Monday, November 30, 2009
on my way back to work i met with nystire to shop and have lunch. and resume complaining about yesterday's irritation with my TL and my team-mate. i had no idea that when i'd arrive back at my desk, things would get out of hand and my team-mate would be put into an even worse situation than the one that concerned me...
i took my TL out to the corridor for a chat, and explained to him the same thing that i explained to our SC a few months back: it doesn't matter if you're justified or not, it doesn't matter if you're fair or not... it matters that your soldier thinks you are...; he eventually agreed to try to find a way to sort things out. i let him know exactly what i think about his and our SC's way of "sorting things out", which is generally them asking someone to do it and then saying "we tried our best" when the answer invariably comes back negative.
a short while later, i turned around to discover that our office was filled with people - they sang, gave me an amusing birthday rhyme to read and then handed me a gift: it's a bowl for candy with a motion-sensing witch that defends it with her broomstick and cackles. delightful!
it's perfect for me, because everyone's always coming over to eat whatever's on my desk :P
i had a fight with my morning ride over the use (or, in my opinion, rampant abuse) of acronyms in our documents. i think that shortening a word by two letters to a non-standard acronym that's in direct conflict with a well-known and accepted one is bullshit.
כ"א is "human resources", not "every one (of)", and it distracts me every time i have to think which one the author intended. that's just one example, but he got angry with me for being patronising in my request for the practice to end.
it's fantastic that we all share a sense of humour. we each think the other is extremely unfunny; nothing we say translates in either direction :/
the day eventually did end on a good note - i finished a section of work that's been quite trying, and the goto guy and i had an amusing chat on the way back to tel aviv.
i came home, got out of uniform (mostly), put on a pair of shorts and then heard the doorbell ring: the electrician. he was here a few minutes when the girl i bought the backpack for rocked up (with milka chocolate, nice!), and we sat chatting over coffee for an hour or so before she had to go.
i've been in front of the computer since then - mostly responding on facebook: i don't think i've ever received so many birthday wishes before - it's a bit disorientating! soon i'm going to have to do a quick re-clean (experience tells me it's not going to be spotless when he leaves) before heading out to the barby for the AIDS awareness concert.
how it should have ended.com does have some pretty cool stuff :)
the bank: i got my card, but in addition to the slight awkwardness of not sitting with my usual representative, today's was being decidedly annoying.
the bus: i think i picked the wrong one :(
it took longer than usual, i had to stand the whole way next to smelly people, and then had a longer walk than i remembered.
the stupidity: after turning into the wrong road (a good five-minute detour), i found the right one - different from how it appears on the map. with a strange turn, and building number 3 sits between buildings 4 and 8. of course that's an obvious one, so why would anyone need to put up signs?
i walked into the ground floor office: it took a while to figure out that i'd walked into an unrelated company. so it kind of made sense that the woman at the desk kept trying to tell me that i needed a different department.
when we realized the source of the confusion, she directed me to the first floor. no signage there, so i asked someone - second floor. still no signage, but then a woman stepped out of the elevator and gave me more specific directions for the first floor. i finally found the right company on the first floor, only to be sent with improved directions back to their office on the second floor.
all they need to do is LABEL THE FRIKKIN' DOORS. i finally got to the right place, and after only two attempts to explain that i was RECEIVING a package and not sending one, i got what i needed and headed out.
the boss: he's being a real idiot of late. today he didn't think to let me know he was in the area, so i could've travelled with him and been back on base already. he's not even willing to ask if anyone in the unit would be willing to pick me up from the train station, so i'm forced to bus.
nystire's right - i need to think carefully about my parting gift to him and our SC when i eventually get out.
at least for the next half hour or so there's nothing to do but sleep or read :)
my TL upset me this afternoon - he just doesn't get that my team-mate's authorization to take a holiday isn't a matter of deserved or not, it's a matter of his having worked stupidly hard (and overtime, which doesn't get credited in the military) because of bad planning that was entirely not his fault, he's been doing way more guard duty than anyone else recently, and the guy deserves to have his commander care enough to help him out. it's a motivation thing - he's not a machine, he's a human.
even if all you can think of is the system, give him what he needs or he won't be able to continue producing!
i'm going to leave off the bad planning rant for now - our commanders just don't know how to think rationally, apparently.
i had to give the new kid a talk on the first big project i did - and was surprised at just how much i remembered. it's arbitrary stuff, trivia that he won't actually need to remember (i certainly don't), but it all just sort of rolled out on autopilot with barely a thought. i wonder if that's an indication that whenever i get released, my brain will still work well enough when the perpetual army headache goes away :P
nyah-nyah had some advice to share, and i think i agree with her. it's time to let urchin know that she's not the one.
post-lunch was tough today. the food was actually decent - i almost called in to complain that it's not like that every day - but i suffered the need for siesta terribly.
the ride who offended me recently got in touch to ask if i wanted to leave the base with him - i accept the offer as an apology. i got home quite early, and used the time to discover routes and times to the wedding and that my purchasing has been fairly well controlled the past month. my mum called, and we chatted for a while...
i was sad to hear that my primary school hebrew teacher passed away - he was a real character, and a very nice man (verbally abusive, but amusingly so). the man taught my siblings, who are a generation older than me, so that's quite a history he took with him.
as i said to my mum towards the end of the conversation - turning 29 doesn't bother me, and turning 30 won't. i've seen more, thought more and achieved more in my short years than most people manage to their entire lives; i have a plan i still believe in and the ability to make it work; in spite of my sacrifices and the shit i've had flung at me these past few years, i live well. i really hope *knocks wood* that this year is the start of things taking a turn for the smoother, for both of us.
i quickly got dressed, wrote on the pretty paper and used it to secure the cash gift, and made my way out. getting there wasn't a problem, although it would've been nice had the bus driver not dropped me off two stops before the one i needed :/
at least i get to wake up late this morning (7.30)!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
a) the hike
a pleasant walk, although too easy - there were lots of families with whiny kids that needed to be ignored
*way* too many people in my personal space. and lots of them hostile - there's really no difference between arab youth and arsim. they're all looking to prove their strength and be ultra-cool greasy douchebags. plus, i was concerned for my pockets.
just in case anyone mistakes my defensiveness for racism, i hate the tel aviv, jaffa and jerusalem markets just as much. although in acre, the arabs are a little less sympathetic towards others. or maybe it's just something personal about me that gets their eyes flashing.
in addition to being in combat mode, a lot of the streets of acre were pure sensory overload, like something out of a comic book with all the pages crumpled together. nothing like being stuck in the middle of a caravan of moving horses and carts with balloon men and hundreds of people bum-to-belly [he says, politely] and pushing and shoving while the stalls occupying the majority of the roads are filled with screaming sales.
lunch was great, although by the time we'd gotten there i'd been tense for too long, and we still had to go back - the way back was even worse :(
c) the drive
the drive back seemed much longer. probably because we were tired and mostly talked-out.
d) the rest
not much rest, mostly people called me when i needed to be getting ready for
e) panic ensemble
amazing! as usual. i don't know if i'm more impressed that there were so many people than i'm annoyed that some of those people showed no respect for anyone else or the band. how hard is it to silence your damn cellphone? after it's already rung once?!?!
i stopped to talk to one of the girls who works at coffeeholic while she was closing up - she was surprised to have heard from soundman that *i'd* gone to a trance party with him. that started a discussion on whether or not it's healthy to be two different people - i tried to explain that i'm one person containing a bunch of conflicting ideas. the difference between me and most other people is that 1) i'm aware of my "selves" and 2) i don't try to "fix" it because i don't see it as a problem.
up until a historically short time ago, this sort of thing wasn't such a disease. i think things would be better if people would realize that all the fucked up things that go on in their heads are more normal than any concept of normal that they get from the society that they see around them. just chill, accept yourself and move the hell along.
as for me, although i'm extremely uncomfortable serving in the military framework i'm completely at ease with my level of discipline. i'm a hippie with big plans, who understands the need for our civilization to defend itself in spite of a strong desire for peace.
if israeli's could ever learn patience and manners, things could be so much better - but they won't. some idiot got confused and went through a red light... and got so pissed off with a biker who'd gone through the green that he almost ran him over.
h) the end
dishes, dinner, how i met your mother, shower, bedtime
Friday, November 27, 2009
my feet are tenderized, i'm a bit sore, but i'm feeling good. i had a shower after spending about seven hours on my rollerblades - at first joining the "critical mass" cyclists careening through the city in honour of "buy nothing day" and demonstrating alternative transport in preparation for kyoto 2... then joining the sunset rollers (after a beer with the chef at the very cool pub he moonlights at) for an unbelievably cool mission that included five levels of an underground parking lot and the most perfect promenade in jaffa.
two unpleasant items:
lesser - the jaffa residents are not overly-fond of jews, and were quite threatening. this got a debate going with heeblet about morality*
greater - a completely unnecessary incident of violence. i only saw the end, a taxi driver hooted aggressively right behind one of the guys, and when he eventually stopped the guy went over to his window and hit him. aside from that being a completely irrational and unhelpful response, it also jeopardizes the rest of the group(s): we don't actually want the police to think of us as problematic, because then we won't be able to go at all :(
i'm still laughing at heeblet, one of the other girls made a (rather pathetic) pass at me, and her immediate response was "mine!". i don't know if she knows that i heard it :P
* i've discussed this before - we have developed a remarkable sense of morality that doesn't allow for the idea that other people don't share it. it doesn't allow for a situation that demands treating someone (or a nation) as an enemy.
when all other possibilities have been explored, and have been proven fruitless, we have to fight. it would be nice if i could write "there are some wonderful, caring, peace-loving arabs", but even though it's true, it ignores the greater truth that most of them hate us. it is simply irrelevant whether or not this hatred is justified, because although we can talk of mutual misunderstanding - they don't care. as a group. what individuals think is irrelevant, because individuals don't dictate the behaviour or sensitivities of the rest.
the other important thing that's of concern with our idealism is that we always lay the blame squarely upon our own shoulders. "if only we could XXX, then everything would be alright". the problem with that attitude is that it ignores the fact that the other (nation or person) is also human, also has moral codes and a concept of right and wrong... and that concept disagrees with ours. we need to accept that we can't fix everything without giving up exactly that sense of morality which got us in this mess in the first place.
i'm going with heeblet and a couple of others to acre tomorrow for a hike. this should be interesting :P
coffeeholic, a sandwich and a quick chat with the guy i went to the festival with (soundman) and the chef, some idle chatter with very cute girls, and passing on of flyers for the cycling group.
after two hours in bed, nystire woke me up and i headed off to meet him at azrieli. i was understandably broken - he gave me a laptop that at some stage this weekend i'll hook up so that i can load my ipod off it. after spending time staring at game demos (with me becoming more and more glad that i don't allow myself the pleasure... the stuff available of late is just amazing) we stopped for coffee before the kid picked me up - we didn't have enough time to park the car, but we had a good chat nonetheless.
well i'll be damned. that was absolutely incredible! the intensity, the goodwill, the general craziness; the sense was that i must've been one of the only people there who hasn't been to goa - it was a night of revelry and nostalgia (slideshows, live drumming) and driving goa then psychedelic trance that wiped out all worries and had us wigging out until dawn. my ears are stuffed and my body took a beating - i actually had to take a ten minute nap on a couch towards the middle because i just couldn't move anymore ^_^
all the while i had a huge grin on my face.
1) being with my people
2) in a month's time i'm going to be rocking up at prism for new year's. last year i thought "i've never needed it this much before", but i had no idea how much more desperate i would be after this last one. it's definitely time for renewal!
half an hour, before heading out with coffee to catch a taxi to the party. i entered at something like 1.30 or 2am, and was very glad to have a ticket in hand :)
scrapper fed me again, we talked music - he's apparently an expert, i think i may need his help with something that's been running through my head. on the bus back, a woman sat near me who looked almost exactly like lena hyena. i couldn't not smile.
not bad, although i have plenty of work to do. i couldn't focus on the one-steps.
i had music with me*, so i could actually get somewhere in the book without being distracted... almost - there was a mother on the bus who didn't have the self-confidence to reign in her kids. i can't stand that - don't be embarrassed to be a parent.
* when i paid the fare, the driver said something incomprehensible. i had my earphones in, but no sound - he was mumbling, and then claimed that if i'd removed the earphones i would've heard. dumbass.
the day ended with an interesting lecture, one of those "should've had that when i started". nystire horrified me with his inability to eat instant-noodles without producing gurgling, sucking noises.
i'd overheard him saying something about celebrating on the phone - i couldn't help myself:
"alcohol's not good for pregnant women. tell her she should stick to designer drugs"
[that was a joke - apparently designer drugs during pregnancy cause a wide range of issues, from miscarriage to weird birth defects]
i thank firstfallen for the word for the day: "snot-monster". that was me, suffering not-so-quietly. it was rough. really rough. as rough as the low-quality base toilet paper that i was forced to use when my tissues ran out.
it was the dubbelzout that saved my day, along with the copious amounts of tea and honey.
the vegetarian meals on base aren't great - but they are far more palatable than the weird excuses for natural protein sources that have to be hidden in disgusto-sauce before people will accept them. i don't think i'm getting all a growing boy needs.
i had a great argument with one of the guys - he doesn't understand that when it comes to taking care of our environment, taking care not to cause too much damage is only partially helpful, not being vocal is akin to not being a part of the solution. we need everyone to care. another big issue is that people don't understand that doing a little is better than doing nothing - we can't all be perfect!
when we got around to discussing rollerblading, he displayed what i have come to think of as a unit disorder - the people in our unit suffer from a fear of doing social things, particularly with other members of the unit. this is why we scrapped paintball, and why we never get a d&d game going.
i spoke to my cousin, we're almost done getting me ready for next week's visa application interview. "are you at home?" she asked.
"of course not - i'm at work."
"but you sound sick!"
if you don't have a fever, the army doesn't send you home. the fact that nobody cares if i can actually work or not bothers me.
first mail of the day: what's in a sausage, and we you shouldn't eat them. thanks.
i walked in to the office to discover that nystire had brought me back drop from holland and left it on my desk - SWEET! that made my morning. that, and being really impressed by an israeli from the next office who tasted one and wasn't totally disgusted. in general, israelis can't stand liquorice - and salted makes them completely crazy :P
thursday morning shuttle driver: he's not only a misogynist, but a complete moron. unfortunately, in addition to keeping me awake with his "woman driver" shouting and inappropriate phone-calls, he told someone a really upsetting story about a bunch of new immigrants who came here just to get immigrant benefits before buzzing off. that behaviour disgusts me.
thursday was mostly a bummer, but the end of the workday was alright and training was okay too.
the party on thursday night was fantastic, extreme, and i'm *really* glad that i was invited.
today was excellent.
i just had a dinner that consisted of peanut butter with a spoon, buttered popcorn and a cup of tea. i don't actually have a reasonable explanation for why i did that. i watched two episodes of the big bang theory, did the laundry, uploaded the photos from the day, loaded a pickle jar with salted liquorice, and am now about to get some shuteye.
finally! and my nose is feeling better, too :)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
i wasn't breathing easily, but hey - when you don't really have too many options... i organized ten large loaves of french bread, and another ten decent-sized rolls (all fresh out the oven), and then had to carry the stuffed bags on a bus to get to where my ride was picking me up.
this led to all manner of unfunny "what, are you feeding the whole army?" jokes.
after the regular 20+ minutes of waiting, we were headed to the base with what was apparently an intensely delicious and distracting smell. by dode wad thtuft, so i missed out.
the section breakfast was brilliant - not only did nobody cancel at the last minute, but we were even surprised by our SC rocking up unannounced with a giant birthday cake. our section's confectionary artist outdid himself, and about three others also brought in good home-baked goods. in short, we all overate and there was plenty left over to carry us through until the weekend ^_^
i couldn't do the work today without being able to breathe, and the effort was so tiring that i became disfunctional for a while. i was really glad when the clock approached 2pm and the goto guy and i could head off for tel aviv to be briefed about leaving the country :)
we made it with time to spare - time to obtain a caffeine source, time to witness a soldier trying desperately to rescue a fish from a dropped bowl, time to get lost and be led practically by the hand to where we'd started, time to sit and read a bit... the actual briefing only took about twenty minutes, and the guys made sense so it wasn't tedious at all.
so, yeah - two more rounds of authorization to go :)
it was sheer laziness that had me waiting for the bus, planning on going home to change and then pick up my ticket for tomorrow's goa reunion. that put me in the right place and at the right time to run into one of the party organizers, so not only did i get my ticket sorted far more easily than i would have otherwise, but i also had what constitutes the first real talk we've had since i met him in my university days. i wasn't expecting him to understand my uniform situation, but after discussing it i think he identified with it more than either of us would like...
i got home, squeezed myself an incredible cup of orange juice (perfect oranges), then passed out on the couch. when i'd acquired enough energy to get into the shower i did, then unsuccessfully tried to get back to sleep.
i was fiddling with the guitar when urchin rocked up, and we had an awkward discussion concerning my lack of patience for impractical speech* and telephones in general. i think she's offended, but i can't fairly say i'm particularly moved by that.
* nonsense is practical. the perpetual moan isn't. this is why i don't like talking about my present situation, because it's not only depressing but pointless too. at least there are finally glints of light forming in the distance :)
i'm intrigued by the new fuck buttons album (tarot sport) - i don't know how long it'll stay on my playlist, but it's definitely good. that's another interesting introduction from qc.
i'm considering how good of an idea it is to have my hair cut now in preparation for my holiday. it's been a month, and i'm not sure it's long enough yet, but i'm worried that it might be too long to get away with before i leave in another month's time. i suppose i can always shave my head before i go - i don't like the in-between phases - but i don't really want to not have hair.
i'm going to bed early, wondering if i'll have the energy after the next couple of days to join heeblet for another 60km blade on saturday...
i found my old house collection, the first track on when i got back inside was three 'n one - reflect, from which i'm still grinning. these are the moments when it doesn't matter what time i have to get up, and it most certainly doesn't matter if i'm healthy or not - that was great fun!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
* almost exactly! it all began on the fifth of december 1999...
i was irked to discover from nystire that our instructor passed on information that i'd asked her not to. i don't know how much, but the principle of the thing is trust and discretion. not impressed. other than that, the stories out of holland are quite amusing, and although i wasn't really in a good place to be competing, i'm sorry i couldn't join them for the forms competition.
i did some serious shopping today: waterless soap, hand moisturizer, honey and chai tea. i think i'm ready for the winter now. all i need is my breathing apparatus back - gunked sinuses are a bitch.
my japanese appears to be improving, and my phone's picture editing ability impressed me no end today when i turned (the closest transration i could find of) my previous one into kanji / hiragana (with a stylish border) :)
it drizzled on me three times this morning, and i thought that meant no blading tonight: i was wrong. as i got home, i rolled out to the shop (getting totally lost on the way, one of these days i'm going to mission around there just to get my bearings) to make an ass of myself*, then met up with nemesis** for coffee (good call on the coffee shop, i learned what a hot toddy is and the girls were fine).
* the first wheel nut practically sprang loose. "you're just weak". then i tried the next one, and broke it. after he replaced it for me, he caught me over-tightening the others... "you can't do that!"
that's how i was taught, many, many years ago. i'll have to unlearn, i guess.
** they let me in the mall, but then a cop threw me out. i don't think he was expecting me to stop and make sure that it was really within his authority to do so.
on the way back i had a super-awkward talk with urchin... now i've had tea, prepared coffee, received an extremely positive email from my mum (yay! one more month!), sorted out the laundry, and am on my way out for the night :)
... on a day like today, calling me up before work's over to moan about an issue that's already a non-issue is annoying.
... on a day like today, when i call back so as not to be rude, you sharing a new problem to worry about is uncalled for.
... on a day like today, telling me that my suggestion isn't filled with enough fluffy bunnies and that i should lie to calm you down is looking for trouble.
... on a day like today, pulling a "moving along swiftly" to a new topic, one hardcore eyebrow-raiser that forces me to think "O RLY??!" is just conversational suicide.
... on a day like today, responding with "whatever" when i tell you that i'll call you back because i can't talk right now?
now i'm not so sure that i will call you back.
i know i don't play so well with others. i'm in for practicality and appropriateness*. you want a lie? don't ask me for one. my biggest problem in life is being too honest. and i'm usually quite comfortable like that. i also don't like saying nothing (and people like lots of nothing, i know), and i'm not very good with support that isn't useful.
* hence my issues with mouth-breather: he keeps going for smalltalk when we're in the middle of an exercise. i'm there to work, and to improve, and while kidding around doesn't bother me - talking random shit at equally random intervals aggravates me. looking hurt when i respond curtly is pushing my "beat me to death with a tyre-iron" button.
the thing is, i slept well and apparently enough, but i was super-exhausted today and my throat's become rather scratchy. this doesn't bode well at all.
my ride convinced me this morning that it's time for a cholesterol check. i wonder how often one should do it? it looks like once every five years, but the internet is not a doctor :S
today i thought of a girl i met in a club once upon a time, who gave me visions of dragons and castles during the personal intimate moments and danced with me like a woodland creature during the musical ones.
she invited me to her home - she was a little older than me, and i wound up there with a friend because i was too awkward to go alone. that's just one of the many weird regrets i have...
a while later, i went to her housewarming party - she threw quite a bash, with a lot of very interesting people (mostly high-society and artsy), and i was at once proud to have been invited and embarrassed to be there...
the last time i saw her was at my second vortex - she walked up to me, laughed that i'd grown more hair on my chest, and disappeared.
i prepared an amusing picture as a birthday present (due on wednesday), and got one of the girls to write prettily on it. unfortunately, the birthday boy walked in as i walked out, looked down and smiled before continuing. i don't know if he managed to read what it said - i have kak timing :/
one of the girls in our unit celebrated her birthday today, so after i managed to decode the japanese hiragana for "happy birthday!" (o-tanjiyoubi o-medetou gozaimasu) two of us walked in to her office chanting it :)
i finally did something useful regarding a mission impossible i was assigned yesterday, so i don't feel completely useless. i passed out on the shuttle home, dropped off my bag at home and skipped over to the bank to organize an international credit card and find a number to call to try and cancel the bank-related junk mail i get.
back home to make coffee, then a bus to the lincoln. hustler, the guy i went to see opeth with (and marty friedman, and dream theatre, and chris cornell) arrived a bit late giving me an opportunity to warm up and contemplate just how much tardiness bothers me. we played just over an hour of decent pool, and he dropped me off at home in time to prepare for the electrician.
two hours of popping, banging, shards of plastic and isolated incidents of smeared plaster later, and the emergency work's done and things will be quiet until next week. i had a good laugh when i realized that the blacklight that was here when i moved in does actually work, and we were both relieved to discover that an unsightly telephone wire running through the bathroom wasn't connected to anything.
i also felt a bit silly, the problem with the bedroom light was the bulb, apparently it died while being transported from one fitting to the other :P
posting this has taken a while, i've been getting frustrated with a simple game of klotski and i'm more than ready for bed.
penny arcade reality TV! finally, something with a little intelligence :)
Monday, November 23, 2009
i almost missed the shuttle this morning... my timing is getting worse and worse. i slept fairly well on it, though. the day was mostly unproductive, as i've been given a task that's rather daunting and i'm feeling inadequately equipped for it. also, i was distracted by formally beginning the holiday application process (yay!), paying for my ticket to south africa (hooray!), finding clever solutions to problems we still aren't sure exist, discussing dreams (and why i'm not deciphering mine) with nyah-nyah, eating (lunch seemed decent... my tongue must be losing its ability to distinguish right from wrong), and arguing with my incredibly sharp and culturally aware TL who believes that london is completely lacking in interesting things to see and do - he believes that be'er sheva (our desert city - students, the poor and nomads) is a superior destination.
for his positive moment for the day - we saw some kids spraying a car with water, and he actually volunteered to investigate the water waste. i feel quite proud :)
i napped on the shuttle home, hunted the details for a nameless disc i'm sitting with (unsuccessful), and then left - stopping by the corner cafe to buy coke and chocolates (in place of an energy drink... not as effective).
from yet another fantastic experience with the "youth of today" - i know way more than i want to know about a bunch of girls who consider themselves cool because they're so stupid. they weren't happy with my request that they tone it down:
totalwaste thinks you were being particularly annoying on the bus. "freedom of speech"?! if a man in the street walked up to you, dropped his pants and began to urinate, you'd no doubt be upset. i don't propose to tell him not to pee at all... what you're doing is pissing on me verbally. stop it.that's what i should have said :/
i spent most of the ride frustrated, staring at the same sentence and unable to ignore the nasal idiocy behind me. at least i had support from others around me when i told them they were pushing it (although they'd been pushing it the entire time).
training was enlightening. the mouth-breather pissed me off, but our replacement instructor worked with me and we figured out what's been wrong with my roundhouse for the last couple of weeks... i spent so much time with the side kick, and badly balancing it, that i stopped holding my weight right. correcting it took a lot of effort and no small amount of pain, but it's definitely better and i know what to do about it now.
the bus ride back began with hillman, but i soon began to doze off. i realize that napping on transport is saving me as far as sleep deprivation is concerned :P
after quickly giving up a debate with myself regarding which comes first, the tuna or the salad, i put the two together with sweetcorn and watched an episode of the big bang theory. now that i've dealt with the excessive quantity of dishes, i'm off to bed. again. it never ends :P
this post closed off happily with sufi - playground.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
... then remembering that it was her grandparents' birthday (??), and hurrying to organize a present - arranging a video card with an underwater perspective looking at a pipe that turned into a face and a nice message as the observer came out into the air...
... then dinner with their family, all smiles and celebration, her grandfather getting up after a bite and then falling over...
... visiting them (afterwards? before?), her grandmother concerned about who would take care of him when she's gone, having already packed up everything and gotten ready to say goodbye...
i woke up while trying to talk her into unpacking, and telling her not to worry... and that's why i didn't press snooze, but rather braved the slight chill to get this down.
my mother and i had a long chat, and we have come to an understanding regarding how to go about renewing my passport. i never thought it would turn into a procedure. we have differing views about how i go about entertaining myself next year - i think that it's entirely practical to spend a few days in goa* before flying to canada and then tokyo.
* it's 1am, i shouldn't be reading this shit right now.
a little bit of messing with my guitar, then urchin popped in and we watched a couple of episodes of firefly in between arguments of meaning and truth. i think we've found a debate groove, although it's too early to be certain. i don't think we're always on the same level.
new week - another that looks fairly busy from this side :P
Saturday, November 21, 2009
i woke up, had coffee over a quick chat with protoplasm (with one eye on punch and judy - specifically the jan svankmajer - 1966 brainmasher), and headed out to coffeeholic armed with the iliad, the copy of sophocles i that i've been trying to return for a month and a half, and wearing my "if i could choose i'd be gay" shirt. the weather is absolutely phenomenal.
a) breakfast was great, two new waitrons. both were enthralled by the shirt, the girl is super cute and we kept making eye contact.
b) i didn't really get a chance to open the book, because a couple of people caught me with interesting discussion. specifically:
c) the professor. not only did she laugh when i told her i was returning the book (it was a gift, apparently), but we sat for an hour discussing philosophy, owner-pet look-alikes, shakespeare and tiramisu. i walked away with a couple of must-see productions, and a smile ^_^
Friday, November 20, 2009
i had a burger on the way, pausing between bites to gawk in horror at the israeli version of big brother, food for the thought that watching shows like that make a nation stupider. sure, it begins with morbid fascination but after a while that sort of behaviour becomes normative.
speaking of thoughts, what interests me about my statement yesterday is the concept that when something has been tested with an idea, that idea doing the testing will make itself found. it's like coming up with an answer to "why is a raven like a writing desk?".
i was intrigued while waiting for the bus - an israeli and a japanese guy were sitting at the stop talking in japanese, and i actually understood a bit of what they were saying. unfortunately, i don't know enough to be comfortable trying to talk...
i got off a stop or two too early, and was a bit tired for the walk to the club... very glad that i'd brought my beanie and gloves, though. i even found a place to stow my sweater*, and was lucky enough that nobody scaled it while i was on the dancefloor :)
i ran into a frisbee buddy, though, and informed him of the goa reunion coming up soon... i've never been to goa, although i really, really want to get there and i think dreaming of it is enough :P
i didn't cross any lines last night, although a gorgeous girl found me and spent an hour or two dancing right in front of me. should i have? dunno. i was having fun - although the warm-up set took a while to get interesting, once it did everything was groovy :)
corner cafes in south tel aviv at 5am are interesting. i shuttled back to the area, stumbled back home, showered and crash-landed in my bed.
* laundry today: my red sweater has turned my white sweater to off-pink. i'm intrigued that none of the other whites were affected, and am wondering if it wasn't slightly pinkish to begin with.
** whoa! i completely forgot! i got in touch with the foreign ministry yesterday to find out if protoplasm could enter the country without them stamping his passport (our "potential peace partners" don't like people who've visited israel), and it turns out that it's possible. unfortunately, it's also at the whim of whoever's in charge of the shift, which sucks.
not a lot of time passes...
i dragged myself out of bed, grumbled, threw on some clothes, grabbed my shades (my new sunglasses are growing on me), and headed for the post office. filling out the form for the visa application payment wasn't complicated at all, and so walked out of there about half an hour later.
i decided to do some shopping before the electrician arrived, and was amused and irritated when some old lady shoved past me in the queue complaining that people these days just don't care about anyone but themselves anymore. nope, no irony there.
the electrician was on my doorstep when i arrived, and it feels like the honeymoon's over. it's not that things aren't good, but we're no longer agreeing automatically on every point. he spent the morning eviscerating my walls while i alternated between catching up online, sitting on the balcony reading the foreword to the iliad - which is extremely interesting - and playing with my guitar. i'm feeling much more comfortable with it already ^_^
the telly and all its peripherals now plug into the wall directly, and the plug point where they stem from is neat. he ran out of plaster towards the end, so the entrance hall and bathroom lights are a bit of a mess right now - and unfortunately, whatever he did in the bathroom disabled my brand new and super-cool bedroom light - i only discovered that after he'd left, and he'll be back on wednesday so i wasn't going to call him up about it.
he did an okay job of tidying up, but my attempts to clear up the little bits that were left convinced me that it was high time my apartment got cleaned. still half asleep, i went through the entire apartment and i'm shocked at how much work that was. i think i would've missed taekwondo anyway considering my present state... instead, i cleaned, watched the hangover* and have just caught up on enough that i'm debating whether to watch an episode of something or catch some z's.
regardless, i've decided i'm not doing anything tonight, nor seeing anyone. i definitely need to rest.
i received an official, double-sealed envelope from the army today, and all sorts of things went through my mind while i was opening it, especially the thought that my last six months had somehow come to an end and here was a piece of paper letting me know that the shit was over.
not so :/
i really, really like piraro on parenting. i think he's about as right as can be. especially the bit where he says "don't click this".
as i've mentioned before, i'm very comfortable with people who smoke copious amounts of marijuana. i'm just not comfortable with stoners. you know how i differentiate? stoners don't get shit done.
i think i may have complained once this week already the police serving the community. as opposed to controlling.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
or maybe just for me. i suppose that the same is true for a lot of things. or i could have misunderstood the whole alchemy thing. regardless, i feel i must share that i find the sessions to be extremely useful for reflecting, especially on a night like tonight where the last hour was spent stretching* and talking things out with my instructor.
* about halfway through my left foot went numb, which was worrying. it hurt getting it back in business :P
i slept a full six hours last night, kipped on the shuttle, and passed out cold for about half an hour on arrival. i definitely needed the rest!
we spent a lot of man-hours cleaning our building this morning. the guys who saw me cleaning out a particularly disgusting trash can with my bare hands suggested i be recommended for a citation... i'd say the same for whoever got stuck with toilet duty :P
the food was actually decent today, for the first time in, well, since we had an inspection a few months ago. oh, well. every day a surprise, i guess...
i heard tell the urchin's project got her teacher's praise - i can't wait to see it :) [i must remember to tell the tale of my portfolio one day]
i'm very glad the week's over, the training was productive, and i'm now bopping on the bus and getting ready for a night of stomping ^_^
in israel, however, i have even more of a reason to find them unsexy: the girls here [broad generalization alert*] don't *know* how to wear them.
i'm not just talking about them being inappropriate for the rest of the outfit - including the girl in question's weight classification - but specifically the technique. if you don't know how to do it, they make you walk funny and look ridiculous.
the women's liberation movement made a fundamental and totally impractical mistake with their symbolism: keep the bras, BURN THE HEELS.
and if you absolutely *must*, then at least do yourself a favour and learn the walk before you leave the house.
*and please pardon the pun
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
we'll see if things continue to "go" after tonight. it's possible that it has to do with someone "encroaching" upon my personal space - self-hating defence mechanism, perhaps?
i arrived at the cinemateque to find a sizeable group (considering the weather), and everyone was in good (read: crazy) spirits ^_^
waldo had already made his decision, and had turned back. he probably wouldn't have enjoyed the evening too much. the other guy whose call i missed would've been mortified. i, on the other hand, almost funned myself to death - slipping and sliding and jumping and weaving, and having a blast going full tilt downhill [that's where the ski-mask came in, and everyone else was jealous ;)]!
heeblet quite surprised me - we spent the first half hour or so skidding and chatting together, and she seemed genuinely interested. i had a laugh when i heard that she'd never noticed my tattoo before (someone else mentioned it to her), nor that it was the first time this season that i've worn a shirt :P [i wonder if that's not the reason for the interest?]
after a beautiful blade, i got home, failed to clean all my wheels (some of them are simply too tight), showered, and got to bed in time for a solid three and a bit hours' sleep - i found it *really* hard to separate myself from my pillow when waking up, and i got out of bed about twenty minutes after my alarm started chirping at me :$
it was a gorgeous morning - all i could think of was something quoted in an old trance song: "life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around once in a while - you just might miss it" [originally ferris bueller's day off]. i napped on the shuttle and i almost napped when i hit my desk - unfortunately, some inconsiderate section-mates arrived early so that didn't fly :(
speaking of flies - there's one that's been attacking me at my desk non-stop since yesterday, and i can't figure out what he's looking for :/
i wasn't operating at peak performance today, and i even passed out during a meeting (i shouldn't have taken such a ridiculously comfortable chair). the food was okay, which was a nice surprise... although i was really hungry the entire day, maybe that was just desperation.
on the way back from lunch, the girl from the past two nights (urchin) called - some asshole had turned on the darkroom lights while a few of them had been developing... she was pissed.
i napped again on the way home, and had a few minutes to clear out my bedroom before the electrician arrived. when he's gone urchin will be back for a re-shoot... and then i've got plans to play WOW or munchkin in a bar somewhere. considering my lack of sleep, i probably shouldn't... tomorrow night's not only training, but a serious (indoor) trance party that i'm looking forward to. a little caffeine will have to go a long way ;)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
i'm actually very tired, but i'm definitely going rollerblading. i don't have a clue if this is a good idea or not, but in addition to my desire to do so, i have the added incentive that i cancelled gaming night on everyone at the last moment because the weather suddenly turned.
so much for trusting the forecasts.
lesson for the day: you're not supposed to call your SC "fucked up", especially not in a loud, clear voice when everyone's around. we were specifically talking about taste, but there's no such thing as context in a court martial - i'm very lucky he didn't hear me. the general response was urgent putting-fingers-to-lips in a shocked, conspiratorial manner :P
i finally got around to arranging the next section breakfast, and things seem less complicated than usual. experience tells me that this is a precursor to everyone cancelling the day before :P
i completely forgot to mention a lecture that we had yesterday - an interesting look at the morality of helping other people from a religious point of view. i agreed with most of what the guy said, just not the reasoning behind it. which reminds me - i'm making headway on my personal "wear sunscreen" :)
i had lunch with nyah-nyah and a few others, and i had to squeeze the cow. this was followed by an argument about being available... a bit later on, i noticed a missed call from her. i know i'm too honest for my own good, but responding with a "yes" to her asking if she's simply not important enough to be given my cellular number as opposed to my sat phone... that was just being a jerk. i did say it as if i was kidding, but i don't know if that covers it up properly :P
i'm still aggravated by my ex-evening ride every time i leave the base. the train got me back into tel aviv in time to get home, switch clothes and be surprised by the girl from last night - i offered to help her with a photography project, and i came through. we shared an incredibly entertaining couple of hours - unfortunately, her digital camera died and so we couldn't immediately see the results of her shots. i hope they're good, we definitely had a decent concept.
i had a quick chat with my cousin, finished watching coraline (marvellous! as wonderful as the book!), and am getting ready to roll. i've just discovered that one of the guys who wanted to come blading left me a message earlier that i missed (sat phone, and he has my cell number), and it's too late for him to join us :(
[something reminded me that i once seriously contemplated putting shards of glass in my father's whiskey... i'm amazed at how much of my childhood i never think about and how much i've grown. i'll never forgive, but there was so much that i've almost managed to forget.]
[while on the topic of things i'd forgotten: when i started getting into metal i developed a severe dislike for anything with an electronic beat. so much so that i recall being on a bus on an organized trip and shouting "i hate techno!" - i find this hilarious because from age 16 i've been unable to survive spiritually without house, trance and other electronica :)
case in point: this beat just makes me wanna pray]
i had to give a sworn statement regarding the incident from a few weeks ago. giving a sworn statement wasn't an enjoyable experience. i was particularly shocked afterwards to hear a detail that the chef had provided that changed the tone of what happened somewhat. still, i gave the detective the facts as i saw them, and i hope that it's found useful.
the bump and switch: i ran into a girl that i once went on a date with. something bothered me then, or i was simply not in a good place - either way, i was amazed at how much fun it was to spend the evening with her! she came back to my place after we had a cup of coffee*, and we watched the pilot episode of firefly before i walked her part of the way home. she wasn't fond of the idea, but really enjoyed it once it got going ^_^
seeking a reference to our date, i took a surprise walk down memory lane
* i confused the waitress with a girl i knew about three years ago... the waitress left our base a couple of months ago and had a sort of a crush on me. i think she was rather disappointed when i got her name completely wrong :$
i thank my sister for the mail: don't we all wish?
two amusing quotes:
how do wizards make love?
the return of the gazebo
Monday, November 16, 2009
dry hands: dammit, is this going to be a yearly thing? i was hoping last year was just a freak :(
i don't like using moisturiser.
i spent the entire day (well, everything except fighting with our SC about last week's food complaint - the picture made it look okay) finishing and then using my application to transform unformatted data to html tables. it works really well, only it doesn't solve the problem of the *really* big tables i had to deal with. those required so much concentration that after the fifth interruption i stapled a sign saying "do not disturb" to my back.
all jokes aside, i forgot to take it off before i left the base. i'm extremely glad that it was on my undershirt, otherwise that could've been embarrassing.
ah, yes. i spoke to the team-mate who i mentioned on wednesday, and although he's not happy it looks like he'll be alright. i don't think he's any worse off than me, i just wish he'd stop with the psychotic playing with train tickets and entertain himself in a less creepy / more productive manner :P
we have a new kid, who's from his neighbourhood. maybe he can keep him company while travelling to base, maybe that would help. who knows?
i was pondering my current attitude towards girls and relationships while waiting for the bus. i'd like to find a suitable girl, but i don't feel the need to stress about it. i'm amused at how many people cannot manage unless they're a part of a couple, and intrigued by the quantity and quality of available women in this city. most of whom are very focused on hunting mr. right :P
whine ride: i'm still amazed that i'm the only person on the bus who thought to alert the driver to the fact that the rear door alarm was going off - he couldn't hear it over the radio, and most of us were going insane. he ignored it, which meant about an hour of high pitched whining. i couldn't nap as planned :/
training without caffeine: it wasn't particularly straining anyway, but i learned a couple of minutiae that are complicated to incorporate and make one hell of a difference!
scrapper and i seem to have fallen into a rather comfortable routine when he gives me a ride back to greater tel aviv. dinner was great, i napped on the bus while staring at my expressionless reflection morphing in and out of the scenery behind it, and now that i've showered i'm done being online and am hitting the hay.
i quite like the shit his dad says.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
important questions for the day:
1. i don't contest the fact that mars delight is a delight - only i doesn't understand what makes it "mars".
2. do only dogs eat homework, or are cats sometimes to blame too?
wave is confusing. i finally got my experimental gadget only partially working, and discovered that when two people are simultaneously editing it's difficult to decide whether to behave like it's messenger or email.
this would make a great horror movie :)
to be fair, though - most of the time i spent on it was wasted hunting free web hosting. my usual is on the blink. as usual :/
i had breakfast at coffeeholic - it feels like it's been a long time since i was last there. i had a regular breakfast in mind, but part of the experience is not having to make tough decisions, and the chef's suggestion of the beef parisian could not go unheeded :D
the incredible bulk was there - i wasn't unpleasant, but this is the first time that he realized that i'm not enthusiastic about talking to him and after a couple of sentences (including "you've lost weight" - have i?!) i returned to my book with no further harassment.
i also bumped into one of the guys from skijar last year - he seemed really excited to be in touch. maybe we'll do coffee - we may not share the same ideologies (by a long shot), but he and his girlfriend are nice people.
speaking of nice people - i've been bothered by last night's facebook conversation. a girl tried to add me as a friend, and after scratching my head over her photos (one showed her to be quite good looking, another showed a dark side) i sent her a message wondering if i'd somehow forgotten her.
"nope," she said [i write, paraphrasing], "i just wanted to see the rest of the album that you tagged my friend in". i thought that was a mite odd, as facebook allows that automatically. so i played ball, sending her a public link to the album - along with an explanation that i don't friend people i've never met.
her response: "nevermind. you are too heavy!"
that indicates to me that something more was behind the album request, but either way i don't feel that the response was justified. maybe because i'm "too heavy"? to quote my response:
i don't consider facebook a good way of meeting people - for instance, i'd love to meet you, just not online...i didn't think that was such an unpleasant or creepy thing to say, but the almost immediate and apparently angry "i have a boyfriend" message really bothered me. this is one of the reasons i don't do online dating - i'm obviously not very good at it :P
coffee and alcohol simply work better for me than "add friend" ;)
i spent too long online, and was rescued by an important message: "frisbeer". i hopped off to jeremiah's and had lunch and a beer with karnaf before we headed off to the park to meet with another friend. the frisbee was decent - it took a little to long to find my groove, though. the wind kept changing and i just wasn't focused enough to keep up.
one of the kids from taekwondo rocked up with an incredible camera - he filmed us for a bit, and i was absolutely astounded by the quality and amazed watching myself playing in slow-motion. as i type this i just noticed a "you have a new message" in the corner of my screen, and i'm hoping that's the video :)
i've just finished watching the second season of the big bang theory, so i'm almost caught up. i'm off to find myself dinner - meaning i'm off to go shopping, and although i wanted to see yael deckelbaum and amit erez i'm going to spend the night in instead.
child's play is happening again - and for once i'm early on the bandwagon ^_^
i have to admit that while i would've liked to be able to donate to a hospital in my own country, it feels really good to be able to choose one that's at least close to people i care about and give them what they feel they need.
all along the watchtower - the battlestar galactica version has been stuck in my head: what an awesome way to finish the season! i laughed yesterday when bob dylan's version of the song popped up on my playlist - i had no idea it was his :$
Friday, November 13, 2009
the difference made by having a light in my bedroom is astounding! i'm so glad i've finally gotten around to sorting all of this out ^_^
i thought training last night was pushing it, but today really left me feeling strained and tender. the hot shower immediately afterwards was brilliant, though, and i think taking a nap soon will make things perfect :)
i had a go at a kid that's been pissing me off since i rejoined; he has a bad attitude, he's not only frighteningly laze (can't do one pull-up? or a push-up, even?), but also really rude. i hope our little chat had the positive effect that was intended, but that remains to be seen :/
the fourth season of battlestar galactica begins with a bang, and i'm beginning to itch for explanations. i don't have the patience for too much left hanging, and i don't want to get to the end dissatisfied with the process of getting there.
i like scott kurtz taking a stand.
i'm not sure how i feel about the variants... i think it's a good idea, but i'm not feeling it.
uh, oh. i've joined the wave [disambiguation]. i'm not sure yet how much i'm going to use it, but it looks pretty cool.
last night i found out that the c++ project i helped out with received 100% ^_^
[i'm waiting to hear from the guy that i can publish my implementation already, it bothered me when i wrote it that i couldn't just "let it go" without potentially harming him]
i woke up around 8 this morning, carried my stuffed nose over to the mall (it was drizzling earlier, so everyone else opened their stores late) to have an id photo taken and to print out the "meat" i mentioned earlier. the woman who helped me was grossed out, but i think my choice to print it in matte with a nice border was nicely inappropriate :P
i finally bought a brolly stand, and made my way back to the hardware dude to pick up plastic for the electrician. on the way i walked past coffeeholic - the bastard was there, being loud as usual, and the chef was working but seemed okay with it. i hope he is. he took me completely by surprise - i shouted a hurried "good morning" and he called me over - to hand me a package that i've been waiting for for months: i now have my buffalos and panic ensemble discs back ^_^
as usual, the hardware dude was "suffering" constant throughput of needy people - that's one hell of a business he's running. we had a cup of coffee, chatted a little, and then i came home to meet the electrician. he's been making a mess for about an hour now, and it all seems pretty good :)
thought for the day:
it takes a big loss to appreciate all the little things... and there is no real satisfaction without frustration
i'm shocked that aside from short bursts of exhaustion, i was fully functional and busy the entire day! i finished writing a tool that has made transferring badly organized data to html tables a breeze, and spent the rest of the day using it. in other news, even my TL was impressed by the improvement that my last month of work has made in my side-project :)
in fact, i got so into what i was doing that i didn't really notice much else. the food in the mess hall was better, though - my TL and SC want me to hand over a print of yesterday's "aborted calf in light miscarriage marinade" that i photographed to back up a formal complaint :P
on my way out the door i heard someone across the road screaming - by the time i got there a small crowd had gathered... some woman had been burgled. i checked that nobody was in danger before heading to the bus, and brooded over the situation. it's not cool when it happens on your doorstep (and even less if it happens to you).
i'm totally back into justina robson - selling out: every time i go somewhere i have to think about which book to continue reading. that reminds me - my SC wanted my advice on which cellphone to give his child... i told him to go with a throwaway and spend the rest of the cash on comic books. i find it really sad that parents in general don't care that their kids spend all their time in front of screens.
training was good - we each worked on our weaknesses, and i fixed a lot of things. it would have been nicer if the evening hadn't included a completely pointless argument with one of the black belts, who was trying to convince me that for a kick that consists of two parts, it would be better to learn first one and then the other. i never do things because they're easier, because i want to become stronger faster.
i'm kind of a masochist that way.
an interesting continuation of the comparison between israeli / american humour and british humour later, scrapper drove me back to his place where we had a quick bite before i hopped on the bus home. tonight's conversation was on parenting: about how there can be no "right way" to raise kids (although there can be obvious "wrong" ways), and how it's no good for life to be easy and no good for it to be too rough - only one can't really be balanced so my opinion is to do what feels right and hope your progeny turns out like you :P
i ran into an old friend on the way back, we had a two-minute chat and then i got home and showered. the laundry should be out soon, and then i'll be crashing. in the meantime, i've discovered that even without music the 5th generation nano is awesome. tilt-based games rock!
i'm desperately attempting to install itunes through wine - sharepod doesn't work outside of windows :(
at least i have katjes. [sammy and i estimated last night that the price i paid was fair :)]
Thursday, November 12, 2009
nystire continued to try helping me out this morning with my ipod issues. we might have found a solution, i'm praying that i'll have good news by the weekend.
i discovered this morning that one of my team-mates is having a rough time at home (and at work, it's always that way). it's always hard for me to see others suffering... i think i do enough to cover everyone :P
today's lunchmeat looked so bad that it took ten officers over five minutes to pluck up the courage to taste it. it tasted almost as bad as it looked, after two bites i had to spit it out and let it go. the only appropriate definition we could agree on was "aborted calf in light miscarriage marinade". it was as gross as it sounds.
recently, i took interest in a project that wasn't mine, and it's one of the few things i've been enjoying at work. or instead of work. our SC didn't know this when he approached my TL to see if i'd been informed already - i managed to make him uncomfortable for formalizing my participation, implying that he's insinuated that i don't do any work. it doesn't matter, he wouldn't have remembered it five minutes later.
i came up with a method for filling in wiki tables efficiently (or, relatively efficiently), and spent an hour or two building an application around it, and fighting with c# over stupidities. eventually i discovered that my code was fine, that one of the built-in commands wasn't working right. that always sucks :P
the guy who gave me a ride yesterday brought me the discs we discussed - it makes a huge difference to my personal workspace having good goa in the background ^_^
i stopped by the hardware dude this evening to ask about plastic for dust protection - he's got, not a problem. he wanted to help with the electrician (it was he who gave me the recommendation), so he called him up to shout at him. i felt quite uncomfortable with the way he did it and i hope it didn't do any damage :/
i hear this evening that my sister is having a rougher time than i thought - i wish i could do more than offer textual support...
i had a long chat with my mum, some bits sad and others funny, and then got lost looking for lighting. there're so many options, all stacked together, and i can't decide what would go best with my apartment :S
i eventually gave up, now i've seen more or less what there is and i need to stare at my ceiling for a bit to figure it out.
on the way to pick up my new glasses, i grabbed a hot dog from what is almost my "usual" vendor. it was undoubtedly the worst hot dog i've ever had, and i won't be going back again. the glasses are awesome, but it's going to take me a while to get used to them (they're very loud) :)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
i finished the massive rewrite today, after just over a month (i estimate spending about 40% of my time working on it). it's smooth, lightning-fast and correct, and i'll go overboard with the comments in a bit although the important stuff is documented. i feel better, now.
bad lunch must've been punishment for bad puns - i had a couple of moments today :P
my neck has been tough on me, but the rest of me's been alright (minus some odd, random twitches - nystire sarcastically suggested that i sleep less and booze more :P). i was expecting to have a bangover after getting back from the hangar, but as of now i'm doing alright.
i've become a wiki addict. i've been relying on it more and more, and when i lost access today i was troubled :/
also at a loss - trying to organize my snowboarding trip, and i might have to give up a day on the slopes... for nothing. that would totally suck. and that's what i did last year, only this time it wouldn't be my fault :S
our SC tried to convince me that it's better to skip the snow and have a few days spare... sod that! there's no question that those days need to be spent living!
i got a ride with a guy in our sister unit, and discovered someone who shares my same passion for electronic music. he even has an original copy of an album i've been looking for for ages! [goa trance 3 - from fullmoon to sunrise]
it's weird that we both have similar stories about having been aspiring dj's, and have similar attitudes to what good dj'ing is about. i miss my decks and vinyl (and especially my 626 pro), and i miss spending nights terrorizing the neighbourhood mixing sounds and flicking from track to track :) *happy reminiscent sigh*
i developed a major headache when i got home - nystire tried to help me, but none of ubuntu's applications are willing to open negotiations with my ipod. this is a really painful experience. and of course, wine doesn't support itunes.
i'm actually contemplating installing windows just for the itunes. i'm praying that a solution can be found before getting that extreme.
i made some coffee and walked to hangar 11 (i'll never forget my 22nd birthday there: funny story), to meet up with a couple of guys, have another cup of coffee, play secret agent*, and get inside for opeth. phenomenal concert! there music is unbelievable, they were great on stage (and quite funny), and the crowd was mostly very cool.
i did find myself almost inside the pogo area a lot of the evening - i held my own though. i always find the cute little girls entering it intriguing. some dude got his nose broken right in the last minute - what a bummer :/
that was a lot of fun, and now it's time to shower, and torture myself with good sleep until my alarm goes off again...
* chains were banned, and i wasn't going to just toss mine on the ground. i found a conveniently secure spot inside one of the surrounding buildings (and up a few stairs) - if there had been security cameras, i would've been taken for questioning - it felt suspicious being so sneaky :P
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
i'm supposed to be in the middle of an operating system upgrade, but my internet connection's apparently unsatisfactory. i'll try again after posting, and pray that this is the only problem of the upgrade - every time there's been something else :/
on the way to base i watched a good portion of another battlestar galactica episode. they packed so much into so little - it's nuts.
my body's feeling good after last night's abuse, a little neck trouble but nothing serious - i hope it lasts.
today was about affecting change - after much work and gentle nudging a couple of us have pushed things to the point where some of our work processes might be improved in the near future. this is highly satisfying.
also, my rewrite is blazingly fast, and smooth. i keep getting stuck on trivial things, but the big picture is looking great :)
a two day argument, and wikipedia has settled it. i was sort of wrong, and the guy vehemently denying the logical (although that's also subjective, apparently) was completely wrong: the winter solstice is no indicator of the passage of winter.
i've begun to suspect that a significant number of my co-workers may be affected. it all fits: a bunch of exceptionally literal-minded anti-socials with zero empathy and almost no communication skills to speak of.
two highlights of the day:
1) two of us had taken the soup. the other guy asked me how it was, and a third answered "incredible!". when i asked him how he knew, he replied that it looked really good, and the first guy had asked a general question and so he'd replied with an opinion. apparently, one can form an opinion without tasting it, because tasting is a subjective experience.
he wasn't joking. and later on i struggled not to lash out at him when he told someone that the reason one must be careful of stray cats is that they spread AIDS.
2) my evening ride, who as i mentioned yesterday was playing the fool, probably wasn't. i asked how he was, he started jerking me around, and then a bit later on when i asked what time he was leaving the base responded with "so you're only interested in my welfare when you need a ride?"
i was trying to be polite. i fired back: "would you rather i didn't ask?"
later on he called me to let me know he'd been kidding, but i informed him that if he couldn't do someone a favour without making him suffer for it then he could keep his favours to himself. i took the shuttle, and will continue to do so for the rest of my service because as much as i despise the nco's on board, i don't find them as abhorrent as having to deal with people who are theoretically my peers being pricks.
after lunch, i was asked to do something that had me staring at my screen uselessly, trying hard to read and not pass out... i got lucky, the guy who passed the task along realized it wasn't a good idea. at least it wasn't just me thinking "this is nuts" :P
after getting home, i put on my blades and skated off to get my phone fixed. they switched the cover, and it's now multicoloured :P
i then went to dizengof center to seek a basket for wet umbrellas and stickers for my shower. i didn't get a basket because the price seemed a bit steep, but on the way home when i came across a kilo of katjes i spent almost twice that price for them. i have no sense of proportion.
wait: to be fair, i do have a sense of proportion, but it's delayed.
i got awesome caterpillar and butterfly stickers. i've been told they're unmanly, but i don't care :P
i began upgrading ubuntu, and went shopping. i ran into my electrician on the way, and half an hour later (i was down to the last bite of a great sandwich) he knocked on the door, and we sat and walked around on his quote. the price seems very fair (i made him sign that he wouldn't go over budget), the work will be split up into manageable bits (no more than three hours at a time, and he's happy to work when it's convenient for me), and my impression of him matches the strong recommendation he got.
i've worked my fingers on my guitar for a bit, now it's shower and bedtime again. the cycle continues.
Monday, November 09, 2009
aside from the mild entertainment of little jumpy worms getting loose in the office, today wasn't very special. the doctor confused me a little, but i've decided to let my ankle bump slide and pray it doesn't cause me any discomfort on the snow.
my TL offended me by jokingly comparing me to one of israel's biggest enemies, and later on my evening ride started playing the fool when i got in touch to ensure my way home... not a friendly way to leave the base.
there was space on the bus to training - extremely unusual - but to make up for it we got to hear a trashy girl screaming and singing badly into her phone for about forty five minutes (she was charming, refusing to lower her voice). at least this month's wired kept me from overheating: the article on foolish anti-vaccinate panic was upsetting (as the topic always is - people can be really, really stupid), but that on optigenetics is fascinating and exciting :)
training was heavy going, our instructor was in a mood. she pushed us pretty hard - and i got in an hour late, when everyone was already in agony. i feel it did me good after yesterday's blade, though, and although i got angry towards the end i managed to put the emotion to good use and focused it into something that quite satisfied me.
scrapper and i scrambled, picking up a couple of his friends on the way to the barby for the battle of the bands. we made it in time to hear a really crap band (but all their tone-deaf friends were there, so they'll probably win the round), and stand almost alone while squid gave a really good performance on what i consider to be a poor choice of songs for such a mainstream event. at least they had a fan there, and i was glad to have a chance to talk to them for a few seconds and give them some positive feedback - that was a tough crowd.
i was disappointed to discover that we'd missed panic ensemble - i recognized yael kraus just as she walked past me, which was a bit too late :P
there was only one other good group, a hybrid rock / reggae group that at least gave us a couple of fun songs to go home to. the metal groups were mostly uninspired, one hair-metal band having jumped straight out of the 80's with unintelligible growling, but one skinny kid gave a great performance on "nice-enough" music.
i'm back, have showered, and scribbled more items onto my whiteboard - the list is out of control and i really need a spare evening somewhere :S
Saturday, November 07, 2009
i napped way longer than i'd intended... you see, that's what happens when you don't set an alarm :P
i've had a massive headache since i got up - it's like my brain's been paying for my body's work this morning. for some strange reason, my right biceps has been twitching on and off. i did make sure to consume protein at lunch and dinner, so maybe there's something i'm missing. next year, i think i will bring isotonic along.
i spent the evening sorting out a visa application, finally delivering my cousin's son's wedding gift, introducing her daughter to carusella and tamar eisenman, and getting ready to go. i can't believe it's taken me most of the year to get over there, and the visit was definitely too short.
after waiting forever for the bus, i was offered a ride by one of the kibbutz's lonely soldiers, after we'd struck up a conversation. the irony was that his ride was willing to go out of her way to take me to the central station, but as we were loading the boot (i almost wrote "trunk") the bus screamed past :P
the bus was packed, but the ride was pleasant enough. i couldn't sleep, but i couldn't think either. once into tel aviv, i started feeling a bit better (i think the second chocolate helped a bit), and now that i've showered and stowed my gear, i'm going to watch something and then head off into dreamland.
ahhh, i'm getting used to freshly squeezed orange juice again. that was one hell of a weekend :)
the ride was pretty, unfortunately what appeared to be mist turned out to be dust, and it sat on us pretty heavily the entire morning. my lungs burned for most of the first half.
i arrived in time to sign up (*phew* - the website said "registration closed" last night and i wasn't 100% sure), blow off the girl at the registration desk when she inquired as to the location of my helmet (also in tel aviv), and head out to join the first group.
the first wave was way too fast a pace for me, which shows how much i needed to train these past few weeks. unfortunate. after a while i came upon a couple of guys with that girl from the other day (heeblet), and joined her and one of the others until we hit an uphill. she disappeared (pulled ahead of us in a rather embarrassing fashion), and we began the climb.
from that climb until about five kilometres towards the end, we struggled. the roads on awful were average, the heat was searing, i had some difficulty with my pulse and my blood pressure along the way, and towards the end an evil wind came up, blasting us randomly.
that wind came up exactly as we hit a beautiful, steep, and surprisingly smooth downhill. at first it pushed us forward with extraordinarily pleasing power, but as we reached the dip at the bottom it smacked into us from the left, almost sending us both into the air at rather high speed.
that downhill was a serious rush, though, and it made most of the discomfort on the way completely and utterly worth it }:D
most of the morning everyone who passed us commented admiringly and disbelievingly, and there was a great sense of camaraderie throughout. i made a boo-boo, though. i pulled out and didn't see that there was a woman coming up behind me, and i misheard her when she complained and responded to "you think you own the road? that you don't have to beware of people behind you?" with "for sure!". when i discovered afterwards what she'd said, i felt like a heel but it was too late to apologize :(
we also did a good deed today - some girl lost touch with her sister, and we managed to find her to pass along a message. she was so excited!
we finished in a better time than i'd anticipated, 4:11, and after grabbing our medallions and lucky packets (i exaggerate a little) joined the rest of the group. i'm still very glad that although i've been called "foolish brave" for having started with worn wheels (what? i haven't changed them through three of these things!), i left with far less damage than most of the others. from roasties to blisters to solid smacks on the jaw, and i who was complaining about a damaged tendon was all good.
muscle strain, yes, but all good. i was amused to discover that the growth on my tendon is something that a lot of the group has... it's probably because this is my first year taking the group and all its extras seriously. so maybe surgery isn't necessary - two pairs of socks and i had nothing to worry about :)
as for heeblet, it turns out she also suffers from low blood pressure and we sat laughing and exchanging war stories from the road. i was distracted by a sudden, highly aggravated argument with the guy who runs the rollerblade store - the guys disagree vehemently with his attitude towards beginners, and a lot of interesting tidbits were flung around. in short, i can be very glad that my first blades were oxygen x2's :) [at least, i think that was the model. you try finding a list of models from the mid-90's. if you succeed: *PLEASE* send it over!!]
my cousin and her daughter came to pick me up, and we drove through to a fantastic hummus place (we were there a few years back, i'm still traumatized from having spilled coffee on the easily traumatized). the food was amazing - they did us a special favour and served us in spite of the fact that they were closed - and a perfect way to end the morning.
we were accompanied the whole way by simon and garfunkle (yay! car sing-along!), and as soon as we arrived i hit the shower and am feeling great! i think i've gotten all the lunchtime caffeine out of my system, which means only one thing - nap time. i think it's well-deserved, today.
that conversation came on the heels of an intense debate with her son's mother-in-law, a philosophy professor and a self-hating jew. we definitely don't see eye to eye, but we both enjoyed a good fight, and have agreed to continue it online :)
i'm very glad i made the bus to the kibbutz, and it's nice to finally have returned. an afternoon alternating between chatter and napping, pretty decent mess hall food, and fighting off a tick (the dog needs treatment, i guess) has been the order of the day. now to prepare for the serious stuff.
Friday, November 06, 2009
at least the express bus didn't take too long to arrive. and from here, it's out of my hands.
at least i've noticed on the way that i'm feeling much better :)
tuesday night i received a good news / bad news bundle. i was horrified to hear my sister's boyfriend's heavy news, and my old hebrew teacher is on his last legs, and my cousin who i've been trying to help with academia is apparently quite unhappy. my mum then shared the ridiculous to get the bad taste out of my mouth: my brother and his ex are dating. without going into too much detail, that's just absurd - and our respect for his ex just went south :P
i started off wednesday with a quick and dirty response to a query on my scribblings [which i'm glad to say appears to have been received in good faith]. it's rough for me to type higher level arguments in hebrew.
[some of hillman's comments got me reviewing what i wrote]
i left later than i'd intended, but arrived shockingly quickly - i'd forgotten that there are plenty of places in the country that it's not difficult to get to, and that my base is a middle-of-nowhere exception, not a rule. i was inspired on the way to try to organize another paintball session [i've already had a few positive responses, and even those who aren't coming have expressed amusement at the mail i sent out :)].
i arrived a bit early, waited a short while, then was taken to a dressing room and left with instructions to remove my shoes and socks and leave everything there. i was then told something unintelligible and abandoned. after waiting a minute, unable to decide which of the two doors to knock on, i walked back barefoot to the receptionist to ask what was going on. she was busy, so i stood waiting... one minute... two minutes... about three in total, before i heard someone from the direction of the dressing room say "how odd, nobody here". i just caught which door closed, so i went back and entered.
the doctor's response: "you're in the army, don't you know to do what you're told without thinking?"
mine: "we're obviously not serving in the same army"
the good news is that the growth isn't dangerous, the bad is that that means i'm going to have to work to convince the army doctors to get it surgically removed. as i'm into extreme sports, and this thing hurts, i can't let it slide.
i returned to base in time for lunch*, and nystire and i passed it arguing about prohibition. people have the strangest ideas - if it's not legal, then you can't do it privately and in your own home without breaking the law. you also don't have clean channels of distribution (i'm sure big pharma wouldn't strain too much to do it right), fair pricing and tax, and you waste a stupid amount of resources on something you can't control instead of cleaning up a small mess every now and then.
i want everybody to close their eyes, and imagine a world where people go to pubs and clubs without alcohol.
yeah, that would so totally work.
we need social lubricant, especially in an age of extreme conservatism, nanny states and a culture of repression, and at present the only legitimate lubricants are two of the worst available.
how can so many people be completely ignorant of all this?!?!
* i saw a weird bug coming straight for me from about ten metres away scarily fast, and it hit me in the mouth. when i got in to the office, one of my team-mates pointed out another one that had found it's mark on my neck... everyone had had similar experiences. the nerve of those little beasts!
something reminded me that rum and bitter lemon are not a good combination, because the rum is overpowered.
i struggled with c#'s event order. i'm in an event, so any raising of that same event will be deferred until i exit the block. any other events will be raised immediately (same conditions apply for them), and i couldn't figure out how to block the repeat call. hell, i couldn't figure out how that recursive event call was occurring in the first place. i managed to solve the problem, but more through code-voodoo than real logic :/
i discussed the group ski / snowboard trip with one of the other snowboarders, and it became a much more real option for next year. yesterday i had a repeat conversation with another one, and i think that's where i'll be happiest... i've got a few days left to keep an open mind, though.
i've been making a habit of arbitrarily and with much exaggeration complimenting my commanders. neither of them have the ability to detect sarcasm, and the results are increasingly amusing.
our conditions on base yesterday were worse than prison. the food wasn't as good, we work harder... and at least prisoners have access to phones (our lines went on wednesday) and running water (thursday, and it was planned).
it's unbelievable, we received an instruction from up above that if it continues we can all go home... but our commanders are smart enough to have us all bring water to base and practise "holding it in". you know something's wrong when you have to organize lift-schemes to drive off base for group toilet-runs.
a girl i've had issues with since last winter got in touch with me over something work-related. my automatic response was "oh, shit". she asked me when i'd be available on wednesday, so i told her. then she informed me that she wouldn't be available on wednesday, so we'd need to meet on thursday. i tried to understand why she would ask about wednesday, but that stumped everyone around me as well.
for what feels like the first time in years, i walked into the lab for something that didn't need to take more than five minutes, and it didn't take more than five minutes. nothing crashed on me, nothing surprised me... i walked out strangely elated :P
section argument: i've definitely mentioned this before. israeli's have developed a habit of ignoring the question "how are you?" by asking it right back. "but i don't want to lie, and i don't want to tell you all my problems" was the answer, but it's completely antisocial and sometimes an expected lie of "fine, thanks, and you?" is not only alright, but ideal.
one of my team-mates was having a moment - i walked past him, and it took me a second to register that he was sitting with a huge pile of used train tickets (his walls are covered in them) flipping them one by one into a tall, cylindrical container. one by one, over and over. "i think this foal's been broken", i thought.
i passed out on the way home, stopped by the hardware dude to pick up the lighting dude's number, and came home buzzing with confusion. i had a whole bunch of "todo" notes, and people to call about various things, and i was feeling pressured due to the combination of sleep deprivation and time pressure: carusella were supposedly performing an hour later and i wasn't ready to go.
item by item i got things under control, or figured out how to postpone them, made myself a cup of coffee and went to the bus. if i hadn't made the coffee, and i hadn't had to stop to draw cash, i wouldn't have missed my bus. if that hadn't happened, i wouldn't have tried calling the barby, wouldn't have been redirected to their website, wouldn't have discovered that the performance was only due to begin at 10pm instead of 8pm. bear in mind, please, that 10pm on the listing means 11pm at the earliest, and that's just for the warm-up band.
so i had time to call ru55, and joined him for a quick bite before visiting grootbek. i'm always glad for the opportunity to see friends [which, sadly, is very rare].
i still got to the barby early, and spent about half an hour trying to watch an episode of battlestar galactica in peace. it's south tel aviv, that's a bit tricky.
i don't know who warmed up for carusella, but they sounded a bit like tool in their opiate days. the drummer was awesome, using a rusty old metal trash can and really hammering everything out. i was convinced that the guitarist from carusella, tamar aphek, was the warm-up band's groupie, right until she removed her guitar and she and her drummer began setting up. they're unbelievable, progressive metal, great vocals (and both of them can sing), and there's magic in a slight girl rocking out with incredible technical skill and giving a solid, emotional performance.
completely surreal, and totally intense.
i had a laugh when the taxi driver told me how much he wanted to take me home. i walked a bit of the way, eventually catching one for a fair price and having enjoyed the amble. it wasn't a good time for ambling, but it was nice anyway. after posting, i showered and crashed... three hours wasn't enough.
in all my confusion i left late yesterday morning, and had to run a bit to make my bus. the adrenaline prevented me from napping on the shuttle, which sucked. i was completely dead, and we were waterless... not a good day. we went out for lunch (more as an excuse to find decent facilities), and i think my medium burger was a bit shy of medium. it was good food, but digesting took whatever was left of my meagre energy reserves and i became temporarily narcoleptic once we got in the car [carcolepsy], and then again as i hit my office chair :S
someone had joked about a non-existent swimming pool being redirected to provide our neighbouring base with water, and when our SC asked about them i repeated it completely dead-pan. he immediately asked, surprised, when they'd gotten a swimming pool installed, but after a few seconds he realized he'd been had and angrily went to our unit commander to ask him instead :D
in spite of my state, i made a good breakthrough with my project just before the day was up ^_^
the ride with nystire and one other to the forms competition was a mixture of childish school-trip behaviour and passing out in awkward positions. i arrived a bit late to the competition because i had to stop for an energy drink and chocolate. i discovered later that the chocolate wasn't such a good idea - my pulse raced explosively during my forms and i was certain that i was going to have a heart attack :(
how sad it is (for me) that the beautiful girl from the tel aviv group (who really is beautiful, and she's a physicist, and she's improving rapidly in taekwondo) is married.
for my category, i was in third place (of four) until the very last round, and just before my final turn i began convincing myself that i was going to give the last round my all, even if it meant passing out. i didn't pass out, and i managed to overtake one position for second place :)
i realized, however, that it's possible that i'm ill (i haven't been feeling good for over a week), and in addition to not going out last night, i've promised myself that if by tomorrow morning i'm not fighting fit then i'm not going to blade the 60km around the kinneret.
i received two certificates from fights that took place in 2004 - one of which was for third place in the nationals. there were only three of us in the category, and i got my ass handed to me. it was actually a traumatic experience, and having a certificate for it is very strange.
the bus ride back with the kids was quite amusing. some of them were convinced that i'm a policeman, with hilarious results. the rest of the trip was covered by deep debates about pokemon and tekken.
a few minutes after i got home the electrician arrived, and he seems like a really nice guy. we went through the apartment, discussing and apparently agreeing on most points, and he'll be getting back to me with a quote soon. i think i covered all the bases in my explanations of budget and time constraints.
i blew off songbird (i really didn't have the energy), and went to bed. i woke up this morning to do laundry, went back to sleep for a bit, woke up to hang it up, eat breakfast, write this, and now rush off to go north to visit my cousin :)