Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back from Berlin

I hope the photos I posted kept a running tally of what was going on. I was blogging blind, via phone, with no real access to the blog itself. It looks like it turned out ok except for the Schlotsky's photo which was sideways (note to self, fix that.) (I'm SO glad I got to have a Schlotsky's sandwich, and yes it tasted just like home!) I wonder what my cell phone bill will be with all the twittering and MMS-ing from utland!

We had a great time in Germany, with Berlin broken up by a wonderful trip out into the heart of Old East Germany. The wedding was lovely, and oh my god did we all drink. It was held at a small house hotel, the Parkhotel Guldene Berg, a former villa of some grandee from the turn of the 20th century. They had GREAT food and the service was impeccable. They really took care of us. We had a similar sort of wedding, Rich and I, where we just took over a small hotel and partied it up. Always a nice way to go. We emptied the bar of all its liquor, and even I (yes, me!) drank Jaegermeister. The hangover was largely warded off by my method of grabbing whatever glass of water I saw at the bar and downing it. I'm sure many people wondered where their water went. But it helped me not die the next day! I'm looking forward to the next wedding in August in Winchester, England. Already looking for the perfect dress (colors are red and white, which I LOVE.)

The weather was PERFECT the whole time we were in Germany, like summer. Gorgeous sun. I got a beginning, a very faint beginning, of a tan! I'm slightly yellow now! Maybe even off white!

I bought five pairs of shoes: two pairs of black sandals (one gladiator, one platform), a gold pair of pumps, a pair of red mary janes and a pair of bright orange mary janes (at COS, the really cool upmarket H&M that is still affordable, though I do get annoyed with their insistence on a tiny boob big waisted silhouette that only works on apple shapes and not curvy gals like me). Berlin is shoe heaven. I also hit H&M again and got more stuff there. I tried the posh shops, found one bag at Etro that I really, REALLY adored, but I could not bring myself to pay that price, when I could fly my Mom over to England for the next wedding for that amount and have a bit left over. But OH I came close. I never have been able to splurge like that, something holds me back. Sanity, I guess. Sanity and a certain practicality. The bag would just end up in my closet shoved in with all the others. Seems a shame to do that to something that beautiful.

Here in Norway it is nice and warm, too, we have the windows open and I did a whirlwind unpacking and putting away and changing of bed sheets and even some laundry, so now I feel a little virtuous and deserving of the bath and cup of tea I am going to have later. I am also DETERMINED to lose some weight before the next wedding in August. I have a little tummy and muffin top action happening that I am NOT cool with. It feels like this foreign thing that has attached itself to me (like a chihuahua or some critter that won't let go) and I don't know what to do with it. It needs to go. I've made peace with the curvy ass and not-skinny legs, but the pay off was the flat tummy and luscious waist. I refuse to give that up. Now that it is warm again I can go outside and work it off.

But not tonight. Tonight I sleep and get ready for work tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Last night


Last night, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Brandenberg Gate at night. Back to Norway tomorrow. I bought 5 pairs of shoes.

Big


Big, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Big ass Mai Tai! Yummy! Strong! 7 euros!

Dinnertime


Dinnertime, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Which table? All so perfect and symmetrical.

Wierd but awesome


Wierd but awesome, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Schlotsky's in Berlin!

Ow


Ow, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Square toilets are not comfortable, I've learned.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

View from Weißenfels train station

Here's the view directly outside the train station, a very large abandoned textile mill. When it was still 'east', Weißenfels was an industrial town (with a strong Baroque heritage and town center, sadly neglected). After the wall fell, the population shrank as the mills closed. Lots of buildings like it around town....what to do with them all?

Spring


Spring, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Ah beautiful sunshine on a lovely day. Hangover not so bad considering we were partying til 4am. We cleaned the bar out of Jägermeister, Rammazotti and Kümmerlinger....and I lived to tell the tale!

The morning after the night before

Cousin Edward after a hard night of best manning. Excellent wedding!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rollin' on


Rollin' on, originally uploaded by karlakp.

On the train, which showed up on time to the second. Nice old fashioned compartments. Feels very civilized and European.

Berlin Night


Berlin Night, originally uploaded by karlakp.

View from hotel at night. Woke up to rain today. Off to Weißenfels later via fast train.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring!


Spring!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

In Berlin! With flowers and shit! Yes I am drinking! And I am enjoying it immensely!.....!

Ahh..


Ahh.., originally uploaded by karlakp.

First (ok 2nd) beer of the trip! At Hakescher Markt.

View from room


View from room, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Sweet hotel room!


Sweet hotel room!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Our room for tonight is AWESOME! Corner room with views of all Berlin! Sweet!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Berlin

Off to Berlin for my cousin's wedding. I have been surprisingly laid back about packing for this, I didn't even buy a new dress, just grabbed a favorite one from Noa Noa and threw it in the suitcase. Lately when I travel I just pack a black and white palette and edit my wardrobe severely. Which is what I did this time. The Noa Noa dress is cute, white sheer cotton embroidered all over with black. It should do fine.

Since I packed so lightly I will have plenty of room to store all my goodies when I hit KaDeWe (KaufHaus des Westens, the Harrods of Germany) and Trippen shoes. Trippens are seriously expensive, but oh so gorgeous, and really, have you ever felt elk leather? Soft as velvet. I've been so freaking bored with the shopping here in Norway, I need a break to find something new. I hope Berlin offers me something to get excited about (Marimekko notwithstanding!)

I'm pretty much planning on just shopping in Berlin, don't have many sightseeing goals, except to go to the Pergamon museum. Though honestly, we don't have that much time in Berlin itself, as the wedding is about two hours away by train in a town called Weißenfels, which I have learned is a Baroque town linked with many poets and composers including Bach. I will admit I still have that American stereotype of East Germany, where everything is square grey and block like, but from what I hear Weißenfels is just gorgeous.

I hope the beer is good.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Toes!


Toes!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Look! My toes! Sans socks! They are very happy. My tattoo is seeing the sun too which it hasnt for 7 months!

pray for my ankles

I'm wearing my bought-last-summer-and-not-yet-worn Kork Ease platform sandals today.

Everyone say an Ave Maria for my ankles.

They ARE very comfy though, for Towering Sandals of Death. Though I have not actually walked OUT of the flat yet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today's view from our balcony


Today's view from our balcony, originally uploaded by karlakp.

You know it's spring when they start having the festivals in the plaza. We always do get the good view, that is for sure! Just wish we could turn down the volume, especially when they sing traditional Norwegian songs like "Davy Crockett"!

Oh yeah spring!


Oh yeah spring!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Yesterday I found shopping nirvana. Well, almost. I could have used some shoes. But, after an over TWO MONTH shopping dry spell (this is UNHEARD of in Karla Land) I finally hit pay dirt and got some very fun stuff at H&M.

They have a collection of items that are a tribute to Marimekko, the famous, bright prints from Finland that took over the world in the 60's. They are very funky and not to everyone's taste. However, they had me from "hello" once I saw the wonderful full skirts with tiny fitted waists. THIS is a silhouette I can wear and wear well. I am the original "sweater girl' figure, and these wasp waisted skirts, worn with a tight t shirt, are perfect for me. I am a fairly adventurous dresser, at least in the sense that I wear what I like and looks good on me, and don't follow trends that don't work, so I have no problem AT ALL wearing a big fun bright skirt like the orange and black one. (And hello! MATCHING BAG! With leather trim! How much do I love that???) They also had a bunch of maxi dresses and assorted tunics and trousers, but somehow I don't think the pants would look at all good on me, with those big prints. I might try out a dress or two, though, maybe belted they might work.

Anyhow, I give H&M kudos for doing something adventurous, fun and entirely out of the ordinary. After so many months of everything looking 'same same', all greys and tasteful (boring) taupes and that damned skinny jeans silhouette, I was starting to get a bit desperate, and, sadly, depressed. I thought maybe the shopping mojo had left me, or perhaps, GASP, I was reaching a point where I was too old and jaded for anything to interest me.

This collection at H&M has revived my fashion interest, and I can't thank them enough for getting me out of the doldrums...affordably!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ravages of tourism

Here is an interesting article about Luang Prabang, Laos. I was there at this time of year in 2006.

The article talks about how tourism is ruining the town and taking away all the cultural atmosphere that people would like to experience. The very saving of the town is contributing to its demise. (So common now, I fear, look at Venice.)

I must admit, I felt the process in its middle stages when I was there two years ago. Some people still lived in the central part of the town (it's a VERY small town, like the size of UT's 40 Acres), but it was rapidly being gentrified. You felt the town changing, you felt the people trying to figure out how to handle all us 'falangs' and they were very friendly but also a bit wary at the same time. Especially the monks, they tried very hard to continue on with their traditional life, but they knew they were on display. (Luang Prabang is a center of Buddhist study, with a large concentration of wats and temples.) They all wanted to practice speaking English, so they could be tour guides themselves when they were finished with their time in the wats.

What really drives me nuts about this article, though, is the photo.

The photo shows the morning ceremony of the monks going to collect their food alms for the day. As a tourist, it is VERY important to be respectful of the ceremony. I know I did my best to not get in the way, to not stand higher than the monks (hard when you are almost 6 feet tall and they hover around 5 feet) and to remain far aside when I was not participating in it by offering food. (Offering food has a very strict protocol, which was explained to us and we did our best to follow.)

I swear, if I had been there and saw those idiot people from that bus hording in on the monks like that, cameras waved in faces and not respecting the traditions of 700 years, I think I would have had to say something. I cannot belive these people would act this way. God knows I probably was regarded as just a big stinky white tourist myself, but at least I *TRIED* to respect the culture and tradition of many years! At least we didn't have busloads of people driving up at 6am with tour guides shouting from bullhorns! I remember it as a very quiet and dignified ceremony, marred by only a few stupid women tourists wearing shorts who insisted on sitting on chairs to feed the monks (a big no no, you are supposed to sit on the gound with feet under you AND have your limbs covered. If you can't follow the rules, stand off to the side and watch quietly!)

I hate the way culture is plundered like this. And I know I am a contributor to it, as I went there and spent my dollars and took pictures as well. But dammit, at least I TRIED.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's that strange light?


What's that strange light?, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I think they call it "sun"?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

why I don't speak Norwegian

Yesterday I was discussing some official form we have to use with my boss. Even though it was in English, one of the items on it instructed the person filling out the form to fill in the 'hvite' spaces. 'Hvite' is Norwegian for white. I was joking about how whoever made up the form got all the English spot on except for this one glaring Norwegian word, right there on the top of the page in bold letters.

I pronounced it in what I thought was my best Norwegian...and got it utterly wrong. My boss sort of looked at me with a gleam in his eye, laughed and said, you might want to say it THIS way, and pronounced it correctly. Which was totally different from how I said it.

The way I said it?

Imagine walking into your boss's office and blaring out the word 'pussy', or, even worse, the 'c' word. 'Cuz that is what I did. I accidentally uttered the naughtiest word in the Norwegian language right at my boss.

Good JOB Karla. Good job indeed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

guest accomodations


13/04/2008, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Here's the set up for our guest. I must admit, that mattress is actually more comfortable than our bed. I might just leave it set up.

The carpet is a 'World Map' carpet from Ikea; however, the countries are cattywampus and don't really match up very well. Rather galling for a geographer (Rich has a geography degree) to have a map that is so WRONG in his office.

oh the disapointment

Yesterday morning I lay in bed in that semi-wakened state, just before you open your eyes for the first time. You know where you try to ignore the fact that you are, in effect, awake, and try as hard as you can to cling to the sleepy haze by not yet opening your eyes?

I lay there, listening to the rain and the cars swishing by in the wet road, thinking "Thank God the snow is done and melted and I can start going for walks again." So nice to think that spring is getting here and the white is being replaced by green. Even if it is still cold.

And then I opened my eyes and saw, everything was white. It snowed all night and was still doing so. Wet sloppy snow.

DAMMIT!

We have a guest coming to visit. My friend Kristin, who has been working out on an island in the very far north arctic called Jan Mayen, is back from her 6 month stint and will be here for a few days, checking on her flat, doing job interviews, etc. In honor of her visit, we finally got around to buying that blow up mattress we have been needing (don't have storage or space for a full bed, but I think those blow up ones are comfy and this one is 19 inches thick!). So now we can actually have people spend the night, or, as is more likely, have a place for people to pass out after a night of partying. (And of course, as a place for a bedroom-banished 'in the doghouse' Richard to go in times of marital strife.)
The whole time I was trying to find a suitable mattress, I was cursing the Norwegian system of specialized shops (kitchenware shops don't sell housewares, housewares shops don't sell anything electric, knick knack shops don't sell anything useful at all) and wishing I just had a damned Target to go to where everything was under one roof and I didn't have to go to five different stores to find the damned thing. Once I found the right store, they had a decent selection, and it was a snap, but finding the store is the problem. (FYI, if you ever need an air mattress in Norway, you need to go to a sports store or a store that sells outdoor furniture, I ended up at one called Jysk.)

I sometimes think that when I get homesick, missing Target factors in to that homesickness by about 35%. So nice to just go there and know they have what you want!

Friday, April 11, 2008

hear that sound?

That flushing sound?
 
 
The dollar is so seriously in the toilet right now. I feel very sorry for any poor Americans who come over here. And I am thanking my lucky stars my salary comes in kroners. Makes pretty much everything in the US seem really cheap right now.
 
Good job, Georgey Boy, on your 'strong dollar' policy. You fekkin' eejit.
 
I think I might book a shopping trip to NYC. I have to take a project management class, I can schedule one for there and save money for the company AND get my shopping yaya's out.
 
Hmm......
 
 

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

from Karla Porn to...stiff in a box


munich, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I swear I feel like this will be me. Not, by the way, because I am so special, but more because I am going to end up a DRIED UP HUSK trapped in a BOX. "Look! There's Aunt Karla! She's DEAD!"

The jewels are a nice touch though. If you ARE gonna be a skeleton on display, be the best one you can be. This is from Munich. In a church. Which church escapes me.

It's the beer, you see.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

lust

Springtime and a girl's mind turns to thoughts of sun. Warmth. Summer. Sundresses.

Thongs.

Thong SANDALS, I mean. (We used to call them thongs before thongs started meaning assfloss. You know, back in the day when underwear was comfortable?)

This page of sandals on Piperlime is KILLING me. It couldn't be more my style if it tried. I LOVE flat sandals with a strap between the toe. And gladiators, they suit my long skinny feet perfectly. There is only ONE pair on that whole page that I would not buy, right now, if I could. (The one I do not want has neither toe strap nor is it a gladiator. Not sure what it's even doing on that page, for that matter?)

I swear, it's like a whole page of mini orgasms. Each shoe gets a little more 'o' as I go along. I click on a shoe and look at the different views of each (side! bottom! front! back! top!) and I swear it's just like a guy lookin' at porn.

Oh that one. No, wait, THAT one. Oh yeah, that one RIGHT THERE. Oh turn for me baby...yeah. Let's see the back. Uhuh. Full frontal? Niiiice.....oh yeah, turn upside down for me, show me your bottom, you naughty little thing....oooohh.....

See? Porn for Karla.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rainy day treat


Rainy day treat, originally uploaded by karlakp.

What better than cake and raspberries on a shitty day. Cook gets first piece!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

14celcius

It's 14c outside right now. Positively balmy for April. It's sunny and quite a nice day.

So, of course, I did what one would have expected of me: I slept through it.

Good job, Karla!

I woke up this morning perky and ready to go. I even looked decent, considering we staggered home at almost 2am last night and I hadn't showered yet. My hair somehow overnight had achieved a mussed yet sexy "rock star the morning after" look, the remaining eyeliner said "rock and roll lifestyle" without spreading all over my face, and I didn't even smell bad. Sun was shining and it looked for all purposes to be a glorious day ahead. I made big plans for a long walk in the woods and maybe a trip around Oslo to check out some museums and stuff, who knows? The world is my oyster today.

So I went over to the mall and got some coffee and some breakfast foodies, did a bit of quick shopping. Came home had breakies, and then noodled about for a bit. Decided to take a short nap....and didn't wake up until 4pm.

Crap.

So now I am up again, hair is not quite so rock n roll and face has a definitive pillow line running from right eyebrow across to lower left side of mouth. Is it just me that's noticed that pillow lines are harder to get rid of when you get older? Skin doesn't bounce back as fast anymore, I guess.

Wanted to post some piccies of my Night With The Irish last night, but the N82 has gotten temperamental and has decided it does not like April 2008. So it has surgically self amputated all photos taken in April, leaving those from March and February intact. WTF? I have NO idea what happened.

I seem to remember someone did take photos last night, which I think I might be able to get a hold of. Action dancing shots. I dance like a cross between a pole dancer without a pole and Madonna in her "Holiday" video. Get me drunk and that frustrated lap dancer/rock star comes right out on the dance floor, baby!

Friday, April 04, 2008

by Neuschwanstein


munich, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I like the gloomy Japanese quality of this shot.

I did not like this week

This week can kiss my ass for all I care. Lick my butt. Sniff me arse.
 
I kick you to the curb, you horrid week. I never liked you from the beginning. But HAHA, I'm still here and you are almost gone, never to return, so who won THAT fight, I wonder?
 
Tonight I have a girls' night. After my boys' night of earlier this week, it will be interesting to see the juxtaposition of the two.
 
I have a feeling I will get drunker tonight than I did on the boys' night, though.  
 
Because seriously?
 
Fucking horrid week.


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Thursday, April 03, 2008

progressive tiredness

Well I managed to avoid a hangover last night. I only had four beers and they were fairly spread out. It was an interesting night, I was the only girl and so I basically just became an honorary boy for the night (albeit one that smelled better than the others and they all wanted to sit next to).
 
We talked about a wide variety of items of great import, including Steak and Blow Job Day, Beer, Pizza, Texans vs Germans vs Polish vs French people and politics, the vagaries of the industry for which we all work, and, of course, boobs. (Seems everyone is an expert on those, even those that don't own pair of their own or have the occasional use of them from a generous (and endowed)  partner.)
 
I stumbled to the train around 10:30 (after almost falling out of the bar, damn those Norwegian door thresholds, why can't  they be flat with the floor like in the US? There are DRUNK people here that might trip over them!). Got home about 11.
 
No hangover this morning though I am getting progressively tireder (is that a word?) as the day progresses. Must...focus....must....foc....us........zzzzzzzzz


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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

GAH!

OMFG today is ANNOYING. I am restless as HELL! I can't sit still.
 
Ever get that feeling where you just feel like something is missing but you don't know what? Just...need something. But what???? Get drunk? Fuck? Get in a fight? Go slam at a punk show and get rowdy?  Get some exercise? What? Nothing seems to be the answer.
 
My stomach is tight and I am stressed but not really sure why.  General malcontent, I guess. Just sort of need to scream. Must be moving at all times. I'm like the tiger in the cage that knows it's better outside. Even if it maybe isn't.
 
AAAAGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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April boobs


April boobs, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Gauntlet thrown.

ok so I lied.

April Fool's! I'm not really quitting blogging! Y'all can come back now!
 
(crickets)
 
Please?
 
I think that the day after April Fool's day should be celebrated as April Boobs Day. Ladies, show us your cleavage! C'mon! Be proud of what ya got! I know that the dress I am currently wearing is certainly trying its hardest to be part of this new proud holiday. (Dammit girls! Get. Back. In. The. Dress!) Post pictures of your cleavagey best! I'll do it if you do it!
 
(non-linear topic change)
 
The weather today can only be described as shitty with a slight dusting of crap. If we have another summer this year like we had last, I might kill myself. I don't think it is possible for skin to become any whiter or more translucent than mine, unless I turn blue or glow or something. Even the husband is starting to talk about going to beaches and warm sunny places and he is so NOT a sun worshipper. He hasn't had a tan since 1989. We are both thinking about going to Jordan. Seeing Petra has gotten very high on my list of things I must do.
 
Very high.
 
(lengthy pause as she dreams of sun and warmth)
 
Is it Friday yet?


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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I quit

Hello,
Due to a number of factors I have decided to stop blogging as of today.
I wish you all the best.
Unless you suck, in which case I don't.