I could go on a long rant about vandalism on public property. Alternatively I could praise one of the few remaining “free” art forms. I’m not going to do either of those things – both because my personal opinion lies somewhere between those two extremes, but more importantly because this post isn’t about that kind of tagging. It’s about being tagged, in the game of tag (language lesson of the day: the Norwegian word for the game of tag, is “sisten”, which roughly translated means “the last”. Which is weird, now that I think about it).
I was tagged by Marjorie over at http://everythingemerald.blogspot.com/ in this game I’ve seen floating around the blogosphere lately. I'm supposed to answer a few questions, and then tag someone else.
Where were you five years ago?
1) I was about to finish my first year at the university.
2) I was also about to move back to my parents over the summer to get away from the awfulness that was student housing (luckily that fall I moved into a lovely apartment with two lovely ladies, so the trauma wore off).
3) I was back working in my first part time job in the local bookshop in my hometown.
4) I was counting down to the release of the sixth Harry Potter book, and later that summer this would have a life-altering effect by my joining of the bestest Harry Potter fansite there ever was: http://www.hpana.com/ (I'll have a post coming up soonish about why this was so life-altering for me)
5) I was also counting down to the birth of my first nephew. He arrived slightly after schedule, but what a wonder he was! He still is, of course, and now he also has two wonderful siblings. The three of them never fail to light up their auntie’s mood!
Where would you like to be five years from now?
1) In a solid, secure and interesting job. Preferably one that pays sufficiently for me to not spend my days worrying about every penny spent.
2) By then I hope to have written at least one book, and preferably have it published. And translated into at least five languages.
3) By then I also hope that Mr. Collett will have showed up and swept me away. If he already has showed up and I just haven’t noticed yet, I certainly hope he will get going on the sweeping soon!
4) I think I would like to still be in Oslo in five years time, but I would also like to have at least one more stay abroad behind me at that point. And lots and lots of travelling.
5) Seeing as 7 May 2015 will be a Thursday, I should probably be at work in exactly five years from now. But, after work, I hope that I am going out to meet some friends in a park, where we can have a picnic, or maybe I just sit under a tree reading The Secret Garden. In short, I hope that in five years I will still have the time, energy and awareness to make sure I have spare time, and that I keep in mind what is really important in life.
What is on your to do list for today?
1) The never-ending, Damocles’ sword-feeling, always pending activity of my current daily life: write my thesis. Right now that entails analyzing documents for chapter five, and it is so BORING!
2) Make dinner! It’s amazing how enthusiastic I’ve become for this mundane pastime ever since I practically OD-ed on the cafeteria food here at the university. Every time I get to go home early enough to make dinner in my own kitchen feels like a treat.
3) Laundry. I have a love-hate relationship with this activity. On the one hand I like doing laundry, because it is simple (a machine does it for you!) and it gives a wonderful feeling of getting a whole lot done (there are few things cluttering up a room more than a pile of dirty laundry). On the other hand, though, laundry is never exhaustive. After having washed a massive load, I always feel like I should never have to do it again, or at least, I should be able to wait a couple of years. But that’s not how it goes. New dirty clothes are immediately produced – what about the clothes you are currently wearing? They need to be washed too! Bah!
4) Walk home. It’s quite the walk from the university to my current apartment, but the weather looks lovely (if a little windy), and I could both use the vitamin D and the exercise. Besides, I found a new route home last night, and I am eager to try it again.
5) Relax at home. I think that tonight that includes a movie, a glass of wine, and some chocolate.
What 5 snacks do you enjoy?
1) Chocolate. That sinful, bad-for-you, terrible, lovely, amazing, delicious feeling of chocolate melting on your tongue. You know you want it.
2) Strawberries! It’s soon strawberry season here in Norway, and – say whatever you want – there is nothing as tasty as Norwegian strawberries. I reserve the right to be xenophobic in this particular aspect of my life.
3) I’ll eat any type, but if I am going for chips, I’d normally pick kettle boiled ones.
4) Dips. I haven’t always been a fan, but I’ve recently been drawn to two types of dips. One is homemade guacamole, preferably with onion and a zing of chili in it. The other is basically dill (my all-time favourite spice. Or herb? It is a herb, but is it also a spice? I’m not sure if I know the correct distinction…) minced together with spring onions, a little celery and yoghurt. Perfect with carrots, or as dressing or, probably, with those kettle boiled chips.
5) Nuts. Yes I am. But that’s not the point. Hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia, peanuts, cashews, almonds. Plain, with salt, roasted, with chocolate, in cakes, on salads, caramelized. Mmmmm!
What would you do if you were a billionaire?
1) Me being me, I would start off with the sensible things. Like paying back my student loan. And buying an apartment (but I would make it a nice one).
2) Then I would furnish this apartment with lots of nice things, and a few items that I don’t need, but nevertheless would like. Such as a piano (which I might consider buying myself some lessons for playing) and a hot tub. And a swimming pool! And a HUGE library, with a fireplace and comfy chairs *sigh*
3) I would quit my part time job, and focus my attention on finishing my thesis. The lack of financial worries probably wouldn’t make it any easier, but at least I could give up making my own lunch entirely (which is nowhere as satisfying as making my own dinner). Maybe a donation to the student cafeterias would be in order to improve the quality of the food served…?
4) Speaking of donations – if I owned a billion I would make an effort to find a few well-organized charities and support them.
5) The majority, though, I would probably put in the bank. Possibly find someone reliable to invest (wisely). I would spend on travelling and probably significantly increase my clothes-, shoes-, food- and book budgets, but in the long run I am fairly sure I would not be any happier. I believe that money (or more accurately, the lack of money) can create unhappiness, but I don’t think having plenty of it creates happiness. So in the long run I would probably try to live as normal a life as possible. I’d still go job hunting as soon as I’m finished with my thesis. I’d still hang out with the same people. I might spend a little more on my nephews and niece for birthdays and such, but I’d try not to change anything significant.
As for passing the tag on, I’m going to make a little twist. As mentioned, I have seen this around for a while, so many of the blogs I follow and read have already been tagged. There are still plenty left, don’t get me wrong, but instead of giving any actual “tags”, I would like to mention five blogs/blogish sites that always amuse/entertain me, and which I highly recommend. If any of them would like to continue the game of tag, that would be great – but I don’t think Stephen Fry visits my blog all that often… So, here goes:
http://www.stephenfry.com/ - I’ve known Stephen Fry for a while (well, “known” is probably a stretch, but I’ve known of him. Fry and Laurie are legends), but only recently discovered his nothing less than brilliant blog. The man is a genius, and he is willing to share his geniusness with us.
http://www.onemilliongiraffes.com/blog - I know I’ve probably exhausted the potential for marketing this site on my blog, but seriously, it continues to amaze me how this project (collecting 1 million handmade giraffes over the internet) has inspired such wonderful creativity in so many people around the world. If I’m in a bad mood it always helps to check out the latest contributions – how can anyone be sad/angry/annoyed/stressed when there are giraffes to make us smile?
http://www.adamhills.com.au/blog/ - Another one that makes me smile is this wonderful Australian (sorry – Aussie) comedian. After having written about a project of his a while back he kindly linked to my blog from his site. Man, did that lead to a rush of Australians visiting here! I was very nearly overwhelmed! Adam Hills’ blog is very funny though – and the clips from his shows are even funnier. Check it out!
http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/ - This has become my number one guilty pleasure. I think I could spend hours looking at pictures from the Academy Awards and other such gala shows just to see the dresses. The amazing, beautiful, shocking, and quite often FUGLY dresses worn by Hollywood’s finest. This blog features those pictures, and gives comments to them. This way, my mindless time-waste becomes even more mindless, because I no longer need to add the sarcastic comments myself…
http://johnconnollybooks.blogspot.com/ - I’ve read two books by John Connolly, The Gates and The Book of Lost Things. I liked both of them, mostly because I like his voice and way of putting things. This is why I also like his blog, where he gives me a peek into his world as a published and successful (and yet still not problem-free) author.
Finally, I have an extra tag. One of my favourite blogs has been idle for a while. I hope this is because she has landed a superb book contract for one of her novels. I also hope that a tag might trigger more entertaining posts about interior design, literature, or writing, and especially that it might present me to more brilliant playlists (I’m getting “listened out” on the old one). Please come back to the cybersphere, http://belleslettriste.blogspot.com/!