Saturday, October 31, 2009

own goals

[this is my rationalization for life aims. it falls under the section headings "hero fantasy" and "stating what should be the obvious".]

everyone should have a goal in life. something not entirely obtainable, so that once you get there you're not left wondering what's left. the goal doesn't need to be something measurable, but it must be something real - "being happy" is a choice one makes constantly, it's not a state one earns. likewise for "being an artist". your career does not define your life aims, it is a means by which to achieve.
"being famous" is a terrible one. famous for what? and why do you find that important?
"making the world a better place"* is a fantastic goal, but it's not substantial. in what way does fixing the world match with your personal interests and abilities?
"curing cancer" is nice, but myopic - what's the bigger picture? "solving medical problems" is one possible answer.

* desiring to make the world a worse place is just an indication of weakness and lack of perspective. this is a separate argument.

one should learn a trade or skill-set that is in line with one's interests. at the very least, something that doesn't conflict with them. people need to stop hurrying to acquire academic degrees without stopping to think about whether or not they're really in line with their needs and desires. if you're halfway through a degree and discover that it's not for you? stop. (although if you're further along than that, then maybe you should finish it - unless you're actually suffering).

when you desire to do something that you personally are unsuited for, then it's more than likely that you're approaching your goal from the wrong direction. there's nothing we super-monkeys cannot achieve, it's merely a question of how. if you don't have the talent for designing great monuments, there's no reason why you can't redefine your task to "coercing great architects". never let pride get in the way of your dreams.

wealth is not a goal - wealth is obtainable through so many different paths, and doesn't of itself provide satisfaction. when wealth is on one's mind, one has lost sight of what one would do with that wealth.
also, a person who believes in or enjoys what he's doing is more likely to become wealthy through it.

there are a number of things that a human being requires in order to maintain some semblance of sanity, and these things should not be ignored. one requires the basic necessities to function, such as food and shelter, and even more importantly the emotional stimuli and external support. there's nothing like a human being for developing insecurity.

if your friends are unsupportive, maybe you should find new friends.

the most important thing, in my opinion, is having a goal that you believe in. if you wake up one morning and decide that you've been doing the wrong thing up until now, then it's time for re-evaluation. whatever you've been doing up until that point has not been wasted, it has brought you to personal revelation.

for each of us, life is short and you never know when it's going to end. you might not achieve what you wanted to, but being on the way is a good place to be. limiting your goals to "realistic" will not help you to be who you want to be, and you don't need to get to the end in order to be fulfilling your dream.
and you really, really shouldn't sacrifice love and happiness on the way.

dream!

Friday, October 30, 2009

sleepless dreaming

i started passing out while watching the prisoner, so i put myself to bed. pointless, because i couldn't sleep, so i've been watching the big bang theory instead. i'm feeling weary, indecisive, and i haven't managed to get anything productive done (probably shouldn't have tried), and i'm not hungry enough to do more than snack.

i don't know if i should just chill out, or if this is cause for concern. i feel like an idiot for thinking about this.

big news, little news

i've definitely spent too long online, so i'm taking a break to watch television instead :P

i took out my ski jacket and my brolly, made use of a pair of boots i bought ages ago and barely wear, grabbed a cup of coffee and walked north, whistling seether - fine again. it was beautiful, in the light rain, still lit by the occasional lightning flash and by relaxed faces all along the way.

i ran into the girl i bladed behind a couple of weeks ago, and we had a quick chat about the weather, about how cruel not being able to blade is, about next week's race... i was rather embarrassed to not have remembered her name. she's quite pretty, and i wondered for the second time if the reason that we never talk is because she seems unapproachable, or because i do.

breakfast with karnaf was great - we had a lot to talk about. the waitress was very pleasant - to look at, too - and the food was exactly right. it was during final tea that a university friend walked in with his gorgeous girlfriend, and we had a quick chat that was awkward because *i* kept talking in hebrew - it's automatic with him, and she doesn't speak any. not cool.

the walk back was pleasant. here are some links, some important, and some pretty.

important: sometimes, governments forget that they're supposed to control the people, not serve them. if your aim is to control, you simply can't hire intelligent, honest, educated people to fill potentially controversial posts.
i mean, who knew that he would go against the party line in favour of reality?!

didn't we learn anything from nixon?! he thought the war on drugs would protect the united states from moral decline. he was wrong. the irony? we resort to worse things to fill the gap that's left by not doing something that comes naturally to us.

pretty: i'm a big fan of twisp & catsby, and the penny arcade halloween special is magnificent!

the obscure: i watched top gear's robin reliant shuttle episode in january - it's ingenious!

and i was just reminded of yael deckelbaum doing a terrific cover of me and bobby mcgee last night :)

possibly back to bed

the alternate ride - on happiness
the discussion yesterday morning revolved around being happy - whether or not being happy or satisfied is a positive thing, and how pursuing happiness is a pointless exercise when one can simply "be happy". i was surprisingly interested.

"do not push against skin with forklift prongs"
there's a quote that's been bothering me ever since i first walked past it, stenciled formally on the side of a set of crates. is that really necessary?!

rabin memorial, SC stress relief
we all gathered for a memorial for yitzchak rabin. the speeches were fairly standard, although the chief of staff's message was very good. we then had an hour of singing along (or, in the case of myself and those in my immediate vacinity, uncomfortable nap time - it was hard work keeping our eyes open) to the traditional sad songs of the day. a lot of the songs were about hope and peace, which some found detracted from the spirit of the day. i disagreed - we're mourning the fact that rabin was assassinated, i think defiance in the face of those who worked against him is in order.

i joined nystire for a mission to the other side of the base. we were discussing possible things to do to celebrate my release (whenever that is), and i came up with a brilliant plan. getting our SC to dress up as a donkey, then pulling out a couple of big sticks and screaming "piñata!!!" would be awesome.

on a more realistic note, i decided to begin making a "wear sunscreen" presentation. i'll add a bit more every couple of days, mostly from the things that the guys do that drive me nuts.

uml and tweaking
i started getting somewhere with my tidying up, and things are beginning to fall into place. it sucks a bit that the sections i'm currently doing can't really be done incrementally... what's nice is that it's interesting enough that i'm taking it home with me (in my head, at least) :)

i was shocked today at the ease with which i could unsubscribe from another army magazine (that i actually did ask for). i called them up, told them what i wanted to do, gave them my id, and they said "done". i was in shock, considering the fact that we're still fighting over the hopelessness of unsubscribing from the one nobody wants :/

my cousin from the kibbutz has agreed that if i come visit next weekend, she'll take me to the kinneret for the 60km bicycle (with us on blades) race. sorted! although, as usual, i'm assuming that something could come up at the last moment. if nothing does, that would be excellent :)

the november wired kept me up the whole ride home :P

decision making off the board
i'd been totally exhausted the entire day, and had to choose whether or not to train. i was so out of it that i couldn't figure out how busy today was going to be, but came to the conclusion that missing friday's training would suck.

then i called up our instructor, and was informed that scrapper's test was going to be yesterday - not only did i not want to miss it, but i was suddenly convinced that i'd confused the week and had to make two other phone calls to verify that i hadn't lost my marbles.

verification complete, i managed to sort out all the options until they relied on whatever was written on my whiteboard... so as soon as i got in, i had a look and knew immediately that i needed to get ready and head off. i *just* made the bus. i spent the ride napping or engaged by hillman - i got to thinking about the reality of dreams. if the experience seems real, then i've experienced it, and that makes it real. from *my* perspective, at least.

so if i've been dreaming about battling aliens or being lost in a haunted village, then i can add those to all of my personal experiences, for better or for worse...

how did i do so much damage to my poor foot?
for the last month or so i've been having difficulty with my blades. i've also been having trouble, at random, balancing on my right leg. about halfway through the training, i noticed for the first time why.
i'm guessing it was caused by making contact with someone else's elbow a while back - with what appears to be my tibialis anterior tendon.

it's become raised, swollen and misshapen, it's like a piece of rock. and it hurts. haven't i seen the doctor enough this past week?!

the psycho-slap changes
training was pleasant (thank redbull), but about half an hour before we finished i received a psychological slap to the face. i was really excited by having learned a game-changer - if i hold my head and shoulders slightly lower, i keep my whole body not only more stabilized, but looking sharper as well. i practised doing that, only to have our instructor rush up to correct three different things in a form that i've never done differently - significant changes to things that i've always felt *right* doing.

that was incredibly hard to get over.
i now have to focus on keeping my body lower, straightening my thumbs for open-handed attacks and blocks, blocking from the outside and attacking from the inside (i've always been confused about that), angling my hands differently for the double-block, readjusting my open stance and landing sideways from the roundhouse... *not* going into tiger stance...

that's harsh.

yael deckelbaum's bag of tricks
it was a bit insane to try to get to the show - we left training in ra'anana around 22.15, and it was supposed to begin at 22.30. we managed to arrive a few minutes before things got moving - the place was packed - and one of my old team-mates rocked up after the first song. the band was missing the lead guitarist, but they didn't need him last night.
they changed their tone a little, threw in a bit of jazz, a bit of reggae, and made it a really, really special evening. it was magical, wonderful, and intimate - i'd forgotten how much i love seeing her live!

the hunt for next-door shuwarma
we walked out of the performance, both in need of food (beers and nachos after training isn't enough), and went in the wrong direction. everything that was interesting was closed, and we did a full circle before finding something acceptable. at least it was a pleasant walk, and it had only begun to drizzle by the time we went inside.

the chef in a thunderstorm
as we made to leave, thunder rolled and the skies opened. we stood there appreciating the wonder of the first real storm of the season, hoping it would lessen enough for us to get to the car. just then, the chef rocked up on his bicycle, completed drenched. it was good that we had a chance to chat, because aside from the pleasantries i'm now clued in on the after-effects of last week's event.

he took most of the week off, went back to work yesterday, and when the big bastard showed up (as usual), he was suddenly stuck by post-trauma terror. so he's gone to the police, which he should've done a week ago - but i can totally understand. i was surprised on tuesday to hear that he was doing fine, he obviously hadn't let what happened sink in.

soaked without a jumping box
we were trapped on the wrong side of the road... after discovering that the section that looked less flooded wasn't, i saw scrapper do something out of a computer game: a cardboard box was floating past, about half the distance across. he actually made it - leaving me impressed, and stuck in the middle of the road. we both had a good laugh afterwards, because i totally complicated things trying not to get soaked and i ended up all wet anyway.

and i enjoyed it :)

---

aaaah, janis joplin and pj harvey on a morning where the thunderstorm has been set to continual downpour ^_^

Thursday, October 29, 2009

double tap!

Not only did i manage to score a late wake up (late enough to watch another episode of the big bang theory), but i just walked out of my apartment into a cool breeze and a light drizzle ^_^

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pristine defence

pristine defence
a fortress
in shallow greys and blonde tresses
a fortress
empty as the surrounding desert

the giant face
of the entrance wall
with eyes, wide, penetrating
barbed lashes at the ready
granite-lipped drawbridge sealed tight

the mouth snaps
creaking shrilly in the wind
a whispering, questioning breeze
blowing ever out, sometimes gently
but often a blasting wind

those mocking eyes brook no entry
that sharp-toothed mouth denies refuge
that emptiness will not be stained
by the passage of travellers

operational goodbye

after a perfect nap, and a great night on wheels, i slept perfectly. i didn't wake up until way after first coffee. carcolepsy was unavoidable :P

dragging the kit bag around today was inconvenient, but i do believe in "better safe than sorry". i can't help but laugh at myself for being so unnecessarily organized, sometimes :)

nystire put last night's idiot-girl aggravation into words: "aggressive defence of ignorance". i think that's an excellent description.

i spoke to tel aviv university's grad school secretary on behalf of a cousin who's looking to apply, and the discussion we had was quite interesting. it revolved around the differences between "2nd" and "3rd" degrees and "masters", "honours" and "doctorate" (nope, no resolution), and the inconvenience of studying in a foreign language.

i finished a task today that caused the 1.5 days of potentially wasted work i mentioned yesterday, and once i realized what i had to do it took all of five minutes. oh, well. i should probably care more.

i'm ashamed to have achieved a number of important milestones in my secondary project without any design whatsoever. i began to sketch uml this afternoon for the rewrite, and i am ashamed that i've spaghetti'ed it all together until now. i would never have considered something like this before - i can't rightly explain what got into me. it's becoming more and more complicated to incrementally incorporate decent design modules, but at least the uml seems to be clearing things up a bit.

i will never laugh at uml again.

i got into working uniform for the first time since march, and it felt great! unfortunately, it's most likely the last time i'll be putting it on, and i'm not sure how i feel about that. i've always hated serving in dress uniform, and i've always enjoyed playing soldier.

i was made bus commander on the way to the range, the driver was shocked that i could assume command without complaining when i hadn't been given a chance to "prepare". what was there to prepare? how to deal with a bunch of brats who can't sit still or count past ten? no problem. i even managed to cut off the shitty phone music effectively ;)

unfortunately, as "BC", i had to be aware of my surroundings and i really wanted to pass out, just like everyone else :P

i wasn't kidding about the counting limitation - everything at the range went smoothly (surprisingly so) except for getting the kids to stand in order of their assigned numbers. okay, so the first time it may have been a bit complicated for them to perform the comparisons, but the second? and the third?! all they had to do was stand more or less where they'd been the first time!

the girl who i think has a crush on me (nyah-nyah) and i burst out laughing, from where we were standing the range commander's tent looked exactly like a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant!

the sunset was gorgeous, but blurred. i want my eyes to perform as they did when i was a kid! i've become more and more reliant on my glasses of late - i need an ocular vacation.

standing in formation at the end of the evening, i couldn't help myself. i *had* to squeeze the cow attached to nyah-nyah's bag... a suddenly loud mooing had her cringing [i wanted to write cowering, then thought better of it] and us in hysterics :D

i relinquished responsibility for the bus on the way back, and got a ride back to tel aviv from a guy in our unit who's generally rather uncommunicative. we had an interesting talk, got lost in traffic, and eventually i got dropped off near my home. after a quick shower, i took a giant sandwich for a walk to what i understood was a sound exhibition... i made it just in time for the final event of the day, which was essentially a sales pitch for a very impressive sound mixer. if i was interested in making a purchase, i might've hung around for longer than i did.

i've watched some more of the big bang theory, and am definitely getting into bed. stupidly early morning, coming up.

cleansing smooth tar

after posting, i spent some time trying to help a cousin skirt around israeli university websites (they're a nightmare), watched a couple of episodes of the big bang theory, shopped, ate, had the most perfect nap ever, and headed out on my blades.

getting there was fun - we started coalescing into a small group at random intervals, and the route was great. i enjoyed helping out by joining the forward team to form roadblocks - i can do that because my overalls are bright enough - and was really glad for my ski mask when we hit the park. most of the evening was smooth sailing, and even the crazy uphill in the middle didn't slow me down :)

i just had a long chat with my mum, and am now about to shower and crash. with a giant smile on my face ^_^

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

gleeful reply

wow - a response to my ramblings!

i disagree with the definition of god. you say, god creates reality and meaning, this particular part of my brain creates reality and meaning, therefore my brain is god, QED.
a cat has claws; a wolf has claws, therefore a cat is a wolf.


the point i'm trying to make about god is one of redefinition. cats and wolves both have claws, and i'm not looking at them. i'm suggesting that i can call both cats and wolves predators, and whether you're looking for a wolf or a cat, i'm going to say you're looking for a predator.

it's a fairly safe assumption that there is no "god" in a universal reality, but when we seek the creator and controller of our universe in a theological sense we are seeking the "meaning producer", the thing behind everything we experience, see, hear, extrapolate, infer.

when i say that that part of your brain is god, it's not my god, it's yours. if you believe in a universal god, then you're talking about a reality of facts that doesn't leave much room for one. remember, "universal" means testable - scientific, if you like. that which exists with or without your being around to appreciate it. when science finds a real god that consciously made everything, let me know.

because we cannot differentiate between the universal and the personal, for each individual *god* performs all the functions and *god* really exists and really exists for everyone else as well. the concept of "everyone else" is itself an internal, personal one.
if you believe in a personal god, the god of *your* reality, you won't find anything that comes before the mechanism in your head that produces meaning. if god comes *after* that mechanism, then you've created your god, making *you* god, but through that mechanism. it's all very circular :)

as i said, i'm always happy to have holes pointed out - the biggest problem with all of the above and everything else i've written is communicating it, because communication is personal...

why do i try?

i'm like the little engine that could, only i keep on trying even when there aren't any tracks. i cannot let go of my desire to help, to correct, to improve, and i keep on going even when there's nobody home.

i usually have no problem standing on the bus and reading... but this morning, the woman next to me pulled out a book before i could, and that just made me all awkward about "copying her" :P

i had a go at my ride for recommending the little prince when he obviously didn't get the point of it. he was highly offended, and stalked off - i discovered later that he himself only read it a week ago for the first time. i had to apologize, and then inform the people who were around at the time that i'd been mistaken. at least that means that there's a chance we'll have fewer arguments over my "childish" behaviour in the future.

the environmentalists:

1. insubordination
the guy who took an interest was called up by the unit head for "going around his commanders". i cleared myself with my SC (more of a double-check, because he has no memory) of the same charge, as i ran through the correct channels.

2. "i'm not responsible"
the chat with my SC turned into a full-scale attack on him, as he's of the opinion that everything's alright and someone else can worry about the future. this coming from a man with kids really blows my mind. eventually, he told me that he's aware that he's not taking responsibility for his actions, but he's authorizing me to keep trying to change his attitude.

doos.

my workday consisted of transferring reams of data to a wiki. the wiki table formatting doesn't work, so i built a table generator before getting started. i then showed the guy who wiki-shocked me yesterday, and he hemmed and hawed and told me "we'll see".

i hope he will. otherwise, that was a serious waste of a day :P

the wall of
she attacks everything i say, claiming that she wants to learn. she puts down any pursuit in non-scientific fields as pointless and wasteful, and makes fun of anything she doesn't understand. why, then, do i keep trying to answer her questions? she trapped me with one after another, and at one point i answered her with "i know what it is, i don't know how to get it across".
her response?
"if you know something, then you can't have a problem with getting it across."

i made an attempt, and failed, because she began playing word-games. i find the bloody-minded literalness frightening. then i recalled the points i've come across regarding the slow bleeding-out of language by the strangling of words until they lose their power... you can keep defining until you've lost what you were trying to describe. and then you can communicate like a newspeak-limited idiot.

i mentioned the bump that's been hurting me - i suddenly remembered that about two weeks ago i slipped on my blades, and landed on my right thigh. the damage is consistent with the sort that one takes from using a piercing-gun. blunt trauma, way to go.

i'm not sure if i've had this concept implanted subconsciously or not, but something suddenly occurred to me:
"ew! you can't eat puppies! puppies are adorable and we love them!" - then why do you have no problem with wiping with them? huh? weirdos.

bad doggie

i meant to go to bed about an hour ago, but i only had one more episode of being human left. what a fantastic series!

i do feel bad about the many things i didn't do instead. i did need to chill, though.

today's calvin and hobbes: too true. in that vein, here are some great times square images from saturday.

i'm just more than halfway through the little prince, and i'm blown away by the fact that the person who recommended it to me didn't understand the point. in book parlance: he's a grown-up. with his own asteroid.

Monday, October 26, 2009

b-m-and-w

bloodletting, massage, and wiki-shock. these are the things that consumed my day.

i managed to get to see the doctor really quickly this morning, and he assured me that last night's paranoia was completely unjustified and that it's an arbitrary thing. that's never happened to me before. did it have to happen when i was feeling so good?

wiki-shock means coming across the scattered remains of someone's attempt at a feasibility test - for using the wiki for a certain type of documentation. this guy had no clue how to use a wiki, nor how to ask for help, the result of which is a cluster of "table of contents" pages that link through to pages labelled "1. Section Heading", which kinda misses the point.

that's the second time i've come across such a glaring example of "i don't know, so it can't be done". the first came from brother bear: i explained to him what he'd have to do to get java running on his system, he didn't listen, and it didn't happen. he then reported back that the project couldn't be done in java.

and these are *intelligent*, *educated* people. gods help us all.

ooh! that reminds me, i read this last night on the bus and it just keeps making me smile:
for indeed wandering is a psychopathic trait. the mocking discordant shadow who must see through because he is also a Knight Errant, passionate and idealistic, is indeed a figure of psychopathy. it is he within who is driven out of stable connections, who cannot settle, cannot conform, because he is driven to unsettle all forms. but this fugue in the soul need not be condemned to play the antisocial criminal, since precisely his mordant insights are those that can awaken the callow unpsychological innocent - who also lives within us - to discern among ideas, discover new perspectives, and survive. this the rogue errant can teach - psychological survival. thus may our psychopathic shadow become a guiding psychopomp and bring about a reformation of the innocents from below, through the shadow - of the lamb by the wolf.
james hillman, re-visioning psychology
more because the description of the internal process is itself a fantastic metaphor for how i see myself :)

i learned something absolutely frightening about the denial-of-attention that i received when trying to unsubscribe from the mailing list a few months back. i argued with the general command for a while before they told me to give up, and someone else picked up the baton and had a go today. from what he reported back, we have a major attitude problem and i'm hoping he'll succeed where i failed.

we donated blood today - i was concerned when i told the woman in charge about my low blood-pressure and my syncope, and she told me i have nothing to worry about :)
it suddenly dawned on me that the reason i had a hard time putting pressure on the vein was because my arm's become a lot tougher in the last couple of months of training!

i was amused at the end of my physiotherapy session - i'm usually the last case for the day, and it felt... awkward... to watch my physiotherapist begin treating someone else before i'd gone.

the chef's ex wants to meet me... i can't even guess what for :S
in the meanwhile, i've decided i'm going to catch an episode of one of the eight series' that i'm currently watching (wtf?! didn't i say no telly for me?!), and maybe read a bit of antoine de saint-exupéry - the little prince (hardcopy).

the hadouk trio hijaz just made my evening, getting me to turn off the lights and dance; it even inspired me to sketch an idea for my ceiling. i wonder how much it would cost to put that up professionally?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

a little rest is in order

how did i forget yesterday's quote of the day?
"9am is too early for spandex!"

i was a bit disorganized this morning. i missed a semi-useful bus, and waited 15 minutes for the good one. as it arrived, i realized i'd left something important at home: something that's usually in a place i can't miss, but during friday's unfocused unhappiness i placed a book over it... that was just unfortunate. i made it back there in time for a slightly-more-useful-than-the-semi-useful bus, and arrived *just* as my ride turned the corner. phew!

most of today disappeared in a whirlwind of not much. lots of emailing and explanations, but no actual work. i did purchase the green and black jawbone; it appears to be a fair price and the cute girl's name is daria. you can't say no to that.

the two village-idiot arguments of the day were about palestinian blame and jewish elitism.

a) the palestinians are most certainly, royally, screwed over - what nobody (including they themselves) realizes is that they've done it and continue to do it to themselves. they allow terrorist factions and corrupt "leaders" to keep their lives in the gutter, and they feed their children absurdly hateful propaganda instead of education.

we have no choice but to defend ourselves, and it doesn't matter whether we want to be friends or not. we're not only not responsible for their situation, but we're doing more for them (it's unappreciated, and largely denied) than their own leadership is. or we're trying to, at least. it's not an easy job, when your own propaganda machine is broken.

b) once upon a time, a jewish studies teacher passed along a little tidbit:
how odd of god, to choose the jews! [hilaire belloc]
it was not odd, the jews chose god.
the chosen people? it doesn't mean "automatically better than everyone else", it means "with extra-added obligation to show everyone how its done". and not all of us stand up to that. being obligated to be good examples doesn't make us better, it makes our lives harder. or makes us feel more guilty when we aren't behaving as we should.
as for everyone else: what the hell do you care?! if you're jealous, don't be. just be as good as you can be, and you can "choose" yourself :)

nystire and i had an interesting discussion about taekwondo, while he was simultaneously aggravating me by practising a strike without preparation. one cannot get over one's fears without climbing into a fight unprepared. you can think and train and do whatever you like for as long as you like, if you're not testing yourself against others who are stronger and more experienced than you then you're not likely to improve. there's a very big difference between hitting a focus pad or a punching bag and seeking opportunities to attack while under threat of having your head impolitely removed.

i got a ride to azrieli, and waited for so long for a bus that it would've been quicker to walk. the bus i did take turned out to be a bad one (express), and i was lucky the driver let me off... the bus to ra'anana was jam-packed, and for most of the journey i didn't have enough space to open my book :/

training was great, i've never enjoyed one-steps before, some of the move interpretations were extremely unfriendly, but that's fighting for you. i got a ride with scrapper, and fed, and we had an interesting discussion that turned into the usual. the bus home was comfortable. and i finished a huge chapter :D

i watched an episode of the big bang theory to go with a decent (and surprisingly uncomplicated) mango, and then realized that i've suddenly developed a large, painful lump on the back of my leg - and the paranoia of either a serious bite or a weird parasite to go with it :S

i'm guessing it's time to sleep.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a little more blood

something reminded me that i really want to see monotonix perform.

i watched another two episodes of being human, and did some shopping in between so i could eat before passing out. i was so tired that i didn't have the energy to wait at the meat counter :P

this sniper prank just goes way beyond any practical joke boundaries. poor bastard.

i have to wait another five days to see yael deckelbaum again - it's been too long :)

350!

only more like a marathon :)

instead of doing 35 symbolic kilometres, we took a wrong turn and pushed it to 43. the funny bit was that i struggled so much for the first 30km, and the last bit saw me getting my wind back and thinking i could do it again!

waking up at stupid o'clock on a non-work morning was a bit difficult, i just couldn't get it together and i was one of the last to arrive at the cinemateque :/
the ride there was fantastic, though - the streets were clear and the morning beautiful, with a wonderful breeze. the bus ride didn't give me much opportunity to nap, though, as we were all being very school-tour-ish.

i had a good laugh when i woke up the guy behind me as we arrived in beit shemesh. he asked me who i was, and i told him - i wasn't as surprised as he was because i'd already overheard that we share the same name, and he thought i was having him on :P

getting prepped for the actual run was strange - everything through a haze of sleepiness and the incredulous state of "am i really about to do this? i trained hard yesterday and the day before" :S

the uphills were killer, the downhills great, the group was a lot of fun, there was a point to it all... the sense of achievement was palpable. i really didn't feel bad that i missed helping the neighbour because i had to eat and shower - i had cereal for breakfast, a pastry when we began and an energy bar about halfway, and i needed just a *little* bit more than that... [yeah, i did have coffee and an energy drink, too]

amusing incident: on the coolest downhill, a policewoman took an interest in us and demanded that we remove our rollerblades and walk until the highway.
yeah, right.
when she eventually realized that that wasn't going to happen, she took to screaming at us to stay on the shoulder of the road - was she that bored?! i think i heard her telling someone to keep his balance, i'm not sure if that meant she was developing a sense of humour or not.

realization dawned on me: the last few weeks i've been suffering from a stuffed nose and a weird chemical smell, and that smell bothered me while on the road. it's the first time i've been able to pinpoint it as being a sensory problem and not something external - i'm fairly certain the el-cheapo [i didn't realize it wasn't my brand until it was home and opened] toilet paper that i bought and use as tissue is the source.

the orange juice at the end was the best i've ever tasted :)
i did sleep on the bus back - unfortunately i awoke with stiff legs and a hurting neck. there were plans for a bunch of us to mission to the port for lunch and a beer, but then people started disappearing and i did that at my place, alone, instead. while watching the rest of final fantasy: advent children (incredible! but last night i passed out in the middle), and i've just watched the pilot and episode one of being human, which is absolutely exquisite - although i have to admit, i prefer both the ghost and laura from the pilot.

Friday, October 23, 2009

a day of ugliness

i didn't sleep particularly well, and i had trouble with the shiatsu pillow - it requires another person to assist with placement :/

after double-checking the flyer design and taking care of a little finishing, i stopped in at the art centre next door (a very interesting exhibit, i'm glad i carried on past the stuff at the entrance that really didn't speak to me) and went for my usual morning book 'n breakfast relaxation.

---

right - the day was defined by an extremely distasteful incident that was violent and completely unnecessary. the brass monkey irritant was at coffeeholic this morning, and although i do my friday breakfast there to prepare for training i don't actually want to spend it discussing, well, training.

unfortunately, this idiot was in the zone - he badgered me the entire time with all sorts of "do you know"s and tried repeatedly to get me to let him demonstrate cool tricks to disable an opponent. when i ignored him to dig into my food, he just kept on going. because i know he's around sometimes and i don't actually want to make things awkward at my watering hole, i just let him keep going and tried to focus on enjoying the chef's beef parisian.

just after i finished, he began demonstrating a stance - the chef walked up, and with a smile on his face limbered up and got into a similar stance. playfight? alright. no problems there.

a couple of blocks later, and our hero (the idiot, in case my sarcasm misses its mark) performed a fairly standard block / attack, smacking the chef hard and squarely on the noggin. it may have been open handed, but what i haven't mentioned is that captain retard is a friggin' tank, he's massive (not fat, he's a builder by trade) and he's spent most of his life doing various martial arts (hence the enthusiasm).

the two of them carried on, and it was unclear at that point how serious they were. when he got the chef in a hold the chef pushed him back a few metres, and suddenly our "gentle" giant picked him up and slammed him on the ground, trapping his head under his knee.

regardless of whether these big boys were playing or not, i started shouting at the gorilla to stop: he'd already proved whatever it is he had to prove and the fight was over. i thought he'd listened, because after a second he took his leg up...

the chef made to get back up, and this complete bastard viciously punched him right back down. it happened so fast that all of us were left staring slack-jawed, he swaggered back up to me and immediately began trying to make light of what had happened, making out that he was justified because the chef had attacked him.

the chef was in a bad way - i just discovered now that magen david adom (the israeli equivalent of the red cross) sent him to the hospital in an ambulance... after he reassured me that he was handling (as best as can be expected) and i saw that the other staff were taking care of him, i angrily tried to explain to señor psychopath that he'd done something wrong. i realized i was wasting my time, he'd already convinced himself of an alternate reality wherein he was the wronged party.

i'll be glad to bear witness for the chef, i'm really upset by the whole story because he had no way of knowing what he was up against and he really didn't deserve what happened. i actually feel partially responsible, for not getting the asshole off my back before :(
i mean, i made it clear afterwards that i don't want anything to do with him, but it's definitely too little, too late.

---

i came back home, got ready for training and was caught by a neighbour in need of assistance with moving tomorrow. of course, tomorrow i won't be around (350) for most of the day and the evening is too late for her, but i told her i'll try to help if i can. i got a knowing look when a really pretty neighbour walked in and i greeted her - i need to hang around outside more often :P

after a social queueing experience for the atm, i got a quote for the flyers (decent prices, and for once i used the right size and quality for what i need) and had an interesting jawbone planning session with a much sweeter girl than the last time.

another social queueing - i offended someone while trying to be helpful, but the others around us helped me settle things down - for a bottle of coke (i really needed it, the morning's event stressed me out physically as well as emotionally), then i went downstairs for a training session that actually saw me getting hurt: i just couldn't keep my mind in the right place during the fighting.

it's weird leaving friday training when it's already dark. i'm going to shower, have dinner, watch a movie and then get ready for tomorrow's blading. and i'm going to try to deal with what happened today. i'm sure the chef is going to be watching the replay for a while - that's way worse than any physical damage. i still get upset when i think of the last time i took a beating.

they made me cry

i have *just* finished the taekwondo flyer design, and i'm rather proud of it :)

topic of the day:
in the last five years at least, the only times i've cried have been in really sad movies. for all the rest, i've wanted to, but couldn't. today i cried for myself, for my frustration and my anguish and my sense of hopelessness.

today, i failed again. and again, while telling the truth. the difference is that this time it started off great - i cruised through the first round of questioning and didn't skip a beat. after that, i don't know what happened.

the guy who tested me actually impressed me - primarily because he listened and could be brought to understand (a little) how important phrasing is with me. i have to admit, after the test i was really impatient with him - after a couple of times that i cut him short he really let me have it, and that was about when the little-boy-who-needs-his-blankie inside of me cut loose.

i thought i'd need a drink after that, but a good coffeeholic lunch and coffee (shouldn't have, i couldn't sleep afterwards and i needed the siesta) over re-visioning psychology (i've gotten through a lot today, it seems to be a good day for sinking inʢ and i've enjoyed it), and an episode of the big bang theory plus a pseudo-nap had me ready for taekwondo.

training was great - my body seems to be getting used to the stress of stretching and i pushed it pretty far. i think i got a little taller, this evening :P
afterwards, the organizer of last wednesday's game (scrapper) invited me for dinner (he was giving me a ride towards tel aviv anyway), and we had a very interesting talk. or set of talks, we kept switching topic. i caught a bus home (walking off it completely caught up in tool - 10,000 days), and after showering got straight to work. in silence. i'm in a weird mood.

also, i've eaten a lot of cookies tonight.

ʢ note to self:
i woke up this morning
held in jung's strong arms
with a worn-out hamilton
contorted in mine

after a night with hillman
who forced himself on me
it's a socially painful awakening
after so long, so fraudulently isolated
in a room full of distorted mirrors
and cheap tricks to keep me lost

i can only blame myself
for entering the labyrinth
my cocksure curiosity
and relentless self-goading

but i am glad to have gleaned the insight:
to always turn right


---

i did say i'd fill in yesterday's blanks:

* door smack reminder
on tuesday, i was leaving the base bus, the left door was jammed and some idiot was blocking the right one. in order to get out of the right side, i had to skirt around him... and as i did so the left door violently unjammed, hitting me really hard in the arm. i carried on walking, registering the contact with surprise after a few steps.

* temporary fix, glued fingers, too late for the weather
i put my glasses together again, and amusingly enough the weather had improved to the point where i didn't need them. i only discovered when i got to base that i had dried glue on my hands - luckily nothing else :P

* missing buses
if i hadn't spent more than thirty seconds looking up a letter in my japanese dictionary (and no, not for anything reasonable), i wouldn't have missed both - and the only - buses that i needed. that sucked.

* gift appreciation
kc's mother called to thank me for the shiatsu pillow - i'm well pleased that she's happy with it ^_^

* the ambulance issue(s)
a couple of months ago i had an upsetting issue with medical fees - the army refused to pay them and i received threats that i'd be sued. i unhappily forked over the cash, and that was that. a few days ago i received another warning, for the same amount, for the same event. or so i thought. it turned out, after much unhappy telephony and extremely unhelpful people, that the fees i paid two months ago were for last year's ambulance - during the entire debacle, nobody had corrected me when i talked about this year's emergency ward visit.

unbelievable. the funny thing is, last year i was in a course, and i was told by the army medical that they would pay the fees automatically, and that i didn't have to worry about anything. they didn't file the report, and now i have to claim back the payment and pass it on to the army.

i really shouldn't have to be making all this effort. and i shouldn't have to be stressing about being sued, either.

* japanese pseudo-buddy
the girl in my section who i have trouble communicating with? she knows a fair amount of japanese - i didn't realize she'd actually taken a course. i think i've managed to get her to enunciate a bit, so hopefully that'll help me improve mine :)

* on health and climate
i find it incredible - i find it incredible every time - that my health is largely affected by the current weather. i felt absolutely dreadful during the heatwave / dust-storm, and the second it cleared up i felt fine again!

* gentle rinse
one of the girls in our unit was promoted, and although we don't usually celebrate girls' ranks like we do the guys (tying them up and drenching them with buckets of water / rotten food / old milk), for this one we made an exception. a few of us, with no prior communication, had appeared in her office conspicuously wielding a bottle of water to congratulate her. she was getting freaked out, and everyone interested spontaneously gathered in the hallway outside...
one of the guys convinced her that it was in her own interests to risk leaving the safety of her sanctum, and we managed to trap her and drench her without any physical contact.

she was a bit upset with me... the water i threw on her was very, very cold }:)

* paper waste
apparently, i've managed to remove myself from a bunch of mailing lists that bring each permanent forcer a monthly pile of waste paper. i've already been asked to pass the details along - perhaps we can make a difference ^_^

* guest flyer-ing
one of the girls from our unit (the one who appears to have a crush on me) came over to my place because we were both going to visit my ex-team-mate and we wanted to buy a house-warming gift together. i had to work on the flyer design, and she proved very helpful. it's always good to have a fresh pair of eyes :)

* fondue shopping
the shopping was fun - not fun was controlling myself and *not* buying for my pad. we found an excellent fondue set, and i had a good laugh at the girl who "helped" us. she was not only clueless, but treated the other customers with awkward disdain.

---

i'm definitely training again later, tomorrow's the 350 (for me, joining a mass blade through the desert), and tomorrow night's gaming night (two confirmed, we'll see what *really* happens), so i should probably be in bed.

from the guardian - a quick and correct take on the goldstone report

surface d&d - very cute

boat behind is a very sweet video :)

i'm back to watching the big bang theory, and just discovered that we both wear fruit fucker shirts ^_^

the path sounds very good - i didn't read it all because it seems a bit spoiler-ish, but the concept is brilliant. and educational.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

it's *NOT* my birthday!

the most important item first: the hebrew production of a midsummer night's dream was mind-blowing: beautiful, inspired, and seriously convincing! the acting and choreography were magnificent, and the production was seriously slick. it was also superbly situated. i didn't even know the tmuna theatre sported a real one, hidden in the back and boasting a really authentic atmosphere ^_^

it was a bit rough following the hebrew - the translation wasn't direct and i was quite impressed by the liberties that were taken and how they maintained the playwright's style . the interesting thing was hitting a shakespeare play that i'm not at all familiar with in a high level of a language that i'm not totally fluent in and still thoroughly enjoying it and getting everything. damn. yeah!

a pity that we finished off in a restaurant whose style i don't like (i compared it out loud to another one that i didn't fancy, and the waitress crept over to chirp that it has the same owners). the guys enjoyed my cringing at the loudness and clapping so much that they convinced our waitress that it was my birthday... bastards!

i'll transfer the rest of my day to a new post, right now i have to focus on sleeping enough before another Big Day. i hope i can chill this time.

* door smack reminder
* temporary fix, glued fingers, too late for the weather
* missing buses
* gift appreciation
* the ambulance issue(s)
* japanese pseudo-buddy
* on health and climate
* gentle rinse
* paper waste
* guest flyer-ing
* fondue shopping

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the chop

i got to base around lunchtime, and the day had developed into the height of its dustiness, sliminess and unbearable brightness (dammit, i need sunglasses!). i force-fed myself, while staring into nothingness and contemplating the earlier irritations, then slowly made my way to my office.

i got my hair cut today. at least i can count the maximum number of army cuts i have left.

i didn't have any coffee this afternoon, but i made up for the lack of external energy with sugar.

i spoke to my mum, and then wr came over for a visit, for a couple of very enjoyable hours. i haven't seen him in a while, and it's been too long since i've spoken to someone on such a similar level :)

i had barely enough time to stuff a sandwich down my throat and get my blades on, but i made it before the group left tonight. it was a good group, and a brilliant route!

two issues:
1. my blades have been hurting me the last couple of weeks, and i don't know what i'm doing differently.
2. there's a stunning russian girl who's usually very distant (or with what appears to be a giant boyfriend), and she sat down next to me this evening... in silence. in retrospect, i should've said something, but i thought about it too long and i just got awkward. dammit.

we went through a religious town, and there were lots of police giving us shit most of the way. those of us at the front missed a bit of action, apparently :P

thoughts for the day:
1. our instructor loved the flyers, now i have to finish them so they can roll out
2. on the other side of the same coin, i've decided to see what i can do about reducing snail-mail spam. i need to get in touch with a member of parliament, apparently.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

what else could possibly...? shit.

it all began alright, the meeting was fairly smooth and i managed to get into civvies, take passport photos and find the embassy in reasonable time.

i thought renewing would be a simple process, and i was wrong. i need to provide a bunch of details i don't have, and be fingerprinted to apply for an id document i don't need (no computers here, so everything's from scratch).

frustrated, i went back home to change, grabbed the mail and hopped on the bus.

i'm absolutely mortified - the hospital is unaware that i've paid the fees (to the claims company, for may). now i have to prove that i got the receipt - why does everything in this country have to be an ordeal??

i couldn't get hold of the oakley importer, so i called the directory enquiry service assuming that i had the wrong number. they couldn't get me the right one, but were nice enough to put me through to someone who'd never heard of oakleys before.

"who are you?"
"a potential customer"
"what do you want?"
"oakleys"
"oh-clees?"

these are not the droids i was looking for.

prioritizing

good heavens! it's quite late! i can't believe i've been up working on taekwondo flyers.

i've now caught up with the series, and it's better than the last season. it's a giant pity that i didn't spent any time on the game :/

at least i can wake up late, today's a quick meeting with the man in the suit and then a hop to renew my passport :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

like tank girl

another day without water. cute dust-storm, wonderful furnace-like heat and fantastic breathability. and of course, work was fun. [well, to be fair, the work itself was interesting, just the conditions sucked]

all i needed was another of my ride's bright comments - this morning he annoyed me by arguing over bus lines that he's unfamiliar with, and trying so hard to make fun of me that he (hello, cognitive dissonance) just couldn't get what i was trying to explain. i'd give up, but i don't have what it takes.

a similar occurrence with the idiot girl that's been on my case - she brought a new kid to our lunch table and tried to show him what an idiot i am for dreaming. fortunately, the others at the table provided a counter and allowed me to defend my ideas critically; while not everyone agrees with it being the right way, nobody thinks it's entirely foolish.

that reminds me: ion drive in the news :)

i think my physiotherapist asked me to arrive earlier just so she could see me in uniform :P
whatever it is she did, things are still hurting but definitely feeling looser. she gave me another couple of exercises, and told me i should come back on wednesday.

ignoring the fact that i enjoy the sessions, they also provide me with a human hour of getting shit done. today's was spent getting the cash to renew my passport tomorrow, trading in universal soldier: the return and the tank girl vhs for the thirteenth floor, purchasing a shiatsu-pillow, art-supply shopping (mostly for the game), discovering that i can trade in my laundered ipod for a 25% discount on a new one*, finding the local distributor for oakley's*... i mean, wow. i can't usually do any of that.

* neither of which can be bought from their online stores. which sucks, because oakley's allow awesome customization and i could've etched the ipod...

i just got back from regular shopping, and have decided not to go rollerblading tonight. i'm going to watch how i met your mother (because i've been told that i have to) and prepare for the game.

i think i like carusella

here's our SC

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a trivial pursuit

wow - i can't believe i just watched what amounted to the most insane waste of time: happiness. it's like the result of what would happen if you gave one uninspired, sexually frustrated director a big budget and a time limit.

"one of the 25 most dangerous movies of all time"??? you mean, people have been bored to death?! i vote it "one giant suck".

searing, aggravating

the heat wave continued, getting worse. today had the feel of radiated caprica, and someone damaged the water mains so we were dry until the last hour.

my ride let me know that we've been miscommunicating for the last few months - our "agreed", "regular" time has been upgraded to 15 minutes later, explaining why i'm always rushing to be early :/
to make things more interesting, we had another fight about fun things being allocated specific ages. his take: nobody older than 12 should be watching zombie movies. i can't take it!!

i had a huge lunch. considering the fact that i was exhausted, had just consumed shit coffee and had just suffered half an hour walking through the sludgy, superheated air, eating a lot wasn't a good idea. i just felt worse and worse until we eventually (after a shopping round) got back to the office, where i passed out for not nearly long enough :(

the question of the day: "is a golden handshake like a golden shower"? that brought to mind two men, instead of spitting on their hands to seal a deal, pissing on them. eww.

the conversation with nystire took a decidedly interesting turn on the way back - i wait with baited breath for my release to see how much we really have in common.

i began putting stickers in japanese around my desk, and it feels like it's working :)

i managed to do something productive before leaving, and got a ride to tel aviv at the last minute (as in, i stepped off the shuttle). the foolish girl who keeps fighting with me was in the car, our time together was precious as always :S

the walk to the gym and back was draining, and the red bull wore off halfway (turning me decidedly sour), but i have my dobok (uniform) back. i've just showered, and am going to relax with a movie... i don't know if i'll have enough energy to see my ex-neighbour perform tonight.

a hearty celebration

it wasn't much of a traditional coffeeholic experience. a few of the regulars were there, but they were enthusiastically involved in a private gathering, i couldn't focus on what i was doing [trying to plan monday night's game], and when the chef arrived he informed me that he'd forgotten my discs again.

i could deal with that, but i suddenly got really, really tired. i came home to crash for half an hour, then got up and dressed and made my way to my her mother's 50th. i got there early, as usual :P

the music was fantastic the whole night, the food was great. i managed to consume a bit too much alcohol, with depressive effect :/ [and i learned that rum and bitter lemon isn't a good combination, the rum's taste just disappears]

i got a ride early, which was still late by my standards. i hate having to wake up pre-sunrise :(
we had a really passionate debate in the car on the way home, concerning the general populace's lack of interest discovering music. as i've said before, i just want people to know they have a choice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

standard saturday

i've just cleaned my apartment [totalwaste:1, button-spider look-alike 0], sorted out papers, and rotated my wheels. i even played a couple of rounds of tekken, and found the case for my ipod - i'm making a little coffin for it.

what i didn't do was work on the list for my insurance. and i'm not going to today, i'm just not in the mood.

instead, i've just watched the first episode of full metal alchemist over beer and marmite, and now i'm off for the coffeeholic saturday experience .

mike's dm'ing is inspiring, but i don't have the talent, the time or the resources. i do, however, have an idea for using bits of felt and prestik :P

drakan


i'm feeling a bit giddy - mostly motion sickness. the game works, but my machine isn't a very strong performer so it gets a tad choppy. regardless, i forgot how awesome a game drakan is!

slightly off the mark

lol@self, i can't believe i woke up for a party that took place a week ago. that'll teach me to double-check the dates :$
at least i won't be suffering from a bangover when i wake up...

instead i watched zombieland on zenstar's recommendation: AWESOME! best zombie movie, hands-down ^_^

since i had a cup of coffee and a beer during the movie, i haven't gone to sleep yet... i've spent almost two hours online, and i'm considering trying to get drakan up and running. i'm a masochist, apparently :P

from nystire: the office and the outlook it presents. very interesting, and i'm not dissatisfied with where i fit in.

grootbek has finally linked to something decent: the knux are pretty damn funky. one of ze germans linked through to gossip-heavy cross, which is one of the most styling videos i've seen in a while, and then he made my evening with a super-cool snow video trailer.

i think we can learn a different lesson from this noah coincidence (from the word "coincide", not intended to indicate inherent luck by any means. of course), and that is that we need to build an ark and load it for ejection into space ASAP.

isn't it amazing that making the mundane fun can be useful?

Friday, October 16, 2009

over-exercised, but eventually fed

i was up until about 3am scribbling about the open source project - i was so tired the words were pouring out like set jelly :P

i woke up with a sore, gunked up throat and my phone ringing - my cousin from the kibbutz got back to me after i called her yesterday. i'd meant to get up anyway, but my capacity for chat was suffering a slow start-up... i started the day by producing a potential flyer for our taekwondo group, then broke for coffeeholic for breakfast.

the breakfast was great, i enjoyed getting back into hillman, and karnaf joined me after a while and we sat and chatted until i had to get ready for training. i wasn't really feeling up for training, but what the heck :P

training itself was hardcore - a more extreme version of last night's, and last night caused me to bite back tears. there was a point today at which i managed to move back into sitting position from a stretch, and actually struggled to regain control over my contorted facial muscles. this all happened *after* i managed to put my neck out completely... again... it's been a gods-darn month already!

moment: our instructor has a thing about throwing her camera at people. usually as a surprise. i made a save today that not only shocked me, but got everyone else applauding and cheering as well - a bit later, i had to make a simpler one, which didn't go so well (she'd left the lens out, and i caught it at an angle... at least it works again).

i broke at 4.45pm, leaving in time (i thought i was in time) for the rollerblading group (and in my hurry leaving behind my uniform and shirt. i hope they don't get moldy before i rescue them). when i was informed that it was leaving in twenty-three minutes, i had to *run* home in order to have a hope. when i arrived, i discovered that my informant had written negative twenty-three. i figured it was possible for him to be mistaken (he wasn't), so i put on my blades (still breathing heavily and sweating profusely from the run) and scrambled to the park.

i asked a random bystander (a mom whose kid was blading) if she'd seen the group, and she nodded to the parking lot... i could barely make out a set of wheels in the dark. i ran up to discover a couple of people i'm familiar with, but not the sunset group i was looking for. they were "drafting", essentially slipstreaming for long-distance rollerbladers. this was better than nothing, i figured, so i joined them. that turned out to be a really good idea: we worked hard, but my job was to stare at the really cute girl's ass (the one who read us poetry a few weeks ago) for an hour in order to sync with her.

can't complain.

we got back to the park just before the sunset group, and we hung around for about a quarter-hour chatting and hearing horror stories (and seeing horror videos, one of the guys videotaped his prince-albert being inserted. i couldn't watch more than a few seconds, staring at his penis wondering when the action would begin just didn't rank high on my list of things to do). the group began to dissemble, and i rolled back home at high speed. it took me a while to cool down enough to take a shower, and i've just come back from having a mean sandwich at cafeneto while reading wired. this month's issue has some very interesting points to make, specifically concerning risk, prisons, autism and bureaucracy management.

now i need to sleep before tonight's crazy 17-year alternative line party.

NOOOOOOOOOO!! not my ipod!!!

*cries*

i just opened up my washing machine to find my poor ipod inside :'(

this doesn't give me enough faith

sore leg, other sore leg...

i got to wake up a little later than usual this morning (a little after 6am), but the extra sleep didn't help me and i had to drag myself out of bed. i celebrated last night's mythbustingly good news by having a snickers for breakfast.

the morning began with a Very Important Meeting: we were all called in to watch a video about factory bottlenecks. i commented afterwards that when our bottlenecks exist in a virtual space, being instructed to sit around watching movies about stuff that most of us know already (and is mostly irrelevant for us anyway) points a giant finger at our section's tiniest bottleneck: our SC.
interestingly, nobody stood up for him, and my TL is usually the big defender.

today's primary workload (my secondary project) was challenging, frustrating and satisfying.
re-designing stuff that i didn't think through, and trying to incorporate it into the current codebase incrementally is no a simple task. realizing just how inefficient and inelegant my quick-fix tacked-on procedural mess became is shameful. seeing my new designs fitting in smoothly and correctly is extremely pleasing.

the rest of the day was dedicated to qa - fortunately, predominantly my own and with a little prompting and tweaking from my TL my testing documents have become good enough to turn a mountainous task into a breeze :)

i got a ride to the entrance to petach tikva, falling asleep on the way and waking up totally out of it. it took me a while to find the station, but the bus arrived with a minute of my getting there so that was fine. a short walk from the bus took me to training...

training was rough. today was a stretching day, and i haven't experienced one of those in a very, very long time. my body went into panic fairly quickly, and i would've told myself to "man up" if i hadn't been feeling particularly unmanly (possibly due to being so tired). i did the forms in slow-motion.

i watched another episode of battlestar galactica on the bus back, showered, tried to figure out a way to the party, failed, and went to ze sushi for dinner instead. the meal was excellent as usual, the chef and i talked so much that i didn't get to open my book (i'm attempting hillman again), and i've just arrived back to see if i can get anything productive done or get some rest instead.

i just pulled the terranoise album out of my mailbox ^_^

Thursday, October 15, 2009

intrigue!

i have a lot to learn.
i came up with a good plan, and we've begun a pirate adventure :)

nice kids, i can see there'll be a lot of munchkinning, but i'm more interested in familiarizing myself with the role of on-the-fly storyteller and keeper of the plot device. also, i don't think there's a better way to get a grip on the damn rules :P

apparently i remind one of the guys of gerard butler.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

two girls in two strolls

waking up this morning wasn't too rough, although sleeping on the shuttle didn't do my neck any good.

i walked in to discover that my TL has changed his surname. i have trouble reading certain names, and the others found my getting the pronunciation wrong absolutely hysterical...

i was supposed to go to the range today, but i wasn't prepared so they let me off the hook. for the moment. the man in the suit called me, too, and next week will hopefully be decisive. i think i've wished for that before :/

i spent a lot of the day worrying about diabetes... i'm going to make an appointment to see the doctor and get tested. i wanted to ask at the clinic if i could get tested without an appointment (a yes/no answer), and the ars who'd arrived before me got upset that i'd pushed in the line when he was busy being dealt with.
he's right. i should've at least asked. i'm getting too used to this sort of behaviour :(
[maybe i shouldn't be so concerned?]

i spent today struggling with my demons - demon entangled procedural code. once i got the design sorted out, things started going smoothly, and i finished off the day having finished one of the more important classes cleanly.

i didn't know that c# doesn't do typedefs. it's irritating writing out templates of templates and forgetting which ones means what. typedefs are important.

i passed out for a short while in the afternoon, and came to just in time for birthday cake. some of the guys were bored, and began pushing me over whether it's really "orientated" or if "oriented" is the right word. they "proved" it by bringing two thick books with the incorrect spelling. i could deal with the silliness, but one idiot (the guy from yesterday with the inability to whisper) decided to have a go at me, and he claimed that he's a native english speaker. he's as native in english as i am in dutch. about five minutes of excessively pointless argument later, and i walked out of there to hear from someone else that he's a generally annoying person who nobody should argue with :P

the village idiot and i sent out a really amusing email this afternoon - my unit spam's quality is improving :P

...

something's going well - i picked up my picture, which came out really nicely this time, and went past coffeeholic to say hi to the guy i went to the party with. a cute american-israeli girl was there, and we got to talking... she said she'd call me as i rushed off to get ready for tonight's gaming.

on the way back from emergency supply shopping, i walked past a really pretty girl struggling with a sixpack of water... of course i offered her a hand (on condition she was going my way :P), and the walk was very pleasant :)

i've just tidied everything up, and now i'm waiting for the party to arrive.

where's the kitty?

i forget all the important stuff :$

yesterday, as i was getting off the bus, one of the passengers near the door turned to face me - a girl wearing cat make-up. we looked at each other, and she started making faces at me, so of course i made a face or two back.

the problem is that i'm not supposed to do stuff like that in uniform, and once i got off the bus i started wondering if maybe she was just a figment of my imagination.

i had been listening to one of frozen ghost's more insane tracks at the time; the experience put me in a very strange headspace :p

feels like i'm falling

i suddenly remembered the falling nightmare - i'm not terrified, just a little irritated.

the first fall was caused on the last leg home, some idiot in front of me turned around and stopped, while there was traffic on my left and i was going way too fast to stop. i came out of it alright, but annoyed. at least he apologized.

the second fall occurred because i switched to the north side of the road to get away from uneven and bothersome paving, and couldn't see that the shopkeepers had not only covered the pavement in suds, but managed to fill half the road as well. i really fell on my ass, and while i'm lucky to have missed a roasty it was a bit of a shock.

the group was really interesting today: we had a photo shoot for some international billboards (apparently we're gonna be on broadway - anyone who notices the guy in the orange... that's me), and i met some rather interesting people.

the irony about the two falls tonight is that they're not related to the fact that i began playing again for the first time in over a decade - coasting in the splits, weaving and jumping and hitting silly speeds for urban limitations ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

night terror

nothing like waking up in the middle of the night, choking on what appeared to be the effect of reactivated cilia (my nose was blocked when i went to bed, so i used a spray) and wondering if i was going to make it. i've just flicked through a copy of a pop-up book of nightmares at the mall, and my post-dream reality was worse than the traditional ones :/

that was the last late wake-up for the week, and that makes me kinda sad.

...

after an awkward discussion this morning, i'm left wondering what kinds of things israelis get incarcerated for. the prevailing attitude where i was is that incarceration in this country is generally hypothetical, and that doesn't sit with me as i know someone (not a friend, though) who did quite a bit of time...

nystire called me back, we seem to understand each other concerning his sister, and with regards the rest of the week he left me with instructions that were surprisingly simple to carry out :)

the lecturer arrived really late this morning, which meant lots of minesweeper and solitaire after catching up on news and comics :P
when he did start the day, he may as well have been talking to the wall. he just rambled on and on, and i don't think i would have noticed when he eventually tackled the point. apparently i got everything, though - i ended up helping the others when it was time to sit on the exercises :P

the two guys behind me were incapable of whispering. incapable of understanding the concept of whispering. "lowering your voice" is not the same, because the bass carries and that's more annoying than just talking normally :S

i was forced into a strong cup of coffee - my system was crashing and i had no choice. it took another two cups to get me through the afternoon, and i think that may be a part of the reason i'm exhausted now. and we seriously over-ate at lunchtime.

on the way back from lunch, i ran into someone i worked and studied with many years ago, whose .net project i had to rescue in 2005. we had a nice chat, and i consider it more networking: he's doing something that might help me in the hopefully-near future :)

the final exercise was provided in two flavours - c and c++. because the results had to be the same, those of us who chose c had to implement object-orientated code manually, which i have to admit to having enjoyed :$

...

the guy i agreed to meet got the buses confused, so i had a few minutes to kill chatting with the hardware dude. i had to leave in mid-sentence, and i'd been having trouble expressing myself so tomorrow i'm going to have to catch him and restart the thought :S
i hate my lack of verbal communication skills.

i passed along my p5 glove so it can be experimented on - i'm ashamed that i haven't played with it after buying it more than two years ago - and then rushed off to dizengof center to pick up my picture. it hadn't been printed yet, so i had to kill some time. i found a relatively cheap massage pillow (great for shoulders!), which i bought and wrapped as a gift for her mom's birthday present. if my mother tells me it's a good idea, i'll buy another one for myself :)

the picture came out beautifully - except for a tiny scrape in the middle that must have been a result of an air-bubble in the glue. i cannot express my disappointment... the guy was cool about it, though, and they'll re-print it tomorrow. he looks to be into the trance scene, and he seemed to like the story behind it :)

i walked into "the black hole" on my way home, and bought two enya discs, the celts and the memory of trees. i then stopped by coffeeholic for a sandwich, but the chef was in an odd mood and the talkative one did a good job of putting me into one too.

i called up her grandmother, after hearing this afternoon that she underwent an operation this week that was a lot more serious than she'd anticipated. at least it went smoothly, and she's feeling a bit better. nothing worse than medical surprises.

...

w00t! my ktorrent started working! now i can happily continue seeding the great space chase :)
and my copy of the magic pudding has arrived, as well! ^_^

i'm a bit tired, actually. but i must blade.

Monday, October 12, 2009

juice - dress - child

today i learned how to write "pirate monkey" in hiragana (kaizoku no saru).
so "go roo!" said in hebrew means "monkey" in japanese :P

transration of the day: "in climax, your friends can touch your privates" (in c, friend classes have access to private members)

today can be broken down into three major pieces:

oil of nystire

i walked into the classroom this morning, to find nystire half-asleep and looking his usual chirpy morning self. it was only after he'd already gotten out a sarcastic response that he turned his head slightly, and i could see the scrapes and remains of blood on the side of it... he'd had a nasty morning, and fainted while throwing up.

i suggested he see a doctor, but in addition to being a trained medic he's also one of the most obscurely obstinate people i've ever come across. he was going to see the doctor, but only around lunchtime.

just after the lecture began, he swung his seat and his shirt that was draped over it rubbed against me. "odd," i thought, "it's cold. it feels kind of wet."

he'd had to wash vomit out of it. i'm a bit fussy about hygiene, so that was kind of uncomfortable for me... anyway, the morning was mostly uneventful, with him rushing off a couple of times but claiming to be more or less alright.

...

his crazy sister called me up during lunch, after he'd been driven to the city officer. when i called her back, i learned that he'd been admitted to hospital. i was then accused of either causing his fall, or not being a good enough friend to help him up. she put down the phone without giving me a chance to explain that i hadn't been there, but she'd instantly put my back up and i hadn't really felt like i needed to be defending myself anyway.

a quick flurry of sms'es later, and she sent me a message threatening me if i didn't stay away from her or her family. this is a girl who's been harrassing me for ages, and last week couldn't understand why i didn't want her sleeping over.

in my anger i sent nystire a message saying that if he didn't intervene we could all be ending up in court over restraining orders and defamation claims (she's too stupid to understand 90% of what i say, and she took to making unpleasant and untrue claims about what kind of person i am). in my anger, i accidentally sent her a copy too - and then realized that i didn't really care.

i've been angry and agitated and brooding since. i can't believe my fantastic mood lasted all of two days. the mood was set by being surrounded by happy, accepting people who were just being people, and ruined by someone who's stupid, bored and looking for a fight.

the costume dept.

i spent a large part of the morning contemplating potential costumes for thurday's party and halloween. i came up with too many options and not enough methods to implement them:
ninja, pirate, clown, cowboy, fairy, surgeon, farmer, unicorn, elf / santa claus... these are all fantastic options to go over my ski mask and overalls.

coming up with a halloween costume is more complicated - it has to be inhuman, or ghoulish. the awesome girl working the alternate freak shop (there are two of them?! i walked out of the first one with body-paint, at least) had me wearing the firestarter-wig and a tiger mask, which looked awesome but somehow didn't gel for spirits. i might still go for the tiger mask, but i did walk out with the wig because it matches the rest of the ski-mask outfit. i'm thinking about dressing my orange man as either a clown or a pirate. heck, while i was there i even bought smiley-face party hats and a blowout so big i can catch things with it.

and the idea of a chef with a cleaver popped into my head, too :)
i'm thinking of taking a cheap costume, like a cape and the recorder, and trying to convince someone at random to take over for a while and then pass it on in the same manner. i wonder if that could work?

kiddie meals

i had lunch with the kid, and we both ate too much. i'll be going back there tomorrow, although he'll have begun journeying back to the university. he's gotten me really interested in working with his company, and has promised to arrange me an interview the second i get out of uniform :)

---

i realized this morning that i'd left a bag at the hardware store last night. that made me feel a bit silly.

i ran into a cute girl from last year's course on the bus this morning, and was pleasantly surprised when she bounced over to kiss me on the cheek. any signs of affection are problematic in uniform, so i must assume that my blissful post-party aura is fairly powerful ;)

sunglasses: i searched through the oakley website today, and found a pair i like. *really* like. at the mall this evening, i found a store where it was explained to me that for only 150% of the site price (after her special, just-for-me reduction) i would be covered by a two-year warranty.
and i understood from her that replacing the broken arm of my current ones would cost me about 70% of that price, so i may as well go new.

i don't know so much. it's time to research some more.

on my way home, i passed a synagogue desperate for me to help out with a minyan (ten males who've passed their rite-of-passage). i was actually quite happy to. i've actually contemplated going there once or twice, and now that i've been they seem like a nice enough bunch. it was kind of weird praying and keeping my idea of god in mind.

strangers - i sent the photo of myself and that girl from saturday to my printer, then made the rounds of all the photo shops on the way to compare prices. i get the best, apparently. and they let me sit on one of their machines to photoshop a border and title onto it :)

i walked into a very, very cool store (that i keep forgetting exists!), and discovered books there that almost made me drool. it's like a hidey-hole for witches and wizards, filled with wonders and charms and pop-ups dictionaries of evil and warlock's handbooks, all cradled in the loving branches of a completely unnatural [hah, i could even get away with "supernatural" and it'd be technically correct] fey-forest :D

---

i'm starting to chill out a bit, and the dark psy-trance is helping. it would've been easier if i'd played frisbee and had a beer, but karnaf's not up to it tonight and nystire's crazy sister will probably be at the only bar i feel like going to. i need to find a local.

speaking of music, i bought a terranoise cd this morning because i was blown away by terranoise - strange blue crystal :)

the two-second logo

i can't believe i'm up so late again... this time, because i was writing the draft concept for the project.

i quite like the logo i've made, even though i could definitely have invested more time and effort... maybe later :P

Sunday, October 11, 2009

vitamin deficiency

and by vitamin, i mean that i'd barely consumed food between friday and today's lunch, and we're including about thirteen hours of working out that needed to be made up for. last night i figured it was just a hangover (i *had* consumed a lot of alcohol), and this morning just regular tiredness and dehydration. nystire reminded me that i have a problem with low blood pressure (which is always the last thing to come to mind), and it took a lot of water and two really strong cups of coffee to get me through (barely functional) until the afternoon.

but i don't care - yesterday's stomping made it all worth it ^_^

speaking of which, i can't get the crazy girl out of my head - slutty pumpkin?

it's funny, but i've been more active in the last two or three months than i have in the last five years - i'm quite proud with myself for finally getting back to having some fun :)

some extra sleep would've been good this morning - we began a three day course in herzeliya, and we all arrived more than an hour earlier than we needed to :(
to make that worse, i had a spinach pastry for breakfast and it was horrible. it did put me in a position to run into the kid on his way to work, though - i visited his office afterwards for a quick chat, and the thought occurred to me that maybe it's a good place to interview at when i'm done.

my ex-team-mate called me up this morning - i have a ticket to a hebrew production of a midsummer night's dream in ten days ^_^

lunch: you shouldn't use a square bowl for soup.

nystire and i opened the visualization project we've been talking about, using google's code. i've begun drafting the outline for the planning - quite exciting. i'm really going to enjoy collaborating with him - it may be frustrating, but there's nothing better for a project than to be picked apart until every issue has been argued over and resolved.

i couldn't go to training, i didn't have the strength for it. after the day's course exercises were done (i think they were a bit too straightforward and simple), i went to the kid's office and then caught the bus back to tel aviv. i stopped off at the hardware dude for a visit, and passed through the toy store looking for inspiration. i bought a recorder (green, plastic and pied-pipery), and ten little toy-gun flashlights :)
i also got a cool green light for the entrance, and replacement water filters - i've been using the same one since april :$

i ran into icg on the way home, we started and finished an extremely short and amiable chat, and i've been eating and 'netting while the laundry's been going. karnaf called, i think i may have disappointed him by telling him how good the party was... he was in two minds on friday about joining :/

i've installed ktorrent, after nystire fixed the port problem i was experiencing:
UPNP - Universal Plug and Pray - Allows random devices on the network to ask the router to open ports in the firewall and forward the port to them. Useful when used together with BitTorrent programs...
so the port's finally open. unfortunately, neither transmission nor ktorrent are actually moving any data. bummer :(

i just discovered a massive bruise, and i haven't a clue when it's from. i hope it's nothing serious, meaning i hope it's just a bruise :P
almost on topic - i have learned that in israel, waxed dental floss is always too thick to fit between teeth. that's just stupid.

i may not have torrents, but enichkin - the light of reason just came on the radio so i guess that's compensation for the meanwhile ;)

swordschool found something weird: this man

munchkin hangover

i managed to pull myself out of bed, go shopping, and almost be a decent host while i was in an extremely vulnerable state. we had a good intro game of munchkin, which i won by managing to keep control of the plot device, and i've just finished tidying up and doing the dishes.

it has definitely been a full day. i keep staring at the photo of myself and the other crazy - i'm pining :P

almost forgot! random thoughts from people our age, although a lot of them hold true for all generations :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

reparations

the fresh festival was absolutely insane!!!

getting there was complicated... it involved spilled beer, a harrowing ordeal with a bunch of asshole cops (hanging around bad signage for a no entry, and while we were there another five cars were stopped too), and nearly getting lost.

we set up the tent - a really, really dodgy tent - and went to see what was happening. i didn't get more than a few steps in before the music caught me up, and i was a goner for the next hour or two, just going nuts on the dancefloor.

i was quite surprised by the crowd - the place was packed, thousands of people, loads of gorgeous, crazy girls, and everyone was having a good time... that never happens in israel!

i crashed for an hour or two pre-dawn, waking up freezing but with my neck feeling a little better. i fixed that almost immediately, by bouncing back in and grabbing myself a cup of coffee. aside from a break to swim, and an hour's nap around lunchtime because my legs were giving out, i spent the day (until they closed up at 2pm) digging away, going completely nuts and having a wonderful time ^_^

after the swim, and meeting our neighbours, i went back in wearing the overalls closed, the ski mask and my hat. the outfit went down incredibly well, so much so that a beautiful girl dressed up in a different-type-of-crazy outfit came over and we danced at each other for a while... and i got invited to a private party, on condition that i dress the same :P

i crossed a line - there was a girl i simply couldn't take my eyes off (pretty face, fantastic body, amazing pixie outfit and stunningly artful and tasteful tattoos), and i tried to speak to her on the dancefloor. that was really stupid of me :/

it was a bit silly of them not to publish or announce the line-up, nobody has a clue who played or when. to be fair, though: during the twelve hours or so that i was on the dancefloor, the music was mind-blowingly brilliant and driving.

my new party pants proved their cheapness - i'm rather glad i was wearing them over my swimming trunks, because otherwise i might have had cause for embarrassment.

i'm a little sad that my sunglasses have seen their last.

i can barely hear, my neck's screwed, i'm astounded and impressed that my legs are holding up, and i'm definitely getting into bed. even if it's only for a little while :P

that was hands-down the best party i've seen in this country in many years, and i'm exceedingly glad that i made it :D