Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Awaiting my flight

Awaiting my flight by karlakp
Awaiting my flight, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

In BA business lounge. The next 11 hours will be spent with these 2 things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm freaking exhausted. Drove straight from Missouri to Houston in one shot, with only some delays in Dallas. It was fun, actually, when I get into road trip mode I can go and go and go, but once I stop that's it, I'm swaying from exhaustion, kind of like I am now.

I'm at a La Quinta in Houston, a rather odd place with a tiny little desk clerk straight out of Of Mice and Men. When I arrived I caught him watching the Victoria's Secret 'Fashion' Show, ('fashion' being surrounded by ironic finger quotes, cuz that ain't fashion, it's just T&A). Kind of funny. I hope the door locks are secure, though. And that there aren't any little secret cameras in this room. Yoiks. yeah, he kind of reminds me of one of those kind of guys. I'll change clothes in the closet.

I always wonder what would happen if I got stopped by a cop on the road trips I take when I come home, as I routinely go at least 85 mph and this time I really pushed it. I have my Norwegian driver's license, I kind of want to see what they would do if they did stop me and that's what I gave them. But it hasn't happened in 9 years of me having it. Hmm. Maybe it's a magic bullet of anti-cop-stoppingness? I really liked my rental car this time around, a VW CC Turbo. Fun and it has this crazy gearbox that can be manual (without clutch, but you do shift) or automatic. It could be the ultimate compromise between my lust for sporty cars and Rich's desire for lazy marshmallow automatics.

I could see the Milky Way from the windshield as I drove, singing along to Lyle Lovett, it was that dark on the road from Dallas to Houston. Fuck, I'm gonna miss me some Texas!

Note to former Houstonites: Dave Ward is still the news anchor on Eyewitness News 13! He looks totally ancient, but it's the same guy! He's been the news guy since I was a kid. (Marvin Zindler died, though, right?)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scenes from a walk in the woods (Ozarks)

Went on a walk in the woods today, on a cold Fall day. I'm heading back to Norway this week, though it's actually colder here in MO than it is in NO right now. This is all on my parents' property, in a place that is literally almost named Bumfuck. Still, Bumfuck is really pretty. The dog is also theirs, one of three, though one is pretty old and I think he won't be around much longer. Teufel, you're a good ol' boy.

Argh, I don't want to do the flight back. Such a pain in the ass. Sigh. Can't I just stay here, in the bosom of my family, I get wine in the evenings with Mom, and we giggle a bit, and today Dad gave me all the stuff he has on the family history, which was interesting to read. (Interesting factoid I found out, whether it's true or not I don't know, but apparently my German grandmother's (Mom's mom) governess was one of Franz Kafka's sisters. This would've been in the teens/twenties, in the part of Germany that became east Germany before the war. I'm not sure which sister, but Mom thinks it was Elli, the eldest.)

I don't WANNA go....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Road trip, somewhere in Oklahoma

221120113352.jpg by karlakp
221120113352.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

85 miles per hour for 750 miles. (Ok, I went slower a few times.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why America has a weight problem

This is a bucket they sell at a convenience store for people to fill with Coke. Seriously.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Enchanted by karlakp
Enchanted, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

On top of Enchanted Rock!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

East Austin art tour

East Austin art tour by karlakp
East Austin art tour, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

My kinda art!

God bless Texas

God bless Texas by karlakp
God bless Texas, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

No fucking BUTTER?

See what I mean about Norwegian grocery stores and the state of gorcery selection? I mean, What the fuck?

Can't I just stay here? There's butter everywhere! Do I have to bring that back to Norway with me?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The post about the shopping

While I'm on a blogging roll....

So usually when I am in the States I go on a whirlwind shopping extravaganza. I pretty much buy anything that hits my fancy because it is all SO much cheaper here than in Norway, better quality, better fit and, well, honestly, also, because I can. I feel pretty rich here, when you compare exchange rates and so on. I routinely save 50% and more on every purchase, just by virtue of buying it here.

So, why am I just not feeling the shopping urge this time around?

Don't get me wrong, I HAVE bought some stuff. Got a great deal at Furla on a bag or 2, I finally bought my Frye leather motorcycle harness boots I have ALWAYS wanted, I bought this dress
that I saw online months ago and found on sale and it's GORGEOUS on, so that was exciting. I got a few things at J Crew. Got some workout clothes at Target I promised myself, to help me get motivated for more workouts when I get back to Norway. Got my hairs did, went to the dentist, running those personal errands you have to do when you come home, taking care of bidness all around. It has been nice being a bit lighter, things are fitting so much better and HELLO size 10 pencil skirts, how well you fit! That has all been nice.

But....I think I'm done. I don't have the urgent sense of 'must buy it all now because if I don't I can't'. I don't feel it this go round.

I just want to go hang out at Town Lake, or go to a coffee shop. I just wanna walk around the neighborhood and look at all the lovely houses. I don't want to pressure myself to go anywhere or be anywhere. (Maybe I am getting seriously ill, I mean, I don't even want to go to the OUTLETS this time, so I am not!) This morning I am having a lazy morning in my little Hyde Park pied a terre I rented for the week, though I guess I should get motivated soon and take my shower. I have had a real hard time sleeping for some reason, though I am very comfortable here, and have been waking up every morning by 6 or 7, which is not something I want to do when I am on holiday!

The only stuff I want to buy is the stuff I can't, like ALL the groceries at Central Market and those yummy frozen Chinese dumplings that you steam at home and that I miss so much. And there are so many good smelling hand soaps and shower gels and things, I am such a whore for the good smellies, it's probably better that I can't bring those things back, I'd be buying dozens of bottles of potions, lotions, soaps and gels.

Well, right now I will just carry on with drinking my 'taste of Austin' coffee (they say it's got hints of cinnamon and vanilla, I'm getting hipster irony and boot sweat) and enjoy being lazy in my little Austin aerie.

Oh the grocery stores!!!!

I know I say this every time I come back to Austin, but damn, man, I need to come home.

Yesterday I was wandering around the HEB grocery store, and I swear I felt like a country bumpkin in the big city. My US friends just don't GET the soul sucking standard of shittiness that is your average grocery store in Norway. (Even the Norwegians agree that the grocery store situation is pretty crap.) I mean, even the fancy big stores, like Centra in Majorstuen, it's less than 1/5th the size of HEB and the selection is just sad, comparatively. (OK, perhaps in seafood it might be better, but only in certain things.)

A kilo of fresh boneless chicken tenders at HEB, cost $8 (45nok). I pay at least three times that for chicken breasts in Oslo. A pound of the biggest most delectable fresh large Gulf Shrimp, $6.79 (37nok) on special (I took a picture, the counter guy was all "Can I help you?" and I was all "No, *sigh*".) I pay 99-120 nok for 400 g of frozen ones.

I wandered around and looked at all the lovely sushi and dumplings (I love Chinese dumplings) and the HUGE selection of meats and cheeses and the lovely fresh vegetables and the organic vs non-organic choices and the coffee and the WINE IN THE GROCERY STORE ( I found the yummiest Malbec rosé, $11 a bottle) and just wondered why is it so impossible to have something like this in Norway, the richest country in the world? WHY?

And then people would just come talk to me, and they are all so nice and outgoing and will complement you on your shoes or on your pants without any guile, just because, hey, they LIKE your shoes and want to TELL you about it. I feel a part of this community, we are all chatty and friendly and shit, it's nice. Nobody shoving, nobody giving you rude looks, everybody making way and being polite to strangers. Wow, what a concept.

I find myself in a velvet trap. I love my job in Norway, I love my coworkers, and I know I will never have another confluence of job awesomeness like this again, where I am well paid for a job I love with people that I highly esteem. Also, the security of the health benefits in Norway is really very important and reassuring, yes, national healthcare is a GOOD THING). But when I come home to the place of my heart, and see what I am missing out on (and it's not just the material stuff, it's also my friend's lives and their kids and knowing I am not there for some big milestones and the day to day stuff that cements your lifelong friendships) I do wonder how much longer I can stay away.

I really do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos by karlakp
Breakfast tacos, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Breakfast of Austin!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I've been saying this all along, but never thought of putting it into bumper sticker form

This was on the back of a tough little Toyota truck. I NEED to meet this person.

I am that powerful (karma is a bitch)

So you may or may not know, but I am in Austin. Austin has had a severe drought for a year now. So of course, I figured I'd be totally set for sun and fun and tan-getting, right?

Yes, but this is me we are talking about, so of course today it BUCKETED down rain, just poured it down. Now, I am not complaining, really, as I know how much they need is here, but I mean, really? There were 365 other days it could have rained, 52 other weeks it could have rained, and it has to pick one that I am here and I want to be in the sun. Obviously, I brought the rain with me, I mean, I kept trying to send it from Oslo and that didn't work, so I had to physically bring it in my suitcase and let it out on arrival, for it to build itself back up and drench Austin.

So, you're welcome. Well, mostly, because after I got drenched the 4th time running to my car, I finally broke down and bought an umbrella...and the rain stopped immediately. I gorgot about that quirk in my powers.

My superpower? Control over the sky by the mere expedient of buying (or not) an umbrella.

Also, in other news, I have eaten nothing but tacos since I got to Texas. It's been AWESOME.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Yes by karlakp
Yes, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

S Austin Breakfast

S Austin Breakfast by karlakp
S Austin Breakfast, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Jet lag has me in its restless grip. Up early so headed to Jo's for a mocha and an Elgin sausage roll. Good morning home of my heart!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

rugby surround.jpg.jpg

rugby surround.jpg.jpg by karlakp
rugby surround.jpg.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Holy crap I've been surrounded by an entire rugby team at Heathrow airport. Have i died and gone to heaven? Sorry if the pic is sideways my phone won't save it the right way. But i wanted to show you my incredible good fortune! Rugby players! Like 20! In uniform! Swoon!!!!!! (Um, hi Rich. Im just looking. :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

oslo night out

IMG-20111104-00990.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20111104-00990.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Oslo at night. Window of a head shop. Rock n Roll, bitches, Rock n Roll.