Monday, October 30, 2006


What a morose mood I was in yesterday. Luckily it blew over and I’m all sunshine now. Listening to my “jubilant” ipod mix, which includes:

Jind Mahi - Bend it Like Beckham soundtrack (I have an insane love for that movie)
Lebanese Blonde – Thievery Corporation
Me Gustas Tu – Manu Chao (just discovered Manu last year)
Shadows of Ourselves – Thievery Corporation
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
Didi – Khaled
Senegal Fast Food – Amadou et Mariam w/ Manu Chao
What You Know – T.I. (read some blog recently in which the person mentioned she had no idea who T.I. was. I wanted to tell her to listen to this one as an introduction. This song gives a very laid back, NYC-in-summer vibe)
Loosen Up My Buttons – Pussycat Dolls w/Snoop Dogg

This playlist is like the Red Bull of music. It’ll rev me up so I can hunt for an apartment.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The search for a home in Paris

This week has been oddly limbo-ish. It got really cold here after a huge gale that left the boat rocking and rolling all night. Everyone in Denmark has decided to stare at me when I walk by, and I'm not sure if these are signs of love or if they want to punch my lights out. Suddenly I miss urban life. I've been constantly thinking of moving on to Paris and feeling a little impatient at not being there yet. I'm staring at apartment listings all day long, to the point that my head aches and my inquiries become gibberish. D. found a huge, fantastic loft that we didn't move on quickly enough, and someone else grabbed it out from under us. I wanted to kick myself for hesitating. I want to email everyone who blogs from Paris to ask, "How the hell did you find your apartment? Is there a fabulous agency, worth its fee? Or is it all word of mouth?" Everyone has horror stories but where's the how-to manual? I refuse to live in a tiny little miserable space and pay an exorbitant amount for it. I want to know what the secret is. There must be one. Waah.
Yes, I'm wallowing in it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Changing a boring life

I'm writing this in gale force winds. The boat is jiggling me around like some kind of crazed salt shaker.

Yesterday a friend of mine wrote an email telling me that her life in New York is pretty boring. She works, sleeps, occasionally goes to a cool place like BAMCafe. At the end of my time in the city I felt stagnant and bored, too, no matter how many things I crammed into my schedule. There was a persistent malaise. I guess that's why I gave up my steady job, my loft, my whole world, really, to go sailing. I wanted to see the non-American parts of the world and come out a much more fascinating person. I haven't been fascinating for a long time. Granted, most people I know opted for adventure right out of college, so I could just be having a mid-life crisis. 1/3-life crisis. I don't know how to communicate all this to my friend, who has a much more responsible and well-paying job than the one I left. But her routine is her prison. If I say that to her, I sound judgmental. At a loss, I advised her to read, my new favorite blog.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Is it negative of me to think I won't find work in Denmark without speaking Danish? Am I crazy for thinking that? Because I've been accused of being a naysayer. Am I?

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Every morning I allow myself the guilty pleasure of reading blogs. In the absence of English books, I go back into the archives of my favorite blogger and nibble on her life month by month. Not in chronological order, for some reason. Her blog leads me to others. Suddenly hours have passed and I’m still sitting groggily in my pajamas with a cold half-cup of instant coffee. Then I feel guilty for not sending out a productive flurry of pitches and receiving a subsequent flurry of checks. I worry a lot about finances lately, so I’m off.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The ties that bind

Yesterday an email rolled in from The Distant Father-in-Law (TDF). TDF lives in a faraway country on a faraway continent but still apparently within striking distance. Or maybe his power to wound just knows no boundaries. In a few words he managed to make it clear how little his son’s birthday, a date that incidentally doesn’t arrive for another month, means to him. Usually there's no mention of birthday greetings at all, but this email included a line about believing the birthday “is sometime around now.” It’s a simple line that made me see red. I’ve obviously never been a father and he’s got seven kids, but no matter how many times it happens surely you’d remember when each of them was born. Their birthdates don’t stop being special because they’re one of many. It was a clear message intentionally conveying how unimportant the date is to him. I guess it’s not my fight and I can’t say this to anyone, but it makes me appreciate the vast distance, lack of contact, and usual apathy. Most of all it makes me furious and bitter on behalf of the person I care about most -- a man who unfathomably harbors no bitterness about the past and this cold father who is oblivious to him.
You make your own family in this world.

Feeling the chill

Gumbo Girl is in Denmark. Gumbo Girl's weather-appropriate clothes are in New York City. This is a problem.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Paris apartments

I think we’ll leave as soon as we arrange an apartment in Paris, which is like pulling teeth. To sum it up: little boxes (not kidding, yesterday I saw a listing for 10 square meters) for lots of money. Shady people trying to trick me into living outside the peripherique. Oh, hell no. I’m not moving to the City of Light to be outside the City of Light, dawg. I need a cafe, a patisserie, a museum of some kind and a river right outside my doorstep. Preferably with lots of eye candy, too, although based on my prior visits I may have to give up on that. I haven’t been knocked out by legions of handsome Frogs on my previous visits.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Will hungry nine-year old boys eat anything? Possibly.

Last night I made dinner for our Danish hosts, the family who has kindly let us invade their boat. I decided to start cooking the day before because a) I hadn’t cooked for 6 people in a while, and b) I’d certainly never done it in a constricted galley. I wanted to make something tasty and mouth-watering. Aaah, I know, I thought. Soup. D. always makes a delicious soup of various vegetables with ground beef. That’s what I have in mind.
The first alarm bell should have been my incomplete shopping excursion, from which I returned at least four ingredients short. In the spirit of improvisation I pressed on. When D. found me at the stove stirring a thick mass of green and brown blobs, he looked concerned. Did you add water? No. Broth? No. A look of dismay flitted across his face, but he quickly rearranged his features as my hackles visibly rose. Whatever, baby, he acceded, and tossed in some red wine when I turned my back.
The time came for our guests/hosts to arrive, with nine-year-old and seven-year-old in tow. There’s something bizarre about welcoming people to their own property, but it was just a moment of awkwardness. They very sweetly presented me with a birthday gift; they’d heard about the whole forgetting-of-birthday debacle. A DVD (yessssss….highly coveted these days. See David Caruso entry.) In return for their kindness, we all squeezed around the table and I presented them with my soup, which was by now masquerading as a stew. Eyes widened and a flurry of salt-shaking ensued immediately after the first bites. I noticed our lady host and her seven-year-old petered out discreetly after a few mouthfuls, but our gentleman host kindly ate his fill. And miraculously the nine-year-old hoovered up the dish in its entirety, leading to the question in the title.
D. thinks they headed straight for the kebab shop when they left.
Next time I’ll make something with a proven track record. Usually I’m a pretty good cook, I swear.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I don't have an international cell phone

Just looked at the Times. Guess I need to take care of that.

ON THE ROAD; Lessons I Have Learned in My 15 Minutes of Fame
You are an idiot if you travel internationally without a cellphone that will work internationally. Meet such an idiot: me.
October 10, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Having a birthday last Sunday has made me pensive and recalcitrant about posting entries. For the last few years, I've turned these milestones into festive events, surrounding myself with a security blanket of friendship to blot out the creeping moodiness. I don't like my birthday, much in the way I don't like New Year's with all its taking stock and resolutions and that goddamned ball in Times Square. It feels like I'm being called into account about something. This year I'm far away from my friends in New York, missing many of the little things that make them special. I couldn't e-vite everyone to my favorite bar to laugh and drink and celebrate with me.
D. is working incessantly and tumbles into bed exhausted by 9pm every night, when he loses the valiant fight to keep his eyes open. I can't even be mad at him for forgetting that Sunday was my birthday; in fact, I felt guilty for not busting my hump, too, so we could commiserate. We spent the day in Copenhagen, wandering through Vesterbro and Christianshavn. The day was tinged with an air of melancholy. It's all a state of mind, but I couldn't get rid of it. I know it will pass.
I kissed the nape of his neck tenderly when I went to bed last night, and he sighed contentedly in his sleep.

Always talking about the weather

Guess what? It's about to rain again. How unexpected in Denmark.
Just kidding, Denmark. You know I love ya.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Linking to other blogs

Still getting the hang of this and feeling like a Luddite. At least I didn't completely screw up the link below. Shout out to The Assimilated Negro, whose blog I just found.

The Assimilated Negro: The Time I Got Arrested For Holding A DVD (Part 1)

The Assimilated Negro: The Time I Got Arrested For Holding A DVD (Part 1)

Friday, October 06, 2006

A burgeoning obsession

Must. Have. Movies. I got very excited when I found Rob Pegoraro's Washington Post article from May 2006 ( that said this:

AOL's In2TV site ( ) offers free streaming video of 30 older Warner Bros. series to anybody running Windows XP-- although you need to install a plug-in if you run Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. The commercials are easily ignored ads outside the video frame, and the video's quality has been good every time. (You can download a separate "Hi-Q" program to view these shows in a higher resolution.)

The single best TV-viewing option online, however, comes at ABC's Web site ( ). From now through June, it's offering free streaming video of "Alias," "Commander in Chief," "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." And it's doing this without requiring any new software; the video clips play in the Flash browser plug-in already on nearly all Windows and Mac OS X machines.

The commercial breaks consist of just a few 30-second interactive messages from one sponsor. Video playback briefly paused twice on a home DSL connection at the larger of two playback sizes but was completely pleasant otherwise.


Poor David Caruso

Sometimes I'm gung ho to send long emails full of all kinds of fascinating tidbits to my friends. Then I realize that it's just my mind jumping erratically, and maybe that email would be better off in life as a blog post. After all, the blog's purpose is to keep my insanity under wraps. Some of this morning's randomness:

1. Has David Caruso always sucked as an actor? Back in the day he was on NYPD Blue. He left that show after his unmet salary demands. He had superstar status in his own mind -- the nerve of him. I don't remember him stinking like a ripe cheese, though. The point is I've never watched CSI until a few weeks ago in Normandy when I caught a few episodes on tv. Good for learning French, not so good for vegging out. Seemed interesting with all the forensic science, but I only took in about 20% of the dialogue. So when D and I were sitting on the boat wishing for something mindless, CSI came to mind. I paid (idiot...) to download an episode of CSI Miami called Rio.
Mamma mia. What a stinker.
David Caruso's wooden John Wayne I'll-get-you-pilgrim delivery literally brought us to tears of laughter.
"That's right, Eric."
"We're going to get him, Eric."
"I'll leave when this is finished, Eric."
How is this show doing so well in the U.S.? Can someone explain this to me?

2. Why can't Netflix have a version of their service that's like iTunes, so I could just watch their lovely huge selection of movies on my laptop? I don't think they'll mail those little red envelopes all the way to Denmark for me. Maybe I need to suggest this to them. Someone suggested YouTube, so I'm going to check it out. I'm thinking about movies constantly because, thanks to my excellent foresight when moving, I don't have any more English books. And man, am I jonesing for English magazines.

3. I've lost interest in reading the New York Times from cover to cover. It seems much less important than it used to be.

That's enough erraticism for now.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Navel-gazing in Denmark

Woke up this morning to a rainy, windy Denmark. It's rained every day several times a day since I've been here, actually, but I don't mind and like it very much (not having to transport myself to a 9 to 5). Today D is going off to do some non-artist work, and I regret that he has to leave our cocoon. I want to stay in bed but I rouse myself and get up to offer moral support. I don't cook breakfast for him. It doesn't occur to me until it's too late. When he leaves I'm awash in conflicting emotions: indecision about when to leave for Paris to start our new life there, resolve to get writing, nostalgia for my circle of friends, wonder at being alone in an unfamiliar country whose language I don't speak or understand, paralysis at the thought of letting anyone read the ramblings I write. Who wants to read what I have to say? Who am I kidding? And time is passing. An approaching birthday and an email about next summer's college reunion remind me all too well.
The rain just began again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Thinking back on Normandy

Normandy is a physically imposing place, and you can't help but be struck by its beauty. I didn't mean to make it sound like I didn't like it. I loved being surrounded by that. The house has such huge potential – 6000 sq meters of property, a main house that is rare in its sheer size and will be even more stunning with a minimum of $300,000 of renovations poured into it, colombage to die for, a floor in one room made of rare tropical wood that no longer exists and, when polished, is purple in its hue – but we don’t have the money or time to invest in it at the moment. It’s an incredible deal for someone who loves the craftsmanship and the intricate woodwork of the time. The flip side is that it’s challenging to live there now, while it’s unfinished. I don’t need fancy surroundings, but I need a few more comforts than we had there. Phone, internet connection, and finished floors throughout would do it. I wish we could buy out the big brother’s half and hold onto it for another 10 years. Take a look at Normandy property prices. It will be so valuable. Ah, well.