Sunday, October 31, 2010
Today is a beautiful day, it's in the mid 40's (9c) out so not too cold, and with the sun out it's fine in just a long sleeved t shirt, really. So I got off my lazy, finally-recuperated-from-the-tequila-hangover ass, and went for a walk. I wandered over to Bygdøy, an 'island' (really a peninsula) right up the road from our flat.
Bygdøy has some pretty historical shit to boast of. There's the royal family's farm, and there's a little palace (Oscars Hall) and there is the Norsk Folk Museum and there's the Vikingskipshuset (Viking ship museum) and paths through woods and cows and horses ambling. There's farms and meadows and trees and grand old houses and what looked to me like burial mounds (but could be just big piles of rocks from previous farmers clearing fields) and everywhere, just everywhere are paths beckoning you to follow them on another walk, another discovery, and another new ramble.
In reality, all my kvetching aside, it's very similar to what I miss from the Semsvannet, actually. Pretty much the same walking distance away, trails to interesting places, some history to boot. Makes me miss our previous place just a little bit less. I'm kind of glad I figured that out, sometimes I really miss the old apartment and that neighborhood it was in.
One thing I enjoy doing on walks is playing a little bit with the Norwegian penchant for staring at anything that is slightly out of the ordinary. My little enjoyment for today was, at one point, I just stopped walking, suddenly, and stared into the distance. I actually stopped because I noticed the view into the hills at Holmenkollen, how lovely it was, from a perspective at the top of a meadow, looking down over a little bit of the fjord, then across and up and over the western side of Oslo with the way the light played and the clouds on the horizon....so I stopped to look. Then I noticed that other people were stopping and looking, too, as if I was seeing something they needed to see, or they were curious what I saw, or whatever. And that cracked me up, so I sort of upped the ante a bit, shading my eyes with my hands, looking into the distance with concentration....and then giggling to myself when people would stop, look at me, then look into the distance to see what they could see, too.
At which point, I just briskly walked off and carried on with my rambles, leaving them to look a bit stupid as they then hurriedly carried on themselves.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
When I lived in Austin? My little house? Perfect little party house. Big deck out back (that I built), good party flow in the house, good location quite central, so that people naturally gravitated to Casa Karla. I had parties monthly, pretty much, and the cops only got called a very few times.
I am out of party practice now, but am hosting two events in the next two weeks.
Friday I'm doing a dinner for a boss of mine who is moving, he and I have become pretty good friends over the past few years, so I wanted to do something special for him and his wife before they go. Hence, Mexican Fiesta Evening. I'm gonna whip up some garmaritas and quesadillas, gonna play the rock music, and have invited a few folks over for a good ol' Texas style party. I will do a seated casual dinner for 10, which is a challenge as it seems all my dinner sets (plates, utensils, glasses, etc) stretch to 8 as the most for any particular set, so now I have to figure out some creative mix and match table settings. Not to mention I actually only have 6 dining room chairs, so will pull in the extra chairs de la casa as well. However, I figure, once I hand over the margaritas upon entry to the house, people won't notice any lack of matching plates or silverware....
The next Friday I am hosting a hen party for approximately 15 ladies. Oddly enough that will be easier than a sit down for 10. Girls are easy. Chocolate, champagne, have plenty of toilet paper and clean bathrooms on hand, and boom, there's yer party......
Friday, October 22, 2010
1) I've been working REALLY hard on a project at work, a very sensitive topic, for which I feel sort of responsible for making sure that communication is key. In fact, I have been so gung ho on making sure that people feel informed and comfortable, that I am probably annoying my boss. So today, when we got an email from some people who should know better that is questioning our information flow and practices, I must say, I got a bit annoyed. Have you READ the stuff I sent you? The stuff I've posted online? Have you attended the meetings we've set? Have you come to ASK me? No? Then how dare you say that we haven't informed you, when you haven't bothered to take advantage of the many avenues of information I have provided for you???? Seriously?
2) I've been needing a glass of wine since 9:30 this morning, pretty much from the point I left the US Embassy. Oh that place is meant to make people angry. They take away your phone, your ipod, your everything, and then sit you in an ugly ass room where the only entertainment is a tv playing a US propaganda video over and over and over. (You know...uplifting music, some America the Beautiful footage, Happy Americans of All Colors Waving Happily, the flag flying Happily in the background, purple mountains being Happily majestic, all that crap.)
Jesus, people at least play some CNN or something! The poor fuckers sitting in that waiting room had this stunned desperate look on their faces, like, "Wow, this sucks, this sucks ASS, I'm bored and about to go nuts, but I can't say anything (can't even TWITTER because they took my phone away!) because they won't let me get a visa to go into their country to see the Happy Americans Waving Happily and the purple mountains majesty". Most of the people there were young Norwegians trying to get study visas. Poor kids. I think while we were there for a half hour, they got to number 3 on the 'take a number' list. They were stuck there for a LOOONG time.
As an American visiting the Embassy:
- you have to have an appointment,
- which you made online,
- which entitles you to then go the Embassy
- (only between 9-11 on certain days),
- line up outside and wait for security
- get searched and
- have your phone taken away,
- then go in
- and watch the Happy Waving American Purple Mountains Majesty video
- while occasionally hollering through a thick bullet proof glass window at a bureaucrat who says your passport name doesn't match the stuff you want signed
- and why are you a terrorist and are so unAmerican as to live OUTSIDE America?
- (which is crap and you have exactly 23 other forms of ID to prove that you are who you say you are),
- while everyone in the waiting room (which you are in, too) can hear every word you say because you are HOLLERING through 3 inches of window
- and they are all staring at you
- because what the fuck ELSE have they got to look at besides the Happily Waving Americans video?
- and then this junior bureaucrat must ask someone Official to Make A Decision,
- which they eventually do because you prostrate yourself before the God of America (aka the Embassy Guy)
- and I even had to swear with my right hand up and everything
- which everyone waiting REALLY enjoys watching, hey, look, a swearing American!
- and then you get to pay them an EXORBITANT amount of money to do something (notarize) which you can get free at any local local bank back home.
3) I thought we'd be getting a refund from Norway for taxes, but just found out we owe. Will we never get a refund????? How much can one household pay in taxes? (Ok, trying to get my Liberal mojo back. Taxes are nice, taxes are your friend.)(yeah, that never works.)
3) I'm supposed to go out tonight and now I have lost all my mojo for it. There's a story behind that, too, which I won't go into.
I should probably just stay home, shouldn't I?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I was 20 feet from Robert Plant last night. Like, I could see that he was wearing grey snakeskin boots (those were some COOL boots.) And I could see the little grey hairs on his chin in his goatee.
I've been lucky enough to see him before, with Allison Krauss in 2008. Go back and read that post. I'll wait for you right here.
You done yet? Damn you read slow.
............OK, you're back.
Last night was the opposite of the show in 2008. In a good way (there is no bad where there is Plant) but opposite.
I wish I could do a column by column comparison of the two shows (help help I do too many spreadsheets if I am actually wanting to put one in my blog!) but my html doesn't go that far, so I will just get the idea across.
2008: Cool, blue light, precision, technically perfect, precise, huge venue, heartstopping beauty, the soaring commanding voice of Allison Krauss fully equal and at times overtaking Plant, a bit melancholy, T Bone Burnett rocking the stage, and Robert Plant waaaay down there as a little ant of a Plant.
2010: Raucous, warm, cozy, some sound issues that cropped up (feedback), bluesy, joyous, Patty Griffin as more of a side act to Plant, belting out when she was solo but pretty much back seat to Plant, hot yellow light, personality. Robert Plant was human sized.(And still HOT.)
So last night felt like the afterparty of the previous show. The dark night club, let-loose- and-have-fun show after the more formal, expensive show. The small intimate, just a few friends club gathering. I'm so lucky to have been there! I do think the chemistry between Krauss and Plant was better than that of him and Griffin. Patty Griffin may just not be someone who wants to take the foreground, which Krauss obviously relished. But Griffin as definitely more of a strong support act than a complete lead. When she got the lead, though, she belted it out and she was the Griffin I remember from having seen her in Austin. And....I was 20 feet from Robert Plant. When he came on stage, I couldn't help it, I screamed like teenager at a Beatles concert. My boyfriend was RIGHT THERE. Right there...there! In front of me! When he played harmonica, I had a brief and very vivid fantasy where *I* was his harmonica, I think I passed out for a moment from the thought of it.
Of the two albums, I think Raising Sand is the superior one. It just has instant classic written all over it, there is not a bad or boring song in the bunch. Band of Joy is a great album, and I like some of the songs even better than any on Raising Sand, but there are a couple of songs I really don't like, and that brings the album down a notch for me. Raising Sand is consistently good, while Band of Joy has a couple clunkers. But somehow that makes it more endearing, like the scruffy brother, or something.
Today I am tired, and my hearing is a bit fuzzy, and I am trying to get my energy up to see Lady Gaga tonight. But, even if I did suffer some hearing loss, it was worth it. I'll get a t-shirt: I Went Deaf For Robert Plant. (As it turns out, I got TWO t shirts from last night, the official tour on and Rich bought me another one from a guy outside the venue.)
So I can say, in terms of Robert Plant: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt twice, and so would do it again!
Friday, October 15, 2010
- I left work early today, it's a gorgeous chill fall day, sunny and golden colored.
- I rode my trusty DBS bike a different way home, a long way around through the back of Frognerparken then around front and then home.
- I so love my bike. It's like a big cushy Suburban of bikes. It's so smooth.
- I'm totally getting better at it, too. I'm up to 5th gear (out of 7).
- I dropped off my bike and then got on the tram over to Bogstadveien, the shopping road, and checked out some shops.
- God there are some great sweaters out right now.
- I am a TOTAL sweater whore.
- I got this really goofy crooked architectural sweater at Lindex.
- Long and black, naturally.
- You can never have enough black sweaters, skirts, dresses or shoes.
- Also checked out H&M.
- I swear to God I felt like I was 16 again at H&M. All the styles are straight from my closet circa 1984.
- I totally know how to wear all that stuff, but think maybe I am a bit old for it now.
- (I'm STILL glad leggings are back, how did I go so many years without them?)
- But I got this wierd residual teenage thrill from checking out all the styles.
- I remembered how excited I used to get when I was younger, checking out the fashions at Judy's and Express and Contempo and all those fab 80's shops I used to shop at.
- I got a job at Judy's when I was 16, I thought I was THE SHIT for working at a cool mall store.
- I made $3.75 an hour.
- I was one of those fashion hags in high school, you know, those girls who always had the newest clothes and always wore different outfits? There were a few of us, and we all worked at mall stores.
- We thought we were cool.
- So then I got some sushi to go and headed home.
- Ate my weight in raw fish again.
- Made the mistake of googling 'salmon sushi' and read some horrible stuff about how raw salmon has worms.
- I feel icky now.
- Even though it's Friday, I am going to be lazy.
- My plans: a bath, then start season 5 of How I Met Your Mother (that Rich brought me from the US).
- My weekend plans: Lady Gaga and Robert Plant and the Band of Joy will be in town, and I am seeing them both.
- Robert Plant will ask me to run away with him.
- Rich won't mind.
- He'll be with Lady Gaga anyhow.
- In that meat dress, she's dinner AND a show, isn't she?
- Rich would love that. She comes with her own snack!
- And I'm taking Monday off work.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Anytime Rich or I (or any family members) go to visit, she tells us to go on and have a treasure hunt in the store. Which is so cool. So Rich went on a treasure hunt and brought me this book, dated 1949, and put out by Neiman Marcus. All of the recipes are by Mrs. His-Name So and So (very few first names of the ladies, no, it's all using the man's name). Many of the recipes involve Fritos (which is AWESOME.)
There is a recipe for French Onion Soup that uses 3/4 POUND of butter. It uses more butter than stock, for Christ's sake. And there are a lot of classic old Mexican recipes that all involve lard (or fritos.)
What made me laugh was the recipe for Swedish Meatballs. There's a taste of Texas! And there is also a recipe entitled "Norwegian Hot Dish", that uses beef, kidney beans and tomato soup. I think I can somewhat confidently say, there is really nothing Norwegian about this dish, in fact, it sounds like chili to me. And for dessert, Mincemeat Mother-in-Law. Boil a bunch of fruit and spices until you can't recognize them....yeehaw! It's Mincemeat Mother-in-Law!
A Taste of Texas. From 1949. Lard, fritos, butter, shortening. Ah the good ol' days.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I got pulled into an ALL DAY meeting on Friday at work, damn that was a long day. That evening me and a coworker went and saw 'Eat Pray Love', which was a cute movie, and then she and I shot the shit over red wine until 3am. Nice to have girl talk, though we spent most of that time talking about work, then saying, ok, no more talking about work, and then we'd talk about work some more.
Saturday I got up reluctantly at 10 (oy I can't do those late nights anymore) and went to work for a few hours. Nice day for a bike ride. Got groceries, came home, put them away and defrosted some shrimp to make green chili shrimp enchiladas later that evening. Fell asleep around 3. Woke up at 7. Oops. Couldn't be arsed to make the enchiladas, and was too hungry anyhow, so made a frozen pissa. There is this new one out by Wagner, Sensazione? You guys in Norway, those are AWESOME. I like the ham, mushroom, onion one. Boy those are good.
I was watching "Big Love" in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 11. Me an' my rock-n-roll lifestyle.
Got up this morning and walked up the road to Deli Deluca to get my mocha vanilla extra strong coffee. They let you make it yourself there, with all the syrups and stuff to add, so I do three shots of espresso and then a cappucino, with chocolate and vanilla. By the time you are done with that, you are so hopped up on sugar and caffeine you don't know whether to shit or go blind. (I don't know what that really means, but my dad says it all the time.)
When I got back to the flat coffee in hand, this was around 10am, there was this kid on the doorstep holding newspapers. I thought he was a delivery boy, so I let him in so he could deliver his papers. Oh..shit. He was SELLING the newspapers door to door, knocking on doors at our entry controlled building at 10 on a Sunday! Oh so not cool. I have now engendered the ire of my neighbors, in a major apartment faux pas. I heard him knock on the door of the first floor flat, and scampered up the stairs quickly before they saw me. I think they booted him, and probably not nicely, either, as they are college kids, and I remember that 10am on Sunday at that age is prime sleep time.
Um, yeah, sorry there, neighbors. My bad.
Today will encompass a bike ride or walk on what looks to be a beautiful fall day, some tidying and cleaning, some much needed organizing of papers (currently stacked neatly on Rich's desk, but in no order or reason) and then I will make those green chile shrimp enchiladas I wanted last night.
And then, around 9pm, I will crawl into bed, pop in another episode of 'Big Love' and watch the wierdness that is Bill Paxton with three wives.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
There is a sushi place a block from our house, a little take-away place. The girls there, I think they are Thai, want to teach me Norwegian. I find it hilarious that Thai girls want to teach a Texan Norwegian at a Japanese sushi place, but that is how my life rolls lately, so I just go with it. I gamely order my sushi på Norsk with the Thai girls helping me along. (I have real problems saying '7' in Norwegian, by the way.)
Anyhow, I order my usual SHITLOAD of sushi, and in a nod to normalcy, when they ask how many chopsticks I want, I always say 'Two", so that they think that I am ordering all this fish for two people and not just for piggy me.
But it's not for two, it's all for me, ME!... IT'S MINE... MY SUSHI and I don't have to share it with ANYONE bwahahahahahaha!!!!!
And now I am burping sushi. This is not a bad thing, by the way. (urp).
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
And I actually think the commenting is working better now than it was before. Is that just me? Y'all having any problems?
Maybe I will blog more now. I know I have been bad about it. But it seems like lately I just work. And I don't blog about work. because a) it's work and how boring is it to blog about work and b) I ain't no dummy and I just don't think you SHOULD blog about work (unless that is part of your job).
So, if all I do is work, and I can't write about work, what will I write about?
Dinner's in the oven, tonight is chicken wings and rosé. Rich is in the US for a family thing. So I have a week of bachelorette food. So tonight it's the chicken wings and rosé, tomorrow is sushi and rosé, and then Friday it will be pizza and rosé followed by a viewing of Eat Pray Love.
Are you noticing a theme in my bachelorette food?
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
So I did.
Like it? That's me on the roof of the Oslo Opera House tiled in the background, there. Lots of little bitty me's.
15 minutes later: CRAP IT MESSED UP MY COMMENTING!!! ARGGGH!!!! Can someone do some test comments please?
This is me in Cambodia at Ta Prohm, a temple ruin at Angkor. Behind me are the roots of a giant tree.
*Random picture posts also mean 'I have nothing particularly interesting to say or write** about, so I will just post photos.'
**Or I have so much to say I'd never shut up, so best to self censor right now until I get my head straight.