June 29th, 2004



Well, despite my 4-month-long slide into the bad-attitude pit at work, my performance review this morning was EXCELLENT. I can only hope that will translate as a decent pay raise if and when we ever get them. My boss is in agreement with me on bad attitudes and reasons for them and ways to squash them and made a point of once again offering his complete support in the event that I ever feel it necessary to look for another job and then he hugged me around the legs and begged me never to quit.

We have a work party tonight. It's a summer party combined with a goodbye party for our CEO who apparently didn't have anyone hanging on to HER legs begging HER not to quit because she did and this is her last week before relocating to Stockholm and a new job. I'm of mixed minds about how much I want to go to this party. One colleague laid the groundwork yesterday by saying he wasn't feeling well and called in sick this morning...why didn't I think of that? Heh. Since our department is technically the host for this bash, we can't all weasel out of it, since we have to man the bar. Oh joy, catering to a bunch of drunken engineers!

Anders got the entire roof on the playhouse last night. It's really looking great. He's planning to go buy paint today and then strip the kids down to underwear, hand them brushes and get out of the way. Assuming it doesn't rain. Because it's been raining for the past 3 weeks straight, this is not something I'd gamble on, especially considering the cloud cover I can see out the window. (and rain. It's pouring now. sigh)

Martin and Karin came home yesterday with pictures they had drawn of dogs and they signed their names to them and then took them across the street to give to Leo, a big brown dog who belongs to our neighbors Tobias and Kajsa. Apparently it was Leo's name day yesterday. Name days are a tradition here in Sweden. I'm not sure if any other European countries outside of Scandinavia celebrate them. When you're a kid, your name day can be a chance for a present, but as an adult you're lucky to get a "happy name's day" greeting from someone who read the paper that morning.

Celebrating name days in Sweden is a custom that originated from the saints calendar of the church, and became the name list on the old year calendar. The aristocracy took up the custom of name day celebrations in the 1700's but the custom didn't become popular with the general populace, probably because of the outdated names in the list. In the 1800's it became a tradition to celebrate the name days of the kings. An upswing for names day celebrations followed the inception of a new name list in 1901, but the custom still played a smaller role than birthday celebrations. Now, in the new millenium, names have again been added to the calendar, to give it a bit more of a modern feel. It has become fairly traditional in Sweden to give younger children a small gift or card on their name day.

Karin's name day is in August, but the rest of us fall in November. I'm presently feeling a little guilty because my kids have NEVER gotten a card or gift from us on their name days (mostly because I'm not Swedish and don't think about it) and here they are giving presents to a DOG.
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