Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Dear Emi:

People are starting to think we've got this thing in the bag. I certainly hope so, but I'm not setting myself up like that. I'm just going to cross my fingers, vote Obama and try not to have a nervous breakdown. In the meantime though, the crazies seem to be getting out of control. People are yelling the "n-word" at rallies. White supremacists are cooking up horrible, violent plots to kill people. Liberal idiots are hanging Sarah Palin dolls. And I'm not even talking about the McCain volunteer and horror-show lady who carved a B (for Barack) into her face and blamed it on an unidentified black man. (Nor will I comment on the media coverage, as the word "hoax" doesn't go nearly far enough for this kind of behavior).

What am I doing in the face of all this nastiness? I'm reading articles like this gem about the useful and practical nature of farts. Because I'm over it. And if anyone calls me apathetic, I'm saying its because even the candidates poot sometimes!!

I'll be funny(ish) again when this election ends.

From New York,
Lisa (who has nothing smart left to say until Nov 5)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Dear Emi:

I try to be as clever as I can, but tonight I am just too tired. So I'll just sort folks out into winners and losers.

My favorite Swedish musician (and now neighbor! and possibly friend!!)
Colin Powell
Obama (always)
Jay Smooth (always)
Trader Joes (for being cheap)
The pumpkin pie I made
Funky southwestern patterned wool socks (BEST CHRISTMAS EVER)

McCain/Palin (always)
My computer power cord (for allowing itself to get lost and making me run to Apple store to buy a new one because I simply cannot live without a computer for a night[??])
Trader Joe's (for being crowded and annoying)
The apple crisp I made (and burnt) (and had to throw away).

From New York (where it is now unpleasantly cold and Octobery),

Friday, October 17, 2008

No Kool-Aid for me please!

Dear Emi,

I'm guessing in Sweden people can eat Fried Chicken and Watermelon with immunity--I'm bet there aren't all manner of racist associations with the food there. Unfortunately, here in the U.S. those food are loaded! (And not with vitamins, either!) And I don't think I'd even be able to properly explain the whole Kool-Aid thing to you, friend, but it's not good, no good at all really.

A collection of southern republicans decided that they would play with Photoshop last week and "riff" on the joke Obama made about not being the kind of face we are used to seeing on our currency. So these women, Emi, they made fake food stamps! With Obama's face surrounded by fried chicken, watermelon and ribs! And they published it! And they put there names on it! Then when they got busted by the national press for being ignorant, ill-advised and, well, not even really funny--they claimed that they didn't recognize that it was racist because they aren't racist! This is bad logic, Emi! I'm scared of people like this!

In any case, I think Obama looks more like a prime rib (medium-rare) kind of guy. And likely a Whole Foods shopper! If I had him over for dinner, I would definitely go Roasted Whole Sea Bass with Fennel, Lemon, White Wine and Capers. He would like the mignonette I would serve with my oysters on the half-shell! Not to knock traditional foods either--I bet Michelle makes killer candied yams and maybe even fried chicken because everyone has traditional foods passed from generation to generation, which is what makes us all human right? But these ladies got carried away! I'm definitely not drawing little old non-black ladies on fake currency with bowls of gelatin salad! Why? Because its not a knock, its what your mom and your grandma and maybe your great grandma made. And I love the culture of ALL households.

So, it seems, we've got 18 days left to go before the election in New York. It's going to be a white-knuckle ride. I finally managed to pull myself away from the news, youtube, political blogs and the like long enough to spend an evening making pumpkin pie, watching Grey's Anatomy and reading this terrible/wonderful novel for teens about vampires. The evening was delicious.

From New York,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The great debate

Dear Emi,

Have you ever been to Trader Joe's?

I go every week and regret it every time. It's the closest I have ever come to being an addict and the closest I've come to having a nervous breakdown. The one in New York is small, crowded, ridiculous and completely infuriating--I can't help myself. Who can resist all the affordable organic items? The delicious prepared food, the Chile-Spiced Dried Mangos, the $4 Raclette, the $5 fair trade breakfast blend coffee, the cheap "but in a carafe no one will know the difference" wine?

When it gets too crowded, there is a bouncer! Who manages the line outside of the grocery store! And people wait on the line! I've waited in this line, friend, and it made me feel like a proper asshole. It's that cheap and good.

It is an interesting contradiction to be in a store and want to clap my hands and jump up and down with glee and simulataneously want to SHOOT MYSELF IN THE FACE IF ANOTHER PERSON TOUCHES MY PERSON WITH EITHER HAND OR CART. It's quite the conundrum. Cheap soy milk and greek yogurt for 2 bucks or my sanity? You'd think the answer would be easy, but it is not. You actually have to stop and do a cost-benefit analysis.

But this is all beside the point, what is most interesting is the staff! The place is lousy with employees walking through the biggest grocery-shopping shit-show that ever was, the but on every single face is the biggest, most blissed out smile you have ever seen. Soma? Orgy in the back? What?

Emi, I know these people are as pissed off about having to be at work as I usually am, and I like my job. The shoppers are pretty hard to love, with their carts wielded as weapons, their uninterruptable plans of attack, their nose-dives for the last box of Panko Breaded Tilapia. And I can't help but believe that at least a handful of them have probably dealt with tendencies towards claustrophobia at some point in their life. So why are these people so happy looking?? I want them to tell the TRUTH, Emi!

OKOK, it's schadenfreude, fair enough, but sometimes as I wander the crowded, obnoxious aisles (that I'm dealing with OK but am sure are doing some lasting damage to my soul), I think that if I don't see a "crew member" completely lose it (I'm talking a throwing-ham-at-customers, trashing-the-cheese-aisle kind of fit), throw a box of TJ-O's at their manager and quit out loud, I'm not going to to shop their anymore. Cause if this is what people have to put up with for health-insurance, and whistle while they work, mind you, I don't know what to say.

From New York,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Potty mouth.

Dear Emi:

You might think this is not a subject for mixed company, and it probably isn't, but do you chat through the door when you or someone in your home is in the bathroom? I happen to do this often, but my boyfriend definitely doesn't and, well, he even gets a little mad that I'm still trying even though he pretends like I'm not talking when I do so. Just a moment ago he ignored a WHOLE conversation about the economy. I happen to know he heard me. He calls it "his 'me' time". Personally, I think it's just a door. And I'm all about efficient use of time.


From New York,

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Dear Emi,

IKEA. Stopped. Carrying. Nyponsoppa.*

This is, in a word, worrying. Or two, extremely disconcerting.

I really don't know what I will do on cold nights to come without a hot mug of delicious rosehip soup. Are we being punished for electing Bush twice? Will we stop getting those delicious pastel candy cars too? And lingonberry jam? If we elect Obama, will you guys send us back our powdered fruit soup? I sure hope so. This is a very inopportune time for this, given that I'm very stressed out about this stupid election and need some comfort. Nyponsoppa is very comforting, don't you think?

In any case, I would like to stop seeing Sarah Palin and crazy righties who I am not entirely conviced actually live in the same country as me on my TV and start seeing more articles about this disturbing shortage!

From New York,

P.S. Whats up with Iceland?!?!?

*To those who are not Emi, this is a delicious sweet Rosehip soup that I once carried 10 boxes of home from Goteborg.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dear Brown Man I Saw on Fox News Last Night

Dear Emi,

Here is a draft of a letter I was thinking of sending to a strange brown man I saw on TV last night. He is not voting for Obama. I guess everyone in the US isn't as excited about having a smart, articulate, dynamic president who also happens to be the same color as me. I had no idea. I think he should have his own TV special because I'd like to understand him.


101 Main St.
Anytown, Redstate 11111


Dear BrownManWhoLovesMcCain:

I saw you on TV last night. And I thought I'd tell you that I have to disagree sir. May I speak plainly?

If ever there was a time to suck it up, get it together and stop acting like an idiot--its NOW friend. I mean, it almost hurt to watch you preaching to what looked shockingly similar to a jim crow era lynch mob about Obama's alleged "terrorist connections". It looked like a pork chop talking about dinner to a pack of Rottweilers. Guess who was the pork chop?

BrownManWhoLovesMccain, can we talk? I think we need to talk. I'd like to better understand.

You really don't want to have a president who looks like you? You don't want your kids to grow up and really think they could be president too? You think an educational system based on testing and teaching to that test is good? You like 5 million dropping into poverty? You wanna live with McCain appointed supreme court justices for the rest of your natural born life and a decent chunk of your kids lives too? You like the fact that money for a projector used at a planetarium in our second city is called irrelevant pork barrel spending. You like presidents who have used the word "gook" in the newspaper? You like not having healthcare, or having to promise your first born to get it? You like recessions? And panic? And you like the idea of women dying from DIY abortions in back alleys with coathangers? You like war? You like old people who might die in the white house and hand us to Palin on a plate with parsley on top of us? You like the achievement gap? You like the fact that no one will ever date you because being a foaming-at-the-mouth misdirected and ill-informed black republican is number 3 on the Top 5 Least Sexy Things in the Universe list? (With diarrhea and boils coming in at 1 and 2, respectively.)


BrownManWhoLovesMccain were you raised by wolves? Cause there is no way you had a black mom like mine. It wouldn't be pretty if you did. Either way, I find you fascinating.

Good luck (you'll need it!),

News. Coffee.

Dear Emi,

I feel like such a grownup!
(Oops, I AM a grownup!)

Earlier this week I subscribed to the New York Times and every morning when I plod down the stairs to grab my little blue bag full of the news, I remind me of my parents. And yes, there are a lot of things wrong with New York, but the NYTimes on your doorstep and a hot cup of coffee kind of help make up for them. But, friend, as much as I like my paper and coffee the headlines these days are kind of freaking me out. I wish I had subscribed during the Olympics!


It feels like reading the headlines in some novel about the bad version of the future where everything has gone wrong except it's neither a novel nor the future. This isn't any fun at all. To be honest, Emi, I'd rather read the movie reviews today.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Better memories.


I think the world would be a better place if we all had our childhood preserved with videos of completely amazing musical projects like this instead of those embarrassing naked baby photos everyone has.

My parents were just not this cool.


Hearting Jay Smooth

Dear Emi,

Did you know that we New Yorkers are falling in love with this man? Over the internet. Yes, he's a little funny looking, but his brain is quite delicious. Our boyfriends are all jealous.

From New York,

The National Debt.

Dear Emi,

Why should all the Scandinavians have all the fun? Helsinki and Stockholm are great, but I think I'll write you my own letters from New York.

In New York today, the American National Debt Calculator has run out of digits because we have so much. It also says that my family owes $86,017. Perhaps thats their problem, seeing as I don't have $86,000 and if I did, I think I'd prefer to buy one of these. Don't they know I work at a non-profit?

Interesting, as always.

From New York,