27 March 2007

More about me

(For want of a Tuesday Tale, I stole this off Moncrief Speaks)

The phone rings. Who do you want it to be?
Hmm. Probably 'Norsk Tipping' - they're the ones who call when your lottery ticket comes in...
When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Of course. Always. It's fun too.
In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
I'm very much a talker, I'm afraid... Although, at very formal settings, I'm neither - I'll be too freaked out having to wear a dress, to actually be there, if you get my drift...
Do you play Sudoku?
I do. But I'm not dreadfully good at the most difficult ones. And I'm not yet completely hooked, as I can go months without :)
If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
You know, I think I would. I'd be totally freaked out if there were spiders and snakes, and I'd be in a really foul mood without music around, but I'd probably survive, somehow.
Do you like to ride horses?

Never tried. And I doubt that I'd enjoy it, as the only horses I've ever seen up close are police horses - they're huge - and I fear I've developed some sort of hippophobia...
Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Yup. Quite a lot, actually. Right up through 20-something. Loved it! (Provided "camp" means what I think it means..)
Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
Not if they were very religious about it... If they were more laissez-faire, I might. Not that I'm going to date anyone but my hubby for the rest of my days, though!
Do any songs make you cry?
Sometimes. Could be any song, really, if I'm in that sort of mood... Can't name one right now, though.
Are you continuing your education?
Continuously. My job is continuing my education. And there's the odd Greek class I take etc. I've got an MA, but if I had more time I'd do another dozen. I'm the sort of person who needs brain-feed (who'd a thunk it!), I've got to learn stuff, otherwise I'll be bored to death.
Do you know how to shoot a gun?
In theory. I've watched James Bond... And I have tried air guns, years ago. How hard can it be, anyway, people seem to be shooting eachother wherever you turn these days!
If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you would grab?
Thing, as in not people? I've always said photo albums, but now I think - my iPod...
Do you think more about the past, present, or future?
The past. Not necessarily my past, though, I haven't really got a very good memory when it comes to myself, but historic past, that's where you'll find me most of the time... I'm trying to get into the present from time to time, but the future's way off!
What is your favourite children's book?
It's got to be The Secret Garden, I read it 8-10 times a year from age 6 through 16. Admittedly, I read Little Lord Fauntleroy almost as many times.
What colour are your eyes?
Some bluish shade of grey.
How tall are you?
1,70 m - apparently that's 5'7''.
Where is your dream house located?
Here. I don't care what the house looked like, as long as it's right there...
Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes, tons of times. Who hasn't? But after watching Amelie I wish I'd done it even more :)
When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
What's Olive Garden? I've been to a lot of olive gardens (in Greece), but somehow I feel this isn't what is meant here...
Where was the farthest place you travelled?
Hmm. Probably Mexico. But I was 5 and can't remember anything. Only a vague feeling of people patting my head because I was blonde. (Well, more like blond back then...) In my mind, though, I've been as far as The restaurant at the end of the universe.
Do you like mustard?
Not really. As in I'll never put mustard on anything, but I sometimes eat food that's already got mustard on it. And stuff...
Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
I feel I must say eat, as I don't sleep much, but I really, really much prefer sleep. If I could have a pill instead of food I'd replace 4 out of 5 meals. Eating is boring, unless there's something extra going on. Like good company or a special occasion. But 'normal' food? That's just for not going around all sulky because I'm hungry... So the answer? I prefer sleep. I do. It just doesn't look that way....
Do you look like your mum or dad?
A little of both, I think. I definitely walk like my dad....
How long does it take you in the shower?
For some reason I was timing it this very morning! And it came out about 20 minutes. Which did involve quite a few minutes leaning my head against the wall trying to catch some extra sleep....
Can you do the splits?
You've got to be joking... Unless split hair-ends count?
What did you do for New Year's?
We stayed home, the kids were in bed long time before midnight. My mother and her husband were there, and we had a good meal and a nice, quiet celebration. I realised I just sounded like I'm a hundred years old, but so be it.
Do you think The Grudge was scary?
What's The Grudge? But yes, probably, whatever it is. I don't like scary stuff...
Do you own a camera phone?
Yep. Although I prefer using my proper camera.
Was your mom a cheerleader?
Hehe, no, nothing of the sort... She's an excellent mum, but perhaps not quite cheerleader type? I'd be totally embarrassed if she had been... (Besides, there were no cheerleaders in Norway at all until a handful of people - one colleague included - started playing American type "football" (should be handball!) maybe ten or so years ago. And, as it was recently established I'm 100, my mum can't be only 10...)
What's the last letter of your middle name?
How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Truly? About 4 or 5. Ideally I'd need at least 7. Maybe 8. There's just too much life to be had to spend it on sleep!
Do you like the Care Bears?
No. They're just too cute.
What do you buy at the cinema?
These days, i.e. once a year or so when I'm at a cinema, I don't buy anything. When I was a student, though, I used to see at least one film a week, and I always bought "M" - which isn't like M&M, but more like milk-chocolate covered peanuts.
Do you know how to play poker?
I know the rules, yes, but I haven't played it in years. And never about money. There are other ways to play...
Do you wear your seatbelt?
Always. Well, if I'm in a car, at least. And my kids honestly believe that cars won't move unless everyone's buckled up. Good, eh?
What do you wear to sleep?
Usually a long T-shirt and underwear. Fortunately, I haven't developed vestiophobia ;)
Anything big ever happen in your hometown?
Now, we must bear in mind it's a very small hometown. It's hardly even a neighbourhood, by American standards... But there were the odd visit by kings (sic!), and possibly some sporting events, there's even the world championships in cod fishing as well as the traditional Lofoten fishery, but no, can't say anything major happened there. Except that I was born there, of course :)
How many meals do you eat a day?
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper. That should make four.
Is your tongue pierced?
No. I did pierce it when I was about ten - I bit right through it (by accident, of course!), and it took three days to heal. Never really wanted to repeat that... Besides, there's something about the way people talk when they've got a pin or suchlike stuck through their tongues...
Do you always read Myspace bulletins?
No. And I'm only recently a myspace visitor at all. But I've read a couple, by my friends :)
Do you like funny or serious people better?
Funny people. I mean people who are really funny, not just think they are. And if they can be serious at times too, we'll be best friends!
Ever been to L.A?
No. Well, I don't think so. But we did go to California too when I was 5, so ... Mum?
Did you eat a cookie today?
It's "have you eaten..." And no, I haven't.
Do you use cuss words in other languages?
I do, actually. I don't curse in Norwegian at all, but sometimes I'll let out a s**t - which has the same literal meaning as the English, but none of the connotations. Mine's definitely derived from English, though. Still, it's better than cursing in one's own language, as long as I remember not to do it around English people...
Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
Both. It depends where I'm at when I want / need a song. At home there's limewire too... But I've probably paid for most.
Do you hate chocolate?
I hate that I want it so much...
What do you and your parents fight about the most?
We don't fight. Honestly, we don't! I didn't even fight them as a teenager, although I'm sure I wasn't just a joy to be around at all times... I haven't even had a fight with my hubby, we've been together almost 12 years now - I think we're just not the fighting kind. (And no, we're not bottling it all up, we just talk about stuff, instead of bottling & exploding. It works. You should try it sometime...)
If you could have any job what would it be?
This one! (i.e. my current job, not blogging...)
Are you easy to get along with?
I think so. Unless you're really pathetic, of course, in which case I'd be easy to get rid of ;)
What is your favourite time of day?
11-2, morning (...) and night. It's the only 6 hours a day I'm really truly awake.

26 March 2007

Lofoten in wintertime

This is from Ballstad, a smack coming into the harbour.

And if you go here, you'll find a whole bunch of recent photographs from the same area. You wouldn't want to miss out on that, would you?

25 March 2007

Football in our hearts

First, there was the football tournament. With Filip in one team, Mathias and Thomas in one (they're in different classes) and Jakob in one. Meaning 12 games altogether, the ones who weren't playing managed to see most of the games -- and Anna, luckily, had a birthday party to go to in the middle of it all. There were wins, losses, Mathias scored, Thomas saved, and a good time was genereally had by all! The cups they all received at the end also helped, of course!

Then there was football on television in the night. Norway was playing Bosnia home. A few of their "fans" spent the first 40 minutes of what should have been the start of the game throwing bengal lights on the pitch, their own goalkeeper, setting fire to the billboards... Well, eventually the game started, we still lost (1-2). Not as bad as Greece though, who were slaughtered 1-4 by Turkey. A sad night indeed.On the bright side, Filip has made a little football story: Here's Liverpool FC vs. France (well, it could happen...). Reina shoots from the goal, Kuyt heads it on... ... to Gerrard, who kicks it to Riise, heading it on to ...
... Pennant, kicking it on to Gonzales, who does an amazing trick shot on to ...

... Crouch, who kicks it fiercely into - the crossbar...

No worries, though, they (= LFC!) still won 1-0, according to Filip. And yes, the names and the story were entirely his, as are the drawings.

22 March 2007

Politically uncorrect dinner

As a pot, and just before...
... what can it be?

You can even go here to see what it looked like raw - but I wouldn't present that to all you vegetarians just like that...

But it tasted great, politically correct or not - even the kids had their fair share :)

20 March 2007

Reminiscing Our Childhood

Just as you were thinking (hoping?) I'd completely forgotten about Tuesday Tales...

1. What is the earliest memory you have as a child? Think far back.
I've got an excellent memory for quotes... But for childhood memories? Well, I actually do still remember that Chinese lady... In Chinatown, New York, when I was 5. I remember what the shop looked like. And that when she took my arm to show me something or other, I totally freaked out and was sure she wanted to kidnap me (somehow, my otherwise discreet parents must have talked about this a little too loud..) - screaming and shouting. It turned out she only wanted to show me some plastic crocodiles. So we bought two, for good measure... (Oh, give me a break, I didn't understand any English, let alone Chinese...)
2. What is a special memory you have about someone? It could be a grandparent, family friend - not including your parents - that you knew as a child. What do you recall about them that makes the memory special?
There are several moments (ok, I do remember some things...), but right now I was made to think about that time in my grandmother's funeral. We were standing outside the chapel afterwards, everyone really sad and deep in conversation. It was winter and freezing. My other gran (actually my step-gran, but I won't go into that...) came out, and wrapped me in her fur coat, comforting me and warming me, saying this "is worst on the kids". It's just a glimpse from way back, but I can almost feel her arms around me now...

3. What was a favorite game you played as a child?
It's not a game, exactly, but my friends and I used to love climbing the nearest hills (or "mountains" if you're from an area without them, like Oslo. Or Holland.), playing cowboys and indians (we were almost always indians...) or hiding in the many bunkers left by the Germans during the war. Of course, we'd play quite a bit of football too!

4. What was a memorable trip that you can recall being a little kid and what did you do that makes you think about it even now?
I can't really keep the summers apart, but every summer we'd go down south (from Lofoten), and every summer I'd spend at least one night with my friend in Fredrikstad. Every year we'd go to the same sweet shop and hang around until the owner asked if she did perhaps know me from somewhere...? She'd always get it right in the end... We'd stay up really late and eat as much candy as possible :) One time I was there (I was 6, I think), I had the whooping cough (which wasn't supposed to happen after all those inoculations, but still...), and at one stage we ran to catch a bus. The coughing fit I got once aboard she's never quite forgotten...

5. Did you ever fall in love as a child?
(Ok, I added this question... Just remembered this, you see) Yes. Quite a lot, really. But I remember my first real crush - there was a youth camp, my dad was a leader there, I was 5 or 6 and just along for the ride. This teenager, T H, played cards or chinese checkers or something with me, and I realised he had the most beautiful eyes in the world... I actually blushed (my sister pointed out, rather too loudly for my liking!), and didn't dare looking him in the eyes for the rest of the weekend. Sigh... (Well, he's nothing of the sort these days, but I prefer to think of him as he once was...)

17 March 2007

Beautiful spring morning in Oslo

Brought the camera to town Friday morning, and took a few photos on my way to work. It's not Porto, it's not Lisbon, but it's not all that bad when the sun is shining...
Nobel Peace Prize Centre
Fishing boat just come in

Aker brygge area
Oslo City Hall
Akershus fortress
Soldiers going to work at Akershus
Spring cleaning
Tordenskiold, naval hero and somehow related to me :)
No, it's not your eyes, it's the 300 year-old gate!
Oslo Stock Exchange

Happy St Patrick's day!

The Dubliner, my favourite pub in Oslo

Paddy Diarmuid, my friend from Dublin

Technological coming out

I'm thinking of a friend tonight. A lot. Earlier today, he finally told his sister he's gay. How? He'd set himself as "in a relationship" in his networking profile somewhere, and his sister finally stopped by today. (His friends have known about it all along - but his friends & family don't mingle.) He's been seeing someone for six weeks or so, and set his profile for his sister to see. I believe he did so February 18th, I seem to remember that.

And today, she stopped by. Saw his new status. Emailed him about who it could be, either of the network (girl)friends? She even started naming them, could it be this one, this one? He told her to think creatively. And finally gave her the link to his blog. Where all is revealed. All his thoughts around this subject for the past few years.
She said the family had sort of known, only hadn't wanted to believe it. They probably thought he'd grow out of it... She said that she felt sick. I imagine my friend felt worse. I hope he'll be alright. I wish I lived a little closer, only that wouldn't help - he'll have to go through this no matter what. At least he's got a sweet boyfriend. And I think his family will be alright about it. In the end. Let's hope soon.

On the bright side, Sweden just decided gays can get married in church. So there's hope :)

16 March 2007

Book Meme

Riannan tagged me for this one, and I haven't done that many meme's lately, have I? Besides, I'm quite fond of books :)

Hardback or paperback: It doesn't really matter. I'm quite fond of paperbacks, really, but if you want to give me a hardback, go ahead...

Amazon or brick and mortar: Brick and mortar! I don't think I've bought a book online yet. (Yes, I've bought other stuff, cd's and dvd's - I'm not a complete internet illiterate...) I just love book stores, walking through, browsing...

Barnes and Noble or Border's: I haven't got a clue... From what internet can tell me, I think I'd quite like Barnes and Noble --- but I can't find out if Border's is anything special, so I really can't tell.

Bookmark or dog-ear: Bookmark! Anything goes... Or if it's got a dust jacket I'll fold it in where I stopped reading. If I haven't got either I'll jot down the page number somewhere. Never dog-ears. Incidentally, dog-ears are "donkey-ears" in Norwegian. Only we say it in Norwegian, of course ;)

Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by subject, or random: By author, and chronologically within same author (as I do with my cd's). Although books of other kind - artsy books, reference books etc. go by classification, and a few non-definable books are *blushing* sorted by height...

Keep, throw away or sell: Unless I really hate them (which is rare), I keep them. I just love books, the feel and touch and look of them :) I've given a few away that I'd never read and wasn't going to. Quite a few books still in the attic, though, waiting for a bigger house with more bookshelves... Now that all the kids have learnt to read as well, we'll have to find somewhere for all those children's books too!

Keep the dust jacket or toss it: I always keep it. Like I'd never throw away an album sleeve. I need all the information I can get! I wouldn't buy those see-through dust-jackets, though, I'm not really worried about the dust.

Short story or novel: I usually read novels, but I'm quite fond of short stories too. It goes in cycles, sometimes I'll read only short stories.

Collection (same author) or anthology (different authors): I don't think I've really tried the latter, unless you count all the books written "by Enid Blyton" I read when I was little. I though he/she (I didn't know which) had an amazing capacity and was a little put off when I heard it was different authors... I'd definitely say "collection", though, as I'm loving my way through Terry Pratchetts discworld novels...

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket: Definitely Lemony Snicket. I have no idea what it is, but I don't like Harry Potter... I know, I think I should, I enjoy fantasy and magicians and all that, but Harry and I got off on a wrong note - I read the first book in Norwegian. I hear people saying it's an excellent translation, so I figured - it's got to be the author's fault, then... Read the 4th in English (only two I've read) and although I was quite captured by it while reading it I'm afraid it didn't leave me wanting to find out what happens. It was too plain evil. Now, I'll just find out about Lemony Snicket. I must say it looks promising :)Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks: Chapter breaks. Tiredness doesn't enter into it - breaks have got to fit in with the plot.

"It was a dark and storm night" or "once upon a time?": First one, probably, I'm not too keen on fairytales. Though fairy's tales I seem to be quite partial to :) Which reminds me of Martin Millar's Fairies in New York, haven't read that in too long...!

Buy or borrow: Either. Though I like to own books, reading them are more important. When I was in primary school I'd read all the books in our school library, saving the encyclopaedias, so they let me go into town to borrow books there. Nowadays I borrow mainly from friends, or I just read the stuff I've already got, but haven't had time to read...

New or used: That's irrelevant. I love old books - especially the look of them - but I also love brand new books, especially if they're by any of my favourite authors.

Buying choice: Very much haphazard. Sometimes recommendations from friends - although I tend to not want to read a book if too many people tell me I'll love it... Well, one author & tv personality over here sometimes recommends books to me (we're email buddies :) - and I always go for them. He showed me David Sedaris, for which I'm eternally grateful!

Tidy endings or cliffhangers: I must admit I prefer endings that are, well, endings. Although I can take a cliffhanger if I know there's another book coming up.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading: If I had any spare time at all, time of day wouldn't matter much. Well, morning would be out of the question, of course, as I can't think straight until lunchtime... Nighttime, definitely a good time!

Stand-alone or series: [I'll just copy Riannan's answer to this one, it matches mine.] Both. I can get caught up in a good series, and can't wait for the next book, but I read many books that aren't part of a series.

Favourite series: Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett. The 5 books in "The increasingly inaccurately named trilogy" A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Well, to be truthful, I didn't really like the 5th book all that much. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. (Yes, I read it all long time before the films came out. And I think I've seen half a film so far.) Anything by PG Wodehouse - especially the Jeeves stories. The no. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.

- Oh my, I seem to be rather fond of series after all... And I'm very fond of reading, it just doesn't fit into the time table right now...

And, if you like, TAG, you're it. And thanks, Riannan, this was quite good fun :o)

13 March 2007

My crush

I see him almost all mornings when I go into town (i.e. twice a week). As soon as he sees me at the bus stop he gives me his biggest smile and starts talking as if we were old friends. Frankly, I've only known him for a week or two, but he's got the most beautiful, big, brown eyes you can imagine. And dimples...

I've started looking for him on my way to the bus, sometimes I catch him a few metres before the stop - a few more seconds to be with him! I don't understand all he's saying, but I do my best to fill in aahs and uhmms and suchlike...

I even turn off my ipod for him, what d'you make out of that?!

When the bus ride is over and we're about to embark (the boat, i.e. disembark the bus, possibly...), he gives me another gorgeous smile and waves goodbye. I hope one day we'll sit together on the boat as well...

But no, off he goes. Every time. Or off he sits, rather, his mum pushing his pram. Oh, I didn't mention it? He's about 2...


- It is round, but not like a ball

- It has a hole in the middle, but it's not a doughnut

- It can make sounds, but it hasn't got a mouth

- What on earth can it be?

(I can't promise you a grand prize. But I'll see what I can think of if anyone guesses correctly - noone in their class did...)

*Don't know what a quadriddle is? Just a riddle that the quads came up with - for a school assignment, no less... And apart from the original being in Norwegian, this is exactly how it went!

07 March 2007

Presenting - the first casualties of global warming*

Mr. Wan Snowman
Mr. A. Nother Snowman

... and their favourite snowhorse, now horribly mutilated and deformed!

*I know, global warming is no laughing matter. But I was born to speak all mirth and no matter...

06 March 2007

It looks like a postcard...

- But it's actually the view from my mum's balcony. And today is a gorgeous day, it seems (much unlike Oslo today)!

In case you're wondering, yes, that's the Atlantic ocean, or at least part of it, right there...

03 March 2007

Saturday tale...

I had two boys weeping, no - sobbing, wailing - this afternoon. Liverpool played an excellent game for 90 minutes (= full time), then the unmentionable team scored - 1 minute into injury time. And won. As is their wont. The ba**ds... Luckily, all of our membership cards, diplomas and stuff that arrived in the mail last week comforted the kids slowly, but surely.

Possibly, the huge bar of chocolate entered into the equation as well...

Anna hadn't been watching the game at all - she hasn't got any interest in football, and played happily around by herself for the 90+ minutes. The other two boys didn't cry - they tackled the loss by suggesting a number of quite interesting things we could do to the players of the other team and to the referee, not least.

And after an hour or so, all 4 of them had found the solution to LFC's problem - they'll all play for Liverpool when they grow up! My boys ;)

The dollar's sinking

My blog is worth $156,942.12.
How much is your blog worth?

I did one of these about a year ago (? can't find the post again...) - and my blog was worth about $ 2,000. Obviously, the dollar's dropping like a rock!

Current favourite daydream

I'm in San Francisco. (I'm going there, right? So far, so good.) I'm out walking the streets. (Do Americans walk anywhere? Ever??)
I'm probably in the Castro (my niece lives only a few blocks away), and my nieces and sister are in some shop or other (actually, that could be true..). I'm not only walking the pavement, I'm listening to my iPod (now, I've heard the Castro is friendly, but really, I don't think I'd be carrying it along on a shopping trip, there could be straight robbers about...)
(Straight iPod-robbers in cunning disguise)
Anyway, the dream substance hasn't even started. Because as I'm walking there, outside the shop(s), listening to music... ... I spot Rufus Wainwright & his beau across the street (well, it could happen, right? Right???). And I can't help myself, but cry out "Rufus Wainwright!" (yeah, right, as if any Norwegian would shout out anything, ever, without unbelievable amounts of alcohol aboard. Did I mention that I don't drink? Yeah, I think I did...). Oh, I forgot to say, there's no traffic. Anywhere. Makes it all the more realistic, doesn't it :)

And the dream continues...

Rufus' Jörn looks up. Heard me, obviously. They stop. And I go over to them. As if that would ever happen (did I mention I'm of a fairly Norwegian disposition when it comes to outspokenness & outgoingness? Hm. Think I did)... They ask me what I'm listening to. I answer "Rufus Wainwright" - obviously. But it would be true. I can't stop listening to him. So I tell them just that. In German. (I haven't had German for years but I think I could cough up just that sentence. Really. Especially since practicing throughout this repeated daydream!) Jörn smiles. We talk a bit more in German. Rufus can't quite follow, but there's a convivial atmosphere...
(Rufus out walking. I told you he would be, didn't I!?!!)
- When my sister & nieces are done shopping, Rufus & beau have moved on. But we've exchanged phone numbers (sic!) and e-mail addresses, of course. Which I expect them to totally tear up as soon as I'm out of sight (figuratively - people don't often tear up their mobile phone contacts...) (incidentally - I was wondering why they opposite of "literally" isn't "illiterally"? Would make things a lot more fun. Anyway, I digress).

But they don't. I'm back in Norway, I receive a phone call from my new best friends. Rufus is giving a concert. In Berlin. (I believe they actually live there, so it might happen, right???) And they wonder would I like to come? Oh, and while I'm at it, would I like to invite some of my bloglings? (Apparently, we must have touched upon the subject of blogging during our hearty talk back then.) I list a few that would love to go - just a shame they're in the US, Canada, Greece, Portugal... No problem, Rufus pays for them all to come over. And we have a whole, lovely blogRufusrallyconcertweekend on our hands.

- Care to join?

(Now you may wonder - wherein lies the improbability? Oh, there's just the one, tiny snag. The fact that things never go according to plan... *sigh*)

01 March 2007

Laughing girl

You really ought to see Dad at Comedy Barn first - that's what she's laughing about! But this girl just killed me!

I didn't laugh yesterday, though - I went to get a new passport, and the guy wanted to put me down as "grey-haired". I mean, hello!?! Would I look like this if I was going abroad? So I told him I was "between hair-dressers" and eventually talked him into putting down some sort of dark blond. She who laughs last...