Thursday, November 20, 2008

Part Of This Actually Happened. I SWEAR!

So the Mormon missionaries from the library are stalking me.  They found me again today.  And the way I know they're stalking me is the first thing Sister Drew-the-short-straw-so-she-has-to-approach-the-scary-apostate said when she walked up to me was, "We're not stalking you!  I SWEAR!"

Tjeh--way to play it cool there Sister Smooth.  Not at all suspicious.

She invited me and my entire family to Thanksgiving dinner at the ward house.  I politely declined explaining that I do a traditional dinner of my own every year for a big group of friends.  But I told her I had a friend flying in from Scotland next week whose husband has been very curious about her organization in the past,  "Would she be welcome?"

Blink. Blink.

"Um, sssssure.  I guess.  But....won't she?  you know?  be eating with you?"

"Not necessarily.  We'll see what she shows up with.  Last time she came with chocolate eggs for the children and whiskey for Mister.  But no tea.  So I bid my cat kill her first born; he very nearly succeeded.  I doubt she'll forget the tea this time, but look, if there's no shortbread in that bag of hers, she's going to be giving her thanks at someone else's bountiful repast.  That's just the way it is."


"All righty then!  Okay!  Buh-bye!"

And that was it.  She turned tail and ran.  Didn't even offer to say a closing prayer before she left.  And it was snowing pretty hard outside too.  If ever there was a night she needed the Lord's blessing for a safe journey home it was tonight.  Hope she made it okay.

Oh, and also......Boy totally read his first book tonight.  Read the shit out of it!  Dove fearlessly into the text, plumbing the lines for hidden complexities and subtle meaning.  He owned that motherfucker.  I SWEAR!

Take that dried up, nay-saying, intellectually immature-labling teacher!  Take it, and shove it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New This Season: SAD Steals My Writing Chops

Look, I'm sorry, all right.  I've tried.  I've really tried.  I spent three days working on this piece about my run in with Mormon missionaries in the library, then realized I was knee deep in a pile of steaming shit and wisely walked away.  Then I made Norwegian weirdness #7 for dinner and tried to write about that for awhile until it dawned on me that there's really nothing particularly funny to say about stewed lamb and cabbage.  But hey, if anyone needs an artfully framed picture of a pile of steaming shit Fårikål, let me know.  I've got them with and without my sky blue tea kettle in the back ground.

My kids aren't being funny.  My husband isn't being very funny.  My cat is dying a slow miserable death and I can't afford to take him back to the vet, which is so unfunny as to break your heart.  I could tell you all about the three parent-teacher conferences I've attended over the past two weeks, but the basic conclusion would be Boy is intellectually immature and Elder Miss is turning into a moody loner who prefers books to friends, and this strikes me as, well, singularly unfunny.  As would be the long screed of steaming shit righteous invective against Boy's teacher who I'm pretty sure has just written him off as an educational loss because at 6 years and 3 months he's still a bit puppyish and short of attention.  She actually said to me, "I don't even want to talk about anything academic for him until after Easter, but can you tell me why he cries so easily?" 

Um, because you're a cold-hearted bitch? 


See?  Unfunny, and now I'm crying.

I don't do well with the perma-gloam of winter in Mordor Bergen.  Too obvious, right?

I am being smarter about my reading material this year though.  Khaled Hosseini has been banished, and anything revisiting the Holocaust can wait unitl after Easter along with Boy's delayed education.  I'm spending this winter with two of the fattest science fictiony bull shit novels you've ever seen--Pandora's Star and its sequel.  A thousand plus pages of mindless drivel each.  Not exactly the most inspiring prose ever written, but it'll get me through to January in one piece.

So, I'm still here.  I'm just not writing much.

I go through this every year.  I'm fine.  Whatever. 

Tis' the season, right?

Friday, November 07, 2008


Part six in a continuing series exploring the wonderous weirdness of the Norwegian wold.

Tonight's topic: weird footwear.

If you were to take a cultural sensitivity class about how not to be overly offensive during your stay in Norway, one of the first things you'd be told is, do not wear outdoor shoes inside a Norwegian household.

This crucial imparative would come right after the 'avoid eye contact with strangers and innocuous, friendly gestures of greeting in public as locals will think you're soft in the head, and waste precious warming energy being annoyed with you and wondering why the system isn't doing its job in keeping such threatening menaces off the streets' lecture. But sometime before the critical 'fish balls, fish cakes, and fish eggs (no, not those kinds of balls you perverted, ignorant foreigner, you)' appreciation course. It's really that important.

No wet, dirty shoes inside. Period. Invest in some warm, thick, whimsically decorative socks. Or Crocs. Every school child in Norway is required to have a pair of indoor shoes at school which they change into first thing in the morning, and after every recess. It's not uncommon for office workers to do the same. If you're going to a dinner party and wish to wear your fancy dress pumps with your cocktail dress, you carry said dress pumps to the party in a ubiquitous plastic shopping bag, then change out of your wet wellies once you arrive at the party.

Now, if you happen to be taking your daughter to her Tuesday night ballet class and can't be bothered to bring along your favorite pair of indoor Crocs to wear while you wait, do not fret. Look around. There's likely to be a small basket just inside the door holding a ragged collection of blue plastic booties that you can easily slip over your outdoor shoes. Doctor's offices, barnehages, gyms, and dentists all will have the same basket.

And here's the really weird part.....people actually do it........

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Could Not Be More Proud Today

I went to bed last night around 2 a.m. 

Kentucky had just been called for McCain.  Vermont had just been called for Obama.  Some analysts were talking smack about Indiana leaning towards McCain.  And I just couldn't take it anymore.

I tossed.  I turned.  I think I got up to pee 4 times.

I woke up drenched in a cold sweat around 5 a.m.  I had just dreamt that Wolf Blitzer had called the election for McCain, then busted into a manic giggle saying, "Heh!  Just kidding!  You shoulda' seen your faces!  Bwah-hahahahahaaaa".  As soon as it settled in my befuddled brain that it had just been a dream, I had to get up.

The headline on CNN's home page said "McCain camp losing hope as Obama's lead widens".  The electoral college count stood at Obama 222, McCain 135.

I found a dry nightie, went back to bed, and slept like a baby for a whole hour and a half before Mister's alarm went off--the news of Obama's victory all over the radio.

And that's the story of election night at JEDA's house.

Elder Miss wanted to know why I was in such a good mood.  "Because it's a happy day my beauties!  America chose a new president last night, and we got it right this time!"

To which Boy asked, "Is it George Washington again?"

"No, Boy.  He's dead," said EM, "It's that man with the brown skin, right mom?"

"Right my darlings!  Only his name is Barack Obama.  Say it with me: BA ROCK O BAM A."


"Whatever!  I'm in too good a mood to let your poor syntax get in the way of my happiness.  We shall work on it tonight!  EM you shall write his name 10 times on a piece of paper and memorize a brief biography to share with your class on Thursday.  Boy you shall aspire to be like him in every way.  Missy you work on clapping and swooning every time I say 'Change has come to America'.  Now go forth.  Today will be a great day!  Today you are Americans!"

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween is slowly catching on in Norway. 



Every year there's an ever wider selection of cheap black and orange tat to be purchased in the cheap seasonal, tat stores.  Every year there are more and more neighborhoods where it is accepted--expected, even--practice for children to dress up and bang on doors demanding free candy.  This year there was even a sort of Haunted House put on by Elder Miss and Boy's school; apparently, one of Elder Miss's teachers was roped into donning a ratty black wig and white robe, and screaming "Help me!  Help me!" while one of the 7th graders chased her around with a plastic ax.  Awesome, I say.  And not the least bit inappropriate.

We celebrated Halloween night with The Vibrant Ms. M's family.

Vlad here seems to think that, contrary to popular wisdom, vampires turn into baby bats when exposed to sunlight.  And also, that no self-respecting vampire would hungrily gulp down the blood of his victim, but rather, gently lap it up with his tongue, you know, like a kitten.
Snow White's dress was two sizes too big.  When I asked her where her dwarves were, she lifted up her skirt and said, "I don't know.  Under here I sink."
Indy couldn't wait to wipe the simpering smile off that damn she-devil's inscrutable face.  I half hoped he'd succeed.
After dark, we sent the whole pack of kids out trick-or-treating supervised by these two fools.  That's Mister Vibrant Ms. M there on the right.  Does he not look ever so slightly like Ozzy Osbourne paying homage to the humble dairy cow?  And if you're a little shocked that my Mister loosened up enough to play along and walk out of the house looking like Shrek in pin curls....Dude, so am I.  Like I said--slowly....reluctantly.....Halloween is starting to catch on in Norway.