Aby-a-Day – 5 November: Remember, remember, the 6th of November (Hipstamatic Monday)

One of the most fun things about Hipstamatic is the randomness of it, but another is the special themed paks of films, lenses, flashes and camera cases. A few years ago (I think it was for the 2012 Presidential elections), they came up with the Rock the Vote pak, which included RTV Shout, a film that adds pro-voting slogans to your photos. So I just wanted to put this up here to remind my friends back home to be sure and vote tomorrow.

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I still get to vote in Massachusetts statewide elections as an American ex-pat living in Sweden, and I voted last month. I am proud to have voted for Elizabeth Warren as my Senator.

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So, please, please…vote tomorrow! Do it for Lorelai!

Aby-a-Day- 4 November: The Ministry of Silly Runs (Silly Swedish Sunday)

Izaak is so much fun to watch outside.

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He loves to run so much…but he looks so goofy doing it.

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He’s maturing – he’s just turned nine months old – but he has not yet shown any signs of being an entire male cat except one: he’s getting all burly and jowly. But that’s it. There’s no inappropriate play-mounting, no parading around the house, and, best of all: NO SPRAYING OR RANDOM PEEING! Even his proper litterbox pee doesn’t smell like a tomcat.

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Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Mostly I am just waiting for penny to finally drop, so to speak. After all, Alfred was neutered when he was seven months old, and Logan was in diapers because he was peeing in odd places when he was about this same age. So let’s just say we’re on high alert but enjoying every pee-free day.

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He has a funny bouncy run, though, and it really is amusing.

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I hope he never outgrows it.

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Awww…Zakky! Don’t look at me like that! We love you and your silly running. We giggle because you’re so adorable when you do it.

Aby-a-Day – 3 November: Look out for that treeeeeee! (Silly Swedish Saturday)

The other day we took the kittens out again before it gets too cold. Lorelai ran as fast as she could to her beloved trees.

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She always looks so funny…she runs so fast and so hard, with every ounce of strength she can muster.

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And the way she attacks those trees…

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…she’s just a little bit crazed, really.

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But I will say this for our little Rory…

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…She throws herself all into whatever it is she’s trying to do.

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No matter how tall the tree, Rory’s gonna climb it!

Aby-a-Day – 2 November: A Red Sox Therapy Visit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series in fourteen years, which is incredibly awesome. Even more awesome, I was able to watch them every step of the way, because just this year, Swedish television started showing MLB games. I mean, I have been here for over two years, but when I saw they were (finally) showing baseball, I was so happy.

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It also reminded me of when they won five years ago. About a week before they won, at the beginning of the series against the Cardinals, Jacoby and I went on a therapy visit to the Fuller Center in full Red Sox regalia.

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We rocked it – I even found some real baseball pants to go with my jersey.

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Jake was so good about wearing his Red Sox hat.

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He actually wore it for most of the visit. He’s such a good boy.

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I actually miss going on therapy visits, with Jake or with anyone else (Lorelai and Izaak, I think, would also be great therapy cats), but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that in Sweden. Too bad, too…because Skaraborg’s Sjukhuset is really close to where we live and super easy to get to by bus

Aby-a-Day – 1 November: Happy Halloween 2018

Yesterday, of course, was Halloween. We haven’t had a Halloween dress-up party Chez Hellqvist since…well, since before we were Chez Hellqvist.

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So we dressed up this year. First up was Izaak, wearing the infamous “Honey Pie” costume. Let’s just say…he’s not a natural.

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He had a hard time with the hat in particular.

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And then he was very distracted by his hair.

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…Almost…

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In the end, he managed to get a couple of awesome shots, though.

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Next up was Lorelai. No real costume for her, just a pretty dress and a blonde wig.

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Rory had as hard a time with her wig as Zak did with his hat/wig combo.

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It would have looked cuter on her if she’d have stopped making faces.

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She didn’t mind the dress, though. Just the wig.

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Next we had Alfred, wearing Jacoby’s cowboy outfit.

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Given how hard it was to get him to wear his Red Sox outfit, I was pleasantly surprised at how well he wore this costume.

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He had a little trouble with the hat at first, but ended up rocking the western look.

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Jake, of course, has so many outfits to choose from; apart from the dresses, they’re basically all his. After going through them, I thought it would be fun to reprise his doctor’s scrubs outfit.

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It took him a second to remember how to wear the cap.

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His ears aren’t really airplane-angry. It’s just the hat’s elastic that makes them look like that.

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Last, but not least, we have Angel. Who, of course, wore her pirate’s costume.

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Which she wore like a boss. Of course, she pretty much only ever wears this costume and no other, while Jake wore one he han’t done in years, and the younger cats had never worn a costume at all.

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It’s not often that Angel is the best poser of the bunch…but there’s a first time for everything!

Aby-a-Day – 31 October: Wordless Wednesday (Jacoby and Os-car)

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Aby-a-Day – 30 October: “If you get stuck, draw with a different pen” (Cartoon Tuesday)

The weekend before last, Björn, Kalle and I went to the aby-aSweden Game 2018 here in Skövde. I’m not really much of a gamer, but I went along anyway, figuring there’d be something interesting there. And I was right! The first thing we saw was a huge display of Wacom tablets. I do have one, but I find it very difficult to draw on it as I find the disconnect between drawing on the table and looking at the computer screen difficult. But they also had the Wacom MobileStudio Pro tablets, the type where you draw directly on the screen, available to play with. They were also holding a Spiderman-drawing contest…so the drawing above is what came of that combination. I know it’s not up to my usual standards…but it was drawn in under an hour whilst standing up and using an unfamiliar device, so I can’t beat myself up too much about it.

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But I actually found an intriguing came to play as well: Cateau. Cateau, made by a company based right here in Skövde, is an award-winning choose-your-own-adventure type game that involves walking around in Paris making friends with outdoor cats you meet along the way. Sadly, though, it’s only playable on PCs and I don’t know if they’re going to create a Mac or iOS version. They had a sheet of paper where people who tried out the game could “leave a cat,” so of course I had to sketch a quick Jacoby. There are a lot of other players who are good at drawing cats, though!