April 2008


In Gear Again

I’ve been busy this past week—my time up in Berlin generated enough blog entries that I decided just to go with the pre-written flow instead of writing new stuff.

What you get now falls into the “Random Tidbits” kind of collection—but these are all things that have happened or occurred to me in the past week, so there is a timeliness about all of it.

In the travel department, it was just over a week ago that I decided that I needed to stop trying to shoe-horn in a trip to The Netherlands this spring. Now I am going this week: an issue has come up that cannot be dealt with remotely. I’ll be in Rotterdam starting Wednesday evening until next Monday.

While I was in Lisbon I saw a poster for Jumper—and it looked interesting. Without reading any reviews, I mentioned that I was interested in seeing it to a colleague, and Wednesday we went to the movies. My German is really improving, and with a movie as simplistic as Jumper, I understood 70-80% of the movie. I missed a few things along the way, but nothing egregious. It reminded me of when I saw I Robot shortly after moving here—and I spoke no German at all—I understood the movie; and later, when I saw it in English, I felt it was better understood without understanding the language.

Despite the still oft crappy weather, I’m coming out of my winter hibernation mood. Saturday I went for a three hour walk in the morning and a two hour walk in the evening. There was a pretty long walk today as well. It’s a good thing—and it’s helping me. I’ve lost weight in the last few weeks, which is a good thing, and I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t fit into since last fall.

Spring cleaning is also in full swing: I’ve really cleaned my bedroom today, recycling a pile of papers that have been on my desk for too long. I’ve also weeded my closet, yanking out a number of old clothes that I’ve just not worn for a long time, both winter and summer items. The old clothes are bagged and ready for the short walk to the clothing donation bin located a short walk from my house.

A planned trip to Riga in early May is not happening.

I want to visit Moldova in October—does anybody want to go with me? Anybody can join me. Russian, Moldovan (Romanian), or French language skills would be appreciated, but not necessary. I’m picturing four or five days on the ground exploring the city. Plane ticket prices run about 330€, flying from Frankfurt; costs should drop once we’re on the ground in Moldova. Email me if you’re interested.

After years of loving soma, the coffee shop located in Bloomington, Indiana, I finally got around to reading Huxley’s Brave New World. It’s an interesting book with a bleak picture of the future. It reminds me a lot, naturally of Orwell’s 1984. Of the two, I think I like 1984 more, but it is Brave New World that has soma as the happy drug that citizens need, so since I adore soma, the coffee shop, so much, I think Brave New World has a soft spot in my heart now.

Amusingly, I have two copies of the book—the first chapter seemed familiar. Evidently I bought the book before, started reading it, and then was unfortunately sidetracked. As I was cleaning today, I found the first copy I bought. Ooops!

It’s going to be a busy Monday and Tuesday. I hope I survive with my sanity intact.

7 comments to In Gear Again

  • G

    It’s too bad that Jumper (the movie) is so bad compared to Jumper (the book) at least by way of review, since I haven’t seen it. If you liked the movie bat all, you would really prefer the book.

    Even funnier is that soma is, I think, carapadisol, a prescription drug’s name in the States and that I was prescribed it several years ago after an operation. It made me wonder what class I was (Alpha, Beta,…) while I was taking it!

  • ann

    Being from CO – were you ever down near El Malpais?

    I read the book 2x. Once long before I was there and once a few years after. Definitely different having geography to match to the story.

  • Congrats on the weight loss

    Although Moldova looks interesting there are lots of places on my list before it. What about Poland? Do you ever get there? I’m considering Warsaw.

  • @G – The actual drug name for SOMA in the US is Carisoprodol. I take that one regularly for my back spasms.

    TQE is glad I take it, as it prevented us from having about half of our South Africa trip spent with me lying flat on my back in pain.

  • disenchanted

    Oh wow. I liked Brave New World better than 1984! You should try reading Stranger in a Strange Land: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land

  • @G: If I run across the book, I’ll read it. In general, books are better than movies, except where Stephen King is involved. Or Nick Hornby.

    @ann: I’ve driven past it on I-40 when I was a kid, so I have a feel for New Mexican geography. Actually, one of my favorite restaurants was (is, I hope) in Santa Fe.

    @Snooker: Thanks! Although Moldova is not a gay friendly country, it falls into the neutral part of the spectrum. I try to avoid advanced countries that ought to know better–for example, any country in the EU. Poland is on my personal do-not-travel list. Even though one of brothers is out of office, I am still highly concerned about the attitude of elected Polish officials.

    @CQ: What are you? Alpha? Beta? ??

    @disenchanted: I’ll add Stranger in a Strange Land to my reading list…

  • Well, seeing as I have never read the book, I couldn’t give you an answer.

    The drug takes care of my back issues, but about 15 minutes after taking it it comes with an odd side effect. The best I can describe it is that when you turn your head to look at something, it briefly feels like your head is still moving in that direction until your brain makes the connection that your head stopped moving. Couple this with about 2-3 minutes of it making you so dIsOrIeNtEd that you can’t remember what planet you’re on, and well… it’s a good escape from reality for a few minutes.

    I can see how people get addicted to this stuff.

    So would that make me an alpha or a beta? 😉