30 June 2011

sounds good, looks good, feels good too

Way back when Boo-Boo's still had the 3-for-a-dollar box going on, I bought a self-titled CD by this band called Sally.

I picked it up because I was intrigued by the cover art, but - cheapskate that I am - I only bought it because the song names - "Candy eat baby," "Silver, is grey," "The bread with the soup was astounding" - were so damn fresh.

It certainly added a new element to long ride home with my best friend, her older brother, and their mom.

The best bands, it seems, always have a girl bassist. I'm thinking explicitly of the Talking Heads.

Tina Weymouth. God.

Sally is super moody, bassy and shoegazey, with impeccable pacing.

This music is the only thing that feels good in me right now as I'm immobilized with a respiratory infection.

Some summer.

No, really, actually, it's beautiful.

It was seventy-five degrees today and and I'm a stone's throw from the ocean and if there was Bingo for swallow poop on rural property I would be winning mad hard.

"Sedate me" is totally my favorite track right now.

I refuse to take NyQuil, but I am, to my mother's relief, on antibiotics.

So, in the midst of all this mooning about, imagine my delight when I find Sally released a second/last album in 2009.

"Sunday" sounds like the love-child Sonic Youth and Fugazi never had.

It's not the fever that's making me shiver, I swear.

19 June 2011

notes on replacing a broken shifter cable on your 10-speed

- make sure you have replacement cable
- make sure you have appropriate cable housing
- use a little wrench to loosen bolt that holds cable in place
- pull out old cable
- feed in new cable, grease it where it will be covered by housing
- replace housing
- make sure you have that silver cap that sits in the cable stop
- feed the cable through the lower cable housing and wrap around    bottom derailer (move shift lever to highest gear)
- tighten bolt that clamps cable in derailer, pull cable tight and lock    down bolt
- trip extra cable with wire clippers
- test ride bike

A gnarly hill and marine climate wreaked some havoc on my vintage Schwinn, but Fortuna is in fine shape now.

16 June 2011

talking about the weather

After many hours writing, revising and re-revising poems, putting together a manuscript, picking a typeface, setting type in the press, designing my book and finally printing it, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel when it was time to fold the pages into two signatures and sew them together. I used a simple pamphlet stitch to sew one signature of three pages to the other of four pages.

Never having bound a book before I set out to make this one, seeing my book take shape as an entity of its own had a gratifying quality as mystical as trigonometry about it. The magic that unfolded when a single piece of waxed string threaded through three tiny holes tied the first copy of concept together was so beautiful that I almost teared up before leaping up from the table in excitement to poke the holes in the remaining twenty-four copies. Then I had to sit back down for stability.

The last step was to insert the bound work into carefully folded and scored covers, each of which I hand-painted individually with the book's title and my name. Talking About The Weather is an edition of twenty-five in which each copy is as different as its recipient.

14 June 2011

top three

Top Three: Drinks For Warm Days & Cool Nights

Here on the California coast, summer days can be temperate and warm, while nights tend to be chilly and foggy. Here are a few drinks to both refresh you in the sun and warm you in the dark.

1. Ginger Fizz
Grate about a tablespoon of ginger, or use a ginger tea bag. Pour just enough boiling water over it to submerge the ginger. Let steep for at least five minutes. Add ice cubes to glass. Fill glass with sparkling water. If you want it sweet, add honey to the hot water. Other possible garnishes include lemon, mint and basil.

2. Melonade
To make the lemonade that constitutes the foundation of this drink, heat four cups of water and one cup of sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add lemon juice. Set aside 2 cups of lemondae to puree with 4 cups of chopped honeydew or canteloupe. Add the rest of the lemonde to the mix. Stir. Toast. Would be great with a little vodka.

3. Mexican Hot Cocoa
Heat a big cup of milk - or your preferred non-dairy alternative; I'm currently using almond milk - in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder. I prefer using unsweetened chocolate, and adding honey to sweeten it to my taste. Stir in a tablespoon of cinnamon. The more cinnamon you use, the goopier the cocoa gets. Perfect to sip from a spoon!

13 June 2011

one of the finest hat-wearing days of my young life

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of wearing hats. For warmth, for fashion - whatever the occasion, I have a hat for it.

On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be able to don a mortarboard - completely with 2011 tassel - to celebrate completing my undergraduate degree along with 311 other joyful, impatient, ready-for-it-to-all-be-over Kresge students at UCSC.

Hey, Mom, I did it! That's me waving in the front row.

Greeting the audience in Danish as part of Kresge's multilingual greeting.

With four years of undergraduate education squarely between my ears, I happily switched my tassel from right to left. Wearing Birkenstocks, yes. Because this is Santa Cruz, after all.

And promptly filed out to join the ranks of the unemployed. Yet optimistic!

I couldn't have stopped smiling if I tried.

Bonus: Happy birthday, Ryk!

Couldn't have done it without you, Mom.

What would a joint graduation-birthday celebration be without a celebratory dinner? After the commencement ceremony, we made our way to La Posta, my favorite Italian restaurant on my favorite street in Santa Cruz.


Whether you call it hygge, joie de vivre, or just chillin', there's nothing better than sharing the simple - and fundamental - pleasures of food, drink and conversation with loved ones. If there's anything I've learned in college, it's that.

That, and how to have a damn good time.

As evidenced by Nick and Sean popping Champagne

And my drinking it.

12 June 2011

sides speakeasy

Old-school (1920s, 30s and 40s) swing dancing.
At 515 Kitchen & Cocktails.
DJ Tom LG spins vintage vinyl.
Viper jazz, big band and blues.
Monday nights from 9-12.
Free to attend. Not to mention glamorous.

09 June 2011

finally a UCSC graduate!

I'm repping for the girls who taking over the world help me raise a glass for the college grads


That's it. I'm going dancing.

08 June 2011

it's not all bad

Life as an ambitious recession-era college graduate is slightly frightening. In fact, it has the potential to be downright depressing. My classmates and I have been asked since kindergarten what we want to be when we grow up; what's more, we've been told we can be whatever we want to be. Ms. Jaso and Ms. Rice had no way of knowing we would come of age in an economy less stable than a home loan.

Instead of embarking on careers, many of my classmates are taking minimum wage jobs (working in restaurants, doing yardwork, nannying and working retail, to name a few) while figuring out what  want to do with their lives, and, once they figure out what they want, running in circles chasing it.

I'm going to graduate school, so the reality of the working world hasn't slammed me yet. Nonetheless, my aunt asked me the other day what career I'm going for, and I still haven't answered her.

"The media" keeps telling us that there are no jobs out there, but we make up some of the media, and we're making our own jobs. With so few stable "career"-type positions, it's a good time to be an innovator and entrepreneur. If you're willing to take risks, there's a lot to be gained.

As for me, I probably won't ever answer my aunt's question. I'm not looking for a career. I'm just living my life.

Read my UCSC-specific article here, and see my colleagues' perspectives here.

06 June 2011

not having time to reflect / reflection

I don't want to leave. It feels too much like leaving Denmark as leaving feels the same everywhere. I should know; I've left so many places behind. Luckily, whatever I leave behind me stays - for a time - and I'm already looking forward to coming back to Santa Cruz for friends, farmers' markets, art and surf.

I don't have time to reflect. I've been busy, these last couple of weeks, finishing projects and sorting things out for a fast-approaching fall. They are my last weeks not only of this school year but of being a college student, living in Santa Cruz and moving in an amorphous yet tight web of sweet-hearted people. 

I don't indulge often in nostalgia. The future has a much stronger grip on me.

Still, it's not like I document everything for no reason. See, what I love most from Denmark is the logic that makes small, portable bike lights commonplace (and cheap and easy to replace) and square trash cans that you dump down an apartment-wide chute standard. In my American life, I long for this logic - especially when it's raining and there is no train to hoist my bike onto. But in Denmark it would be a given, and I wouldn't care about it at all.

Still, here we are. I can get from Santa Cruz to the Bay no problem, it just takes a while via mass transit. And catching a ride back down south with a friend on the One, we might just get delayed by a fatal accident that found a man hurtled off the cliff and helivac'd out just moments too late.

But still. We make it back to Santa Cruz, at least.

Always I am coming home.

Proof: visual nostalgia.

The farm in Sweden.

Anchored in a northern archipelago.

The wrong side of the tracks.

The last time I graduated (high school, Sweden).

Livin' large on the ranch.

My ocean.

My ladies.

Timeless twilight, Copenhagen.

Glass grace, Copenhagen.

A January that felt like summer, Santa Cruz.

And here's to the brilliant now.

01 June 2011


If you like calamari; if you like butter; if you like escargots (or just the idea of it), chances are you'll adore tripe.

Feeling adventurous at the taqueria yesterday, I ordered a super taco de tripitas. This is what I got:

The small, fatty rings of intestines, vigorously spiced with hints of pepper, were at once savory and arresting; they just about melted on my tongue but the heat lingered in my cheeks. Topped with pico de gallo, guacamole and a tomatillo salsa (my favorite), they delighted my taste. They were plenty salty for just a single taco - if I'd been having another taco, I would definitely have gone for a more somber carnitas to balance the light organ meat.

I want to go to Mexico for the food alone.