Sunday, September 28, 2008

bullet post update

Things are pretty crazy so I'll do a bullet post to catch you up.
  • Flight from Norway to Texas was very nice. BA actually treats you like a human, and I was in World Traveller Plus, a sort of economy extra, which gave quite a bit of extra legroom and nicer service, so it was a pleasant flight. The plane wasn't full and they kept giving me champagne. I had no complaints.
  • Arriving in Houston I was a little perturbed by how authoritarian and almost paranoid the signage seems after laid back Europe. All these big signs announcing "border protection" "customs protection" and so on. Feels like a police state.
  • My rental car is a Toyota Prius. Wierd! I kind of like it though it's a bit anemic for power. You really have to floor it to get up some speed. They originally offered me a Chevy, and I have to admit I don't like Chevys so was happy to get the Prius. The back seat has more space than the front, which is a bit odd. Rich keeps complaining about his legs. I might make him sit in back.
  • I haven't driven in about a year, so it's wierd to be behind the wheel in this intense Houston traffic. Everyone goes so FAST.
  • I have SO SCORED at the outlets here. Burberry dress and sweater, for like 90% off, a nice basic Coach bag for 50% off lowest price, my favorite shower gel from Lancome that was 1/6th of what I usually pay (I bought 6), and two dresses from Max Azria that are so awesome. And that was just my first shopping day!
  • Have so far eaten fried chicken (ohmyfugging GOD it was good, you just can't get fried chicken in Europe that's worth a shit), mexican food twice, an amazing Vietnamese meal with about 40 courses and beer.
  • Mmm...beeer. We did a 'tour' of the St Arnold's brewery in Houston. By 'tour' I mean, you show up, pay five bucks, you get a half pint glass and four tokens (with the option of buying a full pint glass if you wish) and then a guy stands on a ladder and talks for a half hour about beer. There were about 1000 people there, all holding their glasses ready for...the tasting! I was actually interested in hearing the guy talking about the brewery, but the noise level of the people was so loud I couldn't concentrate and so gave up and held my mug expectantly with everyone else. It's not a big building, and it is crammed with beer making apparatus, so once you've walked around and seen Moe Larry and Curly (the fermenters) you then go get your 4 free yummy beers. I focused on the brown ale and the wheat. They also had a nice Oktoberfest, and all their other styles.
  • My mom always impresses me with her beer palate. She is where I got my love for the darker, heftier beers. She and I snorted (laughing) our way through quite a few of the browns and the wheats. She also liked the Oktoberfest as well. Dad, on the other hand, is a certified beer wimp, lager is as exotic as he gets. Luckily my German side holds my beer genetics.
  • We also sampled their root beer, which was INSANELY good. Apparently they use one pound of sugar per gallon of root beer! Holy crap! I was craving a root beer float like nobody's business, and I don't even like them!
  • After all that beer I needed a nap.
  • Then we ate more.
  • Today my brother gets married. Congratulations Bro! I love you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

..And...I'm spent

OHMyfuggingGod I'm worn out.

I go to the States tomorrow and I have been running around like a crazy ass fool trying to get organized. Of course, all sorts of shit had to happen just as I was getting my head together about my trip, and none of it very good, so I am a leeetle bit stressed. Like....

...we got a letter a couple weeks ago about a meeting for the tenants of our building, about some work they need to do on the flats. As we get at least a letter a week notifying us of SOME sort of work that they need to do, we didn't worry about it too much.


I went to the meeting briefly and they handed me a plan of our flat, peppered liberally with little circles every few feet. I was all, 'What are the circles for?' and they are all, 'That's where we have to knock out the wall and check the girders and beams and possibly reweld them'.


We are going to have to MOVE OUT of our apartment for up to three months early next year so they can basically tear down the walls and fix every beam and girder in the whole fucking joint. Apparently the building was not built right. And they have to go back and fix it. And we, as renters, are fucked. Inconvenienced like nobody's bidness.

To say I am annoyed would be a mild understatement. I so had a Bad Norway Day yesterday. Between that, and a snafu with my vacation entitlement at work (basically don't get any as am on a new contract, a factor of miscommunication on both sides so no one to blame but strange Norwegian vacation pay system) and the fact that the wine store was closed when I REALLY TRULY NEEDED IT TO BE OPEN, I am kind of ready to have a Norway break. To add to that the complete and total rudeness of some of the people on the train this morning (I mean rudeness bordering on callousness) and my almost unbearable need for Mexican food, I am about ready to fly to Texas using my own arms. (Of course, the whole time I'm in Texas I'll be all like, 'Dudes, in Norway? We don't have George Bush. And in Norway? We can afford health care. Maybe can't afford chicken, but we can afford health care!')

I am packed and ready to go, people. Not that I have any clue what I packed, I was singularly unconcerned and just tossed in random shit. I'm afraid that when I open my suitcase in Houston I'll be all, 'What the fuck did I bring a snowsuit for?' Not too worried about it, however, as can buy whatever I need there. Because they have TARGET! And OUTLETS! And Gap! And department stores and the Galleria and all sorts of great places to shop!

And I get to see my Mom and my Dad and my brother and my husband and all my friends. I haven't seen some of my friends in over a year, and, come to think of it, same for my parents! Amazing how fast a year can go and you just don't realize how fast the time went.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I've been to Russia circa 1972

Yes it has taken me a while, but I am FINALLY getting the last of my Svalbard posts up. Saved this one for last, as it still sort of blows my mind.

I give you...Pyramiden. Russia circa 1972.

The sign of the town. This was actually put up later, I am told, and they are trying to encourage the tourist industry. Pyramiden is a ghost town.

Tracks to nowhere.

Detail of the side of a building. There was some massive architecture there, this building was built in the 80's.

Nobody at the hotel. The boarded up windows are now home to thousands of Arctic terns. Noisy smelly birds. ugh.

A coal factory. It was huge.

The irrepressible scavenging David finding more stuff on the ground. He really wanted to take this sign with him, along with his deer antlers and assorted dead-thingy-bits, but I'm pretty sure the keeper of the town (there are maybe 5 people living there to continue the environmental clean up and greet the few tourists) would not have liked him taking the artifacts. Behind him is older housing for coal workers.

Me, Lenin and a baby doll. One of the few remaining in-situ Lenin statues, and most certainly the one that is farthest north.

The inside of the sports and recreation complex. It was strangely familiar in feeling (I grew up with this sort of 70's architecture) yet unsettling in its dusty emptiness. Like school just got out and they would all be back tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.

Detail of the sports recreation complex. Pyramiden was abandoned for good in 1996. People left with what belongings they could and the rest was left behind.

The music room, abandoned instruments.

The film projecting room.

70's mirrored ceiling, arty picture time!

Totally awesome bar at the Hotel Pyramiden (we did get to go in). It was open until not long ago. Our manly man in charge, Erling, told us about the many times he came drinking here and what a great bar it was. It certainly was cool looking, I'd love to open something that looks similar in Austin. Every surface was textured in some way, nothing was left untouched. So completely retro, in perfect shape, even to the padded satin walls behind the bar.

Strange art in strange places. Happy and sad.

Arctic terns on an electric line, in the background the coal mine and distribution system.

Abandoned baby doll. Up above stands the Lenin statue. Remains of a lost ideology.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

food meme, stolen from Badger

1. How do you like your eggs?
Scrambled (well) or hard boiled (HARD) or in an omelette. No runny bits please.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Both need lots of sugar. My usual coffee is a mochachocalottayaya, with vanilla. Sometimes I drink Yogi detox tea, and eschew the sugar.

3. Favorite breakfast food:
Sausage egg and cheese breakfast tacos with salsa AND ketchup. Sans that, gimme the big ol' Denny's breakfast with all the trimmings.

4. Peanut butter:
Creamy only, please, not a hint of lumps.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Bought this fabulous lime cilantro one in Winchester, made by a farmer, that I will probably never find again. Honey mustard also good.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Don't care.

7. You're feeling lazy. What do you make?
Black beans and rice. Or sauteed shrimp with cilantro and lime.

8. You're feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Too expensive to order pizza in Norway. We keep frozen ones as emergency rations, they can be quite decent here. I refer pizzas without meat, and with plenty of mushrooms.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
I cook all sorts of stuff. Quesadillas or tortilla soup? Risotto con scampi or this great recipe from a cookbook Mags gave me, sort of a fried chicken with tomatoes and mushrooms thing. Supposed to be Asian but tastes Italian.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Corned beef hash, turkey sandwiches from thanksgiving leftovers, meat fondue, home popped popcorn, Texas chocolate sheet cake. Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Boiled spinach. Pea soup. Brussell sprouts. Moussaca.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
Crispy duck (from Chinese restaurants in London) reminds me of my stepmother in law Colleen. You have to fight her to get your share! Wendy's frosties and fries make me think of my brother. (must dip fries in frosty.)

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
I can't eat things with exoskeletons or that have alot of legs and antennas and are looking at me. I physically...can't. There's alot of Norwegian traditionl foods that I also stay away from, lutefisk anyone? Red, green or yellow peppers. Hate them!

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
Fruity Pebbles. Corned beef hash and corn. Also patty melts and the open faced turkey sandwich at Denny's. My mom always fed us very healthy stuff, so when we got to eat bad stuff, it was always a treat.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Raw spinach, mushrooms, fish of any kind, cheese. Yes I hated cheese. Don't judge me.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Cauliflower. Lima beans. Swiss Cake Rolls. Chocolate milk. Bananas. I can't even smell the damned things now.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
Mushrooms hands down. Also fresh spinach, finely diced tomatoes, onions and baby carrots. Fruit? Pomegranates and raspberries, fo' shizzle.

18. Favorite junk food:
Right now Krizpy Cheez Kruncherz, smell like ass, taste great.

19. Favorite between meal snack:

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
Many. NO COOKED FRUITS, at all. None. Not pie, not cobbler. I'll  pick the fruit out of chutney and jam. Hell, even fruit in ice cream or yogurt bothers me. I have to pick out and add the fruit myself and it must be fresh and slightly underripe. No canned fruits either. I'm afraid of crustaceans.Lobsters, crabs, crawfish. Will not touch them if they have not been shelled. I don't like boiled meats, and beef must be rare. I will eat raw meat if you put it in front of me, I like it sushi style with soy sauce. True carnivore. Yummy cows. I've been told I can never eat something without 'adjusting' it to my tastes, either by adding a condiment or altering the order on the menu. Didn't notice that until it was pointed out, but I fear it is true.

21. You're on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
Soup. When on a diet I don't altar what I eat just eat less. Tried low carb, failed miserably.

22. You're off your diet. Now what would you like?
More alcohol please.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Mild to medium....medium in Norway, mild to wimp in Thailand.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Yes, please!

25. Red or White Wine?
If food pairing isn't an issue, I like a nice rosé.

26. Favorite dessert?
Chocolate cake white icing. Hey, I'm traditional. or creme brulee, well torched.

27. The perfect nightcap?
Nah, just a glass of water by the bedside.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mind. Boggled.

Norway has just announced that it is giving 1 BILLION dollars over 7 years to Brazil to help save the rainforests.

In contrast, a quick google search tells me that 2.4 billion is spent every week by the US in Iraq.

Is it just me that feels a little sick thinking how much money the US is wasting for a war nobody wants when that money could be so much better spent? How easy would it be to spend 3.5 days' worth of Iraq money and match Norway's donation? Not to mention, the US economy is failing (and dragging down the rest of the world), people are dying from lack of health care and people are losing their homes daily....and we spend 10+ billion a month in Iraq. Mind. Boggled.

Norway's doing something right. Taking that oil money and doing good with it. I'm glad my (very high) taxes are going to causes I actually support. I don't mind paying the taxes if I get something for it (health care!) and if it is used for human(e) causes.

The US is pissing me off right now. The government sucks. GAH!

Today's outfit brought to you by Mad Men

Been watching too much of that series and it is affecting the way I dress! I caught myself sitting perkily straight in a chair with a notepad and pen and had to mentally bitchslap myself out of girly assistant mode.

a viral email, believe me I don't do this very often

We interupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you this very important message.
You well know that I NEVER do this, but this is a BRILLIANT way of making a statement of your dissatisfaction with the current Republican ticket as well as a way to support a cause which all women should be supportive of, especially in these perilous times, Planned Parenthood. Read on:
We may have thought we wanted a woman on a national political ticket, but the joke has really been on us, hasn't it?  Are you as sick in your stomach as I am at the thought of Sarah Palin as Vice President of the United States?

Since Palin gave her speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Vice Presidency, Barack Obama's campaign has raised over $10 million dollars. Some of you may already be supporting the Obama campaign financially; others of you may still be a little honked off over the primaries.  None of you, however, can be happy with Palin's selection, especially on her positions on women's  issues.  So, if you feel you can't support the Obama campaign financially, may I suggest the following brilliant alternative?

Make a donation to Planned Parenthood.  In Sarah Palin's name.  And here's
the good part:  when you make a donation to PP in her name, they'll send her a
card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.  Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood website:

You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card. I suggest you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202

Feel free to send this along to all your friends and urge them to do the same.
Stepping off soapbox now, we return you to your scheduled programming.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

line dancing, and happy birthday to my mommy

The doorbell rang at 9pm last night. It was my Irish neighbor, asking me to teach her to line dance. As I was running down our very long hallway to answer the door (not, at this point, knowing it was her but figuring it was as she is the only one who does ring the bell at odd hours like that) I actually muttered to myself, 'Now who is that at THIS hour?', which then made me laugh at myself because I sounded JUST like my parents. And as we all know, at a certain age we do, inescapably, become our parents. Don't fight it, just trust me on this one. You WILL become your parents. But I digress. This post is not about parental cloning.

Ok, Irish neighbor, door, line dancing.

I open the door, glamorous dressed in my 'lounging' wear, which is an ancient black tank dress worn sans bra, to see my lovely Irish neighbor, cute as a button in her corduroy mini skirt and dark green tights.

"Karla, how do I line dance? I have to teach a class of 14 year olds how to line dance for an English lesson about cowboys. Can you teach me?"
(my first thought)...!!!!!??????
(me) " I have no idea how to line dance. Never done it."
(she) "But you're from Texas."
(me) "Yes."
(she) "And you always wear cowboy boots."
(me, ironic grin) "Yes, but you see, I am a liberal, Obama- supporting Subaru- driving Texan with a degree in English Lit and a house in Austin. Asking me how to line dance would be like me asking you how to plant potatoes because you are Irish. An unfortunate stereotype perpetuated by the media and the movies. The boots are a sartorial statement of irony and pop cultural retro-cool, as when I was growing up boots were really the most uncool thing you could possibly wear, sported only by Kikkers* and Ropers** and all the loser Ag*** kids in school. So when I moved to Norway I purposely bought the boots as a jokey physical reminder of my Texas roots, that I have since realized are actually incredibly comfortable, practical and oddly stylish. My wardrobe statement, if you will, along with the strong nerd glasses and the big funky rings. I have never worn the boots line dancing. I have, however, worn them while dancing to traditional Czech, Hungarian, Egyptian and Moroccan music. Just not line dancing."
(she) "Oh".
(she) "I thought all Texans line danced.."
(me) "Nope. Though we did all have to learn square dancing in elementary school."
(she, hopefully) "We have to dance it to 'Achy Breaky Heart'". She shows me the lesson, with diagrams of the moves step by step, suggested music, and a short paragraph about American Cowby culture and how this is a typical American dancing pastime (!!)
(me) "Urgh. Achy Breaky barf."
(she) laughs.

I think I went down a few notches in her eyes as a Texan. No Texas accent, no line dancing, no cowboy hat and a fear of horses. What good is it having a Texan next door if they don't live up to the glam?

In other news, Herzlichen gluckwunsch zum geburtstag Mutti! Ich liebe dich! Aber du liest mein blog nicht......oder?
*Kikkers...a slang term for kids who listened to a radio atation in Houston with the call letters KIKK, that played country music. Country music in the 80's? SO not cool.
** who wore cowboy boots that did not have pointy toes, and the only thing worse than being a KIKKer was being a Roper.
***Ags. Kids who were in the agricultural program at school and would have cows or pigs and would show them at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They wore blue corduroy jackets and invariably wore ropers as well.
FYI, I was a Denizen of the Courtyard, one of the ones who eschewed the cafeteria, sat outside during lunch and ironically (so we thought) made fun of everyone else at school. High schoolers always think they are ironic, even if they are just idiots.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We pause from obsessive watching of Mad Men

I'm taking a little break from searching for Joan on Mad Men.

It's been an interesting weekend. Today is Lazy Sunday to give me a chance to recuperate from the week. It's 12:50 and I am still in my jammies, go me. I am doing laundry as the pile is huge, about 8 loads worth. All mine, not towels or anything. Coffee hot and strong in the kitchen, Mad Men on pause, me and the computer catching up on what's happening and scouting for more news on Hurricane Ike.

Seems like my brother made it through ok, some downed limbs and he's a bit annoyed that the cover blew off one of his cars (hurricanes tend to do that). I called him at 9am his time yesterday and he was just scouting the damage. I think he'll survive. Now the remnants of Ike are heading directly to my parents, so this hurricane obviously has it in for my family.

Friday afternoon I met with the chiropractor and had my first treatment. My x-rays were fine, no disc problems or anything, I have a healthy back that is just a little misaligned. A bit freaky, this sudden 'manipulation' of my back. A short sharp pop and it's over. One crack on the lower and one on the upper and you're outta there. I can barely even get the breath for a yelp. More like "Yiiee....?" and we're done. I can honestly say that my back already feels better, especially the upper portion, which has given me quite substantial discomfort for a couple of years now. That will take a little time to work out. The lower back pain is gone.

Friday night I went out with some work folks, I promised Rich and everyone from my usual pub crowd I'd be back around 7, but as usual, I somehow lost track of time (or maybe the champagne had something to do with it) and managed to stagger back home on the train at 12:30. Oops. We ended up at a place called the Palace Grill, sort of a divey joint, seems like alot of expats go there, and the middle bar was cranking out some really awesome 70's groove funk R&B. I don't know about you, but when my ass feels Parliament on the turntable there ain't NO turning back and it was booty shaking time. (Thanks to the chiropractor seems my booty is back in fine shaking form!) The aquavit was very smooth. So were the grooves.

Wanted a late start on Saturday, but hurricanes in Texas and husbands preparing for international flights interfered, so got up around 8 and glued sticky smelly self to CNN for live storm coverage. Also kissed husband goodbye as he flew off to visit his mom in the US. I'll follow later this month. I was not a pretty sight after my groovylicious night previously. Took a quick shower and meandered off for some shopping (must hit Vinmonoplet by 3pm or no vino for Karla all weekend) and managed to see everyone I knew while doing so. Unfortunately had not really checked self in mirror before I left flat and was looking a bit squiffy. Eyeliner from night before everywhere but on eyes. Oops, sorry guys!

Met up with friends last night for sushi and La Boheme. The sushi was awesome, the opera good but not as awe inspiring as the sushi. I've spent a large portion of my life telling everyone within ear shot how I don't like fish, but lately? Seems like fish is all I eat. Granted, I still harbor a grand disgust for smoked, canned or strangely preserved fish (herring or smoked salmon, eewww) and most crustaceans (too many icky legs and antenna, too much like bugs!) but give me a nice white fish or some tuna and I am a happy girl. Seems after last night I can add halibut, scallops and clams to that list. I am still a bit of a sushi weenie, though, as I don't do roe or raw eggs. Hey, I'm still learning. Give me time, I've gotten this far.

At some point today I will have a nice hot bath absolutely overflowing with unguents and good smelling youthifying agents, will give self a spa facial, and will indulge self in a nice stir fry for dinner. Life as a 'single' gal ain't bad, though I am a bit curious as to why the garbage is still in the kitchen, I thought it magically walked itself out. Oh, you mean husbands do that? Wow, how nice of them!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mad Hot

I am watching season one of 'Mad Men' on dvd. I got it a couple of weeks ago from the US.
Oh. My. God.
Sure the stories are interesting, but what makes me really happy? Like, oh my God I have been WAITING for this, happy?
The curvy girl. Christina Hendricks?
If there is anything even remotely as smoking hot as her on tv ANYWHERE right now, I want to know. She is amazing. Big hot sexy with tits and hips and ASS. I LOVE her. I am SO goddamned happy to see a woman who looks like a WOMAN and not a stick figure on tv, I was stunned when I saw her the first time and I slavishly follow her appearance on every episode. She's confident and female and oh so lovely. She strikes a blow for every woman who is not a size zero and I am proud to have someone more like me on tv who is viewed as sexy. Cuz, dammit, I think I am sexy too, even if I am not a size 2.
I am going to totally wear tight pencil skirts from now on. And believe, me I got 'em. And I can work 'em just like she does. Viva la curvy girl! Shake that ass!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm cold.
I'm wet.
I'm cranky.
The trains were all really late today, which meant I had to stand for over an hour, first waiting for the train and then again ON the standing room only train, my back protesting loudly and creakily with every minute.
A guy shoved me out of the way as I went to sit in a seat that had opened up. He could see my hunched over posture as I aimed for the seat, yet he still grabbed it and just looked at me with a bland face as I gave him the Evil Stare of Death.
The lateness of the trains made me miss my first appointment with the chiropractor, in which we were going to determine my course of treatment.
It poured down rain as I walked home from the train station and I got soaked.
No umbrella.

I'm not happy.

Only one cure for this.

Tortilla soup.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What a drag it is getting old

Shit, y'all. I turn 40 and start falling apart. Nobody told me old age happens within a fortnight of your 40th.

My back? NOT good. I left work early yesterday as I could hardly stand up and everyone was on the verge of calling me "Granny Karla". I dragged my sorry wincing ass back home on the train and took a muscle relaxer which did not help at all for my back but made me blissfully tired and loopy. I fell asleep on the living room floor, feet propped up on the sofa and a pillow under my lower back. I woke up when my legs fell asleep and I snored so loud I could hear myself. SEXY.

I finally gave in and made an appointment with a chiropractor. This, in my family, is a HUGE deal and really shows how much pain I am in as in the 70's a chiropractor nearly paralyzed my mom. Yeah, seriously, she had neck problems and he 'treated' her by continually cracking and popping and whipping her neck around, and it ended up that her spinal cord swelled up within her neck and she had to have MAJOR surgery (cutting away spine bones, etc.) to relieve the pressure. Of course, this being the 70's, that surgery wasn't so hot either and she's left with a very wierdly sensitive neck that she allows NO ONE to touch. My mom is a peaceful person, but touch her neck and she will bitch slap you before either of you know what happened. Total instinctive reflex.

So you can see my reluctance to flirt with the enemy, the dreaded chiropractor.

I'm thinking, however, in the past 30 years that chiropractory sciences have improved, as the guy I saw this morning was really cool. He has like, 10+ years of school under his belt, plus med school and frequent seminars and additional schooling, and he was very thorough and wouldn't even THINK of proceeding without x-rays first. And he told me, without my mentioning it, that my bigger problem is actually my upper back, and we should do something about that because my back is, as he said, "a solid block" and has not much mobility and is just totally ganked up. (Ganked is my word, not some Norwegian word, fyi. Don't know where I got it, or if indeed I made it up, but it sort of fits exactly how my back feels. Ganked. Liked fucked but more painful and broken.) He thinks the lower back pain is caused by a pinched nerve. Told me to rest and to put ice on my back, which I honestly don't think I can do as I HATE putting ice on my back. (Once I had a massage and this chick used this massage lotion that turned icy and I FREAKED out. Just freaked the fuck out, the poor girl didn't know what was going on and, for that matter, neither did I. Just knew it was bad. Maybe in a previous life I died somewhere very cold on my back, like in an ice cave or something, I dunno, but I hate getting cold on my back.)

So maybe I have some hope? Maybe I can get this back pain thing sorted? He is going to xray my back this afternoon, then tomorrow I go back and we talk about the results, then Friday we start whatever treatments. I am trying to make this all impact work as little as possible, making appointments at lunch and after work. (Though considering that we have people at work who are on sick leave for weeks or months at a time for 'stress', I need to get over my guilt at an hour here and there for my back, you know?)

What a drag it is getting old.

Monday, September 08, 2008

THAT'S not good

At some point yesterday my lower back got messed up. I don't know if it's because we desperately need a new bed or if my recent bout of Extreme Laziness did it or what, but today I am walking like a missing link, all hunched over and groany. It all fucking hurts right now.

I have GOT to exercise again and take better care of myself. It's just, the weather? Lately? Rainy, chilly, grey? Not so much for motivating one to get out and move, y'know? I'm still in summer mode and in early September, when it's like this, I keep expecting it will go away and I will have another month of summer. And then it doesn't happen and I stay supine watching "Big Love" or "Mad Men" or "The Tudors" (or whatever other series I have lined up for my excessive viewing pleasure) and try to ignore that yet another fall is coming and I am NOT READY FOR IT.

NO! Not ready! At all!

Ow. Ow. Ow. Gesticulating hurts. Even virtually.

Missing Link Karla over and out.

Friday, September 05, 2008

How I wish I wrote

I wish I could write like this guy.

I absolutely adore his blog and every time I read it I find myself wishing I wrote like him. I think, howver, you must be English to write like him, the phraseology and certain words he uses are just so veddy English, we Americans just don't have that cadence. At least, that is what i keep telling myself, it's my AMERICANNESS that is messing things up.

Dammit. Bugger bollocks wank. I wish I wrote like him.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin sucks, H&M rules, and sadness as Austin changes AGAIN

Bullet post on stuff in ma heid.
  • I'm sorry, but I seem to be very confused by Sarah Palin.
  • I only just heard the news on coming back from England and I'm still kind of WTF?
  • First of all?
  • I sort of can't stand her.
  • Do the Republicans really think I would vote the Republican ticket merely because she, like me, has a uterus?
  • I don't know about other women, but I tend to vote with my BRAIN not my reproductive organs.
  • Speaking of which, OMFG is she backwards or what?
  • She supports everything I am against.
  • I do, however, love the irony of her supporting abstinence education, with a 17 year old daughter who is knocked up.
  • Cuz, yeah, abstinence TOTALLY works, doesn't it?
  • If she were a Democratic candidate, the Repubs would have a FIELD day. Yet since it's a Republican, it's all about family values and choice. Oh it just sickens me how they twist stuff around.
  • The Republican party is so freakin' hypocritical I can't even believe it.
  • Oh, and they say OBAMA doesn't have enough experience, yet they bring in this snowbilly as their VP choice, who's only left the country, like three times in her life and has NO national experience? WTF?
  • Ok ok ok enough of that. I'm getting soapboxy.
  • I am sad about this.
  • I used to work right next door, and ate there ALL THE TIME and can honestly remember the exact smoothness and tastiness of their guacamole.
  • When I come back to Austin it's gonna be a whole 'nuther city.
  • Oh, speaking of which, Dave at Blogography is going to be in Austin on October 3. If you are in the area and are a blogger and want to meet up that evening for Davestin, email him at dave at blogography dot com and he will be in touch with more info.
  • Or just ask me about it.
  • Yes, I'll be there as well. Blogorama baby!
  • Yesterday I went shopping for a dress to wear to my brother's wedding.
  • In that goal, I was unsuccessful.
  • However, H&M and Zara?
  • Totally scored there.
  • H&M has a section (only at select, larger, stores) called Trend and it's stuff that is a bit out of the ordinary, experimental, a year or so ahead of current stuff in stores, and really good quality.
  • It's also a tiny bit more expensive, but, like, 100 kroners more or so.
  • I ALWAYS find stuff there that I love.
  • I check it out 2-4 times a month.
  • Lately? What I've found?
  • Incredible wasp waisted full skirts a la Dior New Look.
  • I got some in summer in cotton and yesterday got two in a heavy wool felt.
  • The skirts are incredible with deep pockets and very fitted waists. It's perfect for my body type (think Marilyn, with a few extra chicken dinners.)
  • Add the full skirted coat to match and the cute short military style jacket I got at Zara and you have a happy girl looking forward to Fall.
  • I also got trousers that are wide legged, fit at waist and look very Hepburn in the 40's, which is also my ideal trouser silhouette.
  • I heart H&M.
  • It's been raining non-stop today.
  • Sigh.
  • (sleeeep)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

pictorial diary of winchester events

The church where the wedding happened. St Bartholomew's, 11th century though 'restored' in the 19th century. A lovely church. A totally "Four Weddings And A Funeral" wedding, I kept expecting holy spigots and almost cracked up during the singing of Jerusalem, the quintessential British hymn, which was sung with such zeal in that movie. I am not a holy person by any means.

At the reception. Very tall Rich dancing with shortest lady at wedding. She was cute. The food at the wedding was GREAT. It was a good time.

The King Alfred pub where we stayed. See the open window on the second floor on the left? That was ours. The room was lovely. What could be better than staying above a pub I wonder? Your bed is within staggering distance of all that good beer? How on earth can that be a bad thing?

Alfie, the King Alfred pub puppy. He stole my heart. Cutest doggie EVER.

Me in an ancient doorway at St Cross Hospital, a 12th century almshouse for poor men that still functions as it always has.

Monday, September 01, 2008

View from DKNY shop window

View from DKNY shop window, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I thought this view from the upper level of the DKNY store on New Bond street in London was cool. Urban and angular. Just arrived back in Norway. Always a little hard to come back after a trip to England. I like it there so much. It just works for me.