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Fresh Air for Heart, Mixers for Cans, Plus Books, Purchases and Colectiv

Last Saturday I again felt repeated irregular heartbeats when I woke up as dad kept coming and going in the morning, and that bone spur in my back definitely was stuck in a bad position, so I tried snapping it out of it and things seemed better once I partially managed to do so, but later that day it happened again, with that bone spur again feeling like it was in a bad position, at which point I had to struggle to hold off the panic attack that tends to be associated with this as well. So I decided to go out after dad got back and I put away what he brought, leaving just after 8:25 PM and thinking to take it easy at first, but after a few steps deciding I wanted to get to Penny well before 9 PM, just in case they had changed the schedule back and closed at 9 PM again, and see whether the potatoes that were on the weekend sale were large enough for dad to want some.
Despite rushing a little and the mask, the fresh air seemed to work even better than I hoped and I felt just fine while I was outside, and nothing seemed wrong while I was at Penny either, getting potatoes and some black radishes. I was still fine even when I had to get back inside after checking the receipt once I got outside and noticed that the cashier had selected beets instead of black radishes, which were a bit more expensive. When I pointed it out to her, she said they were the same price, but I said they weren’t and told her the difference, and she seemed to be looking for the 0.20 RON, but the guard just pulled some change out of his pocket and handed me that amount. That amount was actually the price difference per kilogram and I had purchased just over three quarters of one, but the cashier had rounded up the price by 0.05 RON the first time, so it actually worked out to the correct amount. Felt the need to say that I was just pointing out what happened and the cashier added “like a miscellaneous fact”, seeming to sound understanding, but I’m not sure it wasn’t sarcasm.
Wondered what to do after that, but eventually decided to head to Kaufland as well, looking for some evening discounts and grabbing a lot of green onions for a very low price, plus a few small beets. As I was looking around the fruits and vegetables area, I again felt a few irregular heartbeats and started shaking a little, but seemed to recover again by the time I left, and was again just fine once I got back outside, despite again rushing in order to make sure that I’ll get past the stadium area before 10 PM, when the lights turn off and the gates close. I didn’t have to rush that much, however, and was back at 10:05 PM.
Continued to feel quite fine until I felt a few more of those irregular heartbeats and started shaking a little again while I was making salad at night, and then again while eating. It was far less of a problem than before, however, and that seemed to be the last of it, as it didn’t happen again so far. But while I’m at that night, I’ll also mention here that my IP returned to the one I had before the router was replaced at some point during the evening, after dad got back and I disconnected, so I guess it just took them a day or so to realize they had messed something up.

The next day I finished the book and posted the quick review, and that same night I had a look through Arcanum Unbounded, actually starting it the next day, though being out so much this week meant I only read that day and Thursday, albeit a fair bit, easily and wanting more each time. Back to last Sunday evening, also finished the second of those Neverwinter Nights: Gold scenarios then. Considered continuing to play, since the enemies are endless, but when I’d have needed to kill over 6600 more of them to gain another level, I decided against it.

Tuesday I got up at 2 PM, when the alarm rang, and had the usual stuff, the yogurt again being one of those better ones, plus hazelnuts and pumpkin, and a large doughnut brought by dad, with added honey, as the sweet thing. Rather sacrificed the run for what I had to do later though, since my mother wanted some things, so I had the running t-shirt and tights but the regular shoes and the jacket tied around my waist, with stuff in its inside pocket and in the tights’ pocket, when I finally went out the door, just after 4:15 PM. The reported temperature was about 15°C and starting to drop a little, it was cloudy and there wasn’t much wind overall, though quite a gust hit me just as I went out. That was worrying at the time, but something like that didn’t happen again while running, and there were in fact only a few moments when I felt that I was going against a little wind.
Of course I still hoped to stay under 48 minutes, but knew I should be content with 48:30, so a time of 48:16.96 was good enough. Sector times were 4:09.69, 5:06.17, 6:01 (6:00.77), 4:26 (4:25.70), 5:08 (5:07.89), 5:57 (5:56.98), 4:31 (4:30.95), 5:08.65, 5:55.01 and 1:55.15, making for lap times of 15:16.63, 15:31 (15:30.57) and 15:34.61. There were more people than I expected, and on top of some weaving and going the long way around, there was a roadblock on sector three of lap one, then had to briefly stop again on sector two of lap two, when a little dog made for my legs just when a cyclist was coming and I couldn’t go around it, and then just at the end of that sector, under the bridge, a roadblock was about to form ahead of me and I slowed to pick my way through. Later, on sector two of lap three, I first had to find a way past a couple with dogs on leashes on either side, blocking nearly the entire path, and then saw that same little girl with that little dog again, so when it went one way I tried to go the other, but it quickly switched sides to again try to go for my legs and the girl couldn’t really hold it back, but at least I had room to avoid it then. And on sector three of lap three there were women with babies in prams blocking the way, walking slowly, and a guy was going off the path to walk around them, so I had to go even farther off the path to go around them all, snapping at them that they had apparently bought themselves a road. Physically I was quite fine though, albeit starting to tire from lap two, and also starting to feel like crapping from lap three.

As soon as I stopped running, I put my mask back on, right next to two officers who were standing at the park entrance, and went to the guy who was accepting plastic bottles and aluminum cans and handing out rewards as part of a campaign which had just reached Bucharest that day. I had been wondering what the location was going to be, and seeing that it was just at the park entrance was quite a pleasant surprise, so I took the opportunity to ask whether one person bringing sufficient cans could get multiple rewards and he said that, as a general rule, it’s one reward per household, but when I told him that my mother, who doesn’t live with me, wanted something too he said he could make an exception, if I’ll bring the cans before he’ll run out of those rewards, since it can be said that they’re for separate households. In hindsight, I probably should have rushed back, grabbed the cans and returned there just then, hoping to catch him before he left for the day, but had quite a route planned and didn’t know I’ll be able to cut it short, so I left that for the next day.
As the first point on that route, went to that Carrefour, checking prices and grabbing a couple of things, then kept going to that newer Kaufland, though I first stopped at that Penny that’s just before it to get some lemons. There were a number of things to get from there, since that’s the catalog my mother picks from, and I also got plums for myself, since they were on the evening discount. But one of the items on the list was one kilogram of olives, and that caused issues at the self-checkout, since the things they were in had been overfilled by the employee and didn’t close properly, so when I turned the first one over to scan it, it leaked all over the machine, and I guess that also reduced its weight sufficiently to make the machine not accept it when placed on the scales, so I had to call the employees to help, ending up also repeatedly apologizing for the mess, and both employees at first stayed with me, staying logged on in order to push everything through without a weight check. One left after a bit, but the other told me she’ll stay with me to help, which made me panic even more and led to her scanning the last few items, making me feel even more foolish. But at least it was finally over and, being logged in, she could just scan the ones with the labels and move on, while normally I’d have had to separate them again and place the correct ones on the scales each time, after having just thrown the fruits, with the exception of the plums, in one bag, with the labels placed on one of each. I was apparently not quite done, however, since after leaving the self-checkout area, the cashier from the confectionery that’s just there called to me to ask whether I wanted the last of the pastries she had left for just 1 RON each, to sell them before closing, and I accepted. Then I walked back, carrying some 14 kg, being at the building entrance at 9:20 PM. Only started eating dinner at 3:05 AM…

On top of needing to wake up early, I had a hard time falling asleep Wednesday morning and slept poorly after I finally did, waking up repeatedly, but at least my internal clock still worked, since when I decided to check the time I saw 8:58 AM and the alarm was supposed to ring at 9 AM, so I got up. Was hoping to be able to leave at 10 AM, or at least not much later, but it was past 10:35 AM when I finally did, taking the cans and also the paper to drop off in a bin on the way, plus a few other things to take to a place where you can drop off electronics and lights.
Was at the park entrance at 10:45 AM and the guy recognized me right away, but said he only had one of those vertical mixers left, and my mother and dad had both picked that as the reward they preferred. Worse, I had selected the set of knives and dad had agreed with it as a second pick, but when I asked whether that was still available, the guy said he had been out of those from day one. However, he still had a hand mixer, which was actually the top reward, and he offered that as the second reward, even though it was supposed to require 15 cans more than the vertical one and five more than the knives, and I only had the ten extra ones for the knives with me. He said it wasn’t an issue, since for example someone had brought him 200 cans and 500 bottles the previous day, which made me feel even worse, since I gathered that said person had only received one reward for all of that, but he just asked how to hide the hand mixer, repeating that it’s something he shouldn’t really do, and stuffed it in my backpack before openly handing me the vertical one and taking a picture of me with it. He messed things up after that, however, asking which reward he should list as taken by me and which by my mother and accepting it when I said that if my mother specifically asked for the hand mixer, she should be listed as having received it, meaning that the picture ended up being evidence of what had happened. And he also asked me to try to sign for my mother instead of doing so himself, and I couldn’t think of a signature and ended up almost copying mine and then trying to change it after realizing it, which resulted in a mess. Considered turning around when I realized that, shortly after leaving, but couldn’t get myself to do it, plus that taking a picture with the hand mixer would have made his effort to hide it in the first place pointless, so I just hope he didn’t get in trouble over it.

From there, I went straight to Kaufland, not even going to that mall from the park to drop off the other things I had with me, wanting to get there as early as possible in order to take advantage of something I knew many others were going to figure out, leading to the products in question vanishing all too quickly. Still, after getting there at 11:20 AM, it took me a while to actually get in, first being worried about a guy who seemed to just be standing next to the cabinets as I put the backpack with those mixers in one, then rushing outside when dad called and, probably because I unplugged the headphones before answering, I couldn’t hear him, though it was strange that I still couldn’t hear him when he tried again, and instead of giving me a moment to try to figure things out he sent a message, which I couldn’t reply to, and didn’t try again after that, which led to me waiting outside for a few more minutes until I realized he won’t try again and got back in. Still not actually inside the store, however, since I still had those things to drop off and couldn’t find the bins for them, so I wandered around for a while, even checked a part of the parking lot, before eventually finding them and finally going in the store.
There were plenty of things on my list, selected out of those that went on sale that day, but the first area I had to rush to was the one with yogurts, since both the catalog and the site included even small, plain yogurts from that brand among the products you received a 5 RON voucher if you bought four of, which meant they actually paid you to get those yogurts. What’s more, most small yogurts from that brand had prices that were lower than the listed ones, those plain ones ending up being 0.65 RON, meaning that you got a 5 RON voucher for spending 2.60 RON. So I even took one and went to the information desk, asking whether the deal really included those as well, and the employee checked and said that it did, confirming it again when I showed my surprise and pointed out what it meant. So I first grabbed some yogurts, albeit only eight of those cheap ones, adding four bio (organic) ones as well for myself, which you didn’t get paid to purchase but which ended up being really cheap after deducting the voucher, and 12 of those “Greek” ones for my mother. She had asked for a pack and a bucket, but those would have just been two products, not offering any vouchers, while this way I got three more vouchers in exchange for an additional amount that was less than the value of one of them. Realized later that, if I wouldn’t have skipped days, I could have actually bought four more of those cheap ones for myself, and eight more if I’d have given away four, or all eight, somehow, to get to the maximum of ten vouchers on one order, since I had two more for other things. But I didn’t, and I guess the opportunity was lost… And I’m not even entirely sure there were eight of those left even then, people obviously rushing to grab them.
Speaking of that, it was awfully crowded despite the early hour, and I wandered around for quite a while, getting everything, which included searching for two products that weren’t where they should have been. When I went to the spot where the pack of 100 small candles should have been, two older people were also there, looking for the same thing, and when we all realized that the pack that was there had 50 but was at the same price, we left, the man seeming to know where he was going, so we followed him and he led us to another area with items that are on sale and straight to a stack of unmarked boxes which indeed turned out to contain those packs of candles, which he started ripping open, a few other older women having gathered there and grabbing packs as soon as he uncovered them, so I considered myself lucky to still find any after letting them go first. And then there was some other thing my mother wanted and which wasn’t where it should have been, nor where I thought other products that were on sale could be found, so I ended up asking an employee, needing to do so twice because the first one I tried to approach just passed by, ignoring me completely.
As I was getting the other products, I scanned those yogurts a few more times, constantly being worried that they were going to realize their mistake and at least increase the prices to the listed ones, which in case of those “Greek” yogurts for my mother would have meant an increase of about a third, negating most of the gain from the vouchers. But I guess I wasn’t worried enough to purchase them first, then leave them in a cabinet and return for the other things, and that proved to be a good move, since nothing changed and the lines were quite long, and I also used a regular checkout, to be sure I’ll get the vouchers.
If that went just fine, things became awkward as I was arranging everything in my bags, in front of the cabinets. When two girls came to also grab their things, I just tried to stay as low as possible and they just grabbed what they had to grab and left, but an older man who also had something in a cabinet that was higher up, so shouldn’t have been really bothered by me, told me quite sternly to move so others will be able to get to their things. I just couldn’t figure out where to go, however, every other spot I could think of seeming occupied by someone else, which was the reason I had stayed there in the first place… And after I ended up moving in front of some machines, next to the door to a small shop that’s also there, I apparently did so while the guy working there was out, and just before he returned. Noticed that someone was standing next to me, but I ignored him at first, until he asked whether I could move aside to allow him to get back in his shop, making me feel even worse. I really couldn’t figure out where else to move to, however, so after letting him go in, I stayed there until I finished arranging everything properly, and was finally out of there at 1:20 PM, so a good two hours after first going in, carrying about 12 kg.
Considered going to that pharmacy on the way back, but the lines were stretching around the building, outside, so I gave up on that idea and got back here just after 1:45 PM, which was exactly when dad was leaving. He couldn’t carry everything he already had to take to the car at once, so he was going to come back anyway, and before he did I could take the other things he had to take to my mother out of the bags, so he could take everything there then. And we also tested the phone, even with the music on when the call came, and I could hear him, so I have no idea why it hadn’t even worked on his second attempt in the morning.

I wasn’t done for the day, however, since I still wanted to return the loaned book and ask for the other, which I had reserved the night before, hoping that will give them time to find it, if they still hadn’t. So I left again a bit after 4:10 PM and got back two and a half hours later, with that other book, though that wasn’t thanks to having reserved it, since I was again told they couldn’t find it at first, but after telling me to wait a while longer they apparently finally did and handed it to me. Since Arcanum Unbounded is a collection of short stories that even take place on different worlds and I only read from it on two out of six days so far anyway, I’m considering reading that before finishing this one, even more so since I’m expecting to struggle with that one while this one’s going really quickly and I want more when I stop, so I’ll have something to look forward to, but I’ll see what I’ll end up doing.

Moving on, Friday marked five years since the Colectiv club fire and a few groups organized a human chain from the Court of Appeals to Bucur Square, since the rulings on the appeals to the sentences given are still to come. Considering the circumstances, it obviously wasn’t going to be an actual chain, with people holding hands or even being next to each other, the plan being to stand four meters apart, and one of the groups involved created a tool that assigned each participant’s spot when they signed up, so people won’t have reasons to gather and interact in order to determine where each will stand. However, something seemed wrong when I signed up, Wednesday night, and on top of not having the location displayed on the confirmation page, I didn’t receive the e-mail either, so I sent them a message to ask about it and, despite receiving an initial answer around noon on Thursday saying that they’ll check, they seemed to forget about it until I asked again that evening, at which point I was given the link with the location, after being asked if I was sure the e-mail wasn’t in the spam folder either. Interestingly, I did receive the second e-mail, with the instructions, but that just referred to the first one for the location, which I hadn’t received at all.
Either way, dad surprised me by saying he could drive me there, and I accepted, especially since it was raining, so we left just after 5:20 PM. I banged my head quite hard while getting in the car, but at least there was no blood, and at 5:45 PM we were in the parking lot of the Mega Image that’s just past my assigned spot, since despite showing him the map, telling him just where it was and also how to get there directly, dad kept thinking that my spot was farther on, and that we should have arrived at it from another direction, which led to a very confusing discussion just before leaving, since each of us was trying to explain how we meant to reach what we believed was the same spot but the directions made no sense if we assumed that to be correct. As a result, we were there earlier than he thought we’ll be and by 5:50 PM I was already in my spot, though we had been told to make sure to be there by 6:15 PM, and preferably at 6 PM.
Fortunately, one of the coordinators was also there just then, and after I arranged my clothing to better protect myself from the rain he asked whether I was there for the human chain and then for my name, but then he said I wasn’t on his list, and showed me his assigned area, which apparently ended just before my spot, and since each coordinator had a certain number of masks to give, he couldn’t give me one. But he told me who the coordinator I should be assigned to was and I knew her, though of course I couldn’t get myself to say anything when I saw her walk past, so it was again fortunate that he went after her and then returned to tell me that she had stopped in front of a shop on the other side of the road, apparently deciding to have her assigned participants come to her for their masks, so I did that and then returned to my spot and fumbled to get my own mask off and that one on. Did expect something more specific to be written on those masks, not simply “#65”, which is the number of people who died, if we include the one who killed himself, but we were supposed to wear those masks during the event, so I did. And we were also supposed to bring a candle, so I obviously did that as well, though lighting it took me quite a while because I had taken a small lighter and couldn’t get it far enough inside to reach the wick, and it was also quite windy, my spot being right on the corner. Tried getting some drier grass and lighting that, but the fire went out before I could get that to the wick, so I eventually had to keep trying until I figured out a way to position my fingers in order to just manage it. It was 6:20 PM by then and everyone else had their candles lit, and we had been told to be ready at 6:15 PM, but I guess it was good enough, and those taking pictures and filming only started appearing quite some time later.
Being windy in that spot, I kept worrying that the candle was going to go out and I wasn’t going to be able to light it again, but that fortunately didn’t happen before we were told to break the chain. In fact, other than awkwardly standing there as people were filming and taking pictures, the only notable thing that happened during that hour was that a few others, seeming to be bikers according to how they were dressed, arrived very late and seemed to have the same spot assigned to them. I said that I had that spot, and then looked at what was on the woman’s phone and pointed out that my spot was just there on the corner, a bit before what seemed to be hers, but the truth was that the chain came from the other side of the road and what seemed to be the last spot on that part of it before the corner was also occupied. That left quite a gap, however, since nobody was on the other corner and nobody could stand on the street, so I was thinking that two more spots were in fact empty, one on each end of that crosswalk. But there were three of them, and after seeming to just want to stand around me for a few moments, they decided to cross in the other direction and stand on the sidewalk the coordinator was on, though the fact that the chain continued on the sidewalk I was on seemed to indicate that nobody was meant to stand on the other side. But I guess they did what they thought was best, and a couple of girls who also arrived late and wandered around for a few minutes eventually took up what seemed to me to be the empty spot on that other corner.
We had been told that we’ll need to stand there until at least 7:30 PM, and possibly even until 8 PM, but at 7:20 PM the second person on my right checked his phone and seemed to announce that we had been told to break the chain and head to the square. The woman standing between us wasn’t certain, so he showed her the message and after hesitating for a moment longer she followed him, and after another moment the other person on that little piece of sidewalk also joined and I added myself to the little group and we all crossed. The wind was an even worse problem on the street, however, and my candle did go out at that point, yet I was again fortunate, because the same thing happened to others as well, and lighting candles which had been burning for a while was going to be difficult for everyone, so one started looking for something to use and spotted a stick on the sidewalk, lighting that with her lighter and then using it to light the candles again.
Then I got to Bucur Square, left my candle with the others and wandered around for a little while, taking a handful of pictures, though I only had my phone with me, having forgotten the camera, so they’re really poor. There weren’t many people though, many of those who would have otherwise been there likely having taken part in the chain and probably yet to arrive, since my spot had been closer to the end of it and even plenty of those whose spots were after mine were still standing there as I passed them, unconvinced that the event was over, though I spotted the coordinator as I approached the square and asked, and she confirmed that it was.

While standing in my spot, it hadn’t felt like such a pressing problem, but after I got moving I felt that I was quite close to pissing myself, yet when I spotted a Mega Image on the way to the Carrefour from Unirii, I decided to make that slight detour and have a look inside, and ended up getting two pastries that were at the price of one, since they were trying to get rid of them before closing for the evening… And in fact the price was lower than the listed one, but the cashier I ended up going to seemed to be the one in charge at the moment and having a lot to deal with, taking a moment before checking me out to run to another cashier and type the code for a product, since that one didn’t seem to know it, then turning to another one to sort something else out, and then having the machine printing her receipts apparently fail as well. I heard her frustrated comment about something else breaking down, but didn’t know what she had been referring to and was waiting for my receipt, which prompted her to ask what was I still waiting for, in a tone that she just barely managed to soften by the time she finished the question, and when I told her she told me that the machine won’t print it, so I left without it.
Finally got to a toilet after that, entering the shopping center at Unirii for that and ending up using a urinal, not even risking the few more steps needed to get to a stall, just barely managing to hold it in long enough even so. Then I went to that Carrefour and just got some onions, since they seemed to be out of a kind of bread that I seem to only find at that location, and which I meant to look for then. The cabinet I had placed the pastries in refused to open when I put in the code, however, so I had to ask the guard for help and he opened it for me, then kept going on my way to the Kaufland at Vitan.
Since dad had given me a little list and I had checked prices at Carrefour, I wondered whether anything other than the onions would have ended up being cheaper there and initially meant to try to rush, hoping to also be able to reach the Carrefour from the park before it closed at 10 PM if needed, but I realized that was out of the question and controlled my pace, reaching Kaufland at 9:25 PM. Yes, I did look for more of those small yogurts, but there was just one left, people having obviously cleared out the stock by then, but at least the other things were cheaper than in Carrefour, so I could get them from there without feeling bad about it, with the exception of the tangerines, which they were out of but which were at the same price even at Mega Image, so I wasn’t concerned. Did have to wait for a while at the self-checkout, however, since only one of those accepting cash was still working and one employee was trying to help everyone and manage the increasingly frustrated customers waiting in line for it, so I took the opportunity to say that they should all accept all forms of payment and she said she’s been saying that as well.
Either way, I was just leaving at 10 PM, having retrieved my things from the cabinet and arranging them in the few bags I had as the announcement that the store closed came. Still had those tangerines to get, but there were multiple Mega Image locations that didn’t close on the way, so I went to the first one and took care of that as well, and was back at 11:05 PM. Only started eating at 3 AM, without having anything earlier either, and finished just before 5 AM. As for going to bed, if Thursday morning I had done that at 5:30 AM, Saturday morning it was 5:50 AM… I’m not even making a note of the times when it was “only” after 5:15 AM, which for example also included this morning, because I’m hardly ever in bed before that hour now, so let’s see if that will change when dad will get back to not working from home.

This was a huge post, and another Sunday update, but I just have one more thing to add before posting this and finally getting back to reading, and that’s that yesterday I noticed my mouse double clicking again. It had seemed fine for a while, but it’s obviously not going to just fix itself, so I’ll need to keep looking for a replacement and hope that, if not this same model, at least the Remastered version will be brought by some stores from here again, and most preferably included in this period’s major sales, and that this one won’t get to the point of being pretty much unusable by then.

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