Brewtal Truth

A history.

The weekend before last, I attended my first ever Startup Weekend. I saw an ad in the newspaper at work, and thought…that could be fun? Maybe I will meet some creative, curious people. That definitely happened.

So I rock up, alone of course, to Bergen’s Creative Fagskole (fag means subject in Norwegian, yes, it’s hilarious), and walk through a kitchen where I am handed a bag of stuff (yay, stuff!), a t-shirt, and a tag that says ‘non-tech’…ok, I guess so. Through to a room full of…thankfully not just guys, was definitely worried about a 400 to 1 ratio, nei takk, some talking, some sitting, some devicing…yeah. This is what I spent all day getting prepared for. KAT YOU WILL TALK TO STRANGERS TODAY oh god no do I have to YES THAT WAS THE POINT OF GOING but strangers are scary BITCH YOU CAN DO THIS I’ll give you bitch Are you arguing with yourself again? yes Go do the thing fiiiiine third internal voice of reason…deep breath…DIVE.

Actually, it was pretty cool. Most people knew someone, but not many people, many came in with an idea, but plenty didn’t, some of us hyper-creatives (guilty) pitched twice, because, I can, and it was pretty entertaining!

I pitched two ideas. The Dialect Project (watch this space, still thinking about this one), where I create a website with many videos of different Norwegian dialects, browsed by location, as almost all audio for learning Norwegian is Oslo dialect..which is useless in Bergen. No one speaks Oslo here, it sounds different enough to seem another language at first. HÆ?? Is all I have to say to you. So that was my pitch that I was particularly attached to.

The other pitch was a, why not, based on this xkcd comic:

Genius.

Which wasn’t serious, and more just curious to see what happened. But not really the kind of idea that gets finished in a weekend, not unless someone happened to also manufacture refrigerators….or make rolly things…or something.

I learnt an important lesson in winning. My Dialect Project just missed the cut off. JUST. Had I a) put all my votes on mine, instead of walking around, being fair or some bullshit, put one on three different projects I liked and b) hounded some others to vote for me, then my project would have gone through. But hey, we live, we learn.

And anyway, the project I did end up working on, mainly because my husband loves beer and is making his own beer, and seems to think it’s incredible (like, it’s decent, but there is still work to do), was BREWTAL TRUTH, and we are a glorious team. Give homebrewers the BREWTAL TRUTH they need about their beer. It’s always a little bit personal.

I do like beer, and homebrew that is good (Hi Eivind, your beer is amazing) rocks my socks off. Which is bad when it’s cold (I need those!), but hey, good beer is good.

I digress. So after I did not make the cut (boo hoo), we had to go around and choose what project we did want to work on, discussing with said leader of project if we would be a good fit. I was attracted to two projects: Personal Chef and Brewer’s Home (Andreas found our snazzy name later). The duty free one seemed cool, but I did not really feel it was a place I would flourish (I like to lead. I like people to listen to me. I’m bawsy…yup.), and other ideas were interesting too (all the ideas were awesome), but if I was going to commit a weekend, it better be about a subject I LOVE. And I love food, and I love beer. Eeny, meeny, miney, mo. Yeah, that is how I chose. Haha no.

Personal chef seemed very driven by the leader, and my experience being when someone has that much of a vision, that is not where I am useful. That would just be conflict. But Brewer’s Home seemed undecided where it would go. Is it events? Is it a website? Is it something else? Something more in unknown land sounded better to me.

I approached Matthias. He is German. I am of Polish descent. Our 1000 year old history is kind of ugly at times. He seemed pretty German, pragmatic, kind of…sure of what he did like, organized, honest. I essentially said to him – I like this project, but I have a strong personality. Do you think we will clash? He was not sure.

Clash we did, at first. He was definitely overwhelmed with being chosen, and then leading a group of people, mainly strangers, and what to do. Not to mention, me, high on creativity, talking a million miles an hour with a million ideas, and he being like OH GOD IT IS JUST A WEEKEND HOW.

But we worked it out. I would say out of any group leader at the startup weekend, he and I definitely meshed the best. It was occasionally confusing for the group, he telling them one thing, me telling them another, but somehow we managed it, and I would say actually, it went really well. It is still his project, he is still the leader, but I am very happy in my position of: face of / fun / creative / decisive / tweaker . He joked about my position being the mum, haha, but the dynamic works. I am creative, and he is pragmatic.

And here I am talking about “the group”. Haha! They are probably way more useful than us. Hello, developers, unsung heroes who actually made it happen. Morten and Knut Andre have worked together before, and they are fantastic. They made the rating system in time for our first event, no mean feat at one day in, and are perfecting it as we speak. And a numbers guy, hello we need business savvy, hi Ole, with great ideas and great skills. And Isabell, who asks the tough questions, who seems to know a tonne of people, who keeps us on track, and who makes Brewtal Truth look fantastic. And Andreas, I am not forgetting you, some would say last but not least, I would say thank you for introducing me to sour beer, mindblowing stuff, who is genuinely creative and design focused, who sees things we don’t, and who adds a nice sense of …calm… when we are getting a little haywire.

But here I am, talking about us, and all this time, this whole project is about you. Yes, you. “But I don’t like beer,” you say…that’s ok, at the very core of our project, it is a rating app, and that we can make to rate anything. “But you are collecting my data, no thanks,” agreed, that can be uncomfortable, but there are anonymous voting options, and all we are collecting is preference on beer. Hard to do much of anything threatening with that, bar maybe recommend some other beer for you to drink!

We are Brewtal Truth. Want to get your homebrewing friends to stop hassling you about their beer? We are here to help. Want to know what other beer you should drink? We can do that. Want to play hilarious blind taste testing party games? Aw yeah, we will be there. Rating, discussing, the big reveal!

We are Brewtal Truth, and we are awesome.

 

 

 

Subreddit of the week!

This is fun. Drumroll, please…

Best Of!

Such an awesome subreddit. It’s meta, which is the best, in that it collects popular posts from any and every corner of reddit*, and posts them here. Someone who has been exceptionally clever, or articulate, or argued something beautifully, gets posted here. Could be anything. Some are devastating, some are euphoric, some are just short stories that are wonderful.

I visit this subreddit daily. And, it’s a good launching pad for discovering different subreddits you might not have discovered just yet.

Here are some of my all-time favourite ‘best ofs’:

Can a person every really catch up on sleep?

Why does it take so long for the new Game of Thrones book to come out?

A wife kills her husband. Make me sympathize with both characters.

How to come out and understand an abuser. 

The morbid side of cruise ships. 

Still being in love after 16 years, what that’s like. 

There are tonnes of these. Not all of them are awesome, not all of them will interest you. But that’s ok, that’s the point!

 

*reddit has corners? Or is it a sphere? How can there be corners of the globe, anyway.

BALKANFEST

Something I wrote after Balkanfest, never posted it. Here you go!

PONCHO GLORY

PONCHO GLORY

 

Sweet…evagination. Sweeeeeet…evaginaaation.

Balkanfest, oh Balkanfest. Who knew small festivals could be so wonderful? Who knew that zero fucks could be given about rain (ok, some were). Who knew dancing in the street was so glorious? Mick Jagger and Bowie did. What are we doing, guys? What are this.

Hello, beautiful Evanger!

Hello, beautiful Evanger!

Still on a festival high, but it was so nice! And so unlike any other festival I’ve seen. I’d compare it to Womadelaide, but it’s not so massive and varied. One stage. One marquee. Home made cakes. Pigs on a spit, so glorious, oh my god. Pigs. Eat them. Eat ALL the pigs. And the bacon. Just, eat it.

Let me love you. With my mouth.

Let me love you. With my mouth.

 

All our mad dancing made more rain come. DANCE AND RAIN AND DAAANCE.

All our mad dancing made more rain come. DANCE AND RAIN AND DAAANCE.

IMG_3633

Drunk photography is the best photography.

Drunk photography is the best photography.

Hi, river!

Hi, river!

Strategic nap.

Strategic nap.

Hungover morning faces of sex.

Hungover morning faces of sex.

IMG_3644

Awesome performance!

IMG_3648

Damn straight.

HA DET!!

HA DET!!

Camels on our way home.

Camels on our way home.

 

Festivals are the best.

A short guide to Reddit terms.

Hey guys! Hope you’ve been loving Reddit, if you’ve never seen it before! On Monday, I posted my first subreddit of the week, Map Porn. If you’re new to the site, you might see some strange terms or bunches of letters popping up. I even used one in that post, tl;dr. What does that mean???? Let me explain, in a short and sour guide to silly terms used on Reddit. 

tl;dr – too long, didn’t read. 

This can either provide a summary for a “wall of text” (Michael Prodea’s specialty), as in, one or more long paragraphs detailing something, or is used as a response to said “wall of text”. If your response to that sentence was tl;dr, then man, you have a short attention span.

NSFW – Not Suitable For Work. 

Not Suitable For Work. This is an important disclaimer before posts that may include graphic or sexual images, innappropriate topics to be reading at work, or generally as a warning for the content in the post. My blog posts are totally not NSFW. Also, NSFL – Not Suitable For Life, images of gore or death. 

TIL – Today I Learned. 

Pretty self-explanatory, once you know what it stands for. Also, YIL – Yesterday I Learned. Popular, but occasionally mistake-ridden, subreddit.

DAE – Does Anybody Else. 

An appeal to a common dilemma, or feeling, or opinion. For example, Does Anybody Else think new parents don’t need your unsolicited advice?? Or, DAE think Bergen should be able to deal with rain, considering this is one of the rainiest cities in the world?? Etc.

FTFY – Fixed That For You. 

Someone posts something with an error, or a problem. Could be grammatical or other. Often funny.

Hivemind / Circlejerk

I put these together because they are quite similar. Hivemind is a group of people with the same opinion. For example, the Reddit hivemind is generally left-leaning politically, and do not take well to conversative politics.

Circlejerk is a group of people who self-validate one another. For example. those of us (myself included) who love Apple products. Both are derogatory terms.

Sub

An individual subreddit.

ELI5 – Explain Like I’m 5 years old

Asking someone to use simple language or terms for a topic that is perhaps more complicated. Also a popular subreddit.

AMA / AMAA / AUA – Ask Me Anything / Ask Me Almost Anything / Ask Us Anything  

A popular subreddit. Can be anyone with something different to share, like ambulance drivers, people who have started businesses, someone who is temporarily famous, people with strange or rare diseases or conditions. Often, celebrites come here to promote something. Notable mentions include Gillian Anderson, Arnie, Madonna, Drew Carey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt…it’s a long list!

There’s a lot that’s not here, so ask me if you’d like more information, surely I can help. Or, you know, google.

Subreddit of the week!

An introduction to Reddit. 

Hey lovelies, going to restart this…blogging shizzle. Yes. Shizzle. And themed post are so fun and readers love predictability and my brain (really), so have some of both!

If you don’t know about Reddit, well, now you do. Reddit is the best. It’s the website I was looking for, for SO LONG. It just has all the things. All of them. In reading form. What is this magical Reddit you ask? It’s a forum. Don’t back away. It’s a place for anyone to talk about anything with other people who want to talk about the same thing. And it’s really well organized for that.

Anything from geopolitics to lactation to sex to losing weight to juicing diets to really scary things you only find online to whatever it is in life you love. There is a place for everything. All under its own subreddit – a themed forum space, if you will.

It’s a place for you to gather and discuss, or bitch, or argue, or learn about whatever it is you want to know, or even just have your own opinions confirmed (because that’s the best, am I right?). It’s a place to share, or overshare, or ask, or just lurk and read what other people say and pretty much never comment ever (like me, because I are lurker). It is glorious.

So how does one use this magical place of glory?

Well, you can not sign up, and just browse. That’s fun. Say you want to know about…parenting. Or micropenises. Or cats. Or activities with toddlers. Or seasonal depression. No, this is totally not a list of the last things I searched for. Just type it into search, and link browse. Kind of like wikipedia, but better because I say so. Anyway, it links to wikipedia enough so quit whining.

Or, you sign up, and personaliiiize. Which is good, because then you can alter what you see (like I said, your own opinions back at you is the best, am I right…ok, I’ll stop). Then the “front page” just lists popular “threads” (a page about a single topic, within said themed space) from subreddits (themed spaces) that you subscribe to. Which is better, because echo chamber.

Get it? Well, if you don’t, go explore. You will the get the hang of it soon enough. If not, write to me, I am good at helping. I have many a computer illiterate in my family. I know how to do this (yes, my little brother is better at teaching stuff than me. Shush.)

tl;dr If you know what that means, you didn’t need this guide. 

SO THEN WHAT IS THE SUBREDDIT OF THE WEEK, KAT??

Map Porn. Aww, yeah. No, it’s not pictures of people doing weird things with maps, seriously?? It’s about maps and information and stuff. Bad explanation. Pictures are better (Click on them if they are too small to read, it opens in a new tab):

See how it’s all in the warmer areas? Makes sense.

God, I love languages. See how things change? Funny where the borders lie, and they shift with different words.

Fascinating. But then, this is obviously through a Western lens. *echo chamber*

Africa on top.

Krakatoa was the loudest sound, ever. Here’s how far it was heard.

Scandinavia is tiiiiiiny.

Hope you enjoyed this at least as much as I do! Any requests, let me know.

In the land of the Vikings

Assorted impressions of Bergen

Tourist season is upon us. This means the previously empty area around Bryggen, with the fishmarket and other curiosities, is now packed with retired holidaymakers. Italian, French, token Japanese, all milling around, snapping, chatting, buying. I have never lived in a tourist city before. It’s weird. 

(Istanbul had tourists, but they’re just crowded all year round. Frankly, I wouldn’t know how to pick when it’s not touristy there. Winter?) 

The other day I accidentally wandered into a drug rehab centre, thinking it was a cafe. They sure do things differently in Norway. 

Image

Not the drug rehab centre, but oddly a cafe called Kaffemisjonen. Best coffee in Bergen.

The sun sets after 11pm, and rises before I wake. Every morning it’s…go away sun, I need more sleep, ah god I’m awake now. Curse you, melatonin. 

On the plus side, SPRING EXPLODED. What? How? Seriously, in two days all the trees went from bare to COVERED IN GREEN AND FLOWERS. They don’t waste time here. It’s wonderful, but very confusing. 

It’s so nice and warm (20 degrees), I wear shorts and convince myself it’s comfortable. It is. The baseline adjusts quickly. The need for sun doesn’t. Seasonal affectedness is really a thing. Suddenly, I wonder about other things that are really things. Like anxiety. Belly breaths. 

Rocks everywhere. Some couchsurfers asked me if all of Norway was so…kamieniste. Covered in rocks. They’re everywhere. I really like them. All the sudden cliff faces, steep drops, outcrops. It’s very pleasing. 

moo

Helicopter dog approves of rocks.

The water is warming up. I might even swim in my local lake one day. There’s a nicer one in Kanadaskogen (Canada forest. What?), and I look forward to…tanning…on a pontoon. Why not. 

My spoken Norwegian continues to be awful. I need to stop resisting mimicking them, but it just…I’m sorry. You know I love Norway, and Norwegians, but the language…I can’t take it seriously. I need to. I will live here. But it’s hard. It just sounds so ridiculous. And I sound so silly mimicking them! Velidg dåååårlig, darling. 

Sun makes everything better. 

 

 

Innvandring

I’m in the process of putting together my Norwegian immigration papers, which are decently simple. As I was filling in the questionnaire, I thought – this is kind of fun, I’ll post this. 

Here’s a very condensed version of my life with Andreas thus far:

1. Give a description of your relationship

We are a newly married couple. We have been together for two years. 

2. When, where and how did you and the sponsor meet?

It was New Years Eve 2010. I was in my first month of travelling overseas for a year, and spent New Years in Krakow. I met him at a house party there. 

3. Have you and the sponsor spent time together since you met? If yes, where and
when?

We spent a few days in Krakow together, and then met a month later in Athens. After Athens, he came to visit me in Istanbul, where I was working as a nanny. For my birthday, he flew me to Bergen to see his home town. After I was finished working in Istanbul, I came to Bergen to stay with him. We went on a road trip from Bergen all the way to Tromso.

After the road trip, I stayed with him for a few weeks in Bergen before going to Georgia to teach English. He came to visit. I came back to Bergen to spend Christmas with his family. The following year I had to go back to Australia to finish my studies. He came to visit in July, and stayed for a month. Then, he came in December, to meet my family, to spend Christmas with them, and then for us to get married!

4. Have you and the sponsor ever lived together? If yes, when, where and for how long?

Andreas and I have lived together when I have stayed with him in Bergen. This was for a few weeks in May, then six weeks from August, then over Christmas and the new year in 2011, and then when he stayed with me in Australia for a month. 

5. Are you and the sponsor related to each other? If yes, in what way?

We are not related in any which way. 

6. Which language(s) do you and the sponsor use in order to communicate with one another?

We generally communicate in English, although I am learning Norwegian. 

7. Who proposed and how?

He brought up marriage after the road trip, but I wasn’t that interested. I was only 23! But, an idea planted takes root, and this did in my mind. When I went back to Australia, I talked about it with my mum, and with Andreas some more. When he came to Australia we discussed how it would work. A week after he left, we were talking on Skype, and we decided – Are we gonna do this? Let’s do this. 

8. Is the marriage arranged? If yes, by whom?

The marriage is not arranged.

9. Were both of you present at the wedding ceremony?

Of course! It was a magical day. 

10. Was a dowry paid? If yes, by whom and how much?

There was no dowry. 

11. Was the wedding celebrated? If yes, where and when was it celebrated?

The wedding was celebrated in Adelaide with family and friends, on the 28th of December, 2012. 

12. How and how often do you and the sponsor have contact with one another?

We chat everyday on the internet, if we are in different countries. If we are in the same city, we are living together!

13. Have you or the sponsor previously been married? If yes, please list the full name, age, place of birth and place of residence of the former spouse(s).

I have not been married previously, neither has Andreas. 

14. Do you and the sponsor have any children together, or are you expecting a child together?

No children.

15. Do you or your spouse have any children from previous relationships? If yes, please list the full name, age, place of birth and place of residence of the child(ren).

No children.

Words of Wisdom

Getting married is a lot of fun. More on that another time, but for now, I thought I’d share some of the words of wisdom I received from my wonderful guests.

“Andy aka Le Viking always love Kat not only in mind but also through actions🙂. Hold her hand and kiss her beautiful lips as often as the sun rises and sets. Kat🙂 my sweet always respect Andy and cherish him every day. Also meat goes a long way.”

“As you slide down the barrister of life may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. PEACE LOVE HAPPINESS”

“Love Never Fails”

“Every time you bonk in the first year of marriage, put a coin in a jar. After the first year pull a coin out every time you bonk. When the jar is empty you will know you are happy!”

“A good tip, if you can’t think of what to *cant read handwriting here* is to steal from others.

“Stay hungry.
Stay foolish. ”

:)”

“Fill your house with animals! (But not in a hoard-ey way)”

“When frying eggplant, always salt it.”

“Arguments are encouraged only if they are followed by a steamy love making session. MAKE LOVE NOT WAR…Don’t go to sleep without resolving arguments. Make love some more :p”

“Kat,❤ Stu"

"A smile is better than a frown…it never lets you down"

"Dear Katherine,
Thank you for being a moral lighthouse and awesome friend. You deserve a life filled with joy. Here's to the dream with Andreas."

"You found a good one – stick with it!"

"Andreas, from what I know, Kat is free spirited, strong and independent. And combined with her honesty, courage, strength and beauty, she will make an excellent friend and a perfect partner. Good luck to you both."

"Take all words of wisdom with a grain of salt. (With your tequila)."

This is the jump

In a few months, I start my new life in Norway. This year has been hard. Really hard. But, really rewarding as well. There’s nothing like a team suffering the same fate, to pull you through.

It’s crazy to think it’s over. It’s been in the works for a while, in my mind. Hell, university, in Australia at least, is over. It’s been part of my life for so long, longer than high school, that leaving it is quite disorientating. Still, I wouldn’t change it.

Everything ends.

It’s hard to know what next year will bring. My last few years have at least, at their essence, been predictable. Uni means last minute stress, sunshine, economics, math. Traveling means new people, places, food and all round fun exploring times.

But moving to a foreign land? I have no idea.

I’ve read a lot of blogs, but all they’ve show me is that each experience differs, and that loneliness runs through. I’m scared of being lonely. I don’t want to be isolated.

They’ve shown me that adjustment takes time, that little things will trip you up and that loving relationships will get you through. I have some loving relationships in my life. I cherish them. Those far away, I will work on. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but reality is weird. And I need to be present in my reality, wherever that may be.

Bergen isn’t my dream city. But it’s home to my dream man. My fairytale romance. It makes me grin. Such a ridiculous turn of events! Life is funny.

I hear there’s something about Bergen. I hope I catch a whiff.

Norway seems like a cold, wild place. Australia is wild, too. I like wild. Even if I live in cities.

The last year, and especially the last few months, have really cemented the Australian part of my identity. It relieves me to read that others feel like the other place that they’re currently in, American in France and French in America, por ejemplo, and this had always been the case with me. I need Europe. I don’t really know why. I don’t even really have the best reasoning. But I need it. And I will go.

I’ve ignored the reality of moving, but it’s true, my time is slowly winding up. Leaving behind my family will be weird and hard. I know they’re suffering. I hate that.

I didn’t want to let myself feel sad. I don’t want to be weak, and I sure as hell don’t want to spend excess time mourning. Still, it’s fine to acknowledge this is a wild new adventure. And that some relationships will be changed.

I will miss my niece. I want to see her more, and I will fly her over when she’s older. Boo yah.

I will miss my brothers, their differences. The ease and difficulty of our relations. We will all change, and it will be harder to grasp, as time moves.

I will miss my parents. They were my whole world for so long. They gave me everything they could. I am eternally grateful.

It hurts to go. But staying isn’t on the cards.

Still, I’ll be back. But it will never be the same. This is the jump.

Belonging

I read a great article just now, from a beauty blog I enjoy: What kind of company do you keep? , about the people in our lives, and some of our criteria for them. This has been rattling around in my brain for a long, long time. At the end of this post, I’ll list my five criteria, but for now, something on belonging.

One of the main reasons I need to leave, yes, need, is that I have never felt I belonged in Adelaide. Since I was young, I have always been an outsider. Whether initially because I didn’t speak English, to later because I did well in school, to high school where other girls perceived me as a threat, to even when I only befriended guys, I never fit in. I never felt I belonged. It made me a bit of a relationship whore, I’d always want a boyfriend – because then, at least, I’d have some kind of secret club, a place I belonged, and it seemed like that was something people at least wanted from me. But just my friendship? Nope, not really.

I’ve been told I send mixed signals, and it’s true. People don’t generally like me, unless I make it…edgy. Unless there’s a hint of something else. A lot of the time I don’t even realise I’m doing it. But I will hold eye contact, I will smile, I will push people and ask questions about them, and for some reason in Australia a lot of this amounts to flirting. I guess it’s fair enough, and I suppose it is forward of me to do so.

The year before I left for a year of travelling, I met two guys at work. We just clicked. Like I’d never experienced before. They are both smart, worldly, curious, vocal, and welcoming men, and they made my year. I always knew it was temporary, that most of us would move on from Adelaide, and maybe that even made it a little more. It was an amazing year. I love the shit out of those two, and although now we will be spread over three continents, I know I will do everything to stay in touch, but not too much. We will have our own lives to live, now.

I miss them. They made me feel like I belonged. Completely. But it was always only temporary.

Going back a bit in time, when I started uni, through a friend from high school I befriended a group of mainly couples. They were great, and I loved spending time with them. We went drinking a lot, had our Thursday sessions. Just recently, I went to a beach house with the remnants of the group, and it was amazing. These guys are awesome, and if I were staying in Adelaide, they’d be my point of call. I was lucky to have them. But did I belong? Well, sort of. Halfway.

This year, I’ve lost my best friend. She’s not dead or anything, but she has moved on. Whatever we have left, we are trying. I’ve seesawed between dramatically going out with a bang to forgiving anything and everything. I really don’t want to lose her, but she’s made me realise – she made feel like I belonged. Finally. I was always welcome with her. It was the most amazing thing in the world for me, and when this year it changed, it hit me hard, and it hit me in my deepest, and sorest points. I no longer really belonged with her. Adelaide was over.

It hurts me even to write about this. I wish it wasn’t the case, I wish things could just be fixed, and we could go back to whatever we were, or open a new chapter. Maybe we still can, I’m still holding out for it. But, with that, Adelaide is over for me. I don’t belong here. I never did. I’m doing my best not to burn the bridges, like I want to, but I need to go.

I read somewhere that people who move to another country to be with their partner are always running away from something. I’m not. I’m running towards something. Towards a country full of people that are quite quirky, like me. A country with many worldly travellers, like what I aspire to be. A country full of activity, that shuns excessiveness in anything, like I want to do. I might be pegging all my hopes, and I really want to hold back, but damn Norwegians made me feel good. I even feel like I fit in physically there, unlike Australia, where I’ve always been too tall and too stocky. Fuck me, that feels amazing.

But hey, maybe it won’t work. Maybe it will be no better, or even worse than here.

On that happy note, my five criteria:

1. Open minded.

I wanted to just say intelligent, and that’s important too, but you can be smart and closed. To me, that is worse than a little less smart, but completely open. So although I need intelligent people in my life, I need open-minded people more.

2. Self-aware.

This is less common, and it’s a little hard to articulate. I don’t mean people that always draw attention to themselves, and have only themselves to speak of, or fish compliments for. I mean people that can take a step back from a situation, analyze it all and especially themselves, and come up with something fairly objective. People that don’t stand in doorways to have conversations. People who don’t randomly stop in hallways. Just aware of themselves, their surroundings, and their effect on others. These people are amazing, but rare.

3. Active

You don’t have to be a fitness junkie, but if you like to go outside, we will probably get along.

4. Humorous

You need to laugh. Laughter is one of the best things ever, and people who like to laugh, who can make and get jokes, they’re awesome.

5. True to themselves

Yeah, this one can be such a cop out. But it’s exhausting to be with someone who doesn’t want to be themselves. On the flipside, even if they are awkward, annoying, maybe even smelly, if that’s them, then you will come to love them for it. We all have something a little different to bring to the table, and that makes life pretty amazing.

Roarrr…chirpily.