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2021 Political Compass and Political Coordinates Results

This will make me run out of slots for personal posts again and I really should be using the fact that I can spend more time on-line these days to at least add another “New Finds” post. But I did just retake both the Political Compass and Political Coordinates tests this evening, for the first time since 2014 in case of the former and after some two and a half years in case of the latter, so I wanted to post the results, and also make sure I have the week’s second post right away. After all, if I will manage to write another “New Finds” post before next night, I can just post it after midnight and make it next week’s first one, and open another slot for a personal one then.

To get to the results, The Political Compass says that I slid even further on both axes. The shift on the economic one is small, from -8.00 to -8.38, and also normal, my views clearly being far to the Left, my concern being that, seeing as I reject the classical, typical Left about as much as Capitalism or Neoliberalism, I had already reached the limits of what the test can support back in 2014 and the results might become less accurate as the questions become less relevant for me, so in a way it’s a bit of a relief to see that it can still give a pretty accurate result. On the social axis, on the other hand, I’m quite surprised to see myself sliding just over one full point further, from -5.54 to -6.56, though now that I think of it, I guess this may also be correct, the direction taken by the current Progressive movement making me stand firmer on the side of actual freedom as opposed to an attempt to mainly break away from Conservative norms and traditional values and replace them with different, and largely opposite, ones that would nevertheless be enforced in a similar manner, still not letting people live as they wish even if that doesn’t in fact cause unjustified harm… And also not letting them even express their wishes and views, for that matter.

Economic Left/Right: -8.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.56

As for Political Coordinates, moving from 80.6% to 83.3% Left on the economic axis means that my results on that axis continue to match almost exactly on the two tests, but getting from 75% to 72.2% Liberal greatly decreases the difference between the two results on the social axis. However, that axis seems to refer to different things, going from Authoritarian to Libertarian on Political Compass and from Communitarian to Liberal on Political Coordinates, which is a very different thing. I still don’t really see how many of the questions would be relevant to this axis if this is indeed what it’s meant to indicate, and my result on it seems to prove that fact, so other than to place me firmly in the correct quadrant, I don’t see it as particularly relevant.

Your political coordinates are:
· 83.3% Left, 72.2% Liberal

Written by Cavalary on February 28, 2021 at 4:36 AM in Tests & Surveys | 0 Comments

A Poor Half Marathon Run, Much Walking, Broken Utensil and Hacking Attempts

There were no visits again on February 21, but this post really starts with Monday, when I again woke up a couple of minutes before the alarm rang, at 11:30 AM, being quite sure that it was about to ring and waiting for it, not getting up to check the time first. That’s because some people were going to come over again, and I had decided to also run that day, not just wander around until they’ll leave, even though the temperature was supposed to get comfortable around 3 PM and I had to leave before 2 PM. So I had the usual stuff, the yogurt being another one of those “creamy” ones with 10% fat and raisins in white chocolate being added again, though that time I didn’t count those as the sweet thing, wasting time on the toilet, which was pretty much a given at that hour, and then also having the last slice of my mother’s cozonac, which I had managed to keep until then, with added honey. Though the forecast I saw after waking up listed 7°C at 2 PM, it was supposed to get to 11°C by 3 PM, so I wore the running t-shirt, with an undershirt underneath, but otherwise had the old running pants and the regular shoes, plus of course the jacket for the walk, tied around my waist while I ran but also again having quite a few things in its inside pocket, and even the gloves. That was not a good idea when I left, at 1:55 PM, since I had checked the weather again a few minutes earlier and saw that all sources were reporting a mere 4°C at that point, with 5°C at 2 PM and a high which had dropped to only around 8°C. So I tried to give myself more time, first having a quick look in this nearby Mega Image, then walking rather slowly to the park, then fussing with my clothes for a good ten minutes, albeit with my jacket off for much of that time, so it was almost 2:30 PM when I actually started running.
The time was 49:41.50, with sector times of 4:21.62, 5:15 (5:14.71), 6:05.05, 4:40.50, 5:17 (5:16.27), 6:03.34, 4:36.47, 5:18 (5:17.44), 6:07.37 and 1:59 (1:58.73), making for lap times of 15:41.38, 16:00.11 and 16:01.28. This was obviously going to be a “sacrificed” run, but I still hoped to at least stay under 49 minutes… Until sector two of lap one, which made it clear that I was going to have to push to even stay under 50 minutes. Did sort of hope to at least finish the second lap in less than 16 minutes as well, so it was frustrating when I failed by such a tiny margin, but then the time was only marginally worse on the third, despite the issues I had, so it at least worked out in that sense, though just staying under 50 minutes is an absolutely terrible target and covering the final sector in almost two minutes also says bad things about my state at that point. There was even a moment when I almost stopped as I went up those stairs, needing to struggle to get back to running and then thinking that, based on how much I felt I was pushing, I was quite clearly going to at least stay under 49:40, the fact that I didn’t manage that showing how exhausted I was.
The first problem was the temperature, made worse by the fact that there were still some clouds early on and the wind made itself felt at various times all the way to the end. It did get warmer after a while, and I’d say that halfway through or so it became almost comfortable, but at least until the start of lap two it really felt cold, and unwise to be dressed like that under those circumstances. Had actually considered checking a few more stores first, leaving any purchases in a cabinet and then going for the run when the temperature would have been higher, but that’d have made me even more tired and at one point I was thinking that doing so would have made me get to some 53 minutes or so. As it was, after settling for that target of staying under 50 minutes, I just did everything I could to get there, despite my left hip for some reason bothering me since Thursday’s walk, feeling the need to take a shit since sector three of lap two, which need became a rather serious concern on sector two of lap three’s long straight and remained so to the end, and feeling pretty much drained, and also a bit nauseous, by the end of sector one of lap three’s long straight, though at least the nausea passed after a while. There were some people as well, but other than making me need to weave and go the long way around, there were just a couple of places where I had to slow a little, one I clearly remember being on that same sector one of lap three, and none where I had to stop.

After the run, I first went to that cheaper pharmacy, to get that thing I forgot to get from the other one, though I spotted a Shop & Go on the way and had a look in there as well, again only finding the kind of cat food which had been the only one out of those that were on sale which had been available in the Mega Image across the road from here. Either way, once I reached the pharmacy I made sure I had exact change to get 0.50 RON back and told that to the cashier, after asking whether the price was the same as on the site. The odd thing was that she first confirmed, then told me a slightly higher one… And then she gave me 1 RON as change, so I pushed it back, she asked whether I preferred 0.50 RON coins and I told her I did need some but also just needed to get one, which was when she finally counted the change I had given her, saying she had assumed I had given her enough to get exactly 1 RON back. She didn’t comment about the fact that I had given her enough to get 0.50 RON back if the price would have been the one on the site instead of the one she said, and which was also on the receipt, which was rounded up a little bit.
Then I decided to head towards the farmers’ market, first making a little detour to that Mega Image that’s next to that pharmacy. The other option would have been to get to the end of the street I was on and to the largest Mega Image from the area, then go to Auchan and get to the market on the way back, and it’d have been the correct one, but I chose to do it this other way around, hoping I won’t need to make that detour, and ended up wasting quite a bit of time… Wouldn’t have really needed to waste it even so, because I did find that cat food at that Mega Image that’s next to that pharmacy, but they didn’t also have the butter that was also on sale and the sale price was listed only for that same other kind which had been available in the other places as well, and I couldn’t get myself to ask whether it applied to all, or just try directly, so I just left those there and went to the market.
I was there for some apples… Which seemed to be pretty much the only things that were available, the place being nearly deserted otherwise, but there were quite a few selling apples and one even offered a discount, and the second time I passed in front of the stall and he said that I asked him to repeat himself, since I hadn’t really paid attention, yet the kind he was offering the discount for wasn’t one of the two I was there for, so I said I’d rather go for one of those other kinds and went to another guy who had slightly cheaper larger ones of those kinds, asking for one kilogram of each. Normally I’d actually look for smaller ones, and can’t get why the larger ones are more expensive, but after dad had spent a fair bit more in Kaufland the day before even though I had told him how to save, I told him it meant we had money to spare and asked him for 10 RON more, half of which I spent on those apples… The problem being that there are screens everywhere in that market now, you can’t pick things yourself anymore, and the apples of one kind that I was given look pretty bad, a few others, including the one who offered me a discount on a different kind, having really nice ones for only a little bit more, and while I had taken an almost exact amount with me, I could afford that difference.
Since the guy put both kinds of apples in one bag and I couldn’t even see what was listed when he weighed it, I then counted to see that I had seven of each kind and went to the control scales, confirming that the total weight was correct and then just heading straight out of the market from there, towards the intersection, somehow forgetting all about the Mega Image that’s on the other side of the market and which I also meant to check. But then I got even more confused after crossing to the other side of that intersection, somehow ending up believing that I was on the other road leading to Auchan and, instead of just turning around, trying to use the alleys between buildings to cut to where I thought I should be. In the process, also stumbled into another Mega Image, having a look in there but again only finding that one other kind of that cat food, but by then it was quite clear that my mental map and my actual location didn’t match and I fortunately overcorrected, so instead of getting lost I ended up almost back to the intersection I started from. I was still confused, however, so I walked back there still thinking that I had to go to the other road, only realizing that I had been on it the first time after crossing back, so I had to cross yet again. Then, after wasting a little more time checking the Mega Image and Shop & Go on the way, still only finding that one kind of that cat food, finally got to Auchan, just getting some more potatoes, and noticing that the entrance for the self-checkouts that also accepted cash was closed off.
Spotted another Shop & Go on the way back from there, but just glanced inside from the door, seeing a basket with a large sale sign that still only contained that one kind of that cat food and moving on… And I also kept going when I passed by the alley leading to that sole Mega Image where I had found the kind I was looking for, continuing to that larger one, where I did indeed find all kinds of that cat food, as well as the butter, but they only had a few of each left, and in case of the one I was looking for, that meant exactly two when I was looking for four. So I even asked an employee, and when she said they didn’t have any more of that particular kind, I grabbed the butter as well and just bought what was available, hurrying back to get here just before 5:55 PM.
Still, there was that one location where I had found several, and even though the discount label only specified that other kind, since I then clearly knew it also applied to the kind I was looking for, I went back out at 7 PM, albeit not heading there right away, but instead first jogging to yet another location, near the metro station. By that point I also wanted a pretzel or bagel, or even a pastry if I’d have found something interesting and with the 50% discount, grabbing another 1 RON in coins before leaving to make sure I’ll have enough, but even though the pastries at that location were indeed discounted in that manner by the time I got there, the one I’d have been most interested in was no longer available and, in case of that cat food, it was yet again just that one other kind that was available, so that proved to be another waste of time and effort… And it was also the only place where a guard stopped me to ask to see what I had in my jacket’s inside pocket, though at that point I just had the money and empty bags there, while that thing from the pharmacy had also been there, making the bulge more noticeable, while I had checked so many other locations before and none had said anything.
Either way, all I could do after that was return to that location and hope I’d still find that cat food there, so I jogged nearly all the way again… And was surprised to see those bags completely untouched, since I had positioned them in a certain way when I put them back on the shelf and that was exactly how I found them, which probably meant that I was hardly the only one deciding not to risk it when the discount label only specified that other kind, even though the sign at the entrance listed “various kinds” and the site clearly listed all of them. So I grabbed the two I still needed, then carefully counted the money I had left and spent quite some time staring at the pastries that were still available, trying to decide whether it’d be worth it to go elsewhere for some discounted ones, since that location for some reason hadn’t discounted any of them. In the end, just got a bagel, which hadn’t been discounted in that other location either, and the cashier actually charged me for a cheaper one even though I told her just which kind I had gotten. Interestingly, that meant she charged me the amount listed on the label that was in that spot on the shelf, because I had noticed that the labels had been reversed and those slightly more expensive bagels were above the label for the cheaper ones and vice-versa, so I wonder if she did that because she had gotten complaints before and decided that the small difference wasn’t worth the trouble. But I had done my part, having already told her which kind it was, so I walked away and, despite no longer jogging, was about to enter the building at 8 PM, after another quick look, just from the door, in this nearby Mega Image, to see whether the pastries were discounted, not spotting any with that label.

To finally move on to Tuesday, I made mamaliga again… And the potato masher I use when I do that, both to make sure the cornmeal doesn’t form clumps and, even more so, to keep scraping the bottom of the pot as I stir, so it won’t stick and burn, broke. That was expected, seeing as just a little bit of the metal went into the plastic handle and it had been getting loose for a while, not being intended to suffer that sort of punishment, though it did make me keep trying various methods and utensils to finish that mamaliga and means I’ll now need to look for another rather quickly. However, what was entirely unexpected and hard to explain happened a little earlier, when I decided to pour more vinegar from the bottle into the cruet, and the top part of it somehow snapped off, and it did so after I screwed the top back on. I had filled it, screwed the top back on, placed it back in the cupboard, closed the door, and a couple of seconds later heard a pop, so I opened the door again, saw spilled vinegar and noticed that the cause was that the glass had snapped completely off at the top, right at the bottom of the top, as it’s screwed on, as if it cut through it or something. I do have another of those things in the set, the one which should be used for oil and was never used in that manner, but I didn’t care to start using it, just pouring the vinegar back into its bottle, through a sieve, and leaving it like that for now.

That evening’s oddities didn’t stop there, since after I took the food to my room and started eating, I noticed that earlier that evening somebody had tried to reset my e-mail password, and when I checked I saw roughly one unsuccessful attempt to sign in per day since at least late January, the maximum being three per day, but some skipped days pretty much evening things out, making it appear that it might just be an actual person instead of a script. Strangely, though in fact matching what happened in May, when somebody tried to change the security information, the password reset request itself didn’t show up, when I’d think that something like that would need to be logged. You are admittedly made aware of such an attempt right away, but additional information might be useful, since the e-mail doesn’t include any, yet a quick search tells me that this is the intended behavior, such attempts not getting logged if unsuccessful.
Being quite anxious as a result of that, I ended up digging through other things as well and thought I noticed another suspicious thing before going to bed, which led to losing a fair bit of time trying to figure out what that was also about and only getting in bed at 5:35 AM. A few more searches and thinking about it more calmly the next day led me to conclude that it was most probably nothing odd after all, but I’m still wondering who’s apparently quite determined to access my e-mail, and who knows if not other accounts as well. The logs state that those unsuccessful attempts to sign in have continued at the same rate, and while the IPs differ and they don’t necessarily need to mean anything anyway, they all seem to be from the same country.

Thursday I did wake up as dad made noise and then left and thought it won’t be long before the alarm would ring, but I didn’t check the time and fell asleep again, dreaming that the alarm didn’t work and I ended up waking up at 3 PM, so I woke up with a start and did check the time, seeing 1:13 PM and getting back in bed, waiting for it to ring, at 1:30 PM, by which time I think I actually managed to catch a few more minutes of sleep. Then I checked the weather, seeing that the forecast had actually improved and making it clearly the right choice to do the planned half marathon run that day, though one concern was that the “hot” water was completely cold. The site said that it should be fixed at 4 PM though, so I hoped that was going to be the case and went ahead. Did consider just having a regular yogurt, wondering about the correlation between eating these with more fat and the poor times, but in the end still had one of those “creamy” ones with 10% fat, with raisins in white chocolate also added in it, along with the usual stuff, plus that muesli bar received at the start of December. A serious problem was that, though there was no reason for it this time around, I just wasted half an hour on the toilet, feeling like I had to go when I went and then, when the feeling went away as soon as I sat down, being determined to keep trying until it’ll work, but eventually needing to give up. So I had to accept that I’ll need to deal with that while running, put on the full running gear and nothing else, except of course the mask, and left at 3:45 PM, when it was sunny and the reported temperature was 18°C, supposed to start dropping by a couple of degrees per hour after 4 PM.
It felt a bit chilly on the way, at least in the shade, and I also stopped for a moment just after crossing the road here, when I saw a dog, with a collar that seemed to have had a leash tied to it but no longer did at that point, running alongside a car, but then I actually jogged a little to catch the green light when crossing the road to the park and wasted little time once I got to the starting location, pretty much just going for it and managing 1:47:26, with sector times of 4:28, 5:18, 6:06, 4:40, 5:14, 6:10, 4:39, 5:18, 6:06, 4:47, 5:16, 6:09, 4:45, 5:26, 6:23, 4:52, 5:26, 6:18, 1:58, 6:14 and 1:53, making for lap times of 15:52, 16:04, 16:03, 16:12, 16:34 and 16:36, plus 10:05 for the final portion. I adopted a rather conservative pace at first, starting with target times adding up to 1:48:45 and even allowing for merely staying under 1:50, considering the poor shape I’ve been in for so long, but when I missed those target times on both of the first two laps, I pushed a little more on the third, getting myself right back on target, and then tried to see how much I’ll be able to gain from then on, the target times assuming I’ll get 15 seconds slower on each lap and therefore getting easier to beat, at least theoretically. Lap five was rather bad under those circumstances, gaining less than I expected, but it was still enough to feel pretty certain I’ll stay under 1:48. Being only a little slower, lap six made that even clearer, but I was still rather unhappy with the time on the first sector of the final portion, so I pushed harder on the next and at the end of it I realized that, if I’d still be able to really go for it on the final one, I just had a chance to stay under 1:47:30. That hadn’t even crossed my mind until then, but I had to try, and actually managed it… Not that it’s not disappointing to have that as a target in the first place.
The nice weather meant plenty of people, so on top of weaving and going the long way around there were also roadblocks I just managed to squeeze through and others that made me slow, take to the grass or even stop a little. One in this latter category was right on the first sector, when I reached a couple with a child in a pram, who had stopped, right when some cyclists were coming from the opposite direction. Then, as I was getting to the bridge on sector two of lap two, I lost a couple of seconds because of a roadblock that two cyclists were also trying to get through, so while they did open the way, I had to wait for them to pass before I could follow… And then likely lost a little bit more time trying to get rid of the spiderweb I had somehow also caught, despite all those other people also being there then. Next, on sector three of lap two, I had to go on the grass and around a garbage can, which forced me to make quite a tight turn. And actually under the bridge, on sector two of lap three, there was a large roadblock, two people with dogs being ahead of me and multiple groups coming from the opposite direction, so I had to pretty much walk for a few seconds. In addition, again as I was approaching the bridge, on sector two of lap five, a guy on a skateboard almost fell right next to me and startled me, and there was one more place where a roadblock forced me to take to the grass and go around a garbage can, on a sector one that I believe was also on lap five, since I recall thinking that I had issues on both sector one and two. And one last moment was as I was going up the stairs on the last sector, with some people with dogs also going up, coming from the other side, and the dogs and their leashes fully blocking the bottom of the stairs, so I had to sort of hop on from the side.
Otherwise, the weather was just right, making no problems and offering no excuses. As for physical issues, I started feeling a bit of a need to take a shit at the end of sector two of lap three’s long straight, but it passed, then returned on sector three of lap four, being a bit more pressing for a while but never a real issue, and eventually going away again. I think it was also towards the end of lap three when my right knee and left thigh started giving me a few warnings, joined some time later, I think on lap five, if not even six, by my left knee and hip, though none of it got to the point of becoming a serious problem. The moment when I thought things were going to take a sudden turn for the worse came on sector two of lap six, when I suddenly felt like I was about to hit the wall, but the feeling soon passed.
Once I was done, jogged back here, and found that the hot water had indeed returned, so taking a shower wasn’t a problem. Before doing so, however, I bumped my head quite hard in a corner of the kitchen counter while putting a bag in the garbage can. And then, as I made mamaliga again at night and no longer had that masher, ended up burning the pot a fair bit. But I should be able to clean it, and it’s not like it’s not badly scraped and even with the enamel completely stripped away in some spots already.

As for yesterday, I first woke up when dad got back, but was drifting in and out of sleep, so I’m not sure of the time. Eventually started getting itchy and got up at 7:50 AM, peed, then couldn’t get back to sleep for a long time, and once I finally did I didn’t stay asleep for long, waking up again at 10:30 AM and getting up for good. Then I grabbed something to eat, checked a few more things on-line, took the recyclables, dropping them off in the first bin on the way, and left at 12:50 PM, first going to the Carrefour from the park and getting all of the 28 cans of cat food for Rocky that they had there, the idea being to also keep some here and give it to Micky as well, especially since it’s one thing that Liza doesn’t seem to touch. Also added some expiring quail eggs and some lemons and used the 10 RON code I had received for doing another of their surveys, then stored those purchases in a cabinet and moved on. Frustratingly, the bag I used for the lemons also became impossible to reuse after I had placed the label on the top of it, so I’ll be able to even tear it off without causing much damage if necessary, but admittedly didn’t even try to tell that to the cashier, and she slapped it fully on the bag when she scanned it, and my attempts to peel it off obviously resulted in the bag starting to tear.
Either way, the plan was to go to quite a number of places and get back before the Formula E race, which was also why I got up so early despite the previous day’s run, and the next planned stop was Auchan, where the site stated that some of those yogurts that were two for the price of one should be left. That seemed odd, and likely a problem with the site, but I still wanted to have a look, and also went into that Shop & Go on the way, to get a chocolate. The cashier was in the back at that point, a guy who might have been a guard, though he didn’t seem to be dressed like one, keeping an eye on me and both of them asking whether I had gotten everything when I turned around to look for an employee after going to the checkout and not finding anyone there, which questions they had to repeat after I unplugged my headphones, with the cashier only slowly making her way towards me after I said I had.
Once in Auchan, I looked for those yogurts, couldn’t find them anywhere and didn’t think it was worth asking, and compared the prices for a few other things, spotting packs of four bottles of kefir for the price of three that worked out to less per bottle than the kind that was discounted at Kaufland, and dad had asked me to get him some. Didn’t grab any right away, however, as I hadn’t checked whether other stores had those same packs, and was also starting to consider going to the Auchan from Titan as well anyway, to make really sure none of those yogurts were left, so I just left without getting anything and headed to that newer Kaufland, getting what I meant to get from there, minus the kefir, and also adding some bread for dad that was discounted due to expiring soon and a bag of muesli for myself, spotting a label advertising a 49% discount on it that hadn’t been otherwise announced. As I quickly noticed, the discount was likely because it expires on March 15, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
The next stop, and one reason why I had chosen to go to that Kaufland, was Penny, just meaning to get onions from there but also considering getting some cheese from a different store that’s also in that place, having previously noticed that it was cheaper than the one dad gets, and doing so. I did just look for a while, and another person went ahead of me during that time, but that ended up being a good thing, since the employee brought some new cheese of that kind after that other customer made her purchase and I asked for one of those new pieces. She might have wanted to not give me any change, since after she weighed that piece the listed price was 14.69 RON and she first asked for 14.70 and then, quickly, for 15, but after I started digging through my pockets for exact change, being surprised when I couldn’t find enough, she got the message and gave me 0.30 RON back after I had to hand her 15 RON. As for the fact that I couldn’t find the necessary amount in coins, after spending quite some time arranging the purchases in a bag and my backpack, the fact that the cheese was just in a flimsy plastic bag making things harder, I dug through my pockets again once outside and found that a couple of coins had fallen in another pocket.
From there, I returned to Carrefour, taking quite a long time to move what I already had in a small cabinet to a larger one, add the new purchases and arrange everything, which might have annoyed at least one person, since I tried to make room when I noticed someone else waiting but hadn’t noticed her and she hadn’t said anything when I happened to move a little and she reached for the cabinet I was no longer blocking and then slammed the door to mine closed, the possible problem being that I was struggling to find a way to fit the quail eggs in there without the door hitting them when closed and hadn’t yet managed that, and I’m yet to check them properly to see whether any got cracked as a result. Either way, I dashed back inside once I did finally manage to arrange everything, checking to see whether any more cans of that cat food had appeared, but since that spot on the shelf was still empty and nothing else had appeared among the expiring products either, I just went back out.
The next target was the Auchan from Titan, but I decided to have a look inside a Mega Image on the way as well, getting a cabbage, since it seemed to look better, and also a few lemons that were among the discounted fruits and vegetables, though only one seemed to look somewhat worse, again getting charged for the bag I was forced to use, since they were in it. But at least I could stuff the cabbage in that same bag once I got to Auchan, so I could just tell the guard to put a sticker on it… And then found a 0.50 RON coin right in front of me as I went in, which proved to be the only benefit of going there, since I couldn’t find any more of those yogurts, and again didn’t ask, but did ask about those packs of kefir, since I couldn’t even see an empty spot where they should have been at that location. The employee who was placing things in that area said that packs should still exist and if I’ll wait a few minutes a guy should bring more from the back, but I chose to go to one of the doors to the storage area, waiting for some employees to pass, being completely ignored by the first two I tried to ask, who were talking to each other, and the next telling me that the refrigerated products were in another place. So I went in the direction he indicated… And just missed the guy stocking that brand’s products, so I went after him, caught him as he was stocking another shelf and asked, being told that they didn’t have any more of those packs… And also that the employee who had told me otherwise “wouldn’t even know what world she’s living in”, which was said with enough anger to indicate some bad blood between them. So I left with no purchases again, holding the bag with the cabbage and lemons up for the guard to see but still having him call after me, so I raised an eyebrow as I showed it to him.
At that point, if I was going to return to the first Auchan and get back in time for the race, I pretty much had to run, but instead I lost a few more minutes in another Shop & Go, having decided to get one more of those chocolates… And having the employee for some reason give me 6.10 RON as change when it should have been 6.01 RON and in case of Mega Image, which also owns Shop & Go, it seems to pretty much be a policy to not just round to the nearest amount divisible by 0.05 RON, which is pretty normal, but to always round the price up, or the change down, to the nearest amount divisible by 0.10 RON, even when the actual nearest value would be in the other direction.
Either way, that made it pretty clear that I was going to have to rush out again after the race if I wanted to get that kefir as well, so I didn’t really rush anymore… Which wasn’t exactly the right decision. Then again, I probably wasn’t quite thinking straight by that point, feeling really sleepy, so I ended up taking more time than intended as I returned yet again to Carrefour, added the new purchases in that cabinet, selected some garlic that wasn’t quite as bad as the rest and checked out with it and one other thing, after having also had another look at the cat food and still finding that spot on the shelf empty. A little more time was lost while checking out, since I took no more chances and placed the label for the garlic on the other product as well, telling the cashier about it twice… Only to have her somehow scan one product as the other, realize that something was wrong, cancel, then do it wrong yet again before seeming to finally snap to attention, take a moment to figure out what she was doing, cancel again and scan both properly. Still, probably because I was out of it and wasn’t really tracking time anymore, I still thought I had plenty of time to carefully retrieve everything from that cabinet and arrange things in a way that made them easier to carry, not even checking the time again until I was done… At which point I saw 6:51 PM and realized I wasn’t going to make it.
Did the best I could, however, and was back just before 7:10 PM, so I only missed the beginning of the race, and used the time spent watching it to also put some things in their place, before leaving again after it, at 8 PM. Did briefly consider jogging to that Auchan, but realized there was probably no need for it and it’d have likely been unwise anyway, so I just hurried without jogging, got there well enough, got the last three of those packs of kefir that I found and a jar of mustard… And apparently ended up forgetting 0.20 RON in the machine used to pay, just getting the bills it gave me as change. But I guess it’s a relief that I didn’t actually lose money, or forget some of the purchases, or mess up in some other ways, especially when I was so tired, and at least that meant I was done with everything and got back here just before 9:25 PM, so I could catch the ski jumping from the beginning.

This was another huge post, and I’m somewhat surprised that I managed to finish all of it by midnight, since at first I actually meant to leave all of that part about yesterday for another one, especially since I made today laundry day, after having also changed my sheets and also the blanket that’s under them last night, just before eating. A problem is that this other blanket is smaller, so it doesn’t quite cover the mattress properly, but seeing as that one had been there, unchanged and unwashed, for years, I’ll make do with it as it is for the moment and likely change it again soon enough, after I’ll get around to washing that one as well, since at the moment I wouldn’t even know where to hang it to dry, considering everything else which had gathered.

Written by Cavalary on February 27, 2021 at 11:27 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

A Good and a Poor Run, Odds and Ends and Annoying Liza

Last Monday I did start Shadows of Self, though at first I meant to give up on the idea when dad asked me to transcribe something for him just when I had decided to push forward in Venetica, to advance before starting to read in order to have a better chance to be able to get myself to continue. In itself, it was just bad timing and would have taken half an hour or so, but the file didn’t work at first, not even when I copied it again on the USB stick, then I meant to work on it on his computer instead, but didn’t want to use his headphones and the new monitor he received doesn’t have speakers, though I thought it did, and by the time I was done pointlessly fussing with it he also said he wanted to write the rest of the article while I did that. Worse, when I meant to e-mail it to myself, I forgot to actually send the message, and when I got back to check I forgot I hadn’t disconnected my computer first, so both of them were connected for a bit and it had been my fault. So I had lost a fair bit of time and was quite a mess, and the plan for the rest of the day no longer added up at all… But in the end I decided to go for it after all, and since it reads so easily actually managed to get two days’ worth of reading in, which actually was the original plan, seeing as I knew I wasn’t going to spend much time reading, and in fact ended up not reading at all, over the following two days. Gave up on the idea of also pushing forward in Venetica that day, however.

Last Tuesday the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but my internal clock worked again and I was up a couple of minutes earlier. Then I had the usual stuff plus raisins in white chocolate, counting those as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear, with just an undershirt underneath, and went out at 3:50 PM, when the reported temperature was about 16°C, supposed to drop by 1-2°C by the time I’ll finish. It was cloudy, but after a particularly windy night and morning, the wind had died down almost completely as well, so I kept wondering whether to wear the jacket on the way and eventually decided not to.
The time was 47:11.30, which makes it the best since October 20 and the first under 48 minutes since November 16! Sector times were 4:08.57, 5:00.33, 5:52 (5:51.25), 4:24.38, 4:55 (4:54.82), 5:50 (5:49.86), 4:26.28, 4:55.49, 5:51 (5:50.80) and 1:50 (1:49.52), making for lap times of 15:00.15, 15:09.06 and 15:12.57. Of course, the weather helped, as did the fact that I no longer carried the jacket, but I was also applying what I think I figured out about my breathing during lap three of the previous Friday’s run, which really helped me sustain those sprints on the straights, and pushing much harder in general, having realized that, despite repeatedly saying it was all I had and was exhausted by the end, I’ve been feeling too good after all of these recent poor runs, without the usual pains coming from various organs in my abdomen, without my nose getting irritated, without my joints really complaining, so I had to find ways to whip myself harder, because these times aren’t supposed to be easy to get.
There were plenty of people, however, and there was a roadblock right on the long straight of sector one of lap one, making me take to the grass when a guy with a dog allowed the dog to drag him my way just as I was trying to somehow squeeze between the group he was in and the couple that was right behind them. And the problems caused by people continued, weaving and going the long way around being quite the norm and roadblocks making me take to the grass or briefly slow in order to reach the spot I could squeeze through right when it opened up appearing on most, if not all, sectors. I never had to actually stop, but remember roadblocks on that sector one straight on each lap, that first one being followed by one towards the end on one lap, which I rather took as my cue to end the sprint and prepare for the next one, and two on another, though I can’t recall which was on which lap anymore. I also had to take to the grass at the start of that long sector two straight, I believe on the first lap, starting my sprint after that, and had other tight spots to squeeze through on the other laps, and there was a roadblock I had to just squeeze through under the bridge on one lap as well, while on sector three of lap one I had to go on the grass and around a couple of benches and garbage cans, though that admittedly meant cutting the turn, on lap two a dog made for my legs and instead of leaping away I felt the leg it aimed for rather freeze for a moment and it took me a couple hundred meters to recover my pace, and on lap three there was another dog I worried about. And on the final sector I had to squeeze past a couple of women and rather leap on the stairs, which made it harder to take the next few steps. And there were other moments as well, some of which I can’t quite recall or place accurately anymore.
All of that made the time even more surprising, but even if I did start quickly, aiming for an unsustainable pace, it was surprising from the very first sector, where I managed a top ten time. That and the decision I had made from the beginning, to push myself harder than I’d normally think possible anymore, made me just keep pushing in that same manner, wondering whether I’ll somehow manage another lap in less than 15 minutes, which would have also been for the first time since November 16, and being quite frustrated when I missed that target by such a tiny margin, possibly having to do with the exact moment when I pressed the button. But that told me I had a real chance to stay under 48 minutes and, while at first that was all I was aiming for, after lap two I realized I had a shot at staying under 47:30, and while I doubted it after sector one of lap three, I just continued to give it everything, forcing myself to just keep going at that pace even if I started feeling quite a pressing need while sprinting on that long sector two straight and realizing after the end of that sector that I’ll quite clearly manage that as well. With that pressing need not going away, it was a bit tricky to maintain focus all the way to the end, but I nevertheless managed it and at the end of the lap realized I should be aiming to stay under 47:15 as well, which I also managed despite that issue with those women, which caused me to be rather slow on the stairs.

Despite initially only meaning to check Mega Image on the way back for raisins and peanuts in dark chocolate, which were on sale, and possibly only do so if I’d manage a good enough time, after the run I decided to jog to that Carrefour after all, mainly to check the expiring things… And found that they had finally restocked the food for Liza, and it had a slightly better price than anywhere else. The problem was that I had only taken a little money with me, just enough for those things I had meant to look for and maybe a bagel, so I could only get a few and had to give up on also getting some bio (organic) eggs that were discounted due to expiring soon to even afford those. We did already have plenty of eggs though, and Liza’s food was the emergency, and the main reason why I had planned to go out again the next day, so I grabbed what I could… And then had to get myself the correct change, taking a 0.05 RON coin out of those the cashier had in front of him to add to what he had given me.
Even if it was no longer necessary, with the Thursday forecast quite clearly listing rain, I was still going to go out the next day, so that could have been it for that day, since those things I wanted from Mega Image were supposed to be on sale said next day as well and I was going to pass quite a few of their stores on the way, but I wanted to reward myself with a pretzel or bagel and the few coins I had left weren’t enough for it, so I just dropped off the cat food, grabbed the last of the money I still had and went right back out, to this nearby Mega Image… Which again didn’t have any regular pretzels left, but they did still have two bagels with sunflower seeds, so I got one of those, but did so after getting those raisins and peanuts in dark chocolate. After seeing that the spot where it seemed they should have been was empty, I thought they were out, and the small space and a woman checking something else in that area for a couple of minutes meant I had to wait my turn to have a better look, but when I did I found that they had placed them at the end of that shelf, I guess to make them more visible, and while they still had several bags of the peanuts, they just had three of raisins left, and the sale only applied if you bought at least two of a kind, so I guess I got there right on time to avoid needing to check other stores for them the next day.

After stuffing myself with mamaliga, again with a bunch of things added in it, at night, I kept needing to get up to pee, so the fourth time this happened, at 11 AM, I considered getting up for good, but calculated and realized I could afford a couple more hours of sleep, so eventually got up for good the fifth time, at 12:20 PM. Took it easy though, leaving at 2:50 PM, also taking the plastic and metal to drop off in a bin on the way, which wasn’t the first one I passed by because a street cleaner was just standing there at the time and I couldn’t get myself to go right up to her and dump something in there.
I first went straight to the Auchan from Vitan, but couldn’t find those “creamy” yogurts that were supposed to be two for the price of one, though the site listed them as still in stock at that location as well. Searched thoroughly for quite a while, then finally gave in and asked an employee… Who asked another one, who took me to where they should have been on the shelf and, after seeing that there wasn’t even a price label there, went to ask yet another employee, who in turn came to tell me that they used to be in a different spot but they didn’t have any anymore, then went to ask yet another employee, to make sure, and she also confirmed that they were out. So I just got some tea and bread… And found that they placed self-checkouts there again, or more exactly modified some of the machines that used to only be used to pay to also be able to scan products, and you can still also pay with cash, so I used one of those, also finding quite a pile of coins in it.
After getting a bit confused on the way and then pretty much just going in and out of the Penny that’s close to it, seeing that what I might have been interested in was imported, I then went to that newer Kaufland, seeing that they were still in the process of changing the price labels to reflect the sales which had started that day, and while the product I was mainly looking for was placed in the special “sale” area and had a red label, said label failed to mention that it was a two for the price of one deal, and it seemed that not that many of those who had checked the catalog had been there yet, since only a few had been bought and I could easily get eight, plus one more thing for dad and a pastry for myself. Then again, there were surprisingly few customers there at that moment, which made it even stranger that I kept bumping into a certain one, a girl who was checking out the bakery area when I also got there and we took turns giving each other space while trying to decide, then I bumped into her again when I got to the expiring products, wandering around until she finished looking through them and I could do the same, then I think there was another place we both checked out at the same time, albeit briefly, then we both accidentally ended up in the dog food area at the same time, stopping in our tracks and turning around when we realized it, and then we both used self-checkout machines that also accept cash, right next to each other. Almost made a comment about it as I left, since she was still scanning her purchases, but couldn’t get myself to actually say anything, and it’d have probably been quite awkward if I’d have done so.
After retrieving the previous purchases from the cabinet, spending some time arranging everything in a bag, realizing quite late that someone else was waiting after me, quickly stuffing everything back in the cabinet at that point, going to the toilet, retrieving the purchases one more time, moving a few steps away and finally arranging them properly, I decided to also go to the Auchan from Titan. Hadn’t checked the route between those two places before leaving and never used it before, but I got there well enough and also found plenty of those yogurts, so I got as many as I thought I had a realistic chance to use before they’ll go bad and one more bread, of a different kind.
The last stop was the Carrefour from the park, getting as much of Liza’s food as I still had money for, giving the cashier all the bills and a handful of coins, which caused her to wonder how had I gathered all of those and put them in the cash drawer without counting them, saying she just assumed it was the right amount. But that happened after the machine directing people standing in the single queue they use at that location to the checkouts it estimates will result in the lowest waiting time directed me to one where the person ahead of me had a full cart… And then, as I resigned myself to the wait, a guy who also had a full cart squeezed past me and reacted to my frown by saying he was with her. That made me give their two full carts quite a hard stare and, noticing that and that I just had one box of cat food, she told me to go ahead, which I gladly accepted. I still had to wait a little though, since the person ahead of her had a product that didn’t scan and the cashier couldn’t see the product code either, so after a few attempts and asking the customer to help as well she just put it away. She did, however, ask the customer why was she buying the 200 gram bag of almonds when the 500 gram one was on sale for only a little more, which was something I had almost said myself after spotting it there, so there was a quick exchange between the three of us at that point, but things were left as they were and my turn came… And then I wished the cashier good luck, gesturing towards the two behind me and their full carts, which she apparently hadn’t yet noticed, since at first she just thanked me apparently out of reflex, then rather froze for a moment when she actually had a look, before turning back towards me and making a face. But at least I had everything at that point, and was back just before 8:15 PM.

Monday the alarm was set to ring at 1 PM, so when I woke up for the second time and saw 12:18 PM and didn’t need to pee quite that badly, I just got right back in bed and actually managed a couple more brief naps, my internal clock being particularly accurate, as I woke up from the last one mere seconds before the alarm, still “disentangling” from the last dream when it rang. Then I had the usual stuff plus the last of the old almonds, the yogurt being one of those “creamy” ones with 10% fat and also adding the couple of spoonfuls that were left in a bottle of kefir dad said he had finished, while for the sweet thing I resorted to those nicer biscuits again, with added honey. One issue was that the forecast was once again inaccurate, however, all sources listing a high of 2-3°C even when I went to bed in the morning, which changed to about 6°C when I woke up, though when I left, at 3:30 PM, the reported temperature was 4-5°C, which if I was to believe the forecast was supposed to remain pretty much unchanged until 5 PM, but drop rather sharply after that, since I was seeing 1-2°C at 6 PM. So at first I put a second t-shirt on, then removed the one I wear inside when I saw that, ending up in the old running suit, with an undershirt and a t-shirt underneath, plus the running shoes, that thing around my neck, again pulled up so I won’t also wear a mask on the way, and the gloves and jacket, which I obviously tied around my waist for the run.
Since this run marks the start of that little training schedule for the half marathon, which I’ll stick to, at least for now, even if it seems to have once again been postponed, I went for 16 km again, the time being 1:21:22, with sector times of 4:26, 5:18, 6:14, 4:41, 5:17, 6:13, 4:40, 5:20, 6:14, 4:41, 5:26, 6:20, 4:46, 5:33 and 6:13, making for lap times of 15:58, 16:11, 16:14, 16:27 and 16:32. I did start in a controlled manner, so the first sector time didn’t bother me that much and at that point I was wondering whether I’ll manage a first lap in less than 15:30 and be well on my way to at least stay under 1:20, but the next sector put all of that out of my mind and I changed the goals to at least complete that lap in less than 16 minutes and perhaps try to stay under 1:22. Then, seeing that bad sector three time as well and that I just barely stayed under 16 minutes on said first lap, I ended up just aiming for 16:30 on the second, wondering whether I’ll manage a time that will be less awful than last month’s or I’ll just have to aim to stay under 1:24. However, I then noticed that, while slow, I was maintaining a particularly steady pace, obtaining nearly identical times for three full laps, between sector two of lap one and sector one of lap four, just sector two of lap three being a couple of seconds slower. That made me recalculate my target as time passed and I wasn’t getting even slower, eventually returning to 1:22 and, despite getting even slower from sector two of lap four, hoping for 1:21:30 by the end. That was in doubt after that awful sector two of lap five, but that was actually caused by passing by a beggar who sounded so desperate I thought she might even start attacking people to get something, making me lose focus and basically forget about trying to sprint on the straights, so after recovering I could push and return to that steady pace on the last sector.
Other than that beggar, there were a fair number of people again, so on top of plenty of weaving and going the long way around, there were a few places where I had to squeeze through and slow a little, and one where I had to briefly stop, on sector two of lap two, when a pretty large group of people had a small dog on a long leash, so I tried to go the long way around when it was blocking the inside as I approached, but it ran that way by the time I got there, the leash ending up blocking me again. Things did get better from this point of view as I went along, however, the notable issues caused by people pretty much ending halfway through or so. On the other hand, I started needing to take a shit from sector three of lap three and the feeling, while never particularly bad, didn’t go away, probably also as a result of having stuffed myself the previous evening and clearly not managing to get rid of as much as I should have before leaving, and the forecast proved wrong in another way as well, as there was supposed to be little wind but that wasn’t what I felt, having to push against it on that long sector two straight even on lap one, feeling it at some point during the next sector as well, and then seeming to become even more of an issue later, making it harder to sprint on some straights and also simply making it colder, the fact that it was also cloudy leading to actually feeling cold at times as I ran, though that reported temperature should have made me even overheat, considering how I was dressed.

As for Thursday, there were no visits recorded in either view again. But, to start with the morning, I kept having weird dreams and waking up, but only needed to pee the first time and otherwise actually managed to get back to sleep quickly after either just checking the time or not getting out of bed at all. After finally getting up just before 1:40 PM, I left at 3:25 PM, first having a quick look in the nearby Mega Image and seeing that they seemed to be already out of the 2 kg bags of oranges that were supposed to be on sale starting that day, but thinking that it was just because that’s such a small store. However, after not seeing any when I also checked the much larger one next to the pharmacy, I realized that finding some was going to be a problem.
At least I could go right into the pharmacy after that, realizing that the line which had made me turn away and head into Mega Image when I got there wasn’t for what you can get yourself, so I stocked up on some things for dad, though the discount I had seen on-line wasn’t listed for some of them and I first asked an employee to confirm that it did indeed apply… And focusing on working up the courage to do that and hold it together once I did probably had a fair bit to do with why I somehow forgot the one thing I wanted to get for myself. Realized it after walking out, but didn’t want to go back in when you’re told to not spend more than 15 minutes there… And then I also somehow “managed” to knock most of the coins I had out of the pocket they were in, so after picking them all back up and counting carefully, I just wanted to get away from there.
The next planned destination, Auchan, wasn’t one I really needed to go to, the potatoes being only a little bit cheaper there than in quite a few other places, but since they’re mainly for dad and he only wants large ones, I also thought there was a better chance to find enough of those there that were nice enough, which proved to be the case. Then I went for the first time to that Profi that’s on the way to that Kaufland, for something for my mother, but that spot on the shelf was empty and I even asked an employee and she didn’t seem to know what I was talking about, though it had been the product advertised in their TV ad those days. I did later realize that I had misread the dates, the sale having ended the day before, but it was still odd that she seemed to have no idea. Either way, despite passing by that Profi whenever I used that route to or from that Kaufland and therefore knowing that if I turned around the right way, said Kaufland should just about be in sight, I guess I then somehow turned the wrong way and took a little while to realize it, so I had to get my bearings and eventually made my way to a main road some distance away.
That proved fortunate, however, since I found myself next to another Mega Image and decided to go in. I couldn’t spot the cabinets, which I later saw were around the corner, walking in with the backpack and the bag with the potatoes, and while at Profi, where I had done the same, nobody seemed to care, there the guard kept her eyes on me and even approached a couple of times as I circled around the fruits and vegetables several times, looking for those oranges, and also thoroughly searched the bin with those that were discounted due to starting to spoil. And that was probably why I only finally spotted the last two of those bags of oranges when I was about to give up, since they were actually near the entrance, where she was standing. But at least I did spot them and got the better one, muttering that I had searched everywhere for them, and then also decided to grab the handful of discounted carrots that were in that bin… Which for some reason prompted the guard to actually walk up and speak to me, so I had to quickly remove one of my headphones and ask her to repeat herself, though I still have no idea why she felt the need to tell me that they also had “good carrots, for a leu and something” when, after circling that area so many times, I had obviously noticed that, plus that “a leu and something” was in fact 1.99 RON. Either way, I told her I just wanted to add something to the oranges, then went to the checkout… Where, seeing as they charge for those discounted products separately, the cashier first scanned the oranges and looked at me expectantly until I paid for them, then she handed me 0.05 RON as change instead of 0.09 RON and, after also charging for the bag I was forced to use, the carrots being in it, asked for 0.70 RON for those, and I pushed back the coin she had given me and gave her 0.65 RON more, not arguing that I should have in fact given her 0.61 RON.
Though I finally had those oranges, since I went around that area on my way to Kaufland and spotted another Mega Image across the road, I decided to quickly check that one as well, not finding anything interesting… And then I also ended up just wasting time in that Kaufland, since I was mainly going there for the toilet paper that was on sale and couldn’t find any. So I decided to head to that newer one as well, eventually getting there well enough even though I had never used the direct route between the two and got a bit confused on the way. And that was the right choice, since I did find some there, so I got that and a couple of other things, then also went to Penny and got a couple of things from there as well.
Since at that point I didn’t yet know that I had misread the dates and passed by another Profi on the way back, I had a quick look in there as well, and when I saw that the price on the label was the regular one I asked an employee and she said that if the sale price wasn’t listed, the sale must be over. Then I also meant to just have a quick look in yet another Mega Image that was on my way, but the guard told me that I won’t be able to stuff everything I had in their cabinets, so I turned around and just continued on my way to the Carrefour from the park, just getting a small cabbage. The unpleasant part was that, with my gloves off, the velcro from my jacket’s left sleeve ended up scratching my hand a fair bit and I only realized it when I got out, and there are still marks and it still stings a little even now. But at least I was finally done with everything and got back here at 9:05 PM, having carried 16 kg, including clothes and the usual stuff in my pockets, which was a bit of a problem since all the purchases except those from the pharmacy were in the two bags I held in my hands, since everything seemed to fit really well in them when I left that newer Kaufland and by the time I realized that the weight was going to be a problem I decided that making proper use of the backpack probably won’t be worth the time needed to rearrange everything in order to do so.

Otherwise, actually ended up advancing a little bit in Lords of Xulima last Friday evening, when I also pushed to catch up on reading and make sure I’ll finish the next day, but then I set it aside again and once I did get back to Venetica, Sunday evening, so a day after finishing the book and posting the quick review, I actually kept playing. And while it seems wrong to add it here, at odds and ends, I will add that in between, last Saturday evening, I ended up sending another message to Andra on Goodreads, for the second time risking a block there as well… And at least I don’t seem to have been blocked because of it… So far…

That should and would have been everything if Liza wouldn’t have had other ideas today. Of course, this particular behavior is entirely dad’s fault, since he’s the one who taught the cats that he’ll carry them on his shoulders whenever they want to climb somewhere and even come right away when they call in order to get back on his shoulders to get down. In fact, he did it again right in front of me shortly after I woke up again, squatting on the hallway when Micky started meowing and circling him and repeatedly asking where did she want to go and telling her to climb on, though she didn’t exactly seem inclined to do so.
Back to the morning, I meant to wake up at 10:30 AM, to watch ski jumping and also glance at the Australian Open women’s final, but ended up getting up at 10:55 AM, since there was no alarm. I thought I had set it, and also that I had seen the alarm icon on my phone’s screen when I checked the time when I woke up to pee at one point, but I guess I was wrong, so I ended up missing a part of the ski jumping and quickly searching for a stream to see it, since it also included two of the Romanian jumpers.
Either way, since I had also eaten some pumpkin seeds towards the end, before getting back to bed after it was over I went to the kitchen to throw away the husks and also tell dad that I was going to get back to sleep, and since he had dumped some plastic things on the garbage bin, as he tends to do, I grabbed those in order to be able to raise the lid and then went to throw them in the bin for plastic and metal… Which brought me in Liza’s range, since she was on the heater, and she jumped straight on me, sort of going over my head to get on my back. And I was in my pajamas, which I definitely don’t want to get anything on, wanting them to be just for sleeping and something I feel clean and safe in. And I guess dad realized how angry I was when I swore and froze there, since he got up immediately, pulled her off me, took her to the living room and closed the door, but the damage was already done, and likely made even worse when he did that, since she had one claw in my shoulder, obviously going through my pajama shirt and the t-shirt underneath, and when he pulled her off it obviously left a little hole. There may be a few other tiny ones as well, since I thought I felt the tips of a few more claws on my skin, but that was the one I saw at a glance, and took a few minutes to sew it as well as I could right away. But, again, the damage was done…
Did get back to bed after that, but I was too angry, and that faint and elusive feeling of safety and control had been shaken as well, so I needed quite some time to be able to get back to sleep and didn’t stay asleep for long once I did, and now I know that those pajamas are also damaged, and that Liza had her paws which for all I know might have just been in the litter box on them and then I got back in bed wearing them. And, on top of that, after dad left and I was getting something from the fridge, she climbed on yet again, actually jumping right on me, grabbing on to my pants before climbing on my back, which also led to a few little scratches. At least that old training suit was already damaged by both of them climbing on in such a manner before, and I don’t treat it the way I treat my pajamas, but under those circumstances that made me really, really angry, so I chased her around for a while, until she got in the small bathroom and I could close the door to keep her away until I finished getting the food I wanted and taking it to my room… And then, I guess as revenge, I found that she had thrown up right on the side of Micky’s food bowl! Or at least I believe she did that, considering the food that was thrown up, though I didn’t actually see.

Written by Cavalary on February 20, 2021 at 7:01 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Charlotte Leaves Delain… Actually, Everyone Does

Charlotte announcing that she’s leaving Delain sure came as quite a shock, and the fact that everyone else is also leaving, Delain returning to just being Martijn‘s project, makes the reasons and the culprit very clear… And also makes it quite clear that, even if it may continue to exist in some form, Delain will likely become irrelevant, while I have no doubt that Charlotte will keep doing what she does, and being who she is, either on her own or as part of whatever other projects she’ll start or join, which may well end up being even better. I mean, the band’s sound made me largely lose interest in Delain after their early releases, the only thing that I still cared about being their message, and Charlotte wasn’t just the band’s voice and image, but also the lyricist, and I’d say even more than that, the one deciding and delivering the message of a band with things to say, a band known for supporting causes and tackling important issues.
That makes me wonder how much those causes and Charlotte’s stance on various issues had to do with this, and if that was Martijn’s problem and what he insisted on changing, there are worse things to accuse him of than simply pushing away bandmates. But I guess it doesn’t matter that much at this point, what interests me more being just how Charlotte will continue to use music to speak her mind and take a stance, meaning that, at least at first, I’ll probably be more interested in her future projects than I’ve been in Delain in a long time. That also brings a significant risk of disappointment, since she always struck me as a genuine, and genuinely nice, person. I’d even dare to say that she struck me as a good person, inasmuch as I could determine something like that from the occasional interview I happened to stumble upon and the lyrics that really seemed to express her views. So I’ll have pretty high expectations from this point of view from any solo releases or any projects she’ll clearly lead from now on.
Or, of course, I may just forget about it and only happen to listen to anything quite a long time after release, when I’ll more or less randomly happen to stumble upon it, as it’s been happening with Delain releases for quite a while. After all, I’ve only ever actively followed a few bands and artists, and after the situation with my Internet access changed the way it did at the start of 2020, this was one thing I almost completely did away with and I doubt that will change, and even more so that any change will mean starting to actively follow someone I might have been interested in but didn’t actually follow at all even before. But, even so, I’m sure I will learn of anything new coming from her sooner rather than later, at which point I’ll judge… And hope I won’t be too disappointed, I guess…

Written by Cavalary on February 15, 2021 at 8:38 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – XXVIII

Before looking at it as a way to throw another non-personal post here, I actually started thinking of adding another post in this series when I happened to stumble upon Elessär again and was surprised to not see them on the list, since I was certain I had listened to them before. So I searched, and found that I didn’t only listen to them before, but also included them in one of these posts! That was back in 2014, however, and probably before I started putting together even that first, simple, messy and quite useless, version of the list. That explained their absence from it, which I quickly corrected, but it left me without any starting point.

The list itself, or at least that version of it that I keep and which is ordered differently, provided one, however, reminding me of an actual new find, Taleteller. They’ve been around for several years, but I only heard of them over the past couple of months, with the release of their second album. I’ll keep it simple and just pick a song from it out of those they currently also have on their YouTube channel, going with Emerald Creek. They have everything on Bandcamp, however, and with the first album being in both places, I went through it and will go with A New Day to Me as the second pick. Both are rather different from their other songs, the vocals rather bothering me in most cases and the overall sound not being something I’m particularly keen on either, but I’m just posting what caught my attention, after all, not what didn’t, and these do show potential.

Another actual new find is Amaterasu, and with just three songs posted and one of them being seriously plagued by growls, my choice is very easy, having to go with Within His Sin and Black Ritual. Those are good songs, however, with strong vocals and overall sound and showing abilities and a level of confidence and even polish that I wouldn’t normally expect from new bands with so few songs. Those growls are worrying, but on Black Ritual they also show that they can use them in a reasonable manner, if they must use them at all, so it remains to be seen which way they’ll go.

Since mentioning Elessär again obviously doesn’t count and the band I actually first heard of last night just released their first song, so I can’t have two picks, this leaves me still needing a third to include here, and since I noticed that most of the others I was considering are from Italy, I’ll leave those for another post and go with Magica, which is a Romanian band that returned a couple of years ago after being inactive for several years. Out of their most recent releases, I’ll go with Blind as the first pick, while for the second I guess I’ll have to go with Entangled. It’s not what I’d have normally picked, but they lost my interest after Hereafter and wanting to stick to what’s officially posted seriously limits my choices, few of their earlier songs being posted separately and those not including my first few likely picks. Entangled is still one of the better ones, however, and now that I finally listened to the more recent releases as well, I can say that those are also getting me somewhat interested again. With most of the other Romanian bands which had caught my interest having split up, that’s something in itself.

Written by Cavalary on February 14, 2021 at 7:31 PM in Music | 0 Comments