Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Here ye! Here ye!

April 1, 2009

This weekend as my friend was barbecuing us some pork chops, he said, “Did you hear those reports on the radio about the pigs they were killing while they were still alive?” My first thought – which I kept to myself, because I try not to be an ass – was, “How else would you kill a pig?”

OK, maybe I did say this, because he responded with, “I mean, they were butchering them while they were still alive.” I told him I had not heard this, and he said it had been all over the news for days. We agreed it was a horrible thing.

Then yesterday morning a friend told me over coffee about how this major Swedish chicken company was recalling thousands of tons of frozen chickens because they had discovered crushed glass in them. My friend said they suspected sabotage from animal rights groups. I had not heard this either.

About a week ago I did actually try to watch the Swedish evening news, but it felt so old-fashioned, like I was watching a town crier. I thought, “You mean, I just have to sit here while this guy stands there and talks the news at me? I can’t skip ahead or click on that interesting link about 10 Things to Never Say at a Job Interview?” He lasted about five minutes.

It wouldn’t really hurt me to know more about what is going on in the world. I’ve begun to realize that there is a tiny information gap in getting all my news from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and skimming the micro headlines of Yahoo! News when I log out of my account. Not that I don’t enjoy hearing pigs scream, or eating glass, but I don’t want to look like a doofus in front of my friends, do I?

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Taking full responsibility

March 31, 2009

This morning I was lifting a sweater off a kitchen chair, and knocked a glass to the floor and broke it. My son called out in Swedish from the bedroom, “I’m sorry!” I said, “No, I broke it, it’s not your fault.” Then he was standing next to me there in the kitchen, saying, “No, both of us! Both!” I let him take the blame along with me. It was easier that way.

At preschool I lifted him out of his stroller, and he was immediately surrounded by three boys who pulled him into a huddle and clapped him on the back like he had just scored a goal. Then these  munchins in snowsuits ran off for the far side of the playground, their faces smiling and arms flapping.

Spring is here today. Spring in Sweden comes like an abusive spouse bearing chocolates and roses. I cower at all this sunshine, wanting to be glad for it, but not trusting it. This Swedish part of my brain, this part I do not want, tells me that by the time I finally do start trusting the weather, in July or August, it will change on me again. Today I will try to find my inner Californian, the one so sure about the sun. He’s much better to be around.

When bad things happen to good blogs

March 25, 2009

Yes, the blog has been suffering. If The Sugar Pea Express were a Tamagotchi, it would have long since been buried in some digital pet cemetery (one hopefully not built on the site of an ancient Indian digital burial ground, causing the Tamagotchi to come back with a taste for digital blood).

Of course, I’ve never actually played with a Tamagotchi. It was one of those fads that passed me by in the late 1990s while I was mistakenly using my time to learn Swedish, be married, and deliver newspapers at four in the morning with a young Norwegian man. He, in turn, mistakenly used his time by telling me all about his church, which from what I could make out from his Norwegian had something to do with Moses.

Not that I am able to take care of living things either – aside from my son. But he’s a bit more persistent than a Tamagotchi, I would imagine. Unless Tamagotchis are now being programmed to kneel beside you on the bed and shout in your ear, “Get up, pappa!” I would totally buy one of those, because my poor son with his one mouth is only able to shout in one of my ears at a time.

Plants, on the other hand, have no place in my home. My plants wonder not whether there is a God, but why he has forsaken them. I leave them for months to die slow, dry deaths until one day I do hear their prayers, then immediately cut off all their vital parts and drown them in water. My plants mistakenly believe they are in the Book of Job, where suffering is eventually rewarded with 140 years of life. In actual fact, they are smack in the middle of Kübler-Ross’s On Death and Dying.

The Sugar Pea Express being both a train and a blog, I’m not quite sure how I would kill it. In the made-for-TV version of this blog, they would undoubtedly load it with explosives then send it full-steam ahead down Terror Canyon, where it would jump the curve at Dead Man’s Gulch and explode spectacularly in mid-air. Since this is the low-budget blog version, I would instead kill it by filling it with recipes for low-fat cheesecake.