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DJ John

I found out yesterday that DJ John at The Great Alaskan Bush Company in Anchorage passed away. I worked there for a few years and I considered John a friend. The Bush had three DJs when I worked there, John, Larry (John's brother) and Landis and I genuinely liked all three. I know that many people at The Bush are sad with DJ John's passing, he worked there for many years..... I am not sure how many but quite a few. He was part of The Bush.
I've had my small disagreements with him, he was stubborn and I would argue with him about the lights on stage when it was my turn. I told him not to blast me with "cellulite lights" and he would argue that nobody could see me when it was too dark. If I was bored or wanted to get cheered up I would go sit on the stairs next to the dj booth and he would always talk and sometimes rub my back.
He told me about his vacation home in Idaho and how beautiful it was there.
I remember him calling us girls "foxes" and sometimes he would blurt out "holy moly". He was a rock'nroll kind of man and looked the part.
He has been on my mind yesterday and today. Last night I searched the starlit sky and wondered if he is out there somewhere now.....I last saw him about two years ago. You will be missed by many my friend. I hope Larry is OK, I would give him a hug now if I could.
I have at least one picture of us together but I can't find it right now.
Maybe another time.
I have a difficult time with death and that people we care for and pets will pass away. I don't want to deal with that aspect of life......


My First Crepe

Check out my first crepe (or crêpe), that I made myself that is. Not the first crepe I ate, I've had many. I love crepes, I could probably live on a diet consisting of crepes. There are savory and sweet crepes - I like both. So the other day at work I just needed a cinnamon and sugar crepe, so I made it myself. Poured the batter in the middle of the crepe maker and tried to fill the round surface evenly.
Far from perfect but acceptable, plus I am not that OCD picky with that stuff, I am going to eat the food not look at it. What matters to me is that it tastes good.
And my crepe was delicious. Of course.





Tati the chef!
Now I am going to square away some stuff on my to do list and then take Chhaya on a walk.

So Nice

The other day a very loyal blog reader sent me a gift, an iPad! So nice! I am now super happy to have a gold iPad, kind of matches my hair color. I haven't used it yet, I am excited to see what kind of camera it has. Thank You very much my friend! So kind and thoughtful.





And today our cafe manager came back from a visit to Australia and Bali, lucky her! She is from Australia.....and she brought us back candy and gave us all each a sarong from Bali. So nice too!
I picked a sarong with an elephant print and pink and gray colors. I would love to go to Australia one day and see Uluru. Bali would be nice to visit as well.



And I am kind of planning on leaving Vegas soon, I can't stand Vegas summers (too hot). So I told the cafe owner that I might be leaving and today she told me that she cried last night because she doesn't want me to leave. Awwwwwwww!
I really like everybody I work with, all women. And if I go away I will miss them but I might be back, no details planned yet.
Where am I going? Somewhere cooler. I was in Idaho/Washington a few times last summer, perhaps I go back there? Or Oregon? Maybe return to Alaska? Not sure.



Coconut Milk

We just added coconut milk to our milk selection at the cafe and I am probably the one that drinks the most of it. Good, then it won't go to waste. I LOVE it, so yummy. I can't drink regular milk, only if it's in coffee or latte but not regular milk poured in a glass. That will make me borderline vomit, it tastes so gross to me. Growing up my Mom would force me to drink that one glass of milk with dinner, which resulted in me waiting until the very end to gulp it down while holding my nostrils shut with my fingers and hating every second of it. I can drink heavy cream but not milk. I think I was 12 when I finally told my Mom that I would no longer drink milk. Looking back I think that one should never force your children to eat things they don't like. If you as an adult do not want somebody to force you to do things you don't want, then don't treat your children like that. I refuse to drink milk (unless it's a latte), eat mushrooms (unless they are the special kind,) eat spinach (I had to eat that green mushy Popeye stuff we call spenat in Sweden). I also don't eat meat (grew up eating meat and loving it but made a choice as an adult to stop because I feel bad for the animals), fish (feel bad for the fish) and stuff like foie gras (animal abuse/torture). Surprisingly enough I am healthy and feel strong. Contrary to widespread popular belief, you can survive fine without meat. At least it works for me. So far.
The last time I had a glass of just milk was when I got poisoned by gas in Poland, I was 18 and taking a bath and all of a sudden I felt something wasn't right. I could barely move, I felt weird bordering on being unconscious, somehow I crawled out of the tub, I could barely move. Slumped down on the floor by the door, fresh air came in between the door and the floor and I took a few breaths of the air and managed to lift my arm up so I could grab the door handle and open the door. Close call. So my cousin made me drink a glass of milk and we waited to see if I could keep it down or if I would vomit, somehow that determines how badly poisoned you got. Something like that.....anyhow, crazy experience.



Sunday afternoon, windy and sunny. I am thinking I should do some errands but I feel unmotivated and lazy. Maybe I just take a nap instead.

Made Sure To Be There

Yesterday Zappos footed the bill for coffee and pastries between 6 AM -10 AM at Sunrise Coffee, quite generous I have to say. I made sure to be there and got myself a free iced vanilla latte and an apple muffin. Sweet! Afterwards I took Chhaya for a morning walk at Sunset park, did some errands and went to work.



In the evening I went to the postoffice on Sunset that is open late (until 9 PM) and I totally forgot it was tax due day yesterday. I had a non tax related letter I had to send but I almost turned around and left when I saw the crowd. In the end though I was only there for about 15 minutes, so not too bad.
Today I am feeling a bit under the weather. A headache started coming on hours ago and I just had dinner and took a headache pill. I rarely get headaches but when I do and it hurts, I take an Excedrin Extra Strength. Why suffer? I feel a bit better because the pill is kicking in.....soon I will take the princess for a walk.



This is how I talk to my co workers.....I am always very nice and well behaved.
I love to write them little notes of appreciation.



It was kind of slow today but we (I) make it fun. There is always something to laugh about.....

Easter Princess

A day late but here is the Easter Princess in all her glory.



In Sweden we (not all of us of course) dress up as påskkärringar for Easter.....meaning witches, with a broom each that we pretend to fly to Blåkulla with. That is where we, the witches dance with the devil himself. If I would dress up as a witch here and run around outside with a broom in between my legs somebody might lock me up somewhere but then again I am in Vegas and there are weirdos everywhere here. Just go down to Fremont street for a great show.
I was invited for Easter dinner to a friend's home, spent my evening in great company in the same neighborhood where some of the scenes for the movie Casino were filmed, meaning old Vegas. And old Vegas is actually super cool. Ahhhhh......Ginger in Casino !
Then I went home and took Chhaya out for a windy walk. My hair was flying all over the place.





As far as today goes....I did something today that I personally don't know anybody that has done. I don't want to talk about it yet, I might talk about this ordeal I have been dealing with in the future.....or not. Depending on how I feel. But WOW - even I can't believe what I did today and when I walked away from wherever I went to, my adrenaline was pumping together with my heart on a high level. Intense to say the least. And not in a bad way. And that's all I have to say about that.

Not Willing To Assimilate

Good morning, a bit before 9 AM here in sunny Las Vegas. Local news is that the Bellagio hotel roof was on fire last night but nobody got hurt. THAT would had been kind of interesting to watch, instead of the usual Bellagio singing fountains.
Now to other more important news.....a woman doctor, or should I more appropriately say butcher.....somewhere outside Detroit is charged with performing female genital mutilation, or FGM on girls between the ages of six and eight for at least 12 years. This is what is known so far. Nobody knows for sure how many girls in the US have had this procedure forced upon them, since FGM is illegal and therefore a hidden practice here but it is a high number.
But see even where women have rights, these things are happening, obviously. This is a great example of people not willing to assimilate to a new culture, whether they are first or second generation immigrants. They are willing to butcher their daughters, put them through a painful and dangerous ordeal just because their culture says so, it's "tradition". These girl are scarred for life and what message does this send to these girls? That they need to alter their body so some man will find them desirable enough to marry in the future. Because a woman's worth is all about that some man should find you good enough to get married to. Some man that will most likely watch porn and cheat anyways. All a woman is to a man like that is a servant at home that should give birth to his off spring, preferably boys, cook and clean and open up her legs and allow him to penetrate her mutilated vagina whenever he feels the urge. The message is - women have no rights. The fact that parents are willing to butcher their child's body and create long lasting mental and physical problems is DISGUSTING.
The "doctor" is a woman, she should have known better.
IF FOUND GUILTY (remember, innocent until proven guilty) I hope she gets sentenced to life.
Sweden was the first Western country to make FGM illegal, that was done is 1982.
A few days ago I watched some other special on labia pulling. That too is done to young girls and that means that you stretch out your labia minora by pulling on it, so your vagina looks and feels more desirable to a man later on when you are old enough to get married. And old enough to get married in some backwards cultures means basically after you get our first period.
I personally was in 7th grade when I got my period and having sex with some older man through an arranged marriage was not even part of my reality but for some girls, SADLY, it is. I was still playing with dolls and loved horses and dogs and was going to school - that was my reality.
Labia pulling is done in some African countries and FGM is practiced in Africa, Asia and the Middle East but both FGM and labia pulling can be found where people from those places have settled, as we can see now all over the US, all over Europe, Australia and other places.
And if people can't assimilate enough to not allow their own children to get butchered, I can just imagine what other backwards ideas they have a problem leaving behind in the old country.

From BBC news "The first recorded case of FGM in the US was in 2006, when an Ethiopian immigrant was jailed for 10 years for aggravated battery and cruelty to children for mutilating his two-year-old daughter five years earlier with a pair of scissors."

I have been around people from all over the world, personal friends, acquaintances and people I have briefly met but had interesting and meaningful conversations with, so I know that there are good, kind and intelligent people EVERYWHERE from ALL OVER.
But when it comes to inflicting pain on the innocent, that have no voice - children and animals, that is when I see red. NO EXCUSE for that. I feel that the harshest penalties need to be implemented on those who commit crimes against the ones that can not defend themselves.


Mandarin Oriental

One of my hobbies is to have afternoon tea at some fancy place. A while back I found out that they serve it at the Mandarin Oriental here in Vegas, so I gathered the cafe crew and booked us in for tea last Sunday. The tea lounge is on the 23 floor. I was super excited to have afternoon tea there, we all were. Yeay!



The view is fantastic up there.



The Mandarin Oriental is one of the few hotels that does not offer gambling.
No gambling at the Four Seasons in Vegas either. Besides the tea lounge on the 23 floor there is also a very nice bar that can be worth a visit, especially right around sunset. And MoZen supposedly serves up a great breakfast and brunch and they have Dim Sum. Now you know.....in case you are planning a Vegas trip and want some ideas on where to go.
I should open up a tourist service for Sweden and offer my knowledge and expertise on Las Vegas with surrounding areas and Alaska as well. AK in the summer and NV the rest of the months. Travel with Tati! Fluent in Swedish, Polish, passable in French, German and can curse you out in a few other languages, for an extra fee of course. People pay big $$$ for abuse!
I can dole out verbal abuse, not physical.
A little lesson on the history of afternoon tea......



You get a choice between a different variety of loose leaf tea, I chose a black tea and asked for lemon on the side. Please.





You are served scones, small sandwiches and pastries. The scones come with Devonshire cream and jam, the scones are always my favorite. I ordered the vegetarian option so I got cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and this little cone thingy, not sure what was in it.....



I took my red handbag, that was given to me as a gift recently out for the first time, thought it would make a good color contrast against my black top and pants.



Happy and full after the afternoon tea.



Afterwards we went and saw the Australian Bee Gees. My manager is married to one of the guys in the group, so I've seen the show twice now. It's good.



I can't went for the next cafe crew outing. Only one of us couldn't make it this time. I really like the people I work with, we have a lot of fun. We have five nationalities in our small group - Australia, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and USA.
My manager said that us girls are like the Spice Girls and that I am Baby Spice. :-D



Rumi

Beautiful and brilliant poetry by Jelaluddin Rumi. This is so beautiful that it makes me cry bittersweet tears.

Only Breath

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.


The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.


Stockholm



Many have said it was just a matter of time and today it happened.....a highjacked truck driven by a madman in high speed down Drottninggatan in Stockholm.
So far four people dead and 15 injured. And a dead dog. A few years ago a man with a bomb strapped to himself detonated the bomb on the same street, Drottninggatan, only he died then. And plenty of shocked bystanders.
A few days ago, bombs on the subway in St.Petersburg. A truck drove into people in London. Before that Berlin. And Nice. Paris. Theo van Gogh. There was a nerve agent chemical attack in Syria recently. Sarin is banned, illegal and to release a gas amongst people is.....I have no words.
No matter where in the world innocent people die in senseless violent attacks it is just wrong. It happened to be Stockholm today. The city I grew up in and a place that I love, of course.
Well.....many of these attacks have been carried out by men with Arabic names, in the name of Allah and organizations like ISIS have claimed responsibility for much of this. These are just facts, nothing made up.
Oh yes, there are non Arab, non Muslim folks that go on killing sprees as well, I am very much aware of that. Just seems to be a whole lot of attacks in the name of the not so peaceful religion Islam carried out in the last two decades or so.
Of course there was stuff happening worldwide in the 70's and 80's as well but I don't have any statistic on that. I can think of Pan Am flight 103, Lockerbie.
And the Northern Ireland Conflict, IRA.
Sweden is a very politically correct place, being labeled a racist or "främlingsfientlig" is something really bad. You might get seriously shunned for that. God forbid you are outspoken about your political opinions if they have anything to do with wanting to accept less immigrants into the country.
That makes you a bad person.
I grew up knowing people either born somewhere else besides Sweden, like myself or being second generation immigrants. I have very close friends from all over. But I also have opinions and even my immigrant friends in Sweden with roots from the Middle East are not happy with the political situation and the downturn of the country. This was one of the bigger topics of discussion last time I was home. Swedes are kind and naive by nature. Other not so nice people take advantage of that. I have often been too kind and naive for my own good after leaving Sweden, not understanding that some people lie and really only are out to harm you in whatever ways they can. There has been much disbelief, many tears and sadness in my life because of that.
Anyhow. I am not sure what can be done about ISIS and similar groups. I want to say that they will go away soon, that this will all go away but that would be foolish wouldn't it? I do not understand what makes somebody feel compelled and driven to carry out acts like these and honestly believe that they are doing something good.
I don't get it. I did not grow up like that. I will never understand.
Yeah, I talked to my brother, he was stuck in Stockholm like many others because public transportation was at a standstill. I talked to my Mom and I am going to call them again tomorrow.
I really miss Sweden, it is a beautiful place with kind wonderful people living there. Too bad that this happened in Stockholm today. But no matter where innocent people die in the world it is wrong.