OK, so I'm curious about something. See, I don't watch the news, I don't read the news, I don't really give a damn about the news. Local, regional, national. I don't really care about any of it.
See, people are going to die, get mugged, get molested, get rich, get famous, get this that and the other thing. The bad events are unfortunate, the good events are heartening, but all in all, I still don't care.
For the bad stuff, I know there are sick people in the world, and I know they do all sorts of heinous things to themselves and other people. It sucks, but that's life. And knowing specific instances isn't going to change anything, or make me feel any different. I know it's not safe to walk down dark alleys in big cities all on my own, and I don't need to see the grisly details of a woman who was brutally raped and murdered to teach me this lesson.
For the good stuff, I'm glad so-and-so hit the lottery and got rich, but I don't know her and she doesn't owe me any money, so it's not going to affect me in any way. And I'm glad there are people out there that do their part in the world--charity, community service, whatever--but seeing them on the news isn't particularly interesting to me either. Yeah, it's cool that they do what they do, but I pretty much take it for granted that there are good people out there, in addition to the bad.
The fact of the matter is that for me, any happiness or sorrow I feel for the people whom I see/hear/read about in the news is more like spectator's empathy. I'm not really affected, I don't really care. It's like watching a movie. You feel for the characters but as soon as the channel is changed, you go back to living in your own little world again.
Even if you do care about it all, what can you do about it except be depressed?
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
OK, so I'm curious about something. See, I don't watch the news, I don't read the news, I don't really give a damn about the news. Local, regional, national. I don't really care about any of it.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I feel like I'm getting stupider--like for all the effort I once put into getting an education, I slowly came to a halt and then started to regress. I don't write anything anymore, and haven't done so for weeks. (The blog doesn't count.) I don't read anything "literary." Sure, I read books, but I can't remember the last "classic" I've read, something like Chaucer or Shakespeare.
It's actually quite depressing. And what I really don't want is to sit down one day with an agenda of intellectual things that need to be done for me to feel affluent again. That'll just make me feel stupider--like I'm trying to make par just to keep from falling farther behind.
Not sure what to do actually, or if this is just a passing night of melancholy. The moon's almost full again, isn't it? That always makes me depressed...
It's been a little while since I've posted. There just hasn't been much to say, and really, there's not much to say now either.
Hans's knees are still not up to par, though at least he's got pain-killers for them now. He's getting around better than he was though, so that much makes me happy.
I've become rather addicted to a game I got from this link, and as a result, I've not done much else in my free time--even mostly forgoing MSN as well *gasp!*
Oh, and you know what bugs me? I lack a verbal ability with languages. I mean, yeah, I can speak English generally well, but second and third languages are a real bummer. (It just occurred to me that I'm well on my way to becoming tri-lingual. This excites me.) What I mean by that is that when another language that I'm even semi-familiar with is spoken to me--be it French or Norwegian--I seem to lack the ability to comprehend it without extreme concentration. Even with immense focus on the words, I still miss quite a bit. Now, if what was said was written down, I'd have no trouble with it. I don't speak French so much as read and write French.
Same goes with my irritating effort to learn "Norsk." When there's something on TV with subtitles, I'll at least get the gist of it, but if there aren't any, I can only pick out a few words here and there.
I can understand such a barrier for French, since it's not like I have much exposure to hearing the language, but I'm bloody immersed in Norwegian! It's infuriating!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Well, I found that when I retrieve the pics from my camera, it completely drains the batteries, so I decided that I'd wait until one of two things happened before attempting to get my pics.
1. Both my camera's memory and that of my memory card were full
2. My batteries were about to die anyways.
This time it was door number two, so I can finally post some pics from lovely Norway for all to see.
This is a very cool cloud thing that Hans and I both photographed on the way to the store.
They call this "rimfrost." I guess we'd just call it frost, but we don't have this cool phenomenon in good ole PA, perhaps because our air isn't humid enough in the winter for it to happen.
I guess that's it for now. Most of the pics I took were crap. :D
Oh, here's the last:
This is Nadia, whom I call Furball. Isn't she cute? Annoying, yes, but cute nonetheless. :)
EDIT: And I'm getting the distinct impression that blogger and/or google isn't willing to cooperate with the photos, so if there are any little boxes with no picture in it, you're just gonna have to wait longer! :P
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sometimes I feel like I can't win. Well, nearly always I feel like I can't win, but sometimes more than most others. Like right now, for instance.
And actually, there's a lot I want to say, but I know for certain that most of it will get a really angry response from a certain someone. I'd talk to this individual personally and out of public view, but I can't. Said individual is not able to be conversed with right now. Apparently, it's not been a very good day for this person. I can empathize with that and since I can't speak directly to the person for whom this is intended, then the blog will have to suffice. At least for the time being.
I guess the problem that's been introduced is that I'm not around much at all anymore. That's not entirely true actually. I'm around when I wake up in the morning, and I'm around intermittently during the day. The real problem is that I'm around when this individual is sleeping or otherwise occupied and vice versa.
It's been argued that since I "got a boyfriend" I'm ditching and/or ignoring my friends. It's not true but I can at least see where that came from. Not that I willing ditch or ignore anyone, but I often only sign onto MSN lately for a few minutes at a time. There are a few reasons for this. One is because I have things to do and I only sign in to check on a couple things before I have to leave (and the aforementioned person most often wants to talk then, when I really can't stay online long). The other reason is because I sign in and no one is around, so I get bored and leave. That can't be helped.
Is there a way for me to make more time to talk to people that I've not seen much? Good question. I'm not going to outline the details of all the crap that I do during the day, because really, who wants to read all that? Not even me actually. I do a lot. And the stuff I do takes time. Let me ask a rhetorical question here. Would you rather hang out and chat with your friends or spend hours shopping for home improvement stuff and then putting it together and setting it up? The answer should be obvious to everyone who's not a workaholic. I'm not a workaholic. The person in question knows this, having spent ample time in close quarters with me and all my laziness.
To you (you know who you are): I am not at all trying to ignore you or fade you out from my life. You're one of my very best friends and I hoped you knew this. It's never been a case of me leaning on you during the bad times and forgetting you during the good times. It's about bad timing. Prior to moving into a timezone six hours ahead of your own, when have I not been around when you needed to talk to me? I can only think of one time and that was when I went to visit Mike and my phone didn't get any reception at his place so you couldn't reach me. Now I have no phone and we're simply not online at the same time. Surely you can't think it's deliberate that I've fallen out of touch with you (and most all of my other friends) or at I'm at all happy about it.
I'll admit that my life mostly involves Hans and little else right now, but while perhaps not considerate of the other people that I'm fond of, I hope you can at least understand why. No, I take that back. I know you understand why. And I know you're fine with it and that you just wish I could make a little more effort to get in touch with you every now and then.
I was just trying to talk to you but, due to my apparently horrid timing, we didn't exactly launch into any kind of remarkable conversation. Although, I'm reasonably sure that it had to do with the fact that you're irritated with me at the moment. It's a two-way thing, though. Timing, I mean. And I nearly always catch you at a bad time. Then one or two things happen: you talk to me about what bugs you and I try to make you feel better; or I continuously get those one-word, punctuated responses from you which means that I'm dangerously close to getting snapped at. Today was the latter so I simply left you to it.
Anyways, I'll stop babbling. I feel like that's all I'm doing anyways. I have to shut down my computer because it overheats so easily with this screwy European voltage that it's subjected to now, but if you're at all interested in talking about and reconciling this little faux pas, leave me a message (email, MSN, whatever) and I'll get in touch with you as soon as I get it.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Well it started out as a pretty good day. Right up until Hans went to the store, at least. Walking home from the store, which is practically next door--not at all far--he got hit by a car.
Now before you all panic, he's not seriously injured. No ambulance or stretcher needed to drive him off to the emergency room or anything. The car hit the backs of his legs, which wouldn't be so bad, had he not been hit by a car about five years ago, which effed up his left knee. Suffice to say that his knee is in pain right now. Poor guy.
And now we have two sets of extraordinary circumstances.
The first one is that since my arrival to Norwegia, my poor Hans has: broken his toe, gotten a sinus infection, hurt his back and neck, got mauled by his former--now perished--office chair, and now this. He can't normally be this accident-prone or he'd have died by now.
The second set of unusual circumstances is that it's not too often that you hear of someone--anyone--getting hit by a car. You hear of them getting in fender benders and such, but not often do you see the newspaper headline "Pedestrian Pommeled by Pontiac!"
That's not so unusual though. I mean, it is, but it happens. However, how many people--civilians, mind you, not spies or military personnel--can say they've been hit twice in their lifetime by a car? Not once, bloody twice! In the same friggin' decade! Craziness!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Today I find myself looking back. I guess it doesn't hurt to be nostalgic every once in awhile, so that'll be today's designated theme. I miss my dog. I've said this a million times, but it's just as true now--if not more so--as it was several weeks ago. He's so easy to deal with. His whims and wishes are limited to such things as belly rubs and games of fetch and "chase me," plus the occasional car ride or long walk. I didn't have to pay attention to his annoying lectures or random bits of trivia that are of no interest to me. He didn't talk to me like I was an ignorant fool. He wasn't arrogant or conceited. He was just my friend. My furry friend.
I miss Jonie, too. I think it's mostly a lack of female companionship that's getting me down. Someone I can talk to about anything. Someone to whom I can bitch about the opposite sex who understands and adds her own complaints to the conversation. Not because we're not in love with our significant others, but because the frustrations of living with someone are never-ending and sometimes they simply need an outlet, lest we strangle our loves while they sleep.
I wish I could see something familiar. Not just the random American brand of shampoo at the store, but something truly familiar. Something from home. I could do without the condescension for all things American as well. That would be a nice start.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I hate pruny hands, more than almost anything. I just can't stand that feeling, especially when I have to touch something. (Who woulda guessed?)
Been cleaning for hours now. Hans organized his shelves, I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen was just a simple touch-up, like doing the dishes and wiping the stove off, blah blah blah. Same with most of the bathroom, but I've been putting off the cleaning of the shower. Ew. That's about all I have to say about the state of the shower prior to the cleaning. Just ew. It's immensely better now though, so I'm happy.
And Hans and I have completely different music tastes. Well, that's not entirely accurate. We have enormously similar music tastes, in that we both love metal. Problem is, we don't really like the same songs. I find his music either boring, not deep, or too chaotic, and he finds my music "commercial" and/or boring and goodness knows what else.
The difference is that I only give my opinion on his music when he asks if I like whatever song is currently playing. Otherwise I keep quiet about it. On the other hand, he likes to be condescending about my tastes of music.
"Who are those losers that can't sing?"
Okay, so he doesn't think Matt Barlow can sing and he thinks Therion is boring and "commercial" (lol). Good for him. I happen to think Deep Purple is mostly crap and don't "appreciate" the typical old-metal screechy style of vocals. Does that mean that those vocals aren't good music or that Deep Purple's success or failure depends on my approval? Of course not, so who the eff cares that I don't like it. Quite frankly, if anyone dares to have such a high opinion of themself that when someone else doesn't like their music they say that person doesn't know shit about music, then they need a good swift kick in the head.
We enjoy music because something in it speaks to something inside of us. It touches us, endears us to it, attracts us, draws us in. Whatever it does to you, you like it because it's something unique to you, and fuck cares what anyone else has to say about it. If you get an emotional high from listening to world-class polka music, more power to you, but just because the sounds of polka speak to you, don't be naive enough to think that they'll have the same effect on everyone. "Good music" isn't a universal term that can be applied to certain songs and bands worldwide. It's a relative term and can't be made any different.
So Hans likes Pantera. I don't. I like Iced Earth. Hans doesn't. Big friggin deal. Does that mean either of us doesn't know good music from bad? That it's a reflection on either of our persons to say that we don't like something that the other adores? Fuck no! Does it mean I respect him less because I don't enjoy his taste in music? Bah, of course not.
I don't understand why it's such a big deal. Leigh likes Dimmu Borgir, I think they're ridiculous. So what? Allison likes country music, I would rather stab myself in the ears with a rusty spoon than listen to it. So what? Mikes likes 80s music, I think calling that stuff "music" is an insult to the term . So fucking what? I'm certainly not about to base my opinion of someone off what music they prefer.
And I share music with all three of you listed above. If I send a song that you happen to not like, I'm not about to take it as a personal affront. You don't like it. I do. Yay.
Leigh, I sent you a song by Moonsorrow once. You didn't like it. I think I can live with that. But what about you? Still wuv me anyways? :P
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The basic idea is that you all have to try to guess the songs by their first line. If the first line is ambiguous (or if I just feel like it) I'll include the second line, and if the lyrics aren't in English or aren't comprehensible, I'll skip the song and move on to the next. Good luck.
1. What we've got here is a failure to communicate
Civil War - Guns N Roses...Gotten by Mike, who cheated!
2. Have we lost the spark or a guide?
Trigger - In Flames...Not gotten
3. Dear Darlin / Surprised to hear from me?
How You Gonna See Me Now - Alice Cooper...Gotten by Mike, who cheated (but corrected my mistake!)
4. What do you mean I don't believe in God / I talk to him every day
Peace Sells - Megadeth...Gotten by Leigh
5. lyrics in latin (O Fortuna - Therion)
5. Out in the street at 6 AM / Another sleepless night
Blue Morning, Blue Day - Foreigner...Gotten by Mike, who claims he didn't cheat, per se
6. She is gone leaves are falling down
Harvest of Sorrow - Blind Guardian...Gotten by Leigh
7. So I screwed this one up :D (Where the Wild Things Are - Metallica) 7. Instrumental (Acoustic Medley - In Flames)
7. You wanted power and you begged for fame / You wanted everything the easy way
The Devil is a Loser - Lordi...Gotten by Mike
8. lyrics in Italian (Per Te - Josh Groban)
8. All those beautiful people / I want to have them
Swanheart - Nightwish...Gotten by Mike, who cheated!
9. Feel the darkness smiling
The Dark - Trans-Siberian Orchestra...Gotten by Mike
10. Lead to the river / Midsummer, I waved
Nymphetamine Fix - Cradle of Filth...Gotten by Leigh
At Leigh's suggestion, I added a new number 7 by randomizing the same playlist as before and just choosing the first song on it. The only one that might know it is Mike though.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I don't really feel like posting anything. And yet, I do. I dunno.
This apartment has a totally different atmosphere during the day. Like, during my wakeful nights when I'm out in this room by myself, it's often depressing. It gets me thinking about the things I miss and such. But right now, even though the curtains are drawn and not much light is actually getting in here, there's still just enough to make it almost pretty.
Hans and I have been making some very good changes in here. I have a nightstand of my very own that's not full of his ex-girlfriend's crap. (His ex-girlfriend from the year 2000, I might add, so you can see how often cleaning gets done under ordinary circumstances.) My stuff is finally out of my suitcases, as well. (OK, so I just moved my clothes from my suitcases to the fold-up bed by the window. It's a working progress, dammit! :P) And the kitchen is so clean now that we can actually walk almost the entire way around the table! (This may seem rather insignificant to the masses, but trust me, it's a big step forward.)
Hans also put up some shelves in the living room and kitchen so there's more storage space, and therefore, less stuff on the floor. We're gradually eliminating the pile of clutter in the bedroom (which causes bruises anew each time I wake up to go pee) and we're also trying to clear off Hans's other desk so I have a place to put my laptop besides, you know, on my lap (and under the table when not in use.)
Part of me wonders if most of this cleaning stuff is being done for my benefit or if Hans really wants to do it. Maybe a little of both, I don't know.
Speaking of things being done for my benefit, Hans has quit smoking--not because I asked him to, mind you, but because he noticed the fact that I was using my shirt for an air filter when he'd light up. I think it'd be better if he quit because he actually wanted to and not just because he knows I want him to, and I've told him this, but he had a really good argument against my point when I mentioned it, so it shut me up. (The argument in question would require far too much explanation, so I won't delve into it.) He's doing good though. He hasn't smoked since Friday, and even though I really would rather that he did it for himself, it still makes me unspeakably happy that he's doing it at all.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
My sleeping cycle has dwindled into dreamless two hour increments that seem to end as soon as they begin. I fell asleep at shortly after 4 o'clock and woke up shortly after 6 o'clock. You can almost set your watch by it.
Part of me wants to blame the pillows. One pillow is too few and makes my back hurt. Two pillows is too many and gives me a sore neck. Another part of me thinks perhaps it's the fact that our sleeping schedule has been so weird that my body can no longer tell when I'm going to sleep for the night or when I'm just taking a nap, so I never actually pass into deep sleep and instead stay partly conscious and thusly wake up at the slightest disturbances in the room.
So I lay awhile in the dark room listening to Hans's steady and slow breathing and could not for the life of me figure out why I was so wakeful when yesterday was such a good day. I mean, nothing particularly out of the ordinary happened, but there were no arguments about something completely inconsequential or anything!
So I watched the 6 o'clock hour pass by, then the 7 o'clock hour. At some point I realized that I had one line from the song Tomorrow, Tomorrow in my head. "Just thinking about tomorrow..." How ironic. It was almost as if there were some sort of sardonic DJ in my head just screwing around with me.
Shortly before eight in the morning my full bladder told me it was time to give up on the sleep endeavor. Poor Hans was awakened by my getting out of bed and not returning, so he came out to make sure everything was OK. He's already gone back to bed, and with a little bit of luck, I'll get tired and can join him before too long.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Communication is a funny thing. No one knows how to do it. "Hi Bill," we'll say. He'll reply, "Hey, how's everything going?" "Just fine, just fine," we say. "And how about yourself?" And we never really hear Bill when he says "Not too bad," do we? We're already walking away, the end to a conversation that never really began.
And it's not just with strangers or neighbors that we do this either. We go through the motions of checking up on our loved ones too. "I heard you were sick how were you feeling?" and you're nodding before they even respond. Or "Honey, how was your day?" you ask as you pour yourself a glass of milk. It doesn't really matter what they say because we've all programed our brains to pick up on the little things so we don't actually have to think about what we're going to say next. If they say something negative, we always respond with "Oh yeah?" and if they say something positive, we smile with our lips and say, "Oh, that's good I'm glad to hear it."
How many people do you really speak to on a day to day basis? People to whom you actually give your full attention, rather than trying to decide what you're going to cook for dinner while you go through the motions of a conversation.
The world is so boring and it's our own fault. "Did you hear about the riots in Iraq?" "Yeah it was on the news this morning while I was getting ready for work isn't that such a shame?" "Yeah, and I heard three people died right?" "Something like that I think how sad." There's no pauses for punctuation in any of it, and we talk about lives lost without really thinking of the deeper meaning. Someone's wife, daughter, mother, cousin, aunt, friend is gone forever and we turn it into idle chat in the break room. Not because we really care, oh no, but because we feel we should say something to mask the silence, even if we don't want to. It's compulsory. It's deplorable.
It's gotten so bad that we pay people to listen to us talk about the things that matter to us. "The only person I can really talk to is my shrink." We go to therapy because there's no one else in our day to day lives that really gives a damn about what we have to say. Everyone's too busy getting ready for their turn to talk, to move the conversation forward when a pause lasts for a fraction of a second too long. "If it makes you feel any better, when I broke up with my ex I felt the same way." And the conversation moves on from ex-loves and regrets to little things, boring things. Things that are easy to talk about.
And then you finally decide you've had enough. "Well, I'll let you get back to what you were doing, I don't wanna keep you, Give me a call if you need anything." The end of the conversation is nearly always about them. They came to you to talk and when you don't want to pay attention any more, you try to convince them that they're the one that really wants rid of you.
The concept of human beings as a social animal doesn't include the fact that humans crave privacy in social situations. The communal feeling is best when conversation doesn't lean towards the unmentionable subjects--the things no one wants to say, but everyone needs to say. Then it becomes uncomfortable and awkward.
The sad truth of the matter is that it's easier not to say anything. Shut your mouth, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication is a lie. Nobody cares what you have to say.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Serious question for everyone: How important is sanitation to you?
And I'm not talking about getting sprayed with raw sewage and then craving a pressure washer to remove your flesh just to get all the icky crap (pun intended) off you.
I'm talking about, say, hand washing. After a trip to the bathroom, wash your hands, yes. But say, for example, that you pet the dog, who is not particularly dirty--no more so than any other dog--and then someone puts a bowl of potato chips on the table in front of you. Would you go wash your hands before partaking of a chip?
Or laundry. Pretty much everyone is guilty of having worn the same article of clothing two days in a row. Some say that's gross, but personally, most of my clothing gets worn at least twice before being washed (unless I should happen to roll in mud or if the villagers come out and pelt me with rotten food). But when you wash towels, for instance, do you make absolutely sure that they're washed in near-to-boiling water to be certain all the bacteria is removed?
Frankly, I think all the crazy, somewhat obsessive sanitation stuff is a bloody waste of time in normal circumstances. Yeah sure, wash your towels in 90 degree (centigrade) water and you'll kill all the bacteria on them, but unfortunately, the second you open that washer door, you can wave bye-bye to that. And touching them to remove them from the washer? Heheh, dirty again! God forbid you put them on a drying rack! The fact of the matter is that there is bacteria on everything, no matter what you do.
We did an experiment in high school where we grew bacteria in petri dishes by wiping whatever we wanted in the gel stuff. What I did was go to the bathroom and wash my hands. And I mean, really, washed my hands. The water was so hot it burned, and I believe you're supposed to scrub with soap for like 30 seconds. I did it for 2 minutes. I made someone else turn off the faucet, and I didn't use anything to dry my hands. I just walked back to class shaking my hands madly to dry them. Then, I wiped my hands in the gel stuff, closed the lid and waited. And after a week, I had just as much bacteria growing in my dish as everyone else who did seemingly much grosser things.
I suppose it could be argued that I'm "gross" seeing as how I don't clean my hands as often as others do, but if bacteria removal is so crucial, why is it that I get sick less than most other people too? I think all that sanitation stuff is just corporate propaganda. :P
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Grr to not having a coat that fits properly
Kudos to my mom for agreeing to send it... eventually
Grr to always being told to wear gloves and/or a (stupid) hat when I go outside
Kudos to him caring enough to do so
Grr to being told that my heart is unhealthy because I don't eat enough lipids
Kudos to the yummy buttery stuff that it was insisted upon that I partake of
Grr to being argued with over how to eat bread properly
Kudos to getting to try new things
Grr to individuals who voice their opinion as if it were doctrine
Kudos to the movies that interrupt such infuriating conversations
Grr to getting a play-by-play of events in every movie we watch (and the implication that I'm a moron who could not possibly realize that what we just saw was a flash-back)
Kudos to language and the use of the word "shhh!"
Grr to cultural differenes
Kudos to the occasional open-minded sentiments
Grr to being expected to not know how to do anything
Kudos to proving that I can, in fact, wipe off a stove
Grr to icy sidewalks
Kudos to not having broken my neck just yet
Grr to second hand smoke
Kudos to Tshirts, which can be used to cover the mouth and nose
Grr to barely having enough room to walk to my side of the bed
Kudos to having at least SOME room to maneuver my way there
Grr to having very little alone time
Kudos to at least not being lonely
Grr to the fact that my speakers only work about half the time
Kudos to headphones and other such external devices
Grr to missing everyone back in the states as much as I do
Kudos to everyone doing their best to keep in touch with me anyways
Monday, January 01, 2007
Firstly, why the boo-yah? I mean, I know we all herald the coming of the new year, but why really? Who says January 1st is really the first day of the year? Oh well. Boo-freakin-yah, anyways!
Secondly, Hans and I stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square (at 6 AM our time). I was disappointed. See, we saw New Years celebrations in various cities: London, Sydney, Bucharest, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Berlin, and some others. These were all televised and had some amazing firework displays. London and Sydney in particular.
London (I don't think this fits quite right if you use FF, depending on your screen resolution. Oh well. I'm too lazy to try to fix it.)
Then, we saw Times Square and well, there was lots of confetti and a performance of the song "New York, New York". Wow. The most amusing, however, was the interviews of the people in the crowd. I swear to God the reporters look for the stupidest people they can find to put on the air. I mean really. No wonder everyone thinks Americans are so stupid. (Although, in hindsight, it was a British broadcast, so perhaps they showed the stupid Americans just to give the Brits a laugh. Hmm...)
Anyways, last night was a very fun night. Apparently it's only legal to shoot fireworks on New Years Eve here in Norway, and believe me, it was very much taken advantage of. Actually, given the location of Dokka, it was awesome. This little town is in a valley, mostly surrounded by hills, and last night was fairly clear. So, when Hans and I went outside around midnight last night, we were literally surrounded by fireworks going off in all directions. Our own fireworks were somewhat less than impressive, but it was fun anyways. :D
Happy New Years everyone!