Thursday, February 28, 2013

deserved gift

IMG-20130228-02608.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130228-02608.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

My husband just bought me this. Combination Valentine's Day/Worst Week Ever prize. (He doesn't know he bought it for me yet.) Georg Jensen silver and rock crystal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

last ootd in oslo flat.jpg

last ootd in oslo flat.jpg by karlakp
last ootd in oslo flat.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

I lied. THIS is the last ever outfit of the day shot from the Oslo flat. I opened the wine as the movers took the last box. I am so tired. The hotel is nice but the elevator is out and we are on the 5th floor. I nearly cried thinking of getting my luggage up there.

last OoTD in intact apartment

IMG-20130223-02578.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130223-02578.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Last outfit of the day picture ever taken in my intact apartment. I think I look a bit sassy. This was taken last Saturday. I am not sassy today. I'm frazzled, yeah, frazzled is a good word.


IMG-20130226-02603.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130226-02603.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Waving goodbye to the apartment, my entire world boxed up and in the hands of others.

Monday, February 25, 2013

everything i own will be in this box

IMG-20130225-02600.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130225-02600.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

 The container awaits outside. My entire life will go into that big box. Right now I am surrounded by boxes of stuff, and I know how a hoarder feels, weaving their way around a warren of possessions piled up over their heads, balancing precariously. The movers load the container tomorrow.

I don't know if it's worth saying that I FUCKING HATE MOVING? I think that's pretty universal, isn't it?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fresh Salmon....the only food I wil really miss

IMG-20130224-00178.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130224-00178.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.
What I miss most about Norway. Salma salmon, no bones or skin, sashimi grade. Cheap, compared to every other available foodstuff, and even cheap by US standards. You open the package, slice it and eat it right there. SO good, and never fishy or with the mealy texture some salmon can get. Wish I could hoard some in my suitcase....

Soon a beautiful memory

IMG-20130224-02598.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130224-02598.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Beautiful 18th c farmhouse in Frogner by our house. Will miss walking by it.

6 hours

IMG-20130224-00171.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20130224-00171.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.
Half packed up. The movers managed this in 6 hours. (The rest of the house is still in progress, of course.) I hate everything about this move. Everything.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's always a no unless you ask.

Well, as previously written, I have been dreading going to Oslo. I just don't want to deal with all the things that need to be dealt with.

But, sometimes you just gotta let the little things give you joy. My flight ticket was the cheap, bog standard economy ticket, company policy, and even though I managed a bulkhead seat, I was NOT looking forward to the flight, and arriving tired, and then having to deal with all the crap I have to deal with.

So, here is one of my little travel secrets that I now share with you. Learn from me, your Texpatriate, inveterate world traveler and gadabout:

BA (and probably most airlines, but my experience on this is solely with BA) offers at the gate upgrades, where, if they have seats available, they will sell you an upgraded seat for a very discounted price. So when I checked in today I asked for a "gate upgrade" and lo and behold, seats are available that they gladly sell you for way less than you would ever pay online. Think of it as an empty seat firesale. They want to fill the seats, and I want my ass in a lay flat bed.

So here's me flying to Oslo in Business class for less than 1/4 of the business class price, and, since my company is paying the economy ticket, I don't mind paying the extra for the upgrade, as it gives me the chance to sleep, to have a decent meal, to get lounge access both in Houston and in London for my 4 hour layover and it gives me a boost in comfort and lessens the dread of what is ahead, what with the move and all.

Plus, a rather sassy white wine I am drinking, right now, in the lounge, for free.  And free wifi  and computers, and I think I will have a sandwich now, too. And there's poshy hand lotion in the lounge loo.

I love business class.

Monday, February 18, 2013

And because that last post was depressing....this makes me happy.

Here's my car parked behind my brother's car when we met up for a walk this weekend. He drives a silver VW R32. We both have hatchbacks with rumbly exhausts,  and a definitive penchant for fast driving and leaning into the turns. It must be genetic.

Things change, doors close and new ones open.

Well, I have to go to Oslo for a few days to close out the flat, get the movers in, finalize and finish my life in Norway.

Problem is, I don't want to go.

I had SUCH a hard time leaving, it was SO painful, that when I got to Houston I kind of let it roll off me, put it behind me, just...stopped thinking about it. It's been kind of nice. I am here, in this rather nameless, soulless flat, me and my three suitcases of stuff, and a few books and magazines and stuff I've bought since getting here. I am not burdened by possessions, the need to cook, the need to clean (bi-weekly housekeeping comes with the place) the needs of anyone's but my own,  I only need to focus on getting my job going and relearning how to live in the US.

OK, so I AM kind of (at times, very) lonely, and a bit regretful of some things, and missing some things, and thinking about some things. Trying to achieve a 'fresh start' is really hard, and I don't know that it is even possible. A fresh start means leaving behind so much, and pretending that your past is clean and tidy, and sorry, at my age, a messy past is a given and, I think, desireable,  so there is no way you can ever go 'fresh' again. Everything I was, or have done, or have become, is part of this new venture. That's why I am doing it, actually, as the me I have become is finally up to this, this clean, new me could only rise out of the old, scared, messy, unsure and un-self confident me. But that doesn't mean I have forgotten or am abandoning the old me, my previous life.

Going back to Oslo means throwing myself into what will be a week of chaos, niggling details, paperwork and instant decisions that might have repercussions later. Going back means things I don't want to face, or think about, endings that lead to beginnings, and final goodbyes that I didn't face in December because I'd be 'back in February'. Going back to Oslo is facing all those things I am avoiding. I am terrible (REALLY TRULY AWFUL) at goodbyes, and I have had far too many of them lately. They suck, I am bad at them, I hate them.  I am terrible at moving, I hate details, I hate having to suddenly decide where every single last one of my possessions has to go RIGHT NOW, only to have to decide MUCH LATER where they will actually end up.

I don't want to face the airports, the long flight, the cold, the ice, the packing the essential things I left in Oslo to bring back with me to Houston, leaving Rich yet AGAIN, this time not even leaving him at 'home' but him going to a different place to live that has never included me (just as my flat now has never included him.) Am I abandoning him? Is he abandoning me? Is that even fair to ask? I just know he doesn't know what he has in store for him, yet, when he might come to Houston, what will happen. He's not getting answers from his company. It's extremely annoying.

I dread that last moment in the empty apartment that was my home in Oslo for 3 1/2 years, and, as it turns out, my last ever home in Norway after 10 1/2 years. That last echoing sound of that empty gorgeous apartment, bare of all the items that made it our home, its naked walls once again ready to encompass and reflect the taste, possessions and the lives of other people, as it has time and time again for 120 years. That last clunk of the solid old oak door as it closes upon a life well lived, as the lock clicks and an era ends.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Most amazing grocery store EVER

I keep messing up and getting lost, going places by mistake and getting totally turned around, but today that actually worked in my favor, because I found the COOLEST grocery store. It's called "99 Ranch Market" and when I pulled in to it, I was thinking it was some lame old Texas family grocery store, you know, with crappy selection and a large selection of white bread and Velveeta, but wow, was I wrong and boy, am I glad. 

99 Ranch Market is, as I found out, a HUGE Asian grocery store, the likes of which I never imagined or conceived of. I used to trawl the Asian grocery stores in Oslo, and thought they were neat, with their cheaper prices, 'exotic' Asian spices, and selection that was slightly outside the usual (in a constrained way), those little Oslo 'immigrant' stores are SO far away from this that it's like comparing a 7-11 to a Costco. Both stores, yes, but other than that, not the same at all. 

For example, they had fresh fish, and by fresh...well, I mean, FRESH. You can pick a fish, a giant prawn, a lobster, whatever, and they will fry or steam if for you right in front of you. (Hopefully after its death.)  

I have never, and I do mean, never, seen so many dumplings, gyoza, pot stickers, egg rolls, spring rolls, steamed buns, dim sum, noodles, meals, soups, and just, anything you can imagine,
in a frozen section. Aisle upon AISLE of delicacies. It was INCREDIBLE. I just wandered
up and down all the rows, exclaiming and grinning like a loon. I felt very Country
Mouse visiting the city. 

The housewares aisle was awesome, I am going back for some of those bowls, though I am wondering how sandals got mixed in with the pots and pans. Maybe to keep the women from being barefoot in the kitchen?  

Can you spot the item that does not belong in this freezer? Sometimes things were a bit random.  Egg roll, lumpia, prawns...and Eggo? Is this a version of chicken and waffles that I don't 
know about? 

Fo'shizzle they gots Beef Pizzle! (I don't think the bull was happy about giving up his pizzle, though his er, pizzle berries were one compartment over. As were his feet. And his tail.) 

I wandered around for the better part of an hour, they have EVERYTHING, including a great fruit and veg section (even with Durian fruit) and a bakery which I hear is great. There is also a 'home' section, which seemed to consist of mainly items aimed at the ladies, during a certain time of the month. And hair dye and more dumplings. Maybe there are dumplings aimed at cravings? I dunno. I'm just trying to figure it out. 

Anyhow, here's what Yelp has to say about this grocery store.   It's interesting, I haven't seen any advertising, I guess they keep it to the Asian communities, and if so, it's the most well kept awesome secret EVER.  Oslo people, you would be stunned into silence at seeing this place. I am, as well, having been here for a month, and having already been to Whole Foods, Central Market and HEB. It's just, well, wow, basically. 


Friday, February 08, 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013


I just don't feel like blogging.

Not sure why.

I have been kind of busy, workwise, but homewise it's pretty quiet.

But the muse is not with me, and even though I have stuff to write about, it's just not in me right now.

But you know me, I'll be back......soon.