Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Biggest. Wardrobe. Dilema. EVER.

Holy crap y'all! I just realized something.


I mean, I need to dress appropriate to my age, and my own standards, yes, but I also want to wear something....NIN-y, you know? Last time I saw them was in 1990, and I was 21 or 22, so then it was no problem, but NOW? NOW I don't want to look like a suburban mom playing dress up, all "Look at me I have a past!". (Not that there is anything wrong with that, but remember how we used to look at people older than, say, 24 when we would go to shows like this as kids?) But I do want to be edgy. Dark, grownup, a little sexy and mayhap a bit mysterious?

Like a cross between Dita von Teese and a goth.

Wonder if I can lose 20 lbs between now and next Wednesday.

good news, bad news and shitty news, in a bullet format

  • My trip to India is on hold. Fucking fuck.
  • I can't tell you how much that bums me out.
  • Instead they are bringing in some guy from India to our office to answer our questions.
  • As I have about 7,562 of them, I am going to keep him VERY busy.
  • In addition to being screwed out of my work trip to India (still a chance later in August, but somehow I think not) my work load for this newest India project has just increased three fold.
  • And no one seems to care.
  • And that pisses me off, because oh my holy hell, they just have NO idea what I went through on this LAST project with India, and I just can't even begin to imagine the horrors these Indian bureaucrats are going to put me through again this time, but it is SO MUCH WORSE than last time, I can already tell.

Pause while I get a beer, I am hyper ventilating from stress.

  • I am now drinking a beer.
  • Ok so, yeah, I'm stressed.
  • So that's the bad news and the shitty news.
  • On a happier note, I did book my trip back to the US in September for my parent's 40th anniversary.
  • Yes, I did just go there.
  • Because I thought I'd be going to India.
  • Dammit, I am pissed off again because I just remembered I am NOT going home for my Dad's birthday next week, as I had been told I was going to India. Fuck.
  • Ok, so, focusing on the positive, yes, going home to Mom and Dad's for the anniversary and my Mom's birthday.
  • Got a great deal on American Airlines.
  • I avoid CDG, Heathrow and Newark, so it seems like a decent flight plan.
  • I will drag my Mom to Target, TJ Maxx and out for chinese food.
  • Also am looking forward to our trip to Poland for my birthday.
  • And am also looking forward to a big gang of us going to Prague in October for a Pub Extension Trip.
  • And I think we are going for a ride on a vintage steam train this weekend.
  • Wheeee.....!!!!!!!!
  • And, today, because this is the sort of BADASS I am, I got me a ticket to see this band.
  • They are playing next week, here in Oslo.
  • Last time I saw them was 1990 in Austin.
  • I am very psyched.
  • Like, psyched enough that I am willing to put up with crowds of drunken Norwegian teenagers.
  • And I hope I still have some of my more alternative clothes, and that they fit.
  • Because, I am SO gonna rock out.
  • And this time I am getting a t shirt. I didn't get one last time because I was too poor.
  • Can anyone reading this get me in to meet Trent?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The laser eyes part two

Do y'all remember this post? I wrote it a while back? It was strangely predictive of my new knowledge of the laser eyed Norveigs. NOW I realize that The Mouse is, indeed, the Great Mother of all the Aliens of Norweig. She is the source of the power and all must adore Her.

So, anyhow, I showed the letter to some folks at the pub, and after the expected "What the fucks?" upon reading, we all have made a decision.

One evening we are all going to dress in similar outfits (maybe, like cargo pants and black t shirts with big red X's on the back) and then go bow down before The Mouse.

We'll take a picture of us all worshipping Her, and then, in "post production" we'll Photoshop lasers shooting from the eyes at us. We'll send it to the lady who wrote the letter, with just two short sentences:

We Are the Norweig. We Know About You.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Ok, y'all, before I post this I need to make a few statements:

1) This is a REAL charity donation request letter. It was given to me by Karla May and she works for a big company that gets donation requests all the time. It is REAL. VERBATIM. I have left off the name and location of the writer because, well, you'll see why. BUT IT IS REAL.

2) I did NOT MAKE THIS UP. I swear by the great aliens of Norweig.

3)This is insanely weird and hilarious. Stick with it to the end. Finish this letter! The rewards are many. I've been saving posting it for days until I had time to do it justice. Rarely is something so magnificently goofy given to me to share with the world.

And now....

"To Whom it May Concern:

I'm a very crafty person, as in, I can craft almost anything if you give me the right tools and detailed instructions and enough time. I enjoy almost any type of craft, except calligraphy, quilling, scrap-booking, rubber stamping, knitting, sewing, wood burning, polymer clay, candle and soap making, crocheting, pottery, tie dying, mosaics or basically anything that's not beading or related to beading.

I'm a member of a crafting group and we spent most of last year's weekly meetings making Christmas tree ornaments. I wanted kind of an old fashion feel for my Christmas tree so my ornaments were mostly made from wooden beads. I made some garlands from popcorn and put candles on the branches. The first weekly meeting in December was at my house and the group helped me put up and decorate my tree which turned out just lovely. Afterwards, we sat around drinking International Foods Flavored Coffee and celebrating moments of our lives. During that time, L---y and I got into a "discussion" about Norwegians. It turns out that she and I have different opinions about this issue and things got a little heated. M---a had to intervene and we ended the meeting early.

Two weeks later, my entire Christmas tree, ornaments and all was destroyed in a fire. Obviously the Norwegians broke into my house and destroyed my beautiful tree with their laser eyes. See, I know the truth about Norwegians. They're not humans but rather aliens from the planet Norweig. Millions of them landed here on earth in 1932 to observe humans. They picked Norway to inhabit--a country that at that point was uninhabited. They've convinced most other humans that they are one of us, but I know they are not. They're evil aliens who shoot lasers out of their eyes when angry. And they get angry when people try to expose them. L---y must be a spy for them and told them that I knew the truth and thus they destroyed my Christmas tree to scare me. It's the only possible explanation.

Now the reason that I'm risking more laser fires is to write your company about this: First of all, I'm not scared of the Norwegians, especially now that I've covered most of the surfaces of my house with mirrors so that any eye lasers will bounce back at the Norwegian firing them. Second of all, I can't remake the Christmas ornaments this year, my craft group is concentrating on beading chastity belts that we will then Ebay and give the proceeds to our Church. We just don't have time for any other crafts this year. So, I'm writing you to ask that you help me have a Christmas tree this year by sponsoring it. Could you please send a Christmas ornament with your company's logo or slogan or whatever on it for my tree?

Thank You,
Name Withheld"

Speechless? Me too. I honestly don't know if it's just totally insane or totally brilliant.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Today is a two post day

I am doing two posts because the other one will be SO STRANGE I really don't want to put anything other than the one main topic in there.

So first this one.

Holy crap, y'all, it's been hard getting back into my Norwegian routine.

1) It's done nothing but RAIN. Rain and be COLD.

2) I have this funky eye infection or something, my eyes are dry and itchy and gummy in the morning. Like pink eye but not so bad. Anyhow, I feel REALLY attractive, and have discovered that if I don't wear mascara enough days in a row my eyelashes become strawberry blonde.

3) I haven't gone to work because of the eye infection, because of eyestrain on the computer and if it IS pink eye I for sure don't wanna spread it around the office. So I am REALLY bored.

4) Finished Harry Potter. Had to draw it out and make myself not finish it all at once. I think she ended it really well, but I also feel like I have lost a family or something. I mean, that's alot of years of anticipation of the new books coming out, you know? And now that is gone. No more Harry. I am unaccountably sad about it.

5) Which, all of the above? EXPLAINS MY HORRENDOUS SLEEPING SCHEDULE AND THE FACT THAT I DID NOT CRAWL OUT OF BED UNTIL 12:30 TODAY. I mean, shit, no Harry to read, rain and gooey eyes...what's the point?

Coffee. I need coffee.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The best laid plans get shot to hell.

Sometimes I am just ASKING for karma to bite me in the ass. Whenever I write about something optimistic, something I am looking forward to, or something I am happy about, life always manages to toss me around and remind me that I am just a fart on the wind of existence. (I am actually quite superstitious about what I write about. I usually will write ad infinitum about things that suck, as an exorcism of badness. Writing about (or talking about) something solves it. Good things, however, are kept close to my chest as I am afraid that I will disperse the goodness or magic by talking about it too much. Whenever I break these self-discovered karmic rules, I get in trouble. So, if I seem negative on this blog, it's because karmically, writing about the bad stuff is really a way to cure it, and too much glowing over good kills the good. Hey, I didn't make these rules, they assigned themselves to me.)

So, go back and read my last post. you know, the one about how GREAT I am at traveling? Yeah, that one. How I THOUGHT I HAD IT ALL TOGETHER?

Oh GOD what a nightmare.

Let's preface all this by stating that I managed to sunburn the HELL out of myself on Sunday. My whole front is lobster red, one step down from blistering, all just from one hour in Hot Texas Sunlight. OK, so as you read the following, keep in your mind that my stomach and fronts of my thighs were red and sore as hell from the burn, and it added a whole new hellish dimension to everything that happened.

My flight to Newark was supposed to leave at 1145. They told me, when I dropped off my luggage, it was delayed an hour. I ran into Bret, an old friend, who I had been thinking I would miss out on seeing this trip, when I was returning my rental car, so took the hour to have breakfast tacos with him. Hey, so far so good. Extra hour to chat.

Then the flight was delayed another hour. Then another hour. And another, etc., all in 15 minute increments, until they were saying not until 4:30. (The Continental people were laughing because apparently, flying into Newark is a very dicey business, and the average lateness on the flight from Austin to Newark is 117 minutes. 2 HOURS average late getting into Newark from Austin on every flight. Holy shit! They actually are surprised when the day is smooth and flights are on time!) That would make me miss my connecting flight to Oslo, and there is only one a day, so would have to spend night in Newark. And they would not pay for it because it's 'weather related'. Uh, no thanks?

Well, as I am fairly familiar with Continental's flight schedule to Oslo, I told them there was a flight to Amsterdam from Houston that night at 7pm, could I catch that? They said yes, but the problem was getting me from Amsterdam to Oslo. NO seats available. AT all. So I could then spend a night in Amsterdam (which, hey, that's better than Newark, anyhow.) So they looked around some more, and they managed to switch me over to a flight to Houston at 3:20, thence to Paris at 6:30, and then to Oslo. Caveat: goes through Charles De Gaulle airport, which is the worst pit of despair EVER (airports I avoid: CDG, Chicago, and now, Newark. ). Fuck, well, ok, I'll take it.

Only thing was, flight to Houston left in 20 minutes and it took at least 10 to get me all switched over. So I RAN to get Houston flight....only to find I was in a middle seat between a VERY FAT woman and a teenage girl eating a very stinky burger and fries. And the plane? Not so much airconditioned as steam heated. NICE. Luckily, the fat lady was very nice and smelled way better than stinky burger girl, so we just hoisted up the arm rest and she became a nice pillow for me and we chatted. (She was on her way to Seattle. I totally want to go to Seattle some day.) I fanned us with the inflight safety card. The little hairs on her chin mole wafted in the breeze. She was cool.

The flight from Houston to Paris was actually pretty good, I once again scored a bulkhead seat with tons of legroom. I was in the first row behind bidness class, so at least now I know what goes on up there. Dudes, they get GLASS plates and stuff. One day when I am all grown up, I am sitting there.....

(Let's all keep in mind the sunburn, here, ok? I couldn't button my jeans because it hurt so bad. I went top the bathroom every couple of hours just to rub water or lotion or whatever i could on my belly.)

Anyhow, I managed to doze on the flight, read some Harry Potter, watched that movie with Will Farrell, Blades of Glory?, which I had wanted to see. (Goofy. Goofy as hell, but John Heder is one to watch.) Flight went surprisingly fast, mostly because I dreaded what was at the end......

....CDG airport. Pit of doom. Despair, agony on me. I kept texting Rich with one refrain: FUCKING HATE CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT. They sent me from one terminal to the next, first on a bus, then just walking around, everyone peering at my strange American ticket, no one telling me what GATE to go to, just pointing and grunting, motioning me to follow that hallway or go up these stairs or whatever. I can totally see how someone can get lost in there and live there for years. At one point I was in this totally deserted one mile long corridor, no one else in sight, me just climbing one endless sidewalk after another, all white walls and 60's retro-aero style, thinking, "Is this a cosmic joke? Am I going to get killed? Is this how they fuck with Americans now? Hello, I am a LIBERAL American, I don't deserve to die!" I mean, NO ONE around. Felt like Logan's Run or something......and I was next.

I still had no idea what gate to go to. Just told to go to Satellite 7. Great, I'm going into space? The signs to Satellite 7 would disappear at random times and I would have to backtrack until I saw a tiny sign with a tiny arrow pointing me to the next tiny sign with tiny arrow. Strangely like a scavenger hunt. I should have gotten cookies as rewards for finding all the hard-to-find signs.

Got to Satellite 7, and find this very crowded little holding pen for about 8 gates with about 1000 cranky Norwegians and French all packed in like smelly sheep. I went to ask at the SAS (who I was now flying from Paris to Oslo) counter about my luggage and the woman did that very French shoulder shrug and little pouty face: "Pah, I do not theenk you will have your luggage. Eet ees a long way from Terminal 1 to zees terminal and zey will have to go through zecuritee....Conteental weel have to manage eet. you weel have to call zem." (shrug, pout) Thanks, lady, thanks alot. I grabbed a seat and held on to it for dear life, seats were at a premium there. For some reason the woman sitting across from me glared at me nonstop and the dude she was with stared at me, too, over his Hitlerian 'stache. Oh yeah, I was back in Europe alright. I finally made a face at her and she looked away for a millisecond before settling her laser glare back on me again.

I had no Euros and the line at the one tiny little coffee stand accounted for about 500 of the unfortunate victims in my area. I decided to dehydrate instead of wait in line and lose my precious chair.

Finally got onto the flight to Oslo. The woman assigned the middle seat next to me asked me if I would mind switching my aisle seat for her middle seat as she had a computer and had work to do. I managed to stifle my maniacal cackle at her question, but did tell her no, that I had been awake for a VERY long time and sort of needed the aisle seat for the leg room (stuck out long Texas leg with boot at end.) She was nice about it. The flight was packed. Bathrooms smelled like pissy poo. Guy sitting in front of her kept pounding on his seat back and she had to catch her computer to keep it from getting broken. She worked for a lingerie company, doing a presentation on bras. Considered telling her I am a former Victoria's Secret gal, but honestly was getting too tired to form words.

Finally made it to Oslo. My luggage did not. I knew it wouldn't . I was so tired by the time I had to put in the claim that the first thing I told the guy when my number came up was "Look, sorry if I cry but I have been awake forever and have no reserves of sanity left". He was VERY nice. I did not cry. Bless him.

I got home at 7pm, 10 hours after my original arrival time of 9am. I had been awake for 32 hours. I fell asleep so hard I slept for 8 hours without moving. I woke up and my eyes were crusted over and I have some sort of wierd eye infection going on, I think it might be allergies and extreme dryness from the flight. My eyes are bright red and small and very tired looking. I'm about to take a nap. Rich saw my sunburn when I got home and cringed. Boy, I felt sexy as hell, lemme tell ya. OW.

They found my luggage, it went via Newark, and will arrive between 12 and 4pm. That's actually a positive in all this, I did not have to lug my suitcases with me last night. They are doing work on the train tracks, and I doubt I had the strength to get my suitcases (one weighing 56 and the other weighing 63 lbs) off the train at Oslo S and then onto the bus for replacement service. I had a hard enough time just carrying my backpack.

I'm even too tired right now (and my eyes hurt) to read Harry Potter.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The way to coordinate your travel...

I have discovered the ultimate way to prepare yourself for travel.

1) Get a laptop that is wireless enabled.
2) Tell your hotel to fuck off with its ten dollar per day internet charges and instead use the money to....
3) Go to Austin Java, get a couple beers and some chips and salsa and use their free internet. Cheaper than the hotel but you also get beers and snacks.
4) Check in to your flight online.
5) Using Seat Guru as your guide, score wicked good exit row seats on both flights. (If you don't use Seat Guru and Trip Advisor as your online traveling pals, all I can say is, why the hell not?)
6) Note that Continental has all bases covered vis a vis printing your boarding passes, so ask the nice people at Austin Java if you can have your passes faxed to them (as faxing is one of the printing options).
7) They say yes and in a matter of minutes you have your boarding pass, beers, chips and salsa and are fucking LOVING life.

Technology RULES.

Today I got to see many friends at the Gospel Brunch at Threadgills (happy b-day Toya! We didn't sing you the birthday dirge, did we? damn!), then me and my bro and Kathy hung out by the pool at the Hyatt, and then I repacked all my crap. I may also have gone to Target and don't you gimme no shit about it, even though I have gone, like, 6 times in a week. Target is mucho fun.

Then I headed over here for the lesson in how to travel well, though it took fucking forever to find a parking space.

Now it's 5 pm and I might head back to the hotel for another round in the pool. It has very nice water jets all around the walls....very soothing.

Do I really have to go home tomorrow? Oh well, at least I have Harry to keep me company.....and a hug when I get home. (Hi Rich!Kiss kiss.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ok ,well where to start.

Um…I checked into the Hyatt on Friday evening and holy crap did I make the right decision on the hotel. The building itself is fairly unprepossessing, but once you get into the room, you are surrounded by this cush luxury all in shades of warm brown, with these fluffy billowy white beds. It’s like being in an Oreo. And the beds? Oh the beds. I think I will buy one of these beds when we come home. They sell them, you know.

And it would totally be worth the 1500 they charge for the king sized (hell in Norway that’s CHEAP.) The bed manages to be firm yet incredibly soft, a good level of support with a sinky softness that just makes you want to spend all your time in it. Add down pillows, down duvet and high thread count bed linens….ah nirvana.

Plus I have a big flat screen tv.

Damn it’s nice being a grown up sometimes.

Oh and I didn’t mention the best part: huge picture window with view of downtown Austin. Spectacular. Color me happy.

A couple of weird things: there is no mini bar or fridge and they didn’t give me any shampoos or lotions. Sort of a bummer, as I wanted to see what I’d get. Not really a problem as I am sort of a shampoo/conditioner/shower gel whore and so am stocked might well, but still.

Friday night we had the girl’s night and had a good turn out. We had our own room upstairs at Opal’s and that was probably a good thing as we were LOUD. Hollering, laughing, belching (well, ok that was just me, I obviously am a pig) drinking and, most importantly, eating all sorts of fattening foods. I think we scared other people from coming upstairs. Our waitress was KICK ASS and somehow managed to put up with all our loudness and many many beers, and then at the end she actually managed to give us all SEPARATE checks! Which to me is nothing less than a miracle, there were about 12 of us. (Oh and Badger, you seriously overpaid….I owe you some money.)

Most people left by 11, but me, Bookhart, Patty, Kate and Valerie managed to soldier on to a place called Tiny’s that is pretty new. It was ok, but I think it’s having some growing pains. It will get better over time. Mostly they need to get the beer cooler to actually keep the beer COLD as opposed to sort of coolish. However, they were nice and at one point, when it started to rain, they actually put up a tent over us girls, and thence called it the VIP table, which was cute. Of course, once the tent was up, it stopped raining.

Bookhart and Valerie made it to 12:20 or so and then called Uncle, but me, Patty and Kate carried on over to Mean Eyed Cat and had another beer and chatted for a little longer. I got back to the hotel at 2:30. Of course I texted everyone in Norway…”Hey I’m drunk and you are just waking up!” Stupid shit like that.

Today I got up earlier than I had wanted (large picture windows also let in light, and I know there are black out curtains but with a view like I have it’s a shame to close them) and went to Austin Java on Second street for breakfast and free wireless (I fucking well refuse to pay for wireless in hotels. It should be included in the cost of the room, like the water or tv). Austin Java has great food, and the wireless is a nice bonus. I saw an old friend there (Austin is still, for all its growth, a small town). After breakfast I went to a couple of book stores, and scored me a copy of Harry Potter.

Woo! I got Harry Potter! The hard part is that I have sworn to myself that I am saving it for the plane ride home. And it is REALLY hard not to crack it open. And if any of you even THINK of spoiling it for me, I will personally reach through this computer and rip your fingers off. And I moderate comments, anyhow, so can do a digital version of covering my ears and yelling “lalalalalalala” as I erase your comment, so there.

Anyhow, after getting my Harry, I came back and napped in the incredible won’t-let-you-escape bed while waiting for my brother and his girlfriend Kathy to arrive. I guess you won’t be surprised when you hear it became a three hour Nap Extravaganza.

Finally caught up with Kit and Kathy (who was wearing a very pretty red and white dress) at 7, and we went to eat Mexican food at this new place, Cantina Laredo or something. Surprisingly good. The margaritas were very strong. We hung out for a while afterwards, and now I am back in the room, watching a rerun of SNL that has that Dick in a Box song. Hilarious. Justin Timberlake is funny, who knew?

So now, if you will excuse me, I am getting sucked into the Bed of No Escape (That Is Not Such A Bad Thing). Aaaaaahhhh….luxurry.

Friday, July 20, 2007

beers and bars

Last night I met up with some friends and we hit some bars.

Damn I love the bars in Austin.

We started off at Shoal Creek Saloon, then went to the Mean Eyed Cat and then finished at Deep Eddy. A night of slightly divey, cozy and fun bars. I love a bar (as opposed to a pub) that has a bit of a rough edge to it, but only in looks, not in clientele.
Luckily Austin has lots of those. Mean Eyed Cat is dedicated to Johnny Cash and has a really great vibe. Deep Eddy has been around FOREVER and is one of those places that used to be so smokey that you would enter into it and you'd be covered in a fug of tobacco within seconds of entering. When we moved to Norway I bought a t shirt from there, threw it in our shipment, and over two months later, when we were unpacking, the t shirt STILL smelled so strongly of smoke that I had to wash it to get rid of it. (I admit I also cried a little when that happened because it just reminded me of home so much and I was SO damned homesick.) Deep Eddy is now pretty much smoke free due to Austin's new non smoking ordinance, but smoke is so imbedded into the building that I sort of think the tobacco residue actually holds the place together.

So anyhow, I really had planned to be home by about 11pm last night, but Patty kept telling me to have "just one more" in her adorable, Patty way, and so I kept having just one more until next thing I knew I was on my way home at almost 2am. Oops. One of the beers I tried "just one more time" was this new microbrew called "Fireman 4" and I have to say, that is one of the BEST tasting beers (blonde ale) I have EVER had. Holy moly what a great beer. It has layer upon layer of flavor and manages to be smooth and crisp and complex all at once. YUMMEEEE.......

I slept HARD until 9:30 this morning, and only woke up because I had to pee and thought it was 6am.

Had breakfast at Kerbey Lane this morning with another friend for a bit of a catch up and a hangover removal. I am really proud of how we are all growing up, getting our shit together and moving on with our lives. I've always known I was very lucky in my friendships and relationships with people, and it is so good to know that the friendships still stand, we still all enjoy hanging out and never are at a loss for ways to relate. Best of all, everyone is even COOLER than when we started out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

rawkin' and shawpin'

My activities have been thus:
  • visiting friends
  • admiring all my friends' progeny, of which there are many. So many cute kids, and I enjoy each and every one of them very much, but I also have to say I kind of enjoy knowing I can go home and not have little nippers hanging on my legs. Not that I don't want kids, but if it does not happen (as it seems not to be) I can see the advantage of being the Funky Cool Aunt. (Or Goofball, as the Geej so eloquently pegged me last night.) (Very prescient three year old, is she. I try so hard to be fabulous, but I am always gonna be a goofball.)
  • drinking beers (though I have not been drinking much, actually, come to think of it)
  • eating foods that I crave, to last me for another 6 months, like today's belly-poofing lunch at Matt's El Rancho.
  • driving around in my sweet little rental Volvo S40 and cranking the new Lady Sovereign cd. I forgot how much I love driving around and listening to music. I used to do 75% of my music listening in the car. Only place I can get it loud enough to really rock out, plus I am an excellent chair dancer.
  • shopping.....oh my fugging God how much do I love Target? I mean, it's like H&M but better because the clothes are actually better quality, fit and fabrics, and then you can go get a bag of Cheetos, some tampons, Tylenol and DVD's, all in one easy to navigate place. Nirvana, pure and simple. It seems my shopping goes in one of only two directions: very cheap or quite expensive. This goes in a ratio of approximately 50 to 1, in favor of cheap. But today I hit Last Call also and got some sweet higher end stuff, like a $500 jacket that I paid $75 for.
  • catching up on appointments, business matters and general "takin' care of stuff on the home front" activities. Tomorrow I have a 7am dentist appt. Oy.
Tonight I am meeting up with the lovely authoress of Toxomaman for a drink and a catch up.

By the way, here's some news from Norway. How many news articles can you remember reading that make reference to "enormous farts"?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Today I went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie. AWESOME! So good, and the acting has really improved among the lead characters, so kudos to them.

My favorite movie snack is popcorn (natch) with a Hawaiian Punch. I loves me the fruity red goodness. So I ordered the medium popcorn, because hey, splurge, and small drink. When the girl handed me the drink I said, "Um, no, I ordered a small". She's all like "That IS the small". And I'm all, "Wait, that TUB of drink is a small?" And she's all, "Yep. If you want to swim I can get you a large."

I mean, HOLY CRAP! The small is bigger than the biggest big you can get in Norway at any 7-11, movie theatre or fast food stand. The small is so big I am still having to pee 4 hours later.

I loves me some Hawaiian punch! Just maybe not in bucket sizes.

Then I went to Best buy and bought a cd by Lady Sovereign (Bookhart introduced me to her and I was BLOWN AWAY) and the latest Marilyn Manson. Because, you know, I like to RAWK, yo.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm scared to shop

Damn, y'all.

i'm scared to shop.

As one who has a fairly long retail history herself, what the hell is up with going shopping now? I mean, there's service and then there is smothering.

Today, directly upon walking into a store when Bookhart and I checked out the Domain, the new posh shopping area in Austin:

(perky sales girl)"Hi y'all! How are you doing? Ok, so, just to let y'all know we are having an AWESOME sale on shoes, so everything on the right hand of the store is like, TOTALLY on sale. And just so you know, all this stuff in the front of the store is like, new, so it's only been here a week or so and we think it's really, like, great. So, you know, if y'all need, like ANYTHING, my name is Tiffany and that is Britney and we are totally here if you need ANYTHING".

We left that store pretty much immediately and went to another one, a large posh department store, where i found a sales person to ask if they had a cafe or something where we could get a drink:

(sales person) "Um, no, like, we don't have a cafe or anything, but we have a special right now and would y'all like a 5 minute FREE eye treatment?"

(Me) "Um, no, I just sort of want a Coke".

(her) "Oh, well, no, we don't have a cafe but our new Soothing Eye Goo is really refreshing and I would love to give you a free treatment".

(me) "Does it involve anything I can drink? It's 900 degrees outside".

(her)(realizing I don't want an eye treatment i want a fucking COKE) "Oh, like, NO, but there's a Starbucks and there's a smoothie place and all sorts of restaurants right up the street".

(me) "grumble grumble". (then I got waylaid by a 2000 dollar purse with bits of crocodile on it, which I did not buy but it certainly was very tribal looking, in a bone through the lip sort of way)(by the way, as a rule I do not buy 2000 dollar purses, fyi.)

I swear, Bookhart and I are just gonna walk into stores now and when a sales person approaches us, we are going to dive under the nearest table and cover our ears and go "lalalala" until they go away. .

I don't think I want customer service anymore, I just want to SHOP.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

culture shock

For the first time upon coming home, I am experiencing culture shock.

Yes, I know. I've gone all Euro.

Like yesterday, we went to a restaurant, and when we were almost done eating, the waiter dropped off the check on our table. I had a brief flash of absolute righteous anger, like "How rude! How dare he just leave the check without us asking first!" It took me about 30 seconds before I remembered, oh, yeah, that's how that is done here. It's not rude, it's called service. But in Europe, a waiter would never dare leave a check without the customer asking first, as it might imply that the customer needs to hurry their meal.

And then, also, I noticed when going through security in Houston to get the flight to Austin, how FAST Americans are in the security line. I mean, no bullshit, they've got their bins and baggies all ready, shoes off and computers out, way before they are up for the security, and the lines go FAST. At least, this one in Houston did. I had a hard time keeping up. In Europe it's more of a dawdle, I get so annoyed when people get up to the security check point and THEN take off their jackets and stuff and act all like "What? I have to give you my purse for you to check?" D'oh! So chalk up one for American efficiency. I did notice a vast improvement over all in check in, immigration and customs in Houston at IAH airport. Kudos to them.

However, I was very confused by the machine that sold cell phones I found at the airport. A vending machine for phones? WTF? This was made doubly confusing by the fact that I needed to buy a top up card for my T Mobile sim card....and there was not one place anywhere in the airport that did so. I can buy a phone but no minutes? (And I was totally out of time on my phone and so could not receive even a text message.) That was very culture shock for me, as in Norway you can go into any 7-11, Narvesen, kiosk or convenience store and top up your phone in about 2 minutes, and even if you are out of minutes you can still receive calls and messages.

But here, in the US, they do the whole cell phone thing completely backwards and you have to have a contract, etc. And to find a top up program that is pay as you go is apparently very difficult and to my knowledge only T Mobile does it, with any decent coverage on a GSM network. The guy I talked to at T Mobile when I finally DID find a place to top up my phone was very knowledgeable about the US vs Euro phone systems and he said the US is completely backwards and is the only country in the world that charges you for both calling AND receiving.....which sucks ass. You should not have to pay to receive a call. The US is way behind the rest of the world in cell phone technology, they are hampering their pwn progress with these byzantine rules. (And yes, I am very annoyed the iPhone is tied in to AT&T as it makes it completely useless for me. Dammit.)

Another big difference between Europe and the US is customer service when shopping. Generally, in Europe, when you go to a shop you might be greeted and after that the most you will get is a brief "Let me know if you need help". And I have found, if I DO need help, it's efficient, not overly friendly, but you generally end up getting your needs met. Today, at one shop I went to, this sweet but obviously over trained young girl followed me around, chirpily giving me advice on EVERY FUCKING thing in the store, offering suggestions on what to wear with this or that, to the point that I actually just left because I just did NOT WANT THAT MUCH HELP. I mean, really, honey, I am twice your age, and have been dressing myself successfully for YEARS. I know you want to help, but I managed to do quite well before I met you and will probably do so again, so while I appreciate the help, if you see me HIDING behind a dress form so that you won't see me and help me more, then maybe it's a sign that you should bugger off.

That being said, I did have some nice chats with other people today. That's another thing that doesn't happen in Europe, you don't do chatty talk with folks you don't know. Texans are experts at 'fake nice' as one girl I met called it. You know, that person you meet in the bathroom or shop or whatever is your best friend for like, 5 minutes, then you never see them again? Fake nice. Though it's not really fake, as I genuinely like talking to people, but in Norway it's considered a bit shallow and unnecessary to spend time chatting to someone you won't be seeing again. Here in Texas, it's a high art. I got stopped about 4 times today from people commenting on something I was wearing. And it's not that I looked all that great, it's just that people here DO that sort of thing...if you see something on someone you like, you tell them. I complimented three people myself just this afternoon.

Oh and haha...I got carded when I was buying wine. I was all (simper giggle simper) "Really? You want my ID? How sweet!" The check out girl shrugged and said "Yeah, we have to card anyone under 40." (bubble goes POOF) Well, at least I still look under 40...right?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Holy crap this was the smoothest travel experience I have ever had. The worst thing that happened was that some bitch ran her suitcase over my foot in Oslo when I was getting off the train. And she didn’t say sorry or anything, just ran me over. But if that is the worst thing to happen, no worries. I gave her good glare, she will shrivel and die within days.

I must compliment both KLM and Continental for a flawless flight experience from start to finish. Considering I was flying on Friday the 13th and that I was dreading it, I am really impressed. The flight attendants were nice, the gate attendants were very helpful and even the security people were pleasant to deal with!

To make things even better (besides having exit row and /or bulkhead seats the whole way) was that getting through immigration in Houston and then going through customs was the smoothest I have ever experienced any where (except in Turkey, oddly enough). It took less than 30 minutes to get through immigration, (and most of the time was taken in just getting there, must have been a mile) get my bag and go through customs. I was at the gate with over an hour to spare….and had less than two scheduled for transfers, etc!

Time to board for the flight HOME!!!!!!!

9pm same day, arrived in Austin, update:

Who says Friday the 13th is unlucky? Not me. Getting my rental car? Well, I had signed up for a free upgrade on the car though Continental at Alamo. When I got there, the car I was supposed to get was not available, so they upgraded me. Then, the car I got, had something wrong with it where the windshield wipers would NOT turn off, so they upgraded my upgraded upgrade.

So look at me driving a very sweet little Volvo something or other with sunroof and all mod cons. Fucking SWEEET!

And yeah, my luggage made it and the chocolate did not melt.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Things are gonna get sporadic here at the ome of the Texpatriate for the next week. I am off to Austin tomorrow. I will have my computer with me, but don't see me accessing the 'net til Saturday at the earliest.

In the meantime I leave you with a visual foreshadowing of the week to come:

Mags wanted us to create out Simpsons avatar and post it on our blogs.

So I did.

What she DIDN'T tell me is that the Simpsons movie website gives you no way to save your character to your computer, so you have to do the ol' print screen, cut and paste thing. You can't just click on your character and "save as" either, due to it being Flash driven.

I dunno if I am Luddite or whatever here, but I really tend to not like Flash websites. I don't want my sites to move or scroll in funky ways or have intros. I want to click where I want to click and go where I want and not have to wait for Java to load up or whatever the hell. Some of the sites are awful with the flashy Flash, but then they don't DO anything else. No where to click or whatever. I hate that.

Granted the Simpsons movie site is way better than alot of them, (go to Moe's when you get a chance) and is a good use of the software. Its when a commercial site that you are trying to buy something from gets Flashy, that's when I get pissy.

So sue me. I'm basic, what can I say.

By the way, that was TOTALLY how my character thinks, too. Her name is Rhonda. If you look closesly you will see she is making my Ultimate Fashion Faux Pas, which is wearing navy blue and black together.

And in other news, everyone else is doin' it so here goes:

What kind of liberal am I?

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

as close to proof as you can get

This is about as close as one can get to proving the question of what Scotsmen wear under their kilts. (I have actual, personal proof from a crazy night in Amsterdam, but this another story for another time and anyhow, the photo turned out blurry.)

If it were me, and I was a guy and Scottish and running with bulls, I would for DAMN sure be wearing the cast iron drawers under me kilt.

Because, HELLO?!

Monday, July 09, 2007

I am sorry, Southern Norway

It's my fault the weather is so crappy, and for that I do apologize heartily.

See, for two years, as long as we have been in this flat, I resisted buying two things: a floor fan and a deck chair. I really wanted them both, but a floor fan is mostly only a summer thing (though it does get HOT in this flat in a heat wave) and a deck chair, for lounging, seemed so decadent, what with all the warnings about lying in the sun, etc.

But I found them both on sale and I bought them.

And it started raining the next day and hasn't stopped.

So, this is Mother Nature, Gaia, whatever, punishing me for my frivolity and certainty that the weather would indeed BE warm and sunny enough for me to use either item.

Maybe I should have bought wellies and a hooded rain jacket, and then we would have had sun.

I'm sorry. I should have thought this thing through before I did it. I forgot about my powers over weather and time.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bullet Post

Today is a bullet post day, as my head hurts and stringing together sentences in a logical, transitional paragraphed manner is beyond me. Besides, I need to do a random brain dump anyhow.
  • You'd think I would have learned by now, but no matter how many times I go to the pub on Friday evenings and say "I am NOT going to hurt myself", someone buys yet another round and I end up hurting myself.
  • The hangover wasn't so bad, but the tension/stress/muscle/hormone headache I went to bed with and woke up with is of monumental proportions.
  • I finally had to beg Rich to give me one of his muscle tearing, extremely painful but effective shoulder massages. He uses his elbows (not one for the finesse, is he) and just digs into the rock hard muscle of my upper back and shoulders. Hurts like hell, but it does work out some of the kinks.
  • If my ass were as hard as my back muscles, I would wear a thong every day.
  • Just the thong.
  • I am drinking de tox tea.
  • Tastes like grassy ass. Like if a cow crapped and they took the grass it crapped on and made tea with it.
  • Eh, you get used to it.
  • Am watching "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Need to get up to speed for the next movie, coming out next week.
  • I keep hearing rumors that Harry dies in the last book. I fucking well hope it is not true.
  • Last night at the pub, we had our usual scintillating conversations.
  • This time it was about wanking and proper hand size for best effectiveness, words for wanking in languages other than English (to include Norwegian, German, French and Russian as reflected the nationalities at the table), general number of wanks in a week and whether right or left hand is better for said wankage.
  • As usual, we had the masterdebate of length vs girth. The women all insist that girth is preferable, the boys insist on length. The boys should listen to the girls, I say.
  • Yes, the Expat Life is Fabulous.
  • Imagine a multi-cultural table full of middle aged Beavises (Beavi?) and Buttheads, and that would be the general level of conversation on any Friday at the pub.
  • We laugh alot.
  • At 11pm, we get kicked IN to the pub, as there is some rule that we can't sit out side after that time.
  • The general idea is to get kicked OUT, but no, we get kicked IN. They like us.
  • We had a catastrophic lack of toilet paper this morning and so I had to face the grocery store on a Saturday.
  • (Note see how crude that transition was? I mean, you had NO warning I was going from pub conversations to toilet paper did you?)
  • I always have a quiet giggle in the loo roll aisle. They always name the toilet paper using two descriptive words joined by "and".
  • The toilet paper I prefer is called "soft and long".
  • There is also "strong and soft", "soft and friendly", and for paper towels we have "wipe and clean" and "clean and long".
  • These names always seem vaguely phallic to me.
  • If I named toilet paper I would name it "long and hard", "turgid and pink" or merely "ass and wipe". A popular seller would be "big and thick".
  • I bet they would be best sellers.
  • I seem to be penis obsessed.
  • It is a bit embarrassing walking home with a packet of toilet paper called "long and soft" tucked under your arm. Ditto "wipe and clean" paper towels.
  • My detox tea must be kicking in. My burps smell like cow's feet.
  • I know, I KNOW, I am sexy. You don't have to tell me that, for I already know.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The trendiest new shoes in South Norway....

....and, I would assume, in Texas.

Today is the first day it hasn't rained in weeks. So of course, I am off to the pub for a celebratory beer.

Holy CRAP it's been a busy week, and next week more of the same. I know my blog has been sucking lately, and I am sorry for that, but I'm in this wierd place where I have alot of stuff going on, but none of it is either bloggable (I have stuff I just don't blog about) or blog worthy (stuff you wouldn't really give a crap in a hat for). I promise it will get better. I'll have lots of stuff to talk about soon, once all the travel kicks in again. I got my visa for India today.

In the meantime, once I have learned how to walk in my new shoes, I should be in the pink of fashion when it starts raining again.....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A week and a half....

....and I'll be HOME.


rain and rain and RAIN

I am in solidarity with you Texas folks.

It is now the wettest June on record in this here part of Norway.

Rain and rain and rain. Flood warnings everywhere, mudslides and chaos. the creek that follows along the road past our building is higher than I have ever seen it and I would not be surprised if it overflowed. I wonder if it has ever done that...certainly not in my time here.

If this continues we will have missed summer entirely this year.

Thankfully I have trips to Austin, India, and Poland planned. ONE of those places will have to have some sun, right? (Just watch me catch the tail end of the monsoons in India.) Did I mention I am going to India for work? OMFG how much do I love my job?

The rain in Austin will take a break by end of next week, RIGHT?

We've also planned a trip to Prague with some friends for October. Should be fun, lots of good beer, but I've already told everyone I am NOT carrying anyone out of any bars. I've booked us a hotel in a renovated 13th century monastery. I am really psyched about that. Ironically, another person, a guy, has booked HIS room at a place that was a cloister. What is up with us booking in opposite-sex houses of the holy?

Monday, July 02, 2007

I think it is safe to say.....

I have a type.

I didn't realize how entrenched it was until I noticed this guy on both "Weeds" and "Grey's Anatomy", his name is Jeffrey Dean Morgan?

And I saw him and I LOST MY MIND over him. (He's the guy there under Chris Noth, the fourth picture?) Anyhow, I was all "Who is this chunk of manly yumminess?" I could not STOP looking at him.
So I researched him and he is the guy who keeps dying. He died in Weeds, he died in Grey's Anatomy (and that killed me) and I really can't stand it if I watch him in something else and he dies again because he is TOO beautiful.

Then I realized that all the actors I go koo koo for are...Tall. Dark. Handsome. A bit older than me. Manly, not pretty. And slightly hairy.

John Cusack. Chris Noth. This Morgan guy. Sean Connery. Patrick Dempsey. Jeff Goldblum. (Always Jeff Goldblum...always.)

I have a type, dammit. I'm predictable.

I'm....... that girl who likes' 'em tall, dark and handsome.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Boys this will be incomprehensible to you.

Today is Day Two. But then, so was Friday and so was Saturday.

In fact, Day Two started on Day One and has now extended its bitchy self to Day Three.

I fucking hate Day Two and I hate getting older so that Day Two lasts for Three Days.

The new countries, from the previous post, by the way, are Poland and India. I will have seen them both before August is over. Knock wood.