Sunday, March 30, 2008

the last supper

it began with drinks at rick's, was followed by a short rescue mission to percy's, and after a hunt for matches (how did i get selected, when i don't smoke?) we went up to deer park for an hour or two. it was quite warm, and from there we moved down to the beach - where it was pretty damn cold.

if you're too enebriated to walk, you're too enebriated to drive: we were very happy that we weren't victims of the moron who tried to park in the road adjacent to my mom's apartment, we only narrowly escaped sharing the fate of the car across from us.

i went shopping with my mother in the morning, we had coffee and then i crashed for a bit. i was tired, and i almost didn't go for drinks in the afternoon - fortunately for me i mentally kicked myself for not going before making that mistake :P

i sadly packed up after getting back home, and then drove with my mum to camp's bay for sundowners before heading to my aunt's place for chai and existentialism. there is no place for god once you've begun asking the "wrong" questions, but for the sake of sanity it is imperative to continue to see the magic in our day-to-day lives. this world is incredible in spite of its rational explanations, and when we cease to wonder and enjoy we do ourselves a disservice - myself as a case in point.

it's time for me to learn to love again.

i'm post coconut ginger noodles and heading for the shower, biting my lip and contemplating the week ahead. it's been a good and necessary visit even if i did squander lots of it on sleep, and i go back armed with some interesting advice and a couple of tasks that, once performed, should pave the way forward nicely.

the mother city is both beautiful and magical. i'm already homesick. again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

packed schedule

i went to bed with a book (j.v. jones - a fortress of grey ice), and got distracted by tool. after passing in and out of consciousness for a couple of hours i decided i needed to go for a walk, and off i went to the lighthouse... somehow managing to bump into my british cousins on the way, which was a bit coincidental.

the walk itself was quite refreshing, i came back, showered and quite soon after friday night dinner began. it was a great evening with lots of chatter, but ended rather later than anticipated... i rocked up at sweetiepie's place just as she got an SOS sms and we skipped off to tableview to perform a search and rescue.

i wasn't allowed into the club on account of my baggies, but i didn't really want to enter: horrible music, totally unclassy joint with even less classy patrons. sweetiepie and i argued for an hour while waiting for her friends* after i stated that it's criminal how the radio stations have narrowed their playlists to utter shite when radio is still pretty much the method of discovering music for the masses.

*friends: people who call in the middle of the night, desperate for a ride home and then have to stay for one more drink

i began to feel awful on the way back from the badlands, and actually had to take a headache tablet before going to sleep. the morning was a bit better, although slow.

after a quick, annoying run through canal walk my mum and i drove out to the farm for lunch with my israeli cousin and her sister, and we're now on our way out to tea with canadian cousins before i begin my "last supper".

Friday, March 28, 2008

end of three

i just finished watching the first three seasons of futurama - i got through the last disc with mint chocolate, white rabbit sweets, prawn snacks, a couple of bottles of hunter's dry and the ability to stomache "i, meatbag" with no external aids.

now life feels so empty.

in other news, i woke up early to take my second mom shopping, which was a horrible experience - and i don't even *like* shopping.

i think this vacation has turned me into an alcoholic. i'm going back to bed.

the trade

the first item on today's agenda was buying dystopia's WOW cards. i discovered that while the food at kauai may be good and healthy, three panels of the menu were filled with items whose names i cannot bring myself to say out loud in a public forum.

i will never ask for a "rooster booster burger", and the day i ask for a "princess wrap" is the day i walk out wearing a tutu. even the drinks' names have been emasculated. and while the wrap that i did order was good, the peanut butter smoothie contained a giant rubbery egg that began to split when i neared the bottom of the cup, and that was incredibly off-putting.

i arrived back in sea point just in time for my appointment to get my neck waxed... my tat's had a haircut and is no longer sporting a 'fro.

i spent the rest of the afternoon watching futurama, then met up with sweetiepie for a beer. on the way i was disappointed to learn that there is no trance party on the weekend, and i was kinda relying on that as a solid send-off. *expletive deleted here*

my mom and i had dinner with some english cousins, which was really nice. unlike israel, in south africa i can ask for a steak just shy of medium rare and expect to get it as such. and the quantity and quality of the meat is fantastic.

i'm exhausted, and depressed that i'm leaving so soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

oysters!

that's the first non-futurama thing i did today, and it was absolutely brilliant. i went with aeroplane and his girlfriend to baluga's for an oyster, cocktail and sushi / sashimi lunch, and then we went shopping in town.

oysters are good. the first one i kinda chewed a bit, the second one i let slide around my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing whole. i was careful both times to ensure that i hadn't overdone the black pepper, lemon juice and tabasco because i have this issue about eating seafood without properly tasting it.

in the evening i met up with my israeli cousin from the kibbutz in israel, who's staying at her sister's place in fresnaye - stunning place! after an hour or so with them, my mother and i went for dinner at the pizzeria that hasn't changed one iota in fifty years. we were treated by my uncle whose girlfriend is israeli, so the discussion was mostly political :(

after that i met up with hyperviper and noddie for drinks at rick's, which turned into extended drinks at percy's... it was a decent evening.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the easter bunny



good friday:

i did nothing but lie on the couch reading and sleeping. that would have summed up the day if sweetiepie hadn't gotten in touch. going out for drinks with her would only have been more pleasureable if we hadn't picked a gay bar where the waiter felt obliged to put his hand on me every time he stopped at our table.

on saturday morning i paid my sister and her boyfriend a visit, had a cup of coffee with them and picked up the sleeping bag. soon after returning home protoplasm arrived, and we were off.

in short, with quite a lot of effort put into maintaining some form of chronological order:

  • we arrived with the wind picking up, and i'm still surprised that our campsite didn't fold even at its peak. when the wind died down the sun's effect was made apparent for about half a day, and when we awoke on the last morning it was to break camp in the rain.

    the dancefloor began as lush green grass, but by yesterday morning was trampled and muddy. fortunately, the amount of rain was exactly right for stomping, and the temperature on the dancefloor was just north of cool and there's nothing better than dancing in the rain!

  • during the course of the festival there were only two frightened children who i couldn't placate by waving and bobbing my head like it was on a spring. in addition to those two, there was one little girl whose father noticed that she was staring wide-eyed at me, and he lifted her up onto his knee and explained in a completely rational voice that this was what happened to children who don't listen to their daddies.

  • a lot of people took photos of me or tried to follow me with video cameras, but some people were polite enough to ask me to pose for them. for every pose i stuck my bum at the camera - relatively few people had noticed the highly amusing tail that i'd affixed to my belt.
    some of those that did notice thought that grabbing it would be a good idea - i'm actually impressed that nobody managed to rip it off!

  • we were discussing the hunt for tent-poles on the dancefloor, and THE vortex decorator (the decorations were incredible this year, as usual) not only pointed us towards bits that they'd discarded, but even offered to avail us of his chainsaw.
    awesome.

  • wearing gumboots at night was an absolutely superb idea. i still managed to obtain a couple of nasty splinters when barefoot during the day, but milling around at night without worry was great.

  • i thought i saw tgtbt walking towards the dancefloor, but it was dark so i wasn't quite certain. i followed her, and when i got close enough to be sure i greeted her and began chatting... only to be asked twenty seconds later to identify myself. her brother had simply forgotten to inform her of my get-up, so as soon as that was out the way we could actually chat for a bit before finding said brother on the dancefloor.

    i didn't see her again the entire time, which was a bit odd.

  • the first morning's coffee mission involved hunting change, which basically meant waking up before drinking it :S

  • while handing out marshmallows (i brought 50, and that definitely wasn't enough), i gave one to a tiny girl who got all excited... until she took a bite. apparently strawberry marshmallow isn't her thing, because she force-fed me the remainder. i suspect that that was to verify that it wasn't poison.

  • i had an argument with someone who was trying to give me an easter egg, when i was standing there with one in each hand trying to give to others...

  • one of the guys camping with us wasn't sober when he began chatting with a friend of his on the dancefloor, also not quite sober. i only saw the results of their conversation from a distance, however, and didn't have a clue that the initiation was such a frightening experience for our camping buddy until he came out of hiding quite a while later.

    in mid-sentence, his friend removed his shirt, and once he'd removed his underwear he asked our buddy why the hell he was still wearing clothes. from my vantage point, i just saw everyone take about twenty steps back, leaving this poor dude standing there naked, leaning on a stick, amusing the ladies with his lack of interest and smiling a smile that really is difficult to describe.

    he was removed from the dancefloor, only to re-appear about twenty minutes later. the security boys tried talking to him, but lost patience eventually and shoved him away.

    the debate that took place afterwards focused on the whether or not it's okay to get naked at a trance festival. i was accused of being just as bad with my freaky outfit, but most of us agreed that although my costume bothered a few people, it wasn't on the same level of offensive as nudity as far as most people are concerned.

    it's a society thing, killer bunnies are simply more acceptable.

  • i was drinking a hunter's with a straw thoughtfully inserted through my mask by protoplasm's sister. some girl accosted me on the dancefloor, ripped the straw out of my mouth and demanded to know why i was wearing such a scary mask. she was aggressive enough that the guys behind me went on alert, and i just looked at her and stupidly threw away the opportunity to steal the perfect line from donnie darko: "why are you wearing such a scary mask?"

  • i find it interesting that people that i'd danced with and chatted to while dressed up as the easter bunny had absolutely no clue that it was me, even when i (disguised as myself) continued conversations or displayed my tattoo.
    apparently a face mask really is all it takes!

  • i was waiting for someone (see next item) by the chillout tent, and i found it really strange and disquieting that everyone in there was sitting and watching television. who goes to a festival to watch the telly?

  • a girl who i last saw in 1997 (we'd spent about half a year in israel in '96 together) arrived in the morning, and i know she'd paid attention to my messages because she didn't scream when the easter bunny immediately picked her up in a bear hug and jumped around with her for a bit.

    we met up on sunday night to sit and catch up, which was quite enjoyable. we began at the place where the first morning's coffee mission began, and the woman working there was dealing with us without looking up. when she eventually turned our way she just froze, then giggled, looked away and continued to look away (giggling) because she couldn't deal with the bunny suit.

    i learned something extremely valuable that night: not all canned meat is okay. i tried to eat canned meatballs and couldn't manage more than half a serving.

  • i watched a number of people unsuccessfully trying to communicate with a great big dog on the dancefloor, and when i saw someone get a response i was surprised to notice (in spite of the music) that the commands were being given in hebrew. we started talking, and although we're both convinced that we've met before neither of us has a clue where. weird.

  • sunday was HOT, so in the afternoon i had a freezing cold shower that was absolutely brilliant. i was considering taking a dip in the small brook, until i went to stand next to it and saw that it wasn't quite as... hygienic as i would have liked.

  • speaking of ablutions, the toilets were relatively well taken care of. as usual, i'm impressed with myself for not actually needing to sit down the entire weekend. i suspect it has to do with the amount of energy i expend bouncing up and down.

  • in the hot sun on sunday afternoon we sat relaxing at our campsite. one of the girls looked at me and loudly informed me that i require a neck-wax.
    "thanks," i replied, "at least everyone else has the good grace not to talk about it."

  • in the evening i went to the car to retrieve my sketchbook, and met some interesting neighbours. one of them was kindly examining my scribblings and comparing them to those of her nine year-old son's... i'm obviously not in the big leagues yet :P

  • the second night was absolutely infuriating. not only was the music inappropriate - it was extremely good house, but trance parties are for [*gasp*] trance - but our neighbours on two sides spent the night talking crap at high volume and "accidentally" blowing the horn repeatedly for about half an hour.

  • after breaking camp, i realized that i'd forgotten about the chocolate chip cookies and we made a mission to the dancefloor with the biscuit tin. we bought coffee in returnable tin cups and sat at the back with the crazy folk. it was really hot and i immediately removed my poncho and shirt and began dancing around, putting my tin cup on the ground next to the biscuit tin because i didn't fancy losing the coffee.

    some roasted individual staggered over to beg a cookie, and although i was only too happy for him to take one i was concerned for my coffee's well-being when he began stumbling towards me to thank me (i recognized the look), and i frantically waved at him to stop - to no avail. not only did he only just barely miss the tin cup, but he closed in on me, put a hand on my shoulder and sprayed crumbs all over me as he hastened (in his way) to explain that he wasn't going to take any more.

    would that he had not felt the urge to share so much of his gains, i would happily have donated further.

  • the girl dancing next to me with a giant smiley-faced helium balloon had the most gorgeous, heartwarming smile. that's something i treasure at these sorts of parties - they contain genuine smiles that you simply won't find anywhere else.

    i know that (especially yesterday morning when the music picked up) that i had a few moments of pure, beat-induced bliss, but i couldn't show it with the mask on... there were plenty of requests and demands throughout the weekend for me to unmask myself, but on the one occassion that i did i disappointed a couple of people so much that i couldn't bring myself to take that chance again.

    it's like magicians explaining their tricks - you just can't do that.

  • i'm very glad that i didn't take muscle-relaxants on the last day. my back was a bit sore, but i could feel the difference in the amount of energy i had for digging and jumping.

  • a good-looking woman stalked up to me, looked me in the eye and told me that i had bad dental hygiene - i pointed at my badge ("FALCONBERG DENTAL INSTITUTE") and waited for her to register the connection. she jumped a little, and i gave my best impression of a beast having triumphed in battle... i was forced to defend myself when she recovered enough to strike out at me :)

  • a cute, small girl launched herself at me with what i suspected was an attempt to remove my mask, but she could just as easily have been trying to either gouge out my eyes or kiss me (although that wouldn't have been a bad thing, i wasn't ready to risk my vision). i ducked, dived, ran and hid behind some other people, but she ran after me - after a couple of circles i sprinted off through the stomping grounds, through which she didn't manage to follow.

    now i wonder if that was a good idea or not :S

  • when there wasn't anyone to help push a straw through my mask, i simply put it through where my nose was meant to be and kept my head down, providing the illusion that i was snorting my drinks. this proved far easier to manage and produced way more laughter than the other way.

  • the guys i arrived with left early, but i scored a ride from a couple at our campsite and not only was their company on the drive home great, they decided to stay later. that meant that we were around for the best music played the entire weekend, and quite frankly pushed all the issues (like the night before) to insignificant and made my weekend.
after arriving at home, losing a five-litre bottle of water, having a shower and shaving the beard*, cuz's buddies picked me up and we went over to celebrate his brother k-twang's [i had to] birthday. aside from a most enjoyable evening and too much food (for me, at least), we got to hear chris cornell and muse playing the coke-fest [that's a worthwhile link]

after discovering just how uneducated i am (i was unfamiliar with dr zoidberg's apology dance) k-twang gave me the box set, and i've subsequently gone through more than half of it. pity it was such a beautiful day :P

i had a horrid haircut experience today, and i think i managed to piss off sweetiepie.

* it was feeling... odd. i'm fairly certain that that sensation was primarily caused by the dude spraying chocolate-chip cookie all over me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

leeching is back!

i just caught something shocking and horrifying on the telly: detox foot pads.

not only could they not find a *ahem* "doctor" capable of communicating an explanation, but their manipulations are so unbelievably transparent that you really do have to be a fool to be sucked in.

i'm not the only person complaining - the responses are amusing, though:
Are you a so called Pharma Blogger?
...
We gladly give away free samples at www.detoxion.com and we even pay for shipping. Plus, we offer a 100% money back guaranty on our Detoxion. We are not selling “snake oil”.

You are probably one of those who scoffed at acupuncture and herbs and other alternative medicines / treatments when they were first introduced to the Western culture.
i'm still laughing at the certification that's listed on the takara site: ISO? why would anybody care? although i suppose it's good to know that they're serious about ripping people off as efficiently as possible.

oh, and the fact that the pads are filled with goo that's the same colour as the "drawn-out" toxins isn't suspicious at all.

still slow and unsteady

the muscle relaxants kick ass - i slept beautifully this morning. all two or three hours that i slept, of course.

i woke up at cock-fart to take my second mom to the hospital, and had absolutely no idea that the next time i'd see her would be five hours later. i spent most of that time either trying to sleep in the parking lot by the clinic, or milling about the waterfront with watery eyes and a harsh hangover. i saw my niece, and joined her and her incredibly sexy portuguese co-worker for a cigarette break (sans cigarette, of course).

i did manage to organize my overalls and gumboots for the party, though. it's quality stuff and not too expensive. it would've been nice had i not taken a couple of wrong turns in paarden island.

i tried unsuccessfully to nap when we got home, which turned into staring into space and not quite following whatever was on the telly. i had to burn a couple of audio cds for the car from the music on my ipod... itunes doesn't make it impossible to do that - it just makes it frustratingly inconvenient.

around 5pm i went shopping, and after an amusing conversation with my aunt i went over to shadowslight's, where we watched sex and breakfast, a frighteningly awkward movie with unpredictable and unsatisfying plots and a couple of characters that simply aren't quite believable.

for instance - macaulay culkin in a sex scene just doesn't fit, and the character ellis cannot possibly be a human male.

we played a quick game of munchkin (+- 3 / 4 hours) in which i developed into a half-breed dark orc / gnome bard with a really impressive title ("harplord"). we had a family thing going as there was a gnome and a dark orc in play - we decided that the dark orc had to have been the female to account for the size of the child.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

coughing, hacking and doing silly things with energy cells

this chest infection has got to go. it's driving me nuts, but i'm not really so keen on antibiotics.

i was a bit hungover this morning when driving to the farm, but i successfully introduced my young canadian cousins to decent house. once at the farm we did the leisure thing for an hour or two, including a visit to the goats and consumption of the aforementioned goats' extremely delightful cheese.

we got caught in the traffic caused by this fun piece of news, and made a quick detour by my place to close the garage door (oops) before meeting up in town for lunch.

godmother and i said goodbye with a twenty-minute conversation wherein i pretty much sorted out my next few steps. i joined the kids on the beach for an hour or so - i out-frisbee'd myself - and then said goodbye and went home to shower... and returned to the highway in the middle of rush hour to pick up my mom from work.

after driving home and doing some shopping (i felt a bit faint after that), i spent some time fighting with my mother's flatscreen monitor (which seems to have come right all by itself, eventually) and my sister (i'm expected to fake a smile for her boyfriend's benefit, and i don't do that), and then met up with protoplasm and a friend at call-a-pizza.

i bought a new album, amoeba records - bundu bashers, had dinner, and then we all moved off to fiction. the first dj was complete shite, and when slug came on he began with a house set to smooth the transition. good house, but not trance, which he inserted into his set on numerous occasions due to popular demand :S [the psy-trance is where he's at]

so we drank, and we danced, and i hoarsely attempted to communicate, and i've just got home now... all ready for my four hours of sleep before saying goodbye to my mum for the weekend and taking my second mum to the hospital.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

since when?!?!

what the hell is this? how can it possibly be that in a country where it's kind of alright to stab people at random it's not okay to walk in the streets with a drink in hand? so a joint's okay, a beer isn't?

and i'm being told that this isn't a new thing?

i'm shocked, angry, irritated and frustrated, and in complete denial and a state of disbelief. or at least i was in denial and a state of disbelief until the freakin' arbitrary woman on the street warned me of the same thing.

ugh. aside from my disgust at the above:

we went for drinks to an apartment in a building that's a part of the urban renewal project, and it is absolutely stunning - like something out of a movie. after that i paid moonflake and zenstar a visit (along with synkronos) for a really nice evening.

afterwards i met up with noddie, and we went to the wrong party. right place, wrong time - at least we were a day early and not a day late. i wanted trance and we got indie rock, and i'm left with one question if i ignore the fact that the girls definitely did not meet with my preconceptions of indie chicks: does indie rock have to suck? according to the wikipedia it wasn't originally a genre.

after hanging about on the balcony (along with a bunch of other people who might also have been avoiding the cacophony inside) we moved over to the waiting room, where our conversation was punctuated by the odd girls arguing over the dalai lama, who's supposedly contemplating not just his navel, but the possibility of stepping down as the dalai lama.

weird.

do the chinese suck? yes. more than the rest of us "civilized" nations? not really.

the next two places on the itinerary were closed, so noddie dropped me off at my car and i came on home, quite disappointed, obviously, in the wake of my south-african worldview being shattered.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

i'll get better eventually

i woke up slightly less hurt, chauffer'ed my mum around (having to turn my shoulders to look in my blindspot) and then went for massage therapy. the man subjected my neck and back to some incredible pain, explained a whole bunch of things and warned me to start taking it easy.

apparently one of the curves of my spine isn't curved enough, which is a good explanation for the amount of strain the connecting muscles enjoy. and i've managed to damage two major tendons in my shoulders, most likely snowboarding.

i went to pick my mother up from work, which took a little longer than expected. she gave the company notice a few weeks ago and was unhappy that they'd demanded more notice than they deserved - now they've fired her. way to go, government-run institution! they got her to hate her job, and then fired her when she'd already quit. ingenious!

there were some things i wanted to do this afternoon, but instead i passed out reading and have just spent an hour or two scanning news and learning about io9.com, where i was blown away by eerie robotics and the original jetsons.

in other news: light miniaturization!

lamb and marshmallows

yup, i think i want an electric gee-tar. a couple of hours just sorta flew by, and i learned that my fingers require flexibility training. on the plus side, i can string together some really eerie sounds ^_^

one day, when i gain some stability. i had an interesting idea this evening, one that involves a working holiday when i'm done with my service. as for how to get through the rest of my service without cracking, i'm sure it'll come to me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

nagmerries

a whole string of them, one nightmare after the other.

then i woke up into the real one: my neck's all twisted and i had to drive to my mum's work to deliver something. after that i had to sort out a puncture (fortunately not by myself), and since i arrived home i've been lying on the couch or in bed hurting and feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

no need for smart 'n sexy

i had a lame night friday night instead, passing out on the couch.

saturday was fairly relaxed - the most exciting bit being shopping at the waterfront and running into both my nieces and aeroplane and his girlfriend.

we spent time with the family before spending more serious time with the family at one of the kids' bat mitzvah (confirmation), and had a pleasant evening of drinking, dancing, ogling jailbait and being introduced to many people who knew me as a child.

this morning began with a shopping trip to canal walk. i obtained a fantastic pair of pants, an incredible sweater, pretty good el-cheapo shoes and a great book before getting shopped out - and then we went to do the traditional shopping which pushed me over the edge. i'm not good with the consumer thing.

i've been learning about WOW TCG, it looks really good.

the afternoon was spent by the pool, relaxed with family, and then noddie picked me up and we went searching for a place for sundowners. neither of us was prepared to kiss the bouncer at caprice to get in, so we walked up and down until we gave up, visiting two other disappointing places before settling at the (now) protea hotel.

a couple of drinks later we moved to zula's, and i've just arrived home having passed my limit a while back - when you're spilling beer on yourself it's usually a big clue that you should chill.

the weekend was a lot more quiet than anticipated, and went by with far less women than desired. hmmmm.

Friday, March 14, 2008

hurriedly getting dressed

got up horribly early, drove my mum to work, unsuccessfully hunted for a place for breakfast, discovered that canvas prices in this country are absurdly high (inflation in general has taken its toll, south africa's no longer a cheap destination), came home, went to the beach, remembered *just* how rediculously cold the atlantic ocean is, sunburnedbathed, was forced into watching a bollywood film (and enjoyed it?!?!), had lunch with hyperviper (never before have i witnessed two women comparing who gets more ladies), had a nap, went with protoplasm and friend to call-a-pizza to buy tickets and hear thumpingly good trance, picked up my sister, came home, read and napped, chatted with mum, and am on my way out to a party that demands "smart 'n sexy" dress.

and i've definitely had too much to drink in the past 24 hours.

right...

i had a chilled couple of hours before going shopping with my mum, and then we hosted a bunch of aunts and cousins. lots of good food, but WAY too much dessert that really was over-the-top.

a sentence of mine that came out wrong, when discussing not knowing where an ex-girlfriend of mine lived: "well, i didn't ask her for a geography lesson!"

after that hyperviper and i met up for a drink. our talk was interesting, the ponce that interrupted us got it right the second time: "it's because i'm wearing a suit, or because i'm a c***, isn't it?"
hyperviper's response: "it's not because of the suit".

-- something about crossing lines --

i learned about lawrence welks today

apologizing for standard behaviour: we're so civilized. *maybe* we're prone to exaggeration.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

possible final post

the intermittency (i'm shocked to discover that that is a real word) of the wireless connection here is weaning me offline... so i have a great incentive to go outside.

or carry on reading.

mit's top ten emerging technologies is always entertaining.

sderot suing for lasers. we don't need no stinking lasers, we need to stop soaking damage and to retaliate with excessive force.
for all you media monkeys: excessive force is the minimum amount of force required to dissuade further aggression.

saying goodbye to polaroid - why aren't we using a decent replacement already?

silent voice transmission. does it matter if we call it telepathy or not? it's useful.

trying for silence

i went for a walk along the promenade, hoping to get some time alone with the waves. my stepping out into the light set off a buzz of activity: of course this is a good person to approach for cash in the middle of the night.

yeah, that sorta ruined it for me.

realm of possibility

the metallica documentary looks interesting.

good oil paintings representing internet memes: i had *no* idea that bert is evil!

just watching cnn - "is there anything we can do to stop israel from retaliating?"
please... i'm obviously stupid, so enlighten me: why shouldn't we retaliate? let's just soak up some more damage, give more concessions, keep helping these poor, helpless and fuck-off violent people to cause more suffering. we're so nice in the western world. so civilized. aren't we great?

urgh. my mom's wireless connection is sucking.

oh, and i got a response to my sms: "maybe, but also taken". now i remember what i found so charming :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

focusing

a day that began with two full-scale nightmares: one of being imprisoned and tortured in a really grotty place reminiscent of doom, and the next being caught outside a rather tall building in the middle of an air-raid.

i watched crash (i'd forgotten how good a movie that is), then went with my mum to her work so that i could take the car. i had breakfast with my aunt and her kids in mouille point - i almost missed the place because the huge building that's been stuck at the foundation level for about a decade has finally been completed - confusing. afterwards i took my other mommy fish shopping.

aaahh, proper fish 'n chips.

i picked up my sister when she was done with her day, the two of us picked up my mum, and then we went shopping. i haven't actually done anything today*, but driving around was good for me.

* aside from sending that girl from fiction an sms asking if she's still as gorgeous and interesting as i remember...

oh, and i ordered my mum a copy of max boot - war made new. i forgot to have it gift wrapped and south african customs will make her pay tax :S

i concur

i showered, but then i began watching the video of randy pausch's "last lecture" [full transcript]...

i really like his style.

scientist / astrologer compatibility: the entire discussion is interesting and amusing, but this post is by far the most insightful.

sarah lacy's crash & burn, in my opinion, is due not only to her lack of wit, but also to the general trend of interviewing. it gets worse as the years go by. i'm specifically referring to leading, and being decidedly boring.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the right start

a monkey-gland spur burger was well-placed for breakfast. our friendly waiter ismael's vigorous head-nodding didn't manage to convince me of the chocolate fruit-shake, though. chocolate is a bean, not a fruit.

on the way into town one of the guys pushing "the big issue" knocked on the window, and asked what subjects one needs to learn at school if one wants to become a fortune-teller. shadowslight's initial answer was finance, but i thought about it and the semantically correct answer is accounting.

i spent the afternoon with my canadian family and family friends, and it was relaxed and pleasant. i even did a substantial amount of driving, which was much-needed. after a chinese take-out dinner, i drove my mom back home before going out with noddie to a really nice place in town (nick's?) for a couple of drinks.

now i'm tired and i've had a lot to drink... but here showering before bed is a pleasure, not a chore :)

conviction

i'm still a little spaced out - probably not helped by the sleep deprivation, general weariness, or two bottles of amstel.

yesterday evening sammy gave me a ride and sat with me at the airport - not the usual tuesday night outing, but enjoyable nonetheless. and at least i have a witness now for when i say that airports don't like me :P

i ran into an old friend in the duty free - so old, in fact, that i didn't recognize him and didn't fully make the connection until after we'd done chatting for ten minutes. after the headslapping moment i didn't feel so bad, though. time takes its toll.

i hate flying. i always bitch, usually about the same old things. not enough space for my legs, so i couldn't sleep for forcefully shaking them constantly to keep the blood pumping. i read most of this month's wired, which is absolutely fascinating.
also, gas at high altitudes expands. i was not a happy camper.
also, my allergic reaction to the bee sting has gotten distractingly itchy.

the changeover was relatively painless, although the helpful bathroom attendant was a bit... too helpful, and the prices were outrageous. i was also reminded that fineliners don't do air-travel.

after my sister woke me up by force-feeding me coffee this evening, i went shopping with my mum and dirk diggler met up with us. after dinner protoplasm rocked up and we went to the waiting room, which has escher moments and a killer view.

i still haven't fully internalized my current location, i still haven't gotten in touch with everyone to say hi, but i'm damn sure of one thing: i'm going to take an anti-histamine, and i'm going to pass out until lunchtime.

and another thing i'm certain of: i don't wanna go back this time. the shower's got me convinced. israelis don't know about showers. they don't know about good food or manners either, but when it comes to showers they just don't have a clue.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

reminiscent of earlier horror

i slept really badly, and got up to a really bad sensation: they've begun renovating in the apartment directly above us. it sounds and feels like they're going to break through our ceiling at any moment, and it absolutely kills me that according to the city council there's no need whatsoever to inform the neighbours if you're planning on doing something like this.

absurd.

i sorted out money stuff, put my gym contract on hold, remembered to organize travel insurance, and have cleared my mail. one more item to sort out, and then it's time to get packing!

we don't like DST

so plastic bags aren't good, but they're not that bad either?

some quiet hope for a new home. if we can get off our asses we can get there in a reasonable amount of time, too

the man is right: phun ROCKS. i had an idea for this many years ago for industrial design, it seems somebody's got his eye on the ball!

i'm not confident in my abilities to remember the planets, even if a four year-old can...

a bit stuck

my neck's been giving me grief today, i think it's because i slept skew last night but since i got back from jogging it's been getting worse. singer came over to drop off a couple of discs and sit with us for israeli survivor - she massaged my neck while we watched and it hasn't helped as much as it should have :(

speaking of jogging - on the way back i suffered an expertly executed suicide attack by a terrorist bee... the damn thing managed to fly straight into my armpit and the initial pain was tremendous. as soon as the pain subsided i began to get paranoid that it would swell or that it hadn't been a mere bee (i didn't see the body, only the sting) - i'm extremely glad that my arm's alright and i haven't died yet. yay!

i've spent the past few hours playing games and sitting arbitrarily online, and i don't have anything to feel bad about. my holiday has begun!

i tried to burn a few more discs, and out of six attempts i have three successes. there's a chance i might reboot into windows, and a slighter greater chance that i'll just give up on the whole thing.

s'pity.

i complained to the le guffre guys that i keep receiving promotional offers by email and i don't have a printer... after explaining that i'm not going to go and buy a printer just to redeem their coupons they conceded that it would be alright if i just rocked up and whispered that i'm "in the loop".

right.

i'm already contemplating next year's holiday. i wonder if it's reasonable?

there is talk online of trent reznor's success. i'm really glad to have been a small part of it, and i'm really glad that the new avenue for artists has had some tar put down.
i don't think it's the death blow for the RIAA, but it's most certainly a good start.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

just don't give me an apple

okay, so i got a little sunburned. not too badly (although getting burned at all isn't good, i know, sorry mom, whatever), but what really terrifies me is that it was difficult to see my tat's colour this morning. the contrast is a bit sharper now, but if that's not an incentive to keep my skin snow white, i don't know what is.

the kid and i just watched the first two episodes of the unit, and it is awesome.

i've just had two audio burns (i need music for driving in sa) break, with the most useful message ever: "an error has occurred" coupled with an "OK" button. no, it's not okay. can you tell me what went wrong? can you give me a hint? goddamn it - you wanna play charades?!

i hate people who's attitude is "why should i provide more information when it should be completely obvious to anyone with more intelligence than a cabbage". i wish i didn't know so many of the fuckers.

gary gygax has passed away. i've never really noticed his name before, and while i'm sure he was an important figure i completely identify with scott kurtz, whose refusal to sell out impresses me no end.

speaking of kurtz, his other comic ding is nicely done - worth a look.

ru55's SO set me on to the flaming lips yesterday. their music videos [kick] [ass].

Friday, March 07, 2008

partially recovering

ahhh - the good stuff. the day began "testing" the kid's game - a really fun game - and getting the shopping out of the way. from there i took a slow walk to the park, to spend the sunny afternoon chilling with ze germans, ru55 and his SO, and a fair quantity of alcohol, and on the way home a rollerblading group slid past and i managed to catch up to them once i'd got my kit on.

the evening sliding through jaffa was stunning, i've just had a shower and i'm about to sort out the mess of papers on my floor before taking a nap.

no pressure - over.

drinks on wednesday night were fun, mostly spent screaming over the awesome music at each other: my teammates don't believe in the scientific method. after a long day and too much stout, i'm quite amazed that i was able to carry on a coherent argument in hebrew. it's a new high point for my linguistic capability. [as opposed to the new low point i expect when i arrive in south africa and try to communicate in english / afrikaans]

i was actually okay in the morning, and came in with a fine-tuned plan for my last day. that plan got shot to shit when we were called in for a two-hour talk on sexual harrassment (didn't we just have one of those?), wherein we made a successful and vocal argument for not paying attention and our commander closed the session with a joke: "why is a simulator like a vibrator?"...
the two girls sitting next to him simultaneously turned an interesting shade of mortified and we all scrambled to prevent him from carrying on.

after yet another chat regarding officer's course, we went off for lunch. i ran into the girl that interviewed me last week on the way to the mess hall.
at the end of the interview i told her i had prepared a list of questions for the magazine, the first being "why haven't i received my copy of last month's issue yet?"

she'd come to bring me my copy personally. isn't that sweet?

almost immediately afterwards our unit was called in to a giant rat-each-other-out session. everyone has to profile everyone else, and it wasted another two hours and gave me a headache.

i screwed up the bit about scoring everyone else - yes, that would be the majority of the peer-review. my mommy taught me that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. i may not adhere to that all the time, but i do when it's formal and written down somewhere.

so i marked a bunch of good scores as i saw fit (even that was difficult), and left the rest blank. i know it messes with the statistics, i know that nobody cares about who writes what, but i just can't bring myself to fill in the gaps in good conscience.

my TL took me aside and informed me that although i've been keeping much calmer, i'm still coming across as really aggressive and that i need to keep that in check.

in short: i need to work on my people skills.
my primary problem is that i don't really care about others' feelings because i am, myself, apathetic. it's hard to offend me unintentionally, and i assume that everyone else should feel the same.

i finished almost everything that remained on my reduced task list, and left with a dirty feeling of a job not completed and not well done. i don't like that feeling.

i had a quick reconciliatory chat with nystire on the way home, then stopped by singer's for a breezer and a massage. i put on buffalo springfield and closed my eyes for about an hour of pure, mindless bliss, then forced myself up and walked home, showered and passed out sinking into the enfolding embrace of my bed.

getting the stress and unhappiness of the last few weeks out of my head is a bit of a project, so i'm completely rationally sitting here wearing bunny ears and wondering what i need to organize before i fly.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

fading away

horrible morning! after a couple of hours of scurrying around i got to see the doctor (obviously they called me in the very second i managed to nod off), and he literally just handed me my two scraps of "you're okay" paper and wished me a good day.

suck. all because there're a bunch of hyper-sensitive clods who panic and have breakdowns if their doctor hints at bad news over the phone.
"but they're not hurting anyone!", i hear you suggest, ever so politely.
yes, they are. they're hurting people like me.

the day sucked, filled with loads of bad luck and irritations. just when things finally seemed to be working out, something i was working on put its legs up in the air and died. [that's a metaphor, i don't work on anything that can actually think]

i forgot to mention yesterday that in darwin's watch terry pratchett makes a reference to an old judge dredd story... that was a totally random sweet moment for me :)

nin - ghost finally downloaded and it's really, really good.

i'm off to have a day-early weekend-closing drink with my co-workers, i hope i can open my eyes tomorrow morning.

linear algebra: slow learner

(totalwaste * coffee) + goat's cheese =
headaches + dizziness + anguish + upset stomach

yep, i shouldna done that.

sammy and i went to the usual bar and ran into one of my previous teammates, who convinced me to go next door to the concert (after having a beer at the first bar, of course).

einav jackson cohen is really, really good. i think that's the first pianist i've heard in a concert setting, and her music and her lyrics are interesting and impressive.

i got home really late, slept badly, and i'm now taking my hangover to visit the clinic.

almost forgot... in the midst of a continuation of last week's conversation my SC managed to flip it around and pull out a trump card: an even flightier thing than the current one. i think it's the first time he's managed to get me excited about something.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

the short day

three calls and three different secretaries later, i finally managed to convince the clinic to give me the referral that i need for tomorrow's "we can't tell you over the phone" hospital visit. so that's a half-day to deal with the anticipated hangover ;)

disregarding some minor points that may or may not blow up in my face, i completed the vast majority of the work that's on my plate and got to do a bit of problem solving. and that's in spite of my project being sabotaged by an unidentified outsider during the night. we're good.

the weather's become rather summery - the walk to the train station this morning was actually very pleasant.
a guy in our unit found a way to make my workstation 50% more responsive, and the smooth experience afterwards chilled me out a bit.
the way home was most amusing as that cute welfare officer i met some time ago was on the bus with me, and i succeeded in ruffling her feathers in spite of her repeated attempts to get a rise out of me.
three - no, four (maybe even five, if i count the hangover dispensation) positive's in one day? it's been a while!

in another couple of hours i'm off with sammy for the usual, so in the meanwhile i think i'm going to take a walk and try to remember what i need to organize before leaving for cape town.

*AHEM*

before leaving for cape town.

2.5 days



nin - ghosts has just been released, i went for the $10 (alright, around $20 with shipping) 2-cd's 'cause i likes meatspace. i listened to a bit of it and decided that it's good enough that i'm not just pitching my show of support. i'd support him anyway, but i'm happier to get something out of the deal.

at least hear the guy out :)

2.5 days, and i got through them in two. a bit of sleep deprivation, nothing more coffee won't fix. the only issue that's problematic in a big way is nystire, and although i'm still shocked by him i'm beginning to feel more pity than distaste.

the thing that particularly gets my goat is that when i talk with him as i do with everyone else he takes offense and tells me to stop raising my voice. that my tone of voice upsets him. does he want me to sing when i speak?
i'm actually fairly surprised that he managed to survive his childhood, and i keep wondering if giving him a solid thumping every morning would give rise to an improvement.

speaking of violence, a bunch of us had one of those political arguments this morning, with one sad case going on about how we need to protect the enemy's women and children.

i've repeated myself on this topic on numerous occasions - we're human. we don't stop until we really understand the threat, and that goes for our enemies too.

we can't negotiate with our enemies, because if there were grounds for talking we'd have been sitting around a table ages ago. throughout history wars have been fought between people of opposing thoughts, and a war cannot be fought in a genteel manner.

war has an objective, and that objective is to break the enemy's will. you cannot break the enemy's will without hitting where it hurts, and hitting fighters who are already prepared to die (and in this case, only too happy to do so) really doesn't cut it. what will hurt them is a lack of drinking water, electricity (although we're still giggling at their lack of ability to fake a power-outage successfully), and safety for their women and children.

"ooh - such monstrous behaviour!" i hear you say. i understand the lack of sympathy for the poor sods in sderot, and the lack of sympathy for the big, bad israeli soldiers (poor kids just want to get the hell out of there), and i understand that the media forms your opinions so that you don't have to.

what i mostly understand is the convenience of sitting in an armchair and fantasizing about a world where violence is unnecessary, but this is not that world. the only way to reduce the bodycount (which hasn't been dropping in the last few months), is to bring the entire story to an end.

and a ceasefire won't do it. and taking out their chiefs won't do it. talking won't do it. excessive force will. pity we don't have the nuts. because until we begin to strike fear into their hearts, we're just eating rockets and trying to pretend that the problem will go away.

we're a little better than the americans, but not much. we really need to forget all this peace and brotherly love with our neighbours and get back with the program - there's a time to kill.

the secret came up at work today. my TL's a fan, and i'm kinda freaked out by this.

the first evidence that all is not as jack thompson claims. we all know he's a moron, and more importantly that he's wrong, but this sort of thing is a much better direction to move in.

dance dance revolution has some very serious fans!



Sunday, March 02, 2008

less than four

Dead Eye

Tiger, Tiger
Born in your cage
Neither space to run
Nor care to rage

Your face de-fanged
Your paws de-clawed
Only sighs escape your passive maw

Your meals are canned
Your eyes are glazed
The children pass you by unfazed.

Your limp belies that symmetry
That mortal hand and eye forgot
Treacherous denial fraught
With torment eternal, and all for naught


more like 3.5, and after a long weekend the day went by awkwardly. my TL came to the rescue in a big way, and we're actually back on schedule.

i did learn a good lesson in the morning: from now on i will no longer eat food acquired on base (with the exception of the mess hall). i'm convinced that the sandwich i had for breakfast was prepared by the guy at the store with malice a forethought.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

seize the ante

the day was great, but tiring. i got up at a reasonable time (a little after 8am), watched an episode of frasier that i could truly identify with, and then hopped in the car with my cousin and her daughter to go and visit her father.

there were some awkward moments as usual - like the fifth time i had to explain to him that i'd already finished matric (almost ten years ago!), but it was mostly pleasant. i was introduced to the abraham brothers' music on the drive to the flea market - even for flea markets that one sucked - and we then moved on to another cousin (siblings) way up north.

we had an excellent meal, fun chat and then the kids brought out tekken 3 - it's been a while since anyone's actually been interested in trying against me more than once ^_^

the bus ride back was interesting - it was pleasant because the windows were closed, and i spent it scribbling my death song: this quote has been hanging up on a wall wherever i've been since i left south africa, and it struck me as a good thing to have prepared.

i stopped by singer's on the way home for a breezer, and am now tucking in for four hours before my TL picks me up to get cracking on the week's work.