Archive for March, 2008

boaz mauda to eurovision 2008 for israel

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With the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest underway, here’s a song-singer combo to look out for – Israel’s Boaz Mauda singing Ke’ilo Kan (English title The Fire in your Eyes), which was written by international singer and ESC ’98 winner Dana International and Shai Kerem.

I’m drawn to the song, in the same way that I was drawn to Serbia’s winning song last year, Molitva. So drawn that I started learning the song. How’s that for Hebrew (or is it Arabic?) lessons? The singing seemed so heartfelt and the song, a strong, pining ballad. Boaz is easy on the eyes, too. If he sings this well live on the Serbian stage in May, he could be the competition’s dark horse, brooding and ehem, well-bred.

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This, along with Norway’s Hold On Be Strong, Sweden’s Hero, France’s Divine, Ukraine’s Shady Lady, and Greece’s Secret Combination are my early top favorites.

Related: Maria Haukaas Storeng to Eurovision 2008

there’s a cow in my coffee!

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I told you so.

Got this cute mug from Switzerland from my friend Luc as a late birthday present. Isn’t she the cutest?

While at our Sunday fix of a cafe called Evita, I thought of opening a coffee shop in Oslo called “Imelda”. Knut threw in ideas of filling the ceiling with upturned shoes, as if the ceiling was the floor, and having shoes as door handles. I would like the atmosphere of the café to be decadent or as one would put it, Imeldific. Maybe Imelda Marcos could fly to Oslo for the inaugural ceremonies? Think of the PR possibilities! CNN, BBC and Time Magazine would fly over to cover the opening of Café Imelda. Hmmm. Something’s brewing. Haha!

the pantone of the opera

Marble white and sky blue.

The sun’s out today so Knut and I decided to whip our sunglasses out and walk towards the yet-to-open National Opera House at Bjørvika. Like a submarine rising out of a calm sea or a Titanic slowly descending into the abyss, the new Opera House, however you view it blends perfectly into its new-found background. Until now, the Opera was housed in a building in the middle of the city center. With its new harbour location, the National Opera House allows the public to bask under the sun on days like today by its sloping grounds. As the project architect once quipped, “we wanted people to walk on the building like a magic carpet and see the fjord unroll in front of them.”

Here are pics, lots of it! Haha!

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It was fun!

five books

I was with my friend who works for a publishing company yesterday and we dropped by his office. On our way out, he said I could pick out titles I’d like to take home from the row of books on a table. He said the company just gives them away, so after skimming the back covers, I brought home these five:

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The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen

“Louis Drax is a boy like no other. He is brilliant and strange, and every year something violent seems to happen to him. On his ninth birthday, Louis goes on a picnic with his parents and falls off a cliff. The details are shrouded in mystery. Louis’s mother is shell-shocked; his father has vanished. And after some confusion Louis himself, miraculously alive but deep in a coma, arrives at Dr. Pascal Dannachet’s celebrated coma clinic.

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax is the story of a family falling apart, told in the vivid voices of its comatose son and Dr. Dannachet as he is drawn into the Draxes’ circle. Full of astonishing twists and turns, this is a masterful tale of the secrets the human mind can hide.”

Rules for Saying Goodbye, Katherine Taylor

“At twelve, Katherine was shipped from her provincial farm town to the glamorous chill of an East Coast prep school, where she was introduced to the cruelties of social distinctions, cocaine ‘so good it’s pink’, and an indispensable best friend.

Everyone has always said that Katherine shows ‘promise’, but as she navigates her twenties she begins to wonder whether she will amount to anything much at all. There are unsuitable men of enormous charm and unsuitable jobs of no charm at all; she drinks fourteen dollar cocktails but has no money for groceries; she travels for love and, when that doesn’t work out, she travels with her mother. As friends, flats and fiances fail to live up to her expectations she realizes that the one thing you can’t run away from is yourself.

Written with an unerring sense of the delights and malaises of a generation, this is a novel about breaking down and putting yourself back together again.”

The Da-da-dee-da-da Code, Robert Rankin

Most (if not all) of Mankind’s problems stem from Man’s natural inability to accurately predict future events.

And it is absolutely certain that in the case of Jonny Hooker, had he been granted the gift of precognition, he would not have taken the course of action that would lead inevitably to him floating headless and lifeless in the ornamental pond at Gunnersbury Park.

Jonny Hooker is a tormented man, but his former problems pale into insignificance when he receives a Very Special Letter telling him his name has been selected by a Competition Supercomputer to be a WiNNER WiNNER WiNNER!!!

But to claim his prize, he has to solve the Da-da-de-da-da Code.

Luckily, Jonny’s a musician, and he knows perfectly well that popular music always has Da-da-de-da-da somewhere in the beat – like ‘Waltzing Matilda’, or the National Anthem…

And it definitely has something to do with The Devil’s Chord… And with Robert Johnson… And with the last castrato… And it has also something to do with Elvis… And the Secret Parliament of Five…

And in solving the Da-da-de-da-da Code, he might also discover the truth behind why all the most famous rock musicians die aged twenty-seven. And the truth behind the raising of an ancient god and the destruction of the world.

For it’s all right there in the music, and all Jonny has to do is to crack that code. Before he dies on Monday.”

The Ministry of Special Cases, Nathan Englander

Kaddish Poznan chips the names off gravestones for a living, removing traces of disreputable ancestors for their more respectable kin. His wife Lillian works in insurance, earning money when people live longer than they fear. Set in a tumultuous Buenos Aires on the cusp of a military coup, the couple’s own tumultuous relationship is held together by their role as parents dedicated to a teenage son. As Argentina’s Dirty War unfolds around them, it threatens to overwhelm the infectious, mad energy of their lives. 

Their sometimes hilarious misadventures are soon replaced by something much darker. A visit to the dreaded Ministry of Special Cases is only the start of Englander’s stunning vision of a nation in the hold of corruption and torture, a place where absurdity, despair and hope are the end products of a bureaucracy run out of control.”

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Here is a small fact: You are going to die.

1939. Nazi Germany. The Country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information: This novel is narrated by Death.

It’s a small story about a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. 

Another thing you should know: Death will visit the book thief three times.

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I found a common thread running through all the books I’ve chosen: Most of the characters are young. Death comes into play, in one way or another.

there can be miracles

A little prayer can do something big. I’m a believer.

Thank you to all those who helped with prayers and support. My love goes out to all of you.

shopper crossing

As most of you know, I am currently in between jobs (Hahaha! I just can’t utter the word!) so this news came as a pleasant surprise. No, I didn’t land a full time job – still trying to find the one for me through the job seeker’s course I am attending – but I got a good head start. Last week, I landed a freelance job I applied for one and a half years ago (!!!). Now I can add global shopper to my curriculum vitae.

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The job entails product research and, of course, shopping. The headquarters is overseas. So working for someone in another part of the world and being part of a global enterprise are clearly, part of the charm of this job. The extent of the company’s knowledge and coverage on market research and product innovation is mind blowing, that clients and agencies around the world are raving about them.

Shopping and getting paid to do it – sweet, eh?

Graphic work by Luca Laurenti.


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