Friday, March 31, 2006

Lao = Wow

Greetings from Laos. Though they leave off the s on the end, so it's just Lao.

(fyi, i am on a 36kps dial up, so we'll see what happens here.)

Laos is AMAZING. This is what I thought Asia would be like, and why I felt a little bummed out with Bangkok. Because, honestly, seen one big city, seen 'em all. But get out of the big city and into this fairly undiscovered country, and the game totally changes.

WE took Bangkok Airways (motto: Exclusive transportation to exotic gems" or something like that) in a direct flight. IT was a propeller plane, whcih made me nervous as hell, as the only other prop flight i ever took left me green and sick. But it was very smooth and the service was excellent. Highly recomend Bangkok Airways.

Got to Luang Prabang airport, and it was teeny, and surrounded by craggy point mountian'lets, like you see in Japanese woodcuts or in Thai landscapes. COOL! Wen through the visa purchasing, passport control and customs processes (forms for each, with passport photos and 30USD for the visa) and we were picked up by the hotel, the Grand Luang Prabang.

The hotel is on the Mekong river, and it's lovely. They spent ALOT on building this place, and it is quite stylish, but what i have discovered about Loas is that they do alot of htings they THINK tourists want, but they sort of do it in their own way. It's been funny, to say the least. Dinner last night was ah oot, the waiters don't just hover, they sort of gather and stare at you while you eat. If you ask for ketchup, they also bring Worcestershire, Tabasco, Soy and Fish sauces, just in case. Oh, and chili sauce as well. And they bring each thing individually, as well as each dish, each fork, knife and spoon, and the flowers and then the candles. The waiter literally took about 100 trips to our table during that meal.

Anyhow, early night last night, woke up to a lovely day (though hazy as it is "slash and burn" season here, where they burn the fields to prepare for crops) and got on our very own hired boat for a trip up the Mekong. The Mekong!!! Seriously, what the fuck?

Se we went up the Mekong, past town (we are outside a bit at this hotel, though will move into town tomorrow) and to the most amazing cave I have ever seen. Called the caves at Pak Ou, it is a place where they retire Buddhas, and have done so for many many years. There were thousands of Buddhas all over this cave, and altars and candles and it was amazing. Right by the river. Yes I have about a million pictures but cannot post them now, too slow computer. We lit offerings and soaked up the place. IT was incredible. Some monks came in, in their saffron roabes, it was lovely., There was an additional cave a steep climb up the hill, so I went up there too and got some brilliant shots in the dark with my wonderful camera. Damn it takes great night shots.

After that to the town of Pak Ou, where we had lunch. Two of us ate for five bucks. The town is the caretaker of the caves, they watch out for it, as they have for hundreds of years. Thatched huts, straw cottages, mud streets. Mostly on stilts by the river. I got lots of pics, don't worry. They had a lovely Wat, where the monks (boys aged 13?) played soccer and hammed it up for the cameras.

Thence to a village where they weave silk. Yes I bought a few things. Amazing scarves and table runners and wall hangings. Made right there. We were the only foreigners there.

Anyhow, I know this is short but words cannot describe how great it was. Anyone who gets the chance, and comes to Bangkok., must make the extra trip out here. It's SO worth it.

The mosquitos are eating me up (the computer is in an open pavilion in the garden!). WE have someone coming to our room to give us massages. 10 bucks an's a stretch, but we will manage somehow.

Oh and I have found the perfect beer t shirts...BeerLao. Too cool.......

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

These are probably the only pictures you are gonna get because it takes freaking FOREVER to download things onto blogger from this fairly slow ADSL service I am using.....It's been about 10 minutes to get these few pics up. I'll maybe do onesies and twosies from here on outsies...

Elephant butts. I took a tour to Ayutthaya today and we stopped at a roadside rest stop/elephant riding attraction. Not unlike a petting zoo in the US, one would assume.

At a wat (temple) in Ayutthaya. I love the way the tree roots look here.
Ayutthaya was the capital from the 15th to the 18th centuries, when the Burmese came and torched it. The capital was then moved to present day Bangkok. There are beautiful ruins left at Ayutthaya.

Bugs...they're not just for breakfast anymore....This was on Khao San Road, legendary backpacker's strip. It was interesting. I had my first (sigh) mangoes and sticky rice there. Love at first bite. I did not eat a bug. Ick.

Me and baby elephump. I then paid it 20 baht which it toook in its trunk. First time I ever touched an elephant. I felt a little sorry for it, I hate seeing animals in chains. At night in Bangkok you can see elephants walking down the road.s Very strange going into a 7-11 and when you come out you almost (literally) run smack into an elephant.

A beautiful garden palace and museum in Bangkok. An oasis of quiet amongst the smell and chaos. Suan Pakkad, means Cabbage Patch.....

After the tour to Ayutthaya, we then took a boat up the Chao Praya back to Bangkok. Four hours of quiet (relatively) solitude. It was a hazy day so pics did not turn out as nice as I would have liked. I'll post some another time. Right now I am tired and need rest. Tomorrow we go to Luang Prabang Laos. I hope you are all using your atlases....Lord knows I had (have) to.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

cheap thrills and tiny women

Costs here vs costs in Norway are basically baht for kroner. The difference being, the kroner goes for 6.5 to the dollar, the baht 39 to the dollar.

A coke costs 20 baht. 20 kroner in Norway.

Lunch yesterday in the posh food court at the mall cost 45 baht ($1). Lunch in Sandvika in the mall, at the Ritz Cafe, 110 nok ($16) for the Thai Nudler (which I now laugh at, and heartily, Thai my ASS!)

Cab ride from the airport across town to Colleen's flat: 200 baht ($5.)
Cab ride from airport in Oslo to our flat: 700 nok. ($107)

Shoes: 99-200 baht
Noprway shoes: 300-2000 nok

Etc etc. Let's face it, it's CHEAP here. I got two dresses for $15 at a market yesterday. And, as the man selling them pointed out a little too vividly, they were the "extra large for westerners" sizes. he used all sorts of tall and wide hand signals to illustrate this. It's funny. People here are very blunt and very honest, but very kind. Yes, I am WAY bigger than 85% of the folks here, and I am kind of strange with this wild curly hair and the light eyes, and then I am tall, and boy they are gonna look at me and tell me about it! But it's all done in kindness. This is the first place I've ever been where i totally felt like a foreigner. I feel kind of exotic and strange.

The best, the absolute BEST part of it, though, is the 2 hour Thai massage I got tonight, for....250 baht. We went to this place where they teach Thai massage. Once in, a small gaggle of ladies walked in and each one of them picked one of us. The tiniest woman of them all made a beeline straight for me, the biggest of us all. (There were three of us in our group.) She laughed and took my hand, and led me over to the foot washing section, where she scrubbed my poor, mangled, horribly blistered feet. My left foot looks like a leper's worst nightmare. AFter the foot massage we got on the elevator up to the massage rooms, where apparently there was this one woman in charge of doing nothing but commenting on our bodies in Thai. I got the approval sign by way of the universal hand signals for "curvy" and then a thumbs up and lots of wiggling eyebrows. I got lucky. She grabbed another woman's boobs! It was a bit strange, but whatever, I guess our farang bodies are interesting to them as cultural experiments.

Anyhow, thence to the massage area, where my tiny lady gave me a t shirt and pajama bottoms to change into. Thai Large and American Large are two different things, so she had to go back to the "fat ass" closet to get me another pair of pants that were sufficiently baggy. Sartorial embarrassments aside, we then got busy.

For the next two hours this tiny woman bent me, beat me, smacked me, stepped on me, pounded me, folded me, rubbed me, origami'ed me, picked me up, threw me down, and made me her bitch. I've never quite been treated that way except in certain, ahem, other situations which shall not be recounted here. And certainly I've never been that intimate with another woman.

I loved every second of it. I feel like jello. It was the best $6 I ever spent.

I'm going back as soon as possible. I want to be her bitch some more......

Sunday, March 26, 2006

markets and expats

It's Monday morning here. I just got out of the shower. I was told how to turn on the hot water, but honestly have not had a need for it. Cold is just fine. Just fiiine.

Yesterday Colleen and i got up fairly early and headed to Chatuchuk market. You know when you hear about shopping in Bangkok? And how great it is? Really? People aren't expressing it strongly enough. Let me put it this way:

Chatuchuk market wore me out. I was the one who said 'I've had enough, let's go now". Those of you who have ever shopped with me will be gasping right now. This could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse. Or I have finally gotten old. Really old. Seriously.

That market is HUGE. I mean, I've been to the souks on Marakech, and the markets in Egypt, and I've been to some damned big malls in the US and I've shopped on Bond, Regent AND New Bond Streets in London, and this market is the king of them all. If you can't buy it there, forget it, it does not exist.

And, for you people who like beads and jewelry ws nirvana. I was stunned, overwhelmed and confused. I was almost mad at myself, in a way, because there it all was, everything i could ever want or need in the bead and silver way and I kind of just froze. I had once asked Colleen to "pick me up some beads" and now I see why she just laughed when I asked her that. The selections of stones and pearls and silver and findings and what all, amazing. Too much. The stall holders used bags of pearls as chairs and foot rests. And the prices? Well, let's just say my luggage is no longer in the light category. I didn't buy as much as I thought I would (overwhelmed, 'member?) but then I do have three and a half more weeks......

AFter about 4 hours of the market (where i got a bit scarily overheated and crabby, I forget I get crabby when I am hungry) we left to go to Jim Thompson's house museum. Jim Thompson was an American expat who is credited with turnign around the Thai silk trade and bringing it to the attention of America, thus reviving a dying art. He died in mysterious circumstances in 1967. His house? Amazing.

But the thing about his house is, it reminds me of how my grandparents' house was. See, my grandparents (on my dad's side) traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East extensively in the late 50's early 60's. This was back when Thailand was still Siam and Iran was Persia. They saw Angkor Wat before Pol Pot did his worst to Cambodia. Their house, on the Guf Coast of Mississippi, was a veritable museum and style show of Asian and Middle Eastern Art.

I don't think I realized, until now, how much Thai art and style have infulence my whole view of everything, through my grandparents. I am fairly certain my grandparents met Jim Thompson. He was known for (according to the books) meeting up with every expat of some status who came to Bangkok at that time.

Anyhow, it's been a bit bittersweet as I walked around that museum, as everything I saw reminded me of my grandparents, and their incredible, beautiful style that melded Asian and American influences. I grew up with Buddhas and elephants and dragons and temple rubbings when other kids had naugahyde chairs, brown shag carpet and lava lamps. I feel very comfortable here, in a way, because I grew up with the visual language.

It's killing me because now I REALLY want to talk about all this to them, and they are gone. Opi died in 1987, Omi died a few months after I got to Norway. I've been thinking about them alot. I brought along a brooch that had been hers, that she got here on that trip. I like the idea of her buying it in Siam, bringing it to the US where it languished in her, my mom's and then my jewelry box, and then I bring it full circle back to its place of origin 47 years later.

I am also wondering how the hell they got all the stuff they bought home to the States. They must have filled a large shipping container. Me? I get a measly 20 kilo limit. Just the beads I bought alone might have put me over that. That's really starting to piss me off.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I just got back from my massage.

Oh fucking YEAH. Hurt so good. Like, I totally want a cigarette now, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink.

Oh, but wait. I don't mean it came with "happy ending" or anything like that. EW! It was just a really great massage. Swedish with aromatherapy. Then she did some Thai massage back cracking stuff on me and I felt like a giant walrus compared to her...but oh my god she totally popped every vertebrae I have and then a few I am not quite sure of.

I slept like a rock last night, then got up this morning to head for the massage. It was in this lovely new building, surrounded by all these run down wierd buildings. I walked about a mile to get there, and felt so foreign. Usually I manage to just go about my business wherever i am, but here I just feel...foreign. It's cool. Kind of. But also scary, because if I got run over by a car (which could happen very easily) no one would no who I was or where i came from. So, I take my ass in my hands if i ever try to cross the street. I feel very brave, but I also admit I wait for a local to start crossing the street first, then follow them. Might as well let them lead the way, and less risk of my getting squashed if there are two of us! I only crossed the street once, it's too scary. Unfortunately, it also felt like everything I wanted to see was on the OTHER side of the road! There were NO other white people. Well, one crazy guy who "woo'ed" at me. "Wooo! Woooooo!!! Woo woo!" Like that.

Bangkok is total sensual overload. You go from the enticing scent of jasmine and roasting meats directly to the scent of piss and garbage, within a few steps. My nose was twitching like a dog's, it just had too much to do. It's bloody hot, but honestly no worse than a summer day in Texas. It's just, there is less air conditioning here (I am told it's quite expensive!) so you sweat more because you are in the heat more.

After the massage I walked around a bit more, sweated, had some strange vietnamese food (I had to point at pictures on the menu, and the food did not look like the picture once it arrived on the table. I think I ate ass. Seriously. Grilled ass.) then sweated my way back to Colleen's flat, where I had a cold shower.

Now we are getting ready to go have facials, then we go to some fancy schmancy place for drinks and a birthday dinnner tonight. The place has a "no sandals" dress code, and I only brought...sandals. Damn this packing light!

Friday, March 24, 2006

one night in Bangkok

...and the world is indeed my oyster. (unfamiliar key board is causing many double letters, I've tried to clean them up but some remain. I'm too tired to figurre out how to get the iBook on Colleen's network so am using her lapttop right now.)

After a fairly sucky but on-time KLM flight (why oh WHY do they think that having no leg room on flights is ok? I mean, really?) I arrived in Bangkok around noon today. The iBook was a champ on the flight, I caugght up with my Prrojject Runway episodes and looked like a totally hip gadget geek ggirrl. At least I thought I did. Look ccool, that is. Well at least in my own mind. (I'm jet lagged, is this even making any sense?)

Note for those of you in Texas: I am now 14 hours AHEAD of you. After an endless wait at immigration where I was in line behind a bunch of monks, it was soooo ccool,, Colleen met me and we caught a cab to her flat. It was a very fast, kamikaze cab ride. They are all like that. And it was cheap, like $4 for the whole thing. That cab rride in Norway would have been $100 plus, easy. Cab rrides, I have since learrned are all kamikaze and very scary at times. Hang on and close your eyes for the dodgy bits.

I was so excited to be here, it was incredible. The best part of a trip is always that first bit, when you have the whole trip in front of you and ANYTHING can hapeen. I love that feeling.

Anyhow a nap and a shower refreshed me no end, and then we met up with Colleen's friend Anna and we went to Khaosan Road, this street crawling with farangs (tourrists or non-Thai) where there is food food foood everywhere.

Including fried bugs. I'm pretty jet lagged so I did not run screaming. I was too tired to react with my natural horrror. I did not eat the fried bugs, but I got pictures of them and a guy eating something that looked like a scorpion.

Skipping the bugs, I did have a wonderfful meal consisttinng of a falafel (the best I have ever had, $1.), an eggroll (25 cents) and the traditional dessert of mangoe and sticky rice, which is oh so yummy. Dinner cost under $2. God I love street food.

Back to the flat and am now about to crash. Colleen, bless her, has me scheduled for a massage, steam treatment, facial and pampering tomorrow morning at 11. That will be 9pm tonight for you Texas folks. Think of me being pampered at that time willya?. Nyah nyah.

The temperature here today is 75 degrees warmer than Norway. All the women here wear clip-cloppy plastic soled shoes and they sound like an army of Barbies going up and down the stairs at the skyrail stations. I think that will be my sound of bangkok, clip cloppy shoes on tiny feet.

oh so much to tell but all systems shutting down on this intrepid nerd girrl traveler. til tomorrrow......

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'd totally date it if I could

My iPod is making me very happy.

I've loaded it with podcasts, including Lonely Planet, Penn Jillette, NPR Satire, ABC and NBC Nightly News, something by Jack Black, Ricky Gervais, and many others. I've got the latest Harry Potter downloaded on there, all 20 hours of it, read by Stephen Fry. I've got the latest Prince, which makes me dance so nasty I think I could charge just for people to watch. I've got scads of music and the last two episodes of Project Runway as well.

AND I just got all my addresses on there. Now I don't have to take around my address book (much as i love it and have had it for over 10 years) anymore. It's all on the pod. Me Loves iPod. If I could have sex with it I would.

Oh, wait. I kind of can....hmm.

I am so wired and jumpy it's ridiculous. I think I'm packed, but I'm so jazzed I can't really get my head quiet enough to make sure. I just made dinner and had some wine, so that might help. I still have to take my ritual Pre-Trip Bath, where I fluff, shave and exfoliate every part of me that I can reach, and holler at Rich to take care of the rest. Then I have to gather all the peripherals for all the electronic stuff. Back in the old days a traveler carried traveler's checks, a camera, a phone card and a pen and some paper. Now it's digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, and iBooks.

Ok. Must. Calm. Down.

pictures of where I am going

A while back, Colleen, my mother in law (one of two, I am lucky that I have two such cool women in my life. Rich's Mom lives in Pennsylvania) sent some pictures of her flat in Bangkok and some street scenes. I thought I'd post them, to start the travel on the blog and get my head into where I am going TOMORROW!

I am sure my postings will be sporadic for the next month. I am bringing my iBook, iPod and digital camera (oy), but won't bring the computer into some of the more exotic places. Colleen has broadband in her flat, so I should be able to keep updated when I am there. Be patient. I'll do my best.

This pig is not dead. Just sort of trussed. If this is how I had to bring home the bacon, I don't think I'd be eating much of it.

Living room of Colleen's flat. It's on the 39th floor!

Guest bedroom. Or maybe it's her room. I'm not sure.

View from the 39th floor.

Maybe this is the guest room? Or a corner of the living room? It's great, isn't it?

Colleen, doing her daily grocery shopping.

OK now I am now getting on with my last full day here.

this is not me. it's someone else.

Do you ever have those moments, that I call Talking Heads moments, where you're all "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!"? It usually happens to me when something good happens or when I am about to do something that I just can't quite believe will happen to ME as opposed to someone else who is cool or something.

I can totally handle the bad stuff. That seems more likely to happen, anyhow. Falling on my ass in public, making a mess, getting angry in a grocery store. That's normal. The good stuff? Freaks my ass out.

So here I am about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and I am so FROZEN. Last night I was reading some travel books Bonnie sent me, and I'm all like, "haha funny stories to exotic places by hip people with cool lives and big adventures....that's never going to happen to me".....then I realized that I have either been to most of the places they are writing about, or am about to go to them.

And that freaked me out.

This is not me!

I am not this traveling gal with the small (yes small this time!) suitcase and the sunscreen and bikini and the passport photos for visas to countries where they only use US Dollars because their own currency is shit.

This is not me who will have to meet the border police for a country that's only had open borders for like, five years, and talk my way in, handing over surreptitious dollars as bribery to some tiny officious official who's probably, like, KILLED people before, and who could steal my passport and make me his giant white sex slave, and here I will have to act cool like I know what I am doing when I barely know how to make a sandwich.

This is not me that might ride an elephant and go to Angkor Wat and Laos and ancient Buddhist temples and be all Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider (though substantially flabbier and without that miracle bra she sported). (Oh and there will be NO tying of knives around my upper thighs. Can you imagine the chafing that would cause? Oy.)

It's not me that now has a startling familiarity with many of the best beers in the world, from the breweries themselves. (Though that sounds closer to me than the others..mmmm beer.)

It's not me that has ridden a camel in the Egyptian desert, bargained in the souks of Marrakech, climbed the ancient temples of Malta, stood in the wild howling winds on the Hill of Slane in Ireland and floated down the Nile at sunset.

So I'm reading these travel books, with stories about girls flying to Luang Prabang and the plane almost crashing (yikes! I'm doing that in a week!)(and thanks, Bonnie, really) and other girls in Paris having strange adventures with wine and men (which has also happened to me, a couple of times) and other adventurous things, and I feel like they are so foreign, these cool writing travel mavens. That they are something I can only aspire to be.

And yet, somehow, another part of me says, you've been everywhere they've been....what's holding you back? Why can't you believe the good stuff?

This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Who's life is this?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

good thing to NOT do

I've learned, just this morning, that it is NOT a good idea to listen to Prince's newest single, "Black Sweat" on the way to work. On a crowded bus.

This song needs full on room to booty shake and work that thang. It cannot be contained into a crowded bus seat. You'll wiggle your neighbor right off the seat.

And you'll look really stupid when you break into muted groovin'. Groovin' can't be held back. It must be free.

Just a warning, y'all.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


old tree

old farmbuildings and ancient trees

iron age burial mound

funky snow hillocks...interesting how it looks like beach sand

graveyard snow sunlight and trees

when sun hits snow just right it looks like diamonds are scattered on the ground. click on the picture to enlarge it and you'll see what I mean. first time i managed to capture it after many attempts.

skiing is common mode of transportation here. some folks ski to work.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just when I thought I would go insane with the monotony and the sameness of what I was doing at work today (and also, note, today is the first day that I have felt that Spring is indeed coming and so I was also looking out the window with great longing), a nice Norwegian co-worker walked by my desk and said the magic words........ "Cake break?"

I jumped to my feet with alacrity and not a little joy. How can you not move fast at the very mention of cake? Caaaaaake.......

Well, it turns out this is MY kind of office for sure. They actually have (oh the tears of joy just pour forth when I even think of it) a CAKE CALENDAR whereby each member of staff is assigned a day to bring cake to the office to share. So it works out that we get to have weekly cake! An emphasis is placed on bringing cake that reflects your home country. Brownies are not frowned upon, nor are cookies or, for that matter, pies. We are, after all, an international sort of office. Man, I hope this job lasts!

A cake calendar. An office-wide cake calendar. With an official Minister of Cakes who reminds the next week's Bringer of Cake that their time is at hand. God that's effing brilliant, isn't it? I think Norwegian offices are the nicest in the world. I'm still looking for the 'post cake nap room" but judging by how nice these offices are, I have no doubt I will find it very soon.

at work, the ten minutes that lasted two thoughts on this.


will today never end???????????

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

casting about for entertaining stuff to tell you lack of creativity is only matched by I got nuthin'....

I ain't even got witty comparisons today. So I am laming out and doing a very strange meme I found on Dave's blog. I think someone in high school created it, you'll see what I mean once you start reading:

  • When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was behind you? My ass. I circled round and round to try and catch it, but it constantly eluded me. I got dizzy and threw up the vitamins i just took. Not a good morning.
  • How much cash did you spend yesterday? 18 norwegian kroner on three boller uten rosin. (Breakfast buns without raisins).
  • What's a word that rhymes with mist? Schist. Gist. Pissed. Dissed.
  • Favorite planet, which you would live on, if you could? Uranus, of course. Definitely not wherever Jar Jar Binks lives. What is that, Naboo? That's such a lame name, anyhow. OH! I wanna live on that planet in that movie Contact where Jodi Foster goes. Yeah, there.
  • Who is the LAST person you kissed? My boss. His ass. Just kidding, I seem to be singularly sacrcastic right about now. Wonder if that is interfering with my blogging creativity? Last person I kiessed. Gotta be Rich....I don't kiss many people here in Norway.
  • What is your favorite ring on your phone? Vibrate. Oh yeah.
  • What is the last band shirt you wore? Gary Numan T shirt for his "Pure" tour at the Brixton Academy London. I didn't get to go to that show, but I will see him there at some point. It's on the list.
  • What do you think of yourself? Dave said "I am astoundingly brilliant, and should totally be ruling the earth." Dammit Dave, quit stealing my answers. I'll bitch slap you, I swear it. Bitch slap you with faux bunny slippers.
  • Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing? Kenneth Cole black and white wingtip looking things that I bought probably ten years ago with my friend Bookhart. To this day one of my favorite pairs of shoes.
  • Night light or pitch black? I honestly don't give a flying fuck.
  • What do you think about the (previous) person who took this?Dave's brilliance is only bettered by my own. His luminescent humor and insight into the human condition are life affirming, and yet strangely dimmed by my own excellence. His ass is...well, he says it's pretty stellar, and I'll have to agree as I have never seen it except in cartoon form. In essence, Dave is who I would want to be if I were only not so enamoured of the person I am now.
  • What were you doing at midnight last night? Trying to sleep. Not getting very far.
  • What did your last text message say that you received? I'm so not cell phone obsessed. Probably a reminder that I need to top up my minutes.
  • Where is the nearest Valero? Valero? Isn't that a band? Oh, no, that's Vallejo. I have no idea what the nearest Valero is. Animal, vegetable, mineral?
  • What's something that you say a lot? "Bugger". I've taken on that word and rather like it.
  • Who told you they loved you last? My mom on the phone yesterday.
  • Last furry thing you touched? Some old bread in the kitchen...ew.
  • How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past three Days? If ibuprofen counts...4.
  • Favorite age you have been so far? 33 was quite excellent.
  • Your worst enemy? lint. i really hate lint.
  • What is your current desktop picture? It's random, right now it's a picture of me and Karla May and Bookhart from an excursion into the hill country of Texas. We are wearing orange hunting caps. We look SEXY...or, as Bookhart so kindly stated "..look like something that rides the short bus to school".
  • What was the last thing you said to someone? Takk Skal du ha. (thanks)
  • How do you like your eggs? scrambled, well. Only way I like them.
  • Do you like someone? Yes, but like, OhmyGAWD don't tell him because I am like playing Spin the Bottle at Buffy's house at 8pm and I sooo hope he's there so I can maybe have Seven Minutes In Heaven with him when the bottle points to him and me. That would be SOOOO cool. What the fuck? Who WROTE this?
  • The last song you listened to? Ugly by Love and Rockets
Other random SNOWED today. You guys in Texas are in t shirts and shorts, there's tornaders (rhymes with Ralph Nader) all over the US and I am wearing wooly socks and getting snowed on. This is the time of year I get really restless. I dress according to my mood, not the weather, and am liable to wear a floaty chiffon skirt in 35 degree weather. And woner why I'm so damned cold and cranky? Thank EFFING God only a week til I go to Thailand.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Scandinavia can be a very strange place.

Here are two examples.

Beer the way I can only dream. Why didn't this happen to me?????

This is Finland's entry into the Eurovision contest. Eek!!!!!!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

i should not be allowed to touch the office coffee machine

Here at the spanky-schwanky offices where I work, there is this coffee machine that is so advanced it practically grows the beans and milks the cows itself. This thing makes like 12 different kinds of coffee, plus hot chocolate AND tea. It's a push button miracle. It's like a caffeinated R2D2 but with more options and better language skills.

In other words, I am doomed to fuck it up something awful.

I've already overflowed about 6 coffee mugs, spilled the rare successful coffee attempts everywhere three times, made the machine make a horrible screaming noise, and used someone else's mug by mistake. I've made espresso when I wanted chocolate, chocolate when I wanted espresso, the machine spit at me once, and one time had a line of three people behind me patiently waiting while I repeatedly pushed the hot water button to get little blips of water, not realizing I had to HOLD IT DOWN to get the amount of water required.

I am Coffee Machine Disaster Girl. There needs to be someone (in technical lingo, we shall call this person the Coffee Interface Liaison, in Karla Speak the Idiot Proofer) between me and the machine. In otherwords, I need a Starbucks Barista right here, at the office, just for me.

Will someone just please make me a damned mocha that won't fight back or embarrass me? Please?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Come to tea at my house? You won't forget it....

A tea towel I got at Camden Market in London. I think it blends Norway and England quite nicely.

And yes, I do have alot of knives....

and in other late breaking, bored and blogging on a Sunday, news.....

Plans are firming up for the trip to Thailand. (Unlike, I might add, my ass, which has lost none of its Wonder Bread softness and whiteness...)

Plans are made to go to the following places:

Bangkok (home base).
Chaing Mai (I have no idea WHAT to expect)
Krabi Beach (White sands! blue skies! blue water!)
Luang Prabang, Laos (which blows my mind)
and....(drumroll please)


Angkor Wat, people! ANGKOR WAT! Only in my top five of places I must visit in my life time. (The other two left...Taj Mahal and Maccu Piccu. I've already taken care of the Nile and Morocco. My list of five is now down to two. Holy crapping crapness.) It's been a dream of mine to go there since I was a kid reading those Time Life books about mysterious places and forgotten cultures. (Amazing, really, how much those books influenced me and my sense of adventure.) One of those places that I thought about the same way I thought about exists, but I'll never see it.

And now I will. See it. Angkor Wat.

Holy shit in a sidecar. I might be shedding some tears of excitement, gratitude and just plain holy-shitting-ness right now. In fact, I'm verklempt. Let me give you a topic.....

Very quick hop up onto the political soapbox

(Karla hops onto her padded cushy soapbox. Music plays like on the Nightly News...)

I've been reading all these sensationalistic stores about a company based in Dubai making deals to buy rights to some US ports. And how US politicians are going gaga about this, that we can't have foreigners, especially MIDDLE EASTERN foreigners, having a hold on our US ports.

You will only, ever hear me say this once, but on this ONE issue, GW Bush is right. It's ludicrous for politicians to grandstand on this deal, to be patriotic over nothing, and it will only shed a very bad light on America. American politicians (unfortunately both Republicans AND Democrats) are just getting more and more xenophobic, and America is becoming a very small minded place. Dubai is NOT Iraq. Not even close. It's the most open-minded and free-trading of the Middle Eastern communities. More Westerners live there than natives! Plus, America will still have complete control over all security, customs and everything else involved with safety at the ports.

Here is an excellent article that sheds a bit more light on this issue of "furners" owning US ports. Did you know that the majority of them are already foreign owned?

A quote from it:
Yet as the 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson once articulated, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

We've got alot of scoundrels in the US. People need to wake the hell up. It's a global community now.....

(.....and not so graceful jump down from soapbox. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

lists, observations and what have you from my recent trip to London

1......Number of times I fell flat on my face in front of High Street Ken Underground Station in London last weekend.

2......Number of newspaper sellers I yelled at in front of High Street Ken Station when I discovered it was their damned newspaper binding that they left on the sidewalk that my feet got tangled in.

3.....Number of bruises I sport from that adventure.

4.....Number of people who asked if I was alright and offered to help me up.

78....Number of curse words I muttered under my breathe as I dusted myself off and scurried away, blushing furiously.

1.....skirt I bought at a shop nearby to assuage my shattered ego. (Number of skirts bought in total on this trip, 2)

2...beers I had at the pub afterwards.

3....number of times I had fish and chips in a four day period.

3.....celebrities sighted. They include Elvis (well, spittin' image, anyhow) and the Queen (see previous about spittin' image) at a fish and chips shop in Pimlico. (The food was good, atmosphere spartan, Elvis wore all black, the Queen wore mauve. They too had the fried cod.) Also saw one of the Two Fat Ladies from that cooking show filming her latest tv cookery spot at the Borough Market. She sailed majestically through the market in her long skirt and apron, larger than life, calm center of a furious melee of hangers on, assistants and gawkers.. I think the other Fat Lady died a while back.

1....number of amazing steak sandwiches I had at Borough Market. Free range beef on a sourdough "bap" with mayo and rocket. YUMMY.

7.....Number of Grande Skinny Vanilla No Whip Mochas I had at Starbucks.

6....number of times I got to make my standard joke at Starbucks when they asked me if I wanted whipped cream on my mocha. "No, thanks, that would ruin the skinny part, wouldn't it?".

1/2.....number of laughs I got when making my joke.

9....Number of pubs visited. Had fish and chips at two.

1580....The year one of the pubs was built.

8.....hours per day spent walking each day.

3....number of London Walks tours I joined.

102....Room number at the hotel we stayed at. Britannia Court Hotel, fun and funky. I recommend it.

38....average temerature in Fahrenheit while we were in London. It was not warm.

585.....cost (in pounds) of a Mulberry purse I fell in love with. Obviously my tastes run to the posh.

0.....number of Mulberry purses I bought.

1.....husband who remains married to me as I did not buy that purse.

20....percentage discount I received when I bought Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on CD as read by Stephen Frye. My collection is thus far complete and I am thrilled. These cd's are better than the movies. They are not available in the States. And they cost a bomb. I consider it an investment. In me. Yeay!

7.....percentage of the Mulberry purse price the Harry Potter CD cost.

5....approximate number of miles walked on a jaunt through Hampstead Heath to Kenwood House and thence to the Spaniard's Inn pub for fish and chips and then back to the Tube Station, where we decided instead to go to another pub instead of heading back to the hotel.

7....alcohol units I had that day, including beer and wine.

4....number of times Rich told me to quit snoring that night.

300....cost in dollars for both of our round trip tickets from Oslo to London on BA. Cheaper than RyanAir and way nicer. Score!

Friday, March 10, 2006

yes yes YES!!!!!!

Oh this is the best news I've had in WEEKS!

I can now get Project Runway season two off of iTunes! FINALLY they have it!

YES!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! YES!!!!

Karla is a happy girl right now. I've got my weekend all planned out......Woo! WOO!!!!!!!

Dude. I totally heard you.

Today I was at work in this interminable meeting. Mostly interminable because I had to piss like a racehorse and my bladder has a strict half hour time limit, and we were approaching the hour and a half mark.

Anyhow, during this endless meeting, talking about all sort of things that were termed by acronyms that I totally didn't get (WHY WHY does everything have to be initials? I mean, seriously? It's getting to the point where you have to call the guy in the next office the GITNO, and the coffee machine becomes the CDU, Coffee Dispenser Unit, for God's sake.) where was I? Acronyms....meeting...oh, yeah. I remember.

So, in this IM (interminable meeting) my coworker totally ripped ass (RA) and tried to pretend like nothing happened. Granted, it was a low slow rumbler (LSR) he let fly, one of those quiet bubbly ones that you think no one hears, but dude, I totally heard you. I saw the tell tale lean, I saw the concentrated expression you had where you pretended you were totally involved in the IM but were actually only focussed on what was happening in your sphincter vis a vis control vs air release vs noise factor = low slow rumbling fart. That one woulda been a TOTAL blaster had you been at home.

But you weren't at home and so you tried to sheen it out at the meeting. And guess who has supersonic hearing and always has? Why, me, your friendly co-worker (FC-W). So yeah, I heard you. Loud and Clear. And that concentrated look I suddenly had as I pretended to focus on the IM with the GITNO while drinking my beverage from the CDU? That look was me trying not to LOL.

You're lucky it didn't smell. Otherwise that would have been a major infraction of the OAE (Office Ass Ettiquette.)

bad idea

I've had a great time while at work listening to a variety of podcasts I've downloaded onto my iPod. Mostly of the comedy variety, of course, though there is some news and NPR and such. My favorites are Penn Jillette's radio show, Ricky Gervais's podcast off iTunes and I am lately enamoured of Harry Shearer. Ive got hours of good stuff.......

I also downloaded me a little something special, a pick me up, if you will. And it's getting me in trouble. When listening to your iPod at work and trying to pretend like you are a professional, it's generally a good idea to not listen to this.

I'm giggling like a loon. Man that's some fucked up hilarious shit.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Sorry dudes.

I am just not in the blogging frame of mind these past couple of days. I've started the blog about the trip to London four times and quit each time. It's like I can't get my blog stiffy anymore.

Am I tired? Depressed? Just plain boring? I know I feel like lately there is more stuff I CAN'T say for fear of offending someone, whether husband (yes dear, you), family, Norwegians, Americans, Martians, that guy down in South America, whatever, than I can say. Everyone telling me not to write this, not to say that, quit taking the Lord's name in vain (which I am really very good at, by the way), be careful of this other thing. More people reading this than I ever dreamed of. Including some I'd rather didn't. And I think that's got me a little tongue tied right now. And I feel like I gotta be funny and cute and right now I don't feel very funny and cute. I pretty much wanna tell everyone to fuck off....and really, what fun is it to come to a blog where the writer is telling you to fuck off? You'd probably do so, and then what's the point of me writing?

I know, I know, fuck all those people who don't like what I say. I know I KNOW.

Problem is right now I'm not pleasing myself much either.

Maybe I'll get my blog-erection back later today....let's hope. Maybe I need some form of blogger's viagra.....Blogagra? Then I could marathon blog.....hmm....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I'm back

I'm back. I'm at work. Stealth blogging.

More later, but remember this: I had fish and chips with Elvis AND the Queen.....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Snow. My. God.

anyone notice my sexy toe sox?

It sure has snauxed alot this past week. So much, in fact, that I am calling "uncle" and decamping to London for the weekend.

Which means, of course, it will quit snowing. We've got quite the artistic swoopy piles around us, including that freaky wind-driven snow drift thingy. It has a knife edge top the width of a's the craziest thing.

I'm bringing Whitey (the iMac, not the husband, though he is rather pale as well) with me, as the hotel advertises free wireless. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

it's faux war!

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Dave has gotten on his faux high horse and called me to task for my wearing of faux fur.

While I see his faux point, I also think he ain't eaten til he's had a nice faux steak, cooked medium rare with a side of taters and faux gravy. It seems only natural to wear the skins of them, cuz you know, waste not, want not. Man that little faux in the cartoon looks YUMMY. I hear in some countries the eyes are a delicacy.

iLove my iPod

Today at work (teehee, I said "today at work"! It's been a long time since i said that) I was listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast on my iPod and I laughed so hard I snorted. In an open plan office, that caused a bit of comment. Oops.

Ahem. Well, it WAS funny and it was something about being a slug. And salt. And how mixing the two would be bad. And one of the guys on the podcast was giggling and it made me laugh cuz it was one of those contagious goofy laughs. Anyhow.....I digress.....

......imagine what would happen if I got THIS accessory for my iPod and used it at the office!

Boy, would the people around me comment THEN. It sure would make work fun!

things you should not do in a blizzard

It's snowing like this is hell and it's freezing over. I swear y'all, the snow is shoulder high now on some parts of our deck. I hope the building can handle all the weight!

Anyhow, I saw some things today that folks were doing that should not be attempted in sleety windy blizzardy SHITTY weather:

1) Do not try to eat a hot dog in a blizzard. It gets soggy, snow gets in your mouth, the wind blows your onions away, the hot dog freezes and it's just generally ugly and not alot of fun.

2) Do not eat said hot dog in a blizzard when you have a pierced lip and some of the hot dog and bun gets stuck in your lip ring, but you are too cold to notice and so it just sorta freezes right there on your lip and becomes a Pork Lip Bun Popsicle sort of thing. (Please, also don't do this when you are standing directly next to a tall Texan redhead on the train platform. It grosses her out, ok, honey? You'd be so cute if you didn't have frozen meat bun in your face.)

3) Bald men should always wear hats. Not only do they look kind of silly with snow perched atop their heads, but it CANNOT feel pleasant.

4) Don't, as I did, wear a fuzzy furry edged coat. It acts as a snow grabber and my jacket got heavier and heavier as snow embedded itself in my fun fluffy faux fur. Urgh.

5) Don't attempt the following things: Walking. Driving. Taking a train (it will be late anyhow). Looking anywhere but down. Leaving the house. Coming to Norway today.