Saturday, August 30, 2008

New News

While scanning the Copenhagen Post this morning, I came across an article regarding a new newspaper website designed specifically for those who have difficulty reading a standard Danish newspaper. The article can be found here.

I took particular interest in this because I am still at a level of Danish that makes it quite difficult to read the 'normal' news. Having a newspaper that's a bit more simplistic may just be the perfect solution.

And, the best part is, the new site does have an RSS feed! If you're interested, you can find it at

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Saturday evening we attended the birthday and retirement party for Ole's Aunt Ellen and had a fantastic time. These types of parties are always a bit daunting for me because of the language issue, but each time I attend I know a bit more Danish and understand a bit more of what's going on, so that's progress!

The party had a bit of a theme. The invitation was written much like a personal ad would be stating that Ellen was seeking a 'date'. Each person was to wear a hat of some kind to the party, the crazier the better. I would've been happy to be part of this bit of the party but alas, my husband failed to read and explain the invitation to me, so we were hatless, but that's neither here nor there.

There were 8 tables and each table had to nominate a person with the best hat at their table, and another person to 'introduce' the hat wearer to Ellen, ultimately ending up with 8 folks adorned in crazy hats, from which Ellen would choose a 'date'. Even though I had trouble following the introductions and understanding them all, I still was able to catch on to some of what was being said and to laugh at the hats and enjoy the antics.

I tried to get pictures of some of the craziness but it was tough to get a decent shot inside the party and by the time I started taking pictures, most people were no longer wearing their hats, but I did catch some of them during the nomination process.

This hat is adorned with little balls of yarn around the brim and knitting needles on the top of the hat.

A Danish army winter cap. She left this one for the entire party explaining that her hair was a complete disaster underneath this cap - needless to say, she was a bit warm!

This guy had the good old American style beer cap "thirst aid". He originally was wearing beer cans in the cap but apparently when he finished those off, he switched to the plastic cups. I just kept thinking.. "hope he doesn't have to tie his shoes". While this nomination was taking place, a very funny joke was part of the nomination - I missed it entirely but everyone else at the party thought it was the funniest thing said all night - as you can clearly see from the reaction!

And finally, this was the winner of the 'date'. If you can't see the picture clearly, it's a chicken hat. Absolutely hysterical. When he was introduced he came around the corner bent over bobbing his head so that it appeared that the chicken was feeding; he then produced an egg. His prize? Two bottles of champagne and a box of chocolates, which he then shared with those around him. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Would you take a look at those melons!

No, not THOSE melons - get your minds off the body and into the produce section.

The good old canteloupe to be specific. (Reminds me of one of my dad's all time favorite jokes.. "Canteloupe tonight, pop's got the ladder!")

Back to the melons. Canteloupe is plentiful in the US. This is the canteloupe I'm used to seeing:

However, everytime I see something that looks like that picture in a Danish supermarket, it's not a canteloupe, it's a galia. Since I'm not a big produce buyer, I can't say that I've ever eaten a galia and therefore, have been hesitant to purchase said melon. I've heard of them, but that's about all.

Now this search for canteloupe has been going on for awhile. I always check what's there, and they are always all labeled 'galia', so I try again next time.

Lo and behold, upon entering SuperBrugsen late last week, I checked and again and there, among the usual galias, were some melons with a sticker clearly indicating that these were indeed 'canteloupe'. They looked like this:

Hmm. So I had a little internal debate in the grocery store. Doesn't look like a canteloupe. SAYS it's a canteloupe. Price seems okay, do I try it anyway? What if I buy them and it's not something I like? Is this going to be another grocery experiment that sits in my fridge until I just throw it out? But I really, really want a canteloupe. Smells like canteloupe. Okay, Okay, I'll give it a shot. So I bought two.

YUMMY! It appears the Spains do indeed know how to grow canteloupe and while it may look a bit different on the outside, the inside is just right and quite tasty. Now that I've found them, I'm sure on the next trip they won't be there any longer.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Drinking debate

Lots of new stories floating about right now in regards to a group that wants to lower the drinking age in the US, and, of course, about those who think it's a horrible idea to do so. Here is one of the many, many articles, this one from the Washington Post:

Bid to Reconsider Drinking Age
Taps Unlikely Supporters

The entire concept of not being able to drink legally prior to the age of 21 is very strange to the majority of Europeans. It makes me wonder what some of the students from Europe and elsewhere, who attend colleges and universities in the US, think about it all.

To me, it all comes down the forbidden fruit concept. The moment something is forbidden it suddenly becomes more desired. Speaking from experience, the moment I arrived on my college campus, the idea of going out to a big party and drinking and NOT getting in trouble for it was the most exciting thing ever. I remember that first weekend on campus - we drank, we stayed up all night, and we generally felt like - "cool, this is what it feels like to be an adult". A rather naive point of view, of course, but when you spend the first 17-18 years of your life under the rules of others, you must test your limits as soon as you are able. Trust me, I was always more fearful of my parents than I was of 'the law'!

My personal opinion on this debate is, that while it may be a step in the right direction, I don't think lowering the drinking age to 18 solves everything. I grew up under the '21' rule. However, by the time I was actually 21, and could drink legally, I was over it. Drinking had lost it's appeal. It's not that I stopped drinking alcohol, it's just that it wasn't quite so exciting. Been there, done that. Perhaps if the drinking age had been 18 at the time, I would've bought a six-pack and decided it wasn't such a thrill - but it's hard to know what I 'would have' done looking back on it now.

I do believe that the European culture does raise more responsible attitudes towards alcohol. That period of testing your limits, which I think is an inevitable part of growing up, regardless of the drinking age, seems to happen a bit earlier here. Is earlier better? That I can't say, but I can say that I would rather have teenagers testing their limits under their parents supervision, than on college campuses where they are on their own for the first time in their lives. That first weekend for me, I was out running around in the streets at 4 AM and no one was wondering where I was. Had I been 16 and drunk, and still living at home, my parents would've found me long before 4 AM. A safer scenario, in my mind.

I doubt the college presidents in favor of lowering the drinking age will get their way. The puritan ideals of the US, and the influence of those who react based on emotion, rather than logic, will insure that the drinking age remains at 21. It is refreshing, however, to see that there actually are some willing to stand up and put the idea out there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Merry Christmas to us!

Opened my inbox over the weekend to find a very very nice surprise! My parents have decided to buy our plane tickets so that we can spend Christmas in the states - woohoo!

We spent some time making all kinds of fun arrangements and I am very excited to say that Ole and I will be spending 2 days in NYC and then 5 days with friends and family in upstate New York. Time to load up those extra empty suitcases so we can fill them up for the return trip !!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chimneys - part II

For those who may have missed it, I refer back to the original post, Chimneys.

I am pleased to say that my belt-buckle yielding friend returned to my home again to inspect my chimney and make sure we are ready for yet another year of keeping the home fires burning.

I am even more pleased to say that, for the most part, I managed to speak Danish with him this time around! Poor guy had two pups jumping all over him this time, but he didn't seem to mind. I missed a few sentences here and there, hopefully not anything of vital importance, but I managed to communicate with him, and that, my friends, was pretty exciting.

Can't they at least TRY??

At the end of last week I had to send a payment off to the IRS, in the IRS' own envelope. I dutifully put the payment voucher and the payment into the envelope, wrote my return address in the upper left hand corner on the 3 little lines the IRS' envelope provided for that purpose, put some Danish stamps on it and sent it off.

Saturday we opened our mailbox only to find that same envelope had arrived here. How nice of the Danish postal service!

Many complain about the US postal service but honestly, I believe, the USPS does it's job. The mail gets where it's supposed to go - they figure it out. The same cannot be said for the danish equivalent. The envelope was, or course, a little window envelope. If you've ever used them, and I'm sure you have, the little papers inside the envelope can tend to shift around and maybe the address isn't fully readable instantly. You do the shake down to the inside pieces of paper and the address magically reveals itself, etc. Apparently this is too difficult for the danish postal service.

Postal employee A.. "I cannot see the address"
Postal employee B.. "There's an address, there, in the upper left hand corner - send it there"
Postal employee A.. "Ahh yes, perfect!"

Morons - the upper left hand corner is called a "return address" - you don't just send the mail there thinking that's where it's supposed to go! Had they done that with something written on the original such as "Unable to deliver, return to sender" then I would have been slightly less annoyed. At least then I would KNOW why it showed up in my mailbox. But there was nothing - they sent it to the return address apparently because it's an address they found, and that somehow equaled where it was supposed to go.

I was going to take a picture of the envelope for this post, but Ole has now taken the envelope off with him this morning to resend the whole thing in a proper Danish envelope, or something.

p.s. It can't be easy to be married to me. I, of course, in my ranting, took out my frustration for the Danish postal service on my dear hubby - as a Dane, he inevitably gets the blame for any frustration I feel at anything that goes wrong in HIS country. Ooops.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My head hurts

This evening was the first day 'back to school' for me and after 2.5 hours of danish class, my head hurts.

I have school every Tuesday and Thursday evening for what feels like now to eternity. While I do get encourages every now and then and feel like maybe I'm actually getting somewhere with all of this, I still, for the life of me, cannot understand my own husband when he speaks Danish. One of my teachers says that it's probably Ole's accent that is the issue - I don't know, but I know I can't understand him :(

School isn't horrible, but it definitely takes a strain on my brain! It's the constant concentration that gets me. If I let my mind wander for even a moment, I have missed something that my teacher said and at that point, my brain sort of switches over to that 'huh???' setting.

I'm sure going to miss my free evenings!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Help Me!

I'm being overwhelmed by incredible cuteness!





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Don't Get Up

Ahh the life of luxury...


Don't overwhelm yourself and waste energy standing up to eat!

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Olympic Coverage

Last night was the opening ceremonies and I guess, for the most part, it doesn't really matter which language it is. Not really sure that I liked the early afternoon start time though! When you grow up in the US, the Olympic coverage you see isn't typically live coverage, depending, of course, on which time zone the games are being held. The US caters their coverage to the advertisers - the network has to cover all the costs of actually covering the games! What this means is that, although we like to pretend things are happening as we see them, more often than not, it happened hours ago and is being broadcast for the US market in primetime.

There are some that do believe everything should be shown live, but now that I am actually having to watch events live, I must say that I prefer the USA's nicely packaged version of the games. Had I been working yesterday, rather than enjoying a week off, I would have missed the opening ceremonies, because they began at 2:08 pm in Denmark.

I like gymnastics. But, of course, the US men's team was in the first rotation for the qualification round. What this meant for me was that if I wanted to see the US in the qualification round, I had to get my butt in front of the TV at 6 AM. Ewwww.

Getting up early isn't really a problem for me most of the time. The problem comes in getting up early and then plopping down in front of the TV. My normal routine means I plop in front of the internet, which is interactive, and therefore, assists me in waking up and starting my day as I suck down my coffee. The TV on the other hand, is passive. Had the commentary been in English, it would have been a bit easier for me, but in Danish, at 6 AM, wooowee that was tough.

It is events like these that make me miss American TV. I like getting the full explanations of why a particular gymnastics move was good or bad. I want to see the little computer animations of the 'perfect' double-twisting, triple-flip, Russian-dude named move. I want to see the interview and clips of the gymnastic phenom training back home. I want all that! It's quite difficult at 6 AM to attempt to comprehend 2 Danes talking about what's going on - thank goodness the scores themselves were posted on screen!

Well, the good news is that the American men did win their qualifying round. I think it's the top 8 teams that move on to the team event, so I guess we still have to see how the other teams do. If I were watching on NBC, I'm sure Bob Costas would've already explained how it all works, and how the new scoring system works, but since I'm not, I suppose I will spend the next hour doing internet research to figure it all out!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fast Friends

Any worries that we had about bringing a new puppy into the house have now officially vanished. I am delighted to report that Zoe has accepted her little sister with open paws and they simply cannot get enough of each other. It's the sweetest darn thing!

This first picture is from day one with Lexi - it was pretty hot and Zoe's little pool was simply delightful!

Yesterday the two of them played together really well. Zoe definitely has moments where she is just so excited by her playmate that she gets a bit too crazy and carried away, but for the most part, they're just having tons of fun.

Last evening as we sat at our computers Zoe and Lexi were on the floor between us having a little tug over a small rawhide stick. Zoe has new found interest in many things she had grown bored with previously - if Lexi wants it, then Zoe suddenly must have it as well. LOVE the paw to the eye!

A little while later when they both became thoroughly exhausted by the action, Zoe curled up on the doggie bed. Lexi promptly decided to join her - this was not staged, Lexi did this totally on her own! Zoe, on the other hand, wasn't quite sure what to do about it...

But just a moment later, going for the 'cute pic of the week' award - Zoe simply placed one paw over Lexi and settled in for a bit of a snooze.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


We officially became a 2 doggie household yesterday! We had a 10am appt to pick up Lexi. When we arrived, Lexi and her momma were waiting for us. The lady we got her from nicely packed a box with some of Lexi's puppy food, a piece of a blanket all the pups had been sleeping on, and one of the puppy toys they had all played with. It was about an hour drive from here so we were fully prepared to make stops along the way if necessary but, even after eating breakfast, Lexi had no trouble at all in the car and slept on my lap the whole way.

Ole dropped us off at a field around the corner and went to pick up Zoe from our house. We wanted to let the two see each other away from the house first. When they came over to the field, Zoe had her normal excessive enthusiasm about a new dog and ended up scaring little Lexi - she wasn't quite prepared for this crazy labrador jumping all around her. I am happy to report that she got over that fear quickly and started to run after Zoe and get a bit braver.

We brought both of them home and they had an exhausting day! Every time poor Lexi tried to take a nap, Zoe was right there, trying to wash her, kiss her, and just get to know her new little friend. Finally, both of them were so tired they each fell over and got some rest. We usually refer to these moments as 'flat dog'!

The first night didn't go too badly. Ole got up with Lexi at about 1:15 AM and Lexi had some water at that point and then back to her crate. At 2:10 AM, I got up with Lexi and now she had 'business' to do - and wouldn't you know it, the pouring rain showed up at this point, just my luck. I opened the door and both Lexi and Zoe looked at me as if to say.. "Are you nuts? We're not going outside in that!" Ultimately this situation meant that I, too, had to go out in the rain if I wanted the dogs to follow - so off we went into a downpour. Success - peeing and pooping done! We all dried off and went back to bed. And, we all slept until about 8 AM! Woohoo!

Here is a bit of playtime we had this morning. And before you comment, yes, we do have a large mattress in the middle of a floor, and no, that's not where we sleep! We got a new bed and haven't quite figured out what to do with our other mattress, so it's covered with a sheet and has become, for the time being, a giant dog bed in the living room. :)

This is a short video of Lexi and Zoe playing a bit earlier this morning.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sooo excited...

It's 5:15 AM and I'm like a kid on Christmas morning! I think I must have woken up about 6 times during the night to see if it was morning yet. If you know the way I sleep, this does not normally happen!

So, once the clock said 5 AM, I decided that was officially morning, finally, so I got up and made some coffee. Why am I sooo excited??


(Might as well also get used to the fact that after today, I'm never getting a fully night's sleep again!)
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