Friday, February 29, 2008

random and a bye bye

Randomness today. Set your brain on 'shuffle'.
There is an interesting article in the Aftenposten about some naughty Brits in Northern Norway.  There is a stereotype in Europe about groups of British men who take cheap flights on RyanAir, etc., go somewhere like Prague where the beer is cheap, and totally misbehave. This pretty much ties into that stereotype. Behave, boys! And why on earth would you get that drunk in Norway? It ain't cheap here!
My new phone is smarter than me. I got it yesterday (one day turnaround for our IT dept, man they rule!) and I've been flummoxed ever since. It does everything but wash dishes. It might even do that, for all I know. The instructions manual is 170 pages long. Holy crap! I will now be forced to learn about BlueTooth, WLAN, GPS, and all that other techy phone connectivity stuff that usually makes me stick my head in the sand and holler until someone just makes it work for me. Between this phone and my job, my brain is hurtin' from all the larnin'.
My Mac is still away. I miss my iTunes.
Off to Munich this afternoon. I still don't really feel up for traveling, but I bet I will perk up once I get to my Mother Land (well, Mother's land, actually, it's Mom who is the real Kraut, I'm just half). I always feel an affinity for Germany, culturally it feels comfortable. And my German is just good enough to get me in trouble. But not good enough to get me out of it.
OK, that's it for now. Today has been a really busy day, all told, and I still have to get one a plane!
Check my Flickr (see link, to the left) over the next few days. I plan to send pictures from the new phone to it as a sort of running photo blog. Who knows what will show up?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

my baby is in foster care

I took the Mac to a place to  get it fixed yesterday. I swear to god it was like abandoning my baby.  They think that the Airport wireless card is bad and it needs a new one. I bloody well hope that solves the problem, otherwise we are going to pony up for something new.  Rich keeps using the dreaded 'D' word (Dell).  He never was much of a one for the Mac. Luckily we have my old Gateway as a backup, though it doesn't work with wireless, either. It's really quite fast plugged directly into the DSL, though.

It's going to be hard to not have my iTunes for one to three weeks. How will I keep up with my news? My habit is to listen to NBC Nightly News or Nightline on the way to work every morning. Not to mention my NPR 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me' habit. I hope they take care of my little white 12' baby. I'll miss, him. Uh, it.

It's been nice to be back at work, even if the mornings are damned hard. I don't know WHY I have such a hard time getting up. Part of it is that I haven't been sleeping too well. Anyhow, once I am AT work, I am glad to be there. I feel like I learn something new every day. Plus, I got word that they are getting me a cell phone. (I feel like I've been moved up from wooden boy to a REAL boy now.)  I think I picked out a pretty cool one. My friend Grant had one and I lusted after it, it's my first bout of phone lust. I told the IT guy at work about it and I got approved to have one. SWEET! Grant is a total early adopter, so I am  really excited to have something new that he has....until he gets something even better in a few months. He has a tendency to geek out and get new electronic whatevers fairly frequently. Me? Still thinking cd's are pretty awesome and hanging on for dear life to my turntable and records.

Rich might be coming down with a cold, which sucks as we are off to Munich this weekend. I'm practically forcefeeding him the Airborne, and he swears by this Zicam stuff you swab around your nose. I feel a bit sneezy too, but am studiously ignoring it, I am NOT going to get a cold after JUST having had the flu. That doesn't seem at all right or fair, does it?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ah yes, that's my home

Big article in the New York Times today about Texas being big and unwieldy and damned confusing for the Democrats to campaign in.
It makes me smile to know that my home state is about as big a pain in the ass as I am.

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Monday, February 25, 2008


Well, between the Flu from Hell and some pretty severe problems with the Mac's Airport wireless card, I have been a very bad blogger. Sorry. I either didn't feel like blogging or couldn't. I finally got on the phone with Apple (yeah for me, I still have almost a year left on AppleCare) and we did some stuff, including an archived reinstall of the OS, but none of it worked and the airport is as wonky as ever. I fear the next step is the dreaded Mailing In of the Mac.
Anyhow, be that as it may, I am hereby stealing (yet again) from Mr David Simmer, he of Blogography fame, and stealing his meme, 6 Quirks About Me.
Six Quirks About Me
1) I will only eat fresh, in fact, under-ripe fruit. If it's baked, boiled, canned, or otherwise touched by heat in any way, it will not be eaten by me. Yes, this includes pies, people. I will eat raspberry jam if it is not too lumpy.
2) I am afraid of monkeys, simians, apes, or anything of a monkey.proto human nature. I am also completely grossed out by anything with more than four legs or an exoskeleton, which includes all crustaceans and most bugs. (Crustaceans are nothing but giant water roaches, anyhow, and EW how nasty is THAT?)
3) I am a happy drunk, which rapidly changes to a sleepy drunk. Once I reach a certain point in an evening, I go rapidly from life of the party to girl who just wants to go home. I've been known to hit the sleep wall within five minutes. Then, NO ONE can keep me at the party, it's time for Cinderella to become a pumpkin. But I am never a mean drunk, not ever. I just...shut down.
4) I am very texturally sensitive. This applies to food, fabrics, anything you can touch. Food can't be mealy or lumpy (hence aversion to baked fruit) and I am SUCH a snob about fabrics, I can't even tell you. When shopping for clothes, texture comes first even over color or pattern.
5) I have 'sneeze hairs'. These are hairs in my right eyebrow and in the hair just at the edge of my forehead, where, if you pull just the right one,  I will sneeze.
6) I will spend an hour getting dressed and putting on makeup,  but if my hair takes more than 10 minutes, that is too much. I hate messing about with hair. Not that mine looks any different if I spend 5 minutes or an hour on it, anyhow.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

don't mess with bagels, please


I dragged myself to the local grocery store hoping they might have some Everything bagels. Sometimes they have them, and I must say they do a pretty good job of them. They have other kinds too, wierd ones, that I avoid, because a bagel should be sort of chewy and crispy and basic, no fluff and not too much whole grainyness. (Much as I love whole grain in other stuff.)

When I got there, they had some... I was psyched. But then, on closer analysis, the bagels were "Everything and jalapeno".

Everything and jalapeno? WTF?

I don't WANT Everything and jalapeno. I want Everything. Just Everything. Not Everything and jalapeno, Everything and paprika, wholegrain Everything and fucking pumpkins seeds. (The other day the "everything bagels" were whole grain with all these seeds and shit on top and they were NOT everything. They were OTHER thing.)

Why can't Norwegian cooks LEAVE SHIT ALONE. Just like they have food traditions here that no one messes with, bagels have their own traditions too and Everything bagels with jalapenos is just RIGHT OUT. It's bad enough they add parsley to the salsa, corn to the nachos and spinach to the tortillas....leave the damned bagels alone!


clawing my way forwards and back

I went to work for a few hours yesterday. Not sure if it was good or a mistake. I am going to take off today and tomorrow, though, as my head is killing me and the lethargy is pretty overwhelming.

It was good to see everybody at work, and I did get some needed things done, so that was good. Also, everyone was SO NICE. If you grow up in America, it's seen as a bit of a cop out to be sick from work, like, it's a necessary evil, but only kind of the wimpy ones do it (that's how you feel, anyhow), and certainly more than two or three days is not really done. (And that might be your whole sick leave for the year, one or two days). Even flu is a one or two day affair and you better be back and working soon!

 But here, people just ask how you are, if you are better, good to see you, and wow, this flu HAS sucked, hasn't it, and that's it. No guilt, in fact they just assumed I would not be in this week either and were surprised to see me. One of my co workers is still recovering from this flu after more than three weeks (he's pale and coughing like me) and my other one is just now getting it and I could see it all over him. We'll see him in two weeks. We probably should get a doctor's note, just to show that we aren't dying, that we can come back to work soon and that we haven't been in Barbados for two weeks, but it is nice to be treated like I'm not a loser, just a poor fucker who got stuck with the flu from hell.

I have to get better, though, and not in 4 weeks, like some say it takes to get over this, because we are going to Munich next weekend and i have to be able to have SOME energy, even if I won't be drinking like I had planned. I'm sort of thinking i need to cut back on the booze by a lot, it's been a bit much lately and it is kind of nice to feel free of it for almost two weeks now.  Also, I like me a bit skinnier and would like to keep it that way. Losing that 8 lbs was hard work and I am not about to put it back on!


Routines are alright, I guess. I just don't want them every day.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I. Can't. Kick. This.

Fucking hell.

I ventured out of the flat this morning (first time out since I got back from Amsterdam last Wednesday ) to get a coffee and had to sit down and rest THREE fucking times just to get the strength to go to the coffee place. And it's about 100 meters away. By the time i got back home my head was swimming and everything around me was whirling.

I am really fucking tired of this. I had wanted to e back at work today. (Shit the "B" on my keyoard doesn't want to work.  Grrr...)  The getting coffee was a test to see if I was gonna make it. Guess not. Honestly, the idea of getting to the train station seems a major hurdle, even, and then sitting at my desk all day at work seems monumental beyond that. When did i become this sad little shut in afraid of the outside world?

Of course its no surprise that Mother Nature chose this month to give me the WORST Day Two EVER. Like, could I be any weaker or anemic right now? I'm so pale that the sheets on the bed seem positively colorful compared to me.

I've made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. I need to know what is up with this weakness. Rich will have to help me get there! God that's lame. I've gone from the girl who has no fear of traveling alone across the world at the drop of a hat to a woman who can't go to the train station without help.

I think I am depressed enough that i am going to go back to bed and watch.....Sixteen Candles. it's obviously the only cure.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 8

Sorry for my abscence.

There's sick and then there is SICK and I have been SICK. I have not
been this ill since i was a kid in my parent's house. Poor Rich is
sleeping on the sofa and tending to me. Yesterday was really bad, my
temperature hovered around 102 all day and I really was thinking i
had to go to the hospital. Nobody can feel that bad for that long and
not die. Horrible.

it started last Sunday when I went to Amsterdam. I had a cough, it
sounded bad but wasn't painful or anything. By Monday, after I had
seen a museum that morning, I took myself off to bed as I was feeling
really punk. I stayed in bed the rest of the time, in my tiny
draughty hotel room with no tv, telephone or internet, except for
the horrible time at the airport Wednesday night where my fever
spiked and I was wearing three sweaters and a coat and STILL could
not get warm. Got home at 1am after my flight was delayed.

(Lesson learned? Usually when I travel I pick 4 star hotels that I
then never sleep in because i am too busy sightseeing. The one time i
cheap out, I pick a one star (admittedly charming and friendly) hotel
that I then end up spending ALL my time in because I am sick. No tv,
no internet. No one to bring me food, I had to slouch over to the
nearby mini market for SOMETHING to eat. Arg. I will always make sure
from now on that the hotels have something to offer in the way of
entertainment or room service in case of sickness!)

When I was in Amsterdam I took myself to the hospital (last Tuesday),
but they sent me home with some lame prescription pain pills and they
said to rest. Which I have been doing, It just keeps hanging on! I
can say if you ever visit the Netherlands and think you might get
sick, bring your own good strong American pills and potions, because
holy shit Dutch cold/flu medication SUCKS ASS. Might as well rub
orange juice on your face and call that a cure. Bullshit. The only
stuff I could get that slightly worked was an expectorant called
Fluimicil and it tasted horribly of orange that morphed into chicken.
it didn't stop the cough, just made it more productive for about 15
minutes. I would have killed for some Theraflu.

Anyhow, today I felt well enough to actually sit in the comfy chair
in the living room, which is a Big Step for me right now. Never
having been quite this sick, I'm now realizing how much I take my
general good health for granted. I've always been a pretty healthy
person, so to get knocked down like this is pretty eye opening. I
will do everything to avoid it happening again. I've coughed so hard
that my stomach muscles and my diaphragm hurts. Ever had your
diaphragm hurt? Kind of wierd. Like your innards or your ribs are too
tight or something

There is one small upside. I haven't eaten almost at all. Though I've
been hungry, I haven't had the energy or the desire to do anything
about it. So I've lost 8 lbs! Before today I hadn't had a warm meal
since Tuesday and even then I only had three bites (we went to a very
bad Italian restaurant, so it was part lack of hunger and part, ew.)
I'm so hungry it 's insane but I need to go easy because i have had
some pretty fierce nausea as well and don't want to bring that back.

I will probably have to take a couple more days off work to ensure I
don't relapse. I'm getting pretty tired of my bed.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spend all of Valentine's Day in bed

You know I've always wanted one of those Valentine's Days where you spend the whole day in bed..... rolling around, all sweaty, hair messed up, don't know which way is up or down nor what time it is.......YOU know.

I just never thought it would be with the flu.

Well, happy day to the rest of you who can do it properly.

what i did in amsterdam

lame ass cold meds in amsterdam, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Fuck all. I had (have) the flu.

More later.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

If I only had a brain....

I killed mine last night.

I am sooooooooooooooo hungover.

Work party. After work party. After AFTER work party. Stumbling around Oslo trying to get a cab home. Paying so much for a cab that my mind is boggled (what is left of it that is). Going out in Oslo and staying out til after the trains stop running means dedicating some serious cash to getting home. Over 120usd for a cab ride. OUCH.

However, as my way of justifying the expense (not to mention the obvious benefit of not having to sleep in the streets) is the fact that the amount of alcohol and food I indulged in for free more than covered the cost of the cab. (Champagne, wine, Guinness. Guinness. Guinness.)

It's the next day that is the real price you pay.

I really cannot do that ever again.

Tomorrow...Amsterdam! I always meet the nicest people there.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I know I KNOW I'm lame

Sorry for not posting much this week. I'm just not feeling it, you know? Not that things haven't been popping, in fact that might be part of my problem. By the time I get home I'm too damned tired to get out the computer (which is not working with wireless AT ALL and so we have to attach to the dsl cord) and be witty when all I want is a hot bath and sleep.
It was, still an interesting week.
Wednesday morning I went to a gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe for the results (ha!) of Super Tuesday. It was hosted by Democrats Abroad, Republicans Abroad and the Independents. (Independents not being joiners, there isn't really a group for them.) We had a big buffet breakfast and lots of speechifying. I haven't made any secret of the fact that I tend not to seek out Americans here, mainly because now that I am out of the US I sort of want to get to know people from OTHER countries, but it was nice to hear American accents all over. The press was there, but of course they only interviewed the Ambassador (who was there and seemed a pretty cool guy) and the Norwegian Americans there. They sort of skipped us non-Noggie Americans.
The informal vote we took of those present was a landslide for Obama, with Hilary next and then McCain a fairly distant third. Ron Paul got a vote, as did Huckabee. (Or as another blogger deemed him, 'Fuckabee' which still cracks my ass up.)
Honestly, I was really just in it for the breakfast. It ended up being more of a British fry up with bacon, eggs, baked beans, tomatoes and potatoes, though in a nod to our strange American customs they did have a jar of Skippy peanut butter out. Imagine my giggles when some of the press started taking pictures of the peanut butter jar, as that is obviously SO American to have that at breakfast. hahahaha.
The rest of the week has been taken up with machinations at work regarding moving offices and getting our new departmental set up figured out. Still in progress.
Rant for the week:
Yesterday I wanted to kill every teenager in Norway as they all decided, en masse, to get in my way no matter WHAT I tried to do. WHY do they all have to hang in giant herds of teenage annoyingness? Don't they have SCHOOL?
 Kids, I just want my damned coffee so GET OUT OF MY WAY! Why do 15 of you have to get coffee in a pack?? Can't you send the one to get the coffee and the rest of you go back to the parking lot to smoke cigarettes or make graffitti or whatever it is you kids these days do? (She says leaning on her cane.) SOME of us NEED the coffee to function, and you guys are pissing me off by interfering in my routine. And quit getting in my way when I am running for the train. I have to be somewhere, and it's obvious you are just moseying somewhere to loaf.  Make a space in your herd for us loners to get by!
And you, young man, pull your damned pants up. I don't need to see your bony butt. And sweetie, you are a gorgeous girl, so why would you hide your light under a bushel and wear those horrible sweatpants with pockets on the sides that make your cute young ass look double wide and droopy? I mean, maybe it's better than the skin tight low rise jeans you were wearing last year where I saw your Snoopy thong, but still...happy medium much? And all of you...take those damned hoods offf! You are not rappers!
Yes I am my mother. Bite me.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008


Man has the weather been STRANGE lately.

Take Friday, for instance.

Rain. Snow. Rain. Snow. Rain. Snow. Pause. Rainsnowrainsnowsnowsnow BIG FUCKING SNOW. Snow "flakes" so big they were more like snow biscuits, or snow bombs. Al Qaeda snow. Attack snow. These big wet splatting snow bombs that would smack and splat all over you until you were soaked and cold. I've never seen snow that big. Then it stopped snowing. And the wind came in. Within two hours, all the wet and snow of the day (about 7 inches worth all told, between the rain snow melt etc.) was blown away and the sidewalks were dry as a bone.

Saturday morning? Snow. I went to work out in the early afternoon (SUN!!!) and the sidewalk to the gym was treacherous with freshly shoveled snow over ice. They hadn't graveled it after shoveling. It was like walking on an ice rink covered in feathers...any minute you knew you were done for.

This morning.....snow overnight followed by more snow all morning. A good 8 inches. Seems like it is sticking.

Snow. I'm still not good at walking in it. It's not genetically in me.

I've started watching season one of Six Feet Under. Not sure if I am going to work all the way through all the seasons or not. Might be a bit depressing watching for someone who is having a depressing winter already. But there aren't 6 seasons of "Cheer the Fuck Up You Old Bitch" so I gotta go with what I have.

Friday, February 01, 2008

finally the picture I've been waiting for

After all our festivities of the previous weekend (which is probably also the reason I feel so run down STILL) I finally have got a good picture of Rich and I together. Most of the photos taken were jokey ones involving strategically placed roses and the men who enjoy freeing them. (This expat life can get rather randy at times. That's what we get for hanging out with all these sophisticated Continental Europeans and British blokes. And yes, Scots too, Grant.) Anyhow, finally a respectable photo. Don't you love the ring of fire around my head?

And yes, there will be more randy ones once I get them.


I have needed to sneeze for three days now.

I have this wierd cold that isn't all that bad except for the constant never ending feeling that I need to sneeze. And I wait for it....and wait for it....and wait for it.....and it doesn't come. Then suddenly, when I least expect it or want it, WWAACHOO!!!! there it comes, loud, proud and not at all dainty. Yesterday the emergency sneeze overtook me when I took a sip of tea.....that was messy. Luckily no one saw.

The thing is I rather like sneezing. (C'mon you do too, admit it. There's something so climactic about a sneeze.) But, when you have the constant nose tickling twitching itching for three days, even me, an avowed lover of the sneeze, gets a bit weary of it.