Saturday, October 29, 2005

capital culture

This is an eventful stay in Stockholm. The stay at the spa is still the best thing ever with almost religiously uplifting experiences. I'm sticking with these eastern medicine things. I loved Qi Gong, I loved Zen meditation and I loved Do In (a kind of self massage). But since I came from the spa I've been busy, let me tell you. Last night I went to Dansens Hus (House of Dance) with my lovely, cute, wonderful friend N. She's one of the most beautiful people I know. And she took me to this show called Pudel (Swedish for Poodle). A dance theatre with four dancers, one singer. one photographer, one child, four grown white poodles and a puppy on stage. It was magical, absurd, wonderful, scary, eerie, sickening, beautiful all at once. The theme was our superficially focused world, and I must say it was, in its absurdity, very much to the point. I laughed so hard I cried towards the end, but it was the deeper meaning of things that stuck with me. It is sick that people posing dramatically in front of a camera wearing the most absurd (though fascinating) outfits seems like more normal behaviour than a man peeing, or a man and a woman touching each other...

Afterwards, me and N went to a café and talked and I just must say: I've missed her!

Today I went by myself to the National art museum - again. This time to see the exhibition of the Dutch golden age. Lots of Rembrandts, magically live looking still lifes and so much more. I loved it. Loved it. Loved it. And my foot didn't hurt too bad from all that walking either. Yay!

And I wasn't supposed to shop much but... I found this skirt, and these books, and these presents for dear friends... I'm going home tomorrow night, but first I'll see some more friends, and sleep one hour extra (We wind our clocks back one hour tonight).

Wow, I think I just managed to write an actual blog entry, with a kind of "Then I did this and then I did that" kind of structure to it! Can you believe it?

Friday, October 28, 2005


All photos are clickable. I can only describe the experience as magically wonderful and endlessly beneficial. It was Just That Good.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


And just to make you jealous; This is where I'm going today.

something's a foot

I have weird feet. No, don’t go all “No, surely not!” on me, I do. I was born with six toes on one foot and five on the other. So was Marilyn Monroe by the way, only she had an extra pinkie toe on her left foot, and I had an extra big toe on my right. For real. Bone, joint, nail and all - An extra toe. I also had little extra pinkie fingers, but not as complete and cool as the extra toe. In fact, the doctor cut those “fingers” off using a bit of thin wire pulled around them when I was about five minutes old. I’m guessing I cried about it, but it was no big deal. My extra toe was another matter…

Since my right foot’s left big toe stuck out at a 90º angle I couldn’t wear shoes until it was removed. This happened in March of 1980 when I was one year and a half old. In the same ward as me in the hospital there was a four-year-old boy with six fully functional fingers on each hand. His parents apparently discussed the possibility to let him keep them. My guess is that he unfortunately wasn’t interested in playing the piano, or we would have heard of him by now.

Anyway, they took my toe away, not knowing which one was really the extra one, the inner or outer big toe. As it turns out it was probably the inner one, the one I kept, because it stopped growing and curled up when I was about ten years old. This resulted in a second operation on my feet when I was sixteen. The story of me influenced by the anaesthesia is worthy of its own blog entry if I ever write it down. Let’s just say I respond to calming blue pills with giggle fits and I slapped a doctor.

During this procedure they brought out the bone saw and made my toe single jointed, putting a screw through it to straighten it out. Ten years later I got to see an X-ray of my foot today, and they weren’t kidding about that screw! It looks as if I had an accident in a carpenter’s workshop.

(It's clickable)

When I woke up after the operation the doctor came to see me and announced happily that they had successfully carved and sawed in my foot. Dizzy from the drugs and the pain in my plastered foot, this was not the choice of words I wished to hear. This sixteen-year-old girl cried her eyes out over her carved and sawed toe, until my boyfriend at that time came to sit by my bed until I could hop home on crutches two hours later. He asked me if I was thirsty and poured me some lemonade. I answered him no, and then drank about a litre and a half. I’m afraid of anaesthesia now.

When all this was done my left foot started to feel jealous of all the attention my right foot had gotten, so it started to act up. Apparently the disfiguration that gave me my extra toe existed in the left foot too. It just hadn’t developed. This meant my left big toe, which by the way was much bigger than my straightened right one, started to bully the other toes. It turned on them and pushed them to lie on top of each other, and formed a big bump on the side of the foot. It looked similar to a foot on a lady who has worn pointy shoes all her life. I haven’t even owned a pair of pointy shoes.

All the same I got a third operation, this time on my left foot, at the age of twenty-two. They took out a bit of bone and cut a string to straighten my big toe. No screw this time, but six painful weeks on crutches. And they also helped me develop my fear of painkilling drugs, even though I wasn’t asleep this time. The anaesthesia didn’t take the first time, so after they had drained my foot of blood and started cutting in my toe, I suddenly felt the knife inside my foot! The pain! I howled. And then they added some more painkillers through a needle into my dry veins. The bruising was… ugly afterwards.

And why am I telling you this depressing feet’s tale? Well, history repeats itself and it’s soon time for my fourth and fifth procedure on my feet. It’s the right one’s turn again. A few years ago, after my trip to Italy, my feet started to turn purple around the ankle. Well… not bright purple like a lilac version of the Hulk, but spotted purple, like a big bruise. And it hurt. After having limped now and then waiting to see the orthopaedist for about a year and a half I finally got to see him today. Diagnoses: Nerves pinched in the heel and something disturbing the joint making it lock and click, and eventually unlock and click every now and then which is really painful.

So, I’m waiting again. I am to be contacted in about three months to get a date for the nerve thing. They’re just going to “clean up” around the nerves and unhinge them from whatever they’re pinched against. Then I have to wait again to eventually do something about the locking joint. The bruising that makes the feet lilac is still there, but nothing can be done until my feet are well again, and then it’s only removable using the same laser treatment you use to get rid of tattoos.

My mother was born with webbed toes and I have all this… If I ever have kids, they’ll probably be born with three arms each or something.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


You know those movies with impossible endings... Where there are like seven different endings to a story and after fading scene number five the whole movie theatre yells out in chorus: "Enough already!"
The movie that lended its title to this post is one of those (I hated it because of it). That title also reflects what I feel.

I feel trapped in a situation where I'm helpless. Someone or something is messing up my fairytale ending. It's an Entrapment kind of ending. In many ways.

I'm going to Stockholm tomorrow. My mother is taking me to a luxury spa with an overnight stay! It's more than what I need in many, many ways...

I'll be back home Sunday, after having had five days off, meeting friends and spending time with my mum. Hopefully I'll have the energy to write something of substance sometime soon after that.

... and she lived happily ever after... eventually.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The new life thing is working out! Step by step (oooh baby, gonna get to you gi-i-i-i-irl) I'm becoming the new me. I want to emphasize (spelling?) how I'm doing this little by little without expecting overnight change, like I usually do with these things.

And I'm knitting again. I just started a BIG sweater project (not Pilar - yet) and I'll get back to you about that one. And I started another pair of gauntlets / mittens, though another pattern and in red alpaca. I need a green set and a red set of mittens, hat, shawl. It's how I am.
Speaking of which, does anyone have an idea for a shawl, triangular, huge, preferably some kind of easy lace pattern that I could do in red alpaca? For the set. I'm looking at patterns I already have and I can't decide. It could be because I'm insanely jealous of the huge shawl Mandy got from Amy. It looks soooooo amazing. Something like that? In red? Could I make it? Too difficult?


Sunday, October 16, 2005


My new life starts tomorrow. I just wanted to let you know.

Now it's online, hence official. I'll get back to you on this. Promise. And please feel free to hold me to my word and ask me how I'm doing with this. I badly need it, and finally I have the money to start and the determination to follow through.

This is actually a long and painful chapter of my life, therefore it feels really apropriate to keep it short.

Friday, October 14, 2005


This is Ace. He's my new best friend. His breeder name is Acer Travelmate 8104 WLMI, but it's Ace for short.

It's my first own lappy and I'm so proud, happy, extatic about it! Now, I'm off to install some more stuff for Ace. And then maybe introduce him to Claire and Harry.

Oh, and I do need to point out that my last post about the stupid wrist watch was blog entry number 100 on visalisa. It's a milestone in my blogging life I guess. And yes, I am on sort of a shopping spree right now. Only sensible purchases though of course. Like Ace. I like Ace.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


It was time. Though I fought against it as long as I could. Borrowing one from a colleague at one point. Using my cell phone other times.
But I finally gave in and bought a new wrist watch.

I haven't had one in years, and I love the lifestyle that comes with not owning a watch. You don't count minutes. I'm never late. I come places in advance. Now, I'll be able to get there just in time, which probably means I'll be late every once in a while. I know this from experience.

Plus, the constant ticking drives me insane! Leaning my chin in my hand with my new watch on? I don't think so. That lets it come way too close to my ear.

Wrist watch. Though perfectly good looking and accurate.
Wrist watch - damnit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

fast and furious least about making mittens. Or gauntlets as the pattern calls them.

The colors really show in this one too. And you thought I'd give up after one didn't you? Oh, no sir. Look! Both done in four days! And I'm surprised about how evenly I knit!

Yes, I lo-o-ove them.

Friday, October 07, 2005

city furniture

I have finished yet another set of lessons. This time I’ve been on one of the main squares of Gothenburg talking about and experimenting with the city’s furniture together with kids (ages 7-12). It’s been so much fun and I’ve seen so many epiphanies dawn in their curious and interested little faces. But instead of teasing you with what it’s about I’ll just come out and tell you all about it. This is what we did:

In the middle of Gustav Adolfs Torg (The Square of king Gustavus Adolphus) there is a big statue of said king in the middle. I meet the class by this statue sitting on one of four chairs I brought specially for the occasion. On the ground in front of me I’ve placed a cute little carpet, and I have a tiny table by my side as if I just had a cup of coffee but cleared the table. The four chairs stand in a row to form a bench.

My introduction is about the square, the only square in town that’s been a square since Gothenburg was founded in 1621. I tell the class about how the site for the new city was decided by Dutch merchants who built a small port, and since they earned money for Sweden the king let the new city be laid out where they wanted. This is why Gothenburg is situated in the only big mud hole along the granite west coast of Sweden…
I then change direction. I tell them we are no longer in the city of Gothenburg, but the castle of Gothenburg, where plazas and squares are rooms and the streets hallways and corridors combining these rooms. Now, what sort of room is the square we’re in? Most kids agree it’s a salon or a living room. Because, as one kid said, “This is where you take your guests and say ‘look how beautiful’, and then you go hang out somewhere else”. Nobody really uses the fancy room. Clever. They have also come up with the ideas that Liseberg, our amusement park, is the playroom, and a popular square for food carts and cafés is the kitchen…

In the pavement of the square there’s an inlay “map” out of cobble stone and pavement slabs forming the map of Gothenburg as it was in 1644. It’s the fancy carpet of the fancy room. We discuss the map for a bit, about where the city wall was, how small the city once was and so on.

After the history lesson we move on to geometry and math. By holding a rope between them, four kids get to form a square shape representing the living room of one of them. We then estimate how many normal sized living rooms can fit in the living room of king Gustavus Adolphus. The number has ranged in between 180 and 300. The square is huge! But along the edges of the square we only find 13 benches all in all. And they seem to be placed there to work as a border rather than for seating. No wonder people don’t use this square too much. It’s about to change…

We move back to my four chairs and a drama lesson. We act out a scene from a central station where the train is late. One by one three students get to populate my “bench”, and without knowing they all obey the social rules of occupying seats on a bench. You always try and sit as far away from everyone else as possible. Eventually I take the last seat, demonstrating the benefit of forcing strangers on one another on benches, since we now start talking to each other about the train being late, the weather or whatever. Kids ooh and aah a lot during this portion of the lesson.

Then we move beyond the bench. What happens if we all get to choose where to sit? Four students get a chair each and the assignment to find their favourite spot somewhere on the square and go sit there. People laugh and yell “Bye, bye!” as class mates spread over the square. Then we pay each chair a visit, and its occupant gets to explain why he or she chose that particular spot. They leave the chairs where they are and we go back to the statue, and we look at what has happened. With four chairs the square has transformed, since new places have formed around them. And you can see that somebody has cared about being comfortable and feeling at home on an otherwise not so populated place. A funny extra benefit of the exercise is that these chairs often are occupied by passers by in the mere minutes they get to stand around and about… More seats are obviously needed.

Then I tell them about Barcelona where they actually furnish the city by letting people tell where and how they want to sit, and by using chairs rather than benches. You can find chairs standing in groups or by themselves, facing walls or sidewalks. Most of all the chairs standing opposite each other make a difference, since, let’s face it, it’s not easy to spend time together as a group sitting on a line…

The point of the lesson has not been to make kids run around the city with chairs, but to make them start questioning how the city’s design is planned, and can you do otherwise? I really do believe that with combined efforts making kids think for themselves, we’ll live in a more beautiful city in the future, with more people asking us architects “Why?”

I really do have the best job ever… If only I got rich doing it too…
Here's my little company's website too - though still only availible in Swedish.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


cutest ever: the bunny. A web comic that today became part of my daily web surfing routine. Gotta love it. It occasionally quotes Eddie Izzard, refers to Tim Burton creations and dismisses the US government too. Cute and clever.

PS: I'm very sorry Erik! I should obviously tell everybody that it was Erik, I mean the fabulous, smart, goodlooking, with impecable taste, fantastic (now I'm just sucking up...) Erik who gave me the tip about the Bunny. Thank you Erik! I am forever greatful! *winks*

Monday, October 03, 2005


I included the pictures from Knitty for comparison. (They are clickable)

I may have more chins, though I'm not sure where they come from, but I also have bigger boobs so... I am immensly proud of this cardi/ bolero/ thingie! (Dani: If I can - you can right?) Now all I have to do is figure out what project comes next.

The museum I work at (Röhsska Muséet) is now the host of a couple of my heros. The exhibition of DoRedo! They truly rock! Their homepage is now availible in English, as is the book. All I can say is GET IT NOW! I have the great pleasure of giving tours of this exhibition, and I also got to participate in this weekends workshops. This is one of the things I made:

A toque made from an old turtle neck with a 3D effect skull motif. Cool huh?

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Lacey is done and it's gorgeous! I'm so happy! Pictures are coming up, but not tonight. I need someone to take them for me, hopefully tomorrow.
And I will write a full post about something else than knitting. Soon. Otherwise I might just as well call this a knitting blog, and I didn't think it was... Not yet anyway.