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zird is the word [userpic]
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Martin is nearly done with his Sophomore year at college. He's learned a lot in the last two years and he's done a lot of beautiful work. I've been meaning to write a post about his art for ages, and finally, I'm getting around to it. The catalyst was the fact that last week I dropped off three of his prints that I absolutely LOVE, at a new frame workshop that I found in the next village over and I picked the framed pieces up today, and they are BEAUTIFUL.

The triptych was the result of an assignment Martin had during Freshman year in a graphic arts class, where he was supposed to choose a famous painting and do a graphic rendering of it in three parts: simple, simpler and simplest (or complicated, less complicated and least complicated, I guess you could also say). Martin choose Judith and the Head of Holofernes by Gustav Klimt, though he obviously didn't know the title of the work when he chose it, because he told me later that he got really hung up when he was halfway through the project until he suddenly realized that what she was holding was a SEVERED HEAD and that gave him the jolt of energy he needed to get the job done! Hahaha!


Judith Triptych (based on Klimt) by Martin Ek, photo and framing by Benny Andersson, Sandhaga Bild och Ram

We hung them tonight, in the living room, and they look fantastic. I am so pleased, both by the beautiful artwork that MY CHILD produced and the framing job that was done for them (for much less than the price I was originally quoted in Lund).

I think Martin truly has a gift for graphic design and his work in Illustrator and Photoshop bears me out. He's working on a degree in Photography, though, and his photography is just as fantastic as the other types of artwork he produces. You can see some of his more recent projects on his Instagram but he doesn't post there nearly often enough for his mother's taste. :D

The series of images he did before Christmas are particularly fun. He only has about half of them up on Instagram, but he did around 20 of them all told. They are all students at the school, and the backgrounds are the tops they are wearing. He did a fantastic job on the series, and I would be very hard pressed to choose a favorite. He's showing a real affinity for portrait work and fashion photography, and I love all of them.

Even though it's pretty certain that he won't be able to continue at this (extremely expensive) school, I think that what he will take away with him will stand him in good stead. He went in with a good eye and an artistic nature, and I think he'll be coming out with techniques, knowledge and hopefully, the drive to move forward with his photography dream.

I would show you more of his school projects if his portfolio was online and easily accessible but you'll just have to wait, though hopefully not until he's world-famous! :D
 cheerful
mood: cheerful
music: Poema—Clean Getaway


zird is the word [userpic]
FIXED, FIXES, FIXING
We caved and bought a new PC this week. The constant crashing was driving me insane and that fact that our friend Russell who helps us out as our fantastic IT support from Texas, tried everything he could think of to fix it and even after wiping the entire hard drive and reinstalling, it was STILL crashing, it definitely seemed time for a new machine. It's very space-agey, matte black with a neon-green light line down the front of the face. I've reinstalled all my programs and can now be expected to post regularly.

Hahahahaha!

Well, semi-regularly. It's such a relief to sit down to work on something and not have to save every two seconds, knowing that even doing so isn't going to prevent a crash and losing an entire post that I've put a lot of time and effort into writing, or hours worth of work on a document or any of the AWC stuff that I'm in charge of. Not to mention, just reading the news or blogs, or chatting with my family or listening to music on Spotify or anything. It's amazing how dependent on technology we've gotten. Last week, Facebook and Instagram were down for hours and part of me was relieved and did other things, but part of me was obsessing in the back of my head (especially about Instagram) about when they'd be back up. GAH.

When I'm on vacation, it's much easier to detach from social media and online life. But daily routines and checking email are so ingrained now that it's hard to imagine life before the Internet. I had to laugh the other day, when we watched an interview with Greta Thunberg on Skavlan, where he asked another, much older, guest who followed her on, how he was able to get information back in the day. He sort of dismissed Greta's ability, like everyone's nowadays, to use the Internet for instant access and answers. But I found it kind of ridiculous. It wasn't THAT long ago that we still had encyclopedias in the house, and people DO still use libraries for research as far as I'm aware. Not everyone has easy Internet access, and even those who do might not want to spend ALL their time online.

But the siren call of the tablet or phone is really hard to resist. I find myself reading less, because I'm playing stupid iPad games that provide little rewards for checking in each day. I can easily lose an entire hour to scrolling through my Instagram feed. Or watching an episode of the current TV series I'm immersed in. I'm not on Facebook that much, and I don't post there very often, but I check it more than once a day. It's a source of news and headlines and catching up with (some) friends and family. My own addiction to being online is disturbing but I haven't yet brought myself to do anything about it (she says as she posts on her online blog from her new PC) and I don't know that I'd be very good at doing something about it even if I tried. Times change and we change with them, like it or not.

I've managed to sell a ton of things from my mother-in-law's apartment instead of just giving it all away to charity and I'm quite happy with the result. Most of the furniture went and lots of the other household items, too. I put up the 21-page (!) list of things for sale, at SUPER cheap prices, on the AWC Facebook group page and the sell/buy site at work. I was surprised that there were very few items that were "fought over"... there were only 2 large sideboards that more than one person wanted, but everything worked out really well and we made a tidy little pile of money for my mother-in-law, only for her to turn around and tell us to divide it between Anders and his sister. I'm still hoping to sell a few more things before our self-imposed Friday deadline. The apartment is on the market and there have been two showing, but I haven't heard that there's been an offer yet. I hope it sells quickly so we can be done with the whole giant project.

We've talked to Karin a couple of times and she's having a ball in Costa Rica. She made a point of telling me about some woman she met, also from Scandinavia, who went there for vacation three years ago, had a job land in her lap and stayed. *Don't get any ideas, kid!" I told her. After just 2 weeks, she's looking very tan. They are still in Costa Rica for another week and a half before starting their next leg.

Look at that! Half an hour, a whole post and no blue screen of death! Praise be!
 happy
mood: happy
music: none...this machine is EERILY SILENT


zird is the word [userpic]
BOOKS I'LL NEVER READ
Have you heard of The Future Library? It's an art project of sorts, started by a Scottish artist near Oslo, Norway. She is growing a forest that, in 100 years, will be used to print 100 books which are being donated by authors from around the world and kept, unread, in safekeeping until then. The first author to provide a manuscript was Margaret Atwood. There are 4 books so far. None of them can be read until 2114, when the 1000 trees planted in Nordmarka (assuming they are still around after 100 years of climate change and global warming) will be milled and turned into the paper needed to print them. In addition to Atwood who is from Canada, selected authors so far include writers from England, Iceland, Turkey and South Korea.

As an artwork, the project encompasses the living world, the written word, and time. It's quite ambitious, considering that the manuscripts will be kept in a building currently under construction that is made from the wood of the trees that were cleared to make way for the trees planted for the project.

I'm not sure what I think about this.

On the one hand, COOL. What a neat and different idea.

On the other, what do you mean I won't get to read any of those books? I LIKE Margaret Atwood. Even if I live to be 103, like my grandmother (nearly), it will only be barely halfway to the publishing point. I liked David Mitchell's book Black Swan Green and I liked the movie Cloud Atlas, which was adapted from another of his novels (which I haven't gotten around to reading yet). What other authors that I like will be selected and agree to write a book that no one will get to read in living memory? My KIDS won't get to read them either, most likely, unless THEY got the longevity gene from my grandma. And honestly, she couldn't even read them now, if she wanted to, since the eyesight of a nearly-103-year-old is not the best.

And to make things more elitist, once the books ARE published, there's no guarantee you'd get to read them anyway, as the project is selling, via artist galleries, 1000 certificates entitling the holder to the full 100-work anthology. Just another way in which the rich get first dibs, I suspect.

Also, I find it both ironic and a little painful that she cut DOWN trees in order to plant more, though we do that all the time, so I guess it's okay. Even if there are no guarantees that a) there will be a forest 100 years from now, b) the wooden building the manuscripts will be held/displayed in will stay intact for 100 years and c) humans will still be around to read them or care. I suppose 100 years isn't that long, in the grand scheme of things, but considering how fast things are heating up, I'd say all bets are off.

And just think about all the books that are already gone, that we never got to read. All the burned manuscripts, all the lost works, all the libraries gone to dust. All the languages you don't know. We can't read those either.

I think books should be for everyone. The more I think about this and the more I write here, the more I find I'm against the whole idea. There are already so many books that I will never get around to reading, no matter how fast I go, no matter what other activities I neglect, not even counting the time I spend re-reading books I love. But I want the choice to read them. Unfair, but so is life, and that's a fact. You read it here first.

And I didn't even make you wait 100 years to do it!


“We are of the opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Joseph Brodsky

“Never put off till tomorrow the book you can read today.” – Holbrook Jackson

So there, Future Library.
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: Lulu—To Sir With Love


zird is the word [userpic]
A GOOD ONE
We hosted Pie Night last night. There were 14 of us including a toddler and a couple of young kids. We had taco paj, shepherds pie, cottage pie and a tuna bake. Shepherds pie and cottage pie are basically the same thing (meat with mashed potatoes on top) and not very pie-y but they were all yummy, especially our taco paj (which I'm glad there are leftovers of) and the tuna bake. Carys, one of our British members, brought the tuna bake the very first time we had Pie Night, and I was thrilled to see it again. We discussed how many pie nights there had been and I couldn't remember...4? 5? Yeah, 5 sounds about right. Except that this morning she sent me an email and said she and her husband were talking about it and figured out that the first pie night was in 2012. So I checked the AWC archives and sure enough this was our SEVENTH pie night!

For dessert we had an apple and blackberry pie, two fruit pizzas, Reese's peanut butter tarts, cherry popovers, and a blood orange pie. They were all delicious and I had some of each, but regretted it later...SO FULL OF PIE. Today is a pretty lazy day...I've done nothing much. Walked on the treadmill (since it was snowing and then raining outside), showered, watered plants and answered emails.

I put up a word doc on Friday on the AWC group with all the things we are trying to sell from Anders' mom's apartment and managed to get rid of quite a few things, though there is a still a huge amount of stuff yet. Lots of glasses and dishes. All of it will go to charity if we can't sell the rest, which seems a shame, but we have limited time to deal with it as the apartment is already on the market.

We're supposed to try and Facetime with Karin in Costa Rica now, if we can catch her. She's been posting on Instragram a bit, and texting me nearly daily with one thing or another. She's been sick with a bad cold the last two days unfortunately, and didn't take any meds with her. I told her to find a pharmacy, so hope she can get something to help! People keep asking me how it is with no kids in the house and if we miss her, but to be honest, it's about the same as it's been for the last two years, since Martin left for school. Of course I miss her (and him, too) but she wasn't here all that much even before this trip, so this isn't all that different. Anders and I are figuring out how to be on our own, but it's not that hard.

Last night, after our guests left, we watched another couple of episdoes of Dips (a Swedish humor show about diplomats) which I thought was hilarious. It stars Jesper Rönndahl who also hosts a weekly humor news program, and his wife Marie Ägerhäll. She's the director, producer and writer and she's even funnier than he is, and so is the rest of the cast. I sat there laughing and thinking it was so different from what I would have been able to understand and appreciate in Swedish just 10 years ago. Then we watched a older "show" from a few years, consisting of short 5 minute-long episodes that Jesper was in called Telefon-support. It was also funny. A specific type of humor, for sure, but I enjoyed it. And I recommend Dips, to anyone else who has a sense of the ridiculous and understands Swedish.

Today, it's been sunny, rainy, snowy and then all three again in reverse order. Right now, the sun is shining, there isn't much wind and there are little wisps of clouds high up. The birds have come back to the feeder and rapidly emptying it. Thanks to the rain, everything is sparkling. I'm going to go read and play games and then call my kid and I hope the rest of you are having as nice and relaxing and productive a weekend as I am, even if you didn't have pie.
 peaceful
mood: peaceful
music: Modjo—Lady (Hear Me Tonight)


zird is the word [userpic]
THE WEEK THAT WAS, IS, AND WILL BE INSANE
Where does the time go? It's been over a week since my last confession. Er, post, I mean. In that time, I have
  • cleaned house like a machine
  • cleaned up the front garden beds
  • finalized the AWC newsletter and website updates before the monthly meeting
  • called and talked to and activated two new AWC members
  • ran the AWC board meeting as our President is still away
  • won trivia night with my team, The Know-It-Alls, at the monthly AWC meeting (prizes: tulips and Reese's)
  • gotten a raise and praise
  • cleaned and sorted and purged and packed things in my mother-in-law's apartment
  • brought home furniture and home furnishings and accessories from her place and put them into place in ours
  • hosted a team-building lunch and afternoon for my entire work team at my home (the lunch was catered, but Karin and I made the cakes for dessert)
  • had a last dinner and evening with my daughter before she left for 3 months
  • cleaned and sorted and purged and packed things again at my mother-in-law's apartment (and no, we're not done)
  • had dinner and a lovely evening with my two best friends
  • cleaned and purged several of my OWN kitchen cabinets
  • done laundry
  • grocery-shopped
  • attended a concert in Malmö
  • and WORKED my day job
Plus tonight I went to WW, the pharmacy and the grocery store again.

Karin left on Thursday night after hanging out with us (minimal), and finishing packing (mostly). She and the three friends she is traveling with stayed overnight in Malmö and were on the train at 3:30 am for their 6 am flight to Paris. They arrived in Paris around 8 and left again at 1:45 pm for Panama City. There they had a 1-hour layover and then a short flight to San Jose in Costa Rica where they spent one night and are now presumably ensconced at their coastal digs in Santa Theresa for their 2-week Spanish and Surf course. You can follow them on Instagram if you are interested: www.instagram.com/cartasasuecia/ ...though they posted more in their Instagram Stories than actual photos while they were traveling. And it's in Swedish, but you should still be able to get the gist of it. They will be in Costa Rica for a month, though I don't know where after the 2-week course is over (and neither do they, apparently, since their schedule is flexible and they had yet to decide) and after that will be traveling for 2 months in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.



So, I've been busy and that's not over, as I am getting my hair done on Thursday and then meeting the auction house guy with Anders at his mom's apartment to value some of her glassware and furniture, and then we have to get all the stuff that is going to charity out of the place by Saturday morning (and it's a HUGE pile) because we have PIE NIGHT at our house on Saturday.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Catch you on the flip side, muddy and exhausted.
 crazy
mood: crazy
music: The Jackson's—Blame it on the Boogie


zird is the word [userpic]
LIZ IN LISBON
We were supposed to be three friends going to Lisbon but Camilla was super sick the whole week before and on Friday, 2 days before we were to leave, she called Debbie and I and told us she was probably not going to go since she was still so poorly. WAAH! What a bummer. She was able to get her airline ticket refunded but it ended up being just Debbie and I headng to to Portugal last Sunday. Despite our disappointment about Camillla's absence, we managed to have a good time.

I had so many people tell me how great Lisbon was, and how charming, and how pretty that my expectations were a little too high. It was NOT the most charming of cities, though it was not without charm. It was very obvious that Portugal is a poor country and its capital city reflected that: many parts of the city were run down, dilapidated and dingy. Graffiti (and not the arty kind) was rampant as was piled garbage. We had a service apartment a bit far out from the center, on the outskirts of the Alfama district, and because Lisbon is very hilly we spent a lot of time walking up and down hills, on the cobbled and patterned sidewalks. The charm of the city has to grow on you, I think, and it did, but slowly. To be fair to Lisbon, I suspect late February isn't the best time for it's charm to show to advantage. A few more weeks into spring with the jacaranda trees blooming, and I bet we'd have been totally down with the charm.

We arrived late on Sunday night, and on Monday morning we walked uphill and found a café that served breakfast.Then we headed into the center and bought a 3-day pass on the hop-on/hop-off tours. They had 4 bus routes, a tram route through the old town and a boat tour that went down the coast to the edge of the city. Our apartment was only 2 blocks from the water and we could see the River Tagus from our windows. I didn't even realize that it was a river at first...I thought it was the ocean, but hey, close enough!

good morning Lisbon

On Monday, we mostly got oriented. We did one of the bus tours and the tram tour through the old part of town, with its winding hilly narrow streets and sudden pretty outlooks over the city. It was a grey day, very overcast and quite chilly, but as the week progressed, so did the weather; it got warmer by several degrees each day we were there. Colored and painted tiles line the facades of many of the houses, though they weren't always in good condition, and most of the buildings were light, warm pastel colors with red tiled roofs.





tram in the old town



By the end of the day we were quite tired and we took an Uber back from downtown to our apartment and used Uber Eats to order in dinner. Sushi! Cheap and easy! We had also heard a lot of praise for Portugal's food. Fish and seafood were the main stars of the menus we saw, with cod and sardines the things to eat. We tried a traditional cod cake one day but were super unimpressed: salty and bland. Bleah.

We stopped in lots of little souvenir shops and got a feel for the things that are considered typical of the country: colorful tiles, fish designs on everything, roosters, lots of ceramics in the shapes of fruit and vegetables, and cork products were everywhere. Portugal is the world's largest source and exporter of cork, accounting for approximately half of the world's harvest. Cork, I was interested to read, is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly product. Plus it's quite pretty and very far advanced from what one traditionally thinks of as cork, which in my case was stoppers for wine bottles and boards for sticking things on.

Cork nowadays is made into a lightweight, supple and flexible almost fabric-like material and used for all kinds of things. One person told us they are discovering new uses for it all the time. We saw lots of handbags and backpacks and small things like coin purses, pouches and wallets, but we also saw hats, fans, packaging for chocolate bars, gloves and even shoes! Much of it was left natural but there were plenty of items with printed patterns and other colors. Some of them were quite beautiful.

On Tuesday, we went to the Feira de Ladra, or Thieve's Market, a huge open-air flea market that winds throughout the old town. The first part, only a block up from our apartment, was mostly junk, but as we walked on, we found jewelry, ceramics, art, souvenirs, antiques, and all kinds of bargains. I bought a couple of rings for Karin and a cork bracelet for Martin and a marcasite bracelet by a local artist for myself as well as a tiny silver rooster charm to add to my charm bracelet of countries I've been to.

As the days got warmer and the sun came out, we enjoyed the city more and more. We took the boat tour down the coast to the Belem Tower and sat in the sun by the seaside. We saw the sights one is supposed to see in Lisbon, including the Monument to the Discoveries (originally built for the 1940 World Exhibition) and the Santa Justa Elevator. We went to MAAT (the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) where we thought the building was fantastic, but the exhibitions were only so-so. Just by coincidence, on the bus on the way to the MAAT, I saw a huge sign for the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition with photographs by Joel Sartore and was thrilled, so we went and saw that, too (it was fantastic).

We also spent a little time hunting down a street art installation by a Portuguese artist I follow on Instagram: B0rdalo ii, who is from Lisbon. He makes huge animals out of trash and plastic waste to highlight what our consumerism is doing to wildlife around the world. It was on a double-set of walls with a balcony overlooking a little parking lot and it's been there long enough that small trees were growing on the roof of the first wall, nearly obscuring the raccoon's eyes!


Belem Tower from the boat




Queen Philippa of Lancaster, the lone woman out of the 33 figures of famous Portuguese explorers and discoverers on the Monument to the Discoveries. She seems to have been included because she was the mother of several influential and illustrious children including Henry the Navigator.










Raccoon by B0rdalo ii behind the CCB, photo credit Debbie Svantesson

We tried lots of Portuguese pastries and agreed that the famous traditional custard tarts, called Pasteis de nata, were delicious. We even went to one bakery and watched them being made. I brought home some to share with Anders and Karin. Anders also got sardine paté and Portuguese brandy. :)



On our last evening, we went the other way on the street from our apartment, looking for a place to eat dinner, and found, right around the corner, a delightful little restaurant run by two young ladies (sisters) with an appealing menu and reasonable prices. If you're in the neighborhood sometime, we can highly recommend both the food and the service at As Ladras!

All in all, it was a good trip and fun to add another country to my been-to list and to get to know Lisbon a little bit in the 3.5 days we were there. The people were all friendly and helpful, and most spoke English to some degree, which made things easier. It was a relatively cheap city to visit and to eat in, we thought. The one thing we didn't do that we had originally planned was a day trip to see the castles of nearby Sintra, so maybe that will give me an excuse to go back to Portugal some day, in springtime perhaps, and really find the charm that is so obviously lurking beneath the surface.
 accomplished
mood: accomplished
music: John Lundvik—Too Late For Love


zird is the word [userpic]
GROWNUP GAMES
What are you playing at? I just asked myself this question and it made me laugh a little. I'm playing at keeping my cool (especially at work where I was on a short fuse today) and playing house (which I sometimes still feel like I'm doing despite living independently, even when it was with roommates or my husband, since I graduated college) and playing at being an adult. Aren't we all playing at that?

Do you feel like you're making it up as you go along, too? Do we all feel that way secretly and some of us are just much better at hiding it than others? When did we figure out how to act like an adult and do the things adults do? I have been thinking about this a lot since I have newly adult children who are learning their way into their adult lives like I must have done when I was their age. There is so much I don't remember.

I don't remember how I figured out how to file taxes, for example. I don't even know when I did it the first time. I used H&R Block in Chicago for years before I moved to Sweden, but I don't remember what I did before that, or even IF I did before that, despite having had a job all through college. I must have filed/paid taxes, right? I don't know if it is something my parents told me about and instructed me in how to do, or if it was something I learned from friends or acquaintances...we didn't even have the Internet back then (at least not like we do now) so it wasn't as if I could Google it.

I probably called my mom to ask. I called my mom a LOT when I was a young adult. I called her to ask stupid things like how to cook rice because she always knew the answers and she always took the time to give them to me, no matter how asinine or simple my question might be. She was my Google, pre-Google. She was my Lifeline and my Encyclopedia and my how-to guide on how to be an adult. I don't feel that I am those things for my children. They don't need me the same way I needed my mom, my parents, because they can just look it up themselves. They have an app for that.

I don't remember learning how to cook. I wasn't a child especially interested in cooking and I didn't stand beside my grandmother or my mom with an apron on, spooning out measurements or reading recipes. I called my mom a LOT about cooking questions when I was living on my own. My mom gave me a recipe book when I graduated from college and I had a couple of cookbooks and nowadays I have no fear of throwing things together, making recipes up out of my own head, because I have at least a basic understanding of how things work, how things go together, how long things take, etc., but I don't remember learning it. It must have been so gradual and piecemeal that it snuck up on me somehow, like most adulting.

My mom taught me to clean. She taught me pretty well, actually, despite probably not believing it herself when I was the age my kids are now, based on the state of my room (just how I feel about my kids' rooms!). I was one of the few who really knew how to clean when I worked in the MSU dormitories one summer cleaning. By the end of that summer, I could clean anything and the only thing that I have trouble cleaning as an adult is the horrible well under the bathtub that fills up with hair and soap and god knows what. I am gagging just thinking about it, writing this.

But lots of things still elude me. I am pretty clueless when it comes to banking things, like mortgages and funds and taxes in general. Thankfully, I have a husband who adults that stuff better than I do and keeps us solvent. Even though I'm the one who pays most of the bills, I think that's the part that is me secretly adulting, because it's the easy part. He's the one who deals with realtors and cars and computer crises (mostly).

I had a stressed-out day at work today and barked at my daughter (I apologized) and vented at my colleagues (who were understanding and sympathetic) and steamed about things in general and on the way home, Karin talked me down by asking me questions. She asked me all kinds of questions about what I thought about this and that, and what I did then and what I liked and didn't like and how I dealt with it and by the time we were home and sitting on the sofa, I felt much better. And I think she's got the adulting thing down. She's better at it than I am, already. In fact, I think I lucked out right where I am, in the middle between a mom who could answer anything and a daughter who knows how to apply it all instinctively. I don't know what she's playing at, or if she even realizes it's a game, but either way, I suspect she's winning it.
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: All Angels—Simple Gifts


zird is the word [userpic]
FEBRUWEARY
I've been so busy. February is short but at least being busy all the time makes it feel shorter, but it's also annoyingly awful weather-wise, so even though it's early in the month, I am already tired of it, and longing for spring. One of my college roommates, after she moved to Chicago, used to throw a F*ck February party every year, complete with palm trees and sand and a beach-themed clothing requirement. If I wasn't already so busy, I might have planned one of those. I could certainly use it.

Party of the busy has been cleaning and sorting things in Anders' mom's apartment. We've spent several hours each weekend there and are nowhere near finished. On Saturday we cleaned it up and put things away and tidied so that the realtor can come and take photos on Tuesday and get it officially on the market. That will at least give us a deadline. Anders and I discussed some of the furniture (no one is taking much of it, so unless we can sell it, it will go to charity) and decided to take the 2-seat leather sofa and matching armchair for our family room...the sofabed there, while functional, is so badly stained, ripped and sun-faded that it's an embarrassment. And since it only gets used as an actual sofabed once in a blue moon, we figured it was time. Black leather isn't really my style, but hey, we don't use that room much and the furniture is free, so...

We had the AWC Valentine's Potluck dinner tonight. There were 20 people signed up but Karin didn't make it (she was going to come after work but got stuck cleaning late), and one couple never showed. The rest of the participants were all very nice and the food was delicious. One woman made a huge pot of baked potato soup which was fantastic. I baked heart-shaped iced sugar cookies yesterday and this morning I made pigs in a blanket and cream cheese pinwheels, and Anders made a delicious broccoli, feta & sun-dried tomato quiche. Yum!

I'm officially going to Seattle in June and I'm very excited, though my excitement was a bit tempered by the cost. Even if work is paying for it, it seems outrageously expensive. The hotel rates, especially. Yikes. Unfortunately, my friend Russell who might have been going to come that same weekend for a race, decided the timing didn't really work very well, but I'm hoping to see Chuck and my best friend Becky might also be able to come up for a couple of days. And in time-honored tradition (mine, anyway), I've given my mom all the details in the hopes she can come too! I'll be at a conference each day all week but the evenings are free! And I'll have the Sunday before the conference starts to see something of Seattle. Something to look forward to in the midst of the February weariness.

Speaking of looking forward to, I am leaving for Lisbon in a week! Crazy! We have not figured out a lot of plans in advance, and I'm just hoping it's relatively warm and more importantly, NOT RAINING, when we get there, please God!
 busy
mood: busy
music: Cheryl—Love Made Me Do It


zird is the word [userpic]
JUMPING THE GUN
Well, I got a little over excited about where we were with our PC...still not fixed and still in the middle of trying to get it working correctly, running a bazillion diagnostics with the help of my friend Russell who is tech supporting us from Texas and thank god for his help or I would have slung the stupid thing through the window by now.

I am typing this on a bluetooth keyboard attached to my iPad which I thought would make typing faster and easier than the pain of typing on the iPad’s keyboard and it does...sort of. But I find myself backspacing and correcting nearly just as much anyway. It’s little and extra flat and not sensitive enough so it’s hard to keep my fingers in the correct positions. I keep skating off by one if I don’t keep careful watch and typing öolry yjod omdyrf-

Haha! GAH.

We had a break-in at work over the weekend, happened Sunday afternoon or so; we got the email about it around 9 pm. Apparently they had really managed to scope out the place as they were in the building for only about 3 minutes and still managed to get away with the most expensive things: an iMac, 6 laptops, and 2 Wacom tablets. They ripped the doors off cabinets (destroyed two in the process) to get at things, so even though most of them were locked up, it made no difference.

And I heard from one of my colleagues who worked in this same building some years ago, that there were at least two break-ins through the same window back then...you’d think the building management would have done something by now...reinforced that window or put up cameras near it, or something. I wasn’t personally affected as I have a desktop PC and they bypassed the team laptop that was near my desk in favor of other, newer models. Still, not a fun thing to start the week with.

It’s only 2 weeks until I leave for Lisbon and it doesn’t feel real. And yesterday I got approval from my manager to attend a huge Adobe conference in Seattle in June...a whole week of geeking out which includes a 2-day presentation design conference. SO excited! I’ve never been to Seattle, so hoping to spend at least one extra day sightseeing. The only drawback is that it’s while Martin will be home...assuming that he is coming home after the school year ends and not staying to work all summer (though he has already applied to work the same 3-week summer program that he did last year).

I guess since this keyboard works well enough, I have no valid excuse for not posting regularly. :) But right now, I have to go fix dinner and then watch some Call the Midwife.
 determined
mood: determined
music: Sanne—Over My Head


zird is the word [userpic]
BACK ONLINE!
I was starting to get twitchy, I was. We've been mostly computerless all this past week, and while I could have posted, I suppose, from my iPad or iPhone, typing on those makes me insane and prone to rage meltdowns, so I figured it was better to wait. Anders installed Ubuntu (which is some sort of Linux operating system, and which he's been wanting to play with/install for years) instead of Windows and then promptly left on a ski trip for a week and I couldn't find or download any of my usual programs, so I've been kicking my heels since last Monday. I got a Windows reinstallation disk from a kind colleague and Anders reinstalled it yesterday, so now I just have to configure things and reinstall all my programs and I'll be good to go.

So, this isn't a real post, exactly, it's an I'm alive post! And more soon post! And I missed you post!
 happy
mood: happy
music: none, just me


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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.