Friday, September 28, 2012

shoplift lit list


in one of those long, convoluted series of clicks, i stumbled upon a rather old (1999! - so last century) article from the new york observer by ron rosenbaum. it's about which books reside in the shoplifting section of a barnes & noble in NYC - they're on a special shelf where you have to ask the cashiers for them, because they are stolen so often that it's a problem for the store. the article is clever and witty and you should go read it, especially since i'm not going to go into the whole thing here.

what i am going to go into is my own personal list of books that i consider so essential that i would risk the incredible stupidity that is shoplifting to own them. but only if, for some bizarre reason, i had no other choice. i should note that i am actually really opposed to shoplifting and think it's a lame and not very nice thing to do, so i am in no way advocating the shoplifting of these or any other book (or makeup or trinkets or hair thingies or socks or razor blades (which are apparently the most shop-lifted item) or anything else). and really, what with libraries, we should, in theory, never have to shoplift any books at all. however, i will still make the list. because i love lists. and since now i've been going on and on about it for this long...

~ charlotte's web by e.b. white.  this classic has made countless children cry themselves to sleep.

~ little women by louisa may alcott. if i were one of the little women, i'd be jo (wouldn't we all?).

~ brothers karamazov by fyodor dostoevsky. i would not only shoplift this book, but if i was allowed only one book in the universe, ever again, 'til the end of my life, this would be the one. it has it all...god, the devil, patricide, crazy brothers, saintly brothers, intellectuals, philosophy, religion and the grand inquisitor.

~ the bean trees by barbara kingsolver. i read this for the first time when i was in macedonia and it transports me there in a good way. tho' the book has nothing whatsoever to do with macedonia.

~ murakami - pretty much anything he's written, tho' especially wind-up bird chronicle and hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world

it occurs to me that in a way, this is just a list of favorite books, but somehow, the shoplifting twist changes it a bit for me. it's not only favorites, but books you'd be willing to sacrifice yourself for, or encounter danger (sort of) for. books for which you'd take a risk. and that somehow seems different than mere favorites. tho' they are that as well.

what book(s) would make you turn to a life of crime?

tranströmer poems


it's nearly time again for the nobel prize for literature. here are some gems from last year's winner, tomas tranströmer (best brush up on your swedish), while we wait:

Hör suset av regn.
Jag viskar en hemlighet
för att nå in dit.

Scen på perrongen.
Vilken egendomlig ro -
den inre rösten.

Askfärgad tystnad.
Den blå jätten går forbi.
Kall bris från havet.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

netizen vs. real life

26/9.2012 - foggy bottom

i feel i've drifted away from my former life as a solid netizen, to one that's more present in my real world surroundings. i'm more involved in my local community, i do more activities in my area, rather than just partaking of them online. in general, i find myself living a life that's less isolated, more grounded in my surroundings and far more properly dressed than it was. and i'm spending a whole lot less time online. i think it's made me less in touch with the culture of the blogosphere than i was, but perhaps i just feel less of that culture than i did.

but that culture is also changing. ironically, there are more blogs than ever, but i think people read them less. we read in a different way than we did just a couple of years ago. we read on devices, on the go, rather than sitting in front of our laptops. this means we leave less comments. as much as i adore my iPhone and iPad, i'm not THAT fond of typing anything of any substance on them (and odin knows that all of my comments are full of substance). we might ponder just as much an interesting post we've read, but we don't necessarily let the writer know that we were there. and it might not even show that we were, thanks to various readers and such.

i think blogging has changed, even for me. i'm less driven to share every thought (which largely has to do with the aforementioned, undoubtedly). but it's also because i share those snippets i once shared here in other ways (e.g. on facebook and instagram and less so, via twitter). and all of the pretty things i find, i pin now on pinterest instead of linking and pondering here (come to think of that, i kind of miss the old way - pinterest is actually rather impersonal in many ways).

flickr (with which i've always had a love-hate relationship) is largely over for me as a social network. i don't even bother to add my photos to groups anymore (i'm not even really sure when it stopped). it's really just a place in the cloud to park and categorize my photos and a place from which to retrieve my instagram photos for blog posts without actually plugging my phone into iPhoto (tho' that may be solved by iOS6, i've yet to fully explore it, but i've heard there's now iPhoto on the phone).

i guess what i mean by all of this is that i've moved back towards flesh & blood real life. and i think i miss the matrix a little bit, even as i am slightly relieved to be more present where i am here and now.

how do you think the blogosphere has changed in recent years?

the coolest and fresh insanity


i forgot i had this shirt. i think i bought it ages ago in manila. i may have pretended it was for husband, but really, it was for me. and i by no means mean to make fun of people with a psychiatric diagnosis - but i think that we could all use a bit of insanity in our lives. a bit of the good kind - not the madness that has become politics and the financial sector.

the kind that makes you dare to go for something you really want, but which to others seems impossible. the kind that sends you out on a limb. the kind where you are scared, but you do it anyway. the kind that makes your heart race and makes you a little dizzy to think of your own bravery.

i'm working on that. are you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


in an increasingly complex world, i feel an increasing longing for simplicity. there's so much information, so much strife, so much shouting (see the american elections or any american sitcom). so much people being hard on themselves and others. so much scheming, so much unnecessary bad energy. so much anger, so much arrogance. so much filling the calendar and planning and so many deadlines. it makes a person despair a little bit sometimes.

can't we just simplify things? laugh instead of shout? smile instead of frown? relax instead of being tense? go back to basics? nurture a tree in a windowsill. can some pears. pick raspberries in the rain. make some raspberry jam. stop by the bakery for some pastry on the way to the meeting. visit a friend out of the blue, unannounced. snuggle up with a cat.

do something small today. something simple. just imagine if we all did it? it just might help.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

rainy day ponderings

early mornings like a painting. the rest of the day, one wonders if one probably shouldn't have gotten to work on that ark. the wind yesterday was crazy, whipping leaves and loose branches from the trees - leaving the road strewn with debris and husband's half-finished sawmill a bit in disarray. today, there's just steady rain, but not so much wind. and we battened down the hatches of the sawmill, so it will be ok.

after a busy few weeks, things have slowed down a bit. i'm writing proposals and developing new ideas. and even writing a press release for my local photo walk that's a part of scott kelby's worldwide photo walk october 13! it's interesting, getting used to the rhythms.

i'm participating in stephanie levy's creative courage course. it just started yesterday and already it makes me feel both peaceful and purposeful. there's a link to it on the sidebar if you're interested, i think it's not too late to join in. i haven't been making anything lately and i can feel that's not a good thing. why is it that the creativity (actual physical creativity) is always the first thing to go when i get busy? i know that's bad for me and yet i let it happen.

the first exercise in the creative courage course asked us to write down what we'd like to create in the coming weeks and what we'd like to release. we should actually physically get rid of the piece of paper with the things we'd like to release...a sort of symbolic release of the words. i think these are powerful acts. and while i haven't done it yet (i'm still pondering and wondering if i can fit everything on one piece of paper), i will. i think i'll burn up that piece of paper when i'm done - what more cleansing way to release than fire? tho' i have an image in my head of a rain-spattered piece of paper as well, with the ink rinsing away. goodness knows we've got plenty of rain.

one of the things i want to release is negativity - yesterday, i ended up coming across several articles (i will admit to a certain fondness for the phrase rugbrød fascists) and blogs about expats living in denmark who were very unhappy and after reading them a bit too long, i found myself feeling negative and unhappy as well. and tho' some of what i read rings true, not all of it does. and even tho' i do occasionally despair that i will ever understand the danes, largely, i like it here and it definitely doesn't do me any good to read a bunch of arrogant, bilious ranting from someone who doesn't.

what's interesting is that one of the proposals i'm working on is for a program which helps alleviate some of the things described on that blog, tho' i do have my doubts whether danes will ever behave nicely in a queuing situation. and i have little hope for my little troglodyte buddy (who behaved even more abominably than ever last evening). i do think there's hope in other ways.

~  *  ~

do you have a method of physically getting rid of the negatives in your life?
do you burn or rip up or bury or scribble them out or release them on the wind?

Monday, September 24, 2012

ahh perfection

this weekend we attended our annual family kräftskiva. it's a swedish tradition - where you wash down massive amounts of crayfish with loads of snaps, sing drinking songs and generally make merry. it's the one time every year where that whole side of the family gets together - danes and swedes.

the food was beautiful and so were the surroundings. it's always wonderful to gather in the house my father-in-law designed and built when husband was a little boy. it's a special place and i always feel that time slows down and stretches into precisely how much is needed when i'm there.

i should perhaps have dialed down that vibrancy a notch for the bowl of crayfish - that's awfully red - but somehow it captures just how over-the-top and perhaps slightly excessive the giant bowl of crayfish really is.

my sister-in-law always excels at setting a simple, beautiful table. she went out and picked the vines of hops and arranged them artfully just before everyone arrived. and from this shot, you can see that the no boring lamps and no boring chairs scandinavian norm holds true.

it would be easy to be envious of this perfect home (because it is perfect in every detail), but really i'm not. i just truly enjoy it. tho' it did, a couple of times, give me a sinking feeling of how far our own home is from that point and a flash of just how much work remains before we get there - to our own version of what's perfect for us. which will be very different anyway.

Friday, September 21, 2012

reflections of the shadows within

it's raining and i wanted to capture a photo to depict this wet day. as i was snapping this big bowl of stones, i noticed my own shadow in them, distorted by the surfaces and the rain. i had the hood of my raincoat up, and thought the shadow looked quite monster-ish. it's fitting since i'm reading peter ackroyd's the house of doctor dee, a novel based on the real john dee (a 16th century alchemist). there are a lot of shadows, ghosts and monsters in the book, so perhaps i'm just seeing them everywhere. the atmosphere of the book is wonderfully dark (also fitting for a rainy day). it seems to be out of print as copies are £99 on amazon, so check your library.

in addition to making you see monsters and shadows everywhere (or monsters in your shadows), it will also make you want to go to london. immediately. it's like london is one of the characters in the book, with a life of its own, going on underneath the people that populate its streets. it's wonderful in an ominous sort of way.

my recent encounters with a compulsive liar have me thinking about the shadows we all have within. i wonder a lot about her shadows, the ones driving her to tell so many lies. i think at the bottom of it, she knows she's in way over her head, but has so built her identity on where she is and what she does that she can't face the thought of it all coming crashing down. so she lies. and frankly makes it ever more likely that it's going to come crashing down. because the lies are easy to disprove at every turn and they are piling up. but she hides those shadows quite well by having a bubbly and winning personality. but i predict that the lies will catch up with her. probably sooner, rather than later. and it's so unnecessary. i feel a bit sorry for her, really.

sometimes the shadows are just baggage that we carry with us and it breaks open once in awhile. or shows very clearly to others, even if it doesn't to ourselves. i actually had to photograph my buddy the troglodyte this week and funnily enough, he chose himself to pose with a sculpture of suitcases that's on display in town. it made photographing him so easy because i don't think he saw himself the delicious irony of it - that his photo puts his baggage on display for all to see. my photos of him underline it perfectly. and that makes me rather happy in an admittedly petty and mean way.

most of the time tho', i think that no one else can truly know the shadows we carry within. no one else can know what's really going on inside of exactly me - how i feel, what i think and the whys and wherefores. sometimes i think that even i can't really know it - it's too complex and elusive. i guess that's what makes it all the more interesting to catch a reflection of the shadow within. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

thinking about...

eating local.
very local. as in from our own henhouse.
and spoons stolen collected from airlines in another lifetime.
designer ones, by georg jensen, of course (it was SAS after all).

people who tell lies.
about obvious things that will easily be found out.
why do they do that?
what drives them?
even when they must know they'll be exposed?
is it insecurity?
a psychosis?
or nothing at all.
it's something i just don't understand.

artist collectives.
hanging out with creative people.
i need more of that.
i've not sewn anything other than patches on husband's work jeans in ages.
how is it that i let myself forget how important that is to the well-being of my soul?

worldwide photo walk day october 13.
i just got approved to lead a walk in my town.
now i've just got to get the details of my walk up on the site.

an old friend.
i wish i lived closer to her.
i'd do something nice for her.
just because she deserves it.
even tho' she's feeling like she doesn't.

a headache that lasted two days.
those are no fun.
i blame a big shift in the weather.
that'll do it to me every time.
it's the barometric pressure.
using a purring cat as a pillow can actually provide relief.
for a few minutes at least.
but going to bed early
and avoiding carbs
are really the best things.

what are you thinking about today?

Monday, September 17, 2012

cute cows

i'm fast becoming a bit enamored of cows. i spotted these scottish highlanders today.  i think i could have convinced this one to follow me home. i don't know what scottish highlanders are known for (beef? milk? their "wool?"), but i want one anyway.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

another weekend winding down

i hosted another session about my photo project thru my local library. only a handful of people came, but it was wonderful and intimate and gave me loads of good energy that carried me through the rest of the weekend. i wonder what it is about this project - getting people to take pictures of life in our town over a year and then having an exhibition - that makes me feel patient? it's growing slowly, bit by bit, and yet i'm oddly content with the pace of it, which is rather out of character for me. i'm not really sure why, but i'm riding the waves of contentment it brings and trying to not really question it that much.

~ * ~

i think a lot about energy and have for some time. i guess it's the one thing for which i can thank my time in siemens. that place crushed my energy like no other and made me so much more aware of what (and more importantly, who) robs me of energy and what (who) gives it to me.

it's what i love about having my own company. i am fortunate to work with two people who complement me wonderfully - they're strong where i'm weak and vice versa - and the combination of the three of us, when we're really ON is quite magical and gives me loads of energy. what's wonderful is that that magic can happen both when we're conducting a workshop in person together and when we're writing on a shared document at a distance, so it's not limited to just one source. their ideas feed mine and i feel challenged and inspired. there's not really more you can ask (tho' a few more customers would be nice).

~ * ~

i'm rather between books at the moment - does anyone have any recommendations? (they don't have to be about cows, i just liked this photo.) i often feel that way after a bout of murakami. i tried to read arundhati roy's god of small things (i know, i'm behind the times on this one), but it didn't do it for me and i actually put it down, which i've almost never previously done with a novel. it wasn't the book, it was me. i came to it at the wrong time. maybe someday i'll try again. (i felt the same with life of pi.)

~ * ~

i picked two huge batches of elderberries today. my steam juicer has been hard at work and i've got 5-6 liters of juice to cook up with sugar and bottle in the morning. and more elderberries to pick. last year i made the mistake of only making one batch. husband says we need at least 20 bottles to have enough. elderberry cordial, mixed with hot water and a dash of something warming (rum? vodka?) on a cold, dark, blustery, late autumn/early winter day in denmark is just divine.

~ * ~

our horse massage therapist is awesome. she's physiotherapist and psychotherapist all rolled into one. tho' she's a bit odd in that way that only a person who lives in her camper van and travels around with her dog, massaging horses, can be, but she really knows people. and horses (of course). and we had an amazing session with her on friday. i say we, because it was just as therapeutic for sabin (and even me) as it was for the horse. total catharsis all around.

but the truth is, horse people are weird. many of them have this odd insecurity that they mask by seeming really, really authoritative and a bit arrogant. i let one make me think matilde had the strangles today. in reality, i think she was feeling a bit lethargic and did in fact have a bit of swollen lymph nodes due to her intense massage on friday. it surely released a whole load of toxins that her body is still processing. but i let this woman make me think the worst. i wonder if i'll ever learn not to let that happen.

~ * ~

why is it that i liked nigel slater so much better before i actually SAW some of his programs? his writing is divine and there are a handful of recipes from his real food cookbook that are in weekly rotation at our house, but somehow seeing him and hearing him has been a bit off-putting. and i can't really put my finger on why.

~ * ~

i haven't actually seen these ads on t.v. (my sister, in iowa, actually sent me the link), but i got a kick out of this danish ad which promotes taking the bus. you gotta love public transportation. and if you press the CC button, the subtitles in english will appear.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

cognitive dissonance

reading William Gibson
ok, so i write in library books. so sue me.
i recently read william gibson's book of collected essays, distrust that particular flavor. they represent his non-fiction that's appeared in various magazines (wired, rolling stone, nytimes magazine) and other places over the years. it gave me so much food for thought that i immediately reread it. many thoughts and reactions are tumbling in my head and i still haven't synthesized them all.

but in the meantime, i wanted to share some of my favorite bits (it's my blog and i can use it as my memory if i want to):

"...there's often something in a good translation that can't quite be captured in the original."

"If you are fifteen or so, today I suspect that you inhabit a sort of endless digital Now, a state of atemporality enabled by our increasingly efficient communal prosthetic memory. I also suspect that you don't know it, because, an anthropologists tell us, one cannot know one's own culture."

"...every future is someone else's past, every present someone else's future. Upon arriving in the capital-F Future, we discover it, invariably, to be the lower-case now."

"...imaginary futures are always, regardless of what the authors might think, about the day in which they're written."

"I found the material of the actual twenty-first century richer, stranger, more multiplex, than any imaginary twenty-first century could ever have been."

"A book exists at the intersection of the author's subconscious and the reader's response."

"It was entirely a matter of taking dictation from some part of my unconscious that rarely checks in this directly. I wish that that happened more frequently, but I'll take what I can get."

talking about the digital age:
"All of us, creators or audience, have participated in the change so far. It's been something many of us haven't yet gotten a handle on. We are too much of it to see it. It may be that we never do get a handle on it, as the general rate of technological innovation shows no indication of slowing."

"Emergent technology is, by its very nature, out of control, and leads to unpredictable outcomes."

on Singapore, which he, like me (and i swear i had no idea, tho' he did publish the piece in Wired in 1993) characterizes it as Disneyland with the Death Penalty:
"Singapore's airport, the Changi Airtropolis, seemed to possess no more resolution than some early VPL world."

great turns of phrase:
cognitive dissonance
democratizaton of connoisseurship
terminal documents

on collecting:
"The idea of the Collectible is everywhere today, and sometimes strikes me as some desperate instinctive reconfiguring of the postindustrial flow, some basic mammalian response to the bewildering flood of sheer stuff we produce."

"eBay is simply the only thing I've found on the Web that keeps me coming back. It is, for me anyway, the first "real" virtual place." (he wrote this in 1999.)

on Tokyo:
"If you believe, as I do, that all cultural change is essentially technology-driven, you pay attention to Japan."

"Something about dreams, about the interface between the private and the consensual. You can do that here, in Tokyo: be a teenage girl on the street in a bondage-nurse outfit. You can dream in public. And the reason you can do it is that this is one of the safest cities in the world, and a special zone, Harajuku, has already been set aside for you."

on the media:
"Indeed, today, reliance on broadcasting is the very definition of a technologically backward society."

"This outcome may be an inevitable result of the migration to cyberspace of everything that we do with information."

"This is something I would bring to the attention of every diplomat, politician, and corporate leader: The future, eventually, will find out you. The future, wielding unimaginable tools of transparency, will have its way with you. In the end, you will be seen to have done that which you did."

"A world of informational transparency will necessarily be one of the deliriously multiple viewpoints, shot through with misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories and a quotidian degree of madness. We may be able to see what's going on more quickly, but that doesn't mean we'll agree about it any more readily."

"Dystopias are no more real than utopias. None of us ever really inhabits either - except, in the case of dystopias, in the relative and ordinarily tragic sense of life in some extremely unfortunate place."

"If you wish to know an era, study its more lucid nightmares."

On Greg Gerard's Phantom Shanghai:
"Liminal. Images at the threshold. Of the threshold. The dividing line. Something slicing across accretions of cultural memory like Buñuel's razor."

on history:
"History, I was learning, there at the start of the 1960s, never stops happening."
my own scrawl in response to this (because you know i wrote in this library book):
" just seems like it does when you're in the midst of it."

"...history, though initially discovered in whatever soggy trunk or in whatever caliber, is a species of speculative fiction itself, prone to changing interpretation and further discoveries."

on whether we'll have chips in our heads:
"There is another argument against the need to implant computing devices, be they glass or goo. It's a very simple one, so simply that some have difficulty grasping it. It has to do with a certain archaic disctinction we still tend to make, a distinction between computing and 'the world.' Between, if you like, the virtual and the real...I very much doubt that our grandchildren will understand the distinction between that which is a computer and that which isn't."

"So, it won't, I don't think, be a matter of computers crawling buglike down into the most intimate chasms of our being, but of humanity crawling buglike out into the dappled light and shadow of the presence of that which we will have created, which we are creating now, and which seems to me to already be in process of re-creating us."

perhaps this is why we like reality t.v.:
"We sit here, watching video of places a few blocks away, and feel--pleasurably--less real."

on the real cyborg:
" I watched Dr. Satan on that wooden television in 1952. I was becoming a part of something, in the act of watching that screen. We all were. We are today. The human species was already in the process of growing itself an extended communal nervous system, and was doing things with it that had previously been impossible: viewing things at a distance, viewing things that had happened in the past, watching dead men talk and hearing their words. What had been absolute limits of the experiential world had in a very real and literal way been profoundly and amazingly altered, extended, changed...And the real marvel of this was how utterly we took it all for granted."

"The world's cyborg was an extended human nervous system: film, radio, broadcast television, and a shift in perception so profound that I believe we've yet to understand it."

"We are implicit, here, all of us, in a vast physical construct of artificially linked nervous sytems. Invisible. We cannot touch it. We are it. We are already the Borg."

"There's my cybernetic organism: the Internet. If you accept that 'physical' isn't only the things we can touch, it's the largest man-made object on the planet....And we who participate in it are physically a part of it."

So much food for thought here, don't you think? in any case, it seems we're already in the matrix.

oh what a beautiful day

when the morning looks like this, you know it's going to be a great day. autumn doesn't bother me this year. the air seems clearer, the colors brighter, the light more intense. when i go out into the cool, still morning, dew heavy on the grass, to let out the chickens, it's just glorious. every single morning. and i have, at least for that moment, an intense rush of happiness that i live where i live and have the life that i have. and any worries i might have seem trivial at that moment - they dissipate in the crisp morning air.

and the same thing happens again in the evening, when it's time to close the chickens back in. they go in on their own, so there's no herding them or chasing them. they're always on their perches and they give little disgruntled, but friendly clucks when i open the door and tell them good night and close the hatches. and again, i feel that same rush of happiness and contentment that i feel in the morning.

to have two of those moments a day, it's more than a lot of people have and i'm grateful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

stead-fast resolve in the face of security enhancements

313:365 floating on air...MacBook Air

as you well know if you've read this blog for any length of time, i am an apple loyalist. the computers in this house are macs, our phones are iPhones, we frequently wrestle for possession of our iPad. i prefer iWork over office and i use iPhoto to manage my many photos. our music is in iTunes. we are thoroughly apple-ified in this house.

so i was very surprised when sabin showed me a strange message on her phone on sunday afternoon when she tried to update some of her apps. it said that my appleID had been disabled and that i needed to go to iForget to get a new password. sabin hadn't made multiple attempts at the password and i had downloaded a free app on friday afternoon, no problem. nothing had, to our knowledge, happened to our account in the approximately 48 hours between my download and her attempted update.

i dutifully tried to get a new password via iForget, but oddly, the mail i asked it to send me never came through to my email, even when i checked spam. when i tried the online route, apple informed me that i didn't know my own birthday.

i began to be rather worried at this point, thinking my account must have been hacked. so i tried to call apple. of course, in denmark, they don't man the phones on sunday (apparently danes never have issues with their apple products on sunday), so i reported the issue via an email to the iTunes store. to their credit, and although i got a message saying i'd have an answer within 48 hours, within a couple of hours (late sunday afternoon), i had at least a first-round answer. my problem wasn't solved or explained, but i felt like apple was working on it and was going to keep me updated (every other day, they promised).

tho' it hadn't yet been quite two days, the issue was eating away at me, and i was tired of messages from various apps, telling me there was an update, so i emailed this morning, asking for a status. with all of those apple products in this house that are attached to that apple ID, we have issues with updates, so its unexplained suspension is a problem.

i asked apple to at the very least disassociate the credit card i have attached to the account, so that if it is indeed hacked, i can at least rest easy that no one will be running up a bunch of charges. after about six hours, i got another very polite and apologetic mail (apple apparently understands my frustration, but doesn't really see any reason to do anything about it).

but there were a couple of strange statements in the mail, in fact, i'll quote them directly here: "This is due to our increasing efforts to maximize security on the iTunes Store. Our current stage of operations dictates that we cannot comment on why we are enhancing these various security protocols; we also will not speculate on how long this security enhancement will last. " (impressed by the correct use of the semicolon.)

apparently, my account being disabled is a "security enhancement." and further "We ask that you endure this rather unfortunate circumstance with stead-fast resolve as we really do want you to enjoy the iTunes Store in the safest, most enjoyable ways possible."

apple, my loyalty is, for the first time, wearing a bit thin, even as your grammar and vocabulary impress me.

just lemme do my friggin' updates...

wine and clinton make everything better

my breakfast - doesn't really have anything to do with the post, i just thought it looked pretty.
i've mentioned it before, but i just want to say that it's really true that if you come yourself with positive energy, it can have an enormous effect on a situation and your experience with other people. i am also fully aware that this is easier said than done.

last night, i was dreading my meeting after my previous encounter with the troglodyte at the helm of the group. i had tried to speak to him a week later at another meeting and his response to my saying that i found his name-calling unacceptable and would appreciate that he refrain in the future was "kom an" or "bring it on."(hence my blatant calling him a troglodyte - i figure if it's ok for him to call me names, i can do it too.)  i will admit i was quite in despair that anything would ever get better. but i reminded myself that i had as much right to be part of the group as he did and that i wouldn't let my fear of his bad behavior keep me from showing up and contributing.

and then i had a glass of wine.

and i watched the daily show. and it was the one from last week, where my boyfriend jon stewart talked about my boyfriend clinton's speech at the DNC. and it put me in a positively euphoric mood. and although it made me a few minutes late for the meeting (i couldn't leave jon and clinton alone here at my house when they had been so kind as to come by), it changed everything.

my positive energy filled the room and affected some of the others as well - bowled them over a little bit, actually. and we had a great meeting wherein a lot of people had their say and expressed opinions similar to mine about how we need to involve the community to get buy-in for the project. and the troglodyte sat at the head of the table, sour puss expression on his face, and his energy was no longer allowed to pervade the group, because it had been replaced with positive energy. i won't even say my energy, because mine only started it and then it snowballed and became the positive energy of everyone in the room.

so the lesson here: a little alcohol and politics really can change the world.

or at least my little corner of it.

~  *  ~

i know that it's september 11, but i really can't join in the memorial cavalcade of posts. tho' that day changed the whole world and we are still reeling from the repercussions, it feels quite remote and in some sense always has. because it did happen at a physical distance from me in my safe, comfy life in denmark. and i didn't know anyone who was involved or injured or killed there that day. i've never even been in new york. which isn't to say that i don't, in my own way, mourn the tragedy of those lost lives, it's just that it was and remains somehow very far away from me.

the evening it happened, we drifted, together with friends, to the american embassy, where others had also gathered in some unspoken agreement and we stood there together in stunned silence, many of us holding candles. someone began to sing a haunting song (i don't remember which one) a capella. it was a welling up of solidarity that came naturally as a response to the tragedy.  sadly, looking at the world, i'd say it's dissipated greatly today. so that's all i have to say about september 11.

Monday, September 10, 2012

progression of a mid-life crisis

july 16, 2012
i'm afraid that i have to admit that husband is in the midst of a midlife crisis.

july 17, 2012
instead of manifesting itself in a sports car or motorcycle, he has decided to purchase a sawmill.

july 19, 2012
the sawmill apparently requires a rather large building of its own.
and big trucks delivering materials.

july 21, 2012
so he stayed home this summer to work on that building instead of coming on holiday with us to the states.

july 22, 2012
he made progress, but not as much as we thought he would.

august 5, 2012
but he has remedied that in recent weeks.

august 11, 2012
and it was at least partially because of bad weather - you apparently can't pour cement when it's raining.

august 15, 2012
he has done this nearly single-handedly, including all the digging.

august 20, 2012
tho' a big cement truck came and poured that cement.

august 27. 2012
he's incredibly dedicated, working until dark every night when he comes home from his real job.

August 30, 2012
using entire weekends on the construction.
much as a normal man in mid-life crisis would lavish attention on the sports car.
(or something worse.)

September 1, 2012
he built himself a lifting device, because he knows i'm no help with heights.

September 1, 2012
as he builds, he's already planning the next building in his head.

September 2, 2012
it's apparently no longer only a sawmill, but a whole lumberyard he's got in mind.

September 2, 2012
he tried to have me help him with that roof construction.
and i WANT to help, but i just do not function well on ladders or scaffolding.
there were tears.

September 6. 2012
he even managed to roll out that paper under-roofing (not sure of the technical term) all by himself.
tho' i did help with it on the other side.

September 7, 2012
he does occasionally take a break to play hockey with the child.
the building is perfect for that.

September 10, 2012
i guess in all, it's not really a bad midlife crisis to have.
it could have been a whole lot worse.
or so i've been told.