Sunday, July 31, 2005

Things that wierd me out

Just randomness today, in the form of things that wierd my ass out.

1) People who chew tobacco.
2) Eating any food where you can see its original form. I like my meat dead, faceless and wrapped in plastic. Crustaceans, though yummy, wig me out totally. Too many legs and antennae and eyes. Someone else will have to peel the big ones for me, I really just can't touch them.
3) Padded toilet seats. Cuz you know, I spend so much time on the can, might as well get REALLY comfy. Don't want to bruise my soft dainty ass....
4) Anything touching me when I am swimming. Thus, I don't swim 'in nature' much. If I can't see the bottom, I am leary about swimming in it. The idea of seaweed or fish or something touching me, yuurrgh.
5) The way tourists coming to visit in America are treated when they get off the plane. Unbelieveable, the amount of paperwork and shit they have to put up with. American customs is SO much worse than customs in any other country I have seen.
6) Women who just don't get that tight jeans and a tight top with belly fat hanging out is NOT SEXY. Why why why????
7) With so many things being watched via security cameras, I am always afraid that I am caught somewhere on film either picking my nose, rearranging my undergarments, or doing something equally gauche. There are some security guards somewhere laughing hysterically running a loop of me yanking my thong outta my ass, I just know it.
8) Jaegermeister. I get a headache just looking at the bottle.
9) George W's voice. My skin crawls everytime I hear it.

Friday, July 29, 2005


I have been a in a foul mood for days now. I have this huge sense of frustration just rising up within me, at how fucking HARD it is to get things done in this country at times. It's just amazing how much time you can spend getting nothing done.

The trials with Nextgen-fucking-tel continue. In one day we got three different answers from them. 1) We needed an updated ADSL modem, as ours did not work with the new network. 2) They turned it on, but are not sure why it's not working. 3) The backbone is still being worked on.

WHICH ONE IS IT, PEOPLE? Does your right hand know that your left hand is shoved so far up your ass it will never make it out without a crowbar and some Vaseline? And Nextgentel also has some of the WORST hold music I have ever heard. It's always the same music, in the same order, and by the time you get to the one song we call the "never ending whiny girl who is tone deaf" song, we hang up. By that time we've been on hold for at least 15 minutes, that whiny girl song is at least 15 minutes long, and it makes me want to hurt someone innocent when I hear it. We both think they play that song on purpose, so that people will hang up the phone.

Add to that the frustration I have with shopping here. I have posted about it before, my angst about shopping in Norway. I have been invited to a wedding, an evening wedding. So I need something to wear that is a little more than cocktail, but not full blown formal. And, as it is summer, and a wedding, my usual fallbacks of black or velvet just won't work. I need something floaty and summery. Preferably chiffon, longish.

ARGGGG!!!!!! Clothes here either come in three styles: casual with holes and distressing, funky after work office party casual with sequins, or bridesmaid taffeta from hell.

I want none of those. I canvassed every damn store in the Greater Oslo Area yesterday. THere is nothing tasteful, affordable, or in my size. The one dress I did find to be minimally acceptable was $850. Uh, yeah, no thanks. I have the shoes and the bag, which ROCK, but I guess I will just have to attend this wedding like the Emperor Who Had No Clothes, Just Great Shoes and a Purse. (And maybe some nice jewelry). No one will notice I have nothing to wear, with all my sparkly accessories, right? Just in case, I better start a fairly extensive shaving, buffing and moisturizing campaign. At least everyone will know exactly what my tattoos look like, and where they are.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Screaming doesn't help

The ongoing annoyance at Nextgentel continues. I thought that opening a big ol' can of Texan Evil Whoop Ass on them would help, but I think I have finally found an Evil that is Eviler than I am. Nextgentel is impervious to my curses, hexes and Evil Whinging. Damn. Minions, please, I will be calling you into battle soonest. Be prepared to do your level worst.

NOW they say they are working on the "backbone" in our area and we won't have internet for at least two weeks, though, of course, they can't give us a definite date and it could be longer or shorter than that amount of time. They just don't know, and by the way, didn't we get the letter about it? To which, I reply, no I didn't get the letter, I have called you people many times over the past week, been on hold for 40 minutes each time, and gotten a different story each time, and now you say I missed the memo. Who do I need to blow to get an answer around here? (And, boys, just so you know, by "blow" I mean "blow away" by force of my Evil Mind Splattering Tricks, not the kind of blow that your naughty little minds instantly conjure up in a whelter of images and cheesy 70's porn music.)

I find it ironic that we live in a flat that is so sophisticated that our oven speaks 16 languages, including Sami (the language of the Northern Norwegians and Swedes who take care of the reindeers), and I have yet to master how the dimmer switches work in my bathroom, and yet I can't get freaking internet. I mean, really!

Honestly, I really don't have much to write about right now. This library computer won't allow me to post some pics I took from our recent trips to Budapest and Venice. I just got back 9 rolls of film, and there are some great shots in there. My camera is a cheap one, but damn it can take good pictures. Soon I will be getting a digital camera, though, and hope that I will be able to post pictures more frequently, especially of day to day stuff and the house, my jewelry efforts, etc.

I am planning some big stuff, travel wise, but need to keep it on the Down Low for a bit, as I don't want to jinx it by it going wrong. Let's just let it suffice to say that I hope to add at least two more continents to my travel plans by year's end.

Now I am off to go for a walk. It's been rainy and cold for a week now, today is the first nice day we've had and I need to move around a bit. Later.....

Monday, July 25, 2005

Batman and beef

Hi there. It's me. Still no internet at home, still on the library comp. I have gone from anger at Nextgentel to just dull acceptance of the fact that my laptop at home has now become a very expensive, oversized beer coaster. I didn't realize how little I used it without internet. In fact, I never use it at all without internet. Maybe I'll go home and make some lists or something. I dunno. Make the computer do something other than hold my papers down on the desk.

So, to while away the time I would ordinarily be wasting online, Rich and I went and saw Batman Begins on Saturday night. There is a brand new movie theatre not 100 feet away from our flat. Sweeeet.

I liked the movie alot. Christian Bale brings a depth to the role that I found very interesting. I also loved Michael Caine as Alfred. Katie Holmes was kind of blah, she was just the token cute girl, though I admit that whole Tom Cruise thing has seriously colored the way I look at her now. They could have put any girl in her role and it would not have mattered.

What really psyched me about the movie, however, were the locations. Large parts of it were filmed at the Midland Grand St. Pancras Hotel in London, which Rich and I toured last summer. (Scroll down the page on the link for pics and story). The insane asylum was all set there. It was so cool to watch the movie and know exactly where they were in the building. And know that Rich and I are among the very few who have seen this place, as it still is under renovation and probably will be for a long time yet.

On Sunday we went to a Sunday buffet hosted by Rich's boss. It was at the Hotel Leangkollen, not far from the flat. It was a buffet and though the selection was not large, what there was was perfect. The fruits were sweet and just ripe, the salads flavorful, the desserts were heavenly, and best of all to this Texan carnivore, they had a carving station with one item and one item only: rare prime rib. It was GOOD. Served with your choice of three different kinds of taters, sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli and green beans, it was basic hearty food cooked with a simplicity and attention to deatil that I found quite inspiring. Food in Europe can sometimes be overdone and too fancy, but this was simple, tasty and just plain good. Yum yum. We staggered home and I fell into a beef coma. Long time since I have done that!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Screwed by Nextgentel

I am about to do a Dave-style rant. (Dave at Blogography is my ranting hero.)


We STILL don't have internet and now they say that we may not have it for another TWO WEEKS! Or more! Stupid sack lickers say that the box they tie into for the ADSL on the edge of town is out of order and they need to find out how long it will take to get it fixed. At least that is their story now. After the half hour wait on hold, the switching around to four different technicians, and the four different stories we get, this seems to be the most common excuse. Um, you tell us this NOW after a two week wait? Like, if that box did not work, wouldnæt your other customers have let you know by now? Methinks you sucketh big donkey dicks.

I don't care WHAT the problem is. Give me an answer, offer me a solution within a definite time line, and then I will decide whether to go elsewhere for my service. You people have the WORST customer service I have ever seen, you make it impossible for us to talk to anyone and then when we DO get through, you won't give us a straight answer.

Hold on....were you trained at the George Bush School of Prevarication and Avoidance?

So here I am at the library, and yo, Habibi? You look over my shoulder at my screen ONE MORE TIME and I am ripping that turban right the fuck off your damn head, got it?

Yeah, I'm happy right now.

The flat is coming along nicely, it's almost done, though lately Rich has taken to following me around the flat and accusing me of denting the furniture and smudging the walls. When did he become the Anal House Police, and can he go find something else to do, please? Like, WHY would I go around making dinks in my own furniture? I don't remember him being this anal when we met. None of our furniture is THAT nice to begin with, and it was all pre-dented anyhow. That man needs a hobby, stat!

I want my internet baaaaaacccckkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A library card, a computer and an annoying strange keyboard

I'm not a very accurate typist on the best of days, Fast, yes, accurate, not so much, so imagine me using a completely strange keyboard at the library in Norway and you can imagine the fuck ups that will follow. >Plus, wierd letters keep sneaking their way into my writing, like these: Ø Å Æ

Anyhow, hello everyone, I'm back. Well, sort of. We still don't have net in the new place, but I could not STAND the silence anymore and got myself a library card and here I am using the bibrary computer. Um, library. Jeez.

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. Not even two weeks, actually, but feels like it. We are now in the new flat and it is AWESOME. We love it. It has so many windows and is so bright that even *I* have to close the curtains every so often. We've had a heat wave here, and it was mighty hot for a few days before i went to England. (And yes, I mean Texas hot, like, 90 degrees plus, and no AC and on the 5th floor, it was pretty damn hot, y'æall.)

Two days after the move in I took off and left a very miffed Rich with a shit load of boxes and no idea where his underwear was. Lesley and I went to Sussex, the South Downs and we had a wonderful time. >I finally got to see Brighton and the Brighton Pavilion, somethihng I> have always wanted to do. I spent and afternoon in Chichester, a lovely Cathedral city with a big Roman history. I also got to have a nice wander around Lewes (pronounced Lewis) and saw the Anne of Cleves House, the priory ruins, gorgeous gardens and the High Street on which many 15th century and older buildings remain. Lesley is so lucky to have grown up in a place like that. Quintessential English towns, the kind that every American dreams of. Picturesque as hell.

Lesley and I managed, also and miraculously, to get on a tour of the Harvey's Brewery in Lewes. Normally there is a three year wait (yes, three years) to get to go on the tour, but my combination of forward Texanness ("Hey, is there a tour this week?") and the fact that I used to dabble in brewing and so could talk semi-knowledgably about hops and yeast, plus my showing a little cleavage, and hey presto! we made it on to the tour that night. SWEET! The tour was better than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, cuz it was BEER! And FREE BEER at that, as we got to hang out in the hospitality room afterwards and guzzle a few dozen half pints of ale, stout and bitter. The men (85% men on the tour) were amazed that I, a Texan woman, not only liked beer, but that I liked GOOD STRONG ENGLISH beer, and I think I single handedly made up for many of the wrongs made by George Bush, Budweiser and Coors in that one evening. (Ihave a new title and career aspiration, now. I am an International Beer Ambassador. I will create world peace one brewery at a time.) I had a quite nice time, sitting on my stool in the hospitality room, as men surrounded me and catered to my glass with great attention and dedication. (They might have been playing "get the Texan chick drunk" but whatever, I was in my element!) (Rich, I thought of you longingly the whole time.) The Master Brewer, Miles Jenner, is a 5th generation brewer, and you could just tell how much he loves his job and his life. It was truly inspiring.

I got back on Saturday night, but not before having scored the new Harry Potter at the airport on my way out. I started it on the plane, but realized I had to pace myself or I would have it finished the next day. I managed, painfully and barely, to draw out the reading of it until last night. And, wow, the ending made me cry. It was so affecting and powerful. I won't spoil it for you, if you have not read it, but Harry is pretty much all growed up now, and has a lot to face. Really great book.

That's all for now. Since the library is so close to our new flat, I can try and pop over here for updates until out internet gets switched on again, Thursday, they say.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Some stuff to remember me by

Today is moving day. I totally could not sleep last night, so here I am, up before 7am. Urgh. I'm tired. Oh well, no time to worry about that.

Here are some pics to remember me by, thought I haven't yet decided what I'm putting up. Whatever grabs my eye from my picture files I guess. Enjoy, and keep checking back for updates. I'll post when I can.

Me in Paris

Me in Paris, posted by karlakp.

This is for Badger:

Dude, the coat is totally Cavalli.* Jealous?

*Fine print: Yes it is a Roberto Cavalli, however I got it WAY on sale. Last Call is my nirvana.

Horsie in Norway

This is about as close to horses as i get.

roman lion at arsenale, venice

me in the light, Egypt

me in thelight, posted by karlakp.

Me in a shaft of light in the temple at Edfu. It was about 110 degrees in there.


Egypt, posted by karlakp.

Me Rich and Colleen. Yes, Rich is THAT tall.


Marrakech, posted by karlakp.

A street scene in the souks.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


George Bush is in Copenhagen.

And here I was thinking that in Scandinavia we are safe from him.

Please, make him go away. He's messing up my week.

T minus 12 hours

Well, we've got about 12 hours left in this house, give or take a few hours. The packers come in the morning, and depending on where the bed ends up, we'll be in the new place tomorrow night. I finally got the last of the (damned) floaty white curtains up, and I am proud to say I bought exactly the amount I needed. I am now an Ikea curtain hemming expert. And I have ironed more in the past two days than in all the 10 years previous to now. I have a feeling I might be ironing alot in the new place, it's actually a kind of pleasant place to do it, what with the built in ironing board and all. (Gah! Did I just say that? Holy crap! What's wrong with me? I must be nesting big time. Yagh!)

Unfortunately, the internet is not coming with us tomorrow, it will take another two weeks. I hope to find an alternate means of feeding my habit. Nontheless, it will be sporadic no matter what. Sorry about that. Don't give up on me, for I am wiley and will find a way to post.

On Sunday I am going to the UK with my friend Lesley. We will take the boat from Kristiansand to Newcastle (I think) and thence drive down to Lewes, where she is from. I'm psyched for many reasons, not least of which it will be nice to learn about a new part of England, and also, I get to leave Rich behind with the boxes. (Hey, Me, Evil, remember?) Lesley and I and her daughter Wendy will go hiking and exploring and hopefully, the gorgeous weather we are FINALLY having in Norway will also follow us there. It's 82 degrees here right now! Wow!

Up at the flat I can watch all the hot sweaty people hanging out down in the plaza. There is a big fountain there, that has become an oversized wading pool for all the kids. It's a bit strange to see naked children in the middle of a town, my American sensibilities are slightly surprised. Kids here have SO much more freedom than American kids. It's very rare for anyone to mess with a kid, and in fact, moms leave their babies out in the strollers while they go in to shop. Kids are still inviolate here, which is really nice. But do I want to be looking out at naked children in the fountain all the time? Not so much. It's a fountain, people, not a public swimming pool. I'm feeling a little bit like an old perv, with all these Nekkideis around.

OK time for more packing. I don't know why I am packing so much stuff up when the movers are supposed to, I guess it just makes me feel more in control. Well, til later, y'all.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fourth. July.



Now let me get back to my packing, damn you.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Full Immersion

You know that thing some parents do, when they catch their kids smoking, they make them smoke a whole pack to make them sick of cigarettes and teach them a lesson? And the kids never go near smokes again because they kind of got overwhelmed with them?

That's how I feel about floaty white curtains right now. Oh My God. I hung about 7 pairs of curtains today, which doesn't sound like much until you realize that I first had to shorten them and then hem them with the iron-on hem tape gluey stuff (my iron works nicely, I've discovered) and then put up the little hook thingies and then hang the curtains and then make sure they were right. It took FOREVER. And I am not halfway done. Those curtains are floating their little curtainy brains out, though. They look GOOD.

But I don't want to do anymore. please? Can the curtain fairy come and finish up for me?

And we have our first "new house fixer upper" to call to the management: I broke my toilet. No, I don't know how, all I know is, I pushed the button and the flusher went "crack" and now it won't flush. I've already crapped out the crapper.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Stuff I learned today

I did my stenciling project today. Let's just say it's subtle. So subtle, in fact, that I can't FREAKING SEE WHAT I DID. Pearlescent paint does not necessarily show up so well on semi-gloss/eggshell walls. Damn hell and shit. When I've done it in the past, it's always been on flat paint, but apparently Norwegians only use the semi shiny kind, so I am hosed big time. Unless I can find a flat paint to do the stenciling in. This is getting too boring for anyone who is not a stenciling/painting geek like me, but let's just say, the stenciling project is very subtle and hardly noticeable and I am fairly annoyed at that. So lesson 1 is: Norwegians use semi-gloss paint on their walls.

While taking a brake from my futile project, I heard some laughing and clapping in the plaza below the flat. (The new place looks out over the main plaza of the town. It's totally cool, like living over a mini Piazza San Marco or something, except it's Norwegian and ALOT newer. But you know, same idea.) When I went out onto the deck to look, it was a totally white Norwegian guy dancing like Michael Jackson to "Billy Jean". To say he sucked would be putting it gently. The dude couldn't even moonwalk, for Chrissakes. But he had a big crowd around him, and they all seemed to enjoy it. This was a double lesson: 2, white guys can't moonwalk, and 3, this plaza view is going to be endlessly entertaining.

Lesson 4: Avoid the sandwiches at the bakery directly beneath the flat. Yeuch. There's better and cheaper places around the corner.

Ok, so actually that's it. I didn't learn all that much, now that I think of it. Aw screw it, I need beer.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I am not cool enough for our new flat

Seriously. I am just NOT cool enough for this place.

We met with the landlord and the housing agency reps today to get keys, etc., for the new flat. It's AMAZING. We have a whole binder which I now must read just so I can understand how the wiring for the cable/broadband/phones/intercom/evil killer laser system/missile silo/etc., works. There are buttons that pop out for the oven, and things that go "beep" on the stove and things that go "whhhiiirrrr" in the bathroom. There are controls for the outside blinds, and individual controls for heating in each room (though the heating is in the floor through water pipes?) and a pop out ironing board in the utility room (wonder what THAT is for).

There's a thingy on the door where, when someone rings downstairs, you get a video image of them standing there, so you can decide if you want to let them up or not. You can turn the doorbell on or off. (Sweet!) And we have a little infrared key thingy that we have to point at a screen and then enter a code, just to get INTO the building.

You can rearrange the phone outlets however you wish just by moving a cable in the motherboard thingy in the utility room. Ditto internet and cable. I'm kind of confused as to how that all works, as I am someone who still, to this day, thinks, "Cool! Lookee there!", when I flick a lightswitch and it comes on.

I peed in my new toilet today. Nothing new to report there, no self lifting lid or seat belts necessary. Fairly reassuring, to know that at least toilets haven't changed all that much. Though I did have to close the outside blinds using the wall buttons, which took a little bit of time to figure out. Might just get curtains. The toilet is right next to the window, I could wave to the neighbors across the way while sitting on the can. (Gives new meaning to the Python phrase, "I fart in your general direction!")

Of course, all this cool stuff means only one thing. Now that I am TRULY psyched about living there, we will get transferred. It's inevitable. I've seen it happen too many times. Someone buys a house or gets into a really sweet pad, and boom, they are gone.

Just let me be there long enough to fully understand the lightswitches, ok? That's all I ask.