Friday, May 30, 2008

Cutest dog

Cutest dog, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This is Amber the love puppy. She's a dachsund. Generally not my favorite breed but she's an exception.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thank You

I just wanna say thank you to you all for being so nice and supportive during what has been a really shit week.

I get really homesick sometimes, missing everyone back in Austin, and it is so nice to realize that even if I can't be with my friends at home, I still have a whole world of awesome people from this blog that are there for me when shitty things happen like the events of this week.

So, to Desertwind, Delmer, Dave, Ayhee, Tracy, Victoria, Christina, Evolving Revolver, Tracy, Elizabeth, Stev and everyone who commented on this latest round of stupidity that is my life....thank you for being so great.

You really made this week endurable.

That and the wine.....which, by the way, I spilt all over myself tonight. DORK!

just trying to take a deep breath and BREATHE

How many times can one person say 'ARGH!' in a day!?
This bank thing is really wearing me down. Our bank has been pretty good and replaced  almost all the money taken. But....they aren't stopping any new charges from coming in. So, these fucking thieves take the money, and the bank just replaces it. Um....hmm. Is it just me to whom this sounds counter productive? They just keep raping us!
They said even though the card has been stopped, the delays in the banking system in Spain means that charges can come in long afterwards and not be stopped. I don't really get the whole thing myself, but it seems really stupid.
So we have moved everything to a whole new account, which means there is none in the old account left to take. (Heh, watch, now, the bank will bounce the charges and we will have to pay fees on that. And our bank charges fees like you wouldn't believe, so that will be the next round of discussions, I am sure. )
 But a new account means new cards, which are on order but not yet recieved, so right now, the thieves have better access to our money than we do. Why we didn't move all to the new account Tuesday is the big question, but the guy at the bank said that since it was just a CARD number theft, no need to worry. But, with all these extra and ongoing thefts....seems better to just move it out. The main hardship now is how to get cash when you have no card and the bank is only open from 10-3?
Much as the bank has been nice, there has been way too much floundering around and 'what do we do now's?' for my comfort. A US bank would have put the hammer down fast. New account, new cards, everything, fast and efficient.  And, the amount we lost would probably come into the realm of a pretty serious fraud, and there would be some police action. But here? Nah. It's not millions, so they won't worry about it. The BANK said this. To me. ARGH!
And so the thieves have learned the crime DOES pay, and pays well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to curse in Norwegian

I like saying "drittboller" myself.


Why, or how, has that little non-word "meh" come to mean what it means? I am curious.

However, it does describe rather well how I feel. After all the fuss and bother of the past couple of days, I feel rather low. Sort of anti climactic, all told, like I fought a great battle with knife and sword and now.....mashed potatoes for dinner. Eaten with a spoon.

Meh. I've tried to cry or SOMETHING but it just won't come. And, haha, can't go shopping, my usual pick me up because I don't have a card. Or money. Or really any desire to shop.


Still have to go back to the bank tomorrow to find the last batch of screwage from the thieves. If I EVER find out who did this.....somebody is going to be hurt. Rich keeps bringing up new scenarios, but honestly, I don't want to talk about it anymore. (Every 10 minutes, a new "What if it was....?" or "Did you use it to buy...?" or "When you were at...?". It's driving me nuts, especially right when I AM FALLING ASLEEP HONEY!.) It is what it is and it done happened, so let's just deal with the fall out and the solution and let the how's and why's fall by the wayside. All I know is the card never left me and I never lost it and I don't use it online and whoever got the number was pretty sneaky.  

Going to try and get up the gumption to go for a walk. It is a beautiful day today. That should cheer me up a bit. Or not.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fuck Me Part Three, Very Important Up The Butt After School Special

Ok, so you know how my card wouldn't work yesterday?

And I was all upset?

Well what the bank didn't tell me was that someone (and believe me, it was NOT me) had been on a shopping spree in Spain using my card number and emptied our account.

Rich's salary, my salary and our vacation money...gone. Buh-bye. See ya. You can't even buy groceries, honey. You are so fucked you are beyond fucked.

Ironically, I have always wanted to go to Spain. But now I can't afford it because someone in Spain spent all my money already. I hope my money had a nice holiday. Cuz it sure seems like it did. Jewelry, perfume, Lube Express (!!??), restaurants and shops. All gone. All in one day.

We usually don't have any money in the account, but had some this time because Rich wanted to get me a 15th anniversary gift and so we saved up a bit from the holiday money, his plan being to get something in London. I am just floored that the one time we have money, it gets stolen. I mean, seriously, is this my life or what?

The bank said they would have called but didn't have a number to call us. Um, so they couldn't have stopped the card BEFORE the account was emptied? They waited until the account was empty, THEN they stop the card. Good. Very good.

So this morning we spent two hours at the bank straightening things out. We saw the list of charges and the places those UNBELIEVABLE MOTHER FUCKERS who took my card went to. So strange to see this lifestyle we provided for someone else. I want to know why they needed to go to Lube Express, personally. Who gets lube and jewelry in the same day?

The people at the bank were pretty nice, if a bit clueless, as, of course, this NEVER happens in Norway. (Yeah, and three car break ins, and a house theft NEVER happen either). They say we should be able to get our money back, but it would be better if it had been on a credit card and not a debit card. We went to file a police report as well, but the police were out to lunch.

Literally. Out to lunch. Come back at one. Between the cops' hours and the bankers' hours, I am starting to think I work in the wrong business. Must be nice to work 6 hours a day.

So now, when I go to London Saturday, not only do I have no card, but I also have NO MONEY. Which puts a damper on my shopping plans, yo.

I just REALLY want to know who got my number and HOW they managed to do this.

We didn't sleep at all last night.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fuck Me Part Deux

Chain of events.
  • Try to buy groceries
  • Swipey thing won't take my card.
  • Clerk sends me to ATM.
  • ATM eats card.
  • Stare stupidly at machine waiting for it to spit card.
  • Machine gives me receipt saying "Card swallowed". (Can't it spit like everyone else?)
  • Let out volley of curses causing Norwegians to scatter like freaked hens.
  • RUN to bank, there's a branch around the corner.
  • Fucking bank has 'summer hours'. Closes at 3 fucking pm. It's 3:15. FUUUCK!
  • Accost bank employee leaving bank, brandish receipt from ATM, she says call customer service.
  • I say "You call closing at 3pm customer service?"
  • She walks off.
  • I call customer service
  • I am stuck in phone tree. A Norwegian phone tree.
  • They want my card number.
  • Go back to machine.
  • Maybe card fell out and is around there somewhere?
  • God Says "Ha!"
  • Use US ATM card in fucking machine, must get groceries, desperate need for toilet paper.
  • Pray US card won't get eaten.
  • Get cash.
  • Take deep breath.
  • Curse again when I realize today's groceries will show up in US account at the bargain price of $225.
  • Go back to grocery store, get groceries, curse the Norwegian banking system and price of groceries.
  • Make more Norwegians run like scared hens.
  • Run home with groceries, throw them in fridge, including toilet paper, no time to unpack.
  • Cold asswipe may be necessary later anyhow.
  • Call bank.
  • Bank hangs up on me.
  • Call bank back, wish I had gun or broadsword to take out everyone of these mother fuckers.
  • Give them account number.
  • Explain situation.
  • They say it's not their ATM, I have to call OTHER bank.
  • OTHER bank would have to retrieve card, mail it to my bank for verification.
  • This will take minimum a week.
  • Won't get card back in time for London.
  • Fantasy of Dave style flame thrower and nuclear weapons aimed at bank.
  • THEY cannot say WHY card was 'swallowed'.
  • Say they can order me a new card, will take 3 or 4 days, not sure if it will get to me but maybe it will. Depends on post.(!!!???!!!)
  • I say why don't we do that and I will meantime try to find something out from OTHER bank.
  • Call OTHER bank. Blood pressure at critical.
  • Other bank closed.
  • FUCK THAT, I call corporate and ask for the fucking president of other bank.
  • He answers.
  • President of other bank says I have to call ATM service company.
  • Huh?
  • He gives me number, he can tell by my voice I am NOT up for fucking around.
  • Call ATM service company.
  • Call ATM service company.
  • On hold
  • On hold
  • On hold.
  • Guy answers phone, I explain the situation.
  • Twice.
  • He says call back tomorrow, maybe we can meet at machine for me to get card.
  • But he can't give me card without bank verification.
  • I say bank is around corner, he can accompany me. I will show him passport, fingerprints, tits, ANYTHING to get my card back.
  • He gives me his name and says to call back tomorrow at 8am.
  • I regret that I did not buy beer at grocery store and HAVE NO MEANS TO DO SO NOW.
  • I feel sorry for you if you work at the bank and are at work tomorrow.

Oh F.U.C.K. M.E.

I went to buy groceries today and the card thingy at the store wouldn't take my card. So I went to get cash....and the ATM machine TOOK MY CARD.


My ONLY source of money in Norway. I go to London on Saturday. It takes minimum 4 days to get a new card in Norway, more like 2 weeks in reality. I REALLY need that card back.

OH fuckity fuck fuck fuck!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cindy Cowford

I've always liked cows. Not, like, in an intimate way or anything, but there is something so restful about cows in a field. (Full disclosure: I also like chickens and do a REALLY good chicken imitation.) I think in a former life I must've been a dairy maid or some sort of farm girl. I like the smell of cows in the field and the clanking of the cowbells as they walk, the sound carrying across the water and the meadows like a song of comfort.

Today I met a supermodel cow. That cow actually posed for pictures. Every time I moved it put itself in yet another alluring cow pose. Seriously, it was Cowdia Schiffer. Look:

Brown cow blue sky.

Big head Karla with Cindy Cowford in the background. Work it girl! You are fierce!

I've met other model cows too. Like these, in Ireland:

Mellow cows. moo.

Seriously, what is there to not like about cows? They give me milk and cheese and steak (sorry, I'm cownivorous) and as shown in the photos, some serious fierceness as well. Snap!

hilarious Top Gear Race

There's a show called Top Gear on BBC in England. We get it here on BBC Prime.

This morning they showed a race from the UK to Oslo, one guy driving through Europe, the other guys taking the ferry and then boat. It's hilarious and proves one thing: Horsepower doesn't matter in Norway. The landscape and the roads are going to mess you up. You can only go as fast as the land and weather will allow!

I also found it funny to see them getting around Norway with no clue what the money is worth or where they were. Hahahahah!

Here's part 3 of 4 (where they are getting to Norway):

Here's part 4 of 4....the end.

CLASSIC at the very end where the loser, wet bedraggled and totally lost, looks into the camera and says "What's the Norwegian for 'Oh, cock'?"

I'll write about the Eurovision contest later. Russia won, though Norway and Latvia (aaargh) did quite respectably.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Latvia, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I changed direction and dressed as the Latvian entry. Looser pants and I can say 'ARGH!' all night.


They say tonight Norway might have a chance for some points.

I'm gonna dress up as this guy from Lithuania. I frikking HATE the song, but I've got leather pants, a scarf and a white puffy shirt, so I am going for it. He's SO goth, isn't he? (not).

Hmm, what is the Lithuanian flag?

Friday, May 23, 2008


I found this picture and was just reminded that it is one of my favorites ever. That's me on a camel. In Egypt.
Oh MAN did my ass hurt after that camel ride. It was already sunburned, then, after the ride, calloused as well. Yes, I had the dreaded Camel Ass. Oofda. (As we say in Norway.)

Mug of the day

Mug of the day, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I stole this mug from my mom a few years ago. This morning Rich made coffee and put it out for me especially. I'm fairly certain it is a hint. In other news, I am happy to report that today my forehead remains dry. I've started using a shorter glass to avoid further 'Ruprecht'* moments.

*the bit with the cork on the fork STILL makes me giggle after all these years.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

spectacular lack of hand eye coordination, or, things come in threes

Before I tell you this story, I want to point out some things:

1) It was 5am
2) I think I was still drunk
3) I was definitely still asleep, and....
4) My eyes were closed.

That said...

I woke up at 5am with unendurable thirst. I was SO thirsty it was crazy. This, even though I drank two large glasses of water before I went to bed.

As I am pretty blind without my glasses, when I go to bed I set up my nightstand with what I think I might need in the night. This always includes a glass of water. I put it within close reach so when I have my nighttime thirsties, I can just reach over and grab the glass without looking for it or, if I am lucky, opening my eyes. Opening my eyes in the night means I am awakened, but if I can keep them closed I am reasonably assured of getting back to sleep quickly. (I do this, too, when I go to the bathroom. I am an expert at middle of the night peeing blind.)

Ok, so anyhow, 5am. Thirsty. Possibly still drunk. Grab glass. (The glass, as this is germaine to the story, is a tall cylindrical plastic one. Probably 10 or so inches tall.)

Grab glass. It's full of cool clear water. Bring glass to face. Miss mouth entirely, hit forehead with glass and douse own face and chest with cool, clear water. Wake up sputtering and wondering what the hell happened.

(What happened was I grabbed the bottom of the glass instead of the top, thus causing a severe mis-tilt as the mouth of it was higher than I thought and so I hit my forehead instead of mouth with the top of the glass. I did not know this was possible. This is also a lesson in why I might want to open my eyes from now on when having my night thirsties.)

I did finally manage to find the correct facial aperture and drink the remaining water. My side of the bed was pretty wet, though. Not that I cared, I was too tired to worry about it. I fell back asleep immediately, if moist.

I'm hoping this is the end of Dork Week.

Hangover brought to you by the Chablis region

Why are the work parties always on weeknights?

This hurts my head badly.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Today's 'doh! moment, brought to you by Colgate

Day Two of Dorkapalooza.
This morning was brushing my teeth (after having applied Band Aid to knee) and my apparently overly vigorous brushing resulted in a tiny fleck of toothpaste shooting up into my right eye.
That, by the way, really hurts.
Like, owmotherfuckerwhattheFUCKiswrongwithmyeyeowowowowow.
Kind of a slow burn, you don't notice it immediately and then your eye is watering like a hose and your newly applied (non-waterproof) mascara is everywhere BUT on your lashes and you've dropped the toothbrush and tried to scrub your eye only succeeding in getting MORE cavity fighting torture in there and you are (literally) foaming at the mouth and snotting and crying and looking like an insane sad clown who also has minty fresh breath.
I had to redo my makeup. Quickly as I had a train to catch. My right eye, however, smells good now that it is cavity free.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

argh I am a dork

Jeez. This morning as I hurried up the stairs to the train platform, I tripped on the leg of my wide leg pants and fell UP the stairs.

Banged the ever loving SHIT out of my knee. Actually, I landed all fours on the edge of the step, but only my left hand and right knee got any real damage. The knee is a bit swollen, bruised and scraped, but luckily no permanent damage (beside,s of course, my dignity.)

There were people behind me on the steps and as I fell, I cursed rather loudly and vigorously in English. One guy was all, "Are you ok?" and then a woman, behind him, said "Do you need a Band Aid?" That sort of made me giggle in the midst of my pain and chagrin. As an American, of COURSE I would need a Band Aid, wouldn't I? Don't Band Aids cure everything for us? I assured her I could survive without being taped back together with the American Cure for Ouch.

But I was pissy as hell all day, only semi-cured by a shopping trip and retail therapy.

Oh, and wine.


Monday, May 19, 2008


I am never allowed to stay happy for too long.

As usual, something always has to happen to fuck up the bliss.

Why can't people just let me be happy?

Miss Anthrope

still dreamy

It's the next day and I am still dreamy and watery eyed over last night's Robert Plant/Alison Krauss performance.
Everything was pitch perfect. (Ok, I was seated a little far away (too far to throw my special Easy Detach Robert Plant Bra, haha), but considering the costs of a show here, with nosebleed seats being a hundred bucks, and the fact that the joint was PACKED, I'm just counting myself lucky to be there.) The sound quality was amazing. The stage was simply set up with a few chairs and some persian rugs. There was no Justin Timberlake style dancing, no flashy lights, no costumes, just the best musicians on this earth doing what they do best. T Bone Burnet was also on stage. Now THAT'S a guy you'd want to have a beer with! He's nuts!
Robert Plant still has that voice, that voice that has carried me away so many times. At one point he did one of his characteristic little Zeppelin style moan/growls a la Kashmir,  just a short one, and I swear my whole BODY reacted.  I shuddered. I think that he gave me an eargasm. I worry to think what would have happened had that sound lasted longer, I might have done a 'When Harry Met Sally' right there in my seat.
Midway through the evening, I got a treat I would never have expected. Krauss and Plant, God Bless them, sang Zeppelin's 'Battle of Evermore'.
Let me just say, I have always been sad that I would never get to see Led Zeppelin live. The band was over before I was old enough to go see them, and the chances of me getting a ticket to the reunion show in London were, let's face it, ZILCH. So I always just figured, well, that's it, no live Zep for me EVER. I'd never get to hear Plant sing any of the old classics.
So, when they started this amazing beautiful rendition of 'Battle of Evermore', my heart almost stopped. And then, stupid dork-ass me, I cried. I couldn't help it. It just came out of me. I still want to cry thinking about it. I'm getting teary eyed right now. (I know I KNOW, I'm a dork.) It's just...something I wanted my whole life, never thought I'd get, and then, there, it happened, with no warning. Wow.
The surprise for me of the evening, and this is on top of the stupendous delight I had in finally seeing my Rock God on stage, was the absolute power, beauty and grace of Alison Krauss's voice. I mean, I knew she had a beautiful voice and all, but live? On stage? She mesmerized the audience. She sang 'Trampled Rose' and it was the most moving, melodiously sad thing I have ever heard. Her voice carried into the rafters with such power and depth, yet mournful sweetness, it was heartbreaking. There was a silent pause when she finished as the audience came out of its hypnotized stupor.
I don't know how esle to describe this night. All I can really say is, if you get a chance to get a ticket to this show, BUY IT. Whatever it costs. Run don't walk and do anything you can to see it. You won't regret it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Best, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Simply the best concert I have ever seen.


Sparkle, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Wearing my favorite sparkly turquoise swing skirt to Plant/Krauss show tonight. Gonna 'Shine It All Around'. I am so excited!

lifelong dream, realized tonight

Tonight I will be in the same room as Robert Plant.

To say I am excited would be an understatement. I'm so excited that I am strangely calm and mellow. Like, past excitement into Zen.

In fact, no words can describe how I feel. His music (from Yardbirds to Zeppelin to his solo stuff and onwards) has been a consistent influence in my life. It carries me away and into a calm happy place in a way very few things do. Shine it all around.

I can't believe I will be in the same airspace as Robert Plant tonight.

I'm plotzing. And I am not even sure what plotzing is. But I'm doing it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I am unreasonably jealous

Have you heard about this wedding?

I am oddly jealous about this. Some suburban girl from Canada gets to marry into the royal family? Her dad is an electrician? She's a 'management consultant', whatever the hell THAT is.

I mean, c'mon already! *I'm* supposed to be the princess here. I'm the one who has studied English culture and history since I was a kid. I'm the one who looks great in long dresses, corsets, and royal orbs, and honey, I can wear the HELL out of a tiara.

And some Canadian chick just steals my (admittedly never-gonna-happen) dream?

Bitch! Hate her!

17 May

Today is the 17th of May, also known as Norway's National Constitution Day. Everyone gets dressed up in their finest "bunader" and there are parades and much flag waving and national pride. It is always a very nice day.

Except, today? The weather? Absolute shit. I mean it couldn't BE any worse if someone had ordered the shittiest day on record. It's COLD outside (maybe 40F?), and bucketing down rain and the rain is mixed with SNOW. Everyone is dressed up so nice and marching in this shit and they are trying so hard to be happy when I know for a fact they all just WANT TO GET INSIDE. The plaza is set up with benches and band stands for an outdoor celebration, but anyone who sits out there right now is crazy. We had plans to join the festivities in central Oslo but everyone sort of wimped out. I am still in my jammies trying to keep warm from the draught coming under the window. All that nice weather of last week is a golden memory.

We were awakened at 8:30am by a barrage of loud dance music that came from the Russ buss pictured above. The bus parked itself on the road outside the town plaza (awaiting the parade to start at 9:30) and the girls all gathered on the roof and danced and sang and hollered and cheered during their wait. Very cute, except EARLY and those girls must have been so tired after a night of drinking, fucking and partying (which is what Russ do, for like, three weeks BEFORE their final exams) and very cold from standing in the shit weather. I was glad they were out there and we were inside and I wasn't 17 trying to prove what a hard partier I am. Seems exhausting. They managed to keep their energy up for the parade and gamely joined in with the wet bedraggled celebrants. The parade was quicker than usual this year

Luckily (for them and us, I imagine) Russ ends today. No more drive bys from loud busses and being awakened at 2am by screaming teenagers filling the fountain in the plaza with dish soap. (From now on I get to be awakened by kids on scooters with the mufflers removed, zipping around town at 2am and having races. Good times. Good times. )

Also, on a personal note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN! Here's hoping your Big 4-0 is a great one!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not so much a blog post as verbal barf

Random today.
  • Went out for a work gathering Tuesday night. Work gatherings almost ALWAYS contain the following: liquor. bars. laughter. an expensive cab ride home very late at night.
  • This one was no different, with the addition of the following: snorting cognac.
  • Don't ask.
  • I SAID don't ASK!
  • Ok, ok you HAD to know.
  • You do it from a spoon.
  • YES it hurts.
  • And it's not very sexy, cognac running from your nose.
  • My boss did it in London (on a dare from a bartender) and told me about it, so of course I made him prove that he could do it.
  • Then it became, "If I do it you have to do it".
  • So we did.
  • Ow.
  • My hangover Wednesday was not too bad, but I was tired.
  • I went to work, though.
  • Wanted to "work from home".
  • Which is what my boss did.
  • Hmmph. Smart bastard.
  • I took a long nap after work.
  • In other news......
  • Got invited to a hen party in Ibiza yesterday.
  • This is very cool for many reasons.
  • Firstly, hello, IBIZA?
  • Secondly, it's my cousin's fiance who invited me, which means she likes me enough to include me in her bachelorette party.
  • Which is cool because I like her too.
  • Thirdly, it's just cool to be invited to party in Ibiza (to leave from Gatwick).
  • But I can't go.
  • Because I am OLD.
  • Like 10 years older than the other hens.
  • And I really don't think I could party for three days straight without getting very, very sick. (Remember Amsterdam and the flu? Oy.)
  • AND.....
  • Don't have time off from work what with upcoming travel, which includes:
  • Texas
  • Tunisia
  • Thailand
  • London
  • So Ibiza is out. But I am bummed to not go because I have always wanted to.
  • Probably should have gone when I was younger.
  • Eek, first time I ever said THAT. First old age regret!
  • I actually have very few of those.
  • Because my motto is try anything once, and if you don't like it you don't have to do it again.
  • So I've tried alot of things.
  • Which explains the Unfortunate Incident of the Cognac.
  • Which I have now learned I won't repeat.
  • There's some lame movie set in Roman times on TV.
  • I keep thinking that their gladiator sandals are SO FABULOUS!
  • Even on old Roman warrior dudes.
  • I think it's time to eat. I'm hungry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Coffee!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My morning coffee. Strong black and sweet with an extra shot of espresso. And people at work wonder why I bounce around so much!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Beauty, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Went for a long walk today. Beautiful blue sky and clouds pointing to the horizon. Look closely at the upper middle sky and you can see the moon. Norway is so fucking beautiful in summer it literally makes me teary eyed at times. Just mind blowing. I am so glad to experience it!

Tveter Gård

Tveter Gård, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Old Norwegian farm on the Semsvannet (Sem Lake).

Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood, originally uploaded by karlakp.


Waterfall, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

$10 beans

$10 beans, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Just had to post a pic of the world's most expensive baked beans!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Poor girl

Poor girl, originally uploaded by karlakp.

She forgot her pants today!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

At least they are warm.

Somebody at BBC has a seriously wack sense of humor.

Funniest thing I've read in months.

Today! Good day! Happy!

It's so freaking gorgeous outside I am smiling like a goon. So is everyone else. Everyone in this part of Norway is friendly, happy and talkative, dare I even say, chatty? STRANGERS are being nice to me. That alone should tell you how good the weather is. It might seem a bit psychotic to be so happy just because it's nice out, but in a place where winter and darkness can rule your life for 7 months a year, a day like today is nothing less than a little slice of heaven!
Rich booked us an anniversary trip for this summer.(All on his own. Without me doing anything!)  It will be our 15th, though I can't really believe we are old enough to have been married 15 years (plus the 4 years we were together before that!) (maybe I should say we got married at 16, huh?)
Anyhow, we are going here. For a week!
I am so excited I have to pee. I've been wanting an island in the sun holiday for AGES. Woo! They filmed Star Wars there. I'm gonna see where Luke grew up!

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


glass, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Today was another beautiful day.

I freaking LOVE summer in Norway.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In which 'Project Runway' has been RUINED and Iron Man RULES!

They've just wrecked Project Runway forever.
Seriously, LA? New York is the fashion capital of the US, NOT Los Angeles. Heidi Klum ruins one of the best shows EVER so she can be closer to her family? Ever heard of an AIRPLANE? They get you places fast, and honestly, how much time did she put in anyhow?
I bet Project Runway's rating will go straight down the tubes from here on out.
In other news, I saw Iron Man last night and it effin' ROCKED. LOVED it, mostly because of the intelligent and ironic way that Robert Downey played the character. (The nicely built up biceps and shoulders didn't hurt.) Great music, too, no new rappy hip hop crap.... just good ol' rock n roll.
GO SEE IT, yes, even you girls! You'll like it! It's fun!

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Old Norwegian barn

barn, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A very solid abandoned barn that we passed on our walk today.

The ramp in front is MASSIVE and built of rocks. At one time there was a wooden bridge that would have connected it to the upper level of the barn. This picture shows only the first half or possibly third of the barn. It's really big.

Who would abandon it and why? The whole farm was obviously built with love and care and quality, so why leave it? There has obviously been a farm there for a long long time. It's right by the old Viking areas, with trails all around and even some small burial mounds (though my friend Kristin says they aren't burial mounds but just old rock and wood heaps, but the shape of them and the fact that it is an old Viking area makes me think otherwise. I have been told I can be overly romantic, though.) There is a map on a sign nearby that shows the whole area peppered with Viking trade routes, lime kilns and settlements. For sure there have been people around here for over 1000 years.


outbuilding, originally uploaded by karlakp.

An outbuilding near the abandoned barn and houses. I like the rocky feet of this building. The rock on the bottom left is about the size of a large suitcase.

blair witch trees

blair witch trees, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A row of trees on the abandoned farm we saw today. There was a spooky vibe there, I would not want to go at night.
It's obvious local kids used to go there and hang out. There are signs on the doors warning to keep out and any possible entries are pretty well boarded up and secured.

abandoned farm house

abandoned farm house, originally uploaded by karlakp.

There was a whole abandoned farm on our walk, with a big house, smaller house (this one) a huge barn and outbuildings. I wonder what happened that it got left to rot like that.

a walk in the Norwegian countryside

walk in the Norwegian countryside, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A view looking out over an old orchard. Today was a really gorgeous day. I love how we can walk from our home and be out in the country like this in 15 minutes.


Sun, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Sky. Clouds. Sunday walk. Ah...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

my past

Before moving to Norway, I had a sideline hobby as a decorative painter. I did painting for designer showhouses, some retail stores, and private clients. I only did projects I wanted to do, and never really made much money, but just did it for the joy of it, the physical motion and the challenge. I mostly focussed on large scale stenciling projects, because stenciling is more about technique and planning than it is about being able to draw, which I suck at. But I am good at visual balance and scale, and stenciling fits very well into that. I loved the mathematical precision of creating just the right stencil for a space and the puzzle of how to fit it all together.

Sometimes, however, an interesting project that was outside my usual focus came to me. Bigger, scarier, but ultimately more rewarding.

Here is one such project I did*, for a house in Austin, that is now up for sale. It's kind of my masterpiece. There's a slide show link on the left, you can't see in detail what I did, but the "artist" mentioned in the article is me! You can kind of see the half-moon celtic stencil at the top of the doorway at the top of the stairs. You can also just see the stenciling in the dining room (top of the wall in the red part) and also if you look very closely, the gleam on the walls of the master bedroom is actually an all over wall stencil in pearlescent paint. I also did washes on the walls of the living room, office, bathroom and kitchen. Very little of that house escaped my brushes.

I think calling me an "artist" is a bit optimistic, but I did enjoy the hell out of working on that house and it remains my proudest painting achievement ever.

*The Austin American Stateman might require a log in.

that's a helluva can of beans

Just when I get used to the prices here.....

At the grocery store today I saw a can of Van Camp's Baked Beans (with Real Bacon and Brown Sugar!) that sold for the amazing price of 48 kroners. At today's exchange rate that's about $9.50. Right above that on the shelf was a box of Stove Top Stuffing for the same price.

I could do a ripping black market trade in stuffing and beans if I wanted.

Friday, May 02, 2008

random day

Random things bouncing about my head.
  • Seriously, the more I hear about the US economy? The more I worry. Well, ok, WORRY is the wrong word, more like GET ANGRY at FUCKING George Bush and his reprehensible, incomprehensible and illogical economic polices. That guy has single handedly wrecked the greatest (former) country in the world, and if anyone belongs in Guantanamo, it would be HIM.
  • That being said, I am gratefuI am out here in Norway, where I am a little protected from all that shit. Things are pretty stable here, right now. Gas has always been expensive, no shock there. Plus I don't have to hear HIM making speeches and stuff.  I'll buy y'all a beer and a gallon of gas next time I come home, ok?
  • Is anoyone else sick to death of the Democratic primary? I'm a Democrat, and at this point I just don't CARE anymore.
  • The Macintosh has been restored to its former, reliable, wirelessly stable self. The guy at Eplehuset took an agressive stance and replaced the logic board, which seems to have worked a treat. I think we will now call it Frankenmac, with all its new parts and stitched together bits. But Whitey is back and workin' fine!
  • I'm listening to A3. This is Bookhart's favorite band, and I definitely am a fan as well. I love that these white English guys sound so American South, and at one time adore and take the piss out of American culture. Brilliant. Plus, I can dance to it. I'm chair boogying as I write this.
  • The other night I was good at the pub, and had tomato soup instead of the bacon club sandwich with fries that I wanted. Score one for willpower. (Ok, full disclosure: I had about 5 glasses of wine. Still, I would have had those had I had the club anyhow, so look at me all saving the calories and shit!)
  • It's raining today, but it's not COLD. Just chilly. This is the weather where everyone pulls out their hip leather jackets. Cool enough for spring, but not warm enough for winter.  
  • I'm all booked for my project management course in London in June. I'm psyched, but maybe a bit nervous. What if I suck? What if I am too stupid to take a class anymore, and just don't GET it? What if my brain is now the size of a peanut? (That is most certainly the size of my bladder.)
  • My brother tells me that the car in the picture below is worth ONE MILLION dollars and has ONE THOUSAND horsepower.  I was thinking it costs a couple hundred thou, tops, when I saw it. ONE MILLION BUCKS FOR A CAR? God can you imagine driving that thing? I'd wrap it in bubble wrap and then have police on each corner with sirens to prevent anyone touching me, PLUS hire someone to guard it while it was parked. If you can afford a million dollar car, you can afford extra people to protect it.
  • But then, if I had that much money, I'd also hire someone to find me more of those jeans I was wearing in the picture.
  • And again, if I had THAT much money, I'd also hire someone to exercise and lose weight for me so I wouldn't need skinny jeans, I'd just be skinny.
  • And again, with the money....I fell in love with a bag by Etro in Berlin and I can't remove it from my brain. I can't find a picture of it online, but when I do I will post it. No way I could buy the bag, but it was perfect for me.
  • When we went to Berlin last Thursday, the trees still did not have leaves. Upon return on Tuesday, they did. THAT is how fast the seasons change here. Literally, from one day to the next, it goes from winter to spring.
  • My outfit today is almost exactly like something I wore in high school. Leggings, above knee length fitted shirt dress, wide elastic belt, mary jane flats (everything balck, of course). 80's!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

This one's for the boys

This one's for the boys, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Here's a pic of a Bugatti in a shop window in Berlin. Nice car. (I'm also thinking I wish the Gap still made the jeans I am wearing in this shot. I'd like more of them.) I know you boys would prefer a hot chick in a bikini with your car pics, but this is my blog so you get me in my 'good butt' jeans instead.