Friday, December 29, 2006

stomp 'n sleep



we started the day trekking up to top rd., and discovered that there's another little road that goes off from there. sitting above it afforded a magnificent view, and i really enjoyed that.

i have now seen borat twice. oddly enough, it wasn't a waste - i'd forgotten a lot of things that are funny the second time around. the hairy scene just overshadows everything else when you leave the first time around.

we missioned up to meet protoplasm and friends in deerpark, and did one of the trails: i'd forgotten about that one - it's really pretty there.

my mom made excellent supper - that doesn't happen to often so i get excited when it does :P

last night rocked. great tracks, some good-looking girls, and i generally just had fun. there were some short, irritating periods when some non-trance-bunnies got lost, but there weren't any incidents.

just after going to bed the rain began pelting down, fortunately i was still awake, and i made a quick run through the apartment shutting windows.

i slept the whole day ^_^

i think it's got to do with me having pushed through so many months, unable to really enjoy sick leave. i don't feel sick, really - just exhausted. sleep is good.

i lied about sleeping the whole day - i woke up early and painfully this morning to drive to the airport to pick up a friend of my mother's. it's really annoying just standing with a sign waiting for someone you won't recognize to identify their name, and then making small-talk until something clicks enough to have a conversation.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

don't wanna wake up



yesterday:

changed money, looked at gadgetry, i bought a digital camera (finally!) [although that constrains my budget somewhat], and ate excellent springbok.

we went to pg autoglass - those fools managed to get the order wrong, so we just hung around for a while until they vacuumed out the glass. then we returned home to wait for my mom to come home so we could claim her car.

we went to camps bay to play in a huge poker tournament. there were way too many faces from my distant past lurking around, and i sucked the big one as far as the actual cards were concerned. that was a quick way to blow lots of cash; SxS didn't fair too much better (i didn't buy in, at least. that would have been silly).

we drove up the nek and stopped off for a quick stroll up table mountain; seriously pretty, and i'd left the camera at home :(

we ate chinese in obs, seeing as nobody was answering calls :S [moonflake: i'm not good with the whole timing thing], and then a bunch of tourists came in and everybody else scrambled to the exit. i remember being a teenager, and annoyingly so - but we weren't that loud about it.

we rented igby goes down on the way home, and it turns out that i'd watched the entire thing before. great film the second time, too.

i was having a thoughtful / depressed / angsty moment, and then i had a long talk with my mom about my current state of affairs. her perspective really does give everything a little colour, and she makes an excellent sounding board. the bottom line is that everything in my life, although difficult until the next two months are through, is in place. i really have done okay, but it really does get frustrating when the light's visible and it's just another last push to get there.

i was going to wake up early this morning - the picture above was taken while my alarm was going off: for the fourth time...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

stressed to chill



it didn't start off as such a good day. i woke up well, but then my mom and i had a misunderstanding as far as scheduling was concerned, and i annoyed her by not keeping to her timetable.

soon afterwards, we discovered that SxS's car had been broken into. according to the security guards who sit about 10m away from where he'd been parked, it had happened between 7.30 and 8am. but they're security guards, they're not allowed to do things like get involved or even call the police.

as it was boxing day, no dice on getting a replacement window either.

my mom and i went to fairview - some family friends have a house there. i drove, and we got seriously lost on the way :/

the farm has changed some since i was last there as a kid. lots and lots of tourists, all smelling cheese and tasting wine; we went around the back way, avoiding the crowds, to sit and chill with the people who actually stay there.

it's really, really pretty - and well worth a visit if you're in the area. the house itself is beautifully done, but the view is just amazing. and the goat's cheese totally works for me - it tastes good and it doesn't make me sick :)

we returned home in the evening, and i took SxS up to my old place to stop and appreciate the sunset. some rich tossers have closed off access to the trees by building a frikkin' house in the way, so we had to maneuver around until we could get up there. we didn't get much of a sunset view from where we were sitting, but it was nice enough.

we drove from there to protoplasm's in woodstock - he's running a nice place there. we sat chilling and watching tv for a while; payback looks really good. yes, i know it's an old film. from there we moved to call-a-pizza, where we ate great pizza and listened to timecode discs. i bought multistate, which starts off with seriously dirty, grinding beats, and we then came over here, to sit on the balcony with coffee until a few minutes ago.

now's bedtime, although i'm finally feeling alright enough to read a bit before passing out :)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

another lekker chris-miss?



visiting dirk diggler's - he's got a really nice pad in the middle of town, we sat around talking shit for ages, which was a lot of fun.
he's becoming a welder: i'm really happy he's found something he enjoys doing, and his stories are hell of an amusing :)

nando's - hot is HOT ^_^
israeli nando's just don't know what's up. we had a good meal, and then headed out to long street.

on the way there - something clicked! i'm in cape town! the feeling of stress dropping off my shoulders and flowing out of my chest was almost palpable... i just feel goood here.

orchard bank: great tunes and good vibe; but we had no energy, so we returned to the car and went home. damn faders.

24.12

i got glorious sleep-time; didn't do so much good for my back (couch pillows on the floor), but i woke up feeling seriously refreshed.

my mom organized me a solid breakfast, and the first hours of after waking were wasted assing around and "making plans". uh, huh. very serious plans :P

my sister arrived, we had a very serious family chat revolving around my brother... he's a real asshole. he's staying next door, and i can't be bothered to get in touch with him. when you're unpleasant to be around, mean and swindly, and you talk a lot of shit... well, don't expect tons of people clamouring for your attention.

we found a great parking at clifton, and enjoyed a chilled beach day with many friendly encounters, and even a little talent. i miss scrabbling over rocks, and i psychologically i really needed the freezing-cold water and to scrunch proper sand between my toes.

we came past call-a-pizza - great pizza! AWESOME trance! we came back home, and waited for a delivery, and once that was done i hit the shower and we were on our way to SxS's family for supper.

supper was nice - a decent braai, and some amusing banter. i don't click with the jo'burg crew, though, but it was alright. afterwards, we scrapped all plans to come home and fall asleep.

25.12

we woke up relatively early today to go play golf. i was a little irritable when we got there - i didn't know what was going on and i felt out of place, but once we began racing around the course on the golf cart (those things rock!), with both my mom and SxS playing fun-to-watch games, i was thoroughly enjoying myself; fresh air, beautiful scenery... all is good! cape town is sooooooo pretty!

we went to camps bay for sundowners; opium was short-staffed and didn't have anything we actually wanted. but there was amstel, and the girl working the door was stunning, so we could deal with it. oh, and the sunset was pretty too.

i met up with hyperviper and noddie at the waterfront. it would've been nice if someone had told me beforehand that the waterfront's being renovated - and christmas is an EXCELLENT time for that.
we went to mitchell's after cantina tequila closed, and that is one seriously dodgy place.

i was happy to find my mom's car when i got back (i felt like i'd parked in gangster-land when i saw the people lurking around on my way in), and i arrived home about five seconds before SxS did - he'd spent some of his casino winnings on sweets, and i overdid the chocolate on top of two and a half pints; i was completely wasted and only managed to move into bed around 5am.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

dial-up = no net



stupid backward-ass south african internet; dial-up's the same thing as NOTHING.

20.12

on my way out, i went to organize food for yogi. it took WAY longer than expected, and i almost forgot to raid his bike for my birthday present - a carton of smokes. i've received healthier gifts :P

cabbing home with stuttering stanley: t'was a tad creepy, at first. he didn't have a clue where to go, but then got angry with me for telling him "obvious" things. i don't like him.

the kid made supper, because he was too lazy to go out. it was quite pleasant, and i spent the rest of the night writing personal letters for my section.

writing personal letters is really difficult. they have to be personal, they have to say positive things, and for a few people i went through so many drafts because i kept writing totally inappropriate things. or simply weird things. i've never been cut out for that sort of thing.

21.12

thursday morning was the last time the kid and i will wake up at the same time to go to the same base. it was kinda sad. once there, i performed the final data transfer to him and piles, and then nystire rocked up and i used him as an excuse to go to the cafeteria to continue writing letters. that took about 3 - 4 hours :(

i packaged them all nicely with the keyrings i'd had made: the mongoose was all pissy that i hadn't made any for his section. huh! like they'd have done for mine?!

i bought chocolates! and marshmallows! and sorted out a large round of hot drinks for the section. that was nice, as usual. i then went off to find out something i need to know for next year. the section i went to is in our unit, but there's no brotherly love. they not only refused to help me, but i actually got shouted at! i was most offended, and actually embarrassed, and it's just a bunch of stupid kids and elderly civilians... i don't know what their bag is.

my TL and i had our "talk". it lasted about an hour. it was interesting, and a couple of things specifically came out of it:
1) my TL told me that i have to begin forcing people to acknowledge my rights
2) i managed to explain what specifically i appreciated about our SC's attitude: it's in direct accordance with my personal philosophy. aim high enough that if you get only a fraction of the way you're doing okay.

i did the final rounds on our base, saying goodbye to everyone, and then returned to my office one last time (as somebody who works there).

if a cluttered desk is a a sign of a cluttered mind...
at least mine's not quite empty - sunday is surprise day.
i left all the envelopes with letters and keyrings neatly stacked. each envelope has a tiny emblem on the corner, and i left a sheet explaining which emblem belongs to which person ;)

it keeps a theme that way - i've been using odd symbols when making coffee so as not to confuse the cups :P

we said our final goodbyes, took photos, and had a last smoke together outside. the cute girl who told me i should look at girls my own age? she gave me a huge hug and her number. hmmm :P

piles helped me carry my shit home. and we waited forever for the buses he was adamant are the "right" ones. after getting fed up waiting, we took the normal ones and got home fairly quickly.

i had coffee with the kid and piles. sunshine came out of the shop jumping up and down - more outwardly excited for me than myself - and we sat chatting for a while. as we all went separate ways, piles was telling me that i "have to" keep in touch. yeah, right! after all that shit? i told him not to worry - what i meant is that i'll be in touch with the section in general through the kid.

i had a shower and began packing, but soon it was getting towards 10pm, and the kid called to remind me to do something i needed help with (signing over power-of-attorney), spot called to say he was meeting me at cafeneto, sammy called to say the same, and i had to rush out with a pen, paper, and my packing not done.

after 6 years being friends with spot, i finally met spot's dad, as he joined us for about half an hour. then magist and a couple of his friends rocked up, sammy arrived, and sunshine came off her shift and sat with us as well.

- talks of astrology, evolution and alternative med: i gotta thank moonflake for keeping me in the know!
- i was completely exhausted and panicked about packing and ensuring everything would be okay

another waitress helped me write out the right-of-attorney thing, which i desperately hope is enough. sunshine wrote on my hand... too bad it was only her full name, and not her number... :P
although she did promise to make sure to be working the night i get back. should i hope?

packing went fairly smoothly, and i caught the tail end of robin williams live on broadway before sammy and i headed out to the airport.

everything airport is much quicker when you only carry hand-luggage.

i had a couple of hours before the flight to sit and mull over all the crazy shit that's been going on the past few months. and read a bit. i passed out for a short while, but i woke up to the sound of people sitting right next to me and it freaked me out enough to keep me going another while.

i sat down on the plane, and the woman who sat down after me introduced herself with a big smile and an expectant look on her face. i looked at her quizzically, said "hi." [full-stop emphasized], and promptly ignored her. so i had two seats to myself (just one short of peaceful slumber). i was wondering when i woke up at one point if she'd left because gas expands at higher altitudes.

read / slept / listened to music most of the flight. why must flight attendants assume that everyone is retarded? i went to the back to ask for something to drink, and while she was getting me something she kept repeating that i needed to get back to my seat and strap myself in. meanwhile, i'm standing still and she was wobbling about from the turbulence. and i'd already acknowledged her "warning". i hate that.

the transfer was super-fast without baggage, and the next flight went by in a daze.

my cousin and his girlfriend picked me up at the airport; it amazes me that my brain had mostly made the switch back to cape town and i actually knew what was going on. pity about the stress, for my first couple of days i couldn't finish a sentence or think about anything more than sleeping.

supper was a little crazy - quite a lot of people for the first few hours :P

i decided afterwards that going to sleep was in order.

23.12

my first morning, my mom took me for a wax (tattoo area and shoulders) and massage. the first thing that worried me about the massage was the shower in the corner. then the guy who walked in (couldn't it have been a pretty girl?) told me to leave all my things in the closet and wrap myself in a towel.

*ahem*

for a back, neck and shoulders massage? i was still standing there awkwardly when he returned, too uncomfortable to remove my pants - and thinking how bloody silly it would be to do so. he laughed, and let me keep them on :P

afterwards we went to visit my aunt and tgtbt on the mountain - absolutely stunning. i say it every time, but it is a mind-blowing view.

we went for a serious lunch afterwards with cousins from johannesburg, and on the way home i called SxS to find out when he was arriving. i called him as he was entering sea-point; that's pretty good timing.

we met up at my mom's new apartment for a quick inspection, and then went to canal walk (canalle walk? shukran :P) to shop at mr. price. we didn't do much more than that.

erte's the dump - we stopped there on the way home, and it really does get worse every year.

we chilled at home for a bit, and then went for a short walk on the promenade, dropping off a care-package for my nanny on the way. she's getting old, and she's not really taking care of herself properly :(

my sister paid us a visit, which gave me an opportunity to torture her a little (i didn't tell her i re-pierced my nipple :P). and then we were off to town.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

on the way out, almost



i'm still embarrassed about yesterday's post :$

i woke up early this morning; spot and i fought over breakfast and coffee before taking a walk to and splitting up at the bank. the teller came out to help me with the information kiosk, and when i handed him spot's bank details he was surprised: "hey! this is my handwriting! whose account is this?"

yeah, like he'll remember :S

spot and i walked home together, i put in a load of laundry, and then went out to do some shopping. i was looking for nice paper to write the team notes with, and i absent-mindedly walked into the alternative book-store. the irish guy started off being helpful, and then dragged me into a half-hour political which i really wasn't prepared for. he did provide me with a fantastic read: he'd just received an advance copy of a book entitled war made new: technology, warfare, and the course of history - 1500 to today. it's $35, but he has a personal exchange rate of 2:1 to the shekel. nice!

i sat down at cafeneto for a cup of coffee and to begin reading. having failed in my mission, i asked the waitress (the one who invited spot to a sleepover the other night) for assistance, and she directed me to the perfect place. the book is brilliant, and interesting: the one fact that got stuck in my head is that king charles viii died when he hit his over-sized head on a door jamb, and cracked his skull. this comes after he conquered italy and revolutionized the art of war at the time - that's just bloody hysterical!! [no, spot, i didn't say irony. see? i don't confuse the word all the time ;)]

i walked to the shop, and bought envelopes and a decent pen. buying the paper as well would've been too damn expensive, and as it is i've spent a rediculous amount of money on my section in the last month :S

i went home, sorted out the washing, updated my ipod, and left for work. i've been ripping my cds most of the afternoon - it's seriously annoying that what once was an awesome collection of original discs has been reduced to a state of horribly scratched and abused. my led zeppelin remasters have a few songs (including, of course, stairway to heaven) that are simply too shredded to listen to :'(

until about half an hour ago, i actually worked the whole day here. i've now essentially cleared my desk, and i'm ready to roll! i won't talk about how messed up i am emotionally and mentally at the moment; it looks like i might sleep on the flight home.

yogi arrived back from his honeymoon today, we went out for a cute sushi lunch and he's brought me back a gift to damage my lungs a bit (duty-free carton, will i have any problems bringing it through customs?) :)

i sent the boss an email requesting that i not get paid for my vacation this time, i struggled enough making up hours the last holiday :P
on his way out, he slipped me $200 and told me to have fun - nice! again!

i just spoke to the kid, he's informed me that i have a meeting on monday with my primary commander: we're going to have a chat with her tomorrow in which i explain to her exactly what she can do with her meeting...

i've got an hour or so now to transfer my rips to my ipod, one by friggin' one (spot won't allow me to use cracked software at work, and at home i'm too lazy to search, so both at home and at work i'm forced to use trial editions... anapod, you guys are bastards!), write my letters, and then i'm off!



looks good!
sounds good!
a
bunch
of
arbitrary
links

smoker's paradise



it's been a long day.

we missed the bus after work because i stayed behind a minute or two to print out the words to "amazing grace", and the bus came early.

we walked to another stop and sat for half an hour waiting for a bus that wasn't arriving. we walked on home.

almost home, we walked past jay and silent bob standing next to a kiosk smoking a joint. spot was on the other side of me when jay snapped his finger at me, and i ignored him and carried on - spot was on the phone, so he didn't notice. then bob called out to spot, who turned around and realized that he knows them; the finger-snapping hadn't been for me, then.
i was in uniform, so i kept my distance while being introduced and stood witnessing the odd reunion. we carried on to cafeneto afterwards.

we sat at the cafeneto, my headache was making me even more agitated than i've been the whole day (and i've been pretty pissy, spot and i had a really annoying set of arguments during the walk, too), and eventually decided it was time to go. so i signed to the very cute waitress (who i've seen a couple of times before) from a distance, and she brought the bill.

the bill came to 31 shekels. i didn't have decent coins on me, so i placed a 50 bill on the plate with a 5 shekel coin. spot added a shekel, and we then argued over the amount the waitress would return. i was betting on a 20 bill and the 5 coin, spot on 20. and then we joked about her not returning any change at all. spot wasn't willing to actually bet anything, but the sentiment was there.

so we waited for her to come and collect. she passed us a few times in the first few minutes, and didn't so much as look in our direction. after about ten minutes of us sitting there wondering how to deal with this, i caught her eye and signed again for the bill. she smiled, nodded, and carried on - and we sat and waited, unable to comprehend what was going on.

we came up with theories to explain this odd occurrence: we're both sober (albeit exhausted), so maybe the waitress was stoned? maybe she was doing it on purpose, and at some point someone was planning on jumping out and yelling "supplies!"?

so i signed again the next time i caught her eye, and for five more minutes she ignored us. i needed to get to bed... i called her over, and introduced myself. we informed her that we couldn't leave until she'd sorted out the change - smiling she explained that she'd thought i was just fooling around when i signed after receiving the bill...

we'd been having a good laugh, so i thanked her for making our evening (i haven't stopped giggling since the 10th minute), and she went off, and came back with the plate of change. and promptly went back inside.

seven coins on the plate. three 5s and four 1s. so 56 - 31 = 16.

we walked off laughing, and have decided that next time she serves us, we're giving her an additional tip and informing her that she won that bet. hands down.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

my poster gift



it's in colour and huge on canvas. and it's not censored :P

tears excited



i woke up cursing whoever's fault it was that it was 7.30am; the sleep flew by way too quickly for that much time to have passed. the kid, his shag and i struggled to base, and the day's engine slowly began warming up.

we made a girl cry today - there were a few of us responsible and we really didn't think she was taking us seriously until it was too late. that really sucked :(

i had my goodbye meeting with our SC today, and it was pretty awkward considering that we've already said all there is to say, and it's not like we're not going to keep in touch. the trophy i got him is now the centrepiece of his desk: that was nice to see ^_^
the only problem is that i didn't notice before that the guys who made it put a bright, gold, difficult-to-remove promotional sticker on the back of it, which makes it look unprofessional from one side. lesson learned... :(

today was a day filled with hugs, sad goodbyes, and long conversations... and it wasn't even my last day!
my welfare officers prepared me a really nice, highly frameable farewell blessing: a part of it was about my being one of the few soldiers that they always look forward to helping :)
i really hope to make as good an impression in my next job!

all my communications are now being forwarded to the kid, so the only excuse i'm going to have to touch my pc on thursday is clearing my virtual desk. i sat talking for a while with a girl who's going to be released in another few weeks, and the two of us were comparing notes on the sheer oddity of the situation:
we've served about two years in the same place and it doesn't matter how long you prepare, leaving is a really big change. i'm excited about what i'm going to be doing, and i know that i've done everything i needed to and i can leave with a clear conscience, yet i still feel like the situation is out of my control.

the bus to work took over an hour due to traffic congestion. if i'd walked i would've arrived at almost the same time, and being exhausted on a crowded bus for a long time made me remember that in another couple of days i'm flying 11 hours :S

work's been fun tonight - nql started giving me shit because i wasn't paying enough attention to him... well, we've got a two week break from each other coming up, so i'm good. in a few more hours i'm going home, and i'm really looking forward to using tomorrow to catch up on sleep and take a metaphorical deep breath before thursday hits.

hush



yesterday's post disintegrated when firefox crashed on me. this is a check to see how much of it i can remember in my present lack of a state of mind:

waking up was slow and painful, which was to be expected. the kid and i arrived on base just after our TL, who'd really enjoyed himself too much at the party and actually went home an hour or so later... he told us on his way out that he'd understand if we had a slowdown... we took advantage and napped quite a bit in the office :P

it was the first time in a long time that i had absolutely nothing to do all day, so when i wasn't napping i was milling around chatting with friends. the only thing i did that could count as work was helping to solve a non-problem before we left... we've decided to add a new status to problems that shouldn't have been sent in the first place. we normally return "Rejected", tuesday morning i'm adding "DENIED".

i hurt my back in the evening, i don't know exactly how and it frustrated me until i went to bed.

inspiration, according to terry pratchett (i'm mentioning this for the sake of the poor sods who've never read his book and aren't familiar with my site, 'cause i *know* i've quoted this before), exists in the form of particles whizzing through the universe that every now and again strike home and flick a switch.

last night, after deciding that i had nothing much to do (i'm on hold, at the moment), i went out for a cigarette. as i sat on the steps smoking and pondering unrelateds, *BANG* the problematic code flashes before my eyes with the obvious solution.

i'm embarrassed to admit it, but admit it i shall! a common mistake (and amateur, too) in programming is to assume that the logic that works in our world works electronically. if i turn on the microwave, i can do things while waiting for it to ping at me. all i had to do was get my service to check for instructions every five seconds, as opposed to every cycle (le oops), and everything's alright now. aside from me being a tad ashamed.

omg - i hope this is for high-school students

i left work early, and zmobied (sorry) my way back home. one of the waitresses caught me, and instructed me to come back around 11pm, so i went home, watched another episode of dinosaurs, napped until spot arrived, and went back with him to sit over hot chocolate and okay-i-couldn't-help-myself-and-the-waitress-was-pressuring-me toasted sandwiches.

today:

awesome wake-up: well, actually, the awesomeness only began after the shitty start. i woke up having given myself exactly the amount of time i needed to shave and shower, and spot was already in the shower. so the morning began with spot and me shouting and cursing each other, and then abusing the kid and his shag; it was all very loud and extremely funny.

arriving on and leaving our base was fun. trips always have a good vibe, and it was a bright and sunny morning :)

*censored*
but it really felt like we were in the army, and i'm still blown away.

afterwards, we had a picnic lunch. i discovered that my nano fits in my wallet. that astounds me. we went on a fun hike, with a sit-down for coffee at the end, and then we called it a day and missioned home.

our TL dropped us off in the centre of tel aviv... and it still took almost an hour to get to work. crazy traffic :S

i met up with spot at the aroma near our office, and had sammiches on the way to work.

spot and i have a constant competition going vis-a-vis our sign-in cards. as we got to the swiping floor, we both pulled out from our wallets simultaneously, and then stared in shock when we realized that we'd both pulled out our visa cards instead; and neither of us has done that before.
ultra-weird. but it was hysterical at the time.

nystire came for a visit, and when i returned to do some actual work i fixed the colours and spoke to the manager and i was done for the night. spot and i spent some time wrestling with my application (we have to modify things for the production environment), and that's almost complete. so it looks like i'll be leaving without any worries :D

בוקר טוב בדיוק ניזכרתי שהיום לפני שנה השתחררתי וניזכרתי איך גרמת ליום הזה להיות שמח אז רציתי להגיד תודה שיהיה יום טוב....


(rough translation: a year ago exactly i was released and i remember how you made the day such a happy one)

i got the above message from jgirl when i unlocked my pc (i keep forgetting to log out when i leave work), but she was offline already so i couldn't respond with "you know, the biggest mistake you ever made was not falling in love with me" :/

at least my most romantic action ever wasn't completely unappreciated... although it would've been better if she hadn't gone back to her ex.

we left work a bit early, for a raucous evening at the cafeneto - that never happens, but spot's cousin, the kid and the kid's shag were there, and sunshine and one of the managers were around for some laughs :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

no way i'm disco dancing



no code-winging for me: i can't do what i need to do without the correct tools for the job. it's been to long for me to remember the exact database structure, and the boss wants changes in that, too. so no dice.

instead, i played poker with the jokers. i came second in the tournament, so i was exempt from putting in cash (2nd place gets his ante back), and then i rushed off to herzeliya to visit the cousins.

the visit was really nice, and i feel better for seeing them before they leave tomorrow (today) for vietnam for what sounds like an absolutely incredible holiday. i left dinner halfway through (at least i'd warned them, and arrived early to make up for it) to walk to the bus and get to tel aviv.

not as many people rocked up as i'd expected, but a couple of cute girls, most of my team and quite a few friends made it a great evening. the mongoose gave me a gift that is absolutely spank-tastic! i can't decide if it's going up in my room or in my next office :P [picture will be provided ASAP]

we've all taxi'd back, and now i'm going to shave and shower before sleeping 3 hours.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

last weekend ^_^



i met up with a friend on the way home from work on thursday night, we sat chatting for a bit, and then i went home to bed.

on friday morning the kid and i went shopping in yafo: we ended up in a long bargaining session with a really artful bastard. we got him down to half-price on a super-styling carpet, but he really did best us on that last NIS 100: we just had to walk away knowing we'd been defeated.

really superb carpet, though: thick, glossy black, and *exactly* the right size for our lounge.

i put in laundry when we got home, and went to sleep. i woke up in the late afternoon, watched batman begins again (under my double-duvet on the couch), took out the washing :$, made myself spaghetti for dinner, and watched trainspotting before going to bed (to watch the second half of face off before falling asleep).

i woke up around 9am this morning to complete work on the hospital project... but i just discovered that i don't have an installation disc for SQL Server, so i'm just going to have to wing it and hope for the best.

whoops...

i "helped" spot and his mom disassemble and carry a cupboard from ramat gan... i say helped because i misjudged a drawer and broke it. i feel like such a fool about it, too.

anyway, a code-winging afternoon and at 17.00 i'm off to herzeliya, to visit with the cousins for a bit before hurrying back to the lizard for my farewell party.

next weekend i'll have arrived in sa already! it's been a difficult year, and this is the last weekend of it for me before the celebrating begins :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

in sickness and in health



i had a nothing day yesterday. i didn't do anything, and i didn't have to.

i felt like crap, i started feeling really ill on the bus to work, and after an hour and a half of not doing anything but watching the walls bleed i decided it was time to call it a night. i haven't felt that bad in a long time.

i'm NOT the frikkin' maid: i wanted to eat something before going to bed, and there wasn't any clean cutlery or crockery in the apartment. everything was in the sink, covered in grotesque bits of food from two days prior, and i was PISSED that i had to wash the things i needed. i've had enough stupid shit like that to deal with with previous flatmates, and that's one of the things i LOATHE.

anyway, i watched the first episode of dinosaurs (the mighty megalosaurus), and fell asleep around 20.30.

...

i woke up at 07.30, feeling slightly better but still a little woozy. i had a muesli breakfast (with mango! nice!), i got all my gear together, and the kid and i took a taxi (with quite the talkative and rather amusing driver) to the base, and the day began with a branch ceremony. i don't have a clue what was discussed, but the munchies provided were good and we had fun making candles for hanukkah. it was a good way to waste a few hours.

i skipped lunch because i was so stressed about organizing the farewell ceremony. i got some help from the mongoose and the kid's shag, but it wasn't until an hour before that i finally sent out the invitations, and even then i didn't invite everyone i wanted to. it's really difficult to go through lists of people whose names you don't know, when the list names themselves don't provide a clue as to which branch / section they're referring to.

it's a good thing the mongoose and i put together a quick poster for my previous SC: not only did he rock up, but he provided a whole lot of cakes that his wife had baked for me.

wow :O

we started on time, which turned out to be problematic because i'd thought to myself that if too many people came we'd move outside... too many people came, and a lot simply stood outside or went away :(
[kinda like my promotion, only it's a more meaningful ceremony]

anyway, the people who made speeches made really touching ones. by the time it got to my turn, i was so touched that none of the things i'd prepared to say were readily available - i turned mute and just mumbled some random things and thank yous.

but i came out alright with the gifts.

my branch commander didn't read hers out loud (that's more or less the tradition): she just got up and hugged me. (a beautiful plaque saying thank you for the support and being an excellent example)

my team leader just looked at his plaque, and got this huge grin on his face. (similar plaque, with his name and "an officer and a gentleman" - he's definitely both)

everyone's jaws dropped when i produced my SC's, including his: he'd actually used the phrase in his speech, so my work was done ^_^ (a stunning trophy with an F16 saying "mission accomplished" in english and hebrew)

so there were lots of goodbyes, even though i'm still going to be on base for another week, and my section stayed on after everyone had left to chat a bit and present me with something: i opened the wrapping and the box was labelled: "FISHER - SPACE PEN".

that's just awesome. it's become a part of my uniform, and the joke was that i'm just gonna have to go into space to see if it really works ;)

we cleaned up, and i went and sat with freshmeat over coffee (i learned that fireman is working in the same company as sammy, i told sammy to send my regards :P), before returning to my section to clear out a few emails (i got TONS of email apologies from people who couldn't make it, and many just to say goodbye and wish me luck), and chat with the team before heading off to work.

i have to say i've still got some of the speeches going through my head - there're many things that i regret that i didn't say, but it really was moving and i really am going to miss these guys. i can only hope that i'll meet people like these on my next base.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

lettuce



lettuce (essentially, the spelling's off) in hebrew stands for "deaf, blind, dumb". that's a keeper. and it's especially confusing if i say it in english ;)

i've just registered that i've been a complete bastard for about 24 hours now, and i don't know why. probably because i'm so damn edgy, and i keep forgetting how mean i can be.

i woke up to the ultra-soothing sounds of the renovation next door... once again did the breakfast thing: it goes down well with the kiwi replaced by irish-cream flavoured chocolate ;)

i spent most of the day milling around the base, piles has finally started making himself useful and is on the verge of being pleasant to deal with. although he did tell me what strawberries and cream entails, and that even grossed me out.

i've informed him that he's officially taken over, and aside from a bit of assistance here and there i ain't doing shit. i've got a week left, genoeg is genoeg.

oh, and i was shamed into buying chocolates and marshmallows for our section by peer-pressurizing team-mates who'd seen me outside eating an entire bag of marshmallows by myself.

the ipod just keeps getting cuter :)

i got to work and got to work (terrible, i should be shot in the knees), and i've added funky new functionality to my little service. a while of debugging and i had to get spot to slap me - a frikkin' scope error. i should be past those. once i'd sorted that out (ie. moved the variable declaration) it worked a treat.

i just took a tortilla break (those things don't last long enough, i finished it just as i walked back into the office), and am about to get back into the fight with our provider over missing data :S

thanks nystire (sorry again for the earlier ungratefulness) and spot:

spot's wireless pda...
pirates!
i love these
spot's taken to communicating through qdb
hell yeah :)

granola head-start



gotta say it: the epitome of my new life is walking out the door late, at 8am, with a cup of coffee in one hand and another cup filled with yoghurt, muesli (or granola, whatever) and neatly sliced (if i do say so myself) kiwi in the other. we had enough time to finish "breakfast" before hopping on the bus; all good.

on our way to the base, we made a discovery that could only be taken as one of those "signs" religious fanatics talk about. i can't discuss it further right now, but in a nutshell:
"when's christmas?"
"whenever we want it to be."
^_^

during that little side-quest we actually managed to get the dude himself shaking his head, and it's the first time we've ever been in a position to "return the favour".

i got bored during a code-review, so i went to visit the mongoose, who made me pose for some photos which seem suspiciously relevant to a "surprise"... i'm convinced he's going to do something insidious with them and present the results to me on thursday during the farewell ceremony. but i can't stop him :S

lunchtime saw me finally (after almost two years) buying one of our previous section-mates the lunch which i owed him for the krembo bet on my 24th birthday. i learned not to order steak in a laffa... a messy and annoying combination.

i finally got my emails and things sorted out this afternoon, and piles got all excited because he pretty much took care of a problem all by himself - wow! he didn't screw everything up! he didn't beg and plead and whine!
i mean, he behaved badly enough before that to balance things out, but still...

i'm irritated by the fact that i'm folding my arms a lot lately - it's a defensive mechanism and i know it's caused by my constant stressing over the next phase of my life. i gotta chill, but i'm too obsessive to do so.

the ipod has me enthralled - again, SO pretty >D

the doubles thing is driving me nuts; i finally got the java side of things sorted out, only to discover that php deals with my STRING results in an even more bizarre and grotesque fashion. at least the pseudocode i wrote to sort it out barely had to change, it's nice to work in a c-style language :)

spot and i paid his gran a visit, as his mom's just arrived. aside from a bit of an interrogation, we had to wait a while for all the unpacking for spot to subside... spoiled brat, i say :P

we dropped off the gear at home, *had* to wrestle in the tiny elevator (spot just *had* to get out first. and here i was thinking he was more american than israeli.), and sat at the cafeneto appreciating sunshine ;)

now it's way past bedtime. my week's already feeling upside down... and it's 8 more working days before i get on that plane! WOW!!

scribbling

i'm sitting at cafeneto, scribbling into spot's dashing new pda... awesome :D

had to...

Monday, December 11, 2006

enthusiastically embracing the move to fruit



we interrupt the generally boring updates of totalwaste's daily "routine" to bring you an important announcement: totalwaste has just been apple-ized.

my ipod nano has just arrived! sooooooo shiny! the personalization is a great finishing touch, and i've just joined the ranks of millions of pompous bastards with their flashy little toys ^_^

SO pretty :)

it's new, so i'm overly-protective: i feel the sudden urge to splurge and get myself the i-tank :P

spot: it's been almost five years, but that debt is finally paid, and in a manner most befitting! all i need now is to see some snow, and then it's truly christmas ;)

guess which one's nql



nothing annoys me more than people judging me by my company, and my company making an ass out of himself. i tried, but he just didn't get any hints and he kept interrupting the guy during his sale's pitch... TO HELP HIM. whatever, i wasn't too impressed anyway, so i'm advising my manager a) not to go with their system and b) not to send nql with me again.

we had trouble with the guys who handle our army servers today - it all began when the kid and i were harrassed on the bus because our systems were down. the kid just informed me that in the evening, he was informed that the state of the backup tapes (shredded, we hear) is not considered their responsibility, rather ours. that's just... wonderful.

the kid underwent a code review this morning: i left halfway 'cause i was totally uninterested. i already know what he's done, and i'm happy with all the bits that he's in control of (other people's apis notwithstanding). i went to organize myself another set of dog-tags; i like the american-style with two hanging around the neck instead of one :P

[in the IDF, one of our dog tags is split into two halves, one half inserted into each boot so that if a leg gets blown off it's easy to identify]

aided by a first sergeant, i confronted the kitchen boss this afternoon about the quantities of food. he wasn't even embarrassed to tell us that 50g of meat was more than enough for anyone. and he's the fattest bastard i've ever seen this side of florida.

the kid was upset about my lack of usefulness today: i spent a large part of the afternoon trying to organize my data: what to keep for myself, what to pass on to piles, and what to discard. considering the headache reading all the subjects caused me, and the difficulty i personally have with the discarding bit (*such* a packrat), that was more than enough work for me.

a friend of mine came to visit our base for a short while, and it was fun to watch somebody unused to our desk-jockey style behaving like a soldier :P

i bussed and trained through to herzeliya - it's been a while since i've been there, and i sorta miss it a bit. not relative to tel aviv, mind, but it was my home for four years.

after the meeting, i took nql to the best shuwarma place in the centre of the country, we had a good meal, and then bussed back to tel aviv; all the while nql brain-raping me. i sorta blanked out most of the discussion, but every now and again i was expected to respond :(

work itself was annoying: i can't believe i'm writing a wrapper class for doubles because java handles them so friggin' badly. spot left half an hour earlier than me, claiming to be exhausted. when i got home, i discovered he hadn't arrived yet: he was visiting that waitress who was here last weekend - good for him! he's got his own little cheering squad back here *evil grin* *cheering in the background*

when he got back, disappointingly (he didn't stay there, he didn't bring her back... what gives?!), he agreed to be my wingman, and we went to cafeneto for coffee... sunshine was workin', so that worked out :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

we don't need no eduwotsit



i made a decision today, a simple one. kind of the easy way out, but not too simple to be unappreciated. we cleaned house today, and ate dinner at spot's gran (highly amusing, she is), and i began watching apocalypse now: redux when we got back.

halfway through the movie the kid and i walked with coffee and hot-chocolate to the kiosk to buy milk. what an odd feeling, pouring milk on the sidewalk to drink on the way home!

the end of the movie stuns me no matter how often i watch it: it's elegant and beautiful, and pulls chords in me that i keep forgetting exist. i'm back in game mode, after enough sleep this weekend, and i've got twelve functioning days left before i'm back in paradise for a much needed holiday.

i know that the first two months after i get back in january are going to be killer - much, much more difficult and complicated than the hellish six months that i just completed. but i also know that as soon as that's done with, my life begins. i haven't had a consistent quality of life in six years, and it's about time i get back to the business of being me.

i've just polished my boots, and made my bed (with two comfy duvets inside the cover), and i'm about to hit the shower and then the sack. i needed this weekend badly, and i did nothing of real value, and i'm good with that.

*snores* *mutters* *brainfart* *snores*



i totally chilled - i slept a couple of hours, until spot woke me up to throw a pack of oldtimers - kindelooper ruitjesdrop (liquorice) at me. i haven't opened it yet, but i've been told it's pretty good stuff :)

i tried to go back to sleep, but i started thinking instead of dreaming so i climbed out of bed, made myself supper (couldn't taste the meat, unfortunately, because i'd put too much chili on :S) and sat down to watch once upon a time in mexico - great film.

i joined spot, magist, and magist's flatmate (spot's had his eye on her a while, and she's actually cute - go spot!) on a mission to cinema city to watch borat. magist's father and his girlfriend joined us - she looks terribly familiar, and i'm pretty sure we were at university together. apparently his father's quite the player ;)

borat wasn't supposed to be a good movie. it's supposed to make fun of americans, and in that it's entirely successful, but most of the things he's laughing at are culturally inherent to most nations. he just smashes through all norms and acceptable practices to produce revulsion and disgust, and every now and again the camera manages to pick up an absolute gem - the elevator passenger's face, for instance. but most of the movie is simply unpleasant.

beelzebuth is a dangerous beer. i was feeling a bit woozy by the time i got through a glass...
Personally, the strongest I've had is called Beelzebuth. It's made in France, and has an ABV of 15%.
we drove back to tel aviv, and as a concession to the general attitude of "it may soon be bedtime", we sat at cafeneto for a bit before going home.

the muesli home breakfast thing is kicking ass. i've had my coffee and smoke, i've put in a load of washing (although i fear i may have overloaded the machine), and am about to shower before making my big decision for the weekend: floating-point arithmetic? preparing for the farewell ceremony?

i think i'll probably have to sleep on it some more ;)

btw - the image link above is a good read.

*lack of self control*
DAMN! the liquorice is FANTASTIC!

Friday, December 08, 2006

shiny, shaky



have i linked through to the original translations of the grimm brothers fairytales yet? they're great!

i printed out the ~40 pages of what every computer scientist should know about floating-point arithmetic that i found online, it's fascinating reading. it's something most programmers wonder about at some point, and then realize that they don't care. i *have* to care, now... so i have a project for the next couple of weeks, to keep me occupied in place of "IDF spirit" :P

i bussed home, dropped off the gear, and met up with the kid and his date. then i moved on to the balcony, where i met up with wr and had a fun hour of chatting with him and the cute bartender (who actually had time to talk, for once), before heading home and passing out - i was reminded that a part of the reason i was so screwed up this week was because it's more-or-less been one long day since i got wasted on saturday night... fair's fair, people. i'm only hyoo-man.

i woke up way later than i'd hoped to, having successfully ignored my alarm clock for over two hours. i immediately made my way to prasport to pick up my order: the stuff came out *beautifully*. really professional work... but i was terrified on the bus back, because our friend klapfoot drove like we were in a tricky portion of an off-road racetrack :S

the kid and i checked everything when i got home, and it's all gravy >D

spot and i rushed off (in slo-mo) to meet with nystire and his fiancée - as i told her, that's officially the end of all the jokes about his imaginary girlfriend :P

we couldn't find a kosher coffee shop - it's tel aviv, after all [i had that long argument about it not being sodom and gemorrah; i stand by my original statement], so we sat on a bench for a bit. spot and i did a quick search for a gift for my sister, and then walked back to the supermarket to do some shopping.

on the way, there were some students of the arts dressed up / made up and standing on the sidewalk doing amusing and interesting things. i was entertained, and then worried slightly when some weirdo walked up to one of the girls and started making out with her. that's just creepy.

i made myself muesli-yoghurt for breakfast when we got home: it's the first time i've eaten it in a bowl - much easier :)

i'm going to spend my day chilling and learning. more chilling, i guess - i'm still slow and awkward from the last week.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

what bastard commissioned this?!

so i googled for "linux process memory use", and here's the result title i clicked on:

Getting memory use of current process (linux)? [Archive ...

that's just nasty >@
i mean, it's EXACTLY the question i'm seeking an answer to.

i've found it!



if it's war they want, it's war they'll get!

it's the winter. i lay all of my internal troubles and stupid attitude at the feet of the mighty icer. my heart has been frosted over with pure apathy, and that's why i've been loathe to take control of my life over the past few weeks.

well, not any more - i now have to get back on my feet instead of allowing my situation to drag me by the scruff of my neck. at least until i forget and swing back into my own personal sorrow-filled downer.

today was a 'orrible one. it began excellently, with a superb breakfast, an amusing lecture on quality control, and a good discussion with our TL about coding practices. but then lunchtime came around, and it was time to deal with the ceremony organization (failed miserably) and actual work, which i'm totally not up for.

i've hated my current job for over two years now, and i *abhor* anything requiring a dba, and my replacement's more or less ready to take over... but the work just keeps on coming.

the highlight of the rest of the day on base was combining good marshmallows and good chocolate. with a block of chocolate and a marshmallow in my mouth, all my troubles seem to go away for a moment of delicious, care-free slacking.

i got to work, and solved the problem i was chewing over during the last half hour at work yesterday. spot laughed at me when i told him: it's so damn obvious, but i just couldn't get it :$
i've been trying to figure out how to send an EOF signal to a stream in java. i tried sending null values (genius :S), and even the byte value that you check for to know if a stream you're reading has reached the EOF. what i didn't try was CLOSING THE DAMN STREAM. it suddenly hit me when i got in, i tried it, it worked beautifully.

*slaps himself in the face for general silliness*

the tortilla for supper was a great idea, and now it's time to get back to more serious affairs. oh, that meeting i was going to was junked, it's set for sunday instead.

*relaxes a bit*

shokist



it's the word in army-hebrew for someone who's completely overwhelmed and has no clue what's potting. that's me right now: the kid put into a word what i've been feeling for the past couple of weeks. mostly. [sorry, i shouldn't have.]

i slept beautifully this morning - that means that a part of me died while getting out of my warm, cozy bed and allowing myself to be flung head-first into the icy water that was my day. and it wasn't the kind of experience that woke me up, it just made me want to curl up into a ball and go back to dreaming of a better life.

if my writing seems this depressing to me, then i'm guessing i should apologize to whoever else is reading this :S

i can't really remember most details from the day, but that's mostly because i don't want to. mostly things work-wise were trying. mostly. [god, i have to stop that!]

i'm definitely smoking too much. and i'm too lazy demotivated to slow down. it looks like there might be a problem with my holiday, and my SC and my branch commander aren't going to be around for my last week - bringing the dates forward kinda screws my plans up - it's too short-notice to reserve indoor space for my farewell ceremony, so that means relying on it not raining on the day.

the problem is that there are so many people on my base that i actually like, and i really don't want to leave as if i'm sneaking out the back door, which is what it will feel like without the ceremony. and besides, i bought really flash gifts and have been working on a speech; i can't not do this in style!

why do i have to be such a #$@!ing perfectionist?!?! 'cause it makes me who i am. i know that. but it's irksome sometimes, alright?

great, i just had a flashback from the meeting we had today - veeeeery similar to the popsicle one, only without the stick and with many more people, some of whom were visibly annoyed with my wobbly behaviour. i don't sleep enough to suffer through meetings which aren't of interest to me (nor my presence to them) and involve too much hebrew that i don't care to follow.

work this evening should have been alright, and was interesting and entertaining aside from the point where our manager walked in to tell me that nql will be coming with me tomorrow for the meeting in herzeliya.

ffs - the only thing i can see him contributing to is a bad rep for our company. i'm extremely unimpressed. AND i was hoping to find a way to organize my time so that i can see my cousins, and if he's there it's going to be tricky as hell.

spot made dinner that came out well, and i've just spoken to my mum, and now i'm going to shower and crash. my head aches and i'm now wondering if i can dream myself out of depression...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

stress test



*unhappy sigh*
i discovered this morning that starting january, in order to make it to base on time i'm going to have to leave the apartment at 6.30 latest. oh man, that's gonna be like serving in the army.

the test was at 10am, so i made it there with an hour or so to spare. i sat writing the actual speech, and attempting to curtail meaningless conversations with people whose hebrew is worse than mine. the exam itself was interesting: the sections are ranked from א (easiest) to ה (hardest), and the first three i managed comfortably. sarcastically, even.

ד was tricky, i got by not without struggling, and there were a few words here and there that lost me. ה was impossible, i got the gist but i couldn't even understand the questions.

so it's not bad, as such, but it's not great. i definitely need some formal lessons, but the only way to do that is to set aside 3 weeks of my life, and there's no way that's happening.

bummer.

i went through to visit nystire, and had lunch with him and his brother. then i took the exceptionally long walk to the bus, and made my way back to base. so i got to base around 2pm.

honestly, we leave piles alone for half a day... and he manages to organize an exemption from guard duty. that speaks volumes for his character. i spent my afternoon running around the base trying to organize my holiday, and the evening lecturing piles. he got my back up, and i just ripped into him about everything that he is and does that pisses me off.

work tonight was great - i tweaked the graphic application successfully, with some rather useful fixes, and now it's ready for production. and the production part is fun, too :)
in addition to that, i'm trying to use perl to make up for one of java's shortcomings... java cannot find out its own process id, so we have to run an external perl script to handle that. java's process handling is a mite awkward, so handling perl by sending arguments (you know, the easy way) is what i've been struggling with. it's been educational.

oh, and the boss is sending me off on thursday night to the offices of a potential new provider to investigate - it's in herzelia, and i haven't seen my cousins for so long... and a cute girl i know is having a huge birthday bash, so i can crash that too while i'm at it ;)

again, cafeneto, again, three cute ones. we had a more normal evening, then came home to watch the episode of how i met your mom. it was a good one. now that we've discussed girl-sleeping-over protocol and i've had a shower, i'm going to sleep. in my pajamas. the guys can't handle the look - it's overpowering in its stylishness.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

speeches, bloody speeches



cafeneto on the way home last night, we met sunshine (one of the cuter waitresses), and when we left we had a mental masturbation session at top volume about who has dibs on which girls. i call it mental masturbation because it's a story i'm familiar with - ain't nothin' gonna happen wi' none of 'em.

the kid's approval at my cessation regarding IDF spirit - i no longer fill all silences with it. he's already feeling better about travelling with me in the mornings :P

we spent a large part of the day poking fun at piles. after lunch, it was time to handle some business: speech-writing for my farewell ceremony. we made the mistake of sitting in a busy area, and for the first 45 minutes kept being interrupted by people who just didn't get the "we're busy" hint. when we finally got really annoyed, we moved to a quiet spot and got most of it done in about 20 minutes. there's plenty left, but that's mainly about my current situation, so it's not too difficult.

the remainder of the afternoon i worked with piles, which wasn't a whole lot of fun. how odd, huh?

songbird's our resident graphic artist, and she sent me a picture she'd made with a heart-shaped egg cracked with an oddly shaped fried egg below it. she asked what my egg would look like - i told her it would be mostly blood.

work was a bit confusing; i got a project complete, but part of the process was tweaking one thing and causing bugs in another place. i hate that.

we found ourselves once again at cafeneto tonight, with sunshine once again our waitress. it was all really nice, with a few good laughs, and at the end i asked a question to which she replied "yeah, and tomorrow i'm leaving early to see my boyfriend".

awww. although i won't say i didn't see that coming :S

just got home, the kid has a guest (the girl in the photo from thursday), and i have to figure out bus routes for the morning - it's gonna be an uncomfortable one :(

spot and me at work:

"i insist that you desist with your insistence, and excuse me"

and an old one i'm sure i forgot to post:

"yeah? well, then, what colour underwear am i wearing?"
"blue."
*checks*
"dammit!"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

inbreeding

i was soooo right last night. work was good, and then spot and i headed off to the lizard. not many people came, maybe 4 / 5, but it was fun nonetheless.

well, it was fun until that last sambuca. i dun got me drunk. i don't like being drunk.

crasher gave us a ride home, and when i woke up i was still a tad sloshed. i had to have a gorram cold shower, because our geyser wasn't set properly. and a cold shave, too, on a sunday when i usually have a bit of a beard.

on my way out, brother bear called to remind me that i was supposed to supply the main part of the section breakfast... "oh crap" was all i could think of. i rushed past the supermarket, bought massive mangos*1, apples, two bags of muesli (took a while to find that), honey, and a ton of yoghurt, agitatedly waited in the only queue (only one cashier??), and then hopped a bus.

on the bus was a 27 year old who's just joined the academic corps, so i gave him some pointers and generally felt sorry for him every time i looked at him. hope it all works out better for him than it did for me :$

the bus ride this morning was horrid. when we got to the train station, way too many people pushed, shoved and tore their way into an already full bus, and aside from carrying crushables i had my huge bag on my back, and i was shoved into an unfortunately not-lonely corner which i defended with elbows and knees the whole ride to base.

i don't want to be frotted.

back on base, mush-brained, and i'm extremely glad that daddy-o was at the lizard last night, so he was late too :P

it took a while to get things going, but around 10am we had a feast: the muesli went down superbly well!
*gleeful toothy smiling*
*much dry-washing of hands*
[it's not often that totalwaste gets something like this right, people. be impressed!]

soon after breakfast the hangover settled in, and that lasted a while. we cleaned our offices (which for me meant a lot of time popping balloons; my ears still hurt a bit from before i perfected my technique).

the afternoon was a relatively quiet on the work front. i spent an inordinate amount of time playing around with a productivity tool that we've always hated until now (now that i know what's going on it's simply brilliant. not perfect, but brilliant), quite a lot of time lecturing piles, a fair amount of time finalizing (19 days to go!), and a bit of time just hanging around.

i discovered that songbird broke up with her boyfriend last week; now while she's not exactly my type physically, and she doesn't meet my age / area requirements, i still find her absolutely adorable and i've had the thought of dating her sliding around my mind for most of the day. i can't quite catch the thought on either side, but it's definitely there.

it's okay to date a soon-to-be ex-coworker, right?

the driver of the bus to work was a total asshole. i hate drivers who don't understand the words "smooth" or "elderly passengers". the idiot was accelerating like crazy only to brake like crazy, and that's something i just don't get. i must be unenlightened.

work's been great tonight. another job almost complete (there seems to be a trend here). our boss caught us on our way out, so we've been here an extra half an hour - i'm calling it a lesson learned (as in, not sitting outside waiting for the damn bus).

g'nite!

*1no, really. MASSIVE. like, everyone thought i was trying to put one over them with fake fruit. these were only slightly (like maybe a centimeter or two) shorter in length than a rugby ball*2.

*2but really, really tasty.

animator vs animation iimore flash than you can stick a shake at

bill gates for president? got my vote.

haim harari - a view from the eye of the storm: sad but true - long, but highly recommended.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

i won't still be refreshed



tomorrow, i'm gonna have a problem. birthday party at the lizard tonight. i only have a few of the numbers for the people i wanted to invite, but it should be fun anyway.

so much for tradition - spot and i went to cafeneto for an early supper. we came home to watch aliens - i passed out for most of it, but was awake for in the pipe, 5 by 5 (starcraft stole that one) and mostly. thank you cartman, we're going to be saying that a lot, now. mostly.

afterwards, well, i'm embarrassed to say this: we went back to cafeneto for coffee. we were actually on our way to rent a video, and one of the waitresses (amber waves / a-w) caught us and refused to let us go without coffee and a chat :P

we rented lord of war, and watched the aliens bonus cd until a-w arrived to watch it with us. while waiting, spot and i had a nasty argument, primarily caused by his attempt to stop smoking (and not helped by me being a bastard, but no more than usual). now i remember why i didn't! got me thinking, though - and as soon as i'm out of mandatory service i'm definitely becoming a member of the nearby gym.

the waitress passed out, and left about halfway through. disappointingly, with spot not getting any couch nookie (i've been trying to set them up).

i'm addicted to bookworm adventures (thanks, tycho :S), so i only got to bed around 4am. i slept until 11, and spent the morning tidying up my room. spot and i had had a lengthy discussion around 2 / 3am, and the fact of the matter is that i've gotten so used to not having any sense of permanence in my life that i've been terrified of properly unpacking and throwing out boxes.

once i'd gotten over the majority of my fears, i suddenly had this overwhelming and extremely satisifying sensation - i have a home. i've had so many overwhelming emotions come over me the past few weeks, i'm beginning to think that i may cry when i get to the airport not because of a nervous breakdown, but because so many touching things (alright, it's pathetic and sad that i find them touching, screw you for laughing at me) have been taking place and i'm not equipped to deal with them properly.

the kid's father joined us for lunch, spot made lasagne. didn't come out amazingly well, but it was definitely alright for a first try. a bit sad that there wasn't enough left for the kid and i to take packed lunches tomorrow :P

we watched a couple of episodes of how i met your mom today, it's bloody hysterical. it's definitely a series that grows on you.

bookworm adventures wants me to pay to continue playing :'(
do i get a soldier's discount?

the kid and i finally sent off the final details for the presents i ordered yesterday; i gotta admit that i've bought such amazing gifts that i'm really nervous about getting them in time, and i'm trying to think of the best way to give them ^_^

so spot and i returned the dvd... and of course, stopped by cafeneto for coffee :$

all three of the super-cute waitresses were there.
*SIGH*
they're absolutely adorable. i gotta get me one of those.

creationists try to take over the world

Friday, December 01, 2006

RIP: 9/10/2006 - 30/11/2006



tuesday:

spot and i caught the bus home - after waiting half an hour for it. it always sucks to know we could've done another 30 minutes work. just being signed in is helpful in itself.

we stopped for coffee, and had a long brain-wracking trying to figure out if our plans for the next step of what we were working on would be more efficient or not, and what other methods are available to us. it's been a while since i got some decent mental anguish exercise.

wednesday:

went home, slept well (again!), and was absolutely EXHAUSTED the entire day.

getting a haircut in the morning was a mission - the base hairdresser doesn't have enough budget to get his clippers repaired, so i had to get my head shaved off base. NIS 40 :S, but at least i got a good head massage afterwards :P

in the afternoon, i returned to my office with a popsicle, and was rushed in to a meeting. an hour long meeting. i was only needed for the first few minutes, and the rest of it didn't involve me at all. i was struggling, and i mean *struggling*, to keep my eyes open, and i have no idea what was being discussed.

at some point, i heard a sudden sharp noise, and popped awake to discover everyone staring at me... i'd dropped the popsicle stick...

somebody screwed up in our client section, and heads were being prepped for rolling. it possible for a user to screw up this badly because since the last time this happened, we either haven't had time to patch, or we simply haven't been allowed to. our SC called me up to push things - and insisted on speaking in english. now, his english is understandable, but if we're in a hurry then it's probably better to spend the time doing as opposed to wondering what it is i'm supposed to do.

i rushed home early, got dressed, and then took a taxi to the wedding. one day... one day i will learn to stop arriving on time for these things. the guests i knew only rocked up an hour and a half later :(

aside from that, it was a nice wedding. the ceremony was - um - interesting: the presiding clergyman put on quite the performance, sang everything with this really psychedelic background music. i enjoyed it, but there were definitely guests getting edgy :P

the night was spent dancing, and around 1am the music started pumping properly and we had great fun until they threw us all out about 45 minutes later. i got a ride home, and i'm guessing i got to sleep around 2.30 / 3am.

thursday:

spuzz, spot and i got up and ready at 6.30, and made it to base with 20 minutes to spare. we made sure everything was ready, although the mongoose failed to pitch so there wasn't a video camera, and handed out poster-size copies of "IDF spirit".

the video camera would have been a waste. as the discipline officer walked down the rows, he got more and more agitated, and by the time he got to me he knew something was up, and REFUSED TO INSPECT ME.

we all stood there in shock, the guys on the side couldn't understand what was going on (one of our section's TLs was there too, also having been at the wedding), and we tried to force the situation.
one of the guys from my section asked him "what about [totalwaste]?"
"i trust that he has it."
so it was my turn: "and what if i don't? i don't!"
"that's alright"

BASTARD!! he just threw away almost two months' work, on my birthday :(

in any event, although the primary objective was a failure the secondary was achieved, and i have a suspicion that he won't be too interested in asking a bunch of desk-jockey soldiers for the "IDF spirit" any more ;)

and everyone threw their berets, which was funny as hell.

the photo above was taken immediately afterwards, as a few friends simply had to hear me say it. with spot keeping place :P

after having coffee with a large group of friends, i walked into my office to find it FILLED with balloons! and an awesome, really touching birthday message taped to my monitor :'D

awwwww...

i framed it, it was a really nice feeling. apparently one of our civilians got upset, though - nobody else got such a nice birthday surprise, and she doesn't think it's fair because the others might feel like they're less loved. ffs, we're a little more mature than that, surely?

we had a long team meeting, which started off nicely but lost me after about half an hour. i snuck out (okay, my TL hinted loudly at me), and went off with the mongoose and freshmeat (not so fresh no more) to eat falafel for lunch.

in the afternoon, we had tons of work to do. some of it involved missioning, as usual, and at some point i was sitting outside having a cigarette when one of our providers walked up to scream at me - apparently piles had abandoned his post (office, in our case) before home-time and had caused them grief by doing so.

i walked straight back to the office, contemplating informing our SC first, and promptly lost my temper. i didn't notice, but the girls in our section apparently were on the verge of tears from some of the things i said to him; as i informed him later, he's just bloody lucky i didn't let him be sent off for a court-martial. i told him i'll consider it a first offense, and the last one that i'll help out with.

i've gotten so used to controlling my temper that i'm a lot more comfortable with the fact that i didn't beat the snot out of him during the shouting - he actually had the audacity to not only shout back at me bullshit excuses, but he physically got up in my face while doing so.

i'm still refusing to go to prison because of some little shit with a bad attitude. oddly enough, after we had our little screaming match i actually had his attention, and we made some headway. i made him write a soppy apologetic email to our provider, and take us forward from there - the problem is that he's definitely capable of the work, just socially deaf and blind and he needs to be "properly motivated" to work, which appears to be possible only through threats of serious disciplinary action.

work last night was really chilled: i was wasted, but fortunately didn't have too much to do. catching up on news and figuring out a strange bug pretty much sums it up. one of my coworkers walked in at some stage and plonked two huge chinese take-away boxes on my desk, and then refused to let me pay for it. and aside from being a tad cool, it was really good.

sammy rocked up around 10pm, and we drove through to my place, to wake up spot and go with him and the kid to cafeneto for a birthday coffee and chat (no party, gotta save it all for the goodbye celebrations). sammy got me a really nice birthday present, and us a cute housewarming gift :)

friday:

the kid and i got up relatively early this morning to go shopping. we finally went to the first place i wanted to try, and the stuff they have is fantastic. it's a bit costly, but the good gifts usually are, but i'm pretty much done with the goodbye presents. now i just have to figure out when and in what fashion to present them.

i went for breakfast with nystire, and then did another very short round to get something for my sister. i didn't find what i was looking for, but i found a great present for my mom, now i've just got to hope i can transport it with too much hassle.

i came home, slowly, and after showering have spent the afternoon chilling. now i want coffee and a smoke, and then the kid and i are going to continue our new "tradition" of hunter x hunter on a friday afternoon :P

oh - and it's world aids day. do we say "happy aids day?" or celebrate by not getting laid?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

thrilling, kinda bug-eyed



d-damn! lots of odd mixing and matching, interesting new functionality, and sheer awesomeness ^_^

it's always nice when the measure of one's success is a pretty picture. and it's all so neat and tidy! this whole getting-things-done is a relatively new concept when working against our provider, so you'll just have to suffer me grinning like the cat and walking off satisfied.

*walks off, satisfied*

smelly feet :(



one of the few (heh) things that i *hate* about army socks and boots. the smell of my feet is unbearable, even by me :'(
*puts on shoes and sits uncomfortably*

i slept like a baby last night, and waking up was soooo difficult because i was soooo nice and warm and it was soooo not warm outside the covers. chilly.

i managed to get by today without doing an iota of real work. in fact, i don't recall most of the things i did. i went through lots of emails, filing things in more intelligent places... and the mongoose helped me make the most of yesterday's photography. his work gets me every time - i've now got stunning prints, which means i actually have a gift for my section already prepared.

much happier :)

we went out to eat this afternoon - i ate way too much, but it was really good. i felt i had to share that ;) [actually, i just need to learn from this that one kebab in a laffa is MORE than enough]

wondering: bill & ted's excellent adventure was what got keanu started, right? what's the name of the movie which begins with him performing oral sex on some guy? or did i confuse him with someone else?

spot and i are having loads of fun with our current work >)

i'm terrified of tomorrow: the wedding (i hope i haven't lost the invite), and then praying that everything falls into place on thursday :S *WORRIES*

here're some links, now it's back to work.

animated series! (teaser)
penny arcade in wired
email not good enough? [okay, it's not a bad idea]
gotta love the americans
a cute mouse with pictures
science rules
SO sexy

'cause i'm a loser, baby



it's taken a few months, but the kid and i finally took the photos that we bought the mini uzi for... it was confiscated on our way back to base, so we're not going to have any opportunities to re-shoot if they're not up to scratch. now they need to be professionally toyed with (the mongoose) until i have a goodbye poster for the section.

i spent a large part of today going through old emails to see what i need for my next phase. a serious trip down memory lane, that. and lots of pictures from the mongoose poking fun at the size of my ears (eg. an edited copy of my tattoo with huge ears attached, and some old guy from the army archives who had decidedly large ears). the problem with these pictures is that they're seriously amusing, and extremely well done - i can't be mad at him for that!

i got to work pressured because i knew i wanted to get going to yogi's asap. i got way further than i expected, and am now playing with the final stages of some seriously nifty code that impresses me ^_^

oh, and my favourite moment of the day: just after getting in to work, i went to another office to change out of uniform and was called back to mine, with the boss and spot smiling at me.
the news: the application we've been having trouble with since its inception (months and months ago) that i've chopped and changed and hated and rewritten, over and over, has finally managed to survive a weekend performing exactly the way it was intended to.

i calmly told everyone to hang on, walked to another office, closed the door, whooped like a little girl at a michael jackson concert, and then returned with a big smile on my face.

spot and i rushed off just after 8pm and took a taxi to yogi's, where yogi, SxS, ru55, SxS's cousin (the one who's extremely amusing when he's drunk), grootbek and a friend of his (yeah. always a pleasure to see that motherfucker), mmf, one of ze germans and a guy i used to work with sat down to some serious poker.

well, they did at least. i sat down to pull my usual throw-away-as-much-cash-as-quickly-as-possible, and i did it fairly well. at least it was spent in good fun.
SxS and i did some quick planning for cape town, and then ru55 gave me a ride back into tel aviv. on a slow walk home, repeatedly reciting "the IDF spirit", i thought a lot about the next month, and too much about thursday. so many things need to go right in order for it to be a success, and most of them are out of my control.

at least what is in my control is dealt with. it took a couple of months, and the beginning was insanely difficult, but i have learned a lot of obscure hebrew and a lot of words, and i've achieved an objective that was more in the realm of "wouldn't that be cool" than "yeah, i can do that".

so i'm fairly proud of myself. now i'm going to bed, earlier than expected. i'd feel great about that, except that i was wrong about the wedding i'm going to this week, it's on wednesday night. which means i'll probably get home around 3am, and i have to be up almost exactly 26 years after my birth (6.30am) to make it to my last inspection.

unpleasant.

cutlery that makes me think of jonny mnemonic
at least that's over. like the 80's
for nails as tough as ...

upgrade available to those i-need-one-too jackets

Monday, November 27, 2006

awkwardly uncivilized

work was great - i got a lot of fun stuff done. sagirl put me in touch with a friend of hers, so i bailed early and made my way to a really nice bar / restaurant to meet her.

the entrance wasn't too obvious, or at least looked suspiciously like it wasn't one. as i entered, the handle of the door came off. i can't stop myself blushing when things like that happen - even though i know it wasn't my fault. there was a crowded table right next to the door, everyone stared as i calmly (aside from being beetroot-coloured) re-attached the handle and walked through to the bar.

i called, no answer. i ordered a guinness and sat down waiting for a callback. no dice, so i sent a silly message ("aww, i feel like i've been stood up :("), and soon afterwards got a response: "we're sitting at the entrance, table no. 5". so i asked the waitress if the tables were numbered (i hadn't seen any signs).

"yes - are you on a blind date?" she sounded way too amused
"erm - i'm just meeting someone here. where is table 5?"
"table 5 is the bar"

okay - i quickly check the others at the bar... no way. sod that, i called again, and turned around to see the girl closest to the door (that i'd incidented - is that a word? don't think so) pick up her phone.

*sigh*

anyway, it was a nice group to sit chatting with. i didn't do much chatting though - it's absolutely fantastic how serving in the army can shut your mouth. it doesn't matter how much i have to say, i always get stuck conversationally when i feel like it would be useful not to :(

and plus, as a quick flashback of sitting with sb and her acting buddies (i can't tell acting jokes. i'm not an actor.), i don't have many ship experiences to share - so i just sat listening to some very amusing stories about cruise life. sounds rather soap-opera-y... my life's more drama and pulp fiction.

so all-in-all, it's always nice to be reminded that there are such beautiful girls in south africa (and hey, i'll be there soon! another 25 days!), and it was a fun evening out compared to the usual weekday go-home-sleep-back-to-work, and it was nice meeting friends of friends (i'm seeing sagirl for the first time in years this holiday), and i hope i'll see them again in spite of my life being decidedly anti new friends at the moment.

on the way out, SxS called to inform me that he's back from cyprus and that i have no choice but to go to yogi's tomorrow night in order to see him before we meet in cape town... dammit. poker night in the middle of the week's gonna kill me.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

"game on" sunday



slashdotters have fun with aging gamer

a good videogame workout? sounds promising...

aside from this missing, it appears the ps3 release is all good.

well, back to the grindstone... sort of. until 10am we had tons of work to do.

during a smoke-break we witnessed a paedophile's dream: a new girl on our base who's tiny, doesn't look a day older than 12, dressed in uniform and for that undoubtedly legal. and really pretty. hell, yeah ;) [erm - i'm not actually a paedophile, alright?]

we had a short meeting, and discovered that our gannt has been rearranged, and we're out of the fire and back in the frying pan :D
basically, the major hiccups have been shifted over to SEPs, and we're left with what we were supposed to be doing in the first place ^_^

the kid, piles and i had lunch early, and then the kid and i went off to the mall to go shopping for much-needed household items. we didn't find a coffee table, and surprised our teammates by not coming back with a foozball table in its stead :P

i spent the afternoon arranging thursday's festivities, things are looking good. we did pull-ups just before leaving: i'm still feeling a tad wasted. did 'em well, though, shouting out prime directives for each set full metal jacket style >D

the only thing that bothers me is that my limbs are being fuzzy and twingy - i'm beginning to get paranoid that the state of my neck is degrading into something dangerous :S

work: not yet. spot and i headed out for the mandatory fantastic tortillas, and aside from some arbitrary linkage it's high time i got started.

oh - and the kid has reported that our power at home's out due to the neighbours' renovations. i really was sure i'd left that whole scene, and this is fairly upsetting :'(

google evil
pretty paper

Saturday, November 25, 2006

leaving work with a moerse headache



the three of us took an unnecessarily long walk due to indecision to get to minna tomei's, that fancy asian restaurant we learned about on thursday. fantastic food - the service was a bit worrying though. i put it down to the completely unnatural (for israelis, at least) level of professionalism in the service. a tad too programmed.

after gorging ourselves (i had chinese 5-spice duck, superb) [including great seafood starters], spot and i plodded on to work, from where i'm now fleeing. i got stuck in testing: apparently when opening a text file, notepad begins at the wrong offset, and it took a short while to realize that the errors weren't originating in my code. since that realization, i've just been having fun writing a cute (and relatively generic) command parser, and things are looking good.

my head's splittin' though, methinks it's time for a drink before a heavy week (especially relative to the last one) begins.

nystire's host of links for the night:

reversing diabetes

things we need for our office:
gold hub
heated gloves
hamster wheel
hell yeah

scandalous attempt to tarnish tux's good name

tentatively touching the reader

it's been a long time, but i've actually brought myself to read some news:

black metal
calculator
anti-fatigue? is this a good idea?
can't we just strike paris off the list?
for moonflake, with love
oh yeah. this is good. we haven't got enough to worry about.
virtual tomkat
funky mouse (as opposed to "mighty")
why not use pandora??

lounging the weekend away

spot and i walked to agadir, and i had an extremely decent burger. over a long argument about responsibility, curiosity and concentration.

spot's too curious for his own good, and i'm unavailable when i'm focused on something.

we decided that we were going to walk into the balcony, say hi, and leave - but wr and a few friends were there, and there was no chance of escaping that easily. spot and i were treated to honey jäägermeister... the guys thought our reactions were to the strength of the shot. my strangled groans were caused by drinking what is essentially honey, i didn't feel any alcohol at all. GROSS.

tired + alcohol = wasted as usual. around 2.30 i decided it was time to jump ship, and spot joined me for the long walk home. okay, fine, not so long. but i was completely out of it, sue me.

i woke up around noon, and the kid and i went missioning for medals. in both areas we checked out, the shops turned out to be on the opposite side from where we'd expected, and we were too late for all of them. the kid was pressured for time, and we actually jogged about ten minutes to find the last one. at least we know where they are for next week, and we're planning on waking up early next time.

on my way back, i stopped in to say hi to the taekwondo group, and our instructor threw me a pair of pants and inducted me for half the session. i had a good stretch, and was put in charge of a couple of new kids... *evil grin*

i thought i'd left just in time to go shopping, but when i got to our area the supermarket was closed, so i went shopping at the am:pm (most definitely a second / third choice) and came home to shower and chill in front of the telly.

iron maiden kixx0rs ass :P - it's all so 80's!

the kid and i went to get water, and on the way we rented 16 blocks. the machine is awesome - proper use of a touchscreen! it's great to use something with an intelligent interface.

the kid's brother rocked up, we made sandwiches and watched a couple of episodes of prison break... okay, i've missed a lot in the second season, but it wasn't too complicated to pick up on what was happening and it was great fun as usual.

after he left, we tried to watch the video we rented. my dvd player makes a whirring sound on some discs, and it gets a tad annoying. so we hooked up the kid's, and that started off fine... except for slight static in the background. the static got progressively louder through the movie, until it was so bad that i pressed mute and began reading the hebrew subtitles. i was more or less okay, every now and again pausing when they flashed a long sentence for two seconds (i hate it when they do that in english, too), but then something happened and i registered that things were not as they should be.

i rewound, and there was approximately half an action-packed hour that the player just skipped. all by itself. that was aggravating. so i got to the end of the film, and it was a pretty good one, disappointed with the overall viewing experience.

i slept soundly, and woke up to find the kid watching invader zim. after a couple of episodes spot and i made coffee (i friggin' HATE boiling milk. i just can't get it right), walked to return the dvd, and the three of us have spent the last couple of hours in gaming mode ^_^