Monday, December 31, 2012


Eye - noun, verb
1. the organ of sight
3. this organ with respect to the color of the iris
6. the power of seeing; appreciative or discriminating visualperception
9. regard, view, aim, or intention
11. a center of light, intelligence, influence
17. the hole in a needle.
28. to fix the eyes upon; view
36.have an eye for: to have the ability to appreciate distinctions in

So I don't write too often, but New Year's Eve, I feel,  is one of those occasions that prompt an update.
This is an end of year summary, and perhaps some predictions for the year to come. Not of interest to many but myself, but and update nevertheless.

I asked a friend to describe me with one word that "summed me up." He answered "eyes," and in a way, that's also a good word to describe the year that went by. Because it's been about seeing things. Seeing, noticing and seeing in new ways.

I don't remember what expectations I had for this year. I knew this was the year I would go abroad for an exchange year, but other than that, I think the plans for the year were wide open, and the expectations not made. And although this is a feature that worries my parents, that is how I prefer my years to be. Open.

I've never been that into New Year's eve. I think it's a very odd thing that we divide our life up like this. Saying tonight is definitely the end of something, and the start of something new. Projects, commitments, plans for my life - they tend to be divided up like school years. The start of something new is always in the fall, the end of something is always in the spring. The summer - wide open.

The summer of 2012 I did something stupid. I said yes to something I didn't really want to do, that would be a very bad decision financially, and was something completely different than what I'd normally be into. To top it of, come departure day, it coincided with a horrible event in a friend's life. The type of event there's no good way out of, and the type of friend I really should have been there for. But I had a contract, and I left. I had a few horrible days, and then I had two brilliant weeks. I worked through anxiety on a whole new level, and I met such lovely people, and learned so much about myself, that it became worth it. Step by step.

I entered that summer on a high. I had done well academically. I had done a good job as a student representative. I was nominated (and won) a price for being an "exemplary student." And that fall would bring me an adventure. England. Study abroad.

And it has truly been an adventure. I've refocused. I've reconfigured. I've restarted.

This is the year I finished my first novel.
This is the year I finally brought Thomas to Prague.
This is the year I rediscovered how important music is to me.
This is the year I found friends that I can't imagine a future without.
This is the year I looked inside myself and found my centre. My absolute, unbreakable core. What makes me me. The place where my value, as a human being, was forged, and now glow bright as a crystal right in the middle. The place I can always return to when in doubt. A place of worth.

And such things feel good. I have realized that my blue eyed naivety is part of what makes me me. That feels good too.

The most important lesson of this year: I am a writer. I have an eye for words. I'm eyeing a feature with words and writings. Envisaging the future is not an exercise I feel very comfortable performing. But it's getting more interesting. It's getting more crowded. It's getting less frantic.

I'm read for a new year. A year with few plans but plenty of opportunities. I see no reason to start scheduling the upcoming year. The next five months will be more of the same, new modules, new people, but more of the same. And I like that. My summer is still wide open. I know I'll do something, but I don't know what. There's no reason for me to start scheduling yet.
Not as far as I can see.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Freak - noun, adjective, verb

2. A person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature
5. Philately:  a stamp differing from others of the same printing because of creases or dust 
a. a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behaviour and activities to pursue
 one interest or obsession
b. a devoted fan or follower, enthusiast
c. a hippie.
8. unusual; odd; irregular become or make frightened, nervous, or wildly excited

Hello, world. I haven't written in a very long time, and my life has taken sharp but expected turns. This is all fine. I am now in England - Hatfield to be precise. School is in session and I read, study and discuss my way through new and interesting topics. But although I've talked about nothing else for a year than the joy of being a student, and everything that (in my mind) happened last year was school related, I doubt this year will be like that.

I am a freak, and I've always been one. I feel weird and uncomfortable in large groups of people. I find great pleasure in the darnedest things, like badly taxidermied animals (preferably in clothes), owls and pictures of  unsquished dead people. I fill my life with colour and whimsy, cry when I'm angry and spontaneously burst out in song at the least opportune moments.  I either dress like a 70s art teacher or a really old lady, but can't resist hats with ears, striped mittens or headbands with feathers, flowers or butterflies. All this a smidge to the left of whatever "the norm" is, but the world in general and I get along.

And then there is that lovely perk that comes from being a curious freak. The instant radar that beeps and lights up if anyone within a radius of 20 metres is lonely, awkward, different, or just in that second feels he or she doesn't belong. So I smile, I nodd, I compliment and small talk, and from all these random encounters, my freak magnet drags the best ones along. And like this the groups are created. Oddballs and spear parts and half broken toys. Non of us fit, and certainly not each other, but we chat and we laugh and we find a middle ground.

I feel like Dorothy,  picking up an entourage on my way down the yellow brick road. We're all hoping to find different things. The Tin Man doesn't need a heart, he's got a really big one. He would, however, like to find love, by the end of the road, or along the way. The cowardly lions (I've now got two) are unbelievably brave, but hope to find proof so they can see for themselves. And the beautiful scarecrow - as sharp as they come - will hopefully find the self confidence to shine like The Tin Man. Some are looking for direction, most are searching for love, some I hope will find mirrors that show them their beauty, others I hope will find guts to speak up for themselves. So we're all searching for different things, but we stick together nevertheless, just because it's safer to navigate these woods as a group.

As for me? I hope I find more freaks along the way, to fill the void as these move on, find what they're looking for or go back to where they belong. Because this is just Oz, we're not in Kansas anymore, and for most there is no place like home. Not so for me. I keep returning to Oz. I don't want to find the end of the road, so I stay barefoot with the ruby slippers in my hands. As long as I have my basecamp, I'll never stop doing this hike.

For here, in the land of freaks searching for meaning, I can ask the question "Does Floridian blood smell like orange juice to vampires," and get the answer "probably." There is no place like home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


society - noun, adjective

1 .an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political,patriotic,or other purposes.
2. a body of individuals living as members of a community;community.
13. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of elegant society: asociety photographer.

I've just arrived home after spending three weeks as a course leader at a summer camp. It's been an experience I'll never forget, and I've learned so much about myself, about kids and about the feeling of being part of a community.

For the last three weeks, everything I've experienced, everything I've talked about, everything I've considered real has been related to the same 100-and-some kids and 18 "grownups." A small and closed society with its own particular rules for what's acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The tightly defined hierarchy of power never came close to reflect the "real world" standings of each individual. Most of the inside jokes will never be considered funny by anyone outside, and the logic behind many decisions will never make sense again. In this small gap of time in this particular place, however, it all made perfect sense.

It is an odd crossing between superficial and deep the kind of friendship you build up during a thing like this. Most of the conversations you have are centered around the kids and the kids' welfare. You discuss, you tell and you let off steam, you support and are supported by the others in the team. However, a few days later, none of it matters. What importance does a kid's annoying habits have when the kid is back home, and so are you and your confidante?

On the other hand - you do share your best and worst sides with these people, as you are among them constantly for 3 weeks. A nightly chat til 2 am can make you share information most of your friends don't know. Plus, getting through difficult situations or finding creative solutions for stupid problems makes for shared memories that can also create strong bonds.

During this trip I've twice mentioned a part of my life that I never talk about, a painful and complex memory that in this situation didn't bother me at all to talk about. I've laughed harder than I have in years, most of all from an inappropriate parody of one of the kids. Normally it would  have made me cringe but now it will forever stand as one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I've let myself be talked into playing bowling for the first time (at least since I was 7 or 8) without trying to make up a stupid excuse to get out of it, just for the sake of being friendly and positive around friendly and positive people. I've made a complete fool out of myself several times, and enjoyed it immensely  I've shared some beautiful hours on a wall where I felt like a normal girl sharing normal girl stories with other normal girls. I've laughed, I've cried, I've been really angry and frustrated and I've shared inside jokes (you know what I mean? Sunday, London, Honey? Where is Masha? Are you messing with my life?) that now are just words belonging to a society that no longer exists.

So what now then?

I doubt I'll remember the name of the kids for more than a few weeks. I doubt I'll recognize any of them on the streets in a year. The "grownups," most of whom I've considered friends for the last three weeks...? I doubt I'll see most of these people again. But I know whenever I look at pictures of two handsome men dressed up as girls, of two beautiful girls celebrating their three weeks anniversary as room mates, of colorful superheroes in the sun, or of me smiling like an idiot with my hair full of glow sticks - I'll remember the feeling of being part of an isolated group, unrelated to the rest of the world, and ask myself the all important question: Where is Masha? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Hyponym - noun

a term that denotes a subcategory of a more general class: “Chair” and “table” are hyponyms of “furniture,” "Armchair" and "Bar stool" are hyponyms of "chair"

So, I'm reading for my final exam, and going through linguistic definitions like there's no tomorrow. Come the zombie apocalypse; I'll at least be armed with a kick ass vocabulary.

Yesterday I refreshed my resume to apply for a job, and I struggled to see any kind of connecting thread between working backstage in metal concerts, being an office manager for a year, snorkeling on Iceland, writing poems and teach English for health workers. I think this bothered me more than I realized at the time, because several times tonight i woke up thinking random lines like "grouped in like-column it makes sense" and "how about if we consider this a category of its own?" I believe my brain had a subconscious discussion with itself trying to figure out how everything is put together, using the lovely system of hyponymy.

I'm not sure I'm quite there yet, but I have realized a couple of very interesting things. For instance: I have a column, in my mind's inner workings, of values that affect how I make decisions, dream and function. They are about 8 that I've figured out, but I'll only share two of them with you right now.

Be Helpful: This value seems to affect everything else I do, more than any other value, and (perhaps more disturbingly) more than any other concept in any other column. More than interests, more than things I like or love, more than dreams or hopes, helpfulness is the key. Realizing this gave me a whole new outlook on my resume. I have, more than once, said yes to work engagements I really didn't want, to be helpful. I have also spent quite a lot of time "being there" for people, I then never heard from again.

And, this is also responsible for one of my most annoying habits, correcting people. I sometimes confuse helpfulness with poking my nose where it doesn't belong. Insight.

To me, this is useful information because being aware of this may open up for a new way of dealing with things: value-shuffling. I'm excited to see if this works out.

The second value that seem to override everything but helpfulness is:

Be Grateful: This concept is extremely important to me, and I use it frequently to give my self a positive outlook on troubling  events. I really want to be grateful. But dividing this up into a chart of hyponyms and relations showed me that I frequently settle for less than I should, because I'm focusing more on being grateful for what I get, than getting what I deserve. A healthy balance should probably be in place.

This might seem like garden variety obvious facts to you, but to me they are ground breaking insights into "what's holding me back." Changes to come, but first an exam....

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Brave - adjective, noun, verb

1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
2. making a fine appearance.
3. Archaic . excellent; fine; admirable.
7. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes.

The final "Contemporary British Novel"-class was a very busy one. It was kind of a tense atmosphere. Our wonderful teacher started off by telling us we were short on time and had a lot to go through. It was a Friday, exams were looming in the corner of everyone's eye, and it was just one of those days.

In my head I have named groups of the 50 or so people in my literature class. There's the drama people, the geek squad, the hipsters, the exchange students, the catcher in the rye crowd, the punks, the freaks, the dames and the loners. I like them all, and I mean every one of the names in the nicest possible way, it's just a way to place them in my mental map of the world.

 Most of the geek squad had chosen White Tiger as their  book (we all had to choose one of the six as our book to talk about), so they were getting ready to give their presentations. One of them, a really sweet guy I've talked to a couple of times( who's also into Dungeons and Dragons and therefore gave the name geek squad to the geek squad) was about to give his presentation, but he looked really really nervous.

Something happens to a crowd when the speaker looks nervous and begins nervously. People try to avoid eye contact. They squirm a little in their seat. Some feel sorry for the person, and try desperately to find something the speaker says to take notes from, just to make it look like the nervousness doesn't bother them at all. We were 50 squirming people.

He gathered his papers, cleared his throat, and said something like this: I'm sorry if I stutter or stumble. I do that when I'm nervous. I am really nervous now, so just know that I'll be imagining you all naked.

Oh, sweet relief.

We all laughed. What an effective way to defuse the situation! Tension melted away and the awareness of the awkwardness made it way less awkward.

He then got on to give a stumbling, stuttering presentation, but with some of the very best points that were given that day! What a brave thing to do, I thought. Playing your weakness face up on the table.

I never do that. I tend to avoid situations where I don't feel I have the upper hand, and I don't like admitting I'm scared or uncomfortable. But I will try this now, this new thing. So here goes:

I get extremely uncomfortable in regular social settings. Wherever I don't have a clear role, be it class representative, teacher, "hobby psychologist", supportive person or quirky-positive-friend-to-hang-around, I  get nervous, my hands get clammy, and my mouth gets dry. I desperately try to think of random facts I know, just to have something to talk about. When found I blurt them out, and in the frightening awkwardness that inevitably follows I  try to change the mood by asking overly direct questions. I am a train wreck.

It happens because I am a socially awkward person. I beg your pardon if I seem flustered, stuttering or random. It will get better with time, as I get to know you better, or manage to define my role in our relationship.

Until then, just know I'll be imagining you naked.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Whore - noun verb

1. a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse,usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.
2. to act as a whore.
3. to consort with whores.
4. Obsolete. to make a whore of; corrupt

Firstly a clarification: Yes, this blog is called "I love to love the words I love," and no, I don't love the word whore. Except I sort of do. I wish whore meant kitten. How perfect wouldn't that be? Listen to that sound whooore. It sounds cuddly and fluffy and puffy and cute, doesn't it? But yes, whore is the word of this blog post, because I do love words, and I think words are important. Today, I'm talking about the word whore just because it is a word, and I love words.
My school is filled with wonderful people. I had lunch today, with a few  different girls and they are in every way fun to talk with. They talk in broad strokes and colorful expressions. One of them in particular uses such grandiose words, even when describing minuscule things, that when she arrives at her wedding day, I cannot imagine she will have anything left to describe her husband with than supercalifraglitisticexpialidocious. They are a blast to listen to, a blast to chat with, and the way they talk makes me truly sorry that I've never had many friends, especially not of the female persuasion.

Now, don't get me wrong, these are really bright ladies! They read, they discuss, they think and they talk about important things (in between nail polish and other people's behaviour). Today, however, they caught me completely of guard mid lunch. They were talking about clothing. I had zoned out and focused on my food and was contemplating buying a new lunch box, when my subconscious danger-alert went off in the back of my head. One of them had just said something like: have you seen 6th graders now a days? They're whores!
My shock must have been visible, because one of the others looked at me and said "No, but they are. Have you seen the way they dress?" I heard confirming sounds around the table.

Up until now, the conversation had been so funny, clever, elegant and interesting. But this part blew my mind. Is this what we do? Really? We, women in university, still use "whore" as an acceptable description of people, based on how they dress? And 11-year old girls, no less. Seriously?

Now, I realize this wasn't meant literally. They do not think all 11 year old girls are prostitutes, and I get that.  I also understand this has become quite common in Norway (and I'm sure my American friends will be appalled by this), and that even politicians in later years have been called whores by other self declared adults. I understand it is just "a figure of speech." I understand that "this is how people talk now a days." But seriously? Seriously‽ 
Using crude, vulgar and gendered epithets is, and should forever remain, a sign of bad manners, low education, aggression and low intelligence. Why on earth would we let "whore" slide up to "acceptable derogatory terms"? Why on earth would we, bright, otherwise well behaved, good mannered ladies in higher education WANT to take part in the normalization of such offensive speech? Think about it! You can make a difference here!

I have arrived at the conclusion that the only possible explanation is "we've never thought about it." So now, I'm begging you all. Think about it. Take a good hard look at your vocabulary and consider your choices!

Feel free to call me inappropriately dressed, a pretentious snob, brown noser, geek, nerd, coccydynia, miscreant, nincompoop, idiot, simpleton or even, if you absolutely have to, and you can't find a more learned word, call me a bitch. But do not call me a whore.

You see, I give it away for free. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


fig•ure - noun, verb
2. an amount or value expressed in numbers.
6. the bodily form or frame: a slender or graceful figure
22. a phantasm or illusion. portray by speech or action.
29.Informal . to conclude, judge, reason, or think about                                     

So, after a short break, I'm back at uni trying to figure out a plan for the next 8 weeks of revision, preparation and exams. I love my classes, but part of that love has translated itself into an increased focus on "related subject" and a highly decreased focus on reading. Now I have to pay.

Simultaneously I try treating my social life with a little care and affection, as that is always the first thing to go when I get stressed. So, I've filled up my week with appointments, made a reading plan for the week, prepared well for my day at work tomorrow, and even planned for a little "me time" smack dab in the middle of it all.

And then I lost my voice. No, seriously. It was bad during the weekend, but now it's even worse. When I got off the bus after school today, I could barely more than whisper.

This keeps happening and is my body's preferred signal for "calm down or I will shut down, madam." The second best signal is random muscle pain, and this time it's going for broke.

My body and I have always had conflicting ideas about its role in my life, and how much time it's allowed to claim for itself during a normal month. My figure is... let's call it wide, my flaws are numerous, and with the welcome exception of my hair and eyes, I don't really have much to brag about or write down on those "What I love about my body" pages from old school year diaries.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am of the firm belief that physical beauty isn't all it's cracked up to be. And I am not saying that I am ugly, or BuHuHu I'm so big, or any of that self critical crap. I'm just making the truthful observation that my body and I would never appear in beauty pages in a magazine. And that's fine.

It is however probably not fine that i neglect my body and my body's needs in such a consistent and totally indifferent manner. It's probably not fine that I feed its sugar addiction to make it shut up, and it's probably not fine that I push its capacity to the very edge, long days and short nights, work work and some more work, then sleep for 8 hours one night, and then start over. It's probably not fine.

So, I give in. Body: you'll get your way. If you just give me my voice back, I promise to take care of you. It will be sort of a reward for having stayed with me for 26 years of randomness. You keep my voice hostage, I'll pay the ransom.

I will negotiate with this terrorist... Go figure. 

Monday, March 26, 2012


re•jec•tion noun
1. the act or process of rejecting.    
2. the state of being rejected.
3. something that is rejected.

1st thought
I once sent a manuscript to a publisher. The publisher said "this is something we'd like to work with, please revise, and make an appointment for discussion." I never did. Since then I've never tried to send in any of my texts or manuscripts to anyone, except for a few poems and articles here and there, but none of my projects. The fear of being worse than my 18 year old self, scares the crap out of me.

2nd thought
Next year I'm supposed to go abroad for two semesters. The deadlines, forms and papers are piling up on my desk, threatening to bury me in academic sounding nonsense. I never finished High School and have gotten to where I am more out of luck, than out of anything else. Twice I've woken up in panic, with the ringing echo of a nightmare in my ears: "You're just not worth anything after British standards,"  in the poshest, most condescending voice you could ever imagine. Seriously, Dame Judy Dench would have a challenge portraying a person this posh.. And she can do anything.

3d thought
When asking for favors, I often spend more words explaining how okay it is if the person can't help, than I spend on explaining the favor. This way, I don't feel like I'm putting too much pressure on the person, and I don't feel like I can be rejected, as I've practically said no to myself.

4th thought
In our wedding, when the priest asked if Hubby would take Wifey and all that jazz, I was never afraid he'd say no.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Flirt – verb noun court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions; play at love; coquet. trifle or toy, as with an idea
6. a person who is given to flirting.

It happens every year. When the birds start singing in the early morning, when the sun starts thawing the iceicles that hang, long and heavy, from my mood and self esteem, when people start playing with the idea of wearing thinner clothing; flirting with the spring and getting colds in return - then I fall in love. I fall in love with the world, and every person in it. I love every book, flavor, flower, sound, song and melody. I smile to myself of inside jokes, long forgotten, I smile to my friends of inside jokes, not yet created - and I flirt, I laugh, and I flirt.

I have my spring flings, sometimes they change daily, a few lasts longer, they're never serious, and they're always with the same type of person.

It takes a certain type I think, to flirt with a person like me (loud, large and awkward), but there is this undefined quality in each person I ever had a (spring) crush on, this life in their personality. I wonder if it's always there but I only notice it in spring, or if it's something that comes alive in people with the birds, the bees and the leaves on the trees.

I get so much energy from these moments of shared joy, a chat about something funny, eye contact and laughter, and I take all this energy home to my husband, and we laugh about the way spring makes me hyper active and happy.

It's all peaches and cream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


un•bend•ing adjective
1.not bending or curving; inflexible; rigid.
2.refusing to yield or compromise; resolute.
3.austere or formal; aloof.

I'm rarely cross or angry with people, and I suppose that is a good thing. I like being flexible and helpful, forgiving and not to rigid, but last week I discovered "Unbending."

I had just found yet another compromise between two absolutes. It didn't fit me, nor the people on the oposing sides very well, but it worked out fine and seemed better than the alternatives. I wrote the decion down to remember it.

Just as I had put down my pen, this glorious word stood out from a page, jumped up and down and screamed "NOTICE ME, NOTICE ME!"


I flipped the page, but the word was stil there. "That's odd," I thought. Because it's not really a word you see a lot, is it?


I shut the book, but it wouldn't close. Unbending held the pages up on his strong arms and kept yelling, "NOTICE ME! NOTICE ME!".


I put the book in my backpack, but Unbending jumped up, punched me in the face and said, "DO NOT BEND! DO NOT BEND!"

So I didn't. I didn't on my way home with the lady who tried to push me out of the queue, I didn't with my friend who wouldn't say "sorry," I didn't with my students, I didn't in an e-mail I should have written a long time ago and I didn't with my decision to write a blog post today.

Turns out, not bending is kind of useful after all.

Monday, March 12, 2012


fly - verb move through the air using wings. be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency float or flutter in the air travel in an aircraft or spacecraft. move suddenly and quickly

Do you remember that feeling? When you were a child, and ran as fast as you could, maybe down a hill, and you truly knew that if you just ran a little faster, you would take off and fly? I remember that feeling well.

A couple of summers ago, I observed one of the most devious and clever schemes I've ever seen. I sat in the sun, I think I ate an ice-cream, but maybe I was drinking soda, or maybe I just sat there. A family of four came walking towards me. A very pink princess (around 4), a tough older brother (around 7) and their parents. I overheard their conversation, and it went something like this;

Pink Princess: Mum, may I PLEASE have another ice-cream, please, please?
Mum: No, you've already had 2 today. You cannot have 3 ice creams in one day.
Pink Princess: But muuuum, please?
Mum: No, don't be silly.

Now, the denim-clad brother was playing his NintendoDS and couldn't care less, but I think the Pink Princess felt that someone was about to give in.

Pink Princess: Daaaaaad?

Mum immediately intervenes. She knows how these situations work, she sends Dad a warning look and he sighs.

Dad: Yes?
Pink Princess: Can we run and see who gets to the car the fastest?
Dad: Uhm.. sure?
Pink Princess: Daaaad? If I you run as fast as you can, and I run as fast as I can, and I still beat you to the car. Then may I have an ice cream?

And something happens inside this poor doomed dad. He knows he can beat his daughter to the car. He knows there's no way her stubby little legs can match his long, strong daddy longlegs figure in a race. This can end this constant begging for ice-cream. He will win this, he will win!

Dad: Yes, you may.
Pink Princess: Do you promisecrossyourheart?

Warning bells are obviously going off in mummy dearest's head, but Dad ignores her.

Dad: Yes, I promise.
Pink Princess: But daaaaad?
Dad: Yes?
Pink Princess: Since your legs are soooo long and mine are so short, can I start here and you there?

She points at two spots, no more than 2 meters apart. Not a distance to be feared from Daddy-O, so he agrees. Pink Princess holds a thin pink jacket in one hand, and her (open) backpack in the other. She takes her place, and crouches down in the obligatory get-ready-set-go-position of four-year-olds all over the world. Daddy winks at mum, and gets ready as well. Big Brother is granted the honor of yelling 1-2-3.

Big Brother: 1!
Big Brother: 2!

The split second before 3!, Pink Princess jumps up, throws her backpack and jacket up in  the air, and starts running the instance her feet touches the ground. Daddy dearest runs into a hailstorm of buttons, stuffed animals, crayons and the backpack itself, he stops and tries to catch it all in the air. It takes no more than a second before mum realizes what happened, and yells for dad to run, run, run!.

But it's to late. His momentum is lost.
Before he gets up to any speed at all, Pink Princess is almost at the car.

She calls out to him when her hand touches the hood,

Pink Princess: I think I'll have a strawberry ice-cream, thank you.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Mist noun
1.a cloudlike aggregation of minute globules of watersuspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface,reducing visibility to a lesser degree than fog.
2.a cloud of particles resembling this
3.something that dims, obscures, or blurs
4.a haze before the eyes that dims the vision
5.a suspension of a liquid in a gas.

When the night has been cold, and sun is trying its hardest to break through the thin layers of ice covering the world, I often see mist. It glides over the lakes and fields and slowly in between the threes by the road, glimmering in the fragile morning light. By the time I get to school, no mist is visible and if present at all only lingers as a cold touch in the air. Sometimes I wonder if the mist was really there at all, or if my eyes were just still clouded by sleep, and it took sight this long to break through.

Mornings like these go well with songs like Don McLean's "Starry, starry night", Regina Spektor's "The Flowers" and Ingrid Michaelson's "Keep breathing".

I really like mornings like these. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


mel•o•dy  noun
1. musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement.
2. Music .
   a.the succession of single tones in musical compositions,as distinguished from harmony       and rhythm.
   b.the principal part in a harmonic composition; the air.
   c.a rhythmical succession of single tones producing adistinct musical phrase or idea.
3.a poem suitable for singing.
4.intonation, as of a segment of connected speech.

I remember my first piano lesson. I was about four and a half years old, and everyone knows it was that half year that separated me from the four-year-olds and lifted me up towards the fivers. The piano teacher was an ancient lady, with thin cotton candy-like hair that held the memory of once being red. She smelled really good, and rolled her r's in the back of her throat. This made her exclamations of "Ja, bra! (Yes, good!) sound like spells that wrapped around my fingers and helped me remember the tunes.

I remember learning to read music, learning that a quarter note placed here made a D and if you moved it up here it became a G. Learning how this squiggly thing meant pause, and so did that dot over there, but one was longer and one was shorter. No matter how much you spelled out C A B B A G E PAUSE F A C E it did not make cabbage face, but a short melody.

I remember coming home from a piano lesson and noticing how tiny melodies were hidden in the way people talked, and how a whole new set of melodies opened up when I started to learn English. Even more when I started listening to French, German and Italian.

These days I'm reading Chaucer, and lines like these make me repeat them over and over, to listen to the wonderful melody it creates:

So aungellyk was hir natyf beautee
That lyk a thing inmortal semed she,
As doth an hevenish partfit creature
That doun were sent in scorning of nature.

The other night, I practiced reading the Lord's Prayer in Gothic. (For a presentation, not just for fun).  I listened to a recording, tried to connect the sounds with the spelling, figuring out what sort of tune each sound was supposed to make. I tried to turn this unfamiliar spelling into a new kind of sheet music, reading it out over and over, noticing the pauses and dynamics. After reading through the whole thing for the last time that evening, stopping at the last note, I smelled a faint whiff of a long forgotten perfume, and I swear I heard the room around me whisper "Ja, bra!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012


child•like adjective
like a child, as in innocence, frankness, etc.

I rewatch sad movies and series, truly hoping for the ending to change. The third time I watched Vincent die I sobbed just as hard from disappointment as from sadness. 


struc•ture noun, verb.
3.a complex system considered from the point of view of thewhole rather than of any single part
4.anything composed of parts arranged together in some way
5.the relationship or organization of the component parts of awork of art or literature
9.Sociology .
a.the system or complex of beliefs held by members of a social group.
b.the system of relations between the constituent groupsof a society.
10.the pattern of organization of a language as a whole or ofarrangements of linguistic units, as phonemes, morphemes or tagmemes, within larger units. give a structure, organization, or arrangement to; construct a systematic framework for.

I can often tell how separate events are linked together, just by hearing about them. If you ask me to help you declutter your life, your office or your hallway, I can make you a system so easy to follow it would make your eyes water. Grammar makes sense to me and first order logic is nothing at all.

People say to me "I could never fill my schedule with as much as you do. You must be very structured." I look around and try to take in my cluttered desk, the overflowing book cases, my six boxes of random yarn, my stack of dishes waiting to be carried down stairs to the kitchen. On my wall hangs a large calendar, peppered with deadlines, appointments and meetings. Yesterday I found two rhinestones and a feather in one of my school books. Today I spent hours on a cafe with a friend, learning how to crochet, time I probably should have spent writing essays. My life is chaotic, messy and cluttered, but I always get done what has to be done. How? I have no idea.

So when people tell me "I could never fill my schedule with as much as you do. You must be very structured,"  I look around at my beloved mess and answer "I guess I have to be." 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Home - noun, adjective, adverb, verb,
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usualresidence of a person, family, or household.
2.the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
31.write home about, to comment especially on; remark on

Today I left home¹ to go home², as I spent the last few days home¹ at my parents' house. On my way home² I started thinking about the word home, and what it means to me. Where exactly is home.

Obviously Thomas' and my apartment is my 
home². We've filled it with all sorts of quirky things we've gathered over the years. It's where I have most of my books, and it's the place I worry about windows, water and wear. When I think about going home, i picture going home², cuddling up in a blanket, pouring the vino and immerse myself in one of my books.

However, I've modeled my 
home² after my  home¹, and going home¹ is always something I think about with a feeling of comfort and safety. That's where my parents are, most of my family and my old friends.

Whenever I get to Prague, I feel like I've come home
³. The second I step out into the city of a hundred spires, things make sense, my thoughts are clear and I remember who I am and want to be.

So, I guess what I'm saying is the Philosopher Pliny the elder got it right. Home is where the heart is.


hair·do - noun
1. hairstyle

I sometimes wonder if the reason I play so much with my hair's shape and color, is that I used to think Hairdo and PlayDough were pronounced just about the same.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


sis•ter noun. adjective
1. a female offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; female sibling.
4. a female friend or protector regarded as a sister.
12. being or considered a sister; related by or as if by sisterhood
13.having a close relationship with another because of shared interests, problems, or the like
14. Biochemistry . being one of an identical pair.

I am blessed with three sisters, one in blood, one in soul and one by imaginary adoption.

My soon to be doctor (the PhD-kind, not the blood-and-gore kind) sister is great, and she knows a lot of stuff about things i know nothing about. She's an incredibly accomplished knitter and she introduced me to fantasy literature, the importance of Playmo-knives, piano playing and musicals, so I owe her a lot.  However, this post is not about her; it is about my other sisters, and why I dare call them sisters.

When I was 16, Ingrid adopted me. She saw my profile on some proto social network and wrote me a message saying "Will you please be my little sister", and I said yes. We wrote, we met, we shared. Two and half years ago I became the proud aunt of Åsa Helene. I met her for the very first time on my wedding day, a 3 (?) week old baby. A tiny creature I immediately adored. I spent the last 30 minutes at the hairdresser's that morning, crocheting flowers for the baby blanket I had knit her. Since then I've done a poor job being an (make-believe) aunt, but I have a cardboard box full of knits, gifts and books I've bought for her (and her mum), and always plan to give them someday. Ingrid listens, and I try to listen back. Whenever I talk to her, I feel like no time has passed. She is my sister, and I hope to do a better job in being a sister back, in the future.

And then there is Kristen, my soul sister, whose positive thoughts I feel across the Atlantic ocean, whose worries and concerns I carry with me; mulling them over until I can come up with some advice, a positive take or at least a prayer. We started out as ordinary pen-pals... that lasted about two e-mails. The connection between us, the similarities and the differences, the humor and warmth, all of it  jumped off the pages (and pages and pages) of e-mails and we connected in a way I have not connected before. She and her wonderful family, especially her daughter Ella, are always in my thoughts. Although both our lives are hectic and we therefore write a lot in periods, and rarely in others, I always make mental notes about "things to tell Kristen". When big things happen, she's always among the first to know. Whenever I'm worried about stupid things, I think "What would Kristen say about this?"

You might be thinking "these are just friendships, why call them sisters?" I consider them my family. Even in my most hermitic periods I carry them with me, and I always come out telling them first. On Christmas Eve I think of them, when thinking of my family their faces come up. When my schedule is too full I tend to withdraw from social life, making a lousy friend and a poor sister/daughter/wife. And although I know I should make more of an effort to be a good friend, I only feel very bad about neglecting my family. I feel very bad about neglecting my sisters. Because they are family. In different ways yes, but different still counts.

Friday, February 24, 2012


ho•mun•cu•lus noun, plural -li . artificially made dwarf, supposedly produced in a flask byan alchemist.
2.a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon.
3.a diminutive human being.
4.the human fetus.

Sometimes, when I feel it's hard to see my problems in the right perspective, I just imagine a perfect replication of myself, who's only about 30 cm (one foot) tall. I imagine her going around in my life, doing the same things, having the same problems. It helps me put things into perspective and to see what are the important things. Seeing your life from the outside is easier if you replicate it in a doll house scale.

Secretly it also gives me an extreme feeling of superiority.After all, she's really tiny. If she tried to bite me, I could kick her across the room, and it wouldn't even mess up my hair. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Å Elske

1. to Love
2. worship, admire, adore
3. the act of having sex, equal to English "make love"

Now, the story I am about to tell you is hard to say is absolutely true. I've found two references by respected scholars backing it up, and a couple of others of unknown or less credible origin. However, I also found a couple of sources (none of them by scholars as far as i can tell) discrediting it, and claiming this is just "folk etymology". But bare with me, for just a second, and lets assume it is true. The version I first read is the one in "Snakk om Språk!" and is written by Ingebjørg Tonne, I've retold the "most important parts".

A very long time ago, when the Germanic language had divided into its branches, and Old Norse was in its early days, the word aila, meaning flame or fire, had developed into ailiska, an adjective meaning warm or burning. And as we humans do, we started using it metaphorically. Maybe we started having ailiska feelings about things, maybe seeing the village hunk walking across the yard made our stomachs go ailiska and funny.

Another thing we humans do is changing sounds. And the diphthong ai became e. See what just happened? Warm and burning ailiska just turned into equally warm and burning eliska. Slowly dropping the middle i, and making a verb to go with the adjective, we suddenly started elske each other. How incredibly amazing is that? A long forgotten root "ay", meaning fire, flame or possibly to burn, turns into the very word for love?

Another good story (which is a bit easier to prove) is the word daughter. If you take the word back through history, follow the roots as far back as we can, we find the word duhitr (or dugdhar) meaning "the milker" or "the little milker". Following this word gives us a glimpse of history, tells us about the role of the daughter, or maybe it even gives us a taste of a little joke between friends? "Is that your little milker over there?"

Knowing this, seeing how we can see parts of history through language that really aren't visible in any other way, how can you look at language with anything but pure and true enthusiasm?
How can you do anything but å elske

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


en•thu•si•asm - noun
1. absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest
2. an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown
3. any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.

I am an enthusiastic being. I know this to be true, because people constantly tell me "I wish I had your enthusiasm." Honestly, I think enthusiasm is more a way of life than anything else. I find myself looking for that little something in a plan, subject or person that triggers inspiration and joy - there's my enthusiasm. There are many things I'm enthusiastic about nowadays, and to keep in style of the last post, I've made a list.

1. Grammar. 
I LOVE grammar. I can't help it. As I've said many times before, to slowly and deliberately split an infinitive is nothing but pure joy. Although i like my lecturers at uni a lot, I have to credit my love for grammar to Professor Michael D. C. Drout, whose audio books in the Modern Scholar series are truly educational and entertaining. Now, I must admit my grammar is still pretty bad, but I'm getting there.

2. Linguistics in general
I'm reading awkwardly titled books about linguistics in general and phonology in particular like there's no tomorrow (and... linguistics can somehow prevent that...if.... I just.... read...enough?)

3.  Owls
I love owls.

4. Participating
I'm now in so many school groups and committees I'm almost able to understand what is going on! Today I even found a person equally (if not even more, as if anyone ever thought that was possible) interested in making stuff happen. I do hope we'll team up!

5. My classmates
My class is awesome. Everyone is so particularly weird, funny, interesting and sweet, I almost don't know what to do with myself. Unfortunately the group is also awkward and shy, so we hardly ever talk among ourselves, and no one ever says good morning, but I have a feeling that'll change before the sixth semester.

6. Giving gifts
I had somehow forgotten how utterly amazing it is to make and give unexpected gifts. Now i remember.

7. Studying
It's fun!

Now, I can see from my statistic that some of you actually read this blog, so if you do and you have a second, tell me what makes your heart beat a little faster, your creativity spin and your wallet shrink as more books enter the house? I would love to know.

Maybe I'll find something new to be enthusiastic about?

Sunday, February 19, 2012


hon·est adjective
1. honorable in principles, intentions, and actions.
2. showing uprightness and fairness
3. gained or obtained fairly
4. sincere; frank
5. genuine or unadulterated

This post was supposed to be about the word "Sparkle".

I've spent more than an hour trying to formulate this post, trying to communicate a string of reasoning behind a gift i made today. Sounds easy, right?

What I've learned while trying to write this is a very simple fact, that I should have recognized before; I have a huge problem sharing unimportant facts about myself with people. I don't know why, I have no problem sharing my thoughts and feelings in text, but somehow sharing small facts, that I feel would let people actually know something about me, freaks me out.Therefore, in the interest of not being held back by weird defects, here are 10 facts about me that are absolutely true, but completely useless.

1. I love owls. Yesterday I saw a colorful plush owl in a bookstore, and I teared up in pure cuteness-overload.
2. I don't drink coffee, and secretly worry this means I'll never really grow up.
3. I want to dress very smartly, but somehow always end up dressing like a confused art teacher.
4. I've seen all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls 5 times or more.
5. Sometimes I dream in just color, sounds and smells
6. I now consider deleting this post and just stop writing
7. I love hot air balloons, and dream of some day finding a pair of hot air balloon ear rings.
8. I'm never as relaxed and happy as I am in Prague.
9. The person I consider my best friend lives in the US, and I'm doing a horrible job keeping in touch.
10. I really like Brussels Sprouts.

So. Now you know.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Dream  noun, verb,  adjective
1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passingthrough the mind during sleep.
5. a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie.
6. an aspiration; goal; aim
7. a wild or vain fancy.
9. to have a dream.
13. to imagine as if in a dream; fancy; suppose.
16. dream up, to form in the imagination; devise

Today I have completed my 26th year on this planet, and move into my 27th. True to my own traditions, I had a really weird dream tonight. It's just one of those things that happen every year, my head seems to process the status quo; where am I, what am I doing, should I be making changes, and so on and so forth. This dream was really no exception, however, it was significantly different form earlier "editions".

Everything I did in the entire dream was walking up and down a beach thinking "What should be my dream? where should I be going?What can this be used for?"

In a way I totally get why. I've always been a dreamer, looking for new plans and projects I can focus on and love. I've had high ambitions, always wanted to be more, go further and reach new goals. All of that has slowly changed over the last 6 months. I do not want to dream of doing anything else. I am completely in love with what I'm doing. I love to go to university every day, study language, learn new things. I love spending insane amounts of money on books about linguistics, phonology and words. (Without really needing them for school.) So, why not a dream about taking this further?

Because I can see no future down this road. No matter how many years of studying language, no matter how many interesting books and papers I read and write, I doubt there is room for me in academics. And what else does this road lead to?

 So, for now, I do not dream. I just enjoy. And maybe one day I will find a new dream, something to aim my energy towards. Hopefully everything I do now will be relevant, but if not, at least I will have been living my dream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Blue  noun, adjective,  verb
 1.   The primary color betweengreen and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength  between 450 and 500 nm.
 3. something having a blue color
10. the blue
      a. the sky.
      b. the sea.
      c. the remote distance
11. of the color of blue: a blue tie.
14. depressed in spirits; dejected; melancholy

You know how in Moby Dick he says "whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." ? Well, today I felt like knocking people's hats off, and thought it high time to get to sea as soon as I could. However, even if I live in the southernmost town of Norway, and basically am surrounded by sea, heading out into the blue is not all that easy.

So I tried to go for a walk, I ate a piece of chocolate and I tried to listen to an audio book. When even that  failed to bring safety to people's hats, I knew I had to do something else. Do something that could make up for the lack of Melvillesque  escapes into calm, quiet sense. I find that when I cannot make sense of the world, controlling my chaos has the same effect.

So what was a girl to do?
I redid my hair... with a touch of blue. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


a•loud adverb
1.with the normal tone and volume of the speaking voice, as distinguished from whisperingly: They could not speak aloud in the library.
2. vocally, as distinguished from mentally: He read the book aloud.
3. with a loud voice; loudly: to cry aloud in grief.

We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, me and my husband. Sometimes we give each other cards, I think there has been a few roses, but generally Valentine's day is just another day. Now, it's not really a Norwegian celebration at all, and I do believe the whole corporate-greed-hallmark-is-evil-argument is fairly valid when it comes to countries with less than 20 years of real Valentine's traditions. However, as a girl, I always think a lot about romance on Valentine's day. It's my mushy little secret, and I'm sorry. It's all the hearts and bears and candy, they all make me a bit fluffy inside.

While thinking about romance i reread a post in a blog I'm stalking, this post, about reading books aloud for children (or really why Tolkien's books are so great for reading aloud, but my point remains the same). I really like this post, and I think it's spot on about Tolkien's mastery of the dialogue. It started me thinking about being read to.

I remember the way it was really important not to make too much of a fuss before going to bed, so there would be time to read. I remember fighting to stay awake when I had guilted Mamma into reading just one more chapter, and I remember Pappa and Mamma doing the voices differently, and that being part of the safety of it all. I think the feeling of safety, that feeling of all is well - people have time to sit down and read, is part of why being read to is something I love so much. Possibly also why I love audio books so much. It always calms me down on a crowded buss, at the dentist's office or after a long day, to listen to a great storyteller reading me a book.

Then it got me thinking about how my husband patiently lets me read passage after passage of all kinds of random stuff to him. Often things he does not really care for or even understand (like when I read him a long passage about a meeting in the middle of a book, just because I loved the way it was written).

Finally it reminded me about something I had completely forgotten, that happened a few years back. I was really sick and  felt really sorry for myself. I was lonely, bored and a bit scared, and I so much wished I could escape into a book.  My loving husband, who is not the "read aloud" type, then found one of our "Get Fuzzy" comic books and started reading it to me. He made all the voices, making Satchel semi-retarded and Bucky all kinds of evil. He tried doing a twisted Oslo-dialect (which he really can't do) and made Fungo be Mexican/Northern Norwegian, and all of it was just utterly disturbing, but made me feel really safe.

I think that may have been the most romantic thing I've ever experienced.
Happy Valentine's Day. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


cu•ri•ous adj.
1. Eager to learn more: curious investigators; a trapdoor that made me curious.
2. Unduly inquisitive; prying.
3. Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness: a curious fact.
4. Archaic
     a. Accomplished with skill or ingenuity.
     b. Extremely careful; scrupulous.

I've started this blog to give myself an outlet for my thoughts, without having to follow a  plan like i tried in "and how to be good" or keeping topic-specific as in the yogablog.  My whole life is centered around words, and I think I'll use whatever words I like at the moment to serve as an introduction to whatever I want to talk about. Hope you'll enjoy!

I just finished reading "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon. It is one of the books for my "Contemporary British Novel"-class, and it's truly a blast. The story is told from the point of view of an autistic teenage boy, and does so really well. I liked this book a lot; I found the over clarifying language soothing.

Having to read contemporary novels for a class has turned out to be somewhat of a treat for me! I have read so much fantasy (Terry Pratchett, Garth Nix and J.R.R.Tolkien mostly) over the last few years, I had almost forgot how much of a thrill reading literary fiction can be. Luckily, Atonement by Ian McEwan was the first book on the list, gently leading me by the hand into a literary bonanza of mundane words used in glamorous ways and archaic, unusual and rare words used as if they were ingredients in an average recipe. The way it's written is absolutely beautiful. The second part, with the wartime descriptions is by far the best in my opinion, and some of the images written out in those pages... I think of them every day.