This is Amber the love puppy. She's a dachsund. Generally not my favorite breed but she's an exception.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I get really homesick sometimes, missing everyone back in Austin, and it is so nice to realize that even if I can't be with my friends at home, I still have a whole world of awesome people from this blog that are there for me when shitty things happen like the events of this week.
So, to Desertwind, Delmer, Dave, Ayhee, Tracy, Victoria, Christina, Evolving Revolver, Tracy, Elizabeth, Stev and everyone who commented on this latest round of stupidity that is my life....thank you for being so great.
You really made this week endurable.
That and the wine.....which, by the way, I spilt all over myself tonight. DORK!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
However, it does describe rather well how I feel. After all the fuss and bother of the past couple of days, I feel rather low. Sort of anti climactic, all told, like I fought a great battle with knife and sword and now.....mashed potatoes for dinner. Eaten with a spoon.
Meh. I've tried to cry or SOMETHING but it just won't come. And, haha, can't go shopping, my usual pick me up because I don't have a card. Or money. Or really any desire to shop.
Still have to go back to the bank tomorrow to find the last batch of screwage from the thieves. If I EVER find out who did this.....somebody is going to be hurt. Rich keeps bringing up new scenarios, but honestly, I don't want to talk about it anymore. (Every 10 minutes, a new "What if it was....?" or "Did you use it to buy...?" or "When you were at...?". It's driving me nuts, especially right when I AM FALLING ASLEEP HONEY!.) It is what it is and it done happened, so let's just deal with the fall out and the solution and let the how's and why's fall by the wayside. All I know is the card never left me and I never lost it and I don't use it online and whoever got the number was pretty sneaky.
Going to try and get up the gumption to go for a walk. It is a beautiful day today. That should cheer me up a bit. Or not.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
And I was all upset?
Well what the bank didn't tell me was that someone (and believe me, it was NOT me) had been on a shopping spree in Spain using my card number and emptied our account.
Rich's salary, my salary and our vacation money...gone. Buh-bye. See ya. You can't even buy groceries, honey. You are so fucked you are beyond fucked.
Ironically, I have always wanted to go to Spain. But now I can't afford it because someone in Spain spent all my money already. I hope my money had a nice holiday. Cuz it sure seems like it did. Jewelry, perfume, Lube Express (!!??), restaurants and shops. All gone. All in one day.
We usually don't have any money in the account, but had some this time because Rich wanted to get me a 15th anniversary gift and so we saved up a bit from the holiday money, his plan being to get something in London. I am just floored that the one time we have money, it gets stolen. I mean, seriously, is this my life or what?
The bank said they would have called but didn't have a number to call us. Um, so they couldn't have stopped the card BEFORE the account was emptied? They waited until the account was empty, THEN they stop the card. Good. Very good.
So this morning we spent two hours at the bank straightening things out. We saw the list of charges and the places those UNBELIEVABLE MOTHER FUCKERS who took my card went to. So strange to see this lifestyle we provided for someone else. I want to know why they needed to go to Lube Express, personally. Who gets lube and jewelry in the same day?
The people at the bank were pretty nice, if a bit clueless, as, of course, this NEVER happens in Norway. (Yeah, and three car break ins, and a house theft NEVER happen either). They say we should be able to get our money back, but it would be better if it had been on a credit card and not a debit card. We went to file a police report as well, but the police were out to lunch.
Literally. Out to lunch. Come back at one. Between the cops' hours and the bankers' hours, I am starting to think I work in the wrong business. Must be nice to work 6 hours a day.
So now, when I go to London Saturday, not only do I have no card, but I also have NO MONEY. Which puts a damper on my shopping plans, yo.
I just REALLY want to know who got my number and HOW they managed to do this.
We didn't sleep at all last night.
Monday, May 26, 2008
- Try to buy groceries
- Swipey thing won't take my card.
- Clerk sends me to ATM.
- ATM eats card.
- Stare stupidly at machine waiting for it to spit card.
- Machine gives me receipt saying "Card swallowed". (Can't it spit like everyone else?)
- Let out volley of curses causing Norwegians to scatter like freaked hens.
- RUN to bank, there's a branch around the corner.
- Fucking bank has 'summer hours'. Closes at 3 fucking pm. It's 3:15. FUUUCK!
- Accost bank employee leaving bank, brandish receipt from ATM, she says call customer service.
- I say "You call closing at 3pm customer service?"
- She walks off.
- I call customer service
- I am stuck in phone tree. A Norwegian phone tree.
- They want my card number.
- Uh, hello? THE NUMBER IS ON THE CARD! THE CARD IS IN THE MACHINE! THAT'S WHY I AM CALLING YOU FUCKWITS!
- Go back to machine.
- Maybe card fell out and is around there somewhere?
- God Says "Ha!"
- Use US ATM card in fucking machine, must get groceries, desperate need for toilet paper.
- Pray US card won't get eaten.
- Get cash.
- Take deep breath.
- Curse again when I realize today's groceries will show up in US account at the bargain price of $225.
- Go back to grocery store, get groceries, curse the Norwegian banking system and price of groceries.
- Make more Norwegians run like scared hens.
- Run home with groceries, throw them in fridge, including toilet paper, no time to unpack.
- Cold asswipe may be necessary later anyhow.
- Call bank.
- Bank hangs up on me.
- Call bank back, wish I had gun or broadsword to take out everyone of these mother fuckers.
- Give them account number.
- Explain situation.
- They say it's not their ATM, I have to call OTHER bank.
- OTHER bank would have to retrieve card, mail it to my bank for verification.
- This will take minimum a week.
- Won't get card back in time for London.
- Fantasy of Dave style flame thrower and nuclear weapons aimed at bank.
- THEY cannot say WHY card was 'swallowed'.
- Say they can order me a new card, will take 3 or 4 days, not sure if it will get to me but maybe it will. Depends on post.(!!!???!!!)
- I say why don't we do that and I will meantime try to find something out from OTHER bank.
- Call OTHER bank. Blood pressure at critical.
- Other bank closed.
- FUCK THAT, I call corporate and ask for the fucking president of other bank.
- He answers.
- President of other bank says I have to call ATM service company.
- He gives me number, he can tell by my voice I am NOT up for fucking around.
- Call ATM service company.
- Call ATM service company.
- On hold
- On hold
- On hold.
- Guy answers phone, I explain the situation.
- He says call back tomorrow, maybe we can meet at machine for me to get card.
- But he can't give me card without bank verification.
- I say bank is around corner, he can accompany me. I will show him passport, fingerprints, tits, ANYTHING to get my card back.
- He gives me his name and says to call back tomorrow at 8am.
- I regret that I did not buy beer at grocery store and HAVE NO MEANS TO DO SO NOW.
- I feel sorry for you if you work at the bank and are at work tomorrow.
TOOK. MY. CARD.
My ONLY source of money in Norway. I go to London on Saturday. It takes minimum 4 days to get a new card in Norway, more like 2 weeks in reality. I REALLY need that card back.
OH fuckity fuck fuck fuck!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Today I met a supermodel cow. That cow actually posed for pictures. Every time I moved it put itself in yet another alluring cow pose. Seriously, it was Cowdia Schiffer. Look:
I've met other model cows too. Like these, in Ireland:
Seriously, what is there to not like about cows? They give me milk and cheese and steak (sorry, I'm cownivorous) and as shown in the photos, some serious fierceness as well. Snap!
This morning they showed a race from the UK to Oslo, one guy driving through Europe, the other guys taking the ferry and then boat. It's hilarious and proves one thing: Horsepower doesn't matter in Norway. The landscape and the roads are going to mess you up. You can only go as fast as the land and weather will allow!
I also found it funny to see them getting around Norway with no clue what the money is worth or where they were. Hahahahah!
Here's part 3 of 4 (where they are getting to Norway):
Here's part 4 of 4....the end.
CLASSIC at the very end where the loser, wet bedraggled and totally lost, looks into the camera and says "What's the Norwegian for 'Oh, cock'?"
I'll write about the Eurovision contest later. Russia won, though Norway and Latvia (aaargh) did quite respectably.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
They say tonight Norway might have a chance for some points.
I'm gonna dress up as this guy from Lithuania. I frikking HATE the song, but I've got leather pants, a scarf and a white puffy shirt, so I am going for it. He's SO goth, isn't he? (not).
Hmm, what is the Lithuanian flag?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Oh MAN did my ass hurt after that camel ride. It was already sunburned, then, after the ride, calloused as well. Yes, I had the dreaded Camel Ass. Oofda. (As we say in Norway.)
I stole this mug from my mom a few years ago. This morning Rich made coffee and put it out for me especially. I'm fairly certain it is a hint. In other news, I am happy to report that today my forehead remains dry. I've started using a shorter glass to avoid further 'Ruprecht'* moments.*the bit with the cork on the fork STILL makes me giggle after all these years.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
1) It was 5am
2) I think I was still drunk
3) I was definitely still asleep, and....
4) My eyes were closed.
I woke up at 5am with unendurable thirst. I was SO thirsty it was crazy. This, even though I drank two large glasses of water before I went to bed.
As I am pretty blind without my glasses, when I go to bed I set up my nightstand with what I think I might need in the night. This always includes a glass of water. I put it within close reach so when I have my nighttime thirsties, I can just reach over and grab the glass without looking for it or, if I am lucky, opening my eyes. Opening my eyes in the night means I am awakened, but if I can keep them closed I am reasonably assured of getting back to sleep quickly. (I do this, too, when I go to the bathroom. I am an expert at middle of the night peeing blind.)
Ok, so anyhow, 5am. Thirsty. Possibly still drunk. Grab glass. (The glass, as this is germaine to the story, is a tall cylindrical plastic one. Probably 10 or so inches tall.)
Grab glass. It's full of cool clear water. Bring glass to face. Miss mouth entirely, hit forehead with glass and douse own face and chest with cool, clear water. Wake up sputtering and wondering what the hell happened.
(What happened was I grabbed the bottom of the glass instead of the top, thus causing a severe mis-tilt as the mouth of it was higher than I thought and so I hit my forehead instead of mouth with the top of the glass. I did not know this was possible. This is also a lesson in why I might want to open my eyes from now on when having my night thirsties.)
I did finally manage to find the correct facial aperture and drink the remaining water. My side of the bed was pretty wet, though. Not that I cared, I was too tired to worry about it. I fell back asleep immediately, if moist.
I'm hoping this is the end of Dork Week.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Banged the ever loving SHIT out of my knee. Actually, I landed all fours on the edge of the step, but only my left hand and right knee got any real damage. The knee is a bit swollen, bruised and scraped, but luckily no permanent damage (beside,s of course, my dignity.)
There were people behind me on the steps and as I fell, I cursed rather loudly and vigorously in English. One guy was all, "Are you ok?" and then a woman, behind him, said "Do you need a Band Aid?" That sort of made me giggle in the midst of my pain and chagrin. As an American, of COURSE I would need a Band Aid, wouldn't I? Don't Band Aids cure everything for us? I assured her I could survive without being taped back together with the American Cure for Ouch.
But I was pissy as hell all day, only semi-cured by a shopping trip and retail therapy.
Oh, and wine.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
To say I am excited would be an understatement. I'm so excited that I am strangely calm and mellow. Like, past excitement into Zen.
In fact, no words can describe how I feel. His music (from Yardbirds to Zeppelin to his solo stuff and onwards) has been a consistent influence in my life. It carries me away and into a calm happy place in a way very few things do. Shine it all around.
I can't believe I will be in the same airspace as Robert Plant tonight.
I'm plotzing. And I am not even sure what plotzing is. But I'm doing it.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I am oddly jealous about this. Some suburban girl from Canada gets to marry into the royal family? Her dad is an electrician? She's a 'management consultant', whatever the hell THAT is.
I mean, c'mon already! *I'm* supposed to be the princess here. I'm the one who has studied English culture and history since I was a kid. I'm the one who looks great in long dresses, corsets, and royal orbs, and honey, I can wear the HELL out of a tiara.
And some Canadian chick just steals my (admittedly never-gonna-happen) dream?
Bitch! Hate her!
Except, today? The weather? Absolute shit. I mean it couldn't BE any worse if someone had ordered the shittiest day on record. It's COLD outside (maybe 40F?), and bucketing down rain and the rain is mixed with SNOW. Everyone is dressed up so nice and marching in this shit and they are trying so hard to be happy when I know for a fact they all just WANT TO GET INSIDE. The plaza is set up with benches and band stands for an outdoor celebration, but anyone who sits out there right now is crazy. We had plans to join the festivities in central Oslo but everyone sort of wimped out. I am still in my jammies trying to keep warm from the draught coming under the window. All that nice weather of last week is a golden memory.
We were awakened at 8:30am by a barrage of loud dance music that came from the Russ buss pictured above. The bus parked itself on the road outside the town plaza (awaiting the parade to start at 9:30) and the girls all gathered on the roof and danced and sang and hollered and cheered during their wait. Very cute, except EARLY and those girls must have been so tired after a night of drinking, fucking and partying (which is what Russ do, for like, three weeks BEFORE their final exams) and very cold from standing in the shit weather. I was glad they were out there and we were inside and I wasn't 17 trying to prove what a hard partier I am. Seems exhausting. They managed to keep their energy up for the parade and gamely joined in with the wet bedraggled celebrants. The parade was quicker than usual this year
Luckily (for them and us, I imagine) Russ ends today. No more drive bys from loud busses and being awakened at 2am by screaming teenagers filling the fountain in the plaza with dish soap. (From now on I get to be awakened by kids on scooters with the mufflers removed, zipping around town at 2am and having races. Good times. Good times. )
Also, on a personal note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN! Here's hoping your Big 4-0 is a great one!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
- Went out for a work gathering Tuesday night. Work gatherings almost ALWAYS contain the following: liquor. bars. laughter. an expensive cab ride home very late at night.
- This one was no different, with the addition of the following: snorting cognac.
- Don't ask.
- I SAID don't ASK!
- Ok, ok you HAD to know.
- You do it from a spoon.
- YES it hurts.
- And it's not very sexy, cognac running from your nose.
- My boss did it in London (on a dare from a bartender) and told me about it, so of course I made him prove that he could do it.
- Then it became, "If I do it you have to do it".
- So we did.
- My hangover Wednesday was not too bad, but I was tired.
- I went to work, though.
- Wanted to "work from home".
- Which is what my boss did.
- Hmmph. Smart bastard.
- I took a long nap after work.
- In other news......
- Got invited to a hen party in Ibiza yesterday.
- This is very cool for many reasons.
- Firstly, hello, IBIZA?
- Secondly, it's my cousin's fiance who invited me, which means she likes me enough to include me in her bachelorette party.
- Which is cool because I like her too.
- Thirdly, it's just cool to be invited to party in Ibiza (to leave from Gatwick).
- But I can't go.
- Because I am OLD.
- Like 10 years older than the other hens.
- And I really don't think I could party for three days straight without getting very, very sick. (Remember Amsterdam and the flu? Oy.)
- Don't have time off from work what with upcoming travel, which includes:
- So Ibiza is out. But I am bummed to not go because I have always wanted to.
- Probably should have gone when I was younger.
- Eek, first time I ever said THAT. First old age regret!
- I actually have very few of those.
- Because my motto is try anything once, and if you don't like it you don't have to do it again.
- So I've tried alot of things.
- Which explains the Unfortunate Incident of the Cognac.
- Which I have now learned I won't repeat.
- There's some lame movie set in Roman times on TV.
- I keep thinking that their gladiator sandals are SO FABULOUS!
- Even on old Roman warrior dudes.
- I think it's time to eat. I'm hungry.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Went for a long walk today. Beautiful blue sky and clouds pointing to the horizon. Look closely at the upper middle sky and you can see the moon. Norway is so fucking beautiful in summer it literally makes me teary eyed at times. Just mind blowing. I am so glad to experience it!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
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Sunday, May 04, 2008
A very solid abandoned barn that we passed on our walk today.
The ramp in front is MASSIVE and built of rocks. At one time there was a wooden bridge that would have connected it to the upper level of the barn. This picture shows only the first half or possibly third of the barn. It's really big.
Who would abandon it and why? The whole farm was obviously built with love and care and quality, so why leave it? There has obviously been a farm there for a long long time. It's right by the old Viking areas, with trails all around and even some small burial mounds (though my friend Kristin says they aren't burial mounds but just old rock and wood heaps, but the shape of them and the fact that it is an old Viking area makes me think otherwise. I have been told I can be overly romantic, though.) There is a map on a sign nearby that shows the whole area peppered with Viking trade routes, lime kilns and settlements. For sure there have been people around here for over 1000 years.
A row of trees on the abandoned farm we saw today. There was a spooky vibe there, I would not want to go at night.
It's obvious local kids used to go there and hang out. There are signs on the doors warning to keep out and any possible entries are pretty well boarded up and secured.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Sometimes, however, an interesting project that was outside my usual focus came to me. Bigger, scarier, but ultimately more rewarding.
Here is one such project I did*, for a house in Austin, that is now up for sale. It's kind of my masterpiece. There's a slide show link on the left, you can't see in detail what I did, but the "artist" mentioned in the article is me! You can kind of see the half-moon celtic stencil at the top of the doorway at the top of the stairs. You can also just see the stenciling in the dining room (top of the wall in the red part) and also if you look very closely, the gleam on the walls of the master bedroom is actually an all over wall stencil in pearlescent paint. I also did washes on the walls of the living room, office, bathroom and kitchen. Very little of that house escaped my brushes.
I think calling me an "artist" is a bit optimistic, but I did enjoy the hell out of working on that house and it remains my proudest painting achievement ever.
*The Austin American Stateman might require a log in.
At the grocery store today I saw a can of Van Camp's Baked Beans (with Real Bacon and Brown Sugar!) that sold for the amazing price of 48 kroners. At today's exchange rate that's about $9.50. Right above that on the shelf was a box of Stove Top Stuffing for the same price.
I could do a ripping black market trade in stuffing and beans if I wanted.
Friday, May 02, 2008
- Seriously, the more I hear about the US economy? The more I worry. Well, ok, WORRY is the wrong word, more like GET ANGRY at FUCKING George Bush and his reprehensible, incomprehensible and illogical economic polices. That guy has single handedly wrecked the greatest (former) country in the world, and if anyone belongs in Guantanamo, it would be HIM.
- That being said, I am gratefuI am out here in Norway, where I am a little protected from all that shit. Things are pretty stable here, right now. Gas has always been expensive, no shock there. Plus I don't have to hear HIM making speeches and stuff. I'll buy y'all a beer and a gallon of gas next time I come home, ok?
- Is anoyone else sick to death of the Democratic primary? I'm a Democrat, and at this point I just don't CARE anymore.
- The Macintosh has been restored to its former, reliable, wirelessly stable self. The guy at Eplehuset took an agressive stance and replaced the logic board, which seems to have worked a treat. I think we will now call it Frankenmac, with all its new parts and stitched together bits. But Whitey is back and workin' fine!
- I'm listening to A3. This is Bookhart's favorite band, and I definitely am a fan as well. I love that these white English guys sound so American South, and at one time adore and take the piss out of American culture. Brilliant. Plus, I can dance to it. I'm chair boogying as I write this.
- The other night I was good at the pub, and had tomato soup instead of the bacon club sandwich with fries that I wanted. Score one for willpower. (Ok, full disclosure: I had about 5 glasses of wine. Still, I would have had those had I had the club anyhow, so look at me all saving the calories and shit!)
- It's raining today, but it's not COLD. Just chilly. This is the weather where everyone pulls out their hip leather jackets. Cool enough for spring, but not warm enough for winter.
- I'm all booked for my project management course in London in June. I'm psyched, but maybe a bit nervous. What if I suck? What if I am too stupid to take a class anymore, and just don't GET it? What if my brain is now the size of a peanut? (That is most certainly the size of my bladder.)
- My brother tells me that the car in the picture below is worth ONE MILLION dollars and has ONE THOUSAND horsepower. I was thinking it costs a couple hundred thou, tops, when I saw it. ONE MILLION BUCKS FOR A CAR? God can you imagine driving that thing? I'd wrap it in bubble wrap and then have police on each corner with sirens to prevent anyone touching me, PLUS hire someone to guard it while it was parked. If you can afford a million dollar car, you can afford extra people to protect it.
- But then, if I had that much money, I'd also hire someone to find me more of those jeans I was wearing in the picture.
- And again, if I had THAT much money, I'd also hire someone to exercise and lose weight for me so I wouldn't need skinny jeans, I'd just be skinny.
- And again, with the money....I fell in love with a bag by Etro in Berlin and I can't remove it from my brain. I can't find a picture of it online, but when I do I will post it. No way I could buy the bag, but it was perfect for me.
- When we went to Berlin last Thursday, the trees still did not have leaves. Upon return on Tuesday, they did. THAT is how fast the seasons change here. Literally, from one day to the next, it goes from winter to spring.
- My outfit today is almost exactly like something I wore in high school. Leggings, above knee length fitted shirt dress, wide elastic belt, mary jane flats (everything balck, of course). 80's!
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Thursday, May 01, 2008
Here's a pic of a Bugatti in a shop window in Berlin. Nice car. (I'm also thinking I wish the Gap still made the jeans I am wearing in this shot. I'd like more of them.) I know you boys would prefer a hot chick in a bikini with your car pics, but this is my blog so you get me in my 'good butt' jeans instead.