Tuesday, February 28, 2006

snow up my nose

Freaky weather today. It's snowing every direction.

Like...upside down, sideways, down, around, and sometimes in a sort of triangular motion I've never seen before. All the snowy blowy all aroundy. Down off roofs and off trees and I saw some that was blown onto the very edges of bricks in our building, only to be plucked off in little balls by the howly winds and tossed around in concentric circles. Like the wind is playing catch with mini snow balls.

Of course this means the trains are fucked up AGAIN. I don't know about you, but if I am paying $6-$7 each way for a train ride (and only one stop, mind you, not like I'm going across town) I expect some on time trains, or at least some discounts when the trains are like, half an hour late all day? While I'm waiting there on the platform the snow is playing its tricks, crawling up my nose and down my shirt and UNDER my glasses and sort of perching on my head. There is no where to hide from it. It kind of sizzles when it hits the skin. Little cold pellets of ouchy freeze. I finally get on the train and my glasses steam up so thick I can't see anything, and I just kind of start to giggle because it's all so silly. I watch all the folks on the train annoyed and steamy and fuzzy and itchy and all with big furry hats or hooded coats.

I left work early today to go get my tax card* set up, and of COURSE the tax office closes at 3. I got there at 3:15. And considering that the busses to work only run from 7-9 am and then from work at 3-5 pm, and the tax office is open from 9-3, it could mean I will have to take a WHOLE DAY off just to get this tax thing figured. I wonder if I can do it over the phone. Man what a pain.

*In Norway, you get a tax card at the beginning of the year or when you start a new job. On it you estimate your income for the year, and you pay taxe percentages based on that estimate. If you make more or less than the estimate, you can end up paying quite a bit different (more or less) in taxes than you had thought. It's kind of a wierd system, especially if (like me) you are working on a contract basis and aren't quite sure WHAT you will make.....however, if you end up overpaying, Norway does pay you interest on the overpayment, which is nice. Unlike the US, where they charge you interest if you OWE but you don't get interest if they owe you.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Career girl

Look at me, a career girl! I had my first day at work today. I can totally handle it. No worries whatsoever.

It's wierd to be in a corporate environment. I can't say "again" because I've never been in a corporate environment like this. It's a GORGEOUS campus, old buildings mixed with new, all the landscape areas covered in snow and trees and the buildings are right by the water. Really nice. It'll be great in summer, to have lunch by the fjord. Open plan offices, not even cubes but more like desk areas. That means, of course, not much blogging during the day, so it might slow down a bit...but never fear, I'll keep posting. There's a cool canteen with pretty good food at cheap prices, free coffee all day, it's basically pretty lush. As offices go, the poshest I've ever seen. Norwegian offices are WAY nicer than American ones.

The commute SUCKED. The train was PACKED like a sardine can. I was wedged right next to the door, next to a sign that said "Do no lean on door, it opens outwards" and of course I had nothing to lean on BUT the door. Apparently everyone in Norway needed to catch the train that I was on at the exact time I needed to catch it. Oy. But once the train got to its destination, there was a nice corporate (free!) bus that took me straight to the office's front door.

In total, I think this job will be an interesting intro to corporate culture for me. And a great way for me to learn more about tech writing and the international business community. A big part of me felt like a poser today, like a spy from AlternativeNation or something, and that any minute I would get kicked out because I have two tattoos and I say "fuck" alot. (Though I only whispered it to myself today when I messed up on a document or something.) But I made it through day one, and nobody found me out yet....so far so good.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

fluffy word clouds

I like that the word "beer" is in the first row. And it's big, too. I'm surprised I don't have more four letter words in there!

Friday, February 24, 2006

is it just me?

I have noticed that lately I am having to increase the text size on the web pages I am reading.

Is it just me or am I getting old?

On second thought, don't answer that. Don't think I wanna know.

Big news. I got a job today. Literally called out of the blue and given a job. A real job. With, like, money and everything. I'm writing this small because i don't want to jinx it, even though i have the offficial offer letter , but it's a tech writing job. yeah, I got a freaking job in Norway. It's like karmic pay back after the shit storm earlier this week. ha ha ha! Oh shit. I wrote this so small I can't even read it to check my spelling. Let's hope it's ok......

Thursday, February 23, 2006

defrosting freezer

It's kind of warm outside.

Well, to a Norwegian it's kind of warm. It's like 45 degrees out, which is officially almost spring like.

It also means that the snow is melting BUT FAST. It's kind of like the outdoors is a giant freezer that's defrosting. Which I'm all for.

Except, overnight, what melted refreezes, so tomorrow morning it will be like an ice-rink out there. The only way to survive is to stick to the little gravel strewn areas provided by the thoughtful folks who live/work in the buildings along the sidewalks. All the older ladies have on their "crampons" a horrible word for spiked shoe bottoms that you can attach to your boots that grip the ice and help you not fall on your ass. For some reason, it's not considered "cool" to wear these if you are under age 55, but fuck it, I wear them anyway. Because, me? Klutz. Bigtime.

Serious tip-toeing going on.. Be careful.

aw shit, here we go.

Well, it seems that South Dakota has enacted a law outlawing abortion.

Yeah, you read that right.

The war on women has begun.

My stomach is in knots and I am sorely disgusted. Especially when I read this:
"Proposed amendments to the law to create exceptions to specifically protect the health of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest, were voted down. Also defeated was an amendment to put the proposal in the hands of voters.

The bill as written does make an exception if the fetus dies during a doctor's attempt to save the mother's life."

America is officially going backwards in time. Not allowing the people of the state to vote on the matter? No exceptions to save the mothers life unless the fetus dies first?

Women's rights to their own bodies are being eroded every day. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Birth control is being restricted, the morning after pill is STILL not available over the counter, day care is ridiculously expensive....it's like they are forcing women to have babies, yet not giving them the social support necessary to take care of these babies they are forcing on them. This not only hurts women but also the children they give birth to. After living in Norway, I've seen what a sensible policy on women and children's health and support can do, and I am getting angrier and angrier at the US and its Victorian viewpoint.

So here's a law I support:

For every person (most especially male politicians) who votes or believes that abortion should be illegal, I suggest that they be asked to sign a contract stating that they will adopt or fully financially support one of the babies that will result. If they are so bent on preserving life at any cost, they should certainly pay for the ones they are so virtuously "saving". And they get no choice on what baby they get. Hey, it's time to put up or shut up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

the evil that dwells

It lurks in the laundry room, in the darkest corner. Its black carapace gleams dully in the winter light. Its long black tail is twined about itself, awaiting the chance to lash out at me. Its trunk, with a seemingly innocuous blunt end, leans casually against its shiny body, ready to lash out at unsuspecting victims at any moment

I wrestle the creature out of the laundry room by its long nose, wary of its hard shell and nasty round feet. It rolls stubbornly onto its back, telling me with its non verbal language, "Bite Me, Bitch! You are so gonna have to drag me with you, because I am NOT going willingly."

So I drag its annoying protesting upside down carcass out of the laundry room and down the hall. I am in NO mood for this.

Its tail unwinds and begins to trip me up at my slightest movement. Its trunk joins the war, flummoxing my every move, tangling itself in my skirt, attacking curtains, furniture, carpets and the odd periodical or two with impunity. It fights, it wrestles, it SCREAMS as it inhales and exhales its menacing ionic miasma. The demon's hyperventilating stubby thorax flips over in cranky tantrums every time I reign it into some semblance of submission. It attacks my feet, cruelly crushing my bare toes and banging its nasty angular edges against my tender, bony ankles. Still on its back, obviously its preferred state, it puffs and bellows and blats and wheezes. Sometimes, to add insult to injury, it plays dead, its tail wickedly tangled in the chair legs.

I fight the creature up and down the house, wary of its ever-smarter thrusts and parries. Finally, with the fight knocked out of me and my ankles a bruised mess, I have enough, and I heedlessly fling the horrible bastard back into the laundry room.

Man I hate vaccuuming the house.

Pythons and silly walks. Oh, and don't forget the Spanish Inquisition.

This looks like the most fun ever! The Pythons! Each showing their favorite sketches on a TV special. . And it starts tonight! You guys Stateside watch it, then give PBS lots of money, ok? I hope they put it out on DVD at some point. (The show, not the money you send.)

John Cleese will be coming here to Norway in May to do a talk/stand up routine. Rich and I want to go, but (decent) tickets are about $130 each, and that's a bit expensive. Especially to pay this far ahead, when we have some other things coming up that we could use that money for. I'm still thinking about it, though, because it's JOHN CLEESE!

I love John Cleese! Adore John Cleese!
And Michael Palin.
And Eric Idle.
And both Terrys.
And Graham Chapman.

Speaking of which, it seems we have our own version of a Rabbit With Big Pointy Teeth here in Norway.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

foregone conclusion

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.

Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Extroverted (E) 63.89% Introverted (I) 36.11%
Intuitive (N) 52.27% Sensing (S) 47.73%
Feeling (F) 55.88% Thinking (T) 44.12%
Perceiving (P) 50% Judging (J) 50%

Man I gotta get going on that book......

...and the winners are......

A while back I asked you for some of your favorite daily internet reads. I've been going through them, slowly, but surely. There are lots of them! And good ones too!

Here are some of my favorites, so far.

College Dating Diary
This one makes me glad I am not in college and doing that whole circuit anymore. However, she has a great way of writing and it's funny as hell. In her links I found this website:

Nigerian Scammers Turn Me On
This one cracks me up. It was a link on College Dating's blog, so I followed it and loved it. It's about Nigerian scammers. She set up a fake email and name, and made her address the Simpson's! Then she started replying to the Nigerian scammers who would email her. IT's best if you start from the beginning of her blog and work your way to present. She is a master of messing with heads, and my favorite was when she tried to introduce two scammers who were mailing her to each other, since their letters were so similar! Hilarious.

A woman in her late 40's early 50's, American, who married and Egyptian and is living there. Great viewpoints on Islam and being a permanent expat.

Joe My God.
Great one about an openly gay man in NYC.

Just A Little Guy
OK, you need to spend some time with this one and get used to the phraseologies. It's a bit twisted and only will appeal to certain senses of humor, of which mine is one.
The blog owner posts pictures of the CUTEST tiniest little baby animals and then writes some of the wierdest, sickest captions to go with them. This rocks my world. It's really wierd and totally funny.

Anonymous lawyer
Snarky, fake high-powered attorney. Read his post on Cheney. HAhAHahahahaha!


This is something you can install if you use Firefox, which, of course, I do as Internet Explorer sucks. Anyhow, Rich has started using it and is addicted to it, and it's really, really cool. I'll let you know how I get on with it. I've just installed it.

And now, off to the gym. Let's hope Stankman is not there today. Oy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

mean people suck

It seems I have some people here in Norway that don't like me very much. They think that I am complaining about their country.

Hmm..let's see. Things are expensive here. There is alot of snow on the ground. It's cold. Winters are long. Norwegians (nice ones, friendly ones, of which there are many!) talk about it all the time. These things are all true. Anyone who says they are not true is obviously insane.

I have never, not once said that I hated Norway on this blog. Not once. Do I dislike some aspects of it here? Why sure. I'm a summer girl from Texas living in a place that invented winter sports. Snow, to me, = wet, sticky cold and hard to walk in. Hmm, maybe not a natural fit. But there is alot here that I do like. And I have written about that as well. Summers, the water, the beauty of the country, these are all things I appreciate.

So, to Anonymous:

Your comments are giving a very bad impression of Norwegians. Now all my friends and family (and I do have a lot of them, mind you, as I am very lucky and very loved) are going to think that Norwegians are small minded, mean and nasty. All because of you. YOU, not me. YOU are giving a bad impression of your OWN country by doing this. Is this how you want Norway to be seen??

Why on earth are you wasting your energy on posting to my website if you don't like it? Why are you spending your time on me if you don't like me? Isn't your energy better spent elsewhere? You can go read something else. Here, I'll give you a topic. Go do something that makes you happy instead of reading something that does not entertain you. That way we are all happy and you don't bother with me and I am not bothered with you.

It's not ME that needs the life. It's you. I feel bad for you. You must be really sad. I'm sorry for you.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

enough already!



Snow is NOT FUN.

Walking down any street is like walking on the sandiest (and coldest) of beaches, you know when your legs go all uneven and it's hard to walk straight because the sand is all cattywampus? The snow on the ground has that wet loose sand consistency, making it an aerobic BITCH to get anywhere. We've got snow piled up almost half way up our floor- to- ceiling windows. That's about 4+ feet! Of snow! Landed where it fell, not moved around by us or anything. Just accumulated, like a freaking gigantic rain gauge that is slowly but surely sucking all the light out of my life.

Outside there are mountains of snow that have been pushed aside by the snowplows. Many of them are over 25 feet tall. It's insane. The Norwegians are telling us, if our doors start getting stuck or not opening properly, we have to go up on the roof and remove the snow as it means it's too heavy for the house. I mean, seriously, what the friggedy fuck? Snow bending your house out of shape?

They say it's the most snow since 1966 or something. Aren't I lucky to be here for that record?

The thing that bugs me most is....all that snow has gotta melt sometime. Spring can be messy and very unlovely, and I remember my first spring here, watching this one damned little pile of snow on our deck slooooowly melting away for all of April, until finally by about May 5th it finally disappeared. It was an excruciating exercise in patience and spring fever, and I remember hating that damned pile of snow. I don't want to think about how long it will take to melt the many feet of snow on our deck now, or the yards of snow along the streets and in the parks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Face of Jesus in my Quesadilla, y'all.

And I am SO not lying.

I made quesadillas tonight. (I make 'em GOOD, too.) In the third one I made, there He was. About an inch and a half across. I called Rich over and I'm all like, "Does that look like Jesus in my quesadilla?" And he's all "Holy (haha) Shit! It DOES!" So he took pictures.

Tell me if you can see it.

Did you see it? I SWEAR it is exactly as it appeared, right out of the frying pan. It is NOT retouched or photoshopped or anything.

Here's another shot, with a circle around the face:

See? It IS Him, in'it?

Of course I ate it. My quesadillas are really good. Did I mention that? Didn't want to waste it.

But then, I just thought of something: did I really screw up and I should have saved it and sold it on eBay, like the grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin on it?

senior kino

Today is a snowy shitty day. It does not help my mood whatsoever. In an effort to escape, I caught a matinee at the movies today. I LOVE matinees. In Austin I'd go any chance I could on a day off or whatever. My own decadent treat.

The problem is, matinees are not very common here. The only way you can see them, generally, is to go to either the weekly senior kino (kino = cinema) or the baby kino. These are special showings of movies targeted at the older crowd or for moms with babies. The baby kino is right out for me, as I am baby free and not terribly interested in hearing babies hollering and screaming while the movie plays. (Moms bring the babies to baby kino. If I were a mom it would be great, though even then I don't think it would be terribly fun to see a movie with crying kids around. Still, it's a way for them to get out and I am all for it, it's a nice concept.)

So I catch the senior kino. It plays on Wednesdays in my town, and on Tuesdays in the nearby one. Luckily there are no actual age restrictions on that. It's also nice because the tickets are a little cheaper and you get free coffee and waffle when you go. (Waffles are THE snack hereabouts.) It's quite possibly the only free food you'll ever get in Norway.

Today I saw "Walk the Line". I thought it was incredible. I really think that Reese Witherspoon (who was never one of my favorites) and Joaquin Phoenix (who keeps rising and rising in my estimation) did an amazing job. I mean, they BECAME those characters. And I had no idea that either of them had such good voices. I was especially impressed wtih Reese Witherspoon. I've always felt she was a bit cold and contained in her roles, like "Look at me! I'm Reese and I am cute and I am ACTING!". But in this role she was phenomenal. I finally looked at her as the character and not as that Type-A actress with the strong determined chin.

It was a nice treat on a day such as this.

Another nice thing is all the great links everyone has sent in response to my cry for new stuff. I want to say THANK YOU so much for giving me heads ups on such great stuff. I am still working through them. The blogging community ROCKS. I really appreciate you all being so nice. I'll do a post with my favorites that I have found through your suggestions soon. I've already book marked quite a few.......

Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm bored

I am totally bored and have a major case of the blahs, which is sliding down into a depression. Hey, it happens at times and it IS winter and it IS ass cold out.

This is where you come in. Can you help me?

Part of my boredom is the fact that I check the same blogs and websites every day. I'm loyal. And while I adore my blog buddies and the websites I got to are super informative, I need new meat, people! New stuff! New entertainments! New stuff to see and giggle about and read.

So, if you read this post, would you leave a comment with a link to a website or blog that you check every day that you enjoy? It can be a news site (I don't want TOO political, I am fighting depression, after all), or a blog or a gossip thing or an arty thing or whatever. Whatever you check every day, that's on your must-list, that you think I might enjoy adding to my rotation.....

A big thanks from me to you......

There's cold and then there's COLD

It's 10 degrees outside, people! And that's Fahrenheit, not Celcius. In Celcius it's minus 13! Like Moscow.....

It's been really cold all weekend. It was 5 degrees F on Sunday when I got up at 9:30. Which means it was even colder over night. We probably hit the big 0.

I have to admit, it hasn't gotten THIS cold very often in the time I've been in Norway. The winters aren't really that hard, just long (oh so very long) and dark. So when it does get this cold, it wierds me out a little. I mean, there really just is not a way to dress for it. You will just be cold when you are outside. Just face it. You'll be cold.

The problem is, when you get inside you swelter and sweat inside your 12 layers of clothes. You've suddenly gone from 5 degrees outside to 75 inside, hot dry air blasting you in the face, people all running around in small enclosed shops. Then you've got your bulky puffy coat and your sweater and your scarf, gloves, hat, etc., to contend with.

Glamour goes right out the window. When the hat comes off, I look the Michelin man with troll hair.

I am impressed that our metal and glass flat stays so warm though. The thermometer has us pegged at 68 degress inside...and that's in the cooler part over by the windows. I'd say it's a good heater that can keep up a 60+ degree difference between outside and in.

And now I have to motivate myself to put on enough clothes to get me to the gym to work out, just so that I can then remove 3/4 of them and shove them into a tiny locker while I do the workout, and smell the smell of 30 other folks who have all released their sweltering bods from too many layers of clothes also. Oy.

I'll remind you all of this when you tell me that my living overseas is so "glamorous", ok?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

funniest tv commercial ever.

I've spent two days trying to find this tv ad on the web. It's only playing in Norway. It shows on TV frequently and I get a belly laugh every time I see it. It's SO TRUE about winter here....and look at the house in the background, it's VERY traditional Norwegian architecture.

Plus, coming from an Audi obsessed family, as a lover of dogs, and as one who is not good in snow, this ad pushes every button I have.

So, I hereby give you, my daily giggle.

Friday, February 10, 2006

stanked right off the treadmill



I went for my workout today and I was doing really well. I had the iPod rolling (I have a new workout mix I've titled "fucked up angry shit" which has all the stuff that really makes me roar and push it), I was 20 or so minutes into it on the "gluteal hill climb" on the treadmill and I had a good sweat going. 10 more minutes to go, then I could cool down. Oh yeah.

Let me preface this by saying, I am one of those people who cannot function without a shower or a bath every day. (Which is why I don't camp or stay anywhere that does not have flushing toilets and copious hot water.) Additionally, I am a bit of a freak in that I like to shower BEFORE I work out. I like to go to the gym all nice and clean, so my sweat is clean, and my hair is still slightly damp and it cools me off. Then when I do sweat, I radiate the scent of flowers or musk or whatever shower gel/good smelly I slathered on myself earlier. In other words, I am THE person you want to workout next to and I for damn sure know that any bad smells are NOT coming from me, you know?

So, back to the story. I'm rolling along, feeling the burn in my bum, (from the workout, not cuz I ate something that didn't agree with me!) trying not to sing NIN out too loud, when this guy gets on the treadmill next to me. He starts it up and about 5 seconds later I am attacked, engulfed and otherwise surrounded by the nastiest STANK of all stanks. Dudes, I couldn't help it, I gagged. Literally gagged. Have you ever run and breathed hard and gagged all at once? I don't recommend it. This dude (probably in his 50's, looked like a totally normal mid-management level office geek kinda guy) had a miasma rolling off him that was so bad I could almost see it. I thought I would soldier on, but after another 20 seconds I had to get out of there.

THAT pisses me off, as I was doing great and was not ready to stop. It threw me off my routine totally. So I went and did some desultory weightlifting and some crunches and ab work, but the smelly stank-ass office dude totally messed me up. I mean, granted, I do have a very sensitive nose, but this guy? Oh my effing GOD! Ew! Gross! Has this guy ever had a bath? I think not!

Can I sue? For nasal torture or something? Seriously? Would it work if I carried around a spray bottle of Febreze and just surreptitiously nuked the dude when he wasn't looking? I think it would only be fair. He puts his smell on me, I put mine on him in return?

I'm taking another shower, just in case it's catching......

Thursday, February 09, 2006

working out at the norwegian gym

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Blog tip #42: when you are at a loss for words, post a picture or do a meme.....

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4: "The southern coast stretches over 1000 km to the border with Malaysia, while the eastern coastal fringe of the Gulf of Thailand runs 400 km to Cambodia."

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can and see what you touch: An Acoma, NM pot.

3.What is the last thing you watched on TV? Um...America's Next Top Model..

4.Without looking, guess what time it is: 12:30 p.m.

5.Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 12:48 p.m.

6.With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? Morphine on the iPod attachd to the stereo.

7.When did you last step outside? What were you doing? Yesterday night on way back from Oslo. It snowed, rained and sleeted all within one hour. I'm not going outside today. No way no how.

8.Before you started this survey, what did you look at? Cy's webpage, where I stolded it from.

9.What are you wearing? Black and white floral satin jammy pants, a white "wife beater" tank top, a black Moroccan robe heavily embroidered with gold that I bought off a street merchant in Marakech. (sounds more interesting that way than just saying "I'm slobbing today.") Bare feet, hair pulled back. striped underwear. (I hate hate HATE the word "panties".)

10.Did you dream last night? yes. But I'm not tellin'.

11. When did you last laugh? last night with my friend Yooolia. She's coolia.....

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? Jewelry I made, a framed French perfume ad ("Vivadou Mavis") from the 1920's, a wrought iron candle holder, sans candle, a Harper's calendar.

13. Seen anything weird lately? I just looked in the mirror not 10 minutes ago.

14. What do you think of this quiz? One of the better ones. But this question is stupid.

15. What is the last film you saw? "Ryktet Gar", which in English is "Rumour Has it".

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? First thing? A beer. Then, a plane ticket home. Then buy a sweeeet car. Then I'd pay off all my bills and possibly run for office under the "let's be reasonable, people!" party ticket. And then I'd change the freakin' world.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know. I've been listening to the band Morphine alot lately. Ties in with my existential angst.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? Put women in charge. In one stroke it would eradicate so many problems in this world. Men have mucked it up but something fierce. I am tired of their aggression and their politics and their testosterone.

19. Do you like to dance? Love it. But only to techno music. I'm a pretty terrible couples dancer.

20.George Bush: WARNING. You are being monitored: Hell, I'd say it to his face "YOU SUCK! You suck you suuuccckkk!"

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? Virginia.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him? One of "them".

23. Would you ever consider living abroad? ha! I AM a broad!

24. What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates? "That will be a $5 cover, please. The open bar's over there."

25. 4 people who must also do this meme in THEIR journal: tag yourselves, people. What am I your mother?
(But I just checked Kjersti's blog and she tagged me. So double impetus for me to do it. Kjersti, what are pirate panties??)

we can look at this one of two ways:

We can look at the bendy snow and think "Wow. Isn't nature amazing? How does it do that? Isn't it cool? It's like Dali come to life!".

Or we can think, "What the FUCK? When do I get out of this? When do I get to go to Thailand? Can that bendy snow fall and kill me, like a blunt trauma to the head?"

It's kinda one of those "Glass half full/half empty" things, in'nt?

It's blizzarding outside, so I am going to wrap myself ina blankie and watch Buffy. It seems a Buffy sort of day....

Monday, February 06, 2006

upcoming travel

Well, it seems as though I've got some exciting travel news. Colleen, my very cool stepmom in law, (though that is her position in the family, to me she is just Colleen, the wonderful) lives in Bangkok and we are going out to visit her in late March. I will be there for a bit before Rich comes to join.

Colleen has so far booked us trips to Chang Mai, Krabi beach and Luang Prabang in Laos. Yeah, Laos. I love the fact that I am going to go to a place that I know NOTHING about. I have to start reading. Laos. Wow. Luang Prabang is a UNESCO world heritage site. That's it as far as my knowledge goes.

When we are in Thailand it will be the season of the Songkran Festival, or Thai New Year. The locals run around dousing each other with water as part of the celebration. I've been told I will not escape getting wet. I'll try to remember not to wear anything that is dry clean only.

I cannot believe I am going to Laos. And as for Krabi beach, well, I haven't been to an authentic, 'lie in the sun and be a bum' beach in YEARS. I am SO looking forward to that. Especially as it snowed another 2 feet here this weekend. Ugh.

It gives me such inspiration to work out and get my body back into bikini shape. I used to have a really good bikini body. I gotta get it back.
Oh crap.
I just realized I have to buy a swimsuit. Is there anything worse than buying a swimsuit in the dead of winter when you are overweight, out of shape and scaly fish white? Looking at myself in a three way mirror and seeing nothing but white frozen goose bumps and other, "gotta get rid of 'em" bumps? AAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

ok go ahead and laugh

here's me in the 9th grade poofy pink dress......I had my Dad scan the only Polaroids my folks could find of it. Apparently in the picture on the left, I not only got my hair cut off short, but also had my head removed. Back then I took bad hair days very seriously.

blah blah blog

Random shit for today....

Let's see...um....

I'm having a real hard time getting used to this Mac keyboard. Something keeps happening and the cursor jumps back into the middle of a sentence I already wrote and so I end up writing a sentence within a sentence. That is, IF it doesn't somehow mysteriously delete what I had written previously first. It's happened about five times in the past five minutes. I either type too fast or I am losing my aim. I dunno but some wrong buttons are definitely getting pressed.

I went for my second workout at the gym today. A guy named Roar (such a great name) set me up with a workout routine. He showed me some of the old stand-by exercises but then also some new shit that is SO gonna kick my ass. I could hardly do them. I'm out of shape, but in wierd ways. Like my stomach muscles are really strong but I've lost almost all my upper body strength I had developed. Why is that? I can walk forever, and climb hills, but running? Forget it. Ouch. I will hurt tomorrow. No doubt about that.

After my work out I went to the little mall for a bit and saw something scary. A little girl got her shoe string caught in the escalator. She was about 7 years old and her shoe was untied and when she got to the end of the escalator, her string just went into one of the slats and she was stuck. She stood there, confused and inefectually yanking her leg like she was a bear in a bear trap, but her mom was really cool, just bent over and reversed it out, no fuss no muss. The little girl howled and hollered afterward and her mom was like "What is your deal? Jeez, calm down! That was no problem!" I thought the mom handled it well, all told. Norwegian moms are really laid back, I like the way they tend to handle their kids.
I was also impressed to see the escalator shut down automatically. Like it has a sensor or something for things like that. A shoestring isn't even that big of a thing, so it was good to see that the escalator has such a sensitive "off" button in it.

Have you heard about this uproar over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed? It's pretty big news here. It seems a bit out of hand to me, like a small radical group are just waiting for a reason to mob together and destroy. I won't get on my soapbox on this one, I'm kind of freaked at how over the top it's getting.....I will, however, send you over to the BBC discussion pages for some really interesting comments, I think you will be able to tell which ones agree with.....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Today's vocabulary words

So the last installment of new words we had here were "cousband" which is what happens when you marry your cousin. (We also got "spouster" at the suggestion of my friend Alan, that's when you marry your sister.) (Ew.)

Thanks to Bonnie we have a raft of new words:

Masturdate: That's when you go on a date alone. Like, you take yourself to a movie and lunch. And you really enjoy it.

Masturdebate: (one of my old words): This is when you argue with yourself.

Masturberate: When you beat yourself up for saying the wrong thing.

I hate to say "I Told You So"

I've been saying from the very beginning of my sojourn in Oslo, "This is the most expensive place in the world".

Friends in the US looked at the statistics on the latest web driven list and said "Well, it might feel that way but actually London or Tokyo (or whatever) is most expensive. See? Here's the "official stats" ". And I said, yeah, yeah, whatever, but let me tell you, from my experience and my bit of travelling, and from the things I tend to spend money on, Oslo is definitely the most expensive.

Well, all I can say now is "HA!". Ha! Ha!

For all you who need some sort of statistical survey driven proof, WOOP! there it is! I've gotten links like this sent to me by about 15 friends now, all saying the same thing "You were right all along". And I'm all like, "Ya think?"

The only reason Oslo is actually getting credit for being so overwhelmingly pricey right now is that the fluctuations of the dollar and the yen have made Japan cheaper than it used to be. But whatever. Here in Norway, I spend kroner. And the prices, in kroner, are still as high as they ever were, whether you compare it to dollars or not.

Last night we went out for pizza and beer. (In the US pizza and beer are the cheap option for dining out. Here? The reverse.) The pizza cost 236 nok and the beers were 76 nok each. Go to your favorite currency calculator and convert that to your coinage of choice. Then go to your local pizza joint and see how much a pizza and two beers cost. Hell, go ahead and put your pizza into the currency converter and see how many kroners that American or British pizza cost......

Uhuh. Yeah.

I won't even TALK about the taxes that are about to cripple us. I'm not even going there.

But at least it's nice to get official credit for what I been sayin' all along: It's DAMNED expensive here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fits and starts with the iPod

After many false starts and not a little annoyance, I am finally off and running with the iPod.

I won't bore you with the details. (Well, I had started doing just that, but I deleted it and am re-writing this bit as I realized the details were about 6 paragraphs long and almost every sentence started with "The fucking iPod", "The fucking PC (or Mac)", or, most especially "Fucking iTunes!".) Let's just say I've got it sorted now, shall we?

While I was at it I also put some of my favorite cd's into iTunes, and rediscovered some old friends along the way.

One album that I have always loved in its entirety is an old Thompson Twins one, called "Queer". It was released pretty much after they had fallen from the heights of their 80's fame. Total shame because I think alot of people missed out on something great. MAN that's an awesome album. Upbeat, with a little middle eastern feel to some of it, happy dancey techno-y rock with that Thompson Twins lyricism.

I mixed that up with a lot of NIN and Depeche Mode, some Neil Finn, Robert Plant, Dead Can Dance, Gary Numan, Love and Rockets and some random dance stuff (like some great stuff you can download for free from DJ Lauer. He kicks ASS!). I plan to use the iPod alot with my new gym membership. Which I seem to be procrastinating on using by instead writing this blog entry.

So, off my lazy ass and hence to the gym! Test out the new music and boogy some of my buns off! I've got a semi-hard deadline of dropping about 8 lbs by the time I go to Bangkok......they've tightened the baggage requirements, you know. Especially carry on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mini Chaos

Our building is having its one year warranty check up. That means that the owners of the flats and the people who built the building go through and point out any problems that have cropped up over the first year of the building's existence.

Apparently there are many. Settling, cracks, noise issues, floors, etc. The building has been settling pretty severely and they are actually having to shore up bits of it. Eek!

What it means for us, as tenants, is that the landlord gets all his future problems fixed, but we have to move all our furniture around for the fixing.

So, right now, I have my very heavy, book filled armoire standing in the middle of the living room, books in piles everywhere, while the workman removes the baseboards on the wall behind and lowers them 1/4 inch. (??) Either the floor is sinking or the baseboards are too high, I'm not sure what's going on here. We also had to move the china cabinet and the bookshelf in the kitchen for the same reason. The dude is also filling some cracks on the walls and repainting those.

Now tell me this: Why do workdudes always smell the same? You know how when you have a carpenter or a contractor come over they always smell of paint and cigarettes and something else, just on the edge of unsavory, like they bathed in sheetrock dust? That smell also exists here in Norway! It's a worldwide smell, not just American! Plus the dude is also one of those noisy breathers, and I can hear him breathing through the whole house. It's kinda slurpy sounding, it's icky. Like he's breathing (and talking) with his tongue hanging out. Rather like a slobbery warthog. Squishy slurpy. Slurpy squishy. Eeeuuuwwcchh.

He keeps saying he has to "go get more tools" and takes off for an hour. Well, it's been three days now, how many damn more tools do you need and can I LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN EVER? I've just joined the gym and want to work out! (I probably, knowing me, only want to go work out because right now I can't, that would be so like me.)

Apparently the time schedules and excuses for not getting things done are, like the smell, pan-continental.

Update: he got here at 9:30, took an hour and a half for lunch and left at three, complaining about what a hard day he had. By my calculations, he worked a total of 4 hours. Hey everybody, come to Norway and be a contractor! You can snort and snobble all over someone's house AND work only a half day!