January 13th, 2015

wrong note


This past weekend was my 18th anniversary of moving to Sweden. 18 years! Every year I am equally boggled by how long I have lived here. If you add on the 6 years I lived abroad as a child, that makes 24 years total I have lived abroad. Considering my age, which no one should be considering, that means only 2 more years and I'll have lived half my life overseas (note to skeptics, I checked the math with my husband).

Half my life!

Martin: Why are you using Firefox and not Chrome?
Liz: Um, I don't know
Martin: *under his breath* Fossil


I did an "interview" for a friend's school project today. She's studying English and Swedish and is writing a paper on accents. She interviewed the kids, too, but their assignment was apparently different from mine. I had to read a 1-page essay out loud in Swedish, while she taped it, and now she's going to analyze my accent. *shudder*

It's funny...I know I speak Swedish relatively well and what I hear in my own head, when I am speaking Swedish, sounds pretty damn good. But listening to a recording of myself speaking Swedish? Cringe-worthy. It's worse than just the weirdness of hearing your own voice on tape.

Today at work, while listening to my awesome playlist, Paula Abdul's Straight Up came on, and I turned the volume up as high as it would go and my officemate and I started dancing. For nearly the whole song. Not one single person came in to dance with us or even see what the hell we were doing. How can you not dance when Straight Up comes on?

Speaking of dancing, we are having our department kickoff in a couple of weeks and right before Christmas we received an email from the dept assistant telling us that the format this year would be different than in the past previous three years (yay!) and that we had been divided into groups of 6-7 persons and assigned to come up with a SONG AND DANCE CONTEST ENTRY. (boo!)

We have 3-5 minutes and we can sing, dance or perform in some way. Our groups are divided by region or country and at least a couple of the people in each group have some connection with that region or country. I was slotted into "North America" (surprise!) along with two of the other Americans, one Swedish woman who is married to a Canadian and three other Swedes who have no ties to the U.S. (or Canada) that I'm aware of. The performance has to incorporate the theme "regional or cultural differences or similarities".

Now, Axis is a VERY international company. There are just over 70 people in Corporate Marketing and I can think of 22 off the top of my head who are NOT Swedish or are half-Swedish. We had our first brainstorming meeting on Monday, and we were all dreading it, but surprisingly we came up with a fantastic idea almost right away, and then it was a snap to plan and divide up the responsibilities. We are writing new lyrics to YMCA by the Village People, and dressing in appropriately North American clichéd costumes: cowboy (me), Indian (Gunilla, because she has a mohawk), Uncle Sam (one of the guys because he's really tall), Mexican (because Axis has an office in Mexico that is part of the North American region), hillbilly (because Barbara is from Kentucky, haha!) and hockey player (with a Canadian hockey jersey of course). Bonus: YMCA is really easy to dance to, and sing.

There were supposed to be 7 of us, but one woman is out on sick leave. I am in charge of the lyrics with Gunilla's help, and I've made a start already...we have a meeting tomorrow to work on it. All of us are bringing in bits of costumes and we have a budget from the department to purchase things we need (which includes a sombrero, how clichéd can we get?). I wasn't looking forward to the kickoff AT ALL, but now I am. Kinda. Huh, go figure.