Thursday, March 05, 2015

100 happy days :: day 5

today's happiness - pinterest. where else can you follow boards as diverse as fierce bitch shit and graph: soviet russian (hmm, maybe those aren't as far apart as i thought)? and there are my own 179 boards of collected inspiration and cleverness that i want to be able to find again. pinterest enables me to track what interests me, like rest (not getting enough sleep, eh?) and healthy eating. not to mention the odd drinkie poo (evening) or caffeinated beverage (daytime). i have boards for husband: husband could make this, kitchen goodness and lysthus. and he even looks at them regularly on the iPad and recently asked me to make him a new board: wood details. you can make a board for any purpose, without all the mess and chaos of cutting up magazines and sticking them to an actual bulletin board. pinterest is awesome! it's where they're keeping all. the. pretty.

i remember way back when kristina first invited me to pinterest (she has often helped me be an early adopter of these things). i found it messy and confusing and i didn't think i'd stick with it. but then i realized that it was sort of like flickr favorites or even browser bookmarks (how old-fashioned they seem now!) that you could categorize and actually find again. it's an enormous, beautiful image repository that gives me an idea of what my style and aesthetic sensibilities are and how they change over time. and now, several years, 179 boards, 32,000 pins and 15,000 followers later, i'm still there, collecting inspiration and imagining the future. and that makes me happy.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

100 happy days :: day 4

today's happiness: the return of the light. although this glimpse of sunshine didn't last long (it was actually yesterday morning), just seeing glimpses of that glorious light and feeling the changes in the air and hearing the joyous spring song of the birds lightens my heart immeasurably. where there is light, there is hope. 

* * *

this list of  the least-wanted toys really did make me laugh.
and these shades of winter seem appropriate (tho' slightly less happy).

* * *

the awesomeness of björk.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

another goodbye

it's been a bit too much lately. losing dad. having my dream job done away with ("we're not ready for co-creation" and besides, "you're not commercial.").  getting turned down for another job after being tortured with an agonizing wait of an entire month. and now aunt mary has died as well. these are relentlessly grey, cold, dark days. it really is all too much.

aunt mary was such a presence in our family. married to my dad's oldest brother, she raised five children and has countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. i'm so glad i visited her when i was there when dad died back in november. although i didn't know it would be the last time, it was a very nice visit. her beautiful home on the hill with the views of vast rolling prairie (these photos were taken from her house one summer) and traces of an old indian trail if you looked in the right spot when the grass was just right in the summer or when winter's snows had filled the ghosts of the ruts. you could feel the history blowing there in the prairie winds. and her cabinets of curiosities - quilts, antiques, artifacts. she always had stories to tell, stories that more often than not resulted in everyone dissolving in genuine laughter. she was always so positive and cheerful. sort of a stalwart ray of sunshine in the midst of the chaos of our big family. we sipped tea and ate cookies and listened to family stories and it was always wonderful to gather around her kitchen table.

she was 89, so she had a long, full life. uncle jim had died back in 2008, but she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so she wasn't alone. she was, like all of us, hit hard by my dad's death and i wonder if perhaps she didn't think it was time to go and join those who had gone before.

although i'm not sure that i believe that's what happens, it is comforting to think of it at times like this. i can just hear her laugh and dad's laugh and uncle jim's and uncle red's as well. and i hope that maybe somewhere they are now laughing and swapping stories together once again, perhaps playing a game of "tell" (the card game that's actually called "oh hell") with grandma kate. and that they know that we miss them. and that we are forever changed by the time we had with them.

100 happy days :: day 3

a cup of fragrant, milky, sweet tea. my manila starbucks mug. a bit of sunshine. 

i chased all over manila for that mug. they'd been tucked away so the christmas mugs could be brought out.  and it was only in the 4th or 5th starbucks that i thought to ask if they had some put away in the cupboard. because i had to have it. and i'm still glad i do.

Monday, March 02, 2015

we've come a long way, baby

yes, that is one of wonder woman's fabulous boots on the couch beside her.
it snapped off my wonder woman christmas ornament and it has a kind of morbid hold on me.
so i included it in my photo. and this wonder woman comes in this set with her invisible jet. 
i'm reading jill lepore's the secret history of wonder woman. there's a whole lot more to wonder woman than just a comic book heroine (as if that wouldn't be enough). and although my love of her comes from the 70s television series starring lynda carter, i just love her even more now that i know she finds her roots in the whole suffrage movement and the attendant fight for birth control and general women's rights that women waged at around that same time.

here in denmark, this year is the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote (that was why we had our wonder woman salon a couple of weeks ago), so that's part of why the topic has surfaced on my radar. and it's funny how once it's on your radar, you keep coming across things that are related to it. like these horrendous anti-suffrage posters that circulated 100 years ago. i don't think i'd fully appreciated how far we women had come and how much those early feminists did for us so that we have the rights and norms that we, quite frankly, take for granted today.

the jill lepore book is one of those where i find myself staying up late to read it and simultaneously feeling eager to turn to the next page to drink in the story (and this is actual history) and wanting to slow down and not come to the end of the book too quickly.

the inventor of wonder woman was a very strange man named william moulton marston. he was a harvard educated psychologist and the original inventor of the lie detector test (hence wonder woman's truth lasso) and generally a rather weird and possibly perverted guy. he lived in a very strange relationship with his wife and his mistress and their four children under one roof. because he was a polemic figure, he had a hard time keeping a job and his wife was the main breadwinner of the family, with the mistress playing nanny to all four children, despite only 2 of them being hers. and yet he was also quite a compelling figure - charismatic in a way and quite a prolific ideas man. and he believed that women were powerful forces to be reckoned with, so he couldn't have been all bad.

wonder woman came to life just as the US was entering WWII and thus there were many themes with a patriotic tinge to them. once she was allowed to join the justice league, things got a little less feminist for her, as another writer took over from marston and relegated her to secretary status, while the other justice league members went off to fight. not to make excuses, but that reflected the times as well, the men went off to war and the women stayed at home to handle the everyday duties.

it's also pretty fascinating, the insight into the early days of comic books and how they arose both out of the film and pulp fiction industries. all of the creative artists and storytellers and maverick publishers that did battle with censorship make you wish you had lived in a more dynamic time.

i'm only a little more than halfway through the book, so i'll wind down for now. i'm sure i'll be back with more thoughts on it once i'm finished. but suffice it to say, wonder woman is even more awesome than i ever knew.

100 happy days :: day 2

hyperlinks are happy-making for me. i realize that sounds a little strange, but you can often be led on a fascinating journey and learn something new clicking on a hyperlink (if you choose the initial link wisely, that is). clicking on one thing that looks interesting often leads to another. and another. i really love that. here are a few examples from this morning when i was awakened a little to five by rambunctious cats...

after reading this and especially this, i went to my app and ordered the first two volumes of norwegian writer kurt ove knausgård's epic 6 volume autobiographical novel from the library (in english translation, i'm not a masochist). what a voice the man has!

in reading about knausgård's time in newfoundland, i came across this piece from last summer - two danish tourists write an open letter to canada, pleading for them to do something about their car culture. yikes, i wonder what they'd have thought if they visited the united states!

and while not a link i found via the links above, a friend posted about this photo project - carol highsmith's decades-long efforts to document life in the united states. now, that is a serious photo project. but is her attempt to preserve something so fleeting as life even possible?

Sunday, March 01, 2015

100 happy days :: day 1

it was a winner. i will probably always whip feta going forward.

they're light and delicious. i think it's a great scone technique.

nicoise tuna salad. with the most beautiful tuna steak i've ever seen.

preparing delicious food is definitely happy-making.

because i'm always in need of a project.