Sunday, May 30, 2010

Things have been really busy lately. Just when I think it can't get busier, it does.

Which means, of course, that I got run down and was sicker than a damn dog all last week. I couldn't take time off from work so I had to go in with the crud, and I can tell you... sexy? Is one thing I was NOT. I could see people leaning away from me trying to escape my germ filled fug. Well, shit. If you make me too busy to miss work, then you get me at work, but the shape I am in leaves something to be desired. (Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I really do, but sometimes i would like to just turn OFF. I have forcibly ignored the Blackberry this weekend. I hid it in the closet.)

Anyhow, so this weekend is all about rest. I am sleeping, lazing, reading in the sun. I am allowing myself to just be a bum. Which, for some reason, I am finding really hard. My brain won't shut up and I feel guilty just taking care of myself. But I know that I need quiet time and that I probably need more of it as I get older.

I don't know if it's just me, or if it is a woman thing? But lately, I feel very damned if i do and damned if I don't. No matter what I do, I will piss off someone. No matter what I do, I am giving up one thing to do another. No matter what I do, one thing drops in my efforts to keep the others up.

I am trying to go easy on myself. I am trying to not beat myself up because I miss this friend's party or this friend's barbeque or this friend's dinner. I can't make Rich dinner every night, and he will just have to make do with a pizza or whatever. I can't do it all and I have to think of the things I need to do right now to make my life work right now. I am really struggling to make it all work and I am not sure why I am having such a hard time. (I also can't imagine how I would keep it together if kids were in the picture. Seriously? How?) I'm trying to not beat myself up for forgetting to do that thing at work or this thing at work or saying no to doing something at work that doesn't directly have anything to do with my job.

It seems like, lately, the hardest lesson I am having to learn is to say NO. I don't seem to be very good at it, it wracks me with guilt and what-if's, but I have to get better at it and I have to learn to say no and mean it and not let it get to me. Even if it gets to someone else.

Time for another nap. After I change the sheets. It's the only item of housecleaning I am doing this weekend. Changing the sheets. The rest will have to wait. (See? I said no. heh. Go me!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


bullet post, because my brain can't think in paragraphs.

  • I have allergies.
  • Or a cold, not sure.
  • Perhaps sinus infection? (Noooo!)
  • I do know that my sneezes are so big a mere "achoo" ain't cutting it.
  • I'm more "AH..PLOOEY" right now.
  • Last night I 'sploded all over my Mac.
  • Not nice to clean THAT out of the keyboard.
  • I am alternating between NyQuil and Benadryl.
  • If you take them both at once, they kind of cancel each other out.
  • So I just go back and forth.
  • I am in a pleasant fog, though.
  • Which isn't making me very effective at work.
  • (non sequitir: I hate Outlook, by the way.)
  • Anyhow, even though I'm hugely busy at work and actually had a fun after work function to go to, I had to cancel.
  • I. Just.Can't. Stay. Awake.
  • Tonight's plan: ate dinner.
  • Next a bath with tea tree oil and eucalyptus to clear the ol' sinuses.
  • Then, retreat to bed with book or lame video until 9 or so, then pass out.
  • Spring in Norway seems to just cause me pain.
  • Pollen and cold.
  • It was warm(ish) over the weekend and now it's chilly again.
  • If I had the wish to have any power, I would most certainly chose teleportation, like Samantha on Bewitched?
  • And I'd send my snotty ass (and a small suitcase) somewhere warm, tropical and beachy.
  • I'm thinking here. (Railay Beach in Thailand.)
  • And there I would remain until I felt like wiggling my nose to come back.
  • Which might take a while.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Morning coffee

Morning coffee, originally uploaded by karlakp.

On the balcony with my coffee reading my latest pop philosophy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Covered in bug bites.

Very itchy.

All over my legs, which is not looking nice when I wear a dress.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

back from Rome Bullet Post

  • Back from Rome just now.
  • Weather in Oslo is gorgeous.
  • Ironic, that, as it rained the whole damned time in Rome.
  • I mean rained HARD.
  • And was pretty cold. The Romans were confused, they said it never happens.
  • My fault, sorry, I brought it from Norway.
  • Even so, I lost my heart to Rome, completely utterly and totally.
  • Damn what a place.
  • And, rather unexpected in many ways.
  • Like, the Romans?
  • I mean, really nice.
  • Except the little old Catholic ladies who kept yelling at me in churches and stuff.
  • I mean, seriously, I'm standing at the back of the church, with a bunch of other people, and some old lady would come up to me and tap me very hard on the arm (I think it was an old lady punch) and start yelling at me.
  • Just me.
  • No one else.
  • I don't get why.
  • I mean, I was dressed correctly, I wasn't making noise, and I wasn't doing anything that other people weren't doing also.
  • But me?
  • Got yelled at.
  • It must be my evil showing.
  • I actually started avoiding churches.
  • Which if you've ever been to Rome, you know is quite hard to do. The place is LOUSY with churches.
  • I hear it's big business there.
  • OK, anyhow, here's some tips if you ever go to Rome.
  • DON'T buy a ticket for one of those Rome Tour Hop On Hop Off buses.
  • Hop On Rip Off more like, they never show up, they are overpriced and the local buses get you there cheaper, way quicker, and on better routes.
  • DON'T join a tour of the Vatican, the ones that have sales people coming up to you in line and promising to get you in faster to avoid the lines?
  • They don't.
  • Rich stood in line for about 3 hours to get in, and when all was said and done, I was only about 15 minutes faster than him.
  • And 20 euros poorer.
  • If you go to see the Forum/Palatine Hill/Coliseum, buy your ticket for all at the entry to the Palatine Hill.
  • You will avoid another Vatican sized line at the coliseum and can waltz right in.
  • Trust me on that one.
  • That's my best tip, actually.
  • When in Rome, drink wine.
  • It's really cheap.
  • And good.
  • Go to Trastevere and enjoy the ambiance and the great restaurants.
  • Visit Castello San Angelo, it's wicked cool even if it is a truly ugly old building.
  • Aw hell, just go to Rome.
  • I am definitely going again.
  • I love love love Rome!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Time, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A Baroque church in Roman surround. A sunny day turned stormy and I await a lightening of rain under a giant tree in the Forum. Thunder cracks and i am tipsy cold and wet after my boozy lunch.


Salute, originally uploaded by karlakp.

For those about to die we salute you. Coliseum.


Forum, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Lovely day and lots to see!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Lunch, originally uploaded by karlakp.

View from my table at lunch. No old ladies yelling at me. I can drink my wine and eat my risotto in peace.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps, originally uploaded by karlakp.

And people.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Free, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Happened upon a free night at Castello San Angelo.


Odd, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I am at the wierdest bar


Line, originally uploaded by karlakp.

See the line for St Peter's? That's 1/6 of it. It goes all around the big circle and starts way behind us on the other side of the basilica.


Oasis, originally uploaded by karlakp.

The calm and blessedly people free hotel courtyard. I have never been with that many people at once. I was one in a sea of very pushy humanity. I didnt make it into St Peters as the line was more than i could handle right now. And I am STARVING!


Wow, originally uploaded by karlakp.

I mean, wow.


And..., originally uploaded by karlakp.


St Peter's

St Peter's, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A view as I wait in the crush for the Sistine Chapel. Vatican aint for sissies.


Rome, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Roman art in the Vatican

Friday, May 14, 2010


Ossuary, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Skull cross

Multimedia message

Multimedia message, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Hotel courtyard.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When in Rome.... pasta take pictures and soak up la dolce vita. The weather here in Norway has been absolute crap, I'm so sick of cold I could scream, so I am hoping for a bit of warmth and some sun. Forecast in Rome isn't that great, but it's warmer than here, so at least it's a start.

I'll post pictures so get ready!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

reverse economy

This makes no sense.

And we have to bear the cost. (Read especially the part about the celery. Ditto strawberries, and so on.)


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Random on Mother's Day

  • Happy Mother's Day Mom.
  • I don't think one silly Sunday can come close to expressing how much you mean to me, and I hope I manage to get that point across all year round. Cuz, Mom? You rock.
  • I'll call you later, ok?
  • In the meantime, I think I have found the perfect book to express my spiritual journey of late. I bought it today on Amazon UK.
  • And this is it.
  • I mean, really is there anything better? And it's written by a former Anglican priest. CLASSIC.
  • (Thanks to Grant, actually, for the Amazon gift certificate with which I bought my new spiritual guide to life.)
  • I planted my window boxes today with pretty petunias and margaritas. (That's what they call them here, little daisy flowers?)
  • So that's four boxes of pretty out there on the balcony.
  • Grow babies grow!
  • Sadly, it's still pretty freaking chilly out, even though yesterday was quite gorgeous. I even managed to wear shorts for a while yesterday!
  • I had a big giggle yesterday when Rich and I were walking around and this old dude, across the street from us, let out a TREMENDOUS fart.
  • I mean, a total hooter.
  • Rich and I looked at each other, like, "Did we really hear that?" and I started giggling.
  • The old dude just kept walking along unconcernedly, his fart still reverberating from the pavement.
  • When I am old, I want to fart like HIM and do it out loud and proud in public and not CARE that anyone hears me.
  • I'm not quite there yet, though.
  • Rich is closer, that dude can FART.
  • He's gonna kill me for that.
  • Yesterday I bought a really stupid pair of jeans.
  • Faded and torn up, with elastic at the bottom and a narrow but not tight fit.
  • They are kind of teenagery, really.
  • But I don't care! I love them!
  • They are comfortable as hell, and kind of silly, and trendy for about another month, so I will wear them until they fall apart (with all the holes that won't take long) and be comfortable while doing it.
  • I wish they had some that didn't have holes in them, and weren't so faded, but had the same fit.
  • Stupid pants! I love stupid pants!
  • And balcony plants! I love stupid pants and balcony plants!
  • And now I'm gonna go call my Mommy and make dinner, perhaps at the same time, because I am woman and that's how I roll, yo.
  • And, last but not least, Happy Mother's Day to all my beloved gal friends, whether you are a biological mom, and adopted mom, an auntie mom or a one of the moms that helps that village raise the child.
  • We may not all have children of our own, but that doesn't mean we aren't all part of the village.
  • (Even if I might be the village idiot.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

$10 bite of beef

$10 bite of beef, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A bite of wagyu beef for my dinner tonight. I had three of them. $30 for three bites o' cow.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


My grandparents (my Dad's parents) used to live on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

They were a block from the white sand beaches near Gulfport and Biloxi. We'd drive along the coast, make a left by the gas station, a right on their street, and they were at the very end of the dead end street, a low white brick house with a large lot and gardens that were absolute heaven.

In 1967 or so they had completely remodeled their house, making it a showplace for my grandmother's amazing collection of antiques and ephemera from SE Asia and the middle East (where my dad's family traveled extensively in the early to mid 60's) and my grandfather's family heirlooms. My grandfather (Opi) was largely deaf, and never used the phone, but when the house was finished, he called my parents and shouted "The house is ready, come visit" down the phone and then hung up.

Hurricane Camille struck a couple months later and destroyed everything.

As a kid my dad would pile me and my brother and my mom and various dogs and whatnot into some strange collectible French car (with a 50% chance of a breakdown and much cursing by Dad on the way) and drive us all from Houston across Louisiana to Mississippi to visit Omi and Opi. We'd usually go at Easter and Thanksgiving. It was an 8 hour drive, which my brother and I made sure to count for the whole way. "ARE WE THERE YET? WHEN ARE WE THERE? CAN WE STOP AT STUCKEY'S? HEY, I SEE MISSISSIPPI TREES!" I am pretty sure we were a nightmare to travel with.

Those visits to my grandparents were always a magical time. Omi and Opi lived in a low white brick house that they rebuilt after Camille, with an all white interior, on which floated the amazing collection of SE Asian art and artifacts that they had collected in their travels. Or, I should say, the collection that made it through Camille. Everything was a bit dinged, dented or water damaged. But the artistry and quality of it all shone through. Buddhas, big gold ones, ancient, elegant, wooden, with some of the gold peeling off. Scary wall monsters as art. 18th century French influenced furniture mied with tansu chests and Indian and South American altar pieces. Very simple low furniture. A HUGE Kirman Shah carpet, an old family heirloom, painstakingly cleaned after Camille and proudly placed on the floor where NO ONE was allowed to walk on it (even the dog was trained to avoid The Carpet. Everyone in the family still avoids walking on the carpet, even now. We all skirt it, fearing the Wrath of Omi's ghost.)

But even better than the house? The garden. They had a big double lot. Omi and Opi were gardeners, of the Japanese style. There were ponds with goldfish that Opi let me feed Quaker oats to, and fountains and little streams and pagodas and a tea house and camellias and azeleas and beautiful flowering trees and plants of every description. Iris and lilies and roses and a big banana tree and little statues of buddhas and giant pine trees. Opi even invented new strains of camellias and their yard was feature in Southern Homes and Living. My brother and I used to run around the perfectly manicured grass pathways among the garden beds in the twilight, with flashlights and voices raised, chasing each other and hiding among the flowers.

It was a magical place. Magical, beautiful and so very elegant and perfect. So very descriptive of my grandparents and their life together. Opi and his gardens and Omi with her amazing eye for design and color.

So today I went on to Google maps and looked up where my grandparents house was. With all the news of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and all, I wanted to follow the path of where they think the oil will hit.

I hadn't had the balls to check it out since Katrina, as I knew it probably wasn't good. I was right.

The house is gone. The gardens are gone. (Where that little round loop in the street is? That's where their house was.) The trees are gone. The ponds are gone. The garden shed is gone.

It's all gone.

I'm crying as I write this, I guess because even though I knew in my brain it was probably gone, it hadn't hit my heart yet.

And now I know. It's gone. All we've got are the memories and the pictures to remind us.

Monday, May 03, 2010

It's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow morning.

I think you and me both know the only response to that.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

On top

On top, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Me on the roof of the Opera. It feels like ice sea and sky. It's really cool.

I mean wow?

I mean wow?, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Trust your brakes! And yeah there is a baby in it!


Oslo, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Beautiful day on the roof of the opera.