Saturday, October 30, 2010

the breaks

For my birthday this year, I woke up at 4.30am, packed up the Jeep, put on my robocop suit and rode my tiny motorcycle around the track a few times. It was pouring rain, of course. And I fell off, of course. (The cool thing is that the way I landed made me think I must've been looking through the turn like a pro!) Then, after a few hours of fancying up the little bike with the help of some incredibly generous pals, I caught a ride down to Salem to see what some of the other guys were up to. Here's how that went, from the Kerr's point of view:

(In the accompanying photo, it kinda seems like I'm turning away from the gore, but I'm pretty sure I was just looking at a boy.)

Several of the guys won trophies that night, but Dan wins the championship for attitude. (Plus now he has a huge stripey cast that matches his race bike!)

Germ, T-Bag and HUG, victorious

Friday, October 22, 2010


Pretty much sums it up:



OK so, Punch Drunk Love...maybe not the ideal movie to turn to after a whole night of willful unsleeping and pale insignificant torment.

(I cry easily.)

On the other hand, maybe it IS exactly perfect. You never know, not for years....

Monday, October 18, 2010


Saw this guy's photos yesterday morning: Pieter ten Hoopen. Pinpoint-accurate images of what it feels like to be lonesome in Stockholm when it's dark and cold and bleak. (Cuz y''s not all glittering utopia ALL the time....every beautiful thing is allowed to be moody, right?)

Anyway. Heading home in the morning - I'm spending tonight at the giant airplane they turned into a youth hostel out by the airport. Little round windows...adorable. Looking forward to battling my way through the Wall of Angry Spiders to my own bed tomorrow. More pics up when I get back and unyetlagged. xo!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

my friends are cooler AND faster than I am

Thor borrowed my race bike - check it out. Little bike must've been pretty surprised! I bet it didn't think it could move like that.

There's one race weekend left this year, apparently (they'd talked of canceling, but I guess it's back on). It's on my birthday, three days after I get home from Sweden. Hoping there's a bit of leftover thunder in the bike....

the Stare

An elaboration, for Patrick:

When you walk around Sweden dressed like I do, with pants too baggy at the ends, and severely unfashionable but really comfy shoes, and a worn-out haircut free of product, you tend to see a lot of the Stare. Sweden is the staringest country I've ever been to. And I've been to Italy. But the Italian stare is a whole different creature. The Italian stare, aka the male gaze, contains a message, and that message is "Take your pants off." But the Swedish stare is not a means of communication, let alone coercion. I don't think people even realize they're doing it. They certainly don't seem to realize that I can see them staring (from the other side of a cafe, for instance, or even like two tables over). It's as if they're looking at me absent-mindedly from the other side of a television screen; I'm an object of curiosity that has briefly stumbled across the placid scene of their day. It's not hostile. And it's not just me; I see them stare the same way at each other. Skinny jeans and all. Anyone they don't know personally, and particularly anyone who looks odd or is behaving unusually, is good Stare material.

If for example I'm walking along a seaside footpath and someone comes along from the other direction, staring of course, and I smile at them like a big American, their expression will snap from blankness into sheer panic. This is fun to see and I end up smiling at people a lot more than I normally would, just to get the reaction. About one in ten will smile back, and sometimes then we say "hej" to each other. And thus is civilization maintained.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am spending the next three days in a Swedish prison.

It's nothing bad, I swear....

Friday, October 08, 2010

sweden in lists

Days in country (so far): 20
Beers consumed: 2.5
Conversations with others: 3
Kilometers driven: about 5500
Kilometers yet to drive: 445
Cops seen: 4
Price of gas: 12.45SEK ($1.87) per liter (yep liter)
Odds of fainting while you tanka: pretty good

Things I love about Sweden:
- so many pretty little cake things
- their ice cream is way better than our ice cream
- same goes for the cheese
- tiny cars
- red barns decorated with antlers

- they tend to think I'm German or Canadian
- millions of soft, hidden trails through forests; this is the only place on earth I've ever felt like going running (it hurts less and no one can see me)
- cute houses

- we have 24Hour Fitness; Sweden has "Frisky & Sweaty"

(loosely translated)

Kilometers driven out of the way down sketchy roads in attempts to find MC-friendly humans, or just look at some bikes: 27

Number of humans (or bikes) seen at a motocrossbana: 0

(This one was really pretty! Lakeside setting, cool-looking terrain, not that I really know. Sign claimed it was open from 2pm to 9pm, and I was there at five minutes to 2. I waited, but no one ever showed up.)

Things observed on major highways:
- sixteen baby reindeer, just chillin'
- guy on a bicycle pulling a wooden canoe, pretty fast
- horse and buggy
- hundreds of spandexed people on roller skis

Things about Sweden that confuse or annoy me:
- roller skis
- pay to pee - seriously, free health care but it costs a buck fifty to take a leak at the train station?
- being tailgated constantly, for miles, going 30kph over the speed limit in the slow lane - effin' pass me already, you jerk!
- men in bright red jeans
- men with extremely high-maintenance hairdo's
- leggings for pants
- wildly varying parking costs, from 7 to 20 kronor per hour (40 to 120 for overnight)
- the Stare
- $9 beers - not worth it
- the Swedish approach to roadwork, which is, basically, "Hey, you're an adult. Your car is tiny. YOU figure it out." There is no hand-holding, none of those "you guys wait here while the other lane passes the obstacle, then we'll guide your lane around it." Oh no. They just kinda go about their roadworky business, do what they need to do, with their giant, stinky machines taking up the whole road, and it's up to you and the guy coming the other way to sort out who goes first. Actually I should put this in the Things I Love category. It's pretty advanced.
- tryck vs drag: all Swedish doors are either push (tryck) or pull (drag), like everywhere else, I guess. But you can't tell by looking. There are days when every single door I push is a pull door, and vice versa. It's fun to watch, like when new (or drunk) people try to leave Beulahland. Then after a while you start to think you've got it figured out. But you are wrong. The minute you're sure that every door in the building is a drag, you can bet the next door is a tryck. I suspect there is someone in a secret room, watching, with the power to change any door from tryck to drag at the push of a button. Just to mess with me.

Things that are cheaper than coffee in Sweden:
- caviar (red or black)
- RedBull
- brie
- peeing

Still, chances of doing without coffee for even one day: 0

Genius ideas I've had while driving 5500kms alone with my ipod:
Just one, actually. At the Husqvarna museum, one of the exhibits explained that after WWII, Husky served a function very similar to what IKEA does now (household modernization, advanced but uniform gadgetry, etc). So my brilliant thought was, of course: IKEA should make motorcycles! Imagine: they'd be cheap and almost weightless. Anyone could put them together. They'd fall apart after one year. But they'd be cheap! And so simple! Get on it, Ingvar.

Random quote from a museum plaque:
"Kerstin Petersson of Sweden had a collection of 71 Swedish cheese-dish covers as at April 1998." -- Guinness Book of World Records (Smalands museum)

Weirdest sight encountered so far:

Most baffling instruction:


Monday, October 04, 2010

i am driving a boat

Here we have it: Evidence that I'm kind of a girl, and not very fast, and half-deaf, but that I nevertheless manage to get myself into some fantastically pretty places, surrounded by cool smartypantses with unplaceable accents. :)