Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hot damn!

This year's first run without gloves! And jacket! And... ehm... pants!

We're talking 20°C (68°F) at the end of March - not something a Swede is generally used to. Despite my lack of clothing I almost overheated, but I'm certainly not complaining. It was a lovely Easter treat from the weather gods - a sweaty foretaste of summer.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter greetings

Blue skies and tender blossoms; warm winds and sunshine. I think I might be able to survive Easter this year, although I'm hopelessly missing some of the Swedish traditions - particularly the candy-filled paper eggs...

To my friends in the old country: please treat yourself to some extra goodies on behalf of me!

Glad påsk, everyone!

City lights

Friday, 10:43 pm: on another excursion, this time motorized. Admiring the sparkling skyline from Hamilton Viewpoint Park in West Seattle.

Starry night, orange moon. Spectacular.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Evening shades of blue

Tuesday, 7:30 pm: swapped my regular jog for an evening ride to Golden Gardens. Spring almost turned to summer in my mind, as scattered groups of people were crowding around crackling bonfires at the beach, the sun setting behind snow-clad mountains on the horizon.

I will be back.

Photo by Isaac Price.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sleeping beauty

Early morning stillness at Lake Union; a moment that simply had to be seized.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Things that turn that frown upside down

Swedish puzzles in the mail // Tulips to brighten my day // Bike riding in the sunshine

All of the above (and more, so much more!) I owe to some very considerate and big-hearted friends of mine. You know who you are... Thank you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wined and dined

On Saturday I had the privilege of spending some quality time with my friend Isaac, which included dining at a lovely Capitol Hill restaurant called terra plata. I can easily say that it was one of my top food experiences in Seattle so far, and we were being royally treated and utterly spoiled by the owner and her wonderful staff.

If you ever go there (which you definitely should!): don't miss the brussels sprouts. Just don't. Or the roasted carrots, for that matter... Or the cheese plate. Or the wine! Ridiculously delicious, all of it.

While I'm on the subject of food: tomorrow is Våffeldagen (Waffle Day) in Sweden, which is celebrated every year on Lady Day due to reasons that are difficult to explain in English. It's either an intentional play on words or a simple mishearing, I'm not sure which (but I'm certain that my mother does).

Anyways, I love waffles and usually indulge in them on Lady Day, so I might just have to go out and get my waffle fix somewhere tomorrow... Dessert for dinner? Poor me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Beats of the Southern Wild

Thursday in nine words: work work work work work work work... and dance!

Probably the best way of surviving a tough week: an Argentinian treat from a good friend. Bajofondo at Neumos, what a night! Sleep is for wimps, I'm ready for Friday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Benefits beyond borders

Well, whaddayaknow: Forbes recently wrote a little something on international researchers at Fred Hutch and how ”Americans benefit when we open our doors and combine American-born talent with the best talent from around the world”. Oh, stop it...

...or go on and read it here: At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Immigrants and Native-Born Work Together to Save Lives.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kitsch revealed

Now wait just a minute! I promised that I would show the contents concealed by this mysterious wrapping a month ago, but then completely forgot to fulfill my obligation. Shame on me!

Ok, here goes: The first golden frame brought some feminine beauty to my bedroom.

Hey, I told you it was depressing! But I honestly like the eerie vibe it is projecting.

The second print added to the maritime theme I've got going on in my kitchen/living room.

Fun fact: on the back of it is written “Udskibning fra Saltholmen, 1880”. Got to keep that Scandinavian heritage alive!

Alright folks, that's all from today's episode of Antiques Roadshow. Stay safe and don't play with fire! (Or guns.) Cheerio!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stop and smell the flowers

Walking to work gets nicer and nicer, but takes longer and longer... Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


When experiments fail, shipments are delayed, plans backfire, and instruments break down, I sit down at my desk resting my eyes on a small selection of keepsakes. My mind wanders for a few minutes, and then I get back to work again.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where young people go to retire

If you like a good snigger but haven't discovered the TV series Portlandia yet I highly recommend a quick peek, for instance on SVT Play. And if you feel like burying yourself in flannel, facial hair, homebrewed beer, and moderately overpriced locally produced eco-friendly holistic (somewhat dented) artisan sourdough bread, well then you should do what David and I did last Sunday: jump in the car and take a day trip to Portland, Oregon.

Never mind my satirical tone; although I only spent about five hours in this hipster haven it was certainly enough to realize that I would love to go back for further exploration, preferably in the summer.

During our short stay David and I managed to enjoy a hearty brunch, do some tax-free shopping, walk along the waterfront to the Saturday (sic) market and browse around for a while before going to Voodoo Doughnut.

I am by no means a devoted donut consumer, but David assured me that if I ever should indulge in a deep-fried, calorie-packed sugar bomb extraordinaire this was the time and the place. I wasn't difficult; we bought ourselves some coffee and entered the winding line that lead to the store. The queue actually started under the pink sign below, then went all the way to the left and finally back to the entrance again. And that was just to get inside... A popular place, to say the least.

Standing in line has positive side effects, though; this photo was taken by a gentleman from California who was in town for a quick business trip. A really nice fellow who gave us his card and promised us a guided tour of San Fransisco, should we go there.

Once inside, David decided to surprise his colleagues with a Monday treat and bought a whole box of goodies. (Kiss ass!)

For me, the multitude of forms and flavors was completely overwhelming and I panicked slightly when it was my time to order. David indulged in a Bacon Maple Bar (um... yes, that's bacon and maple frosting) and I ended up randomly picking an Old Dirty Bastard, with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos and peanut butter (the messy one to the right of the bacon bar).

My verdict? Not that bad. No, actually: it was really good. But I sure didn't need any dinner when I eventually got home to Seattle... Calling it "filling" would be an understatement.

All in all, it was a lovely little trip! Hope I get to go back soon.

"We were just gone for a few minutes."
"A few minutes is like a few months in dog years."

Monday, March 11, 2013

New perspectives

Seattle is a pretty bicyclist friendly city with a variety of long and short routes and trails for its sporty citizens to explore. Sadly, my two-wheeled adventures have long been limited to a couple of quick excursions to the grocery store - until last weekend, that is. On Saturday, Isaac gave me a guided bike tour in the fair spring weather from Fremont to Alki Beach, and showed me a side of the city I had never seen before. Loved it!

The beautiful Seattle skyline seen from the West.

The beach may be man-made, but the blue sky is all natural. March or June? Hard to tell from this photo.

We didn't spot any whales but aircraft carriers are also big (and scary).

To my great delight, Mt Rainier emerged from the haze and honored us with its presence on our way back. Honestly, everytime I catch a glimpse of this massive stratovolcano my heart skips a beat. It's just such a powerful backdrop.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seattle redesigned

Isaac and I spent a couple of hours at the Museum of History and Industry today, where an interesting question on a wall got some equally interesting answers on yellow post-it notes.

Q: How would you redesign the city?

This answer is cute and sad at the same time.

This one is also cute but slightly more disturbing.

And the final one? Um. Yeah... No.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

One is hungry and the other is improving her babysitter skills. Hit that bottle, Cian! Be big and strong.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Every woman to her taste

Before we hit the road to Canada, Anton, Patrik, and I met up with some friends at the HopScotch Beer & Scotch Festival in Fremont. As many of you know, neither beer nor whiskey are among my favorites but luckily there was plenty of wine and hard cider for me to try instead.

As a fun bonus, a photo booth was set up in a corner where people could choose from a number of accessories and get their picture taken and printed as a souvenir. Naturally, we had to try it out.

On the lower right I'm posing with an extremely well-clad guy who taught me how to taste scotch properly (despite my initial objections) and I can honestly say that it wasn't bad. Not bad at all, actually. (I must have been under kilt influence. Holy cow, how I love kilts!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

White as the driven snow

Our trip to Whistler was just grand, in every aspect. Nice village, terrific slopes, lovely people and excellent timing in terms of weather; it snowed when we drove up to B.C. and more snow fell in the afternoons and nights during our stay, filling the mountains with precious powder.

Anton and Patrik were practically in a state of euphoria after a couple of rides in untouched terrain, but for me the feeling was twofold. I don't have a lot of previous experience from snowboarding in deep powder, and consequently ended up being half-buried in the white fluffiness time and time again. Even more problematic were the steep slopes where large amounts of loose snow made turning difficult (or more or less impossible) for me. The result: quite a few unintentional somersaults and goggles filled with tears, not from pain but from frustration and anger. All this pristine snow, and I couldn't handle it! However, I eventually got the hang of it and enjoyed a few rides in the backcountry that must be considered being the best of my life, so far.

Anyway, less talk, more pictures! Let's start out with me and Patrik being blinded by sunshine and snow at the top of the Whistler Village gondola.

The beauty of the mountains can hardly be translated into two-dimensional images, but I made a few brave attempts. Taking photos is always a good way of killing time while riding chairlifts.

Anton getting ready for some action.

Lots and lots of nearly untouched snow...

...made Patrik a very happy guy.

The conditions sometimes changed very rapidly from sunshine and clear skies to milky mist. At times, the visibility was so impaired by fog that it became hard to tell up from down, skies from slope. It sure made some of the rides more adventurous than expected, judging from their assigned levels of difficulty.

But when the clouds passed, the view was truly stunning.

I really hope I get to go back to Whistler, or at least to Canada, sometime. The people there were just lovely! This sign sums it up quite nicely. (We were obviously not in the French Alps.)