Did you have a nice, safe Christmas?

Tens of thousands of people in Asia didn't. They were hit by a terrible tsunami. Many have died, almost 70,000 so far. And that number will probably go up even more.

The devastating number of people who are dead in this reagion (animation of the tsunami's way through the region), is nothing against the number of people whose homes have been washed away, who've become separated from their family members.

The death toll is expected to rise even further, not because of the tsunami itself, but because sanitary and health systems have been swept away. Waterbourne diseases will flourish in situations as these. And clean water is essential to avoid mass-epidemics of for example cholera.

If you're so inclined, say a prayer for the people who've been hit by this disaster. And if you're able to do so, make a contribution to one of the organisations rushing to their aid:

World Food Programme.
WHO
Red Cross Red Crescent
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Oxfam
Save the Children (UK)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 8:34 AM




Since I'm not home for Christmas this year..

..., I thought I'd tell the rest of the world what a Christmas in Denmark is like. In Denmark the 'big' day around Christmas is Christmas Eve.
This is how it usually is (in my family atleast):
You go to the people's house where you are celebrating Christmas (usually family)..or people come to our house.

Then you have Christmas dinner, which usually consists of: roast duck or pork roast..some people have both. Important thing about the pork roast is that the rinds have to be crisp.. (but I don't eat pork, so I couldn't care less, hehe!). With the meat you have boiled potatoes (white potatoes) and potatoes that have been caramelized (also known as brown potatoes..this may sound pretty odd, but it's not. In fact it's one of my favourite things about Christmas!). Also you have rødkål (chopped and boiled red cabbage) and brown sauce made from the 'juices' from the roast. Sometimes there are also other boiled vegetables, carrots for example.

Now, this is all pretty 'heavy' food, so usually people wait a while before having dessert. Which is another of my favourites: Ris à la Mande. The base for this is "Risengrød" (rice boiled with milk to a kind of porridge), but for Christmas it is mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, and chopped almonds and eaten cold with hot cherry sauce. In this Ris à la Mande there is also ONE whole almond; whoever gets this almond, gets a small present. If my maternal grandad is here, he always gets the almond, without exception! And without any foul play either. Then he sits there with a smug grin. ;-)

After having eaten dinner, which of course for the children seem like it takes forever, people relax for a bit. Clear the table, some go for a walk or play a board game.

Then it is time to light the candles on the tree (unless people use electric, which in my family we don't!! And the tree is a real tree as well, no plastic fake stuff here!). Then people take each other's hands and dance around the tree (the dancing is more like walking, but hey), singing carrols. For some reason most of the Danish Christmas carrols are quite long, so they are always cut short...mainly because people can't remember more than a couple of verses(!).
After three or four carrols, comes a real ordeal: there is one 'carrol' to which people don't dance around the tree. Instead they run around the house, into every room. Quite silly. But if you can manage to not run around with the others, it is fun to watch! Hehe.

Then it is time for the presents which have been lying under the tree. In some families it is the same person who pass round all the presents and in some families people take turns. But usually only one present is opened at the time, so everybody sees what everybody gets. And of course, if there are small children, it is an uncle or a grandad, dressed up as Santa, who gives out the presents. ;-) While the presents are being passed round people eat marzipan and nuts, Christmas cookies, and drink wine and coffee etc.
Getting through all the presents can take several hours, depending on how many people are gathered. After this people just hang around, talking and having fun. Maybe playing board games, like Trivial Pursuit.

If I can manage I usually watch the Midnite Mass from Rome on TV.. I'm not Catholic and I practically never go to church, but there is just something very Christmassy about watching that.... Can't really explain what it is...
And my family think I'm kinda crazy. ;-)

And that concludes this rather elaborate recount of a Danish Christmas... I realised the other day that I am going to miss very much being here, but atleast I'll be with T and that is worth missing a familiar Christmas for. ;-)

I hope you have a very lovely Christmas with lots of love and goodness.

Glædelig Jul!
- Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 12:13 AM




Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the shortest day of the year. Less than 7 hours of daylight.

We're in the dark of winter, yet no sign of any real snow. Most we've had is 5 minutes the other day; of course it melted as soon as it reached the ground.

Although it's cold and dark, Mid-winter is cause for celebration - now the days will get longer again! These people take the celebration seriously! I just hope they dress up warm!

But I think they're on the right track:

In Forn Siðr we do not believe in popes and pyramids of power. Therefore the community has no intention of controlling the way in which members practise thier faith, as long as the community by-laws are kept. Dogma belongs to other religions. All that we require is that our members do not misuse nordic mythology or pagan symbols for racist and nazi propaganda.

Further:

We Asetru are not missionaries, people may and should find where to stand themselves. Nowadays it is christian values which dominate society, but under the skin of the christian culture in scandinavia one can still get a glimpse of the old nordic foundation. Therefore another important aspect of the work of Forn Siðr is to make Asetru values more visible and accepted in society.

{Forn Siðr - English}

I think you're mistaken to think that Christianity is the only way to "salvation" - and what do we need to be saved from, anyway? There are plenty of old ways in different (Christian) countries that still survive to this day.

We need to be more open to other people, to other religions, or lack thereof. We all have to live on this small rock floating around in space. It's all we've got, so we damn well better get along!

It's almost Christmas, are you ready??

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 7:10 PM




Suspended in mid-air.

In case this had escaped your attention, my boyfriend (honestly, I think 'boyfriend' is a rather inadequate description; what I feel for him transcends a word like that. But I digress.) lives in England. Why I bring this up, you might ask? Well, why not? It's something that's constantly there...because he isn't.

It often feels like being suspended in mid-air, both mentally, and literally. The past 18 months I've spent more time at airports and on planes than in all my life before being with T.

Of course, the coming holidays are extra reason to think of him. Last year I was terribly sad that we couldn't spend Christmas together; you want to be with the one you love on Christmas, right? Well, there's no sadness this year! I'll be spending Christmas with him and his family in England.

Which will be strange for many reasons. I've never celebrated Christmas without my own family, for one. And the customs in England are different from ours. I will do my darndest to not make too many faux-pas... But if I do, you'll be the first to know. ;-)

If someone had asked me 2 years ago, "do you think you could ever be in a long-dostance relationship?", I'd probably have said nuh-uh, no way. Too difficult! And it is. But..that's how it is. And you have to accept that that's how it is, for the moment, or you'd go mad. And that's the last thing you need, you know??

However, accepting it, does not by any means mean that you have to like it. I know I don't. And I know he doesn't either. The thing that makes it all worthwhile is the other thing I know: that he loves me. Like I love him. And that's the most important thing.

Amor omnia vincit.

Dig?

Monday, December 20, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 2:33 PM




Now with fireplace and crack whores!

A little over a year ago I bought this domain. Here are a few facts about it.
- since February '04 there's been just shy of 4,000 unique visits here.
- most visits are from the CST, EST (American), CET (Europe), and UK timezones.
- 69% use I.E. v. 6.-, 9% use v. 5.-, 19% use Firefox, and only 2% use Opera. Which one do you use?
- organisation extension, you ask? 39% for .net, 26% for .com, 19% for .dk, 2% for .uk, and also 2% for .gr (Greece) as well.

Enough with the numbers, already! It's more interesting to see how people find me. It tickles my imagination to see the search words/combinations that lead people to my little corner of the web. Here are some of them:

sun wu kong

incrdibles Haven't you seen this film yet? You should. It's brilliant.

wardi I'm happy to say that when searching for "Wardi" on google, I'm the first result. ;-)

make a fake fireplace Ha! This is an odd one. I fail to understand why a fireplace is so important in interior decorating in England. So much so that I made an entry about it! And look what happened! Although wardi.dk is on page 2...

seattle trainride Now, that's an incredibly odd one!

naga danish design

"sex is like pizza" That's fascinating, isn't it?

make fake fireplace WTF?? Is the world fireplace crazy??

crack whores in london Certainly is versatile, isn't it?

"sven brasch" A Danish poster artist, from days gone by...

illios hotel in cos Apparently this search engine doesn't know that people can be lazy when writing..?

beautiful view You get an honourable mention if you can figure out how this relates to me...

pk80 It's the name of a couch designed by Poul Kjærholm.

Laser Swords Light sabers, dagnabbit!

Sunday, December 19, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 7:04 PM




Sounds of boredom.

As mentioned, the music class had a concert yesterday. They played different songs by the people in the class. The first song was, well, crap. What is worse is that it seemed like the people playing it thought so too. They looked very, very bored. No smiles, no twinkle in the eye, no nothing! No smiling - save the morose attitude till you are a bonafide rockstar! Smile dagnabbit!

Maybe these people are really talented, but it was very hard to tell when the accoustics are bad and they looked bored!

Most of the songs were in the sappy love song genre: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl doesn't love boy, boy gets his heart broken. What happened to the protest song??

And this older guy looked like he was about to swallow up the microphone. WTF? Damn, I'm gonna have nightmares about that now!

There was only one good song, a song kinda like a 50's rock'n'roll love song. Made me think of Grease in a way. Hehe.

Thursday, December 16, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 4:57 PM




So...

tired!!

Yes, it's sad that the course is almost done. But, man, it's been a tough couple of weeks here at the end. Projects to finish, portfolio to put together, exhibition to prepare. But now, it's almost done.

We had our exhibition today and we got some positive response; especially some of my work attracted quite a lot of attention. Yay! I had put some business cards with my folio and a few of them were gone when we went home, so... :-)

There was also a wee concert, but more about that next time, cause I'm too tired to think, let alone write, right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 6:45 PM




Bitch! No, Lucia is a saint!

At 6:30 AM there's a segment for kids on the national radio programme, P3. It's a story about a 13 year old girl called Ruth. Now, I'm not particularly fond of it, it's for kids, after all. But one thing I do find interesting about is that they swear. Yes, the 13 girl called Ruth actually swears! She calls a class mate, who's her arch enemy, a bitch in preactically every episode.

Should you just randomly go around calling people a bitch? Well, probably not. But I'm happy to live in a country where doing so doesn't cause an uproar. Not even when it's children who do so. ;-)

Today is Lucia's day, the festival of light, celebrated in memory of the Italian Santa Lucia. A young girl, dressed in white and wearing a crown of blazing candles, brings light into the dark winter at homes, hospitals, schools and offices.

The 'Lucia Queen' leads the processions mostly consisting of a group of young girls and boys singing traditional carols. In those early ages, the Norse used to celebrated the winter solstice on the same 13th of December, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The solstice was a magic fest when people particularly feared goblins and ghosts, and bonfires would be burned to celebrate the changing of the course of the sun.

The Norse converted to Christianity around 1000 A.D. starting to adopt Christian traditions and to abandon their pagan beliefs. As the winter solstice festival fell originally on the same day than Saint Lucia's Day, both pagan and Christian traditions mixed to become the modern Lucia celebration: the festival of lights. {link, describes the tradition in Sweden, but it's roughly the same as here and I'm too lazy to find a better link.}

I too have participated in such Lucia processions, on at least a couple of occasion. I was always afraid that the hot wax from the candle would drip on my hands. Ow. But I don't think it ever did.

Santa Lucia procession

Santa Lucia procession. Strangely, it seems to be a boy who's the Lucia 'queen' in this procession...

Monday, December 13, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 4:39 PM




1 week left, 2 weeks to go.

Internet, yesterday I saw a woman with sideburns. ACTUAL sideburns. Imagine Elvis in his sideburns days. Then imagine the sideburns being just a little bit smaller. That's what I saw! And she wasn't even trying to make some kind of obscure "I know I'm different, but that's why I can get away with sideburns even if I'm a chick" statement. No, she just had sideburns!

What is this world coming to??

I'm trying not to get too sucked in by the hoo-ha that goes with planning my sister's wedding. Although the family hasn't gone crazy over it yet, I'm sure they will! And pull me right along with them!

One week left at the course, a damn shame too, cause I was having so much fun and learning so many cool things!

Are you ready for Christmas? I am. Almost. Need to send out Christmas cards and such, but then I'm done! Every single Christmas present is bought and just needs a bit of wrapping paper and a card. It's probably the first time EVER that I'm done almost 2 weeks before!

Would you like a Christmas surprise?

This is not the Christmas surprise. It is the skeleton of Dexter!

Sunday, December 12, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 9:11 AM




Ohhh, my head!

This past week has been sooo hectic. Finishing projects, preparing things for our exhibit next wekk + putting together a portfolio. Which is a big task. Bigger than I probably imagined. But it's time and effort well-spent. Cause the result looks ace!

I can't believe how fast the past 4 months have gone by. And it's been really great. Discovering new things...and rediscovering others.

Colorstrology. What Pantone colour goes with your birthdate? Mine is Ibis Rose.

Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes.

The Visual Thesaurus. I know, I linked to this before, but it's just so fantastic I thought I'd mention it again.

The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products. It's almost like a REAL brand, isn't it??

There should be a thing like this for every city! Fascinating!

Britney Underground takes you on a tour of poignant urban artistry in a time of crisis.

If I lived in a place that never experienced temperatures below 12°C, I'd never wear shoes!!

Yellow snow.

Thursday, December 09, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 7:55 PM




So many links, so little time!

Apparently hobbits existed.

If you're an MSN messenger user, you no longer need to install it! Only works for IE.. go figure.

You've probably used Google more than once, but do you know how it all works? Look behind the scene!

The Food Timeline. Damn, I feel hungry now!

Why, honey, what a nice gluteus maximus! Rarrrrr!

People who make this kind of ASCII art have waaaay too much time on their hands. But oh my gawd, it looks amazing!

Ever wondered what it's like to work at McDonald's? Well, the wondering is over, now you can SIMULATE IT!

Funky little site with some space related stuff. Click on the PLanetarium, Moon Spin and Parallax Stars links to the left.

World leaders perform ABBA.

So...how many pixelated superhero torsos do you recognise?? I got 12 out of 21, but I'm not really familiar with the subject...

The Cyborg Name generator.

Wardi's cyborg name

Sunday, December 05, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 7:42 PM




Honey, next time leave the tweezing to a professional!

I just came back from the shop and I saw a girl working there who just scares the living daylights out of me.

SHE HAS NO EYEBROWS! Not only that, instead of her eyebrows she has drawn a line with an eyebrow pencil (why she would have one of those, I fail to understand) WHERE HER EYEBROWS SHOULD BE! So she is aware that she has no eyebrows, but who is she trying to kid? "I don't have any eyebrows, but I bet if I draw them onto my face, NOONE WILL NOTICE!"

No more tweezing for you, dear!

Saturday, December 04, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 4:51 PM




You want links? We got them!

Just what we need, a magazine about plastic surgery: Plastique. The name is no doubt supposed to make it sound...exotic..fashionable. Or whatever.

I got myself a new phone. It's a right beauty.

I haven't checked this out properly. But it sure does sound interesting. Science Toys You Can Make With Your Kids.

Ahhhhhhh, someone put a mirror to Google's face!

Artchive, I love art.

wordorigins.org Mmmmmmm....words....origins....

Guide to Grammar and Writing. Nuff said.

GNN.

Bookcrossing.com. What a fabulous idea, don't you think, Glory?


My apologies for being less chatty than usual. Hopefully the links will keep you entertained...

Friday, December 03, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 6:26 PM




What films would you recommend I watch??

Remember that today is World AIDS Day. It's not just a disease for gay people. Protect yourself!

Do you have a shower that works perfectly? With a shower head that distributes the water evenly around you?? Then you probably wont be able to understand the amount of happiness I've recently enjoyed since I got a new shower head. The water falls around me in the nicest possible way. The old one spread the water in a big round circle, so big in fact that you could stand right under it and NOT GET WET AT ALL, if only it was raised high enough. Consequently I had to pull it down almost on top of my head. But that meant that the water would also go beyond the shower curtain, and I could only effectively use half of the shower water. But not so anymore. the water comes down in a straigh line, on me, not anywhere else. Perfect.

When we saw The Incrdibles on Sunday, they showed the SW teaser trailer. I had doubts about seeing it, but it turned out ok. It didn't reveal anything. Which I had feared. I want to stay spoiler free! ..well, it did show something about lava... Meh.

Today started as a pissy awful day. But now I'm in a spanky sparkling good mood.

An Illustrator drawing of T's nephew that I've done. Awwwww!

Illustrator drwaing of T's nephew. Awwwww!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 5:11 PM