28 January 2008


Didn't we promise you guys some more posts on Isla Vista ? The college town that stretches from West Campus to Campus itself .. We think we did. Isla Vista has a curious blend of more or less normal houses and apartment complexes in varying sizes. A large part of the inhabitants are being substituted as their educations progress while certain others seem more permanent - and some houses have stayed virtually unmodified throughout all the years Tue has been living around here. One of those standing seemingly untouched by time is the Biko house which - lo and behold - has an appropriate mailbox.

27 January 2008

Into the WILD!

As mentioned we watched ‘Into the Wild’ Wednesday night. Apparently we hadn’t done our home work for just while we were watching the introductory actor presentations, the names of two Danish actors (‘Thure Lindhardt’ and ‘Signe Egholm Olsen’) appeared! None of us had heard anything about Danish participation so we were quite surprised.

Surprised is also the right word when the scene with Thure and Signe appeared for besides being a rupture with the atmosphere of the movie, all stereotypes regarding Danish people were put on the table: silly, frivolous types that danced, jumped around, and spoke Danish and silly-English while topless (Signe) and with long blond hair (Thure). Well, apparently that was ‘Mads and Sonja from Copenhagen’ (on IMDB they are actually listed as 'Thomas' and 'Thomas’ girlfriend', but we are some out here that understood what was said)!
Weeeelllll… … great! We’re not sure that the college girls in the seats behind us, who thought the scene was incredibly funny, would believe that Thure is one of Denmark’s more serious actors.

Now – and because our curiosity was raised by other things in the movie that surprised positively in other ways – we have to consult the book because John couldn’t remember any passages with Danish people and we certainly don’t hope that Sean Penn have added that scene without it being part of the original novel.

Well, go see the movie for yourself if you haven’t done so yet and let us know how this scene strikes you if you like.

Great movies

With the Oscar ceremony coming up pretty soon we would like to sum up some of our most recent movie experiences. After a somewhat dull autumn, the cinemas were almost flooded with promising films in December and we made an effort to actually go and see some while they were still showing. There is pretty quick rotation here - unless of course we’re taking blockbusters like ‘Spiderman 3’ or ‘The Kite Runner’ – so one should not hesitate too much. For instance, we completely missed ‘Margot at the Wedding’ since it only showed one (1!) week despite prominent actresses such as Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Now we hope to catch it via Netflix before we move.

The excellent movie season was sneakly initiated in October with a special showing of ‘Eastern Promises’ at the university followed by a session with David Cronenberg. Very interesting and despite expectations he was a very funny man.
When Lisbeth afterwards sought information on the movie, she discovered that when the movie opened on the Film Festival in Toronto, Viggo Mortensen had chosen to wear a red DBU sweatshirt (DBU is the Danish Football Association for you English readers) sweat shirt. Classy, hey?

The Coen brothers pleased by returning to earlier greatness in their ‘No Country for Old Men’ which is incredibly well casted, has very beautiful cinematography and is extremely thrilling (according to Tue it resembles ‘Blood Simple’). We had to swing by the local micro brewery for a beer or two before biking home in the dark.

The day before Christmas we had a lovely all-round cinema experience when we caught the bus up to a little art cinema in the part of Santa Barbara that kind of crawls op the mountain sides. We were to watch ‘The Savages’ starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, which in its own was a lovely movie. Highly recommended.

Since we had driven up into the heights in daylight on the last bus of the day, it was an extra pleasing element of the experience to leave the dark of the cinema and view Santa Barbara below covered in the light of the full moon. We also had to walk down which was very nice since a lot of the houses had Christmas decorations and happy people walked the streets.

Now that the winter quarter has commenced, the film clubs at the university are also starting again. Wednesday we watched ‘Into the Wild’ and later follows ‘Michael Clayton’ and ‘American Gangster’ which means that by the time the Oscar’s is up we should be able to have an opinion on most of the nominated movies.


Wednesday brought very heavy rain and what Tuesday was nice little puddles were enlarged to whole lakes of water on lawns, roads, along buildings etc. followed by thunder and lightening. Quite annoying that Lisbeth’s umbrella broke the day before…


Monday the clouds came crawling down the mountainsides in a manner that indicated they were heavy with water.
And sure enough; Monday night brought the first big shower and Tuesday a day of steady rain set in.

In a way it is quite cozy and definitely gives Tue the opportunity to start using the umbrella he was given for his birthday in expectation of ’January Rain’.

20 January 2008

The Declining Herb Garden

Late in the summer we bought a basil plant we put on our back patio. We were really happy with this purchase: We had lots of fresh basil and the plant seemed to be doing fine. So we bought one more (now that we really appreciated using basil often) and some time later we also got some other herbs.

But as the fall progressed we had to realize that our plants weren't getting quite the amount of sunlight they needed on our patio. I think the first picture is from September, while the second picture is from November: at this point we had some rather sad remnants left of our once proud herb garden.

Christmas doesn't really last till easter 2

Then it happened: During this past week we finally ate the last of the x-mas cookies!

The Finnish breads were gone weeks ago, and quickly followed by the "peppernuts". Last week the rest of the Danish gingerbread cookies disappeared and this week the last bits of Swedish chocolate bread were up.

This sequence doesn't really reflect our preferences, but more the amounts we had on hand of each kind of cookie..

19 January 2008

Phantom Gloves

Tue’s new hoodie has patented (!) built-in gloves, which implies that what appears to be rather long sleeves in a split second can be transformed to a cosy glove solution if one has left home without gloves and needs to warm up one’s hands.

Tue thinks it is phantomastic!

14 January 2008

Highlights from Tue's b'day

Thursday was Tue's birthday and he thinks that he had a great day.
He must also have been nice in the previous year because the weather was amazing - even for our latitudes. The birthday itself was celebrated with a nice breakfast with homemade carrot buns and a few presents, a.o.t. new jeans and a surf hoodie with particular details that are cute enogh to make their own post later.
Friday night the whole lab group went out for Japanese followed by beer(s) at the Mercury Lounge - a unique bar with a great 70'es atmosphere and a broad selection of good beers. Right up Tue's alley :-)

09 January 2008

Christmas really doesn't last until Easter

While shopping in the past weekend for the first time after the holidays we could observe that Christmas really is over now. The aisle with 'seasonal items' had namely changed its colour from red and green to ... pink!

That's right, Valentines Day is the next upcoming event, and even M & M's have changed their red-green Christmas variety for a pink 'Cupid's Mix'!

08 January 2008

Campbell's Tomato Soup

Although having been busy eating all the herring and pork leftovers from Christmas, we recently tried out this American icon:
Campbell's Tomato Soup.

The original intention was actually to taste it up against a homemade tomato soup but it became a quick supper one night instead. It tasted quite well but then, there isn't much tomato soup that a dollop of sour creme and freshly chopped parsley can't improve considerably, is there?

07 January 2008

Our New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve was primarily spent cooking, eating and drinking champagne. The menu consisted of Tue's - or rather Hannah's - special crab salad for starter, followed by pork tenderloin stuffed with sundried tomatoes, brazil nuts and poblano peppers, potato wedges and a hot sesame seed/bok choy salad. Unlike christmas we were not particularly inventive for the dessert. Actually none of us had even thought of dessert when we had been shopping earlier in the day but vanilla ice cream and a blueberry coulis suited each other surprisingly well.

And as Tue's watch shows - being photographed in just the rigth second - we stayed up until the new year also was a couple of hours old in this time zone.

Christmas cake

The less than successful christmas dessert experience two years ago led to a very serious exploration of alternative dessert options for this year's christmas dinner. I.e. we bought the foodie magazine Bon Appetit since their frontpage promised that the present issue contained 'Dessert of the Year'. However, we eventually chose to try out one of their other desserts and "the flourless chocolate brazil nut cake" was a huge success. The name will have to change for everyday use though.

John almost had to lie down on the couch after his second slice so if trying this at home, please don't go for a second slice before the first one has fully fallen into the stomach. Tue however had no problem with his two slices AND half of Lisbeth's. Not the day after either...

01 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Christmas snapshots

Before the next feast sets in, we better quickly post a few snapshot from the previous one: