Sunday, December 04, 2016

peak cuteness








we've had a lot of cute kittens around here, but this batch is exceptional. charlie has really outdone herself. i'm doing my best to enjoy every second with them. especially that little miniature polar bear there guarding my iPad. he's a real corker.

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this gives me hope.
tho' i still find twitter pretty unbearable these days.

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and this less so.

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still thinking about memory.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

african violets

as the fog began to descend on my grandmother, she began to hoard kleenex and african violets. she bought boxes in every shape, color, pattern and size. and the african violets bloomed their little hearts out under special lamps in her basement apartment. and i don't think i really noticed that her mind was slipping, even though i should have been old enough to realize. she still made tea when i came over and 15 kinds of christmas cookies during december and a sunday roast that was so tender it fell apart and didn't need to be cut with a knife. she was still my grandma and i don't recall any of the adults around me ever talking about her plight in my presence. maybe it was just seen as a normal part of the aging process in those days. i do remember her in the nursing home towards the end. how childlike she seemed, how innocent somehow. but how hard it was to visit her and know she didn't recognize me. and what a relief it was in a sense when her time finally came, and she was released from the bondage of the fog. from a life that was no longer a life.

months later, i had a vivid dream of her. we had tea together, using her chinese tea set, that we had used so many times for tea parties in my childhood - dragons on the small cups and saucers, ombre grey to black color on the pot. we laughed and played tea party, just as we always had. and she told me, looking straight into my eyes, that she was ok. and i always felt it as the goodbye i didn't have the chance to have with her fogged-in self. it felt so vivid and real and vital and warm. it really was goodbye and i really think that she was there in my dream - the real, whole essence of her. 

i think i need an african violet.

* * *

a tragic ending to a unusual and artistic life.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

still not over it


a week ago, i was in paris for the first time. believe it or not, i'd never been. it was a bit like how long it took me to visit new york. maybe i just don't do big, famous western cities. rome is still on the list as well. it was a quick visit, for work, so i didn't get to wander around that much, tho' i did walk down to the eiffel tower on my first night there, and we were shooting a night video here, at the place de la concorde and i got a few shots.  i'd like to go back to paris and visit museums and stroll around a bit more at a more leisurely pace, but i know already now that i'm not a paris person. it didn't make my molecules hum in alignment like say moscow or london do. you walk around there, feeling the history and you can understand a little bit why the french don't realize that they're not a significant player on the world stage anymore. there is a grandeur and a beauty that must be quite unsurpassed, but i didn't fall in love. 

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i found myself still weepy today over the election. i heard tales of the nastiness of one of my cousins, who delighted in spreading white nationalist bigotry around a post-thanksgiving gathering yesterday. and reading about the recount that will happen in wisconsin thanks to jill stein (who knew we would thank her for anything?), and the slim chances it has in keeping that monster from the white house. and encountering issues myself over sailing on a freight ship to the uk on my american passport makes me more resolved than ever to seek danish citizenship. the day after the election, i downloaded the forms, now i just need to get them filled out and jump the last of the necessary hoops. 



i attended a cultural café today at the library, held by some of the good souls in my community, to welcome the refugee families who are in town. i met a lovely and brave young woman from syria and she and her children would like to have one of our kittens when they (the kittens) are old enough. those kittens bring me a lot of joy and it would be wonderful if they also brought joy to a family who has fled from war. that gives me happy tears. but i also had sad tears in my eyes as a couple of these sweet families told me a tale of a mentally unbalanced young woman in the community who is harassing them, loudly shouting racist statements at their children as they walk to school and accosting the families on the street and in the local grocery stores, publicly screaming at them to go back where they came from. she's a person with problems of her own, but it's so distressing to hear. and the police have been contacted, but unfortunately can't do anything about her unless she actually physically attacks them. as if the verbal attacks aren't bad in and of themselves. it seems these days, such people think they can spread their racism and bigotry without consequence. and it seems that they actually can. 

* * *

if any of you have any recommendations for fiction or non-fiction on the topic of alzheimer's,
i would be most grateful to hear them.

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winter is coming, make your own tonic syrups.

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a very interesting map to ponder.

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how to get just the figs you want from the new batman movie set.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

giving thanks


it's thanksgiving and it feels like 2016 hasn't given us a lot to be thankful for. the death of david bowie, prince, leonard cohen, as well as brexit and trump -  it's been a rather brutal year. at least for the world.  personally, it's been pretty good. so i think i'll focus on that.

first, i'm thankful for husband. and for the amazing young woman that the child is becoming. i'm thankful that my job has taken me new places - poland, latvia, estonia, belgium and paris. i'm thankful for the fun and creative people i've had the chance to work with all year.  i'm thankful that my back is better. i'm thankful for yoga - for it bringing me in touch with my body again. i'm thankful that i get to spend the week in copenhagen and retreat to the countryside to husband and the garden and the cats on the weekend. i'm grateful for friends - both virtual and irl. i'm thankful for podcasts, the pantsuit nation facebook group, for my cousin who is letting the child stay for her year of high school, for seeing my hometown through her eyes (good and bad (and honestly, it's mostly bad)).

i'm thankful for late nights with friends, drinking wine and solving the world's problems (and also a few wardrobe-related problems). and great food (that sushi in gdansk, a seriously good ramen in london and foie gras in paris). and amazing projects. and the opportunity to be in a london bell tower, both listening to and watching the bells being rung. and for what happens when you share your ideas and are willing to let go of them and let them become what they are meant to be, which is so much more than you imagined. and by you, i mean me.

and i'm grateful for being seen. for unfolding. for transformation and becoming. and finally finding out what i can do.

and i'm also thankful for kittens. and laughter. and candles. and mac highlighter, and benefits mascara and urban decay eyeshadow. and for a day when we think about it all and are thankful. despite all of the other stuff that's going on.

happy thanksgiving, one and all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

inexplicable

i'm still numb. i keep hoping every morning when i wake up, that it was just a bad dream. but apparently it's not, tho' it continues to spiral downward and seem increasingly like a nightmare. and unfortunately, it's increasingly evident that we can't wake up from it. i spent last wednesday curled up in bed with the gilmore girls on netflix and a cuddly cat. it didn't help that much. i spent most of the day in tears. i cried until i had no tears left. and then i cried some more when i imagined how hillary must feel. it must be simply unbearable for her if it was this unbearable for me.

i've unsubscribed to a drove of the pundit podcasts i was listening to, as they self-servingly spurn hillary now that she's lost the electoral college (remember, she resoundingly won the popular vote) and open the door for the withered kumquat, giving him a chance he so richly does not deserve. i haven't been able to watch hillary's concession speech. and i turn away from anything the cheeto is saying as well. i. just. can't.

of course, every lunch conversation is about the election. everyone i meet offers their condolences. a friend even sent her husband over with two bottles of wine to make me feel better. i feel i am grieving. but then i realized that my overwhelming feeling (in addition to grief) is embarrassment. i feel mortified that the country of my birth chose this damaged, sociopathic, racist, sexual harassing narcissist to follow the very classy, intelligent obama. it's quite humiliating to have to answer for it to level-headed europeans who remember history all too well. i can't. i don't understand it myself, so how can i possibly explain it?

Monday, November 07, 2016

serenity now




i don't think i'm going to sleep a wink tonight. i'm so nervous about tomorrow's election. and it will only get worse tomorrow night. hard to comprehend what might be ahead of us, no matter which way it goes. but for now, there are kittens.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

these dark days


after an unusually warm october, autumn is upon us. and it's dark and dreary and grey and frankly a bit ominous, which is guess fits with the general mood of these times. with a potential trump victory looming over us, i find my mind feeling as dark and clouded and blurry as this photo. i wake up with a start in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, full of anxiety, actual bile in my throat. i pick up my phone and open the new york times app to see whether some new shit has hit the fan. i am both looking forward to this being over and dreading it. what if that monster wins? what does it mean? where does it leave us? and how could it happen? who are these people who are voting for him? (i've read dozens of articles about that and still don't understand.) have i just been gone too long? how did it come to this? i am sincerely at a loss. and terrified.

but i will say that this helped:


so holy shit, get out there and vote for her. it's the best thing you can do. and it's so important. quite possibly the most important vote you'll ever cast.