Home / 2007 / September

September 26, 2007: The Muellers Fly Away and So Does the Dawn Spacecraft

Wired Science’s article on a Prius-like spacecraft called Dawn made me feel cool. Dawn is a craft that is very Green (which is saying something, since most spacecraft use tons of environment UNfriendly fuel. So anyway, I think it’s pretty neat that we start our voyage to a new country on the same day the Dawn lifts off to explore space in a new way. Sweet.

Going Absent

I’ve started writing a post several times this week, but haven’t gotten very far because I’ve kept falling asleep or I’ll jump up and almost drop my laptop because I realize something I almost forgot to take care of. So what I’m trying to say is that you might not hear from me until we get settled in Deutschland! :) 4 more days in America!

But… while I’m on here, I might as well try to condense what I want to tell you…. Ha–that’ll be fun. Once I start typing, you can’t shut me up!

The Pathfinder

SOLD! We don’t have the moolah yet, but it’s going to family, so we know it’ll all be taken care of. HUGE relief.

The Apartment

We did some Googling last night and discovered that it’s going to be in the “Fußgängerzone” (“foose-gangah-tsone-uh,” or walking district), which is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! We’ll be able to walk downstairs and buy food from fresh markets every day (very European!). Plus, there’s an H&M somewhere in the Fußgängerzone too, and if you haven’t been, then… I’ll go for you next week. :)

The Flight

Dad and Traci offered a while ago to drive us to St. Louis, so that part of the trip is taken care of. Now, Rob’s mom and her boyfriend are planning to pick us up in Frankfurt, which is also a HUGE relief.

The Stuff

The online garage sale has been going pretty good, although we still have several things to get rid of. Monday is the last day for the sale, so get ’em while you can!

The Paperwork

Wow. Every time we think we’ve remembered everything we need to take care of, we remember something else! What fun that is, especially looking at four days (and only 2 1/2 business days!) left in the U-S of A.

The New Running Shoes

Okay, so I know this doesn’t have anything to do with our move, but I just bought a new pair of Pearl Izumi running shoes on eBay and UPS delivered them yesterday. Tried ’em out this morning, and so far, no complaints. There’s nothing like running in brand, spankin new shoes!

Three Things I Never Thought I’d Say

Three years ago, if you would have told me that I would proudly say the three statements in this post, I would have laughed in your face and called the loony bin for you.

  1. “I can run for a long time.” Yeah, three years ago, I was happy to make it 10 minutes, much less three, four, or even twelve times that. I used the American Running Association’s Walk/Run Program to slowly build up my body’s ability to run. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the secret to running any distance is a gradual increase in mileage. If I can do it, I KNOW you can too!
  2. “I am a Runner.” If you read my post from the other day, you’ve heard my deliberations on whether or not I deserve to call myself that. I think religiously waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 on Sunday mornings to run anywhere between 4 and 11 miles separates me from the joggers. I might not be a “full-fledged Runner” yet, but I’ve at least proven that I deserve to be among the ranks of True Runners. If you didn’t believe me on point number 1, I definitely would have thought you were crazy if you told me that I would give up four sleeping-in mornings a week to go out and sweat. I never would have predicted this sort of atypical Linden behavior. But I like that it’s becoming typical.
  3. “One of my guilty pleasures after a long run is an ice bath.” Oh, man! I am still not sure what it is that makes them feel so nice, but I actually look forward to slipping into that frigid water after a long, hard run! (Applying coldness to injuries helps to stop the injury process, and if you combine that with the gentle compression of the water, you are getting two M./R.-I.C.E. treatments in one with an ice bath.) See, usually, I HATE cold water. My showers are normally hot and steamy, and I tend to nudge the temp up as the shower goes on and either the water gets cooler or I get used to it. I remember laughing at this idea about two years ago, actually. Then I had one after my first 12 miler. And I was immediately hooked. :)

One of the things I like about my new, healthy habits is recognizing the ways I’ve changed. Some (like waking up so early!), I don’t think that I’ll ever truly get used to, but others (like my icy guilty indulgence), I already cherish. I think these changes do two things for me: I actually see how I am growing as a person and an athlete, and I realize that I can change my habits if I really want to. All it takes is dedication, time, and a little willingness to give up old, comfy habits.

EDIT: Quote to inspire me to pay closer attention to what I eat:

At the end of the day, no matter what you eat, food accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of the total process of living healthy. The other 30 to 40 percent is still due to physical activity, so you still got to get your butt off that couch and get movin’!

Thanks to iVillage for the great article on 8 “Superfoods.”

This hurts!

A&P postcard
Originally uploaded by dove95

Yes, I like grammar, spelling, punctuation, and all that stuff that makes most people cringe. But I don’t judge people when they use improper grammar or can’t spell a word right–hey, I’m not perfect either and I make mistakes all the time.

But sometimes I come across an error that WOULD NEVER EVER BE CORRECT. And this picture is an example of just such an error. “Get’s,” unless “Get” is a person’s name, could never be possessive, as the apostrophe in this postcard signals. Here, it should be a simple present tense verb in the singular. When I see an error like that, it hurts my sensibilities. I can forgive stray ” ‘s ” on nouns, but not on verbs. *sigh*

Our Trip From Springfield, MO to Gießen, DE

I’ve been playing and replaying this in my mind over and over. At least once a day, Rob and I discuss how we are going to make it from south Springfield to central Giessen with almost 400 pounds of luggage. We’re hoping that his mom is going to be able to pick us up in Frankfurt. That would make all of this SO much easier.

First, let me explain why we’re taking SOOOOO much luggage. The USPS charges $250 to mail 70 pounds. U.S. Airways charges $80 to check a suitcase of no more than 100 pounds. So for the USPS’s $250/80lbs. we can essential check about 300 pounds. Add in the cost of new HUGE luggage (about $135), plus potentially a van taxi from the Frankfurt Airport to Giessen (maybe €120, which is about $164), and we’re still cheaper than USPS per pound.

Okay, so here’s our path. I think you’re all familiar with the Springfield to St. Louis part of the trip. The absolute cheapest way would be to take the train from the Frankfort Flughafen (“Fluke-ha-fin”) to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (“howpt-bonn-hoaf, “Central Train Station).

View Larger Map

The next leg of the trip would be from the Hauptbahnhof, upstairs (with about 6 large suitcases, plus carry-ons?! I don’t even want to think about that…). Then we’d board a Zug (“tzook,” train) to Giessen.

View Larger Map

Finally, we’ll walk or take a taxi to our apartment, which I hope is the destination in the map before. We’ll find out in the next couple days! (That’s SUPER exciting!)

View Larger Map

EDIT: Guess what? Rob’s mom is going to be waiting for us at the airport in Frankfurt!!! WAHOO!!!!!

Am I a True Runner?

After reading my running partner’s blog post where she reflected on how our lives must be different if we call ourselves runners (“In between [our regular runs], is where I think the problem lies. I call myself a runner, but I don’t act like it when I’m not running.”), I asked myself, “Am I a Real Runner?” After reading this, Pearl Izumi’s “We are Not Joggers,” I again had to ask myself, “Am I really a Runner, or am I just a jogger?”

Here’s what Pearl Izumi’s webBook says separates Runners from joggers.

  1. Runners are not half-hearted.
  2. Running is not civilized.
  3. Real Running makes other people nervous.
  4. Runners sometimes jog, but joggers never Run because Running feels horrible to joggers.
  5. Runners don’t try to ignore their bodies, surroundings, or reality by jammin’ out to their iPods.
  6. Running is an endeavor.
  7. Running is not for the faint of heart.

Basically what I get from all that “Running is different and better than jogging” is that it’s about attitude and dedication. A Runner is in tune with her body. A Runner is not about enjoying Running; a Runner is about Running, when it feels good. And when it feels not-good. A Runner goes at it whole-heartedly. A Runner doesn’t look pretty after the run. Do I do all that?

I don’t really agree with Pearl Izumi’s high-and-mighty tone, because I think at least joggers are on their feet not on their couch. Pearl Izumi is most definitely trying to market their products, running shoes and technical clothing, but what they are trying to get at is this. If you jog, don’t call yourself a runner. If you look out the window, see rain clouds threatening, and don’t lace up your trainers, you should call yourself a jogger. If a Runner looks out her window, she sees the darkening sky, and hits the pavement before the rain comes down. Call yourself what you are, that’s what they’re getting at.

I think in the last eight months on our “Road to the Marathon,” I have gone from jogger to Runner. I have actually reached the point where I feel different if I don’t run, where I feel better after a 6:45 a.m. run than I did before it, where I schedule my life around running (that’s a shift in priorities if I’ve ever seen one!). But do I give it my all? Am I putting everything I have into every run? I think I skimp a lot, and I know that sometimes I even try to put as little effort into it as possible. (Yikes, that doesn’t feel good to admit.) But there are days when I give it my all, when I have to convince myself to run faster, when I push myself to run faster. Or push myself to keep running at all. And I guess that every day can’t be a hard day, or I’d be burnt out.

So Pearl Izumi is making me live up to the standard of “Running,” and then Sarah is challenging me to schedule more than just when my runs are going to be. Her blog post made me realize that I’m the proverbial “Sunday Christian” when it comes to running. Before and after my runs, I’m a Runner. But when it comes to bedtime, I’m not acting like I’m a Runner. When it comes to eating, I’m not making the choices a Runner would make. When it comes to stretching and weight training (two practices that guard my body against injury) I’m not stretching and lifting the way a Runner would. More of my life needs to be like the life of a Runner.

I think this is a great time to stop and answer the question “Why is Running so important?” For me, it’s because I am starting now to live a life that means a healthier future. If I eat and sleep like a Runner, I’ll reach and maintain a weight that doesn’t put me at risk for joint damage, heart disease, plus a host of other health problems. If I make Running a habit, I’ll be making my body stronger instead of slowly letting it deteriorate over the rest of my life. Like I’ve said before, I’m trying to make a lifestyle change, so perhaps I can call myself a Runner, but I need to acknowledge to myself that I am on the road (no pun intended!) to being a full-fledged Runner. I don’t have all the pieces in place now, but I will.

Online Garage Sale: Make an Offer!

How It Works

Take a look at all the items we have for sale and make a list of the items you are interested in. Then decide what you think is a fair price. Email me or call me with your list and your offer. We’ll haggle it out until we both feel we’re getting a good deal, just like if you were standing in my (non-existent) garage, looking at my wares. It’s the garage sale of the 21st Century! :)

If you live outside of the Springfield-metro area and are unable to pick up your items, I will package them up, take them to the post office, and you can pay the exact postage, plus a one or two bucks to cover the cost of buying a cardboard box, bubble wrap, and tape.

Items In the Online Garage Sale

Click on links to see pictures and descriptions of the items.

Just Announced: Linden 2.0!

That’s right! You’ve heard of Web 2.0, you might have even heard of Church 2.0. Now, coming to a German city near you is Linden 2.0!

I had a chat with David the other day about starting over; he’s getting the opportunity this January when he joins the Army to be a Crypto-linguistic (SOOO cool!). It’s not that I want to “start over fresh” or be a completely different person. It’s like David said: I want to “upgrade” myself.

At 25, I am pretty pleased with the person I’ve become. I am trustworthy. I am optimistic. I make friends easily and I’ve find some pretty awesome people to claim as my friends. I work hard. I can overcome obstacles in my life, either on my own or with the help of my friends, family, mentors, and colleagues. I am married to an amazing man who is always pushing me to take the opportunities that come my way. I achieve goals I have set for myself. I make a pretty good first impression.

But as greatful as I am for all of those positive aspects of my character, personality, and identity, there are parts of Me that I would really like to improve. I am a terrible manager of my time (although grad school forced me to get at least a little better). Outwardly I hate clutter, but I don’t seem to know how to avoid it. I have quite an embarrassing temper, which I am pretty
good at controlling around everyone except my husband. I have a problem making phone calls (I like to call it “telephonaphobia”). Plus, there are some other habits I’d rather not publicize (we’ve all got them) that I’d like to eliminate.

I’ve never moved to a brand new place when I was old enough to consciously and honestly evaluate myself and plan ways to change myself. I want to take advantage of this opportunity. I think I need a clear plan of what and how I’m going to change myself, but for now, I’m going to focus on making a (private) list of priorities for this upgrade.

(This post title is probably only funny to a few of you, but I really like it. Thanks to a Gross guy for it.)

Thanks to Tuxme.com for the image.

Dept. of Redundancies Dept.

BBC | 9/11 Demolition Theory Challenged

In this article, the fifth paragraph from the end claims that “The controlled detonation idea, espoused on several internet websites, asserts that the manner of collapse is consistent with synchronised rows of explosives going off inside the World Trade Center.”

Several internet websites, huh? As opposed to websites on the…

(Thanks, Sarah, for sharing the article!)

Teaching Schedule and 16 Days

My teaching schedule for this semester is finalized! I’ll be teaching two basic writing classes, two writing 2 classes, and two literature classes. It is safe to say that I am most nervous about the literature classes, because I have not taught a straight lit class before. I think that it is supposed to focus on building the students’ L2 reading comprehension skills, but I don’t think I’ll know for sure until I get to JLU on October 1. I love teaching writing, so I am looking forward to those four classes.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Writing 2 at 18:00
Wednesday: Basic Writing at 16:00
Thursday: Writing 2 at 12:00
Friday: Basic Writing at 8:00, Literature at 10:00 and 14:00

Looks like Fridays will be busy, but at least I have a little lunch break.

16 Days Left

We fly off this continent in 16 days. Yikes. Here’s what we still need to accomplish.

  • Sell some stuff
    • 1999 Nissan Pathfinder
    • Computer desk
    • All sorts of bakeware, Pyrex, and Corningware
    • Whatever is left can just get donated, I guess
  • Change our addresses
  • Take boxes/cedar chest to Dad’s
  • Take the kitties to Chris’s
  • Visit Kansas City and St. Louis family
  • Clean the apartment

Oh, and we still need a place to live in Giessen. Great.

As I drive around Springfield trying to take care of all the little things on my To Do list, I am frequently struck by the images that are “normal” to me. The streets I drive down everyday, the back way short-cuts that are so familiar and time-saving, the places to go for the deals… In less than a month, I’m going to be in a new city, needing to learn the new “back ways” and slowly seeing Friedrich-Strasse as familiar instead of Battlefield Road or Primrose. I am leaving all of the familiar comforts to go to a new place. Some days that seems like an adventure, and others, a chore. Some days I cannot wait to start my New Life, and others I want to write them an email and say, “Forget it! I’m happy here!” And I am happy in Springfield, but I am also happy to be moving to Germany, finally, after all these years of hoping to someday, of thinking that it probably wouldn’t ever happen, I am finally achieving one of my dreams.

I’m starting to get choked up and teary about leaving, too. I haven’t actually cried yet, but the tears are there below the surface. Which reminds me, if you are coming to our Goodbye Party at the Mud Lounge (8:30p – midnight, Friday, September 21–email me if you need more details or to RSVP!), I’ll have a memory book that my sister-in-law gave me before I left Germany. It was a really sweet gift, as she said she knew I was going to be leaving lots of friends and family here and a memory book is the perfect place to have them write messages, memories, and attach pictures. So be prepared to write in it or include a favorite picture of us. It’s a pretty like blank book, so there’s plenty of room for notes and memories.

Wow. 16 days left for me in America.