Monthly Archives: October 2012

Shoes (Or: Move over, rover)

Written by Marco…

When I left Niki about a month ago, I took home a (new) pair of her shoes.
We had bought them the day before, and it was one of those “if you let me take them now, we don’t have to carry them in December.”

Yesterday, it amused me to put the shoes next to mine.
And chuckle at how small her shoes and feet are compared to the huge vessels that are my shoes… But why is this do news worthy? Well I’ve already told about how I’m making room at my place..

But this is the first time that I’ve actually was able to place an item in the apartment already 🙂 It’s the first of many items where I have to move over and make room for Niki’s belongings. Well to be honest I don’t believe it’ll be that bad 😉 I crazy can it be, right? (Famous last wo

Categories: Marco&Niki, Moving | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Pearl River fatality from Hurricane Sandy…

What the hell. One of the 16 or so confirmed U.S. deaths was in my little town of Pearl River, NY. I live in the lower Hudson Valley area in Rockland County. A tree fell on a family’s house on the other side of town (edit: the name of the man who died was Jeffrey Chanin).


image and story:

That’s not good. 😦 My sympathies go out to his family. I heard fire engines and ambulances mobilizing around that time (6pm last night), but I didn’t think it would be that bad.

I learned of this from Marco, actually – he might live across the ocean, but he knows how to find the local news sites.

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Hurricane Sandy (Or: I am spared)

[Note: I am absolutely fine. I lost power from 8:30pm to 3:30am, but that’s it. The winds have really died down. Though I will admit to being a bit afraid at times last night around dinner, since the wind was so loud.]

With that said..

Holy crap. Maybe I should have just stayed in bed. Poor New York City. 😦

Here’s a quick rundown link of everything I missed while asleep.


pictures of the HMS Bount ship sinking (image 1, image 2)

pictures of a lone carousel (lights still on) surrounded by flood waters. As this was taken hours ago it is almost definitely gone. It’s in Brooklyn. Here’s a reference picture taken a while back (on Wikipedia) to understand why it’s now underwater.

waters entering a PATH station through an elevator shaft (subway will be out of service for at least 4 days)

Latest word was 6.5 million without electricity.

*                                      *                                  *                                         *

Obviously I haven’t really been outside. But I did take one picture, as a way of comparison. Eight days ago I posted a picture of the beautiful red leaves on the tree right outside my door.

Admittedly some of the leaves had already fallen off, but now it just looks sad. I took this last night as the darkness stared.

I also wasn’t expecting the noise of the wind when I opened the door long enough to take this picture. And the extra bit of strength I had to give to close the door again!

Not sure if I can try the sleep thing again, as I am wide awake. But we’ll see.

Need to send this. Power flickered again…

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Power (Or: The start of blackness)

(Let’s do a double post…)

So, about 10 minutes ago my power flickered for the first time, but did not go off completely. It flickered again a few minutes later. But for now, I do have power… At least it was nice and waited to start flickering until about 2 minutes after I ended the videochat with Marco!

There really isn’t a lot of rain in these parts. Maybe 2 or 3 inches. We will also escape the worst of the wind (being in the lower Hudson Valley).

A lot of things are closed by now in NY and NJ. For example, the stock exchange, Holland tunnel, the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel. In terms of public transportation – all subway, buses, and trains. NJ Transit won’t be running today or tomorrow. The Port Authority is not running any public or private buses. Some of the bridges (such as the George Washington bridge) are scheduled to close in the next hour or two.

Some random news stories:

A crane has come loose and is dangling 75 stories above New York City in midtown. Evacuations have begun to happen – including the evacuation of a large hotel.

The HMS Bounty replica ship (shown in some movies, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” sinks off the coast of North Carolina. 14 of 16 crewman are rescued – 2 remain missing.

Rescues had to be done off Long Island’s Fire Island (south of Long Island) – one of the first places to see a mandatory evacuation order. About 140 people stayed behind and ignored the orders to evacuate. Of those, 14 had to be rescued a few hours ago.

Now let’s hope the power cooperates and I don’t lose it. Hrm.

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Remotes (Or: Chaos in choices)

One thing that I always found a bit more difficult to grasp is the sheer amount of remotes that Marco has:

Yes, the Xbox controller is also a remote for certain things. I forget what – the last game system I used regularly was Nintendo… However I enjoy watching other people play video games. How is weird is that? Back in the day I loved watching my babysitter play Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo (mid to late 80s). I remember how hard it was to make that one jump on level 8-1

Although in retrospect it shouldn’t be that different from my parents, who also have 5 remotes I believe. I remember having to sheepishly call my mom at work (when I was home briefly for vacation) because I had zero idea had to get the TV set up so I could watch a DVD.

Categories: Apartment | 1 Comment

Preparations (Or: On the day of Hurricane Sandy)

So… there’s a hurricane coming today. Hurricane Sandy. The news has been almost all-weather related for the last 36 or so hours. A civilian boater already had to do one rescue of a juvenile surfer out in Sea Bright, NJ. (His father actually drove him to the beach to surf!) I thought for sure that was going to be the first U.S. fatality.

I just received a text message about 15 seconds ago that my work (a college) was closed for the next two days. Problem is, I am “on call” and required to go in and open up the library – unless we are told to stay off the roads or the bus system doesn’t run. Hrm… [Edited to add: I have since been told to stay home both days.]

Last year during Hurricane Irene I lost power for about 4 – 5 hours. Not bad. During the October snowstorm, however, I (and about 25% of my town) lost power for 4 days.

Here are some random pictures I took today:

Leaf-covered path. In this particular section, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees in the last few days. Which is a good thing in terms of trees coming down. But a lot of the trees are still full of leaves.

Window decorations in a local restaurant which flooded horribly during Hurricane Irene and was closed for almost 4 months. (The windows read “GO AWAY SANDY”.)

The creek which flooded the restaurant (on the left you can see the side of the restaurant). It floods pretty easily – Marco and I went to the mall once during a torrential downpour and it was almost to the top.

The Shoprite parking lot. Just take my word for it – it was pretty much full. It reminded me of shopping the day before Thanksgiving.

The water aisle in Shoprite. Yikes.

The managers of Shoprite were pretty smart – they removed most of the extra displays that normally clutter the area in front of the checkout lines. This helped to remove most of the congestion. What else helped – all checkout lines were open, and a worker was directing people to open aisles to keep the wait down.

This storm is 1000 miles wide. NYC has already ordered evacuations of “zone A” areas. All public NYC schools are closed.

But I live about 25-30 miles inland (roughly) and there’s not much risk of flooding in this part of town as I live on top of a somewhat steep hill. There are areas of my town which are prone to flooding, however.

I am pretty much prepared. The freezer only has ice cream and one hamburger patty left in it, pretty much. The fridge is similarly empty of perishable foods. I did get some rice and soup in case I don’t lose power (since I don’t have a stove, I am very limited in my food options otherwise). Other things I bought were crackers, chips, and granola bars.

Should be an interesting morning.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Stroopwafels (Or: Dutch treats in an American cupboard)

A few posts ago I had shown a picture of what Marco’s cupboard looks like. It response, my mom emailed me a picture of the Dutch treats that Marco mailed to my parents last month.

The card on the left says “meow” in Dutch.

Then you have kruidnootjes. Then you have the stroopwafels (kanjers brand). Those come on this blog a lot! In the back you have gebroken speculaas, which is just a larger form of speculoos (a gingerbread cookie – good for dipping in coffee). In the foreground in the yellow bag, you have hopjes, which is a coffee flavored candy. Finally in the back on the right side, you have hollandse drop, a type of licorice candy.

Categories: Food | Tags: | 7 Comments

Euronews (Or: Missing the US)

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have a new cable box and thus many more channels than I have had in years. Yesterday night I was flipping through the channels to see what was available and I came across a channel called “Euronews” – ch. 103 to be exact.

When I first watched it I felt a bit confused as they just happened to be reporting on something in America (I forget what) although they switched afterwards to Ukraine and other European countries.

After about 10 minutes of watching the channel I began to feel a pang of something unexpected – it hit me that I would be moving to Europe. You know, but you don’t really understand… Keep in mind, when it comes to moving around I have always been pretty easy going. Move halfway across the US with only two suitcases to my name – not a problem. Move an hour and a half north to NY – not a problem.

This really isn’t a problem, either. In fact, I am sort of relieved to feel some sort of negative emotion, be it minor. The only thing that I ever felt conflicted about was leaving my job, but that is mainly because the economy is in shambles these days. So to have some proof that I actually minded even a little bit was nice. If that makes sense…

Categories: Moving | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Variety (Or: Inside a Dutch cupboard)

Here’s another random photo from Marco… part of his cupboard.

Some random things:

1. upper left: Open Pit barbecue sauce (thick and tangy flavor) from my parents. It’s good stuff…

2. upper right: hot sauce (chili lime flavor) from my local Shoprite. Various other hot sauces. I have definitely taken to eating more hot foods since meeting Marco. Even my dad was willing to try some hot sauce on his chili, when Marco, Roger and I visited my parents last Christmas.

3. middle left – green and yellow containers are lime juice and lemon juice respectively. Very good for alcoholic mixes…

4. middle right – spices, spices, and more spices. Needs more garlic powder! (/inside joke)

5. lower left – “Sportlife” brand gum, with both Dutch and English on its packaging.

6. lower right – even more spices.

The problem with the above picture is I can just barely reach the top shelf… and even on my tiptoes I really can’t reach it. So Marco and I will need to rethink what goes where so that the most important stuff isn’t up there. 😉 (Not pictured is another row on the top where the plates and bowls currently live.)

What does your cupboard look like? Is it organized or messy? Full or empty?

Categories: Daily Dutch living, Food | 3 Comments

Laundry day (Or: Scribbled on scratch paper)

While Marco was cleaning his living room table (which has storage compartments underneath) he found this old diagram that I scribbled:

It was a crude map of the local laundromat in New Brunswick, NJ. It was the first time Marco and Roger had visited the town and while they were there, they obviously needed to do laundry. I had long since grown accustomed to taking my laundry about a half mile down to the laundromat. But as I had to go to work and class while they were visiting, this proved to be their first experience with laundromats ever.

Please keep in mind the diagram quickly became tongue-in-cheek. I originally just wanted to draw a quick crude map, but I decided to add the notes in the margins as well (and some of the notes are deliberately “simple” as a joke).

Categories: Marco&Niki | 1 Comment

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