Saturday, June 6, 2009

Upcoming child and wedding

So one of my best Friends is getting married. I'm thrilled for him. Moreover, the bride-to-be is pregnant. All of this info I gleaned off the internet, because for some reason I haven't been able to get in touch with him for quite some time.

I should say that this isn't that hard to believe actually. I live in Stockholm, Sweden and he lives in Austin, TX. Moreover, until recently he's been living a single, bachelor existence and I've been married for almost 13 years and have two children. Still, I was hoping to get in touch with him so that I could get all of the juicy details.... But I've got nothing but dead silence.

Well, thanks to facebook I've now learned that he's marrying someone that I have my own history with (before I even met my wife). I'm a little worried that this is why he's been so silent. I mean that was a whole life time ago. In fact I'm thrilled for both of them, yet I have this icky-feeling that although our interactions over the last decade have been quite sparse that this recent event may mean that he's less inclined than before to reach out...

I'm going to use the power of social computing one last time now to make a gesture. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Illness and Anxiety

I have a general phobia for doctors. I am pretty sure I've always been a little uncomfortable around doctors, but it got worse after my son was born. He was born 7 weeks early and so was in the hospital for 3 weeks before we could take him home. During that time he and all the babies around him would have periodic periods of bradycardia (where the heart stops beating or doesn't beat often enough) and apnia (where breathing stops or gets too slow). When this happen we, or the nurses, would just rub his feet and then everything would return to normal.

All in all it was a trying experience what with all the beeping and equipment and fuss, but he came out of it fine and is now almost 4 years old. I am thinking about this again as I reach an age where more and more people I know are in hospitals. My Aunt was admitted into the hospital a couple of weeks ago and is, I gather, not 100% conscious. This came as a shock and when I thought about the hospital I felt uncomfortable. Now tonight I've learned that my wife's step-father has been admitted with double-sided pneumonia. His condition is severe and has apparently begun to pass out now and then.

What I want to know is why is it when I hear about other people's health problems I immediately start worrying about my own? I have high blood pressure, but I take medication and check it often. I run a couple of times a week, am hardly ever sick and generally have more energy than most people I know... Still, when I hear about other people's ailments it makes me worry. The whole thing seems so self-indulgent and egotistical as well. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if I were just worried *for* these other individuals instead of pointing the worry back at myself? Oh and it's not like I'm worried I have pneumonia or something...

I really hope both of them make full recoveries. I always felt I had a special connection with my Aunt, especially during my High School years, and I just cannot imagine my Mother-in-law without her husband around.

Monday, February 16, 2009

At Arlanda again...

I have just enjoyed a "fralle" with ham and cheese and am now waiting in earnest to climb aboard the plane to the Amsterdam. I am really hoping that this week will turn out better than the last. On my way home last week I managed crunch down into a piece of glass at the airport restaurant I always eat at. At least I didn't have to pay...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport again. Every Thursday I come here and have a dinner and an Affligem dubbel at the Het Paleis here. It's a nice end of my week abroad. This week, unfortunately, I will not be bringing back loads of beer. I did bring back 12 beers last week and one of them broke. I had to empty my bag in the basement and let it air out the whole weekend. Then I vacuumed the whole thing out. Apparently a shard of glass landed on the carpet, I missed it and Isolde managed to get it stuck in her hand. She called me a few minutes ago to inform me that her hand was bleeding :(

I do feel bad, but it beats the hell out of a concussion and memory loss...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FIrst week in the Netherlands...

Here I sit at Amsterdams Schiphol airport and I've decided to start a blog. I have had quite a week really... Let's do a quick recap...
  1. So I am in Amsterdam, instead of Stockholm, because I have started a new contract. I should be here between 6 - 8 weeks if all goes as planned. My previous project, in Sweden, still lays some claim to my time, but that shouldn't account for more 20% (1 day/week), but I have been there full time for almost 2 years. Now, I know lots of people have worked contracts far longer than that, but this is really a long time for me. I was on this gig longer than I worked for my last two employers.
  2. While I was here Isolde managed to fall and get a concussion. It was actually scarey because she had some memory loss. She seems to be doing a lot better now and is eager to attend the childrens' disco this Friday. Ann Sofie and I will have to decide if we think she is up to it.
  3. Some anecdotes about the netherlands....
  • Milk... So they really, really like milk. I joined a couple of the guys who work in Woerden for a lunch on Monday. We were eating in the cafeteria and they had a sort of typical drink bar with dispensers on two sides. I approached the first side and saw: milk, milk and butter milk. Then I went to the other side and saw the same thing. My colleagues saw that I seemed a bit confused and asked if somethere were awry. I answered that I just hadn't found the water yet. To this they replied, "Hrm... yeah, we crazy dutch don't do water. We just drink milk. I'll bet if you ask the kitchen personnel they can get you some water, but you won't find any water here." So... I'm drinking milk now :)
  • So, I already knew that the dutch were a people keen on riding bikes, but I didn't realize they had special bikes that fold up for easy transport on trains. Now, these bikes are not at all new to me actually, but the volumes. One evening on my way back to the train Utrecht Centraal I walked by where bikes were locked up. They actually had to vertical rows. Some, actually many, bikes were suspended in the air to make rom for all of them.
  • I have got to learn this language. It's driving me nuts. It sounds like I really should understand. I do after all speak German and Swedish, but I just don't. To be fair to myself, I am understanding a lot more now having been here a week than I did when I arrived on Monday