Monday, November 23, 2015

Mondays in Iceland - #37

Street art, Sara Riel and Thomas Korn, Reykjavík, October 6, 2015

More fun from the rock. Taken (with a fish-eye lens) while on the highly recommended I Heart Reykjavík walking tour. Sara Riel has several other memorable wall murals in Reykjavík as well.

By Professor Batty

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Friday, November 20, 2015


   Jo looked up from her menu and smiled wanly when Mary entered Beth’s Cafe on Aurora, near Green Lake.

   “Nice decor.” Mary said, looking at the crayon drawings which covered the walls. “Do you come here often?”

   “The best waffles in town.” said Jo, “Comfort food.”

   After the waitperson took their order, Mary got right to the point.

   “What is on your mind?”

   “I hate to bother you, but I think you might be able to help me… deal with some things I’ve been going through.” said Jo.

   “Your ex?”

   “No, that’s in the past.” Jo began, “It’s the dream I had last night. You’ve been in a few of them, actually. It isn’t you, exactly. You, or the ‘not you’, is a priestess, or goddess of some sort, in an elaborate ceremony, on a great stage on a hill, leading a throng of people in some kind of ceremony.”

   “Tell me, as best you can remember, the details of what you saw on the stage.”

   “Owls. You were flanked by owls. You were naked, pregnant, and you were about to give birth, I don’t know how I know that, you know how dreams are. The owls seemed to be midwives. The crowd was chanting… ‘Inanna, Inanna,’ and then I was suddenly on stage with you and then the baby's head was crowning, and then I saw a man leap from the crowd, he was holding a knife, and… he charged at you.  I ran at him—he was the man who had broken in and attacked me, the man I killed.”

   “What happened in the dream then?” asked Mary.

   “I woke up. It was still dark. I was terrified. Mary, will I ever be able to get over that? I’m a killer. Why were you in my dream about him?”

   “That dream is about more than the assassin. The reason I was in it is that I had a similar dream, last spring. It was the beginning of my ‘quest’ or whatever you want to call the strange trip I have been on.” said Mary, “We can talk about that in depth later. Tell me, how are you doing otherwise? Your job is working out? Is that place where you’re staying, is it OK?”

   “The job is alright, the people there are decent. The shelter is what it is. A lot of unhappy people. I’m ready to move on. I should be able to move out by the end of the year.”

   “Listen. Sean and I have an extra apartment. We took a lease on it when we were under attack by the same people who hired that man. That threat is over, but we’ve still got the lease until next August.  Would you like to move in? You’ll have your own bedroom, living room and kitchen. There is also a study, but that is being used for storage. Sean inherited some things from his Grandmother, he is storing them there for the time being. It will take a while before we can deal with them, but they won‘t be in your way. We could use some help when the baby comes—shopping, answering mail, nothing major. We’d make it worth your while. I'd like to have you around, you might have some more interesting dreams.”

   “I… I don’t know what to say.” said Jo. “I guess I’ve always tried to be self-sufficient. I wouldn’t want to get in your way. What would Sean say?”

   “I'll text him and find out. We can help each other out with this arrangement. You can get established on your own again, I’ll need all the friends I can get. The last couple of years have been kind of strange…  but…  it’s going to get better. I know it will.” said Mary. “Here come the waffles. Don’t waffle on your answer.”

   “Mmmm. I let you know after I’ve eaten.”

   Mary texted Sean. As they ate, Jo looked at Mary carefully.


CL> seattle> personals> missed connections>
Nov 18 Dancing Queen- m4w- (Capitol Hill)[x]

Oh Carol! I've thought a lot about you in the past two weeks. We danced the night away, then held our own private recital at my place after. I miss you. Your piercing blue eyes, your beautiful smile, I've gone back to the ballroom several times since that glorious night but you never returned… All I think about is your touch; your lips, the way you move, the way you moved me. I wish that I could find you. Just want to know that you're OK! Marcel.

Marcel DuPage re-read his Craigslist post: it was the same post he put up everyday since the night he spent with the mysterious dancer, a woman that he only knew as ‘Carol.’

He had received no responses.


   Sean read the text from Mary. Sean had never quite understood what is was about Jo that had caught Mary’s attention. Jo was likable but seemed, to Sean at least, to be somewhat callow. She seemed like one of the women that his half-brother Billy had in college. A ‘Kleenex’ was Billy’s word to describe those women who he used in his throwaway affairs. Sean was surprised at the sudden surge of disgust he felt at that memory of his college days. Sean then realized that he was more disgusted in his own actions during that time than he was in the actions of Billy. Sean had his own one night stands.   Now they seemed like a bad dream. He shook his head, as if that could dislodge those thoughts, then he replied to Mary’s text:

Sounds good, she can move in next week.


   “Sean says O.K.” said Mary as she read his text.

   “I wouldn’t want to make things difficult for you.” said Jo. “I guess I haven’t had the best of luck with men, I just don’t know what kind of a person Sean is. I’ve been burned before. I’m afraid that my problems I've had with men might be something wrong with me. I let men push me around”

   “Sean and I have a different kind of relationship. It is too complicated to explain now, but I think you’ll understand when you get to know us better.” Mary said. “He always has told me the truth, and he has never said to me ‘You can’t’ or ‘You should’. I can’t ask for any more than that—from anyone.”




By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mulder's Farm Revisited

I've been spoiled all year by gorgeous weather. For some reason today's cold and rain (which is the norm for this season) put me in the mood to dig out one of the South Dakota images from the Flippist Archives.

The Mulder Farm had been abandoned sometime in the 80s (although Mr. Mulder was still very much alive when I photographed his estate some years later), several pictures of it have surfaced here at FITK before. The above animal stall in the livestock barn was missing some boards. In fact, the whole building was missing pieces—a good wind storm would have finished it off—it’s been twenty years since I took this picture. 

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mondays in Iceland - #36

The Reykjavík Museum of Photography

October 6, 2015

Every time I've stopped in here I've found interesting and informative images relating to Icelands past. Low key, without any arty pretensions. You will see images here that you will never find in a Google search. Located on the fifth floor of the city library, it is a great place to go to warm up when you've been kicking around the nearby harbour area for a few hours.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Friday, November 13, 2015


   Mary was going through the adoption material which she had received from her step-mother when she got an email notification on her laptop.  It was Hilmar, from Iceland, the head of the new/old religion and also the publisher of Emily’s spells in app form.

Spells in song

Hæ Mary, 

Here is a link to a song that has been going viral. It has one of the spells from your book embedded in the chorus.  Should we be allowing this? I can see it backfiring on us. Will you Skype me tomorrow at 2200 GMT?


   Mary replied:

Re: Spells in song

Not much we can do, if we try to control the spells, we’d just come off as another power-hungry religion. If anyone asks about it, just say that it is an ancient text. Which is true. I'll Skype you then.


   Sean came in just as Mary hit ‘reply.’

   “What went down with the lawyers today?” said Mary.

   “The Regelind real estate will be fairly easy to deal with, a broker can handle all the details. Emily’s painting should be here Friday, we can store them in Emily’s apartment, that’s only fitting. There are other artworks and documents coming as well. You might find them of special interest.”

   “I might, especially if there are some of her spirit drawings.” said Mary,  “Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do with the canvases?”

   “I do. We’ll have to have a look at them first, of course, but if they are as good as I think they are, and we can place them in context with her contemporaries, and get a major gallery on board, I think that Emily will finally get the recognition she deserved.” Sean said, “And… It will give me something to think about besides myself.”

   “Still having ambivalent feelings toward your inheritance?” asked Mary. “After all you been put through, I would think that any Karmic debt you may have had in the past has been repaid.”

   “I shouldn’t let it bother me, I know.” said Sean.

   “Well, fate has dealt you a strange hand, but look at it this way: outside of nasty fact that you were nearly killed, your dealings with the Senator and Billy in Iceland gave you a son and brought you closer to me.  Of course, in the end it’s all about me, innit?” Mary laughed. “The whole affair with The Brotherhood brought Emily back and even helped your Aunt Tina find love and now you have a daughter on the way and you’re married! To me! Don't let the money turn you inside out. It will be probably be a while until you can collect anything anyway.”

   “At least a year, if everything goes alright.” said Sean. “You know lawyers.”

   “That will give you plenty of time to deal with Emily’s art. I think that having a retrospective of her work is a great idea. I’ve looked at some of the art books that she bought and she put post-its throughout all of them, noting those people she knew when she lived in New York in the 20s and 30s. If you get the right experts behind this who can connect her to the Moderist movement, it could explode. If there is more Matriarchy material in with her art that’s even better. Hilmar emailed me just before you came in—one of Emily’s spells has been put in a pop song which has gone viral. Emily’s efforts in preserving the old spells will have just as big an effect in the new/old religion as her canvases will in art.” Mary paused, then said: “Everything will be alright.”


   At the office of, there was a rare editorial meeting going on. Denny Orlean, CEO and founder was speaking to a group of a half dozen reporters:

   “As you are all aware, I'm loath to have face-to-face meetings, they’re usually a waste of time and usually degrade into petty sniping and backstabbing—in other words, standard operating procedure.  Everything is so much nicer when I don’t have to stand up in front of you all, smelling the fear you exude. The Carroll-Robinson story is so big, with so many players and so many angles, that I think we’ve got to hash out some ground rules. I want some real, meat world interaction on this before we begin. Am I making myself clear?”

   Murmurs of assent swept the conference table.

   “Good. Now Elly and Dick have been working on this since the "Billygate" affair broke three years ago. You've each got a folder with the outline of the story, and each of you has a list of leads for your specific angle. The story was effectively killed then in the run-up to the election. It has had a few flare-ups since then, as well as some private investigations, but nothing that has captured the imagination of the general public. I want each of you to spend at least a couple of hours a day, in addition to your regular assignments, pursuing this story until we’ve got enough material to create a multi-part exposé and a book and a film deal. We’re going ride this gravy train to the top. Pulitzer class. Any questions?”


   Back at the apartment, Mary’s phone began to chime.

   “It’s Jo.” Mary said to Sean before she answered. “Hi Jo. What’s up?”

   “Mary, can I come over?” said Jo, “I need to talk to you.”


By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


One group which received a lot of note in coverage of the recent Iceland Airwaves is Gangly. I like their music a lot. There is one video available which isn’t as raunchy as the title suggests:

Here's a mini-review of their Airwaves performance from the omnipotent Edward Hancox:
Gangly are a sneaky bunch, but now this electro producing trio have now been unmasked to be Sindri from Sing Fang, Jófríður from Samaris/Pascal Pinon and Úlfur from Oyama. How could they go wrong? Turns out, they can’t. This is clever, scintillating stuff. All three provide vocals, but with the draw here being Jófríður. Úlfur makes good use of a vocoder, whilst Sindri provides the samples. It’s gentle, but insistent. The highlight is a smooth ‘Someone Else’ (as I’ll call it here) which sounds just wonderful. I note members of other Icelandic bands in the audience, who nod appreciatively but must be slightly worried as this is a clear contender for act of the festival.

I'm unfamiliar with Úlfur but I've run into Sindri before.  As to Jófríður, well,  anyone who has followed this blog in the last six years knows what I think about her.

Image: atiredmachine

UPDATE: Jo has been hard at work on a variety of projects.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mondays in Iceland - #35

Skólavörðastígur with Hallgrímskirkja, October 7, 2015

In Reykjavík dramatic clouds are a given at almost any time.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0