Saturday, April 30, 2005

More About Russ

Kjersti has posted a very informative description of her time as "Russ". She talks in detail about her outfit and what the various bits meant. This is cool, as it is surprisingly hard, as an utlander, to get the inside scoop. It feels all secret clubby to us non-Norwegians. So thanks, Kjersti, for the explanation and for being my guide to Norway's tradition!!

Now for the big question: Do you like Lutefisk?????

Friday Q (done on Saturday, oops!) Tasty

FQ TOPIC: Tasty.

FQ1: Your favorite sweet food? When did you last have it?

I recently discovered Dutch Stroopwaffels, these crispy waffle cookies (like a waffle ice cream cone?) with a filling of caramel. Put one over the top of your cup of coffee and the heat makes the caramel soft and gooey. Mmmm.... I brought about 10 packs back from Amsterdam. They also put chocolate sprinkles on their buttered's EXCELLENT! The Dutch know how to eat their sweeties. (Oh my that sounds kind of bad, doesn't it?)
My sweet cravings change with my moods. Almost every morning for the past 10 (yeesh!) years I have had a vanilla mocha. Without a coffee place around, I make my own now. I'm pretty good at it!

FQ2: Your favorite salty food? When did you last have it?
Chips and salsa, nachos, French fries, Walker's Crisps, Kettle Chips, popcorn. I'm a snack whore.

FQ3: Your favorite sour food? When did you last have it?
Sour cream. Yesterday.

FQ EDIBLE: What's the best thing you've ever tasted? The most horrible thing you've ever tasted?
Best thing I ever tasted. Hmm. I had some truly excellent Vietnamese food in Amsterdam. That made me REALLY happy, as Vietnamese food is one of my absolute favorites.
I crave the Bob Armstrong Dip and Shrimp Tostadas Compuestos at Matt's El Rancho in Austin, and when I finally do get them, it's hard for me to sit still or eat without moaning, because it's so GODDAMN good.
I also had one of the most wonderful desserts EVER in London at the Admiral Codrington. Sometimes food is better than sex. You can do it in public and pay someone else clean up the mess!
Worst thing I've ever tasted. Umm.....I can't think of a specific dish, though the taste of chicken fat makes my skin crawl. Usually it comes down to how the food smells. If it smells fishy or gamey, I'm right off it. I've gotten some bad beef here once, that was nasty. I've SMELLED lutefisk, and that is enough to tell me that it would be the most horrible thing I ever tasted, if I deigned to do so. I guess my good food memories outweigh the bad......

Friday, April 29, 2005

Norwegian Spring

I'm taking a break from evil-doing for a little while, to tell you about a Norwegian tradition that, well, it's just plain interesting.

It's called "Russ". Every year in spring, for three weeks before** Norwegian Independence Day and the upcoming graduation exams, kids graduating from high school run absolutley AMOK. They dress up in these red or blue overalls that they don't wash. They get completley shit faced, dare each other to do strange things, have sex like bunnies, drive around in tricked out busses that can cost over $100,000., and generally annoy the shit out of anyone over 30. And everyone smiles indulgently and says "Ah, Russ. I remember mine". It's considered a sweet, funny rite of passage. And I mostly believe that, and think it is kind of cute.

I think Russ is something I would have wholeheartedly supported had it been done in the US when I was 18. (And I do mean WHOLEHEARTEDLY.) However, as an old fart now, I think some of it might be getting out of hand.

Russ Bus

Specifically, those DAMNED busses. These busses all have a hired driver, so the kids can fuck themselves up while some really well paid bus driver takes them around in endless circles. That is fine, cruise all you want. My problem is with the STEREOS in these things. Imagine a bus sized stereo blaring at all hours. They've got something like 30,000 watts or something. It's insane. We live about a mile from the E-18 highway, and when these busses go down the freeway they rattle our windows and wake us up. We can hear it for about three miles! It's like having your own stereo on its highest volume. It's LOUD. And expensive. These kids go to some pretty serious lengths to afford these busses. In the US, of course, you'd save that money for college, but here, since college is covered by the gov., why not waste it on expensive boom-box busses?

Russ is basically the longest and largest hazing/graduation/frat party you have ever seen. I've seen the kids the next morning crashed in all sorts of odd locations, including on the trains, on sidewalks, train stations, fields and parks. It's especially popular to crash in the middle of a roundabout.

It's a really interesting time of year. Part of me is kind of jealous that these kids get to have an adult sanctioned, three week, country wide party. I never got that. It would have been cool. But then part of me just wants them to TURN DOWN THE DAMN STEREOS!

If you want some more info on it, you can find some links here.

** I don't get why they party BEFORE their exams. Shouldn't they do it after? I hear many of them are so worn out from partying they fall asleep during the exams. Hmm. Is it just me that find this a bit strange?

Geez, this makes me sound positively nice!

But don't let it fool you, I am EVIL! EVIL to the core!

Your Birthdate: August 18

Your birthday on the 18th day of the month suggests than you are one who can work well with a group, but still remain someone who needs to maintain individual identity.

There is a humanistic or philanthropic approach to business circumstances in which you find yourself.

You may have good executive abilities, as you are very much the organizer and administrator.

You are broad-minded, tolerant and generous; a compassionate person that can inspire others with imaginative ideas.

Some of your feelings may be expressed, but even more of them are apt to be repressed.

There is a lot of drama in your personality and in the way you express yourself to others.

Oddly enough, you don't expect as much in return as you give.

I'm evil. Dammit, E-V-I-L!!!!!! Don't let this birthday thing fool you, for it's all subterfuge as I send my corrupt minions abroad to do dastardly deeds.

Look! Is that your Cuisinart exploding chocolate goo all over your kitchen? BWAH-hahahahaha. Ha! Ha! That was me! Me and my nasty evil invisible kitchen troll minions! We did that!

Evil. Pure and simple. Fear me.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

This Rocks My World.

The Bush Poo Flag.

Those clever Germans.

I Am The Evil You Fear.

Hey! Guess what!

I am an official blot on the morals of the world! I am banned in the UAE!!!! I am the quintessential Bad Influence. I am Evil Incarnate. I always knew it, but it's nice to have governmental, bureaucratic proof!
I got the following email from my friend Karen:

Thought you'd be amused to know that many of the pics on your site (including the cat pics) are blocked in the UAE. The friend I was staying with told me this. It [her computer when she tried to log onto my site] says:

We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.”

I am a Stinking Filthy Whoreson Godless Infidel!!!!! Woohoo! Do I get a plaque or a certificate or something? Maybe some one can make me a badge I can post on my sidebar?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Foregone conclusion

Take the Which Character Am I? Quiz

Yep. That makes sense. Like Samantha, I have always been a "cool geek".

And, like her, I once got offered money for a pair of my panties. Long story. One which I am not telling you. EVER.

More uses for cats.

I do know a cat that is fairly useful. He's no slouch in the "helping Mom around the house" arena. His name is Earl, and he belongs to Karla May.

Ever helpful, this is Earl cleaning the floor. He really puts his back into his work!

Being an Austin-liberal, earth friendly cat, with a vegetarian Mom, Earl knows he needs to help with the recycling

Earl helping to dust the shelves. He's slow but thorough.

Earl watching the Daily Show with John Stewart. He likes to keep up with current events.

Earl helping unpack the groceries. You saw him recycling the bags already. Good Earl!

Here, Earl is guarding the backyard and helping to aerate the grass with his claws. His Mom is pretty busy, and he knows boys should help with the gardening.

Earl is going to be a big brother. Here he is modelling his future "sister's" hat! The pink does not bother him. Unlike many boys his age, he has no problems with his sexual identity. He knows he is all man!

Now THAT'S a useful cat.

I've always been a dog person, and have never really seen a real reason for having a cat. I mean, they don't protect you with their barks, they don't come when you call, they don't eat leftovers and they can't be trained as seeing eye-cats, so what's the point? I want a pet that DOES something, you know?

Well, I have finally found a website with some possible uses for a cat. *

Finally a cat that has a purpose.

*I got this from Meg's website.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Your Tex-Pat, currently living in the Land of Suck

So let's recap the past week and a half shall we?

Shingles. A burglary. Yesterday I had mad nasty food poisoning. I spare you the details on that one, ok? But that's why I didn't post yesterday. I still have not had solid foods.

And now?

We have to move.

Yeah, uhuh. And not anywhere interesting, like to Dubai or England or something, but somewhere else here in the Oslo area. I haven't made a big secret of the fact that I am ready to get out of here. Between the prices and the long winters,(and the petty crime!) it's just not my place. I came here for three years, and that is up this summer. Time to move on, I figure. Nothing against Norway, but I am by birthright a warm weather gal AND a bargain shopper, so you can see how I may not fit in well in a place that is the opposite of my basic make-up, it being a liberal society notwithstanding.

So, yeah, we have to find a place to move into by First July. To say I am vastly annoyed would be an understatement. I seriously want to be just moving back to Austin, it has been in the very forefront of my mind for a while now. I REALLY want to work again, I have it all mapped out what I want to do in Austin and for whom, and boy it would be nice to be near my friends and family again. Oh so nice. But, and look at me sacrifice all for love here, I have decided that I am, basically, in for a penny, in for a pound, and will stick it out for another year, if that is to be the case.

SO, this being an undeniable new facet of my life, I have decided a few things that might go a little way to make things for me here more satisfactory.

Mainly, I need to get out of the suburbs. I am not a suburban girl. While the view is nice, I can't stand looking out the window at that pretty view and feeling like life is all over there and here I am in my gilded cage on the mountaintop, missing it all. I feel trapped here, and need to get somewhere where it is simpler for me to get around, where I can go get a coffee in the morning, maybe meet someone for lunch, and not have to drive or walk two miles to do it.

So, we are moving into central Oslo. (Possible central Asker, there is a flat there that we are lusting over.) We are going to get a flat and do the "living in a European city" thing. Rich is doing it just to shut me up, he is happy in the 'burbs, but he knows how miserable I have been, so he is falling in line with the plans. He also know that a happy wife makes for a happy husband..... I will sell my car to help with keeping costs down. That should save a good chunk of change in insurance alone. It will be the first time since I was 16 that I did not have a car. That is a freaky thought.

There has been alot going on the past few weeks. I hope it quiets down a bit. Well, quiets down until we have to do all the moving crap. I'll be having a yard sale in June, people! Get your tickets to Norway for it will be one helluva sale!

My parents are hipper than me

So here's my mom, at the airport, waiting for a flight. That's her sending me an email. My dad is taking the picture, which he then downloaded onto the computer at the airport and included it in the email that my mom was sending me.

My parents are more up on the technology than I am! They have outpaced me! Dad's got the house all Mac-ified, with wireless everything, and a lap top for Mom, and the newest spanky desktop Mac for Dad (the one where the computer is in the flat screen or something?) and they are sending me pictures from the freaking airport!

I remember just 6 years ago trying to explain to my dad how email was different from a fax. How it didn't need paper. And how the internet was different from TV. You didn't change channels, you went "online". Looks like he learned pretty damned fast, eh? I still don't have a digital camera!

My parents are all grown up now...I'm so proud of them! And a bit jealous......

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Homeland Security: Keeping You Safe

Using your tax dollars wisely to protect you from those evil Antartic terrorists. Have a nice flight!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday Q: Pets


FQ1: Any pets as a kid?
German Shepherds. Anywhere from 2-5, never less than 2 at a time. We had a big back yard, and lots of garage space for them. I don't remember a time without Germies, growing up. They all had German or American Pseudo Porn names, like, Schlingel, Muschi, Big Boy, Playmate, Teddy, Flumpy, Heidi, Ginger. The ones I had myself were Beaufort and then Kaiser.
Even now, when I see a German Shepherd, I have to firmly resist running up to it and hugging it. Seeing a big furry Germy is like seeing a familiar face, you know? I can't help myself, I adore the breed. Other dogs leave me cold. One of my favorite smells in the world is puppy breath, you know when you pick up a fat little 6 week old puppy and its breath smells of milk and baby doggie? Aaawww......

FQ2: Any pets now?
No. Had to give Kaiser away when we moved. Sigh. He got adopted thru Austin German Shepherd Rescue, which was where I found him. My parents still have their pack of dogs, right now including Ginger, Teufel, Flumpy andthey also have a shitload of guinea hens and chickens. My brother has a cool ginger cat named Skeeter. (He had to give his Germy, Flumpy, to my parents, when he had to move.) But Skeeter is kind of like a miniature Germy himself. He plays fetch and kicks ass.

FQ3: Name your favorite famous pet from television or movies.
Rin Tin Tin or Flipper. That dog on Frasier, Eddie, he was kind of cute, but no Germy!

FQ BEST FRIEND: If money and legality were not a barrier, what exotic animal would you like as a pet?
A tiger. One of those white ones. Honestly, though, just give me another big, beautiful Germy. Sigh.

Friday, April 22, 2005

My night was more exciting than yours.

What were you doing at 3:45 am?

I was getting burgled.

See? I told you my night was more exciting than yours.

Cussing will follow, if this offends, well, then, bugger off, ok?

We were awakened by a very small stealthy noise in the foyer upstairs. Then we saw a shimmering, wavy light. I was all "huh?" and sort of frozen, but Rich was really together. He reached under the bed and grabbed my trusty 7 iron (now used twice for protection purposes, which is two more than it's been used for golf purposes in the past year) and started just yelling whatever came to his head. He was up and running up the stairs before I could get the crust out of my poor shingled eyes. He scared the bugger off with his biggest, scariest voice yelling "Hey! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" as he ran up the stairs. By then I was right behind him.

What a sight we must have been, Rich 6'7", me 5'10" and wild haired crusty eyed, both of us in our underwear, Rich waving a golf club and me just waving my hands about uselessly, gasping words like "shit! fuck! whatthe? goddamn!". We ran outside but the bugger got away. We never saw him. It was like being burgled by a ghost.

We think that when Rich locked the door last night, he didn't get it to catch, and I didn't do my normal double checking. So there's no one to blame, really, except an opportunistic burglar who saw that our door was not locked and strolled right the fuck on in.

The mother fucker got my purse. My purse, my wallet, my cell phone, my Norwegian and my Texas drivers' licenses. My purse was a really cute Coach I got in January. So was my wallet, and my coin purse. I think I am more pissed about that than anything, as you CAN'T get Coach in Norway. And my cell phone was pretty expensive, too.

The cops came and took a report and spattered fingerprint dust all over everything. That stuff is impossible to clean up. (The cops, by the way, girls, were REALLY good looking, it must be a Norwegian law that cops and Embassy guards have to be smashingly handsome. I was really embarrassed to be in my t shirt, old shorts, ratty hair and red blotchy face, and faced with guys like that. Yeah, I'm married but a girl has her standards, you know? Nobody likes to look like crap when faced with man candy.)

I think you can guess that I did not go back to bed after all this. So we've been up since 3:45 am. Urg.

WHY THE FUCK DO WE KEEP GETTING ROBBED? I thought Norway was supposed to be this safe, quiet place where nothing ever happens and everyone trips happily through life without a care in the world! My car has been attempted stolen THREE TIMES (even with an alarm!), and now our house was robbed? What the FUCK? Who are these people and why are they picking on us???????

I tell you what, our house in Austin, a few times I left the door wide open all night or left the keys in the front door, nothing ever happened. I left my car in the front drive, unlocked, keys in the side pocket, every damn day. NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. America has a reputation for violence and crime, but I gotta say, I am more worried about my stuff here than I ever was in the US.

I guess I can look on the bright side and say that no one was hurt, the things he took were not irreplaceable. The folks at the drivers' license office, the bank, the insurance and the locksmith have all been really nice and very efficient. It shouldn't be a problem getting my credit cards replaced, and I have never waited such a short time for a driver's license in my life. That is all good. The burglar could have harmed us, had he wished. I'm glad that was not the case. So I do have a few things to be thankful for.

However, my sense of security has been shattered and I feel fairly violated. We both do. Physically, only a purse was taken, but mentally? Peace of mind, completely gone. And that, my friends, IS irreplaceable.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Not the sharpest tool in the shed

I can only attribute this morning's adventure to the following things:
1_ I am still feeling kind of punk from the shingles and the weakness is altering my intelligence;
2_I have alot on my mind right now;
3_I am just a bit daft sometimes.

So this morning I had to get up bright (and boy do I mean BRIGHT, there is not a cloud in the sky and it is a fine, brisk spring morning) and early to take my car in to the Subaru shop to get its exhaust system checked out. By Norwegian law, every two years they check out cars to make sure they are not polluting the air. It's time for my two year check up. I am lucky in that the Subaru place, one of only two in Oslo, is just a mile down a quite steep hill, so it makes it fairly easy to drop off the car and climb back up home.

Since I've been feeling poorly, I have been a bit concerned about the walk back from dropping the car off. I've been worried that it would wear me out. Lately even shopping gets me tired enough to need a nap. It sucks ass.

So, in preparation for the walk back, I made sure to get a good night's sleep, and stuck a power bar in my pocket for a little energy boost on the way back. Feeling good and wearing my favorite Timberland sneakers, I set off down the hill.

About 1/3rd of the way down, I realized that I had dorked big time.

I had forgotten the car.


I, in my worry about the walk back up the hill, had forgotten to bring the car DOWN the hill. It's kind of hard to take your car in to the shop when you AREN'T DRIVING IT.

Crapping crappy crapness. Monkey spanking wanking hell. Horse nuts. Damnation. I forgot the car.

I stood there and cursed for a minute, then started laughing at myself, and trudged back up to get the damn thing. Jeez, how stupid can I be?

Everything went smoothly after that, though I was a bit late to the Subaru place. The walk back was fine, steep but fine, though I can't believe I had to do part of it TWICE!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Toe Henge


That's my foot in front of an ancient temple in Malta. I took the picture because I thought the stones reminded me of my toes. A momentary photographic foot fetish on my part, I guess. I also found out it's really hard to take a picture of your own foot while you are standing. Try it yourself sometime....I ended up falling over just after the camera clicked.

I just like this picture. That's why I'm posting it. It makes me giggle. Mostly because I remember the other tourists thereabouts looking at me really strangely while I took it. Of course, over the course of my life, I have gotten fairly used to the strange looks I get when I do my goofy things, so that was no worse than usual. Though falling over did not help as I had meant to just take the photo and sneak off. Ah, well.

Here's a link with more info about the Maltese temples. (Recognize the stones in the picture?) Malta is one helluva fascinating place. I really want to go back.

Monday, April 18, 2005

description of shingles, a la Absurdists

(scratch itch scritch scratch)



scratch. itch. moan. (apply cream to actual eyeball and moan with ick)


(blink blink blink blur)



How do y'all sound?

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

30% Dixie

15% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Since I feel kind of crappy, and am told that will continue all week, I thought I would just post a variety of things I find, whether from other blogs or randomly surfing. Since actual humor or quirkiness for me are pretty much wishful thinking, unless something HILARIOUS happens at the eye doctor this afternoon. (Though come to think of it, I do get the giggles whenever I go to the eye doctor, a remnant of my childhood eye guy, a fat man whose nose whistled when he breathed. I'm sure you KNOW how close an eye doctor comes to you when he's looking into the depths of your eyes, right? So there he would be, whistling all over me. Yeah, it's like Pavlov's giggles for me, instant guffaw when the (any) eye doc comes near. I can't help it, it's pretty embarrassing.)

Here's a quiz you can take that attempts to categorize your American dialect. I saw it on Vivi's site.

It's fairly accurate. Though I am from the South and use Southern phrases, I sound very middle America, no real accent. This comes from having a German mom and an Ozark Dad.

Go have fun. Quiz away. More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Real quick, before I collapse

My sister in law finds all the cool stuff to send me. Read this NYT article.

HA! HA ha! I been saying this same thing all along, people! Norway isn't as fabulously rich and happy and perfect as all the articles (mostly in Norwegian papers!) like to make us believe!

Though as I said, the health system has been good to me......
But HA! I told you so!

Mad Props to the Norwegian Health Care System

Well, I feel pretty damn shitty right about now. I normally tend to fend off most illnesses fairly well, and even if I do catch something it is fairly mild.

So how come I have shingles?

What the fuck? That's for old people and those with compromised immune systems. Not healthy 36 year olds! But no, I have stinking shingles, and the worst kind, too, which is on my face and around my eye. It can cause scarring, and if it does get into the eye, and it is all around it and on the eyelid right now, it can cause a variety of nastiness including blindness. Color me freaked out! It hurts pretty bad, though not severely, the worst part actually being a really bad headache, one of the worst I have ever had. Unlike a migraine, however, ibuprofen keeps it under control, but it is still lingering there under the meds, I can feel it. I am also a bit tired and feverish. Will go back to bed soon.

After googling the word "shingles" this morning (thinking that I might have it but not sure yet) I got TOTALLY freaked out. Rich then called me over and without warning showed me pictures of people with shingles. Oh. My. Fucking. God. HORRIBLE. Old folks with pustules and shit all ever their faces, jammy eyes, the works.

Right, that's it. I went straight to the emergency clinic and got it checked out. I expected hell. In truth, it was quite good, I am impressed with the Norwegian health care system. It's very very good.

Good news? The doctor thinks we caught it early enough. If you start anti-viral medication within 72 hours of the rash first starting, it really helps to shorten and lessen the intensity of the virus. He also gave me a referral for an eye doctor, and I have to go tomorrow to get that all checked out and make sure they keep an eye (haha) on it. The waiting time was less than an hour, they all spoke English, and the cost? About $35 bucks. Cash only, which was strange, but hey, that's ok. Much cheaper than in the US, that's for sure.

Then to the Apotek (pharmacy) where I actually had to wait longer for my prescription than I did for the doctor, and the medicine costs over $100. Everyone I had seen at the emergency clinic was there, but they all got there before me, hence the wait. They did not take credit, and I did not have enough money, so they gave me what I needed until Wednesday, (payday) and then I can go get the rest. I thought that was nice of them.

Shingles, fyi, is a "leftover" from chicken pox. You can only get it if you had chicken pox previously. The virus stays in your body and then pops back up as shingles in about 20% of adults, with about 25% of those getting the kind I have. So it's not like you get it from anyone, you just have it in you and it comes back to haunt you, usually when you are down or sick already. Bastard virus, no?

It sucks, but even so I think I have a mild form of it. I hope. I'll spend the next few days in bed and near the house, as it does hurt and is making me tired as hell, but compared to some of the pictures I saw? I think I'm pretty lucky so far.

Even so, mad props to the Norwegian health care system for being efficient, cheap and user friendly.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Hey! Now you can add me to your "My Yahoo" front page and get an updated listing of all the latest Texpatriate posts! Just click on this here button:


I have more fun just wandering around the web finding buttons to add to my site. (See the small but growing pile of badges on the left, bottom.) It's kind of like the "flair" they wore in Office Space, isn't it? Let's see if I get up to the required 37 pieces.

Friday Q: Broken

FQ TOPIC: Broken.

FQ1: What are some items of yours that are broken or needing repair right now?
My car is not broken but needs a bit of maintenance after the long winter.
The house back home could use some work, but that will just have to wait, though it keeps me up at night stressing about it sometimes. (I envision it rotting away from mildew, mold and the jungle-like Texas humidity. Stupid, I know, but there it is.)
My espresso maker will not stay on unless I duct tape the power button down. Small but persistent annoyance. Other than that, we are in pretty good shape.

FQ2: When something breaks, do you tend to live with it broke, repair it yourself, have a professional fix it, or throw it out?
Depends, obviously, on the item. Large "white goods" you have fixed. Small appliances you toss, as getting them fixed costs more than a new one. I generally get things fixed fairly quickly, broken stuff just adds chaos to an otherwise already chaotic lifestyle.

FQ3: Is there a childhood toy, family heirloom, or some other special item which was broken that you'd very much like to have un-broken?
Not many family heirlooms to speak of, all having been destroyed either by Hurricane Camille in the late 60's on my dad's side, or by WWII on my mom's. I bet my older family members wish they could have some stuff back, though.
When I was a kid I remember losing a very beautiful ring down the bathtub drain It was an emerald-cut amethyst set in gold, that my grandmother (Dad's mom) gave me. It was quite old, and one of the few survivors of Camille. I cried for days. I cried more once my parents found out what I did!

FQ DESTROYER: What is something you would like to break intentionally, assuming you could get away with it?
All those damned "automatisk traffik kontrole" thingies around here. Norway has posted these automatic radar-generated speed traps everywhere. They take a picture of your car if you are even one kilometer over the speed limit, and you get a whopping huge ticket in the mail. ($800 for a speeding ticket, anyone? Yeah, that is a usual amount.) Considering that speed limits are so freaking LOW here, and my car is FAST, it is a major pain in the ass. I can drive practically around the whole of Norway and never make it out of third gear.
If I could also 'accidentally' break an ATM so that it suddenly started gushing out cash, and nobody saw it happen and I could sneak away with untold amounts of filthy lucre, that would be nice too.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Just the facts ma'am.

» How do you feel about being naked?

Nekkid...huh huh huh. You said nekkid.

Well, I am a big fan of clothes, when they fit, but I like me nekkid too, so really, no problems with it. Though, admittedly, some bits of me have never seen the direct light of the sun, more from fear of sunburn than anything else. I am really, really white.

I don't mind other people's nekkidity, either, though it seems like it's always the people you DON'T want to see nekkid that ARE nekkid.

» What is something scientists need to invent?

Well, one thing I have wanted to create lately, though I am FAR from a scientist, is a pill called "Bitch". Maybe an herbal/vitamin supplement, for those "not so patient" days. Imagine all the men in the world saying "Honey, have you taken your Bitch today?" And you, as the girl, slope off and ingest your nicey pill. Aaahhhhh......

Men, you get the corollary pill, "Butthead". When you take it, it makes you listen to the women around you, think reasonably, and makes you not look at tits all the time. It also supresses the "fart mechanism" all men possess in such abundance.

» Who do you blame for your mood today?
At various times today, in durations ranging from minutes to whole parts of an hour, I have blamed: Sloth, hormones, the sun, the cold, the bureaucracy of the Norwegian government, a really rockin' Gary Numan cd, the great feeling of acceleration in my car, and hunger. Moody? Me? Nah.

» What should we do with stupid people?
Put them all together in one ginormous burlap sack and let them figure out how to escape. They won't, of course, that being the point of the whole exercise, no?

» If you could.. Who would you kill?
Can the Secret Service get me out here if I say You Know Who and his Evil Accolyte the VP, with a maiming and/or immolation of Rove?
Mariah Carey kinda sucks, now that I think of it.
Otherwise, I would not mind a go at the guys who cancelled Firefly.

But actually, I am basically a non-violent sort, so let's pretend that "kill" means to "give them the finger, but in a really nasty way with extra pointy emphasis, sharp gestures and general flippy movements and stuff".

I stoldeded this meme from Ben.

Just so that there is no confusion:

I, Karla The Texpatriate, being of (mostly) sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerwood politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a Guinness, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.

Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery.

It is my wish that these boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Americans who aren't in a permanent coma. Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this case. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency in 2008, it is my wish that they play politics with someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace.

I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own business, too. If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.

Karla Texpatriate

This was sent to me (with the fill in the blank bits left open for me to insert my name) by my sister in law. It's probably one of those things that is going around the email circuit, but I thought it was rather well done. There, Mr. I Did Not Vote For You President, now you know how I feel. Bite me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hits and pervs

Well it seems like lately my hit counter is jumping and hopping. I keep checking it and it seems that the most popular search right now that leads people to my blog (besides the one for Gunther Pleasureman, still a perennial favorite) is, ready for this?

Panty sniffer.

Yeah. I've got a major perv quotient going on right now. About 20 a day or more.

Here is the link to the post that is bringing them all to me. Sorry to disappoint, folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.

What is wierd is that there was also another image search that was bringing lots of folks to my blog, but I don't really get how that one worked as it was just a link that I posted to a picture on another site. A slightly naughty picture of a crazy funny redheaded woman with a bumper sticker over the nubbly parts of her breasts. But how can a link I post to a picture hosted by another site bring traffic to me? I don't get it, as when I went to the picture I linked to, my site was not mentioned? Well, it was bugging me just enough that I broke the link. I didn't want anyone thinking the nutty, busty readhead was me.

We'll see what happens now.

Other google searches I still get hits from (with what they found on my site) are Norway Boobs, True Glamour, Archangel Gabriel Duvet Cover (no idea what that one is or what it led to on my site), latex outfit, and then there is the person who gizoogled me. Gizoogle is hilarious.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I lifted this from a random blog, this is an actual posting: damn it brother was lookin wat i rith sibei irritating wan
seh..okiee..relax...err..okiee..err..yi peng tomorrow perform in front
of his class..he need mi to bring CD to him waolao...very lazy to bring..waolao..sianzz seh...okiee..todae moi teacher sibei knn wan seh i dont lyk moi chinese teacher..ta mar de..sibei fark wan seh...knn la..wa kOrh man.. bro de teacher more irritating..lucky..she hOrh waolao..

Can anyone tell me what it means? Why do people post these kinds of things? Is it another language mixed with English? And then there was this, another real posting from a real, God I hope they don't find me, blog:

:weLcuM tO mA bLog::CaHaYa LibRagErL 91::
i hoPe yA aLL wiLL eNjoY rEaDiNg mA poSts...
mA bLog maY noT sEem aTtracTivE aS i'M noT a pRo...
baSicaLLy,mA bLog isH aBouT muA daiLy LiFez..waT'z haPpeNing..eTc...
daT's aLL i guEss?

Can anyone read that? What is up with the caps/no caps?

Why do people write like that and think that any semi-literate person is going to either care or understand what they have written? Or am I just getting old? Is this teen speak? Is this the "gag me with a spoon that's so grody to the max" speak of the new millenium? (And yes, I know how freaking old that makes me sound, so just bite me, ok?)

Compared to these folks I seem quite erdu...erut...erudite. Yeah, erudite. Uhuh.

sO rEad my ShiZnit and bE Kewl...

Ouch that hurts my brain. I'll just stop that right now, as it makes me wanna, (oh, here's a new word that I did like very much) vurp.

Vurp. I think it's a mix between vomit and burp, you know when you burp and there's chunks? Yeah that.

Those blogs make me vurp.

Aww, shucks.....

A comment I got regarding one of my posts:

havent larfed so much in ages - found the blog by accident and read and read tourist-suckage-two-electric-bugaloo.html it's better than watching Bridget Jones.
Gonzo blog are you the re-incarnated Hunter S?

chris (UK)

I am just telling you now that Chris, whoever you are, as I could not get to your website, you totally made my day.

My mom always tells me I am very Bridget-esque, (image of me stumbling about wrestling wtih wayward undergarments comes to the forefront of the mind) but the Hunter S? Aw, you're just stroking my ego but good with that one....

But don't stop!

Seriously, thanks. Thanks v. much. I'm blushing.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Head full of stories

After our trip to Scotland I have decided to reread one of my all time favorite series of books. The "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon.

Have you read them? (And girls, this mostly means you. Boys might like them, but I think there is enough romance (and really great sex scenes) in them that it's mostly girls they appeal to.)

Aren't they wonderful? Her style of writing has directly influenced mine in many ways. Plus I love the fact that her heroine has wild curly hair that just won't be good and a fairly down to earth and sarcastic sense of humor, which I think I also have.

Anyhow, I realized, after being in the Highlands, around Inverness, Edinburgh, Loch Ness and Ft. William, that I had just been to many of the places that figured so largely in her books. So I decided to go ahead and reread them. I am happy to say, they are as affecting the 10th(?) time as they are the first, plus now I can visualize the places she writes about and read the Scots accents as they are meant to be "heard". This is quite thrilling for me.

I am a fast reader, and am on the third one now, though I must admit I am doing not much else but reading. My dressing room (read: tiny little useless bedroom that I now stuff my wardrobe into because it's too damn small to actually hold a bed) is a complete tip, me having not unpacked yet from London (or Edinburgh for that matter). Clean, dirty and 'not sure' laundry is tossed about in mad confusion. I promised Rich I would straighten it, but with a mess like that, procrastination sets in something fierce and it's going to take some really loud music and a bit more energy than I have right now to tackle it. For I am also nursing a slight sniffle and scratchy throat. *sniff* *koff* See?

So obviously, for my health, I must continue to stay curled up on the comfy chair (not the soft cushions!), sip tea, and read. It is a quite lovely day out and I actually have the windows open a crack. It's about 60 or so outside.....positively warm.

Back to my books and another world....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Some pictures of Edinburgh

View of Edinburgh's Royal Mile with the South Bridge in the lower center. It's hard to show the sheer verticality of the town, but it is amazing indeed. On the right is Edinburgh Castle. This and the following pictures taken by Rich.

Fraternizing with the enemy at Stirling Castle.

A night view from our one of our hotel windows in Edinburgh, into the graveyard across the street. To the left is Arthur's Seat (not visible), and behind is the Royal Mile.

A view from our hotel room in Edinburgh. Looking, um, east, I believe. Towards Calton Hill.

Get yours now!

Unitarian Jihad Name
is: Sister Neutron Bomb of Loving Kindness.

Get yours.

"People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We can strike
without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and harmony will appear as if from
nowhere! Nice people will run the government again! There will be coffee and
cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution."

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The queen would not approve

I had written a post on Thursday but blogger ate it, so one piece of blog history is gone forever. Sigh. But I was basically just ranting some more about why they don't make clothes for girls' bodies, and how I tried on two dresses at Marks and Spencers that literally measured the same around the waist as the bust, so what's the point of even bothering?

But I did try on some stuff at Warehouse that fit great. See? THEY probably have a woman designer with actual, real live, boobs. You go Warehouse!

But that is not what title of this post is referring to. (The queen, let's face it, has never had my problem. She has people who find places to put her boobs for her. She doesn't have to worry about fitting off the rack, she tells Jeeves to ring up her tailor, who comes forthwith to create something with which to cover the royal T&A.)

No, this post is referring to something much more scatalogical.

See, I was walking down Pont Street, this hugely posh and kind of busy road near Harrods and Sloane Square. About 20 feet in front of me was this guy, maybe mid to late 50's. A tweedy sort, in his Rex Harrison hat, tweed jacket, barbour coat and umbrella. The usual type you see in that part of town. Suddenly, as he walked, he paused and shifted slightly to the right, putting more weight on the right leg than the left, and ever so subtly lifting the left. I looked in wonderment, as this is (in my family) the unmistakable International Sign of the Upcoming Fart. He only paused and shifted briefly, but the body language was so obvious. And then I heard it. A huge, ripping, ass exploding fart like I have never heard from anyone who was not my brother. I started laughing, but quickly squelched it when the guy looked back and saw me, with an expression of surprise on his face that there was someone behind him. He thought he had the sidewalk to himself.

I, giggling madly, was 20 feet behind the guy, on a busy traffic ridden road, and I STILL heard that fart. I must say, I was impressed. Of course I realized that I then had to walk through the Zone of Destruction that he left in his wake, so held my breath and barrelled through, all the while trying not to just bust out laughing and holler "Dude! I so heard you rip ass!"
Lord Fartly sauntered on his merry way, looking much more comfortable now and with a bit more bounce in his step. I get the feeling he had been holding on to that one for a while. I bet they don't approve of that sort of thing at his club.

I love the British. I really do.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Shopping, or, why they don't make girls' clothes for girls

I am annoyed, confused and perturbed. Answer me this question: in today's tits and ass obsessed society, how come they don't make room for tits and asses in women's clothes?


I am a curvy girl. I got boobs, I got a bum, and I have a small waist. I have a girlie, pin up kind of figure. Clothes are SUPPOSED to look good on me right? At least, that's what all the rap singers seem to think.

Well, it seems by today's standards, my waist should be 6 inches bigger, my butt four inches smaller and my boobs? Let's just cut them right out of the equation, shall we?

I found this dress at Zara. Zara is cheaper, extremely up on the trends and decent quality for women's clothes. A bit like Express in the States, but more stuff and better. This dress is a GORGEOUS full flowy affair, all black and white floral chiffon, perfect for tripping daisies and tiptoeing through tulips and wafting grandly down boulevards. Being a great wafter myself, I fell in love with it. I tried it on, going for the large as I know Zara runs small.

What the hell? I needed another 5 inches of dress to cover my breasts. The dress would not zip, not even close. And it was only in the boobular area that this was a problem, the rest of the dress was quite possibly zaftig in fit. I could have fit four pygmies under there and still had room for a sheep or two. So, why, then, would it not fit in the bust? Is it made for someone TRIANGULAR in shape? What is up with that? Where, exactly, are my boobs supposed to go? In my pockets?

I tried on two skirts, one a straight skirt and one a full skirt. The full skirt was so big in the waist it hung on my hips, the straight skirt was so tight that I could not walk in it. SAME SIZE people! Same SIZE of skirt at Zara, two completely different fits. A sweater, too tight in bust. A jacket? Too tight in bust and about 12 extra inches in the waist. Horrible.

Am I just a freak? Who are these clothes supposed to fit anyhow?

Here is my theory: Clothes are mostly designed by gay men who make the clothes to fit women with little boys' bodies. That means narrow asses, not much waist and small boobs. What they, as gay men, find sexy. When I try on clothes designed by women they almost always fit. Women know that women have stuff. Clothes designed by gay men (this means you Lagerfeld)? Nope, no go. No room for my stuff.

It's all very annoying. The messages seem to be "have big boobs be womanly and be sexy" and then when you ARE you can't find clothes to fit your womanly bits. Ah! I know! I'm too sexy for my shirt!

Grr. I am welcome to any thought you might have on this.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

celebrity sighting number 2

Well, today was eventful. I nearly got run over by a celebrity...and the mother of all celebrities, too.

So, we're crossing the street near the flat, at a zebra crossing (pedestrians have the right of way there) when a police car came rushing up, lights and sirens blaring. I thought it might be wise to not exercise my pedestrian rights at that particular moment, and so let the car pass. I looked and behind it was another car, not coming at a very fast clip, though, so I went ahead and popped across the street, thinking I could get across before it had to stop. (Hey, it's the rules, they gotta stop. So there.) The other car was maybe coming a little faster than I thought, because it had to stop for me to get across after all. It was an impossibly posh car, a Bently/RollsRoyce or something like that, one of those discreetly expensive, money beyond your wildest means car. You know, you have so much money that you don't need to flash it, but you do, albeit only very quietly? That kind of car. I smiled thanks at the driver as I finished crossing, and as the car started up again, looked back at it to identify which exact species of poshmobile it was.

It was the Queen's poshmobile. She was in the backseat, with Prince Phillip! I saw her little Queenly hairdo and everything! She was wearing beige.

Holy crapping crap, I made the Queen's car stop! For lil' ol' me. Maybe I made her late to some event of world importance. The two minutes that I took from her schedule caused her to miss an important tidbit of her event, causing repercussions internationally. See, I knew I had power over the space time continuum. I made the Queen late, she was not available to say "No don't push the red button!", and now China is eradicated from the face of the earth.

Yeah, you so don't need to be fucking with me, people!

In other, not so crushingly important news, we saw Sir John Soane's Museum today. It is, bar none, the best museum I have ever seen. If you are ever in London, do yourself a favor and go see it. It is incredible. Just mind numbingly, inspiringly, relatably amazing. It's his house and all his possessions, from the 18th and early 19th centuries, left as he had it. Not overwhelming like the British Museum, just relatable and a real peek into the mind of an 18th century gentleman architect. Really really cool, and it has completely inspired how I will decorate my house from now on.

See it quick, before I mistakenly affect the space time continuum yet again.....

Monday, April 04, 2005

Dateline NBC, April 13th...look for me!

All y'all in the US:

Look for me on tv on April 13th on the news show Dateline NBC. I was on a walking tour today, Legal and Illegal London, a tour of the Inns of Court, and a news crew caught up with us. They wanted to film a portion of the tour that talked about Temple Church featured in the book The Da Vinci Code. The segment should be quite short, if it makes it at all, but if you do see me, I will be standing a bit behind a fairly annoying blonde girl in a red sweater. (I only say she was annoying because she was blocking me from the camera, damn her! And she was from Montreal and sounded just like Celine Dion, which was a bit annoying in its own right, as who thinks Celine Dion sounds the least bit charming, really?) I will be seen with fuzz-tacular hair, my funky glasses, a brown leather jacket (check out my cool new camel/brown purse, girls) and black pencil skirt and boots. I always dress up a little in London, for some reason. I did manage to put on lipstick before they filmed.

So, mark yer calendars for a glimpse of your favorite multi-national traveler-blogger, April 13th, on Dateline NBC, the bit about the Da Vinci code and tourism.....

And someone can you tape it and send it to me if it does show????

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Luckiest bastards on earth

I swear, sometime I think we are the luckiest bastards on earth. Today was one such occasion.

Today we got up, and after morning coffee and the usual Sunday laziness, we took off in separate directions, Rich to a geography collectors map and book sale and me to Spitalfields market. Spitalfields is my favorite market and I make a point of going there whenever I am in London on a Sunday. It's a very cool, smallish market, not overwhelming like Portobello or Camden, and a lot of up and coming new designers show their stuff there. If you hit it right, you find someone (like I did today) who is selling their stuff for 1/4th the price what they charge at places like Selfridge's and Neiman's in the US. I found some kick ass wood and silver jewelry from this one jewelry designer, and I also got an awesome purse for 1/5th the cost of what they would charge in Norway. (I also love Spitalfield's because it is smack in the middle of some of the most interesting historical bits of London, including Jack the Ripper's old haunts. It is undergoing humongous redevelopment, but the funky old bits and the completely Victorian Ten Bells Pub remain.)

Retail therapy indulged, I met Rich for a trip to the Chelsea Physic Gardens. I have always wanted to go there, and I found out that today was their first day open to the public for 2005. Ohmigod it was gorgeous. Founded in 1673, the Chelsea Physic Gardens are directly responsible for the explosive growth of the cotton plantations in Georgia in the 18th century, as they developed a strain that was prolific enough to be worthwhile for the growers there. They sent the plants to Georgia and whammo, the growth of the cotton trade in the old Deep South. It's so cool how history twists and turns in so many directions, and how you find it all out by serendipity so much of the time. The Chelsea Gardens are some of the oldest in Europe. It was a lovely, sunny spring afternoon in a gorgeous bit of botanical London history.

We came back to the flat on Cadogan, caught our breath and now Rich has gone off to take some photos. I meanwhile, have availed myself of the rooftop terrace that this apartment comes with (that I did not know about until Karen showed me the secret doorway). Swweeeeet! Here I sit, me and my beer, on top of millions of pounds of the best real estate the world has to offer, all London spread out before me. I can see waaaaay south past the Thames, into the area south of Battersea and beyond. THink of all those people living behind all those windows, and some of them might see me on my rooftop aerie, jealous of me being up here!!!! I might take the opportunity to use the jacuzzi bathtub that is upstairs, just because I can.

I tell you what, life so does not suck right about now. Today is my perfect Sunday: a visit to a market, some fun and funky shopping with a score or two, a perambulation about a garden (Hi Ben! I used the word perambulate just for you!), a lovely spring day, and now a beer. The prospect of a hot bath (with bubbles) tempts. How, honestly, could life be any better?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Love love love London

Hello from London.
We are at the flat on Cadogan Square. Karen just left for Dubai. We will miss her, but right now Rich is busy marking the territory, so she knows we've been here when she gets back.

We got in around 6pm last night, hung out with Karen for a bit, and then went to a place called Zuma, this popular Japanese Fusion restaurant in Knightsbridge. Karen got us the reservations, hard to get on a Friday. The three of us walked in and I thought, "Oh my, I may not be trendy enough for this anymore". ( I was wearing a black cashmere cardy held on by a strategically placed brooch, a sparkly hot pink and black Indian embroidered skirt, and my hair was doing its wild woman of Borneo impression.) It was the seeming epicenter of hip. You know a place is hot when very expensively clad Arab women are there. This place was full of women with glossy hair, pointy high heeled shoes, diamonds and bling, and artfully primitive fur coats, and guys in black suits with black shirts and ties and slick hair. (I call that type of guy a Guido, not sure why, but Guido just seems to fit.)

We waited at the bar for a while and had some drinks. It was pretty full. The fun part was watching people try to squeeze past Rich, he was standing in front of Karen and I, who had our backs to the wall. People would come up behind him, then try and get past, peering around him and kind of hopping up and down a bit to see past his wide shoulders and very tall back. Standing behind Rich is like looking at a tall brick wall, you just CAN'T see around him. Finally they would give up and just sort of attempt to shove him over so they could squeeze past. It was funny to see these little tufts of hair and questing faces peek over his shoulder or around his side. They would all peer up at him inquisitively as they passed, like "Damn what team do YOU play for?"

I went to the bathroom at one point and could not find my way back out, as the doors were all unmarked and had no apparent handles that I could see. Even the toilet stalls were hard to find, what I thought was a wall had doors in it that would swing out and suddenly out popped some woman or other. Finally I got out of there by just waiting to see what someone else did. I acted cool by fluffing my hair for, like, 10 minutes. (It was getting damned fluffy so I knew I could not do it for long without drastic anti-fluff maneouvres.) Finally someone else stopped fluffing her hair long enough to actually leave and I nonchalantly followed her out. I was definitely not cool enough for that bathroom, if I could not even find the doors.

It turned out, as the evening progressed, that I was indeed trendy enough for the joint, as I had a very handsome man gazing very obviously at me all evening, to Rich's patent disgust and Karen's and my great amusement. As we left the restaurant, he stopped me and said hi, and told me that my glasses were completely awesome wherever did I get them, they suited me so well. I told him where (Kirk Originals in Floral Street, Covent Garden, my dahlinks) and smiled and gave him my best 'yes I am your dream woman and you will never see me again so remember me well, perhaps we may meet again in another life' look. (Yes there is a look that can say all that.) He was quite smashingly handsome and was wearing some pretty cool glasses of his own. We glasses geeks, we are an exclusive clique.

Oh, and the food? Well, a place like that is not necessarily about the food, it's about the scene, but.....The food was good. What I remember of it. Many small plates of savory yumminess, mostly of a sushi nature, and the best calamari I have ever had. Expensive? Yahuh. Very. Rich and I are eating sandwiches and Walker's Crisps for the rest of this trip!

On the way out we ran into Mohammed Al Fayed. Of Dodi and Diana, owns Harrod's fame? Yeah. Him. But you know, just another day in London for us glitterati.

If only I could figure out those bathroom doors I'd SO own this town.....

Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fool's Friday Q

Yeay! I'm actually here on a Friday to do a Friday Q!

FQ TOPIC: Foolish.

FQ1: Something foolish you've seen...
My experiences at the American Embassy yesterday are pretty high in my thoughts right now.

FQ2: Something foolish you've heard about...
Oh man, how about this news about the American spy system being "dead wrong" about Iraq? I'm not a spy, but even I knew that. I just *knew* that this back pedalling would happen, and something would come up whereby GWB could distance himself from his own decision and his propaganda making process. I love the way GWB is now blaming it on the "intelligence". Right. Sure. Uh huh, like you even tried to see another side of it or question the results? Oh, it just chaps my ass, he is the biggest fool in the world.

FQ3: Something foolish you've done recently...
Honestly, at times I think my whole life is nothing but an incessant string of tomfoolery.

FQ FOOLERY: Tell us of a memorable moment where somebody fooled, punk'd, or pranked you!
I usually tend to be the punk-ee rather than the punk'd. Surprising Jennifer on her birthday in January was pretty cool.
Oh, though there was the time, on my 30th birthday, when Margaret B and a bunch of Austin friends threw a "surprise party" for me. Well, of course I found out about it (this being why I am normally the "punk-ee" and not the "punk'd"). So I went to the party and acted all surprised, and thought, "Gee what great friends to go to all this effort for me. I love them!".

I walked into the kitchen for a beer. My brother was there and said hi. Huh? He lives in Houston. Whafuck? Well, he drove in for the party. My brother rules.

I went into the back room to get ice. There was my friend Anne, whom I had not seen for months and was pretty damn pregnant AND lived in Houston as well. Huh? She had driven in for the party as well. Wow, they like me, they really like me!

I went back into the kitchen, as I had drank that first beer pretty fast with all the surprises....and there was Julia, my best bud from kindergarten, who had flown in all the way from San Francisco for my birthday and no one told me!!!! I burst into tears.

That was pretty cool. I might have found out about the party, but they surprised me nontheless, and in such a great way. I enjoyed that party alot.