week 26 / gym + work celebration

Music

Personal

This week was a big celebration at work, due to the American main company having been created 20 years ago. Friday they closed our office, and we had a whole day/evening/night of happening/party. Did I (together with 4 others) bail at 10:30 pm and head back to the hotel while others stayed out until 3 am? You bet your ass I did. At that point we’d already spent 12 hours in each others’ company, and they started playing loud music, which is a safe bet if you want to get rid of me.

Workout/progress

Tuesday I had the second introduction class, that covered deadlifts, military press, hip thrusts, lateral pulldown, pallof press, planking & pushing a fucking sled/prowler. Is it odd to say I quite enjoyed it? (Planking the least, but still didn’t hate it.) I’ve also gone ahead and cancelled the current gym subscription. Yay!

week 25 / midsummer week

It’s midsummer week, and since I don’t live in Sweden, I did absolutely nothing to celebrate this.

Podcast/episode

While I’m not super interested in philosophy, I’ve been listening to this podcast by Swedish Radio:

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After living in the Netherlands so long, I really appreciate the tone in which they discuss. Everyone gets their turn, get to finish their sentences. Everyone remains calm.

Personal

Shockingly, I got my bike this week. (Did they, after messing up, not at all apologize, and schedule a new delivery for a day I had said I would not be home to receive it? Why yes, yes they did. Thanks fietsenwinkel.nl ) I’m now properly ingeburgerd* with my two bikes:

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*I am not naturalized for real, nor do I have any intention of acquiring a second nationality. Despite how many times my mother in law asks.

Plans

On Sunday we went to a guided tour of the Peace Palace in the Hague. I would include pictures, but you were not allowed to bring your phone in, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. It was pretty cool!

Workout/progress

(Look, if you’re uninterested in my process of maybe switching gyms, stop reading here. You’re welcome.)

This week I started my “test week” at a different gym. Going in, I had high hopes, but also concerns (hello social anxiety! meeting new people is one of my least favorite things to do.) The introduction talk was actually great though, done by a friendly American (can I just say how much I like Americans and their skills at socializing? They make me completely at ease cause they are fully capable of handling the conversation.) and they even checked mobility and stuff?! Saturday was an introduction to exercises. This was done in a group of max 3 people and a trainer. My group was me and a friendly Romanian, and our trainer was one of the owners. And you know what, it was great! Good pointers, instructions and overall introduction. While they thought the gym was “very busy” at the time, there was still space left to do any exercise you could possibly have on your plan.

Bonus: the first introduction class covered squats, bench press, bent over rowing, pull throughs, “dead bug” (idk if this is a proper name and am too tired to google it) and finishing off with their version of cardio: battle ropes. Next class will cover lots of other things, including deadlifts.

week 24 / briefly

Music

Omg, this song:

App

So I’ve been trying Styrkelabbets app (yes, yet another fitness app.), and I like that it offers both recommended exercises and alternatives! If you’re like me and don’t want to spend an extra second waiting for gym equipment, this comes in quite handy. Still haven’t given up on Stronglifts though…

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Summer Reading Challenge

This was not at all in my plans, but Lisa convinced me! Goodreads summer reading challenge (beginner version, cause that seems to be plenty.) Let’s – as always – start off by saying that the parameters for this challenge are not clear enough to me. Like, am I allowed to let 1 book cover multiple categories? Since they didn’t say no, I say yes. I also used my own TBR pile as a starting point, and tried to pick books from that whenever they fit the prompt.

  • Read a book that won a Goodreads Choice Award.
    – I’m going with Children of Blood & Bone (it was already in my “want” list at the bookstore I shop from)
  • Read a book being adapted for TV or film this year.
    Watchmen! This is already in my existing TBR pile, so it makes me happy to combine reading challenges like this.
  • Read a book with less than 100 pages (or a book you can finish in one sitting).
    – Another one from my existing pile waiting to be read: Seneca’s On the Shortness of Things. My edition is 104 pages, which I count as close enough.
  • Read one of the most read books right now on Goodreads.
    – Not a super-inspring list imo, but I’ll try Overdue Life of Amy Byler.
  • Read a book that’s been on your Want to Read shelf for more than a year.
    – Oh sure. In February 2013, I apparently added Anathem to that list, so let’s go with that. I always do enjoy Neal Stephenson’s books.
  • Read a book set in a different culture from your own.
    Purple Hibiscus! By my favorite author. (Takes place in Nigeria.)
  • Read a book that a friend has recommended.
    – Svälten: Hungeråren som formade Sverige. (Also keep in mind that this was the first book that popped into friend L’s mind when I asked her for a recommended summer read. Love my friends. The title translates to something like “The Starvation: the hunger years that shaped Sweden”)
  • Read a coauthored book.
    –  The Rise & Fall of D.O.D.O. (Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland)
  • Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (­a graphic novel, poetry, a play, an audiobook, etc.).
    – Edit Södergrans Samlade Dikter. (That’s not the right book, but close enough.)
  • Read a debut novel.
    – sorry not sorry, I’ll bunch this one with the first point, and go with Tomi Adeyemi’s first novel.
  • Reread a book you loved when you were younger.
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Read a book set in a destination you want to visit.
    Paradise Reclaimed by Halldor Laxness (Iceland, always Iceland).

The expert level additions are:

  • Read a book with more than 500 pages. (Anything by Neal Stephenson covers this.)
  • Read a nonfiction book published this year.
  • Read a translated book. (Paradise Reclaimed covers this!)
  • Read a book that appears in your Goodreads newsfeed.
  • Read a book set on every continent.
  • Read a book from a genre you’ve never read before.
  • Read the third book you see on your Want to Read shelf.
  • Read a book with a number or color in the title. (Purple Hibiscus!)
  • Read a book about a subject you don’t know much about. (Svälten!)

If I go crazy and finish the first part, I might go there?

week 23 / new bike! (part 1)

Music

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix

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I watched  both the one above and About Time, and very much enjoyed both of them. Always be my Maybe also has a hilarious restaurant scene with Keanu Reeves in it.

Personal

I’m getting a new bike! After waiting 2 weeks, it was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Only when they come and are trying to the final adjustments, they notice that the break cables are on the wrong side of the handlebar, meaning that it doesn’t come into place. And off they went, with my new bike. Sigh. At least I know it’s pretty?

week 22 / summer is here

Book/story

Begun re-reading this little brick of a book, so I can finally read that third part (you know, after I also re-read part 2) I bought 1.5 years ago. 200 pages in, it’s just as good as I remembered:

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Reading list

Moby’s treatment of Natalie Portman is a masterclass in nice-guy misogyny

Want to read more? Choose an extremely long book

Workout/progress

Went to the gym twice this week, so very satisfied about that since my goal is 2-3 times a week. Less happy about the accessibility of racks for lifting (there’s 1). Have been looking at other gyms… there’s one that looks very promising and that focuses on lifting, but it’s twice as far away from the house (i.e. 10 min by bike) and also it’s scary to try and approach a place like that. Plus I have over a year left on the contract at the current gym, but am figuring it’s probably possible to pay my way out of that. To be continued?

Oh, also biked 15 km yesterday as we were invited to a friend’s for bbq. A nice time was had by all.