Wednesday, August 17, 2011

California Babes

I just spent two months in Denmark, and experienced a reverse culture chock. The faces of my girly friends moved. Believe it or not. When they laughed or talked: Their. Whole. Face. Moved.
Guess, I have just gotten so used to the Californian strive to look younger – or is it just weirder. The plastic surgeons almost ran out of work after every single Cali -woman got their breasts a cup or two bigger, glow-in-the-dark-teeth and fuller than full lips. So they invented BOTOX.
Don’t get me wrong. All my American girly friends are beautiful. The hard labor and $$’s pays off. I am their lost cause.
So, today one of them felt sorry for me and invited me to a “TOX” party.
Toxido party I thought, and asked out loud what the occasion was.
“Occasion” she answered; “to enjoy ourselves”.
“I’ll go”, I replied “I love enjoying myself”.
“I use 60 units” she continued, “what is your level”.
“My level of WHAT?”
 “Botox ofcourse”.
Yes, of course, Botox. Welcome back!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

They call me NANCY!

When I moved to California in 1999, I was invited to a FISH concert. FISH…hmmm….do I need say more; other than this is the trip where my friends from graduate school nick named me Nancy   --   as in Nancy Reagan.

Just say NO – I don’t understand the amount of Californians who smoke pot for recreational reasons.   I thought pot was something people try once or twice in high school  - of course without inhaling – and then were done with the world of drugs.  WRONG. 

I am told over and over that smoking Pot is just part of Californian culture. It is.
While hanging out with intelligent Santa Barbarian friends in their 40’ies, it is not unusual to see someone smoke pot while others have their beer or wine. ( In California, it's pretty much legal now to buy, sell, grow, and smoke pot.  This article from the New Yorker details the industry that's sprung up around this legalization.)

So Pot is just part of California culture huh?....….and I just have to live with it?
I am raising two boys in this culture, and will do anything to raise them as mini Nancy’s. But, what if I fail?....….is this how I will reprimand them?

Monday, March 14, 2011


This past weekend we decided to visit a miniature golf and amusement park.
I could think of a million things I would rather do on a Sunday than: bumper cars, bumper boats and race cars! But, with 3 men in the household -  we are a testosterone driven family. 

After a minute in the bumper car; I signaled my husband that this would be the only bumper car ride for me, since my neck was being twisted and thrown in all kinds of directions.  I apparently overlooked the sign at the entrance warning people with weak hearts,delicate necks and fragile kidneys against riding the cars!
I eyed the much more pleasant looking bumper boats, and didn't pay too much attention to another big warning sign at the ride entrance:

A minute into the ride, when I was feeling rather high on gas fumes, a warning on the outboard engine appeared, only inches away from my face :

WOW, so not only did I half break my neck on the bumper cars; now I am also exposing my kids to cancer causing chemicals.
We headed over to the race cars, where my husband was jumping in excitement along with my boys. Those cars were driving FAST. Pretty fast for a 3 and 5 year old – and WAY too fast for their mom. 
Another sign killed whatever peace of mind I had left in me for this  FUN, HEALTHY family trip.

Instead of plastering these warning signs all over the park, they should just hang one big sign over the ticketing office by the main entrance saying: "STAY AWAY - DANGER"!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Naked or NOT!

A couple of evenings ago, after dinner and my daily two glasses of wine; I got invited to a “sauna social”. Why not?
I did not need to pack a thing…right? I was just going to a gym; take my clothes off, sit in a sauna, shower, and put my clothes back on. But, to be on the safe side, I called my friend to see if she was bringing any after-the-sauna-treatment-supplies. When I called, she was in the middle of packing her bikini. When in Rome blah blah blah; so I packed my bikini as well, although I thought we were overdressing a bit.

I didn’t know whether to laugh - or cry from laughing too hard - when we walked into the sauna.  Two of us were in bikinis and towels, while our friend was in her full exercise clothes INCLUDING shoes!
And, the scene got even more bizarre inside the sauna.  There were 4 other women in there, dressed as if they were going skiing!  I was SO under dressed.
The conversation and laughs we had in the sauna were priceless. I would do it all over – going to a sauna in America that is. Naked or not.

or NOT......

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MOR.....I wan't to play AMERICAN football!!!

At breakfast this morning I was telling A about the plan for the rest of the week: ”Today after school you have basketball and tomorrow you have tennis. What do you like the best, Tennis or Basketball"????

Short silence. A:”I hate them both; I want to play Football”.

Looooooooong silence.

Me: “But A, I am Danish, which makes you half Danish…..and Danes DON’T play American football”.
A: “I don’t care; that’s all I want to do”.

Hmmm…I thought about telling him that he is in good shape and not weighing 400 pounds, which right there disqualifies him from becoming an American football player. But I didn’t. I was scared that this would make him demand fast food to gain some fast football pounds!

I thought about telling him that he should honor his half-Danish roots  by playing Danish sports ONLY; like soccer, tennis and WIND-surfing.  Gave up on that thought too.

I have been pretty clear from the minute A was born and the following almost 6 years, that American football is NOT an option. So today I opted for the short answer covering all international ground: “American football is FORBUDT, PROHIBIDO, FORBIDDEN, VERBOTEN in our house!!!”

A: “ I am gonna play it anyway”!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Americans and their LOVE of world sports

In all the years I have lived in the US, I have laughed when it was time for the World Series Baseball, NFL World Championship or the NBA World Championship. There are NO international teams in these championships…it is PURE PURE PURE Americano! The US is THE world.
I used to laugh at it, but now I am IN IT knee high. I am raising two little men, 3 and 5 years old in this sport manic culture!

Not long after my first born was out of my womb the nurse asked me if he was going to be a football (American football of course) or baseball player?...What????...NONE! He is going to be an engineer like this grandfather.
When my son started preschool  (17 months old) his little friend’s parents told me that they wanted their son to be a football star, and were considering moving to another State where football practice was much better. Really?

Growing up as a Dane, sports and school are two separate things. In the US, the kids play sports at their school and schools compete against each other. Since my oldest is “only” in Kindergarten, the “fun” has just begun.
In the fall he played soccer.  He had practice every Wednesday and games, YES games, every Saturday. Since we missed first practice, the first soccer my son ever played was a game. He had no idea what soccer was or what to do, but a game he played.  It sure was entertaining to watch, but; what happened to just learning and having fun?
Now it is winter time, so he is playing basketball twice a week – practice and of course THE game. On top of this, we have weekly swim classes. Most American kids start swim lessons at 6 months, my boys started at 2 years, so we are terribly behind. 

I am not laughing AT ALL at the US sports fanatics any more…..I am just trying to keep up with them, making sure my kids know the basic rules of ANY and ALL games.  The Dane in me have however insisted, that my sons play an International sport, Tennis, year round. They both do.

When in Rome do as the Americans….It is Sunday and we are sport off!  I think we will play some family WII resort sports. Who knows, one of my sons may just be in one of the “World Championships” one day!

Life in the Wild Wild West just got a lot more Wild…..

For the last 11 years I have feverishly been watching out for rattlesnakes, bears, mountain lions, and black widows whenever I am outside hiking, running or even playing with my kids in the back yard. In the same 11 years I have “only” run into a handful of snakes and one mountain lion (which my husband claimed was just a super over-sized cat)!!!
My latest snake sighting was a couple of months ago on my weekly hike with my BFF. A humongous snake was lying very still in the sun by the road we were trekking on in the mountains. We managed to run past it screaming loudly. However, on our way back down the hill we were scared to death when we saw than the snake was still there – lying VERY still and VERY long in the sun – waiting for us!
After discussing for half an hour whether to jump, run or sneak by it – my friend eyed a Fedex truck up the hill. She ran up and convinced the driver that we were both mentally sane, but scared of THE snake.
The Fedex driver was a merciful man and let us jump in his truck, drove us to where the snake was  - and stopped! He asked us what we wanted him to do to the snake – which by the way, he identified as a gopher snake….”DRIVE ON” we screamed. And so he did. We got off the Fedex truck in safe distance from the snake.
A little later on our hike we decided to warn a lady walking her dog about the snake further up the road. The dog-walker smiled and said, ”oohhh yaaahhh, I saw that snake a couple of days ago. IT IS DEAD”!!!!!
As you can see; life in the California Wild West is full of dangers. Last night, the list of threats got even longer: TORNADO WATCH.