This will be another huge post, and I’ll actually start with the odds and ends, since leaving the important stuff for the end will ensure that I’ll put all of it in one post, even if I’ll write it over multiple days, since I have no buffer anymore and the week’s second post will be the obvious one, so unless I’ll manage to squeeze a non-personal one in between, I’ll need to use another one of those old book reviews to buy myself some more time even without yet another personal post before then, and three of them in the same week. Then again, starting with the odds and ends also pretty much means going through things chronologically, Saturday being the exception, so I’ll start with that in order to really go chronologically after it.
One thing that happened Saturday was that I received a 20% gift code from this store I prefer to buy books from. They had posted a review contest the previous day, asking for reviews in Romanian to be posted, and I asked whether they had line or paragraph breaks now, since when I tried to copy mine before they just showed up as a wall of text and I didn’t leave any there as a result. And to test that, since the boss replied to say we could try and see and figure something out of it doesn’t work, I translated and posted the one for Dragon of Ash & Stars, which shouldn’t have been entered in their contest, since that required reviews for books ordered from them. But I then received an SMS from the boss, with that code, supposedly for helping them like this, and since I felt rather guilty for it I have since then also translated and posted those for Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis and The Slow Regard of Silent Things, the latter revealing another issue I let them know about, on top of the fact that there are still no line or paragraph breaks. Since they also seem to offer the equivalent of a 1 RON discount for each review they approve, I’m feeling I’d be taking advantage of them by posting more, but at the same time I’m going through the trouble of translating these, while I see one-line reviews popping up now from others…
On the other hand, when I was taking some jars out of the refrigerator as I was getting ready to eat at night, I hit two of them against each other. Thought I had hit them quite lightly, but it’s likely that the bottom of one was already cracked all around, and I believe that I had thought so before, possibly even asking my mother when she was here at some point, but had eventually decided that it just looked that way and kept using it… Until then, because I heard a crack and found that the bottom of that jar had snapped off completely. Good thing I held it in a way that meant it didn’t fall on the floor, and I could hold both the bottom and the rest of it, taking it to the kitchen and taking everything that was in it out, first into a bowl and then putting it in another jar. I was worried about glass shards at first, of course, but it seemed to have snapped off very cleanly, and I put the parts back together a few times, before and after washing them, and again when I put it away the next day, and they seemed to fit perfectly, with nothing whatsoever seeming missing or loose, and I also found nothing while trying to look through what was in it, so I kept eating it.
Otherwise, the timed squats during this period were 2:21 on September 15, 2:23 on September 17, 2:19 on September 18, 2:15 on September 19, 2:26 for the second series done on September 21, the first making up for skipping the previous day and being untimed, 2:25 on September 22 and 2:23 on September 24. And while I’m at things spread over multiple days, also noticed a few more double middle clicks, but on the other hand I’ve been starting to be able to wear the new headphones longer and with a fair bit less pain. Also started wearing them somewhat looser, and it’s definitely still a problem and I change the position of my glasses after a while, in part due to being worried of the effects of them pressing so hard on my head in those areas, but it is an improvement and I guess it’s only likely to get even better in time.
Oh, I seem to have one more thing to add here, for Tuesday, since I just went to put the whites in the washing machine and when I added the disinfectant, thinking to make some more use of it, it just flowed right out, being very liquid. Had noticed something odd last time, with water left in those compartments and the one for softener looking very dirty after my mother was here for a while again, but didn’t really think much of it until now. But now that I took those compartments out to wash them, I saw a lot of detergent in the softener compartment, and I wonder if something’s again very wrong or she accidentally put detergent there. The compartments are arranged the same way they were on the old one, which was taken there, but who knows, maybe she was in a hurry and thought they were arranged differently, and mixed things up. Guess I’ll see what happens next. But it is odd, since the old one had also started having water in that softener compartment, and it wasn’t a case of detergent being there then.
To finally get back to the beginning of the period covered by this post, on September 16 Neverwinter Nights crashed as I was saving but remained on the display and I had to use Ctrl+Alt+Del and start Task Manager from that screen to be able to close it, as I couldn’t see or switch to the desktop otherwise. I seem to remember this happening before, including the fact that the save I was overwriting then vanished, but I had only taken a few steps that day, so I could just restore the one that was backed up and continue. However, that made me have a look through event logs and I noticed that I did continue to start Neverwinter Nights after finishing Hordes of the Underdark, so it is indeed likely that I moved on to Kingmaker right away, at the end of August 2016. Either way, it was certainly no later than at the beginning of September, but if I’m trying to dig up dates, being completely uncertain about the month wouldn’t have really allowed me to add anything more than the year.
The next morning I had an awful dream. I was again at my grandparents’, as it usually happens in such dreams, and I had been taken there and was spiraling further down into a really bad place as my parents kept pushing me to behave differently. I was trying to get away from them, to escape, always on the move, running around the yard, ending up in places where spiders could be… I remember wanting to go back inside to take a book, but deciding against it in order to avoid them, and breaking through the fence to end up in the neighbor’s yard when they gave chase, with my mother coming there after me and somehow catching me as I was trying to climb the neighbor’s fence to reach the street. Fought loose and went back, but she wanted me to go to a psychologist, so I tried to climb my grandparents’ fence and reach the street from there, but she caught me again and I almost impaled myself on the spikes that are on top of it. Fought loose again, but somehow went back again, and inside, and put on a very thick jacket despite not being cold.
I was in the kitchen and just kept saying “no” and “never” over and over and my mother pushed the phone at me to make me talk to the psychologist that way, then she left and dad came in and I wasn’t able to get the phone away from my hand, kept repeating those words until I eventually did manage to throw it away. Dad took it then, to talk to that woman, and I heard her say that something would help me in multiple ways and I realized what she was talking about and asked if they’ll drug me again, and dad said “what else can we do if you won’t have it otherwise” and I saw someone with a syringe.
So I ran again, climbed the fence again, running past my mother who was on the sidewalk that time, talking to someone else, crying and crying out for help, first for some reason saying “save the children” before realizing I wasn’t one and shouting “save people from other people” instead. I was so hot inside that jacket, and exhausted, but so desperate to still be myself, to just be left with my grief… But the thing is, I woke up at that point and couldn’t remember what I was grieving. I mean, I assume it was about Andra leaving, but remembered all those details about the dream yet didn’t remember what it was actually all about. I guess it means they had succeeded in wiping it from my mind? Shudder to think of that…
The following day I left around 2:15 PM, but was struck by the smell of gas as I went out the door. Called dad and asked him to smell it as well, but that was about it, so I was left worrying about it until I got back, though at least the smell seemed gone by then. Either way, I was going to Carrefour and Kaufland, and also took out the plastic, which I put in the bin, and some other things I finally got around to taking to the bins that are at Kaufland. And I tried to find a somewhat shorter way to that Kaufland, for such times when I want to go there first, but couldn’t find a way through, so I lost a fair bit of time going back and forth and eventually ending up back on the usual route that takes me to the mall that Carrefour is in first, going around it for Kaufland. Still, that meant I was on that road between the National Arena and that mall when trucks were still loading up the trees which had just been cut, the authorities so blatantly continuing their war against trees and nature, clearing pretty much that entire stretch. Maybe they’re replacing some of those old trees with some little saplings, but even in that case, those are of a different species and won’t match the size and benefits of the old ones for decades to come, if they’ll even survive at all.
That made my mood even worse, and once I got to Kaufland I also saw that they didn’t have any more of those treats that Liza is addicted to. Dad had told me to get some more, but I looked through and behind all the boxes and found all other types, but not the one they want for her. And then, when I went to get some spices that I noticed we’ll be running out of, I saw that the actual price of one was higher than the listed one. An employee with a lot of price labels came to that area as I was trying to work up the courage to say something to the other one who was nearby, so I told her about it and she checked, but just put that wrong price label in a vertical position, not even removing it completely from the shelf, and walked away… And I still bought that thing, since it was still a fair bit cheaper than the same thing from other brands. And also managed to properly use the self-checkouts, since I noticed that this location had them now as well and I knew how to look for those that also accepted cash. The one I used also reactivated the scanner much faster after the item was placed on the scales, so I didn’t have to keep waiting like that, though I had to place one of the spices three times on the scales, until I put it there very gently, I guess the low weight making the force of it striking the scales as I was dropping it be too large by comparison and leading to the machine assuming it had been taken off a moment later. By the time I finished, a few girls were standing next to me and telling each other to watch me and learn how to use the machine. If they’d have known the mess I made of it that first time…
Went to Carrefour after that, put the stuff in one of the cabinets… And at some point lost the other bags from my back pocket. And I had taken two pretty good ones that time. I think I checked again as I was entering Carrefour and they were still there and I didn’t take anything out of that pocket or even bend down while I was inside, so I have no idea what happened, and I was completely unaware of it as I got a few things from there. Wanted another cabbage as well, but all of it looked bad, so I got two beets instead, then got to checkout and found that I had no bags, struggling to carry the stuff back to the cabinet in my hands and trying to figure out how to use that one bag for everything. Tried to rearrange things outside, which was a bad idea due to the wind that was making it hard to hold on to the bag and threatened to blow the spices away as well unless I placed them under something heavier, but I eventually settled for putting everything else in the bag and holding the toilet paper with the other hand. And, to also add this here, that morning I went to bed at 4:40 AM.
Last week’s run was Thursday, September 19, the time being 47:37.77, with sector times of 4:20.59, 5:04.35, 5:53 (5:52.36), 4:26 (4:25.80), 4:58.63, 5:49 (5:48.61), 4:24 (4:23.66), 5:00.87, 5:53 (5:52.26) and 1:50.64, making for lap times of 15:17.30, 15:13.04 and 15:17 (15:16.79). Since I needed to go earlier, had set the alarm at 11 AM, but woke up on my own at 10:54 AM. Had honeycomb again, but also those rice things, and left just before 12:50 PM, after fixing that hole in the pocket of my pants. Unfortunately, I only realized once I was done that I stood in an uncomfortable position while doing so, which led to my leg muscles not being happy, which obviously worried me. It was still a bit windy as well, and also found a fair number of people in the park, the only good thing being that it was much cooler. As such, was tempted to just aim to stay under 48:30 and was worried even about that, as it was rather difficult at first, and after also deciding to take it a bit easier early on, that first lap didn’t look good. But then I pushed more and it was no problem to stay well under 48 minutes again at the end, that first lap actually ending up being the slowest one, though if you just look at the seconds the third was equal to it.
While I’m at it, this week’s run was Monday, the time being 47:24.11, with sector times of 4:15.37, 4:58 (4:57.69), 5:50.54, 4:23 (4:22.92), 5:01.32, 5:56 (5:55.78), 4:28 (4:27.42), 5:09.02, 5:41.56 and 1:43 (1:42.49), making for lap times of 15:03.60, 15:20.02 and 15:18.00. Had slept poorly for the first few hours, having scary dreams about health problems, but it was better after that. Still felt tired, and I also learned that we’ll have no hot water until at least Thursday, so including Thursday, but it still seemed lukewarm and I stuck to the plan, hoping to still somehow manage to take a quick shower after getting back. And I actually did manage that, first just leaning over the bathtub to wash my hair with water that was mostly cold, but then noticing that it was getting warmer, jumping straight in and getting it done, getting a bit more used to it and also figuring out just how long to let it run, since the temperature seemed to increase up to a point and then drop again if it continued to run.
Getting back to the run, went out at 2:55 PM and the weather was nice, with little wind and a good temperature. There were some people in the park, but they didn’t cause notable problems, only requiring some weaving or going on the outside in some spots. Perhaps a worse issue was that I was finding it rather hard to focus, but I nevertheless tried a more controlled early part and was still faster than I thought I’d be, so I sort of thought to aim to stay under 47:30 after the first lap. The second one didn’t go as planned though, and in its first sector my right knee also started hurting, but it got better after a while. The left one bothered me a bit as well, on the third lap, but not much, and I’m not particularly concerned that it’s happening again, not after Thursday and Friday. So I pushed harder on lap three, and while sector two didn’t look good, I really went for it on sector three and managed a great time, aided in part by seeing a guy in a Bucharest Marathon t-shirt ahead of me as I was approaching the end and really pushing to overtake him. It’s actually possible that I lost a second or so at the end of the sector, as my mind was still on him despite having gotten ahead of him a bit earlier and I think I stopped for a moment to be able to focus again and hit the interval button, but I then recovered and kept pushing on that final sector as well, managing a great time there too, despite the person who was just standing at the top of the stairs, which led to me needing a moment to decide which way to choose to go around her. At the start of sector three of lap three, I wasn’t thinking that staying under 47:30 was still possible, but then, after it, it seemed like I might just have a chance, barely, and in the end I actually managed it with over five seconds to spare.
Getting back to last week’s run, it had to be earlier because I was going back to the Botanical Garden, having listed myself as getting there at 4 PM. I initially thought I’ll be helping Eszter again, as she was also listed, but when I checked again after waking up I saw that she had moved herself to the next day, so I thought I was going to be alone and was wondering how I’ll manage it this time. However, as I was getting ready to leave I ended up wondering whether I’ll be going at all, since I saw another one of those errors and wondered whether Anca had sent a message, this possibly being the reason Eszter had changed the day as well. But there was no reply right away when I sent Anca a message on Facebook and, after turning the phone off and then on again, I saw a message about something else I had signed up to take part in the next day, so assumed the error had been caused by that one and left. The delay made me run late, as I was only out the door after 3:15 PM, and when I also just missed the metro and had to wait five minutes for the next one I didn’t think I’ll get there on time, but I nevertheless did manage to be at the gate right at 4 PM.
Well, apparently there was something going on that day, Anca being there with people from a company, and she later said that they’ll be there the following day as well, but apparently not Saturday, even though that was when she had listed the activity as taking place in the file. But that was no reason for me to not be there, as they weren’t going to water the plants, so she “recruited” a man to help me with the hose and went back to the others… And I rather ended up making things harder for that man, since he certainly seemed to know how things were supposed to be done better than me. He did agree that the hose was rolled the wrong way around, which had also been my impression, but we managed well enough for the first part, yet when it came to the second I messed things up and he eventually sorted it out while I just pulled on the other end, with a girl also helping, probably after he had asked her to do so. When I finally got back after turning on the water and sorting things out at that end, so the hose won’t bend too tightly, I found that he had even started watering, but then he did pass me the hose and went back to the others.
The water pressure was good, so after that I just did my thing until I reached that central area and Anca came to ask how was it going and tell me a few things about what was going on. And then, after I finished with that central area and she came back to ask me to water some empty areas more, since they were going to plant something there the next day, she also asked whether I wanted a sandwich, asking which kind and saying she’ll bring me both if I don’t choose. Actually, even after I did choose she asked whether I didn’t actually want both, mentioning that they were small, but when I refused she did indeed just bring one of those, which I quickly ate before continuing, until I reached the point where the two halves of the hose are joined.
At that point she asked how was it going again, seeing me struggle to pull back the hose, and I asked whether we should split it again. However, that better water pressure made it quite a problem, since she agreed but then all we managed while trying to put the end on that first half of the hose was to get wet, so she eventually went to turn the water off… And then had to do it again, since something had messed up, I couldn’t put it on and she assumed I had and turned the water back on after a little while. When I showed her the problem, she asked whether I had a key and sorted it out with that, making me wonder how come I hadn’t thought of that, but at least that meant I could fix it in place when she turned the water off again, and then I could finish, turning the water off just before 6:30 PM, when she was telling the others to get ready to gather the equipment.
Started rolling the first hose and she came to help me after a bit, and after moving to the second one that man came to help again, and again I ended up helping him, and not much at that, as he did most of the work. So that was done relatively quickly and I was actually thinking of grabbing another sandwich then, especially since someone asked who wanted more, since there were plenty left, but decided to first take that second part of the hose back to the gift shop and wash my hands first, and when I came out Anca said she was getting ready to end the evening with the others and asked whether I was done, and also whether I’ll come next Thursday as well, saying she’s getting ready to schedule the cleaning events and would like to take the availability of those of us who volunteered during this period into account. But I didn’t give her a clear answer, and that’s a good thing, since it’s likely to rain and therefore rather pointless to go. So I ended up leaving just before 6:55 PM, giving up on the idea of picking another sandwich, though they had been brought there as well, and there were indeed plenty left. It obviously wouldn’t have been any problem, but I just couldn’t get myself to stick around. And that also meant I caught the metro well, and then I pretty much ran back here, arriving at 7:35 PM and rushing to take a quick shower, managing to just get out of the bathroom as the match started.
But the most important part has to do with Friday, September 20, when I took part in the climate march. Already posted about the event itself, so this will just be about the personal aspects, starting with the fact that I again woke up just before the alarm, 12:58 PM instead of 1 PM. Planned to leave at 3:15 PM and, despite being a few minutes late, still got there at 3:55 PM, the changed start location meaning I walked and actually didn’t have the metro card with me at all. What I did take with me, on the other hand, was that green thing which would normally go on my wrist, to wipe sweat with, but which I placed up on my arm when I got there, using it as an armband, since I had seen a message from the organizers asking participants to wear green.
Well, that caused an uncomfortable moment as soon as I reached the start location and was using my phone to make a note of the time, saving it as a draft message with no recipient and losing the similar message I had saved with the instructions for reaching the other place I meant to go to after the march, forgetting that only one draft per recipient is saved, and all messages with no recipient entered are considered as being for the same recipient. But that wasn’t the problem, as I remembered that information well enough. The problem was that a gendarme approached me as I was still looking at the phone and asked me to tell the other participants to move to the designated area and not stay behind me. When I looked at him in confusion and said I’m also just a participant myself, he pointed to that green thing and said he saw the armband and assumed I was an organizer, and when I said we had just been asked to wear green he probably took it as confirming his assumption, since he said that perhaps the organizers gave me a task in that case, and to just tell people that the organizers say to not stay there. But he left after that, not sticking around to see whether I will do as he asked, and I obviously didn’t, instead quickly removing that thing and stuffing it in a pocket and moving away from that spot, starting to take pictures, which I continued to do during the actual march.
As I already mentioned in the other post, after reaching the Ministry it was hard to move around, being split in two groups and with people packed as they were in the fenced area, though I eventually did switch sides and also spent a little time outside the fenced area, next to others who were taking pictures, until those without a press badge were asked to get back behind the fences and I did so, returning to the side I had been caught in the first time. Did wander around a while longer after the end of the protest was announced and the fences were removed and people started scattering, making it much easier to move, but couldn’t really find anything else of interest, and eventually walked away at 6:25 PM.
Fortunately, the place I had to get to after that was very close, and I was actually there in about five minutes, but only walked in at 6:45 PM, following two other guys, after having wasted some time wandering around the area, since we had been asked to arrive at 7 PM and I didn’t want to be that early. The location was the headquarters of an NGO I wasn’t even aware still had a stable one in Bucharest, the listed one being in Cluj, but they obviously do have one and they had asked people to help them pack the “recycling kits” they were going to send people. Now those “kits” only consist of five identical sheets of paper with information about recycling, so the recipient will be able to hand some to friends or place them in multiple places, six stickers, one for each of the three categories of waste that can be recycled, one for the rest, and two promoting recycling and using less plastic, respectively, and three light reusable bags, mainly meant for fruits and vegetables, so you won’t get plastic bags whenever you purchase some. And I guess it’s these bags that most people signed up for, or perhaps the simple fact that it’s something given away for free, because the person who was there said that they had expected about 1000 requests and ended up with 8000 before pulling the plug and telling any others who kept sending requests that there are no more kits available. As such, while their first problem is being able to pay for all these materials and have them delivered, they also need some volunteers to take a few hours and actually create the kits, placing the proper items in the envelopes and checking the recipients off the list.
Only a small part of the kits were going to be made that evening, 400 in fact, as they only had 1200 of those bags at that point and that was the limiting factor, but even so the message that was sent, stating that eight volunteers should get it done in less than two hours, was too optimistic. Not that we didn’t finish in less than two hours, but it wasn’t much less than two hours and I counted 17 people who came, though that did include three children who only helped a little bit with the stickers at first and then came by now and then to take away the box when it was filled with envelopes. The girl who was there was confused by the numbers though, since she said fewer had signed up and she expected less to come, not more, especially since the exact address was only in the e-mail sent to those who had signed up, only the street being listed in the form itself.
Either way, on top of the snacks they had, someone brought two big brownies, which were sliced in pieces… And which were really good. I had three pieces, plus some snacks and two glasses of mint water, probably munching on more things than any except the children, since I ended up working on a corner of the table the snacks were on. Had taken a spot at the main one at first, but to group the stickers as needed for each kit, and with that being the easiest thing and three of us doing it, plus at least one child helping too at first, we ended up with a lot of piles of stickers while all others needed help, so a woman who had moved to the snack table to fold the sheets of paper, having too little room at the main one, asked me over to help separate them, since she was folding two at once. I was slow at first, struggling to pull them aside and having her help with that too, counted wrong once as well and she had to point it out to me, as I’d have passed on six to be placed in one kit, and even though I got better after a little while I was still falling behind her. But eventually she moved back to the table, in the spot where that child used to be, and switched to putting the items in envelopes, and after going to help her there as well for just a few moments, only filling two or three envelopes, and taking a full box away, I got back to the snack table and started folding those papers, even though I had first told myself that I won’t do that, as I thought I’ll mess up too much. But, while they didn’t look too nice, I was doing well enough, and it also meant that I just did my thing, on my own, helping without really having anything to do with the others, so I just kept doing that until the end, and occasionally grabbed something off the table…
It was 8:45 PM when we finished, so imagine how long it’d have taken if we would have really been just the eight they had asked for. Still, the girl who was there was saying that we should perhaps stick around a while longer, socialize, finish the snacks, not only be there to work, but people started leaving quickly and I did so as well, just after 8:50 PM, being back here at 9:45 PM. What’s unfortunate is that, when the issue of recycling glass came up, as that’s actually quite a problem at the moment, the woman who brought those brownies said she makes a lot of jams, and in some years other things too, though probably not this year, and therefore has use for as many jars, and possibly also bottles, as people have to give her, and some did get her contact information to do just that, while I obviously didn’t ask but thought it’ll be enough that I saw her name on the list made for the kits taken by those of us who volunteered, since pretty much each of us took one, since we were there. However, I didn’t write it down and after getting back here I found that I couldn’t really remember it, and couldn’t find anyone who seemed to be her after looking up the names I thought were possible, and I guess the message I sent that girl to ask her about it ended up being filtered, as it doesn’t show up as having been read yet and I obviously got no reply. Then again, she sent an e-mail to ask us to fill a little survey about that evening now, so I was thinking to reply to that and ask that way again, but I didn’t yet, as I’m thinking I may just go there again and have another chance to find out directly, since she said they’ll be doing this every Friday until they’ll finish with the kits, which at this rate will only be at the end of January. But that may take a while, as she also said they’d rather not have the same people come every time, so those of us who came then shouldn’t also come this week.