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An American Married to a Swede, living in the U.S.
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Royal Can of Worms

September 19th, 2010 by jgame

It’s election day and the Swedes are out to do their democratic duty to go out and vote. To me, voting is freedom, voting is a right and a privilege. You cannot complain if you do not vote. The more people exercise their right to vote, in many parts of the world, the more freedom and liberty will spread around the world. This is not just an American ideal, this is a God given right every human should be able to do in their life.

But, I am not here to speak as Abe Lincoln, I want finish my trilogy of blogs on the royal family of Sweden. As an American, I may understand monarchies such as the Jackson’s, but we all know Michael and Janet were the only stars. Lets just say, Americans did not always have the best relationship with a certain monarchy from across the pond. Even today, if God forbid our great and current First Lady, Michelle Obama, touches the Queen of England and gives her an iPod, the world goes a little kooky and makes a huge deal. Seriously? Jag förstår inte(I don’t understand). More so, I still do not understand why there are any monarchies in our modern world. Most of the countries around the world that still have a King or a Queen, all have democracy and they all vote their own government in. At least as far as I know, there is little research in this piece. Basically, from my perspective, all these royal families are getting a pretty nice life and you guys are footing the bill. In America, a lot of our elected officials, in my opinion, get paid too well and have their jobs for way too long, BUT we can vote their butts out when we are not happy with them. Having a royal family, well that is a commitment for life.

I read a poll back in June that 67% of Swedes still want and love the Swedish royal family. That is a pretty good number and if a President had those kind of numbers, they’d be Bill Clinton. At the same time, the other 33% is still a pretty significant number, if we are polling all 9 million Swedes. Sweden is a country that is willing to pay more in taxes to get your 5 weeks of vacation, health care, family care and every other perk you pay for. Simply, I don’t understand the willingness to pay for figure heads of state, that have no power at all. I do understand that the royal family of Sweden does bring money into the country, whether it be tourist flocking to see the royal palace or the big wedding of Vicky and Danny, this past June. I was definitely not the only American in Stockholm for the royal wedding. We ran into many Americans that came to Stockholm for the wedding. Of which I went, “whaaat”? Ahhh, the differences in countries. I don’t think either our People magazine worshiping country or your Kunliga Svenska Damtidning obsessed land is better, we are both different and unique countries. It’s what makes us, us and you, well you. You crazy meatball, ABBA, Stig Larsson loving Swedes.

I am sure my Svenska Fru won’t like this article very much, but this is an old debate in our home. Thus is why I wrote two favorable, prior pieces on my blogom(like lagom, look it up Americans. Then again, my bride has the same kind of craze when we were in Washington DC last Fall and we saw the President’s motorcade twice or when thought we saw a Senator or Congressman in an ice cream place in Alexandria and when we almost got shot(literally guns drawn on me), trying to take a picture at the CIA headquarters. The threat level raises to orange even more if there is a movie star involved, but her highest level is still for her royals. This is why she does not understand how I can sit for hours and watch baseball, football or even Mel Brooks movies. Men and women, dogs and cats, Americans and Swedes, not better, just different.

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Rock the Vote in Sweden!

September 17th, 2010 by jgame

It is election day in Sweden on Sunday, September 19. Although President Obama is not running, I still have an interest in this years election. My Mother-in-Law happens to be running for a local office in her city. Here is a little insight into the Swedish election and a little campaigning for the svärmor. I hope to enlighten the Swedes and non-Swedes alike. If you are voting in Stockholm, make sure you vote for Naemi Karlsson, for local City Council. Rock the Vote, no matter who you vote for Swedes! You can’t complain if you don’t vote.

1. When Swedes go to the polls on Sunday, September 19, what will they be voting for? What offices are they voting for and are there laws that will be passed by voters in this election?

On 19 September, the three elections in Sweden. 1st Parliamentary Election in Sweden. The body that decides the whole of Sweden. 2) Elections to the Council. Each county in Sweden has its own County Council that makes decisions about health care issues, traffic issues, construction issues, etc.. 3) Elections to the City Council who is also the local governing body in each municipality. I live in the Northwest Spånga Stockholm and my neighborhood belongs to Stockholm city so I am a candidate for City Council in Stockholm city. We sit in the ornate City Hall in the middle of town and decides on all local matters not on the council decides.

2. For those that are not familar with Swedish government, what is the current system in place in Sweden, how are officials elected?

The elections in all the communications and the cities in Sweden
We are two blocks, a red block that is socialist, and with a smaller party in the coalition Green Party and we have a right block of the Moderates, Liberals, Centre Party and Christian Democrats. The breakdown of who regierar determined by the number of votes and number of seats in the whole of Sweden. Now right-account-alloy block under 4 years and it looks like we may continue to do so in the next four-year period as well.

3. What are the main issues those running for office are campaigning on? What are the voters interested in this election year?

Jobs for all, jobs for young people they come out of their education, environmental issues, health issues, waiting lists for hospitals and doctor for our, taxes of all kinds, school and education, and more!

4. Are all Swedes Socialist? That’s what they say on FOX news here in the states. Not that I listen to that, just sayin’.

No, absolutely not. The Socialist Party in Sweden has about 30% of the vote in Sweden. The biggest party in parliament is the Conservatives by nearly 40% of the vote.

5. Does the royal family have any official rule in the Swedish government or do they have any governing powers?

No, they lost all their power during the 60th century. King Gustav the sixth when Adolf wrote in a dolument where fraying any involvement in Swedish politics as it has only an informal power today. It opens the Riksdag’s working years and to become the Prime Mini States and other ministers informed about the work of Parliament, but has no vote at all.

6. Sweden has elections on Saturdays and here in the U.S. we hold elections on Tuesdays. I think it is smart to have elections on the weekends. What percentage of voters are expected to turn out for this Saturdays election?

The voting on Sunday in Sweden every fourth year, and approximately 75-80% voting in Sweden. They mostly want to have a voice in politics for the next four years.

7. Last question and your turn to promote yourself. What office or position are you running for and where?

I am a candidate for City Council in Stockholm City. I want to be involved in influencing policy and decisions in Stockholm and the Stockholm for the next four years. I am standing on the spot and has a very good chance of realizing this dream.

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Absolute Royalist: The Royal Wedding Part Two

September 15th, 2010 by jgame

Nice pictured captured by my Swedish bride.

On a mild June day, Sweden was filled with love for a Princess and her Prince. Living Los Angeles, it is breaking news when a Hollywood star gets married and we have the tabloids to prove it. I remember as a kid, seeing the live broadcast of Princess Di and that guy she married. In America, that royal wedding was a big deal and was covered by all major networks, at the time. In the states, we are used to big events. Seeing the coverage of the royal wedding this past June, it was very familiar and quite interesting.

The day of the ceremony was much like attending our Rose Parade on New Years Day. Although, we did not get up as early, there may have been as many flowers though. We still arrived in the city fairly early, found our place in front of the royal palace and sat there for hours, waiting for the wedding to begin. There would be TV cameras everywhere and was to cover every event on this royal wedding day. The coverage started early and ran late. It was kind of like watching the Super Bowl all day long and the hours of coverage leading up to kick off. However, we were not sitting at home on the soffa, we braved the crowds, ate korv and waited for the happy couple to arrive. We were armed with our Nikon and long range lens. The wife and mother-in-law(svärmor) were overcome with royal fever, but it still was not contagious. I did like sitting back watching all the Swedes go crazy for their Princess. We sat near a couple who were there on that day, in 1976, when Victoria’s parents, the King and Queen were married. This couple were standing in the exact same spot. Most people that we sat for hours were very nice and shared in their excitement.

Finally, the moment was upon us. The happy couple finished their vows, took a carriage down to their royal boat, for a trip around the harbor and then their walk to the royal palace and to cross our path. My Swedish bride mounted one of the chairs we had been siting for hours, Nikon in hand and I was lucky enough to help hold her up for over an hour. As the royal couple docked, now you have thought the Beatles(or ABBA in Sweden) was walking past us. The very civil Swedes around us, were now pushing their way into papparaziville. I the most the my mother in law and I could see was my brides little tooshy. We saw bits and pieces of Victoria and Daniel and anyone else up on the royal terrace. Once the madness stopped in our little royal world and the new married couple moved on to the next part of their wedding day, the royalist my wife was, she was very happy with her 500 plus pictures she had snapped. I am just happy the camera is digital and that I was getting feeling back in my legs again. She took some amazing shots and I was proud of the job she did.

We took hundreds of pictures of our two week trip to Sweden, we saw several areas of the country and even hopped over to Dublin for a couple days. All that was great, but for the wife, this was the center piece and the crown jewel our trip. I would be happy to attend the Noble dinner some day, but I would think for my Swedish Fru, this is the World Series of weddings. That is until Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Phillip marry.

My wife a royalist? Ja, absolute!!

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The Royal Wedding Still Lingers:Part 1

August 24th, 2010 by jgame

As Autumn starts begins to settle in Sweden, the Summer of Love, 2010 in Stockholm still lingers. Crown Princess and now just Prince Daniel (no last name) are settled into married life and the hoopla of the royal wedding is long gone, but oh does it linger in out minds and hearts. Well, not so much for us Americans, most of us simply do not understand the whole monarchy thing. For me, at least the Swedish royal family is a pretty good representation of  royalists(wink, wink England). Then again, I am sure Swedes do not understand  us Americans making people like Brad and Angleina American royalty or that we name basketball player LeBron James a King.

My experience in the royal mania began smack down in the middle of den of royalists. The night before the big wedding, the wife and I had dinner with about 20 of our closest friends in Stockholm. We took a walk around the area where the royal couple would be giving the world the first royal wave and we also were scouting our spot in front of the palace for the next day. Our large group of Swedes ended up at the Grand Hotel for fika of course and we hit the mother load of royalty. Mind you, we planned our trip to Sweden to visit family, friends around this big wedding. My Swedish wife reads all the royal magazines, we bought a special long range lens for our Nikon camera, so letting the royal crazy wife loose in the Grand Hotel could be a disaster for trouble. Most of us sat and had our fika as the royals came through the lobby, after the big concert. They were all done up in their gowns and suits and they were all grabbing a different fika in the bar. Security was tight in the Grand this night and I was not about to let the wife near the camera. Instead, she led a band of other royal crazy friends of ours outside, as one by one they all arrived. She hit the royal jackpot that night at the Grand Hotel and my wife had one of the best nights she has ever had, as Europe’s royalty paraded past her gaze. Now, if Bono or Springsteen walked passed me, I’d feel as she did. Still, it was Grand night at the Grand hotel and the hot cocoa I ordered, was quite Grand as well.

Yes, a very Grand night in Stockholm. Yes, I am done with using the word Grand! Next blogom, will be our pursuit of the best royal wedding picture. It was not pretty behind the camera.

To be continued…

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Finally on the Local

August 24th, 2010 by jgame

If you read my first blog, first of all, tack, tack! I had a little trouble getting my blog up on the Local for some reason. It’s a few months old, but there will be more. I am sure there are no Swedes reading this anyway. They are all still on vacation or at an election rally.

More blogoms to come.

Hejda

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Enter My Blogom

June 10th, 2010 by jgame

Pray for me, I’m married to a Swede. This is a t-shirt I once saw at a Swedish Christmas Fair. Sometimes this can be the case and sometimes, not so much. There are many blogs about non-Swedes married to Swedes living in Sweden. Min Fru and I live in sunny Southern California and are some day, moving to Sweden for a couple years or however long that may be. I am writing this blog with non-Swedes view, married to a Swede, living abroad. Making sense yet? I am sure it will soon. My wife is actually a “Hollywood Housewife” (as in the Swedish TV show); except for the million dollar home and the plastic surgery.

Living in Southern California is not always Lagom, but we are lucky to be surrounded by many Swedes. No, we do not hang out with Anna Anka or even Paul Anka, but we did celebrate the Swedish National Day with Maud Adams at the Norwegian church this past Sunday. Ok, she was serving food with SWEA, but we are still lucky to be surrounded by so many Swedes. Every year, half my in laws (the other half lives in Sweden) visit here in California, you’d think we were at an Allsang pa Skansen concert. I’m just saying, there are a lot of Swedes here. I don’t think we’d find this in Nebraska.

As I write my first entry into my blogom, our bags are packed for our two-week trip to Sweden. We will be attending the Royal Wedding in a week. Ok, so we do not have an actual invitation, but we have a really long lens on our Nikon camera and a Royal crazy wife. I imagine we may “accidently” bump into Daniel and Victoria along the way. I will be blogging from my wife’s motherland shortly. For now, hejda!

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