The Last Days of Dog

When Xena was first diagnosed, I started trying to think of nice things to do with her. We did some of them. I stuffed her into my bike trailer and took her through the canals into Vicky Park. The thing is that she was still seriously unwell, even if she was functional with pain killers. Her favourite activities almost all involved physical activity, which she had trouble with.

We went on some nice walks, but not long ones. Her favourite low impact activity was always going to parties, so we went to parties. Sonia’s going away party was large and crowded, with densely packed people, all merrily drinking. Xena weaved among them, charming people and nicking unguarded food. She was a social butterfly. As it got very late, I got worried about her getting tired or trampled, so I took her upstairs to chill out. I was exhausted and wanted to go to sleep, in fact. A lost party guest opened the room door and she darted out and rejoined the stragglers, happy to be in the midst of things.
That was probably her happiest night after being diagnosed and I’m glad she got it.
I found a new flat in time for my eviction. Sonia left the country for the year. Xena slowly, but surely kept declining, with brief rallies. Meanwhile, all the pills she was taking meant she needed frequent walks, during the day. And during the middle of the night. She often seemed at her perkiest, happiest and most mobile at 3 AM.
When I finally moved to a ground floor flat, it seemed to greatly increase her mobility. This week, on Tuesday morning, I took her to the park and she actually ran a bit. Wendyl, my new housemate, took her out for a walk, and Xena excitedly tugged on her lead the whole way.
Wednesday, maybe from overdoing it, maybe from just reaching a threshold, she was much more stiff and limped to the park. On previous days, she would often limber up as she walked, even if she got off to a rough start, but that day her limp just got worse and worse. I gave her pain killers and they didn’t help. I accidentally left treats within reach and she left them alone, preferring to lie on the floor. So I called the vet to make an appointment.
Then I fed her every treat in the house whilst waiting for the cab. I knew this would eventually upset her stomach, but I thought she would not actually experience the ill effects of this. But then the vet was running behind and we waited over an hour. She looked miserable from being in the vets’ office, from the pain in her leg, and presumably from an upset stomach.
Because the euphemism is “putting her to sleep,” I assumed it would resemble sleep in some way, but it did not. She did not tire and relax as much as she crumpled.
Vets say these drugs are humane and painless and kind. Anti-death penalty activists say they’re painful and cruel. Somebody here is wrong.
I wish they had sedated her first.
I’ve never seen anyone die before. The dog I had as a kid apparently got into rat poison and died 10 minutes before I arrived to see him. I was not at the bedside of either of my grandmothers or my cousins. My uncle died in his sleep without warning. When my mum died, I was at opera, seeing Messiaen’s St Francis of Assisi, feeling unhappy about how the hugging of the leper was treated. My experience of death is funerals and loss and digging my first dog’s grave and fetching my neighbour’s drowned cat from the pond. Xena won’t have grave, won’t have a funeral. The only thing left is to give away all her things.
The vet said I did the right thing. I tried to explain I hadn’t just let it go until she was staggering. That she got suddenly worse. That I hadn’t carried her because I knew that also hurt her shoulder.
Today, I woke up extremely early and got on a train to Birmingham to sound check for a gig I played in this evening. Because my life goes on, at least, even if hers doesn’t.
And when we finished earlier than I expected, I got a train tonight back to London instead of waiting for the morning, as that’s easier, so I was feeling kind of good about it and thought I should send a text to … nobody. There’s nobody waiting for me. There’s nobody who cares if I go back today or tomorrow. I have no particular responsibilities. No job. I am uneeded. I can sleep through the night without having to wake up for a walk. If I reach to my side while I sleep, my bed will be empty and my floor bare. I can go wherever I want and do whatever I want. And if what I want is a walk to the park, I’ll go alone.

I killed my dog today

A while ago, I posted that Xena had cancer. The vet sent me home with steroids and tramadol, a pain killer. Gradually, she needed more and more pain killer until today, when something got much worse overnight and she could barely walk at all.

I called the vet to ask how much it would cost to get a housecall and then I started calling for cabs that would take a dog. I wish I could say something nice or reassuring about her death. I showed up at the vet’s office and they were running more than an hour behind, so Xena lay in the middle of the waiting room floor and looked around nervously. Then she limped around with me to a back room, where she was frightened and hurting. She lay down on a blanket they put out. The vet shaved a section of her leg to give her a shot. She sniffed my eyes where I was crying as he pushed in the injection and just collapsed her head down and had stopped breathing within a moment.

He said she felt no pain, but how would he know that?

I took her collar off and her head flopped easily in my hands. Her body was still warm, her ears still soft, her eyes still open.

I wish I had done it before she got that bad. I wish I hadn’t had to do it at all. It doesn’t matter what I wish.

Xena has cancer

Xena has been gradually slowing down for the last year. I thought it was her arthritis at first, but when her limp got bad, I took her to the vet and an x-ray showed that she’s got a tumour in one of her shoulders. He suggested that she might have a few more years if her leg was amputated, but she also might not. As far as they can tell, it hasn’t spread, but they can’t say with certainty and I think it would be a very difficult change for her, since she’s nearly 12.
So, she’s getting pain killers and is home with me. The vet thinks she’ll probably have about 3 good months.
I’m glad that we don’t put dogs through what we put people through.
Xena’s a good dog and has had a good life. She’s been to 10 countries. She’s lived in 3 and in multiple US states. She’s been to parties, weddings, concerts, camping trips, festivals, offices, universities, cars, boats, trains, trams, bicycles and buses.
It would be difficult to overstate how much my life has changed in the decade she’s been my dog. She’s been there for the death of my mum, the end of my software engineering days, the end of my marriage, the entirety of my post-graduate career, my transition, half my time in Holland and all of my time in England.
I’m trying to stay cheerful, since she’s not gone yet and she’s concerned about me being upset. It’s difficult to adjust.
Xena has many friends in many places. If any of you want to come out and see her, I can find a bed or a sofa for you to sleep on.

Need Doggy Day Care in Brum

I’m going to be in Birmingham very shortly and I’m looking for somebody to hangout with my dog during the day Monday – Thursday. I would drop Xena by you in the morning. She would sit around and probably sleep most of the day. You would take her on one walk, or maybe two. I would come get her in the evening. I would give you £10 for your trouble that day. She could be left alone while you ran errands, for like 4 hours at a stretch. It’s a really low stress gig. Fun, too, since she’s a good dog.
If you’re interested, drop me an email at .

I haz a Xena!!

Hooray, Xena just got dropped off!
When I got her back, first thought was, “she’s gotten fat again.” Second thought was, “What’s that smell?” Third thought was, “augh, she needs a bath.”
She was all awag. Apparently, I still smell enough like myself that she recognized me instantly. I was worried that my lower voice and higher testosterone levels would confuse her, and maybe they do, but she still knows me. Hooray.
So I took her to the park. On the way back, she jumped into the street in front of a car. They drive on the wrong side of the street, so it was only after I pulled her back on to the sidewalk that I realized that she was nearly run over. That would have sucked.
We walked to the store to get dog shampoo. When we got back, I discovered that the shower is broken and probably has been for a while. Then, when washing her blanket, I found out the kitchen light is out. Well, it’s not out, it blinks on occasionally. And, I found a stack of final notices from the ISP. Three of them were last and final. 2 of those said they were going to turn it over to a collections agency. Yeah . . .
And my luggage just came. Huzzah.Blogged with Flock

Mercury is in retrograde

As an Aquarius, of course, I don’t believe in astrology. But sometimes, when things start going wrong in rapid succession, I ask my California friends and learn that Mercury is, indeed, in retrograde. I have no idea what this means as per Mercury’s position relative to the Earth (and certainly have no idea how this could possibly have any measurable effect on the Earth), but in astrology terms, it means things are going to break. It’s a bad time to start new projects. One friend, Polly, who actually worked giving readings, explained that this is actually a good thing in that it helps people weed things out and focus, etc. It’s important to lead a balanced life. So my last week or so has been very balancing.

So I mentioned in my last post that I was moving from CVS to svn (don’t worry, this won’t get too technical, but anyway, the next paragraph will be non-geeky). I was all set to start work on new projects for a new year and so I created the organizational scheme that I would use on one computer and when I tried to get it onto the other one . . . no dice. So I decided enough was enough and switched systems. Which was fraught with all kinds of peril. In brief, it didn’t like my data and wouldn’t work with it. Developers started to recognize my login name and ask if I could submit bug reports. This is not a good thing. I had to add every file to svn, one at a time, trying to figure out which one was the culprit. I never did find out, but this process was not fast. At least it’s all in now, so my data is more or less safe.
While this was going on, I finally realized that none of my classmates were going to volunteer to watch my dog. My supervisor would have offered, but his wife just gave birth on Monday, so I told him no. There’s a pet store near my house, that I’ve talked about before. the owner was the guy who told me that my dog would be stolen from in front of the supermarket. Anyway, he has a chip reader and I wanted to see if Xena’s chip could be read with a standard, English reader and I wanted to get advice about kennels, so I went back to the shop with Xena.
The smell wasn’t very nice when I first went, but this time, it was like the air was soupy with it. The shop is full of birds and rodents and other small animals and a cat and there was a pungent mix of the smells of their food, their bedding, their fur and their feces. They also do dog grooming there, so there was a smell of wet dog and the hairs brown around my the hair dryers wafted through the shop (if only I was exaggerating). There were cases of vegetables on the ground, which I guess were for the rabbits, and clearly some forgotten ones, behind the overly stuffed shelves, had been left to rot. I imagined that a portal had opened to some foul layer of hell and stinking demons entered and left through this shop, whose smell would mask their comings and goings.
The shop guy didn’t have his chip reader with him. As for kennels, there were no good ones in Birmingham. I would get Xena back half starved, with open wounds, if I got her back at all. One of his customers got the wrong dog back. I would have to go at least 50 km out of town to find a decent kennel. I looked dumbfounded and he went on, saying that it was midterm break and all the kennels were already completely booked anyway. And I should give him a ring and make an appointment to get Xena’s chip read.
Right. I like to get all my distress out of the way in one go, so I went in the barber shop a few doors down and asked for a haircut. When I tried this in The Hague, I was refused service. In other places, it’s lead to huge arguments about appropriate haircuts. Etc etc. Well, England wins for least stress place to get a hair cut. They asked me to clarify, but no arguments at all. It just got cut. Alas, not quite as well as my Amsterdam barber, but quite a bit cheaper. The barber was indignant about the kennel situation. “We have animal welfare laws in this country!” she said. “No kennel would treat a dog like that! They would get shut down, maybe go to jail.” Her assistant wrote down some phone numbers from the yellow pages (“Do you have yellow pages in California?”) and later I called them and the first one had space and I booked it. Yay.
So when I got back, I finished up my svn conversion and all seemed well and it was time to write the music that I had due. I approached a high profile blogger about trading a commission for a plug and a banner ad and he said ok, and then my backup thing went totally wrong and I had to email him to ask for an extra week. Yikes. So I went to work on that. There’s a sports theme, so I recorded some football sounds from the TV and then layered them in a sort of interesting manners and then went to record some processed white noise. I thought it would be nice to have it start with very strongly resonant filterings and settle out into plain noise, which could be faded down to sound like crowd noise. This is still my plan, but the nice thing about hardware synths is that you never really know how it’s going to come out. This is why it’s fun.
My synth got kind of battered in the move (always tighten your bolts before shipping!), and this was my first time turning it on and, thank gods, it worked. So I set up my patch and tried to record it and got unfiltered noise. After a lot of head scratching, it became clear that the noise source was my mixer! Arg.
I took it apart and all the solder joints looked ok. I don’t know what I thought I could fix. I put it back together and reattached it and got the sound I was expecting. Yay. So I re-attached it to the computer and got nothing but noise again. Oh. Must be a software problem.
I went to download the manual for the Ardour, which is the mixing software that I use. (It’s free, and quite nice) and noticed both that the manual section I was looking for is not yet written (alas) and there’s a new version out with many improvements for mac users. (Huzzah.) The new version, though, didn’t like my version of Jack, which is an audio library that alot of free software uses. So I got the new version of jack and installed it and it wouldn’t run at all. And it completely blew away my old version. And then, slowly, I remembered that it had taken me over a week to figure out how to custom compile it last time so it would run on my machine. And I had never gotten around to doing the write up of what I changed to get it to work. oh crap.
That’s ok. I have other software. so I fired up Audacity, (which is also free software and very nice) and all it recorded was noise. ( . . . ) I tested my mixer again and it wasn’t working.
So a flaky mixer caused me to blow away my working software.
There’s no way I can finish this project without a mixer. So I have to buy a new one. In the mean time, I’ve missed the second deadline and created a mountain of work. This is not good.
What killed the mixer? It’s not surprising that it’s given up the ghost. It’s spent a lot of time bouncing around in a backpack and I plugged the american transformer into a step-down converter, which meant it was getting 50 Hz when it expected 60. Still, it functioned for 2 years in this manner. I’ve been having odd electrical problems recently. I go to sleep and leave things on (yeah, my carbon footprint, I know) and when I wake up, they’re inexplicably off. Still plugged in and switched on, but not getting electricity. Oh my god, the first time this happened was with my laptop. The battery had drained utterly and the power brick would not spit out juice. I thought the computer had died. But, unplugging and replugging fixes it every time so far. It’s hit my other computer, my speakers, my synths, a power bar (the light-up switch was not lit up). This is really weird. In other countries I’ve lived in, a plug in the wall means either that power is flowing or a fuse or breaker has gone. It doesn’t stop and wait to be replugged.
I think I need a UPS, which is expensive enough in the US. It’s going to cost a month’s rent here. They’re very useful in a studio, though. They suppress surges, they keep voltage steady in dips and brown outs, and, best of all, they tale a lot of noise out of the power and therefore make your gear actually sound better.
And I need to buy a new mixing board, which would be much, much cheaper in New York, where I’ll be on November 1, but stupid power differences and Britian’s odd obsession with grounded, fuse-containing plugs (hm, or not so odd after all), means that I should buy one in this country. Which is probably the most expensive place in all of Europe to buy electronics gear.
So, in summary, I have to spend a fortune housing my dog, replacing my mixer and getting a UPS. If I get my dog back, she’ll be wounded and half-dead. I totally blew it in a really high profile commission. My recording/mixing machine’s software is offline for the foreseeable future. My existing hardware is in danger. I have a meeting with my supervisor on wednesday and I’ve accomplished exactly nothing. Less than nothing, because before I had the potential of accomplishing something. But, to balance things, I don’t have to fight for haircuts. So it’s not all bad. Oh, and I’m moderating the livejournal feminist group again, which could go either way.
Still no social life, but my sanity is staying much more stable that I would have expected. So that’s good too. Really, things can only get better. Unless they don’t.

This is Xena

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Happy Dog, originally uploaded by celesteh.

As you can see, my dog is very cute. Check out how her back legs are sprawled out, frog-like. This is how she normally sits, when she sits. It means she can’t spring up too quickly. Which is ok, as she rarely springs up. A more typical portrait would have her lying down asleep.
(maybe I should get her thyroid checked, actually.)
Not that she doesn’t run around when appropriate. When this picture was taken, she had just finished chasing a ball around in the woods. So fun! So cute! But indoors, she’s more sleepy. And very quiet. She only barks when a stranger is trying to come inside by themselves. (Useful) Or if she’s tied up outside a grocery store.
If you look very closely at this photo, you will fail to find evidence of fleas or ticks. Not only because the resolution isn’t anywhere near good enough, but because she gets a treatment every month which rids her of pests and protects her against heart worm.
So, if you, in Edgbaston, East Midlands, England, who has a free room in your flat, were to rent to me, you would have a very cute pet around and a bit of additional security, but with no responsibility. You could get all the belly rubs you wanted, or let her sleep (she’s not pushy at all) and never have to pick up after her. Really, it’s perfect for you.
Did I mention that she’s small?
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Posing on Pagoda, originally uploaded by celesteh.

News, Plans, etc


I hope all of my American readers had a happy 4th of July. It was my cat’s 10th birthday, but she’s in California, so I didn’t bake her a cake or anything. Actually, I’m alarmed by what sort of cake a cat would like. yuck.

Here in The Hague, I went to an expat BBQ. We grilled a bunch of expats . . .. ahem. It was fun. there was a guy there with a dog also from California, but from LA. She and Xena had the north-south rivalry thing going on. Anyway, the other dog was clearly a California mutt as it was half pitbull. It’s the law that 90% of mixbreed dogs in CA are half pitbull. He said to keep it quiet because they’re outlawed in the Netherlands, but further research on wikipedia seems to indicate that this is not the case. Anyway, anti-breed laws are stupid. I started talking about how pitbulls are nice to people, and are only risky around other dogs. Nicole says that was rude. She drug me out to the grill to make tofu kabobs.
It would have been Xena’s happiest July 4th ever, as there were no fireowrks, except for two things. There was some sort of incident between the two dogs and the LA one bit through Xena’s ear. It’s just a little hole, but Xena was way freaked out. The other owner and the host pulled the dogs apart, something I tried to prevent. Folks, never stick your hands between fighting dogs! The host, Kendra, is from Alaska and says she has experience breaking up fighting dogs and knows how to do it without getting hurt. Anyway, it was probably for the best because Xena had already submit, but the other dog wasn’t backing off. Which is why pitbulls are dangerous for other dogs – once they get started in a fight, they don’t stop at the point most other dogs would stop. Most dogs just fight to establish dominance. Anyway, after being separated, the other dog reverted to being cute and friendly, but Xena was freaked. I felt kind of bad for the owner. He was really embarassed. It sucks when you beloved pet, who is almost human in your eyes, reveals their animal nature. Like barfing in a restaurant – which Xena did recently.
Then we got home and there was an incredible thunder storm. Way cooler than any fireworks. Xena tried to hide under the bed. Bad day for her. Yesterday, she barely wanted to leave the house, which was fair enough as she’s been awake and scared most of the night. Poor dog.


I go soon to Linz for my gig. Tickets are quite a bit more than I expected. Why are trains more expensive in the summer? They don’t cost more to run. I’ll get back around the second half of July. Then I want to bike along the coast of the Netherlands and then inland towards a small town in Friesland. Nick will probably participate. Then I will come back and meet up with Kendra and we will bike to Copenhagen, leaving around August 1st. That should take about 2 weeks. Then I get to worry a lot about moving.
Biking with clips is awesome. I feel like I have way more control over the bike and could go way faster. Also, popping in and out gets easy very quickly. when I first started on a still bike in front of my house, I thought it would be really hard, but suddenly, like a clip, it just clicked.
I tried to buy a bluetooth PDA keyboard from a shop in Rotterdam, but they’d sold out earlier in the day. However, I was able to use my GPS setup to navigate. Maemo Mapper tip: after you load the route into the program, quit it and restart. This will save the route in non-volitaile memory and if you (software) crash on the way, you won’t have to sorta head in the right direction while hoping to run into an open wifi network.
Also, I really love it when folks name their network linksys and leave it wide open. Seriously, it’s great. I kind of want to rename my network to linksys. This si the closest thing to an open citizen’s anarchist wifi net that we can reasonably hope for. So let’s all do it! Unlock your networks! Rename them to linksys! Encrypt all your data going over the wifi! If you leave your own network open, then you don’t need to feel guilty about borrowing anybody else’s connectivity. I leave mine open for that reason. But I’m not renaming it right now, because I’m not sure how to configure my remote-controlled-only media server to connect to a new network, nor even if it’s a good idea to let it potentially connect to the wrong one. So everybody except for me should rename their network, and we should leave them open. That is all.


I read somebody complaining once that the term “FAQ” is a complete misnomer. It has nothing to do with any questions that any person is asking and instead has to do with information the corporation (or in this case, me) has chosen to provide. Except that’s not entirely true in this case. I once shared a hostel room (in 2001, in Prague) with a teacher at the Berkeley Psychic Institute. I asked her if she could give me the five minute version. Therefore, I’m not merely divulging whatever information I feel like sharing, I’m reading your mind to discover what you want to know and answering that!

  1. When are you going to Copenhagen (by bike)?
    Well, I don’t know. I don’t know when I’ll have a new wheel for the doggy ride and I have a gig coming up in Lintz that I have to get to and I need to figure out how to mount an N88 on my handlebars (ok the last bit might not be the most important consideration).
  2. Weren’t you going to bike to Friesland?
    On the way to Copenhagen.
  3. What’s the deal with this gig in Austria?
    At the /etc conference. I should get on the ball with that and write some some music and find out when and where I’m supposed to play, maybe get some train tickets, find a place to crash, that sort of thing.
  4. This N800 you keep talking about, have you beat it into submission yet?
    As far as I can tell, the best way to development on it with a mac is to use a virtual machine emulation, specifically, QEUMU, which is free. Or install linux on an intel mac, which ain’t going to happen. (maybe when I find very detailed docs and/or ubuntu comes out with a release specifically aimed at minimac users.) I’m getting some mysterious error about pixels. When I figure out what I’m doing, I’ll post a howto.
    There’s some cross-platform net application tool called Mono which looks promising. It has the write-once, run-everywhere thing that java had. I already know java, but it’s ‘everywhere’ doesn’t include my tablet (thanks for making that decision, nokia, really swell). Anyway, some sort of flickr uploader that works like a mail reader will soon be cobbled together form pre-existing components or, if some other more enterprising programmer has already written it, will be linked.
  5. Your mind reading really missed the mark with that last question . . .
    that’s not a question!
  6. Sorry. How’s your chin doing? All healed up?
    It’s been like 2 weeks since my chin had a sudden meeting with some asphalt. The stitches are out and Nicole no longer turns away in horror when she gets a glimpse of my chin. It has a scar, which is kind of nifty and the giant bump under it has mostly gone away. It’s still a bit numb around some of the stitches. I can barely open my mouth wide enough to eat a banana (often, there is scraping). I can hear sounds in one ear of my jaw clicking when I chew, which also kind of hurts, depending. I think it might be possible that there’s a crack in the bone in my jaw, but it’s not like they can put a cast on it, so it doesn’t really matter.
    On the plus side, my jaw looks more square and I have a hot new scar, so I can’t complain too much. I don’t believe in suffering for fashion, but when it’s an accidental side effect, I can find solace in my vanity. (The seven deadly sins are so much fun!)
  7. Um, that sucks
    Eh, c’est la vie. It’s not that big of a deal. I’m losing weight, though, so it’s sub-optimal, but whatever.
  8. Ok, since you’re a mind reader, what would I want to ask about if I knew to ask about it?
    That scary campground which I stayed at on my last day of the last trip had super ticks that resisted the dog’s anti-tick treatment. It wasn’t the kind of tick associated with lyme disease though (didn’t look like mine from last year), so she should be ok. Hopefully. Somebody told me a story about a dog getting some virus from a tick and not being able to walk with it’s back legs anymore. The stairs to my apartment would be pretty rough for a dog wheelchair. Anyway, dogs get ticks all the time, so yeah. I worry too much.
  9. You thought I wanted to know about your dog having a tick?
    My blog is a real source for excitement. No, I just felt like sharing. I went on a canoe trip last weekend. It was fun. It was near Rotterdam. There are some really green and lovely areas there. If you travel in Holland, don’t forget to check out Rotterdam. Make a side jaunt to Kinder Dijke, to see a huge concentration of windmills. Then, consider heading towards Lekker Kerk, where you can rent canoes and kyaks by the hour (you will need to find out information about this on the internets, since it’s just near lekker kerk and not in it). The canals there are insanely pretty.
    Then I went to a wedding reception in Eindhoven. I brought Xena with me. She’s been to three weddings now, which is a lot for a dog. I had a very confusing conversation with a Russian family. I think they wanted to buy Xena’s puppies? They were sneaking her food when I wasn’t looking. Alas, she will have no puppies.

I detect no further questions from you at this time, but, of course, you haven’t read this yet. Further questions can go in the comments. I detect that you find this so fascinating that, um, something about laundry needing doing? Desire for a Pop Tart? It’s all fuzzy.


I got the stiches out of my chin yesterday, which have helped make it feel less irritated. While getting them snipped out, I inquired about my lingering jaw pain (hurts a lot to chew) and swollenness. The doctor who stiched me said it should all go away within a “couple of days” but she must have meant “weeks” and the nurse practitioner advised me to be patient. At least my lip is de-swollen enough that I can generally be understood while speaking. Well, almost as much as usual.

The nurse also said I was incredibly lucky, after I described what happened to her. I could have been much more badly hurt. It’s funny how people say “lucky.” Like, I’m lucky not to have hurt my brain, but I think real luck would have involved somehow landing on my feet or not crashing at all. And I’m lucky my dog’s not dead, but… no, that was just luck. Jeesus gods.
I went to the pet store yesterday to buy dog-washing soap and saw all the pet toys and went a little crazy. I mean, she could have been killed, so maybe I should get her a bunch of chew toys and treats and stuff, right? I started explaining this to the cashieer of the store and told my story and I got to the part where the cop said it was my fault and his expression began to change. It was clear he thought I was making the whole thing up. Have you ever had a day so shitty that when you tried to tell people about it, they thought you were lying?
Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t repeat it to strangers (the tourist office woman in Brussels seems a bit non-plussed, as did the woman who sold me the box of liguor-filled bonbons), but man, some things you just have to get out. And if nobody you know is around, well, this is why it sucks to work retail.
I don’t really have anything else to say. I’ve been trying to come up with clever gear reviews (“camelback – ache”), but I’m not so motivated. I guess I’m going on with the bike tripping thing though, since I just purchased all the maps I’ll need to get to Copenhagen from the same store in which I got my maps to Brussels. The guy asked how it went. At least he believed me. He swore Denmark would be better.
There’s a reason that Douglas Adams transcribed that the word “belgium” has the most filthy curse word in the gallery. That’s all I’m saying.