Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The woman was very kind. She told me she could be fined $20,000, so she consulted her supervisor. I was not popular with everyone else waiting in line at the counter. Her boss arrived and asked if I had a Norwegian drivers license. He then asked when it expired. He was in disbelief as I showed him that it expired on my 100th birthday. He said it was good enough for him.
On the plane, I decided that I would tell immigration at Schipol that I was traveling for three weeks on business, if asked. I was never asked. The guy looked at me and stamped my passport without a word.
Yesterday I mailed in my re-application. No messing around anymore.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I am back in Norway. How quickly this place feels like home again. Flying from Boston to Amsterdam was no worse than flying from LA to Boston. I couldn't make it through three movies-- not enough time.
I have noticed I now watch more movies on planes than anywhere else.
Mini Movie Reviews:
Walk the Line- I don't know what there is to say about the "Man in Black." My grandma liked him, I liked him-- as did all the hipster kids that kept "Ring of Fire" in constant rotation down at the CC club back in the early 90s. As a movie, it was OK-- but most of these types of movies would come off as rather weak if they were not actually "true stories." This was every bit as good (or bad) as that Doors movie.
Night at the Museum- My first thought: Mickie Rooney is still alive?! He would be good to pick up in a death pool. Owen Wilson had possibly the longest cameo in history. It was a fun enough movie, but the obligatory father/son tension was a cliched Hollywood contrivance that I could have done without. This is a perfect film for a semi-conscious intercontinental flight when you are questioning if they are pumping enough oxygen into the cabin.
Deja Vu- I watched the first five minutes, then decided watching a terrorist attack from the comfort of my economy seat in a plane was not a good idea. I skipped it.
Stranger than Fiction- Am I actually warming up to that Ferrell guy? Watching Dustin Hoffman and his coffee and Emma Thompson and her cigarettes are priceless. Maggie Gyllenhaal was perfect in her role. Spoiler alert: of course the movie had to have a happy ending.
The flight from LA to Boston showed Stranger than Fiction AND Talladega Nights-- a veritable Will Ferrell film-fest. I had already seen both.
On the return to Amsterdam, I gave Deja Vu another opportunity after my boss told me how excellent it was. This movie, like all time manipulation films, requires a high suspension of disbelief. The plot was rather artificial. Still, if you can get past that, it was on par with the Hollywood gold standards for time travel.
Casino Royale- OK- I have seen this in a theater before. The point of this review is to highlight how butchered it was-- "edited" for planes. There were parts that were cut out for no apparent reason. This is a Bond flick-- no nudity, no real profanity. Bonds torture scene was left mostly intact, except the part where he taunted his nemesis. The scene where he was drugged and nearly died was completely removed. I do not understand. All the violence was left intact.
X-Men- The Last Stand- I didn't make it through the entire movie, since I ran out of time. I have no idea how it ended. This is the sort of film I would only watch on a plane.
Hotel Television- European hotels seem to have normal cable TV. ALL of the Hiltons and Hyatts where we stayed had some custom "hotel network" that replaced all the normal commercials with commercials for "As Seen on TV" and infomercial type products. It was disturbing-- especially since it resulted in showing the same commercials all the time- like for the Carroll Burnett DVD collection. HBO seemed to rotate the same three movies non-stop: Tranporter 2, 16 Blocks, and the latest episode of Rome. To further complicate matters, the networks seemed to rotate on the same channel. If I fell asleep watching HBO, I awoke to some weepy televangelist. Another note- I quickly forgot how many commercials they show on American TV.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
We ate a feast of Sushi down the street. I am tired. My PC thinks it is 2am. I have meetings in the morning. Must get sleep.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
In thinking about this, I remember that I wasn't thrilled about returning to work after Julian's birth. It seemed like the wrong thing to do-- yet life goes on. My guess is that I will feel pangs at everything related to his gradual independence. I don't understand parents who take vacations and leave their kids behind. My parents never did that. I vividly remember one summer before I was five when my father was away at graduate school for a few weeks. Of course Julian is too you-- or is he?
Time to finish packing. When I return, it will literally be springtime.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
So I called them. They wanted to add $10 to process it over the phone. They couldn't accept a foreign credit card either. They said I could go to any British Airways counter at an airport. I wasn't going to travel just to buy tickets. Finally I grabbed an old US credit card. I had to guess what the phone numbers were, and I am not convinced I gave the correct billing address, since the statements come here as well. I hindsight, I should have gave them a random US address using my work card.
I won't even mention how the only flight I could get out of Raleigh to San Francisco is on Southwest. It has THREE stops. I wonder... does the final destination count as a stop? It seems all flights by default have at least one stop. Three stops could mean four legs to the flight. I will likely feel released from incarceration when we arrive in glorious Oakland. Now if only the GPS could actually drive the car to hour hotel.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I think winter is over. I am thinking of using the wheels with the studded tires to run slicks. I'd like to order tires from the US, but I can't seem to find slicks with a folding bead.
Next week I leave for the US again. I have been very busy with preparing documentation and scheduling meetings. I am thoroughly stressed out. With this trip, March is already gone. This time I will be flying to Boston, then traveling to NYC, then either DC or SC, then to San Francisco and LA. It will be another whirlwind tour. I am seeing more of the US while living abroad than I did when I lived back home. The irony.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I couldn't believe it: we saw Stavanger posters all over the tube system- usually right when we came down the escalators. My boss and I really put on a vocal display of how cool the area was for the benefit of anyone nearby. We were actually headed to Heathrow when we spied these.
Friday, March 02, 2007
The trip went well. It was nice to see a little more of England rather than just London. I don't think there are any English people working in the hospitality industry in the entire country. It was a nice trip, but it was great to finally be home.