Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sartorial splendors of summer.

So today I am wearing a green dress I got from J Peterman. (Have I mentioned J Peterman? How I love J Peterman?) Anyhow, the dress is a classic full skirted shirt dress, like Mrs Cleaver would wear, and it’s very, brightly, stunningly green. That grass green people wear on St Patty’s day. I’m wearing it with gold shoes, belt and my fab gold bag. (If things went well, there should be a picture of it below. At least, if the Gods of the Cell Phone Picture Text are paying attention, there’s a picture.)

And people will NOT STOP commenting on it. Everyone in the office has stopped me about my dress. Is the green TOO green? I kind of don’t know. Everyone tells me how ‘Springy’ I look. Here in Norway, we are still so used to the cold, people have a hard time giving up the boots tights and coats, so when someone ‘comes out of the winter closet’, as it were, and becomes an early adopter of spring clothes, there’s always a bit of a flutter. The first sighting of skin is quite shocking to many, especially the old ladies. Any skin, no matter where. It’s like a boob fell out, the way people stared at my ankles earlier this week. Disapprovingly. Like “God, did you see that WHORE showing her ANKLES without any SOCKS? Who does she think she is, acting all warm and sockless? Warmy McWarmerson? Does she think her ankles are ALL THAT?”

What I love, is, once the winterness wears off a bit and people DO start wearing spring/summer clothes, all bets are off. People INDULGE in the luxury of summer clothes. The most beautiful, fanciful linens, dresses, sheers, floaty things…they wear them all. It’s like fantasy dress up for some fanciful play about Sumer. Visions of loveliness floating about in pale colors and effortless sunny softness. We don’t really do that so much in Texas, because it’s warm all the time and we don‘t feel the need to celebrate summer in our clothes, but here, it’s a true, full on celebration of the summer and the lightness and warmth that lasts for such a short time. I love looking at the clothes that are out now. So much FUN! Such a sense of lightness and freedom. (The old ladies in their bras will be out in full force this weekend, the forecast is for warm and sun. They’ve obviously abjured the floaty linens for the basics of a bra and the garden.)

And now that it is almost May, I can officially, once again, begin my Annual Summer Dress A Day program. Cuz, you know, my obsession with the dress has caused me to amass a rather wide selection of them, and so I need to get crackin’ wearing them all so that I can work through them before the weather changes on August 24th. (Yes, my scientific research has discovered that summer lasts until August 24th here in Norway. It hits that date and boom, it’s chilly. Three years running now, it’s been the case.)

I can’t wait until people see the bright red dress I got from J Peterman. And then there’s the taxi cab yellow one I have from Noa Noa and the bright purple wrap dress I got at the Gap a few years ago and the lime green that I’ve had for 10 years now…weeee! Dresses! (And, don’t forget, SANDALS!)


Green!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Today's much noted green dress.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

absolutely brilliant

This article on the NPR website has me laughing my ass off.


The other day I read how Gov. Hairy was asking the government for more Tamiflu, etc., for this swine flu scare, and was thinking about how hypocritical it is that he goes crawling to the Feds when the shit hits the fan, but is all big words and rhetoric about receding from the US and how we don’t need them. What a load of crap!


As proud as I am of being a Texan, our state government is so whacked I sometimes just want to cringe in embarrassment that these assholes are our ‘leaders’.


In other news, Friday is a holiday in Norway. MayDay. Worker’s Day. I am not much of a fan of unions (having been dragooned into one the summer I worked in Yosemite and ended up paying way too much in Union fees for a job I hated that the union said I didn’t have the seniority to get out of) but I am very happy to have the day off. Hey, I paid my dues many years ago (literally) and I think I am still due a few more days off. I only remembered Monday that this is a four day week…woo!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Dinner, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sometimes you just can't help but giggle

I attempted to go for a walk today but was foiled by my nose trying to escape my face by sneezing itself off.

As I retreated back home to swath my face in tissues and nasal sprays, I noticed a small 'loppemarked' or garage sale (usually done by schools here) happening right near my house. I swabbed my runny face as best I could and dove in to the fray, this girl does not miss a good garage sale.

I was bagging up some books I had found (50 nok for a whole bag, your choice, tons of English ones!) when I had to giggle. Stuck in amongst the (mostly Norwegian) cookbooks was a book about Guns N Roses entitled "Appetite for Destruction". I didn't have the heart to tell them about the was too perfect as it was.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First real day of Spring

First real day of Spring, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Here's what I did today. There was a chilly breeze but the sheep skins proved a cozy liner that kept me warm. The sun was heavenly as I closed my eyes and listened to the town around me. The slap-crunch of the skate boarders on the plaza, babies laughing and crying, car engines revving, a dog barking. Zzzz.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Because I don't FEEL like it

I need to fix dinner but I don't feel like it just yet. Unfortunately, I mentioned the "S" word to my husband, and now he won't leave me alone about it. If only I have not said that word, I would have gotten away with a lazy evening, but NO, now i have to cook.

The S word? Stroganoff. The boy loves his Stroganoff.

Ok, OK!..... I'll get to it in a minute.


I seem to have been attacked by the evil nose filling sneeze causing spirit that gives people allergies. Yes, for the first time ever in my 40 years...... I think I am suffering spring allergies.

They? Suck. Seriously.

And there is no way I can escape them, so I am thinking that I am just going to be out there, IN the pollen, and FORCE my body to accept the pollen again, as it has every year of my Godforsaken life. Why would nose suddenly NOT accept something it has accepted every year until now? I don't get it. Stupid histamines. We don't have AC, we have to have to windows open in summer, and I have to go outside all the time, so trying to hide from pollen WON'T work. It gets in the house and I literally have to dust the pollen off every surface. I'm taking the occasional antihistamine, some prescription stuff I got when I got hives recently. It works ok, makes me sort of stupid (well, stupider than normal) and I could sleep 20 out of the 24 hours in the day with NO problem. Except the sneezing, of course. THAT is a problem. That and the fact that my nose feels like it's filled with gravel.

How do people DO this?

I won't let it get me down, I won't let it stick. I won't put up with this every year and I WILL go back to my former non-allergic state. (Heh, even if that state ends up being Texas.)

In other, better, news, tomorrow night is a night out with My Boys from work. This time I get to have another girl with me on the night out, a crazy Canadian I work with who might be the only other woman in the world who has a wonkier sense of humor than me. I can make her laugh so hard at lunch that she snorts. We all try hard to make her snort, now, because she also cries and it gets very entertaining. The hilarrity spreads and soon the table is full of crying snorting howling people of all nationalities. Should be a fun night, tomorrow..... me...13 boys and a Red Headed Canadian Snorter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tipsy posty

Hidee ho, ho's!

I'm slightly drunkish.

Yeah, it's Monday, don't judge. I dunno about you, but Monday is the most alcoholically necessary day of the week as far as I'm concerned. don't try to say alcoholically necessary (or spell it for that matter) when tipsy. Verry hard.

Ok, so here is what I am doing RIGHT fucking NOW, people:


Details on the above:
Cooking: Spaghetti bolognese, or, as I still think of it, Misty Sauce, a spaghetti with beef, helluva lotta mushrooms and basil and 'maters, easy yet yummy and good for you too!
Blogging: duh.
Dancing: Well, NIN just stopped, but was chair dancing to that (iPod shuffle is so good, ti knows my moods).
Singing: The Toadies Possum Kingdom is my fave, I like to belt that one, I sing it pretty well when drunkded except for one note ("So Help MEEEE") when my voice always breaks.

Oh, cool. Now is Massive Attack. Slinky Dance!

Ok, so beyond the Monday drinking (DAMN today was busy, and it's gonna be a ballbuster of a week. I realize that I am somewhat ball-free, but I can bust other people's balls, can't I?), what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah, ok, um....shit. What WAS I talking about?



Yesterday I officially decided spring was here when I saw my first old lady in her bra. See, Norwegian ladies, above a certain age, are known for gardening and sunning in their bras. This, I assume, comes from them thinking they are too old for bikinis, yet, poor birds, they want sun on their tums and chests, so it is a common sight to see them gardening or sitting on their sun porches in their big supportive white bras (carefully folded off their shoulders, yet still covering the important bits). It's really quite cute, all these chesty mamas in their white boob holsters, watching the passers by and picking weeds. I hope to be one of them some day. By the time I'm old enough, I hope old lady bra gardening is a popular pastime in the US.

Perhaps I will make it a trend. Later in life, of course.

So today, in honor of spring, I wore a black linen shift dress with pumps, sans hose. Yeah, ok, it might have been a LITTLE early for that, because goose bumps on thighs is not pretty as you wait for the train. (I had on a sweater and jacket over the dress. I'm not insane.)

However, that being said, all the boys at work were mightily impressed by my outfit. I'm not sure why, though. The dress in question is literally over 10 years old, from Old Navy, the shoes, almost as old. Was it the above the knee (barely) length and the absence of hose, showing skin on bare legs? (Granted there IS a tattoo.) The tightly bound waist? The fact that it was all black and slightly narrow fitting? Whatever, but my ancient cheapo outfit was a hit.

Why is it that the outfit I don't even make an effort on is commented on, but the ones I really work on garner nary a comment (except from my fellow fashion obsessed comrade, Evelyne, who always susses out my fave outfits, which is why I lurve her).

I should not care more often.

Ok, I need to check dinner und dance some more. Tchuss!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ramblings as I wait for my luggage

I am waiting for BA to deliver my luggage. I got one suitcase yesterday on arrival, the other decided to go on walkabout at Heathrow.

One lesson learned? If you lock your suitcase, don't take the brilliant decision to then put the keys for that lock in the front pocket of the OTHER suitcase? Because, you might just get one suitcase, the locked one, and then not be able to get it open. I've spent the morning finding every small stupid key in the house and trying to fit them in the lock. Additional note to self: Store keys in ONE PLACE and perhaps label them. Me? Not the smartest person ever invented.

I could cut the lock, I suppose, but the locks came with the suitcase and I kind of want to have one, whole, intact suitcase set with accompanying accoutrements.

Other random stuff from the past few days:
  • American toilet paper is too soft. I prefer the slightly more exfoliating nature of the paper in Europe.
  • Too many damned big ugly churches in Middle Amurca. Where is all the money for these big ugly square shed-style buildings coming from?
  • Americans at the airport are in need of some serious wardrobe help. Sorry, wearing cut off sweats and filthy t shirts with flip flops? NOT suitable for travel. Just...NOT. I was appalled at the level of disrespectful dressing I saw. People from all over the world will see this how you want Americans to be thought of? Yuck.
  • That upgrade, or whatever, I got to business class? God, it made all the difference. The long haul flight from Chicago to Heathrow felt short! I slept! For, like, 5 hours! I was actually a bit bummed I didn't have more time on the plane to mess about with more movies, and the seat, and have more champagne and snacks! And have people call me ma'am and pay attention to my every whim! I wasn't too tired when I got home! 9Tired, yes, but not TOO tired!)
  • Are the US drug companies the ONLY ones paying for television advertising lately? And, as a side note, is having an erection really THAT important?
  • American clothes really just do fit me better. Better quality, better sizing and better prices.
  • J Peterman rocks. I bought all this stuff from there, thinking I might have to return some, and I returned NONE. The pants fit right out of the box, perfection. The dresses? Gorgeous. Now if only I could get them out of my locked suitcase!
  • I saw the movie "Marley and Me" on the flight from Chicago to London and I bawled. (Po, you would understand.) The part at the end? Been there, done that, and seriously, I couldn't even LOOK at it as it made me cry too hard. On a plane. In the middle seat. Oh god, dork am I or what?
  • I really missed: My husband. My bathtub. My bed. Gorgeous Norwegian water. In that order.
  • Whenever we move back home, I am going to Target every damned day.
  • I felt like a foreigner in the US. Coming home, when it happens? Won't be as easy as I thought. I am a bit confused as to where home is, now. Texas, yes, home, but I fear some reverse culture shock. Luckily? Friends....I have the best ones ever.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Noooo!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Magazine seen in Dallas on arrival last week! I nearly went back home. Can't he just go away?

En route back to Oslo. Flt to DFW cancelled. Was shitting bricks but AA rebooked my BA flt thru Chicago, putting me in business class as had Y ticket! Sweet! Saved a hundred bucks on excess bag fees! I hope AA bidness is nice. Gotta be better than economy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! (Multi-Cultural style)

When I was a kid we'd usually go to my grandparent's house on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Easter. Omi and Opi were students of Asian art and culture, and had a beautiful Japanese garden and the house was a veritable shrine to Asian (mostly SE Asian, Thai and Cambodian) art. Our Easter egg hunts, therefore, were interesting. We never knew which Buddha or Fu dog would be holding an egg. 

After Omi and Opi died, Mom and Dad ended up with alot of the things that used to be in the Mississippi house (lately destroyed by Katrina, that bitch.) Some of the stuff they got will always remind me of Easter eggs, as seen below.

Fat Buddha say "Yeay! An Easter egg!!"

Fu Dog say, "Go ahead, make my day."

Put that Easter egg in your pipe and smoke it!

My favorite egg-holding Buddha. My brother and I always got to this one first. 

The egg in the photos became my breakfast a scant 10 minutes after his modeling debut. Scrambled up and eaten with gusto. 

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Random pictures on a spring day in Missouri

Finally a warm sunny day.

Mom and I did yoga this morning and then (after my restorational 2 hour nap, hey, I'm on holiday) we went for a walk. The yoga was pretty tough, if I do say so, though similar to what we do in Norway. Just more poses, done more quickly.

The walk was great, though my body is a bit sore from all the yoga-ing. Here's some pictures of a beautiful spring day in MO.

Dad holding up another piece of his old Chevy truck that fell off. He's hauling and cutting wood today. He does that alot. 

Buddha and tulips. Dad also builds Japanese gardens and very beautiful fish ponds. Mom goes crazy in spring with the flowers and the gardening. 

Some of Dad's wood. SOME of it. 

Big fat frog in the pond. About two feet away is a black pile of tadpole eggs floating on the top of the pond. Another few weeks and tadpoles will be everywhere. I used to catch them in my mom's favorite frying pan when I was a kid growing up in Houston. She didn't like that much. (I only started using the frying pan after she banned me from the flour sifter, which was much more effective but unfortunately got me busted as it got clogged with algae. Dishwashers don't really do a good job of getting algae out of sifter screens. I always did learn the hard way.)

One of the ancient barns on the land. They were built mid 1850's. The wood is practically petrified. 

Tuefel in the foreground, Stihl in back. At the creek. Waiting attentively for sticks or stones to be thrown their way. (Tuefel means "devil" in German, and Stihl was so named because when she was a puppy she sawed through everything with her gnawing. Dad has a Stihl chainsaw.)

Mom up the creek without a paddle. Or, for that matter, a boat. It's a nice creek.  Nice mom too. 

PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ankle biting chaos creating adorable love muffin puppy!

An ancient catalpa tree right outside the house. It's really big. The yellow bushes are blooming forsythias. Mom waxes poetic about the forsythias. 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

US of A


First of all, I think I may have confused some people. I am NOT in Texas and unfortunately have no plans to do so. I am on a short trip (over t he Easter holidays) to my parents' in the wilds of Missouri. I really think that the name of the town they live in is an ancient Cherokee term for "Bumfuck". 

The flight was brutal, as flights that long always are, unless you are in business class, which I most assuredly was not. The flight leaving Oslo was 2 hours late, which ate up ALL my transit time in Heathrow. So, instead of a leisurely (and much looked forward to) stroll around Terminal 5, I had to run, sprint and push my way OJ style through the whole terminal to catch the connecting flight to DFW. This meant, no visit to duty free, no lunch, no trip to WH Smith for trashy mags and good British historical novels. Just me sweaty and cranky running to my next flight, with no reading materials, and, it turned out, a broken video player at my seat, which was directly behind business class, so I could be teased by them with their 10 inch screens.  The check in guy for the flight to the US was rude and officious, and I discovered something disturbing about myself: The older I get, the less I respect authority. Or, perhaps to put a finer point on it, I have no respect for persons in positions of small, underpaid authority who abuse what small power they have. This includes check in security people, those people at the gate who minutely study your ticket looking for any discrepancy so they can NOT let you on the plane, and the people who tell you to turn off your cell phone when you are in line, and then repeat it before you have a chance to react to their rudely barked orders. I find myself snarking  back at them, "I heard you first time, however I am not a superhero and can't quite move as fast as you would swish". 

I'll probably be twittering from jail some day because of my smart mouth and punk attitude. 

It only gets worse in the States. Really, I am surprised at the rudeness of airport workers in the US. I am also surprised that people just take this treatment. It is the first thing I notice upon arrival. 

Anyhow, made it on time to DFW, where I paused for a wonderful full-on Mexican taco dinner with a margarita, that after a 20 hour odyssey, got me drunker than a skunk. I hiccuped and giggled my way on to the next flight. My lack of authoritarian respect could have gotten me in BIG trouble when I snorted at a TSA agent walking ahead of me in the concourse. He turned around to see where the noise came from and I covered it in a cough. Yikes. Shutup drunk Karla!

Made it to MO where my brother and Kathy came to pick me up and drive me over the glass smooth winding and twisting country roads to my parents. Got to my parents and crashed. The jet lag, she gets harder as I get older. It's nice to be in the familial bosom, though, Mom with her silly jokes and Dad with his bombastic political opinions. Kathy brought a lot of yummy rosé with her and Mom's been cooking up a storm. 

The room I sleep in is upstairs under the eaves, and this morning it rained. I love the sound of the rain drumming on the old tin roof of the house, it sounds so solid and reassuring. This house is old (and I think it's haunted, just a little) , and very strong, and I feel safe snugged under the eaves, with the bird song and guinea fowl 'pakwakk' ing and roosters crowing and the dogs snuffling around . There was even some thunder. I love thunder. 

Eggs benedict and strawberries for breakfast. Ah......

Friday, April 03, 2009


Ah, originally uploaded by karlakp.


Stopover in Texas!Stopover in Texas!


Close, originally uploaded by karlakp.

THIS close to bidness class! Luggage not on plane I had 10 min to sprint across LHR to make it. Hot tired and hungry as hell. 2 hr transit time lost. SHIT!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

here's me packing.

No, really. I'm packing. Packing for my trip to the US.

It's just.....

Why bother packing anything? I have about 6 packages from Banana Republic, J. Peterman, Gap and Target awaiting me upon my arrival. Don't really need any clothes then. There's a Target (and a mall) a mere 90 minute drive from my parents' house, and if I am really desperate there's a Super Walmart 10 minutes in the other direction. I left some sneakers in the basement of my parents house for when we go for walks, I can borrow a jacket from my mom, and honestly, I only need a pair or two of jeans because I am gonna get filthy dirty running around and playing with PUPPIES all day. (My brother is getting a new puppy and one for a friend. And I get to whop the snot out of them for a whole week! Puppies are my absolute favorite thing.)

I've packed all the gifts I'm bringing in one suitcase, and some random clothes. In the other suitcase I'll toss in a few more things and then call it a day. (I need two suitcases for the trip back, dontcha know. Normally I just buy another one there, but we seem to have a glut of suitcases now, and I really just don't NEED another one.)

so. There we have it. Packed and sorted, mostly.

The main thing I need to buy in the States? Bras. For some reason, lately, Norway has been taken over by what I call the Stand Alone bra. You know, those bras that have padding or poofing or the cups that stand on their own volition? Ok, so the last thing I want is MORE breastage appearing on the front of my chest, as a 36 D verging on DD, I really don't need any 'enhancement', thank you so much. (Not unless I want to rest my chin on my tits at work.) I just want a few nice, soft, stretchy, comfy bras that support what I got without adding any oomph to an already oomphy situation. I can't find them ANYWHERE here. All the lingerie stores are filled with wall upon wall of colorful pneumatic breast holders just standing at attention to be placed on a chest, where they can then stand independent of what is underneath. Large walls of boobs. God it's horrible. All lacy and rough and scratchy and artificial. What is a girl with actual, real, live breasts supposed to WEAR? So, I am going to hit Target and wherever else HARD so I can find my normal, old fashioned, comfy yet stylish bras without any padding. It shouldn't be that hard. (Nor should the bras be, for that matter.)

Ok, 20 more minutes of random shoving things in a suitcase, except for bras, then time for dinner.

Look for tweets tomorrow, but probably no blog post for a day or so. (Not that I am all that regular about it anymore anyhow. Used to the disappointment yet?)

Oh forgot to say, gorgeous day outside, it must be 50 degrees, I have the windows open and the sun shines. Spring is close enough to taste.....and so I leave. Heh, typical.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Spring?, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Lovely day as I walk thru the royal fambly's yard. (the grounds of the palace are open to the public.)