Shmuel's Soapbox: Now available in bite-sized Weblog McNuggets!
Thursday, January 17, 2002

1:52 PM:

The good news: I think I've finally turned the corner on this cold. I'm still dealing with the remnants of it, but I think I'm on the way out.

Today's schedule: do some packing. Go to class at 2:30. Leave class at 4:00. Scurry back home for more packing, perhaps. Go to class at 5:00. Leave class at 8:00. Go back home, finish gathering stuff together and preparing. Get a ride to the airport circa 8:30. Arrive at the airport around 9:15 PM, with plenty of time to spare before my 6:35 AM flight to New York. Maybe even get a nap along the way.

(Believe it or not, the last bit of this plan still makes more sense than any alternatives I can think of.)

The downside of all this is that I'd been looking forward to writing a good, celebratory entry on the occasion of this, the third anniversary of the start of this journal, and I'm not gonna be able to do it. Not nearly enough time, not to mention energy. So I'm just going to boil it down to the essentials: Man, three years. Cool. Go me! And you guys rock. Thanks.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2002

11:16 PM:

Okay, I've got some lost time to make up for here.

I may as well start on an unreservedly positive note. This past Sunday, shortly after publishing my last couple of entries to this journal, I stopped by the local public library. After taking out a book I needed for class, I ducked into the weekly book sale for about two minutes, which was just enough time to flip through the used records and discover that somebody had donated not one, not two, but five P.D.Q. Bach albums. Which I now own. Total cost: $2.50. Rejoice with me!

(I'd consider making that a literal invitation, but so far as I know I have only two regular readers in Ann Arbor, and one of them is somebody I've never actually met in Real Life, and... hmm. Actually, y'know, it's not such a terrible suggestion. Anybody up for a listening party after I get back from New York? We could play Scrabble, too...)

Impulsive asides aside...

(I hadn't intended that last phrase to turn out the way it did, but I'm letting it stand.)

(You're letting it stand aside?)

(Hush.)

So. I'm not entirely over my cold yet, which might explain the last few lines, but I doubt it. It's too convenient an excuse. At any rate, I've been on the mend, which is good, because my nose can't take much more of this. Kleenex Cold Care tissues help (I splurged for the occasion), but there are limits.

Otherwise... my classes. Okay. I may as well start with the one I dropped, just to get it out of the way. That would be Jewish Literatures in America.

...we interrupt this entry in progress to say: Ow. And to give a word of advice, typed using our left hand. If you go to the toaster oven and slide out the rack using a potholder (or, if you are an Orthodox Jewish male who routinely uses his yarmulke for that purpose, then using a yarmulke as a potholder), do be sure that contact with the very hot rack is, in fact, made only through the potholder, and that your thumb is not extending past the potholder onto the rack itself. Because after a couple of seconds of contact, you will notice.

On the bright side, I hadn't thought I'd find any use for the rest of the Smart Dogs in the freezer. (They're soy hot dogs. The texture is entirely wrong, alas.) They make for a decent ice pack, though.

The report on my classes will wait. Sorry...

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Monday, January 14, 2002

11:50 AM:

As if to underscore my point of a few entries back about the instability of my mail providers, the one I use for my primary mail account hasn't been available since about 1 PM yesterday. I'd been waiting it out in the hope that this was just a momentary glitch, but I've finally given in and paid the $9.95 to Mail.Com and switched my shmuel@nycmail.com forwarding address over to direct the mail to my college account instead.

And also set it so that it saves a copy of all messages to the Web-based mailbox, too, that apparently being a new option for people who actually pay for the service. That'll require a bit of maintenance, but it could prove to be very useful in situations like these. (I hate having my mail spread out all over the place, but at this point it beats the alternative.)

The upshot of this is that if you tried sending me something in the past day, sorry about that, and please resend it.

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Sunday, January 13, 2002

4:24 PM:

I've never really gotten into Get Fuzzy, although I'm aware that it has a loyal and enthusiastic following, one that includes my sister. It's not that I have anything against it, it just doesn't usually strike me as funny.

Last Sunday's strip, however, has turned out to be an exception. I want this as a poster.

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1:06 PM:

My classes. So far, so good, factoring in one quick adjustment in which I traded in one course. More to follow.

In other news, I have a cold, but I'm getting over it. But I've gotta get dressed and stagger out to the library now and make some photocopies and pick up a book I need for class. Type to you soon...

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12:58 PM:

I've been looking into my flight options all week. It turned out that there would be a $75 fee to change my ticket, plus whatever the difference in price would be between the original fare and that of the flight I wanted to switch to. Which turned out to be a considerable amount in itself. To change my flight to New York from Tuesday, January 22nd, to Friday, January 18th, I found out late last week, would cost a total of $140. The original ticket, including all taxes and such, had been a grand total of $129.50. It seemed perverse to spend more to change the ticket than the ticket had cost in the first place.

My mother suggested that I look into the possibility of taking a standby flight to New York, and using my existing ticket for the return trip. It turned out, however, that if you don't fly on any given leg of your trip, they cancel the whole ticket. There went that idea.

So I was back to the original plan, in which changing the ticket would cost a lot. Even considering that a very kind, very generous friend had offered to cover $50 of the expense, that still left $90 to pay myself, which was, like, a lot. Even granting that it would enable me to attend the wedding on a day on which I hadn't been up since leaving for the Detroit airport sometime before 3:00 AM. Even granting that it might well give me a chance to stop by the Queens College financial aid office and iron out that little detail about my Perkins Loan so that I can finally get my diploma. Even granting that it would give me time to hang out with Jen for a bit, and maybe even some other friends. I'd already spent the original $130 on the original ticket; how much did I want to sink into this trip, anyway? Would a mere upgrade really be worth the price of, umm, three large textbooks?

Of course I crumbled. Four days in New York is a powerful lure, far too powerful for a mere (and might I add, still homesick) mortal like myself to resist. Although, by the time I stopped dithering, the price had gone up to $146. Whatever; I paid it, I'm going, I can't wait to be back in New York.

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