Friday, June 29, 2012

Drunk Texas Star

IMG-20120628-01607.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120628-01607.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.
A night was had last night.

You've got one hungover Texpatriate blogging today. Last night was quite the night.

It started off innocuously enough. My friend Karen (The Blogless Scot) met some Texans carrying guitars on a tram, and found out they had a gig in Oslo on Thursday. She let me know about it,  so we decided to go for a bit of country music and boot scootin' fun.

It was so nice to feel that little bit of home. Hear the music, the Texas lilt of word and song, the way they would describe Texas landscapes and places in the music. Every song was about Texas in some way. It was balm for my soul. Brennen Leigh has a gorgeous voice, and she also writes some really good, funny and sweet duets that she sings with Noel McKay. There was a hysterical one about vacationing in Lubbock, which, if you know even a little bit about Texas, is not exactly a vacationing hot spot.

What was also fun about this show was that I, a Texan, attended it with a Welshwoman (my coworker Becky) and a Scot (Karen) where we sat with an Icelander who tried his best to dance with any of us, and on stage were Norwegians who I swear, when they sang, did better Texas accents than the real Texans. Those Norwegians WERE Texans when they sang. I loved it.

We left after Brennen Leigh's band were finished, and Karen and I said good night to Becky, as we live close to each other and Becky had to go a different direction,  just after the above picture was taken. (My phone died right after, so much for live tweeting the rest of the evening,) Karen and I walked up the block to encounter.....Pride Oslo. 

I should mention, I have been hankering to go out for a bit of dancing lately. Old skool, DJ beats, booty shakin', bass-thumping, thighs-are-tired dancing. So imagine my glee when there, right in the way for me to get home, is a freaking DJ playing some really good loud music, people dancing and laughing, bars in tents all around. It's like someone conveniently plonked a nightclub down for me to fall into. And fall into it Karen and I did.

We were greeted early on by a young Norwegian woman who shoved a shot (of vodka?) into Karen's face, who gamely necked it down. (A free shot in Norway? That's practically a miracle.) We grabbed some rosé at the bar (Gay Pride! Almost all the drinks were pink! Woo!) and commenced boogying. And boogying. AND boogying. What fun! We laughed, we drank (too much, oh too much), I was told how fabulous I was by admiring gay boys (well, I AM, dammit, and they loved my glasses) and Karen, being the most awesome people person, would randomly stop some pretty gay boy, start talking to him, and be his best friend within 3 seconds. That girl could charm the most mysterious spy into giving up all his secrets, she is just that easy to talk to. We were photographed by the official photographer of the party, so I think Karen and I have just been outed as Oslo's newest lesbian couple.

Needless to say, I thought, perhaps, when we first stumbled (literally) upon that party, that I was headed for a late night, and it was so.  We stumbled in, and hours later we staggered out of there around 2am, drunk as lords, giggling and laughing. Two Norwegian guys, also drunk, and hollering out their very NOT GAY status (gee, thanks, like I couldn't tell, gay boys would never have been such assholes) came up behind us as we left and grabbed a hearty handful of my ass. (I am not really sure what is going on, lately, but my ass seems to be an object of Norwegian drunk male desire.  Thats fine, I've worked hard on its improvement, but must they keep grabbing it? Can't they just nicely look?) We fended them off and then set off walking home, Karen and I, past the grounds of the Royal Palace and beyond. It was too late for a bus.

Karen, being possessed of quite possibly the world's smallest and most active bladder, which she tortures by filling with large amounts of cider and beer, realized, rather urgently, as we passed the Palace, that she had to pee. Luckily, it seems, Norwegian gardeners at the palace have nicely thought about errant Scottish bladders and have placed some very convenient bushes around the perimeters of the grounds. We found a likely prospect and Karen ducked behind it to offload some of the excess Bulmers. I was set to guard. Unfortunately, she kept making jokes while she was peeing, and I got rather giggly thinking about her peeing on the grounds of the Royal Palace behind a bush, and I kept laughing and she kept joking and one thing led to another and suddenly Karen's Pee Guard (me) went ass over applecorn into the protective pee bush. It was a big bush, a comfortable bush, and  the bit I landed in was nowhere near Karen's undignified activity, me being in the front of the bush (guard, remember?) her at the back. I really hope there is not a security camera anywhere that caught that on film, that bush rattling around as I extricated my giggling snorting self backwards out of it. I could hear Karen scuttling around back there, wondering what the hell was happening, and when she came out she said I was fired as guard for falling down on the job. That just made me laugh harder.

We carried on up the road, doing that walk where you are really quite sure you are going  perfectly straight until you catch yourself sort of veering off course, so you correct yourself, maybe too fast, and then sent yourself ricocheting in the other direction. You know that walk? Yeah, we bounced off each other like pinballs, bing bing bing!

We split off from each other, each of us having a further 2 blocks to go, and I wended my way home and upstairs. Home around 2am. Judging from the scatter of clothes, purse, shoes, etc, I pretty much just started undressing at the front door and left whatever I removed where it lay. Rich tried to wake me up this morning, was unsuccessful, and left me to it.

I woke up in full makeup, massive headache, one sock on and not much else, and the realization that I drunk facebooked my status for everyone to see before I passed out. I need a breathalizer for my computer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday miscellaneous, vintage jewelry and Ethiopian crosses

IMG-20120624-01598.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120624-01598.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.
Rainy day blahs, tidying, fixing and making stuff.

I needed to fix a few items in my large vintage jewelry collection, some stuff inherited, some bought over time. Some stones and stuff had fallen out, so I gathered what I could find and stuck them back where they belong. I'm a bit woozy from the glue, right now. ;-)

There are some interesting items in my collections, the bracelet on the left is a very collectible signed bracelet by ART with green stones and little Buddhas all over it, the two brooches in the middle (green circle and topaz twist) were my grandmother's, from the 50's,  and they are both signed as well. (Vintage jewelry nerds are all about the stamp on the back.) The Maltese cross brooch is something I've had, I got it on Ebay, quite a few years ago. I liked the blue contrasted with the carnelian color.

The big honking bracelet at top I call the Cadillac, as it is huge and has the most interesting stones. I think it could be worth something on Ebay, even though it is not signed, but once I was out dancing and it fell off my wrist on the dance floor and practically exploded, stones went everywhere. I crawled around on that dance floor for about 10 minutes, weaving between people's boogying feet (though a bunch of people laughingly joined me in the search and it almost became a big writhing game of "GATOR!"), gathering stones all around, and got back all but one, which had broken too badly to be fixed. The bracelet has been glued back together rather successfully, and the one broken stone replaced by a facsimile of the original. Now when I wear it I take thread and tie it on to my wrist so it won't fall off. It weighs a ton, it is really a Cadillac of bracelets. hard to wear to work as it interferes with my accessing my keyboard.

The silver necklace at bottom I just made from some pieces given to me by a very sweet friend at work. She is Ethiopian, and the Ethiopians make the most gorgeous and unique silver crosses. (I suppose there is no surprise in the statement that i have a small collection of those as well? I was well into crosses as an ironic statement in college, and have some gorgeous ones.) Anyhow, she gave me the silver cross and some corollary small beads, which I strung onto a leather cord with a few extra bits for contrast.  I shall wear it to work tomorrow to surprise her.

It's a rainy Sunday. Time to do a few little put-off chores, read a little, watch a video. I'm skipping the workout today, can't face the weather or the spandex, plus I did have a little workout on Friday so that can tide me over until Monday. (Day 2. Ladies, you know what I mean.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Greg Proops in London

When I was planning to go to London, I saw that Greg Proops was going to record one of his "Smartest Man in the World" podcasts while I was there, so I got some tickets in the hope that Bookhart, my dear friend from college and beyond, might come with me. I love his podcast, he just riffs on stuff, and he really is fucking amazingly intelligent. There is nothing he doesn't know something about.

Even if she couldn't come, I was still going to go, tickets were cheap, it was at the Soho Theatre on Dean Street, and I am comfortable doing these sorts of things on my own. Luckily, she did come with me, which made it way more fun.

I got to meet Greg Proops just before his show. I was in the bar, he was in the bar, I said hi. It was cool. He has a large head, (every celebrity I've ever met seems to have a large head, Anthony Hopkins having the BIGGEST one I have EVER seen), and he is about my height, no taller.

Here is the link to the podcast if you want to listen to it. Apparently there were some technical issues and they had to start it mid-stream, which means you miss some funny shit about penguins and Arctic exploration. (The best part, really.)

If you know me and Bookhart, you can hear us laughing in the recording. (Well, I hear Bookhart, quite a bit, she has a deep and hearty laugh, I can't say that I hear myself, but maybe it's just one of those things that I know how Bookhart sounds when she laughs, but I am not actually sure how I sound, so can't identify myself?) (Also, I am not the 'Woo Girl" in the front. Promise. Why is there always a fucking 'Woo Girl" in the front row?)

If you get it off iTunes, it is the "Smartest Man in the World" podcast, and the episode is "Formulae".

Thursday, June 21, 2012

midsummer night 2012

IMG-20120621-01581.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120621-01581.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Reading in the park on Midsummer night. This was around 9pm.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

brooches and ouches

IMG-20120616-01565.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120616-01565.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr

Me all dressed up for the big company party last night. (I wish I photographed better, but the dress looks nice.) There's a story about the brooches on my dress....

(edit)(the next day)
Last night my company had a big 50 year birthday party extravaganza. It was quite the shindig. We were all told to dress formal, so most of us showed up pretty well kitted out. I had planned to wear a long dress, but the weather was crap and I didn't really feel like worrying about the hem of my dress in wet, so I wore the shorter dress, above, instead. I like that dress, it's really comfortable and does good things for my curves. I went the extra mile and wore it with fishnets, it looks good like that.

Anyhow, if you look closely you will see there is a brooch at my waist, and if you look closer, you might see that there is another one just like it at my shoulder. The brooch is a vintage cameo with bronze rhinestones and filigree by HAR, just like this one on ebay, in fact. (That link probably won't be there long.) When I was in England, I went to Stratford-upon-Avon with my friends Jan and Pete, and we happened upon a little arts/crafts/vintage market right by the theatre in the middle of town. One table was nothing but vintage jewelry (a weakness of mine, one of many). I saw the brooch and realized, hmm, I think I have one of those. The lady selling the jewelry was very knowledgeable, and in general, jewelry geeks recognize each other as fellow souls, so we fell to talking about jewelry and so on, and she told me the history of the brooch, and was fair blown away when I told her that I already had one. It had been my grandmother's, my Omi, who had astoundingly good taste in all things, but especially in jewelry and brooches. (Though maybe, of course, I say her taste is so good because it is MY taste, most likely genetically inherited from her. It is scary how much alike she and I were in our tastes for things.)

So I bought the brooch, as an homage to my grandmother and also thinking it might be cool to have a matched set. And, yep, it matched perfectly the one I already had, so last night's outfit was decorated with my grandmother's brooch and the one I bought in England, a perfect set, and I honestly think my grandmother would have approved.

Even though I was looking rather elegant and grown up, these company parties always, by the end of the evening, devolve into nothing more than a bunch of well-dressed former teenagers acting up and being stupid. It's a mix of factors: Norwegian penchant for drinking until you can't stand up anymore, Norwegian hospitality which demands lashings of alcohol and the reciprocal appreciation of that alcohol by guzzling as much of it as possible (also, it's free, better get it now!), the party starting very early (5pm!) and lasting very late (2am!), too long of a delay until dinner and then not enough food when it does come (we were STARVING and were about ready to go get cheeseburgers after the tiny appetizer).  Dinner was a three course affair, the food was good, but there just wasn't enough of it.

So, by the time dinner was over, people were in rare form from the drink. Once the dance floor opened, it was pretty crazy, and I don't think the dance floor was big enough to handle all the enthusiastic Norwegians. Enthusiastic, somewhat handsy Norwegians, judging by the number of ass-grabs I experienced out there. Then, at one point, during a particularly raucous song,  I was dancing with a guy, a coworker, who was actually a very good dancer, very strong lead, which I need as I don't actually know how to dance, when a woman flailed her arm out and popped me right in the nose. I heard it crack, a little "snick" noise. There was no blood, but I got biffed but hard, and I think my nose is a little broken. Not BADLY broken, but just enough to cause me some pain and if I rub my nose in one direction it kills. My face is sore today.

Ah well, over all it was a fun party. We even had entertainment by a Eurovision winner, Alexander Rybak? He won the Eurovision in 2009.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

where i want to be

IMG-20120609-01504.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120609-01504.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Wish i was back on this walk. That was a very nice day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


IMG-20120610-01545.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120610-01545.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Tea time!

Stratford upon Avon

IMG-20120610-01537.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120610-01537.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Stratford upon Avon. Along the Avon.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Ancient English pub

IMG-20120609-01515.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120609-01515.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Dinner and drinks, after a long walk, at an ancient pub by a millpond. This is the view from inside the pub, looking out to the pond.

A walk in the countryside near Leamington Spa

IMG-20120609-01496.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120609-01496.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Walk in the English countryside. Gorgeous fields of wheat and the unfortunately named "rapeseed". Old church with graveyard, through and around to a stream and a millpond (with swans, of course) and a great pub, and then near that ruins! Every American's fantasy of what a walk in the English countryside should be. A GREAT day.

Friday, June 08, 2012

trying to make a change

IMG-20120608-01480.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120608-01480.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.
Today I got a manicure.

The first one I have had since I was 16.

See, the deal is, I am a nail biter. (Wow, I feel like I just went to an AA meeting. Hello, I am a Nail Biter.) I pick, I pull, I nibble, I go at it like a little bunny. Nibble nibble nibble. That shit has to stop and stop now. I have HAD it with having shitty nails.

So I got over my embarrassment, my negative self image, and my reluctance to admit this nasty habit and went to a nail spa at Liberty's in London, and on the spur of the moment made an appointment.

It was the right place to go to, they practically specialize in people like me, people with nails that need extra TLC. The girl who did my manicure was SO sweet, and she told me she used to bite her nails, too, and it's hard to get over, but frequent manicures is the way to do it. Not only that, but she told me to go for red or bright colors that stand out, so you aren't tempted to mess with it, as it shows if you do and it makes you stop.

So. here I am. Jungle red.  I am keeping this shit UP. I don't want long nails, but I want to have SOME nails. God I can't stop looking at them. They will look GREAT with the red lace dress I bought at Jaeger.

Did I mention I love London?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I love London bullet post

Some reasons why I love London:

  • Shoes, even at full price, are half the price of Norwegian ones. (I bought two pairs today.)
  • People here are NICE.
  • I bought some new glasses today, at a shop I had been to maybe 6 years ago. 
  • The guy REMEMBERED me. Not only did he remember me, he remembered the glasses I bought, that I live in Oslo and that I am from Texas. Holy crap!
  • I love my new glasses.
  • I love people who love nerdy glasses. We are the blind, the proud, the nerdy!
  • Today I saw a huge, manly, beefy tattooed guy standing outside a pub drinking...rosé. Real Men Drink Pink!
  • Right after that, I went into a take away sushi place and there was another big burly tattooed guy buying a little sushi plate. 
  • My sushi plate was bigger than his. Heh. 
  • I like British guys, they live how they want and don't care what people think.
  • They look great in suits too. 
  • This hotel has the best bar ever. 
  • Cozy, small, posh but comfortable. 
  • Fabulous clientele (all in nerd glasses, so I fit right in) 
  • Friendly staff. 
  • Had lunch with my aunt and uncle today.
  • I gave my aunt the ancient and HUGE family atlas that my grandparents had given me.
  • She's the family historian so it seemed right to do so. 
  • Also I don't have kids to hand it down to.
  • She loved it. 
  • That thing weighs a good 14 lbs. 
  • A right bitch to carry in my suitcase.
  • BUT I can buy stuff to take its place so yeay. 
  • Anyhow, we went to a place called Delaunay, on Aldwych, a Viennese style restaurant. 
  • It was REALLY good. 
  • One of the best schnitzels I have ever had. 
  • It was listed in this week's Time Out as one of the 100 places you have to eat in London.
  • It started raining hard while we were eating. 
  • I literally squelched through London today.
  • Totally wore the wrong shoes. Little sandals?
  • My feet were wet in seconds and, well, I squelched. 
  • The shoes leaked dye or something and the soles of my feet are purple. 
  • I hope that comes off. I don't want purple feet.
  • So for dinner I had a little hotel room picnic on the floor consisting of my takeaway sushi and a glass of rosé from the bar downstairs. 
  • Now I am going to watch Sunday's episode of Mad Men.
  • I read what happened on Jezebel (damned spoilers) but I still can't believe it. 
  • Tomorrow I wander some more, and then this weekend I will go visit some friends in Leamington Spa.
  • I am going to be brave and not bring my laptop. 
  • Yes, I am going MacCommando (ie, sans Mac.)
  • Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

pomegranate kir royal

IMG-20120606-01446.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120606-01446.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Unbearably posh Kir Royal at the hotel bar in London. How I like it.

The hotel has a lending library with old books, I found an old favorite Georgette Heyer in there and snagged it. I am now snuggled in to this very soft bed in a very old Georgian building, looking out onto a square in Clerkenwell, and I will remain here until the morning wrapped in luxurious linens, vintage books and free internet at my command.  (Just like home, Big Bang Theory is on. That show is ubiquitous.)