Tuesday, January 31, 2006

chilled... worked well and resting

i spent the day in the kitchens, and i quite enjoyed it. worked hard, too, and that made me the happier. gots me some exercise ^_^

now i'm at mmf's place, while he gets packing. doing nothing. listening to good tunes. ogling my crib for the next month and a half. and i'll have a fridge, too. and this pc is the bazomb.

Monday, January 30, 2006

machine-gunning it into the eagle's nest

the evening: slashdotting and catch-ups, helping out sammy's buddy with his website, and the following email to my boss:

hi

we began the project over a year ago, and i've spent most of it waiting. there've been one or two times when coworker waited for me (and that's due to the army), but usually it's the other way around. now, her situation is also forgivable, but it doesn't help me when it comes to earning money. and i really can't perform proper testing without her. in fact, there's relatively little i can do without her and her flash results. and her ability to change things in the flash if need be. and her ability to tell me what she needs when i get it wrong (yes, these things happen).

so, could we please, in the meantime, get started on the project for the other guy? you never sent me the summaries we discussed, by the way...

all i really need to begin are the example lines of server data in the database (and by example, i mean one or two of each, not all 50MBs :P), and a description of what i need to do with it.

i'm looking forward to doing something for money...


maybe that'll get something happening... hopefully not too much shit will rain down upon her head. i know he's fairly sensitive about her mothering issues too, and having two kids of his own he can sympathise...

i read some interesting game reviews, and was inspired to do some of my own. gaming, that is. and counterstrike is my quick-start of choice.

i joined a random server, used my usual tactic of "glock only" until i had enough cash, and then went for the machine gun. and, oh yes, i used it properly. mad rushes staight into the gaping maw of an enemy stronghold (bombsite campers are my favourite), gun blazing and fragments of the enemy being spewed all over the place.

over, and over, and over again - different angles of attack and the team i was with was playing beautifully (i love rushers). i actually planned to log off after 20 minutes, but decided to wait until i was killed. three or four rounds over my limit, and i rushed alone into a bombsite with a few police lurking to make my last stand. i took one down with me in a magnificent finale... and that is the most satsified and energised i've felt leaving a game.

short of my 6 kill round and being the only one to survive, and *still* winning. but that was a long time ago, to be sure. probably on a server far, far away...

another day...

and i may as well link if i'm going to wax political.

i had a fairly arbitrary day. walked straight past the base's discipline c*nt with earphones in and non-compliant half-gloves (full gloves only - you tell ME that's logical when soldiers normally need to be able to pull a trigger). i wasn't paying attention (good music), but one of the guys walking with me directed my attention and explained to me that this wasn't such a great idea.

i was supposed to find out travel details from my welfare officer, but they were preparing for an internal inspection, so they weren't being helpful today. i sorted things out with my guard duty: the guy in charge has put me down for three shifts, and when i told him that he'd have to replace me due to my exemption he just smiled and said "okay. bring it to me when you renew it." that's silly, but anyway.

i had practically no work today, so i had a long lunch instead. i then bussed to tel aviv, walked around with mmf, then returned to base in time to leave.

ssso picked me up, and we went for coffee while she made a presentation for a pyramid scheme. funnily enough, if i could afford the initial investment i'd go in - just because the product is actually worth owning and using. unfortunately, it's too expensive at this point, and i don't have time or energy to go around recruiting. it was a long presentation, and at least i helped her out with transrations and things. it was amusing to be explaining to her certain things about it, because it's tech that i'm familiar with. as a kindness i won't specify any more details.

can't sleep

for the past hour i've been taking turns replaying what happened friday night through my head - and what should've / could've happened - and taking out my frustration on household objects.

the sheer stupidity of letting the little prick take my attention away from his friends kills me. and i cannot accept that the guys with me didn't do anything.

i keep thinking of more and more things that i'm capable of that would have been effective, but that didn't occur to me out of sheer disbelief that it was actually going to escalate.

i'm PISSED. and that's not helping me wake up early in the morning. this is like the night before a tournament... only worse.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

*SHOCKED*

gobsmacked. speechless. WOWed. BLOWN AWAY. that was phenomenal. screw you ALL. AvP was MINDBLOWING. SENSATIONAL. FANTASTIC. STUNNING.

i loved it. i really did.

and now i'm going to bed. with gooseflesh.

two at a time

that friend came to pick up his car at 4am - scared the shit out of me when he called, and immediately began thumping on the door.

i got up around 9.30, and shuffled my way to the bank. i looked and felt like something out of a bad drug movie - sun was shining, and i had on my dark glasses and my hood up. i was FREEZING. on the way spot called to say he's taking sick leave, with the same complaints i have. so i decided to go and check myself out.

i got to the city officer, and waited for 30-45 minutes. when i got in to see the medic, he said "hey! this is your actual clinic! go upstairs, and get a regular appointment."

not only did that waste all the waiting time, but that means that every complaint that's sent me to our base's clinic could have been dealt in a manner that's far more professional, efficient, and pleasant. DAMN. good to know.

while waiting for the next visit, i met this british girl (with an american accent), and we chatted for ages. so much so that i missed my turn, and had to wait again :(

if she was good-looking, i would totally dial the phone-number she slipped into my pocket. always my case.

i ate another huge lunch at shinto - mainly because i knew what to expect - and i got chopsticks this time. then i shuffled to the bus to get home. i began watching frankenhooker - it's a really crap film. i mean BAAAAAAAAAAD. i passed out about 3/4 through, and didn't feel like i'd missed anything when i woke up and it was over.

so i set some laundry in motion, and began watching the fantastic four. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!!!!!!!! what a great film! BEAUTIFULLY done!! great stuff.

mmf called me, we're going to meet tomorrow, and he's going to pass me over the keys to his apartment. so i'm now house-sitting an AWESOME little pad in the middle of tel aviv for two months. i can SO deal with that :) my payment is that i have to backup everything on his pc to dvd. no problems there.

as i began posting this, i received a pps with photos from the recent fire. that's some crazy shit. most upsetting, actually. my aunt and cousins who live up on the side were in serious danger, and it's not the first time. i can't help wondering if there's no form of protection that they can get? from her email, they didn't have time to do anything but flee...

unloading laundry now, then rustling me up some grub (tuna, sweetcorn, and chicken soup - that's all i got right now), and probably watching AvP.

can't really think of a good one. can't really think.

work on friday was fine. afterwards i got a ride to the lizard, for a very not-interesting party.

well, it wasn't interesting until i was ready to leave. i was standing at the cafe, talking to a friend of the mongoose (joker), when some guy came in with a sliced hand, asking for napkins to clean it up. he gave him some, but the asshole stood there cleaning it over the sweet containers. joker asked him to step away, and was ignored, so i asked him. he looked at me and said "what, so you work in the cafe now?"
what the fuck? after a bit more shouting at him, we got him to go, but he'd gotten us both annoyed.

around 3am i walked through the dance floor to say goodbye to some friends, and i felt something unusual. i turned around, looking straight into the face of some kid, and i told him that i was trying to pass, no need for punching.

he punched me again. by this point i wasn't sure what was going on, i thought i'd misunderstood something, and when i tried to continue walking i was suddenly confronted by four or five guys, one of them absolutely massive (and taller than me, not a good combination), and all looking like they wanted a fight. i tried talking to the oversized one, when the guy who'd started it all launched himself at me. i flung him off, and suddenly i was on the ground, and it was all i could do to protect my face while i got the shit kicked out of me.

that was nice. real nice. especially nice that my "friends" made such a solid attempt to help me. they were able to describe what happened just fine - "wow! i couldn't believe what i was seeing!", but at the time they just waited until these assholes had finished with me and then helped me get up. i'm so pleased.

primary thing that upset me? i could have taken any one of them, probably a couple at least, and i really didn't get a chance. that makes me feel the opposite of warm and squishy inside.

i'd been kicked quite hard in the forehead, so i was dazed and confused... the mongoose, the bartender, joker and the bouncer went in and cleared the guys out, but it was too little too late. and i was really feeling like shit. those great friends of mine took me to the "city officer" to see a doctor.

the doctor was totally cool. he performed some tests, then we had what should have been an arb conversation (i suspect it was part of the testing), to make sure there was no neurological damage. aside from me seeing weird colours for an hour or so. the arb conversation got interesting because he's in a similar situation to me army-wise, so we got silly. he gave me a referral to an emergency facility, but told me that was only because it's procedure, and personally he didn't think it was necessary. he also gave me until monday to return to base, and for that he's a king.

the guys dropped me off at the mongoose's place, his parents were awake when i got there at 5am and fussed over me, which was really nice. the mongoose came home, and they made me stay awake about half an hour before letting me crash... the doctor had told me to go straight to the hospital if i threw up, and i was feeling the urge. but i didn't. go me!

i basically slept most of today, got up around 3pm for his mom's cooking, which is the shit. aside from being a little slow, and sensitive, and my neck hurting, i'm actually alright now. but my nose bled for most of the day, which didn't help me. i KNOW i'm paranoid enough without things like that.

we spent the evening watching tv, then took a taxi to the lizard. i hung around there chatting until about 12.30, then drove a friend's car home (he's coming soon to pick it up). now i'm going to shower, and in the morning it's a slightly less-early wake up. which does make me happy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

@work

i slept alright, was woken up by her sister asking if i wanted to go to the family dinner tonight. so again i had to apologize... they want me to come over for lunch tomorrow, but i've already made arrangements to see mmf before he's off to mexico. maybe i'll go there tomorrow evening for coffee. that sounds alright.

i patched up my pants, while eating a wickedly good kiwi and drinking hot chocolate (the corner store was finally in stock!), and i tried unsuccessfully to initiate a conversion on irc with: i would change my nick to "seamstress", but i don't think people would automatically get the reference to demolition man. not a blue bean in return.

on my way here, i stopped by a cafe to get a bar of chocolate. as i put the money down my puffy, oversized jacket pushed a tray on the counter forward, and when i stepped back it took a pack of gum with it. pregnant pause. the girl working there burst out laughing, and told me that it's not surprising when i'm dressed like that.

and made a remark that went something along the lines of "isn't it supposed to be women who find it colder?" BURNED :(

the walk was pleasant, and now it's time for coffee before getting down to business.

to firstfallen:

i don't think anything that's happened in the last five years has made one iota of a difference to the political situation.

even the fence did nothing more than help us protect ourselves.

the bottom line: the arabs don't like us. never have. considering their "educational" system, probably never will.
it always intrigues me that people (specifically the media) are fascinated by this area and the charades played by the arabs.
if they really had wanted to, the other arab nations could have helped the so-called "palestinians" out, instead of forcing them into becoming the most ass-backward warmongering nation on the face of the earth.

and that's all i have to say about that.

90%

that's where my "retrieving moolah" progress bar is hovering right now. i actually managed to get out of bed, and made my way to the bank on time. i'd gotten all my documents together... except for my id.

that was silly.

so if i'm to have a chance at seeing some of the governmental cash i'm entitled to during this coming month... the month wherein i need it the most... then i have to make it back there with id on sunday morning 9am. no pressure.

i bussed back to azrieli, had an ENORMOUS lunch at shinto - it's the second time i've had decent rice (first being at yakimono) in this country, and they didn't give me chopsticks. bastards.

i still can't believe i ate that much. i walked back, and am now going to crash until i have to get ready for work.

should i?

i'm finally off to bed, after finding out that the other problem i had to deal with is, in all likelihood, not on my side... i hope...

should i wake up at 8.30am to go the bank?

btw moonflake: re: banking THAT SUCKS.

on the flip side

sleep deprivation + tanked on meds + the "other" pc:

this is content of the email i just sent off to my boss and co-worker:

PROBLEM SOLVED.

Please tell co-worker as soon as you've installed this file on the server, so that she can test it out. It works just fine on my side - quite fast, too.

And PLEASE note the time sent - it took me minutes to write the code, and about two hours to work around a known bug in VBScript (because I was SURE it was *my* fault!). I hope that's all my whining for the day.


the known bug / feature / whatever is that VBScript refuses to recognize a function like Left() or InStr() if there's any possibility that the argument contains a null value. no trust in the scripter AT ALL. so i had to rewrite all my loops to if statements contained within a manually controlled loop. that sucked.

pc hopping

a quick post prior to doing some work. i feel like absolute shit slopping over the side of an already grimy bucket. i spent most of the day with a nosebleed, unable to breathe properly (read barely, mostly through my mouth and now even that's a bitch).

i actually made it to the base on time for inspection this morning - i don't remember when last that happened. normally there're about 30 people in all. this morning there were hundreds. most of our unit turned up, and the process took over half an hour as opposed to the usual 4 minutes.

that was an amusing start to the day. everyone went straight off to the cafeteria afterwards, causing massive logistical problems for them. score 2!

i got back to the office, talked online with and then went to visit a gorgeous girl close by, and then returned to begin cleaning our office - it's been months.

almost done, and spot informs me that it completely slipped his mind that he'd arranged to meet this guy we're doing a site for, and that he's just received a call to say he's waiting for us. SCHMUCK.

so we have this meeting, which went alright, i guess, and then returned to finish the job.

the rest of the early afternoon sailed by arbitrarily, and then i went to herzeliya.

i managed somehow to get the bus to netanya - fortunately i realized in time to get off close to the right stop in herzeliya pituach, but had to walk in the rain to get there. and then wait 20 minutes for a bus to the station, and then wait half an hour for my boss's wife to pick me up because i have no umbrella.

on the bus to the station, i ran into the cute french girl from our base, and her boyfriend. a bit weird meeting a guy who you know probably shouldn't trust his girl 100%... and she takes advantage of the fact that the poor sod barely speaks hebrew, and is a paratrooper who spends most of his time up north. hmmm...

the meeting with the boss went extremely well. i got a ride to the mall, where sammy picked me up, and we came to the coffee shop next to my place for a great chat. then to my place for EXCELLENT tekken (yes, he did some damage), and we watched most of nightwatch before everything got woozy for me. sammy left, and i'm about to get busy fixing these bugs so that i can sleep late.

DAMN do i feel like crap. hey sammy - i haven't missed the trash can yet!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

great big *sigh*

i just remembered why i enjoy doing what i do...

supper was great, coffee afterwards was great, and then i took the train and a bus home. nothing eventful there.

i received all the problem test data, and began comparisons. i went through everything - but i mean EVERYTHING - with a fine-tooth comb, and was starting to go crazy when suddenly i hit upon the bug, and everything fell into place...

w00t!

i have to go to bed right now, to wake up on time for inspection, so no chilling for me - but i'm most satisfied that i figured out the correct algorithm, and have sent myself a copy of the code so i can work on it tomorrow from the base.

bedtime.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

not bad at all - or at least not all bad

okay, aside from my health, today was great!

i took pleasure in the walk to the base. i jumped over the back fence, so that i wouldn't have to walk the length of the base 3 times (i'd left my toiletries bag in my office), and was shocked to discover that my body was in such bad shape (specifically due to my sinusitus) that i was sweating, feeling feint, displaying a serious lack of blood in my upper body, and i was shaking violently.

that was freaky. and i still had to go brush my teeth and shave. i sneaked some bread from the mess hall when nobody was around, and walked past the guard hut to say hi to freshmeat... that turned into a very weird conversation because i didn't want the others to know that i'd jumped the fence, and freshmeat was demonstrating an upsetting lack of tact.

i performed the ablutions, then returned to my office. unable to sleep, i got some work done, and eventually went to bed around 6am. i woke up at 9, took my time getting sleep out of my eyes, then bussed to a branch of my bank to try and sort out my cash problems.

i don't know how it works in the rest of the world, so anyone reading this consider yourself begged to explain this to me:

i cannot do ANYTHING with my bank account if i'm not at *my* registered branch. each branch is essentially it's own mini-bank, and none of them communicate between each other.
the only thing i can do is draw my money from any of my bank's atm's.


is that right? it certainly frustrated me today, because it totally stripped the purpose of the trip away. at least i paid my water bill at the post office on my way back.

lunch was alright, the guy i worked with the other day organized me a decent helping of schnitzel (we normally only get one piece, which sucks for someone who weighs over 70kg's). the scout and i took a walk with the dude (dude) from our prefab, and the dude and i are now planning a trip to the skate-park when the weather's good. we also happened upon a section with friendlies that up until now we knew was on our base, but didn't know where... got some coffee and biscuits out of that ^_^

ran into our now-ex-commander (NEC, i'm getting tired of typing that), who gave us some work to do... our client section hasn't yet figured out that he's left - and we went to get to it. which involved waking spot (who slept way more than i did today, his excuse being him getting some action last night: it doesn't happen often enough for me to have anything to say), which involved a trip to the base cafeteria for "sachlav".

when we finally got back, i finished my work for the week - involved some amusing correspondence between me and the NEC - and did some missioning in gta, then came to work.

i got to work on time for the meeting! surprised myself, i did. the meeting was actually fun, aside from my crying over my nasal passages and everyone thinking that i got emotional... i'm now waiting for our food to arrive, then going home to do some work. and chill.

all done for the night

that wasn't a bad shift at all :)

of note: penny arcade got me reading the galactic civilizations 2 journals, which have me hooked (erm... hook, line and sinker?) completely. i know that this is a game i would spend money on, the only thing that scares me is how much of my life will disappear due to playtime.

it's now time to go home, or in my case back to the base. i'm ready to do some heavy sleeping...

farmboy monkey-sex

i don't know what the association is, really i don't.

so i had a hot shower, and read some more rogue trooper before passing out. i missed my alarm, and got up at 9.45 (as opposed to 8.30).

sometimes i really hate my body. but REALLY. my sinusitis is at full steam [sic] and i don't know if my upper-back muscular pain is connected, or just because i slept skew. either way, between the two things i can't focus, and my head hurts, and i'm generally being disgusting (i can't decide which is the worse between spitting and blowing my nose).

i hurriedly brushed teeth and packed and dressed (i love my overalls, and with these strap-on pockets they're even better!). i was going to walk to the train station, but realized on the way that i wasn't going to make it in time. i then waited over half an hour for a bus that's meant to come every 15-20 minutes... at least i didn't have to pay. i showed the guy my soldier's id and put on a puppy face, and he told me to put on my army windbreaker and try not to look like a civilian.

so i got here too late to order food - another night of bread and humus for supper... we're beginning in 30 minutes and i'm totally not looking forward to it. i think another round of caffeine is in order.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

not quite clearheaded...

i slept that last half an hour, all was quiet, and it was the most peaceful, beautiful (okay, most appreciated) sleep i've had in ages.

and then i was woken up - "don't you wanna go home?"

everything was hazy and wobbly, i felt like shit and i was having trouble breathing.

i walked to the base - with a slightly embarrassing incident of me trying to explain to someone who couldn't give me a ride that it really was okay (knowing that i appeared not-so-okay) - and had a short argument with the dickhead in charge before he let me in. i brushed my teeth, staring at the ghost in the mirror, and shuffled my way to my office. (4.30am)

i crashed for around 7 hours... DAMN. NOBODY could wake me up this morning! sinusitis was at full blast - i can't believe my luck in discovering all my medicine in my bag!

had lunch - semi-alright... okay... not really okay but whatever... got some amusement from the mongoose and his section-mates, and then returned for a "goodbye" meeting with my now ex-commander. it was actually quite funny. and he had some touching things to say, even if it was said in a slightly roundabout kind of way.

played some gta - kicked ass, and then found myself on the receiving end of a "whoopin". by then it was 3pm, and i spent the rest of the afternoon on the volleyball court. and i got to play! as in, only one game babysitting the girl standing next to me (she's afraid of the ball, it's very frustrating that she comes onto the court anyway), and the rest were on decent teams.

spot and i got to the toilet stall to wash our hands, and it was closed, with a foot peeking out. "oy! it appears to be a foot sticking out of the door! i wonder if it's attached to a person? let's kick it!"
i was about to mime kicking it, when the person attached to the foot gave a high-pitched scream, the foot disappeared, and when the girl came out i got slapped - (in hebrew) "you're lucky i understand english!" (my hebrew) "that made it better!"

we've been serving in the same prefab for over a year, and that's the second time she's said anything to me (the first time i offered her the israeli equivalent of a sweetie pie, and she offered to squish it)... spot and i were in hysterics for the next 5 minutes :P

i bussed home, spoke to the boss, and we agreed to meet on thursday instead - by which stage he'll know if he can spot me some cash. i also discovered that we've resumed work on the hospital project (as in, i've received bug reports and didn't notice), so i cleared those up on arrival, and now i'm showering before crashing a bit before going to work again, and once again going straight to the base.

heavens to betsy!

i'm BREAKING!

not an entirely unfamiliar feeling, but nevertheless... it's been a long, long night. lots of calls. i feel like i got the worst ones, but the others got bad ones too.

f'rinstance, i got every tech-support's nightmare: a user who (classically) should return their pc to the store on grounds that they're too stupid to use one. and some guy phoning to teach me about a problem that our system - in HIS stupid opinion - has. moron. wanker. sod. he was bloody rude, and shouted, and the fucker's getting $100 (US) for an hour of his time, whether or not his answer is EXACTLY true.

schmuck. ponce. scum. dooshbag. penishead. knobgobbler.

i worked on a very basic (yet rather elegant, in my opinion) template for a website for a friend of sammy's... and managed to finish it despite constantly being on the phone.

another half an hour to go...

Monday, January 23, 2006

huh?

dammit. i'm having misgivings about the job i've taken... i just feel it's very amateur and i don't see a lot of money coming from it.

anyways, yogi arrived last night, and we spent the evening playing some hardcore tekken. a few times he royally fucked me up, but overall (and by the skin of my teeth each time - and that's not a lot, i brush regularly) i won by something like 30 games to 5... or something. but it was exciting!

he left around 1 / 1.30am, and i decided to shower and shave when i woke up.

big mistake.

not enough sleep + seriously cold + extremely warm duvet = "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

how it actually went is a bit hazy... alright, a lot hazy... but i made it to the mess hall on time, had breakfast, and then the day began.

kitchen duty was better this time - quite a few really cute girls, and the team in charge of us know how to respect their elders... in fact, i ended up volunteering for things because i was bored :)

on our way for coffee, spot and i were interviewed by some artillery boys for an army documentary that's supposedly going to air on tv at some stage... we spoke a bit about ourselves, and then made fun of our base and complained about how badly we've been screwed - and how awefully boring it is :P

i made a complete ass of myself - he asked me my name and i gave him my full name... doos. that was stupid.

all in all, it was fun. had a silly few moments with some more cute girls (but no, sadly, still not that interesting) over coffee, had some intense gta action, had a crazy fight over a bowl of cereal with the mongoose that got all of us thrown out of his section's prefab, and then had a meeting with spot, the mongoose, and this guy with the job.

yes, i know. leave it.

anyway, the others are interested, but nobody's under the impression that anything major's going to happen.

and besides, during the day my boss called, and told me that tomorrow evening we're having a meeting - apparently our hospital project is going to continue - and the guy with the rfid cellphone thing is joining us. so that at least excites me. that, and the possibility that i might be able to get a cash advance... although i'm not holding my breath.

i'm at work now, supposed to be until 3.15am, then i walk to the base and begin a new day. then the meeting, then i'm working tomorrow night as well... good thing i had a fun day on base today!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

1 + 1 = 0

one for fun, one technically work-related, both complete successes and i feel better about my day.

for fun: a quick app that completely destroys (no passing go, no collecting 200) any directories specified in a control file - all it requires is a hurried password and pressing return.

so i'm much more relaxed about surprise visits from data control.

technically related: i made a rather nifty change to the lizard site, makes it's much more pleasant to use and i'm sure i've just earned myself some more beer.

;)

and yogi's paying me a visit, which is always nice.

farkinell

what a sucky day. fortunately i was paying attention when my bus got to the base, because i saw the military police before i hopped off and slipped between some buildings to get my gear sorted out and make myself presentable.

*whew*

breakfast was actually okay this morning. i then spent half an hour stressing because all our systems failed. again. it hasn't happened in a while, but it's upsetting enough that it's not all sorted out. at least, apparently, this one's not our fault.

i slept for most of the day. the scout and i learned some interesting shit, and i hit upon a superb plan for protecting ourselves for data inspections in the army. that way i can continue to play gta there.

supper was also alright. i think i've lost all sensation in my tongue. i missed my bus home, but i'm here now and that means that it's time to get busy with work-relateds. i hate work-relateds.

a good cool-down

that was fun. t'was a great party. loads of good-looking wimmin. the owner is more than satisfied with my work. and the following thought finally settled in:
I DON'T HAVE TO DO RESERVE DUTY!!
i'll be completely free from the army when i'm released! YEAH!!

i'm gonna sort out my shit for tomorrow, then wake up nice and early so i can get breakfast on base... i don't even have enough in my account for rent this month, so i'm gonna have to go to the bank and dig into my savings...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

"i can't trust myself tonight"

(hed)pe - bartender

i woke up smelly. spoke to my mum, then took a cab home. i have blown a LOT of money this weekend. a FUCKload. abstinence i what i see in my immediate future.

i had a MUCH needed shower - then spent the afternoon doing laundry and working on the lizard's website. i almost linked before i remembered that it's all in hebrew. and that it's not my site from scratch, so sod it.

i just sucked the big one in gta. it appears my theory works on a slow computer, such as my army pc, but on this one i just get my ass handed to me repeatedly by the feds. bastards.

wow! that covers my day! in a bit i'll be off to the lizard, for free beer (free as in i worked for it, dammit), and then more is nog a dag. a grand new week in uniform.

werfit

totally werf it. definitely, definitely werf it.

yesterday:

i watched most of call of cthulu... beautifully done.

spot and supernerd (the guy's whose project we're going to be working on) arrived, and we had a long and rather arbitrary (and repetetive... it was also kind of repetitive) meeting. he then gave us a ride to the base, because i'd forgotten my phone charger.

we arrived on base to a gate crawling with people we know, so no problems getting in. firefighter - who i think i may start referring to as "the toss" - joined us for an hour or two of unreal tournament. i got bored after a few games, so i quit and tested out a theory of mine on gta. my theory was correct - it involves tanks and car paint - but if you get impatient... which i do... then you can fuck up completely. good thing i'd saved.

spot and i took a cab to his grandmother's place, and had an awesome cannaloni supper. we bloody well stuffed ourselves. to the point of pain. we had to take siesta afterwards, and slept until around 22.30.

we went off to the lincoln, which was nice. and the last game we both started playing properly, which was fun.

we then took a cab to the meimad. on the way, the cab driver expressed his confusion that the two of us spoke both hebrew and english "natively". i was well chuffed.

we got there at opening time, 00.30, and spot got in for free again (still kind-of his birthday). and a bottle of champagne. well, sparkling wine, 4%, but still something.

the meimad kicked ASS. every aspect - especially good looking women - that sucked in the mossad yesterday, was simply brilliant in the meimad. i jumped up and down the entire night, and had a lot of fun.

at some point, we were dancing at the back, and spot was on my right. suddenly he disappeared, and i felt someone pushing past behind me, so i assumed it was him and pushed back hard.

it wasn't him. it was some poor fool holding a drink, and when he landed it was with the crash of smashing glass.

whoops.

he'd managed to hold on to his drink, and landed on an empty - fortunately he was alright, and i managed to convince him that it wasn't intentional... even though it really was. how embarrassing.

on our way back, we stopped at suduch for a toasted sandwich. while eating, we were transported into the twilight zone, we EVERYONE on the planet is an "ars" (packs of annoying kids who dress badly, and spend their time looking for fights that they generally don't win). that was trippy.

just arrived back at his grandmother's, now waiting for some hot water and then i'm putting myself to bed. my ears are shot, my body's sore, but DAMN that was worth it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

busy busy

damn. i just couldn't get to level 4!

flash maze thingy

i've had better. loads better.

i beat spot 5 - 4, last night, which isn't that good.

i went to the lizard, which was a pretty good party. i drank way too much. eventually spot arrived, and crasher and the two of us went to the mossad.

never again. that was simply aweful. the music might've been okay - hell, they even played ministry - but the sound setup was just BAD. the people sucked, there were no good-looking girls, and i was feeling bloody aweful before we got there so i didn't drink anything.

overall impression: gross.

i was the only one capable of driving, but i was exhausted. when i got to my place, crasher was already passed out and i had a half-hour's kip just so i could get upstairs to go to bed.

today's a nice day, but i'm stuck inside because spot and this guy we're doing a project for are coming soon for a meeting. and i left my phone charger on the base, and my battery's dead. that sucks.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

long-ass day, not entirely bad

so. i awoke around 6.45am, and decided while shaving and brushing my teeth that i wouldn't get to the bus before 7. so i got to the base too late for inspection, and spent the first hour avoiding the discipline officers.

things done today:

learned the basics of MFC. quite nice, really, and not as complicated as it looks.
played too much gta2.
played a lot of volleyball (not very good volleyball, but anyway).
learned an interesting thing or two in VB.
sorted out an issue with my vacation - avoided getting into trouble for technically arriving a day late, and avoided losing another vac day.
got stalled with this whole medical fiasco. but i did get an apology.

spot and i went to the mall, had supper, then came back here so he could kick my ass in tekken. damn.

about to try again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

miserable me

sometimes, it's not so good being me. like today, f'rinstance.

first off: i can't believe that i didn't mention a certain incident that occurred in the kitchens yesterday. i was carrying a large metal container filled with oozing reddish-brown slush, and i asked someone what to do with it. he told me to put it on the floor.

i asked if he was absolutely certain that that's what he wanted me to do with it, and he assured me that it was so. so i tipped the entire contents out, slowly. i was almost done when he began screaming and shouting all sorts of abuse at me, so i screamed back at him that i'd asked him, and then double-checked, because i was sure that's not what he wanted.

i did warn them about me not being able to understand hebrew.

and i'd never do anything like that maliciously. honest! really!

anyway, back to the lousiest day of the year.

i got up semi-drunk, walked in the POURING rain to get the bus (by which stage i was totally soaked), and then nightmared my way to the medical base. i was seen on time, which is unusual.

the bastard reads through all my papers, does Yet Another Arbitrary Test on me (after i told him that yes, my body works. it just hurts all the time, too). he then tells me he's not sure what to do, and hands me a referral to a hospital orthopaedist.

for that i waited two months.

i then ask him to make my exemption from guard duty permanent, something only he can do, on the grounds that hanging a 3kg weapons from the exact spot where my slipped disc is isn't very smart.

he tells me it's not his responsibility. i argue with him. he tells me to go check at the reception desk.

so i do. they tell me it IS his responsibility, i'll just have to make another appointment and get another referral.

...

...

i made my way back to my base, got my commander to make a formal complaint. fortunately i'm kind of friendly with one of the girls in our clinic, so she arranged an immediate appointment with our doctors, and i think they sorted me out with a referral. i'm actually rather confused about the whole thing.

we had a section celebration for the scout and spot's birthdays, and aside from arbitrary bits and pieces, that was my army day. around 5pm a friend of my section commander and i had a meeting about a start-up he's working on, which looks like fun but i'm not sure if i can handle the workload in my present state.

and it was flippin' FREEZING, and i had a hard time not grinding my teeth.

spot and i went into ramat gan to visit the optometrist, we had supper, and i've only just gotten home. on the way, i was standing waiting for a bus and watched some guy almost run over two little girls (around 8 years old, i think) standing on the pavement - i didn't even realize what was happening until he bumped one of them... fortunately she was okay enough to kick his door in once he stopped.

my day has me in such a downer that i missed an opportunity to flirt with an absolutely stunning girl on the last bus i took - that downed me a bit further. crappola.

i just got a call offering me another project. i'm gonna run a washload, shower, and go to bed. although what i really want to do is run around screaming and hitting things. and what i really need is a solid party. gods help me.

a solid evening

the scout picked me up, we fetched the dog (that sounds good backwards), then went to cafe cafe, which was quite nice. SB and (boyfriend? i haven't figured that out) arrived, had a quick chat, and soon after we left in search of a good bar.

went to the shoshana, was a nice vibe and we drank a lot. oops. the general conversations were entertaining and the evening was most enjoyable.

it's now 2.32, and i have to be up at 5.45... weeee!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

not bad... not bad at all :)

got up real early, spent the day (until 3pm) in the kitchens. lots of grud work, walking around, and doing the heavy lifting that the girls generally struggle with. and i had my new weights strapped to my ankles the entire time, so i got quite the workout!

arbed on base for a couple of hours, walked through givatayim with spot, had supper, and got home half an hour ago to shower and get ready for celebrating the scout's birthday today.

this mp3 player is my saviour! diggin' it.

[correction] the weights weight 2.5lbs each, so 1kg, no more.

down to 6

so hard getting out of bed in the morning. bed => cozy. not bed => not cozy.

to sum up, i smoked 6 cigarettes today, first one after lunch. i feel okay with that.

i got the scout and spot to come with me to the mall, in search of wearable weights. we didn't find any. i did, however, find a decent 1gb mp3 player for NIS 500. that's AWESOME. so i bought it. loaded it when i got back to base, and discovered that all the trance i have sounds way better in my head that on tinny speakers. w00t!

spent the afternoon arbing, floating around, and gaming. i left straight for herzeliya, and went shopping for a gift for the scout's 20th birthday tomorrow. i didn't really find anything for him, but i did locate those weights i was looking for. NIS 56 for a pair of 2.5kg's, which fit snugly under my army windbreaker! took long enough!

went to my cousins for supper, where i got overfed and we talked non-stop. then i mooched to the blockbuster and waited to be picked up by SSSO's husband, then driving occurred, then visiting and coffee, and then bussing back to tel-aviv. i missed the last busses home, so i'm crashing at spot's... good night!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

heavy, heavy...

complete waste of a day. i spent quite a lot of it sleeping or chilling at the canteen, or just milling.

i got an email this morning informing me that due to my exemption from guarding (valid until the 4th of feb), i've got three days of kitchen duty instead. yay! i've decided that i'm only going to speak in afrikaans.

spent an hour walking around bnei brak (ultra-orthodox area), that made me sad for people like that, who treat judaism as a punishment. i just saw unhappy face after unhappy face. i did score a really decent umbrella (black, in need of a bright orange smiley face) for NIS 17 (a nice, round number), and discovered that the mp3 player i wanted is unavailable.

did my monthly shopping on the way back, felt a bit crap, so i slept for a while.

i've decided to make another doomed attempt (what motivation!) at not smoking. or not smoking too much. or something. i don't even wonder about how that makes me feel.

anyways, i've found something hilarious: Chuck Norris Facts

(quote: Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.)

and i had to copy a post from slashdot:
The space elevator seems okay, but I'm putting my money on the space catapult. The one downside is the giant net you need to catch the 'passangers'.

The one downside is the giant net you need to catch the 'passangers'
I think you misspelled 'chunks of frozen, red slush'.

erm. my day sucked, really. tomorrow i think it might get a bit more interesting: teaching the scout c and c++... and maybe at some point we'll both move on to windows api. hopefully.

pull the other one

that wasn't what i wanted.

the evening was boring as hell - i finished the book: superb. i arbed online, chatting and playing mindless games (warning forever, mainly), and eventually walked to the lizard.

i'm really not in the mood. i want a serious party. i want all the things i can't have here. buggrit. i know i'll get back into the swing of things - but everything in cape town is just so exaggerated compared to here.

and the girls were, quite frankly, not up to scratch. bother. i'm going to bed. i'm TOTALLY looking forward to the army in the morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

no more!

or at least until i can't take it anymore! waxing is officially for the birds... makes your skin irritated and bumpy. or is that just me? aargh!

i gained a little more insight into the symbian stuff - it's really not as simple as they make out. i can read the code, now, but for the life of me can't make something from scratch. and my gdjhsjkhing computer refuses to compile the example code. that's a tad frustrating.

i read some more going postal. my word. his word. words. he's just great. i'll never laugh at the name "moist" again.

stupid stupid stupid

note to self: NEVER LEAVE THE BLOODY WINDOW OPEN DURING WINTER. damn it's cold.

instead of waking with my alarm at 10pm, i woke up with self-snoozed alarm at 3am. dammit. so i slept.

i've spent this morning arbing, mostly. have been learning how complicated the symbian SDK is to use. and how useless most of the tutorials are. i like *simple* explanations, not "i wanna sound like i'm going for my phd" ones. idiots.

at least i've caught up on webcomics.

Friday, January 13, 2006

buzzed

the night watch is unbelievable. ingenius. and beautifully made, in every respect. the coolness factor is through the roof!

it's only 8, i reckon i'm going to read and sleep for a bit. with double r.e.l. and artifakt playing in the background - these guys really do know how to force a bounce.

DOOS!!!

i left my bandage in my uniform pants when i washed them. it's such a farking hassle to get that replaced! dammit!!

aside from that, it was a relaxed morning, and all i've really done is got a lot of reading terry pratchett - going postal done: brilliant read. as usual.

now Sorting Stuff Out, then watching nightwatch - at least i think that's the movie i downloaded, then going out.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

more of chitty's memes

i rather like this one:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you had not done before?

tons of things. nothing in particular comes to mind, but it was a heavy year. maybe being a team leader and succeeding.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?

sammy's wife. and their story is so touching anyway it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

3. Did anyone close to you get married?

a couple of people - wonderful ceremonies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

not this year. unfortunately my great uncle and aunt aren't doing so well, and seeing them getting so old so fast was shocking.

5. Did you travel? Where did you go? Best holiday memory?

does my week of guard duty count? a great holiday here with my mum... and CAPE TOWN!! AMAZING!! VORTEX!! (and think, i just removed a whole bunch of exclamation marks)

6. Best thing(s) you bought?

a solar-powered bobbing smiley face. a new pc.

7. Where did most of your money go?

not talking about rent and bills...
food. army food sucks.
and partying. mostly not very good parties, but i've developed a need for alcohol on my weekends.

8. What do you wish you had done more of?

studying relevant things. getting on with my life instead of letting the army direct my every step. being silly and irreverent. SB.

9. What do you wish you had done less of?

working. taking the army seriously. wasting time on israeli girls.

10. What kept you sane?

my friends, when i got to see them. SB.
finally getting an interesting and meaningful project.

11. What drove you mad?

my commanders. my uniform. stupid people. wasting my time. sleep deprivation.

12. What made you celebrate?

every spare moment. my birthday (there's a first). "letting go" of one of the guys i replaced.

13. What made you sad?

how much of the aforementioned DIDN'T make me sad. missing so many things in cape town, and missing my friends outside the army (but here) too.

14. How was your birthday this year?

fantastic! a real surprise birthday party, and lots of people who actually cared.

15. What political issue stirred you the most this year?

none of them. couldn't give a damn. although the americans gave me plenty of opportunity to laugh (or at least snicker unpleasantly), as usual.

16. Were you in love in 2005?

oh yes. but it was unrequited, so in my book that doesn't hold much water.

17. What would you like to have in 2006 that you didn't have in 2005?

peace of mind. an honourable discharge. a mentally stable girlfriend. sleep. money. motivation. some form of physical exercise.

18. What date from 2005 will be etched in your memory and why?

6th of august. SB's first sms.

19. What song will remind you of 2005?

oooh. tough one. probably disturbed - voices... or marilyn manson - coma white... or mindless self indulgence - faggot... there're a lot.

20. Compared to this time last year are you happier?

are you kidding? *exactly* this time last year i was horribly sick and on guard duty over a little arab village. so yes, you could say i'm happier.

21. Biggest achievement in 2005?

turning a couple of arbitrary soldiers into a team. still puts a smile on my face.
surviving? managing to pay rent each month? getting my commanders to realize what idiots they've been?

22. Biggest disappointment in 2005?

and still - not being a REAL soldier. SB breaking it off. not having achieved much in my life plan.

23. What is the one thing that would have made you more satisfied?

accomplishing something for myself.

24. Best new person you met this year?

hmmm. tough one. i guess overall the mongoose wins. if it wasn't for him i wouldn't have met the others, and he's responsible for a lot of great weekends.

25. A valuable life lesson you learnt this year?

not so much learned, but reinforced - i will not stand idly by when others need help.

much, much thicker in the middle

today wasn't bad at all. i focused this morning on preparing a good selection of music for the day, which resulted in it being more bearable. and the scout was out, so we could smoke in the office, which also improved the mood.

i actually did a bit of work this morning, and i ate in the mess hall for the first time since returning - and survived! it wasn't that bad, really. it wasn't that bad, really. it wasn't that... okay, joke over.

socialized a lot today, and played excessive amounts of carmageddon ii. had a major fight with some girl in my original unit: i started off being friendly, and got walked over. then i started shouting (in hebrew) and whining, and she switched feet and became all caring and "don't worry about a thing, you go have a good weekend and i'll take care of everything!". goddamn israelis. THAT'S why i'm not chasing after any girls here.

spot and i bussed to the train station, then took separate busses up north. kinda defeated the purpose of leaving together, IMO. i arrived here around 6.30pm, and have been gabbing in the warmth for a while - supper's on the move, i hear.

my overall impression of the week - aside from the initial shock - is that of being unstressed and boring: two great qualities which i hope won't wear off. armywise i've got nothing much to do, workwise things look interesting, and socially everything's slightly better than it was.

and i'm totally driven to get on with my life. as it should be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

lightning - and hail!

two things i really don't need at this point in my life! how depressing.

actually, i feel better today. i spent most of it sleeping, and playing unreal tournament or carmageddon, reading, and that about covers my day.

i was horrified to realize just how few pictures we have from cape town, but the experience will stay in mind. now i just have to get hold of the damn things to upload a few of the particularly good 'uns...

from the base we went to our as-of-today ex-commander's place, to say goodbye. he gave our team a cd/mp3 player for our office, so tomorrow it's trance day! w00t!

in a bit i'm off to shower, then to bed. can't get enough sleep - my system's still a tad shaken from being sick...

that was fun!

i *think* my fever broke during the night. but i'm still feeling a bit woozy. i don't remember if that's right.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

welcome to winter! now die.

farking horrible. i spent the morning crashing in my office, and woke up sick as a dog. i've just got home, taking a half-day, and i'm praying that i'll be better in the morning... otherwise i'll spend all day sitting with other sick people, on base instead of at home.

i love the army.

a btter day (e or i?)

i slept well. i'd forgotten, however, how difficult it is to wake up when it's FREEZING outside the bed.

aside from a little bit of work here and there, i spent the day mooching, schmoozing, sleeping, playing unreal tournament and carmageddon ii, and Sorting Stuff Out.

i just missed my bus on my way out, so i bussed directly to SB's, we had coffee and then went out to a really nice place, called cafe cafe. very sharp, the food was great, and we spent the evening talking and browsing through this month's SL. it was amusing. and i finally got to pay for a meal :P

on the way back, i finally checked my bank balance, and it's okay. i feel less stressed.

i just got home, and am chatting and netting as usual (although with a beer in hand, cheers), and then crashing.

Monday, January 09, 2006

slightly more detail (tmi?)

alright, to recap on the journey:

EVERY SINGLE STEP caused me emotional grief yesterday. i went into shock the second i realized i was actually getting on the damn plane.

in a complete reversal of tradition, the food on british airways was unpalatable. the food on el al was great. go figure.

not having to collect baggage in joburg was a pleasure.

the smoker's lounge in jhb is smoky. the gymnastics on the telly were fantastic. i want a girlfriend who can do that sort of thing.

there must have been a tip in the computer system that i'm a soldier. every time someone official eyeballed me, there was someone else there who said "he's okay. just trust me."

as i said, no need for sleeping tablets. desperately needed a massage, though. and my legs were, as usual, mightily uncomfortable.

i waited forever for my bags. i had a lot of voicemail to get through, so i almost didn't notice.

i had the fortune of running into somebody who knows the airport transport system, and took the train instead of the bus.

i had twenty minutes when i got home to shower and get into uniform, the bus to the base sucked, and i kept mentally pinching myself everytime i realized that i wasn't in civilian clothing.

walking into the base felt like walking into pre-primary school. lots of little kids running about.

the kid informed me that our team leader had "noticed that i wasn't in my office yet." i told my team leader to get stuffed, in the most unpleasant way i could think of.

i spoke to the medsupply contact, and it turned out that he's found someone else to do the job instead - which suits me just fine. i had an argument with him because i refuse to take money if i haven't done any work. we eventually agreed that i'll be available for consultation, and get paid on that basis.

i had roughly 500 emails to get through. eventually i settled for deleting anything in hebrew. went smoothly.

missioned around the base, slowly got back into the swing of things, and spot and i had a good laugh telling stories.

our project is going nicely. needs to be rewritten, but that was to be expected.

i wasted a large part of the day, managed not to eat army food. on leaving, ran into nixon - tomorrow i organize a meeting with the base psychologist.

i had to replace my styling beret for a shitty new one. that sucks piles.

came home, did the net thing for a bit, then went out with the mongoose and his sort-of girlfriend. watched the new harry potter movie, it was great. i only passed out for about two minutes, so i didn't really miss too much - it was done beautifully.

my legs were mightily uncomfortable there too.

just got home, hitting the shower and then crashing like a king.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

dammit - i was right

i just got in, and my commander's already looking for me. so is my contact from the medsupply company. i have 20 minutes to rush down to the bus station.

buggrit.

flight wasn't anything unusual, and i didn't have to take the sleeping tablets. i did manage to leave my book on the plane, and my arms are fucking sore from carrying 30kg's home.

*sob*

Saturday, January 07, 2006

NOOOOO!!!! i don't wanna go!!!!

*cough* *cough* *hack* *sputter* (damn vortex dust still hanging on)

supper last night was pleasant. a tad on the weird side, but not bad. it's always creepy going into that apartment, but at least the shrine to me has been dismantled to make place for my brother's kids.

i was so tired i passed out after dinner, and when i was able i made my way home and crashed. i slept longer than intended, and woke up to aeroplane growling at me from 3 inches. that got me up quickly and effectively.

we had coffee, and went for a walk so i could buy smokes, and we talked a hell of a lot. it was really nice. after he left, hyperviper called, and i went to a friend of his' housewarming, which was a lot of fun. we ended up playing drunken charades for a couple of hours, which was most amusing, and talked a lot of crap.

and now i know what breakbeat sounds like. it kicks ass.

i just got home, and am now off with my mom to do the shopping. the afternoon is for last viewings, especially with my siblings, and then they're putting me in a box and shipping me back into uniform tomorrow morning.

Friday, January 06, 2006

beachy

after posting my last post, i got an email from j-girl saying she'd gotten back together with an ex. brilliant.

yesterday morning i took my second mum to the civic center, dropped off a video, picked her up, went shopping (embarrassed her by walking into the sex shop), and took her to cafe erte for a mezze brunch.

some good-looking woman was talking on her cellphone, and i caught her eye. i would have definitely started something... except i'm leaving tomorrow and i don't want to mess with anyone. and she really did make an effort to get my attention. buggrit.

i dropped off the car for a clean, arranged with my brother that i'd visit, picked up the shiny car, then went to his place. someone in his apartment let me in the building, but i stood ringing the bell and knocking on the door for ten minutes before i decided that i'd had enough of being made an asshole of, and left.

i went and got the back of my neck waxed. wasn't bad at all. a bit sensitive on the sides of my neck - which were quite sunburned. then i got me a haircut, and i felt all pretty on my way home.

my mom and i did some missioning, then we visited my great uncle and aunt, then went to dinner with my cousins. it was really nice. and tgtbt was a pleasure to talk to - a nice change from the vortex.

i crashed for an hour, then went to labrynth. good party, but most of the time the music was either to much like house, or the beats rolled so much that it wasn't fun. i enjoyed the evening anyway, and got home around 4.30am. and to sleep around 5 or 5.30.

this morning was horrible. i woke up at the time when i was meant to arrive at the airport, so i scrambled and arrived half an hour late. crazy driving. and i was exhausted.

my sister and her boyfriend walked out about 3 minutes later.

drove them home, then to the beach. then i came home, my mom picked me up, and we went to see a cousin. he gave me a stunning fossil watch, so now i have a smart one AND a sporty one. neat :)

walking out, i ran into a cousin who i'm really fond of, and we caught up for about 20 minutes... i'm a bit depressing at the moment, but anyway.

i took a rank (smelly) taxi back home, got changed in the garage, then made my way to clifton 2nd. spent a great afternoon with my sister and her boyfriend, and a whole bunch of people they know because they're there all the time. tried a serious swim, but i'm just too unfit. frisbee and volleyball were okay, though.

i stopped in and bought a blow-up sheep on the way home, i just showered, got an email from j-girl telling me she misses me... ... ... ... (WTF), and am now off to my brother's place, now that he's been successfully guilted into hosting friday night supper. he's SO charming sometimes.

i just opened a tv bar wrapper, to find a transfer inside - my starsign. i wonder if it's a sign? [sic - i had to though]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

gotham -> no pulse

friday night the mongoose and i went to gotham. cute club. empty. had a few drinks. was chilled.

saturday morning was a frantic rush to get everything packed and ready for the vortex. we finally managed to leave around 1 / 2pm, dropped by shadowslight's to pick up the forgotten camera, protoplasm's to pick up camping gear and directions, and then we made the long trip to the venue.

farking beautiful trip. nothing like coming over sir lowry's pass and seeing the mountains rearing up in the rear-view mirror. fantastic.

the mongoose didn't appreciate it very much...

we got stopped by the cops - apparently i just look really suspicious. they went through EVERYTHING. i at least had a bit of fun, stacking their arms with random objects unnecessarily while demonstrating our complete druglessness :P

we arrived around 4pm. the place was PACKED. cars, cars, and more cars, eventually we managed to find a spot about half an hour from the main floor. the neighbours watched our things while we went to check out the place, and we found a campsite right off the main floor - i left the mongoose there and legged it back to the car.

i made it to the new campsite - getting stuck in sand a couple of times and spraying some poor sod and his tent with dirt - and got out the car to discover that the mongoose had almost relinquished control of our area, and it was due to the efforts of a cute girl "next-door" (next-flap? i like the sound of that better). gave her a hug and a promise to return the favour.

set up camp, met some more neighbours (one of whom recognized me from high-school. weird.), and began missioning.

i got the whole freedom vibe right off the bat. in fact, i didn't stop smiling for three days. i went more nuts than most of the trippers, and i was clear-headed to boot. you don't need drugs to be silly, childish, and to dance like a tazmanian devil. or to be friendly and open with anyone and everyone. there's nothing like good muddy fun.

my feet are a little worse for wear though. aside from the standard beating they endured, i stood on thorns on the first night, and only got the damn things out 7 hours later.

during the party i saw my cousins twice or three times each, and they weren't particularly communicative. which kind of sucked, i sort of expected to at least be camping with them.

there were quite a few israeli's, too. i've actually gotten into some very interesting hebrew conversations, and i'm on the wrong side of the globe...

and oh - my - word. there were hundreds, upon hundreds, of dead-sexy, gorgeous, beautiful girls. more eye-candy than the mind can comprehend.

the evening of the 31st - once the music got started, i was barely off the dance floor. the vibe was great from the start - although i daresay i could've used less requests for drugs... that smile of mine scored me a really foxy 33 year-old, and my first time (at age 25) kissing someone during the crossover to a new year. pity she left in the morning.

the mongoose danced a couple of hours, but basically spent his new year's sleeping in the car.

walking between our campsite and the dance floor at night was seriously dangerous. aside from the mud and little pools of what seemed to be sewage, there was a serious drop off an unmarked and unlit bridge - during one of the missions i saw some guy scrambling out clutching a knee. fortunately, the mongoose had found a flashlight in the dam, and i had some light to see by...

about 2am i decided i was ready for bed. i managed about 3 hours of sleep, then got up and bounced the chill off, then went for a swim, danced some more, then returned to sleep. that failed - it was just too damn hot to be in the tent, and i got up and mooched (with a slight stomp) around. protoplasm and his friend (umm. forgot his handle. umm. bob.) met me on the dancefloor, and we walked through to another parking area, where they'd found some shade. we debated a while, then bob and i left protoplasm to hold the fort while we went back to pack up and move sites.

the move didn't take too long - but it did upset the neighbours, who'd gotten quite fond of us. oh well.

we set up the new site really nicely, and spent the early afternoon playing around with the volleyball, drinking, and chilling. i'd left my phone with the mongoose, who'd managed to get it blocked - the new cute girl-next-flap helped us out by being my mom's contact, so we got that sorted out and made a new friend. err. the mongoose made a new friend. ahem.

basically, from 4pm sunday until 4pm monday i was on the dancefloor, with about 2 hours of sleep sometime after sunrise. sunday night bob firedanced, i went absolutely crazy - at 2am i realized that i had a sizeable hole in the front of my boardies... i'd been flashing the entire evening and wondering why people were looking at me funny.

after the 2 hour nap, i painted myself from head to toe in funky-coloured zinc sunscreen, and i looked like somebody's art project. the mongoose has great photo's. i caused ripples of laughter wherever i went for the remainder of the afternoon ^_^

after the main party shut down, protoplasm, bob and i went swimming for a couple of hours, and had a fantastic time with a bottle-top and some imagination. i also got to watch a bunch of crazies doing all sorts of weird diving, each one egging on the next to do something sillier. at one point some guy ran, launched himself and spun SIDEWAYS... TWICE... before crash-landing on his head. it was beautiful.

on the way past the just-beginning monday night party, i ran into orbital - that was a serious blast from the past, and a nice breath of fresh air. that aside, the music was absolutely fantastic... but the mongoose (who, by the way, had spent most of the party in the tent reading) had decided that he'd had enough. so we had to leave.

the drive home was stunning, but i was dying and already post-vortex depressed. we showered, ate pizza, and crashed.

yesterday:

yesterday sucked ass. the depression had kicked in solidly. i spent the vortex with a sensation of complete freedom. i was myself, totally and utterly. and it's over for the next year. it didn't help that the mongoose spent the day giving me grief... all he cared about was shopping, and didn't give rocks that there was so much of cape town that he still hasn't seen. so we spent the day in the waterfront.

at the waterfront: i think my niece scaled my smokes and lighter. hmmph. the mongoose got an enormous discount on the jewellery he was buying because the owner knows my mother... we discovered that because the owner is israeli, and the two of us were speaking in hebrew. ho ho.

and the mongoose bought himself these AWESOME remote-controlled infra-red tanks, and he bought me a mystic 8 ball. sweet!

last night my mom took us out to a fantastic (and expensive) turkish restaurant for the mongoose's birthday. great food. very pleasant evening. i'm still amused that the mongoose just couldn't understand that we weren't kidding about the importance table-manners, and the waiter got really frustrated because he couldn't take away the food if his knife and fork weren't together. the look on his face was priceless when comprehension dawned.

we met up with some of my mom's (not-straight) friends, and had some entertaining sheep discussions. one of those friends happened to be the cook hido used to work with, the man ultimately responsible for my taste for seafood. my mom was shocked that we knew each other...

we rented boondock saints, which the mongoose has now finally seen. in the middle i dropped my niece off at a really poncy club... called pulse. she gave me a description of the place that really turned me off the idea.

today:

i got to bed at 2 or 3am, and woke up at 4.30am so that we could take the mongoose to the airport. i gave him the package of pictures and wishes and things that i collected before i left, and he was way impressed with his birthday goodies.

my mom worked her magic, and managed to get him onto the flight. i was sitting outside smoking, and i almost started crying when i thought about going back to israel. i really don't want to leave.

i got home, spoke to orbital, showered, packed for the beach, and went to meet her at llandudno. i got there as they were leaving due to rather shitty weather, and she told me to meet them at pulse tonight. uh uh.

i drove back, emptied the car, took it to the car wash, returned home, returned to the car wash, waited for ages (they had lots of work to do... and they still couldn't get the pretty zinc stain off the driver's seat), parked it back home and went to visit my brother as we'd discussed earlier. i don't know who let me in the front gate, but nobody answered the front door, and i stood there ringing it like an asshole for 10 minutes before giving up.

fuck that.

i rested a half an hour, then drove (exhausted and dehydrated and not having eaten anything the entire day) to fireman's arms (awesome pub) to have drinks with hyperviper and noddiex (joined after a bit by hyperviper's dad). very nice. i thoroughly enjoyed myself. and managed to hold my pint of draught and a suitcase. and i didn't cry from the spicy buffalo wings in tequila and peri-peri sauce.

i then drove to my uncle's (and parked so beautifully that i got several comments) new place, which is stunning, and from there my two uncles and aunt and uncle's girlfriend and mom and i went to eat at ocean basket. which was actually kind of crap, but anyway. i've basically just got home (been typing this drivel for more than an hour), given my nephew a lecture about smoking too much weed and not doing anything with his non-work hours, and been given further reasons not to go to pulse.