Kulturnatten 2009

October 10, 2009

Every year, in what is a fantastic idea, Copenhagen hosts Kulturnatten, literally ‘The Culture Night’, or better translated Night of Culture. (Follow the link for more details.) All around Copenhagen, artists, community groups, and museums put on dozens of cultural presentations: concerts, meditative worship services, tours of the Royal Exchange, jewelry making, Greenlandic crafts, plays, art shows, a science fair, film shorts, dance, and explorations of life in the Danish WW2 resistance. In other words, a massive celebration of all things Denmark. All of this costs about the price of two beers or three Cokes, transportation included. While something like Seattle’s Bumbershoot, Folklife Festival, or SeaFair might compare, a critical difference is that Kulturnatten involves most of the city’s cultural institutions, is wildly diverse, and largely grassroots.

Cate singing in The Junior Gospel Choir

Cate singing in The Junior Gospel Choir

Rachelle and the girls recently joined a gospel choir, which participated in Kulturnatten. I do find it a little surreal that in this wildly secular country, there’s 100 people who not only are excited to sing gospel music, but who are also willing to pay quarterly fees to do so. On the other hand, Danes do like to join things (clubs of all sorts abound here), and Danes love to sing. Christmas, for example, features both numerous Saint Lucia festivals of white-robed singing girls, and also families holding hands, circling the Christmas tree, and singing their hearts out.

Last night at their Kulturnatten performance, the sanctuary of of the neo-classically columned Gospelkirken was filled, steaming warm and literally to the rafters with about 200 people not once, but three times over, to hear the music. The girls had fun, and the choir was rocking. We’ve uploaded some video to YouTube for you to check out.

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Poor, Poor Sammy :(

October 8, 2009

Last week Sammy went to the groomer for the first time since June. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe not, but over the weekend his, um, glands got abscessed. Sunday, he had to spend all day in his cage so that he wouldn’t bleed all over the furniture. Monday Rachelle took him to the vet, who inserted a drain, cleaned his teeth and pulled a baby tooth. Since then he’s had to wear the cone of shame and, for the first couple of days, diapers.

Ah, the indignity. 

He’s been spending all day in the bathroom to help calm him down, and so that he doesn’t scoot around on his tush and rip open his glandular area. Rachelle takes him back to the vet on Friday to get the drain removed. He’ll be thrilled to be allowed back on the couch. We may even let him sleep on the bed.

Can we humiliate him any more?

Can we humiliate him any more?


Field Trips You Don’t Take with Seattle Public Schools

September 28, 2009

In Eden’s words:

Eden's Skoleskydningen Pin. Literally "School shooting". It's got cute kids on it!

Eden's Skoleskydningen Pin. Literally "School shooting". It's got cute kids on it!

“Today we went on a field trip to a shooting range. It was inside a building. When we got there, a man told us about how to use the gun. A woman called up a couple of people and gave them targets, while the rest of us watched. When it was my turn, I went to the shooting box. On the left side there was a red button. On the shelf in the shooting box was a prop that you laid your gun on. On the right side was a can to put in the empty cartridges. Above me, at about my forehead, there was a clip that you put your target onto. Then you pressed the red button, and it took the target down to the wall, which was 15.2 meters away. After you sent the target down, you propped up your gun, and the man gave you five cartridges. You load the gun, and put your elbows on the table. You hold the gun with one hand on the barrel and the other hand gripping the piece of wood sticking down behind the trigger. I looked through the sight, which was a little ring above the trigger with another little ring a couple of inches from the end of the barrel. That ring had another little ring inside it. I made the little ring inside the ring at the end of the barrel go around the black ring on the target. Then I shot the gun by pulling the trigger. After I shot three times, I pulled the target back. The man looked at the target card and adjusted the sight so it was right for my eyes. And then I shot the target card two more times. After than I took a different target, shot it five times, flipped it over, and used the target on the other side. And I did that again; twenty-five shots in all. After I was finished, I put a rubber band around the cards, and took them to a woman who counted up my score, depending upon where I shot the target. My score was 169 out of 200. Two of my teachers came with us, a man and a woman. The woman teacher dropped her gun on the floor! Everyone thought it was really funny that the teacher dropped her gun, until we realized that if there was a bullet in the gun, it could have shot the girl next to her in the foot. :O The whole thing was really fun!”

Eden's Shooting Targets. Her score was 169/200. All shots were 8 or better.

Eden's Shooting Targets. Her score was 169/200. All shots were 8 or better.


Eden’s Eleventh Eleventh Birthday Party

September 20, 2009

Despite already having something like ten birthday parties this summer while in the U.S., Eden wanted to have a birthday party with her classmates when she came back to CPH. A nice tradition here in Denmark is that when a child has a birthday party, the entire class is invited. I think it helps prevent kids from feeling excluded, and builds community in the class. This all is good, because these kids are together in the same class, with the same teacher, from Grade 0 through Grade 9.

So, sixteen 11-year-olds came over for the afternoon on September 19, and we discovered that yes, tweens can sing karaoke for three hours straight.

16 Tweens singing with Lips on XBox

16 Tweens singing with Lips on XBox


Wheel of Copenhagen

August 29, 2009

Over the summer a scaled down version of the Eye of London appeared in Copenhagen in the square in front of the Palads Theatre near Tivoli. We took Cate’s friend Johanna with us to a movie and then rode the Wheel of Copenhagen. It gives a fantastic view of the city, and we discovered a number of buildings we had never seen before. This is a photo of it at night.

The Wheel of Copenhagen

The Wheel of Copenhagen


Cate Made This!

August 5, 2009

Cate was banging away for an hour or so downstairs at Pura Vida trying to build something. When she came up defeated, Bompa found she was trying to build a house with a scrap of wood and HUGE nails. They made this together instead. She got to use the nail gun!

Cate Made This House!

Cate Made This House!

She also made this from a kit. I thought it looked great with the lace and the mirror. Very nautical/Victorian.

Cate Made This Boat!

Cate Made This Boat!


Cate got glasses…

July 29, 2009

…and she’s super-cute!

Cate in Her New Glasses

Cate in Her New Glasses