Journal

Work and wait.

Today has alternated between very busy and very slow. This morning I worked almost constantly until lunch assisting Julie with Bessie. I got a compliment from Magnus. I was making Bessie’s feet wiggle as she lay on a lounge chair and he said “I like the feet jiggling.” Of course everything else in that shot had gone horribly wrong, so that might have been the only nice thing he could say.

Stop the bus.

I pass this bus stop every day on my way to work. This is my boss. Almost all the bus stops in Reykjavik have a picture of one of the cast members.

And since some of you have asked about the people that I keep mentioning, here’s a picture of Sarah (who plays Trixie) and Raymond, my fellow Assistant Puppeteer.

Health contest

The newest thing at work is a health contest between the different departments. We are all supposed to keep track of what we eat and exercise; points are awarded for each thing. There’s a prize at the end of the month for the healthiest person. Whee.

The Crown Princess of Sweden

This morning we had a visit from royalty. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden came to visit work and we had a huge stage scene that would never happen in the real show. The number of photographers and reporters that filled the stage was more than a little astounding. The princess herself seemed lovely and quite charming, like she would be a fairly normal person if she weren’t surrounded by flashes.

Björk is supposed to come by later.

Cheating a little

I went back to add the entries that I would have put in over the weekend if I’d had computer access. You can click on the link to Things that Happen at Home to jump to Saturday’s entry, or just scroll down. Today is much slower than yesterday. We did two puppet shots this morning; I only helped with one. Now they’re shooting a bunch of stuff in the lair which gives me time to update my weblog while I wait for my turn in the massage room.

I also have two photos for you.


I found a postcard which just barely shows my apartment, so you can get an idea of how close I am to the city center. The big spire is a church that’s downtown.


If this postcard went five blocks further down, you’d see my place. Both of these postcards, and others, will be heading towards the States as soon as I get to the post office.

Shoe Tytus 6000

When the episode Remote Control finally airs, I am the Shoe Tytus 6000. It’s a shoe tying machine that the character Pixel invented to tie his shoes. In order to work it, I lay on my back under the floor of the set, wedged up into the puppet by a series of apple boxes. Once I was in place, I couldn’t get out again without help. The idea of the shot is simple. Pixel puts his foot on the machine and it ties it. The reality was very hard. I was tying a shoe that was over my head, while wearing gloves with rings and wires on them, and had a choice of being blind or looking in a monitor. Not easy. But I did it, and they seemed happy with the final take.

I also spent a lot of the day being a right hand for Þor (pronounced Thor) as he worked Ziggy, or working legs for various puppets. Raymond, the producer, complimented me when I slid in to add some foot action for Pixel in a music video. He said, “I like what you are doing with the feet. Things are livelier here since you came.” Apparently no one else really worked the feet, they just let the puppet sit on the walls. I get bored, so I look for things that I can do.

Worked all day

I was on set working all day, and didn’t have even a moment to write. We’re wrapped for the day, and my ride is waiting for me.

Dinner Party

I had my first dinner party in Iceland. I think that it’s a sort of nesting thing that I need to do to feel comfortable in a new space. The apartment that I’m in has china that is similar to the china that Rob and I have at home. I invited Jodi, Sam, Sarah and Julie to dinner.

The Menu
Four Icelandic Cheeses and crackers
Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Bisque
Spinach Salad with Fresh Mozzeralla, Fennel, and Apple
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Blábær tart

Blábær are the Icelandic blueberry. They are crisper than the ones in the U.S. and have a milder flavor.

Things that Happen at Home

I went shopping at Hagcaup, which is sort of the Icelandic Fred Meyers, with Sarah on Saturday. We had coffee and a pastry (pecan pie for me) afterward–I actually found decaffinated coffee. I know this may not seem like much, but I’ve had a really hard time finding it, and regular coffee does not agree with me. I’ve missed the taste.

In the evening I went out with Caroline and Ã?sta to see a dance performance called Things that Happen at Home. It was very funny, even though I didn’t understand a single spoken word. The audience gave them a huge and extended standing ovation. I asked if that was a usual response to a performance, and was told that it was rare.

No access

I don’t have internet access at my new place so there won’t be any updates this weekend. Seeya Monday!

The ingenue is ill.

Today we’re shooting the music video for this episode, so I was on set all morning assisting. The afternoon looks like it will be very different, because one of the cast members is sick. She worked the morning, but I think they’ve sent her home for the afternoon.

Speaking of home, this is the apartment building that I live in. I’m on the top floor; that’s my bedroom balcony.

This is the view from the bedroom balcony. Not terribly exciting, and–aside from the van–it looks more rural than it is.

Capturing the Friedmans

I went to see this documentary last night with Sarah and David. It somehow presented the information without making decisions for the viewer. It’s very good, and very disturbing.

New Apartment

I moved yesterday into my new apartment. I should be here till the end of the year. It’s much closer to downtown and stores, which is nice. Some of the decor is…not to my taste, but the apartment itself is great.

This is my new bedroom, with amazing light. At least right now. The bed is actually two twins, instead of the queen size it appears to be, which makes it great for company. Hint, hint.

It has a very tiny kitchen which has deceptive ammounts of storage space. There are all these cabinets, but none of them can hold very much.

And the living room, with great windows and another fabulous sofa. You can’t see all it’s glory here, just trust me. I bought the print over the sideboard.

Bollywood/Hollywood

We went to see the late show of Bollywood/Hollywood last night. The previews had looked really good, but the movie was not. It just couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, and the pacing was dreadful. I wanted to like it, but it just didn’t happen.

Still tying shoes.

They are letting us go early today. I was in this morning working a knee during this crazy shot where Pixel was tying his shoes. Yes. We’re still tying shoes. This was supposed to be shot as if the camera was on the ground looking up at the sky, but in reality–the camera pointed at the wall, and the puppeteer (Julie) had to tilt the puppet back to make it look like it was standing. I had to push its knee into the shot so that it appeared to be kneeling. Crazy.

I didn’t work after lunch at all, and they are letting us go already.