Archive for June, 2010

You think Americans are serious about football?

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Not even close. Have you ever walked through the middle of an American city and seen something like this?

I wasn’t that surprised at the giant corporate-sponsored screen right in one of the main shopping squares; what surprised me was the number of people plopped down on the ground in front of the screen just watching football (and ads, of course). I should mention this wasn’t even a Dutch game; the Dutch team’s first game is on Monday against the Danish, at 13:30 our time.

Speaking of that, since the game is during work hours, my company is going to shut down the company cafeteria half an hour early Monday, so they can bring giant screens into the two dining areas to show the game. And for those stuck in the fab area, they’re live-streaming it to the computers. There was a message telling people who want to use that system to test it out on Friday. Presumably the thought is that they’ll lose less productivity that way than if half the company takes the afternoon off. They may not lose a whole lot less since people will probably spend the rest of the afternoon discussing the game, but at least they won’t have some people taking the whole day off or leaving an hour before the game to allow time to get home.

(If you need to be told, I’m talking about World Cup soccer.)

catching up after the trip

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Oregon was good; I’d forgotten how beautiful the drive along I-5 north of Ted’s hometown is. It reminds me of the scenery in Tasmania. we got to spend time with the in-laws and even with both of Ted’s grandparents. We also got to row on Dexter Lake, courtesy of the OAR rowing club, and decided we definitely want a house there. However, it might not be the house we were originally thinking of. It’s complicated and nothing is certain but we’ve put an offer on a different (nicer!) house and hope to hear back in a day or two.

It’s always incredibly relaxing to be back home, where ‘home’ is defined as any part of the US. I know how things work there, and can assume most people I talk to speak English at a level that doesn’t require me to slow down or avoid idioms. Also, I can get my favorite pretzels Because we were in the Pacific Northwest, we were able to drink lots of great beer, and because Oregon is emerging as a great wine region (and Ted’s parents are into wine) we got to drink lots of good wine too.

I’m not too thrilled with the combination of being back at work and being without Ted, but at least he’ll be here in two weeks. And I’ve signed up to go to Knit Nation in London at the end of July so there’s that to look forward to.

In other news, it turns out that not one but two people I went to school with are published authors. June Portnoy, with whom I was in junior high, high school, and youth groups, has just published her first book, The Marriage Epidemic about a woman who is determined to get married because everyone else is doing it. Donna Gephardt, a friend from grade school, has two books out, How to Survive Middle School and As If Being 12 3/4 isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President!. They’re for middle grade readers and sound very funny; from the excerpts on her website the tone is similar to Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing or Sarah Cross’s Dull Boy.

Note: In both cases those are married names. I was going to list the names I knew them by, but you know what, in the interests of privacy (and in case either one uses her birth name as an identifier) I won’t put them here. If you’re my mom or someone else who would know them better by those names, just ask me. (Come to think of it, if you’re my mom in at least one case you’ll recognize the married name too, since her ex grew up around the corner from us.)