These are meat filled pierogis. W e had them quite a few times in Krakow. They go very well with beer.
Do you see the little brown bits scattered on top? Looks like fried garlic or something? Well, at first we thought they were fried bits of potato, but the texture was not right for potato, too light, and a little squeaky on the teeth,.
Not garlic. Nor onions. Hmm....
Then I realized what it was. I remember reading about it somewhere. And the flavor agreed with my discovery.
Fried lard. It was crispy bits of lard that they sprinkled over the pierogis. I tried to convince myself it was just like bacon, but I couldn't quite get there, it was a bit TOO piggy tasting, and I sort of lost the nibbly urge after that.
Friday, August 31, 2007
These are meat filled pierogis. W e had them quite a few times in Krakow. They go very well with beer.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I'm wondering if there is some sort of non-compatibility issue with Macs?
It's either that or no one likes me anymore!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
the maelstrom of birds was flying over me and around me and everywhere and I literally just pointed my camera into the air without looking thru the viewfinder...and got this shot. I was worried about one of them hitting me or crapping on me!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
In August. 55 in August.
I never never never never never never never never NEVER EVER get used to that. In Texas the last weeks of August and into early September are when summer usually gives its full thrust of power, as if to say "I rule this joint and you will just have to SUFFER, bitches!" I sweat and I sweat and that is what August is.
Here, August (usually right around the 24th) is when Fall comes around and says, "Yep, you have been warm (ish) for a while now, but guess what, this is NORWAY and your wearing sandals and no socks is unnatural and I am going to remind you that this is a NORDIC country". Enter cold wind and crisp air.
Anyhow, today I am home from work as everyone is traveling to India (except me) and will be out of touch most of the day. This means I can stay home, visit that old bitch Aunt Flo and do a massive, much needed cleaning of the house. I even went to the store and bought cleaning stuff. Which is still sitting on the kitchen counter as I mess around online instead.
But I promised myself i would be scrubbing by noon...so off I go. Cue dance music.....
Update three hours later: Bedroom is so clean I can lick the floor. Complete washing of all bed linens, and even washed curtains. Master bath is spotless. Rich's bathroom (and why are boys so scary with the bathroom messes?) is now enter-able. I bleached the hell out of it, so at least I know the boy germs are somewhat at bay. (Also nice is that Norwegian bathrooms have drains in the middle of the floor...so you can kind of hose down the bathroom with hot water from the shower sprayer. Instant clean, just spray with cleaner and rinse!) The entrance hall into the flat is clean. Floors scrubbed and washed. Now for the looong hallway and the kitchen. Then put some laundry away (on third load, but it takes, like an hour and a half per load) and later on collapse into nice hot bath in nice clean bathroom.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I mean, holy crap? We have had the WORST summer ever, and now they rip away whatever is left of it? Man this SUCKS.
I've still got dresses to work through. Sandals to wear. Linens that have not seen the light of day. A straw hat that I never managed to use for sun protection. A deck chair that I have never used ONCE. I only wore a bathing suit ONCE this summer, for an hour, and that was the time I got horribly sunburned in Austin! ....I guess that weekend in Poland was Summer 2007 for us. It was nice weather the whole time.
Such a strange thing to think, for a Texan, that this Saturday, August 25th, is the last day of summer in Norway. Worst thing about it is, that the past few days have been GLORIOUS, but I have been absolutely swamped at work and can't take time to enjoy it. I got over 100 emails today alone, at times coming in about one a minute, all requiring reply or action, and there was no way I could bugger off to enjoy the sun. The crunch will be over by Tuesday, but by then the good weather will be gone.
Sigh. I'm NOT ready for sweaters and boots. Not even close. I've barely got my sandal callouses going on my feet!
We stayed in an area called Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter. It is a very charming area, as old or older than old city Krakow. It's in the midst of a regeneration. Our hotel was the Hotel Rubinstein, named after makeup magnate Helen Rubinstein who grew up on the street. From our room we could see over to Wawel Castle.
There was an old water well with a hand pump in the middle of the street (more like a square, really) and people still used it for filling buckets and stuff!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
this coffeehouse was an endless source of people watching goodness. never walked by without seeing a photo opportunity. Decent coffee, too. Definitely the place to see and be seen. But in a cool, Austin slacker kind of way.
St Giles Church in Krakow, a very simple and lovely space.
Not too Baroqued up, a style which is very common in former Eastern Europe. That baroque period kind of ruined alot of otherwise lovely spaces. (I mean, Baroque is fine and all, but there is SO much of it and i hate to think of what they took out to make it all tarty with naked babies and plaster and gold curly cues everywhere.)
I like simple, where i can see the bones and the age. This church is a nice example of that......
Krakow is an incredibly photogenic city. Reminds me of Prague, but not so touristy (though still quite touristy). The main square (Reynek Glowny) is the biggest in Europe, an absolutely WONDERFUL space. Those medieval town planners sure knew how to create human spaces. WE could still follow their example today.
Rich inside Krakow city hall tower.
The attendants were sitting just to the right of the picture and were laughing their asses off as I took this photo. We wnjoy being never ending sources of amusement to the locals.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
And there I was, posting about it, when the fire alarm went off in our building, and not just in our building but in our FLAT with LARGE NOISES and FLASHING LIGHTS and so I had to bugger off down the stairs with the rest of the residents of the building (me having just gotten comfy in my not-for-public-viewing nighties, so I threw on what ever I could find to wear that was on the floor, which was NOT a good look for me) to await the fire brigade.
Which never arrived as the fire alarm was, yet again, a false alarm.
I grabbed only my purse, my iPod and my passport as I ran out of the flat, by the way. My neighbors had nothing, she had been taking a nap and her son was all "Dude, I totally was playing XBox!" Poor kid.
But my post went away. What with all the flashing and running and whatever, something happened and the internet turned off. I think? I dunno. But bye bye post.
And I don't especially feel like redoing the post right now.
Work has kicked in to serious overdrive, as well, so I am damned tired. And i had a scary experience at work. I even have a bruise to prove it. Must turn in safety report.
But Poland was wonderful and I had a great birthday.
And in totally unrelated news, I am not so sure that this is what I want my home state known for world-wide. Jeez.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Postscript two hours later:
Looked for a rain jacket, found one that was minimally acceptable but...just...could..not...do..it. Hate those horrible shapeless things and will hold out for Krakow and see if maybe there is something there that I can tolerate.
The day is so crappy that I am calling a Soup Day and making tortilla soup. sometimes you just have to drown your sorrows in soupy goodness.
Monday, August 13, 2007
- Took care of a very drunk Russian.
- Enjoyed the unforgettable image of a British man smoking an American cigarette using a woman's toes as his cigarette holder.
- And in case you were wondering, no it was NOT my foot, though I was intrinsic in the cigarette placing and subsequent suggestion that the smoking take place thusly.
- Why yes, I am the naughty suggestion just waiting to happen. Thanks for asking.
- Went to a party at the home of a Scot. Who knew he could cook?
- Was asked to dance by a Norwegian.
- .....and a Swede.
- ....and another Brit.
- Shared in a toast with a Frenchman.
- Met a guy named Gorgeous.
- Snapped a photo of a British guy dropping trou. No I won't post it. Yes he was wearing drawers.
- Drank Norwegian and English beer, Italian, French and German wine, and Russian vodka.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
KICK ASS SHOW!!!!!!!!!I think my outfit worked out pretty well. I added some fishnet tights to it, and as the evening wore on they got progressively holier, from jewelry snagging and general mistreatment by me. (I never spend more on hose than I would be upset about from only wearing once, as I am legendarily hard on them.) I think the holiness of the fishnets added to the feel of the outfit, eclectic sexy grown up Goth. (Hopefully it came across that way and not just Old Tramp.)
It rained a couple hours before NIN came on, but we just stood under a tree and it was no problem. Everyone had their clear plastic ponchos, except me, but it really didn't matter and it was just warm enough that standing around in a plastic bag would have just become a personal sauna, which was not appealing. Plus I bulletproofed my hair by having it in two little ponytails on the back of my head, so even if it did frizz, I wouldn't have to deal with it in my face. I rather liked my hair like that, will keep doing it like that, as it's easy care and simple.
Oya Festival is an extremely well organized and planned event. I give wholehearted kudos to everyone who plans it. They covered practically the whole fairground with this white fabric flooring so that all the churning feet would not turn the grass into a mud pit. What a great idea! It felt so clean! The food area and drink stands were reasonably priced and well located. The food offerings were actually some of the best I have seen at a public event EVER in Norway. They had everything from crepes to burgers to curries to pizzas. Why can't they have food like that at other events? And as for stuff to drink, wine, beer, champagne, whatever, it was all there and (for Norway) very fairly priced. Me, Elaina and her boyfriend David chipped in on a litre 'bottle' (carton) of a nice little Italian Sangiovese. Great solution for shared drinking. (And oh my yes, I was snockered.) Everything there was either organic or "ecological" which I am not sure what the difference is, but it certainly did not result in a lessening of the effects of the wine, so hey, I'm all for it.
Nine Inch Nails KICKED ASS. they started at EXACTLY 9:45, on the dot, and just ripped into the set with such force I felt momentarily knocked over. Then I started screaming and hopping up and down like the NINny I am. They played a bunch of stuff from the new album, of course, but also some more obscure stuff (a song from the "Lost Highway" soundtrack) and some really old stuff (Head Like a Hole!). And yes, they played "Closer" which was as cathartic as you can get without actually being catatonic, for me at least. I've ALWAYS wanted to hear that song live. (When I saw them in 1990, it was really only all about "Pretty Hate Machine" and so "Closer" wasn't even out yet.) It sounded great, Trent looked great and the band was really powerful, thrashing about and yet still producing some great sound. Trent Reznor is one of my Gods.
The crowd was fairly friendly, only once did I have to really get forceful with someone. This blonde chick kept trying to get in front of me by way of just pushing me out of her way. I guess she thought if she pushed hard enough I would become transparent and she could walk through me. It pissed me off to the point that I finally just slammed my elbow back at her, hard, and I think I sent her flying, at least, I felt a woosh of air behind me and then she was gone. (It takes a bit to make me get physical, but then when I do I ain't holding back and I am bigger than she was.) Apparently she also tried that shit with David and he did the same, so I am thinking dumb blonde girl has alot of elbow marks on her today. I stood next to this nice, big, lantern jawed guy who indulgently sort of stood me back up whenever I lost my balance (which was alot). Once, as he propped me back up again, I looked up at him and screamed, "WOOO! I'm from Texas!!!", and he gave me a huge smile and we were total buddies from then on. He reminded me of my brother.
Now as great of a time as I had, I am feeling it today. It's all good and nice to rock yer ass off at a show by yer fave band, but when you are pushing 40, things HURT the next day. Rock and Roll will never die, but I sure am getting old. So here is a bullet point list of things that hurt:
- Feet (miles of walking) (MILES)
- Calves (bouncing up and down in place like a Kalahari Bushman)
- Middle finger on right hand (from clapping, my ring bangs on the bone and left it bruised!)
- Biceps (from holding my hands up in the air and making devil horns all night)
- Right Elbow (Blonde girl bashing)(oddly satisfying, that was, I do confess)
- Ass (I'm not actually sure about why on that one, I don't remember any ass intensive activities)
- Neck (head banging, 'yo!) (6 good headbangs and I am done for)
- Shoulders (I think from holding up the arms)
- Head (wine, loud music, not enough water, neck tension, etc.)
There are more pics posted on my Flickr page. (I have upgraded my account. Plus I can live blog from there with my cell phone, so I sent some pics from last night there in real time. Cool....) Keep checking it out, as I am going to be adding alot more pictures and stuff there over time.
Late addition: Here's a video Elaina's boyfriend David took. I'm a little embarrassed, here, as I am going NUTS and it's caught on film, but whatever. I'll post it down here and only you sharp eyed ones will see it.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
On Sunday we took a ride with our friends Keith and Gillian on a historic steam train. It's called the Kroderbanen, and it's a very old steam train with old restored cars, all lovingly taken care of and maintained by a very enthusiastic bunch of volunteers.
On Sunday, unbeknown to us, they had a train robbery and Western day planned. At first I was all, "Aw come on, I am FROM the west, been there done that", but honestly, it was really very well done. Norwegians do one helluva western train robbery, let me tell you. (I only laughed hard once, when I learned one character was named "Deadwood Dick". Huh huh huh...Beavis.)We later found out 600 people showed up for the event, of which about 300 were kids. Kids going absolutely INSANE ALL DAY. It was cute. The robbers ran up and down the carriages, kidnapping ladies and then being chased by sheriffs. They even stopped the train and had a shootout, with really loud blanks and rifles and everything. It was cool.
I was bummed that I did not wear my boots or hat, as I do have both, and this would have been a perfect day for me to indulge my Texanness.
I enjoyed the train ride as well, I could feel the power of that one engine pulling all the cars. It felt very different from the trains I ride every day. The cars were comfortable, spacious and homey. And the countryside was stunningly beautiful. It was all worth the cost, as the day ended up costing about 3 times what I had expected. (Eh, that's Norway, though.)
For lunch we had a picnic by a lake. With a bit of Reisling wine and sandwiches, it was very nice. I posted more pictures below of the day, so check them out.
But I think I have it figured out. Black lace edged slip under a finely crocheted cotton spider webby dress, all knee length and narrow fitting, with a very wide black leather corset belt. Black leggings and my over the knee pointy toed yet miraculously flat leather boots. Just a little medieval in mood. (So I can get medieval on someone's ass if they mess with me!)
I'm hoping it will all be comfortable yet just edgy enough to make me feel NIN-y. Or whatever. I mean, I've always listened to music on the darker side, and I've always been an inner Goth, reading anything vampire or sort of occult, etc., but never wore it, really, as I don't like to assign myself only one look. There ARE the occasional days I don't feel like black. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is definitely a day to show my inner darkness.
Thanks to everyone who emailed or posted suggestions!
Saturday, August 04, 2007
A lady came by and gave us a flyer for the evening's entertainment. Apparently her son (as I learned later) is a 15 year old blues prodigy named Krissy Matthews. As the pub usually has jazz musicians, I was rather pleased that we would have a change of pace (plus I way prefer blues to jazz hands down any day). We continued on with our beers. We were sitting outside enjoying the last of the light and the warmth, which was rapidly receding, when suddenly these perfect blues riffs came tumbling out of the pub and into the chill night air. It was like Albert Collins walked in and set up shop.
Holy shit that kid can play.
I went inside and sat transfixed as a skinny British teenager (with the face of a choir boy) with a very old soul played his guts out. What I liked was that he didn't pretend to be an ol' black man from Miss'ippi in 1923, he did some of his own songs and sang about school day blues, and such. His voice will mature with time, but his playing was amazing.
He kept making references to Austin Texas and Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughn and Omar and the Howlers and such, and I felt so proud to be from a place where the music is known world wide. I went up to him at one of his breaks and told him he needs to come and play Antone's, they'd love him in Austin, and he said he thought that might happen next year, bummer that Clifford died, but this weekend he was playing with Jimmy Vaughn and Omar and the Howlers at the Notodden Blues Festival. Well connected kid. (I'm always amazed how respected Austin music is here, and how it is sort of taken for granted back home.)
Not long after that Rich and I left, Rich ready to leave but not wanting me walking home alone as there have been some violent attacks against women here lately. We are all a bit freaked.
Just as I was getting into my jammies at home, Kristen called hollering and saying "He dedicated a song to you!!!!" Yeah, the kid dedicated one of the last songs of the night to "a young lady from Austin, Texas, who is here somewhere but I just can't see her"...me!!!!!! (And how much do I love him for calling me a 'young lady'?)
I'm very honored and totally bummed that I missed it. (It's also ironically just how my week went, you know? Something good finally happens and I miss it!) It's not often you get a song dedicated to you by a 15 year old blues player who is gonna be WAY famous some day. And I am already a big fan. He's one to watch.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Can I have a do over for this week? Can I please? Somebody has to call it for me.....Dave, I nominate you, just holler "DO OVER!" and I can pretend that this week didn't happen and I can have another chance at it.
I am in a ROTTEN mood. Like, a wearing black, getting a tattoo, going to a dive biker bar and kickin' some ass, rotten mood. A total don't FUCK with the BABYSITTER mood.
Of course, I am OLD, and not really much of a one for kickin' ass, so now a rotten mood means getting my iPod out and listening to the MOST FUCKED UP ANGRY MUSIC I can find, and walking really fast (when I was in Texas I would drive really fast for half and hour or so with the music cranked, but I sold the car and so now I have to walk, dammit) and doing slightly, passive-aggressively mean things as I go along.
Petting a kitten but rubbing its fur the wrong way so that it gets cranky.
Making scary faces at babies (when their moms aren't looking) and making them cry.
Pulling a pretty flower out of the ground and stomping on it. Really hard.
Spitting on baby birds. Noisy little fuckers anyhow.
Flipping off nice old ladies, but only behind their backs when they aren't looking.
When a puppy rolls over for me to pet its tummy....I don't. Ha, take that!
Tossing thumbtacks into the road.
Littering. (Biodegradable only, must think of the earth.)
I know, I KNOW, I am a holy terror, but that's how I roll, yo.
You shoulda seen me when I was younger and I not so responsible. Then I littered PLASTIC. Uh huh, yeah....... how you like me now, biatches.
Now excuse me while I go find something black and scary to wear to the pub.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
So today, when I was at work, I just could NOT figure out why my new, much loved, comfy underwear was SO damned annoying. It pinched, it grabbed, it twisted, it crawled WAY the hell up into the no go zone, it did everything it could to turn itself into an oversized, way too much fabric thong. Did I get a bad pair? Was this like the rotten egg of the bunch? What the hell was wrong?
I got home and changed out of my work clothes and that's when I discovered....oh.
If you put your underwear on not only inside out but BACKWARDS, they tend not to fit so well.
I really need to work on opening my eyes a bit more when I am getting dressed.