Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Things that happened before noon today

  • When I took my shower I accidentally used my facial exfoliating scrub as conditioner and my conditioner as my face scrub, thus making my hair gritty and my face tangle free. Damn these dark Nordic mornings.*
  • There were two weird explosion type things that shook the whole building we live in. I'm not sure what happened….but nobody seemed worried. I was a bit freaked.
  • It snowed a very little bit. ¨
  • This wierd dude at the train station stood in front of me and STARED at me. He would not fuck off. I finally walked away and he turned and watched me wherever I went. Luckily I was talking on my cell phone so he couldn't talk to me, which I am fairly certain he wanted to do. He gave me the ickies.
  • I tucked my skirt into my tights by mistake and walked about a foot out of the bathroom at work before I felt a breeze where there should not be one and quickly rectified the situation. Luckily no one saw but it could have been bad.
  • I'm wearing a newish black dress that is a little low cut, as I am going out to dinner directly after work today. I didn't realize until I got to work that the 'girls' don't want to stay IN the dress (a problem I did discover until too late with this dress) and keep trying to escape so they can see what's going on in the big wide world. I have resorted to a strategically placed paperclip and a scarf. I don't care what the girls do when I go out to dinner, but they don't get to come out to visit at work!
  • There was a special lunch today of which I could eat none, as it consisted of tortillas with rice and corn. There was also some beef, but excavating the meat from the rest would have been an exercise in frustrating futility. I had ham on knekkebrod and water instead. I'm hungry.
  • But, and this is the disappointing bit, I weighted myself this morning and my weight has not changed appreciatively. I'm frustrated and annoyed. I should not have to give up everything I like and NOT GET ANY RESULTS! I'm going to have to work out harder.

*Yes we have lights but I like to wake up to natural light. Unfortunately this time of year, that could mean me not getting up until 10:30, which is not work friendly.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Emasculation of a tiny dog

Yesterday I was out running an errand and this woman walked past me with this teeny tiny little dog on a leash. I mean, if this dog weighed more than two pounds I would be surprised. It was an adorable little thing, not a chihuahua but some sort of miniature terrier or something. For every one step she took it had to take about 30, so it was trotting along at a good pace. The little dog literally stopped traffic, everyone who saw it pointed and oohed and aahed at its insanely stupid cuteness. It was like a real dog overbred and reduced to a living walking stuffed animal.

It was on one of those leashes that has some give on it, you know the hand held ones that release and retract as you need them to. The dog was so small and light weight that the lady holding the leash probably never felt when the dog paused, which certainly could be problematic for the poor little mite.

Especially when it wanted to take a piss on a lamp post. So the little dog paused, as boy dogs are wont to do, lifted its leg and began pissing on the very bottom of a lamp post. (I man, a dog this small got maybe two inches from the ground.) The lady kept walking, not noticing that little Spike (or whatever) was marking his territory, and Spike was yanked, mid-piss, away from the lamppost, leg still up in the air, pee whizzing away from the target, and the other three legs dragging, desperately trying to finish his instinctual markings. His whole tiny little body practically quivered with frustration and he let out an angry "MEEF!" of a bark, which did no good. The lady didn't even pause. Spike resignedly put his leg down and resumed his rapid trot after his harsh mistress.

In between my giggles at the absurd little scene, I couldn't help but think how hard it must be for the little tyke, just trying to go about his manly business, pissing on stuff and being a boy, yet at the same time being constantly emasculated because of his cuteness and tiny size. Poor little dude can't even piss in peace without being whisked along by his leash. I mean, a cat could kick this dog's ass with one swipe of its paw. The dog doesn't know it's a toy, it just thinks it's a boy dog, meant to piss on things and hump ankles. Poor sad little freaky dog.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

swans, river, bridge

swans, river, bridge, originally uploaded by karlakp.

in Prague

Thursday, October 25, 2007

a particularly cruel kind of torture

I think it is a particularly cruel and nasty form of torture to read an article like this and NOT be able to get the food being written about so lovingly and descriptively.
I mean, really, I've been known to fly home almost purely for a nice tostada plate at Matt's, so to read an article like this just isn't fair when I have no plans for returning anytime very soon AND am on this friggin' low carb diet thingy. (Which seems successful thus far and I feel pretty good all told.)
I am sure the UN bans this sort of torture. In fact, I am fairly certain they used it at Guantanamo and it was stopped as unnecessarily cruel way of destroying spirits. I need to look up the legalities and then I might have to send the NYT a nasty gram regarding teasing poor Texpats like me with such an inflamatory and lust inducing article.
Can anyone send me some Monterrrey Jack, Mexican rice and a nice jar of good salsa? Hell, just send me a shrimp tostada plate from Matt's, I don't care if it arrives a little cold.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WHAT kind of tandoori?

Image027.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I've been wanting to blog about this FOREVER. This restaurant is in a town near us and I finally FINALLY got a picture of the sign. It's actually called "Nagina" but it's very easy to change the sign to a "v" (which it always is changed, I've never seen it without someone "fixing" it) with predictably hilarious results.

I giggle like Beavis and Butthead everytime I go by.

The question is: eat in or eat out?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lars* the Viking Massage God

As you might know, my back has been causing me problems lately. It basically feels like it's sort of stuck right in the area between my shoulder blades. Like If I just bend backwards enough it will pop or loosen up or something. But it never does and I can never

So I made an appointment to go to a chiropractic massage guy recommended by a few friends. Guy friends.

Thus, none of them mentioned that he is a Viking God. They merely offhandedly said he was a "big guy". Uh, ya think?

He's like 8 feet tall and completely muscle bound. Like, Conan the Barbarian muscle bound. Ahnuld muscle bound. Mr. Universe muscle bound. I almost laughed when I met him because he's just SO BIG. First thought was "Can he hurt me?" followed by second thought, "Did I wear decent underwear?" I mean, not that I was attracted or anything, but when one is presented with a God that is about to pummel you into submission, you hope you are wearing decent knickers as a sign of respect. Like brushing your teeth before you go to the dentist.

I slightly nervously followed him into his very tiny and minimal Viking God Lair where he told me to lay face down on the table (left the room to give me privacy to get my shirt off, which I appreciated as some massage people here DON'T do that and I feel a bit awkward undressing in front of someone, you know? especially a God?) and then came back in and proceeded to mash me into a little squashy pulp.

Which is EXACTLY what I want in a massage. No scented stuff, no music, no breathing or sound effects, no fancy sheets or special massage beds, no reiki, crystals or any new agey shit....... just a good muscle relaxing rubdown with a little pain and some serious sore spot poking. At one point he used his elbows to just press into the painful spots, and yeah, it hurt, but it also felt WONDERFUL. (I did joke at one point that maybe I could get a smaller bra size what with all the smashing and pressing on the back that was having an effect on the front. I've got two mashed frontal portions right about about compression!)

Anyhow, that was the most successful half hour of massage I think I have ever had, besides this guy named Tony in Austin who's AMAZING and the tiny little girl in Thailand who made me her bitch.

*Not his real name. I think.

Blue Norther

Looks like a cold front is movin' into the Austin area.

Oh how I love those Texas Blue Northers. When you can feel the weather change in an hour from hot and muggy to crisp and breezy. Makes me emotional, a bit, to think about it and how I hate to miss one. The feel of change and power and restlessness that comes on the breeze. I always felt like I could hear the trees breathing a sigh of relief as heat left and the cool came in.

It's just cold and wet and grey here in Norway right now. We don't get blue northers here, though we occasionally get windy days and days where rain sweeps through intermittently on changeable skies, making for a very unpredictable day of weather.

There is snow in the forecast for later this week, mixed with rain, but it won't be cold enough for it to stick. Just be slushy and dreary. Sigh.

You Austinites enjoy your Blue Norther. Go for a walk for me, 'k?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Results of going to the pub after a week of not drinking

Oy vey.

I went to the pub last night and had some beers. After a week of low carb and no beer, those first two beers (they have a special Oktoberfest on tap this month, a lovely dark malty something or other) went down like manna from heaven. I was moaning they were so good. Mmm...beeer. I also had a wonderful meal, the dagen's rett was some yummy meat something with a creamy mushroom sauce and POTATOES and it went down a treat. We all used our fingers to get the last bit of sauce off the plate. (Well, some did.) (Not me, of course.) Then I had more beers.

After that it gets a bit sketchy.

I remember grabbing my friend Graham's tongue when he stuck it out at me. (THAT, by the way, was a big mistake. You really can't wash the feel of your friend's tongue off your fingers fast enough, no matter how much soapy scrubbing you do, fyi.)

There was yet another discussion about penises (usual Friday fare), and then some discussion of bra sizes and their similarity to battery sizes, both of which make no sense. (Like, for instance, if a DD bra is bigger than a D, wouldn't it then be logical to think that an AA bra is larger than an A? But no, AA is SMALLER. This also works for batteries. And why even HAVE a DD bra when you could just move straight on to E. Why EE when you could just go easy on the letters and use F? And why is there no CC or BB bra size? And why does this carry over to batteries, ie, there is a AA size and an A (but strangely no B battery size) a C battery and a D battery? Anyone? Anyone?)

It is very interesting comparing boobs and batteries with a bunch of male engineers. Their logical way of thinking (I mean..bras and batteries as a comparison? What woman would EVER think of that?) always makes me look at things in a new (and admittedly twisted) light. I love pub nights.

At some point in the evening someone told me my hair smelled good so I started walking up to everyone I knew saying "Smell my hair" and shoving the top of my head at their faces. I have a feeling that might have been fairly alarming for the one I was aiming at, as they risked getting head butted by a fairly wobbly Karla. I hope I didn't crack any noses with my large good smelling cranium.

After my fourth (or maybe 5th I am not so sure) beer I weaved my way over to Rich to tell him I "wash goin' home" and he said he would be home right after me, he just wanted to finish his beer. Cool. So me and my new cool boots (bought on sale yesterday and with a bit of heel and very unlike me, so I felt all like Sexy Shoe Girl all night) wobbled our slow way home. (I have to walk slow and slinky in heels or I fall over. It certainly gets me attention, but I am not actually asking for it, I am just trying not to land flat on my face.) I got home by about 11:30 and collapsed into bed, wondering where the hubby was. Fell asleep immediately and was awakened at 1:30 by Rich flopping into bed next to me. He must have nursed that last beer for two hours!

Feel pretty good this morning after waking to my cell phone beeping from Grant texting us at 8:45 AM (Grant you will pay for this) replying to texts from last night. He didn't show up at the pub, having mysteriously gone "shopping in Oslo" which I am, of course, going to query him intensely about. I made a big ol' mess of bacon and eggs for brekkie, yes, it's back to Low Carb again. Sigh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

And you people think *I* get to go interesting places?

I just got an email from my stepmotherinlaw saying that she is going to Borneo tomorrow.


I don't even know where Borneo IS and I think it's one of those places like in the old cartoons with the headhunters and the people with the bones through their lips and shit.

Borneo fachrissakes!

I would want to compete with her in the country collecting competition but she has got me SO beat. She's THE most adventurous person I know. I'll never catch up.

Borneo. DAYUM.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

amazing art on a grave

amazing art on a grave, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Isn't this the most elegant grave statue ever?


Is it Friday yet?

I 've done exceedingly well on the low carbs thing until last night, when I broke down and had a bowl of cheerios. I couldn't help it. I've been absolutely STARVING all week. Teeth gnashing, stomach growling, steal boller from babies INSATIABLE. Couldn't figure out WHY as I really have been eating enough and quite healthily too.

Then I realized it's my hungry week. Girls, you know what I mean. There's grumpy week, tired week, fat week and for me, hungry week. Luckily I also have one good week a month as well, but hungry week when you are on a low carb diet and all you can think about is carbs pretty much SUCKS. I dream of donuts.

So I gave in and had the damned Cheerios (ok OK and one small piece of chocolate. JUST ONE.) And I'll be damned if for the first time this week I didn't go to bed hungry. Turns out I really needed those carbs.

I think hungry week is almost over, but I am still PIGGING OUT on Friday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

just how I roll, 'yo

I decided that I haven't been drinking enough water at work, as all day long I drink coffee and then I get home and I am really thirsty. So this morning I decided that every day, when I get to work, I'll drink a few glasses of water to sort of get going and get some water down the hatch.
So this morning, I got in to the office, went straight to the water tap and drank three glasses of delicious cold Norwegian water. Look at me, bein' all healthy and shit! Then I made my coffee as usual.
Got to my office, sat there gulping my coffee while opening my email, only to discover an email sent officewide titled "WARNING DO NOT DRINK THE WATER" with a link to this article. An article telling us to not drink water from taps, or from coffee makers or from anything but a bottle, basically.
Some times you just can't win.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In which no news news

I hate the fact that I have become a very boring blogger lately. It's mostly due to the fact that there is way more that I can't blog about than I can. The more people discover the blog, the less I feel I can write honestly about stuff. I mean, I can't write much about work because some work people are reading this. (Hello y'all! Love my job! Woohoo!) I don't want to write about girl stuff because I know alot of boys who read this. (I will still write about shoes and dresses, though, so you boys go read about cars or something somewhere when I do.) I can't write about personal stuff because it either makes me uncomfortable or Rich doesn't like it. I don't write about HIS work or other stuff that can get either of us Dooced. We actually have alot going on, just none of it that I can write about.

So I blog about travels or trivial matters or things that happen on a daily basis. Things are going well at work (not to jinx it, but really well and I am damned happy lately in that area). Fall has settled in and it is getting harder and harder to get up in the dark gloomy mornings.
We have been watching 'Heroes' lent to us by Grant and OMFG I am addicted. I finished season three of 'Grey's Anatomy' this weekend and season two of 'House' a couple weeks before. I decided I'd much rather be a patient on Grey's than on House, mostly because of the immense hotness of the men. ( I mean, McSteamy might be a little too perfect, you know? but when he's just wearing a towel, that is some serious yummy right there)(just saw he's married to Rebecca Gayheart, and that's just not fair as that is like the most unrealistically handsome couple I have ever seen) Also, seems like Grey's patients are put through less horrible tests than the ones on House.

This morning I missed my train, though I was sitting on the platform, because I was watching episode one of season 4 of Grey's Anatomy on my iPod and I was so involved I did not hear the train pull up (it snuck up on the platform behind me instead of in front of me like it usually does) and I did not notice it until it was leaving. Damned quiet Norwegian trains. Had to wait another 20 minutes for the next one.

I have put myself on a low carb (not no carb, just low carb) diet and it is frigging KILLING me. I am always hungry and constantly crave snacks. All I want in this WORLD is bread. Or rice. Tortilla chips with my fucking low carb beans. Or a damned donut. (Last night on an episode of 'Heroes' the cop was eating a donut and I swear if I could have jumped through that screen and ripped it out of his hand I would have. Thus making me a Hero, in a way, huh? The screen jumping donut grabbing hero.) Instead I have another hard boiled egg and hope it fills the craving. So far, not so much, though luckily I do like hard boiled eggs more than your average person, it turns out.

Anyhow, low carb sucks. It's been four days now and it still just sucks. I am obviously one of those carb cravers. I am saving Fridays for my Eat Carbs And Go Nuts Day, because that is Waffle Day at work, Beer Night at the Pub, and I am going to have waffles, beer, french fries, pasta and maybe just inject starch right into my veins as well. I get teased at work for my effervescence on Waffle Day, I just loves me the waffles. People email just to tell me that it's waffle day. Then they stand back to watch me go after them in the canteen. (This would also be a reason why I do not have a waffle maker. Well, that and I have a rule that I do not buy kitchen implements that only have one use or make only one thing. So no juicers or waffle makers or deep fryers. My deep fryer also doubles as a slow cooker, rice cooker and something else which I forget.)

Carbs. I miss them. The only thing I refuse to give up, because it means certain death for everyone around me, is my coffee. I like sugar in my coffee and that is that and it won't change and I am NOT giving it up. Hence the LOW carb and not NO carb diet.

Now excuse me whilst I make my dieters tea, that Rich says smells like smelly feet with ass, but that I actually rather like. I think it's peppery. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

random pictures from prague

a photo Rich took of a headstone. (headstone, get it? ahem, sorry.) It's a beautiful and yet scary image, isn't it?

Me on the tram. (This fall I am REALLY into shades of grey.) I like this picture, mostly because I am just about the WHITEST person I've ever seen. I mean, due to the lack of summer in Norway this year, I got NO sun. My mom, a natural redhead, was teasing me about the whiteness of my legs. My MOM teasing ME about being white? This from a woman who has used self tanning lotion for years, even in the first years it was out and so her legs were always kind of orange? And she's teasing me about being white? I never thought I'd be whiter than my mom.

Me and my friend Mary contemplating the peeing statues in Kampa in Prague. I hope you can get a bit closer on our faces? Because the differences in our expressions is priceless. Very different thought processes going on. There were four ladies sitting on a bench just to my left out of the picture and they were laughing their ASSES off while we took this. It was taken by Mary's husband, Rich buggered off, he was too embarrassed to be seen with me. This, by the way, is a usual occurrence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

our hotel room in prague

prague october 2007 064.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Our hotel in Prague was a renovated 13th century monastery. I knew that when I booked it. However, due to some sort of luck (and probably a little bit of Texas charm) the very nice girl at chieck in gave us a SUITE which is the single most incredible hotel room I have ever stayed in. I couldn't believe it when I went in there the first time, I started jumping up and down with glee.

It had painted wooden beam ceilings, parquet floors, a separate bedroom besides the HUGE main room, original gothic archways and doors, three foot thick walls, and all sorts of original features.
The gothic doorway towards the back had old hinges embedded in the wall. The rooms were also tricked out with flat screen tv's and a marble bathroom with a tv embedded in the wall. I mean, really!

I didn't want to leave the hotel, I just wanted to stay there. but we had beer to drink, food to eat and friends to hang out with, so I reluctantly left our amazing crib and wandered out and about Prague.

library at Strahov Monastery Prague

I mean, wow?

Isn't YOUR library like this?

At Strahov Monastery in Prague. They only let you look in the doorway and point a camera into the room, no flash. But oh my what a gorgeous place.

library at strahov monastery

library at strahov monastery, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Seriously beautiful libraries at this monastery. It's in Prague, up near the castle.


I'm not sure why I like taking pictures of those in the priestly profession. Must be the flying clothes or something.

This is in Prague. She was a young nun.

church door

Up at Vyserad in Prague.

gravestone statue

gravestone statue, originally uploaded by karlakp.

in a cemetery in Vyserad castle grounds, a very famous cemetery in the Czech Republic.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Car Named Beer

There's a new design concept for a car, from Japan.
I think I would definitely be in the market for one, expecially as Pivo in Czech means Beer.
More about our trip, with pictures! later.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Off to Prague.

We will probably take a side trip to this.



I so need this.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Things that annoy me today, a bullet post

  • GWB
  • Today's cloudy sky
  • My shoes hurt
  • These people at this partner company to ours, for whom I seem to be doing an ungodly amount of work that THEY should be doing but they are too stupid to do themselves. I finally had to send them a nastygram telling them that I don't actually work for THEIR company I work for MINE and they should get their shit together ASAP. (I cc'd it to a boss and he laughed out loud when he read it and was all "Right on!" My rep as a Texas Ass Kicker continues.)
  • When watching "So You Think You Can Dance", all the modern dancers ALWAYS do this one move where she sticks her leg up straight into the air, like standing splits. I am so SICK of that move, I call it the Crotch Shot, and I really don't want to see it again. Ever. Dancing Girls, quit showing me your crotch, I don't care HOW limber and dancey you are.
  • The fact that I picked up a fuzzy sweater today and it got fuzz all over my black pants.
  • The zit in the middle of my cheek. Right on the cheek bone. Ow.
  • My aching back that will NOT stop hurting.
  • My hair is strangely flat today.
  • I am hungry yet nothing appeals.
  • The fact that grocery stores here do not have express lanes, and so me and my litre of milk and one box of cereal had to wait in line behind 5 old ladies with very full carts. And, as I learned to my disgust a few months ago, no, they WON'T let you go ahead if you have just one thing and are in a hurry.
  • Having to pay for grocery bags.
  • Grocery shopping here in general.
  • This one guy on Grey's Anatomy who is just a bit TOO handsome. Like, sorry, dude you are too perfect and you just BUG me.
  • My bracelet that keeps getting caught on everything, including, today, my underwear when I was trying to tuck my shirt in. My hand was stuck in the back of my waist for about 7 minutes and I really thought I would have to come out of the toilet at work and ask someone to extricate my hand from my own ass. I finally managed to get it loose but I was freaking out for a while there. (This once happened to me at a store, as well, and I did have to ask the sales girl for help getting unattached. THAT was embarrassing, literally.)
  • Late trains.

Bush = Dick

Seriously, I am so mad at the president right now.

He spends billions upon billions in Iraq (700 billion) and then vetos a program at home that is meant to help kids get medical care. Kids who are stuck in that wierd gap where they are too rich to be poor but too poor to afford health insurance. In other words, probably NOT kids from Republican families.

He vetos a program that could actually do some good at home, that 70% of Americans support, that would cost maybe 5% (35 billion) of what he is spending in Iraq. Then he justifies raising the spending on a war that no one wants!

He's a frigging idiot. The idea of government 'by the people for the people' is so far gone from American politics it's not even funny.

If you are an American, please sign this. Do it now. You know I don't ask you to do things like this often, but man this really has me het up, you know?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I so relate to this article

When Rich and I moved to Norway, his company sent us some forms and paperwork and asked us, "Ok, so when do you want to sell your house?" I was completely floored by their suggestion, as I had never even the slightest thought about doing so and their assumption that we would took me totally be surprise. There was just NO way in HELL I wanted to sell our house. It's my home. And that is that. End of discussion.
This article explains really well how I still feel about that issue. (International Herald Tribune At Home Abroad routinely carries great articles specifically aimed at expats of all countries. It's a great resource for news and a sense of understanding, that there are indeed other people in my same situation, no matter how odd a duck I might feel at times.)
That little house in a funky part of Austin is my anchor to home and friends and family, and if I ever lost it or sold it while out here, I would feel completely adrift. I don't really care how much of a pain in the ass it is to rent it or take care of issues from far away, it's my security blanket and source of comfort. No matter how pear shaped things might get (not that they are, but they COULD be) I always have a place to retreat to. An escape. Something real and physical that will always be there for us, as long as we wish it.
My little piece of home in Texas. So nice to know it's there for me.

Monday, October 01, 2007


We had a little gathering on Saturday in honor of my friend Kristin, who is going on a 6 month adventure above the Arctic circle to work at a weather station. She is the most adventurous woman I know (well she and my stepmotherinlaw Colleen, who is also pretty damned adventurous.) I mean, she is going to be in the Arctic for SIX MONTHS. NO shopping, NO trees, NO leaving that place....and did I mention NO SHOPPING??? Wow.

No shopping. I'm sort of stuck there, actually.

My brain is blank. How could anyone not have any shopping for 6 months? Ouch.

But she says they have a bar or two there, so I guess she can drown her sorrows somehow.

I was going to write about the party (it was fun) but now I am really obsessing on the whole idea of not shopping and my mind is blank.

No. Shopping. SIX. MONTHS.


We go to Prague this weekend with some friends for a Pub Extension Tour. Yep, our Friday Pub Gang will be on the loose in a whole 'nuther country. We are already discussing pros and cons of pubs we know there. I am bringing all my hangover cures....I'll need them.