Sunday, February 19, 2017

a beautiful mess of a weekend


what a weekend. it was full of laughter and gin and playing cards and making good food and father-daughter time and travel plans. and while we laughed about trump's remarks on a fictional swedish terror attack, we mostly stayed away from the cheeto's latest antics, for the sake of our sanity. and it was good. it was a beautiful mess of a weekend. and we all needed that.



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how much do we now love the (former) swedish prime minister?
#tweetoftheweek
and more humo(u)r from/about sweden.

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i normally don't think much of these "reduce your stress" lists,
but this one made sense.
and in these times, odin knows we need to reduce our stress.
it might have helped that it was in harvard business review.

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i'm not sure what i make of this.
it seems a bit like left-leaning conspiracy theory.
but on the other hand, it also seems plausible.

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i must say that i think buzz feed was right to publish the russian dossier.

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dangerous and nasty. that's what we get with the cheeto president.

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andrew sullivan on the madness of the cheeto.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

self-care in the age of trump

i am genuinely distressed by the trump presidency. i spent years loathing ronald reagan and the younger bush, but they seem so tame now in comparison. i think it's made even worse by the fact that obama, who was the very epitome of grace and erudition, preceded the cheeto. the contrast is stark.

my stomach is in knots, i wake up at 3 a.m., wondering what he's done now, and i'm still clenching my jaw. i can't even have the fillings i lost due to all of the grinding of my teeth fixed because i can't open my mouth wide enough for the dentist to work on me, thanks to what is beginning to look like permanent tightness in my jaw. and i realize that i need less facebook and more self-care. i need to do something other than obsessively refresh the nytimes website. it's time to take care of me.


so i snuggle with cats. make up fresh combinations in the juicer (grapes, carrots, oranges, ginger and turmeric). i got out a beloved sweater that's developed a few holes and i'm working on visible, pretty embroidered repairs. i read some of the mary oliver poetry that i bought and a jo nesbø thriller that i picked up at good will for a dollar. i put down a few ideas for what i'd like to do photographically in the coming year. i finished and put away all of the laundry (and yes, this is self-care - it feels so satisfying to know the laundry is done). i stayed in my pajamas all day. new pens. netflix (i'm almost done with season 2 of how to get away with murder). a long, hot shower. i have candles lit all around. and best of all, i took a bit of break from facebook, if only for a few hours.


i think i'll be ready to rejoin to the real world tomorrow.


how will we ever get through this?

we saw this sickening sight when we visited the national building museum two days after the inauguration funeral.
they have hosted 19 inaugural balls since the late 1800s.
as we landed yesterday in billund, the final leg of my long journey home, i listened to an inane conversation in a thick, countryside danish accent taking place behind me as i scanned the front page of the new york times i grabbed from the rack as i left paris. my eyes filled with tears as i felt very intensely that mid-atlantic feeling - the one where i feel i belong neither here nor there.

the damage wrought by donald trump in one short week is incomprehensible. as i checked in for my flight home to denmark at washington dulles, on the floor below, people with valid green cards and visas were being turned back on the basis of their religion and nationality. on the way to the airport, my uber driver from ghana told me about how he was going to finish his master's and go back to ghana (he had been in the u.s. for 25 years and even had citizenship). in line for security and again on the train to the terminal, i had a pleasant chat with two muslim women about how sensitive the security machines are - they even picked up the little metal ends of a cord on my dress and i had to be patted down as a result. we parted ways and wished one another a pleasant journey. i didn't think to ask where they were from and i hope that they will be allowed back in if that's what they want.

i feel that much of what's happening renders me speechless - i can't find the words to express how embarrassed, mortified and powerless it all makes me feel. so i obsessively read the words of others - on facebook, on the nytimes and washington post, on blogs and such - voraciously consuming other people's words. and feeling that i no longer recognize the country of my birth. and it's only. been. one. week.

how will we ever get through this?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

standing with millions around the world


this group set off for the march around 8 this morning. we thought being at the last stop would make our journey in to D.C. easier. it did, in that we got to sit, but there were many unscheduled delays due to the sheer number of people. you'd think that D.C. would be used to this.


even just getting out when we reached our destination took ages. but the crowd was overwhelmingly chatty and positive. there was an amazing energy in the air.


escalators were all turned off, we guess that it was in the interest of safety. if the escalator was forcing people up and there was no room at the top, it would have been pretty bad.


couldn't resist a shot from the top - so. many. people.


father and daughter discussing technology
(husband was just upgraded from our original iPhone 3S to my old 6 and needed a bit of a lesson)


he's a keeper.


yes, he is.


just a little taste of the crowd. so much creativity on display - both in knitting/crocheting skills and the signs (more about those later).


i can't believe i was here today. such an amazing experience. so much positive energy. no one was angry or aggressive or even remotely making trouble. it was incredible and a little bit overwhelming. but also reassuring and empowering. and despite a bit of ugliness on a friend's facebook wall from the cheeto-supporter set, i still have hope for the future. i marched for the rights of women to choose what happens to their bodies, for equal pay, for equal rights for all, no matter their race, nationality, sexual orientation or diagnosis. for the climate. for the future. for the country of my birth. for my friends around the world, who also marched where they were. for my beautiful, intelligent, talented daughter. for my family. for me.



so great these two were there with me!! one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

i'm still processing the experience and i'm sure there is more to come.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

slacktivist no more


it's easy to be a lazy "activist" these days - just like and share a few outraged posts on facebook, tweet some smartass retort to the coming clown in chief, unfriend a few trumpets. slacktivism at its best. but after months of sleepless nights and teeth grinding, we decided we had to actually do something. so we are going to washington, d.c. to be part of the women's march this saturday. to be there and feel the energy and power of all those women (and hopefully men, since husband is coming along as well) of every shape, color, size and age, in one place will restore some of my hope. and make me feel like less of a slacktivist. i'll be there, with my husband, daughter, cousins, friends and even my favorite professor from so long ago at arizona state. it's going to be amazing.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

small abstractions


today was a good day. i spent the morning with my very big lego ship and 600 people who hadn't seen it before came by to see it. they also had hot cocoa and sausages. that was good.


then i spent the afternoon being creative. we've started a thing in our local creative group called "CreaGiving" - where we teach one another a technique. today, we learned to make small abstractions using print techniques and an old hotel room card. i also used a small acorn cap as a circle stamp. in the end, we mounted the best ones on cards. i didn't mount any of my bright ones, as i want to work further on them. but i made some pink and yellow ones that i was happy enough to turn into cards.


perhaps i'll send mom a real letter using them. she does still appreciate the written word, so i will do it while i can.


those three pink ones in the foreground are mine. i'm quite happy with how they turned out. and a whole afternoon spent being creative was precisely what i needed.

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this prediction of what the trump years will be like chills me to the bone.

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this will also scare the shit out of you.
it's about the MI6 agent who uncovered the trump-russian election interference intel.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

the end of an era


today was a fateful day. mom failed the test to keep her driver's license. and she failed it with flying colors. it's the end of an era for her. she's been driving for a good 60 years. and what a change it will be. to be able to get into the car and go somewhere has been the hallmark of her life. once upon a time, she picked up and drove herself to a new job and a new life in the black hills, moving away from her mother, her home and her job in sioux falls for the first time. on another occasion, she drove herself to a new life together with my father when he bought a little weekly newspaper in his hometown. and from there, whenever she needed to get away, she got in her car. she drove us countless miles to horse shows and a couple of times to visit her sister in oregon. she was fearless at the wheel, if distracted, the dashboard covered in glasses cases, kleenex and donut crumbs. when my sister and i fought, she stuck my sister over to her left on the broad bench seat of the old brown pickup and separated us. seat belts be damned. those were the times. and it ended ok.

she must feel devastated. i can't even imagine. even she, from within her fog, must know that that is significant. for the first time in this experience, i feel genuine sorrow for her. this changes everything. she can no longer escape. and neither can we.