Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gettin' it on

If you're thinking I've lost interest in blogging, I can assure it ain't the case. Nope, nope, not at all. Rather, the problem is I've been without internet for the past couple of days, which means I've basically been bed ridden for two days now, struck and held down by world wide web withdrawal symptoms - sweaty palms, loss of appetite, blurry vision, the works.

Today, in one last attempt to correct the order of things, I fought my way out of the appartment I'm currently staying in, frantically knocking on doors, canvassing for a wifi code from one of my neighbors. But alas, no one was home.

So here I am now, in my dad's office, savoring in everything the internets have to offer - blogs, wikipedia, some harmless porn and a spoonful of news. So good. And on that note, I would like to share with you the pic above from the New York Subway.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Luxirare

I'm so amazed by this woman behind the site Luxirare, I can't quite figure if she's real or not, a made-up persona or just an insanely talented and clever lady having fun on her own. I think it might actually be the latter. I'm telling you, her videos and pictures are amazing - The one below is from when she attempted making caviars - yes caviars! - for yogurt parfaits.

I'm warning you though, there's a great chance you'll get lost in utter fascination if you visit her site.

p.s. Make sure to check out her video for making home-made mozarella.

Mr Potato Heads

I gave my dad a second one this Christmas - I think once the third one is in place, it will start looking like a proper collection.

C is for Cakes

I've been wandering around the house all morning and afternoon, trying to find something nice to shoot beginning with the letter C in order to put an end to this little brief series of alphabetized posts. And what did I find right in front of me sitting on the desk but these beautiful miniature cakes that Johan, London Johan, gave me for Christmas! (Perhaps I ought to call "my Johans" different things as I tend to mention both of them quite often?)

I'm kind of hoping I'll be able to find a miniature cake stand of some sort for them, perhaps like the one below. Something tells me that I can find that in Stockholm, but I have no idea why. Perhaps because it strikes me that decorating doll houses is more of a thing up there than it is in Denmark.

Friday, December 25, 2009

B is for Bodysuits

I totally missed out on this April 2009 spoof of the Vanity Fair cover with a nude Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johanson cuddling against a suit-clad Tom Ford. Apparently there was some raucous about the fact that the "Judd Apatow entourage" was wearing bodysuits rather than being, well, naked. But I don't know, in a way I think they're far more funny looking this way than had they been in the nude.

Both pics are by Annie Leibovitz, by the way. And both of them were in Vanity Fair - only one made the cover though, as far as I understand.

A is for Ambiance

I so regret I didn't remember to take any pictures of all the lovely people at the Christmas party we threw at Johan's place last week, but look look, I found one single pic that someone else must have taken with my camera.

Judging from the fact that there's only five people in the picture, this must have been towards the very end of it. But at least you can deduct the cozy ambiance:O)

P.S. After experiencing the success of pulling out Twister at Thanksgiving, I tried the same at this bash. But lo and behold, what did I spot out the corner of my eye but two people running for the door, coats in hand. I took that as a sign it might not be the Dane's idea of fun.

Flannel Shirt Team

I love these guys to bits.



Johan (as in London Johan in the pic above - wanna give credit to the right folks here!) snapped the picture of the tush below, belonging to a pooch my sister is currently dog sitting. He found it looked perfectly like "what a Playmobil dog's behind would look like if it were sitting down."

Christmas Cuisine

Erm...apparently I never did take that many pictures of the Christmas dinner in process. As of late, I really haven't documented my life in pictures quite to the extent that I usually do.

Perhaps that's healthy though, heh.

But in any case this is what I did catch: The perfectly circular meringue for my Pavlova that turned out just delightfully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I used this recipe.

Red cabbage. Ever since childhood I have absolutely loathed this dish that's vinegary and sweet and usually boiled to the point of a porridge-like consistency. We've always got the store bought one, so this year I decided to have a go at making it from scratch, in the hope that I might actually like it.

I still don't.

Ooo, this wasn't the slightest bit christmassy, but boy was it good: Fresh made juice made of carrots, beets, clementines, apples and ginger. Yum yum.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cheese

Merry Christmas my dear, dearest of readers! I've been in the kitchen cooking most of the day, and tomorrow I will have to show you some pics of the 'dinner-in-process' - that is if I don't come up with something more interesting to show you.

But for now, to celebrate 'tis evening and 'tis season, I give you what I believe to be my favorite Christmas song this year, "2000 miles" with The Pretenders (Ooo, how I love Chrissie Hynde's voice. If I could choose a singing voice, I might choose hers. At least this Christmas). Of course I couldn't find a cool video on youtube, so please enjoy the karaoke-/jewelry commercial-like images accompanying the tunes. Cheese, cheese!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Big Sleep

Good morning, good morning folks! Guess who's been awake since 2:45 a.m.?! Yes siree, it's me, and I suppose I only have myself to blame as I wound up napping from 5-7 in the evening and then falling sound asleep on the couch around 9 pm.

I realize all this talk of jet lag may strike you somewhat tedious by now, but for some bizarre reason it seems to be the only thing I'm able to wrap my head around, so here we go, let me share with you what I've been pondering about for the last three hours that I've been lying in my bed, waiting for the bakery to open at 6 a.m.

There are sleeps - also known as naps - and then there is the big sleep - commonly known as a good night's sleep. The problem is that when you're feeling "jet lag tired", you're not really able to decipher which sleep is about to take your body under siege. That's what makes jet lag so effing difficult to deal with, because even though you wind up going to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour, you're more than likely to wind up only napping. Which is basically what I feel I've had since I left New York a week ago. Little sleeps, naps chasing mercilessly after one another, but no one. big. sleep.

If experience has taught me anything though, the big sleep will come sooner or later. Most likely sometime by mid January, just in time for when I return to New York.

Also, the bakery has holiday store hours and doesn't open until 6.30.

Sublets

Johan and I have become masters at renting out our respective apartments while we don't stay in them. It's quite impressive really when we join forces and start cleaning up, putting on clean linens and the like. And it's funny how you kind of get used to preparing your own place for other folks to stay in. And take some bizarre pleasure in it too.

So, now we've left Johan's gorgeous Christianshavn apartment (Yum I love that place. So spacious!), and I'm back in the Copenhagen suburbs.

grandpop

Sunday, December 20, 2009

bummer

Good lord! Hanging around other people with jet lag when you yourself is jet lagged, sure isn't conducive to making an effort at adjusting to present time zones.

Today, I've more or less been awake since 5 am, and have been doing my outmost trying to stay awake all day until evening time. But alas, around 4 p.m. I failed. As did Johan.

I don't know exactly who fell asleep first, but what I do know is we wound up taking a 4-hour nap.
Jesus, not even toddlers do that.

I guess I have one more night ahead of me with watching America's Funniest Home Videos on youtube. Humpdidum.

In any case, before falling asleep I managed to take a walk to Christiania and engage in some reckless behavior. I took photos! Even though you're not supposed to! Hence their shittiness, cos I had to do it on the sly!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Heh


Stolen from Gawker.

Jet Lag

I think I've complained before about my inability to deal constructively with traveling across time zones, but I suppose that's no reason to whine about it once again. So here we go:

Since I arrived in Copenhagen Wednesday, I've had two nights of erratic sleep going to bed around midnight, and then being wide awake from 3 a.m. until 6 or 7-ish, then sleeping soundly until 9 am, finally followed by somewhat involuntary naps throughout the day.

Yesterday Johan and I threw a Christmas party at his place and didn't get to bed until 5 a.m, which I realize corresponds to 11 pm NY-time, and as logic would have it, we slept until 3:30 pm CET/9:30 am Eastern Time Zone. At which point I had breakfast.

Back. To. Square. One.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Elf

Granny looking at portraits

Seconds after I snapped this photo, she turned around and said: "What are you doing? You're not taking pictures of me from behind are you?"

Ah, she's a hoot! A forgetful hoot that likes to spend her days in her house coat, but the best hoot nonetheless.

When Johan saw this photo he commented that I seem to have inherited my posture from my granny.

Obama! Snow! Old jeans!

All of Denmark is mad with excitement it seems, part because of Obama's imminent arrival for COP 15, part because of: SNOW!!! Yes indeed, the country is covered in white, which basically happens just as seldom as in California - give or take.

Of course silly ol' me didn't pack any warm boots, which meant I had to go down to my dad's basement this evening in the hope of coming across an old pair of Moon Boots. But alas, they were nowhere to be found. I guess I must have shipped them off to Africa by way of some clothing donation thing.

What I did find, on the other hand, was an old pair of jeans from high school, which I decided to bring upstairs and try on (What is it with women and old jeans? It's really a bizarre relationship we have to that particular piece of clothing...) Anyhow, while they did fit well, they were so out of fashion even my dad noticed it.

"Erm," he said, and pointed towards the bootleg cut. "There's something wrong in that area down there".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's easy not to cheat when no-one wants to f*** you

For some reason I often wind up having memorable encounters with people when going to and from Newark airport. Be it on a train or in a shuttle-bus, the light-hearted banter mixed with a bit of profound talking often taking place in these situations is simply out of this world.

Yesterday, as I traveled to Newark I wound up in a party of 8 or so people jam packed into a Super Shuttle bus, maneuvered by a driver, who confessed to being 30 years old and living with his mother in Washington Heights.

He had been in a relationship for 13 years, he told us, but eventually she'd left him because he was cheating on her. Maybe she was cheating too, he didn't know. But it all started when they found out she couldn't get pregnant because she had a cyst in her ovaries.

All this info came about when one of my fellow travelers, an 80-year old man, tanned and on his way to Florida, started talking about Tiger Woods. "Next thing we're gonna hear is that he was on drugs", he said. "I read that somewhere, but of course I don't know if it's true."

Both he and the driver had first been convinced that Tiger's wife Elin had been one his hos.
"Why do you cheat when you have that?", the old man asked.
"Yeah man, she's a knockout", the driver chipped in slapping his knee. "But man, I was cheating all the time", he said. "That's just how men are".

"But where did you meet all these women", the older guy wondered.

"Well", he said. "I was skinnier then. You know, that's what it was. And more buff. And I drank a lot. And there's a lot of women out there who wanna do bald men".

We all sat in silence for good a while pondering the last part of his utterance, I think.

"Do you really think that's true?", I eventually asked the older man as our driver got out of the car to pick up another passenger. "I mean, is it really true that men can't commit?"

"You know", he said. "I think in terms of that first commitment, where you decide to stay together and have a kid - that's the commitment women push for. Men don't feel that same urge. It's biological. But in the end, after my wife and I had a kid, that turned 17 before we knew it, she went out and got a job, and all of a sudden she didn't need my help pouring cream in her coffee. She did it herself."

"She left you?", I asked.

"She left me", he answered.

And now he was moving to Florida, to West Palm Beach to be exact. He had a retirement condo down there, and had finally given up his apartment in Peter Stuyvesant Town after having been pushed out by the landlord. The problem was that he was cheating. Renting out his rent stabilized apartment while not in town.

"I was gonna take the case to court", he explained. "Cos he really couldn't prove anything. But after a while I decided I can just stay indoors during the hot months and turn on the air conditioner. I wont be able to go back and forth forever anyhow."

"You really can't trust anyone," the driver suddenly said out of the blue. But I have no idea whom or what it was addressed to.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scandinavia Awaits

Yay hurrah, today I'm flying home for Christmas, and I simply can't wait, that's how much I look forward to seeing everybody!

My mother just sent me these pictures from her country house where, judging from the look of it, it's been snowing loads lately. Hope it's still there by the time I make it up there:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ze Coat

Johan and I form an odd looking pair these days. Well, we probably form an odd looking pair any old day, but these days even more so, I think.

The reason is the respective styles of our winter coats. Add to that our different heights (I'm 164 cm, Johan is somewhere short of 2 full meters), and the fact that he has a very light and bouncy walk, whereas I tend to haul myself down the sidewalk, looking like someone who is constantly loosing her balance.

Anyhow, the coats. Or, I should rather say, ze coat (infuse it with a German accent I you will):

Johan has a very fancy Dior coat (who has that anyhow?!) that very much accentuates his height and slenderness. And also, well, how should I put this? Well, it kind of makes him look like someone belonging to the Gestapo. Or someone from an old Russian propaganda poster.

Me, on the other hand, I wear my new dark blue puffer. From The Gap. Along with a hat, scarf, gloves and sunglasses. I look pretty much like a born and bred New Yorker, if I may say so myself.

So that's what we look like these days: A pretty Nazi and an odd-looking New Yorker. But in a nice way, of course.

I'm a neurotic and so are you

I came across this book and it's accompanying website recently.
And, erm, is there anything greater than reading about people with tics so much weirder than those of your own?!! Well, I'm sure there are greater things, but this one ranks pretty high in my personal universe. One of my all time favorites is David Sedaris' "A Plague of Tics" from his book Naked. He licked light switches, apparently. Compulsively! Obsessively! At school, at home, everywhere! Plus, as far as I remember he would occasionally take off one of his shoes and bang his forehead with it. And lick an ash tray too, maybe? Or am I making that one up?

Anyhow, in the spirit of the holidays, I thought I'd share one of my kind of nicer ticks. I don't have it always, but every few years it pops up and stays with me for, well, a few years. It goes like this: Before going to sleep, I have to send an imaginary kiss to all of my family members (not just the nucleus, if you get my drift, but the whole extended shabang) including my closest of friends.

"Awwwwww", you may think. "Ain't that nice".

And it is, really, except for the fact it takes fucking forever, which means I'll drift off to sleep somewhere in between my paternal and maternal grandmother (it all has to be in specific order you see), and then I have to start ALL. OVER. AGAIN.

Here's a try at making this blog more interactive: What's your weirdest tic? Or the nicest? Or whatever.

Services

I'm always puzzled by the number of relatively sane looking people choosing to hang at Dunkin Donuts on 2nd Ave and 10th St. There are so many far more atmospheric places to go in the neightborhood, I figure. But then yesterday, I realized all the stuff you can actually do in there besides drinking coffee and eating donuts. Printing, that's pretty impressive for a coffee franchise, I think.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One a somewhat more family friendly note....

Look what my sweet sister had wrapped in some of the advent calender packages she shipped to me: Prettier than pretty tissues, much to pretty to use, really. However, seeing I'm one of those blessed with an all year round production of nasal mucus, they've really come in handy!

Back with "Eeeewww!"

Hello, I'm back! Not that I expected you necessarily missed me or anything, but just to set things straight, I've been working on a paper that's now finally done! Pheeeew! Unfortunately it never feels as nice as I expect it will, you know, while I'm working on it. It's just a very anticlimactic feeling, if you get my drift.

Anyhow, do I have something in store for you! Yesterday Laure who's back from Paris (only for a brief while though, sob sob) cooked us dinner at her friend Kane's house, who, at some point, don't ask me how, brought on the subject of "2 Girls, 1 Cup".

"2 Girls, 1 Cup?", you may ask, cos that's what most of us did. But apparently this is like a huge internet phenomenon, and has been so for a couple of years. Finally, after finding a bunch of reactions to the video on youtube, Kane finally found it online, and jeez, I'm telling you it's the most transgressive porn video I've ever seen. Not that I've seen much porn to begin with, but still.

Anyhow, I find it most inappropriate to upload on my blog, so therefore requests for this video may be directed to sarahcarlsonontheroof@gmail.com Dot dot dot.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Tis how we continue livin'!

Presents from Italy

Lucky, lucky me! Look what I got when Matteo got back from Italy: Two fancy boxes of delicate pastilles from his sweet mamma. So nice. I'm blushing.

Lemon Juice Cake

At Thanksgiving, some of the French boys brought a lemon cake from a fancy tasting menu restaurant that tasted so delightful I decided to have a try at making it myself. It was quite simple you see: it was a plain ol' lemon pound cake with a teeny tiny twist: On one side it had been soaked in lemon juice, leaving it oh so delicately zesty and spongy.



I tried baking it today, and it got a ten out of ten from both Matteo and Johan - at least that's how I chose to interpret their "thumbs up" as they munched away. In my humble opinion it also had a very appealing texture, most likely due to the fact that I had to add some polenta because I had part run out of all purpose flour.

Anyhow, here's the recipe:

Whisk two eggs and one cup of sugar till fluffy

Add 1 cup of flour and one quarter cup of polenta, a tad of salt, a bit of vanilla,
and half a tea spoon of baking powder.

Whisk whisk whisk.

Melt one stick of butter (approx 100 grams) and add a bit of milk to it before adding the whole dairy lot to the mixture.

Whisk whisk whisk.

Then add something lemony - I used a big dollop of lemon curd and the zest of half a lemon.

Pour it into a baking pan and whack it in a 375 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until firm when you give the pan a little shake.

Then, once done, whack it out of the pan till it's face down, topsy turvy. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and pour some of it over the cake, letting it soak in. Then you drizzle some confectioner's sugar on top, just a tad, then one more layer of lemon juice, and then top it off with another thicker layer of sugar till it's appealingly white.

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

@ Target

Female Stretch

This piece, "Female Stretch" by Evan Penny caused quite a stir at Sperone Westwater's booth at Art Basel.

It's funny, because at the end of the day, no matter how sophisticated expectations we may have to contemporary art, a whole bunch of us continue to find ourselves awestruck by man's ability to realistically portray the human being.