Friday, September 19, 2003

According to the professor who lives next door to my apartment building, I should have power when I get home.
Beer cold. TV warm.

I Survived Isabel
An e-mail message came through yesterday around one pm, stating that the main campus library was closing at two, and that the university was enacting its severe weather policy at three, and cancelling all classes after three. After getting that, a lot of people here started going home. The assistant director decided to close this library at three. I went home at two.
Walking to the bus stop from here, and then walking from the other bus stop to my building, the wind almost yanked my umbrella out of my hand.
When I got home, I discovered that the wind had yanked a folding, sliding section of my cool kitchen window out of its track, and it has hanging out over the street. I managed to get it sort of fitted back into the frame and latched. Two panes were broken out. I taped a plastic garbage bag over the hole and leaned a piece of plywood I had for a project I'd never gotten around to against the plastic. Then I stacked my weights against the board. It didn't move again.
I told the landlord that window was off track when I moved in. I hope this motivates his slack ass to actually fix it now.
I sat and watched the tree-tops toss outside. Being on the third floor is a good level to watch tree-tops toss during a hurricane.
Surprisingly, my power didn't go out until 8:30 last night. It was still out when I left this morning for work.
I didn't see too much damage. My kitchen window was the worse thing I saw. One oak across from my building had been uprooted, and in another place I saw a pine which had snapped off about three feet above the ground.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

12:35 am
Okay, okay. It's a real hurricane now. It's raining quite heavily, often at a 45-degree angle, and the wind gusts are very strong. The head of technical services just told me she's going home soon - she lives out in the country - and that there are power outages in Raleigh.

True Confessions
The New Dark Age Theory espoused a couple entries below has remained on my mind. It's somewhat of a comfort to me. This is because when I look at myself in the mirror in my mind, I feel like somehow it's my fault the classical studies thing didn't work out. That if I had been willing to work harder and sacrifice more, I could have done it.
But if it's just an indication of the age I live in, and it can't be helped, then it takes me off the hook.
And of course this could be another massive rationalisation.
Oh, and there's a hurricane today. It hasn't been very impressive so far. This is the first real hurricane I've been in. When Hugo went through my hometown, I was in Raleigh. When Fran came through here, I was in the western part of the state.
11:25 am
Okay. I'm starting to be impressed. I was just outside for a smoke and the wind has picked up quite a bit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Site of Interest (to me, anyway)
Here is a Japanese website which is indecipherable (at least to me) but the gallery sections have lots of photographs of cool and funky old phonographs, not only from the U.S., but from Great Britain as well.
Addendum: I just realised that if you go to the homepage above, and keep hitting "reload," you get various vintage phonograph-related photographs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

A friend of mine quit drinking coffee a while back. Saturday we went and ate breakfast together, and he ordered coffee. I commented on it. He said he had quit waking up in the middle of the night, so he was drinking coffee again. He'd never told me why he had quit drinking coffee, so I just thought he was trying to be healthy.
I realised that every weeknight since the semester began, I have also been waking up in the middle of the night. So today I only had two cups of coffee, and none after eleven am. True, I did have a coke with lunch.
I think it's working. I feel like I'm about to keel over now.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The New Dark Age
A fellow tenant in my building dropped by last night. He had known the previous occupant of my new apartment, and he wanted to see what I had done with the place. After the grand tour, we sat and talked for a while. I showed him a cool record I got through Ebay. It's a 12-inch one-sided 78 of Caruso singing a Handel piece commonly known simply as "Largo," but it's actually an aria, "Ombra Mai Fu" from the oratorio Xerxes.
My parents visited me last weekend for the same reason as my guest last night - to see the new place. I played that record for them, too. And my mother said that when she was a schoolgirl, someone would play that piece, Handel's "Largo," on a piano, and all the students would march to class. This would have been the 1930's. My mother had never known the piece had words.
Last night I told my guest that story. He responded by saying we have entered a new Dark Age. I am of a mind to agree with him. Every day I deal with people who are students in graduate school, graduate school, mind you, and they are culturally illiterate. I had to show a guy late last week how to use the catalogue.
When that Caruso record shipped, I asked the seller to send it here, to work, because I was concerned about it being damaged. The girl in the mailroom asked what it was. I told her it was a 12-inch 78 of Enrico Caruso singing the aria "Ombra Mai Fu" from the Handel oratorio Xerxes. She said, "I didn't understand a word you just said."
A few years ago I was skimming through a book about the 1939 World's Fair. The book stated that all the signs and descriptions on the exhibits were very verbose by today's standards, because the average sixth-grader in 1939 had a vocabulary four times the size of the average vocabulary of a sixth-grader in the 1990's.
And it's only getting worse.

Usually, I rush to work. Then, I have a couple basic things I need to rush to get done before I go to class. Then I rush to class.
But this morning, I didn't have to rush. I'm not going to class. It's nice. Without that big hunk of time spent on going to and from and sitting in class, my day seems more leisurely. Nice for a Monday.
I have also rationalised that if I'm going to start the MLS program in January, it's better to take this semester off.