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.

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