Monday, April 2, 2012

A brief announcement: Why I hate 80% humidity.

April has arrived! In the midwest this would mark the beginning month of rising temperatures and the ushering in of summer. In fact, after the numerous correspondances from friends and colleagues in the "land of my previous residence," this has already begun to occur with weeks of high temperatures and sunny days. In the northeast however, April is turning out to be much like March. Hopefully it stays this way, I am not one for the 110 degree and 80% humidity days of Kansas. On a good note, I did have a recent bought of travelling (for only a short period) to the southwest. While attending a conference, I made sure to soak up as much sun as possible. While the weather was still a little chilly there (despite being a desert, I know), I still managed to come back home a little more dryer and tanner. This aside, there hasn't been much to report. My bones are healing still and John is becoming increasingly impatient (even though he would never admit it) with my constant need for him to open jars and other such stuff for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Broken bones and a poorly put business suit: Why it's snowing in the great Northeast.

I haven't written in a while, so here's an update on why. Once more I have fallen into the pit of woe that is my life. A few weeks back, I went for a walk in the forest surrounding the outskirts of our comely little seaside farm. It was relaxing . . . up to a point. About halfway through I ended up tumbling down a gully, which inevitably resulted in the breaking of my arm/wrist/hand. Apparently, when I fall, I fall hard. 

With my bone jutting from the skin and the soundless screams of horror from my mouth, John reverts into some wilder-man and hauls me out of the forest to our automobile in seemingly seconds. Since the fall, my arm has been 1) reset into its original positions, 2) casted and bandage up past the elbow and 3) developed a unbearably itchy layer of dead skin cells from lack of sun and moisturizer. When I'm at home I use a variety of pencil-esque objects to scrape the dead cells out. One particular morning when I was doing this, a seemingly larges about of skin flakes fell out and I exclaimed to John, "Look! It's snowing!" He did not find it as hilarious as I did. 

So in addition to being kinda gross, I've also had quite a few battle trying to 1) write with a cast, 2) types with a cast, 3) get dressed with a cast and 4) look professional with a cast. The latter of the four was probably the hardest. I just got back from a conference in the southwest last weekend, and the whole time I felt overwhelmingly childish. Anyways, I suppose I'm writing this post now as a good preface for getting my cast removed in the coming weeks. Until then, I will try to enjoy it; otherwise, all is well on the  northeastern coast. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Filling my tummy in the post-holiday binge: Why I've stayed inside and adapted to my kitchen.

I know in my last post I didn't reveal any of the particularities of this year's holiday activities, so therefore, I am going to attempt to amend this. In short, for the once rare chance in my life, I didn't  go any where, do anything, see anyone at all. Given my now lose proximity to my hometown across the border, I did make the short, albeit brief, two day trip to Montreal to see my childhood friend Gin, as this is the one time we meet up annually, no exceptions, bar death.

However, unlike in previous years, I did not voyage to Chicago to visit my mother's grave, nor did John and I travel to St. Louis for the holiday reunion with the entire Hagebak extended immigrant family. Of course, I did receive a overly-sweet-not-too-friendly phone call from Mrs. Hagebak regarding the reason her [almost]-daughter-in-law wouldn't come see them. As with every phone call from Mrs. Hagebak, her sweet persuasions in broken English eventually turn into lectures, and surprisingly, no matter the beginning topic, always end with the topic of childbirth (or some derivative thereof). As you can imagine, these conversations are always a fabulous experience, ha. 

That aside, what was the reason for this change, you ask? The intrepid adventurer homebound for once; surely such a thing must be some form of heresy or treason, you think? Well yes, I will agree for me, it was quite odd. However, it all begin the beginning days of December, when John came a wonderful conclusion that we should stay home for the holidays, he wanted to have a, as he put it, "No-travel-winter" where we would for once enjoy the calm solace of our winter along the sea and revel in tea by the fireside. I naturally agreed in exchange for lutefisk, because yes, I can be easily be bribed with food. 

So begins my holiday season of food. As a means of breaking in my quaint country kitchen and fighting my non-travel sickness, I baked up a storm. Which resulted in my eating up a storm. Which is now resulting in me running in the freezing Atlantic chill. 

My kitchen here is not as spectacular as the one in our previous house, in short I would probably describe it as underwhelming. It is by no means grand, and given my busyness trying to revamp other, seemingly more pertinent areas of the house, the kitchen was kind of pushed to the wayside. However, despite my reservations and its lack of grandiose gadgetry and appliances, my kitchen has proved itself to me during these past weeks. It started with pies and moved onto cookies. Then it was breakfast eggs, scones, pancakes. After casseroles and pot pies. In short, I whipped a food frenzy. 

As you can assume, John and I were not with hunger. Most days, without the need to go anywhere we slept in, ate late breakfasts and early lunches. We'd take walks around our expansive property line and bundle in for movie night and Scrabble games. We began and finished many of the things we'd been wanting to do since moving here. John finally unpacked and setup his studio in the unattached shed and barn next to the house. We cleaned up the attic and converted the space. I got around to picking up the jumble of paperwork that has become my life in research. It was nice, unexpected. Perhaps we'll try doing things at this pace again, because I kind of enjoyed it. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

I can feel the sea salt in my hair: Why I've been gone for such a long long time.

It's been a while, nearly seven months to be exact. Since my last few and informationally sparse posts, the summer has passed and along with it the fall. I don't really know what happened. Somewhere between flying off to France and the later in the ensuing madness, I somehow lost myself in the jumble of work, travel, adventure, some more work and work related travel.

Well, perhaps "work-related travel" isn't the best way to describe it. So, when the spring semester ended and with it my completion of the my higher education career in the Midwest, planned to move onto my future opportunities without looking back. In fact, I have. Since my arrival back into the States and my acceptance into a post-doc position along the upper northeastern coast, John and I have uprooted ourselves from our lovely home and moved, for what I am going to say will be the final time.

I must say, John was quite a sport about it. While I was all torn and semi-upset about leaving the house I had come to love and cherish in the past years, to live in a remote and sea-ridden land, in a house that at the time was only mildly quaint and sorely in need of repairs. However, after a complete overhaul, some very stern, intense discussion, and several bouts of emotional baking (on my part). I've come to enjoy the move. I've realized, among other things, that 1) living near the sea seems to have been what I has lacking in the Midwest, 2) becoming a pro at home repair was more natural and fulfilling than I thought it would have been, 3) moving 3 cats cross country is never easy, and 4) John and I are pretty much stuck with each other for life now (not that that's a bad thing).

John found a job at a nearby firm and I've begun the long, arduous haul of a persons stuck in perpetual research mode. I suppose things could be worse. I could be wandering aimlessly without a purpose or plan. Instead, I'm anticipating the cold weather and snuggling in by the fire with a warm cup of tea to pass winter days by.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bonjour! Les Grandes Vacances.

The spring semester has ended and I'm back in France along the summer coast! I'll be here for the next 6 weeks and posting as much as possible (with photos, hopefully)! After that it's a hop and skip to visit John's relatives . . . and who knows really? Maybe I'll actually relax and have a holiday?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why the summer feels so near: Status Update.

I've been busy, though it might seem that I'm always busy. Here's the good news though, the semesters almost over. Then it'll be onto better times doing research, seeing the world, and hopefully getting in enough naps to feel complete.

Moi? I'll be heading back to France as soon as classes end, so I'm going to be spending the next weeks refreshing up on some francais. After that? Who knows? I think John and I are going to go up to Scandinavia to visit his grand-family, but I'm still not really sure. I'm just kind of winging it and hoping everything works out, eh? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why I saved the day: It's nice to know that I don't live with a robot.

So, I woke up to the sound of a car alarm blaring. At first it was just a tingle in the back of my mind, but as I started to become cognitive of the world around me, the sound became clearer and clearer, morphing into the ever present repetitive "honk, honk, honk" that car alarms make. As I crept down the stairs, thoroughly awake, disappointed, and ticked-off, I tried to judge where the alarm was coming from, my own vehicle out in the drive way or perhaps the neighbors' down the road? Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, I knew whose vehicle it was; not mine, not the neighbors', no, it was John's and he was running around the house in hurried abandon trying to shut it off. 

Apparently, the story goes as follows. John, on his way out the door in a rush to get to work, unlocked his car. However, rather than hitting the button on his automatic key chain with an "unlocked" figure, he accidentally pressed the red "alarm" button. In his startled shock and panic, he jumped and his keys went flying into the nearest bush. Panicked now, he quickly realizes he'll never be able to find the keys in the bush in time, so he rushes back inside to find his spare set to turn the alarm off and rush to work. However, upon meeting me at the bottom of the stairs, it becomes quickly obvious to both he and myself that he has no idea where his spare set of keys are. 

Naturally, I did know. So, without saying anything, I promptly found them walked outside, barefoot and clothed in nightgown, and turned the alarm off. In short, I saved the day . . . or morning at least. It was quite a nice feeling as well, and afterwards gave me more than enough to chuckle about. I mean, John, one rarely gets to see him in this light; all disheveled, panicked, and flustered all to hell. In most cases, I'm usually the one in that position, and he's the calm, precise, and ever-neat rock that holds my chaos in place. Most people might consider him a cyborg of sorts, since he is quite robotic . . . with more than a smidgen of type-A personality, all of which I find even more intriguing given he's an artist, and aren't they all supposed to be disheveled and zany? 

Well, since he was already late, John called into work and said he wouldn't be in until noon. I don't think he's in any mood to be around people . . . or perhaps he just has to reboot his cyborg systems from their overload and crash. Whichever, before I head into campus we're going to enjoy some blueberry-peach tarts and generous cups of coffee. But before that, I think I'll drift back into the daze of morning sleep. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's like I stepped out into summer: Why the sky cleared and the snow melted away.

Well, it feels like less than two weeks has passed since I was stuck in bed with the flu while the great old Midwest was shaken with the blizzard of a lifetime. Then we come to now, where I have bypassed an entire week of sunny 65 degree weather, people breaking out the springtime shorts, and the nineteen-year-old girls breaking out their sleazy hooker dresses.

Ah, yes! Springtime has arrived for a week. Today, I felt so much like my old self that I popped out my trainers and went running. When I got back, I felt so inspired that I cooked up a storm (naturally, to consume all the calories I just burned off), making eggy's in a basket (the greasy kind) and chopped fruit parfaits. Oh, how I love to indulge? 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why this post might lack in lucidity: Snow & sickness = Ultimate fun!

So, I've fallen in a pit of despair. It happened two days ago. I had a pretty average day, you know work, class, work, drive home, nearly dying on the snowy-icy-slick road connected to my driveway. I felt a little . . . drained perhaps . . . all day, but whatever. I had enough energy to make apple and blueberry pancakes for dinner (which were delicious) along with sunny-side up eggs, and even put forth the effort to binge on some bacon. It was a nice meal. John and I love breakfast for dinner, and since I haven't had the time to even make breakfast in the morning for quite awhile, it was a nice change of pace.

Then, without notice, it happened. Yes, it's true, I projectile vomited. Turns out, as I later find out the next day at the doctor's office, I have the flu. So watch out, my fever seems to have subsided for a bit, but I'm still quite sick and writing this in one of my semi-lucid, awake phases. Of course, John keeps pumping me full of broth (egh!) and fluids, so I expect a quick recovery. He's also quite quick to point out that "he-told-me-so," when I, in a fit of lethargy, consciously decided not to get my flu shot, stating "I am superwoman. I have genes of steel," and noting that as a result of my given tendency of a child to touch every thing, disease ridden or otherwise, I have built up my immunities to all forms of sickness.

Obviously, this is not true. It's especially ironic given my proneness to shingles outbreaks and other forms of viral attack. Even more is my tendency to fall more often than not, which results in the slew of broken, sprained, and all-in-all injured body parts I have experienced over the years.

Well, now its off to sleep for me (again) and maybe when I awake up I talk John into making more apple and blueberry pancakes, since the ones I did eat didn't exactly stay in my system.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I can't find the solution to life: Secrets & an ending era.

I feel as if for the past months I've been distant and as a result have neglected posting any of my experiences. Well, what can I say? A new year has passed, I spent the holidays with John's family as always, being sure to take my fill of the annual lutefisk feast. Finally a holiday passed without his mother (or any other family members for that matter) berating me about when John and I will finally marry and produce half-Norwegian, half-French Canadian (and Native) babies. I think John must have said something to them to make them not, he knows how uncomfortable it makes me. From that the new year passed, with a silent house (besides John and I), as all of our boarders have finally left and I have felt no need to replace them. We played our annual scrabble games (I won with a thudding defeat this year, unlike the previous) and relaxed with yummy delights and John mellow double bass tunes.

I'm finishing up my work at the university this semester, and after that I don't exactly know what my plans will be, or I should say "our" plans since John has already voiced his full preparation to pick up and move with, to wherever life takes me. I've already had some offers, on coasts doing research or otherwise. They seem . . . fulfilling. However, I really don't know. I kind of just want to take some time off a few months so that I don't have to think about . . . anything. Eh, whatever. I'm sure in the coming months everything will become quite clear. Maybe? Hopefully?

On the other note, if you didn't realize it from my statement about the empty house and my lack of boarders, with the holidays my brother finally left our presence. He's went back to Seattle to reclaim his dusty house and own squeaky (and in his words, more comfortable) bed. I was partially relieved, but not because I disliked my brother as a boarder. He was actually quite welcomed as a breath of fresh air from our past occupants. What I did despise were the constant telephone calls from his neurotic girlfriend (even though, she's actually really neat), because yes, Sep has (or maybe had by now) a girlfriend of many, many, many months that I didn't discover until his accident. It was quite a secret when it came out . . . makes me wonder what else he's hidden. Hm?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why freeloading from your generous sister is such a crime: Let's go to Baltimore!

I've kind of let this blog go loose. I suppose I've gotten too busy, what with the hectic school semester and my brother still freeloading off of my generosity. I'm taking a break for this week (starting right now) and going on holiday to Baltimore (or more like John's going to visit his sister and I'm tagging along). We'll see how this goes . . . I'll write more later . . . promise . . . eh.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My brother, Sep, has finally been released from his hospital stay, to go out and rejoin the rest of society. I have to say I haven't ever heard him so ecstatic during a phone call before. I guess that's what weekly hospital meals will do to you. I first thing he did when he got out, apparently, was have our other brother Noel drive him to get a steak. I don't think I've ever seen Sep eat steak. He's more of a broccoli and mushroom kind of person.

Anyways, he's flying out here this Sunday to stay indefinitely, as of now. He hasn't exactly planned what he wants to do with his life now, and is still mandatorily recovering with his job, so why not? But . . . uh, hopefully, he doesn't plan on eating steak here. I don't do steak.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pavement? I prefer dirt roads, actually.

I saw Pavement last night, which basically equalled amazing and a notable mention, but I did happen to consume too much alcohol in moments of frivolity. So, I suppose now I'm going to make some strong coffee and shower vigorously, again. Concerts somehow always make me feel unclean.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I've got a fancy luncheon to go to today. I've got to go change into my fancy shoes (i.e. a purple cocktail dress) and then run up the hill on campus to get there. So basically, I'm going to get all gussied up and forage my way up some hilly terrain in 90 degrees and 95% humidity. By the time I get there, I'm going to be a sweaty-sweat mess anyways. So whats the bother? Well, I'm going to have to put on my extra-strength deodorant and get ready for this mess. Ugh.

Side note. DBT, in two weeks. This makes my day a little brighter.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I wish I could eat this everyday!

Why can't cake (and more importantly, chocolate mousse cake) be part of the major food groups of nutrition? One: it tastes wonderful. Two: it feels like you are eating something wonderful. Three: it make your tummy feel like you ate something wonderful. Therefore, in all senses of logic it should be wonderfully healthy.

Of course, my logic is not exactly the most reliable. I would also eat donuts for dinner if John would let me. I suppose I should stop binging on deserts and get to making some real food. Something with spinach and other moderately tasteful green things. I will say I have eaten some delicious real food in my lifetime, but still nothing compares to chocolate mousse cake . . . or donuts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Comatose, Brain Damage, and Boredom: Why my life craves jellybeans.

So, where do I begin? First, two week ago on August 6, Septimus finally woke up. I was ecstatic, naturally, as any sister would be regarding a brother's first semi-conscious moment in nearly a month. Three days later, he even began to lift from the semi-drugged state he was in when he first woke up. His eyes cleared from the morphine (or morphine knock-off) glaze and he started to do and say things resembling his old personality. He's in inpatient rehab now in Seattle and calls me everyday to tell me of his progress since I had to leave a week ago for the start of the new semester. It's odd to think of . . . Septimus, easily my favorite brother, had to become seriously injured before he would call me with any frequency. What does this say about him? Maybe he does have brain damage?

Anyways, life back in the mid continent is . . . to say the least, boring. I thought, oh, maybe things would pick up ever since leaving the life of hospitals and wound gauze and weird bodily fluids that come out of tummies, but it hasn't. I arrived home and slept. It felt like I slept for two days straight. John even unpacked my suitcase and did my laundry without my knowledge, I was so out of it. I guess I had wound myself up quite a bit spending every waking possible moment with Sep that I kind of went catatonic for a while when I knew I would have to anymore.

Well, on a lighter note, after I woke up from the deep-sleep, I binged on two of the best treats. The first being jellybeans! and the second being flan!

What can I say? I had been craving jellybeans for weeks . . . and flan? Who doesn't love flan? I think its the texture. I find it irresistible. This one turned out perfectly . . . so I gobbled it up.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back, eh?

Well, I'm back. No more Seattle. No more hospitals. No more readjusting wound gauze. But I guess now it's back to another semester. Woot, eh?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crash, Burn, and then Crash again: Why I reget most things in my life?

John just took me out for ice cream as an attempt to cork my muddled feelings towards my eldest brother. It turns out that, after a long, taxing, uncomfortable conversation with him, we will not be staying with him and his wife in Seattle. Instead we will be staying at my more laid-back middle brother Noel's pad. He's out of town for the summer, but is going to let us crash. So where I would normally bake myself into oblivion after such a hassle, John fixed everything for me. Grape and caramel are always the solutions to happiness.

So yeah, sorting that out has been a pain, but a little ice cream and sweetness sorted everything out.

Seattle? Again?

So, yeah. Septimus was declared stable enough to be transferred up to Seattle, where he will undergo intensive inpatient rehabilitation. Pretty sweet for him, though I doubt he realizes it yet due to the extensive drugs still running through his system. For me, I just keep questioning my sanity in actually, willingly, booking my flight to the northeast and calling my eldest brother (and by-far the most perturbing) to say that John and I would be spending the rest of the summer term with him. Please, lob me over the head now.

On the plus side, I just found out that sometime in the next year's future The Strokes will be releasing a new album. So, at least I have to wait for in the future.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Still in Colorado, waiting.

I am still in Colorado, waiting. For the most part, I have still been spending my day times hanging around waiting rooms, cafeteria nooks, and dormant hallways, as a way to pass the time I am not spending visiting my unconscious drugged-out brother. When I am not a hangabout, I am sleeping via pill on the lumpy bed at one of John's relatives holiday cabins in the mountains. I suppose I shouldn't complain about since, staying at the cabin in the woods makes it so I don't have to pay for a hotel bed that wouldn't rank much higher on the comfort scale.

On the plus side, I am getting some great mountain time in that I would have otherwise been without. This weekend, I'm going mountain biking with some old college friends, and well, I'm hoping sometime next week to get out on the water. Otherwise, I will be stuck on the inside in the perfectly filtered sterile air of the hospital. Dreary, I know.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A flight and a kayak.

So yeah. It has been a . . . say. . . frustrating four days since my last post of photographs and wishes of music festivals. Later that evening, I received a phone call from informing me, that as my brother's emergency contact, I was being notified that he was in critical condition after sustaining injuries during an automobile accident, such that he was airlifted to the nearest trauma center in Colorado. Naturally, all of this news hit me at once, namely, because I hadn't spoken to Septimus in weeks, only vaguely remembering him mentioning that he would be Colorado in early July. So, there I was, only half unpacked from my latest adventure, running madly about the house throwing my suitcase contents back in place, while John, the dear, booked us the next available flight.

A plane ride and a rental car later, I'm sitting in an ICU waiting room being bored to death. Septimus has made a turnabout towards recovery, my other brothers in Seattle keep calling, harassing me about not being responsible enough to notify them, which was done purposefully to prevent an unwelcomed "hospital reunion" that my frazzled nerves would not have withstood.

So yeah, I might not make it to Pitchfork this year and well, I'll be crossing most other adventures off of my to-do list. Of course, I know it might not seem sisterly of me, but I might try and squeeze in some white-water kayaking while I'm here, something I think my brother might appreciate.