Saturday, June 28, 2008

Designer Islands

According to Zakkaliciousness over at Copenhagenize, Denmark is planning on creating an island in the shape of a bicycle, Cykeløen (The Bicycle Island) to expand the Copenhagen Capital Region and proudly display the bike to the world as a symbol of Danishness. It will be the first Danish landmark visible from space.

I think it's kind of lame. It seems like such a tacky thing for the otherwise chic and sophisticated Danes to want to create. What's happening to the streamlined, pleasing yet useful design Denmark is world famous for? A bike-shaped island just doesn't really seem in line with Danish architectural trends.

Drunk Biking in Denmark

I'm not sure if there are laws about drunk biking in Denmark. I'm pretty sure there are, but I don't know them, so I've made up my own based on experiences I've personally had, ones my friends have told me about and/or I've witnessed, and ones I've witnessed strangers doing during my nightly bike travels over my past eleven months in Denmark. I've handedly coded them in green, yellow, and red to indicate whether you should be okay to bike home, should think twice, or should have probably slept at your friend's place.

You have proper bike lights in working order.
You discover one or both of your bike lights are either out of have been stolen while you've been drinking.
You didn't think you'd be out late enough to bring bike lights and/or in a drunken haze you toss them into the street where they get run over by a car.

You swerve ever so slightly in the bike lane either in time to your music or to extend you path and not have to stop at a light, both while checking carefully for other bikers in the lane.
You swerve unwittingly.
You swerve unwittingly to the point of hitting other bikers and/or the right hand curb. Actually, the curb may very well be on the left because you are biking on the wrong side of the road.

You carefully avoid parked cars.
You space out for a second, but occasionally and successfully swerve to avoid parked cars.
You slam into parked cars. It takes you a about 30 seconds to recover before you head off to hit your next one.

You see hookers on Istedgade.
You are biking slow enough to check out the hooker's outfits.
You stop and tell a hooker you like her shoes.

You drink a minimal amount and leave the party.
You leave the party with the rest of your drink and may take a swig or two at a red light.
You leave the party with the rest of your drink, finish it, and stop at 7-11 to buy more to sustain you on your 2km bike ride home.

You see taxis on your way home.
Taxi drivers honk at you on your way home when you cut a light a bit too close.
Taxi drivers actively swerve to avoid you as you fly through a red light on your way home, swing a u-turn, and ask if you would like a ride, for free, for your own safety.

You successfully stop safely and slowly at a red light.
You stop short at a red light.
You stop short at a red light, forget to put your foot down, and fall over.

You bike home a-ok.
You bike home and feel slightly nauseous.
You have to pull over and throw up on the side of your road during your bike home.

More may follow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

You know you're getting old when...

You start actively wanting to buy things that improve your home, rather than just yourself. Things like shower curtains. I really like this one from the UK company Balineum.

Wordle Word Clouds

I came across Wordle, a very cool word clouds applet, in another blog. I experimented with it by putting my Facebook interests in. This is what it kicked back at me:

   title="Wordle: i like">   src=""
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd"
Cool. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ow, ow, ow, my knee!!!

This past weekend my friend Rachel got stuck with an "interesting" (to put it mildly) visitor in her apartment. The entire weekend was a comedy of annoyances and ridiculousness. Here is the story in her own words. Most names have been changed.
So, I get an email last Monday from one of my roommates, Christoffer. He just left to go to France for a week, and his email was something along the lines of, "Hey, just so you know, this girl might come this week and stay in my room. She is my advisor's friend's daughter, so just give her an extra key and whatever. Sorry for the late notice, I just found out this morning. Her name is Claire."
Later in the week, I get an email from Claire asking if it is ok that she comes in Thursday night - I told her I wasn't going to be around (birthday night) but that my other roommate, Suli, would be around and would let her in.
I did not meet Claire until Friday morning, when I was super hung over. I got up to go to work, and she is all peppy and asking me all these questions, which is fine. That wasn't the problem. She had nothing and knew nothing about the city (her fam lived here when she was like 5 for a year when her dad was on sabbatical) and didn't know how to get around. I gave her directions to DXX so she could come in and get set up with a map and other stuff that we give students when they arrive. So I went to work, and she came in a while later. She seemed really nice and sweet, but I also couldn't tell how old she was. She seemed like she was 17 or something. Finally, I asked her if she had studied abroad (to figure out if she went to college) and it came out that she was 21. Then she was talking about how she wanted to go to Tivoli, but felt weird about going to an amusement park by herself. Me, being a super nice person and having just met this seemingly nice person of the same age, invited her to come with my friends and I who were going to a concert at Tivoli that evening. She was super excited about it, and I felt good about myself (ha). I sent her on her way to see the sights during the day while I was at work, and she met me back at the office at 4:30.
She, myself and two of my other friends went to Tivoli right from work, and we ate at Wagamama. Everything until this point still seemed alright. There were a few moments where my friend Jan and I kind of looked at each other like "wtf??" in response to stuff she was saying. Like, Jan and I were talking about interesting things about Danes and Danish culture, and then Claire started contradicting us and telling us that it was different. Jan and I didn't say anything, but we were both kind of thinking "Um, ok, well we have lived here for a year . . . and you have been here for 8 hours. But right, whatever."
We left dinner, and we were in the park. Claire just about begged us to go on rides with her (each ride costs about 15 dollars - so we didnt want to go) but we told her she can do all the rides she wants and that we would wait for her. But Jan said the fun house was a blast, so we all bought a ticket to go in there. In the fun house there were those little hamster wheels, and there were a bunch of guys trying to make to all the way around it by pressing themselves with their hands and feet (do you know what I mean??). So, Claire decides to do it, even after I tell her that she is too short to be able to do it successfully. But she does it, falls, and then starts hopping around in a circle, holding her knee and whimpering. It wasn't a hard fall, or at least it didn't look like it. She didn't cry, wasn't screaming, . . . she banged her knee. She proceeded to sit down right in the middle of the play house, roll up her pant leg, and examine herself. She is like "I don't think I can walk, I need to sit here for a while." We were like . . . um . .. uh . . . rub it out. But she continued to sit there . . . in the middle of the floor, for like 5 min. Finally she got up and we went to leave - and she is walking like a pirate with a fucking peg-leg. She locked her knee and won't move it at all, claiming that she can't move it painlessly even a little . . . DUH. IT HURTS WHEN YOU BANG YOUR KNEE. But what 5 year old doesn't learn to shake it off, or walk it out??!! She walked around like that for the rest of the night. I kept thinking, this girl has to be joking . . . little kids don't even act like this. But no, she was serious. Then when we got to the concert, she sat down in the middle of the grounds. We met up with a bunch of my other friends, and they were all like "Rach, where did you find this girl?" She was sitting on the ground, asking if any of us knew anything about knee caps. She kept prodding it and poking it, saying it felt different and that she should probably go to the hospital. I just wanted to tell her, "Hey dummy, if you were hurt so bad that you required a hospital visit, a.) you probably would have cried, b.) you wouldn't be able to walk around at all (even if it was a peg leg walk) and c.) it would be too painful to prod and move the way you are currently doing!!!! We all just stood there, giving her a blank look, before I straight up told her that she didn't need to go to the hospital, and if she did she would be wasting her time and they wouldn't do anything for her.
A security guard came around and told her she needed to stand up, and she gave them a hard time about it. "Yeah, but I have an injured knee . . . " Sorry sweety, you can't sit on the ground in the middle of the concert. I almost told her that she should go home if it hurt too much.
Ok, so the concert went on pretty uneventfully, but I need to backtrack and tell you some of the other dumb shit stuff she said that stopped all of us in our tracks. There was something about how kids come out of public schools not learning anything (wasn't much of a hit), something about how most teachers don't have degrees in the fields they teach (dumb) - but then, the one that had me almost pee my pants. As a side note, my friend Sarah had been talking to her and was caught off guard when Claire was talking for a while about her father and who he was and what he did - then Sarah asked something about him and Claire was like "Oh, he's dead." Ok, so that's really sad. But we are standing and talking, and she was lamenting the fact that she had all these phone numbers of people to get in contact that were friends of her parents when they lived here, and that all the numbers seem to be wrong or the people have moved or whatever. "Yeah, and it is kinda sad because these were all the numbers that my mother could remember, and my dad is - well - my dad is dead, so he doesn't remember any either." I almost shit myself, and as horrible as it is I almost laughed in her face. My dad is too dead to remember . . . hmmm, no shit, that tends to happen. But who says that??!!
Anyway, the story goes on. The next morning, Saturday morning, she wakes me up at 8 am, telling me that she has to go to the hospital. She had spoken with her mom who was upset that she had been walking around on her knee all night. I told her, I was like "Look, you knee isn't swollen, or even bruised, you have been walking on it all night, it probably didn't help anything that you were walking around with it locked, but I don't think it is injured, and the danish docs aren't gonna give you anything or do anything". But no, that didn't stop her - she needed to make sure everything was ok because she had heard about some injuries that were unsafe to fly with because of the changing pressures - WTF??!! I gave up, I called her a cab and sent her on her way. I knew she wanted me to go with her, but I wasn't going to waste my morning on this bull shit. It was the most irritating thing ever. I really felt like I was dealing with a 5 year old - you know how when you are 5 and you need a band aid for everything even if you aren't bleeding. That's what this was, but worse. I couldn't even really be nice to her. OHHHH, AND when she got dressed to go to the emergency room, she put on 3 inch wedges!!!!!!!! I was like "Um, do you think with an injured knee those are the best shoes to be wearing??" And she was all like "Oh yeah, these are comfortable enough." But she still proceeded to walk like a peg-leg . . . all around too ridiculous for words.
She called me later on my roommates phone to tell me that "Thank god everything is ok! My knee is ok and nothing is wrong with it!" Then she asked me to come home so I could show her other stuff in the city. I told her "No, I can't I have other plans." Who does she think she is?? Who did she think I am?? I didn't know her . .. I wasn't her friend or her personal guide while she was in the city!!! She just expected me to drop everything. I told her some places to go, and told her I would see her later. Not too much happened after that. We talked a little while she packed her stuff . . . she asked me dumb questions, like whether or not her wine would break if she put it in her suitcase. I DONT KNOW, what do I look like, a fuckin sear??? Ha, I know these stupid things were probably not a big deal, but my patience with her had just worn so thin, and I just wanted her out of my apartment.
So that, in a nut-shell that wasn't so small, is my story about Claire. I can't imagine being her RA . . . I would have killed myself or her if I was your friend Alex. He must be a saint. Hope you enjoyed this epic tale, and I hope you never have to work with her. I am angry and annoyed just thinking about the whole thing. GOD.

The End.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is that what you're using for your water bottle or are you pregaming?

... is what I thought when a guy sat down on the machine next to me when I was erging at the gym today and placed a Jagermeister bottle next to his machine. Yeah, the big, rectangular glass kind. Jaeger label still intact.

Yeah, I dunno either. Denmark is a weird country.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Economic downturn and the "glorification of good."

Okay, this post may be awful for the following reasons:

1. I am admittedly ignorant to the full scope of the United States economic situation because I haven't lived there in nearly a year and thus haven't had the opportunity to really feel financially affected by it.

2. Even if I were living in America, I wouldn't be using my salary to support an entire family (because I don't have one), so perhaps what do I know?
(This point works in conjunction with point number one. Food prices in Denmark have also been rising in recent months, but I have yet to really feel the effect because I only feed myself, so my grocery budget is small-scale. To further clarify the extent of "not feeling it," I still have my gym membership.)

3. I read the article that prompted me to write this impromptu post* in my RSS right before I was about to hop into bed, so I'm tired and probably rambling to the point of incoherence right now... I'm will very likely sound extraordinarily bitchy at times. You've been warned.
* Can you be prompted to do something that is impromptu? I think so. I think maybe the real point of this remark was that I was interested in the way the words looked and sounded together. It's the prompt similarity. Interesting. Gah, I'm tired.

But, anyway, I have a few comments about THIS Associated Press article.
For Michelle Hovis, that means refilling her husband's used soda container from a 2-liter bottle she buys on sale for 98 cents. She tweaked his daily habit of buying a 20-ounce bottle when the price crept up to $1.39.
No better time to cut soda out of your diet, Mr. Hovis. I mean, seriously, I'm just saying. It's like people think it's necessary to drink soda. It has no nutritional value. Even coffee has been shown to have some nutritional value. (beer has too, in case you're wondering. I was too lazy to look for studies, but google both coffee and beer and nutritional value or health benefits or something along those lines... You'll see.)
While the idea that little costs add up is nothing new, it comes with added sticker shock as food and gas prices sprint along at a record pace. The result is that people are finally putting the brakes on vices once considered necessary — like frappuccinos.
Who has ever considered a frappuccino a necessity? Sure, they are delicious, but surely no one thinks they will cease to exist without them? Air, my friends, is a necessity. Water is a necessity. I think we can agree on these. Frappuccinos, on the other hand, though they incorporate both of those elements (water in its solid form of ice, air in the form of, oh you know, being blended in), is not a necessity. I don't think I've ever known anyone who has perceived it as such. I'd like to meet those people.

A $1.50 bottle of soda for each weekday of the year, for example, would add up to about $390. Now at $2 in some parts of the country, the habit comes with an annual price tag of $520. Over five years, that's $2,600.

This is the point where a financial planning guru might multiply the cost out for decades, demonstrating how a carbonated beverage is quietly robbing you of your retirement. Except now it's consumers crunching the numbers and agonizing over their wasteful ways.

Okay, do people really calculate how much they will save if they cut out soda for five years? Decades? Really? Is my financial future full-speed ahead bound towards failure if I'm not consciously doing this? Should I be thinking about these kinds of things in the decades-long term? Even as a year goes, $390-$520 doesn't even seem like that much money. I mean, I guess provided you cut elsewhere, but it seems like the average middle class individual wouldn't have a problem finding that extra money somewhere in their budget. I guess it's different for families... but still.

Taxis, mocha lattes and sports cable packages aren't even options for those who are suddenly out of a job. Others who rein in pricey habits are seeing the savings gobbled up by gas prices or mounting debt. But even among the relatively comfortable, rising prices are upending habits they've long known were costing too much anyway.

Duh. So, there's basically no hope for anyone, job or not, regardless of income level. They weren't costing too much a year ago... Addressing the last paragraphs sentences respectively. Oh, and as a side note, I can't wait to pay $4 for a latte. A grande latte from Starbucks costs the equivalent of about $15 (75dkk) in Denmark.

Cutting back doesn't have to mean a joyless existence, however. Simple measures like using cash instead of credit cards can make people more conscious of how much they spend, financial planners say. Taking a few hours to scan cell phone and cable bills for unnecessary charges can save, too. Shopping around for better deals when contracts run out is another good idea.

Take another few hours to call your cell phone or cable provider to dispute a small suspicious extra charge or two... What's worth more? Time or money?

Giving up pricey routines isn't stopping the Hovis family from enjoying life. Instead of buying pre-packaged Lunchables at around $4 apiece, Michelle Hovis makes her own using deli meats and cookie cutouts; her daughters don't know the difference.

Okay, first of all, the Lunchables with the deli meats and cheeses go on CRACKERS, not COOKIES. Sometimes you might get a cookie for dessert (usually a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, though), but it's not like its ham and American cheese on an oatmeal cookie. I'm just saying. Check your facts, AP. Crackers. I wonder if Ms. Hovis makes her own. Maybe she grinds the wheat and everything. How quaintly Amish! Secondly, I wonder if Ms. Hovis is still buying the overpriced Capri Suns that often come with Lunchables to continue her ruse on her daughters, whom she claims don't know the difference? Thirdly, it seems like economic downturn is the perfect time to introduce to them that they can have healthy, satisfying lunches that aren't prepackaged. Maybe even teach them how to make their own bagged lunch each evening using fresh ingredients that you buy as a family at the store each week. Look, family bonding, financial savings, and acquirement of a useful skill. Perfect.

To save money on gym memberships, they now take their two young daughters on family bike rides. There are no more trips to Chuck E. Cheese, but they have even more fun taking picnics at a nearby peach orchard.

Healthier, more family time, of course it's win win. What bothers me about this is that I don't know why the media feels the need to highlight families like this. There are plenty of families that did these kind of things before the economy started taking a nosedive. Like, even during the Clinton-era. They weren't all over the news for saving money and doing things as a family.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Meh. End of bitch post.

11th Annual MRE .05K Bridge Run & Dog Day Afternoon

The "extreme sporting event" of the peninsula -- the sprint (or lope, or skip, whatever... ) across the Eastport Bridge, for no reason at all, followed by a few hours of doggie and owner fun.

Event registration starts at 10:30 a.m. at Eastport Elementary School, and the race will begin promptly at the crack of noon, on the Annapolis side of the bridge. Once trophies are awarded to the winners -- at about 12:03 (after all the record time to beat is about 30 seconds), Dog Day Afternoon will begin, featuring an arena for silly dog and owner tricks for some really nice prizes.

Registration for runners is $20 and for that you get a limited edition t-shirt designed by Eastport' artist and race founder Cindy Fletcher-Holden plus some other goodies. Winning categories in the past have included fastest, slowest, youngest, oldest, etc.

Doggie registration is $15 and for that you get a bag full of doggie goodies and entry in the dog competition, which in the past has included Best Dancing Dog, Best Singing Dog, Best Dog/Owner Lookalike, Best Costume, etc. You get the picture.

Runners/walkers/skippers/lopers across the bridge may do so with their dogs on a leash and with strollers -- just don't trip the gazelles who really run full out to win.

In past years the course has been described as "a slight rise, followed by a slight decline, with a convenient water stop halfway across." I am truly sad to have missed this, again. I've lived across The Republic on "the mainland" for years and I always miss this Parthenon-worthy athletic event! :( I guess I have a good excuse this year because for the first June of my life I am living 4000 miles away from the MRE. Sadface.

On the flip side, I'm getting pumped for the 2008 Tug of War. Slaughter Across the Water!! I missed 2007's, but for 2006 bestie and I went dressed in antennae, scarves, and sweatshirts that read "Snug as a bug at the Tug." It was cute. :)

I will post a more detailed post on the Maritime Republic of Eastport, Annapolis, and the Tug of War at a later date...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blogospheric meme.

Because I'm bored/procrastinating worthwhile endeavors and everyone's (a lot of bloggers I like, anyway) doing it.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Let's see. I was thirteen and it was summertime. That summer was largely spent at Mears Marina Swim and Tennis Club. I started every morning with swim team practice, which later segued into hanging out at poolside with friends all day. A couple of evenings a week I played Quickstix lacrosse. I undoubtedly begged my parents to drop my girlfriends and I off at the mall with a bit of money at least once a week as well.

What are five things on your to-do list today?

1. Go for a long run (check)
2. Go grocery shopping (check)
3. Do some laundry
4. Paint my nails
5. Update my resume/work on cover letters for a few jobs I am thinking about applying for

Snacks you enjoy?

Hmm... well I love food, so it's more like what don't I like, but I'm not a huge snacker. I guess as far as snacks go I've become a big fruit fan over the last year because we have it delivered to our office twice a week. If I'm snacking, I'll probably have an apple, banana, mango, or dried cranberries with yogurt or cottage cheese.

Places You've Lived?

Charleston, South Carolina
Annapolis, Maryland
College Park, Maryland
Albertslund, Denmark
Vanløse, Denmark
Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark

What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1. Buy a lot of clothes, accessories, and beauty products. Have a fantastic spa weekend (or week, why not, I'm a billionaire!) at a luxury resort somewhere.

2. Hire a personal assistant, maid, trainer, and nutritionist.

3. Travel.

4. Treat friends to nice things.

5. I'd really like to say I'd do something philanthropic or start a scholarship or something, but I think this is my just thinking I'm a nicer, more altruistic person than I am.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Race Goodie Bags

When it comes to surfers, I think people say they come in two types: soul surfers and competitive surfers. As far as I understand it, soul surfers are people that surf just to surf because they love it and love how it makes them feel. Surfing is encompasses pure, intrinsic value. For them there is nothing better than being out on the water, surfing. One hopes that competitive surfers love and enjoy the sport as much as soul surfers do, but they go the extra step and like to compete against others, see how they rank. They love it, but they seem to want others to know it and appreciate their skills. Soul surfers are content with it being just them and the waves.

I've most often heard these phrases used in reference to surfing, but I think athletes of many types can be divided and labeled as either soul or competitive athletes of their sports. Sure, for some sports you probably can't really be a "soul" player because the very nature of the sport (that it's played with a team, mostly) makes it impossible to participate in a non-competitive setting. American football, for example. I think it is difficult (if not impossible) to argue that people play JUST because they love the game. I mean, people do love the game, of course, but they can't play solely for that reason because American football is competitive by nature of it being a team sport. One team against another. Other sports lend themselves very well towards participants being soul players. Running, sailing, swimming... sports that can be individual ventures, like surfing.

When it comes to running, I think I'm a soul runner. I like to run just to run. I like to run on my own time, at my own pace, by myself because I feel like running with a partner inevitably makes it feel competitive and takes the fun and enjoyment out of my run. I use my time running to think, either actively or by zoning out and letting my mind passively work things out while I listen to music. I will and do set goals when I run (either to get a certain time, run a certain distance, or both), but these are really just for myself. I like to see personal improvement.

But, perhaps hippocritically from what I've said above, every now and then I feel the need to run a race. I do this for two reasons. First, I feel like I need it to really gauge my abilities as a runner (though, side note, I don't really consider myself a runner.), to prove it to myself that I'm doing what I want to be doing, time and distance wise. For example, I somehow feel that I can't actually run a certain distance until I do it with an officially measured and marked route and a champion chip in my shoe which will tell me how long, down to the second, it took me to run. The second (and embarassingly more important) reason I run races is because of the race goodie bags you always get.

I love race goodie bags. I've gotten lots since I really started running a couple of races (mostly charity 5ks) a year since high school. Goodie bags usually have a race t-shirt commemorating the name and year of the race. In my experience, if it's a charity race, it's usually a short or long sleeved cotton t-shirt. If it's not a charity race, the sponsors will usually spring for a jersey or singlet type shirt. I guess the sponsors and race coordinators figure people that run in non-charity races are more serious. I'm not sure. Goodie bags also include a lot of things from sponsors. They always have boring booklets, brochures, and coupons. These generally get browsed through last - usually not even during the initial oh-boy-what's-in-my-goodie-bag rifle through that occurs seconds after you've been handed your bag. I usually check out these boring things later, at home, when I'm throwing them away. The "good stuff" comes in the form of samples. Samples of granola bars, energy drinks, lotions, fruit snacks, socks, vitamins, athletic towels, etc. etc. etc. This is the fun stuff. This is one of the reasons I run races. Goodie bags are fun.

Since I've been living and running in Denmark, I've realized that race goodie bags, like everything in this country, are a little different. I ran a 10k last week with my friend, Libby. Libby and I arrived about an hour before the race to pick up our goodie bags and timing chips. We walked over to the goodie bag area, ripped the coupon off our race numbers, and handed it to the race official. In exchange, she handed us a purple bag (heavy, yay!) and a jar of feta cheese with spices cubed into easily usable salad bits and still cool from the refrigerated box it came from. (see picture at right) I'm not kidding. Libby and I stood there holding our purple bags and jars of feta cheese, mystified. Now, I know that the producer of this cheese was probably a race sponsor... but it was still really, really weird. We wondered what we should do with our jars of cheese while we ran, as they were presumably in need of continued refrigeration. In the end, we threw them in our bags because we had no where else to put them and wrote jars of feta in goodie bags off as another weird thing Danes do and probably think is normal. When I got home later I put my feta in the fridge, where it's been ever since and currently sits even as I type this. Weird.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the 10k was an awesome success. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Lucky Charm!

Oh boy! Even though I'm not five anymore*, Lucky Charms are still one of my favorite breakfast cereals. Of course I like it "regular" with milk, but I like to eat it dry, too. Awesomely, the dining hall at my university had this sugary Lucky goodness in bulk, readily available for me to buy with my cushy parent-paid-for meal plan. I ate it by the clear dining-hall box load all through freshman and sophomore year. Sometimes I would eat Lucky Charms (mixed with my other fav, Cocoa Puffs! - and no, Chocolate Lucky Charms do NOT have the same effect. They suck. It's all about the MIX) for breakfast and dinner everyday for like a week. (not lunch because I usually didn't eat a real lunch) And, no, sadly you can't get a box in Denmark. :( They only have, like, six kinds of cereal here. Boo.

*Wasn't it fun when you were five to tell people you were five? People would ask how old you were and you could just hold up one hand, fingers extended as far as they could possibly reach and say, proudly, "I'm five!" Maybe when I'm twenty-five I'll do the same thing except "flash" my fingers by opening and closing them in rapid succession five times. I'll say "I'm twenty-five!"

... Oh my god, I'm sooo uncool. I'm probably the kind of person that has a quarterlife crisis at twenty-five, aren't I? ;)

By the way...

... don't let the fact that I like fashion and other "cooler" stuff trick you. (side note: I really, really, really wanted to write "ruse you" there. I'm completely well aware that ruse is not a verb and thus cannot be used as such, but I love the movie Clerks so much and, as a result, try to use the word 'ruse' (n. a "cunning attempt to trick [someone]") as often as possible, even in blatantly improper verb form). I'm still a complete nerd. I've been (half) joking about wanting to play Magic the Gathering and/0r Dungeons & Dragons for years. When my friend Summer found out one the faculty members she supervises is super into role-playing games here in Denmark, the following emails were sent without my (or my friend Rachel's, who is just as into it as I am) consent, but to my great amusement:

From: "Summer Hxxxxxxxx"
Date: June 10, 2008 1:16:06 PM CEST
To: "moeborg"
Subject: Dungeons and Dragons Role-playing

Hi Bettina!

I hope you are having a nice vacation. I’ve heard that you are quite into role-playing games and the like. Well, I know for a fact that there are two other interns here at DXX who are very interested in starting up with it, and would like to learn more. Do you know if it’s possible for them to go to an event and watch? I don’t really know how it all works, but I thought I’d ask you about it since they seem so interested. If you have some free time and would like to email them directly, their names are Rachel Xxxxx ( and Sarah Jxxxxxxxx ( ).

Summer Hxxxxxxxx
European Culture and History Program Assistant


Hej Rachel and Sarah

Good to hear you are interested in the roleplaying stuff and all, perhaps we should all meet up for a coffee and a chat sometime during the week, between 11 am and 4 pm would be best as our young rascal will be in kindergarten and we can chat without having an ice cream cone rammed up one's nose :) Thorin our boy is a frisky little bugger : >

any comments from Bettina he said turning to her. She adds:

Hej Rachel and Sarah, yes this strange person is my husband, who is our GM. We are not currently role playing, but he has been talking about starting a campaign up in the near future. We generally use a fantasy system similar to D&D called rune quest. So if you want, we can all meet and have a chat about what you are interested in, and see if we can figure something out?

venlig hilsen
Paul and Bettina


Yeah, seriously. Can we start with the fact that their son's name is Thorin? Vikingsxcore.

By the way when I was walking around town the other day I noticed the line was out the door at the local game store. Probably because of the new D&D dice. No, I didn't go in. ...yet.

Geekery, I tell you! I'm afflicted!!

Is Fashion Making You Fat?

Article from the Sunday Times (uk).

Luckily, I think for women this afflicts the unavoidably annual bikini season is usually a wake up call. Unless you are willing to spend the entire summer in a cover-up, you'll (at least try!) to straighten things out pretty quickly! Bikinis may be stretch, but they certainly don't come in "blouson" and one can only hope they aren't manufactured in anything close to "bulbous."

Tim Walker

I don't think I've blogged much (if at all) about my love of photography, but I've been interested in it since I was a kid. My dad used to work for Minolta before he aligned himself with his first love, sailing, and became a yacht broker. I remember going on family vacations and having to take photos over and over again until the light and everybody in the photograph were just right...

Recently, I've really been loving London based Tim Walker's fashion photography. As far as fashion photography goes, he's certainly not as well known as big shots like Richard Avedon, Herb Ritts or Patrick Demarchelier, but Walker has gained a lot of press (both print and in the blogosphere) recently with his current exhibit at London's Design Museum.

Here are some of his works I really like:

Such a beautiful way to show off that gown. It reminds me of a couture Rapunzel, except of course letting down her dress and not her hair!

I like this because it references the H.C. Andersen story of The Princess and the Pea

This one is beautiful for it's shadow effects and the whimsy the huge insects and amphibians give to it...

I often like to make up short stories in my head when I look at fashion photographs. For this one it seems like a bride and her bridesmades were on the way to her wedding. On the way, she got cold feet and decided to call it off. They pulled over to the nearest gorgeous floral field for a little "good decision!" revelry!
I like this one primarily for the photo in the upper right. I love fashion-y photographs of ballerinas. Probably because it combines two things I love: fashion and ballet.

See more of Tim Walkers beautiful photography here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Philosophy Exam - First Year

Found this on Crooked Timber via Inconsistent Thoughts. Thought it was funny and wanted to repost.

Philosophy Exam – First Year

Answer two questions

Two hours

1. Patch together some things you have heard in lectures, in no particular order.

2. Has this question vexed philosophers for centuries?

3. Create an impression of original thought by impassioned scribbling (your answer may be ungrammatical, illegible, or both).

4. Does the answer to this question depend on what you believe?

5. How much irrelevant historical background can you give before addressing this question?

6. Describe two opposing views, then say what you personally feel.

7. Rise above the fumbling efforts of others and speculate freely on an issue of your choice.


(a) Answer this question by announcing that it really means something different (and much easier to answer).


(b) Write out your answer to last year’s question on this topic.

9. Protest your convictions in the teeth of obvious and overwhelming objections.

10. Keep your reader guessing about what you think until the end. Then don’t tell them.

hahaha. :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Boobs, Beaches, and Burning Solar Rays

Contrary to popular belief, you CAN get a tan in Scandinavia. With a bit of meteorological luck, it is actually warm and sunny for a few months out of the year, especially here in "Southern Scandinavia." Yesterday I read in The Copenhagen Post that May 2008 was actually the sunniest month EVER in Denmark (since they began keeping records in 1920, anyway...). During the sunny month of May, I spent a great deal of my free time outside - running, sitting in parks with friends, walking around window shopping, etc. As a result of my hours logged outside, I was actually building a bit of a tan. (A tan I thought would be forever unattainable each time I caught a glance of my ghastly white skin in January... I should note that glances of skin were pretty much relegated to pre-and post shower naked moments. The coldness dictates that everything must covered whenever you are outside, which I guess is good because then you aren't forced to acknowledge your Dita Von Teese style paleness every time you pass a shop window and, you know, happen to check yourself out out of sheer vanity. Not that I do that.) Unfortunately, between last weekend's move and being super busy at work over the past two weeks, my gradually-built tan sadly faded in about a tenth of the time it took to get it in the first place. So, when I woke up this morning with no commitments, no plans, and a weather forcast of 77F and sunny, I decided to hit the beach to regain some color and boost my vitamin D.

It's easy to forget that Copenhagen is on Sjælland, the largest of Denmark's approximately 1419 islands (only 443 are named), when you spend the majority of your outside time biking around the city among bricks and concrete. Luckily, when you remember, there are a bunch of beaches within biking distance for us city-dweller's beaching pleasure. Most of my friends are happy with going to Amager Beach, which is just a short bike ride away on the neighboring island of Amager. I'm an anomaly in that I don't really like Amager Beach all that much. It's pretty rocky and I like my beaches sandy and rock-free. So, I decided to head further North to Bellevue Beach. Bellevue Beach is probably one of the fanciest beaches in Denmark. It's about 10km north of Copenhagen and situated between Hellerup and Klampenborg, which are two of the fanciest, richest neighborhoods in the country. Bellevue is like the Danish Hamptons and attracts Denmark's young and beautiful crowd. In that sense, maybe I'm a little out of place :), but it has rock-free sand, gorgeous views of Sweden, and on a good day like today I can watch people sail their fancy spinnaker-clad yachts, so it's my beach of choice.

After my usual breakfast and a skipped 8km run (skipped in the sense that I didn't go, not that I literally skipped 8km. That would be goofy, even for me!), I pulled on my bikini, grabbed my beach blanket (the hospital blanket I "stole" when I dislocated my shoulder in December - I sadly don't have a real beach towel in Denmark), ipod, and a couple of magazines. I stuffed it all in a tote bag and headed off on my trusty bicycle towards the beach. From my apartment, it takes about 45 minutes to bike to Bellevue, but the ride is really nice. First, you ride along Østerbrogade, the main street of the Copenhagen neighborhood of Østerbro, which soon turns into Strandgade, the main street in the aforementioned town of Hellerup. Both have lots of boutiques, cafes, and classy people to check out while you ride. After passing through the towns, the right hand side of the road drops out and turns into a seawall. There is a marina nearby and the wind was good today, so I was greeted with dozens of colorful spinnakers out at sea as I pedaled along the sea wall. It was a bit hazy today, but on a bright, clear day you can see Sweden across the sound.

I arrived at the beach just before noon. After a quick stop at the snack bar to buy a bottle of water, I scoped out and set up shop on a nice (rock-free!!) spot. I spent the next half hour-ish lying on my back with my eyes closed, combating what seems to be my omnipresent sunglasses tan. After awhile, I opened my eyes to flip and grab a magazine out of my bag to read while I lay on my stomach. The beach had filled up quite a bit since I had arrived. Looking around, I saw that about half the women were topless. This isn't unusual for Denmark. In fact, it's pretty standard across all of Europe that it is acceptable for women to sunbathe topless in parks, on beaches, etc. You'd probably be going a bit too far if you were walking or biking around topless, but I haven't seen that yet, so I guess it's not a problem. (side note: While writing this blog post, I Googled Bellevue Beach. Apparently has voted it the #10 nude beach in the world. I had no idea! I didn't see any "below the belt" nudity, which I feel should be absolutely necessary for earning the vote as #10 best nude beach in the world, but maybe I was on the wrong part of the beach for that...?)

Since I first lived in Denmark two years ago and been exposed to the European world of topless sunbathing, I've vaguely tossed the idea of tanning topless around in my mind. I wonder if it's freeing or weird feeling or... something else. I was curious. I think the fact that I generally spend my time outside with friends (both male and female) has been the strongest limiting influence to actually trying the whole topless thing. I mean, I don't really want most of my friends seeing my breasts. I tend to reserve breast viewage for people I'm intimate with, which I think is normal. Maybe I'm flattering myself, but what if I went topless with friends and that became all they could think about during subsequent interactions with me!? Weird. Anyway, seeing that I was alone today, I decided to take a baby step. I flipped over on to my stomach and untied my back string to prevent a back tanline. "Oooh, risque!", I thought. I laid like this for a while, intermittently napping and reading. After awhile, I forgot I was even untied. Without thinking, I flipped back onto my back. There was a moment of shock and horror when I realized that my loose top had slipped up in the flip and my left breast was now entirely exposed. Thinking quickly, I decided it was now or never to try the whole topless thing... Moments later, I pulled my top off and laid down on my blanket. Ahhh... freeing? It was actually okay and miraculously not that weird or uncomfortable or objective feeling. No one was looking at me because it was a pretty normal thing to be topless on this beach. Amazingly, after awhile you kind of forgot that your boobs are exposed for the world to see. I laid topless for about 45 minutes, thinking about it...

In the end, I put my top back on for two reasons. First, I was worried that my breasts would get sunburned in the blazing sun. Amazingly, my arms and back got a little red, but my boobs are okay. It must be because they weren't out that long. Second and more importantly, call me prude or old-fashioned, but I couldn't help feeling like there are parts of your body that should be reserved for special people to see. I think tan lines can be kinda hot, too. Weird, I know, but I'm not talking about, like, sunglasses or socks tan lines. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with white boobies that have been covered by a bikini. If someone were lucky enough to see them, they could have the satisfaction in knowing that they were one of the only people besides myself who ever had. And, really, what reason besides not having tan lines would you go topless? Regardless, I tried it. It was fine. But I don't think I'll be going topless again anytime soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

So SaRadar

Things I've been meaning to mention:

1. Why bother? The Anti-Energy Drink so you can "slow your roll." Orrr you can just drink a bottle of red wine and take a percocet... Not that I've never done that. I've never been, but if it's so popular in Houston, one can only deduce that Houston sucks to the point of needing soporation. To add insult to, erm, sleep, they package it to look like grape soda. Gross.

2. Atheism comes to I-95. God (or Whoever/Whatever) damnit, atheists! Why can't you just not believe in God or any higher power and be cool with it? I seriously don't get why atheism seems to be becoming a religion in it's own right. Form a coalition with like-minded individuals? Really? What are they going to do if they meet?
"Hi, my name is John and I don't believe in a higher power."
"Hi, John..." (the group choruses), "We don't either."
"Erm, yeah. Those fundamentalists sure are dumb to put logic on the backburner and believe in something like religion, aren't they?"
"They sure are, John."
So weird. I hate it.

3. FHM's Top 100 Sexiest women vs. Maxim's Hot 100. I'm suspiciously absent. Next year, next year...


A necklace and bracelet I think my best friend, Michele, would love. Both are by Swedish jewelry company, Dada's Diamonds.

Perish Necklace

This necklace is from Dada's "Friday's" collection. It was inspired by the designer's fascination with Robinson Crusoe and related zeitgeist of religious beliefs blended with fearful superstition and dread of savages and the unknown.

Black Magic Revealed Bracelet

This bracelet was inspired by the mystery and mischief in Mikail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (which I've heard is excellent, but haven't had a chance to read yet...).

Georg Jensen Daisy Collection

The Georg Jensen Daisy collection apparently used to be really popular among older (much older, like in their 80s) Danish women. After a marked fade in popularity and years of style hibernation (stylebernation?), it has been redesigned to be more colorful and have more design options (diamonds, white and yellow gold, etc.) and is currently experiencing a resurgence among women of all ages. It is huge in Denmark once again. The collection ranges from 170USD for a bracelet or silver earrings to 9530USD for a diamond, white enamel, and gold brooch.

See more here:

I personally don't see what all the hype is about. It's fine but rather young looking, I think. Not really my style, though I have Danish friends and colleagues that wear it, pull it off, and look great.

Sarah Shops South Moon Under

Slow day at work. The students I work with/for are in final exams or headed off on study tours around Europe and pretty much everyone is out of the office... except me, of course. I was bored, so I decided to browse/window shop the South Moon Under website. Here are a few things I liked. :)

Juicy Couture Chiffon Halter Bikini - $140.
Though I've generally avoided all things Juicy Couture since the infamous Terry Tears Incident of 2005, I think this is a pretty color and would look great with a tan. I like that it's simple but the bow and bit of trim around the neckline keep it from being boring.

Molly New York Floral Print Moore Dress - $180
Another dress that would look so pretty either casually or dressed up during the summer.

Roxy Fiji Knit Tank Dress - $39.50
So cute and so unbelievably inexpensive! I'd wear this to the beach.

Sabina Braided Handle with Tassel - $188
I'm in the market for a nice new leather bag. I like the shape of this one and it's way, way under what I'm willing to pay, but I'm not sure about the braided handle and the color without seeing it in person.

Izumi Ente Plated Enamel Bamboo Bangle - $29.50
Because I like enamel and I like green. Also a terrific deal. I'm not used to seeing things so cheap, being as everything in Denmark costs twice what it would cost in the United States.

Human Rights in Denmark

Embassy News Service | Danish Press Today NEWS ex-press Volume 17 No. 106 June 5th 2008

Constitution needs to be amended says EU watchdog

As Denmark celebrates Constitution Day today, the EU’s newly appointed human rights watchdog, Morten Kjærum, claims that the Danish constitution should be amended to give Danes better protection of their human rights. From Vienna, where he was installed on Monday as the head of the EU’s new agency for fundamental rights, Mr Kjærum said that in contrast to the majority of other countries, the Danish constitution only provides limited protection of an individual’s human rights. ‘Without international conventions Danes would have very little protection,’ he said. ‘Any lawyer who knows his job and was defending a case of human rights would utilise the European Human Rights Convention, because on this particular issue the Danish constitution is virtually useless.’

I usually just quickly blitz through the embassy news in the morning but the above news story made me pause for a few seconds. Even with just a quick glance, I thought it was interesting for a number of reasons. First and foremost, though I am admittedly not a huge follower of international politics, I like ethics and human rights discussions and feel that it is rather infrequent to hear about a first world constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democratic rule in need of better protection of human rights. I'm intrigued by the complaint that Danes would have very little human rights protection without the EHRC. It's also interesting that this is a current issue. I thought concerns of not being protected by national constitutions and conventions was alleviated back in 1950 when the Convention was adopted... Why do people need to be, for lack of a better term, double protected? Are citizens double protected in other EU Member States? Moreover, as far as I know, there have been no reports that national police in Denmark (who have sole responsibility for matters of internal security) have committed any direct human rights abuses. (Though I wonder if issues and circumstances that may concern activists, such as human trafficking and direct or indirect discrimination towards immigrants and women may be considered indirect violations?) I'm wondering if this concern has been prompted by recent, festering, and perhaps growing anti-immigrant sentiments, particularly towards Muslims. Perhaps the rekindled concern is a direct result of the recent car bombing of the Danish Embassy in Islamabad. Hmm...

Last but not least, I'm a bit concerned that Morten Kjærum seems so concerned with human rights in Denmark. One would think that in his new post as the EU's human rights watchdog he would understand that, regardless of his former posting in Denmark, his home country should no longer be his primary concern. The EU is a big place. He should start looking at the big picture.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pretty Pink Flowers

After work today I stopped by the major Danish Department store Magasin to pick up some new perfume, mascara, and face wash. They had these beautiful pink flowers at the Magasin flower market outside. I had to have them.

Flowers on the table, with flash.

Flowers on the table, without flash. This is closer to how pretty they really look in the room at night.

Close up.

... so pretty and cheery in my new apartment! I wish I knew what kind of flowers they are.

A bad idea with a $1300 price tag:

Fendi Paint-Your-Own-Baguette.

everything could go wrong!

So, Sarah has been interested in...

Welcome to my world.

1. Seven Basic Blog Posts. I'm guilty of most, but not all. I blog what I want!

2. This Poster. Though I'm not completely in love with the color scheme.

3. I'll stimulate your right parahippocampal gyrus with my excessive sarcasm.

4. Daily Astrology Forecast. Eerie.

5. The Grønne Sti (Green Path) in Copenhagen. I want to go ride by this bike counter a couple of times just to see the number go up. I have no life and am amused by lame things. I once had a car with a analog odometer (is there such a thing? I mean an odometer that's not digital, obviously) that, once I realized you could make it go backwards, I drove in reverse circles for about two tenths of a mile in a parking lot one night with some friends in high school. Like I said, easily amused.

Let the hunt begin!
(see, told you I would start using it!)

Style Profile... Sarah, Copenhagen

Questions snagged from The Sartorialist Style Profiles.

I work for a study abroad organization. Mostly, I act as a concierge and answer student questions all day long, everyday, but I also plan parties, cultural events, and social activities, as well as helping students find housing, coordinating logistics, and other fun things. My job changes day to day which keeps it fun. I like to think of myself as a local celebrity among college-aged Americans in Copenhagen. They all know me. I don't know as many of them. It can be weird when American strangers wave or say hello to me in random places around the city (shopping, grocery stores, etc.) and I don't recognize them at all. I'm like "Oh hey!!!... you."

Best Sartorial advice from your parents?
Probably to just be myself.

Style icons
No one in particular, but I am influenced by a variety of people, places, and things.

Describe your personal style
I've been told my personal style is pretty preppy, but I like to think that it can be a bit arty/creative and sophisticated-yet-fun as well. I like to play around and try new things. As long as it's not described as boring, I guess I'm okay.

I build my daily look around
Whatever I'm doing, wherever I'm going, and whomever I'll be seeing that day.

Personal Style quirk
Classic items mixed with trendier pieces. Mixing low-end cheapie things with more expensive things. I guess that's what everyone does though, right?

Favorite designers
It changes from season to season, but I generally like Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, and Dsquared. Recently I really liked the Peter Som Resort collection and the Fall 2008 collections from BCBG Max Azria, Luella , Blumarine, and Luca Luca. I'd also love to see some As Four pieces in person and Andrew Gn appeals to my wintery love of all things dark.

Most cherished item
A great fitting pair of jeans that's well worn but still looks as good as the day you bought them and makes you look and feel like a million dollars. I also love my peacoat, but I think I want to swap it out for something navy wool with brass buttons this winter... perhaps.

I feel best wearing?
Depends on the day and my mood. Sometimes I just want to be wearing a pretty dress or skirt. Other days dressy shorts or pants with heels give me confidence. Most of the time I'm happy in jeans and flip flops. Whatever I'm wearing, it looks best with my big smile, so I try to wear that too. I'm cheesy.

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist's outfit ...
How do I feel about it at first glance? Do I have to look at it for a minute or two to appreciate that it works or do I think "wow" at first glance?

I always break this fashion rule.
"Put on all your accessories and then take one thing off." I never do this. I think I overaccesorize sometimes. I also should probably upgrade to a bigger bag because I tend to pack my tiny shoulder bags tetris-style full to the point where sometimes I'm worried I'll break the zipper when I'm pulling them closed. I just really like my small bags. Don't get me wrong, big bags can be fun, but also sooo cumbersome!

I never break this fashion rule.
Wear it with confidence. If you think you look great, you probably do. Narcissism can be your friend.

Never caught wearing?
Garish labels or shirts advertising places that don't exist or athletic events that never happened.

Most underrated item in menswear/womenswear?
For men, a plain, long-sleeved light Grey shirt with jeans. Most guys look really, really hot in this outfit. For girls, a plain, long-sleeved, fitted white t-shirt with jeans. For both, a well-fitting white oxford with classic, non-dominating accessories.

Dress to impress who?
Myself when I look in the mirror. Unexpected compliments from others are always welcome, though!

Shine your own shoes?
I don't own many shoes that need shining, but I probably would if I did. Otherwise, I've always thought those shoeshine places and shoeshine guys at airports and train stations look underused. I'd probably let them shine me up. Remind me to wear my round-toed black patent leather high heels next time I travel.

Favorite stores?
Hmm, this is a tough question because I love boutique shopping as much as I love mall shopping. It depends if I'm browsing (in which I prefer the former) or actually looking for something in particular (the latter).

Your next "must have" purchase?
I'm in the market for a couple of new dresses, would love a great pair of casual summer heels and perhaps some cross-back (but not gym-esque!) tanks, and need to replace my Burberry London perfume.

I only buy __________ in Europe.
Accessories. Okay, I've bought other things, but accessories are easiest to take home. I've never bought shoes in Europe, though I've been tempted!

I skimp when buying ...
Basics like t-shirts and tank-tops.*

I splurge on.....

Jeans and outerwear.*

Favorite item of clothing
Right now I love my light grey cardigan with the big buttons. I never thought I'd look good in light grey, but this looks great on me and goes with a lot.

Guilty pleasure
Matching my undergarmets to my outfit.

Cologne, skincare?
Burberry London EDP, Cetaphil face wash, Dove Bar body soap, Biotherm facial moisturizer, The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter.

Most stylish city (Milan, Paris, London, New York, other)
People dress differently in all these cities, so it's hard to compare. I haven't spent a lot of time in Milan, so my view might be biased, but I think I like Paris the best. London does have a really great, preppy vibe going in parts though...

When I was high school I wore?
Pretty much the same stuff I wear now. The key to a great, classic wardrobe is to aim for variations on a theme over time.

Sailing, Running. I like other watching things too.

Favorite fashion magazine?
Hands down Harper's Bazaar.

Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere, as long as I am with my friends or loved ones.

Favorite neighborhood restaurant?
Here in Copenhagen I really like going to the Laundromat Cafe for brunch.

* When it comes to skimping and splurging, I use shopping math:

When considering a purchase I ask myself, "If my friends and I had such a situation where we charged each other when borrowing one another's clothing, how much would I be willing to pay my friend to wear the item I am thinking about buying?" Then I do the math. If the estimated number of times I'll wear the item results in a cost per wear equal or less than what I'd be hypothetically willing to pay my friend to wear the item once, I can buy it! This works out perfectly because it builds a system into my shopping practices that encourages me to spend more on nicer quality things I will wear more. For example, imagine I am considering purchasing a $200 pair of jeans:

Item in question: $200 jeans.
Amount I'd be willing to pay a friend to borrow jeans once: $5/wear.
Estimated number of times I'll probably wear jeans in question before retiring them for another similar yet newer replacement pair: 100
200 x 5 = $500.
I'd buy the jeans. $500>$200. Worth it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cupcakes vs. Muffins

Not the same.

Cakespy investigates...
I completely agree with their conclusions. Muffins are heartier, often with bits of fruit or nuts and much denser - especially if, when you eat muffins, you tend to go for fiber blueberry or peach raspberry, like me. Both have bits of fruit that could potentially lend themselves towards being a cupcake, but who's ever heard of a fiber cupcake?! Nobody.

Also, I agree with Cakespy that frosting is a key deciding factor. As Cakespy pointed out, cupcakes always have frosting. Frosting makes them special, makes them cute, and makes them delicious. Muffins, on the other hand, do not have frosting. The line is slightly blurred when you have a muffin with that lemony, creamy glaze topping, but I think those are hybrids. My bet is that either the baker who makes glazed muffins for your favorite coffee shop goes home and night and makes cupcakes OR the glazed muffin maker knows their muffins are subpar so they put the glaze on in an attempt to make up for shortcomings. One last thing it is important to note, however, is that a cupcake without frosting ISN'T a muffin. It's a lamecake. A big, caloric "why bother".