Friday, February 26, 2010

A single, unfortunate event

Hello darling readers!

I really shouldn't be blogging, but alas, I couldn't help myself. This is, after all, one of the few spaces where I get to vent, vent, vent about such things as the one that just happened to me this morning.

I woke up to find the city covered - really covered - in snow and made my way out in it, all the way over to NYU to pick up a transcript of my degree. But fate would have it otherwise, because it turned out the registrar's office was closed. Because of the snow.

"But I checked online that it was going to be open" I tried once I found an NYU guard standing in a nearby office.

"Well, it ain't open", was his response.

"And I spoke to a lady just yesterday who said I could come pick it up", I said.

"Nobody knew it was going to snow", he replied, and so I went home again. Sans transcript.


But it's really quite beautiful out! I was kind of looking forward to spring, but the silence and calm that hits this city when it's covered in snow is just wonderful. Makes it all worth it. For a little while at least.

Backfire


Little frictions in corporate America.

gallery

Staging Americana


Sometimes, when I see these little interiors as the one above, I'm surprised it actually exists. It's so perfectly staged somehow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow!


I'm drenched, now in snow, but in something work related, and hence all my blog-related creativity is gone. But I give you snow, loads of it, from my mother's country house in Sweden!

Anyhow, seeing I have so little to share with you, may I invite you over to have a peek at Johan's new blog? Check it out here - it has loads on it already:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Withdrawal

Oh, shame on me! I took my anger for corporate America out on an underpaid guy in some out-sourced call center in India. It was fury related to T-Mobile's unbelievably unprofessional management of my transfer from a rate plan to pre-paid that finally ended with my screaming "You know what?! I give you bad karma! Bad karma!" into my cell phone after the guy said his supervisor had approved of giving me 5 dollars worth of calling time in compensation for the many hours I've spent since yesterday trying to put money on my account.

In all honesty, I could badmouth T-Mobile for hours on end, and they really deserve it if you ask me. But the poor guy in India didn't deserve it.

So call center guy, if you're out there reading this: I'm sorry. I take the bad karma back.

what wax paper makes me feel

A move to London has been in the works for quite some time now, the only problem being I seem to have trouble actually going through with it. The actual move, that is. And hence I postpone and postpone, and find all sorts of excuses as to why it's better to go in early spring...no wait, late spring...no wait, early summer. Maybe late summer? You get my drift. But the heart of the matter is I think a move will be good, not least because I miss my little Marie and my Johan to the point where I feel teary-eyed and lost. Oh the drama.

For the last couple of weeks I've actually been feeling really enthusiastic at the thought of moving, thrilled by the idea of acquainting myself with Britain (not the UK, but Britania Britain). I'm allured by the idea of drinking tea from specialty shops, caring about good quality china and biscuits, and only buying goods from brands that have existed for at least a century or more. Of course, reality is that when I finally move there, I will be the odd one out. The one that utters prolonged 'fuuuuck's far too often and wears her pj's outside of the house - as anyone who has lived in this city grows prone to doing. But eventually I'm guessing Britishness will sink in and I too shall be quoting Oscar Wilde regularly and end every single sentence with a question: "It's a good crumble, innit?"

But the bizarre thing is, that even though I really want to live in London, at least for a while so I can be close to my beloved, beloved utterly beloved family and friends, it's as if I already know I'll be missing this city - heck, this entire country - to the point where it'll ache inside me. Daily, hourly, even when I sleep. Just this morning when I went out for coffee, I got off into a nostalgic reverie at the sight of a box of wax paper just behind the counter. Yes, wax paper. You know, the kind they grab your pastry with so they don't touch it with their bare fingers.

I don't know exactly what it was, but there was something about the aesthetic of the graphic design on it that felt so homely and nice, I almost couldn't bear the thought of not having it. I don't mean actually having it at home, just having it in my vicinity, or at my disposal. Seeing it, identifying with it, whatever. Ah, possession is a weird phenomenon.

But I think that's what New York, or the US as such, does to me. It makes me feel so strangely at home. Is it that indefinable 'heimliche' thing again?

I took a course at NYU's department of sociology once that dealt with the social history of objects, and remember once writing a small blog piece (the students had a joint blog for the course) about the Bodum French Press coffee maker - you know, the Chambord. To make a long story short, I recall that I was trying to decipher what that object made me feel and why. And part of my conclusion was that it made me feel "all is alright" or "everything will be alright".

That's what that wax paper made me feel. Which is weird, because unlike the Bodum French press, that wax paper was not something I grew up around. Or did I? Was it somehow conveyed to me via movies that that was how a box of wax paper should look? Oh the mystery. But the emotion it awakes is unmistakable, let me let tell you. I don't mean to be overly sensitive, but surely, you must know what I mean. Right?

Flying Circus

Yay hurrah, aren't these a laugh?! My sister sent them to me this morning along with instructions for how to do this at home yourself - I think they're brilliant!






Monday, February 22, 2010

Hotel Breakfast


Hotel breakfasts are the best, aren't they? I mean, at least if it's the classy, old-fashioned kind? That's what I think, which is why I spent most of yesterday afternoon in an all blissful mood, waxing poetically to anyone willing to hear about the splendid breakfast I had at the Bowery Hotel. If you live in New York or happen to visit, I can only urge you to go and sit there among locals as well as tourists in town and enjoy the decor, the nice tableware, the proper fabric napkins and the splendid food that didn't cost anywhere close to a fortune.

Springlike

Spring was all abound yesterday, and Johan and I and my friend Anne Christine who's visiting from Denmark, had coffee outside! Like, sit down coffee!.

I'm telling you we started a regular trend - the waiters seemed to be queuing up to serve us just to have an excuse to get outside, and before we knew it people moved from the inside to outdoors and sat down to linger in the sun beside us. So nice! A tad chilly, but nice:)

I never tire of shooting images of these water-thingies against a bright blue backdrop.

Ooo, and Johan got a Peter, Paul and Mary record! Or so we thought. It turned out to have something entirely else inside.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

subscripts

That internet, that internet. You look up 'strap-on balls for your dog' and up pops an image of a crocheted strap-on penis.

And when, in turn, you type in 'knitted penis', all the stuff below transpires before your very eyes.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

States and Statistics

I've taken a liking to games. You know, of the competitive kind, where you have to guess something or know something and you can win.

It all started with the winter Olympics.

"Guess what this is" I'd challenge Johan and use my fingers to imitate some branch of sport on his face. Curling, say, by letting one finger be the stone sliding down the ice (i.e. his forehead), another the brush, sweeping back and forth.

What makes that game great is that it's two-fold. There's a challenge and reward in guessing and guessing right, but there's also a challenge in succeeding in imitating the sport with such skill that the other party guesses it right. It's kind of like Pictionary, except with no opposing team, which means you wind up a winner no matter what.

I realize it's not much of an explanation, but I think that's how Johan and I got into the game of competing on who could remember the most American states within the span of five minutes. "Five minutes? Really? That long?" you may wonder. But remember, we're not American and haven't visited that many of them in the first place. Plus there are 50 of them. And a federal district. Remembering 51 entities, no matter what category they belong to, really requires skill, I think. Write down the names of 51 different pieces of fruit, and see how many you get right within five minutes. It's tricky and it's really a question of strategy, if you ask me. And about keeping perspective so you don't wind up writing 'New Hamsphire' twice.

In any event, we're really improving, both of us able to remember something in the ballpark of 40 states, which I think is pretty decent considering we've only played it for a little while. And we've even got to the point where we remember the states that everyone would be likely to forget, like Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska. Teeny tiny Rhode Island - even that we have down. Of course sometimes these are remembered at the expense of other more obvious ones, like California and Texas, but I figure that with a few weeks of practice we'll have them all down in Alphabetical order, including what each state is known for - for example Wisonsin/Cheese, Utah/Mormons, Seattle/Microsoft, etc. such thrill!

And when that's done, I figure we'll move on to statistics, like, which are the 50 most populated cities? What's the largest lake, the longest river, the highest waterfall? And who has the top ten highest population densities per sq. miles.

Oh, the hours of fun, fun, fun I have ahead of me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grand Architecture for Fowl. and Johan.

OK, while we're in it and at it with this dedication business, I might as well dedicate this to Johan in London - my insanely talented best of friends, who will soon be known as one of the London Eight - oooo, suspense!!! I promise to inform you as soon as I can. I know you're just dying - dying! - to know!

Anyhow, I saw this one on Facebook yesterday, and thought of Johan instantly as I presumed it was a Chicken coop version of Frank Lloyd Wrights "Fallingwater" - you see that red-ish thing kind of underneath where the guy is standing? Well I thought it was a Turkey or something.

In any case, I googled "fallingwater chicken coop", but since nothing came up, I'm thinking it might be manipulated. Or else it just isn't a Turkey at all. Who knows.

But really, wouldn't it be such a grand idea? With the resurgence of raising domesticated fowl and all, I think it would be so grand to have one's chicks living in miniature versions of great architecture.

House Plant

OK, one more. Except this one goes straight to my little Marie, who has a soft spot for big house plants. For photographing them, that is.

A Bout of Nostalgia. Over Home Furnishings.

The other day I pulled this out of the bookcase: It's an old Terence Conran interior decoration book, first published in 1974, which I came across at Strands a couple of years back. Looking through it I feel I'm taking a nostalgic blow to my stomach, overcome with the emotion that I used to live in just about every single home pictured there. I don't know what the deal is, but knowing my mother, I actually think there's a great chance she may have decorated by the Conran-precept, shopping at Habitat and otherwise modeling our house in accordance with an issue of House & Garden. Throw in an ad mans' taste for steel and glass and the odd piece of affordable designer furniture, and voila, your childhood home, or at least your memory of it, comes surprisingly close to a 1970s Conran book.

I'm convinced I've dined at this fold out table, for example.

I'm positive we too had pieces of furniture that was built into the structure of the house, so to speak. (By the way, isn't there something very comforting about that idea? You kind of get multiple little hearths in the domestic space, if you get my drift.)

And all the white, white, white laminated pour quality wood. I think we had loads of this kind of bookcase structures from IKEA.

And this could well be my parents, yupping it all out in the semi-nude. We also used to have a bordeaux-colored couch.

I know for a fact that we used to have those plastic chairs you see in the background - except in all red. I think Kartell still makes them, actually.

And that door knob! Or handle, I guess it is. I feel it! To the touch!

Al right, enough now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

colds and paint jobs

Oh wimper, wimper, whine, I'm so congested, my sinuses bursting with nasal mucus (or whatever bodily fluid that's produced in there) leaving absolutely no space for sensible or productive thoughts (my brain activity takes place in my sinuses, you see). All I've been doing today is sit and stare blankly at my computer screen, when really it would probably have made much more sense to just go to bed.

But Jesus, I've been having this cold for more than a week and a half now. At some point you need to get up and get going, if you get my drift.

It's funny, but when I feel like this, it's as if the only thing I can really manage is labor that's somewhat physical as opposed to mentally challenging. Maybe I should paint the bathroom door? Every time I'm on the loo, I sit and ponder why I did such a crappy job at painting it back when I moved into this place.

I think it might be time to give it a fresh coat of what Al claims to be America's favorite color: Antique white.

EDIT: I completely forgot that the purpose of this post was to inform you, the world, that I'm considering getting a so-called neti pot as seen in the drawing above, which I have stolen from god knows where. Again, blame it on mucus.

anthropomorph


My splendidly hilarious friend Maj sent me this today - I'm guessing it's manipulated, but all the same, ain't it a hoot?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Older dogs at shelter

Johan has been working on an article on Craigslist of late, and last night, when I mentioned I wanted to be distracted by something on the internet but just couldn't come up with a site to look at, he suggested I do some research for him.

"See if you can find an interesting post or something", he suggested referring to all the ads on Craigslist. And like a child eager to help, I set out to do so.

Of course little time passed before I drifted off to the 'pets' section, looking at images of dogs up for adoption. Oh, I nearly cried, that's how sweet and needy they are.

"I should have this", I whined pointing at a senior chihuahua named Betsy. "I have so much love to give."

As some may know, this is far from the first time that I've looked into adopting. Once, while in University, I even came pretty close to actually going through with it. The adoption agency called my references to make sure I was sane, and once they cleared me, I showed up at a real estate agency downtown, where one of the employees, a lady named Mary, fostered dogs in her spare time.

I always tend to have a soft spot for the most miserable looking ones. I think I may have some kind of Mother Teresa gene, which may also explain why I fell for Johan...

HAHA! No, all jokes aside and truth be told: The two dogs I was looking into getting was a chihuahua named Jewel that was unable to walk. It had been found in a trash can in the Bronx, one eye missing, the other one blind. And then there was a Maltese mix I can't remember the name of. But all that matter is that it was deaf and suffering from a so-called lazy tongue. The latter meant it drooled, as it had no control over its tongue.

In the end, I wimped out, as I did yesterday, although the feeling remains that taking the sane and sensible way out really means missing out on a whole bunch of tremendousness. Cos that's what dogs bring, if you ask me. Tremendousness.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baking Lessons

Lessons learned today
1) Cakes that are pretty are not necessarily good. Also, if you tell Al that something looks like white dog poo, he will not disagree just to make you feel better.

2) There is a reason why essence of rum is called essence of rum rather than just rum. They're two different things.

3) Meringue per se is not that interesting a sweet. It's not made more interesting by making it look like white dog poo.

4) Never get too cocky just because you know some recipes by heart. Measurements were made out for a reason, and when it says 'whisk' or 'beat' it doesn't mean that blending or mixing will produce the same result, just as one ingredient cannot just substitute the next.

Happy Presidents day! Or, as Johan pointed out, mattress day. They're on sale it seems.

Or both


We're running out of baked goods and I'm beginning to wonder what to whip up next. I'm determined to make it from whatever I have home (that's the fun part, i think!) and thus I'm gravitating towards rum balls or lemon meringue cake.

Perhaps both.