Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Horizons

But today: Honey. Discuss.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I seem to have developed an irrationally strong dependence on apricot jam these days. While walking Bella each morning, it's all I think about. I caught myself looking forward to my next apricot-jam toast as I drifted off to sleep last night. Ah, pregnancy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


We got a tree!!! Last Sunday we snagged us a car for an hour and rattled out to a little Christmas tree farm. I was quite beside myself with excitement as I have not had a tree for years and years. It seems such a married thing to do, so this season, we got it together on the yuletide shrubbery front and hacked down this baby for the bargain price of thirty dollars:

Ain't she a beaut??? Okay, a wee bit bottom-heavy, but what's not to love about a fresh-cut tree with a little junk in her trunk? We love her to bits. And to show her just how much, we put all these pretty things on her:

So the star's too big -- I'm out shopping for a better one tomorrow. I guess hanging lamps don't belong on the tops of trees anyhow, so stay tuned for a more size-appropriate star very soon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Japan's Got Talent

In keeping with the Christmas tunes theme:

Don and I are hoping to save enough money to buy our very own broccoli flute to make these dark Danish evenings even cozier.

Ho Ho Ho!

Here's what the Christmas season sounds like at my house:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Truth in Advertising

Like many other countries, we've just had elections here in Happy Denmark ("discovered" to be the happiest nation on the planet in 2006), and it's been extremely interesting to watch the process unfold. Basically, it's not that different from the States -- posters everywhere, TV ads, banners hanging from streetlights. The only big difference -- and this may very well be that I can't understand what people are saying around me -- is that we haven't really heard people talking about it. Maybe our friends thought they'd be boring us, especially since we can't vote. Regardless, the ballots have been cast and counted, and of the seven (or is it nine?) official political parties, the incumbents, and the most conservative -- the Danish People's Party -- are back in the hizzouse. This party has two main issues: Immigration, and caring for the elderly. They've been quite successful at securing wonderful senior security (healthcare, pensions, housing), and at stirring up lots and lots of fear about immigrants taking over Denmark. Their motto is: "Vi står fast på de danske værdier," which translates to "We stand fast to those Danish values." It feels kind of icky to me to have this as one's main point of identity or communication, but so it goes.

And so it went when I saw this ad in the paper a couple of weeks ago:

I tried to do a straight dictionary translation, but it didn't make much sense, so I asked my friend, Rebekka, what it meant. (I didn't, however, tell her from whence it came.) She wrote back: "It means that if you don't like the rules, values and traditions in a given country, you are free to move. Where have you read it?" When I told her, she rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, yes. Now that makes sense." I also asked my friend, Jorunn, who gave a much stronger and more colorful translation, and she, too, was not surprised one bit to hear the context.

We've actually saved this ad, because Don and I can't really believe that Denmark, with an international reputation of being so open-minded, fair and caring of its people, is being led by a party that states very clearly and directly its disdain for those who might be culturally, religiously and ethnically different. "If you don't like it, get out. VOTE FOR US! YAY!" Of course, I'm quite sensitive to this whole immigration quagmire myself, considering my own long tangles with the system, but I'm still trying to get my head around this topic. Far be it from me to say this just doesn't exist in the States, because, boy howdy, DOES IT, but it's completely couched and implicit and not at all stated outright; imagine the repercussions of an American political candidate saying something like this to the press, let alone paying for it to be printed in huge block letters. I'm still trying to figure out which way is less worse...

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I've just had my very first Danish dental appointment, and I can fervently say that I now know I can get through labor and delivery. No problem. Okay, it had been (eesh) a year and a half since my last slash-n-score appointment, so there was probably quite a nice few pounds to dig out from under my gums, but MAN -- there has GOT to be raw electricity in that there probe. OUCHY!!! Me no likey one bit. It's a miracle I still have some semblance of a gumline left.

But, she is a very nice lady indeed. I gave her some old (18 months) x-rays from my last dentist, knowing she'd probably just toss them and order up a new set on the spot. "Oh, no. In Denmark, we take new x-rays about every four to five years," which freaked me out because at first I though she said FORTY-FIVE years. Still. Four to five years? Ain't that a kinda long time? She went on to say that in Denmark, "we treat the problem itself, so no unnecessary surgeries and procedures." Um, you mean, like all that silly preventative stuff? "Yes. I think American dentistry is very focused on preventative. Here, we fix the problem." And that was that. I'm going to floss everyday now, no matter what. I may just leave the floss in there permanently, just to make sure. I guess I can't complain, as I've lived through a Polish dental filling that involved no anesthetic or pain killer stronger than deep tearful breaths.

On a related note, I just read on the ol' interweb today that a new American indie movie called "Teeth" is set to be released very soon. Ready for the plot? A teenage girl is raped, upon which she comes to discover that a full set of teeth has grown in her vagina. I am not making this up. I don't know if madcap mayhem ensues, but I'm pretty sure revenge comes into the picture, probably over and over and over again in full close-up. Unfortunately, I'm very certain this will not make it to my town, but I'm going to keep checking the moviehouse posters anyway.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


It's that time again -- JULE!!!! All of the Christmas lights are up in town, and there is a little evergreen tree on every single street corner. Also, the 50-foot Christmas tree in the town square is all decked out with lights and stuff. Pretty!!

As a child, my Christmases were about Santa, toys, tinsel and long wish lists. Not so much on the real "reason for the season," as my brother likes to say. Anyhoodle, now I'm learning all about Advent. Although very few Danes attend church, everyone seems to belong to one, and you even have to list your "kirke" on government forms. My friend, Annette, made this spectacular Advent wreath for us, using roses from her actual garden. (In December!) She and her husband, Tony, and their sweet, sweet sweetie pie son, David (a week shy of 3), joined us for dinner recently, and I probably should have been a little more red-faced about the candle thing. Apparently, you're not supposed to light them all at once -- just one every Sunday during the Advent season. Okie doke! I got it now.

Next week we're going to Jorunn and Jeppe's for some "Julehygge," which at first listen sounds like "Ylllhhgga," or "YOO-luh-hoo-gah." It means, literally, "Christmas coziness." We'll drink glog and bake cookies and make ornamenty things and be all cozy-cozy and stuff. Nice, huh? Beats fighting over the last rolls of cellophane at the West Seattle Dollar Store anyday.

The only sad note here is that as Danes decorate their trees THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (HELLO, SLEEPYHEADS!), we can't get a tree until about a week before Christmas. Still, I hear there are some renegade black-market outfits who start things early out the backs of their vans down by the river, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled.