Sunday, May 31, 2009

contrast

i went out for a walk, hunting canvases but knowing deep down that i wouldn't find any on a saturday night. it was a really pretty evening, i thoroughly enjoyed the walk and i could see that my smile was infectious :)

i stopped at home after an exquisite frozen yoghurt to drop off my sunglasses and put on a slightly warmer shirt - i picked my pink one. i was really amused when some guy on the bus registered what it says ("real men DON'T wear pink") and gave me a huge thumbs-up :)

i arrived a few minutes before her sister and her friends. i have to admit to having felt kinda awkward amongst them, a couple of cute girls and once again i was stuck with nothing to say. i don't do faking sincerity, and the stuff i have running through my head is not the kind of thing one shares at random with girls below a certain age and who don't demonstrate a certain... i don't know. i had a feeling that the beautiful girl sitting at the next table was more my style, but i wasn't going to go head-to-head with her boyfriend even if she did look entirely disinterested.

almost as much as me. we were there for the warm-up, and my breakdown is as follows:
1) not an attractive girl by any means, but an excellent voice
2) a pity she began with a completely boring song in english, for which her style is simply inappropriate
3) the other two songs were nice. nothing special, but pleasant nonetheless.

i'd say something along the lines of "i probably shouldn't go to performances listed under pop/rock", but then michal geva's last night was also and her material is great!

and now for the main performance - rotem tzur:
1) the man cannot sing
2) he's a jerk
3) his songs are boring, completely uninspired
4) his music is totally soulless

if those songs are off the album that's taken him four years to produce, then i'd suggest that maybe he shouldn't be quitting whatever janitorial day-job he's not-quite-qualified for.

it is for all the above reasons that i am convinced that he's going to make it big on the radio, and that all israelis will love him. at least if he was only 15 years old, he'd have an excuse. me? i'd be embarrassed.

i always tell people to come to concerts, you can always leave if you don't like it. well, i did, and i didn't feel the remotest bit guilty about it. i'm glad that we got in on a discount, as paying for having to suffer his jumping up and down and shrieking about not getting laid was twenty plus bus fare too much.

---

at least all the rest of the day was brilliant :) - and productive!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

on inspiration and impotence

i wish, i wish, i *wish* i could draw what's in my head! a few years ago i had a vision that i can only describe (and that description is in itself a revelation of only a few hours ago) as a modern-day "jack and the beanstalk". or "jack in the beanstalk". quite frankly, i need to go and buy more canvases, and i need to work hard on these ones. no random flurries of splashing splotches and letting it go at that.

the nonentia - a friend of mine who's releasing better and better stuff. listen to it! listen to it now!

i spent a couple of hours on the beach - it was packed. but the water was great and the day perfect, the eye-candy was a pleasure to look at and i managed to make headway into my book [james hillman - re-visioning psychology in case you haven't been keeping up]. i keep being surprised at the fact that i'm reading something that was published in 1975 and should've somehow filtered down to the average joe by now. it's criminal that so many miss so much.

granted, i'm talking about the type of person whose brain won't explode while struggling through the first couple of chapters which function more as an introduction to the terminology than anything else.

frustrated monies

i'm trying to figure out how much my possessions are worth, and it's an ugly process. of course they can't just send over an evaluator :S

her sister called me during the week to invite me to a show at the barbie (her friend's performing), and due to their family's irritating habit of switching phone numbers i accidentally called her instead. that was very, very awkward.

i'd started making plans with a dutch friend for tonight, and an sms asking him if he'd be interested in joining me started a chain of extremely odd messages... until i suddenly realized what was going on. i called him.
"dude! i'm not australian! i'm talking about a place, not a barbecue!"

i wanna go to the beach.

wake up! mission accomplished!

that was great - i got an sms from my mother telling me that my birthday present had gone according to plan :)

i couldn't mention it here until now because she reads these posts, but in addition to sending her an email with a funny video involving my squeaky ducks and a jazzy "happy birthday" song, i managed to get my sister on board and have protoplasm surprise her as a costumed singing telegram!
I MUST SEE PHOTOS!!!

i've just breakfasted on my little patio, which is great but i think needs to be reconfigured (i haven't actually put much thought into it), and i'm contemplating a very serious move to the beach.

aaahhhhh, cream. i can't believe it took me until now to start listening to them (aside from the few songs that everyone knows).

oh - i knew i forgot something! listen to these guys, they have a very interesting sound :) [i'm going to try to make a live performance this week]

ready for bed again

i watched a lot of battlestar galactica, it's amazing. after doing some shopping, i took a slow and thoroughly enjoyable walk around until i found a place that served breakfast (i had no idea what time it was, so i was surprised to discover places closing their kitchens). a good breakfast, with good timing - a friend's boyfriend came past with his dog (really amusing dog), and we had a good chat.

still in a great mood, i came home to drop off my book and get ready to go out. i took a shuttle down to levontin, where i met up with a girl from my previous team and we settled down for michal geva's "my single's been released" performance. i'm not a huge fan of her voice, but her band is excellent (including gil lewis [plays in a bunch of great bands, specifically with yael deckelbaum] and einav jackson-cohen) and her songs are great.

the last song was unbelievable - too good, in fact, as it's a really heavy and crazy song and flipped a few switches in my head. i've been in a weird place since. not bad, just very introspectively dark. that didn't help me out when i was on my way home, some guys were playing a strange game in a nearby road and i thought they'd lost something - i thought i'd help and had three of them just standing and staring at me. i removed my headphones and stared back at each of them in turn, trying to understand what was wrong. eventually time resumed and we all got back to what we were doing.

but it was awkward.

Friday, May 29, 2009

good-sore again

i watched a couple of episodes of battelstar galactica, and then finally got into bed for an hour... a bit longer than that (snooze!), but then wr called me and i got dressed and went off to meet him.

we got to the party by a rather circuitous route, and had a really good time. such a good time, in fact, that by 4.30am my body was sore and very, very tired. i'm a bit irritated that i seemed to have made a connection with a cute girl, i went to the bathroom for two minutes and when i got back she'd disappeared :S

i walked home, completely exhausted, and i'm still impressed with myself for not passing out along the way - it was a beautiful morning, but each step was a mission and i didn't have the energy for a detour to find a cash machine so i could take a taxi :/

so i've slept until now, am listening to cream, and have just fired off a message to remind someone to find me info on tel aviv university's english literature programs :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

where have all my gods gone

where have all my gods gone
where have all my gods gone
scattered to a cosmic wind
that rush of void by the shutting of my heart
leaving me and mine weakened

i've kept the plot but lost the story
the important details ethereal
i've hurt all those close to me
in search of glory
glory not for me, but that we'll all feel

in holding onto knowledge in lieu of belief
holding steady course while buffeted by reality's tides
my love and my anguish held in sharp relief
and my anger ever touching both sides

like a fine, fine thread
like a sliver of a coil of barbed wire
like an ant drowning in a droplet
it's my shredded soul on fire

almost according to plan...

... the only thing that got in the way was the wind, but we worked through it. a pity that karnaf's sunglasses disappeared in the water :/

on the way back i had two scoops of AWESOME (oak - as in the tree, and some other completely unpronounceable flavour), and am now contemplating a rest.

i find it interesting that jimi hendrix - voodoo child drives me nuts every time.

very important: bottom-up peace plan

toothache :/

unfortunate. and i don't like army dentists.

t'was a rough wake-up this morning, specifically because my regular alarm went off and confused me completely. also, i forgot they're doing construction on the neighbouring building... apparently all the noise didn't bother the kid too much, and i'm glad to have been able to host :)

i'm extremely pleased that the starfish soapdish is still holding strong :D

i stopped by cafeneto for coffee and a croissant on the way to the bus, having forgotten that the stops have all been moved around again. i did make it in time for the bus though - better even, i managed to be there for a full ten minutes of a car's horn / alarm combination because some kid's transponder ceased functioning and it took them a while to hack it.

our old neighbour came past, the crazy one, and invited me over sometime. i can't see that happening, very few women actually call me. i'm sensing a pattern. and maybe a hint. should i change deodorant?

the buses to ra'anana and back provided plenty of opportunity to read and enjoy good music, and the conversation with the "undo" girl (pity no such thing exists, i'm already on the best path i can be considering my circumstances) was very pleasant. she was babysitting, and the toddler was really entertaining :)

i just got back from the sport store with my new, bright green shoes in hand. i've had a sort-of lunch (hence the discovery of the dental issue) and i'm completely exhausted, so i think i'm going to rest for a bit before going out and Doing Stuff (like shoppping, beach, frisbee... you know).

white night ii

midnight peacocks are absolutely brilliant, the band who played before them are really, really good (except for the singer's voice, although her lips and attitude make up for it).

i didn't order a safe, and the guy who was tending the store is a bit of an idiot so i have to wait until sunday :S

i went to the beach, enjoyed myself and the fact that i was actually there :)
on my way home i suddenly realized that there was no reason for me not to go to another beach, so i did. i met a sweet girl on the way (i think i might even call her), and then got a bit more sun.

i stopped by the hardware store on the way home to pick up a couple of drops of silicone, and came back to shower and nap. i woke up at 9pm thinking that the sport store was open until 10, so i hurried off to discover that i was wrong :/

i had dinner on the way back, met up with the kid at my place, and piles joined us for a night milling about town. the celebrations were mostly not amazing, although it's always nice to see so many people out at ungodly hours and the third ear's show was great!

now going to bed, having discovered that i can actually, in hebrew no less, explain a lot of what i've learned from the science of discworld part ii: the globe and james hillman - re-visioning psychology. my night is complete, the kid's just tested out the fold-out bed and designated it "comfortable", and i'm going to have a quick shower before waking up early to go to ra'anana.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

as i suspected!

my apartment is cool in the middle of a hot summer's day ^_^
that, and my radiant sea-green blinds colour make me feel underwater... dig it!

aside from that, and the fact that i'm off to order a safe, and then going to the beach...

i spent the morning helping to judge people whose crime is having been caught taking drugs. situational irony - i really pity them. i was glad that the presiding judge was really, really good... specifically because the other assistant seems very harsh and unforgiving.

duty done, i'd be happy to do it again. always glad not to start my day anywhere near my base.

tinfoil spin

i just took my tinfoil hat out for a 2.5 hour blade through the city - not too hot, and people either loved it or were terrified of it. i thoroughly enjoyed it ^_^

i still haven't cooled down, and i definitely have to get to sleep. one thing's for sure - i'm definitely in better physical condition than i was two weeks ago!

a pity that the perambulerometre is completely useless... after about 10 or 15km, it called aloud: "YOU HAVE WALKED TWO POINT EIGHT SIX KILOMETRES". thanks, dude.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

too close

too close
you're stabbing too close to the vein
i may not care about the pain
but let me live to love you

i'm losing my humanity
because i know what isn't true
i know that everything's okay
there's no goddamn reason to be blue

i know that i like happy things
but only dark things catch my eyes
i know that no-one's watching me
but all i see are spies

i watch for signs of life
but focus only on its end
my thoughts are stuck in heaven
which my demons seek to rend

can i deny my fall from grace
can i still make it out to space
when everyone's tied to their race
and all the world lands on its face

open up your eyes, you're blind
and raise your thoughts up from your mind
break down your walls and build your castle
for then your day will dawn

death by lamb-inna-bun

it almost killed me - tasty, though. that was lunch, and i was troubled by it almost until hometime.

i had to make another sign today... a set, actually. "how to not pee on the toilet seat". seriously.

thought for the day: "when you stop worrying about sex, money and war, you cease to be under their control".

one of my team-mates joked about something that made me run over my entire life: the good periods invariably saw me getting out of bed on the right side, and the bad on the left. coincidence?!

freaky!

קווין - translates to both "kevin" and "queen". i apologize in advance to any kevins reading my blog, don't comment or they'll know it's you!!

i got the urgent job done, tomorrow i'm not on base, and thursday i'm taking a day off - GOOD!

we were all supposed to go off to some big event tonight, one which nobody wanted to be at. i got suckered into it two years ago :/
anyway, at the last minute my TL arrived and unofficially let me off ^_^

i realized on my way home that i haven't done anything more interesting than QA in many months. i don't like that. i did hear some good news this evening from mmf, apparently i'll be okay when i outgrow my uniform :)

i've just given up trying to organize a viewing of star trek tonight... i think i'll go rollerblading instead. grootbek and i are warring online - i posted a funny photo of him yesterday and he's responded by calling my videos unoriginal... i think he's hurting :P

i'm going to try out a pedometer i received as a gift from my big shopping experience last week - the enclosed booklet is explaining to me what walking is all about. i'm not going to tell it i'm not using it for something so... ordinary :P

Monday, May 25, 2009

contradiction day

1) i don't understand non-euclidean geometry, and nystire spent a large part of the day trying to convince me that a triangle on a convex surface has oversized angles.
he had varying success, but until further notice / clarification / edification i'm sticking to my claim that it's not a triangle.

2) a riddle on the board: an array of (n - 1) numbers containing values 1 to n, the missing value is unknown.
a) find the value in O(n)
b) if two values are missing (same array, but of size (n-2)), find both values in O(n)
note: in both cases, the memory usage is finite and limited - no arrays of length n


i did overcomplicate the second bit (eventually i figured it out), but i was irritated by a girl in our section being convinced that O(n) means n, and so sure of herself that she told us to go and check it out.
*harrumph*

3) the falafel was NOT falafel. the food was absolutely disgusting.

i was suddenly reminded of an earlier riddle: two spies, each with a briefcase, a secret message, a lock and a key must pass their messages across a border where inspectors will open a lock that there's a key to. the message must be protected, and the key and the lock cannot both be sent across. for clarification, they cannot be sent across separately, either.
the solution is a well-known method of securing data

i really don't have the energy to fill out insurance forms right now. i'm tired, although not exhausted for once, and my brain wants a rest.

i think it's the blinds that made the difference - i slept like a baby last night! either because of the colour, the comfortable darkness in the morning, the fact that i used incense because i already had a flame going to light the room, or because i've finally finished all the big fixes and changes in the apartment, i slept way past my alarm this morning. the funny bit is that even though i missed my ride, we met up at the central bus station and travelled together because his car broke down :P

anyway, after the inital panic i shaved, grabbed my towel and made my way to a useful stop to wait half an hour for the wrong bus - if i'd found out about the breakdown earlier i would've had my pick of lines :/

the saviours of my sanity today:
artelligent (a few tracks) and the RPO remix of antix - circade. that last one made my mouth go upside down with its intensity.

i love my TL. to bits. tiny, messy little bits. we spent ages arguing over what exactly i'm expected to do at the moment. *grumble*

i guilted the civilian in our office into buying coffee - he's been drinking all of mine and not chipping in for months. did he think it was army supplied?

quote of the day
our resident vogon (my SC) to his apprentice vogon (my TL): "i don't want to cause bureaucracy"... this is a man who knows nothing *but*.

i drew this week's kitchen duty, and so had to take out the big trash bag. as usual, filled with liquids. when i got back i drew a particularly offensive cartoon, and put it on a poster which went something like:
not used to using your brain?
DON'T WORRY - WE'LL HELP YOU!
how to dispose of cups:
1) if cup is empty, place in trash can and carry on about your business
2) if cup is not empty, pour contents into the sink and *then* place in trash can
...
why?
those performing kitchen duty would prefer it if foreign liquids did not spray all over them


the last minute of the day brought news that the shuttle wasn't going to be happening - so it was up to me to go and inform the poor kids who were already waiting. i probably could've said it nicer:
"who's going to tel aviv on the shuttle this evening?"
chorus of "me"s.
"no, you guys think you're going on that shuttle. it's time to find another way home"

i spent the next half an hour with a cute girl from the shuttle (although not that cute) finding an alternative route home, and we caught the bus together and talked awkwardly all the way home. i drew some cash, changed gear...

... and went to catch the sunset ^_^

on the way back home, i stopped by the old apartment to pay a bill, did some shopping, and i've been at home doing loads of nothing online and with my guitar until now.

i called a girl who's supposed to be able to help with nystire's "undo button", but from the way she sounded on the phone i'm concerned that she may be a different girl that nystire's trying to connect me with romantically... i'll double-check tomorrow.

and now it's bedtime.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

radiant sea green?

SWEET colour! the blinds rock ^_^

i went to the sports shop to find my shoes... they haven't arrived yet. i helped nystire with his rollerblade selection, and contemplated buying a cheap skateboard but i can't see myself really taking it outside. not for a while, at any rate :P

we had coffee, and then i walked back to take out laundry, re-arrange my furniture and complete the last post. now i'm going to eat something, and get ready for bed... there's a scheduled power-outage in less than an hour. (there was an unscheduled one earlier, i'm kinda annoyed about it).

avidemux and kino - picture-in-picture syncing

this was my struggle yesterday: to take two videos, cut out the crap from both, fix a non-uniform audio shift, and then connect the two as a picture-in-picture.

step 1) shift and splice
i used avidemux, because project-x has the most incomprehensible interface i've ever come across. seriously, i don't know what the hell it's for.

to edit out with avidemux is fairly intuitive - mark a, mark b, cut... but only appending seems to work properly. so to move or insert, the video needs to be split into two segments, the first one opened, and then file - append used to add the second. no "cut & paste".

the problem with my videos was a non-uniform audio shift, so some of the video was in sync with the audio, most of it shifted, and some in opposite directions. again, splitting the video into multiple segments was necessary.

that couldn't be done first, though. not for me, at any rate. first item on the agenda was to save multiple copies of the full video, then shift the audio [the shift checkbox on the left side, both positive and negative numbers], and then splice according to a combination of sound / picture (i did the best i could).

again, it would be better to have a program like project-x with a usable interface to do all of that for you.

step 2 - picture-in-picture
kino is a nasty program. particularly because it tends to crash all the frikkin' time. it's also a bummer that it needs to convert your files to dv format, and then refuses to use ffmpeg for export - this meant that i could only produce huge mpeg-2 files instead of relatively tidy avis :(

also, by default "cleanup" (export - mpeg - advanced options) is selected: this "removes temporary files", but in essence removes your main output files too. that's remarkably dumb. it's advisable to uncheck the option.

to create a picture-in-picture, i loaded both the videos and used the composite function(fx - video transition). it's not complicated to play with the position and size settings to get the desired result, but what isn't clear is that the right slider bar (marked "end") needs to be moved all the way to the left in order to prevent the second image from taking over the screen by the end of the video...

and pay attention to the audio (fx - audio transition) - the default selection is "crossfade", not necessarily desirable.

step 3 - export
i got nothin'. but i will repeat everyone else's advice and make sure to enter the full path and not just the output filename.

so that's my "for complete morons" tutorial. if nothing else, i've gained a bit of confidence for next time :P

marked improvement

the day had a good start, i grew my fingertip-callouses a bit more and enjoyed a slow marshmallow hot-chocolate breakfast :)

then i took a couple of buses to base, and had a rather irritating experience. no copier? in the entire unit? i wasn't yet feeling good (that came a very short time ago, and i hope it lasts), so i took their numbers and made an exit.

i scored a quick line to base, but that didn't make me much happier so i had no energy for idiot-girl, some rookie who was filming her idiot friends on the internal bus and being very loud. i made the infernal mistake of hesitating (to be fair, when you're not feeling well it's hard to be aggressive with soldiers who aren't yours) - i should have launched a quick-and-dirty comment and been done with it.

i walked in to a new mind-numbing project with even higher priority than all the other urgent stuff, and i'm really happy with my lot. lunch was an ugly affair.

our previous TL arrived, just in time for a birthday stoning...
we found a rock *just* the right size, and wrapped it in a pretty red ribbon for him. the gifts were well received [he seemed a bit overwhelmed], i'm very proud of myself :)

i spent the late afternoon staring at the screen, the words just not making any sense to me. i was really glad to get out of there, and i had very pleasant shuttle dreams until i arrived at home.

current situation: rodriguez - cold fact, laundry, waiting for the guy to come and install the blinds. i think i just ate too much humus, but i did enjoy it.

---

nystire has informed me that there may be an "undo" button on my huge screw-up last month... i'm intrigued. not particularly hopeful, but intrigued nonetheless. and surprised. VERY surprised.

small smile

after today's investment i'm going to have to write a tutorial for the annoying lessons i've learned...

but i did it! i managed to put the two videos together, after hours of splicing and shifting and mixing with both avidemux and kino, and it's online. now to see if the responses improve in proportion to the amount of effort :P

i forgot to mention it, this morning i gave my cousins a letter that i was supposed to deliver from my grandmother in 2000... i was embarrassed that it only took nine years to get to them, but at least it's finally in the right hands :)

and another thing i forgot to mention yesterday - SxS's cousin proposed to his now-fiancée in the most awesome way: a treasure hunt that took them all the way up north! sweet ^_^

i managed to watch an episode of battlestar galactica, made up my first (probably crappy, but i suck so i doesn't matter) song and went off to ze germans' for the last farewell and a fun evening in general :)

i just spoke to my mum for ages - it feels like it's been a long time since we last talked, and i'm about to hit the shower and get ready for the week ahead.
on the whole: the weekend was excellent ^_^

kondo bots! aren't they insanely cool?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

i meant to post this earlier...

puppets
stuck inside myself so deep
that i've forgotten how to speak
my lips are frozen, tongue's too weak
my lower functions gone to sleep

i don't dare smile, i don't dare frown
i keep my eyes held firmly down

i'm forced to share my neighbour's fate
condemned to suffer for his hate
i can escape, it's not too late
but instead i just pontificate

i don't dare smile, i don't dare frown
i keep my eyes held firmly down

in anger i spin round and round
my hands held fast upon the ground
my legs are tired and tightly bound
my ears twitch but can hear no sound

morning coffee

i woke up today and let her grandparents in - it was really nice to be able to host and they quite approve of the apartment ^_^

the rest of the day has been burned being annoyed with avidemux and disappointed (horribly) by project-x. i've just finished with the base videos - i'm kinda satisfied with them - and am about to start fighting with kino to see if it can patch them together comfortably.

from a friend of k-twang's random pic links: nazi super science!

60's fashion :)

great afternoon!

5.14pm
i went out in spite of myself, to spite myself, and it worked - i had a great time, excellent company and good salt & vinegar'ed fish & chips, and even a ride home on the back of yogi's bike :)

on getting out of the shower i got thumped by neelix - didn't mean to cry, freakin' SOLID ^_^

...

2.45am
i just got home after a really pleasant night / evening. some cousins came over and consumed coffee and biscuits, and then we went to her grandparents' place for a chat. from there we moved to her parents', where the evening was great, the steak absolutely exquisite, and for the first time this week my system seems to have calmed down. i didn't push my luck with the desserts, though - and they looked good :/

i was dropped off a short walk from ze germans' apartment, and a huge bunch of friends were hanging around. it's been really nice seeing so many friends and so much of them - tonight we'll do it again ^_^

i'm now in possession of the primary video we shot on wednesday, have walked a really nice austrian girl back to her hotel, and am ready to go to bed :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

sick of feeling sick

i don't know what's wrong with me - but i can't stay in bed and i can't be feeling bad if there isn't anything seriously wrong with me... can i?

at least my apartment's clean, i'm now off to buy milk so i can make coffee for guests tomorrow.

quiet friday

i just sent a birthday sms - unfortunate that the words נהדר (wonderful) and מוות (death) are textagrams, and guess which comes up first. glad i scanned it before i sent it!

my phone's calendar is fine - the phone simply went back in time a couple of years :P

last night my alarm wasn't enough to get me out of bed for the farewell... it took a coercion phone call too :)
it was a very nice evening, only by the end i started feeling awful again.

this morning is filled with cleaning and running laundry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my phone's back!

sans calendar, and i had to get upset before they managed to find it O_o

i made a great sandwich when i finally got back, a pity that it's just too damn big. i'm going to nap for a bit, then amble over to one of ze germans' farewell bash. i won't be doing any drinking, though - still not 100%.

bananas!

this morning's shopping was tiring, but fruitful [sic].

i tried using epoxy to put up the mezuzah, but aside from making the place stink it didn't do any good. instead, i used it as a re-enforcing agent for double-sided tape, and i'm hoping that that's sorted out.

i'm bothered by the fact that i need to clean my floors again, and i haven't the energy to get started :/

i spent a lot of time online - internet shopping too, i couldn't remember the name of the book iris bahr - dork whore, and i remember really enjoying it so i bought it (i think i was telling someone about it recently, but i don't remember). while i was on amazon i bought leary on drugs, and terry pratchett - the wit and wisdom of discworld.

i tried reading but i passed out... and later woke up sweaty and uncomfortable. i'm not feeling good, and it's hard to tell if there's any improvement.

i've had an idea in my head for a few days now, so i pulled out the other big canvas and had a go - so far i'm very happy with it, but i need to work on my finer technique and i can see that being a mission.

the woman who didn't help me at the service centre last night confirmed that she was holding my phone in her hand a short while ago, and i'm now going to take a leisurely stroll to pick it up. assuming, of course, that nobody interferes and that it stays there until i arrive.

[WARNING: possibly disturbing sexual content] this photo either means that there's a market for some of my weirder ideas, or that i can't compete.

tiger-striped pigs!

the rich man's hotel

at 1.30am i awoke to what got me freaking out that maybe i'd managed to develop dysentery... as soon as my system calmed down for a bit i rushed to the hospital: there's nothing like sleeping over in the safest, most expensive hotel available. i'm no stranger to the emergency ward, and i always feel bad about being there with such pitiful excuses.

this morning's turned out to be a potassium deficiency, so i'm going shopping now for anything on the list i found.

i especially loved finishing the drip, sitting up and beginning to refill it with blood; the nurse freaked when i told her not to worry if i pass out before she removed the needle - i was tired and sensitive and the nurse who'd put it in had taped a lot of hair.

but it didn't hurt :P

i think i'm going to cancel all my arrangements for the weekend, according to the documents i'm officially sick until sunday, so i should probably be using this time to rest.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

fantasy of illness

easier morning [but not easy], speech writing [prepped a three-minute rant]
a touch of work [just a smidgen], congratulations on gold [came up with a very nice birthday card]
all systems down [like, five hours!], practice makes perfect [learned rant by rote]

sugar crash [bad! bad mike and ike's!], rotten end [really unhappy, both tired and stomache troubles]
ride to train, indian bureaucracy [our idiot is impossible to converse with. i can't stand him.]

safe dimensions [i planned something unrealistic, must re-evaluate], relaxation [a quick, pre-rant break]

pre-vid tension [obviously!]

good clips [the primary video came out really well, and having two videos means we can splice and hack ^_^], bad karma [the guys were joking about it happening, and it did: my phone has been lost in orange's delivery chain. they're going to begin a rescue mission tomorrow. THOSE FRIKKIN' IDIOTS!!!!]

bookworming [one for me, none for her, i need to find her a gift], coffee-shopping [expensive, too - good instant, normal tea, good decaf, and black for me]

coffeeholic [solid omelette / beef / eggplant sandwich - too much food, actually], shower [a real one, no pausing!], bed [i'm about to hit it]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

schooled in reverse!

so it doesn't need to be pulled out, but it does need to be exact. and once it's been stopped, it needs to be reset before being switched to another program, regardless of the ready light.

now is not the time to be becoming an expert.

it's been two hours of torment, and it could even be that i didn't miss it and it was close to finishing. it sucks that there's no indicator.

*SELF SLAP*

you have got to be shitting me. NOWHERE does it indicate that the damn knob has to be pulled out in order for it to move. NOWHERE. it just says "press play". bastards. evil, evil bastards.

no end in sight to schooling

why?! WHY?!?! i missed the program selector by the tiniest degree, and it's been taunting me by not moving for the last hour. i've now had to manually set it to spin, and i'll have to monitor it like a hawk to make sure it does that.

FRACK. and i needed to get into bed already.

2 large: bang!

that was some serious shopping i just did, shoes and shorts and sports equipment. i hadn't used my army points and they accumulated a lot faster than i'd anticipated :)

i woke up at 5.30am feeling alright - maybe still partially tipsy, but fine - and got to the train station with time to spare for the shuttle. unfortunately, things went awry the second i entered it: it was stuffy, hot, and smelled like a really fat, sweaty slob who'd just been dunked in a bath of old-ladies' cologne. i felt nauseous and could barely breathe the entire 45 minute journey, with only slight relief whenever we picked up speed from the breeze through the driver's window.

shuttles don't have passenger windows, i wonder if it's to keep them from jumping out.

i had an argument with my team-mate this morning: i've been pushing additional code comments to make things clearer and give us less work to do, and he's decided NOT to comment, but to put all the helpful information in a separate file instead.

i think that's stupid.

so we called in our TL. our TL decided that we shouldn't add comments at all because then the people who replace us won't have to work hard and gain experience dealing with unwieldy material. he's afraid they'll become "lazy". my team-mate began agreeing with him, and i thought that maybe i was losing it again.

then i went across to nystire and his TL, and they reassured me that i'm not the problem.

*shakes head forlornly*

i'm now finally insured, and in a few days i'll have to begin noting and valuing all my possessions. sounds fun :/

i made the mistake of telling the local idiot (to be fair, there're a few of them - this is the indian one) that i'm not interested in hearing about "such a pathetic sport". we were discussing soccer, and after a while i apologized, explaining that i don't think the sport itself is pathetic, just the crazed spectators.

i got another update from orange: another day's delay. at least the guy who called had the good grace to sound cautious and apologetic. they're going to hear from me and a video camera tomorrow. i hope i don't get myself arrested.

while trying to get in touch with another unit's help-line, i fell asleep a number of times on hold. and it didn't matter :(

did i mention that i wasn't feeling good all day? it got worse. and the unidentifiable taste of the chicken didn't help. after a second attempt (just making sure that it wasn't me) i gave up, and then the others began complaining too. i would've phoned in a complaint, but i had no idea how to describe the problem.

the workday was mostly a loss, and it ended with a long meeting about the next project. i must admit, the second that someone other than my TL or our SC talk about it, it sounds important and interesting - it's just that when they try and explain it sounds meaningless and boring. i hope i can ignore the two of them and enjoy something at work.

i came home too late to organize a safe (not for valuables, which i don't really have - just to protect documents), but i made it to dizengoff and found a neat gift for my previous TL's birthday, got the art gear i needed (the most expensive item was a replacement brush for the one i ruined with spraypaint yesterday :$ :$ :$) and spent a long time sports shopping.

i even got proper frisbees and a wallet ^_^

i'm now exhausted. completely. i need to eat, shower, run laundry, and get some work done on ze germans' project, and i definitely need some sleep.

Monday, May 18, 2009

another large sum of money later

and we finished the rum, too. and another video of bill hicks just ended. i'm not sure exactly when my friend (the dutch organizer from skijar: sjo) left, though. hah, riding a bicycle in this state? i hope he handles his alcohol better than i do.

i didn't have much luck today with making the project prettier - maybe i should tackle it sober. i'm a little disappointed that i have to wake up at 5.30am :(

the good stuff:

1) i had fun with a new, giant canvas. i'm not entirely sure that i won't spray over it and start again, but when i looked at it the second time i was more impressed than i had been initially.

2) i don't know if the beer i had while playing with the canvas was a good idea, because i went straight from that to the mortgage bank. the woman there dealt with all my papers while on the phone, and i was drifting off so when she told me i could go i was actually quite surprised.

and happy that i'd apparently brought the right papers :P

3) although expensive, the work the guy did on the floors was good. unfortunately for him, he tried parking near the apartment... practically impossible. forty minutes after arriving in the area he called me up to vent.

4) sjo arrived with a bottle of coke to complement the rum... we talked a lot, we drank a lot.

i'm now going to take a shower, then i'm going to turn in. i have definitely had *far* too much to drink.

*DEEEEEEP* breath

i caught up on some sleep this morning, but it wasn't quality. i had a sudden half-spark of inspiration, and delivered the mortgage bank's papers... only i forgot to take something important, so i'll have to do it again this afternoon. either way, tomorrow i'll get the cash i've already begun paying off and i'll be able to repay some of my debts :)

as i said, "half" a spark :P

i went past my favourite bookstore - i mentioned that he's closing soon. we had a long chat while i bought a couple of very interesting-looking books (peter berger & anton zijderveld - in praise of doubt, jann s. wenner & corey seymour - gonzo, gavin menzies - 1434), the poor dude's over-educated for his peer-group (then again, one defines one's own) and too well-read. i can kind of identify - although not because of the people i choose to keep company with, but those i'm forced to.

i came home to find the plumbers waiting, and while they got to work i was instructed to not interfere so i played around a bit with the concept for ze germans. a very simple line of code, and i got the basic functionality i wanted and now all that's left is to is make it more presentable :)

the plumbers discovered that the problem was larger than i'd hoped, and went off to rent The Machine. in the meantime, i went to coffeeholic for a pick-me-up coffee and beef parisian (the chef was in), and met "the nanny" and had a great chat with her.

i stopped off to draw more cash on the way *sob*, and then arrived home to lurk and fret while they busted up the place... naaah, these guys are definitely alright. minimum mess and they've managed to clear it - turns out if it had been any more solid they would've had to replace pipes, which i *definitely* couldn't afford... not emotionally, at least.

the guy who laid my floor is coming this evening to quote me on a fix... he covered over one of the plumbing lids and he's going to have to organize an access point. now, in theory he shouldn't have gone over it in the first place, but i have a feeling this is going to cost me.

i wonder why?

status: uncertain

there's so much noise from next door's building site that i can't hear if the plumbers are having any luck... my pipes are stuffed, so they've had to bring in The Machine (it's like an advanced vacuum cleaner) which is costing a bomb :(

*sigh*

brain bust

the pain post-exercise, the ugly, dusty, sticky heat, the exhaustion and the emotional drain of arriving back at work in uniform on a sunday morning...

... the hour-and-a-half presentation / suggestion / clarification on documentation...

another manager from orange called me today to let me know i'll be able to pick up my phone on tuesday... and also promised to pass on my suggestion / complaint up the chain. just like the previous girl i spoke to. i have *THIS* much faith in them.

work-avoidance / debriefing nystire after his polygraph experience (which was way more amusing than mine) got me into trouble with my TL... then i made it worse by making my stance on our priorities perfectly clear - i love the fact that while in principle he agrees with me, "there's nothing we can do, because we don't have the time".
but if we switch the order, we cut down the time on all the projects. yeah, maybe we shouldn't do that.

---

i'd begun working on correcting an urgent translation for the mongoose when the plumber arrived... yeah, so i shouldn't have used the drain-cleaner. and definitely not twice.

i understand now that in addition to eating the pipes, when the liquid hits a block it can't get through it forms an extra, far stronger block. he brought in the little machine... didn't work. tomorrow he's bringing in the medium-sized one (needs to be operated outdoors and only during the day), which has increased the fare tremendously.

and if *that* doesn't work, then the (rather expensive) big guns come out. in addition to my own block, there's also the possibility of having to deal with a neighbour's. this is a problem with living in the last apartment on the chain.

still, at least i have enough drainage to shower - even if it is limited.

i took a break and my massive headache to visit ze germans, and we sat brainstorming a project that could've taken a lot of work, but together we managed to figure out how to cobble it together from existing services ^_^

i came home, and have been fixing bad english since. i'm now showering and crashing, at least tomorrow i don't have to wake up at 6am, even if i do have to sign off on more leave.

cartoon of the week: incredibleness

Sunday, May 17, 2009

*now* it's bedtime

buffalo boots were brilliant! that was a great show, their sound is great and their songs wonderful ^_^

and i didn't see it alone, i met up with a guy that i've known for ages and a couple of his friends, and we had tons to talk about until the show started. and to think i almost didn't go - i had a beer while watching two episodes of how i met your mother, and sorted some of my papers out, and by 9pm i was kinda ready for bed :P

HELL NO!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

you're not normal!

it's not just an israeli expression, right? because i don't really strive towards the life of a "normal" person. "normal" people do what they're told and keep their expectations low. "normal" people aren't adventurous, "normal" people don't avail themselves of the gifts their bodies, brains and surroundings have to offer.

but that's not true, is it? nobody that i know falls under the category of "normal", although that could just be because i choose my friends well. but i find it hard to believe that there are large numbers of people who seek a life of nothing.

the laws we operate under are screwed.
our education isn't good enough to bring us to a point where we can make grown-up decisions, so instead it teaches that we have no choices in life, that everything we do is in order to survive.

when i fulfil all my obligations to society, i demand freedom in return. with freedom comes responsibility, and that needs to work in reverse as well.

who makes all the laws?

s&m: stretch and massage

i kind-of managed the parties... i was really tired.

party 1:

it was an open tab, and i wanted to buy the first round... so the bartender closed the tab / didn't re-open the tab when i paid, causing trouble :S
one of songbird's friends is really cute, and although we sat next to each other we didn't really have much to talk about. i know i'm supposed to have a quill filled with trivia arrows, but although i have lots about lots to talk about i can never find the right thing. bummer.

travel between parties:

i closed my eyes on the shuttle, and got off a bit later than i should have. then i took a wrong turn (i'm used to walking in the other direction), but i was physically tired and walked slowly so when i realized my error i corrected before adding too much mileage. actually, slipping through some of the dodgier areas of tel aviv made me feel pretty good - it was like restoring a lost section of my soul ;)

party 2:

i was a bit confused when i arrived at the number i was looking for, the place has apparently been renamed - same pub as last time. i had a good time with lipgirl and friends, but as the hours wore on i got less and less enthusiastic (my body was failing me), and eventually i shuffled / shuttled home.

i woke up early this morning - i REALLY need those blinds installed :/
i was busy posting when i got a call telling me to go outside, and i rushed out to meet with the mongoose and a bunch of friends for a barbecue at a camping spot. the weather was iffy and the food sub-par, but the company was excellent and we had a great time :)

i've just arrived home and had a quick shower, now to do some laundry before lounging on the couch in preparation for tonight... buffalo boots are performing, and they sound really good!

james hillman - re-visioning psychology: i've mentioned a few times that i'm reading it, but i need to assert here that this is a Very Important Book, a must-read and a real eye-opener. i mentioned before that it's not perfect, but it's fantastically close.

i didn't know hardly wait was pj harvey's!

Friday, May 15, 2009

post-launch

damn! it feels so good to have been out there on wheels again!

after a serious 30km in the dusty heat, i'm sore all over, tired and having trouble breathing: i'm not sure if it's from all the dust, from the chilly breeze we had dinner in, or just from having exercised my lungs for the first time in forever :P

i hope i manage the parties tonight!

skidding

i put on my blades! and rolled on down to the donation point! and left some holy scripts on a big metal tin with a hole in the side for coins. i dropped a coin in, i think it's supposed to alleviate some sins.

the going was tough today, i stuck to the pavements because i refuse to wear a helmet and at some point i began hearing a strange, crackling sound from my back-left wheel. i headed on down to the skate-shop... only to discover that it's not the skate-shop. they sent me off to their other branch, which was some pretty heavy trekking, only they're no longer a skate-shop either!

weird.

so they sent me off to what is veritably the only one of its kind in tel aviv. unfortunately, i got lost in south tel aviv and it was a very curvy and uphill mission until i got there. oh, right - did i mention it's flippin' BOILING today? and dusty.

at least i found the place before i pegged. my wheel was torn down to the connecting strips and i was contemplating building a shrine to it... but then thought better of it. instead, i just got my new wheels - slidy! - and rested a bit while laughing along with the other guys when i discovered that the police have given up with the retarded helmet law.

so my way back was quick, breezy, a bit more dangerous than usual and on relatively decent roads. i'm now off to breakfast (pita and humus don't count) and then i think i'll join the friday group. with pads, because it's time to live a little ;)

i suffer from the involuntary "you too" a lot

@#$*)#@!!

i *HATE* the service in this country! SCREW ORANGE, SCREW THEIR DELIVERY SERVICE.

"no, sir - they're not late, they'll arrive between 9 and 1"
"and if they don't? i've just lost my whole friday waiting for this"
"hang on... oh, it appears that there's been a delivery problem. it won't be today"

i had a couple of really important things to do today that will now have to wait until monday, and i'm pissed.

on the verge of an exit

great - the technician cost a lot more money than i expected: you have to pay for the surge protector, the stone ionizer (reduces up to 98% of the stone intake! whatever.), and a trolley.

the trolley was the best investment, because the technician identified the pipe outlet so i gave it another shot with the coil... and promptly managed to create another small flood :S
the plumber said he'd try to come today.

oh, yeah - and i've connected the microwave, works beautifully :)

why do they tell me my phone will be delivered "between 9 and 12"? why should i get excited about alternate-universe possibilities?!

at least i've had an opportunity to get my router working. finally!
how, you may very well ask? well, i disabled the wireless module. and the firewall. now it's all good.

two minute masterpiece

okay, it's not a masterpiece, but i think it's pretty - does it count as art if it only took a few minutes to do? spray, spray, base lines, a few spots here and there... it was fun to do, i like the results, maybe all the rest is irrelevant :)

i keep switching around my plans for the day - i was going to start by the donations point, but it's now half an hour to "i need to be in the area for when the phone and technician rock up" (which could be until 12 - wonderful) so i'm thinking of doing all the long-distance missioning later and just tidying up and playing at home.

that seems... lazy :P

Thursday, May 14, 2009

stupid troubles

dammit, i keep learning stuff the hard way. i made an embarrassingly silly mistake while testing a potential drainage solution (it didn't work), and in the middle of my shower had to rush to grab towels to soak up the water that had begun seeping everywhere.

especially under the washing machine. at least it hasn't been unpacked yet, hopefully tomorrow when the technician comes i'll get an opportunity to dry underneath :/

i didn't get around to the papers, but at least most of the stuff that was cluttering up my patio has been stored. and i even pulled down a fold-out chair from a previous tenant, which is fairly useful :)

i'm going to bed, but not before spending another few minutes making guitar noises. it's more fun when you have energy to burn...

over c'd

i'm actually shaking... i was so completely exhausted today that i could barely stand. i had strong coffee in the morning, but it wore off around lunchtime and the afternoon coffee didn't help, so i had another one. i was more or less functional by the end of the day. then i had a strong cup of coffee with the hardware store dude and the effect has been building up since.

let's count backwards:
  • i just paused to eat and wash dishes - a great sandwich, and i'm so hyped up that it's almost as if the dishes did themselves.
  • now that i have a decent ladder, i'm in the middle of moving things to the upper storage closet. once i'm done i'm going to need to sort out more papers - that's going to be less fun.
  • the guy came to measure my windows for blinds. unfortunately, the cables for raising and lowering will dangle down the middle, because on either side there's a problem with the angles for locking and unlocking the mechanism :(
    but the blinds will be pretty :)
  • i managed to read a bit on the way home - it's slow going because i'm tired and unfocused (in general, of late), but absolutely riveting stuff [james hillman - re-visioning psychology].

    i scratched something down as well:
    in my worldview obeying the law isn't really important, but being a good person with strong values, who takes responsibility for himself and the people who surround him while doing his utmost to make a positive difference in it is what matters.
    i am proud that i think for myself, and i'm proud of myself for managing to take care of myself while putting the rest of my species first.
  • odd humorous bits for the day:
    nystire: "scantological" accidentally came out instead of "scatological"

    "how does one confused kylie minogue with a type of fish?" - i didn't have to say the first words that came to mind, we all got it. it stems from a couple of the guys thinking her surname is pronounced "minnow", which in hebrew is גסטרוסטאוס (gastrostauss, or something to that effect)

    telling one of the girls we'd buy her a white wall for her birthday: "if you're going to get me a wall, at least paint that blonde girl with the green dress on it - what's her name again?"
    two of us looked at each other quizzically, and the other guy looked at her and asked jokingly, "tinkerbell?"
    "yes! her!"
  • some of the work today was interesting, most of it tedious. it was a tough day from the moment my alarm went off - not even the morning's fresh orange juice could fix that.
dammit - i can't catch the damn mosquito.

chemical burn

almost insignificant, i'm very glad that it hit my arm yesterday and nothing interesting. the shower i had yesterday was almost normal... there's still a block, but it now takes a minute or two to hit it.

i went shopping last night, and didn't buy bin bags because i wasn't 100% sure of the size. smart, huh? so i came back, measured, returned, bought, and came home to find that i'd measured wrong. it really is a pity one can't return opened bags.

i went to the laundromat after dinner... it was so comfortable in there, i was so tired, and the music i was listening to just knocked me out. i don't know for how long, but the washing was complete and there were others around by the time i came to. i'm glad they let me be, it may not have been enough but it was quality :)

just done the freshly-squeezed breakfast, now going to rush a shave and exit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the other ninja scroll

why is the colour "radiant sea green" difficult to find online? i know the catalogue number is 583, but i don't know which catalogue.

i just bought and installed three מזוזות [mezuzot], so i'm feeling a bit "jewished out" :P

on the way back i witnessed a bus trying to push through a red light... the guy whose right of way it was put his car in front of the bus, jumped out and began kicking and beating the door while screaming hysterically and threatening the driver. i called it in, but the woman taking the report was getting carried away with interrogating me and in that time the guy's girlfriend managed shamefacedly to drag him back inside.

too much anger, and it's nothing but a symptom of the sick world we live in. aside from that, my whole way there and back i had a big smile on my face as all i could think of was "you have to be absolutely insane to not smile all the time". seriously, being miserable just isn't worth it, and it frightens me that i've been repeatedly losing focus and being down all the time. what a waste!

to quote chief tecumseh:
"give thanks for the food and the joy of living. if you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself."

disappointed

plumbing: i opened the external lid, and a can of worms: the water's almost up to the top. i'm uncomfortable with proceeding.

orange: i've been told i can ignore the automated threat that i received yesterday. they'd better be right.

papers! yay!

other papers: boo. a few weeks ago i sold myself down the river, and i just discovered that no technicalities will be able to pull me to the side... so i'm trying now for "stop that train, i wanna get off". it's not going to help, but it may be less stressful.

i just had the weirdest thought on the way back home, carrying my bright and funky sesame-street trash can filled with pretty cutlery and a birthday present [and all happy post-great service from a really cute girl], that in addition to all other factors, it's possible that the reason for my idiocy stems from finally beginning to actualize what everyone has been telling me to do for the last few years... to "slide". it's about not caring, and getting used to not caring, and that gets in your head.

and you don't really not care, you just stop fighting. that's not on. nobody can afford to do that.

you must be a genius!

i'm on my way to pick up papers and then sign others, after a rather unpleasant run-in with the bank manager. he was quite pissy. and the hardware store dude was unhappy with someone else, so i decided not to bother him until later.

i did find forrest gump waiting for me when i got home, though, and it's rather soothing in the background :)

my ex-team-mate proposed to his boyfriend in amsterdam a few days ago, and we all paid him a visit to sample fine dutch cheeses and exquisite chocolate while perusing absolutely phenomenal photos.

i was really fortunate to get a ride to base this morning, i'd completely forgotten to get organized last night. the workday was spent scratching my head over historical incompetence, dealing with a cthuloid comment-tree [sorry, had to].

i'm off to Do Stuff - it turns out that with a little [lot of] luck i can get home within an hour... at least it's a moment to breathe.

a few less

less people, a lot less people than i anticipated arrived this evening, and it was quite pleasant. a bit awkward, lots of friends who didn't interact much with each other, but there was munchkin and tekken and lots of oohing and aahing, noticably from the cute german girl who rocked up :)

and they made much less of a mess than i was worried about. only one spill (and we managed to catch most of it before it hit the parquet) and someone used the incense holder as an ashtray - all manageable.

the day itself was a bit different. a lot of it has been awkward because i can't tell my co-workers that anything interesting is happening in my life at the moment and the topic just keeps cropping up.

positives: lunch was good, a cute cadet was kind of flirty with me afterwards
negatives: Big Work Touble (after a quiet morning, the afternoon was filled with arguments and frustration)

word for the day: defenition. there's me correcting hundreds of spelling errors :S

nystire's insight for the day: our SC reminds us both of zim stealing all the other kids' internal organs.

it really ticks me off when people drop the volume instead of pressing pause / stop. it doesn't require more effort, and it saves battery power.
i'd say "and friendships", but they're not my friends.

there's a piece of software that i tried to bring into my unit last year, and i had to fight with my SC until he gave me permission to prove its usefulness. that would've been fine if he hadn't then made it impossible to do (by staring over my shoulder after forcing me to work 100% on the stupid software that we all hate and eventually abandoned). after i finished the course, i got back to discover that the project i'd had created had been moved to a different server and the password changed, and dealing with the bureaucracy to correct that has been off-putting since.

now we've had an external observer suggest the same software, and it's already moving forward. thanks for the faith, guys.

thought for the day:
can i sue maynard james keenan for giving me the feeling that i'm not alone, that there are others like me willing to fix things without compromise? that's a large factor in my current dissatisfaction.

pseudo-code grievance for the day:
why ! & not ~ ?

reality bites arrived today :)

man, something just smoked and gurgled and released a choking, acrid fog into the apartment. freaky. i hope it didn't damage anything, i'm just closed into my living room while airing out the place before i make an attempt with the tunneler. it's been more than half an hour and it's still difficult to breathe :S

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my alarm lies weeping

at least, i should be, racked with guilt.

last night's outing was delayed, which gave me time to tidy things up in preparation for tonight's mayhem, and then i went out, had too much too drink, and came home to discover that my shower pipe's just as bad as before. at least i was wary this time, and so as soon as i registered that it was stuck i turned off the water, soaped myself, sprayed off the soap within about fifteen seconds and set a personal record for fastest shower: but only the second-most-uncomfortable.

yay! another day at work! i'm loving it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

mass demotivation

the early bird
i haven't been up that early in a while, and of course that put me in just the right frame of mind for a wonderful day at work.

the robbery
i found out this morning that my aunt and uncle were robbed on the weekend, in a manner not at all cruel by south african standards but cruel enough by any normal person's. i'm upset and on edge about it, it's a close-to-home reminder that things aren't all joyful people and beautiful scenery down there. aside from physical recovery, i really hope the recovery from the emotional trauma isn't too much of an uphill.

the frustration, giving up
i've had enough of the crap, and the fact that i'm not alone doesn't make it a lot easier. i'm completely apathetic and irritated constantly, exhausted and unfocused, and i just want to get the hell out of where i am. it's not a good place - management sucks and my peers are not [my peers].

better food, ball-check stories
when i say better, i mean that i didn't feel sick after lunch. on the way back, we exchanged amusing stories, and i was reminded of my medical examination on call-up.

i couldn't speak or understand hebrew, and the doctor couldn't speak english. lots of hand signals and frustrated yelping got me to stand there in my boxers, and then he did something that totally freaked me out: he made a spinning motion with his finger and then bent his hand forwards, which to me (and when i demonstrated, the guys i was telling this to) meant "turn around and bend over".

after being frozen in place for a few seconds while he continued to verbally abuse me in whatever language he was speaking (possibly russian), i hesitatingly began turning around... and got dragged back to face him. he was angry because that wasn't what he wanted me to do, and he simply pulled down my boxers and grabbed hold of my testicles while making coughing noises.


fried green brains, bad shuttle sleeping
i was completely out during the afternoon, and lots of sugar and caffeine could only go so far. i did manage to do some work, but most of the time was wasted in discussing and planning with my TL. he likes discussing and planning.

bank transact
i made it to the bank on time, but there was a computer problem and things took a lot longer than expected. i was then informed that i needed to bring a written letter from the landlord... i've only just arranged that now, and i have no clue where to put the envelope that i was given. there's no mail slot at the bank :P

bad orange, good potato
some moron changed my phone's final destination after i left on friday so it wasn't at the branch i went to pick it up from O_o
at least they're going to pick up the charge for mailing it to me personally. on the way back i stopped by a shop called "potato", and had an absolutely brilliant eggplant-and-yoghurt baked potato. i'm still shocked at how much and how fast i ate... i knew i was hungry, but i demolished a 15x25x15 potato plus all the filling within a couple of minutes. i was a potato-eating machine.

i think it's fine: again
i poured almost all of the remainder of the drain-cleaner in, and it seems alright now. although that's what i said last night :S

it's the law
my landlord was stunned when he saw me navigate the pedestrian crossings to get from one side of the road to the other. i can't wait to stop having to be such an asshole.

busy freaking out
to ace ventura - NN (schatsi remix) - i've been going off the rails since coming back from south africa / france, and it's time to let go. i walked down the street bopping my head and musing over the last few years of wearing a metaphorical straight-jacket.

it's almost time to head out for drinks. i'm wishing myself luck.

best shower ever

i can't believe i just spent half an hour crouching in the shower, soap drying all over me and sukkling with the plunger. the amount of junk, gunk and hair that came out is frightening, and here i thought that the drain cleaner had done it's job.

it turns out it just smells really bad.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

i waited and waited...

and my charming flatmates called me after the landlord had left.

bastards.

i managed to catch him before he made his way home, and after a bit of haranguing [very pompous, in fact] i managed to convince him to give me the deposit back even though technically he could keep it for up to two months after i leave: he knows i'll make good on any problems that i leave behind.

i have made my final move, and handed back my keys. i hope i haven't left anything behind - as i promised to myself, my printout of luis royo - on the southern beaches was the last thing to go.

i'm now stuck with a complete mess again. i returned a huge set of cardboard boxes to the supermarket though, a pity the reverse side (the shopping process) wasn't as pleasant, all the cashiers were ready for bed and there were quite a few of us trying to pass through :/

i used the drain-cleaner... which is without any doubt the most potent, intense stuff i've ever come across. my eyes are watering just thinking about it, and my apartment has only stopped reeking of the stuff within the last fifteen minutes and i used it three hours ago!
i completely forgot about filling the holes, and it's definitely too late for that :(

the watermelon is finished, and i have to mention that one of the advantages of living on the ground floor is that instead of trying to force the remains into a trash can or letting it sit and rot near the door, i can just get up and drop it in the garbage bin outside without any effort :)

tomorrow: not only do i not have a ride, but it looks like it's going to be a very busy day. i gotta get some shuteye.

the headache

it's now beyond an allergy to my uniform - being on base makes me ill. it is incredible how unhappy i've become. i suddenly realized that currently the biggest demotivator is not being allowed to fix a problem that's interfering with a high-priority instruction because that instruction takes precedence. that's the kind of mentality that in my fantasy world is punishable by gratuitous violence and eternal torment.

today was mother's day - i admit i was having such a bad morning that it completely slipped my mind, and i'm really grateful that nystire happened to mention it while i was busy writing my mommy an sms. I LOVE MY MOMMY!

the responses to my video have been highly amusing, and as soon as i can cease worrying about concealing my identity (should be soon!) i'll post a link. kino sucks, by the way. i eventually used avidemux (which caused me problems last month) and it worked fine and doesn't require a degree to use.

it's possible that strong coffee followed by two bags of milk chocolate and a packet of mike and ike's was a little excessive. at least today was a cleaning day, so we finished it off with a four-player speed-super munchkin game.

i went straight to the hardware store after work, and i've now got to mix up some goo to fill the holes in the shower-tiles and clear a drain blockage. wonderful. at least i get my deposit from the previous apartment back tonight.

i cannot believe that i just invited 450 people to my apartment for a house-warming - i just couldn't be bothered to spend hours deliberating over who to invite and worrying about who's going to be offended that i forgot them... i hope only friends arrive.

*ahem* i hope friends arrive :P

the 60's has arrived already! SWEET!!!

too late! sleep!

my retarded ex-flatmate threw out a primary component of the vacuum cleaner, so there we were in the middle of a saturday afternoon rummaging through the garbage (most of it wet, sticky and rancid) to find it. i'm very, very glad that i caught that in time.

after making a couple of missions, i went to the beach for drinks with karnaf - after a rather ugly, dusty day the sunset was absolutely phenomenal! and of course, my camera's in the shop with the rest of my phone.

after a quick stop by one of ze germans to pick up my hat, i came back home so that my platoon leader from last year's jolly jaunt in the desert could bring me a small but usefully official piece of paper. then it was time to do the laundry, so i stopped by coffeeholic for a wonderful breakfast (the chef's special) on the way.

the public laundromats are difficult to use because they require a specific and rare combination of coins that the surrounding kiosks are loathe to part with. after being chucked out of the first one i managed to argue my way to the right change with the next, which kind of felt like being in the middle of a bad adventure game ploy.

i thought i'd use the laundry time productively, but instead i napped for most of it. after hanging it up, i spent a lot of time learning about uploading videos to youtube - for instance, it must be rotated before upload (unlike facebook)... so 32 megabytes later and i'm now reprocessing and re-uploading :(

Saturday, May 09, 2009

shifted day

i think i may have had too much to drink last night.

at least i've done a number of things on the list, not least of which was completing the final construction (set of drawers). i called up her grandmother to wish her a happy birthday (funny, i had a strange dream about her just prior to waking up, most unusual), and i'm now off to carry the last of my things from the old flat.

oh, and the video seems to be appreciated ^_^

the afghan whigs have good music, but i'm not thrilled about the singing.

i suddenly remembered the name of the record store i used to frequent (and subsequently learned how to dj from): sphere records. apparently rob-b is still active - i wonder what happened to lee?

a fiery spiritual experience
gender roles: apparently from the 70's but that seems a little out there
duke nukem forever is dead: linked from xkcd, this page is full of interesting information and comparisons
xkcd: for firefly fans - gotta read all 5 of them, i had a really good laugh

aa@home

damn - is it past 4.30am already? gco and his girlfriend arrived about five hours ago with a bottle of vodka and a bottle of coke, i brought out the rum and we've been talking crap the entire night.

it was very nice, but there were some topics that got disquietingly serious. i'm now exhausted. and maybe a little drunk.

i decided (while under the influence) to put my video online without editing. i don't know what the potential fallout is, but i have faith that enough people will find it amusing :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

orange: it really needs mentioning

there's nothing like freshly squeezed, especially when it's at the end of a day filled with mini-accomplishments and the oranges are absolutely perfect for being raped by the fruit-fucker juiced.

turned back

i smashed all my teeth
'cause my foot wouldn't fit
then i laid down my wreath
my own coffin i lit

only i eulogize
in the strongest of terms
to escape all the lies
and then turn to the worms

i appear at a gate
that has long been abandoned
i have made a mistake
the lord was forced to rescind

i look far beyond
but there's no frolicking
there's also no torture
nor reason to sing

spider in my room

rarely seen
sudden scuttling in the corners
busied with scarcity
rarely felt
soft touch brushing my skin
a kiss to remember

going on an adventure
in her big, wide world
interminably seeking a sacred space
to haunt for all eternity

rarely seen, rarely felt
sudden scuttling in the corners
soft touch brushing my skin
busied with scarcity, a kiss to remember

(barefoot inside)

i'm almost done cleaning, it's been a bit of a mission but my apartment is looking really good! i'll put together the last set of drawers tomorrow, and then i'll be able to put away the odd bits :)

ben harper's music has lots of ups and downs for me. i put the album the will to live on and thought that it was a bit, well, lacking - but then as soon as my randomized playlist hit homeless child i started vibing with it... and then thought "meh" when i got to the title song.

doing my killing before breakfast

i had to give my phone up until monday - that sucks, no camera and i didn't write down my appointments :/

i woke up this morning and immediately gathered up all my old clothes and shoes and took them to the donation point, with a great big grin for the beautiful morning ^_^

i handed over my phone to orange - didn't take long at all - and then headed back home to put up my posters and mirror... and it wasn't difficult and didn't take very long! i'm very happy with the results :)

after a quick stop at the post office, i went past the hardware store to return the drill and help the dude test his key-cutter, then took my laundry to the old apartment but the washing machine was in use. since then i've heard that the machine broke down in the middle of the wash, so maybe that's not a bad thing.

i had breakfast at coffeeholic, a really good breakfast (as usual) spent scribbling and reading. i'm bothered a little by james hillman referring to an "LSD-high", because i don't think it's the kind of effect one can safely describe as enjoyable... but the following resonated strongly as it struck a deep nerve:
if the formation itself is off course, then the man who is really 'on course' must leave the formation
- ronald laing
pj harvey is the bomb.

nap time!

a german,

a dutchman and a south african walk into a bar... not the best of bars, but we had a pleasant evening and i'm now definitely ready (coerced by some rather expensive whiskey - must start drinking at home) for bed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

a smile for the weekend

it's a form of ecstasy, the weekend euphoria is upon me! i must admit, my jaunt through the streets wearing nothing but a towel and a shower-cap, carrying a squeaky duck, underwear and a back-scrubber might have had some effect... i'm annoyed about the editing software crashing on me, that's going to make it take a while before i can remove all the super-dumb things i said...
...i was nervous, alright?

as i turned off the camera, i heard a siren coming up the street and ducked into the building. i don't know if it was for me.

---

today was difficult, although it did have some scattered amusement. my TL seems to have an idea where my bad news is going (and i didn't actually have to say anything), and he seems resigned to whatever my future will bring. i like that, although i could be wrong.

lunch did bad things to my belly.

amongst the faffing i did actually make a little headway into my work, and i left on a relatively good note. i went straight to the bank, sorted out the first half of a standing order that i should've done weeks ago, and stopped at the hardware store for some shopping, a chat and to borrow the dude's drill. after a bit of work, i have managed to drill two neat and well-placed holes in my shower tiles and the shower-head is now above waist-height!

sweet! now to go out for a drink.

mad dead chicken skills

it's late, and it's been a long day - but after being re-reminded this morning that late nights and weekday alcohol is good for me i'm not overly concerned. nystire told me that it's because i'm south african.

jump-link to voodoo programming, which i'm apparently gifted with. i found an unbelievably incoherent solution to someone else's coding problem this morning without having a clue what was being performed :P

culture: explaining baboons and baboon behaviour to israelis, hearing my TL discussing mother's milk being sent overseas... colour me concerned O_o

i got a follow-up phone call this afternoon, and i think the person i'm communicating with "gets" what kind of person i am. i don't know how much that's going to help, but i don't feel like i'm being cast to the dogs without mercy. i think i deserve a little, i've done myself more damage than anyone else is capable of in this matter.

after a long chat with my mum and then a quick one with SxS, i got back to smiling - how is it that i can never keep the useful concepts in my head when i'm under pressure?
1) totalwaste functions better with alcohol and sleep deprivation
2) as bill hicks said: "it's just a ride"

after spending a few minutes with the hardware store dude, i hopped on a bus to meet up with some friends at the artbeat exhibition / opening performances. the photography is sterling, the performances were absolutely incredible! i was already a fan of einav jackson cohen, i'm now a big fan of tamar eisenman (intense!), i think onili's music is really fun stuff and i didn't remember just how amazing panic ensemble is - absolutely mind-blowing, inspired and thrilling!

pity my back's giving me trouble :(

big deal for the day: curtains vs. blinds. my mum and i agreed that because at some stage i'm going to rent my place out i should get curtains, but - dammit! - the blinds come in colours that just do it for me, bright greens and oranges that i think would be perfect!

k-twang was kind enough to send me a link to something i'd wear, which as i told him is kind of creepy considering the idea i had this morning. i'd share it with the rest of the world if i didn't think there was lots of money to be made with it ;)

hmm... i got rather a lot of prose out today. i might share it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

a note on dani gilboa

the man can play, the show was great! i would have enjoyed it more if i hadn't had so much trouble keeping my eyes open, i was bombed before it began and post-beer and rum & coke i was even worse... plus the music was quite hypnotic.

favourite? his own music rocks, but his hebrew cover of jimi hendrix - hey joe (hey yossi) was inspired!

i walked home, half because i didn't think anybody else would be leaving within the hour and half because i needed the fresh air, and i just got out the shower and am about to hit the sack.

post-meeting in particular, but for the last couple of weeks in general i've been thinking a lot about the last few years and how they've affected me.
i've been driven up the wall, and i need to reset.
i'm annoyed with this morning's conversation because i missed the opportunity (like most people, i always think better after it's no longer relevant) to respond to the question: "why on earth would you do that?!" with "because if you don't take risks, you may as well be dead".

a pity.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

it's like i wasn't there

nope, still really, really tired. at least i've had blood samples taken so i'll know in a bit if i've really stressed myself out this much.

i called tech-support this morning for the router (pronounced ROOTer, for all of my americanized readers) and was informed that i'm the only person who's complained that their hours make it necessary to take a day off if there's a problem.

the Big Dreaded Meeting was... unfortunate. for the moment i can only say that i've well and truly screwed myself, and that i'm going to pay for my stupidity. i just don't know yet how much. i've begun preparing for the worst, which is sadly highly probable.

i got to base, talked to my mum, had lunch and went back to work. aside from being tired and unfocused the last couple of weeks, my current project sucks and i've become apathetic. i guess i'm just stressed and unhappy in general.

james hillman's re-visioning psychology is terrific, i just wish my latest downturn wasn't preventing me from getting into it properly.

i picked up my monitor on the way home - how did i manage without an lcd at home until now?!

i visited the hardware store, the guy there's helping out both me and his neighbour who sells curtains and blinds by being our go-between - he's a swell dude :)

i went to the old apartment a couple of times to run laundry and transfer, spent too much time with the router and was then honoured with a visit by sammy - it was really good to see him again and it was, of course, nice to be able to show off the pad ^_^

sammy was good enough to drop me off at the "picture theatre", where my neighbours going to be performing in a minute or two... i'm very impressed that i made it :)

another interminable nap

i didn't go out drinking last night, i woke up at 10pm and decided that it would be a really bad idea to leave the apartment in that state :/

so i watched an episode of battlestar galactica instead, started an ubuntu upgrade (done), and went back to sleep.

i'm actually surprised to find myself as nervous as i am. i've already screwed everything up, but even damage mitigation is stressful. is today the first day of the rest of my life?

i have frank zappa talking in the background - kinda makes me feel like i'm watching those rejected bitter films randoms. maybe i should listen.

indie on the move is a great concept!

Monday, May 04, 2009

come on in! the water's fine!

towel-rail: solid (and just the right length!)
water-pressure: great
shower-head: in need of an upgrade, but usable
leaks: none
drainage: not great, might be blocked

not only did i have a pleasantly hot shower now, even after shaving this morning and the geyser is only set for fifteen minutes (the minimum amount) per day (pre-shave), but the installation of the towel rail took all of two minutes. very cool 8).

i received no instructions with the blood tests, so i'm going out drinking tonight in preparation for tomorrow's Big Grill: i'm answering that call.
---

it bothers me that tech-support for my router is sunday - thursday, 9am - 5pm. let's assume that the usual issues with a router - like, say, your net connection going down at 2am - are not comfortably dealt with by this company. suck.

this is the puzzle from this morning

still exhausted

i'm going tomorrow for blood tests, i'm afraid of the possibility that being this tired constantly is physical illness and not simply spiritual fatigue.

i just put down the deposit for my first lcd monitor (of my very own), and am about to call tech support to see if they can sort out my router - i figured it's a good idea to post before that happens :P

negotiations over - the 60's is on its way to me ^_^

a couple of us played super-munchkin over lunch today, which is a start. the other fun bit of the day was the riddle, not too complicated but very frustrating nonetheless (i didn't understand the rules at first, and came up with very funny solutions).

the sandstorm* today was insane. going outside was masochistic, and i made the mission to the hairdresser only to discover that his foot's hurt so he couldn't work today...
today was mostly pointless work-wise, or at least not very fruitful, and i think the highlight was being called by the student authority (4.5 years later) for a telephonic interview to see how my absorption's going.
i'll only find out tomorrow, but i decided to be positive nonetheless ;)

i just let a spider into my apartment through the only possible entrance / exit - and it promptly disappeared. bugger.

* i was reminded of an 80's movie with travellers being eaten by some weird creature that lived in the sandstorm. anyone know what i'm remembering?

the mall is my church

we have a stairwell cow: i stepped out of the pad, skirted around the sofa that's been blocking the entrance to my digs for days, and some woman from upstairs climbed into me about how terrible it is and how i need to move it out.

i explained that i was trying to, and that i was, in fact, on my way to see someone about it - this was true, i was off to get my newly-ex'ed flatmate to help me carry it over there. she proceeded to stress that it's unacceptable, and that it needs to be moved out within the week.

i didn't like her tone, and i like her even less.

hauling the couch was serious exercise, but it's done and that's one less headache - assuming, of course, that my neck wasn't harmed in the process :P

after a long chat with my mum, i hit the shower for hopefully the last time and then came back home to get stuck into internet consumerism.
as i said earlier, i bought the wonder years box set. i then discovered that there's no such thing, and i managed to get a refund. i'd rather have had the box set. as a replacement, i went hunting for the 60's, which is no longer being produced and is therefore quite expensive. i found a set on ebay for a [relatively] decent price, but now we're in staggered negotiations over shipping. so i bought forrest gump to satisfy my need for immediate gratification.

and now for bed.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

false-hope joanna

dammit! a girl named joanna was going to buy the sofa, and i forgot to call her until i got home... too late, she'd found something cheaper. crud.

the rest of the afternoon didn't improve, and when shuttle-time came around we all scrambled. once i got home it was straight out the door again to do some shopping.

it's dusty, icky and i have bugs plastered all over me and up my nose.

i've just been on a mission to produce transparent pvc stickers for my entrance mirror, spare dvd covers (boy, did i drive them crazy) and on the way picked up a couple of stylish magnets (i won't put any old trash on my fridge!) and sorted out the towel rail. now i just have to install that so i can clean myself up.
i also looked at lcd monitors, i think i'm going to need to upgrade soon.

ugh... i've been bitten all over :S

so i *just* bought the box set of the wonder years (i've had joe cocker's voice in my head now for almost an hour), and i almost bought a monitor online but then thought better of it. i prefer to deal with my neighbourhood store.

yay! a number of people have successfully downloaded mighty mouse - the great space chase! and of course i'm still the only seeder. wonderful :/

for all the fans: an interesting susan boyle perspective

eyelid strain

i'm once again forced to consume extreme quantities of caffeine in order to function - am i still sick? or just sick of this place? or was lunch really as bad as it tasted?

as it was, i arrived late this morning (my ride had an eventful morning) and that afforded me the opportunity to have a relaxed breakfast... but not a relaxed day :(

i've spent a lot of the afternoon on hold or receiving crappy service (actually, "bitter" may be the more appropriate word) and that's turned today into another "i'm not overly-fond of israelis" day.