Shop assistant at the bookshop (precisely, slowly): “You .. want discount .. on books, don’t you? I can .. sign you up for .. discount on .. books. Give me your .. email address.”
Later I met my partner by the door to the book shop. He too had been cajoled into signing up for their newsletter by a shop assistant doing the scary voice-thing. Gosh, what does the Borders chain do to their staff?
Two questions: How do you say “I would like to buy six live chicken, please” in German? And if I were to say to you: “You look like a one-eyed pirate except you have two eyes,” how would you interpret that?
I try to keep track of news in my erstwhile home country of Denmark. The more I read about government incentives, the happier I am that I chose to move to the UK where my being foreign isn’t treated as a disease. It would have been far more difficult for my Scottish partner to move across and I dread to think what it would have been like if David had not had a very obvious Scottish surname. One day I’ll reclaim Denmark from the people who annexed my nationality and turned it into something completely alien and repulsive. Right now I’ll just sit here and wonder what on earth happened to Denmark.
Cooking experiment: Danish rice pudding cooked with coconut milk instead of regular milk and served with fresh raspberries = very, very yummy.
PS. “George W. Bush praises Tanzania” – a news headline from today which I find really quite amusing.
Last night I went into the kitchen and announced: “I really like Tanzania.” My poor, deluded brain had been locked into dream-space whilst I had been battling it out on Puzzle Quest. While my fingers had been busy pairing up gems and fighting wyverns, another part of me had been in Tanzania on a veranda, er, playing Puzzle Quest. Needless to say, I was ordered to bed and slept until 1pm today. But I still really like Tanzania.
Not All Men of the Future Wear Polyester Jumpsuits: “In The Antineutral Suit: Futurist Manifesto (1914), Balla railed against “neutral, ‘nice,’ [and] faded” colors, not to mention “stripes, checks, and diplomatic little dots.” Instead, Futurist attire would be “Dynamic, with textiles of dynamic patterns and colors (triangles, cones, spirals . . .) that inspire the love of danger, speed, and assault, and loathing of peace and immobility.””
Speaking of fashion, do you have $8,901 to spare? If so, you might want to bid on an Elsa Schiraparelli item designed for and worn by Marlene Dietrich. I like the idea of a Schiraparelli gown – particularly one associated with Dietrich – it cannot get more arty decadence circa 1930 than that, surely?
Via my Other Half: Neil Gaiman on why books have genders. I could take or leave Gaiman, but it is an interesting idea. I might revisit that in a later entry.
Finally, Pictures of Walls. This site feeds into my preoccupation with public lettering/writing, of course. And funnily enough you also get pictures of walls there – which in turn have pictures on them. Gosh.
It’s Valentine’s Day today. I have already my present from my Significant Other: a facsimile of the Kelmscott Chaucer. Aww.
Equally geeky/sweet: Typecaster. “A Flash app [that] lets you drag two fonts from the left side into the stage area… to see how well the two types mix when dating (fonts available are Mistral, Papyrus, Comic Sans, Helvetica, Stencil, and American Typewriter).” I particularly like the type description of Papyrus.
Karie by the duck pond, late 1970s
Today is my birthday. I turn thirty-two – it sounds so grown-up to my ears, and yet I still feel like the child feeding the ducks in the midst of winter. Happy birthday to me because today, it really is all about me, hooray!
Okay, it is also a tiny bit about all the greetings, mails, texts and phone calls. Thank you all.
Having just finished Scarlett Thomas’ “PopCo”, I find myself longing for non-contemporary novels. I have been reading many books recently but all have all been written within the last thirty years. I long for a different sort of prose, a different perspective. And so I have been looking at my book shelves, thought about the books I have had to abandoned earlier in my life, and then I finally uncovered James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. The choice was between “Portrait”, “Ulysses” and Sterne’s “Tristram Shandy”. Clearly I’m going for the easy option because, well, I’m like that.
But I have a credit card and access to amazon.co.uk. I also have ideas (some borrowed from Harold Bloom, others from Clifton Fadiman and finally a few picked up along the way) about what to buy. But I want to ask you for a recommendation.
written in English
nothing I will have read before (which excludes all of Austen, actually)
Feel free to add as many slightly left-field recommendations as you’d like and, if you want, your reason for recommending the novel.
In other news, I foolishly thought I would take tea with some good friends today (it is my birthday tomorrow). This led to a collapse in public and a subsequent three-hour nap. Sometimes I forget how little energy I actually do have and that I cannot just dismiss the lack of energy. Unfortunately every little action has a consequence.
Since I last had an MRI scan (mid-90s, if I recall correctly), technology has allowed the patient to listen to the radio during the scan. Unfortunately this meant I was forced to listen to a talk show debating killing stray dogs and then people suffering from claustrophobia. Not ideal listening material for someone who likes dogs and is trapped inside a snug plastic tube for 40 minutes.
Seeing as today is Super Tuesday, the Slate article, Can I Get My 5-Month-Old Daughter Photographed With Every Presidential Candidate? is a very apt link. The photos are great – I particularly like the first Barack Obama photo and the hilariously panicky Rudy Giuliani photo.
Today is also Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Tuesday – here in the UK. I made pancakes earlier today and served them Danish style with butter, a touch of ground cardamom and granulated sugar. Multi-culturalism r us, yo.
Let’s be positive! My downstairs neighbour is not a hypersensitive man who complains that I ‘type too loudly’. He is not a schizophrenic albino who loves Celine Dion and talks to his absent father whilst hiding from the people in the walls. He is not a Norwegian couple who argue until 4am, then shag and who will eventually leave me with two desert rats called Legolas and Gimli. Let’s face it, I survived all those people, so why should I be so grumpy about him being a hippie stoner who puts the same prog rock song on repeat until 2.30am.
I must be getting old. Well, I did take up crocheting the other week..
Now, to paraphrase the amazing Flight of the Conchords: it’s Hospital Time.
We went to the hospital today. I am going to have my brain-waves measured next week which is terribly exciting. I hope I do emit brain-waves and that they’ll be interesting enough to result in a diagnosis.
Right, let’s move on to something a bit more interesting:
+ Fun Facts about the QWERTY Keyboard
+ The QWERTY keyboard and how it was adapted in Russia/The Soviet Union
+ Why the QWERTY keyboard got its layout
+ The QWERTY Myth
I’m seeing a neurologist on Wednesday which is great news. I’ve been waiting almost a month for this appointment. Stupid me for falling ill during the holiday season.