rants and ramblings (same as usual then) (2005-04-09 - 7:29 p.m.)

The internet cafe was playing Feist when I got here. Cool!

So I'm not sick anymore (in case you were concerned, which you probably weren't). Still pretty tired and this week really took it out of me. Work has passed the point of horrible and gone on to really ridiculous. I was checking my emails yesterday before printing them off, as I do every morning. Suddenly six Polish guys appeared and started dismantling Alex's computer. I said, "Hey, I need that computer on to print!" (for some reason we are networked so that my computer will only print if his computer is on). The head Polish guy said, "Yes! Print!" and took away my printer as well. Leaving me somewhat speechless, as well as printerless.

So there followed a fun day of hanging around the Accounts office (also a hastily-converted bedroom) begging to use their printer. This was particularly fun as their printer will ONLY print if you feed the paper through sheet by sheet. Otherwise it jams.

(In case you were wondering, the reasoning behind this is that I am moving downstairs to my new "office" on Monday, so they thought they'd take the printer three days early. Also the Polish guys are some sort of gang of hotel handymen, though they spend most of their time smoking on the fire escape)

I will stop ranting now. Suffice it to say that two more weeks of this job is a very depressing concept. Last week dragged on forever and I'm sure this week will do the same. What happened to the concept of a working HOLIDAY?

Someone booked a room yesterday under the name of Sharon Paradise. I hope to heck that is a fake name! If it isn't, she should seriously consider becoming a stripper.

It is finally the weekend, but today ended up being a recovery day. I had every intention of heading up to Edinburgh Castle and then didn't quite make it. I think I needed a day to just chill out. I love those days when you get exactly what you want (not too hard today, as "exactly what I wanted" was a copy of the Saturday Guardian, a Bounty bar, and peace to read the former and eat the latter).

This week is the Edinburgh International Science Festival. This is clearly the best idea ever, and cements Edinburgh even more firmly as my favorite city. Every city should have a Science Festival! What better reason to celebrate? Unfortunately they didn't exactly advertise it heavily, and I found out about it by accident by discovering a programme someone left on the bus on Tuesday. Which meant I missed what looked to be the most interesting talk, about the neuroscience of spirituality (which the alert among you will remember I did a radio program on in my 4th-year honours class).

But I did stop by and see a talk tonight, called "Body Language: non-verbal communication laid bare." It was quite interesting, as far as it went, but I felt like the topic was too broad to be covered over the course of an hour and they skimmed a lot of really interesting research. (Also, it was expensive! at 7). Still, I'm glad I went. To my surprise I had seen quite a lot of the research they showed somewhere along the way already, but I hadn't heard of "calibrating", which is a method of lie detection. Basically you ask people questions and look for specific motions they make when they are telling the truth - then use that to extrapolate to whether they are lying or not. Sounds very hard and dodgy but apparently some people are quite good at it. Would be a useful skill to have!

This sitting in a lecture theatre business also drove home how much I miss being in school. Challenging as living and working abroad is (though it doesn't really feel like "abroad" anymore - I think I've assimilated to some extent), I still miss the challenge of classes and research and having my whole day being devoted to learning things. Hmmm, will have to get on that. Just wish I knew the first step to take...

Did I mention I have a new flatmate? She's called Dee (I think it's short for Deirdre or Deirdra, haven't really worked that out yet) and she's Irish. She's doing a degree in social work but is on her practicum right now. She's nice enough - has a hilariously cynical outlook on life that amuses me to no end - but unfortunately she smokes. I really can't believe neither Craig nor I thought to ask about it. I only met her briefly as I was on my way to lacrosse when she visited, so I didn't ask her any questions at all - but Craig didn't, and he had ages. Oh well, it's my fault as well. She only smokes in her room but you can smell it in the hall and bathroom, and needless to say it REALLY BOTHERS ME. I'm not sure what I'll do about this, but moving out is an option. (I'm tempted as well because our idiot landlord went into my room without notice and without my permission, and ripped down all my insulation. Now it's freezing in there again).

So hey, my whole life will probably be different in a month. Anything could happen, which for some reason doesn't seem hugely cheering at the moment! Watch this space.

Oooh, one more thing - I saw a dog-bike the other day! It was from a vet's, and was basically a bicycle with a dog cage attached to the front, containing two large dogs. The dogs looked happy enough to be chauffered around - they were enjoying coming up behind passers-by and barking to make them jump. I was very impressed by the ingenuity that went into that particular invention!

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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