Monthly Archives: November 2012

Two weeks (Or: Final week to prepare)

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. There’s only 14 days before work ends and 17 days until the flight to the Netherlands. Kind of hard to realize, but it works for me!

(7 days until Marco and Roger arrive next Friday night!)

I received news today that my replacement accepted the job offer and will start in mid January two days before Spring classes start. It’s a bit later than one could hope, but I only started about 9 days before Fall classes, so I only had an extra week. (Although most of that week was spent cleaning the area underneath my desk. My predecessor was a bit of a hoarder, although she seemed sweet the few times I met her.)

I am looking forward to later this weekend and early next week, when the weather in the New York area inexplicably warms a bit. It will only last about three days though.

I have been pretty lazy since I got back from my parents’ house. Much more lazy than Marco is currently. He has been working on setting up the new furniture he bought at Ikea. As this is my final weekend alone (scary thought) — at some point I need to do laundry, as well as turn in my loose change at the bank and deposit the money into the account, and also go to Shoprite a few times. (Once for myself, once to get snacks for students studying for the upcoming finals and extended hours at the library.)

I also definitely need to start throwing out some more stuff. I didn’t really do any of that this week!

Categories: Moving | Tags: , | 1 Comment

New furniture (Or: So many big boxes)

From Marco…

Yesterday I went to Ikea with a rental van to go buy several pieces of new furniture.
First order of business was the bed and a mattress. Check! Got those.
Then a new table. Found it.
A new cabinet (type Billy of course) was also on the list. Got it.
And lastly a new piece of furniture to put my tv on (different style than what I have now)
Combined that meant “Lots of trips up the 4 flights of stairs from the car to my apartment. Oy vey.”

Ikea boxes and mattress in the bedroom

But yay, we survived. Now I’ll put this together over the next few days.
It’ll give me something to do while I count down the hours until Niki and I see one another again..

Categories: Apartment | Tags: | 2 Comments

Friends (Or: Dinner at Bailey’s)

Tonight I had dinner with a friend at Bailey’s Smokehouse in Blauvelt, NY. Kind of crazy to realize it might be the last dinner I have with this friend – at least for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to wrap my mind around such things.

It looks like the restaurant finally finished redesigning their homepage – for their longest time the only thing there was the menu. This time I had the french dip again (description “Thin Sliced Smoked Ribeye on toasted Garlic Bread with Mozzarella Cheese & Au Jus for dipping”). It was pretty good. This time I decided to ask for it without mozzarella cheese, though. I like to be random, I guess!

Of course, I got Marco hooked on the place when he was here last month (almost two months ago!) so we will be going back while he and Roger are visiting. So it’s time to get Roger addicted… but it is probably the last time we will be there!

Marco’s favorite is the bourbon glazed carrots… apparently they are really good.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 2 Comments

Migration (Or: Attack of the birds)

While I was at my parents’ last weekend, we noticed a huge swarm of birds pecking in the backyard grass. They just kept coming, and coming, and coming… and then at one point, they all flew off (at the same time of course, in only the uncanny way birds can achieve). But they didn’t go far – only to the roof in the front of the house.

Back and forth, back and forth, from the front yard to the back. At some point, they all flew away together for good:

In the background, you can see a local community college. Just beyond our fence is protected prairie grass – it is against the law to cut it. It extends down the entire subdivision, in both directions. We lucked out however – just on the left side, you can see a small natural path of grass. W’e’re one of the few houses which has a path out to the college. Everyone else has to walk a bit.

Of course, the one thing the prairie grass hides is coyotes – we could never leave the dogs unattended while they were outside. I heard you could sometimes see coyote eyes staring back at you at night…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 2 Comments

Dutch MVV (Or: A slight delay)

So… today I went to New York City to pick up my MVV sticker. But it seems in the end it is not that simple. I should have known, after the first trip…

But we’re not in trouble at all – I just have to go back next week. AGAIN.

A few weeks ago, Marco received the approval letter (in Dutch) from the IND. After this, I expected a letter from the Washington consulate (in English), as that is what the last official correspondence had said – when I was approved, they would send me a letter by mail.

But that letter never arrived. After a week, I called the Washington consulate. The lady on the other end was confused (I think she believed I was the Dutch national calling for the American referent) but we eventually sorted it out. I asked her if I needed the letter or if I could go pick up my MVV sticker from the NYC consulate. She said that as long as I made an appointment and brought along the items requested (and I think this is where I made my fatal mistake of thinking she made items specificed in the Dutch letter Marco received) I could go there and pick up my MVV sticker

I had an appointment for 9:20am. When I got there, I was told I needed other documents then I was expecting. Specifically, I need to do the following things again:

1) fill out an MVV application form (already done)

2) bring along a passport photo (already done)

3) show my original single status record and hand over a copy (already done)

4) show a copy of Marco’s passport (already done, but we were told to expect this one, so I was prepared with that)

The passport photos is what caught me – why would I expect to have to hand over another set? Didn’t I already give them a form? Why didn’t they just have my fill out two forms and turn over two photos instead of one? Why didn’t they ask for multiple copies of things back in September? So that was another $15 for the photos down the drain. (I guess this was all explained in the letter I never received)…

They also actually physically took my passport. Apparently they don’t do MVV stickers at the NYC consulate (although they said it was just a visa sticker – I don’t get the MVV sticker until I get to the Netherlands I was told). So the passport needs to be mailed to the Washington consulate, and then back to New York City… that takes about 5-6 business days. So early next week. Still time – no problem.

But still – what kind of logic is this? Sheesh.

Categories: Forms, etc. | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

O’Hare airport (Or: “Skies the Limit” tunnel)

My flight from O’Hare to Newark took off from terminal 1, concourse C of O’Hare airport. That meant that I had to walk underneath the tarmac from concourse B to C. The tunnel has two long walking escalators, above which is an art installation by Michael Hayden called “Skies the Limit“.

Installed in 1987, it is composed of 466 neon light tubes which are white on both ends and a rainbow of colors in the middle. The lights turn on and off randomly in time with music by George Gershwin, whose Rhapsody in Blue (YouTube) was adopted as United Airlines theme in the 60s.

YouTube video, with the United Airlines theme music in the background.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 1 Comment

Errands (Or: Preparing for the big move)

My stay in the suburbs of Chicago was pretty nice. It wasn’t as smooth a plane ride as it was on the way over, but it was quick and I managed to get an earlier train than I could have hoped for otherwise to get home.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed day to fly after Thanksgiving, I do heartily recommend the day after. Security was about 5 minutes (only delayed because they had to re-calibrate the machine) and the plane was barely one third full.

Today’s errands included:

1. closing out my credit card with Chase bank completely.

2. changing the address for my bank account and debit card. I am going to keep it open for at least three more years, as I will be paying my student loans off from that account. I have Marco’s address memorized, thanks to the postcard blitz in June and July.

3. Wandering down to the dentist to confirm my appointment for this coming Thursday. I am cutting it a bit close to the moving date (in terms of getting a reimbursement for the insurance payment), but I am not sure exactly when I will be able to get a new dentist in NL.

Random moment: I was sitting in my apartment this morning and I heard a key being slid into the lock for my front door. It turned out to be my landlady, who didn’t realize I had returned from Chicago already. She was bringing a potential tenant (an older woman) over to show her the apartment.  I was glad I hadn’t messed up the place too much when I arrived last night…

Categories: Moving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Family tree (Or: Adding on another branch)

My mom’s friend Dawn has a die cut maker. A while back she gave my mom the cuts below:

Dawn wants Mom to start a scrapbook with the family tree, as I personally am not into genealogy that much yet. So it’s up to Mom! For now.

Categories: Friends&Family | Leave a comment

Chicago (Or: Ferris wheel at Navy Pier)

I never had the guts to go on this ferris wheel. It’s taller in person than it looks.

Navy Pier ferris wheel in Chicago, December 2011

Height: 150 feet

Seats: 40 gondulas seating up to 6 each

Time: 7 minutes

Navy Pier information (Wikipedia)



Categories: Holidays | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Chicago (Or: Wrigley Field at Christmas)

It’s hard to believe that it has already been 11 months since Marco, Roger and I visited Chicago for Christmas 2011. One of the places we visited was Wrigley Field.

I actually did go to one game back in the day during college (I forget the team the Cubs were playing) although traffic and parking was horrendous enough that we didn’t get into the stadium until the 5th inning.

We also found a pretty decent sporting goods store (Sports World) nearby where Marco and Roger bought some sporting items — one I remember was a Cubs ball cap.

names of Cubs fans carved into the bricks outside of Wrigley Field

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at