Thursday, September 30, 2010

Girlie Interlude

On the way home from ballet class Monday evening: I'm driving, Missy is alone in the backseat, Elton John is on the radio singing one of his whinier, sappy love songs.

Elton sings, "What do I gotta do to make you love me?"

Missy groans, "Ugh, just kiss her, and get it over with!"

I snort.

A refrain or two later, Elton sings, "What do I do when lightening strikes me?"

Missy retorts, "And then you die. Duh. Mom, is this man stupid, or something?"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


"Dammit, Boy!  There's Lego everywhere I look.  My house is covered in Lego!"

"I know, Mom.  Isn't it wonderful?"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Neutrons Schmeutrons

I had a physics test on Wednesday. I chose not to study for it Tuesday night.

It was a bold move, and in no way reflected the level of my confidence in my mastery of the subject matter. It's just that, after careful consideration, I figured it was probably better for my continued abiltiy to move freely across the American boarder that I rather not know too much about how nuclear fission works.

"Welcome to the United States, Ma'am. I just need to ask you a few questions. Do you know how a nuclear reactor works?"

"Um, I can draw a diagram. But actually explain how the thing works? No. Definitely not."

"Mm-hm. And, are you familiar with the various ways enriched uranium can be degraded into plutonium for use in atomic weapons?"

"Gosh sir. Beyond balancing the equation on a final? No. No, I really don't know that much about it."

"Very good then. Enjoy your visit. Next!"

I like to think of it as The Freedom From Information Act.

P.S. The test went fine. I neither disgraced nor distinguished myself. I can live with that.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

For Nan--The Mother Of All Outcroppings

This is Preikestolen. I don't know what they're calling it in the English language tour guides these days.  Pulpit Rock?  Rock Pulpit?  Translated literally it's Preacher's Chair, but I can't seem to stop myself from thinking of it as Preacher's Mount.  Which I know is wrong in all sorts of ways.  But am's Mount it is, and ever shall be.

Whatever it's called, it's rather stunning, no?

It's one of those iconic, quintessentially norsk images--along with trolls, Northern lights, and those thorny looking, wooden Stave Churches--that I've tied to Norway, deep in my psyche ever since I was 14 years old and pouring over library books to learn more about the exotic homeland of my hunky, new heart-throbs A-ha. (Fact: JEDA never would have come to Norway, may still to this day, have been living under the false, but harmless, illusion that Norway was the capital of Sweden, and that Jarlsberg cheese was merely a poorer, larger-holed version of the preferable Swiss, if "Take On Me" hadn't been such a perfectly awesome song.)

It was the one thing Mom said she wanted to do while she was here this go 'round--see Preikestolen. (My mom is here visiting/helping.  Did I mention that?  Been here since early August.  It's been great, but I've been working her hard since school started, and I think she might be ready for a vacation.)  She's been training since winter to make sure she was physically fit enough to make it there--long walks, and hiking in the trails around her house.  We took her on a practice run to our choice blueberry patch a few weeks ago:
The blueberry patch is those sunny, green swathes in the valley below.  We left Mister and the kids there to pick blueberries while we climbed to 'redningshytten'--a sort of way-station for weary travellers another kilometer and a half (maybe) and a hefty (you can't see the vertical drop just behind her in this picture, but trust me, it's there) climb along the way.
We thought we blew out her knees on that little trip.  Hiking the dusty trails of Corner Canyon didn't quite prepare her knees and thighs for all the boulders that must be negotiated on Norwegian trails.  But she did eventually recover, and last weekend we all headed to Stavanger en route to Preikestolen.
Boulders.  Boulders, boulders, and more boulders.
It was a much harder, steeper, and more physically demanding trail than I expected it to be.  Mom, however, gamely insisted that it was about what she expected it to be.  Step by careful step she made it there and back no problem.
There were a ton of people there, but none of them this happy and this proud.
With our legs hanging over the edge like a couple of bad-asses...
Those thunderstorms you see gathering rather magnificently in the background, waited until we were about half way back down the trail to soak us to the skin.
White specks on water = itty, bitty sailboats.
The preferred loogie hocking position.
It was a great trip.  I'm so glad I finally got to see it.

Next on the Norwegian icons bucket list:  Lofoten, and the Northen Lights. But probably not this year. There's chemistry to learn this year, and physics....School kind of sucks right now....not that you asked....but it does....and now you know.