a new chapter


In my last post I mentioned that my husband and I were preparing for packing up and leaving Norway, but I didn’t say where we were headed. After a couple of weeks of travel, we landed in our new home of Montreal (!) a week and a half ago, and already I don’t know where that time has gone. Moving is so full of seemingly unending lists of practical/tedious/annoying/difficult tasks that need to be accomplished, and we’ve been working away at as much of that as we can. But so far, September has been on the whole a good month. And we are very happy to be in Montreal.


We left Tromsø the last day of August and woke up on the first of this month in Helsinki, a city that neither of us had ever visited before. We were positively charmed and I definitely want to make it back to Finland someday to spend more time there.


After three nights in Helsinki, we were off to Crete for what was essentially the first of two “work trips” (I was presenting at a couple academic conferences). Crete was hot and sunny, but after the northern Norwegian summer, we were both pretty happy to be able to enjoy some proper summer weather. Three nights on Crete was followed by three nights on Mallorca for the second conference.


And then, finally, Montreal. We are setting up a new home in a light-filled space in the city, and very soon we will begin finding our new routines and our new favorite places. Already I’ve enjoyed simply walking the streets of my new neighborhood, choosing different routes to and from various errands in order to explore as much new ground as I can. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and going new places and getting to know this incredibly unique city better. Soon we’ll have internet up and running at home and I hope then I’ll be blogging again more regularly! Until then, you can find me going for long walks as I explore my new city.


I don’t normally write about music on this blog, but a very special record comes out today and I wanted to tell you all about it. It’s called I Never Meant It to Be Like This and it’s by a band called Cumulus.


Cumulus is a Seattle band fronted by a seriously amazing lady named Alexandra Niedzialkowski. I met Alex the first summer I volunteered with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, a summer day camp here in Seattle that’s part of the global Girls Rock Camp Alliance (I know that’s a lot of links, but they’re all worth visiting, I promise!). Girls rock camp is an incredible experience that I really believe in: helping girls aged 8-18 learn to use their voices, write music, build confidence, and generally make the world a better place. Through rock music. I mean, how awesome is that, right?! It sounds kind of corny to say it, but my first summer volunteering at rock camp kind of changed my life.

I was a first time camp counselor, and admittedly a little nervous, but Alex was an old pro, having volunteered at rock camp before. She came in on Monday morning with the most incredible enthusiasm and energy, and that’s the first thing I noticed about her. Not only did she get the campers pumped up and excited, but she got me pumped up and excited, too. And before you knew it, I was jumping around dancing to the lunchtime bands and screaming along to the camp song too. She was a model for the new volunteers like me. She kind of embodied the rock camp spirit. And it’s not just because she beleives in the girls rock camp mission, although she does; it’s because that’s just the kind of person she is. Upbeat and excited and wonderful to be around, making other people feel good about themselves, about the world.

All that stuff comes through in her music, and that’s why I’m so excited the Cumulus full-length is out today. Maybe I’m a little biased, because I know Alex personally (and for the sake of full disclosure: this record’s out on my husband’s label, Trans- Records), but it’s a gorgeous record and I hope you’ll take the time to listen to at least a song or two. You might fall in love. I know I have.

If you’re in Seattle, the Cumulus record release show is this Thursday, October 3rd at Neumos, with Kithkin and Sundries. Full event details here. I’d love to see you there!