Slipper Cushion Shares Their Heart

He was a dusty old slipper, the kind of slipper a dog would favour for its developed bouquet and for all the right fraying around the toe and heel. But with a good sole, definitely, oh yes, the kind that could handle the linoleum, but also catch all the delight of a happy dog's drool. Those are important qualities in a slipper.

And his wife, she was an embroidered, beige cushion, filled with rice for weight because down was too expensive for her pallid appearance. Her edges were covered with faded, ruby frills, some threads loose. On the front she had redwine stains, blurred from a night of intense scrubbing with every possible remedy, salt, mineral water - white wine, shampoo. But the cushion was not to be saved, her presentation made even sadder by the fact that the stain wouldn't go away.

They rarely met on weekdays. She spent her time lodged between two moss-green pillows (to hide her decay) in the plastic covered sofa that creaked when sat on.

While the slipper travelled a lot. On a good, floor-cold day. he could be pulled out from under the bed (who put my slippers under the bed?), travel all the way to the bathroom, visit the kitchen, go out for the newspaper, watch the weather on the tellybox, visit the bathroom again and be kicked off in the hallway. On particularly difficult days the dog would feel like having something to do, find the slipper and dig him down in the yard. However dreadful - this was not exactly the worst bit about the dog predicament. It was the washing machine that wore him thin.

They met in the sofa, naturally. The lady of the house was in Paris, and the owner of the slippers enjoyed a full weekend alone on the plastic covers - feet up, resting them right on top of her, the cushion. They both blushed. He was funny, she was even funnier, they fit like a jigsaw puzzle.

They rushed it. that's what everyone said. The house rules would never allow their relationship to last, slippers on the sofa. There was no way. But they were all proved wrong, all the way to the end, because they loved each other so much they didn't care if the house heard their whispers. Or that the sofa or the rug constantly witnessed their feverish kisses. Their life was a passionate one, their hearts made even more tender by all the longing.

They were destined for each other. And there was nothing anyone could say to prevent it.One day, the lady of the house scooped them both up in a cardboard box together, she turned around even, when the ashtray of the coffetable made an indiscreet gasp. She took them away, and nobody in the house ever saw them again. But that is not the morale of the story, because - what truly mattered was that they could be together.
0

The End of Mr. Y


So yes, I have just finished "The End of Mr. Y" by Scarlett Thomas and I am just going to start by recommending it to all of you. At least all of you who feel like they are in for (and I quote): "... A thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel". Intrigued? Yes! So was I!

It's surely the best parallel universe since I don't know... Maybe Harry Potter? I couldn't put it away, even when it got scientific and philosophic. It's been glued to me for the past day and night. The humanity of this book is so intensely tangible, so frail, yet probably one of the strongest assets of this book, the characters. They are so brave, and so affected by emotion and compassion. Beside its tremendous theory - that will change your opinion on thought, and what thought is - this book is also absolutely packed with morale and love - all wrapped in a shell of her popping creativity. We get to discuss the youth of society, the effects of having a broken family, theories of language, faith and science - intertwined closely with the captivating narrative - a thrilling plot!

What a pleasure it has been, bobbing up and down in the refreshing waters of "The End of Mr. Y" and as I am happily still soaked in its cleverness - I hope this is not truly the end!
2

New Books!

The Oslo Tiger on Jernbanetorget.

Yesterday I want completely crazy and bought some new books after school. I just went into the bookshop and started browsing really. And I had just been looking for shoes in a shop further down, so torn not to have found a single desirable shoe. And then there were all these stories just piled up, all the way to the ceiling I suppose - and it was so easy to find something that I went scurrying from shelf to shelf, from crime to poetry to fiction. Though I did end up with a pile of only the latter - the freedom of reaching out and finding something nice was delightful.

So (you might not call me crazy, but I thought I was) I bought five new books. Because I needed to. I had to, in fact, I bought new books for all the good reasons for buying books that exists! I bought books because I deserved to, because I need something to read on the bus to work, because I love to read, because all the books I have I have read at least once (if I didn't like it) and some I've read six times! And I bought books because I am hungry for them, I look at other people reading and I envy them, you know. I wish I could sit there and dwell into a different world too.

Only this Easter I read three books, of which one of them I read for the third time. So the time was right. I can justify my insanity! Anyway - if you're interested, here are the purchases.

"After Dark" by Haruki Murakami (in Norwegian), which I've already finished, by the way, it was a little strange, and it was an interesting journey.
"The Swallows of Kabul" by Yasmina Khadra - which was brutal and horrible, it was good, very sorrowful though.
"The End of Mr. Y" by Scarlett Thomas
"20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth" by Xiaolu Guo, which I've read by now, too. It wasn't particularly ravenous, but it gave an interesting insight of Bejing and the Chinese.
and "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry (in Norwegian).

What can I say? I better hurry up and read before I have to start to revise for exams! How are you, anyway? Here I am... Babbling about books! Please, do tell! :)
4

Games I've played


Mum was notorious about getting involved with what games we played when we were kids (to some extent, she is still very involved actually). Which meant we didn't play the same ones as the other kids in the neighbourhood. Nor the violent or the lame. The only reason we ever got our sticky fingers on GoldenEye for the N64 eventually, was because of peer-pressure from all the other kids - and it was never something Mama willingly allowed.

So when I was little I played games like "Peke og Klikke" ("Point and Click"), "Dr. Seuss' ABC", "Harry and The Haunted House", "Bub & Bob" and the demo version of "The Tortoise and The Hare" (the latter, probably a gazillion times). And as I grew up a little, I played "SimCity", "Diddy Kong Racing", "The Settlers (II, III and IV)", "Super Mario 64", "Donky Kong 64", "Banjo Kazooie", "The Legend of Zelda: "Ocarina of Time"/"Majora's Mask"/"The Wind Waker"/"Twilight Princess". And not to forget "Banjo Tooie", "Theme Park World", "Wave Race", "Jet Force Gemini", "Star Fox 64", "Theme Hospital", and several more, but I can't remember them all.

Of course I also played "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance", "Black & White", "Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life", "Rayman: Raving Rabbids (and the following titles)", "Pikmin" and "Pikmin 2" Tink and I really rock at this, "Rollercoaster Tycoon 2" and "3", "World of Warcraft", "Spore", "Sim: Civilization", "Theme Park Inc", "Zoo Tycoon", "Age of Empires II", "1080 Avalanche", "Luigi's Mansion", "Soul Calibur II" and "Soul Calibur IV". Of course I wouldn't go without admitting to have enjoyed countless hours of "The Sims" and "The Sims 2" and "The Sims 3" as well. Of course most of my gaming career has been spent as a spectator, watching my superior big brother break all the scores or simply fly around with Mario's flying hat in Super Mario 64 for hours on end.

For some time I was the smallest of my siblings, so no wonder there was no patience to watch me struggle past the bosses or attempt foolishly to get from platform to platform when my siblings were committing harakiri by my side. And I really enjoyed being on the side-line and just immerse without the actual danger of holding the controller. So it was great. And they needed someone to help solve the puzzles through the Zelda games, or keep them company while ploughing through blue ant-like aliens in "Jet Force Gemini". I was usually lying half beneath the big basement sofa, for what reason I can't recall at all. I hate spiders!

But gaming has always been a very social thing in our household. Whenever we bought a new game we would gather up and wait for everyone to be settled in front of the television set and watch the intro together. And mum would do the ironing and  we'd invite Sigrid's friends over to help with collecting all 121 stars in Super Mario 64, tempting them here with waffles. And that is the most important part of playing games for me. I have enjoyed those hours in solitude - just building "The Most Beautiful Park in The Country" in "Theme Park World" or gathered treasure in "Pikmin" by myself.

So I think there is a reason why people bunch up to watch films together - which is for the same reason people bunch up together at a LAN party. Because everything is worth so much more when enjoyed with someone else. We are pack animals, and we like to share special experiences with our own kin. I hope this is something that will remain in the future of game developing and gaming. And I don't mean in the sense that all games from now on should be MMO's or only playable in coop, not at all. Just that we as people shouldn't think that gaming means to be sitting in a dark room alone, drinking red bull and shooting zombies.
3

Stop For a Minute

This is in Ã…ndalsnes, in North-Western Norway - where we had to change to a bus to get to Molde this easter. Norwegian scenery can be so dramatic.

Well, first - maybe you want to listen to it so you know what I'm talking about. But if you can't be bothered, it's a song.

Stop For a Minute by Keane (Feat. K'naan)

HMM. So. I am still puzzled as what they were thinking when they combined the angelic choir-boy voice of equally angelic Tom Chaplin with the rusty rurals of K'naan. Because as the contrast is interesting - it is not particularly flattering for K'naan. Tom just sounds like a relief when it's his verse, because you don't have to hear the gnawing sound of K'naans voice. And I don't really know, but if I could have a guess I would say they've written their own lyrics. Because Tom sings that same cryptic and poetic romantic gibberish which is the tradition of Keane. While K'naan's syllables don't match up and he sings of literal observances like "And baby you are just beautiful -- from crown to your cuticles". Note the clever rhyme: Beautiful and cuticles. Interesting. Almost as interesting as "I feel, like a thief who has no fa-ace" - where "face" doesn't fit it, because it's too short. That makes me cringe every time.

The thing I do like about this song is that it's kind of "Whooo!" like, if you are somewhere, perhaps at a party - and someone puts it on, everyone goes "Whooo!" because they realize they know it. And when the introduction is over everyone can shout the chorus together in a drunken stupor. "And if you stop for a MINUTE, I think about things I really don't WANNA KNO00OooW. And I'm the first to admit iIIIiit, without YOU I'm a NA NA NA na na NA na na NAAAA!" (Because nobody remembers this bit*)

And I guess that's a good thing. And I guess Keane needed to dip their toes into a bit of "R'n'B" or what'cha'ma call it because that's what artists do these days. They collaborate with songs so that "everyone" can "like it". There is supposedly one more track they've made with K'naan that is going to their album. But all hope is not lost, odds are - the rest of the EP will be all Keane. PLEASE.

*Without you I'm a liner stranded in an ice floe
Without you I'm a child, so wherever you go - I will follow
6

Shine a light on me

Helge bought me a bouquet of pink and green roses! They were beautiful! Sometimes he does things that really catch me off guard. He's wonderful.

I am listening to some new Keane right now. They mailed me their new single that they did with K'naan called "Stop For a Minute" on MySpace. My opinion on that later. I hope that didn't sound too cold and bitter.

But right now this moment I am listening to "My Shadow" which is delicious and lush and soft and strong in a weird way I can't explain, it's the sound of all sounds - like I have missed it without knowing and suddenly been blessed by it again! It is like being kissed!

I'm sorry if I'm sounding overly excited about this track. It is a little emo, and most of you will scoff it off as "the usual", you know. A concotion that could've been mixed up by White Birch or Snow Patrol or The Reindeer Section or some of the emoer of Husky Rescue. Something that could've been played on a retirement cruise by a one-man-band with a big, trimmed Roland. Well I got one thing to say to you, you heartless killjoys! You're wrong! It's all Keane! And Tom's voice brings shame on every one of you!

Screw you!
And instead, shine a light on me, shine a light and I will shine light on you, shine a light!

Oh, oh! And their new album (that was "Night Train" you who are not paying attention -- is released in May! More accurately on May 10th! Can't wait!)
2

Pro, uber-pro!

Here's what!

I am just strangling myself with my own pro procrastination. There's schoolwork to do, there are floors to clean, showers to scrub, dishes! Laundry! A closet to tidy in (again),stories to write, holes in clothes to patch up, shelves to dust, dvd's to sort - amazing dinners to be made. Drawings to draw. But what do I do? Gah, I'm not sure if I even want to tell you, sport. Because it is so depressing.

I read everything I have missed out on at the Frictional Games blog, watch some new IGN game reviews, read the news and google some dead Korean supermodel. I go hang out on Facebook and look at old pictures, I log in to Twitter and tweet (?) and I check aaall my different e-mails, and end up backtracking old Style Rookie posts and watch make-up tutorials on Youtube for how to look like the white queen from Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland. And all this accompanied by a handful of Finnish liqorice (Salmiakki FTW) and a kilo of watermelon (not exaggerating, I weighed it) - and a luke-warm bottle of yesterdays water. I haven't even SEEN Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland, I don't even know how the white queen is supposed to look in the first place. Yes, because, that is another thing on my list of things I wish I had done or could do right now.

I've just about had it with my own uselessness.

I hope your evening has been more productive than mine. I am now seriously going to sort out laundry in piles so I can do them in the morning, do the dishes, scrub the shower and pearl some pearly things. Schoolwork will be the fruit of tomorrow!

And why "Procrastination" wasn't its own label until now?

Procrastination, I guess. :(
(Picture at the top is a Cambodian field, so beautiful there)

I think... about 15 tips!

This was a jewellery shop we encountered in Singapore. Brilliant name!

Here I have gathered a few tips for you, if you feel like you need it. And if you do, please tell me how it went.

You have nothing to do.
Tip 1: Turn OFF the television-box, there you go - that's a whole lot better now, isn't it?
Tip 2: Try painting yourself naked.
Tip 3: Go knock on the neighbours house and ask if you can borrow a cup of sugar. Go around to all your neighbours and see if you've wound up with enough sugar to last the rest of the year. Next: Flour!

If you've made some lefse, and worried that it will dry up before anyone finishes them?
Tip 1: Ask for my recipe - there's never any left!
Tip 2: Wrap the finished lefse in a moist kitchentowel and store in the fridge - keeps em fresh and soft for a few more days.

Sigrid is coming to visit and you're worried you have no music to play for her
Tip 1: Buy some discrete earmuffs, say they were a gift and wear them the whole evening
Tip 2: Put on something like this. (Success!)

All your brown sugar keeps drying out in its packaging - slowly becoming one huge block of inseperable sugary mass.
Tip: Store it in the fridge! Nigella taught me this, and it works wonderfully. My brown sugar is always lovely and loose in a non slutty way.

You have something to say to your roommate, but no paper - and you have to leave now!
Tip 1: Use a whiteboard marker, water soluble!! (I felt this was worthy of being a tip of its own).
Tip 2: Write your message on the fridge!

You are hosting a dinner-party on a short notice and have no dessert!
Tip 1: Freeze some grapes! A good 2-3 hours should do it, they're almost like sorbet after.
Tip 2: Serve candy! This might be the easiest dessert ever. Just run to the grocery store and heap up on the most colourful and weird sweets you can find. And then, as dessert is introduced - slab it all into a bowl and ask them to help themselves!

It is awfully quiet in your room.
Tip 1: Whistle a good tune, try "Last Christmas" or "Never Gonna Give You Up" and it will sort itself out in your head.
Tip 2: Go to RCRDLBL and download Take You (feat. Ninjasonik) (Tete-A-Tete Remix) ha, BOOM!
Tip 3. Or, possibly the best tip ever: Go to http://www.prettylightsmusic.com/ and download the lot. Ka-chang! It's all free and delicious, too!

You have a lovely steak, but no sauce!
... er... You have a real problem here.

This is a Singaporean garden gnome from the botanical gardens. I liked his teeth so much.

Sooo. Now give me your tips!
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