A Saturday without any excitement

Woke up; yawned; played with the computer; thought to myself: “Yesterday came back to the city, and the day after tomorrow I’ll go back to the university to do work. Er, work on my thesis, which I guess in a technical sense is work-like… but do you get to call your studies work? And what would a plumber think of gradients? But er, today is Saturday… so today’s for silly pursuits.”

Fiddled with the computer some more (bought an external hard drive yesterday, and the computer spent most of yesterday slowly making a spare copy of everything; I think me, electronically, is about 500 gigabytes of stuff), then put on pants and a collared shirt and went shopping.

Well, shoes too, obviously. Wouldn’t get terribly far without shoes, would I?

And a belt. Sheesh, and riding gloves and… wait a minute, at this level of detail interest starts to break down.

First parked the bike (bike? bicycle!) at the local super-hyper market, just ten minutes away (living on the same edge of the city as the auto-user attractions has benefits); wandered around for half an hour and bought a photo album.

An empty photo album.

There was no photo-shop to go into and say, “Fill a 100-framer with whatever you have. Maybe holiday snaps.”

Then went to Lidl and bought some food. Hamburger and pasta and tomato sauce — it’s not that I’m frugal, it’s that I’m bad with cooking and lazy, and have both a glutton’s appetite and a puritan’s disgust for anything fancy.

Spent five minutes looking for the Lidl’s pasta shelf, because summer makes you dumb. (Stop using it, and you start losing it. Numbers or dumbers!) The shelf was positioned like this: stand inside, facing the side of the building which holds the cashiers; it’s in the frontmost part, the second corridor from left.

Now you know where to find it in every Lidl in the world.

(Yesterday bought some place-in-light, then glow-in-dark toys, made to look like decorative rocks encased in transparent-green goop. One of the Lidl Things — ones that are for sale for a week, and then you never see them anywhere ever again. Am still hitting myself over the head for a nice-looking pannier I didn’t buy years ago.)

(“Nice looking panniers you got there”, the bicyclist said with an obscene leer. “Wanna see some shiny spoke nipples?”)

Then went back to my place, observing that maybe the mosquito season was over (but didn’t stop to make too many checks, because if you have to check, the answer is no), and fiddled with the computer some more, and put Tangerine Dream on.

Then half-assembled a bookshelf (a cheap white Ikea imitation), and said to myself: “I have done things like this before; clearly this is easy stuff which cannot go wrong!”; and put on some Blind Guardian and completed the assembly with admirable haste.

And then looked at the bookshelf, 70 cm wide and 200 cm high and not particularly offensive to the eye, having lovingly shoved it against one wall, and thought: “Funny that those parts aren’t painted white like the rest…”

Then there was some subvocalized screaming and cursing.

The almost last stage of assembling a bookshelf is hammering (or stapling) the backboard to the frame. The frame has a front side (nice, all painted and coated white) and a back side (bare ugly woodpulpy shelf-stuff). No points for guessing which I had stapled the backboard onto.

There was some work for a knife and a pair of pliers, then work for the stapler — thank the dead heavens I hadn’t gone with the nails supplied with the shelf! — and then the thing was done and the staple-holes left in the front were barely noticeable, unless you’re like me and know they are there whether you can see them or not.

And now it’s now, seven in the afternoon, and I think I’ll go and crack open a box of books, because an empty bookshelf is like a… um, let me think… like a lone wolf howling at the moon. Like a one-person orgy. Like Mary Celeste, or the houses of Centralia.

Which is to say, just the covers with no book inside, flapping sadly in the wind, alone.

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