Great Hockey Players Who Are Twins
For real, what is with the inordinate amount of twins coming out of Sweden? It’s just weird. But I support it! And if you are a hockey fan, chances are you support it, too. So let’s focus on the core Swedish twins… (two of them featuring a Henrik, naturally)
Joel & Henrik Lundqvist
Of course I had to include the boys who led me to this post. But okay, seriously, they’re exceptionally hot, right? It’s just not even fair. And Henrik lives right here in my city… my husband works for the league and absolutely needs to get me an introduction. It’s not really in his favor to do so, but whatever, if he truly loved me, he would get me an introduction 🙂
I imagine this picture to be the moment right before he looks across the room and makes eyes with me that say, “I’m escaping to come and get you a drink. Don’t worry, love.”
I’m glad I wasn’t around when these two were growing up. Seriously, I was so boy crazy in 5th grade* that I could not have handled them. Forget my Jonathan Jackson posters, I would have had incredibly epic crushes on these boys as a pre-teen. Like soul destroying crushes that I would still lament to this day (because we all know the hot ten year old boys do NOT care about girls yet, especially when they spend all their time playing hockey). I’m now trying to think what I would’ve nicknamed them in my coded notes to friends based on Wonder naming conventions… Lemon Fanta 1 & 2? Sour Patch Kids? Gemini H and Gemini J? (Also, don’t you totally want to summer where they are summering?!! #Sweden)
*I know you’re thinking “Just in fifth grade? Girl, that trait never left.” That’s fair. I mean, really, it’s fair. I write for TN. My profile pic here is me in front of a poster of shirtless David Beckham. Whatever. Men are hot and I will support that all my life. #NoShameInMyGame
Henrik & Daniel Sedin
No, you’re not seeing double, this duo of gingers are legitimate identical twins… to the point that for a casual viewer, they’re impossible to tell apart without their numbers on. Born six minutes apart, Henrik is the eldest.
While they might not be the lookers that the Lundqvist twins are, they’re exceptional at their craft of hockey. They started playing professionally in Sweden at age 16. The pair was drafted by Vancouver through a trade for another team’s first pick, and they numbered themselves 22 (Daniel) and 33 (Henrik) based on their draft pick numbers (2 and 3, respectively). The twins have been crucial in the team’s development and both are team leaders, with Henrik as the captain and Daniel an alternate captain.
Patrik and Peter Sundström
You thought there couldn’t be more than 2 sets, right? WRONG. While Peter didn’t play as many years of professional hockey as his twin, both brothers still played in the NHL back in the 80s/90s. And if you’re wondering, 5 sets of twins have played for the NHL… you now know 3 of them.
I tried to find photos of “today”, but there aren’t very many. Instead, here they are after winning World Juniors with Sweden in 1982. Dude’s crazy curly mullet hair = EPIC.
Creepy Yet Timeless Homicide Thrillers
Sure, sure, we’ve all heard of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, literal translation is Men Who Hate Women (which, imo, is totally a better title, but I get why they didn’t think it would fly with an English-speaking audience while simultaneously not supporting why it wouldn’t fly), but that’s just the “oh it got really popular worldwide” version of the Swedish genre.
There is just something about the ongoing deep-set cold, the irrational fear of darkness, and the abundance of water that forces this genre to the forefront of great Swedish literature. It’s strange really, as the research shows that homicide in Sweden is the 6th lowest in the EU (Slovenia, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, and Germany are the lowest rate of homicide per capita). There is a higher rate of violence against women (the focus of the Millennium series, to be fair), which maybe says I shouldn’t go to Sweden, but does lend to this unsettling genre of fiction and film.
The great female Swedish crime author Kerstin Ekman has put out tons of detective novels and is famous for her first novel to be published in English, Blackwater. The novel won the Swedish Crime Academy’s Award for best crime novel. Guys, they have a Crime Academy giving away awards for novels! It’s just wild! I’m sure the US has this, but those novels seem boring and predictable in comparison. Nothing is quite like the grisly murders and horrific crimes of a Swedish detective/crime/homicide novel. My favorite part is that they all seem to start out with a giant family tree just in case you get lost while reading, you can always back reference (and you will have to, because there are too many Henriks).
She’s still writing! Here she is with her dog, Stella:
This leads us to the British television crime drama series Wallander based on Henning Mankell’s novels. I must take this route because without it, Branagh and Hiddleston wouldn’t have worked together, and Branagh would not have suggested that Tom audition for that little film he was directing at the time…you may have heard of it, it’s called Thor. And if that hadn’t happened, we would never have seen Snake Hips. So, yes, Swedish Appreciation stems all the way to a California “slumber party,” folks.
Oh no, I haven’t forgotten our favorite vampire, the man who had me looking up how to spell archipelago, and the possessor of the most beautifully blue eyes to exist.
But they are a whole clan! Left to Right: Alexander (actor), Sam (doctor), Gustaf (actor), Eija (model, promoter), Valter (actor), Bill (actor/model). And the wee ones? Also Stellan’s kids, just with his current wife.
Oh man, I find Gustaf so hot here. The other two are just like, too intense pretty for me to handle looking at directly. Does this happen to anyone else (being unable to look directly at extremely beautiful people)?
Music Groups With Instant Karaoke Classics
So, looking past the epic amount of metal that comes out of Sweden (if you’re into metal, Sweden is totally your place!), let’s throw out some musicians of the pop, rock, indie genre that I know we all have listened to at least one of their tunes…
I don’t think I really need to write anything here. It’s ABBA.
Ace of Base
HECK YES! My all time fave random dance party band other than ABC is Ace of Bass. Who doesn’t want to shout out, “Voulez-vous danser avec moi, c’est soir?” whilst spinning on the dancefloor, cranberry-Absolut in hand? I saw the sign, and it’s stayed with me on cassette for over 20 years…
Don’t pretend “Lovefool” didn’t destroy you in its R&J context! I know what Leo does to a person… thumb biting and all. (“I do bite my thumb at you, sir!”) Dear, I feel we’re facing a problem…
Maybe you don’t know Jens, but you should. It’s the ultimate walking aimlessly through the park on a summer day music. Jens has this Stephin Merritt-style voice that lulls you into such an unbearable lightness of being that you may just send a postcard to Nina. (nope, that sentence doesn’t make sense, but I wrote it last night while drinking and I’m leaving it!) Anyway, he’s a little Bare Naked Ladies like, if you’re into that.
Peter, Bjorn and John
Who can’t recall Indie Night dancing to “Young Folks” with that lyric that isn’t quite translated into English correctly? I always love when he says, “is leaving” and it sounds like “sleavin”. Anyway, I’m linking up my fave song of theirs, which isn’t “Young Folks.”
(Pronounced fee-ka) There isn’t really a translation into American English for this, but I’m hoping that we just adopt the word and start making it a thing. Basically it translates as “taking a coffee break.” It’s really many things though… it’s a verb and a noun, for starters, and it can mean anything from going to grab a coffee to drinking a coffee, to people hanging out having coffee and some pastries, enjoying life and good weather. It doesn’t just include coffee either! Tea and drinks for the kids (lemonade, soda, etc.) are totally allowed, too. It’s very low key. You can’t really fika the wrong way.
I’m a big fan of fika. I think we should all fika more often. Maybe we can have a That’s Normal Fika every weekday to give people a nice break in their work day? I am going to just start tweeting “Fikarast!!!” every day to indicate this, so keep an eye out 😉 I kind of feel like fika might be the reason I move to Sweden. I also have said fika so much in the last twenty minutes that I am now in my head replacing “kiki” with “fika” in that one Scissor Sisters song. If we fika enough, maybe we can do a That’s Normal convention, and we’ll just be having a massive fika somewhere where hotels are cheap and weather is pleasant. Hm… I bet we could get a sponsor. Massive fikas are totally a thing in Sweden. I think Östersund is the current record holder for most people at a fika… some like 3,500. WE CAN SURPASS THIS, GUYS.
I wonder if ASkars will agree to ta en fika with me? Next time I see him, I’m going to ask. I know a great Swedish konditori near my subway stop, we can go there. Fika is defined as the perfect non-date date (nods). Maybe he will come to the That’s Normal Fika event? He seems like a giver. You can’t tell cuz the photo cuts off, but I’m totally the person he’s talking to here. I’m admitting my crush on Gustaf to him and he’s agreeing that it was good call for him to shave his head. #normal
Affordable Things That Aren’t Ugly
Sure I could go to Rooms to Go and buy some Cindy Crawford endorsed furniture, or I could just go to IKEA and buy ALL THEIR EXPEDITS (I just learned they’re discontinuing them, thanks to Elise. RIP Expedit Series!). And H&M? Don’t even get me going on my first trip to H&M when I was living in Europe. 5 euro t-shirts?! I still own them and they’re still in 1 piece! At that time, H&M was only in LA and NYC (and I was not in NYC then). Seriously though, before Sweden exported their cheap, but long lasting [for the most part] goods, I’m not sure how we got through life. Not having access to H&M is like not having a smartphone. You can manage, but why?
I should probably mention that basically half of my wardrobe is H&M and that I began buying IKEA furniture to match my now-husband’s back when we were first dating and not living together because I knew that eventually we’d be living together and married and I didn’t want to have to get new furniture so our stuff would all match. #TrueStory
Chances are you’ve seen at least three of this guy’s movies. He’s been nominated for 2 Best Director Oscars and I recognize nearly every title on his filmography. However, you probably haven’t seen his first film: Ska vi hem till dig… eller hem till mig… eller var och en till sitt?. I’m not sure if you can rent it by itself, but I know that it’s a bonus feature on the My Life As A Dog dvd (warning: My Life As A Dog is the saddest movie ever). I really just want everyone to see this movie because I watched it alone in college and found it to be extremely entertaining and fun. It’s probably the only film of his that doesn’t require tissues nearby.
He directed Chocolat, so I had to include a Johnny Depp photo. Um, also, Hallström did basically all of the ABBA music videos, including the one I posted above. Oh, and he did Dear John, and I know how you guys feel about Channing Tatum… you’re welcome!
So, I think that sums it up for now. We haven’t even looked at their beautiful landscapes and architecture, but you know what? We can always chat about that when we fika tomorrow. Until then, skål and enjoy yourselves!
Special thanks to TN reader and Swede @MeanieMary for introducing me to Kerstin Ekman and explaining fika to me!