Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pi Pie

Each bite contains 3.14159 calories, none of which can be rationalized.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


How's the weather where you live? I think we might be experiencing an unnamed and mysteriously undetected (until now) hurricane where I live. It has been pouring all day and is really cold. I'm-wearing-wool-tights cold. Welcome to August in Denmark, which can go from crazy-beautiful and lovely one day to disgustingly gross and cold the next.

I did not let the weather stop me from getting my hair done this morning.

I did not let my bike tire getting flat (again!) on the way home stop me from miraculously finding an Italian who would fix it right away for cheap. Said Italian restored my hope in humanity. Any other bike mechanic would have charged me an arm, a leg, and my first born to put a new tube and tire on my back wheel. They also would have made me wait a week, guaranteed. :)

I will not let the weather stop me from biking to Amager, going to Christiania, and eating at Morgenstedet with my stalwart friends.

I will let the crappy weather ease my transition in moving back to the United States in a week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dear Michael Bastian,

Pretty please do a womens collection soon. I love how flipping through the lookbooks from your various collections makes me feel like I'm playing with a James Bond paper doll. I want to look like a sporty, preppy, classy James Bond, too! (girl style though, please.) I'm envisioning James Bond meets Blair Waldorf meets Malibu Barbie meets Ski Barbie meets...


p.s. I can see how other people might give you a bit of flack for some of your looks, which can admittedly appear a bit "messy" and thrown together. (like you're breaking the "put on all your jewelry/accessories rule and then take one thing off before you leave the house" rule... take that with a grain of salt!) But, trust me, after living in Scandinavia I have grown very accustomed to the "throw everything in your closet on to stay warm and hopefully look cool" look. I appreciate it very much.

<3 :

Sunday, August 17, 2008

200th Post!!


picture borrowed from: Peppers and Pollywogs.

Medal Count

Building off the last post... the current medal count as of today, August 17th at 10.36am CET:

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. China
28 13 10 51
2. United States
17 18 22 57
3. Germany
9 5 5 19

So yeah, China has more Gold. That's probably because they are used to competing in pollution. (Okay, okay, cheap shot, but I couldn't help it.) The United States is still winning in overall medals and both teams far outpace Germany's total in the number 3 spot.


Olympic Games

So, I was watching the Olympics this morning while eating my breakfast and putting off what is supposed to be an 8 mile run (which I'm really, really going to try to force myself to do in an hour or two, after my food has digested, even though I was supposed to do it before breakfast. Eh.). It's been interesting watching the Olympics in another country. A few observations and thoughts:

1. In Denmark, they call the Olympic Games the Olympic Lege (in Danish. Olympic is quite possibly spelled with a 'k' - Olympik - but I'm not sure...). In all the newspaper coverage the games are referred to as 'OL'.* This confuses me from time to time because in U.S. journalism the continuation of a news story on to another page is usually indicated by a one word capitalized and bolded tag indicating what the story is about. For example, the continuation of a story about the wild horses that run from Assateague to Chincoteague every year might be indicated by HORSES at the beginning of the new column on the new page.

The word for beer in Danish is 'øl'. For personal reasons, I tend to ignore the differences between the vowels o and ø as much as possible.** Because of this, I've gotten tricked more than once when a story about the Olympics is preceded by OL. I think ØL for a second or two and wonder why there are so many stories in the paper about beer these days! Danes. Lushes! :)

* It's pretty much exclusively referred to as OL, which is why I'm not sure how the words are spelled.

** Long story that I can't go into in my blog without sharing my last name but, in short, it's cultural bitterness and misdirected anger towards American immigration and the American alphabet. hahaha.

2. It's really weird watching the Olympics in another country, especially Denmark. This is because
the United States (the only other country I've previously watched the Olympics from - both on TV and LIVE! (Atlanta '96)) has teams in EVERY. SINGLE. SPORT. Denmark does not. I don't think this little country of merely 5 million has a big enough population to statistically warrant having Olympic quality athletes in every sport.
b) When you watch the Olympics from the U.S. you are given the largely skewed impression that other countries aren't really competing. Sure, you hear about the U.S. Gymnastic Team neck and neck with the Russians or Chinese. You also hear about the U.S. Swim Team competing against Australia often... but other than that, it's a lot of "USA! USA! ALL THE WAY!!" Here in Denmark, we have much more balanced coverage, because they show a bit of every sport, even the ones they don't have a team competing in... I'm watching swimming right now and I've heard heaps about Michael '12,000 Calorie Pterodactyl Arms' Phelps. I was watching Women's Gymnastics the other day and I saw equal coverage of the U.S. teams, China, Russia, etc. etc. etc. It was amazing. I remembered that this is really a world competition and not just a 'United States Proves it's Athletic Hegemony' "competition."
c) But, when Denmark does have a team competing that does well, it's really funny. I was watching rowing and the Danish team did well. One of the two announcer people was so happy he burst out into one of those happy laughing/crying moments and the other announcer had to carry the rest of the commentary. The Danes are really proud people.

3. I've been really impressed with my Danish recently. Because the Olympics is sports coverage, they don't dub or subtitle anything. Sure, it's pretty easy for me to watch a sport like swimming and know exactly what they are talking about (I swam competitively and coached youth teams for years), but I'm impressed with my ability to listen to Danish coverage for long periods of time and understand it. Hooray, my Danish has come so far!

4. Going back to Michael Phelps. 12,000 calories a day?! HOW!? Seriously. How can someone put away that much food?

5. Sweden just got DQ'ed in the Women's 400 Medley Relay. Hahaha. Amateurs. (U.S. took silver. Damn you, Australia!)

6. What is up with Danish cyclists and doping?! here.

That's all for now. I'm going to park myself on the couch again for some more coverage. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I posted a comment in another blog I like to read today. After I posted my comment and it appeared, I clicked on my name because I couldn't remember if clicking on a commenter's name would take you directly to their blog or to their Blogger page.

Hahaha, I forgot that I was bored one night and randomly updated a few of things on my blog and Blogger profile page. One of the things I added to my profile was an audio clip. I didn't remember this and was curious what it was, so I clicked it. It's Blink 182 What's My Age Again. Hahaha. I'm so lame. I try to listen to that song every day now that I am 23 (you know... Nobody likes you when you're tweeeenty-three!). I usually put it on when I put my head phones in and start walking down the windy back stairs of my building to get my bike in the morning.

I'm such a huge dork I can't even believe it sometimes. I'm like an alien creature from planet Lame, home of the dorks. ;)


I came out of work today excited to head off to the architecture exhibition on Amager with some friends only to find that the back tire on my bike was completely flat, again. :(

This is my third flat tire in thirteen months. Back tire twice, front tire once. I wonder what the Copenhagen annual average for flat tires is...? It really sucks because being without your bike for even a couple of hours (luckily one of the bike shops in my neighborhood could take it in tonight and look at it tomorrow morning. It should be ready by lunchtime tomorrow. I'll skip out on lunch to come by the bike shop and pick it up.) is like being without a car for a couple of hours. You feel stranded. Suddenly, the idea of the time involved to walk places you would normally bike is utterly daunting.

Undoubtedly my puncture occurred this morning when I was Lance Armstronging it (instead of my usual 'Saturday bike in the park pace') to work. I thought I was running late and we have morning meetings on Wednesdays, so I booked it and got to work in record time. I made a fool out of myself once, narrowly avoided an accident, and saw someone almost get hit by a bus, but in the end I probably PR'ed my morning commute by at least two minutes. At least! The lights were on my side for the most part, too. I was going so fast I probably didn't see the glass. Fucking glass. Now that I think about it, it could have also happened when I had to swerve to avoid the low flying pigeon on Sankt Peders Stræde. Dumb low flying rats. Scum.

Worst part is that I had to miss the architecture exhibition because fixing my primary mode of transportation now took precedence over looking at chairs, glass, and building models. Hmph!

Monday, August 11, 2008

So, Sarah Mishears Lyrics of Well-Known Songs

... and gets made fun of by her friends.

Relatively recent examples (okay, #3 happened tonight. I've been deluded and disillusioned about an ABBA song my entire life. I admit it, okay?):

1. Simon and Garfunkel | Scarborough Fair
actual lyrics: Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme...
* Sarah lyrics: Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sagerose, marry in time.

No explanation. Just purely retarded. To quote Michele, "What the fuck did you think sagerose was?!" I honestly thought "marry in time" was some kind of metaphor for "mix them slowly together in a bowl" or perhaps "blow together at the whim of light gusts of wind" (over time, of course.)

2. Joanna Newsom | Peach, Plum, Pear
actual lyrics: I am blue and unwell. Made me bolt like a horse.
* Sarah lyrics: I am blue and unwell. Made me bold like a whore.

I blame Joanna's unique singing voice for my bungling of this one.

3. ABBA | Dancing Queen
actual lyrics: You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life..
* Sarah lyrics: You can dance, you can die, having the time of your life..

I think my lyrics are more fun. It's more like ABBA was at a Swedish rave. I mean, who has jived since the 50s anyway?!

This post is dedicated to Michele, Libby, Rachel, and others whose joint efforts against musical retardism have allowed me to see the error of my audio abilities and correct my knowledge of well-known song lyrics. Furthermore, I preemptively thank people that will very likely help me in the years to come, when they catch me belting out something ridiculously and embarrassingly incorrect in the car/bar. Thank you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Smash or Trash!

A few Smashes and Trashes from the past three weeks:

TRASH! Clear bra straps. I saw these all over Italy. Open note to the women of the world: A clear bra strap isn't really clear. It's plastic and, unless you have plastic Barbie skin, you can see it when you wear it. Please either go strapless or pick a bra with straps that match your top. Thanks.

SMASH! Gelato. Italian food in general, actually.

TRASH! Mamma Mia, the movie. I watched this online tonight with Rachel. I'm infinitely glad I didn't pay 75dkk ($15) to see this in the theater here, because it's the worst movie I've seen in a long time (Yes, even worse than Stardust). The plot is weak because they have to keep pausing to squeeze in an ABBA song or sex joke, Pierce Brosnan (whom I have (HAD?!) the utmost respect for) actually tries to sing (godawful. Johnny Depp was waaaay better in Sweeney Todd), and I'm pretty convinced the entire thing ends in a big, wet orgy.

SMASH! Eggs Benedict, which I had at brunch today.

TRASH! Rainy weather.

SMASH! Øllebrod.

SMASH! The newest season of Project Runway. Specifically, Blayne.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A few more things on my mind...

1. Today, for the first time ever, I used up an entire box of dental floss! I know this is a completely lame thing to post, but I shared this accomplishment with some friends tonight and they were super impressed and excited, too. I mean, you usually lose the box or move and throw it away, or whatever. Today I used a whole box for the first time, ever. It was exciting.

2. Did you know in France they don't use a QWERTY keyboard? They use AZERTY. It's weird. I noticed this when I was at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris two weeks ago.

3. When I get on a roll, I talk a lot of shit. Seriously, a lot. It can be kind of appalling.

Good night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

No, Copenhagen hates Paris Hilton

Where she is in the picture is like two blocks away from where I work.

In happier news, it's the Copenhagen Vision Fashion Fair this weekend!!! :)

What could it be?!

I live above a Turkish grocery kiosk. They have great fresh fruit and veggies and I often stop by on my way home to get fresh produce for dinner and say hi to my Turkish "friends" who work there. They often have mysteriously unrecognizable fruits and veggies that I always wonder about. Today, I decided to stop wondering. I bought two, brought them home, and tried them out. I've documented the journey with photos.

Veggie (?) #1: Came wrapped in paper with a little bit sticking out.

This is what it looked like unwrapped. Kinda a light greenish, yellowish, whitish color. Long and firm. That sounds dirty.

Veggie (?) #2: Wasn't wrapped. Cucumber-green colored with little knobby bits all over it.

Close-up on #2's 'knobby bits.'

Photo shoot of #2 with the koriander. Looks like a cactus, doesn't it?

Cue music from Psycho. I'll cut you.

Okay, so thing #1 looked like a squash. It tasted like squash, too, but more palatable. I feel like I could actually eat this raw (unlike regular green squash, which isn't too yummy raw), but it would probably be better cooked.

Thing #2 was weird because the outer layer was really thick and it had seeds inside.


It tasted so nasty I had to spit it out. The bit on the right was the part I chewed for a few seconds. Eew.

Anyone know what these mysterious things are?

Stay tuned for more installments of What could it be?! I had fun doing this and the Turkish grocery has all kinds of mysterious stuff worth checking out.

PEA Soup: Reparations for Slavery

On a subject near and dear to my heart:

I haven't read the chapters in Boonin's book yet, but I am planning to, perhaps on the plane on the way to the States in a few weeks, but I think most arguments for reparations are weak and overly charged with hidden emotion.

Boonin's argument, as summarized by Michael Huemer:

(1) The United States federal government (hereafter, the govt) performed unjust, harmful actions pertaining to slavery.
E.g., not only failing to stop slavery but legally protecting and enforcing slave ownership.

(2) These past actions are a cause of certain harms suffered by many present-day black Americans.
E.g., blacks have much lower socioeconomic status, higher rates of incarceration, illegitimacy, and a host of social problems. It's plausible to think that this is at least partly a consequence of slavery, and of the govt's unjust slavery-related acts.

(3) If someone performs an unjust action that causes harm to someone else, then the perpetrator normally has an obligation (prima facie) to compensate the victim.

(4) The principle in (3) also applies to organizations such as governments.
E.g., suppose a company illegally buried some toxic waste in a populated area 40 years ago, and the waste is now causing current residents to suffer from cancer. Then the company would owe compensation to the current residents, even if the leadership of the company has changed during the last 40 years. A similar point applies to governments. (This case also illustrates that the victims of the unjust action need not have existed at the time of the action.)

(5) So it looks like the govt owes compensation to present-day black Americans, for its earlier slavery-related actions.
Huemer goes on to say that "[he is] not using this argument, only mentioning it. Previously, [he] thought the Reparationist position was crazy and illogical. But now it seems to me less crazy. Is this a good argument?



Point (1) is fine and valid. I mean, I don't think anyone would argue with it. Are there people that deny slavery in the same way that people deny the Holocaust? Just wondering...

Point (2) is where the argument very quickly starts to fall apart. I personally don't understand how any self-respecting philosopher could think that they can so quickly jump from A to B and claim that slavery is a direct cause of 'certain harms suffered by many present-day black Americans.' I give it to him that he uses the phrase 'at least partly a consequence,' but how do you know what part? How much? How far reaching are the consequences of slavery!?!

Point (3) also sits unwell with me. As far as slavery goes, in my opinion, the perpetrator consists of the slave owners and possibly the government during the period in U.S. history in which slavery was legal. The victim were the slaves and their DIRECT dependents. Not some people on the decades-convoluted family tree. Are Jews still going to be asking for Holocaust reparations in the year 3000?

Point (4) is trying to compare apples and oranges. It's like a provable direct cause vs. what I like to think of as a speculated cause. I mean, it is theoretical that blacks would still have a low socioeconomic status, even if they hadn't been enslaved.

Point (5): Um, no.

I know this is probably a caustic and provocative post. I feel VERY strongly about this subject, though. I have a 20 page paper on it from undergrad where I go into it in great detail. If anyone is offended by this post and wants to read it, leave a comment.

I can't write anymore in this post because even considering the possibility of reparations for slavery gives me a headache because it's so illogical and implausible in scope.


Science Confirms the Obvious, Again.

Science Daily: 82% of Americans Think Health Care System Needs a Major Overhaul
"There is no one policy, or practice that will make our health care system run like an efficient, well-oiled machine," says Commission on A High Performance Health System Chair and Partners Health System CEO James J. Mongan, M.D.
Yes there is. A socialized, universal healthcare system. I've seen it, I've used it. It works.

This is exactly how healthcare works in Denmark:

Currency-Challenged Americans

I liked this NY Times article on the European view of shopping in America while the dollar is low. It's a view I have heard expressed by A LOT of Europeans. The girl in the viking hat is me when I get back to the States. Seriously. I know Americans are complaining about $5 lattes and $4/gallon gas, but the same Starbucks latte costs approx. $13 here (converted to Danish kroner) and a gallon of gas (converted from liters and to kroners) would cost about $9 here. I don't really think about it anymore because I get paid in kroner so it's all relative, but when I do think about it I realize that I can't wait to spend only 25dkk ($5) on a latte and exploit the currency advantage I'll temporarily have when I return. It's the same for other things. I bought lotion and and tank top yesterday. The lotion cost 160dkk ($32), the tank top cost 200dkk ($40). I would have never spent that on either of these items in the States.*

I actually heard the dollar went up to 4.94 against the Danish kroner today, which is the first time the currency has risen since I've been here. I thought about running and closing my bank account and cashing out before it goes any higher! :)

*relative to their quality, not on the actual good in general.

I'm Back!!

I've been MIA on this blog recently because I've been on vacation, but now I'm back! :)