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Just a Regular Update at 36

I guess I’m 36 now. Wonder how long it’ll take me to remember it, but maybe not too long, seeing as I was thinking to myself that the answer would have changed if they’d have called a day later when someone doing a survey woke me up yesterday, one of the first questions being my age. Not that a certain day matters, even if it means that this ball of rock and metal that we keep trashing as if we and all other species we share, or should be sharing, it with had plenty more to spare should be in the same spot on its lap around our local star as it was at the unfortunate time of my birth.

That’s all I’ll say about that, however, the rest of this post being just a regular personal update, albeit one posted with the time of the file, just to have it show up on October 15 even if I could only get on-line at night. And, speaking of that, I’ll again be spending a lot less time on-line for the next two weeks, since dad will again be working from home for this period, this happening very suddenly, seeing as he started last night and was only notified a few hours earlier, sending me an SMS to also let me know about it while I was out. And this comes right after a period during which he was leaving about an hour and a half earlier, so I’m going straight from having more time than normal every other day to having less, meaning I’ll need to cut much of what I’m still doing on-line again.

But let me start from the beginning, with Monday, when I got up at 2 PM, when the alarm rang, had the usual stuff plus almonds and baked pumpkin, with the yogurt being one of those better ones and the sweet thing those nicer biscuits with honey, drank most of the tea, put on the full running gear, not taking anything else with me, and went out at 4 PM. Also weighed myself before leaving, seeing 47 kg. Otherwise, the temperature was around 24°C, supposed to drop by 1-2°C by the time I’ll finish. Fortunately, while the forecast had changed the day before to list pretty strong wind, that wasn’t really the case while I ran. It was still windy at times, but nothing like I feared, and on laps three and four I wouldn’t say that the wind was a significant problem at all.
Covered a half marathon distance again, the time being 1:45:50, with sector times of 4:26, 5:06, 5:57, 4:33, 5:11, 6:02, 4:39, 5:11, 6:05, 4:42, 5:14, 6:05, 4:45, 5:22, 6:13, 4:48, 5:25, 6:12, 1:53, 6:03 and 1:58, making for lap times of 15:29, 15:46, 15:55, 16:01, 16:20 and 16:25, plus 9:54 for the final portion. Of course I was hoping to finally get back under 1:45, so the failure was disappointing, but it was clear from the very first lap, in fact after the first two sectors, that I had no chance, so I calculated target times in order to at least be faster than last time and stuck to them pretty much exactly for the rest of the six full laps, the one exception being lap four, when I wondered whether I could stay under 16 minutes for one more lap even though the target was 16:05 and ended up failing to do so and also losing a second over two laps, seeing as the initial target for lap five was 16:15. On the other hand, I never thought I’d be as fast as I was on that final portion, but when I found that I didn’t struggle up the stairs, on the bridge, I kept pushing… And ended up just two seconds shy of the record for that portion, without even realizing it until I got back and typed the times. If I’d have realized how close I was, maybe I’d have managed to gain a few more seconds on the final sector, but I wasn’t calculating anymore at that point.
In terms of problems, it was rather windy on parts of the first two laps, but then the wind died down and only picked back up on sector three of lap five, several other windy areas following after that, all the way to the end, though at least this time around I didn’t have to fight the wind on those sector two straights anymore. Otherwise, the knee was fine until the start of lap five and only gave some little warnings after that point, and I felt gas and quite a pressing need on sector three of lap two, making me think that I was going to have a rather serious problem, but the feeling soon went away and, while said pressing need returned at various moments after that, it wasn’t nearly as bad and therefore not much of an issue. Also, while I felt a bit of runner’s high on sectors one and two of lap three, when that feeling went away it wasn’t replaced by exhaustion. As for problems caused by people, had a roadblock very quickly, I think on the first sector, when three groups were passing each other just when I also reached that spot, but then I only had to briefly stop again on sector three of lap four, after a little silly dance with a cyclist, and twice more on sector one of lap six, first because of a misunderstanding with another cyclist and then because of another roadblock. For a good part of the time, however, there weren’t that many people, so there was some weaving and going the long way around, and maybe slowing a little bit a few times, but the only other issue that might have had a noticeable effect was at the start of the final sector, when I was going up the stairs and three people were ahead of me, completely blocking the way, and I think I slowed as I was trying to figure out how to get through before one realized that somebody was coming and stepped aside, so I wonder what the final portion’s time would have been without that problem.

After getting back, I changed, grabbed what I needed and the plastic and metal and went back out just after 7 PM, dropping those recyclables off in a bin on the way to the Carrefour from the park. The plan was to then go to that Kaufland as well, which was why I hadn’t taken anything with me and came back first, but in the end I decided against that, just getting what I meant to get from Carrefour, minus almonds, since I couldn’t find any of those that were on sale, but plus some pastry that seemed to be on an unannounced sale. Had to wait for several minutes to get that pastry though, a single employee again seeming to need to cover the confectionery and bakery and pastry areas and having a few customers at the confectionery area when I got there. But things went fine otherwise and I was back at 8:50 PM, having that pastry before finally showering. Obviously made mamaliga again that night, though that meant I only started eating at 2 AM… And got in bed at 5:30 AM…

Moving on to yesterday, as I already mentioned, a call woke me up at what I see was 1:22 PM, and with the alarm set to ring at 2 PM, I stayed up after that. That proved a good thing, since the call lasted 16 minutes, so it can be said that I was up 22 minutes before the planned time, yet still left almost 15 minutes later than planned, just before 3:45 PM. That was important, since the current circumstances mean that making an appointment to visit the Bucharest exhibition of the Museum of Broken Relationships is strongly recommended and I had done so, selecting 4:30 PM, but I had allowed myself some margin and ended up being only five minutes late, and that was after getting a little confused at one point and losing a few minutes because of that. Should also mention that I only noticed after making that appointment that the exhibition was extended for another week, so I would have been able to go next week as well, but things will only get worse anyway.
About the exhibition, I’m going to say that the objects and stories are all over the place, including some relationships with family members, some ended with death, friends or even one’s home country. But what I didn’t expect, and what I definitely spent most time on, was the room with black walls and messages written on them, and also on a board that was placed there. The messages were of all sorts, from heartbreaking or heartwarming to brutal or disgusting, some also being directed at the other visitors, and I took my time trying to read them all, including those written on the ceiling, or behind the armchairs or couch, or scribbled on the board or on the smaller slips of paper stuck to it. The three other visitors who were there at the same time reached that room while I was there, but the two girls quickly turned around and moved on to other areas when they saw me there, then seemed uncertain what to do when they returned and saw that I hadn’t yet left, one eventually asking the other whether she wanted to leave and apparently doing so after only a quick look. The older woman, on the other hand, arrived there as I was finishing with that room and we didn’t really get in each other’s way. And yes, I did leave a message as well, when I was sure I was alone: “15 years since you left. In what I feel and what I desire, nothing has changed.” I didn’t see chalk, so couldn’t add it in that manner, and also couldn’t find any more of those pink slips of paper that were stuck to the board, but some had written on the board itself and I did that as well, using the pencil I had with me.
What’s unfortunate is that I had meant to take the camera and forgot, so I only had my phone and the pictures I took aren’t exactly usable… And those made of that room are almost completely useless, the poor light meaning that hardly anything is visible. But there was nothing else to do at that point, so after looking at and reading everything, I went to the bathroom and then left, at 5:25 PM. Can’t really say how I felt at that point, but I’m glad I went there, knowing I’d have seriously regretted missing such an opportunity.

From there, I also went to the central location of the Metropolitan Library, since it’s not far and both books I meant to borrow were listed as available there. However, after taking less than 15 minutes to get there, I waited for almost 20 only to eventually be told that they just couldn’t find one. And I had to wait outside as well, as people aren’t allowed in, the other guy who was at the door when I got there letting me know. So after a little while someone came to ask what I wanted, I told her that the first issue was the site stating that my pass was expired even though it shouldn’t be and then handed her the slip of paper with the titles and authors of the two books, she said the pass needs to be verified at least once per year, so they’ll do that then, asked whether the site listed the books as available and, after I confirmed, left with my pass and the slip of paper… Only to return a moment later to ask what was written on said slip of paper, because they couldn’t understand my handwriting. After I told her, she went back in… And the guy who seemed to be handling this eventually handed me just one book, saying that they just couldn’t find the other one, and agreeing that it should be available but saying that it’s probably misplaced.
I was also thinking of getting myself another piece of carrot and orange pie from that place I got one from a while back, seeing as it’s only a few steps away from there, but had only taken a small amount of money with me and doing so would have left me without enough for almonds, in case I’d have found some on the way back, meaning to at least check that Carrefour at Unirii, if not some Carrefour Market spotted on the way as well. On the other hand, I also considered rushing to the other Library location I knew listed both books as available, that actually being the one I had initially meant to get them from, but wasn’t really sure I knew how to get there right away and time would have been really tight even without any risk of getting confused on the way, so I gave up on that idea as well and first stopped for a quick look through a used books store, which was where I was when I received that SMS from dad, and then went to that Carrefour at Unirii. Still didn’t find those almonds, and that was the last day of the sale, so I guess they ran out of them quickly, even if they’re their own brand, but found a couple of expiring things I could use, some cheap apples that were bagged and priced as if about to spoil but nevertheless looked quite nice, that cashier not charging me for the bag they were in, and also some bread, spending that small amount I had with me almost entirely. Then I just walked back, getting here at exactly 8 PM.

As for today, after receiving a notification that it was the day when they’ll have a 5% discount on all products, on top of any other applicable discounts, I went to the Auchan from Vitan, deciding to stay up when I woke up to pee at 11:50 AM and leaving at 1 PM. Did check that Carrefour from the park first, looking for eggs and checking the prices of a few things, to compare, but everything was either more expensive or not available, so I didn’t get anything and kept going to Auchan, ending up getting everything I wanted and a few additional things from there. Was worried about a few things, considering ordering them on-line before leaving and then just picking them up when I’ll get there, but those I was most interested in and concerned about were those I wanted to select myself, so I didn’t, and that ended up being just fine… Or maybe even better than fine, since the stock of cloves was listed as limited on the site and just when I was searching for them someone else asked an employee to help her find the same thing, and after looking around for a while the employee said they don’t have any left… Yet she pointed out the spot where they should have been, where something else had been placed, and while she removed the first box of those other spices in order to look behind it, after she and the other customer left I removed the box behind it as well, stuck my hand in and managed to find the last of the cloves thrown back there. After making sure that the other customer had left, I even went to that employee and told her that I just needed to search a little harder, showing her my “prize”.
Another interaction was with an older woman who saw me picking up regular popcorn when she was looking at the microwaveable one and asked how I make those and whether it all pops properly, seeming really interested in the details while I was increasingly surprised, having expected an older person to know how to actually make popcorn in a pot and possibly have questions about microwaving it and not the other way around. But I told her what I could before I felt too much of a need to get away, and eventually made my way to the checkout, where it took me a while to place everything on the belt, considering how many items I had. The cashier started to scan well before I finished and then waited for me for quite a while to get everything back in the bags, so I even apologized to her and to the next customer for making them wait, but that was the end of it, the additional discount being applied properly and the machine used to pay working just fine. Did take quite a few more minutes to properly place everything in the bags and backpack, but once I did it wasn’t hard to walk back, even if I carried 20 kg, getting back here at 4:25 PM. I’m not sure how I’ll manage to run tomorrow after this, because I do mean to do so, before things get even worse around here, but I guess I’ll see what happens.
Oh, I’ll also mention here that Micky snuck in my room soon after I got back, when I had just dashed in to check something and hadn’t closed the door behind me, and of course she went right under the desk as soon as she realized I saw her, but this time around she tried to get behind the UPS, and then over it and into the desk, and since she couldn’t fit it was easy to grab her and take her out. She did try to grab on to anything she could when I did that though, and I didn’t get down there again to check the cables, so I hope she didn’t move anything in a way that will cause any problems.

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