Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hair Cut and Concert

I (Carla) did something that was probably not a good idea but ended well... I gave myself a hair cut! Well, I actually just gave myself bangs. I guess this is what happens when I am bored and broke. When I go to the States in September, I'll get a real haircut, something I haven't had since February 2009.

Last night, Bobby and I went to a concert in the Marble Church. We saw Diamanda Galás, an incredible vocalist and pianist. 30 minutes before we were going to leave our apartment for the concert, the sky turned steel gray. It began to pour, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Then the rain turned into hail! It was really loud and we were not looking forward to the 2 mile walk to the Marble Church. Luckily, the sky cleared up before we left. The concert started at 9 pm, though Diamanda didn't actually perform until after 10:30. We were both pretty tired walking the 2 miles back home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This past weekend was very enjoyable for many reasons: our friend Jim (pictured here with Bobby) from Santa Barbara visited us, we had a long weekend (Monday was a national holiday for Pentecost), and this weekend was the Carnival festival in Copenhagen! As several people have pointed out to us, Carnival should be held in February, right before Lent begins. Copenhagen celebrates in late May for two reasons: Danish Carnival is based on Whitsun, not Lent, and it's just too cold to have an outdoor festival in February!

On Saturday, the three of us headed to the Stroget (the pedestrian walking street in Old Copenhagen), where the Carnival parade was held. We were amazed at how many people were not only at the parade but also in the parade. There were many women dressed up in fun (and provocative) outfits dancing the samba.

There were even a few men dressed up in fun (and provocative) outfits.

There were also many drum cores, playing drum music from all over the world. There were several brass marching bands, and even a few floats!

On Sunday, the three of us took a picnic to a park near Christiania. We had a nice lunch overlooking this pretty lake. The weather was pleasant (at least it didn't rain) and it was nice to be outdoors for the second day in a row.

After our lunch, we ascended these steps into Christiania. A self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of Copenhagen, Christiania was founded in 1971. Hash and weed are legally sold, though you can't take the drugs out of Christiania. We don't have any pictures of the little neighborhood because photos aren't allowed... I'll let you guess why. After wandering around a bit, Jim, Bobby, and I stopped in a little cafe where Bobby explained to Jim what compressed sensing is.

We also walked around the neighboring district of Christianshavn. This pretty area has many canals and is right across from the Black Diamond (pictured behind Bobby and me, the Black Diamond houses the Royal Danish Library). Christianshavn is also home to Noma, the world's best restaurant. I wonder which parent of ours we can talk into taking us there?!?

After our walk around Christiania and Christianshavn, we headed to Fælledparken where many different bands were playing. We listened to some DJs, a Columbian band, and a Persian belly dancer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Kristi Himmelfartsdag!

Today, a Thursday, is a national holiday in Denmark, called Kristi Himmelfartsday. I have been looking forward to this day since I first saw those words written in my calendar. And boy is it fun to say it. So to celebrate I have created this night vision video of me playing the May Tune of the Month: Michael Turner's Waltz

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Carla!

One of these pictures was taken more than 7 years ago, yet only one of us has aged!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Aalborg in May

On Friday, I (Carla) had my first professional orchestral audition. I auditioned for the 3rd flute/piccolo chair in the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in Aalborg, Denmark. This photo is of me in front of the Aalborg Symphony hall. The audition itself was ok; I played decently, though I could have done better. However, I was really excited to have accomplished preparing for my first audition without the help of a teacher. I am also happy that I was able to bring my piccolo skills up to an audition level. Prior to April, I had little experience with the piccolo. So even though I did not win the job, I consider the entire audition process a success.

The city of Aalborg is very different than Copenhagen. Aalborg is located on the other side of Denmark, in Northern Jutland, where the Baltic Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is the 4th largest city in Denmark and referred to as Denmark's largest village. The town was very pretty and looked like a quaint Northern French sea-side town. There are many old houses, stores, and factories. Aalborg is also the home of Aalborg University, for whom Bobby works (though in the Ballerup location). Bobby was able to schedule a talk at the University while I was giving my audition. His talk went very well and he was able to talk with many colleagues.

Above are some photos of our incredibly tiny hotel room. We felt like we were on a small ship with the bunk beds! I had no idea the room was going to be so small, hence the incredulous look on my face. Bobby didn't seem to mind taking the top bunk, though I was very worried he was going to fall off in the middle of the night.

Another thing that make Aalborg very different from Copenhagen is that we actually know people living in Aalborg! Above is Mads, Majbritt, and their awesome 11 month old son Erik. We spent the second night at their home near the University. Mads is a professor at Aalborg University. He and Bobby have worked together in past. In fact, in October/November of 2008, Mads and Majbritt visited Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Majbritt was then a few months pregnant with Erik. We never would have guessed that, 14 months later, we'd be living in the same country and Bobby would be working for the same university as Mads! On Saturday night, they prepared a traditional Danish Christmas dinner for us: roasted pork (with some delicious, crispy skin... yum!!), red cabbage, potatoes, and brown gravy. The next day involved a traditional Danish lunch of smørrebrød. We hung out with Erik a lot. He is really big for his age and is the happiest baby I've ever met! I had a lot of fun playing peek-a-boo with him.

We also hung out with our friend from UCSB Dan Overholt, and his family. Dan was in the MAT program with Bobby. He and his Danish wife, Anne-Marie, work at Aalborg University as well (it seems UCSB has a pretty strong contingent in Denmark!). They also have a son named Erik, though this Erik (or Erik number two, as Bobby kept referring to him by) is 8 months old. Much like Erik number one, Erik number two is a very happy baby. We had a lot of fun hanging out with Dan, Anne-Marie, and Erik number two. Sadly, we didn't get a harbor tour on Dan's boat, but he gave us a great tour of the city and showed us a lot of the new facilities for the Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology (the same department Bobby is in in the Copenhagen location). Dan then gave us a ride to the airport in his awesome VW Bug. We are lucky to have all these friends in Aalborg and hope to visit them all again soon!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Picnic

This post should have been titled "Saturday Picnic", but Saturday's rainy weather prevented us from celebrating Denmark's Labor Day. Bobby and I had initially planned on picnic-ing in Fælledparken, where many Danes celebrate Labor Day by listening to political speeches and music. Sadly, it rained most of Saturday, so we postponed our picnic to today. Instead of going to Fælledparken, we took our lunch to The Lakes. On this beautiful, if a bit windy, Sunday, we sat by the southern most of the five lakes, Sankt Jørgens Sø (Saint George's Lake) and enjoyed a picnic of home-made bread, three kinds of cheeses, chorizo, and chips and home-made salsa. We look forward to having many more picnics this summer... we are too pale and need the sunlight!

And here is a music video Carla shot at the lake: