punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Jag jag jag...

I recall what feyandstrange once told me what she thought of Swedes when she lived in London. "A bunch of blond snobs running around going 'ja ja ja...'"

That's how I feel; I am completely out of sorts. I haven't been feeling well since Friday, I am so exhausted, it's all I can do to remain mobile, and this morning, my throat started closing up. I hope to keep ahead of the sore throat, but that doesn't seem likely: I need some serious rest, and that's just not possible with my schedule this week unless I call in sick from work. I am also seriously depressed due to... whatever. Fuckin' S.A.D...

So, some of you may wonder what happened with my first VASA Lodge meeting. It was kind of funny. There were not people wearing antlers or anything like that, but there was a sense of formality that seemed kind of goofy. It was a lot of what I expected, with a few surprises. It was held in the basement of a church, which was decorated with various Sunday School type stuff, but they had a long table with the USA flag on the right, the Swedish flag on the left, and some old banners that hung from low poles.

The first thing that's immediately apparent is that I was the youngest person there. You know you're with the aged when the first order of business it to list members of the lodge who have passed away since the last meeting (not our lodge per say, but former members who retired or were members of other lodges that some may have heard of). One of them claimed her December birthday made her now officially eligible for social security which now means she should retire, which generated a knowing, if not slightly bitter, laugh from the other members. I got the impression that social security was a pittance to these people, and a reminder that although I pay SS, it will not be there for me when I reach 65.

The biggest surprise was that I knew people there. I met a Mr. and Mrs. S, whom seemed impressed that my last name was Larson. "There's a Swedish name!" Mr. S said. Mrs. S. said she knew my name from somewhere, and asked when I lived. I told her, and we went back and forth with not hearing of each other, until they mentioned they lived in McLean. I told them I used to. "Did you know Greg S?" [their son]

Holy crap, I did! Not many people were named Greg where I grew up, so I tended to know all of them. Greg Gaston and Greg S were the only two people named Greg, and so Greg S stuck in my mind as a skinny blond guy with a mop of blond hair, a pointy nose, and we hung out a few times because he was a band geek and cub scout, and a lot of my friends were band geeks, so we ended up in a few of the same circles, even though he was a year older than me. Greg went to William and Mary, moved to California, got married, and now has twin daughters expected on the way, I found out.

So the meeting started with some people speaking in Swedish, and I was like, "Hevelte! Jag tala inte sveska så bra, tala i engleska, tak!" No worries there, because only some of the meeting was in Swedish: some opening and closing notes, as well as the closing song. The opening song, oddly, was "My Country Tis of Thee," which I hadn't sung since I was in elementary school. I wanted to say, "Did you know that's sung to the tune of 'God Save the Queen?' the old English Anthem?" but I decided to be quiet.

I was the only new member. This didn't surprise me, either, and judging from the look of modest surprise, I don't think they get more than a few members a year, if that. The vote to allow me in was unanimous. :) I would have been shocked had someone said, "No!" but the group was pretty serious, even reading from "Robert's Rules of Order," from time to time.

We had a guest speaker from the Soroptimist Society, an international volunteer organization for women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world, via getting them independent through business and financial stability. That seemed really cool.

We then broke for punch and cookies. Heh. Everyone was really nice to me, and wanted me to go to their Ikea event in February. It's the weekend before Katsucon, but I felt kind of bad because everyone was like, "Awww... you'll like it!" I think I will help Mr. S work the food table at the bizarre this fall; he seems like a nice guy, and I have done table work before. They also seem to be looking for marketing ideas, and I have a few ideas I may scope out.

All in all, I had a good time.

Afterwards, takayla wanted to go the "the Mecca of Bagels" in Rockville, so we went and got bagels. I thought they were "meh," which was blasphemy, I guess, but I am just not into bagels (I find them hard to chew, same reason I hate sourdough). Then she went to show me the new Saturn VUE, which got my predicted approval, and we'll probably be getting one later in the month, since our loan was approved and we're getting the check deposited somewhere by the end of next week.

Shmoocon is coming up, and I am poorly prepared. I wanted to set up a Linux laptop this weekend with my old Cisco 350 wireless, but didn't do it. Luckily, I don't have panels, I'm not a guest, and I am just there to relax and geek.
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