Monday, June 28, 2010

Beef, Bikes, Moving, and a Tooth

Bobby and I have had a very busy weekend. The weekend started on Friday night with our 5 year wedding anniversary. For my anniversary gift, Bobby had our wedding knives (which have moved with us from the US to France and Denmark) professionally sharpened. It is so great cutting with super sharp knives. Bobby told me, "If our wedding knives are sharp, then our marriage is safe." He's a silly guy. I cooked boeuf bourguignon for our anniversary dinner. We had a very nice, quiet night in.

Bobby and I finally have bicycles! An American graduate student at Bobby's university is moving back to the states, so he sold us the two bikes. We are one step closer to becoming Danish! We have taken the bikes out for a few rides. I managed to fall, not when riding my bike (which I have named The Rattler; Bobby's names his The Destabilizer), but when I was trying to walk backwards with it. It was a pretty amusing fall, which was witnessed by about 20 people sitting by one of the lakes. Tonight we are going to ride our bikes to our new apartment, which brings us to the next part of our busy weekend...

We are moving! We spent the weekend packing up all of our stuff (which isn't much; all of our belongings fit into this small van). We rented a van today, loaded it up, and drove to our new town. We can't actually move into our new apartment (pictured above, behind the trees) until after the 10th of July (but we have to be out of our current apartment by the 1st of July, so since we will be technically homeless, we are off to Paris and Porto for a holiday), so we moved our stuff into the new home of the current tenants, which is just 3 blocks away. Confusing, I know.

Last, but not least, I had a tooth removed today! Two years ago, I discovered my two top wisdom teeth were growing. I went to the dentist in Los Angeles, only to be told that it would cost my $1000 per tooth to have them removed. Since we knew we were moving to France (a country with subsidized health care), Bobby and I decided to wait until we moved to have the teeth removed. In France, I went to a quack of a dentist who told me that I had enough room in my mouth for the wisdom teeth and they didn't have to be pulled. So they remained. While in Hawai'i, I developed an infection in my gums from one of the wisdom teeth. This had happened before, so I wasn't too concerned. When I returned home to Copenhagen, I called a nearby dentist and was able to schedule an appointment that very day. He looked at my teeth, told me I had no room in my mouth for the extra teeth (I knew that French dentist was a quack), and I had to have them pulled soon. He scheduled an appointment for me in August and prescribed some penicillin to kill in the infection. All of this was free, even though dental isn't covered by the completely free Danish health care system. Anyways, the infection didn't go away. I could barely open my mouth and eating has been very painful for nearly a week. So I called the dentist's office this morning and got an appointment this afternoon. I went in and a new dentist talked with me. He briefly looked in my mouth, then took an x-ray. He then started to prepare a giant needle. "We'll give you this shot and get it done with today," he said. I replied, "Um, get what done with?" "Removing your tooth!" he exclaimed! So, without any forewarning, I had my tooth pulled. It took all of 30 seconds, didn't hurt a bit, and he said I can eat whatever I want tonight. The best part? The whole thing cost me only 595 Danish kroner, or $98.87. Quite a difference from the US.

So now we are all moved, we've packed for our trip, and I had one of two wisdom teeth removed. I told you it was a productive weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 year wedding anniversary

Today marks Bobby's and my 5 year wedding anniversary! This morning I was thinking about all the incredible things we have done and seen in the last five years and I would like to share some these things with you.

Over the last 5 years, Bobby and I have:

Received 4 university degrees: undergraduate and masters for Carla, masters and doctorate for Bobby

Lived in 3 different countries: USA, France, and Denmark

Lived in 7 different apartments/houses: Summerland, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, 11th arrondissement in Paris, 17th arrondissement in Paris, and Copenhagen. We will move into our 8th place on Monday!

Traveled together to 9 different countries: Ireland, Czech Republic, Thailand, Cambodia, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Denmark

The next five years of marriage will probably bring many more changes to our lives. Children and dogs will surely make an appearance, and a few more moves are inevitable. No matter what the future may bring, Bobby and I will always fondly look back at our first five years of marriage. Thank you to all of our family and friends who made our wedding meaningful and have supported us through our many adventures.

Happy anniversary, my Love!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carla's Hawai'i Vacation

Last week was a busy travel week for me (Carla). After finding some unbelievably cheap tickets from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, my Mom and I decided to take a girls trip to Hawai'i! When I was growing up, my family vacationed in Hawai'i at least 2 times a year. My parents always liked to say that I'd been to Waikiki beach more times than I'd been to Santa Monica beach. I went to Hawai'i three times during my undergraduate: one time with Bobby and our good friends Wes and Andrea (the island of Oahu), once with my Dad (the island of Hawai'i, aka the Big Island), and once with my Mom and Bobby (Oahu again). My recent girls trip took us to Oahu, where my Mom and I lounged on the beach, took walks, and ate great food.

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to watch these candles being made at the International Marketplace. I'd drag my parents and stand there watching. Even as an adult, I still love watching this.

This is my Mom and me. We'd sit on this pier watching kids jump off and catch waves on boogie boards. I wish I had brought my fins with me. It would have been great getting a little surfing in to prepare me for Bobby's and my trip to Portugal next week.

There are so many pretty scenes in Hawai'i. There is a ton of natural vegetation and many beautiful flowers. I'm pretty sure the little waterfall behind us isn't natural, though.

My Mom and I had a great meal at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. This hotel is the oldest hotel on the Waikiki beach. There is a huge, beautiful banyan tree in the middle of the courtyard, under which my Mom and I drank many Mai Tais.

This was my delicious meal. The barely-seared Ahi was perfect and filling. I couldn't finish the plate!

My Mom ordered this appetizer for her lunch one day. I couldn't believe how huge it was!

I got to eat some yummy Korean food for breakfast one morning. This bowl of Bibimbap was delicious. I wish we could find this kind of food at a reasonable price in Copenhagen!

I was also lucky enough to eat some Vietnamese food in Hawai'i. This bowl of pho made me so happy. I think my four favorite meals in the world are (in no particular order): pho, sushi, soon dooboo (a Korean soup), and Ethiopian food. I got to eat two out of four in Hawai'i... not bad!

These beautiful flowers can be found all over Hawai'i. The first photo is of a hibiscus, the state flower of Hawai'i. We saw many of these beautiful flowers, in colors ranging from bright red to pale pink. I thought this purple flower was especially beautiful. The second flower, plumeria, is one of my favorites in terms of scent. This huge tree had hundreds of plumerias and it smelled so delicious! My Mom even bought me some plumeria perfume to take home so that I could always be reminded of our wonderful trip.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A June Update

A lot of things have happened in the past several weeks. Above you can watch Carla play second flute in the recital of a Masters student on June 14 at the Danish Royal Conservatory. (This is just the third movement.) Carla provides a particularly wonderful pedal point in this piece which is on my favorite note.

Then the World Cup in futbol has begun! Above Carla reacts to a goal by the Netherlands against Denmark.

At work, I have had several camera-ready (final) papers due to conferences, submitted to others, am awaiting word on my December submission to a journal, and have begun the semester end exams. I have been incredibly busy updating my research blog as well.

Currently I am home alone, as Carla is enjoying Hawa'ii with her mom! Before she left we both had a cooking day where we made a big pot of chili for me to have during the week. On Thursday I made Carla's famous spaghetti sauce , AND I cooked the noodles too. It all turned out edible, but the ingredient it was missing was Carla. Now I am making some bread.

Today (Saturday) I woke at 7 and walked to two big "flea markets", which are more like garage or yard sales sans garages or yards. I found two old accordions, none of which I wanted to take home. Then around noon I walked to the Strøget, which is the touristy street for shopping, and took out my accordion and squeezed out about 25 minutes of tunes, while con artists were playing "hide the lady" (the shell game) with shills and muscle and all. In that time I earned 7 DKK (about $1.25), from three young children --- my biggest fans even though they are too young to really appreciate the subtle differences between when I play forlorn or with longing. Maybe I just resemble a Teletubbie. The adults of course avoid eye contact with me --- as do I. (You look, you pay.) Then a fellow sat down next to me and said, "Hey man. I am going to play guitar right over there, and I have an amp and everything. So do you mind, you know ... " "Getting lost?" I said. "Yeah. Thanks. And next time you should sit more in the walkway and not behind the hotdog cart."

Good advice from a professional, except I would have prefaced it with, "Can I be frank?"

When Carla returns, we will start gearing up to move to our new apartment, and then visiting Paris and Porto for 10 days --- when we get to see Katie and Ollie and bébé Iris and Sacha and those other floor warmers, and we get to surf in Porto, and where I will deliver a seminar on my research! (That is my kind of vacation: surfing and research presentations.)