Wednesday, September 28, 2005

noise! fun! kaizers!

janove ottesen might not be the sexiest name under the sun. but, by god, at least tonight "mr kaizer" is my new scandinavian sex god. (sorry, guys. bo - i know this must be especially hard for you, because after all it was you who introduced us, so to speak).

so how many times have you been to a norwegian concert? if you haven't ever been, it's about time you went. i just got back from the kaizers orchestra concert at szene wien. i've got two words for you: f***ing brilliant. one of the best live shows i've ever been to. and i'd follow them on to munich and beyond if i could, and turn into a groupie for, say, a fortnight or so. "mr kaizer" is, after all, my new sex god. it's frustrating then, that it was not him but another band member, who declared he wanted to have sex with ... no, no, sorry: make love to the audience. then again, i could start with him, and take it from there. *L* (in case you are wondering, i had not a drop of alcohol, smoked no illegal substances; i'm high on kaizers!)

i was not in a concert-going mood tonight, feeling a bit under the weather, bit of a temperature, tired. but hey, what better way to cure all that than some very odd, very impressive, very fun, very musically interesting show? i'd heard that they're a great live band, and while they are good on cd, they truly are amazing live. it's fun to watch these guys at work - they seem to enjoy it a lot as well. i love when bands or singers interact with their audience, i cannot stand completely choreographed shows that are the exact same in london, vienna, berlin, and for all you know the band or singer could be alone practising for lack of interaction or recognition. not with kaizers and their sex god of a singer. *G*

they talk, they ask questions, they joke and fool around. and of course they play their strange mix of norwegian polka (ompa), rock, blues, eastern european folk music (at least occasionally, you do feel tempted to cross your arms, start dancing traditional russian dance and shout "kalinka!"), pop and several other ingredients. and they play it well. they've got some unusual instruments on stage with them to produce a lot of noise (metal bars, lids, etc), and you just have to see what they do to them to believe it - and they seem to celebrate that. they audience love them a little more for it. the concert was a mix of older songs (ompa til du dør, evig pint, bak et halleluja, ...) from previous albums and stuff off the new cd, "maestro" (delikatessen, maestro, ...).

i find it quite impressive that a band can hold the audience's attention (and more than just that) like that when nobody understands more than perhaps a couple of words they are singing! not bad. not bad at all.

what more is there to say? oh, funny costumes, too, some of them. take the guy with the towel on his head (not for the whole show, of course). the gas mask. mr ottesen, my scandinavian sex god, he wore suit and tie in the beginning, and no shirt at all in the end. well, for the second half of the concert, really. woo-hoo! AND he made very sexy dance moves at times. *rrrr*

ah i think i have to go to bed now, it's 20 past midnight and it's not like i don't have to get up in the morning and go to work. i'll just listen to "mr kaizer, hans constanse og meg" one last time.

no need to ask about the song of the day - it's got to be something norwegian. *la la laaaaa*

before i go - here's the link to the kaizers orchestra website. oh, and did i mention that mr janove ottesen kaizer is my new ... ?

good night!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

headaches, parents, and a tiger cub

about time i caught up, i know.

went to see a film last monday - jim jarmusch's "broken flowers" with *aaaaahhh!* the great, the wonderful, the unique bill murray (whom, btw, i want for my birthday. he can just sit and stare if he likes, nobody does that better than him anyway!). i liked the film. a nice surprise that there are two holly golightly songs on the soundtrack!

another surprise was my parents announcing they'd be in vienna on the weekend. we never thought we'd see them here again! that meant that some more serious house-cleaning was necessary, and before the weekend too. my mother's standards are ... well, slightly different from mine. ;)

an unpleasant thing was the headache i woke up with on tuesday - it did not go away until friday!! argh. still, i managed to solve a few sudoku, finish the jigsaw puzzle (much quicker than i thought i'd be), and stay in the poem-a-day challenge. i did miss out on the trivia night though. nobody cracked the jackpot though, so that's okay. another try tonight.

saw gudrun and simon on thursday - simon having lots of fun in the park, he giggled a lot!

my parents arrived on friday, but my brother picked them up at the station. we went out for japanese food that evening - sepp and me, my brother markus and his girlfriend claudia, and my mom and dad. the food's always nice at akakiko! :) my parents stayed at my flat, so we took them back home before going over to sepp's. the weather was perfect all weekend - just delightful. almost as warm as summer, sunny, blue skies ...

saturday morning mom and dad went off to the first district, then we spent the afternoon in laxenburg, just south of vienna, meeting up with markus & claudia too. they have a castle that looks totally disney but is genuinely old, a lake and a huge park. we went for walks, had ice-creams, and cruised the little lake on a boat as well.

afterwards, we spent a few nice hours at a heurigen in guntramsdorf. nice wine, yummy food (pumpkin, delicious!). my brother got lovely presents for his recent 30th birthday, so he was extra-happy. back in vienna, we showed mom & dad more than half of our holiday pics until we all got soooooo tired we could have fallen asleep there in front of the screen.

sunday we visited schönbrunn zoo. i was impressed how skillful the elephants are - now i like them even more. little mongu whom we had seen three weeks after she was born, is now over two years old!

the primates look so depressed - they lost a few of them to some illness last year, and the remaining ones seem to have changed completely. but there's the cutest tiger cub - only 3 months old. so sweet! the funniest thing was when he tried to get down from places he'd climbed - he was very, very careful, prodding things, testing whether they were safe and could be trusted, peeking over the rim. so cute. still - already very impressive paws!

after a snack back at my place, i dropped mom & dad off at the station, and off they were back to spittal. a weekend really isn't very long.

this week i am doing prep work, i have a few appointments, meetings, etc, but i will talk about those next time i remember this blog of mine. *L*

today's song: static on the radio, jim white & aimee mann. i could listen to that one song for hours. brilliant.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

poetry, music, and all sorts of puzzles

another week over - how?! *L*

i am still writing a lot, posting at the poem-a-day forum, getting nice feedback. one of my recent poems caught an editor's attention, and i was asked to submit it so it can be published! i'll keep you posted.

found some terrific music, and the song of the day, though difficult to choose, has got to be richard hawley's "who's gonna shoe your pretty little feet", followed by several other hawley songs. simply wonderful. perfect for autumn, too. other newly acquired music includes songs by pistepirkko, flaming lips, muse, under byen, kaizer's orchestra, athlete, annie, caetano veloso, isolation years, ed harcourt, and some 80s stuff i only have on old tapes. who says there is no good music around anymore?

i bought a jigsaw puzzle a few days ago - the first in ages, 1000 pieces. i used to spend a lot of time on those things when i was a teen, and even during my early years at uni. so, i doubt i'll get bored over the next few weeks. (yeah right, as if i ever were!)

also, i am proud that i solved this weekend's der standard crossword all by myself, and rather fast. and - i have finally tried my hand (and brain) at sudoku: addictive, terribly so. did three today, solved all of them even though the paper claims they are "difficult" rather than medium or easy. sepp? well, he is sitting in a corner, shaking his head. *LOL*

the weather has changed, it is colder now, and we had rain, too. spent yesterday writing, working, watching tv, and today's a very lazy sunday. have yet to come up with a poem for the challenge ...i'll try and kickstart the muse!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

poetry, friends, and another trivia night

work's fine, but i am a little on the tired side this week. must be my usual september low, i get that every year.

more poetry - though not as frantically writing as on the weekend, mainly because i have less time, i suspect. strange poems, too, that come upon me. i don't think i can be held completely responsible, it must be my muse running amok. ;)

finally saw our friend tom last night, he joined us at the crossfield's for another trivia night. unfortunately babs could not make it, though her boyfriend andi was there.

and for those who are in need of some brain gymnastics (or want to test their google skills *L*), here are last night's questions:

1. in what year did paul gauguin die: 1903, 1907 or 1910?
2. what is/was a dodo?
3. everyone has heard of SARS. what is it an abbreviation for?
4. anna mae bullock, daughter of a cotton picker, became famous under what stage name?
5. was robin hood real or was he a legend?
6. how did the greeks in the ancient world call corsica?
7. what is the capital of bosnia?
8. how many triple word scores are on a scrabble board?
9. name the hunchback of notre dame!
10. what are the colourfully dressed guards who protect the pope called?
11. on what date was elvis presley born?
12. when was the first album of the beatles released: 1961, 1962 or 1963?
13. when was the second album of the beatles released?
14. what game uses wickets, mallets and wooden balls?
15. in which musical do they sing about jellicle balls?
16. what song does the monty python film "the life of brian" end with?
17. the philippines count 7017 islands. how many of them are inhabited: 2000, 3000 or 4000?
18. which are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet?
19. what is "slowly" in italian?
20. what is a palindrome?

we got 16 right. could have been more. take SARS, for instance. we HAD the right definition, but discarded it because we though it did no sound right, not very scientific. go figure. we nearly got the island question right, but at the last moment wrote down the wrong number. and for some reason, our memory let us down re: scrabble triple word scores. and well, who on earth knows the old greek name for corsica? we got a consolation prize though, some drink served in what looked very much like test tubes. but hey, next week, next week we'll get you. especially those who got 19 out of 20 yesterday!

a letter from rachael today, my aussie friend - i love getting such chatty letters, it's lovely to sit down with a cup of tea to read. and she sent 2 cds too - tahiti80 and james blunt. so, since i am listening to that right now, i guess it's a james blunt day, music-wise. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

monday. madness. muse.

tired today - no wonder. *someone* had to stay up to watch the us open finals. well worth it though. amazing, truly amazing tennis from both agassi and federer.

another monday, then. work was fine. four hours are nothing, really.

i must be mad though - arlene has been trying to get me to join a poem-a-day challenge for, well, not as long as i can think, but let's just say, a while. *S* and now that my muse, that fickle thing, is working overtime (more poetry today, and not a problem at all!), i decided to give it a go. have registered on two poetry boards, we'll see how things develop.

i'm still lovin' it. and, as bo said, lovin' it is good. :)

no song of the day - but a perfect evening for lucky jim.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

books, poems, and random stuff

i'm happy to have more time for reading than earlier this year. finished john irving's "a widow for one year" which i have been discussing with bo; read one of the more sophisticated girl books, anna maxted's "being committed", a perfect sunday afternoon book, followed by alessandro boffa's "you're an animal, viskovitz" which i had picked up in a london bookstore in june. very original, and funny. am halfway through mikael niemi's "popular music" now, a novel i bought last year when flying out of stockholm. so, i'm slowly but surely working my way through the many books i bought in london, and even before. and though some of my friends are not only suggesting other novels, but tempting me every time they get a chance, i am determined not to buy anything new for a while. after all - i have a birthday coming up in november, and there'd be no books left they could get me! yeah, right.

i am deliriously happy that my muse is making an appearance. i am sure she is between boyfriends or something, or she would not hang around 24/7, as it seems she does. i have written 6 new poems since last weekend, and i have revised and finished four or five older ones.

i've checked out a critique board arlene told me about, and who knows, i might join in the fun there. it always takes a while to feel at home, but without trying, that won't ever happen.

my finger's fine.

i've done some serious house-cleaning, and have discovered that the surface of my desk is still blue - at the moment, more than just a square centimetre of it is actually visible!

caught up on emails, about time too (right, annette and arlene?). my old canadian pal monique has a brand new baby daughter, cecilia, a little sister for her three boys. congrats to the travales!

more tennis. kim clijsters won the women's. the men's final is tonight. roger's looking hot.

and now excuse me, but i have to go and learn stars' middle names by heart in preparation for the next trivia night! *L*

song for the day, without having listened to it: mellow yellow. for some reason, it's on my mind.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

a lazy weekend, a new group, and two near-wins

the good news:
- my voice is back!
- my finger has healed well!
- and i have written more poetry, though that is still work in progress!

we had a very lazy weekend, i only left the house once, to go over to sepp's. didn't venture far from the bed on sunday at all, despite the nice weather. a much-needed, relaxing couple of days.

started teaching a new group on monday, only 8 people; there are no absolute beginners, and they are nice, and obviously eager to learn as much as they can. there's a lot of laughter too, so that's good.

we went to another trivia night on tuesday, the first after the summer break. (for those who don't know: we started going to pub quiz nights in the spring, to an aussie pub here in vienna, and on the last evening before the summer break, we were the best team of the day!) unfortunately babs and andi and tom could not make it, others had no time, and so it was only sepp, birgit and me. but so what!

there were some rather tricky questions, but we got 15 out of 20, and tied in first place with one other team! so we got another 4 questions, but lost. :(

here are the questions for those who want to give it a try (questions in italics are those we didn't answer correctly):

1. true or false – 84% of an apple is water.
2. which country is andrew lloyd webber from?
3. name at least three summer olympics sports beginning with the letter T!
4. what are the first names of the three brothers that formed the bee gees?
5. what is the dominant religion in brazil?
6. how many active players are on a cricket game?
7. what is a saluki?
8. where in australia did england test its first atomic bomb?

9. what is uma thurman's middle name?
10. what is the name of barbie's brother - ken, todd or skipper?
11. what vegetable is the main ingredient in a meal called borscht?
12. what character does johnny depp play in "charlie and the chocolate factory"?
13. which actor played the character from question 12 in the 1971 film version?
14. who was the director of "fargo"?
15. what was the title of the official olympic hymn sung by whitney houston?
16. where is the US baseball hall of fame?
17. pilsener beer takes its name from a town in what country?
18. actress winona ryder was once arrested for what?
19. in which italian town is "romeo and juliet" set?
20. what part or function of the body are carrots good for?

another terrific tennis match last night - james blake vs andre agassi. much anticipated match, and rightly so. i saw much of the last set this morning, and have seen a few other games since - incredible, incredible tennis. hats off to both guys. neither of them deserved to lose that match. stunning. in the last set they played as if they'd only just started. blake is so quick, and agassi, well, that fitness at his age ... wow. blake did serve for the match and agassi broke back, and i just knew, i just knew he'd lose it - and he did, in the tie-break, 8/6, so so close.

i like both players. i like their attitude. they are so focussed without ever ... you know what some people are like, they get worked up and scream and yell and swear and get into discussions with linesmen and the umpire etc.

tennis is obviously important to blake and agassi, but they both know, there are things that matter even more. james was facing life as a paraplegic last year, and had a strange virus that could have cost him his eyesight, and he lost his father, all within a few months, and i think he has matured a lot, and it has put things into perspective for him. and that shows. respect for each other, and fairness. i admire that greatly. shame for james, but if all goes well, he has many more years in him.

okay, right. i've told the tennis nerd to shut up and find something else to do! *G*

before i forget: congrats to my friend annette - she just had a book of poetry published (same publisher as mine)! if you are interested, check it out at foothills publishing.

song of the day: utopia, by goldfrapp.

I’m wired to the world
That’s how I know everything
I’m super brain
That’s how they made me

Saturday, September 03, 2005

the loss of my voice, a birthday, and a cut finger

no more holiday reports, folks!

last weekend i lost my voice - sunday, and monday too, it was completely gone at times. not very convenient when you're supposed to be teaching for 6 hours! i was pretty happy when it was time to go home on monday, and shut up for a while.

tuesday it was still giving me a hard time, and of course teaching an additional 90 minutes (my "travelling a land down under" english class) did not help.

better on wednesday, though far from alright. it was my friend gudrun's son simon's first birthday - i hope to have some pictures up soon, i am sure there are a few cute ones. simon was decidedly more interested in the wrappings of his presents than the gifts themselves, but he was having fun, especially just before bedtime. :)

and here is one picture - simon and his godmother sonja, and he is quite obviously enjoying the first chocolate of his life, and thinking that if it is good enough for eating, it must also be good enough for external application to just about everything!

thursday evening i was about to get me a couple of slices of bread for dinner, when i cut my left index finger pretty badly. it seemed okay after a while, but about 75 mins after i cut myself, it began to bleed again quite badly, and i contemplated a trip to the hospital, but in the end did not go, and it has been okay since. the only problem is that typing is a bit difficult, and of course - no tennis this weekend.

the funny thing is that my accident has inspired the first poem i have written in months! i don't think it is the best i have written, but since i had not written even a line in many weeks, who's complaining?

just watched a terrific tennis match - hottie james blake vs rafael nadal. it had nothing of a 3rd round match about it, but everything of at least a semifinal. brilliant tennis, and james won!

and now i am listening, once again, to "westwards we're headed" by lucky jim, my favourite song of the moment.