Saturday, June 30, 2007
This Will Only Make Things Worse
I hate to be to judge-y when it comes to masturbation material because we all have our quirks but boys (a note to girls who find this picture hot: I cannot help you), this is pathetic. I'm going to let slide that all three girls were born without the pretty gene because I generally encourage people to find beauty in everyone, even girls who look like horses, but this picture is sorely lacking in sexiness and that I cannot abide.
Let's start with the obvious problem: Bridget's ass, or rather, the trapdoor exposing Bridget's ass. This is not hot. Trap doors (or "drop seats" as I learned from this sketchy website) are for toothless rednecks who are too lazy to pull down their pants when nighttime business must be attending to in the outhouse. See? Not hot.
Next up: Glassy eyed stares. Even though men are not known for seeking out porn where the woman looks engaged I find this particular image more disturbing than average. Look at them! Holly's dreaming out the bouncing pile of loot (whoops, I mean baby) that she's gonna have Heff turkey baste into her womb any day now, Bridget's wondering if the kids who made fun of her in high school are finally jealous enough to quit this act and Kendra is thinking... who am I kidding? Kendra can't think. Are these really the girls you want participating in your pillow fight orgy fantasy? You're a smart guy with an internet connection and a little cash in the bank, can't you do better?
There are boobies plastered all over the internet -- you guys should stop settling for the sub par nakedness offerings on this blog.
In other news my popularity grows everyday: I'm hit number 79 for "meth cooking."
Thursday, June 28, 2007
How We Eat
Lately no one can mention peanut butter around with me without starting a discussion about why peanut butter is so popular in
It not only seems unfair to exclusively associate American food with Fast Food but also dangerous. Fast Food not only fails to provide nutrition but the way it is typically consumed enforces unhealthy eating habits like eating alone and eating on the run. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma Pollan discusses how food traditions affect healthy eating and hypothesizes that cultures who highly value food and the eating experience often have healthier eating habits regardless of the caloric content of their traditional foods. He addresses the common cliché that the French eat high calorie foods and never get fat by pointing out that the French meal encourages eating small bites over long periods of time and consuming higher calorie foods in tiny quantities and on special occasions – the French do not sit alone in their apartments at 3am gorging on pate, baguettes and red wine (though, obviously that sounds pretty awesome and I think we all know where to find me come Saturday morning…). Having pride in the food you cook, serve and eat leads to better food for all.
In addition to the obvious health implications the very nature of fast food (quick, heavily processed, not prepared at home, designed to be as cheap to produce as possible, designed to be eaten on the go, etc) makes it impossible for a healthy food culture to develop around the only food commonly seen as “American.” Pollan argues that the well established food cultures seen in other countries serve their citizen’s especially well because they have been tested over the course of human history and have benefited from a cultural survival of the fittest. By this standard one would think that Fast Food should quickly be approaching extinction. For good or ill in America our immigrant population has made it difficult to establish a cohesive food culture and our general wealth has made food so widely available that rationing and sacrifice are rarely necessary. The dark side of abundance is that nothing seems special or worth waiting for. With so many ready options it is not surprising that as a society we are often at a loss over just what to eat. I suspect that other cultures rarely suffer from the all to common American confusion around exactly which food is likely to kill us next (“Tonight on Dateline, Is water good for you or is this unassuming beverage really part of a terrorist plot to bring down America?”). Pollan points out that Americans have a very short established history with food and thus rely on science alone to dictate what is good and bad without regard for factors like portion size or meal balance. Combine this with our reactionary media and you have a society so confused that many of us have dropped out of the food discussion entirely choosing instead to eat whatever is cheap, readily available and requires the least amount of work. We eat the lowest common denominator and shouldn’t be surprised that the dollar menu has led to an obesity epidemic.
Many have pointed out that Fast Food isn’t even that tasty – sure, the occasional frosty, fries or chicken nuggets are shockingly decadent and often the best way to cap off a night of drinking but few would rave over the taste sensations available at McDonalds. When I was dieting I used to force myself to consciously think about if the caloric cost of any given food item was suitably offset by the enjoyment I was likely to experience eating it. Too often when faced with the bland, boring, processed foods that seems to have taken over the American table the cost:pleasure ratio came out wanting. I wonder if it would be possible to throw out our broken food model and improve health in the
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
How to Make Friends and Influence People with Cake
In honor of Gillian's birthday last week I stole this recipe from Smitten Kitten. Nothing says Happy 33rd like a felony! Actually, nothing says Happy 33rd like 3 cups of whipped cream. I am very happy to report that this recipe has the most impressive ease of baking to number of oohs and ahhs ratio that I've ever experience in cake form. If you have no desire or ability to bake but somehow have been roped into providing dessert for people whose opinions matter this is the cake for you (if the dessert is for losers who you don't care to impressive might I suggest pudding cups?).
I made only one change to Smitten Kitten's recipe, I needed the cake to be substantially larger than the 7 cookie base that she describes, I accomplished this by surrounding the middle cookie with the halves of two other cookies (sorry for the blurry picture). The wafers were easily halved using a serrated knife though this did bring a certain amount of collateral damage to my kitchen floor where a week later I'm still picking up little black crumbs with my bare feet (brooms are for losers.).
Upon arrival at the office with this cake the gasps of "Oh my god you made that?!?" were almost deafening. I suppose I should have smiled, demurred and taken credit for my awesome baking skills but much as I cannot help replying to "cute shirt!" with "I know! JCrew online sale! FIVE DOLLARS!!!" in this case I could not help revealing that this was the easiest cake ever. The only skill required is the whipping of cream and I had the Kitchen Aide do that for me, from there on out it's just layering. If I make the cake again I'll spread the whipped cream out further to the edges of the cookies. When I assembled the cake having the cookie edges stick out looked great but after the requisite overnight setting period the wafers couldn't stand up to the extra weight of the absorbed whipped cream resulting in droopy cookies. Looking at the picture of the Smitten Kitten version also makes me wonder if I should have whipped the cream a little more but the texture of my cake seems good and I have a primal fear of overwhipping.
Ms. Kitten writes that she had considerable trouble locating the Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies needed to make this cake but I am happy to report that Key Food totally delivered on the cookies -- though it seems likely that they had been waiting around on the shelf since 1963. Cookies don't go bad, right? While in the grocery story I also came across packages of chocolate mint, ginger and lemon wafer cookies and I wonder if the recipe could be made with thee variations -- gingersnap icebox cake sounds pretty awesome.
Spending a good 15mins layering cookies is apt to wear a girl out so post "baking" Amy and I indulged in whipped cream sundaes while watching the last episode of Gilmore Girls. This might seem like the kind of eating that has lead to the obesity epidemic now so rampant in this country but might I direct you to the strawberries at the bottom of the bowl -- that's fruit people, fruit is HEALTHY.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The One Where I Talk to a Boy and Things Go Down Hill From There
I embrace the “Random” in Random Access Babble so I don’t like when this blog veers too much towards one topic. Lately this threatens to become “that blog where the funny girl mocks all the losers she’s had the bad luck of dating (And oh yeah once she wrote that really long post about United – she seems bitter).” I’m trying very hard not to let this happen, I’m even sitting on Winner Parade 4 in an effort to seem well rounded. I could have sat on this post as well but I’m at a loss for other topics and I have no ability to resist writing about my personal tragedies, especially when, unlike much of this blog, they’re happening in the now. And so… another post about dating. Don’t get too used to it, I’m reading Letter to a Christian Nation so I’m bound to break out the political wailing any day now.
Much to the disappointment of many of my friends (most vocally, Kajal) I very rarely talk to boys in bars/clubs/concert venues/life unless I’m asking them when they plan on hitting their development milestones. I talk a big game pre outing in the huddle but when it comes to hiking, running and most importantly passing I don’t deliver. I have often commented that I have no game and would be very interested in a class offering to teach me exactly how other people pull off things like flirting without melting into a puddle of embarrassment. The fact that I would even think to turn to a class for such things probably says more about the nature of my problems than anything else on this blog. Friday night’s boat trip/Weakerthans concert (which, by the way: awesome idea, why aren’t all concerts on boats?) was shaping up to be more of the same. Gillian, Lisa and I spent a good 15mins surveying the audience members, nitpicking on girl’s outfits (seriously, blue linen overalls with a belt? Who does that?) and admiring the cute indie boys from afar. Gillian quickly started in on the “why aren’t you actually talking to any guys?” game.
G: Look, boy in Fly shirt, totally cute!
G: Go tell him you like his shirt!
B: not happening.
G: Come ooooooon, he’s cute.
B: That’s awkward. Also: he’s now doing a weird dance so… perhaps not so cute.
Boy in Fly shirt was actually pretty cute so I started in on my way too subtle game of, “look at him occasionally and send psychic messages that he should totally talk to me.” Typically this results in much disappointment due to the pathetically bad mind reading skills of most of the male population (Dudes: work on that). Perhaps for the first time ever, with Fly Boy the plan totally works!
So we chat, it’s good times, mostly… I should have been more concerned when he wasn’t interested in either of my proposed communication topics (“what do you think the Canadian to nonCanadian ratio is here?” “What do you think the mean age in the room is?"). Fly boy is nice enough but comes on way too strong with the “can I have a kiss?” like 10 minutes into meeting me. I’m trying to go with the flow on this one and not be my normal analytical, crazy, life plan oriented self so I focus on getting into the whole kissing random guy in public thing. While this totally makes Lisa and Gillian’s night (they begin photographing the event and texting Kajal to let her know just what she’s missing out on while attending yet another wedding in the south.) it makes my night somewhat uncomfortable. I don’t really love kissing in front of other people. Especially when the kissing is happening with someone who I just met and who, though totally cute, I cannot really imagine myself ever actually dating. So I’m thinking about this (so much for dropping analytical off at the sitter’s for the evening) and kind of deciding that this kissing Fly Boy thing is no longer happening, which I totally stick with except that then he gets all “fine I’ll just kiss your neck/back/arm (cause arm kissing is hot). And he’s super insistent that I go out with him and his friends post concert. I’m a paranoid girl so the thought of going out all alone (G and L were bailing) with some strange dude and his bros was setting off all sorts of “Girl, you are asking to be raped” alarm bells in my head. So jokingly I say…
B: How many friends do you have? Cause I’m a vulnerable sweet young thing and I can just see this going the roofies route.
J: I *WISH* I had some roofies so I could rape you!
Wow. Yeah, that’s just the kind of joke you wanna be making. The conversation was kind of downhill from here, let me give you a few highlights.
B: These are my friends Gillian and List
J: Hi, I’m Jeff
G: Is that with a J or a G? I’m Gillian with a G
J: A J
(The band plays on, we sail by the statue of liberty, 45 minutes pass)
J: Hi, I don’t think I met you ladies, I’m Jeff
(General cracking up)
J: With a G?
(Brianna mouthing to Lisa “-10 points” between additional cracking up)
I’d like to think he was kidding or drunk or had been involved in a tragic accident that resulted in short term memory lost… but unfortunately all of those would be wishful thinking.
And then there was this….
J: Yeah, I was really into Physics, I snuck into Columbia to take some classes but they were all lame, I knew so much more than the professors and I would argue with them and they totally could not defend themselves, it was sad. Anyway, I figured that college was a waste of time, I wasn’t getting any opportunity to contribute to the psychics world so I left.
B: How are you contributing to the physics world as a cabinet maker?
Oh poor misguided boy, do not diss scientists to me.
I bailed on the going out.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Random Recommends 6
If you've been holding our on buying a DS because you are old and don't like video games it's time to put down your ovaltine, grab your cane, shew the kids from the lawn, climb into the Olds, try not to run over a farmers market, double park in the handicap spot at Circuit City, curse the damn kids and their foul music and pick one up. While you're in the devils playground you should absolutely pick up a copy of New York Times Crosswords (and though I am not officially recommending it you might as well complete the cliche and buy Brain Age).
I've been obsessively doing crosswords on the subway for the last week or so and despite only doing the Mondays the game continues to give me scores in the D range -- I like this game enough that I am able to resist banging my DS angrily against the orange plastic seats. Having this snazzy new way to do crosswords has totally gone to my head. I caught myself on Tuesday angling my screen so that the man sitting to my left doing crosswords the old fashion way could see my high tech crossword machine and get very jealous (and maybe talk to me and maybe ask me out and then buy me a wii and live happily ever after -- Thank you DS crossword game!!!).
The obvious downside to purchasing this game is that you will look like a totally loser to other gamers on the subway. I need some sort of button that I can wear while playing that makes it clear that I also play cool games made for people under the age of 55.
I hate washing my face, it's boring, and soap gets in your eyes and I'm really really lazy. I admit to often going with the "disposable make-up removing wipe option" and occasionally with the "my pores are MUCH too clear, I think I'll sleep with make-up on just to keep them nice and cozy" option. On nights when the guilt over wasteful disposable products and/or embarrassment over being so disgusting really get to me I turn to Checks and Balances. The face wash is satisfyingly foamy and doesn't really smell like anything which I consider a plus. $17.50 is more than I would normally be willing to pay for soap but I've found that a tini tiny bit goes a long way -- 5 oz should easily last me a year, though other more cleanliness obsessed readers/washers may not be so frugal. It still leaves my eyes all teary but until someone invents a "no more tears" face wash (seriously, get on that people -- since when does being over 5 means that soap doesn't sting your eyes?) I'll stick with Origins.
Trader Joe's Hot & Sweet Mustard
Trader Joe's is too good for pictures and online sales but next time you're in one of their many fine stores admiring the hot checkers in Hawaiian shirts or wondering if there is a discernible difference between the garlic and regular hummus (not usually) (or while waiting in line for hours at their annoyingly crowded one NYC location... though not for long) you should pick up a jar of the best condiment ever. This mustard is of course awesome on a sandwich but it is also great smothered on baked salmon (as I learned from Amy) or (do not judge me) with apple slices. It's good enough that when Trader Joe's stop carrying it for a couple of months due to some sort of complicated stocking problem my entire family was so traumatized that we now buy at least 6 jars at once just in case (just in case the apocalypse comes and the people who make this make this mustard are raptured first as a thank you from God for bringing such joy to the world and then those of us Left Behind not only have to contend with locusts and rains of frogs and the anti Christ but we have to do it with sub par sandwiches). When I first moved to
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The Winner Parade: Entry 3
One of the most important experiences in a young girl’s transition from mopey tortured adolescent to cynical world weary young adult is the international hook up. For my own lesson in boys will be boys the world round I choose a rough around the edges Aussie chap who had impressive biceps, a knickers wetting accent and a girlfriend far away in Michigan. A note on the girlfriend: I suppose it could be claimed that I am a naughty naughty whore for hooking up with a boy who was already spoken for but I generally believe that a) significant others who live over 50 miles away only count if there has been some sort of formal legal commitment; and b) it is not my job to stop some randy young boy from cheating on his girlfriend, especially if he’s hot; also, c) I was 20.
This “physical acquaintance experience” (to call it a relationship would be a huge stretch) was so brief and un-Brianna-like that I was hesitant to include it in the parade. Unlike previous Winner Parade entries International Hook Up (IHU) didn’t do anything horrible like cheat on me or leave the country without tell me so it seems slightly unfair to force him to follow such class acts. But IHU did tow a glorious stupidity float through about 20mins of the parade and I really need blog fodder so here he is, in all his hunky dopey Aussie glory.
International Hook Up is probably the only gentleman in my past that I “dated” with no intention of forming a relationship. Living temporarily in a foreign country is great for flights of whimsy such as this – I would be gone in 5 months and so it seemed perfectly ok, for perhaps the first and last time in my life, to hook up with a boy only because he was cute and (relatively) available. While in Perth I lived in international student housing which made up of 35% Pacific Islanders and Africans studying hard for a better life, 20% Aussies from out in the bush hoping to escape the fate of marrying a sheep and 45% Americans and Europeans looking for the best place to score booze and some Aussie ass. This atmosphere allowed me to shrug off the trappings of serious, conservative sweet young thing and temporarily don the slutty slutty frills of a girl totally willing KISS BOYS SHE HARDLY KNOWS! (when I go slutty I go… only slightly of less conservative than Mother Teresa).
I met International Hook Up on my second or third day in the land down under and thought him cute but honestly his looks were seriously over shadowed by his South African roommate who was a model and, predictably, gay. I didn’t “get to know” (*nudgenudgewinkwink*) IHU until about a month into my stay when we shared a cab home from a night club. We went to his apartment under the guise of watching some high quality late night/early morning Aussie TV (meaning European music videos) but, of course, quickly got to the making out (nothing sets the mood like ABBA). I’ve blocked out much of my embarrassing hook up history so I do not honestly remember how many time I “hung out” with IHU but sometime a week or so before our friendship began I heard rumors of his having spent some quality time prior to my arrival in Perth with a very unappealing girl named Fiona and it could not have been more than 2 or 3 weeks after we hooked up that he met another girl, who had it much worse than I in the falling hard for a silly boy department. IHU was a bit of a slut.
One evening while perched on the edge of his bed trying to hold my legs up just enough so that my thighs looked as thin as possible beneath the hem of my dress (Aside: probably the best thigh exercise in the world, this move requires one to hold her thighs suspended just slightly in midair so that the extra fat hangs down thus creating the illusion of thighs at least 15% smaller than the reality – it’s good for your abs too. Fake it til you make it in action.) I smiled and flipped my hair as International Hook Up showed me picture after picture of girls he’d dated or thought hot, many of these were featured in a swim suit calendar which he removed from the wall. This was, of course, slightly concerning, as I had apparently chosen to hook up with a complete idiot. A tip for my male readers: The personal tour of your gallery of masturbatory fantasies is ill-advised until at least date 5. Even more troubling, all of the girls -- high school girlfriend, Miss
Sadly, International Hook Up leaves no internet trail – I have to assume that he remains as computer illiterate as the day I met him, which is sad as the internet offers an easy way to find millions of pictures of bikini-clad girls with blond curly hair – he’s really missing out. I heard a rumor that he had wed Miss
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The Omnivore's Dilemma
About two weeks into reading the book I had a dream that I was in a grocery store staring at a case of frozen chickens paralyzed over the decision between the standard chicken and the $4/lb more expensive organic free range version. In the dream I was so agitated that I started arguing with other customers and must have lingered in the meat aisle for days on end. Dream Brianna was obsessed with determining if the free range organic super powered chicken led a slightly less tortured life than boring old conventional chicken but, of course, could not determine this based on any of the information being offered by the packaging. This proves that my dream self is much more tortured and annoying than the waking Brianna – all of you should count yourselves lucky. (This also proves that my subconscious is ridiculously lazy when it comes to putting together interesting dream scenarios. Frankly, I think I’m getting screwed. This dream took up valuable time that could have been spent listening to Jack White sing a love song he wrote just for me while Rhett Miller feeds me spoonful after spoonful of premium ice cream. But back to food politics -- talk like that might keep all of my new readers coming back and I’m working pretty hard at scaring them away with a long boring diatribe.) In real life I am not so troubled as to attack other shoppers over the organic vs. local vs. conventional food choices that I make everyday but The Omnivore’s Dilemma has certainly further complicated the already stressful task of feeding myself.
Pollan’s research into the world of industrial organic food confirms many of my fears about the organic food industry. Despite what marketing claims much of the organic food on the market is only marginally “better” than most conventional options. The truth is that very very little of the
The “best” food conclusion Pollen comes to is that local food from a reputable farmer is probably the healthiest choice for your body, the bodies of farm workers and the planet in general. The chapter about Polyface Farm in
I grew up in a family of hunters but Pollan was the first person to ever inspire in me a small desire to kill and eat an animal. I know that some of my vegetarian readers might now be wondering if I’m famous enough to warrant a PETA assault on my character (sadly, probably not) but I urge everyone to hear me out. I eat meat. I don’t really have problems with eating meat. I do however have a beef with the meat industry in this country (let’s hear it for bad puns!). So hunting offers the cleanest opportunity for procuring meat and I feel a little of that, “if you can eat it you should be able to kill it,” lefty carnivore guilt. The hunting chapter also reminded me of something my father once said during a conversation about a couple of friends who had gone vegan. The desire to completely remove oneself from the food chain seems to imply a want to further distance humans from the wild. Similarly it is somehow considered morally questionable to humanly kill a wild animal that has had a chance to live a healthy life but morally clean to buy packaged hamburger that likely originated at a factory farm where the animal lived and died in dismal conditions. (Though it seems possible that looking down on hunters is as much related to social hierarchy as to society’s feelings on killing animals).
The book also has me curious about mushrooms to the point of obsession. Until today I hadn’t been successful in locating any possibilities for wild mushroom hunting in the
About a year ago I started feeling better about the
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Honey, We Have Guests!
Thank god for site meter (and stat counter, my ego demands two forms of behind the scenes blog-y goodness) or I'd have never known that I was on the cusp of fame and would be ill prepared for the day when I sell out to advertisers, quit my job and blog full time (next Thursday). 300+ visitors and not one of you can leave a comment? Don't you know that I live for comments and die for comments from people who don't know me in real life and therefore have no obligation to care about my ramblings?
It's funny how my ego has gotten so tied up in this blog. Seeing all of those people poking around has me acting like Sally Field, "You like me!!!!"
Update: Today I got linked by The Curious Capitalist over at TIME MAGAZINE. Let me quote his eloquent description of yours truly, "one of the great blog posts of our age." I have only one thing to say to you Mr. Capitalist, "Your place or mine?"
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
What I Ate in Europe
I suspect that KLM kept the plane parked on the runway for two hours only to nurture my appetite to the point of "will eat whatever she's given and will then fall into a sleep coma." I guess I should thank them for the 3 hours of sleep that this meal garnered. The stand out was the couscous salad in the front, the couscous wasn't at all clumpy and the salad had just enough parsley to taste fresh. Everything else can only be described as "carby." The pasta required that I repurpose the butter that came with the roll (not worth photographing or eating) in order to provide some distinction between noodles.
Lunch in Copenhagen
Dinner in Malmo 1
After a week of good food I'm forced to accept at least two weeks of consciously healthy eating in order to maintain my sleek physique. The two weeks started today since last night Kajal made Dorito casserole in honor of the season premiere of Big Love. I can't recommend this dish mostly because I could never quite get over the scary concept of chips as binder. I know at least one reader will be disappointed that my first foray into Frito-Lay sponsored main courses did not include Fritos but I can't imagine that any chip could really make an elegant cross over from snack to dinner.
In conclusion -- Eurpoe has some good food, you should eat there, I give it 4.5/5 fat Americans.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Ain't No Party Like a Swedish Party
Between finishing our main course and the promised chocolate cake the lights dimmed and smoke began pouring out from the stage area where the conference MC had been announcing award nominees and flirting with guests in broken English. I briefly considered the possibility that something was seriously wrong with the cake baking process but concluded that more than likely the smoke was there to create a celebratory high school dance-like atmosphere for the announcement of award winners. Luckily, what happened next was much more awesome than a fire or a prom.
Out came the youngest and prettiest of the conference hosts -- we’ll call them Swedish Classic (the blonde one) and Swedish Now with Pigment! (the brunette) -- dressed in matching long black glittery dresses and carrying microphones. They waved and smiled at the audience and then they began to sing “Hopelessly Devoted,” about 90 seconds into the song they segued via a move in which they rhythmically rubbed their asses against one another into Swedish Classic singing her version of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which was quickly followed by New Swedish with Pigment doing her best Axel Rose version of “Live and Let Die.” Throughout much of this performance I was forced to stare at the table cloth, praying that I would not pee my pants laughing. I could not look up lest I looked too closely at Tonya and caught her particularly deadly and contagious version of the giggles which were obviously very painful as she was crying. Between drooling over the contestants of Swedish Idol Mr. Animal kept insisting that we telling him the story that made this situation so funny proving that none of his group therapy taught him to develop a regular person sense of humor.
I am having a hard time imagining the sequence of events that lead to this karaoke performance at a technical conference but I hope it went something like this:
NSwP: This conference sounds kind of boring, it’s like: børk børk programming, børk børk technology, børk børk gross chocolate mouse that we’re calling cake just to piss people off. We should spice things up.
SC: Are you thinking find the licorice candy in the pickled herring cause I am!
NSwP: No, that seems unsafe. There will be Americans there, preserved fish terrifies them and they might start yelling about WMDs and invade. I say we wow them with a little love song medley!
There was obviously nowhere for the evening to go after the song fest was over. I had a couple more glasses of wine and briefly considered bedding a Magnus but a mere 20 minutes later I was alone in a cab back to the hotel with the knowledge that American conferences never offer this level of amusement. If we’re not careful we may lose our status as World’s Leader in Buffoonary.
(don't worry, I totally took pictures -- I'll update when I get home)
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Dispatch from Copenhagen
- Bikes! there are bikes everywhere in this city, they are piled in impressive hills of handlebars and wheels or parked in football field sized bike lots. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of getting a bike myself but have been overwhelmed by the idea of shopping for a bike since I really just want something to tool around on and see no need for all of the fancy-schmancy silliness that seems to come with every bike for sale in New York. The Danish bikes are exactly my speed, they are bulky station wagon-like contraptions with huge wheels covered with bumpers and have wide comfy looking seats. I imagine that they are perfect for a big basket and a cruise into town to pick up a few flowers and some fruit at one of the quaint little kiosks in the city center (there are beautiful peon's everywhere and I bought a pack of the largest raspberries in the world -- each was at least 2 inches long!)
- All Around the World! My travel companion, Tonya, and I stumbled into this store while wondering around in Stroget, a huge outdoor mall. All Around the World was like a hipper, Ikea (without furniture) and while I suspect it might be a chain I could not locate a website online. If I didn't have to carry it around Europe I would have purchased some cherry themed dishwear, a couple of brightly colored blue and pink floral pillows, and some elderflower cider (which I later had at a cafe and was very impressed with, and which does have booze in it, in case you were wondering). I would probably have refrained from purchasing the other 500 or so objects of desire in the store because at this time I was still unable to grasp the conversion from DKKs to USA $s which resulted in that hilarious time where I withdrew $700+ from my bank account and had to figure out if I would need to call mom and dad to put money in my account to cover my rent check. Good times.
- Licorice candy. The only thing purchases we made at All Around the World were 3 different types of licorice candies (one in rope form, one in chewy capsule form (ala' Mike & Ikes) and one with 2 different types of hard candy). I've always liked Tonya but discovering her love for licorice has made her one of my favorite people. It turns out that Tonya's siblings (all 6 of them!) were much crueler than Kurt ever was as they made her trade other jellybean flavors for the licorice ones that they weren't willing to eat anyway -- Kurt always let me take those off his hands for free (thanks little bro! Who am I kidding? You don't read my blog... loser.) . I suppose when there are 7 kids in a family everyone becomes much more territorial. If you had dropped 7 year old me in that pile of children I'd most likely have starved to death. My favorite licorice candy version was the hard candy which had a slightly salty taste to it, I know that sounds gross but I doubt it matters, I lost all of my readership at the mention of licorice. The candy is so awesome that just typing about it is making me crack open one of the two back up bags that I purchased right before leaving the city this afternoon.
- Blankets! All of the outdoor cafe's in Copenhagen have blankets on every seat! This was especially appreciated yesterday when the cloudy and damp weather had us fearful that we'd have to choose between ambiance and warmth. Why can't all outdoor restaurants offer this awesome luxury? We bundled up and enjoyed our open face sandwiches (I had roasted pork and red cabbage which was yummy but couldn't compete with the German red cabbage of my childhood).
- Not getting dark until 10pm. I was quite proud of both Tonya and I for sticking it out in the world of wakefulness until this relatively late hour. Each of us got about 3 hours of sleep on the hop over the pond and were ready for naps as soon as we deplaned but in an effort to get with the European time zone program we kept busy until we collapsed in bed around 10:30. Dusk just darkening into night as I drifted off but when the boom of fireworks woke me at midnight me there was no light left. I assume the fireworks were in honor of the soccer match between Sweden and Denmark that had taken place in Copenhagen that evening. Earlier in the day this event had also provided Tonya and I with amusement in the form of drunken groups of Swedish boys shouting at one another while swilling large pints of beer. The next morning we would be equally entertaining by the occasional passed out adorable blond bow in the plazas around time. They're all lucky (or perhaps disappointed) that I didn't tie them up and bring them home.
- 7-11 owns half of Copenhagen. The mini-mart was so omnipresent that when in search of a bottle of water we made no attempt to locate a source figuring we'd effortlessly stumble upon a 7-11 within 10mins.
- Cowboys. Within 10 minutes of leaving our hotel on a wander around the city we came upon a group of Danish girls in boots, fringed shirts and cowboy hats performing line dances. Once dance was to an Irish reel which, though I'm sure the Irish would be appalled, actually worked quite well.
Best thing about Sweden so far: The lounge version of Black Hole Sun that was being piped into our hotel lobby.