Got out of bed around 12:45 PM today, meaning to start writing a post as soon as possible, since I had planned to write it yesterday and gave up. But, somehow, I’m starting it only now, at 5:40 PM. Admittedly, it was clear and quiet when I got up, so went to the kitchen, quickly looked through a couple of things that were there, made myself something to eat, took the stuff to my room around 2 PM and then ate while looking at things on-line, but this sure is a long delay. Not that it’s in any way unexpected, and at least I am writing it now instead of delaying it again.
To start with the good, this week’s run was Wednesday and I managed a new record for ten kilometers: 48:28! Four seconds better than the previous record may not seem much, but it sure counts, and even more so since it means getting below the 48:30 threshold. Was thinking back then that the 1:48 final sector managed then gives me a chance to do this, and lately I did learn just how and how much I can push to get under 1:45 on it if I really go for it every step of the way, obviously assuming I still have enough energy for such a push, and this is exactly what happened.
Sector times were 4:29, 5:12, 5:55, 4:26, 5:04, 5:56, 4:34, 5:06, 6:03 and 1:43, making for lap times of 15:36, 15:26 and 15:43. So the fastest ever second lap and matching the fastest ever third lap, but I also compared the sector and lap times to those managed at the time of that previous record, and that was a bit interesting. As I was running, I was thinking that the first lap’s second sector will cost me the chance to attack the record, but this comparison shows that wasn’t the problem, as I only lost then the three seconds gained over the first sector, probably as a result of pushing to just squeeze ahead of that little train pulled by a tractor just before it reached the bridge, as I was overtaking it on the inside and it was driving close to the wall, so I feared I’ll have no room to pass if I won’t get here first. As such, it can be said that the four seconds lost over the first lap were actually lost over its third sector, then they were gained back over the first two sectors of lap two. But the end of lap two saw me one second behind, which second was again lost over sector three. And sector three was the problem in lap three as well, the five seconds gained over sector two being lost there and leaving me still one second behind at the start of that short final sector. But five seconds better there meant four better overall.
The weather definitely wasn’t the best for such an attempt, with a reported temperature up to 30°C and some gusts of wind, but there were some clouds too and, of course, most of the route is in the shade, so it worked. Not that I actually meant to try it until after the first lap, but when I noticed that it might just be possible, I gave it a go. Didn’t actually believe I’ll manage it until after sector two of lap three though, but then I noticed that I had gained enough to make it all just about add up in my mind, so I just gave it my best shot and there it was.
Wednesday also marked something else though: It was the first day after seven full years when I didn’t add anything in my story. Had written two scenes before starting to write every day, so all this time I decided to take the start date as July 17, 2010 in order to make it easier to calculate the number of days of writing, but I actually started to write daily on July 19, 2010, so July 18, 2017 marked seven full years of daily writing. That was the deadline I had set for myself, aiming to drag this chapter on until that day, finish it then and then stop writing. And that was exactly what I did.
Interestingly, knowing I won’t have to do it anymore and just feeling, shall we say, unshackled of it produced a somewhat passable bit of text that evening. After barely writing a line or two most of the time lately, just pointlessly dragging on even more than before, wanting not to get to the end of the chapter before the deadline I had set, I managed over 400 words that evening, and it made some sense too, despite writing most of it while sort of watching, or mainly listening to, a match as well. It was a bit cut short, as dragging it on like this resulted in one of the longest chapters yet and I wanted to finish it without going past the end of the page, so had to make it fit, but it still seems noticeably less awful than what I’ve been adding for a long time. And it even ends with a bit of hope, for the characters at least.
The end of that chapter is just that, the end of a chapter, and probably a somewhat forced one at that, as it doesn’t quite follow the rules I had set for ending chapters. It’s not even the end of a part of the book, definitely nowhere near the planned end of the book itself, and let’s not even mention the entire story. But this is where I was and this is where I’m stopping and giving up. No idea what comes next, but I’m not struggling with it that way anymore. Struggling to keep at it daily would have probably never even have resulted in me adding another bit like this, much less anything actually worthwhile.
It’s not a clear decision to never get back to it, far from it, but I kept saying that the only thing keeping me going was that I just kept going, that I was adding something, however little and however pointless, every day, and that once I’ll skip a day it’ll be over, I won’t get back. That still seems likely, and I’d say I could deal with trying to edit it even less than I could with continuing to try to write. But I did start reading it from the beginning, albeit not even finishing the first chapter in two days now, and I mean to finally track the passage of time and figure out when seasons and the weather should be changing. But I’m making a point of forcing my brain out of “editing mode” and not making any changes, no matter how obvious the need may seem. Planning to not even correct typos, in case I’ll find any.
And while I’m at it, looked up the post in which I mention starting to write daily, though I don’t actually state what “other plan of mine” I’m talking about. Was saying there that, at that point, I had managed to keep posting on my blog according to the schedule I had set for over three years, so maybe I’ll manage something similar with this other thing as well. And in the end I kept at it for seven full years. But I’ve now been posting at least two posts per week on the blog for over ten years. Not that there’s any point in any of it. In fact, as I was writing a month later, “it’s really frustrating how I’m creating these schedules for myself, serving only to force me to do things I know I can’t do right, so only adding to the frustration and hopelessness and despair. Or, perhaps more often, serving to just keep me going from one point to another of the routine instead of just crashing and curling up in a ball in a corner, with my arms wrapped around myself and rocking back and forth, going completely insane as I feel I ought to, because this isn’t manageable in any way anymore…” Seven years later without the necessary miracle happening, it’s all obviously even less manageable than it was then. Maybe the pain is a bit duller on the average day, but only because that much more of me has died because of it since then.
Moving on to other matters, Tuesday I went to that farmers’ market again to use just about all of what little I had left to get some more apricots and green onions, plus this year’s first plums and some apples again. The apricots and green onions were planned, the plums so and so, as I meant to have a good look and decide there. The apples weren’t planned though, and while I had seen a few start to bring new ones lately and was considering having a look, I ended up buying them from the other sector, not the one for individual producers, and they definitely look standardized and one even had a little label on it, but they’re good, the price was good, and the tag claimed they’re Romanian, so I shouldn’t feel bad about it.
But I guess what I should be mentioning more is the fact that I kept my eyes out for cherry plums, in particular the yellow ones, on the way, after noticing before how full of fruit they are and how many of those fruit just fall and get squashed. Had grabbed just two cherry plums on the way once before, and Tuesday I grabbed five, despite meaning to get a few from each tree I passed by that I could grab some from. I just couldn’t get myself to stay there long enough and make the effort while being so visible, despite the fact that it’s just a complete and pointless waste if they’re not picked and eaten or otherwise used.
Didn’t leave it like that though, going back out Thursday. The first plan was to once again try using that machine for recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans that’s at the hypermarket I usually go to, because only two bottles and four cans had gathered and only two of the cans had been pressed, so that problem should have been avoided for the rest and I already knew it worked if they weren’t pressed. And it did work, so after wandering around and eventually also sitting for quite some time while others who had come with huge bags of bottles were using said machine, I put all of mine in, plus one more bottle which I had picked up off the pavement on the way. Yes, that means I could even make it accept the pressed cans by making them slide in, pushing them with a bit of force after the belt started, before it reversed. Seems like the machine will try to throw them out if it can, but if they end up inside, past the belt, it will recognize them. Couldn’t manage the same thing with the two bottles left by someone else there, which for some reason it considered “nonconforming” and threw out faster than I could push in, but those weren’t mine to begin with, so I took my 0.27 RON ticket and went into the hypermarket, wondering what I could do with it and the 0.74 RON I otherwise still had on me, 0.17 RON of which having been found on the floor as I was wandering around.
Well, in the end I decided to get a few cucumbers, the price for the quantity I put in the bag being 0.82 RON, so 0.55 RON plus the ticket. But I had no idea how to use the ticket and felt too awkward to go with just that ticket and coins to one of the cashiers where you can still pay directly, not using a machine after a person just scans the items, so I just tried to slide it into the slot for tickets even if that may be referring to a different kind of tickets and it didn’t give any sign of recognizing that something was there. I just pushed it all the way in and, with no reaction from the machine, simply lost it as a result, leaving me 0.07 RON short, as I had found one more 0.01 RON coin there. And I also couldn’t get the machine to accept three 0.01 RON coins, so I still had 0.10 RON to pay and no way to do it, leaving me with three options: Go back and explain I won’t be buying the cucumbers after all, somehow actually ask someone for 0.10 RON, or leave the machine blocked and wander around the area, openly searching for and gathering coins, since at least 0.01 RON ones tend to be left by people. And, while it made me very visible, at least this last option didn’t require me to speak, so that was exactly what I did, needing to go around twice before I found as much as I needed, as I came back the first time after I had enough in total but, while I could make the machine accept one of those three coins by throwing it in along with the new ones, it kept spitting the last two back out.
Either way, after that embarrassing situation, breathing a sigh of relief that I just noticed a guard keeping his eyes on me but nobody actually approached, I walked back, meaning to move on to the second purpose of the trip, which was to gather cherry plums, after having kept my eyes out for the trees on the way and having noticed that there were some that were easy to reach at the edge of the retroceded part of the park, so in an area where I won’t be so visible while gathering. And I eventually came back with just under 600 grams, most of them yellow but also some red ones, some picked from the park, some gathered from the pavement if they still looked very well after having fallen from trees lining the streets, some more from trees at the back of parking lots right here on the street, maybe just a few from trees lining the street itself.
Should have gathered way more, especially from the park, and I may well try again, but I still couldn’t persuade myself to stay and do what I meant to do where I could be visible otherwise, and in the part of the park I entered a fire had just started. It wasn’t right where I had entered the park and there were four trees right there that I could have gathered more from, but I ignored one because the fruit were purple, so I wasn’t quite certain about them, and then I still couldn’t quite persuade myself to stay in one place and seriously gather, feeling a need to move on and therefore needing to get back out so I won’t walk into the fire and the firefighters who had arrived there.
Otherwise, there was a moment, in front of a nearby clinic, when I approached a tree in order to gather a little and met eye to eye with a guy who for some reason had his shirt up and seemed about to piss, or at least I assume he was about to piss and not jerk off, on the other side of that green area. So I gave up on the tree and bent to pick a few off the pavement, so I won’t be looking right at the pissing, or probably pissing, guy, then kept walking, also going right past some, I assume, parents with their child, as they were asking him if what he needed was to pee or to poop. So I guess it’s quite clear what that green area’s used for, making it a good thing I picked the fruit off the pavement outside it. And would have wanted to try gathering from at least one other tree that was there, but an older man was already there when I got to it, gathering quite seriously, so I left him to it.
And it’s now over four hours since I started writing this post. Admittedly, also sort of watched a match and I’m starting to watch another just now, seeing as the Women’s Euro is taking place these days, and a bit earlier dad called me over for a bit, and considering the length of this post I’d have said that I wrote it quickly even if I’d have done nothing else during these just over four hours. But these pointless personal updates, these public diary entries if you will, do end up like this pretty much all the time, don’t they?
Oh, one more thing: I could continue playing Disciples I after the earlier problems, so I’m at the third scenario now, even though my mouse is definitely double clicking again. Maybe it’d have still worked even normally if I’d have been sufficiently patient, but I didn’t want to risk that again and I still don’t even now, though for some reason it starts quickly again. The way I’m doing it now is starting it directly from its main executable, not the GOG launcher, after disabling DirectDraw and DirectSound and selecting Windows 98 / Windows Me compatibility mode and all compatibility settings except 256 colors. How much of that is necessary, I don’t know, because it seemed not to work even this way, but it eventually started as I was looking through processes to see what was going on, and for a while that was how it worked, needing a few minutes to actually start. But, as I said, now it suddenly decided to start almost right away again, and I have no idea why. Not that I’m complaining. But no, as long as it works like this, I’m not going to try again to start it the way the GOG version would be supposed to be started.