Dec 29, 2004

Over 70 000 dead.

I was telling my boss yesterday that this'll be the disaster of my lifetime. Not only are the nations directly hit by the tsunamis affected, but the tourists from other nations are also affected. 3 000 Norwegians were vacationing in Thailand, and as of this writing, 300 are still not accounted for. For Sweden, the numbers are much higher. Tamils living in Norway have lost many family members on Sri Lanka. And the earthquake was so huge, it even shifted the planet a little!

I'm trying to understand why this is affecting me so. There have been other disasters and – awful as this sounds – 70 000 is nothing compared to the millions that have died of hunger and disease in Africa over the years. So why is this particular event getting my attention?

The only thing I can say is, I'm not alone. Many Norwegians are choosing to spend less money on fireworks for this New Year's celebration, and giving money to various humanitarian organizations to help the victims of the tsunamis. Also, Norway's bishops have asked for one minute's silence at the stroke of midnight. So I am looking forward to a quiet New Year's Eve for more than one reason.

Dec 11, 2004

40 questions (as it turns out)

Stolen from Ultraviolet

1. Name the last four things you have bought:

Ack, my darned attention deficiency! Uhm, oh! Bejeweled 2 for my Zire 72, and, ah... Can we do last four things I actually remember? OK, new mouse with right button and scroll wheel and pretty little yellow and orange fishes on a blue background; Christmas decorations for my Mom and a friend and a big Christmas ornament showing Bryggen for me, and, er, oh, the groceries. (Hrmph. Nobody said it'd be on the test.)

2. Name four drinks you regularly drink:

Easy! Coffee, coffee, coffee and water.

3. Last time you cried?

If almost counts, last night. If actual tears, then day before yesterday, when I laughed so hard, I cried. Good ol' fashioned bawl? Last year, I think.

4. What's in your CD player?

Cat fur. CDs play well in spite of that.

5. What's under your bed?

You don't wanna go there. Trust me.

6. What time did you wake up today?

What? I was supposed to notice the time? I can tell you when I got up: 10:48 am.

7. Current hair?

See pic on homepage.

8. Current clothes?

Chocolate brown sweater with my gold dolphin pin and baggy beige pants not suitable for public appearances, but ever so comfy.

9. Current desktop picture?

*grin* A picture of Bryggen taken Wednesday.

10. Current worry?

Right this minute? Not a one.

11. Current hate?

The holiday season though it's more of a disgruntlement than a hate.

12. Favorite places to be?

In the sofa, with a good movie on the TV, and my cat in my lap, or having a great conversation with good friends. Or in the middle of a gorgeous landscape, watching a gorgeous sunset.

13. Least favorite place?

My own negative thoughts.

14. If you could play an instrument?

Whadya mean, "if"? I used to strum the gitar and blow a clarinet. Now I don't care if I can or not.

15. Favorite color?

A sort of lavender blue: #9988FF-ish

16. How tall are you?

5 feet 4 inches or 163 cm. Still.

17. Favorite expression?

Like motto or saying or just what pops out of my mouth without thinking? No motto, no saying, and that last is "cool".

18. One person from your past you wish you could go back and talk to:

My grandpa.

19. Favorite day?


20. Where would you like to go?

To the kitchen, to get a glass of water.

21. Where do you want to live when you get married?


22. Favorite food?


23. Color of most clothes you own:

Navy, dark brown, black, red.

24. Number of pillows you sleep with?

One plump, one flat, side by side and my head on the crack.

25. What do you wear when you go to sleep:

T-shirt, nightgown, anything that'll cover my shoulders.

26. What were you doing 12AM last night:

Buying a bus ticket.

27. How old will you be in 10 yrs:

54. Ooh, that looks weird!

28. What do you think you'll be doing in 10 years:

Who the he** knows. I can't even tell you what I'll be doing in 10 days!

29. Do you have braces?


30. Are you paranoid?!

No. ...Is that extra exclamation point there trying to get me?

31. Do you burn or tan?


32. What is the brand of your wallet?

Brand? You made me go look. What brand has a horse's head and neck, kind of like a chess piece, as a logo? Considering how old my wallet is, are they even still in business?

33. First piercing/tattoo?

Ear lobes at age 13, the fun way, with a needle. Holes closed due to an infection, so I got pierced again at age 14, with a stud gun. Nothing else and wouldn't dream of it. Too much fuss and pain.

34. First enemy?

Don't know of any. Nor am I anyone's enemy. I was bullied in school but never thought of my bullyers as enemies. I mostly thought of them as utter nuisances, idiots and wastes of skin.

35. Last person you yelled at?

My cat. She's a person to me, and I took my frustrations last night out on her big time. I am so lucky, though. She never holds a grudge.

36. Last crush?

Last night. Suddenly made eye contact with a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Have no clue who he was.

37. Last thing you ate?



38. Does it bug you that this quiz ends at number 37?


39. Why?

I was just starting to get bored.

40. How about 40?

Now I'm bored. 42'd be cool, though.


To relieve any boredom you may have experienced reading the above, here's some creativity to enjoy: It's cool!

My thoughts about things not being what they were

I never thought I would "outgrow" company parties. When I started as a young thing, all generations were represented at the parties and no one was left out. I feel I've lost touch with people, and I wonder (yet again) if my future lays with this company.

I just turned 44 (on Dec 3rd), and though that feels like nothing to me (I still feel young inside), I realize my years of being the youngest must be nearing their end. You see, I have always been the youngest in class (with one exception), and in the various departments I've been in at work. Even when my current department was hiring a printer, my boss managed to hire an old friend about his age (50-ish), so I remain the youngest. (The other candidate considered for hiring was 29.) We now have a very high average age in my department, and sometimes I think I should leave it and take my weird "jinx" with me, so they can hire some younger folks and have a future.

Where would I go, though? That I haven't figured out. I do like my job and co-workers. Perhaps I'm just not desperate enough. Yet.

It sucks to be me

No, it doesn't, really. But right now it does. Rather, some parts of my life suck.

Every year, my employer throws a big Christmas ball. Attendance is voluntary and with a "deductible". With the exception of one year, our ball is held at the same hotel every year. I've been employed by the same company for over 21 years, and have attended the ball at least 10 times. It's a tradition and I love the elegant ladies and stylish gentlemen. Also, we are a dancing bunch. The folks from my firm love to boogie. A good band is more important than good food.

My body isn't what it used to be; I've lost my waistline completely. Now I'm going to try some a yoga programme to try to lose weight. (In case you're wondering, the positions are: Warrior, Candle, Bow, Plough, Fish, Pulling in the stomach, Pump and Twist.) Anyway, this meant shopping for new clothes for Christmas, and I found a long, satiny black skirt that fit well and which I wore with a black long-sleeved velvet top to the ball. I didn't feel as sexy as I used to, but I was elegant and felt comfortable.

So what sucked?

Well, struggling to try to get as elegant as I could left me in a less than favorable mood before going to the ball. I yelled at my cat and that bothered me. Then sitting at the dinner table, with a boring first course, then a main course with dry meat but a good sauce, then my least favorite type of dessert (ice cream) didn't help. As food goes, it was good. As dinners at a fine hotel for a Christmas ball goes, it was disappointingly plain. And why isn't white wine served chilled any more? Did I miss something?

I was restless during dinner. My dinner companions were sweet and interesting and I didn't lack for conversation, but the rest of it, with a choir singing and the CEO's speech, etc., just felt like an unwelcome interruption to me. I just wanted to finish my meal and start dancing.

Ah, yes, the dancing. As with last year, I was abandoned by the gentleman I was seated with, and found myself not the first on the dance floor. I usually am. As with last year, I had no patience, no one to go talk to while waiting to be asked up, and didn't spot anyone to ask for a dance. I felt invisible.

Since I prefer to actually be alone rather than feeling alone in a crowd, I left, and was home a little after midnight.

It was a relief to be home early, but that wasn't the point of going to the party!

I don't understand why this happens, if it's astrological or just times a-changing. One theory I have is based on my observations in how co-workers interact at the company parties now. In recent years, they have become far more cliqueish, hanging very closely together with people they work with daily, showing little interest in mingling with others.

At any rate, the Christmas ball will no longer be one of my traditions. I'll have to find somewhere else to be elegant.