Friday, March 30, 2012

Painting Denmark Red, White, and Blue

Is there such a thing as pre-nesting?

If so, I'm doing it.

My fiance has always been of the mindset that everything that's his is also mine.  It makes sense in theory, but it's still a tough concept for me to wrap my head around.  That being said, he's been referring to the apartment in Copenhagen as "our flat" for a while now, and since it actually will be "ours" once we're married, I've been trying to think about how to make the place feel like home.

Not an easy thing to do with a place that I've never actually seen in person.  I've been to the building, hung out with some of the neighbors, seen the floor plan.  But since a tenant has been renting the place while my fiance's been here in the US, I've only seen a few pictures of the inside.

So, lately I've spent a lot of time watching home renovation shows on HGTV, as well as loads of House Hunters International, to get a feel for European style.  I freely admit that my tastes are not nearly as modern as Danish tastes, and my fiance definitely has Danish tastes.

They love their clean lines and white walls.

I, on the other hand, have been working on warming him up to the idea of throwing some color on the walls.  And by color, I'm not talking about some other shade of white (much to his disappointment).

Sure, the Danes may be shocked an appalled by my choices.  But maybe I'll just embrace the American stereotype and be loud and brightly colored whenever possible.

Providing I can convince my fiance that "eggshell" doesn't count as color.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obsessive Bride is Obsessive

Remember this post?

Well, with the wedding just over two months away, I'm pretty much in planning mode 100% of the time now.  Trouble is, there isn't actually all that much left to plan.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that I've started spending entire days obsessing about tiny details.  In fact, I spent several days stressing about finding the perfect box for our reception guests to put cards into.  Yesterday, despite having chosen our wedding favors months ago, I decided to take a second look at what was out there.  For the whole day.

Truthfully, I'm glad that I did.  I ended up finding something that my fiance and I both like better.

But still... If I could bring myself to put as much time and energy into Rosetta Stone as I've been putting into finding ribbon and labels for the favors, I would be fluent in Danish by now.

Luckily, I think all of the major decisions have officially been made in terms of reception decor.  Time to buckle down with the Danish.  After that binge a few weeks ago, I've been seriously slacking.

Binge, take two.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bureaucracy: A Comedy in One Billion Parts

This morning, I received the most helpful set of links about my Danish immigration yet, thanks to the lovely folks at

As I mentioned in this post, I've been having trouble finding anyone who, if they even respond to my emails, knows anything about how an EU national brings his non-EU wife with him to Europe.  The Danish Consulate General in New York City is completely unaware of any EU laws, and instead of referring me to the Danish Embassy in Washington D.C., they referred me to the Danish embassy in London.  I feel like that would only make sense if I were an English citizen.  I did go ahead and email London, But D.C. will be my next email.

Anyway, as I was saying, I actually received some helpful links today.  Links like this one, which seems to say that it will be as simple as me showing up with my passport and marriage certificate, and receiving a residence card.  It's a huge relief to read that, but they also sent another link (this one), which seems to say that I will need an entry visa.  Determining whether or not this is, in fact, the case has been today's frustration, and the reason I've been contacting Consulates and Embassies.

Some day, I will have all of the answers about this.  I just hope that day comes before the move.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Buried in Bureaucracy

Immigration is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Even if, like for me, the process is supposedly relatively simple.

Here's the latest:  Now that we've learned that we should qualify for family reunification under European Union law, as opposed to Danish law, my goal has been to find out as much information as I can about what the EU law is.  What paperwork I need to fill out, what documentation I need, and where and when it needs to be submitted.  So, I've sent out a few emails...

Email #1 - This was sent to the Danish Immigration Service.  In my mind, this was the most obvious place to start, as they are the most likely to have the correct information.  I emailed them a week ago, and have not heard back.  In fact, one expat told me that she once called them directly after not getting a response to emails, only to be told "Oh, we're not responding to emails anymore."

Email #2 - Since it seems that I may need to submit all of our paperwork before leaving for Denmark, I contacted the Danish embassy in New York City.  I explained the situation, and actually got a response the very same day.  Unfortunately, this was the response: "Here in the US we are not familiar with the EU regulations."  They then suggested I email the Danish Immigration Service (see email #1...)

Email #3 - Okay, so the Danish Immigration Service doesn't respond to emails, the Danish embassy in New York doesn't know the EU laws... Why not email the EU?  I hopped onto yesterday and sent out an email asking if they happen to know what information I'll need.  No response yet, but that was just yesterday, so... more waiting.

Last night, my fiance also commented that the folks at the English embassy in Copenhagen are very friendly and helpful, so he's also planning to give them a call directly to see if they happen to have any thoughts on the matter.  I'm optimistic about that one.

I have to be, at this point.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Drumroll, Please...

Valued reader, may I present...

For the last couple of months, I've been working on getting this company started up.  Now that all of the paperwork is filed, and the website is up and running, I'm very excited to present it to you!

And the beauty of this company is that I can bring it with me wherever I go.


For updates on projects that Paper Press Audio is working on, "like" it on Facebook here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I've Got a Golden Ticket

Or so I'm told.

As the wedding and subsequent move to Denmark looms closer and closer, I've started to take another look at what will be required in order for me to move there legally.

At first, I was looking at the normal family reunification law requirements.  By "normal," I'm referring to the laws in place so that a Danish citizen can bring a non-Danish spouse or other family member to live in Denmark as a legal resident.  It's an expensive process.  The financial requirements alone are daunting, requiring both a registration fee of 8,000 DKK (approximately $1,400 US), and 100,000 DKK collateral (nearly $18,000) that you cannot touch for 5 years.

We've spent the last year saving up for the wedding, so the thought of having to save up another $20K (not including the cost of shipping our belongings overseas) was causing me some stress.

Luckily, my fiance is not Danish.  And even more luckily, he is an EU citizen.  The EU has its own family reunification laws, which override some of the Danish laws.  I can't claim to be 100% certain of this, but it sounds like the process for EU citizens bringing non-EU spouses to live with them in Europe is fairly simple, comparatively.  I'm told that I've "got the golden ticket" with regards to immigrating to Denmark.

It's a relief, but I still want to make sure that we have all of our ducks in a row before we head over.  I've emailed the Danish immigration folks to see what they have to say.

And now, we wait.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Are You a Fan?

Are you a fan of this blog?  Or do you have a passing interest in being informed when a new post is up?

Facebook can tell you.

Go here, and "like" this blog's Facebook page, and you'll get updates whenever a new post is up.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Klutsy Post

Despite mentioning my klutziness in the blurb above, and the ThisGirlSaysOw monicker here and on Twitter, I haven't really discussed my klutziness much.

Perhaps because I've been living in a lovely lull during which I haven't fallen down or otherwise injured myself all that much lately.

Until yesterday.

On our way out the door to get some lunch I realized the rain had gotten heavier, so I ran back upstairs to the apartment for an umbrella.  I made it almost all the way down the stairs, but I think I thought there were fewer of them than usual, and ended up taking a big ol' spill and twisting my ankle pretty hard.

I sat there at the bottom of the stairs for a while trying to decide what to do, trying not to cry.

Did I mention that my first wedding dress fitting was scheduled for yesterday afternoon?  Had to go to that, whether I could walk or not.

I slipped and fell once in college and injured my foot. I called my doctor back home to see if it was worth going to the hospital, and the advice he gave me continues to make me paranoid about foot injuries.  He told me that there are so many small, fragile bones in the foot that it's not all that hard to break or fracture them.  And he advised me that yes, I should go to the hospital.

With that memory right at the front of my mind, I did finally decide to head off to the hospital this morning.  Poking and prodding and x-rays later, it looks like it's just a sprain.  Crutches and an "air cast" for me for a little while.  Nothing major, but crutches are far more precarious than feet, so... I'm probably gonna spend a lot of time sitting.

The silly thing is, by the time I was done with my crying jag at the bottom of the stairs yesterday, the rain had let up and I didn't really need the umbrella anymore.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Danish Lessons - Rosetta Stone, Entry #5: The Binge

We've narrowed down our move date a little bit, and it's coming up quickly.

With our honeymoon in New Orleans scheduled for mid to late June, and my fiance due back by mid-August, it looks like we'll be heading to Copenhagen some time during that window.  Probably some time in July.

That's 4 months.  I have 4 months to learn Danish.

That realization hit me this week, and I went on a Rosetta Stone binge.  I've taken to sitting down with it for 1 or 2 hours each day.

The sad part?  I'm still only halfway through Unit 1....of 8.

I have a looonnnggg way to go.

It's starting to get a little bit more frustrating that Version 2 of Rosetta Stone doesn't explain any grammatical rules.  I definitely appreciate learning the vocabulary, and committing phrases to memory.  But I'm looking forward to taking the formal state-provided Danish classes once we move, so that I can start to get an understanding of why some words are pluralized one way, and others another way, etc.

I think if I can keep up the binge, I may be able to finish the program before we move.

If my head doesn't explode first.