Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't Panic (And yes, that was a reference to Douglas Adams' timeless classic sci-fi series, not my current mental state...)

There wasn't any classes today and I failed to correctly set up a time and place to meet up with my fellow study-abroaders, so I just wandered around Oslo for a couple of hours.
Which was great, don't get me wrong. I don't mind being alone.
However, what really made the day a success was finding this little gem, Streetwise (above). Thank heaven for the foresight of intrepid Oslo-ians. They put together this neat little book with the 411 on all sorts of things like places to shop, food, touristy things to do and also some not touristy things to do. And they weren't afraid of talking straight. If something is expensive, they make sure to let you know. It's just a handy little book for all fellow travelers. If you are in the Oslo area, here is the website: It's just as helpful as the book I found.
Kind reminds me of something similar...
Oh yes. Don't Panic.
Truer words were never spoken.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Doctor Who?

I can't help it.
I love him so much.
I had no idea what I was missing.
It's an odd sort of attraction.
He's enchanting; in a strange bookish way.
And as the Doctor he's brilliant, obtuse, adorable, vengeful, generous, awkward, hilarious and sweet all at once. It's quite an accomplishment being all those things at once.
Oh I love him, I love him, I love him, I do.
Any other Doctor Who aficionados out there??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I missed the bus by ONE minute

So, I am still getting the hang of this whole public-transportation-thing here in Oslo. Surprised? I should think not.
Today was the first official day of classes. We started the day with three hours of Norwegian 101 and after a brief lunch period, we moseyed on over to the Oslo City Museum next to Vigeland Park.
This is the Oslo City Museum
Vigeland Park
We didn't get a chance to explore too much of Vigeland park today. We are planning on going back another time and really get to know the place. The Oslo City Museum was pretty neat. It was interesting to see the growth of Oslo from a little Middle Age city to the metropolitan capital it is today. Did you know that Oslo burnt down about the 17th century and was rebuilt by King Christian the IV of Denmark and then he renamed it Christiania? Later it was renamed Oslo again in 1925 after Norway finally claimed its independence again.
Interesting stuff, no?
Anyways, after walking around the museum, we went back to our classroom and had dinner with our professor and his family (who just arrived via boat from Denmark). The poor woman had to control five boys all under the age of 16. She should be sainted any minute now. ;) Actually, the boys are pretty good and it was fun to interact with them. After dinner, I decided it was time to make the trek home, and this is where the gist of this post comes from.
After I finally figured out the trikk system and got on the right one, I RAN (let me repeat, I ran) to the bus terminal, only to miss my bus by ONE FREAKING MINUTE. Seriously, my hand touched the side of the bus as it drove away. Ah the sweet sting of regret!
I was tempted to shed a tear or two, but I reminded myself that I'm a big girl now (very important) so I sat down on a bench and caught up in my journal. Wahla! No tears and I was productive in the hour-long wait between buses. And it was alright in the end, because I got home safe and sound and I was able to take a shower and watch Dr. Who (Yes, it's quickly becoming an addiction. I'm going to be very heartbroken when this Doctor regenerates into someone new. I've grown attached) and...I updated ye olde blog.
Very productive I say.
And now it's time for bed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jeg er her!

My luggage. Yes, it's quite impressive, I know.
Elegant Lutheran Church we walked by
Norwegian Palace and statue
Norwegian Hotdog. First official meal in Norway. De-lish!
The girls by the Oslo fjord. WOOO! Left to Right: Steph, Me, Carolyn, Holly
So, I finally made it! I am in Norway and loving every minute of it. It certainly has taken some getting used to. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Probably the biggest adjustment for me is the time difference. It's like half a day's difference from here to back home. Which means, when I'm awake, my family and friends are asleep and when I am asleep, they are awake and doing things. So it just requires a little more thinking then I am used to. Also, it's really weird not having a phone. Like, really weird. I am so used to having a constant connection with the world, that it's perfectly strange to actually try to coordinate things  before I actually get there. Also! Public transportation. It's really a new world for me here. Back home, things are just a lot further apart that public transportation is really awful. But here, it's like, everyone does it. And I can't imagine driving on my own here. It looks like mayhem! There aren't many lane lines on the roads, so I guess technically there can be as many lanes as you want. No, no, I'm sure Norway has it's own rules. 
What has been really neat is seeing how much of it I actually understand. It's true that everyone here speaks English, which is kind of a bummer but also, super helpful. I can read signs and talk to people. It's really amazing.
So we flew into the Gardemoen airport around 10:30 Saturday morning after flying all day Friday. Seriously, I mean ALL day. We got to the SLC airport around 5:30 am. Then to Houston and then to Newark. Talk about turbulence! I was a quite queasy in Newark and was NOT looking forward to another, longer flight if it was going to be as bumpy as it was. Miracles of all miracles, it wasn't! The flight from Newark to Oslo was probably one of the best ever. Seriously. Even though I didn't get the best sleep of my life, it was pretty nice for what it was. Flying into Oslo was like a story out of LOTR or something. It was just so green and mystical with the lingering clouds. A perfect picture of beauty.
Once we got our luggage and stuff, we met up with our Professor, took a train from the airport into the city and met up with another girl from our group who got there a couple of days before us. We got our public transportation passes and went to her place and crashed. (Let me tell you, hauling luggage onto a crowded tram during rush hour is NOT fun.) She let us sleep for a couple of hours, but thankfully, got us up so when it was actually nighttime, we could sleep again.*
After Saturday was come and gone (seriously, that day lasted forever...) it was Sunday! Which meant we got to see the ward and meet our host families. It was fun to see some of the missionaries from the MTC. I doubt they recognized me much, but it was still fun. After church, our host families took us home with them and we got settled in. The two girls I came with left with one family and I was on my own with another. Carolyn was invited by my family to come to Sunday dinner so we hung out for a couple hours. My host family has two daughters my age living at home right now, and the parents were out of town over the weekend for a business meeting, so it was quite the girls night that first night. We watched a whole slew of movies, including The Legend of Johnny Lingo (church revamped classic), North and South (yes, all four hours) and then some episodes of Dr. Who (which, I've never seen before but I'm slowly becoming a believer).
Monday, I put on my big-girl pants and tried this whole public transportation business by myself. And I made it! We got together with our professor and walked around the city for hours! It was amazing. And then I came back to my house, safe and sound. Later that night, we went back into the city to meet with the young single adults of the ward for family home evening. It was strange, though because as we drove past a street downtown, we saw the Norwegian police all decked out in riot gear. Extremely unusual. Back home for more Dr. Who. Every episode ended with me on the edge of my seat! It was getting hard to handle. 
Tuesday was a little more relaxed. I have some papers that I need to get finished graded and turned in, but I decided to update my blog instead. 
I have my priorities. :)
Anyways, more to come, per usual.
*BTW when I saw "us" and "we" I am not referring to myself in the third person. There were literally three of us girls flying out together. Hence, the "we"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leo and Diane Dillon

"We once heard a statement, to 'make life an art.' And that really intrigued us because it meant that if you cooked the meal, you should make that art. If you painted your rooms, make that art. Make art everything you touch and everything you do. That must be the ideal of life" Leo and Diane Dillon
I've recently found Pinterest and I've been obsessed with finding things I love online. One of those things, is the art of super creative couple, Leo and Diane Dillon. They have been illustrators for decades and I LOVE their dramatic, evocative artwork.
I love stories and oftentimes, the pictures tell more of the story than the words on the page. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Google search their stuff and tell me they aren't some of the coolest things you've ever seen.
Also, this blog here is dedicated to showcasing examples of their work. It's a good place to start.
Enjoy all the pretty pictures!

Bruno Mars + Janelle Monae

 Like I mentioned before, this was my first "real" concert that I've attended. It was loud. Awesome. Overall, it was a good experience. I've included a couple of videos from Bruno Mars' songs. The sound is pretty good, even if the video is lacking. Also, there were these girls in front of us who were beyond annoying, so just do as we did and try to ignore them.
Janelle Monae was super talented and she sang all the songs that I wanted her to sing. Her voice was awesome. She did drift around on the vocal scale a little to showcase her voice which got a little old but still she was absolutely unique.
Bruno Mars was just as talented and a little more mainstream. But oh my goodness, all the pre-teen girls in the audience went absolutely WILD. I wasn't as familiar with Bruno's songs, so I wasn't as involved.
Wahla! My first legitimate concert. Check.

Friday, June 10, 2011

VH1 is good for something.

This is Nelson. (the band) I think this video is rather hilarious. They probably top the crazy hair bands, at least in length. I've never been more jealous of a boy's hair before. Blonde and long, gah! I don't know much about the rest of their sound, but this song is pretty legit.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I need ONE lousy history class. ONE. I need it to complete my education and to "prepare to teach". As if I wasn't already saturated with the historical content material. I've already passed the Praxis with flying colors. I don't have TIME. I am flying to Norway NEXT WEEK. My internship starts in TWO months.
WHY is this so difficult?!
I just want to scream.
Or cry.
I haven't decided.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And let the games begin...

Woah. So things are happening fast and furious down here in Happy Valley. I have, like, 3 close friends getting hitched at the end of this summer. 3! That is a lot even for me.
And I am going to Norway in like less than 2 weeks!
It's all getting pretty crazy!
So, this was my way of apologizing for the lack of posting. I was trying to be more consistent, but gosh darn it, it's hard to post something interesting every day. My life is rather normal.
Oh! Except I do have some posts about my (practically) first real concert concert and the symphony from last weekend. Okay, so keep an eye out for those. Otherwise, nothing really cool is going to come up until I am in Norway.
Oh! Except my birthday. That is coming up sooner, and we allllll know that is going to be really cool.
Otherwise, keep your eyes open.