aimless story (part one)

November 28th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

I wish i could write a book. Ive wanted to for as long as i can remember. Earlier this year i took a course at school in creative writing.. I started out full of optimism and thought to myself (and actually told some people out loud) “now, at long last, im going to write that short novel i’ve wanted to write since i was 13 !”… of course i didn’t.. I did however write a series of texts involving a young woman, that may or may not be autobiographical, and if they are, which i won’t admit to either way, there’s a liberal dose of fiction thrown in… or not..

Anyway, since im not feeling any real motivation to pick up the thread where these texts left off and either weave them together into some sortof shortstory book , or one story with several sub-plots, i’m going to share them here, because i do feel like sharing this, since i took the time to write it. Well, im going to start with one part, that i went thru the trouble of translating already, and maybe i’ll throw a couple more up here later on.

I realize this is quite a challenge, as the average peruser of the internet probably isn’t too big on focusing on large quantities of writing in one sitting, it just goes against the short-attention-span nature of the internet, but to hell with that. (even i don’t like reading on the internet, despite reading as many books as i can get my hands on) But then, if you bother looking at my blog in the first place, you’re probably interested in what i do, so you may actually appreciate this. Here goes, part one:

I feel bad. I open my eyes. There’s a woman standing next to my bed. She’s standing there staring at me, and i can feel her hatred for me. I feel like she’s trying to kill me with her gaze. She doesn’t say anything. Her presence is suffocating, oppressive, a negative engergy comes from her in waves and washes over me like polluted, noxious water. I’m afraid. Im more afraid than words can describe. I try to convince myself that she’s not there. But she is. Underneat the fear i can feel anger as well. She has no right to be there. I want her to leave. I can’t bear to lie there defenseless under that merciless hateful gaze. I can’t move. My body is paralyzed.
I tell her to go away. It scares me even more to do so but i do it anyway. It seems that im screaming but no sound comes from me. I try again. Try to force out those two words.
“go away” i whisper, screaming at the top of my lungs. “Go away, go away, go away! GO AWAY!” The only sound coming from my vocal chords is a pathetic sortof squeak, and with each repetition my fear grows, becomes palpable. By speaking to her i’ve now acknowledged her presence.

“I had the same dream last night. About the woman standing over my bed.”
“Did you tell her to leave this time? “ Vala asks, pausing with the big knife poised over some tomatoes, and gives me a sideways glance.
“yeah.. i did actually”
“Good for you. She probably won’t come back then. You have to show them their place or they won’t leave you alone”, she says, and continues chopping the tomatoes for the salad bar.
Vala is “psychic.”, for want of a better word… she sees ghosts and peoples auras – i felt somewhat naked and exposed when she told me one day that she could tell how i was feeling from studying my aura – and i suspect she may be a witch. She’s a good person to work with.
“She wasn’t there anyway. It was a dream. Mostly im just hoping there won’t be any women showing up today for lunch”. I go back into the kitchen to check on things in the big fridge where we keep the vegetables. If the lady in charge of running this lame cafeteria remembers to order them, that is.
I wonder to myself if i should be ambitious today or use some of the soup powder we have stocked for lazy days. (and for days when im not there to make real soup)
Let’s see.. No carrots left. No tomatoes except for the ones Vala is in the process of mutilating.. Im stuck with half a crate of rather old potatoes and a few sad looking leeks. Powdered soup it is then. I’ll use the leeks to spruce it up a bit. Maybe fry them in real butter to pretend that im actually cooking real food. Add a splash of white whine for good measure.
I make an extra batch of crepe batter, and boil and extra pot of rice, just in case. Large groups of annoying people always show up if i cut corners and prepare badly for lunch. If i make more than enough of everything i usually only have to deal with a small trickle of people. This is one of those inexplicable laws of nature that i’ve accepted as a given and learned to use to my advantage a long time ago.

Four kindly old gents show up and order the soup. I’ve begun to suspect that after a certain age peoples taste buds stop working altogether, and they probably couldnt tell the difference between sawdust and coleslaw. Nonetheless I offer them a dollop of whipped cream on their soup , which they accept with smiles all around.
I don’t mind the old guys that come here to eat. They rarely complain, and there’s none of that intolerable clicking which accompanies the high heels of the regular female clientelle as they make their way along the stone hallway of the art museum on their way to the cafeteria. Neither do they sound like a convention of crazy birds once they’re gathered in groups of three or more and get a lively conversation going, punctuated with screeches of laughter reminiscent of nails on a blackboard. I can’t stand women. I’m never going to be a woman.

Vala and I sit at our regular table, drink coffee and chat about nothing in particular while we wait for lunch to be over. One lady shows up and orders a stuffed crepe. Complains that the filling is only lukewarm. Under such circumstances my name is “Miss” and im suppose to excuse the complainee. Fat chance.
“Dumb cow” I mutter under my breath as I take her plate to reheat the food. I cheer myself up with thoughts of how the pancake and cheese and ham and rice and sauce will mostly end up on her wide, lumpy thighs. I feel mildly disgusted as i hand her the steaming, half eaten food.
Vala offers to wash up when most of the guests have finished eating.
I go over to the old guys table to clean up their bowls.
“That was some fine soup dear” they say.
I don’t feel very deserving of the compliment.

Vala has left for the day. I sit and gaze out the large glass windows which form three walls of the cafeteria. A cup of cold coffee sits in front of me, forgotten. An unattractive scum of milk floats on top. All days here are the same. Im bored. Get out my sketch book and a pencil and make some mostly meaningless doodles in it. Don’t feel like drawing. I refuse to allow myself to think about whats really bothering me. Why i’m feeling like such a bitch today. My mind starts to wander in that direction nonetheless, so i stand up abruptly and decide to make more coffee. Just in case. To make sure nobody shows up for coffee later on. The coffee container is already in place under the coffeemaker. Good. Hmm… apparently i already refilled the coffee filter. Don’t remember doing so. I turn the machine on and go out back to the kitchen to make some frosting for a merengue cake that will most likely spend two days untouched in the cake display and then end up in the trash. Im feeling restless and depressed.
I get some eggs from the fridge, powdered sugar and dark chocolate from the pantry. Absentmindedly i pop a few squares of chocolate into my mouth. Ive gained weight since i got this job. This realization depresses me more. My jeans annoy me. They press uncomfortably into the soft flesh of my hip , which makes me feel fat.
I locate a fork in one of the messy drawers and start mixing together the egg yolks and sugar. This kitchen needs an electric beater. I mention this fact on a regular basis to my superior, in a halfhearted way though, as i realize nothing will be done in the matter while i’m working here. I don’t plan on staying long enough for such big changes to take place in the running of things. I melt the chocolate and pour it into the egg and sugar mixture. This results in a thick gluey substance that’s hard to work with. My wrist aches. I get the whipped cream that was leftover from when i assembled the cake that morning, and add it to the brown goo in the bowl, which little by little becomes manageable and turns into a custard- like frosting. I hate making this stuff. But I seem to be the only one that manages to not screw it up, so i’ve resigned myself to it. I fetch the cake from the fridge and smear the frosting over it.
Against my better judgement I dip my finger in and bring out a generous glop of frosting, half of which i manage to drop onto myself en route to my mouth.
“argh” i say out loud, and realize i didn’t bring an extra shirt. I don’t have a sweater or jacket either. It was unseasonably warm this morning.
A string of profanities ensues as i go into the bathroom to wipe myself off . Theres a big brown spot in my light blue shirt, directly over my left nipple.
“awesome” i think to myself. I gather all my hair over one shoulder, arranging it to cover the spot. Which it does. Just barely. It’ll have to do for now. Dumb looking hairdo tho.. eighties-glamour-soap-opera sortof thing.. only thing missing is the perm and the shoulder pads.  It clashes with my mood completely.

I suddenly remember that i was making coffee. I can smell it all the way in here. Thats odd.. I go back out of the kitchen and see a brown puddle making its way slowly across the floor, under the coffeemaker.
“what the FUCK?” i think, becoming increasingly annoyed with myself. I grab a dishtowel and toss it into the puddle. I realize that the container already standing under the coffeemaker had already been full, and that i must have been halfway done preparing the next pot of coffee earlier and forgotten to finish…
Sigh.
I pull out a large wad of paper towels and proceed to clean up the mess i’ve made. While i’m bent over with my back to the counter i suddenly feel a pair of eyes on my back. I hear a polite cough and look back over my shoulder. I’m all too conscious of the way my shirt has ridden up , exposing my lower back. I yank it back down quickly. There’s a tall thin man, mid-thirties, standing at the counter, a small awkward smile on his face. I curse to myself and hate him instantly for showing up like this in the middle of this graceless situation.

“sorry.. i’ll be with you in a minute” I’m unable to conceal how annoyed i am.
I get up and toss the soggy towels into the trash, and toss my hair back with a quick flick of the head. I’ve completely forgotten about the spot .
The man asks if i’m still serving lunch. His gaze is pointed more at my chest than my face. I find it rather rude of him.
Its tempting to just say “no, im sorry, there’s no food here, its all finished.”
I remember there’s some soup left and tell him about it.
He’s still looking down in the direction of my boobs. God, how annoying.
“what kind of soup is it?” he asks.
“Leek soup. With cream and white whine.” I say the last as an afterthougt in an attempt to make it sound more appetizing than it is. I don’t feel like preparing anything more strenuous for this annoying man.
“That sounds fine. I’ll have that. And some coffee.”
“There’s soup included with the coffee”, i say.
He gives me a strange look.
“I mean there’s coffee included with the soup.”
My face is getting hot.
Once again i notice his gaze is pulled downwards and suddenly i remember the damn spot.
“will there be anything else?”
I feel like a complete idiot. The man pays for his food and i attempt, thru sheer force of will, to make myself invisible.

God, i hate this job.

Read 16 comments

The ultimate chocolate cheesecake

November 24th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

toblerone-cheescake.jpg

I confess, i have a weakness for cheesecake… by that i mean real, baked, american style cheesecake.. Not the chilled kind with gelatin added to keep it firm.. that stuff is gross..

I made one the other day (pictured above) so absolutely sinfully good, i felt like sharing the recipe (which is my own new-fangled rendition of an old one i’ve used for some years)

I figure, if you’re going to indulge in a cheesecake, it may as well be one hell of a cheesecake.. Reduced fat/sugar is not in my vocabulary when it comes to baking.. This one contains 480 grams of swiss Toblerone chocolate.. you can substitute other kinds if you don’t have any of that handy, but i recommend dark, milk and white chocolate in roughly equal parts..

Preheat oven to 175°C

mix together:

1 1/2 cups digestive biscuit or graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp brown sugar

4 tbsp melted butter

press firmly into a springform baking pan and bake for 10 min. Remove from oven and increase heat to 225°C.

Blend until light and fluffy:

800 g cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

add:

3 tablespoons flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs (one at a time, mixing well in between)

Now, for the chocolate.. Melt 180 g dark toblerone (or other fine dark chocolate) in a glass bowl placed over hot water..

Chop 150 g each milk and white toblerone (or substitute of your choice). Take a handful or two and sprinkle over the baked crust.

Divide the cream cheese mixture equally in two. Add the melted dark chocolate to half and stir well, add the rest of the chopped white and milk chocolate to the other half.

Take turns scooping or pouring the two parts of the mixture onto the crust, layering unevenly. Run a butter knife several times thru the top to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 10 minutes at 225°C, reduce heat again to 175°C and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn off the oven but don’t remove the cake. Leave for half an hour, then open the oven a crack (place a wooden spatula or other utensil to keep it propped open if needed) and let cool further for 2 hours.. This is done to hopefully keep the cake from falling.. i was forced to rush things a bit because i needed the oven for another cake (was preparing for my sons birthday) so the one in the picture looks a bit crestfallen, but it doesn’t effect the flavor one bit.

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until the next day , serve with whipped cream, if that’s your thing (that’s definitely my thing)

Enjoy.

Read 10 comments

Boxcutter- Glyphic

November 20th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

i rarely feel compelled to write a blog post about a musician or album..

However, it’s been a while since i’ve been so mesmerized listening to a new cd, in this case the second album from irish musician Boxcutter.

I purchased it alongside Untrue, the second album of the mysterious, near-godlike Burial, and while its not bad, its not nearly as good as i had hoped, or expected after hearing quite a lot of hype about it.. (his first was definitely better) Glyphic, however, comes as a very pleasant surprise, as i’d hardly heard anything about Boxcutter before buying this cd.

A bit hard to categorize, (calling this dubstep would be an oversimplification at best), i was strongly reminded of Squarepusher ( his album Feed me weird things in particular) and Aphex Twin in a few of the tracks, but to put it simply, this is a collection of refreshing, atmospheric music that takes about 3 listens to really begin to appreciate (in my book, if you like it too much at first listen, you’ll be bored by the third). This is highly recommended.

Also, the cd art is ridiculously cool..

boxcutter-cdart.jpg

Read 6 comments

so, i made a book.. sortof..

October 26th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

Was in a course at school recently on childrens literature and picture books.. one of the assignments was to make a “dummy” book, showing a complete idea for a picture book, didnt have to be too detailed and the theme could be anything…

im not very good at doing things in a hasty manner so i spent 4 days drawing and cutting out and making collages and photographing and organizing the layout.. For a theme i chose the old classic “12 days of christmas”.. the lyrics have always struck me as rather amusing, considering that everything is repeated and the person telling the story ends up with 42 geese, and 40 milking maids, and 30 hens, and i figured it would be neat to visualize that..

here’s what came out of this little project:

opna1.jpg

opna2.jpg

opna31.jpg
(thats a recipe for Coq au vin that she’s studying.. rather fond of that little pun)

hens.jpg

opna4.jpg

opna5.jpg

opna6.jpg

opna7.jpg

opna8.jpg

opna9.jpg

by page 10, i was sortof regretting this whole idea, and drew a complete blank..

opna10.jpg

opna11.jpg

opna12.jpg

(for the drummer, i used a photo i had leftover from february, when i was shooting my drummer project)

now, all i need to do is write my own story, and use this illustrating technique for a real book. sometime…

Read 18 comments

more info on prints

October 13th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

Thought i’d mention in detail exactly what kind of prints i’m selling.

These are C-prints, made with a technique best described as “digital developing” , not inkjet or laser jet . The result is a REAL photograph, developed , with chemicals, on light-sensitive paper. Only one place in Iceland uses this method, and the prints look amazing.   Guaranteed to last at least 100 years without losing image quality.

They’re printed with a white border, so that none of the actual photo is hidden when framed.

Prints are signed with gold or silver pen (depending on the warm/cool colors in the image) in the bottom right corner (or on the back, if preferred)

(I may offer canvas prints at a later date. Im still deciding on that part)

prints.jpg

there are 3 sizes available of most pictures, 30×45 cm , 40×60 cm and 60x90cm.

newest additions to the store are these three:

af-jordu-ertu-komin.jpg

nupstadir.jpg

what-you-dont-know-can-indeed-hurt-you.jpg

(the print of the last does not, of course, have that watermark on it)

Here is the full catalog (which is steadily growing)

suggestions/requests are welcome.

also, i’ve uploaded a tiny part of my presentation in Copenhagen, i chose the bit where i explain the Toyota assignment, i’ll maybe add other segments later. I sound really, really strange to my own ears, first time i really hear myself speaking english. I was very nervous, and the whole set-up there wasn’t really what i expected (no podium, was supposed to stand in this circular stairway at the end of this large entrance hall at Microsoft headquarters , but couldn’t stand and also reach the computer to flip thru the slides, so i just took the microphone from the stand and plopped myself down in the steps :p

After trying this once i feel i’ve learned a lot about what to do and what NOT to do in this sortof scenario, and wouldn’t mind doing more of this at some point:)

Click image to see the bit on youtube:

screenshot.jpg

Read 33 comments
« Previous Entries Next Entries »