The Great Swedish Voyage

  • Posted on October 4, 2009 at 8:08 pm

In homage to my friend and colleague Kyle, who will soon be moving to Sweden, we set out on Saturday afternoon in search of authentic Swedish meatballs, lingonberries, modern design, and cheap furniture and home decorations. We strapped Stella into the car and took off:

wearing purple, which was voted the best color in Sweden

Wearing purple, which was voted the best color in Sweden.

Consulting the map for directions to our great northern destination

Consulting the map for directions to our great northern destination.

Behold! Great puffy Swedish clouds!

Behold! Great puffy Swedish clouds!

We finally spot the tell-tale blue and yellow sign with the Swedish font.

We finally spot the tell-tale blue and yellow sign with the Swedish font.

There it is, the blue box of wonder!

There it is, the blue box of wonder!

I've heard that Sweden is obsessed with sauce. This is for those that like gravy a little too much.

I've heard that Sweden is obsessed with sauce. The Swedish Weight Doctor is for those that like gravy a little too much.

Husband: Where'd we park the car? Wife: I think it was in the $9.99 throw section.

Husband: Where did we park the car? Wife: I think it was in the $9.99 throw section.

A warm lowercase Swedish welcome.

A warm lowercase Swedish welcome.

Methodist Koreans in Sweden too! Who knew?

Methodist Koreans in Sweden too! Who knew?

Certified authentic Swedish meatballs. We took the meatball shortcut.

Certified authentic Swedish meatballs. We took the meatball shortcut.

What clever little carts they have in Sweden. Stella was amused....for approximately 30 seconds.

What clever little carts they have in Sweden. Stella was amused....for approximately 30 seconds.

GET ME DOWN, she says

GET ME DOWN, she says.

Testing the bright Swedish table...is everything so colorful in Sweden?

Testing the bright Swedish table...is everything so colorful in Sweden?

if you avoid the gravy you can fit into the rocking chairs.

if you avoid the gravy you can fit into the rocking chairs.

Beautiful Swedish gardens.

Beautiful Swedish gardens.

OMGGG GIANT SWEDISH SPIDERS WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT STEP ON IT MOTHERFUCKER IT'S GOT MY FOOT AHHHHHHHHHHHH

OMGGG GIANT SWEDISH SPIDERS WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT STEP ON IT MOTHERFUCKER IT'S GOT MY FOOT AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Kyle has told me many things about Sweden but he never mentioned the traditional Swedish crayfish OR the traditional Swedish buffalo chicken wrap. Do they come with lingonberries? Where are the Swedish fish?

Kyle has told me many things about Sweden but he never mentioned the traditional Swedish crayfish OR the traditional Swedish buffalo chicken wrap. Do they come with lingonberries? Where are the Swedish fish?

We stop for a snack in the cafe: meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes and lingonberries. I've never felt so Swedish in my life.

We stop for a snack in the cafe: meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes and lingonberries. I've never felt so Swedish in my life.

Spongy little balls of meat. Yum.

Spongy little balls of meat. Yum.

Let me translate these signs for you: Leave your kids here while you shop! We've got Wall-E on! The second sign: Fucking Delicious Meatballs!

Let me translate these signs for you: Leave your kids here while you shop! We've got Wall-E on! The second sign: Fucking Delicious Meatballs!

Actually, in slang smaklig maltid means "bon appetit."  But "Fucking Delicious Meatballs!" is the official translation.

Actually, in slang smaklig maltid means "bon appetit." But "Fucking Delicious Meatballs!" is the official translation.

Thank god they translate their signs here. I thought this said "your bra is showing."

Thank god they translate their signs here since they use so much slang. The official translation is "your bra is showing."

And then we went home with the bright little table. The end.

Stella Does the Silly Pizza Song Dance

  • Posted on September 15, 2009 at 7:28 am

This one is for my dad-I present Stella doing the “Silly Pizza Song” on her Signing Times DVD. (I’m on the side lines encouraging her to dance and be energetic and am in no way prompting her to sign.)My favorite part is the spinning frenzy:

Silly Pizza Song from L.A. King on Vimeo.

Real Life Conversations…Part Two, or Someone Gets Whacked

  • Posted on July 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

 Today we were on our way to our favorite (24 hour!) Korean BBQ restaurant, Yechon. We had almost arrived when we were stopped by a police baracade. We pulled up to the Fairfax County police officer and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Do you know if the restaurant is still open?

Policeman: Yes, I believe so–you just have to go around the block.

Me: What happened here? Is there a power line down?

Policeman: No. Someone got whacked.

Me: Oh…..

Real Conversations From My Life

  • Posted on July 24, 2009 at 7:23 am

Me: Isn’t Graceland in Nashville?

Coworker: No, Graceland is in Memphis.

Me: Oh. So where is Never Neverland?

Coworker: You’re thinking of Neverland. Never Neverland is the second star on the right and straight on ’til morning.

Stella, Just Lounging

  • Posted on July 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I took this picture of Stella last weekend at my cousin’s bridal shower:

Stella smiling

Isn’t she growing up quickly?

A Corner of My Own

  • Posted on July 4, 2009 at 8:43 am

This is the start of a new chapter in my life:

img_32331

I have a new Mac and a new desk (from Walmart–I’m Klassy with a Kapital K). I don’t yet have a room of my own, but I’ve got my own corner.

I won’t say much right now, but I CAN say that it is very exciting. More details to come later.

I Need to Stop Judging People’s Hair

  • Posted on May 20, 2009 at 9:39 pm

It seems that every time I make a comment about someone’s hair I make an ass out of myself.

Yesterday at work I was sitting in a meeting next to a team member, and I happened to look over and see a single gray hair poking out of her black hair, in that way that wiry gray hairs bend and poke. I made a comment to M. about her gray hair “M.! You have a gray hair!” or something like that–and she had no idea it was there. She was heartbroken. She made me pull it out. She’s only 23. I felt like I aged her 30 years in my single little comment.

And then today, I was in the elevator and a woman stepped on with a cute short bob.

Her: “I love your skirt–I noticed it in the meeting this morning.”

Me: “Why thank you!” (curtsying). “And I was noticing your hair–it’s so sleek and smooth! And the highlights are perfect! What’s your secret?”

Her: “Actually, it’s a wig. I used to be a cosmetologist.”

Me: (gulpohshit) “I never would have guessed! I was going to ask you what hair products you use! It looks so nice, maybe I need to rethink my entire hair strategy and try some wigs!”

Just listen to that idocracy. I need to just stop talking about hair in general. Starting now.

The Stella Silhouette Project–Now You Can Own Your Own Silhouette!

  • Posted on May 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Help me, I think I’m turning into a crafter.  After completing the $3000 purple sweater,I made this silhouette of Stella to mark her first year:

The entire time I worked on it Larry made fun of me and asked me if I wanted to go back to Kindergarten. However, I am really happy with the final result! I even got some eyelashes and stray hairs! This is definitely not the work of a kindergartner. The cutting alone is at least a fifth-grade level!  And the painting and gluing!  Hello, I have skills beyond kindergarten, yes?

My plan is to do a silhouette every year for her birthday. And then move into a house with a really long hallway so I can line them all up.

This project was significantly less time-consuming than the little purple sweater, so I WILL be offering my services to others. Leave a comment if you would like a silhouette–either of Stella or your own child/grandchild/niece/nephew/neighbor–and we can work out the details.  Prices will vary but it won’t be $3000, that’s for sure. And I won’t be quitting my day job.

My $3000 Hand-Knit Sweater

  • Posted on May 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I knit while watching TV–it’s the only thing that keeps me from falling asleep at the stroke of eight o’clock. I recently took on my most challenging project yet, a cable-knit sweater cardigan for Stella. This was my first time cable knitting and my first time working with buttons. The cables were easy, but the buttons look like a fourth grader sewed them on, because they are not evenly spaced. Oh well.

I expected it to take me about eight months to complete, so I made the 18-24 month size. Only two months later, I’m done! It’s too big for her right now, so I don’t have any pictures of her modeling it, but here is the finished product:

The details up close:

I’m hoping it doesn’t unravel in the washing machine after I wash it the first time, like my first attempt at a sweater.

If anyone wants to commission me for their very own cable-knit sweater, I estimate that the cost is about $3000, plus about $80 for materials. That is based on the estimated number of hours it took me to complete times what I would make if I were at work. Sadly, I don’t think I have a future in selling little purple sweaters.

(For anyone who is interested, the pattern is “Cable and Seed Stitch Jacket” from the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits Book.)

How Two Moles Will Lead to a Total Body Makeover

  • Posted on April 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I went to the, ahem, plastic surgeon yesterday. There’s nothing like a plastic surgeon to make you feel completely insecure and ugly.

My visit was a consultation about two moles I want removed. Two little itty-bitty moles that really aren’t that big a deal.

When the doctor entered the examination room, and asked me what I was there for,  I couldn’t help but wonder what he thought I was there for. Perhaps he scanned me as he entered the room, and sized me up. What is this woman here for? Nose job? Lipo? Boob job? Chin implant? Eyelid lift? When I explained to him that I was there on the recommendation of my dermatologist about getting a mole removed, and I showed him the mole, he smirked. I imagined he was chuckling because he was thinking “that’s all?” CUE THE INSECURITIES!

Then, THEN, he asked if there were any other moles I wanted removed. CUE THE SELF-DOUBT AND SHAME! I flustered, and started poking around my face for other unsightly growths for the doctor to carve out of my flesh. “Uh, maybe this one under my nose? Or this one on my chin? Would the insurance cover those too?” I pointed out my large raisin-shaped mole on my chest, and the doctor said “I was hoping you would mention that one. I immediately noticed it when I walked in the room.” SEE?! He was looking for flaws to fix. We finally settled on two moles–the one on my face and the one on my chest–with a plan to remove to others later.

Plastic surgeons are in a great position to up-sell you services when you have a consultation. What other kinds of doctors could do this? Oncologist: “I’m going to remove your cancerous ovary. Can I interest you in a hysterectomy while I’m down there?”  Allergist: your test results were negative, but would you like to come to my office every week for allergy shots anyway?” Plastic surgeons really could get away with saying “yes, of course I can take that mole off. And right now, I have a promotion going on–buy one mole removal and get a nose job for half price.” If a plastic surgeon even suggested that I think about a nose job, that would convince me that there is something WRONG with my nose. Something wrong enough to merit surgery to fix it. I’d be mortified.

Luckily, no such offers or suggestions were made yesterday. Perhaps they’ll get me at the next visit? And how will I be able to say no?

The big surgery is set for June. Don’t worry though, it’s an outpatient procedure and I’ll be able to drive myself home.  Cross your fingers that I don’t blow my 401K on a new nose.