Monthly Archives: July 2011

One nation united

This past week has been surreal. I’ve been in a constant haze of shock and sadness. I can honestly say there are no more tears in my eyes. It’s been hard to go to work and cover the aftermath. The footage, the victims, the gunman, the comments… Very emotional.
I strongly recommend you watch this video.
I’m proud that all Norwegians have come together after the attacks. Imams and priests walk hand in hand – it shows that no matter one’s cultural or religious backgrounds, in this country we are all Norwegians. The accused terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, wants to declare war against what he calls “the Islamization of Europe”. American news outlets were quick to analyse the situation as a right vs. left issue in their own context of republicans vs. democrats, Americans vs. terrorists. I must say in Norway, patriotism is very much separated from religion – hardly any political parties and politicians wave the Bible in order to sway voters. Breivik is a coldblooded psycopath, and though he declares himseld as a Christian, this is not a Christian vs. Muslim debate. And it’s not correct to use the term “Norway’s 9/11”. This was a domestic terror attack carried out by one single man. He shot and killed his own people. There is no justification of that. I don’t care that the rest of the world want to implement their of fear of muslims into this context – we as a Norwegian people are standing together stronger after this. The Norwegian muslims held their own memorial at the Central Jamaat Ahle Sunnat mosque on Friday, were our PM Jens Stoltenberg and Oslo bishop Ole Christian Kvarme also attended.
I want to be clear that this blogpost is about honoring a nation coming together for peace, and not about bashing those who do not understand. I’ve seen discussions on US newssites that are in favor of more people carrying guns, the death penalty and close our borders. I disagree on all accounts. If everybody were to carry guns, at what point can you justify one person to draw its weapon? Seeing a “suspicious” person? Anxiety attack? If one person starts shooting, it would turn into an inferno. I would personally NOT feel safe if I knew the person next to me on the bus had a gun.
Instead, let’s take a moment and remember those who were taken away from us way too soon. Here’s to a democratic nation with justice and liberty for all. Not just the white and the rich.

Evergreen

I’m still too sad and upset to write about the recent happenings that left so many innocent people in Norway dead. I feel I need a timeout. Music always helps. While this song is no way related to anything that’s been going on lately, I feel it’s a refuge so many needs. A dry martini and an escape to a timeless era.

I will return to blogging in a few. But right now I need to digest my thoughts and feelings. But I hope you enjoy the song.

When in Amsterdam…

Passage from "Of Human Bondage"

“He’s very enthusiastic,” said Winks.

Enthusiasm was ill-bred. Enthusiasm was ungentlemanly.
They thought of the Salvation Army with its braying trumpets and its drums.
Enthusiasm meant change. They had gooseflesh when they thought of all the
pleasant old habits which stood in immiment danger.
They hardly dared to look forward to the future.

He’s my brother she’s my sister

No, this post isn’t about some crazy family drama. It’s the name of a band that played at Sam Bonds in Eugene last Wednesday. Jamie and I went there to check out what was happening, but we hadn’t heard of the band before. Turns out they were pretty good! The video I took of them doesn’t do them justice at all. Their vocals were tight, the lyrics good and the songs made us tap our foot and hum along.

You can check out their band page here, or do a search for them on Facebook. We are REALLY loving their song “How’m I gonna get back home.” Everyone who’s had a little too much booze on the town can relate 😉 You can hear some of their songs on their band page. We bought their CD and a T-shirt.

Ashland, baby!

This weekend Jamie and I went on a quick get-away to Ashland. The city is located in the south end of the Rogue Valley, just 15 miles north of the California border. It’s a thriving place in the summer when thousands of visitors come for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It seems like the city is still doing well despite the recession and is seeing great revenue from tourism.

We drove down I5 along the Applegate Trail, and it was a fun ride because I have never seen this part of Oregon before. The landscape started changing as soon as we entered the Umpqua basin, more oak trees and drier landscape with scattered hills.

We stopped in Sutherlin for a quick bite at The Apple Peddler’s. So random but I love it. Very American! Since I try to cut carbs I went for the taco salad while Jamie bit into a juicy burger with fries.

In Ashland we met up with our friend (and my former co-worker) Al and his wife Jodi. He treated us to a four-course dinner at an Italian restaurant called Cucina’s Biazza. Very nice! We enjoyed a crisp pinot grigio and munched on olives, cheese, marianted mushrooms and bread while waiting for the courses. I loved the lemon risotto with Dungeness crab in it. Tasty. Jamie had a ravioli with a basil/tomato sauce. We didn’t have room for dessert, but the funny thing was that our last course was a salad (!). Anyways, it was amazing and the sun was shining.

After dinner we took a stroll through downtown and peered into the many shops. I bought a vintage publication of W. Sommerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage at an antique store.

Later we met up with Al and Jody again at the Black Sheep Tavern for some post-midnight drinks. Fun times!

Back to Eugene!

I can’t believe I am finally here!! When I got back to Eugene I felt like coming home. I kid you not. Being back with Jamie is something I cannot describe with words. It was beyond wonderful. We’ve been apart for four months, and for some that may not be a long time, but for us it was an eternity.
The trip was seemingly painless. I was at work the previous day until 11 p.m., but since my flight was at 6.25 a.m. and the shuttle would be leaving at 4 a.m., I didn’t want to go to bed. Instead, I turned on some happy music and finished packing. Trust me, I *needed* the extra time to finish packing. I always postpone it, I don’t know why. I never have travel nerves, ever. While packing I also cleaned the house and did some laundry. Talk about multitasking! Hope I didn’t keep my neighbors up. Oh well.
I took at cab to the bus station, and it was pouring down rain. I gotta admit it was a little creepy sitting in a deserted place in the middle of the night with only some bums and druggies a block away to keep me company, but it was fine.

I snoozed on the plane to Amsterdam, and when I got to the airport I was amazed by all the tulips and flower seeds they were selling. I mean, unless you are transferring to a domestic Dutch flight, you can’t really bring flowers and seeds to other countries, am I right?
Anyways, I didn’t get the requested seat on the plane. I HATE sitting in the middle because I need to crawl over people whenever I need to use the restroom and stretch my legs. Speaking of flying – here’s a great advice I always do before boarding. I go into the duty free shops and smother my face with the most expensive sample of facial serum, like La Prairie or La Mer. This time I used a combination of Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, shop here, and Chanel Precision Hydramax + Active Fluid Hydration, found here. I swear, my skin was literally GLOWING by the time I landed in Portland. No signs of stress, dehydration or tiredness. Plus, I drank lots of water and napped.
I was last in line for the customs and immigration inspection (figures), but was pleased at how welcoming they were. Seemed like they encouraged me to get my Green Card renewed, and move back to the States……!
Jamie met me on the other side with a rose. Sweet!!! We got some coffee, and headed back to Eugene. We stopped to get lunch on the way. So happy to be with my babe again. LOVE!!

More pics to come later! We are off to Ashland today. Ciao!