Friday, April 21, 2006

Guess what? Chicken pot!

After sleeping for 8 hours solid (and having a very long, involved dream about crocheting), I woke up to my suitemate's morning ritual of hacking up. Seriously, this girl must have spent forty years in a coal mine, for all of the debris she's got lodged in her lungs. This 'hacking' is less of a cough, more the sound one makes when trying to forcefully expell the phlegm lodged in the back of one's sinuses and throat. As far as I can tell, she goes into the bathroom or kitchen to do this, so she can then spit the phlegm into a receptacle that's specifically not her personal sink.

Since I've mentioned her, I might as well fill out her character a bit more. This girl is very quiet and completely keeps to herself. She eats only fat-free and algae-enriched food. Any conversation we've had has been initated by me. Her mother picks her up from work on friday, drops her off at work on monday morning. My initial read on her is that she's just really shy - no problem, as I can have streaks of anti-social anxeity from time to time myself.

While my interactions with her have been minimal, I get the distinct feeling that she really does not like having me around. I noticed that every time she would be in the kitchen (nearly an hour in the morning, then two hours at night), she'd fully close the the shared kitchen. When Mike and Katie were here, they saw her on the verge of a near breakdown, as I was using the kitchen at the same time she wanted to. There's only two burners on the stove, both of which I was using, so after pacing for a good 15 minutes, she resorted to standing behind me, holding a pot (with a quarter of a chicken) in her hand, just waiting for me to finish. This girl seems a bit nervous*. Ever since the chicken incident, she's gone out of her way to avoid me. If I do, say, walk into the kitchen while she's there, I'll say hello and she will respond tersley, without even looking up from whatever she's doing.
She seems to have a boyfriend now - or, at least, there's a male friend who I often see coming and going, so perhaps she'll chill out a bit.

*this, of course is a meiosis, "the use of an understatement not to decieve, but to enhance the impression on the hearer." I picked that up, along with tmesis, in the "American Scholar" that Rachael recently sent to me. Not only is it a fascinating read, reading a scholarly journal also makes me feel smart again, for the first time in, oh, about a year. Thanks, Rachael - I needed it.

Despite a long and frustrating dream about crocheting, I slept a solid 8 hours and woke up feeling more refreshed than I have in a long time. The only reminders of yesterday are a sore ass, from sitting on that bike seat for three hours, and really sore shoulders, since the bike just wasn't the right size for me, in some way. Every time I go out on a bike ride, I think about my brother (hi bri!), who I know would just love taking a spin out through this gorgeous country. Of course, he's also a real bike rider, in real good shape. Riding with him would be something like the experience I had yesterday - I was wobbling my way up a not-very-big hill, panting and sweating, when I heard a fast "scwha schwa schwa schwa" approaching from behind me. It got louder and closer, finally a spandex-clad toothpick with legs blew past at, at least, twice my speed. By the time I got to the top of the hill, I could see this guy, on his fancy road bike, turning a corner a good half-mile down the road. This is what I imagine it would be like, as well, if I ever went out biking with my brother -- that is, fun for only one of us.

One of the coolest things I saw yesterday was this old terephique. There's a hamlet on the top of a tall cliff and another village in the valley below. In, uh, olden times, the cows were raised on the pasture above, then they'd send the milk down on this little elevator to be processed down in the valley.


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