Monday, February 28, 2011

red sea rose.jpg

red sea rose.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

Who knew? Jordan, like Tunisia, has excellent rose'! That, some green olives, the sun and a seafood pizza, and I am one happy damn camper!

sunset over red sea.jpg

sunset over red sea.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My Lumix takes better pictures but here's a sunset view looking over Israel.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

aqaba pulltab flashback.jpg

aqaba pulltab flashback.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

When was the last time you saw a pull tab that came off the can? I thought I broke it!!!!

red sea view.jpg

red sea view.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My view right now. To the right, Israel. To the left Saudi Arabia. Ahead, Egypt. Never thought life would bring me to....Jordan!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just a little giggle for you. Those of you who know me will know that this is two of my favorite things, yoga and wine, in one. I'm not near as flexible as this little guy but can hold my own with that bottle of rosé....

Surprises in store for next week. Hold tight.

Monday, February 21, 2011

To every Texas Republican in office: We won't forget this

I am incandescent with rage over this bill to "Protect Our Women".

Let me make this crystal clear, Texas Republicans:

I am NOT "your" woman. I am NOBODY'S woman. I am a fully competent human being who is able to make my own decisions regarding MY BODY and I don't need your help to protect me from ANY decision I make regarding myself, my health, my uterus or my reproductive system or the choices I make thereof.

You cannot force me into participating in a medical procedure to give me 'information' I do not want. You cannot force me to watch or listen to something that is only meant to condescendingly try to make me doubt a decision that I already agonized over and have made with full knowledge of myself, my future and my desires for MY life. If this sort of thing were performed on a man, if he was forced to see something he did not want to see, it would be considered torture and an unusual form of punishment. What if they did something like that to prisoners or people at Abu Graib? The outcry would be tremendous. WHY IS OK TO DO THIS TO WOMEN? American women who PAY TAXES AND ONLY WANT TO LIVE THEIR LIVES?

I would like to take you, Texas Senator Dan Patrick, and I would like to make you drop your pants, spread your legs, and prop your legs up on stirrups with someone staring at your privates. I would then like to shove a condom-covered dildo up your ass and make you lie there, vulnerable and spread eagled and be berated for a decision you have already made, and be told that you are wrong, and by subtext tell you that you don't know your own mind, AND I would like to then tell you that this is for your OWN PROTECTION because you, silly little Senator, obviously need protecting from yourself by a big strong Republican Senate. And I would like to force you to watch me while I tell you this, force you to hear my words, while my hand is up your ass, hear my words doubting you AS A SENTIENT HUMAN WITH YOUR OWN MIND AND FEELINGS AND DECISIONS. Then honey, you can put your pants on and go back to life and feel safe that your government is protecting you.

Protecting you from yourself.

Fuck you Texas. Fuck you Senator Patrick. Fuck you and your torture of women.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

mamasita en la cocina!

IMG-20110220-00223.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

First I roasted a chicken drizzled in lime juice and cumin. Then I tore up the meat and mixed it with green chili salsa and cilantro and cheese and rolled it in tortillas and doused it in sour cream cliantro lime green chili sauce. Made some fresh guacamole to go with and ate it all until I want to explode. Getting my TexMex on in snowy Oslo.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This? This is important.

If you believe that millions of Americans; women, men and teens, deserve the right to family planning, pre-natal services, cancer screenings, STD prevention education and/or treatment, contraceptive services, and yes, abortions, please sign Planned Parenthood's online petition.
Don't let the reactionary conservative politicians take away this resource from millions of Americans! We still have the power to fight for what is right! Use it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

8-10 hours a day

IMG-20110218-00210.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

My office. (I cleaned it today so thought I better take pictures while I can.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A good movie, fluffy snow and the Shoe Fairy

Last night I went with some friends to see "The King's Speech". Ah, what a wonderful movie. It pushed all my buttons: The Colin Firth button, the English History button, the Moving Story button, the Humor button, and the Using Naughty Words button (in a humorous way, so extra points on that button.


We saw the movie in the town we used to live in before moving to Oslo proper. (I still miss our old flat, though I love this one too.) It snowed all day, both in Oslo and there. What surprised me was the difference in snow within just a few miles...quality? Viscosity? Density? I don't know the word for it. Anyhow, the Oslo snow was dense, a bit gritty, maybe even sticky. It stuck together in piles, melding to whatever it fell on. The snow outside Oslo? Most gorgeous thing I ever saw. Fluffy, glittery, was like sparkly dandelion fluff. It kissed and hovered over whatever it fell on, like feathers or baby's breath. It looked exactly like the fake snow you see in department store windows at Christmas in Texas (which I am very familiar with as I used to design department store windows and used TONS of that snow.) I lifted some up with my finger and it sat there, each flake distinct and perfect, and then I blew it away and it floated on the air like diamonds. Extraordinary. What you think snow is like if you have never seen snow. I wish all snow looked like that.

I got to work today and a coworker of mine, who always wears GREAT boots, left a pair of boots she didn't want for me in my office. We wear the same size (41 Europe, I am a 9 1/2 US). Apparently we have big feet for Norway, and we decided to do shoe swaps whenever we have shoes we might want to give away. Anyhow, so she leaves me this STUNNING pair of brown boots, two shades of brown, very lush leather, with sheepskin lining up to the knee and lug soles. These boots are NOT cheap and were comfortable from the second I wore them. I think I want to be buried in them. She hadn't worn them in 2 years....and I am the beneficiary of her disdain for this pair. But how in the hell am I going to reciprocate what must be a $400 pair of boots? I offered her money, she said no. I am SO in love with these boots. The Shoe Fairy came to visit me, and I must've been a good girl to deserve her visit.

A coworker that I work very closely with is down for the count with flu. I am a bit worried about it maybe lurking in me. I hope I don't catch it. It's been a bad year for the sickies.

OH, and yesterday I went and tried on swimming suits and it was so depressing I instead bought a dress and a huge, enveloping cozy sweater. I will just wear my old "booty loose" swimsuits on my upcoming a place to be announced.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

snowy Norway

IMG-20110213-00207.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

View from the cabin. Snow, trees and hills.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Send my remains to Austin

I decided yesterday in a moment of spontaneous madness to join a company ski trip to Trysil this weekend.

Lord have mercy. When the body bag is delivered to my husband, have him cremate me and send my ashes to Austin to be spread on the warm Texas breezes, willya?

I do have cross country skis, and I have skied a few times in that style. So I lugged my rugged weekend wear into the office, skis, boots, hats, wool longjohns, etc, so that I could catch the bus to the trip later this afternoon.

I don't think it's a good sign that when my coworkers saw me coming in with skis and stuff, that to a man they bust out laughing and said, between guffaws, "YOU'RE skiing?"

Well, yes?

I mean, I DO have legs, I am in decent (not great) shape, and can manage to glide myself around on the (flat) cross country tracks. I'm not saying I am a good cross country skiier, and I get terrified on a downhill slope, but I have done it a few times. I'm willing to give it another go.

The fact that there is supposed to be lots of apres ski partying and there is a jacuzzi and a spa at the cabin we are staying at has nothing whatsoever to do with my decision to give this trip a go.

Nope, none whatsoever.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

new appliance

IMG-20110208-00181.jpg, originally uploaded by karlakp.

New oven! Our oven broke last Thursday and after a long weekend of things cooked only stove top (I didn't realize how much I use the oven until I didn't have one) our landlord ponied up for a new one. Its much better than the old and much more use friendly. I made a pizza tonight, my first in a month and a half.

We got a new fridge when we moved in. Now I'm just waiting for the dishwasher to go and then we'll have a whole new kitchen!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

eventful to me but probably boring to you

Well it's been a busy few days.

We had our company formal party on Saturday (my company, not Rich's) and it was a big hit. I was on the party committee. As you can see, I take my job seriously. I don't think you can see the feathers in my hair that stuck up above my head about 5 inches? I looked a bit like a Victorian actress or something.

Our oven broke on Thursday, but I gotta say, our building manager and landlord are pretty cool and got us a new one by today. When we moved in the refrigerator broke, so now we are up a new oven and a fridge. I'm hoping the dishwasher goes next, and then score! new kitchen!

I've been busy busy with work. I thought this year might be a bit easier after a few upheavals and a lot of change from last year, but I think this year will be even busier than last and damn, it gets tiring. Exhilarating, but tiring. I'm trying to treat it as an opportunity to up my game and maybe work in a new direction (I'm rather fond of the research and market analysis function of my job, and hope that can go somewhere) but we will have to see. Sometimes it frustrates me that I got into this corporate game rather late in life, and am missing about 10 years head start that other people around me have already had. I can no longer be a whiz kid, I will only ever be a late bloomer now.

What else?

snow. rain. melt. freeze. ice. whoops! snow. melt. freeze. ow.

However, it is getting noticeably lighter now, which is doing wonders for my outlook on life. And my ability to wake up.

I did yoga today and it was wonderful. I really needed that.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowy Austin

A guy named Stanford E Moore took this picture of Austin in the snow. It's been making the rounds on Facebook. It's an incredible picture of Austin in very rare weather. I think it's extraordinary! So props to Stanford for a picture that has captured the hearts of Austin in a cold weather event!

Dude! Snow in Austin!

This bit of news video has me laughing.

So very Austin....Wait until the end when she talks to the two dudes playing in the snow.

Makes me miss home and that joy when you get 'fun' winter weather. I remember when I used to think snow was fun......

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Stayed home sick from work today. I have a recurring low grade fever that makes me feel funky. Hit me again at work yesterday and I decided, fuck it, staying home if this starts again tomorrow, which it did. So I took the hint, slept late, and will go to bed early again. This gal needs rest. Soon I'll take a hot bath and retire for another early evening. I'm missing my book club meeting, but would rather not push it right now.

In between my resting and napping activities of today I did some little simple things to get ready for the Big Company Formal Party this weekend. (I'm on the planning committee, so I hope it turns out to be a smashing success. We have 300 people attending!) Anyhow, I made my earrings and necklace, and my hairpieces which are hairsticks with feathers on them. Let me tell you, those feathers are slippery little fuckers, trying to corral them was an exercise in patience. I can totally see how birds fly, those feathers were floating EVERYWHERE, but I got them corralled and made my hairsticks. Am now slightly afraid that the long black feathers sticking off my head will look like funeral plumes from Victorian funeral corteges, but whatever, my theme for the party is Feathers and Cleavage, and while the cleavage part is sorted, the feathers need to be addressed. Not that anyone will look at my head once the cleavage makes its entrance......

I do say, when I get to pull out all the stops and Really Dress Up, it usually looks pretty good. This gal can carry off a formal gown, it's one of the few times my rather curvaceous figure gets to wear something where the idea is to flatter the curves and show them off, not make them fit into whatever the prevailing fashion is (like, hello skinny fucking jeans, this means you). Which is why I love dressing up, suddenly I can be Woman with Woman parts and Woman curves, all boobs and hips and waist and eyes, so yeeha for dressy occasions! I'm even gonna wear contacts!

People won't recognize will be fun to see the reactions.

But first, I gotta fight this fever off.