Thursday, November 29, 2012

Please, Just Give a Sh*t

Well I'm back....again. That was fast. I'm just in a sour mood because I'm just really annoyed at people right now. Tomorrow is my final presentation for my Danish class and to say that my group's presentation looks like crap would be an understatement. Our topic is immigration in Denmark which is actually a pretty interesting and complex thing to talk about, but right now, I can only imagine how our actual presentation is going to go. Two out of five members in my group have literally gone AWOL and the slides they made for the presentation have nearly three paragraphs worth of text on them. Rule 1 of Powerpoint is to not have too much text. They teach you that all through HS and college, c'mon guys. Problem is, me and the other people can't edit the slides because at least for me, I'm sure they haven't bothered trying to memorize one bit of what they are going to present. I know it's the end of the semester as people really just don't give a crap anymore, but it's still 10% of our grade, which, when I last checked, is still important.

What's also frustrating is that I also just caught literally what could have been the most blatantly in your face BS statement I've ever read in over a month. I'm not going to delve into what exactly happened, but sometimes people are so bad at hiding they they are bold-faced lying, that it just makes me want to punch a baby deer (okay, fine, maybe a stuffed one so I don't go to jail or whatever). If you're going to lie, at least be good at it.

Back to he point, the most I can do now is to basically just go in to class tomorrow and try and present my slides well and be professional about it and just let my other group members do their bit. At least I can try and come across as prepared. I seriously can't wait to be back home and with people who actually care about doing work even if they are studying abroad.

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In a related note, can I mention that I'm kinda annoyed about the grading structure in one of my classes? In my Nordic mythology class, the professor who teaches isn't the one who is grading the assignments. This is something I find fundamentally wrong in my head. Now, this isn't like the whole teaching assistant grading quizzes type stuff; I mean a completely different professor, one who is never there, is grading our exams and papers. How on earth does that make sense? In addition, out of gut instinct and based on how she has graded some quizzes, the grading professor is a pretty picky to begin with. Coupled with the fact that she isn't there to witness how the material is being taught, the level of engagement, or is available to talk to after class, I don't see how our grades can accurately reflect how well we actually are doing in that class. Just yet another frustration of study abroad life.

Alright, I've gotten most of what I wanted to say off my chest. Sorry about ranting, but like I've said a thousand times before, this blog is one of the few places where I can actually rant relatively openly so thanks for being patient with me.



Geek Stuff: What One Day of Public Transit Looks Like

Hey y'all. Haven't been writing much but I'm alive and well, just been busy and all. Finals time is rolling around here and I'll be home in the US in less than three weeks. The past two weeks have been pretty cool. It's getting really cold but I went on my first gay bar crawl with a friend in Copenhagen last weekend among other things, but I'll cover those another day.

In the mean time, here's something kinda geeky I found via Buzzfeed. It's a video showing what one day of public transit looks like in Washington DC though you can find many other cities on the Youtube channel of that user. It's pretty cool to look at and won't eat up too much of your time if you're looking for something to do.

Washington D.C.

And here is New York and Vancouver for comparison

New York, NY

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Anyways, hope things are going well.

Vi Ses,


Saturday, November 17, 2012


So the Dansk-Thanksgiving was a great success, with lots of food, good conversation, and lots of fun in general. My good friend and also fellow housemate Eric and his girlfriend are currently visiting Copenhagen at the same time as my mom and aunt so I also invited them to join us. Afterwards we went out to Copenhagen along with Jackie and Kate to show them more of Copenhagen nightlife. We ended up at a bar called Billy Booze (great name, eh?) which specializes in cheap drinks while also having a nice dance floor/club area. We stayed there for a while and danced, people watched, and tried and failed to understand Danish music, but otherwise, it was good, fun night.

Now on the way back, things started getting weird. First, my train was absolutely packed. Like, no seats left, no room to breathe packed. Weird thing #1 was a guy who boarded the train wearing a pink metallic wig shouting something about "swag" in Danish for a solid 5 minutes. Then a group of also really drunk guys, who looked exactly the same (balding, larger, wearing the same style NorthFace), started shouting loud as hell which started to annoy me and had me dreading the train ride home. If that wasn't enough, finally stumbled in a guy who, to put it lightly, looked like he was about 2 seconds away from hurling chunks over the entire train...and of course he had to stand right next to me. I was scared to hell that he was going to vomit all over my coat, jeans, and shoes. I ended up squeezing over to the "silent zone" of the train which is basically full of angry old people with little tolerance for fun. The sick guy was swaying everywhere and almost fell into the lap of some guy who was near the door of the silent section and that caused an entire scene of yelling for him to GTFO by a 70-something man. Eventually he did which was a relief, but still, tonight's scene, plus many previous nights witnessed, and experience in four other major European cities just have solidified in my mind that Europeans are just as loud, obnoxious, and rude as American are despite the reputation that American are bad.

We get the bad rap for being the unclassy douchebags of the world, but I've seen more than enough during my time here to say it's easily a two-way problem. Sure, maybe we are a louder and ruder while sober and being tourists, but I swear, get one drop of alcohol in a European, and you end up with an American x2. Honestly, I've seen better behavior late at night in most American cities than I have in Europe. Citizens of Copenhagen, get your acts together, jeez.

Just an observation I made.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life Lessons Through Kesha

Kesha - Die Young (deconstructed)

I've never been a hardcore fan of music traditionally popular among the gay community - meaning Lady Gaga, Kesha, Katy Perry, etc. While I do occasionally find their music catchy, I easily get tired of it and revert back to my play lists of less pop-heavy music like Cartel, One Republic, and the like. Nevertheless, sometimes I do get surprised by what these singers do as I was here.

Kesha, that glitter spewing, drunk, blond haired explosion of trashy dance pop, actually left me speechless after listening to one of her songs. Above is what she calls a "deconstructed" version of her recent single Die Young. Compared to the original version, which I posted at the end of this post for comparison, the deconstructed version is very interesting and personally much better to me. While her singing ability isn't spectacular, hearing her voice sans the software modifications and heavy synth background is refreshingly raw and pure. For people who have only listened to Tik Tok or any of her other mainstream singles, they likely wouldn't even recognize the voice because the image of Kesha as the trashy party music singer has been so firmly ingrained in their heads. It's a shame really, because she actually has some talent which I feel many aren't giving her credit for.

The reason of this post I guess is to highlight how we as people really need to make sure to look past the mere surface impressions of people and see who they are underneath it all. Don't Judge a Book by its Cover basically. I honestly can't believe I'm using Kesha as an example to illustrate the importance of this, but for someone who actually keeps up with music like I do, seeing an artist do something unexpected is really, really cool. While her music will probably never be my favorite in the world, in my mind, I'm giving her more credit as a singer for what she did.

Kesha - Die Young (Original)

All the best,


P.S. - I made a new poll on the right side of the page. "When Did You First Come Out?" (btw, "less than 16" is inclusive, poor labelling on my part. My bad) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Internships, Growing Up, and Geek Stuff

So the deed has been done. I've decided to go ahead and change my finance major to a marketing major. While it isn't official on my transcript and I still need to get a good deal of paperwork done when I get back to school, the classes I signed up for basically put on the marketing track and off the finance track (track being the series of courses I would need to take to complete the major). Basically everyone I asked about this said to do what I would be most happy with, passionate about, and would enjoy doing, rather than what would make me the most money. It makes sense though it was still a difficult pill to swallow. Nevertheless, I'm glad I did it.

My focus now, well, apart from preparing for the arrival of my mom, aunt, and some friends, is figuring out what I need to do when I get back to the US. Mostly, I need to figure out whether or not I want an internship in the Spring when I get back. My gut tells me I should, but many of the internships require a level of time commitment which I'm worried would eat into time I would be spending on classes otherwise. Unlike my senior year, where I will basically be taking 3 classes a semester (maybe 4 if I have to for credit requirements), I have 15 credits (aka 5 classes) this semester. Combine that with the work I will be doing as Publicity Director for the theatre group I work with, the grilling club, and any other activities, it may be a tight squeeze. I'm thinking I might try and find a job on campus right now so I can earn a little extra spending money on the side but doesn't require overly high time commitments instead. Then in the Spring, I will work my ass off to find an internship for the Summer which can potentially continue on into senior year. With most deadlines for Spring internships being this week or within the next two weeks, I also don't know/think I want to dive into this without preparing as much as I think I should. Stressful stressful...

Gah, this growing up thing sucks.

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In other news, I am still focusing on finishing the semester here in Denmark strong. One of my classes is already done so I only have four to worry about. I'm not too concerned with two of my classes: I-Marketing and Danish, but I am more worried about I-Finance and my Nordic Mythology classes. My finance course is simply difficult but my Nordic Mythology class is more a struggle to stay interested and up to date. You'd think Vikings and Norse gods would be cool....wrong. It's surprisingly boring, especially after having the preconception of it being epic painted in your mind because of Hollywood movies and comics. A paper I wrote and turned in for the class really wasn't the best in all honesty and I'm kinda worried about how that's going to turn out. I had the option to pick a topic which was most interesting to me, but once I started writing, I realized that picking a more conceptual and abstract topic was much more challenging than a simple research topic based one. Plus, what seemed very interesting on the surface didn't have enough substance I felt for a full 8-10 page paper. That paper in addition to a final exam are the two main causes of stress for me in that class.

Finally, beyond class stuff, I've also been reconnecting with my geeky side lately. I've been obsessed with this Youtube Channel:
Basically, this channel is hosted by Hank Green who I recognized from this:

In the SciShow, he discusses a variety of topics, all science/history/math related which I absolutely LOVE. Basically, as I've mentioned before, I'm a huge geek for anything car, science, or tech related. This channel, along with a few others I won't mention, has been eating up so much of my time the past few weeks it's unhealthy. But anyways, if you like that kind of stuff too, check out SciShow for sure.

Also, I really want this:

I might actually ask for this for Christmas.

Yeah, judge me all you want.

All the best,


Saturday, November 10, 2012

What do I want to do with my life?

Pre-registering for my Spring 2012 classes has caused me a big realization: The future direction of my life, career, and basically what my world is going to revolve around for the better part of my adulthood is being decided right now through a few clicks of my mouse. For the longest time I thought I knew what I wanted to do, to major in, and to what direction I wanted to take my life, but now I'm not so sure. I'm caught in between a rock and a hard place, between what I think I should do and what I think I will actually enjoy doing.

For the better part of the last two years, I knew I wanted to major in international business. That was a given. I find the how interconnected the world is, the hundreds of cultures, and how these all collide both in peaceful and more risky ways fascinating. I knew that I wanted to be able to travel the world and hopefully use the knowledge I gained in school to help coordinate business efforts between companies. It's part of my nature, something I realized even more when one of my friends made a out of the blue comment on how I'm good at bringing people together. At first I didn't know how to react when that was said; I knew it was a compliment, but it still felt odd. With time though, I realized that maybe it's something I should take pride in, and nowadays I have.

My second major is something I've been more confused and conflicted over. For almost as long as I knew I wanted to do IB, I thought I should have Finance be my second major. It was practical, would basically guarantee me a high paying job even right out of college, have great possibilities for promotion down the line, and from what I thought initially after taking Business Financial Management, something I could do. But now having taken International Financial Management and looking at the other finance classes I would have to take, I thought to myself, "Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?". Finance for me is a rather dreadful concept in reality. It's dull, challenging, and will have me working in an environment greyer than London in winter. I know some people enjoy the risk and reward aspect of it and analyzing FOREX futures and the such, and I don'twant to change my major "just because it's too hard". I like a challenge, but there's that gut feeling that tells you if a challenge is something you enjoy and know you are benefiting from, or you are just being challenged and am just unhappy with it. For me, finance is falling towards the latter.

The other major I've considered has been marketing. The problem with marketing though is that's seen, and especially in comparison to Finance and Accounting is, as the frou frou major. No offence to marketing majors or those who work in marketing, but that's just the stigma attached to it at my school. The classes aren't any easier per se either. Sure, many things of what we learn can be considered intuitive, but with the business school curve and professors knowing they need to really push us in a field like marketing, things even out with other non-marketing business classes. What I've realized is though is that I am a lot more interested in learning about things like consumer behavior rather than hedging options. While I've never really look forward to any of my classes, I can say comfortably that I was a lot more at ease in my marketing classes than my finance ones. I'm more of a people person than I previously knew and I hate the idea of being stuck for the rest of my life in a cubical or sterile office crunching numbers. A marketing major will give me better access to jobs which can have me out in the world more and seeing the logic behind consumer behavior beyond just percentages and numbers on a sales chart.

However, apart from the image thing, another problem with pursuing a marketing major is my future job search. Finding a job will be more difficult and the starting salaries are not nearly as high as for the types of jobs that finance majors receive. While I don't think I will be unemployed coming out of the college I'm at, the type of job will likely be less prestigious. Starting off strong off the block is something that I place as as pretty high priority for myself which is why this decision is also so difficult for me.

I know I should pursue the major and career that will give me the most satisfaction and happiness later on which is why I'm leaning towards changing my major now, but I'm still not completely comfortable with it. I've talked to some of my friends and they think I should go for it and change too, but what are you opinions? Should I go for it?


Friday, November 9, 2012

Vienna and Budapest

So here's the delayed Vienna/Budapest post. My friend still hasn't posted her pictures which is a shame since she had some amazing ones but mine aren't too shabby either (at least I think so....)

So starting out with Vienna....It's a very nice, clean, modern European city. Given that, it was also disappointingly boring. Yea, it's the home of Mozart, classical music, and all sorts of classy things, but one they they never mention is how much it costs to actually get in and see these things. 40 Euro for a lacklustre seat to see an opera performance isn't something that a student's budgets can really afford. Nevertheless, Jackie and I found things to do in the city and enjoyed our visit. Everything is pretty much in walking distance which is pretty cool and our Hostel was in the Chinatown/Nachsmarkt flea market area which was a fun surprise. We actually had some of the best Chinese food in Europe so far there so props to them. I will never forget hearing an Asian woman speak fluent German though...seeing someone else do it made me realize how creepy Asians speaking "European" languages can be, me included. Beyond that, we did notice is that the city can, essentially, be done in about 2 days. We stayed 3 and got really bored so if you ever decide to go to Vienna, keep that in mind. Nightlife in Vienna was also lacklustre. We went to a gay bar which the hostel recommended and it was crap. No dance floor, tiny, expensive, and dead. I feel sorry for the Viennese gays....For all its downsides though, Vienna did hold a few surprises which I will now show....

It rained alot when we got there


Our buddy Johann Strauss

Mermaids did exist at one point....they were all executed by angry little children though
Schonbrunn Palace, where I learned of the "jumping photo"
It had some wtf statues
 So Vienna was good, if a bit bland. Budapest...well that's another story. If Vienna is the good child in the family that is Europe, the one who did all his homework, ate his vegetables, and went to an elite school, then Budapest was the party boy who went to state college to drink, fuck, and have a blast. Budapest was insanely fun. It was the polar opposite of Vienna: lively, cheap, exciting, and a little rough around the edges. We arrived on a national holiday and what was going on? Protests of course. A labour union from what I could figure was having a protest which ended up blocking many of the streets. However, because it was a national holiday, lots of he museums were open so Jackie and I ended up hitting those up. One of my friends was also staying in the same hostel as us and we ended up hanging out alot at night. They found a bunch of bars and places to go at night. During the day we wandered about and visited the Hungarian royal palace and both the Buda and Pest areas of the city. Overall, lots of fun and we spent next to nothing while there.


Hungarian National Museum

The Royal Palace

Buda is much more rural

Parliament still decked out for Hungarian Revolution Day

Best book ever.

The grand central market - lots of food and souvenirs.

 Funny to think that now that my day is almost done, my second week-long break is starting haha. Yeah, I have another week off already. I decided against travelling this break for a few reasons in the end. First, cost; I didn't want to go through another $500 to visit Germany. It would have been nice, but I feel I will have plenty of opportunities to visit later on when I actually have the money. Second, I have visitors coming, mainly my friend Kelsey, who is coming in from London, and my mom and my aunt. Both are coming next week and I want to prepare for their arrival. Finally, I miss having alone time and having a house to myself. Since both my host parents work, I figured that I can take the chance to just sleep in, relax, watch some movies, and cook which I haven't been able to do very often. So, it may not be the most exciting break ever, but I'm still really looking forward to it.

Hope everything is well in your neck of the woods.

All the best,


Monday, November 5, 2012


I couldn't be more royally fucked right now. I have my International  Financial Management midterm tomorrow and I'm actually royally screwed. Too much information to keep straight in my head. I'm actually going crazy right now.

Why on earth do I want to be a finance major....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Update on the Home Front

Vienna and Budapest post still on hold, but I do have a few updates on the home front back in the US.

I'm not surprised that I still will always refer to Virginia as "home" and not Roskilde when I talk to my friends. I do like it here. My host family is great; they're doing a better job than me as a host student quite honestly. I've returned to my bad habit of taking after dinner naps and working late, late at night. Basically, I see them at dinner and I don't see them again until the next dinner. I feel like a horrible host student, especially considering how much work they are putting in to have me stay at their home. I'm going to try and change this though. Coffee, adjusting my work schedule, whatever - I'll find some way of spending more time with them. Going back to the topic though, I still will always be most comfortable back in my townhouse with my mom and dog.

Back at home, a few surprises have come up. Maria is now going to be studying abroad in the Spring semester. She's headed back to Spain where she was this past summer - also for study abroad. We both really miss each other and having each other's company, so seeing her go abroad after barely seeing her this summer and now only for a few weeks this winter is going to be tough but I'm sure she's going to have a blast. In more friend study abroad news, my fellow Francophile and actually the first friend I made at my home university, Allie, is no longer going to be studying in Paris in the Spring. It came as a shock to my entire group of friends since it was so sudden. She was so adament about going to Paris and was so excited about being accepting to the program that when she suddenly called it off last week, none of us were really prepared. From what I was told by her housemates, she is really unhappy with her current French class and that she also feels "she is a new woman"....whatever that means...and "that was her old self, and she no longer is reflective of that". Yeah, yeah, mysterious, confusing, and kinda annoying that explanation. Well, considering I am very close with her, I'll probably try and figure things out when I get back. Hey, at least I will be able to see her during the year now?

Back at home, my mom and my aunt are preparing for their week long visit to Denmark. They're coming for a week mid-November and are staying in Copenhagen. They're both really excited and I can't wait to introduce them to my host family. We also plan to have a Thanksgiving dinner while they're here which I'm really excited about. Renovations of my house are also underway soon. I think I mentioned this before, but my mom is gutting the Kitchen, replacing all the floors on the main level, replacing all the windows, and redoing the bathrooms in the house. Basically I won't really recognize the house when I get back apart from some furniture. Mom also said that Hurricane Sandy wasn't too horrible. The storm we had this summer, which knocked out power for 3 days in 90 degree weather and 85% humidity, did more damage. She didn't even lose power which was surprising.

Next comes the situation with Brandon. I've tried contacting him a few days ago, and he didn't really respond. I didn't want to make too much of a fuss so I just sent him a greeting and a "stay safe" sort of message before the hurricane hit. This was over Facebook and granted he doesn't use Facebook too much anyway so I don't want to keep trying to reach him and appear desperate. I hope once I get back to the US and I can start texting and calling him again that we can see each other since I do still miss him and this lack of communication is kinda annoying.

I think that's all the major stuff that is going on at home. Seeing November on the calendar keeps reminding me that my stay here in Denmark is actually going to be done much earlier than I expect. I still remember arriving here in August, settling into my room, meeting people for the first time, and especially the warm weather. I only have a little over a month here now. My mom visiting - something that felt like ages away when I first arrived, is just around the corner. It's crazy.

Finally, unrelated to home but included anyway - in my goal of intoducing people to new music, here's a popular Danish pop song a the moment. It's a Danish band made up of  Dane and an Italian dude named Muri & Mario (guess which is the Dane and which the Italian...). Anyways, it's pretty catchy. I think I also heard it at some point in the US but I can't put my finger on where.

Muri & Mario - Hun Tog Min Guitar (She Took My Guitar)

All the best,