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2003-10-08 - 11:55 a.m.

automation and romance

I know that it must either be lunch time or quitting time because the lights in my office have automatically gone out. There is some strange fascination in this country with over automating everything.

In our building alone we have automated lights in the offices kitchens, labs, stairwells, and bathrooms. They don't work. And let me tell you, there are some vulnerable moments when you just don't want to be plunged into darkness.

Equally irritating are the automated window blinds, apparently they are controlled by a meteorological station on the roof of the back of the building. And everytime a cloud blows over the light sensor(and, uh, this is, like, a cloudy country), the blinds go either up or down. I assume it is intended for energy conservation purposes, but it ultimately leaves you sitting with the sun glaring on a now-unreadable computer screen. So in effect it is an exercise program for scientists, "Time to get up and adjust your environmental settings again!"

Yesterday was another sick day, in part because my voice continues to protest the fact that I wish to use it. Also partially because working at home is more productive. and mostly because I wanted to avoid Attila who was making a not-so-surprising appearance at the institute and would probably want to ask about my resignation papers.

But it also allowed me the opportunity to take a long lunch hour. K was in a very sour mood as he prepared for his trip north - when I finally reached him on the telephone about one hour before his train, he greeted me with "Everything sucks." This required immediate action. I normally remain in an appalling state when I work at home, unshowered, bedroom hair, in a pink nightshirt with big fluffy red socks to keep my feet warm. So I quickly pulled myself together and took the bus to the train station where I met him with a rose. It worked - it cheered him up. And he suggested that I come to Weimar with him for a coffee.

Why not? So we thoroughly baffled the train staff for 10 minutes by trying to change his ticket, and then hopped the next regional to Weimar. So it wound up being a 2-hr lunch break on my sick day. But it was worth it to briefly feel like a romantic person, and to see the smile on his face. I think I'll go play some thoroughly romantic music and write some love poetry now....

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