Monday, November 30, 2015

Mondays in Iceland - #38



There are a couple of these glass block skylight arrays (for basements which had once been underneath the sidewalks) on Hafnarstræti. These accidental designs have caught my attention on more than one visit; the touch of green provided by the grass gives this one a festive air.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 3 




Friday, November 27, 2015

Receiving



   Friday afternoon, Sean got a call from Fed-Ex. The driver required a signature, as well as someone who could take delivery of the half a dozen large boxes and two smaller ones. The largest box was almost six by four by three feet, the other large boxes were about four by three by three feet. The large boxes were heavy as well.  Sean surmised that they held Emily’s canvases protected by plywood. The two smaller boxes were quite heavy for their size, Sean thought that they held portfolios. He had gotten a flat cart from the building’s supervisor and after he had loaded  it, he took them to the elevator and went up to Emily’s old apartment.

   Jo wasn’t living there yet; she was working a double shift at the coffee house so she’d have all Saturday to move. Sean brought the boxes into the den. As he unwrapped the works he was awestruck at Emily’s art. He had taken some art history in college and was familiar with the Modernists. To his eye, Emily was as good as any of them. He carefully stacked the art against the wall. The canvases took up nearly half the floor space. Emily’s easel and desk nearly filled the rest of the room. He set the portfolios on top of the desk, putting her recent work in a drawer.

   With some trepidation, Sean opened the top folio. The first few drawings in this new group were line drawings, ink over pencil, similar to the ones that Mary had uncovered in Decorah. They were carefully rendered scenes of New York City; Sean thought them to be interesting from both a historical and artistic perspective. The next group of images contained a mixture of charcoal and pastels: impressionistic studies. Sean thought them to be extremely fine. The last batch of work in the top portfolio was similar to the spirit paintings. Sean had looked at his Grandmother’s new ‘spirit paintings’ and had been disturbed by them. They were nearly chaotic but retained just enough recognizable imagery to elicit a visceral, possibly subconscious, response. Sean gave these new ‘spirit’ paintings’ a cursory glance before closing the folio. The second folio was made of leather, with a hasp and a small padlock on the flap covering the opening. Sean thought that Mary would be able open it without having to break it. He picked up the folio and left the study, locking the door behind him before going up to his apartment.

   Mary had returned from her meeting with Jo. She was trying to find a comfortable position on the sofa when Sean returned with the folio.

   “I take it that you got Emily’s artwork?” Mary said, shifting her body from one side to the other, “What do you think?”

   “It’s great. All of it. I brought this portfolio down—it’s locked—I thought you could open it without breaking it.”

   “Get me my manicure kit, on the top shelf in the bathroom closet,” Mary said, “I’ll do this in the traditional way, I wouldn’t want magic interacting with its contents. Could you get me a mug of tea—the Tazo wild orange—if you would be so kind?”

   “Certainly.”



   Denny Orlean, the editor of techcreeper.com, reread the lead article slated for posting next week. He thought it was a little slim, but figured it would be enough to prime the pump. Denny knew from experience that the momentum of a story like this was more important than the content. But there would be plenty of content in this story. He had long known that there was something fishy about Sean Carroll and Mary Robinson.  They had been in the middle of a big-time cover-up and had come out of it smelling like a rose, and with a big cash settlement when Mary sold her somewhat sketchy business—a business that was also involved with the death of Senator Clarkson’s son Billy. Right after the sale the couple had disappeared for several weeks and when they were finally spotted in Seattle again Mary was obviously pregnant. Then came the murder of Sally O’Donnell, who was a key player in the middle of that Billygate affair.  Right after the O’Donnell murder, Sean and Mary disappeared again for several weeks. Something bigger was being covered up.

   He was just about to hit ‘publish’ when his lead reporter, Dick, called:

   “Sean has been named an heir to an estate of a Virginia investor. It’s worth millions. I don’t have the connection fully hashed out yet, but the deceased was a big supporter of Senator Clarkson’s presidential campaign a few years ago.”

   “Great work, find out everything you can about the dead guy,” said Denny, “We’ll publish the introduction to the series on Monday. After that gets the ball rolling we can use everything you can scrape up.”

   As soon as Dick hung up Denny received another call, this time from Elly, his other main reporter on the Carroll story.

   “Elly here, I don’t know what it means, but a Fed-Ex truck just delivered a bunch of large boxes to Sean Carroll’s apartment. I saw Carroll sign for them.  I’ve got a contact with Fed-ex who had checked the manifest. The packages came from Virginia.”

   “Great, it ties in with the Carroll story. Do you know who sent it?”

   “It was a law firm. No leads on that yet.”

   “OK. Thanks. If you have any follow-up on the packages let me know.”



   Sean brought Mary the kit and her tea and then sat down beside her. Mary easily picked the lock and opened the folio. There were three bundles inside. Sean spread them  out on the coffee table.  The first bundle was small. It contained a notebook, filled with what looked like Emily’s handwriting.

   “A diary,” said Mary, “We can look at that later.”

   The next package was full of sketches, mostly incomplete. Sean put that aside as well. The third package was wrapped tightly with a tightly knotted string.

   “Should I cut it open?” asked Sean, “Those knots aren’t going to open easily after seventy years.”

   “Use the scissors,” said Mary, digging through her manicure kit. “I don’t think we’ll be destroying any provenance if we do.”

   Sean cut the string and gently removed the wrapping paper.

   “Oh my,” said Mary.

   The drawings in the third package were erotic—pornographic in detail, yet as finely drawn as any of Emily’s other works. Sean leafed through the drawings slowly, showing each one to Mary.

   “Stop,” said Mary, “Go back one.”

   It was a drawing of a naked couple on a sofa. It was easy to see that the woman was Emily. The man was quite dark and obviously aroused. Emily’s hand was caressing the man’s inner thigh. As they looked at it, Mary placed her hand in the same position on Sean’s leg.

    “John De Conqueroo,” said Mary, “We’re going to have to look at the rest of these later,”





Fiction


By Professor Batty




Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Review


Professor Batty colors inside Shoshanah's lines

Coloring Inside the Dream
Coloring pages and Haiku
written and illustrated by
Shoshanah Lee Marohn

   My blog-pal Shoshanah has outdone herself this time. In the last couple of years she has published several books. Each one is, dare I say, somewhat peculiar. The latest book is, by far, the strangest.  A somewhat sad story of a faded friendship is told in epigrammatic Haikus, accompanied with line drawings of decrepit landscapes. I found it to be delightful, albeit in a melancholy way. It is aimed at adults although any precocious child should be able to get a lot out of it. Best of all, you can color the illustrations! My highest recommendation. Shoshanah's book is on sale now. Buy two (so you can keep one uncolored.) A perfect gift for that "weird" niece or nephew.

   Thanksgivings are the order of the day, not just for the timely arrival of this book, but for all those who have created and interacted with me here as well as with their own  internet based creations. Blogs get a bad rap these days, but the best of them still deliver the same human interaction which made them such a craze a decade (or more) ago. I'm grateful for all of those who have given of their time and intelligence to make the world a better place: the konur, the Laxness "scholars", as well as all of the others I've been fortunate to have interacted with in the 12+ years of FITK. I’ve had a chance to meet many of them in person; I can't begin to express how much those meetings have meant to me. Just as welcome are those who leave the occasional comment, even the regular "lurkers" are OK.  All of you have "colored my dreams". Thanks again.

Of course the biggest thank you goes out to the Weaver, who has indulged my blogging enthusiasms with grace and humor (although she still doesn't read it!)


By Professor Batty


Comments: 5 




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tequila Body Shots

Now that I have your attention, what follows is a sad tale of an eBay purchase gone awry:



I happened across a listing for "1 pound of negatives", the description was vague, something about a movie, so I made a tiny bid on it and won. When I received the package (which was more than a pound) my joy turned to horror as I realized what it was—the negatives of the production stills for the sleazy 90s horror/comedy Tequila Body Shots, a film so bad that the IMDB links to to critic reviews are all broken. The user reviews are, with one notable exception (who compared it favorably to the Greek myth of Orpheus), uniformly bad. It was on several users all-time worst lists. The production stills I've looked at aren't really scary although, to be fair, a behind-the-scenes look at almost any film production kills most of the magic:



This masterpiece was directed by 'Tony Shyu', it was a Chinese production, budgeted at $1.7 million dollars. It evidently made less than thirty thousand dollars in its U.S. release.
Perhaps it did better overseas.



At least one actor had some fun with his role:



And there is always one party-pooper:



Well, who knows? I've read that MST3K is starting up again, they might feature it. It could become a new cult classic and my negatives will be worth something.

NOTE: If you are the photographer, or are somehow otherwise enamored of this film, send me an email, I'll let you have the negs for what I paid, plus s&h.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 




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


Comments: 0 




Friday, November 20, 2015

Dreamers



   Jo looked up from her menu and smiled shyly when Mary entered Beth’s Cafe on Aurora, near Seattle’s 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, Jo got right to the point.

   “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, clothed in black, leap from the crowd and charge at you.  I ran at him and pulled the cloak from his face—it 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, although the man in the cloak is something new,” said Mary, “We can talk about that in depth later. Tell me, how are you doing otherwise? Is your job working out? 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 right now 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 and I need all the friends I can get. My life in the last couple of years has been kind of strange but it will get better. I know it will,” said Mary. “Here come the waffles. Don’t waffle on your answer.”

   “Mm. 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 afterward. 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 every day 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 it seemed, to Sean at least, to be somewhat callow. She reminded him of the kind of woman that his half-brother Billy would ‘date’ in college. ‘Another ‘Kleenex’ was Billy’s would describe his ‘throwaway’ affairs. Sean was surprised at the sudden surge of disgust he felt, realizing that he was projecting Billy’s attitudes onto a person he hardly knew. Sean had experienced his own one night stands.  Now they seemed like a bad dream. He shook his head, as if that could dislodge his thoughts, then he replied to Mary’s text:

 
Sounds good, she can move in next week.



   “Sean says OK,” 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. That said, I understand your concern. He is, after all, a man.”






Fiction

By Professor Batty




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mulder's Farm Revisited #3


Mulder's Farm, Duel County, South Dakota, 1992

I've been spoiled all year by the 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

Exposure



   Mary was going through the adoption material which she had received from her stepmother when she got an email notification on her laptop.  It was Hilmar, in Iceland, who was the head of the new/old religion and was 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?

Hilmar.

   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.

Mary


   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 of the property. Emily’s paintings should be here Friday, we can store them in Emily’s old apartment—I guess 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 be able to get the recognition she deserves,” Sean said, “And… It will give me something to think about other than 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 the 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.  And in the end, of course, 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!” Mary was laughing now, “Don't let the money turn you inside out. It will 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. 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, people who can connect her to the Modernist 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 techcreeper.com, 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 abhor face-to-face meetings, they’re 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. But 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. They did the story on them that we ran last spring. 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 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 you come over?” said Jo, “I need to talk to you.”




Fiction


By Professor Batty




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gangly



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 




Friday, November 06, 2015

Legacy



   Sean and Mary were stuck in traffic at the Ballard bridge, which had just opened to allow a ship to pass. Sean’s phone rang and Mary picked up.

   “It’s Tina,” said Mary, “Do you want to answer answer, or wait until we get home?”

   “Talk to her, we’ll be stuck here for a while,” said Sean, “You were closer to Emily than me.”

   “She’s gone, isn’t she?” said Tina, after Mary said hello.

   “Yes,” said Mary, “Just a little while ago.”

   “I felt it. It feels as if part of me died,” said Tina, “What happened? Was it difficult for her?”

   “Emily told us that she was expecting a Norn, who would be her spirit guide to the otherworld. We were at a park,” Mary continued, “Emily said she was cold, and then she said it was time. She went off with a strange woman, and told us not to follow her. They went down to the ocean and were gone. I could feel her leave the world as well.”

   “Are you two alright?”

   “It should be a sad time,” said Mary. “But Emily embraced it. I’m glad we had the chance to be with her, if only for a couple of months. We’re doing O.K. Would you like to talk with Sean?”

   “Yes, put him on, please.”

   “Hello Tina,” said Sean. “You knew.”

   “Are you driving?”

   “We’re stuck at a lift bridge,” said Sean, “Tell me what you know.”

   “Well, I was sitting here, with Edwin, watching a movie. I felt a chill, and a darkness passed over my eyes. I knew she was gone. Do you think that her body will turn up?”

   “I don’t know,” said Sean, “Even if it did, there would be no way to identify her.”

   “It just seems so… incomplete.”

   “She was a person out of time. She left us a legacy, though.”

   “What do you mean?” asked Tina.

   “The Regelind estate, the inheritance we were talking about yesterday?” asked Sean.

   “Yes, I remember. John Senior, my father, and John Junior, your grandfather,” said Tina.

   “There are some paintings there, paintings by Emily, thirty, or more,” said Sean, “She told me that Regelind Senior had bought them and was going to put them in an exhibition. It never happened.  Emily thought they were her best work. We can make that exhibition happen someday. That will be her memorial.”

   “Do you think they’re any good, would people still want to see works by an unknown artist, hidden for all these years?” Tina asked, “Do you think anyone cares?”

   “There is evidently some documentation with them, as well as letters from a prominent art dealer in the thirties. I think that with the story of her life and her disappearance they’ll create a sensation. We won’t go into the story of her resurrection—who would believe it?”

   “How is Mary doing, with the baby?” asked Tina.

   “Good, I’ll let you talk to her. The traffic is moving again, I’ve got to start driving,” said Sean, as he handed the phone back to Mary.

   “Hi, Tina,” said Mary, “I’m doing well. The Baby’s kicking a lot now. I’m going to have bruised ribs.”

   “How much longer?”

   “About six or seven weeks. At least, that’s what they said at the clinic,” Mary said, “It seems like I’ve been pregnant for years.”

   “A Christmas baby. That will be nice.”

   “The ultimate irony,” said Mary, “How’s Edwin doing? When are you two getting married?”

   “Ha ha. He’s doing as best as we can hope for. He’s a little hard of hearing but can still get around. He goes down to his store Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. He even sells something once in a while. We still use his apartment when we need some privacy, the assisted living is nice, but, well you understand.”

   “Now I’m blushing,” said Mary, laughing, “I’m starting to break up—we’re getting near downtown. We’ll call you tomorrow, there’s lots to talk about. What is a good time?”

   “One P.M. is good. I’ll be done with lunch by then. Talk to you later.”



   Monday morning found Sean at his lawyers, going over the Regelind Estate.

   “Here is the detailed inventory of your grandmother's artwork,” said the lawyer in charge, “A photograph and detailed description of each canvas. Also, as we mentioned the other day, there is a box of correspondence and several folios of what are described as ‘miscellaneous drawings.’ There’s no description on those.”

   “Are there any of Regelind’s papers or data concerning The Brotherhood?” asked Sean,
“If there were, they could be a problem in the future.”

   “No. There is evidence that his personal papers, as well as all his computer data, had been removed. No hard drives in his computer, no evidence of off-line storage. The Brotherhood was a secretive bunch. There were traces of computer parts in the rubble of the Chamber House after the explosion. The FBI has all that, although from what we’ve been able to determine any information on them is beyond recovery.”

   “And the other effects of the house and grounds?”

   “Our appraisers concluded that there was nothing of exceptional value. The simplest way to dispose of the land, the house and its contents would be through a broker. There are several reputable firms who have expressed interest in brokering it in toto.”

   “That would be great. Pick one with a decent reputation, I don’t care which,” said Sean, “When I can I get Emily’s materials?”

   “We can have them on their way by Wednesday, via air freight. You should get them by Friday. Do you want them shipped to your apartment? There will be several large boxes.”

   “Yes. I’d like that. I’ve got room. I want to have them in my possession before the rest of the deal proceeds.”

   “Those paintings must mean a lot to you.”

   “It’s all that we have left of Emily.”




Fiction

By Professor Batty




Thursday, November 05, 2015

Iceland Airwaves Almost


After-party, Harpa, October 7, 2015

One of the things I've missed on my last couple of trips to Reykjavík is the Iceland Airwaves Festival. It is being held later and later; it's going on now.  I still check it out on line, it is fun to see some of the new faces and even more gratifying to see unknown acts stick with it and make their way to the bigger venues. One Airwaves show I did manage to see this year was Úlfur Eldjárn in the Kaldalón Hall, which is part of the Harpa complex:


Image: Sigtryggur Ari Jóhannsson

He will reprise the performance I saw so, in a way, I experienced a small dose of Airwaves a month early. When I found the above image promoting Úlfur's appearance, I scanned the back row:



Blurry, but that's me in the center: trendsetter and patron of the arts Icelandic.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 




Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Situation Girls


Original image: reykjavík.is

   At the Vesturbæjarlaug pool (on my recent visit to Reykjavík), I stumbled onto a topic of which I was hitherto unaware. There were three of us in the hotpot, a couple and me, and we had been discussing courtship, parenting, and marriage. I mentioned that when I was young there would always be one or two girls each year who would 'disappear' from high school, pregnant and sent to a home for unwed mothers. The woman said it would never happen in Iceland, but then she amended her statement, describing how girls who 'fraternized' with occupation soldiers during and right after World War II would be sent away. The conversation drifted to other subjects, and then the couple left. I had known that the military occupation of Iceland (which didn't end until 2006) was a touchy subject for many Icelanders, but I wasn't fully aware of this aspect of the situation.

   Yesterday, I learned the rest of the story.

UPDATE: More on The Situation Girls.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 




Monday, November 02, 2015

Mondays in Iceland - #34


Street Art, October 2015.

In Reykjavík the current craze of large scale paintings on the plain walls of city buildings has taken root with a vengeance. Painted by Li Hill and inspired by the song “Pale Green Ghosts” by John Grant, this is one of the most dramatic efforts.

After a three year hiatus I'm starting up the "Mondays in Iceland" series again. Too many interesting images from my last trip, it's a shame to leave them buried in my files.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2