Sunday, January 31, 2010

spiraling down

i've made a bit of progress with the stuff for mmf, and i've made some headway with 2005... discovering in the process that the mongoose and i have known each other for five years and five days. i just *had* to send him an sms to congratulate him :P

i spoke to my kibbutz cousin, and was complaining that i hadn't had a chance to visit her when i suddenly realized that i can go tomorrow, so i will :)

i shopped, and decided that purchasing hummus (i did so on friday night) is a bad idea, because it forces me to buy pita to eat it with. pita and hummus are filling, and tasty, but not so much a healthy meal :P

on the way back, i heard one of the neighbours practising the tuba. cacophonic, but so amusing that i can't imagine anyone complaining :P

---

i definitely spend too much time in my own head. i couldn't figure out if i'm supposed to be in touch with girl no. 1 or not. i never get the rules of engagement, and i don't want to be pushy and i don't want to make her feel like i'm disinterested. i probably shouldn't have facebooked her.

i couldn't pick a smiley, so she just got this message:
hi! i wanted to send you something, so i looked you up on facebook. then i felt bad for doing so, and didn't send it to you. now i don't know if i should laugh or apologize, so i'm doing both

aaaaand i have a feeling that that's not going to get a positive response.

---

robber dog? that's just wrong.

tall paul vs billie - because we want to popped into my head, and this version is just a little bit faster and got me smiling a little bit wider :D

slow spiral

slow spiral
up
or down
moves me
pushes
pulls me
to dizzy abandon

i hear soft voices
whispering sweetly
to go back, or forward

but none are yours

and none are mine

my own sweet whispers
long ago silenced
by the spiral
moving me
pushing
pulling me

medicinal rolling

i began the day with a clearance sale purchase for our SC's release: the ineptitude desktopper. seeing as it's not possible to make a purchase of less than $15, i added the mistakes mug... and international shipping only doubled that amount :/ (at least i'm not buying it alone)

i hope it arrives to the correct address, because israel doesn't have state codes and i couldn't place the order without one. so i live in TEL AVIV, NONE, and i hope that's alright.

i made a good call for bus stops, and could choose between the close-enough bus and the perfect one. i thought that the people who use the new magnetic cards could walk through automatically, and got dark looks from the driver when i tried to pay him over the hand of the girl who was busy swiping hers...

"and i would've gotten away from it [the bus] if it wasn't for you kids!": i had to ask twice for the crowd of soldiers at my destination to let me out. it appears the kids are being raised stupider all the time. i was contemplating taking id numbers and filing a complaint, but there were simply too many of them.

i barely had to wait for the doctor, but i needed the green license form first so he turfed me out and agreed to let me in later between patients. on my way out i tried calling the guy who i'm going to be fighting with about my release, but he didn't answer. i called his superior (we're now talking about big boys), to discover that the two of them were in a meeting. they promised to call me back.

i found a photo shop in azrieli, but it was closed. while waiting, i had coffee and a chocolate croissant (that turned out to be difficult to digest), and bumped into one of the girls from my old team... she's been called up for reserve duty to organize a unit celebration. i think that's awesome :)

the photo store couldn't help me. they couldn't even point me in the right direction. i went across the road to the one next door to the ministry of interior, where they had to have official forms... or not. the revolving door, the only entrance / exit available, was stuck. i was the first to ignore the huge signs saying "automatic - don't push!" and excused my disgusting behaviour by explaining to the old lady who'd been standing sadly, waiting, that if they wanted us to not push then it would need to move by itself.
i bit the bullet and walked all the way to dizengoff center. on the way, i called the inferior - when i told him i wanted to meet with him, he corrected me: "you mean you're requesting to meet with me?"

i see that this is going to go well. on the plus side, he can't meet with me before wednesday so that gives me another couple of days to get organized. and not shave :P

i picked up the green form, and headed to the optometrist for the eye test. i didn't have my glasses with me, and for a motorcycle both eyes need to be perfect. i felt awful failing the exam.

i was on my way back to the doctor when i hit ibn gvirol, and decided that it would be far more efficient if i was on rollerblades. i walked home instead, switched out and rolled back - it was far more comfortable. it's a hot, sticky day anyway :P

the doctor signed me off quickly, and i went back to repeat the eye exam - this time with my glasses. i passed quickly and easily. now i'm considering contact lenses or laser surgery.
i bought spraypaint on my way out.

i had lunch at coffeeholic with the professor, which was extremely pleasant, and when she left the chef was looking for someone to see avatar with so i volunteered to go again. while we were talking i got a phone call from the unit that wants to interview me, so i told them i'd get in touch with them after wednesday's meeting. i headed off to brush my teeth, and bladed to the dentist.

same dentist as last time, this time i spent most of the session suppressing my gag reflex every time the suction hit the side of my tongue and annoying her by not turning my head in her direction. i couldn't look at the light, so i either had my eyes squeezed shut or stared at her jugular. she's not particularly attractive, but she has beautiful eyes - when she wears a surgeon's mask the transformation is astounding.

blades on, back home. i sprayed my display cabinet, conscious of the need to keep the room ventilated and hopping back and forth between the bathroom and bedroom to take deep breaths, but forgetting that eyes don't deal with the paint cloud either. i registered the dryness in the shower i had afterwards, but i think i rinsed it all out because a couple of minutes after i'd dried off i was feeling fine again.

i finally got around to continuing the testing for mmf, but that's not going so well so i took a break for this post and am about to return to it. i'll be able to snack again in five minutes or so, and feeling's just beginning to come back to my lips :)

not sleeping in

a night filled with dreams
a warm morning
too comfortable to get out of bed
but the alarm will not be ignored

girl no. 1

i read a bit of wired, napped, shaved - cutting myself twice, played a round of crash bandicoot 3 - sucking at it, and walked out with marshmallow coffee.
everything's better with marshmallows. and pirates.

fortunately the bus was empty, so the bus driver wasn't impatient with me when he realized that i needed to be one stop away from where i'd asked for, and that made it a different price :P

i spent the ride considering just how much of a difference the past week has made - i have discovered that the world outside is as i expected it would be, that i am just fine and that i have a ton of shit to do that i'm going to thoroughly enjoy doing ^_^

the date: it was definitely a date. once again i'm forced to ask myself if i screwed it up, because the goodbye was a bit awkward... but in general, it was great: we entered the movie half an hour late because we'd gotten so wrapped up in conversation over beers, and we both enjoyed it anyway (the men who stare at goats - they did a good job, especially with the soundtrack and the cinematography is great).

right - i've just spent over an hour transferring my records of 2004 to an editable format, and it's definitely time for bed.

spirit was mentioned during the conference - xkcd says it better, as usual :)

the order of the stick - because i just don't read enough webcomics

Saturday, January 30, 2010

digging out, sliding fortune

the rough news from thursday evening stuck with me. it stuck with me while i sorted out my backup drive, and while i deliberated over what to get the german birthday girl; it was the primary motivator for the chat with my mother, and it lent its flavour to the sandwiches i made for dinner; it hovered while i purchased the southern comfort reserve and walked it to the party, where i was both late and far too early.

it held my hand as i went ice shopping with the girl i sometimes play frisbee with, who was on her own pluck which wasn't interesting enough to distract me. it brooded with me while i sat awkwardly trying to find an "in" with the girls speaking in german, or the group chatting in hebrew about stuff that i had nothing to add to.

it didn't help when i was asked what i do for a living, either.

a couple of ze germans rocked up late, and with them an excuse to talk about other things for a while. we all went to some random bar, and on the way i got chatting with a texan who's also a fan of bill hicks and shares some of my opinions concerning the importance of the war against the war against drugs. one of the israeli girls from the second prohibitive conversation was kind of flirtatious, but our conversation didn't really go anywhere positive. the music was kind of okay, but the dj's mixing sucked and some of the other patrons were dodgy as hell.

ukko gave me solid psytrance, loud, and i took a walk south. i arrived at comfort 13 ready to stomp. it was a bit expensive to get in, and the crowd wasn't much to get excited about, but i bounced for an hour or two that included a few solid tracks before deciding that it was time to go home.

the whole walk home had me going over what i'm going to be saying to all the wonderful, caring people i'm going to have to be in touch with during the coming week(s). the longer i walked, the longer i thought about it, the angrier i got. i'm in fight mode, and i'm ready to take on the entire gorram army if needs be: enough is enough. i need control of my body back, and more importantly i need to start getting to work on saving the world.

i have shit to do, and it's in nobody's best interests to hold me back.

i decided to give tony vespa's pizza a try. not bad. not bad at all. considering that i'd had a lot to drink, i'm not sure how objective my tastebuds were being, but i'm fairly certain i'll be trying it again.

---

i slept incredibly comfortably yesterday morning, and even waking up was a pleasure. i tidied my apartment - less of a mission than i'd anticipated - and loaded my netbook with things that will render it useful. i did that on my patio with the shutters open - it was an absolutely wonderful, sunny day!

someone reminded me that it was another street party day - i'd completely forgotten! i hurried to coffeeholic to be impressed by the chef's breakfast while continuing to enjoy the introduction to poetry that remains on their shelf. as soon as i was done, i walked to rothschild to wrangle through the throngs until i eventually made it to the thick of things.

it was really, really loud.
it was really, really packed.
the sun was shining, the music was great, i ran into a couple of friends and was invited to a couple of parties, and i stayed there until 4pm when it shut down and one of the city council members gave a really sweet speech - "this is how tel aviv should be all the time!"

damn right ^_^

i stormed through the crowd double-time in order to get home in time to join the sunset rollers. i made it in good time, but not good enough - they'd left about ten minutes before i got there. i tried calling heeblet, but she wasn't answering - and i had to rely on a hunch.
on a day like today, i figured that if i was calling the shots i'd go back to the little hill where we stopped a couple of months ago on the ramat gan side of park hayarkon. it just made sense.

and i was right! as i got about halfway up the hill everyone else started down it, so i quickly turned with a smile and greetings to everyone. the nice thing is that that's the second time that's happened, and both times were this week. i think it's my week :)

the route was excellent - we did a couple of sections in the opposite direction, which made it quite interesting. the weather was great, the group was vibing, and we pushed hard.

the shower afterwards was perfect. i went shopping (i hadn't had an opportunity to go during the day), and the experience was overshadowed by the fact that on the way out of the building i was met with fresh dog crap that some kind owner had thoughtfully left right outside our entrance :/

i had a nap after i ate, and had to drag myself off the couch to shave, get dressed and go. i'm really glad i shaved.
the club is really cool, two levels underground and superbly styled for deep house. the music was great to begin with, even though it took a while for people to start moving.

girl no. 1: damn. damn fine girl, pretty *and* intelligent. we danced a bit together, then had a drink and went outside to sit on a bench and debate all sorts of stuff. i think i may have screwed things up by awkwardly not kissing her at any stage... and i think her friend was irritated because they left soon afterwards. [i scratched that sentence because she *just* sent me a positive reply to an invite out tonight :)]

once she'd left, a girl-friend threw girl no. 2 at me, who's not my cup of tea and i suspect had had a few cups of something harder than tea before we met. i was amiable, and brushed off her advances as sympathetically as i could... which didn't seem to work very well. but i didn't want to say something along the lines of "listen, you're not doing it for me" because she's a friend of a friend and that would make things (at least, so i thought) even worse.

the music improved dramatically, and we really danced for the next couple of hours. in particular, awesome remixes of personal jesus and josh wink - a higher state of consciousness really got me grooving ^_^

the girls left. not in a good way. girl no. 2 got mad at me because i played dumb and ignored her invitation to take her home... the music got a bit static after they left, and it was 5am already. i walked slowly home, the full moon accompanying me along with my beloved house collection [ah-ha! i couldn't remember anything about this track except that it was from the same period as eiffel 65 - blue]. i had a quick shower and passed out, certain that i'd be awake a couple of hours later.

---

SUCCESS! i slept until afternoon ^_^

i've just spent a couple of hours typing all of this [and the previous conference notes], watching ninjai (it takes a couple of episodes before it gets awesome), planning movies with girl no. 1... now it's time to relax a bit. or play frisbee :)

conference first part 2

thursday began with my rediscovery that i'd made a bad backup. the data was fine, but i'd formatted the drive incorrectly :/

i made the 7.27 train easily this time, possibly because i knew which platform to wait on. i had a sudden insight on the way to the conference, which i had to share with nystire as soon as it struck me: "i'm being paid not to break anything". that's not really true, but it's the only narrative i can give to my present situation :P

my course buddy from yesterday sat with me for the rest of the conference, which was good because there were a lot of times where we needed to prop each other up :P

lieutenant colonel lullaby opened the day with a long-winded explanation of "responsive space", and was met by exceptionally irrelevant questions from some old guy who'd read something or other in a newspaper that had bothered him.

i suffered a few coughing spasms during the day. the timing is always just right (murphy-wise) to cover something interesting.

someone mentioned "dr evil": it took me a few seconds to realize that that was an italian accent making an attempt at "dr evans". it had a slight effect on the meaning of the sentence :P

spacex's "time is money": christophe bauer really did make all the governmental types look bad. his presentation was interesting, short, sharp, to the point; it included a brief summary of all the cool stuff they've been doing, and made up for the boring, long job-justification shit that had preceded it.

after a quick break, the futron programmer / salesman gave a presentation on their statistics package. i'm not usually a big fan of such things, but with the handful of examples that he threw out to make his pitch he provided an interesting picture of the space industry at a glance. one day, when i'm big, i'll most likely be paying for that.

aside from an amusing verbal typo of his, wherein he listed the swedish space budget as being €100 [instead of 100 million], i found my train of thought wondering the back-country and i was feeling generally inspired by the end of his talk.

the amos satellite excitement: all i could think of was "i'd rather read it all than hear you drone". don't read your damn presentation, you monkey! they could've handed out a flyer, it would've been easier on the mind. i think half the audience was drooling.

the laser communication lecture that followed was a lot more interesting.

thinking that the head of the fisher institute would speak before lunch, we sat through the discussion on defensive solutions. quite easily the most pointless of the lot. if you've got nothing to say... stop. please.

for me, personally, the important note for the day was borne my conversation with my previous TL's brother about 24 hours earlier. it took me that long to register that something that he'd said was indicative of a void in the israeli industry - one that's exactly what i've been meaning to fill since i first got enthusiastic about scaled.

[i just found myself amused by the fact that "scaled" is a south-africanism for "stolen"]

so the bottom line for me:
1. my ideas are still extremely relevant
2. there's a strong demand for them
3. sitting through the boring items gave me plenty of time to ponder the interesting stuff, and i walked away from the conference with my ideas more finely tuned and a lot of inspiration.

we had dodgy chinese for lunch, and i suggested that my course buddy apply to fill the vacancy i'm about to produce in my section before getting on the train. i decided that i didn't need to attend the "youth education" section of the conference.

getting off the train, the doors opened and everyone crowded round them from the outside as usual.
"can i exit freely, please?" i asked - and was amazed that at least one person took half a step back. how hard is it to let people out first?!

my arrival back in tel aviv was greeted with dust. it was time to get indoors and stretch out on the couch while i reformatted the backup drive.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

karmic comeuppance

the report back on the rest of the conference has lost priority:

i just awoke from a great nap, my sat-phone was buzzing and creeping off my bedside-table (that means that i had to pull myself off the couch to walk over there)... my SC enthusiastically gave me the bad news, and no matter how i tried i couldn't get him to understand that it is bad news.

whoever's in charge has decided that i'd be perfect for "job x". that means that i have to interview for the job, in spite of the fact that i don't want to be in the army any more. now i'm going to have to make a noise :/

as i told my SC - he really shouldn't have spoken highly of me. not because it'll make things difficult for me, but because he's going to look a bit foolish when they discover that i'm not as nice a guy as advertised. i told him he got it backwards - he's only supposed to give me a good reference if i ask for it. in that case, of *course* it should be glowing :P

[note: now that i know there are people out there - and that includes friends of mine - who have an issue with my non-traditional usage of the word "karma", i feel the need to specify that i use it in its accepted form because i do believe in the rule of three]

conference first part 1

everything was alright this morning - i'd left myself a buffer so missing the first bus wasn't an issue. the woman at the train station's counter told me i needed to be at platform 2, though, when i was supposed to be at platform 1. this wouldn't have been a problem if i hadn't been standing on the wrong end of the platform, where there are no signs and the speakers don't work properly... i only realized something was amiss once the train had left, and had to wait another twenty minutes for the next one :/

on the plus side, i still made it in time without having to take a taxi.

it didn't take too long before the audience's silence was broken by someone raising the translation device's volume too high... hearing everything simultaneously dubbed in english was rather distracting.

double-dark matter: a prize was awarded to a student pursuing dark matter. the man giving the prize gave a speech explaining her research... which she then repeated on acceptance. wasn't she paying attention?!

i find the difference in wearing my glasses astounding. i'm actually surprised when i can make out the tiniest details on a face half a lecture theatre away.

the minister of science and technology spoke, and i can't recall what he talked about because his delivery was decidedly boring.

nasa's charles bolden gave an excellent talk. one thing that i found a little weird was that talk of the challenger tragedy caused goosebumps, but the columbia disaster merely brought sadness. i would've expected it to be the other way around, and i'm thinking that maybe it's got to do with the age i was when it occurred.

he then joined a panel with enrico saggese (a.s.i.) and thierry duquesne (cnes), run by zvi kaplan - who might be perfectly good at what he does, but that's definitely not public speaking. it wouldn't have hurt him to prepare some more. he shook and stammered, and was only made to look alright by the french lullaby... there was a man even less prepared.

i ran into a buddy from the first leg of 2008's course, and we hit the tent to discover the israeli space scene. i had no idea. there's a bunch of people who might be able to help me :)

dr diane evans vs professor nir shaviv - the co2 debate. climategate aside, there were a number of solid points made.
1) the fact that nothing is known doesn't mean there is no problem, but it also doesn't mean that there is a problem
2) point 1 refers to climate only. continuing to pollute our planet and carelessly deplete its resources is going to cause us other problems that will be at least as bad as global warming.
3) regardless of our behaviour regarding the environment, the apocalypse could be triggered by any number of factors, including external ones. we need to have a backup plan ready. i don't want the taliban wiping out our history. [how's that for a random, anachronistic example? or is it?]

"i'd rather not look at the sun through a telescope" was what went through my mind when he was done. surely that's a harmful way to search for sunspots?

we had a sad lunch* [repeat], and i took a walk to the mall hunting something more substantial. i ran into my previous TL and his brother (who i've been reminding myself weekly to get in touch with for just under a year now), whose initial advice was fairly straightforward: get a degree in the field. considering the fact that that's impractical for someone who needs to work for a living, i'm going to have to pursue the way i was thinking of. at least now i have a matching external opinion.

* running into my unit commander when i'm on paid forced vacation pending release was just a bit awkward.

i rushed through the supermarket for oreos and coke, then returned just a couple of minutes late for the virtual tour of the i.s.s. by one of the astronauts. wearing his flight suit, we were joking that when you're an actual astronaut you never take that off :P

an interesting presentation made me ponder the possibility of transferring parts of venus' atmosphere to mars.

i saw a demonstration on what might one day be the basis for a cosmic router. cool stuff.

the rest of the afternoon was covered by our air force commander's half hour of nothing - he didn't really talk about space, just mentioned it as an aside while describing basic military needs that nobody (in the current forum) gives a crap about. the applause he received was perfectly delayed, and he walked off with his confidence visibly shaken.

in sharp contrast, four-star general kevin p chilton's speech was excellent. he spoke about space debris, and when he got to his final points he drove a personal one home unintentionally: i seem to have been a few years ahead of the pack in my thinking, but the pack is catching up. as i've always maintained though, i don't care who does the stuff that needs doing, just that it gets done.

nystire's previous TL called me up, she's arranging a section breakfast. aside from some advice, i gave her my assurance that i'd make it :)

the first thought when i hit the sidewalk: "is that security officer hitting on me?"
i think she was. we had a pleasant chat until we got to the train station, at which point i hurried past her... only to meet up with her again on the platform. that was only slightly uncomfortable :P

the fourth sms from urchin regarding going to the ozen bar got me fed up, and i silently uninvited her. i'm glad i did, she would have annoyed me. i don't think we're going to be friends anymore.

blue / blonde hair, blue stockings on the train, eyes meeting and lingering but not so much as a flicker of a smile, and so i walked away.

i walked and bopped the whole way home, awesome rock (mostly jimi hendrix and jefferson airplane) and a pleasant evening. i went shopping for a frying pan, realized that meat packaging is a skill that demands practice and not merely an explanation (the new meat counter lady isn't too good at it), and made slanted eggs to go on my smoked beef sandwich.
why slanted? because it appears that the counter has a very slight slope :P

at least i was right about one thing - using a pan in good condition allowed me to manipulate the eggs properly, and they came out great!

OH NOES!!!!
between penny arcade, xkcd, sinfest, and schlock mercenary, i can't choose :S
why can't i add a quarter of a vote to each?

[pauses to walk (bopping) to the ozen bar, meet the artist i shot down in the tail end of this post, thoroughly enjoy einav jackson cohen being wonderful, meet a pretty girl and actually invite her for a drink]

wow - i can't believe i've had a lot of fun *and* arrived back home in time to pretend to be a normal person (more or less) in the morning :)
i also can't believe that it's taken me two hours to finish this post, but to be fair i did watch half an episode of battlestar galactica and had a shower.

now - to sleep!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

cool runnings

very cool - i can't believe i couldn't find my mask... only i just rediscovered it, and i'd left it in such a "clever" place :/

i napped a bit, then tried cooking spaghetti again. the second hot-plate took forever to bring the water to an almost-boil, which kinda sucks :(

i experimented a bit more with a java app, then suddenly realized that i was late to meet the group... i sprinted to get there, and arrived second to last. the only problem is that both of us had missed them by at least five to ten minutes. fortunately he had a phone number, and the two of us made a mad mission to catch up, with only a couple of terrifyingly dodgy maneuvers before suddenly finding ourselves in the middle of the group, but going the wrong way!

the route was excellent, the group was great, and that included a pleasant run-in with a new pretty girl. the end of the evening was overtaken by a philosophical conversation with an israeli-arab in the group, which was closed with a discussion over whether or not i'll be able to make the race in omer on saturday.

now that i've cooled down, i think it's time to shower and get to bed so that i'll be somewhat awake for the conference :P

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

chattered teeth

good grief - it's cold enough that i'm sitting here with a sweater under my ski-jacket while i wait for the room to heat up (i knew i forgot something, it was to turn on the air-conditioner).

the day began with a stranger reminding me of something that i'm used to thinking about other people - i made to get off the bus before we arrived at the stop, and there really wasn't any reason to hurry.
"not now, sweety," she said, and i just sat and admired the view for a bit instead :P

i walked into the deserted consulate, pulled out the forms and suddenly remembered that i needed passport photos. in spite of having sought them unsuccessfully within the last couple of days, i turned out my wallet again and was irritated that they were most certainly gone. that cost me a mission to get them redone, and a coffee shop breakfast while i waited for them to be printed.

of course, i found the old ones when i put the new ones in. they were exactly where i'd expected them to be, and i can't figure out how the hell i missed them. needless to say, i was feeling slightly confused, helpless and frustrated.

[just discovered that biting into an apple is a bad idea. more on that later]

the forms were hell. i'm usually not particularly good with them, but these ones were tricky and i needed a lot of help - i think the lady was glad to see the back of me. it looks like it's all done, though, and now i have to wait up to half a year to get my new passport. and probably a day until the ink comes off my fingers :P

on my way out i got in touch with the fisher brothers institute. i'll have to pay (although the nice woman managed to wrangle me a student discount), but i managed to score one of the last available places, and i won't have to wear a uniform ^_^

on my way home i picked up my hoodie, which is back to its bright whites :D
i came back entranced by cream - n.s.u....

i did a little shopping (eggs and munchies), and made myself a sterling fried egg + corned beef sandwich. it would have been even better had my old flatmates not ruined my frying pans... i'll have to get new ones tomorrow :/

i was in a hurry to make my dentist appointment, so i walked up and down the stops at the city garden looking for a line to take me closer. bus drivers in this country are wonderful. if they don't have a stop in the road you're looking for, the answer's no. even if they have a stop fifty metres before it. that's bloody unhelpful.

i was only a couple of minutes late, and was hurried into one of the rooms with a cute blonde dentist who was hands-down the most gentle i've ever experienced. i didn't even feel the needle go in, the filling itself was almost comfortable, and i can't really blame her for the pain while cleaning.

at least, i don't think i can blame her for the inside-facing gum above my right incisor being sliced [checked a bit later, i think it might be her bad :(] - the apple just reopened it. i don't mind that so much as i did the fact that she needed to separate my incisors to file the constructed one - i made it perfectly clear that i am terrified of gaps, and although she did a good job of not giving me one i'm still extra-conscious of it.

i met nystire outside, still bleeding, and we hopped to azrieli. after harrassing the poor sod at the bug store, i decided that the asus eee pc that was on special was a good deal, and it's now charging next to my bed. it's definitely solid enough to serve my pretentious writing-at-the-coffee-shop needs, and it'll definitely carry me through my studies: ignoring my recent memory upgrade, it's even stronger than my pc :P

we walked back to my place, plugged it in, then walked to coffeeholic. nystire didn't stay longer than he needed to warsit, and i enjoyed my coffee and wired until the chef arrived, at which point that turned into chatting over cake. that cake is awesome.

just before i left, he asked me if i'd noticed it getting colder. on the way back i really did - it's ridiculous how quickly the weather shifted from cool and wet to frigid and clear!

i've done the online thing, now to try and be productive. or nap first ;)

semicolon usage!

i've seen the first chapter - what a nice little ninja! [quoted from mac hall]

Monday, January 25, 2010

caught 22

i can't recall what kept me up for the next couple of hours, but i'm fairly certain i was in front of the pc for most of them.

another day begun by coughing my lungs out. yippee. i got in touch with mmf as soon as i could breathe fairly consistently, and hopped a bus to pay him a visit. seeing as i'm currently interviewing on the assumption that i'm going to be released soon, i expressed my terms (a full starter-salary for half-days) and was glad that the ceo's taking it under consideration :)

i should possibly mention the weather that we experienced today: fast switches between sunny and drizzly. i enjoyed it thoroughly :)

i got home, hung up my laundry, prepared a sandwich and walked it to the driving instructor. the religious secretary (reading psalms between people*) was new and uninitiated, so she had to pass me through to someone else to get the details.

* i find it most distressing that the religious fill every spare moment with psalms. it's a great mechanism to distract themselves from the secular world (and protect them from cognitive contamination), and it's a wonderful way to control people by not providing them with a chance to do any actual thinking.
surely, if one finds oneself using every spare minute to convince oneself of one's "beliefs", then they're not so much "beliefs" and may need to be re-evaluated?

back to the story, learning for a motorcycle license is a bit more complex than i anticipated. i now need to evaluate how serious i am about actually purchasing one, otherwise the license might be a bit of a waste...

i walked with solid house accompaniment today - there was a specific moment that needed to be highlighted: nrg - he never lost his hardcore got me thinking of hyperviper's trademark quote, "the harder, the darker, the louder, the faster... THE BETTER!"

and through all the shit, i don't think i ever lost my hardcore ^_^

i saw the dentist, which wasn't particularly painful, and i'll be going back tomorrow for a filling. i came home, hurt my fingers with my guitar, and took catch 22 to coffeeholic with intention of completing it.
in spite of the fairly long conversation with the owner, a telephone conversation with a training buddy about forming an alternative group, and being momentarily distracted by each pretty girl walking past (and saying an awkward hello to aya zahavi feiglin), i managed to finish reading catch 22 - and i'm truly sorry that i didn't read it before serving.

the usual summary of the book does it no justice whatsoever.

i ran into the chef on the way back home, picked up a shelf on the sidewalk that doesn't fit, and spent the evening in front of the screen - at first with a beer, popcorn and battlestar galactica, then fiddling half-heartedly with java.

now it's bedtime. i got in touch with the south african embassy, and i think tomorrow's a good day to sort my dual citizenship and passport out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

cooked!

it's been a long day. it began with my first reminder to call our SC and make it absolutely clear to him (however much that's worth) that i want out completely. i have no idea why i thought that i'd put on my uniform (i guess i was a little sleepy), and i shaved completely unnecessarily. i felt like an idiot about two minutes later, while i was picking out clothing to wear.

everything took a little longer than it should have, and i guess an hour had passed before i left the apartment the first time, delivered a misdirected letter to a neighbour, and returned because i'd suddenly realized that i had time to deliver my penny arcade hoodie for dry cleaning.

having done that, i caught the bus to the city officer (thanks, mum! apparently i did need the reminder). the medic pushed me through to the doctor, and i only had an hour and a half to wait until i got in. a couple of times my cough got so bad that i had to run up the stairs to the bathrooms, tears clouding my vision and in agony... let's just say that i wasn't having the time of my life.
at least during the moments of calm i got some rough planning done, and was inspired to consider purchasing a netbook so that i can be one of those assholes who sits in the corner of the coffee shop all day long ignoring everyone.

the doctor almost made me throw up by abusing my throat with a tongue depressor - i *hate* those things. eventually, he gave me a script for two different types of sinus-dryers (sudafed to keep me awake and nussidex to put me to sleep), plus an antibiotic in case those don't help, plus medical marijuana for the chest pain.

i might be kidding about one of those.

i trekked to mmf's workplace, a bit of a mission in the sun and not at all worth the effort on account of it being a sunday, and him working normal weekdays. i felt a bit silly, but it wasn't like i was in a hurry to do anything else :)

i stopped for calzone on my way home, ate a couple of oranges*, took a sudafed (thinking it would probably keep me awake), put on an episode of battlestar galactica, and passed into the deepest siesta i can recall. i dreamily answered the phone when my cousin from the kibbutz called (i promised myself years ago i wouldn't do that, but it's hard to think that rationally at the time and my phone-answering imperative is pretty well-formed), to hear some really good news - she's decided to go to south africa soon, and i think that that's a superb idea :)

* i've reached a point where i feel that eating the oranges is a better idea than squeezing them for juice. you get *all* the juice, plus all the other bits that are healthy, tasty and just don't work in juice, and it's less mess to clean up.

it was dark and stormy when i left to visit the hardware dude - it took a couple of missions (one to return and take measurements), but i acquired electric hot-plates and a decent locking solution for the perspex toy protector. i also passed by the computer store to get a quote on a netbook - it seems like a good deal.

my taekwondo instructor called me back just as the skies opened up. i felt like a bit of a heel, but i explained to her that i'm done. i explained exactly why - exactly what's been bothering me and how i've reached the point where i'm too frustrated to continue.

when i got home and had the hot plates set up, i installed the perspex cover. as soon as i was satisfied that it was good, i opened up my bobblehead judge death and my invader zim home base figures and began playing ^_^

it's been a few years since i received them, and i'm so glad that they're finally on display! i'm only upset that one of the spider legs broke, and my mad superglue skills were no match for the fracture :/

i uploaded some photos, then went shopping for the first time since before i left for south africa. i bought the usual basics, included pears (very nice pears), and spaghetti. i haven't cooked spaghetti in years. it may be incredibly easy to prepare, but in my case self confidence is everything and i need to ease it gently out of the gutter.

the first-use smell wasn't too bad, and the spaghetti came out nicely. i am very proud to say that i've just cooked my first meal in my new apartment :)

!sdrawkcab lla s'ti

the day began well enough - i woke up comfortably around 9am, painted my bathroom mirror (the half-assed red stripe at the bottom was irritating me), and sat online until karnaf decided that it was time for breakfast.

breakfast was excellent, and we were joined by two cute girl-friends of his. we all chatted for a while, and i enjoyed that too.

i made a navigational mistake and walked down ben yehuda to meet with egg - that road just keeps on getting longer and longer :P

egg and i missioned and talked, eventually ending up at a nice bar with a really cute bartender and an eight-hour happy hour. the chilli con carne proved too hot for me, but the afternoon was great. i think i made an ass of myself by giving the bartender my card when we left - i thought there was some kind of a click, and now i'm fairly sure i was wrong :/

aside from the earlier navigational error, i found myself walking very, very slowly today. as in, no hurry to get anywhere and rather deeply stuck into my own thoughts. most of those thoughts centered around the disbelief that my present status has changed so dramatically, and every now and again i giggle when i remember how awesome that is :)

i didn't nap when i got home, although there are blank spots in my memory of the episode of the prisoner that i watched, but i followed that up with an episode or two of battlestar galactica and then got stuck into catching up on comics - in particular, schlock mercenary. i'd have bought the box set immediately if it had cost less than $100 - i'm trying to sort out finances in my head and i'm wary of any and all purchases.

having said that, tonight was quite expensive. i had a cup of coffee while debating urchin's sanity and our extreme communication failures on a bus stop bench, enjoyed ma'ayan hirschbein's performance at levontin (she just gets better and better) with a rum and coke and then a jägermeister, and afterwards caught a shuttle and a mars bar to the ozen bar for daphna and the cookies (they're fantastic!) and a half-litre of murphy's.

i'm still bitter with myself for having walked away from a really good-looking girl who was actually being friendly - i got awkward and i don't know why. meh.

on the way back home i stopped for a half-pita of shuwarma, and was surprised by the guy working there when he exclaimed that he'd thought i was on blades. i think he might have recognized me from before. i turned around and bumped into one of scrapper's friends, and an idiot friend of his who serves in my unit that i've never met before. we sat talking, arguing army, debating music, and then went our separate ways.

my cough has been most horrid today, my lungs feel quite tender and i'm fairly wheezy. on an unrelated note, i spent the day amused by the way i was dressed: mac hall logo shirt, my red red sweatshirt (open), black fingerless gloves, and my new, cheap black shoes with red and black laces. the effect was rather... tidy :P

i'm going to go continue to try to empty my lungs, shower, brush my teeth, and pass out. in the morning i have a few things to do, not least of which being to call up my SC and make extra-doubly sure that he understands that i want out completely, and not a unit transfer.

dilbert's monkey model makes me smile

Saturday, January 23, 2010

t'is a lonely friday night

and it's lonely because i don't particularly feel like doing anything, or seeing anyone. i'm tired, i'm pensive, i'm lazy... but most of all, i'm actually pretty relaxed.

---

thursday morning was beautiful, pouring but with peeking rays of sunlight and softly framed pictures all around. i watched the bus i needed drive past, but still made it in time to be rained on by the usual ride's tardiness. when he pulled up, it took some convincing hand-signals to get him to move closer to the curb... if there's no drainage, well, it would be nice if i didn't have to jump a metre to get into the car.

the ride was fairly pleasant, which i attribute to the fact that we're all in "saying goodbye" mode.

i had very little to do in the morning, and even less when our great SC decided to ban guitar playing in the office. @#$%!

after lunch, i finished a presentation with nystire (he managed to cause powerpoint to crash repeatedly) and was done for the day. umm. for good, it seems, as i was told i could go home until further notice.

yep, that's a pretty good sign.

i managed to catch the early shuttle to the train station, which meant no awkward pre-farewell goodbyes with the rest of the unit [as it was, the people i did see before i went began to get emotional] but at the cost of having to ride with some unruly moron shouting and beating his chest trying to impress anyone who would listen. i judged it not worth the energy to get him to pipe down, but only because i knew that with his segment of the population it's very difficult for me to communicate with effectively.

the train ride would have been fine if not for the most appallingly timed telephone survey - apparently the army does that, requesting that random soldiers answer questions about the services it provides. i think it's great that the obviously new russian immigrant [the accent gives her away] who speaks at no less than lightning speed calls strangers to discuss "behaviour". i initially thought she meant mine, which put my back up immediately.

at least i didn't *have* to participate.

after changing out of my uniform, i had lunch at coffeeholic and paid the bank a visit, then stopped by the hardware dude for a chat before picking up my taekwondo gear and hopping the bus to ra'anana.

i'm going to only briefly mention the two kids i made cry:

1. i was asked to make the first one move during a fight. every time he kicked, i jumped back. demonstrating a wonderful inability to learn, he repeated the exact same mistake [not moving] for two full minutes before bursting into tears. i'm guessing it was the frustration.

2. i was asked to stretch the really annoying girl with the big mouth. she seemed to be doing fine, but when i pushed her legs back the second time she panicked, jumped and started crying all at once.
erm - didn't she notice that the rest of us were making squealing sounds and whining? it's a painful thing to do. yes: that means that one will probably experience pain. there's something about her surprise that worries me.

on an entirely unrelated note (okay, not entirely): our instructor has demonstrated to my complete satisfaction that since i've been away she has compromised everything that made her great in order to pander to the mediocre. i do believe that that's the last time i'm going to train with her.
i haven't a clue what i'm going to do to replace taekwondo. i left practice unhappy and with a damaged ankle.

i met scrapper's father and sister, and his family is really nice. they've invited me over for saturday lunch, but i must admit to being a bit awkward about going there. the mongoose and i were supposed to meet a friend of ours, but the two of them cancelled fairly last minute.

one of ze germans contacted me to let me know he'd be happy to recommend me to google. i sent him my cv, but i'm looking for part-time work so i don't really expect there to be a fit.

...

i slept alright last night - my nose is better even if my chest is still full of irritating bits. i was almost late for the social activism meeting at my old university. i grabbed a quick cup of coffee, and spent the bus ride talking to my kibbutz cousin. at the central station in herzeliya i ran into the medic who was with the birthright group i joined, and we discussed the rationale behind purchasing housing as opposed to renting.

while waiting for the meeting to begin, i had no luck getting my visa details from their information line and urchin had no luck with getting in touch with me:
the last communication i received from her was wednesday night, which prompted me to call her up to share my bewilderment and attempt to impress upon her how unappreciated it was:
So i got a question for u: a
friend of urs sends you a
message about a
presentation for her end
of semester. What do u
do?
A - you send her a
message on the same day
of luck because u couldnt
care less.
B - shit! U only
remembered now but well
sure she ll be fine dont
need to do anything.
C- shit u forgot and u send
her a message saying ur
sorry and promising her a
back massage next time u
guys meet because u
know her back is killing
her?


well, it's certainly not going to be C. when i told her i wasn't happy with what she wrote, her response was "it was a joke!". ha ha, no.


alright, back to the meeting: it wasn't quite what i expected. we had a lecture about the prophets, and what their ethics and values were about, and then another lecture on the primary issues at hand in israeli society. some of the debate afterwards was meaningful, some less, and i'm really glad that someone else made the point i wanted to - i would've stuttered and stammered and possibly forgotten what i was going to say :P

from there i skipped off to my mum's bank to deliver something on her behalf, then bussed back to tel aviv where the mongoose picked me up for lunch. i haven't seen his family in ages and today was the perfect day. lunch was great, and it was an afternoon well spent doing not much :)

he dropped me off at home around 9pm, and i got straight into watching battlestar galactica - razor (i didn't realize it was between seasons, but doing a flashback episode doesn't really matter). i've done a round of laundry, eaten badly, and i'm about to shower and go to bed.

---

i'm well impressed with youtube's music discovery project and playlist creation tool, and specifically with the first video it pulled up for me.

sitting can kill you

this man is an asshole.

in other news: i'm very proud to read a slightly cynical look at israelis in haiti.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

wrestless

wow - i just watched the wrestler: hardcore.

it's early, but i think i'm going to bed already. i'm completely exhausted, and i think it's more emotional than anything else.

return pay

the end with the evening ride pissing me off, but until then it was all good. he aggravated me because he talks shit, and the specific shit he was talking was particularly stupid and pointed in a rather irritating direction, and he wouldn't let go. he told me i should request that the army docks my pay because they're not letting me get much actual work done.

---

after spending yesterday evening doing serious nothing, i strapped on blades and joined the group just as it began to drizzle. the drizzle let up just in time for us to decide to move anyway ^_^
the group was great, the route was chilled and i felt like i got good, healthy exercise. i even got in a second round in the underground parking lot, and stopped with the rest for a beer at some crazy bar before coming home.

i wasn't at all tired after showering, so i finally uploaded photos from the holiday while watching the beginning of mega shark vs giant octopus, which as just as silly as i anticipated and i've now stopped watching in the hope that someone will join me in the jeering and cheering :)

after 2.5 hours of sleep, i shaved and brushed my teeth, crawled into uniform and staggered to the bus. it was cold.
nystire and i met outside the office, and went for breakfast. breakfast was standard and we seem to have made a very bad impression on a bright and cheerful new academic officer girl.

aside from an hour or so of knowledge transfer, i spent the day reading, discovering that insanely cool gear is affordable, napping and playing with the guitar in the office. a few of us went out for hummus, which was a pleasant change of scenery.

...

i'm decidedly indecisive this evening. i took my hoodie to be dry-cleaned but the laundromat was closed, and now i'm just feeling iffy. i mean, everything's great and i'm confused :P

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a touch of strange

today was really frikkin' weird, and it was a tuesday.

i mentioned not feeling well yesterday - i felt good today, only my chest is all gurgly and i'm spending a lot of time coughing or sniffing. it feels ugly.

i arrived at the office without a hitch, only i wasn't authorized to let myself in so i sat in the corridor reading the iliad until the new guy came in - he didn't have a key, and so inherited mine with the full "you're not allowed to make copies" speech. a few minutes later nystire walked in, and escorted me to my desk. we performed the first stage of what are essentially "last rites" for my pc, then took a walk for breakfast.

well, he took a walk for breakfast, i didn't have much choice but to tag along :P

i spent the morning packing up my personal belongings and shredding soon-to-be-useless documents, briefly interrupted by a meeting with the unit commander. the discussion was unpleasant yet amiable, and he explained that it's going to take a day or two to figure out what to do with me. i'm praying to be released from service entirely and not merely from the unit.

i was called in by my SC and TL for a peer review, and although it wasn't glowing it wasn't bad either.

i'm amazed at the kinds of things i'd forgotten about that i had stored in my desk drawers. lunch was edible - fortunately i'd spent the morning stuffing myself with leftovers from the chocolates and sweets i brought on sunday so i wasn't that hungry :P

the afternoon was spent discussing my predicament (okay, so that filled a lot of the morning too), running knowledge transfers (sometimes not entirely productively), and generally having a good laugh at the strangeness of my situation.

[my mum interviewed for a new job today, and i'm praying that it went at least as well as she thinks it did]

the not-so-usual evening ride took me home, with half my stuff in hand and idiot girl complaining that if i leave she's going to be bored - i've been away for two weeks and she had nobody to fight with.

i got home and dove straight into doing absolutely nothing. that nothing included a bit of random internet time, catching up with the big bang theory, and beginning an episode of battlestar galactica. i finished watching it after the handyman rocked up and installed the perspex replacement for the bathroom door and delivered a perspex cover for my "display" cabinet - soon i'll be able to open my bobblehead judge death and invader zim home base ^_^

i've caught up on penny arcade - and i'm contemplating having a go with king's bounty, which looks spanky.
episode 4 is pretty cool.

it suddenly struck me

that yesterday really was the first day of the rest of my life, regardless of how things pan out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

pantsed

[see pantsed]

the afternoon progressed quietly: the guy came to check out the broken window (at a call-out cost of NIS 100, i won't be inviting him again after he finishes the work) and then urchin popped round for beer, photography and chatting.

my mum called me, we talked a bit, and then i rushed off to meet with scrapper and go south to hear התחתונים (hatachtonim, "underwear") who are absolutely brilliant. i love progressive metal, and they mix it up with art rock beautifully and with great energy.

the band after them (bundy) would've sounded excellent if their singer had stepped off the stage.

---

aside from having more time to contemplate this morning's news, and receiving two phone calls from soon-to-be-ex section-mates with condolences, my SC called me up to inform me that i may have difficulty clearing my desk in the morning. i'm sure he's wrong, or that if i do have a problem it'll be because of him.

so now for an early night, because tomorrow's going to be interesting whichever way things go.

---

almost forgot! i was voting for the eatliz - hey video, and discovered another great one - janus - eyesore

excommunicated

and exhausted too, i think i may be coming down with something.

here goes:

the story with the polygraph has indeed come to an end, and today the ramifications were explained to me. slowly, because the flowery language and officious appeal advice combined with my shock that this is really happening made it hard to let anything sink in.

at least the man in the suit wasn't lying about one of the things i was terrified of, and i'm almost considering trying to thank him.

the first time i walked out i was surprised and relieved, believing that i could essentially continue in my current job without too many inconveniences. then i got a call asking me to return, to be informed that i most certainly can't. i was told i'd be given time to inform my commanders in person, but that was by someone who didn't realize that it'd take me more than a half an hour to get back to base.

getting called by them to discuss things was a little awkward.

i got caught in a downpour as i returned for the third time to have lunch with my SC who'd just arrived, who (i'm guessing in an attempt to get information out of me) told me that he'd already found out everything. that's completely inappropriate, grounds for a solid case for invading my privacy, and really upset me. he pulled a quick (and totally trustworthy) "no, i didn't" when i told him i'm going to file charges.

thunder and lighting have been punctuating my thoughts since i walked off the base. i zombied my way home and crashed for almost an hour, and now i'm not sure why i forced myself to get up.

---

the fluff:

i slept later than i'd planned, had breakfast, and almost missed the bus because a shirt button ripped off just as i was leaving. i sewed it pretty quickly, made it on time, and didn't have too much difficulty finding the place.

the first person who stood up to greet me didn't introduce himself, so i awkwardly and uncertainly asked if he was the man i was supposed to meet. we both said "no" in unison as my eyes rested on his name tag. irritated by his strange manners, i went to the kitchen where he'd sent me to wait, only to discover that there were no cups for the drinking water. i stood staring at the remarkable view until the cleaner arrived to wash the floors, and was forced progressively up the corridor until i had no choice but to stand my ground or leave the premises. so i saved a dirty spot, which seemed to upset the cleaner.

they certainly kept me waiting long enough. just before i was finally called in, i witnessed an tall, odd-looking young man arrive at the security door. he rattled the knob, gave the door a push, but to no avail. he tried to swipe his security card, but he wasn't cleared for the area. he stood sullenly staring at the glass until he registered the intercom. he picked it up to his ear, trying to talk to whoever wasn't on the line: it's an intercom that one has to dial. i entered before getting to see if he managed to figure it out or not.

...

i gave my mother the not-so-awful news, stopped at home to drop something off and then returned circuitously to meet my SC. we met over lunch, and i was sickened to discover that the mess on our other base serves food with the quality, cleanliness and variety of a decent israeli hotel, whereas on our base one would be hardpressed to define what we get as food in the first place. i'm fairly certain that's not right, and just as certain that if anyone complains they'll drop their standards to match ours.

i think i may have eaten too much, just on principle.

i've been home for a while, i've called someone to quote me on fixing the small window, and i think i'm going to just chill for the rest of the afternoon.

unnerved hands

hmm. i thought i'd finish the little that was left of the rum while watching an episode of battlestar galactica, but after a day like today (or a week like the one past) i guess that i'm a tad more sensitive than i thought - the last few drops had to go back into the cupboard :P

the shuttle almost drove straight past me, a new driver began while i was away. horrible taste in music. i tried to nap while drowning out the driver with ukko, but merely succeeded in being tired with my eyes closed.

i didn't get any work done today on account of my inbox being filled with things that take time to figure out...
our pointy-haired boss shouldn't have said that the remainder of my service is short enough that it'll fly by: i took the opportunity to remind him that if he hadn't pulled the wool over my eyes, it'd be over even sooner. he walked away unhappy.

i laid out all (okay, most :P) of the chocolates and toffees i'd brought back from south africa, and was pleased that it was all appreciated for once. i seem to have brought just the right amount, too - there was quite a bit left over, but for at least half an hour the office was filled with happily munching and hmming and aaahhhing people :)

---
for months i've been praying to hear something concrete regarding my men-in-suits experience. i was called up for a meeting tomorrow, and although i have absolutely no clue in what direction heading i'm pretty confident that they've finally given up with the painful part of the procedure - the lie detector examiners' lies were wearing me down.

i've been nervous and excited since. i've been fantasizing about things actually happening and my cloud of dark unknowns dissipating.

---
nystire and i wouldn't have taken as long as we did to shop, but the till systems went down. lunch wasn't actually bad.

i had my haircut today - a really crappy one as usual. i'm counting down until the freedom to grow my israfro, and so i'm not too bothered by it. to improve my mood, on returning from washing my scalp (removing most of the shavings) i discovered that i've been assigned a task that i'm going to enjoy! that never happens :P

the last part of the day involved a yawning-long lecture and some unit-wide bragging. i managed to escape a few minutes early, and caught the shuttle home. well, most of the way home, the guys in charge are going to have to deal with me unhappy again (they had a whole two weeks to prepare, so i don't feel sorry for them). i slept like a baby the whole way.

i made the bus to taekwondo, thinking to myself how silly it was to be going to training after two weeks of sleepless sweet-tooth pandering and a couple of hard flights. i did manage to get through some more of the iliad, and i'm shocked to discover that i'm really enjoying it! robert fitzgerald translated it absolutely brilliantly.

i'm most impressed with myself for handling the training - i didn't cope so well with the warm-up (which removed the rest of the shavings and deposited them on my dobok [uniform]) and the slow-motion sparring almost killed me (although i did alright), but the rest was just fine.

accompanied by thunder and pouring rain, i did successful one-steps with the new guy and got silly during our "big-boys" form, and the spaghetti bolognaise and good conversation at scrapper's afterwards went down well. i had a quick chat with egg, and the bus ride with the new guy was nice, and one of my cute neighbours' dog took a shine to me and i'm wondering if she'll follow suit ;)

i've done popcorn, television and rum, and now it's time to hang out laundry and get some rest before the big meeting that's allowing me to wake up late (7am!) and stress unreasonably :P

i still can't believe i'm back in israel already.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

an oddity

getting back from the airport was unpleasant.

1) instant push-and-shove mode from the moment the airplane stopped moving. fortunately, the officer at passport control got just as annoyed with the idiot who jumped in front of me as i did and made him go back.

2) it's the personal space thing. in line is one thing, but in the wide open space of the baggage claim there's no justification for it. the ass behind me was stepping on my heels and caused me to bump into someone else while trying to get away.

3) not letting people out first. especially for the train, especially when some poor girl with a giant bag wants to go. the morons all stand around the doors, not leaving enough space to pass and not understanding why everyone's standing and eyeing them meaningfully.

4) prices. every year, around the same time, the bus prices go up by the equivalent of 20-30c (אֲגוֹרָוֹת - agorot). why?

5) my housesitters had an incident with the small window in the door of my bathroom. they left cash and an explanation, but i misread the word for "incident" as "roof", and frantically searched for the ceiling damage that wasn't there...

anyway, i've showered and sat online and made my bed and unpacked a bunch of things and planned most of the next week. i still have six hours to sleep. gonna do it. [fortunately for me, the only person who was interested in going out for a drink didn't have my number]

hmmm. both j-girl and egg have been in touch. is this a new year's resolution thing?

from penny arcade:
winner no. 1 of the dickerdoodle contest deserves it.
patv's episode list is growing... a lot faster than i can watch 'em. and i'm acquiring rome on dystopia's recommendation. if i get through that i'll feel bad about not having touched my copy of joann fletcher - cleopatra the great, the woman behind the legend.

freebord is unbelievably cool - i gotta get myself one! and then go hunting downhills. maybe it's a good enough excuse to visit haifa or jerusalem :P

this college humor clip is on the button: mortal combat is not a tournament!

overlay

[as i masochistically writing this on my phone while the wait for the last leg of my return comes to an end, i have no internet access and so may repeat sentiments]

primary thought for the last couple of days: when i return to cape town, it's not a holiday, it's keeping things warm. i may have based myself in israel and it may be home, but the mother city will never stop being home as well and my relationships there are at least as important to me as they are in the holy land.

i awoke late, with barely enough time to drink coffee and pack before leaving the apartment. of course ukko would give me a nasty pre-flight turn: after ripping a couple of cd's and loading them on, my ipod reported a total of 0 songs - fortunately, reconnecting and disconnecting sorted that out, but not without adding extra stress to a morning that began with the abandoning cape town blues...

we stopped at the police station to get something stamped, and went straight from there to the airport to pick up ozdoc's mum. we had lunch at the spur - a major improvement over the mugg and bean - and said our goodbyes. i made sure to remind my mother that the light at the end of the tunnel is usually an oncoming train, and i'm praying that she'll find the right excuse (this is me being unnecessarily cryptic) to visit me before autumn comes around.

i was once again robbed of my deodorant at security, and reminded that my passport's almost expired... at least i remembered before leaving to pick up biltong! expensive as it is at the duty free :(

once seated, i had plenty of time to dwell on the now-traditional sense of loss that accompanies leaving behind such a wondrous place filled with magnificently strong and naive people to return to being a stranger in my own land.

i took some increasingly arbitrary photos out the window, pondered the possibility of my becoming an alcoholic*, enjoyed the empty seat next to mine and didn't let the screaming baby get to me.

* i've decided it's not going to happen, and those thoughts led me down a very interesting path that i'll post about later

during boarding in johannesburg the seat next to mine was filled... soon after that, an extra-large woman in the row behind began whining that she couldn't handle the window seat. unable to find her neighbour's sympathetic ear, she sought mine - to no avail. there's not a chance in hell of my volunteering to be locked in and squished!
i guess she got sorted out eventually, because she disappeared - along with *my* neighbour, which was a wonderful surprise!

during both flights, my cracked heel caused me quite a bit of grief - luckily i found places to grind it against and the pain has subsided.

i was worried that my dairy-free meal hadn't been registered. when the steward arrived and asked if i'd ordered a special meal, i gratefully answered in the affirmative, only to discover that it was my ex-neighbour's seafood. i disappointedly requested the chicken (with cheese, as was the case with all the side-dishes), but was rescued from my picky fate by a stewardess prior to removing the tinfoil with my demands met in a most satisfactory manner :)

[here i recall an irritating incident from the night before when an israeli tourist began flirting with springer while we were talking]

the night was rough - i kept switching books, and two seats contain just enough wrong angles to keep me uncomfortable. at least the infant slept.

i finally got a decent half-hour's rest just prior to landing - i passed out while doubled over stretching my legs. they were still fast asleep when i woke up :P

i'd forgotten it was winter! a quick change and hurriedly finding my beanie and gloves, and i was good to go. after transit's security check (and standing in line with lots of people who don't identify with my need for personal space) i had no energy to consider the possibility of visiting turkey for the day. i'm not overly fond of the people, and definitely didn't want to take any chances.

none of the lounges admit travellers for money, and even if the hotel hadn't been fully booked the rates are stupidly expensive. i began the day exhausted, neither hungry nor interested in anything, and i found a bench that served me well for most of my wait. i slept a little, read a lot, heard great music (i'm not familiar with all the trance on my ipod, in particular i was blown away by a couple of tracks from reefer decree), had a not-bad lunch (chicken and mushroom), struggled with turkish lira, rested some more, and then it was time to board.

i've never seen a pre-boarding security check before, and the woman working the line laughed as i emptied my pockets (i have a lot of them, all filled). i've also never seen so many suspicious looking characters on one flight before.

[window seat, small plane]

the last leg was okay, the food alright, the turkish music annoying, and i'm back.

Friday, January 15, 2010

back to grinding

i did *not* see that coming: from a weird "oh-damn-they're-stupidly-drunk-again" to a very serious conversation, to general silliness (and yes, i may not drink wine but i still can't stand the cheap shit) and then on to a hardcore night of drum 'n bass at fiction.

gorgeous girls, grinding tunes, flowing alcohol and i didn't want to get off the dancefloor.

*deep sigh*

Thursday, January 14, 2010

smooth bumps

she *did* get the mnet sorted out: colour me impressed!

we went for lunch, did some shopping, and then i drove through to meet airplane in town for some pool, booze and bartender ogling. we had (as usual) a very cool time, played like crap, and witnessed cape town weather at its finest :)

i drove back as if in a dream - just a general sense of rightness that always crops up just before i leave - but bumped my head getting out of the car which pretty much ruined the effect :P

dinner was nice, and would have been more interesting if i'd been talking about stuff other than myself (but that is what everyone wanted to discuss)... although it did end with an argument with my sister over her communication with her son, which was quite jarring.

it's tough to discuss communication when it's bi-directional and non-intuitive :(

apparently i'm going out with springer and mmm one last time, and then it'll be time for all the last-minute packing and sorting.

aggressive cure

the night at roots - easy driving there, easy parking - was spent on an aggressively meditative aerobic workout with tgtbt on a fairly vacant dancefloor. i'd passed out after posting, and waking up with coffee, then jumping up and down with rum and soda water (that was all that they had left) turned out to be a pretty good way to deal with the uncomfortable belly-ache that had been developing from the evening.

the music was decent when i arrived, and turned solid towards the end of the evening (for us, we both left around 3am). i discovered on the way there that the second disc from goa trance 3 - from fullmoon to sunrise is also incredibly powerful and have been enjoying it immensely.

...

i slept comfortably, having discovered a sleeping configuration that works - the last couple of days have seen me either overheating or freezing - and after a quick and expensive shopping run (primarily for sweets and chocolates) i took the car in for a wash.

i find it hard to trust a stranger with both keys and car :P

i took the opportunity to hit the cafda bookstore - leaving with the works of geoffrey chaucer (robinson) and two shakespeare's - a midsummer night's dream and the merchant of venice: i have the complete works at home, but they're not annotated and i don't naturally speak olde english.

i read and giggled some more catch 22 over coffee and croissant, picked up the car and returned, thinking i'd nap a bit. instead, my mother called me upset (which upset me - i hate her boss) to plan lunch, and i tried and failed to sort out a problem with mnet reception.

i called the helpline, and explained that the problem with the signal is an intermittent one. the woman began reading out the retuning procedure, which i refused at first to begin because the problem is intermittent. once we'd managed to completely untune the decoder with no hope of restoring the working settings (and learning how sucky the delta 9000's interface is), i thanked her for pissing me off and put down the phone.

now my mum's trying, i hope she has better luck than i did. in a minute, we're off for lunch and i'm going to have to buy airtime to cover all the sms conversations that others have felt compelled to force me into - a simple phone call is cheaper and requires less work. he hinted.

superheated

i'm off to stomp a little - tgtbt just informed me that roots is going nuts ^_^

the power in sea point went out this morning when i tried to get the car washed, which i take as a sign that i should hand it over disgustingly dirty. i'll make another attempt when i get up again :P

aside from a walk in the ridiculous heat to find contact information for the taekwondo group here, a great lamb sandwich with my mother and sister for lunch, drinks with hyperviper* and sagirl and an excellent dinner with two of my aunts and uncle puberty (tonight was the first time i've ever had an answer for everything he had to throw at me :) ), i've spent the day sleeping.

* springer saw me while i was waiting, and has had a complication with him recently which caused their walking past one another afterwards to be quite awkward.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a and c and b b

[post delayed from 3.50am and then retyped due to a floating wireless signal]

just back and showered from post-shakespearean drinks with dystopia - a very comfortable evening at a touch of madness and then... somewhere else. anthony and cleopatra was quite a sober production, but its set design and use was wonderful. *AND* the weather went from supremely shitty with a good chance of rain to clear and calm within the first fifteen minutes of the show ^_^

the only issue i had with the cast was octavian's speaking voice, which was staggered in a manner that rendered him difficult to understand without prior familiarity with the play. that said, either he improved or i got used to it by the fourth act.

---
the drive to and from betty's bay is great - the only thing i was missing was a navigator with a serious camera to capture the amazing views in both directions. the place itself is a perfect retreat, and it's a pity that i couldn't spend more time there.

highlights included drawing pictures in the sand, a fantastic sunset, pre-sleep hysterics over a bad joke about using a vibrator as a toothbrush, sleeping like a log, my introduction to epic munchkin and becoming familiar with what is truly the universe's most comfortable couch - yogi's simply doesn't measure up.

i arrived back in town just in time to get dressed, mill around the cape quarter with my mum, pick up good chinese in rondebosch (although without chopsticks, and only one fork and spoon - after i double-checked verbally, too) and eat it at maynardville.

i'm exhausted, and it's my second-last day - nuts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

licensed

yesterday got off to a great start with hyperviper, some of his family, oysters, chicken wings and a lot of booze. so much so that i actually needed a while to sober up after we went our separate ways (and boy, was i unhappy to discover that there's no decadent donuts at the waterfront anymore) - i ran into someone i used to be friendly with once upon a time and we shot shit until i was good to go.

i was totally pleased to discover that tgtbt also wants to go see anthony and cleopatra at maynardville - now organizing mission :)

i passed out on the couch when i got back, and woke up groggily to pick up my cousins' cousin from top road (my niece's tazz barely handled the hill) and drive to dinner. post-dinner, the plan was to go and see sherlock holmes, but that wasn't showing so in a glorious revisitation of my pre-party years i watched a random movie (a perfect getaway) with a bunch of teenagers at the nu metro in the waterfront.

cute movie, but what a random way to spend a sunday evening! amusing moment: freaking out the woman making the coffee at love, revenge and cappucino, my little cousin has intentional awkwardness down to an art form.

i fell asleep reading catch 22 - i've never had a copy in hand before :$

---

i woke up, drank coffee, headed off to the traffic department with book in hand - got through about three chapters waiting in lines, discovered that my eyesight's slightly better than 20/30, annoyed the fingerprint dude by pressing down (oops), and worried pink shirt wearers with mine. i now feel silly for spending R40 on a temporary license that i'm only going to carry for two days.

now to get going - heading for betty's bay!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

long-term breathless

i forgot to mention: coming up clifton's steps yesterday left me breathless. this morning, climbing another set of stairs had the same effect. i've been having difficulty breathing for a while now, and i think it's time to get that checked out.

in other news, jgirl got in touch with me last night. fascinating...

i just woke up from some very crazy dreams. the result of which is checking out autism.

---

oh, right. i heard jacob zuma speak yesterday (on the telly) for the first time. it hadn't sunk in that he's the president. when i mentioned that to someone else, he told me that it hadn't sunk in with him either :P

so reality

the 80's party was actually pretty cool. the club itself was cool, the bouncer was cool, the music was cool, running into an old friend was cool, the girls were cool... waiting in line wasn't so cool (especially arguing with mmm over crap), feeling smothered by mmm on the dancefloor wasn't cool, having springer freaking out about whatever did or didn't happen with hyperviper a month ago and yesterday wasn't cool, and springer's friend pulling an american reality show special in the bathrooms and us picking up the pieces was definitely not cool.

springer's friend ain't such a friend. sexy, yes, but pure trash.

so we got out of there, and drove to mmm's mom's place. springer's kid was having trouble sleeping, and mmm began having the talk with me. at one point we had to take a break to put springer and her son to sleep, then we took a walk and talk to the petrol station before sitting on the steps to the house and chatting for an hour.

i like her, but in addition to her not being my type i carry too much baggage for her (or myself) to handle. i'm wondering when i'll meet someone who'll be able to help me put mine down. maybe it would help if i wasn't such a snob?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

a bright red future

i sat on the beach with my sister for half an hour, managing in that short span of time to get pretty sunburned :(
parking was a bitch, but i did finally put the faceplate in the car so i at least had aural accompaniment :)

from the beach, i hopped off to savruga's at the waterfront to meet with gco and a bunch of his friends. it was awkward at first, but i warmed to them and we had a good time. the saturday "half-price till five" is unusually welcoming; i ate a lot of sushi, had a fantastic dessert and drank quite a bit without breaking more than R200. impressive!

i came back to watch most of the first part of the 60's with my mum - the end of the disc is screwed and i suspect it's the rip i did and not the disc itself. swak, we were really enjoying it.

after a long conversation with my mum over dinner, i heard from mmm and am off to pick her up from what is apparently a rather crappy 80's party...

on the couch

i was too tired to get off it this morning - i called my little cousin who'd expressed interest in joining me for protoculture, but he bailed and then made me feel bad for making him feel bad for bailing, when i was essentially using him as an excuse to force myself to go and have some fun.

*sigh*

i eventually had a shower and crashed after a few lines of the iliad (i think it's the first time i've opened it since i've been back), and woke up around 8am. not satisfied with a night filled with dark dreams, i forced myself to lie in for another two hours...

i've just discovered that not only did i miss the trance party last night, but balkanology was last night as well, and not tonight as we'd thought. bummer!

---

i'm worrying myself with unpleasant thoughts derived from the moment, a combination of being called "old" at new year's, my buddies all going corporate during the last couple of years, my mother referring to me as her "perpetual teenager" yesterday afternoon, and the fact that no-one seemed interested in last night's party...

am i pushing the limits on going out and having fun? i hardly think so. as i've said a million times before - i'm planning on being the aged dude still hopping around all wrinkly and with long grey hair. it's just that right now, it's all gone a bit bleak. much like in israel. not cool.

Friday, January 08, 2010

all quarter

aeroplane and his girlfriend picked me up, and we went to the cape quarter. there's nothing like visiting gallery after gallery with an artist, especially when the work on display is absolute magic!

there's a sort of rent-a-studio, a place where one can go and play and have access to all the equipment and paints one could want. they even have a corner where one can jackson pollock freely :D

i thoroughly enjoyed lunch with them, and got home to a nap and then unbeatable banzuke before going out for dinner. dinner with shadowslight's folks was nice, although i'm horribly jealous of his dad's book collection and the clown dolls in the bathroom disturbed me - i could totally see them coming to life and attacking.

i was surprised to rediscover that relatively few people know of easy star all stars, and glad to hear good personal reviews of asylum movies. it would appear that i have stuff to see :)

is it time for a party? i'm bushed, but i do want to bounce and protoculture are playing...

a man obsessed

we didn't surf, so i slept in. now waiting for aeroplane, having watched a few minutes of animax (animax rocks) and some judge judy style programming.

---

obsession: i can't stop thinking about the project i'm going to take on once i'm out of the military, and i blame the constant planning and pondering on my inability to chill. it's hard to not take stuff seriously when the big things always overshadow the small stuff.

this trip has given me a few ideas, which i find a bit of a relief, and i'm glad to be considering picking up writing on a more serious scale at some point in the relatively near future. i've been working towards this for most of the year, and it definitely feels right.

---

i'm impressed that i could translate the word "seal" to afrikaans via hebrew :P

dazed and confused

that's how i woke up, and that's how the day ended.

my mother actually had to work hard to get me to wake up this morning - i recall lots of shouting and it took a while until i was able to lift my aching head off the pillow and raise the coffee cup to my lips.

i dressed sharpish, found a decent parking spot and walked into the synagogue. the caffeine did a good enough job of clearing the cobwebs, and the service was nice enough. breakfast was very well laid out, and the quick conversations with the cousins were pleasant* - although the speeches were painful, and all i could think of was grading papers with rubber stamps for "non sequitur" and "mixed metaphor".

* i had a good laugh at my cousin's artist girlfriend - she has moo cards too

in saying goodbye to my aunt - who i haven't seen since i've been back - i got drawn into a fascinating conversation that continued until we were pretty much the last to leave.

i came back to pass out on the couch, and was woken with a phone call informing me that i was late to pick up my canadian cousins for the airport...

saying goodbye wasn't a mission, because we'll be seeing each other again relatively soon ^_^
protoplasm was still at the airport with his parents, so i joined them for a cup of coffee (and a scone) at the mugg & bean. the scone was almost as delayed as his flight, and arrived when he left - his parents were very polite, and stayed with me while i ate.

i think it's the first long conversation i've had with them, and although it was a bit strained (we are missing a little bit of history) they're very nice people and we didn't have too much awkwardness :)

i drove straight to shadowslight's (getting a bit lost on the way), and got to choose the movie because nobody else showed up. we ordered spur burgers through mr. delivery, and decided that driving there ourselves would've been a far better idea. we watched dazed and confused (flashback edition) - awesome film - and i came back to havana club (now i know why it's pricier than spiced gold), liquorice, marula and ice-cream cadbury's, a little bit of internet time and bed.

am i surfing tomorrow? dirk diggler's not talking :/

Thursday, January 07, 2010

solid farewell stomp

i just got back from protoplasm's farewell - i joined him at neighbourhood after wine and coffee at my cousins (the dog hated me from first sight, i've never had that happen to me before), and walked in with springer and mmm. in addition to chatting with protoplasm and his buddies, mmm and i had a series of awkward moments, and springer and i had a really good talk.

protoplasm's sister and i shared an important talk - it seems i've found another soul on a quest to find god and she has some interesting ideas as well :)

we headed off afterwards to roots (after everyone had left and springer had been robbed of a fair amount of cash), where the music was crazy and the redbull sugar free. we dropped the girls off at mmm's mom's place - a scene of shushing and giggles that seemed dragged out of a movie, and said a quick goodbye.

now i've got to shower (i'm disgusting) and sleep a bit before heading off to the synagogue. hooray for biltong snapsticks before bed!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

sleep, oysters, pizza

there were other plans, but those are the three things that happened. aeroplane woke me up this morning, then dirk diggler, and then i got up to make myself breakfast.

in anticipation of visiting call-a-pizza, i went to buy lactaze tablets - they needed to be ordered a day in advance, so i just had to bite the bullet and the pizza without. their alien safari pizza is just as mind-blowing (or tastebud-tantalizing) as i recalled, justifying my refusal to eat pizza in israel.

i wonder if new york pizza's have the same effect. they most certainly won't have the same attitude, though. we sat there munching and bouncing to the videos of new year's, wowed by the quality of the sound and having our bodies relive the intensity of the music ^_^

call-a-pizza only opens at 5pm, though, so we sat at la perla eating oysters, drinking whiskey and laughing at our waiter's disconnect as an antipasti. until then, i simply slept or arbed online. terrible :P

the bad news for the day: one of the domestic workers who's attached to our family just had to go through the horror of identifying her son's body, and that's an extremely painful thing to deal with even without being in her shoes.

a markéd improvemént

top of the news - vaudeville is fantastic! anyone in cape town who reads this *has* to go see it, it was an absolutely wonderful experience - slick, professional and magnificent ^_^

it's the first time i've seen sagirl in action, and that was pure pleasure: it's nice not only to be treated by one of the performers, but to discover just how amazing they really are!

---

the day began on the beach, disturbing uncle hate with my piercing and tattoo, having The Talk with yang and trying unsuccessfully to dip into the ocean while the waves were being decidedly uninviting. he didn't see the angle i took coming, and i hope i managed to get across the important bits.

he then joined me and dirk diggler (and a short while later, mmm) at newport deli for lunch and smoothies, and dirk diggler and i were on a roll so the other two (and half the deli) got to enjoy a meal and a show :)

after lunch, mmm and i returned to the beach to meet with springer, protoplasm and his sister; the waves were ridiculously high and directly onto the sandbar (i dived straight into the ground when the water was being pulled back). we had fun chatting, eating granadilla lollies and being amused by springer's little one, right until mmm noticed that i was going to be late.

it was while planning the evening that we suddenly realized that protoplasm was supposed to be with us (we'd booked for him, too) and due to a miscommunication had thought the night was off. i'm well impressed at how fast he managed to get his sister home and return in time for a quick shower before we all left.

---

the after party was nice, although there weren't enough people. i managed to find an in with a really cute girl at the bar, but was distracted by sagirl (happily, we never get to talk and we have a lot to catch up) and so missed out. oh, well.

we then moved over to fiction, where the music was mostly pretty good (until the last set, at least) and there was quite a bit of talent. we didn't make much headway women-wise but we did drink and dance a lot.

in preparation for driving, we took a walk to the 7-eleven. a couple of street-dwellers provided random encounters that got us a bit on edge, but to make up for it i had a whippy and a ffwd, and the coke that washed them down picked me up fairly quickly.

i'm home, about to shower and get into bed. it's gonna be 5am by the time i do, so i think i'm going the right way already :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

sleep cycled

okay, i definitely need my cycle back. this pre-midnight dying and waking up at 10am is stupid.

maybe it's a caffeine thing? i haven't been drinking much since i left.

maybe it's a stress thing? there's not enough holiday for me to relax about seeing people and doing things.

the dream i had this morning - walking out of an exam only to bump into strangers who wanted to talk to me about another course, then discovering that i hadn't done four homework assignments - made me uncomfortable.

Monday, January 04, 2010

happy 2010!

i'm exhausted - that was the most intense re-introduction to civilization that i've ever been through: the last few days have been a whirlwind of insanity and smiles and family and friends, and it's only just the beginning!

a) the flights
flying turkish was a great improvement - the seats were relatively comfortable, and every now and then i even managed a few winks. between flights, my single-serve friend invited me into the lounge, so at least i had a comfortable chair and access to some rum (although i discovered that too late to really enjoy it).

three things bothered me.
the stewards and stewardesses were difficult to talk to, and they ignored us for most of the trip. so much so that for one of the landings, they were nowhere to be seen and we were with our seats back and our belts off.
if my experience with the airlines and the lounge is indicative of standard turkish fare, it's a country of people that don't eat anything until a substantial portion of it is cheese. not cool for lactose intolerants.
the fat dude next to me for the long flight.

-- NOTES FROM THE FLIGHTS --

i'm sitting on the plane pre-takeoff, and i still can't let out the breath i've been holding in for what seems a lifetime, and in some respects was.

since april's nightmare, the intensity of the feelings that returned to me one year ago
[the disparity between my past and my future and the present that's bridging them finally increased to the point where it cannot be ignored any longer] have burned holes in the unnatural reality that i have chosen for myself, the slave-to-the-machine antithesis of my irrational sense of ideals, self worth and control of my life.

it confounds me to test the amount of activities i've busied myself with against the pain of a full system breakdown, to contemplate the possibility that the best and most wonderful experiences and achievements were in a way - or even in large - due to the constant stress of having unknown disasters looming over me and my immediate future in a relentlessly intimidating fashion.

the more i've grown the unhappier i've become with the present, and the more determined to stand up and be judged for doing what i know to be right.

no penalty could be worse than what i've suffered the past nine months - and no penalty could force me to take as much pride in all aspects of my life.

now it's time to play.

---

back of the plane? cool. but what the hell is up with all the big people with no sense of personal space going through half of the duty free's liquor stock?

at least my single-serve friend got me in the lounge - the food was dodgy but the americano + rum went down well. also, he had interesting advice for what to do about my roof...

an airport is an airport is an airport.

---

i feel invisible to turkish steward/esses. my friendly neighbour, flab-man, is spilling over the arm rest.

at least the reason i didn't get fed is a good one - i was passed out.
[and they sorted me out with a meal afterwards]

---

the morning ablution routine on an aeroplane always feels surreal and staggered to me - it's the compartmental nature of the toilets plus the time-limited tap.
[but compared to the toilets at the festival...]

shit - how the hell did i forget my poncho??

the guy who saw me stretching and then came and stood right next to me (limiting my movement) was annoying.
[i'm still uncertain as to why i didn't say anything]

---

i keep waking up when there's food being served... weird.

if i was to write a hitchhiker's guide entry for turkey based on my experiences with the airlines:
"a strange people, very difficult to communicate with and unable to produce anything edible without using a significant amount of cheese"
the use of cheese is apparently so ubiquitous that it doesn't get a mention on food labels. for next time: what kind of special meal do i ask for?

---

hmmph. zombie mode: i haven't properly relaxed in far too long - i'm sure a solid stomp will cure that. in the meanwhile, the idea of massaging my temples too hard and breaking through them, to pop out my eyeballs and wiggle my fingers in the empty sockets like sock puppets appeals to me.

---

waking up in the middle of another bad landing; this time with shoes off, belt off and seat as far back as it can go - no staff in sight (i don't think they really care, anyway), and the screen displaying the view from the camera under the nose of the plane

this time, the cabin shook so hard on impact that a small stream of water gushed from the ceiling onto flab-man, producing the only communication between us (a puzzled look from him, a shrug from me).

---

a pirate bath and a clean shirt: i'm in summer! i hope south africans are as comfortable with my "if i could choose i'd be gay" shirt as israelis are - here i'm in a country where people read english.
[definitely not a problem]

---

odd - flab-man took a call, began shouting in surprised russian, grabbed his hand-luggage and fled. i'm hoping his seat will remain unoccupied.

---

yay! the last leg was far more comfortable. it would have been even better if i'd been able to sleep: these flights define a very long time to be stuck in my own head, and i'm simply too exhausted (mentally and emotionally) to use it to deal with things.

~~~

*NOW* i'm on holiday.

-- CAPE TOWN --


i was exhausted on arrival. the nice lady at border control reminded me that my passport's almost expired. minutes later i discovered that my driver's license has already, which wasn't expected...

the first thing i said to my mother when i saw her: "fweeeeeeee - i'm not in prison!"
people had been giving me funny looks for carrying a blow-out off the plane, but it was totally worth it :)

my mother has informed me that it appears that the world cup 2010 will proceed smoothly, forcing me to take back my doom-saying. i hope she's right.

i came home for a shower, scarfed down a quick boerewors lunch, and got to packing. once everything was sorted out (and i was loaded with my tent, a full over-sized backpack, a plastic packet of party goodies and a cooler bag, we headed off to fill said cooler bag with rum, beers, iron brew and ice. the lot cost about the same as just the rum in israel :P

we missed the turnoff to the venue, almost getting lost in a township (we just entered it, and a few of the people who saw us made threatening gestures as we abruptly turned and skidded out), but found the queue safely. my mum dropped me off, and i began the walk up to the ticket booth. just my luck - the woman from delicious dee's was heading back in, and offered me a ride ^_^

   itemized list
  • finding protoplasm and r.o.b.o.t. and his wife.

  • tent 1 goes up

  • cousins arrive (me gripping onto side of their 4x4 while directing).

  • tent 2 goes up

  • firehair and the mask head inside with party tricks

  • "you're old!" says a girl to me

  • losing the head-lamp, finding it again

  • tent 2 collapses

  • the countdown - feeling good about the new year

  • ... a night of milling around and psychologizing...
    my nephew was there until just after daybreak, but i didn't run into him.
    the chillout floor at dawn was intense, but had me stuck in my own head psychologizing until i managed to box some of my primary narratives and rediscover the source of my anti-authoritarianism (male biological overlord issues).

  • the gorgeous petit girl fluttering and everyone's mum (aunty em) and bum-stomping

  • the dam (responsibly not diving into the ground, running into all the jews)

  • mud craziness - "could you have more fun?"

  • kipping on the grass & r.o.b.o.t. and wife leave; fudge-banana-almond crepes

  • the girls (aeroplane's ex - springer), the mask (following people wearing my ski-mask while calling their names), more mud (a trance party initiation for springer's friend - mmm, and hooking up with her), the ex (a girl i dated for a while just before the millenium)

  • *REALLY* sleepless, missing the mad hatter's set, hypothermia and rocky bruises, and searching for springer (whoops - she didn't do so well after we got separated)

  • stolen shirt - who steals a shirt?! aunty em is anti-mud, claiming it drives the older generation away... now that i'm joining the older generation, i tend to disagree :P

  • breakfast rolls, a little sleep (the mattress helped), coffee (burned tongue?)

  • getting the cousins together

  • mud-wash stomp

  • zombie camp-breaking (moving very, very slowly) & time-warp toilet (using the port-a-potties required so much care for each movement that i couldn't tell how long i'd been in there, and it was *hot* inside)

  • last stomp (more like a wiggle), man with orange juice on his bum (it irritated me that someone balanced the bottle on the guy's bum while he was passed out. not only was it demeaning and unnecessary, but it was my orange juice and the cap had tomato sauce all over it), dry ice (thrown into the mud, with one of those amazonian beauties covered in mud and dancing over the resulting smoke while blowing bubbles)

  • quiet drive - too tired to talk

  • emergency chocolate / ghost pops / creme soda

  • make-up remover doesn't work on zinc


general experience:
i'm amazed that aside from the last set, no matter how exhausted i was at any given time i could be moved to full intensity by the wicked beats.
i drank a lot more of the rum than i'd intended. the responses to the spiced gold by strangers who didn't know what it was were great.
i'm shocked to have met a girl who i really like, who likes me, and who i could have a great time with without having to be attached to constantly.
i did some serious damage to my feet. mostly in the dam, with only one incident in the parking lot. the head-lamp that my mum bought me was incredibly useful!

after coming home and showering, i went with my cousins for hamburgers. that was fun. on getting home, i sat trying to educate my mum on the realities of misbehaviour - i don't know how interested she was.

---

breakfast with my sister and her boyfriend in their new house was excellent, and their boxer puppy and i get along extremely well.

lunch with my other cousins under the mountain was brilliant, and napping on the grass afterwards in the sun worked for me.

i watched under the african sky - a documentary about the capetonian trance scene - instead of sleeping some more. i went shopping with both mommies, and organized the important stuff (loads of chocolate and marshmallows). then we went for dinner with our cousin from the kibbutz's sad sister.
the evening was alright (the sunset view from their house was mind-blowing), but the lack of understanding she displays regarding the basics of being human and enjoying life made for an easy military comparison, so now my mother understands the kind of mentality i've been up against for the last couple of years.

overheard on the news: an oil spill. oil spills: lose - lose for everyone. depressing.

---

this morning began with cuz's kids and my aunt coming for a visit. we had a good talk, and i rode with them to the traffic department. wearing my "if i could choose" shirt started some funny conversations - although i was a bit concerned to discover that i'm having trouble understanding african accents :/
after getting my id photos taken, queuing, and filling out the form, the systems went down on a national scale so we all have to come back another day.

at least my housesitter faxed me my israeli license, so i can drive again :)

i walked to the police station looking for the taekwondo group, but couldn't find them. i bought expensive rum instead (havana club). i got sent on an annoying mission to find low GI bread, then met up with mmm. we went to her fish 'n chips store (i didn't realized it was hers at the time) to pick up lunch, then picked up springer's son (gorgeous kid) and took him to the castle while we ate. we picked her up afterwards and visited the bo-kaap farm.

let me repeat that: the bo-kaap farm. i didn't know there was one. it's incredible! we were greeting by pigs and dogs and sweet little worker's kids, then met the cows and the sheep, then some geese and the owner. it was such fun!

we had drinks and chatted at the cape manor hotel while springer's kid was looked after by the guests at the pool (everyone adores him), eventually noticing the time and having to go.

some of the new year's photos from protoplasm and r.o.b.o.t. are great. cadbury's coconut ice chocolate is too good.

the dinner shirt - i didn't change it, so that my bigoted, gay-bashing uncle could enjoy it... it did push his buttons :P
we ate at the restaurant on chapman's peak drive - the food was fantastic (i went with calamari, portuguese steak and prawns) and we had a great time. i drove home, and now that i'm done with this post (finally!), i need to pass out. i still haven't caught up.