Feb 12, 2009

Losing and Breaking Everything!

Wow, my time in London has been one long run of losing and breaking stuff. As if Compacting isn't enough of a challenge when you move 120 degrees of longitude with a suitcase, rucksack, and bicycle. I brought the essentials and I expected them to serve me well. But I've been going through weird spells of breakage and loss.

You may remember that I lost my phone in December. I lost my front bike light a few weeks ago in the same way, in nearly the same place as the phone. (That would be me riding with stuff in my pockets and having it fall out, hearing it, looking back at it, and thinking, "I don't have anything that looks like that" as I keep pedaling away.) I lost my hat on Monday. I've had that hat for years. It's small and sporty for sweaty cyclists. I want my hat back. I repaired my torn cycling gloves in November and lost one of them about a week later.

I replaced the cell phone with a used one. I replaced the front bike light with a new one (safety item that I couldn't find used in time to matter). I replaced the cycling gloves with new ones as well since I couldn't find used ones. My tendonitis demands gloves or my fingers go numb about 5 minutes into my ride.

Broken items also include the exceptionally expensive shoes that I bought when I got here. I've always taken walking shoes as a Compact exception as I'm a dog walker with a torn meniscus in my left knee. In fact, let's throw the knee in the broken category 'cause it hurts like a bitch since I've been relegating to hiking boots, flip flops, house slippers, or wellies having lost the walking shoes. I've returned these waterproof Merrells to Blacks for a refund but they shipped them off for replacement. Basically the left shoe just burst at the seam one day, in the rain. Stupid shoes. I'd like my money back, at the exchange rate that I paid.

My external keyboard broke when I spilled water on it. Without the space bar I was feeling pretty limited. I know I have the keyboard on the laptop but see tendonitis above for why I can't look down at the screen or raise my arms up to type the 1000's of words required by my course. (And add right elbow and neck to the list of broken items) I hit up Gumtree and EBay for a used one but the offers were all new or shipping from Hong Kong or California, which seemed insane. I took the keyboard to a shop and they said they wouldn't even try to repair it. I broke down and went to the Apple store for a new keyboard. It's shit. Why does the 3 key say it has a £ sign when I want to know that it has #? Everytime I hit return i get this: \ And the stupid usb ports are too weak to support my mouse. Evil piece of crap.

The salt for the snow ate the brakes on my bike. I thought I just needed to tighten them but realized I was metal to metal on the back. So I'm off to Bob's Bicycles after I finish whining about all the broken shit in my life. Breaks definitely qualify as a safety item, and were in fact one of the first things that came up when we started the Compact.

My beloved, bartered computer hates me. I'm having huge problems getting this powerbook to recognize and recieve power from a charger. I had one of those knock off chargers and Blake said his was doing the same thing. Thinking it was the charger, I replaced it with a way expensive Apple charger in my supreme frustration. That was not the problem. The blinking screen is going to give me a seizure one day. Right now I have the power lead pulled taught with a rubber band to get the right connection. Sometimes I have to hold these stupid charger in the right place and sometimes even that doesn't work. Once I get the rubberband secured I have to make sure I don't move the computer too much so it's been difficult to decide when to take the machine in for repair. Basically, it works right now so I don't want to move it! But I need IT help at college so I guess I'm taking it in today after the bike. And I miss the portability of having a LAPTOP, not a desktop computer.

I've hinted at the body issues, and if you know me personally, you know it's not a joke. If you know me personally, you might know that I have an evil tooth in the back of my head that has been an evil pain since September 2006. I broke it on Tofurky Jerky. Seriously. And crap crown number 2 fell out on Monday. Seriously! And if I can't get NHS to call me back about my knee, then I'm assuming that getting this crown put back on or better yet, just pulling that evil tooth, is going to be impossible. Health care is shit everywhere, don't romanticize the UK on that one. (And yeah, I'm acutely aware of how ridiculously awful health care is in the US)

I don't really have the money for all of this loss and breakage. All I can say is thank goodness the pound has crashed. Given that I'm still living on dollars saved over the past two years, I'm stoked. My tuition was about $3000 less this term than it was last term. Although that just means less debt in the end, it makes having to replace or repair my broken shit a bit less scary because I might make it to the end of my stay here on just my savings for living expenses. We'll see. A lot depends on the evil tooth I'm afraid.

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