17

Norwegian Mentality

(The picture is from the Norwegian Horn Club. One that I found fitting to our mentality).

Norwegians are known to be positive people. We see solutions instead of problems, we're happy and sociable under the right conditions, and we're also serious drinkers!

Positive? What I mean by saying Norwegians are positive? I'll tell you what I mean.

Well, first of all, the first word in our national anthem is "yes". ("Ja, Vi Elsker"/"Yes, We Love", excellent title, no?) And such an excellent attitude as well! I think that pretty much sums it up. But because Norwegians are so much more than just that "Yes!" I'll continue.
We are raised with enthusiasm towards challenges, most of us are hard to put off - we're always zealous globally, to aid in the strive towards peace. Norwegians may seem shy and frightened of the world outside, we are known to be rather reserved towards strangers (bordering to rude), but towards the people we know? What other country can offer such an intensely eager population?

One of our past Prime ministers, Gro Harlem Bruntland said during her New Years' speech January 1st 1992 that "It's typically Norwegian to be good". What she meant by that exactly - have become a more or less controversial debate. The statement has the same dual meaning in Norwegian as it has in English. By this I mean that she could either have meant it as "It's typically Norwegian to be good ...(towards others)" or, that "It's typically Norwegian to be good ...(at the things they do)". Which is where I personally think that the Norwegian positive mind-set splits into the extro-positive and the self-positive.

We like to think of ourselves as a beautiful nation. Whenever we feel down, somebody can bring the albums out and point out that both Marilyn Monroe and Paris Hilton have Norwegian heritage. Beauty have become an interesting icon to our attitude towards patriotism (or at least how we feel about being Norwegian, and how that makes us beautiful, both physically and mentally). Being known as beautiful (or commonly misconcepted for being Swedes) we like to embrace the fact that we're a beautiful rare species! There are few Norwegians! And we are, I agree (I am Norwegian, I'm partial to our mentality), but we often forget that half the Norwegians on the planet (that is those who call themselves Norwegians) live in the USA. In addition to a couple of other madmen settled elsewhere - the Norwegians add up to approx 9. something million people.

Oh, you're laughing now, aren't you! I know you are! Shht! Really, I'm trying to shock the Norwegians! We are used to thinking that we make up a little less than 5 million people in Norway, never really to often consider the Norwegians that live elsewhere on the globe. And there you go again, that's how we perceive ourselves, not necessarily elitists, but better. Better than others. In a totally extrovert, open, warm and embracing, accepting, respective way. Like we totally tolerate and boggle at your country's achievements, but we still think (deep down) that if it had been done in Norway, or at least, by Norwegians - it would have been done a little better.

"Ja, Vi Elsker" actually continues with "dette landet". "Yes, we love this country".

We have our own flag printed on all our cucumbers, because we believe that only the Norwegian cucumbers are good enough for us to eat. No other country can make something up to Norwegian standard. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Norwegian guys use bubble-wrap condoms when they're abroad. That's the kind of self-possessed attitude I feel Norwegians can have sometimes. Strolling around with their blonde hair, waving and winking just like the foreign girls can't handle it.

Pfft--
It's not that impressive!
(and the "I POP BubbleWrap" blinkie in the sidebar suddenly seemed so inappropriate)
3

Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full

(Deluxe Edition)

I know none of you really bother to read the stuff I do about muzix. Probably mostly because I only listen to the type of stuff all you others never listen to. But in this case I'm afraid it will be difficult for me to refrain from reporting from my experiences from our very own Paul McCartney's newest album.

To begin with, I'm just going to say: Wise choice Paulie! Nice choice on selecting "Ever Present Past" as your release single from Memory Almost Full.

This might sound a little bitter, but I mean it. It was successfully managing to mislead the entire audience into believing that this album had this funky, upbeat, almost experimental electronic KICK to it. Because I bow to this song, it's most excellent.

It's just that after repeatedly twitching through this album - the only tunes that stick in a positive way are just "Mr. Bellamy", "Feet in the Clouds" - and "Ever Present Past" of course. I think he could have done better. Or, I don't think - I know! Even "Vintage Clothes" (such a funny theme, good melody to it) was kind of wasted by poor producing. Coming from one of the Beatles - it shouldn't have had this amateur sound to it. I'm an amateur though, not to pretend anything different! This record sold to Platinum in the US & A. It is just that - halfway through, he goes from the unconditionally playful style to something sounding a bit course and oldies. It also gets very "soulful", ghospel I'd say through "Gratitude" and "Nod Your Head". (Which by the way I believe are terrible tracks, sorry).

I don't mean to tread on any Paul McCartney fans out there (as believe it, or not - I like him too!) but this was to me a disappointment. Blame my expectations or my lack of knowledge on this one, but I wont go back on my words! He is certainly pushing his luck being his age (he's 66!), but let us all be a little conservative now - and he can just do "Hey Jude" until the sun comes up, because let's be honest. This wasn't good enough; no sir.
2

White Birch

During a most spontaneous raid through a record-shop the other night I came across a copy of The White Birch's "Come Up For Air", which I ended up buying on pure impulse. And it is such a fitting title because, it really leaves me breathless.

I'm not exactly known for having a heart made out of stone - as a matter of fact I cry very often over ridiculous things, like Disney films, Harry Potter books, the mentioning of a heaven for animals or a piece from Madama Butterfly. And the first track on "Come Up for Air" - "Seer Believer" by White Birch, it appears.

I am thrilled by this, because, it is just so low key and relaxing that I can handle listening to it just as much as I desire to. Whenever I find music I like I always make sure to keep it on repeat for as long as I can handle, and one of the great things about White Birch is that it lets me do exactly that! Obviously, it does remind one of Kings of Convenience (a comparison I think both those bands can handle without being anything but praised by it). It is though, a whole lot calmer - and it could obviously have been tweaked and polished into something less - may I say - generic? Even though White Birch is completely new to me, and I'm quite sure I have never heard of them before, their tunes do manage to seem oddly familiar. This might be because their tracks are quite similar to one another.

But I still love the atmosphere to it though! The album as an entirety is really well produced.

I think if I could recommend you an album right now to substitute the fact that Thomas Dybdahl is not releasing a new album this autumn, nor is Kings of Convenience - it would be White Birch's "Come Up for Air". I'm sure you will find it smooth and calm, almost ambient - with the mild and balanced blend of mellow male vocals and the gentle collaboration of guitar and percussion. Someone like you might be bored, surely. But you will listen to it again when it has grown on you.

It is like that. It's simple, lovely and Norwegian. Nothing else supplements autumn this well.
8

Where you go pidgeon?!!1 Edited!


(This is kind of like a re-post, or, actually I just moved the post into the future - which is pretty amazing to say the least! But I had to do it, because half the post disappeared when I published it. It even happened twice... Wise as i have grown of blogger though - I saved a copy of the post in its entirety as a draft in my mailbox! So - sorry about the inconvenience, but here we try again!)

Did I mention I'm thuper-dooper exthited about tharting th-choool? (Wearing my critical face next to Skjalg and Iselin).

Elin's off to England, which means I can't really hang out with her for the duration of the next few months. This could mean I have to get a new friend, but I'm not quite sure if I know how to. Well anyway, I made a most excellent Shepherds Pie today, my aunt (tante Bister)'s recipe. Actually I have been extremely inspired by her self-made cookbook (only partially filled with recipes, so that I could fill in the rest myself!). A great present indeed! It's in my shelf, next to Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli, also known as The Bible™.

The neighbours must have been struck by some kind of Italian mutation, I've heard them honk their car horns twice this week, which is not normal Norwegian behaviour at all. Actually I am getting quite upset about it -- WHAT'S NEXT?!

I'm also getting a new laptop for when school starts! It will be such a delight to get to properly sort out my documents and music and pictures and all those other files which are currently just lying around in various formats these days. I might also download something by Lindstrøm, he's a Norwegian club dj that's been compared to Röyksopp - which I personally think sounds fairly impressive. His newest album release is "Where you go, I go too". Talk about stalker title! I heard the first few seconds are just heavy breathing through a phone. <_< aha. No, I'm joking. The first track is actually almost half an hour long. And that's the truth ladies and gentlemen and ... Skjalg.

I'm on a row today! (And google once again deleted half my post, it is getting rather irritating). If this is some kind of cencorship I suggest you find some different way to do it, how about the old fashioned way? Yeah? Like a guillotine or some anthrax or - how hard can it be? Really.

On Skjalg's screen I noticed that the Russian World of Warcraft servers were all named stuff like "??", "?", "??" and "?". I found it a bit hard to understand, a little cryptic to be fair, and most of them were either "locked" or "full". I'd like to try to log in to them and ask the Russians themselves how they felt about their incognito server-names, but when Skjalg tried to click on them he got a message saying "You are trying to play on a server with a different language". When clicking "Okay" - nothing happened. I suppose one is not allowed to play on a Russian server unless you have a Visa. But I've been to Russia though, I have an invitation for Topa in my old passport. (You see they all got it a bit wrong, they pronounce their p's as r's! Talk about wild around the elbows).

So that's it. Hasta Luego Mr. Fab! (Zero Punctuation bout Prince of Persia Retrospective was good, you should see it!)
2

Layout



Oh, don't worry too much about the blog layouts that come and go of late, I am simply trying to find one that is good, you see. And being my usual indecisive self, it is taking long.
6

Guide for Norway

Apparently, tourists (especially English, Japanese and Italian) have been lacking in Norway this year. While as usually - we get a handful of them, it has now been reduced to almost nothing! :0 (yeah yeah, there have been the sporadic incidents of locals putting tourist buses on fire, but honestly I thought extreme tourism was all in the "now").

SO, ideally - I have decided to do a bit of advertising on my behalf - to show you exactly what kind of beauty Norway can offer - even for someone who has "travelled everywhere" and "seen everything". I swear to you! You will be surprised! And I have to admit that the theme is a little cheesy, like the headline and everything, but then again, it makes it seem so much more attractive. It's all about style!

Thoughts of a Viking Guide for Norway
- a Northern Odyssey

There are many wonderful sights and sounds in Norway, and I will begin with our proud capital, it was once known as Kristiania - but then went back to it's original name that's still used today, which is Oslo.

A most vibrant and interesting intersection consisting of up to several intersections actually - believe it or not. Today Oslo has approximately 856 915 inhabitants (this is per Jan. 1st 2008) - and also the highest density of lapps (sami) in the entire of Norway. Considering, there are though - very few reindeer. Anyway --

Oslo is:

1. Always under Construction

So many ditches are being dug, church roofs reinstated, buildings rehabilitated, offices constructed that the city is almost to be considered one great piece of versatile, temporary art.

2. Expensive

Oslo is the most expensive City in Europe, and also second on a worldwide basis. As a bonus, Oslo is packed with demanding beggars on every corner.

3. Smelly
Not all over, but right here - right here on the map. It always smells.

4. Democratic
Norwegians are fair and just - that being said; democracy really means that nobody really gets their will - and solutions are based on compromises. Which explains why the shape of the new operahouse is a somehow indefinable three-dimensional oblong.

5. Quiet

There is no such place as Oslo, or Norway (in general) to go when you seek somewhere you can be absolutely free of small-talk. If you speak to a Norwegian stranger, they will most likely think you are either a) American, b) Drunk, -or c) Both! (Which initally might not be bad things overall, but you might have trouble keeping a conversation going).

6. Wet
I mentioned Oslo being rather short on social interaction, this might not always be the case, except when it comes to bus stops and the like. Because in Oslo we have these benches underneath a "shelter" of sorts that can easily fit about seven people on almost every bus stop. But in Oslo, if somebody is standing underneath it, and one is sitting on the bench - it's full. Which means any newcomer have to stand in the rain. It all makes sense if you were Norwegian.

7. Doomed
Oslo has 20 graveyards and 13 hospitals. It all just went wrong to begin with.
4

Dogs on the dozen, dogs dogs

For some funky reason we are planning on getting a smaller dog as a softer transition for the day when we'll be parted with our all-time favourite dog, Cleo. (She is well by the way, but no dog lives forever, and it would be delightful to let her smear some of her contageous personality over to our next dog, as ideally - we just want a dog like her all our lives). The problem is that this family has a strong passion for big, silly-eared dogs. Not small dogs, just smiling and active, or at least patient and annoying - packed with personality. So when searching for the perfect small-dog addition to our family we obviously stumble across a lot of giants that can be heartbreakingly adorable. I gathered my personal favourites, as they just couldn't pass-on unnoticed.



Above is a Caucasian Ovcharka. A giant Russian breed. I want one!


Above here is a Komondor, they're from Australia. Brilliantly - they also function as makeshift floormops.




This here'd be a poodle. They're one of the smartest kinds of dog-breeds! Imagine that! They are never born Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - but that's the beauty of it, you can make them one!

So, what do you think?
0

From lofoten

Just a lot of MESS

I don't often like other peoples systems. You know what I'm saying? It's like nobody can actually figure out and maintain a system that I'm comfortable using. People always get crazy ideas about how things should be sorted, and how then be strategically positioned to other things accordingly. I'm not saying that chronologically and alphabetically sorted items confuse me, because they are usually fine. It's more like "then the used envelope with glue on the backside is put in the blue container, and the envelopes with no glue is put in the dark blue - next to the envelopes that come without glue". And I'm like - what the flux is that supposed to mean? A horribly poor example, i suppose, but it's about as random and confusing as other people's systems sometimes can be. You know. Completely randomized and sporadic, with no kind of system in it at all to be fair.

Like the solar system. Where on earth did that come in? It is a system for our fellow planets and ourselves and how we are to be according to each other. Imagine if Jupiter got a crazy idea and started moving about. I am quite sure it would cause a high tide or something, though worse - the system will be broken. Naturally this has to be upsetting the natural orders of things, the system is set up so that we get the correct amount of northern light and meteor rain and other fair shares of whatnot. But let's say like generally speaking - someone are bound to get upset by the fact that the system is not how the system shall be. It gets to one. Some just can't handle seeing the system being altered.

People think that by catagolizing their belongings it will eventually take up less space around them, and feel like a smaller, more accessible mass. Well it might be true in some cases, though sorting things don't necessarily make them more conveniently positioned for future examination, certain things are just not meant to be put into a system. At least the way some perceive the structure of a system. You see. It is much more of a "sorted anarchy" than a "system" in many ways. People just misunderstand the need for a system to exist to sort different things apart AND being able to aid one in retrieving these items later on when one needs them, right? Things just get condemned into their designated purple spotted carton never to be seen again. So people forget its even there, and they swear they put it somewhere they could find it - they had even sorted them all alphabetically, but now what's the use of that? If it's all just corks stacked under the letter C, why on earth would one need to sort something which is technically the same - AND also has the exact same "use", if a use at all? If it's all just stuff, why don't one just whack it into a box with all the similar ones? Or - why even do that?

How about just stop "tidying up" and "sorting" our "belongings" - and instead face the fact that even though it's all tucked away in boxes it is not going to make us feel any less guilty for having so much stuff. :(
15

Music baby, music!

Hello my furry friend! Now, how about you make sure you listen to all the songs that are listed below over the next couple of weeks?

That was a rhetorical question gingerbunny, because as you may know, this here blog ain't democratic. It's not as if you have any kind of choice in the matter. You better just do as I say right away.

Music for your delicate ears:

1. What Ever Happened - The Strokes
2. Pulling Our Weight - The Radio Department
3. All Cats are Grey - The Cure
4. Ceremony - New Order
5. Stay Where You Are - Ambulance Ltd
6. Make Up Your Own Mind - Razorlight
7. Mothers of the Night - Moby
8. Down to the Market - The Kooks
9. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
10. An Ordinary Day - Bent
11. The Meeting Place - The Last Shadow Puppets
12. Lost! - Coldplay

Special thanks to Ulrik! http://files.filefront.com/Tora+Music+for+your+delsrar/;11378330;/fileinfo.html
0

Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, all I want to do is to drink tea, write, draw and listen to the Marie Antoinette Soundtrack.

Maybe listen to the rain as well.
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