Archive for September, 2010

not a rowing report

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

There’s no way I have energy to write up today’s rowing, but I thought I should post to say I survived it rather, the 2/3 of it I rowed, since we had three people in our boat trading off rowing and steering duties. We had two rowers and one cox, making the boat lighter but the row longer, since all the other boats had two of each. It would have been a better day overall if it hadn’t started with locking myself out of my apartment and ended with having to deal with getting back in. I left my keys in the door of my store room, so had to wait for a kindly neighbor to come by and let me into the building and then into the storage area (actually, a restaurant delivery person did the first, but I had to wait for a real neighbor with a key to do the second. Not a major trauma, except that everything is harder when you’ve just rowed about 33 km.

Meanwhile Ted is still struggling with getting the house in order; today’s drama on that end was having the refrigerator delivered and finding out that it couldn’t possibly be gotten into place between the kitchen cabinets and island, which was especially annoying since the person who sold it told him it could be lifted over the island and it turned out the delivery people are actually not allowed to do that. He said it’s just as well, because with the doors open it would come much too close to the island – we’ll either need a shallower fridge or to redo the island. No idea what the previous owners did!

resting up tonight

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I thought I heard someone calling cadence, so I just poked my head out the window and saw a troop in uniform crossing the street. I feel a little bit guilty for it, but I don’t think I’m going to City Hall to watch the ceremony. They have tropps marching and tanks rolling into the square there (which is actually named 18SeptemberPlein) to re-enact the liberation of EIndhoven, 64 years ago today. It was part of Operation Market Garden – the successful half of that plan. When we lived here in 2007, Ted’s parents were fortuitously visiting at the time, and his dad’s interested in WWII history so we went to see it – we were only half a block away then. (Now I’m a whopping 2 blocks away). It was the most powerful experience of history I’ve had here – I kept having flashbacks, seeing the grandparents of the same people standing there, much thinner and in ragged clothes, weeping with joy to see the tanks rolling in to liberate them from the Nazis. Many of the men in the tanks were the same, literally – old men from five countries come back here for this, though there are fewer every year.

I’m not going this year, though, because I have to rest up. I just got back from the boathouse, loading up boats on trailers for tomorrow. I didn’t fast for Yom Kippur, because it’s not a good idea the day before a strenuous event, but I did eat as little as I could without being stupid – a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a gevuldekoek (filled cookie – about 4″ across) for lunch. I jumped the gun on sunset for dinner, though. Because tomorrow I am rowing in the Rondje EIndhoven. It’s a tour, not a race, with stops for lunch and coffee, and the chance to rest and take a turn coxing periodically. But still it’s 50 km, and I’ve had a tiring week, so I’ll stay home tonight.

The really hard part will be biking to work tomorrow! But I have class after work, and I’d have to take two busses to get there if I didn’t bike. And then there’s a concert after class – an American singer/songwriter, Richard Shindell, who I’d kick myself if I missed. At least it’s only a three-day week. Then I’m on vacation while Mom visits.

Meanwhile Ted keeps telling me how tired and sore he is; he’s at the house in Orgeon, getting all our stuff organized there (quote: “I forgot how much stuff we have!”) and getting some stuff fixed. Apparently he’s also been putting his parents to work. I feel a little less guilty about moving apartments when Mom is here – this is a much smaller move, and the movers will do the heavy parts. And then I’m off to Taiwan soon after she leaves, where Ted and I get to deal with still more movers. (Three sets of movers total – four if you count mine back in April, three continents, three of our four parents involved….) Yes, it all gets a little silly.

new year update

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

A healthy and a happy New Year to those who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah (and anyone else who can use one!)

Ted has been and gone, so now I’m back to bicycling to work every day. There’s a Scandinavian saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing, and to some extent that’s true. (Clothing can’t do much about strong headwinds; when the weather is especially fierce I take the bus.) I rode in through drizzle this morning and was very comfortable in my rain jacket and rain pants (it is definitely Fall here, not summer; I’ve needed to wear jackets for a few weeks now). It’s a pleasant ride in; most of it is along bike paths that are not only separate from the road but completely away from it, through parks. It takes about half an hour, which is only slightly longer time it takes to drive to work. In fact, going home it’s faster to bike because of all the homebound traffic. Plus it’s nice to be able to get some exercise in during my commuting time. My Dutch classes have started back up two evenings a week so it’s harder to find time to work out otherwise.

Last week I went to Amsterdam to tour the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, which has been closed for a while. Of course, you can only see parts of it, but those parts include not only the great hall but also some of the rooms where heads of state stay. Odd, though: it’s the only palace I’ve ever seen that was originally built as a city hall. So a room might be furnished as a dining room or a spectacular bedroom with decor from the Napoleonic period, but the audio tour would be talking about which city burghers used to meet there. After that I walked over to Gassan DIamonds and took their tour – I was quote surprised that they took us into a small room and let us see a €70,000 diamond up close, not behind glass.

This weekend should be calm, but then things get hectic (in a good way). I’m rowing in a 50km tour around the city (not an aggressive marathon, a slow and scenic sort of tour) then my mom comes to visit, we go to London for a few days, we come back and I move into a new apartment while she’s still there (sorry, Mom), then she leaves and a few days later I go off to Taiwan.

Meanwhile Ted will be in the US, getitng some work done on the new house. I’m still not quite sure how he convinced me that moving to a new apartment (here in Eindhoven) before he gets here was a good idea…