Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If we lived in a Stephen King novel, we'd probably be dead.


Danish Boy (looking out the front door window): Woah, how weird is that!?
AG (doing dishes): How weird is what?
DB: The fog!  It’s SO thick!
AG (looks out the kitchen window, which looks into the back yard): Uh, there’s no fog here.
DB: Weird!  It’s really thick over here! I can’t see the next field. (Pause) Maybe it’s smoke and there’s a HUGE fire!
AG: Well, I got nothing over here.
DB: So weird!!
AG: Right, so as soon as I finish these glasses I’m going to have a look.
DB: Oh don’t bother, its just fog.
(Long pause as AG works this through her head)
AG: So you are telling me not to look at the really weird fog that has so impressed you so much that you keep talking about it?
DB: Uh… (laughs)
AG: (does "dumb boy" voice) Wow, this fog, man, it’s the most amazing fog ever!  No, don’t bother looking.  It's only really really interesting.  But you don't need to see it.
DB: Heh.
AG: (switches "dumb boy" voice for high sarcasm) YUM, wow, I’m eating the best food ever!  It’s amazing!  The taste is just FANTASTIC!  No, I’m not going to give you a taste, you don’t need to taste it.  You just need to know that I’m having the most amazing food ever!
DB: Okay, I get your point.
AG: UMMMMMM!  YUM!
DB: Yes, yes.  Enough already.
AG: Yes, but NOW it’s FUNNY!
(Finishes washing the glasses and goes to the front door.)
AG: WHAT FOG?
DB: Huh?
AG: There’s no fog.  No smoke.  Nothing!
DB: Weird!  I swear you couldn’t see the trees over there!
AG: Hey, Spawn, come see the fog that isn’t there!
DB (anguished): I swear there was fog!
AG: What a let down.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Conversations between Father and Child


Today at lunch the following occurred (translated from the Danish for your benefit):

The DB and the Spawn were sharing a little juice box with their lunch.  Spawn reaches for the box.
DB: Here, let me help you with that.
Spawn: NO!  I can myself! *picks up box and drinks from the straw* See?!
*slurp slurp slurp*
DB: Can I have some?
Spawn: NO! *slurp* It’s empty.
DB: Empty?!
Spawn: *slurp slurp slurp* Yes. *slurp slurp slurp*
DB: You cheat!  There’s more in the box!  You are drinking it right now! 
Spawn: NooOoo.  *slurp slurp slurp* Empty. *slurp slurp slurp*

Her poker face was impeccable.  There was just the problem of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary of what she was saying.

*slurp slurp slurp*

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

And then it was winter...

Argh, I feel like I should be writing more!

Working on my novel.

Writing blog posts.

Writing emails to my best friend.

And what am I doing?  Sleeping, mostly.  And doing homework.  Bookkeeping, by the way is DEAD boring.  Probably VERY useful.  The DB already has gotten excited as it means I might start paying more attention to our finances.

It's not that I'm one of those women who waves their hands about in the air and says "oh, my poor soft and pretty head just can't manage all those numbers."  But Danish accounting and US accounting do differ.  Credit in the bank, for instance is listed in Denmark as a big fat number with a minus next to it, telling you how much you've spent of your credit and not really indicating how much you have left until you've reached your limit.  In the US it's written as a positive number, often accompanied with another positive number which tells you how much credit you have left.  Then there's equity and mortgages and the value of property that decreases over time and...

Yeah, why should both of us sit over every last detail?  I know what accounts we have, how much money we haven't and who I should shoot in order to inherit the most.

Wait, whut?

Shhh.  I dint say nufin.

Anyway, for some reason, the DB is frantic that I should some how be more involved in the endless checking and rechecking of our joint-checking account (not called that in Danish) to see if money has magically appeared.

It hasn't.  Except when it does.  Which still confuses me.  When did everything move to on-line?  I miss cash and checks.  Now I have "pending transactions."

And I'm really of the opinion that two people muddling in the accounts will only cause frustration and anguish.  As long as we talk over what we're spending our money on, do I really need to log in every day to see what bills he paid and which bills are on the way? The last thing I want to do is be all nag-ish.  "Are you going to pay that bill or do I have to do it myself?"  Blergh.

Anyway, I don't particularly want to become an accountant, so I'm still resisting.

Meanwhile, it's gotten wicked cold over here.  Snow and all that.  I really need to get the winter tires on the car, but they are in Northern Jutland and that's a heck of a drive.  (I won't bore you with the story of why they are up north - but IT WAS ALL HIS IDEA.)  Not to mention that the car seems to be falling to pieces, one grinding gear and one squealing coupling at a time.  When your mechanic looks at you and say's "it'd be cheaper to get another car," you kinda worry.

So the question may soon become "are you going to make the car payment this month, or am I going to have to do it myself?"

If it's got working seat-warmers, I'll be happy.  Did I mention it's cold?  It's -4 C (24 F) out there.  I know it's colder elsewhere, why do you think I don't live in Norway or Siberia (apart from Siberia's total lack of wifi hotspots)?  This is about as cold as I'm willing to go.

Working in a climate-controlled pig barn suddenly sounds SO MUCH MORE attractive, don't you think?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things you learn and other stuff


You can tryk (push) a pig.  But you probably shouldn’t tyrk (Turk) a pig.

Did you know that farmers can only spray certain pesticides on their crops between 9 pm and 3 am because that’s when the bees sleep?

GPS is run by the US government and they could decide one day to just turn it off.  The Russians call their system “GLONASS”.  I’m still giggling.

Say you want to raise a bull on your farm to impregnate your cows and sell the extra semen (yes, I just wrote semen on my blog, YOU’RE WELCOME) for heaps of profit.  Because bull sperm is like sticky-liquid gold, or something.  Anyway, you won’t know if the bull is a genetic winner until he is 5 years old and his daughter-cow has had a calf and the farmer can measure the cow’s milk production.  If the cow isn’t a good milk cow, the bull goes off to the butchers and you’ve just wasted five years of food on a great hulking asshole that chases you around the yard and pulls up your fence. 

I completely missed Thanksgiving this year.  If it hadn’t been for some folks wishing each other a Happy Thanksgiving on Bacefook, I never would have known.

Christmas decorations have been up in the stores since October.

I think I’m finally okay with that.  I never get to revel in Christmas the way I want, it always seems to rush up to me, kick me in the shins and then run away.  This way I can have an almost-Christmas feeling for longer than 6 hours.

I’m fairly sure that my headlong rush into roundabouts is what has ruined the servos and possibly something in the steering of my car.  Every time I turn left, the car screams.  Then again, I’m only going the same speed as the rest of the traffic and they aren’t having noisy car issues. 

There is a special circle of hell for drivers that
1) pass you and then slow down
2) speed up as you try to pass
3) and then slow back down after you get behind them again
Each of these things is a damnable offense.  Doing all three?  May Lucifer eat your kidneys for all eternity, foul and miserable being!  May your credit card magnetic strip be demagnetized and your accounts investigated by the taxman!

Speaking of taxes, I just spoke to the Danish tax service.  In Danish.  And got what I needed.  I only had to switch to English to say the number 70, because it’s a bitch and a cell phone isn’t the best conductor of accent.

What’s funny is that I didn’t really know what I needed. I knew I needed to give the tax office some numbers and get them to do something about two tax forms for me.  Somehow it all came together.  I called the accountant back and made her ridiculously happy.  I guess she hadn’t expected me to actually do what she’d ask me to do right away AND let her know that I had done it.

She hasn’t called me back to tell me that it’s all kinds of wrong, so I guess I can count this a win for the day.

I’m caught up on homework and projects.  OH MY GAWD I KNOW!

And then tomorrow we have to make some videos with narration.  And on Monday I have to present a project in front of the class.

Note to self: buy more deodorant.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just *this* close to an international incident

Or "The further adventures of DAMN YOU DANISH!!"

When writing about nutrients and the digestive systems of cows, it is important to check that you wrote:

Syren optages gennem vomvæggen til blodet og er en del af koens vigtigste energikilde.
The acid is absorbed by the blood through the stomach wall and is a part of the cows most important energy source.

Not

Syreren optages gennem vomvæggen til blodet og er en del af koens vigtigste energikilde.
The Syrian is absorbed by the blood through the stomach wall and is a part of the cows most important energy source.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Vowels: non-exchangeable, returnable or refundable. Results may vary.


Alternative title: Damn You Danish!  *shakes fist*

Not that I’ve made any serious errors lately, but I did come close.  The Danish word for “savings bonds” is “obligation” so when asked, in Danish, if we have obligations, I was *this* close to raising my hand.

Obligations?  Yeah, I’ve got obligations!  I have two mortgages and a child in childcare, a car that needs maintenance and gas, a husband who seems to keep eating food despite him being fully grown so stop eating so much, m’kay?  Obligations?  Oh, I got your obligations right here, buddy.

Uh, wait, obligations means bonds?  Er, um, no.  No, I have no bonds.  Totally bondless here.  Double-O-uh-oh, that's me.

Thank god I’m always about 5 seconds slower in Danish.  Prevents some silly errors.

Then later I was asked if I had “strøm” and I was completely flummoxed.  Some hand waving and danglish later, we had ascertained that I had indeed a fully charged battery on my computer and yes, Jesper may borrow my charger.

Is it weird that my brain kept wanting to add “und Drang” after hearing strøm?  I have either too much education or not enough intelligence, and I’m not sure which.  But it definitely means I’ve had too many language classes, that’s for sure.

Meanwhile, when I write in Danish, I run it through Google Translate to catch the egregious errors.*  Like in spelling.  One wrong letter may not seem like a lot, but it’s the difference between the government-mandated garbage bins and government-mandated garbage bans.  Or the difference between putting a gin to your lips or a gun to your lips.  Or being stuck in a traffic-jam or stuck in a cow.  Okay, that last one only works if you are writing Danish (kø vs. ko), but you can see where a girl writing about farming might want to be careful about where she puts her Ø.

Sometimes I just write the wrong word.  I wanted to write a sentence describing how a virus invades a cell and turns it into a virus factory.  Fine.  Except my brain stuck “invander” in for “invader” rather than “angriber”.  “Invander” is a word, one I read all the time, it means “immigrant.”  So my viruses were immigrating to the bacteria cell and working in factories there.  Probably for below minimum wage and without access to union representation.  I was highly amused with myself for a while. 

It goes the other way as well.  The Danish word for clouds is “sky” and my little brain just will not read it that way.  “What do you mean there is sky today?  Isn’t there always sky??” I say.  By the way, saying that in Danish means you are being witty and clever in regards to the weather.  “Yes,” laughs the Dane, “I suppose we do always have clouds.”  *Confusion* 

I have a lovely image of the Danes meeting the English and exchanging vocabulary. 

“Så hvad er den der?” Asks the Viking, angrily stabbing his finger up at the heavens, obscured, as England always is during certain times of the year, with clouds.  He did not travel all the way across the North Sea for more of the same damn weather.

“’Wot ‘ar dem der?’  Why good fellow, that there is the sky!” Says the portly merchant, cowering with the other villagers in the town square.

“Sku?  Det er en god ord.  Jeg ta’ det og alle jeres gul!  Nu!”

Or maybe it was the other way around, since English is better known for stealing words from other languages.

“Øv, der er altid sky her!” says Svend Svendsen (Barbarian Invader Inc., est. 875 CE, “We invade, so you will pay”), shaking his fist at the clouds.

“He’s put off by… what was that?  The “sky”?  I say, what a nice word.  If I get out of this alive, I may want to use it in conversation with my neighbors over in Little-Big-Watting-Up-Downs-on-the-Slough.  I’ll appear very worldly and posh,” thinks social climber and sometime merchant, Horatio Bucket.  That’s Boo-kay, dear.

And the more tired I am, the more mistakes I make.  Thankfully, the Danish Boy is there to mangle English from time to time, for my amusement.  The other night he told me that the chimney swiper had come by for the chimneys.

And then he tells me about the new government substitutions.  You know, where they give you money for stuff.  Uh, subsides?  Yeah, that’s what I said, substitutions.

*Hugs him*  Isn't he cute?


* I do NOT write in English and then put it into GT to translate for me.  That would be the epitome of stupid.  GT makes for some hilarious translations.  It is good enough to give you an idea of what was written and it’s a fair dictionary (better than my normal English-Danish dictionary in regards to farm and technical vocabulary) but for the love of god, don’t use it to write your Danish for you!

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Picture Worth 10,000 Words


Yesterday, I almost ran inside to grab my camera and take a picture of the most amazing thing: the Northern Lights.

Only, as I stood on my driveway, a few things occurred to me.

1) I’m in southern Denmark.  While it is possible for the folks in northern Denmark to sometimes see the Northern Lights or so they tell me, the chances of them happening this far south are pretty much zero.

2) The Northern Lights are not a pale pink pattern.

3) The Northern Lights do not appear along the western horizon, even if it’s in the kinda northerly quadrant.  That would make them the Western Lights or even the Northwestern Lights, which we don’t have on this planet.

4) Even if I were to try to take a picture of this particular light, my little camera is not going to be able to register the pale pink, barely visible, hazy lights in the pitch black.

5) It is pitch black because it is cloudy.

6) The Northern Lights couldn’t appear anyway because it’s cloudy.

7) So those would be lights reflecting off the clouds.

8) Ah, those are the lights from Faaborg.

9) Well never mind then.

10) Any picture I might have taken would indeed have been worth 10,000 words.  And all of them would have been “idiot.”