Feb 10, 2008

Random Thoughts

After a few months of leisurely calm, things have taken a hectic turn in Norwayland.

First of all, I'm struggling under an avalanche of urgent translation assignments. My work load usually increases after the holidays, but this year is crazy. Judging from all the requests for translation of MRI/SPECT software and user guides, Norwegian medical clinics have apparently all decided to upgrade to new and better machines at the same time.

It never ceases to amaze me how companies will spend years - not to mention millions of dollars - on R&D of these extremely complex medical machines, and yet only a few weeks to localize the accompanying documentation.

You'd think it would be worth a bit of time to make sure the users actually understand how to operate the machinery. Especially since this is equipment that could kill patients if used incorrectly.

It also sucks BIG TIME that I may be very busy the last few weeks and months in Norway. I'm trying not to think about it too much. I'm ostrich-like that way. If I ignore it, it'll go away, no?

I guess not.

Sigh.

On a brighter note, Emil was baptized today, followed by a reception held here at our house this afternoon. He was such a good boy! Not a tear was shed, but he did make a grab for the Priest's Bible in her hands as she was speaking.

I'd love to show you a picture of his adorable self, but I apparently altered the camera option to the 'blurry only' setting this morning.

Double sigh.

As we drove away after the ceremony, Christopher commented that he didn't know priests could be female. Mike explained that the term 'priest' in North America usually refers to Catholic priests, and that the Catholic Church does not allow female priests. The Norwegian Protestant Church, which also uses the term "priest", makes no such distinction between the genders.

This moment was too good to pass up, so I seized the opportunity to launch into a lecture about gender discrimination, and soon Christopher caught on and compared it to racism, which we all agreed was terrible and wrong.

I was bathing in the glorious light of good parenting, thinking somewhat smugly to myself that one day, one day, my daughters-in-law would thank me for raising such liberal and open-minded boys.

And how my daughters-in-law and I would be best friends. And they'd call me when they got pregnant with my first grandchild. Even before they called their own mother!

How wonderful it all would be.

But then Benjamin opened his mouth:

"Luckily, there's no 'discrimation' in Star Wars Battlefront*, mamma."
"Oh?"
"No, even girls can be snipers in Star Wars Battlefront."

As the vision of my daughters-in-law and I running happily arm-in-arm disintegrated before me, I was at a loss for words.

I could have tripled sighed, but instead I burst out laughing: "Where's the computer when I need it?"

*For those good parents who do not allow their children's minds to be wasted by electronics, I should clarify that Star Wars Battlefront is a PlayStation game. I do not think I need to clarify that it consumes too much of my youngest child's consciousness.

43 comments:

Kyla said...

First, I love your ostrichness, for I share the same quality. I think of it as a strength.

Second, what a deep conversation! You've got smart boys there!!

And Benjamin made me LAUGH! Because that is SOOO BubTar. He's a gamer, but he comes by it honestly, because his dad is, too.

Mrs. G. said...

Oh I know ALL about Star Wars Battlefront...and it soothes me to know that it is possible for both sexes to SNIPE. This cracked me up.

Sorry to hear about your backload of work. Good luck with that.

You will be a fantastic mother-in-law. I just know it.

Amy said...

i just love to read your posts.

you will, most definitely make a super mil!!!

i just love how random situations make for such profound conversation with children.

despite your work, i still hope you manage to enjoy the remainder of your trip.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I feel I need to point out that the refusal of the Catholic Church to ordain women priests, while sexist, is not akin to racism. Racism implies that the maligned race is inferior. At no time does the Church claim that women are inferior or unable to do the job that priests do. They base their restriction on two of the pillars of the Church, tradition and scripture.

You don't need to agree with their interpretation of tradition and scripture, of course; that's why there is a Protestant church. But it is unfair to say that the Church's motives in not ordaining women priests stem from misogyny.

And don't you love being lectured on Catholic practices by a Jew? I'm fiercely ecumenical.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I hope you didn't mind my last comment - it's just that so many people mistakenly attribute to the Church uncharitable reasons for its tenets. I've actually heard people say that the Church is against abortion because it wants women who have babies out of wedlock to suffer. That isn't the case at all! I have so many friends of so many different faiths, and it disturbs me when, out of ignorance, they unfairly demonize one another's practices. Wouldn't it be better to concentrate on the things that unite us, rather than indulge in the narcissism of small differences? I believe C.S.Lewis had the devil say (in The Screwtape Letters) that he (the devil, that is) likes nothing better than when we argue over religion.

I love your blog and have greatly enjoyed reading about your year in Norway. I am wondering what happens when you go back to Canada, though....will you continue?

Dawn said...

Your son's comment had me laughing. What a funny kid. I do the same thing- dreaming about being a good mother in law someday :) I'm sure your future daughter's in law will love you!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

You crack me up, sista friend. Love picturing the future daughters-in-law racing to grab the phone and give you the news before their own mothers. HILARIOUS.

And it's good that your boys can spot equality - even in video games. I think you're raising two open-minded men after all.

Liesl said...

You'll be a terrific mil! And your son is sweet and smart - you're obviously a great mom, too.

Hang in there and try not to let all the work pressure to rattle you.

Beck said...

Oh, I don't judge. My kids were playing happily in another room and when asked what they were doing, they cheerfully announced "Fightin', mama!".
Well, okay.

Steph said...

Based on what I know of you from the short time I've been reading here, I am sure that you will not let a little (or a lot of) work get in the way of your fun. You'll make it through! :) (I'm an ostrich too... the mess in my kitchen will disappear if I ignore it long enough...)

Stomper Girl said...

Ha! I never let a chance go by to preach the girls can do anything line too. AND I always hope future DIL's will thank me.

I was teaching my 4-5 year old tap class this week and gave each student the option of a bow or curtsey at the end. My son chose the curtsey (which he did beautifully) and a girl from his class heckled him. Reverse Luckily he didn't hear her.

MamaGeek said...

Coming from the software world myself, I know exactly the documentation WOES you speak of. We always were under budget and over a deadline by the time the documentation needed to be done / translated, AAARRRRGGGGHHH!

Glad the baptism went so well.

Cathy said...

This was hilarious! I especially love the future daughter-in-law fantasies.

Kathryn said...

Hehehe! I love that you are already picturing your daughter-in-laws. Too funny. I do the same thing.

ALM said...

Our kids could totally hang together!

And our daughter in laws (daughters in law?) won't even have time for their own mothers - what with planning meals to cook for us, cleaning our house, and trips to bring our grand kids to visit us....

Ahhhh.....

shay said...

Oh engineers! You have to love them. My hubby used to wonder the same thing about the guys he worked with. They have no idea regular people don't speak engineer!

Oh and lmao at your day dream, how they love to crush us with their love of the gun filled games...sigh!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh that is an absolute riot! These boys will grow up looking for those female snipers! Hang in there...maybe there is a female Star Wars nut out there waiting to find the right guy and adopt his mother too :)

Rima said...

Heidi, I have no doubt your daughters-in-law will love you to pieces! Also? I think Benjamin's decree that even girls can be snipers is a huge testament to your stellar parenting skillz ;)

Amber said...

"Luckily, there's no 'discrimation' in Star Wars Battlefront*, mamma."

Benjamin is on track to change the world. I am sure of it!

the dragonfly said...

You have smart boys!

:)

And I hope you don't get *too* busy. Save a bit of time for you!!

jennwa said...

I love how you envision how close you will be to your daughter in law, I have those same hopes.
By the way I pass an award on to you.
See you soon.

Julie Pippert said...

LOL and delighted by your fair-minded son!

Hang in there with the "end" approaching and all the work.

kimmy said...

Kids are so spontaneous and say the funniest things. I used to write everything down so that I wouldn't forget!

Kimmy

another good thing said...

Ah, finally you disclose your job, and here I thought you were fantastically wealthy and running around the world at your leisure, cruising and shopping and skiing adn taking great pix that make us all want to see Norway.
Kick butt on the work front and keep us posted on the adorables. Your blog rocks.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Heidi - how can you NOT like Barry? I'm crushed. I may have to come to Norway and hold a MANILOW INTERVENTION!!

Hallie :)

Tracey said...

Oh, that's awesome. I agree, SW Battlefront is definitely not gender biased. Whew...

Lisa @ Take90West said...

I have two excellent female Star Wars snipers in this house, so I am glad to say that violence knows no gender lines in our house!

And I'm an ostrich too. But the darn laundry never goes away no matter how much it is ignored. And it is ignored alot.

I'm glad Emil's baptism was such a good day for your family!

Chantal said...

I have similar mother-in-law of the bride day dreams!

Amy Y said...

I'm hoping for a relationship like that with my future daughter~in~laws (or son~in~laws should that be the way the cookie crumbles). It's my consolation to myself for not having a daughter ~ looking forward, one day, to that kind of relationship.

Maddy said...

Fabulous! We need less discrimination all round.

Lots of ostriches around here too.

I think my camera is permanently fixed on blurry big flash - wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Cheers

gmcountrymama said...

Yes I also think it is important to know how to use medical equipment! I find that even with inservices, some people still use things wrong. Scary.
Very funny discussion on discrimination. I also hope to be close to any future children in-law.

Melanie said...

If you ever want to meet these future grandchildren, tell Benjamin that an excessive interest in Star Wars is just a recipe for solitude, geekitude, and alienation of female affection. TELL HIM, before it's too late.

:)

LoriD said...

Yeah, those video games can have a lot of influence. My guys are playing Simpsons Hit & Run, which leads to some pretty interesting life/Simpson observations.

Kellan said...

Oh ... your DIL will be most definitely lucky to have, not only your sweet sons, but you as a MIL as well!! I love boys - don't you? They are always sayin' the funniest things - livin' in their own little worlds.

Hope you had a good weekend - see you soon. Kellan

kim-d said...

I just love that Benjamin--he always has his own unique little "take" on things, and it's always funny--even when it's not meant to be. Or maybe I should say, ESPECIALLY when it's not meant to be. And I love that he calls you "Mamma"--I swear, kids can get away with saying a lot when it's followed with "Mamma". For example, "Go jump in the lake, Mamma." See? It STILL sounds cute! HAHA!

Hope things calm down for you, Heidi!

Laura said...

WOW- you are super busy! Hang in there!

I so hate it when I choose the Blurry Only button on our camera....

Thanks for the kind words you left on my last post.

thanks!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Oh no! You should have scheduled the cruise for last. I hope the work gets done quickly.

As for future daughter in-laws, I've often wanted to wring my MIL's neck for allowing her son to play video games. You'd think they'd grow out of it, right? WRONG! But at least girls can be snipers too =)

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Ooh, sorry that work is gonna be so crazy for you.
The baptism sounds lovely, too bad about the photos.
I am lovin' the convo with the boys, so cute and deep.
I wonder if he was pointing out that the video game has value so that you should let him play more. My boys do that with Age of Empires all the time, explaining to me how educational it is:)

Ginaagain said...

It's probably not much consolation but the English documentation for those complex medical machines were most likely written in a few weeks too. Engineers don't think that writers have a very difficult job.

I love the equality conversations. We've been having a lot of those lately too because of our upcoming elections. My children, who have always lived in very diverse neighborhoods, don't quite understand what the big deal is.

Alpha DogMa said...

Ah. A taste of my future. But yeah for George Lucas for being in favour of equal opportunity carnage.

Mountain Dweller said...

Having done my own share of translations, I agree with you about the rush by companies to get them done in record time at the end.
It's not coherent and I'm not just talking about the translation!

MadMad said...

I wish I could help with your workload - but Norwegian is one I actually can't even pretend to know. If you got any Spanish, Portuguese or French, though, I'm your girl. Ew. Woman, I mean. Speaking of women... I gave up on having a daughter in law who likes me years ago. Now I'm just hoping to get one, period, lol!

Gina said...

I'm trying to hold off on the PlayStation. I'm hoping maybe he'll never learn of its existence.