Sunday, February 28, 2010


Me with my hands under my cheek. A little elf staring at me, running, not moving. That's what it's all about these days. Six months to the day, Magnus. Happy half a birthday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hair is overrated!

Lex Luthor isn't the only one who can rock this look, that's for sure. Too cool for drool.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stars Hollow snow

Someone is sprinkling fake snow over Grünerløkka. At least, that's what it looks like. Silver flakes, so light that even the faint eddies of air that you stir up by walking cause them to whirl upwards. When they land in your hair, they stay there like jewelry, without flattening your hair or soaking your coat. On the street they resemble tasteful confetti (now there's a contradiction in terms). If I saw snow like that on tv, I'd smirk and say that those people obviously had no idea what real snow is like.

All right. Next, I want to go to Luke's and have cherry danish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clever boys

As Lin has described on her blog: Magnus can roll from his back to his belly. He has also started dabbling in vowel and consonant combos: gegegege dadada gagaga dede. That's really good, young padawan!

Also, Monzano's album is out today. I've been listening to nothing else since the release concert last Wednesday, and it's really good. 'The Buildings, then the Trees' just blows me away. Clever, clever brother!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Hide


(This is the third installment in the tale of Adalee and Rupold. It's more fun if you read The New Leaf and A Pie for Rupold first. The Sunday Scribblings prompt was 'The message').

Adalee could smell the wall before she could see it. It was a stomach churning mix, rotting flesh, curing hides, and strange chemicals, and it made her want to bury her face in the dirt underneath the sweetberry bushes and stay.
But she had come all this way. She had stumbled through labyrinths of corn and tangly sugar snap, waded neck deep across the icy Dirtywash, and dashed past the cabbage patches, painfully aware of how crisp her outline must look against the pale leaves in the moonlight. Before entering the Jewel Garden, she had dug a new hole, in case the old one was watched. And for the the final stretch, she had crawled underneath the sweetberry brambles, carefully avoiding the poison thorns, all the way up the hill until she hit the cold foundation of the Farmer’s barn.
It was a dangerous journey, dangerous to the point of folly, especially with these new snitcher vines weaving through each bush and tree. Somehow, though, she had managed to cross the Farmland without touching one of them, and without being seen. Only once had she heard the thunderous footsteps of the Hound, and they were far off towards the vineyards. And now that she was less than a pit spit away from her goal, she cowered in the brambles like a scared kitten. She could just hear Rupold teasing her.
- Come on, lady fair! Unless you think the loot will come rolling into your basket all by itself.
Right. Come on. Adalee snuck a peek underneath the black napkin she carried draped over her left front paw. Then she crept out into the open, concentrating hard to keep her claws retracted, and turned the corner.

This was the first time she had been this far up, and she couldn’t help staring. In the valley, everything looked so tranquil. Square fields of silvery greys and browns, stiched by dark hedges and tall fences into a vast patchwork. Wisps of white mist waiting to disperse into morning dew. Jewel fruits twinkling back at the moon. And further on, behind the giant border fence, the forest of the Freeground was a safe, sleeping darkness. For a moment, she wished she were one of the keets, so she could hurl herself into the sweet breeze sighing up the hill and fly home. Instead she willed herself to turn the other way, towards the grimy, weathered planks of the barn and its horrible stench.

There was a fresh hide nailed to the wall.

He must have put up quite a fight, for there were scratches and tears everywhere. Something sticky and black flattened the hairs in patches, and the edges were stiff and shrunken. The tail and feet were cut off, and where the eyes should have been, there were two holes that slanted sadly.
- Hi, Rupold, she whispered, - This is for you.
She shook off the napkin, set the gleaming diamond apple pie gingerly on the ground beneth the hide, and stepped back. She had imagined it would be a noble moment. Instead she felt sick. The pie looked garish against the filthy barn wall. The hide was not only gruesome, it was so empty, as if all that was Rupold really had been scraped off. And there was this feeling that kept brushing against the tips of her whiskers. Not just fear, she had been scared silly since before she crossed the border. It was itchier and more urgent than that.
- Sorry, she whimpered, and with her tail tucked between her legs, she turned to flee.

She couldn’t.

The snitcher vine had crept up on her during her clumsy little ceremony. It must have moved so very quietly across the ground to have fooled her, and the loops over her paws didn’t tighten until she tried to move. Now they were like vices. Helplessly, she tipped over. New tendrils slithered through the fur on her back and tail and pinned her down. She thrashed around. All around her, the ground lit up like a Christmas tree, hundreds of tiny, blinking lights, following each other in angular patterns.

A howl sounded at the bottom of the hill. It rose and rose and rose, until it was loud enough to hurt her ears. Then there were tremors in the ground, that grew faster and clearer with each heart beat that shook her rib cage.
This was it then. It was the wall for her, too. Maybe that was what she really wanted when she embarked on this ludicrous pilgrimage. Maybe she had thought she deserved it. But now that the Hound was coming for her, she couldn’t for the life of her remember why.

Adalee bent her head and stared at the sinewy vine wound around her arms. It really was like no plant she had ever seen, flexing with purpose, like a nasty, reedy snake. The leaves continued flashing their tiny alarms, puncturing the night with needles of light. Which was probably the only reason she saw the piece of paper attatched to the vine like a gift tag. It was fastened by what looked like braided hair, and lay face down right in front of her snout.
She tried thrashing around again, but it was impossible to move. Instead, she blew at the tag. It flipped over.
She almost laughed, but it came out a stupid, little mewl. Scrawled across the paper with brownish, crusty ink were two words:
Help me’.

I heart Monzano

My brother's band, Monzano, has a new album out. I love it. The music, a crooked, messy haired Norwegian cousin of Death Cab for Cutie, is beautiful in a way that reminds me of restless car rides in pale summer evenings, and the lyrics are so clever.

My favourite is The Buildings, then the Trees, but I also like The Mannequin Wakes and the first single, Cold Waters.

I know some of you are music lovers (hello, Jim!), so listen here, (and check out the list of influences). If listening liking moves, buy it here (the whole album from Monday). The cover art is really nice, too, though, so you might want to get the tangible version here.

I'm exceptionally proud of you, Eiv. And the sky won't let you down, you can freely float around.

Monday, February 8, 2010

One latte, please!

Magnus and I at Edvard. We can hang out in cafés now, as long as we have a little help.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Match of the Day: Wily Puppy v. Me!

Magnus and I met them as we walked along the river: a young boy of perhaps nine and a little Shiba Inu pup. The puppy looked like a tiny, chubby fox and was absolutely adorable. But I've met Shiba Inus before. I know that they are wily, even a little one of only 14 weeks. Therefore, I was not at all surprised that the dog seemed to be walking the boy rather than the other way around. As I passed them, the boy was trying to persuade the pup to come away from a flock of ducks on the river, and he was getting nowhere.

We walked on until the frozen waterfall and turned back before the steep hill. Suddenly I heard a yell and saw the boy waving his arms desperately. And on the path between us was one gleeful puppy, running as fast as his little legs could go, with the leash trailing behind. I knew he'd probably slip past me if I didn't do something radical. Before I had really thought it through, I found myself stretched out in the snow, clutching the leash between frantic fingers. And that was it, the wily puppy's bid for freedom was thoroughly thwarted.

Ha! I won! I could have been a soccer keeper, I kept telling Magnus, brushing snow out of my hair, and I felt pretty good about myself on my way home. At least until my knees started complaining. And my back. And my neck. Perhaps it wasn't such a glorious victory after all.

But at least the boy was happy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

M-O-O-N, that spells lemons

I can't remember a winter with a more gnarley fingered grasp. Most of Norway has been frozen solid since the middle of December. Pushing Magnus's stroller, which normally is a treat on Grünerløkka, has become a nighmare. The sidewalks are mushy with deep, floury snow and the street corners have moats and ramparts of lumpy ice. Giant icicles line the eaves of every building, just waiting to break loose and pierce us. Some days, we don't go outside at all, it's just too cold for a little one.

Today was such a day, the fifth in a row. Though the temperature had mellowed slightly, it had been snowing continously since yesterday morning, and the wind had picked up enough to keep us cooped up in the apartment. Magnus and I were perched on the window sill, gazing out on the flurry of white flakes streaking across the greyness of the city.

And that's when I suddenly had a craving for lemons. Lemon salad dressing, lemon linguine, lemon poppy seed muffins, lemonade. I'd even take a snicket, as long as it was lemony.

I always love lemons in the spring.

Monday, February 1, 2010

She loves me

She pretends she doesn't, and while I was pregnant, she made it pretty clear that couldn't stand my hormone spiked scent. But now she comes running if she thinks that I am sad (a little cold sniff will do), she watches Magnus for me, and hurries to tell me when he's woken up after a nap, and if any of my laundry ends up on the floor, she curls up in it and goes to sleep. Busted, Pims. You love me.