As that’s what you’re getting today, too. For some action, check out the bookblog and the comestibles blog, they’ve been updated quite frequently lately.
Anyway, one year away from the big 4 oh. Next year will be celebrated in style, that’s the plan anyway. Not sure what sort of style, but style, definitely. This year there will be less celebration, but of course I want gifts anyway.
1. A new laptop, one with a decent graphics card and more than 2 GB RAM. I can’t run Photoshop and email at the same time on this one and that’s a pain in the b***, especially since I just spent the last three months or so using Photoshop daily to create photobooks from last year. I got them back today (the photobooks, not the three months) and there might just be a post on those at some point, but I’m rambling and I’ll stop here.
2. A wok pan that works on induction stovetops. We just changed our stovetop (since the old one died) and now we don’t have a working wok. Not good. We got a frying pan from Woll for Christmas which I adore, but they don’t seem to make make woks. I’d prefer one with one long handle on one side and a non-stick coating that can take metal utensils.
3. A small pot that works on induction stovetops. 1 liter or thereabouts. We have one, but frequently need two.
4. Things that can be eaten or drunk.
this year I am having a hard time coming up with wishes. Well, other than the regular first wish of peace on earth, that’s a given as we’re not – really – quite there yet. I’d still like an overlock, other than that I seem to have practically everything I need (or have room for). Technically I’m only supposed to wish for money this year, anyway, since I already bought myself a Christmas present. You see, I was in Oslo for three days recently and the camera started behaving oddly on the first night, but I didn’t think any more about it until the next day, when I realised the lens was making rattling noises. So I traipsed off to FotoVideo to hand it in for service and was faced with 36 or so hours without a working camera (I hadn’t brought a spare lens). Well, I really couldn’t have that, so I trundled on upstairs and purchased a wide angle lens. Which was, it should be said, next on the list of “photography gadgets to get”, but not at all on the budget for the next few months. So. I need money to pay for that. Other than that, well, life is pretty good. But here we go:
1. Peace on earth.
2. Health and longevity for my nearest and dearest and for the following authors/artists (and any others I may have forgotten): Robin Hobb, J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry, Jo Nesbø, Ole Paus, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Alanis Morisette, Michael Wiehe, Michael Parkinson, Håkon Gullvåg, Lillebjørn Nilsen, Neil Gaiman, Bill Bryson, India Knight, Kate Atkinson, Bob Dylan, Jasper Fforde and the Top Gear guys.
3. Anything from Gaver med mening, Gaver som forandrer verden, Oxfam unwrapped (look, you can buy “me” schoolbooks!) and similar sites.
4. The Sandman books, vol. 3 onwards.
5. An Overlock. Like this one. Or one of the Husqvarna Huskylocks they have here.
6. Non Stop (though not a lot, since the littlest lass seems to react badly to her mum’s sugar intake, so as long as I’m nursing I need to keep my consumption to a minimum).
I’ve been taking a lot of pictures over the last few years, but the majority have involved the lass in some way. Now, of course, there is a lass mk2 as well (and yes, I have been taking a few pictures of her too). However, this does not mean that I don’t occasionally try to focus on the other sort of photography, the sort with fewer humans and more, well, attempts at “art” I suppose.
And as it happened I had a “free” afternoon on the day of the annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk – the fifth annual, I think – on the 13th of october. The maximum amount of fifty people had signed up for the walk in Trondheim, and quite a few thousand kroner worth of photographic equipment set off – with its owners – from “Blomsterbrua” toward Nyhavna, Lade and Svartlamoen.
I spent so much time messing about at Nyhavna that I didn’t make the rest of the route the organisers had planned, but there was so much to take pictures of that it hardly mattered. I left my camera on M for once, forcing myself to actually consider shutter and exposure time. You can see the whole set on Flickr. Some of the pictures I played around with in Photoshop, some I’ve left SOOC.
Here’s one I played around with…:
Whereas this is SOOC:
I had fun. And it was nice to meet such a lot of other local photography enthusiasts.
You can check out the pictures from the other participants in the WWPW Trondheim 2012 group on Flickr, and two other people have blogged about the event, Harald Wesenberg and Randi Aa.
Now all I need to do is figure out which picture I like the best and upload it to the photowalk page to take part in the competition.
Perhaps this one?
Looks like this
The Hello Kitty was the lass’ idea… The pattern is from another Ottobre (I’ll check the issues and update). I didn’t want to “waste” the happy camper fabric on a lining which was not meant to show, so I used a scrap of blue organic cotton. The button is from stash (aquired in a big lot of buttons at a flea market). I must say I’m pretty pleased, I even managed to figure out the whole issue of the fly – something I’ve never sewn from scratch before. The instructions in Ottobre are pretty good, on the whole, though, so I will not claim any unreasonable honour from that.
I made one alteration to the pattern, since I cut it rather big (hoping it will last a while): I added button hole elastic in the waistband with buttons (again from that flea market stash) to enable adjusting it. A good thing I did, too, as it’s waaaaay too wide as is, but looks pretty good once tightened a bit.
Action picture may be forthcoming…
No, I’m not dead, I’ve just been pregnant. I realise this may not really be a hindrance to blogging, but it seems it was for me. As of four days ago I am a mother of two, the lass has a little sister and we’re all doing well. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that here on the blog (as always, if you’re friends/family and want to see pictures etc. get in touch for the url and a user name for the private blog).
Indirectly, another baby may well influence the contents of blog posts, though, as with the main purpose of this entry which is to show off a bit of sewing.
Every time I sit down to sew after a prolonged break, I curse myself for having forgotten just how relaxing and rejuvenating I find the activity. A few years ago I managed to attend a couple of whole day “workshops” where a few people from the forum at tettinntil.no met up just to work on our own sewing projects for a whole day. I remember at that time pointing out to the husband that that sort of day – to me – is better than a spa break.
Anyway, some weeks ago I succumbed to sound medical advice and let the doctors write me off sick, and suddenly – well, after a week or so of doing basically nothing – I had energy enough to actually start preparing for the baby’s arrival. One thing I realised we’d need was some sort of middling warm outer wear, as the clothes we have from the lass are all meant for mid-winter temperatures, which are unlikely to manifest i September and October (I hope!). So I had a look through a stack of Ottobre magazines and found a pattern I liked, went off to Stoff og stil to find some suitable material, and got to work. Here is the result, sans model:
I adore both fabrics, and am rather pleased that I purchased a bit more than required for this pattern. I’ve already made a skirt for the lass in the striped babycord, and am contemplating sewing a Mei Tai with both fabrics in the panel somehow, I just need to check that I have something suitable for the straps in an appropriate colour.
Every time elections roll round again I struggle to decide whom to vote for. I’ve been a member of a couple of different parties, but never wholeheartedly, and never for more than a couple of years at most. One party has never, ever been under consideration, though. FrP is never getting my vote, even by proxy, which means any party that seriously considers long-term cooperation with FrP is also out of the question (what with having a multi-party system we usually have coalition governments nowadays). I normally land squarely to the left of center whatever I decide, though, so mostly just that issue hasn’t been a problem for me, however some of my friends are facing just that problem at the moment as it is rumored that Venstre might just possibly decide to, well, consider being in a coalition with FrP. Kristine at Haustljos is facing precisely that, and in that context decided to go looking for an answer to “What now?”. The particular test she found was a US based one (as far as we can gather) which yields some interesting results, though perhaps not very helpful ones in a Norwegian context. As Kristine says:
Testen eg tok var i overkant amerikansk, og skulle kartlegge kor rasistisk, homofob, kulturelt amøbe og gunhappy eg var.
Det viste seg at eg var hakket kvassare enn Gandhi.
Well, I was curious, so I took it too. I’m even worse:
This is me, apparently.
Uhm. A little to the left and a little libertarian. Just a wee bit. So, if we’re “sharper than Gandhi”, where’s Gandhi?
The Political Compass' take on some historical figures.
Wheee. This is fun. So, since the election everyone’s talking about at the moment is the US primaries, let’s see who I should aim to vote for, were I a US citizen:
Uh. Houston, we have a problem.
Or perhaps I should say Washington. Anyway, I guess it’s just as well I don’t have to decide which of the US candidates to vote for.
And, oh, those of you that claim Obama is a socialist? I think I can say with some authority: He ain’t. Mind you, according to this it seems Stalin wasn’t either. I mean, I’m in favour of the state having some control, and of essential public services being state owned rather than privatised, but I’m not against free trade as such. Well, ok, perhaps I am, since I’m in favour of regulating free trade, so let’s call it “freeish trade” shall we? Anyway, I’m not against private initiative, which I sort of thought the Soviets were. I may have misunderstood something here.
The overview of EU governments in 2008 is illuminating, too:
The world is mad.
Norway, I suspect, world be just to the left of that middle axis, we’re pretty similar to Sweden, but the poor Swedes have had a right-wing government for a few years now. Not that the difference seems particularly glaring (nowhere near as glaring as it ought by rights to be), so not much further to the left. Nowhere near enough to make me happy.
The FAQ is interesting, and contains a point worth quoting under the heading “You can’t be libertarian and left wing”:
The assumption that economic deregulation inevitably delivers more social freedom is flawed. The welfare states of, for example, the Nordic region, abolished capital punishment decades ago and are at the forefront of progressive legislation for women, gays and ethnic minorities – not to mention anti-censorship. Such established high-tax social democracies consistently score highest in the widely respected Freedom House annual survey on democratic rank eg Denmark ranks 2, Sweden 3 and Norway 7, while comparatively free markets such as the US, Singapore and China rate 15,74 and 121 respectively (this detailed checklist can be viewed at http://www.worldaudit.org/civillibs.htm).
The weather outside is frightful. Really. I’m not particularly a snow person at the best of times, but even I can enjoy a nice sunny day, not too cold, with a little bit of cross country skiing, cocoa from a thermos and perhaps a fire to grill hot-dogs on. The last week or so, though? Ter – ri – ble. There’s been seemingly constant snow, hail, sleet and rain and every other variation thereof, frequently accompanied by wind, occasionally strong winds.
Still, when I caught myself feeling sorry for myself the other day, I realised it was time for a reality check.
Why? Well, honestly, if bad weather for a couple of weeks is unpleasant and a minor inconvenience, which, believe me, is all it is, that means I’m in a more priveleged situation than the vast majority of people on earth, even many of my neighbours.
- Heavy rain to me means wet clothes if I don’t remember to dress for it.
- A dry spell, similarly, means the price of electricity might go up a bit, and if we’re at my parents’ cabin we have to be extra careful about not setting off a forest fire (which, naturally, we try to avoid at the best of times).
- If it’s cold, I can dress up more warmly, snuggle under a blanket or turn the heat up. If neccessary, I have the money to pay the increased heating bill and to buy more clothes.
- Strong winds means it’s better to stay inside, but if I have to go out it’s not a problem.
As opposed to, were I born somewhere and someone else:
- Heavy rain means worrying about a flooded house or a flooded field that was supposed to feed my family. Hereabouts it might lead to worrying about landslides.
- A dry spell may mean we will starve because crops will fail.
- Cold may mean freezing to death or choosing between eating and paying the heating bill.
- Strong winds may blow my house down.
And so on. Should we be particularly unlucky, our basement could flood and I suppose wind could blow in a window or one could break because something outside got picked up and thrown against it. Should anything like that happen we have insurance that will cover it, and even if the insurance company quarrelled, we would be able to fix the problem somehow from savings or borrowing from family, or worst case: the bank.
And that’s it. My worst case scenario, regarding weather, resembles a helluvalot of people’s unobtainable dream.
That is my grateful thought of the day.
Lego recently unveiled a new series aimed at girls: Lego Friends. Lego themselves unashamedly admit they have been marketing to boys for the last twenty or so years, and that now they are targeting the “other 50%”. They’ve redesigned the minifig, creating the minidoll, and have launched 14 sets to start with.
Some people are up in arms about it, some people shrug their shoulders and wonder what the problem is and some people recognise that gendering toys is not neccessarily ideal but why should Lego be the ones to take to the barricades, they need to make money after all?
I’m a bit torn, though leaning toward the “up in arms” faction, and I’ll try to summarise what I think is wrong (and also what I think is right).
- The new minidolls: Firstly, they look like Polly Pocket rip-offs. The fact that they are “curvy” and have “breasts” (yes, they do, not cup size DD mercifully, but still) is problematic for a whole host of reasons, but ok, they’re not too bad as these things go. However: Yes, women have breasts. Girls don’t. At last not girls in the target age for these sets. In fact, it’s quite difficult to tell boys and girls apart before puberty if they are wearing “neutral” clothes and hair styles. But I guess these “Friends” are supposed to be grown up? In which case is perhaps having a tree house a bit weird? Mostly they seem a bit confused in terms of age, actually.
- What I notice though, is the lack of male minidolls. What, the five girls live all alone as humanoids on a planet otherwise inhabited by yellow-skinned, hard-cornered aliens? Where’s Ken?
- Another point about the new minidolls is that apparently the legs can’t be posed separately and the hands can’t be turned, seriously limiting the number of activities the girls can take part in compared to minifigs (and compared to Playmo figures, for example, whose hands can turn when they need to hold the handlebars of a bike). This is both Not Good because it limits play and Not Good because it feeds into this whole “girls should be watchers rather than participators” thing, though I’m (reasonably) sure the latter wasn’t what the designers intended and it’s just a “natural” limitation in the way they are designed. (Natural, but not unavoidable, I’d say.)
- The colours: Yes, little girls like pink (this is – overwhelming evidence suggests - because they’ve been conditioned to like pink, but still, they do). And the colours as such aren’t a problem on their own, except in as much as “normal” colours are missing from the series. Unless your neighbourhood has been painted pink as a stunt from Mattell (yes, it happened, google it) you are unlikely to find a whole community made up of pastel-coloured houses. The idea that lego bricks have to be pastel coloured for girls to play with them is ridiculous.
- The set themes: I’ll give Lego credit for the Inventor’s Workshop and, grudgingly, for the tree house, but they are a bit like the token minority actor in a sitcom: Including one black character doesn’t make your show “not racist”. The sets are overwhelmingly embarrasingly stereotypishly “girly” and this is Not Good.
- Talking about “not racist”, the five friends include the token minority characters. Naturally. Hang on, I went back to have a better look at them. I assumed Emma was supposed to be generic-asian and Andrea was supposed to be generic-of-african-decent, but now I see they both have green eyes. That’s just weird.
- What do you mean “the other 50%”? Has it escaped your attention that girls already play with legoes? Not all girls, by any means, but do ALL boys play with legoes?
- If you’re a boy and you would like a beauty parlour set (or a tree house, for fuck’s sake), are you allowed to buy one? Ok, no matter how it was packaged I imagine some parents would balk at buying a beauty parlour for their son, unfortunately, but if it was just another Lego City set wouldn’t the chance have been greater? Even keeping the Friends series but adding a few male mindolls and NOT trumpeting “Lego for GIRLS! FINALLY!” would be a huge step in the right direction.
- Following on from that: If you sell a girl a beauty parlour in the Lego City series, perhaps the next thing she wants is the hospital. And then the police station. And then the construction sets so that she can pretend to build more beauty parlours (if you insist, though I’d rather build a mad scientist laboratory or something). Wasn’t ”selling more Lego” your goal, or have I misunderstood?
- Once upon a time Lego was marketed to “kids”. What happened?
- I quite like the minidolls to be honest. Yes, there are major issues with WHY they were designed at all, but I quite like the result (except for the lack of mobility). I hope they realise quite quickly that they need to include some male characters as well, though.
- New sets. More parts being made in more colours. Yay! And the diner is quite nice.
- Uhm. That’s it.
So. I think we’ll call it a FAIL. Which doesn’t mean the lass might not end up with some of these sets, in among all the other Lego (Toy Story Lego has been a favourite with both mother and daughter so far, and she LOVES Cars).
Well, I’ve certainly started thinking about Christmas, so I guess it’s about time.
Well, I got presents last year despite the fact that we told the lass you don’t exist and so on. In fact, she got presents too, so I’m guessing you’re ok with that, then? With the amount of attention you get it might just be refreshing for someone to ignore you, I guess, and considering the number of homes you need to visit in one night I guess being able to drop things off early and not give a personal appearance is probably a bit of a relief. Anyway, you know the drill:
1. Peace on earth.
2. A laminating machine that takes A3 format. Preferably a decent quality one that handles a bit of thickness.
3. Health and longevity for my nearest and dearest and for the following authors/artists (and any others I may have forgotten): Robin Hobb, J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry, Jo Nesbø, Ole Paus, Michael Wiehe, Michael Parkinson, Håkon Gullvåg, Lillebjørn Nilsen, Neil Gaiman, Bill Bryson, India Knight, Kate Atkinson, Bob Dylan, Jasper Fforde, Robin Laing, Mads Eriksen, Frode Øverli, Lise Myhre, Richard Russo, Alexander McCall Smith, Nick Hornby and the Top Gear guys. Oh, and Jeffrey Archer, but dear, dear Santa, please make him stick to writing books rather than involving in politics (or, the horror, another groundless libel case).
4. An Overlock. Like this one. Or one of the Husqvarna Huskylocks they have here.
5. Anything from Gaver med mening, Gaver som forandrer verden, Oxfam unwrapped (look, you can buy “me” schoolbooks!) and similar sites.
7. The Sandman books.
8. A Roomba, or other robotic vacuum.
9. Books. Not that we need any more, but on the other hand: One will always need another book.
And then I honestly can’t think of anything else. I think life must be pretty good, actually.
List for the lass to follow.
Jeg som synes jeg har blogget så mye i det siste… Det har visst vært på bokbloggen alt sammen.
Slike jenter (en blogg som anbefales) har funnet seg et meme som jeg jo like gjerne kan stjele:
Bok eller magasin
Kompis eller venninne
Ja takk, begge deler. Jeg har alltid hatt gode venner av begge (jeg hadde nær sagt ”alle”) kjønn.
Kjole eller bukse
Bukse. Liker å gå i kjole, også, men det blir mest bukser.
Løst hår eller i strikk
Hvis det er langt nok: Strikk. Men nå klipper jeg det før det blir så langt.
Kaffe eller te
Sminke eller ikke
Ikke. Jeg har sminke. Jeg bruker den sikkert i hvert fall én gang i året.
Billige eller dyre klær
Både óg. Jeg betaler selvsagt helst minst mulig, men er villig til å betale mer for kvalitet og for bærekraftighet (økologisk og/eller fairtrade). Jeg kjøper lite klær, så det er viktig at det jeg finner varer en stund.
Fredag eller lørdag
Lørdag. Men fredagsfølelsen er fin, den også.
Pyntet eller casual
Gulost eller hvitost
Gå eller kjøre bil
Gå. Jeg har ikke førerkort.
Letttbrus eller sukker
Jeg drikker lite brus, men når jeg gjør er det med sukker.
Brød eller knekkebrød
Nytt eller gammelt