lördag, september 29, 2007

Cooking Today

I'm cooking today with the Muse. Things that need to get done: veggie chili, an onion confit, some roasted vegetables, buffalo steaks on the grill, and a pan-roast of fennel, parsnips, carrots, cherry tomatoes and onion cooked with white wine and thyme. Mmmmm.

Note: Not all of this will be for one meal!

We visited the Farmer's Market this morning. Man that was nice. Good coffee, some bagel sandwiches--ham & cheddar for me, lox and cream cheese for her--and a very relaxed crowd. Lots of festive autumn wreathes and a market teeming with late season harvest. If only I knew what to do with a basket of 10 or 12 red bell peppers! A couple vendors were selling them for $4.

Will post photos and recipes from this weekends cooking.

And I hope to put up a photo or two from the tK and Hope's "Home-toberfest" gathering on Sunday. It's a new house!

Happy days, all. Please enjoy your Saturday.

fredag, september 28, 2007

The Brain as Sandhamn

Walking across Sandhamn (Sand Harbor), an
island in Stockholm's archipelago. The ground
was rather spongy, all moss and sand. We ate
lingonberries and blueberries from the forest floor.

While folding my clothes yesterday in the laundry room, I heard what seemed to be an endless series of buttons being pushed on the digital security pad outside the apartment manager's office. It's right across the hall from the laundry room. After a minute, I began to think that it was actually the alarm arming, because the bleeping was so plentiful. Then that someone was frantically trying to get into the office or set the alarm.

Finally, the door to the laundry room opened and I heard a surprised, "Oh."

Then, the sound of footsteps hurrying away.

I didn't see who had opened the door, but as I was done folding clothes I departed. I looked about the hallway. Calmly walking up the back stairs now and heading outside without turning back was the man who paints the interiors of the apartments between occupancies.

Though I assume he was simply having trouble accessing the office for whatever, and though he may have opened the laundry room in search of one of the building's staff members, that did not stop my mind from inventing oddities for what it was he wanted in opening the door.

Perhaps he was the one who had years before painted the erection on the owl on the laundry room's wall mural? Perhaps he's a serial vulgar painter? Or perhaps he needed a place in which to have a breakdown or smoke a joint, or maybe standing in there he can observe a woman in the neighboring building? Someone with whom he's hopelessly in love?

What a strange machine the mind is....

Today's Swedish Lesson

** Draw out vowels when they are followed by only one consonant. When followed by two, the sound is shorter.


Klara skrattar (Klara laughs). The name Klara is pronounced more like KLAHHH-ra. The verb skrattar is pronounced more like skraytar.

My explanation is crude, and that isn't quite the right way to teach the sounds, but you're getting the gist of it. End of lesson.

Things I'm Reading

Book: I'm reading Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö's mystery novel The Man Who Went Up in Smoke. This is the third in the Martin Beck series. I'm confused, though, because in this reading I've realized it notes events of Book 1 taking place two years prior; whereas in Book 2 it is clearly three years after Book 1. What gives? Maybe the "couple of years ago" reference was a generalization and not a time stamp.

Other things online:

* A man in Sweden was nearly shot by an elk. I love this line: "Both man and beast remained on the forest floor for around 45 minutes before the elk retired to a more private spot and lay down to die." That's the type of journalism I'd love to get paid to write. You know those writers are having fun!

* The Birdchick's beekeeping tales are really quite cool.

* And a rather funny site for Miranda July's forthcoming book. I really enjoy images 15 and 16 on this page (the point at which she begins using the stove)...and her advice to read only books that match your clothes. Big thanks to the Night Editor for connecting me to this (and big thanks to Jamison for connecting her).

* And an English farmer has set up web cams to ape the popular series Big Brother…only he’s giving you 24-hour access to his cows. The show is called Big Udders.

torsdag, september 27, 2007

The New Fall Season

Though you haven't been aching for it, friends, alas: I have returned! In that am I like General MacArthur or a cold sore or Heroes? Some quick hits to get back into it:

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

* Four weekends at the cabin
* One glorious week in Stockholm
* Grilled out as much as possible with the Muse
* Laughed a lot

What I'm Doing These Days

* Taking Swedish classes
* Taking on more work than I can sensibly manage, at lest from a stress perspective
* Wondering how on earth the Muse puts up with me
* Laughing a lot

And, though this is such an incomplete and brief opening gambit, I'm really quite happy to be back writing online. The hiatus provided a wonderful recharge of the batteries, new fall shows are on, and I'm in a serious Bergman film-watching and reading phase.

More soon.