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Monday 8 October 2007

From Last Week

Nicole left very early yesterday morning, alas. By the time I post this, she will (hopefully) be in California. I spent all yesterday morning feeling sorry for myself, but eventually roused myself into action, at least to answer the door when my last delivery of boxes arrived.

My next door neighbor came over while I chatted with the delivery guy and Xena ran around loose. The neighbor chastised me because he had found dog shit on his driveway the day previous. "It wasn't my dog." I said, which was true as that the first and only time Xena has ever been allowed off leash on the street. It was like he didn't hear me, so I repeated it. He clearly thought I was lying. He wanted an apology. meh.

I set up my bedroom studio and it looks pretty good, but during shipping, the bolts came unscrewed in one of my synthesizer cases and the modules got slightly battered by bouncing and the loose screws. My favorite module, the MOTM 440 low pass filter, suffered visible damage. One of the knobs had come loose and the back cover of it broke off and now it catches when I turn it. I took it to school and asked the lab assistant about it. He lent me some tools and I re-tightened it and he told me to take it home and see if it worked. I screwed it back into the case, but I still haven't tried turning it on as I have fears of it suddenly catching fire or something equally unlikely. The moral of this story is to use the correct mounting brackets and not try to fake it with just bolts and washers. Or if you do try to fake it, tighten them before you ship. And then tighten them again before you strap them to your bike and pedal them home. And don't put it on a rack where it will bounce around a lot, but in the trailer.

Speaking of which, my trailer is also broken. I think it's from running into stuff and not from carrying around my synthesizer. It's wide and it sticks out on one side and lord knows i've bashed it into things a bunch of times. Anyway, it has a spring attaching the hitch part to the main part, so the spring lets it swivel some. the spring, however, is sprung. I think this is easily fixable. By somebody with tools.

My supervisor and all of my colleagues are off in Copenhagen, putting on a concert with an array of 80 speakers. They call this system BEAST. Apparently, I'm going to be a part of BEAST in the future, but for now, the only people I know in town are my housemates. They're nice people. But I have no friends here except for my dog, who is nice, but doesn't talk much and has a disturbing tendency to roll in horrible things she finds in the park.

I read Fingersmith last night. It's a thick book by Sarah Waters. It has a really good plot twist in it. And unlike the last book by her that I read, the lesbians don't die in the end. The book is kind of sexy, actually. So I woke up this morning feeling even more sorry for myself than yesterday.

I've read a lot of fiction lately, after a long run of none at all. The downside to this is that after I read a lot and sit by myself, I start narrating my life to myself in my head (c'mon, you know you do it too, sometimes) and as I've read two novels placed in the Victorian era recently and I'm in England, I've begun narrating to myself as if I were some sort of bloody Victorian (you see that "bloody" there? alas). I guess as long as I keep it to myself, it's not a big deal, but as you can see, it's sprung out and effected my blog, and thus yourselves, dear readers. . . . (Are those crickets I hear? Damn.)

The weather has been sunny the last two days, and thus at odds with my disposition, which is for the best. I need to find a book shelf, I think. I went to two charity shops today. I thought this term "charity shop" meant something like the Goodwill store in the US, and there is a passing resemblance in that they both seem to involve used clothes. But either I went to the wrong two shops or the similarity sort of runs out there. The "charity" part seems to just refer to the owners of the shop. The might sell a lot of new stuff. And the people working there seem to be normal shop keepers or maybe volunteers, I don't know, but they're not getting the sort of job training that folks at Goodwill are getting. No scent of lisol. No air of poverty. Maybe I went to the wrong shops.

The locals here are friendly and are getting gradually more intelligible. I've been talking with other dog owners in the park. And when I was strapping horrible, cheap dollar-store plastic junk to my bike, a bicycle enthusiast approached me to talk about old fashioned delivery bikes and the hilliness of Birmingham. When you look around you from where you're standing, it looks flat. But there are valleys everywhere. There is a nice, light Danish city bike that I want, but can't presently afford, nor do I have parking space for it. I've been daydreaming of putting a bike rack in the driveway. I've got myself convinced that it's a great idea.

Now, however, it's a great idea to stop typing and go do something else.

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