Thursday, March 31, 2005

cleaning for the cleaning lady

I'm now officially one of those people who clean the house before the cleaning lady comes over. I've never had anyone come clean my house before, but I did have a feeling that I might be one of those people - and sure enough... Everything is picked up off the floor, counters and tables are clear, the laundry is put up, and the shoes are in the closet rather than in a pile by the front door.

But - there's still plenty for Gracie to do when she comes over tomorrow. I'm so thrilled. My house will be clean once again!!!

PS. Congrats to Rebecka for making the AR "Wall of Fame" - i.e. she's read books and taken comprehension exams worth over 150 points. Way to go girl!! :)

The Borowitz Report

If you're not already familiar with Andy Borowitz... Check him out. He is beyond funny...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

namur news and random acts of kindness...

Remember the guy who ordered Namur CDs and works 2 blocks from my office...? Well, he got us in touch with this guy at and guess what?? Now you can buy Namur CDs there. Isn't that awesome!?! Go buy one - or two - or ten. However, if you want a t-shirt - I'm your woman.

I'm overwhelmed by the kindness of friends in these weeks of insanity leading up to Todd's qualifying exams. Just one example:

Today, Rebecka went home with our good friends, the Findley's, after school. When I arrived at their house to pick her up around 7 pm (loooong meeting at work), they offered me wine (yes, please!) and dinner (yes, please again - they both have chef school on their resumes) and boy was it good! AND they offered to take her home again on Friday and next Monday.

We're too lucky to have such good and caring friends.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

where to begin...?

It's been a busy couple of days... Wrapping up Easter, wrapping presents for Rebecka's birthday, wrapping up a High Level Design for our next release - lots of wrapping... In addition to that, I spent some fun-filled time at Granbery Elementary yesterday for Rebecka's birthday. I had a McDonald's Cheeseburger for the first time in I don't know how many years. Rebecka likes it when I bring McDonald's when I come to eat lunch with her ("That's what all the other parents do...") and this time I thought I'd go all the way and have it myself. It was surprisingly delightful. No - I did not ruin it by checking the nutritional information...

Today was a lovely day. I spent a good bit of time at the gym in the morning and walked out into a beautifully sunny day. Wow! It makes me so happy. I love spring - with a passion. Had a late and leisurly lunch at my favorite Mediterranean place with Prasad. We sat outside. It was heavenly. I'm of the opinion that if the weather is perfect and you have the opportunity to sit outside and eat, then it is a crime not to do so. Got lots done at work. And now I'm about to watch the Amazing Race with the fam. Yep - a lovely day.

Ok - I want one of these Fox Blockers. I don't get FOX at my house, but I want it just for the awesomeness of it... Ooooh - maybe I can sneak one on the back of the TV at the YMCA... How cool would that be?? (Thanks AnonD for that link... ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!!

It's been good so far. Got to sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the choir at the end of the service - this is always fun... Now we're off for good food and fun at the Bjordahl residence.

Enjoy, relax, and remember to live your life to the fullest - every day.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

four angels

I want to introduce four angels: Joanne, Lala, Subba, and Priti.

What do these angels have in common, you may ask...? Well, these wonderful women all took care of my child at some point during this crazed spring break. They fed her, bathed her, housed her, took her to McDonalds and Chuck E Cheese, gave her a brand new toothbrush, let her play with their dogs and children, took her to the Adventure Science Museum, and much, much more.

Angels, you have no idea how much help and stress-release you provided. Thank you!

Friday, March 25, 2005

erring on the side of life...

Shouldn't "erring on the side of life" also involve the following:
  • Not executing innocent black males because they can't afford proper legal aid
  • Not signing laws allowing doctors to override the family's wish to keep a loved one on life support if they can't afford it
  • Not attacking other countries for the heck of it
  • Allowing children and the elderly to have the same quality health care as the people on Capitol Hill
  • Keeping guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who use them to "settle arguments"
Bush's approval ratings are at an all time low - do you think that it has anything to do with the fact that people are finally starting to realize what a hypocrite this man is?

bball rocks

I'm currently ranked #2 in the office pool. This is quite thrilling. What an awesome evening of hoops (like I saw any of it - who has time to watch TV?!?!)! I will definitely employ the same resource to help me with the brackets next year. Just next time, I won't let his bias for Alabama drag me down to #2... ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

gym stuff...

Today was the first day of the year where I wore shorts only to the gym. Ok - not *only* shorts - that would be kinda scary... But no long pants to cover up. It was a little chilly, but it is a good sign that spring is on the way.

Also, today I ran for 30 minutes for the first time since my knee started acting up without feeling any pain. After 20 more minutes on elliptical - still no pain. I'm excited!!

Finally - the dressing room is incredibly empty at 9:00 am. Just a handful of little old ladies getting ready after their morning swim. I must come at this time more often.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

to my friends...

Thanks for caring. And for making me laugh. For stimulating conversations and comfortable silence. For music and singing. Togetherness. For enjoyable meals and games and fun. For correcting me when I'm wrong and listening when I need to talk. Sharing secrets. Smiles - in the hallway - through email - across the table - brightening my day. Understanding.

I love all of you. So very much.


Don't do Pilates without proper cushioning.

Good Lord! My neck and spine are in total pain. Not good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

pilates 101

So, I ordered this Pilates DVD and a mat from Amazon... This morning was the first time to try it. I started easy with the modified basic workout and then did the basic workout three times. I'm wondering if perhaps my mat is too thin, because my back is hurting a little from the "Rolling Like a Ball" move. I'm wondering if they're assuming that you're putting the mat on carpet rather than really, really hard laminate floor. The guy in the DVD has a super thick mat - it's like a doctor's examination table or something. Hmmm. I'll figure it all out.

If my abs are hurting tomorrow, I'll stick with the basic workout... If not, I guess I'll move on to intermediate.

Any Pilates fans out there?

Monday, March 21, 2005


So much to do - so little time.

Survived Palm Sunday - my little kiddos did a good job waving palm branches and singing Hosanna. The rest of the day was spent doing various things including a meeting (boring, but necessary...), walking around the lake (awesome!), going to the mall (makeup emergency), and chauffeuring Rebecka to various locations.

Today was a typical Monday - let's leave it at that. I'm enjoying hanging out more with my friend Prasad. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met. Yep. I like smart people.

I have a Flickr account now. Not many pictures there yet, but hope to load a ton over the course of the next few weeks. Thanks to Rohan for the tip. What would I do without my "on-top-of-new-things-on- the-web" friends? I would still be using Yahoo! maps...!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

tech support fun

My friend Lyn sent me the link to this skit. It is awesome. You must see it.

cool shoes and other things

My dear bro-in-law, aka AnonD, sent me a link to this article that talks about the new Addidas running shoes that "uses a sensor, a microprocessor and a motorized cable system to automatically adjust the shoes' cushioning." I had read about this shoe in Runner's World, but kinda forgotten about it. I guess the $250 price tag made me think (as with many other things such as the iPod, PDA phone, etc): "I'll just wait until they get cheaper..."

But - for all you runners out there with some disposable income - go buy a pair - and let me know if they're worth it. Btw - the Adidas website is cool. Being in UI redesign mode, I'm looking at the www in a new light now... Where are they putting the logout link? What colors are the using? Is the search on the same page as the search results? How easy is it to navigate? Whew - I just need to stop surfing.

So I have a few new candidates for my new shoe... Let me know what you think:


PS - The FedEx man delivered my tickets yesterday - yay!!

Friday, March 18, 2005

gun control in philly? and other news...

I love the Mayor of Philadelphia. It is not often that one gets to hear intelligent discussions regarding guns in this country, but today CNN offered just that. The Mayor actually had the brilliant idea that if they restrict access to guns, then there won't be as many out there, and people won't grab for the gun when in an argument and kill each other. What a novel idea...! And just like it would be harder for regular folks to get guns, it would also be harder for the criminals to get guns... Why can't people understand this very simple concept...?

On the Shiavo story - just let the poor girl die and be over with it. I mean - how can keeping her alive be good for anybody? Note to self: Create living will so as to not end up in vegetative state forever should something bad happen.

And finally - did you know that there is summer gasoline and winter gasoline?? I love picking up these little pieces of new information...

PS. Only four of my picks lost yesterday... That ain't so bad, is it? Thanks for the help Mike! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

my night

Fell asleep somewhere between 8 and 8:30 pm watching the second episode of Pride and Prejudice in the bed with Rebecka. (I had promised to stay awake for the first episode and managed to do so - albeit painful)

Woke up at 2:10 am. Went to the bathroom in the dark in order to be able to go back to sleep. It didn't work. At 3:08 am I broke down and went downstairs to eat a snack and read my Runner's World - hoping that I would fall asleep again... I think it worked, because around 4:45 am, I woke up with drool on my face. Decided to go back to bed. Forced myself to lay there until 5:55 am, when I jumped out of bed and into the shower.

Today is going to be interesting and I will be taking drugs tonight.

PS. Here is my impulse buy from the weekend:

Do you understand why I *need* it!?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

my sweden vacation...

I booked my tickets!! It's really exciting because I got exactly the dates I wanted (6/18 - 7/16) and I'm flying with SAS, the greatest airline in the world. All this for under $1100. Not bad, eh?

Jag älskar Sverige!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

credit card applications and other junk

I just have to express how completely and utterly I hate junk mail - especially credit card applications.

There was a time when we couldn't get a credit card from anybody. We had already passed the college window of opportunity and didn't have an income sufficient to qualify for even the smallest amount of credit. The only reason we wanted one was so that we could sign up for internet and the only method of payment was credit card.

We finally managed to get a credit card through the bank that the church was using (one of the many minister perks) with a limit of $500. Because they helped us in need, we have stuck with them through thick and thin and probably will until we die.

So - back to my point - I spend several minutes every day opening credit card applications and other crap. This includes removing the stupid fake cards from the paper and making sure that the gummy glue is off the paper, because it'll ruin the shredder... Then I analyze what needs to be shredded and what can go straight into the paper recycling. Finally, I shred the stuff that needs to be shredded and recycle the stuff that needs to be recycled.

In my life, every minute is valuable. I hate having to spend precious moments on this worthless activity. I wonder if there is some study out there on how much time the average American spends on this over the course of a life time. Nah - it would be too depressing.

OK - gotta watch the Amazing Race now, so I'll stop bitching.

vacation in sweden

Nope - I'm not talking about mine (although it is coming up in 94 days), but rather this story that Todd found the other day.

I want to travel "across snow and ice on sleds pulled by sturdy dogs through unspoilt nature"!! Unspoilt nature is the best thing ever. I always get really depressed when I drive through landscapes that must have been amazing before the interstates and fast food joints and ugly billboards took over... I imagine the Native Americans slowly riding across the plains on their little ponies and buffalo strolling nearby...

Yes - I am a romantic.

Monday, March 14, 2005

why are there no sugar cubes?

Rebecka is learning about arctic things in Encore (the gifted program at her school). Tonight, she wrapped up a cereal box project on polar bears... We found out some interesting things like: Polar bears kill seals by smashing their skulls - and - they don't hibernate! Can anyone guess why?

Tonight, Rebecka also reminded me that she is supposed to bring sugar cubes to Encore tomorrow, so that she can build an igloo. Well, being the super devoted mother that I am, I set out to find some sugar cubes. I started with Kroger... They were out. All those other even more devoted parents had already been there. The space where the sugar cubes were supposed to go was completly empty. So, I went across the street to Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. What was I thinking?? They don't even have basics like Kefir or the soy milk that comes in the cool container...

Rebecka will be building her igloo with marshmellows.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

materialism at its worst...

Just got back from the mall. I don't go to the mall much - and every time I go, I remember why. There is SO MUCH CRAP there that no one could possibly need or even want. I don't get it... Probably the fact that I had around 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night didn't help the experience much. I was there mostly to get free stuff - you know the deals that they use to get you into their store so that you'll buy stuff. Well, I enjoy going there and just getting the free thing - just to defy the system.

Got some nice Body by VS panties and a little puppy for Rebecka's Build-A-Bear golden retriever, Goldie. For free! :) It was great. I did make one impulse buy on the way out to my car - but this shirt was just too perfect. And yes - the moment I saw it - I knew I needed it. ;)

OK - time to throw the pork loin in the oven before my family starves to death...

Friday, March 11, 2005

cellphone charging

Last night, when I came home from the party, I was just a little too tired and out of it to have the energy to charge my phone - it was completely dead.

Late this morning, I realized that I wasn't going to be at work in time to enter my hours from yesterday, so I decided to call my friend to ask her to do it for me. I moaned to myself when I remembered that I hadn't charged my phone last night as I pulled it out of my purse.

But - lo and behold - my dear husband had retrieved it from my purse, charged it, turned it back on, and returned it to its proper place - just for me.

I love him... :)

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Today is over! It went really well - and it is over! I'm sooooo excited!

And to top it off, we had a release party at Jonathan's Grille after work. Free Heineken... Can't beat that.

Now I am ready to crash and sleep until my body tells me it is time to wake up - no alarm - no anything...

God Natt.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


keep waking up at 4 am. stress perhaps. i need rest. have more work to do - now. can't wait until tomorrow is over and in the past. big day - lots of pressure.

want to run away. to a quiet place with no interruptions. to be alone. without responsibility. just for a little while. lie in a hammock. and read - and sleep - and dream (nice dreams) - and wake up and read some more.

i'm reaching my limit. a friend said: "you need to communicate your limitations..." it is hard. very hard. but soon it will have to happen - there's no other way. i will do my best. it will have to suffice.

i had taco bell for lunch...

...well - for my second lunch. I thought that I was getting the "healthy" alternative - Chicken Quesadilla. How wrong I was. I found this really nifty "Taco Bell Nutrition" site where you can calculate the nutritional value of the food on your Taco Bell tray (except - I got it to go, so no tray - but it works just fine without the tray). OK - my lunch was 540 friggin calories - for hardly any food. And 46% of my fat intake for the day. And 65% of my saturated fat intake for the day. Insane!

It'll be a while before I have Taco Bell again. It'll be a while before I have fast food again. Heck, it might even be a while before I have food again... At least several hours.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

when i enter your rest...

"Early in the morning I'll seek your face.
I find my life in the fullness of your joy.
Ev'ry stress and anxiety, it is gone
when I enter Your rest, when I enter Your rest."

These are the first couple of lines of my new favorite song, that I'm either listening to, singing, playing, or humming all day long. It's the perfect song to still my overloaded mind. Thanks Joann Rosario - I love you!

Anyone who wants to be my new best friend can go ahead and buy me her CD... ;)

PS. I'm so glad Monday is over. Monday is my least favorite day of the week.

Oh - and should I buy these shoes?

Monday, March 07, 2005

sports talk

Yes - I know you're confused. You have come to the right place. I don't often delve into the world of sports, but yesterday that world was just too great for Sweden:

First of all, the track and field team got more medals than ever before in the European Championships. Stefan Holm cleared 2.40 (tenth in the world to do so, second Swede) on the high jump. Swedish girls took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the 60 m hurdles. The list goes on.

Secondly, a Swedish guy won the world's biggest cross country skiing race, Vasaloppet, which is 90 km. This is based on the trek that the Swedish King Gustav Vasa made in the 16th century to escape those evil Danes. Except, apparently, he was wearing snow shoes rather than skis...

Finally, Annika Sörenstam won her first competition for the year in Mexico City.

All this is just too exciting to ignore! :)

PS. This morning CNN aired a story about this 6-year-old who was suspended because the mother refused to spank him in some administrator's office. The guy on the machine next to me said: "The kid needs discipline and the parent refuses to spank him - now that's just wrong!" Boy, that gave me lots of fuel to finish my workout. This is where I come from: In Sweden spanking has been outlawed since the early 1980s... Favorite quote by the school's administrator: "We use progressive discipline." Progressive in which century!?!?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

spring is around the corner...

I did our taxes today. They're done except for the "come-back-24-hours-later-and-double-check" part. I hate doing taxes. The only good thing about doing taxes is the joy of getting money back and the knowledge that it means that spring is around the corner...

This tree thinks that spring is here. It is the only tree on the street that is blooming. I guess it's what you would call an "early bloomer." It makes me smile every time I pass it. Look how beautiful the flowers are:

Sang one of my favorite "religious" songs, The Lord Is My Shepherd, in church today. It was lovely. This has been a lovely weekend in general. Fun-filled Granbery School fundraiser on Friday night, all-night date last night (thanks to friend Katie for having Rebecka over for a sleepover!), calm Sunday morning, refreshing walk in the sunshine this afternoon...

Man - it's been great!

this is me...

One day this past week, I went to Rebecka's class to talk about becoming a US citizen. It was a good time and the kids were really great. Best question:

"Do you have really, really tall mountains in your country?"

"For the last time - NO - we don't have really tall mountains - I'm not from Switzerland - I'm not Swiss - and I certainly don't speak Swiss (nobody does!). Why can't anyone get that straight???"

That's actually not what I said, 'cause I didn't want to hurt this little child's feelings. I explained that yes, we have some mountains, but not quite as big or as famous as the ones in that other country...

Anyway, during art class, Rebecka drew the above picture of me and everyone signed it as a thank you card. How cute is that!??! When can I come back?

Friday, March 04, 2005

last night...

I went to hear the enchanting Sarah Siskind w band (including my favorite drummer). It was fabulous... One of these days it's just going to say *Bang* and she'll be a huge star. Cool thing is, she won't forget her friends - such a humble spirit...

Drank Heineken, laughed with my friend Emi, and stayed up way past my bedtime. Nice.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Last week, Rebecka's class learned about idioms. When Mrs. Hughes asked the children for examples of idioms, Rebecka happily came up with the following:

"Bite me."

Thanks Fluffy!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

my toe

My left foot little toe is red and warm... All my other toes are normal-colored and kind of coldish...

Does anybody think that this may be a bad sign?

Bill Gates KBE

Ah hahaha.

Appy, you must be thrilled!! ;)

Apparently, Bill Gates also declared the other day that high schools are obsolete... I agree. Go with the Swedish way: Pick a major in high school. Let kids study what interests them. If you have a music prodigy on your hands, let her go to a fine arts high school. If your kid wants to be a chef, let him cook...

Yes, I know, people change their minds about their careers... That's fine - there is a base knowledge set that all of these students acquire that can help them in any future job.

I think the drop-out rates would plummet... Just my two cents...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

unexpected visitor

It's 7:30 am. I'm about to step into my boots, in order to step out the door into the *bitter* cold and drive to work, when Rebecka bursts in through the door:

"Mommy, Mommy! There's no school today. A lady came by the bus stop and told us that it's a snow day! And there's a girl and her mom already left and can she come in?"

"Of course she can come in... What's your name, honey?"

"Joyce," comes the whispery answer.

Well - that was about the information we could gather... We also managed to extract a last name, mother's work place, and teacher's name. The next 30 minutes were spent in detective mode... We called the school - no answer. We called mom's work place. Nope. We called other random parents... No luck.

Eventually, Todd got a hold of mom and volunteered to keep little Joyce for the rest of the day so that she could stay at work. Todd gets the Dad-of-the-Year award!!! :)

Wonder if this is part of the whole "Whoever welcomes a child such as this... welcomes me." deal...?

Moral of the story: Make sure your kid knows your name, your number(s), and any other pertinent information. And don't leave for work until the bus comes!!

PS. I spent a good part of the morning (before 6:30 am) singing at the piano. It was an amazing way to start the day. Must do this more often...