Monday, 30 June 2008

Forty, Fat and Finished?

According to the calendar we're in the middle of the beach season, and lately I've noticed the needle on my bathroom scales moving in an undesirable direction. That's why I've recently embarked on a diet which basically consists of replacing all meals with chocolate-flavoured mud! The first couple of days my body didn't know whether it should faint, throw up or both, but the greatest challenge at the moment is my palate screaming for other flavours. Suddenly the world's most boring vegetable mix seems like a sumptuous repast. I guess one has to suffer for one's beauty...

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Car Chase In Oslo's Streets

Reportedly, during my first years of life I (like most boys?) was very fascinated by cars. This may be the reason why I still recognize most cars from this period - while being pretty ignorant when newer models are concerned. As a matter of course I find the cars of today rather featureless compared to the classic models of the good old days. As we all know, everything was better before.

One of many benefits of lazy summer days is the possibility to potter aimlessly around in the streets of one's town. And you don't have to stroll down many side streets before you run into cars you've hardly seen for 30 years. On the East End someone has parked a Peugeot 404. By St James' Church an old Fiat 500 drives by. And over there is even a VW 411 L! I'd totally forgotten about those! I guess it's primarily the nostalgist within me that gets such a kick out of these summery re-encounters with cars from days of yore.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Last Day With The Gang

Friday was the last day at Smedstua (before the holiday for many, forever for me). The head handed over a Judas bouquet (a rather nice one, though), and I made a small speech about all the great colleagues and students at our school, and also a bit about why I've still decided to look for work elsewhere. Afterwards we had an end-of-term party in the class, with jolly company and lots of culinary delights from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand, Iran and what have you. Moreover, the teacher experienced a genuine gift shower: Lovely roses, exclusive fragrances etc. The students have become so extravagant lately! Now it all feels a little weird and empty. But I'm sure new and exciting challenges will turn up eventually.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

It's Got To Be Perfect

The enemy of the good is the best, they say. Personally, I think perfectionism can be a strength as well as a frailty. The urge to carry out the perfect lesson, write the perfect blog post, or find the perfect partner (all random examples, of course), might be a source for effort and inspiration, making The Perfect an ideal to which you aspire, without necessarily having to achieve your aim altogether. But perfectionism can also be a hindrance: If you can't get the best, why bother? What's the point in looking for a girlfriend as long as Monica Bellucci is spoken for?

* * *

Speaking of the world's most beautiful woman: During a Sunday stroll down Oslo's main avenue I suddenly met an indisputable No 2. Although I seldom assume authority to good taste, I still have rather firm views at least when two topics are concerned: Music - and the fair sex. Consequently, I've also got a pretty clear notion of what my Dream Girl is supposed to be like. (Once again, the blessing and curse of perfectionism!) I won't bore you with details (besides, I don't want to drool down my keyboard), but I guess you might say that the aforementioned young lady was the straight opposite of the bimbofied ideal you much too often come across at these latitudes. In this case there was both an external and internal beauty. Charm, grace and sensuality... Of course she wasn't Norwegian - obviously a tourist. Now, I don't usually approach pretty, unknown women (the prettier, the harder, it seems). Neither in this case. At the time of writing she's probably on her flight back to Latinaland. Why does my heart feel so bad?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Adventure Continues

Having grown up in the border area, it's hard to say which radio/television programs have affected me the most, the Swedish or the Norwegian ones. In my youth I probably listened just as much to the broadcasts from across the border as to the domestic ones. A memory from this period is the Sunday mornings and the Swedish radio show "Eldorado". I don't really remember that much of its contents, apart from a hazy atmosphere of morning laziness, not least due to the radio host's mumbling meditations on top of Enoesque soundscapes. But I do remember there being lots of interesting songs on the show - new and different music I hadn't heard anywhere else.

Of some reason I recently recalled these vague memories from a quarter of a century ago, and after some googling I discovered quite a lot of interesting information about both the program. The most interesting item, however, was probably the fact that the show has actually been back on the air since 2006! Every Thursday night you may once again hear Eldorado on Swedish radio (including web radio). So, lately I've indulged myself in a re-encounter with this phenomenon. The program is still a mix of the host's personal ponderings, experimental sound collages, and a broadminded, genre transcending selection of music. A trip in your receiving set. (And if you don't speak any Scandinavian - don't worry! Most of the stuff is non-verbal anyway. Besides, you can just regard the Swedish segments as a nonsensical Dadaist poem.)

Sunday, 15 June 2008

A Dream Within A Dream

I dreamt I was a butterfly.
Or is the butterfly dreaming it's me?

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Sweet Students, Rotten Apples

Friday 13th was my lucky day. First an excursion to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History with sweet, weird and fun students. Then a night on the town with outgoing colleagues. However, the acknowledgement of the fact that these nice experiences soon will come to an end added a touch of melancholy to the day. It's a bitter fact that all these happy moments have to yield to the vicious influence of one single person. One rotten apple can ruin the whole basket! Still, I'm finding comfort in the belief that when I'll look back at my Smedstua days, my nice experiences are the ones I'll remember. Rotten apples get black, ugly and finally disappear completely. The memories of meetings with sweet and sound people, on the other hand, will linger on forever.