Monday, March 29, 2004

I'm back again, just a little bit north of where I was. Exhausted by the move and amazed at how quickly a new place becomes home and an old place soulless and sad when it's empty. It's all the stuff that makes a place home, apparently: Our possessions are what give us comfort. This is my solid American consumer capitalist side talking, no doubt.

And yet again, I make my yearly small numerical change to the biographical information at the left.

The Swedish phrase for the day is saker och ting, which means things or stuff. I think perhaps this has been the phrase of the day before, but I'm too lazy to check.

- by Francis S.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

As if the writing hasn't been sparse enough already, for the next three weeks or so it will be even less so. Down to nothing, in fact. There's no time for writing on account of too much packing of books and dishes and things and more things into boxes here at the soon-to-be-left apartment on Bondegatan, and too much cleaning up after the sanding and oiling of floors, the spackling and painting of walls in the new apartment (big enough for a family of six to live comfortably in) at Odenplan. And I don't even have time to describe the concert at Berwaldhallen I went to on Friday in which a piece of music was sort-of premiered and at which I sat in wonder at how the tiny country that is Sweden could manage to create such things and even manage to have some kind of audience for them (even if I was about the youngest person in attendance).

Back soon.

- by Francis S.
Oh, Madrid.

The Swedish phrase for the day is jag beklagar. It means I'm so saddened.

- by Francis S.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

After a few beers at Strykjärnet, the restaurant in Stockholm's own miniature version of the Flatiron Building, and a couple of rounds of political discussion and agreeing that despite the sorry state of the U.S. there is possibly some reason for hope, and then a few more beers, the charming Stefan Geens (who is as sharp as his writing) let drop the fact that he is post-national, a man happily bereft of country and a culture that he can call home.

I said that maybe I was, too.

"Nah," he said.

Which I guess means that I am pre-post-national.

I certainly feel as if I have all the benefits already, which would mean not having to feel embarrassed because of the actions of a particular president or prime minister, or somehow responsible for an inane television program that improbably spreads like a virus to the rest of the world. One is an outsider everywhere, a ready excuse for any particular social gaffe one makes - just blame it on not being a Swede, or not living in America anymore.

So, I wonder when exactly I will achieve true post-national status?

The Swedish word for the day is anledning. It means reason or cause.

- by Francis S.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I wonder if Sweden is the first country to have bought the rights to create its own version of That Gay Show.

It has a different name here, of course - Fab 5 - but it's got the same music, the same minivan, the same camera angles, the same shopping bags, the same nervous straight guys.

And yet, it just isn't the same at all.

The Swedish phrase for the day is för tamt, which is how the husband described it. It means too tame.

(We did laugh once or twice.)

- by Francis S.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Apparently, I live in the LoBoToMe area of Stockholm. But not for long.

Stefan Geens, you are too clever by half. And I mean that in the best way.

The Swedish word for the day is kaxig, which means cocky.

- by Francis S.