Monday, January 31, 2005

warning warning

"System failure imminent. Back up all your data."
said my computer.
I'm scared.
Anyway, this apparently means I need to return my almost new 200G disk and get a new one, and that I need to save as much as I can from it before it crashes.
I'm scared.
So, I'm only sporadically online for a while, but my abstinence for, first of all msn, is already severe, so I'll be back as soon as I can (Otherwise my phone bill will sky rocket). For now however, my computer at home is switched off, until I have the time and energy to attack and conquer my failing drive.
I'm leaving for Stockholm Wednesday, and for Barcelona the day after to celebrate my mother's birthday there. I'll be back in a week from that though. So I'll have a great week, however I already suffer the consequences from my severe computer and internet addiction.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


I love the smell of snow.

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon
I went to this housewarming party / girls-night-in-dinner kind of thing yesterday night at this wonderful friend’s house. I’ll call her S. J and K were also there, and a little later L (who I don’t know so well) came.
The hostess got a big teddybear to cuddle as a housewarming gift, and a toy that would also help keep her warm, from me and J. And she and K also got their christmas gifts from me – finally. It turned out to be a regular “let’s give each other gifts and hug a lot” kind of party.
And I got a present too.
It’s said to be a late Christmas present from S, but I must admit I didn’t realise how amazing it was until after I had thought about it for a while. He was given to somebody else not too long ago, but this somebody else can’t take care of him anymore, so since I’m a pig myself (my online nickname “Ferkel” means piglet in german) S thought we would get along.
Francis Bacon
This is him. I call him Francis. Francis Bacon. He’s a pig with heatable wheat in his belly, so my nights will be less cold from now on.
Thank you S! I love him!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

m ssing letter

I got a package today.

to me

I don’t know how to begin to tell you how much it means to me to get such a package. The one who sent it, Spencer, has gotten very close to me, even if fate placed an ocean between us; it feels as if he’s so close. I’ve been smiling all day, because now I have physical proof of his existance and of his care.

My whole apartment smells from some wonderful coffee he sent me, and if you could write your blog using a pencil, I would use a silly, brightly colored one with the name Spencer on it. My mouth tastes from chocolate espresso beans that are so good (I’m having trouble not eating all of them at once, but then I wouldn’t sleep for a week).
And I got weird looks today at a café as I sat giggling in a corner, reading the book “So, You Want to Be Canadian?” (I’ve finally learnt how to pronounce the word toque).

However, the envelope said, on the customs specifications, that there was supposed to be a letter inside, but there was no letter. Apart from the address and a lovely little greeting written in the book, I’m at a loss for words; Your words, Spencer! Where did they go? Apparently all those words I long to read are still in Canada…

So even though my heart is pounding and I can’t wipe this smile off my face, I’m still waiting for more. First, I wait for the arrival of a lost letter. Second, I long for the arrival of a lost Canadian.
Come on over soon will ya’?

Monday, January 24, 2005

point of no return

There. It's done. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are now as eternal as if it was all engraved in stone. Or at least it's all sent to Canada. I make a note of it today, to know later how many days it took for it to arrive at Mandy's.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


stalkers on blog
I just got an e-mail, not a blog comment mind you, but an e-mail, from a new reader of my blog. Apparently I'm good enough to attract new people here after having blogged only about 3 months, and not being an active part of any kind of blogging network yet. I am ever so flattered. Since I've had a sneak peek into the network of knitting bloggers, I have some idea about what a network like that might mean to a single little blogger. It's a metaphor for life really - the feeling of being part of something bigger. To matter in a bigger picture... Oh, sorry I'm going on and on here. Back to the e-mail I got. It freaked me out.

Someone wants to know what I look like, having read my blog and having seen only the tiny photo here to the right, he or she (I don't know which!) has formed an image of me and wants to know if he or she is right. What I want to say about the whole thing is this:

To ask for more of me, even pictures, in an anonymous e-mail seems not only quite stupid but also rather rude. I will probably post pictures of myself eventually, but not only to show off my great looks to my stalkers. I am happy people are reading my blog, but I still consider my blogging being self therapy as much as entertainment for the masses. So, there will be no pictures of me out of context posted here.

To serious blog readers with manners, I want to apologize if this rude person's behaviour has made me maybe more hesitant of posting pictures of me at all. I do hope that the ones of you who deserve getting to know me will do so in time.

Blog ya' later. /Lisa without photo

Saturday, January 22, 2005


From Sweden with love
So, I thought it would take until the end of next week to finish this thingy for Mandy, but having had a very inspired day I finished it NOW. So watch out Canada - there is a package from Sweden arriving shortly (I'll send it Monday). I can't say anymore at the moment or I'll slip and reveal too much. It's supposed to be a secret and I suck at secrets. At least my own, about stuff I'm eager to share...


Whenever I need inspiration to pick up a pen and draw, I sit and flip through the pages of the Bearskin Sketchbook. He has a totally different style than me, but the way he has used his sketchbook is fenomenal. And the layout of the webpage... wow. Take a look, but beware: You will probably be stuck in there for a while. It's that good.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


My mother is the editor in chief for this magazine and she called me yesterday to ask if I could help them with an idea. They wanted a little troll that will reappear in every issue with something smart or thoughtful to say about some current event... A little mascot with with opinions if you want. She specifically wanted a version of a little troll that appears in one of Astrid Lindgren's childrens books; specifically the one about Ronja the Robber's daughter. I came up with this little guy as a first sketch:
What do you think?

Oh, hello mister minister…

I want to tell you about my weird day yesterday, but I don’t know where to start. The story is too incredible to not start in an as incredible way, but since the day went from normal to insane, I guess this text sort of will too. I could start like this:

Yesterday was supposed to be a slow day in preparation for my meeting today. I went to meet my friend and architect colleague Jessica for coffee at 10 am. We ordered our coffee (my usual grande latte) but had but sat down when she apologized for having forgotten she had to be at our city museum at 11 o’clock for this presentation thing…

I could also start my blog entry like this:

In 2007 the famous Swedish biologist and botanist Carl von Linné (Linneaus) would have turned 300 years old, had men been able to live that long. In memory of, and using his famous name and the jubilee as a marketing gimmick, there are big wheels in motion about things that are going to happen in two years in the name of Linneaus and his birthday. Yesterday a new book about one of Linneaus’ disciples was presented at the city museum in Gothenburg. At the same time, they presented an exhibition project where a gazebo will travel the world containing an exhibition about Swedish science, research and the heritage of Carl von Linné. It just so happens that my friend Jessica has designed this gazebo, and I got to accompany her to this inauguration thing at the museum yesterday…

You see, this story has many different angles and weird twists and turns so I have to start from two different views at the same time not to loose you. I hope you’re with me so far.

As it turns out, this presentation was the first of many occasions in the next two years about the jubilee of Carl von Linné, and they took the chance to present the whole project of Sweden celebrating one of the biggest international superstars we have – a botanist who’s been dead for like 250 years. Don’t get me wrong though, I think it’s fascinating. He's big enough to be depicted on our 100 kronor bills for example: Linneaus is worth 100SEK
But since I was only prepared for a couple of hours at a café with a friend I was let us say somewhat surprised to see our Minister for Culture and Education get up on stage to give the welcoming speech. He talked for an hour. Then a former Minister of Defence got up, and it turns out he’s the chairman of the committee organizing the different projects involved in the Linneaus jubilee. In the audience sat some famous historians, authors and other familiar faces in the A-list of the culture world in Sweden. I felt like a stowaway on a cruiseship, when all I had planned was a run around the bay in a canoe…

It gets worse.

After this inauguration and the presentations, Jessica and I had decided to go out for lunch to compensate for our lost hours of catching up at a café. However this man who had something to do with the gazebo project came running and said she had to come to lunch with them. We thought, either it’s the five persons in the gazebo group, or the entire lecture hall and that lunch was included in the program of the day, so she asked if she could bring me, and this man said that off course! He was counting on it. So I went with them.

We stepped into the museums restaurant, considered to be one of the best restaurants in town, and we met a table for about 20 people reserved for us. As I took my seat and was presented to the people around me I found myself sitting opposite a man who has the biggest private collection of Linné related stuff in the world. Next to me was a woman who is translating books about Linné to English. Diagonally opposite me the Minister for Culture and Education grabs a chair, and opposite him, two chairs away from Jessica, the former minister of Defense now Linnéus committee chairman.

The food was served and I get to eat a delicious fish dish with cod, and we’re served wine if we want it, red or white at our choice. However I’m not much for wine a Wednesday lunch, even if it's free, so I settled for mineral water.

So, in short, I went for coffee with a friend and ended up on a free luxury lunch with members of our government. What can I say – it was quite a day.

Mandy is sending people my blogs’ way and I’m thankful, so welcome new readers! And she’s right about comments making me want to write more. So go ahead!
I’m not posting frequently enough since I have this AND a Swedish blog… but I find writing in English both good for me and fun, so encourage me, and I’ll keep writing!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Claire Epson

Ok, lock me up in the insane asylum.
THIS and THIS is what happens when you provide me with a boring lecture and a pen.
Yes, I've inaugurated my scanner. It's now called Claire (surname Epson), though I didn't smash a bottle baptising her, nor did I pat her with water. I'm not that stupid yet.

[Barry Manilow songtitle here]

She makes me blush. Mandy (yes, that's the songtitle) just wrote in her wonderful blog about the deal we've made. She'll knit me this [insert about 10 synonyms to wonderful here] shawl, and I'll make her something artsy in return. But did she stop her paragraph about me there? No, not at all. She continues by calling me "a brilliant and incredibly interesting person" and says about what I'm making her that "whatever it is will not fail to be wonderful". What can I say? I'm blushing.

However, the "No pressure!" comment she added is of no help. This Mandy, who I still haven't met yet, can paint, knit and sow, each of which she does well enough to make a proffession out of it. Plus, the humour of this woman, her style (both hair, glasses and choice of words) and the bits and pieces S has told me about her, and the few words I've exchanged with her husband (who has a brilliant sense of humour too)... and then she calls me incredibly interesting before I've had the chance to dedicate a full blog entry to her (though she'll probably hate the Barry Manilow association). She has some nerve!

I've always wanted to be as good at knitting as she is, but so far I haven't ever bothered to work at it since the first fifty or so attempts have come out horrible. They're more knotted than knitted I'm afraid... But hey, how many talents is a girl supposed to have? I paint, I draw, I write, I speak different languages, I have an education, I have my own firm, I sing in a band... and I'm still single, so what's the use? (Kidding!)

Anyway, I think I've figured out what to make her, but if I'll succeed with my rep intact is yet to be seen. It's tough being a brilliant and incredibly interesting person, before you've even made anything, but I'll do my best Mandy, I promise. And thank you. If you didn't notice I'm childishly proud and honoured by your mentioning me (and recommending my blog! I'm scared to think there actually might be people reading this now!). It's a huge compliment!

To my new visitors I wish to remind you all that English is my second language, so be impressed, not disturbed by my errors. And I want to have a list of blogs and other pages I want to link to in a sidebar, but I'm still figuring out how to modify this template thingy...

Oh, and by the way, my scanner is plugged in and working now, so maybe I'll bother to insert some more of my doodling here soon.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

stormy weather

The melancholy song of a big tree in the storm is an eerie, yet magical sound. Imagine putting a vacuum to the horn of a tuba, and you might get something similar. Yesterday I walked under the singing crown of an immense elm tree. I leaned against the wind feeling equally impressed with and scared of Mother Nature. She must have heard me being scared of her when she let the big elm shower me with twigs that had been ripped off 20 meters above me. I smiled, because she chose to tease me when I know so well she could have destroyed me.

In spite of the warnings about the storm on the radio I felt uncannily safe yesterday as I walked to town to meet J and M. I turned down the avenue and as the wind turned and twisted I struggled against it one second, just to dance along with it the next. In front of an impressive building from the last turn of century, one of the spherical lanterns by the entrance was smashed. Someone had tried to cover it with a black plastic bag and duct tape. But the bag couldn’t resist the wind’s invitations to dance. As I passed it struggled to break free from the last strap of tape as it made pirouettes in the swirls and twirls of air rushing past it. Then some raindrops found their way in to the remains of the broken lamp and it fizzed and whizzed sending miniature fireworks up to celebrate the bag’s escape.
Eventually I took refuge in a café to wait for my friends. Just outside three flagpoles bowed politely towards the avenue as if the royal family was passing them by. But one of the three had to be a republican, as it suddenly decided to bow no more and it snapped off at the base and leaned in a rather nonchalant manner towards the building behind it. Luckily it missed the windows.

As the firemen came to collect the republican flagpole I saw my friend J coming towards me struggling against the wind. Later M came and we proceeded to a place that served more substantial food than coffee. It still wasn’t as bad as the radio reports had claimed, we said to each other just as the light went out in the building across the street…

Eventually we went to the movies, keeping close to the walls walking there, since we were now afraid of crashing Christmas lights and roof tiles. But we made it to the theatre ok, and the power didn’t go out during the movie or anything, so we thought it couldn’t be so bad. Right?

After the movie, we stood outside discussing the plot for a while, when M points to the ground saying: “Wasn’t that up on the wall before?” The shards of a sign for a place called “Pasta & Panini”, where I often buy lunch, lies at our feet. As my mouth watered thinking about their vegetarian sandwiches, I looked further down the street. A smashed roof tile on the left side, the iron console of a sign trying to twist itself out of a brick wall… We looked at each other and agreed to head home.

The problem was there were no buses. They were cancelled “to ensure the drivers’ safety”. And the trams can’t run through the knee high water flooding one of the central squares, so they were cancelled too. So at the same time as the radio and TV told people to stay inside, J and I agreed to walk home.

The song of the trees had turned into a cacophony, and we counted five fallen trees (one was merely a bush, but one was really huge, so we agreed to say it was five all in all), five fallen or broken signs and two more flagpoles. The police had taped off a “safe area” around the flagpoles using their usual plastic tape. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time when they put it up, but we could do nothing but laugh at the twenty meters or so of plastic tape dancing and twisting all over the street, looking to whip the passers by, or at least make them trip over snaring their feet together.

We made it home okay, but reading the news today about the floods, seven dead people, huge glass facades fallen in or out, cars being crashed by falling trees, I feel lucky Mother Nature chose to just tease me…

Friday, January 07, 2005


Ok, I’ve been trying to write this update forever now, in both Swedish and English, but it just won’t let itself be written. Why? Well, how do you balance my chaotic Christmas, calm and wonderful new years eve, my chaotic apartment to the tsunami disaster? You can’t. That’s why.

Thailand has become paradise for Swedish tourists the last few years, making Sweden the European country with the most victims. And since we’re not a big country, this turns out to be the worst natural disaster in our history too. A fact that is hard to take in, as so many more people are affected in the part of the world where it actually happened. There is not a single Swedish person who will not know somebody who knew somebody. Children are coming home without their parents. Parents are coming home without their children. And still, we feel ashamed we report so much about our own casualties, since it might look as if we don’t care about the rest, which is not the case.
Personally, I’m still not directly linked to any of the victims, but to be honest I’m just sitting here waiting for a familiar name from somewhere in my life to turn up in some list of missing persons. So far, I have heard three friends of friends’ stories, and I can’t write about that. It’s hard enough to dress cold facts in words. Don’t ask of me to express my emotions about this. I can’t.
One personal tragedy after the other in the headlines. In Sweden the media seems to ruthlessly look for scapegoats. Who did what wrong, and which minister should resign? As for me, I’d feel better if journalists, that manage to be so out of focus in a time of crisis, resigned. Why look for someone to blame before we’ve even understood how severe the situation is? Why interview people while still in shock after the loss of, in some cases, everything? Nothing good comes out of it.
I try to look at the few positives about this. Some parts of me feel grateful for the evidence of human kindness and cooperation that the aftermath of this disaster has shown.
As I don’t have a specific God to turn to, not being a very religious person, I realize what comfort a firm belief sometimes must offer. As for me, I turn to my friends to digest and understand this. And I'm thankful to know I have people who will be there if I myself find a familiar name in the all too long lists of names…

I’ll try again to write about my holidays, some other time.