Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some more poems from the past

The first time I heard John Mayer's "Half of My Heart" on the radio a few months ago, I almost fell off my chair. I wrote a poem in eighth grade (or was it seventh?) called "Half of My Heart." Did he go to Sweden and dig up my old poetry book, have it translated and write a song from it?

I doubt it. Here's the chorus from the John Mayer song:

"Oh, half of my heart has a grip on the situation
Half of my heart takes time
Half of my hearts got a right mind to tell you that I can't keep loving you
Oh, with half of my heart"

And here's my poem:

Half of my Heart (May 14, 1993)

With half of my heart
I will always think of you
In half of my heart
you will always remain
I'll never forget you
You will always remain
and you will always impact
my decisions
even if
I'll never see you again

You've meant so much
to me
Even if you never noticed
You've helped me
over and over again
just by existing
It will be like that

I will always remember you
as my buddy, as my friend
With half of my heart
I will always
love you

(Original in Swedish)
Halva mitt hjärta
Med halva mitt hjärta
kommer jag alltid at tänka på dig
I mitt halva hjärta
Kommer du alltid leva kvar
Jag kommer aldrig glömma dig
Du kommer alltid finnas
och du kommer att
påverka mina handlingar
även om jag aldrig får se dig igen

Du har betytt så mycket
för mig
även om du själv aldrig märkte det
Du har hjälpt mig många gånger
bara genom att finnas till
Så kommer det nog att vara
i all evighet

Jag kommer alltid att minnas dig
som min kompis, som min vän
Med halva mitt hjärta
kommer jag alltid att älska dig!

Updated blog with some music

In the right-hand rail, you can now see some links to songs that I've posted on the internet using the iPhone app called Audioboo (free for uploading audio under 3 minutes).

I've organized them into songs in English and songs in Swedish. Take a listen and let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Poems from the past

I came across my old poetry book that I started writing in when I was 11. Most of them are in Swedish, but I have tried to translate some of them - others wouldn't make sense in English at all, because they are based on silly Swedish rhymes.

Arg blir glad (skrev när jag var 13)
Jag blev arg
tog cykeln
åkte iväg
då, såg jag Tomas
Han vinkade
Jag vinkade
Jag blev glad
tog cykeln
åkte hem

(From angry to happy (wrote when I was 13)
I got mad
took my bike
rode away
then, I saw Tomas
He waved
I waved
Was happy
too my bike
rode home )

Jag ska visa dej (skrev när jag var 12)
Du gör vad som helst
Du tror du får bestämma jämt
för att du är äldst
Men jag ska visa dej
att du inte kan regera över mej
Jag ska ge mig iväg långt bort
och aldrig återvända
Och det ska ske väldigt fort
så slipper så mycket otäckt

(I'll show you - wrote when I was 12
You do whatever you want
You think you get to make all the decisions
Because you are older
But I will show you
That you do not control me
I will go far, far away
and never return
And I will do it fast
Before anything bad happens)

Och min favorit från sjunde klass i religion:

Advent firades av det skäl
att förberedelserna inför Jesus födelse
anordnades väl
På juldagen föddes han då
i en krubba fylld av halm och strå
Men ack, på långfredagen spikades han
på ett kors
och ingen man som han
kan ta sig loss.
Men stor glädge blev
det när Jesus på påskdagen klev
upp från sin grav
och uppfyllde sina lärljungars krav
40 dagar efter påsk
tog sig Jesus upp till Gud
Därför firar man Kristihimmelsfärdsdag
och uppfyller Jesus bud.
På pingst som betyder 50
föll Jesus ande över lärljungarna
Men allhelgonahelgen är endast bra
för då får vi lediga va!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What happened?

I used to be a neat and organized person.

I never missed people’s birthdays. I never lost socks to the dryer monster. I was always on time or early to meetings. My pen caps were always matched up with proper pens and always pushed on tight.

Somewhere along the way, things changed. I guess it had something to do with becoming a newspaper editor.

All of a sudden, there wasn’t time to worry about trivialities. All that matters is getting the darn paper done, preferably on time.

Now I am always late to meetings. I forget to send in reports. I forget birthdays and other important things like dentist’s appointments. I’ve even worn my clothes inside out.

So how do these things happen? And does one go back to having things in order?

I do not like to be the person who forgets to send my grandma a birthday card, or forgets what my significant other’s favorite food is. I do not want to have a checklist for how to get dressed in the morning, but I would like to have time to actually write a to-do list before midnight. I certainly don’t want to be the one who never fills out her SMS report for corporate until the fourth reminder email. And I don’t want to have missing socks.

I’m trying really hard to remember everything, to do everything that needs to get done. I guess sometimes, it’s just not possible.

But this year, at least, my Christmas cards WILL be sent out on time. I guess at least I can check that off the list.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Solving problems

The challenge with trying to solve problems for other people is to figure out how get those people to clearly identify what the problem actually is.

"The bullets are gone on my pages," someone told me recently.

OK, explain. Are they gone from the template? Do you not know how to put them back? Is the font missing? Did they disappear in printed or just from what you can see? Where exactly are they "gone" from?

"They just won't show up."

Not helpful.

I also get the "it just won't work" complaints, the "something just happened to my monitor/screen/camera/phone" issues and the "what should I do?" questions.

However, it's my job as an editor to be a mind reader, an innovator, a mom, a caretaker, and of course, the in-house IT person, so eventually, we get to the bottom of things. Most of the time, at least.

And the bullets? Well, it was a systems issue. The font just wasn't compatible with our printing software. Haven't solved that one yet, but at least we got to the bottom of the problem.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The haunted condo

I'm beginning to think that our neighbor's condo is haunted by an evil spirit.

For the past 45 minutes, my neighbors have been slamming doors (louder than usual, and even in the bathrooms and the closets) and screaming at each other. "Fuck this" and "I don't CARE" and then there was some crying.

Perhaps this wouldn't be so weird if they weren't the fourth couple living there since we moved in four years ago.

First, there was the Unit Owner. He lived here the first year. A few weeks after he introduced us to his girlfriend/fiancee/wife (depends on what day you asked him), he moved in with her in another unit and we haven't seen him since.

Loud TV Guy stayed in the unit for about a month. He wasn't living there full-time, so he doesn't really count. But he was painting or helping out with something and slept on a mattress on the floor. The sound from his television would bounce off the empty walls into all hours of the night, and a few times I think I even banged on our wall with a broom to get him to turn it down.

Woman With 3-year-old and Dog moved in after that. They seemed really nice - the girl was sweet and quiet and the dog was adorable. They must have lived here around the time of my abdominal surgery, because I remember during my first walk outside that the little girl looked at me, pointed and said "mom, why is she walking so funny?"

The trouble started when the husband came up here from North Carolina and couldn't find a job. Maybe he got laid off, maybe he got fired, we're not sure. From the noise he made when running up and down the stairs, he must have been at least 250 pounds. And boy, would he go up and down those stairs.

Turns out, that was the least of our concerns. He had a real bad temper as well. We heard a couple of nasty verbal arguments, but they always ended before we had a chance to really worry it would be taken to the next level and feel the need to call the police. Then there was The Big Fight. Banging, stomping, crashing. Door slamming. Angry man leaving. Quiet. Woman on phone crying.

We're not sure he ever came back. Bills started piling up. Termination notices came in the mail (we frequently get mail that's supposed to be for our neighbors and have to hand deliver it). Next thing we know, Woman With 3-year-old and Dog move out.

Mom With Teenage Son came next. We think there were actually two sons, and one of them might have lived in a basement room without windows. But we only saw them - or smelled them - when they stood out on our patio smoking cigarette after cigarette after cigarette. The smoke seeped in through cracks around the doors, and watching TV in our own living room became unbearable.

Doors would still slam, but there was no screaming, at least not that I can recall. I'm pretty sure the mom said she was divorced. She had many decorations and garden tools with her when she moved in, indicating she had downsized from a large house.

A few months later, I caught them packing boxes into a moving van. "My son got kicked out of school," Mom With Teenage Son said. "There's no reason for us to stay here now."

Couple With Tiny Cars moved in next. They've probably been living here eight or night months now. Doors have always slammed, but nothing like tonight.

And the eavesdropping was inevitable, as they took their fight outside on the patio and it's finally a cool enough night to have the windows open. After one of them left and then came back, it is finally silent again.

We'll see which one of them - or both, perhaps - is moving out tomorrow.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And the deck plans start happening...

Transporting wood home from the store to start making the deck extension.

Our grill got a new home, in what used to be my wildflower garden. Well, at least it's off of the deck part, giving us more space to move around! More rocks will come, and some flowers to cover the ugly cinder blocks, but first we are getting a new grill!

I was experimenting with the cinder blocks to see if I could get them as high as the regular deck, but it wasn't really working. Will have to work out another removable foundation.

And here's the frame of the deck extension. Complete with metal corners and all! (but you can't see those in the picture)

And thanks to IKEA, we have covered our ugly existing concrete patio in some fancy (removable) wood decking. Now we just need some new outdoor furniture!