Archive for the ‘The Main Beef’ Category


In The Main Beef on 19/05/2008 at 14:10

It seems, in my zeal to defend this site from spam, that I accidentally erased a couple of actual comments from friends. So I say here that I’m very sorry for that, I didn’t delete them on purpose, I just got caught up in my spam extermination mode, and the next thing you know, poof… there goes the neighborhood!

I will be much more careful in the future about deleting things, so this doesn’t happen again. I can’t have my precious readership think that I randomly toss out comments, or that some evil twin Wren has gotten hold of my blog and is tossing things left and right. πŸ˜€


What's all the fuss about anyway?

In The Main Beef on 16/05/2008 at 14:26

So what the heck is all the fuss about California FINALLY deciding to allow homosexuals to marry officially? What is the big deal, that even more people want to have it officially recorded that they are with each other, that they want to have the same rights, and responsibilities, as everyone else? How can it be that this is a bad thing? What, because all the heterosexual couples are providing such excellent role models right now? Oh yeah… let’s see now… a married senator (hetero) spends thousands on a call girl, while two female actors live together in a loving, monogamous relationship. But we should deny the couple a right to be acknowledged as a married couple, just like the senator, because they’re lesbians and might somehow encourage our children to become gay because they’re married?!?! Wow, what crack are people smoking to come up with reasoning like that? So, if that reasoning is to stand, that would mean that this particular married senator will be encouraging our children to become cheating morons, since he is legally married, and a role model. Again I say wow…

To be honest, most of the straight people I know, singles or couples, have been in and out of more relationships than I have shoes, and I just added seven new pairs to my collection! Meanwhile, most of the homosexual people I know have had longer monogamous relationships than just about anyone except my parents. Why is that? And, if that’s the case, then the role models we should be following would be the couples that tend to stay together, don’t you think?

Ah, but that would be too logical, wouldn’t it? Oh please… wake up people, get your heads out of your nether regions, and see exactly how stupid it is to complain about this. Is it because you’re jealous that they’re doing something you’re incapable of? Or are you just not wanting a group of folks who might actually respect the institution of marriage showing you up?

All I know is this… if a couple is willing and able to deal with all the goods and bads, and is ready to step up to the plate and take on all the rights and responsibilities that come with the institution of marriage, then more power to you, make sure to sign your full name on the line, and let me know where you’re registered, my husband and I will get you a gift! Welcome to married life!

This is how time passes…

In The Main Beef on 13/05/2008 at 14:51

By my calculations, I’ve been quiet for quite a while now. No real excuse for it, just life. School, lots and lots of school, family events, trying to study, doing a bit of work, all of it has wittled away at my time. Then fitting in time with the DH, housework, and fighting off random illnesses just seems to wear me out for doing much more than checking my e-mail and occasionally updating my facebook profile. So, as I said, no real excuse, just life. But I will try and peek in more than once in a great while. A bit of effort into schedule reorganization should provide some small holes that I will try and fill with updates for you, my die-hard loyal readership. πŸ˜€ If you’ve stuck with me this long, I must reward you in some small, hopefully entertaining way.

Since November, when I last wrote, much has gone on. Tests have been taken, Ireland was treated to a visit by the one and only Wren, another semester of school was started, tests were flunked in a glorious way – not really a laughing matter, but it’s that or cry, and I prefer to save that for something really important, and we even found time for a trip back to the farm in Seattle, to see the newest babies and all the other critters that occupy Vicky’s time. I tell you, that was entertaining! Definitely a nice break before this next round of finals, which starts tomorrow. Speaking of that, I better get back to studying. Just wanted to say hi, thanks for sticking around, I hope to make up for my silent ways over the summer and give you something entertaining to pass the time a bit more often than I have of late. πŸ˜€

"So… why are you here?"

In The Main Beef on 28/04/2008 at 15:25

Since I’ve been in the fair land of Denmark, I’ve gotten that question a lot. I generally have a stock answer, something along the lines of ‘oh I met this wonderful guy, and decided to begin my world-traveling phase’, or something similar. But it’s just a generic response, it doesn’t really get to the meat of it. Which is a bit more complicated than that, I assure you gentle readers. How much more complicated? Well… it’s complicated.

I’ve always been something of a wanderer. From the earliest time I can remember, I’ve wandered from place to place, staying for a while here, visiting there, moving on when an outside something insisted it was time. Sometimes that something was a person, insisting it was time to move to the next home; sometimes it was an event, insisting that safety dictated a move to more secure environs… and perhaps because it started so early on, it just became second nature, part of the things that make up this little Wren. So it has gone, for a very long time. For a while, it was almost like clockwork, every 5-6 years. Then I slowed down a bit, found a little space to call my own, and nested. Maybe it was the years, time to stop wandering quite so much.

But now I’m here, the wandering started up again. Why? Well, mainly just because. πŸ˜€ Just because I found a great guy, just because 40 is a good time to do something a bit out of the ordinary, just because all the different things that make up a life seemed to be pointing me in another direction than I’d been headed for awhile. Just because…

Is that complicated? I don’t know… sometimes things are as they are, just because. But even that, in itself, can be complicated.

So, a while ago (now, it’s been a bit since I’ve written) I got notice of an update of a blog I read, and found the post both interesting and a bit apropos of my situation. The link is still good, just checked it myself, and I still find it as interesting, and as fitting, as it was the first time.

Maybe the next time I get asked ‘why are you here?’ I’ll say ‘Just because’… and leave it at that.

I would encourage anyone with an urge, to wander; just because. Not all who wander are lost…


Statistically speaking…

In The Main Beef on 26/11/2007 at 13:32

Here I sit in Statistics class… another Monday, another class, another round of thoughts along the line of ‘what was I thinking?’ I remember the first time I took this course, oh so many years ago now… I didn’t like it then. Not much has changed. I don’t like it now. I can see the point, but it’s still a bit of a dreary ride through a hazy forest of numbers and poorly drawn bell curves, with mu-symbols lurking under piles of x-bar leaves, just waiting to drag me into the pit of variances that I can’t discover.

What is the probability that I’ll make it through this class without going completely white-haired before the end of the year? I’ll let you know, once I figure out the standard deviation ratio based on the inferences made about my sanity and the tedium of the subject. πŸ˜€

OMG!!! It's… SNOWING!!!!

In The Main Beef on 13/11/2007 at 23:06

(NDRN-New Danish Resident News) In a shocking and completely unexpected development in this little section of the world… it has begun to snow! Big fat flakes that immediately stick to anything warmer than they are, much as if they are as surprised by the development as the stunned fresh-from-California Girl being quickly buried beneath them, and must cling to the memories of having been raindrops only hours before.

And before, gentle readers, you laugh yourselves silly trying to imagine how this particular Americhick attempted to dodge the snowflakes with NO success whatsoever, my DH has graciously provided you with photographic evidence that I, sun-worshipping, heat-seeking, any-temperature-lower-than-70-degrees-Fahrenheit-is freakin’-cold hothouse flower that I am, have just experienced my first official snow fall in 14 years.

The hilarity may now ensue.


oohh… but this is funny!

In The Main Beef on 21/10/2007 at 22:43

Just a little funny that I saw today… on one of our milk cartons, a new style of milk from cows hanging out in nature, versus living solely in a barn:

Dansk mΓ¦lk fra kΓΈer pΓ₯ grΓ¦s… translated: Danish milk from cows on grass… hehehehe… all I can think of when I read that is a couple of laid back stoner cows, hanging out in the field, watching the clouds make funky shapes in the sky, looking for something to munch on, maybe passing a cow-sized bong back and forth. hehehehe… I’m sorry, but really now, that is funny! Imagine the conversation:

Cow 1: Hey dude, like mooo…
Cow 2: Hey… s’up? Pass the munchies…
Cow 1: K dude, just a sec, I’m watching the clouds…
(Cow 1 watches clouds for a bit)
Cow 2: Cool…
(Cow 2 watches clouds)

I’m wondering if maybe they picked up some California cows, ‘cuz I’m hearing that conversation in Danish, with a Cali accent. Maybe some of that ‘grass’ got into the milk? lol…

*Disclaimer: This in no way is meant to impugn the reputation of Danish cows, or their handlers, or to imply that Danish cows or California cows have access to the ‘wacky tobaccy’ that also goes by the name of grass. Though I imagine, with the right connections in the barnyard, they could probably get some. I’ve heard that the roosters are generally known to be holding, at least at the beginning of the month. Otherwise it’s the sheep, though they have to be careful around shearing time. The goats are best avoided, they’re into a bit more hardcore things, and dislike random inquiries. πŸ˜€

Operation Flustered Wren

In The Main Beef on 16/09/2007 at 14:38

Well, since I last sat and chatted with you, gentle readers, a bit has happened. So here’s to catching up… *downs a latte and waits for the caffeine to take hold*

On September 5th I started business school. Here in the grand land of Denmark, after being done with school for well over 20 years, I have decided to once again join the ranks of students, and work towards a bachelor’s degree. A 3-year programme, when I’m done I’ll have a Bachelor’s of Science – Business Administration and International Management. Why not? I’ve been hanging out in various areas of the business world ever since the fine folks at Eau Claire decided that it wasn’t my time to be in school, and tossed me out for being too… flighty. πŸ˜€ Since then I’ve worked in grocery stores, a stop and rob with gas, restaurants, a group home, a plastics factory, a synagogue, various international companies, and even a small start up that is still starting up. Or at least it was, last I knew.

Perhaps you wonder why… why now? Why school? Why business? Well, as I said a bit ago, why not? If I’m going to continue in my present career track, I need to know how things are done over in this section of the world. Everyone on the planet (or close, really) might speak English, but not everyone does business the way they do business in the States. There are two ways to get knowledge, study or work. For me, being a stranger in a strange land, studying will get me the knowledge I need, without the inevitable errors in communication that going to work in a company where people speak less English than I are bound to happen. As well, as I go through school, it will allow me to build up valuable networking contacts that will come in handy when it’s time for me to fly the nest. So to speak… It will also give me a chance to practice my danish in the relative safety of a group of folks who will also be practicing their English on me. I expect hilarity to follow.

So, I’ve jumped back into the pool, and now can be found lugging around an insanely heavy pack 5 days a week at the Aarhus School of Business. This year it seems to be all about math. Those who know me will find this amusing. Perhaps even more so because three of those math classes center around accounting. Then there’s the straight math class, calling on all sorts of formulas that I couldn’t even manage to remember in high school. However, I do get a bit of a break in my English Language and US Society class. It’s very enlightening to see how others think of Americans, good, bad and otherwise, and it gives me insight into at least one segment of the Danish population. I think, at least in that class, that I might be relatively popular when it comes to learning how Americans speak, and why, after all this time, we still believe in the American Dream.

Anyway, that’s how I’ve spent my time since last I wrote. If anyone’s got a good suggestion for remembering mathematical formulas, I sure could use it. I’ll keep you updated on how things go in the meantime.

An Observation…

In The Main Beef on 02/09/2007 at 20:23

I’ve been keeping up on an ongoing conversation in a forum I visit, and the direction it’s taken has been interesting, to say the least. It’s actually kind of miffed me, because the impression I’ve gotten from what some posters have said is that really, no matter what you do, if you are a foreigner in Denmark you might as well give it up because there’s no way to succeed. The Danes won’t accept you, you’ll never learn the language well enough to fit in, no one will ever hire you to do more than clean, you’re just stuck in a little country full of xenophobes who will deny you success at every turn. Is that possible? Is an entire country able to keep someone down, unable to succeed, unable to move ahead, because they might not be just like everyone else? And if so, what does that mean for other, larger countries? If Denmark can shut out their foreign immigrants, what could America do? I decided I needed to weigh in, even if it means nothing to anyone else but me. Below you can see what I wrote, then I’ll follow that with a few other choice thoughts.

From the Coconut Club Forum:
“No one should be treated as a second class citizen, no matter where they come from, how much of the native language they know, or by the color of their skin. At the same time, the best way to fit yourself into a place is by doing what the natives do. Learn the language, work, pay taxes, all that fun stuff. And doing that takes time, great effort, and no little amount of toughing out the things that one may have otherwise been used to where they came from. Is it supposed to be a struggle for the entire time one is in their newly adopted country? Well, that depends… is one actively being blocked from making their way, or is it that the effort being put forth isn’t quite as much as it could be because one thinks that they shouldn’t have to struggle quite so much? For me, I expect that it’s probably going to take at least a year to really get the language down, and build up enough of a network that finding the kind of work that I’m good at doing will be easier than it is at the moment. But that’s just me. I have a bit of a framework to help with support until that time, including a wonderful husband who stands beside me through thick or thin.

In the States, I’ve dealt with stupid people all of my life. Just because I’m black, they seem to think that means that somehow I’m not quite like them. Some have even attempted to make me a second class citizen because of the glorious color of my skin. To which I have laughed, given them a look expressing disdain for their lack of intelligence, and ignored them as being either unwilling or unable to learn that people are pretty much the same, no matter the outward appearance. I intend to do that here as well, if I run into someone blatant enough to bring up my color as some kind of problem. I discovered that the place doesn’t matter, but the people do. I work accordingly within that. Again, that’s just me. My background has been fairly diversified from the get-go, so perhaps it colors how I view things.

Now, my views all may very well change after I’ve been here another few months, or years, but as of yet I haven’t seen any of the problems that I have seen in the States happen here. Maybe it’s a side effect of my new marriage and my whole-hearted acceptance that ‘when in Denmark, at least attempt to do as the Danes do, with a little American flare’ and maybe that will pass after the millionth time I’ve attempted to congratulate someone on their birthday and instead end up cursing them by my butchery of the middle Ds, Γ…s, and Øs liberally sprinkled throughout the language. Maybe I’ve been lucky so far, and if that’s the case then may that luck hold, and maybe I can spread it around a little. Because I too have thought about going back to the States, and wondered if this was such a good move because it’s such a little country, barely bigger than some cities I’ve spent time in. There are few people who look like me, can I find someone to cut my hair, or a shop with good skin care products? Can I deal with a country where everyone is either as pale as the paint on my walls, or fake-baked into golden color? Then I just remember where I come from and laugh at how much alike people are, no matter where you find them.

Are the people and institutions in Denmark any more racist or xenophobic than in the States or other countries? Obviously, for some, yes. For me, time will tell. I think, in the end, it will be here much like it is anywhere else… exactly what I make of it. Should be an interesting ride. I hope the Danes are ready…”

Having said all of that, what still bothers me about the trend of the recent forum posts, is that rather than people coming in and saying ‘I disagree’ (though there was one, which was greatly appreciated) or ‘well, this is how I dealt with issues’ I hear more about how people are wishing they could leave. That they would leave if… The impression I get from all of those posts is that somehow Denmark has managed to bottle and instill in its citizenry a desire to avoid immigration at all costs, to treat foreigners as less than acceptable, and to make sure that only Danes move ahead in this little corner of the world. So somehow, Denmark has managed to put into action all the things that numerous groups in America, Germany, Israel, Africa, and various other places around the globe have been attempting to do for decades. Denmark has cornered the market on xenophobic behavior, and managed to find a way to hold back anyone not danish from succeeding. I find this amazing, somehow impressive, and yet not totally believable. Of course, everyone deals with things in their own way, and many find ways to make lemonade out of the lemons they’re dealt. Sort of like me, though I don’t know how to make lemonade. Do make a mean cheesecake, though. πŸ˜€ So some, feeling the lemons here in Denmark won’t translate to a decent lemonade or even lemon meringue pie, or good lemon bars, decide to go for the lemons presented by countries that they are used to, lemons they have dealt with before. Which is absolutely fine. I just happen to disagree with how they are presenting things.

Maybe that’s because this Wren is inherently an optimist, believing that life will be what she makes of it, no matter what the outside world might try and throw at her. Because we all know that it definitely throws all sorts of things at us, each and every day. And we rise, or fall, based more on how we deal with the curves, than that we get tossed those curves in the first place. I guess I believe that I determine my destiny, rather than letting someone else do it. Ok, maybe that makes me an incurable optimist, and a bit more of a dreamer than a realist. Maybe, when the world wants to smack me down, I ought to know when to just accept it and fold. Or adjust my plans to accept it as just the way life goes. Guess I still have a bit to learn… Another day, maybe. I have a language to learn and a country to conquer.

Did you hear the one about…

In The Main Beef on 20/08/2007 at 00:13

Ok, been away for a bit, relaxing and trying to work on my danish, so figured I’d work my way back into things with a couple jokes. Yes, not only do I feed folks, but I entertain them as well! This first one is a funny I came up with this weekend while the DH and I cruised down to Germany to overspend on candy and Coke. Gotta love being neighbors with a country that offers candy at a discount. *laughs* The second joke is one of my all-time favorites, heard about 10 years ago. I still love it. Some might say I’m easily amused… I like to think that I enjoy a good giggle now and then. On with the jokes!

Wren: Where does a pirate go when he’s visiting Denmark?
DH: I don’t know, where?
Wren: Arrrhus!

(hrhrhrhhrhr… admit it, you laughed. Deep down, you can’t help but love a pirate joke. You know I’m right…)

A man walks into a bar. His friend says ‘Next time, duck.’

(Oh my gosh, that is my all-time favorite! lolol… it always makes me laugh! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week!)

Ok, back to the grindstone for me. I’ll be doing more updates though as time goes on. So don’t change that channel! πŸ˜€