Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 5 unforgettable moments

Dec 30: Top 5 revelations
Dec 31: Top 5 unforgettable moments

Happy New Year!!! It's time for me to present my final list. This year has offered many unforgettable moments, but these are the ones I'm most likely to remember (or last ones I will forget) when I grow old and scatterbrained.

1. Asia with Martin. The current trip to Taiwan, plus the bonus day in Beijing, will be truly unforgettable. I'm so happy to be able to show him my roots. I'm also happy he has met my grandmother (Skype is not exactly a substitute). We have spent a lot of quality time with my cousins and even though the language at times is a barrier it's a barrier easy to cross.

2. Grand Canyon with my parents. A few months ago my parents flew from Sweden to California for a visit. We did a lot of fun stuff, but most memorable was our trip to Grand Canyon. We flew from Vegas and got a fantastic arial view over the West Rim. After landing we hopped on a helicopter that took us down to the bottom of the Canyon. This was my favorite part! After the helicopter ride a boat was waiting to take us on a ride on the Colorado River. It was amazing!

3. Wedding drop-in. Martin and I got married last year, in October. We decided to have the wedding in Sweden. But we also wanted to celebrate with our friends in the US. So, on our 6 month anniversary as a married couple we hosted a wedding drop-in in our apartment. It was great! At times it got really crowded but gathering many of your friends at the same time is never a problem. All in all about 40 friends passed through our 730 square feet (68 kvm).

4. Allergy testing. Since moving to the US I've noticed how my allergies seems worse. I decided to get an allergy test. The result was far worse than I expected. Apparently I'm allergic to every species of everything, with the exception of foods, drugs, mold and cockroaches! The best option for me was to get allergy shots. The first few months I got 4 shots a week, then it got reduced to 2 shots a week and in a couple of months it will further reduce to two shots a month. Hopefully in 3-5 years I will be cured from my allergies or at least see some improvement. If nothing else these shots will have cured is my long phobia of shots and needles.

5. Susan and E's Las Vegas (re-)wedding. I've always wanted to attend a Vegas wedding. So when our close friends Susan and E decided to renew their vows at the Chapel of the Bells we were the first ones to report for duty. It was everything I imagined (except that the couple was sober and knew each other extremely well). Thank you, Susan and E for giving us a unforgettable moment!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 5 revelations

Dec 29: Top 5 romantic moments
Dec 30: Top 5 revelations
Dec 31: Top 5 unforgettable moments

1. Health should not be taken for granted.
2. Your private relationships should not be coincidences, they should be priorities and by choice. It doesn't matter if it's with your husband, family or friends.
3. Romance is much more than dinners, flowers and grand gestures. Read my previous post "Top 5 romantic moments".
4. I'm my parents daughter. You work your whole life to find your own person, but you end up being your own version of your parents. It has taken me some time to realize it, but by the age I had this revelation I was old enough to appreciate it.
5. Don't forget to have a back-up system. I'm not metaphorical. I literally mean a back-up system to your computer. Man, am I glad my husband nagged about it. My computer crashed this year (or I accidentally dropped it) and I only lost a month worth of photos!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 5 romantic moments

Dec 28: Top 5 restaurants
Dec 29: Top 5 romantic moments
Dec 30: Top 5 revelations

Hm... romantic moments... there are plenty of romantic moments, but they are far from being as important as the things that lasts longer than a moment. Therefore I would like to dedicate this entry to my husband and his top 5 romantic gestures.

1. He understands and respects my relationships with my friends and family.
2. He supports me in my many endeavors, regardless of what nature they are. One day it can be running 5 km, another day it can be learning to belly dance. Or writing a blog.
3. He has enormous amount of patience and he brings balance and harmony into my life.
4. He surprises me. Sometimes with a gift, sometimes with encouragement and sometimes with a joke.
5. When it's cold outside, he lays on my side of the bed to keep it warm until I go to bed.

Btw, my husband just commented on this post. He had one word to say: Cheesy! It's a good thing he already has so many pluses, I just gave him a minus!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looooong haul

Finally here! After two days of travel, we're finally in Taipei! If you haven't noticed, it's been snowing in Europe lately. We are no better than anyone else and of course we ended up being among the thousands who were delayed.

We departed two hours late from Frankfurt which resulted in us missing our connection flight in Beijing. We had already made dinner plans with friends in Taipei the same evening, but after further investigation, we had to surrender. We wouldn't be able to fly to Taiwan until the next day.

What would you do if you were jet-lagged and stranded in Beijing at noon? I would've take a long shower, watched some TV, read a book and had a lazy day at the hotel. Good thing I'm not married to myself! My dear husband took the opportunity to turn this delay into something amazing. We had a one-day visa, a free hotel night and plenty of things to see. After a little convincing from his side, we took a cab to Tiananmen Square. We strolled around there for a while and then we made our way through the Forbidden City.

The feeling was surreal. There are people dreaming about visiting the Forbidden city all their lives, and there we were, right there, almost by coincidence. After a few hours we made our way back to the hotel. We had a nice (and free) meal, took a shower and slept like babies. As I said, I'm so happy I'm not married to myself, I wouldn't have wanted the day to be any different.

Top 5 restaurants

Dec 27: Top 5 cultural experiences
Dec 28: Top 5 restaurants
Dec 29: Top 5 romantic moments

1. Sundance Steakhouse, Palo Alto
2. Olives at Bellagio, Las Vegas
3. Southland Flavor Cafe, Cupertino
4. Manana Stigbergstorget, Göteborg
5. The Country Club, Las Vegas

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 5 cultural experiences

Dec 26: Top 5 songs
Dec 27: Top 5 cultural experiences
Dec 28: Top 5 restaurants

1. SF Pride Parade
2. Roller-derby
3. Fanime Convention
4. Boulder Creek's Lumberjack days
5. Portugese Festa

Honorary mention: Black Friday. We were out there, we saw the madness, we've learnt our lesson and next year I know we'll find parking!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top 5 songs

Dec 25: Top 5 social gatherings
Dec 26: Top 5 songs
Dec 27: Top 5 cultural experiences

Maybe I'm not that interested or maybe I'm picky, but only three songs qualified:

1. Road Salt by Pain of Salvation (2010)
2. Hard Times by John Legend & The Roots (2010)
3. On Repeat by Looptroop (2010)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Next destination: Taiwan

Tomorrow, December 26th, Martin and I are flying to Taiwan. If you have any fingers to spare, please cross them and wish that our journey will be safe and smooth. Especially, if you know my husband, you might want to send him an extra prayer and hope our flights will departing as scheduled alternatively wish that I somehow will find the ability to stay calm and patient.

I will be reporting from Taiwan when I find time (aka when I'm not eating)!

Top 5 social gatherings

Dec 24: Top 5 gifts
Dec 25: Top 5 social gatherings
Dec 26: Top 5 songs

1. Our wedding drop-in with American friends
2. Tasty Tuesdays with Martin's co-workers
3. Thanksgiving with Family Konstantaras
4. Martin's birthday celebration at Liseberg with Gothenburg friends
5. Halloween party at Colette's

Btw, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Top 5 gifts

Dec 23: Top 5 disappointments
Dec 24: Top 5 gifts
Dec 25: Top 5 social gatherings

1. MacBook Air (received)
2. Origami paper flowers (given)
3. Great Mall clothing challenge (received and given)
4. Solsidan tv-series, DVD-box (received)
5. Photo books (given)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 5 disappointments

Dec 22: Top 5 products
Dec 23: Top 5 disappointments
Dec 24: Top 5 gifts

1. San Jose Home and Garden Fall Expo
2. Sacramento
3. Björn Rosentröm concert
4. Little Dragon concert
5. Avatar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 5 products

Dec 21: Top 5 stores
Dec 22: Top 5 products
Dec 23: Top 5 disappointments

1. Car
2. Netflix
3. TOMS shoes
4. Cuticle clipper
5. Swiffer Sweeper

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top 5 emotional news

Excuse the 2 day delay. Here are the Top 5 emotional news, as promised.

Dec 18: Top 5 worst movies
Dec 19: Top 5 emotional news
Dec 20: Top 5 excursions
Dec 21: Top 5 stores
Dec 22: Top 5 products

This Top 5 list deserves more attention than the others. First, let me explain the subject. My initial thought was to write a list over the most important news this year. But how and who can define what's important or not? To me, news is information about the world we live in. Information is important, we can not care about and experience what we don't know. That's why I decided to write a list over the news that had the biggest emotional impact on me.

1. The Swedish general election
This event literally made me cry. I have written about this subject before and I will try not to repeat myself. It was a historical election in many ways. This was the first time a right-winged government had been re-elected. But more importantly, the racist party, The Sweden Democrats, was elected into government. This had a profound impact on me. Not only because I'm an immigrant myself, but also because I'm a human being. If you want to read more detailed reflections on the Swedish general election, read my other blog posts: "The Swedish general election", "Segregation" and "There are no words...", all published in September.

2. Stockholm terrorist attack
This happened just a few days ago. On December 11, Sweden experienced their first suicide bomber. He's name was Taimour Abdulwahab. He set of the bomb in the center of Stockholm and the message was a threat, that the Swedish people need to beware. The Swedish people's daughters and sisters will suffer the same fate as the sisters and daughters of islam have suffered.

As horrible as I think it is and as much as I wish Sweden would remain the safe and protected country I believed it was, I worry that the consequences of this event has just begun. I can't even start to imagine what motivated Taimour Abdulwahab to kill innocent people and leave a family behind. However, I am fully capable of knowing the fear and shock the Swedish population feel. Things like this are not meant to happen in Sweden. People are scared and afraid of the unknown. The problem is that people might not know what the "unknown" is. I might be afraid that the world is changing and I might be afraid of terrorist attacks, but I refuse to be afraid of people just because they believe in a certain god or are of a certain ethnicity!

I have already discussed how I feel about the Swedish election and the racist influences sweeping across Sweden. This random act of madness, has not only fueled the already existing protectionism and suspicions, it has turned some of the most freedom-loving and open-minded persons I know into people afraid of bearded faces. I beg of you, try your hardest to stay open-minded and don't let a mad man limit your ability to embrace people.

3. Gay rights
I'm a huge advocate of equal right for all, including equal rights to be married, regardless of sexual preferences. Right now, at this very moment, this is a very hot topic in California. This year could prove to be a very interesting year. I can try my best to give you a brief history about what has lead up to the current suspension, but why do something when someone else already has done it for you?

This year has offered great news, disappointments, frustration and new hope. Fingers crossed, next year might be the first year California, once and for all, decide to honor equality. If you want to read further reflections on gay rights and equality, read my September post "This summer's revelations".

4. Nobel Peace prize winner
I wrote about the Nobel Peace Price winner, Liu Xiaobo, when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee announced their choice. It was a great decision and he is a great man. Read more about my reaction in my October post "Let us celebrate a hero".

5. Guatemala STD experiments
On October 1st, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered their apologies to Guatemala for intentionally using the Guatemalan people for STD experiments. The experiments took place between 1946 - 1948 and it involved infecting male prisoners and female mental health patients with syphilis and gonorrea without the their consent or knowledge. The experiments were an collaboration between US Public Health Service, Pan American Health Organization and the Guatemalan government, who were heavily influenced by American interests.

The whole story is insane, but there are three components that really fueled my emotions. First of all, if the American government can't find any other solutions that human experiments why not infect your own people? I guess it's really convenient to infect others who are poorer and more powerless, to act like proper imperialists. Let's not forget, the experiments started just after the Second World War, where the human race should have learnt how wrong it is to treat people like disposable lab-rats.

Secondly, this was by no means a headline, especially not internationally. The US government infects people with STDs and it barely registered?

Thirdly, Guatemala only receives an apology because a professor of Women's Studies at Wellesley College, Susan Reverby, discovered documents and posted them on her website. If no one would have found out, the US government would have gotten away with it and would never have offered an apology.

top 5 stores

Dec 20: Top 5 excursions
Dec 21: Top 5 stores
Dec 22: Top 5 products

1. Psycho donuts, Campbell
2. Costco
3. Sausalito Ferry, Co., Sausalito
4. Nordstrom Rack in Palo Alto
5. Ranch 99 Market

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 5 excursions

Dec 19: Top 5 emotional news
Dec 20: Top 5 excursions
Dec 21: Top 5 stores

1. Boulder Creek
2. The Lace Museum in Palo Alto
3. Sonoma
4. Carmel
5. Ice skating in San Francisco

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fashion forward? Or fashion awkward?

There is a rumor about Scandinavians. Apparently we are very fashion forward. Maybe I've lived abroad too long and become fashion backward but to me, this garment is just fashion awkward.

It's best described as a "scary sweat-jumpsuit" or a OnePiece ( and it's invented by three Norwegian men. This particular store is located at a prime location in Gothenburg (Arkaden, for those who know) and this is their only product.

How did they came up with this design? I guess it could be somewhat practical for men when using the men's room (see the crotch-zipper), but for us ladies it would be a hassle. And another question, have you ever felt the need to zipper your entire face? My husband might want to zipper my face at times, but I would like to see him try!

For those of us who haven't understood the obvious, this is apparently design and innovation. It's edgy and provocative! It's a statement piece. And it is all yours for 1350 sek ($200)!

Top 5 worst movies

Dec 17: Top 5 best movies
Dec 18: Top 5 worst movies
Dec 19: Top 5 emotional news

1. Miss March
2. Bitch slap
3. Jennifer's Body
4. Grown-ups
5. Couples retreat

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm the birthday girl!

I just turned 28. I'm officially closer to 30 than 25.

The strange thing is that I've been wanting to turn 28 for quite some time. I was especially frustrated when I started my career at 23 and had to fight hard to be taken seriously. I figured that 28 would be the "perfect" age. I would still be young but old enough not to be considered inexperienced and naiv. My plan was to turn 28 and then stay 28 for a while.

Well, here I am, 28 years old. Now I'm not sure how old I feel. I've never been 28 so how do I know what 28 feels like? I know I still play Playstation and pay money to see Jackass 3D at the cinema. But I also know I enjoy jigsaw puzzels and at times I knit. I just got my first car but I've travelled to 30 countries and lived on three continents. I dream about going to Disney World and I dream abou owning a laundry machine.

I guess there are a few tell tale signs that I'm approaching 30 rather than being 20. It's really slippery in Gothenburg right now. I used to be afraid to fall because it would be embarrassing. Now I'm afraid to fall because I could break something. Before I wanted to live somewhere sunny so I could have a year-round tan. Now I know I need to live somewhere sunny because I can't walk on ice. I used to have ridiculous shoes, as long as they looked nice. Now I'm looking for shoes that look nice but are comfortable.

In the end of the day, I don't care how old I feel, as long as I feel good. I'm happy I've only lived 28 years. These years have been exciting, challenging, surprising and ultimately a joyride. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Top 5 best movies

Dec 16: Top 5 tv-shows
Dec 17: Top 5 best movies
Dec 18: Top 5 worst movies

1. Kick-Ass
2. Zombieland
3. Inception
4. Youth in Revolt
5. Stieg Larsson's Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tatto, The Girl who Played with Fire & The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Learn from those who know!

I really wish all of you understood Swedish. If you did you could learn a thing or two from this lady!

Top 5 tv-shows

Dec 15: Top 5 series
Dec 16: Top 5 tv-shows
Dec 17: Top 5 best movies

1. Lite sällskap
2. Project runway (favorite: Mondo Guerra)
3. Top Chef (favorite: Angelo Sosa)
4. Top Chef Masters (favorite: Marcus Samuelsson)
5. Top Chef Just Desserts (favorite: Yigit Pura)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 5 series

Dec 14: Top 5 "should have"s
Dec 15: Top 5 series
Dec 16: Top 5 tv-shows

1. This American Life
2. Bones
3. Firefly
4. How I met your mother
5. 30 Rock

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 5 "should have"s

Dec 13: Top 5 books
Dec 14: Top 5 "should have"s
Dec 15: Top 5 series

1. Should have learnt how cold San Francisco always is.
2. Should have started running earlier.
3. Should have bought an annual pass to Muir Woods.
4. Should have been out earlier on Black Friday. Maybe next year we'll find parking.
5. Should have remembered to always have snacks or a granola bar in my handbag.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The weight of the world

Fitness Expo. Not generally an event I would attend. I don't really feel I belong. Beside the fact that I'm slightly overweight and really lazy there are other aspects to consider. We have the crazy bronzed Belgium Blue-like body builders I can't help starring at, the super buff girls who frighten the bejesus out of me and the Fitness people who are a constant reminder of how out of shape I am. And on top of it all, most of the food freebies have added proteins in some form.

But if I can support a friend in his/hers endeavors I will drag my lazy behind to a Fitness Expo any day of the week.

My husband met our friend Peter at university. They were Phd-buddies. But Peter is not only a computer engineer, he is also freakishly strong. He's been doing Strongman competitions for quite some time and last year he was the second strongest man in Sweden. But everything must come to an end and yesterday he did his last Strongman competition at the Fitness Expo in Gothenburg. Luckily I was in town and could cheer him on.

Here is a picture of Peter, carrying 175 kg (386 lb) in each hand. Notice how the "bags" are constructed. In order to carry the "bags" he needs to lift his arms away from his body rather than letting them hang parallel to his body. And imagine 175 kg swinging and hitting your leg every time you take a step. I'm guessing he does not have the same struggle as I have when grocery shopping or when lifting a bag at baggage claim.

Here is another picture of Peter, now walking with an 415 kg (915 lb) yoke.

I had to leave the competition early so I'm not sure how it actually turned out. But regardless of the competition I'm damn impressed. If I ever need to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders I know exactly who to call.

Top 5 books

Dec 12: Top 5 drinks
Dec 13: Top 5 books
Dec 14: Top 5 "should haves"

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2. The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
3. A Child Called it by Dave Pelzer
4. The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
5. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Top 5 drinks

Dec 11: Top 5 foods
Dec 12: Top 5 drinks
Dec 13: Top 5 books

1. Francis Coppola Malbec
2. Vignette Wine Country Soda (non-alcoholic)
3. Lemon drop
4. Sparkling rosé Sangria
5. Cazadores Tequila Reposado

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Top 5 foods

Dec. 10: Top 5 addictions
Dec. 11: Top 5 foods
Dec. 12: Top 5 drinks

1. Prime-rib
2. Pani-puri
3. Funnel cake
4. Bread pudding
5. Pumpkin pie

Worst food this year: Sno balls

Friday, December 10, 2010


I've been back in Sweden one week. This week has been absolutely amazing. You know it's great seeing the friends you've missed, but you don't feel how great it is until you get to wrap your arms around them. I've wrapped my arms around several of my friends during the past week and it's been wonderful!

I'm used to missing my best friend, Theres, everyday. But since I've been back I've seen her 5 days out of 7. I've had lunches, coffees and dinners with the greatest people in the world. My parents have spoilt me rotten. And I still haven't met all the people I want to meet and I still have quite a few days to spend in Sweden. I can't wait!

Trust me, I'm fully aware of the overuse of superlatives. But I think this is an attempt to put my feelings into words. I'm afraid I'm failing miserably. I'm feeling so much that I need to express it in any way that I can, otherwise I will burst!

Ok, I will stop rambling now.

Nature's Gym

For the past few months I've been exercising semi-regularly. Coming back to Sweden (and then travelling in Asia) I knew it would be challenging to keep it up. So I decided not to beat my self up if I relax while out travelling. But sometimes nature takes its course.
Welcome to Nature's Gym!

Shoveling snow: Cardio and resistance training, all in one! Try it while it lasts! It's free, available at any hour and it's just outside your door.

Top 5 addictions

Dec 9: Top 5 portable games (Nintendo DS/phones)
Dec 10: Top 5 addictions
Dec 11: Top 5 foods

1. Eyebrow threading
2. Orange nail-polish
3. Flossing
4. Costco
5. Dried blueberries

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top 5 portable games (Nintendo DS/phones)

Dec. 8: Top 5 PS3 games
Dec. 9: Top 5 portable games (Nintendo DS/phones)
Dec. 10: Top 5 addictions

1. Professor Layton: The Unwound Future (Nintendo DS)
2. Professor Layton: The Diabolical Box (Nintendo DS)
3. Angry Birds (Phone)
4. GeoQuiz (Phone)
5. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Nintendo DS)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 5 PS3 games

Dec 7: Top 5 live performances
Dec 8: Top 5 PS3 games
Dec 9: Top 5 portable games (Nintendo DS/phones)

1. Infamous (2009)
2. Borderlands (2009)
3. Battlefield: Bad Company (2008)
4. Heavy Rain (2010)
5. Singstar Dance (2010)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top 5 live performances

Dec 7: Top 5 live performances
Dec 8: Top 5 PS3 games

1. The Lion King (Las Vegas)
2. Cirque du Solei - Mystere (Las Vegas)
3. Looptroop & Timbaktu (San Francisco)
4. The Marriage of Figaro (San Jose)
5. Green Day (Mountain View)

Honorary mentions: Back Street Boys, Lauryn Hill and Elton John. Great artists but unfortunately not so great performances.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top 25, top 5 lists

A new year is approaching. At least that's what my calendar keeps telling me. What better way to welcome a new year than by summarizing the past year in Top 5-lists? So let me present a daily top 5-list for the remaining days of 2010.
Let me present my top 25, top 5-lists:

Dec 7: Top 5 live performances
Dec 8: Top 5 PS3 games
Dec 9: Top 5 portable games (Nintendo DS/phones)
Dec 10: Top 5 addictions
Dec 11: Top 5 foods
Dec 12: Top 5 drinks
Dec 13: Top 5 books
Dec 14: Top 5 "should have"s
Dec 15: Top 5 series
Dec 16: Top 5 tv-shows
Dec 17: Top 5 best movies
Dec 18: Top 5 worst movies
Dec 19: Top 5 emotional news
Dec. 20: Top 5 excursions
Dec. 21: Top 5 stores
Dec. 22: Top 5 products
Dec. 23: Top 5 disappointments
Dec. 24: Top 5 gifts
Dec. 25: Top 5 social gatherings
Dec. 26: Top 5 songs
Dec. 27: Top 5 cultural experiences
Dec. 28: Top 5 restaurants
Dec. 29: Top 5 romantic moments
Dec. 30: Top 5 revelations
Dec. 31: Top 5 unforgettable moments

Disclaimer: The lists are based on the experiences up until the date of publication and written based on the time of the experience, not the year of origin. Movies/games/books/music etc, may have been published during previous years.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back and freezing

I arrived back in Sweden a few days ago. For the past few weeks I've been reading on Facebook about the snow and freezing temperatures. Being from Gothenburg and having spent the last few winters abroad, I haven't seen proper snow for a while. I was very much looking forward to it.

People were not kidding. It was COLD!!! As soon as I disembarked the plane, a cold wind slapped my face red and you know it's cold when your teeth are freezing. Apparently it was -13 degrees (8,6 F). But it was beautiful. The sun was shining and the snow was glistening white. It was like a Christmas card. I had forgotten how much I loved the creaking sound of snow.

When I arrived home with my parents, we went up to the attic, got all the Christmas decoration out. My dad put up the Christmas tree, my mum tended to the fire place and I sorted through and dusted our Christmas ornaments. We put on some Christmas music and decorated the tree. We drank some Swedish Christmas wine (glögg) and ate some gingerbread cookies. For dinner my mum had prepared a Christmas ham and vört-bread. I was in heaven!

Later that night I fell into a deep food- and jet-lag induced coma. This was a perfect start to highly anticipated visit to my dear and beloved Gothenburg.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Run Wild for a Child, the aftermath

It's done! I've finished! I am finished!

A while ago I announced that I was participating in a children's charity run, "Run Wild for a Child". Today I ran it. As I have mentioned before, this is my Everest. The race is only 5 km (3,1 miles), but you have no idea how out of shape I was when I first decided to run a 5 km race. Let me tell you.

I took my body and mind out for a test run a few month ago. I was shocked! Not that I thought I was in good shape, but I didn't think it was humanly possible to have so little stamina. Without exaggerating I managed to jog about 200 m (0,12 miles) before my lungs started to burn. Something had to change! I decided to run a race. That would give me a predetermined distance and date. I recruited some friends for support and off I went.

My goal was to run the whole race without stopping, without really bothering about the time. I soon realized that people with long legs could easily walk the same pace as I jogged. But at least I was out there.

It really is a pity that I'm such an expert procrastinator. I started running regularly way too late. As a result I didn't quite reach my goal. I did the 5 km in 38 min which is about a 12 min/mile. I spent about 5 min walking. Maybe I could have pushed myself a little bit more, but regardless of the result, I'm really, really proud of my self, especially considering where I started.

I'm still not a fan of running. But this experience was a great experience. I will probably not keep running for fun, but run for charity is the least I can do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving thanks

Time to be serious and to share some thoughts. It's Thanksgiving weekend. I want to take the opportunity to reflect on the things in my life I'm most thankful for.

There are plenty of things I take for granted, that by no means are available to all, such as a roof over my head, food on the table, cloths to wear and healthcare. I'm thankful for everything I just mentioned. All of it enables me to live a good life. I'm thankful that all the basic necessities are so much a part of me that I can't really imagine how life would be without them. I even have a car to drive, a dishwasher, a wardrobe full of stuff and almost an endless supply of entertainment. And on top of it all, I'm healthy!

I'm thankful I have all the tools to live a good life. But the reality is that I don't live a good life, I live a great life.

What makes my life great? People do. I've always pride myself in being an independent person. If I want anything done, I will do it myself. I'm self-reliant, self-motivated and self-confident. But would I be any of it if I didn't have people in my life cheering me on? I can call my self as independent as I want, but the truth is that I'm totally dependent on my loved ones.

My parents would do anything for my well-being. They always have my best interest in mind (even though I don't always appreciate it). My husband is the love of my life. I don't know how to function without him. My best friend is as much my soulmate as my husband. She knows me in ways no one else ever will. I gladly serve them my heart on a silver platter, and I thank them for handling it with love and care.

I have great friends. Some old friends in Sweden that I miss dearly. I have some friends in Europe, Asia and Africa I don't know when I will see again. I have new friends in the US who brighten my everyday. And then there are all the friends I've had but no longer know, from school, summer camps, work etc. I'm glad to have known you.

I want to thank everyone who has ever put a smile on my face. I can only hope that I have given as much as I have received.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm from Europe

I was at my dentist yesterday. While in the waiting room, I casually chatted with the receptionist about Thanksgiving.

Re: Any plans for Thanksgiving?
Me: Well, we are celebrating with some friend of ours. All of us live far from our families so it's a good thing we can take care of each other.
Re: That sounds great! You are from Canada, right?
Me: No, I'm from Europe.

What's up with that?!? I'm not even going to discuss the fact that my accent apparently sounds Canadian. My main concern is how I said "I'm from Europe" or actually, my concern is what I didn't say. "I'm from Sweden" is what I should've said. Or at least "I'm from Scandinavia".

I spent the rest of the teeth cleaning contemplating my choice of words. I never say "I'm from Europe" and if I have in the past it's only been as a last resort, when people don't seem to know where Sweden is. I know how the European Union want to strengthen our European identity, but as far as I know, French people are still fiercely proud to be French and Scottish people don't even like to call themselves British, let alone European.

Then I thought a daunting thought. The only people I know who frequently treat Europe as if it was one country are Americans. OMG! Have two years in the US really made me lose my sense of national identity? Have I lost the understanding of cultural differences? Or have I just lost my mind. Either way, I can't shake the feeling the I have lost something...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love is in the Air

Gadgets! Gadgets! Gadgets!

... is not a thing I would typically say. I wouldn't call myself a technophobe but I'm very far from being a technophile. And if there is something I'm definitely not, it's tech-savvy. Without my tech-savvy technophile husband I would probably still be inserting my floppy disk into my Windows 95 computer, hooking up to the internet via my modem and logging onto ICQ and searching for stuff on Alta Vista. I would listen to my portable CD-player and wishing the CD wouldn't skip all the time and I would play "Snake" on my cell phone which would have a huge antenna.

Good thing I'm not. Since I met my dear husband I've become the proud owner of a whole lot of new technology. He hooks us up on the latest stuff and I get to benefit from it. I've appreciated pretty much every addition he's made (even though you can question the size of our subwoofer).

Until recently, I've not been proactive at all. I've just adapted. But a few weeks ago I suggested we make another addition to our collection of gadgets. So, after some contemplation, we decided to buy an 11 inch Macbook Air.

I adore it! I don't just love it, I'm in love with it.

I'm sure it's a great machine and has great technical specs, but to me it's just so wonderfully light and portable. And who knew a gray, metallic square could be so pretty. I treasure it so much it even prompted me to sew a custom skin for it. I'm no Martha Stewart but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Let's face it, when I was a young girl, I loved dressing my dolls. Now, I'm a grown woman, living in Silicon Valley. Now I love dressing my Macbook Air.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Emperor's new invisibility cloak

My guess is that all of us has, at some point, wished we could be invisible. It's the perfect fantasy. It opens up possibilities that can only be limited by the own imagination. The coolest way to turn invisible would obviously be to be able to control it with your mind, but if that is unattainable I could easily settle for Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.

But the reality is that it's only a fantasy. At least that's what I thought until very recently. I realized that all of us can turn invisible when ever we please. Unfortunately it's not enough to use our minds, we need a invisibility device. Introducing the cell phone.

Last week, while sitting on a tram, I saw one man turn invisible. He was a man in his 30s, well dressed and he looked like he belonged in the financial district. He had some problems with his complexion, but else from that, he was very well groomed. We sat in a fashion where I was facing his profile. His invisibility device rang and all of a sudden, he couldn't stop touching his face. While on the phone (which sounded like a business call) he began to pop his pimples. He had zits on his face and neck and he kept popping them for a good 5 min. Apparently he had turned invisible. The same second as he turned off his invisibility device he stopped touching his face and returned to be the pulled together business man he was when he wasn't invisible.

Similar thing happend yesterday. I was at the mall, waiting in line to pay. In front of me was this 18-19 year old girl. She had perfect hair, perfect make-up and she looked straight out of a fashion magazine. Her invisibility device started ringing and as soon as she turned invisible she started picking her nose. After plunging her perfectly manicured finger into her nose, she retrieved it, looked if she caught anything and plunged the finger into the other nostril. She was not embarrassed at all but why would she be, she was invisible.

The Emperor wore his new cloths with pride, even though he was naked. If he had an invisibility cloak he could have had the freedom to do what ever he pleased, where ever he please and he would do it for the whole world to see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looptroop Rockers - On Repeat

I don't always agree with Looptroop's political messages, but I applaude them for their latest song, "On Repeat". They wrote this after the Swedish election as a response to the Sweden Democrats' success.

get out! this is meant to be shocking
perverted disturbed this bird's mocking
Who's to say what's culture who's watching
who's knocking
get out! they're here to carry me away
not done till I'm buried in a grave
and no one left to hear me when I say
they got rid of em all
get out! turncoats turn folks into scapegoats
burn crosses burn mosques lay low
no way burn every flag every nation
high horses hypocritical halo
swastika carved on your face yo
9/19 what a day of shame for
the most enlightened country or you say so
but how modern is it to be racial

well it looks to me
like our history's
running on repeat
over and over again

oh no, I don't follow you
'cus you're clearly delusional, all of you
in here we a family, I know it bothers you
feeling left out of our little rendez vous
boo, it's scary thought I know
that my brother's bilingual and minutes ago
I was talking to my mother in law
still got an accent after 35 years in this snow
whoa, what a horrible crime
cooking something that I've never seen in my life
and she's scared of this Sweden that you vote and she paid for
modern, enlightened, I heard when you said so..

when it looks to me
like our history's
running on repeat
over and over again

go, get out now how you gon' react?
go, stay out the ball is bouncing back!

you wanna isolate yourself, crush peoples dreams
deny families to live in peace
but tell me how it feels out in the cold
when the hate that you breed is coming for your soul
once again ignorance is hiding
wolf in a sheep's suit and tie crying
(get out) and they call it a bluff
that we see kids in apathy cus they had enough
who's gonna stop us, who's gonna close the door?
as long as we live and got our vocal cords
watch who you voting for, this state's so
modern, enlightened, I heard when they said it's so..

well it looks to me
like our history's
running on repeat
over and over again

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rom-Coms, fall 2010

Hey Girls (and boys, I'm not here to judge).

Fall is here and it's high time to put away the bikini and the flip-flops. Replace the sun chair and chicken salads with blankets and hot soups. No more putting on summer dresses and sipping icy cocktails. Time to put on the sweatpants and curl up in the sofa with a cup of tea. What goes better with cosy days in than movies? I've recently had the pleasure to catch quite a few romantic comedies recently/currently running at the cinema. None of them have been mind-altering och life-changing, but sometimes you just want to be amused and smile for a while. Based on my totally subjective judgement, I recommend the following movies in the following order:

1. Going the distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justing Long
2. Easy A, starring Emma Stone
3. Life as we know it, starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel
4. The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman

I will soon be going back to the cinema to watch "Morning Glory" and "Love and other drugs". We'll see how they fit into the list.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's all in the hair

I just got my hair cut. As always, my hairdresser Christy, did a great job. She's not the cheapest Chinese hairdresser in town, but she knows asian hair and she has proper qualifications from Vidal Sasson. Also, she is the sweetest person ever! I found her two years ago when I first moved to California. Having lived most of my life in Sweden, I've always wanted a hairdresser who knows chinese hair. My east-asian sisters out there, you know what I'm talking about.

When I started going to her, she was working at her sisters salon. They are both from China and they moved to the US to try to make a better life for themselves and for the family they had to leave behind in China. So when I received a call from Christy about a month ago, I was surprised to hear that she had started working at another salon.

Today she told me why. When she was working at her sister's place she had to worked 9am - 7pm, 6 days a week. But now she needed more spare time because her son is finally able to move to the US. They had just finalized all the paperwork and he will be arriving in 4 weeks. For the past three years she has only been able to see her son once a year. So now she's renting a chair at a new salon, she's working flexible hours and she's taking an English class to prepare for her son's arrival. She was so happy but her story almost made me cry. Think of the heart-break and the sacrifice.

When I was leaving, I payed the $50 and tried to give her a tip. She gave me the tip back saying I shouldn't give her anything extra, but I could help her by giving her a good review on I shoved $10 in her hands and told her I would write her a great review.

If you live in or around Mountain View and need a good hairdresser and want to support a good human being, visit and ask for Christy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shopping brings happiness (sometimes)

Today is a good day. I've had a headache all day. I'm dead tired and I have eaten a way too big lunch. But today is a good day and nothing can bring me down.

So, what is the root of my happiness? A pair of shoes. I realize that this is my third posting dedicated to shoes and so be it, I love shoes.

For the past month I've been on the hunt for a pair of winter booties. I've had a very specific style in mind and I've been all over the place looking for them. As I am a bargain shopper I have also limited my choices to a very tight budget. Seriously, I live in California and will not be using my heavy black winter boots that many weeks of the year.

I found nothing. Well, I found a whole lot of lovely shoes, but not the perfect pair for the perfect price. So, what am I willing to give up? Giving up the idea of the perfect shoe or giving up on finding the perfect price? I decided to compromise the price. I had found a great pair at Urban Outfitters (one of my favorite stores). They were $69 and I had a 20% off promotion code to use online. However, I couldn't get the stupid code to work so I decided to drive to the store and buy them at the original price.

I almost tore the store apart. I couldn't believe they didn't have my shoes in store. I asked a shop assistant if they had more shoes coming in. She asked me which ones I was looking for and after trying to explain which one I wanted I was asked to show her on the computer. After going through hundreds of pairs of shoes, we found them. And they had them in store. In the sale department!

Online, they shoes I wanted was listed as "News" but in store they were recently sorted as a sale item. By recently I mean they were marked down yesterday! So, instead of paying $69 I ended up paying $19.99. Bring on the euphoria! I ended up finding the perfect pair for a perfect price and that is why today is a good day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Music festivals 2010

I've been to three music festivals this year, everyone of them very different from the other. It's been hip hop, alternative music and an acoustic benefit concert. Even though they are different and they were great in their own way, I can't help but to compare.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Welcome to my new and improved blog. After careful consideration I've decided to integrate my three blogs into one. This will hopefully make my blog easier to follow and I will be able to post new stuff more often. I will continue to write about culture, society and about my life. If you want my opinion about something specific, let me know! :)

Thanks for reading!

Carpe Diem!

Yesterday, when I was driving, I heard a song by Kris Allen on the radio, " Live like we're dying". The song got me thinking. You know how people say that you should "live your day like there is no tomorrow" or "live each day as if it was the last". I'm not sure if I could do that.

If I knew I was dying tomorrow or if today would be the last I would probably spend the entire day crying my eyes out. I would force my husband to stay home from work and hold me all day while I cried in his arms knowing that I wouldn't have time to say good bye to my family and friends, especially those in Sweden.

If I found out when I was dying, regardless of if it was tomorrow, next month or next year, I actually think I would mourn the fact that I was dying more than I would celebrate that I was alive. I think I'm enjoying life and making the most of it because I hope and believe it will last a long time, over a long life. I might die tomorrow or today, but my hope that there will be many tomorrows to come makes me happy and hopeful that I have many more happy days to live.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Singing (or sleeping?) in the rain

Some people are good at sports and some are good at singing. Some are good at maths and some are good at painting. My skill is not at all impressive, but very useful. I'm really good at sleeping.

I can sleep pretty much any where at any time. I've slept in a banged up taxi in India (during rush hour) and I've slept standing against a wall at a night club (no, I wasn't drunk). I especially love sleeping while being transported. My personal record is 12 hours straight in a car. I even sleep well when flying. I've done 8 hour sleeps on several intercontinental flights.

But a few days ago, I tried something new. I fell asleep at a music festival. While I have done that many times before this time was different. It was pouring rain. But I felt tired and it was between acts so I laid down on our vinyl table cloth I brought to sit on, pulled up the zipper, pulled down the hood and took a nap. A 10 minute power nap was exactly what I needed and I woke up just in time for the next performer. As I said, it's not an impressive skill but it really is useful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Run Wild for a Child

It's done! I've registered for my first run, ever! It's the San Francisco Fire Fighters toy run, "Run Wild for a Child". It's charity run in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (and the Panhandle) on Thanksgiving Sunday. You can run 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers. If you don't want to run but still want to support the cause, you can walk the 5 kilometers as well. You can dress up as your favorite toy and you're encouraged to bring new and unwrapped toys and all the proceeds goes towards San Francisco Fire Fighters holiday toy program.

The distance I'm running (read jogging) is 5 kilometers. I guess for some people 5 kilometers (3,1 miles) is nothing but a warm-up. But to me, it's an achievement. 5 kilometers is my Everest.

I'm definitely not a runner. I'm out of shape, I'm chubby and my legs are really short (they dangle off most chairs). But the idea of running has always intrigued me. People who do it seem to really enjoy it and there is an ease to "going out for a quick run" that is very alluring. Will I ever be that person?

I would say it is very doubtful. This far I've found running quite painful and frustrating, but worst of all, it's so boring. But I will test my patience and stay hopeful, it has to get better with time. And I still have a bit of time.

So, if you want to see a chubby Scandinasian climb her Everest, you should join me in my endeavors. In the end of the day, it's for a very good cause.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jackass 3D

I heart movies. Really I do. It doesn't really matter what genre of movie, it can be block-busters, rom-coms, dramas, comedies or action movies. I've also seen my fair share of "critically acclaimed foreign movies". As long as I'm entertained and I feel that a movie is worth while, I'm happy.

So, here is my latest movie recommendation: Jackass 3D.

It was totally awesome! I don't care that the movie is moronic, juvenile and disgusting, it's so frigging entertaining. It's been true throughout the ages, people like seeing other people hurt themselves. You can call it Charlie Chaplin slapstick or America's Funniest Home Videos, the concept is pretty much the same.

So, if you're anything like me and enjoy laughing uncomfortably hard, see Jackass 3D!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Google Statement

I'm proud to be a part of the Google clan.

Paper wedding anniversary

52 origami flowers, one for each week we've been married (a labour of love that took about 40 hours to complete).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gaming consoles

It all begun in 2007. Back then I was commuting every week between Trelleborg and Göteborg, a commute that took 5-3 hours each way, depending on mode of transport. I was usually on the train about 4 hours every Friday and Sunday. To assist me in my travels, my husband bought me a Nintendo DS. This was my introduction to gaming. I never gamed as a child, not because I wasn't given the opportunity, but because I wasn't interested (and because I'm a REALLY poor loser).

About 5 months later, I bought a Nintendo Wii for my husband's 30th birthday. Perfect! I had one portable gaming device just for me and we had a gaming console we could use together. We enjoyed it immensely and we played it frequently.

About another 6 month later we bought our first Playstation 3. It was mostly because my husband wanted one and at first I found the PS3 games somewhat intimidating (with the exception of Singstar). So he had our PS3 in our Göteborg apartment while I moved the Nintendo Wii to the apartment where I stayed during the weeks.

In 2008 we moved to the US. We sold the consoles we had in Sweden and we bought new ones when we arrived the US. We bought our tv and our gaming consoles within weeks of arriving while we didn't get a bed until two month later (yes, we slept on our bedroom floor).

After playing Little Big Planet I warmed up to the PS3 and my first completed game I ever played by my self was Grand Theft Auto 4, which is still my all time favorite game. The PS3 and the Nintendo Wii lived happily next to each other. We played Nintendo Wii together and the PS3 individually. Sure, we play Wii Fit individually and we've played a few co-op games on our PS3, but this is, pretty much, still how we do things. However, about a month ago something changed.

Enter Playstation Move. Playstation Move gives you the same freedom to mimic the actual actions as Nintendo Wii does. It includes a camera, new hand remotes and a Playstation Move sports game. It covered pretty much the same sports as Wii Sports so it was difficult not to compare. Wii sports has a whole lot more sports, but the PS3 itself is a stronger console so the games are better looking and more complex and with the camera, the remotes are more sensitive. The only thing I miss in the PS3 version is the ability to create your own avatar. Without going into detail, the verdict is pretty obvious. Since we got Playstation Move, we haven't touched the Nintendo Wii.

I predict that we will eventually go back to using the Wii, but only when we want to play games that require the balance board. But regardless of what, I will continue to support Nintendo. My Nintendo DS is not retiring any time soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bullied or a bully?

A few days ago I was at the doctor's office getting my weekly allergy shots. To make sure I don't over-react to the medication I need to wait 30 minutes after the shot so they can assess my reaction. This gives me 30 minutes to read People's Magazine every week.

This weeks headline was " Deadly Bullying" and it covered the story about Tyler Clementi who killed himself after being outed by his college room mate as being gay. It also featured Phoebe Prince who took her own life after being bullied at school.

I can't even begin to express the sorrow I feel when I think of all the lives wasted as a result of bullying. Not only the lives that ends but the lives that are crushed and scars that never heal. There are no tell tale reasons why someone is bullied. It can be race, size, sexual preference, glasses, braces, pimples, cloths, hair, accent, rumors, disabilities etc. The list goes on and on. Most often the reason is: just because.

In People's magazine there was an article about how you can tell if your child is bullied. They stress the importance of communication, trust and reassurance. While it is very important for parents, family, friends and teachers to be aware and to be educated on the subject, it is only one side of the problem. Why is there no guidelines to help parents, family, friends and teachers to identify a bully. What if it's your child that is making someone 's life a living hell. What if it's your child that is responsible for someone ending their life?

Maybe you would be heartbroken if you found out your child is a bully. Maybe you will never think of your child as a bully and excuse the behavior as teasing and friendly banter, simply kids being kids. Or maybe you child is a bully because you don't care at all.

I'm not sure how we should stop bullying. But I know we should never stop trying and I know we need to address the bullied as well as the bullies. We also need to remember everyone in between. If your child is neither bullied or a bully they still have a responsibility. I get that it is difficult to muster enough curage to break up a fight, but a smile or a compassionate glance is a start and it is no more difficult than being human.

3 minutes of pleasure

You Had a Bad Day

For those of you who haven't already seen this...

... and for those of you who wonder if I miss work...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let us celebrate a hero!

Today, the Norwegian Nobel Price Committee announced the recipient of this years Nobel Peace Prize. They have awarded Liu Xiaobo, currently a political prisoner in China. The motivation was: "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". For this decision, I thank the Committee. When President Barack Obama won the Peace Prize last year, many were skeptical (me included). The discussions that followed were not about peace or unifying greatness, but about fairness and political power. However, this year, I believe all of humanity who believes in democracy and freedom from oppression are and will be celebrating Liu Xiaobo.

Liu Xiaobo has been fighting for human rights and freedom in China for the past 20 years. He knew what he wanted and he was never afraid to take the road less travelled. The passion and conviction in combination with intellect and academic excellency gave him a powerful and international platform to stand on. But even with a promising career in the US he never forgot where he came from. He stood on Tiananmen Square alongside other freedom lovers and for that he was jailed. But that didn't stop him. He continued his non-violent march to make China a democracy. He is now serving his forth term in prison and is scheduled to be released in 2020.

Needless to say, the Chinese Government is furious! The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued an official statement saying: "The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to award individuals who promote international harmony and friendship, peace and disarmament. Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law. Awarding the peace to Liu runs completely counter to the principle of the award and is also a desecration of the Peace Prize."

Some might speculate on how this peace prize will affect Chinese-Norwegian relations, how this will affect Chinese policies, for the better or worse and ultimately how this will affect Liu Xiaobo. But one thing is for sure, all of these concerns were already in the minds of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee when they made their decision. I applaud them for their choice. A man like Liu Xiaobo deserves our global and unified support.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Europe as we know it?

Is this Europe as we know it?

Or is this?

Check out more "European perceptions" at:

Let me in

"Let me in" is the American remake of the Swedish book "Let the right one in" (Låt den rätte komma in) by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I haven't read the book but I have seen the Swedish movie version. It is always difficult to write a review on a remake. Should you compare with the original? Or treat it as an isolated movie?

A few questions I have to answer before giving a my opinion.
Does a remake always have to have the ambition to be better than the original? No
Is "broader audience" enough of a reason to make a remake? Yes
Does language affect the impact of the movie? Maybe
Have I already decided that the original is better than the "copy"? Maybe

One could argue that if you are going to do something that's already done, you better do it better. While this might be true in many cases I don't necessarily think this needs to be true when making a remake. Of course it's desirable, but there are other reasons that can motivate a remake. A broader audience can be one. This is often linked to language. The USA is the biggest producer of movies in the world. Even though there are plenty of Bollywood movies out there, there is really no comparison when success is measured in box office numbers.

The formula is really simple. A good movie is made in a foreign language (or British English, such as "Death at a funeral") and is proven to be successful. Rewrite the script and add some "Hollywood flair" (and Hollywood actors) and launch it as a Hollywood production. Then wait and hope the movie will be a success and make tons of money.

How big is the language impact? I'm not surprised that I enjoyed the Swedish version more than the American version. Swedish is my first language and I assume I understand the subtle nuances better even though my English is fluent. But then there are many other movies where I don't understand the original language at all, but still found them better than the English remake. This leads me to the final question I posed earlier. Will I always think the original is better than the "copy"?

I've looked through an extensive list over remakes and I can't find a single movie where I preferred the remake. So, do I intrinsically prefere the originals or am I just more intrigued by other perspectives than the Hollywood one? Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite movies are big Hollywood productions, but maybe we should put more effort in promoting the already good originals rather than remake and relaunch. But on the other hand, I believe many people prefere the remakes because they are usually more accessible. And if there was no audience, there would not be a market for remakes.

Let's go back to discussing "Let me in". This movie is essentially a coming of age, vampire movie. But it has very little in common with Twilight and True Blood. You don't need to be a teenager or vampire fan to enjoy this movie. It's mostly about relationships, emotional struggle and a very lonely vampire. And the remake aspect of it? I was pleasantly surprised. They stayed pretty true to the esthetics of the original movie. They invited Swedish producers. The plot is still great and the casting was mindful. I will still recommend the original before the remake, but for those who choose to see the remake, they will have a great movie experience.

Item cloning

I bet all of us have, at least, one item of clothing that has past its expiry date. There are plenty of reasons to hang on to something. It can be sentimental reasons, or the "you-liked-it-when-you-bought-it-and-you-still-do-but-you-don't-know-when-to-ear-it" reason or my personal favorite, the "you-hope-you-will-fit back-into-it" reason. I have all the above in my wardrobe. But the most frustrating reason to hang on to something is when you have something sooooo comfortable and you simply can't find a replacement. For me, this most often applies to shoes, although not exclusively.

The dilemma: you don't know how comfortable shoes are until you've worn them a while. By the time they peek in comfort you really don't want to wear anything else. But then they become too worn so you need to replace them. By the time you reach this point they are no longer at the store where you bought them and you will end up spending time and money on finding a replacement. And there will be many disappointments along the way. And along they way, the original item is still in the closet, along side it's uncomfortable imitators.

Happy, happy feet

Like many others, I love shoes! A pair of shoes can be a work of art. I've had love affairs with many of my shoes. Some of them I've admired from a distance. They've been gorgeous, exiting, unpredictable and fueled my imagination. But more then once, they have left me hurt, in pain, bleeding and sometimes in tears. It will always start of being beautiful but somewhere along the way things will begin to change. Not really noticeable at first. You deny the uncomfortable feeling growing inside and when people around you (aka husband) question your choices you will defend yourself and give every excuse you can think of and you will be dead afraid that people around you can read the doubt in your face. But eventually everything will start to fall apart. You will surrender and promise yourself never to make the same mistake again. But then, maybe it will be different the next time, with another pair of shoes.

I've made enough mistakes, I've learnt my lesson. Maybe they are not as exquisite, or not as beautiful, but they are comforting, they give you freedom to run, jump, skip and they will never hurt you. In fact, they are good for you. I'm no longer having affairs, I'm in a long term relationship with my flats. I'm won't deny that I'm tempted, at times, to relaps, but I soon come to my senses when I step out of my comfortable flats to try on a pair of heels.

Nowadays I'm an avid user of flats of different kind and when I want some hight I usually opt for wedges. I have plenty of sneakers, sandals and cotton lace ups. I enjoy changing things up so I have a multitude of shapes and colors. But recently I found something new. I think I've found the shoes of my life. TOMS!

I've seen them around. I've tried them on. I've thought about buying them quite a few times. But $50 and up for a pair of cotton slip ons seemed a bit steep. I knew that TOMS had a admirable mission, to provide shoes for people in underdeveloped areas. For every pair you buy they will donate a pair. I decided to order a pair. Oh boy, am I glad I did!

They arrived a few weeks ago and since then I've worn them in Las Vegas, trekking around in Grand Canyon, to sports events and as dress shoes going out. I love them! They have replaced all other shoes I have. I literally want to wear them all the time! I know this pair will be the first pair of many. If you want to do your feet a favor, try a pair of TOMS.

Three things to remember, the material stretch to fit your foot, so they should feel a bit tight when you try them on. Also, to make sure your purchase will contribute towards TOMS mission, buy the shoes directly from them ( The online price (inkl. shipping) is about the same as the retail price. Last but not least, enjoy!

One for One - Official Store - TOMS Shoes - A Pair of New Shoes is Given to a Child in Need With Every Pair Purchased - One for One -

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There are no words...

... to describe my feelings right now. How can this be?

The Swedish election is over. My fear has become a reality. The Sweden Democrats were voted into parliament. It didn't come as a surprise but I still find it hard to believe. I'm so very disappointed and upset. I'm writing with tear-filled eyes and a heavy heart.

It scares me that almost 6% of the Swedish population believes that racists are the best people to govern Sweden. What did we do and where did it all go wrong? If the root of problem is the immigrations policies that previous governments have implemented, we should hardly punish the immigrants. If it is the refugees that is the major concern, we can't really blame them for starting wars or for being politically prosecuted. My fear is that 6% of the Swedish population really believes that the color of your skin determines you personality, demeanor and sense of right and wrong. And if this is the case, isn't the root of the problem the 6% of the Swedish population?

Aside from all this, the election was actually historical. This is the first non-socialist government to be re-elected. Unfortunately they didn't win majority, they are just the biggest minority. It's going to be very interesting to see how the Prime Minister will lead a minority government and to see how the opposition will act to aid the democratic processes. The Sweden Democrats got just shy of 6% of the votes and their position as the kingmaker just adds to the insult.

Today is a day I will remember. Today is the day I am ashamed to call myself Swedish.