Monday, November 26, 2007

crispy fried me

Just got back in from a lovely week and a bit in my homeland of Chicago. I'd tell you all about it, but I've got that strange acid fogginess you get from visiting three airports in a 24 hour period and being too tired to do the time zone math to figure out when you slept last. You can stick a fork in me, because I am doooooone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yeah, I totally jinxed myself

Yep, you guessed it. First bike crash. Was on my way to work, doing the bike thing in a skirt and heels and doing just fine, thanks very much. Anyway, I was in the left side of the bike lane and needed to get to the right because my turn off was coming up, but no one would let me in. If you know Copenhagen at all, you know the bike lanes can get pretty crowded of a morning, and Danes, while very nice people in general, can sometimes be a little weird when it comes to lines or rules of the road. Anyway, no one would let me over, tried passing people in front, tried slowing down, finally I saw an opening just big enough and I went for it and the women in front of me hit the brakes. Hit the back of her tire and wham - total wipeout. Grand total: one scraped and swollen knee, one ruined pair of tights (one hour before a big client meeting, no less) and one case of badly injured pride. Could have been worse, I suppose.

On being the ugly American

So went for dinner to a friend of a friend's house to watch the election. The hosts were kind enough to give me a thorough rundown of the Danish political process, which was definitely very interesting. However, the number of parties and the niceties of percentages of seats is pretty much lost on the child of a two-party system.

Everyone wonders why Americans tend to be more inclined to view things in black or white. Perhaps it is our political system that is to blame. Heck, we can't even get a third party together, let alone 6. That's just too many shades of grey for us to comprehend. And everyone sharing power? Mmm, don't think so. Winner takes all and condemn the losers to four years of suffering. That's the American way.

What was seriously insane was hearing that something like 80% of the people vote here. Think it's around 40% at home. This might be a symptom of the widespread apathy about politics in general that seems to affect the American consciousness. I'd tell you more about the issues at stake, but I was too busy critiquing the hair and outfit choices to pay much attention. (What was up with that leopard print the Prime Minister's wife was wearing?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

life's little victories

I bike rode home today. It was snowing. I was in heels. And, no, I didn't kill myself.

I may be getting the hang of this city after all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

overdosing on quaintness in Hillerod

Decided it was high time I did something that didn't involve working, drinking or going to the gym. So on a Sunday the week before last, I set out with Rico, the master of all things cultural at my agency, to check out Frederiksborg castle.

To be honest, Copenhagen isn't always the quaintest of European cities. Don't get me wrong, it definitely has its moments, but in terms of mainland Europe, you get the feeling that the Danes were too busy raping and pillaging to really put their hearts into interior and exterior decoration. Well, someone seriously let loose their inner metrosexuals when it came to Frederiksborg. Yet even in their wildest bits of architectural abandon, there is a masculinity to it. You would probably never dare use the word confection to describe Danish decor, even at its most ornate. Much like Scotland, you rather feel you'd get a swift kick somewhere unpleasant if you even tried.

Heck, even the naked guy on the top of the fountain, surrounded by cherubs and precious water jets looks like he's strutting around in the middle of a mosh pit. This can be kind of refreshing if you've ever spent significant bits of time in France. I've always kind of dug that hunting lodge look, and this place seriously ups the ante. It's supposed to be an art museum, but the art is passable at best and seriously awful at worst, so good thing the surroundings amaze. They had a self-portrait by Lars von Trier that makes one rather glad that he went into directing instead. I'd torture you with it here, but I rather think I do him a favor by not posting it. Better you always remember him as you know him now.

Luckily, the older pieces fare a bit better. This ship was made by a prisoner out of his dinner bones. Apparently, this was common practice among prisoners who made ornate ships and then sold them in order to get the money to buy things. Perhaps better meals with bigger bones to build more ships to buy better meals with bigger bones? Maybe Lars should have taken up carving instead.

the bag saga is officially over

So it looks as if I will have to find something else to get all cranky about. Out of the blue a few days ago, after their lawyer telling me they would not issue a refund without receipts for all my possessions past, present and future, as well as the blood of ten virgins and a good quality stake to drive through their cold, dead, corporate heart, I got a crisp check in the mail from my good friends at SAS. While it only covers about 1/5 of what was actually in the bag, I am just glad to have it all over.
Three words: Never, ever again. Enough said.