Posts filed under ‘Sweden’

Door #5: Goatwatch 2007 — Looking for Love

When I got home tonight, I logged on to AIM for a few minutes and ended up talking to my friend Marilyn — another of the Gävlebock‘s fans. She wanted to know if I’d been checking the goat’s blog lately.

“No, not really. Has he been attacked yet?”

“He’s looking for a girlfriend.”

After the goat asked whether anyone knew any nice nanny goats, a helpful American, sent the him a link to Lucy, the Amazing Elephant Building in Margate, New Jersey.

I don’t want to stand in the way of true love, but after checking out Lucy, I really think she’d be a better match for Stoorn, the giant moose.


5 December 2007 at 23:44 Leave a comment

Door #4: Not Pining for the Fjords

I’ve been meaning to post about this ever since I first mentioned one of this year’s hot new scents (library-smell perfume), which appeared on’s holiday gift guide (scroll down to find the reference).

A few pages further in their list of gifts, Salon’s Joy Press suggests buying Peter Bjorn and John’s album Writer’s Block for the “culture vulture” in your life. Press describes the Swedish trio’s breakout song “Young Folks” as “fresh as morning mist bouncing off the fjords.”

Now, far be it for me to step on anyone’s simile, but the requisite fjord allusions in reviews of Swedish movies, films, music, etc. are starting to approach snowclone levels of cliché.

For once and for all, Sweden doesn’t really have fjords — at least not in the sense that Norway or Greenland or even Alaska does.

fjard.jpgSometimes Swedes will use the word fjord to mean what is usually called a fjärd (pronounced, fyaird) in Swedish, that is an open ocean area in an archipelago. And when the islands are steep and rocky and sit close together as they sometimes do on Sweden’s west coast or on the Höga Kusten (The High Coast) along the Gulf of Bothnia, you can almost get the feeling that you’re in a fjord when you’re sailing between them.

I’ve seen some of these fjärds (see my vacation photo above), and although they’re beautiful in their own right, they don’t even come close to Norway’s fjords on the grandeur front.

So if you want to talk about about some ethereally beautiful Swedish ditty, compare it to the sunlight on new-fallen snow or the rush of an arctic stream, but forget the fjords already.

And don’t even think about making polar bear references.

4 December 2007 at 20:04 Leave a comment

Friday Fiddle Tune #4

Today’s fiddle tune is a polska I wrote as part of my final project in a music theory and composition course last spring. I wrote the melody on the piano, so it’s a little tricky on fiddle in the B part.


30 November 2007 at 23:57 Leave a comment

Bockens Återkomst (The Return of the Goat)

Yes, the Gävlebock is back, and he’s started posting on his blog.

Workers installed the goat at the Castle Square (Slottstorget) in Gävle today in preparation for the big opening-day ceremony on Sunday.

I’ve linked to the English version of the blog, but if you can you read Swedish, you might want to check out the Swedish version as well since there are some details that go missing in the translation — like the fact that the goats horns were a little mussed after his summer storage — or are contain amusing misspellings — such as the goat being “tiered” instead of “tired” after today’s intensive activities.

29 November 2007 at 22:04 Leave a comment

Fler Jättedjur (More Giant Animals)

What is it with Sweden and giant animals these days?

Not to be outdone by the goat-builders of Gävle, Swedes in Norsjö in Västerbotten province have decided to build world’s largest moose. (Yes, I know the article headline says “elk.” That’s “moose” to those of us who don’t speak British.)

You can read more about the plans for the moose at the project Web site. (I love the scale drawing that lets you compare a “real moose” and a “BIG moose!”)

Or, even better, check out the virtual video tour of the inside of the moose, which will feature a 350-seat concert hall, a restaurant and a state-of-the-art conference center. The best line from the video has to be, “Inside the mouth, between the teeth and the tonsils, you’ll find the reception and gift-shop.”

[Honestly, I swear I’ll stop posting about Sweden one of these days, but I just can’t help myself when I keep encountering stories like this.]

27 November 2007 at 22:53 1 comment

Friday Fiddle Tune 3

Here’s a hambo tune I dedicated to my friend Carolyn when she had surgery. It’s called “Krya på dig” — “Get Well Soon” in Swedish.


If you’ve never seen hambo, here’s a video clip of the dance:

23 November 2007 at 23:42 Leave a comment

NaBloPoMo Mid-Month Updates

I wanted to take a moment to mention some of the more unexpected results of this month of blogging. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click the links. All will be explained)

  • I now walk around singing “Moskau, Moskau, come and dance and love the fish! Mr. Disco summoned it! A-ha-ha-ha-ha!” Curse you Dschinghis Kahn with your catchy Euro-Pop! You too, Buffalax, with your nonsensical, yet oddly compelling anglicized lyrics!

[Note to readers: I am not responsible if you too find yourself watching the “Moskau” video and ending up with a brainworm.]

[Note to self: don’t google “brainworm” thinking you’ll find a link to some Wikipedia page talking about the idiomatic definition of brainworm as a song you can’t get out of your head. And especially don’t google “brainworm” over lunch.]

[Update: Before the pictures of the white-tailed deer autopsies had faded from my mind, I realized that a song that gets stuck in your head is an earworm not a brainworm. Maybe I have a brainworm eating my memory.]

  • Many people end up here via a search for Swedish military lip-balm and how to order it. Sadly, I don’t have any advice to offer. I buy two or three tubes every summer when I go to Sweden to visit my friends from my study-abroad year. If I run out, I ask one of my Swedish fiddling friends to buy some when they go to Sweden. If you know how you can get your hands on some without actually going to Sweden, post in the comments and let me know.

[Note to self: bring back extra tubes next year to sell to homesick Swedes and former expats.]

20 November 2007 at 23:50 Leave a comment

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