Friday, April 28, 2006

In the middle of grating ginger for dinner, I was startled by shouting out in the courtyard. I dried my hands and walked into the dining room and looked down. There, sitting with their backs against the wall, were some 30 young men in orange jackets, sweatshirts and t-shirts, along with some 15 policemen pacing back and forth, occasionally brandishing a billyclub or asking one of the young men to stand up to be frisked.

I ran to the library to look outside to the front of the building, where traffic was stopped by a swarm of 30 policemen and several orange-shirted men being roughly escorted into two of the five police cars that were blocking the street.

Just as I was returning to the dining room windows, the phone rang.

"What's going on? I'm stuck in traffic on Odengatan and there are all these police outside your building!" a friend said, breathing hard into the phone.

I told her the hell if I knew, but that there were 30 guys in orange being held by the police in the courtyard. Wait, no, I told her, they've brought more guys in. It looks like about 50 guys.

An hour and a half later, after the last of the orange-shirted guys had been marched into a bus (where they would be brought to the edge of the suburbs out in the middle of nowhere and left to walk back into town, which would likely take a good hour, according to my friend the policeman), the drama was over.

It turns out the guys in the orange shirts were hooligans, although they were amazingly quiet for hooligans. At least that's as far as I could make out, there was nothing in the paper or on TV about it that I've seen, despite all the people taking photos. But someone told me they heard there'd been hooligans at St. Eriksplan, which isn't so far away.

What I want to know is, why did the police decide to herd them into our courtyard, huh?

The Swedish word for the day is lugn och ro. It means peace and quiet.

- by Francis S.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So a group of, uh, religious personalities (that's like TV personalities, except instead of being famous for being famous, they are famous for not only knowing God personally, but for letting the rest of us know what God thinks) have decided to boldly come out against gay marriage. They call themselves the "religious coalition for marriage," which I don't understand, because they are obviously not for but against marriage, except in certain cases.

Interestingly, one of the persons behind this is everyone's favorite Pennsylvania Republican Senator whose surname, curiously, is also the word for that frothy mixture of lubricant and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.

All I can think is: Poor God. She must be awfully sick of having these smug bullies throwing her name around all the time for the most ludicrous of things.

The Swedish word for the day is arsle. It means asshole.

- by Francis S.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Authoress Marie Corelli, 19th century lipstick lesbian and the Gilded Age's answer to Dan Brown, once wrote: "Let me be mad...mad with the madness of Absinthe, the wildest, most luxurious madness in the world."

A., the TV producer and C., the fashion photographer arrived back from a week in Spain with a bottle of poisonous green absinthe for me and the husband.

Apparently, all that ranting about absinthe being a dangerous drink that will unhinge you is just a bunch of hooey.

How terribly disappointing.

The Swedish word for the day is sprit. It means alcohol or spirits.

- by Francis S.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

It wasn't until we were out in the hallway getting our coats to leave the party that I realized that the person we were making small talk with and who'd called a cab for us was Anakin Skywalker's mother.

The force was with us as the cabbie made his way through Kungsholmen, Stora Essingen and back to Vasastan to leave us breathless and pleasantly tipsy outside our apartment at Odenplan.

The Swedish phrase for the day is Stjärnornas Krig. It means Star Wars.

- by Francis S.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

As we sat in the dining room - me and the husband, A., the TV producer and C., the fashion photographer and a few others - guzzling wine and laughing and eating filet mignon, potato gratin and salad prepared by L., the chef, (the ultimate luxury is having someone come and fix a glorious meal for you), someone started telling the story of her recent amorous escapade with an electrician who came to work on her apartment and how put out she was when he just up and left as soon as his, uh, work was done.

The husband left the room and came back shortly, brandishing two pairs of handcuffs. "You should've used these to handcuff him to the bed, then he couldn't have left," he said. He had gotten them long ago for a photo shoot, he explained. "They're actually real!"

The dinner quickly degenerated into an orgy of handcuff jokes and storytelling and the men in the party rolling around on the dining room floor, trying desperately to slide their handcuffed hands from behind their backs, over their asses and their feet so that the cuffs were in front instead of in back.

Sadly, I couldn't even get my hands past my ass. In fact, my skinny husband was the only one who succeeded.

"Remember the one about when our friend the policeman as a joke handcuffed his wife the priest one morning before work and then couldn't find the key, and she nearly had to go to a meeting with her boss or the bishop or someone, with handcuffs on?" the husband said.

Oh, yeah, I remember that. That's my favorite handcuff story.

The Swedish word for the day is handklovar. It means, of course, handcuffs.

- by Francis S.