Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lookee what I got

I bought this car.

Backstory: My dad has always been a car guy, and his favorite cars were always Citroen, from France. He concentrated on mid century ones, the DS, CX, SM, Traction Avant, 11cv, Mehari and, above, the 2CV. I grew up with them, I love them, and they are like home to me.

My brother had this one that he was going to sell, which, I discovered, would mean that my family would be without a 2CV for, possibly, the first time since I existed. I didn't like that thought. I mean, I learned how to drive stick shift on one of these (well, attempted to learn, but got so mad at Dad in the learning (he's not exactly patient) that I got out and walked home.) When I was a kid, Dad asked me what I thought of it and I said, "It's so ugly I think I'm in love with it". I was about 4 at the time. I can hear one coming down the street and just KNOW it's a 2cv. They have a unique sound.

The 2CV is not exactly a power beast. It's a 2 cylinder vehicle. It's got maybe 50 horsepower, and its top speed, downhill, with wind behind you, is 60mph. It gets about 60 miles per gallon. It's the original Prius. The original gas conserver. I think the gas tank holds about 7 gallons. This one is from 1961. There's not that many in the US anymore.

So, I bought my brother's car. (Sweet boy gave me the family deal.) Mom and Dad will keep it, and when I move back to Austin, eventually, I will have this as my second, putter about town car. (While you CAN drive on the highway in them, and I have, in fact Dad and I went to California in one, I don't recommend it. I also don't recommend taking one of these on the Autobahn in Germany, that's like taking your ass in your hands and kissing it goodbye.) I'm gonna trick it out a little bit, and have already decided to have the interior redone in leopard spots. I might also paint the white part black.

In a few years, if you are in Austin, and you see pass by this car on the road (and you WILL pass me, I just can't go very fast in it) stop and say hi. It's just me, the Texpatriate, carrying on the family tradition for eccentric cars. I'll be wearing my Citroen can't miss me.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Fall, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Yes. Already. Shocking.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I was right


It's here.

I knew it. It's cool and rainy and the wind was very Fall feeling today.

Some trees already are yellowing. I HATE this. I HATE how summer just STOPS.

It's not natural! Summer should not just STOP! In Texas it never ends.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

last days of summer

Historically, in my little part of Norway, it always seems that summer ends on August 24th.

As tomorrow is the day, we'll see what happens. I hope I'm wrong.

However, this weekend was heavenly.

Yesterday we went for a long walk around the lake. It's a lake not far from where we live, and we can walk there, and then around. Takes about 2 1/2 hours total trip. It's a microcosm of European rural culture. There's cows with cowbells (I am ALWAYS in favor of more cowbell), old farms, ancient burial areas, craggy hills and cliffs, deep dark forests and the blue blue water reflecting (when I'm lucky) the blue blue sky. Off in the distance you can see the spire of the church, this one replacing the ancient 11th century one which burnt in the mid 1800's but is still surrounded by Iron Age burial mounds. There's little areas with beaches and naked Norwegian babies running around. (Where there's water and sun, there's naked Norwegian babies.) There's a waterfall and an angry old goat whose balls drag on the ground and who will attack you if you even look at him wrong, though you would too, if your balls dragged on the ground, and people running, walking, biking, strolling, swimming and horseback riding. There's a pleasant little old farm house where you can stop for boller og café eller té. I love that lake and that whole area.

So we went around there, unusual for me to drag Rich's lazy ass out on a weekend, and then came back and I did a bit of grocery shopping and we had a nice dinner of grilled marinated scallops with chorizo and cilantro rice for dinner. I had an early night, was in bed by 10:30.

Today, glory be, ANOTHER gorgeous day. This time we went out to an island nearby, where there is a Sunday flea market, and we bought odd useless things. Me: an old coffee can from an Oslo coffee brewery, all red and gold and black, with a great graphic design, that says "DRINK GOOD COFFEE" (but in Norwegian, of course) and a totally goofy little three legged late 60's early 70's table with a glass top and black and white monochromatic design. I didn't need a tiny little table, never planned on owning a tiny little table, but a tiny little table is now mine. (See below for pics, Norwegians think I am nuts when I take pictures of a tiny table and a tin can in the middle of a field on an island). Rich: a little clay oil lamp, jury is out whether it is authentic ancient or not, but he has some that ARE and a couple that AREN'T and this one could be either. It was cheap, and it's cool, so that's all that matters. He collects antiquities. He has a good eye, he really does.

The flea market was right at the edge of a nature area with walks and beaches and stuff, so I carried my little table with me and we had a stroll. Yes, I am a crazy table and tin can lady. Ah but the day was so perfect, and I had no place to leave said table, so it got to accompany me on the stroll. It was perfect to rest my purse on while I rested in the grass and Rich looked for fossils. I don't know about you, but I abso-freaking-lutely ADORE flea markets on a sunny days, (any day really) so to find a decent one in Norway and on such a glorious day...well, this might be my version of heaven. I also scored an authentic Norwegian Navy sailor's shirt. I've always wanted one.

Came home, hung out on the deck with the latest Vanity Fair in the sun, (it seems I reach a certain level of tan and then cease to get any darker, or to burn. Not one burn this summer and a nice golden tan!) and then Rich grilled the pork loin I had marinated overnight in sugar, fish sauce, lime, sesame oil, garlic and chilies. It made a great pork salad, layered over fresh greens with cashews and nuoc cham sauce. And, need you ask, some rosé.

Now Rich has gone to see Inglorious Basterds, and I am going to have a nice bath and a session with Mad Men (the tv show, not some lucky guys I find) and will count today a perfect end to an all too short, all too rainy summer.


Mobile, originally uploaded by karlakp.

The quirky little table and its faithful can like to travel!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Growing up

I got my birthday care package today. I got some fun stuff from J. Peterman, and the DVD of True Blood FINALLY. All sent courtesy my mom, who saves up my random online purchases that I have delivered to her and then sends them to me in a bundle every so often. This way I can still have my online purchase yaya's but not have to pay the exhorbitant fees to send to Norway.

It was like my birthday all over again, opening that care package. And Mom and Dad sent me a lovely card, and Rich had gotten me a beautiful Hadeland vase, and my friends gave me some fun things, so it was, all in all, a very nice, peaceful birthday. Just what I wanted.

I have had a bit of a hard time at work lately. Don't get me wrong, I genuinely like my job, my coworkers, my boss and the company I work for. But, I am learning, the hard way, that I have to say no sometimes and wow, is that hard or what? So my new "no" is getting some backs up but I really, truly, CANNOT do what I am being told to do, it's a job in itself, and it needs to be discussed as a department issue, and everyone for some reason is very fiery about it. So I feel guilty, and bad, but also strong, and determined, to get this worked out, but it is hard to balance that with my very powerful desire to please and have everyone just LIKE me. I don't like 'strong discussions' and a few toes are being stepped on, but I have to toe (haha) the line and keep on with my 'no', so that we get some positive outcomes out of this.

As I do work with men and technical stuff, however, I thought this saying my Aunt sent me was rather fun:


I posted it on my office door. Yes, we have the sort of office where this is considered humorous.

We'll be in the new flat by September 11. I know I should be doing more in preparation, but right now.....nah. (See, that no is workin' rather well for me right now.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

B-day dinner

B-day dinner, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Mmmm. Sushi boat!

Bday perfection

Bday perfection, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A perfect day for a walk!


Well, today is my birthday. I'm now "in" my forties.

I'm officially middle aged. So my husband told me this morning when I woke up. Gee thanks, honey. When do I get my red sports car and my arm candy affair with a 25 year old? Aren't they included in the Middle Aged Spread?

I fucking hate that. So I just won't think about it. Yeuch.

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words about the new abode. I am very excited. Strange thing is that the new place will actually save us quite a bit of money over the place we live now. It was a practical decision! Not me indulging myself! (Much.) Seems like we are moving up, into that gorgeous, elegant place, but in fact we are moving smart! I feel very lucky. The Gods of the Abode are watching over me. I shouldn't feel so attached to a place that I don't even live in yet, but, oh, I do, I do! It's got soul. It's got part of MY soul.

In other news, working from home today as a moving company will come give an estimate regarding timing, etc, for the move. One of the benefits of being (shudder) 'middle aged' is that you get smart about certain things, and one of them is that you don't move yourself anymore, you let other people do it for you. I've used the backs and trucks of my friends (and my brother and HIS friends) a few too many times now, so they get a rest. (Though, Kit, and friends, you are welcome to come to Norway to help this time too. I promise there are no giant sleeper sofas which will get stuck in doors! And it won't be 150 degrees outside, either.)

Working from home. Humph. If my work computer will let me. I have to change my network log in password on it and that invariably causes me troubles which only a harried visit to IT can fix. They make me change my password every few months, when I am perfectly happy with the one I have. Why must I change it? I HATE changing it! don't make me change it on my BIRTHDAY! I'm middle aged now, I only have so much memory space left, cut me some slack.

Oh look, the sun's out. Maybe I can change that password later?.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

oslo apartment-entry

oslo apartment-entry, originally uploaded by karlakp.

The entry. Toile de jouy wallpaper, moldings galore, downlights. I knew this place would be mine the second i walked in the door. I just felt it.

oslo apartment-balcony into dining room

Here's the balcony that leads off the dining room. The windows above the door are stained leaded glass.

oslo apartment-living room

oslo apartment-living, originally uploaded by karlakp.

View of the living room with fireplace. So many places here, when you see them photographed, have been photographed by a fish eye lens, so when you see the room in person, it's 1/4 of the size you thought. This place? No fish eye lens needed. It's a nice big cozy room!

dining room, 1898

dining room, 1898, originally uploaded by karlakp.

What will be our dining room. Stained glass windows and original paint effects from 1898. I'm a decorative painter, so to get to live in a place with original paint effects is just thrilling as hell! Note stained glass window.

For more you can go to my Flickr page to see the whole set.

new oslo apartment-living room

oslo apartment-living room , originally uploaded by karlakp.

Living room looking from study area into main part of room. The round thing is the fireplace. Note stained glass window...there are a few of them in the place!

Friday, August 14, 2009

because you asked.

I will post pictures of the Amazing Awesome Oslo Flat tomorrow. Because I was there today.

And yes, I still love it.

And it photographs beautifully.

It's been a helluva a week and I really needed to see that beauty again, and to remind myself that I have things like that to look forward to.

And I found a cool new bar, I think it will be my new 'local'. It even said, over the door, "The Friendly Bar".

And it was. Friendly. I think I attacked a guy so I could look at his cowboy boots. Literally lifted up his leg and hoiked up his pants leg so I could have a gander. As I suspected, they were by Lucchese. This Texan knows her boots.

And she likes her wine.

And, so there. And.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

View from hotel in daylight

View from hotel in daylight, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I zoomed a bit to cut out the ugly ass building to the right. I go back to Oslo tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunset at @ 66¤ N

Sunset at @ 66¤ N, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Sunset over Bodø.


Bodø, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Northern Norway.


Dinner, originally uploaded by karlakp.


To Anne

To Anne, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Morning coffee in Norway after a night of storms

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Byooteeful, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Look at these flowers I got today! They rock my world. There were so many gorgeous ones to choose from. I love summer flowers.

It goes to 11

Go to this link.

It's an interesting piece about Abbey Road.

Now adjust the little volume toggle on the video itself....go ahead, turn it all the way up.

Somebody at the BBC has a sense of humor!

Friday, August 07, 2009


Retro..., originally uploaded by karlakp.

...spective. Rain is ok this weekend, I have plans.

random tipsy maudlin post

Ok, so I have had some wine, so sue me. It's time for a bullet post. It feels like a day for bullet posts. I feel bullet posty.

  • John Hughes is dead.
  • My childhood is dead.
  • I am old.
  • So there's that.
  • It's been an insane week at work.
  • Stressful
  • Exhilarating.
  • All consuming
  • I am trying to come down from it, I figure by Sunday night I'll be ok, then next week?
  • Even busier.
  • I will be needing a raise, and soon.
  • The sun came out today.
  • I laid in the hammock for a while.
  • Fell asleep almost instantly.
  • My knee is healing nicely.
  • Except I wore white jeans yesterday?
  • And that was the one time, the ONLY time, my knee bled.
  • ON the white jeans.
  • Of course.
  • This?
  • Might be the most delightfully oddball thing I have ever seen.
  • "Ahhh no more yankee my wankie, the Donger needs food."

Monday, August 03, 2009

when it rains it pours

...and I do mean that literally.


Jeez. Norwegian summers can really suck. (AND yes, I know you guys in Austin are gagging for some rain. Sorry, we seem to be bogarting it.)

And in another area of the 'suck' department, I am tired of hurting myself. Yesterday, in what I can only call a rather instant example of karmic payback (which I won't go into, but I did deserve it, I just didn't expect it that soon), I fell down a small flight of stairs in a movie theater and FUCKED UP my knee. In my defense, it was dark and there was NO WAY I could have known that there were stairs there...but shit, man, I ate it so hard that the thud reverberated throughout the theatre ( I was re-watching Harry Potter) and some rude teenage boys laughed at the old lady (me) who fell down the stairs. Little fuckers. One nice lady did ask if I was ok, but do you do that thing where if you do something stupid or embarrassing and someone asks if you are ok, you say "Yeah, sure, I'm FINE" like it's no big deal and why are you TALKING to me, and then sort of run off?

That's what I did.

But I wasn't ok. I was mad and hurt and embarrassed and upset and honestly, kind of weepy.

I hate it when I do that.

So today I went to work in a New Fabulous Outfit with bruised and scraped knees. And it rained, so I couldn't wear the Cute Sandals. I had to wear the Boring Old Boots. Today went ok, though. No real problems beyond shoe frustration. So maybe karma is satisfied with the instant payback from yesterday.

I am getting a little scared of karma. She is keeping an eye on me and the retribution for my sins is fierce. And really damned fast.