Sunday, April 23, 2006

Arrrrghhh followed by minor hairpulling!

I'm dreaming Kanji, I'm eating Kanji and I'm breathing Kanji , but still it seems I'm not remembering Kanji!!

Am trying to catch up with my Japanese before heading off to the land of the rising sun (and more importantly to my supervisory meeting on Tuesday ;-) and it's going slow. At the moment I could quite easily pass level four of the Japanese proficiency exam, but he wants me to pass level two come December!!! For those of you who don't know, the Japanese language proficiency exam is a standardized test administered all over the world at designated locations in December each year. It has 4 levels, somewhat confusingly counted backwards so that level 1 is the most difficult.

My problem is that I learnt Japanese my way, i.e. talking and communicating, which means my sense of grammar is way behind whilst I can happily chat away and actually be understood. Taking the online versions of the test it would seem I'm somewhere between level 3 and 2 in reading and understanding, which is great but however when coupled with the fact that I repeatedly get under 50% score on the online versions of the grammar part of level 4 is rather alarming!!!

So,..... The emphasis at the moment is upon studying the Kanji, the multiple meaning letters of Chinese origin and trying to get a feeling for the grammar by writing out texts and practice sentences... So until Wednesday I'm only allowing myself 30 mins of computer time day so bear with my bloglessness..
Meanwhilst I'll leave you with this ;-)

Inviting light

Inviting light
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Birthday time, sushi, palette and gorgeous anti smoking laws;-)

Japanese birthday dinner :-D Japanese birthday dinner :-D Japanese birthday dinner :-D Japanese birthday dinner :-D
Mmmmm Sushi, can't believe it took me 30 years to learn to appreciate the stuff, so many years wasted, so many meals not enjoyed ;-) But there again I've made good use of the past 3 years with sushi now being by far my favorite food closely followed by rare steaks. Another dish I've only really been eating for the past 3 years approximately, interesting that ones appetite and taste continues to change though life, could understand it better had I been a teenager, but thirty?
Anyways, went out to dinner courtesy of dad who unfortunately due to the minor inconvenience of being stuck in Iceland could only join us in spirit. The head waiter ended up regaling us with desert free of charge whilst happily chatting in Japanese and the kids wooing him with their Japanese courtesies ;-) First things taught in each language, thank you and please. Gets you a long way that does!

Went pubbing/clubbing afterwards with Kirsty, a local mate and her friend. Had a great time, made even better for the fact that now, seeing as smoking in public places has been outlawed here in Scotland, I came home NOT stinking up everything with the smell of stale smoke!! What an amazing difference that makes!! Admittedly I did get the old feeling of being left out as I was left looking after things as everyone went out smoking but compared to the headache I normally get due to the smoke that was of no consequence, ended up merely joining them and in this mad mad country I'm in our drinks were actually still there when we came back ;-)

So all in all an excellent day, well sprinkled with birthday wishes, promises of DVD's from a certain invalid friend and getting carded at the club ;-P Thank you all who sent me birthday comments here in blogosphere and by e-mail :-D

Holmes, Sherlock Holmes

Holmes, Sherlock Holmes
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Birthday time (again ;-)

Found this fun birthday meme on Viking Zens page ;-)
Simply put you Go to Wikipedia. Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal

1902 - Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
1979 - President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a Swamp Rabbit while on vacation in Plains, Georgia.
1992 - An all-star concert in memory of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is held at Wembley Stadium in London.

570 - Muhammad, Founder of Islam (d. 632)
1893 - Harold Lloyd, American actor (d. 1971)

1912 - Bram Stoker, Irish author (b. 1847)

Oh and I found out my birthday also has reverbations in Cannabis Culture ;-) Amazing what people will dig up and how far fetched the conclusions can become, you'll have to visit the link for a full set of these ;-), High Times Magazine, and The Straight Dope claim that in the early 1970s, a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California used to meet every day to smoke marijuana after school at 4:20 PM at the water tower. One piece of evidence supporting an origin of the term from the time 4:20 is the fact that the number is always said "four twenty" and not "four hundred twenty". This theory is also the most cited, and the most widely-accepted.

Occurrences In Music
"Come Together" by The Beatles (on 1969's Abbey Road) lasts for 4 minutes 20 seconds. It includes the line "He one holy roller", a possible reference to the practice of rolling up marijuana cigarettes.

"Even in His Youth", a b-side by Nirvana (on the single "Smells Like Teen Spirit") - listed as 4:20 in duration on the single's cover, while the song's length is actually 3:06.

The Bob Dylan song "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" is informally known as "Everybody must get stoned" since the chorus repeats that line. 12Ã?35 = 420.

Rap artist Afroman released an album called "4RO20" and his website runs under the slogan "Where it's always 4RO20". Also, he changed the label on his "Colt 45" bottle to say "Cult 420", as seen on his website. Also, the clock shown on his website is stopped at 4:20.

Theories aside, the plan is to study Kanji all day (with a small pause of new episodes of Veronica Mars and Supernatural) and then head off to the local Japanese Restaurant here in Embra for dinner courtesy of Dad :-D Sushi here I come...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Amnesia Lane 8 Meme

Been tagged by my birthday buddy ;-)

First town you ever lived in: Saudarkrokur, a wee town right up north in Iceland, only lived there for a few months following having placed it upside down due to a 16 hour delivery causing both the (notice the singular) doctor and the priest to leave their kids confirmation ;-)

First album owned: Queen greatest hits, I was 11 browsing through a record store in Largo Colli (Rome) with memories great record!

First gig seen: Went to a number before I could properly appreciate them, resaults of having semi hippie parents

First Celebrity Crush: Scott Baio from Happy Days and the babysitter, or did Ralph Macchio (of Karate Kid fame) come first?

First Film you remember seeing: Superman, had mum in stiches when I mentioned what remarkable similiarity there were between the actor and my dad ;-D

First time you drank alcohol: I was 12, I think, and celebrating the thirteenth (of Christmas) with an Italian family. When us kids came in thirsty from shooting up fireworks we were simply handed glasses of spumante. You can imagine how colourful it got....Unfortunately there are photos ;-P

First paying job: Scrupping floors at the local(Reykjavik) old peoples hospital.

First Kiss: Well I was asked to marry someone at 4-5 but I can't remember whether kissing was involved. The next time was around 11-12 ish when a line of italian guys lined up (very civilized like) and each in turn asked me to "fidanziare", and one lucky fellow got a kiss ;-) Then I duly went home and asked mum what "fidanziare" meant upon which she got a shock ;-) I was late I know ;-)

Hummm... *8 people I'll meme

Svava . Lola
Garun . Soffia
Lisa . Rose
Steve . Sighclub

Happy Easter Everyone :-D

Happy Easter Everyone :-D
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It's alive, it's alive ..... (insert c-movie type crochety old voice here)

Smiiiile :-DElena just excitetly entered my bedroom and in a manner conspirational swore me to secrecy ;-) The news... (hey I crossed my fingers ;-) She's married, no less!! The gentleman in question apparently proposed seeing as she's such a great spy girl and they're going to have 10 children and live in Blonduos (the wee town I lived in up north) So how's that for news ;-P

Anyways, I'm really sorry for the apparent lackage here of postings of anysorts, be it photos, jokes, fandom trivia or family news! I have indeed been busy, with what you may ask...well.. I came home from the conference the first day of the kids Easter vacation, which accounts for a lot of absentness. Why the British school systems deems 2 and a half weeks of Easter holidays neccesary after only month of school since the midterm holidays I'll never know?? Why not just elongate the summer holidays when they can actually be outside and enjoy life?!?

At the sports SchoolWell the kids got a weeks worth of sports school which probably saved all our lives ;-) Djupt sokkin ;-)And then there have been lots of walks around Edinburgh, vistiting Halldors office and having hot chocholate at cafes when the weather turns mad, which it incidentally has been doing a lot of lately... how mad you ask, well do 9 millimetre wide hails raining down from a clear blue sky count? Or 5 minute storms that would rival an Icelandic one followed by sunshine and 5 minutes later the ground is dry again. So the only signs of the mad weather is me, standing there drenched, bedraggled and generally feeling utterly miserable and sorry for myself (that was the time we went for a picnic and ended up at the cinema ;-)

Then my trusted black (my IBM notebook) suffering from serious jealous pangs gave up on me causing a desperate search for minor things like my Ba and Ma thesis along with photographs and other documents. Thankfully most were recuperated but the Black is still very very dead. Then, of course, vavoom (the vaio) decided to act all funky (out of remorse I say) and in the end we had to reboot it to factory settings, in spite of me having Norton antivirus, as well as 2 spy and ad-ware programs functioning it seems I managed somehow to get a virus lodged in the root folder causing it to take 10 minutes to start up, play a funky rap remix of all music played and generally misbehave. Apparently, although I blame it on inter computer jealousy and remorse, Halldor has the technical term for it at hand, I'm what is termed a computer Bunny...... Someone who's computers instantaneously develop idiosyncratic personalities and unless properly stroked and coddled will make life hard for u ;-D

Oh and Ragnar now sports a Mohawk....

Decided since he'd been asking for it forwever I'd give hima a few months of control before he's whisked off to Japan and uniformity...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wacky ads ;-)


I know it's an oldie but it's just soooo good ;-) The others were napped of Jay Lenos NBC site, it never ceases to amaze me what editors will allow to get past them :-D Hope you enjoy...

Place mats anyone?
place mats galore
Mentally ill needed, ...must be successful..
Mentally ill needed, must be successful...
Fat, medium fat and fat fat... ooo the choices..
fat, medium fat and fat fat
Romantic indeed ...what every girl wants for Valentines
Romantic indeed
Ahh...I guess that exlplains it................not!
Correction...ah that explains it ;-)
This is a correction in the newspaper… 'Correction: A woman mentioned in Wednesday's Seguin Citizen was incorrectly identified as Wendy Graiss. Her actual name is Wendy Graiff. The story also indicated that Wendy is pregnant. Wendy is not pregnant. The horse belonging to Susan Brittain was pregnant, and so Susan borrowed Wendy's horse. We want to apologize for any mix up, okay?!

Smile you idiot

Originally uploaded by Victory Rose.

Napped this of a fellow flickrerer ;-) the stencil says smile, you idiot and with the added bird staring at you just makes for a wonderful image :-D

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Springtime in Edinburgh

Spring time just arrived here in edinburgh. It might actually have been around for a couple of weeks now, but as you who read my blog (for some strange reason ;-) know well I've been out of photographic commission due to excessive paper writing and research worries. However, it's here now, the kids two week Easter holiday has started, and they've duly been sent to sports school (had to do something to expend all that extra energy) and the city made of stone is slowly turning pink again ;-) This is probably what I found to be my most bizarre experience here in Edin, how this grey stone city turned a vibrant shade of pink one day in spring last year.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I survived :-D

Sunny Edinburgh and the geeky scholarOh what a geek am I, sitting here in the gorgeous, yet somewhat chilly sunshine in an Edinburgh park typing away at my laptop ;-) Hey at least this way I’m outside, enjoying the sun, enjoying watching the kids act like calves experiencing their first days out in the sunshine as well as studying, well at least I was until I started blogging.

Springtime . Springtime . Springtime

Needless to say the conference was absolutely amazing!!! :-D Things couldn’t possibly have gone any better, I returned home with incredibly renewed energies and absolute faith in the fact that I’m on the right shelf and that folkloristics is exactly the way for me to go ;-)
Of course the two scholars I quoted the most were there in person making me even more nervous about the whole thing, time and time again I felt like running out the door instead of getting up there and “what the hell was I thinking for choosing this topic” ran through my mind countless times.

My PhD supervisor was there as well, seeing me talk for the first time, and well apart from reading my Ma thesis it was the first time he’d ever witnessed any of my studies.

Kelly and MikelThat said, I survived giving the paper, no eggs were thrown at me (nor tomatoes for that matter), got at least five laughs, and quite bit of praise afterwards. One scholar, whom I’d quoted out context (of course explaining though what the context had originally been) approached me afterwards and I, nervous she was going to object or point out irregularities froze, instead she complemented me upon the research and saying she was writing a book in a similar field she asked for a copy of my paper. And my supervisor as well as another professor whose work I greatly admire suggested I publish it, albeit with minor adjustments to the end words ;-) I know I’m bragging of sorts it’s just that I can’t seem to get down from this fluffy cloud I’m on. I always doubt my capabilities as a scholar, my research interests, my technical English and generally just the right to be here, yet after this weekend I feel like a part of a small group of idiosyncratic people, all of whom have mutual respect for each other and who welcome the new blood and different perspectives.

Kelly :-) . Koven looking contemplative . Doc explaining...?

I know, I know, I’m always a slow one, the last to figure things out, as Halldor has repeatedly pointed out to me ;-)…at least when it comes to trusting my own capabilities ;-p

A wee fellow I met in London

A wee fellow I met in London
Originally uploaded by Gunnella.