Sunday, March 22, 2009


Maggie was a bit embarrassed about a line in an Odd Nordstoga song that says "and you and I sit on the roof, laugh, and talk shit." I tried to explain that this is not a word that upsets norwegians in the least, they don't care about body functions, it's the devil they worry about. I even copied a section from a norwegian grammar book and emailed it to Maggie. It says that 'skitt' (pronounced 'shit') really means 'dirt' and is can be used as an expletive to mean 'oh bother!' "Your friend's grandmother won't even raise an eyebrow," it assures you.

Well, today, right in front of me and Pam, Maggie says 'oh shit' and runs off to something she forgot. Pam says, "Did she just say what I think she said?" "Yes," I answer, "but it's okay we're going to Norway." In my mind, she said 'skitt', not 'shit'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Week

We've found renters for our house, but we don't have a place yet to live yet in Trondheim. Autosøk is sending me daily updates on new listings that meet my criteria. is pretty awesome.

Also been trying to find a shipping company. We will bring a 20' cargo container, and rates on shipping services vary from $4000 to $11000. One company (the expensive one) sent a person to assess our stuff and sit down and tell us how everyting works, the others have not returned our phone calls and emails. You'd think they'd want our money. I understand it's easy to get hit with all kinds of hidden fees along the way, so I'm treating the low prices with suspicion...

This week on language learning:

• discovered new band, Vamp. Their song på Bredden is quite good. Give it a listen.
• did 20+ minutes/day every day in Norwegian in 10 minutes a day. This is a workbook that promises to teach me vast vocabulary, but it is a discipline to do this every day.
• I've been listening to Pimsleur on the way into work. I'm on unit 23 now, and they're increased the rate of speech and are speaking the instructions in Norwegian now. It's become exciting again.
• Got a new book, Teach Yourself Norwegian, by the same woman who makes the Norwegian Coversation CD that we like. It's a grammar book in English with exercises and coversations and it even throws in a few crossword puzzles and word searches. It's very good, and very demanding. I'm on chapter 4 and learning a lot about the nuts and bolts of the language -- something I really need to learn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Learning Guitar Songs, Norsk in 10 minutes a day

I can play "Alt du vil ha" fairly well on guitar. It has a nice key change near the end. I now have some 35 pages of norsk musik in my guitar music file.

Tonight I saw "Norwegian in 10 minutes a day" at Barnes and Nobles. Pam has this book, and has not let me near it. It's a workbook which very nicely blends english and norsk and include flashcards and sticky labels and all kinds of fun stuff. I've been coveting it, and right now I could use a shot of vocabulary and grammar right now, so I bought a copy for myself. Heh!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Odd Odd and Odd

Last week I relistened to the Norwegian Conversation CDs. One of the conversations features a friend of the main character, who is a fellow named Odd who has terrible luck. His sister is allergic to shrimp, his cat died last Friday, his mother is old and has tooth pain, his uncle is in the hospital and not expected to improve, and Odd himself has frequent headaches. In fact, he has one now and wants to go home. Poor Odd!

Maggie and I wrote a song about Odd, it was good fun. I wish I'd recorded it, but really the concept would work with just about any tune.

Speaking of Odd, Maggie and I have been into Odd Nordstoga this week. She especially likes "Heim te mor". She mumbles the words and bursts out with the Falalalalala part and cracks us both up. Good fun. I kveld som blir det song, falalalala, ja i kveld som blir det sang, falala.

And, a third Odd: Here's a song I can't find the lyrics to, so I'll have to listen carefully and translate it myself. He speaks slowly, and I understand some of it on first listen (some kind of miracle!) It's Odd Børretzer's "Vi drømte av Amerika", which talks about how norwegians used to dream of going to America, but no longer. Something about wars. The link takes you to YouTube.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lessons 21-25

Downloaded Pimsleur lessons 21-25 today. I outpaced the last set -- I found myself very bored with lessons 18-20, having already learned and practiced the material in other places, and hungry for more more more. I hope this next set will learn me good... 2.5 more hours of practice listening, speaking, pronouncing. The series only goes to 30, and I need to wait one more month to get the final installment from my audiobook club.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5 months to go

We had a rep from a moving company come to give an estimate to move our stuff. Looks like about $10K for a 20' cargo container. 2 or 3 rooms of furniture and a modest amoung of books and stuff... it would probably cost us about $60k to repurchase in Norway. Is it worth it?

Today I feel tired. Tired of studying Norwegian, tired of prepping for the move, tired of trying to clean out my office at work. There are many mountains in the way, visas and passports to acquire, vehicles to deal with, finding a place to lease. Last time everything happened so quickly -- it was really a blessing. We have more time to plan this time around, but that also means more time to be stressed out.