Monday, December 31, 2007

To my American Readers

Hey guys,

through the beauty of Facebook, my attention has been drawn to Sterling Planet. This is the place to go if you are interested in wind supplied energy. If it looks like a good deal, sign up and pass it on!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Kung Pao Christmas

It was Christmas Eve Day, in the drunk tank.
An old man said to me, "won't see another one".
And then he sang a song...

And that song is Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues. My hands down favorite Christmas song, by far. What other yule tide song would include the phrase, "you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot"? It always tears me up.

So that's been on the stereo the past few days, when we've been home that is. It's astounding that even though we truly try to keep Christmas a low key event, we are swamped. There's the office Christmas party, then the school Christmas party (sometimes more than one, depending on which courses I'm taking), then there's the girls' Christmas get together, and then the one at our friend Jørgen's place, the birthday on the 23rd, and then after all that, both of our families want a bite too. But this is such a holiday that you can't say "no" to just one thing. It's all or a Scroogalicious nothin'. Luckily, it's almost over. Just one Christmas lunch at my 89 year old grandmother's to go and we're home free and just plain home.

Yesterday, I was about to opt for an open faced sandwich for dinner, but as Mikael started to cry I remembered that I had the makings of an easy Chinese dish that I eyed at everybody likes sandwiches. Love udon, love tofu, love any sauce with brown sugar in it. A lovely Asian meal amidst a long spell of duck, pork, spuds, and cabbage.

But tonight, even though it was just the four of us at home, I did the duck, spuds and cabbage thing just once more this time around. Then we had a quick dance and a song around our minimalistic tree. In my fit of environmental conscienciousness, I realized that I didn't have the heart to buy an otherwise CO2 sucking tree only to chuck it out after the festivities. We found this little dwarf still with its roots on. And it was a bargain since it was so crooked. We may keep it on our balcony afterwards, or we may try to replant it somewhere in the city. Wherever we can find a non-conspicuous spot for a Christmas tree...

Halfdan's had a fever the past two days, but otherwise he is just wonderful. He's rolling all over the place, and I've been so adamant at laying him on his tummy that he now prefers it to being on his back. He's full of smiles, and his brother has learned how to show his affection without hitting or using his teeth, so they're really enjoying each other.

After tomorrow, we haven't any concrete plans for another month or so. There's oodles of time for idle hours of magazine reading, playing cards, playing cars, colouring books, reading books, oh yes, and getting back to giving our apartment a facelift. We've got our work cut out for us. Halfdan's way ahead of the game with that magazine reading.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas on Peter Fabersgade

I promise I'll post some pictures soon- I just need to take some first!

Until then, I thought I'd entertain you with a little Christmas tale.

A while back, I lived for some years with my ex. He was actually the reason I moved to Copenhagen, and also the reason that I never moved back to the States. So, although I hate his guts...bless him.

So one of the first Christmases I had after moving to CPH, we decided not to partake in Christmas Eve with our families on Fyn (one of the bigger islands of DK). We decided to buy a duck and dress it all up in apples and prunes, and prepare all of the other traditional dishes that accompany it. We were pretty psyched. We invited his good friend Niller to our place on Peter Fabersgade, and we were quite the jolly trio.

Alas, it was not enough to just stuff ourselves. We needed drink too.

So before we started anything else, we started making a nice strong brew of gløgg. This is also known as mulled wine, served hot with loads of spices, raisins and sliced almonds. If I remember correctly, we had laid the almonds and raisins to rest a few days before, to steep in a mixture of snaps and port wine. And it is also quite possible that we emptied the rest of those spirits into the brew at some point. My memory is a little foggy.

Well, as we were stuffing the duck, and caramellizing the potatoes and heating the red cabbage, I do recall feeling pretty groovy, and thinking that we should always stay home for Christmas Dinner. And while the duck was still in the oven, we just kept filling up on gløgg, and at some point it occured to us that we should probably sing some carols. So I got out my trusty old violin (yes, I have a violin, and I used to be quite handy with it) and had a go. This coincided with my first Christmas as a student of the Finnish language, and I was lucky enough to have some sheets of Finnish Christmas music from the Institute. Now, Finns have a reputation for being a bit liberal with the drink and I can safely say we were in tune with that cultural aspect at that time. Most of the vat of gløgg was gone, I was standing on a chair, playing Finnish carols on the fiddle, and singing in Finnish at the top of my lungs while my companions were rolling on the floor holding their tummies, trying to contain their laughter. To top it off, I had attached a bell (yes, a "jingle" bell) to one of my stockings, and was standing on one foot while shaking the other on beat to the music. I don't think it was 6 pm yet.

I ran out of music to play, and the duck was done so we sat down to eat. It was all quite yummy, but we were really too drunk to be hungry, so we ate half-heartedly, and the boys started a farting competition at the dinner table which had us rolling on the floor again.

Somewhere around 9 pm, we looked up from the floor, saw a Sinatra Christmas Cavalcade on t.v. and by that time we had sobered up which wasn't any fun, so we had our rice pudding and called it a night.

Although I ditched the ex, I kept Niller as a friend, and what's more he's hooked up up with my friend, and now we're all one big happy. So I'm looking forward to the day we all have Christmas dinner together, so we can show the children how it's really done. Just kidding. Maybe.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Green Protest

This is mostly a practical post. I'll give a rundown in English, and then I'm switching to Danish for a bit.

A few weeks ago there was a minor media storm about the Danish state owned energy company, Dong. They intend to build and run a coal driven power plant in northern Germany. Now, in this day and age that's just not right. With all the clean, green technologies that abound, this is a major step backwards. Germans and Danes alike are disgusted, but Dong is undeterred.

Dong has also been providing our electricity here at home. But no more. I just switched to a new supplier that provides energy solely from a fleet of about 2000 windmills here in Denmark. They also sell energy to countries abroad, so I would like to encourage my readers to check with their energy suppliers; see if they provide green energy. A lot of them do, for a small fee and at competitive market prices too. This is a really easy way to ease the burdon on our planet!

På dansk:

Det kunne altså ikke være nemmere!!!

her og udfyld tilmeldingsblanketten.

Jeg satte kryds ved Nordjysk og angav ikke nogle årsperiode. Så bestiller man nemlig deres stabilel. Det følger markedsprisen og er ret billigt i forhold til Dong, og så kan man altid ændre sin abonnement senere.

Kom så! Vis Dong at det er jo os selv der bestemmer hvordan vores energi bliver til.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Go Elf Yourself

I've already sent a mail to most of you, but you others shouldn't be left out. I have a little elfish treat for you here

I'm sharing this with you now since Mikael is in an impeccable mood as it is his last day of work for three months! Nothing can spoil his mood today, not even me outing him as a dancing elf to the lot of you, he he.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sick of Sick

Have you ever noticed that it tickles in your throat when you clean your ears? Or that when you scratch a spot on your back, there's a spot on your leg that tingles? Have you noticed that the sound of pouring hot water is different than the sound of pouring cold water? Is it just me? Oh, okay.

Wow, so today is the first day in two weeks that I haven't woken up with a sore throat. I was just about to call the doctor's too. I've been remarkably sick since I was 7 months pregnant with Halfdan. I'm seldom sick, so this has been really irritating. But I've just had one cold after the other, speckled with a sinus infection here and there, and just a general feeling og fatigue and malaise, not to mention a broken back on top of it all. I have decided that there's nothing really wrong with me though. It's all psychosomatic, and as soon as Mikael starts his three month paternity leave (on Monday!!!) I'm starting a new regimen that does not include sickness, and I will be positiveley BURSTING with energy and initiative.

Halfdan and I have had a battle of wills this week. I wrote that we started giving him a bedtime bottle. This was great, until he realized what a treat it was to not have to work at all for his meals and he rejected my boobs altogether. He just wouldn't have any of it and cried whenever they got too close. So as he got hungrier and hungrier, I flat out refused to give him a bottle because I am not ready to give up breastfeeding. I really want him to get all the antibodies he can since Dante is in daycare and brings all sorts of fun bacteria home. Halfdan hasn't been sick once yet, and I'm sure that's because of the boob. Anyway, he ended up crying himself to sleep, and as I was about to burst, I snuck up to him while he slept and forced milk upon him. We're still having boob issues, but I will win this one!

I really haven't done anything fun at all for the past week (does falling asleep with all one's clothes on at 8 pm count?), what with the sore throat and all. But luckily with Facebook, it's possible to have a virtual party without going anywhere. And in this holiday season, I've been sleigh riding and having gingerbread and eggnog with friends without leaving the house. It's cheap, and low calorie! But that still doesn't compare to the thrills of the real world. Elijah has for example just been to Atlanta for a Hematology Convention. Some gals have all the luck! (I have my spies, Elijah)

I hope to have something thrilling to tell you guys soon, or at least some pics. For the past couple of months, Mikael has been going on about baking Christmas cookies on his leave, so maybe a guest post is in the works? Til then I leave you with a great little movie to watch and then think about: and you'll find it here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sake to me

The gypsies of Gogol Bordello have come and gone, and it turned out to be a mighty fine evening. I was tired and ready for bed at 4 pm, but nothin' doin', I had to keep myself going. We got to Vega and had a few drinks, which loosened me up a bit, but I was still really tired just until the band claimed the stage and started playing. Instant energy. I was hopping like all of the other teenagers in the place. It was just as insane as their last concert here, and the place was just one big writhing jumble of sweaty concert-goers. After the show, I was just as tired as when we started, but we were headed home anyway. We did manage to stop for a night cap, and I had a martini that could bring an elephant to its knees. Mission accomplished. I felt human and adult again.

Tonight, I'm joining the adult ranks again by going to a favorite Japanese restaurant, Banzai, with Alexandra and Louise. We three haven't been out without husbands and kids before now, so I'm really looking forward to it. And I have a real weakness for hot sake. Since Alex is expecting, I guess Louise and I will have to drink hers. Shame.

After a consultation with our family health nurse, Halfdan is getting a bedtime bottle of formula. His attention span is just too short now. He seems to expect milk to flow from my breasts as water from a watering can, and he's not really willing to work for his food. So breastfeeding's alright when I'm practically bursting, but in the evenings when it seems I'm all out of milk, the poor baby is just not happy. But it's a win-win; I can get out some more, and Mikael can get a little closer to the baby.

He has been good at reading for him though.

This morning, Halfdan had his first ever bath with his older brother. I crawled in the tub with both boys, and they both seemed to enjoy the company. Normally, a bath is pretty relaxing, but I had a little trouble with that since my tub-mates can't control their body functions yet. But we did enjoy washing each other.

Both boys are down for naps now, so I'm going to hurry and try to read something frivolous, and then get a nap in myself!