Spreadsheets are Love: October 2016

I found

  • 50 old photos I’d deemed lost (and almost cry over it).
  • What I was looking for.
  • Yet another website I own (and host) and had completely forgotten about.
  • A new way to make time go by faster.

I wrote

  • …some things in an interview with the lovely people of JSConf Australia (including fun facts about the best jobs I’ve ever had!)
  • “If all else is broken, at least we still got Bey.”
  • “lolnope.” (seriously, though)
  • “See you in November.”
  • About pumpkin soup
  • “Romance is dead.”

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I watched (or saw)

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I said

  • “This time without Balsamic, please.”
  • “The furniture sounds great.”
  • “Winter is coming.”
  • “This is the first time we’re talking on the phone!” – “And haven’t we done well?!”
  • “At this point, I’m very happy I’m still able to speak English.”
  • “I’m not one to recklessly hate music.”

seal does not approve #builderbonanza2016

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I was

  • Watching the pouring rain, waiting for someone in a woolen jacket.
  • Sick
  • Super annoyed about cancelling things I’d been looking forward to.
  • More spontaneous than I thought I could be.
  • Calm
  • On a bus
  • On a horse
  • By the sea
  • Sick
  • By a fireplace
  • Waiting for a boat
  • Waiting for Tuesday

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I did

  • Make Pizza at midnight
  • Spend one night listening to one Beyoncé song over and over.
  • Take a taxi
  • Cancel everything
  • Not wait for a train
  • Start something new
  • Set up a new phone
  • Realise I bought a new lipstick that smells like gingerbread

???? #builderbonanza2016

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I did…, although it was a bad idea

  • not have coffee for 7 days
  • not sleep (not on purpose, though)
  • Explain German railway system to someone and help them find their train home while being super tired.

I had

  • Black tea infused Gin
  • Samosas
  • Soup
  • A good, long cry
  • Hot lemon juice with honey
  • The most awkward night
  • A voice that was 5 levels deeper than usually
  • An extraordinary number of conversations about furniture
  • A great conversation about being in tech

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I read

I heard

  • “We need a spreadsheet.” – “It makes me so happy that you say that.”
  • “Meet me by the Döner Place.”
  • “I’d make coffee for you right now.” – “It’s midnight.” – “So what?!”
  • “I’m very happy you speak German.”
  • A song that a Bar Pianist chose to play for me
  • “I love this move of always just showing up.”

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I listened to

I thought

  • About how, in the end, everything always comes down to this one song by The National
  • About something with great potential
  • About Venn Diagrams
  • And music

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“No cilantro, please” – September 2016

Last night, I spent 8 hours fixing a ton of broken content on this website (which also meant that all my other evening plans fell through). In that process, I stumbled on my old series of “monthly diary with bits and pieces that are usually completely out of context” again – and noticed that a month had just passed. So I thought I might as well write one.


I found

  • Roses

I wrote

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I said

  • “No cilantro, please.” (I still got cilantro.)
  • “I am SO going to endorse you on Linkedin!” (Never happened.)
  • “You do not ‘yo’ me. I am not a ‘yo’ person.”

I was

  • At a conference
  • Happy
  • Nervous
  • Desperate
  • Sad
  • Alone
  • Excited
  • With my favourite humans

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I did (1)

  • Carry boxes (and furniture)
  • Carry a couch all by myself (it was a super light couch, but don’t tell anyone; I looked super cool and super strong carrying that thing just myself)
  • Dye my hair green (only temporarily though)
  • Throw a keynote that was ready completely out of the window, and started writing it all from scratch – two weeks before the conference date
  • Walk around nervously in circles
  • Try purple eyeshadow (and liked it)
  • Keynote View Source Conf Berlin

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I did (2)

  • See the fireworks
  • Have celebratory pizza
  • Take a post-conference-recovery-day off (and thank past-me for it)
  • Get new glasses
  • Get a massage
  • Lose the sad puppy eyes
  • Get two proposals (yes, there’s more to these stories; no, I won’t tell; no, I’m not getting married)
  • Meet someone I haven’t seen in 3 years
  • Watch a movie
  • Find the perfect summer outfit. On the last day of summer.
  • Get a free pain au chocolat (which was then stolen by a gang of sparrows gone wild).
  • Carry a pizza box
  • Make a choice

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I did…, although it was a bad idea

  • Start always having two cups of coffee on my desk, to ensure a stable, interruption-free supply chain. (It sounded like a good idea.)

I had

  • Coffee
  • Coffee
  • Coffee
  • Kombucha
  • Späti Coffee (and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds)

I realised

  • In how many ways writing is a craft – and can sometimes feel like almost manual labour.

I read

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I heard

  • “I have finally understood your life strategy: for every non-coffee thing, you have to do a coffee thing.”
  • “This looks SO romantic!” (it wasn’t)
  • “I brought you a gift!” (One of my all-time favourite sentences.)
  • “I’ve never seen you so relaxed at a conference during daytime.” (I never was so relaxed at a conference during daytime.)

I listened to

  • Girls in Hawaii – Misses
  • Ravens & Chimes – Division Street
  • Heifervescent – Deep Sea Diver
  • Santigold – Disparate Youth
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have you ever seen the rain (that’s another story for another time)

I thought

  • “So this is goodbye.”
  • About mutual fangirling
  • About learning and pain
  • About familiarness, and how it sometimes never completely fades; and how gestures, motions, sounds
  • “I wish it were Friday night already.”

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It was about time // Copenhagen and Malmö, 2016

Observations, notes, thoughts, music from a short trip to Copenhagen and Malmö in summer 2016. Ramblings written down while hanging out in hotel beds, strolling around, or riding boats and trains; because everything needs to go somewhere.


Day 1

It was about time that I left. I almost didn’t go.

It was about time and distance. I know that I need to get out of the city every once in a while. The last time’s been too long.

I throw some clothes into a bag, check twice if I have all cables and batteries, I take a plane, and on my way out of the airport, I pay too much money for the coffee I’ve been waiting for all day.

For the first time in a year, I see the sea (and I’d almost missed it, had I not looked up from my phone). At the hotel, I look into the mirror, nod, and tell myself, “well done.”

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I walk through a park. Before now, I had no idea that there’s such thing like Apple Cinnamon Juice. Apple Cinnamon Juice is love turned beverage. [Things we lost in the fire.] By a pond, a sign says Problem med döda ander. It’s sad, because it’s about dead ducks, but I have to laugh anyway.

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There’s a beagle that walks as if it was dancing. There’s coffee. And then there’s the Barista who takes his shirt off. I sit in front of the café and I have nowhere to be. This is one of my favourite feelings.

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[Sunburnt Days.] Feelings I haven’t had in a while:

  • The urge to read a book
  • The urge to write something into a notebook.
    In the station, there’s a sign that says “No Balloons”. As with every sign, I wonder what must’ve happened that made someone put it up there.

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On a crossroads, there’s a white dove on the ground, and a plush tiger sits under a tree. I’m walking it all off.

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No matter how often I go to Scandinavia: every time I come back, I’m fascinated by the light again. I love this light. I’ve known this light for a very long time (this light got me into photography). It’s always the light.

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I run into a very blonde Swedish guy with a very blonde beard. I get burgers with cheese & garlic fries, walk to the marina, and sit there eating, watching the sunset.

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I leave before the sunset is over.


Day 2

The machine must keep on processing. The machine must never stop.

Many of the moments I’ve enjoyed most happened at times that were about the very basics: sleep, food, moving, water. I should go camping again. For the first time in months, I manage to sleep for 8 hours straight.

I get coffee and take a train to Copenhagen. Over the past weeks, I’ve been half-kidding (maybe rather 10-percent-kidding) about my goal to develop a decent caffeine addiction again. And, what can I say — overachiever.

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I feel very light today; I don’t know where this comes from, but I like it. Is that what having had some decent sleep is like? [5 mins later] Or maybe it’s just the coffee kicking in again?

The sea. A field full of sunflowers. It’s been ages since I’ve seen one of these.

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Leaving a power socket adapter at home is saving luggage weight at the wrong place. [25 mins later] I think that light feeling was only more tiredness.

I wonder how much of my energy is consumed by language processing – or why else it’s so relaxing for me to be at places where I generally don’t understand the language, and only get certain bits if I really pay attention.

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Mest for rigtige maend – Cars for real men. No place to hide from gendered advertising.

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The grass here is so green and so soft. No matter where you go, there’ll always be a guy who felt the urge to take his shirt off.

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I sit down in the garden and have focaccia for breakfast/lunch. I never have focaccia at home (although I once made a very good one myself, but that was a very long time ago). Focaccia is a regular when I’m travelling. When i look up from where i sit, eating my focaccia, (statue observation, no. 1 –), I see an old dude’s ass.

As I keep walking, I find the second single sock today. They don’t match. The fact that I encounter enormous numbers of couples must be a classic case of confirmation bias. I walk up to the castle.

Sometimes life’s about trying out if a door opens. And finding out it doesn’t.

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There’s an incredibly cute, young puppy sitting in his owner’s shadow; this is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Brass bands sound the same everywhere. (Statue observation, no. 2 —) It’s always the dudes that sit on the horses. I’m the person who raises her hand when they ask who wants to go on the boat tour alone; this is even cooler since everyone else will have to wait in the damn sun for 20 more minutes.

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I want to move here and rent a small boat with my friends on the weekend and cruise around the canals. Questions:

  • Why are all the people here so extremely tanned?
  • Why didn’t I make a reservation for noma?
  • Why am I so tired?
  • Why do I still not live here?

Sometimes life is about having to take the right bridge, else having to walk a much longer path. More coffee, and elderflower lemonade. Elderflower lemonade is love turned beverage.

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In the middle of the shopping street (that I visit to get to the hot dog stand), a guy plays Imagine on a Keyboard. Why. 95% of the men here look like they came directly from shooting a Hugo Boss commercial. 

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There’s a girl with an excavator balloon; when I grow up, I want to be her. At least (in contrast to having stayed in Berlin) I got my sunburn here with less heat on the side. I sit in a café and enjoy the view (and this time it might mean what you think it means; or not).

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I meet a super soft super cute corgi. And a group of 10 people who all seem to be related and who are all wearing something blue. I don’t feel completely broken anymore, and that’s a very good thing. I enjoy the squishing sound of the burger and fries boxes in my backpack.

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It’s a gentle light. Gentle is good. Chokladmjölk is love turned beverage.

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Day 3

Day 3 is usually the toughest day. And I didn’t expect the sun to come out today. I didn’t expect to learn the Swedish word for lubricant today (it’s intimgélé, and learning that happens when you stroll around and pass a sex shop).

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I meet the barista who took his shirt off again. I meet the artist who asks for relationship advice and ends up telling me I should’ve become a philosopher. “What do you do when one of them breaks your heart?”

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I think if you can make someone feel better about themselves, that’s already a lot. “If I ever need a manager, I’ll let you know.” So many women with flowers on their bikes. [This one love song that keeps playing everywhere I go.]

Pastry with cardamom is love turned pastry. No matter where you go, there’ll always be an old man fishing. Everywhere I go, I leave a hairpin behind. Sometimes I try to observe the ways in which I’m changing.

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I meet the Barista with the incredibly blue eyes again. And then the rain sets in.

I like being in a cozy hotel bed (or, well, basically any bed), looking at the rain outside. I ponder going abroad for a while. I start watching a movie and hate it. I really wish there were more good movies without the foreseeable romantic heteronormative monogamous love story, ffs.

I’ve become such a cynic. It’s funny how my interest in all things sweet has turned into an interest that’s purely about the aesthetics. Sometimes I’d love to be a person who gets picked up at an airport. The few times it happened though were rather disappointing. That’s the blockbuster-reality-gap I fell for.

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I keep thinking about what the artist said about “this.” I read my note from yesterday about “if I ever need a manager” again, and question all my life choices. That’s probably why I was always writing so much when I was single. — all this stuff needs to go places.

I think this hotel “room” is bigger than my place at home. When I’m moving abroad for all eternity, I need to move to a country with a broad pastry selection according to my taste.

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When travelling, my life moves at a different pace. That’s why it feels like I’ve been gone for ages, while it was only for 69 hours. Throughout all my travels so far, I only lost two things, both of them on a plane. One I got back, one is forever gone.

It was about time. Again.

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I keep dreaming in English.

I keep dreaming of big cities, wide landscapes, hotel rooms full of light, a room in the south, people I once knew. When I wake up, I don’t know where I am.

What’s funny is that, most of the times, I can only stand being in the city because of my vivid dreams of leaving the city. I never leave. I never rode into the sunset.

I read the 127 short stories I wrote but never published, and I wonder how all of them can still be true. I listen to the music and I hate the songs that go horribly wrong after the first 44 seconds. I put songs on repeat that I’ll soon never listen to again.

What’s left are the walls, the bricks, the stones. What’s left is the concrete.

Being able to name things is powerful. I’ve been saying that for a long time. Only now did I understand what it really means. Only now did I understand how being able to name things can change a life.

I keep thinking in English. There’s no one to correct my grammar mistakes.

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I’ll be flying to Oslo tomorrow. When I was just packing my bags, I thought of the last time I was there.

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It was the summer 0f 2003, and we had been doing a camping roundtrip in southern Norway. It was one of the hottest summers Europe had seen so far, with more than 40°C in my home town, but only 27°C in Norway.

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We went hiking every day, ate blueberries we found on our way, and met people hiking in their underwear, carrying the rest of their clothes in their backpacks. We saw landscapes shaped by rocks and water, of a beauty I fell deeply in love with, and that I never forgot.

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I’ll also never forget the first time we hiked to a glacier. How small it looked from afar, and how small I felt standing in front of it. Also: I licked glaciers.

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I learned about Molte (cloudberries), and I’ll never forget the one time I got to eat warm waffles with cream and Molte marmelade. We camped by fjords. One morning, I woke up, opened my tent at the waterfront, and a giant cruise ship was standing in front of it. And I learned that deep waters are damn cold.

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It was also the summer I learned saying “takk” (thanks), “syltetøy” (marmelade), and “jeg snakker ikke norsk”, which means “I don’t speak Norwegian”. These are still the only Norwegian words I know.

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It was also the first summer after my grandfather had given me his 22 year old SLR camera. I took 6 colour films with me, and one black & white film (that I mostly used to take photos of glaciers and sheep). It was this camera that, in the end, got me into photography. years later, I had some of the photos I took during these weeks printed as posters and hung them in my flat.

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Our last stay in Norway was for two nights in Oslo, before we drove back home. My only memories of Oslo and the area around it are: the campsite on the hill with a great view over the city; a very old wooden ship in a museum; and standing on top of Holmenkollen ski jump, really wanting to get ski and jump.

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I’m looking forward to going back. And making new memories there.

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