Being a man (not): mending a lamp, cooking food

I’ve dipped my hands into being a big man.

Yesterday a huge chunk of the family came by – which was very, very nice – and as a couple of them deal with high-voltage electricity, they thought they could repair my the lamp that my mother’s mother once made. To say it’s been brittle for the past, oh, ten years would be one of the understatements of the year; if breathed upon too hard, the lampshade would have fallen off. It literally would. The…electrical parts1 of the lamp would have come straight off the rest of the thing, of one’d given it an accidental nod.

The relatives pulled bits and bobs off the lamp, looked, prodded, thought aloud and then I found out I’d received an MMS of what I needed to buy to make it work again. While quite sure that said relatives knew what they were talking about, we’d been left with a figment of a lamp. Wire stuck out the top and the lampshade was on the ground. I was mostly worried about electrocuting Mia and Blixa, if they’d be nearby when I’d start messing about.

Thankfully, for her sake, Mia’s wasn’t around when I started mending it. Actually, it was a lot easier than I thought it would. The old bits of electrical stuff, metal and wire, fell off quite easily as I started out. Yes I fucking unplugged the lamp first – thank you. Then simply spent 5 minutes wondering about two round, weird pieces that finally stuck together in a completely different way than they ended up the first three times, but I won’t cloud your judgement of my manliness with that, and just leave you with the image of myself looking like Rambo meshed with Arnold circa “Commando in your head as I made it all work.

Mia’s mom gave me a cookbook yesterday, so I made something from it this evening. A cannelini bean cream with oven-baked vegetables. Extremely simple cooking. Still enough to make me happy I’ve made it, considering there’s no decent restaurant near my work place for miles – but that’s all really changing, as myself and a bunch of colleagues are moving to new quarters in Solna Business Park! They’ve already moved. I’m in the old digs for a few more days as I’m attending a workshop. Can’t let go of the idea of “Solna Business Park”. It’s such an un-Swedish name for a place, and yes, I’m not translating the real name, it’s actually named just that. I’d love to have been present during the brainstorm meetings for that name. “Solna Business Park. We’re going to…do some business there. And business-oriented people are going to come there. And do more business, that will accumulate into more money and more business. Nothing else.”

Thinking of manliness, or at least some people discussing the concept of manliness (whatever the fuck that is), I heard a man named Édouard Louis talking about his autobiography today on this episode of “Start The Week”, a BBC podcast than can be fascinating and enthralling every eight time it’s broadcast. Louis immediately launched into how he was raised to be a man, from when he was tiny, and how being effeminate was severely dealt with. Not anything new, just interesting.

That start looks interesting but I think I’ll wait with starting to read that book until I feel happier. Kind of reminds me of what I do with our Ingmar Bergman films: we’ve got a whole bunch of them stashed away, really nice DVD editions, never seen, simply because I feel I want to be in the mood for them. I never say “Ooh, now’s the time for a really heavy Bergman film!” I’ve watched more hours of The Real Housewives of X than I’ve seen Bergman flicks, which may be for the better.

Speaking of which, the current book I’m reading – which is about how extreme religious groups use kidnapping to fund their existence – is gonna be the last non-fiction book I want to read for a while. I mean, I’ve read so much hardcore stuff for the past year it’s turning me pale to even think of it. I mean, books on stuff like the global arms trade and what that means, how the CIA has orchestrated the global heroin trade system, et cetera, and on and on. Nah, nah, I’m gonna get into some fictional shit for a while now. If you’ve got tips, please send anything my way.

I’ll go listen to Psyket right now.

I haven’t written a blog post that’s free-flowing from my head in so long, it’s just strange. I even come to wonder how I used to blog, before this site turned into some kind of media and link collection. Fuck it. I’ve not felt like writing personally, so to speak, in a long time. It’d have been even worse if I had written something here every day even if I wouldn’t have wanted to. I wonder if anybody even reads this, and I’m not looking for a response to that.

  1. I’m not a fucking lamp technician, I’ve no idea what the innards of a lamp are called.[back]
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