Construction work, butterflying, golfing’s promised land, and some rough rugby
by Rob Tiller
This week there was a lot going on at the site of the gigantic fire of last March. They’ve been tearing things down and cleaning them up, and I’m guessing we’ll soon see new construction. This operation — knocking down the almost completed parking deck — was what we saw from our balcony on Tuesday, the day before we moved out.
Since last May, when our dishwasher overflowed and destroyed part of the hardwood floor, our condo has been in disarray — bare concrete underfoot and furniture situated in unusable places. It took some time to get estimates, and more time to get the insurers to step up to the plate. Then we had to pick new flooring and get on the contractor’s schedule. Then we (that is, Sally — thanks, Babe!) had to pack up everything that normally sits on the floor. It’s been a trying time.
Meanwhile, we got a new Korean dishwasher that does its job amazingly quietly and has a charming trick: when it finishes, it plays a few bars of Schubert’s immortal Trout theme. Of the thousands of engineers at Samsung, there’s at least one who’s a music lover.
Anyhow, on Wednesday we packed our bags and moved out, and the construction got started. We’re staying at a hotel in our neighborhood. It’s fine, but we miss Rita, our cat, and there’s no good way to eat out every night and not gain unwanted pounds. It will be nice to be back home with Rita and the new floor.
On Saturday morning I had my fourth lesson on the butterfly stroke. I’ve been practicing diligently, and was quite pleased when my teacher gave me an 8 on a scale of 10. He challenged me to get more power from the dolphin kicks and make it less about about the arms. We started working on improving my breast stroke. There’s a lot more technique involved in good swimming than I realized. It’s challenging, but also very pleasing to discover new ways to move through the water.
I’ve also continued my project to improve my golf swing. Gabe has made up his mind to become a real golfer, and it’s been fun practicing as a father-son duo. He’s advanced quickly, and is now beating me. In my search for the perfect swing, it may be that like Moses, I won’t make it to the promised land, but I could still have the happiness of seeing him get there.
But I’m not ready to throw in the towel. I’ve changed my swing path substantially to come from inside to out and figured out how to get my hips moving separately from my torso. I can hit a draw. There are still some bad shots, but more of them are flying closer to my ideal.
Saturday night we watched the Rugby League national championship game between the New York Knights and the Atlanta Rhinos. We’re new to rugby, but learning fast, because Kyle, Jocelyn’s boyfriend, is a key player for New York. The game was played in
Atlanta. It was streamed online with lots of technical difficulties (periods of loud buzzes, slowed video, no video, no sound), and the color commentator seemed heavily biased in favor of Atlanta. And despite our best fan efforts, our Knights got beat.
But hats off to Atlanta, which, from what we could see, played a strong game with excellent defense. And congratulations to the Knights for a great (undefeated except for this game) season. Afterwards we went to the Mellow Mushroom for some comfort food — a veggie pizza and beer.