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zird is the word [userpic]
I sold a bike today. It was the first Axis bike I got when I started at the company nearly 11 years ago. Everyone at Axis gets a bike (though I'm not actually sure about employees outside of Lund). And not just any bike either, a fancy, expensive Skeppshult bike. Only, because it's Axis, they are bright yellow (and nowadays the fork (which I just asked Anders the name of (it's the part that holds the front tire) is red)) because our logo is yellow and red (and black). And there are Axis logos all over the frame.

Mine was so old that the Axis logos had little racing lines on them, which isn't allowed anymore because it's a brand violation. It's a 3-speed, with a little bell, lights back and front, a back tire lock, an extra nice seat (which I think Anders actually bought for me), a black wire basket and a snap-rack (or whatever it's called) on the back.

Anyway, one of my colleagues had told me she would be interested in buying my old Axis bike when I got my new one. Axis not only gives you a bike when you're hired, they give you ANOTHER one when you've been there for 10 years. But if I already HAD a bike I hadn't used for 10 years, what use did I have for TWO of them? So, it was definitely up for sale.

But then, after coming out and seeing my bike and the pristine condition it was in (after Anders cleaned it and pumped up the tires, etc.) (He's a great guy, have I mentioned that lately?), she decided against buying it because she just wanted "a shit bike for her son that wouldn't get stolen" with the implication being that my bike, despite its age, was much too nice for her purposes.

Not long after that, someone posted on a buy/sell page on Facebook that they were looking for bikes. I immediately flagged her and told her about mine and she was interested, so we messaged back and forth a bit and I sent her a photo. A couple of days later, she also declined the bike FOR THE VERY SAME REASON: it was too nice and would get stolen.


But! Someone else had seen my post, and SHE wanted the bike, so we messaged and I sent HER a photo. She decided to take it sight unseen (and then I found out another colleague of mine would have done the same thing, but it was too late for her, I had already accepted the offer). Are you keeping track? Do you really care? Are you getting ready to comment and tell me to cool it with the parentheses already?

Today, she came to pick it up from me at work. She called me when she got there, and I came down with the bike and handed it over. "Here you go!" I said brightly. "It's only been ridden a handful of times, and it's in great condition." I detailed all the features of the bike and handed over the key and the original manual. She bent over the back tire and jiggled the locking mechanism. "How does this work?" she asked me, "where does the key go in?"

"I don't know," I said. We figured it out. Then she asked me how the lights turned on. "Ummm...I don't know," I answered again. And then she asked me how to change gears (honestly, it really wasn't obvious, there's no switch) and I had to once again answer, "I have no idea."

"But I'm pretty sure the front end of the bike is the one with the basket on it!" I said. And then when she just looked at me, I said, "I swear, it's my bike! I didn't just grab one from the bike racks and sell it to you!"


Anyway, it's gone. Now if someone would only buy the wrong-size jeans I bought for Anders in the States at Christmas and the kids' old Wii with the steering wheel and games, I could be done with this entrepreneurship! And by the way, immediately after work, I went shopping with Karin because she needed new gym shoes (and shorts and socks) and spent MORE than what I made on the damn bike. *sigh*
mood: silly
music: Feivel—Already Standing

zird is the word [userpic]

I knew I was living in a blur, a fuzz, a near clear facsimile of vision, but I had no idea how bad it really was until today when I got my new glasses. I feel like I should look different, because now I look differently. Everything is so crisp and clear and readable. Even the tiniest, smallest print. Why did I wait so long??

For the first 20 minutes or so, I was a bit bothered by the subtle blur at the very corners of my peripheral vision; the edges of the glasses on either side of my face, since they are very slightly wider than my old glasses. But after working all afternoon in them, driving to pick up Martin and home, and the hours in between then and now, they feel like they're just an extension of my actual (blurry stupid old) eyes.

No more asking my kids to read things for me! No more turning up the font size on my Kindle from large to humongous! No more putting my book down because it is too much of a strain to read! *happy dance*

Twice now, on the way to work, I have seen a line of storks in the fields (though think how much better I would have seen them NOW). The fields are all cropped. The amber waves of grain reduced to golden stalks and stubble. I would stop and try to photograph the storks but I know better; I've tried that before and they all just take off, flapping their ungainly spindle-legged way into the sky. So I speed by and think "Storks!" to myself. I'm a dork for storks.

This morning before work, Martin had a freakout in the kitchen and when I came in to see what the matter was, he pointed up at the ceiling above the windows where a GIGANTIC green grasshopper was resting, legs splayed, above the curtains. It was like we were suddenly in a giant peach; he was that big. No one wanted to even make a try to removing him...have you seen those things jump? So we left him where he was and went off to our various destinations. He was gone when we came home and despite a rather desultory search, there was no sign of him...until Anders got home and then suddenly there he was again, in nearly the same spot he'd been in this morning.

Anders, being the excellent Scout that he is, immediately went to the cupboard and got the critter net-with-a-handle and corralled him handily. He's outside now, where he can leap to his heart's content. The weird thing is that this was my THIRD grasshopper encounter in about as many days. There was a small, pale green, lacy-winged grasshopper on the car when I went to get Martin (he was on the trunk; I saw it when I went to put the "övningskör" sticker on the back of the car), and this past weekend there was another, small, beigy-green hopper in the living room! Are they harbingers? Is there a plague of locusts pending?
mood: bouncy
music: Lenka—Hearts Brighter

zird is the word [userpic]
It's been beautiful all weekend, but I sure haven't done much with it. I've mostly been a slug, though I have done the minimum weekend cleaning, and laundry (always, laundry) that is required.

Friday night was fun...I was invited to the home of a colleague and friend. She's English, and had also invited the other 2 Americans on my team, and another colleague who is Swedish but married to an American, and another friend who she is very good friends with that I haven't seen in ages. So it was a very fun, very English-filled evening. She's a fantastic cook and made a lovely gourmet meal including Beef Wellington and a multi-layered meringue cake with chocolate and strawberries.

Everyone else was drinking except me, as per usual, and they were hilarious. The only problem was that we kept breaking into smaller conversations between 2 people and with 3 of those going at once, it was hard to keep up with what everyone was talking about. I hope we continue to meet...I suppose I can be the one to offer to host next time! Especially since Wonders seems to be pretty defunct at the moment.

I have a busy week coming up...picking up my glasses tomorrow, and the first monthly meeting for the new AWC season on Tuesday which I am running because the President is sick. There's a lot to cover and a lot of decisions to be made, but I might have found us 2 people to be co-treasurers so I'm pretty happy about that. Still no one to take MY job, but I am fairly resigned to it at this point. Wednesday I have to figure out how to get my old Axis bike to Lund as I'm selling it to someone who wants it sight unseen (or at least she's seen a photo). Thursday is book group, and next weekend Anders is leaving for a 2-week business trip.

I hope everyone out there is enjoying a nice, relaxing, sunny weekend!
mood: lazy
music: none, just me

zird is the word [userpic]
Just like our vacation, which had both good (traveling, sightseeing, relaxing) and bad (John in the hospital) elements, this weekend was the same.

My mom called Thursday with the news that my Aunt Kathie had passed away. She was diagnosed at the end of March with an aggressive brain tumor. Even knowing the outcome, I still wasn't expecting it to happen so fast. I guess if you have to go, fast is the way to do it, but UGH. Cancer sucks. The visitation was yesterday and the funeral today. I was very sad that there was no way I could be there, but I did call and talk to my uncle and one of my cousins. Yesterday, Karin and I lit candles in Lund Cathedral for her and had a quiet moment in remembrance.

The reason why the weekend wasn't all sad/bad was because I had an unexpected visitor. One of my best friends from high school that I have seen since my wedding 19.5 years ago (!) sent me a message that she was going to be in Stockholm for meetings and had planned extra time in her schedule to be able to see me. After explaining that Stockholm was actually pretty far away, she was able, with the help of her travel agent, to switch things around and fly into Copenhagen instead.

We lived in the same base housing high-rise in Landstuhl, Germany. We were in The Messengers together, a non-denominational youth church choir on base, for 3 years. We sang on the bus, harmonizing on the way to choir practice. We went to each other's birthday parties, we babysat together and performed together.

She arrived Saturday morning and she hasn't changed a BIT. Well, except for the fact that her hair wasn't still 70s-style. And except for the fact that she's a high-powered COO for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. It was SO fun to see her! We sat and talked and talked and talked. Anders made a great lunch (that delicious crayfish pasta dish) and then we sat and talked some more. Around 5:30 we headed to Malmö to take in a couple of hours of Malmöfestivalen, which is running all this week. We just walked around and looked at things, listened to some music, ate festival food (langos! churros! grilled salmon!), and people-watched.

At one point, while we were standing and waiting for Anders who was buying something at one of the booths, a horde of zombies went walking by. The funniest part was that in the middle of them was a woman dressed in a full-body banana suit, with just her zombie face and arms sticking out. Zombie banana! Haha! Then we headed home, went for a walk around the neighborhood, and stayed up late talking.

It was great to catch up, hear all about her family (I was good friends with her sister, too, and loved her parents, and my brother was best friends with her youngest brother) and husband and kids. It's ridiculous that we haven't seen each other for nearly 20 years. I sure hope it doesn't go that long again until the next time. She gets to Europe once in awhile for work, so hopefully the next time she comes to Copenhagen or Stockholm we can meet up again. Or if I get to the States for work again, maybe. D.C. isn't so far from Boston, after all!

Bedorah and Bizzeleth

Martin and Karin started school today, though for Martin it was only a 45-minute roll-call at 3 p.m. and for Karin it was a morning of orientation. She sounded pretty positive, and I think they are both secretly glad to be back in school, even if they will never admit it.
mood: calm
music: Jann Arden—Counting Mercies

zird is the word [userpic]
The world is a lesser place today because my Aunt Kathie is no longer in it.

mood: sad

zird is the word [userpic]
There is only one week left of summer vacation for the kids and oh my god I can't wait until they're back into regular routines again. No more sleeping until noon, no more playing games all damn day, back to real life! Is it evil of me to be glad that school is starting? I really wish both kids had gotten summer jobs this summer, I feel like it would have made a big difference.

Pretty soon we have to start getting serious about Martin's future: college applications, scholarship searches, financial aid research...aagh! I can't believe he's going to be 18 so soon. I can't believe this is his senior year! I can't believe that, if he gets into college in Canada or the US like he wants, that he'll be gone in a year. I can't believe life as we know it will be coming to an end so soon. I DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE THAT.

Well, we'll see. After all, he has to apply first. And get accepted. And figure out how to pay for it. Maybe he'll still be at home next year. Maybe he'll NEVER MOVE OUT.

I don't know which to be more freaked out about. Haaa!

It's been a lovely sluggy weekend. The weather has been nice and Anders finished the mountain bike he built. He went immediately to try it out on a new mountain bike track at Skryllegården and promptly broke the chain, so he's back at it in the garage. Last night the whole family went to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. It's the first time in ages we've been to see a movie together as a family. I liked it, which surprised me, but Anders fell asleep twice! Hard to believe, watching Tom Cruise hang from the side of that airplane and dash around London like a teenager that he is the same age as my husband. Martin says he no longer believes they are impossible missions and that they should change the name of the franchise. There was a trailer for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and now I want to go see that.

Today has been really relaxing: sleeping in (the kids weren't the only ones, haha), lunch, some cleaning. I've sorted through all the bins that hold winter accessories and piled everything on the laundry room counter: gloves, scarves, hats, shoes. Sometimes I wish I could just purge things without having to ask everyone what they want to keep. The house would be much less cluttered if I could just throw away everything I think is unnecessary.

Anders and the kids went shopping this afternoon. I wasn't allowed to go. :D They are at the grocery store getting something for dinner now and I am hanging out on the porch, watching the butterflies and the breeze and reading the end of my book.
Tomorrow most of my team is back from vacation and I sincerely hope that means more to do.

Haha! I just turned on Spotify to listen to music and one of the kids is online, which means a spotify war. I started playing Katie Melua and someone keeps changing to Bajs i Bastun (Poop in the Sauna). Heee!

Happy Sunday!
mood: cheerful
music: Katie Melua—Chase Me

zird is the word [userpic]
Edited to say: if my math impairment doesn't once again trip me up and if that isn't THE MOST TYPICAL THING I COULD HAVE DONE, I don't know what is. *sigh*

Yesterday, my little Livejournal became a teenager turned 12! That's right, I've been writing here, right here, in this spot for 13 12 years! Back in 2003, blogs were the new and cool thing to do. EVERYONE was blogging. It was Gale, a friend from the AWC, who really got me started. She still blogs too but not so much, and since she moved to Copenhagen years ago, I haven't seen her in ages.

My reason for starting this blog was to kick-start my writing. I hadn't been writing anything much for years by then; nor doing much else of a creative nature. Gale helped kickstart that, too, as she was into scrapbooking and rubber-stamping and other kinds of crafty artwork and jewelry. It was a very fun year, and I spent a great deal of time, according to my blog, buying and using art supplies and starting (but not finishing) projects like my Collage Book.

During my first year or so of blogging, I was very enthusiastic and I often posted more than once a day. Throwaway, "this is just to say" kinds of posts mostly. My second post on my first day of online journaling talked about a night out with the Wonders, Anders' working on his motorcycle, the start of building our deck and a list of trees I wanted for the yard. It included lilac, magnolia, cherry, tulip, ginkgo, oak and birch.

Well, we managed the cherry tree. But! We are also getting lilacs finally, as Anders has already prepared the space along the side of the garage for them. 5 lilac bushes are intended to go there; the pretty lavender blue ones that I love :) It only took 13 12 years...what? Anyway, that post seems to typify my entire journal. :)

Back then, Martin was 5.5 years old. Karin was 4. Hard to believe that she just turned 16 and he will be 18 come December.

I was working at Ericsson then, not very happily, as things had been sliding downhill basically since I had started there in March of 2000. It would only be a little more than a year from when I started this blog that the company would close our subsidiary and I would find myself out of a job. I had the pleasure stress of deciding between TWO excellent new job offers and after much dithering, accepted a position with my current company. What an good choice I made!

Since I started this Livejournal, I've posted 2,411 entries. This will be #2412. I've received 34,340 comments. I've met so many wonderful people through this blog; and even gotten to meet many of you in person. It's opened up a world of friendship that has enriched my life immeasurably. Every comment you make, every advice you give, every recommendation you offer, makes my day brighter. I could have done it without you, but it sure wouldn't have been as much fun! So, happy blogiversary to us! Thank you :)
mood: happy
music: U2—With or Without You

zird is the word [userpic]
I went to Specsavers yesterday with Karin and looked at frames, and had an eye exam. My eyes have gotten worse in the intervening 6-7 years since I got my current glasses, but not too much and everything looked "good" ...or as good as things can look when you can't see shit without glasses. Specsavers prices are nearly HALF what the other eyeglass places offer. I don't understand how they can stay in business but they must make up for it by getting twice as many customers as everyone else.

Karin kept trying to get me to try different styles, but I didn't like any of them: too round, too big, too plastic, too crazy colored. I found these and will probably get them. I have to go back and actually order the glasses. Not sure if I'll get that done today or tomorrow. They have a deal that is basically "Buy 1 pair, get the second pair nearly free" just pay for the treatment on the glasses which is comparatively little.
red glasses

This isn't the exact photo...I couldn't find the right one. They are similar in style/shape to what I have now, but these have no frame along the bottom edge and the earpieces are fancier, plus they are Flexi.

I found a second pair I liked too:

But now I have to make a decision and I don't know what to do...since I can get a second pair for so little, should I get the gold ones as well as the red ones, or should I get a pair of sunglasses for the second pair, or a pair of "terminal glasses" for use at work when I'm just sitting at my computer all day long? The first pair will be progressive, regardless.

I have a pair of terminal glasses now, that I've had for years and I never use them, so that seems kind of stupid to get another pair. And I rarely wear sunglasses, but it could be because the ones I have are clip-on style that fit over my current glasses (and make them heavier). They're also quite skinny like the glasses they cover, which isn't ideal for sunglasses. Here are the ones I liked best:

So, I have to decide: 2 pairs of progressive glasses in different styles (will I really switch between them?) or 1 pair progressive and 1 pair sunglasses (which can also be progressive for a little extra)? I don't know what to doooooooooo.
mood: nerdy
music: He is We—Prove You Wrong

zird is the word [userpic]
I am scintillating. Read on and see for yourself.

I had so little to do at work today that I went through and cleaned out our two cabinets full of archived marketing materials. Then I came home, put the laundry in the dryer and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up only because the dryer was beeping, just as Anders came home from getting his hair cut.

I sat at the kitchen table with my chin in my hands and bemoaned the fact that I didn't have any ideas for making dinner until Anders caved in and made macaroni and meatballs, with a side plate of sliced veggies. We've been buying this new type of meatball, called Farfars Köttbullar (Grandad's meatballs) and they are capital-D delicious. Karin still isn't home; she went to Lomma beach today with friends. It was HOT today and my hair reacted predictably. It looks TERRIBLE. I am so glad my hair appointment is tomorrow; then Anders won't be the only fresh-cut looker in the house.

I let the neighbor's cat in and petted her but then I abandoned that to write this post and browse new music on Spotify. New music by some artists I really like: score! I moved a bunch of blogs that I used to love to a separate list on my sidebar today, too...the ones who haven't posted in more than a year and a half. It's a depressingly long list. I miss the good old blogging days when everyone kept us up to date on their lives.

No wonder no one comments on my posts. They're not online anymore. *sigh*

I'm reading the third book of Ken Follet's Millennium trilogy. He's definitely not the best writer, but now I want to see the end of this. The first book covered the lead-up to and WWI and the second book covered the inter-war period and WWII. This one starts in the early 60's and covers the Cold War. I'm reading about the Cuban Missile Crisis now, which I really didn't know much about. I think I've always had it confused with the Bay of Pigs incident, but they were two separate Cuba-related crises. Anyway, it's a big-ass book and I need to get through it because I still have to read the book for book group at the end of this month.

That's all I can think of, right now. See? Scintillating doesn't even begin to cover it!
mood: bored
music: Indigo Girls—Elizabeth

zird is the word [userpic]
We played a game at dinner tonight, one that Martin originally heard via a podcast. It was fun, even if it's all a bunch of hooey, so here it is for you to play along:

Imagine you are facing a desert. A vast, featureless sand ocean.

Now, imagine a cube. Describe your cube. What color is it? What size? What is it made of? Where is it in the desert?

With you in the desert is a horse. What is it doing? What color is it? Does it have a saddle or any other trappings? Where is the horse in relation to you and the cube?

You see a ladder. Describe the ladder. Where is it, what color is it, how many rungs does it have?

There are also flowers in this scene. How many are there? What color? How do they look and where are they?

And finally, a storm is in the desert, which will affect the cube, the horse, the ladder, and the flowers. Describe the storm. Where is it? How does it make you feel?

You can come up with as much detail as you like, but it should be what comes naturally to you.

Put your answers in the comments, and when you're done, you can click any one of these links to see what these things represent!

Answers (including colors)
Another set of answers (again with colors)
mood: crazy
music: America—Horse With No Name

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lizardek's obiter photos
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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.