“I was on mushrooms and my girlfriend turned into my sister.”
“Were…were you having sex?”
“No. We didn’t have sex because of that.”
“Wait a sec…you don’t have a sister!”
And so go the conversations on the roof at Funcom on Free Beer Friday (that is, on July 17th…that’s the Beer Friday before last). That’s right, where I work there’s free beer, after hours, at the office, on Fridays, and we go out on the roof to drink it—here in Oslo, Norway. If you use Google Earth, you might even be able to find the spot.
Later that night, some co-workers and I ended up at a club called BLÅ (or “Blue”). We sat in the outdoor section, drinking beers by the little river that cuts the city in half. It was around midnight, which means the sun was actually down. The brick wall by the alley was painted in such a way that a light bulb jutting out the wall became the glowing eye of a crocodile.
The music playing inside was dubbed, by our group, as “Whale Migraine.” It was dark and moody to say the least. The music led to the following conversation, when Oliver, a British guy I worked with, commented on it (slightly paraphrased):
“It’s like an orchestra tuning on a beach next to a dying whale—like they’re tuning their instruments to the sounds the dying whale’s making. Like cutting it up and sticking amps inside it.”
“Yeah, like inside its blubber.”
“Yeah, but that’s bloody poetic… But horrible. Man. I hope no one ever does that—hope we didn’t just start something. They’d be dragging whales out of the ocean, left and right, just to have those exquisite, poetic deaths.”
“Like raves in the woods…”
Oliver rolls his own cigarettes with Lucky Strike tobacco. I only write that down, just now, because it happens to come to mind.
When we last left off, our hero (yeah I just made myself the hero, so what?—get you’re own damn blog) he was getting settled into Oslo, Norway after accepting a writing job from Funcom, writing dialogue for their Age of Conan game.
So what have I been up to…
Writing lots of dialogue at work. It’s a sweet gig. The last week saw me typing out dialogue for an entrail-reading priest. “I will show you fear in a handful of guts.” My boss got the reference when he glanced it and liked it. And somewhere in my skull, T.S. Elliot and Hannibal Lecter are dancing…
The week before last I turned in my paperwork for my official work Visa. For the first time, I got to physically use my blasted degrees—got to show them off so that I would be eligible for my “Specialist” visa. The HR woman at Funcom even wrote up a letter saying how awesomely irreplaceable I am and that is why they had to hire me instead of a native (which is mainly what your are doing in the process of requesting a work visa).
My Masters degree is highly valued here. One girl at the company even told me that she heard some of the higher-ups were happy to get a writer on my team to move forward with certain things and talking like I was “the second coming of Christ.” Wow…don’t know what to make of that. I mean, I just BS and make sh#$ up…its the artists and programers who have actual skills. The HR woman (who takes very, very good care of me) said they were looking for higher degrees more than experience because education is easier to prove to the government than experience. I laughed and told her I was having the reverse problem in the US. All this when I was just getting to a point in my life where I was becoming jaded towards my education and joking about using my degrees as coasters—and then life slaps me in the face for complaining.
This beer friday found me playing a game called Werewolf with my co-workers. It’s a sort of elimination game where you must lie to your fellows, kind of like Mafia but with a few nifty elements added in. While, acting as mayor/hunter, I shot and killed the final werewolf, saving the village, in the first game—I did not fare so well in the next two games as I apparently look guilty even when I am not and was hung by the villagers when I wasn’t even a werewolf. There is no justice like mob justice.
And I also went to the doctor a week or so back…
Not to worry anyone, but I needed to get checked out. I went to a sort of clinic place, one step below ER. Long story short…nothing was really found and I’ll see another doctor soon for a more thorough look over. Various tests were taken…including…an examination of the prostate….ugh…
Not the sort of overseas adventure I was looking for. Then I settled the bill, payed my money and the last lingering shreds of my dignity, and left. On the bright side, it was very, very cheap. I mean I would assume someone would have to pay much more for that kind of treatment on a recreational level.
Many moons ago, I won a novel contest. The book has been in development hiatus lately, but I finally heard back from the editor. The publishers are finally good to go, he’s going to give it a look over, and further drafting willing, we should be done by the end of the year or so. More as it develops.
“Leave it to you to be tarted-up in a zombie walk in Norway mere DAYS after arriving in the country for the first time!”
This of course reveals my selfish motives in doing the Zombie Walk a few weekends back…I apparently have a reputation to protect.
Found another pic:
But fear not, friends. We all know what the one weakness is of the shambling dead…and that is kung-fu wielding priests!