January 14th, 2006



What do you do when you find an accessory for your home that you absolutely LOVE and MUST HAVE, but your husband (or roommate or boyfriend or whatever) gets that look on his face when you take him by the arm and lead him excitedly over to show him? You know that look. It's the same one you gave him when he suggested devoting one wall of your bedroom to Ducati motorcycles. It's the "you've got to be kidding me" look, the "over my dead body" look.

What do you do then? With your heart fluttering out of your body and hovering, hands clasped with a yearning look in its eye, over your current objet du désir, do you...take one more long look, and try to implant the shape of its beauty upon your soul, promise fervently that you will never forget it, and turn aside in regret, heaving a deep sigh? Or do you throw yourself to your knees, clasp your arms around him (or her, as the case may be) and commence begging? Do you pretend you don't care, turn away nonchalantly, and then sneak back and buy it later, knowing he won't fight a done deal? And when you do whatever it is that you do, does it work?

On a side note, if my daughter doesn't stop playing that godawful Håkan Kråkan song from last year's Lilla Melodifestivalen over and over and OVER, I may snap. AAAGH!

When you can almost reach up and touch the clouds overhead it's no fun to go walking. There are no shadows, no light, and everything looks flat and faded, two-dimensional. The world is on mute, all the colors dialed down. Martin's cheeks are bright pink and my chin prickles and burns with cold, but we gamely stump around and increase our pace at the halfway mark. When we arrive home again, Anders and Karin have started dinner. We're having guests tonight, and salmon marinated in brown sugar and fennel with örtagårdssås is on the menu, along with blueberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Karin is swathed in an apron far too big for her; her toes just peep out from under the bottom edge. She almost looks like she's wearing a dress. The apron declares "Too Many Brews Spoil the Cook" and on her head is a chef's hat emblazoned with Dux Coquorum (head cook). It's more fun to do KP when you can dress the part. She takes her kitchen duties very seriously, and carefully piles the salmon in the microwave and turns it to thaw.

As I sit here typing this, I keep stopping to look out the window. It's all gray from top to bottom, a sort of January film over the world. I wish it would snow.

I'm in the middle of learning a song that my brother and Simone want me to sing at their wedding. It's a Tracy Chapman song, and while she does it very nicely and I like her style well enough, I have to admit I think she's a bit boring. Listening to the song over and over (which at least didn't make me want to bang my head against the desk like Karin's choice was doing), I sing along and rewind, and sing along some more. I try to imagine standing up and singing this song a cappella in front of an audience that will be made half up of people who don't speak enough English to understand the words. I haven't sung completely alone in front of an audience in years. The thought leaves me a little dizzy, but I suppose I will survive, having managed it before on several occasions.

A Really Cool Idea That I Hope Catches on Like Wildfire: The Generosity Game