Saturday, November 23, 2013

Identity part 1 (how finding out you're gay makes your future collapse)

Identity - noun

2. the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another:
3. condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is
4. the state or fact of being the same one as described.
5. the sense of self, providing sameness and continuity in personality over time            

Hey internet, it's been a while. Something happened since last time. I found out I'm gay. Surprised? Not as surprised as I was.

This is the first of 3 posts called Identity.

Part 1 (today) will talk about the effects finding out you're gay has on your marriage and your perceived future.
Part 2 will talk about suddenly realising you're gay, just... how that feels.
Part 3 will talk about where I'll go from here, and also explain why I'm going to be all right.

These three parts will tell you why I've been away for so long, why it will be hard to get back and why things will be better when I do. And they start with me being me the way I was a year or so ago. You know, that happy smiling "life is quite cool" version of me. This one:

At that time, I had an image of my future in my head looking something like this:

Quite a cheery place, isn't it? In the back there you can see the houses where my husband and I would sit on the lawn in our wonderful white wooden garden furniture, and watch our grandchildren play. The yellow house in the distance is where we'd grow old, slowly, together. The blue pyramid is us standing proud and happy at 80 or so, looking back on our travels and adventures and feeling happy with what we've done. The tall blue tower is my published books.

There's a house there for our first house, moving out of the apartment, for getting a dog. Some of the houses held dinners with the fabulous friend couples we'd eventually get. Game nights, holidays, all the things we were going to do.

Some of the closer houses held getting children, our children's first day at school, their first word, their first steps, the first positive pregnancy test.  My future was bright, happy and packed full of things to look forward to. In the front of my future, the tower to the left, was the huge "city hall", the house called Our Marrige. The institution that would inevitably lead to all those other things.

This is how I thought things should be, this is what I believed in.
But suddenly, one day, my hand caught fire.
Unlike Katy Perry, I did not kiss a girl and liked it. I was, however, kissed by a girl, and  had my head explode. Thousands of puzzle pieces rearranged into a pattern of "Hoooow did I not see this before", and the tiny spark that had landed in the palm of my hand, slowly but surely burst into solid flames. There was no doubting it, my hand was on fire. But I pretended like nothing. And I did it quite well. I walked around, ignoring my burning hand as if nothing was wrong, except that very quickly became too exhausting and I went to my parents' house and hid there for a while. But my hand was still burning, and the burning began to hurt, and I tried to seek refuge in the image of my future. Only to find the lights had gone out.

"That's odd," I thought and noticed that the flames flared. I tried to run out of my head as quickly as I could, but one single spark got left behind.

I held my breath, I looked away, I hoped, I prayed...

But the grandchildren on the lawn went up in flames, sparks spiralled out of the burning houses, threatening to destroy more of my future. Panicked, I saw no other option than to tell my husband what was going on. He could probably help me put the fire out, make things fall back into order. I explained that my hand was on fire, and how I couldn't put it out. I explained how I realised my hand had probably been a fire-hazard all along, but how there just hadn't been a spark to light it up before. I explained it all.

And my husband kindly, but clearly, explained that this was okay, and I should learn to live with my burning hand, but that our marriage now was over.

I heard no rumbling, no crash, no howling alarms or scraping. Just a dull "whoosh" as most of my future went up in smoke. Just like that.

This is now several months ago, and I'm slowly starting to breathe again. I'm not yet ready to start digging in the rubble, clear the fields and make room for a new one. But I'm getting there. The few trips I've taken down to inspect the ruins has shown that a lot of my planned future was made of straw when it should have been made from brick. Shaky foundations, sub-standard building material and over inflated castles in the air. I accept this. However, this is what I believed in, this is what I thought was real, this is the future I was working towards. The loss is real, if the buildings were not.

On a positive note, I say I haven't started clearing out the rubble yet, and that is almost true. I am blessed with friends who're clearing some of the rubble away for me and making houses of their own. The theory seems to be "We'll be in your future, so we might as well get comfortable". The girl who blew my mind is waiting patiently to the side of things, sometimes gently commenting on how that hill over there would be perfect for a trip to Prague, or how there's plenty of room for children and game nights, over there, in the slightly more distant future. So we'll see.

I'm doing better now, I am, but I am tired and exhausted and bewildered and confused. What do I do until I'm ready to rebuild my life? I'll read memories in the light of my burning hand. It makes a lot of sense.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sociable (Love in the Time of Anxiety)

so·cia·ble - adjective, noun

1. inclined to associate with or be in the company of others.
2. friendly or agreeable in company; companionable.
4. an informal social gathering, especially of members of a church.

This weekend, two of my important people got married. One in a self composed musical wedding ceremony at a theatre nearby, one in what I can only assume was a terrific country style wedding (based on her absolutely amazing Pinterest-collection of wedding-related things covered in twine) just a few hours away. Both are people I would have loved to see as brides. I was invited to the celebrations by the latter of the two, and I really should have gone. She was in my wedding, I've known her since I was 15, we've travelled together for heaven's sake. There's a bond there. But who spent all of that day on the computer watching 6 episodes of 'Freaks and Geeks' in a row, eating half a bag of crisps and making 48 cupcakes? That was me.


Story time!

I've always been a happy kid. Actually, for a long time I was that kid:

I have no idea who the other kids here are, I think they're relatives.
Should one of them be you, and I'm now ripping up some horrible childhood trauma - please forgive me. 
The kid who, when everyone else agreed that both the activity and the people involved sucked, was just happy as a clam getting to wear a scarf on her head. (To be honest, I'm still that kid).

However, something happened as I grew older, and at some point I went 'Hey! Groups of people, how horribly horrifying!' Now, I'm no expert, but I think most people who experience social anxiety at a young age tend to shy away from people. Not me. No, I inserted myself into as many large groups of people I possibly could, feeling awful while pretending to be super happy. And it worked fairly well, as long as I granted myself a steady supply of breaks to cry in a bathroom.

I was bubbly, enthusiastic and confident on the outside, and shy, terrified and insecure on the inside. Actually, I can do better than that. Let's do a thought experiment: imagine a really magnificently colourful train. It's bursting through the landscape, soap bubbles flying, happy music playing, rainbows and glitter shooting through the air, leaving the scent of home-made cinnabuns and summer. In fact, the whole village is just waiting for the next time it will pass with it's silly quirky happiness.

On the inside, however, the train is nothing but a wooden box, with a narrow wooden bench. A wobbly narrow wooden bench, with only 3 legs. And on that wobbly three legged bench sits the engineer. He happens to be very old, terrified of speed, he is allergic to the smell of cinnabuns and gets horrible motion sickness.  And he's nearly blind. And in charge of the train. That only has one break that you have to move from wheel to wheel, on the outside. And the door is jammed. Can you picture it?

That's how I felt. (In all honesty, a lot of people probably found my bubbly too much, so maybe only a tenth of the village really waited for me to burst through the landscape, but that is beside the point of this discussion, thank you very much).

Then this happened:
It might surprise you to know I did not have a MySpace account
I was the cheeriest goth you'll ever meet, and that lasted for about 6 months, before the happy-train went on in technicolour. At some point, the engineer jumped out leaving little but the happy bubbly outside and the wobbly bench on the inside. Occasional panic attacks happened, but I powered through, functioning relatively well for years, with only the shortest periods of 'can't handle people, really.' 10 years passed that way. And then I went to England.

In England the engineer caught up with me again. I thought he was lost forever, but he had just been out buying equipment, getting laser eye surgery and some motion sickness tablets. He was back, and ready for action.

First he installed breaks. Slowing down the whole train a little. Then he fixed the wobbly bench, decided it was still crap and bought a new one. He painted the inside walls, picked off pieces of stickers and happy slogans on the outside, giving the train a slightly less manic look, but making the inside a lot brighter, and he started experimenting with slowing down the pace when he wasn't in the mood for full speed. It felt good, it felt smart, it felt awesome. Except, the engineer very suddenly disappeared again.

I don't know what happened to him, I'm hoping he's just out for more parts. Luckily he made an emergency break for me to hold on to before he left. That turned out to be a good thing. When I got back to Norway I was overwhelmed by the complete lack of fit between the me I got to know while in England, and the life I lived back here. And instead of crashing the train into a wall, I pulled on the emergency break and stopped it completely.

It's been tough coming home, it is tough being home, it is tough finding out where to go from here. And it has been tough telling an important person: 'I'm so sorry, but the thought of going to your wedding gets in the way of me sleeping, and makes me sweat and tear up a little bit.' Luckily, she is understanding.

But! Now I'm all sorts of hopeful! After all, is there a better place to find yourself than on a comfortable bench inside? Is there a better time to figure out where you're going than when the train stands still? I think not! I've also started doing some remodelling on my own, for example I've figured out the train could use some more windows, it would be nice with a passenger car and and a larger variation in music, perhaps a happy whistle and whatever it is that makes the train make that 'chooo chooo'-sound. I'm decorating.

Right now, it's okay resting in a train that's colourful both inside and out, waiting for the engineer to come back. And when he does, I'll make it up to the brides. I'll make it up to all the people who have been waiting. I'll make it up with visits and celebrations and joining in parties and accepting invitations and talking and listening and all those words. After all, I am quite sociable.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Romantic (Why Doctor Who is more romantic than Romeo and Juliet)

ro·man·tic - adjective

1. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of romance; characteristic or suggestive of the world of romance
2. fanciful; impractical; unrealistic
3. imbued with or dominated by idealism
5. displaying or expressing love or strong affection.

Hello, Internet!

Important birthdays are coming up, and as always that sends me spiralling into an endless search for perfect gifts. Gifts that say something. Talking gifts. And I'm good at it too! Few, if any, have such a good track record with semi-sapient presentry as I do.

However, searching through Etsy, Pinterest, Ebay, Amazon and Epla, looking for inspiration and those extra special things has made me think about romance. Hundreds of hundreds of items later, I find that most  romantic expressions annoy me. Geeks do it better. It's just a fact.

1. You are my sun
NO! What are you even saying? That I'm a burning ball of gas? That I am your only source of heat and light?  That your life depends upon me? That if I suddenly disappeared you would die? Does that sound romantic to you? It is not! It's needy, and clingy, and too much pressure, and as a matter of fact - a little grandiose! Juliet is not the sun. Juliet is Juliet. You should be your own gorram sun! If you suddenly disappeared from your life, you would die, your life depends upon you - those are fair points. I'm not your sun. You are!

Geek fix:
Moon of my life (Game of Thrones - Technically answered with 'My sun and stars' but we'll forgive that based on the male/female symbolism and the nomadic existence of the people who use this. Open skies etc)

YES! I like this! You're saying I am the person your own love and beauty reflects back off, who helps lighten up the dark in your life? I can deal with that. You're saying that if I suddenly disappeared things would not be the same, there would be a problem with wobbling and flooding for a while, and hefty climate effects which it would take some time to get used to? Fair enough! It would suck to lose you too!

2. You are the only one for me
NO! I'm really not. There are almost 7 billion people in the world, you and I met after a long string of coincidences and we've probably adjusted ourselves somewhat to fit each other - because that's what people do. There's nothing romantic in thinking that out of all the people in the whole world this one is the only one you could be with. That would just doom you to entire singleness if Your Person got run over by a car or something, and where's the fair in that?

Geek fix:
I choose you (Pokemon)
What is truly romantic is that out of all the seven billion humans, you choose this one - every day.

3. I love you because of all of these reasons and you are so beautiful in all these ways and also if someone sees My Person say all these things, and I'll do all these things, and in the future and forever I will always keep doing all these things and saying all these words because I love you, I love My Person, I love, I love, I love.

Now, I'm afraid I might come across as a bit of cynic here, but that is not my intention. I am all for the grand romantic gestures, and I believe in telling people you love them, often and without reason. But even more so, I believe in showing people what they mean to you and why.

Geek fix:
Tell her... Oh, she knows. (Doctor Who)
This is what you should aim for. This is what I'm aiming for. That no matter what words you say or choose, no matter how big or small your romantic gifts or outbursts are, that the person will know.

I want to be absolutely certain that all those in my life, who should know, will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love them, they are awesome, and I'd make them Leek and Turkey pie with Red Onion Jam, Vegan Tortillas with home made taco spice, Mac'n'Cheese with sausages and "Fiskelefse", or whatever else their heart desires, every day of the week. That I would cross the universe, or oceans, or just take a walk, anywhere, at any time. This is what I hope they will know.

So when jumping out from a cliff (with a hang glider?), or sinking down through the ocean (while scuba diving) or getting ready to leap out of an airplane (again... parachute, this isn't suicidal just adventurous) I can say to the person on the cliff/in the boat/in the plane: If something goes wrong, tell them... Oh, they know.

If this doesn't break your heart a little bit, you might be a robot.
Or just not care so much about Doctor Who.
Both are fine by me, I'm just saying. 

Oh yeah, and they'll probably have kick ass presents to remind them, if they don't. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wordless interlude

People talk about wavelengths as if they were a valid way of measuring chemistry. "We were on the same wavelength," they say, meaning that the person they talked to didn't disagree too much. "She was on a completely different wavelength," they say, meaning she held views completely different from their own.

It is a useless system. Not only because the wavelengths in mention don't actually exist, but even more because the waves they are trying to define are identifiable only by their lack of definition.

I've met these people, who are 'on the same wavelength' as me, and what I can say for certain about them is that their waves and my waves are not made of the same stuff.

My waves run thin and silvery through the air, hooking up to all other waves I've ever experienced. My web of waves is just that - a web.

However, when I meet these mysterious "on the same wavelength"-people, they tend to have waves made of stronger stuff. Blocks and pegs that fit perfectly in the gaps created between my waves. They make my chaos seem like order, and I make their scattered waves seem connected. And so we work.

"It's important to find people who are on the same wavelength," they say, completely misunderstanding the point. It is important, I say, never to look for waves at all. What good are waves, really? It's the ocean we care about

Monday, May 27, 2013

Spider interlude (why doctors should employ children. [Only that would probably be dangerous and a horrible idea. No one should take advice from me, ever])

Hello, internet! Storytelling time:

It was one of those days where the world was just a little too large, and people just a few too many. There was no drama, no tears or screaming or running around. I tend to be very undramatic. But still, I couldn't breathe, so I crouched down by a wall, looked down on the ground and thought about happy things for a while.

A young boy came over and crouched down beside me, staring at the ground in front of me.

"Some spiders can jump," he said. It took me a second to realize he thought I was looking at a tiny spider scuttling across the asphalt.
"Yes," I nodded, "and some spiders wear raindrops on their heads, like little hats." (After all, I am a child of the internet, and my knowledge of spiders is mostly meme, trend and article based.)
"Why?" he wondered. Smart kid.
"I don't know," I admitted, "maybe to keep their heads cool?" He laughed so hard I thought he would choke. I was confused.
"It wouldn't make its head cool," he eventually gasped, "it would make it wet!" the certainty of this statement made it impossible for me not to laugh too.
"Good point." I said.

He stood up, and with the most formal of Norwegian health-greetings he said: "have a good recovery then," before he trotted off after his parents.

Smart kid.

Picture lovingly stolen from

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Moment (why anxiety attacks make people think my life is more interesting than theirs)

moment - noun

1. an indefinitely short period of time; instant
2. the present time or any other particular time
3. a definite period or stage, as in a course of events; juncture
4. importance or consequence
5. a particular time or period of success, excellence, fame, etc,                                    

Let's get one thing straight right from the start: Yes, I consider my own life interesting. I know I'm not supposed to. I know I'm supposed to complain that nothing interesting ever happens to me, or  say that I dream of more action in my life, but I don't. In fact, it would be rather silly of me to do so, considering I can barely keep up with all the interesting and magical things that happen in my life already.

I suppose this sounds wonderfully pompous, and maybe it is. However, I think living an 'interesting life' has much more to do with the ability to make every moment count, remember it and retell it as important, than what the content of the moments actually are. It is important to let things be important. There are, however, two things that have made me better at experiencing interesting moments than most people are:

1. Anxiety attacks. 

Short version: I've had anxiety attacks since I was 11. They were originally linked to loneliness and bullying and such, but that is not important. The first really huge one, the first one that made me unable to function at all for a while, happened when I was 13 while watching a catastrophe film about meteors.

Until that point in time I loved stars. I could place most constellations and spent a lot of time making  space related art and drawings. We were having a project about space at school (hence the meteor film), and I had been super excited about it - until full blown and super heavy waves of panic.

Skip five years ahead.

I was 18, had dropped out of school and impulsively moved across the country. I had moved to the loneliest place in Norway, and I was in general feeling a little lost. Something really bad happened, something that shook me out of the appartment. I ran out, down to the sea, and fell on my knees in the deep snow.

I looked up - and instantly couldn't breathe. Suddenly, and very overwhelmingly I realized I hadn't looked up for five years. For five years I had never seen a star. I had actively avoided them, so as not to trigger a panic attack.

I stood up, took a deep breath and decided, right there and then, that I would never let the things I'm afraid of stop me from living  again. This sounds like a very good plan, but it makes you do a lot of stupid stuff (turns out - some of the stuff you're afraid of is actually dangerous). But in a slightly modified version it makes you say yes to things you're scared to try, say yes to activities, sports and job opportunities you'd otherwise be too frightened to accept.

This is how I ended up saying yes to diving, snorkelling in Silfra, slack-line walking, archery, conversations with all the people I've met when travelling, all the journeys I've done alone, every crush, every romance, getting married, buying an apartment, presenting my art, singing on stage and reading my poetry. Because I can not not do it just because I'm scared.

One time I kind of wish I hadn't done something I was scared of.
Also called: the time I nearly drowned in 2 °C water

2. Focus

I actively choose to experience and remember all my moments as events. I'm horrible at small talk, so I talk about things I find important. I ask important questions, and I try to meet every person 100%.

Where my friends remember meeting 'this guy' at 'that place' and he said 'something funny,' I remember meeting the lovely George in Camden Locks, and I remember how he told us about his day, and the way he coughed when he laughed, and the hug he gave me when we left. I still have that little flower he picked from the cobblestones, and I remember him as important. Even if he was just this guy we met at that place... the one who was funny.

I focus.

I'm looking for moments that matter. I'm looking for people to share a moment with. I trust in the connections I feel, and I trust in myself to be real. Being real with strangers is super scary, but that can't really stop me (see point 1.)

So, do I live a more interesting life than anyone else? No. I'm just a better storyteller.
Have I done 'everything' and met 'everyone' and been 'everywhere'? Not by a long shot. I just don't say no, or think things through very well. Not very well at all. I say yes, I jump in, I laugh loudly and hug warmly. I try to not let worries about how I look, act or am perceived slow down the way I interact with people. I try to just be.

I think they call it living in the moment.

Nice day, nice moment

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tune (how to create a complete soundtrack for every feeling you've ever had)

tune - noun, verb

1.a succession of musical sounds forming an air or melody, with or without the harmony accompanying it.
4.agreement in pitch; unison; harmony.
5.proper adjustment

The last two days I've had the same song stuck on repeat in my brain. This does not surprise me. Coming back to Norway and re-settling into a life I have forgotten the mechanics of give me very specific feelings. Specific feelings leads to specific songs.

I tend to lock onto songs, connecting them to people, themes, feelings, events, periods and even whole years. I am pretty sure I could make a chronological playlist featuring one song representing each year (not necessarily from that year, but representing my idea of that year) from about 1992 and onwards. I can give you the soundtrack of every teacher I've had since 8th grade, the score of each journey I've had, the song of every city I've stayed in and even the "theme songs" from some of my favourite dishes (Cooking is to me very much a musical activity).

I think in lyrics to such an extent that when I was going to the Transit of Venus-event in 2004, and for the life of me couldn't understand why my alarm was being noisy at 6.40 am, my brain responded by making me think the lyrics "there's a little black spot on the sun today" over and over until I woke up. If you utter a sentence that reminds me of a piece of song lyric, I might reply in said lyric. Or even sing that song to you if my guard is down.

I've had about a billion crushes in my life, some turned into 'inloveness' most didn't, but they've all had a soundtrack. Here's a selection:

The GrungerThis was a short and sweet thing, packed with drama. Whenever I hear this song I can smell cigarette smoke and hear the soft ramblings of an asphalt philosopher.

The one who stole the 'me' from me.
There are the big ones and the small ones. This song was the soundtrack to one of the big ones, one of the ones that leaves scars and pains and all that crap. Good song though!

The one who only lasted for three weeks but counts for a lot longer 
This song to me is filled with the drama of being 16, the lost footing and the longing for 'coolness,' the fluff of a pink tiara and the smell of cheap Britney Spears perfume.

The ten days that felt like forever 
This song is filled with longing and sadness and what-ifs and happiness and really nice memories and some wasted time, pointing the way from the "WUHU" to the "oh..." and all the way to the epic friendship on the other side of it all.

The 3 minutes crush on a man from Zanzibar
Every time I hear this song, I'm reminded of how short a time is necessary for my impulsive brain to find a connection. A connection which stays important long after it's lost.

The one who took my breath away 
(The only time I accidentally sung the lyrics on my head out loud)

The one I married
I can't pick a song to cover 9 years just like that. There's a soundtrack. It has happy songs and sad songs, bouncy, upbeat, slow and soft songs. But as a symbol of the eclectic mix, this song works:

Do you have any songs that "are" a person, time or period for you? Please share =) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


thread - noun, verb

1. a fine cord of flax, cotton, or other fibrous material spun out to considerable length.
2. twisted filaments or fibers of any kind used for sewing.
8. that which runs through the whole course of something, connecting successive parts
9. something conceived as being spun or continuously drawn out
12. to pass the end of a thread through the eye of (a needle).
13. to fix (beads, pearls, etc.) upon a thread that is passed through; string.
15. to make one's way through (a narrow passage, forest, crowd, etc.).

On my way back home, just a short stop at my parents' to say hi to the grandparents and important things like that. Leaving England was super sad. Sad in that really nice I'm-so-glad-I've-connected-so-strongly-to-so-many-lovely-people-that-it-breaks-my-heart-to-leave kind of way. And it's still sad. Sad in that what-am-I-doing-now kind of way.

At the same time it's exciting! Tomorrow I go home to my husband! My patient spouse who will now be presented the highly emotional, overly enthusiastic, bursting with creativity and falling apart of sadness bundle of feelings that is me. I wish him the best of luck with that. But this happy/sad/happy/sad tripping from ending this year has had me thinking about how connected I feel to people, things and places.

When I close my eyes I can see all the thin threads spinning out around me. One is rushing through an olive garden in Italy and from there to a lovely woman in Dublin . A silvery one connects every lemon in the world to a peaceful night in Morocco and the lovely ladies I shared it with. I feel threads running through books I've read, connecting to characters and fictional places. Most things run together in this huge cobweb of memories. The taste of cola flavoured lollipops connects through people and places and loops back to my best friend when I was 14. This is how I see the world. This is why I talk in stories, because everything I experience feels connected to everything else.

This year has filled in a lot of weak spots and woven much stronger connections. I feel like I did when I was young(er) and absolutely everything seemed to be shiny and magical in one way or another. Yesterday, while wasting time, I remembered constellations I didn't know I knew, and I remembered smells from when I was little and trying to learn how to knit. I remembered knitting so tightly that the needles had to be cut free, and all I was left with was a systematic knot of threads.

A very systematic knot indeed.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Encounter (How to make sure you know mostly strange people)

Encounter - verb, noun

1. to come upon or meet with, especially unexpectedly
5. a meeting with a person or thing, especially a casual, unexpected, or brief meeting

I am slowly beginning to realize that I'm leaving in three days. Three days until it is too late to do all the things I said I would, too late to get to know all the people I thought I would spend more time with, and too late to say things I'll regret not to have said. Sounds sad, you say? No. This is thrilling! This is a micro-life lived out in fast pace, and it is all about the people I've met, the connection and the encounters.

All the most important connection this year have grown out of random encounters.

I gained a "brother from another mother" through the lack of a bottle opener. He opened my bottle with his teeth, and 7 months later we have spent more time together than I have with any of the friends I have known all my life. We bicker and fight, we chat and play video games, all because of a bottle.

Through this one person and one extra bottle (which wasn't mine) I gained a group. A flat full of friends to hang out with, to eat with, to laugh and cry and joke with. I've had groups of friends before, but this was different, and all because of two bottles.

Every single lecture in one of my classes got better because of one person (I'm still not one hundred percent sure what his name is) sat down next to me, called me 'Red' and laughed at the same oddities as me. We won't keep in touch, but he changed my year, all because of a nickname.

I found Someone who brings me so much excitement and happiness, and whose friendship I hope (and beg and pray) I will get to keep for years to come.

I borrowed money from the girl behind me in line, and was given a co-Potter-fan, who took so many pictures at the Harry Potter Studio Tour I can relive it any time I want. I think we'll stay in touch sporadically, just as we would hang out sporadically, all because of £2 in change.

Capital Punishment Guy was in my discussion group, and filled me with giggles and rage. The American Football Guy sat down at the only available seat and ended up lending me a book I truly enjoyed. The Friendly Taxi Driver let me ride for free because he enjoyed the conversation, the one with the Owl-bag made for funny conversations, and the No-Group-Guy changed my view on sharing.

I got thrown together with a group of strugglers and came out of it with a friend whose conversation can be infuriating and stimulating at the same time.

I have new found friends through an assignment group, friends of poetry, futuristic castles and late night conversations. Friends I had too little time with, but who I hope I'll get to know better.

All of these people have coloured and shaped my year, and every single one of them I met accidentally.
How Lucky am I? (Answer: very)

Also! Today I had my first encounter with archery.
Everyone should find someone and try archery. It was amazing!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Year (how to accurately measure a year that is less than 12 months long)

Year - noun

1. a period of 365 or 366 days, in the Gregorian calendar, divided into 12 calendar months
3. a space of 12 calendar months calculated from any point
9. a group of students entering school or college, graduating, or expecting to graduate in the same year; class.

This is not a funny post.

"I'm going to England for a year," said I.

I was very well aware of the fact that it wasn't a year at all. September - May, eight months, shorter than a Norwegian school year, shorter than a calender year, but a year non the less. In the future, I will talk about the year I studied in England. This year. A different sort of year. A year measured in units so big and unimportant or so small and important that they stretch out and cover a calendar. It's been a really good one.

My year is measured like this:

46 Novels
Which seems a lot, but I have not felt as if I've been reading a lot. Many of them were for school, a lot of them were for fun. A few of the highlights:

- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens, which I've read 9 times before, but still surprises me every time.
- Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep 
- John Green Paper Towns

150 000 Words
This is approximately what I've written this year. 65 000 in my first novel (now being edited), 50 000 in other creative projects (including my second novel,which is not done) the rest in assignments and blog posts.

3 Tubes of Toothpaste 
This year has been a lot about me taking care of myself in new ways, about me failing to take care of myself and of me trying again. Which is a good thing. However, I have a very picky relationship with tooth paste. I want the tooth paste to burn a little, and make me feel like I'm murdering bacteria more than brushing my teeth. This has not been easy in England, and for a year I have, every single morning and evening thought "Tomorrow, I should buy new tooth paste."

30 Days
Of course the year has had more than 30 days, but 30 of them were particularly important and wrapped around all the rest. Those were the 30 days of November. NaNoWriMo came, went and changed everything. Hopefully a new yearly tradition.

1 Smile 
This year has included a lot of smiles, more smiles than I could ever count, but two of them have been especially important and shines differently, and one of them I think I will remember as a particularly important part of this year.

3 Songs I've listened to 
Music has been important this year, and three songs especially have outlined this year for me.

Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
Sam Phillips - Taking Pictures
Regina Spektor - The Flowers

2 Songs I've sung
For Thanksgiving I wrote a song for all the friends I had invited over. They got a verse each and I played the ukulele. That was a good night, although the singing-part is an awkward memory.
And then there was karaoke-night...

6 Encounters 
Encounters that changed things. Which will be the topic of my next posts.

1 Year
The year I went to England. Now: time to go home.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Direction (and why writing about gay rights can get you fired)

Direction - noun

2. the line along which anything lies, faces, moves, etc., with reference to the point or region toward which it is directed
3. the point or region itself
8. management; control; guidance; supervision
15. a purpose or orientation toward a goal that serves to guide or motivate; focus

Dearest internet.

A little while ago I wrote a (slightly sneak) post about why homosexuals shouldn't raise their voice. I admit that I did choose the title and the way I wrote the article to trick readers into reading it all, regardless of which side of the fence they cling to.

I received a couple of very sweet e-mails and comments, and two of them actually brought grateful tears to my eye. This is, after all, why I write - to make a difference (big or small) in someone's day. Now... the gay entry might have done a little harder for a certain Mr. X from one of those small and slow states in the US. He didn't like being tricked to think I was on 'his side' at all, and he actually found my post so provoking, he decided I should die for this heinous trickery. So, ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I received my first death threat.

It greeted me with "You whore" and went on to tell me in quite some detail how I would get to experience the treatment of "real men" (I'm guessing he thought I was a lesbian), I would then die a quite horrible death and burn for my depravity. There were in general a nice selection of the not-so-creative-threats people of the internet's underbelly tend to deal in, and quite a lot of idiocy about gay rights and such. It was signed "Someone who will get you."

Now, internet, I don't know much about death threats, but I know this - If you're going to show muscle and threaten someone's life - you should probably not include the auto signature from your e-mail software.
Mr. X forgot this simple rule, and gave me both name and (even better) workplace.

So I did a quick Google-search, and then e-mailed his boss. I wrote a very nice and polite letter, giving him a copy of the e-mail I received from Mr. X, and asked if these were the official company views on homosexuality and equality. I made it clear that it was fine by me if they were, but that it was something the public might want to know.

Turned out it wasn't. It wasn't the company's views at all. Oh, Mr. X. I wish you all the best in life, seriously. I suggest you start from any side of any library, and read until you see the light. Based on spelling, grammar and intelligence, may I suggest you start with Dr. Seuss. The Sneetches will be good for you.

An illustration I did for an article about French idioms. It has no relevance for this post what so ever. I just like it.

In other news:

1. I've started using Pinterest. I keep inspiration boards there for my novel, and I post random things that make me happy or make me feel creative. If you're on, give me a shout. You find me here 

2. My brain is struggling. I am now 27, and should by all standards approach a point where I know what I'm doing with my life. I'm not. I study for a translation degree, I write a couple of blogs, I've finished one novel that I'm trying to get to a send-to-agents-ready point, I'm writing the sequel, I'm writing a young adult's book at the same time, I illustrate for a magazine, I own a yoga web shop, I am starting a new company, I am involved with two different game projects and I am planning a large  mountain project. There is a vague red thread in all of this, in all projects there are elements of writing and communicating. That's what I do. But how do you figure out which project to focus on, and turn into the thing you want to do with your life? I don't want to carry each and every project with me into the next phase, but I don't know where I'm going, so I don't know what to leave behind.

How did you figure out where you were going?
How did you end up where you are?
Or, if you're not there yet, what's your plan to figure it out?

Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.
Oh, and Mr. X. I'm sorry about your job.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo (Why picking the right metaphor will always win an argument)

NaNoWriMo - abr, noun, verbable noun, lifestyle.

National Novel Writing Month
Project each November in which hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers slowly lose their mind as they try to write a 50 000 words (or longer) novel in 30 days. Great fun.
Accepted forms: WriMo, WriMoing, WriMoer, WriMoes, NaNo- as adjective form. 

This month is not NaNaNoWriMo. It is in fact April, as the clever ones of you might already have noticed. And April means Camp NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo's chubby little cousin. The concept is the same - write a set number of words in 30 days, but the setting is more relaxed, you're grouped together with other writing campers in your digital cabin, and you set your own word count goal. Some take the opportunity to go for a lower, more easily achievable number. Some aim for the stars and do triple or quadruple word-counts. I, once again, run for 50K. An average of 1667 words a day for 30 days.

Now, the intention is always that you should write one continuous text, but WriMo has always been relaxed in it's rules. If you do anything outside the intended function, you're not a cheater - you're a rebel! This year, I'm rebelling. I'm writing two different novels at once.

One of them is the sequel to my NaNoWriMo victory (i.e. the novel I wrote in November, if you need the less gloaty terms). It is easy and fun to write, I know the characters well, I play with words and references and have a blast.

The second project is a text I've been trying and retrying for years, but finally think I found a voice for. It's much more serious, more realistic, less word play, more feelings, more thinking - just a harder write. Now, to begin with I just wrote out a few pages of this one because the thought of it was clouding my Book 1-time, but the switching back and forth worked much better than I thought it would, and I've kept going.
It feels a little like writing out a split personality disorder, but it works.

However, well meaning friends have offered input, and taught me something important about metaphors and similes - it's all about choosing the right one. Also, it has taught me that I should be forever grateful I communicate so much via e-mail and chat, so I have proper time to think out obnoxious ways to 'win' discussions. Even good girls should be allowed some fun.

Well meaning friend: It's like being on a train journey with two different end stations, at some point you'll have to choose which part of the train you're going to stay on.
My response: No, the train is going to station 50 000 words. I'm just enjoying the view from both sides of the train.

Well meaning friend: If you are to give equal attention to two projects, your focus and creativity will be thinner on both sides. Why not do one at a time, spread your brilliance thick, and then do the other later?
My response: I've divided my creativity and focus equally and spread it thick on two half pieces of toast. I'll butter the other halves later. It's like economic breakfast.

Well meaning friend: It's not like these two writing projects are the only thing you're trying to do though. You have school and work and all those other projects too. You're making a huge garden, with tons of flower beds but you only have so much water and fertilizer or whatever. Makes your flowers all weak and pouty.
My response: No no, I only have one flower bed, but instead of filling it with like two types of flowers, I put in 10! Makes it look a little more like a wild field or something.

Well meaning friend: You're just arguing for the sake of it now, aren't you?
My response: Yeah, pretty much, but I still won.

They're probably right. But I'll deal with it when I've written 50 000 words. This post is technically on the procrastination station, so I should get back to work.

Also, this made me laugh:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gay (why homosexuals shouldn't raise their voice)

gay - adjective

1. of, pertaining to, or exhibiting sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex; homosexual
2. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
3. having or showing a merry, lively mood
4. bright or showy

There is one thing that annoys me a lot these days, and it's the way homosexuals always have to raise their voice. They always have to talk about equal rights for equal love, about how it shouldn't be shameful to love someone of the same sex, and how religion shouldn't dictate human rights. Every time questions of marriage, adoption, bullying, equality, prejudice and religion comes up, I feel they have to raise their voice, and it annoys me so much it burns me up from inside.

It annoys me so much it brings tears to my eyes.
It annoys me so much it makes my cheeks flush.
It annoys me so much it makes me cross my own boundaries for "personal space" to get in people's faces, and that takes a lot of annoyance!

Why does it annoy me? Why does it annoy me that they always have to raise their voice?

Because they bloody well shouldn't have to! 

1. Being gay; it's okay. 

It might not be the way you want to live, or the way your interpretation of your religion thinks people should live, but it's not up to you, is it? Accepting that being gay is not something one becomes (science supports this), that it can't be cured (science supports this) or treated (science supports this too), that it is in fact common in the natural world (science supports this) and not a disease, mental disorder, defect or choice at all (science supports this) gets us to a point where you should ask yourself: had you accepted this treatment of anyone else?

Have you seen how much outrage there is whenever the "fight against gingers" are mentioned? How many horrified people are talking about how despicable it is that "ginger" has become a derogatory term, and how terrible it is that children don't feel safe because they get bullied over hair colour? Hair colour? If you raise your voice for the gingers, how come you let the homosexuals fight their fight alone?

2. Words are powerful 

Whenever you allow the word gay to mean lame, bad, worse, less important, less good or any other non positive thing, you contribute. Whenever you don't speak up, you help bring about the feeling, belief and notion that gay is less than perfect. Every time you hear someone say gay in this manner and don't speak up, you help spread the hate. And it is your fault. Every time.

3. We're talking about human rights.

It is important that we take a step back from discussions of sin, hell and religion and look at human rights. Keep the discussion of what will happen to homosexuals when they die for later, let's talk about how they live. Let's discuss why religion should dictate who are allowed to marry and have judicial marital rights. Let's discuss why some people should be allowed to live their life together with the person they love, and sit next to their life long partner's sickbed when they die, and why others should go through the exact same life, but have to leave the sickbed when it's "family only". Let's discuss that. 

Think hard, think long about this question: What threat does gay marriage actually pose? What threat does it pose to society? The only real answer I've ever gotten had to do with procreation, but are we not all very much aware of the fact that our world is overcrowded already? I understand that if we were 50 000 people left on earth it could be considered unfortunate if the gays refused to contribute with their DNA. However, since we are not about to die out, I hardly think this should be an acceptable argument. (Plus, as the English royal line has shown time and time again, in times where you really really really need an heir, 'close your eyes and think of England' is a valid strategy.)

4. We (as in you, me, straight people, bisexual people, gay people, religious people, old people, young people) shouldn't accept this kind of hate, intolerance and prejudice. 

We say we don't. We shudder when we hear of children (children!) taking their own lives because of their sexuality. We agree, in principle, that it's not okay that people are beaten up, harassed or hunted for whom they love. But we shut up. We let it slide. This is their battle.

The blacks fought their own battle, why shouldn't the gays? Provocative isn't it? I heard this argument said, out loud, in good company. Know the worst part? Only I spoke up. Of all the lovely, intelligent, bright and good hearted people present, no one but me spoke. Because we were wrong the last time, I said, and I knew it's wasn't even a full truth. The fight for equal treatment of skin colour isn't over, the gay's fight has only just begun, and we are all so horribly quiet about it.

I bet we are more. I bet we are more people who generally agree that there should be equal rights for equal love, than there are haters. But we allow the haters speak louder. We allow to speak for the rest of us. And we force the gays to raise their voice, on their own behalf, every time.

Makes me want to scream.
Oh, and yeah. I put that thumb in the wrong side around.


About comments: I will allow all respectful comments, even if you don't agree with me. All comments with real arguments and with respectful content, is fine by me. The hate I will not publish. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fever (why butterflies are bastards)

fe·ver - noun
1. an abnormal condition of the body, characterized by undue rise in temperature, quickening of the pulse, and disturbance of various body functions.
2. an abnormally high body temperature.

I am one of those lucky people who, at the age of 27, still gets fever fantasies when my fever gets too high. It has carried on since childhood, and has lead to me hitting my husband (to get rid of his beak with which he was planning to beak me to death), throwing books through the air (to hit the helicopters) and numerous hours under the duvet, hiding from the hot air balloons.

I get sick every now and then, and usually I understand what's happening quick enough to stop the fever from getting too high. Usually I have a couple of days with burning cheeks and shiny eyes, a little less energy than normal, but carrying on as if nothing is wrong. And I try not to whine about it.

I'm a real trooper, marching on with fever burning in my cheeks and glistening in my eyes.
Suffering in (close to) silence. 
But then every now and then, I just get worse. Usually if I'm too busy during the first stage, and don't get enough sleep. Funny that. They keep telling us that sleep is important, but I never listen.

Then the whining starts, and my body slowly shuts down. Then, I sleep a lot. Somewhere in that drowsy world of pillows and comforters and softness.... I let go. I float away. I become sick, and convinced it is okay to fly away on that magical cloud.
Probably dying of a common cold
This is the stage I entered today. The staying in bed stage. Tired and lonely, I was absolutely thrilled to discover I had gotten a visitor. He was sitting perched on my pillow, just waiting for me to open my eyes.

Mr. Butterfly gesticulated wildly and made a sound like  zzzmm zzzzm when he danced. 

Me: Mr. Butterfly!
Him: Hello!
Me: What are you doing here?
Him: I don't know, you invited me.
Me: I did?
Him: Yes, you know we butterflies can't enter a room uninvited.
Me: I thought that was vampires?
Him: You watch too much TV.

Then he started dancing on my head. A butterfly dancing makes very little sound.

Me: Something feels weird, are you sure you're supposed to be here?
Him: Oh, yes! We always come to see the sick.
Me: Oh, that's awfully nice of you, thank you, I was getting lonely.
Him: Oh, it's just to see if you're dying. We like to hold parties on dead people.
Me: I'm not dying.
Him: No... not yet.
Me: No... erh... sorry about that? I mean... I don't want to die. But sorry if it upset you?
Him: No worries, you can't win them all.

At this point I was getting slightly worried that there was something wrong with Mr. Butterfly's head. He was acting all erratic and kept jumping in and out of focus.

Me: Are you allright Mr. Butterfly?
Him: No! You need to calm down! Your head is clearing up. Stop!
Me: I'm just turning on the computer to check Facebook.
Him: Nooo!
Me: What is wrong with you? Why can't I check my Facebook?

He then disappeared for a little while. I logged on Facebook and noticed the profile pictures were moving and the text was slanted. A sudden sneeze reminded me I was sick.

Him: You think too fast, go back to bed!
Me: I need to take some pain killers, I obviously have a fever.
Him: You really shouldn't, you might get an ulcer and die.
Me: I thought that was what you wanted anyway?
Him: fair enough, I hope you die.
Me: You're a bastard Mr. Butterfly.

Close up proves I'm right. 
The fever is now going down, and Mr. Butterfly is gone. Which is sort of sad, because I'm still sick and lonely. Oh, well. You can't win them all.


In other news: you should all check out the fabulous blog of Darcy Perdu, called So Then... stories. It is really funny and sweet!

She gives out free t-shirts for the first one to subscribe from every country, state and planet, so check out if you're one! Our very own Flickster is hailed with the honour of being the very first subscriber from a parallel dimension!
We're both very proud, and she won't shut up about it. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Grimace (I am woman, hear me roar)

grimace - noun, verb

1. a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval, pain, etc    
2. to make grimaces.

I am mostly annoyingly positive. That kind of positive that people choke on, because they want to be angry about whateveritwas, and they want to bitch about it, without hearing "she-was-probably-just-trying-to..." And I get that. The rage faces I have managed to summon, in being rational in meeting with other people's anger and annoyance, could fill a book, and it would be a scary book. A book of rage. I try to get better. I've now learned the survival mechanism called "nod and agree," it works like a charm, but I keep forgetting (mostly because I know I'm right, she WAS probably just trying to...).

However, in the interest of being fair. In the interest of sharing. Here is a list of things that makes me irrationally annoyed, angry, and no matter how much I try to see the other side of the argument, it only ever makes it worse.

In short this post will present the things that can make this transformation  occur.
Notice how even my hair bow gets angry when I'm angry. THAT my friends, is commitment. 

1. People who do anything but watch the movie, at the movies (click this, it is a link)
I've written a separate post about this. It splits my personality, 'nough said.

2. People who say "calm down" when I don't feel uncalm
It gives me an immediate Hulk-reaction. My face contorts, my heart races, and I feel like digging into the jugular vein of the person saying it. I do have a, let's say, a charmingly lively personality, but I'm (mostly) not bouncing around, screaming, waving my hands in people's faces, being high pitched, aggressive or yelly-shouty-naggy. I'm just happy, and I love discussions, and I can be awfully clear if I think something's not right. If I ever go all she-hulk on someone's ass, being told to calm down in any of these situations, will be the thing to make it happen. A friendly warning, so to speak.

3. Rice
I hate rice. Not to eat, but to boil. I cannot for the life of me get the cooking right. I'm a fairly decent cook in other aspects. I can magic up quite impressive dishes, but I cannot for love nor money, with all the help, instructions or guidance in the world, boil rice. Now, let's get one thing clear right from the start, I am able to do the student-cooking of rice. I can fill a pot with water, add rice, and then drain it when it's done. No problem. People who say "I can cook rice" and then do the student cooking, should probably be on this list.

I am talking about that thing, where you add the right amount of water, boil over perfect heat, and end up with this light, fluffy, perfectly cooked rice, that's not burned or sticky, just perfect and delicious. I keep trying, however, and it always ends in all sorts of aggressive behaviour, rice covered walls and unpleasant sounds.

4. Women who backtalk other women, for doing the exact same thing they're doing themselves
I don't think this needs any explanation. Pure aggression. I think everyone should live by the Bambi-esque motto: If you can't find anything nice to say, you might  be evil.

5. People who think socialist is a swearword
It's not.

6. Lord Voldemort

7. My own complete lack of structure 
I am such a messy, unstructured, unfocused person and it annoys beyond belief. I occasionally have serious talks with myself where I go "you need to tidy your room and make a study plan for the week!" and I am all sulky and go "yes, yes, yes, I know, I know, I'll do it right away," and then I go on Twitter for an hour, and then I play some Skyrim, and my brain goes "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US?" and I'm like "relax, I'm just having a break, I'll do it later," but then I don't, and the next day we go through it all again, until someone calls and goes "can I come over?" and I'm like "erh, in an hour" and then tidy and clean and fix like crazy.

8. People who list things that annoy them.

I showed you mine, now show me yours?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Topic (why people shouldn't eavesdrop)

Topic - noun

1. a subject of conversation or discussion: to provide a topic for discussion.
2. the subject or theme of a discourse or of one of its parts.
3. Rhetoric, Logic. a general field of considerations from which arguments can be drawn.  

Me: I think it would be an interesting experiment for us to kidnap a child and raise it together
Santa: Really?
Me: Yes, there's just no way that child could turn out good
Santa: Because of the biological parents, of course.
Me: Obviously. It would be just our luck to pick the worst child in the universe. Oh, look at her! She's adorable!

A stroller with a cute little girl is pushed by. Right as she passes us, the girl does her best The Omen impression. She stares at us as if she is cursing our souls. 

Santa: That... was creepy.
Me: I thought you liked the wicked?
Santa: Wicked people. Wicked children I just can't abide.
Me: Oh, look! It would be perfect timing too, there's a sale on diapers!
Santa: What if the child is too old for diapers?
Me: I feel we've done a poor job in kidnapping a child if we end up with a sulky 19 year old in the back seat! It has to be a young impressionable child. One we can mould to fit our image.
Santa: Yes, that would be better.
Me: Plus, a 19 year old would be all grumpy and do the wrong things.
Santa: I would teach him to smoke, so he could get a job, and buy me cigarettes
Me: That makes sense. Wait, when did you learn to drive?
Santa: What?
Me: The teenager, it's in the back seat.
Santa: I can do a great many thing if I need to.

Somewhere during this part of the dialogue, a woman walked in behind us. 

Me: It would save an awful lot of money though, abducting a teenager. We wouldn't even have to let him live at home.
Santa: We'll arrange some sort of family drama, and kick him out after the first day.
Me: Hm... but how do we stop him from returning to the birth parents? Will we kill them or just take him far far away?
Santa: I think it's better that you don't know.

Her expression as she passed us is the reason why people shouldn't eavesdrop. I felt like running after her and say "this isn't real, we were just playing with the idea of kidnapping a toddler," but she walked really fast, and I was carrying groceries. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rude (I'm a cinema vigilante)

rude - adjective

1.discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way
2.without culture, learning, or refinement
3.rough in manners or behaviour; unmannerly; uncouth.                                                          

I went to the movies today. I saw Cloud Atlas, which was entertaining and beautiful and a quite all right way to pass a few hours. Towards the end, I threw a sweet at the guy next to me. Hard.

Going to the movies has been one of my favourite activities since I was a child. Back then it was something special, a reward or designated treat. Later it became a way to treat myself and find inspiration. Now it's a social, inspiring, entertaining and peaceful thing to do. But I used to have a problem... a problem that just might be resurfacing. I used to think that someone, anyone, should make sure that no one in the audience disturbed the movie experience for the people around them... and that someone usually had to be me. I admit I've lied, schemed and littered to make it happen. And I take no pride in my actions (at least not very much). Most of them can be attributed to youthful indiscretion and delusions of grandeur. At least until tonight.

Example time:

1. I invented the "Civilian Cinema Guards" 
This started when I was about 17. I sat behind two boys, a few years younger than me, and they were being absolutely obnoxious. I'm not saying what I did was right, but what they did was worse. They were loud, commenting on everything that happened, laughing loud at emotional scenes, texting... at least I think this is what they did. I honestly can't remember. But they were annoying. And they were not just annoying to me. They kept going. Much like villains in the movies, who are pushed and pushed and pushed until they finally snap, I was pushed and pushed and pushed... until they awoken the Flickster (my cinema vigelante super hero personality).

Flickster very quietly stood up and leaned over in between them. She said: "Hi, my name is Amelia, and I'm a civilian movie guard here. If you don't quiet down right now, I'll have to ask you to leave."

And so they did. They shut up right away. Two terrified boys, probably a little younger than I had first thought, sat quiet as mice and watched the movie. The problem was solved, and the Flickster was unleashed upon the world.

The Flickster, armed with a CCG-badge and a box of popcorn.

2. The Flickster threw an entire group of teenagers out of a movie theatre. 
The CCG-scheme worked quite well, and every now and then the Flickster would make an appearance. Always to younger people, and only if they annoyed more people than me. The Flickster grew stronger and smarter, and I could no longer contain and control her... I'm ashamed to admit: I didn't even try.

One or two years later I sat (embarrassingly far) behind a group of teens, who did everything the Flickster hated. They shouted, they threw popcorn, they were kicking the seats in front of them, and as this all took place in Norway and the group was tough-looking, no one said a word. Until the Flickster snapped. Quickly and efficiently she climbed over the seats between us... the theatre wasn't even half full, and yet she was enraged. This group was young (about 14-15), but not stupid, so I felt I would need a little extra ammunition. From my wallet I had, quite unconsciously, pulled my library card.

The Flickster held it up in front of them, and said:
"I'm a civilian cinema guard here, and I've received so many complaints about you that I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave, right away." A second went by, two, three, I didn't move, I didn't flinch. And then they left. They just stood up and went away. 9 kids left the seats they had paid for, and walked away. Albeit, yelling "this movie sucks anyway," but they still left. People in the audience were happy, but the friends I was there with were not amused.

I understood. She was out of control. The Flickster could have gotten me into serious trouble. She could have gotten my friends into trouble. The past few years she had been a good companion, but she was growing too fast and going too far. She would have to be put down. Subdued. Locked away somewhere safe.

I had just thrown people (quite a lot of people!) out of the cinema... Thrown them out.
Not only had I been impersonating a person of authority, I had used my fake authority to manipulate the world around me. It hit me that the Flickster might not be entirely good. I had thought she was a superhero, but maybe she was a villain... I had to reel her in.

3. I threw popcorn at a posh lady, because she was talking on her mobile mid film. 
Months later, a phone was ringing a few rows behind me.  I managed to keep the She-Flick down, and wasn't even all that annoyed. The person, a beautiful, blonde woman in her 40s, the type who's got perfect fingernails, perfect hair and whose clothes don't even crease (she might have been a witch), decided to answer her phone instead of turning it of. Even then I kept the FlicksterFemale down, expecting the woman to say "I'm sorry, I'm in the movies, call you later" or "hold on, I'll just leave the theatre" or a variation over the theme. But she didn't. She started talking. And she was commenting on the movie, retelling the plot, even spoiling things she knew would happen... and I couldn't keep the vigilante  quiet any longer.

I turned around and started throwing popcorn, one at a time, at the lady. Slowly, and while facing her 100%.
When the initial bafflement had subsided, she said "what on earth are you doing?" (I might point out that she was still talking on her phone, and told the person on the other end that she was being thrown popcorn at).
Flickster answered: You come from a place where it's polite to chat on the phone while you're at the cinema, I'm from a place where it's polite to throw popcorn at people. If you wish, we can both give in and follow the  rules of normal society.

She was offended, but agreed. Two strangers patted me on the back. That acted much like a drug for the Flickster, and for a while I struggled to put her back in her cage. I managed it at last, and she's been quiet for years, except for the occasional popcorn throwing. And then today happened.

4. I threw a sweet at the guy next to me. Hard. 
Suddenly and out of the blue, the Flickster made an appearance today. The guys next to me were chatting and laughing. And to be fair, they weren't incredibly loud, and I doubt they annoyed more than 3-4 people. I didn't think too much about them, I wasn't particularly annoyed, but out of the blue I found my self throwing a sweet at them. The Flicksterium was back, and she enjoyed it. She was lured out during a quiet and very sad scene, where the boys were joking and laughing, louder than they had before.

The SMACK as the sour candy hit the guy next to me, flat in the face, sent a shiver down my spine. Also because I noticed how much smarter Flicksterella has become since the last time she was on the lose. I kept staring at the screen, chewing my own candy, looking innocent and spellbound by the movie. He was 98% I had done it on purpose. But he couldn't be sure. Not really. Maybe I just didn't like the sweet and had carelessly thrown it aside? Maybe it was the guy on the other side of me, whom I had been feeding sweets all through the movie? He couldn't know. And Flicksteria rejoyced.

They didn't confront me. They quieted down quite a bit, and the guy seemed mostly shocked by the event, and laughed about it several times. He even held on to the sweet for a while. Because he couldn't really know. And Flicksterina had a great time thinking up excuses she would use if confronted (oh, I'm sorry, I thought since it's okay for you to be a bastard and talk through the movie, that it would be okay for me to be a bitch and throw candy at you) and enjoying the fact that Santa, the friend I was with, found it more fun than horrifying.

I promise I will get her under control again. I know this is no way to behave. Throwing sweets at people in stead of politely asking the person to be quiet... Childish, I know. I'll get her back behind bars.

But until I do, know that she is out there, making the movie experience a little quieter, or a little more eventful , a little nicer and a little funnier. And she's doing it for you.

You're welcome.