Thursday, January 13, 2005

I am currently writing this from the pub around the corner from my flat. Why? You may ask? Because someone in flat 1 set off the fire alarm and I grabbed my laptop and my passport and my camera and went downstairs. So I just stole some big group's table but there was no one there when I sat down. My roommate is getting a coke and a Guinness for me. There is a good side to this story. I got to meet my next door neighbors for the first time. I had only caught glimpses of them as they disappeared behind their door. Now, I know their names.

I had to walk down the streets of Edinburgh in my Berkenstok sandals with my expensive laptop down to the pub. I was not exactly happy but now that I have a Guinness, I think that it will be alright. My roommate is reading about a famous piper from South Uist who was swept into the sea trying to escape the wind storm that lashed Scotland last night. I even felt my building move because of the winds.

Well, I think I have just about had my fill of visitors (not that I do not like them). I had my friend over Christmas and New Years then I had another over last night (he was up to talk to his supervisors). My mother is coming soon and my graduation is also soon. Oh I forgot to tell everyone that I passed my MScR and I will be graduating on the 28 of January. You may all now call me "Master" and for some of you it will be "Mr. Master".

It just feels really weird to have my head in my computer while I am in a pub. Whenever I am in a pub, I usually am talking or drinking or listening to music. I feel like such a geek. Well, I am really. Oh, I am doing a lecture on the day of my graduation about computer tools for Celtic Studies and Scottish Ethnology whose chair has not been filled for twenty-six years while they are still looking for someone with purely Scottish experience.

We just read an article in the London Times about a really nice guy who lived in a Toys R Us store and built himself a life. I think now is a good a time as any to talk about the time my friend who was staying over Christmas was downstairs waiting for me while I was getting something from the flat. I was coming back down the stairs when I saw him standing on the steps and I heard him talking to someone. I did not recognize the voice. Well, my friend told me later, after we left, that he wanted to see the door to the back garden while I was getting stuff and found a home-less man in the stairwell. Well the guy in the London Times story had kept a clean place, even installing a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher. The home-less man in my stairwell left stuff all over the place. You see if I were homeless, I would keep my place clean and tidy so that no one could find me while I looked for some government assistance to get me off the streets. I guess the moral of the story is that there is a real physiological difference between a "home-less" person and a person who is temporarily homeless. Maybe we should investigate this difference so that we can accurately counteract the "home-less" person mentality. I do not see that happening in the US and I am not sure if they are combating it effectively in the UK. We should throw a few million dollars to do a study to look at the difference in personality and life-view between these groups (i.e. the "home-less" person and a person who is temporarily homeless). When we know that scientifically, we can really get down to work to eliminate homelessness.

Well, I am almost done with my Guinness and they have not evacuated us from the pub, which is attached to the building in which I live so I am going to bet that once we are done drinking that my roommate and I will be heading back to the flat. This was an interesting experiment in stream of conscienous writing. I hope everyone out in internet-land liked it. I am sure that there are better examples of this kind of writing but this was mine and I enjoyed it.

My roommate just showed me a Times editorial article that references the guy hiding. It likens him to us by saying that we seem to be hiding in office buildings walking around and looking important. That I think is the real con-game of corporations. It is a technique that I used effectively when I was in school. As long as I looked like I was doing something important, I was never challenged when I used things in the teacher's lounge and wandering around the office areas of the school. As long as I look important, I will always get what I want, which is why I chose the life that I now live. I could not understand that principle at Microsoft or at any of the other companies that I worked for. Somehow, I was supposed to "look" like I was busy and doing long hours while at the same time, blame other people for failures that were supposed to be my responsibility. Well, failure is failure so I took it on even if it was not my own. I did not learn the game fast enough and in all seriousness, I rejected the game. Some could not understand that and used everything they could to get rid of me. I can only hope that academics is not the same as corporate America.

Well, I am going end this little experiment. It is truly strange to sit in a pub with a laptop. I do not think I will do it again. It feels like the screen sits between me and my roommate and everyone else in the pub. So hopefully, I will be back in my flat soon with some food because I am not going pay for the food here when I have good soup up in my flat waiting for me.

posted by Chris  #9:31 PM | 0 comments |