Easter

Easter was spent in beautiful and odd Flen, which is where Mia’s family is scattered into cells. As Mia and I are atheists, we didn’t spend or celebrate easter in any way even close to how christians do it. Instead, we turned to figure skating, my new love.

Yes, Mia’s happily infected my brain with all that figure skating brings. I couldn’t believe it! Last year, she reported quite a lot from the championships through her blog, but I didn’t get hooked. I saw people who were, of course, masters at what they were doing, but I didn’t like it. That is, until now.

I think the Germans did it, i.e. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkow, who competed in the pair category. I feel like a twat for liking the same skaters Mia likes, but what the hell, I can’t change my likes. They’re a couple who transcend mere technical skating and go for artistic value. To me, it’s like love; you can’t force love to grow, but feel happy if/when it does. I’ll show you what I mean by showing you Savchenko/Szolkow’s free skating-programme from the World Championships in Gothenburg a few days ago:

See? If that’s not enough, check out Stephane Lambiel’s short programme from the same event:

Yep, those are true masters, the avant garde. Of course I’m an utter neophyte at figure skating. Ask me what differs one type of jump from another and I’ll tell you I don’t know. But, like Kubrick once said, I know what I don’t like, i.e. technical wankers who think they’re God’s crowning glory. To demonstrate this, I give you Brian Joubert, king of talking out of his ass, doing his free skating-programme from Gothenburg:

Yes, kiss the ice so that Jeffrey Buttle could enter the stage after you and win, bitch! After only getting a silver medal, Joubert held a press conference where he griped about how his technical points should have been higher. What? Why? He didn’t do as many pirouettes, combination jumps or do nearly anything as good as Buttle; the better you perform, the higher the score. This isn’t rocket science! Of course, it might be, for a man who lists “motorbike” as one of his two interests.

By the way, the Swedish commentators are Lotta Falkenbäck (expert, former figure skater) and Roger Blomquist (commentator, no expertise whatsoever). While Lotta – at times assisted by brilliant technical expert Filip Stiller (whose homepage doesn’t really do him justice as a commentator, so don’t judge him on that) – is very spot on, she often has to correct Blomquist, who sadly is a nationalist, anti-feminist and frankly knows too little about the sport for having commented on it for 17 years; even I could correct him at times, which is a sad story. I e-mailed the following to them, where I ranted on Blomquist’s disabilities:

Hej!

Jag gillar att höra Lottas och Filips kommentarer under VM, men tyvärr befläckas deras kommentarer av Roger Blomquist. När han uttalar rena fakta är allt bra, men ofta måste Lotta rätta honom; ofta uttalar han sig felaktigt, om småsaker – ex. hur många gånger en tävlande gjort en trippel Salchow under ett åk – till större, ex. i dag, när han påstod att åkarna gillade en viss typ av is, vilket Lotta rättade honom för.

Att Roger i går abrupt och ytterst ohövligt avbröt Lottas analys av en tävlandes åk för att börja prata om de tävlande svenskarnas åk med nationalistiskt, ovidkommande och – vilket bevisades senare – felaktigt dravel om deras prestationer i förhållande till de andras åk, var bara en av många indikationer på att Blomqvists kommenterande under 17 år inte har lärt honom särskilt mycket.

Snälla, anställ någon annan än honom, som kan göra fakta rättvisa, analysera rationellt och vara underhållande. Blomquist befläckar SVT:s rykte, spekulerar ofta felaktigt, och är oartig mot sina kollegor.

Nytt blod, tack. Ge Lotta och Filip en kommentator de förtjänar.

Med vänlig hälsning,

Niklas

No reply so far, but what would you expect? I’m not the only one who dislikes him, e.g. this person.

Apart from the pairs and male skaters, the women’s final was a thriller; despite a horrific stumble and slide across the ice, Mao Asada won the gold medal, making this year’s European Champion Carolina Kostner a silver medalist.

During all this Mia and I had a quite calm time spend in Flen, if you don’t count spending time with her family. Mia’s family is nice, loud and hectic. A lot like mine, in other words. After a train-ride to Flen that we spent sitting in a corridor (as the train was filled to the brim) we relaxed some by watching “No Country For Old Men” for the second time before heading to Ethel and Hasse, i.e. Mia’s grandparents. We had a lot of fun meeting Mia’s relatives, and as two 4-5-year-old kids rushed around, heads all filled with sugar hence turning them extremely hyperactive, I thought that their doings didn’t separate them much from the adults; the only thing that kept the old crowd from turning hyperactive was alcohol. So the only thing that separates the young from the old is alcohol? Not much of a surprise there, I surmise. Mia and I walked back home to her mother’s house through stark cold.

By the way, one of the kids was Tyra, obsessed with candy ““ aren’t all kids at this age and with the opportunity that easter brings? ““ who managed to turn an unsuspecting chocolate bunny into a musical instrument:

Blixa Bargeld would be proud.

The day after we eased down with more figure skating, and after Joubert got whipped, hence ending the mens’ finals, we had dinner courtesy of Mia’s mom. The most interesting part about that was the conversation around the dinner-table. Mia and I are all for making public transport free, and as there is no working alternative to the monopoly in Stockholm, we’re also for planka.nu, an organisation that fights to try and make public transport free by instead upping the income tax or employer’s contribution. As public transport in Stockholm is mainly a joke, we won’t stand for it. Anyway, this discussion made Mia’s brothers flee in terror, leaving us to argue with Mia’s mom, who doesn’t believe in special interest organisations. I pushed the envelope by saying they’re definitely needed as I believe corporations run big parts of the world due to globalisation, not to mention special interest organisations are most definitely needed as counter-weight to all the problems that professionally run lobbyists run amok in every corridor of power, as it were. It was a heated debate, yet interesting.

Post that, we headed to Birgitta and Tomas, Mia’s aunt and uncle, who had prepared a small get-together involving cheese and wine. We imbibed. We had fun. The conversations ran wild and B&T are wonderful hosts. Tyra was yet again on the scene and lovely. Mia and I basically took turns at entertaining her, e.g. by jumping rope and building a house using LEGO. As Tyra’s four years old, she’s very much into talking about poo and wee (very coprolalia), to no surprise the following conversation went down:

Tyra: Knock, knock!
Niklas: Who’s there?
Tyra: POO!

So, poo entered our house of LEGO. Oh, by the way, when asked what she’s going to be when she grows up, Tyra answered that she wants to be poo. She soon collapsed from physical and mental exhaustion.

The rest of us drank and ate until we nearly keeled, but were ushered home by Tomas who drove us home to Mia’s mom in true gentleman fashion. The day after, Mia and I left for Stockholm again, and hit our sofa to watch the gala exhibition, which is the event that ended the 2008 Figure Skating World Championships. A sad day of sorts. I can’t wait until more elite action! The next year’s WC is held in Los Angeles, but lo and behold, the European Championships are held in Helsinki; here’s holding my thumbs for Mia to want to go there with me.

The day after this one, we kept moving and hit my parents. We took the train to my old hood and first visited my cool grandmother, who’s 95 years old and very active for her age. Her memory isn’t what it has once been, but hearing her tell the same stories over and over again is a small price to pay for sharing her company. We then went to my parents, who let us have coffee and cookies just before my mum delved deep into the criminal world; I installed a DVD-writer in her computer, so now my dad doesn’t have to ask me to fetch him funky Swedish classical music any more. Don’t even begin asking what that music is about; according to my dad, I’ll get it when I turn older. What a bunch of pap…still, it’s dad. Mind you, back in the day when he had a cassette-player in the family car, he had filled a 90-minute tape with the following:

A-side: N-Trance feat. Ricardo Da Force’s song “Stayin’ Alive
B-side: Ravel’s “Bolero” in some shit version

No, I’m not fucking joking. Each track was looped until its 45 minutes were out. Imagine that. Then try to imagine the time when my dad said “Niklas, you know that song by…what’s that group’s name again, with that fat little guy singing? What’s the song? ‘Crazy’?” and I immediately thought of another heinous mixtape. By the way, no, dad wasn’t talking about Britney. He was talking about the Gnarls Barkley song.

Anyway, we were driven home by my gentleman dad who also let us borrow a drill as Mia and I are set to do some extensive refurnishings soon enough, e.g. painting every single wall in the apartment. Looming beyond that, we’re going to install shelves and then maybe get a new couch, and then…possibilities are endless. Can’t wait.

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One Response to “Easter”

  1. Koral Says:

    Hey! Great blog, Niklas!
    I agree with you about the swedish commentators.
    Lotta is great, she makes good comments and knows a lot of the sport while Roger seems to just be interested in statistics and numbers. He is also as you say very nationalistic, i dont mind that to some degree but like comparing all the later skaters to the swedish ones skated earlier, its gets annoying.
    Often i feel Lotta really wants to share something to the viewers, specially just after a performance, croud cheering and lots of emotion. Then Roger pratles on about something complete unrelated, his timing is terrible and i find him quite rude at times. There was this skater who did probably the performance of her life and was real stoked, then Roger said something like “with the previous we have just seen, that was crap”. You know sometimes i feel like throwing things at the tv..grrrrr
    Anyway thanks for the read, i found it very interesting!

    Koral

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