Friday, December 31, 2010

Leo horoscope for which I am to learn and travel some more.

Leo-Year 2011 Overview

This is the year of expanding your mental and physical horizons, Leo. Expect loads of travel and awesome adventure in 2011, especially between March and June when a barrage of planets enter fellow fire sign, Aries, sparking your sector of foreign travel and higher education. You'll be pondering some of the deeper existential questions like the meaning of life, who you are and why you're here on a daily basis. Nothing is taken for granted, as life becomes one giant college campus dishing out one lesson after another. An overwhelming desire to see the world, experiment with new philosophies and indulge in scholarly pursuits become potent themes for the course of this dynamic New Year!

Mental pursuits of all stripe dominant your time and attention for another year as Saturn continues his residence in your communication sector. Finding your true voice becomes a spiritual practice. Expressing yourself through carefully cultivated word choice proves especially rewarding. If you've ever wanted to write a book, learn a new language, go back to school or take up some radical new course of study, 2011 is your year to take the risk and make your literary dreams come true.

Pluto continues working you to the bone in 2011 through the extended transit in your work and health sector. You're beginning to actually get accustomed to the emotional gutting as the Lord of the Underworld dredges up each and every repressed emotional issue you've ever had with authority figures. You're coming into your own power the hard way -- but this is the kind of self-possession and confidence that becomes an integral part of your being and thus can never be taken from you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This explains a lot

All the poo stuff has to do with "caganers". An interesting Catalan tradition, to say the least.
Read up on them via the link. Thanks to everyone who posted with links and information!

I wanted to buy one, but didn't find the ones I wanted (a pooing George Bush or an Obama, they make them to resemble current characters.) I definitely plan to go back to Barcelona, I loved it there, and will get me some Caganers next time I go. It will be a Caga Christmas!

Giant "caganer"

Multimedia message, originally uploaded by karlakp.

And here's the front. Wtf wtf wtf?????


IMG-20101230-00104.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Will someone tell me what this is about???????

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm sensing a poo theme here

IMG-20101229-00069.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

What is UP with the poo desserts????

Lunchtime view

IMG-20101229-00066.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My lunchtime view. Not too shabby, ancient, old and new all in one.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mango sauce with chocolate mousse poo

IMG-20101228-00065.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This dessert looks like someone took a shit in it. Tasty, though.

Parc Guell

IMG-20101228-00060.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Parc Guell. Park Cool-as-hell. Heh, see what I did there?

Monday, December 27, 2010

In which my Spanish failed me

IMG-20101227-00054.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Dammit. I did not mean to order this. This is what I get for trying to be adventurous. These damned fish are looking at me!!!!!

The long line was totally worth it

IMG-20101227-00049.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.


In line at Sagrada Familia

IMG-20101227-00046.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

La Sagrada Familia. Very long line to get in. Being a tourist can be hard work!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


IMG-20101226-00018.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I take a picture and this goose sticks his head in, he's all "What up??"

Friday, December 24, 2010


IMG-20101224-00013.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Getting all Christmassy up in here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

mashed potato heaven

IMG-20101223-00010.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

First dish for Christmas dinner made and ready to bake on the day. The most fattening mashed potatoes ever. Nom nom.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How cold is it?

It's so cold that:
  • This morning I got one of those cold weather, dry air nosebleeds. (I subsequently learned that a super plus tampon does not fit in my nose, only the slimmer regular size.) ANYHOO, after I managed to stop the bleeding (it were a gusher, that one) I left the apartment to head to work. The residual blood dried, then FROZE, and my nostril glued itself shut. I froze my nose closed. (Say that 3 times fast.) It was uncomfortable, to say the least. If someone could have videoed me on the bus, they would have seen some strange facial expressions. I couldn't blow my nose for fear of a re-bleed, so I just had to let it itch and feel sticky.
  • A sub zero freezer in your kitchen is redundant.
  • If the ice on the sidewalks could get any colder, it would become a new, even slipperier form of ice. Which it was.
  • My super ugly, clunky LL Bean Goretex lined winter boots are my favorite shoes, but they are starting to smell from constant use.
  • I've pulled out my old flannel lined khakis which are now my new favorite pants.
  • They are not very sexy, however.
  • It is impossible to dress cute when it's this cold.
  • It's 86 degrees F warmer in Austin. That totally freaks me out.
  • As does the fact that the heating in our apartment has to get it at last 68 degrees warmer inside than out.
  • I sneer at your air conditioners that cool to a mere 20-25 degrees cooler than outside temperatures!
  • A friend of mine got stuck in Paris en route back from Houston to Oslo. He arrived there early Sunday morning. Due to the flight chaos, he finally got back after midnight last night. He was delayed THREE DAYS.
  • I am thankful that Norway and Scandinavia in general know how to work an airport in cold weather.
  • Argh.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold BRRRRR cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lanvin for H&M

IMG-20101219-00009.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

At h&m. Tons of Lanvin left. It's all very very poofy and short. Good for the really skinny petite girlies, age 15-24 with lots of money and a sense of poofy drama. (Great for below zero weather in Norway, too). (not.) All very delicate and beautiful, very French, very impractical. I don't think you wear it so much as it wears you. Probably very collectible, though.

Not good for the large sized girl I saw last night wearing it, it made her look like a colorful barrel, and that impression was not helped by the fact that at the small bar I went to, she was like a pushy bull in a china shop. If she would have knocked into me one more time without saying "Excuse me", her Lanvin would have had some bad things happen to the very delicate tulle straps that held it up.

All that being said, the 18 year old me would have LOVED this. And the 18 year old me could've worn the shit out of it, too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In which the Christmas cheer has escaped me

Well, hell. Christmas is NEXT WEEK (Saturday?) and you would so not be able to tell that it was that close if you saw my house.

And you probably won't be able to tell on the day, either.

They've been working on our apartment building, which, if you remember from past experience with us, means chaos and destruction. Why we end up living in places that they then tear up around us will be a mystery I can never solve. At least, this time, there will be visible results of the work, as it is a renovation of this beautiful old building and not a retrofit of a badly built new one. So far the stairs in the building are completely stripped, from floor to ceiling, including rails. The windows are out, covered in plastic. There's scaffolding on the building. The roof is being replaced. And the old chimneys are being fixed as well, and guess who ended up with a hole in the wall so they could explore the chimney flue? So random people are running up and around our apartment building at all times, knocking on the door so they can peer yet again up the chimney, tearing holes in the wall and then restucco-ing and repainting. It's a mess up in here. Furniture and stuff scattered all around and stucco dust everywhere, even though they try to clean regularly.

So no Christmas stuff up because we kind of can't because workers keep having to come in to tear stuff down.

Then last night, Rich sprained the shit out of his ankle on the way back from the pub. (The fact he was drunk was a blessing and a curse: he might not have sprained it had he not been drinking but he sure felt no pain and was oddly pleasant when he got home, like "Gee, lookee there, that's kinda swollen, in'it?"). So today, instead of cleaning the apartment and getting a semblance of Christmas cheer going, with him as my Lovely Assistant getting stuff out of the cellar, we are going to the legevakt (weekend/all hours doctor) to make sure he's not too badly injured. This may also put the kibosh on our trip to Spain next week. Guess I should mention it is snowing like crazy outside?

And next week at work is going to be busy, even though my two direct bosses are gone on holiday, I have to do some other stuff for the Big Boss which will take a lot of research and thinking. I was gonna try to bunk off a day or so, but now it seems like maybe not.

So, can someone send me some Christmas cheer, please? I'm running out of time and don't see how I'm gonna get mine up and sparkling!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Not much to report, peeps.

It's FUCKING COLD still, with the added interest of some ice which seems have layered itself all over. This started on Friday night, when, coming home from Rich's company party (which was fun, I must say) it sleeted/rained/iced on us as we slid our way down the hill to catch the train. Have you ever been covered by ice? Me neither, until Friday night, and I swear, it felt exactly like you would think a freeze ray gun blast would feel. Icy, sticky, with a crunchy sound as you move and the ice crackles. Then when you are on the train it melts and steams off you and you end up looking like a bedraggled mess.

So that's why I am not going outside today, even though the sun is out. Because I don't want to SKATE, yo. And honestly I am perfectly happy to stay inside, do some desultory house cleaning, and then in a few hours I will do prep for dinner, a favorite dish I found and altered from a cookbook my friend Margaret gave me looong ago. It's basically fried chicken in a tomato and mushroom sauce with a vodka deglaze, but it's damned yummy.

Rich is brave, he's going out to find a book he wants. Stores are open on Sundays in Norway for the three weeks heading up to Christmas. Which is nice, if you actually can be arsed to get up and go to them. I, seemingly, cannot be arsed, today, and will remain sitting on mine on this lovely black and white floral Ikea sofa that I just fluffed and dusted.

Monday, December 06, 2010


It always takes me a few days to get back to 'normal' (whatever that is for me) after a trip home. I mean, let's face it, I have a foot on both sides of the ocean, one home in Texas, and one here, and whenever I go home it always upsets the balance and I have a hard time re-adjusting to being back in Norway. When I am in Austin (and to some extent, Missouri with my parents) I miss Norway and when I am here I miss Texas. It will always be thus, my life has been changed, and I have to allow myself the adjustment period. Once I have that time, I am fine. Just JimDandy fine.

But FUCK did I have a hard time getting back this time. I can't be awake for that long. It was like, 36 hours. And to have to deal with mean insane cab drivers when I was that tired, it just put me over the edge. For me, sleep is the most important factor of my ability to cope. I CANNOT function if I am overtired. Just can't. When I am tired I am just a big nerve, raw and exposed. Like, if I was ever captured and held for torture? All they'd have to do is this:

Bad guy: We have captured you and are going to torture you.
Me: Bring it on, bitch. What's it gonna be? Red hot pokers? Water torture? Smack me around some?
Bad guy: Worse. We are gonna keep you up two hours after your bed time.
Me: (wimper) Nooo! Uncle! Uncle! I'll tell you whatever you want! The microchip is in my sock drawer!! The plans are on this flash drive!!! Just, please....Don't take my bedtime away!

But I am back now, I've gotten some sleep (though not enough, never enough) and have a bit of balance again. Saw some friends Saturday night, that was good. Even avoided a hangover. (Wonder if jet lag cancels out a hangover?) Went back to work today, was glad to see all my awesome coworkers, and even the heat being out in the office when it is minus 15 C outside wasn't a big problem, I preferred to see it as invigorating.

So I am sitting here with a glass of rosé, which is much easier to get here than in the States, eating the leftover Beef Borguinogne that Rich made last night (I know, awesome right?), watching some wierd ass show called Wipe Out and will go have a bath soon (something I tend not to get when I travel.)

Even the cold isn't so bad. I mean yeah, it's bloody freaking cold out there, but somehow the cold doesn't bother me too much, that is what coats are for.

Equilibrium. Nice to get it back.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Anatatomy of a Clusterfuck: The Twitter files

Just for shits and grins, here are all my Twitter posts over the length of my very loooooong trip back to Oslo. (The day culminated, fyi, in a cab driver screaming at me because he thought my luggage was too heavy. When Rich met me outside the apartment building when the cab stopped, I got out and burst into tears when he hugged me. The cab driver got out and started yelling at me again, and Rich nearly took his head off. (That was satisfying.) If i hadn't of been so tired and demoralized, I would've been turned on.)

Anyhow, read down for the whole sad Twitter saga of the Trip From Hell (London to Oslo Portion).

The Texpatriate

And to end the day, the cab driver was an wanker and screamed at me. Today sucked arse.

12 hours ago

The Texpatriate

Ok, yeah, its ass cold here in Oslo but somehow I can deal. Don't know why, but its not so bad....has my blood thinned?

13 hours ago


The Texpatriate

I'm too tired to deal with the extreme culture shock I am feeling right now. Wanna go back home to Texas. Where its warm & ppl say scuse me.

14 hours ago


The Texpatriate

Yep. Back in Norway. Had 2 people shove me and a door slammed in my face. Why do they have to always be first?

14 hours ago


The Texpatriate

This BA pilot is a bit of a jokester. Not sure why he is so chatty and in a good mood, but I rather appreciate it. Now get me home!!!

16 hours ago


The Texpatriate

Am finally on a plane. Have been at #lhr for 12.5 hours. Pretty sure I don't ever want to do this again.

16 hours ago

The Texpatriate

All domestic and short haul flts out of #lhr canceled after 1900. My flt is at 1855. Just barely squeaked by: gate is open. Whew?!

17 hours ago



by texpatriate

@texpatriate Bless your stinky, stringy-haired ass.

18 hours ago


The Texpatriate

I could go have a shower, but then I'd have to put my stank ass clothes back on, defeating the purpose. 12 hours at #lhr is enough.

18 hours ago


The Texpatriate

@Blogography Not on the plane yet, just wishful retweeting of @LouisCK. Oh to be drunk AND on a plane.

18 hours ago


Louis C.K.

by texpatriate

On a plane. A lil drunk. Just a lil.


The Texpatriate

@kory Perhaps, but only the English can fuck up something this spectacularly. When things go smooth, brilliant. When they don't? Chaos.

18 hours ago


The Texpatriate

@PineCurtainGal I'm there, too with the smells. I want a bath SO bad. Ever seen me with stringy hair? You could now. I'm disgusting. #lhr

18 hours ago


The Texpatriate

@louisck WISHING I was on a plane, but stuck at airport due to snow (one fucking cm in London.) But I am drunk too....solidarity!

18 hours ago


The Texpatriate

Ever been so tired you think you might barf? Me neither, but I think I am almost there. #noplacelikehome

19 hours ago

The Texpatriate

I have that "not so fresh" feeling. Woke myself up snoring on a sofa in BA lounge, to find drool. Sexy international traveler's life.

20 hours ago


The Texpatriate

The conversations you hear in the business class lounge. "Do we have enough capital for Poland?" I bloody hope so, mate.

23 hours ago


The Texpatriate

@elmadaeu Usually BA treat me well. Am surprised by how badly they have handled this. Mightily surprised.

The Texpatriate

Flight cancelled. Ba won't rebook. They are making me go thru customs immigration bag reclaim and start from scratch!!!!!! Fucking shit!

2 Dec


The Texpatriate

Flt lhr to oslo cancelled. BA supremely unhelpful. They are making me feel stabby.

2 Dec


The Texpatriate

Pretty sure we are now driving this plane across England. My God where is the gate already?

2 Dec


The Texpatriate

Landed at very snowy Heathrow. Let's hope I can get back out. The English can't handle snow....I sense trouble ahead.

2 Dec


The Texpatriate

Damn. Just stepping foot on a plane makes me gassy. Well, that and the champagne. (Burp) (fffrrrp)

1 Dec

The Texpatriate

Wifi out at BA lounge at DFW. They say it's been so all day. Well, um...fix it? That is why I want to use the lounge!!!! #dfwfail

1 Dec


The Texpatriate

My parents watched me go thru security to see any junk touching. Anticlimactic. TSA lady apologized when I said my folks wanted a show.

1 Dec


The Texpatriate

Hmmph. Was all ready to get self righteous over my junk, but TSA security was a doddle. Not even a frisk! Feel gypped!

1 Dec


texpatriate The Texpatriate

I don't wanna fly today. Don't wanna don't WANNA. (throws 4 year old's temper tantrum) noooooooo!!!!!!!

1 Dec

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Wow. I can't believe what I have just been through.

I left Missouri yesterday (?...time is a bit meaningless right now). Everything went smooth as butter: my parents' car didn't break down (a hazard in our family, what with the collection of 'interesting' cars), check in was fine, there was no groping of junk by TSA, no matter how hard I tried. Flight to Dallas equally seamless, though the business class lounge there kind of sucks, mostly because the internet was down. Flight from Dallas to was quick and comfortable, though some Irish woman talked loudly non-stop during the sleeping portion of the trip, loud enough that I could hear every word through ear plugs AND headphones.

And then I got to London. Which is where all my built up good travel karma went out the window.

My flight to Oslo was cancelled. Due to a millimeter or so of snow in London. I found this out after security, which I waited an age for. I decided to repair to the business lounge to regroup, get some help, and get a snack. They wouldn't let me into the business lounge because my ticket was cancelled, thus not making me a card carrying entrant to the lounge. WTF? Seriously? YOU cancel my flight, I come to you to fix it and then you tell me that because I don't have a flight I am not your customer and I get left out in the cold? WTF???

I went to customer service and it got worse. Customer service couldn't rebook my flight and told me I had to start all over, from scratch, as if I was just coming in to the airport. Huh? SAS just automatically rebooks you, WTF is this shit?

I had to: Go down and around to arrivals. Fill in landing card and go through passport control as if I was arriving in England to stay. Get my luggage. Take luggage through customs. Go to Departures hall. Wait in very long line with said luggage to rebook flight as if it was from scratch. Flight rebooked but 7 hours after original flight. Check in again. Go through Security (third time). Get 'randomly chosen' to have a body scan. Told them I didn't want to. They said no scan no fly. I pitched a royal fit, told them I had been through security THREE times already, TODAY, AT HEATHROW and when they told me to pose for the scan with my arms out I believe you can imagine which fingers I had extended. I try to be friendly and try to be accomodating to strangers and so on, but this was the ABSOLUTE last straw. I hope they enjoy the naked pictures of me.

I finally made it through all that, took my new boarding pass up to the business lounge, and am now on my second VERY LARGE glass of Gruner Vetliner (tasty, too) and am then going to avail myself of the free 15 minute spa treatment. Will then fall asleep on some sofa or other, and thence to dinner at Wagamama at T5, until my flight later this evening.

I smell bad, I'm tired, my hair looks flat and stringy, I'm tired, I'm a bit drunk, my skin is oily, my makeup mostly rubbed off, I feel icky and I want to be home and have a bath, dammit.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010's over

Tomorrow I go back to Norway. Today is a grey cold day in Missouri, which fits my mood.

This morning I did my traditional last day errands:
  • Mail stuff back to Norway that is too heavy for the suitcase, takes up too much space, or that I won't need until later (this time it was two boxes that together weighed 30lbs),
  • Mail back stuff I had ordered from catalogues that didn't work out (2 dresses from J Peterman, I kept one),
  • Last trip to Walmart (only game in town) for incidentals like scrubby sponges, cold medicine, cherry Twizzlers and Ro-tel that I always like to bring back with me,
  • One nostalgic trip to a fast food joint (this time being Taco Smell for a mexi melt).
I did the majority of the packing this morning, and I think I will just barely squeak by the weight limits. Even though I upgraded to business class on BA, and they allow me three suitcases, I am only bringing two as that is all I can manage. Unfortunately the first leg of my trip is with American, and they ALWAYS try to give me shit over my luggage and try to charge me for an extra suitcase (they allow one). I will not pay American $50 for the privilege of carrying my luggage on the first 1/15th of the distance back to Norway! I have won the fight every time, though, I just patiently allow them to figure it out.

So now I am back from the errands, waiting for one last delivery of something I ordered, and also a delivery of a surprise for my mom. I rather enjoy spoiling my parents now....nice to feel I can give them back a little of what they gave me. Spending time with my mom reveals more and more to me what an awesome person she is, and also what a total and complete GOOBER she is. I mean, I know I'm goofy but, holy hell, that woman is a paragon of the goofy arts. She's always making faces, joking, snorting, laughing, dancing and generally being hilarious. If I am even 1/10th as funny as her, I can see why people tell me I am funny, too. Dad's funny, too, but he is also very intense and can take things a bit too seriously at times, and so sometimes when I joke with him, his mind doesn't quite get that I am teasing him and he reacts as if I am being serious. Mom always gets it, though, and then we just sit there silently and look at him while he reacts and curses and defends....and then he just says "oh" and shuts up. Hee hee, I love that.

And now I just tried to check in online but of course I can't because American Airlines and British Airways, while they code share, can't get their shit together enough to allow me to check in online for the whole flight. BA sends me to American's website, and then American sends me back to BA's. I HATE this part, why can't they communicate enough to let me check in online for the whole flight like I am supposed to, instead of making me check in piecemeal for just parts of it.

Well, a few more hours, then. I'll make some tortilla soup tonight to give mom a rest from cooking, pack up the last incidentals, and that is it for this trip!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Karaoke Karla

This is me singing karaoke at my friend Margaret's (and also Clark's) birthday at the Highball in Austin. I sang Joan Jett's "Do You Wanna Touch". Loudly and tunelessly, but definitely with bravado.

Rock n Roll, bitches, Rock n Roll.

Photo credit to Rafael Rodriguez.

Things that happen when I visit my family

This is by no means an exhaustive list.
  • Giggles.
  • Guffaws.
  • Some hollerin' (usually by Dad.)
  • Farting (my brother, though Mom has done herself proud this visit)
  • A visit to Walmart, as there is really no place else to shop.
  • I needed toothpaste.
  • A walk in the woods
  • Comments on the level of water in the creek (high, it rained)
  • A lot of eating.
  • Some more eating.
  • Drinking wine
  • And more eating
  • Which makes the farts recommence
  • My brother actually farts directly in my face in a very sneaky and awful walk by farting.
  • I give him a wedgie.
  • We watch a movie
  • First we argue over which one to watch.
  • The boys wants shoot-em-up or car movies
  • Us girls want something less testosterone-y.
  • We settle on 'Adventures in Babysitting".
  • (Both the boys think Elizabeth Shue was the cutest girl to ever appear in a movie)
  • Dad hollers that the TV is too loud.
  • Mom says she can't hear it
  • Mom guards the remote and immediately turns down the movie everytime music plays or something loud happens
  • Both parents complain about how the noise levels vary, and how much that bothers them
  • This always stresses me, the constant attention to TV noise levels.
  • Like what, will it KILL them if it gets a bit louder?
  • Mom pounces on that remote like a kitten on a mouse.
  • They both fall asleep within 5 minutes of the movie starting
  • So it doesn't matter anyhow.
  • At 10 on the dot we switch to the news.
  • We all wait expectantly for the weather.
  • The weather forecaster comes on, Dad hollers that he is always wrong and he never gets the temperatures right and that it never DOES rain here like he says it will.
  • Immediately after the weather, the TV is switched off (we abjure the sports) (and there is no staying up for Leno, at least not on the main TV, though any one for the three other tv's may sport Leno or Letterman at the watcher's leisure, provided sound is low.)
  • Pillows are fluffed, room is tidied, and everyone is sent off to bed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bye Austin!

Bye Austin!, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Don't think for a minute that I don't love you and yearn for you. Love, Karla

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the hard part

I always hate the last night of a visit home to Austin. (It would suck regardless because of the packing, of course.)

Don't get me wrong, I have a good life in Norway. A beautiful apartment, a great job, great friends and a husband who loves me (though he is mad at me right now about his perception of my spending while here, but I've been saving all my mad shopping for a YEAR, not to mention not having had a haircut in a year, a visit to the dentist in three, etc etc. Expats, you understand, the shopping when you go home, right? Hes just freaked at seeing the number all at once instead of dribbled in spits and spats.).

But coming home to Austin, it's, well, it's...home. It just IS. I feel comfortable. The freak factor is right where I like it. (There's a dude who rides his bike around Austin and he wears nothing but a thong. Everyone calls him Thong Guy, but nobody knows who he is. Walking around Town Lake I saw a girl wearing a t shirt that said "I heart moustache rides" and she was walking with a guy with a very large handlebar moustache. I just LOVE that sort of thing that happens here in Austin.) The grocery stores have a salsa and tortilla chip aisle, and the beer selection is huge and cheap. I can sit outside in November in a t shirt and feel perfectly comfortable. I can have BREAKFAST TACOS any time I want. People say hi just because you look at them, and everyone holds door for everybody else and men flirt with you and treat you like a lady. I can sit on my friend Julia's deck with a beer in hand and shoot the shit with someone I have known for 37 of my 42 years. These are things I do not take lightly. These are things that are a part of what makes me who I am, that make me whole.

So I am always a bit sad when I leave. The last night I usually keep to myself, take myself out to dinner (tonight was Chinese at an old favorite restaurant, Suzi's), watch tv and pack my stuff up, trying to wedge the cans of salsa verde in to the toe of the new boots, and to not crush the amazing red dress I bought while also fitting in the bulk spices I bought into the nooks and crannies among all the other stuff in the suitcase(s).

Sigh. Well, I still have another week in the US to go, I'll have Thanksgiving with my parents in Missouri and time to hang out and come down from my visit to Austin. I do that on purpose, this schedule. Austin first, then the parents, then back to Norway*. A three step process, three different lives and realities to live and experience.

*Note: I know full well that when I do move back to Texas, I will bemoan what I miss in Norway. I now have a foot in both places, straddling the Atlantic, and will be torn no matter where I live from now on.


Perfect, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This is the perfect red dress. Scored it at 65% off at Neiman's. I have never felt so good in a piece of clothing in my life.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Need, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This is what my hangover needed

Friday, November 19, 2010


Look what I am missing!!

Damn. And here I am in this warm sunny weather, when I could be in the cold.....

Barton pool

Barton pool, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Was there Wednesday and will go back this weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meat coma

Meat coma, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Austin Land and Cattle.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Close up of art i bought

Close up of art i bought, originally uploaded by karlakp.



Last night went out with Bookhart to East 6th street east of 35, and went to a couple bars. First was The Good Knight, which wasn't, and then Rio Rita, which was great. Very friendly, and it felt like the Flight Path cafe back in the old days. We enjoyed that place, there were bluegrass players there practicing so we got impromptu bluegrass concert as well. I bought a piece of art......I didn't mean to, it wasn't in my plan, but I did.

I just saw it and had to have it. It is thousands and thousands of nuts, bolts, watch gears, cut up telephone wire, beads, pearls, little strange tiny toys, monopoly tokens, etc, all drilled into a board and once you look long enough you see an image of a dog's head looking to the side. It's AMAZING. I don't want to post a full picture because the impact is in the details, and a photo doesn't do it justice. I'll just post a close up of a portion of it. It was $100, and it could easily command $1000, I really think the artist (a very cool young girl) undersold herself severely.

Of course it is not exactly lightweight, so I am going to have to find a way to ship it. But I am in AWE of the amount of work that went into it, it is simply stunning, and oddly elegant in the color usage (dulled metallics) and the way it gleams. It's a wierd mix of ugly things that have created this insanely beautiful textured landscape.

I am now forever known as that crazy rich lady who bought the art at Rio Rita. (You should've seen the artist, you would've thought I had just told her she won the lottery when I said I wanted to buy it. That felt good.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Austin

  • Got a clean check up at my awesome dentist today.
  • Been going to her for 15 years.
  • Love her.
  • She has almost the exact same name as me.
  • Saw a perfect, GLORIOUS mullet today.
  • Got a haircut.
  • NOT a mullet.
  • Went back to my natural color.
  • I think.
  • I mean, I haven't really seen my natural color since I was 14 or so.
  • Have highlighted, lowlighted, used Sun In, or generally had some version of reddish something since 14.
  • But now, I am auburn again.
  • I love it.
  • Went around Town Lake again.
  • My favorite walk in the world.
  • Then found a patch of grass in Zilker Park, laid down on it, and examined the sky.
  • It was blue.
  • And perfect.
  • Had Chipotle for lunch.
  • Can they open one in Norway, PLEASE?????
  • Met my friend Bookhart for drinks and dinner in East Austin.
  • Ate at the Good Knight.
  • It wasn't that good, it was sort of the OK Knight.
  • Odd place, they are trying to be a gastropub, but they are missing the mark.
  • Then went to Rio Rita.
  • LOVE.
  • LOVE.
  • LOVE that place.
  • I bought art.
  • AT Rio Rita.
  • Staff art show.
  • Some really talented people.
  • And now I have to find a way to get it back to Norway.
  • I fell in love with it on sight.
  • It's the most amazingly detailed intricate thing I have ever seen.
  • It cost a hundred bucks.
  • It looks like a million.
  • Well, at least a thousand.
  • Tomorrow lunch and dinner with friends.
  • And either shopping or some more sun time.
  • This is a perfect week.
  • Content.


Now, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My view right now

Monday, November 15, 2010


Austin, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Obligatory shot of Austin from Town Lake trail. Insert usual maudlin reminiscence here. Wahh!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Howdy Y'all

Howdy from Texas. Yeeha!

My flight to Houston was smooth and very nice. I upgraded my ticket to business class with miles, and damn that is just WORTH it. So worth it. I scored a seat on the upper deck, something I have always wanted to do. I flew in a backward facing seat, which seemed odd during takeoff and landing, but other than that, I didn't even notice. They fed me about 43 little glasses of wine and some shrimpy starter and some meaty main and a really good dessert. And then I rolled out the flat bed and slept.

So I landed in Houston in good shape, but with very bad plane hair (what is UP with that?) and my brother picked me up at the airport. It was warm out, but not too warm, just nice. Soft Texas air. Lovely. We headed back to his house where my sister in law Kathy had some sushi she picked up for us all ready to go and it was yummylicious. I crashed at about 10 in their very comfy guest room and listened to a nice Texas rainfall pitter patter out side.

Next morning up, shower, and Chuck and I went to breakfast at IHOP. American food is BIG. After guzzling everything in sight ( the waitress asked me if I wanted a side of Tums or Rolaids with that, which I thought was hilarious) I took off to Austin, with a brief stop at some outlets, of course. Yesterday was a beautiful cool day, so I drove to Austin with the top down on the little Cabrio Chuck lends me and had a great time rocking out to whatever AOR music showed up on the radio. Driving in a convertible does good things for my was BIG.

Got to Austin at about 5pm. Checked in to the hotel I booked just for that night, changed clothes, and headed out to meet my friends Nick and Anne at the bar at the Stephen F. My friend Julia decided to join us, so, lucky me, I got to spend the evening with two of my oldest (as in, know for many years) friends! And it was Anne's birthday, too. I have known Julia since I was 5 and Anne since about 12. We had a crazy night, it's always a crazy night when you meet up with Nick and Anne. They are so well suited and live with such joie de vivre. After the Stephen F we went on to some other bars, and more drinks, and other bars and ate dinner and had more drinks, until finally went to a dance club, where the picture of Anne, below, was taken in the unisex bathroom. (She just posed, she wasn't actually peeing, by the way.) Oh God I laughed so hard. Anne kept screaming "Take the picture! TAKE THE PICTURE BEFORE SOMEONE COMES IN! MY ASS IS OUT!!!" But I was laughing so hard it was very difficult to take the picture......

I also discovered, sadly, that I still am a total snob about the music I will dance to, and last night was no exception. I hated the music at the club, so just couldn't dance to it. I like my music angry or house, but I don't like poppy gay bar music, which is what they were playing. Also, we were older by at least 15 years than anyone there. And I really kind of didn't give a fuck. Which was nice, because I could look around and see the place and the people with these new eyes, as oppose to how I used to look at a club, which was all "Ohmygod do I look ok, am I dancing cool enough, will they let me buy a drink with this fake ID, am I drunk yet, how long with my $20 last me....?"

I woke up this morning with way less of a hangover than I should have had. I suspect the anti inflammatories I am taking for my back had something to do with that, that and the fact that I skipped the last few drinks and just had water.

Had lunch at Matt's El Rancho with the folks from last night, plus Bookhart and her family and Julia's partner and their son. I crave the shrimp tostadas at Matt's, and they did not fail me today. After that Julia and I went to Last Call, where I was worried that I might be too hung over to shop, but nope, I was victorious with a nice charcoal grey suit by Ellen Tracy, a cashmere sweater and a pair of pleated linen trousers by Magaschioni. I will go back later this week for another trawl. Then I checked in to the little garage apartment I booked for the week, it's so cute!, and then to Target for supplies and some comfy fat pants for lounging. Oh i miss thee......

Tomorrow....a massage for my sore travel weary back.


Party, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This is a typical night out with my friend Anne.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good way to travel

Good way to travel, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I could sooooo get used to this. Business class upper deck!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

back spasms suck, or, "I've got a toomah"


So, yeah, interesting week so far this week. Tuesday at work I had this stabbing, stitching, ripping pain in my back, on the right side, around my bra strap, that was so intense at times I couldn't breathe. I also couldn't sit for very long, it hurt too much, so I had to keep getting up and walking around. I finally gave up with the sitting, and left work, walking home to work out the kink.

Tuesday night, it got worse. The pain throbbed in waves, it would get intense and then die off, it sort of felt as if an alien was trying to escape out my right shoulder blade. Rich kept trying to make me feel better, but I am one of those people that when it hurts, leave me alone, because I am going to bite you if you come near me. Poor guy was worried with my occasional holler of agony, though.

That night I took 800 mg of ibuprofen, a muscle relaxer and then later a vicodin (left over from dental work) and luckily the vicodin worked a bit and I was able to sleep (pass out).

Next morning I took myself to the doctor at Volvat. Volvat is the private medical facility that, luckily, my company bought me a membership in. It's still more expensive than the Norwegian health care system, but I really could not sit long enough in a waiting room to get the cheaper service they offer. So, Volvat (on walk in basis) was the choice. I went, they signed me in, I took the ubiquitous number that all things in Norway entail, and, God be praised, I was in with a doc within 10 minutes. The doc poked around on my back and confirmed my suspicions: It was, indeed an alien. Not only an alien, but also a huge tumor. An alien tumor about to erupt from my back.

OK, I lie. It was muscle spasms leading to an inflammatory reaction that hurt like a motherfucker. How did I hurt myself? I don't know, actually, but I suspect it is an over-eagerness to bend like by yoga teacher, which, with my level of flexibility, is an abject lesson in stupidity. I can touch my toes, I should be satisfied with that. I will never be able to kiss my own ass.

The doctor prescribed me some anti-inflammatories and a very ass-kicking strong pain pill that makes me even loopier than vicodin does, due to it having, as I discovered, later, after drooling on myself all yesterday afternoon, twice the mg of codeine than the vicodin I already had contains. And I thought Norwegian docs didn't prescribe the strong stuff! I actually cannot ever take those pain pills outside my house, or I will forget what I left the house for, as well as where I live. Yes, I am a lightweight. I don't like being that foggy, those pills are emergency only.

However, and this is how awesome I am? I STILL managed to roast the most awesome chicken ever last night. I might be a cripple, but this Texas chick can roast a chicken!*

I felt much better today, I brought my heating pad to work with me and sat in my chair like an old lady, with heating pad and ramrod straight posture all day.

I have to get better, and the sooner the better, as I am going to Texas on Friday. Woo!

*Roasting a chicken is very hard. You put it in the oven for an hour, take it out, and eat it. It was hard hard work and my back barely survived the ordeal.**

**That was sarcasm, btw.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Brrr, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Norwegians swimming. It's at 0c exactly.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

In which I get a break from men

Now, don't get me wrong: I love men. Love them, love them. Love them.


I work with men. I live with a man. I am always continually surrounded by men. Some of my best friends are men. I work and live in a man-centric world. Men, for all their nice cozy manliness, are hard work sometimes. I feel like I am always taking care of the needs of some man or other. I have two male bosses at work (and am training up a new one). At any time I will get an email or a call or a shout out from a guy needing help with something, they need some taking care of, they need me to remember something for them (I never get that, why do *I* have to remember FOR them?), they need me to do something for them. For the husband, he wants dinner, or can't remember our address (!!!) or where the pot in the kitchen goes, or what kind of cheese I wanted him to get or what is the code to the ATM machine. Men need constant soothing, reassuring, feeding, and diplomacy. It can be EXHAUSTING to be relied upon all the time.

Which is why? It was so fucking nice to hang out with WOMEN last night.

I hosted a bachelorette party for a friend of mine. By hosted, I mean, it was at my house. My contribution to the party was thus: I bought some paper plates, cleaned the toilets, and made sure I had plenty of toilet paper on hand. Then I took a nap. At 7pm, the doorbell started ringing. The ladies arrived, bearing beautiful food they had made or bought or prepared or created. They brought things to drink. They brought games. They came in like a lovely laughing tornado of food and fun, and all I did was give them plates to put stuff on.

It was SO GREAT. It was so nice to just let other women take over, to know that for once, I didn't have to take care of stuff, that they had it all in hand, they were prepared, and I could literally let them get on with it, and it would be fine. The food was gorgeous and we somehow had a perfect mix of sweet, savory, snacky, and everything, so nothing was missing. I don't think they planned who would bring what, either, but it sure worked! It was the best, most refreshing thing that has happened to me in a long time. And it wasn't even MY party (it was Elaina's) but it felt so great to let it all happen around me and I could participate instead of control. Some girls brought games, and then ran a series of entertainments that was equally fun and funny. It was silly, good natured and sweet, all at once.

I don't think men realize how much they rely on women. I don't think women realize how much we let men rely on us. All I do know is that I could feel the difference between the world of men and the company of women, and it felt really, really nice to let some responsibility and worry roll off my shoulders for an evening and let the amazing power of women carry me along.

Thanks ladies, it was a great night.

Friday, November 05, 2010

And the evening progresses

And the evening progresses, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Viking helmet and porcelain penis

Pin the dong on the depp

Pin the dong on the depp, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Party games!

The bride

The bride, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Viking hen party


Elegant, originally uploaded by karlakp.

The elegant party drinks champagne from a penis straw

Thursday, November 04, 2010

today made my hair stand on end...

Well, today started by my getting stuck in my apartment.

They are renovating the stairwell in our apartment, and it is absolute chaos. They have to chip the old plaster off the walls (it's plaster right on brick) and then sand it and replaster. The amount of dust and mess this is creating is ASTOUNDING. AND, when they are working, they set up a scaffold on the stairs that you can barely squeeze by, and even then, you are rubbing up against it (and thus all the plaster and wet dust and so on.) It's awful, it's noisy and it's messy as all get out. And, to top it off, the guys doing the work? SO NOT FRIENDLY.

So, today, I sashay (shauntay) out my apartment, dressed in head to toe black, looking rather nice, I thought. It was as I stepped onto the threshold of my flat that I realized....there is no way for me to get downstairs. No way to get downstairs without being covered head to toe in dust and plaster and goo. All of it WHITE. On my nice sassy black dress (full skirted dress, mind you.)

Fuck. I stood there trying to assess the scene, and the work dudes just stood there, like lumps, didn't offer to move any of their shit aside, didn't offer to help me down (common courtesy, one would think), didn't stop the messy splashing of plaster they were doing, didn't even move the huge honking pile of shit off the stairwell that was not only an obstruction but actually dangerous as well. I stood, they stared, aaaand...impasse.

"I picked the wrong day to wear black", I quipped. (crickets)


"I'll just take the back stairs", I said, after the pregnant and very uncomfortable pause of them doing fucking nothing to help me whatsoever though their mess.

So, I went to the back door of our apartment, only to find that, while I can very securely lock the door from the inside, I can't actually lock it from the outside. Key. Fits in lock. Doesn't turn. Won't lock. FUCK! So my choices were: leave apartment unlocked and unarmed (yeah, that's a big hell no) or get filthy going downstairs.

I called in to work to say I'd be late.

So, I don't know about you, but when I have on the perfect outfit (and it was perfect for my mood for the day) the idea of changing said perfect outfit is nothing less than crazy making. What does one wear, I ask, that somehow will look ok for work, but also allow you to possibly get covered in plaster and dust and shit at the same time? And also, will make you feel as good as the outfit you were just wearing and are now forced to change out of?

Well, as I found out, there is no such outfit, so I just changed into a cardigan, tweed jacket and jeans and rubbed my way out of the building, pissed off, harried, flustered and late.

I got to work to find surprises on my desk: a pair of earrings as a thank you gift for a dinner the previous week, and a beautiful pink rose, wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon around it.

The rose had no card. No identifying anything. Nothing. Just a beautiful flower on my desk.

I still have no idea who its from. I asked all my friends at work, anyone I might have done a favor for, anyone who might want to mess with me, anyone who I have spent time with or ever hung out with. Nope, nada, no one. And no one saw anyone come in with a rose, and no one saw anyone leave it.

A total and complete mystery.

Which I really rather love? But am also totally flummoxed by.

What's entertaining is all the girls are like "Ooo, secret admirer!" (I wish) and all the guys are like "Who's fucking with you?" (more likely). I'm thinking it is a thank you for something I did, which I am not sure what I did, but thank you for thanking me, whoever you are. It's beautiful and smells wonderful.

Mystery flower

Mystery flower, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Someone left the most beautiful rose on my desk at work today....but who?????

A mystery that is driving me nuts!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

readjusting my brain

One of the things I have been missing in our 'new' (now over a year) apartment has been proximity to nature. In our old place, a few minutes walk, and I was in fields, and a few more minutes and I was out by the Semsvannet, a beautiful lake with ancient farms and fields and meadows all around, and cows with cowbells around their necks melodiously ambling about. I always enjoyed going out there and wandering about on the trails, at any time of year, but especially on crisp fall days like today.

Today is a beautiful day, it's in the mid 40's (9c) out so not too cold, and with the sun out it's fine in just a long sleeved t shirt, really. So I got off my lazy, finally-recuperated-from-the-tequila-hangover ass, and went for a walk. I wandered over to Bygdøy, an 'island' (really a peninsula) right up the road from our flat.

Bygdøy has some pretty historical shit to boast of. There's the royal family's farm, and there's a little palace (Oscars Hall) and there is the Norsk Folk Museum and there's the Vikingskipshuset (Viking ship museum) and paths through woods and cows and horses ambling. There's farms and meadows and trees and grand old houses and what looked to me like burial mounds (but could be just big piles of rocks from previous farmers clearing fields) and everywhere, just everywhere are paths beckoning you to follow them on another walk, another discovery, and another new ramble.

In reality, all my kvetching aside, it's very similar to what I miss from the Semsvannet, actually. Pretty much the same walking distance away, trails to interesting places, some history to boot. Makes me miss our previous place just a little bit less. I'm kind of glad I figured that out, sometimes I really miss the old apartment and that neighborhood it was in.

One thing I enjoy doing on walks is playing a little bit with the Norwegian penchant for staring at anything that is slightly out of the ordinary. My little enjoyment for today was, at one point, I just stopped walking, suddenly, and stared into the distance. I actually stopped because I noticed the view into the hills at Holmenkollen, how lovely it was, from a perspective at the top of a meadow, looking down over a little bit of the fjord, then across and up and over the western side of Oslo with the way the light played and the clouds on the I stopped to look. Then I noticed that other people were stopping and looking, too, as if I was seeing something they needed to see, or they were curious what I saw, or whatever. And that cracked me up, so I sort of upped the ante a bit, shading my eyes with my hands, looking into the distance with concentration....and then giggling to myself when people would stop, look at me, then look into the distance to see what they could see, too.

At which point, I just briskly walked off and carried on with my rambles, leaving them to look a bit stupid as they then hurriedly carried on themselves.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hair of the dog.

Hair of the dog., originally uploaded by karlakp.

Kilkenny? This hangover nearly killing Karla!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I used to have parties ALL THE TIME.

When I lived in Austin? My little house? Perfect little party house. Big deck out back (that I built), good party flow in the house, good location quite central, so that people naturally gravitated to Casa Karla. I had parties monthly, pretty much, and the cops only got called a very few times.

I am out of party practice now, but am hosting two events in the next two weeks.

Friday I'm doing a dinner for a boss of mine who is moving, he and I have become pretty good friends over the past few years, so I wanted to do something special for him and his wife before they go. Hence, Mexican Fiesta Evening. I'm gonna whip up some garmaritas and quesadillas, gonna play the rock music, and have invited a few folks over for a good ol' Texas style party. I will do a seated casual dinner for 10, which is a challenge as it seems all my dinner sets (plates, utensils, glasses, etc) stretch to 8 as the most for any particular set, so now I have to figure out some creative mix and match table settings. Not to mention I actually only have 6 dining room chairs, so will pull in the extra chairs de la casa as well. However, I figure, once I hand over the margaritas upon entry to the house, people won't notice any lack of matching plates or silverware....

The next Friday I am hosting a hen party for approximately 15 ladies. Oddly enough that will be easier than a sit down for 10. Girls are easy. Chocolate, champagne, have plenty of toilet paper and clean bathrooms on hand, and boom, there's yer party......

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts at dinner

Thoughts at dinner, originally uploaded by karlakp.

At dinner with friends. I'm thinking something interesting, though I forgot what.

Rant, but you might not understand

It's hard to rant when you can't go into details. But I'm gonna rant because rant I must.

1) I've been working REALLY hard on a project at work, a very sensitive topic, for which I feel sort of responsible for making sure that communication is key. In fact, I have been so gung ho on making sure that people feel informed and comfortable, that I am probably annoying my boss. So today, when we got an email from some people who should know better that is questioning our information flow and practices, I must say, I got a bit annoyed. Have you READ the stuff I sent you? The stuff I've posted online? Have you attended the meetings we've set? Have you come to ASK me? No? Then how dare you say that we haven't informed you, when you haven't bothered to take advantage of the many avenues of information I have provided for you???? Seriously?

2) I've been needing a glass of wine since 9:30 this morning, pretty much from the point I left the US Embassy. Oh that place is meant to make people angry. They take away your phone, your ipod, your everything, and then sit you in an ugly ass room where the only entertainment is a tv playing a US propaganda video over and over and over. (You know...uplifting music, some America the Beautiful footage, Happy Americans of All Colors Waving Happily, the flag flying Happily in the background, purple mountains being Happily majestic, all that crap.)
Jesus, people at least play some CNN or something! The poor fuckers sitting in that waiting room had this stunned desperate look on their faces, like, "Wow, this sucks, this sucks ASS, I'm bored and about to go nuts, but I can't say anything (can't even TWITTER because they took my phone away!) because they won't let me get a visa to go into their country to see the Happy Americans Waving Happily and the purple mountains majesty". Most of the people there were young Norwegians trying to get study visas. Poor kids. I think while we were there for a half hour, they got to number 3 on the 'take a number' list. They were stuck there for a LOOONG time.

As an American visiting the Embassy:
  • you have to have an appointment,
  • which you made online,
  • which entitles you to then go the Embassy
  • (only between 9-11 on certain days),
  • line up outside and wait for security
  • get searched and
  • have your phone taken away,
  • then go in
  • and watch the Happy Waving American Purple Mountains Majesty video
  • while occasionally hollering through a thick bullet proof glass window at a bureaucrat who says your passport name doesn't match the stuff you want signed
  • and why are you a terrorist and are so unAmerican as to live OUTSIDE America?
  • (which is crap and you have exactly 23 other forms of ID to prove that you are who you say you are),
  • while everyone in the waiting room (which you are in, too) can hear every word you say because you are HOLLERING through 3 inches of window
  • and they are all staring at you
  • because what the fuck ELSE have they got to look at besides the Happily Waving Americans video?
  • and then this junior bureaucrat must ask someone Official to Make A Decision,
  • which they eventually do because you prostrate yourself before the God of America (aka the Embassy Guy)
  • and I even had to swear with my right hand up and everything
  • which everyone waiting REALLY enjoys watching, hey, look, a swearing American!
  • and then you get to pay them an EXORBITANT amount of money to do something (notarize) which you can get free at any local local bank back home.
So there, my friends, are your tax dollars at work.

3) I thought we'd be getting a refund from Norway for taxes, but just found out we owe. Will we never get a refund????? How much can one household pay in taxes? (Ok, trying to get my Liberal mojo back. Taxes are nice, taxes are your friend.)(yeah, that never works.)

3) I'm supposed to go out tonight and now I have lost all my mojo for it. There's a story behind that, too, which I won't go into.

I should probably just stay home, shouldn't I?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Turdhenge, originally uploaded by karlakp.

This just made me giggle. 2 tiny dog turds on the sidewalk as I walked to work. One was standing like a little pillar of poo. Yes, strange things make me laugh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Snow is forecast for tomorrow.

And so it starts.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


Gaga, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Very cool show. She just changed into a bush costume. Or something.


Gaga, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Check out this weird dress i bought a while ago. Little leather circles. Perfect for gaga with red and black cowboy boots!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Best night ever

Best night ever, originally uploaded by karlakp.


I was 20 feet from Robert Plant last night. Like, I could see that he was wearing grey snakeskin boots (those were some COOL boots.) And I could see the little grey hairs on his chin in his goatee.

I've been lucky enough to see him before, with Allison Krauss in 2008. Go back and read that post. I'll wait for you right here.

Still waiting.

You done yet? Damn you read slow.

............OK, you're back.

Last night was the opposite of the show in 2008. In a good way (there is no bad where there is Plant) but opposite.

I wish I could do a column by column comparison of the two shows (help help I do too many spreadsheets if I am actually wanting to put one in my blog!) but my html doesn't go that far, so I will just get the idea across.

2008: Cool, blue light, precision, technically perfect, precise, huge venue, heartstopping beauty, the soaring commanding voice of Allison Krauss fully equal and at times overtaking Plant, a bit melancholy, T Bone Burnett rocking the stage, and Robert Plant waaaay down there as a little ant of a Plant.

2010: Raucous, warm, cozy, some sound issues that cropped up (feedback), bluesy, joyous, Patty Griffin as more of a side act to Plant, belting out when she was solo but pretty much back seat to Plant, hot yellow light, personality. Robert Plant was human sized.(And still HOT.)

So last night felt like the afterparty of the previous show. The dark night club, let-loose- and-have-fun show after the more formal, expensive show. The small intimate, just a few friends club gathering. I'm so lucky to have been there! I do think the chemistry between Krauss and Plant was better than that of him and Griffin. Patty Griffin may just not be someone who wants to take the foreground, which Krauss obviously relished. But Griffin as definitely more of a strong support act than a complete lead. When she got the lead, though, she belted it out and she was the Griffin I remember from having seen her in Austin. And....I was 20 feet from Robert Plant. When he came on stage, I couldn't help it, I screamed like teenager at a Beatles concert. My boyfriend was RIGHT THERE. Right there...there! In front of me! When he played harmonica, I had a brief and very vivid fantasy where *I* was his harmonica, I think I passed out for a moment from the thought of it.

Of the two albums, I think Raising Sand is the superior one. It just has instant classic written all over it, there is not a bad or boring song in the bunch. Band of Joy is a great album, and I like some of the songs even better than any on Raising Sand, but there are a couple of songs I really don't like, and that brings the album down a notch for me. Raising Sand is consistently good, while Band of Joy has a couple clunkers. But somehow that makes it more endearing, like the scruffy brother, or something.

Today I am tired, and my hearing is a bit fuzzy, and I am trying to get my energy up to see Lady Gaga tonight. But, even if I did suffer some hearing loss, it was worth it. I'll get a t-shirt: I Went Deaf For Robert Plant. (As it turns out, I got TWO t shirts from last night, the official tour on and Rich bought me another one from a guy outside the venue.)

So I can say, in terms of Robert Plant: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt twice, and so would do it again!