what’s goin’ on

A few notes from my past month of missingness:

I don’t have the Internet at my new apartment. It may be someone else’s worst nightmare, but the truth is I’ve been looking forward to being Internet-free. I’m practically ADD, so the Internet distracts me a ton. Unfortunately, at Stanford, wifi is EVERYWHERE on campus, so my productivity is practically nil in my room. In my host mom’s place I was able to just sit on my ass all day and surf the net. I’m kind of glad that I can’t do that now, even though I miss French and Japanese dictionary functionality and instant Google searching for stuff if I ever continue working on my still-nonexistent paper.

The lack of Internet will hopefully get me off my ass and out into the world, which means it’ll give me a reason to go down the stairs– which means I have a reason to go back up seven/eight (depending on what country you’re in) flights of stairs and get rock-hard legs. Fantastico!

– Being a tourist for me is really weird. I’m not used to being in cities like Paris or New York on a schedule. For me it’s always like, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to go see _____. Oh well I’ll come back and see it later.” But tourists never seem to have enough time to think like that. I always think of them going, “Well, we have to do this this and this, so let’s get up at the crack of dawn, wait in line for five hours, then finally get to take our touristy pictures that no one’ll care about except us!” (I also have a strange aversion to tourist pictures.)

I can type on a French keyboard now! Well, my laptop keyboard is American so I have to type without thinking about looking at the keys. The Q and A are switched, the Z and W are switched (have you ever tried doing command-Z (undo) on Firefox on a French Mac without thinking? Shit!), the semicolon is an M and you have to use the shift key to type in any numbers or a period. I created a handy guide to typing in French on an American keyboard, including really hard-to-find characters like the M#@@#ing front slash.

My PowerBook has taken all kinds of abuse. Granted, its CD-ROM is no longer functional, the internet cable jack no longer keeps the cord in place, my power cord has some exposed wire after I tripped on it, and I can only properly load photos from my camera through one USB port, but yeah, I’m amazed it’s still working after I’ve had it for more than two years and dropped it various times on carpet, hardwood floor, brick tile and concrete; jammed it into my backpack sideways; stepped on it; sat on it; tripped on the power cord and yanked it off my bed to crash to my brick tile floor; ran it through various x-ray machines in sleep mode; spilled water, milk AND cereal, and other various drinks on the keyboard; biked over very uneven concrete with it in my bike basket…

Yeah guys, the casing is insanely sturdy. Even though it’ll be warped if you drop it onto a hard surface, it should still work to some degree. No guarantees on jacks or the CD-ROM, but the AirPort and at least one USB and FireWire port still work for me and that’s pretty much all I need. I think Bluetooth still works too, but I lost my bluetooth-equipped phone and I haven’t used it since. Just get a nice neoprene sleeve for your baby and it should be able to take on most everyday abuse. And for God’s sake, put it in your bag with the spine or side opposite the spine down, not like a book or it won’t latch shut properly and the Stanford Bookstore will offer to replace the entire case for you for like $200 when you can just carry it around properly and it’ll return to latch-shutting in no time.

For my next post, I will talk about music, the Fête de la Musique, and how I met this one guy at a bar and now have a borrowed guitar. No guarantees on the regularity of my posts from now on, but I’m trying my best to get to a WiFi hotspot once a week to tell my mom I’m safe and sound and ask for more money. Hoo yeah, I really need a job.


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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