Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Christmas - Not

One of my pet peeves is people saying, "When are you going on holiday?" In my mind it is impossible to go 'on holiday'.

Christmas is a 'holiday'.
Easter is a a 'holiday'.

When one stops working and goes somewhere because they are tired of working, that is called a 'break' or better still a 'vacation'.

What is my point? My point is that one cannot go 'on holiday', any more than one can go 'on Christmas' or 'on Easter'.

One can, however, go 'on vacation'.

And that's I intend to do for the next week. Thank you.

And while we're at it, one eats 'candy', not 'sweets'.

And one drinks 'soda', not 'fizzy drinks'.

Okay, now I am going to take a 'little blue pill with a V on it'.

Happy Christmas for real. Not not. I am drunk. I plan on staying this way after putting up with Swedes all month on their home turf. They are starting to get to me.

Plus Linda and I are upset because half our salary went to taxes this month. Merry Christmas. The government here is the living realization of Orwell's Big Brother. But there are people dying and people who can't afford alcohol. I think of those people a lot. And then get depressed and I drink and then I get mad again and want my taxes back. Let them die. I want to die a petty fool with my tax money in my hand. And if I died of a disease it wouldn't hurt so bad to be stolen from. The end. No merry Christmas for real. Only Brits say Happy Christmas and I am 100% Drunko Americano at this time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Swedes In Space

No, it's not the new Muppet movie, it's the news.

As if we didn't have enough of them on Earth, there are now for the first time swedes in outer space.

While this is not the least bit newsworthy outside Sweden, here it is like the biggest news of the year. The lucky guy is Christer Fuglesang, who has been telling everyone he was going into space for the past 16 years. So much so that it became kind of a national media joke.

Like every astronaut accomplishing a first, he got to make a speech. Fuglesang was quoted as saying: "Det är nog inte alla som förstår senaste fyra dagarna har varit helt otroliga. Jag vill tacka alla som hjälpt och stöttat."

For those of you who don't speak Swedish, that translates into: "It's rough up here. Space was not really made for Swedes. I went outside on a space walk and I couldn't find a single lingonberry or mushroom growing anywhere."

Friday, December 01, 2006

The New Cure For Winter Swedish Jetlag

Well I just spent two weeks in NYC and FLA visiting friends and relatives. Pictures soon. Great to see everyone again especially Mc, Kyle, Lee and my little nieces. They are the cutest things ever.

Now that I am back in Sweden I am JETLAGGED as a mf. I swear jetlag is like the bad part of being on drugs (not that I would know what that's like).

As a frequent trans-Atlantic traveler, I am often a victim of this disease. In the past I would just pop a few valiums (melatonin is a joke) but in Sweden there is no such thing as a connection, so finally I got around to looking up a cure on the Internet.

It said to stand outside in the sunlight. Gee. The author of that little gem obviously never spent a winter in Stockholm because I will have to wait until March to get some sunshine around here.

So it's off to the liquor store for me. Passing out is the Swedish Wintertime cure for jetlag.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lou Reed on Sweden

I'm scared in my own apartment. I'm scared 24 hours a day. But not necessarily in New York. I actually feel pretty comfortable in New York. I get scared like in Sweden. You know, it's ... kind of empty, they're all drunk. Everything works. You know, if you stop at a stop light and don't turn your engine off, people come over and talk to you about it. You go to the medicine cabinet and open it up and there will be a little poster saying: "In case of suicide - call..." You turn on the TV, there's an ear operation. These things scare me. New York? No."

- Lou Reed, "Blue in the Face"

Friday, October 20, 2006

Another Swedish Joke

A guy from America asked the girl from Sweden to dance. While they were dancing, he gives her a little squeeze, and says, "In America, we call this a hug". She replies, "Yaah, in Sveden, we call it a hug too."

A little later, he gives her a peck on the cheek, and says, "In America, we call this a kiss". She replies, "Yaah, in Sveden, we call it a kiss too."

Towards the end of the night, and a lot of drinks later, he takes her out on the campus lawn, and proceeds to have sex with her, and says, "In America, we call this a grass sandwich". She says, "Yaaah in Sveden, we call it a grass sandwich too, but we usually put more meat in it."

Monday, October 02, 2006

No Google, No Problem

Well some of you may know this already, but over the past month I've had seven interviews with Google (inlcuding three in London) about a position in the Stockholm area.

I found out today I did not get the job. I failed two of the seven interviews. They asked me low-level (read as hard and obscure) computer science and networking questions which I probably never would have encountered on the job anyway. It's okay though. I enjoy my work now, and am well paid. If they really think they can get someone better than me for the position than I say good luck. I obviously don't think they will of course. This person they are looking for does not exist.


No seriously I am not bitter. I will not move this blog off of Google servers, cancel my Gmail account, and drink myself to death in Brussels. Just a few beers in a sunny Grand Place cafe and a night eating mussels and hanging out with Linda. I am looking and feeling good for 36 I must say. And that's all that matters. There will be other dream jobs that will come in the next 10 years. I will read some old Computer Science books in the meantime so I will be more ready next time.

I will leave you with this thought:

"A bit of useless knowledge may not accomplish anything useful, but it will always impress a lot of useless people."

- Nobody Ever Said that I Just Made That Up

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ask Swedish Sloth: Skeeved by the Swedes

E.D. wrote:

Dear Swedish Sloth,

I saw your site because I googled "american living in Sweden"—it's very funny, thank you for explaining filmjolk which I put in my coffee a few weeks back and was completely skeeved by. The fact that no one in the household could really explain to me what it was skeeved me even more.

I'm thinking of moving to Sweden with my boyfriend, who lives in the US now but really wants to go back to Sweden. He wants to move back there obsessively, he misses his parents and his summer house, etc.

I went there for the first time for vacation with him two weeks ago for 10 days. While I was there, I tried to assess the situation. (Like you, I was completely mystified by summer house hype .)

The country clearly has a lot of things going for it, and I've lived in Europe before, so I figured I could hack it. But walking around Stockholm, I did *not* get the feeling that:

-I could possibly get a professional job
-It would be easy to make new friends there
-It would be easy to learn the language and assimilate

This is all based on /feeling /though, and you actually live there, and deal with these issues every day. What do you think about this, especially the getting a job part?

(I am a 29-year old ad copywriter, with dual EU and US citizenship). Have you found a job? Do you know Americans who have?

Any advice is much appreciated.



Dear E.D.,

What a great letter. Thanks!

Sweden is a relatively easy country to live in for Americans. It is modern, clean, and organized. It's really closer to the US in culture than even the UK is if you ask me. It's hard to find a person who isn't fluent in English and into Americans (although they hate the politics of the USA). I heartily encourage you to give it a try. Especially if you plan to live in Stockholm. I find the rest of Sweden a bit provincial really. In fact, if you plan to move anywhere besides Malmo, Gothenburg, or Stockholm I might be more hesitant to recommend it.

The major concern I had when moving here 18 months ago was my first long cold winter. It was not a problem at all! I had a much more difficult time getting used to Seattle winters actually. The cold, crisp weather does something positive for the work ethic I think. And the city is beautiful all covered in snow. I hate being at work when its sunny and warm. Moby once had a song called, "When it's cold outside I want to die". When it's cold outside I want to work. When it's warm outside I like to drink beer and lie in the sun.

As an English speaker, learning anything beyond basic Swedish is unnecessary except for the amusement of the Swedish relatives. Swedish as a language is very similar to English once you get used to it. Although the vowel sounds are a bit funny sounding and and the lack of 'J's' can be disconcerting. I encourage you to speak a little every day with your bf, and take some classes. The 'Teach Yourself Swedish' book available in every book store is excellent (although hard at first). Rosetta Stone also makes a great CD-ROM but it's a little pricey at about $199. There are also 'Easy Swedish' books available in any big bookstore in Sweden. They are really funny and good.

There are also Swedish courses in the Stockholm area. I attended both the pay Folkuniversitet courses (wonderful) and the free government classes from FSI (less wonderful). Sign up for classes right away because it can take a while to get it, especially the free FSI courses.

As a practicing English copywriter, you should have little trouble finding a job in Stockholm. I have even seen posts like that advertised. I found temporary teaching work at first and then landed myself a full time in my field (web programming) within 9 months. I really am not too worried about employment or money any more. These results are typical for American expats. Sweden especially needs technical and well-educated English speakers for their expanding global markets. If you fit that profile then it shouldn't be a problem to find work if you actually look.

Socially, the Swedes LOVE native English speakers, both UK and US and finding friends won't be difficult. Swedes are warm and many will want to 'adopt' you. You may need to join a few clubs at first. I am a member of the American Club of Sweden, and there are other expat organizations as well if you feel the need to be around your own countrymen. Check out the ever popular Amerikanska forums for more details.

There are some bad things about Swedes as well. For me the worst is their 'Little House on the Prairie" dreams that they relive each summer at the summer cottage. Living without electricity and Internet to me is not fun. My boss once told me without any irony that the company was going to go out into the country and pick some mushrooms one weekend. I was like, "yeah, right, have fun." The only mushrooms I can get excited about picking are the magic kind and I was assured that wasn't in the plan. Declining an invitation is still perfectly okay here, but they will look at you and wonder why you don't want to spend a day picking berries or pitching hay or something.

I hope this helps!

- Swedish Sloth

Do you have a question for Swedish Sloth? Write a comment or email me

Sunday, September 17, 2006

London Calling... Again

Well I am off to London this week for a job interview. The job is in Stockholm but the inteview is in Belgravia. If I get this job I will totally be happy as it is for one of the biggest and coolest Internet companies in the world.

The job will mean travel across Europe and that will be awesome.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Totally Fukt

Lovely Francis at 1000 Swedish Lessons probably already covered this one but...

the Swedish word for damp is 'fukt'.

It's been cold and rainy this August. I want to go back to Italy.

Swedish weather is so fukt... almost as fukt as London's weather.

Sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction.

All it takes to get 'fukt' in Sweden is to stand outside sometimes.

I know it's not that funny but I am drunk tonight.

The Swedish Penis Enlarger

Guard: One Swedish-made penis enlarger.

Austin Powers: [to Vanessa] That's not mine.

Guard: One credit card receipt for Swedish-made penis enlarger signed by Austin Powers.

Austin Powers: I'm telling ya baby that's not mine.

Guard: One warranty card for Swedish-made penis enlarger pump, filled out by Austin Powers.

Austin Powers: I don't even know what this is! This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby.

Guard: One book, "Swedish-made Penis Enlargers And Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby," by Austin Powers.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Floyd Landis -- A Cheater From My Home State?

I grew up in PA... a state that for its relatively large size has few redeeming qualities. True, it's no Missouri or Kansas, but it's not Tuscany either. People in PA seem a little stranger than most people. Not Wisconsin strange, mind you, but church-going, mousy hair, and 90's Billy Joel strange.

Then along came Floyd Landis. Yeah his look said Pennsylvania, but his heart said Xanadu. When the going got tough and he was embarrassed in a brutal mountain stage, losing improbable amounts of time and blowing his lifelong dream, Floyd fought back and did the impossible. He took off at the beginning of the race the next day and went on a spectacular solo ride that was unprecedented in the 100+ year history of the sport.

It wasn't the drugs... it was the Jack Daniels. Right Floyd?

Everyone knows there is synthetic testosterone in Jack Daniels. Right Floyd?

Those French bastards are just mad because Americans have won the tour so often and they haven't won in like 25 years. Right Floyd?

Ah gee. Say it ain't so, Floyd.

Well actually it really looks like you cheated now Floyd.

And there is something weird about you. That weird facial hair thing you got going on... like you are a Lancaster, PA Mennonite trying to look California Cool (or maybe at least Arizona minor league baseball cool).

And those awful press shots that kept coming every day. I won't tell you that I used to chase poor Ingrid around the house with pictures of you screaming "Kiss me, I love you, I'm Floyd Landis and I love you."

And now instead of the best bike racer in the world... you are now Floyd the Unemployed.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ask Swedish Sloth - How To Make Fil Milk?

Dear Swedish Sloth,

Can you please tell me what the measurements are for making your own filmjolk. I have a 1 litre carton and would love to make it last.



Dear Magnus,

Thanks for asking Swedish Sloth!

Normally to make more fil milk, you would just put a little of the old fil milk in a bowl, add fresh milk to it, put a towel over it to keep out light (and flies), and then let it sit overnight. Poof alla kazaam! You have a fresh batch of fil milk the next morning for your meusli.

This recipe has worked for our cute little Swedish friends for countless millennia. However a couple hundred years ago some French bastard named Louis invented pasteurization. And nowadays for safety reasons it's hard to get un-pasteurized milk. And this little recipe works best with un-pasteurized milk. But despair not young filmjolk Padawan, for despair leads to fear... and fear leads to anger.

You simply add a little Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria. Make sure you don't add the wrong kind of bacteria though, or you will probably die. May the force be with you.

For more information see the Wikipedia article

- Swedish Sloth

To ask a question to Swedish Sloth, please use the Comments Section below or simply email

Friday, July 14, 2006

This Week on a Very Special Swedish Sloth

We here at Swedish Sloth HQ are really inspired by all your thoughtful comments over the past couple of years. In fact, so much so, that we have decided to give back to the thriving community that has arisen around this blog.

Without people like Dipshit the Finno-Ugaric language specialist from Nowhere, Iowa, where would we be today? Not number #1 draw on the international imaginary jetset chat show circuit, that I can tell you. Probably still dreaming about fucking my sister. Shit my sister reads this blog, so maybe I shouldn't say that. If it didn't happen before I turned 15 it's probably not going to happen.

So, where were we? Ahem, we were so inspired by the blah blah blah thriving community around here that we are going to add a section called Ask The Swedish Sloth.

Go ahead, ask away! Don't be shy... Ask The Swedish Sloth. Keep in mind I'll be in Tuscany for the next three weeks and won't read your questions until I get back.

But that probably doesn't matter as hardly anyone ever comments. Most people don't even try. Ricky are you out there? Erik Gray? Drop me a line. I'm sure you must have some questions. 15 people a day read this blog (before they figure out its not what they expected and leave). Surely 15 people can't all be wrong, all the time. Can they?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Meet Jerker. No Really. It's Jerker.

Jerker is a common first name in Sweden. Here is a picture of a Swede named Jerker I got off the Internet. Looks a bit like a Jerker, doesn't he?

I found out about the name during a meeting with someone else named Jerker last week. Needless to say, people named Jerker will probably never get a job in the USA outside the porn industry. And then there is the question: do people call him Jerk for short? That's not much better.

For those of you who don't know American English... the closest translation of Jerker into British English would be 'Wanker'.

All of our names probably mean something funny in another language. Somebody should compile a database. I googled for one but it doesn't seem to exist. I wish I had some free time beause that would be a million dollar idea. Any investors out there wanna go in with me? A database of stupid names could be the next YouTube... and we already have our first entry.

On a side note, I did find out that IKEA (surprise surprise) makes a computer desk called a Jerker... which is probably appropriate as well for some of us. Apparently though it doesn't do the work for you. You still have to jerk it yourself.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Swedish versus British Nightclubs

Thanks to my wonderful sister in San Diego who sent me this 'educational' Powerpoint presentation. This one shows the difference between a night out clubbing in Sweden and a night out clubbing in England. And the winner is... ugh, I'm gonna go with Sweden.
Download the File

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fatties of the World, You Bite!

Since I moved to Sweden I lost about 15 kilos. It was nothing I tried to do... it just happened naturally over the course of 8 months. The developed world is getting fatter and America is still superpower of obesity. You simply cannot get a small size of anything there. I admit it feels good to have shed some weight, but the problem is that I am still 15 kilos overweight. And it's not coming off anymore.

So I made a goal at the beginning of the year to lose 10 kilos by June. Now it's the end of June and I am still 99 kilos. That's like 220 pounds. That's like 2 pounds I lost this whole year! What a load of piggy bollocks!

The goal seemed pretty realistic. It was just 2 kilos per month. Fuck. The sad part is I walk for an hour over my lunch break instead of sitting and eating like everyone else. And I often walk home from work which takes about 75 minutes. And I run once or twice per week and I try to eat nothing I actually I want to... and I drink about half of what I want to... and even then I drink wine instead beer.

When I was a pudgy kid the doctor joked that if there was ever a famine I would remain alive longer than almost anyone because of my body's natural ability to store fat. Gee. That's some consolation prize. Back in the 70's almost no one outside the state of Wisconsin was fat. Kids were almost all skinny. I would rather be skinny and die with the rest of normal humanity than be one of a few fat people on earth wandering around by myself looking for a cold keg of beer and canned pizza.

True, there are other fat people around... but they are not like me. They deserve to be the fat fucks they are. A bottle of wine only has 500 calories... so I am going to buy one now and pray that Ingrid that skinny thing doesn't come home with a bag of chips and a sac of candy.

note: I have no idea who that large naked man in the photo is but thankfully its not me or even one of my relatives. A fan of my work on Pax Acidus sent it in.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sweden Wins, Is Not Impotent After All

Sweden Scores!
Sweden was playing well but not scoring. That ended Thursday night around 11:00pm and people here have been smiling and singing every since.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wars Don't Kill People, Video Games Do

In the next major election year, one of the hot topics is going to be violence in video games. My guess is Ms. Clinton is going to make it a key issue in her campaign. The republicans will play along, so as not to lose out on the stupidity gap.

I attest there is no bigger smoke and mirrors issue today than violence in video games. In fact it is so smoke and mirrors it is like banning smoking naked in the mirror (which I don't do).

For those of you who don't know... here is the premise:

Billy plays Grand Theft Auto, thinks it's all good fun, and then decides to grab an uzi out of his dad's closet, carjack some old lady, and get going for real. He dies in a pool of blood after taking out half the town of Middlefucknowhere, Arkansas.

The theory that 'violent video games lead to actual violence' is thus proven when someone in real life tells this exact same story as an alibi. They shoot someone (or many people) and then their lawyer tells them to make a 'GTA plea' to get out of the electric chair.

Everybody clear?

Well I'm not. These are real articles below, not jokes.

Video Games In Congress' Crosshairs

GTA Causes Killing Spree

Kids Get Aggressive After Video Games

Hillary Clinton Seeks GTA Probe

The video game industry is bigger than movies nowadays. How many video games do you think Hillary or all her soccer mom friends and supporters have ever played? That's right, zero. So where is the real link between video games and violence? I don't know, but I am willing to do a philosophical investigation.

Here we go...

There are definitely things called video games, and there is definitely something called violence... is there a link between them? There was definitely violence before video games came out in 1970. There was even violence before pinball machines, the predecessors of video games, came out in 1890. And I would be willing to bet there was violence before board games (or bored games as I like to call them) came out in 10,000 BC. So video games are in fact not the historic root of violence they are made out to be.

I don't know why people today are so violent. But banning assault weapons again seems more likely to me to curb the problem than banning video games. But more importantly, I would speculate that people are so violent because their leaders are so violent. Our President started a war with two 3rd world countries in the past 4 years that has killed thousands of innocent people quite violently. The supposed cause of this war was planes slamming into to WTC. The Saudis who did it were believed to have learned how to fly the planes with video games. But apparently were not inspired by the games themselves. They saw the strike as retaliatory in nature... caused primarily by how aggressively our government was taking over their region.

But surely video games must have led to some of the most violent acts in recent history to be causing such a fuss?

Did video games inspire Hitler to wipe out the Jews?
Did video games inspire the pilgrims to wipe out the Native Americans?
Did video games inspire Pizza Hut to stop making Priazzo?

No. Those terrible things happened for other reasons... namely money and FUD mixed with stupidity.

So I guess video games are not to blame?

No. I guess not.

So what do we do about it?

Well my idea is to throw George Bush Jr. in jail (gitmo comes to mind) and show people that any kind of violence is truly wrong and maybe little Johnny won't go postal and kill his Junior High School classmates when they pick him last for the dodgeball team. It is more plausible than saying Quake 4 has made Billy shoot the TV because he thought it would mutate into a Strogg and saw off his limbs and turn him into a cyborg. Not even little Johhny is that dumb or crazy. And if he is then he probably got that way by watching the most violent thing I've ever seen or heard, namely The Evening News.

I think this video game banning thing is going to happen. It will be like tobacco and alcohol to play cool video games. Possibly even like 'drugs'. Most people who vote do not play video games like I do... 4 to 8 hours per week. Quake 4 is currently my favorite. I love the FPS genre. People who do not like these games probably suck at them. Once you get hooked... there is nothing better. In my 20's I would get high and play for days. Now I drink a beer or a scotch and play for hours. I don't see what the big deal is. I have played video games from the 1st generation (Atari 2600) to the ultimate game machine (PC with dual PCI-Express video cards). X-Box and whatnot are okay but you cannot beat a fast PC with dual video cards. Consoles are for crack babies. And all that.

But I digress. Let's say you don't like video games. Let's say you are like Hillary and find them a completely adolescent heterosexual male tasteless waste of time akin to whacking off. Why not ban it?

Because it's wrong to ban stuff you plainly do not understand just for political advantage. That makes you just as dumb as the kid who wants to kill his friends because he saw it on a video game.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

It Burns, It Burns

"It's no surprise that things are so screwed up: everyone that knows how to run a government is either driving taxicabs or cutting hair." -- George Burns

When the USA elected George Bush Jr. as President of the USA instead of Al Gore I was a little surprised. The most surprising thing were the reasons. People thought Al Gore was an ineffectual incompetent chosen by Clinton to stay out of the way and not touch anything.

That was a pretty good summation. I think he would have made a distastrous president. But of course there are regular disasters and then there is George Bush Jr... who can repeatedly spawn ten new disasters out of a single normal disaster. It's like the guy is trying to do everything possible to fuck things up. I mean... attack Iraq? What was he thinking? Can anyone is retrospect think of a worse idea? What the fuck was the reason? Oh yeah... there was none. Thanks to W we are now a nation of uncaring human butchers no better than the terrorists we purport to be against. Nice one.

I didn't vote for either of them. I voted for the guy with the only track record of actually caring about people and trying to help them (even if sometimes for the wrong reason)- Ralph Nader.

Why? Well even though I was on a lot of drugs at the time, I knew Bush was basically a frat boy fan boy fair weather friend rich kid loser male cheerleader type.

I though Gore would win by a landslide and Ralph would get 5% of the vote and thus the Green Party would get federal matching funds and thus become a real party capable of truly swinging an election towards the best candidate.

But as I said I was on drugs and living in the most liberal part of one of the most liberal cities in America. My beloved Capital Hill of Seattle. In Capital Hill there are equal amounts of millionaires, rock stars, homeless people, gay people, and vegetarians. And they are often the same people.

So being in this place I totally forgot about the fumb ducking average Joe American who couldn't find his own ass with two hands and a flashlight. And thus George Bush was elected the forty fifth President of the United States and the wondrous Billy Clinton moved to Harlem and became a pimp.

And I was one of the lucky ones. Five days after 9/11 I managed to escape the country in a hot air balloon and kindly Gulf Stream winds took me to Europe where I intend to live for the rest of my life.

My advice to Americans still there is to wake up, impeach Bush, and then throw his dumb ass in jail. Maybe then I'll come back for a visit and buy a flag. George Burns would have made a better President. And he's been dead for years.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Well, it took 3 months but I finally got my first paycheck from my new consulting gig at the big gambling company. My official title is "Senior Consultant" but I don't use that on my email .sig file. Not because it makes me sound pretentious but because it makes me sound old. I go with 'Web Developer'. That makes me sound younger and cooler like I used to be.

I am not well paid by senior consultant standards. After the preliminary round of self-employment taxes and bribes, I was left with almost 56,000 SEK for salary in the month of March. But that is still some pretty good moolah for Sweden. The average Swede makes about 20,000 SEK per month. The bad news is that this is Sweden and the government will take a big chunk of that in income tax and I will have about 40,000 SEK, which I will spend most of on publishing more of my books, video games, clothes, and traveling.

The past year was very spotty on the income front. Some months when I couldn't get clients I drank on credit cards, checks from Daddy Chocolatebucks and savings. I feel very lucky to be working in an English speaking company in one my favorite towns with cool young people.

But despite all the glee in my bank account, I must say a new sadness has arisen. It appears that happiness is the enemy of Art. Over the past 3 months I have nothing to complain about except allergies (the pollen count here sucks) and I have written nary a word on my blog, websites, novels, short stories, or other personal projects. Zero inspiration. I need some conflict in my life to spark my creativity. You know, take it out on somebody who deserves it. I need to get beat up by a communist or a Nazi or something.

Bush is too easy a target. Ditto Blair. But let's get them anyway. And Sweden. There is not nearly enough making fun of Swedes on this blog. Because the real enemy of the people is not politics but of course ennui. Thank Jesus only the poor and unenlightened are willing to die for their country...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Kids... Stay in School

As I sit taking a break from my job making new online gambling games I read an article about John Daly who has reportedly lost 60 million dollars playing slot machines. Wow. When I told people at work they couldn't believe that anyone could do that... slots are so boring and unsexy. Then I showed them a picture of him and they understood.

Michael Jordan, seemingly the winner of winners, has also lost millions gambling. What is the attraction?

People, if you are going to be addicted to something, don't make it sex, drugs, gambling, or food. Make it something healthy like demonstrating against the War in Iraq. The war was created by oil execs to raise oil prices. How many billionaires were created by this? Is it a coincidence that these are all Bush's friends? Even if it isn't, let's assume it is.

When supposedly educated democracies like The USA elect conservatives into office the effect is copied throughout the world. That's why we have a wave of conservatism spreading throughout the world. To lead the world... you have to be a leader. Westerners, you have to show the world that we are not would-be tyrants who only use democracy and freedom as a marketing tool to seize record profits and buy new yachts.

Oh yeah. And kids... stay in school. In fact, stay in school and study computer science. I could use some help over here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bowling Blogging is Funny

I have been at work for a few months now as an web consultant in downtown Stockholm. Basically they need a webmaster guru to build a gambling website as quickly as possible and that is me. I am being paid pretty well for this and it is both fun and challenging. It's about $75 per hour and I can work 40 plus hours so it's pretty great... because otherwise if I were at home I would basically be doing the same thing for a fourth of that.

One of the perks of this place is that everyone works with headphones on and there is a whole i-Tunes network full of free music. Everything from Jose Gonzales (the strangely named Swede) to Kaiser Chiefs to AC/DC. I admit that coding goes rather well with harder music, so I have been listening to a lot more Metallica and Rage Against the Machine than I normally would. Heavy metal is really funny. It's like a a grown man with the IQ and taste of a 13 year old from rural Ohio. And I don't mean 'funny' in the way that most Swedes use the word, such as:

"Bowling is funny."


"Because I like it."

"No, bowling shoes are funny. Bowling is fun," I say.

"What?" they say.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

France's Chirac is Out of Whack

I am an American who loves France. I love the language, the music, the food, the people, the art, the architecture, the atheism, just about everything.

But France is sick right now. There are riots in the streets, there is increasing poverty, and there is a growing feeling of despondancy. I haven't been there in a couple years, mostly because of my growing love for London, but also because it does quite feel 'the same' as it did when I lived there in the 90's.

Why? Well there is frustration in the air. And when people feel frustrated they grow desperate, and when they are desperate they act irrationally. And since French people are not as a whole that much smarter than other people, they tend to vote for dumbasses. And I know a thing or two about people voting for dumbasses. My President's middle initial stands for Dumbass.

Mr. Chirac, you are not as bad as Bush, and you did a wonderful job as Mayor of Paris when I lived there. But you need to go. Now. Resign. Isn't it obvious you are hated? The whole country is falling apart.

As a fiscal conservative, I feel that your idea of being able to fire people for the first two years of work is a good idea. No company is ever going to hire somebody they cannot fire. That's what the government jobs are for. Losers. Private business has to be competitive and forcing companies to retain people will only make them leave France for good.

But as a social liberal I feel you have nothing to offer. You have not instituted any much needed affirmative action policies and you are doing nothing for the people who need it the most. The immigrants in France have no identity and no hope and that has to end. And you are not the solution to the problem. You are part of it. You could say, "I hate EuroDisney", right now and the youth would still get upset.

Basically, it's time to make like Gerard and Depardieu the hell out of there. If you love France as much as you say you do then you would understand.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Oh Yeah

Today is the Greek God of Smoking's birthday and tomorrow is lovely Linda's birthday. So obviously there is going to be some serious puking going on tonight.

Happy Swedish Anniversary

Leaving American soil has always been one of the great pleasures in my life. I feel the whole country is based on a shared hallucination of madmen. I am pretty sure I would feel the same about any country I grew up in. I hate the feeling of culture dragging me down to my slow spiritual death. That's why to stay fresh you have to move.

I have never understood religious people and people who keep the customs of their ancestors. These people deserver to be mocked. If doing drugs is illegal then so should be ethnic folk dancing. If you think about while high it will make sense.

Well it's been almost a year in Sweden for me and Linda. Moving to another country is never easy and never cheap. It is however extremely fun and exciting, and that's why I do it so often. I have lived in four countries for more than a year and hopefully I'm just warming up.

What America lacks in an educated voting population it more than makes up for in great pizza, entertainingly bad media, and creme donuts. In short, the USA is a great place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there. The same is true for England which I also lived in for a year. Basically living in a country where you speak the language is a real downer. It's harder to hate what you cannot fully comprehend.

Yes after one year in Sweden I have the (very) basics of the language down, a job I like, good friends, and I know where all the best pubs are. What remains is to find a better flat and find a tennis partner so I can get back into that sport I love. Oh yeah and some positive temperature outside would be a nice change. Right now it's sunny and freezing. I like it warm and partly cloudy.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sex Drugs and Rock'n'Roll Never Goes Out of Style

My best mate of all time (especially when I'm here and he's on the other side of the Atlantic), McCutcheon, has recently released a book of short stories from the Pax Acidus web site called aptly enough, Sex, Drugs, & Rock'n'Roll Never Goes out of Style. It is available from and I highly urge everyone who loves to read and laugh to get a copy.

We have been through a lot together... the highs and lows of traveling Europe and North America together: the bars, pills, powders, raves, afterparties, concerts, border guards, group sex, hospitals, rehab centers, death, psychiatrists, and that sort of thing.

Buy one for yourself and all your friends. And if you are in the publishing business and looking for a promising literary drunk there is probably no finer on you will come upon (no pun intended).

Europe Buy Link: Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll...

America Buy Link: Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

89 Days of Freezing

Today it was the 89th day in a row of below zero degrees Celsius temperature in Stockholm. That seems like enough, but it doesn't look like the streak will end anytime soon. It's no wonder the Swedes took gold in hockey. This country was built for it.

I just spent five days in London and it was fantastic. I love that city more every time I go. Thanks to Dafydd, Chris, Bryan, Kerry, Kevin, Svenja, and of course my old man for hanging out and helping me have so much fun.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Long Awaited (Not) Danish Joke

Okay here is the long awaited Danish joke. This one goes to out to our somewhat talentless Danish cartoonist friend Kurt Westergaard. Enjoy:

Som det seneste har man nu fundet ud af, at dybe indåndinger dræber alle bakterier!
Man mangler nu kun at finde ud af, hvordan man får bakterierne til at foretage dybe indåndinger...

To bakterier møder hinanden på strøget:
- Jeg har ikke set dig i lang tid; hvor har du været?
- Jeg har haft penicillin...


Actually I don't get it... something about bacteria. Those Danes just never know when to stop. First they make fun of muslims, now bacteria.

More Incomprehensible Scandinavian Humor

Okay that last post was supposed to be a joke about Danes. I pulled a fast one by inserting a joke about Swedes instead. I apologize. It's just that I find Swedish jokes to be way funnier than Danish jokes.

There are some real surprises about Swedish jokes. It's a mystery to me how more of them do not contain references to big tits, moose or snow in them. Swedes have great tits, talk about moose like they are some kinf of magical creatures like unicorns, and it's been snowing now since October. I imagine there's some good material there.

Instead Swedish jokes seem to poke fun at Finnish people (easy target) and other Scandinavians (almost as easy target). Perhaps we should explore this area further and do like an ontological study of Swedish humor? Javisst.

Here is my imromptu Swedish joke blueprint:

"As I look out the window I see the gentle flakes drifting downwards through my Saturday morning hangover gaze and I have a vision of Spring and the fall harvest. With it staying light to almost 4:00 PM it's only a matter of time before the thermometer climbs up above zero and turns the whole country into a Dirty Blonde Slushy. Reveling in this idyll, a moose comes along and takes a dump on my lawn and I swear at once in Swedish and make a brilliant semantic pun on the tribulations of living so close to the polar circle."

Ha ha!

Okay, impromptu humor architect I definitely am not... and I am in good company here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Danish Joke

A Swede was drinking in a bar on a Friday night in Copenhaagen when a Danish business colleague suggested to him:

- "I'll give you 20 euros if you let me smash ten beer bottles on your head."

The Swede thought for a while and finally agreed, mainly because of the peer pressure. The Dane smashed the first bottle on the Swede's head, then the second and so on, but he stopped after smashing nine bottles.

- "So, when are you going to smash the tenth bottle?," asked the Swede, bracing himself for the final blow.

- "Foolish Swede," the Dane replied, "then I would have to give you that 20 euros."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jesus is the Bomb

Well it was a busy week to be me. First off, the Seahawks lost to the Steelers in SuperBowl XL and I really didn't know who to root for because I am a Steeler by birth and a Seahawk by choice... but still a sloth by nature and so I passed out 1/2 hour before the game started. Congratulations, Seattle, I always knew you could get to the finals and then choke... again.

A week later it is still snowing and there is a 20 foot high pile outside my window. Maybe I will take a picture of me by it tomorrow. Maybe I'll just keep drinking. I am doing shots of Aquavit on a Sunday night and drinking 3.5 Carlsbergs wishing McCutcheon were here and we could go ice skating on pills. Weeeeeeeee.

The buzz in Sweden nowadays is still from the Danish cartoons and how the Swedes are afraid they will be guilty by association with the Danes for speaking their minds. The Swedes are not ANYTHING like the Danes. Danes are impulsive fighters. The Swedes are thinkers, and non-confrontational to a fault. I fit in perfectly here.

But the word on the street, if you stop to ask people, is that the Muslims can all take a long walk of a short fjord if you know what I mean. I feel the same way. Making fun of stuff that is silly is a human right.

I read an interesting op/ed piece with some help from Linda which asked the question: How weak is your God if he is threatened by a Danish cartoonist? Nothing hurts worse than the truth and the truth is that Allah is a bad joke played on some gullible people by some power-tripping male chauvenists 1400 years ago.

More enlightenment soon, I promise. In fact, let's make fun of the Danes. I am sure they have more of a sense of humor than some other people I could mention.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blondness is Wasted on the Swedes

Surveys show that Swedes prefer their mates dark. That's good news for Africans, Spanish, Greeks, and Arabs everywhere. Okay maybe not for the Arabs.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Skating Around the City

Last month Linda and I went ice skating on a 3 km frozen lake just outside the city in Hellasgården. I haven't been skating since I was a kid. I was bad at it then and I haven't gotten much better since. I didn't want to go, but figured when in Sweden do as the Swedes.

The surface of the lake was was rough in parts, like the tiny lake waves had frozen in place. Skating was difficult at best in my new hockey skates... although Linda managed quite well in her figure skates. I was scared of falling through the ice. When I told Linda this she laughed and pointed to a group of adolescent boys who were stripped naked and taking turns jumping in a hole in the ice. So much for the when in Rome philosophy... that's just fucking wrong.

I gave up skating quickly, it was just too hard on the lake, but at the local soccer field/ice rink it's a different story. In fact me and Philippos (The Greek God of Smoking) have been meeting up to skate around at the local bandi rink at a regular interval. For those who don't know, bandi is a sport like field hockey on ice, or rather like ice hockey with a ball played on a frozen soccer field. Anyway, the field is open to the public every day until 2 pm for free skating. Anything free in Sweden, you just do. 25% sales tax on nothing is still nothing.

The more I hang out with Greeks the more I am afforded a window into my own soul. When you make plans with a Greek person, attendance is strictly optional. There is a smoke break or a coffee break every fifteen minutes and nothing much gets done. The conversation ranges from feta cheese to marijuana to video games. It's wonderful. Occasionally we actually skate around the ice. Philippos the Greek God of Smoking spends most of his time trying to skate backwards. I spend most of my time trying to skate forwards.

It's fucking fantastic and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but out on the ice in the subzeros.

In January right now the whole archipelago is frozen over and you can literally skate between the islands. This weekend Linda told me a whole family on a snowmobile and a trailing sled fell through a patch of thin and died all at once in the icy waters. It's kind of horrible to think about but it's a typical affair for this time of year in these parts. Swedes don't do war anymore so God needs some way to keep the folks fatalistic.

Monday, January 23, 2006

They Don't Call Me Sloth For Nothing

Last week started out bad when I got notified that another part-time consulting job that I had long sought after had been canceled for no reason just before it was supposed to start.

This is the third time now that's happened in the past year. And for the third straight time I had already spent the first month's wages on frivelous things like food, clothing, and shelter before I found out. Shit.

I was so upset I couldn't even drink. I had sort of bottomed out. I was convinced God had it out for me. I ate like three tubs of ice cream wrapped in a blanket watching whole seasons of Will & Grace on DVD. Then I freaked out on the local supermarket staff because they had run out of peanut butter (I am the only American in the village). Why does everyone else I know have cushy jobs working with normal people and I always get the freaks and the dead ends?

When I feel that bad, it normally doesn't last that long. Once it lasted 3 years actually but that's another story.

And then on Tuesday I got called in for an interview for a dream coding job with a well-known gaming company. They didn't blink when I told them how much money I wanted per month. Things started happening fast. I interviewed on Wednesday and was informed I made the second cut and they had cut it down to eight people.

Then they gave us a test that we could do at home. They gave us a week to hand in the code and documentation. I started Friday night and I just handed it in 15 minutes ago, but still 3 days before it was due.

Now I am so nervous about the job I can't sleep at night and I can't stop drinking. Things are slowly getting back to normal.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Masterpieces of Swedish Cinema: Masjävlar

Delarna Horse
Sweden overall makes pretty good quality films for a country with only 9 million people in it. And it ain't easy being a Swedish director either, because one is always being compared to Bergman.

In Masjävlar, a young woman from Stockholm (which is considered a very big city in Sweden) travels back to her country hometown to celebrate her father's 70th birthday. Sounds boring, but it's not. It's very touching and interesting to anyone with an interest in Swedish culture.

The film is shot entirely in Delarna, the region in Sweden famous for the little red horses (wooden ones not real ones). This film dwells on very familiar territory for Sweden: cold weather, birthdays (big holidays in Sweden), suicides (everyone here knows at least one victim), and drinking too much (so I fit right in).

If anyone knows what the title means I would appreciate some help. Linda is in Malmo at the moment so I am without my translator. I think it means 'Dammit' or something.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sweden: The Beautiful Outdoor Freezer

With talk of global warming on the tip of everyone's tongue, it's refreshing to know that in the middle of January it's still cold as hell in Stockholm. It has been below freezing now for over two months.

In Stockholm, the locals think that winter is often better than summer. Having experienced both seasons here, I am beginning to agree with them. In the Winter people sleep and drink a lot, go cross-country skiing in the forests, skating on the frozen lakes and football fields, and of course at night there is lots of watching videos and snuggling under the blankets.

There are downsides. All the water around the city is now frozen, not to mention the streets, sidewalks, and everything else. Every time you take a walk, you are literally putting your life at risk. Wherever there is a gap in the gravel and a slight incline, you are walking a slippy slidey tightrope. They do not salt the ice for several reasons: 1) it is bad for the environment, and 2) it would probably still be frozen anyway.

Life in our times is a constant struggle to avoid depression and boredom. These people who grow up in one town and live and work in that town for 70 years and die there... I do not know how they do that. I love to travel and to move (although not too quickly). I have pretty much lived and traveled all over North America and Europe. After eight months, I am starting to fall in love with Sweden in winter.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from everyone at Swedish Sloth. Oh shit, it's just me, isn't it?

I Had a wild New Year's Eve. What little of I remember it was really fun. Thanks to lovely Linda, Pia, Philipos the Greek God of Smoking, Anna, Johan, Matthias, Ulrika, and all the other countless people I met whom I will never remember.

I reckon I'll be able to think coherently by Friday when the pills wear off. Until then save the last paracetemol for me.