Thursday, August 31, 2006
Jeffrey is an ASSHOLE.
I am rooting for either Laura (I like her cool Mom vibe, and how protective she is of Michael) or Michael. Michael is stealth, cool and has awesome taste.
RE: Back to work
My head is still there. Did I mention I had a great time? I swear, the pub is the absolute best thing Man (probably Woman, though, if you think about it) has ever invented. I adore pubs. Cozy, comfy, no pressure, no worries about seeing and being seen, you just go with whoever you want (or a book) and have a nice pint of summat. Pubs. They should be a legal requirement every mile. The world would be a better place with more pubs.
So I booked my trip to Istanbul to meet my parents there in October. Then, while in London I heard about these bombings that this Kurdish group is doing, specifically to scare tourists. AND I made the mistake of telling my mom about it. How the fuck am I uspposed to know the US news has mentioned NOTHING about it and so my mom didn't know anything and now she's all freaked out and wants to talk to the agent about cancelling their trip? Like, hello, there's bombings everywhere, if you cancelled your trip every time a bomb went off, you'd just stay home and never even go grocery shopping. So now I'm all, great, they are gonna cancel and i am stuck witha $500 non refundable ticket. THEY got travel cancellation insurance. I don't think Dad will let Mom wimp out, he's too excited about going back to his old stomping ground from his youth, but I am so annoyed at the American attitude that if you leave the US you are gonna DIE. (And MOM you are NOT American!) Americans have gotten frozen by the news that gets piped into them wherever they turn. The Brits? They just say "Eh. That's the world. It's not stopping me." And off they go. Livinng life. The chances of dying from a bomb are so much less than a car crash or a plane crash or probably even getting stuck by lightning.
More people die in London than Istanbul from bombs.....but people keep going there. And living there.
I mean, I wouldn't go to Iraq or anything, that would be risky and stupid, but Turkey is all about joining the EU and so I think they will start cracking down pretty hard on these Kurds. I mean, we are talking lifeblood of a nation here...no way are they gonna let a fringe group ruin their chances at EU membership and all those available tourist dollars (and pounds.)
I'm shutting up now. I didn't mean to talk turkey.....
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Anyhow, oh booga, I'm home. Back at work today. Hard getting back into the swing.
I really had a great time on this trip. I may be a bit unusual (and this is absolutley NOTHING against my husband or any of my traveling buddies) but every so often I just like to take a trip by myself. It's my way of testing my boundaries, seeing what I can do alone, what I am brave enough to try, what seems uncomfortable alone. I always meet the most interesting people when I travel solo. I'm not sure if it's because as a woman I am non-threatening and folks talk to me, if I leave myself just the slightest bit open to talking or what, but I always meet neat people when I travel solo. Also, and Rich and I talked about this, he's rather large, thus kind of fobidding and it's actually harder to meet the locals as a couple. When you are alone, folks tend to find you more approachable.
So far I have not found much that is not fun alone. OK, so dinner is a bit wierd, but you make sure have a book and find a place with a nice female waiter, and she usually gives you a bit of extra kindness. But I rather enjoy eating alone. Especially, in London, on Gerard Street in Chinatown, it meant I got all the crispy duck to myself and did not have to share. Teehee. (And Rich and Colleen: nyah nyah.)
Though, too, I was also a FREAK MAGNET, but this comes with the territory, I guess. I was actually wondering if they passed a secret law in London which makes it illegal to be alone as a woman, and all men must try and talk to you at every opportunity. It started on the train in from Heathrow and just kept going. Walking to the hotel. On the train. In a shop. I mean, really, at one point on Gerard Street I had to HIDE from a guy who would NOT leave me alone, even when I gave him my fool-proof "I'm German and don't speak English" routine. Bugger, that bastard spoke flawless German as well. And I don't. So I turned a corner and hid. After saying, in my best German, "I want to be alone", which was very Garbo of me, even if I am quite sure he saw straight through my German pretending. Bastard. Fook OFF already.
On Monday night I got seriously ballsy and went to the Intrepid Fox. (And by the way: FUCK! I just found an article dated Aug. 26th that it will be closing, so I guess I am doubly glad I went in.) If there is one pub that looks threatening to go into by yourself, that one would be it. It's a metalhead goth pub. I've always wanted to go. Always. And so I wore my little leather jacket (it has ruffles, but it's black with string ties that close it, so it passed for sort of pirate-goth) and made my way in for a Guinness. And promptly got hit on by two guys from India, speaking Hindi to each other but English to me, asking me if I was a rock star (hahaha!!! I mean, seriously, HA!). One was wearing dress pants and shirt, but had on a leather spiked wristband, so obviously he had changed his outfit for the evening to reflect his alternativeness. The other asked me for a light. I'm not smoking...no matches....uh, no? No light. Sorry dude. Might wanna work on your pick up lines to actually reflect real life. But, by then I was done with my beer, and so decided to call it an evening. I was just proud of myself that I went into the Intrepid Fox solo. Making me, an Intrepid Karla. So I left the pub happy. Was going to buy the t-shirt, but the back of it said "Rock N Fuckin' Roll" and I don't know about you but while I might curse alot? I don't WEAR curse words.
So, Lonely Planet? Pilot Guides? Any of the travel shows on the Travel Channel or Discovery? I am definitely your next TV travel presenter. I'll talk to anyone, go anywhere and do anything but eat bugs.......
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I am having a GREAT time. Sometimes taking a trip on your own is refreshing. No pressure, no one else to think about and you can just wander at will.
Which is what i have been doing. I've done some historic walks and today I treated myself to lunch at the Portrait Cafe on top of the Nat'l Portrait Gallery with the best views I think I've ever seen of London and amazing food. I wet to a pub with just me and a book and was invited by a bunch of big burly rugby boys from Yorkshire to join them for a drink (they were offended by my drinking and reading alone in a pub and took my book away) and now I am an honorary Texas Yorkshire girl, who can't quite say 'bugger' correctly but has learned say a mean 'fook off'. What a fun bunch of guys, like 8 big brothers. And I do mean big. Total sweethearts all of them, all on a bank holiday weekend away from their wives, who kept texting them, to their frustration. All that texting kept them away from their Guinnesses, you see. It's hard to text and drink.....
On the way home from the pub I got caught in a sudden rainstorm and played 'Singin' In the Rain'. Ok, so I was a bit tipsy.....
Yesterday I spent at my aunt and uncle's and they cooked me an Indian dinner (well, he did, it's his specialty) and me and my aunt went shopping to this great outlet place. Wonderful. Coming back from their place on the east side I was on the Tube about 9pm listening to my iPod and I swear I felt like I was at a convention of urban hipsters. Everyone else on the train were on their way into London to go clubbing. We ALL had on iPods and everyone was nodding their heads to their music. It was hilarious, and I really felt a part of the night time scene.... Not, of course, that I have any idea where the cool clubs are, but I sure felt like I was already IN one on that Tube ride. Everyone dressed to the nines, including one boy in the latest trends who looked EXACTLY like a gay friend of mine in high school, and dressed like him too. Skinny skinny jeans, pointy shoes, pearls, a vest over a striped long sleeve ts shirt, spiky mullet hair cut...it was totally 1984...I loved it.
Tomorrow i hope to see the inside of Kensington Palace. And do a bit of shopping.....though I don't really need anything.
I fooking love London.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Ok, so I am totally annoyed with Project Runway. This latest episode? A design for the "everyday woman". What the FUCK is an "everyday" woman? I guess an everyday woman is one that you see everyday, an average, nondescript, not size two woman? Of which more than 50% of us are? What does that make a model, then? A holiday woman?
The designers were MOANING about how they didn't know how to do the proportions for a bigger woman. Well, guess what? Most women are NOT models and maybe, just maybe, you should learn how to design for people outside your little narrow confines? Considering they will be the ones to buy your stuff if you ever make it as a designer? Grrr....
I mean, really. I'm not as big as many of the women on the show, but I am certainly not a size two, and I am incensed at their attitude. And I would like to SLAP Jeffrey for being so horrible to his "client" and am amazed he was not voted off for that cheap looking disaster he came up with. It looked like a janitor's outfit in dress form. UGH!
Roberts outfit wasn't all that and a bag of chips, but at least it was real world wearable, unlike Jeffrey's. Robert made his client happy. Jeffrey made his cry. Who deserves to get voted off, hmm? Who would have been FIRED had she been a real client? I also thought Vincent's dress was surprisingly nice, but let's face it, he's stuck in the 80's. Everything he has made has been 80's.
Grrr....everyday woman. That just annoys me. It's really kind of insulting and I am surprised Bravo didn't see that. They could have used a different term.....How about Modern Woman? Or just EVERY woman? I mean, who decides what an everyday woman is or not?
Well, this "everyday woman" is off to London. For me, right now, my plans include beer, every day, and fish and chips, every day and trips on the Tube, every day, and walks in Hyde Park, every day. And, a trip to Chatsworth, one day.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I had a couple of girlfriends over for dinner tonight and I am D. Runk.
Nice to meet you.
Can you believe they had never heard Nine Inch Nails' "Closer To God"? Like, one of my top 5 favorite songs of all time? Well, of course I had to play that song for them with an itnerpretive belly dance. So we all interpreted that song with bellies. Dancing. Me and Mary are in the belly dance class together, and Lesley was the audience.
Goth Industrial Belly Dance. I totally think we've started a trend. I can see it now, wearing all black and shimmying to Trent Reznor. hey, it works. Try it. Sort of raunchy, but it works.
hey! My headache is gone!
I have a feeling it will be back tomorrow. 3 girls + 4 bottles of wine = headache in the morning.
But right now I feel awful good. The girls left to go home, but I think my superpower ("Getting People DRunk Girl") prevails and Lesley was three sheets to the wind and on the way to Barfville. I feel a little bad about that, but my powers are strong.......there is no denying them.
Now i get to clean up the kitchen. Rob Zombie is good kitchen cleanign music. No, i have no idea what I am saying, either. I'm drunk, remember?
So, like, is typing really hard for you when you are drunk too? Dude, this is tough....
I will probably regret this tomorrow...in more ways than one.
Seriously, anyone wanna gimme some head? (hahaha, couldn't resist. But really, this headache is kicking my ASS...er, um, my head.)
What actually worries me a bit is last time I had a head like this (in 1997) I got the flu.....arg. And I am off to London on Friday. I don't want to waste my London time with the flu. I've got plans...plans that do not include the flu. Plans like going to Chatsworth and seeing about 6 chick movies and catching up with my aunt and uncle. And pubs. My plans definitely include pubs.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Creamy, cold, herby, fattening ranch dressing.
Ranch dressing into which you dip pizza, or fries or fried anything.
Ranch dressing. Which I adore.
Ranch dressing which you really should not start thinking about directly after your belly dancing class, as you listen to your iPod, on the way home from the gym. (Even though you are hungry and haven't eaten much today because the conversation over lunch ended up being...roaches, which killed your appetite completely and you could not eat your hard boiled egg and salad. Lunch conversations at work are always interesting.)
Ranch dressing, which is fairly hard to find here in Norway, but guess who has a small supply of ranch dressing mix?
Ranch dressing, which you make as soon as you get home and then you make a pizza because hell, pizza dipped in ranch is so damned good.
And you eat half the pizza and a big glob of dip.
Ranch dressing....creamy, cold herby goodness made with mayonnaise and milk. NOT a low fat food.
Damn Slate magazine podcasts all to hell. DAMN THEM. Don't they know how suggestible I am?
Monday, August 21, 2006
(Um, I mean, "Miss you honey".)
Right now on AMC (yes, for some reason we get AMC here) "Singin' In the Rain" is on. Is there any movie that is cheerier and funnier than "Singin' in the Rain"? I think not.
Well, maybe Auntie Mame. I am getting more and more Auntie Mame like as I get older. (And I mean Rosalind Russell's Auntie Mame, by the way.) Seriously, she was a really great character (and what a wardrobe!)and I think I could do alot worse than be like her.....now I just need to find my Patrick.
Tonight my friend Jennifer and I went out to dinner (she treated me for my birthday) and we met a guy who worked for the US Foreign Service. He tried to recruit me! (Me, he tried to recruit; Jennifer, he was hitting on.) He was all trying to get me to take the foreign service test and go for a job. He said they needed more 'smart people who know how to communicate'. I was like, Dude, I'd totally get keel hauled or something because I am WAY too outspoken, indiscreet and anti-gubmint. This was, of course, after my "Hi! You're American? Nice to meetya. I'm from Texas and I did not vote for GWB" speech. Yeah, I said that to a Foreign Service guy. Oops. And what was he saying about how they need diplomats? I'd be really good, wouldn't I? NOT.
We did tell him exactly what we thought about the Embassy here...hot HOT guards and very indifferent 'customer' service. So at least we got that point across. He seemed amenable to our opinions and even bought us drinks. So I'm thinking we did not piss him off that much. Cool guy though....been all over the world, twice.
Oh lordy, they will be watching me now, won't they?
Saturday, August 19, 2006
On a boat ride on the river Spree, I managed to catch a shot of this guy climbing on top of the Reichstag building dome. I don't know why he was up there. But it was cool to catch a glimpse of him doing it.
I spent a few lovely hours wandering about Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) and they have a floor of the building dedicated to food. I think it's better than Harrod's. I had a pause for a lovely Krusovice dark. Yes I know it's Czech beer but I adore dark Czech beers and drink them wherever I find them. People in the litte bar smiled and nodded at me while I took this picture. They obviously understood my eagerness to preserve this beautiful sight.
This is a shot of my riesling and Rich's pilsner at a fun bar in the Savigny Platz area. They had a fat cat that wandered around and an eclectic clientelle. Cool place.
More alcohol, this time in Potsdam. We had a lovely pfifferlinger laden lunch there, at a very traditional style Austrian-German restaurant. They ran out of dessert before I could have my sacher torte, though. Damn.
The sign says "wait here for further instructions". That tickled me.
Two pairs of Trippens and a pair of yellow slingbacks to balance the earthy shoes.
The purse I bought that I later found the shoes that matched exactly. Isn't that wierd? And it's a much more greeny yellow than it shows here, it's a wierd color. Not your average yellow. So, now I have my feet and my accessory needs covered for my high school reunion in November. I only need to find something to cover the rest of me...literally.
Last night I got off my mopey ass and went to the pub with a bunch of Rich's work buddies. These are all big, bluff, manly men who have been all around the world for many years for work and have seen it all. They've been everywhere and done everything. Tell ya what, there's nothing better for cheering up a mopey gal on her birthday than alot of beer and raunchy tales of the world told by a bunch of rough, tough, cussin' guys. They just good naturedly kept me beered up and treated me like one of the boys. Well, mostly like one of boys. One of the boys with cleavage, maybe. It was fun. Thanks guys. Really.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Leave work a bit early.
Come home, crash.
Husband calls you at 6 saying that he is at the pub with some work buddies. He'll be home in an hour.
You, now that you are awake, decide to open a bottle of wine. Discover bottle of German red wine that was purchased in Berlin.
Germans make DAMN fine red wines.
No, really. (sip) They are good. (sluurp) Damn fine red German wines. (glug)
Drink said bottle of German wine. Cook massive amount of pfifferlinger, following simple traditional German recipe. Now have iron clad excuse for having opened bottle of German red wine: you needed it for the pfifferlinger. (No matter that you only needed, like, an ounce. A recipe is a recipe, right? I needed the ingredient.)
Husband said he would be home at 7. 7 comes and goes. So screw him, he's late, did I mention this wine is damn fine (sip) and serve self pfifferlinger with a nice steak and spatzle.
Continue with wine. (gulp) Damn, DAMN fine German red wines. Why aren't these more famous?
Damn, damn fine German red wines. pms? cramps? who cares! (slurp)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
This month's PMS rage. mac lovers, boys, anyone afraid of explicit violence, or anyone with eyes will want to avoid this post
While I am anti-Mac-ing (Dave, just go to another blog if you are reading this) there is one thing that REALLY bugs me about the Mac. I'm sorry to say this, but it is not photo storage freindly. Now, don't get in a tizzy, Mac Fans, I am an equal opportunity lover and hater of both types of computer, but this one facet of the Mac constantly annoys me. Hear me out.
When looking at your photo storage on a PC, photos stored on the hardrive have a number of viewing options. You can look at file name, icon, a list, or a thumbnail of the photo itself. As I have many thousands of photos and no time to name them all, I have become heavily reliant on the thumbnail option on the PC when choosing pics to load on the blog. I can quickly scroll through all the ones I want at once, find the thumbnail I need, select and boom, picture uploaded.
Macs don't offer the thumbnail option when looking at photos in the hard drive storage. (NO I AM NOT using iPhoto. I hate it, it sucks, it does not store my stuff logically and I don't want software between me and my files. Plus you can't access really iPhoto from Blogger when choosing photos anyhow, and even if I could I would have no idea where to look with that STUPID chronological storage system they have.) So, in order to find the photo I want to post to the blog, I have to manually look at each photo in the folder I am in until I find the one I want. Then I have to either rename it, drag it to the desktop temporarily or remember which freaking file it was. I HATE that. Why can't they just have a built-in thumbnail view of files on the hardrive, like the PC does? You might have noticed that my posting of photos has drastically dropped and this is directly attributable to this annoying feature of the Mac.
Otherwise I am fairly happy with Whitey, here. Except for that stuff above. Let the Mac shitstorm begin.......
Boys will want to stop reading from this point on. Fair warning.
PMS. BIG TIME. STAY AWAY FROM ME if you are wise. I'll bite your head off with one chomp, chew it up skull and all, spit it out and then go after your neck as veiny tooth floss. I'll shoot you a dirty look so mean your eyes will explode out their sockets. One wrongly placed word to me and I will reach down your throat and tear out your butthole through your mouth. (Eew. I just grossed myself out on that one.)
In other words, I am one cranky assed beeyotch today.
Rich was sweet and made me dinner when I got home from work (late). But then, this could also be because, when I got home from work (late) and he asked me about dinner, I let off a stream of invective that could be heard in the next kommune. It basically went along the lines of "You want dinner? I'll make your fucking dinnner......blah blah BLAh blah blah blah BITCH blah blah grr arg bitch blah!" (I sorta had a hard day at work today (late) as well. And have not had time to shop. So, dinner? Don't even ask.)
And joy, Day Two will be on my frigging birthday. Think it's ok if I stay home with a book, a bottle of wine and xanax and just pass out on the bed surrounded by a small but lovely pile of biorthday cards and some tissues at the ready for when I cry my eyes out at the passing of time, youth, perky breasts, high metabolism and the fact that I now have scarily long grey eyebrow hairs?
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Let's see. BERLIN ROCKS. I could totally live in Berlin in a heartbeat. Just do yourself a favor and go. Between the nice (really friendly!) people, the awesome transportation, the amazing food (ich liebe Deutsches essen) and the shopping, it's as close to nirvana as it gets for this girl.
This trip can be characterized by three things for me: Beer. Shoes. Mushrooms.
1. Beer. Lots of it and all good.
2. Shoes. Some girls buy Manolos, I buy Trippens. I bought some sandals made out of elk leather. Have you ever felt elk leather? Like butta. And then I got this other pair of shoes as well. Seriously, if Brad Pitt or some other hottie walked up to me and offered me my every explicit sexual fantasty while I was shopping at Trippen, I would basically spend the whole proposition looking past him at the shoes and then say, "What? Did you say something?"
3. Pfifferling. It was Pfifferling Zeit. Everywhere we went, Pfifferlings* were on the menu. Sauteed, made into soup. Roasted. With cream. It was AWESOME. I loves me the Pfifferlings. Especially with a nice wienerschitzel and some pommes frites, and a large dunkelweisse. heaven.
We did some other stuff, of course. I mean, it wasn't ONLY shoes, beer and shrooms. I bought a kick ass purse as well.
Ok I'm being facetious. We also saw some palaces and did a boat tour and a bus tour and spent the day at Sanssoucci. Sanssouci takes more than a day to see, so we missed alot, and it was raining like crazy, but it was still an incredible day out. We ended up walking more than 10 miles a day.
I did ok speaking German. Whenever I try to speak Norwegian one of two things happens: The person I am trying to speak to looks pained at my attempts and so starts speaking English to me, or I forget the Norwegian and use a German word instead. In Germany this word transference was not a problem, obviously, and my German accent is actually good enough that people think I am more fluent in it than I am, which is good for my learning but bad when they get past me in speaking to me and I end up saying "huh?". But I learned alot and I think if I had a few months I could be well on the way to fluency.
Now I am back here in Norway and I keep trying to speak German and I am getting really confused.
Today I started my belly dancing class. Det ar pa Norske, men jeg forstar bra. I mean, honestly, how hard is it to understand "move your hips this way and your shoulders like this"? Even I can understand what a "rumpe" is. It's a very fun class, the folks are all nice, and we can just be women, no matter our background, shaking it and laughing at ourselves. I will tell you, it's a big benefit to have some junk in the trunk and some lady lumps up front, those skinny girls just didn't look right shaking it like us more meaty ones.......
I've got pictures of shoes, palaces and beer, give me a few days to get organized and caught up and I'll post.
Oh! I also meant to leave you with the link to this interesting article about traveling through Heathrow in the recent travel horrors. I still can't fathom not having a book on a plane....and then this article points out that even though you were stuck in Heathrow, a veritable mall, for like, HOURS, you still couldn't shop because they won't let you bring it on the plane? Ugh. That has got to be my version of purgatory....nothing to read, bookstores and shops everywhere and I can buy anything, but I just can't take it with me.
*Pfifferling = chanterelle mushrooms. I had to look it up.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
What about theft issues when you are forced to check your computer and electronic equipment? iPods are easy little things to steal! Anyway, below are the rules. I hope they don't last too long, as I am going to London end of this month.
Oh Damn. I just saw this...I am so hosed. And a good friend of mine is due to go to Yorkshire tomorrow early in the AM. I just called her to warn her to check what's going on....
Here is a briefing from BA regarding hand baggage.
British Airways, acting on instruction from the UK Government, wishes to advise passengers that no items of hand baggage can be carried on board any aircraft departing any UK airport.
The UK Government has advised that this instruction will apply to ALL AIRLINES operating from UK airports.
Passengers may only take through the airport security search point, the following items:
Travel documents essential for the journey (eg passports, tickets and visas)
Pocket sized wallets and pocked sized purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards and identity cards). HANDBAGS ARE NOT PERMITTED.
Prescribed medicines essential for the duration of the flight, except in liquid form unless verified as authentic.
Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases.
Contact lenses, without bottles of solution.
For those traveling with an infant: baby food, milk and sanitary items essential for the flight.
Keys (but no electrical key fobs).
EVERY OTHER ITEM must be carried in customer’s hold luggage.
For clarity, passengers are advised that no electrical or battery powered items including laptops, mobile phones, ipods, remote controls etc can be carried in the cabin and must be checked in as HOLD LUGGAGE.
Customers are advised to check-in as normal but to expect delays at all UK airports.
From Stev I've gotten "Faster than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs." (And let me tell you, I know how that cat feels.)
La Turista had something about a peg legged man and a woman with a glass eye...but maybe it's best if she tells that one.....
C'mon people, keep 'em coming. What other colorful sayings did you grow up with? I know my mom has some really great ones in German. I'll have to get her to tell me them.
Speaking of German.....I'll be posting sporadically for the next few days. I have some beer and schnitzel in the very near future......tschuss!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I'm a Talent!
You're a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You're determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You're not afraid of a fight, and you're not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you're already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you're not willing to settle for an ordinary life.
Talent: 59%Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.
I'm just not sure where the term "mandarin" comes from.
In other news: I didn't spill anything on me today.
In other other news: I also only had two breakfust buns and water. So there was really nothing to spill.
In other other other news: My dad sent me an email today wherein he said he was "busier than a one armed paper hanger in a windstorm".
Now...pause. Clear your brain. Envision a one armed wallpaper hanger trying to hang wallpaper, in a room through which a windstorm is blowing. C'mon, REALLY think about it.
I bet you are giggling. (Yes, I know, the poor paper hanger guy has made a very unfortunate career choice. Don't be too sensitive here, ok?)
I've been busting out in laughter all day at that image. Dad has some really colorful old Ozark sayings, and I grew up used to hearing his colorful aphorisms, but I think this is my favorite.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Today it’s my coffee. It’s one of the usual paper cups with lid affairs. Basic, simple, standard. Ever notice how some of those cup and lid things are just EVIL? Like the coffee finds ways of escaping, or maybe the lid finds ways of shooting the coffee out of the cup and onto your nice white linen shirt. It’s like it’s SPITTING at you. Today the coffee is escaping somewhere between the lip of the cup and the edge of the lid. And it won’t stop dribbling. I’ve finally got this sexy napkin wrap-around thing happening, with the napkin tucked under the lip of the lid, hoping to catch any escaping drink. It’s working fairly well, but it looks like a horrible garbage collection accident happened on my desk. All dirty napkins and wilted paper cup. Sigh. So much for being elegant.
The klutziness does not end with mere beverages, however. I think my balance is off, or maybe I just don’t look DOWN, but I keep running into things and I have got bruises on my legs that would impress a prize fighter. The other day I ran into our very substantial coffee table (it weighs around 300 lbs, it’s marble topped) and barked my shin so hard I saw stars. Rich asked if I was ok, and right then I just could not talk because no word would come out except something of the four letter variety. Now, I have a knot on my shin the size of a small egg. Why do I always bang my leg in that same spot? When I am dead and they dig me up 500 years from now (which would be a miracle because I will be cremated, but whatever, let’s go with it, shall we?) they will see my shin bone and wonder why it has a big dent in it. I also keep cutting corners too close and running into door frames. And banging my hands on things. Etc. Etc. Ow.
When I was a kid Mom always laughed at me when I had “clumsy days”: Those were days where I just could not control all limbs at once. I was like Bambi on ice…growing so fast I didn’t know what to do with all the feet and arms and legs. I was a walking bruise sometimes. I think I still have those days. But now I can’t blame them on growth spurts. I think I am just a klutz.
Shit. I just spilt more coffee. I will just wear brown or black or navy blue from now on. Then at least no one will see the stains or bruises.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Maybe something will pop into my brain later. In the meantime, there is a storm a-comin', so I might disconnect this baby so nothing bad happens.
zzzzzzz........work crews started jackhammering outside our flat at 7 fucking AM this morning. Seriously, is that legal?
Friday, August 04, 2006
So, I ended up walking along trails that dated from the 16th century, the 18th century and I also went briefly along a Viking trail. I passed a few VERY old farms that had their roots in Viking times. Since Norway is such a hilly and rocky country, most of the arable land has been that way for centuries, and it's mostly protected as such. If it all got built on, there would be no land left for farming. Something like only 10-15% of Norway is farmable. That's why so many farms are so very old. Once you find an old farm, you tend to also find other historical stuff. So, along this particular walk, there were burial mounds and old stone walls. There were also some old lime kilns, those are common in the area. Horses were grazing in the fields, fighting off the horrible hordes of late summer flies, and the goats came up to the fence to give me inquisitive looks and blat at me. The goats are kept behind an electric fence and I am sorely tempted to touch it just to see HOW electric it is. Every time I go by it, I have to restrain myself from being a dumbass. You know, that person who hits the big red button that says "Do Not Push This Button"? I am the button pusher.
Artists used to live around there, too, and there is a road that goes through what is known as the Artist's Valley. There is a museum there, a house museum and art gallery, dedicated to one particular artist who lived thereabouts. It is the most beautiful house. It's decorated in so many styles, from medieval to 50's kitsch. It's kind of my dream house: funky, artistic, beautiful and colorful, yet also tasteful and comfortable. The front door is a huge carved wooden affair, very grand, but it enters into a simple frame home that I found to be very lovable. I love that dichotomy of styles.
The garden of the artist's home is modeled on a French garden, and it is exquisite. Full of fruit trees and little fountains, places to sit and think, wispy willow trees wafting their shade to and fro and hidden pathways that you have to wander down, just to see how it ends.. At the end of the garden is a view of the fjord looking towards town. I am always blown away by how you can just be walking somewhere and then "pow" the view just opens up and you can see all the way to Sweden on a clear day. Today was just such a clear day. Hello Sweden!
After the walk I was in a really good mood so I went and lifted some weights. I saw a sign at the gym advertising for a belly dance class.....so I think I am going to sign up for it. I've always wanted to do that, I know Bookhart and I always meant to do it together, and this one is cheap and is only four lessons, so if I suck at it or hate it, well, at least I've tried. The class will be in Norwegian, which will be an additional challenge, but I think I understand enough to get through and seriously, it's a visual thing so I will just do whatever the teacher does. I'm a good mimic when it comes to dance. I think the schedule works with my upcoming travel and work.
Then I came home and am STILL waiting for Project Runway to upload the latest Episode of Season three. Come ON, people, throw me a frickin' BONE here, willya? I'm dying!
I need a beer. Badly.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
But lately? The stuff for fall is like a walk back in time to my high school days. And let me tell you, those were NOT good times for me. Going in to H&M yesterday reverted me right back to the gawky, mulleted, never-got-dates-because she was a foot taller than all the boys, insecure nut job I was in high school. The 80’s, for me, while I adore the music, was a fashion NIGHTMARE.
Let’s look at what we wore back then. Hmm. Leggings. Baggy shirts. Tight pencil skirts and narrow legged jeans. Things belted at the hips. Shift dresses that hung off the shoulders and went straight down. Bubble skirts. Flash dance cut up sweatshirts. Things that were tight on the ass and baggy at the waist. Focus was all on the lower body, with the upper body merely hinted at. All in primary colors, stripes or polka dots with big buttons and bowties at the neck. We all looked like Minnie fucking Mouse exploded all over us.
Now, that look is great for girls with long skinny legs. Or short tiny little girls. Or athletes. Or girls who tend to gain weight in the middle yet still have thin legs. Or girls with self confidence. (I mean, really, leggings? Those are not pants. Those are pantyhose you can’t see through, and there is NO shirt long enough to make me feel good in those.) But I, in high school, was this tall, 50’s pin up curvy (as I now recognize, but back then I just thought “fat”) girl with a 36-22-36 figure. I was STACKED. But I wasn’t secure enough to recognize what I had, and clothes back then were definitely NOT for girls with heroic proportions such as I had. No, the perfect girl for the 80’s was like the majority of my friends. 5’4” tall, and kind of boyish. Tiny. Cute. Not overly curvy. I felt like a whale in a school of sardines. Everything I ever tried on in high school was too big in the waist and too tight and too short everywhere else. It all seriously gave me post traumatic fashion syndrome. I would try so hard to fit in, but my body type would just NOT look good in proto-Pat Benatar, Go-Go’s MTV styles. About the only style I could do and look decent in was Madonna’s poofy full skirt and tight leotard look, but seriously, nobody cool actually dressed like Madonna back then.
Then came the 90’s and I found my fashion confidence. God Bless the 90’s. The Bill Clinton years. The years that Karla learned that having an Apple Butt was not such a bad thang after all.
So, these days, I go shopping at H&M, at my advanced age of 37, and it’s all back. All that 80's shit. Even the neckties for girls. Remember those? And all the old feeling comes flooding back: I’m fat. It won’t fit. I hate this. This looks like shit. Stripes WHERE? Why not just plaster the word “lard” all over my ass? No wonder, now, for the past 15 years, anytime I come across a skirt, dress or pair of pants that fits I MUST buy it. After so many years of nothing fitting in the 80’s, I’m making up for lost time. I’m saving up for the fashion drought, the time when things once again won’t fit.
And I am very, VERY afraid that time is nigh.
Well, fuck that. I’m older now. I don’t have to feel bad about me because some gay man in Paris decides that women should look like boys. Just because fashion is changing does NOT mean that my body will! I don’t need to fit what they say! I am who I am and that’s all that I am! I’m sticking with my Bohemian look; tight tops and full skirts, tailored skirts and vintage dresses, straightlegged (not tapered) jeans and fitted waist jackets. I’m still an Apple Bottom and I still look at J Lo and Beyonce as modern day heroines for girls with ass! You will NOT see me in bubble skirts, leggings, gauchos (GAUCHOS, for fucks sake!), “walking shorts”, shift dresses or anything that does not define my waist. NO empire tops. No polka dots. NO and I mean NO neckties.
I’m older. I’m wiser. I have more money. And I don’t need to settle. So, Fashion People? Screw You! I’m wearing what I want and guess what? I’m STILL gonna be fabulous!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Once I am on the train, and have my first sip of coffee (I always save it for once I get on the train and settled) I can let the image of dripping head wounds and thumping skulls dissipate. I love riding on the train, it totally makes me happy. Probably because I did not grow up with them, so for me it still has that great thrill of being foreign and European and kind of sophisticated. I always think of the old movies where the woman in the gorgeous suit and feathered hat swoops onto the train in a great woosh of steam and fog. (Though my entry into the train is nowhere near like that, I usually have wet hair and am just trying to balance coffee, purse, iPod and not trip over my skirt.) The trains here are awesome, incredibly quiet and smooth. You can’t hear them at all. And 80% of the time they are on time to the minute. I still can’t figure out how they do that.
The ride to work takes anywhere from 17 to 23 minutes, depending on the train you take and the stops it makes. It’s a nice time to listen to the iPod, go “nyah nyah” at all the folks stuck in traffic in their cars, and to just look out the windows and watch the ever changing view. The trip is just long enough that I see something new every day. An old house, a mill, an old farm. A rocky cliff or some kids jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. The variety of flowers that change weekly because summer here is so intense and concentrated. The way the trees change from day to day, they’ve already had their fresh spring sparkliness and are looking a little weathered, dusty and deep summery now, it’s been hot and quite dry.
Then the houses and hills clear, a view opens up and I have a glowing, reflective vision of the fjord and the hills beyond. At the entry to this bit of fjord is a very old sailing ship and an old settlement that has been taken over by a large home supplies warehouse. That same home supplies company has owned that piece of property for hundreds of years, starting out as timber shippers, then moving on to the modern day Home Depot style equivalent. It’s a great place to watch Norwegian history change and grow all in the space of a few hundred meters. The train, however, doesn’t know that I am contemplating the past and so does not slow for my convenience.
All too soon I am at my stop and toddle off to work. Then my thoughts are not my own anymore. I am paid to think about what they want me to think about. Luckily, we are copacetic on that and so the day progresses apace. At the end of the day, another train ride back home and my thoughts are once again my own.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Because I only go to ONE dentist and she's in Austin. I am a dental loyalist. My dentist ROCKS. Shes named Carla and the whole office is wymyns and she's totally cool and we talk about makeup and shoes. I heart her. I will go to her until I (or she) dies.
Oh and public announcement for my Austin homies: Start reserving the babysitters NOW and clearing your calendars for the week (and weekend!) before Thanksgiving! I've got a ticket home and a mad craving for good beer and Mexican food!
Yet another thing stolen from Dave. I may as well just copy his blog verbatim every day and be done with it.
Yet another meme, this one being Things You Don't Usually Tell Anyone About, like:
......a strange combination of food you like to snack on.
For snacking…hmm. Right now I have some Peanut M&M’s tossed into a small tin of Blue Diamond Smoked Almonds. The salty smokey goodness gets all over the chocolatey peanuty M&M’s and I eat an exact ratio of two almonds to one big M&M. I try to get the proportions exact, so that I have just enough M&M’s to almonds all the way to the end.
Damn, I need a freaking life, don’t I?
I also am a big proponent of the french fry dipped in the Frosty or chocolate milkshake. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.
As you can see, my snacking needs are an over the top addiction to the salty/sweet balance.
...something you do that other bloggers who read you might find odd if they saw you doing it.
My very bad habit of messing with my cuticles. It’s not very nice. I’m also one of those foot wigglers? My feet never stay still. My mother says that when my father or I die, she will have to shoot our feet to make them stop moving.
...when you were 7, what you wanted to be when you grew up - that you never told anyone about.
A queen…none of that princess bullshit, I wanted to go straight to queen.
...the thing you don't tell people at work about yourself.
That I know practically nothing about what I am doing and am just learning it as I go along. Luckily I am a VERY fast learner. And almost every job I have ever had has been like this...me learning on the job. It’s reassuring to know that I have brain cells left to fill. Also, that I am a super freak, super freak I’m super freaky..OW
....what you like to do when no one else is going to be home for a stretch of time.
Watch incredibly girly movies that invariably make me cry. The other day it was Pride and Prejudice. Hell, it’s ALWAYS Pride and Prejudice. Take naps. Hog the remote. Make messes. Dance around the house to loud techno/industrial. Paint my toenails. Eat foods that gross Rich out.
...the thing you believe - politically - that you don't admit to people who think you think like they do.
I’m more middle of the road than I sound. I think the death penalty has its place in certain situations. (I call myself Pro Death, because I am also rabidly pro choice) I think there is a difference between a hand out and a leg up. I think that taxation has its place but when it becomes burdensome or too complicated, there needs to be a change. (Hello, US of A? This means you.) I think estate taxes are repugnant. I think government should stay out of my life and away from my body. (oh wait, that sounds like the me you expect…)
...that one thing from your childhood, outside of your parents, that you try to maintain some kind of connection with, and how.
My Texanness and my German roots. I’m very proud of both. I also try to maintain a childish sense of fun, so if you catch me twirling around in a full skirt or skipping, it’s just the five year old me enjoying being a girl. Life is too short to worry about what people think of you. And I love cars. Grew up with them, like them, like listening to them rumble. I miss having a car.
...a song or group or singer you secretly like that everyone else groans about.
Um. Hmm. I’ve made a career out of loving music my friends groan about. Gary Numan. NIN. Adam Ant. Marilyn Manson. Neil Diamond. But I don’t really have a Britney adoration or anything, not much secret pop in my background. Well, there was that brief flirtation with Scritti Politti in the 80’s.
...do you close the bathroom door when you're the only one home?
Nope. I hardly remember to do it when I am not alone.