Hi there, kiddo

Webmaster here. I’m probably going to get fired for this, for “invading his privacy” or whatever, but I found these photos on the desk of Risto Pakarinen and I just have to share them. See what he did now? He actually went back to his old track, took a photo of what it looks like there now, and then pasted an old photo on it. He must have copied that from somewhere – probably here – but that’s not my point.

Look at his hat! Oh, boy. Oh well, enjoy.

Eltsu then and now

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Soundtrack of my life

I don’t know for sure what goes through Mikhail Grabovski’s mind when he scores for Belarus, besides general feelings of happiness and pride, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a part of the mental images his brain produces are of a Belarusian man, named Yas, let’s say, out on the field mowing clover, dreaming about Yanina, a hardworking girl!

That’s what I will be thinking about, anyway, now that I’ve learned what the Belarusian goal song, “Касіў Ясь канюшыну” (Kasiu Yas’ Kanyushinu) is all about. Now, I would have known that earlier had I understood the title of the song, which is, in short: Yas mows clover.

Hit it, boys.

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Heartbreak Hotel

Stuck On You

They’re playing Elvis in this coffee shop. The barista behind the counter is singing along, and when the song reached the end, she was really belting it. Don’t look now – I can’t – but I know she’s even doing the moves.

This must be the best coffee shop in Stockholm, this “V. Street Coffee” almost across the street from the main station. It’s small, but it’s got character – like you know who – like all the cool coffee shops in the world. It’s not a franchise, not a copy of somebody else’s idea, it’s its own thing. On the walls there are posters from the 1950, the price list looks like it’s from the 1970s.

And of course, the barista knows everybody.

This is what Street Coffee be like on Monday.

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A birthday card

Today, Valentine’s Day, is Wife’s birthday. This morning, Son woke me up, then woke up his sister while I went downstairs to prepare breakfast. And we walked into the bedroom, singing, carrying a tray, and presents. Son and Daughter had made birthday cards, too, but I forgot mine. So here it is. (I centered it so it’d look like a poem).

What would I do if you walked by this coffee shop right now?
I know what I’d do.
I’d smile.
I smile when I see you walk home from the gym,
and I smile when I see you sitting behind your desk when I come to visit your office.
I smile when you get home from work each day
and I smile when you call me and I see your photo on the screen.
And when I watch you stand in line for a rollercoaster ride, and again
when I see you walk back to me from the rollercoaster.
I smile because seeing you reminds me of a story I want to tell you.
I smile when I watch you sleep. (Not the creepy way).
And I smile when you drop me off at the airport,
and when you pick me up,
and when my subway train takes off from the station and
I look out the window
and see you walk the kids to school.

I smile when you smile.

Did you just walk by this coffee shop?
Or was it just the thought of you that made me smile?

And sometimes I laugh.

Cart tricks

Last week – or, six days ago, to be precise – I was, once again, walking to the gym listening to a hockey podcast, like so many times before, when I suddenly noticed something out of the ordinary in front of me.

There, parked by the side of the bike lane, was a shopping cart.

A #%#€”& shopping cart, I said to myself, under my breath, naturally.

I looked around to see if I could find the culprit, but it was as hopeless as my efforts to memorize the face of a seagull shitting on me. And yet, when that happens – it’s happened to me twice in the last ten years – I always look up, wave my fist, and point a the bird with my finger, as a warning.

Not this one.

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Toy story

I’m one of those unlucky people who had a happy childhood.
– Jonathan Coe, author

“Risto always says he didn’t have any toys when he was a kid,” Wife told the three other people gathered around the table, and around the birthday cake with a big number 1 on it.

Then she laughed and the others laughed, too. He’s such a joker, she said, and we all agreed, but for different reasons. Maybe the others thought the idea of somebody having no toys was really funny, ridiculous even, but I just happen to think I’m a pretty funny guy and a fine joker, generally speaking.

And I do tell people I didn’t have any toys when I was a kid. Or, at least Wife and the kids, and my mother.

Because it’s true.

Yeeehaaa!

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Back in time

First time you feel it, it might make you sad
Next time you feel it it might make you mad
But you’ll be glad baby when you’ve found
That’s the power makes the world go ’round

In the winter of 1985, JVC handed out free tickets to see a movie about a young kid traveling back in time. I had read in the Rolling Stone that Huey Lewis and the News had a couple of songs in the movie, but didn’t know much else. I didn’t even know that JVC handed out free tickets, but when my father asked me if I wanted to go, I said yes.

It was a special afternoon matinee, starting at 4.30, which was perfect, because it meant that I would still be able to make it to the hockey game the same night. The game started at 6.30 so if I ran or walked briskly, there was still a chance to make it to the rink before the opening faceoff.

You're the doc, Doc.

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