Thursday, April 26, 2012
Getting instructions before the activities.
Jesus that's high!
Climbing the pole (the first time).
This is not me but you get a sense of how high that pole was.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I need to preface this by saying that this week is a hard week workwise for me, I'm deeply enmeshed in these semi-annual week-long meetings that not only do I have to plan, organize and manage but that I then must attend. I also plan and attend all pre-and post meeting activities, such as dinners, team builds, etc. It makes for very long days, lots of hard work and a really exhausting schedule.
This isn't made easier by the fact that when we have the post-meeting dinners, we do tend to drink a bit because, let's face it, it's been a really long day. So last night we had our kick-off dinner at a lovely koselig restaurant in Oslo, a place called Engebret Cafe, and the wine and conversation all flowed easily and fast. It was a really good evening after a long long day.
Cut to today.
Guess who had a hangover.
So I go in to work, 4 hours of meeting and then it's time for the team build! Oh yippee!
There were a few things about this whole enterprise I wasn't too keen on.
- I think team builds are cheesy. So having to plan one, when I don't like them, was certainly an exercise in WTF? (Like, one of the proposed activities from the event planner was something called "Funballz". I was definitely NOT going to suggest doing something called 'funballz' with my all male team.)
- The team build I did end up choosing was an outdoorsy thing, something with climbing and ropes, I wasn't too sure of the details, but she said it was fun, and it was out in a muddy field, on a forecast rainy day.
- I don't mind outdoorsy, but doing it in mud, on a rainy day, possibly a cold rainy day, meant that I had to wear woolie long johns and plastic rain pants, which I HATE. If you even know me a little, you will know I am not a plastic sport pants kind of person. I'll go to a gym, I'll ski, whatever but I really have never liked sports clothes. I am just not a sporty clothes kind of girl.
- Did I mention the hangover? And the possibility of hanging upside down? The hurl quotient is very high on that one. Very high indeed.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Wardrobe switchout, winter to summer. This is part one, dresses and skirts. More pants and tops to come later. Argh. My summer wardrobe is substantially larger than my winter one, as I am a creature of warmth.
Edit: Well, I found some of my pants but none, and I mean NONE of them fit anymore. It's rather comical how large they all are. I am going to have to find a seamstress to take them in, and that is going to be an expensive proposition here in Norway. Might be cheaper to just buy new pants. More humorous to go entirely without, though, eh?
Friday, April 20, 2012
Anyhow, balls. Blogger changed their, well, everything. I am writing a post just so I can figure out how the hell to make a post. Isn't it bad enough that Facebook keeps going and changing stuff on me, now Blogger has to go and do it too? Dang newfangled fancy pants web developers.
Get offa mah lawn!
Things are poppin' all around me, it always gets busy in spring, somehow. So I am tired from everything that has been happening lately and next week I have my semi-annual round of meetings that lasts ALL WEEK and with social events EVERY night. And a busy weekend to follow as well.
Our apartment is now completely covered in scaffolding and there is a layer of green netting over it. The light that comes in has a distinct green tinge and it's not exactly enlivening. I makes me just want to stay in bed.
Which is what I might do all weekend, I am extraordinarily tired.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Our first place, where we lived for three years, overlooked a giant construction site where they basically took out half a mountain to build a big shopping complex. There were huge klieg lights on at all hours, so in winter at night we had orange artifical light streaming in the windows constantly (never remember seeing the moon) and the dynamiting of the rock was so loud that I had to push glassware back onto the shelves or it would start to vibrate off.
From there we moved to another place, a new, modern, brand new apartment in a posh building. Which apparently wasn't built right and was in imminent danger of falling down. (That building and the debacle of its construction made the front cover of the Norwegian engineering magazine and when we gave our address, people would say, "Oh, you live in THAT building?" Nice.) Those of you who have read my blog for a while might remember that we had to move out for a month and a half so that they could basically tear down our walls and ceilings and bolt the apartment back together properly. That was a total and utter pain in the ass, that was.
We lived there four years. We finally moved out when they needed to come in AGAIN and do more tearing down to fix the stuff they didn't fix the first time.
So now. We've been in our Oslo flat for almost three years. For the past year or more there has been scaffolding at the back, in the courtyard, over the kitchen window, which meant my morning coffee making was interrupted by workmen going up and down the ladder while I stood there in my underwear and a tank top. (I really need to wear more clothes when I am at home, I finally have gotten a few robes to cover with.) There was constant drilling and hammering and banging and noise. Doors were constantly left unlocked by the careless construction workers so that strangers could get in the back stairs and into our storage and steal stuff. Dust and mess everywhere. They finally took that scaffolding down about a month ago, and it was so nice to have the light coming in the window again.
Now they are putting scaffolding all over the FRONT of the building, which is WAY worse than anything that has happened in all our previous places. It means the following:
- Having to keep the curtains drawn 24/7;
- No light in summer (summer light is CRUCIAL if you live in Norway, it's the only reason you survive the winter because you get that summer reward);
- Have to keep the windows closed for security and dust, meaning no AIR and we don't have air conditioning;
- The balcony will be unuseable for sunbathing or sitting and enjoying morning coffee as it will be covered;
- The feeling that someone could look in on you in your own house at any time, like living in a fishbowl;
- They usually then hang a great huge banner across the building, about midway up, advertising the scaffolding or construction company doing the work, and blocking any possible view from the windows. Guess whose apartment is midway up the building?
I'm so upset about this. I really am. I hate this, I hate it I hate it. I get claustrophobic if I have to close curtains, if I can't wake up to immediately see light and see the sky. I have never used blackout curtains for that reason, I can't stand being out of touch with the passage of the sun, it freaks me out. I honestly don't know how I will survive a summer with closed curtains and being shut in, my stomach is tense and slightly nauseous at the mere thought.
I think I will do a lot of traveling this summer. I can't bear to be shut into my own house like that. I can't bear it.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Worst day ever today.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Today's shuffle, a selection:
Closer, NIN (a perennial and forever favorite. This song IS sex.)
Bad Things, Jace Everett (yeah, that song from True Blood, but c'mon, it's awesome)
Angry Chair, Alice in Chains
Fresh Blood, Eels
How Soon is Now, Smiths (what is it about that song that brings out the angsty teen in me?)
Skinflowers, Young Gods
Special Secret Song, Red Hot chili Peppers (aka the pussy song)(don't know it? find it, best groove (no pun intended) ever)
You Speak My Language, Morphine (I still miss Mark Sandman)
Monkey, Band of Joy (Robert Plant, oh GOD)
Notice a heavy leaning towards 90's and 80's? Some newer stuff, too, though, a bit.
I listen to my ipod at work but have to keep it way lower than music such as this wants to be played. However, your average office neighbor does not want to hear Alice in Chains or jane's Addiction coming to them through the walls, nor my somewhat tuneless but semi-powerful belting of such songs.
Wish I were ocean sized.....
(I just noticed that I am into my 9th year of blogging. Really? Nine years? That can't be right. But yes, there are nine years listed on that side bar. Jesus, I'm like the Samuel Pepys (except, you know, not as insightful or prolific or writerly or uncensored or anything like, really) of the blog set. Wish I were more Anais Nin. I need to find a way to print this shit out and have it for posterity, to hand down as a time capsule of an early turn of the 21st century woman and....Texpatriate.)
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
- I had never been on an all-inclusive vacation before. All inclusive is a cool idea (it means all your food and drink are included) but it also means that you will probably be fighting hordes of really large, hungry and extremely pushy Russians and Germans to get at the food on offer. This isn't too much of a problem, as I am 5'10", half German and not that pushable myself, but I can't abide rudeness and I swear a few times I actually had to tell some folks to step off me. I mean, is getting that potato wedge THAT urgent?
- The hotel wasn't IN Antalya, it was about a 40 minute drive outside of it.
- The hotel offered no excursions, shuttles or ways to get around AT ALL.
- Neither did our booking company.
- So we were kind of stuck.
- Ways to get about were thus very expensive taxis or the local option, the dolmus.
- Dolmus are very efficient, very indirect, very noisy and very cheap.
- Think of the NightBus on Harry Potter and you have an idea.
- Taxis are a lot more expensive and much more direct.
- It took us a couple days to figure out the transport, how to get around, what were the best options and where to go. My dad had lived in Antalya in the early 60's, so told me some places I had to see, but the getting there was an issue as they were all on opposite sides of Antalya and there was no way we could do them all. We settled for seeing Phaselis (an ancient port town), Perge (a bigger city) and Aspendos (home of the world's best preserved Roman amphitheatre).
- We took the dolmus to Phaselis, which took FOREVER and involved a change in the town of Kemer.
- Phaselis was amazing though, with a lovely and completely secluded beach.
- For Perge and Aspendos we splurged and negotiated for a taxi. We got a decent deal as they are in the same area, on the opposite side of Antalya from where we stayed.
- We made it into Antalya once, had a nice wander and had a beautiful sunset meal overlooking the harbor. Bit of a pain in the ass getting there, as it took a dolmus, a taxi and then the lovely and quaint tram to get into the Caleichi, or the old city.
- For those of you who know me well, prepare to be shocked: I did NO shopping. There was no time and no chance. I managed to buy a nice silver ring from a really nice jewelry guy who actually stopped me to talk about the necklace I was wearing which I had gotten in Jordan. He wanted to see exactly how much silver it contained (a lot) and offered to buy it from me. I said no, of course, but then bought a ring from him, so win win for him. That ring was my sole purchase.
- Yesterday, the last day, was picture perfect temperature and full on sun. I went straight out to the now-open beach, grabbed a chair and did not move for about 6 hours, except to flip to roast the other side. Surprisingly, for someone as almost blue-white as I was, I didn't burn (much, only a very little in a few spots) and I now am sporting a rather nice, even, glowy tan.
- After another dark Norwegian winter, that sun felt impossibly good.
- I felt quite the goddess out there, in my bikini, surrounded by all those large, oversized, all-inclusive buffet experts.
- Ladies, if you ever want to feel good about yourself, get thee to an all-inclusive resort, wear your tiniest bikini, and see how you compare. You will definitely win out.
- This holiday was quite possibly our cheapest vacation EVER.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
Well interesting. Got to our holiday destination to be put into a dark room with no view, depressing as hell. A bit of a wait, a little money and we are finally in a room with a view and a much better layout. Now let the holiday begin!