Thursday, October 27, 2005

Passing the baton...








O M G !

Soumyadip has passed the baton to me and I'm doing my bit in this 7 X 5 X n race.
Except in my case it will be 7 x 4, because I don´t want to tag anyone!

Seven things that I plan to do
(Except for number 7, I've no idea regarding the how and when):

  1. Stay in France for at least 3 months and learn more French
  2. Move to the Canary Islands for the winters
  3. I want to buy a new car, as my old Ollie is getting so tired.
  4. Go on a worldcruise
  5. Jump in a parachute
  6. Grow old gracefully and funny (it´s compatible in my opinion)
  7. Go to the theatre and see a play coming November
Seven things that I can do:

  1. Drive a car
  2. Swim
  3. Say a firm no
  4. Type with "correct" finger positioning
  5. Knit
  6. Make verses with rhyme ("höfuðstafir" too!)
  7. Draw

Seven things I can’t:

  1. Type without occasionally looking at the keyboard
  2. Play any musical instrument
  3. Make a speech without getting a crazy heartbeat
  4. Ski
  5. Understand my country´s economy (heh, who can?)
  6. Tell a lie (I feel too bad when people actually believe it)
  7. Watch those television soaps and comics with canned laughter

Seven things I say most often:

  1. Hæ (hello)
  2. Já (yes)
  3. Sjáumst (see you)
  4. Hvernig hefurðu það? (how are you?)
  5. Fyrirgefðu (sorry)
  6. Ái (ouch)
  7. Bless...or sometimes, guilt admitted...bæ (bye)

As I said before, I´m not going to tag anyone, but all readers:
Feel free to have a go...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Women´s Day Off in Iceland on October 24th 2005

This is a photo taken in the center of Reykjavík on this very special day last monday, where women stopped work at 14.08, the hour that equals the difference in pay to that which men are receiving (in a 9-5 job) , according to the newest surveys made in Iceland.

Women´s Day Off - Why?

The program of the day was organized in the smaller of the two squeres in the centrum. The turnout proved to be much bigger than anticipated, but by then it was too late to rearrange the placing (closing streets etc. by the police), so as you can see, it was a bit jammed (the reason I stayed at home and watched the program direct on TV!)

The first Women´s Day Off was held on the same date 30 years ago. More should have been achieved in this field of women´s rights than there has been. We women must not tire in the fight for our rights!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks

From the AfroAmerican Web Ring:

"On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks changed America forever when she was arrested for refusing to yield her seat to a white patron on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. Mrs. Parks was found guilty of disorderly conduct and that lead directly to the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott. However, Mrs. Parks was not the "quiet seamstress" as the media has often portrayed her. In 1943 she became a member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and she served as its secretary until 1956. After the Bus Boycott, Mrs. Parks lost her job and, with her husband and mother, relocated to Detroit in 1957. In 1965 she joined the staff of U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan and worked until her retirement in 1988. In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest honour a civilian can receive in the United States."

Mrs. Parks passed away yesterday,
October 24, 2005, at the age of 92.

Special campaign launched today at UNICEF:

Learn more about it here

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It´s time for the northern lights - the aurora borelalis...


To be honest, I never myself saw them as magnificient as they are in this photo and actually it´s quite rare to see them so big here in Iceland.
I think you might have to go closer to the Northpole, to Greenland, to see them like this. Even so, the ones I have seen on a clear and frosty night are a very beautiful sight!

This post is for Arindam, as promised - bring on the elephants, then! ;)

Northern Light Tours

Icelandic Artists - Sigur Rós

...need I say more?

~ Click on image!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Anticlimax

I just finished watching a direct transmission from Copenhagen from the celebration of 50 years of "Eurovision Song contest" and the choosing of the best Eurovision song of all times. The show was excellent and well performed, good entertainment...

BUT: The song that was chosen tonight by audiences all over Europe was, not very surprisingly, the famous "Waterloo", a fine song alright. But Abba, the winners of the contest for THE Erovision song, didn´t show up for this evening of celebration! What an anticlimax, after all the singing and dancing, the anticipation, that we didn´t get a view of the happy winners, the former members of the supergroup, hugging and kissing. No, just a rather shy representavive of theirs that came to the stage to recive the prize, thanking on their behalf with a few words...finish!

Where was Abba?

"Waterloo" was obviously one of the very likely winners tonight. In a way I think Abba owed it to the oragnisers of the celebration to show up, as this was also the hit that put them on the chart internationally back then and helped them become so famous. Have they become too big for the Eurovision nowadays?

Or maybe the reason they didn´t come is that they split up long ago and are not all that keen on hugging and kissing anymore ? Unlike "The Brotherhood of Man, that showed up for the night, happy and smiling.

Many very fine songs were remembered, but I was really offended by one thing:

There was no mention of Dana and "All kinds of everything" whatsoever!

Where was Dana?

I Googled an found out that this is what Dana is doing today. A beautiful woman, a fine singer and a very nice song that won the contest in 1970. As I said before, I find it very strange that there was no mention of her in the whole show, especially since they had both Johnny Logan and good "old" Cliff Richard there, who only "almost" won, more than once, if I´m correct, with songs that even so became popular. Like so many runners-up in this contest, where they are sometimes the songs better remebered than the real winners.

The Iceland Airwaves Music Festival 2005

...is now in full swing in Reykjavík, with a big number of groups performing, both Icelandic and international, and everyone in general having a good time listening to music and partying for a couple of days.
A great number of the foreign groups are staying in Hótel Frón. And as I´m working this weekend, I have already met a few of the musicians. They were the ones that managed (or were hungry enough) to get up at 9.50 a. m. this morning to have breakfast (we close at 10.00 a.m.), as there were concerts scheduled as late as 4.oo a.m. yesterday night! Of course those were an addition to a couple of Irish guys that had not slept at all and were returning home around 6.30 a.m. and were able to persuade us breakfast-makers (easy, as we were preparing already) to give them a bite, even though breakfast really doesn´t start until 7.00.


And the fun goes on...today the group Hermigervill is performing on the banks of the Blue Lagoon , playing at the official Airwaves hangover party!

Some samples of Hermigervill´s music:
Sleepwork(CD)
Lausnin(CD)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I´ve been tagged...

I was tagged by Soumyadip of Mindless Musings of an Unmindful Mind. I´m not terribly good at this, but seems I´m supposed to state some 20 random facts about myself. OMG, that´s difficult, as I´m really rather a shy person and I don´t know what to tell about myself. But I´ll be a sport and give this a try, so her goes:

20 random facts about me:

1. I´ve got a whole stack of books that I´ve not read yet.
2. I don´t posess a credit card (unlike most of my countrymen).
3. I could not live without my car, an Opel Astra station 1995. Takes me everywhere and quite often my parents too. It can be very practical to have a station car if you have to move things and when travelling.
4. I have not read Harry Potter.
5. I don´t smoke, I very seldom drink alcohol and then I prefer white wine. My favourite drinks are fruit juice, coffee and SWISS MISS!
6. I like to sleep late in the mornings. Sometimes I get up during the night and do things I got the idea for while sleeping and then go back to bed.
7. I love having a bath and then going to sleep in a bed that has just had the sheets changed. Uhm...
8. I don´t like to eat meat, even though I´ll have a bite of it if I´m a guest somewhere just to be polite. But I like fish and seafood a lot. And I love any kind of fruits and vegetables. I´m not a bad cook but even so I don´t like cooking much. I´m not a very tidy housewife, even though I like having my flat clean and tidy.
9. I´m not scared of anything, except: Knives, guns and getting stuck in an elevator (hasn´t happened yet and hopefully never). I´m not afraid of insects or mice, though I prefer the latter to stay outdoors.
10. What makes me feel good: Listening to Buena Vista Social Club´s music will always put me in a good mood. Making pancakes too. I love candlelights, they also make me feel nice. I always have plenty of candles in my flat.
11. I love going to the theatre, regardless of the play. The movies too, but then I´ll refuse going to see some stupid horrorfilm, I´m not paying for getting revolted. War of the Worlds is the worst film I´ve ever seen and I´d rather not risk topping that!
12. I don´t know how to skate or ski.
13. I never watch soccer.
14. I don´t go to the gym or work out, but I want to go parachuting before I become too old and brittle and while I still have my own teeth:

...this video will show you why!

15. I would like to travel much, much more than I do now.
16. I collect teddybears, at the moment I´ve got 35.
17. I find myself increasingly agreeing with my mother when thinking back on my childhood. She once on the topic of me having done some pranks exclaimed: You! Impossible, you were always such a well behaved child! Fading memory....
18. First time in love? I had a crush on one of my big sister´s classmates when I was 4. When I was 7 there was a boy in my class that I really liked, but after I caught sight of him walking alone along the sidewalk and singing out loud, I dropped every thought of him, because I thought this was a very childish and inappropriate behaviour!
19. I´m addicted to blogging.
20. I think 20 is far too many random facts to tell...phew!

I´m only going to tag two persons, Risa of CALL IF YOU NEED ME and Arindam of duck on the third rock.

Funny videos

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Still about in-laws, but this time on a deadly serious note:


"The Picture of Daddy

- Thelma´s Story"

This is the title of a just published book that has shocked and horrified the public in Iceland. It´s the true story of the girl Thelma and her four sisters, who throughout their entire childhood, during the seventies and eighties, were violated, sexually abused and prostituted by their alcoholic and mentally disturbed father and his "friends", to whom he "lent" his daughters to have sex with them, in exchange for booze and drugs and sometimes, Thelma suspects, even money.

The publication has especially shaken the community of the small town Hafnarfjörður, in the vicinity of Reykjavík, where the family lived, as well as everybody else in the country. People are asking all sorts of questions, as to how this could persist in such a close community, where everybody more or less knows each other and what is going on. It seems there were persistent, ugly rumours and that lots of people knew that there was something amiss in "the little yellow house". There seem to have been some inquiries and attempts to intervene on behalf of the girls´ school (where they are all noted as having been excellent, friendly and well behaved students, neatly dressed and smiling, despite of coming from a "problem" home) and the local authorities, but that nobody really took any serious action or initiative to find out what was wrong, to get to the bottom of what exactly was happening or take precautions to stop whatever it was.

It didn´t help matters much of course that the girls´mother, justly afraid of her husbands rage, when asked (as accounted for by an at-the-time school nurse, social worker and police) denied that the family was having any problems, insisting that "we are fine". But then, is it reasonable to expect a different answer from her, with a crazy husband listening in another room? In an interview on a television news program about the book and the story it tells, the former school nurse even muttered at the end that she was herself "dead-scared of the guy"! It has also been pointed out that the mother may have had some fear of the authorities, dreading the prospect of possibly having her children taken away from her if the truth came out.


As Thelma herself so pathetically puts it, all these years later, on behalf of the little girls that suffered their lot in silence and fear of their psychopatic monster of a father, whose punishment for disobedience could for example consist of beating them or killing one of their many and dear pets while he forced them to look on: "Nobody asked us. Nobody saved us!"

The woman Thelma is Óskar´s ex-sister-in law, she was the wife of his brother Helgi for some years. They had been married for about two years and she had given birth to their only son when she opened up to him and told him what went on in her childhood´s home. He had already had some suspictions, ever since he got to know her, but even so it was a great shock to learn the ugly truth. He was the one who encouraged her to seek help and go to "Stígamót", the center for victims of sexual abuse and violence, where she went and stayed for a whole year.

They later got divorced, but are still fond of each other and keep in good contact. Thelma has ever since that time been actively involved in the work of "Stígamót", giving council and helping other women that have had similar horrible experiences to her own.

And now she has with great courage, in this new book* authored by
Gerður Kristný, a well known Icelandic writer, unfolded to the public the story of the five sisters and the truth about their gruesome childhood.

Because, as Thelma says: "The shame is not ours! - If anybody in a similar situation can be helped by me revealing all and telling this story, my goal with this book is achieved."

She is a real hero!

A post on the same subject from "The Iceland Weather Report"

Hilarious!


I took my blogfriend´s duck on the third rock´s advice:

1. Go to Google.com
2. Type "failure" (without double quotes) in the search text box.
3. Press "I'm Feeling Lucky" button just next to "Google Search" button.
4. See what happens. Find it out yourself and laugh a lot. (Do not worry,
its not going to harm your computer.)

He, he, he, yeah this one is funny, I laughed a lot.

But did you know that the verb "to busk" means "to beg"?
And that the Icelandic nickname for USA´s president is "Goggi Búskur"?!

P.s. Follow the same process with the the word "idiot"
see what happens...

He, he, had ME busy for a while!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On the subject of in-laws...


This is Óskar senior, Óskars dad and my dad-in-law. He is 82 years old and a very nice and funny guy. Here he is playing the mandolin he got as a present when he was fourteen.

He is an intelligent man, who has taught himself to read and write several foreign languages, and an ardent collector of many things. He has 112 Bibles in as many languages and stamps and coins from all corners of the world. He also has both musical and poetical talents, he makes small verses in rhyme whenever he wants and has composed some popular tunes.

Before becoming a pensionist he worked for many years as the school janitor of the only primary school in Neskaupstaður, his home village. When he was younger he was a seaman and used to drink too much, but he has managed to stay sober now for more than thirty years.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The big secret was revealed tonight...


...we now know who of the four fellows from the pre-show presentation last week was chosen to become the "Íslenski Bachelorinn" (The Icelandic Bachelor) for the Skjár1 television series imitating (very exactly) the American equivalient...and thank God, it´s not MY baby... hjúkk! (sigh of relief)...

Just spoke with my son on the phone, he is on reflection equally as relieved as his mom, as he enjoys being a bachelor and probably would have ended up like the guy in the picture, had he been chosen to be "The Bachelor" and continued in the series!

And in particular, I will not have to be "The Icelandic Mom-In-Law",
a prospect of which I was not particularly happy...phew!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ten Things That Age You


1. Feeling overwhelmed by stress- No
2. Drinking too much alcohol- or drinking too little- Have to say too little
3. Moving too little- That too
4. Eating too much saturated fat- I don´t think so
5. Smoking cigarrettes- No
6. Breathing polluted air- No, I´m lucky
7. Getting too much sun- No, if anything I´d have to say too little
8. Getting too little sleep- No
9. Being overweight- I am not overweight.
10. Eating too much sugar- Yes, I have bouts of eating icecream and sweets!

I believe this calculates my age the 54 I am and I go for a check regularly anyway.

The Snow Queen