July 24, 2016

Family over all

Today I was in Northern Denmark for my dad's cousin Connie's 70th birthday.
The party was held at an inn and a really pretty one at that. From the outside it looked nothing special but the room was like a ball room and three waiters standing in line greeted us the moment we stepped inside. The 50 guests were seated around biiiig round tables with white table cloths, colourful flower arrangements, tall candelabras, and a fancy table setting with three plates including a silver platter so shiny that you could see your own reflection in it, two forks, two knives, and three glasses.
There was a musician, a man around his 60's, playing guitar and singing while a mixer accompanied him in the background. He played all those songs that the elder generation liked and made sure we'd toast at least once evert 15-20th minute.
Some of her friends held a speech and others had made a song. Connie's half sister's grandchild even had her friends from the local drum majorettes come and play a couple of songs, bringing both Connie, my grandpa, and my dad to tears.
There was a free bar and a buffet table from where we grabbed our starters, main course, and dessert.
To me that was the perfect setting for a nice 70th birthday party.
Between starters and the main course, Connie stood up and walked around to all the tables, presenting each and every single person, talking about where from she knew them and the things she admired them for. Connie's husband died 5,5 years ago yet people like his best friend and partner back when he started his own company both attended the party and had brought their wives. It was clear that she was a much loved person and if we didn't already know that, her friends made it clear in the speech.
It's only been some 4 years since we got in contact with that branch of the family and a LOT has happened to them during those years. Let me tell you this: Connie is one of the most selfless and humble people I have ever met. She's that kind of old lady who will make way too much food because she wants to make sure that you won't be hungry. And then she'll bring out the dessert. She will wake up in the middle of the night to pick up her grandchildren and drive them home from wherever they are when their parents are too busy, which we will get back to later. Yesterday when the party ended we drove back to Connie's house to stay for the night and although she wanted to change into less warm and formal clothes, it took her half an hour because she kept asking us if we were thirsty or wanted better chairs or if we were hungry etc. etc.
Now this woman. This great woman deserves nothing but the best, right?
But she does get that. She get's a lot **** from her family and I just cannot stand it. Here's a shortened down version of what happened about 4 yeats ago:
Connie's husband (and a partner) started their own packing company and Connie's daughter and the latter's husband took over at some point. However, the daughter's husband has his own company so I guess she was mostly in charge of this one. Connie's brother, Preben, was also working in that company. Connie's daughter then goes and fires her own uncle and hires some other man. She starts doing a lot to her looks like gets braces, starts working out and losing weight, and has a surgery to remove fat and/or skin. She also hires some other man instead of her uncle. Now she and this man go out for dinner sometimes after working late. Connie's starts to suspect that something is up and confronts her daughter - who gets mad and tells her that she's wrong. Connie goes to the daughter's husband but he doesn't believe her and gets mad at her too. He eventually finds out and it comes to a divorce. Both are still mad at Connie and refuse to move out of the house that they share with their three kids. They live like this for a while and at some point they are both bringing their new partners into their home, creating chaos for the kids. 4 years later the daughter has moved out but both parents are mad at each other and are partly blaming Connie.
Back to the story!
Yesterday, on Connie's actual birthday, her very own daughter didn't show up. Neither did the ex-husband although both were invited. The daughter came to the party, let her kids off, and drove back home without as much as just one word to her mom. She didn't even walk inside to see her.
Right, I don't know what exactly Connie has said to them but no matter how I see it, this is the fault of the daughter and ex-husband.
The daughter was married but had an affair and once the truth was out, the two fought in front of their kids, brought home each of their own new partners, and refused to leave the house - like little kids. Their behavior is childish and selfish and it's so very very clear that all three kids have taken so much damage from this. The girl so much that she STARTED CUTTING HERSELF!! SHE WAS 13 WHEN THIS MADNESS BEGAN. And where were the parents in all this? Idk probably out with their new other halves. It disgusts me+
The boys fight and mostly sit inside now while all three of them don't visit Connie as much as they used to because they have heard their parents speak bad about her all the time.
Nonetheless the kids were there for the party yesterday.
Not long before the party ends, the musician asks Connie and her grandkids to go to the middle of the room because he's going to play a song that's called something along the lines of 'Kære lille mormor' (dear little grandma). The youngest of the two boys get up while his cousins instantly goes to Connie and grabs her hand. Now you have the three of them dancing away while everyone's watching - the now 16-year-old girl too.
This is a big moment for Connie but two of her four grandkids are not there with her. My aunt and uncle cut contact with my own grandparents as well so I knew very well how Connie felt at that moment and went over to the girl. I asked why she wasn't dancing. Told her that the divorce had been hard on Connie, that this was her big day and that I thought (*cough* knew *cough*) that it was important moment for Connie and that it would mean a lot to her if she got up and joined them dancing. The girl said: "Yea, but it was kind of her own fault. She could've just not pried in so much."
In the end she got up and joined in on the last 20 seconds of the song. The last boy stayed back.
HOW CAN THIS NOT BE CONNIE'S DAUGHTER'S FAULT?! How can she put those words in the mouth of a simple 16-year-old girl who is so easily manipulated?!
I'm not friends with any of this girl's parents on Facebook but I wish they'd somehow stumble upon my blog some day and read this. I hope they'll finally open their eyes to their family around them and realize how much chaos they have caused. How many people they have hurt.
My feelings of disappointment and disgust are not as strong as yesterday afternoon when I first began writing this post and I don't clearly remember the analogy I cane up with anymore.
But my points were to treasure your family while you have them.
Especially your grandparents. It's limited how many friends they have around and for some, grandchildren truly are the best elements in their lives.
Just because you don't get along with someone, even family members, doesn't mean that your kids can. And don't put the blame on others when you were the problem from the begining. Act like a grown-up.
I haven't always been the nicest to my mom or dad but I believe I've grown more patient and understanding over the years.
It's okay to want to focus on yourself sometimes but remember that you're not the center of the universe. Family is what you can always turn to if everything else fails. So treasure what you have.

July 7, 2016

Disney princess with a new computer?

I'm not usually one to express my feelings very openly but two days ago I received a Facebook message that had me jumping around the living room and confusing my cats. Why?

Becaaaaaaause... (prepare yourself for a longer explanation)
On May 16th, while I was at home and busy studying for my last final, a girl named Kalypso (beautiful name by the way) posted something in one of the J-Popcon pictures groups on Facebook that I am part of.
In the post she basically wrote that they were a group of people starting up a project where they were trying to find people who looked like real life Disney princesses.

So I sent her a message, wanting to hear more about this project.
She wrote back that it was a project that they were working with up until Comic Con Copenhagen (September 24th-25th) and possibly with Disney.dk. Their goal was to become official Disney princesses for the Disney store here in Denmark with permission from the headquarters in California, naturally. A lot of kids and youngsters here in Denmark might never get to meet their heroes or idols since the closest Disney park is in France so their goal was to make that a possibility. Disney.dk loved the idea and now they were looking for more people. Once they had enough girls they'd send the idea to the headquarters.
I have never considered myself looking even the least like a Disney princess but have, since Maria and I went to Disneyland in 2014, been drawn to the thought of working in one of the Disney Parks for a season or so as a princess... so I "applied" that same night after work. I'd never know if I didn't give it a go, right? They had already found girls for some of the princesses so I applied for Tinkerbell, since I'm more petite, and Cinderella because of my more obvious cheek bones that I diligently try to hide in my blog posts.

THEN(!) two days ago Kalypso wrote back to me that they'd decided on me being the one who looked the most like Tinkerbell. However, some of the higher ups (Disney people) could possible give me another character if they thought I fit her better or, at worst, decide that I don't look like any of the characters. But for now I was one of the girls whose information and pictures they'd send back to Disney.

Nothing is sure yet but ASAJHDJASFHAFJK I'M EXCITED JUST FROM GETTING THIS FAR.
Now all there's to do is to wait and cross my fingers that Disney will agree with Kalypso and the others. Wish me luck!


On another note I've had the strongest urge to play Sims the past 2-3 weeks but every time I have tried, be it Sims 2, 3, or 4, my computer lasted just a couple of minutes before overheating and turning itself off.
So after months of looking having Chris look for me since I don't know much about computers anymore, we finally found one for an okay price and which aaaaalmost lived up to my expectations. I wanted a glossy screen but it seems that the world is against me and I could. Not. Find. a single computer with that, which would also be able to handle me editing pictures and videos, and playing some of the newer games.

I bought this one called ASUS ROG GL552VX-DM016T and I'm really hoping that it'll last me for a long time, just like the computer I have now that has served me well for more than 8 years already. My current computer is working fine except for being unable to play games and not liking longer Photoshop sessions so I'll still be using it until the day she has had enough of me.

But I am APPALLED by how about EVERYTHING has changed these 8 years, and not for the better! Office 365 is now subscription based and so does everything else seem to be. Photoshop is also subscription based! C'mon, buying a computer should be enough. Why can't I just buy things and then keep them like in the old days?! Grrrrrrr.
Meanwhile Chris is laughing the night away about how ignorant and old-fashioned I am when it comes to these things. At least this new computer has a disc drive so I can install my Sims 2 games the good ol' way while I yell at kids outside to get off my lawn B))

July 2, 2016

BANG!

One of the things I always have enjoyed and probably always will enjoy about these camping trips to Italy are the thunderstorms.
After all these years we have learned to tell when bad weather is coming; extreme humidity, gray skies, a more than average amount of specific insects, etc. or we'll know that once we feel the first raindrop it's time to lift our little camping table inside the tent because nature is about to go mad.
...or sometimes, like tonight, we'll be woken up at 03.00 by a sound that I can best describe as if someone dropped a huge shipping container right outside the tent.

July 1, 2016

Going home in 3 days

As I wrote in my last post, this camping style vacation is something I feel like I have grown out of and I've been spending my days here thinking about how to make it more entertaining for myself.

So far I've spent my time reading the book we used for history class from start to the end. It was originally meant for us to read during first and second semester but I was too busy trying to keep up with Korean class and all the other hundreds of pdf pages that our teacher wanted us to read as well. So yea! Some chapters have been incredibly boring (so boring that my dad has witnessed me several times reading between 5-10 pages before falling asleep mid day, which is something I never usually am able to unless I'm sick) but today I finished and I'm happy that I did seeing how much crucial background info it gave me. I feel like reading it in 'one sitting' was a much better alternative for me to memorize it all anyways.

Now you might think of me as a lazy person but the truth is that I, with my lack of wifi and other things needed for my hobbies, am more active than I have been in a long time. Every morning at 10.00 I attend the stretching class, I do aerobics/pilates from 10.30 for half an hour, and finally at 17.30 there's the yoga class.
But like I wrote in my previous post, except for these activities there isn't much for me to do here and I sort of feel like I could be spending my time more wisely. I do have 2 months or so left of my summer break but at the same time I also have a __lot__ of things to take care of before then. Things that I will be blogging about soon and which I could use some time alone to think through.
As I wrote in one of my last two posts as well (I think) I only had a day in Denmark between returning from what feels like a long trip to Korea and going to Italy with my family. I think it'd be good for me to relax a little and have some time alone in quiet.

It is for these reasons paired with the fact that my mom and I feel bad about leaving our cats home for so long that I bought a cheap ticket home on the 4th of July, a week before the others. It's direct and takes 2 hours while I won't have to deal with the 24-hour-long car ride home like my family so everything is great in that aspect.

However, now that my time here is more limited, I've suddenly come to appreciate the days I have left and this place itself even more. For so many years we have gone here but thinking back I never really took that many pictures for memories + the phone I had five years ago when we were last here didn't have the best camera. So that's what I'm doing now! Today I took a walk with my dad around the camping site and shot a bunch of good pictures/memories while my dad could enjoy a swim in the lake. Once again, this place holds a special place in my heart but in this moment I'm not sure if I'd join my family if they were to go back here next summer so it's nice to have some pictures to remember it by.

I don't have any specific plans the next few days except the football matches in the evening. Tomorrow night is Italy vs. Germany and Saturday is Iceland vs. some team I forgot.
We were here that night Italy won the world championship some years back and even though I don't care for football, the experience witnessing the happiness of the Italians back then was amazing. The pool party afterwards wasn't bad either! So tomorrow we're going down to the stage to watch the match on the big screen with all the workers and other guests and Saturday we will be cheering for our Icelandic brethren!