27 April 2006

Watch perfection...

Ronnie O'Sullivan makes a 147 in the snooker world championship in 1997 - in 5 minutes and 20 seconds!

- I'm not going to explain this, but if you know the first thing about snooker, you'll see what I mean!

Ok - just two things: to watch the above clip, click the 'play' button and be patient... And to Devil Mood: I must protest! Football (soccer!) is by far the most popular sport in Norway! Skiing and all that doesn't come anywhere near... And this is not just my opinion, it's statistics :)

25 April 2006

The wonderful art of self preservation

I know this woman. We're acquaintances, I guess, but we get on really well whenever we meet. Especially since she and I share the same idea that our hubbies are our soul mates, and that married life with our respective spouses is pure bliss. They have three children, the youngest as old as our Jakob. Her hubby also had a child before they were married, who lives with them.

Now her husband is dying of cancer. There is no hope. They've stopped treatment. He half sits, half lies in a chair, he barely has the strength to call his children's names. He used to be a wonderful, fun family man, and he loved the great outdoors.

So, what do I do? I give her a hug, when I see her. I don't ask about his health, or hers - even though she's said she doesn't mind talking about it, it's somehow therapeutic.

But I can't bear thinking about it. When I really get into it, when I start imagining that in a few months, maybe only weeks, she's a widow, the kids fatherless - my mind shuts off. I start concentrating on a hair in my eye or the noisy traffic.

It's only too sad. For me! And she lives with it!!

Even as I'm writing now, I can't delve deeper into this, I just concentrate on being grateful and happy that it's not me. It's incredibly egotistical and callous, perhaps, but it seems to happen automatically. Body & mind shield sets in...
On a more lightweight note - these are other things that have made me happy recently:
- Liverpool are through to the FA Cup final!
- "Chelski" got thoroughly beaten and chucked out of the FA Cup.
- These events happened in the same match!
- Ronnie O'Sullivan is through to the quarter finals of the World Championship.
- My new job is only 36 days away. I keep getting mails from my manager-to-be, questions sent in by people in search of a word that is not in the dictionary. Yet. I love the detective work trying to find the proper translation - asking everybody I know in a similar trade - and to think I'll actually be paid to do this! I can't wait...

I kind of like these - at least there's something in my mail!

23 April 2006

On the road again...

So, inspired by the amazing trip to Lisbon, I'm going away again shortly. This time with my sister - and we're off to
Sought out, planned and paid for by her husband for her birthday. Lucky me got to be included in the gift :) Now, I'll be wanting your tips on what to see!

Then there's summer, which I am sure will be fine...

On the road again (II)...

Autumn holidays coming up next - first time we'll all be off at that time, and of course, the winning destination is:

Yes, Greece should be coming up next...

For the barbarians 1)

The below means simply (more or less literally): "Happy Easter and Happy Resurrection!" The photos are of mageiritsa (Easter soup), celebrating Easter and tsoureki, Easter bread. Then: "Next year Easter will be at the same time in Greece and in Norway - we'll try to celebrate it in Greece - we hope!"

1) Barbaric: uncivilized, not Greek (or Roman), foreign, rude. (...)
[Did I not mention I've also read ancient Greek at the university? Basic part of general education...]

21 April 2006

Καλό Πάσχα και Καλή Ανάσταση!!

Το άλλο χρόνο το Πάσχα θα είναι συγχρόνως και στην Ελλάδα και στην Νορβηγία - θα προσπαθήσουμε να το γιορτάσουμε στην Ελλάδα - ελπίζουμε!

17 April 2006

Greek explanation

Huskerdu asked, so I'll answer.. In a post no less, because a) I'm no good with short sentences that will fit in a comment and b) someone else (?) may have wondered about the same thing -

"how and why did you learn Greek?" I'll TRY to make it short. I really will...

I don't remember massive talks on Greek culture and history throughout my childhood, although my father loves that kind of stuff and I had of course heard some tales from Greek mythology etc.

So, when times were up for a different sort of summer holidays, he and I went to Crete. As I've already mentioned here. He'd got a rudimentary knowledge of Classical Greek, but this is - at least in Northern European universities - pronounced quite differently from Modern Greek. So, asking the way to Βρύσης (Bryses, or some sort), he pronounced it similar to Bruxelles (that's French...) - only without the ll's. Get it?

Naturally, the people we asked had no idea what he was on about. (And at this time tourism was fairly new, so not that many spoke English.) It's supposed to be unlike any English or French word I can think of, but, say, Vree-sees. Sort of.

So I decided to learn the Modern version myself. I was 13, and practiced the alphabet and simple phrases by writing in the sand on the beach for the remaining of the holidays. Before we went back next year (this time with my sister), I could pronounce anything, but still had no vocab. I learnt a few more phrases, but quickly forgot, I'm afraid, as there is usually no Greek films or music around here.

We went back every summer, though, and after I finished high school (λύκειο) and moved to Oslo I've done several evening classes, one summer school in Thessaloniki, spent 4 months living in Crete (1994) and done some more evening classes. I get by, I understand a lot more than I can express, and I tend to leave out the endings of all verbs, for the Greeks to insert the right one... (Greek verbs make the French ridiculously simple...)

We haven't managed going back every year since having all our kids, but this shot is me and Jakob in '98 in Chania, and then we didn't return before 2005. Hoping it won't take another 7 years to return...

Update: Ναι, I can read Ελληνικά script, don't know if everyone can, though..

And I've taken - I think - 6 or 7 half year evening classes + 1 month summer school at the univ. of Thessaloniki + lived 4 months in Crete. And still I'm by no means fluent.. But I love it!

- On a different note - I really enjoyed doing Kimananda's tag, I sort of rediscovered that random writing is highly enjoyable! I know at least that Riannan also found it worthwhile to write her own piece.. So for anyone who feels the same - a little topic for you to ponder:

Imagine your father coming to see you at school, riding a tricycle and wearing a Roman helmet. How would you explain this to your friends?

This was an actual assignment my mum was given in school...
Leave a comment if you finish this one, I'm really looking forward to hearing your explaining this one away. Oh, should we say 250 words? And leave a task for me, please...

No 6,000 = Mystery shopper?

Statcounter just threw the number 6,000 in my direction, which I'm very pleased with, of course - but the person(s) hitting that exact number remains a mystery to me.

Of course, I don't know every address visiting. But this one in particular comes from Drammen, Norway, and has made 124 visits and counting. Now, I do know a few people from Drammen, but I didn't think any of them knew about my blog, let alone read it - so this may just be a fan? A mystery shopper?

Not that I'm in the least bit curious. But show yourself! Erh, please...

16 April 2006

Time to learn a new language!

And I'm not talking about Dutch (see last post), which I've already actually done a one-year course in. (The Certificaat Nederlands. It was great fun doing it - not least as it was the alternative to Technical Translation while I was in England... Haven't used it since, though, so I fear it's a bit rusty. But I digress...)

Sometimes we need to keep things from our kids. And I'm not just talking about the sweets that we eat when they're safely asleep.. But things like whether we're having dessert or not, whether someone should be told to go to his / her room or not, or normal secrets like christmas presents.. And since we usually talk Norwegian, we've been having these conversations in English. Or Norwenglish, rather, without trying to impress anyone with vocab and intonation..

But those days are gone. It seems.

More and more often, our oldest - Jakob (8) - understands too much of what we say. "Which boy should go to what room?" "Who's not having dessert?" And all the kids understand "ice cream" "chocolate" and the like..

Recently my cousin came visiting with her English hubby and their daughter. So when I told the grown ups (I thought..) an amusing story about one of the kids, the one who laughed was their 2-year old daughter.. Then several of the kids' friends are half American or other speakers of English, so they understand too much too..

So today, my hubby and I had a dessert-or-not-discussion in German. Erh, no German would have understood, I fear, but still... I guess I could do the thing in Greek, but although my darling has many excellent qualities, knowledge of Greek is not among them, so I fear I'd be speaking to myself.

Anyway, how do single-language families speak secretly amongst themselves?

14 April 2006

I've gotta go away again, it seems!

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).
I've got a friend in Amsterdam. Gotta tell him I'm coming over soon... (Haven't been there yet, though!)

09 April 2006

My life is in fact a random word meme

I read Kimananda's solution to the meme of the highlighted words. I cannot compete with her storytelling, so I decided I'll give you a few glimpses from real life. High school period. Or thereabouts.

The curriculum read Actinides but our ex-hippie teacher decided he'd rather tell us about his friend who still lived on ganja, white bread and coca cola. Being in the prime of our juvenescence our thoughts meandered with ease even from this uncurricular theme, only to return when asked the following: "What are castrates well known as?" The boy F answered immediately, without thinking, as was his disposition – "lovers!". We all laughed, frenzically, our teacher more than any, knowing F would never make it to the Oval Office. He never realised the joke was on him...

A seasonal cottager by parental choice throughout my childhood, and enjoying it, I still acceded without hesitation to the suggestion of other destinations. My first alternative holidays was to Crete, and my number one choice has since been Greece. Sometimes in addition to others, but nothing will replace its position in my heart. My one time flatmate R had travelled wider, a missionary daughter, and made a smashing biryani.

But I digress. I left F and our wonderful teacher to take my driver's test. I didn't realise I had failed until the car went crashing into a snowdrift and I thought my driving test examiner suffered a temporary loss of empathy when he uttered "I knew it" - but it turned out it was permanent on his part. In school my class was set to the task of writing a screenplay, an adaptation of the Importance of being Earnest. While I was left praying for a space shuttle to take me away from my malicious test examiner.

Consider yourself tagged (300 words)...

ONE question answered, and here I am unmasked...

What Your Sleeping Position Says

You have a passion for everything - including sleeping.
Outgoing and brash, you tend to still shock those who know you well.
You tend to be selfish. You are the most likely type to hog the covers.
You gravitate toward comfort and don't like extreme situations.

Risu inepto res ineptior milla est

Among all kinds of Writing, there is none in which Authors are more apt to miscarry than in Works of Humour, as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excell. It is not an Imagination that teems with Monsters, an Head that is filled with extravagant Conceptions, which is capable of furnishing the World with Diversions of this nature; and yet if we look into the Productions of several Writers, who set up for Men of Humour, what wild irregular Fancies, what unnatural Distortions of Thought, do we meet with?

If they speak Nonsense, they believe they are talking Humour; and when they have drawn together a Scheme of absurd, inconsistent Ideas, they are not able to read it over to themselves without laughing. [sic!] These poor Gentlemen endeavour to gain themselves the Reputation of Wits and Humourists, by such monstrous Conceits as almost qualify them for Bedlam; not considering that Humour should always lye under the Check of Reason, and that it requires the Direction of the nicest Judgment, by so much the more as it indulges it self in the most boundless Freedoms.

There is a kind of Nature that is to be observed in this sort of Compositions, as well as in all other, and a certain Regularity of Thought which must discover the Writer to be a Man of Sense, at the same time that he appears altogether given up to Caprice: For my part, when I read the delirious Mirth of an unskilful Author, I cannot be so barbarous as to divert my self with it, but am rather apt to pity the Man, than to laugh at any thing he writes.

Falsehood → Nonsense → Frenzy (= laughter) → False Humour

Truth → Good Sense → Wit (=Mirth) → Humour

[The Spectator Essays No. 35, Tuesday, April 10, 1711 - Addison]

I just love the (real) Spectator Essays... Although I do laugh at complete nonsense aka the Pythons (which is TRUE and of Good Sense...) - I don't laugh at splatter nonsense (even when it makes other people frenzical with laughter).

I cannot help but wander how little things have changed in 295 years!

And the winner is...


Thank's for all your ideas, suggestions and comments - it really did help!
The manager of my new job agreed the other editors would need a lot of sub / junior / vice things added on theirs ;) Besides - they're all freelancers and don't get these cards...

08 April 2006

Cuisine - or no

Grilled bacalhau!

Tosta Mista at Pois café

Dessert à la Daniel...

Tosta Mista at Lisbon airport

Plane food. In fact, very plain food!

Plane food II. Not quite as horrible...
Yes, my father's camera did have a Menu Option called "cuisine" - how did you know?

04 April 2006

Let's see now...

Executive editor
The top editor sometimes has the title executive editor or editor-in-chief (the former is replacing the latter in the language). This person is generally responsible for the content of the publication. [The exception is that newspapers that are large enough usually have a separate editor for the editorials and opinion pages.]
The executive editor sets the publication standards for performance, and is responsible for assuring the highest standards of ethical conduct in the process of gathering and presenting information, as well as for motivating and developing the staff. The executive editor is also responsible for developing and maintaining the publication budget. In concert with the publisher and the operating committee, the executive editor is responsible for strategic and operational planning.

This about sums it up, actually.

But other suggestions I've had are (in random order): Chief Supervising Editor, Editing Chief, Supervising Editor, Senior Editor, Editing Consultant, Senior Editing Consultant, Managing Editor, Publishing Editor, Editor-in-chief, Chief Editor, Principal Editor, "Chief editor, translations".

Most votes so far on Editor-in-chief. Someone also said "less is more". Maybe simply Editor will do? Wouldn't an Editor-in-chief be in a newspaper or magazine?

03 April 2006

Linguists, come hither!

Dear bloglings. I have a bit of a, situation. You see, I'm starting my new job in June. It's great, it's amazing, I'm so looking forward to it, and all that.

But I have no title.

They'll be printing my visiting cards, and all titles are in English, only my title is, apparently, untranslatable.

A bummer for a company that lives on dictionaries...

We could, of course, find a translation. The thing is, though, there may already exist a similar job position in English, and we just don't know it. So - will you help me?

I'll be editing, compiling (or extending / expanding, rather) and proof reading dictionary entries. I'll be supervising similar work done by others. I'll be responsible for the biannual updates of the dictionary. The Norwegian title translates "responsible editor".

I could be just that, only it doesn't sound very English. I could be "liable editor" but I'm not really liable, I'm responsible for the words, not the financial bit. I could be editor-in-charge. Sounds like a translator-in-arms...

Any others? I'll donate a letter to the winner ;) Oh, and quickly - please - they're printing the visiting cards before Easter...

02 April 2006

My fado experience

Am I still going on about Lisbon? Yes, of course... Although the snow is finally melting here, Lisbon stays with me. *sighs*

Now, I mentioned briefly that Børge and I went to a fado house. Restaurant
Bacalhau de molho, to be precise. The entrance was quite inconspicuos, we were about to walk past it, when a smartly dressed headwaiter popped his head out and invited us in, as we'd already booked tables.

In addition to the aforementioned, stunning waiter, and the food - which I'll probably bore you with later - there was music. That's the point of a fado house, really. So every half hour a fado singer would appear, the lights went down, and the music poured over us.

I'd never heard fado before, I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was the Portuguese
blues or rebetiko, and that Lisbon has its very own fado - but I had no idea it was so compelling, so moving, so instantly goosebump-producing!

The first three performers were women, all wearing the typical black shawl. Then the guitarra player moved up and did his fado solos, while a new guitarra player appeared.

Then, the last singer. The main performance. The Portuguese who were there - about half of the guests - were beyond themselves, whistling and applauding like never before! As soon as she started singing, we knew why. I had loved the earlier performances, but this singer was totally beyond belief! She did her 3 songs, as had the others, then came back for an encore, smiling as the crowd joined in on Lisboa é Sempre Lisboa. Her name was Ana Moura, she is one of their most famous fado singers. I did a poor recording on my mobile, so you'd better listen to the cd version of her Porque Teimas Nesta Dor!

Did I mention Daniel filled my iPod, bless him :) - and that the playlist "fado" (extended with the cd I bought) is now most frequently played?

As before, the audio might not work on a Mac, or with certain browsers. If so, I'm sorry, I'll try to find a way around this, but not tonight. I mean this morning...

01 April 2006

Will you help me?

Help me discover my true self (or tell me what I'm really like) by adding your thoughts here. It won't take a minute :)

- Thanks to Kimananda!

And this isn't meant as an April fool's thing, it's not even that funny...