Monthly Archives: December 2006

Chairman Maui

I am pleased to announce that the first phase of Operation Avoid Danish Winter is complete. I returned last night from 10 days on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Non-photographic highlights:

 

Biking 38 miles down a mountain.

Snorkeling with all kinds of beautiful fish, colorful rocks and assorted tourist detritus. Got stung by urchin while attempting to pet it.

Overhearing scraps of conversations between the myriad discontent American families at the hotel. The filet of the bunch, heard from the balcony at 11 pm on Christmas Eve: "I know you're my brother, but why do you have to be such a FAGGOT?!" This was followed by loud blubbering.

Jumping off a waterfall into natural pools in the middle of a rainforest.

Boogie-boarding every morning.

Staying in a hotel with cable. Me and my brother missed most of the Christmas dinner conversation because we were in the middle of a speculate-fest about 'Top Chef'.

The reliably 80-degree temperatures

 

Here's some pics:

This view cost, like, $75 per treeChristmas morningMy mom suggested I swim laps in this...This crater is literally the size of ManhattanThe helmets weren't for the bike trip. My family just falls down a lot

 

The hibiscus doesn't help all that much for perspective, but these waves are like 20 feet highMe with my best Ice Cube face for the photoErode rageWe saw dolphinsSorry, I just really liked this mountain

 

What's that, Lassie? I found an old coconut on the ground. I wonder what it smells like.Dah! Let's not do that again.The 'wet side' of Maui is hella more Jurassic than the dry side. Wet siiiieeede!The hella Rio-ass rainforest town of Hana. Notice the big cross on the lefthand hump.

 

The Rivendell stylings of Seven PoolsYes, I was swimming in my underwearThis dude has smartly adopted the urethra-bug protective stanceYep, that's me jumping. My camera didn't capture the Swiss Miss sound I was making...Watching the next victims

Next up: Panama for the next two weeks. Expect anecdotes about snakebites…

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Overheard in Aarhus

Guy playing solitaire in computer lab, talking on phone: No, honey, I can't come home now. I'm really busy with exams. I haven't done anything except study all day [sips on beer]. What? Just a cola.

[Translated from the Danish]

Speaking of 'honey': Should I read into the fact that the word for 'honey/darling/sweetie' is the same as the word for 'taxes'? I think that says something about the Danish relationship to salary-sacrifice.

Bonus cultural illiteracy: The word is 'skat', which to any English-speaker brings up images that have little to do with terms of endearment or taxes.

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The year in disappointment

Is it me or was there a massive surplus of disappointing entertainment this year? It feels like everything I was looking forward to turned out to be just 'eh'. Did anyone else feel like this? Maybe I'm just starting to go into my Nostalgia Shell, where I become incapable of appreciating anything that was released after I get a real job (our parents, anyone?). I hope not, and offer the following things as incontrovertible evidence that 2006 was The Year of Deflated Expectations:

Superman Returns

Marie Antoinette

X-Men: The Last Stand (OK, it was a bullshit director and my expectations shouldn't have been high. But that trailer was sooooo cool)

King Kong

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (what was it even ABOUT?)

Bloc Party's new album

The Killers' new album

The Departed

The Devil Wears Prada

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (My GOD it sucks)

Miami Vice

Sufjan Stevens (Yeah, I said it)

All the 'Lost' clones on network TV ('Look, a bunch of inexplicable shit! That I have to waste 48 Tuesday nights explaining! Wow, it's better than a Tamagochi!')

Preaching -to-the-choir documentaries about how bad Bush is

The White Stripes' latest album

A Scanner Darkly

Talladega Nights

Thom Yorke's solo album

Through this darkness, though, there were some rays of unexpected sunshine. All of the following totally came out of nowhere for me, and have made all those lost movie-theater hours and eardrum vibrations worthwhile:

Thumbsucker

The DFA Remixes, in all their pretentious glory

'Over & Over' by Hot Chip

The Go! Team (it's a band, not a cartoon)

Istanbul (yes, the city)

'We Are Your Friends', by those dudes who pissed off Kanye

Thank You For Smoking

Little Miss Sunshine

LCD Soundsystem

The Wire (OK, so it didn't come out of nowhere. It's just SO GOOD)

Five words: 'Does that make me craaaaazay?'

Capote

Friday Night Lights (The TV show)

The Concretes

30 Rock

Antony & The Johnsons

Wolf Parade

Mission: Impossible III

Danish music like Rhonda Harris, Amstrong, Windermere, Blue Foundation, and Gogol Bordello

 

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This is why the Internet was invented

The 50 best music videos of 2006.

I have DoCopenhagen to thank for reviving my neglected love for all things musical and video-y. I grew up without cable, so when I finally discovered MTV (and more importantly, M2) at about 18, homework and socializing quickly became also-rans. This list shows further proves that of all the creativity in the world, about 80% of it is taking place on TV.

 

Oh, and don't forget this. It has nothing to do with music videos, or anything else remotely inspiring. It's just simply the funniest Goddamn thing in the entire world.

UPDATE: Here's the YouTube link, in it's silent, profound glory:

 

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Jeg taler ikke dansk (hvis spørger du DSB)

So I finally broke down and did it: I played the tourist card when I got busted for riding the train without a ticket.

Background: My Abu-Ghraibian biking style finally resulted in a snapped chain yesterday, so I took my bike to the Bike Dude and took the bus home. Homosexuality beckoned me into town later on, so I had to take the train. You know when you get to the train platform just as the train pulls up? In Denmark, that means you have to punch your ticket on the platform hella fast before Indiana Jones-ing yourself into the train car. I jammed my ticket into the machine, heard a half-assed 'click', and jumped onto the train just as the beeps started.

I noticed that the ticket hadn't been punched all the way, leaving just a phantom timestamp and no hole-punch. 'Oh well,' I thought. 'They never check tickets anyway.'

Well guess what? When I got to my stop there was a Red Rover lineup of train-Nazis getting on the train and checking everyone who got off. I went into teenage-shoplifter mode and tried to walk off the bus as casually and confidently as possible, possibly hoping the security personnel would conclude 'Wow, that dude's so upright, he's GOTTA have a valid ticket!' Not unlike my teenage shoplifting career, my trip off the train was cut short.

'May I see your ticket?' The behatted dude asked in Danish. After a textbook's worth of calculations before answering, I dedided to be The World's Most Earnest American: 'Oh my God, I don't speak Danish, I'm so sorry. What's that now?'

'Your ticket, please.'

'Oh, that sounds great.' (I decided 'Gee willickers' would be pushing it).

I showed him the ticket and acted very confused when he told me it wasn't valid. 'Oh gosh, I punched it. I heard a click, officer, sorry.'

His eyes narrowed. 'I'll let you go this time. Have fun in Copenhagen.'

'Vi ses naeste gang, svine-røv!' I said.

OK, just kidding. But I can't believe that shit worked.

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Julefrokost pictures

The Food:

Donald's having a bad dayRemoving its ass-hair. Would have been easier with wax...We didn't cook it in the fry-pan, don't worryTwo ducks a-roastin'Looking for the whole almond

The Rest:

 

Sauna break!Note that it was like 7 pm at this pointawwwwJulia, using Mette and Soeren as crutchesThey waited for food for like 4 hoursShe's Dutch, it's not her fault

FormatRemove

Who, me? Danish tradition of passing around flaming objects right in front of paper wall-hangingsWhoever's holding it when it goes out has to surrender southern SwedenSchnapps time!Still realizing my lifelong goal of ruining every photo I'm inJulia as God made herDon't worry, we didn't mix the schnappes with the orange juiceThe Dutch girl does her best crab impressionThere's a metaphor in here somewhere...

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