Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stefan's Latest

My favorite is the body outline, it is so creepy. And painted red...

Kids concerts

We have a very busy week coming up.

Tomorrow Kasper has a concert at his school, he will be singing some great songs I have heard him practicing all the time. I know he is so excited, and I am too.

Saturday Stefan's play school is having a B.B.Q. and concert at 1 p.m. The school already warned me that he never sings with he group. He is a little shy but I have heard him singing alone.

Tuesday is the year end concert for Kasper.

I will try to get all the good stuff on video.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

To Janielle:

and anyone else that spent some real time in Red Deer

Does this ever bring back memories (I put my favorites in bold)
by some guy on Facebook.

You Know You're From Red Deer When...

...You've had at least 5 rig pigs try to pick you or your girlfriend up while hitting up Branleys

...You never know when to cheer for the Flames or the Oilers in the fear that if you cheer for the wrong team you'll get jumped.

...Your claim to fame is that you have met Ron Maclean and you think he is a saint

...You know not to go to parties in Innisfail or Lacombe unless you have more than 25 friends from either town

...You know that the city of Red Deer has more restauraunts and liquor stores per square mile than any other city in canada

...Your proud of the fact that at one point we owned the record for the longest played hockey game.

...Sylvan lake is sweet...but only in the summer time

...Cow tipping is doesnt actually happen

...The downtown bar scene is a crazy amount of fun which is really weird considering how weak the bars are

...You've been tobbagganing at michener hill and/or crossed the street and/or went down the slopes of what used to be woodlea ski hill

...Your scared of getting mugged in the superstore parking lot ... might be the hutterittes drinking in their grain truck or the drug addict that just crossed the street from the Big 'A'

...A place called "riverside meadows" is still and will always be referred to as lower fairview a.k.a. the ghetto, lower harlem, ... I grew up in that ghetto!

...Rosco was at one of my birthdays ... school activities ... etc ... When I was a kid I thought all clowns were named Rosco

...If you ever partied at Dope Road or Hell...or hid your booze in trees by Bower ponds before Canada Day festivities.

...If you have participated in underage drinking and/or sexual activity in the kin canyon area, and possibly even made out in the rocket ship.

...You know you are from Red Deer when you groan when people tell you they have been to RD and have really only seen Gasoline Alley.

...You know you are from RD when some one says dead reer and you actually understand what they mean.

Saskatchewan Talk

Damn, those kids in the bagged car who wanted me to pull for them, just resulted in me gibbling up my ankle when i tripped in that pothole. Now its going to be difficult to carry dainties, puffed wheat cake and vico back to my seat without spilling on my bunnyhug.

-a bagged (adjective) car is in very bad shape

-gibbling your ankle is like twisting it

-to pull (verb) for someone is to buy the beer for them because they are underage, in Alberta you say boot (verb)

-I hope everyone has eaten puffed wheat squares or cake (made out of the cereal)

-Vico is chocolate milk, or kókó mjólk in Iceland

-a bunnyhug is a sweater with a hood and front pocket, The rest of Canada calls them hoodies


An exchange student from Australia that lived with us in Red Deer.

For one year she was the big sister I never had.

She survived my mother!

A superhero if you ask me.

Anyways, it is just funny because she seems exactly the same as I remember her, more then 10 years later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More reading

Another blog written by a foreigner in Iceland. There are a few differences:
1. This person seems to live outside the city
2. They only write about Iceland (I have a problem of typing every thought that goes through my mind, call it a little ADD)

The meaning of my name:

Ko-Leen --


A human transformer (Robot in disguise)

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at


So I have joined Facebook now and it is taking up a lot of my thoughts.

I was up half the night last night thinking of the names of everyone I had every called a friend.

Then I was looking them up.

Already I have found Denita that I went to school with in elementary, Kim who was an exchange student from Australia, Connie that I worked with, Chantel that I went to NAIT with.....

The list goes on.

It is so amazing how almost everyone is on here.

A total memory lane.

Monday, May 28, 2007

More Changes!

Is this better??

Whit Monday

Today is Whit Monday, meaning it is the Monday following Whit Sunday.


It has been 7 weeks since Easter, so everyone gets another long weekend.

I am sure I am missing something in that meaning, but I do not know what it is.

Another Party for Davið

The longest birthday ever, at least that I have seen. Davið had another party today out at his parents.
His actual birthday is not even until tomorrow.

After a long day

Kasper manages to stay awake but Stefan could sleep anywhere

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Although you can not tell from the very few pictures that were taken, I think the b.b.q. did not go so well.

This is all I know:

When we got there Kasper started getting sick. I took him home where he spent the rest of the day puking and sleeping. He was fine this morning.

Shortly after I got home with Kasper, Davið brought Stefan home. He must have missed his brother.

All the meat that I spent more then 4 hours preparing was eaten.

The salad was basically untouched because no one put the dressing on it. (I had asked someone to do it for me before everyone ate and not before so it would not get soggy)

I forgot to buy napkins so Davið told me everyone was walking around with food all over their faces while wiping their hands on clothing.

Everyone ate the cake before putting candles in it.

No one started cooking the potatoes until much to late, so they were not finished until everyone was done eating.

Nobody took any pictures.

The guys in the b.b.q. next to us were very helpful when I was there but they kept drinking and were getting very load after a while (so I heard).

Nobody saved me food. I am only upset about this because I spent so much time getting everything ready, then spent the entire day at home.

Maybe the day was not completely ruined but it did not go as planned. It was supposed to be a birthday party that friends and family could enjoy (this is why we had it at a park), but the boys and I were at home. I had everything all planned out in my head, so when I had to leave right away, the plan left with me. (I guess no one knew where anything was etc.)

Then Davið did not come home until 3 a.m., but that is a whole other can of worms that I will not get into.

Here is Stefan at home. Not really related to the other pictures...

Above and below are Hemmi playing with Kristina's daughter. His soon to be wife is due to have a baby any day so I think he is practice parenting here.

Above: This is Ivar and Hemmi's very pregnant soon to be wife.

Above: Inga, Rob, Mar and the drunk guys at the next b.b.q.

A beautiful day

With this great weather you simply must spend the day outside. Not only was it not freezing out, a nice 8 above, but the sky was clear and the sun shining.

This does not happen everyday so we spent the day at the beach. And so did everyone else, the place was packed.

There is a nice little swimming/wadding pool that is so nice for the kids with warm water. The ocean is also always an option for the warmer ones.

Notice the nice imported white sand. I think the goal is to make the place look tropical.


These things are everywhere. I think they might even grown better here, or are under less control.

Anyways, anyone who thinks it must be cold in Iceland should see this:

The dandelions say the weather is fine.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

safe-injection site

There is a shelter for drug users opening up a few blocks from my house. It will be less then 100 meters from Stefan's play school.

I think I was the only parent not completely outraged by this. Not that I am excited to see it open.

First I would like to make it clear that I do not agree with the terms of the house. They say it will be housing drug addicts that they know are using drugs but they can not use them in the house.

One of the biggest concerns is the needles that are found, and will probably be found in increasing numbers, on the playgrounds.

Most people think these people should be put somewhere else. I do not agree with this.

Everyone knows the problems are downtown. The drugs are downtown, the substance abusers are downtown, what is the use in having a house for them in the middle of nowhere. It is not like there is a cheap bus they can catch.

Maybe people should look a positive example of the possible benefits of a house like this (with a few changes).

This house in Vancouver is downtown, where the problems are. They allow them to do the drugs there with clean needles in a safe place. The spread of AIDS in this area has seen a huge drop. Because help is always available in the building, people have been accepting it and doing well. Crime has dropped the neighbourhood is cleaner.... seems like a win win situation. Maybe others could learn from it.

You can find more information on INSITE here

Although I do not like the terms of the house opening next to a play school, I believe it has the potential to be a good thing. With some good management and open minds, it might start to help the people.

This is what is needed in downtown Reykjavik.

Strange Calls

I remember working nights at Humpty's and getting strange calls in the middle of the night.

You know the weirdos that want to know what you are wearing or if you are included in the special.

It just went with the job, and it was funny.

I just got one of those calls, on my cell phone. It was funny too but I did not know that Icelanders thought it was fun to call strangers and hit on them. I thought maybe it was a Canadian thing.

Anyways it was a typical weirdo call, with the typical questions. How is you body? Are you cute? blah blah blah.

I told him my husband was not home but he could call back later and talk to him. I also told him that he must have the wrong number.

He said he does not take any drugs or drink alcohol so I did not need to worry.

He said it was destiny! and because he called my cell the number is on my phone. He said I should call him later. Right!!!

ha ha ha ha ha

This is probably one of the funniest things to happen to me in a while.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

TB test

I took Kasper to the hospital today to finish the TB test. When we got there the receptionist told me the same nurse who gave him the needle for the test would have to look at it, and she was busy right now. We would have to wait.

45 minutes later I went back to the reception and was told it should not be to much longer.

Another 30 minutes passed before our nurse came up to us. She said hi and pulled up Kasper's sleeve. She said everything was fine and we could go home now.

We did not even need to go into a room. Why couldn't the receptionist or any other nurse take a 3 second look at his arm? Why did we spend all morning waiting for one specific nurse? This makes me crazy.

Kasper asked if the tests were done yet, i told him no, they still wanted more pf his poo. He laughed, a lot. Now every time he goes into the bathroom he asks if I want any.

Only to more samples needed!!!

I am hurt

To start from the beginning I ran into a stop sign a few monthes back. This might sound a little stupid but the signs are at all different hieghts here. The theory is that the city workers have no ladders and so they put them up at high as they can comfortably reach. This means some signs are not very high.

I am going to have to do a post on this soon, with pictures, then you will understand.

So I hurt my head. I even cried. It really hurt, but I got over it, but my head did not.

The bump stayed on my head and still hurts when I comb my hair or sleep on that side. It has been hurting for months. I would have went to the doctors but it is a huge expense and Davið said it was a lot of money to spend to have a doctor tell me to just stop running into signs.

Today I decieded enough was enough. After all I was getting very worried.

My appointment was at four. Kristina picked up Stefan for me so I only had to bring Kasper. I spent my 6,100 kr (over 90.00 CAN.) and got some news.

The good news, it is nothing to serois, not anything that would kill me at least.

The bad news, I had managed to damage the nerve endings, or something like that, in my head and I will need steroid injections into my scalp to help it heal.

The other bad news, the doctor would not do it today because I had Kasper with me who was getting completly out of control by this point (this is a little late in the day to expect great things from him. So the doctor said I will have to come back Tuesday. That means paying for another visit.

Now I am thinking about cancelling my appointment that I had made for Tuesday and dealing witht he pain in my head until I am in the healthcare system. Only six more months to go and this paying per visit is really adding up.

I will think about it more tommorrow.

New Template (again)

Whenever I feel like I have no control in my life, I need to change something that I do have control over. Like the colors on my blog, or rearranging the furniture.

My living room gets a new 'look' every week or so.

I consider it cheap entertainment and strangely soothing.


It has been some very unsummer like weather here and I have been complaining. But when I got these pictures from Tye today I realized it could be worse.
I guess it snowed in Red Deer, Alberta today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The mail is arriving

Today I got 2 emails from people saying they got the parcels I sent. I hope this means the other 2 have arrived as well. If not, be patient, it should be any day now.

Janielle, please let me know. I have another one ready for you that I should send soon.

And Angela, please give this one to Gail! Thanks.

Davið's Birthday Party Plans

Davið's birthday is on May 29, the day after the long weekend, so we are having the party on the weekend.

Everyone is welcome to join us for a b.b.q. on Saturday at 1:00. We will be eating by 2:00 p.m.

Food and refreshments will be there. I am going to find some decent marshmallows too.

This will be at the playground with the fire pit close to the museum across from our house. If you need a better explanation you will have to talk to someone else.

Any questions? You can call me or Davið.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A flaw in the system (medical exams)

A quick history:

Next month we will have been living in Iceland for one full year.

One month ago we received our residence permits, pending medical exams.

And here are the problems:

1. Kasper's exam was booked but the soonest he could get in was a month away.

2. I got an appointment in less then 24 hours for my exam.

3. When I saw the doctor she had no idea what kind of medical certificate I would need, could not find a test for TB, but sent me for X-Rays. I got the X-Rays the next day. Three days and a pile of money later, I was given a certificate of good health. (I question how any doctor can say anyone is healthy by not asking any questions and only looking at an x-ray)

4. Last Monday Kasper went for his appointment. They weighed, measured, checked reflexes and breathing. Gathered medical information. You know, the basics. Then they tell me the nurse who does the rest of the tests could not make it in today, so I would have to bring him back next week.

5. This week I bring him back, the nurse gets a urine sample, takes 6, that's right 6, tubes of blood from the little guy and stabs him with a TB test. She, the nurse, said I will have to bring him back in three days to complete the test. She also tells me of some test I will have to do at home. This is the next great thing.

6. Over the next two weeks I get to collect stool samples. Is that not great? I asked if this was a joke. No, No. I was given three test tubes with spoons attached to the lids. Every three to four days Kasper needs to 'go' on a piece of plastic spread out on the bathroom floor. Then I get to get three or four spoonfuls and put them in the test tube then bring them to the hospital. (After cleaning the floor) The nurse made this sound so simple.

I feel sick....

It is one thing to change the diaper of a little baby, but a totally different thing to be spooning it around. And he is not a little baby....

So Kasper is fully vaccinated, what on earth do they think he has that they have to do so many tests? I told the nurse that there was in fact a decent health care system in Canada and I was sure his health was fine. She thinks you can never be to careful.

I am not sure what all they are testing for but the home sampling is to test for parasites. Davið called the hospital to find out for me.

So here is a note to my fellow filthy and diseased Canadians:

And here is the best:

7. Only Kasper gets such a medical exam. No body really even looked at me for mine. Davið does not need one because he is an Icelander, and neither does Stefan because he is registered as an Icelander as well.

We all live in the same house. We have all lived in Iceland for a year, I would have thought that if Kasper had some parasite or terrible disease, he would have infected a fair amount of people by now. Stefan was born and has lived most of his life in Canada, the same as Kasper. No one has asked about Stefan's immunizations. They have a record of Kasper's. We all live in the same apartment, but only Kasper is tested.

My health tests cost a lot of money, when no real tests were carried out. Kasper's are all free because children are entitled to free health care. At least this is what I was told, but this rule does not work when you have a regular doctors appointment.
It looks to me like if you have Icelandic blood you are immune to such health problems, and the health of adults does not matter.

Actually I do not know what top think of this. The entire situation makes no sense to me.

killer bunnies

Davið saw this thing online, and we think it is super funny. Notice the toilet brush...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rate Your Students

Not that I can really relate because I am not a teacher, but it is still funny to see how the teachers really feel about there students on a Rate you Students site

This is the most recent entry, and I was in stitches.

Yes, I do have favorites, and no, you're not one of them. This is why:

How do I loathe thee...

1. You ask bad questions. You ask questions designed to make you look smart, not to advance your understanding. You ask questions that have nothing to do with the subject at hand, simply to let other students know that you've already mastered these petty concepts, and are ready for something more challenging. You use big words that you learned just this morning, because you think it projects intelligence. It doesn't. It makes you look like a pretentious jack-ass. I'm not smiling because I think you're smart; I'm smiling because you just used that word wrong.

2. You are lazy. You ask me things that you could find by reading the syllabus. You turn in assignments with spelling errors. You leave out those segments of the project that are designed to make my life easier. You do this because you survey the world with lazy arrogance, and assume that the 3 minutes it would take you to format the project correctly are more valuable than the extra hour it takes me to grade 60 projects that ignore the formatting. You email me to ask for special treatment to accommodate your uniquely difficult circumstances, which look amazingly similar to the difficult circumstances of every other first year university student.

3. Your knowledge is bounded by your bigotry. I get it. You're indie. You hate everything that reeks of formalism and conformity. You like bands with names like “The Decemberists” and “A3”, but you will immediately stop liking them as soon as you hear that I know they exist. Every time I give you an assignment like writing 4 part choral harmony, or programming a hip-hop drum part, you have to protect your indie cred by informing the entire class that this type of music sucks, and that you don't need to learn how to do this, because your own unique artistic voice will always only consist of poorly played guitar riffs layered 50 times and washed out in reverb. Two things: first, the fact that you think Coltrane sucks does not, in fact, make Coltrane suck. It makes you a narcissist with a myopic range of cultural influences, which is basically the exact opposite of people I like. The second thing is this. Your parents are spending $30,000 a year to send you to this school, where you chose to study music in a formalized setting, from people who make their living in this industry, and where a significant portion of your education will come from imitating the artistic masters who came before you. I don't know what indie cred is, but I'm pretty sure that you lost all of it when you chose this path. Wanna be indie? Drop out, move to Silverlake, rent a room from a cross-dressing coffee shop owner, work at an organic grocery co-op in NoHo for minimum wage, and practice your instrument 9 hours a day. If you want to be the thing, be the thing, don't just wear the clothes.

4. You only care about your grade in the last two weeks of the class. Here's the thing. If you don't care about grades, and just want to drift in and out of class to absorb the knowledge when it suits your whim, I can respect that. I honestly don't mind it. But if that's your mode, don't come to me two weeks before the final and ask what you can do to raise your grade up from an “F” to a “B”, so that you won't lose your scholarship. The answer is nothing. There's nothing you can do. I'm not going to grade 15 projects that you turn in on the last day of the semester for late credit, and there aren't enough points in the final to move your grade that much. If getting an “F” in my class means you lose your scholarship, there's a damn good chance that you shouldn't be here on scholarship.

5. You assume that your approval is important to me. It isn't. I don't need your approval, or encouragement, I don't need to be hip in your eyes, I don't live or die by how you rank me on I couldn't care less what you think of me: I have friends for that. When your response to my policies, assignments, teaching method, whatever, is “that's so uncool”, I silently laugh inside at the idea that you think I might care. I'm 31. I teach at a University. I'm a dad. I listen to Jazz. I've played keyboards on songs for Radio Disney. I'm the opposite of cool. And guess what? I'm at peace with it. My job isn't to make you like me. In fact, sometimes my job goes better when you don't like me.

Please, be assured that none of this will affect how I teach you. I'm quite adept at swallowing my own bile and doing unpleasant tasks. I also realize that sometimes, my least favorite students end up maturing nicely, and actually become decent human beings. Here's to hope.

Until then, please stop IM'ing me at 2:30 in the morning to ask when the next project is due. It's due tomorrow. And no, you can't turn it in late.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Longer Days

It is easy to forget how fast the days are getting longer. When you sleep through the night you only assume that at some point it gets dark and stays that way until just before you wake up.

It is not getting dark now until later and later every night. This has caused me to stay up later and later every night. It is just easier to lose track of the time. Lately I find myself noticing that it is getting dark, which makes me start getting ready for bed, around midnight. It is still not really dark, just not totally light out.

Every morning, no mater what time I wake up, the sun is high in the sky.

A good example of the problems this can cause was shown this morning.

Stefan woke up demanding breakfast. I got up, thinking to myself that I would need a nap later because I still felt so tired, made him some toast and started coffee for myself. It was about twenty minutes later, when I turned on the computer, that I realized it was only four in the morning. I turned off the coffee maker, made Stefan abandon his toast and we went back to bed.

No wonder I felt so tired. I was more then happy to go back to bed for four more hours.

I checked on Yahoo! and it says that the official sunset is at 10:49 and sunrise at 4:02 but I no longer remember the last time I saw some real darkness.

And the days will only get longer....

This year I am incredibly grateful for this. After living in Iceland for a full year and experiencing the oppression of the winter darkness, I welcome the light.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pat and Mat

I really like this cartoon. It is so funny and the best part is that there in no speech. This makes it a great cartoon to watch when the kids do not all speak the same language.

It keeps everyone quite while watching.

Davið's sister and brother in law gave us a bunch of these for Christmas, and we still can not get enough of them.

The Farm Trip

Stefan's play school was having a field trip out to the country today. I was invited and it was OK for me to bring Kasper because he had no classes today.

We went almost an hour out of town to a farm with lots of great animals.

I got lots of pictures and a few videos to document the trip. Everyone had a great time.

These are some videos I got.

I know I need practice at this, so please be patient.