Monday, November 30, 2009
Gomorra by Roberto Saviano – AUDIO
Det tredje tegnet by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir
Midtvinterblod by Mons Kallentoft
Skumringstimen by Johan Theorin – AUDIO
Svenska skurkar by Stig Linnell
Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Sirkelens ende by Tom Egeland – AUDIO
Leoparden by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Night by Elie Wiesel – AUDIO
The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi
Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts
Fjellet by Arnaldur Indridason – AUDIO
Afrikanen by Jean Marie Gustave le Clezio – AUDIO
Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris
Stolthet og fordom by Jane Austen – AUDIO
The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps by Michel Faber
Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell
Helt konge by Øystein Sørensen
12 printed books, 3,128 pages.
7 audiobooks, 66h 38m.
Det tredje tegnet. I'll be doing a video review of this book shortly. It's a great read - an entertaining Icelandic thriller with great characters, a fascinating plot, and also surprisingly well translated in the Norwegian edition that I read. I'm really looking forward to reading more books by this author, who was entirely new to me when I picked up the book at a BookCrossing meetup. Thanks to Tine1971 for recommending it so warmly. :-)
I have to say ... The Great Derangement. Perhaps slightly outdated in some sections, but more than makes up for that by being very well written, entertaining, insightful and intelligent.
Oh, how to choose?? This has been a great month for audiobooks. :-) If I have to pick one, I think I have to say Skumringstimen. I really enjoyed that book tremendously. I'm already reading the author's second novel. :-)
Books with no links will be reviewed on my book blog before too long. :-)
So much for reading. I can't let Keanu Monday pass without mention. ;-) Check out this blog entry, here. It's somewhat interesting ... partly because of the Keanu content, although I realize this may not appeal to all my readers ;-) and partly because of the statements the writer makes about her supposed intuition or whatever woo-type abilities it is that we're supposed to perceive in this account.
I can read everyone and pick up on so much information going on within them.
My intuition on him garnered prior to being in his presence says he knows much more about alternate realities.
The curse of magical thinking ...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Remember that I mentioned that this writer who I'm quoting here was going to be in Oslo and be interviewed? Well, she was and she did and I was there. :-) And I taped almost the whole thing. :-D So take a look at this - you won't be sorry, she was so entertaining and wonderful to listen to. This is the first of four parts; the other three are on my book blog, here.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
They're leaving on the 7:20 bus tomorrow night, and Anne Ida and I have tickets to see the movie at Colosseum at 8:45. ;-) I'm expecting the movie to be ... not all that, the least good of the three, but a total must-see anyway. And who cares in any case - any & all movie is entertaining on the big screen at Colosseum. :-)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This is a sign I saw on the subway on, let's see ... November 7th. I thought it was so funny, I had to take a picture of it. Fellow Osloites, have you seen this before?? I never saw it till that Saturday night. It's so cool, I love it when they do things like this.
It's a sign put up by the city transport company on board a subway train on which they're doing something with the expression 'mind the gap' ... but it doesn't really translate. All the funny disappears in translation. :-)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Chiara composed this song herself, and she wrote the lyrics too, so she really competed in every possible way. :-) She competed for Malta on Thursday, May 19th, and Saturday, May 21st, 2005 in the Palace of Sports in Kyiv.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
But He loves you.
He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Getting to the zoo is easy from downtown, just jump on a streetcar - I don't remember which line, but the stop is called Warsaw Zoo :-) - and it takes about 20 minutes to get there.
Anyway ... we were there on a cold and rainy March day, so most of the animals were snuggled up inside. We didn't see a lot of them. :-) But I was mainly there to see the reptile house, so I was happy with our visit anyway. My mother was just there because I was there, so she didn't really care, she mostly just wanted to get it over with. :-D
I took a bunch of pictures, they weren't all that, but here are the best ones.
Welcome to Miejski Ogród Zoologiczny w Warsawie. :-)
The first animals we saw were the flamingos. They were out in the bad weather, looking a bit bedraggled by the rain.
Check out those legs. :-D
Some outdoor scenery. I bet this place looks wonderful in the summer ... when it's also teeming with visitors. The Warsaw Zoo is visited by approximately 600,000 people every year. About ten of them while we were there. :-)
I found Nemo! :-D
Seahorses. I love seahorses, they're completely fascinating creatures.
The elephants were kind of wrestling with each other and seemed to be bickering over a hole in the ground. I don't know what that was about. :-) But I got some wonderful shots of them. I was so thrilled to see them ... even though I am quite sceptical of the whole elephants in zoos thing. But that's a story for another blog post.
Friday, November 20, 2009
So, that really sucked. Fortunately a couple of the sales guys were going to be in the building most of the day, so I had them to help me out when it just got too busy. At least one of them was in the store most of the day, from around 10am when people really started coming in. It was busy too, surprisingly busy for a Friday ... didn't let up till closing time. And the store is pretty big, it's 1250 square meters ... obviously no way one person can keep track of that alone. So it was busy and I didn't get anything whatsoever done in terms of normal chores - inventory, stocking shelves, paperwork. And I also had to let almost all my incoming phone calls just be picked up by the switchboard at head office. So I guess some people may have been kind of pissed off at me since I was impossible to reach almost all day. But I can't risk getting dragged into something on the phone when a customer may need me at any time and there's literally not a single other person available to help them. :-(
In fact I know that some people were pissed off, because one of the abovementioned salesmen, F., took most of their calls. :-D And a few other screwups happened too that also really annoyed him. He came by to see me before he left for the day and was just really hanging his head ... he'd had a bad day, poor guy. So I told him a joke to cheer him up. He thought it was hilarious. Now I'm going to tell it to all of you too. But I can't promise that you'll agree with him.
OK, so, a married couple are living in a house that's in need of some repairs, but the husband's pretty lazy and isn't too eager to get all those little jobs done. His wife is constantly nagging him about it, but nothing ever gets done. The roof needs fixing, if nothing's done about it then it'll be starting to leak into the attic pretty soon, when are you gonna fix the roof?? The husband says sheesh, what am I, a roofer? The kitchen sink is dripping, everyone's going crazy with that sound, a gasket needs to be changed or something, when are you gonna do something about the sink?? The husband says sheesh, what am I, a plumber? Well, the railing on the porch is falling apart, it's getting dangerous, what if the kids lean on it and it breaks and they fall and hurt themselves, how are you gonna feel then?? When are you gonna fix up the porch?? The husband says sheesh, what am I, a carpenter?
You get the picture. So, it goes back and forth like this. But then one day the husband comes home from work and he sees that the roof is all fixed. He goes in the house, goes to the kitchen, and sure enough, the sink's not leaking anymore. Of course he has to check the porch, and would you look at that, a brand new railing's been put up. Wow! How has all this happened? He goes to find his wife and he asks her how all this stuff has been fixed all of a sudden. She says well, you know John from down the street, he's a real handyman, he can do all kinds of work? He came over and fixed some things around the house today. The husband says OK, wow, that was really nice of him. But he didn't do it all for free, did he? The wife says no, he didn't, but he didn't want money. He said I could either bake him a cake or I could have sex with him. OK, says the husband, I guess that's a good deal, so what kind of cake did you make? Sheesh, says the wife, what am I, a baker?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I found out about the challenge over at unfiltered perception. Thanks for the tip. :-)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So, a couple of guys come in the store the other day. They were, I want to say 50+. I'm not going to say where they work, but let's just say that if I were to mention it, nine out of ten Norwegians - at least - reading this would know the company. I ask them what they're looking for and they tell me that they've had some hassle from the health and safety people, and apparently they have to replace some things now for some reason. They need safety shoes for when they do inspections, can I help with that? Yes indeed, I sure can. At first I thought they only needed shoes - they were real talkers, these guys :-) - they told me about this and that and the other, we had a nice conversation. The funniest part was when they said that they'd been told by this inspector guy that they should go online and buy their shoes and the other stuff. (We have an online store option and this company are registered there, of course.) Buy shoes on the internet??! What the dang hell is that about?? No sir, that ain't gonna happen. No way, no how. They were funny. :-D
And here comes the really funny part. I found them some good shoes, and then they needed some other things too. Like helmets. Apparently now they had to replace their helmets too. There's no end to what these safety people are demanding. OK, so I asked the guy who said this - the other one was looking at gloves - how old his helmet was, the one that he had now. Oh, let's see ... he got that probably in 1990.
WTF are people thinking??? If this guy had actually ended up in some accident and that helmet had needed to take a hit, it would have broken apart into a million tiny pieces and his head would have busted open instead. It was nineteen years old. Jesus H Christ on a crutch. The other guy had a much newer one, though, it was only from 1996. Yeah, color me impressed. o_O
I sold them a couple of the new Solaris helmets from Peltor, which actually tell you when they need to be replaced, if that's before their three year life span is over anyway. They seemed to think that three years wasn't much to brag about, but here's hoping that the gadget freak in them will make them keep an eye on the sensor anyway. Here's hoping. :-D
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
You think I'm kidding? I'm not kidding. :-D
Seven hundred thousand dollars. Gotta love it! :-D
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
A house is not a home without a pet.
Well, I'm back home after the trip to Hurum, which went perfectly, exactly as planned, without a hitch. :-) The little guy wasn't too happy to see us at first, but he turned out to be quite confident and sociable, and very quickly asserted his presence. :-) He was also strong and healthy; a bit overweight, IMO - not fat, but chubby - but that can be sorted out. So there was no reason for him not to come with us ... and into the travel cage he went. With the heating pad, which I'm afraid was malfunctioning to some extent, and an insulating blanket.
He burrowed into the towel that I keep on the bottom of the travel cage. Much more than this, too. When we got home we had trouble digging him out of the folds of the towel, he was hard to find. :-D
We just had to let him out of the cage a little as soon as we got on the bus. Isn't he just too cute?? :-) I know he has quite a lot of algae on his carapace, but that's going to be scrubbed away very soon. :-)
Crispin, if you read this, beware - your toothbrush is in grave danger ... !!!
Are you lookin' at me?!
And here he is - little Anton - with his new twolegs, Anne Ida. Aw, precious. :-) Good luck to the two of you, I'm sure it'll go great. And you know where to find me if you have any questions about anything at all. :-) Thanks for the road trip and for dinner!!
More pictures here.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I filmed this during a fairtrade seminar here in Oslo which I attended in October. It was hosted by Friends Fair Trade.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is going to visit Norway next week. How cool is that. :-) She will be interviewed in the Wergeland Room at the House of Literature here in Oslo on Thursday, as part of their event series African Week. I will so be there. :-) If anyone's in Oslo then and wants to go too, let me know. I've already got tickets for me and my BookCrossing friend sota48, but it's not too late ... tickets are still available and the seats aren't numbered, so we'd all be able to sit together. ;-) I think it'll be really interesting. I hope they'll be allowing cameras; if so, I'll be recording at least parts of the event, so that'll be popping up here and/or over on my book blog. If you're not familiar with Adichie or her work, then you should really check it out. I so recommend both her wonderful novels, Purple Hibiscus and the amazing Half of a Yellow Sun. She also published a short story collection earlier this year, which she will probably be talking about on Thursday ... I haven't read that yet but I plan to do so soon. I'm sure it's wonderful too. :-)
So, at the House of Literature on Thursday, November 19th, at 7pm. Tickets are 80 crowns each, unless you're a student, in which case I think it's 50, and you can buy them online here. And almost all the other events are free entry. :-)
But before then there's something else I'm really looking forward to. Something turtle-related. :-) A friend, who shall remain nameless until, and if, s/he chooses to come forward (because of the ban on reptiles in this country, obviously) really wants a pet turtle ... a Chinemys reevesii like Herman and Henrik, because s/he has gotten to know them and thinks, of course, that they're just so adorable. ;-) S/he wants a male because of the size thing that I discussed in a previous blog post, here. Obviously you can't just buy a turtle in this country ... and even if you could, since my friend wants to be sure to get a male, it wouldn't necessarily work anyway if s/he could buy one over the counter or openly from a breeder in this country. Because that would be a baby and you can't always tell the sex when they're babies. So the way to go is to adopt an adult turtle or a juvenile that needs a new home. :-)
Which, just FYI, I would recommend anyway, because for one thing it's a very nice thing to do, and for another it's easier to care for an adult turtle than it is to raise a baby one.
Anyway ... because my friend hardly knows anything about reptiles other than in theory, and also doesn't know the reptile hobby scene at all, I was given the task of finding a turtle. Which took a while, mainly since this is a big country :-) but this past weekend, finally, success! :-) A couple out in Hurum have been trying for a while to find a new home for their reeves turtle, who is two years old or thereabouts, and who will now in all likelihood be moving to Oslo on Sunday. :-D
Aww, look at him, he's not happy. He doesn't want to show his plastron. But who does?? :-D His owners for their part haven't quite figured out the macro setting on their camera. But have no fear, I'm pretty sure that I'll be getting lots of chances to take better shots of him. ;-)
My friend is setting up the aquarium even as we speak - I think it was delivered today - and we're going on a road trip on Sunday to probably pick up the little guy. I say probably because obviously I can't advise my friend to adopt him if he's obviously ill in some way. That's mainly why I'm going along - since I'm so much more experienced with turtles it's a good idea for me to look this one over and make sure that there's nothing obviously wrong with him. Because that could potentially be very expensive for my friend. But I'm pretty sure he'll turn out to be fine. :-) His current owners seem like responsible people who will have taken good care of him ... and turtles are generally sturdy little critters. :-) So I'm in part also going along just for the fun of it. :-D
And don't worry, we're bringing a heating pad along to make sure he won't be cold on the trip. :-) I wish we could have done this in the summer, but like I said, turtles can't just be picked up on every street corner around here. Which is a good thing, don't get me wrong. But the situation's too extreme the way it is now. Oy vey. I'm really looking forward to Sunday, though. :-)
Oh, and Helge Reiss has died. Aw. :-( Professor Drøvel is no longer among us. :-( For some reason I always remember him as the Scarlet Pimpernel ... even though I remember pretty much nothing about that series. Or even if it was real or I just dreamed it. o_O He was 81 years old, so I guess he had a pretty good run. Working up till this year, doing one of the Norwegian voices for Up. One of the golden oldies. :-) RIP.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
But it just really get my hackles up the way this type of thing is reported in the media, and the way the general public responds to it. First of all I just hate the way it's always said that someone has been 'convicted of pedophilia'. Argh ... !! No! No one is ever 'convicted of pedophilia'! It's not illegal to be a pedophile! Would you say of a man who was sent to jail for raping a woman that he was 'convicted of heterosexuality'? Of course not. Because it isn't illegal to be a heterosexual, it isn't illegal to be a homosexual, and it isn't illegal to be a pedophile. What is illegal is to force your own sexual activities on others. But that is entirely unrelated to one's sexual orientation. In fact, AFAIK, a great many child abusers are not pedophiles. But still it's always the same thing - 'convicted of pedophilia'. One of the most commonly seen glaring inaccuracies in the media today.
It also really gets me the way people are so eager to demand the blood of anyone who's been 'convicted of pedophilia' ... or even when they haven't been convicted, as in these two ongoing cases. There was a report about it on the news tonight, which is what inspired this post ... they showed screenshots from Facebook saying things like 'pedophiles ought to be executed'. I mean ... what? We should kill people simply for being pedophiles? Even if they've never harmed a fly? That is so wrong on so many levels. :-(
But also of course people are wanting, nay, demanding, a sort of Megan's Law here in Norway. Sigh. They reject my reality and substitute their own ... o_O
Because the fact of the matter is that Megan's Law just doesn't work, and in fact often makes things worse. I'm not going into why, I've worked overtime today and I'm pretty tired ... but it's just the simple facts. It doesn't work and it doesn't make everything better and it doesn't keep your children safe. Read this excellent article, or if you're really interested, this study done by the US Department of Justice. And please, if you're ever in that situation, don't vote for or support any kind of Megan's Law without doing some serious research beforehand. If you're thinking right now that if we had that law, things would be so much better ... think again. The world is not as simple as you believe. :-(
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Spoiler alert below.
I went to see a movie yesterday that isn't in theaters yet ... not here, I mean. It'll open on December 4th. This was a preview screening hosted by the distributor, they'd hired one of the small screens at Colosseum. I'd gotten hold of a couple of free tickets, so I invited Anne Ida to go with me. Neither of us knew much about the movie beforehand; Anne Ida I think knew hardly anything :-) and I'd just heard that it's an extremely low-budget horror movie that's being talked about a lot and earning a shitload of money. I didn't know anything about the story or the actors and so on. But when it sounds kind of interesting and it's free, I personally don't worry much about the plot details.
Which are that there are really only two characters in the movie ... there are two more who are each in the movie for a few minutes, but basically we follow two characters, Micah and Katie. They're a couple who have been together for three years and live in what looks like a pretty new house in San Diego. There are weird things going on in the house ... but it isn't haunted, because whatever it is, it's not attached to the house, but to Katie. Strange things have been happening around her since she was eight, but recently they've gotten worse and it's starting to freak her out. As the movie opens, Micah has bought a camera with the intention of filming their everyday life, hoping to catch these paranormal activities on tape. He sets the camera up in their bedroom at night, etc. (But don't hope for anything too exciting; she makes him turn it off whenever they're going to do anything that's 'illegal in Kentucky'. ;-) He's something of a skeptic, he's not at all sure about what's happening, and he's definitely not convinced that it's dangerous. But as events progress, his opinions change ... >:-)
So this is basically The Blair Witch Project, except in someone's house and not in the big black woods. The camera captures lots of weirdness, they film each other at various times and the tape is also left running when they're out, on one memorable occasion. The situation escalates and gets progressively worse and scary things happen. Until ... :-o
Was it any good? Yeah, it's pretty good. The actors are good, I really bought this as a potential home video thing. I like the fact that they show us so little, and let us mostly just infer the scariness. What's mainly intended to scare the audience is the couple's reaction to what's going on. It works up to a point. Of course there's the typical silliness of thanking Micah and Katie's families in the opening credits, for allowing this footage to be used, etc ... which obviously nobody buys. I mean, come on. But if you can suspend your disbelief for about one hundred minutes, this is good entertainment. Well scripted, a good plot with talented actors. Don't expect too much, though - if you check out the movie on IMDb, you'll see lots of people saying that 'you won't sleep after seeing this', etc. Meh. If you're very high strung and overly nervous, maybe. I slept very well. ;-) But I did jump in my seat a couple of times, I'll admit that ... although it must also be said that those were the times when the movie practically begged me to do so. :-) *** I though the actors were convincing, and the plot was good, but I don't think any normally equipped adult will believe for a second that this is actually put together of footage left by a guy who died at home in mysterious circumstances after his girlfriend vanished without a trace. *** Oh, oops ... >:-)
The audience was filmed during this screening, so maybe you'll see a glimpse of us in the Norwegian trailer. Wahey.
Here's the official US trailer:
If you like psychological horror without blood and gore, then check out this movie, definitely. But don't expect to be scared awake all night. It's pretty good, but it's not that good. :-)
In theaters here in Norway on December 4th.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friedrich Nietzsche, Der Antichrist
Saturday, November 7, 2009
A couple of butterflies, Lepidoptera, in the rather ... inflatable-looking butterfly house.
Look at this one, its wings are hardly even there. Weirdness. :-)
The otters, Lutra lutra, were of course adorable. Squee. :-)
A couple of green iguanas, Iguana iguana, in the rainforest house where I sought shelter from the rain.
Aww. I so agree, we can't imagine what it must have been like. But I almost wish we could. :-)
A sloth, Folivora, still in the rainforest house. In Norwegian these animals are called dovendyr, which means lazy animal. V. appropriate. :-)
After the rain let up, I left the rainforest house and made my way towards the African section. Where so many fascinating animals were on display!! Warthogs, giraffes! Zebras and hunting dogs! Okapis and toilets! Wheee!!!
An African warthog, Phacochoerus africanus. A face only a mother could love.
One of the giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis, really wanted to go outside, but for some reason they weren't allowed to. Maybe it was too cold ... but on the other hand the door was partly open, letting the temperature in, so I'm not sure that makes sense. o_O
Oh, for the great outdoors ... !!