Friday, November 1, 2013

DIY Halloween Costume

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a little while now, and before you start yelling at me please hear me out. First of all, let me just tell you that I am enormously flattered that people actually noticed my absence, hats off to you wonderful people. Second, you might think that depriving you of stories from my interesting life is cruelty bordering abuse, but this super planned and intentional three week break have given me the opportunity treat you to do something few humans, apart from Rose Tyler, have been privileged to experience: time travel. Starting next week, we’ll be travelling back in time and relive all the adventures from my absence. You’re welcome!

Well, now that that’s taken care of, I feel it’s time for a little Halloween costume DIY. It’s a little treat from me to all my fellow procrastinators, who still have no idea what to wear to the party tonight. And as help to that party Saturday you were invited to last minute because they needed people to fill up the empty spaces between their real friends. (No need to feel shame, we’ve all been there.)
Photo credit

This masterpiece is one of my favorite children’s books. Cute animals and lots of poop, educational and entertaining, what more can you ask for? Since some of the title's original wording got lost in translation, this is the story of a mole’s quest finding out who pooped on his head. Somehow, the English translation manages to do something neither the original German nor any other translation I’ve seen could: namely to notto use the word poop at all. Which is both a little impressive and very lame. (Here is a great little animated video for those who wants to hear the story.)

How to make your own Mole with Poop on his Head costume for free:

What you need:
-          I pair of brown tights.

-          Brown fabric (I used a long sleeved shirt and a t-shirt)

-          Round glasses à la Harry Potter or face paint or

-          Cone of pink paper for snout or face paint or pink blush

-          Grey clothes

1.       Shower. The costume is supposed to look like shit, but you don’t need to smell like it too.

2.       Get dressed in grey clothes.

3.       Assemble poop by stuffing one thing of brown cloth in both legs of the pair of tights. (Try to find something very light for this, my neck got kind of sore after balancing that heavy poop all evening. Brown paper or cashmere are both ideal)

4.       Put on glasses and snout or paint your face to look like a mole with glasses.

5.       Gather hair in topknot.

6.       Wrap the crotch of the tights around your topknot to secure the poop to your head, then cover topknot with the butt-part of the tights.

7.       Arrange the poop ropes (the legs) on top of your head until wanted look is acquired. You can secure it with hair ties and bobby pins, but I did not feel like making holes in my new tights. It stayed up fine with just some strategic tucking.

8.       Wear your best “We are not amused”-Queen Victoria look and ask everyone if they pooped on your head.

9.       Accept all compliments and prices for your costume with grace, and if someone gives you shit, just give it back, (Spoiler alert) just like the little mole pooped on the offending dog’s head. Also, if the poop ropes come loose and hit anyone, just pretend it was on purpose with a simple “shit happens”.

So, what did you guys dress as for Halloween?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday is my second favorite f-word

Friday fact: I am not good at favorites.

I’ve been this way my whole life, or at least as far as I could remember. The fear that some inanimate object or even a concept might be hurt by my lack of enthusiasm for it has at some points in my life been almost crippling.  I have grown out of the habit of making sure all my stuffed animals and toys were given equal attention for the fear of hurting their feelings, but I still really struggle with picking favorites. Part because indecisiveness is something I’ve practiced to perfection (Proof: I still have not picked out what national costume I want for my confirmation, which happen to have taken place 10 years ago.) Part because the top places changes a lot depending on my mood and time of the month. And part because I don’t want to make any of my favorites feel inadequate.

Anyways, fall is here and it’s all sorts of wonderful. Norwegian falls are great, but since we’re so far north, they are long, cold, wet, and dark, but the leaves only stay up for a few weeks. Michigan autumns on the other hand…

My top five “Things I Miss about the Michigan Fall” (RANDOM order, mind you)

  1. Pumpkin spiced latte
  2. Haha, just kidding. That syrupy mess can stay far away from my mouth. Unless it’s a home-made-from-organic-and-fair-trade-ingredients pumpkin spice carefully mixed with a soy latte, espresso brewed on locally roasted beans. Then I’m all over it.

  1. The colors
  2. The wonderful colors of the changing leaves in the Keweenaw are something everyone should see. Piles of colorful leaves = so many joys: You can run through them, jump on the crunchy ones, make fall angels in them. Just make sure you remove all bits and pieces stuck to you before your next class. Also, sometimes they contain a secret surprise of dog poo. Which is why making angels in the leaves is an extreme sport that should probably not be exercised right before a lecture.

  1. Apple orchards.
  2. We used to go apple picking at farms when I was little, but that was more of a practical thing to get good apples. We had none of the fancy,-smanchy horse and wagon trips or petting zoos or hay jumping. It looked less like an amusement park and more child labour (give it a rest, spell check. I don’t care how long I’ve been in the States; this is how it’s supposed to be written.) And however fun you might think you’re having while tricked by your parents for manual labor, I seriously doubt it’s as fun as petting terrified bunnies while munchin’ on cinnamon donuts. My one and only trip to an Apple Orchard was really nice, but cut a little short because someone managed to spill all their apple cider in their lap. Since my laptop was stolen before I had the wits to save this picture to my external hard drive, this video gives you an idea of how it looked like. Although I love the honesty of children, it seems to lose its charm when directed at you: “Look Mommy, that lady pee-peed her pants!” Because that is what ladies do, sweetie. 

  1. Caramel apples
  2. The FBF’s grandmother made the most amazing caramel apples and the recipe was super-secret. As in “You may get it if you marry into the family, but you might have to provide a couple of children first”-secret. Which would be totally worth it, btw.
    Come to think of it, anything caramel reminds me of fall and I would decorate my face with it without hesitation. Popcorn: yes please! Brownies: um, yeah! Cookies: hurrah! (I have recipes for the two latter ones, I’ll probably post one while I’m at a poop-conference next week.)

  1. New classes
  2. A fresh start with new people that have never heard your stomach demonstrate the mating call of the moose during exams. (Apropos nothing, what is the plural here? Mooses, mees, moose? One moose, two moose, red moose, blue moose? Moose it is, thanks Dr. Seuss!) That cute guy that has yet to see your 8 am look where you channel your inner ghoul. The teacher that still thinks you’re somewhat intelligent. A new beginning filled with doomed promises of doing all the readings and never procrastinate.

  1. Halloween
  2. So much candy! Carving pumpkins! Candy! Spooky decorations! More candy! The thing is that this is not a holiday I grew up with. So all the excitement you Americans felt as children, I felt my first fall in MI. For example, I carved a pumpkin and it was wonderful:
(Imagine apicture of that pumpkin, which would be here if I could just find my hard drive)

 So, if you made it through all of that, I salute you. Now, if you can guess my favorite f-word (at least of the day), I will make sure you get salted caramel brownies to your door.

Happy Friday,

Monday, September 30, 2013

An apple a day

I like seasons, and I can definitely say that fall is one of my top 5. There is something about the crisp smell of drying leaves and warmer glow of the sun that is synonymous to new beginnings and fresh starts. Fruits are ripening, the colors are changing, and I’m starting my 6 month long cold. There are many things I adore about fall, but if I had to highlight one, it would be all the comfort eating this season seems to welcome. Creating that perfect, snuggable sweater body is challenging, but eating is one of my main hobbies so I know I’ll enjoy all that hard work.

Baking is also I hobby I enjoy, so I thought I would share the best apple pie recipe I know. For those of you generally interested in dough making, I’m revealing my revolutionary method of cutting cold butter into the flour, so prepare to be blown away.

This pie is best enjoyed on a stormy evening with a scoop of ice cream to the pleasure.

To the pleasure!

Apple Pie

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed 
6-8 tbsp. ice water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt.
Freeze the butter and grate it. Crumble with the flour mixture using your fingertips.
Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough stays together when pressed.
Divide in two portions, one bigger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1 hr.

5 Braeburn apples
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar

Peel and dice the apples.
Mix in a large bowl with sugar, lemon juice, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Roll out the biggest dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to 9 in pie plate, brush edge with egg.
Fill with apple filling.
Dot with butter.
Roll out remaining dough to fit top of pie.
Cover pie with crust; trim, seal, and flute edges.
Cut slits in crust and decorate with hearts or leaves made from the dough scraps.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425 F/ 220 C for 20 min, reduce heat to 375 F/ 190 C and bake for 50-60 min.
Cool on wire rack for 1 hr before serving.

The pictures were taken for my sister's blog and you should check it out if you like DIY.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Facts: If boys are from Mars, I'm probably from Pluto

Friday fact: I don't trust cats and I don't really like them.

After just a couple of weeks of blogging, I realize that I can never show this blog to anyone I might potentially be interested in dating. The few things you know about me so far is that I like to eat (<3 Nutella), I physically abuse my boyfriends, and I tell strangers about my vagina. I also anticipate a lot more oversharing and all this is not something you want people to know before a first date. A good friend of mine's, who shall remain anonymous, reaction to my blog was that it was turning "graphic". Thanks Ty? This means that I probably should start adapting to the idea of becoming a crazy cat lady, which in turn means that I have to learn to like cats. It's not like I have anything against them in particular, but they are not to be trusted. One second they're all "rub my belly, silly human slave", but just a microsecond later they'll decide they are done. Dogs would at this point just walk away, cats impale your hand with their claws and teeth.

However, after some reflection I realize that it wouldn’t really make a difference anyways (It being if a guy I wanted to date saw my blog, in case you forgot after that tangent).

I'm a sucker for bad puns, add that to the list.

Here are a few highlights of my history with guys:

Why I'll end up a crazy cat lady.

1.   I never realize when I’m on a date. The amount of dates I’ve been on where I was unaware of the fact that it was a date is lower than the number where I knew I was on a date. (In case that sentence was confusing: I know it's a date < I don't know it's a date.) One time, I spent four hours at a café talking to a guy without realizing it was a first date. Another time, I was complaining about the shitty food at the dorms during lent and a guy asked if I wanted to go to a fish restaurant the following Friday, because he was going anyways. When I got here: BOOM, double date sneak attack. But really, is it a date when both parties are not aware of the fact? I think not.

2.   I think people hold my hand because they’re cold. When I was saying goodbye to the 4-hr-café-guy, he took my hand. In hindsight, I realize that he probably was leading up to kissing me goodbye. My reaction? "Wow, your hands are cold! And you have a really long walk home. Do you want to borrow my mittens?"

3.   I can’t understand the difference between a compliment and flirting. My friends tell me that if guys you don’t know compliment you on your clothes, they are flirting. This is apparently some sort of rule that all girls know but me. How am I supposed to know that when a guy compliments me on my awesome shoes, he is not really interested in the shoes. 
The only pic I could find, but you're intelligent people. You get the picture. Also, thses shoes are waterproof, pink with glitter, and everyone had them in 4th grade.
4.   I’m generally really bad at understanding when guys are interested. A US friend once asked me about the best way to ask out Norwegian girls. Even omitting the fact that I was the only Norwegian girl on campus, I probably should have understood that something was up. But he had to resort to a love letter and chocolate.

5.   Some people have a filter about what they share with strangers, I don’t. Two weeks ago, I was at a club for my friend’s bachelorette party. When a guy compliments my dress, I manage to reply: O"h thanks, I’m only wearing it because it’s long and I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks. It’s really bad, almost like its own ecosystem down there."

6.   It takes me way too long to realize I like someone. It took me about two months to realize that I had a major crush on a guy I was acquainted with. In that time, I had managed to go on a date (unaware of the fact that it was a date, I might add) with his best friend. This resulted in a lot of annoying drama, the highlight of which was the night they both tried to attack me with kisses and I refused because I’m a prude and don’t kiss people I haven’t consciously dated.

Tell me about your most embarrasing moments with the opposite gender so I don't feel like such a loser,


Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Wednesday, trust me. Your calendar is lying.

If there is one thing I think we all can agree on, it’s that I’m an above average intelligent, likable, and generally awesome person with mad Oxford comma skills. We can also agree that the world is a place filled with wonders and mysteries. The thing is though, that because of this well above average intelligence, most of the mysteries are not that mysterious to me. If you ask me to explain the theory of relativity, I could easily do it. Or if you say "Merete, you wonderful human being, I don’t understand why one of these two equally large particles settle slower than the other!", I would use Stoke’s law to explain it . But if you asked me about quantum theory, I would gently sit you down and kindly say: “Hush hush, little puppy, don’t’ you worry your little brain about that. Here, take this coconut. His name is Quark and that’s all the quantum theory we’ll do today. Now, why don’t you and Quark go and play in the sandbox?” Not because I wouldn’t be able explain it, but because I would not want to explode your little brain. I’m nice like that.

Anyways, despite all of this, there is one thing I simply cannot understand. It’s one of the biggest mysteries of our time, and I would greatly appreciate it if any one of you could help me shed some light on tit: How do the Scots repopulate their country? In my lifetime, I’ve seen a substantial number of Scots: with and without bagpipes, with and without kilts, with and without underwear. I once even saw a Scottish pirate, complete with kilt and eye patch. But neither me, nor my friend Monica dared to touch him so no points for either of us. Which meant that Monica is still in the lead. Despite all the Scots I’ve met, I have never, as in never ever ever met a female Scott Like; I’ve almost been to Scotland, and still no females. (Almost as in close to the border.) And  if there are no females, how do they keep the Scottish uniqueness intact? How is the accent not watered down by the import-females they obviously have? So many questions!

Speaking of Scotland, I think that if I were to admit to my biggest weakness when it comes to the opposite sex, it would have to be accents. I had a huge crush on a guy in my class just because of his Boston accent. An Aussie can make me swoon no matter how refurnished his face is. An Frenchman speaking English to me? I’ll make him all the croissants he wants and croissants are a ton of work. But what really makes my underwear disappear like Nutella from my cupboard is a good ol’ fashioned Scottish accent.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, but if I had to conclude with anything, it would be this: I’m thankful that there are no females in Scotland, more Scots for me.

Cheeribye, (genuine Scottish greeting!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lazy Monday

I'm having a really bad case of the Mondays today. So I figured I would share some links that I like. I'm lazy and I like to embrace what makes me me. Link copy pasting = zero effort = more time to netflix. (It's a verb, don't worry.)

This is another gem form the creators of "The Fox", the Ylvis Brothers.

Been there, done that.

If I ever feel down, I go and re-read this post by the Bloggess.

These out of context Harry Potter quotes are truly giggle worthy.

Tumblr cracks me up. But in all seriousness, I'm so excited for series three, can't wait to find out what's the deal with the mustache.

Every time I helped the former boyfriend cleaning, I helped him get rid of his crocs. Sadly, he dug them out of the trash each time.

Please take my money, I live in a household where people steal their sister's break-up-ice-cream. Thanks, Cecilie.

And that's all for now folks. I'll be back with a real post Wednesday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday facts: I think I might be the next David Attenborough, furr real. Part 1

Friday fact: I like things with fur, which is probably why I hardly ever shave my legs. It's not because I'm lazy, promise!
So, today I've compiled a list of some of the cool, furry animals I've seen.

The most exciting wild animals I’ve seen. Part 1

1.      Monkeys. In Kathmandu, monkeys were about as common as squirrels in Central Park. Monkeys are fun, because sometimes they look like people and other times people look like them. The one on the picture is called Herbert and he can be a little bitey. One of the things I’m really good at is imitating monekys, because I have a lot of experience. I practiced once a week for years and if you don’t believe me, check out my resume.

2.      Wild turkeys. When I first started dating the former boyfriend, we would see exciting wildlife every time we went for a longer drive. I was convinced it was one of the benefits of being in a relationship. I was pretty upset no one had told me about this, because then I could have found someone much earlier and seen way more cool shit. Just imagine, if I had been in a relationship in Nepal, I would probably have seen Bigfoot while trekking the Himalayas! It’s like there is this whole world that is excluded from the singles. A would full of foot rubs and exotic animals. Anyways, wild turkeys are funny because they’re ugly and that’s a fact.

3.     European mink. In the golden days of my childhood, minkswould sneak around our cabin on the west coast, looking for the fish heads we hadn’t eaten. I should probably clarify this a little: The fish heads my grandfather had not eaten. My grandfather had a much more frugal upbringing than me, because before we found oil, most people in Norway lived in houses with dirt floors. Although I'm a pretty tough viking myself, I'm nothing compared to thet generation. I would probably not have survived my early twenties and college without coffee. My grand father survived the war on coffee substitute made from roasted peas. He

      He claims that the head is the best part of the fish, but I know this is a lie, because his favorite part is the eye, the lens in particular. He sucks on it like it some delishious hard candy, before he after a while spits it out on his plate with a loud ping.

      My mother used to catch the fish head eating minks when she was young, drown them and sell the pelt. This might sound disturbing, but the fact that her father considers fish eyes candy makes her somewhat gruesome way of getting her hands on some cash very understandable. If clubbing baby seals was the only way for me to get chocolate, I would and enjoy it too.

4.      Reindeer. I included these mostly for the American audience, because they are quite common here and therefore not as exciting to spot. But more exciting than moose and deer, sothere’s that. Reindeer makes for scrumptious meals and their fur is excellent for boots and sitting. All in all a pretty decent animal
These are all over Norway.

5.       Musk oxes. I have a musk ox poo in my room, no shit y’all! I suspect that sounded way more impressive in my head. I’m glad I don’t have any readers, because I really don’t want to be “that crazy chick that brags about her musk ox poo” again. That period is a closed chapter of my life and I don’t want to talk about it.

That’s all for tonight, folks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tell the ones that need to know, I am heading north

Greetings from 170 degrees north! Today, I’m crossing the arctic circle, heading to the wild north for work. If all goes well, I’ll probably have some exciting stories to tell. If I survive, that is.

I had a very exciting morning today. My childhood friend Ingrid and I had breakfast at McDonald's. To most, this might not seem very exciting at all, but this was not possible a month back because the lack of breakfast foods sold at the golden arches. Along with traditional items such as McMuffins and McHashbrowns, the breakfast here in Norway includes local delicacies such as whole wheat rolls with brown cheese.

Norwegian breakfast at McDonald's. Disappointingly little deep fried yummyness.
Our mission this morning was not to eat any of the aforementioned food, but the wonderful McToast. This fabulous McD version of grilled ham and cheese was a lunch item during our early teens and edible nostalgia is for sure one of my favorite things. Our breakfast adventure had been perfect, if it had not been for the fact that we were almost killed from a toxic gas. Or so we thought until we realized it was two 15 year olds that must have showered in Abercrombie and Fitch perfume minutes before. How else would they be able to overpower the smell of McDonalds and reach us sitting 5 m away?

I promise I’ll have more to tell Friday, but I really have to get to bed now.
Also, ten point to anyone who recognize the song in the title.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It was a dark and stormy night...

Imagine this:

It’s a dark and stormy autumn evening and two sisters and their friends have gathered to watch their latest VHS: Pippi Goes on Board. Only a large window pane separates them from the wet leaves and wind of the forest behind the house. A forest that come spring will provide creeks and puddles galore, during summer the perfect backdrop for wild adventures, and in the winter a great place to spot moose, deer, and other wildlife that wade thought the snow to munch the sheaf of grains put out for the birds. The girls’ attention is focused on the flickering lights of the television depicting the pranks of Pippi and not on the gloomy trees. Which is why they don’t notice the creeping shadow closing in on the house until it’s almost too late. A dim reflection disrupts the image of pirates on the tv set and catches a girl’s attention. The little yelp is all it takes for the groups’ focus to switch to the window. Moving towards them is something big and white. Something they’ve only heard of in fairytales and stories: It’s a charging ghost! The sound level and commotion is something that nowadays can only be seen when Justin Bieber arrives at a concert, but these screams are not screams of joy. Amidst the terror, two sisters remain calm and stoic, not due to bravery or stupidity, but the fact that they are the daughters of the woman under the sheet and more than used to her antics.
Happy birthday to the best mom I’ve ever had! It’s the memories that cause posttraumatic stress disorder that are also the best stories, and you sure have provided me with plenty.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Facts: Go shawty, it is friday!

Friday fact: I’m vertically challenged.
Being short is not something I have a huge issue with, but it sure can be inconvenient. Like that time I showed up for my first day of classes in 11th grade at new school, and a teacher was sure I had gone to the wrong assembly and took me to the 8th grade class. Being mistaken for a 13 year old when you’re 16 does not happen to people with a normal altitude as frequently, I’m sure. Or dealing with the new game my brothers have invented, which involves putting all my stuff at places where I can’t reach them. Great fun for the whole family! I would be more upset, if it weren’t for the fact that every time we enter a plane, their eyes are full of envy.
The ups and downs of being short
1.    You can’t reach things.
Con: Few things are more awkward than having to jump to reach things in stores. Or forgetting that you are poor and your dress is therefore poorly made, so when you reach for things on high shelves you are simultaneously preforming a little strip tease.
Pro: Ever needed a reason to talk to that tall, handsome stranger in the canned goods isle? Short solution!
2.    You see everything from a different perspective
Con: Constantly looking up stranger’s noses. Not cleaning the dust that the rest of the world clearly sees before dinner parties.
Pro: You can find things other people can’t find
3.    People see you from a different perspective
Con: Baldness or dandruff is more apparent.
Pro: Your face looks skinnier when seen from above.
4.    Difficult to find clothes that fit
Con: Normal clothes never fit and they never have your size. I’ve yet to find a maxi dress I can wear without stilettoes.
Pro: You can find some great deal at sales and sometimes you can even find things in the children’s section. Money saved = money to spend on much needed stools
5.    People treat you like a child because you are fun sized
Con: Terrible in business-situations, especially combined with the voice of a mouse and a baby face.
Pro: None, because the insult of being allowed to pay children’s fares at 25 is greater than the economic benefit
6.    Being shorter than everyone around you
Con: You never see anything at concerts or parades and if you have even a slight tendency of claustrophobia, crowds are terrifying without heels. I would say that the main reason I ever wear heels out is so I don’t get trampled.
Pro: You fit where others won’t. And it’s easier to hide, which would be super convenient if you are ever chased or stalked.
7.    Awkward photos:
Con: A close up of a short and a tall person either looks really weird or one of the participants has to stand at a weird angle. It’s easy for your brothers to crop photos so it looks like your date went alone, which is not a great way to welcome someone into the family, Håkon.
Pro: It’s funny.
Here is the picture that I sent my brother for him to show the family:

Me with ridiculously tall shoes and ridiculously tall boyfriend

Here is what he showed the family:
Look at that looser, no date!

A few more hours of work, and then I'm off the the mountains!