BY ANDREW IAN LIPSTEIN
On Thursday, a planned Keops Kooking Klub dinner was cancelled due to things coming up. Tragedy. Sarah sends me a text, "Pancakes for dinner? Yummm..." One text conversation and a trip to the Lidl and Netto later, we are all set. On the menu: Pancakes (regular, chocolate, banana, banana chocolate, white chocolate strawberry, strawberry cream, raspberry cream) from scratch, and crispy bacon. I don't want to say that Sarah and I saved the day, but the pancakes were delicious and satisfying and we saved the day.
On Friday, we departed on a cruise to Oslo, the capital city of Norway, the land mass between Sweden and Finland located at the heart of Scandanavia, the cold unsavory portion of Europe. Most of the time spent on the boat either consisted of light-hearted chit chat or, if at night, bouncing between the various night spots on the boat. This included Force 7, a nightclub on the Seventh floor of the ship.
It also included a passionate game of Kings, and being yelled at no less than four times by the same security guard. The first three times were for being in the ball pit at inappropriate times of the day. Although the ball pit was noticably off limits due to the bars inhibiting entry, the security man's responses were unnecessarily cold, calculated and direct. "Do you have eyes?" once. And then "unbelievable," in a voice so disappointed it would make even a Jewish mother wince. When he caught myself and Emily in the kitchen of the restaurant that offered a $40 buffet, he accused us of trying to steal food (if a hungry man steals a handful of Honey Smacks to feed his family, is it really stealing?) and said if I was caught one more time, I would be punished.
This man took silver in "my favorite employees aboard The Pearl of Scandanavia," losing out to the man over the loudspeaker who would wake us up or give us other important announcements. When he spoke in his native Danish, he sounded like the rest of Denmark, bubbly and incomprehensible. However, when he spoke in English, he sounded as if his nose and his testicles had been switched.
We went to the highest on the ship that men can go, and it was something of a crisis. The Scandanavian sea at night was pure black. All you could feel was the ship's slow bobbing. You could not see anything at all, we could have been in a completely black room. It felt not unlike the paintings of Edvard Munch (1862-1944).
We visited the Munch Museum, a Norwegian painter famous for The Scream and Madonna. The Scream was stolen twice, once recently. Unfortunately we were not able to view it, although we did see a different version that Munch painted. The man in The Scream (not this painting) who has his hands on his face is Munch. He was walking with some friends (the people in the background, on the left) when he lagged behind and then heard the scream coming from nature, an audification of the eternal existential crisis of the modern man. The sky turned an appropriate (maybe not?) red and life hit him. I enjoyed the style of Munch and for some reason his paintings came off more earnestly than what I would expect from a painter of existential tragedy. I especially appreciated his paintings of love, which were also touchingly earnest, but obviously in a very different way. Many of his drawings or paintings showed two lovers, but entirely alone together. My two favorite paintings were Jealousy and Murderer. I suggest looking up both, especially the second one, pictured here. I also bought a poster for a Munch exhibit in the 70's featuring a piece of a man that apparently looks just like me.