The traveler is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep. – Margaret Mead

I spent some time at the airport today. No, I wasn’t going anywhere, nor was I arriving from a far-off destination. On one hand I was meeting my roomie as she returned from a long weekend in Paris, but if that was the only reason, I wouldn’t have stayed for 3.5hours.

There is something about the airport that just draws me in. Part of the appeal is that it’s the only place in Denmark to indulge in my love of fancy coffee drinks ala Starbucks (though they don’t do specials like Pumpkin Spice Lattes or salted caramel hot chocolate), but at roughly $10 for a grande mocha, it’s not a place I could afford to frequent often. Most of the appeal isn’t just with the Copenhagen airport, it’s with airports world-wide. So I’ve come up with a little list as to why I love spending time at airports, even when I’m not going anywhere.

1. Emotion: I think the airport is one of very few places where people are truly open with their emotions. Where else can you see such a mix of people who are happy, sad, worried, relieved..? The Starbucks where I sat is located in the arrivals hall, so a majority of the people around me were waiting for loved ones to return from vacation, from business, from school, from… They weren’t embarrassed to hide their happy tears, pouncing on loved ones as soon as they exited customs areas. So often in everyday life people walk around with a mask, especially here in Denmark, so I find it a welcome relief to read the open emotion of the faces of those I encounter at the airport.

2.) Fast pace: Everyone (except me) is going somewhere and they want to get there now. I don’t like to leave things last minute at the airport, instead I prefer to watch the hustle and bustle around me. It’s kind of like watching people last minute Christmas shop the day before Christmas (hi dad) while you sit around and drink hot chocolate.

3.) Mix of language: Airports are so international, and if anything fascinates me, it’s the sound of foreign languages. It’s kind of like spoken poetry… only I don’t usually know the topic.

4.) The fact that it’s never the same: It doesn’t matter the time of day or day of the week, an experience at the airport will never be the same. Always something new to see, hear, do.

A few things I’m not a fan of…

1.) They tend to be pricey: Never mind that you had to break the bank to afford your plane ticket, they know you can’t go anywhere else (esp. once you’ve checked in) and charge accordingly.

2.) Customer Service: With the exception of maybe business travelers who get to know baristas at their favorite coffee stand, you won’t likely be served by the same person when you go through the airport. I think this has a bit of an effect on customer service. Rather than being friendly, I’ve often felt as though I’m rushed through my purchase and herded on my flight. On the other hand, I’m sure airport workers have dealt with their fair share of unruly passengers – and that must suck.
What I have learned from the airport:

1.) Small things = big difference.
– Sometimes letting someone ahead of you is an easy way to make someones day.
2.) Someone is always in a bigger hurry than you.
3.) Customs officers (usually) don’t have a sense of humor.
4.) Having a sense of humor can usually make it easier (even if you have to keep it to yourself).
5.) Sometimes a $10 mocha is worth it.


Goodnight, Pine Valley.

I’ve been debating on doing a post about the cancellation of my soap (All My Children) but while I was in town today, my thoughts sort of came together in my head, so why not. *

All My Children has been a part of my life for 20+ years. In fact, the only time I really remember NOT watching it was when I wasn’t allowed to watch, so I’d peek over the back of the sofa while my mom watched and I was supposedly playing barbies in my room (more often than not, they were named after characters in the show). I don’t remember exactly when I was allowed to watch, but it was while we were living in rose hill, so it was somewhere around the age of 6 — Though after a bit of research, I clearly remember the character Billy Clyde Tuggle, and his last airdate was in 1990, so I was 5. Almost 22 years of my life I have followed along with the lives of the citizens of Pine Valley, and as much as it’s just a tv show it hurts to say goodbye.

I think what ABC didn’t realize is that lower ratings weren’t due to a lack of interest, but rather a change in times. Soap operas have been geared towards the home-maker, who could take a break from her daily chores and relax for an hour to follow along. But as more and more women have gone to work, there are less people at home to watch. Watch at noon, that is. For people like me and my mom, our VCR (and now DVR) have always been set to record AMC and heaven-help my father if he turned the VCR off, or fiddled around with the program, because you don’t mess with the soap. I remember my mom buying extra VHS tapes for when we spent 6 weeks in Denmark so that our house sitter could record all 6 weeks for us. I guess the ratings don’t count when you don’t watch at noon. But then again, I’m not sure how that works anyway.

So now ABC is trying to gain better ratings with another show geared toward homemakers, stay-at-home moms, retirees – whatever you want to call them. A show about food and family and blah blah blah. But what they haven’t realized, is that those are the exact same people who watched the soaps. Changing the show won’t change their ability to watch at noon, and soap fans are nothing, if not loyal. I can’t think of a single AMC fan who will tune in to see a show about food. That’s what the food network is for, and Paula Dean and no matter how much good fashion advice Clinton Kelly has given – I won’t watch it.

I have mixed feeling over the finale (don’t read if you still haven’t seen it and it’s saved on your DVR). On one hand, you could read the emotion radiating off of everyone during the show. It wasn’t just because Stewart was really alive after two years, but it was genuine emotion. And even the bit of drama between Jack and Erica (and was that a Gone with the Wind reference?) fit in and was expected – because Erica = drama. I never really thought Erica would settle down, and I’m kind of glad she didn’t. But the cliffhanger of JR presumably shooting someone felt a bit like a slap in the face. I see a bit of the humor in ending it that way as a nod to the ‘Who shot JR’ finale of Dallas (not that I ever have seen it), but knowing that a majority of the people in the final shot won’t continue on with Prospect Park has, a.) left PP a big mess to clean up when/if they start airing AMC again, and b.) to the older viewers who likely won’t make the switch to online viewing it was… harsh, abrupt and left viewers a bit rattled after the heartfelt speech by Tad. It was so very clear that he wasn’t just speaking to those in the room, but to the longtime fans and viewers. It just didn’t sit right, and if the show wasn’t cancelled, it would be one of those many, many times I threatened to stop watching (kind of like when Dixie died. And then died again). Until the next day when I found myself parked in front of the TV at noon.

But you know, maybe it isn’t the end of soaps, only the end of soaps the way we know them. Prospect Park now has the rights to both AMC and OLTL – both of which are to air online starting in the new years. When soaps first started they were 15 minutes on the radio and then brought to TV, the entire genra pioneered by women who felt just as passionate about the stories as the fans do today. So maybe this is just another step in the evolution of this beloved brand of television. Maybe, when I’ve got my own Children, we’ll sit on the sofa with the lap top to catch the latest happenings in Pine Valley.

But until then: Paging Doctor Battaglia, paging Doctor Battaglia.

*And just because it came together in my head, it doesn’t mean it’s come together on ‘paper’.

Sometimes the memory makes my kidneys twitch.

Let me start with the following: I do not have a kidney stone. I do not have kidney pain. I am, in no way, reaching out for help with this post (if I thought I had a kidney stone again, I wouldn’t be wasting time posting on my blog – I’d be out in search of ‘real’ pain medicine).

While debating on what to fix for dinner tonight, I’ve been watching a show about ER doctors and nurses (a documentary, if you will) here in Denmark and one of the patients that came in was a guy, early 30’s with side pain. Long story short, big beefy, tattooed guy in tears because ‘his side hurts’. I totally called it before the nurse did – only one thing can bring a guy like that to his knees – a kidney stone.  Just as this image above says, death is welcomed treatment. I won’t lie – there was more than one occasion where, lying on the bathroom floor, it was a very, very welcome option. Just watching made me sit a little straighter, twist a little to stretch my sides and not long after drift to the kitchen for a large glass of water.

I have never in my life been in such great pain compared to when I was in the hospital back in 2008 for a kidney stone. Nor would I wish that sort of pain on anyone (ok, maybe the fool who CANCELLED MY SOAP – but that’s another post, another day). It’s the kind of pain where you can’t sit still, you can’t focus, and no matter how many times the nurse tells you to ‘just go to sleep‘, you can’t. It’s funny though, how the mind/body works. I can’t explain how the pain was exactly. I know it was bad, and I remember being so miserable, but it’s like the mind blocks any real memories of what it felt like. Probably a good thing.

So my friends, family history or not of kidney stones, do yourself a favor and drink a glass of water.


“I spent a year in that town, one Sunday.” — George Burns

People (hi mom) have been nagging at me to post photos of my new ‘hood. It’s not much compared to Copenhagen, but it’s got what I need.

This is my front door…

And this is my other front door.

And this is my building. I’m in number 5, so all the way down by the lovely pile of trash (not mine). Someone is moving in (or out, what do I know) and they’ve piled stuff there to be taken away by the trash collectors tomorrow.

And this is my street….

Which is a side street off of this main street…

And this is the church around the corner (and a cross the street) that tells me the time with its bell.

Don’t let the blue skies fool you… We had roughly 38 minutes of “oh look, it’s wonderful today,” before the skies opened up (again) and once again it’s pouring rain outside. At least it’s a step up from the thunder/lightning mess we had this morning.

This is the stuff weather forecasts are made of.

Dear Denmark. If I was fond of the piss rain, and cloudy grey days, I’d have stayed in Seattle. Though, I see that Seattle is having a bit of freakish September with temps hovering up about the 80F mark (which, let’s be honest, if I was in Seattle I’d still be complaining – only about the heat rather than the rain). With the exception of yesterdays half-sunny skies I have been dodging in and out of puddles all week. I went to visit Maria, in the rain. I went for a job, in the rain. I picked up groceries, in the rain. Went to school, in the rain. In fact, everything I’ve done this past week you can just add the “….. In the rain” to the end.

I don’t like my flats filling with water while waiting for the bus, because despite the fact that I have an umbrella, the rain seems to have taken a fondness for coming in at a pretty sharp angle.

This was not the beautiful fall welcome I had expected, Copenhagen. How can I be out and about enjoying the beautiful city with my trusty camera, if I can’t see through the rain. Granted, I’ve been in school four days this week, so I haven’t really had the time, but that is clearly beside the point.

And as I just mentioned – I was in school for four full days this week. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, these aren’t light subjects! Yesterday was all kinds of measuring military power and offensive-defensive balance and direct attack vs. indirect attack between strong and weak actors and can’t we just play a game of battleship and call it a day?

So this weekend I will be resting and recovering from a long, hard week doing what I do best.

Watching NCIS with Danish subtitles, of course.


Back to where it started.

Today I got up and headed to Roskilde for a few hours – check out the ‘hood (everything is good), see if there is anything new (nope) and wander through the cathedral for the eleventy-billionth time (love that place). As a wonderful welcome back to Denmark, it took an extra 30 minutes to get there because of issues with one of the train tracks. Lovely, as usual. Over priced and hardly ever on time. (*smooches for DSB*)

I don’t know what it is, but the Roskilde Domkirke is one of my favorite places to visit. Something about how massive it is mixed with the hundreds of years of history – legit, this thing was started in ca. 1170.

Photos don’t even do this place justice. There is just a *feeling* when you go inside. 20 kings and 17 queens (and a few unfortunate kiddos) are buried inside with varying levels of decorative coffins – feel bad for the few that are in the boxes in the pillars (one, two, three – fold ’em up tight). Even as a small child I loved to come here and ‘visit the fat king’. That would be King Christian the 4th – something about the full wall mural and the towering statue that just captured my imagination.

No… I don’t know why they aren’t lined up. Oh well, such is a blog.

I didn’t take any photos from inside the chapels along each side, but I did get one of the giant mural of my favorite king. Hey Buddy!

What is it about a specific place that grabs me. What, at six years old, made me want to ‘go see the fat king’?  Does everyone have a ‘place’? Have we been there before, perhaps in past life?  Does everyone have a ‘place’ or does it vary person to person, maybe some having an item or a person or… is it a building or a piece of land? Do you have a place? A place you feel safe? A place where you can shut off the mind numbing internal chatter? For me, my mind shuts off, tuning out any thought that doesn’t have to do with the history of this place and all I seem to think about is how it was built, what was it like, what did the people thought? Then I wonder about Denmark current Queen, what does she think of this place? From an early age she’s known where she’ll end up when her time is over. Does she think about that? Is this her ‘place’ too? I always notice the slanted, smooth steps, worn down from hundreds of years of wear. Just knowing that it’s been there for so long, that I’m touching the same steps, the same hand rests as priests touched 700 years ago is grounding.

I can’t say that I’ve ever much of a church person, but this… this isn’t just a church.