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HOW WE SPEND OUR DAYS IS HOW WE SPEND OUR LIVES*
Oh, hey, I KNEW I was forgetting something! *waves* Hi there, little neglected internet! How ya doin'? Are you busy with the busyness like me?

Julbord count: 4

There's been a lot of music in the air this week. Maybe I am hyper-aware of it because I'm a singer. Tuesday evening one of our printing company took a bunch of us out to dinner at Wallmann's Salong, a big dinner theater place in downtown Malmö. While the singers had good voices and were clearly dinner theater veterans and very good at what they do (which didn't include their sideline as wait staff unfortunately, since they kept disappearing to perform just when it would have been nice to get drink refills or finished plates removed), it felt very much like watching a high school musical only with very old and very heavily made-up high schoolers. Lots of jazz hands and air humping and sparkly lamé costumes.

Christmas Tree: decorated

After the first few "sets" which were primarily glitter-coated Christmas medleys, there was a break from the regular cast for a Lucia tåg (procession)...5 women dressed in white with candles in their hands and in the case of the leader, on her head. They sang close harmony, tight and spiraled voices that gave me shivers. They came onstage singing Sankta Lucia...the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir, and then sang a second Lucia song which is titled Lucia but which everyone calls Så mörk är natten i midvintertid (So dark, the night, at midwinter time) to differentiate it from the first one...the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir, and THEN their 3rd song was Silent Night in Swedish with...you guessed it, the same words and arrangement that we sing in choir. It was uncanny.

Christmas Cards: mailed

Yesterday we sang those same three songs in our final concert of the year. We had a guest soloist, a Spanish tenor who has sung with us before and has a mellow and expressive voice. Between him and us, we sang Christmas songs in 8 languages. After the final applause had died away and we had bowed ourselves from the stage, we had our end-of-season holiday party. My friend Debbie who sings in the choir (albeit at the other end as a soprano) was one of the party committee members and went all out...she organized a White Elephant Gift Game that none of the Swedes had ever heard of before, and it was hilarious! She had a huge burlap sack lined with red ribbon and filled with beautifully wrapped inexpensive but really nice presents and a letter from Tomten explaining the rules. We each drew a numbered slip from a small bag and in turn got to choose a present from the bag and open it.

Book Editing: finalized (but not uploaded, dernit)

If you've never participated in a White Elephant game, it can be a bit alarming at first. Each person could either keep the present they opened or TAKE one of the presents that had been opened before their turn. We've played it many times in the past with my mom's family and it's a hoot. The game I was used to was played slightly differently: we went in number order and the presents were always funny or rude or off-color or something that was bound to cause a commotion. Even though the presents last night were mostly holiday decorations and Christmas-themed, there was still a lot of laughter and present-theft going on. Unfortunately my number was called very early, which isn't ideal since I could only choose from 3 other people's presents and since they were all tree ornaments (pretty ones, but good god, do I have a lot of shit on my tree as it is! the last thing I need are more tree ornaments. I ended up not using dozens of ornaments this year that are usually on the tree because even to me it was looking a bit ridiculous. Anders' eyes are surely so far back in his head that he can track the switchbacks in his cerebellum) I choose to keep the one I had opened: a large plain gold-painted wooden angel even though it wasn't really my style. It was stolen from me almost right away and my replacement present was — a mistletoe-scented car air freshener. Yeah, I know. I thought I was going to be stuck with it, too, but when it was our choir leader's turn, she took pity on me and stole it so I ended up with a box of Christmas cards instead. :)

Calendar: Full all the way to New Year's

Tomorrow is our work Christmas party (Julbord #5) but I don't expect to be there very late. Saturday is maniac-rushing-about to prepare for Martin's birthday party with his friends in the evening (the theme is a pajama party even though the kids aren't sleeping over) and then he is going to someone ELSE's birthday party afterwards. Sunday is the Christmas party for kids at Anders' job. Then it's only 4 more days of work and John and Simone arrive and I'm on holidays for a week...with something planned for every day but one. How did that happen?? I'm going to need a vacation after my vacation!

Jolly Jellybean Birthday Wishes to My Old Pal (heh! I said old): cap_killer!

*Annie Dillard
 busy
mood: busy
music: The Point—All My Life


Comments
(Anonymous)

You sing my favourite Lucia song too! It has been my favourite since we sang it in school. (Så mörk är natten...) I envy you. I haven't sung that song since ninth grade which was the last time I "lussade"...

/Mia

http://mias.blogg.se


It's a pretty song. I like it much better than Sankta Lucia to be honest.

Vhat a Lovely Lovely Lovely X'mas tree!

Say, are the songs you sing in SSAA arrangement?

Most of them, although some are just SA

I envy you all the julbord, just as you probably miss some stuff I get here in the US. But this year I will get some Swedish AND some Polish JULMAT, sooon my precious, sooon...

What's involved in Polish julmat? Sounds exciting!

From what I've heard, carp (fish) is big in Poland at Christmas, being a Catholic population.

Side note: It belongs to the same family as goldfish, koi, barbs, danios, rasboras and so on. Among Swedish species found in the wild; braxen, mört and löja also are related.

We don't eat much carp in my family (we eat mixed Swedish and Polish food), but there is a lovely cabbage casserole with sausage and mushrooms in it called Bigos, and then we eat mushroom dumplings, polish cheese cake and a vegetable salad with pickles and mayo in it, which goes excellent with the Christmas ham. Also, Poles eeat a fair amount of herring, just like the Swedes, but they don't pickle it in the same way (much less sugar and more onion), so we have all kinds of herring.

From the Internet, I read on several sites that a traditional Polish Christmas dinner should consist of 12 dishes?! That is including starters, but still a lot. I don't know how many dishes a traditional Swedish julbord is expected to have - the number varies a lot - but 12 would be a rather big number.

That may be the custom, but there are several ways of cheating with the dishes, for instance you can count bread as a "dish" and pickled cucumber as one, and so forth. I don't think there is a specific number of dishes traditionally on a Swedish julbord, normally there is just lots and lots.

and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. *burp*

Good to see you around pardner. I was beginning to think you had fallen into a giant Christmas Stocking and wouldn't resurface until after the holidaze.
Your tree is gorgeous.

It's even prettier up close and in person! :D

(Anonymous)


I bet it smells good too.

Even in my MOST manic moments, pre-Zoloft, I don't think I was ever as busy as you are on a regular basis. Lovely tree.

It's a curse gift. :P

The staff at Wallmans salonger was "very old"? Like 40+ or so? I thought most of their staff were young people who are trying to make themselves a name in showbiz by getting experience from this type of establishment. Many Swedish current artists have "graduated" from Wallmans salonger, e.g. Martin Stenmarck, Linda Bengtzing, Shirley Clamp, Lina and Hanna Hedlund and Tess Merkel, who is currently producing her own show at Wallmans in Stockholm.

Perhaps currently there is a lack of aspiring talents in the Malmö-København region, so they had to call in older people to fill out the show? :-)

I meant older as in older than high school, which is teenagers. These people were all in their 30s, at least.

re: white elephant

We had a different name for that but we used to play it at our rubber stamp club holiday party. We were very competitive to bring the gift that was stolen the most. Brings back great memories for me.

When I read your schedule, I simply can't believe how you cope. I only read it and had to have a lie down. Though I wish I'd read this before I emailed you :(

I hope you find time to actually enjoy your Christmas time and your "vacation".

Will you stop! I told you it was okay! The more the merrier. I live life to the fullest, and that includes friends and family and everything :) Who has time for being bored?! I'll enjoy the heck out of it, as always, and I'm sleeping in EVERY DAY of my vacation! :D

I'm sleeping in EVERY DAY of my vacation!

But.....

I need a pre-breakfast served in bed! Just hot chocolate and freshly made savoiardi....

Then a full cooked breakfast in bed.

If it's not too much trouble....

I think I have a jar of vegemite around here somewhere...

What a Bamsestor Christmas Tree!
I do wish you some down time during your holiday & enjoy the time with the visiting family.

Sending Birthday wishes to Martin.

So maybe the mice were doing you a favor by eating through some of those extra ornaments...too bad you couldn't explain to them which ones had sentimental value.

It looks like decorate yours a lot like I do - with lots of different ornaments that each have a story.

There is nothing worse than mis-used jazz hands...

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