Sunday, July 30, 2006
I just hit iTunes but hard. Continental has this thing that if you buy a ticket they give you five free iTunes songs. I'm like "Gee! I spend a thousand bucks and you give me $4.95 worth of music? Sounds good to me..... sign me up". I'm easy to please. So, here's what I got today. I'm on a bit of a dance/nostalgia trend. It's all kind of random.
Being Boiled (Fast Version) The Human League
Love My Way The Psychedelic Furs
My Humps Black Eyed Peas
Mahadeva Anoushka Shankar
Don't Bring Me Down Electric Light Orchestra (Forever known to me as "The Broooce" song.)
Ocean Size Jane's Addiction
Heaven Beside You Alice In Chains
Join In the Chant (Bullets and Matches Remix By DJ Lee) A Tribute to Nitzer Ebb
And This Is What the Devil Does My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
We Share Our Mothers' Health The Knife
Neverland The Knife
Und now, vee dance......
Ever notice how similar post-workout and post-coitus are? All I know is that after either of those activities, I am relaxed, euphorial, sweaty, thirsty, and want a cigarette (which I manage to resist) and a shower. Also, for either of them, if you don't do it, it's easy to continue not doing it, but once you start up again, whoa nelly, it's addictive. Ever notice that?
But that's not actually what this post is about, though I am sort of glowy and drinking a big ol' glass of water and will, after this post, take a shower. The gym is un-air-conditioned and it's humid as hell outside. And no, I did not have a cigarette.
Um...where was I. Oh. Yeah. Gist. Stick to the gist of the story, Karla.
This morning we were awakened by a bird that flew into the bedroom. Which makes for an interesting study of different reactions to such an occurence by two people, namely, Him and Me.
Me: I heard a scritchy flappy noise. I opened my eyes and saw a little bird right under the window, flopping on the floor and fluttering its wings in a panic. "AAAAIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! A BIRD! IN THE HOUSE!!!! AAAIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!" I dove under the covers as far as I could go because I did not want it to get into my hair. The idea of bony little bird feet touching me WIGS ME OUT.
Him: Jumped out of bed. Approached tiny frightened creature. "Aww, it's a little starling. Hey little guy. Go on out....go on. It's ok. The window is right here". Like a freaking nature TV guy, he gently guides the bird out the window and it flies away.
Me: "Aaaaiiieee!!!???? Is it gone? Is it? Did you touch it? I've totally been afraid that would happen."
Him: "Ya big dork. Come out from under the covers".
If a bird flew into the house and I was alone, I would seriously just have to close off that part of the house and hope it found its way out, because I really could NOT deal.
Which once again goes to show you, for mine own self? Nature is fine and good, but I don't actually want to TOUCH it or anything. Eek.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Gleefully stolen from Badger by way of Bookhart.
1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Do constant pat-downs by airport security count?
2. What color are your eyes? Green.
3. When was the last time you went sledding? Well, I live in Norway, so the irony is that the last time I went sledding was in college. It snowed in Austin and a bunch of us got trays from the cafeteria and went sliding down the hill the LBJ library is on. That was 18 years ago. In real life, my butt only meets snow when I fall in it.
4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? For plain sleeping, “I vant to be alone”. I’m a bed hog.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? I used to, and my mom and Rich both say they have seen them. Unfortunately, I seem to have bypassed the spiritual sensitivity needed for seeing such things. I’ve probably walked through tons of them not even knowing. I did get creeped out in a catacomb in Edinburgh once.
6. Do you consider yourself creative? Yes. Though I did not grow up thinking it.
7. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? A.J., although both would be fun to have a beer with. (I gotta go with Bookhart’s answer on this one.)
8. Who was your first crush? A boy named Andy, whom I had known since elementary, who turned out to be a total wastoid/criminal in training as high school progressed. Luckily my tastes have vastly improved.
9. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Stupid question. We all do. But I tend to talk so I am sure most of them are known by someone of my best friends.
10. Have you ever been ice skating? Yes! But I am a way better roller skater. I’m a GOOD roller skater.
11. How often do you remember your dreams? Intermittently. Sometimes they won’t get out of my hea,d other times they won’t stay IN my head.
12. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Sigh. I don’t honestly know. Probably when I was in Austin in January?
13. Can you name 4 songs by The Beatles? Of course.
14. What's the one thing always on your mind? A sort of non specific angst about what will happen in the next year, and where will I be.
15. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could draw or sing.
16. Do you know anyone in jail? They are out now.
17. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? Yes. That usually bites me in the ass, though.
18. Have you ever been punched in the face? No. Though once I got hit by a whiffle ball bat, and a few times I’ve had black eyes due to my own clumsiness (ran into a door frame) or stupid accidents.
19. Do you own any stuffed animals? You know what? I don’t think I do. Oh yeah. Wait. I do. A stuffed rat I got at Ikea. I like him. He’s squishy and has cute little whiskers and a rat tail.
20. Do you have a major crush on someone? I hereby refer you back to number 9. The one about the secrets?
21. Do you miss someone right now? Yes. Every day. Constantly.
22. What are you listening to right now? The blessed hum of the air conditioner at work.
It’s a hot damn summer.
23. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? Yes. Madeleine Kahn, Elvis, John Ritter.
24. What color underwear/boxers are you wearing? I’m commando today. I do that sometimes, with jeans.
25. Where do you work? Somewhere where I won’t tell you, but it’s VERY important and VERY top secret. I’m REALLY important, you know. (and so totally full of shit it’s not even funny.)
26. What ended your last relationship? Can I even remember…um……let’s see it was my junior year of college and summer was approaching and I was going to Oxford to study…oh, that’s it. Summer break. Summer ended it. Then I met Rich while at Oxford.
27. What food do you crave right now? Right now, I’m thinking…at Pappasito’s in Houston they have these AWESOME chips and salsa. I’d rather like a few metric tons of those, please. With a Mexican martini and a queso fundido.
28. What was the last TV show you watched? Project Runway. I downloaded Episode Three last night. Keith is an arrogant asshole, is he not? Angela should have been voted off, not Katherine
29. What is the last thing you ate? A soft cinnamon breakfast bun. And a coffee with chocolate.
30. Are you on any medication? Nope.
31. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The side by the window. And most of the middle.
32. What color shirt are you wearing? Black tank top with these intense silver rhinestones/sequins all over it. It’s sort of Dolly Parton meets the Hell’s Angels.
.33. What is your favorite frozen treat? Cookies and cream ice cream.
34. How many tattoos/piercing do you have? Two tattoos, two piercings. (ears.)
35. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Been there done that. I now imagine what if I didn’t!
36. Have you ever done something to instigate trouble? I AM trouble.
37. Do you like your nose? Yes. It’s not small, not big, but I have these big flarey snooty nostrils, so my brother tells me. And he’s right. I compared my nostrils to other people’s, and they are big. Like, Judd Nelson in “Breakfast Club” big. I like them.
38. What color is your bedroom? White. Not my choice. I like warm caffe au lait tones for bedrooms.
39. Where do you live? Norway via Texas.
40. Are you an aggressive driver? Yes and no. I am fast but defensively in control. I love driving.
41. What color is your car? I don’t have a car at present. Yeah, it freaks me out too.
42. What do you smell like right now? Coffee, cinnamon, shampoo, Lancome Savon Fraichelle shower gel.
43. What is your favorite color? Right now it’s a toss up…red or shades of green in the chartreuse/celadon ranges.
44. What character from a movie/TV most reminds you of yourself? I really liked Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun. That’s exactly how I would be in that situation, plus I loved her interactions with her best friend. I liked that sense of family and loyalty they had.
45. Do you enjoy giving hugs? If they are not forced.
46. Do you own a digital camera? Yes.
47. What books, if any, have made you cry? Grapes of Wrath, Farewell to Arms.
48. Are you a jealous person? Yes. More so lately.
49. 69? Um…. 70. 71…..
50. What shoes are you wearing right now? My cowboy boots.
51. What is your major weakness? Pretty skirts and dresses. The lure of a nap.
52. Do you suffer motion sickness? Well….I have had seasickness once and have learned the hard way, don’t read a book when riding in the back seat of a car. So, yes, mildly?
53. What's the best pizza? Any one in Italy. For me, anything with loads of mushrooms.
54. Longest relationship? Besides family, I’ve known my friend Julia for 31 years now, since we were five.
55. Are you afraid of thunderstorms? Nope. Just wary. We had an AWESOME one here in Norway the other night. I have never seen one like it here. It was a true Texas thunder-boomer. Gorgeous. Lightning like I Have never seen. It was a real “super cell” as Rich called it.
56. What do you want to be when you grow up? Unfortunately I think I am there. And I still have no idea. I am so hosed.
57. Have you ever given or been given an engagement ring? Nope! I picked it out in a store. Rich has given me nice rings since.
58. What was the last gift someone gave you? My mom sent me an awesome care package. As did Bookhart.
59. Who would you call first if you won the lottery? Probably my mom.
60. Can you cook? Hell yeah. I think I can cook anything, now.
61. What is your favorite jelly/jam? I don’t really like jelly. If I have to, I’ll say raspberry.
62. Can you swim? Yes, I especially am a good underwater swimmer. I always think I am a dolphin.
63. What is your first memory? I always hate this question. I don’t know. Something warm and fuzzy and safe, ok?
64. What item would you like to have buried with you? I’m getting cremated. I don’t really care enough about stuff to take it with me.
65. What are three things you're dying to have right now that would make everything just about perfect? Enough money so that I could go home and have some room to breathe, to lose that little bit of tummy weight I just can’t seem to shake, and do something about the horrible state of things in the US and the world, politics and attitude-wise.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
What Your Soul Really Looks Like
You are a wanderer. You constantly long for a new adventure, challenge, or eve a completely different life.
You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.
You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.
Your near future is still unknown, and a little scary. You'll get through wild times - and you'll textually enjoy it.
For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.
After Jaye's experience with puppies running in to her house, I, just today, got attacked by a little English Springer Spaniel puppy. In my office at work!
There I was, doing my work thing, and the cute little guy ran into the doorway of my office and let out a little puppy growl. I turned and looked at him, and he made a beeline for me, waggling his tail and making little puppy snarly barky noises and being all cute wiggly puppy like. He got his little teeth stuck in the lace at the hem of my skirt, he breathed puppy breath all over my face, he chewed my earring (of course I had to get down on the floor and roll around with him), he bit my nose, and he made little "oof oof" fat puppy belly noises when I picked him up. I rubbed his belly and he cycled his feet like dogs do when you give them a good belly rub.
I'm totally in love.
My heart melted. I am a dog person, always will be, and a puppy just totally and completely stops me, whatever I am doing, for some belly rubbin' luvin'. There's no resisting it.
Turns out the little cutie belongs to a guy down the hall, he's puppy sitting. Cool office if you can bring in your dog!
The only thing better than puppies running into your house is one running into your office! I'm totally cheered up. Jaye's right, it's the best therapy in the world. It should be office policy to bring in puppies once a week for a good romp and roll in puppy land.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Right now I am trying to figure out my trip to the US in fall. This trip will have to encompass: a visit to mother in law on the East Coast, a visit to parents in the middle of the country, a visit to Austin AND a trip to Houston for my 20 (gah!!!) year high school reunion. I would like the visit to my parents to encompass Thanksgiving. The reunion (gah!!!) is set for a date not too far before that. AND we have to factor in an unused flight from Oslo to Houston that I got through frequent flyer miles that I didn't use due to some wierd scheduling last time I was in Texas. I'm wondering if I can factor that in to the equation somewhere to save me some cash. And I somehow want to have enough time in each place to not feel too rushed. Yeah, don't think that will happen.
I swear, I feel like I am doing one of those horrendous algebra equations: If x = y and you want to be in Houston on z, then how will you get to Austin for ab to the power of 2? If the train is going x miles and hits a tree, and the tree lands y number of feet away after impact, how tall is the tree?
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Seriously, y’all, iTunes lately is my sole lifeline to American Pop culture. What the hell would I do without it?
Between the podcasts I listen to everyday and being able to download a few shows of GREAT import to myself, I really consider it to be crucial to my existence. Where else would I get my NPR and my BBC and my Slate?
I am so damned grateful that Project Runway, season three, is downloadable on iTunes (for a mere buck ninety nine an episode!) and that the inimitable Tim Gunn is also doing his podcast, as he did last season. Woo fucking hoo! Tim’s podcast tends to come out the day after the show is broadcast, with the show itself being downloadable starting around Saturday following that. I wait EAGERLY for both.
So, tell me…WHO totally changed their mind on Malan after that last episode? I was as annoyed by his weird accent as you, though I also recognized him as a CLASSIC expat baby. I’ve met quite a few people like him, now. People who have grown up all over the world and so really can’t say they are “from” anywhere. (I knew instantly he was an expat kid when he said he was "Born in Taiwan" and not "From Taiwan".) My husband is one of them. These people spend the majority of their childhoods bouncing from country to country. It makes for a great world view, but can do a number on your relatability with people, always having to reinvent yourself every time you land somewhere. Anyhow, I felt for Malan from the beginning in that regard, but his accent still bugged me and I do think he is making himself seem more haute couture and interesting than he really is. Name dropping never works, and that mysterioso thing? Gimme a break. But even with that, I liked his politeness and his relative respect for his co-designers. I think he is talented. I also think he had a pretty harsh upbringing and maybe he HAD to re-invent himself as this fabulous creature just to survive. If you haven’t seen the episode, I won’t ruin it, but in the end I found him quite interesting. And a little sad.
I love Laura, as well. She’s so cool, both in style and temperamentally. She actually reminds me a bit of my mom. Mom never lets her standards down, never wore sweats, never fell into the ‘Mommy lets herself go’ trap. So I can totally relate to Laura, having grown up with a mom very similar to her. I would like to see a bit less of her sternum, however.
The other characters, the jury is still out, though I found too much arrogance in some of the designers. Vincent and Angela were just plain appalling together. Vincent needs to let go some control, and Angela needs to stop being so sly. And who loves Kayne? I do! So Oklahoma, it’s wonderful. Total pageant geek. I saw his dress on Miss Universe last night. It looked good.
Only two days until Tim’s next podcast, and then comes the weekend and I can get my next episode! Woo!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Today we have thunderstorms rumbling around, and it's humid and there is NO breeze and it totally reminds me of Texas. I'd drinking a drink with crushed ice, cranberry juice, some grenadine and Grey Goose Orange vodka (thanks Kate!) and it's cool and refreshing as hell.
I've been wearing nothing but skirts and tank tops and sandals. I am loving it. I figure, hopefully we have another month of this gloriousness........
Sunday, July 23, 2006
You know, the usual.
The building we live in is quite new, and it seems to be going through some growing pains. We've had a couple of fire alarms (and one small electrical fire in another part of the building), along with some plumbing, electrical, cable and other small issues. None of the fire alarms amounted to anything, of course. The alarm system is so sophisticated no one knows how to work it, how it gets tripped, or, most unfortunately, how to stop it.
So you will excuse me if I say that today's fire alarm was kind of an "eh" occasion. Rich was in the shower. It was 5:30 and we had plans to see a movie at 6. We heard a strange noise, like someone was making a speech out in the plaza....but boy was it repetitive. While he rub-a-dub-dubbed, I searched out the source of the noise, and discovered it was coming from the stairwell, the fire alarm being a deep man's voice that basically repeated (in Norwegian) "Hey. Fire alarm. Get the fuck out. Don't use the elevator".
I came back into the flat and looked over the balcony and saw all our neighbors downstairs, in the plaza. Hmm...Rich in shower, soaking wet.....and all our neighbors downstairs looking up at me like "Hey dumbass? You should be down here?" I told Rich that maybe we should go downstairs, as it seemed everyone else was there as well. Block party?
I put on a nice black dress and some shoes (I did think about that and wore ones that were cute for movie night but also sensible, in case I would end up wearing them for, like, a week or something). I then wandered lazily about the house grabbing things I thought were important. These turned out to be: the tickets to the movie at 6pm, my iPod, my jewelry box, my passport, my Mulberry purse and my birth certificate. Rich collected his passport and our marriage certificate. Well, grabbed is maybe a bit optimistic, more like, arranged them nicely in his backpack after first drying off and putting on his clothes. It was really interesting how unconcerned we were, and really how little we thought about our stuff.
We leisurely exited the building after the alarm had been going for about 15 minutes. Of course there was no smoke smell or anything or we might have moved substantially faster. We joined all our neighbors downstairs, all of us in various states of half dress, angst or, like us, complete unconcern.
The firemen showed up as we got downstairs and made a beeline for the bakery that has its home downstairs, succeeding in setting off the burglar alarm, adding to the din. We met some friends outside, greeted them, and saw they had tickets to the movie as well. We chatted a bit, the firemen got the alarm off, and we went back upstairs to deposit jewelry and documents.
We got to the movie by 5:50, plenty of time for popcorn beforehand. Our friends were sitting two rows behind us.
We saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I give it a 5.5.
Friday, July 21, 2006
My friend Dan sent me a link to his Flickr page. He likes to take photos and tweak them to make a statement. He's become quite the Photoshop master. And to think we used to waste all those brain cells in college getting drunk.
Here is one of his tweaks. He sent it to me last night and I am totally laughing my (ahem) ass off looking at it.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I get impatient and walk ahead, and then he complains that my butt is always getting into his picture. SO........I gave him some REAL butt to contemplate.
I know, I KNOW. I am SUCH the elegant jet setter, no?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
But tonight I am boring and have a headache, so...picture time! This series is from Italy...Milan and Bergamo. FYI, my future travels are not all planned, but will include Berlin, a quick trip to my favorite London, Istanbul and to the US in fall. But for now, back to Italy.
Close up of skulls in an ossuary chapel in Milan. It smelled like dust, candles and, well, desiccated bones in there. I'll never forget the smell. Not bad, not good just....dry. Wierd that I now know what bones smell like. And scary that it was familiar somehow.
There were four corners like this, all made of bones, plus the altar. It went up all the way to the top of the 20 foot walls.
In the canal district of Milan. It used to be kind of like Venice, canals instead of roads, but most of them were paved over. This was one area where the canals remained. I liked the way the people looked in their windows.
Ah, the Duomo in Milan. People are allowed (for a fee) to go up on the roof. Amazing, it was like being on top of a wedding cake.
A cat in Bergamo. It's in a 10th century church yard. It was thundering and raining like mad when I took the picture.
Food window in Bergamo. God the food was amazing. And shops like this were EVERYWHERE. I brought back bags and bags of dried porcini mushrooms. Also I got pasta, polenta, Italian sausages (I just CAN'T get them here and I've missed them something awful), and cheese. I've been an Italian cooking fiend. The dried mushrooms are so flavorful. My Dad told me that when my grandmother went to Italy, she made a big deal of bringing back the same kind of mushrooms, too.....funny how simple things like that are genetic! I wish she was still alive, I'd love to talk to her about all this travel I've been doing and compare notes.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
She and Dad headed down to Houston to visit my brother to check out his new house and for his house warming party. They also got to meet his new girlfriend for the first time.
Mom was having a nice time at the party, chatting with my brother's friends, many of whom she has known since they were kids. (She (and Dad) are the kind of parents that our friends will actually go visit on their own, without us. They are pretty cool, usually.) So, anyhow, she's chatting in the kitchen with some of Kit's pals. She looks through the door into the living room and sees my brother and his girlfriend engaged in a rather long kiss. Mom excuses herself from the conversation, sneaks up on the young lovers and sticks her face right into theirs, yelling "SUCKY FACE! SUCKY FACE!" in her Marlene Dietrich meets Heidi Klum German acent.
This is a true story. Told to me on Saturday in laughing tones, by a woman who once pinned me down on the ground using her freakishly strong German arms and dropped spit trails over my face, only to suck the spit back up at the last second. I screamed and screamed and fought..... but she is STRONG and I only succeeded in dislodging the spit wad. Into my face. By then she was laughing so hard she ran out of spit (and the control thereof).
I was 26 at the time.
It all explains SO much, doesn't it?
Monday, July 17, 2006
Personal Message from Lloyd Doggett:
On Friday, those Republicans that now control our State have filed a congressional redistricting map that alters my district for the third time in five years. The map would pair me against San Antonio Republican Rep. Lamar Smith in a Republican-leaning district. Also, about half of Travis County is moved into the Republican-leaning district of San Antonio Rep. Henry Bonilla.
What Tom DeLay vowed to do -- redistrict me out of Congress, this sorry map is drawn to achieve. Recall it was DeLay's aide who wrote in a key strategic memo: "We must stress that a map that returns . . . [Lloyd] Doggett is unacceptable and not worth all the time invested in this project."
What some extremist Republicans cannot achieve at the ballot box, they scheme to achieve through re-re-redistricting. Enough is enough.
In short, I need your help right now. I need to prepare now for a difficult race. Please let me know by responding to this email (address is firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help in the following ways:
___ Yes, I can volunteer my time
___ Yes, I would like a yard sign
___ Yes, I can send a contribution
You can mail your checks to "Lloyd Doggett for Congress" to:
Doggett for Congress
PO BOX 5843
Austin, Texas 78763
Or you could simply donate on-live by visiting my website: www.votedoggett.com/english/Donate.asp
Please help me meet this latest challenge.
The federal court that will choose the new map is the same one that previously approved the DeLay gerrymander. If it adopts any new map changing my district, it will cancel my primary victory earlier this year, and force me into a special "open primary" election in November, with a runoff, if needed, in December. Or it may force me into a new, earlier primary – even before November. While much is uncertain, what is certain is that I need your help today.
Too many of my House Democratic colleagues have already been eliminated by Tom DeLay's congressional map that cut and sliced communities across Texas .
Please help me continue to be our voice in Washington against extremists who are running an arrogant, unaccountable, one-party government.
I would also appreciate it if you would forward this request to others who share our vision of America .
Very Truly Yours,
P.S. To help me update my mailing list, please provide me with your address, the best number(s) to reach you, and the email address you prefer I use.
Corporate checks cannot be accepted. Contributions to Doggett for Congress are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Federal law requires that we collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
- What is your salad dressing of choice? Ranch? Honey Mustard? I dunno.
- What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Chipotle. Fast fresh Mexican food place in
. I hear it's owned in part by McDonald's, but I don't care. It's fresh, good and fairly healthy. Austin
- What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
: Chuy's. Austin : Mr. Choy's. London : Albergo Sole. This amazing Italian homestyle place in the old city. We ate there three times in three days. Bergamo : Right now, Hard Rock. Oslo
- On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? Not to sound all travel-snobby, but it depends on the country. If you leave too much tip in some countries, they kind of look at you funny. 20% US, then go from there depending on where I am.
- What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Mushrooms. Fried chicken. Milk. Popcorn. This pasta I had in
with mushrooms and tomatoes. Vietnamese bun (vermicelli noodles with salad and fish sauce). Italy
- Name three foods you detest above all others. red/green/yellow peppers. Brussel sprouts. Herring.
- What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant? Crispy duck or Won ton soup.
- What are your pizza toppings of choice? I just had one in
with shrimp, porcini mushrooms, and rocket. I actually figured out exactly how to replicate it at home and I can now say I make a mean authentic Italian pizza. Bergamo
- What do you like to put on your toast? Butter. Then I let the butter soak in and spread it with more butter. (Dave said that so perfectly, I must leave it in). Then I add chocolate sprinkles, a trick I learned from the Dutch. They actually have these little boxes of chocolate sprinkles that you put on your toast! They melt into the butter and it's Oh So Good. The Dutch ROCK when it comes to fun food innovation.....
- What is your favorite type of gum? Remember Fruit Stripes? Those or those packets of tiny Chiclets... I eat the whole packet by bit and have little crunchy yummy bits for half an our.
- Number of contacts in your cell phone? I'm too lazy to count. So let's say....30?
- Number of contacts in your email address book? See above....but it's over 100 this time.
- What is your wallpaper on your computer? These cute baby tigers from a zoo in
. One of them is yawning and it's just so perfect traditional Chinese tiger..... China
- What is your screensaver on your computer? Random photos from my travels.
- Are there naked pictures saved on your computer? No. I don’t see the point.
- How many land line phones do you have in your house? One. Could do without it, though and just have internet.
- How many televisions are in your house? Two, though one is NTSC so we can't use it to watch Norwegian TV. . So I just use it to watch US videos and DVD's.
- What kitchen appliance do you use the least? I use them all fairly frequently. But lately, maybe the microwave?
- What is the format of the radio station you listen to the most? If I listen, which is rare, it’s talk. The BBC. I mostly iPod and podcast listen now.
- How many sex toys do you own that require batteries? Mine are gas powered and have a pull cord to start like a chainsaw. I find I need that extra “oomph”.
- What do you consider to be your best physical attribute? I’d say my eyes, but everybody’s too busy looking at my tits to see them.
- Are you right handed or left handed? Right.
- Do you like your smile? Not really. It doesn’t turn up at the edges enough. I always look Mona Lisa.
- Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Tonsils. Appendix. Possibly parts of my brain when that UFO pulled me up.
- Would you like to? Gee, I think I need what’s left.
- Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom? Whatever’s handy, or my book du jour.
- Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? I’m fairly super hero with smell, touch and taste. Makes up for my myopia. I’m blinder than shit.
- When was the last time you had a cavity? Well, that cavity search at the airport…oh, you mean dental. Um, 2002? Root canal.
- What is the heaviest item you lift regularly? My conscience. My ass off the sofa.
- Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Fell off a horse onto my head once. Basically unconscious. Hurt like hell. Also fainted twice when my brother was in the hospital.
- If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? Nope. Hell no. I get stressed enough knowing that the first day of fall is coming. I hate the feeling of time passing knowing that something is coming to an end. HATE IT.
- If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? Virginia or Elizabeth.
- How do you express your artistic side? Every thing I do, whether it’s cooking, writing, making stuff, the way I dress. I don’t really even think about expressing it, it’s just there. Couldn’t escape it if I tried.
- What color do you think you look best in? Red or turquoise.
- How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison? I don’t know what they are like. I would think as long as I had enough books to hand and nobody knifed me or made me their bitch, I could be ok for a while.
- Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? The odd flying bug?
- If we weren’t bound by society’s conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at? No. Sorry.
- How often do you go to church? When I am sightseeing and I want to check out a cathedral. I’m a church-looker, not a church-goer.
- Have you ever saved someone’s life? Yes. I think. Or at least prevented a nasty accident a few times.
- Has someone ever saved yours? Numerous times, whether physically or mentally. .
For this last section, if you would do it for less or more money, indicate how much.
- Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? Yep. Especially here in
. Gimme the money, I’ll do it now. Norway
- Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? Sure. No worries. Why not?
- Would you have sex with a member of the same sex for $10,000? Well…maybe with Angelina Jolie.
- Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? Fuck no.
- Would you never blog again for $50,000? Yes. As long as I could still read other blogs, comment and email as usual. Maybe I could podcast instead?
- Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? Sure. But I don’t think anyone would want to look at it…and only if I could do it Playboy style, not Penthouse style. No splaying of naughty bits or anything like that. Not porny, just naked.
- Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I’d hurl and it would come out my nose and just hurt.
- Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? No. I have a real problem with violence or hurting other humans. It’s not the fear of punishment that keeps me from it, it would be the look in their eyes that would. I just couldn’t. I can’t even watch violent movies.
- Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000? No. Probably not. Try $25,000. I like my hair a lot. Plus waxing HURTS. And regrowth is a beeeeyotch.
- Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? I don’t know. What else would I have to do on these dark winter nights? Could I watch videos and dvd’s of favorite shows from the past? In that case, yes.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Drinks in my hell:
- Campari and soda. I really, REALLY tried to like it in Italy. I mean, it's bright red, which tells me it should be sweet and yummy. Ugh, no, it's bitter as hell and tastes like poison.
- Wimpy downstream beer.
- Caffeine free diet coke. What's the point?
- Iced coffee. Ewww....Coffee should be hot.
- Grapefruit juice.
Food in my hell:
- Red, green and yellow peppers.
- Things with exoskeletons that I have to de-shell or remove the heads of.
- Organ meats of any kind.
- Things with eyes.
Occupations in my hell:
- Working closely with copy machines or office equipment of any kind. (Unfortunately am doing some of that now and I think that my secret super power is breaking office machines by merely looking at them.)
- Being a Ryan Air or any airline check in person.
- Child care.
- Cleaner of cat cages.
- Peeler of shrimp/crawfish/lobsters, etc.
- Travel Agent.
- Provider of services to rich spoiled people.
- Any job involving the clean up of vomit.
Music mix in my hell:
- R&B/pop/love songs sung by women with multi-octave vocal ranges and no sense of minimalism.
- "Smooth" jazz.
- Music meant to calm me.
- Norwegian Country Music (yes it does exist.)
- Contemporary Christian music.
President in my hell: um...crap. (Just what Mags said.)
Authors in my hell: Most of the people lauded by Oprah Winfrey. Sorry, I heart Oprah, I really do, but I friggin' HATE her taste in literature.
Husbands in my hell:
- Rush Limbaugh.
- Dick Cheney.
- That guy who heads the FDA who says women's menstrual problems are all in their heads. Donald Trump.
- Tom DeLay.
- Born Again Christians who are out to save me.
- Any overly religious, pushy guy for that matter.
- Tom Cruise.
- Paris Hilton.
- Star Jones.
- Someone with 50 cats or dogs.
- Me. I'm noisy.
- Being online using a 28.8 dial up connection.
- Fixing copy machines.
- Watching "Eyes Wide Shut" over and over.
- Sitting on a very crowded plane on an international flight.
- Making doctor's appointments.
- Dealing with the US Embassy.
- Karaoke...with only me singing. That would be EVERYONE'S hell.
- Skinny jeans.
- Long baggy shirts.
- Hip belts.
- Tight shorts of any length.
- High pointy heels
- Bubble skirts.
- Empire waisted dresses.
- In fact, EVERY FUCKING THING THAT THEY ARE SAYING IS NOW COMING BACK INTO FASHION RIGHT NOW. It's all the direct opposite of what looks good on me. I AM IN FASHION HELL PEOPLE! It's the 80's all over again and the 80's were a VERY bad decade for curvy girls with boobs, butts and small waists. I'm very angry at the designers right now. (Ok rant over.)
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The first arrivals. Notice the scooter at the crosswalk...they were the very first to appear.
After five minutes. The smoke is from this SMART guy who would rev his motorcycle while holding the brakes so that the rear tire smoked on the pavement. His motorcycle is going to last a long time with that sort of treatment. He was totally redlining it.
Me about 15 minutes into the festivities. We were that close.
Looking down towards the train station....the crowds just kept coming.
People would set off fireworks right there in the crowd. Fun to watch, but must've been a bit scary for those close by. Or maybe not...they were all on a World Cup winner's high. I've never seen so many happy people in one place....
Directly beneath our window.
Looking up the street towards Bergamo Alta Citte. (Old city.)
Here's party central, in its usual state. Notice the Old City up on the hill? It's GORGEOUS.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Not only that, but our hotel was at the absolute epicenter of the after game festivities. Who knew? By day, normal intersection, by night, 35,000 of your best pals all hollering, screaming, setting off firecrackers, revving their motorcycle engines and waving Italian flags ranging in size from small to bigger than a house. We could not have picked a better location had we tried......right out the window, three floors down, all Bergamo partied like it was 1999......
We'd had a long day of walking and were tired and full from an excellent dinner. We went back to the hotel to chill and watch the game. We watched the game (interminable, sorry to say) and right as it finished...we heard a scooter came whizzing into the intersection, the two occupants screaming, honking and waving a flag. They were first on scene at what was to become Bergamo Party Central. We ran to the window to watch what was going on. Two minutes later, there were 50 people. Then 100. Then rapidly it became 1000, with some guy revving his motorcycle and doing smoky tire burning wheelies everywhere (I could have done without that.) Everyone was either waving or wearing an Italian flag. We were watching it all from our hotel window...it was like the best view of Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve and Fourth of July combined.
The crowd grew and grew and grew. It was massive. I estimate 35,000 people....up and down and all around the street (there were wide squares on both sides of the street as well.)
We had to be up at 7 the next day to catch our flight, and were dead tired from two days of intensive walking (and, ahem, wine drinking and pasta eating). But the party was infectious and we watched it for about two hours.
Mayhem doesn't even begin to describe it. Really. Fireworks shooting off in the middle of the crowd. Soccer balls being kicked around everywhere, usually landing on some unsuspecting person's head. The person would laugh and kick it on, to land on another person's head. People standing on fountains, statues, and cars. One enterprising (and very strong) young guy climbed a light pole and tied the flag to the top, then shimmied back down into the arms of his compadres. I later spied him on top of a traffic light. He was a climber extraordinaire.
The cops (I only saw a few) just stood aside and let it all happen. The crowd was so HAPPY, you could feel the vibe. No one did anything mean or destructive, at least, from what I could see. (I wonder if a crowd like this would be allowed to spontaneously occur in the US anymore?)
The partying went on until the wee hours of the night. I give the hotel major cred for the fact that, even though we were overlooking it all so closely, once the sound-deadening windows were closed, the noise level went down 80%. Meaning...it was still loud, but with ear plugs you could almost pretend that the whole population of Bergamo was NOT outside the window screaming, shouting, drinking and blowing air horns. I would have to recomend the Capello da Oro hotel in Bergamo highly.
Yes we took pictures, but I need to get them off Rich's camera....then I'll post them.
In other news....on the flight TO Italy, a guy got sick and had to be taken off the plane in an ambulance on arrival (scary, it really was worrisome, but there was a doctor on board and the crew were great) and the plane landed so rough that many of the people on the plane screamed. So it was one of the best (capable crew) and worst (learner pilot?) flights I've ever had. The flight sort of set the tone for our weekend...expect the unexpected.....
Thursday, July 06, 2006
It got up to 93 today!
I leave you with a picture:
Graffitti'ed alley in Milan.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
We got up to 92 today, at least we did at our flat. We even had a little heat-fired thunderstorm roll by!
I took two cold showers to cool off. And it took less than an hour for a shirt I had washed to dry when I put it outside.
Yep, it's hot. I love it. Reminds me of home.
I mean, I know I get the wierdest searches leading folks to my site, but wow...it's getting really fun now. In the past 100 visits alone, here are some of the wierder of the search terms leading people to Tales of a Texpatriate:
womanly under foot goo goo
karla wonder (well, duh! Of course that would lead to you my site!)
hanna small waist big tits
you touch my tra la la my ding ding dong
true glamour (I am sure they were disappointed when they got this from their search)
Loch ness monster (I get lots of these for my famous Loch Ness photos. I found Nessie, you see.)
And for some reason, I am getting ALOT of hits relating to Robbie Williams, specifically a photo of him that is not even posted on my site. I'm not sure what is going on. People image google Robbie Williams, and they find a pic of him in a kilt, that sends them to my site. Try it! You'll see! But that photo is not even on my site? What is up? Why is google sending them here?
It's bloody warm out. We have all the windows open to catch every delicious breeze. (And it's a bit annoying when the workmen who are working on the building SMOKE right outside the bedroom window, thus ruining the sweet smell of summer wafting in...do I close the window to keep the smell out of the bedroom, and swelter, or keep it open and have the house smell like a bar? I think they are smoking hand rolled cigarettes, too, which are even stinkier than normal ones.)
I love the hot weather, though, except when I am sleeping. Then, it's a bit hard, because not only is it LIGHT outside, but I am also a ball of sticky sweat, flopping around in bed like a dying gasping fish with NO AIR. Rich, lying next to me, is like having my own personal man heater which I can't turn off, so he adds to the general sweatiness of the atmosphere. ARg. Let's just say, the sheets are getting changed with great regularity this week.
I had my first full day back at work yesterday (I work for the same people, but they farm me to different companies as need arises). It's always hard going back to work, especially when the weather says "Go outside! Pretty sunlight! Go outside!". But the job seems like it will turn out to be fairly interesting. At first it looked pretty horrible, but they are shifting my duties (after I told them that what they wanted me to do was patently NOT an area I knew anything about nor had any skills in achieving!) into an area more suited to my talents, so that's a great sign for their corporate structure that they LISTEN to the folks who work there. So I'll be doing more writing and less paper pushing, woo! And I have an office! With a desk, chair and computer! And my own window.....
After work I met up with a Texan friend who might be moving here. (I'm sort of the Austin Ambassador to Norway. I take care of Texans.) I showed him the $30 roasting chickens and the $20 small bag of dog food (they have two big dogs, and crap, I had NO idea DOG food was so expensive). We ate at a cheap (!) and cheerful curry house, called Curry and Ketchup (no ketchup in sight, don't know why they named it that). He seems fairly certain they will come here, but I will say that I also have to give the hard talk about money and expenses. Before we moved here, people told me it was expensive, but I thought "How expensive can it be?", and then was flummoxed when I saw just how expensive it can be! However, it seems he and his wife would be well suited for living here. He likes to walk and she's an independent sort who likes her quality time at home, so they seem ideal for the Norwegian lifestyle.
He's on a flight back home right now. He's carrying some brunost, the sweet brown cheese made from goat's milk. I'll be interested to see how folks at home like it.....I kind of do, it reminds me of peanut butter. But then, if I want peanut butter, I just eat peanut butter.
I also had to remind him that yes it is warm out, right now, but this is NOT normal. In fact, it's kind of like those random ice storms we would have in Austin.....once a year, quick and done. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Me? I'm going out to lie on the hammock. Gotta get that hammock time in now, while the gettin's good.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I'm on antihistamines. It's really cool. Like, WHEEE! Look at me float! And it's also cool to have it with beer. Beer and Benadryl....that's AWESOME.
Ok so today I think I have finally figured out that for the first time in my life...I have allergies. If allergies are:
Eyes so itchy and runny that you want to pluck them out. The skin around your nostrils itching like nuts. An itch deep inside your ear that makes you twitch, but there is no way in hell you can scratch it unless you, like stick an ice pick into your BRAIN.
Oh my god I am in hell. I make it to within 3 years of 40 and I get allergies NOW? Crap.
Also, it's HOT outside! It's like, 85 or something. That doesn't seem so bad, BUT we are on the top floor of a brick apartment building with metal roof and all glass walls. No air conditioning. And the sun shines, like, 18 hours today. So, it's hot. And I am itchy. And hot. And I want to remove my eyes and douse them in water. Is that possible...?
Today I went to the July 4th festivities in Oslo. I don't know why I go when, honestly, I am sort of disappointed every year, though I am not sure why. I mean, there's burgers and hot dogs and we had burritos (sort of) this year. I had popcorn and a really good cinnamon roll and there were dogs and classic American cars. Maybe it's because I expect all the Americans I meet to just be a bit more fun or outgoing. It's not that they are not nice, but I feel sometimes it should be hugs all around and "Woo! American! Hi! How are YOU?!" I always think that as expats we should all be sort of joined together in expat-edness, but it's really all just people and the usual normal peopleness. I never really get that "Hail Fellow Well Met" feeling. There's no cool bonding or high-fiving or anything. Maybe I miss the fireworks. Maybe I want nachos and funnel cakes and Indian Bread and cheap beer. (Actually, that's getting closer.) Maybe my runny gummy eyes and red nose just scared people away......
I did meet up (briefly) with a friend of a friend who will probably be moving here. (Hi Tony and Susan!) Once I saw him again I totally recognized him. I'm going to meet up with him again tomorrow after his final job interview and my first real (again) day of work, to show him a grocery store and go on a walkabout Oslo. I'll show him both the scary stuff (food costs) and the good stuff (pretty scenery EVERYWHERE) ...must be balanced.
Is this post even at all interesting? I think not.
yeay Benadryl! hey! I'm sleeppyyyy.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Please note that I am not one of those people that actually remembers the names of songs....It's just track 3 on the cd or whatever. And I am SO not a cool music chick like all my pals. However, I'll do my best here. I tag....whoever is reading this right now...and I KNOW who's reading this so HA HA!
NAME UP TO THREE:
Song(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being
Emotions. Mariah Carey
Come on Eileen. Dexy's Midnight Runners
I Will Always Love You. Whitney Houston. (Oddly, I like Dolly Parton's version)
Musical Artist(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being
Rolling Stones Song(s) I Love
Paint It Black
Sympathy for the Devil
It's Only Rock and Roll
Beatles Song(s) I Love
I am the Walrus
Who Song(s) I Love
Who Are You
Babba O Reilly (aka Teenage Wasteland)
Reggae Song(s) I Love
If the Police count, I am going with Invisible Sun. I'm not a big reggae listener.
Country Song(s) I Love
Big Boned Gal. KD Lang
That's Right (You're Not From Texas. Lyle Lovett
Long Tall Texan. Lyle Lovett
Movie Soundtrack(s) I Love
Pretty In Pink (back off, it's nostalgic)
Musical Soundtrack(s) I Love
Singin' In the Rain
This Is Spinal Tap (to me, it's a musical.)
Cover Song(s) I Love
Hurt. Johnny Cash (cover of NIN)
(You're So) Physical. NIN (Cover of Adam Ant song)
Get Down Make Love. NIN (Cover of Queen song)
Contemporary Top-40 Artist(s) I Secretly Love
Madonna. Hey, she's in the top 40, ok? And I hate most top 40 music right now.
Song(s) That Bring Me to Tears
Scarborough Fair. Simon and Garfunkel
Madame Butterfly. Puccini
Fingers of Love. Crowded House
Song(s) That Make Me Shake My Ass
(This would be easier if it was three songs that didn't make my ass shake. My ass always shakes.)
Closer to God. NIN
Black Sweat. Prince
Classical Composer(s) I Love
Rap/Hip-Hop Song(s) I Love
No Sleep Til Brooklyn. Beastie Boys
Work It. Missy Elliot
Funky Cold Medina. Tone Loc (I'm old. Gimme a break.)
70s Disco Song(s) I Love
Funky Town. Lipps Inc.
Flash Light. Parliament
I Feel Love. Donna Summers
70s Supergroup Song(s) I Love
Kashmir. Led Zep
Immigrant Song. Led Zep
Owner of a Lonely Heart. Yes
Metal Song(s) I Love
Screaming for Vengeance. Judas Priest
Over the Mountain. Ozzy Osbourne
Electric Head Pt 2 (Sexational After Dark Mix). Rob Zombie
New Wave Song(s) I Love
The Ghost In You. Psychedelic Furs
Master and Servant. Depeche Mode
Relax. Frankie Goes to Hollywood (they WERE new wave, weren't they?)
Soul/R&B Song(s) I Love
I honestly can't think of one.
Power Ballad(s) I Love
The Beautiful Ones. Prince.
Mama I'm Comin' Home. Ozzy Osbourne.
It's Been a While. Staind (I'm with Bookhart on this, even though I didn't know the name of the song or the band until I looked HERS up.)
Pre Rock and Rock Era Songs I Love
Fever. Peggy Lee
Peter Gunn. Duane Eddy
Punk Song(s) I Love
Somebody Ripped My Stick. The Surf Punks
God Save the Queen. Sex Pistols.
Singer/Songwriter Song(s) I Love
Jubilation. Jennifer Ellen Cook. (she's a friend and it's the most amazing song.)
Her First Mistake. Lyle Lovett
MTV Video(s) I Love
I haven't watched a video in years, though I did like the one for Prince's "Black Sweat".
None of the Above Songs I Love
Camel Walk. SCOTS. (Makes me, literally, walk like a camel)
Neil Diamond. All of it.
One song by Kid Rock, "Cowboy"
Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby (SHUTUP!)
Songs to Have Sex To
Closer to God. NIN
Sinner. Neil Finn
Darling Nikki. Prince (Whether with someone OR alone, haha.)