Sunday, May 29, 2005

in shock


woke up at 9am for laundry, after a quiet... too quiet... night. did some tidying, (re)constructed my styling bedside table, and went to the cousins' for lunch.

it was a nice, really nice lunch and afternoon. good to see all the family, generally had fun. but she was there, without her boyfriend, and she - looked - absolutely - stunning. it actually *hurt* to see her looking so good, even though i really wouldn't get back together with her. but SO sexy.

slept a bit in the evening, then went to her parents for drinks. was very nice, except she looked even cuter. taught her little brother a thing or two about tekken :)

afterwards, i went to the lizard. the bartender looked seriously foxy, but aside from knowing that after the first 3 seconds i met her that she wasn't interested in sleeping with me ever, she was ALL OVER the mongoose. and i don't feel sorry for him (he's whining about the big internal struggle 'cause he has a girlfriend), because he didn't stop flirting with her.

the party was filled with unimpressive girls - probably just relative to her - and the music was mediocre. i'd promised him a ride home, so at 4am we left to pick up his girlfriend and have 4.30 breakfast somewhere in dizengoff.

got home 5.30am. woke up at 8.30, took my mom to the mall. did some serious shopping. then went to SSSO's for lunch. she has the most gorgeous little girl (about 7 months), and it was really nice not only to catch up, but for her to meet my mom in an informal setting.

during the visit, sammy called, and let me know his wife's expecting.


i'm seriously happy for them.

also during the visit (unbeknownst to us), SSSO's grandmother passed away. when we left, we ran into her husband who'd come to break the news. that SERIOUSLY brought the day down. these things are always hard, and aside from a few really girls things, she and her family have had a rough ride the last couple of years - i spent the evening (and i'm still by and large) feeling really sorry for them :(

late afternoon, finally made it to the shop to claim NIS 120 for being a lonely soldier. after a rough start (they'd cancelled my entitlement), we managed to sort everything out, and bought tons of stuff i need - and it came out to NIS 117. so i'm satisfied with that.

i've organized with my section commander to bring my mother to the base tomorrow to meet him (and the rest of the crew) - it's kind of a warped birthday present (i did NOT forget her birthday this year, but i figure we're on holiday together properly for the first time ever, so getting a gift is probably overkill :P).

i missioned to tel aviv to pick up the dog. we've just had supper, he's helped me unload some more stuff into my apartment (which is looking EVER so decent), and we're now on the way to a farewell party for a coworker...

Friday, May 27, 2005

all psyched up, noone to go with

i definitely didn't sleep enough this morning. i got to my cousins' place, crashed for about half an hour, then drove my mum to jerusalem.

i don't like being in jerusalem.

waited for about half an hour, then got picked up by the family friends and went to a nice little lunch. after lunch, drove back to jerusalem - i was exhausted.

stopped off at my place, assembled the cute plastic chair, tidied up a bit, and my mom's not too disappointed with the place. or with how i take care of it.


went back to the cousins', crashed for a few hours. i was FAST asleep, when my mom woke me to shower and go to supper - i was completely dazed for about half an hour.

one of the cousins drove us to the marina - after being in the driver's seat for so long, i was seriously uncomfortable as a passenger... old drivers are not the best. we had a fantastic meal, at a seriously smart restaurant... the first completely professional one i've been to in israel... i left completely satisfied.

i just got home. there're good trance parties on tonight, and i finally have transport, and nobody wants to go with me.
that SUCKS.
that sucks ASS.

so i'm all ready for a party, and instead i'm going to spend my early hours sewing my clothing, tidying up, and sleeping.

exhausted, and in need of a shower

today was a looooong day. got up at 7.30, picked up my mom at 8.30, and at 9 we were off to caesaria.

we began the day at the ralli museum - a private museum for south american and spanish artists - and it was PHENOMENAL. THAT is what *I* call an art museum. the most beautiful works, so - many - of - them, in a really stylish (and not too pretentious) building. there was so many incredible paintings and sculptures (incl. the two dali sculptures i saw - fantastic!) that by the time i'd gotten through a quarter of the museum my brain was literally doing backflips. i was completely overloaded, and i couldn't continue to take in what i was seeing.

we had a snack, then went to the roman amphitheatre. very touristy, but a lot of it was most impressive. we watched a finishing ceremony for a unit's basic training, which was amusing, and ran into our wing's secretary... ugghh :/ nevermind. we had a pretty good lunch, and then...

got lost...

trying to find a city supposedly in the area. we drove around for an hour or so, eventually ending up in...

ikea. where i had a really good chocolate mousse, before entering the gauntlet. aside from being generally impressed, and ooh-ing and ah-ing over furniture we weren't going to buy, we walked out with a bedside table, a cute plastic chair, and a metal waste paper basket.

shopping: check.

got to my cousins' place, did some shopping at the local store, had supper, and then drove...

to the mongoose's. not only getting lost, and illegally using my cellphone while driving, but being so and doing so while in the midst of crazy traffic - the road was packed with insane taxi drivers on the rampage. not a good combination for my nerves.

i made it there in one piece (in spite of crappy directions), and we then went to tel aviv university for their student day festivities. VERY nice campus - much better than expected. we bounced around at a really good concert - the grooveatron, and then made an exit.

went to the lizard for a drink - lots of girls, not too many cute ones, crappy music... so i gave him a ride home, and have just gotten home to do some mailing. the dean of the university's computer science department has asked me (and i've accepted) to stand on the stage and lip-sync the 'varsity anthem.

how sweet :)

got to shower now, then it's up early again to go to jerusalem for lunch.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

quick - before anyone sees!

i just did a quick run with the blades, nothing too strenuous... but DAMN, they are FINE. very comfortable, extremely speedy.

i'm satisfied.

i was about to hop in the shower, but there was another huge argument today over the pronunciation of SQL in the office, so i was compelled to find out the answer. according to the wikipedia, SQL began as SEQUEL (Structured English QUEry Language), but due to trademark infringement was contracted to SQL. so, to be fair, the intention of the developers was to make it fun to say. in spite of this, ANSI declared that the official pronunciation is S.Q.L. - so the argument can technically be put to rest on S.Q.L., but if *YOU* were the creator, which would *YOU* prefer?

'nuff said, goin' ta bed

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


last night: an honourable mention to the strange duck-shaped liquorice... VERY nice, VERY addictive. i had to exercise full restraint in order to stop halfway.

woke up quite late this morning, around 10am, and got to herzeliyah around 11. we went straight off to the palmach museum, which was FANTASTIC - didn't notice the 90 minutes fly by. excellent concept, and i actually removed the english headset after a couple of minutes because i found the hebrew more enjoyable - less explanations, more of the feel for the subject matter. and lots and lots of army-speak.

afterwards we went on a mission to by rollerblades. started at the namal - the northernmost point of tel aviv - and ended almost at the opposite end... my 54 year old mum's getting a LOT of exercise on her holiday :) stopped in at a friend's work on the way, and had a chat with the turkish security guard at my old army hostel, and finally found the right store.

i've come home with a beeyootiful pair of salomon blades, now i have to try them out (i'm deciding as i type whether it's more urgent to get to bed or not).

we picked up the dog from the base, who introduced us to a side of tel aviv i've never seen before - bazel - and we had supper and coffee at a nice place on the side of the road.

i've just got back from herzeliya, completely bombed, and i think i'm gonna go check out those blades now. and i have to tidy my room at some stage. and i have to be up at 7.30am... this is gonna be interesting. i can't say i've wasted my holiday :P

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

long day, and the garbage's piling up

i got home at roughly 00.30. exhausted. barely able to keep my eyes open from just outside of afula.

i love receiving mail. last night's included a surprise bill for NIS 1000 from the "free" cellphone's company. let's just say i didn't sleep like the dead last night.

i got up 7.30, went to the city council (learning the hard why driving and parking in tel aviv's not something people enjoy. and waiting for five minutes at a red "left-turn" traffic light, before seeing the no left turn sign), and waited for half an hour. i didn't get what i went for - the ability to park our rented vehicle as a resident, and then rushed off to the cellphone company's headquarters.

more trouble parking.

eventually found the right place, waited for them to get their systems up, so that they could send me off to their customer service branch. hitting a peak in traffic, and having more trouble parking.

lots of helpful people sent me running around in completely the wrong directions - after 20 minutes i gave up, and discovered that i'd parked right next to the place.

after waiting some more, i had a rather pleasant encounter, and everything's supposed to be sorted out within the next two days.


finally began the journey to herzliyah. two lanes of traffic waiting for TWO turn-left traffic lights... and i noticed a no left turn sign on the lamppost. luckily, the traffic lights were correct this time.

took my mom to a museum in ramat aviv (involving a rather complicated run through a maze of unfamiliar streets), but it turned out we have to book in advance. so we took a bus to the heart of tel-aviv.

we walked slowly, mostly just sight-seeing... or people-seeing. whichever. on our way to a coffee shop in king george st., some kid bumped into me on his bicycle. i thanked him heartily, and two seconds later he clipped a little old woman's calf with one of his pedals, ripping a decent-sized hole.

at first she assumed i was her brother, and began shouting at me. when she realized her mistake, she let the little runt have it. i tried to be helpful, but my emergency situation hebrew is severely retarded, and i eventually gave up and just tried to find someone else to assist.

fortunately we had a volunteer. he was beginning to get things sorted out, when the old bat limped off, refusing any help. limping off with a really ugly, gaping wound.
lovely. i'm a little grossed out just thinking about it.

we all gave up, and carried on our journey. we took a pleasant stroll down sheinkin, sharing our distaste for some current fashion trends (bad taste and positioning when it comes to pants, these girls have). we went through the crafts market on nahalat benjamin, which had some simply *stunning* stuff - in particular glassware and a photographer selling some incredible stills fairly cheaply.

went to migdal hashalom, marvelled over the history of tel aviv and its scale model, and then made our way back to herzeliyah. had supper, began reading what promises to be fantastic (if you'll pardon the pun), the fairy-faith in celtic countries, and then left, homeward bound.

i've been retrieving things in bits and pieces, from the kibbutz, my old apartment, and my mom's luggage - my apartment is SERIOUSLY untidy, to the point where it's difficult to manoevre...

it's already 22.44, so i'm going to bed. with my book. and some salted liquorice. i'm doing alright.

Monday, May 23, 2005

21.45 and all's well ^_^

well. today has certainly been a long one.

woke up bright and early, got packed for the pool and dressed, and hit the morning traffic. handled quite well, methinks. got to my cousins' at a reasonable time, had coffee, and went off to the bank.

we spent an inordinate amount of time there, then went to the arena mall for coffee. then drove to afula... it really wasn't that complicated :) *very proud*

spent the day with my mom's cousins, one of whom i've never met before. never got around to swimming, but we visited the cemetary here, which proved quite emotional. i've learned a lot about the family today. we were joined in the evening by two more cousins, and have had a really nice supper together.

we're almost ready for the journey back, and we're both quite exhausted. but it has definitely been a good day.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

very, VERY interesting

yesterday wasn't: i basically wasted the day. i slept a lot, worked a little, arbed the entire thing.

last night i went to the lizard, and it was mediocre -> not good. not a particularly fun crowd, not great music, and as INCREDIBLY sexy as the bartender is, knowing that she's still into the mongoose, and keeps hitting on ALL his friends, i think i'll pass.
she is gorgeous though. pity.

i got to bed around 2.30 - 3am, woke up at 5.30, and somehow made it to the airport at 6.30. met my mom, we sat and had coffee, and then waited half an hour for the train. got off at herzliya, gotted ripped off by a cab (i KNEW i should have checked out rates first), and had breakfast at our cousins.

it was the dog's first day in our team - and the new kid just wasn't handling. and our commander was nowhere to be found. so there's me talking him through setting up our machines... i'm on holiday, dammit!

i crashed while my mom showered, then we went and picked up the rental car. seriously unprofessional people, and they "upgraded" us to automatic - i'm not impressed.

fun to be driving... it's been a while.

returned to the cousins', had lunch, then visited my old university. THAT was an experience.

firstly, i ran into many old friends and associates - including the druze girl i dated. got the cap and gown sorted out, it's very cute, but frightening that i'm actually going to be wearing them! w00t!

showed my mom around, had a long talk with a friend (sysadmin - helped me out tons as well), and was well and truly impressed by the addition to the library. pity we missed it. also made some interesting connections.

went past my old place, was fortunate that someone was home. also, that that someone is a particularly cute girl, hopefully going to stay in touch. also positive: got my monitor, AND my books, AND my mail - so all's well ^_^

dropped my mom off to sleep, and then went for my first drive alone in this country. it was pleasant enough, only i don't really know my way around, and i picked the wrong route. nevermind.

i made it just in time to the lincoln to watch the dog play in the tournament. i just so happened to make it in time to participate. he got his ass whooped 5-0, i got beaten 5-3, but it was all good fun. our civilian rocked up, we played about an hour with them, then disappeared to go find some food.

decisions, decisions.

i was too kind, and gave him a ride home. succesfully trapping myself in the "no left turn" zone. i just got back now. wasted petrol, wasted frustration. but all's alright.

i like this holiday thing.

gotta get up early in the morning, we're going to the bank, then driving up north to the kibbutz... i hope i don't get lost! but the biggest motivation is that the swimming pool's ready for use. oh yeah. ^_^

Saturday, May 21, 2005

definitely a first

woke up, watched a horror movie - the grudge, ate humus, now going back to bed. not only is it definitely not a normal sequence of events, but it's also the first movie in years to really give me the creeps. i quite enjoyed myself. it's also nice to be awake and alert during sunrise.

and after watching the movie's americans struggling with japanese, i'm motivated to do a bit of studying before bed.

as for yesterday, i did the shopping thing, but spent the rest of the day indoors. i finished dan brown - digital fortress. the story had potential, but his characters are absolutely retarded. and they're supposed to be the smartest people in the industry, with, and i quote, "170 IQ". fuck right off.

but the idea of the NSA going down to phishing is a nice one.

i finally got around to reading rogue trooper. it's good - totally worth it - but i've only read the later parts, where the names of the biochips are more... let's say, creative. that through sheer happenstance his gun's name is "gunnar", his bag's name is "bagman", his helmet's name is "helm", and his own real name is "rogue", is a tad lazy, unimaginative, silly, irritating... but at least i know that it changes at some point to the cool names.

that about covers everything. my mommy arrives in a little over 24 hours - w00t!

Friday, May 20, 2005

but what's it DO???

yesterday... what an amusing day...

i went for a haircut yesterday... it's actually not bad. i spent most of the morning doing an exceptional amount of nothing.

our section commander found two of us relaxing in our office, and decided it was high time somebody cleaned the area outside. so we got into the army's equivalent of janitor's gear - removing our uniform shirts - found some brooms, and began.

the sun beat down heavily yesterday. we unsettled a lot of dust. it was fun!

just before lunch, said section leader gave me a yoga lesson. and it was way more interesting than i expected. relaxing, though - i fell asleep during the cool-down at the end *blush*.

early afternoon we went to the shooting range... the whole point of me going a second time was to see how my shooting is - and it's practically impossible when the targets are completely riddled with bullets. and that's because privates go last. such is army life.

in the evening i had a much needed shower - i changed colour, actually - and then went with the mongoose and his girlfriend to eat...

wait for it...

REAL belgian waffles!!

i had mine with strawberries and white chocolate (and vanilla ice-cream, but who's counting), and it was absolutely unbelievable. i think i might just go there again.

a bit annoying that i've walked past this place hundreds, if not thousands, of times - and never noticed it :P

i slept brilliantly, and now have Big Decisions to make about shopping and going to the beach. i *like* being on holiday.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

too much to report

t'was an interesting walk last night to the restaurant... i updated my internal map of tel aviv with all manner of paths and details.

it wasn't a restaurant, so much as a 25+ club. i spent a couple of hours with good friends, and drank a bit - i thoroughly enjoyed myself.

what got to me, however, was that as much as i was enjoying myself, or because i was enjoying myself, on the way home all i could think of was how much i've changed to accommodate being in the army. i've given up so much of myself in order to fit in, and even though i thought i'd merely put it all aside, i realized last night that i'd actually forgotten a major part of who i am. i have spent the last six months, maybe more (while mentally preparing for the army), as nothing more than a shadow of myself. and that angers me. a lot.

i'm more angry with myself than with my situation. sure, i'm serving with a bunch of kids. even the older members of the standing army are kids compared to me - they've been in the army framework their entire post-high school lives. but i've forgotten to be myself when i'm not in uniform, and THAT has been killing me.

after the revelation, my day today in the army was quite alright. my attitude's about halfway back to normal (it could take a long time, but it's better than it was), and i feel a lot better about myself. it will take a while to get out of the mentality of "i have to", dreading each day, when i'm actually just on another rough stage of my path... and succeeding.

this morning i was shown how to deal with oracle databases in java - turned out my code was off by FOUR characters. i'd specified the wrong driver, 'cause that's what the reference material had told me to do... always sucks, but very satisfying to see it work.

i had lunch with the dog at azrieli - a humongous (and not-healthy-as-such) burger king meal, only to get back to the base to TONS of really good food. what a bummer. i slept a bit - my commander didn't say a word - and then had coffee for an hour with a cute techie girl. i'm not at all sure how i feel about her.

i got a ride home with a girl from my neighbourhood - i discovered that she's 20 with a degree (or most of one) in mechanical engineering... and i always thought she was just one of the not-so-brights, many of whom end up at our base. interesting.

i did some work in the evening, discovered why the word second applies both to position and to time measurement (i also now know what the "H." in Jesus H. Christ stands for - "Heptoid"), slashdotted, showered, and got picked up by one of our section's civilians to go play the pool i owed him (i couldn't handle quitting smoking as well as he can).

we picked up the dog, and spent a few hours teaching this dude the basics. it was fun - and at the end the dog and i played a couple of amazing games.

got a lift home, and now off to bed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ooh - another nautical expression!


another arbitrary day. slept straight through from yesterday's post until 6.20am. had a severely non-interesting day... started reading dan brown - digital fortress. extremely reminiscent of neil stephenson - cryptonomicon.

i smoked rather a lot.

didn't buy a gift or card for yogi's girlfriend, just gonna rock up at the birthday dinner thingy as is. i hope it's okay, i just don't get protocol in this country.

just completed some frustrating work, still fixing minor bugs in my predecessor's code... and the university (the client) is making things difficult.

gonna chill for half an hour, then off to the restaurant.

Monday, May 16, 2005

long, crappy day - but all's well that ends well


bright and early, narrowly making the bus after a too-fast walk to the station... not a good start when the weather's averaging hell's temperatures.

had very little work to do, so i spent a lot of the day reading neil stephenson - the diamond age, which is interesting, but not much to speak of storywise... so far, at least. couldn't finish my humus ful lunch, and i've become more and more desperate for siesta as the days wear on. had to fix something with the new kid, and we were told we could leave as soon as it was done.

it didn't take very long :)

i wasted half an hour of my life waiting to get permission to wear running shoes while my boots went in for repairs... and i never got it. played GREAT volleyball for the next couple of hours, thoroughly enjoyed myself, and went home to shower and got to sleep.

as i lay down, opened my book, and started on the first sentence, the dog called to say he'd returned. so i met up with him for pool and coffee, and then we went to the lizard, to chat with the mongoose for a bit. t'was fun. drank too much.


i got to bed around 1.30am. not good.

awoke at 6.20, and had another crappy day. we haven't had a working aircon for days, and our office has become an oven. our commander left, we were contacted with an ENORMOUS bug, and had a severely stressful afternoon. went to check up on the status of my boots - nothing doing - so i got them to give me a pair to use in the meantime... very nice shiny new boots, one size larger, one size more comfortable. i think i'll keep 'em :)

we were forced to go to a lecture on volunteering to help the blind. the guy who spoke was not only boring, but his hebrew is almost as bad as mine... and i have enough trouble with talks in hebrew. by the time i got out of there, i was totally crazy, and totally pissed off.

took the bus home, made it to the bank in time to cash my paycheque. the queue was too long to sit around for, so i went out, had a cup of coffee, and returned just in time. corrected some things on my account, and am nothing less than completely satisfied with the outcome of the day.

i have tons of work to do, so i'm going to run a washload, read for an hour or so, sleep maybe, and do it when i'm back in the game.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

turned on it's head

funny, i'm really chilled and really excited at the same time.

not only did i get a lot of work done today, but i also cleaned my apartment. clean, but not tidy, so i'm gonna have to do something about that.

i feel like a civilian for the first time in ages, so it kinda sucks that in 5 hours i have to shave and get back into uniform. it's been a great little holiday, though :)

i just got back from the lizard - sexy, sexy, sexy girls. and i'm not even trying - i made my decision and i'm sticking with it. i will not expend energy on sex, unless already in the act.

nothing further to report. going to bed.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

i'm - too lazy for my paycheck

too lazy for my paycheck, no way i'm disco dancing?

i was wrong about last night - ended up at a serious rock party. and then arbing around in yaffo. i got home at 5am. i got up at 10.50am, and met with a co-worker for coffee around 11.30.

it was productive, but unfortunately leaves me with a LOT of work to do. and i still haven't cleaned my apartment. and we're supposed to be testing the system on monday. i don't think i'll be even close to ready - and i still haven't slept enough.


but i did just finish the design document - which is quite impressive. pretty, even.

*sigh* hi ho, hi ho...

Friday, May 13, 2005

slow, quiet, peaceful

i woke up fairly early this morning, and went on a shopping mission. objectives: a) pillow b) soap c) poster. i was desperate for the pillow because my neck and back are absolutely ruined. it's been one of those days where i haven't been able to turn my head, or relax my neck... kind of puts a damper on things.

so i walked to azrieli, made sure to at least -walk- past every store. i had crepes and coffee for breakfast, and waited for the mongoose before buying anything. i only ended up buying soap, because he convinced me to seek the poster in dizengoff center.

good idea, that was.

we found one of geiger's li posters - absolutely stunning. we met up with the mongoose's girlfriend, visited a couple of tattoo parlours - i saw a terrible smiley face tattoo that almost made me change my mind :( we ate pizza for lunch, that took a disproportionate amount of time vs. taste to prepare...

wandered home, getting here around 5pm, put up the poster, showered, and read until i passed out. and just got up now. considering nobody's calling me, i assume i'm going to have a quiet night - which suits me fine, i'm working tomorrow morning either way.

a VERY happy independence day!


my commander walked into the office in the morning, and stated that the mission for the day was to do nothing. i think that was cool. it would've been cooler if we'd succeeded, but nevermind - it's the thought that counts.

we had a ceremony, and then got to leave. i stayed behind, had a really unnecessary bought of unpleasantness with the mongoose (resolved), and had an awesome thai lemon chicken lunch.

it was a sucky day. 50% because it was the memorial day for fallen soldiers, 50% because the weather was ugly - hot, humid, cloudy, and generally menacing. i got home, and spent the afternoon lazing in bed, reading. listening to sad songs on the radio.

in the evening, the weather cleared, and the country began celebrating its independence. i had a long, hot bath (my back has been killing me), then a cool shower (the weather was still slightly uncomfortably warm), got dressed, and walked the loooooong way around to the lizard. i still got there 10 minutes earlier than planned. i like living here :)

the mongoose and i started off the celebrations with drinks, then i walked to rabin square. crazy amount of people, great fireworks, and a brilliant rock concert (the lead singer from eifo hayeled). afterwards i made my way back to the lizard, chilled for about an hour or so - there was loads of eye-candy, so no complaints.


we decided to go from the lizard to the enormous rock concert in rishon lezion. we knew they weren't selling tickets anymore, so we worked on a story to tell them at the entrance to make them feel sorry for us. no need - we ran into a scalper on the way. paid half price too!

met up with the mongoose's new girlfriend and her friend, and made our way into the crowd.

the concert was INSANE. the average age was about 16, thousands and thousands of kids, but the atmosphere was great. we walked in when hayehudim were still on, and EVERYBODY sang along. not to mention that their stage performance was simply fantastic.

we saw muki, and then dag nahash, but it wasn't as good a vibe... it's a hard act to follow. we left about 6am, had breakfast at "nuffies", which was good, and then i got dropped off at home. i got to bed around 8.

i woke up at 12, got dressed, and walked to the train station. i somehow got from there to our friend in pituach's place, beer in hand, for a brilliant braai. i just got back now, actually... not only was it a good braai, but also a semi-reunion for my first class, two ex-flatmates, and a whole bunch of friends i haven't seen in ages. we spent the entire day lazing, talking, and playing frisbee (there were over 100 people there - and it was a friends-only do!), and after cleaning up played some serious texas holden. and, for the first time, i DIDN'T lose all my money ^_^

waiting for hot water, then showering, then getting down to some serious sleeping.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

blood red siren

standing on my balcony, staring over a beautiful sunset, the skyscrapers tainted blood red for a memorial day, when the siren blares, the sound coming from all directions, a sound heard and a moment held by everyone in israel.

it feels different now that i'm a soldier.

today went quite well. there was a ceremony in the morning, which, aside from terrible singing and a carnival marching tune, was pretty good. we cleaned our office, and i experienced my first code review. it didn't go as well as expected, but it wasn't bad. at least none of the problems were mine :)

our new teammate had a strange dream last night - one that involved a pull-up bar. about 3 hours after he told us about it, we were informed that someone's put up a new pull-up bar on the base. aside from being a weird coincidence, we're quite excited about it - we're almost up to a full excercise regime :P

unfortunately, i could only manage 3 at a time. that's just sad.

there's a cute techie girl who i was flirting with, and she's started flirting back. i'm sure it's because i'm not looking. and every time i see her i go through this "she IS cute. maybe not. no, she is! ehh..." cycle.
maybe i need therapy.

speaking of therapy, the mongoose is succeeding in giving me a complex about my ears. it's not that i've never noticed them being overly-large, it's just that nobody's ever been nasty enough to repeatedly make fun of them. and what absolutely kills me is that i have nothing to say in response.

i'm supposed to be working, but i reckon i'll get around to it later...

Monday, May 09, 2005

whooze. mmmm - gobble gobble.

saturday: chilled. watched tv, learned to love the badger. the badger is definitely my favourite animal. i read a bit, cleared out my room, and was formally uninvited from the kibbutz for the next couple of weeks.

on the way home i stopped at my boss' place, had a chat (loads of work, very little time), ate a very south african sandwich, and picked up my cheque. bussed home.

decided not to buy any more packs of cigarettes.

sunday: what an incredibly boring day. my word - we spent the day reading, sleeping, and playing computer games. i don't think that many soldiers get to do that.

i started the guard cycle by replacing the main gate guards for half an hour, then watching the european basketball finals - great game! and i played tekken on a projector - very, very cool. thrashed the other guys, but wasn't too surprised :)

arbed around until 21.45, then went to bed.

i had secured myself the 2am-6am guard shift, but that was changed without my knowing. at 22.15, we were woken up for inspection. 22.20, i'm informed that i have to guard to 10pm-2am, 10am-1.30pm shifts.


i was completely unprepared to guard, and my shift SUCKED. and because i was only informed at 10.20, the mongoose got screwed with half an hour's extra guarding...

i basically slept my shift away, for which i feel kinda bad - but not SO bad 'cause i didn't get caught. i got to bed around 2.30am, woke up at 7.30 for the flag-raising ceremony, arrived late for a friend's rank ceremony, then napped until 9.30.

my 2nd shift was alright - good weather, and many people came to visit :) generally enjoyed it.

i got off duty really hungry, and bought myself a sandwich. i hadn't even taken a bite when we got called for another alert - this time to tell us that a guard had gone missing (???), and we needed to replace him. while everyone argued over what to do, i went back to my sandwich.

left the base at 7pm (forgot to sign out. dammit.), and went with the mongoose to the comic book store... i got my rogue trooper!! 1st issue of the future of war - so sweet ^_^

we took a wrong bus, so it took me until 9pm to get home. i'm about to hit the shower, then sleep... glorious sleep...

the gobble gobble refers to the salted liquorice i'm still hanging onto - 2 more weeks till my mum arrives!! i get a holiday - i get a holiday :)

Friday, May 06, 2005

sweet and carefree

gentle antipathy, i'm actually enjoying myself.

i packed, left, met up with the mongoose at azrieli center for breakfast, and then made it just in time (involved a very serious sprint with kitbag) for the afula bus.

i got to the kibbutz, said hi to everyone, read for a couple of hours, and then went for supper. supper reminded me of how bad the food is on our base - i really enjoyed it, and ate the equivalent of two decently sized meals.

the owner of the tattoo parlour is trying to rip us off on our website we built... going to have to have a chat with him. my mental mode prevents me from being aggravated - i think somewhere deep down i kind of expected it.

i've had a pleasant evening, and am now going to do some very serious sleeping.

the soft arrival of a weekend

i missed inspection yesterday morning... nobody noticed. yesterday was holocaust remembrance day - i'm always caught off guard by the siren, and the ceremony was touching. i spent the day thinking about the fact that our response as a nation was to build a country and an army, and it feels mighty good to be in that army.

aside from beginning a new book, neal stephenson - the diamond age, which is so far brilliant (as usual), and sleeping quite well, and doing a tiny amount of work, the day passed uneventfully.

in the evening, the mongoose and i started working on a tattoo website. and it is STUNNING. i was quite glad i remembered enough javascript to neatly carve up his graphics into a site, and the translation has been smooth.

his father picked us up around 1am, and i crashed almost immediately went i got home. i've done some laundry, and am about to check that my plans to go to the kibbutz for the weekend are safe, then pack.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

long date, hard talk

two days ago - the date:

i met up with metalhead at azrieli, and we sat down for a while. then we hopped a bus to my place, and chilled and talked for a few hours until she left.

boy, how first impressions change. to be fair, i really like her. she's interesting, seems intelligent, and i like her style. but something just doesn't do it for me, and i don't have time for a girl who's not totally perfect. so i've been feeling sucky about "leading her on" since.


i spent the morning dealing with the ministry of immigrant absorption, and the ministry of interior. was okay. i spilled maple syrup all over my uniform.

i was exhausted, totalled, and bombed, and spent my day in a daze. i don't really remember what i did on base. i missed the bus to get home, and ended up taking a slightly obscure set of buses, running into the most beautiful girl on our base (maybe, i no longer trust my taste), and intended to crash on contact with my bed. neil gaiman - american gods made me stay up till late. he's an evil bastard, he is.

oh - and i had to clean the sleeping bag i took from our base supply: i got a phone call threatening to court-martial me if i didn't get it back by 15.30 today, and it had melted marshmallow inside.

today: i went to the post office first thing, then to the base. i'm very proud - i managed to get through a hebrew phone menu all by myself! and i got to the right people (paying my electric bill)!

i returned the sleeping bag - to find out that whoever called me had made a mistake, and that i still have another few days to return it.
pricks. at least they apologized.

i can't say i worked the whole day - i did bits and pieces as we prepared for a hard night, and we played a lot of xonix and snood. i've almost finished sir arthur conan doyle - a study in scarlet. great read.

we started working at 17.30. everything was going fine, and then the production server started giving us hassles. so we reset it, and our database wouldn't start.


after struggling, and calling our base's dba center (to discover that they can't help us), i called the ex-soldier who made my life difficult. and i am impressed no end by how quickly and effectively he helped - and i actually learned how to do it myself for next time.

t'would have been nice to have learned this while he was still with us, but i suppose it's alright now :)

finished everything, hung around on the base a bit with the mongoose - and to hit on a really cute support girl - and then got a ride home.

i finally made that call, and said "goodbye" to metalhead. man, that sucked. really sucked. i hope she's not offended - i'm totally not good at this shit, and i feel like i fscked up somehow.

so - a shower, and to bed!

Monday, May 02, 2005

where am i? why? HOW long??

what an interesting weekend!

yogi picked me up, we went to his parents place, and installed the program we wrote last year. and it worked first time - yeeee-hah! very exciting.

we went to my favourite pizza parlour, and had these folded-over pizzas (don't remember the name at all), which were truly excellent. visited ru55, chilled for a couple of hours, and then he gave me a ride to the lizard.

danced around with the guys until about 2.45, got home and into bed at 3.30.

woke up at 6.40 (thank the lord for automatic snooze, i would've missed the alarm).

got to the base, signed in and went for coffee. i took half an hour, so i was told off by my commander. as punishment, i have to read a lengthy user manual in hebrew and pass a test on it. that REALLY sucks.

at the same time, i discovered that i was supposed to guard yesterday.

i spent the morning making repeated phone calls to the asshole in charge of guarding. eventually ended up guarding anyway - although i did get a great shift. so i slept, none too comfortably, from 6pm till 5.40am, and went to guard for four hours. it was actually alright.

met some guy yesterday on the base who surfs - said he'll call me if they go on friday / saturday morning! w00t!!

spent the rest of the day in konenut (reserve), which was actually quite fun. a whole group of the guys want to train with me (taekwondo) - so cool!!

i just got home about an hour ago - i'm doing laundry, showering, then cleaning up for my "date" at 20.30 :) i wish my washing machine didn't smell mouldy... i'm not actually sure what part of it is producing the smell, which is infuriating.