Thursday, March 29, 2007


Posting will be sporadic for the next little while as we trundle off to the place where East Meets West...Istanbul! My dad gave me some pointers on the language and I've been checking the weather incessantly (ironically, not as nice as in Norway right now!), so I feel ready to hit the trail.
I've been kind of busy lately. Maybe a bit overly so, but hell, I can sleep when I am dead. The hotel has internet so I'll try to keep you up to date as things progress. .

I can already taste the iskender kebab and the pide...yum yum yum. Turkish food totally rocks. the wine can be a bit rough, but the food rocks.

In other news, I got Nordic Walking poles so when I get back I am going to teach myself how to use them and see if it is as good as all the websites say. If it is (and I have no reason to doubt it, I already love walking and have been looking for something that would involve my upper body too) then I'll probably be seeing you in future (after I get home, whenever the hell that will be) around Town Lake in Austin, looking like a goober, but an in- shape goober. Nordic Walking can look a bit silly if you aren't use to it. But I am past the point of worrying if I look silly, because I am constantly reassured that I usually do!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What I learned about Norway

I think this merits another bullet point post. I like not having to write full sentences, worry about transitions or any other such grammatical bullshit. Anyhow, today I'm writing more about my skiing trip.

First of all, the below picture is of the hytte we stayed at.

  • It didn't have running water.
  • That kind of sucked.
  • However, it kind of reminded me of the time I lived in Oklahoma (yes I did and SHUTUP it was only for about 16 months) and worked at a homestead museum and I had to teach kids how homestead people lived in the 1880's and one of the things I had to show was how people did the washing up and stuff, so once I put that in my head and pretended I was all "Little Hytte In the Mountains" and shit it wasn't so bad.
  • Water is DAMNED heavy. Especially in 6 gallon containers.
  • Hytter in general, are, however, very nice and cozy.
  • Like, here is the fireplace:

  • The fireplace was very nice and kept the place very warm.
  • As did the wall heaters EVERYWHERE.
  • So the hytte has no running water, but it's got electricity out the wazzoo.
  • Strange, no?
  • There were three bedrooms, each with bunk beds.
  • The bunk beds were very narrow.
  • And the walls were paper thin.
  • This is NOT a house for sex.
  • Unless you get down by the fireplace, of course.
  • This did not happen when I was there. I don't do girls.
  • None of the other girls do, either.
  • The incinerator toilet was out of order.
  • That really sucked, as we ended up having to use what I named "Nemesis".
  • Below, a picture of Nemesis.

Nemesis, originally uploaded by karlakp.

  • As a Texan, you are trained from birth to NEVER expose your bare white ass in a wooden shed, in the dark, with no light and no gun, flamethrower or industrial quantities of bug spray. Because something WILL bite it. Obviously, visiting Nemesis was an exercise in ignoring my every basic instinct and exposing my nethers to what I was positive was Certain Death or At Least Real Ickyness.
  • I found out on Sunday that the other two women also sort of restricted their water intake so that they would not have to go visit Nemesis in the middle of the night. So I was not the only one. This also explained why we drank so much water in the mornings.
  • I did, once, visit Nemesis at 4 am and was really worried about mooses, elks or evil snowy winter creatures attacking me.
  • This did not happen.
  • But my ass was damned cold.
  • Oh, and you know the term "steaming piles of shit"?
  • It's true.
  • Based in fact.
  • I do not have photographic proof (lucky y'all) but the image is burned in my brain forever.
  • Ick.
  • Nemesisses...(Nemesii?) aside, I really enjoyed the skiing.
  • Great workout.
  • Wish I'd done it sooner.
  • Especially as after skiing you get to sit around, drink hot cocoa, shoot the shit about 'the great powder/the icy conditions/or whatever', and eat waffles.
  • Waffles are the traditional snack in Norway, and let me tell you, they are AWESOME slathered with sour cream and strawberry jam.
  • Seriously yummy.
  • And well deserved after 5 km of adrenaline-washed, heart pounding, stark fearing Newbie skiing.
  • But damned if I didn't do it.
  • And did even better the second time! Go me!
  • But oh my god did I hurt the next day. Total body workout, and I so felt it.
  • And I liked it so much I bought poles for Nordic Walking, so that I can continue that sort of work out but without the ice, snow, boots, or increased chance of falling.
  • Nordic Walking will be my New Sport.
  • I don't care how silly it looks.

Monday, March 26, 2007

ski bunny

ski bunny, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Those of you who know me....yes, hell hath frozen over. Or whatever. That IS me on skis. Yessiree bob.

I'm still standin'...yeah yeah yeah!

I made it!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Me scooting along on skis.....about to face the Big Scary Downhill.


OOOHHH SHHIIITTTT!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

That's what I screamed the whole way down what was a much bigger slope from the top than it looks in this, really. It seemed like i was going 80mph and wobbling all the way.

I didn't die!

I didn't die!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This is me, totally chuffed that I did not die on the Big Scary Downhill. I might have spoken too soon however......


oops, originally uploaded by karlakp.

After making it all the way down the trail, including the Big Scary Downhill without one fall, I totally ate it on the tiniest little uphill. I just slid right backwards and poof, there i went.

ski pals

ski pals, originally uploaded by karlakp.

That's Barbro in red and Kristin in white, looking proud and athletic. This is a traditional (so I am told) Norwegian apres ski photo. They hammed it up for me.....

relaxing in the sun

relaxing in the sun, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Barbro resting in the sun after skiing. It really was warm in the sun, though it does not look like it. The first big day of sun in spring is generally celebrated by going out and basking, no matter if it's still cold or not.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

popped the cherry

Dudes, you are NOT gonna believe this.....

I went cross country skiing this weekend. And. I. Did. Not. Die.**

I am, however, sore in every part of my body and very, very tired. I promise pictures and a story or two about my Excellent Norwegian Adventure tomorrow.

**And I only fell a few times! They said I'm a natural!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not Wanna Madonna

Madonna's "self created" line for H&M came out in stores yesterday. I went to check it out, and was whelmed. Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, just whelmed.

Of course, the only thing I was interested in, that dress on the left there with the black and cream, was nowhere to be found. The whole collection was in shades of black, cream, some white and a tiny bit of pink in one patterned dress. I hate to say it, but I was pretty bored. The collection seems to be for women a little older than me, and this was certainly born out by the number of ladies in their late 40's to mid 50's shoving me out of the way so they could get at what they wanted. It all definitely reminded me of what my mom wore in the 70's...soft silky jersey dresses, things with sheen that are soft to the touch. Nice feeling, but who, honestly, can wear cream colored silk charmeuse knickerbockers? Not anyone I know. And there were a few things that were just plain...boring. Like the one dress, in stark white, that resembled nothing more or less than a nurse's uniform? Oy.

I did like the long black dress and the cream trench coat, but I already have long black dresses and I got a trench coat that was much more interesting from Stella McCartney's line for H&M. It seems like every guest designer for H&M does a trench. Collect 'em all and swap with your friends!

I think, if you are a hottie like Madonna in your late 40's to 50's, wanting something safe and not too challenging, this collection is great for you. If you have any extra weight on you whatsoever, forget it. The shiny fabrics will make you look like beach balls fighting in cellophane. Especially those knickerbockers.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I am SO tired. After a few late nights and too much to drink, it all caught up to me, so I went to bed early when I got home yesterday........ and I could not sleep at all last night. Just flopped around, feeling the sleep lurking just outside my eyes, but not actually coming in.

So now I am even more tired. I went to work in a zombie like state today. Arms in front, eyes dead, skin grey pale and sloughing off in sheets. (Ok kidding on that last bit.)

Tomorrow I am going to go the hytte in the mountains and do the traditional Norwegian thing. I have found out that the Fiery Crapper of Death (incinerator toilet) is broken, which means I actually will have to face something worse: the "utedo" or OUTSIDE CRAPPER. Crap! So my middle of the night pee will be me wrapping up in layers to expose my soft white ass to the vicissitudes of a cold Norwegian mountain night? What if there are badgers or bears or possums or elks or mooses? Do mooses bite asses? I have made an absolute art of making my night time whiz in a state of half sleep, so that I don't wake fully but just sort of sleep-pee. I think doing that outside in a shed will definitely wake me up. For sure.

Ah well there are benefits. We'll be in the fresh (cold) air and will make fruity (cold) drinks with Cointreau and limes and vodka. There will be (warm) soup and skiing and (cold) snow and mountains and (hot) cocoa and friends. I can put up with cold night whizzes, I guess. For two nights I can do anything.


Coming back from London was uneventful though security SUCKED ASS. They made all the women in line wedge their purses into their carry on bags, as they have a strict rule of one carry on per person. What the fuck? Why? Why do I have to shove my purse into my small carry on? (To which, when I pointed out the futility of this ,they said "you should have a bigger carry on"; to which I sniffed "Your rules forbid that", but quickly decided I better shut up or they'd strip search me or something heinous like that)? (And they actually DID strip search me, though in that "optional but if you don't do it we are SO gonna feel you up but good" new xray machine where I had to strike three oddly awkward ballerina like poses while they oggled my naughty bits on a large screen that I could not see but was SURE they were laughing. NICE.) Why do they only allow one bag, but only in the security area, when everyone right afterwards unloads their bags and you see people bring three or four bags onto the plane after duty free? It's ridiculous, counter-intuitive and stupid as hell. I won't even go into the insane rules of putting my eyeliner into a plastic baggy. Like, how the hell is that going to keep me any safer than if it was NOT in the plastic baggy? And, honestly, I had like, three other eyeliners, two lipsticks, a tiny hand lotion and eye drops in my purse that were not in the baggy and no one ever said "boo".

Security sucks and flying has become so unfun. Which is why I drink as much wine as possible on the fight itself. Numb the pain, people, numb the pain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

London part two, electric bugaloo

I totally cannot type when I have had wine. So srry if this is rife with error. (Ok, I can remember words like 'rife' but can't rememebr how to spell sorry? jeez.)

I got my hairs cut yesterday. Remember that movie, Edward Scissorhands? Well, it was a bit like that. The hairdresser, a cool guy named Michael, is like the Curly Hair God and he totally made my hair his bitch. (He has a salon, called Unruly. It's good. A bit wierd to find the first time, but an awesome place in this sort of Creative Idea Building, the Westbourne Studios, full of designers and stuff. cool. Very vibey. He also has a blog, go here for that.) Anyhow, at one point he had me stand up and he stood behind me and just scissored bits of my hair off my head. I was the hedge, he was the gardener. Just like in the movie. I saw my hair flying in every direction. A bit unnerving, but it totally worked, he cut off about three pounds of hair but he cut off just the RIGHT hair and I really like the cut i got. I will totally visit him again.

After the haircut and some shopping (I found the most awesome dress at Zara) I went to see Spamalot at the Palace theatre. That is THE show to see if you are a Python fan. Good fun and hilarious as hell. I totally want to see it again. Ohmigod it was HILARIOUS. I had to pee the whole time, and not from my unusually small bladder, but from laughing. It was THAT good. I met up with Martin (a coworker and friend of Rich's who is in town) and his daughterAimee for it, they just made it in time for the show after driving over half of England that day. God I laughed my ass off. At the end of the show, a confetti shower was unleashed from the ceiling of the theatre all over the audience and I had a metric ton of it in my cleavege, which I am saving as a souvenir. I took pictures of it, on the floor of the hotel, as I got undress it showered out of my dress and even I was amazed at how much got into my clothes,. I think I will make a dress out of it. Or maybe a shirt. Not sure how much I have. but there is lots.

Anyhow, Martin and I went out for drinks after the show (Aimee had to catch a train back to her grandparents) and we managed to stay out until 3:30 am. We went to a bar on Dover street full Hooray Henrys and posh blond women. Good wine, though. I, in a fairly stunning example of grace, took a cab back to the hotel and as the cab driver stopped suddenly outside the hotel, I flipped ass over applecorn onto the floor of the cab, my ass in the air and my wallet and coins all over the floor. This is easy to do in London cabs as the back seats are fairly roomy and if you aren't prepared at a sudden stop, you take a tumble. (Is anyone surprised when I say this is not the first time I've taken a tumble in a London cab?)I was giggling madly as I tried to get my dress off my face and my legs back onto the floor. Luckily it was just me in the cab, I had dropped off Martin at Victoria Station to catch his train back, so no one saw my ignominy but me and the cab driver. I got to bed at 3:30 and did not get up until noon, which put a damper on my Extreme Shopping Day I had planned. Instead I just wandered around King's Road with a massive and progressively more intense hangover, to the point where I gave up and went to a pub and had a warm beer in front of a cold fireplace. I did get some cute silver sandals, though.

This evening i met up with my cousin Edward at a restaurant called (and I will btucher this but never ye mind) Le Relais de Venise, in Marylebone (huh huh she said bone) Street, which serves only one dish: entrecote and fries. (Beef and taters.) And wine. Weeeeee! So we had beef and taters with special sauce and chatted and laughed. Both my young cousins are very handsome young men and Edward in particular is quite the style maven, very sleek in his Ted Baker suits and city pinstripes. We had a nice time, ending the evening at a sort of sad pub with strange drunk people singing tunelessly and loudly, with too many vowels and not enough consonants. There was one annoyingly poncy guy there who was from Miami, but spoke with a Brrritish accent, as he had lived in london for 10 years. Dude, sorry, but you don't pick up accent just cuz you live in Britain. Urg. If that weret he case, I'd be speaking English with a Norwegian accent!

It#'s 10:30 and i am going to crash now, I need my beauty rest.
Back to Norway tomorrow.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

London is wierd

I don't know y'all. It's either me or it's London, but wierd things always happen to me when I am here.

Like last night? I went out to see my aunt and uncle and coming back to the hotel afterwards, the route I took was to get off at Mansion House station and then cross the Southwark Bridge on foot. As I was crossing the bridge (it's a big wide bridge, not a little namby pamby one) (and why am I using the term 'namby pamby?') I kept hearing this strange noise. Sort of rhythmic, snorty, strange. Like there was atroll or something following me. I looked around (it was night after all, a girl has to be careful) but saw no one. I looked over the bridge, and way down, at the foot of the bridge, in a doorway along the Thames Path, was a homeless guy asleep and SNORING loud enough to wake the dead. Or, in my case, loud enough that I could hear him over the traffic! WOw! I could kinda see why he might need to sleep outside, then, as a snore like that cannot be contained by any mere four walls.

Then, today? I got serenaded by a Tube employee. I asked him a question, something about my ticket, and he asked me if I was from San Francisco. I said, no, as one does when one is not from San Fransisco. I told him i wazs from Texas. He then said, "Oh well then you will know this gentleman" and proceeded to sing me an Elvis song. I told him that Elvis was not from Texas, but from Mississippi, to which he replied "Oh". Then he went off and sang Roy Orbison. After Roy he did some Johnny Cash. All the while he was singing to me there was this queue of people witing to ask him a quustion, and I tried to indicate that there were people waiting, but he was too busy singin' the blues. He was pretty good, though.

And i had a moment of complete bliss today too. Do you ever have those? Where you are just so fucking happy you get teary eyed? Itusually happens to me when I travel. You know, a MOMENT. (I've had many moments, everything from one when I was in Oxford when I was 20, to going to Moroco and being so excited I got verklempt, to seeing the Piazza San Marco in Venice for the first time. Good moments indeed.)
Today's moment was when I was walking across the Millenium Bridge. It was brilliantly sunny and briskly cold, with a very strong biting wind. Around me were all the monumental buildings of central London, and directly in front of me was St Paul's Cathedral and directly below me was the legendary Thames. As I walked the wind was so strong that I actually edged away from the sides of the bridge for fear of being blown off. But I have this THING for wind, it makes me want to holler and scream and jump and spread my arms wide and yell "I'm King of the World!" (I actually did do that on the Hill of Slane in Ireland, when the wind was so strong that you could lean into it and not fall over, it held you up. THAT was cool. A definite WAHHOOOO! moment.) I refrained from that, but my smile was so big that people walking past me smiled too. (Maybe they just htought i was nuts.) An added bonus was that wind did GREAT things for my hair, and I had a total wild flowy mane thing happening. (Typical, as I am getting it chopped off tomorrow, that i would have a really good hair day the day before.)

Then i went to Spitalfields Market and bought some cute and cheap street clothes, and had my favorite ever street food at this Indonesian stand in the market. I have it every time I go there. Then over to Covent Garden, for a bit of St Patty's day celebration, but it was so crowded I lost patience and hung out at a pub instead. THEN I wandered over to the National Portrait Gallery to see this exhibit called Face of Fashion. They should have called it 'We Love Kate Moss' because I figure about 30% o the photos were of her, and I personally can't stand the little crack ho so I was a bit dissapointed. Plus it cost 8 pounds to see it and it took all of 10 minutes to breeze through. The only bit I liked, besides the odd picture of Madonna and others, was this great portrait of Tilda Swinton, on whom I have a massive girl crush. She fascinates me.

After that I did a London Walks tour of 'haunted London' which was hilarious as it was mostly attended by a group of 15 year old girls from Kansas who were determined to get scared, though it was not scary at all, and I am now nostalgic for my silly 15 year old self who would take pictures of the tour guide and scream at nothing. Cuz I would SO have done that too.

Back to the hotel, in Southwark. If it is your first time in London I would not recomend it as you might think the area was a bit scary and the Tube is not directly nearby. Once you've been here about 30 times (as i think I have) it's great because you get to learn a new area of London, it's not scary at all AND the hotel has this awesome top floor bar where you can drink beer and blog. Which is what I am doing. And it's making me damned happy.

Tomorrow: Haircut. Spamalot. High Street Ken shopping and a side trip to Sloane Street.

My life rocks right about now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

they say public transportation can be a pain in the ass.....

...but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

It's also kind of scary.

Luckily I don't take buses, but I've been sitting on my purse on the train, just in case.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

posting without plan, grammar or talent

I have nothing to say. I think this merits bullets. Read at own peril. Pronouns optional.
  • Bored.
  • Watched "Wet Hot American Summer"tonight. Ever seen it? That's one frigging funny movie. It's the perfect movie for the 13 year old me, except the 13 year old me would not have gotten half the jokes, so it's better for the much-older-than-13 year old me.
  • Have been drinking a nice French pinot noir. From the Bourgogne region.
  • Sauteed some chicken breasts and had those with black beans.
  • Farting will commence anon.
  • I really should pack for my trip to London but am instead avoiding everything by noodling about on the web.
  • Bad me, bad.
  • Will procrastinate further by taking a nice hot bubble bath. How decadent is a hot bath with a glass of wine? Woo!
  • The bubbles will be made a bit more fragrant with black bean farts.
  • Just kidding. Girls don't fart.
  • Ever.
  • We just explode.
  • *Poof.*
  • I really think I am funny here.
  • You probably don't agree.
  • Posts like this are probably why my hit counts have gone down of late.
  • I don't really care.
  • I might just change this post to '100 things about me".
  • But I think I am too lazy to do 100 of these bullet points.
  • This wine is good.
  • And I have a whole bottle of it.
  • Ok, I lie, half a bottle now.
  • Yes I am a cheap date.
  • And a happy drunk.
  • I had to look at Borat's crotch again this AM.
  • Didn't crave limes.
  • Craved a lighter so I could burn the cardboard thing down. I am not anti-Borat, I am anti mankini before 9am.
  • Have lost ability to write sentences. Can only do phrases.
  • This is a bad thing for someone who must write at work.
  • Told naughty stories at lunch at work today.
  • Everyone at work thinks I am a freak.
  • Except the Canadian girl I hang with, but she's a freak too.
  • I like her.
  • She's funny.
  • She says "eh" and "aboot" just like you'd expect from a Canadian.
  • I can't stop these bullet points.
  • It's addictive.
  • Help me!
  • I think I will use the patchouli romance hippy granola bubble bath when I take my bath.
  • Which I will go do now.
  • Don't picture me naked.
  • I bathe in shorts.
  • Not.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

not before the coffee, thanks

On my way to the trains every morning I pass a little video store. Lately they have had a cardboard cut out of Borat in his "mankini" standing outside the shop, advertising the Borat movie, which has now gotten to Norway on DVD.


I don't know about you, but for me it's awful damned early to be looking at THAT without a very large coffee first. And as I have not yet had my coffee when on the way to the train, and am hungry and susceptible to suggestion before said coffee, now, every morning, I am having cravings for margaritas. Big green margaritas with lots of crushed limes. Obviously this is a result of being assaulted by the man's lime green package every damned morning, being hungry, and my brain seeing the lime color and sublimating that into lime juice mixed with tequila. And Cointreau.

(Insert Freudian blather about crushing limes and man juice and the subconscious and all that crap. Yeah yeah I know. That above paragraph ALONE is worth a few hours with Freudian shrink I am sure.)

This morning I ALMOST turned the damned Borat cut out around because I just could not face another morning of his oddly exaggerated green crotch. But I didn't, I just walked right by it, yet another train wreck of a morning with lumpy limes bouncing around in my caffeine starved head.

God help me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What IS it?

Ok, so there's this thing in the sky? And it's big, and glowy, but I can't look at it directly as it seems to be very bright and shiny. And it casts this freaky sort of warmth over everything, so that people and birds and dogs and everything that moves just wants to stand still in it or lie in it and feel it warm them.

It has totally taken over my office, to the point that while I love it? I can't actually see anything in my office as it's too bright and I am getting really hot, feeling a bit like I am a little cake in an office sized Easy Bake Oven. So I had to close the blinds and the bright thing sort of went away, though it kept trying to get in the cracks. I wasn't scared though. It seemed nice, even if it was a bit intrusive.

On the train ride home, I had to put on these strange looking dark glasses that shielded my eyes from the bright orb in the sky. It seemed to help me see better, yet still be warmed by the heat coming from it. I turned my face to it, gleaming through the window, so I could bask in it all the way home. Bliss.

I really feel like I have experienced this thing before, this glowing, glorious light, but for the life of me it's been so long I really could not tell you what it is or anything. Just that I like it. Lots.

I just hope it comes back really soon. Maybe tomorrow morning?

Monday, March 12, 2007

DAMMIT I hate to miss a party

Me in Orleans, France. A trip I took with my family in late 2002. I will party anywhere, with anyone, and come from a long line of happy drunks.

One thing about me is that I am a social kinda gal. Back in Austin I was kind of the den mother of a largish group of folks, always planning some sort of gathering or other to make sure all the chickies are happy, chatting and drinking. Sometimes I plan things here, too, but not as frequently as I did at home due to expense and problems with transport. I frequently get Evites for parties back home, which is bittersweet, as 1) I am so glad I am still on the lists but 2) really annoyed I can't join 90% of the time.

Then Dave posts about this TequilaCon gathering and I just get all jealous cuz it for damn sure seems like I missed a good party. I HATE missing a good party. Grrr.....

I think I am going to post party pictures from past gatherings. Just to remind myself that I can get my freak on when I want.

A Halloween party Chez Karla in Austin. I hosted that annual party for years, and people really went nuts dressing up. this is my favorite picture from many years of parties.
This is me at New Year's this year. Singing karaoke at the neighbors, and might I say I sang the SHIT out of the Police's Roxanne.
A quieter party at Mama Malcontent's ranch in the hill country of Texas. Those are magical times; good friends, campfires, beer-a- plenty and stars so numerous you can almost read by them. When I think of home and friends my thoughts frequently go here.
This was in 2000 or so, at the now defunct Waterloo Brewing Company in Austin. We'd meet weekly for pint nights on Wednesdays. Damn I miss that place. That's Craig, Clark and Alan in horrible fluorescent light.
A Halloween party here in Norway. Lesley is the witch, Rich is Cher and I am Sonny.
Rich and I in Copenhagen. I like big beers.
Me as a 20's screen siren and Julia! Halloween 2001.
Me and Bookhart. This is Halloween, jeez, 1998? She's a hippy and I'm in a sari.
Me and Bookhart, she's Madonna.
Me and Bookhart and Craig at Opal Divine's in Austin. I just posted this because I like this picture of me. I'm pretty sure this was someone's birthday? But I don't remember who.

Sigh. I miss my buddies. But that could be the wine talking.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Age and Loneliness

On Friday night we usually go to the local pub to meet up with some of Rich's work buddies, a good, funny group of guys who I enjoy talking and verbally sparring with. Witty jibes fly around and hijinks ensue. There is always too much beer, loud talking and general TGIF silliness.

This time at the pub a rock band played. (Frequently they will have trad jazz bands, which don't get me wrong, they are musically amazing, but it's music from the 40's and so on, so it draws a definitely older skewing crowd. This tends to put a little damper on our evenings of letting off steam, as I, for one, feel like I have to behave a bit better when Oma and Opa are in the house. I am not a huge fan of jazz, though like I have said, they are stunningly talented and so I can appreciate it for that.)
The band that played on Friday reminded me of that band in the Commitments, remember that movie, where this normal looking guy suddenly just BELTS out songs in a voice that has to be heard to be believed? Yeah, they were like that. He could sing anything, even Soundgarden and hairbands, blues, whatever, he could sing it. He sang one song (I can't remember which one right now) that was a quintessential 80's head banger song. And I, with this hair, and a few beers in me, proceeded to head bang.

Which was my first mistake. Because my neck is now fucked up and I can hardly move it. Ironically, even as I was doing it, throwing my hair around and having a high old time, I told someone that I was gonna regret this later, as I have about a three bang limit before my neck remembers the hurt for days. And so my premonition came true. Ow. Getting old sucks.

Rich left to go to the States today. And I am quietly freaking. He used to travel alot for work, to the point where I got used to him being gone (and that did NOT do good things for our marriage, let me tell you, and we are STILL working on being a couple and being together all the time. We both became way too independent over 10 years of separateness.). Anyhow, I think we might have turned that corner of coupledom, because it feels WIERD being here alone. I'm restless and a bit antsy. So I started cleaning. So far I've:
  • cleaned his bathroom (and decided that our "self bathroom management" routine is gonna stop, because that boy obviously does NOT clean his bathroom), (ew),(and in Todays' Dumbass Move I accidentally turned on the shower while standing in it cleaning it, thus soaking myself with cold water and getting a short sharp reminder of what a dork I actually am),
  • reorganised the linen closet,
  • reorganized the "junk room" (a never used sauna in the flat),
  • cleaned my room and reorganized my socks, (a big job, I have lots, which is strange for someone who dislikes socks),
  • scrubbed the kitchen, and the trashcan and took out the garbage (!!!)(I generally don't do garbage)(ever),
  • rekitted the bed (using linens that he has professed a dislike for but that I love, so I can use them while he's gone nyah nyah)(now the bed's all black sheets and red and black duvet and with leopard spotted pillows, grrr...),
  • cleaned my bathroom,
  • done 5 loads of laundry,
all while dancing to my favorite stuff on the iPod cranked to ear splitting levels, something I can't do while he's here because he is not that fond of my music. (He likes "calm" music, I like ass kickin' music.)

Thank GOD I've planned the trip to London while he's gone. And I've also been invited to go to the company hytte (cabin in the woods) for a couple of nights, to do the traditional Norwegian "get out of town and into mountainous nature" thing. I've never done it, always wanted to, even though the hytte doesn't have running water and has an "incinerator toilet". I have no idea what an incinerator toilet is, but I am envisioning ass-burning flames shooting up from it as it nukes whatever you might deposit therein. Like you are crapping into the mouth of hell......
Anyhow, the plan is to cross country ski in easy stages (which is good, as guess who has also never skied??) sit in the sun and eat oranges and drink hot chocolate (oranges being an Easter thing, I'm told, and hot chocolate being, well, hot chocolate). In the evenings you light a fire, read, drink and chat. I think we have margaritas and cosmos in our future. (Remind self to get Cointreau at duty free.) Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

I don't know that I could be here in this flat for two weeks and be this restless. I'm so glad I have things planned. I seriously see myself rearranging all the furniture, bare handed, if I don't have things to occupy me. I've done it before, you know.

I used to be really good at being alone. Hmm.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


You know how there is something you have to do but really don't want to do and you put it off and you put it off until it gets sort of insane and then you dream about it and it presses on you and yet you still don't do it because you just.can' But it's always THERE, right there, looking at you and you really just want it to go away but you know you are really the only one who can make it go (even if there are extenuating circumstances that hampered things, but then those were cleared up and so now it really is just you)?

And then you finally get the cojones to do it...and it wasn't even anything problematic at all, and it took such a short time you could just kick yourself because honestly, Karla, what the hell was all that fuss about? And it might have even been just the tiniest bit...interesting?

I just did something that has been hanging over me for TWO YEARS and now I'm all, dude, what the hell, that was not bad at ALL.

I feel like I just did that term paper I was dreading or something.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

but I've never even been to Seattle......

Got an email from a news website in Seattle that they wanted to use a flickr photo of mine in their site.

Of course, they had ALREADY used it by the time I replied, but at least it was nice of them to let me know. I guess.


Happy International Woman's Day!

No I had no idea it was a holiday, either. Until I got to work and the ladies who run the canteen came up to every floor and offered all us womens little chocolate covered eclaires as a gifty. ("No boys!", they giggled. And our business is very man-centric, so there were plenty of eclaires for us gals, none of which we shared with those stinky old boys.) I am not one to ever turn down a pastry, so I am now officially in favor of International Woman's Day. But, being the pastry whore I am, if tomorrow was International Smelly Boys Day, I'd eat eclaires in favor of that, too.

In another, different celebration of women, Austin this week lost one more reason why it is such a unique city. Stella Boes died. No she's not famous, but she was unique and I for one, will miss yet another thing that made Austin my Home Wierd Sweet Home.

Some friends of mine have a band and play fairly frequently at the Carousel Lounge in Austin. Stella was always there, always joyous, and you knew it was a good song if she danced. And she danced alot. She was this funny eccentric old lady who just loved the hell out of life and loved hanging out with whoever showed up at the bar. She added a certain funky joi de vive to every occasion. I for one, saw her as a vision of who I might want to be when I got old.

I didn't know her well, and only got to dance with her a few times, but Stella, where ever you are, you keep boogyin' on, you hear?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

stuff that happened in Paris

I feel like bullet points on this one.

  • Everywhere we went we saw the entourage of the visiting President of Mongolia. He was driven around at a fast clip in a navy blue Peugeot, followed by 5 more of the exact same car. In the lead were at least 6 motorcycle cops and following behind all the motorcycles and Peugeots were two largish vans with big windows, filled to overflowing by the faces of desperate Mongolians taking pictures of everything they could as Paris whizzed past their windows. I think all their pictures must have been a blur. We saw them fly up to Notre Dame, then race past the Eiffel Tower, and then later the next day I saw the whole crowd shooting up the left bank of the Seine, sirens whining, Peugeots Peugot-ing, lights blinking and desperate cameras flashing plaintively at whatever they passed at street level.
  • Our flight arrived in Paris at 9:15 am. I wanted to take a walking tour at 11am. In order to do this, I had to ask Rich to please take our luggage on ahead to the hotel while I ran to catch the tour. He very kindly did so, which enabled me to join a wonderful tour of the fashion history of Paris, taking in two century old shopping arcades, the Palais Royal and the legendary shop owned and run by Didier Ludot (on the premises that day and very tall and distinguished looking indeed)(scroll half way down the somewhat pretentious link for good photos and info). There are no prices in the window, it is very much the sort of place where if you have to ask you can't afford it. It is also by appointment only. Bummer, I would have loved to have checked it out. The owner was in and was rearranging his windows with the most marvelous dresses. We paltry tourists were ignored with nary a glance. We also went to Marc Jacobs new shop, a few doors down, and I scored a t shirt (ironically it says "London" with an image of a double decker bus on it) and a canvas bag. I figure I'll get a "Paris" t-shirt at Marc Jacobs when I go to London. The people in that shop were very nice and I got teased by the other ladies (ALL ladies) on the tour for my guerilla style of shopping. Hey, years of practice with an impatient husband has made me fast.
  • Was that the longest bullet point ever or what?
  • On that tour I was recruited to join a ladies expat social group by a British lady in a strange hat. I was flattered, but also mystified. It's a legit and fairly highbrow group, I have no idea what they want with a tattooed, trash talkin', beer swillin' Texan like me. anyhow, she made me SWEAR that if we ever move to Paris (the chance exists) that I look her up.
  • After the tour I walked allllll the way from the Palais Royal, past the Louvre, and the Place Concorde up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, near which was our hotel. I realized as I finished that it was maybe a bit too much for me, having not walked that far in months, and wearing my cute, comfortable- but- not- for- 7- mile- walks, knee high black leather pirate boots. My feet were KILLING me.
  • Rich and I met at a cafe near the hotel after my walk where we proceeded to start an evening of wine drinking that ended in about 6 bottles downed between the two of us. I also had a "when in Rome" moment and bought some smokes. Hell, I was drunk, we both smelled of cigarettes anyhow, and I WAS in Paris. Rich was tolerant of my smoking, something he generally would NEVER be. Must've been all that good wine.
  • Every person we dealt with, whether at a restaurant, a shop or wherever, was extremely nice and we were not treated rudely once. I attribute this to the fact that we were both fairly well dressed (no jeans or sneakers for Rich, me all in black all the time and carrying my FAB purse) and we both made sure to bon jour the hell out of everyone we met wherever we went. The French always will greet you and acknowledge your entry into a place, and say "pardon" for every real or imagined infraction of space or etiquette. I found it very refreshing after living for so long in Norway where you might get a "beklager" (sorry) but only if someone knocks into you really hard.
  • The first day and a half were relatively warm, the last day and a half were cold, but only because I did not dress warmly enough. Whenever I leave Norway I get this mindset that "I'm not in Norway, it won't be that cold" and then end up freezing my ass off as it IS cold, or at least cold enough to warrant more than the light jackets I bring. It also drizzled alot, but we were both armed with parapluy's.
  • Our hotel room was so small that one of us had to sit in the middle of the bed if the other wanted to move around the room. The bed was not very big either. Luckily the front desk girl was extraordinarily sweet and moved us into a junior suite our last night (of three) and that made a huge difference. She would have moved us earlier but the place was fully booked.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

perfectly good weekend shot to hell

I started sneezing Friday afternoon and haven't stopped since.

Motherfucking rhinovirus.

I have a REALLY busy week ahead at work and absolutely can't afford to be sick, so have done nothing but lay around and drink herbal teas and broth all weekend, hoping to clear up my head. Why must I always get sick after a trip? Dammit!

All that chicken stock I sent down the drain on Friday would have come in handy this weekend......

I added a bunch of pictures to my flickr account (link on left) so go there for more views of gay paree.....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Meet Karla, World's Biggest Dumb Ass

Shit, y'all, sometimes I wonder about my viability in this world.

Tonight, feeling a bit like I am coming down with a cold (and skipping the weekly pub night) I decided to make some chicken stock from the leftovers from the roast chicken I made the other night. (If you have not made the French Laundry recipe roast chicken, well, you are missing out on something good and it's so dead easy it's kind of embarrassing.) I always make stock from leftover chicken, since it's so expensive here I feel like it's wasting it to just chuck in the trash.

So I spent two hours slowly simmering the chicken and veg and herbs and I came away with about 4 quarts of lovely, rich savory stock. The final step after cooking is to sieve out the bones and veg, so that you are left with a nice clear soup, a good base for whatever soup you later want to make.

So I set up my usual double sieve system in the sink, which is guaranteed to catch everything non-liquid, grab my pot of soup and pour it through.

Anyone notice what I did wrong? Anyone?


Before I realized it I had poured about 3/4 of the soup down the drain.

Thus giving me the Dumb Ass of the Year award.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

screw this

I was gonna post about Paris but "My Name Is Earl" just came on TV and it's got Amy Sedaris doing strange things with cats on it and sorry, she's way better than blogging, so you'll just have to wait for stories.

yes I have had a couple beers tonight, what of it?

pictures because words are too tiring

I'm going to write about our trip but I am swamped at work and then when I get home the last thing I wanna do is use a computer, think, write or be awake. I will write soon, but will you maybe put up with pictures instead?

No, je ne regrette rien....view from a tombstone at Pere Lachaise. Someone left a heart made of chestnut seeds on the crypt was very evocative, both sad and lovely.

Notre Dame at night. Beautiful from every angle.
Me in St Severin church. I think that was my favorite of the churches in Paris. (I saw four on Monday....yes four churches in one half day!) It has a colorfulness (amazing stained glass) mixed with age that I found very comforting. The area around was just twisty with medieval streets and passageways, great to wander and explore.

The courtyard outside St Severin. It was spooky at night. It's looking at the charnel house, a spooky word in itself. Can't you just see a ghost monk flitting through that yellow light?