Monday, December 06, 2010

The End of Novembeard and Things I Have Learned

I participated in what is cleverly referred to as Novembeard. That is to say, I did not shave for the month of November. I’m pretty hairy and haven’t had trouble growing a beard since I was about 15. So an entire of month of no shaving or trimming got pretty hairy. See what I did there?

I suffered heavily from what I like to refer to as cheek creep. It’s when the stray beard hair starts moving up your cheek a little bit. Not so much that you end up looking like a werewolf, but enough that you can sometimes catch a glimpse of them when you look down your nose at someone. Which I obviously do quite often. I was forced to amend the rules of Novembeard and did a clean-up of the non-beard areas. When it finally came time to shave, I couldn’t have been harrier. I mean happier. See, again? I am witty. It was quite a process with several different levels being used on my beard trimmer, but finally I was clean shaven again. Of course, my sink looked as if I had just shaved a small squirrel in it, but I digress.

This is about lessons learned since being back.

Lesson one. Never, ever drink an entire liter of water right before you have to stand in front of a class and teach for an hour. You will start to dance. A lot.

Lesson two. Never, ever eat an entire can of Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup without adding the extra can of water. It is condensed. Which I’m pretty sure translates as full of enough sodium to send your body into shock. Plus, it doesn’t taste very good.

Lesson three. Always watch what you say in front of a class. They look like they’re not paying attention, but the second you say something that may be construed as sexual, they are paying attention. The twittering will alert you to your mishap.

Lesson four. Never, ever ask for an explanation of what you just said. You can’t unhear some things and you still have to give these people grades.

Lesson five. I am old. Seriously. The cul-de-sacs set me apart from the 30,000 undergrads here, which is really underscored when you see an attractive girl walking towards you only to realize that when she passes you by, she’s probably not even legally allowed to drink. See, even my eye sight is failing me.

Lesson six. When going for a run in the dark, don't assume that unidentified mass in front of you is a leaf waiting to be crunched by your foot. I love crunching leaves. It entertains me and allows for those giant monster fantasies we all had as children stomping through the sand box and crushing civilizations under our feet. No? No one else? Just me… Anyway, that “leaf” you think you’re going to crunch? It might be dog poop. And by might I mean will.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And lessons learned.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thanksgiving in the USA. Finally.

Just over one week ago, I spent my first Thanksgiving in the US since 2005. That’s a long time to go without family and football.

The first Thanksgiving abroad was spent at a little restaurant on the east coast of Australia. I had duck. I figured I needed some sort of bird in me. It was delicious.

Then followed three Thanksgivings in a row in Sweden. One resulted in a homemade Thanksgiving dinner after scouring several grocery stores in Stockholm for turkey. It was also delicious.

The next found me sitting at an American sports bar in Stockholm watching football and eating a turkey sandwich. I just didn’t have it in me to try to do anything. I think the sandwich was named after Larry Bird. I was able to consume quite a bit of bird that day. It was not delicious.

But even I have limits and decided that I felt a little too pathetic to sit alone at a bar on Thanksgiving. I was much too distraught by the death of a special little guy. Poseidon. Still missed even today.

My last Thanksgiving was spent with good friends and a whole lot of food in Stockholm. I spent most of my time doling out wine trying to get everyone good and liquored up. Because no Thanksgiving is complete without copious amounts of alcohol. Duh.

This Thanksgiving though, I was back in the US of A. I was thrown immediately into the Thanksgiving tradition of running a 5K Turkey Trot. And I trotted my way to the finish line without vomiting. It’s the little things really.

I followed that with lots of food. In fact, I weighed myself before dinner at 202.4 American pounds. Just a couple of hours later I weighed in at 206.8 pounds. That’s 2.4 pounds of America right in my belly. Feel free to chant U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! as you read this.

Since I made my way back to the great Midwest, I have gone for a run every day. For a couple of reasons. One being the fact that that 5K nearly killed me. The other being the fact that I was able to put on 2.4 pounds in just one sitting.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And an American Thanksgiving. Finally.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden