Saturday, June 30, 2007

by end of August......

create your own visited country map

I will have added a few more countries to the map.

Can you figure out which ones?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Raining everywhere

I keep hearing about the heavy heavy rains in Texas and I send y'all my thoughts. I hope everyone is safe!
We are having the same sort of thing here too, though not quite as heavy. But rain rain and more rain.....Good for ducks but that's about it. The ducks are damned happy though.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

can't even read it anymore.

It's gotten to the point where I just can't read anything having to do with the Bush White House anymore. It makes reading the news almost impossible. From Cheney and wiretapping to that prosecutor's firing deal, and the veto of stem cell research and then they rejected a taxpayer suit regarding the faith based initiatives, I despise everything our government represents.

So as I read it:

As taxpayers who support the government with our hard earned money, we have no actual rights to say where that money goes.
I won't even go into why the government funding faith based initiatives is just a bad idea.

The justice system is rigged to support whatever Bush wants. And the rest of the system (Congress, etc.,) can just suck it as far as the White House is concerned.

The government can listen in one our most private conversations at any time without our knowledge.

A research initiative that might save lives is rejected by a president who has killed hundreds of thousands in a senseless war, on the grounds that he is saving lives.

Fuck it, I need a drink. I'm just gonna go read about Paris Hilton some more. I hate her, but i hate her way less than Bush.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Farmers and the Smell

Oy vey.

The local farmers (we are surrounded, our little town, by very rich and productive farm land) have apparently all decided to fertilize their fields at one time. And the wind has been very effective in blowing the smell of cow shit DIRECTLY into our flat. The whole damned town smells like a cow. A farting, chewing, shitting cow.

And guess what we had last night for our anniversary dinner? If you guessed Big Ol' Steak, you are right.

There's all sorts of irony there somewhere, but right now I am just too busy covering my nose to suss it out.

And for you Brits out there, here is a very hilarious example of a difference in wording between the UK and the US. I introduce...The Fanny Facial! When I think of it in UK terms, I really am curious as to how one would go about doing such a treatment? I guess it's all about the lips.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Safety tips for your summer beach holiday

This made the rounds at work, and something about it just tickles my funny bone. Maybe because it's obviously written by someone for whom English is NOT a first language, and the quaintness of their writing makes it even funnier.
We are discussing including it in some QHSE manuals as a safety precaution for employees who might go to the tropics on holiday.
1: Don't swim in the ocean.
Ninety-nine percent of all shark attacks take place in exceptionally
large bodies of water also known as oceans.
The way to determine if you are currently in an ocean is to taste the water, which should be salty.

2: Listen out for the music.
In the event that you are foolish enough to swim in an ocean, listen carefully for the music, as demonstrated in the marvelous documentary film Jaws. All shark attacks are preceded by the "daah-da, daah-da"
chords, which will gradually become more rapid as the shark gets closer. This is due to the Doppler Effect.

3: Swim with fat people.
Try to surround yourself with more appetizing companions. If you know them well, you might even try to switch their suntan lotion with A-1 Steak Sauce. This will definitely improve your odds. (Karla's note: I'm a prime candidate for the A-1 spreading. My ass with steak sauce would be a treat no self respecting shark would want to miss out on.)

4: Don't go into the water without a knife.
This is not to defend yourself but to stab the person (a.k.a the fat A-1 slathered decoy) closest to you in the case of a shark attack. Once you are sure the "decoy" is bleeding profusely....swim for your freekin life.

5: Don't panic.
In the event that a shark actually bites you, try to remain calm. This really won't help you survive, but everyone else on the beach will appreciate you not shrieking madly, as this is quite unsettling.

Monday, June 25, 2007

1000 posts and random possession I adore

Wierd. That last post I made, about seein' my home bitches in Austin, was my 1000th post.

Three years, 1000 posts. Not quite one a day but close enough all told.

Ok so anyhow, tonight as I cooked dinner (lightly breaded pork chop with a white wine mushroom gravy, very Deutsch and very delish) I realized how freaking much I love my cast iron skillet.

My mom gave it to me when I went to college, and she had it from at least the time she came to the US, so it's probably at least 40 years old. It's perfectly seasoned, pitch black, practically non stick and totally awesome. It's heavy as hell. It clangs and bangs and it practically breaks my wrist every time I try to pick it up with one hand. There is NOTHING like cooking with an old cast iron skillet. And even better, once you are done cooking with it, you swab it out with hot water and some soap and it's clean.

Tomorrow is my 14th anniversary, and if the husband forgets, it's also a good tool for beating him upside the head. *CLANG!*

I love multi purpose kitchen ware.

Comin' home to see my bitches.....

I'm comin' home to see my bitches......*

Ticket's all booked and now I am planning all the corollary bits that attend that.

Such as a rental car (you can't go to Texas without a car).

And to give my friends Julia and Heather (not pictured) , who I normally stay with, and who have a very active 10 month old, a break, I booked a room at a hotel for the last three nights I am there. And I'll be DAMNED if Priceline doesn't work! I just threw out a larky bid for a room, never thought I'd get it at that price, and holy crap if I ain't set up but purty in a four star in downtown Austin for my last three nights. SWEET! For half the price I expected and over 100 bucks off per night!

You know what that means don't you?

MORE MONEY FOR BEER. And Mexican food. Which I shall eat and drink by the POOL of the FOUR STAR hotel.

Now I just have to buckle down and get some crap taken care of at work. It's gonna get insane by August, which is why I am breaking my usual rule of "no travel to the US in summer" to go home now. I was gonna go in September and tie it in with a trip to see my folks for various birthdays and anniversaries, but I just don't think I can take two 1/2 weeks off work right then. So instead I am breaking it up into two trips, one to Texas and one to the 'rents, and that way hopefully everyone is happy, especially the airlines who get LOTS MORE of my money than they would normally.

*Bitches in this picture are Jenny, Malcontent Mama, Karla May and the adorable Bookhart. Please note, it was like 10 am when I took this photo and we were all having an early morning beer (see Jenny's hand) to ward off the hair of that damned biting dog......

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Home! Home!

I booked myself a flight home to Austin mid July. Just for 9 days.

I need a dose of home, dammit. It's time. The homesickness was invading my dreams.

Short visit but oh I can't WAIT!

MEXICAN FOOD! In less than a month!!!!

(wiping up drool)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I missed my own third blogiversary!!!!!!!!

It's no secret to many people who know me that I am very bad with dates. It's pretty much a given that I will not remember a birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc. It's not that they aren't important to me, or indeed that the person involved is not important to me, I just sort of feel like the random unexpected remembrance or gift is always so much more fun than remembering to send that card on Valentine's day or whatever.

That and I really, REALLY suck at keeping a calendar. I never know the date, unless I am traveling on it. Time goes so fast and I have a real problem trying to turn the pages of that calendar (whether weekly or monthly) fast enough to keep up. Maybe I am avoiding the passage of time, trying to hide from my own inevitable aging, I don't know. But I do apologize for those I love and care for that they take the fall for my calendarphobia.

So I guess it's no surprise, then, that I forgot my OWN Third Blogiversary on June 17? Three years bitches! Three years!

Sigh.....three years. (shakes head, wonders where it all went.)

Biff Lindstrom to the Rescue!

Last night at the pub the "dagens rett" was a dish called "Biff Lindstrom". This dish was described as "like a hamburger without the bun, with gravy and rhubarb". I did not order it.

I did, however, vastly enjoy the name of the dish. Biff Lindstrom. BIFF LINDSTROM!

I get two very disparate images of a guy named Biff Lindstrom.

Guy #1: "Biff Lindstrom! He's our hero! Go team go! Gosh he's peachy keen, our American hero, I hope he takes me to the sock hop tonight! Have you ever seen anyone so DREAMY?" (girls in pony tails and poodle skirts screaming as he runs by to score the next touchdown for the college team)

Guy #2: (Cue music) Boom chicka chicka wah wah...."Biff Lindstrom, Swedish Porn Star, now appearing in his latest hit, "I Got Yer MeatBalls Right Here". Biff Lindstrom, women love him, men want to be him. Biff Lindstrom. See him at sticky theatres near you".

I have fun with my food, what can I say.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Letting my Geek Flag Fly

1) As I was getting dressed this morning I realized I could not zip my dress all the way up the back. I could get the zip up enough so the dress would not fall off me, but it was obvious that the zip was WAY open. Rich had already left for work and I really didn't have time to change clothes and I for real could not get that damned zipper up. I am just not that flexible.

What to do what to do? Ah, yes. Find a friend. Luckily I have made friends with the ladies in one of the shops downstairs from our flat. So, on the way to catch the train, I popped by the shop (it had opened not 1 minute earlier) and asked one of them, sheepishly, if she wouldn't mind zipping me up the back. I felt it was ok since I had bought the dress from them. (Not that the purchase of a dress includes permanent zipping services, but in emergencies one does what one must.) The gals there are pretty used to me, sometimes I just stop by to say 'hi', so she just busted out laughing and zipped me up.
Remind self to buy them some chocolates or something....because I am just NOT normal and they are nice enough to accept me anyhow!

2) I am letting my inner Geek out in a big way. The other day I bought Buffy Comics season 8, issues 1-3 and devoured them pretty much momentarily after the purchase. Cool graphics (though what the hell do I know about comics?), great writing (what else would one expect from the Almighty Joss?) and fun story. I still sort of hate Dawn, though. But I am sure she will get more interesting....and it is kind of cool that she can squash things with a good stomp now. I hope to get season 4 and maybe 5 (is it out?) Friday. We are a bit behind, here.

3) Inner Geek continues its 'Aliens' like birth as I read the Hyperion Omnibus, by Dan Simmons. A fellow Geek (one of the pub crowd, we share a love of Terry Pratchett and naughty stories with lots of cursing and use of the word 'bollocks') lent it to me, telling me that yes it was Sci Fi but also based on the poetry of Keats and has a good human interest. (I've always professed to hate Sci Fi but for all intents and purposes I had better review my thoughts on that, considering my love of Serenity, Douglas Adams and some other similar things.)
I confess I borrowed it only because he seemed so intent on lending it to me, but I'll be damned if it is not a quite riveting story. I thought I'd give it an hour or so, to see if it would draw me in, and three hours later I looked up not realizing how much time had passed. So, I guess I will continue with it! It's really good, thought it is also a VERY big book, two books in one, hence the 'omnibus' part of the title. I guess I won't be seen out in public much in the next few weeks as I muscle my way through the very large tome. Well, the hammock is comfortable and the weather is mild. Perfect conditions for a laze around with a good book whilst getting a tan.

4) Work is going to seriously and completely kick my ass starting in about a month. I have such a huge project staring at me that I get a bit anxious thinking about it. I need/want to do advance planning, and am doing what I can, but the nature of the project, the companies, regulations, and agents I am dealing with don't actually allow me to do much more than obsess. I just have to wait for the information I need before i can get going. One of the things I hate most in this world is procrastination by others that holds me back in a project. Because it usually ends up that their lateness makes me late, and as a timely person that just chaps my ass big time. I just don't see what is so hard with getting things done on time as necessary! Ja Wohl! My Kraut is showing.....

Tonight (ok so tomorrow, but it's just as long now) is MidSummer night. We gots 20 hours of sun today. That's alot of sun. I plan to be outside for at least some of it tonight. People set of fireworks and generally go insane, so sleep is not much of an option.

Imagine laying in your hammock outside and reading a book at midnight with no extra lighting but the sky.....I did that yesterday! tonight I just drank beer.....I needed sunglasses until 10 pm.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

and for the hell of it, random photos of boats in diffferent places

Boats on the beach in Thailand.

Boats outside the city walls in Essouira, Morocco.

Boat on the Mekong in Laos.

Boat on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. I like the face painted on it.

Boat on a canal in Copenhagen.

I think I'll post more themes over the next weeks. I have a few of them: Trees, laundry drying, boats, alleyways, colorful mayhem in markets, etc. Do you have themes in your photography that seem to pop up, even though you may not be consciously doing it?

A dress a day continues, but with pants as well

Monday: Black linen dress from H&M

Tuesday: Cool linen pants with matching bolero jacket from H&M. Pants are baggy and high waisted, cuffed and a little cropped. Jacket is a bracelet sleeved, vintage-looking affair. All in a slubby tweedy looky linen in black and yellowy-tan.

Wed: Black baggy linen trousers with suspenders from H&M. Worn with a white vest (or "waistcoat" to you Brits) and a white shirt with big puffy sleeves. Discovered, too late, that wearing a vest OVER your suspendered pants looks cute? But makes having to go pee a real BITCH as you pretty much have to undress and then start again from scratch. And I was short on time and apparently long on pee that day.
Wed Eve: Rich's birthday, silk chiffon dress from Noa Noa in a great shade of celadon green that somehow makes my eyes that same color. I really like that dress, got it way on sale and so bought its twin in an orangey peach shade. Hey, 80% off is 80% off!

Thursday: Back on the dress track. And loving the celadon green, so wore a green linen Noa Noa wrap dress over an old Thai silk CP Shades skirt in a slightly lighter shade of same green. Wore it with my mom's jade beads she gave me, that her mom gave to her.

Friday: Brown point de esprit dress from H&M with smocked peasant top and spaghetti straps. Empire style, which I normally don't like, but this one fits me well and so avoids that pregnant look. Needed a sweater (it's cooled off a bit) so wore with a cream colored granny crocheted shrug.

Today: There's a medieval festival in Oslo so might wear something long and floaty, mayhap that purple floral dress from the other week......

Beautiful day today. God summer in Norway is gorgeous.....

Friday, June 15, 2007


I think you all know what the extra "f" stands for.

This was a really long week. I worked EVERY DAY. Usually I just work 4 days a week (or try to) and for all of May there were holidays every week, so I haven't worked a full week in a long time. And it was a doozy of a week.

I was in a class at work for most of it, which meant getting there extra early (for me) and then being alert, smart, engaging and intelligent for HOURS at a time. Usually I try to give myself breaks in the smartness, you know, but this week it was ALL smart ALL the time. And then there was a TEST. I haven't taken a test that was graded in absolute YEARS. I was really nervous.

Ouch. Brain overload. But I passed and now you can go ahead and ask me about auditing procedures, ISO9001 and OHSAS 18001 and other assorted businessy crap that is surprisingly useful once you get past the lingo. The lingo is stultifying boring. Painfully, sleep inducingly boring. But once you associate that to what you do every day, it gets if not hugely interesting at least certainly understandable and logical.

Then it was Rich's birthday Wednesday and I planned a very small surprise gathering for him at a local restaurant. Just a few of his work buddies, but still even a small thing needs planning and then there was the issue of how do I clean the house for the apres dinner cake eating without him noticing I am cleaning the house? Because if he notices I am cleaning he will KNOW something's up, because I really don't clean unless someone will see it, you know? So there was that.

And I still had to somehow do my NORMAL work.

And other daily stuff.

(Oy, Looking down at the fountain below there is a young man in a t shirt and no pants who is maybe a bit old to be pantsless. Mommy, Daddy, that kid ain't 2, so I think he needs to wear more than he is wearing, especially as every time he bends over I am getting an eyeful of kiddy junk that I really would rather not see. Thanks.)

I also wanna send HUGE props Badger's way. Not only was she quoted in an article in the New York Times, but the article is in the Fashion and Style section, which sort of makes me green with envy as holy crap, it's the NYT FASHION AND STYLE SECTION! Which, like, EVERYONE reads! So there are all these FAMOUS people who now think that Badger is a Mom Guru, a Wise Person of the Blogging Set.

And to think I know her and have even ridden in her Bad Ass Minivan.

One small quibble to the NYT? Where Badger lives? Is not exactly West Texas. It's sort of (well it IS) central. But hey, nobody expects Yankees to know where everything is in Texas, just like all those small states in the east are, to us Texans, those Small States in the East.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Of ALL people....

I have decided that of all the famous people in the world who don't deserve to be famous, this woman bugs me the most.

I mean, look at her here.

And here.

And here.

Does that woman EVER smile?

What has she got to be so angsty about? I mean, holy crap, she is the biggest sour puss and acts like being famous is such a HARD job, yet all she does is pose and.....try to be famous. She just glours and stares and grimaces and pouts. Pose pose pose. HATE her! Go back to England and.....oh, wait. Never mind. You guys keep her in America, she's farther away from me there. Maybe I won't have to hear about her as much.

I truly can't stand her and every time I see her I get more annoyed with her.

Yes, I hate her more than Paris Hilton and Elizabeth Hasslebeck combined. I hate her THAT much.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


happy birthday

42 is not an age
it's the answer

now you just gotta find the question

**love kiss love**

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dress a Day

Well, so far so good on my Dress A Day for Summer plan. (Unless I decide to wear pants or a skirt, of course.) To recap last week's sartorial variety:

Mon: Gold/white floral silk jacquard skirt and top from Noa Noa (bought on sale, natch). The top is a short sleeved peplumed affair and the skirt a basic a-line. Comfy.

Tues: Purple/lilac "maxi dress" bought 4 years ago in London. Frock by Leona Edmiston, ever heard of her? Long, stretchy knit floral fabric, sort of peasant-y looking. Bought it for 90% off at Browns, this uber-posh joint off Bond street. It is a dress that needs a very specific body type, which I have, but which is probably why it was on sale. . Tall, curvy, not too fat or too skinny, though I only wear it on "skinny" days. This dress needs curves to fill it in but only has room for so much. I have to wear heels with it or it hits the floor. Platforms work quite nicely with it, thanks.

Wed: Wore my favorite skirt that I "stalked" last summer (you can see it left, there, when I wore it in Berlin at Charlottenburg palace) until it finally went on sale to where I could afford it. By Malene Birger, butterfly print, very long full skirt. Looks great with a tank and I have a cute scarf that I wear Euro-style with it.

Thurs: Turquoise linen halter dress I got three years ago at H&M. It fits so great, has a just below knee length pencil skirt fit on bottom. I always get compliments when I wear it and it cost me about $35. I also got one in brown. Need to fit that one into the schedule.

Fri: Double dress day! Dress 1) white with yellow embroidery edged in black, cotton, halter dress with circle skirt, knee length. Backless, so the the only bra I could find to wear with it was my bikini top. (Girls do that here in summer, wear swimming suit tops as bras, it's a very casual summer environment, especially during a heat wave.) The fabric kind of reminds me of a very cute and sunny sofa. Trust me, cuter than it sounds.
Dress 2)(I sweat thru number 1, it was like 93 that day) Ancient barn-red Ann Taylor halter dress that ties in the back with a complicated string arrangement. I used to forgo the bra with that one, but that bikini thing worked so well I did it again. The dress is ankle length, full skirt.

Sat: Hungover as hell but managed to wear a grey smock waisted dress I got at H&M.

Sun: Wore shorts all day as cleaned and exercised.

Today: Black linen dress from, you guessed it, H&M. Fits very nicely through the waist, hits just below the knee, sleeveless button front, a line. Simple, comfy, flattering. Dressed it up with leopard print belt.

Tomorrow: Will have to wear pants (suit) as am in meetings all day. However, wearing a very cool looking suit I got at H&M, linen, very full legged high waisted pants and matching short jacket. There is this one section of H&M that has sort of "advanced" fashion, and I hit it but hard. That is the only place I can find full pants and sort of funky, out of the ordinary stuff you don't see on everyone. Sometimes they really have horrible stuff, but if you check often enough and know where to look, man there are some SCORES to be had. Most of it in the $50 range....woo!

It got to 95 degrees yesterday, fyi.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reasons why getting older sucks

1) Having a "spa day" in your own bathroom when you were 25 used to mean experimenting with different brilliant colors of eyeshadow, testing out that new liquid eyeliner, playing with a new nail polish and maybe coloring your hair just because you felt like it. You'd have a bath, shave your legs quickly, use good smellies, and arise from your bath rather like Venus on the halfshell, glowing, fresh and rosy.

2)Having a "spa day" now (at age 38) means shaving, plucking, bleaching, and using horrid smelling creams on hair growing from places you didn't know hair COULD grow, while bemoaning the fact that the hair that's left has every shade of grey known to human kind. (And why is it that men get balder as they get older but women get hairier, and we both decry this fact? What sort of cruel cosmic joke is this?) Your bath (still perfumed with good smellies, at least THAT doesn't change) is now all about buffing, puffing and scrubbing the bits that you want smooth and moisturizing the hell out of the rest. Instead of playing with pretty colors of makeup, you do a facial, and a mask, and a toner, then try out that subdued brown hue of eyeshadow that's supposed to bring out the eyecolor without bringing out the incipient wrinkles that are nicely called "laugh lines". You do another check for random and badly placed hairs. Well, at least the teeth are still in good shape.

3) Losing weight used to mean laying off the booze for a week, going for a walk on a hot day and then taking a good shit. You'd lose five pounds without even worrying about it.
Now? You walk 5+ miles three times a week, do sit ups push ups pull ups leg lifts squats and planks, skip carbs, sugars, bread, alcohol, fun, yumminess and chocolate and all you get are grindy knees, blisters on your feet and bad breath and gas from all the beans you are eating. Your weight? Exactly the same as before, + or - the dreaded PMS bloat where NOTHING fits for at least a week. Hey, but at least you are eating right, right? I know I am eating right when I fart like an 80 year old on a treadmill...pop pop pop pop pop. Frrrrppp.

4) Your parents used to say "when you have kids....". Now they don't even mention grandkids. At all. In fact, your mom gives you menopause advice and you both mull over the benefits of botox.

5) You no longer can wear that cute favorite skirt you wore when you were 24 (even though it still fits!) because, honestly, your knees now frown instead of smile. Yes, the Old Lady Knees have arrived. And they are crotchety old bitches, who whine and creak alot.

6) You go shopping and all the crap you wore in high school is at H&M and all the girls buying it think it is the newest cutest thing they have EVER seen, like OHMYGOD how CUTE. And then the helpful girl working there tries to tell YOU how to wear it! Honey I did leggings before you were born, and I do mean that LITERALLY! In the meantime, you are just trying to find something to cover your ass that does not make you look like Minnie Mouse on acid.

7) You realize that you have shoes that are older than about 1/4 of the humans on this planet.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bad girl....BAD girl

I didn't post yesterday because the day got away from me and then I got really very drunk. (Well I got drunk later in the day. During the day I had a strange experience when a blind guy completely knocked me over when he ran into me because his seeing eye dog apparently can't see Americans or something. He just whammed into me, full body tackle, and we were both rather surprised, getting the breath knocked out of us and all. I apologized, he apologized, and the dog just kept going. I think some retraining might be warranted.)

I didn't post today (well, not REALLY this is not a post so much as an apology) as I spent the day hungover in a very truly painful way and berating myself for wasting yet ANOTHER Saturday being hungover after a knees up at the pub. Today's was particularly vicious what with the really bad headache and nausea that creeped up every time I attempted to eat. I hate being really hungry yet not able to eat. And it's HOT outside, so eating is not very tempting. And have I mentioned we don't have A/C? I mean, it's not that hot for Texas, but it was, like, 90 today, and that's hot to be in an all glass and steel flat on top of a building. Like being in a tin can. With no a/c.

I am going to limit myself to 3 drinks on Fridays from now on, and when people go get a round I am going to resist the temptation to say "Yeah, sure, I'll have another, thanks!" No more wasted Saturdays due to hangovers!

My new favorite word will be "NO". A word I've always had problems with.

Though I did fairly well with it today. NO cleaning. NO cooking. NO moving.

Hmm...maybe I don't have problems with no after all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

random photos Thursday

These photos are from my trip to SE Asia in March/April 2006. I took over 1000 pictures but have only posted about 20 between blog and Flickr account.

Monks in the Upper Pak Ou caves in Laos. I'll never forget how those caves smelled. And how many Buddha statues there were everywhere.

Scene from a boat trip along the Mekong River in Laos. They really wear those umbrella shaped hats.

Monks' laundry in Luang Prabang, Laos. I'm not sure why I like taking pictures of laundry on the line, but it is a running theme in my photography. I guess because it is such a normal slice of life, and so evocative of home and daily life. Plus it's pretty when it flaps on the breeze, all colorful and flag-like.

Street scene in Luang Prabang. That was such a GREAT place.

View from Angkor, Cambodia. I have many shots like this, down long ancient roofless hallways with many doorways.

Bangkok at night, from posh bar on roof of tall building.

Me and a baby elephump. I was nervous, but it was sweet. I love elephants.

We are having a heat wave in Norway right now. I have to go ice down. Remember when I complained about rainy cold weather just last Friday? Well, sometimes you get what you ask for. Woo! Everyone is running around half naked and gleeful. Naked babies are swimming in the fountain in the plaza beneath us. Baby butts everywhere.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

We interupt your random photo viewing.....

.......To blog about some shit.

1) Holy shit, I so am stunned by Weeds season 2! I lost all willpower and downloaded it to iTunes instead of waiting for the DVD as I had planned to do, and watched it over this week. Can I just say, as a season ender, that is the most cliffhangery thing I have EVER seen? I couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking about it so much. One thing that makes it so watchable, but so perverse, is that really, NONE of the characters have any truly redeeming qualities.

Think about it...Celia (my favorite character) is a bitch. Look how she treats her daughter. Andy is a wastoid free-loader (though smokin' hot), Silas is a manipulative little shit, and Nancy really is NOT a good mom and you can't tell me that dealing pot is the ONLY thing she could have done to support her family. Conrad is the only one who even comes close to having a moral compass, but he is still a drug dealing badass who beats people up.

I mean, let's face it, they are all fairly horrible people, but they are also intensely human. Painfully, relate-ably, human.

So, while you may not do any of the things they do, you understand WHY they are doing them. And understanding is in many ways also empathy. Nancy has this vulnerable thing going on that just shines through, and Celia is just so confused and messed up and angry, but what she is really doing is trying to make things better and help other people avoid her mistakes. She just goes about it all wrong.

That last episode of season two, with the Mexican standoff, just killed me. I'm stunned. When Nancy was standing there with guns pointed at her and she finds out her boyfriend is killed, and she's just trying to deal with it and process the news? And she's all "Wait, he's DEAD?" and they all yell "Yes!" at her and she sort of flaps her hands and goes all girly? It was so feminine and vulnerable in the midst of all the macho gun pointing posturing, I thought that was a phenomenal moment. Wow.

2) Summer arrived on June 1. Thank you. I can now officially begin my Dress A Day plan, where I work through my summer wardrobe of skirts, dresses and sandals and hopefully never wear the same thing twice (unless I want to, of course). I have a skirt fetish, what can I say. (Summer is not so very long here, so while a Dress (or skirt) A Day seems really ambitious for a whole summer, we are really only talking three months MAX, so for me that is doable. I think. I have alot of skirts. And dresses. I will have to do some repeats on shoes.)

3) Bed issues. Well, first of all, Badger you are a total bitch for having a new bed and then BLOGGING about it, with you being all comfortable and individually well rested and shit. I hate you! Ok, so maybe I only hate your bed, but that's only because I CAN'T HAVE IT.

We, on the other hand, went looking at beds and realized that in order to buy a bed in Europe we are going to lose about 6-7 inches of sleeping width. Length is the same but width is narrower (our American King sized bed, by general measure now, is about 200cm by just over 200 cm. A large Euro bed is 200 by 180, so we'd lose + /- 20 cm of width.) Sheet fitting issues aside, I don't know that I want to lose that much width and buy a bed that won't really fit anything in the US when we go home. So I am sort of stuck. Also? European beds are WAY softer than American ones. I want a softer bed, yes, but not a marshmallow, so I was pretty shocked at how squashy some of those beds were. And expensive.

We did, however, try a compromise and bought some 'over mattresses' at Ikea, the Sultan Tuvebo ones, that add about three inches of padding on top of an already tall bed, thus hopefully leveling out some of the gorges in the bed and making me hop up to get into it. We also put the bed sideways, hoping to avoid some of the worst divots by making new ones elsewhere. The Tuvebos seem to make a difference, so far, for me at least. Rich thinks it might be too soft for him, but we bought two of them and he can remove his if he so wishes. He'll just have to climb over the cliff of mattress if he wants to get near me.

I'm fairly certain out future includes separate but equal mattresses, a la Badger and husband, because Rich's idea of a mattress is a bit too board-like for me, and now that the firmness is causing me actual PAIN instead of just a modicum of discomfort, we have to find a solution.

Ikea did have a kick ass round bed, which we both briefly went "Hmm...?" to, but then I realized that 1) I could never find sheets to fit and 2) How many times can you roll around on a bed like Austin Powers, rubbing your bum and saying "Do I make you horny baby?", before it stops being funny? Answer: About twice.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Today's random pictures: Istanbul

My favorite Mosque in Istanbul. It's as old as , or older than, Hagia Sophia, in fact it's referred to as Little Hagia Sophia. It's recently been restored, and I really enjoyed visiting it. The man watching it was very, very nice and allowed us to wander where we wished, which was very different from other mosques I have visited.

We had dinner at the Orient Express restaurant. This is where the very posh train used to stop and all of the the best international society would pause while waiting to catch their trains. The food was quite good even though the place was not very crowded.

Picture of me in a mirror taking a picture in the harem at Topkapi palace. I had to wait ages until all the other tourists moved on before I could get the shot. Visiting the harem there (I've now done it twice) is an exercise in patience because you are squished in with about 100 other people, all trying to see the same tiny room at once.

A boat on the Bosphorus.

View up towards the Blue Mosque from the stable market behind. L iked that market, it was a bit more relaxed than the Grand Bazaar and had some (few) different items. I also had a very nice conversation with one of the stall owners there, he was the son of the former Imam of the Blue Mosque. He was a big admirer of Bill Clinton, who he met when he gave him a tour of the mosque.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My muse...

....has left me. Sorry for lack of posting, I just don't really have much to say. So I think this will be Random Pictures Week.

Today's Images from Vilnius.

A courtyard of an old baroque building.
Rich in the sky bar of the hotel we stayed at. If that bar were in London or NYC, it would be the hippest place in town. As it was in Vilnius, it was not crowded, ever, and a mojito cost $4.

The Church of the Babies. Little flying babies everywhere.

Nuns on the run. From me.
Sunlight hitting bricks and reconstruction materials inside an old church being fixed up.

The beer that kicked my ass. 7% strength, porter. I didn't realize how strong it was until suddenly my arms would not work. Be wary of the local beers, they are not for wimps. I also liked this beer because they sort of named it after my mom.....and she can kick my ass as well.

Friday, June 01, 2007

floating away on my own ark

It's done nothing but rain all week. Rain. Dreary greyness. Clouds. And cold. Bloody cold. Cold breezes. Cold wind. Cold. Wet. For a week straight.
I'm about to claw my eyes out. I am so tired of wearing jackets and rain gear and warm socks and having frizzy rain hair. Ugh. I just want SUMMER and WARMTH.
So, I am building an Ark. An Evil Party Ark. Or, maybe more aptly, A Slightly Naughty, Perhaps Even Baudy, Fun Boat with Lots of Alcohol and Soft Squishy Beds. On it will only be people I like, lots of beer, roasted cashews (my new favorite snack), waffles with sour cream and raspberry jam, and quesadillas. Everyone can do whatever they want, but they all have to bring lots of beer (wine's ok too, but only good wine) and extra supplies of the above mentioned snacks. The beds will be really nice, that is one thing I don't skimp on, even on a homemade Ark. And the toilet paper will be high quality as well. I won't tolerate sore arses on MY ark.
A selection of DVD's will be provided, of course, right now I am thinking 'Weeds' seasons 1 & 2 and anything by Joss Whedon.
My ark will, of course, have free wireless and coffee at all hours. First stop..... Amsterdam, because if we are all going to be stuck on a smallish (hey, building materials are expensive and I am not letting just ANYONE on my Ark) boat with lots of munchies, soft beds and good stuff to watch, don't you think we should first go to Amsterdam?

**Next Day:
They forecast SUN all week and say that summer is here! Well, we'll see. At least it's not raining right now......