Friday, March 31, 2006

I Know, It's Brown

I Know: It’s Brown

After reading Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” I realized my Norwegian ancestors weren’t the most civilized peoples on the planet (you know, blood thirsty Vikings), but they made the best of it for centuries in their scarcely farmable, windy, dark, Arctic country.

In these unfavorable circumstances, no great operas, ground shaking philosophy, or great wines were likely to evolve. Still, these hearty souls tilled the land, stoked their fires, fished, and tended their goats. Out of this labor arose the great Norwegian goat cheese. In Norwegian, it’s Ekte Geitost.

Wait. Don’t be turned off so quickly, just because this cheese resembles brown soap. I learned after watching my grandfather calmly consume this product over many years, that there must be something to it.

In 1992, when I finally visited my long lost relatives in Norway, Ekte Geitost entered my life as a matter of survival. Here I was, stranded on a farm in the middle of rural Norway with two elderly, somewhat senile Norwegian farmers, with nothing more than goat cheese, fish, potatoes, and coffee to survive. With a smile, I quickly discovered the charms of “Ekte Geitost.”

How To Eat Norwegian Goat Cheese

1. Ignore Brownness

2. Slice very, very, very thin

3. Put on crackers, with jam or honey

4. Place on top of palate and suck

5. It has a very rich flavor which you acquire gradually

6. Take note of the happy, dancing goats

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's Not About the Bike

Well, for me it is. Below is a picture of my Kymco 50 People scooter, purchased this past October. I love my bike, and I love scootering. Though it sounds cliche, it really is very Zen and freeing to ride a motor bike. Now I know why all those scooterists and motorcyclists are smiling at each other knowingly, slapping each other on the back and buying each other beers. It’s like combat bub; you’re not ‘in the club’ until you’ve had the experience.

Riding a bike is, like, so cool! You are ‘in the moment.’ You are aware of every bump/ pothole on the rode. The sun and the clouds overhead are expansive. You notice the subtleties of the wind and the temperature. Your speed feels like part of your body.

So I’m already plotting my next move regarding motoring. (shhh, don’t say anything to you know who) In April I’m taking the motorcycle safety course. Not that I plan to get a motorcycle… More than likely I will buy a faster scooter. It’s just wise to know the rules of the road. Also, if I get a faster scooter I will eventually need a motorcycle license! Here are some plusses and minuses (in my opinion) about my Kymco 50 scooter.

--only goes 33 m.p.h.
--it is cream (butternut) colored. (good for visibility but kind of goofy)
--it has a brown seat. (yuck) (but I can get a nifty cover for it)
--the rear view mirrors are a pain in the ass (they keep falling off)
--the smell of exhaust is acute whilst on a bike
--it doesn’t quite have the chick magnet appeal of a motorcycle
--it challenges my inner femme (ie, lack of mechanical knowledge)

+ it has big tires, so it takes bumps well (you can’t avoid them)
+most scooters are very small. This one fits my size (5’10”)
+it cost two dollars to fill the tank!
+I never have to think about parking
+it’s fun to ride
+the kids at school think I’m cool.
+it’s retro looking, but doesn’t cost as much as a Vespa
+it’s cute. people smile at me.
+I can squeeze through places where even angelic cars dare not tread

Sunday, March 5, 2006

The Quibley Corner

The Quibley Corner
I've just published my third issue of The Quibley Corner, my cartoon zine. Highlights include: "Martha Stewart's Guide to Jailhouse Living," "Amish Man: Folk Superhero," and "" Friends, let me know if you want a copy of any issue.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Where My Grandparents Were Born

Where My Grandparents
Were Born
I was lucky enough to know all four of my grandparents during their lifetimes. In the course of my life I've managed to visit each of their birthplaces, some of them more than once. All of them were immigrants-- three from Canada.
1. Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, Canada
2. Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
3. Lindaas, Hordaland, Norway
4. Winterton, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada