Tag Archives: T

To go for it or not to go for it, that’s the question

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I promise I will not begin each post this year with a reference to my resolutions for the year, but bear with me as I drag you through another.

See, as so many people, I have decided to start exercising more. Actually, my GP has decided I could to with a bit more endorphines but still: this girl goes fitnessing. And I don’t mean ‘I’ve bought a membership card and some shiny work out clothes which will now serve as nest material for moths and the invisible mice I’m secretly convinced I share the apartment with’ (because there is no way -I repeat, NO way- that I ate that whole pack of Tucs by myself yesterday. no way, I say!). Oh no, I will not come near shiny clothes unless dressing up is involved and anyways, I’ve had the gym membership card since October . No, now I actually gó to the gym. Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve been at it for a week and a half by now, so you could say I’m a regular (unlike my attempt at doing capoeira which ended… prematurely. let’s say I don’t think anybody remembers me there.).

Now, I absolutely loathe exercising. Not because it’s exhausting, or gets you sweaty, but because I find it completely and utterly boring.

Take the treadmill. I go to a University gym, which is cheap, but also basic (read: no tv or any of that fancy technology some fitness centers spend your membership money on). As a result, the ten treadmills they have are neatly aligned, right in front of the mirror wall. That’s right: as you run, you have the luck, nay, the privilege, to watch yourself get progressively more red in the face. I can assure you, it hardly makes for a captivating sight. Granted, you get to watch everyone else work out as well but still – that red blob hopping up and down in front of you will be terribly distracting. Just sayin’. And don’t even think about thinking of that blog post you wanted to write because all it takes is one second of distraction and you end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Which is a bad enough thought in and of itself, but becomes truly terrifying when you realize those are broadcast in Europe as well. Ten years later. When all your kids want to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon is watch old America’s Funniest Home Videos.

My point exactly.

Of course, I could take an mp3-player with me to relieve the boredom at least a little bit, but this has its own limitations – first of all, I would need to remember to charge the damn thing, and second of all my tinnitus doesn’t allow the volume levels required to be able to hear my music over that from the gym.

So, what does one do to keep their resolution and work úp the energy to work oút?

One finds a partner, obviously.

In this case, technically, he found me. ‘He’, indeed. A cute ‘he’, I might add. A cute Spanish ‘he’. A cute, Spanish ‘he’ with a cute Spanish accent who frequents the gym on a daily basis (Lin: think A&F sweatpants. yeah…) and who likes me. And who has only increased his attempts at flirting with me since learning about T and my break up.

Now of course, I’m a decent girl. I’m well educated, and I don’t do stupid things – not on purpose, at least. And I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize my not-so-slim chances of getting back together with T, let alone jump into (on to?) other people so soon after a break up. I wouldn’t, for example, consider the possibility of exploring just how much Spanish guy likes me. I wouldn’t take the risk, since said guy is an integral part of my social life here and I do not wish to screw that up. I wouldn’t feel the need, either, since I have spent the last three years in a loving relationship which was satisfying on all levels and gave me everything I needed. Except… you know… it starts with a c. Or a d. Or a p. I bet there’s probably a synonym for it with each and every letter of the alphabet, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Oh conscience, how I loathe thee.

But it doés get me to the gym twice a week, so there!

The elephant in the room

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There is one thing that puts a serious strain on my relationship with T. Actually, there’s more than one, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just look at this one for now.

I’m talking about her right shoulder. Or rather, her lack of one.

T’s always been a heavy sporter. She started playing badminton when she was 14 or 15, and when I met her, she was training at least 3 times a week – plus competition almost every Sunday, both individual and in team. She basically grew up in that sports hall (and even dated her trainer for over 6 years). Sports, badminton, her club – that was her life. I was never able to keep her from going to training: whatever it was, it would have to wait.

But some 2 years ago, she had to give up during a tournament because of unbearable pain in her right shoulder. She had been struggling with it for some time, but it suddenly worsened and she was temporarily banned from playing. She still went to train, though without playing, and took physical therapy. When things didn’t improve, sports was banned as a whole, while physical therapy continued. She decided on an operation, during which they couldn’t see anything wrong and therefore just removed some synovial bursae (??). More physical therapy. A homeopath. An acupuncturist. A specialized sports doctor. A different homeopath. She was first allowed play, then not, then she could but no movements above the head, then she couldn’t again. Pain was something she lived with daily, and which no approach seemed to relieve.

By the end of last year, a ‘treatment of the final chance’ was started when she visited yet another specialist, who gave her 3 injection treatments to make a final break with the chronic infection. She was to keep the shoulder immobilized after each treatment until the pain stopped, and encouragingly this time decreased with every treatment. Moreover, for the first time she actually had pain-free days. She was already dreaming of her now dusty rackets when she finally started what should be the final round of physical therapy. Except that she couldn’t – the long immobilization of her shoulder had caused her muscles to atrophy, meaning she effectively had no longer any shoulder muscles. She would have to start from scratch. Very, very slowly. And about 2 months ago, finally, she could start doing low-intensity exercises. She took up running again. So far so good.

Until a few weeks ago, when the pain started to come back. The exercises were cut back, and finally, as of yesterday, completely stopped.

She still goes to after-training drinks, and to competitions, to cheer for her friends from the sideline. But as it becomes more and more clear she might never leave that sideline again, that she might never actually get on court again, she becomes increasingly unhappy. Cheering her up is all but easy – there’s only so many times you can say everything’s gonna be alright, it’s only so long before that looses its credibility. In addition she is much too realistic to let herself be influenced by maybe’s and if’s: as a scientist, she needs proof before she will allow optimism to slip in.
She refuses to adapt her goal – re-enter national competition – though, although she’s been officially removed from the ranking and hasn’t prolonged her membership at her club. I can’t understand why she won’t keep it more realistic, start with being pain-free and be able to cope with the everyday life, and take it from there, I don’t understand why she absolutely has to go running or go to the fitness as soon as the pain diminishes even slightly, and she can’t explain it to me. Words have never been her strongest ally, and thus “you don’t understand” is the only response I get, after which some days of radio silence generally follow.

I go from being sick of the situation and her increasing unhappiness, to wanting to help her but not knowing how. I know there’s no real solution here, and I’ll just have to sick it out until she gets better. I’m just not sure what we’re gonna do if she doesn’t.

… and I’m not the only one, apparently.

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… who’s back, I mean. Because guess who showed up on my doorstep this morning?

T!

I wasn’t supposed to see her until April, which meant we wouldn’t have seen each other for almost 3 months, and to tell you the truth I was starting to contemplate taking a lover of some kind because DAMN 3 months is a bloody long time!

But here she is.

Wíth Belgian chocolate, I might add ;).

Apparently she booked the flights over a month ago, which means she was able to keep the secret that long, and didn’t even blink while I have been nagging her for quite some time now that 3 months is waaaaaay too long to not see each other and we are never doing this again. T may not like surprises, but I do – and doesn’t she know it.

In addition to that, I actually have a promising lab result for the first time in, like, forever.

Aaaaaaaaaaah…. .

This is gonna be a great weekend, I can feel it in my tiny toe.

Surprise!

T – the manual

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I have a very nice girlfriend. She’s pretty, is a master in relativity (which is a good quality to have in a partner when you are a drama queen yourself) and provides good service where good service is due (trying to keep this child-safe to American standards…). So with it being Valentine’s day today, I can imagine there’s a ton of people out there that want to take her out on a date. This post is directed to these people. Because – however cute and smart and funny she may be, she also comes with a manual. A quite substantial manual. And just so aspiring lovers know what they’re getting themselves into, I provide them here with some excerpts.

 
§2.1 Do not surprise

A jack-in-the-box

Not a good idea. (Image via Wikipedia)

§2.1.1. No surprise parties of any kind or size shall be organized in the subject’s honor, nor shall you surprise her with a night out and/or tickets for her favorite band (see also §4.1. Do not plan anything without the subject’s consent). Jokes about these subjects shall not be tolerated either, and will result in a very edgy, uncomfortable, and nervous subject for several days.
§2.1.2. Do not kiss the subject while she is under the shower washing her hair with her eyes closed – you will get smacked in the face. Do not let the cat jump on the subjects’s lap unless she’s seen him coming – he will get smacked in his face. Do not wake the subject with a romantic wake-up kiss on the mouth on a lazy Sunday morning – you will … you get the picture.

 

reference_2012_calendar

Too early. (Image by brookeduckart via Flickr)

§4.2 Do not plan ahead
§4.2.1. No arrangements should be made for dates more than 2 weeks ahead since it is impossible to tell whether these plans will fit with the mental and physical condition of the subject at that particular time point. Failure to do so will require you to take full responsibility for the poor planning of the event.

 
§5.1 Do not interfere with decision making
§5.1.1. Decision making for purchasing material goods can take anytime from 1-2 weeks for basic needs such as the purchase of a t-shirt or a pair of jeans, to up to a year for more important purchases such as a photo camera. Interference with any of these decisions will only be tolerated if and only if sufficient credentials on the referred purchase domain (PhD or higher) can be presented.
§5.1.2. Life-influencing choices, including moving in together, having children and/or getting married do not have a maximum decision time-limit. Any attempt to help in the decision making process will result in longer decision times.
§5.1.3. After receiving permission to assist in the decision making, limit yourself to rational arguments and quantifiable parameters. The use of tables, graphs, and charts is encouraged. Appropriate references are highly appreciated.

Not Ts philosophy.

§5.2.3 Decisions you make yourself are better, therefore under no circumstances the subject shall involve in or help with decision making on behalf of other people.

 
I will briefly mention §7.3 (do not talk when watching a movie), §8.2 (always sleep on the subject’s left side) and §10.2 (countries where spiders roam freely are excluded as a travel destination). In case you still plan on taking her on a Valentine’s dinner: I hope you invited her no more than 2 weeks and no less than 2 days ago, that she knows where you are going, and that there is only 1 veggie choice on the menu.
 

Totally out of context. But incredibly funny.

Has anyone seen …

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Apparently, there is something about Mondays in the last week of January. They’re blue.

Who knew?

Blu Monday, which occurs during the last full week of January, is supposed to be the most depressing time of the year because, generally, one or more of the following occur: a) the weather sucks; b) New Year’s resolutions have failed; c) motivation is at an all-time low since the next holiday is SO far away; and d) the Christmas tree has gone. The exact formula, by Cliff Arnall, is total nonsense, as is the concept – but you have to admit it has a nice ring to it and since there is nothing new to report (in Belgium the government is … still non-existent, the floods … are still there, the flu … also), it makes for a good easy-read article.

Now, some say Blue Monday was yesterday. Others say it is next week. I say: it’s a whole bloody Blue Week. (and yes, I can tell only 2 days down the road)

The reason may seem elusive: the weather is nice, I’m keeping up with my New Year’s resolutions (moaning: check!) and my Christmas stars (didn’t have a tree) are still dangling in front of the window.

But. Something is missing. And I know exactly what.

One like this. But pink. And prettier. (image via http://www.artfulcookie.com)

In case anyone was wondering why I refer to my girlfriend as “T” (you didn’t really think that was the first letter of her real name, did you?) – I call her Tinkel. Or Tink. Or Tinkerbell. What – she’s blonde!
I got this mug from a friend when I came here so I would have ‘my Tink’ always with me (corny, I know, but what can I say? “Corny” is my middle name …). And up until Christmas break, I did. My faithful hot chocolate coffee mug went wherever I went and I never left her alone, not even in the dishwasher.

But then I did.

And somebody took her.

And despite checking both dishwashers and all the cupboards 3 times a day, she remains missing.

So if my productivity level the past week is any indication of how poorly I function without my mug, you better give it back ASAP. Otherwise I’m afraid my project will have to be cancelled.

Saturday “!!!” smörgåsbord

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Initially the Saturday Smörgåsbord was intended as some kind of “happy news” item since I read this post by Jane from They call me Jane in which she sadly had to discover that while bad news is free, good news seems to come at a price. Literally. So I thought: why don’t I try to gather the positive things I read on the internet and post them according to some theme? But I quickly started to digress and instead just came up with whatever 4-5 items I could find on whichever theme came up in my head this week. So while I’m gonna try to return to that original spirit in the future, this week I’ll give you some things that may not directly make the world a better place, but that make me happy – which in a way is selfish, but as I often say: it is hard to make other people happy unless you’re happy yourself. So here goes my !!!-list:

 
Being with T makes me happy. It is not easy – it never has been and I don’t think it ever will be: 2 sets of female hormones multiplied gives not linearly or even squared, but exponentially magnified emotions. We are very different, we come from very different backgrounds and we have different interests, I sometimes feel we have more stuff keeping us apart than we do keeping us together. But in the end, after 2 years (yes, that’s a record, applause!) it’s still us. Her and me. Me and her. Us. We. And it makes me happy.

 
My new friends here in Lund make me happy. Many of them will be leaving soon, because that is how it goes in science: projects of a year, 2 years – people come and people go as the seasons change. It is hard for me, I like to build up something durable, friendship that lasts, and I find it not so easy to invest in a relationship which you know will end in 2 months. But that’s what I’m here to learn (well… partly) and judging by the people I’ve already met, I’m sure I will meet many more, interesting, lovely new friends.

I love snow! I admit – I had forgotten all about how wet and cold it can be if you actually have to wait for an hour to catch the bus after a Lady Gaga concert at 1 am, but there are few things that give me such pleasure as taking a long walk through a snowy landscape on a freezing clear blue sky-morning. There is something about the serenity of it that is soothing, and calming. So I was very happy when yesterday I woke up and saw the snow whirling from the sky… it only lasted a day, and I am so looking forward to the thick blankets of snow I hope will be covering Lund soon – and long. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to ski again this year … . Now thát would make me happy.

Dancing the Lindy hop in Atascadero, Californi...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned my love of dancing before, but just in case I didn’t: I LOVE dancing. Tomorrow will be my last class of Lindy Hop this semester, which I’ve been dancing as a lead (never like a guy to tell me what to do :) ), and while it’s becoming more and more challenging, I’m already looking forward to the second series next year. For those who don’t know Lindy Hop: Wikipedia and YouTube are your best guides. The best thing is you can dance solo jazzroutines, if you like, or grab a partner – anything goes. Also: it is one of the few partner dances where the girl actually also has a say (unlike the stiffer ballroom dances I have done before). I love watching, I love the jazzroutines and I love the partner-Lindy, there is just so much joy to be found and variations are endless. So if you like dancing and haven’t done it yet: do Lindy Hop. You’ll love it. I promise.

“From November 10 to 20: Change your profile picture by a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do likewise. Why this game? So we can see a real invasion of childhood memories on Facebook!”
I am normally not one to follow Facebook-statuses… but I did this time, and so did many of my friends. And it indeed brought some great childhood memories back.

 
(For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.)