Welcome to this here place of introspection and extroversion (not to mention perversion) in Sunny Tokyo ;-)
Monday, January 30, 2006
Quiz time is over - new photos added ;-)
Can you spot which animal this is? Think I might have made this too easy though..? Guess I didn´t, it´s a penguin :-D
Had a lovely day at the zoo which unplanned did not result in overly frozen toes nor fingers due to the fact that we actually got some sun. The officcial reason for going was of course the kids however I did manage to sneak off a couple (or more) shots of the various caged and not so caged animals inbetween ;-P
Saturday, January 28, 2006
So how´s this for absurd? A drink specifically aimed for children and marketed to resemble beer at all cost?? How incredibly inappropriate is that??
"Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink," reads the product's advertising slogan
Reminds me of those chewingum sigarettes we used to have as kids... But there again we are talking Japan here where the contrasts in culture seem ridiculous to the foreign eye and Japanese Engrish with its amazingly inappropriate translations never cease to amaze and amuse.
With next October only a mere 9 months away I´m already looking into the realestate market ..... What can I say..It´s mad, mad, mad I tell you!! I knew apartments in Tokyo would be hard to come by and small but this wee one on the left had me speechless ;-) Then there is the whole system of presenting insurance money (amounting to 4 month rent or so) to the owner, non refundable! As well as the agency fees and everything...The apartments specifically aimed at foreigner that advertise avoiding all such fees seem somewhat dubious to say the least, leaving me sincerely hoping the University will assist even though having the kids along makes it doubtful...Then looking into English speaking schools for Ragnar was a minor shock as well, the average annual prize seems to be around 10.000 pounds! Wonder why homeschooling is starting to sound real good about now...
Am really looking forward to this trip and the experience, yet at the same time every time I come accross a japanese newsfeed I panic over my lack of language knowledge, as well as the amount of organizing neccesary to make the transition as painless and enjoyable as possible for the kids. It all feels a tad overwhelming at times, but hey :-D It´s not like one get´s a research grant like this every day, whatsoever in folkloristics and Japanese so it´s all more than worth it ;-) The kids will come out of it with even more experience and Elena, I´m sure, will have no difficulty picking up the language in this time. The last time I spent a year in Japan I changed considerably, wonder whether it´ll have a similar effect on me again ;-)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
My wee fossil fuel
An opera/musical discussing the pros and cons of the various energy sources sung and acted by primary 5th, 6th and 7th kids ;-) How´s that for a different day out ?
Was immensely proud of my wee chap, he knew all the lyrics, managed the dance moves and grinned happily for the camera upon observing his mum approaching :-D
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A fantastic hours trainride :-D
Just had this really great experience :-D I was asked what it was that I study and for the first time in my life the response wasn´t "what´s that" but avid interest and an exclamation of joy :-D
Was on the Glasgow train home when a family sits down around me and commence speaking Italian, then one of the ladies asks whether they should ask "the girl" (instant winover ;-) for information, to which I (being the language show off that I am) reply "sure" in my fluent Italian :-D
So it turns out he´s a lawyer that saw the light and is now teaching ethnomusicology and studying Italian folklore so the hours ride into Embra was spent discussing the various superstitions of our respective countries, whitchcraft, magic, Martin Mystere (of which he´s sending me a copy), elves, pixies (the beings), Björk and the state of folklore studies around the world :-D Sorry can´t help but be beaming :-D
So for me I got to be called "a girl" with the appropriate noooo when they found out about the kids, I got to talk about my favorite interests to people with tons of knowledge as well as interest in the field and all that in Italian :-D
Just one more *beaming happy happy smile* and now I´m done ;-D
Interesting and somewhat true...?
|You Are Likely a First Born|
At your darkest moments, you feel guilty. At work and school, you do best when you're researching. When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.
In friendship, you are considerate and compromising. Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking. You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.
Akatsuki just got me thinking ;-) Generally acknowledged to be a bad thing ! There have been so many mediums for music and pictures in my (considerably short) lifespan ;-) Records, cd´s, dvd´s, mp3´s and more.... Yet I can remember the first in every format..How´s that for showing my age ;-P How about you? What were your firsts??
45' Single:.............Tears for Fears
Laser disk:.............Dirty Dancing
vhs video:..............Buffy (o.k. so I was late ;-)
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Borrowed of Bits & Pieces
Monday, January 23, 2006
It would seem I am on an academic track... of sorts (the slow one ;-)
Yay, my first proposal for a paper to be given at a proper grown up conference (read *not student friendly*) has been accepted. Guess I´d better actually get my arse in gear and start reading and writing! (note to self to be repeated over and over until finished writing "Do NOT leave writing the paper until the night before"!!!)
I´ll be writing on the use of folklore in the new t.v. show Supernatural and the folk groups already formed behind it ;-) How´s that for typical freshfaced folklorist trying to be true to her interests ;-Þ
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Thunder in concert !
Being broke and all I did something rather nutty yesterday ;-) Went to Glasgow to see Thunder on stage! For those of you lacking in classical Heavy metal education Thunder was a semi big thing back in 1990 and by far my favorite! Saw them live at Kaplakriki in Iceland 1991, Tokyo 1991 and then Monsters of Rocks at Donnington 1992 along with minor bands such as Skid Row and Iron Maiden. Even met them in Kingston once, have the autographed leather jacket to show for it and all ;-D
So after a tumultous search for babysitting we headed off to Glasgow, had my kangaroo steak at an australian restaurant (interesting mixture of puffin/venison taste, sweet and very tender yet very flavourful) and showed up at the concert about the time it was advertised as starting. Scarily enough most of the people there were middle aged, making me wonder where exactly I am ;-)
The first warm up band was excellent,
named RoadStar, they had charisma, knew how to work their instruments and the singer was good if a tad overdoing the Steven Tyler bit ;-D The second band was crap, so no mention there and then, two hours later Thunder came on stage ;-)
Boy have they aged!! But the magic was still there, the music and the singing was great...the onstage carisma and the dancing abilities hadn´t improved much, but hey it´s the music I came to listen to ;-)
When I saw them at Donnington this was so obvious, they were my favorite band yet when appearing on stage after Sebastian Bach of Skidrow fame and incredible stage presence they just seemed small by comparison ...
The image below is of them as I remember them ;-) and I´m going to look for an image of me, wearing my tight jeans, cowboy boots, leather jacket complete with signatures and wearing my Thunder concert T-shirt for your enjoyment ;-) or sniggering...
O.k. couldn´t find the precise image I was looking for, so I´ll let this one do for now ;-) So I´m not wearing the Thunder t-shirt but apart from that it´s pretty much the same ;-)
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Leith yet again, this time at twilight
Leith yet again, this time at twilight
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.
Started a photography course on Monday, well actually a camera course to be more precise, at the local adult education centre. Looking forward to learning how to make proper use of the capabilities of my fancy smanzy camera ;-D Already after only lesson I´m at a complete loss, but hopefully after doing my homework tomorrow phrases like depth of field, aperture and a number of others will actually make sense to me ;-)
I´ve decided to do a close up focus project using my ikea lamp (and the kids´) a white sheet and marbles.
Went out today searching for marbles here in Edinburgh, wouldn´t have believed how difficult it was to find any kind of variety. Can´t you picture it? There I was walking on this blustery day between places, doing my best drenched disheveled wanna be bedraggled rocker cat impression going up to the shop attendants saying “Errm Excuse me, I´ve lost my marbles, have you got any” cue smile :-D
Anyways promice to share the homework resaults with you, whether you like it or not :-D
Friday, January 20, 2006
Graffiti at the university (of Edinburgh)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Been browsing blogs lately wondering where mine is heading, presumably due to the fact that I “should” be preparing two papers and a proposal yet am feeling very much in mid air, not knowing whether I´m starting a PhD course next month or whether I should be out looking for a job. The looking for jobs thing is fairly difficult as I feel I´m being dishonest by only wanting a job until August at the very latest, and there is always the off chance that the school will get back in touch. How can I honestly answer when they ask why they should hire me?
So until October, when we (presumably) head off to Japan (assuming all goes well with the Japanese ministry of education) and start my research there I´m literally in mid-air. I just graduated, I feel like taking a break, yet at the same time I´m not contributing at all to the household at the moment, granted my student loans were our main income last year but still..
And this, although it seems like I´ve just been rambling aimlessly, is were the blog discussion kicks in. When I started my blog it was this nameless thing, mostly for whining about life the universe and all its attacks on me, my sci-fi/fantasy interests which I didn´t have anyone to share in, interesting links that came my way and goofy online tests ;-) These days it rocks between being a family saga, a link share base, a photographic platform spiced with the occasional rant.
I´ve been told that the blog has lost it´s edginess, that the sarcasm isn´t there anymore... Well it kind of reflects my mood and emotional stance at each given moment, hence the mode chance. I am content, in a happy relationship with my best friend, the kids are doing great and for all this ranting I´m most definitely moving forwards in strides..
Another of my problems is that I no longer feel relaxed venting properly here as I don´t want things doubling back and hitting me in the head. I can´t really vent about the crappyness of the management at my school, the nuttyness of my relations nor the abominableness of the ex, as I can´t be sure who could find their way here.. Soonish I´m hoping to start publishing so don´t I need to guard my tongue?
Looking at blogs around there are a few fairly obvious categories:
There are the nameless ones I love reading, often focusing on academia, whereby people rant freely about the idiocy of their students, deans and the whole inter-departmental politics mess.
Then there are the personal ones, those who post photos of their kids (or cats), rant about the workplace (without actually naming it of course) and generally give an account of life at that household with the occasional personality test interspersed.
There are the aggressively bitchy ones, obviously nameless, where one suspects that the person in question might just be the sweetest thing in person but uses this as a place vent to her/his aggressivity.
Where do I belong? Being an Icelandic folklorist abroad there´s not much I can actually say in a blog without there being a chance of it being traced to me, so an idea would be just to keep my bitching to myself and just blog about the nice things in life. A happy, upbeat optimistic blog, but where´s the fun in that, and how honest would that be? There again I have always refrained from blogging when feeling too down as those aren´t the things I´d like to share nor to remember...
O.k. so there doesn´t seem to be a point made here, to surmise I´m wondering where the line between blog personality and real life fades, how much others can put in store by what they read here and maybe whether it would be a good idea to separate this blog into two, leaving this one to be a family saga and leaving rants to be published elsewhere? As things stand my personalities are already split enough as it is ;-) so what do you think? Unnecessary ranting/worries?
Routine nonsense for your viewing pleasure ;-)
The top video here is hilarious, if you have any knowledge of Japanese culture and the incredible emphasis they put on minor details of courtesy (whilst totally ignoring others) I promise you´ll find this funny ;-D
On a separate not this one is on the naughtier side, but utterly addicting and irritatingly fun ;-) It´s title "the internet is for porn" gives you hereby due warning although nothing explicit actually appears, it´s a computer game musical ;-P The time spent on making it is staggering, some people have no life (says the blogger ;-)
And there you have it ;-)
Fónd this whilst reading all the back posts (I´ve been a bad blog-friend) at Anastasias ;-) Her´s seemed a tad more innocent while mine seem a bit well.. open to intepretation, but that´s probably only a reflection of reality ;-).
- Gunnella is actually a mammal, not a fish!
- Gunnella can last longer without water than a camel can!
- Gunnella is the sacred animal of Thailand.
- Japan provides over thirty percent of the world's Gunnella supply.
- If you drop Gunnella from the top of the Empire State Building, she will be falling fast enough to kill before reaching the ground!
- Gunnella invented the wheel in the fourth millennium BC.
- Over 2000 people have now climbed Gunnella, with roughly ten percent dying on the way down!
- In Vermont, the ratio of cows to Gunnella is 10:1!
- The Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter is made entirely of Gunnella!
- If every star in the Milky Way was a grain of salt they would fill Gunnella.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Mid winter cleaning
Just cleaned up the links a bit and changed the background and stuff,... any comments?
And whilst I´m at it, Thank you so much everyone who congratulated me on the graduation :-D
Graduation recap :-D
Yes, I´m alive ! Honest, wait .. *pinches herself* yup most definitely alive ;-) Things are slowly getting back to normal after an adventurous week, during which I got to wear a cape, shake hands with the man voted most likely to win the Mr. Colgate competition and go pubbing in Sheffield. To start from the beginning...
As you´ll have gathered from the photo below I graduated last week, seeing as in Iceland we don´t generally have these doos with hats and gowns and such, as well as seeing it was my first university graduation (that I attended) and the very first graduation ever my dad attended it was an adventure indeed!
So, after leaving the kids to fend for temselves (admittedly with friends ;-) we headed off to
On the actual day, after showing up hours early we had plenty of photo opportunities before the ceremony as well as deciding on what kind of memorabilia I´d like (went for a silver cup and a t-shirt) the other graduands started turning up.
Much to my delight I found that there were four others graduating from the department, only from the year before and another aquaintance coming back for her second degree. The reason for this lapse is that the U.K. students generally take the course in 2 years but foreign ones in a year due to school fees for us being twice as high .. :-/
The ceremony went perfectly, the dean pronounced my name correctly, I did (amazingly enough) not trip on the stage and managed to shake hands, smile and thank the head (mr. Colgate himself).
After which smiling muscles were stretched to their limits as endless memory cards were filled outside the hall before heading off, first to have the official photograph taken and then to the nearest pub (my favorite part of Britain ;-)
Much to my enjoyment all three of my years classmates turned up to share in the day with us, Gid (the one in black and white), Si came up from Cheshire (the sandy haired one) and Paul (the Shakespeare impersonator ;-) came all the way up from London! Dad the duly invited the whole lot out to dinner, of which 5 acquiesced.
The cost of which ended up being less than a meal for the two of us at a fancy restaurant in Iceland, amazing the price differences! I love living here when it comes to these things!!
Finally, of course, it was off to the pub again :-D This time the Red Deer, where most of last years Tuesday afternoons were spent discussing folklore amongst other things ;-D
It has been great fun to observe to versions of this ritual here, the Edinburgh one was somehow more dignified, but at least I didn´t get hit on the head ;-) like Halldór did. Thereagain the comparison is unfair, with Sheffield University being only a 100 years old and Edinburgh being what.. 400? Them having a special hall for this sole purpose fancily decorated with frescoes and elderly livery clad ushers ;-D
All in all, great fun, great experience, great expense for poor dad *blush* and an unforgettable memory...
I´ve been Tagged!!
I´ve been tagged ;-) This time by Steve
Four jobs I´ve had in my life:
A cleaning technician at a hospital
Primary and second school teacher
A teacher of evening college classes (Scary isn´t it ;-)
Four movies I could watch over and over (and have!):
Tonari no Totoro
Four places you have lived:
Reykjavík, Blönduós, Iceland
Four TV shows you love to watch:
Dr Who, the new series
Four places you have been on vacation:
Four websites I visit daily :
Internet Movie Data base
Fuggingit up (o.k. so I´m base)
Four of my favourite foods:
A rare steak or maybe scallops, or monk fish?
Icelandic smoked lamb with all the dressings
Four places I would rather be right now:
Iceland (for photographic reasons)
Castle hopping in the UK
Four bloggers I am tagging:
Sighclub in the States
Svava in Iceland
Soffía in Denmark
Sigga in Iceland/London
Scary how much a small thing like this says about you... I like rich foods, geeky tv, sappy/fairytale movies and....? anything else that springs to mind?
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The kids are back but sanity nowhere to be found, that and the cape ;-)
Börnin komin heim ;-)
Originally uploaded by Gunnella73.
*dances around the room (yet again)* The kids are back, the kids are back, the kids are back she sings to an illdefinable tune of her own making... :-D
Busy week up ahead, the kids returned during the weekend, accompanied by dad who´s here to attend my graduation ;-) Actually the first one he´s ever attended :-D *yet another happy dance (cut it out already)* So this week we´re off to Sheffield for me to make the most of my "first" opportunity to wear a fancy hooded cape and a mortar board on my head. Actually dad insist they´re called gowns, but a cape sounds oh so more adventurous, don´t you think? ;-) Promice to post pictures, after having carefully weeded out the bad ones as well as the alcholically impaired ones ;-P Think I´d better join Halldór in bed now, my split personalities starting to become a tad too obvious in my writings *glances about nervously (a giant manga style hammer appears...)* o.k. see what I mean :-D
Followup on the Memorypost :-D
Thank you all who shared a memory with me here below, it was incredibly precious and surpricing in as much as the clarity of the memories and the emotions connected with them far surpassed what I had expected :-D
Jibby! I have friends *silly looking Icelander in long johns and a wolly jumper dances around in joy* ;-)
Ágústa : I´d actually forgotten about that ;-) Thank you for reminding me! Hey wow I actually had drinking stamina many a year ago :-D I have some great photos from that gathering, admittedly at home, but worth keeping in mind for later meetups! I had such a great time :-D
Lola : Like wise :-D Online friendships through blogs are intrigueing, one knows so much about the person, their mood, feelings, priorities, interests, talents yet at the same time one knows so little ... You coming over for a coffe in Edinburgh one day?
Svava Svanborg : He he that´s a classic, unfortunately our magics were a bit off or perhaps too self goal orientated because all of them showed up at school next day fit as a fiddle. I still have that Kachina in my pencil case ;-)
Jóna Finndís : Ahh that was great fun! :-D I loved the guiding job, gave me an opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world (as well as free fish for supper) and I really enjoyed yours and the others company. Haven´t invited anyone over for waffles in years, you visiting anytime soon ;-D ?
Chris : A no pain no gain, lucky me I´m on the other side.. still haaven´t figured that out might actually have to read the booklet/cd one of these days ;-) p.s. have you checked out the photos yet?
Lisa : Same here, definitely the humour and way of looking at life :-D
Wordnerd : Oh it would be great if you were to visit, hey there´s a perfectly good free livingroom floor here :-D ! And I agree, the friendmakeing (and keeping) part is the main reason I keep out a blog
Soffia Fransiska : He he, just told Halldór that story, for those who don´t understand Icelandic we were on a teachers "educational" trip to Italy and I´d been doing most of the translating on the trip, that day, seeing as we had an English speaking guide we, Soffía, Kristín Rut and I, decided to ditch the crowd and discover Venice on our own away from the main touristy areas. At the end of the day we decided to each get a henna tattoo causing the headmaster, who is very protective to have an absolute shock seeing as he believed they were real... guess you had to be there but the look on his face...priceless
Huld : Oh bugger, knew someone would drag that one up ;-) The first time I got drunk... sorry total amnesia :-D Honest!
Neil : he he it did seem like ages didn´t it ;-) Neil is a fellow Glasgow blogger whom I met at the bogmeet the other day ;-) and enjoysed, as is obvious, numerous beers with.... I think we endured from 2 till 11 when we had to run to catch the train ;-D fun!
Jon Kjartan : Húsavík is classic! Whales, fancy dinners, loosing the car, sitting on the balcony and hearing all about "Hjálpi mér milljón marglyttur frá melum, stoppiði lyftuna strax í nafni tútta!!!!!! Hjáááálp!!!" ;-D
Auður : He he thank you :-D lurkers of the lurkdom unite...perhaps judging from the comments better not ;-P ahh those were the days, intresting course the Tok one... I have to admit your energy was the defining factor in me actualy attending any of the lessons ;-D
Hulda : Hey Great to see you here (Hulda is one of my favorite student from the teaching days, albeit all grown up by now) Arrgh yep, had actually totally forgotten about that, tend to forget the negative ;-) I was livid wasn´t I...Can´t actually remember having bee so angry before in my life... but it all worked out, apologies were made and we were free to continue on with our Buffyfest ;-) English language teaching at it´s best :-D
Steve : He he yet another drinking story and from the Glasgow blogmeet as well ;-) I bow, and thank you for the complements, ... lucid and vertical?!? ...am however somewhat incredulous ;-) I really enjoyed myself that day, meeiting all these people one knows the silliest things about in person for the first time, abstract to say the least ;-)
Sorry about the accent thing, I do wish I could ditch the Icelandic accent but I´m guessing from hereon that´s too much to hope for, thank you however :-D
P.s. if anyone else wants to comment and share a memory it´s still not too late ;-) Love to hear from all of you (megalomania becoming apparent ;-)
Enjoying the January sun in Leith
Enjoying the January sun in Leith
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.
One reason not to miss Iceland :-D The grass here is bright green and although the days are still short the sun actually shines ;-) On the other hand I really miss the photo opportunities in Iceland, the carity of the colours on a good day are incomparable ;-) The only downfall being the ration between good days and mucky ...
Friday, January 06, 2006
Your Chance !!
Then when you're finished, why not post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) by what people remember about you!
P.s. Sava... Behave! (remember I still have photographic evidence ;-)
Thursday, January 05, 2006
A stencil from home
Originally uploaded by Sunnar.
Borrowed this photo of a stencil from Sunnar. The guy is the head of the more dogmatic uber alles church in Iceland and the text says "I am not a sin - I am the disease" ... Graffiti as a social commentary and a process of folk expression, or pure defilation of property, you be the judge ;-)
Happy New Year, albeit somewhat belated ;-)
Ach..... a new year has come to pass. Can you believe it´s 2006 already, have no idea where I saw myself being in this year a decade or two back but far from unhappy abput where it would seem to be taking me ;-) As always with the passing of a year past mistakes, failures as well as the odd achievements come to mind, along with the annual vows of betterment.... and I am of course no exception ;-P In the past couple of weeks (using the fact that the kids haven´t been around as well as photographs of how (in my perception) horribly bloated I´ve become and visions of a neon white popo face underneath my cap at graduation)
* I´ve quit coke (the beverage you silly)
* Started in a top gym and even gotten consultation (and even more surpricingly kept to it)
* Modified my diet ;-) ok that one could be going better but hey it´s the holidays ;-) I started off on the “meals as large as your fist 6 times a day” and am up to, .. well no sweets, cookies or sodas :-D Every little helps right ;-D
* Oh and I decided the other day I´d write a book ..
So those are my new years resolutions that I started in December ... (humm? do they then count ..) Did you make any ? Care to make a bet on how long they´ll last ;-Þ