The other thing about living in the middle of nowhere is that whenever it rains hard, the internet gets jumpy. I imagine my satellite dish hunching over to shield itself from the rain – silently cursing me all the while – and as a result not transmitting jack shit. I think the explanation for storm-related satellite internet outages is slightly more technical than this, but not by much. I suppose I should be glad it’s not a tornado.
(Also, did you hear that the asteroid that the astronomers thought might hit us in 2036 will in fact not hit us? This is a relief. I get worried about things like this. I think it’s stress related. I had a roommate once who would get paranoid about food poisoning whenever she had a deadline looming. To each her own I guess, although in my defense, getting freaked out at four in the morning about potential asteroid impacts twenty-five years in the future is less exhausting than the food poisoning thing, because with asteroids you are under absolutely no obligation to clean anything. I will never forget the morning I woke up thinking “why does it smell like bleach in here?” And it was my dear roommate, in the kitchen, with a spray bottle of bleach-water, rubber gloves and a sponge, staving off panic.)
Finally. I was sitting in my office this afternoon listening to nothing at all and I realized I could hear the music that one of my colleagues was playing – it was something techno-like that I could not identify. I had been listening earlier on to sections of Rodelinda, and given how well sound carries through walls in our building, I ended up wondering how much of it other people could hear, and (if they heard it) what it sounded like to them. It’s like wondering how English sounds to someone who doesn’t speak it as a first language. (I’ve heard various answers to this question: “definitely Germanic” – “the vowels are weird” – “it’s a little like Dutch” – “you Americans seem to slide up and down in pitch a lot when you talk” – indeed I have heard so many different answers that I’m not sure it’s even a meaningful question.) I tried to remember how opera sounded to me when I wasn’t familiar with it, but I couldn’t pin down a memory specific enough that I could make anything of it. My other half, who is capable of being impressed by a Joyce DiDonato recital but who definitely does not get some of my other obsessions, says that “all female opera singers sound the same to me, and all male opera singers sound the same to me” but this claim is so preposterous that I suspect I am being gently mocked.
I could ask one of my colleagues – I’m on pretty good terms with the person on the other side of the least sound-proofed wall of my office – but that would be weird, and I suspect the answer would be “I had my hands over my ears and was writhing on the floor in pain” or “it sounds like Adam Sandler doing his “opera guy” routine” or “eh, it’s not my thing.” Which is fair enough, I guess.