Journal

Fightnight

The art department threw a party for the rest of the company and really went all out. This is a ticket to the event.
When we arrived, they handed us a cocktail and a Dance Challenge card, much like the dance cards from cotillion. I was the only one who knew how to use them, aside from the organizers. The band was bizarre. The lead singer would sing for a few measures and then do a sort of performance art comedy routine. One episode of which consisted of a song that was an extremely long, messy orgasm. Not easy to dance to. They were better after the break, when she just sang.

I didn’t get in until three, and the party was still going when I left.

A Treat, Swimming and Sarah

I went out to get groceries and to buy a sharp knife today. I’ve discovered that I absolutely cannot stand to live in a place without a decent knife. The ones in my apartment are all serrated so I can’t even sharpen them. I promised myself, that if I saved my per diem that I could treat myself to a good one. I wanted to get one that was solid steel–don’t laugh–because I can kosher a solid steel knife by boiling it. Granted, the need to do this won’t come up often, but when Mark Levenson came to visit I bought a cheap knife to cut tomatoes and such. It was so unpleasant that I decided next time I would invest in a really good one. When I get home with this one, I’ll throw the nasty cheap knife away.

And now, to show you the depths of my love for my new knife, here is a picture of it with the lemon it glided through.

While I was out I stopped in an Antik store to look at the antiques. The gentleman running the shop and I wound up in a conversation about when the Americans came during WWII. He was ten, living on a farm, and so excited to see the trucks. He said that he remembers how well the soldiers were dressed and how crisp and neat they looked with their short haircuts. When he was older he joined a circus, since joining the Icelandic army wasn’t an option for seeing the world.

Sarah called during our conversation, but I just let the phone ring because I was enjoying talking with him so much. Some other customers came in, so I called Sarah back and received an invitation to go swimming. We spent four hours at the pool alternating between swimming and soaking in various of the hot pools. It was so relaxing and much better than the nap I had anticipated as my afternoon activity. Afterwards we stopped at Te og Kaffi for coffee and a light meal.

This is a view off the street the coffee shop was on.

A lovely afternoon all round.

Screening

Last night, after we wrapped, there was a huge screening of two of the new episodes. They set up a big movie screen and projected the episodes for two hundred people. It was a mix of people from work and their friends and families. They had fruitplates and cocktails to add to the festive excitement. The episodes were both really good.

Afterwards we all went over to Sarah’s for Raymond’s birthday party. This was more fun, because I got to really talk with some people that I only pass in the hall at work.

One Month

I’ve been here a month. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Egg Toss

Today’s wacky contest in the Health competition was an egg toss. We didn’t make it to the finals in this event, but we all now have great team t-shirts. I’ll try to get a picture later on, since I completely forgot to take my camera out during the competition.

Dinner guests and the Aurora

Last night I invited Caroline, her fiance Pali, Sarah and Julie for dinner. Towards the end of dinner Pali pointed out the northern lights. This was a really intense display that spread across the northen sky and undulated with shifting colors. It was very exciting.

Menu
Curried Lentil Soup
Salad with Pear and Lox
Pestoed Eggplant and Mushrooms on Spinach Tortellini
with Steamed Aspargus
Skyr and Fresh Raspberries

Bowling

That’s right, we went bowling last night. I wish I had a better photo of the building, but it was classier than any bowling alley I’ve ever see. This really interesting post-modern timber and steel construction on the exterior and hardwood floors in the dining room. Yes. Dining room. It might have been sports bar food, but it wasn’t served on plastic trays.

The weather was really great the other day, so I snapped a photo of the view out my living room window.

Otherwise, I’ve been on set all-day today and am starting to feel a little sore. I had a couple of shots that I really had to struggle to stay out of. That’s what always hurts; the bizarre twists and deep knee bends to keep from being seen can take a toll.

The White Whales

As part of the sports competition we needed a logo. So, with a little bit of time spent in photoshop I made this.

Triplets of Belleville, Pizza and Chocolate

Last night, Sarah and I decided that we needed to treat ourselves after yesterday’s retroreflective torture. We rented Triplets of Belleville and watched it while enjoying pizza and red wine. Afterwards we went to Vegamót for dessert. The sweets cost us 20 points in the fitness contest, but it was so worth it.

I got a box from Rob with mail, some clothes I’d left, and a new book called Yeats is Dead. I’ll give you a review of the book when I’ve read it.

LazyTown on CBS

Starting this Saturday, LazyTown will be on CBS as part of a collaboration with Nick Jr. It airs at 7:00 a.m. in most markets, so set your VCR’s to record and watch it at a more reasonable hour. Unless you have kids that are up that early anyway.

The Retroreflectives

No. It’s not the name of a band. It’s a fancy fabric that reflects light, and–with the right computer system–makes the puppeteers invisible. Of course, the fabric is coated with tiny glass beads and so also acts as a mini-greenhouse. Did I mention that there can’t be any breaks in the fabric? Like for eyeholes?

Anyway, it’s new technology and today was the first time we used it. I was one of the lucky guinea pigs, but there was only one full suit. So we were trying to do it with me hiding my head behind the other puppeteer. That didn’t work, so they threw an old hood on me with a couple of pinpricks, literally, poked in the mask for vision.

I did crap puppetry with that get-up. It makes me very unhappy to do work where I feel like I’m destined to fail.

The rest of the day was okay.

Northern Lights

I saw the Northern Lights for the first time last night. No pictures, sorry. Jodi called me about ten o’clock and told me to go outside to look for them. He had to describe what I was looking for, because they were fairly pale.

If you imagine a night sky with vertical folds of quartz projected faintly against it, and have the folds undulate slowly then you might get a vague sense of what I saw. There’s light pollution in my area, but I imagine the lights seem much brighter out of the city.

Not sore

I’m surprisingly not sore today. That may change, but the other folks who went on the ride are all complaining about sore bums. I suspect that it’s because of all the bike riding I do at home.

In the distance, there’s a white house which is the traditional Althing. This is where the Icelandic parliament met starting in 940 A.D.

Horseback Riding

Today I went on a horseback ride through part of the interior of Iceland. This was my first trip out of Reykjavik since I got here. Ásta (pronouced Owsta), the makeup designer at work, arranged the trip. She’s a pretty avid rider and owns two of them. The rest of us rented them.

The Icelandic horse is much smaller than horses in the U.S. or Europe. Some of them seem to be large ponies. They all use British saddles instead of the Western saddles that you see on most trail rides in the States.

This is my horse Nassi, which means ‘nose’ because he has a white ring around his nose.

The ride was about four hours long, but we stopped periodically so I didn’t get sore while we were out. Tomorrow might be different.

The scenery changed dramatically during the course of the ride. We were riding near, and then through, the place where the North American and Eurpean Techtonic Plates meet. It’s as if this river tips off the end of the world. You can’t see it in the photo, but the water had an aquamarine tinge to it like it had been dyed.

The land dropped off in the other direction and stretched out in a plane of moss covered lava. The landscape is at once cushioned and rough.

Latibær is everywhere

Latibær is the Icelandic word for LazyTown and it’s huge in Iceland. I can’t go anywhere and not see the show. This paper greeted me as I left the apartment. That’s Ziggy in the lower right corner.

When I got to the grocery story, this picture of Stephanie was in the magazine rack at the checkout aisle. She’s the little girl with pink hair.