Live and Direct

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's the little differences

I'm trying to renew my car registration via the mail. In the process of trying to get a check to the California DMV, I ran into something that still has me scratching my head:

The federal mail service does not offer express mail to the United States.

You can send express mail to the UK and the other EU countries, but I guess they figure nobody has business with the States that's urgent enough to require a special service. It ended up meaning that I had to pay a UPS courier to come and pick up three pieces of paper and a check, costing me about eight times what it would cost in the States.

It's in moments like these that I'm reminded of Vincent Vega's line from Pulp Fiction: "You know what the funniest thing about Europe is? It's the little differences. A lotta the same shit we got here, they got there, but there they're a little different." Like not being able to send express mail to the United States. I mean, Denmark is willing to ally with us for a war based on lies, but we can just forget about getting our mail in an express manner. That would be too much to ask. On the other hand, you can buy beer in a movie theatre. And I don't mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer. (Thanks again, Vince).

Monday, November 28, 2005

Going to London

We found some super cheap tickets through Ryanair (1 Swedish krone, plus processing fees), so we're going over to London this weekend to stay with my friend, Chris. Chris and I were in college together while I was in Georgia attending classes at UG, Athens back in 1992. We've kept in touch intermittently, but we haven't actually seen each other in at least ten years. So it will be fun to catch up with him and meet his partner, Stephanie.

We'll be attending the Burning Man decompression party in London. It's just a happy coincidence that it's the same weekend, but still, should be good. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to see our crazy friend Lisa as well.

We'll also be going up to Oxford to see one of my colleagues who is on a research sabbatical there. Since I'm a fancy pants professor now, I can attend High Table, which is an age old tradition where faculty members get together, eat a formal dinner, and act stuffy. Since I so rarely get to act like a stuffy professor, I'm really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I'll have to get by with jacket and tie, as my doctoral robes are at the cleaners. Well actually, they're still at the doctoral robes store, since I have never bothered to purchase them. But had I known I would get a chance wear them at Oxford, I might have sprung for the expense.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Catching up

I'm starting to think that blog time is like reverse dog years or something, because to me it doesn't seem that long ago that I posted and yet here it is almost three weeks later. I don't want this blog to turn into one of those things that feels like a chore or an obligation, but to be honest, not that much is going on over here that's worth talking about. It snowed for the first time of the season a couple of days ago. I'm in the midst of preparing exam questions. We had a lovely Thanksgiving at Dan and Mette's. Mette spent a year in Battle Creek, MI, back in high school, so she's started celebrating the holiday in lieu of the more traditional Christmas parties they give here starting mid-November.

Some people have been wondering what Sara and I have planned for next year during my research sabbatical, so here's the skinny: we're moving back to Seattle for a few months so I can do book research and attend some conferences (SCMS,GDC). Sara will go back in January to look for work and a temporary furnished apartment (if any of you think you might have leads, let us know), and then I will come in February after having tied up loose ends here. We were wondering what to do with our apartment here, but as it turns out, our landlord is terminating our lease in February anyway for reasons related to his finances. This is a good thing in that it is one less thing for us to worry about, but it is a bad thing in that it means we'll have to find a new place when we get back to DK in September/October. You might recall how much fun we had with that the first time around.

We're also going to be picking up my car. Or rather, my Mom will be driving it up from Utah after using for a few months upon returning from Morocco. Things have had a funny way of coming full circle since we moved to Denmark. The car has been sitting in Geoff's driveway for longer than I can admit without cringing, and I was wondering whether I ever might figure out what to do with it. But now that we're coming back to the States over a full year later, it's suddenly convenient that we held onto the car this long. I miss my car.

There are other things afoot, both private and professional, that are better left undiscussed in a semi-public space like this, but it's safe to say that the coming months will be full of opportunities and decisions for Sara and me. It's a little daunting to have so much potential uncertainty in our lives, but we've been handling it so far, so hopefully it will all turn out okay.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Missed it this

Originally uploaded by Trevor_.
here is a photo from last Halloween.

Monday, November 07, 2005

One of those moments...

...when I really do hate to say I told you so. I still think that Grokster was engaging in a form of sophisticated double-speak by arguing, after intentionally engineering a Napster-shaped blindspot in their service, that they couldn't anticipate what people were going to do in that blindspot. Apparently, the Supreme Court was of the same opinion, which I hardly find comforting given its current ideological make-up.

However, I generally hate to see the mainstream media industry win anything, since I think "they," meaning the ten multinational conglomerates that own and run everything from your local radio station and newspapers to the largest movie studios and cable networks, generally stifle creativity and innovation by eliminating alternate market venues. It's worth noting that the decision won't actually effect anybody already using the Grokster software to share files, so that's something, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Rain on Danes Stays Mainly as a Pain

It's Autumn over here, which weather-wise means beautiful, brisk clear days with smoke on the air increasingly giving way to gloomy, wet dark days that make you understand why the Vikings were willing to risk their lives trying to conquer and settle somewhere, anywhere, for gods' sakes just not here. With daylight savings having reverted, the sun goes down at about 5pm. It feels like late afternoon by 1pm. It can be a bit much to deal with, and I take back any comparisons I ever made between Seattle and Copenhagen as far as rain and general murkiness goes. Seattle? Rain? Bah, I say, bah! The ever-ready claim that "it only drizzles, you can still go out in it" that I repeated like a mantra while in Seattle can hardly be said with a straight face over here.

But it's great weather to go to the movies in, or drink Irish coffees, or snuggle with my sweetie, so I'm going to focus on the positive. Also, I have only six more weeks left in the semester and then I don't teach again for one whole year. ONE. WHOLE. YEAR! Can I get an amen? Can I get an amen!

On other positive fronts, all you videogame heads (Mark F., I'm looking at you) should immediately go check out The Game Guy Show. It's a podcast co-hosted by my good friend Mars, who knows a thing or two about videogames. The production value is very high, the format very accessible. Evening listening to it as an MP3, I kept thinking I was listening to a live broadcast on KEXP. Way to go, Mars!