Saturday, December 31, 2005

beers, steers and...a correction

First of all:

I may have misled some of you to think that we are moving back to Texas. We will, eventually. I'm hoping for a year or two. (Unless we get sent to England, a place I've always felt i needed to live for at least a year, just to sort of fulfill a life's goal.) But no. We are not moving back JUST YET. I'm just getting the house into a better place, so that I don't worry about it. I have potential renters coming to see it today, for the "landlord meets the people and pet" interview.

Now for the fun stuff.

Yesterday I got to ride ouut to Lockhart on my friend Julia's motorcycle. It was fun. Well, at first I was terrified, having not been on a motorcycle since i was 18 and bulletproof. Mow I'm older, wiser and scareder and I could actually visualize the pain of my kneecaps beeing rubbed off by the asphalt roads. I got over that after a few turns and twists and had a great time being Julia's bitch on the back of the bike. I was all waving at the harley guys and shit, it was cool. I was a bit bummed that I was wearing little camel colored loafers instead of my boots, as it killed the cool a bit, but hey, you can't have everything.

In Lockhart is an old traditional Texas bbq joint, Kreuz's. Smokey, open pit fires everywhere. Rolls of paper towels on the table. Basic as can be. Kreuz's is legendary for serving you the meat on paper, with no forks ("those are the things on the ends of your arms"), no sauce ("we ain't got nothin' to hide"), and no salads ("remember no forks?"). I got some spareribs, a piece of prime rib and some sausage. Ever eaten prime rib with nothin' but a plastic knife and some white white bread? Interesting to say the least. I'd love to see how most europeans would handle all that food with no fork. In fact, they laugh at you at Kreuz's if you ask for one. I used lots of paper towels.

But damn it was GOOD. The spareribs were the absolute best I've ever had. Bar none. Sometimes I was wishing for Salt Lick bbq sauce, but you really don't need any extra flavor on those ribs. The prime rib was tender, rarish and yummylicious. The sausage was ok, a bit too soft for my taste, but the flavor was good. All in all, it was a great way to spend and afternoon...out in the open air on a Honda Sahdow with one of my best buds, eatin' bbq with more good friends, and generally enjoying that uniquely Texan way of doing things.

After that, lucky girl that I am, I had a massage. I did sort of feel sorry for Tony, the masseuse, as I had onion breath something HORRIBLE. he said he's smelled worse. I believe him.

Here's wishing everyone a happy happy new year. Rich I love you and sorry I'm not with you. We'll be together soon.

Friday, December 30, 2005

moving right along.

The house has now gone from shades of yellow, and red dining room and a black bathroom, to shades of taupe and what I call baby shit brown, but it's actually quite nice. The kitchen is so white it's sort of painful, the bathroom is on it's way to the same sort of whiteness (but with the same pink and black tile) and it's pretty much looking like a new house.

I'm very pleased.
And very poor.

And I think I should either just move into Lowe's or give them direct and controlling access to my bank accounts, cuz damn, it's amazing how much money on can spend there. New mini-blinds, new hoses for the yard, more gravel for the front walk, etc etc. Cee-rap. Just keeps going.

But I keep reminding myself, soon we will be able to live in the house again, and won't it be nice to have all this taken care of ahead of time instead of having to do it once we get back? yes, yes it will.

Some pics of the house as it was......

I won't post pictures of the new improved until Rich sees it. I want him to be surprised......

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dec 26th, continued.....

I know it's the 28th but the 26th was eventful.

Last time i posted, I might have mentioned very slightly about how the 26th sucks ass? Well, it just got worse.

Like my shoulders and neck, usually pretty tight and knotty, went into agony overdrive and I had fucking muscle spasms happening. By the end of the night I could hardly move. I left work early (15 minutes, only, but I told the manager that I was going home with a look in my eyes that brooked no dispute). I drove to Julia's and burst into tears and begged her to please please please give me a back rub or I would die (and a beer and a xanax and a 800mg ibuprofen.) Those things together got me through the night, and the next morning I was able to get me to a massage therapist for a 45 minute intense shoulder and neck workover.

I am now able to turn my head almost 90 degrees, well, more like 60. Looking down is not so good, but whatever. At least I am not so knotted up that I want to cry. I'm more just wanting to bitch about it.

We are getting calls about the house for rent. It's wigging me out. One couple (who seem really nice) really likes it but "want me to install a dishwasher or disposal". I'm like, dudes, if it was that easy, I woulda done it by now. 1950's kitchen in original shape with original electrics and cabinets? Not so easy to just pop electronics in there. And I kinda want to wait on that and do it in one big overhaul, not just some piecemeal installation. So, um, sorry, request denied. You have a dog....isn't that disposal enough?

Steve the Painter is chugging along getting the house painted inside. Oh My God I saw the yellow I picked for the hall and front bedroom and it's FABULOUS. I love love love it. I'm very pleased with how it is turning out. I can't wait to see the other colors.

Back to work. I was cut off the schedule for tomorrow, then put back on. After I'd made plans to go to Enchanted Rock. must rearrange rock climbing plans.

Monday, December 26, 2005

December 26th SUCKS ASS


The day after Christmas sucks so bad it's unbelievable! I'm at work and every low class, stupid, messy idiot in the world is shopping today. It's mayhem. Unlike before Christmas, these fuckers are all out for themselves and are bound and determined to not only destroy the store as fast as they possibly can, but also have no manners. I now remember why I quit working for retail companies in 1997. The day after Christmas brings out the WORST in people!

One woman totally and completely cussed out her husband right in front of me. I mean she said things like "fuck you, I don't like you" to him, right in front of me, all because he made a joke. Man was she a bitch. Horrible woman. Then she turned her ire onto me, wanting me to find something for her and being barely and I mean BARELY civil. If she had used one cussword at me or said anything even the least untoward, I would have shut her down. I am SO not here to take that, and for what they are paying me, I don't have to, either.

It gets worse. Like, when you try on clothes, do YOU throw them all in a ball on the dressing room floor for the poor sucker who works there to pick up? No, of course you doon't. I mean, didn't yo' mama teach you better? Do you treat your stuff like that? Or more to the point, do you treat other people's stuff like that? No! ;You ahve manners! I swear, if I have to pick up ONE MORE balled up pair of pants or inside out sweater from the floor, I'm gonna lose it.

And also, seriously? You doon't need to try on the following things: T-shirts. Sweaters. Most things sized small-medium-large. Boxer shorts. Because, honestly, they are pretty much either gonna fit or they aren't. If you think you are a medium, you probably are. So all you chicks trying on t shirts and camisols and tank tops? Dudes with boxers and t-shirts? Quit it! Just buy it! And QUIT THROWING THEM ON THE FLOOR!

Also please realize: this store is CRAZY BUSY. This means we probably cannot give you the personlized service you normally would get. AND, when you throw shit on the floor, it means we have even LESS time to spend with you. So, be nice, ask for the possible, not the impossible or just plain stupid (like having us calling all over Texas so that you can locate a 9 dollar pair of gloves is probably something that would not constitute a good use of time right now. No one will answer the phone cuz they're all too busy.)

God I hate the day after Christmas. Everyone sucks.........

It's a Euro Trash Christmas!

First let me say this: Rich I missed you! Sorry you had to be in Norway and me in Texas this you and see you soon!

Now, here are my rules and experiences for a true Euro Trash Christmas.

1) Get a really really big turkey and roast the hell out of it. When it pops early, drink a beer to get yourself into the mood to cook.

2)Both you and your brother should be wearing the clothes you slept in. My sole nod to vanity was to put on some deodorant. Bro skipped even that step. All we could smell was turkey anyhow.

3) Measuring cups are a useful item. However, if you don't have them, an empty Rolling Rock bottle works just fine. It's twelve ounces, just add or subtract a little to get to two cups or whatever.

4) Red plastic cups filled with Reisling are CLASSY.

5) Strong brothers are goood for hefting 25 lb turkeys out of ovens. However, they aren't so good at cutting those turkeys. We pretty much mangled that sucker. It runs in the family, though. My father has avoided carving any large meat with the excuse that he "failed carving in Boy Scouts". This excuse has worked in our family for the whole of my 37 year existence. I am always very impressed when I am at someone else's house and the man carves. Obviously, he passed carving.....

6) Minute mashed potatoes really do only take one minute.

And now for pictures:

The minimalist decoration of my living/dining room...

Slightly blurry photo of classy turkey and measuring bottle....

My brother and the turkey that was even BIGGER than his head. (He's a foot or so in front of the turkey, but believe me it was BIG!)

Damn I'm sexy in my cut off Levi's skirt and black camisol. Seriously is this an awesome Christmas get-up or what?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

free turkey!

Merry Christmas y'all! Its a gorgeous sunny day here in Austin. I'm sitting at the end of my front sidewalk, towards the street, and yes I'm stealing the neighbor's wireless yet again. I consider it a Christmas present. I'm gonna leave them a present, like....

some turkey? because Oh My God y'all, we (my brother and I) have enough turkey to literally (and I do mean literally) feed twenty people. And I'm not so much wanting to eat enough for 10 all by myself, so I'm willing to share. See, his work does this thing where every Christmas they bring in an 18 wheeler truck full of food and they give every employee a full Christmas dinner spread. I mean turkey, mashies, stuffing, a bushel of oranges, stuff to make pies with, EVERYTHING. Like a couple hundred bucks worth of food. If you don't want turkey for Christmas, I guess you are kind of hosed.

So my brother brings the turkey with him to Austin...and it's HUGE. It's 25 pounds. And there are two of us. So I packed that sucker in the oven at 8am this morning. I stuffed it with whatever i had (an orange for some flavor, some onion powder and some sage and italian seasonings, because I've only got three spices in the house at this moment: garlic, onion powder and italian seasoning) And that giant bird is now smelling up almost the entire neighborhood!

It will be interesting to make stuffing, mashed taters, corn and gravy with a minimum of pots, but I'm creative, so we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime, while it's cooking, I've got some stuff to do in the house. organizing and trashing and so on, removing nails from walls, and shelf paper from shelves. Ugh. Steve the Painter comes tomorrow to give the inside the grand treatment. I can't wait til it's done. I picked all warm taupes and camel colors. Should rock. Though I will miss the black and pink bathroom. But I guess the funk must go in the name of financial stability......

Chuck, my bro, is in the front yard washing the car. He's as obsessive about clean cars as Joan Crawford was about clean house.

And yes, there is now a "for lease" sign in my front yard. It kind of freaks me out, because you hear so many rental horror stories, but I just have to trust in God and Jeff my realtor and friend, and hopefully we will get some good folks into our little housie......

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to everyone!!!!!!

(or whatever the heck you want to call it so you won't get mad at me for being either a) too politically correct or b) not politically correct enough. I think this whole "merry Christmas happy Holidays" furor is pretty damn dumb, but hey, it's America and we do like to obsess on the small things.....)

Thursday, December 22, 2005


There is a navy blue/black crow staring me directly in the face here in the garden at Spiderhouse. He wants my quesadillas. His eyes are brilliant yellow.

Bird feet totally freak me out. All scrabbly and claw-like, scritchy and scratchy and dinosaur looking. Once somebody put their parrot on my shoulder and the shivers I got from feeling the feet through my clothes were so visible, she had to quickly remove the bird before i lost my cool.

In other random, one thing has nothing to do with the other news, I bought a pair of pants at Banana Republic the other day. I had to have the waist taken in about 4 inches. (I buy to fit the booty, the waist gets tailored. It's hard beinga curvy girl.) Now the tag, which was right where they needed to do the cutting, instead of saying "BANANA REPUBLIC" says "BABLIC". But the pants look GOOD.


So here's me all bein' coffee culture and shit.

i'm at Spiderhouse, this awesome coffeehouse in austin. It's in a funky old house, and it's got this great outdoor garden with brick and mosaic walkways, things dangling and clanking from the trees and mismatched lawn furniture. It's got free wireless, veggie quesadillas and beer AND coffee. A guy just walked in with two dogs, there's a girl over there with dreadlocks and a mac, and the dude sitting next to me looks perfectly content with his pack of Camels, his coffee adnd his book. He's Old Skool coffee culture.
It's a sunny mild day, in the mid sixties. The music being piped out into the garden is a mish mash of everything. A Korn style rappy headbanger thing just finished, and now it's reggae. Ive got a plate of veggie whole wheat quesadillas the size of a large pizza (well a large Norwegian pizza) and the top of it is covered in paprika. I take a bite of quesadilla, then spend five minutes cleaning off my fingers before I touch Whitey here. maybe a white computer is not the best thing for a slob such as I.

I need more napkins. and maybe a beer. Hey, it's slacker time, I can do what I want.

Bookhart, I apologize for being here without you......

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

7 minute post

I've got exactly 7 minutes before I'm considered late to work. I'll be typing fast.

My neighbors have figured out my larceny, or they are out of town, but whatever, I've been cut off. So instead I am in back of the store where i work, stealing internet from the store next door. Everyone here does it, I guess they have a deal with the neighbors. Lots of mac geeks here, too. I'm drinking a STarbucks mocha and eating Chik Fil A, it's sort of my own low rent Mall American coffeehouse. All the stock boys int he back are hollering and dancing to loud music and being the funny boys they are. Nice folks here, with one or two exceptions.

Damn this Christmas shopping thing is INSANE. The store is a tip, people are grabbing whatever they can, plus we've puut everything on sale and it's madness. Then people get mad when they come in and something is gone. I literally tell them, buy it when you see it, you can always return it, because likely it won't be here when you come back. That is NOT a sales ploy, it's the troof, baby. Buy it if you like it, return it later if you want. Specially if it's on sale.

Overheard in the mall yesterday, a woman on her cell phone. She was very sophisticated looking, but her accent was so thick Texan you could eat it with a spoon:

"Which chicken was it? Was it DEAD dead? Oh its head was gone? Aw shoot. Can you get Earl to look at the fence again?"

I almost bent over laughing. Quietly, of course.

Is it DEAD dead?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm a real blog geek now!

Finally, for the first time in my life, I am doing something many people take as a matter of course.

i'm sitting in a coffee house, using my computer and blogging.

I'm fair thrilled, I am. I've always wanted to do this, and it was part of my Plan for Moving to Europe to travel around with the laptop and blog in smokey coffeeehouses, telling stories of the things I see and hear. That never really worked out as the other computer never quite worked with the wireless thing and so I would innstead use the random skanky internet cafe to do my postings. Not near as glamorous.

But now...NOW NOW! Now me and the little iBook, here, man, we are gonna blog the world. So finally (and ironically in my hometown of austin) I am in a coffee house, called Mozart's, surrounded by students and intellectuals and geeks and other severely caffeinated types, drinking Vanilla Rooibos tea (no I have no fucking clue what it is either, but it's good) and getting to know Whitey here.

I had one of those "small world" moments just now when ordering my tea. A guy in line in front of me looked at my face very intently and siad "Did you get your glasses in London?" I said yes, and he said "At Covent Garden, on Floral Street?". I said yes. Turns out he, too, has some Kirk Originals. Apparently they are recognizable the world over. Who knew?

I downloaded some pictures from the Empty House Party 2 today so I am now going to see what i can do about getting somme of them on here, a sort of visual progression of how a party naturally flows from start to finish.....

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Why I love Texas

Its the wierd random things that happen that make me love Texas so much.

Like going to a party at a friend's house and standing out on their back porch with a smokey fire, chattin' about whatever comes to mind, and having a huge hoot owl glide right above your head, a dark ethereal shadow against the moonlight.

Going to Lowe's to get yet MORE shit for your yard work, and the guy who works in electrical starts telling you a story about the time he was dove huntin' and he was walkin' across t'road, carryin' a turkey he just shot, when he almost stepped on a six foot rattler. It scared him so much he dropped the turkey. Then he got to his senses, shot the rattler and it's now mounted on his wall. But boy was he shakin' when he shot that mother.

Hanging out with your friend Karla may on her back deck, you come up withh a new term: Cousband. That's you know, when you marry your cousin and now he's your cousband? Then you both laugh so hard you have to pee.

Meeting a woman you've never even seen before in your whole life going into the Starbucks, and you recognize in each other kindred sartorial souls, and have a nice little chat about having curly hair, fabulous accessories, and ohmigod WHERE did you get that skirt? Ditto going into that self same Starbucks (admittedly slightly pissed off that yet ANOTHER tiny blonde woman in a very large SUV nearly creamed you once again leaving you to wonder why is it that the smallest people always have the largest cars?) and having the purple haired barrista holler out your drink at you when you walk in, and it's ready even before you pay.

Shootin' the shit with the other folks lookin' at paint chips in the paint store, and SWEARING that you've seen each other before, and naming names of friends of friends, and knowing people in the same circles, but that still isn't quite right, maybe we know each other through some non-profit or other? but you still can't quite work it out, but you KNOW you know each other, and that color is great, my friend has it in her house, and you have a great day, y'all, y' hear?

Texas fucking rocks.

Friday, December 16, 2005

totally forgot

Yesterday would have been the day I went back to Norway. I realized it last night when Continental sent me my online check in information.

Looking at everything i have been doing to the house and whatnot, that was insane and I am SO glad I am staying the extra month....woo!

I rule

Seriously, I kick ass. Well, I would kick ass if I could move my head more than ninety degrees and if I could lift my left arm. And if my feet didn't hurt so fucking much. Retail is for young people, or summat. ARg.

Anyhow, I still kick ass, if lamely.

Days two and three of my McJob I have been the top seller both effing days. Uhhuh, yeah, you got that right. And one girl told me she really likes working with me because I am so friendly and helpful. Wasn't that sweet of her?

the deal is, I don't care if folks buy shit or not. And I will talk you OUT of something that does not look good. But damn it's fun to dress people. There's no commission or anything at the Trendy Mall Store, but they do keep track of sales. And I rule. Because I like to dress people and it's fun to talk and be busy, so they sense i have no agenda to sell sell selll!!!

For the first time in THREE years I have a job and I'm kinda liking it.

One wierd thing is that I have never sold guy's clothes before. (I used to dress mannequins and forms, so I totally know how guys clothes work and should coordinate...just not on live men!) So helping guys in the dressing room is a little wierd for me so far, only because I'm not sure HOW much help they want, and if a dude totally looks hot in something, should I tell him? I don't wanna cross any wierd lines or anything. I mean, saying something like "DAYUM you've got an ass that won't QUIT!" is probably not on, huh? Even though a guy told me that once at a store where I was buying jeans? I was flattered but uncomfortable, so I would assume a guy would think that too.......

One more day of running my ass off, then I have a weekend off. And oh how I have forgotten how good a well deserved weekend can feel.....

(even though I will be digging in the yard and trimming bushes....ow.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

mall life

I went into the MAC store today to ask a stupid newbie question and the guy I bought the computer from was there. He saw me and yelled my name across the store (it was packed) and I now have a new best friend. He invited me to see his band on NYE. I think everyone in austin is either in a band or has a blog. Seriously. Some have both.

But he answered my question (about getting an application icon to stay on the dock) and I am rolling right along. Some stuff about the mac I really like, some leaves me scratching my head confusedly, and dammit I miss right click like my thumb has been remover. mac people seem pretty cool, like it's a cult, but a cult of cool kids that I got to join after spending alot on entry fees...someone told me I look like a mac perrson. Not sure what that means, but I am going to assume it means I am kick ass.

My refrigerator is making knocking nosies. Is someone in there?

I'm very tired from a long day at work. My feet are killing me. But I gotta say, working at a store is just like I remember. The folks at this one are particularly nice and I like the general way the company does things. there is one annoying kid who works there, let's call him Josh, not his real name (yes it is) and he bugs me. One of those officious types who keeps trying to keep me busy and shit, like I don't know what to do. Josh, I was working in a shop when your mama was still wiping your ass, so I really don't think you need to ask me if I "need something to do" ok, Busy Boy? Thanks. Leave me alone and let me get on with it.

All in all, though I'm impressed by the way this company is run and how they treat employees. I would consider a management thing with them, if I wanted to go that route. Judging by my aching back and sore feet, however, I'm not 100% sure at this point!

The 50% discount will go a long way to keeping ne interested, for now.

Ok beddy bye time. zzzzzzzzz

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm more southern then all y'all!

I stole this test from Bookhart, who stole it from Better Living through Sarcasm.


I should tattoo Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics and a big ol' Rebel flag on my ass cuz I got a score of 99% Dixie. (I think it was the question about the "feeder" road that put me over the top).

not sure if this is ethically correct or not?

Ok so envision this:

I am currently standing in my front yard, under the magnolia tree, using my new teeny tiny little iBook G4 which is propped on the trunk of my car, and totally stealing the neighbor's wireless to do so. Is that wrong? Or is it the neighbor's bad that they haven't protected their wireless and so I can totally skank it, but only from my front yard? Whatever, dudes, I am online, in my yard and using a spanking new little cute computer I just got out of the box.

Dad is so proud. He always did raise me to be a rebel.

Um, I also got an iPod. I figure, in for a penny, in for a pound. Or, if I was in England, a helluva lotta pounds.

How do I pay for this, you ask? Why with my seasonal part time (though they've scheduled me every freaking day this week) job at the Trendy Store in the Mall. And I totally get a kick ass discount, but what with the debt I've just incurred buying Whitey, here, I won't buy that much.

Life, at this particular moment, is really fucking good.

My other computer just would not go wireless. My brother's friend Rob spent all day Sunday working on it to no avail. Oh well, it will be the home computer and this will be the fun little run around 'puter. While Rob geeked out on the computer, my brother and I indulged in some hung-over shoveling of very hard clay soil in my front yard in an abandoned attempt at building a french drain. That Austin clay soil is HARD. And shoveling on a hangover is not fun. I've got a guy to come finish the job this coming Saturday.

This past Saturday I had a reprise of the empty house party from 2002. A nice turn out, about 35 folks or so, all folks that I consider close friends. It was awesome. I got drunk. And, judging by the amount of beer bottles rattling around here, so did everyone else. I will take a picture of the aftermath soon so I can test out iPhoto and whatever the hell else I've got on this.

I've got a .Mac account, and the three year support package (worth it, anyone?) which they say will cover me in Norway as well, and I got the MS Office for macs (can't escape Microsoft, can you?) and an iPod and something else that came in a little cute box. I don't know what.

I gotta go. The neighbor just pulled up in his driveway and I don't want him to suspect I'm sheening his wireless. (I've always said i had a certain flexible morality....this certainly adds to that bendy way of looking at things....)

You'll be hearing from me more frequently long as the weather holds out and the neighbor doesn't find out!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

10 minutes left

I totally forgot what I wanted to write about, but now I remember.

American TV. YOu see, I finally have cable. And I bought an air mattress to watch it on. And dudes, I am HAPPY.

I FINALLY got to see "My Name Is Earl" last night. LOVED it! I've been watching cheesy "What did we wear" shows about fashions in the 70's and 80's. Reruns of Scrubs are around somewhere I'm sure. And Veronica Mars, I must see more. And...and...the Office, American version, which is pretty kick ass and has Steve Carrell who I have a secret crush on because he's totally got a hairy chest and I like me the hairy chests. Tonight is the premier of the new "Project Runway". There's Dave and Jay and Jon and oh so much good night TV and then there's the channel flipping and the movies (and the rental place right up the street) and I swear I am in TV heaven.

Bravo and WE and Oh! and BBC AMerica, and Comedy Channel and VH1 and Discovery and NBC and local news and Cartoon and like, oh my god I am in heaven.

So now i am out of internet time. Dammit. Might as well go watch more TV.

Richard's time in Egypt.

My husband went to Egypt for work. Here's his description of what he did. I'll create links at a later time to the places he mentions....


Hi Everyone!
I thought I should describe my very memorable trip to Egypt last week; it was quite an adventure! First off, we flew to Cairo via Frankfurt on Lufthansa on Monday, Nov. 21st. It was a very smooth flight. We arrived in Cairo at ~630pm, met by the expeditor, and driven to the Sofitel hotel in Maadi. The hotel is right on the corniche so there was a great view of the Nile. We met up with some colleagues and had dinner at TGIFs on the corniche. The weather the entire 11 days was fantastic; mid 80s, no wind, and really clear.

The next day, we were picked up at the hotel by a minibus and drove 8 hours out to the field crew. The trip took us past Giza onto the Alex highway (which is now a 4 lane express with toll booths). We then went up to Wadi Natroun and had lunch near a Coptic monastery. From there we took a desert road that took us to El Alamein where we rested. We then went along the coastal road west towards Libya before turning south into the desert on an unpaved road and into the middle of absolute nowhere! I spent the next 5 days on the crew staying in a trailer. Food and room were quite nice considering the location. One note, I have never seen so many stars in the night sky. The moon was not out so the milky way etc were very visible and sharp. wow.

The prospect the crew is currently working on is in the middle of a WWII battle field west of El Alamein with unknown mine fields. We had to stay on designated paths and were not allowed to go past the markers. The Egyptian army is conducting the mine clearance the old fashioned way by having about 12 guys walk shoulder to shoulder and poking the soil ahead of them with long sticks! Talk about teamwork...

We left the field crew on the morning of Tues, Nov. 29th back to Cairo via the same route. Checked back into the Sofitel late afternoon and arranged to go to Giza that evening for Sound and Light; it has not changed at all! One nice thing is that you can now sit at a cafe and have a beer or two while watching the show.

The next day, Wed, was a BIG day for me. I hired a car and driver and had him take me out to Saqqara, Dahshur, and Abu Sir. It was an amazing day. Driving in Cairo hasn't changed; still a death-defying experience. At Saqqara, I watched an excavation in progress. They were actually lifting two massive sarcophagii from adjacent shafts. Unfortunately, I wasn't permitted to take any pictures of the dig. I ended up going into Teti I pyramid to see the Pyramid Texts. My legs were pretty shaky after that.

From Saqqara we started to drive to Abu Sir but the police said it was closed for tourists and required a special permit from the Antiquities dept. I was not going to be deterred considering this was Egypt, land of Baksheesh! So I had the driver sneak around and make it to the locked gate. It paid off because I was entitled to a personal tour being the only one there! The escort showed me all kinds of sealed off areas under excavation by a Czech team. I found a perfect clay plate that was used for makeup but left it in place. They are now very serious about taking artifacts unlike the days of mummy bead hunting. (The paranoid side of me also envisioned the escort setting me up later for more money etc. by threatening me with arrest which is apparently a scam they use).

After Abu Sir, we then drove to Dahshur, which was closed when we were living in Egypt because of a military base. It is now open for tourists. I managed to climb down 65 meters into the Red pyramid; my legs paid the price the following day. From the Red pyramid, I walked over to the Bent pyramid which looks like the best preserved pyramid of them all since it has most of the outer casing still intact. It was closed for going into and, anyhow, I don't think that I could have managed another trek into a pyramid that day. We then drove back to Cairo in the late afternoon. On the way back, I took pictures of Felaheen and rural settings as the sun set. What colors! Dinner was at the hotel in a nice Italian restaurant. I had an excellent seafood pasta with wine.

The next day, Thursday Dec 1st, I took the metro (very clean and modern!) into Cairo to Tahir Square and spent the entire morning in the Cairo museum. I barely scratched the surface and my feet were killing me by lunchtime. Unfortunately, they no longer allow photography in the museum (so I bought a nice book from AUC instead). From the museum, I walked over to Groppi's cafe and had tea and chocolate cake. From there, I hailed a taxi and had him take me to the Citadel. It was school day so I was totally surrounded (and I mean surrounded!) by throngs of children the entire time answering their questions. They all got a big kick out of me asking them questions back in Arabic! After walking around and looking inside the Mohammed Ali mosque, I walked down to the old section of Cairo to the Ibn Tulun mosque. I made it just in time before closing and the setting sun made the whole area glow in orange. The walk was very confusing and medieval. From there, I hired a taxi who drove me to two different Mamluk tomb/mosques in the North cemetary of old Cairo. At one of the mosques, which is portrayed on the Egyptian one pound note, I managed to climb up the winding staircase in the minaret and was treated to a breathtaking view of Cairo at dusk. The climb up and down was very scary because it was in pitch black and I literally had to feel my way up with my shoes on each step. Exhausted, but very happy, I drove back to the hotel for a hot bath and dinner (Tex-Mex fajitas at El Ranchos!).

On Friday, Dec 2nd, I walked out to the corniche and hired a feluka ($5/hour) where I took pictures of farming across the Nile and of the Cairo skyline. After the boat ride, I hired a taxi and drove to the old Coptic quarter and visited the Roman guard towers and St. George's church and the Hanging church. Unfortunately, the Coptic museum is closed for renovations. I then had him drive me to Maadi and to CAC. They were having their annual Christmas bazaar! Unfortunately, the event has now grown where one has to buy tickets in advance. There were literally hundreds of people waiting in line which wrapped around to the side of the school! I wasn't going to wait that long. Instead, I walked from CAC and down memory lane. I managed to find our apartment on Road 82. It has really changed. The gate was locked and it seemed like nobody was at home (maybe at the Christmas bazaar?) Expats were living there since the SUV parked outside had stickers of Choate & Kent prep schools. They have added a floor and the area is not recognizable. However, the fruit tree out front which the bats loved is still there and that is how I found the flat. Also, there are Egyptian police posted at every street corner (who were acting nervous not knowing what I was up to taking pictures and all). Believe it or not, two kids were walking up the street. They were American and in 9th and 10th grade. I ended up talking to them for quite awhile and they were interested in hearing about how it used to be when we were living there. From Maadi and Digla, I went back to the hotel, checked out and drove to the airport. On the way to the airport, the taxi driver stopped at a few spots for me to use up the rest of my pictures. The last stop was the strange Indian temple /mansion made of red sandstone that is empty (I need to research that place). The flight back, once again, was smooth. I made it to Oslo before midnight for a snowy and cold return.

Weather man playing jokes on me

Well shit!

Today in Austin we are supposed to have sleet, freezing rain and other assorted Norwegian style weather. Really, what the fuck? I came here to escape this shit!

Luckily, my Mom gave me a coat when I was in Missouri, and it's coming in handy. A nice warm camel hair coat, it's pretty old but classic, and I totally love it. Warm and cozy wrap-around style. Big pockets. Nice.

I'm at the library and there is a guy sitting next to me making rumbly noises in his throat, like he's about to hawk up a huge loogy. It's pretty nasty. And yes, I have not bought the mac yet, I promised my brother's friend Rob (a techie) a chance to check out my computer to see if he can do anything with it. It's really sweet of him, it's been bugging him that I am having such problems connecting and he calls me at random times with "What if's?" and possible solutions. Main problem is that it's hard to fix a computer that won't go online when you have no internet connection at your house...thus no way to check if your solutions have worked or not. Grrr....rock? Hard place?

I've been looking for a little temp job. I had an interview at a shop at the mall, just a trendy store, you'd know it instantly if I told you which one. But, having lived in Norway, I think I might have overpriced myself for the American market. I named what I thought was a fair hourly salary, taking into account temp status, but I guess it was too high as I have not heard from them. I'll give it another day, then call them, I guess. It would be fun to do something, plus they'd give me a 30% discount.

A freind of mine also wants to use me to help her decorate her new, HUGE house, so that sounds like a fun project.

I spend most of the past couple of days at Home Depot and such places, getting things to fix the house with. New light fixtures, new door locks, etc. I'm surprised how inexpensive things are, relatively. I'm so used to things being expensive and very precious, with not much choice or variety, that it astounds me to walk into Home Depot and see row upon row of light fixtures and stuff, and at such low prices it's just plain wierd. So I splurged on a new toilet seat and a light fixture for the dining room. The one we have it still from the fifties and I have never liked it.

Rich was in Egypt for work last week and sent an email describing his experiences. I think I'll post that here as well, because it's really interesting what he did.

That's all for now!

Friday, December 02, 2005

time ticking.

I'm on a computer at the library and I have 40 minutes left and a helluva lot more stuff to do, so this will be short...ish.

So, lessee, what's up.

I'm in Austin. Beautiful glorious Austin. I'm staying at my house, where I have a bed, a tv, stereo, a toaster and a frying pan. Minimal and wonderful. It's amazing how little you need, really, to survive. Granted, the bed is fairly luxurious, but the rest of the house is echoing wood floors and walls that need painting.

The painter comes next week. Money? Eck. Money is just numbers on a page that always seem to go down, never up.

My computer is an overpriced paving brick at this point. Yeah, it works, but the hard drive is going and it took two visits of 2 hours each to two different computer gurus to have them tell me that "it won't connect to the internet". Then there was something with deleting windows entirely and restarting from scratch,that might solve the problem, but I would lose all my software, yadda yadda. Expensive inconvenient, and with the hard drive going as well, what's the point?

Dad, Dave, you may start gloating now, because I'm gettin' an iBook. Yep, this windows girl is going Mac. Look for me at a Starbucks near you blogging and getting hyped on overly sweet coffees starting next week.

The past couple of days have been all about heavy lifting, trimming bushes, reseeding the front yard and nightly complaining about how badly my body hurts after all that work. DAMN I forgot how much yard work can hurt. I've still got alot more landscaping to do, plus a half assed fixing of some floors and myriad other bits and pieces. But it's really nice to have a project (or 20). And it's also interesting how much I don't miss Norway. Yeah, I miss the hubby, of course, quite a bit, but except for him I could just not go back at all and get some furniture at Goodwill or something and live fine here. (Well, I do miss some of my clothes.) I just feel so alive and competent here. And warm......

Monday, November 28, 2005

Random Stream of Consciousness BS

this Mac I'm usng has a very soft keyboard and I tend to type like I'm on one of those old portable manual typewriters. In other words, I do nott have a soft touch and this keyboard is not happy with me. So sorry for the many mistakes that will happen.

So, random dork moment of the day: Mom and I went into Springfield for our Mother And Daughter Shopping And Lunch Day today. We went to Tj Maxx (the one in Springfield is the best one ANYWHERE, it totally rocks) and leaving the store I ran smack into the door. In my defense it did say "Automatic Door" right there on the door..but it was one of those automatic doors where you have to push the buton to the side, you know? Anyhow, I saw the sign, kept walking and smacked right into it with a resounding, store silencing crash. Mom is STILL busting out into giggles, even three hours later. I'm so glad I can enterrtain her. I think I give her much pleasure, lately, with my totally nutburger activities.

While shopping I indulged and bought a full set of 380 thread count sheets. I sort of have a sheet and bed linens fetish, I LOVE buying sheets and things for the bed. It's been a long LONG time since I had indulged my fetish, since in Norway king sized beds don't exist. Oh but it's so nice to re-awaken my interior design side and buy some pretty thngs for the bed. As for how to get them home? Well, I've got over a montth to ffigure that out, so I'll worry about that LATER.

A bunch of big thunderstorms and wind rolled through here last night, it was COOL. I haven't had a good ol' head-knocking, house rattling t-storm in ages. There were alot of tornadoes around, too, though obviously not here. I will admit I had a small pile of things next to the basement stairs, JUST IN CASE. Passport, wallet, cowboy boots, backpack with computer and jewelry. So these are the important things in my life, apparently. The storms pounded through for most of the night, and today was very windy and blustery and ASS cold. Which pisses me off, as I brought mostlyy pretty light weight stuff. Certainly not anything suited for a Norwegian style Blue Norther. Mom gave me a pretty kicck ass camel hair coat, though, so I'll stay cozy.

Tomorow it will remain ccold, though I will commence the drive south to Austin. It's a 12 hour drive. I get to go through Oklahoma. It's wild driving through there. I take turnpikes almost all the way, and the speed limis seem to be a mere suggestion, as everyone (including me, gleefully) goes 90 mph ++. On the way I pass through the area where those F5 tornadoes hit back in, oh what was it, 97? The ones that totally destroyed a whole outlet mall and a large portion of Moore Oklahoma? I had actually shopped there before, and now its just a huge expanse of concrete. Crazy.

My posting will be sporadic, as my laptop just WILL NOT connect to the net wirelessly. I can get oonto the wireless networks, no problem, but getting an IP address once I'm in the network is just not happening. I'd have to assign it manually each time. What a pain in the ass. I read something about getting some Windows updates to make it work, but in order to do that I need to be online, and well, that's kind of not happening, so it's all catch-22. It's just getting more and more tempting to buy the Mac. For now, until I figure out a solution, my computer is just a large expensive flat brick. It's library time for me when I want to post, I guess.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Thanksgiving is the best holiday EVER. (Well, maybe besides Halloween.) I mean, YUM! I ate until I couldn't eat anymore...and then Mom put out dessert. I dare anyone to not have some 7 layer mocha cake or rocky road pie when it is presented to them. Lord, the bounty of my home country...big servings, fat people (like me!).

Even better than the turkey dinner is the next day,. with turkey and gravy sandwiches......

However, there are some turkeys you'd rather not deal with, like Time Warner Cable in Austin. I want to have some TV while i am there, so I can catch up on some pop culture. God Time Warner SUCKS. I called them, and they put me on hold before I could even say anything (hello, potential customer?) and then, when I would ask a question, they were very snippy. Well, I am asking about your services, here, I need help, and yes, I am a special case. No I don't have a home phone number, I have a CELL PHONE. And yes, that area code is different! Perhaps you could get off your high horse and be a person and help me figure this out? Yes, I would like to transfer that service...oh you tell me it's possible, but I have to go to their offices in bumfuck Austin and present myself in person to sign papers? papers that show I am "responsible for that address". And I'm like, well, shucks I left the deed to my house in NORWAY where I flew in from!!!! And when I tell you that I can't come on the day you tell me to, you say that they are "lenient" with folks like me? Lenient? what the fuck does LENIENT mean? I'm not a prisoner in jail, I am a potential customer and lenient is really not something that would apply to me, you fucking pretentious, sighing, sarcastic voiced BITCH! I'm sory you have a job in the service industry, but you do, and that would then imply that you offer me SERVICE and not SARCASM and nastiness.

Worst part of it is, Time Warner is my only cable option. Monopolistic fuckers.

I'm typing this on my Mom's iBook G4, which I am severely tempted to steal...however, even though my parents have a whole wireless network set up, it all goes into a dial up account, which to me is like having the newest, niftiest airplane in the world but two guys with bat wings tied to their arms doing the flying. So much potential power, tied to a 28k dial up account. (They can't get braodband outt here in the Ozarks.) And now Dad's logged in too, on his monster G5 desktop, and I wonder how long it will take for this to upload...well, we'll see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Things are different here

I always spend the first few days of a visit back home remarking, "God, I'm just not used to this anymore!"

So far the things I am remembering/getting used to again are:

Unlike Norway, the majority of doors here do NOT open automatically. And you look like a total goof standing in front of one, waiting for it to open on its own. I ran into one, once, because I just assumed it would open before I got to it. It didn't. Ow.

Cars are bigger, and sorry to say, way uglier here. I also have forgotten the growl of big engines and the blatting sound of a car with sport exhaust. I drag raced a Bitchin' Camaro today. I won. Audis are stealth fast.

Traffic lights are annoying. Roundabouts are a much better system.

I am doubtful when I drive into a parking lot and parking is free. I keep looking for the parking ticket machine. Free parking at the Galleria? Right outside the door? Impossible. I wandered all over the parking lot trying to find the machine. Never found it. Still feel like I got away with something.

Dollars seem much more valuable than kroners. I think nothing of spending 300 kroners, but $50 seems like alot of money. Whenever I start to freak about the cost of something, I just change it into kroners and feel better.

The smell that Mexican food leaves on your clothes and hair is very unique. And very long lasting. It actually goes through multiple layers of clothes and turns the fabric limp. Strong stuff.

Mexican food farts are the absolute worst. I'm farting myself out of the room regularly, and feel very sorry for anyone who walked into the housewares section at Target after me this morning.

It's 80 fucking degrees in Houston today. And it's 35 in Norway. I prefer the former.

Talking to strangers is lovely. And they smile at you here, too. And I've had, like, 6 little chatty small talks with folks at check out registers and the like. It's AWESOME!

When I'm in Norway, whenever I see someone wearing a t-shirt that says "Texas" on it, I HAVE to talk to them. Or at least give them a really big smile. Here, that can get you in trouble. Lots of folks are wearing Texas t-shirts. LOTS of them.

And one for the random oddity category: WHY does the shower head at my brother's house come out of the wall at chest level? In order to wash my hair, I actually have to get onto my knees. That's just WRONG. I went and bought him one of those hand-held shower heads today, because I just can't see how he gets clean in there, him being 6' 4". It's lots better now. Merry Christmas bro! I give you...water pressure!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wierdo magnet

....or maybe I should say "collector of interesting people".

On my flight from Oslo I had....... a guy who sang out loud to every freaking song he heard, a musician coming home from being on tour who was giving me the eye something fierce and wore overalls and a Rex Harrison hat, an old man who commented loudly and wrongly on EVERY GODDAMN landmass he saw from the plane, and a flight attendant who tickled my feet whenever he walked by. (I was lucky enough to get a row of seats to myself and so could stretch out).

The crazy thing about this is, I have actually had my feet tickled by the SAME guy on a previous flight. I totally remembered him as the foot tickler, and then he goes and does it again! I hated it the first time he did it, so to have to endure it again? impertinent!

A foot fetishist flight attendant. Things like this only happen to me, I swear.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

There's NO (crash) place (WHAM) like HOME!

I swear to effing God, I feel like Dorothy in Oz, except with much bigger feet and carrying a much bigger load than a Toto-filled basket.

I'm all like, "There's no place like home! There's no place like home!".... heels crashing together, red sequins everywhere as they fly off the shoes and combust into tiny little sparkly flames. Toto's fucking FREAKING out in the corner, after having been dumped out of his basket because Momma needs the space for her computer cord, phone charger, camera charger, wireless adapter, travel mouse and other assorted things she spent hours trying to gather together.

I've been packing for, like three hours now, and it seems that I pack the same amount of stuff if I go away for a week or two months. Four pairs of jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, a few fabulous things, some comfy things. And honestly, I don't really care what I pack, except it's got to cover painting a house, 20 degree weather, 80 degree weather, Christmas, New Year's and hiking a variety of hills. No pressure.

Home! Home! Home!!!!!!! (crash clack YOWL! splat) Oh crap, I squished the damn yappy dog between my giant heels.

decisions decisions

I'm going to the States this week. My first Thanksgiving in four years. Woo!

I haven't packed yet. I'm a bit overwhelmed.

I've got some decisions to make, you see. My original plane ticket would have given me about two weeks in good ol' Texas. But honestly, I've been stressed to the MAX about how I won't have enough time to get a bunch of stuff done, like, basically spruce up our house after years of not neglect, but definite slacking. Yard, interior paint, some landscaping issues, etc etc. Two weeks. Also fit in catching up with friends, family and other stuff( like a party, teehee) and you have one stretched out Karla. Oy. I tried changing the return date on my ticket to get some extra time, but guess what? There's a little clause that says "If you don't use this ticket exactly as listed, it becomes a useless piece of toilet paper. NO CHANGES WHATSOEVER. You're fucked."


But wait....what the hell have I been saving up all these frequent flyer miles for? I've got quite a few of them now. Aren't they supposed to be used for rewards or something?

And, indeed, they are. Now if someone would explain to me why it is SO much easier to get a ticket with frequent flyer miles that is totally flexible, you can have 10 days before you confirm, and completely changeable, when if you are paying for it, they make it so inflexible and complex it's almost crazy making, I'd appreciate it. Seriously. I was AMAZED at how easy it was to get a round trip ticket with my miles from Houston to Oslo. Took about 10 minutes. We batted around some dates, me and Ross the Airline Guy, and boom, I've got an extended stay in the US. Possibly until mid January! (It would mean giving up our trip to Italy, but frankly, right now, Austin appeals more to me than anywhere.) This way I'd be skipping the return portion of the ticket I have now, but that money is already spent and gone, and this new ticket is totally free. And it also gets me back to Houston in October. Who knows, maybe by then I wouldn't need a return to Oslo again.....

Whatever. It means that I miss the darkest days of the year here, and honestly, I could use the break from Norway. I haven't been enjoying it much here lately.

Now the big question: Anyone in Austin need some Christmas help? I can get a JOB! I'm very experienced at gift wrapping, being charming, and I bet I'd make a cute, if oversized, Santa's Helper! It would be GREAT to have a job again, if only a temp one! Speaking to people in English, saying "Hi Y'all! and chatting small talk to strangers (which is just NOT done in Norway) sounds awful nice right now. (Good Lord, I sound like a Wal-Mart greeter right there, don't I? Sorry, Wal-Mart, I'm a Target kinda gal.)

None of this is set in stone, yet, this ticket change. I have 10 days before I confirm. I can still come back as planned. But right now Rich is looking up a ticket to come join me in Austin in late December or early January. If he does find one, then I am staying on for sure. It would be his first time back in Texas in three 1/2 years. And Rich is getting a bit excited about the idea of Barbecue. He loves him the brisket.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Just doin' what I do best....

Two of my favorite things to do (and things at which, frankly, I'm pretty durn good at) are getting people drunk and making jewelry.

Last night I got to combine the two and I think it was a heckuvalotta fun.

I had a Ladies Drinks Evening for the members of the "wives' club" of my husband's company. It was a small, but dedicated, turnout. We managed to tear through all the wine, dance to Madonna's newest, talk about all sorts of girl stuff, and, of course, play with jewelry which I had made. Our ages ranged from 28 to 48. But we all acted like teenagers. It was a fun time. Some people bought some stuff, some didn't, some oohed and aahed, and some gave me the devil sign and told me to back off because they'd be in trouble if they bought YET ANOTHER thing from me. Teehee. I've become everyone's favorite tempting indulgence. I'm like the Willie Wonka of GirlLand.

I also invited the ladies from my favorite shop, called Noa Noa, to come show some of their stuff, and it gave them a chance to meet some of us expats (though I discovered that the two who came weren't Norwegian, either, so we had no Norwegians at the party whatsoever!) The clothes that store carries are incredible. Very historically based, whimsical, classic yet funky, and the fabrics and colors are AMAZING. It's fairly expensive, but it can't be beat if you want something that's just that little bit out of the ordinary. It's the only place I've found in Norway the stands out from the crowd in terms of uniqueness. And they ended up loving my jewelry as well, which I was happy about. I think it fits the style of the store well. I want to keep the jewelry making strictly hobby, for now, but I would enjoy making some things customized for specific clothing collections, and so forth. What fun! What a great challenge! And what great experience for when I get back to the States!

The only problem with my "getting people drunk" talent is that in so doing, I usually end up drunk myself. And today, I am oh-so-paying for that talent. Oh Lord, please take the upper portion of my head and just lop it right off, won't you? It really really hurts. I hope it stops hurting in time for Harry Potter tonight at 5:30. Only 5 more hours...wwwooo! WOOOO!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A meme! A meme!

I haven't found a meme I've been interested in doing for a while, but I finally found one. I stolded it from Cy. AND I'm tagging two people with it. So, Bookhart, you were bitching about the lack of memes, so you are officially tagged. And Kjersti, you too.

8 Firsts.
First Best Friend: I'm lucky enough to have two. Lula and Bookhart.
First Kiss: A guy named Lee. In the parking garage in the Galleria, Houston.
First Screen Name: karlagodwoman
First Pet: A white German Shepherd name Muschi. I was a real little kid.
First Piercing: Ear.
First Crush: A guy named Andy. 7th grade. God my tastes have definitely grown.
First CD: Robert Plant, Principle of Moments.
First Car: 1967 Corvair Convertible. Yellow. Very loud engine, dual carbed. I called it "The Pleasuredome".

7 Lasts.
Last alcoholic beverage: wine. Now.
Last Car Ride: Tuesday, with my friend Judy. I am car free now.
Last Kiss: Yesterday.
Last Movie Seen: Tuesday. Elizabethtown. I give it a 5 outta 10.
Last Phone Call: Mom.
Last CD played: The new Madonna. Some of those songs kick ass. Others, not so much. I give it a 7.5 outta 10.

6 Have You Evers.

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Friends: No.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Which time?
Have You Ever Been Arrested: Not arrested, but there was a warrant out for me.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Yes. Numerously.
Have You Ever Been in love: Yes.

5 Things.
5 Things You're Wearing: red cord pants, black and white striped t-shirt, black chenille sweater, red/white/black Mephisto sneakers, black underwear
5 Things You Did Yesterday: slept late, danced, blogged, made popcorn the old fashioned way, had a nice hot bath.
5 Things You Can't Live Without: my computer, my friends, my family, my hair goop, my glasses.
5 places You've Been: Prague, Marrakech, The Nile, Malta, Texas.

3 People You Can Tell *Almost* Anything To (in no particular order).

1. Bookhart
2. Lula
3. My mom.

2 Choices.
1. Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Hot.

Harry Potter! Harry Potter!

I've got tickets to see the latest Harry Potter movie on Saturday evening.

To say I'm, hell, it doesn't even come close. I saw the last one three times in the theatres (once in Amsterdam at the gorgeous Tuschinski theatre, once in London and once here) and I was totally excited each time. I have the DVD now, as well as the DVD's of the two previous ones.

I don't know why all that Harry Potter stuff gets me, but I guess it's just because it's such an elemental story that in many ways we can all relate to. A boy who thinks he's average and nothing special suddenly becomes a hero. A bit like Cinderella, that.

Plus, is Daniel Radcliffe growing up cute or what?

Anyhow, yes, Saturday I get to see Harry Potter!!!! I'm more excited about this movie than I am about Christmas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

NNOOoooooo I'm EVIL Dammit!

How evil are you?

I feel my evil mojo slowly draining away. Look, there's Barney the Dinoaur in that there "good" window. Yeuch. But wait, then there is this, a quiz about what religion is best for me:

You scored as Satanism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don't actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with

Which actually totally freaks me out. I've always thought of myself as more Buddhist Earth Mother-y.....Well, I guess it's a good thing I wear alot of black?

The morning after

Dudes, sorry about the BWD (blogging while drunk). I had a pretty stressful and wierd day yesterday and all I could think of from about 3pm onwards was "Me wants a glass of wine NOW!"

And a bottle of wine saw the results.

Ahem. (shit eating grin)

I'm oddly not hung over, so that's good. It's damn cold outside now, though sunny and clear. I slept really late, well, til about 10:30. Then I was awakened by my dear husband who came home for lunch and thought it would be funny to put his cold cold hands on my nice warm butt....There I am all snug in bed and suddenly there's ice on my ass. GGAAHH!!! He was getting even with me for my nightly ritual of putting the cold feet on the warm husband. That was a nice wakeup surprise. NOT! Until then though, it was good sleeping weather. But who am I kidding? For me? Everyday is good sleeping weather.

So the rest of the week will be spent preparing for a little gathering I am having on Friday night for a select group of ladies (that group being everyone in the spouse's association). I need to round up those dust bunnies and wrestle them back into their cages. We're having a Ladies' Cocktail Evening and Fashion Night. Girl time! No boys allowed!

Then this weekend I will pack and get organized, and then Monday it's off to Texas. Yeay Texas! It will be my first Thanksgiving in four years, and I am not just a little excited. I've already chosen the elastic waisted pants I will be wearing for the occasion. Extra stretchy. But I don't think I will be drinking any of this. Ew.

After Thanksgiving I have some time to spend in Austin, taking care of some chores, catching up with friends and stuffing myself with Mexican food. I might also get to go out to my friends' ranch, which I love doing. I love the country outside Austin. Man it's great. Enchanted Rock is my "soul search" place. Where I do my spirit chasing.

It's always good to go home. I just wish I could stay there. I'm Expat-ed out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mostly sort of kind of drunkish

So yeah, I've had some wine. Yummy rose. Sorry I don't have the little ' thing that should go over the "e". I'm not French. I'm 'Murkin. We dont use little ' thingies. Whatcha gonna do about it? (wobbly grin.)

Just so's ya know, I'm a happy drunk. Worst I'll do to you is hug you to death, and possibly make you dance, if we are at a party. I might tell you how much I luuurve you, but only if I've known you a long time. Then we might have a really deep conversation about the nature of love and life and um, beer. Or something. I dunno.

Umm...why was I posting?

Shit, I totally don't 'member. Umm.....hmm. Teehee, she says, in a girly and totally insipid drunk girl giggle.

Ok, so I still totally don't 'member, but here's a picture or two of some shit I sold today, jewelrywise. (Jewelry is a really hard word to type when slightly drunkish...try it sometime...)

Me likey's a wierd word when you look at it long enough. (And yes, I spell wierd wierd so just move on. Eventually the world will catch up to me on that one.)


I'm gonna go take a nice hot bath now. With bubbles. Wheeee bubbles!

Monday, November 14, 2005


What is it with dust? How does it always know where I am?

We moved to his new place in July and it's already dusty! I thought we left all the dust at the old place, so why is it following me here? Dammit, now we have to move again.

Anyone know the number of the Dust Avoidance Protection Program? Like the Witness Protection program, except you are escaping dust bunnies?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Just so you know

It's possible to make 50 pairs of earrings in one day. I did it yesterday.

Sheesh. I am my own jewelry factory.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

If you live in Austin and are looking for something to do on Dec 8th....

The Not World Famous and definitely Not MTV Rotated Dentones will be playing the Carousel lounge in Austin on December 8th. The band, consisting of a bunch of "stain"* friends of mine, plays a smart brand of garage rock. (I guess that's what it is?) Influences include Neil Young, and, um...other stuff. I really don't know. I suck at this.

Dentones, early show at 7pm on December 8th. At the Carousel Lounge. which is worth checking out in its own right as one of the last remaining truly Austin places left in Austin. So, you're really getting two thrills for the price of one, and it's free, so what the hell are you hemming and hawing about? Just go already!

*Stain, a shortening of the word "abstain" which my friends do not do. They "stain". I stain, too.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shopping Frenzy

Wow. And I mean,

I went into Oslo and checked out four H&M stores carrying the Stella McCartney line. Unlike the Lagerfeld stuff, this time the Norwegians (like the New Yorkers, apparently) were on the ball and they snapped it up but quick. Apparently, also, there was alot less of the McCartney line, in terms of how much they made and shipped out. So the selection by the time I got there was thin, to say the least.

But interesting.

Lil' Ms. Stella is once again a designer for women with small butts and big waists. Emphasis on long lean legs was the key point of this collection. There were a few pairs of very skinny-legged jeans left, some pants that came with either a wide cuffed leg or the narrow leg, and jackets in denim or in traditional blazer cuts in proportions to match those bottoms. The skinny jeans were way too skinny in the butt and thigh for me, but the waists were huge. The jackets looked like they should have been fitted and very snug, but when I put them on they hung off the waist and off my back, with about 8 inches of fabric to spare. It was a strange fit for what should have been a very tailored denim jacket. But they were beautifully made and detailed. Especially the denim ones. If they had fit me they would have been a SCORE for the price.

There were also (though I didn't get to see them all in the picked through remnants) sweaters, camisoles, dresses and some cool trenchcoats in shades of black, a sort of taupey blush, a medium blue and in just the dresses, rose.

I ended up getting a trench coat and sweater in the pinky taupe. My friend Julia got a gorgeous silk camisole in the same color. (Girls back home, I had hoped to cop a few of those for you guys, but there were NONE left. Julia only got hers because someone left it in the dressing room!) The sweater is blousy in fit, with a silk tie at the hip, the wrists and a v-neck trimmed in silk. The trench is big and poofy, with ties, belts,big pockets, epaulets, strings and much more stuff. It's fun, sort of almost like a VERY fashionable paper bag. I did also buy some skinny legged jeans, but by another designer, as Stella's just weren't working for me. They look great with the sweater and coat.

I'm sort of annoyed at myself that I didn't make it yesterday to get a better selection, but as Badger says, it was my "day two" and I just wasn't fit for shopping or being out in public.

I popped by the store in Sandvika on the way home from Oslo and they had NOTHING left except a small blue bikini and a belt. The girl there told me they sold it all out in half an hour yesterday. I'll keep checking back over the next week, as I am fairly certain people will be returning stuff. I've got my eye on a dress.....

But wow. What a retail roller coaster. Stella McCartney, hats off to you for a stellar (get it?) collection. My only complaint is (and this is a standard one) that designers (Lagerfeld did the same) tend to make stuff for a body shape that is much more boyish than mine. Not everyone has legs with a 36" inseam (and I'm almost 6 feet tall myself!)and a size 6. Some day someone will do a "Victoriana" collection and then baby, I am SO in!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Stella McCartney is doing a collection for H&M. It debuted today.

I will be there first thing tomorrow morning to buy whatever I can. Her tulip skirts ROCK. I have much higher hopes for this collection than I did for Lagerfeld's. His ended up being a disappointment, to me at least.

Stay tuned til tomorrow when your erstwhile jewelry designer/fashion maven/blowhard pal Karla will report back.

Matching pretties to people.....

Eileen ordered a necklace after she saw the picture I posted earlier. A little bantering back and forth via email and voila! A necklace for Eileen:

Amethysts in four cuts (melon, briolette, faceted and leaf cut) with silver beads and chain on Italian silver rolo chain. She wanted purple and she wanted sparkly!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Texas, You Suck*

Texans voted to support an amendment to the Texas Constitution banning gay marriage. What a load of crap. I'm gonna quote my blog buddy Badger on this one, because she says it really really well:

Um, can someone point me to the exact chapter and verse in the Bible where it lists all the people and groups that Jesus hates? Because a lot of folks seem to think they know, and it sure would be handy info to have, but I can't find it anywhere in my copy. Was it in the beatitudes, maybe? "Blessed are the meek, etc. etc., but gay people suck so feel free to hate on them just whenever?" Maybe my Bible was edited by a bunch of free-love hippies or something.

I'm just disgusted at the close minded attitude of many of my fellow Texans. Why do you think you can legislate someone else's happiness? Stopping people who love each other and want to spend their lives together from getting a piece of paper that says just that? Stupid rules for people who can't stay out of other people's business. Do you feel better now, safe from those big bad gay people? 'Cuz Lord knows, they ARE the biggest problem we have in Texas. Certainly bigger problems than a fucked up school finance system, children without health care, polluted air, overcrowded roads, and the ever-present Tom DeLay situation!

Jesus would have been the first guy to say "live and let live". Wasn't he also the one who said something about "Let him among us who is innocent cast the first stone?"

I see lots of folks casting stones. Hmm, must be LOTS of innocent people in Texas....

*Travis County Excepted.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

So, I'm taking bids starting NOW.....

My blog is worth $16,936.20.
How much is your blog worth?

Call 1-800-buy-my-blog, pay me $16,936. (I'll forget the 20 cents, I'm generous that way) and this here blog is yours! I'll even keep writing it for you!

making and tell

Here's some stuff I've made thus far:

Pearls on silver with dangly bits and silver circles.

Close up of the above.

Pearls on little silver sticks, slightly Egyptian in feel. Warm pearl colors. My camera won't pick up the colors too well. It's also a shitty grey day outside, so the light is not good.

More warm pearls and circles with dangly bits. I like jewelry that moves.

Pearls on silver, on silver chain that's wrapped around suede.

I'm not real pleased wtih the photo quality, I need to work on that. I guess I just need more light. Arg. I'll also post some fun colorful stuff I made.

colorful fun

A bunch of bracelets made of hand made glass beads and silver. Fun colors.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Best Expat Article. Ever.

I've posted a few times about my frustrations with the company my husband works for, how they say they have policies in place for the spouses of their employees, and say they offer support, when it's really all just a showy website that really doesn't do much. They say they offer career counselling when it's really just a fairly non-intuitive database of jobs, none of which are suitable for any of the women I know. (I have some ideas about how to help us find jobs, but of course, they would never listen to me!) It's very frustrating when you read the company slogans of "Putting Families First" and you know it's pretty much just an exercise in PC company propaganda.

Here is an article I found that humorously, yet pointedly, explains JUST HOW I FEEL about what it's like to be an expat spouse. It's just too good. Any of you reading who are in my shoes, I dare you not to laugh out loud. Any of you who have dealt with HR and their attitudes towards the wives, you will love this.

I am happy today, just because I found this. Anyone confused as to just WHO I am in this article?

Upcoming travel

It seems as though my goal of traveling every month this year will come true. (I need to make a run down of where and when I've been this year. I think I can figure it out by checking my credit card statements!)

Anyhow, I'll be in the States over Thanksgiving through part of December. Rich isn't able to come. (And convenient for him, too, as it's basically a work trip for me. I think he just wanted to escape the yard work and cleaning out the garage.) We'll spend Chistmas here (a bit of a bummer as it will be pretty damned lonely and everything will be closed for DAYS) but right after that Rich has booked us a trip to Italy, Milan and Turin. It was a case of "Where does RyanAir go cheapest on these dates?" and voila! It's Milan.

Don't feel bad for Rich, like I'm leaving him behind while I travel around. He gets to go places too. Like Egypt. For work. He doesn't seem to be too upset.

In other news, we actually went for a walk yesterday. The first in weeks. It was the first day the rain let up enough for that to happen. It was a nice walk, and it looks like I might get to repeat the experience today.

The jewelry making is coming along. I made a bunch of fun hand made glass bead and Thai silver bracelets. All in bright colors. Now I am making what most people come to me for, funky necklaces made of pearls and silver. These are not traditional pearl necklaces by any means, as I figure you can get one of those anywhere. Mine tend to be made with bits dangling here and there, the pearls a bit rougher and not so formal. I especially like pearls in earthy tones all mixed up, to be worn with jeans and warm colors or purples and greens. I'm also into circles and chains mixed in with the pearls. Makes it a little punk.

I'll put up some pictures later today or tomorrow.

Right now, though, I need COFFEE.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I really wish I had something interesting to write about

But it seems, alas, that I do not.

So maybe I will give you some stream of consciousness bullshit about the small speck of grime on the left upper corner of my computer screen. (Don't think I could do it? Expostulate on a speck? Oh yes I could. I once wrote a three page paper abouta piece of gum stuck on the underside of my desk. It was 8th grade and the teacher wanted us to write a descriptive paper on something in the classroom. I named the gum "Chewey". I got an "A".)

Or give you a detailed inventory of my closet. (No, that would be a whole 'nother blog in itself.)

Or tell you about the weather. (Pointless, that. See below. Entry entitled "Blah".)

I could possibly get on my soapbox about the state of American politics and the ridiculousness of the government. My newest annoyance being people who are saying that a newly developed vaccine for HPV (the cause of cervical cancer and other problems in so many girls) is not a good idea because it might cause promiscuous behavior. These are the same ASSHOLES who say that the morning after pill will cause promiscuity, yet also want to ban abortion. Why is morality always pinned on to the women to the detriment of their right to basic health care? Oh the hypocritical aspects of it just fucking make me want to go OFF! But I'm not getting on to that soapbox. See? Stepping down.

Since I don't have anything interesting to say, today, I guess I will just tell you that I am heavy into jewelry production for the first time in about 6 months and it feels really good. Rich keeps trying to tidy up my messes (I tend to spread around a bit when I am "creating") and I'm snarling at him to "Not mess up my mojo!" Poor guy. He's a neatnik, and I am categorically NOT. He keeps trying to wedge me into a corner of the living room, and my projects and materials stealthily just keep creeping out in an amoeba-like manner, until every surface in the vicinity is covered with tiny sparkly bits of color.

Poor guy. It's tough living with an artsy slob. And now, as the t-shirt says, "Go back into your studio and MAKE STUFF".

Thursday, November 03, 2005


What is today, Thursday? God I've lost all track of time. It's November now, right? It doesn't feel like it. Usually by now, here in Norge, it's snowing and ass cold. But it's just raining and yesterday (the first day in a week when it didn't rain) I was BOILING HOT in my sweater and tweed jacket. It was probably almost 60 degrees. Wierd fall weather for hereabouts. Just strange.

I've had a day to mope, a day to shop (but didn't find anything) and dinner out with a friend, to help me regroup and feel a bit better. Now I just have to figure out "what's next?" What am I going to do with my time here in Norway now?

I'm kind of pissed because in thinking we'd be going to Dubai, we did not plan our Christmas trip, which would have been to Bangkok. Now that it looks like we can go again, the cost of flights has gone up so tremendously it's not even funny. Around $2000 each round trip. So it turns out we can't go after all. God it's annoying. Apparently Christmas is the most popular time for people in Scandinavia to go to Thailand. What about those of us who want to visit family? Airline bastards, greedy Gus's.

I've signed on to do a jewelry sale in two weeks. Which means I must needs sit down and actually make some stuff. It seems some ladies requested I come sell my stuff, which does make me feel good. So I guess I better live up to the promise and have something to sell. I haven't made anything in quite a few months, what with moving, traveling, worrying, stressing and general chaos. It will be soothing to just dive in and get my hands busy on some creative projects.

That necklace on the left, there, is one of my favorites. I made it to sell, but then realized I liked it so much that I'm keeping it. I've had quite a few requests for duplicates. Guess that should be on the list....and yes, MOM, I know that you are on that list as well. (She totally tried stealing it from me, and I actually had to hide it so she wouldn't "accidentally" find it after I left!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bye Bye Baby

Well, it's official. The car is gone. It's not mine anymore. She has a new owner now. I'm pretty sad about it, even though it is nice to have sold it for such an insanely high price. I cried when he drove it away. I'm actually still pretty weepy. And it's not made any better by the FUCKING WEATHER.

In other news, we got some bad news yesterday. Two months ago, when I was in Texas, Rich called and said that his company was going to transfer us. To Dubai. I was really psyched about it, because I'm SO ready for a new place to live and I've pretty much done Norway. Well, it seems that now it's not going to work out after all. After two months of me planning for it, shutting down stuff here, researching Dubai and mentally distancing myself from Norway, it's all for naught. I'm fairly devastated, and Rich is pretty upset, too. We can't really blame anyone except for lame company procedure (they say they can't find anyone to replace him, which I think is a load of crap). We've been kept dangling for two months.....and then left to drop. Shit.

Anyhow, it's been a rough couple of months, with the not knowing and the everything being up in the air, and then me not being able to blog about it because it was all supposed to be hush hush. Selling the car was stressful, and I have to go to Austin later this month to take care of some stuff with our house, as my beloved friend is moving out and I have to do some clearing out and organizing. And there's some other stuff, too, that I'm worrying about.

Some of the more observant among you have been asking me why the tone of my blog has been a bit different. It's because I am stressed to the max, I'm ready to get out of here, and I can't sleep because I'm just thinking about everything that's going on constantly and I can't shut it off. And did I mention the WEATHER SUCKS?

Monday, October 31, 2005


It's been foggy for three days straight. And I don't mean a little misty, I mean full-on, rainy, pea soup sad greyness.

And it's supposed to continue, this weather, through next Wednesday. (Not THIS wednesday, but NEXT.)

I don't think I can survive it. I really don't. And with the end of daylight savings time, it's getting dark really early, and it's just a total bummer. I remember now why I hate fall in Norway. It's so SAD and colorless.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!*

*I'll give you a hint: Ever hear the song "I got you babe"?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

If I was 15, it'd be the ONLY beer I'd drink

This yahoo article is cracking me up.

I would totally buy any beer that was called Seriously Bad Elves, Very Bad Elves, or Santa's Butt. Totally. Whether I was 15 or 30-um, something..

It's all imported and distributed by Shelton Brothers. Who, of course, don't distribute in Texas. Arg. Looks like I'm going back to England to get me some Santa's Butt and some Seriously Bad Elves.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Um, wow. That was,um, fast.

Well, um, hmm.

I'm fairly flummoxed.

You see, yesterday I put an ad online to sell my car.

And I got a call today. One call. Guy wanted to see the car. I met him.

And he bought the car.

He signed a contract and will have the money next week. (My American cynicism says "Proof is when the money hits your account", but Norwegians are a very honest and honorable sort of people, and if he signed a contract, I have very little doubt he means what he says. Norwegians are way more trustworthy than Americans in many ways.)

A part of me thinks maybe I priced it too low. But then, the other part of me says that I just sold my 8 year old car for what I paid for it new in 1997. So, really, if I'm happy with the price I got, and he's happy with the price he got, isn't that just good all around? Why be greedy when you get what you need? I'm all about the good karma of this.

So, wow. That was fast. All told. I'm gobsmacked.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I just checked the FUH2 website, and it seems like me and my Norwegian blog buddy Kjersti have made our feelings clear about Norwegian Hummers. I'm currently on page 13, and she's on page 2. (At least, Kjersti, I am fairly certain that is you!) I think they had a bit of a backup and didn't post for a while, as I sent in my picture way back in July. But it's there now. I feel better...and vindicated.
God, Hummers are stupid. Any car named after a blow job, you just gotta wonder. What's next? Naming a car the Fluffer?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005