Showing posts from 2005

New Year's Non-Resolution

I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year’s lately – how can you not? It’s everywhere: every form of media doing “best of the year” stories and “what’s your resolutions” interviews, restaurants trying to entice you in with three-course meals “and champagne at midnight!”. I find myself reflexively assessing the past year for things that aren’t right, that I can fix with a resolution or two, but this year, I’m having a hard time weighing my life and finding it wanting. Which is after all what resolutions are about, isn’t it? You decide that some part of you needs “fixing”, think about the things that are supposed to make you a “better person” - lose weight, get fit, clean your house, quit smoking – but it never really works out, does it? By mid-January, we’re all back on the couch in front of the TV in a messy livingroom, lit cigarette in hand. Sometimes, I think resolutions are made for breaking. This year, I’m skipping the quick-fix and the surface renovation. I’m going o

Hopped Up on Christmas Cheer

Yes, I'm still shirking my posting duties... gettin' by with minimal... revelling in being lazy. And calling it all "sharing". Herewith some images from Christmas Eve. One of the pair of angels that used to belong to my farmor (father's mother). Only used once a year. The singing. In Danish. Honestly, it's not as hard as JP and Ken 's faces would have you believe. Although Ken has previously been known to hold forth about how Danes swallow half the syllables in every word, he's just... er... right. Michele likes her present (please note the very seasonal pants). Ken was nisse and really stoked about it. Yours truly, wearing knitted goodies (by Stephanie ). Yes, that's a pair of socks on my hands and a matchbook. It's now a tradition that I must pose as The Little Matchgirl (although I'm not sure she looked this gleeful). (that last one probably taken by Michele - it's all a little hazy)

TinkMama Speaks

For those of you who don't obsessively check the comment box (like I might do... sometimes... not all the time... just... er... nevermind), my darling sister left a lovely comment for all of you on Friday. Thought I'd get out of posting today (still enjoying the holidays way too much to really get into blogging), while making sure you got to read it. One more thing before I turn things over to my "guest blogger". I've been instructed by my mother that the recipe for ris a la mande I linked to on Friday will not result in the kind of ris a la mande she makes. But then, nothing comes close to that (hint: think lots of whipped cream, almonds and when you think you've addded enough Madeira, add some more). Pardon the weird white thingy in the post - apparently moving things from the comment box does weird things to the formatting. Thought I'd take this opportunity to first of all thank my Big Sis (Lene) for all the wonderful post s about Liam and Morgan. I

Fucking with Tradition

My mother makes magic. I don’t know how she does it, but there is one guaranteed perfect evening a year in my life and that’s the 24 th of December. I can be stressed out or tired or sick, unable to quite locate the spirit of Christmas and the minute I step into my mother’s home, there it is. Christmas. There are candles everywhere, some in candlesticks that are only used this one evening a year, decorations in red and white, the tree glowing in the livingroom, the floor beneath it carpeted with presents and there is the smell of the flaeskesteg (roast porkloin with crispy crackling). Immediately after that hits your nostrils, everyone greets you with a smile, a kiss and a ‘glaedelig jul!” (merry Christmas) and you know all is good with the world. When it comes to Christmas, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. Ok, so maybe more of a crazed… er, I mean, firm traditionalist. In my family, once we’ve done something twice, it’s tradition and at no time is fucking with traditi

Winter Solstice


December Happies

It’s that time of year. The time dominated by an impending holiday to celebrate peace, love and understanding. The time where preparing for said holiday tends to make us anything but peaceful, as we rush around in the snow and in crowded malls to get ready for the Big Day. Did you just groan? Did you just start twitching with the knowledge of how much still remains to be done? Have you considered calling your boss with claims of being ill with the plague, just so you could have more time? A month ago , I reminded myself that happiness comes in small packages, by paying attention and not losing yourself in what isn’t there. Today, five days before lift-off – four if you, like the Danes, celebrate on Christmas Eve, that’s getting difficult. I’m fairly on track this year, but am still having a hard time focusing on the good stuff, instead of the list of things still to do. Which made me think that perhaps a List of Happies ought to be a regular feature here, not just beca

Playing Hooky

This was how last night looked. I'm taking a snowday, playing hooky, being irresponsible and in general doing nothing today. Have a fantabulous weekend - I'll see you Monday(ish).

Terrible Beauty

Stephanie’s launch last week was held at the Textile Museum of Canada and they had kindly opened the exhibits for wandering after the Harlot spoke. Sam grabbed me and told me I must see “the bug room”, so off we went to see what turned out to be an installation by Jennifer Angus called Terrible Beauty . I was told that it is a look inside the mind of a Victorian collector* - of bugs specifically. Rooms flow into each other, each containing a small table with an old, wooden drawer-thingy filled with bugs. But the real collection is on the walls: designs made up of thousands of insects. And it was terrible and beautiful, both. Terrible because of the bugs and not just the conditioned ick-factor (although some were alarmingly huge). One of the staff told us that they were insects farmed for this particular purchase – either there’s an explosion of bug-related art or she meant collecting in general. It hit the same button in me as fur does – I find it morally reprehensibl

Lists and Lists and It

I went to the launch of the Harlot’s new book on Wednesday and had a grand time. Who knew a group of knitters could be that much fun? Well, I did, actually, but for the non-knitters among you, trust me: if you want to hang with people who make you laugh like an idiot, go find yourself some knitters. Naturally, I wasn’t with it enough to get a picture of The Star of the Evening (that’d not be you, Stephanie, that’d be the Pierce Brosnan wrap ), but I did get one of Steph’s lovely daughters Sam, Amanda and Megan: Steph read “It” from her book, a damn funny story of a woman who slowly loses her grip on reality in the face of a mountain of Christmas knitting, It being a state of utter deranged denial. Completely fictional, of course. (oh, I could tell you stories… ) It reminded me of my own current predicament. It’s not that I’ve lost my mind – yet. It’s more that I feel things slipping a smidge. I’d been a hermit for a while and when I came back out of the cave, rather

All of the Other Reindeer


All Tinks, All the Time

Thank you so much for all your comments and congratulations. We’re overwhelmed with the love coming the Tinks’ way from all over the world. And speaking of love… I knew I fell madly in love with my niece and nephew the first time I saw the raisin-sized shapes on my television. What has taken me utterly by surprise is how much that feeling was magnified once they were out. For a while, I wondered how parents do it. These aren’t my children and I’m reeling, so how do parents function with that overwhelming amount of love always there ? I talked to a few people and realized that when it feels like it’s spilling over, it’s actually your heart growing another size. I’ve been verklempt for days and I haven’t even held them yet. I fully anticipate dissolving once I do so. I’m also trying really hard to accept that I am a mere moster and doing really well, I think, with not insisting that Janne and John move in with me and bring the kidlings. My heart thinks that would b


Dear Liam & Morgan, Tuesday, November 29, 2005 was a rainy day. The sky was covered in clouds, shades of grey ranging from pearl to light charcoal. It was raining most of the day, but warm enough that if you’re of Viking/East Coast heritage, you could go out with just a light jacket. Normally on days like that, people get pretty cranky, but I woke up with a sense of optimism and possibility. I had no idea why at first, but then, at 11:35am, your dad called me and told me that it was to be your birth day and then all the hope and happiness inside me made sense. We have talked about when you’d be born, guessing, hoping, thinking of days already with special significance, of how cool it would be if you were born on this day or that. And you showed that already, you are very much an Andersen-Biggs combination of uniqueness and insistence on doing things your way (and as fast as possible). You chose your own day to be born, completely ignoring any requests or urging to stay

My First Blogmeets

It’s been a week of blogmeets. I read about it on knitting blogs all the time, but have never experienced the phenomenon myself. It all started last Wednesday, when I met up with Emma before her big move to Owen Sound. The lovely woman had offered to cut Mojo’s nails for me – or, as she’s often called during nail cutting events, “The Demon Cat From Hell”. Mojo has strong opinions about being told what to do. As do I, which may explain why I’ve always understood her panic at being restrained and having bits of herself cut off. Surprisingly, it went off without a hitch. Minimum trauma to the cat and no damage at all to Emma. After that, we chatted for a while and what I remember most is the laughing. There was a lot of it. Why the woman has to move is beyond me. This weekend was the inaugural TUFT . Although I am no longer a knitter, I do have a somewhat embarrassing tendency to fondle yarn (and occasionally making small satisfied cooing noises while doing so), so

Remember This?

Juno thinks that the first official dumping of white stuff this winter was "festive". And well... in terms of snowfall, it was pretty festive initially and in downtown Toronto, a bit of a non-event. As of last night, though? Holy icicletoes, Batman!! Last night, it dipped down to -22C with the windchill . That's -7F (handy conversion tool here ). Or, in the words of an old friend of mine, FF. That's a polite company/work environment way of saying Fucking Freezing , which is really the only way of describing such temperatures. Welcome to Canada, Juno! Won't you be happy to leave it again? (And yes, I turned on the heat. Dammit) I know it's a smidge early in the season to despair, but I need a reminder of better times. To give me hope.


It’s occurred to me that it’s time to have some fun and these days, I tend to involve The Hen in the fun, either by playing games with her ever-increasing girth or some other sort of interaction with The Tinks. At the same time, ‘tis the season for giving back and although I am already a MSF partner (check it out – easily some of the best bang for your buck anywhere), I like doing a little extra. This year, the recipient is an easy one: the hospital that’s taking such good care of Liam and Morgan (although they could feed The Hen better). So here’s the idea: Guess the date/time of The Tinks’ entry into this world and write it in the comments. One guess per person and if the date/time you want is taken, think of a new one. The person who comes closest (in the immortal words of Bob Barker ), “without going over”, wins. If you win, I make a donation to the hospital in your name. One more rule: the doctors have determined the 34-week mark as the “magic date” where they’d be some

Bump Watch - 32 Weeks

(photo by TinkPapa) Love how The Hen has become a triangle. My Sister The Pyramid! The decapitated pyramid. With hospital jewelry. Very fetching. If we’re lucky, we might get one with an actual head for the next update. The Tinks are fine – still impatient, still staying put. Here’s Morgan in 4 dimensions. Cool, eh? Liam's being reclusive, so we'll have to wait to see him. (I don’t know how that works, as I thought time was the fourth dimension and how can a picture be in 4D, but I’m leaving that sort of thing for people geekier than me, as thinking too hard about it gives me a headache)

He's Heeeere!

If you’re from Toronto, you know what this weekend was. This weekend was the official start of the Christmas season, the weekend that Santa Claus came to town. When I first came here, I wasn’t a fan of the Santa Claus Parade . I’d watch a bit on TV and not understand what all of the fuss was about. I saw it only through adult (European) eyes, with no childhood memories of magic - that float thing's kind of strange and the marching bands? I’m from Denmark. I have no frame of reference. Then I moved to within easy walking distance of the parade route and went to check it out. The first year, I was non-impressed. The second I thought it was tacky and ridiculous, yet somehow started Christmas. By the third year, I’d started looking at people’s faces when Santa came into view and realized that this wasn’t just for children – although, seeing the kids' faces makes your heart grow three sizes, no matter how Grinchy you’re feeling. No, what made me connect all the w

The Five of Cups

A long time ago – a very, very long time ago – I had my tarot cards read. I’ve had them read since, but none were as memorable as that day in February some 17(?) years ago. It wasn’t that the psychic was particularly good, in fact, she rather sucked. Except for one moment which changed the way I think. She turned this card, the Five of Cups: and told me that it meant “look at what you have, not at what you don’t have”. Fairly earth shattering, no? I tend to forget at times. Often, actually. Especially when the pain is hunting me or when I forget that it’s all a process and that patience and perseverance are the keys to getting where I want. And then at some point, it comes back to me. Look at what you have, not at what you don’t have. It’s a hard lesson to live - the temptation to rail at what has stopped you from being where you think you should be, is so much louder than the quiet reminder to look, really look at your life. And that’s the other thing. That l

Someone's History


A Sudden Country

I’ve been reading “ A Sudden Country ” by Karen Fisher. Based on a spare journal by one of the author’s ancestors, it takes place during the 1847 Oregon migration. One of the main characters is Lucy Mitchell, a re-married widow, who is reluctantly following her second husband across the country, leaving the civility in which she was comfortable. The other main character is James McLaren, a Scottish Hudson’s Bay trapper, who has lost his Nez Perce wife to another trapper and his children to smallpox and who eventually becomes a member of the Mitchell party. It is a gorgeous book, a very sad book. It moves with the slow rhythm of grief and the measured pace of travelling across the plains in wagons drawn by oxen. The author paints with language – indelible portraits of people, animals, feelings and landscapes, densely detailed. Each sentence is a gem of poetry, dense with imagery and emotion, making the story come alive in your mind. In the words of a friend of mine, it ma

Getting Up

Pain makes me feel like a dog. One dog in particular – the one in the Seligman experiment . The one that had learned that nothing it did would prevent the shocks. First you roll with it – just a set-back, no biggie. Then you start losing your sense of humour about it a little, which leads to fighting it and that’s when you start to lose focus. That’s when the pain starts filling the atmosphere with static and worry and tension and blocks access to part of my brain that knows that this is a journey with ups and down, that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and all that other Zen stuff. Fighting it leads to more tension, which leads to more static, which makes me deaf to the voice that says “let go and just trust it ”. You can only be Chumbawamba so many times. After getting knocked down again and knowing you have to get up for what feels like the gazillionth time, it gets a little daunting. The temptation to have a rest, a wee lie down on the (metaphorical) cool til

Pile of Leaves


The View From There

I was talking to The Hen the other day. ( The Hen being my sister, who’s nesting in The Chicken Coop and although that might only be funny in my head, it is funny enough that I’ll continue to use it and be somewhat grateful that there isn’t internet access in the hospi... er, Chicken Coop) So, I was talking to The Hen and she mentioned how she and John had taken a stroll outside for some real oxygen, her in a wheelchair. On the way back to the Coop, they’d gone into the giftshop and it had struck her: “this is how Lene sees things. Weird”. Several years ago, my partner (now ex) and I were dancing in my livingroom. Although it was an intensely romantic moment, I was having a hard time getting lost in it – I was too busy looking around at the world from a 6’1” vantage point, stunned at the change in perspective, the unfamiliarity of the the familiar (and the dust on the top shelves).

Mea Culpa

Before I get to the grovelling, I have to tell you this: yesterday, I ate lunch in the park. “There is no evidence of global warming”, my arse. When you live in the second-coldest country in the world, eating souvlaki in the park while you’re reading a good book (and not dressed in a parka) on November 3 is plenty of evidence. Hated it in July, but I have to admit, right now I’m sort of liking it…. About a year ago, Stephanie wrote about growing a glacier in her inbox. I find myself in a similar predicament. I wanted to respond to every comment, but then downgraded to responding every now and again. My mother taught me to do things like that and although I wasn’t always great at it when I was younger, I find that the older I get, the more good manners matter to me. I’m probably going to start using the term ’whippersnapper’ any day now. However, due to the ever-present injuries (are you as tired of reading that word as I am of writing it?), my responding is woe

Falling Water



Thirty-three years ago, about this time of year, my parents sat me down and told me that I’d be getting something in February or so and to guess what it’d be. Something that warranted sitting down in that atmosphere had to be really big. Huge. The fulfilment of all my 10-year-old dreams. “A bike?” I guessed, barely daring to hope (this was in pre-wheelchair days). “No,” they said. “A little brother or sister.” Whereas that was initially a bit of a disappointment – I’d been ready to move on from my wimpy little-girl bike for some time – it did turn out to be big. The biggest in my life, in fact. The first time I met my sister, Janne, she was only hours old. Red-haired and a bit disgruntled at being made to do things (like joining the world, being gawked at, etc.), she was all long limbs and translucent skin. I was knocked arse over teakettle by a feeling I was too young to name. Later, I realized it was the fiercest love. Unreasonable, wholly unconditional, primal

Bump Watch - 28 Weeks

Yes, I know it's another photo and words should return early next week, but have you SEEN THAT!?!! For the next one, we'll try to include the mother's head... (photo by John/TinkPapa)



A Lot of Candle


Further Embarassing Myself

By the mid-point of last week, I’d reached the stage of doing nothing where I was gripped by the endless sameness of my routine. Facing down years and years of eating breakfast the same way or doing this before doing that in exactly the same, soulsucking, mindnumbing way, I got a little deranged. I snapped. I met up with some friends at the Market and although my knee later made me pay for it, I didn’t care. It was worth it. Of course, it turned out there were other reasons why I should have stayed home… It all started when I had a wee rant about how the adult section of my video store wasn’t accessible, kept in a room down a narrow hallway with no room for a wheelchair or scooter to make the turn. I don’t know how I got there, but will claim as my defense that the conversation had already included a discussion on the correct method of killing/skinning rabbits, how brussel sprouts grow and a spontaneous (if somewhat offkey) rendition of the Fishhead Song . I cannot possib


One of the things I love about cats is how they're cute, cuddly and domesticated one minute and the next, you become acutely aware that they're related to the big ones. Tiger on your couch, indeed. This one's for one Robin, who told me about the concept of "posting the cat" and another Robin, who likes cat pictures anyway.



Accident Prone

My toilet’s got it in for me. About four years ago, I got in a fight with it and received a hairline fracture in my left knee as my reward. My left leg is the strong one – the workhorse leg around here. It takes most of my weight in transfers and is a rest for the other leg most of the day. That month of healing was fun. Towards the end of last week, the whiplash thing was slowly healing and I was easing back into the swing of things, when things got “interesting” on Friday afternoon. While transferring to the can from my chair, my underpants hooked a hard plastic doohickey on the footrest and effectively slingshot (slingshooted? slingshat?) it into my left knee with some degree of force ( thwacking might be an appropriate term). Followed by cold sweats, seeing stars and an urgent desire to lie down. As there was going to be horizontalness regardless, and rather swiftly at that, deciding to lie down made me feel all in control of things. Keeling over is so undignified.


A friend of mine is in pain today. A sister-friend has lost a sister-friend and there are no words, no acts, nothing that will make things better today. For those who loved Nee-Nee, a full moon to howl at and seek comfort from.

Empire Falls

I watched the Emmys a couple of weeks ago and when I saw the nominations (and wins) for Empire Falls , I immediately put it on my Must-See List – how can you go wrong with 1) HBO; 2) Paul Newman; 3) Joanne Woodward; and 4) Ed Harris? Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Richard Russo, adapted for the screen by the author, my expectations were high. And the higher they go, the farther they fall. I haven’t read the book (and after this experience, doubt I will), so I’ll base my opinion strictly on the miniseries. It’s not very good. It’s said that clichés become clichés because they are true. It is unfortunate that the clichés in this miniseries are so trite. The characters are a collection of hackneyed, small-town “types”, complete with two-dimensional backstories that stereotypically create such types. Herewith a few examples: Sad-sack nice-guy hero (Ed Harris is horribly miscast – he has too strong a presence to convincingly do passive and only