Believe or not, I love Xmas shopping. I mean, I may moan about the stress and I may get angry at other people in the stores, but I like to go out and buy stuff to others. Also, believe it or not, I’m great at it.
Because I like buying presents to others, I often seem to get pretty good presents, which obviously raises the bar for the next year, but with a little bit of luck, I seem to stumble on nice presents every year.
Except this year, but then again, I say that every year.
If I had to choose another profession, if I couldn’t be a writer guy, I would want to be a ghostbuster. Even today, as the middle-aged man living in a Stockholm suburb that I am, a part of me is walking around keeping an eye out on sliming ghosts and when nobody can see, I do the Peter Venkman hop on the mike lane to the mall, and in my mind, I tell people to “back off, man, I’m a scientist” even though I’m really not.
“Ghostbuster”, the word itself, didn’t practically exist before 1984, when the movie about three buddies who set up shop to catch ghosts in New York. It opened in the US in June, but as always, us Finns had to wait a little longer to see it.
It had its Finnish premiere on Dec 14, 1984 – 33 years ago to the day.
When people ask me why my English sounds so American – and sometimes they do – my answer is always the same: “Too many episodes of Happy Days and rock’n’roll.” That’s what I told the English gentleman in Oxford who was the first one to ask me that, and that’s the answer I’ve stuck to ever since.
Now, we both know that there’s no such thing as “too many episodes of Happy Days” or even rock’n’roll but it is true that I was raised on TV.
In 2013, SHL team Brynäs realized it needed a new sponsorship strategy. The focus of their strategy was based on ads on the jerseys for SHL but as was and is the case with many European clubs, they had come to the point of diminishing returns. There was not enough space on the jerseys, and each new logo added on them diminished the value of the existing ones.
In short, existing partners didn’t want to pay as much as before and it was harder to find new ones.
Tom Petty sang that “the waiting is the hardest part” but sometimes it may also be the sweetest part. Sometimes it’s exactly that time spent waiting that makes everything worthwhile.
It’s all those little things along the way that tell you that you’re going in the right direction even if you’re not there quite yet. And sometimes the things along the way are almost as nice as the big reward at the end of the road (and sometimes they get tangled up together so that it’s hard to say which is which anymore).
These days, you can catch a live broadcast of not only English football, the Super Bowl, and any NHL game you choose but the nichiest of niche sports anywhere in the world – and nothing means anything anymore.
There’s a guitar in the corner of my office, but I can’t play it. I can pretend to play a few songs but I’m the only one who knows which songs I’m playing. On the bookshelf, resting on a Hockey Hall of Fame book that I wrote a chapter for, there’s my recorder from seventh grade. I can play one song on it, the one I had to learn for the test then. The song is “Papa Pingouin”, “Papa Penguin”, Luxembourg’s entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, and thanks to the obscure nature of the song, I am still the only one who knows the song I’m playing.
But I love listening to music and as far as I’m concerned, the most peaceful thing to do in life is to lie on the floor and listen to music with headphones on. It’s not because I like to do it – although I think I do – or that I do it often – I never do it – but because it always looked as such a cool and peaceful thing to do when Dad did it.