Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shit, now that's trendy too?

Seems riding your bike to work but refusing to wear ugly biking clothes, is trendy.

I just wanted some exercise and a faster way to work. And I am lazy so don't want to have to change clothes when I get to work, not to mention, hello, you won't catch me DEAD in bike shorts.

Now the New York trendy set is all over it.


But my bike is WAY cooler than theirs. So there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today at Oslofjord

Today at Oslofjord, originally uploaded by karlakp.


Saturday, September 25, 2010


I rode my bike down (up?) to the grocery store today. I really like my bike, like, love it, but am still a bit nervous riding around in traffic and so on. But, there is no learning without doing, so I bravely squashed my hair under my helmet (NERDY!) and got my ass on the bike to ride down (up?) to the Meny store.

I made a small adjustment to the seat before I took off, raising it about an inch and a half, and that has really helped make the cycling more comfortable. My legs don't feel so crampy. I had the seat deliberately a bit low so that I could pop my feet down on the ground easily as I got used to riding again. I'm a bit wobbly and need the security of a quick touch down, but today I decided to get a bit braver and ride high like a big girl.

Is it just me or is Oslo pretty much all uphill? Somehow I managed to go uphill to the store and uphill on the way back. And I got lost in my neighborhood twice. Found my way out quickly, but along with all uphill, there are no straight roads here, it's all loopy 5 way intersections, and I keep looping the wrong way.

After I got my groceries and road back home, happily not dying in the process and feeling like I am already getting better with the biking stamina and stronger legs, I treated myself to a coffee at Kaffebrenneriet (translates loosely from Norwegian to "The Coffee Brewer"). Well, 'treat' might be the wrong word, as I don't really like Kaffebren, but I was too lazy to go up the road to get the coffee I DO like. Anyhow, once again, I was reminded of why I don't like this coffee chain.

First of all, cut out the snobby attitude, hey guys? I want my coffee how I want it, and if I want some extra damn chocolate in my mocha, besides your lame half ass token squirt, just give me the chocolate without the smirk, ok? Also? Fill up the cup? If I am paying almost $7 for a coffee that is so small that a Starbuck's Tall size (which, ironically, is the small) can kicks its ass just by standing next to it, I expect that cup to be FULL and not half filled and then foamed to the top.

I like good coffee just as much as your average snob, but you can make good coffee without being overbearing about it. For an example, check Stockfleth's. They make great coffee, how you want it, and nary a snob in sight.

And don't even go into how much I miss Haveli coffee in Asker. They make the best mochas on earth. Maybe some day I will get really brave and ride my bike there.....


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Perhaps, if you have read my random scribblings for a little while, you might know of my absolute love for Robert Plant?

Well, I've been giving his new album, Band of Joy, a listen and can I just say...the love stays strong.

First song, Angel Dance? Awesome. Love it. Makes me happy. Third song, Central-Two-O-Nine? Awesome as well. And so on....

I don't know what it is about Plant's music I like. Perhaps that he goes to the root of things, and that his curiosity for the world and different forms of music is so infectious? He's just so willing to give things a try, check them out, play with them...and then move on to something else. (But it's always something else cool.) He just seems to be a traveler on this earth, experiencing all it offers, and learning from it every step of the way. As someone who has a similar life philosophy, I find his music just speaks to me on almost a soul level. I love learning his journey with him (damn I wanna buy that guy a beer!) Also, I really do like blues and roots music of the Southern US, and somehow he has the perfect mannerism and voice for that kind of music. And don't EVEN get me started on his mastery of North African music and the Moroccan influence of No Quarter.


Nobody was on my floor of the office this afternoon, so I cranked up the Plant while I worked. Chair dancing makes spreadsheets much more fun.

I can't wait til I get to see him here in Oslo!!!!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dining room flowers

Dining room flowers, originally uploaded by karlakp.

The sun was hitting the flowers on the dining table so prettily I just had to take a picture of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ok, so I DO have something to say.

So I'm watching this movie Rich put in, called Kick-Ass. It's a cute movie, yadda yadda, entertaining, whatever.

So while I'm watching, I check out the lead actor on IMDB, a kid named Aaron Johnson. Born in 1990, so he's what, 20? A kid. I have socks older than him. But oh is he a cutie, that one. VEEEERY cute.

So I check out his personal life, as one does, and see a picture of him with his girlfriend.
Who was born in 1967. And with whom he just had a child.

So he's just 20 (met her when he was 19 on the set of a movie) and she is 43. Older than me!!!

All's I gotta say on that is YOU GO GIRL! Keep that flame burning for the rest of us. It's not just men who can have the fun youngsters!

This means that my particular favorite Daniel Radcliffe is open season (wtf is Melanie Griffith doing with her mits all over him)?.....I mean, he's a whole year older than Aaron!

just a post to say....

.... I have absolutely fucking nothing to say.

Thrilling, no?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dinner at Dyna Fyr

Pictures by Craig Morrison, with thanks.

on the boat out: Cava. Masia Perelada Brut.

Pancooked foie gras with cumquat marmelade & elderflower sorbet.

Vin: Fritz Risling Gunderloch, Rheinhessen.
pancooked halibut with apple celery puré, wild mushrooms and apple redwine sauce. Vin: Cotes du Rhone Domaine Grands Bois 2008

.Chocolate and peanut butter pie with Leffe beer sorbet.

Vin: Capricho de Goya..

We had a wonderful evening out last night, a dinner at Dyna Fyr, this little lighthouse out in the Olso fjord. They pick you up by boat and take you out, on the boat you get an apertif (Cava) to sip while you enjoy the views. Luckily it wasn't too chilly. I was worried I'd freeze in my silk dress, but I was warm enough in the breezes.

The lighthouse was built in 1874 and has had 4 lighthouse keepers. One was a family with 4 kids (it's a tiny lighthouse) and there were some fun stories about how they lived. Like, the mom couldn't swim, so when her kids were learning how, she tied a rope around them and let them go out and if they ran into trouble, she just reeled them in from the balcony of the light house! Clever! And the kids had to walk across the ice fjord in winter to get to school. Sometimes the ice wasn't quite frozen solid, so they had to walk with long sticks kept lengthwise under their arms, so that if they fell through, the sticks would fall on either side of them and keep them from falling down into the water and they could hoist themselves out. Wow, I'll never complain about that mile i had to walk to go to school in Houston again.

The lighthouse is very charming, and the staff there are incredible. Norwegians are some of the most generous hosts in the world, and this was no exception. They nicely spoke in English for the little history lesson about the lighthouse ( there were only about 6 of us English speakers and 20 Norwegians, so they were very nice in letting us hijack their evening with our language). The people we sat with (it was just long tables) were very friendly and fun. (The one guy to our left worked for Nidar chocolate, which Dave should especially like as he is a straight line to SMASH, the crack of chocolate treats. We're gonna try to work a deal with him so that I can take a SMASH bath. Mmmm Smash.....)

Of course the food was excellent, the starter, for me, being the most exciting part. That foie gras and the mixture of elderflower sorbet and marmelade was exquisite, the flavors were incredible together. And the red wine with fish was an interesting pairing, they basically treated the fish as if it were red meat, and it really worked. That wine we had with the main was SO good. The refills came fast and furious (Norwegians are also very generous with the alcohol) and I was well hammered by dessert. The dessert was fabulous too, a chocolate peanut butter pie with a Leffe beer sorbet. Nom Nom.

We staggered on to the boat back to Oslo proper after dinner, happy, a bit red faced, and definitely sated. I'll remember that meal for a looong time. (Thanks to my friend Elaina for organizing for us! She's our Cruise Director, she is, always finding fun stuff for us to do.)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Dinner, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Will be here tonight.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Wilderness, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Norwegians enjoying the solitude of the Great Outdoors.


Sognsvannet, originally uploaded by karlakp.

A sunday walk on a lovely fall-ish day.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fall in Oslo

It's a beautiful day outside. Clear, sunny, cool breeze (cold if you are in a shady place). I'll never get used to how fast the seasons change here. I mean, in Texas, we've got two seasons: Hot and Not So Hot. So living here, where the seasons change on a dime and you go from summer one day to fall the next, it's just a huge adjustment for me.

Summer stresses me out a bit, actually. I spend ALL YEAR looking forward to it, I ache through spring just waiting for the day when I can sit in the sun in a tank top and get those first rays of sun. Then I spent all summer counting down the days until August 24th, the Day Fall Arrives (summer is only about 60 days or so, really). And of those days, the percentage of warm sunny days is really quite few. Think about are up against rain and clouds and cool fronts and all sorts of summer-stealing weather, so each rainy day you resent and then the sunny days come and you feel you MUST be outside, you MUST take advantage of it because God only knows where the next good day is coming from. And it's a bit stressful, because some sunny days maybe you don't WANT to go out for a walk or to the park, maybe you have a cold and you want to just be in bed and mope. But you can't, you know that this beautiful sunny day is one of maybe 20-30 you will have ALL YEAR so you have to go out in it whether you want to or not. See what I mean? Summer is stressful.

Then the weather suddenly cools off, and you can't wear your sundresses or sandals anymore and it's only September 1. Most of this is societal pressure, honestly. I still am wearing sandals, but then I get people always asking me if my feet are cold. They stare as if I am from another planet, and they have never seen toes before. Norwegians are obsessed with keeping their feet warm, the whole society is built up around warm feet, warm shoes, warm bathroom's like if your feet get cold, you've been failed by the Norwegian system. (Toes are just not exposed after September 1, you might as well walk around with your nips out.) My feet are ALWAYS cold, always have been cold, whether they are bundled up in socks and boots or not. I'm so used to it I don't even notice anymore, so for me, wearing sandals when it's 50F outside ain't no big thang. (I appreciate British people in this, they wear their flats with their dresses or leggings sans socks in all weather, I think they just have hardier feet or something. But then, British houses are not near as warm and køselig as Norwegian ones.) I have been known to wear winter sweaters and jeans and sandals. As long as my arms are warm, I'm fine.

So Rich tells me last night it was 39F. Brr. In this old building we live in they don't turn on the heat until October 1. I'm pretty sure we have some very chilly nights ahead of us. But today? Today was sunny, and so I put the pillows out to air, and changed the sheets on the bed and opened windows to get some of that lovely breeze around the apartment. The house smells fresh and clean and the bed smells of sun and warmth, and I hope it lasts for a few days, because soon I won't get to put the sheets out to dry in the sun, and it will be too cold to put the pillows out to air, and the balcony will become a place to store firewood and not a place to barbecue.

But not just yet...I still have some bbq plans up my sleeves for a couple of weeks yet.