over here for anything more than a vacation. Perhaps it will sink in soon. I've been sick so I've just been hanging around the pad reading Brothers Karamazov, taking long baths, and thanking God I am not at work back in Seattle. I was working long hours for mediocre pay and always arguing with my business partner over stupid shit that one of us did wrong. I am not cut out for the 9-5 grind I tell you and definitely not the 8 to 6 grind which is more typical nowadays on Bush's side of the Atlantic.

Which reminds me... Bush is not my President. I don't even know who my President is. In fact I don't think I have one any more. Wait, duh, I have a Prime Minister. Linda says his name is Göran Persson. No relation to Nina Persson of the Cardigans apparently.

Last night we went to a party hosted by Johan and Anna, two of my new friends. Johan is a tall thin phD student who looks like Bjorn Borg. Anna is of Bengali descent and I don't know what she does but she has been a friend of Linda's for some time.

Anyway, Johan informed me the other night that the Swedes are weekend warriors and normally stay sober in the weekdays and get really drunk on the weekends. I am going to try to do that too. I will stick to the beer on the weekdays anyway. I don't believe in weekend warrioring. It's against my religion (I'm an orthodox dipsomaniac).

I miss McCutcheon. Maybe I said this last time, but it bears repeating and I love to talk to him drunk and I hope he and Danielle stay together and have beautiful children and raise them in Austria so I am not the only cunt who lives in a cold European country. Then Lind and I can visit and we can all go skiing at Zell Am Zee and eat fondue and drink lager.

I miss my bro Lee too, and his 3 beautiful daughters who are my nieces. I hope to visit them often, because they live in Florida. I think the high here today was 45 degrees and everyone is talking about how warm it is. I didn't go outside at all. Linda went out for pizzas and sodas and we watched our Alan Partridge DVD which is one of the funniest things I haves seen. It stats Steve Coogan who played Tony Fucking Wilson in 24 Hour Party People (I think).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Stockholm Pad in Huvudsta

A lot has happened since the last post. We moved into our new studio apartment yesterday in Huvudsta, which is in the Northwest of Stockholm in an area called Solna. Our apartment is a little musty smelling because its in the basement but other than that its pretty sweet. The rent is about 4,000 Kronors per month which translates into about $570 per month. That's cheap even with the shitty exchange rate. Before Bush's idiotic Gulf War II, 4,000 Kronos was about $400.

We went shopping yesterday at (surprise surprise) IKEA and bought a bunch of new stuff for the apartment. I have a little cold and the new apartment isn’t helping while the dust settles. Since I can’t post these messages in real time (I don’t have access to an Internet connection except downtown at the café) so I must write them all down at home which is admittedly a little lame. It has been a month and one week since I had good reliable Internet access. I made Linda promise to call the broadband people today. Things should get back to normal soon. Thank God Linda is Swedish and not a Zulu princess or something. Living in Swaziland I bet they consider dial-up a luxury.

Also, I got a call from Monty from LA. He is coming to stay with us in Sweden to record some music. He has a website but I can't find the link at the moment. It will be fun to have someone to party with. I should be settled in by then.

I really liked the pad out in Drottningholm with all the castles and rich people, but its just not my scene. It's so nice to have our own place!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

On the Third Day God Created Jetlag...

It’s now the beginning of my third day in Sweden. I still have not found reliable Internet access so all my Swedish Sloth posts are going to run together. That’s okay however. I really miss the Internet. Norman Cook (Fat Boy Slim) once said that he never partied, drank, or did drugs on a vacation because that’s what he did everyday in his normal life. Makes sense. So on my vacation in Hawaii I too tried to drink less and use the Internet less.

It didn’t work too well. I drank as much as I normally do and sat in front of my computer for hours scanning the airwaves for a potential wireless network I could tap into. Fruitlessly, I tried to use my Dad’s dial-up account, but after 10 years of using broadband (yes I have had broadband for most of 10 years now) using dial-up seems like something out of the 70’s along with Jiffy-Pop popcorn and TV dinners. Call me impatient, but when it takes 20 seconds for a page to load and the damn connection hangs or freezes every 5 minutes that’s not the Internet, that’s the Internot.

Today is a party in Linda and my honor. The family is up from the South and we will celebrate in the Swedish tradition by drinking and eating too much. Fine by me. I wish I wasn't so goddammed jetlag so I could enjoy it.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Stockholm! Wow.

Vi ar in Stockholm nu! (We are in Stockholm now)

Actually we are staying in Dronningham with a friend of the family. They live in a large white wooden house just a few hundred meters from the King’s castle. The house has been to two world’s fairs. I know that sounds weird. Not many houses are world travelers. This one went to the Paris World’s Fair is 1962 and the 1966 World’s Fair in Rio. It was the exhibit for the Swedish wood industry.

We are not staying in the traveling home however, we are staying in a one year old guest house on the edge of the property. There is no Playstation but an X-Box(!), a nice kitchen and a plenty of storage room. It is typically Swedish. Everything looks like it came from IKEA. I better get used to that.

We traveled to the city today to have lunch with Linda’s mother and grandmother. Linda’s grandmother is 85 and she is one of the reasons Linda was so motivated to move back to Sweden. The Swedes are very family oriented people. Linda loves her grandmother and talks on the phone with her for hours every month. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to my grandmother on the phone for more than 15 seconds. What would I say? Linda wants to be around for her. I think she looks healthy. She could easily last another ten years. It makes me wonder what I will look like at 85. Holy shit. That makes me want to save for retirement. A bottle of booze will cost $300 by then.