Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jet lag makes me stupid.

Ten years ago today, Lennart and I got married in a quick and dirty town hall ceremony which I didn't fully understand but nevertheless took very seriously. Today, we've been through bumps, some serious, some less so, and come through to drive on the mostly paved, slightly cracked, a bit potholed road of married life. We'll have kids if and when it happens, and for now, we're mostly enjoying our everydays despite the typical human feelings of being a bit at loose ends now and then.

Today, I went to have lunch with Carolyn and realized I'd forgotten my wallet. Carolyn was so kind; she paid for lunch, and I took the DLR back to Canary Wharf thinking I'd pick up a little anniversary present for Lennart. I'd looked up the traditional gifts for anniversaries, and it seemed that tin is the old-fangled gift for ten years, and alumin(i)um is the new-fangled one. "Great!" thought I. "I'll just find something shiny/metallic-y to give him." I didn't really find anything I liked, so I decided to at least pick up a bottle of champagne from Waitrose when once again it dawned on me that I still DIDN'T HAVE MY WALLET! Duh!

Took DLR home...saw sleeeeeeepy kitty. Had an incredible sleepy feeling planted in the middle of my forehead, making my eyelids very heavy, and decided that sleep wasn't such a bad idea and kitty and I settled down for a small snooze. Juuuust drifted off when Lennart's mother called to wish me a happy anniversary and tell me how generally poor things were in her life (*sigh* I wish I knew what to do to make her feel happier.) and so I decided to check my email on my INCREDIBLE NEW IPHONE that Lennart got me for an early anniversary present. This thing is the coolest gadget I have ever had my hands on!

Anyway, now it's 5pm so I'll start getting ready for our anniversary dinner tonight at Foliage where they do a really fun, surprise tasting menu. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A long, strange trip.

Jerry Garcia certainly had some applicable insights now and then, didn't he?

I'm just getting over a major flareup, which is why it's been so quiet. I don't think I've had one that bad for a long time, and the constant pain is something I don't look forward to experiencing again. Man oh man! I mean, I've had, "It hurts when I do that," kind of pain, but this just didn't stop. It's ebbing now, though, which really makes me appreciate how incredibly wonderful days without pain are. I could play Boogedy with the cat. That makes me happy.

We got home from New York, and Lennart tricked enticed me into venturing out to Lewisham with him. There was an O2 store in the shopping center there, and he claimed that the new iPhone was out, and we would get one. (See, Lennart and I alternate new phones. Lennart just got one fairly recently, and mine is several years old now. But even if it's my turn, it's still a new gadget that he gets to play with.) But, alas, he read the date wrong, and all our hopes were dashed in one fell swoop when the shop-person said, "No, mate, those don't come out until November." Lennart felt foolish and I pouted at him. We ordered pizza and watched new episodes of Stargate Atlantis that had downloaded to iTunes in our absence. All better.

(Speaking of downloading episodes, Amazon unboxed won't allow foreign downloads. Pah! I say, if I'm happy to pay for them, why can't I watch them? Lennart's going to check if he can VPN-tunnel to someone in the US, because that's just dumb. No wonder people pirate stuff!)

Shopping for clothes in New York was fun again. I had to buy a size smaller pants! (No, not underpants...I know I'm not British in many of my phrasings, but just think how silly I'd sound if I started using "wee" to refer to small things. You just can't do that without the right accent. So I'll go on saying "bathroom" instead of "loo" (or "boggy boggy" (Sorry, Satnam)) and "sidewalks" instead of "pavements" and I'll still think that "Way Out" is showing the way towards the drug-soaked 60s.) I've not had a size smaller pants in "donkey's years"! (Okay, I used that one, but just because it's so ridiculous!)

I have some actual freelancing projects! Hooray! And so far, the clients seem happy. I really have hope for this. It would be so wonderful to have something that I love to do be a kind of income that can move around with me wherever Lennart needs to go. Living away from him just can't be an option for me anymore. Loneliness can drown out love, if left to fester for too long. So getting the copy editing thing going will be a truly wonderful thing for me, on so many levels. I am going to need someone to do my taxes though. Sheesh...complicated!

Saturday, off to Sweden to be a Greek goddess at a Halloween party at friends'. Lennart will have a humongous brown afro. I'll try to get pictures. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another brush with celebrity...

Walking back to the hotel from Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain's restaurant) on Park Avenue, there was suddenly a bunch of extremely loud firetrucks passing by, and Lennart had to gawk a little, because they were stopping at a building nearby. We saw no smoke, so Lennart speculated that it might be a jumper. And as he did this, a lost and confused-looking Robert Duvall rounded the corner, sucking his teeth, and was less than a foot away from me. I had to lean into Lennart's ear and say discreetly, "That's Robert Duvall standing behind me." And Lennart turned to look and said, "It sure is!"

He's looking a bit ragged around the edges these days, and Lennart says, "Whenever I see celebrities, they always look older." And, well, yes, I guess, since makeup and good lighting does wonders. Still, a bit of celebrity spotting can be slightly fun. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Saturday Out

Any cassette left in a car for more than a fortnight turns into Queen's Greatest Hits.*

Friday was Lennart's 51st birthday. Not a major birthday perhaps, but still. I got him a nice little hardback copy of Samuel Pepys's diary, and tickets to see We Will Rock You on Saturday afternoon. So, knowing the tricksiness that is the underground system on weekends, we left here more than an hour early and after much readjusting of travel methods and train selections, and walking, we made our way to the Dominion Theatre. (Warning, Google maps places this theatre somewhere between Warren Street and Goodge Street stations. Not so! It's smack dab on top of the Tottenham Court Station. Do not be fooled! (This is the first time (so far) that Google has led us so far astray.))

In any case, we proceeded inside to the nifty, old foyer and deeper into the darkness to find our seats (Row B, Seats 5-6). We were very close to the stage and VERY close to the speakers. We noticed that there were concessionists much like you'd find at a baseball game in the US, selling popcorn and drinks and things. Something which hasn't spread to theatre on Broadway, which still has a sense of the formal. You can get a glass of wine at intermission, but popcorn? Not so much. It was neat, but a bit odd. In any case, we'd stayed up late the night before, so suddenly I was very snoozy. While we were waiting, I actually nodded off...

...and was excitingly and loudly awoken by the intro to Innuendo. I got goosebumps, and tears welled up in my eyes. In fact, I could hardly stop smiling and crying throughout the whole thing. It was brilliant and brought back many memories and feelings. It had less story than Mamma Mia, but there was no lack of excellent music. One has to be impressed with of the few bands where each member has produced not one or two, but several hit songs. (And lead guitarist Brian May, an astronomy/astrophysics geek, is also an eclipse chaser, and was also in Scotland some years ago for the annular eclipse. Whee! Geeky!) We were dynamited by the Killer Queen. We were Radio Ga Ga. We felt the pressure. We bit the dust. The singing was excellent, but did in fact make it clear what an excellent singer Freddie Mercury really was. As Roger Daltry of The Who said:

"When we lost Freddie, we not only lost a great personality, a man with a great sense of humor, a true showman, but we lost probably the best, the really, the best virtuoso rock 'n' roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that's an art. And he was brilliant at it."

And, of course, they saved Bohemian Rhapsody for last. Which just made me cry and cry. I couldn't stop. It's very weird. But I leave you with it now:

*Paraphrased from Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Various and Sundry

  • I had downloaded the pilot episode of Ugly Betty from iTunes, and saw that it was taking place in New York. "That's cool!" thought I. It was all well and good, and then I saw the last 15 seconds. Ugly Betty works in the MetLife building. Lennart worked in the MetLife building! Ugly Betty walked across the street into Madison Square Park. We walked there all the time! A later episode made a reference to a restaurant called "Madison Six" which, had it existed, would probably have been roughly where the Shake Shack is in the park. But it was clearly also a reference to Eleven Madison, a restaurant in the MetLife building. Both of those are owned by restaurateur Danny Meyer, who inspires good food and incredibly friendly wait staff. If you're in NYC, GO to one of his restaurants. Anyway, it was all within a block of where we lived, and it made me very homesick for New York. Who'd have thought that I'd ever be homesick for a place that I absolutely hated when I first visited about ten years ago. But I still say it's different visiting a place than it is living there.

  • We went to Sweden on Saturday, to visit Lennart's mother. Before we left, Lennart took some pictures of our apartment here so that she could see what it looked like. Then he wanted to print them quickly, but saw that there were a lot of old pictures on the camera, which would make loading take a lot of time, so without thinking he deleted all the old ones. Then, on the plane, he said, "Oh, shit! I erased all the Stonehenge pictures." Not only those, mind you, but all the ones from Cambridge, and the whole of Wiltshire. So I won't be showing you those after all. *sigh*

  • We went to Tjörn to check things out. I guess they'd had some horrible hurricane winds there, and one end of our greenhouse was lifted and moved off of its foundation by several feet. Cracking several panes of glass, and knocking all my stacked, empty flower pots to the floor and breaking them. :( That thing is heavy, and the only way to fix it is to remove ALL the panes of glass and start over. *double sigh*

  • I had Lennart cut my hair while we were in Sweden, and now I look like this again:

  • On the way home from Stansted yesterday, I saw lots of cute, white, fluffy lambs. I may have got a high-pitched voice when pointing them out to Lennart. I may have squealed "cute" just a little. :)

  • The kitty is now acting all crazy, and he wants to go more another day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Regarding the wrong kind of window...

The kitty has discovered and become displeased with the roof window panel in the attic. He tried to hop up onto its "window ledge" to no avail. I put a stool under it, and placed him on top of the stool, and he stood on hind legs with front paws on the window. This was not like anything he'd seen in the line of windows before. He batted at it slightly, in consternation. He said, "Meep!" and hopped down.

Now he washes his paws as if none of this had ever happened.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Some thingies I noticed...

  • New Yorkers are excellent at sidewalk navigation, and pretty good at apologizing if they bump into you.
  • Swedes are mostly okay at sidewalk navigation, and lousy at apologizing if they bump into you.
  • Brits are lousy at sidewalk navigation, but excellent at apologizing if they bump into you.
  • My theory on the sidewalk navigation of the Brits contains hypotheses based on the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road. :)
  • No matter how many outlets in a house or apartment you may have, there are never enough.
  • Buying 5 plug strips and 5 adapters at Waitrose in Canary Wharf will get you looked at like you've just grown a third head.
  • Kem has now learned how to get down out of the attic by himself. It involves a leap of faith onto the bed in the room below.
  • The weather is just stunningly beautiful today, and too hot for my current jacket. Will have to remedy this. (With use of a new jacket, as opposed to new weather.)
  • From RumsJanne: Nora, the Piano Playing Cat

Friday, March 02, 2007

Once more unto the breach...

Today, kitty has been to the vet again (poor thing) and had things shoved down his throat, and we leave tomorrow for France, to rent a car in Paris and drive to London through the tunnel, through which one IS permitted to transport animals, albeit in your own vehicle, not to be touching the train, thank you!

Please, wish us the best of luck. I have been having nightmares, dreading this for two weeks solid now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's Gnu with You?

Today I miss the squirrels in Madison Square Park, and revolving doors. I miss the doorman's happy greeting, and being let off the elevator first. I miss the Sfizio sandwich at Mangia on 23rd Street, and the MetLife clock tower.

I only had three days in London before I had to come to Sweden to fetch the kitty and spend some time at work, catching up with friends and colleagues, so I don't know what I'm missing in London yet. :) We found an apartment in Greenwich, though, and our offer seems to have been accepted, and I think we may move in on the 16th of February, so it's nice to know what's coming. It's wonderful to see friends, but after nearly a week here in Gothenburg, I feel on some level that I'm not ready to be back here permanently yet. I've discussed with my new boss (The old one got a CEO-type job at another company back in Finland, where he's from, and would like to raise his kids there...completely understandable, but I'll miss him...he was a good boss, all in all.) the possibilities of what can happen if I happen to get a job in London, how flexible the company can be, and in fact, the desire to keep me on in a kind of freelance proofreader/copy editor capacity, which I think is pretty cool! It can never hurt to keep ties here, after all, and anyway, I want to be coming back to visit my wonderful Katja, RumsJanne and Miss Green, Steve, Tomper, Rosy, and oh-so-many other good friends I've made here. The best of friends!

But I'm looking forward to getting back to London with my husband and my cat, to finally get together with fellow-Idahoan Carolyn again, and to move into a new place that will be "ours" even if for a short time, and opening up some work horizons, which both scares and excites me. I've been at this company now for nearly 7 years. I'm ready to do something else. I'd much rather be doing some copy editing than writing instructions. Writing instructions for software is not my goal in life.

Ahh well, I shall go on missing revolving doors today, and ponder things that are new and exciting and scary! :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So here we sit at JFK airport, waiting for our flight to London (via Frankfurt, on Singapore airlines. Figure that one out. :).

A busy day...the movers came and packed stuff. It didn't seem like we had that much stuff to send to London, but in the end there were 25 boxes of stuff weighing nearly 900 pounds!! It's amazing what can be accumulated in a year's time. We decided that moving every year was a good thing, because of the amount of junk it forces you to throw away. And even when we left, we have a pile of things for the Salvation Army to come pick up on Monday.

It was kind of sad, leaving the apartment, nearly as empty as when we found it. Though better, in some repects. We had installed a light above the kitchen sink, some simple, space saving wine racks under the cupboard above the kitchen counter, and a towel rack in the bathroom. But Lennart and I stood for a moment, hand in hand, gazing one last time at our particular view of the Empire State Building. And then grabbed the suitcases, left the keys with the doorman, caught a cab, and headed to the airport, and here we are.

See you on the other side...

Saturday, January 20, 2007


The repairs in the apartment beneath sound like someone has a really big, really hard-boiled egg that they're trying to remove the shell from.

Jeremy Brett was the best Sherlock Holmes ever.

I don't see the attraction of sudoku. I can do them, but they all feel the same. You've done one, you've done 'em all. Give me a crossword any day!

Aruba was bliss. It's good to be home.

Speaking of home, London's starting to appear like a massive cruise ship, bearing down on us in our tiny little two-man (and one cat) sailboat. I feel unprepared, but excited too. Yikes, yoiks!

I'm sure there's more, but things are so hecticcrazymonsterbusy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I've broken my tailbone twice. Once on rollerskates and once on icy steps. Sat on a board for months after the second one. I think it healed a bit crooked as well, that second time, because every time I ride more than a couple hours on an airplane, I have to pop it into place. :| The airplane seats hit me exactly wrong. Anyway, just my luck, I fell on Christmas Eve whilst getting a tree, and though I don't think I rebroke it, it's a real pain!

Otherwise, a pretty good, quiet Christmas was had by all.