30 June 2007

Powers of modern life

My mum is in Aegina with her husband these days. (In the sweltering heat. They survive, they stay in the water, I've been told...) And she sends me photos from her cell phone. Instead of just cards (because we still get cards!) we get to see how they are - just this moment. It's pretty amazing, really.
Sunset seems unbelievable, every day...
... and tonight there's a wedding celebration at their hotel, in case you wondered :)

New photographer in town

Jakob got a mobile phone the other week. Long overdue, if you ask him! And in fact, I think he was the last in his class to get one. Sigh. He's still only 9 1/2... But here's what he can do with it - in addition to texting his friend and downloading songs, which took him all of 2 minutes to learn - taking photographs! For fear of being slightly biased, I think this one's rather good...

26 June 2007

Says it all, really

We stress that our quads are individuals. And they're very different - by appearances and personalities! But somehow, they're glued together differently than other siblings... Last week Mathias and Thomas were going away to some birthday party, and Filip - unusually reflective - stated:
But I belong with them! And they are part of me!

... Before he went back to playing his brand new Nintendo DS Lite and relishing in a little alone time...

24 June 2007

This is my life (yeah, I Robbed that)

It took me 38 1/2 year, but I think I've figured it out now. I think I know what is me. These are all me, at various ages. (Note how the only grumpy face is me in a dress - and a headscarf! What were they thinking... And the only made-up face is from our wedding.) I've always loved being with kids, and having my own (here with Jakob) is no exception.I've always felt alright about me, about life, about what's happening. I tend not to dwell on what's not so good - in fact I actually forget the worst bits, and then I'm truly surprised when others drag old stuff back out again.

There are always things - about myself mostly - that I wouldn't mind seeing changed. I could've been smaller, I could have been calmer around my kids (or they could start listening, it's an option...), I could've spent less time in fron of this screen... But basically, I'm content. In fact, blogging / fooling around online keeps me content. And real life makes it all add up to happy.

It's been like that for a while already. But only recently I've made some sort of self-knowledge. At 38 1/2 it's like I woke up, stopped up, to think - hey, this is me!
This is me. I have done a lot of waiting. I've waited to grow up. I've waited to become slim (pah!). I've waited to somehow fit into 'adult woman' kind of clothes. Or conversation. But I'll stop all that. This is who I am and I really don't want to be anybody else. (Ok, I guess I'd stay myself even if I lost a pound or two. But I'm digressing. As usual...) I'll never enjoy dressing up, or cocktail parties, or exquisite food*. I'll enjoy snooker, blogging, pizza, rock concerts. And I will have an LFC tattoo after sun & bathing season...

*Seriously, I think gourmet food - 1 shrimp finely adorned in seaweed on a plate / 2 squid legs tied in a bow and spattered with liquer / 1 strip of red meat on a bed of fungus ... You get the idea - is all some lame excuse to distinguish between classy and not so classy people. I'm right there with the not so classy. And I thrive there...

22 June 2007

One down - 47 to go

Wednesday night, brushing his teeth, Mathias suddenly went "my tooth!" - and it was indeed missing. The first of the quads to lose a tooth! He was so proud... And luckily hubby managed to retrieve it from the pipe, so the tooth fairy didn't have to leave emptyhanded...

(Of course, Mathias hasn't got that many teeth... I just figured they all need to lose 12!)

20 June 2007

I've got a fan!

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That's so sweet of you! But the house? Personally, I think it's a little over the top...

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17 June 2007

Things that I enjoy (as you can see...)

- Travelling- Hanging on the outside of the cable car
- Lying on the pavement in front of Nicholas Cage's house (to be sold)
- Sitting on the bus with my niece's "job" (beautiful boy)
- Watching San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge from the headlands

= holidays

14 June 2007

current favourite song

I just found them (on ilike), and I haven't to listened to any of their other songs, but this, i like. A lot.

And it's breaking my heart that it's unavailable as a download (itunes, limewire, whatever...), I'd have to buy the cd and have it sent from somewhere. Takes too long!

Update: Chloe just sent it to me! She's such an angel :o)

13 June 2007

7 years ago today

7 years ago today, at about this hour (9 AM), I was wheeled into the operating theatre. And a theatre it was - there were 6 people in with me (not counting hubby, who had to leave when I had that general anaesthesia), and in the adjoining room, with glass walls to hours, there were 25 people eagerly watching!

Yes, delivering quads is still pretty big over here... Those who were supposed to go home after their shift just wouldn't leave... And the rest? 4 paediatricians, 4 special this-nurses, 4 special-that nurses. And 4 other doctors I can't for the life of me remember what was supposed to be doing. Keeping the incubators warm, possibly?


I was wheeled in. The anaesthetist told me to curve my back. You try that with four kids in your stomach... Well, I tried. And he tried the needle in my spine. 7 times. And it hurt like anything, but there wasn't a lot I could do. Finally, he was satisfied, and the doctor started his knifing... And it may have been just that I'd been awake for two days, or that I'm a big sissy, but when I started feeling what he was doing, I screamed. Or shouted, at least. And the gynaecologist immediately lifted his hands, bless him, and said "I can't work like this. Put her out". And I was blessed with sleep...

At 11:09, Thomas was out. 11:10 - Mathias, 11:11 - Anna and (you guessed it...) 11:12 Filip was out. All rushed into the adjoining room, checked, put in incubators on wheels, and then rushed through the corridor. Past my waiting hubby who just caught glimpses of his new 4 kids! I was still sound asleep until 2 PM or so...

And today? Anna is away with all the girls in her class, they stayed over in the cabin of one of them. The boys were reading & playing nintendo before they left for school. They're all so big now! Happy 4 x 7, my darling ones :o)

10 June 2007

Pier 39

We were told we were acting like real tourists, going to Pier 39. But we didn't take offense - we were real tourists... (Besides, Oxford street is very touristy, but if you're in London...) Pier 39 has great shopping (tourist stuff, that is...). It also had a number of chocolate / ice cream / refreshment places :o)
View from Pier 39 towards Coit tower and Transamerica pyramid View to Alcatraz and Angel island [thanks, Claire :) ] While we were shopping, we heard some really strange noises. My sister and I turned a corner, and - voilá! Sea lions, hundreds of them! We obviously hadn't read the right guidebooks, and didn't know about them, but there they were... Almost like being in the middle of a BBC nature programme. Only Mr. Attenborough was nowhere to be seen.
So - did I buy anything for myself? I did. I bought two pairs of these... One pair just like this one, magnificently captured in this photo by r (well, those are his, I guess, but mine are exactly the same).
... and this is Rufus, at the very end of this video, explaining about the Coit tower (forward to 4:10 if you just want that - although the song is good too, and his smile - great...)

Palace of fine arts

It's turning into a pure photoblog, this... But I've only got a few more places in San Francisco to show you. And then maybe some odds and ends...
Pretty impressive size...
I didn't manage to capture any of the turtles in the pond on film (you know, on memory chip..), but they were there - as were the giant goldfish...
Weird to think it was all built in 1915 - not 15 AD. And that it was built mainly of plaster... But since people liked it so much, they didn't pull it down and had to be refurbished for zillions of dollars later. Americans... Gotta lov'em ;)
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08 June 2007

Norway really isn't that bad either... II

On the way down to the sea are some of my favourite houses. I wouldn't mind any of these... And then the building with the best view of all - a carport!

Norway really isn't that bad either...

Today - apparently - it's the warmest June 8th since forever around here. That is, since they started writing it down back in 1811 or something. It's been 31º C (87.8 F) in the shade. And in case you're wondering - that's not normal for this place... Even midsummer. The kids are outside, running through the neighbour's sprinkler and having a blast. Ice creams are consumed by the dozen. (Well, there are 7 kids here, mine and two friends...)

A couple of days ago I took a walk down to the sea, a little early for a proper sunset, but still a gorgeous night for a walk! Unlike southern Europe et al, the sun takes a long time to set here, and it doesn't get properly dark again until September-October (I've already forgotten, see?). In Lofoten, of course, the sun doesn't set at all between late May and late July. Can't wait to go back there :)

Walking back up from the sea (pretty steep path for an old woman like me...) I hooked up with another walker, a young man in his twenties, pretty cute... He started talking, and as the climb more or less took my breath away, he kept up the talk. And when we reached the road, we both talked... He was just really nice, told me about his daughter, about how long he'd lived here and how much he liked it here. It's just very un-Norwegian to start talking to someone like that, but it made the walk even more pleasant.

Next time I'll take hubby down for the same walk, if only someone would babysit. Maybe my new friend and his daughter?

The Castro

Walking down 17th Street from Haight to the Castro - and getting thereIt doesn't really show on the photo, but this local cinema was having a "Grease - singalong" night. I felt that was very appropriate :)
Rufus sings about 14th street - and even though I don't know for a fact that it's this one, I think it's a fair assumption. I forced my sister to stand in the middle of the street just so she could take this one. Fortunately, traffic was low... Just after she took this picture, a little old lady walked up to us and actually straight onto us. Pushing us aside as she walked. My sister commented on this in Norwegian. The little lady turned around - really slowly... "I've got a steel knee and I have to walk in a straight line", she explained. (Q: Did she understand Norwegian??) Then continued - "I'm 81 years old, I've lived here all my life. Tomorrow will be another fine day like this, and then the temperatures will drop". (Q: did her steel knee tell her this?) "What did you want to photograph here? There's a nice church just down ..." At this point she waved a hand in the general direction of Mission Dolores and then left us, trying to make it across the street on green...
We'd already been to Mission Dolores. Unfortunately, it was closed for some reason (though the sign stated the opposite), so we only got to see the outside.
Quite pretty on the outside too, though!
- is that bullet holes...?
Bagdad café, where we lunched. And learnt that "small portion" is actually ample...
So, was the Castro really different? Of course, there were rainbow flags everywhere. (Incidentally, last time I was in Rome, a few years back, there were rainbow flags everywhere there too - only they were symbols of peace, and used by the 'Americans out of Iraq' movement...) I saw 4-5 couples (one female) holding hands or holding their arms around eachother. I know I saw two guys in drag, possibly a third one but it could have been a girl... And there was that giant poster advertising family planning; two hot guys holding eachother and a woman standing discreetly a little way off - the tummy mummy? Other than that, it was just a really nice neighbourhood. Beautiful houses, clean, friendly, with some great bookshops (I didn't visit any other kinds of shops, come to think of it), and a lot of cute guys walking around...
Really don't see why this would have to happen only in the Castro, though. I'm all for people holding hands, whatever their preferences may be. And I really dislike people making out right in front of me even if they're as straight as nails...

Chinatown and me

I felt like I was in China. I also felt as if I were 7 feet tall. But I'm afraid these two lousy photographs were the only ones I took, I was a bit overwhelmed, to be honest... (Also, I bought winter jackets for everyone in my family, carrying the 7 of them around possibly cramped my photo-taking opportunities... But they were $13.99 each, how could I not!)
I went to the post office in Chinatown (the cards that made it to people like you were sent from here) - and immediately started looking around for cameras. Surely this was a shooting for a film "supposedly set in China"? But no, this was America, and the facts that a) I was the only non-Chinese around, and b) that I learnt "next in line" in Chinese while waiting (long forgotten now...) only added to the feeling of genuineness.
I've never been to China. But this felt like the real thing, nothing staged for the likes of me. People were going about their business - which just happened to be in San Francisco...

What, exactly, are friends for?

You know the old saying that's what friends are for. And I'm not questioning what friends are for. Not friends.

But - in the last few days I've gotten 39 friends (and counting...) on my new fav
iLike. Most of them I've found and clicked on "add to friends" myself, some of them have come to me and done the same. All but one have an outstanding taste in music (= same as mine...). The last one also has an outstanding taste in music, although iLike claims we're only medium compatible. Yet he keeps listening to the same music as me, so we weren't too bothered by the score...

38 of my new best friends are male (well, I like guys, what can I say... Besides, I apparently have very manly musical tastes...). The only girl isn't just highly compatible - she's also Greek and the current leader of the iLike challenge music quiz, so how could we not be friends?!

Also, some I've added on myspace and one even on facebook. Which means they're about as good as bluddies... Some have even got their own very readable blogs, like Eric R. Now, reading his blog and knowing his music taste sort of adds to the experience!

I admit it, I love finding new friends. And making friends whom you already know have a great music taste is, well, great! Mine are from 15 years old to about 60 - they're from Mexico, Belgium, Iran, the US, Norway even... Excellent.

- But what, exactly, are these friends for? Do they fill a void in my social life? Will I invite them to the kids' birthdays next week? Are they already making plans to come and visit? Or am I in desperate need of a life...? For whatever reason - welcome :)

P.S. The good thing is, this doesn't really interfere with work, either. Listening to my ipod on itunes feeds iLike and keeps my new friends up-to-date with what I like even when I'm not logged in. How simple is that?