Category Archives: schwartz

The Finn, California Style


A Finn and An Ethiopian

1. Learn how to wield the remotes (yes, there are more than one)
for maximum viewing pleasure

2.Become engrossed no matter how mundane the show. In fact,
the more ridiculous, the more juvenile, the more just plain ‘ol
silly, the better to view.

3. Perfect the art of napping between scenes and during


Some Organic and Some Not

Schwartz is a meateater. Twinkletoes and I LOVE this salad; Organic Girl – berries and balsamic. We needed a change from our spinach salad with Annie’s Goddess Dressing. We found it – and we gobble it up with abandon. But Schwartz, he’s another story. The other night I made a beautiful whole wheat pasta dinner with garlic bread and a huge bowlful of salad. I like my pasta al dente – nearly crunchy. But Clementine prefers his pasta cooked. I try to please the masses by cooking the pasta firm but not with too much crunch. My timing was off, as usual. I told the kids to go ahead and start with salad while the pasta finished cooking. Schwartz said, “No thanks, I’m saving my hungry for real food.”

Yeah for our Finn. He continues to show the classic attributes of a 19 year old American carnivore.

The Finn’s Top 5

Schwartz loves TV. I mean, he really LOVES TV. He claims he doesn’t get to watch TV like this in Finland. I don’t know if he means he’s not allowed (Sari, is he?), or if he means that he doesn’t have over 500 channels to choose from and 24/7 entertainment options. This is the trouble with Direct TV, there are so many choices. Believe me, Schwartz revels in the TV. He mentioned one day that he had watched 9 hours of television the day before. What??? I don’t know when he’s squeezing in 9 hours after a day at school and daily tennis. But then, I go to bed at 10 PM and I don’t monitor this 19 year old’s habits. He’s on his own. Obviously, he’s got company-the television!

So, here are Schwartz’s top 5 shows. This is what we see him watching, day after day. It’s junk television American style.
Hell’s Kitchen
2 and a Half Men
Family Guy
South Park
special mention: Futurama, JackAss, Superstars of Dance
I’m going to buy this tshirt for him. I’m sure he’ll appreciate my sense of humor. I’m so glad he’s making the most of his time here……Hehehehehehe

A Finn and A Telemarketer

Last night someone broke through our “no call” status and made a dinner hour marketing phone call. I decided that it would be a great American experience for Schwartz to take the call and answer the questions that focused on the media. His answers made for a very humorous dinner. This is what we heard Schwartz say from our side of the conversation:

“I haven’t read the newspaper in 6 months.”
“Yesterday I watched 9 hours of television.”
“I guess I’m white.”
“I’m 19 and still working on finishing high school.”
“6 1/2 people live here” (my comment: the 1/2 isn’t the baby….so who is it?)
“I don’t know, I just live here and I don’t pay for anything.”

A Finn in the Frozen Tundra

Here are Schwartz (left) and Waffles at yesterday’s Green Bay Packer game. They guys had a very comfy bus ride, an all you can eat tailgate, and nice seats for the game. Mr. Silly Pants joined the fun while I stayed home (are you kidding me? It’s too cold for me to sit up there in the Frozen Tundra on a relaxing Sunday!).
Here’s the story of the origin of our Finn. I was an exchange student myself in Finland “way back when” and Schwartz is the son of my host sister. So, he was family even before he arrived this summer. He arrived in August within 24 hours of our return with Blueberry from Ethiopia – so it was trial by fire for all of us together as our family grew from 5 to 7, adding 18 year old and a 5 month old sons to the family fabric in the same weekend.
While we did get our share of raised eyebrows regarding our decision to have Schwartz come and live with us, we knew it would be better than fine. Schwartz’s family is wonderful; I have connected again with them in deeper ways than the annual holiday card and occassional e-mail greeting. And, Schwartz has kept our family eye on the teens in ways we didn’t anticipate. It’s important as a host family to fulfill informal obligations of “seeing America” – Schwartz’s presence has kept us on our toes for sporting events, road trips, and attention to the everyday details of “Americana.” This has been great for the whole family and has kept the balance between baby needs and teen life in focus.
It’s been great – simply ihana (Finnish word for wonderful/lovely).

Ms. Manners in Finland?

Heard last night at our dinner table:
Me: What is the translation of “please” in Finnish. Is it “ole hyvaa?”
Schwartz: There is no word for “please” in Finnish.
Me: I sort of remember that – is there something close?
Schwartz: No, in Finland if you want something, you just take it.

The rest of the dinner table: Laugh Laugh Laugh

I’m sending Ms. Manners to Finland. Even if it is true that I have never heard Schwartz say “please,” he always says “Thank you.”

Our household is pretty fun.