Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trashed treasures

As i mentioned here a few days ago, my green bike had a little... situation last week. The back tire and tube basically exploded, and since i've been wanting a new bike almost since the day i bought the green one one, i took the explosion as a sign.
I've even been saving up for a new bike for over a year, but my problem was, and is, that i don't know what bike to get.
So instead of buying a new one, which my husband keeps trying to persuade me to do, i decided to take a chance on my even older, crappier bike. If you're having trouble understanding why i'd do that, read this post from last year, i think it explains my need to not buy new crap pretty well.
Anyway, i took this old bike, that i've never actually used myself, to the bike shop around the corner on Saturday and this morning i got a text message saying that it was done.
They had to change one of the tires and give it a new chain too, so it ended up costing me a bit (although not nearly as much as a new bike would have), but now it's actually good to go.
I've only taken it for a short test ride in the backyard today, but  tomorrow, if the weather is nice, i'm going cruising.*

I spent a couple of hours working on it in the backyard today, cleaning and removing rust and installing a crappy cup-holder from the 10 kroner store

Considering how old this is, and the way it's been treated by previous owners, it's in pretty good condition

The bell was covered in rust, but i got most of it off, and oiled it up as well, so it kind of, almost works now... i never use the bell anyway, so as long as it can make a little "quack" sound for emergencies, it's all good!


I'm still planning on getting the green bike fixed eventually.
We have visitors pretty often, and it'll be good to have an extra bike for people to loan.
And i like having two bikes, even though they're two crappy, old ones!

*Under normal circumstances i'd need to ride it to work, but we're on forced vacation, as you may know.
In fact, today is the day we were supposed to leave for Japan. Insert sadface.

Comments... off!

Ok, i'm gonna give this no-comments thing a try, just for a week or so, to see how it feels.
Maybe it'll be super weird and i'll miss the feedback so much they'll be back on tomorrow.
Lets see how it goes!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Actions, reactions

Dayum!
Thanks you guys.
I wasn't expecting that many reactions on my last post, and all of them were so supportive and helpful.
It's really nice to know that some of you are struggling with the same issues about blogging as i am from time to time (it is hard work, dammit!) and it's also really nice to know that this blog would be missed if i gave up on it.
Which i am not going to do anytime soon.
But i am gonna continue to work on ways to make blogging more easy and enjoyable, and your suggestions on how to do that are still very much appreciated.

One idea that a few of you suggested was switching to tumblr, and although the easy upload from the iphone and the easy syncing with twitter makes it really tempting, tumblr is just not my cup of tea.
The way people are blogging has changed a lot since tumblr came along and speaking as a person dealing with original artwork and photography, it hasn't always been in a good way.
The reblogging of other peoples pictures is such an easy, and important tumblr feature, and more often than not, the information on where the photo originally came from gets lost along the way.
I know a lot of tattooers who have issues with the way their work gets distributed via this site (often by people who likes to remove links and watermarks) and i myself have had to contact the tumblr team to get uncredited pictures taken down*. I know not everyone sees this as a big deal, but giving credit is an issue that i have always cared deeply about, and nothing pisses me off like seeing one of Allan's or my own pictures floating around the web without a link back to us.
Another thing that bugs me about tumblr is that good blogging all of a sudden seems to be about what you like, and not what you do. Does that make sense? Almost like posting cool pictures will automatically make you cool as well, you know? But it still doesn't in my book.
There's nothing wrong with posting pictures of things you think are pretty, but having good taste is not a talent in itself. It is? I like to read the blogs of the people who's work i admire, not the blogs of other people who admire them. Or something like that...
I don't know, this is a longer rant and i have to go walk the dog before Allan and Eckel comes back from their snack run.

Another idea (thanks, Nova!) was to plan my posts better and auto post, and since transferring pictures is one of the things i hate most about blogging (editing i like, for some reason) doing it all at once seems like a good plan.
I did it last year when i was in the hospital, and i do it sometimes when i travel too, so i should start doing that again.

I have also been considering turning off comments, for all posts.
Would that be crazy? I just think i'd feel more relaxed about blogging is i didn't have to worry about feedback, or in some cases, the lack of it.
If you have any thoughts on that, let me know (while you still can)!

Sunday has been wonderful, even more so than usual since i don't have to go to work tomorrow!
We visited my grandfather, and even persuaded him to venture outside of his apartment for a walk in the sun.
Afterwards he was exhausted, but happy.
Being old is hard, and being that old is super hard, but he's doing well.
After we came home, i started watching a rather scary lecture on ustream about the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Not to sound like a total pessimist or conspiracy nut, but the situation may be worse than it seems. If you're interested you can check out the three part lecture here, here and here.
It's long and, if you're a stupidhead like me, complicated, but also interesting.

 Grandpa in the park (Lucifer in the background)

Lucifer took a little nap in my grandpas chair before we headed back home

Time for snacks and mindless action movies with the guys!
Have a great Sunday everyone!


*I have to say, they are super quick and helpful.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A week goes by

Last week, for the first time ever, i actually considered shutting this blog down.
I'm still not sure exactly what triggered that feeling, but i started to feel that it isn't as relevant or needed as it once was.
It wasn't just because of that one bad comment, although those mean comments can be very hurtful, and realizing that only a few people (or in my case, one) will stand up and defend you is pretty disappointing too.
But then, i am not as good at remembering to comment on other peoples blogs as i used to be either, so i'm in no way in a position to point fingers. Sometimes this so called blogger community that we all used to praise so much just doesn't seem so real after all.
So it was probably a combination of all those things, and personally,  i know that having lost my heart to twitter and instagram has a lot to do with my less frequent posting and commenting. And although i can't speak for anyone but myself, i think the same might go for some other bloggers too.
It's just so damn nice and easy to be able to post thoughts and images from my phone, wherever i am.
This blog isn't flexible like that, it requires time and energy that i don't have, and the fact that both my laptop at home and at the shop are pissing me off on a daily basis doesn't help.

I'm still thinking about it. Not shutting it down, but about what i need to change to make blogging fun again.

But until i find that thing, i can at least still use this platform to keep urging the people who come by, to help Japan in any way they can. Sure, the media has moved on to sexier topics at this point, but there's still so much to be done, and we have barely started.
Polkaros has a great list of organizations you can donate to, if you're not sure where to send your money, and if you wanna donate and own some fine art at the same time, Ai over at it will stop raining has some wonderful prints for sale ( i bought the soft serve).

Another thing i can do while i wait to figure out the blogging thing? The same as i've always done, talk about life and post pictures!

Today we're taking a much needed (aren't they always, though?) day off.

We took a long walk with the dog, that started with me dropping off this old bike i once found and never used at the bike shop for some much needed tlc. The back tire on my green bike exploded on the way home from work the other day (another thing i posted on twitter, but totally forgot to blog about!) and i've been riding with Allan ever since. I still haven't decided what to do with the green bike, i guess it depends on how this new, old one turns out.  We had some coffee and tea, bought some Cd's on sale, went to the dog park and  ran into some people.
Now we're home where i just gave our stinky little roommate a bath while Allan worked on a wedding invitation for our sweet friends. We also skyped with Eckel for 40 minutes. No, he hasn't even left yet.
Copenhagen is being pretty wonderful these days, and having some time off while seeing the first signs of spring is definitely making not going to japan easier for us.

On one of the warmer days last week, i even remembered to take my camera to work

A blog reader sent me this drawing a few weeks ago, but of course i only posted it on instagram. Doh. Thanks so much, Elsa!

I'm celebrating not wearing a thousand layers anymore by putting non-knitted, decorative stuff on my head

 Although at night, going home, i still look like this

Ok, maybe i look like that in the daytime too, at least i did today, during our long walk, when it was actually pretty cold

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feels like... spring?

The best days are the ones that seem like they're gonna be kind of bleh, and then they surprise you by being amazing.
Todays amazingness included sunshine (oh, sweet sunshine!), kissing on bicycles, brunch, talking too loud, laughing too hard and a rare and thorough house cleaning.
We haven't done that in a very long time, and i am liking our apartment much more right now, so maybe we should. Clean our home more often, that is.
In a few minutes we're meeting up with Eckel at the movies where we're gonna watch a horror movie and have popcorn for dinner.
Sunday, you rock!

I love Sundays and i love him

The kids downstairs took Lucifer for a long walk, and we took advantage and went out for brunch

So many things are happening in April that we would have missed by going to Japan, and it's starting to feel like we're getting a nice little consolation prize for staying home.
Now we just need spring to come to Copenhagen and stay here. Actually, i think everyone needs that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

God, i love the internet

From the unusual lack of response on my last post (seriously, my readers are usually so chatty!), i was starting to think that maybe, even though it's only been a week since the quake, the people reading this blog maybe did suffer from disaster fatigue?
It wouldn't be unheard of, and i suppose my connection to Japan does make me more passionate about this than the average person.
But then i actually sold something and i don't think i've ever been this excited about a sale before!
It worked!
And who cares about talk when the post was about taking action anyway.
And who knows, maybe there were even a few who decided to donate to this cause, or another one like it, after reading?
I hope so.
Anyway, today i donated the money from my lovely buyers to World Vets, and hopefully they'll be doing some good for the animals of Japan soon, and for some of the worried pet owners as well.

To the two sweethearts doing the shopping, and the people visiting my etsy shop: thankyouthankyouthankyou!!

These three are gone, but there's still stuff left in the shop, so please go have a look
 Make your donation here

The shop charity work is also coming along nicely, but i'll be posting about that on the other blog soon.
Have a great weekend everyone, and to everyone in Japan reading this: stay safe and stay positive!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Disaster fatigue? Not quite yet...

You know that video that's been going around, the one with the Japanese dog who won't leave its injured friend?
Yeah, i can't watch that.
Animals in danger, injured animals, animals suffering... i can't watch that shit.
And while i am all about supporting the Red Cross in their efforts to save human lives, i already have and i plan to give more, we shouldn't forget all the animals that are suffering from this disaster as well.
I couldn't find any info about the WSPA doing any work specifically for the animals in Japan, but i did find these guys, and it looks like they're already in Japan, ready to help.
Looks like a good project, doesn't it?

In order for me to maybe donate more to them than i would normally be able to afford, i decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of my etsy items to World Vets, so if you by any chance were planning on buying some fancy hair stuff AND giving money to Japan, here's your chance to do both!
I don't know if i'll sell any, but it's worth a try, right?
Go to my shop if you wanna see what's for sale, and browse etsy while you're there, it looks like lots of other sellers are doing the same thing.

Our real life shop will also be selling prints for Japan, most likely for Red Cross, and maybe doing a fund raiser thing too, so check the shop blog often, i'll post about it there as soon as possible.

Japan 2008

In which Amalie rants about not going to Japan

If you've read my post on the other blog, you already know that we're not going.
We were going crazy trying to decide whether to stay or go. We knew that we needed to make a decision soon, and when we almost had, the ministry of foreign affairs made it for us.
Our trip, although very important to us, didn't exactly qualify as "essential".
It was the right thing to do.
My reasons for going were becoming fewer and fewer by the day anyway, and in the end the last reason to go seemed to be Izumi's wedding. I'll be feeling the guilt of missing that for years to come, but i figured that guilt is still preferable to radiation poisoning.
Yes, that was one of my main concerns, and the reason i am still so damn worried about my Japanese friends.
I am generally very skeptic when it comes to the the Japanese government and i believe they're more than capable of lying to people, and the company they get most of their information from, Tepco, seems even sketchier. They seem to be feeding us a mixture of no information and information overload, not just about the possible nuclear meltdown, but about everything.
If i didn't have friends in Tokyo, i wouldn't even know how bad the situation is there.
Of course i know that panicking won't do anybody any good at this time, but people need to be cautious or this could end up haunting future generations in ways we can't even imagine.

Another reason for not going was my fear of seeming like the kind of people who'd go somewhere to get a little drama into their boring lives, or the kind of people that need to prove to others that they're not scared.
Those people do exist, but i don't need to see things first hand to know how bad they are, and i am scared, very scared.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big picture

I'm worried that my previous posts about Japan are seeming selfish, like i only care about how it's affecting me and my plans. I don't know if it seems that way, but i assure you, it ain't like that.
Whether i get to go to Japan or not obviously means shit when you think about how fucking horrifying the situation in Japan is at the moment.
But while i am constantly thinking of the millions of people affected by this disaster, and my friends in particular, i can't help but stress the fuck out about the not knowing.
Not knowing if it's safe, if it's happening or if we're just gonna stay home.
Honestly, staying or going... both options seem wrong.
We, me and Allan, talk about it several times a day, but we also try to go on with our everyday life.
Hopefully things will get better for Japan, and with that happening, we'll know what to do.

Here's me, in between fixing up the storage rooms and answering emails

 These flared jeans from Japan fit real tight when my fat ass bought them years ago, then they fit super loose for a long time, and now they're friggin tight again*
 (Black top: Uniqlo, T-shirt: some shop in Tokyo, Jeans: Vienus Jean by Edwin, Boots: Thrifted)

 Me and Lucifer taking a break in the drawing room

I know most of you have probably already donated to Japan by now, but those of you in Denmark who haven't yet, or want to give more, can donate 150 kr. via text to Danish Red Cross can text "Jordskælv" to 1231.

*I almost hashtagged that sentence... i am so Twitter damaged.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It could be worse, you could be dead

Everything has been weird since Friday.
Beyond weird.
I don't think i'm quite getting it yet, i guess i'm still in denial.
On friday i was upset, worried and anxious, but i was going to Japan. No question.
But a lot has changed since Friday, and now, with the possibility of nuclear meltdowns only a few hundred kilometers from Tokyo, i really can't say for sure.
The thought of radiation poisoning, however small the amount may be, scares me more than any natural disaster ever could.
I don't think i scare easy, but this just might be where i draw the line.
Right now, nothing is settled and we're just gonna have to follow the situation closely and hope for the best.
In any case, we're safe and clothed and well fed, and many Japanese are not.
So we'll be ok.

Apart from all this madness, and a bit of illness too, i'm afraid, i've had a nice weekend.
We had to work on Saturday and we were at the shop today as well, but since it was because our friend Chriss was here, it was totally fine by me.
It's been a while since we've had house guests too, and Chriss is pretty much the best.

Allan and Chriss (and Eckels hand) at restaurant Riz Raz, late Friday night

Saturday at the shop i wasn't feeling great, but i made some hair stuff and also tried on this old thing... if it doesn't sell i might keep it for myself and wear it to a wedding

Fast forward to Saturday night where the guys went to a show and i chilled on the couch with a salad and some Pringles (it's weekend, they're allowed!)

Today at the Ravnsborggade flea market i found one good thing, and this wasn't it

Chriss went home today, but we already have a new house guest.
Which is good, we need to be distracted, so we don't sit around worrying about things beyond our control.
I'm still hopeful, though.
I wanna see Izumi get married, i wanna get tattooed and i wanna see the cherry blossoms bloom.
Fingers crossed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

日本

Well, you all know what i'm gonna write.
Everyone who reads this blog probably knew that i was gonna blog today, and what i was gonna blog about.
And they're right, but i wish i wouldn't have to. I mean, i don't, but what i mean is that i wish i had nothing to say today. That nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Waking up to the news of the earthquake in Japan was one of my worst fears coming to life.
It has happened before, recently too, but this one is, i think we can all agree, different.
It's impossible to say how many people are dead at this point, but the videos, the images. They're devastating.
My brain can't even process them, let alone accept that this is happening to a place i love so much.
I know it shouldn't matter where something like this occurs, and of course it doesn't, it's a tragedy no matter where, but seeing it happen to a place as familiar to me as my actual home... i'm not even gonna say it hurts more, because it doesn't. I'm in shock and i don't know when the reality of this is gonna hit me.

I had a dentist appointment before work, during which i obviously couldn't check the news or Twitter, but as soon as i got out of there, i was right back on Twitter, Reuters, BBC, trying to figure out how bad it was.
But mostly, i was trying to get in touch with my friends to make sure they were ok.
Phones weren't working great, so it took a while to confirm that they were all safe, and i've had a pounding worry-headache and a knot in my stomach all day. They are all ok, but not everyones friends are.
I usually donate to Red Cross when disaster strikes, and i'm gonna do that again this time, but i feel like i should be doing more.
I'm going to Japan myself in just a few weeks, and i wonder if there's anything i can do to help while i'm there? This country has given me so much, shouldn't i be giving something back?

I never got around to posting these pictures, but they are from my trip to Japan in November, taken the day before we were going home.
Allan was working and i was walking around Koenji, saying goodbye to the hood, and i walked by a shrine close to the shopping street, and the doors were open.
This place is usually closed, so of course i went in there.
The weather was lovely that day, but windy too.
I walked around for a while, taking pictures of moss and things, before sitting down on some steps to relax.
The wind was making leaves dance in the sunlight and i just sat there for maybe 10-15 minutes, watching them, and thanking Japan for giving me such a sweet farewell present.

I don't pray, so i'm not praying for the people of Japan. But i worry and i hope that it's somehow not as bad as it looks right now. Yeah, i know.


Despite having a sucky day, i had a good night. Went home earlier than the guys, and met up with them at a restaurant later one. Had good food and good laughs. I don't know about you, but i needed that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peachy

You know, there's a great way to avoid getting hit by The Mondays, and it's called "staying home".
And since i had no less than three Mondays last week, staying home was probably a smart idea.
Allan had a drawing-at-home day (which by the looks of it has morphed into a napping-on-couch day), and i've had myself a nice day of doing laundry and random stuff around the house.
Oh, and Pilates!
Yes, like i promised myself way back in February, i've put some Pilates into my workout routine, just because you can't boot camp every day, you know? Or some maybe some people can, but i'm not one of them.
The one i tried today wasn't awesome. The teacher had the most annoying accent and it wasn't very challenging, even for a beginner like me. So i'm just gonna try out different ones, until i find one that works for me.

I am using this sports top i bought at Muji a few years ago... so comfy and keeps everything in place

Work out socks!


Working out again has been great, so it's not that i'm disappointed, it's just that i'd hoped to be able to see a bit of difference in my appearance by now, but i really don't.
I never weigh myself, so i don't know if my weight has changed at all, but i don't think it has.
At least i feel different, healthier and stronger.
It used to be so easy for my to get in shape, and now it feels so hard. Maybe if i followed a diet too, but i've chosen to just eat healthy and try only to snack on weekends instead.
I hope i never allow myself to get this out of shape ever again. Getting back into it is just too much work.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sun?

The weather finally gave us a little taste of spring today, so of course we had to spend most of our day in a car, and later, in a smoke filled house.
Goddamn, people in the countryside can smoke.
But at least we gave our day in the sun away for a good cause; it was Allan's dad's birthday and we probably haven't seen him in a few years.
And he was so happy and surprised to see Allan. It was all very sweet.
Maybe we'll get lucky and tomorrow will be another beautiful day?
Here's hoping that it will.

Jean-Luc needs a good wash, but we're worried a trip to an actual car wash could break him (i wish i was kidding)

In the middle of... who knows where...

Allan took pictures of his grandmother, for his grandparents series and i assisted

Mini daffodils and Allan's dad in the background

My head is killing me from all the smoke. And there were kids there too. I'm such a city snob sometimes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A-game

Searching for a dress* is making me obsessed with looking at pretty evening wear, so the Oscars came at the best, or possibly worst, time for me.
Now, i didn't actually watch it myself. In part because of the time difference, but also because because i had a feeling it was gonna suck in a big way, which apparently it did, so i guess i didn't miss out on much... if anything.
But even when i don't watch the show, i always look forward to reading what my favorite gossip columnists have to say about the dresses the next day.
In my opinion, most of the A-listers seemed to play it safe, and it came off very dull and very meh, but a few stood out.
These were my favorites:

-My girl crush, Scarlett Johansson, wasn't exactly the best dressed, but she didn't exactly disappoint either.
She was wearing a tight lace dress that i actually liked, but then for some reason she'd decided to do her own hair and make up, and let's just say that wasn't her best idea ever. Still, she could be wearing a brown paper bag and UGGs and i'd still think she was hot.
-Also so very pretty was one of my newer girl crushes, Mila Kunis. Nothing bad to say about her or her dress. Although, i am a little sad that she dumped Macaulay Culkin, but that shouldn't affect how i feel about her look... right?
-Helen friggin Mirren. Always dresses her age without ever looking dull. What a classy broad.
-And my ultimate favorite of the night? Cate Blanchett. Say what you will about her dress (i say it's crazy awesome) but dull it ain't, and even in something as wacky as that, she still looks all kinds of glamorous.


 (Pictures from Go Fug Yourself)

Honorable mentions go out to Marisa Tomei for having such a gorgeous face, Annette Benning for being a graceful loser, and  Joan Collins for wearing a dress so tight she had to be hospitalized. That's something else.
Oh, and the worst?
I don't really feel that there were any horribly embarrassing fashion fails (unless of course you count the Vanity Fair party... in which case, plenty of fail!) and that's too bad cause i love those.
but i will say that Reese Witherspoon's dress looked sort of cheap, Jennifer Hudson's boobs looked weird... oh, and Our Lady of Smugness? Pretty and smug. As usual.

What were your favorites?

*Dream dress is at 71 dollars now. I am so not gonna win.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blogger issues?

My blogger dashboard is doing this thing where i can only see the latest, like, ten posts of the blogs i'm following.
I'm pretty bad at keeping up with my favorite blogs as it is, so when i finally do check up, i need it all to be there.
I'm sure i'm missing pure gold.
I know Allan is having that problem too... anyone else?

Today it's our new shops one year anniversary and we've just been out celebrating.
Our idea of celebrating these days? Now working too late, and having dinner before 10.
Weeee!

Lucifer taking a nap in the drawing room the other day

A cold walk by the lakes

I fixed up an old frame for Allan yesterday, and this beauty found itself homeless...

... so i made it into a mat for my laptop (without one it scratches my pretty desk, and up until now i've been using a piece of plastic)

Honestly, i worked my ass off today, and i am beat.
I don't even know if i have the energy to play COD with the guys, but i should give it a try.

Ps. The dress i'm coveting on ebay, the one for Izumi's wedding, is at 61 dollars now, and there are still two days to go.
I am officially worried.