Olympics, of course!

I LOVE the Olympics.  I love the Olympics.  Which might seem weird, because I’m not “into sports” so to say, but there’s something about the Olympics…

And I have to say, this year I even have extra love for the Olympics.  For one, it’s providing me with a distraction, so I don’t dwell on how soon we have to move (again) to another (temporary) apartment.  And trust me, having a distraction is almost necessary at this point.  Any prolonged thought given to the fact that I don’t have a permanent home on the horizon is pretty detrimental to my mental health.  I’m fed up.

But anyway, back to the Olympics!  There are three big things that I’ve been noticing as I watch this year.  We are lucky enough to get two Danish channels here in Sweden, so we’ve been watching on those.  First of all, I can’t say how happy I am that they air badminton!  I’ve always loved badminton, but I have almost never seen it played professionally before.  In the US I think it’s considered more of a joke sport, which is really unfair, and I’ve never seen coverage of it, even during the Olympics.  They also show a lot more of things like rowing and handball (which is now, hands down, my favorite team sport to watch…pun sort-of intended).  I guess I’m just lucky that my taste in sports is pretty similar to that of the Danes’.

The second thing that has made this Olympics even more of a pleasure to watch is that I’m cheering for Denmark.  Four years ago, while I watched the 2008 games, I had no idea I would be meeting my future husband in a week, or that he would be Danish, or that the next time the Olympics rolled around, I’d have a new loyalty.  That’s right.  I said it.  I’m not really cheering for the US.  That’s not to say I’m “un-cheering” for them, and if there aren’t any Danes in competition, I’ll root for the American, but I’m not super-excited about any of the medals they win.  And you know why?  It’s because they win so many!

I know that the US sends many fantastic athletes to compete in the Olympics, and that’s definitely something to be proud of, but isn’t it just a little boring when you expect to win medals across the board?   I’ve been having more fun this year, cheering on the Danish team because they don’t win everything, and they don’t mind or think that they deserve to win.  It’s always more fun to cheer for the underdogs.  The Danes are happy for any medal they can get, whether it’s bronze, silver, or gold, and they’re often happy to come in fourth or fifth, too!  There’s no attitude of expectation or entitlement, just enthusiasm and anticipation!

Which brings me to my third point.  Somehow, my Danish is managing to get better, despite the fact that we hardly remember to speak it, and I mostly watch Swedish television.  Anyway, the point is that I’m starting to understand a lot more of the Danish commentary than I expected to.  Now, I don’t understand all of it, so I can’t tell you if the sort-of subtle sexism is present, and I never watched very many sports in the states, so I can’t really compare it to other commentary I’ve heard, but I really enjoy it.  Their voices raise and get excited when the game is close, and they congratulate their opponents on a good play or hard-won point.  Also, they shut up when there’s nothing to say.  I like that a lot.

I’ve been watching badminton (with a smattering of tennis and rowing) all day, and I’m looking forward to the Danish handball game tonight.  I have to say that I have a soft spot for the Danish men’s handball team.  They’re just so cute, and I also think it’s a bit sweet how proud Denmark is of them (they won the Euro cup earlier this year).  Hooray for the Olympics!!

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Tillykke!

Let me start this post by saying that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone so happy (and cute!) as the Danish handball team.

The Danes won the Euro Cup today against Serbia, and the following footage of the team celebration was like watching ridiculously happy seven-year-old boys whose hyperactivity doesn’t wear off.  Aww…it was so cute, I cried a bit.  And the keeper, Landin, got the best player award which was SO exciting because he is my favorite player.  I mean…he’s gotten nailed in the face with a handball, gotten back up (after shoving some cotton junk up his nose) and saved two more shots in a row!  Plus, he can do the splits.  That’s all I’m really asking for in a man.

In other happy news, I got another poem accepted!  It’s my pet poem, to boot!  I wrote it first in Danish and then translated it to English, and it’s all about my mother-in-law.  I knew it was special when I first wrote it, and I’m happy to see it find a home.  It also gave me the push I’ve been needing to go out and actually SUBMIT stuff, so I’m feeling motivated.

The last week or so I’ve been feeling pretty down and useless.  I’m not a particularly self-motivating person, so when I don’t have a purpose, or a reason to get up every morning, it’s easy for me to fall into a bored rut.  Now that my husband has graduated (with top marks, yay!) we’ll get to spend more time together, and he always helps me stay on top of my projects, so I’m looking forward to the next “hunk” of time until we move to Sweden.

Also, I’m going to start doing push-ups and sit-ups every day!  We’ll see how it goes.

I also experienced my first bout with homesickness the other day, though it was more family-sickness than America-sickness.  I have four sisters and two brothers, and now that we’re (almost) all grown up, we’re very spread out.  Over Christmas, we managed to gather all but two of us for a few days, and that’s the largest family gathering we’ve had in years.  This means that I often get “homesick” for my family, even when I lived at home, so it really can’t be helped.  Otherwise my transition to Denmark has been smooooooooth.  Tomorrow we have to go out shopping (my husband owes me a chocolate bar on a bet!  Candy is a bit more expensive here, so this is a treat.) and I’m excited for it (even though we’re just going to BILKA or Netto).  Also, I’m determined to take Andreas and my sister-in-law ice skating before we move!  Adventures!

Thank goodness the gloomy depression fog has lifted.  Thank you, handball team!  I’m convinced they played a part.

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2012

Tonight I officially became a Dane!

Well, maybe not, but I DID get to watch the competition to find the Danish representative for this year’s Eurovision contest, which apparently almost qualifies me to be a Dane. I liked the singer who won, but not the song (it sounded a bit country-western, and that’s something I can’t ever get over, having been forcefully exposed to 15 hours of it every week on the bus ride to and from school for 13 years).  Overall, it was a good show, and now I can’t wait for actual Eurovision!!!

I also watched the Denmark vs. Macedonia handball game which was THRILLING to say the least, and I can’t even share the thrill on Facebook, considering that most of my friends don’t know what handball is, and the ones that do were in the room watching with me.  I don’t get excited about sports in general (I went to college in Green Bay and the only reason I wanted the Packers to win the Super Bowl was so that my entire city wouldn’t be grumpy the next day), but I get excited about soccer, volleyball, and now—handball!  Honestly, when I was a kid, I thought that handball was the same as baseball except that you hit the ball with your hands instead…the real game makes a lot more sense.

I know I have a long way to go before I am even slightly Danish, but I’ve got basically the rest of my life (yippee!)  One goal that I hope to accomplish a lot sooner is to become a better blogger, with pictures and everything!  At the moment, I’m trying to solve the case of the Missing 4GB SD Card, and until it’s cracked, I can’t promise much, but I’ll do my best.

I’ve been doing some experimental baking and cooking (we made Indian food with naan tonight which was great, though we accidentally bought the tomatoes with basil instead of plain) with my husband and sister-in-law, and I should be a lot more diligent about photographing our cooking adventures.

There’s not much else for now.  I’m still doing my darndest to learn new Danish words every day, and I find myself using Danish phrases as well (“nååååååååårh, ja” is a particularly common one).

It’s late, so we’re going to hygge os i sengen og sover snart.  I realize that I don’t actually *do* much here, but I’m considering going to school with my husband on Monday to collect some more writing fodder.  We’ll see what happens.  Meanwhile, I have to try to work on my poetry and knitting while Andreas studies and “use my time wisely” as my elementary school teachers always said.

Vi ses!