Wednesday, January 31, 2007

camera manual: TLDR



now that i've unsuccessfully tried to take an interesting photo at night and with the focus on what's BEHIND the sign (i'll post it later), i understand that i really do need to know what all the items on the dial mean :/

today began better. my home pc's just about ready to have things installed on it - although i must thank google that office is no longer on the list of required software ^_^

today i finally "got" one of the 3D images in the book on my SC's desk. i had it for about a minute, comfortably able to blink and move my eyes about, but when i tried for another image my eyes just said "fat chance". that was during a long, boring team meeting of which i was merely an observer. i didn't have anything better to do.

the kid hasn't dealt with his piles, and either way my dealings with piles have been strained to say the least. i can't pretend to be friendly with somebody whose presence invokes extreme contempt.

work: omfg nql gives me a headache. he spent half an hour explaining to me that php classes shouldn't demonstrate any level of encapsulation because php developers like to access everything directly. and he takes any argument as personal, because apparently admitting that you've done something wrong is shameful and humiliating.

the dude has no concept of teamwork, of doing things for the benefit of the company, or of doing things correctly, and i'm finding it harder and harder to keep my cool. i'd at least appreciate an attempt at some level of professionalism.

i've spent hours doing grudwork, mostly double-checking things with him to make sure that they meet with his approval, and thank **** i'm going home soon.

my mom contacted me earlier to inform me that her move to her new apartment has gone sour, and she's staying with tgtbt's mother tonight... i understand why i go through all that shit, but to hear that my mom's dealing with it too really sucks.

i just remembered that i have a job interview tomorrow morning. i'd enjoy it a lot more if i had some idea of how relevant it is, because the length of the rest of my service is still anyone's guess :(

role-model
my response to nystire after reading this: yes. i think i'd be more annoyed that my girlfriend didn't find me as entertaining as something... more furry.

right in two



i left my brolly in the office yesterday, and this morning i got caught in a downpour as i left the apartment. i'd left a bit later than i should have, as i was occupied with the consumption of a rather tasty (and healthy) muesli-melon:



piles has not improved, in fact he's gotten worse. our TL heard some of the fighting and has told me he'll see about fixing the situation. the kid just doesn't want any of it, and by not acting he's not doing himself any favours, and piles is a complete turd.

thai lunch of super-spicy buffalo wings was great.

i spent a lot of the day with our welfare officers, after my SC finally conceeded that the vacation is a good idea and our BC signed the papers. unfortunately a vacation of this nature can take a week to process, which is a week too long - this means that there'll be more harrassing to be done.

and the bastards refuse to accept faxes, so the poor girls had to mission off to the induction base (i couldn't go in their stead) in the pouring rain on my account :(

thing is, i'm glad that my commanders have finally understood that it's the right thing to do, but at the same time i feel shitty that my SC has had to give in: the last thing i want is for him to think i've lost faith, when it's not faith in him that's missing.

i finally got around to compiling a test web-service, and we would have deployed it if it wasn't for that niggling little detail concerning the existence of a server to deploy to. i also spent a while figuring out that something our TL has requested isn't feasible.

i spoke to my taekwondo instructor: i'll be resuming training either this friday or next monday. and quitting smoking, probably this weekend. i've been saying it for over two years, and i'm bloody well doing it.

back at work: i've discovered that our cute french graphic designer has a blog, but it's in french. kinda hard to decode, that. but i learned to add d'lait to nuage :P

i'm done with my side of the project, but it's now up to me to integrate. i find it hard to concentrate when the class and variable names reference costumers. fancy-dress foreign exchange, anyone?

---- later ----

spot, the kid and i sat chatting at cafeneto, and i've come to the conclusion that the kid should write up a formal complaint against piles and serve it tomorrow. piles has gone against no less than five of the primary directives of the army: trustworthiness, responsibility, professionalism, discipline and fellowship. that's what you get after learning all of the directives by heart. i think confinement to base and / or jailtime would be good for him.

myself experiencing a rare moment of happiness

colour shuffling
styling!
educational!
wow. i feel safer already :S

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

the bull



i spent my entire army day stressing, going head to head with my SC and losing, and then watching him moving mountains with a teaspoon. the man is seriously stubborn, and refused to allow me to sign off the month. as much as i trust him and respect his abilities (he talks softly and carries a fuck-off big morning-star), i don't have faith in the rest of the involved parties so i can't relax.

work tonight was a pleasure - nql showed me how to get around the fact that php's class model is the worst implementation i've ever come across. EVERYTHING has to be self-referenced, no matter the damn scope. twits, whoever thought up that one.

spot's got five black adder seasons on dvd, so i've been familiarizing myself. it's alright, i actually snickered a bit during the second episode.

electro-art
pc / mac
could this news calm the rabid horde?
s'not exactly fair...
a big waste of tech

i can't stop myself from blaming one particular person for the mess my life's been since i got back from south africa: there's a single girl responsible for my current shite, who i'd specifically told to get in touch with me if there was anything wrong. not letting us know really made it all go pear-shaped.

less than six days to go :'(

Sunday, January 28, 2007

pretty purple



earlier, i managed to tip a half-filled 1.5l bottle of water so that it landed cap down onto the middle toe of my right foot. my toe's not broken, but it's definitely making its discomfort known and the nail has turned a bright purple.

you know, there's never a good time for that to happen.

lunch!



it's really great to step into a public bathroom and be greeted by someone else's lunch festering in the hand-basin. lovely. and the cleaners have gone for the night.

today was a big and frustrating day: it took all day for my SC to finally understand that my solution to the problem really is the only one. that's another day down :'(

the civilian i chatted with the other evening was given a farewell ceremony this morning, and i actually managed to get it together to say a few words... they came out right, amused as they were intended to, and i spoke in hebrew - colour me self-satisfied!

speaking of self-satisfied, i had to fill out a form for my release stating how i see myself professionally and socially. that's a horrible thing to make me do. i know what i'd like to see on my report, i know how i feel about what i've done, and i also know how my perspective doesn't count for shit.
of course i think i'm amazing - but i don't feel comfortable writing it on a permanent record. i tried to be fair and objective, and that felt shitty because it's for a permanent record.
swak.

we finally invited people over for housewarming: we managed to cut the list down to about 50 or so. saturday night will prove interesting :S

it's now time to get back to work - i seem to have gotten a handle on the subject, but it's a tad difficult to concentrate with all this army crap going through my head.

screening



great party! i definitely needed to let some aggression out. quite a few friends were there, too, and some very spankily-dressed cardboard boxes ;) [i suppose something rhyming with vixen would've been more appropriate :P]

ta2, wr and i went out for a rather good breakfast, and around 8am i returned home and crashed until 3pm ^_^
i enjoyed a great muesli breakfast, a pleasant chat with spot at cafeneto*1, and afterwards watched stanley kubrick's lolita (finally), which was really good. and wasting an hour back-seat driving the kid's game of heroes was fun, too.

bedtime! tomorrow will make all the difference, i just hope it's in a good way.

*1 i still feel the same way about sunshine, but i've decided i'm not chasing after her, just hoping things'll somehow work out. i don't want to be "that annoying guy".

Saturday, January 27, 2007

couch comforting



i have to say it: this vacation idea has relaxed me no end! and i don't even know if it's possible... but i'm extremely proud of myself for having thought of it.

i've just gone through all the news and am on my way to scream and jump up and down until i drag my feet back home in the morning.

a lot of these posts are amusing, but this one is poetic!

i got home relatively early last night, studied some math and fell asleep watching bad boys. this morning the kid and i had really good bacon and eggs for breakfast, then went out shopping. i napped in the afternoon, until spot woke me up for coffee and a viewing of lolita: i still haven't seen the movie, because the kid walked in after about ten minutes and we switched to alien3.

we watched a bit of the bonus materials, then one of the kid's friends came over and we spent ages moving the aerial cable around to find a signal. i'm so proud we're so disconnected from television!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

power of speech



but first, some linkage:
new ice age theory triumphs
nystire suggests we enter spot dressed in tinfoil
i love slashdotters
no really, i do
and transformers
the pope says we're going to hell
awwwwww [the video. the video!]

so today started off with lots of meetings about my future in the armed forces (another direct translation from the hebrew [כוחות מזויינים / kochot mezuyanim] is the fucked forces, but nevermind). halfway through i had a sudden burst of inspiration / genius: i can bloody well take a vacation!

the kid, piles and i took off to the firing range. from the moment before getting on the bus, piles was wildly flapping his gums in a most offensive manner, and i just saw red. and not just that of his gullet.
no, as usual i didn't resort to physical violence, but months of aggravation just came out and i really ripped into him. the argument (alright, my stream of verbal abuse) continued until halfway through lunch, when i managed to calm down slightly and figured out a way to get something positive out of it all.

but i did *want* to beat the shit out of him.

our range-time flew by. the three of us are seconded, so technically we belong to that base: some poor artillery sod actually admitted to not serving there when asked, and they threw him out. hee hee.

i spent the afternoon helping out the mongoose and figuring things out with my TL and our welfare officers (damn, but the new girl's foxy - and only eight years younger than me).

-- tool - right in two has caused this posting to be paused for a couple of minutes --

i got a call-back from a guy looking to hire c# developers for a big statistics and data-mining company... i handled the conversation exceptionally well (it's nice to be interviewed when you have a job and you're not under pressure), and it gave me just the edge i needed when sunshine called two minutes later.

granted, it was to cancel our date for tonight, but i'm very proud of how i handled the conversation.

i had a long and interesting chat with one of our civilians on my way out, then came to work and sat with nql on the php project for an hour or so. it seems like i'm well on my way to finishing under time (granted, i haven't actually done much work tonight), and nobody touched my pc so it was ready for testing when i got in.

i'm not really surprised that i understand what's going on - it's not brain surgery (or rocket science, thanks nystire) - but i do have that oft-misplaced feeling of achievement. and the feeling that i'm typing too fast for my wrists to keep up.
*massages wrists*

my stress levels will drop considerably if i can wrangle permission to take a vacation right now. pray for me!

hard-working lazies

fantastic what effort some people are willing to put in to get out of doing something productive. of course all the php developers didn't experience problems with the api's i'm wrapping. they don't know about this "reading documentation" thing - they know about piecing together objects from var_dumping them.

brilliant. genius. i wonder if they generally hit the bottle before working...

i don't think anything interesting / good happened this morning. i did open my calculus book, and that's been keeping me entertained in short bursts.

lunch was awesome - our team went out and we stuffed ourselves on really good food. i don't know what a pundak is.

i slept well on the way back to base, and after a few minutes napping on my desk, i woke up and got productive. i ate on base on the way to work, had a far easier conversation with the bus girl from yesterday (i began by lying through my teeth, and it worked), and walked in to a meeting with our manager. he's chilling with me, if not with the situation.

nql helped me (using the above technique) to solve last night's riddle, and i spent the night playing and tweaking and learning all sorts of cute php tricks. the system itself is kinda annoying, but i'm not stressing if i'm not supposed to know what the hell i'm doing.

as i got on the bus, i heard the bus driver telling the guy sitting next to him that he'd been hesitating about stopping for me. fucker.

i walked home, put in my alice in chains - unplugged dvd, and got through more calculus. now i'm ready for bed, and the last day of a frustrating and stressful week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

chief crazy work-horse

the kid and i just got back from cafeneto - extremely therapeutic. things with sunshine seem alright, and the kid participates when i let off steam... he's like a good therapist :P

today started off dodgy - the anguish begun the day before hasn't abated, and until a couple of hours ago things have just been snowballing (as in getting bigger and bigger, not as in clerks).

it was a mission to get piles to help me take the plastic bottles to the recycling bin this morning. once we were done, i specifically told him - twice to make sure - NOT to throw away the packet. the kid and i were laughing now about the stupid, completely uncomprehending look he gives. halfway back to the office i registered that he wasn't carrying anything.
"what the $#@! did you do with the packet?"
he looks at me totally innocently: "i threw it away. why do you ask?"

most of what i recall from my army day (due to some memory-suppression) is playing spider solitaire. i started the day watching demo videos of ruby on rails with brother bear - friggin' insane, the things they do. it's impressive as hell, and i hope i don't find an excuse to have to use it (i don't do web dev. even when i do, i don't).

in the afternoon, i managed to catch our branch officer earlier than i'd expected. we sat organizing, but there was yet another screw-up on the receiving end and it's out of our control as usual. this is all very frustrating, as i write this i have exactly 1 week and 6 days to go before my release. this is a another tense period of my life.

i organized entry permission for a friend who used to serve on our base, and we milled around for about half an hour before i got back to my solitaire. the late afternoon was a bit of a blur of interesting work-related discussions and me stressing.

-- lying to the cute, well-intentioned girl on the bus --

i hopped off the bus, and walked through to meet ru55's girlfriend and pick up my calculus book. it's bloody heavy. we chatted for 50 seconds, and then i made my way to work (bumping into my tallest's ex, turns out she lives in the area).

my mother sent me an email laughing at me for my idea of studying engineering: most of my family on my mother's side are either in that or medicine :P

work SUCKED. i've now gotten most of it out of my system, the remainder of the evening was insane because my manager was almost as pissed off as me, and demanded that i call the guy - i had to learn his name, find his phone number (harassing a girl i've never met in order to get it), and eventually settle for mass emailing anyway. all this while handling mmf's RFIs (he's tampering with a website) and SxS's girl-friend trying to set me up with some french girl.

the final straw, when i was running late for the bus, was getting into the elevator and feeling something sharp in the middle of my back. i tested with my hand, and there was definitely something bothering me (my heavy bag on my back, not smart to not deal with it). so i hurriedly dropped my bag and was halfway through ripping off the windbreaker when the elevator doors opened.
so i moved my little mission to the foyer, where the guard stared at me in disbelief as i, in disbelief, removed a thick, inch-long nail from centre of the windbreaker's back.

how it got there is an absolute mystery to me, but it's the perfect physical embodiment of where my head's at. i handed the bent nail to the guard as i left, and just made the bus.

inpassing.org is excellent

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

the spraying of DOOM



i've just spent hours sitting with the salesman from our potential new provider. the last few php work days have been spent using trial and error to figure out what the hell's going on with their api, and nql didn't give me time to prepare before the guy arrived this evening. but that's an nql story that might live to piss me off another day.

i was shown the api's documentation - yet another set of automatic documentor pages ala javadoc but for php. and, just like our first provider (although to be fair, they've improved a lot since i first began shouting at them) they give me all the footprints, and none of the explanations.

my favourite is the "For use with this function.". for use? HOW? WHY? what does it DO? what the hell IS it?!

he was quite cocky and confident, until i showed him the specific object i've been having trouble with. i love how people just assume that i don't know my ass from my hat. he started giving me a lecture, but i interrupted him mid-sentence and showed him the function reference. it doesn't so much as specify a return type. he then spent over an hour sitting at one of our other workstations, combing through forums and anything resembling documentation that he could get his salesman's eyes on [one day i'll write about my childhood, and my hatred of salespeople will become clear], even going so far as to look through the api's from one of their providers.

then he got up, and began explaining to me how that's just the way it is, and i'll just have to deal with it. trial and error. fruitless searches through forums (even if the stuff is available, i've long ago learned how bad i am at searching - even googling is an issue for me). much var_dumping and maybe even reading through the provider's source code.

i'm calling my manager right now to tell him what i think of them.

stretching the band until it snaps



i don't know where to begin, i'm not thinking straight and it's not from lack of anything. it's from my mind jiggling in all the wrong directions. i've been short of breath for days now (it could be from smoking too much), and my heart's been beating wildly - am i suffering sunstroke? [okay, that was bad] is the strain from the uncertainty of my army situation showing its ugly face?

last night i sat at cafeneto; theoretically with sunshine, but she was only able to sit for five minutes. i used the rest of the time to ponder my own troubles and exchange glances with her every couple of minutes. she told me to call her when i left; after i'd had a shower, i was wondering if that was about the time she'd meant...

having wussed out, i slept alright, and again woke up way later than i should have. this time i did go to the induction base, made two short and unhelpful stops, and then went in to submit my degree.

since thursday i've been preparing for a fight over the validity of my papers, and when i finally walked into their office i pulled up a chair and mentally put on my gloves. the girl sitting there took the papers, briefly went through them, and then told me to check with them in 8 days.

what? no arguments? i was almost disappointed!

i went back to my base, had my head shaved (MUCH better), then lunch (i had to scare a course girl into giving us food), and then spent some time hanging around and being useful. mostly shaving a new beret (not mine): i only sliced two fingers :P

i called sunshine today; it took a while for me to figure out what i wanted to say before i had the courage to dial. i hate telephones, and i always feel pressured when i don't want to say the wrong thing: so i invariably say the wrong bloody thing.
this conversation didn't fare better than the norm, and i have to say that if i'd been on the receiving end of the line i'd have considered myself quite the ponce. one day i'm going to learn to simply not make that call.

-- promotional enthusiasm, and stabbing my thumb with a relatively large, pointy object --

i picked the most uncomfortable bus possible to work. i've mentioned that i hate public transport - i put my hand on one of the ceiling rails to steady myself and it was kinda sticky :S [i'm a bit OC, i couldn't touch anything with my right hand until i'd gone to the restroom at work to wash my hands surgeon-style]

nql and i had a long meeting with the vice president (our manager, i only noticed his official title this evening). i'm actually quite glad that i completed a degree in business administration: i'm able to translate between management and developers. they both speak completely different languages, and under normal circumstances nobody can figure out why things get screwed up when everybody thinks they had a clear understanding.

anyway, the bottom line is that we're under a LOT of pressure, we're inconceivably [thanks, moonflake] short-staffed, and we're not actually sure of our providers. this is going to be an interesting two weeks, and that's just work-related :'(

i dived into my work; spot came in to clear his desk, and the three of us sat on some stupid bugs in my first real php work ever. once those were cleared, we discovered that my translation (modularization, more like) worked great first time ^_^/2 [i can't get completely excited over web development]

after spot and nql left, i spoke to my mom for fifteen minutes, and then nystire arrived. way too much for me when i'm in the middle of a large and highly-deadlined project.

we had a long chat about what is and will or will not be, i ate sushi (although i was feeling sick from the stress, so i didn't thoroughly enjoy it) and then i had to get back to work.

i worked the rest of the evening, and i made some good progress. i was out for a smoke-break when i felt this sudden rush of the past catching up with me - all manner of tricks and techniques for web development surfaced after years of being consciously ignored.

i made the bus, and the kid and spot joined me at cafeneto for an hour of catching up and sorting out. now it's way past my bedtime :(

Sunday, January 21, 2007

frozen weekend pt 2



i'm completely non-functioning at the moment. i can't get my head productively engaged, i've been assigned something really boring and i did something odd with the vim editor that has left a permanent stain (an ugly yellow highlight) on my files regardless of how many times i log off and log back on. i can't find anything in the help, because isn't supposed to be helpful, so i decided, painfully, to switch to emacs.

but now i can't remember stupid things like home and end. now i'm really frustrated.

to be fair, it all started when i woke up at 6.30 this morning. i brushed my teeth, i shaved, i got in the shower... and then suddenly remembered that i couldn't go off to the induction base because i needed my new papers signed.

so i went back to bed - putting on the aircon for half an hour because it was absolutely bloody FREEZING (i don't know how i disengaged from my duvet in the first place), and then woke up again to get dressed. i gotta admit that a long-sleeve army shirt that was tossed my way a few weeks ago (and i laughed at the tosser [hah!]) really made my day.

the kid and i got to the base, but our section's power was out so we couldn't get any work done. piles showed off the cool stuff we did on thursday, i learned about dog-tags using wikipedia (interesting stuff, actually), and then suddenly our section was off to the lincoln to while away the outage.

we had a section tournament, which i won (of course), and it was quite a lot of fun. especially playing against our nco and watching him improve in real time :)

we had a toasted lunch afterwards, and our TL released us for the day. i had to go back to base anyway, to get those papers signed. i'd missed the mongoose's ex's farewell ceremony... that sucks :(

i left early, and came to work. i have been utterly useless aside from maybe a few minutes, and i think i just need to get some rest. i'm not tired, my brain's simply not forthcoming with anything vaguely intellectual. i've been thinking more and more about my options if i accidentally get released in a couple of weeks' time, and the whole story is actually fairly depressing :S

couple that with a girl i haven't spoken to in a while getting in touch with me to whine and moan about her breaking up with someone, and all i can think of while typing to her is how remarkably uninteresting i find her.

i've read the top 100 bashquotes, had a laugh, and now i'm going for a smoke before trying one last time to get something DONE.

frozen weekend pt. 1



i woke up on saturday morning, showered, had breakfast, and generally took my time in getting to cafeneto. i managed to get about 15 minutes in working on my cv before sunshine got off her shift. it was warm and cosy where we were sitting, right by the glass looking out on the street as the wind hummed and the rain poured down in a torrent.

that was a really nice couple of hours spent discussing forty-two :P

i tried coercing her into taking my umbrella or a taxi home, but she insisted on walking it: wow. i feel like i'm dealing with myself!

i got home in time for poker. we had a good group, a couple of spot's friends and piles came over (yes, piles is allowed in the apartment. i guess he's not so bad now that i'm no longer responsible for him), and we had a great poker game. cash-game, and i took spot out in the third hand (although he bought in). :D

i managed to survive almost until the end, and i gotta admit that i enjoyed myself a lot more than i usually do.

we went off to the lizard, for a relatively quiet night, and got home around 2am.

today's blog later. it involves daring and intrigue.

another nystire find

Saturday, January 20, 2007

a bit cloudy



i don't know how, but i managed to pull myself out of bed yesterday at 8.15am to drag on my uniform and get to the university. i'd gotten home really late after the kid, his shag and i discovered absolutely magnificent belgian waffles.

on the way to the bus i stopped by cafeneto for coffee and sunshine. i bussed through to herzeliya, and plodded on to the university. the place is looking great, the new computer science building is really impressive and even on a friday morning there were plenty of students milling around.

i got my papers within five minutes, and spent the next half an hour checking the place out and saying hi. i slogged back into the city center and bought myself chains for my dog-tags, then bussed back home.

my tags look good, but i need to figure out how to give them a border so they won't make as much noise or cut into my chest. i'm thinking of using silicone glue, but aside from having to acquire some, it's not clear how to do it to get the effect i want :S

switching to summer clothing, i went shopping with the kid and then we sat down at cafeneto. i was waiting for sunshine, who got off an hour late, and the kid and i spent that hour therapeutically telling really amusing childhood stories.

when we got back, spot joined us and we did a basic clean of the apartment. during which our neighbour knocked on the door to ask if we wanted to take her coffee table before she threw it away.

so after two months of being annoyed about not having one, we have a really styling one completing our lounge. awesome!

we spent the afternoon watching how i met your mom, lock, stock and two smoking barrels (the kid hadn't seen it, but he still hasn't because he passed out after not being able to deal with the english), the princess bride, and, because we had to laugh about fred savage, an episode of the wonder years.

i fell asleep to my celebrity deathmatch collection, and was woken up by spot just as his birthday came in.

the two of us went to the lincoln with magist for a couple of hours. i was still half asleep when we got there, and the shot and beer didn't improve my situation. the pool was okay, but it's been really long since we last played :/

we walked to the lizard - they were already closed and the mongoose had gone home, and then took a taxi home.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

i no to speak english (or woman)



i woke up way too early this morning, feeling like absolute crap, and hopped the bus to the induction base. i took a bus to the area i needed to be in - turned out to be a silly thing to do, i never realized how close the place is. i walked into the building, made my way to the correct office, sat down and handed over my degree.

"i can't process this, it has to be in hebrew."
i started arguing with her, but gave up pretty quickly due to my impatience and frustration. it's an israeli certified degree, studied in israel under the army's supervision: what more do they need?!

i walked out, and made my way to pick up my new dog-tag. now that i have two i plan on wearing them in the american style :P [the things soldiers get kicks out of - now if only they weren't such ugly tags, they'd be great]

i returned to my base, taught piles a couple of things about the organization and how to manipulate it, and i spent most of my afternoon chilling while piles and some guys from our supporting crew achieved a serious breakthrough. the only productive thing i did was start on my cv, but i was interrupted by a visit from our branch commander.

after our BC's visit, my SC called me aside; turns out that the conversation during which i got shouted at the other morning was a fairly important one, and we're going to have to get hold of the guy on sunday to see what's up... buggrit, more time wasted.

i finally got through telephonically to the university during the afternoon, and i now have to get over there tomorrow morning to pick up the translations :S
why does mailing things have to take so bloody long?

i've run out of meds. as of the last hour or so i'm feeling a bit better, but most of the day was hell.

i spoke to sunshine this morning, for a short chat. songbird was around at the time, and in the afternoon we had the following argument:
i maintain that if things get to the point where both parties are aware that there's something going on, then the female should be the one to make the first move. simply because when a guy seems to be interested, and i mean interested, then it's more than reasonable to assume that he is.
girls, on the other hand, have some fairly strange ideas of how to display / not display affection, so just because a guy is confident that she's keen doesn't mean a damn thing.

the only way i can think of handling this is
"i have a stupid question to ask you: how obvious has it been that i'm completely besotted with you?"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

drawing back the curtains

i walked out of work yesterday extremely upset. i'm not sure if i'm more annoyed at the provider for their shit or at myself for not catching on before. i was also brooding on not having found a chance to organize something for the kid: some friend i am :(

my mood wasn't improved by just missing the bus, and having to wait 45 minutes in the freezing cold for the next one. i was going through a brief few hours of being able to breathe over the sinusitis, but my cough was just making its debut. at least i had thumping trance to keep my brain a little more stable.

i shuffled my way in to cafeneto on a complete downer - i couldn't decide if i wanted to be alone or not. i began writing out a birthday message for the kid, and was most of the way through when sunshine sat down with me and asked what was wrong.
she helped me out, correcting the three mistakes i'd made (of which i'm quite proud, it was a long piece), and we had a bit of a general chat. she had duties, so i did get that time to myself, but she'd already made my day.
when she sat with me before i left, it was pretty much in non-awkward silence. and she told me to call her.

i gotta be honest - it's been a very long time since i've felt this way about a girl i know well enough by now to have gotten over the initial enthusiasm. i'm kind of wary about how she feels about me - i spoke to her earlier and phone conversations always make me uncomfortable, but the way she made me feel yesterday was worth any disappointment i may or may not suffer. i say may not because i assume indifference as a defense mechanism.

i walked home with a balloon and serious cheese-cake, but the kid was already asleep. i showered and went to bed, and woke up early to clean up the apartment a bit and to wake the kid with the aforementioned goodies. i felt rather odd singing happy birthday in a croaky voice with his shag giggling hysterically. maybe it was the fact that i was still in pyjamas. maybe i shouldn't admit to wearing pj's for manliness' sake, but it's frikkin' FREEZING.

i got to base before him, so i had time to transcribe the message to better quality paper, larger and better than pocket-sized squares. we celebrated two girls being promoted, which got silly at the end when brother bear and i settled on playing table hockey with bottle-tops. daddy-o wasn't impressed. i finally managed to get my degree signed for, and was informed that the fastest i can get it dealt with is by going personally to the induction base - so that's where i'm starting tomorrow.

i spent a large part of the day jumping from person to person to figure out how to get set up for daddy-o's presentation tomorrow... we won't be set up, because i only received the documentation (in hebrew) in the afternoon and it took me ages to figure out that it's too much work for a few hours and it requires somebody on hand to explain half of what's going on. it's yet another personal system that didn't have an end-user in mind :S

the bus to work was comfortably empty, but by the time i walked in to my office my nose had been bleeding for half the day and i had a headache. i had a quick and to-the-point chat with nql, who's agreed with me that the php stuff i've been doing isn't our job and is too pointless to waste more time on, and then i turned to cleaning up the project i finished last night.

that done, i informed the boss that i wasn't feeling good and wasn't going to stay on more than a couple of hours. i then turned my hand to that other project. the one i began in april last year. the one that until tonight has made me twitchy just *thinking* about opening.

i changed tack, and marked it for deletion, creating a new version in its place. two hours later we had a perfectly working version - all it took was for our provider to finally include the functions we requested more than half a year ago. we're even ignoring the fact that the functions' fingerprints / footprints / whatever they're called are completely not homogenous. the damn things worked and any changes that may be called for will be minor ones. with triple backups and "special care" stamped all over them.

i waited quite a while for the bus, although not as much as last night, and got home to write this, charge my ipod, shower, be irritated as hell about the state of our digs (the kid and i were on the verge of inviting people over for a housewarming, but there's no way we're ready for one), rewrite my cv and go to bed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the evil f*ckers MUST DIE

i HATE our provider. after hours of work, i've finally discovered that ALL of the problems we had were unrelated to the new apis they released. they were due to a) Yet Another Undocumented Change and b) a freaking CONSTANT that contains not only the wrong value, but a null one at that. that screwed up EVERYTHING.

i want them all to suffer painfully.

on the other side of my mind, we now have two cute french girls working here. oddly enough, nystire sent me this.

now i'm going to take my stream of expletives home.

snot monster



well, i'm not the only person who's had that combination of words run through his head. i don't know who this kandyjaxx person is, so if you're feeling magnanimous check out the link and maybe it'll make up for me stealing it.

this morning was almost as bad as yesterday, i daresay the drugs helped a bit but the overall effect of sleeplessness combined with the inability to function because of a blocked nose frustrated my efforts to be even slightly productive - in my terms, at least. i still got more useful things done than most people would in a regular day :P

including discovering that some people have just as much important stuff on their minds as i do. spot - the kid beats you hands down when it comes to the english language.

my cv is in serious need of a kick in the teeth; i need to spend some time rewriting the damn thing, the more i look at it the more dissatisfied i become.

i called up a major i've never met this morning, and i handled the introduction a bit badly. i've always maintained that i'm terrible on the phone, and i got shouted at for a while before we managed to get things straightened out, and then it was an extremely positive conversation. i understood most of it, even - i just wasn't sure when the call ended what i was supposed to do about it.

i've been back on the base for most of two weeks already, and i'm still being questioned by every other person as to what i'm doing there. evading interrogation is becoming quite tedious :(

lunch was a mediocre shuwarma; at least the chilli peppers were helpful. my sinuses were alright for the better part of an hour after that.

i forgot to mention that we had a meeting about pile's progress yesterday. i just sat eating jellybeans while the kid, our TL and our SC ripped into him about his lack of discipline.
i somehow walked out with a pat on the back... i can't figure out how i "did a good job" if he's such a crappy soldier. at least he's learned enough to be useful, which i guess is good enough at this stage.

i spent most of the afternoon playing spider solitaire and figuring out how i'm going to finish the project i've been assigned to complete by thursday. i now have a cunning plan, but only tomorrow am i going to be able to meet with people who have a clue as to how i'm supposed to implement it. no pressure, especially not when i'm feeling sick. huh.

tomorrow is the kid's birthday, and i haven't done a damn thing about it. i suck.

i managed to fix a bug in one of my apps, and it was a really stupid one. a side-effect of a modification that i hurriedly made for nql. i'm embarrassed. on the positive side of the night, i've just discovered that our provider has finally fixed a major bug, so one of my other apps can go online.
well, as soon as i've rewritten the damn thing because i screwed it up for the testing :S

i dink dad'th all for dow.

scores of things



i finished oliver twist last night: an entirely amusing ending to what was an absolutely fabulous book.

wake-up was horrid: throat caked, head-ached and the sleep was worthless due to a distinctive lack of breathing.

my mom faxed me a copy of my degree and grades today. i'd forgotten that in my last year, with 20 courses, i scored an average of 85%. i was considerably more focused than in my first year... the one where my average hung around 20-30% :P

i studied oracle developer's java importer today; the last note was "if you attempt to reference an invalid object you may corrupt your form data and crash the server". okay, so we won't use the java importer.

while going through a whole lot of oracle documentation, i came across something absurd and frightening: pl/sql server pages. psp. that's just wrong, on so many levels - it begins with "who the hell would want to use pl/sql for anything?!?!" and ends with sony.

after lunch, the kid hit us with a riddle that had us going for a while. in the end i discovered that i'd solved it correctly, but the answer was wrong because i think in english and not in hebrew. sue me.

i spent about two hours in total at the clinic today. the first part was telling the medic what's wrong with me (sinusitis problems since childhood) and what i need for it (i ran out of sinutab), and having to go through a full examination anyway - if i've been through surgery for it, i might just have a clue what i'm talking about.
the second part was a long wait, staring at nothing (and making enough noise every now and then to remind them of my presence) until just before i had to leave the base. i got annoyed and walked in to the clinic supervisor's office, and 5 minutes later walked out with the goods. they couldn't have just told me that today is stupid day?

spuzz gained staff sergeant today - another excuse to throw an hour away. it was a bit of an awkward ceremony.

i had a good chat with my SC on my way out, but it delayed me and i arrived at work late. i walked in to "nql said that you need to solve the problem with x", where x is a system i'm unfamiliar with. much irritation and hassling of the provider later, and we discovered that my initial assumption was correct - my app was fine, our provider was fine (strangely enough), but the production server's environment was out.

nql is the server admin, fortunately he left me alone once we reached that conclusion. although he was reluctant to admit that something could possibly be wrong with a system he's responsible for.

i spent the evening being unhappy with the php work. so far, the new provider's not looking much better than the old one.

this looks like a good read... but i think he's talking about an extreme in a world where we tend to talk about the "model user", who is slightly lower in the self-preservation ratings than a lemming.

i met up with spot and the kid at cafeneto: the kid made a good point about our needing to do something every night to make up for working too much, and the cafeneto is it.
sunshine is a good enough excuse for me, though.

i've just had a shower and i'm going to bed, praying that i'll breathe in my sleep this time.

Monday, January 15, 2007

i'm missing a key, apparently

[a picture of the F17 key]

i spent a good 5 minutes trying to figure that shit out. i eventually gave up and just used the replace function.

WARNING: this is one of them boring posts. i realize that most of mine are, but it's my diary so suck it up. i just wish i didn't have so much to write :S

at 4.45am i received sms's from nql informing me that my newly completely image producer was giving trouble. i went back to sleep, and called him around 8am to learn that no, sadly, he hadn't bothered to read the documentation.

i was all proud of myself: i managed to handle muesli and coffee on the way to the bus this morning (that's two large cups, one requiring the use of a spoon). unfortunately, we missed the bus by a few minutes, so we only arrived on base at 9... at least nobody seems to mind me much :P

i have to find a copy of my degree to register it with the army, but i have no idea where it is since all the moving began last year. that's really, really annoying.

i finally got hold of someone that nystire's been on my case for a week about; to discover that i had absolutely no reason to talk to her. that was a bit irritating too. at least it was a relatively friendly conversation.

i spent most of the day learning about enterprise java beans. it took until the evening to get somewhere useful with them, but i've learned a lot. like, if the bean container area isn't visible, it's inactive: anything sent is queued up. if it's made visible suddenly everything happens, which makes a bit of a mess.
solution: zero the height and width. that's a stupid solution if i ever heard of one.

i saw the bull for about two minutes before lunch, and he's informed me that things have moved up a level. as grateful as i am, i can't help wondering how many levels the game has.

while tackling an annoying issue while testing, daddy-o walked in and made a request. the application i'm building to test with is intended as a surprise for him, it's something he requested ages ago, so i couldn't tell him why i was too busy. we spent half an hour figuring out exactly what he wanted, another fifteen minutes arguing details with brother bear, and then i sat down to an interesting little security debate with the kid: during this the kid hit upon a far superior solution to the problem we were supposed to be addressing, and we then further argued over whether or not we should ask daddy-o before implementing it.

a lot of the time the developer has a better idea of what the client requires in terms of implementation, but every now and again there are non-obvious reasons to use a sub-optimal solution. eventually i walked into his office and asked him, with the kid standing by: he apologetically informed us of the reason for the sub-optimal, and the kid had to concede ;)

the bus to work sucked - klapvoet and too many people. i sat chatting with a guy from our previous section halfway there, and the rest i had to fend for myself. walking into four hours of hell work, i had a talk with the boss who has decided that the protocol i've laid down is good as is, but has informed me that i'm being moved to full-time web development.

i dislike web development, most especially because it covers most of my cv and is possibly the most worthless experience i have (worse than casual sales for incredible connection? worse than driving for mr. delivery? i think so). having to sit through nql's explanations, though, when he's virtually impossible to understand in english or hebrew and has a really odd way of demonstrating things, and is a bit of an idiot (although his knowledge of php functions and linux tools is impressive) really agitated me.

and in the middle of all that he began explaining how we'd have to go through a large portion of code in order to figure out what we'll need... if that's not a case for "start frikkin' documenting!" then i don't know what is.

aside from an hour's supper break (i just needed to space out), i worked the entire time and was not enjoying myself.

i got home, changed, and went with spot to the cafeneto: sunshine got the first real smile from me all day :)

i had a 15 minute chat with my mother, just to update her on the proceedings that aren't really, and had to get all this shit out before showering and going to bed. i've switched to the new blogger, i'm hoping it really will be more stable.

i finally remembered to post a photo of the trophy i organized for the bull. [whose image has since disappeared]

Sunday, January 14, 2007

resolution!



belarc advisor - you complete me! two seconds is all it took; for that it was worth putting up with the jibes in irc:

[current topic: why do all the real wierd questions come from the 3rd world?]
<totalwaste> does anyone know of a tool that i can use to identify my motherboard model and / or sound card when windows fails utterly to do so (onboard audio)? this is a question from the semi-first world :P
<stranger> semi-first world?
<helpful person> Canada.
<helpful person> You can try belarc advisor.
<totalwaste> belarc advisor? what / where?
<helpful person> You may now remove the word "geek" from your nick.
<totalwaste> lol
<totalwaste> *hangs head in shame*
<totalwaste> doesn't it count that i'm a software engineer who doesn't do hardware problems?
<another helpful person> google for belarc
<totalwaste> alright - thanks guys :)
<helpful person> Not in any kind of way. Your first reaction should have been to google not ask what/where.
<another helpful person> I don't think that's gonna work tho
<another helpful person> cause I think Belarc's gonna tell you the same stuff Windows can tell you
<totalwaste> sorry, but "the googles" have been unhelpful in terms of "driver detection"

not they're wrong about not googling, but whatever :P

yay!

another big game



we stopped by cafeneto: one of the really cute waitresses took my details to help me out a bit with something, and sunshine arrived and wasn't at all bothered by the sms i'd sent her on thursday - her response was more in the way of apology that she didn't get back to me :)

SxS and mmf picked us up, and we included yogi on our way through to pituach. 24 people in the game, and while it took forever to get going it didn't take me too long to drop the ball and give spot all my chips :$

but aside from seeing some great poker, us losers got together for some serious x-boxing (with rocky ;)), and at least in that i came first.

we've just got home now, i need to shower and the week begins. it's an odd sensation, this r&d and sorting-out business: i really do feel like i'm just visiting :P

Saturday, January 13, 2007

unresolved



i have no idea what to do about driver detection - i'm absolutely hating downloading various applications that tell me exactly what i already know from the windows drivers. none of my install disks are relevant, and it appears that automatic driver detection doesn't really exist.

aside from that, we did some serious shopping yesterday, including a new washing line which has only taken 3 months of arguing about. the afternoon was spent reading and sleeping, and the kid and i left for his shag's birthday party around 10pm. we'd been given incorrect information, and only arrived approximately 11pm (after my coffee, we had to).

there was a girl there i've had my eye on since before she left our base about a year ago, and i was chatting with her and her friend for so long that i didn't notice the time - so much for going to the massive party at the meimad :(

i'm feeling like a total slut. things started rolling with her friend, and at some point we were making out on the couch, and all i could think of was a) i'd rather be with her friend and b) she doesn't fit my needs (aside from being kinda cute and fun to converse with) and things will not end well.

at the same time, though, i can't help but admit that it's nice to be (relatively) intimate with someone even if she's not what i'm looking for.

we spent an hour or so in the freezing cold looking for one of the girls' car: how the hell do you not pay attention to where you parked? we eventually gave up, joined the others and a bunch of us went to buy sambusak and took it back to our place, for a couple of hours chilling in the lounge. cosy.

we said goodbye - i don't so much as remember the girl's name and when she asked if i'd call her i mumbled something non-committal, then slept about six hours and woke up in time to let spot's mother in. she was here for a few hours cooking us lunch, then left before lunch began. i won't pretend to understand what that was about.

during this time my computer, for a period of a couple of hours, REFUSED to boot. it's happened before, and there doesn't seem to be any particular reason for it. i eventually opened up the pc to re-seat the video card; forgetting in my stressed situation to check the name of the m/b manufacturer [idiot!]. it didn't help, i got annoyed and closed up the box again, plugged it in again anyway, and suddenly it worked.

i'm not sure what's more frustrating, the boot-up or the drivers.

we enjoyed lunch arguing over whether or not spot's mom should have a key to the apartment (i don't think so), just had great coffee (it's been a while), and are now on the way to a poker night at our friend in pituach, a farewell for SxS.

Friday, January 12, 2007

back to school



well, i've been feeling like i'm back in the student apartments; i seem to be the only person concerned with things like dishes, laundry, basic levels of hygiene... interesting that some people can do without these things.

i walked to the balcony last night, sat wallowing with a beer for a while and had a quick chat with ta2, then walked back home. i sat and chatted with the kid for a while before formatting and beginning the windows re-install.

i woke up to complete it - it's looking good aside from the lack of a sound driver (i don't know which manufacturer my card's from) and micro$oft's wga bullshit that won't let me install things like directx. i'm using an original work copy of windows that i received a couple of years ago when i belonged to a microsoft partner, and because i didn't keep any of the original packaging i can't update.

assholes.

i had to get dressed to go and buy washing powder (whatever happened to "oh, look! we're running low. maybe we should buy some more?"?), and now that i've managed to get my pc basically useable i need to figure out what else is on the cards for today. aside from hanging out the laundry and being pissy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

absolute disappointment

good thing i read the comments on chitty's blog

the penny dropped on my way home from work: a couple of months ago i was offered exactly the assistance that i now need, and i rejected it outright. it's not that the risks were any different, but if i'd actually had the presence of mind to inquire further i would have known then what i needed to do, not a month before my release date.

there's nothing like being horrifically disappointed in oneself. i sat alone at the cafeneto (i had to eat), just staring at the wall and ruminating over my stupidity. talking to my mother did help a little - at least she didn't disagree with me about my idiocy.
let's just say that i've definitely learned a lesson, and a lot more humility than i thought i had in me. my army experience has taught me, over the years, that i'm not as intelligent as i always thought.

i moped home, sat for a while zoned out with a cup of hot chocolate, had a shower and went to bed.

the kid, his shag and i got to base late this morning, after a huge fight over whether or not my feeling like a moron is justified. as i said above, it's not about the decision, it's about my lack of curiosity. for something this important to me, i didn't handle the situation with appropriate care.

anyway, i walked into my SC's office and apologized, and we talked about what needs to be done. during the day we did progress a little, but it really is complicated :S

i spent the day working with the forms / java thing: gotta love oracle. the only command that allows communication between the form and the bean is completely undocumented. it's definitely validated - it won't compile if the parameters aren't correct - but the online help doesn't acknowledge its existence unless it's saying "use Set_Custom_Property to do x" without examples.

so after cursing a little (not under my breath, everyone was smiling and saying "yep, totalwaste's back"), i found a computer with internet access and discovered a forum posting by somebody with the same grievance. a long set of posts later, and i found a couple of almost-relevant examples from people who'd employed that far-superior-to-documentation tactic of trial-and-error. fortunately somebody mentioned another function (Set_Item_Instance_Property) which turned out to have an almost identical parameter listing, because without seeing it i would never have gotten the example to work.

at least it finally worked, but it took a while for the stream of curses to slow.

i read a bit from digital communication (a tidy recap on probability) on the bus to work, and then walked in to discover that spot's been canned. i must be honest, i didn't see that coming so quickly; 20/20 hindsight, however, allows me to see the long conversation i had with the boss last night as completely riddled with hints.

nql and i finally finished the image producer, which is in production and looking sharp.
it unfortunately took a long time to discover that what appeared to be a really weird bug in the application was actually the windows viewer adding a border around the picture... DOH! i haven't done web development in a long time - i'm forgiving myself for forgetting that the only valid check is through a browser :S

wolfman enlightened me as to writing a good cv (and i thought i had a clue), and i've now written out a draft for the development team policy that we're going to have to start working against because our entire system is a bloody mess.

it's been a long day, i'm leaving and hoping that the weekend will be a good one. got lots to do, and no inclination to do any of it, but isn't that normal?

everyone's been talking about the iphone today - i must admit they've outdone themselves. again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

no postage



as my pc's having a fit (it's now a glorified stereo system), and i'm under a fair amount of pressure, this post's a tad tricky.

monday night:

after work, spot and i stopped by cafeneto. we had to wait a long time before sunshine got a break; i finally got her number, but haven't had any use out of it.
must - organize - time - better.

fighting with anapod's uninstall and installing itunes turned out to be a bloody stupid idea. i have full admin access to my pc, except for the logout / shutdown button and the task manager. and i can't connect to the network, either :S

i had a nothing day on tuesday; i was welcomed back by my commanders as they caught me with my feet up twiddling my thumbs, and the trek to register back onto the base that's supposed to take up to two days wasted a full 10 minute - only because i got caught in the middle by a phone-call telling me that i had work to do.
yeah, right. i laughed at my SC - that might not have been too smart. especially considering that i need to ask an insane favour of him tomorrow.

i got to work early, and left work early. nql was giving me shit, and as usual it turned out that i was right (i'm not sure if i'd prefer his shouting at me if he was correct, but whatever), and i had to do a quick study of some seriously backwards php.

poker: seeing the guys was great, the game was rediculous. at one point i was chip leader in a disgusting way (my chips overfloweth'd), but i made a stupid call and grootbek ripping a ton of them away from me began a downhill trend that saw me out of the top four :(

i got home to laundry issues - nobody's doing any and it's driving me nuts. i'd forgotten was a giant drag some of the shared aspects of flatmates can be.
my pc's unbearable - i have to backup and format and everyone hates that.

i spent the morning updating my cv. that was a lot more complicated than it should have been.

i broke my promise to myself and ate lunch in the mess hall. it was disgusting. i deserved that.

experimental beans - i've been assigned all the nifty shit that nobody has time for, and today i had great fun running a full java app through oracle developer. aside from actually working (supplies!), it has tons of potential. if i can get the integration to work both ways...

i came to work, and then rushed off to an important meeting. the place we met reminded me of a museum i visited a few years back; the discussion was most positive and i walked away not only hopeful, but with a plan of action. unfortunately, it's now time to request big assistance, and take big risks, but hopefully things'll pan out.

today's rent day, and i'm assuming that the fact that nobody's contacted me in a flat panic is a good thing.

the boss caught up with me, we had a lengthy meeting covering all sorts of topics. i now have to write new work policies - not fun, but useful.

php image madness! fun tools! that only work in theory! crappola! i'm going home now.

winston churchill quotes

and ssdd and the church have great news!

Monday, January 08, 2007

silly me



it sucks going back to my old base, after saying goodbye so completely, to do absolutely nothing until either i'm released, or somebody sorts out the shit that got screwed up.

so i spent the day milling around, the only thing i actually *did* was play volleyball. and respond to the hundreds of soldiers going "what the hell are you doing here?"

i had quite the email conversation with tgtbt - she really isn't handling and it's for the exact same reason i keep going through hell when leaving south africa. i hope what i sent back was regarded in the light it was intended, as advice and not as a sermon.

work's been alright tonight, sushi was good, and i had a chat with the boss and we're totally clear on just how unclear my situation is right now.

i will be interviewing a lot during the next month, if i can get my shit together.

i've now been reassigned at work as spot's little helper... this should be interesting. c'mon spot - let's see you manage!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

ah, israel, how i've missed you

no, really. i wouldn't joke about something like that.



i didn't go out the other night - my last night in cape town and i passed out into such deep slumber that there was no returning until morning. i'm still irritated about that.

i spent the last morning getting photos printed and doing some last minute shopping with my mother. protoplasm, cuz and family, and my sister and her son came over during the packing to say goodbye, and then we were off.

it's always a very confusing time. leaving cape town is never easy. as luck would have it, my mother saved the day by accidentally having brought my israeli sim card with her - that would have been disastrous if i'd left it behind.

i don't really remember the flight to johannesburg. except that one of the engine bolts was loose, and during landing it kept sliding in and out. worrying, that. i was going to mention it on the way out, but aside from the fact that i was in a hurry, everyone behind me was pushing to get out. here's hoping it's no biggie.

i fortunately made my connecting flight, and had about an hour to spare ambling aimlessly around the duty free area, reading, smoking last cigarettes, and boarding was delayed so we spent about half an hour just sitting by the gate waiting.

the flight back was actually quite pleasant - the lady next to me wasn't talkative, but was polite, and i didn't have to get up the entire time. i just dozed or read, and watched the movie step up, which wasn't too bad if you actually like dance.

i got off the plane at 7am, got my baggage, and took the train to tel aviv. i got home, showered and shaved and brushed my teeth, and went to my base to pick up my things from the kid's desk. everyone was surprised to see me - i wasn't supposed to go back there at all - but i didn't have much time so i just said hi and disappeared.

the mongoose was upset about my not having contacted him before i left for south africa; it was only this afternoon that we finally got the story sorted out. i dropped off his gifts, and made my way to the primary base.

our commander there is usually the source of all our problems, but today she was actually pleasant and trying to be helpful. unfortunately, somebody else fucked everything up, and i've been sent back to the base i've just left. i have about a month to go before i'm released... and i don't actually have anything to do now that piles has replaced me... and i've already said goodbye...

i called up my commander to inform him that i'll be back in the office tomorrow. i'm fairly relaxed about the whole thing; at least i have contingency plans. worst case, i'm essentially getting a month's holiday to sort out my post-army shit.

after screaming at the secretariat for a bit, i went to work to say hi and have lunch with spot. and the new "programmer": i walked in, and finally had an opportunity to shout "who are you? and why are you sitting in my seat?" :P

i came home, slept for a couple of hours, woke up and had a chat with the kid, messed around online for a bit, and went to cafeneto to sit with spot again. all the friendly waitresses were there tonight except for sunshine... i can't say i'm not disappointed. i'm now going to have a shower and go to sleep; i guess tomorrow's a "normal" day for me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

continuous beat



ah - i just got back from watching kiss kiss bang bang and the ant bully at protoplasm's, the first is awesome and the second is cute. on my way home, i turned a corner and found myself on the right side of the road - that was pretty scary and freaked me out for the rest of the drive :S

yesterday afternoon my mother and i went to my uncle's place for drinks. it's been much easier to talk to him since my father pegged, at least i don't have to worry about letting too much slip.
my sister rocked up and we went to inspect my mother's new apartment, and then i came home and read for a bit until hellraiser arrived. we sat chatting for a while, then moved on to call-a-pizza.

aside from getting a great pizza (hellraiser: thanks again!), i was on a mission to get another cd before i leave. slug was visiting, eating pizza (strangely enough), so after listening to one of his discs i asked if i should just buy it off him directly.

the call-a-pizza guys sell trance albums, and it's a great attraction to the store. the fact that all the cash gets back to the artists is just great, cause that's the whole point of not downloading them in the first place :D

so slug told me to pay the mad hatter, and because hellraiser had sponsored dinner i had enough for two discs, and i got a third one free. now that i've had a chance to listen to them i gotta say that i'm well impressed with my new purchases ^_^

and it was nice to see that i made it into the video they took from the vortex :P
they can't give me a copy, though - so as usual i'll just have to rely on my memories until the next one :(

we went through to hellraiser's for a bit; really nice pad. on the way in it kept running through my head that the building he's staying in is the one i lost my virginity in - not very meaningful, but amusing nonetheless. i left just as the post-pizza trauma began to set in, and went straight to bed.

i woke up early this morning, and my mother dropped me off at uct to check out the library. every time i walk in there i want to sign up for an arbitrary course just as an excuse to sit there day in and day out learning.
i kept walking up and down the shelves wanting to be able to suck out all the knowledge from the books just by touching them - they have an unbelievably large collection of books covering topics that really interest me, and i'm sure i'll never really find the time to go through any of them :(

we spent the rest of the morning shopping; i found an interesting looking book on digital communications so i'll start peeking on the flight back. the flight back is all too soon :(

we went to my other aunt's place for coffee, then to canal walk for Even More ShoppingTM, and finally back to sea point.

i was at my cousin's place in the afternoon, we were sitting and talking outside when my brother suddenly rocked up. i enjoyed spending some time with him - it's not that he's a bad guy, he's just an asshole. i'm no less disappointed in him than i was before, but i almost always enjoy his company.

i'm now taking a break before heading back to town... my last night in south africa, and i don't know for how long :( [as usual, dumbass. stop whining!]

Thursday, January 04, 2007

happier new year!

i'm containing an internal tempest of mixed emotions; the external appearance of sanity is caused by the eye of the storm - numbness is my saviour.

i feel like 2006 took something vital away from me last year - i feel like my inner child has been beaten and locked in a cupboard, and although i've now let him out again it's going to take a while before i can regain his trust.

i think that's me taking feeling sorry for myself to a whole new level :P

tgtbt is going through what i've been dealing with for years now - it's really hard to come back to cape town, see wonderful things, and then have to leave again. keeping perspective isn't easy, especially when it's impossible to know what the future's got in store. it's taken six years for me to start seeing positive results; if my patience isn't a mark of insanity i don't know what is.

back to the journal.

30th dec: we spent the afternoon hunting for white zinc sunblock. up and down sea point we walked, and eventually had to accept the fact that only one store stocked it, and not in the desired colour. so i settled for greens and black.

SxS had to go in to nando's, and we ran into some old friends of mine who'd apparently been looking for me. chances?

we met up with protoplasm that night and went to fiction, which is quite a nice place. we met a couple of girls there, more on that later.

vortex:

the drive there was alright, and we arrived around noon. we found aeroplane and his friends, and we pitched our tent with theirs. it's so much easier to do that with hours of sunshine to spare :)

last year i had an issue with my shorts splitting - this year it happened in the first couple of hours, so i changed *before* hitting the dancefloor. still annoying, but not as embarrassing.

tgtbt's mother and brother arrived, so in the evening we had a whole family mission going - that was really nice. i'm a bit disappointed that my sister's SO wasn't interested, or she'd have come too, and i've pretty much given up on my mother coming (i've been trying for years).

about an hour or so before the countdown (a time for mass communication) i sent an sms to one of the girls from the night before: in order to alleviate the tremendous pressure of bringing in the new year on a sensual note; i thought to send now, as opposed to during the eleventh hour when i shall be "celluarly naked" or "sans signal" [or just otherwise indisposed], a virtual kiss to usher in 2007. Happy new year!

i supposed it could be considered effective as i went on a date with her on the 2nd, more on that later. i think my sms was beaten by the guy who sent protoplasm an sms saying that the wishes from the year before hadn't helped, so if he could be sent petrol vouchers, porn and other useful things he'd appreciate it. the political one was quite good too: the last of the saddam t-shirts are still available! they're a bit tight around the neck, but they hang well!

ushering in the new year? superbly done. a bunch of friends all being silly, unbelievably solid music (i'm convinced that the track played after the countdown was from the disc i bought last week), and fireworks. we spent a couple of hours on the dancefloor, stomping our hearts out and grinning like idiots ^_^

my mommy told me to wear sunscreen, so in the morning i commissioned some work from aeroplane - he zinc'ed my head and neck with bright green, and i did the rest of my body and eyes with dark green and black. i couldn't touch anything or anyone until after i'd gotten home and showered - a day later - but some of the reactions were amusing as hell.

i'm only upset about the fact that i don't really know how to talk to little children. i was at a loss when a couple of kids began screaming "alien! alien!" whenever they saw me, and i couldn't hold up during the interrogation:
"do aliens like bubblegum?"
"do aliens like seaweed?"
"do aliens swim?"

one little boy asked me how i got so green, and i felt totally unimaginative after i told him. we're not really supposed to need training for this sort of thing, are we?

in the evening we sat up on a hill and watched an absolutely stunning sunset. i wish my camera could have caught even an inkling of the depth of beauty that surrounded us; simply awe-inspiring.

i slept the 2nd night away, waking up at the crack of dawn to warm up to some really good sets. tgtbt rocked up around 7am, for one last session before going back to the states. it was heartbreaking to see her face as she left.

post-vortex:

we left the site around 9am, and arrived home about an hour later. after an hour attempting to clean myself up - not much luck there - we went off to new york bagels for breakfast. afterwards i went to the waterfront, to say hi to some of my mom's friends and change money, and from there i went with protoplasm to the beach.

we were planning on napping, but the full-contact rugby behind us and the assholes flinging sand about next to us kept me agitated. we went to cafe vespa for a drink (which hit me REALLY hard), and then i went home to eat before going out with the girl from the 30th.

i don't date well, and i was exhausted (hell, i'm still exhausted). i was surprised to discover on our way into town that she's only 18, i'd been certain she was 22+ when i met her. i suppose it helps that she's taller than me :P

we had a pleasant drink at relish, which has a really great view of the mountains, before i dropped her at home and returned to bed. it was pleasant, but for me highly awkward and irritating because aside from my general state of wooziness after a tiring few days, i *know* that anything i say regarding myself comes out incredibly stupidly.
i keep skirting round what it is that i actually do, and although i have other things to talk about there're things which have (to me) obvious missing pieces. if i think that what i'm saying sounds like a load of crap, then surely she couldn't have missed it?

yesterday:

after SxS left for johannesburg, my mother and i went shopping, and i found some nice gifts. we ate at kauai, which is always good, and then went up to my aunt's place for coffee. i passed out on the couch when i got home, and then got a ride to shadowslight's to watch the hogfather and jesus christ: vampire killer with the gang. it was really nice seeing everyone, even if it wasn't for very long.

short holidays really do suck. although not as much as no holidays.

the pizza was great, although it made me feel quite ill until just before i went to bed.

today:

sleeping, reading, television. i've got things to do, but i'm comfortably spaced-out at the moment. now to continue doing not-much.