Friday, September 30, 2005

Stereo Total Concert - Supercool

Today I am just going to lie around the house all day. Yesterday was just too much for me.

I woke up at eight a.m. and did a little IT work for my only client. Then went to a job interview for an English teaching position, taught a lesson to my only remaining student, took the final test in my Introductory Swedish class, and then went out drinking for seven hours, including three or four hours at a Stereo Total concert.

The job interview didn't go so well. The American woman who interviewed me was a fairly attractive mid forties woman from Florida with borderline boofy hair. The school has branch offices all over Sweden and teaches mainly to professionals. I told her my background in EFL, business and IT, as well as mentioning my vision to create an EFL eLearning software package for the IT industry ( As I went on, she became concerned that I might be competition for the school itself and that I would steal their clients. That didn't make much sense to me. I am not 100% morally above doing such a bad thing... but that would mean showing an enterprising spirit, having good PM skills, a sense of dedication, and follow-through... which I certainly do not have outside the world of programming. The words she used were, "It's a competitive world out there..."

I didn't know how to react to that. Now if she had accused me of potentially not preparing lesson plans in time for a client because of playing Grand Theft Auto, drinking too much the night before, going temporarily insane, or something remotely believable, I might have conceded the point. But really: me stealing the clients and opening a competing business in Sweden about as likely as George Bush turning out to be a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

After that fiasco, it was on to my English lesson, where my last remaining student, Pedro, told me he was going back to Spain for a few weeks and that when he came back to Sweden he was going to enrol in proper classes at the Folksuniversitet. Shit.

Then it was on to my Swedish test. I aced it, except for the past tense questions and the word endings. At some point in my career as a student of Swedish, I made an unconscious decision not to pay any attention to them. After all, tense is meant to show time, and time is just an illusion caused by the decay of matter. And as for word endings in Swedish, if you slur them enough they all sound the same anyway. However, it's not as easy to write them as ambiguously as it is to pronounce them. So I lost some points there.

After the test I skipped the remaining two hours of class and met Linda at a bar in Slussen for a couple pints before the Stereo Total concert at Mondo. They are a truly great pop punk band. I have a few of their albums but I haven't seen them live yet. They did not disappoint.

They played at Mondo, which is a pretty cool, small venue. Many Swedish buildings have a strange "high-school" institutional feel to them. At first you may think that's bad, but it really makes it even more fun, like getting drunk in high school in a bar designed by the crazy Art teacher.

Another interesting observation was the boy to girl ratio. Normally at shows in America, the UK, France, and other countries I've lived, the ratio is at least 60% guys. Here it was like 60% to 70% girls. Nothing wrong with being around a bunch of cool Swedish girls jumping up and down though.

We also met an American guy named Lewis from Texas, who is a chef working without papers in Stureplan. He is living with his artist girlfriend and trying to start a band. He definitely likes to drink so we hit it off well. Hopefully its a new drinking buddy before he gets kicked out by immigration.

After the concert, we hung out until 1 a.m. drinking and then went home and passed out drunk. Both of them had to work the next morning but I got to write this. I forgot to eat dinner again so I have a nasty hangover today even though I probably only had like 8 pints. But yet I wrote all of this down for some reason, probably because I love you. But now I need coffee... and I don't have the energy to edit this.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back from the Dead

Telia has come through and got the DSL modem hooked up. I feel like I've been in the Twilight Zone for the past month without Internet access. So in celebration here is a nice picture of beer and cigarettes from a bar in Sigtuna, one of the oldest towns in Sweden.

The new pad in Midsommerkransem is really coming together. It's arguably one of the nicest places I've lived. It's not exactly in the center of Stockholm, but there are cafes and bars and bakeries, and corner shops in the area, which makes it a lot better than the old place.

Linda's sister is back from Greece and that means more and better parties. Her boyfriend Philippos is likely to move here in November... which gives me someone cool to hang with. He's not really a drinker, more of a pot smoker, like I used to be 10 years ago. He's excited about moving from the south of Europe to the North. I am forever indebted to him for showing us such a good time on Samos. Moving, moving, moving. You gotta keep on moving in life or your feet get stuck in the mud.

So much has happened since the last post its hard to recap. I took pills and went insane for a week, got some new English students, started working on my second novel again, started listening to and really understanding Babyshambles, learned to program in Java, got a job programming an eLearning application for a legal firm, turned 35, got a nice birtday check from mama and papa (THANKS I NEEDED IT!) and more. Oh yeah, and my poor grandmother died, so that means only left grandparent left. They are definitely an endangered species. I didn't fly home for the funeral. Sorry, Pop-pop and the rest of the family. Not good. Not good. I am ashamed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hang Loose, Moose

Sorry about the lack of posts... between being sick, working, class, moving across town and thus not having Internet access at home... it´s been a tough couple weeks.

In the meantime please enjoy this picture of a moose.