A rough couple of days
Well, I decided I would return those speakers and exchange them for a different model. I had trouble repacking the ones I bought, damaging the box some, but I noticed, when I was trying to pick out another set, that another box of the same make of speaker was also a bit worse for wear, as was one of the boxes of a different model from the same company. Evidently I wasn’t the first to return them. So I figured I’d try another brand. I finally settled on one, but when I got it home and opened the box, I was concerned by their flimsy, plasticky feel; they reminded me of cheap, low-quality speakers I recall encountering in the past. And when I tried them out, it confirmed my worst fears; they sounded absolutely awful. So I immediately repacked them, and I was tempted to drive back and return them then and there, but it was late enough that I decided to wait until morning — which was good, because it gave me time to realize that there was a closer Staples store and that I probably didn’t have to return it to the same place (which I didn’t). So this morning I drove to the closer store and got my money back, and I didn’t even try to look for a third set. I figure I need to try some other store, one where I can sample the quality of the speakers before I buy them.
(Oh, and when I was getting ready to go out yesterday, I looked for my umbrella just in case it was still raining, and discovered I’ve lost it somehow. I can’t find it anywhere in my apartment or my car. I probably left it or dropped it somewhere and I have no idea where. And that’s frustrating since I only recently bought it and have barely used it, and it was still completely intact.)
Another reason I waited is because I had a lot of thinking to do about my novel outline in progress. I’m having a bit of an issue that I don’t know if I can go into, but it’s putting some pressure on me to solve some plot problems pretty quickly. So I really needed to do some serious thinking. Since the store I went to was near Eden Park, I figured I’d drive up there and find a place I could park and walk around and do some thinking, get a change of scenery from my own little neighborhood park. Which turned out to be a horrible mistake, since Eden Park is very, very difficult to navigate if you’re in a car. There are all these roads twisting around, not a lot of signage, and only limited available routes, and I just couldn’t figure out where to go to get to the parts of it that I remember visiting with Aunt Shirley last time she was in town. (We had her GPS for navigation then, and we still got lost.) It was very frustrating, especially when a couple of cars came up behind me and honked at me — which didn’t make sense, since the speed limit in the park was low and the roads were narrow and twisty and it would’ve been stupid to go any faster than I was going. Besides, who the hell is in a hurry in a park? So I got very frustrated and very lost. Eventually I found a scenic overlook and stopped there, and there was a very nice view of the Ohio River with morning fog clinging to the surrounding hills, so that soothed my frustrations some. But it still wasn’t a good place to do the kind of walking around and thinking out loud that I like to do. So I tried for a while to find another suitable place, but I couldn’t. They really, really should do something about the roads in Eden Park so that it isn’t like one of those nightmares where you can’t get where you want to go no matter what you do. Where is the sense in making a park so frustrating? It defeats the whole purpose.
So once I finally happened across a road that I knew would take me to an exit from the labyrinth, I just gave up and left the park, drove back home, and walked to the little neighborhood park so I could finally get some serious thinking done. And wouldn’t you know it, another distraction came up. But this time it was a very nice distraction, and really helped improve my mood. While I was on the swingset, swinging and thinking, a young lady drove in, turned on a portable music player, and began dancing around the playset right in front of me, climbing on the gymnastic equipment and apparently testing out various dance moves. I just watched for a while, since it seemed she was in her own creative space and I didn’t want to interrupt, and because it was just very pleasant to watch. Eventually I did strike up a conversation, and she told me she was practicing for a class — they had to learn a dance routine and then adapt it for a particular location and perform it there for the class, and she’d chosen the playset. Apparently she’s also a regular visitor to that park (and also likes to think on the swingset), though I don’t recall seeing her there before. I would’ve liked to stick around for the final performance, but I needed to get home and get back to work.
So I didn’t get a lot of thinking done this morning, but at least I got cheered up eventually. Which is good, because it might be harder to focus if I were still frustrated. So thank you, Jennifer, the dancer in the park, for the one pleasant surprise I’ve had this week.