Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bella Update

Good morning, I'm Bella, I love to be outdoors, and here is my update.

As many of you know, I absolutely lose my head for anything small that moves. Like, say, oh, cats, or Yorkshire terriers, or rabbits. LOVE the rabbits. Scrumptious. Never actually had one per se, but I dream about them all of the time, and it has been brought to my attention that sometimes I run in my sleep (while on my side, of course), whimpering and snarling. They are THAT good. Also, love the squirrels -- gotta give a shout-out to my hometown Seattle squirrels! MISS YOU GUYS, MAN!

Lately, however, I have a new love, a new elusive obsession. People, I'm talking about DUCKS, the kind that quack and bob in the water like the tasty little vixens that they are. When I've been extra good, Don takes me to what I like to call Duck Cove, a tiny little inlet near the castle, where he... he... LETS ME OFF MY LEASH!!!! AAAAAAARRGAAAAAAAGH!!!! I go crazy, I tell you -- I just about explode! I don't know where to run, it's all too much, so I just run all over the place! The ducks! They're everywhere! They tease me with their swimming back and forth, so coy, so "oh, you can't get us, you big stupid dog!"

That's what they think. HA! But after much experimentation, I have come up with a glorious new plan -- I call it, "Going in the Water After Them"!!!! HA HA!!!

As with any pristine strategy, it still has its kinks, but I'm committed to honing it into something foolproof. Still, there are days I feel like giving up and just walking away from it all...

But, I just remember my chakra and regroup. Take a little walk down the beach, reflect, think about what it must be like to be a seagull. It's important to soak up your surroundings, notice what's really around you, and be grateful that you're not a pebble, or a starfish.

Hell no! You're a D-O-G!! A smart, licky, stinky, sandy, wet DOG! So you pick yourself up, shake yourself off, and have a good roll-around in some duck poop and seaweed, and go hug Don, who has given you this fabulous opportunity today! YEAH!

You'll get those damn ducks next time...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Loverly Visit to Cambridge

I've been horribly remiss in not posting about our visit to Cambridge before our Hamburg soiree. Don had been in Hong Kong and Korea for almost three weeks, and we met up in London. My oldest friend in the world (she's REALLY OLD), Sophie, lives in Cambridge with her fella, Mickey, and they were gracious enough to host us for two nights. (They are also the owners of the world's tallest airbed -- like, three feet tall. I think it actually doubles as one of those poofy landing apparati when one must jump from the window of a tall building. 'Twas marvelous. Sadly, I failed to photograph it.)

We spent most our days strolling the town. Cambridge is ridiculous and unbelievable -- everything is lovely and quaint and chaaaaahming. We walked about the many colleges which comprise Cambridge University, and along the River Cam. We even had us a real POINT (read: pint). It was real noice. And, on our last night, we had a crazyscrumptious dinner at a "gastropub," a pub which specializes in excellent cuisine. As you can see, they also greatly enjoy decorating for Christmas.

I've known Soph since I was ten, and somehow, whenever we see one another, we always find the return path to fifth grade. And we behave accordingly, usually by stuffing our faces with junk food while having fits of nonsensical laughter. Thanks, Soph, and kudos to Don and Mickey for the extreme tolerance...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Makes Sense to Me...

Yesterday saw my weekly turn-on-the-TV-in-hopes-of-finding-something-I-can-understand session, and this is what I found:

It's a mid-day newscast in sign language! Smart! The anchor is signing away while an off-camera voice narrates the signing. Everybody wins! Except they are still discriminating against English-speakers...

Monday, January 08, 2007

General Observation #3,927

Our town is extremely clean, virtually no litter anywhere to be found. There are trash cans every 30 feet or so, which are changed what seems like hourly. And yet, I've noticed one certain consistent strain of litter on the ground: McDonald's cups, wrappers, bags, sauce packets. Maybe this is a form of guerilla marketing from our one franchise unit, or maybe the trash guys don't like to touch the stuff themselves. Who knows. But, it is curious as this one McDonald's is pretty far aways out of town. Hmmmmm. Must investigate...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Ice Capades Are Here!!!

I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and so anything snow- or ice-related was a huge, big, fat deal. Shoveling snow seemed ridiculous and exotic, and I never really believed that ice could seriously cover the ground, like, more than ice cubes. That was from storybooks and simply crazy. So, when I was about 5 or 6, my parents took me and my siblings to the Ice Capades at the Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, two miles from Waikiki Beach. I remember being demented with excitement on seeing the enormous ice rink as we entered the arena. What magical wizard had created this unbelievable oddity of the universe before me? It must have been around Christmastime, as I recall toy soldiers and shiny ornament-people skating around the rink and waving at ME ME ME. My dad even beat out the other dads to catch me a yellow styrofoam ball that one of the toy soldiers threw into the audience. MY HERO!!!! I cherished that styrofoam ball, and it outlasted even my Duran Duran obsession until I tossed it enroute to college.

But I digress.

Here in Denmark, most towns pull together a community ice rink for the holidays, and this year is Sonderborg's first go at it. It's free for anyone to use at anytime of the day (did I mention that nobody here really files lawsuits?), and you can rent skates for practically nothing if you don't have any. (I saw a lot of kids just running around the ice in their shoes like a giant slip-n-slide.) Part of a parking lot near our apartment was sectioned off with planks, and loads of little snaky pipes were laid down very close together, and then, one day, the black pipes were white, covered in frost, and then the frosty lines became a shiny sheet of ice. It was pretty cool to watch over the progression of a week. Unfortunately, it's been so warm here that there's often a giant puddle sitting on top of the ice, but that doesn't seem to bother the kiddies none.

(And I'm still trying to figure out a "capade" is.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Yes, rabid fan base, it's been weeks, and I'm sorry for the struggle it must have been for both of you. Now we're in a whole brand spankin' new year. I'M BACK!! The last few weeks have included family visits, travel, cookies and lots of Christmas ornaments.

Don's dad and "wicked stepmother" (!) were our first visitors, journeying all the way from Los Angeles. WOO HOO! It was GREAT to see them, and we had a very fun time. This was Dean's first trip to Europe, and I venture to say he wasn't disappointed. Don and I met him and Cheryl in Hamburg before all of us scooted up north to Denmark. One of the highlights of the trip was our day at the Hamburg Christmas market. It kicked some major yule butt.

I really do think we did other stuff besides gorge ourselves, though the pictures seem to tell another story. Hamburg is a frightfully cool city, and we were happy just to walk around.

Santa brought lots of fantastic treats -- in fact, there was a whole Santa Suitcase! (THANK YOU, SANTA!) Among the goodies were yo-yos, and here is the tale of Bella being introduced to this phenomenon for the first time. (I wish I had audio to share, but you'll just have to imagine.)

Mostly, we just hung out, played canasta and Sudoku, walked around town, pet Bella, put together our new elliptical machine (bought in Germany), did laundry, visited the neighborhood slot (castle), visited the cows and chilled.