Monday, March 31, 2014


Paul and Danish Almost-Doppelganger, Rasmus

"The hoods squished up our faces."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Paulless and Architecture and Grapes and Random Title


Paul is off in Germany to float around in a space suit 20 meters below sea level and tie knots underwater with his eyes closed.

Fun fact/side-note: Don't volunteer to help someone you love study for their commercial diving exam when they want you to quiz them on all the horrible, horrible medical emergencies that can kill them at 20 meters below sea level.

Just don't do it.

Otherwise...I'm just sittin' here...bored as the silence...thinkin' about "Pulmonary Barotrauma."

On a slightly interesting and distracting note, I went to an interview today.

It went okay.

They were super nice and the company is perfect and I would do anything to have this position because I would love it to the end of the world and back but I think I blaaaaaaabbered too much and they didn't like the fact that I would be commuting four hours a day for them which is nice but hey I knew what this was when I picked it up ya know and ................. (that's shorthand for more blabbering). At the end they said that there were 125 applications submitted and I laughed...really loud (and then I said, "Well that's fantastic for you!").  But, they had a real nice fruit tray out for the interview so at the very least I got some free grapes for writing that kickin' cover letter.

Anyway, other than free grapes, I was also happy to go to this interview because it was in the Ørestad!  Never heard of the Ørestad?  Neither had I before I read a very amusing book called "How to Be Danish" where, in the chapter about famous Danish design and architecture(Sydney Opera House, anyone?), they talk a lot about this urban experiment called Ørestad where a bunch of fancy architects were pretty much allowed to just dream it, man.

And they did.  Boy did they.  So you take the train to the middle of what feels kind of a little bit like nowhere and then BOOM you get a street lined with buildings like this...

Byggeri i Ørestad er verdens bedste

Ørestad Plejecenter : Fællesskab med rig plads til det individuelle

There was also a very, very nice shopping center.  I bought a small pack of gum.  It cost $5.  This was normal.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Since "The Change"

In America we always say "When the Wall Fell."  But, in Germany, at least in Rostock, it's "The Change."

Appropriately put.

This last weekend, Paul came across some historical photos in Der Spiegel from the Rostock altstadt, our old neighborhood, in 1989. (Though, really, the black and white thew me off.  My first guess was that they were from 1950.)

So, here was our old street in the old city, right before "The Change" happened:

And here it is twenty years later:

A lot changed after The Change...but I'm glad they kept the cobblestone streets.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Why I Like My Job

Over ten years ago (it's super gross to say that, but such is life), I remember my Freshman Writing course did a section on memoir and reviewed an article by Louise Plummer on keeping a journal using only five minutes a day (and I still stalk her on her personal blog here).

It's probably one of the most memorable things I've ever read. (You can actually buy her collection of hilarious personal essays, Thoughts of a Grasshopper, here.)

Aaaanyway, one of the suggestions is to just make random lists:  what is in your wallet or under your bed, what you ate that day, what you're wearing, what you're afraid of, what makes you mad, what you are doing tomorrow, your top five favorite flowers, etc.

So, here is my five-minute journal for the day:  Why I Like My Job.

  • I get to walk around with an ID badge clipped to my shirt.
  • The cafeteria food.  No, for serious.  It's amazing.
  • I can speak English whenever I want to and everyone understands me.  But I can try and speak Danish when I want to and everyone only laughs a little bit.
  • I get to finally use words like "georeferencing," "feature class," "ArcCatalog 10.2," and "point cloud dataset" in a people's actual faces...rather than in papers for school.
  • I like my nerdy coworkers.  My project manager is an older British version of Cousin Dave.
  • I now have separate work and personal e-mail accounts.
  • People care about what I can do and what I know and how I can grow and contribute.  And ask me about it.  And actually listen when I answer.  And treat me like a serious person who has "skills" and "potential."  Because I am!  It''s just been a while since I've been seen and treated that way by people other than, like, Paul.
  • I get to have legit international conference calls in legit conference rooms drinking legit cups of hot chocolate (while everyone else has lattes or whatever they have).
  • For the rest of my life I can annoyingly say that I was once "in consulting."  Hah. What a Manolo Blahniky phrase to use.   
  •  I get to work with two really amazing super cool companies that do two completely different interesting things.
  • 37-hour work week
  • The 7:22 commuter train to Copenhagen where it's so quiet and nice and fast and uncrowded and I can watch the sun rise over the water through giant picture windows while sitting in my super comfortable chair with all the legroom in the world.
  • It took me out to a fancy restaurant where I ate the hands. down. best. steak of my life that also cost $50 (just for the steak.  I mean.  $50 for one single steak.  Insanity.)  Also, thank you Uruguayan ranchers!  You did your job really fantastically well there.
  • I am getting paid what I consider to be "a lot" of money.  Which is awesome because that Master's Degree wasn't free, folks!  Technically I'm not in debt for it, but that was $20,000 that didn't go into savings.
  • There's a company swing dance club.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I have a Danish keyboard.  Now I can do this: æåøøåææææååååø

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Engageversary 2014

Numbah six.  On Saturday

As Paul joked, "It's been six years since I didn't ask you to marry me!"

(Because he didn't.  It created a humorous and awkward moment.  Man on knee with ring, expecting an answer to the sentence "I would be honored to be your husband."  My non-answer was, literally, the action thumbs up, man!)

As traditional, we went to the beach.  This time as part of a surprise trip into Jutland to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Jelling and then on to the city of Aarhus on the Baltic Sea.

Black Dot Days are pretty great.  Even better when it is one's Engageversary.

Fancy Rune Stones in Jelling.  

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