June 20th, 2010

krazy koati

A beautiful ceiling

I got up, to my mild amazement, on time. I'm always skeptical of unfamiliar alarm clocks. And the Internet was still working; I got mail from my thesis advisor/co-worker, with whom I'd had a meeting scheduled for the next Thursday (which is by now last Thursday), to talk with him about potential research, asking me to meet him Monday instead. That wouldn't even start to work: I'd have to call in to work and arrange over the phone the trading of one day off for another, and this on top of modestly complicated day-off arrangements I'd set for the week after, and this while the office is undergoing its own major administrative changes that I'll discuss when I have room for that in the queue. I didn't think that would happen, so I wrote a letter saying that, hit send and ...

The connection died before the whoosh noise of the message going out. My first guess was that perhaps I'd screwed up the connection by closing and then re-opening my laptop; I'd had some idea of tending other things before sending out my mails and then remembered, it doesn't actually take long to write the responses I needed to send out. So I closed my laptop again, took care of the other chores, re-opened it and ... couldn't send anything. And couldn't get any web sites either; even the login screen for wireless access was just spinning that chromatic wheel of waiting until the connection died out. I supposed that the responses would have to wait after all.

My next stop was to the front desk, as I'd decided that my father's advice was good: I should take an extra day, maybe more, and play tourist. The college was putting me up for just one day, but I could put another one on my own credit card and the hotel was happy to arrange this. Certainly this simple arrangement could not lead to any problems.

And then off to my interview, at a college office which was barely a block away from the hotel. I thought it was even too short a distance to drive --- less than a mile --- and so I hiked in my new dress shirt, blazer, slightly used pants, and shiny new shoes, and worried that it was farther on the ground than it looked by the maps. it wasn't at all; and I arrived at the security desk at 8:31, against a scheduled arrival time of 8:30. Starting off in good shape.

Trivia: Under its first election law about one percent of the Japanese population was eligible to vote. Source: A Modern History of Japan, Andrew Gordon.

Currently Reading: Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970 - 2000, Stephen Kotkin.