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Showing posts from 2014

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Merry Christmas readers!!!  I would say "Happy Holidays", but I'm completely against when people say that.  Everyone's so sensitive nowadays that I can't even wish people a Merry Christmas without feeling bad or improper.  If someone said "Happy Hanukkah" to me, I would probably say it right back.  I want them to have a happy whatever they celebrate.  I don't know anyone that celebrates Kwanzaa, but I would definitely extend wishes of Kwanzaa happiness if I did.  So don't get on me for saying "Merry Christmas".  Especially when I'm the one wishing the well-wishes and I happen to celebrate Christmas.  And it shouldn't be a surprise gesture.  I mean, look around.  People have didn't put up holiday lights or decorate a holiday tree.  They aren't playing holiday music on the radio.    Well, actually I've heard two Hanukkah songs this year and one was by Adam Sandler so I don't know if that really counts, but you get…

A Spider Bit My Frank!!! ***NOT FOR SENSITIVE READERS***

The airport security process (that's probably more of an inconvenience than a deterrent) has driven me to dress like I'm going to a slumber party whenever I fly.  I don sweatpants, easily removable shoes (once sports sandals) and my trusty Okayplayer hoodie.  The sweatpants are comfortable, but they also do not require a belt.  I breeze through security (wallet, keys, etc in carry-on), kick my shoes off and throw them in the bin.  I laugh in the face of the security agent that asks if I have anything in my pockets or if I'm wearing a belt.  Stupid question.  I'm Expat Jon!

Miami was still Miami on my recent trip, so I had no use for that hoodie or those sweatpants once we landed.  My first order of business was to hang them up in the closet until it was time to head back to the lovely Swedish weather.
Sure enough, on the last day, my travel outfit was waiting for me.  I took my shorts off and put my sweats on.  I was ready to get home by then, so it wasn't as sad a…

It's Been Real, USA

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I'm winding down now.  It's almost time for Swedie to start pressuring me about packing my bags to go to the airport even though we don't leave for seven hours.  It's that time for reflection on a great trip.  This has been my best trip home since leaving home for the Air Force back in 2000.  There was a different element to this trip since we had Bash with us.  I know he won't remember this trip, but I enjoyed trying to pass on as much to him as possible about my home and family.  I wanted him to want to be held by family members (he didn't, of course).  I wanted him to enjoy Busch Gardens (he slept through the Sesame Street part).  Oh well. 
This trip was good on so many levels.  I'm so glad we didn't do an east coast marathon like we did last year.  There was so little stress this time around.  Tampa and Miami and that's it.  Perfect!  We had the perfect hosts here on the South Florida portion.  We stayed with a friend of mine from high school (…

Home Is Relative

I've always envied the characters on TV shows that get to come home to the house they grew up in.  I will never have that luxury.  We moved around too much.  At a very young age, my father was still in the Army.  Then we moved to Chicago.  Then my father enlisted again.  Then he got out again.  Then my parents split up.  Then money issues and different circumstances had us on the move for years.  Then my mom began traveling with work.

Miami is definitely home, but I've lived all over the city.  And it's a pretty big city.  We lived in Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Liberty City, Carol City, Pompano, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park and probably some more areas, but you get my point.  We moved around a lot.  Now my mother lives in Maryland, so when I go "home" it's not like on TV when the kids go to that room they grew up in and it's just like they left it.  I can't rummage through a garage and find old pictures that I drew in third grade.
The closest…

About Ferguson...

This blog is normally about funny or embarrassing stories from my life.  This entry won't be.  I feel like it would be irresponsible for me to let another story like this one to go by without me addressing it.  I've never felt that my voice was big enough or that I would be helping anything by saying anything so I just kept on with my silly stories.  Don't worry, the silly stories will resume, but I needed to get this off of my chest.  The Ferguson situation has moved me to do so...

The Story Unless you've been living under a rock or something, you know about the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer named Darren Wilson.  The case caught national attention due to the reported pattern of excessive force used by (mostly white) police officers against (mostly black) civilians. According to reports, Michael Brown had his hands up in a submissive posture when he was shot at least six times by Darren Wilson.  According to Darren Wilson, Mic…

First flight with the baby

Okay, so I'm a bit late.  Forgive me.  I basically lost a day traveling and it's still Thursday evening where I'm at, so I don't feel so bad.

We touched down a little less than 24 hours ago.  I'm so proud of Bash.  He was such a champion.  We had two flights to get here and the first one was only an hour long.  I considered that one the tester flight.  Bash sure aced that test.  Swedie gave him a bottle as we were taking off to combat ear popping.  It must have worked.  He drank in peace and went to sleep for most of the flight.  It was awesome.

The second flight started off a little scary.  First off, in typical Expat Jon fashion, I strategically walked away and abandoned Swedie in an awkward conversation with a fellow traveler.  Glad it wasn't me.  I came back and Swedie tried to return the favor, but I was too slick for that.  Won't get me!  We got on the flight at Bash's lunch time.  We tried to hold off until we departed so we could feed him like …

I'll Be Home for Thanksgiving!

I know, I know.  Home is technically here now.  I live in Sweden.  But I'm at that point of excitement when you start saying in [insert time frame] I will be in [insert American city].  Well, next week's blog will be sent from Miami.  Bam!  So excited.

This one is going to be different.  I'm always excited to go back home, but this time I'm bringing the next generation.  So far only my mother and brother have gotten to meet Bash.  That takes it to another level.  I can't wait for Bash to meet all of the crazy people that helped make me into the crazy person that I am.  I can't wait for all of the crazy people to meet the person that I'm going to make into a crazy person one day!

I'm a bit apprehensive about the flight.  I'm that passenger that rolls his eyes and wonders why people can't get their kids under control.  Karma will probably guarantee that I'm the apologetic parent at some point on this flight.  The good thing is, we have a sho…

The Mystery of My Hangy-Ball Thingy

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You ever have something weird happen to you?  Of course you have.  We all do.  Don't feel weird about it.  But most of the time there is some explanation.  Something that makes you understand that maybe it wasn't that weird.  Then the world is back to normal and everything is okay.  However, sometimes something weird happens and it doesn't get explained.  That's the worst!  Me with my obsessive personality, I can't handle things like that.  I just pore and pore over it looking for some sort of answer that never comes.

Take my hangy-ball thingy for instance.  In case you're not familiar with my use of the proper medical term (hang-ball thingy), I'm talking about that little organ in the back of my throat between my tonsils. I added a picture of a "uvula" below so you have an idea of what I'm talking about.



My hang-ball thingy is a normal one.  It functions however they are supposed to function.  I've never had a problem with it.  It minds i…

Taking Kindness for Weakness

Yesterday at work I saw a guy with an old rickety van broken down on the street.  I'm a nice guy and all, so I was ready to go out and give this guy a hand.  He looked to be a bit older and people were walking by while he was apparently trying to parallel park his big rickety van while it was in neutral. It looked to be a painstaking process.  He was going so slow.  I wanted to be the hero.  The American that swoops in and saves the day.  I'm the guy that sees the world and wants to help it.  Go on out there, Jon.  Save him! But did I save him?  Of course not.  And not because I've become a Swede.  No, that's not it at all.  I still have a grasp on my friendly, southern, American side.  The thing is, I've sworn off all vehicular assistance after this one incident:A few years back, I was working as a manager for FedEx in New Jersey.  Part of my responsibilities was to make sure the drivers weren't leaving customers' packages in risky places.  So occasionally…

Some Tricky Swedish Phrases

There may be some American-English phrases that foreigners find weird.  I can admit that.  But here, I'm the foreigner.  And Swedes have some strange and sometimes confusing phrases that they use.  Just when I think I have the hang of this language something new is thrown at me.  I'll break down a few of my favorites:Helt Okay
This phrase is a perfect description of Swedish people.  Helt Okay.  It means "completely okay".  How is that possible?  Can something be completely (a superlative) okay?  I don't think so.  It's strange every time I hear it.  A friend of mine went to see a movie.  I asked how the movie was and he said it was "helt okay".  So it was an absolutely average movie?  Does a helt okay movie get relegated to "wait for the DVD" or "catch it on cable"?  I need more details.  To me, helt okay matches the Swedish attitude.  This isn't a culture where excitement is expressed often.  If you don't believe me, wat…

Worst Road Trip Ever!

I get around nowadays mostly through public transportation.  The infrastructure here is amazing and the associated phone app is almost always on point.  I can find my way around easily.  I have become a podcast fiend, so my phone always has some goodies for me to listen to while I ride.  This is so much better than driving or riding in a car.  There is pressure to entertain in the car.  You have to listen to agreed upon music or talk about an agreed upon subject.  With public transportation it's all about me and what I want to do to pass the time.

The simplicity of public transportation here has made road trips basically nonexistent. We've only been on one and that was coming back from Göteborg to pick up Swedie's car that we shipped from the States.  We took the train out there and drove back.  That road trip was pretty uneventful.  I normally look forward to road trips.  When we were kids, my mom would take us on road trips and play old Sam Cooke songs.  When I hear his …

A Break-Up Story: The One That Got Away

This weekend I drove my body to the limits.  I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking that I’m still a young buck.  This may have been the last straw.  Maybe this break up was just what I needed.
It started on Friday.  I got off of work at about 7pm and went home to get ready for my boy’s party.  I missed the last party that they threw, so it was a must that I check this one out.  What kind of friend misses two parties?  So – arm twisted and everything – I had to go.  Plus, our podcast endorsed the party, so basically this was a business trip.  Swedie understood. 
I had a good time that Friday night.  I knew I had to work on Saturday at 9am, so I didn’t go too crazy.  I had a few drinks and grooved to the great mix of Hip-Hop/Reggae/Dancehall that always accompanies these parties.  I even left before the end of the party like a responsible adult.  I got home at about 2:30am. 
My friend William recently turned 30.  He was celebrating on Saturday.  There was a full day of festivities …

Everything is Hazardous!!!

Bash has his low crawl technique perfected.  It was so cute when he first learned to go from point A to point B.  He would be frustrated with his body not doing what he wanted it to do.  It's like me on the basketball court, so I completely understand him.  But now he's like lighting.  The problem now is point B is normally something that can kill him.  Two minutes ago I had to grab his legs and pull him away from the surge protector right before he started playing with the batteries that are charging.  Apparently the charge light attracted his attention.
Bash has been lucky that his parents are awesome and popular, so he's gotten a lot of toys.  Unfortunately for those awesome parents he doesn't seem to care about said toys.  Jasper's blue chew bone is more exciting.  And Jasper being the Jersey douche that he is loves to drop that bone right in front of Bash.  But when I want to play fetch with that bone he won't let it go.  Go figure.  
This crazy kid also l…

One of the Guys?

When I moved here, I vowed to myself that I would be more active.  I said I would work out more, eat healthy and all that good stuff.  The fact that running is straight up boring means that I have to find other ways to be more active.  My go-to activity to accomplish this is basketball.  There is a wonderful court downtown that I liked to play at when I could, but I needed more.  At the court I would have to depend on good weather and good competition.  Last year Swedie's uncle told me that I could come to his team practices every Wednesday to get in a good run.  They play in a gym and there would always be good competition because they are getting ready for their games.

Practice was fun.  The guys are a bit older than me, but skilled.  The game is more physical in general here.  The first time someone sets a pick on you, you know it.  You might think that the guy doesn't like you.  But that's just how they play.  More elbows and shoves.  I play pretty physical, so it did…

Jasper the Jersey Douchebag

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I don't talk enough about my dog Jasper.  I joke about wishing he would just run away or something, but I really love him.  Jasper is amazing.  He's smart, he doesn't shed and he's great with kids.  Yes, even bad ass kids whose mother acts like she doesn't see said bad ass kid pulling at his ears and tail.  I swear I almost did a secret pinch on that kid if he would have kept accosting Jasper.  I digress...

Jasper is a little too smart.  Sometimes it gets to a level of manipulation.  That's not good.  But I guess you take the good with the bad.  He doesn't scratch or chew and he's good about holding his bowels.  As a matter of fact, it only took us a week or so to get him fully housebroken.  It was amazing.  I just had to spend a few weeks coming home for lunch so that he could empty his little bladder.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  His little furry body.  Him whimpering because he had to go, but he already knew that he needed to wait until he…