Spiders and Me.

While talking to a friend the other day, I realized that I’ve had a few weird encounters with spiders.

I come from above the Arctic circle, thus our spiders are, well, tiny. As a child, this did not in any way dampen my arachnophobia and I was often seen lurking around the house with a lighter and hairspray. Not to fix the spider’s hair and offer it a cigarette, but to slowly watch it burn to death.

Other than that I was a nice child.

At the age of younger, I moved to Florida to work at that place with that big mouse. It turned out it was a little bit warmer there than at a latitude of 67 degrees. Apparently this makes the spiders much bigger and faster. Our spiders are sluggish and would rather try killing prey by staring them to death than spin a web.

Therefore, the surprise was big in Florida when I spotted a spider walking on the floor in front of the TV, and upon putting a glass over it, it started sprinting around like a maniac and didn’t try staring at me at all. In fact, it started groping under the glass trying to get out. I quickly put 5 books on top of the glass, had some goose bumps and got some garlic. Just in case.

Now, what did i do? I couldn’t take the glass away; I was sure the spider would hurricane itself on to my neck and suck the blood out of me. Or whatever spiders bigger than a speck of dust do. My room mates weren’t home to help me, and I wouldn’t leave it there. It was right in front of the TV!

After a quick contemplation I decided to seek help in my neighbours. The problem was that they were all working, and I could feel the panic rise in my throut as door after door remained unopened as I doorbelled my way down the street.

Then I struck gold. «Ding-dong!» Door opens and a petit French girl dressed in hotpants size 0 and a tiny singlet looks at me. «Oui?» She says, and I’m sure I can hear butter melt as she bats her eyes. «Hi, um, there’s this s-p-i-d-e-r in my room and I was wondering…» * Blank stare from French girl* «…could you maybe help? Itotallyunderstandifyou’reafraid! Gosh I’m so scared myself that…»

French, petite butter melting girl: «Bien sure.» *Weird stare*.

She gently helped the spider out and didn’t even die. That night I smacked my forehead and called myself a wimp before going to sleep.

A few years later I lived in New Zealand, and this one day I was helping an Australian guy paint a house. The house was beautiful, with a big, sun-shaped, black pattern on one wall. No, wait a minute! That was no pattern. It was a huge, hairy spider who looked at me with all 8 eyes, beckoned and said with his best Eddie Murphy’s Raw voice: «Come on!»

A light run, screaming and waving my hands in the air, later I was by the Aussie’s side explaining the carnivore problem we suddenly had to deal with.

My first plan was to leave an unpainted 5 diameter big circle around the spider, then I decided it was best to not come close to the wall at all. The Aussie had a bit of a different plan as he calmly took his left shoe off and smacked the spider with it.

The rest of the day I was left painting over the spider goo, which was somehow worse than both my initial plans.

A few weeks later, also in New Zealand, I was in a car driving on the highway. Suddenly I see this Arctic Circle sized spider, though yellow, sitting on the dashboard right in front of me. «That’s not a big spider» I thought, remembering the kitten sized one from before.

Then it jumped.

Now, I’m not used to that. Our spiders only jump if they are accidentally sat on a trampoline in the summertime while kids are jumping around on it.

I was thus required to react accordingly.

The driver didn’t find that funny at all. No soup for me that day.

Fast forward a few years, and I was backpacking around Central America with my very good friend Lily. We were only supposed to travel around México. Come to think of it I’m not entirely sure how we ended up in Guatemala, but I suspect we had had beer before the decision.

Anyway, in Guatemala we were, and we decided to avoid the big cities and instead go sleep close to the jungle. We found a hostel with rooms with no proper roofs nor windows, because of the heat, and I distinctly remember thinking «uh oh», before I dropped my backpack on to the floor. And left it there for a week.

The day of departure arrived, and having repacked and closed the backpack, I started lifting and swinging it on to my back. Halfway through the move I found it too big, and heavily leaned it on my knee.

*Smack!* The impact made something clinging on to the backpack fall to the floor, and something I first mistook for a small dog turning out to be a spider sprinted to the other side of the room.

Lily and I did our best damsel in distress impersonation screaming and jumping on the bed, then thought better of it and grabbed the «Kill-a-bug» spray box and sprayed for our lives.

In retrospect I can see that this wasn’t fair to the spider at all; it was probably more scared than us, but we were bigger and had poison.

Finally, a couple of knights in shining armours came running into our room, in the shape of two Swedish guys in shorts. «What IS it?» they said, making karate moves and banging their chests. «There.Is.A.HUGE.Attacking.Spider.Over.There!» *Shivering pointing fingers*

Have you ever seen a spider shrivel up when it dies? No? Well, it does. And when the Swedish guys looked into the corner, all they saw was a black, small dot once 5 times bigger.

They never believed us, and called us «typical girls» the rest of the evening. Which I hate! But that is a different story.

This isn’t even half of my weird spider stories. Maybe some other time I’ll tell you about that time I removed grass in Australia only armed with a small dog, or that time at the pet shop when I thought there were glass between me and the Tarantula. Or that time I had a deadly spider sitting on my hand.

– Have a nice spider free day.

Reklamer

Don’t do as you’re told

And I mean it.

Just remember there’s a difference between being youthful and being immature.

From an early age I did my own thing. From not wanting to play the games the others played, via a different taste in music to asking important questions when my Confirmation was due.

I continued doing things slightly different, always seeking that unique little twist that would make the scenario interesting.

I’m not saying I’m immensly different from everyone. I’m not. I just seem to like things a little different.

Why am I saying this? Well, I found this poem I really liked. A poem which has that little twist. Poetry is not my favourite genre, but at times I’ll find one that smacks me in the head and leave me tingling for a while.

This poem was written by Nicanor Parra, a man who wanted «to get away from the conventions of poetryHis sister, Violeta Parra, was a well known singer (Gracias a la vida/Jeg vil takke livet)

In Spanish (English will follow):

LA MONTAÑA RUSA

Durante medio siglo

la poesía fue

el paraíso del tonto solemne.

Hasta que vine yo

y me instalé con mi montaña rusa.

Suban, si les parece.

Claro que yo no respondo si bajan

echando sangre por boca y narices.

In English (sorry, my Spanish is a little rusty):

THE ROLLERCOASTER

For half a century

poetry was

paradise for pompous idiots.

Until I came along,

and installed myself with my rollercoaster.

Get in, if you like.

Of course I will not be responsible if you get out

with a bleeding mouth and nose.


International Worker’s Day

I started my second job today, on International Worker’s Day.

My first job is at an orthopaedic workshop (think insoles, shoes and artificial legs), but since I’m moving to Canada to study I want to save as much money as possible. Hence my second job.

So what do I do? I’m a museum hostess. I’ve worked at the museum many summers before, and it’s a great job. It kind of helps that I’m a history geek; anything that happened before last year is interesting.

Museum of Nordland

This second job means that I’ll be working pretty much all through summer (with the possibility of a holiday), but I’m used to that. Other years I’ve had 3 jobs with 1 day off in 3 months.

The sun is actually shining here today, so I took my coughing and snifling body down to the pier after work to have some icecream, listen to an audio book, and then I drew a little bit until 2 ladies joined me on the bench and started smoking and coughing phlegm (at least I’m only hacking), so I went home.

Me, happy at the museum with my head to one side, something I wonder if I do since I've made my head like that in all the drawings.

Me eating a huge soft serve at the pier. Sun shining and all (not common). Very serious face, eating icecream is serious business.

What I'll be doing the rest of the night: sit in front of my computer with coffee to write. Yes, that is me sitting on the floor under the table. Very comfortable.

Drawing

I do enjoy drawing. I have made thousand of drawings ever since I could hold a pencil, and not only on paper. Tables, walls, cupboards, posters and fabric are amongst the things I have used as canvas.

In retrospect I wish I’d taken a photo of the drawings I’ve made, maybe I still have some stacked away next to my cassettes, russedress, old fashioned letters and old comics up in the attic. I’ll check and maybe post some.

Anyways, I always tell myself to draw more, but then my attenion span shifts and I forget about it. I did actually draw a few before Christmas, though. Tried making sequential art, starring the bear Brumm who has travelled all over the world with me. He’s a bad bear, btw.

I also made a thank-you-for-taking-me-to-Egypt-drawing to my cousins who own 7 cats and a dog.

I WILL draw more.! It’s just that there’s so much on that thing called the Internet which calls out to me whenever I have time to sit down. That and other hobbies I’ll write more about at one point.

Well, here it goes:

Here I go again…

Well, it’s been a while.

I can safely say that things have happened since the last time I blogged, but I’m not going to bore you with details. I’ll mention some of the big happenings, though!

First, as some of you might notice, I’m suddenly blogging in English. The reason for this is simple: I am moving to Canada and want to start practising my English writing skills. The moving to Canada part is one of the big happenings I’ll mention.

So, what has happened lately?

Well, I no longer live in Trondheim. That part is actually a bit sad since Trondheim is an excellent city with great people and beautiful surroundings.

Since I no longer live there, I also no longer study at NTNU – Norwegian university of science and technology, which is also a bit sad. I really miss my fellow students, Gengangere (the student union), riss (the student periodical) and «my» study room.

Sounds like I’m very sad, but I’m not! See how happy I am —> 😀

I study Comparative Literature, and when I finished my Bachelor’s degree (Bachelorette’s Degree?) I thought «why not go for my Master’s degree abroad?». Som sagt, så gjort (as said, as done in Norwenglish). I found a perfect program, applied and got in :D! (<— see how happy I am here too)

So, as of August 2011 I’ll be a Canwegian/Noradian living in St. Catharines, Ontario, studying comparative literature & arts at Brock University.

Other big happenings: I travelled around the UK for 5 weeks (met some great people) and went to Egypt for Christmas. I love travelling.

In the middle of this my beautiful mom was diagnosed with Wegener’s, or Wegener’s granulomatosis. It’s a serious and rare condition, but my mom has been very lucky: the only place she is affected is in the vessels of her nose. Still, she has to undergo chemotherapy and do the pill-cocktail-party every morning.

But my mom is a fighter, and even on her worst days she is positive, smiling and brave. The first time she forgot her cellphone in the fridge (the condition and/or the treatment makes her forget things), we didn’t know if it was ok to laugh. It was, and she is filled with gallows humor. The treatment  will most likely last for years, but we are positive that she’ll be cured.

I went to Toronto! Wow, I absolutely love that city.

Well, I think that’s enough for now.

Om å pynte seg

Inn i dusjen.

Skrubbe, vaske, skumme, skylle.

Tulle inn i frottéhåndklær, minst 2. Smøre kroppen.

Gre håret, føne tørt, krølle.

Sminke øyet, sminke huden, sminke munnen. Mwah! Sånn ja.

Åpne klesskapet, vurdere, revurdere.

Kle på, pusse tenner, suss adjø.

Ankommer festen.

Hilse, hilse igjen. Bare nye fjes.

Snakke, diskutere, le, spørre og svare. Blir kjent.

Nå skal man spille fotball! Bli mer kjent.

Stille seg i forsvar, sklitakle første som kommer nær.

Sleivsparke, men treffer likevel. Blod på tann.

Jubel, scoring, dytting, knuffing.

Grønske; jord under neglene.

Svett i pannen, skjorten klistrer.

Puster, sklirtakler igjen, får ballen, løper hele langsiden.

Hiver etter pusten, gnir ut sminken, skal vinne!

Vikler håret i øredobbene, river dem av.

Dytter, faller. Opp igjen!

Vinner, smiler, takker for kampen.

Om å pynte seg.

Schæffergården, Takk For Oss!

13. juni 2009 var startdato for kursus for 20 sitrende spente nordmenn som med vekslende hell fant fram til Schæffergården i Danmark. Det har blitt sagt i løpet av vårt kurs at en utopi er et fiktivt, imaginært univers med blant annet endring i tid og rom; dette kan jo sies å dekke vårt møte med dansk-norsk samarbeides hovedkvarter i Danmark.

Vi som ankom var i mange aldre; fra begynnelsen av 20-årene til 40 unge år, og dialektene fløt. Her var jeg, æ, e, eg; ikke, ikkje, itje; kem, hvem, kim, ken og kven. Og vi som sa dansk var vanskelig å forstå… Beklager Marianne, men de forståelsesfulle og smilende blikk og nikk fra oss underveis i din første time var mer en avledningsmanøver vi tok i bruk mens vi febrilsk dekodet det danske språk. At noen på kurs før oss hadde avkjølt øl en ulovlig plass, fikk vi med oss, men hvor var overlatt til fri fantasi da ”skraldespann” for oss likesågodt kunne vært en litt sjelden fugl eller en uvurderlig vase.

Allerede før middag denne første dagen hadde vi en ut-av deg-sjøl-opplevelse da Herborg Kråkevik og Anne Grete Preuss spankulerte inn på Schæffergården. Vi forsøkte alle å late som dette var hverdagskost, men var omvendt proposjonalt like imponerte over synet av de to artistene som de var av oss 20 gapende og lett pekende nordmenn.

Deretter kom maten, og imponasjen ville ingen ende ta. Vi lukket munnen bare lenge nok til å tygge og svelge en fantastisk 3-retters. Noen sa at de hadde sett på filmen Titanic at man skulle starte med de ytterste gaflene, så det gjorde vi.

Lunsjen dagen etter var like imponerende. Marianne hadde jo gitt oss et 5-kilosmål, og som høflige nordmenn vi er ville vi jo nødig skuffe henne.

Etterhvert rundt om på Schæffergården vokste det opp kolonier av lett henslengte, lesende nordmenn; et hageproblem som kun kunne løses med løfte om mer mat. Våkne, spise, lese, spise, lese, sove, våkne, spise, sove. Ny dag.

Skjønne Karen ga oss en flott omvisning på Schæffergården. Flere av oss la merke til hennes gode vesen; noen konkluderte med at hun var så skjønn at de bare ville ta henne med hjem og legge henne i bomull.

Deretter spiste vi.

Så begynte skolehverdagen. Fantastiske foredragsholdere kom og lærte oss blant andre ting at telefonkatalogen har gitt inspirasjon til litterære verk; at for tiden i Danmark er menns forfatterskap kynisk og kvinners er kjærlig; at mennesker i dansk politikk definerer sin neste som ens fysiske nabo; der har blitt spontanutviklet en verdighetsmodell og vi har blitt venner med Liv Mørk på Facebook. Vi har lest om rom som fører til u-land, myggstikk med uante konsekvenser, at form kan være politisk og lært om nye bruksområder for kjøttfarse. Rett og slett mange gode inspirasjoner for oss framtidige lærere.

Deretter spiste vi.

Mens vi åt leste vi i en av romanene om verdens urettferdigheter og diverse u-land, og mellom to munnfuller kjøtt og dryppende olje snakket vi med mat i munnen om kanskje å sette restene av maten inn på rom 516. Deretter drakk vi vann, og pr 26. Juni har vi drukket en mengde tilsvarende Great Lake Michigan. Med isbiter.

Andre ting vi har bedrevet tiden med er å se Antichrist. Eller rettere sagt: de fleste av oss hørte filmen mens vi hadde en inngående studie av innsiden av hånden.

Vi har stiftet bekjentskap med bandet Hoppeborgen, med artisten Thorkild og dikteren Marius Nørup Nielsen på Aftenshow, hvor noen av oss var høflig star struck, mens andre igjen ikke hadde dette problemet og diskuterte ”nivå” med forskere og utdannede litteraturvitere.

Nevnte jeg at vi spiste?

Vi fortsatte vår Københavnturné med ekskursjon med Martin Zerlang. Igjen ble vi til en hel gjeng med gapende nordmenn som a’et og o’et og pekte mens vi forsøkte å holde tritt med Martins lange bein.

Mellom studier og prosjektarbeid oppdaget vi spillet Kubb så kraftig at vi ble bedt om å uoppdage det. Dette beklager vi. Andre oppdaget fotballspillet, og brukte så mye tid ved bordet at de små plastikkdukkene fikk navn, personlighet og bakgrunnshistorie.

I tillegg har vi vært så heldige å få oppleve Louisiana, og Lyngby har hyppig blitt frekventert av den norske krone. Vi har hatt festival, pekt på og knipset bilder av dådyr i Dyrehaven, og til sist føler vi alle at vi har blitt kjent med lille Håkon, som vi alle venter spent på å møte ”på ordentlig” om ikke lenge. Facebookoppdatering er obligatorisk, Anine

Vi har virkelig satt pris på dette oppholdet her på Schæffergården. Misantropien forsvant som dugg for solen.

Vi er imponerte av personalet, vi føler virkelig vi har blitt gjort stas på. Programmet har vært veldig bra og foredragerne vært interessante. Vi vil jo gjerne få takke alle: Lars Bukdahl, Lillian Munk Rösing, Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg, Marius Nørup Nielsen, Kirsten Hammann, Stefan Kjerkegaard, René Rasmussen, Anne Borup, Jacob og ja, nei eller, jo… Ursula Andkjær Olsen.

Til sist vil vi gjerne få takk Marianne. Alt vi har opplevd har blitt godt tilrettelagt, og om det er mulig vil vi gjerne få takke deg for deg fantastiske været du har bestilt.

TUSEN TAKK FOR OSS!

Marius Nørup Nielsen og Bodega Boys