Dec 27, 2002

Feil måte å starte dagen på: Våkne til nyheten om at Kjell Aukrust er død. :-(

Dec 26, 2002

I'm superstitious about spiders. I jinx them.

Every so often, one will enter my bedroom or bathroom through my open windows and settle down somewhere on the ceiling. I tend to give them names. Inevitably, after I do that, they die.

A spider moved into my bathroom about 2 months ago. I didn't name it. It stayed in my bathroom, alive and well, until I decided to ask about the hibernating habits of spiders. (Why else would it be on my bathroom ceiling for so long?). I knew I shouldn't. I could feel that drawing attention to it was akin to naming it. And sure enough, as soon as I posted my question on Usenet, the spider was gone, it's web torn. I haven't seen it in several days. I actually miss it.

When I came back to Norway, I took an "Interrail" trip with some friends. This meant bringing our own food. My favorite on sandwiches was the all-American peanut butter and jelly. My Norwegian friends thought it was gross. Well, my dear Norwegian friends, here's more edible grossness from "over there": Reindeer poop.

An alternative in Norway is to take a candy like Toffin (one of my favorites) and deliver the Reindeer poop poem (see link) with it. (Snowman poop includes marshmallows.)

I kid you not. :-)

Dec 23, 2002

(Am testing stylesheets and working on a new layout scheme for my website.)

Keeras juletre/Keera's Christmas TreePå bytur i julestria (juletreet til venstre er mitt og måtte bli igjen hjemme):

  • Gammel dame med stokk og skuldervesken rundt halsen, dinglende foran på brystet, i pelskåpe i full lengde
  • På runde rundt "Lillelungeren", for å se på kaier (det er visstnok en stor koloni med dem på Nesttun – ikke i Fyllingsdalen), og diverse måkearter inkludert den sjeldne hettemåken
  • Man henger opp pynten i Strandgaten uten å holde den tent
  • Akvariet i Star Tours butikkvindu har noen av de blåeste fiskene jeg har sett
  • Malabar i gamle Telegrafen har god atmosfære og god mat, men servicen er litt treg og den norske kaffen var ikke god nok
  • Torgalmenningens mange juletrær veide opp for de manglende lysene i Strandgaten
  • Fuglene i Bystasjon-enden av Lille Lungegårdsvannet er mer skevtne enn de i Festplass-enden. De får oftere mat ved sistnevnte
  • Dette er årstiden for dritne biler og busser. Bergen-Trondheim ekspressen var så skitten at det var umulig å lese noe av det som var på bakenden
  • Julelåter på mobiltelefon med dyremønster
  • Folk som selger kristtorn hvorsomhelst
  • Gamle damer som matchet hverandre: Den ene med Burberry veske, den andre med Burberry skjerf
  • Folk som smiler midt i julestresset nettopp fordi det er jul
  • Jeg smiler igjen. Jeg er ferdig med julegaveinnkjøpene og kan nyte JUL

OK, something is pushing on my Saturn, I guess, which is at 16 degrees of Capricorn. 3 times today I had to get after people who weren't doing their job right. (Saturn and Capricorn rule bosses, if not bossiness.) It wasn't intentional.

  1. I saw a blind couple heading towards my bus stop when the bus arrived. I got on, and then the bus driver immediately started to pull out. I pointed out the couple trying to hurry. The bus driver didn't catch on. More intensely, I again pointed out the couple and that they were blind. (Obvious to me: They had a seeing-eye dog with them.) The bus driver finally waited for them.
  2. I bought a calendar to be gift-wrapped and a book for myself to read. While one clerk gift-wrapped the calendar, another clerk started fiddling with the book still on the counter. I said it was mine, paid for, I was waiting for another purchase. She proceded to put the book in a small bag (that was too small for the calendar). I asked her to just leave it because I didn't want two bags. She didn't hear me. I ended up taking the book out of its bag myself.
  3. Coffee shop. Ordered a pasta dish and a glass of wine. Sat down. Expected the drink to arrive rather quickly. After a while I realized that wasn't going to happen, so I went back to the cashier/waitress and asked if I couldn't have my wine now while I waited for my food. The look on her face told me she'd completely forgotten about it. I got my wine immediately.

I have to laugh at things like this. It's like there's a theme for the day. I was in town with a friend and he said it was a stressful day. Oh? I said. Did you know that the Moon is in 16 Leo right now, squaring Venus at 16 Scorpio? Moon is, among other things, the public and emotions. Venus is, among other things, a hostess, someone meant to make you feel at ease. The two were at odds with (square) each other for a while today.

Dec 18, 2002

Today we started the work day with a so-called Christmas breakfast, music and carols. Part of the lyrics in the Christmas carols we sang are about praising the our Saviour who ensures us eternal life and the end of death. In "Mary's Boy Child" the line is "[...]man will live forever more because of Christmas day". Which always gets me thinking.

I am not Christian, though I was raised in a Christian culture. I believe in reincarnation. Christianity just doesn't make sense to me without reincarnation, but today's Christians talk as if there is only this one life. So I decided to go Googling. I found this article series on Christ and reincarnation, www.near-death.com/origen.html (Origen's thinking echos a lot of my own). For the record, the claims at the above site are refuted at this Christian site. This is, however, the modern view. There have been councils held, where theology and doctrine were discussed, and interpretations settled and some even discarded – which includes reincarnation.

Dec 15, 2002

One on-line comic I enjoy is Real Life Adventures. Today's strip helped a penny drop for me. In Norway, there are no double-sized duvets, i.e. nothing big enough to cover two. All duvets are single-sized (this probably applies to all the Nordic countries). That makes sense in a cold climate; it keeps your partner from stealing the covers.

Dec 9, 2002

Litt oppgulp i dag: Jeg har oppdaget hva som er en "rød klut" for meg: Når folk snakker om USA og bruker frasen "God's own country". Den frasen irriterer meg. Den har alltid irritert meg, selv da jeg bodde i USA. Jeg synes den er tullete. Gud finnes overalt. Pussig nok er det kun et par Amerika-frelste nordmenn som har brukt frasen overfor meg. Jeg hører den ikke av amerikanere – annet enn som ironi.

Jeg sliter med å være like begeistret for USA nå som jeg var før. Jeg er så veldig uenig i mye av det USA foretar seg, både innenriks og utenriks. Selve folket er hyggelige og oppegående nok. Det er styre og stell som er problemet. Men det er et kjent problem også her til lands: Nordmenn flest er hyggelige og intelligente; norske politikere er noen idioter. :-)

Dec 7, 2002

Som de sier: En god gjerning går ikke ustraffet. Jeg måtte jo fortelle gjengen på no.it.os.mac.diverse om bloggen min. Ettersom jeg hadde vært på julebord og hadde prøvd et par forskjellige akevitter (mer om det senere), signerte jeg posten min med "Sånn. Nå har jeg også postet med promille." (Lagret for alltid hos Google.)

Hvorpå Knut A. G. Hauge (KAGH) kvitterte med følgende "luke" i sin egen adventskalender 2002 Det verste er at jeg ler like godt og høyt hver gang jeg ser den stripen.

Dec 5, 2002

Jeg er svært glad i bisarr humor a la Gary Larson. I bladet "Pondus" finnes en likeverdig galning med signaturen KAGH som lager en-rutes vitser i beste Larson/Bizarro stil. Noen ganger enda bedre, og som bonus: Ofte så norsk at det er uoversettelig.

Knut A. G. Hauge bruker Mac og det gjør jeg også, og vi vanker begge på no.it.os.mac.diverse. Nå figurerer han på www.trondheimstegnerne.com/.

Jeg er litt rar sånn: Jeg blir får stjerner i øynene av å få kontakt med folk som faktisk har fått publisert noe. Jeg føler at jeg "kjenner" KAGH fordi jeg (og flere andre) en gang prøvde å hjelpe ham med et noe sært Mac/Photoshop problem og trykke-deadline nærmet seg styggfort. Vel, jeg synes i hvert fall at det hele er kult hver gang jeg leser KAGHs striper.

Dec 3, 2002

Today's my birthday! I got a new toy: A digital camera! Hopefully I'll be able to show you some of the things I observe. That also means revamping my blog page.

It's been an intense day in a cheerful, scatterbrained and busy way, but then, not only the Sun is in Sagittarius; so is Mercury, Moon and Pluto. Adds up, all that Sag cheerfulness, distraction and multi-tasking. ;-)

PS: I'm finally feeling better about the situation with my grandma. We had a delicious birthday cake together today.

Ever notice crows? The ones where I live are black and gray: Black heads and beaks, gray shoulders and belly, and black wingtips, tail and feet. I just noticed that their beaks are so smooth they reflect the light. A couple of crows are wandering around on the terraced roof of my office building. For a moment I thought they had white beaks, until I realized it was the sun reflecting off them. The same light makes their black heads look very black and glossy.

Crows are not as pretty-looking as magpies, but they seem more magical. There is the "kråketing", as the Norwegians say, the crow's congress. The crows gather by the dozens in one tree and seem to hold a meeting. Their close relative, the raven, is featured in many mythologies, including the Norse. The god Odin knew what was happening because of his two ravens, Hugin and Munin (pronounced Hewgin and Mewnin).

It was actually relaxing to just stop for a moment and watch the crows wander lazily on the gravelled roof, taking a closer look (peck) at what may be interesting, in the soft, golden light of the low winter sun.

Dec 2, 2002

Pop, pop, pop a pill
See how it makes you feel
See if what makes you ill
Goes away
Pop, pop, pop a pill
See how it makes you feel
See if it takes away your ill
Today

I just found out my grandmother has been put on Zoloft. She has been in a reconvalescent home after breaking her arm, has been quite horrified at what the others look like (how infirm and old they are), has osteoporosis and a joint infection and so has a lot of pain, and she's been homesick. The doctor asked my grandmother how she felt, my grandmother answered "terrible", and the doctor concluded she is depressed. My grandmother thinks Zoloft is a pain-reliever. Right now, it's side-effect is to give her more pain.

I am an irritable person but I rarely get angry. Today I got so mad I yelled at the doctor (who yelled back and called me names) and I've had a knot in my stomach all day. The doctor did not agree in taking my grandmother off Zoloft at home to see if her mood would improve once she was away from the institution (and if it didn't, put her back on Zoloft). That's why I got mad.

I can't do anything. My grandmother is in possession of all her faculties and she herself answered "yes". (Everyone is conveniently forgetting that my grandma is 92 and does not speak Norwegian nor understand it well, and the doctor is herself a foreigner with an accent so thick even I couldn't understand her.)

It's too easy for some doctors to tell you to just pop, pop, pop a pill.

Dec 1, 2002

I opened the balcony door a bit so the cat could go in and out. Suddenly the cat rushed back in, low to the floor and I heard magpies making a racket. I guess they had discovered the cat. I went and stood in the balcony doorway. There were four birds in the birch tree opposite my balcony: A chickadee, a starling and two magpies. Some more squawking from the magpies, and two more settled in the tree, along with another starling a couple more chickadees. As I watched, over a half-dozen chickadees arrived to settle in the top of the birch. One "dive-bombed" my balcony a couple of times.

I thought of the Hitchcock movie "The Birds" and then got curious about where "The Birds" author Daphne du Maurier got her idea from. Turns out, she got them from seagulls, and she describes a site I've seen a lot here in Norway.

That said, I wish I had a camera. I didn't mind seeing all the birds in one tree, though my cat was reluctant to go back out on the balcony.