Wednesday, January 17, 2018

a small, not very coherent, collection of thoughts

i know this is a very serene picture, but i'm not feeling all that serene, there are a lot of things bugging me and they are all tumbling in my head. i'll get the trivial out of the way first...what the hell is a groom's cake? what groom wants a cake? (i need to be where facebook is much for the new "re-focused on what's important" timeline, zuck.) and believe me, the cheeto satan does not weigh a mere 239 pounds. what a shithole. or is it asshole? or is it shitty asshole? yes. yes. and yes.

and now on to the less trivial...several times of late, i have read heartfelt, earnest facebook versions of life stories featuring the storyteller patting themselves on the back for never having accepted any kind of it food stamps or financial assistance of other sorts. as if that's something to be congratulated for. as if needing and receiving help is a horrible, awful thing. honestly, is that where we are? if so, that just utterly sucks.

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when you're crabby from being hungry, it's called hangry, but what's it called when you're crabby from not sleeping well?

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if someone says your podcast trailer sounds "so npr" and also "so american," is that an insult or a compliment? i suspect it was an insult, but i'm choosing to take it as a compliment.

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reading studs terkel's seminal work - working - from the 70s. and i'm realizing we haven't really progressed all that much. it's fascinating and deep and comforting and also disturbing. i have a library copy, but i think i'll have to buy it. so i can write and underline in it - things like this: "i think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit. jobs are not big enough for people."

that said, i genuinely do love my job. but i fear that's the exception, not the rule.

* * *

a friend went to a course with tom of holland
and i want to too!
i have a whole stack of things that need mending.

Monday, January 08, 2018


as i often do with a deadline looming, i find myself procrastinating - making detailed lists, skimming a few chapters of "podcasts for dummies," updating the trello boards (yes, they are really just more lists), going through scads of photos to choose which ones should be sent for retouching (not a priority), writing this...doing things, but not the things i should be doing as i'm careening towards that deadline. doing things only tangentially related to the task at hand. doing things to prepare for doing the task at hand but not actually doing the task itself. why do i do this? why do i need to feel the sharp blade of the axe whispering against my skin in order to get to it? alas, it's not there yet, and so the procrastination continues...

* * *

oh to be a poet of procrastination.

* * *

i've been thinking that america looked like an empire in decline for some time now.
apparently i'm not alone.

* * *

perhaps a reason to start running?

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i jumped on the fire & fury bandwagon and ordered the book.
maybe i shouldn't have.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

the difference sunshine makes

my winter-weary spirit got some much-needed sunshine this weekend. it was clear and cold, but the sun shined gloriously and continuously.  i feel renewed and uplifted by it. it's amazing how that works. husband and i went for a walk down around the lake. we planted a couple of oak trees in the oak alley to replace ones that hadn't made it. then we had some fun with another young tree, tying its branches into curved shapes and attaching some of the stones with holes in them that i collected last summer - turning a tree into an ongoing art project. it was nice to work on something together again - we can each get focused on our own projects and forget to have projects we work on together. it started with my back troubles two years ago - i wasn't able to help with projects for some months and spent a long time afterwards scared to injure my back again, but now that i'm back to normal, it was good to find my way back to working together on this huge project that is our home. it made husband happy too.

* * *

this must be the coolest airbnb on the planet
you rent it and you get to run a bookstore!
and it's not even expensive.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

howl at the wolf moon

the moon was actually full last night, but the clouds kept me from photographing it. they tried again this evening, but i persevered. they say it's a supermoon (whatever that means, it feels like a new designation that has come into vogue in recent years), but they also say it's a wolf moon. there will be another full moon on january 31, that one's a blue moon. they don't happen that often, two full moons in one month, hence the phrase, "once in a blue moon." now i get that. i never really understood it before. now get out there and howl, i know i did.

Monday, January 01, 2018

noting 2018

hello 2018! i've got an old-fashioned calendar diary to use for the first time in years. it's by arctic paper and is appropriately called illuminate. it was developed together with students from the design school in oslo as a meditation on the differences in light throughout the year and it's beautiful. i can't wait to use it! i'm going to note something from my day every day in 2018. small bits and pieces, perhaps occasionally profound, but mostly about remembering the little things that happen along the way. there's something wonderful about a new, beautiful notebook. so much promise contained within its beautiful, blank pages. i'm looking forward to filling it.

as you know, i'm not much one for resolutions, but along with the intention to write a little something every day in my gorgeous notebook, i thought i'd note a few more intentions. in 2018, i want to be more thoughtful, kinder and more joyful. i want to be less cynical and less critical and more open, curious and accepting. i want to eat healthier, get more exercise and drink less. i want to be more in touch with my body and dwell within it, instead of always being in my head. i want to have less stuff and be more deliberate in the things i do acquire - embracing handmade, unique things. i want experiences, not stuff. hmm, these are sounding an awful lot like resolutions...

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did you listen to the polybius conspiracy podcast? did you know it was fiction? i'll admit i didn't, tho' i did find it super weird. and i found myself thinking it was good that radiotopia didn't choose it as a new podcast for their network, because it was in no way even close to ear hustle.

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loved this obituary for 2017.
thank you mcsweeney's

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bon appetit takes on hygge.
laughter ensues.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - just the highlights (and a few lowlights)

january - the first weeks were a blur, as i recovered from my trump-induced jaw infection. but i was better just in time to go back to the states and participate in the women's march in washington, d.c. the day after the spray-tanned satan's inauguration. sharing that experience with old friends, husband and the child was unforgettable.

february - coming down from the high of the women's march. it's such a dark month in these northern latitudes, but there was a trip to the uk to do a bit of reconnaissance for later film shoots. i also gathered the girls for a much-needed drink & draw evening. since for me, it's really about the food, i made homemade ramen. yum.

march - brussels for a few days, showing off our lego ship in front of the european parliament during european shipping week. a bit of quality molly time in the greenhouse. i popped down to the shipyard in germany where we were building two new ferries. i had a bit of time for creativity - making soft guns for our spring exhibition with the theme of paradox. oh, and i might have turned fifty.

april - the child went to prom, the garden went in, we had rhubarb coming out of our ears, and we did a grueling three-country shoot for a video. while we were waiting, we managed some fish & chips in cleethorpe, a rather traditional little seaside english village that tasted slightly of faded glory and sadness.

may - probably the most action-packed month, as you can see from the mosaic. two weeks in the us, doing major cleaning in our mother's house - there were tears and laughter (that was just spreading dad's ashes in some of his favorite places), a reunion with old greenie, dad's boat, that my sister bought back for $100, kayaking with mom and a hurried trip to a doctor to have a throat abscess drained (no photo of that, thank goodness) just in time to fly home to denmark. back home, the first kittens awaited us, along with the garden and glorious yellow canola fields. there was even time for a weekend project - painting an old chest with the wonderful annie sloan chalk paints. and i tried the fabulous gasoline grill burger for the very first time. simply the best burgers in the world, hands down.

june - a yoga retreat, mark-marking, a reunion with old friends, gardening, seeing lea thau, my favorite podcaster speak at the royal library, wildflowers in the ditches, gorgeous kittens and the first meals from the garden - potatoes, strawberries, swiss chard and kale. yum! spotting some perler-bombing in copenhagen and lifting the world's largest lego ship down into the dry dock at the maritime museum of denmark. in all, pretty eventful and good.

july - a holiday in lithuania - it's a hidden gem in europe, i tell you. highly recommend! then home to berries - blackcurrants and red - and kittens growing up and more kittens being born. and a blissful three-day ceramics course with the fabulous nina lund. my hole-y rock collection grew and i found a creative way of displaying it on a rusty old piece of wire i found and there was yet another trip to film in the uk.

august - filming the lifting of some seriously big objects and working with an awesome team. then back home to the garden in full swing. a kickoff trip for a new team sailing back and forth to oslo - pretty cool when you get to use your ship as a meeting room. then MORE kittens - this time, charlie had six - that was too many and so we resolved it would be her last batch. a wonderful weekend getaway with my creative friends down in højer, a new-to-me corner of denmark - it rejuvenated my soul after a rainy, cold summer. and lastly, a wonderful visit from an old friend who we met when we were in macedonia.

september - bob is growing up so fast. i prepared for an exhibition of my photos at the local library. we visited hjerl hede, a museum with examples of houses through time on a rare nice late summer day. a return to the yoga mat after too long an absence. quality cat time. a trip to the beach with another lego friend. some pretty regular work in my art journal, which i took up again after the retreat at the end of august. and some autumn flowers from the garden. and rounding out the month winning a european digital award in berlin for our lego ship project. awesome, except for the 12 hours it took to drive back from berlin.

october - the leaves started to fall. but there was time for some sunny days in the garden in the company of my garden kitties, molly and her granddaughter bella. the first of the amanitas. an apple tart. time spent reconnecting with old friends (and bunnies), some additions to the wardrobe, enjoying the comfort of kittens after slicing my finger on a french press that exploded in my hands and sent me to the emergency room for six stitches. more quality time with cats. and another reunion with an old friend who gave a wonderful lecture on creativity. it occurs to me that this may have been the year of reuniting with old friends! that's a rather magical realization of putting together this end-of-year look back.

november - husband ran for the city council, as a member of a new party. alas, he didn't get in, but he learned a lot from the campaign and he showed that he's not just going to complain about the politics, but do something about it. there was much time spent with the best batch of kittens we've ever had - frannie outdid herself with these lovelies. but now they've all gone to their new homes and are being loved there. a tiny little project was worked on, but more about that in the new year. gemma and gretchen - it was hard parting with them, but i can't keep all the kitties.

december - the darkest, rainiest, coldest month. but still there was joy - in the form of a whimsical monkey from skinny laminx, a hilarious "welcome" mat, handmade gifts to myself (earrings, a candle holder inspired by some primitive church paintings, sweet little wonky blue pots), an irresistible seasonal highlighter from chanel, learning how to make flødeboller and a lot of time spent in the center of copenhagen, working on a passion project that's also part of my job. for my christmas present, husband made great progress in the kitchen and we actually cooked out there on new year's eve! love the orla kiely wallpaper we chose for the backsplash! and just before christmas, we went out and chose a tree - bickering all the way, as per tradition.

when i think about it, 2017 seemed hard - i think because of the relentless awfulness of the madman at the helm. it wasn't a year in which i slept all that well. but when i look back at it like this, in pictures (and yes, i'm still taking a daily photo, tho' most were with my iPhone this year), it was also filled with joy and laughter and pleasure - much more than i realized. i bid it farewell with more affection than i thought i would. and greet 2018 with open arms. happy new year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

i could work in my pyjamas every day

while i wasn't completely alone today, there was sunshine and time for a solitary walk. i also helped husband move a load of wood and getting out in the fresh air and stretching my limbs, doing something physical helped - i so often forget to reside in my body as well as my mind. aside from some hours of work (which, since i was home, i could do in my pyjamas), no one really expected anything of me. that, and the pyjamas, were very welcome. i found a little bit of time to read some more long read pieces that i'd been saving. like this one, which, like yesterday's, is also about home. and this one about anna akhmatova. what are you doing to find peace and comfort in this liminal space between christmas & new year's?