Homage to Sweden

I’m sure you all know by now that I had a FABULOUS time in Sweden.

Even in the winter, Stockholm and the surrounding areas were beautiful and inviting.

I must say, I loved it so much I hope to go back.

And it goes without saying that I’ll get to see The Swede if I head over again.

Not even the 12-hour plane light can deter me from going.


You know I’m a planner.

I actually bought a pair of bikini bottoms from Globalkinis with the Swedish flag on them for my trip to Sweden.

I imagined The Swede discovering them in the middle of fooling around.


But they didn’t arrive before I left for Sweden.

Sad face.

But now, The Swede might be coming for unSCruz.

Perhaps, if we’re lucky, even Burning Man.

And I’m pretty sure that the bikini bottom will go GREAT with my Swedish flag burnout tank top.

Even if he doesn’t make it, I still might wear the set.

You know, as my homage to Sweden (and The Swede).


One of my FAVORITE things I did in Sweden was visit a cheese shop in Gamla Stan (Old Town) with The Swede.

The way to my heart is not through sweets but through CHEESE!

The Swede and I decided to have a nice cheese tray after dinner, complete with a selection of wine.

[Now, being on a diet, it makes me DROOL to think of cheese and wine!]

We stepped into a small store in Stockholm and I was overwhelmed with the smell of aging cheese.

Funky yet yummy.


We selected a cheese, sampled it and approved of it.

Then another.

And another.

All in all, we selected 5 cheeses of varying degrees of softness, ripeness, and gooeyness.

All VERY delicious.

Then we went to the SPECIAL store to buy wine.

In case you didn’t know, only one chain of stores, which I think are run by the government, can sell liquor.

So we go inside and The Swede tells me he wants SWEET white wine.


Each wine had a label that graphically represented how sweet that wine was.

And I ready the graphic BACKWARDS.

So instead of getting sweet white wine, we got regular white wine.

Ah well.

I think The Swede forgave me.

American girlfriend

Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I miss Sweden.

The candies.

The chocolate.

The shopping.

The company.

It’s been almost a month since I got back and I’m thinking a summer trip to Sweden may be in store for me.

I’d love to see Sweden in the summer when it’s warm and green.

And when the sun stays out longer than 5 hours a day.

There’s much I didn’t see or do in Sweden.

Check out the ABBA Museum.

Take a boat ride on the Stockholm archipelago.

Go on a road trip up the coast.

See The Swede again.

Especially see The Swede again.

It looks like he will be taking a trip to the East Coast in April and I’m supposed to join him there to check out hockey teams and colleges for his daughter.

Big, impressive colleges!

And then there is some sort of hockey tournament in Florida.

I’ve never been to Florida.

It could be a lot of fun to join them on their voyages.

The other day I joked that The Swede was spending so much time in America he was going to become an American.

He replied with a happy GIF.

Which makes me think, perhaps The Swede wouldn’t mind starting off with an American girlfriend.

You never know. . .

Living like a nun

Since my return from Sweden, I’ve been living like a nun.

Even though my vow of celibacy is no longer in place, I’m still not getting any.

Reason #1: I like The Swede and he’s not here.

Reason #2: I sort of consider myself in a transition state right now on my diet.

And I consider “transition phases” inappropriate for dating.

Plus, the last thing I want is to be sipping my low-cal tomato soup while out on a date.

So here I am.

Single yet happy.

To tell the truth I’ve got a lot going on BESIDES my diet that is keeping me occupied.

UnSCruz planning – I’m helping to organize volunteers.

South Bay Burners Regional Precompression aka SoulFire – I’m trying to resurrect this event with guidance from some friends.

Burning Man 2018 – can’t miss That Thing In The Desert.

Pagan Bunny Burn – my very first! Can’t wait!

I mean, I’m not going to turn down any dates that pop up, but I’m also not actively cultivating anything.

Which, remarkably, doesn’t bother me.

All of which is to say that despite my fuller than full physique, I’m pretty damn happy.

So I can’t complain!

Care Package

I’m putting together a care package for The Swede and his daughter.

I took back so much deliciousness from Sweden, it only seems fair to share my California with them.

But what to get?

Fucking Ghost Pepper Nuts!

And Caroline Reaper Jerky!

You know, just to say “thanks for destroying my taste buds when you fed me that spicy chocolate truffle.”

It’s my way of returning the favor.

Of course Tejas contributed to the package with his Ghost Pepper Infused Salt.


Nothing says “you’re special” like a third degree burn to the lips.

Am I right?

I jest.

And I got Sriracha sauce just because MAYBE they don’t have it in Sweden and who doesn’t LOVE Sriracha sauce?

But seriously, I also picked up some Dayquil/Nyquil for them since it’s not available in Sweden.

Hopefully it will slip by customs.

And then there’s a small but select pile of makeup and skin care products for The Swede’s daughter.

Because I have NO IDEA what else to get her.

And finally, I picked up some SWEDISH FISH for them.

Because they have FISH CANDY in Sweden, but not SWEDISH FISH.

A box of that will remedy the situation.

So whaddya think?

Is it a good care package?


So by now you all know I had a great time during my visit to Sweden.

What you don’t know is that I picked up a nasty virus on the plane ride home and I’ve literally been coughing so hard that I gag.

It’s simply awful.

I just got checked out by a doctor, since I was feeling so awful and barking like a dog, and she told me I don’t have the flu, I have RSV – a respiratory virus that runs its course in 1 – 2 weeks.


Although I am relieved I didn’t pick up a virus on the plane ride over, that would have really SUCKED.

I flew on the Icelandic airline WOW Airlines.

For being a discount airline flying to Europe, they were remarkably well put together – they got me where I needed to be on time.

My sole view of Iceland was from the airplane flying in as I was heading home.

What does Iceland look like, you want to know?

Rocks and snow.

I’m afraid I saw nothing more than rocks and snow as we were flying in and even less of Iceland when we flew out, seeing as how the sun sets in the sky remarkably early in the afternoon at this latitude.

I must say this about Icelandic women, though.

Damn, they are BEAUTIFUL!


So you know, if you feel like flying to Europe AND enjoying some eye candy at the same time, WOW is the airline for you.

Farewell soft pillows of my body!

I’ve always imagined that I look peaceful and sweet when I sleep.

Like a dainty little goddess floating on a sea of pillows.

Of course that was before The Swede took a picture of me sleeping on New Year’s Day and shared it with me.

Furrowed brow.

Bundled in blankets.

Pouty lip.

Not exactly the picture of sweetness and light I was hoping for.

Lately, I’m unimpressed with all pictures of me.

There’s just a little too much round and not enough angles.

But that’s on remedy, since my Medical Weight Management program starts today.

Nothing like going on a 960 calories-a-day diet to make a person slim down post holiday season, eh?

Sadly, I am fearful I will lose my butt and my boobs in the process, but it’s something I must live with if I want to be healthy.

Farewell soft pillows of my body.

I’m gonna miss you!

Would you like SAUCE with that?

Something I noticed when I was in Sweden is that the Swedes like sauces on their foods.

Virtually everything I ate had some sort of accompanying sauces to go with it.

When I ate steak and mashed potatoes artfully arranged on a plank, there were several sauces to go with it.

My favorite?

Svamp sauce.

Yes, indeed.

SVAMP sauce.

Ok, so MAYBE it was mushroom sauce but I loved the name of the sauce.

The next morning, after eating SVAMP sauce with steak, I had breakfast and The Swede was kind enough to let me sample his favorite – a tube of pinkish caviar sauce which he squeezed like toothpaste ALL OVER HIS BREAKFAST.

I’d like to say “yum” but I believe my reaction to tasting it was to look for something that could replace the flavor in my mouth AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

After tasting the caviar paste, I was obsessed with it however.

So when I came across THIS display of tubes of sauce in the grocery store, I had to stop and examine them.

The tubes had a millions different flavors – shrimp, caviar, salmon. . .even DEER!

I was amused.

Then I walked around the corner and found EVEN MORE TUBES!

And that’s when I realized that The Swedes really do love their sauces.

Hollandaise, béarnaise, crème anglaise, beurre blanc – the French have NOTHING on the Swedes!


The Swede and his daughter made room in their house for me during my visit to Sweden.

It was very thoughtful of them to accommodate me for a whole week while I immersed myself in all things Swedish.

As a thank you, I took them to the smörgåsbord at The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm – a beautiful waterfront hotel located in between the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s Old Town).

What can I possibly say about the smörgåsbord?

It was mind blowing.

First of all, there were lots of fish dishes, from gravlax (salmon) to poached cod to smoked sturgeon.

The only gross thing I ate was a slice of homemade sausage that tasted like armpit.

Everything else was scrumptious!

They made these little egg cups with caviar on top that were TO DIE FOR.

I think I ate three.

The Swede’s daughter ate four.

I washed all my food down with two glasses of champagne and the only downside to The Swede driving us into Stockholm is that he wasn’t able to enjoy champagne with me (the drunk driving BAC limit in Sweden is 0.02, a quarter of what it is in the US).

It was a pretty amazing night and a wonderful meal with outstanding company and I will treasure my memories of it always.



Sweden Sweaty

The first thing you need to know about Sweden is that I WAS HOT!

I was MORE THAN HOT, I was perpetually sweating.

Sweden has convinced me that I’m going into menopause and there’s only one thing I have to say about that:


I felt like I was going to burst into flames each and every day I was there.

Remember how worried I was about being cold?

Feel free to laugh out loud right now.

Three pairs of long johns?

Never wore them.

Silk shorts and top?

Didn’t even pull them out of the suitcase.

Most of the time I never wore my jacket.

All I had to wear were sweaters and sweater dresses.  So I wandered around Stockholm in a toasty warm sweater enjoying the cold only to walk into a store and GET BLASTED BY 100F HEAT!

Sweat was persistently running down my back.

I was so hot in Sweden that I jumped out of a nice hot tub and sat down in the snow.

Just to cool off a little bit.

How a girl from California can travel over 5,000 miles to Sweden and find herself persistently in the middle of a thermoregulatory crisis, I WILL NEVER KNOW.

But it happened.