Monthly Archives: November 2006

‘Christmas lunch’ is neither Christmas nor lunch. Discuss.

It's Julefrokost season in Denmark! Yes!

What's a Julefrokost? Well, literally, it means 'Christmas lunch', but it's more accurately translated as 'You and your friends get together, ruin someone's kitchen, mob on some Danish food, and get really drunk together. On a weekday.' You always end up going to like five of them. There's The Work One, The Friends One, The Other Friends One and, inevitably, The Random One. This year's T.R.O. is the International Young Businessmen of Denmark Julefrokost. I have no idea how or why I was invited to this, but as long as there's cold schnappes and weapons-grade roast pork, I'm in.

Last night was the first Christmas lunch of the season. Me and 12 other interns from our humble 'saving the world' organization got together at Søren's place to make an ambitious menu of sugar-roasted potatoes, homemade rødkål, and two unfortunate ducks. We started cooking at 4 pm, and we ate at 9.30. The most enthusiastic Schnappesters among us headed home around 2.30. Work is a struggle today.

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Things not to talk about when you’re ‘in-Continent’

In the course of living here and in London, there are some topics that I just don't bring up anymore. No matter how similar our Western cultures are, there is just some shit that Americans and Europeans will never agree on. The largest one being, of course, the 'Lord of The Rings' movies.

In the highly significant and representative sample of the Brits, Danes, and Mediterraneans I've met, I don't think I've come across anyone who actually likes these films. Danes have told me that they're boring ('It's just the same thing over and over'), Brits have some sort of class-based objection ('The whole thing is rather common, innit?'), and the Meds don't understand why Frodo and Saruman couldn't just make-a Paella together and move in with someone's parents.

Yet Americans love them. They're the only non-Pixar movies I can watch with my parents without fighting afterwards. We blue-staters love the allusions to the corrupting influence of power, while the red-staters love the whole 'git-r-done' ethos of the series.

I consumed eight hours of 'Lord of the Rings'-ness this weekend (comprising roughly one-quarter of the 'extended edition' of the first film), and was re-amazed at how good it is. How can people not like these movies? We may just have to file this under Shit We Don't Understand About Each Other. Where it can join the company of peanut butter, Will Ferrell, smelly cheese, Cypress Hill and social welfare.

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How cocaine is made

Remember the opening sequence of 'Blow'? I always wished that part was longer. How the hell do you take a leaf and make it into a white powder? Well, this is 2006, so YouTube and you shall receive:

http://cityrag.blogs.com/main/2006/11/how_cocaine_is_.html

Kinda makes distilling homemade rum in a college-town kitchen seem pretty simple, eh?

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Helt ærlig

OK, jeg skulle indrømme at Seattle er ikke så charmerende det helt år. Nu, for eksample, Seattle lige skulle til at slå rekordet for regn i en maned. Rekordet er 15.33 inches i december 1933, og står Seattle på 14.74 lige nu (Ja, ja, hvad betyder 'inch'? Din fod er sandsynligvis 10 inches læng). Også, det sneer åbenbart i dag, so det brækkes snart, tror jeg. Sidst gang tog jeg hjemm for jule, det regnede hver fanden dag. Bogstavelig hele dag, alle dage for den 30 dage blevet jeg i seattle. Argh. Men for to år siden, det kom til 20 grader i januar, sååååå…

 

Her er hvad, seattle ledede som i går…

 

 

Det ligner mere eller mindre københavn i maned…

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Orbiting Seattleite touches down…

I'm leaving for Seattle in, what, three weeks now? I was looking at my friend Derek's lovely photo-blog this morning (when I should have been writing about milk, Goddammit), and getting really nostalgic. Since most people in Europe don't really know anything about Seattle, here's some view-porn, courtesy of The D.

Derek and beerDowntownSeattle!Rainier

And here's some of mine, from the summer before I left.

100_0045100_0188100_0315

Footnote: I'm never drinking on Independence Day again.

Ok, back to Derek's pics. Below is my college town, Bellingham, which British people always mispronounce magnificently. It sorta looks like a favela here, but that's not really Derek's fault. It was probably designed to depress foreign diplomats or something.

BellinghamWestern_edited-1

This isn't exactly the same as my '5 minutes' experiment, but all the following things are within probably an hour's drive of Seattle. We like our nature over there.

BoulderFirstLakeBoulderpanowebBouldersnakelogHurricane RidgeMountains

And, finally, this January I'm traveling to Panama with this man. Would you trust him around coca leaves?

Brock clammingBrock at OceanBrock!

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Depressing Russian fact of the day

According to the US State Department, 'Spousal or acquaintance rape was not widely perceived as a problem … studies suggested that up to half of women and more men think that women cannot refuse sex in marriage.'

 

Half of WOMEN? Fuuuuuuuck. Russia needs a Lorena Bobbitt, stat.

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Easily impressed American visits continent

Here's a video I took at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin's equivalent of London's Canary Wharf, or America's… mall.

 

For a brand new, sterile, shopping-centered neighborhood, I have to admit, it's pretty cool. The architecture's funky, there's a glittery building for no reason at all, and right next to 'wurst stands is a fucking inner-tubing slope. Don't miss the Independence Day motif in the background. . .

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More Berlin pics

As much as I hate to be that guy, take a look at the last two pictures on the bottom there. One is of Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall border crossing where hundreds of people died and became a symbol of the brutal repression of the Soviet Union over East Berliners.

The next photo is of the T-shirts they were selling literally 10 feet away. You've got to be fucking kidding me. I know our generation obligates us to be marinated in detached irony all day, but a CCCP T-shirt right next to Checkpoint Fucking Charlie? Are they selling Hitler costumes at Auschwitz?

Jafar lives in Berlin, apparentlyHaaaated it.No idea what this is, other than awesomeI brought Danes along!

Scandily cladDrunkenness, hour 8Checkpoint CharlieMeanwhile, 10 feet away...

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Tappin’ that Strasse

I was in Berlin last weekend. Here's some pictures.

Berlin is sorta like Europe's Las Vegas. There may be a bunch of museums and tourist sites, but mostly you go there for cheap beer, thick bratwurst, and weapons-grade sin. Our weekend didn't disappoint.

Berlinest Moment: You know how at indie shows they always show weird shit on video in the background? These usually alternate between cryptic and kitschy, and I've seen everything from old bodybuilding contest clips to 'The Fellowship of the Ring' in its entirely. I went to a random, subterranean scuzz-venue on Thursday in Berlin to see something a magazine had described with only the words 'indie/electro'. As the saxophone/laptop/snare drum trio meandered their way through PretentoGram in Four Movements, I looked at the video screens. It was a home-video-grainy clip of a naked woman farting onto a candle so that puffs of blue flame came out.

I'm not fucking kidding about this. Was there music after that? I'm not sure. I was too busy staring into my beer and trying to scrub the inside of my retinas.

Old TV tower in b.g. Anyone know what this building is?100_3586How can you not want to say that out loud?

Also known as 'the best thing ever'Jewish memorialCool Berlin department storeI wonder what this building's called

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Oh huh

I just realized that today is Thanksgiving back home. Whenever I'm out of the US, I have to remind myself of what a big deal it is. Everyone is off school and work for the next four days (well, two of 'em are Saturday and Sunday, but still), airports are clogged with the haggard baby boomers you see in movies like 'Home Alone', and everyone is trying to come up with their 'what I'm thankful for' speech when it's their turn.

 

Last year I made Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in my international kollegium, which for most of them was their first. EU regulations apparently prohibit the sale of pumpkin pie or stuffing, so those were out, and it's not easy to find (or cook) a full turkey, so I just bought a bunch of turkey breasts, stuffed 'em with butter and bacon, and threw them in the oven. We ate at 11 pm, I think.

 

This year I had a similar plan, but it turns out my milk opus is due on Monday, so I'm locked in the compound all night, setting my AutoCorrect for words like 'lactose' and 'centrifuge'. I've missed, I think, four Thanksgivings due to assorted international adulthood-postponements, and I never really miss it until dinnertime. Tonight this will consist of a study break, a microwave, and the bean-and-tuna soup I made earlier this week and saved in the fridge. I know that's depressing in a cat-lady sort of way, but two years ago I was in London and I'm pretty sure I had a frozen pizza. At least in Denmark I can have rødbeder.

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