Tuesday, May 25, 2010

why I love facebook

I got an ipad yesterday. (I had been looking forward to getting one for a while, and it's been a 24 hour love affair so far.)

Naturally, last night I changed my Facebook status to Ipad!.

Four people have 'liked' my status so far: Two guys I've gotten to know online thanks to doing iphone photography. They are grown-ups and both of them live in Italy. And two Swedish fifteen year olds: Gustav, my nephew, and John, the son of my best friend.

An equally random group of people have commented on my status: A couple of colleagues, Gustav the nephew, a former student, an old friend who lives in the Netherlands and who I rarely see, and another old friend who lives in Australia.

I think that's so cool. Facebook brings people together in unlikely combinations. For me, the different parts of my life actually come together too. I love that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

chad made smoke come out my ears

I learned today that the rabbi in this scene from Tony Kushner's Angels in America is played by Meryl Streep. If you are among the one percent of people who did not know that either, smoke will come out of your ears too:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

egg plant

I've seen these flowers along the trail for years, but I have no idea what they are called. They are tall, and they remind me of big fried eggs.

I'm not making this up

It's interesting to me how cultures change, or not, as people migrate across the globe. This is what the Kingsburg Swedes were trying to sell to each other in the 95F (34C) desert heat.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

swedish-american maypole

They celebrate Midsummer in May in Kingsburg, Calif., because no one can handle dancing in woolen costumes in the heat of California's Central Valley in June.

This is the dancing around the Maypole. Look at those skirts.

girls in traditional swedish costume, kingsburg, calif. (updated)

My mom tells me that the yellow dresses are from Leksand, and the costume with the pointy hat is from Rättvik. Both are towns in the province of Dalarna. During the time of national romanticism in Sweden at the turn of the last century the culture of Dalarna was elevated to represent Swedishness in general. Hence the popularity of these costumes, and the Dala horse.

During the same time, early 1900s, Kingsburg, Calif. was almost one hundred percent Swedish. Now, more than a hundred years later, you still notice an unusually high number of yellow-haired people in town, compared to anywhere else in California.

My mom was born in Dalarna, and she tells me that as kids in the 1930s, she and her sister would wear out their Leksand dresses, that's how often they wore them.

The Hmong, a people from South East Asia, believe that if you make babies look like flowers from above, evil spirits will mistake them for real flowers, and pass them by. I wonder if the long-ago Swedes had a similar idea?

the giant coffee pot in kingsburg, calif.