Sunday, September 27, 2009

10 clues...

10 clues that I'm not a Dane and still a Californian (mishmashing two current memes here)

1) I hate licorice. HATE it. Can't stand the flavor, the smell, the feel. Ugh. I was told that eating licorice would make me a "real" Dane... like I needed another excuse to stay away from it! YUCK!

My nightmare!

2) I'm always cold. Really really cold. Summer in Denmark is like spring in CA. While Danes are passed out from the heat, collapsing on sidewalks in puddles of vanilla ice cream (pst, Denmark, it comes in more than three flavors, you know... no, Turkish Pepper is NOT a flavor, that's an abomination and I think the Turks are offended that you'd name that stuff after them) I'm thinking it may be time to take off my sweater.

Spicy salty licorice flavored ice cream... Never mind the above, THIS is my nightmare!

3) I never thought of myself as a vegetable nut. But I can't get over the lack of greens on many dining tables. Where're the veggies, folks? Boiled potatoes and iceberg lettuce are close, but sorry, you only get an E for effort.

Danish Food Pyramid

4) I don't "do" Danish modern. I think it looks like some form of antiseptic hell from which there is no escape. Arne Jacobsen chairs? Please tell me the decimal point on that price tag is misplaced, it looks like a reject from a failed Jetsons movie and I am not going to have that in my house. Homes should reflect your personality and by the look of your two-toned empty bland existence, we aren't going to have much to say to one another.

Blame the other 5.3 million people who bought the EXACT SAME THING!

5) I laugh loud. And often. Even when I'm alone in front of the computer.

funny pictures of cats with captions

6) A three hour car ride is NOTHING. Back in the day, we'd drive that far just to hang out in San Francisco for a few hours and then drive three hours home. I once drove 6 hours to buy a cake from the Madonna Inn and then 6 hours back again.
Madonna Inn cakes: total sugar overload

I love to drive. I love to sing along with the radio as I drive. I love being driven somewhere so I can look out the window and shout excitedly about what I just saw. And I love driving on freeways. Proper freeways. If I can, I'll change 5 lanes of traffic just because I can.

7) I heart Disneyland. The original Disneyland. All other theme parks pale in comparison. I can't explain it. Other parks have bigger faster rides - but for me, nothing beats the Jungle Cruise and the terrible terrible jokes therein. This is the epitome of my childhood.

8) I hate public transportation. Scares the crap out of me. Did you know there are no homeless people in LA? There's just people waiting for the BUS! Ha! Something like 50% of the bus drivers in San Francisco are drunk while on the job and at least one little old woman gets run over by the bus she just alighted from ever year.

9) I am not comfortable being naked, especially around people I don't know. Don't ask me to go to a sauna or to anywhere that involves communal showers and group nudity. And I will not be naked in front of men I am not having intimate relations with. ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY NOT.

Trying to find a picture to sum up this sentiment made me glad I don't work in a shared space. Definitely *not* work friendly.

10) The sun sets IN THE OCEAN, darn it. And it's not a wimpy ocean, either. While I've put my feet in many so-called "oceans" and "seas" the Pacific is still the only REAL ocean. Want to gain a healthy respect for the ocean? Go stand on a Fort Bragg beach during a storm. (Actually, stand a healthy distance from the water, that sh*t'll kill you.)

Yeah, you know you wish you lived here too. Wait... I don't live there any more! *Sob* Now I'm homesick! Thanks internet meme. Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free!... Okay "free-er"...

So today I arranged to take time off from Danish. I've even contacted my case worker to see if I can extend my 3 years of free Danish for 5 months (since that's the amount of time I'll be out of the country - I'm just going to have to suck up the loss of this month since I don't really have that good of an excuse for missing). I can now reset my alarm for 8 am instead of 6:45.

Now I just have to get myself up and out of bed and off to "work."

But I also get to stay up late working because I don't have to get up early if I stay up late working. Does that make sense?

Example: I have had to stop working at 7 or 8 so that I have time to eat, so I have time to do homework, talk to the husband via skype and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

This means that even if I'm in the middle of a thought or an article, I've had to put it down and walk away. I hate that. If I'm having an intellectual moment DO NOT BREAK MY CONCENTRATION!!

Interrupted thoughts at the computer lead to sleeplessness. But I couldn't get up and work because I needed to get up early for Danish! Vicious cycle at play there.

I think I'll scan my Danish study books into my computer, though. Just in case I get bored in Qatar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do you think I need a doctor's note?

So I've got this job in Qatar, which will whisk me out of the country on October 31st and keep me gainfully employed until the end of March. I also have a dissertation to complete... which alas, according to my readers is NOWHERE NEAR COMPLETION. Thanks, guys, thanks a lot. I have a chapter for a book due October 1st. I also have Danish class.

I think Danish class is going to have to go. For the time being.

If I'm supposed to spend every waking moment at the library, which SOME people think I ought, then I can't very well spend my mornings in Danish. Especially if I want to spend more than just a few hours in the library, since it closes and they kick people out. Unless I go to the other library, but then I do want to be able to go home and eat and sleep and stuff.

And why do I have to spend all this time in the library anyway? I can't eat in there. I can't talk to myself or print out articles I'm interested in, I can't go on-line because the stupid internets is blocked (gotta talk to the secretary about that), and I get annoyed with other people making noise. I'm the only one allowed to make noise!!

So I have to quit Danish to spend time in a library, which I do not want to do, because it is not as fruitful as some professors imagine in order to finish a dissertation that has quickly spun out of control and is no longer the least bit interesting to me, having veered off into art history which was something I never got a degree in, not liking it all that much and all, and continues to evolve into a larger more horrible beast than ever discussed years ago when I took on this madness.

Yup, I'm miserable and depressed. I think I'm over my cold, for the most part, but the throbbing pain between my shoulder blades refuses to let up. Is that you, Stress? I thought as much.

Anyway, I made my decision to drop Danish AFTER I'd bought plane tickets to see my husband. Vacation was originally planed around my Danish vacation time, which now seems a bit silly. BUT on the other hand, it's also Århus University vacation, so library hours will be shortened and I should be able to get a week away from the library RIGHT?? I'll be taking my crap with me, so it's not like a proper vacation, but I don't have time for that stuff. I'll probably end up in a library in Holland anyway.

I'm so sick and tired of this crap. I've been working for years on this thing and any time I think I get close to being done, there comes an email saying "no, you just need to change ALL OF IT to WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN and THEN it'll be okay."

It's really hard to listen to people saying "stick with it, it'll be done soon" when it won't be soon. No, I'm not stopping and dropping out YET. I've got to see what is wanted NOW for this demonic document first.

Gah, I should have dropped out five years ago when it all started going wrong. I could have learned Danish and been half way to a degree in veterinary medicine by now. Now I don't even have time to learn frekking Danish!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finding pleasure in simple pursuits

funny pictures of cats with captions

This is made slightly more difficult because I think I may be getting a cold. Sore throat and buzzy ears. I think today's simple pursuit will be ice cream and hot tea. Not together, mind you. 'Cause that would be gross. But I'd love other suggestions for simple sick-day remedies (except for chicken noodle soup. I hate chicken noodle soup. Unless I've been vomiting, because chicken noodle soup tastes the same coming up as going down, so I don't mind eating it.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Updates and things

Boy it's been a while! I managed to post a quiz and I've run around commenting on some blogs, but otherwise it's been all anxiety, highs, and lows in the archaeogoddess universe. I've written about a gazillion blog posts in my head... often at 2 am when I trying to get myself to sleep and I'm too tired to get up and write them down, but it doesn't keep the brain from type type typing away behind my sandpaper eyes.

  • I am going to Qatar for 5 months, beginning Oct. 31st for a PAID archaeology gig. This is excellent because I need the money and I need to start building a career, neither of which is happening because I spend all my time researching for a never-ending dissertation. (See below)
  • Because I'm going off to work and contribute to the mortgage, my advisors on my dissertation don't think I'll finish any time soon. In fact, they've suggested that I've got so much work to do that I should go live in the library. Somehow I've got to balance Danish class with research. Somethings going to give. I wonder if I can take a break from Danish not just for the time I'll be out of the country, but also now that I need those extra hours every day....
  • Suggestions from my advisors have included the following vague and scary bits: " may need to change the title of your dissertation and your focus." Since the title is a very exact description of what I am doing, not a nice vague sexy title with jargon, I am very worried. Focus... eh, I knew that was coming. Like I ever had a chance to write an anthropological dissertation when I've got art historians for readers! And they are all asking me to dump the economic section and I want to scream "I TOLD YOU IT WAS F**KING POINTLESS YOU STUPID NAVEL GAZERS! BUT OH NO YOU KEPT QUOTING BILL CLINTON AT ME 'it's the economy, stupid' AND I TOLD YOU IT DIDN'T WORK BUT YOU SAID 'I'M THE PERSON WHO KNOWS THINGS AND I SAY YOU DO THIS' AND SO I DID AND NOW YOU ARE ALL PRETENDING LIKE IT WAS ALL ME WHO'S BEEN FORCING THIS POINTLESS SECTION FORWARD!!" But that's why I blog this stuff. So I don't end up killing little old men.
Things done:
  • The laundry.
  • The Twilight series from start to finish in a little over two days. Heh.
  • A haircut.

Things left undone:
  • Knitting. I've got to start knitting while watching tv. I should watch more tv.

Evidence of love in an increasingly cold world:
  • My birthday was a few days ago and my husband, who has been in Holland since the last week of August, had bought my birthday present and hid it in his sock drawer before he left. He called and told me where it was so I would have a present from him on my birthday (well, actually a day late since I was out with friends on my birthday and nowhere near the sock drawer). He rocks my world, that man.
  • Say what you will about Facebook, getting happy birthday wishes from people you know from all over the world is fan-freakin'-tastic. Having people checking up on you from time to time to make sure you haven't gone crazy or dropped into a spiral of depression = awesome!

Completely random crap from my head:
  • I finally figured out how to make pre-made frozen pan-fried spring rolls that don't suck. Fry them in oil. I think my husband burns them in butter. Ugh. I love him dearly, but WTF? Then they are all soft and mushy on the outside, completely lacking in the crunch that one needs. And I bought kick ass sweet chili sauce that I would drink if I could. Instead I'm just putting it on everything. Oh, and if you are going to drop frozen spring rolls into hot oil... hold the lid of the pan like a shield in front of you and have a pair of long handled tongs to reach around to flip them. Because ice meets hot oil is a terrible thing. Why some idiot thought that it would be a good idea to make frozen spring rolls that must be fried is beyond me. Obviously someone who doesn't cook at home.
  • Going to Qatar means Projekt Dejlig will require some alterations. No American Thanksgiving at my place. Sorry!! I figured by this late in the year there'd be no way we were going to be leaving before December, but I figured wrong. Well, that frozen pumpkin mash will still be good for a non-Thanksgiving pie, right? Also means severe cuts in Christmassing. I'll get a Christmas vacation, but it's not going to be the overthetop extravaganza I was fantasizing about. But finally, after all these years, I am going to be a real, paid, archaeologist.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


You Dance Through Life

Your journey through life is inspired, creative, and optimistic.

You are an engaging, positive person - and you're always looking for the possibilities in life.

You hope to motivate and uplift other people. You want to change the world in your own little way.

You are confident and expressive. You're happy with who you are, as unique and different as you might be.

Thanks All About Me and a Bag of Chips!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My own projekt dejlig

Projekt Dejlig was started by another expat living and working in Denmark. It pretty much focuses on doing things to make the time you are here happier and better than it currently is.

There are no rules for projekt dejlig, because things that make you happy vary from person to person.

So anyway, I was reading through the blogs as I do, now that I've run out of images to sort and organize and I really need to get my butt up the hill to the library but once again today is NOT that day, and I saw on Moving at the Speed of Life some pictures of the Minnesota State Fair. And can I tell you what sort of homesickness that caused? Wait, why am I asking, it's MY FREAKIN' BLOG!

***CORRECTION: Not "Moving at the Speed of Life" but Melissa Barrett, seeing at Jacki lives in VIRGINIA! How embarrassing! Thanks Jacki for pointing out that I am completely insane!***

Okay, I don't come from MN, though I have relatives that live there. But really, American state fairs and many county fairs are really similar. Take the arts and crafts barn/building/tent. You will find some really nice stuff and some stuff where you think to yourself "An Obama portrait made of BEANS?? I hope they've hospitalized this poor woman and the neighbor is feeding her cats, 'cause WHOA!" And I'm looking at these pictures and, since I'm a very imaginative person, I completely lose myself in the memory of county fairs and summer in California and I can TASTE the ice cream and FEEL the hot nights when you pray for a breeze and I can even HEAR the dogs barking at the cats. (Wait, that's the neighbor downstairs walking the pomeranians.) And this wave of homesickness washed over me. It's also a wave of nostalgia, because now if I went to the county fair I'd be worried I'd run into my ex and his family, since at least one cousin will be entering a cow or a pig and so spend my time ducking around corners, not sitting on benches, kicking my heels in the dust and wondering if I should spend my last tickets on the ferris wheel or the graviton.

Feeling rather maudlin, I wandered next to the blog of the original inventor of Projekt Dejlig and realized that, yes, Virginia, it really is September and that means Fall and then the march to Christmas! And this is one of my favorite times of the year, because APPLES and CHRISTMAS! Every year I have great goals to really whip out a fantastic Christmas (last year's dinner for two rocked, but was slightly marred by the fact that we still had two of the former horrible tenants living with us and the house was a wreck and my Dane was driving the taxi that night and we'd not gotten each other presents because we really couldn't afford it and I couldn't go home and visit my family) and there's always something to sort of keep it from happening. Like a dissertation. Or work. Or Christmas suddenly sneaking up on me. I am LOUSY at sending out cards and I am ALWAYS putting off shopping until the last minute (even though I do love to buy people presents, I just never get around to it).

So my projekt dejlig for the moment is to have a hygge fall. Not necessarily a Danish hygge fall, but my own Americana version of it. Apple pie, apple cakes, applesauce. Big bulky scarves. Weird rain boots. (I need to get a pair of weird rain boots, but that's all part of the projekt.) Wool hats and mittens. If I do not suddenly hear that I'm going to Qatar for a dig, I will invite everyone to a Thanksgiving meal, American style with SWEET POTATOES WITH MARSHMALLOWS and an oversized turkey to feed twenty. The Christmas season will then commence and I am going to celebrate the hell out of it. Christmas music until I'm sick. Eggnog until I get e. coli or whatever is in raw egg. Mulled wine!! And I'm going to wear a Santa hat at inappropriate locations. (Adds to list: buy santa hat.)

In other news:

As you can see, this is my progress. Despite my best attempts, it has decided that it is 10 stitches across, not eight. I try to narrow it back down and then the next row, there they are: 10 stitches! Since it gets lumpy every time I try to fix it and since it seems intent on being 10 no matter what, I've decided to give in to it's wants. I've also decided it is NOT a bookmark, it is a scarf for my penguin. It'll match her little hat that's stitched onto her head. And since this is the nicer wool, it will feel soft when we cuddle (whut? why are you looking at me funny?).

And now I'm off to read Calvin and Hobbs in Danish to a friend. I sorta missed Danish class today as I was rocking out to the 90's until late last night and it hurt so bad this morning! I think I'm getting old.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This is my day

This pretty much sums up how I am feeling today.

Meanwhile I am knitting a... well.... it was going to be a scarf, only it is much thinner than I intended. There was a casting on issue. I could cast on then as I did the first row I kept dropping stitches. The time I finally got it to work I had only made it 8 stitches wide. Schtupid. Anyway, now it's a bookmark. DON'T BE TELLING ME YOU SHOULDN'T KNIT BOOKMARKS AND THAT MY BOOKS WON'T CLOSE PROPERLY! DO YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW THAT? My goal is to finish it and try something a bit WIDER.

(Actually it's a fairly good doll scarf, maybe my stuffed penguin would like it instead? I'll ask her tonight.)

Comedy wise, I'm going to investigate Russell Peters a bit more.

Hopefully I'll be able to knit and watch without poking myself in the eye.

And if you were wondering, although you probably weren't, I am still cooking like a mad woman. There have just been a severe lack of kitchen disasters to write about. I may have even perfected risotto. Or at least gotten pretty good at it. I just now need to learn to make less than 8 servings at a go. I *am* cooking for one while my Dane studies abroad in Holland. Yeah, and WTF, I'm stuck here in Denmark and he's off camping in the woods and chillin' in coffee houses? Well, it's only fair, I get to head off to warm and exotic locations in the summer... But still, I'm stuck in DENMARK without a DANE!!??!!