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WALKING, WATCHING, WINDING DOWN
Walking with a large dog tugging at the end of your arm is quite different from the easy-sway, arm-swinging stride you normally produce. We are dog-sitting Max, the border collie that lives next door, for 2.5 days while his family is on a mini-vacation. We know that having a dog around the house makes the dog-longing worse, but none of us can resist any chance that comes up, far and few between as they are.

Max apparently walks much the same round that I usually do, as he was ahead of me the whole time and never missed a beat turning before I made any motion in the next direction; that or he's just very very good at reading body signals. He's black and white and extremely curly. His ears flop up and down in point-counterpoint as he trots along. He tends to the edge, brushing against and under the side-growth and consequently finished the walk covered in tiny green sticky burrs. The first half of the walk he spent with his nose down, as if he were reading the news, a trail of dog messages looped over and over by the many, many dogs that inhabit the village.

There were no slugs out, for a wonder, as it's been dry the past couple of days. Tonight the air was still and warm and the sky was full of periwinkle clouds. The pear trees lining the allé are full of fruit, still mini-size, but growing so fast you can almost see the plumping out from day to day. Twice long vees of geese flew low overhead, honking. The migratory routes seem to be flipped here; inevitably the geese and swans are flying in the wrong direction: south in the summer, north in the fall. These were apparently headed to Helsingborg.

I thought of something else that I do now, since I moved to Europe 12.5 years ago, that I never did before. I eat with a knife and fork in each hand and I don't FLIP them every two minutes so that I can cut something. If you're American, you probably don't even know what I'm talking about, but there's a handy Wikipedia article (of course there is!) that explains the whole thing. Fork etiquette! Hee! I don't ALWAYS eat European-style, however. Sometimes it's just too much work, plus if you tend to talk with your hands, it really cramps your style during an animated dinner conversation.

I had my hair done today. It was sun-bleached and very long. This is what it looked like, except since this photo was taken 3 weeks ago, it was even longer:



Karin took the picture while we were having lunch in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, before we hiked up to the castle ruins. I look sunburned but it's just the red sun umbrellas.

Tomorrow morning I have a doctor's appointment, the mammogram that I was referred for back in June. It's my first one, so I'm a little nervous, since I don't know from first hand experience what to expect, only what I've heard. To say that I'm not looking forward to it would be putting in mildly.

Life after vacation feels rather mundane, though I am secretly glad to be nearly back to normal routine. This is the last week of full vacation for Anders and the kids will go back to fritids next week. Hard to believe that summer is slowly pulling the curtains but the geese never lie.

These days: Reading—Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead; Listening—Malena Ernman's La Voix Du Nord; Watching—hmmm, nothing really; Playing—Sword of Fargoal; Working on—weight loss; Enjoying—summer storms, super salads, birthday anticipation.

Don't Blame it on the Boogie, Blame it on the Belated Birthday Wishes to Chuck and alcesalces!
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: Yohanna—Beautiful Silence


Comments

I'd be curious to hear what you think of the Fountainhead! It's on my top 10 hate-books of all times! ;)

hahaa! I'm not the right person to ask then. I've read it a couple dozen times. Though I have to say it's not nearly as compelling this time around (years after the last re-read) as it was in my 20s.

I want to see the rest of your top 10 hate-books of all time!! :)

heh, I don't have a "hate-list" per se, but the books that deserve such strong a word are not necessarily badly written, rather they are often books which have their followers and which are, at least in some sense accepted works of literature. (so silly romance novels or cheap pulp don't count for instance)

Ayn Rand rubs me the wrong way in many aspects, her idea of objectivism fills me with distaste and her "philosophy" is completely opposed to mine in certain key points. I do think that the core of her ideas which have survived in American political/philosophical argumentation are much to blame for the crisis large parts of the world has today, for instance...

Atlas shrugged is also up there on my hate list ;)

I don't particularly like Marcel Proust, although that's merely an aesthetic choice in how he writes certain things, which makes me want to chew up a pair of slippers.

I'm utterly pissed off at Umberto Eco's writing codex in Foucault's Pendulum (although I like him in general as a writer), and still want to boycott the book because of what he wrote about his ideas behind the first 200 pages.

Nietzsche and various works of his also give me extremely mixed reactions, landing on various degrees of dislike and irritation, particularly in regards to his followers in modern days, who, by many accounts don't fully understand him, even though they cite passages for their own argumentative benefits.

Jan Guillou, the Swedish writer is vastly overrated, to the point where it gets ridiculous

CS Lewis Ransom trilogy also makes me irritated, particularly the last part; That Hideous Strength. He's just so full of shit in them. I do like the man himself however, strangely enough. I enjoy some of his other works.

in poetry..Billy Collins disappointed me in recent years, even though I like parts of his poetry, when I saw him live he was such a huge intellectual coward, that I am tempted to avoid reading him due to that. (poets can be almost anything in my book, just not cowards...)

hmm..that's all I can come up with now on the fly, I hope I didn't bore or upset you, I do have friends with vastly different literary opinions from mine, who I successfully can stay friends with, so rest easy, my dear Liz!

Not at all. :) I have never read most of your dislike-list, strangely enough, though I confess to having everything Rand has written. I had a love affair with her as a young adult, which has pretty much worn off. I like her writing style, even when I don't agree with everything in her philosophy. And she certainly makes one THINK, if nothing else.

Most of Atlas Shrugged is skimmable, anyway.

I don't know if I can come up with that many, but definitely Ann Rice (especially The Witching Hour and everything since), Stephen King (especially Pet Semetary and everything since) and actually, the Harry Potter books after #3. (I know I'll get flamed for that one, but honestly: EDIT, WOMAN!).

I also hated Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, and American Pastoral by Philip Roth (talk about over-rated), and Bridget Jones' Diary.

And highest on my hate list: Faulkner and Hemingway. BLEAH. (flame away, readers!)

Hahaha! I love your stab-list, even though I don't share everything on it. I don't hate Hemingway or Faulkner, but neither are they favorites, by far. I haven't read the Morgan book or that particular Roth, but I do agree with you about Ann Rice, completely. Stephen King writes so unevenly, and I agree that he has a horrid period for a long time after Pet Semetary, but I do believe that he's produced some better titles since he changed publishing company and certain personal life style habits in writing, in recent years. When it comes to Harry Potter..I rather abstain, because people get so angry with me when I say that I don't think Rowlings is a particularly good writer and that she plagiarized both Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones when it comes to certain big picture ideas. I don't hate Rowlings however, but like Guillou, I think she's vastly overstated. But again, people do tend to get annoyed at me for saying it, and I end up being accused of being a snob.

Snobbery in reading is a GOOD thing. Life is too damn short for bad books, and I totally agree with you about Wynne Jones & Gaiman.

I was waiting for the after picture!

You are reminding me that I am overdue for my first mammogram. Good luck tomorrow, I hope it isn't too uncomfortable and that the results are good.

It was pretty squashy but didn't last long. So far, so good. :)

No after pic for now, sorry! :)

You're looking lovely, Liz.

Thanks :) It's a decent photo.

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I will be thinking about you tomorrow.

Re: From Megsie

Thanks, you. :) It went fine. So far, good news.

You gave us the before, but where's the after? (Barky, I mean)
Good luck with the boob squish.

You weren't kidding about "squish"! Holy squash! Good thing it doesn't last very long.

No after pic for now, sorry :)

Oooh! You look pretty!

Drrr... I look good in red shadows! :D

I too want the after photo!!

And I've had two mammograms before and they are, whilst briefly uncomfortable, not that bad really. I hope yours goes well.

It went really well, despite the momentary squash-o-pain. :)

No after photos for now...we'll see if I get motivated later.

(Anonymous)

I'm waiting for the after-pic too! (Just to clarify, of the hair, not the mammogram. Hehe...) Is that school that your kids return to next week? Wow, oh wow. We still have another MONTH AND A HALF before school starts back up.
~ Bethany (coffeestainedclarity.com)

No no not school. School doesn't start until mid-August. This is big-kid-daycare. :) And they still have a week of Summer camp before school starts, too.

You made me laugh really hard with your first sentence. *oy!*

(Anonymous)

Ever since I went to French Language camp in Minnesota, I've eaten the European way (that is if I have to use a knife - otherwise the fork is definitely in the right hand). It just makes sense.

Unless you're left-handed, like me, then it's totally backwards! :P

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