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Veni, vidi, comedi tui pistachi

I got up earlier this morning, full of vim and vigour and ready to start the day... but I didn't have anything to do except nag the properties manager/IT guy about my internet connection. I suspect that with people pooping in the Abbey, he has more pressing and important things to worry about than me actually doing work.

Becky just bought a new coffee pot so she's offered me her old one to heat up water for tea. It took a minute for me to figure out how it worked and I ended up spilling water all over myself, my night table, the floor and my power strip (!) in the process. Luckily nothing short-circuited or burst into flames so I think I'm okay. It was only a little dribble on the power strip, anyway. Now I've figured out where I'm supposed to be pouring the water and everything's fine.

I still didn't have a cell phone at this point, although I was supposed to be given one as soon as I arrived. Apparently they have so many new interns, there weren't enough to go around. So I've got a Motorola C350 which looks fancier than my phone back home but I think the buttons are too small for human hands - even human hands as microscopic as my own. While I was being given my cell phone, I decided to ask for a pillow. I hadn't really noticed the lack of pillow the night before because I was too busy WHUMPing face-first into my bed, but I forgot to ask for one after that and it seemed strange and flat last night.

I decided I needed a baguette for lunch, since I'd bought lots of sandwich fixings and found myself the night before with all of the ingredients for sandwiches... except the bread. So I headed off to what I've heard described as the "worst bakery in the Loire Valley" (I don't know who defined this or how that's measured), forgetting that the bakery doesn't open until 4 on Wednesdays. I decided to walk around a bit while I was out so I looped around and looked at the village. I think my business-casual-overdressed-for-bread-shopping self got checked out by a construction worker, which was kind of weird but kind of flattering and on the way back I found out that one of the tiny local grocery stores sells bread on Wednesday mornings.

I made myself some butter and cheese sandwiches and ate a pear* and then reported to the office for a meeting with the office manager. She told me... well, not much more than she'd told me the day before, other than offering some suggestions for ways to attack the file management problem. So I should probably get on that, but I would like to meet with the IT staff first to see what I'm working with when I make my suggestions.

So I had to suck it up and call the properties manager/IT guy in addition to my three emails. "I'd like to meet with you to talk about what I'm going to be doing here and the projects I'll be working on... in addition to getting my laptop on the network," I informed him. "Um, I can probably meet you sometime tonight," he told me, which was the same thing he'd said two days ago. "I'll call you tonight."

I did not hold my breath.

I did pretty much nothing all afternoon - I looked at one of the websites I'm supposed to be redesigning, but didn't write anything up about it because I have nowhere to save anything I write. Mostly I just bothered people in the Great Satan as they arrived at work. Sigh... I feel guilty about not doing work, but at the same time, there's not much I can do at this point.

I got hungry after a while, so I excused myself as all of my American friends went to lunch and I went to make myself dinner. I made myself pasta with sautéed onions and mushrooms and some cheese sprinkled on top. It was lovely, if I do say so myself. I was invited to join two other interns in watching Friends, so I brought my dinner along to the TV room and we watched the next-to-last episodes of Friends and Will & Grace, which Eirlys' mom had taped and sent to her.

After some rude students asked us to give up the VCR for them, the other interns were going to go back to their house, on the other end of campus. I had to put on shoes instead of slippers, so I told them I'd be along after I did that and checked my email. I went to the computer lab, read my new messages and put off replying until later. Then I tripped along to the back garden behind La Maison, where most of the other interns lived. The two interns I'd seen before were there with a couple of guys from New Zealand. I kept waiting to be introduced or to have it explained what they do there, but by the time I realized an introduction wasn't coming, it was too late to introduce myself. So I never felt comfortable in that situation, even though we had some interesting conversation and my shy self even contributed a little bit. And I was also being eaten alive by bugs. So when they said they were going to the bar, I excused myself to go back to my room and finish my book. I know I sound like a nerd, but I was already uncomfortable in the situation and I didn't really want to drink with them.

I read for about 45 minutes, then I decided to go back to the computer lab and respond to my email before my friends left work. As I left the door to my building to walk across the yard to the computer lab, I ran into one of the interns and had to excuse myself from the bar again. "Um, I'm actually going to check my email."

"Haven't you been on the computer all day?" she asked, cajoling.

Sigh... yes, I have. And I'd be on my own computer in my room, if I could be! Then I wouldn't have these awkward situations of having to repeatedly turn down invitations to socialize.

I emailed for a while and as the sun went down, at one point the properties manager/IT guy came into the lab with the new IT intern, to show him some of the hardware. He saw me sitting at the computer and invited me to look at it, too. I looked and pretended I knew what I was looking at and tried not to be too much of a feeb so that they would like me. I don't think it worked. I don't have an IT vocabulary and I'm not very good at faking it. He pretty much told me it was laughable to imagine that I would ever have wireless access in my room (so much for 'wireless access from anywhere on the grounds'... maybe they just mean outside) but that someday he would configure my laptop to work on the wireless network. In the meantime, he gave me an ethernet cable so that I could connect that way.

I was very excited and went back to my room to collect Isidore. I brought him over to the computer lab, plugged him in, saw that a Local Area Network connection had been made, started up Internet Explorer and... nothing. The network registers, but I can't do anything on the Internet. Grrrrr. My hopes were quite up, too, that I would be blogging by tonight. I also found that the wireless network shows up as connected when I am close to the router, but again I can't access the Internet. Maybe it's an authentication issue I can get worked out quickly... so I can blog from somewhere, even if it isn't my bed.

I went back to the computer lab computer and chatted on AIM until late o'clock then came back to my room. The door was locked, so I put the key in the door but I couldn't turn it. It turns out that because one of my roommates had locked the door from the inside and left her keys in the door, I couldn't turn my own key. So I had to knock on the wall into Becky's room and wake her up to get into the room. :(

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* "I am, I said, to no one there. And no one heard at all, so I ate a pear."

srah - Wednesday, 9 June 2004 - 7:15 PM
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Comments (6)

gravatar mommy - June 10, 2004 - 12:45 PM -

Pooping in the Abbey?

gravatar srah - June 10, 2004 - 12:51 PM -

See Tuesday's entry.

gravatar MaTT - June 10, 2004 - 8:03 PM -

I thought you were awake till at least late-thirty... ;)

gravatar alfie - June 11, 2004 - 10:13 PM -

That phone looks evil. And completely unusable. Stupid small buttons.

gravatar srah - June 12, 2004 - 5:28 PM -

I think it might be! But then I am used to Phillips and Nokia. Motorola is so strange and different! Where is my automatic key lock?

gravatar MaTT - June 12, 2004 - 9:30 PM -

I have a Motorola (!) , and for some reason it's always listed as the $20 phone when all the rest are $100+. Hmm... i like it tho! I think Samsung and LG make the coolest models, b/c i like flip phones.

And mmmm, pears ;)

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