Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry X-Mas From New York

Linda and I are in New York for the holidays... actually we are heading to Bahamas as well which is pretty good because New York weather is pretty much like Stockholm in December.

Wanna see us do the Christmas dance? Click here...

Love you guys forever (even though nobody commented on my last amazingly funny and under-appreciated moose post),

-Swedish Sloth

Sunday, December 02, 2007

10 Tips For Dealing With Moose in Sweden

1. When you go to the store in Sweden, watch out for moose. They might steal your food. Moose eat a lot of food. And they don't have jobs. Therefore you know they must be thieves.

2. When you take money out of the Cashpoint, watch out that moose aren't looking over your shoulder and trying to read you pin code.

3. When you send your girlfriend home at night, make sure she has some moose mace so she doesn't get raped by a moose. Moose have really big sexual organs, and you wouldn't want to have to tell your friends and family that you have been replaced by a sexually aggressive moose.

4. Watch out for gangs of moose disguised as just one moose. There is no plural word for moose, so you can only tell by context if there is just one... or a whole mess of the buggers.

5. The Swedish Road Authority, Vägverket, claims that 40% of all accidents outside cities in Sweden are caused by collisions with moose. This is very suspicious, so be extra careful when driving with a moose and make sure you are both wearing a seatbelt.

6. Moose in Swedish are not called moose at all, but 'elg', which strangely rhymes with 'Nelly'. So watch out for Swedes named 'Nelly'. They could be moose in disguise.

7. British people often refer to moose as an elk. An elk is actually a completely different creature similar to a large deer and indigenous to North America. If you see a British person using the term elk incorrectly, politely correct them. They would know better if they had any moose (or elk) in Britain.

8. There are a lot of moose jokes on the Internet, but none of them are particularly funny. One can only assume that moose do not have a sense of humor.

9. When I was a lad traveling through Sweden I has pizza with moose meat on it in Sweden. This has never caught on throughout the rest of the world. If you are a moose and you see a pizza shop offering this type of pizza, run.

10. Moose meat does not "taste like chicken". It has a very gamey taste. This is very odd because meat you never tasted before is supposed to taste like chicken. Use extreme caution when tasting moose for the first time.

Bonus tip for Swedish Sloth readers:

Telling a moose to "stop bogarting that joint, my friend", has very little effect and might actually encourage them to finish it without sharing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Computer Addiction

When you live in an isolated and tiny country like Sweden, you start to notice after a while that nothing actually happens until it happens here. No one really went up in space until the Swedish astronaut last year, there were no school shootings until the one in Finland (formerly Swedish-ruled) and the like. If the USA is the cutting edge of the knife, Sweden is more like the wooden handle.

What am I on about this time? Well the first Swedish kid has been isolated and forced to seek treatment for internet addiction. Internet addiction is when you spend too much time on the computer to the exclusion of other things like real social interaction, school, work, and athletics.

To me, this is a form of obsessive/compulsive male depression. Best to let it run its course. The very worst thing that could happen is the kid turns out to be a tech support worker. More likely they will end up a programmer. In any case, they will beat off to computer porn. So what's the big deal? Leave the kids alone I say. When you make people think they are sick when they are just hopeless geeks you stigmatize them and the obsession becomes a compulsion. Then they rape sheep or blow up schools. At least that's my $.02.

The real problem to me are parents who constantly worry about their kids. After all, taking a quick look around, 95% of us grow up to be assholes anyway. We might as well be able to spend our youth how we want.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Mondays Coming to Stockholm

My favorite band of all time, Happy Mondays, are coming to Stockholm on November 25th at Berns.

The group is led by legendary "Just Say No to Drugs" poster child Shaun Ryder. How does one describe him? Yeats? North England's Serge Gainsbourg? Trivial really. I like to call him the "living proof of the existence of God".

Mr. Ryder is reported to be relatively clean and sober and in good form lately at recent shows. The band have recently released an album as well entitled 'Unkle Dysfunktional', which is actually pretty good.

You can get tickets here...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We All Agree Except One Lifeguard:
Swedes Should Swim Topless

They're "just breasts"! This is the rallying cry of a network of women who have launched a campaign for the right to bathe topless at Sweden's swimming pools.

A new wave of feminists have been angered by an incident in September in which two bare-breasted young women were called ashore by a lifeguard at a swimming pool in Uppsala. When they refused to cover up, they were asked to leave the premises.

Speaking to The Local, Ragnhild Karlsson , 22, explained the womens' motives for swimming without bikini tops.

"It's a question of equality. I think it's a problem that women are sexualized in this way. If women are forced to wear a top, shouldn't men also have to?"

Outraged by what they regarded as discrimination, a group of women in southern Sweden made a show of solidarity by establishing the Bara Bröst network. (The name translates both as 'Bare Breasts' and 'Just Breasts'.)

"We want our breasts to be as 'normal' and desexualized as men's, so that we too can pull off our shirts at football matches," spokeswomen Astrid Hellroth och Liv Ambjörnsson told Ottar, a magazine published by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education.

Read the whole article in The Local

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bindeez... the toy of choice for young ravers

Yes. Bindeez are here. They melt in your mouth and turn into GHB in the stomach. What could be a better Christmas present for a young tyke? How about a Pez dispenser that gives out MDMA?

Not a lot of people know much about GHB. It's a great drug... nothing like the bad press it gets. Date rape drug? Don't know about that one. I thought Rohypnol was the date drug drug? When I was a kid Bartles and James wine coolers was the date rape drug of choice used by the football team to get the cheerleaders cherries. Anyway, GHB is a great laugh. More akin to nitrous oxide than anything serious.

I used to take a GHB occasionally in the 90's. It was a great way to come down after a hard workout swimming (or a night out clubbing). They used to sell it over the counter in nutrition stores. The effect of the drug is to make you perfectly relaxed. One weird side effect is it makes you really horny. Trust me nobody is going to have to rape anyone on GHB. I would let George The Animal Steele have his way with me on enough of that stuff.

Another thing I cannot figure out is why so many kids are eating their toys. The Australian girl in the CNN spot I saw looked about 12. Seriously parents, if your 12 year-old kids are eating their toys it's time to up the Ritalin dosage.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Most Exciting Thing in Sweden is the Toast?

Swedes are often portrayed as being emotionless and quiet loners. This is getting less and less true perhaps, but stereotypes are hard to shake and ABBA alone does not a jubilant stereotype make.

Maybe swedes are just a little repressed. All it really takes to see the person trapped inside is to put a swede in another country (especially a warmer one which is nearly every other one in the world) and/or give them some alcohol. Every Stockholm party I've been to no one says a word until the third drink. Then suddenly everyone has a bubbly personality. I am pretty much the same way. I guess that's why Sweden suits me so well. Who wants to fucking chat sober?

What other national stereotypes are there out there? Like for instance Danes are known for being aggressive, Irish for being drunks, Germans for being pushy, Japanese for taking too many goddam pictures, and Americans for being loud, obnoxious, fat, and often rich (the ones who make it Europe at least which aren't many).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What Did Jesus Look Like?

I found this the other day and it cracks me up. How desperate are people for salvation to come up with the idea of a rasta Jesus with the body of a Greek God?

I know there is a theory among late 80's hip-hop artists that Jesus was in fact "a man of color." But I seriously doubt that. It's common knowledge in Sweden that Jesus actually looked like this:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get Me The Hell Out of Here

Record low temperatures as August ends on chilly note

The Local writes...

"The lowest August temperatures for more than sixty years have been recorded in southern Sweden, as August comes to a chilly conclusion across the country.

Tuesday night was unusually cold, with temperatures falling below zero in an area stretching from the far north of the country down as far south as Götaland, the southernmost quarter of Sweden."

We got cheated out of our Summer! Thank God I'm headed for Barcelona next month.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CaddyShack 3: Drunk Driving in Stockholm

The Local reported that Hollywood star Bill Murray was taken to a police station in Stockholm on Sunday night after being stopped by police while driving a golf cart late at night.

The 56-year-old comedian and actor arrived in Sweden just over a week ago to play a few rounds with his pro-golfer friend Jeff Sluman, according to the newspaper. He was out on the town until late in the morning at Cafe Opera, and then decided to drive his golf cart back to his hotel.

Murray refused to blow into the breathalyzer, making reference to American [sic] laws. He was then brought in to the police station but he still didn't want to blow into the breathalyzer.

The arresting officer described Murray as "very pleasant", and added that he had never before come across a golf cart in the city center during his thirty years in the force.

No word whether or not he was actually drunk or not, but let's face it... it was Bill Murray driving a golf cart at 3:00am in downtown Stockholm. He was probably pretty plastered.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Burnt Roof of Mouth

My mate McCutcheon from NYC just came out with his second book (and first novel) called Burnt Roof of Mouth.

Although it has little to do with Sweden (besides the protagonist making a Swedish girl on the beach in Ios) I highly recommend buying multiple copies for yourself and for your friends. It's available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

If you want to read it online, you can read some of the first few chapters (from an older version of the story) on Pax Acidus.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bergman Loses Chess Match With Death

People here are very sad. It's hard to summarize what Ingmar Bergman means to this nation of 9 million. He is the only man who could wrestle Abba and Bjorn Borg for world's most famous Swede award. And now he is now deader than a proverbial meatball.

I actually quite liked the films I saw of his as well. The Seventh Seal was amazing. He always had good looking girls in there too. He was no Tarantino, but he was not some uber-intellectual bore either as he was made out to be. His films are quite watchable even for a modern audience used to Hollywood flicks.

Now comes the sad hard realization that he will always be dead and even sadder realization that his movies will shown on TV for the next few months when I am trying to catch South Park. Lovely Linda will watch them and it will drive me to drink. Young people will see him and emulate him... and most likely fail to capture any of his brilliance while at the same time boring a new generation of Swedish alcoholics.

Bye-bye Bergman. Although we never sat down and had fika, or got drunk on snaps and gorged ourselves on pickled herring and potatoes, and although you would probably think me an insignificant and petty American capitalist whore, I did know your neighbor on the tiny island of Fårö, and he heavily insinuated you were a bit of a reclusive megalomaniacal pain in the ass. But most geniuses are I guess.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freezing in Norway in July

Just spent two weeks camping in Norway with lovely Linda.

We drove our Audi A3 Turbo from Stockholm to Bergen and back again.

There are some differences between Swedes and Norwegians that I hadn't realized before.

Mainly, Norwegians are blonder, charge even more for stuff, and talk even funnier than Swedes.

I have pictures but no time to post them because I am busy at work and off to Greece next week for a week-long trip to the island of Ikaria.

So there will be much to do when I get back.

Love ya,

Swedish Sloth

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Back to the USA for Some June 07 Fun

This Sloth loves traveling!

I've said before I won't have kids until I've seen the whole world... the problem is I keep going back to the same places most of the time. Luckily I don't really want kids.

I am trying my best to take the Summer off this year and so to celebrate I just repeated a trip from last November and spent 2 weeks in the USA...

First, I hooked up with old Pax Acidus mate McCutcheon in New York. We spent the mornings playing tennis and the afternoons and evenings drinking around the beaches and outdoor bars.

Then it was off to Miami to visit the bro in Boca Raton. There it was a rock n' roll diet of boat drinks, etc for 6 days in Boca and Key West. Wow it feels great to be able to do all this at 36 and have so much fun.

Thanks to all the guys (and girls) in Lefty Lucie for providing the tunes. I hope I can still do this at 66.

The best reason to go to Florida is still to see my beautiful and crazy nieces!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jimi Hendrix In Stockholm '69

It's hard to find anyone who doesn't like Jimi Hendrix. So in the spirit of Summer 2007 , here is a clip of Jimi playing Voodoo Chile live in Stockholm in 1969.

Not his best work but hey it's summer and thus time to rock.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fårö Means Sheep Island

My parents are in Sweden! I traveled to meet them on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland (which means 'good land' in Swedish). There we visited some friends of the family who retired from the hustle and bustle (not) of Stockholm to become sheep farmers. The actual location was on the much smaller and more exotic island of Fårö (which means 'sheep island' in Swedish) located just off the north coast of Gotland.

Fårö is famous for being the home of Ingmar Bergman, probably tied with Bjorn Borg as the most famous living Swede. The family we stayed with are his neighbors. They say they have spoken on the phone with his estate but never actually seen him around. Apparently he is a better filmmaker than a neighbor.

We spent our days herding sheep, eating, drinking, and sightseeing. My especially mom loved the local dish saffron pancakes, made with local salmon berries which only grow on the island. Yum.

The last night we stayed in the old Hanseatic League walled city of Visby for a night as well. Visby is the capital of Gotland and is known as the city of "roses and ruins". Like most Swedish designations, it's not a very creative because it is full of roses and ruins. The Swedes call it like they see it.

My favorite part of Gotland is the rocky beaches with giant standing stones. It's worth the trip to see them alone.

I did a bad job of taking pictures of sheep and drinking on this trip. Next time I will do better. Promise.

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Bad.... XBOX 360 Rules

Last November I wrote a rather off-the-cuff post about the XBOX-360 without really testing one first. I have owned one for about six months now and I must say I was completely wrong. The XBOX 360 is totally fantastic in nearly every way from the controllers to the graphics. The games are incredible as well.

This is wonderful news for many reasons... but most of all because the number one reason I had for not switching to Linux on my computer was games. Gaming on Linux is not so good. But now... nothing is stopping me from running a real operating system on my computer and going to the XBOX (connected to a projector of course and hi-fi sound system) when I need a break.

Since I just got a virus on my computer today running that awful crap known as Windows XP Home Edition, I will be installing Ubuntu when I get home today and running Windows XP Home in a VM Ware virtual machine as God intended when I need to use a legacy app or remember what a Blue Screen of Death looks like (or run Photoshop or IE6 to test a website).

Sorry this post is a little geeky... but it had to be said. And Microsoft if you are reading this please put the XBOX group in charge of your next computer OS or else it's all over for you (if it isn't already). The masses can't be that far behind the geeks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Swedish Work Ethic?

The Local is reporting that "Swedish employees feign illness to stay home from work for an average of 7.62 days per year. Only in India did more people admit to skipping work without good cause."

Now this statistic reveals a lot of things. No one would ever confuse Sweden with India in many other areas, but in this respect they are the same. I don't know diddly squat about India but I can attest to the fact that in Sweden it is true. I have never seen people call in sick so much in my life. In the USA, one only calls in sick if one cannot literally get out of bed.

Is there some reason for this?

In my experience Swedes love three things more than anything else: singing, taking time off work, and of course, raw herring.

In Sweden the taxes are so high (on average more than twice what we pay in the States) and the benefits are so generous that people have to call in sick a certain number of days or else they are literally working for free. And if you really do get sick, you might as well stay home for a week because (mindbogglingly) YOU DON'T GET SICK PAY THE FIRST DAY OFF so why the fuck would you come back on the second day?

Yes. Incredible. After the first day of sickness you get 80% of your total salary for up to two weeks with no questions asked. After that you need a doctor's note. This is the national law. Since Swedes value social security and time off more than money, the system works (I mean stays home sick) pretty well. In some sectors absenteeism is so rampant it is typical for 25% of the work force not to be there on any given day.

This is all very strange to an American where we are basically always competing for our jobs. I think we even have a difficult time differentiating a person from his or her job description. In the USA if you call in sick more than a couple times a year, it's very likely to cost you a promotion, raise, or very possibly your job.

No matter what people say... coworkers and managers know when you're faking illness. And coworkers must pick up the slack when you are home sick. I mean, who ever gets sick on vacation, right?


Here it is common to call in sick WHILE ON VACATION so the days go towards sick leave and more vacation can be taken later. It is not uncommon in Sweden to take the whole month of July off and two weeks in the Winter. For the smaller weekend holidays they use their sick days. Try that one in the States.

I don't know about people in India, but Swedes are not lazy people. However I feel they tend to exaggerate how hard and long they work. Most of them would find the working conditions in the States to he inhumane. And as I become more and more Swedified, I am beginning to agree with them. Swedes normally like and are even fascinated by the States, even though though they find the rampant capitalism, insane foreign policy, and pockets of poverty in the States bewildering.

So Swedes play the wekfare system to their own advantage.

India... what do you have to say for yourself?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Swedish Joke (From a Finn)

Okay I promise some good pics from France soon. In the meantime here is a (very bad) Swedish joke submitted from a Finnish reader:

A Swede was walking down the street with a duck under his arm.

- "Where did you find that monkey?" asked the fellow pedestrian.

- "Monkey? It happens to be a duck." claimed the Swede.

- "Shut up, Swede! I am talking to the duck."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bottle in Front of Me Vs. Frontal Lobotomy

I've had an earache for three weeks to the day now. I even lost a set of tennis to a 75 year old man in part because of this. It doesn't so much hurt as much as my head is numbed and I can't think. Is this what a lobotomy is like? All I can to take my mind off it is munch Ibuprofin and drink.

Will you Swedish Sloth readers with lobotomies out there please comment and let me know if you can still drink with a frontal lobotomy? Then again, Randle Patrick McMurphy didn't look so good at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In fact I've never seen any pictures of people with frontal lobotomies who didn't look like drooling imbeciles. The doctors, of course, will all go to Hell (or Ohio, whichever is closer) when they die.

Is it possible to live one's life as a successful alchoholic with a lobotomy? Because it's not possible with an inner ear full of water and a bunch of Swedish doctors.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Swedish Doctors Can Take a Long Walk Off a Short Fjord

This is a big ass, and so is my Swedish doctor, whose name last name happens to be Wanky (which is not what I was in danger of doing after looking at this picture). I've been sick with an earache and after taking my 140 SEK he looks in my ear for 10 seconds and tells me there is nothing wrong with me. It gets worse so I go back and (after paying another 140 SEK) tell him half my head is numb and I can't close my mouth.

He tells me everything is okay and I don't need antibiotics. I protest and he asks me if I want anything for the pain. I say yes. I do not have a high tolerance for pain. I did spend my 20's on ecstasy and valium, after all. He gives me ear drops that make my head feel like a watermelon and the pain gets worse all week until I stop taking them.

If Herr Wanky ever needs his computer fixed I am gonna throw it down the stairs and tell him to send the bill to the estate of Olaf Palme for brainwashing Swedes into thinking socialism is a Good Thing (tm).

In conclusion, socialized medicine is only good if you can't afford capitalist medicine.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Abba at Eurovision '74

I was 3 when this video was made. I wish it was the 70's now. You could smoke inside and drink Chardonnay in the morning, and eat fondue and quaaludes for dinner, and white people could have afros, and Swedes could be international pop-stars, and everyone thought it was groovy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ouch Me Back

I fricken love tennis. I started competing locally when I was 11. I started out 0-4 and then won my last 7 matches to finish 7-4. At the award ceremony I got an award for most improved player of the season.

But then I spent the winter eating pretzels, drinking cokes, and playing ColecoVision. I got fat. The first match of the next season I hadn't swung a racket since the award ceremony.

I thought I could play on talent alone and I was very wrong. The first kid I played was dressed in white with sweatbands and everything. I felt pudgy and moving around the court was difficult. I lost 6-0, 6-0 and pulled a muscle in my leg and I couldn't walk for a week. I was so pissed off I quit tennis and took up golf instead (but that's another story).

Well now I am 36 and playing tennis again. I won my last match on Saturday 6-0, 6-3. The next day I had a lesson at 9am. I hit well and was feeling awesome. After the game I bent over to pick up the last ball before going home and I haven't been able to bend over since.

But this time I will not give up. I plan to get back in shape and play for the rest of my life. But there will be challenges. Although it's not ColecoVision, pretzels, and cokes anymore, now it's XBOX 360, whiskey, pizza, beer, & cigarettes.

I need to recover for a week, drop a good 20 pounds before May and get back in the swing. Wish me luck. And if you are in Stockholm and need a hitting partner let me know. Gotta run my ass around a bit.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm Skiing Drunk in France While You're Working

Went skiing last week in Megève, France with Linda, Svenja, and Ben. We drank all day and all night and ate everything expensive and fattening we saw.

Here is a photo of lunch at 2,000 meters.

And one of lovely Linda as well in a sexy ski pose.

Svenja and Ben are pretty sexy too considering they have like 5 kids and work as financial analysts in the City. How the fuck do they do it?

But they are not as sexy as me! Look how beat/literary I look in this bar chatting up the chalet girls.

And finally here is me again drinking at noon and eating soupe a l'onion. My Mom tells I'm the handsomest sloth in the world. I say it's more fun to drink and eat than ski.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Merry New Year

All hail the Axe Anti-Hangover Shower Gel, without which I wouldn't be alive today.

No really. New Year's lasted long into the night. I met lot's of new people and partied all night. I want to say that New Years in Sweden kicks the shit out of New Year's in the States. People really get into fireworks and drinking here. You could die with all the amateur displays out there.

In effect it's like 1,000 mini fireworks displays happening all at the same time all over the city. No firemen, no police, no barges like in the States. The best thing to do is to get high (in elevation!) and watch in awe. It lasts all night, really.

For people who like to explode things and kill and maim so much, The USA has some some pussy fireworks laws (and thus displays) in comparison. Viewing one of them would lead you to believe it was a civilized country. Probably the fireworks laws got passed in the 70's when Carter was in power and all the Republicans were either on quaaludes or devilishly planning the Reagan years.

One Swede told me that fireworks were the only good use for gun powder and it's fitting that the USA would ban them from the public. Ha ha. Merry New Year. May it be the best one yet for drinking, smoking, and screwing. And the worst one yet for hangovers and killing and maiming (fat chance).