Sunday, February 28, 2010

mask off

so, like, yeah... i could've made an effort to handle that better. but i didn't. i just dived in, honest to an excessive fault.

gn1 arrived late, and was pushing buttons (unintentionally, and i was fully aware of this) until we left. things were great until we got to the street party, where it was as if everything she said caused some kind of internal friction. the more she talked, the more aware i was of what different planets we come from, and by the time we ended up sitting at a bar having had a couple of drinks the words just spilled out - "you've been behaving really strangely tonight".

that's not really what i meant, of course - and eventually i managed to explain that to her - what i meant was that a lot of things she said or did made me feel strange. uncomfortable. and i believe it's the culmination and end point of the last week or so.

i find it odd that it took over three weeks to get to this stage... i guess if we'd been going out more it probably would've happened sooner. there's nothing like external influence.

so when, approaching 3.30am, she stormed out of my place after a long and difficult discussion, i knew that that was the end. i just wish it hadn't been such a rough one - her exact words are still ringing in my head. granted, from the ill-health, tiredness and alcohol i'm still a bit dizzy and i have a headache, but i don't think it would matter if i was a picture of sobriety.

until she asked the question, i didn't have to think about it in black and white.
"do you want to continue to get to know me?"

well, i just don't know. and i'm guessing that it's obvious to both of us that that's pretty much the answer. which is a bummer.

---

now imagine that the entire post takes place with me having a giant, curled french mustache and pointed goatee painted on my face.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

how not to rest

i didn't play too much with the gimp, for i got distracted. i ended up watching hellboy 2, and enjoyed it immensely. gn1 came over with soup towards the end of the movie, and once it was done we watched a few episodes of mr deity. 9.5 on imdb?! you gotta be shitting me. it's not funny.

i tried to find dr. horrible's sing-along blog, but that's not available outside of the us :(
i gave up, and we watched the first part of the colour of magic. excellent translation to film!

gn1's done a fine job of taking care of me physically - tea, microwavable bean bag that i'd forgotten about, and Good Advice - but psychologically i'm still uncomfortable. she's doesn't get my desire to party tonight regardless of physical state (it's purim, it's the silliest night of the year!) and even more troubling is her demonstration of a decidedly uncaring attitude towards the environment. this has been showing up more and more during the past few days and i can't decide if it's more of a turn-off than an incentive to correct badly-learned behaviour.

as soon as she left, i realized that i hadn't eaten enough. i got up and made myself eggs wrapped in pita, and now that i've caught up on freakangels (i'd forgotten how good those are) i'm going to nap for an hour or so.

i can't figure out how to put eardrops in meaningfully with using q-tips.

ethic of attitude

while i was blearghing, i commented on communication: i was referring to george herbert mead's reciprocity, not something proposed by the authors of in praise of doubt.

sleepache

"and hope that i'm okay to see zombieland at the cinemateque" - nope, i wasn't. i slept all the way through until morning. not particularly good sleep, mind you, and i think that fairly summarizes my last week. in fact, i'm fairly certain i've been sick for the entirety of it. how sick? dunno.

i've spent the morning online (although using my pc this time), and in addition to improving my installation i've caught up on news... for the first time in a long time.

i'm going to mess with gimp for a bit.

music:
i've decided i like chemogen.
emily elbert is pretty good - especially her acoustic version of michael jackson - thriller
emmy: ai composition

literary:
i now know how to describe what i've got: stealth abs. although i'd like to decloak already.

comics:
three panel soul on smiling

climate and space:
excellent climate change video from nasa

commercial funding grants 2010
nasa in line with bigelow
don't do it, mr. sulu!!
there's been a lot of chatter about kessler syndrome... it looks like we're going to suffer it fairly soon if we don't find solutions quickly

Friday, February 26, 2010

blearghing

i shouldn't be doing this. i should be resting. this can't be a good angle for my neck, and unlike reading a book in bed, i never get tired of being online.

i watched gremlins, and it's almost as good as the sequel.

david blaine on his 17 minute record: i wouldn't have watched it if i'd realized how long it is, and i'm glad i did

the penny arcade chatroulette experience: familiar.

the two sides of the ban - it's just so easy to lie

xkcd on freedom: he's struck another chord. this reminds me, i'm still reading in praise of doubt (on - off), and the attitude proposed regarding communication being the manifestation of empathy and the required empathy being subject to manipulation is intriguing.

dwarven technology [x-rated, for those sensitive to such things]

otitis externa

my waterpoofing hasn't solved the problem, but certainly reduced the amount of seepage. mmf got in touch a few hours later, it appears things are fine.

i forgot i was nursing an infection - i was completely broken last night, this morning i felt nauseous over breakfast, and was dizzy after lunch. i think i'm going to sleep until midnight, and hope that i'm okay to see zombieland at the cinemateque.

last night i went with gn1 to see a bed for her new apartment - i'm so glad she's happy with it, because getting there was a nightmare. good thing *my* navigation skills are good, even if i was totally out of it :P

so it's my fault that we didn't make her office party, or gn2's birthday bash (although i don't think she would've wanted me there, anyway :P). aside from breakfast, we spent the day doing nothing and only left around 14.30, when she went furniture shopping and i missioned with karnaf for beer and second breakfast.

i didn't think i'd be online as much as i have been, having a netbook in bed is dangerous. i might even watch gremlins online.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

quick congrats

i forgot to mention - mmf's firstborn has apparently arrived! i say apparently because i haven't heard directly from them, i hope all is good.

fairness

my last post attracted some attention and quite a lot of advice, some in agreement and some telling me i'm exaggerating.

i was going to have it out with her when we met up a little later, but then i thought about how bad an idea that is and i decided to call her. the conversation began unpleasantly but improved along the way, and i'm prepared to concede that i may have misjudged and i may have taken a few points out of context. i'm not entirely convinced, but i'm not going to ignore the possibility that i'm wrong.

the 5.30am start to the day was harsh. i made the shuttle on time, and aside from breakfast, lunch and a couple of chats i spent the half day passed out at my desk.

i did hear some "good" news: the big chief (the idiot i complained about) suddenly realized how much time i'm signed up for, and in front of all the unit commanders and SCs admitted that he may have made a mistake by tearing up my request. maybe he'll let me send another one?

nystire came over to my place and tried to help me with my computer - eventually arriving at the same conclusion: it was time to replace the dvd burner. after he left, i sat a bit with the hardware dude and then a long while with an old friend from university.

we talked about all sorts of interesting and exciting things; it's always nice to hook up with a kindred spirit. while we sat there a gorgeous girl walked past, locked eyes with me, and then returned to mumble something about mistaken identity while i blushed profusely :P

i bought a new drive on the way home, and discovered that i didn't have the correct data cable. as i stepped out the skies broke into the heaviest rain i've ever seen in this country - it was intensely beautiful and i stood rooted to the spot for a while before returning to pick up an umbrella.

i was pleased to be able to help a couple of old people on my way to and from the store :)
i can't be sure, but it appears that my waterproofing solution is holding up!

i didn't actually hate switching the drives, even though there was a slight complication with cable lengths. the new drive went in cleanly and i've just completed installation. finally ^_^

it's a... oh, nevermind

"what are you doing tonight?"
"i'm dressing up as a zombie and joining a crowd of others on a mission through the middle of the city"
"can i join?"
"sure, but are you sure you want to?"
"of course!"
"great!"

"what are you doing?"
"i'm trying to buy make-up for tonight's zombie walk, but all the costume stores are so crowded that i can't get close"
"don't worry about it, i'll organize it. what colours do you want?"
"green, blue and white for our hair and faces, red and black for random injuries"
"i'm not putting make-up on my face"
"erm - it's a zombie walk. what do you mean, you're not putting on make-up? that's kind of the point. look, are you sure you want to do this? you really don't have to"
"relax - it's fine, i'm coming, we'll discuss make-up later"
<suspicion begins>

"okay, i bought the colours you wanted. green and gold hairspray and black and white paint-stick."
"cool, and i think i have red at home. but what's the gold for?"
"what do you mean, 'what's it for'? we're dressing up!"
"it's a zombie walk. we're dressing up as zombies."
"whatever. it's purim*, nobody cares what you dress up as"
"it's not purim, it's a zombie walk. it's for dressing up as zombies."
"well, i've bought it already, it doesn't matter. you're making me feel weird about this"
"and you're being weird about this. are you sure you want to come?"
"absolutely"
"okay then"

we meet, and spend half an hour alternately having fun with the make-up or fighting with it. i almost end up with *real* arbitrary damage in the process. she refuses to leave the gold alone, but in spite of that we end up looking pretty good.

we take a taxi, and arrive on time. there's quite a crowd, and people have really gone all out. the atmosphere is warm and there's excitement in the air.

"wow - these people are weird!"
(me, smiling) "aren't they just?"

we pause to take photos and get her pepperoni pizza and beers - it's nigh impossible to get her to stop smiling for a good snap.

the walk begins, and we're off to a good start. everyone's in good spirits, there are enough participants to form a believable crowd, and there's feasting and attacking of vehicles and moaning and groaning, and onlookers are having a blast.

"are you planning on keeping the foot-dragging and the groaning up the whole time? it's going to drive me crazy"
"it's a zombie walk. we're zombies, doing what zombies do. what's the problem?"

"don't you think this is all a little childish? i mean, a bunch of people dressed up and attacking cars, crowding around restaurants and generally making asses out of themselves?
what's the average age around here, anyway?"

well, *that* was fun. i couldn't enjoy the rest with her, and i couldn't let her go by herself, and the group was really in the groove. we shared a really unhappy walk home.

"when i said it was a zombie walk, what exactly did you expect?"
"i don't know, but nothing like this"
"nothing like a zombie walk?"
"i guess not. i was just so sure it would be... different"

well, it most certainly didn't go as well as i'd planned. in fact, in my mind the walk back was accompanied by the constant sound of glass tinkling on the sidewalk (a la "how i met your mother"). if i hadn't intervened, it might even have been a real sound - she was so agitated that i had to convince her that breaking her beer bottle wouldn't make her feel better and would endanger any animals in the area.

how have i been deluding myself these past three weeks? how have i been able to ignore all the clues and hints? i'm beginning to understand just how blind love can be.

* purim: "lots" - a festival celebration the last-minute rescue of the persian jews from annihilation. everyone dresses up and drinks a lot to celebrate confusion and the fact that all was not what it seemed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

last minutia

i almost missed the group last night - i kept remembering things once i'd stepped out the door. it's the first time i haven't forgotten my head-lamp, for example. that came in handy.

the leader was dressed up in preparation for purim, and some of the others were carrying balloons, so i whipped out my mask and participated. it was a huge group, and while a lot of people appreciated it some were rather vocal about having been frightened by my speeding menacingly past. again, i used it to effect when idiots held down their horns at us - it bothers me more and more each passing week how aggressive honking at people is.

i got all excited towards the end when it started raining, but after a few of us stopped to help a fallen cyclist we found that the route was far too smooth. i almost took a serious dive on the approach to levontin :/

a few of us sat down together at moses for beers and munchies after the group disbanded, and we had a really good time. it was getting towards 2.30am when we left, and a couple of us stood at the intersection near my place arguing about the most important things to be done when building a start-up: until 3am.

i was in bed by 3.30, and up at 5.30 - although i thought "stuff this" and kipped for another hour. i managed to get to the usual stop on time, and our SC was only about twenty minutes late. i arrived on base at 8am, ate breakfast and went to sleep.

i was woken twice before i left at 3pm: once for cake and coke floats to celebrate a birthday, and again for lunch, which was actually pretty good.

i was fortunate to get a lift all the way back to tel aviv, although it was with someone who didn't understand why i was upset with him for filling up with petrol with his engine still running. i seem to recall that not being entirely safe.

i stopped for a very pleasing cup of coffee on my way to the mall, failed abysmally in my attempts to enter a costume store (they were all so full that there were queues to get in), bought myself a pulse / calorie measuring system (watch and band), and bought a long network cable so that i can use my netbook in bed.

now i'm off to meet up with gn1. she's made me concerned with her attitude towards tonight's zombie march - we'll see how that goes.

chatroulette: how could it be that the first person i connected to was jerking off to his webcam? nasty.
i clicked next, and i think the guy was a bit freaked out by my pre-zombie-walk make-up. i give up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

nutshells

i managed about three hours' sleep last night, primarily because i was watching promotional videos from cape town trance parties. awesome.

i slipped back into the routine morning quickly, hating it only slightly less than usual. breakfast was alright, and then the meeting that i posted about took place. one of the positive effects of the new situation is that i'll be able to continue working on last year's big project - amusingly enough, i get an even better computer than before.

the base sociologist was horrified when she overheard me enthusiastically describing my new status to one of the guys :P

lunch was doable - apparently this week's been a good one - and i have to admit that there's no sleep as satisfying as that siesta taken while in uniform and theoretically on duty. nystire called me a bastard for stating that upon waking. he's right.

i read a bit of the merchant of venice, and i'm more and more glad that i obtained the copy that i did, it's full of interesting bits :)

we caught and soaked one of the unit's toughest (he was promoted recently), and although i took a knock on the chin during the struggle it didn't do any damage and we definitely got him back. quickest washing i've ever been a part of - about five minutes to drenched :)

i wasn't able to read on the shuttle home, and was sitting too awkwardly to sleep, so i put on ambient trance and just mellowed. i was in a sterling mood by the time i got home! i went to cafeneto to use the net, but the connection there sucked. i've just taken to attaching my netbook to my router, so i'm finally set.

i finally learned to use cue-tips to put in ear drops, but i'm feeling a tad leaky now...

scrapper and i played forty-five minutes of great frisbee, and now that i've chatted with my mum and had a snack, i'm off to blade ^_^

mini da minx is an awesome girl i met through hyperviper a few years ago, who's just released a really tidy track called frisk my disco with vlad sokolov - very cool!

* forgotten star

i forgot the explanation from the previous post - it's the same big boss who doesn't like unpaid vacation and would prefer that none of his soldiers get educated through the army's academic programme. there's a man who's going to go far.

greenery and scenery

i didn't know what to expect this morning, as i walked into our unit commander's office after a wholesome early mess breakfast.

"we have a problem - you can't be at home anymore and the big boss* doesn't think you should leave. you have a choice - to continue here, essentially spending the rest of your service no more useful than a pot-plant, or to serve with the guy who interviewed you on sunday"

i thought about it for a second.

"i guess i'm a pot-plant then."
"good choice"

i struggled to keep a straight face while we discussed the logistics entailed, and then walked around the office being welcomed back and congratulated on my new post.

eeyore

ru55 came over, and we spent the evening discussing technical stuff and some not-so-technical stuff. i'm irritated by my discovery that i've misplaced the dvd of under the african sky, the cape town trance scene documentary, because i wanted to play it.

gn1 and i spoke twice tonight, each of us has been down for a number of reasons and the two of us sharing these moments has only amplified them. the worst thing about being dark and moody is that it's addictive. in my case, there's some rationale for wanting to stay this way - for the meanwhile - convincing my superiors to let me go when i'm full of smiles would seem disingenuous to say the least.

i *need* to be free.

robot - cherry electro

[i just had someone attack me on facebook for asking who he was prior to friending him. i think that's rather sad.]

Monday, February 22, 2010

retroactive: well done

once upon a time i was given a job to do, and nystire called me up this morning to inform me that it has finally been declared a success - there wouldn't have been anything i could do about it if it wasn't, so it's really nice news and i'm glad that all the stress and aggravation wasn't entirely wasted.

my stomache hurts

actually, i've had a belly-ache for a while now. i'm wondering how much it's affected my mood, and how concerned i should be.

i passed out on the couch after posting, and had my alarm wake me up to hang up the laundry. i discovered that my install was not happening, and eventually gave up, hoping it's the disc and nothing more serious than that. i'm now sitting at cafeneto, using their network and waiting for ru55 to pick me up.

calvin and hobbes by the fire

all about taste

i'm sitting here, munching on delicious ikea liquorice and preparing to nap while completely reinstall ubuntu - everything was perfect until i tried automounting my media disk, and no matter how much i've played with fstab i can't get it right :/

the celebration on saturday night was fantastic! we drank a lot, had lots of family catch-ups and the food was great. her brother (the barmitzvah) got up on stage with his band, and while they're not the least cacophonic i've heard he's definitely not bad :)

i didn't dance very much, although at some point i did notice that "eastern" music becomes bearable when blood-alcohol content exceeds a limit. i'm fairly certain that i wasn't good to drive.

i was exhausted and dreaming on the way back, and shuffled into bed without even remembering to brush my teeth. i was horrified when i realized that in the morning.

i'd given myself a fairly large buffer to get to the meeting, and was late anyway. the train was rerouted when we neared haifa, and a few us of had to take another train and then a bus. that would've been easier if there hadn't been a bomb scare at the bus station, and it would've been a little better if after clearing that obstacle the bus had come on time.

the man i had to meet with seems nice enough, and i'm very glad that i managed to obtain a formal refusal out of him without burning any bridges. he treated me to lunch, and after all our talking i felt a bit uncomfortable that i simply hadn't been able to return even a single smile the entire time. i was reminded of the interview for my second army job, where i was so sure that for all the nice speeches i couldn't trust the guy i was dealing with.

returning back to tel aviv was a mission. there was an ugly wind bringing dust and sickly smells on the way to the station, and i couldn't talk to anyone on the phone without being cut off by train interference. i was comfortable on the train, though, at least until i was turned out of the reserved coach (i hadn't seen any signs). i spent the rest of the trip huddling with the unwashed masses.

i continued speaking to my mum when i got home, then crashed. i was woken an hour and a bit later by a couple of phone calls, the one from gn1 pulling me out of my comfort zone to go shopping with her at ikea. it was a long evening, and we didn't find anything there. we did find a store that got me excited - and in trouble for being obviously excited in front of the salesman - because they produce their own furniture and can easily accept any design tweaks or colour changes. that, and the fact that the prices are decent.

a quick stop on the way back to her place to pick up dental floss and a toothbrush, and we were all set for an evening that would have been pleasant if not for a bit of emotional flooding and frustration - i wonder if normal relationships have this many bumps. we've been together just over three weeks (gaining on a personal record) and it feels like we've been clanging through hurdles at breakneck speed. i think it might be nice if we could both relax a bit.

more sleep of the dead, and i haven't really "woken up" the entire day. it began with a search for her employee card at my place (resulting in her finding my spare key in her car - win!), and progressed through the medic's office, then the service centre for my satellite phone. at least now when they take it back i'll have a printout of numbers.

i had my favourite shinto breakfast (i wasn't in uniform, but the nice girl there did me a favour anyway with a wink and a smile) and then returned to see the doctor. a few minutes later i was out of there with drops for my low-grade ear infection (how nice), and i joined gn1 and a friend of hers while they ate lunch.

during my walk home, my SC called to give me what appears to be very serious news: our unit commander wants me in his office bright and early tomorrow morning. this doesn't bode well. or it bodes very well, but the in-between phase looks to be very unpleasant.

that kinda ruins my plans to meet up for a childish night with ru55, so we decided that instead of going holiday crazy we're probably just going to hang out with some of ze germans. in the meanwhile, i'm doing laundry and grabbing some z's.

and reinstalling.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

exeunt?

my gods, i've the most cunning headache and a body in dire need of rest, but i'm in uniform and on the train and in prayer that i'll handle today's farce in a manner that will allow me to face the aforementioned stage direction.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

face-food

i've definitely had too much to drink this weekend, and not nearly enough sleep. it is, however, a family celebration and as such not entirely unexpected.

from posting i walked home, cleaned up and dressed up (i cannot stress enough how unusual it is for me to wear nice clothes), and walked to the nana bar, once again passing the rollerblading group. i didn't realize how tired i was, and plodded along slower than i'd planned - 15 minutes made all the difference, they'd already started worrying about me. i'm not used to south african events anymore :p

dinner was wonderful, and it was great that so much of the "close" family was together - so many people, in fact, that with all the speeches and eating it took until the end of the evening to get a chance to talk to everyone. the evening was fun and boisterous, we ate and drank *well* and the place is really impressive.

i walked to va'ad habayit to meet gn1, a nice set of bars with mostly decent music. i was saying hi to one girl when another bumped my beer all over her, and the rest of the beer was less enjoyable because my focus was primarily on not letting that happen again. gn1 and i made an attempt to find her car, eventually giving up and returning to get her friends' help. it was late and we were all tired - i drove, and everyone got home comfortably :p

waking up four hours later was tough. i thought i'd woken gn1, but i discovered much later that all communication with her had been dreamed from her side. i walked slowly on the bright, warm winter's morn, and arrived at *her* place just as she and her boyfriend were getting ready to go.

the sabbath service was really nice, and the barmitzvah did his portion beautifully. everyone was in great spirits when we went outside for the lavish and delightful breakfast, which was overdone to such an extent that we were all asked (and in my case, forced) to take home leftovers. after helping out with the cleanup, i joined everyone for drinks at the british cousins [i realize that everyone's cousins and there are multiple sets from each country, but i can't be arsed to specify each time]. we all talked a lot, and gn1 got in touch with me to let me know she'd lost my house key.

she was expecting me to be angry, and i don't know why - it sounds to me like she had a horrible time of trying to find it, and as long as it's an unmarked key and not in the vicinity of the building i don't see why i should stress.

i got a ride to azrieli, and took a slow walk back home. i didn't sit down for a second, rather i immediately switched to shorts and walked to karnaf's, from where we missioned to play frisbeer in the park.

we played AMAZING frisbee. i'm incredibly pleased with myself.

i walked home, shaved, showered, and realized that i was running late. again.
fortunately the bus to herzeliya was on time, and i made it to the organized bus on time ^_^

why do i feel like i'm going to pass out with my face in my dinner tonight?

Friday, February 19, 2010

i feel great

the climbing wall was brilliant - my hands are really sore and my arms are killing me, but i'm totally satisfied with my progress and i had a lot of fun. i almost joined the sunset rollerbladers on my way home, but i was sitting on gn1's phone and i didn't think that was the right thing to do - the irony being that when i met up with her a short while later to give it back, the group got stuck waiting for some laggers right on the other side of the road.

i've been informed i'm less sexy without my wheels. if i'd been able to anticipate that sort of thing happening, i wouldn't have removed them :P

i almost had a problem with the climbing wall - last week when i paid my fees they forgot to give me a card for the twelve entries, and if there hadn't been any witnesses around today my NIS 300 would have essentially been thrown away...

because my computer's still giving me shit (although i think i have the solution, damn disk manager) i'm now sitting at cafeneto, checking out where i'm supposed to be meeting the family tonight before heading for a shower :)

not only am i feeling great about the climbing wall, i'm feeling great about gn1 too. something just clicked and i finally relaxed :)

mountainous mole-hills

gn1 did call eventually: just as i turned out the light to go to sleep. the conversation was way more comfortable, and for the next four hours i slept well.

i woke up at 6am, picked a random shirt and left for the bus. i got to herzeliya faster than i'd anticipated, giving me time for a cup of coffee and to make some headway into the merchant of venice. my cousins keep forgetting that i'm lactose intolerant, and due to my general discomfort with her father i've taken to suffering in silence - i didn't even get a chance to remind him before the coffee was in front of me.

the family began streaming in, and we boarded the bus. just the close family does a good job of filling one, and we were all very noisy all the way to jerusalem.

it was a beautiful day, and the barmitzvah's first torah reading and putting on of tefillin (phylacteries) went well - although a large proportion of the men at the wall seemed mighty uncomfortable with the back of my shirt, i hadn't realized that it bore a large picture of a half-naked woman :$

we had a wonderful lactose-laden lunch at the cinemateque (i didn't know they were cool enough to have one in jerusalem), and followed that with a short hike around a convent in ein karem. i stood for most of the bus ride back because i was talking to a canadian cousin, and the swaying of the bus plus the effects of lunch left me feeling motion-sick and extremely tired.

i stopped by my old boss on the way to the bus, and in addition to an enjoyable catch-up i was pleased to discover that he's now working with people and technology that are well-suited to what i'm planning on doing, and when he heard my idea he was intrigued. not only that, but he's another good contact to have when i'll need to find a comfortable job post-military.

i waited about half an hour for the bus, put on my blades when i returned home and went to meet gn1 at her office. in the five minutes i had to wait for her, my mood reverted to wednesday's brooding and the two of us had an even more complicated and aggravating talk than the day before... we eventually got everything out, but things were still a bit tense until this morning.

the primary problem is me: i need to chill. the second i began to relax i could communicate better, and that bleeds into everything. after walking back to my place so that i could shower, we took a taxi and *just* managed to catch the last train back to herzeliya. we were both exhausted - myself to the point where i was dreaming with my eyes open - and after she'd made food she was satisfied with (at 2am and in desperate need of sleep, i can't care if the penne doesn't have the right texture) we crashed.

i slept the sleep of the dead.

the morning was nice, definitely closer to our comfort zone. after some complications with her pc, i took a bus home and discovered that mine's screwed - i'm leaving for the climbing wall with the memory test still going, and hoping that it'll all be good when i get back.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

afterthought

well, i wasn't expecting gn1 not to call - i'll take that as a bad sign.

i forgot to mention something in particular with the army story that irked me today: our new SC has made a habit of returning my calls in the evening.
"if you call me back in the evening, when the rest of the army has gone home, you can't really help me."
"and what could i have done at noon?"

if he'd called me back at noon, and i could have convinced him then instead of at 9pm that he needs to make some phone calls, he could have made them already and not potentially caused yet another unnecessary delay.

his primary argument for not doing anything regarding the interview was that it doesn't make sense for them to want me if i don't want to be there. while he might be correct if the person interviewing me a) cares or b) isn't completely stupid, if neither of those conditions are met then i'm screwed.

so now he's willing to make the calls. great.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

crooning

tahoma and i walked down to king george (the place where i didn't celebrate my birthday, it's near the cinemateque) for their NIS 10 pasta special: really good beef and mushroom pasta, plus free refills for only another 10? of *course* business is booming. and the food's good :)

at least i stopped brooding while we were together, but that resumed soon after we said goodbye and i pretty much zoned out on the slow walk home, singing softly to tool (it's been a while) and wondering if feeling lonely is appropriate. i don't like the fact that it's so complicated to communicate with me, even though i'm simultaneously exceedingly grateful that my brain works the way it does.

a solid slug of rum on arrival, half a bar of chocolate and some patv: the two parts of penny arcade vs. bungie are excellent, especially the montages :D

i also love mike's note on star wars morality

i'd be getting more stuff done if i wasn't busy backing up my data (finally), but playing with python in geany is fun and i've discovered that one of the books i bought at cafda in sea point is the merchant of venice, so i don't have to mission :)

michal geva's (מיכל גבע) album is brilliant - i really hope she succeeds, because she really is a great artist. it's nice to hear her album coming across almost as well as her live performances :)

i have to be up early in the morning to get to her parents' place, we're all going on a day tour to jerusalem. sounds pretty cool, actually.

still down

wow - i'm still reeling from the supremely unpleasant sensation of "is this it?", and that being coupled with the hopeless sensation from a really unpleasant chat with the decidedly unsympathetic woman in charge of my early release just made my afternoon that much darker.

and to think that until lunch everything had been going so well - i woke up around 11.30, made a great omelette, and readied myself for some WoW carding. i never made it to the gaming store, because i ran into the professor and we sat debating the merchant of venice and the iliad - she tells me that it's reasonable that it's taking me so long to get through it :)

she left me with homework, not the least part of which is reading the original the merchant of venice (and here i thought that the movie was one-for-one)... i would've grabbed a cup of coffee while i was there, but the new guy was too busy to take my order until just before i decided to leave. i'm not impressed.

it was a breath of fresh air to walk into gn1's apartment and see that the painter did a decent job. he was a lot more pleasant to deal with when her landlord wasn't around :P

...

the argument and interview have left me brooding, and i'm not sure it's an entirely good idea to go and have late lunch with my ex-team-mate (i've been referring to him without a name for the longest time - i've settled on "tahoma").

i couldn't

i've never really thought about it. it would've been nice if i hadn't thought about it out loud with gn1, because that caused real friction and neither of us have totally calmed down yet.

"spare the rod, spoil the child" is an interesting piece that articulates a couple of points really nicely - in particular the distinction between a spanking and actually hitting one's child. to be fair, i wouldn't know where to begin defining that distinction and i'm extremely uncomfortable with the topic.

i don't actually believe that there's a "right way" to raise one's children, because i've never come across anyone who could tell you what to do for any given situation and would already know the results - we're all a little more complex than that.

on the other hand, i do believe that there are "wrong ways", and i won't spare a moment's grace in saying that beating one's children is one of them. so is being too lenient.

the bottom line, i guess, is that i don't actually have much in the way of an opinion on how to raise little people. but i do know that the very idea of hitting someone - regardless of their relationship to me - upsets me. enough that i cannot imagine myself so much as spanking a child of mine, and for the first time i find myself able to identify a bit with my brother as opposed to merely understand.

---

unfortunately, this argument has brought gn1 and i to a rather precarious situation - if i wasn't so agitated about the whole ordeal i would be appreciating the fact that we've gotten to a point where we mean enough to each other to be as upset post-argument as we are.

she's satisfied with my personal attitude, but vehemently against my opinion on child-rearing in general, and i'm frustrated at how difficult it was to express my feelings to her because she contextualized and added meaning to things that i was saying when i wasn't able to articulate myself (in any language, switching to english wouldn't have helped).

Fare you well; your suit is cold

i find it fascinating that being familiar with shakespearean stories only makes their theatrical realization more powerful. the merchant of venice is absolutely superb, and i'm really glad i read up about it before watching.

wrung hands

i'm about to go rollerblading, so i figured this to be as good an opportunity as any to post in spite of my hands being rather hard done by on account of my second attempt at the climbing wall.

isn't it supposed to get easier? i made five attempts, and only one of those saw me tapping the top. we did learn a hell of a lot, though, and that includes my acceptance into the ranks of those who can release other climbers. also, i'm now a member so it'll be a lot cheaper in future.

---

i couldn't get the ubuntu installation going. instead, i scrambled to the park and the sushi chef and i trained. it wasn't a bad training, but it would've been better had we not been limited by his damaged foot - i wanted to practice counters :/

i bladed back, showered and was picked up by gn1. we went to see panic ensemble at levontin, and made it in time to grab the last seats left in the house. the sound wasn't great, but the band was amazing as usual and gn1 enjoyed it almost as much as i did ^_^

we joined a couple of gay friends of hers in a lesbian bar - i can't help myself: i think lesbian bars are for ******* :P

aside from the second track, the music was funky and we had a good time. as we walked out, having unanimously decided that it was time for food, i received an sms from lipgirl asking if i was up for grabbing a bite - strangely at the same place we were planning on going to. even more coincidental: she lives in the same street as the club we were at.

she joined us, which turned out to be a decidedly awkward move [good job, totalwaste!] and it took a while before gn1 and her friends spoke to us :S
the hamburgers weren't bad, and by the end of the evening things were okay. gn1 and i went back to her place, where we pretty much crashed on sight of the bed (we were both bombed) and were woken up in the middle of the night by her super-cool and friendly cat. i couldn't help giggling as kitty crawled up and down the bed licking me, even though a cat's licks are pretty grating.

the last thing i recall before passing out again was a sharp pain somewhere (i think she was prepping me as bedding) and then gn1 taking her outside.

...

gn1 prepared a really nice breakfast, and then we returned to tel aviv. she's been having difficulty with her work environment - especially since i've been making it clear by my holiday behaviour that she could be enjoying herself more - and has placed herself in a similar situation to the one i was in before settling on my current life plan. i wish i could help more than with simple and general advice, but figuring out the why's and the how's are way too personal.

the walk home was uneventful, and i was still half asleep. soon after i arrived,

[posting postponed on account of my realizing the time]

nystire and his wife arrived, and over coffee we talked and began sorting out my pc (it appears that the disc was simply dirty), then moved to cafe hillel to sit and get stuff done. we spent more time preparing and planning, and that's after it took a while for us to get the coffee shop's router reset so we could connect.

so now i need to learn python.

we stopped by my place to begin the second phase of the installation, then took a walk to dizengoff center. i bought michal geva's cd, and accompanied the two of them to training. i said hi, had to remind our instructor that i'm not training with her anymore (almost putting my foot in it when i asked if she could organize a discount for taekwondo equipment), and discovered that there are a few more disillusioned that might be interested in joining our park group.

i walked back home, readied myself and bladed to the wall. the evening was well spent (although frustrating, as i described), and when i got back i had a quick shower and went shopping for the first time in a while (this month?! i think i've been eating out too much :P). i had just enough time to eat and watch a little more of the merchant of venice before disappearing to meet the group.

tonight's rollerblading group was amazing! firstly, there were a hell of a lot of us for a midwinter run, and the weather was perfect. secondly, the route was fantastic and i'm still on a high from the crazy downhills we did ^_^
i was videoing the group moving out from rothschild, and got stuck in the wrong lane when the lights changed. i almost lost the group, but the effort that was required to rejoin them meant that i got serious exercise tonight, and i kept up the same pace (even with beer in hand) right until the very end.

well, almost the very end, as the final stretch was straight past my apartment so i broke off a few minutes early. gn1 sent me a message as i walked in the door, so i called to say goodnight, and make an ass of myself - as is my wont - on the phone :P [why are things still going so well? she's very patient]

awesome evening, and i don't have to wake up in less than five hours. now i can shower happily.

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentine's headache

shortly after handing over my pc, i took my netbook to cafeneto and ordered myself a cup of coffee, only to discover that my battery had discharged completely during the last few days. how embarrassing to have to cancel my order and walk back home...
i messed about while charging it a bit, *just* enough (with an approximated eight minutes to spare) to return to cafeneto and guiltily order another coffee and some apple pie.

i got a fair amount done, then returned home to pack and mission off to gn1's new apartment. i walked slowly because of the heat and because i didn't want to shake the cava too much. she arrived a couple of minutes after me, and we went upstairs to meet her new neighbour and open the wine.

she really outdid herself on the valentine's day gift - she went out of her way to organize the six things that i cannot live without: ice-cream, meringue, chocolate, liquorice, watermelon and mango. finding pavlova in this country is a nightmare, and she was particularly creative about the out-of-season stuff, too ^_^

i lit some incense, and we had designs on the jacuzzi - unfortunately nobody had used it in a very long time, and after we went through the ordeal of heating enough water all sorts of things were ejected from the jet nozzles - including cockroaches. aaaaaaaaaand guess who had to deal with those :P

i now know what kind of incense not to use with her - the nag champa sticks gave her a headache. we passed out on the very comfortable couch, and around 2am walked slowly back to my place, picking up excellent pastries on the way.

after a quick shower we both went to bed, absolutely exhausted. at least my hot water cylinder was at the ready, and i was surprised to discover that i had headache tablets in one of my drawers :)

she set her alarm a bit later than was required, and we had to get up and head out really fast to grab a taxi and get back to her apartment in time to meet with her landlord and the painter. they arrived a bit before we did, and i have to say that that level of shouting is never comfortable and even less so in the morning. her landlord's a bit of an idiot - the kind of french woman to give french people a bad name - and it took a while to convince her husband to calm her down and try talk some sense into her. gn1 could hold her own, but i'm glad she didn't have to do it alone.

*sigh* the sacrifices people make to live in awesome tel aviv apartments.

we had coffee at azrieli, and i spoke with my commanders on my way back home. i performed a couple of random acts of kindness on my way, and i have to say that i'm constantly fascinated by just how good it feels to make random strangers smile - isn't that incentive enough for everyone to be unnecessarily friendly?

there appears to be some progress made with my release, but it's now in the hands of an external body and in a couple of days i'm going to start squeaking. also [cue threatening drum sounds] the arbitrary unit who wants me to perform random duties for the rest of my service got in touch with me this morning, and we're supposed to meet next week. knowing how the army works, if that meeting takes place then i'm pretty much screwed :/

i've convinced the city council to install recycling cages on ibn gvirol - apparently nobody noticed that the entire stretch from kaplan to rabin square is empty of them. as i told them - normal people, unlike myself, wouldn't have carried the damn plastic bottle all that way.

i took my netbook to cafeneto, intending to be productive but sticking with basic browsing before yogi called. he picked me up, and we went for lunch on dizengoff. about a week ago i mentioned my aggressive attitude, and the two of us ended up having an argument about supporting someone's belief in himself that drove me demented. we argued all sorts of angles, and eventually got to an agreeable state. unfortunately, there're a couple of moments that i'm really uncomfortable with even though yogi didn't seem to care. i really need to pay more attention.

he gave me a ride home, and i started organizing this evening's taekwondo in the park before napping for a bit. i was woken with the news that my pc was ready, so i hopped off to pick it up and am using it to post before i begin to install ubuntu on it.

wow - i have to thank nystire for introducing me to william blake - auguries of innocence. i've never felt so connected before ^_^

Sunday, February 14, 2010

jogged

i watched most of the merchant of venice, passed out, and then felt guilty enough to go for a run. i ran with a watch this time, and although the air is majorly dusty i still managed the same 7km and in roughly fifty minutes, which is good to know.

i got back, made myself a *really* good omelette and discovered that the power had gone out while i was away, and my media drive is unavailable again. and no, i haven't backed up in a couple of days, missing a couple of important things.

crap.

now to take it in again. at least this time i know that both my primary drives are bad, so i guess i'll just have to swap them out.

jogging

i woke up very soon (about 5-6 hours) after i went to bed - deliberately. i sipped some water, put on the gear and went for a 7km jog. i didn't wear my watch and didn't mark the time, i just carried on until i got to a good point for stretching, and then comfortably increased my pace on the way back. the weather was warm and fairly bright, the park was crowded with the scouts having a rambunctious sports day, and i was accompanied by great house (most notably house mission vol. 7 - aural gummiberry juice).

i caught up with the big bang theory and how i met your mother, then picked up a beer and a pack of brownies and sat overlooking the beach listening to janis joplin and bob dylan while writing and sketching and contemplating the new alcohol laws:
i'm convinced [*holds up sign for cynicism*] that the war on drugs is a part of a conspiracy to return our concept of beauty to that of victorian times by only allowing us access to the drug that increases caloric intake.

i passed out while watching the merchant of venice - i'm well pleased that the version i obtained is the one with al pacino and jeremy irons :)

gn1 came over, and we decided on a sushi run - ze sushi was awesome as always, the sushi chef and i made more concrete arrangements, and i had a very cool evening with gn1. i started to pass out while we watched a few episodes of invader zim - which she digs ^_^

...

my legs were killing me from the run, i couldn't get comfortable the entire night.

...

we were woken up this morning by my new SC (the usual ride), and i filled him in on the current situation and tried to make sure that he understands the futility of trying to find me another job until my release. it turns out that the idiot woman who's sitting on my request is on holiday - which explains the delay. this will not be the first time she's caused me meaningful hassles.

some tea, my valentine's day gift, and a pleasant walk to her car. we stopped in at a pet store - it's run by a woman that i had an incident with a few years ago, and i feel awkward about it every time i see her. at least this morning things were civil, even friendly, and she didn't make any weird remarks in front of gn1 :)

i just got back from the city council, and have decided not to do any heavy lifting today :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

bar hate

bt was tending the outside bar, but she was distracted and the bartender with her was a douchebag. the guy inside was fairly helpful, but the girl he was with is a miserable cow and made every effort to piss off as many patrons as possible.

and all i wanted to know from her was how to find the damn toilets.

i was really agitated, i gave up and walked off, and ran into lipgirl who was on her way back inside and convinced me to come check out the best band of the day. as much as the crowd bugged me, and even though the sound was crap (although the band from the last post sucked regardless), they were really, really good - i'm glad i stayed after the first three songs, which were kinda boring.

lipgirl gave me a ride home, and i learned in the car why not to divulge even approximations of my salary - she suddenly realized why i'm not particularly stressed even though i'm earning about a third of the salary i'd command as a civilian. it's not enough to go out every night, but it does get me by. at least she's no longer embarrassed about me buying rounds :P

we discussed the whole service issue and she's even more hard-and-fast than i am about tipping: if the service stinks, so will the tip. if the waiter is vocal about the tip being disappointing, the tip decreases and the waiter gets an explanation. it's sad that in this country that's not generally understood.

i got irritated with some jerk who blocked access to the sidewalk with his car - he looked at me and asked if everything was alright, and i told him exactly what i thought of his parking skills. it suddenly occurred to me that it would be great if someone were to spraypaint the underside of his shoes and walk over the bonnet of any idiot's car that's parked that inconsiderately. if i'd been in a wheelchair or had a perambulator i'd have been forced to go around the whole damn block just to cross the road :/

via penny arcade:
the daddening of videogames
the heavy rain trailer: creepy game design
english rules - KO!

Friday, February 12, 2010

bird dropped

scrapper and i had a quick bite - i went for the beer and pastry combo, then i went home for a shower and found a table to wait for breakfast girl and the irish and english components of ze germans. things got a bit complicated, primarily because bar gurion's breakfast takes three minutes from order to serve (and it's a *serious* breakfast) and the others chose pretzels that took more than twenty.

after a great breakfast, a couple of us met with ze german who identified with my plight a couple of nights ago, his fiancee and breakfast girl's friend from last week. i organized a round of tequila and had cider with rum (my new favourite place - it's on the menu and isn't ridiculously priced) while talking a lot and discovering that the fashionista friend is also into indie and had details of a good set of shows happening.

i went home when everyone else did, and sat online for a while. i spoke to my mum for a bit, then gn1 called to say that she was too tired to meet up, so i got dressed and managed to catch a shuttle after being crapped on by a bird.

nice.

i don't know who's playing right now, but they suck so i'm sitting outside until they get off the stage. at least the beer's cheap, although that brings me to the reflective bit of the last couple of days: i haven't been training in a while, but i've been eating as if i am and it's beginning to show :(

crying out loud, for

i woke up early today so that i could get Very Important Stuff done before heading to the climbing wall. so early, in fact, that after i'd had a cup of tea and gotten ready to move i *still* managed to wake up gn1 - i felt a bit stupid for that.

especially taking into consideration that all the stuff i needed to do was about her.

i arranged a pretty gift with a chocolatier's specialties for valentine's day, bought high-end cava and a couple of glasses as her first housewarming gift (she gets the key in an hour or so), put on my blades and rode out to the wall.

i was already in the park when scrapper called with the bad news - the wall only opens at 2pm on a friday. that had me venting a very solid "NO" in public.
we fell back to frisbee at rabin square, which started a bit dicey and turned into an amazing session in the sun. i even had a short ride on his bicycle when i went home to pick up sunscreen, which was fun.

...

i need to take a moment to address the continuation of our government to treat symptoms instead of causes and exacerbate the issues by instituting a new set of laws preventing us from drinking in public places and purchasing alcohol past what amounts to a curfew.

let's just keep making ordinary citizens criminals, or just plain unhappy.

i quote thomas jefferson, then. "the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction is the first and only object of good government". ours doesn't really care.

chilly tears

OMG. the finale for battlestar galactica is amazing. the entire series is incredible. i'm glad i watched it.

the rest of the evening was spent playing tekken tag, mortal kombat and ssx while catching up with the old buddy i went to visit and a couple of his friends. it amuses me no end that SxS and ru55 got my tekken to a point where i can cream almost anyone, and i find it amusing that a large part of those skills (especially the advanced buttonmashing) are transferable to games like mortal kombat :P

Thursday, February 11, 2010

breaking down a little bit of guilt

i resumed working on an old project of mine, which required brushing up on my knowledge of castle defenses. that would've been interspersed with battlestar galactica, only i passed out about halfway through the episode.

i woke up a while later, then couldn't figure out why so i laid back down to rest.

with very little warning, gn1 came past to pick me up and we took her mother to herzeliya. meeting someone's mother in a car is awkward.

we dropped her off, and drove straight back to tel aviv for rona kenan's performance at levontin. on the way we picked up a girl who was walking in our direction, stopped for coffee and a giant pretzel and walked in about one song in - remarkable considering that we'd left tel aviv at the scheduled time :P

the show was fantastic. we didn't find a good spot, but we made up for it by finding a small step to sit on.

we missioned for pizza (tony vespa), and i decided i'd have some as well. that could be read as "i didn't really think the evening was going to continue for much longer", because i usually start passing out very soon after i cheese my system. i managed to pick the pizza that wasn't particularly fresh, but it was still quite tasty and they gave me a meaningful discount so i didn't really mind.

parking woes were the order of the evening - gn1 decided at the last minute that she was okay with sleeping over, and it took forever to get to the parking lot i'd initially suggested :P

---

*sigh*

today was absolutely perfect. we both woke up languidly late, had tea, and stepped out into the most gorgeous, sunny, warm winter's day. i escorted her to the car, then came back and sat indecisively until eventually i gave up trying to be useful and headed for the beach.

i couldn't stop giggling when i got into the water: clear, cool, blue water in tel aviv is incredibly rare; the beach was practically empty; there was the slightest of breezes, and tiny fish swimming madly around my feet.

those were undoubtedly the most beautiful moments i've experienced in what feels like forever - where it felt as if the entire universe existed only for me.

once i'd rested in the sun, had another swim, read a bit and then rested on the other side, i walked back home to put on dry shorts and returned to coffeeholic for the chef's beef parisian and a fair amount of reading. i eventually pried myself away, came home, watched the rest of the second-last episode of battlestar galactica and went to bed.

i'm feeling a little bit guilty that i've achieved absolutely nothing today and i've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. i'm now going to pay a old friend a visit, and then we'll see how the evening goes :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the dead end of town

well... the more "spiritual" side, at least. i went into bnei brak to purchase equipment that will allow us to train informally, and it's not really such a bad place.

the food at albert's kitchen's nothing to write home about, though.

on my way back, i paid attention to a huge sign over the intersection that reads "remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" - it made me think of putting up a similar sign outside my apartment that reads "remember your brother, for he is holy".

i missed our SC's base farewell, because i haven't been on base and nobody thought to remind me. amusingly, the package we ordered for him from despair.com arrived today. we'll have to present it when everyone gets together for the big farewell evening (that'll be my farewell, too).

the news of the day: the request that i signed on sunday will apparently take a month to be processed. that's just unnecessary and stupid.

i got home and passed out watching battlestar galactica. i've just finished the episode now, and that leaves me with two more to go.

i haven't been too productive today. i think it's time to get something done.

when monty python enters the order of the stick

so facebook has been updated again and google has thrown us buzz. now all we need is someone to roll out a third-party app that connects the two, and all communication complications will be over.

stop motion two

it began with a nightmare:
lots of people in a competition on an upper floor of a tall building on a mountain covered in snow. it's some kind of dancing competition. i'm sitting on the floor with a group of spectators, and we watch disinterestedly.
dirk diggler and his partner are competing, they encourage audience participation although they'd misunderstood the instructions. everyone's playing along but having a laugh at them, and i only realize after i've begun to play along that this isn't right but the two of them are now giving it their all and totally making fools of themselves.

dirk diggler catches me alone a bit later, says something angrily and then punches me in the face. i put him down, but he gets up and tries again. i defend myself, he begins threatening to stab me - i put him down one more time and i walk away, angry, confused and disappointed.

i don't understand why he'd behave like this, nor why he'd think that i had been intentionally participating in his humiliation.

eventually i come across his closed facebook account
[of course i'd be checking facebook in my dreams] and discover that the event had been recorded and that recording has been posted online - suddenly i'm terrified that he's taking it harder than the star wars kid and potentially suicidal...

the first order of the day was a repeat of yesterday's performance, only dressed better and armed with a little more experience. in retrospect, there were a couple of things that we could've improved even more, but quite frankly the effort wouldn't be worth it - what we have is good enough.

unfortunately, when i picked up ukko on my way out i found him unresponsive. a second dead ipod, so soon after the incident, caused me severe distress. getting my warranty papers in order before leaving delayed me quite a bit.

we sat going over the photos at a nearby coffee shop opposite the kabbalah centre. it would appear that tel aviv has its very own diogenes, dressed in ye olde semi-psychedelic fervent-religious wear and carrying diagrams and pictures best suited to a powerpoint presentation. he raved and ranted, cursed and cajoled, and generally caused wonder and alarm.

urchin's response claims quote of the day:
"there's a man who has all the answers"
"i don't think he has all the right answers"
indeed :)

we continued on to dizengof center, discussing and being disgusted by cruelty to animals. we stopped by the art supply store, then idigital to have the cool mac guys elevate my discomfort to "mild panic". eventually i was passed through to a more technical person, who managed to revive ukko and relieve me of my immediate woes. [although he's now in disk mode and refusing to be disconnected from my pc]

on my way past disc center i ran into one of ze germans who's just arrived back in israel for a quick holiday. we stopped for a fairly long chat over orange juice.

i came home, checked out a band (החברים של נטשה) and determined that i won't be going to their concert with gn1 on friday. i also determined that i have no idea how i'm getting to the trance party on friday night :/

i spent the afternoon beginning to process the photos, watching battlestar galactica, and chatting online. i contemplated going to the beach, but as i was on my way out the clouds took over for the day. a bit later i met up with gn1 at what will hopefully be her new apartment, and after a lot of chatting with the current tenants i escorted her to the train station.

around the time that i left the train station ze german, grootbek and breakfast girl were meeting at a bar close to my apartment. due to a series of bad decisions it took the better part of an hour to get there, but at least i was in time for a couple of beers and lots of chatter.

the highlight was on our way back - it turns out that ze german and i share the same bitter experience with being unable to pass the polygraph, and it's the first time i've been able to talk, laugh and vent with someone who truly understands. i passed him a copy of the lie behind the lie detector (bluetooth, and weird coincidence that i had it on my phone) because now he can really appreciate just how accurate it is.

i wasn't home for long before gn1 called to say goodnight... that was another two-hour phone call. a lot less pleasant than the others, though, as the primary topic was friends and family and support and loneliness: it took a lot to explain what a long-term sacrifice i've been making and it brought up a lot of emotion that i don't usually concern myself with. on a day-to-day basis i don't actually think about all the things that not having my immediate family around entails, but when i do think about it it's quite tough.

the conversation after that was great, right until it was time to end the call and i managed to put my foot in my mouth by using an incorrect word that i couldn't take back :/

i'm now way overdue on a visit to my nice, warm bed.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

stop motion

i was almost woken up by urchin this morning. you can't just expect people to be out of bed by 10am, that's just rude!

we had a great breakfast at cafeneto, where for the first time i connected online while experiencing the great outdoors. our waiter was highly amusing, as were our conversations - primarily concerning our current dating experiences, so i reckon we're all good since our last incident :)

she agreed to help me out with a stop-motion idea i had a while back - i bought a can of coke and we missioned off to an abandoned rooftop near dizengof center to shoot.

shooting stop-motion isn't as easy as it sounds, especially when between frames requires preparation. drinking a bottle of coke in one go - albeit a decidedly slow one - is unpleasant and gassy. being indecisive about angles doesn't help.

it's also a bit of a pity that after going through all the photos, i found myself unhappy with one or two aspects and we're going to have to go through the whole process again. hopefully with a better camera, mine isn't fantastic.

i ran into my old neighbour on the way back home, and the two-minute conversation we had while we were still going the same way was pleasantly reaffirming. i hung out my laundry, put on my rollerblades and scrambled to azrieli to meet gn1 for lunch. we had excellent thai food and a great chat.

i bladed back home, uploaded photos and got in touch with the old neighbour again. we met up twenty minutes later for coffee (i offended the chef and the owner of the coffeeholic by joining them at the rival coffee stop), where we sat chatting while a photographer friend of his got busy (i think i upset him when i took a photo of him engaged by his subject matter - should'a turned off the flash :P). the conversation had a few twists and turns, and resulted in me apparently convincing him and his cousin to visit south africa.

now i'm jealous.

i headed off to meet with gn1 again - she's still looking for an apartment. we saw two this evening, the first being unsatisfactory and the second being too pricey. we sat talking outside for a bit, then decided to go do something. that something turned out to be dinner at a "health" restaurant - their definition of healthy is essentially non-fried and non-preserved. everything was wonderful - especially the service and the decor - but the hamburger wasn't done well enough. twice.

we sat talking until after midnight - that's about five hours of non-stop chatter. i'm now exhausted.

Monday, February 08, 2010

facing down the date

today began with a slow wake-up. it was so cold that i had to put the air-conditioner on for at least half an hour before i was ready to creep out from the depths of my duvet.

1. no answer: i tried to get hold of my unit commander to update him and attempt to Get Things Done Faster.

2. no door handles, no disc: i went on a mission to find door handles for my entrance closet and the album that michal geva has just produced. i stopped in at the hardware for a quick chat (but no luck with the door handles), and walked to disc center, then the third ear, neither of which had received their copies. i found door handles at the big hardware store on my way back, but realized that at those prices and for the quality i'm seeking i'll be better off making my own.

3. no net, no chef, no limit: i stopped at coffeeholic for breakfast, which was good but not great (prepared by one of the new guys). i continued reading the trojan women while attempting to connect to one of the fifty or so wireless networks detected, but there would be no googling for me. there was, however, a conversation concerning johnny depp's generally sterling performances with its focus on the roundabout scene from fear and loathing in las vegas. and a techina (טְחִינָה) cookie. that was a really good cookie.

i'd had a can of dr. pepper on my pre-breakfast walk, a strong americano with breakfast, and the owner sponsored another one with the cookie. after all, one cannot eat a cookie without drinking something as well.

4. caffeine high: my gears were well-lubricated, i was beginning to warm up, and i needed to shave and get into uniform. i had psychedelik.com's psytrance channel playing, and almost cut myself because i couldn't stop bouncing up and down :)

5. bussing to base went fairly smoothly, mostly spent reading the iliad but some of it spent sleeping. i woke with a nasty start when i thought i'd missed my stop, and that not only brought me around completely but made me realize that i was actually feeling well-rested for the first time in a while.

6. the internal bus is usually a problem, but today there was a total mix-up and we were told to switch buses after having waited for about twenty minutes. the driver on the second bus is well-known for his tourist-bus announcements, and his apology on behalf of the company was quite amusing.

7. signing the early-release request form took a while. it's impossible to know if we filled it out in a satisfactory manner... my SC was surprised, and so was i (i'd forgotten), to discover that today was my original release date. i had to sign on extra for the course i did in 2008, otherwise i would have been handing in my uniform.

coincidence?

the good news is that by the time we were on our way off the base, our unit commander had already received it and he told me he'll be passing it on to the next level at the first opportunity. i'm praying that things carry on this smoothly.

8. i met with gn1 and her brother at an apartment she went to view, and afterwards we had a bite to eat at an aroma nearby. more on this later.

9. in a dark mood post-8, i dressed warmly and snuggled my headphones under my beanie for the walk to the ozen bar. i made it just in time for danny gilboa's acoustic performance, which was solo until he was joined on stage by avner strauss. after a song or two together, he left avner alone to perform the most wonderful dylan-style poetic musings and folksy-blues... with a climax of a psychedelic indian-style (dots not feathers) improvisation that was fantastic and surreal, before being rejoined by danny for a light-hearted country finish. they were both incredible.

10. more brooding on the way home, to hit myself with a solid dose of rum before plucking up the courage to call gn1 again. our conversation was cut short, and i had something to eat and read some very amusing and accurate links from bad astronomy:
this one didn't get away - selling snake oil to intelligent people? possible FAIL.
and phil links to a few articles from science digestive's "from science" series:
dear media
dear homeopathy
dear astrology

we've just finished a two-hour conversation - my ears are burning - and after this post i'm definitely going to bed. it's frikkin' freezing, even the air-conditioner is straining tonight :S

---

everything was great until we began looking for a spot to grab a bite to eat before gn1 had to leave the city. her requirements for food and time clashed, and i found myself slightly exasperated at the futility of the search. this set the stage for what came next.

we finally had an issue about who pays for what, and although i had to be a bit forceful we settled it rather quickly. i didn't give her much of a chance to argue until i was done explaining the "tradition" - whoever's first, pays. [it averages out, and causes way less stress]
the second she caught on to the rationale (and she is quick) she was cool with it.

problem solved, everything's gravy, right? then we got political. the problem isn't what we were arguing, it's how *i* was arguing. i went straight into battle mode, and there is absolutely no justification for that. this isn't the first time i've been told i have a problem with my aggressive stances, and that's what makes it all the more difficult to deal with.

no matter how sorry i am for behaving that way, nor how much i realize that it's stupid and unnecessary to talk like that - i'm lost as to what puts me in that mode in the first place. and it makes things mighty uncomfortable. when i look at myself during the argument in retrospect, i feel like a scared little boy watching his father behaving really badly and not having a clue why. and it doesn't matter why.

as i told gn1 - i'm a bit awkward because i feel really bad about it, but i'm also really appreciative of her attitude; she made no bones about putting me in my place, and although it took a while (we continued arguing, but more rationally) for the internal dust to settle we ended up okay.

...

something the hardware dude said this morning: take any two random people; if they want things to work, they'll work. and i think i really like this girl enough.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

a little more than tired

we got a bit lost finding the place - the online map simply wasn't a fair depiction of its location - and walked in on a live swing performance that was really very good. the lounge itself is wonderful, beautifully decorated and sporting a magnificent chandelier, and the couches are all comfortable and inviting.

i suppose if we'd known that the live performance wasn't just regular background music we might not have made as much noise :P

a very nice evening, although we were both very tired and there wasn't much interaction between the birthday girl's different groups of friends.

i'm exhausted. i've finished another episode of battlestar galactica (only four more episodes to go!), discovered that michal geva's new album is out, and warmed up the apartment enough to remove my ski jacket and go to bed. it's been stupidly cold the last couple of days.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

the ascent

[it's *really* hard for me to type right now]

breakfast turned out to be a bit complicated: the irish member of ze germans and an english friend of ours made it fairly clear that they're not interested in breaking bread with us anymore, so the german birthday girl from last week [breakfast girl] and i arranged to meet at ducks.

it was an ice-cold day, and my sweater wasn't cutting it. i found a table that was more or less sheltered from the elements to wait a few minutes for breakfast girl and her friend to arrive. we sat talking and debating the menu for a short while, and were belatedly informed that ducks don't serve breakfast after 2pm anymore... that's not in line with the general tel aviv attitude.

we missioned up and down dizengof (we went a bit too far due to a navigational accident that i blame myself for) until we found a place that looked good - can't recall the name - and sat down to what turned into a highly enjoyable hour or two of eating really good food and talking a lot. the pace wasn't even broken when breakfast girl's awkwardly quiet sister joined us :P

i was on my way home when scrapper called, and he and a friend were waiting for me at rabin square when i arrived there ten minutes later. we began with "the downing of the snickers" - scrapper has a thing about snickers, which is nothing to complain about - and commenced another frisbee-in-the-rain session that was a lot of fun.
slippery, dangerous fun :)

we missioned to le gufre afterwards for hot chocolate and their fantastic heaters (one in particular worked its magic and caused steam to rise from our hair), and after that i returned home for an amazing hot shower. i don't really recall much between that point and gn1's arrival.

gn1 is particularly critical about my style of living - i have to admit i'm quite amused to hear that i'm living the typical bachelor's life :P

we went for a fairly long walk about the city until we settled at jeremiah's for dinner. their food is always fantastic. we were both absolutely exhausted by the time we left.

...

i woke up an hour or two before i got out of bed this morning, and fairly soon received a phone call from scrapper letting me know that he'd be picking me up soon. i made quick-and-dirty sandwiches, dressed appropriately, and we headed off to the sportec's climbing wall accompanied by system of a down.

i've been wanting to do this since it opened.

it was a great day, we all learned a lot, and we've agreed to try and do this weekly. during my second climb i almost fainted, but some apple juice and a coke got me back into the groove. by my last attempt my arms were simply unresponsive, though... even now i'm still finding it difficult to grip things :P

i got a ride home, read comics and skimmed through some news, and began watching another episode of battlestar galactica before being distracted by preparations for frisbeer with karnaf. by the time i got to his side of the city it had gotten too dark to play, though, so we sat at jeremiah's over beers, whiskeys and soup, and talked for an hour or two. then it was time to head back...

i've just spoken to my mum, had a shower, and talked to gn1 - in about half an hour she's picking me up and the evening events will begin. i think i might require some caffeine :P

decision blocked

i just woke up from an odd dream, which might have been caused by my answering the phone in my sleep - i've warned myself on numerous occasions not to do that - and having come across a blubbering idiot.

in a trial session at a new gym, the instructor was showing me how to use the two ropes (there are multiple sets, in a row) hanging in a giant hall. suspended in mid-air, the idea is to hold on to one of them, grip the other with a foot, and perform basic exercises. [this in itself seems like a very silly idea]

the exercises cause the ropes to swing back and forth.

after doing a number of repetitions, i decided to try switching ropes - to turn around, to face the other way. in addition to that being a completely meaningless action, it's also not very bright to do so in mid-air when you're moving back and forth at a fair rate.

i managed to make the switch without a hassle - only in doing so i added sideways motion and had the two ropes going around each other. the instructor looked on in horror as i precariously swung this way and that, managing to keep my grip and not get too dizzy by focusing on the skylight above.

as soon as the ropes slowed down, he shouted at me and sent me off to the gym psychologist for an evaluation. the psychologist informed me that they wouldn't be allowing me to sign up this time, and handed me a recommendation for some type of brain scan which would determine whether or not i have a block in some feature that's connected to decision making.

Friday, February 05, 2010

contemplation

i read comics, watched some battlestar galactica, and passed out on the couch. i woke up a few hours later, pulled myself back into shape, showered and walked.

i eventually caved in and took a taxi, whose driver impressed me no end by taking an honest-to-goodness efficient route. i got to the club at a relatively fair price, and the guest list price brought the cost of the evening to "average". now if only i'd brought "average" sort of money... with taxi, entrance, one beer, one rum and coke, one energy drink and two chocolates i was barely left with bus fare home :P

speaking of which, that energy drink and the chocolates could barely keep me standing - the music was great, but i was feeling so drained that i was almost sleeping standing up. i didn't see anybody i know, but the fact that botchman was planning on going proved a good enough indicator that it would be a decent crowd. last time i went on the spur of the moment, and the people were a bit iffy.

when i wasn't bouncing - and most of the morning the beats were made of solid, floor-rumbling stuff - i was processing the past week. i consider it a combination of prayer and meditation, and i think i have (to a certain extent) made peace with my present situation. also, i spent a lot of time contemplating how much of my experiences i keep to myself and how much i try to share with the world. i see myself as a sort of conduit, a role which i'm not uncomfortable with as a parallel to what i'm busying myself with but which i must be wary of in its ability to overtake my personal priorities.

the walk to the bus home was beautiful, i tried to capture something of it with my camera but i suspect that what's in my memory is all that i'll keep. i'll probably post the snaps anyway, because i'm beginning to appreciate even the crap photos as reminders.

i showered and went straight to bed, sleeping wonderfully and waking really slowly. as i lay waiting for my alarm to harass me into physically getting up, i pondered my (excessive) communication with gn1. i think there're a lot of things that are impossible to know without throwing oneself into a relationship, and i'm curious to see how much of an actual fit there is as opposed to the purely intellectual.
how will our extremely differing opinions and tastes affect each other?

wow. i haven't seen potential for something serious in a long, long time.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

am i?

does the fact that i've been in a mood and wanting to drink the entire day make me an alcoholic?

i woke up to make some difficult phone calls, and spent the morning cleaning my apartment and fiddling with my netbook, who i've taken to calling niamh (neev).

the first phone call was to a woman who i *really* need to be onboard, and she sounded so incredibly disinterested that it injected me with a sense of hopelessness that's clouded everything since.

while setting up, having found an open network in the neighbourhood, i began chatting with gn1 online... we've been talking non-stop, except when i haven't been in. i'm beginning to feel like we've already crossed a boundary or two :P

i managed to wear down the battery, and moved to my pc. i found a good picture of niamh, but was disappointed by my search for one of ukko so i snapped my own from the horned god. it was a chilly walk to the print shop, and i was dressed in black from head to toe to indicate my mood.

while i was there our unit secretary called me up to perform an urgent duty - we have to sign off the vacation days we took last year. we're going to ignore the fact that it's february already (already?! wow!), and i'm not going to go all the way to the base to sort it out. halfway through what she was dictating to be sent, she told me she'd call me back in five minutes.

i spent those five minutes, and then another five, becoming a master of the guillotine. i'm very lucky i didn't screw the stickers up...
i was half an hour away when she finally called back... "but i said approximately five minutes!"
and in that sense, i'm approximately argentinian.

i'm quite happy with the stickers (click to enlarge):




i went shopping for cupboard doorknobs and toilet paper, and came back with everything but. i spent the next hour or two continuing to chat with gn1, and doing a bunch of other things in the background (but without concentrating, so aside from a conversation with my TL i can't remember a thing).

i've been wondering about what to do tonight. i was planning on going to hear nir geva at levontin, but it turned out to be the wrong nir geva. gasoline is going to hear someone i'm not interested in, and so it looks i'm going to return to the comfort - hopefully i won't be going alone this time.

all this talking did have a couple of good consequences - first and foremost being the realization that my mother's advice is correct. if i make a noise and give someone an excuse to imprison me, then my release date with be pushed further away and that's counter-productive. i'm trying to push everyone to move fast, but if the worst comes to pass i'm just going to have to focus on my evenings and make the best of them. i won't jeopardize my planned travels or my holidays.

i finally had that slug of rum. i don't think it did too much for me.

really?

i don't know where to begin, so it'll just have to default to where i left off:

i slept fairly well, although i was almost woken by my SC telling me that he'd arranged for me to do the peer-review. asshole.

for breakfast, i took a steaming cup of coffee outside into the sun with a book. i was outside all of a half a minute before the neighbour wheeled past and harrassed me for having my shirt off in the cold - it was only a bit later that the wind came up and the sunlight could no longer warm me, and i was almost embarrassed when i had to go inside and get a shirt.

i showered - i still love that shower - and then shaved with a new blade. that was when i realized why i'd cut myself the other night; i tend to forget that these things need replacing :S
my cousin's awkward dog escorted me all the way to the afula shuttle, and as i hopped in my sister called me. we had a very pleasant chat, and soon after we finished talking the driver took us away.

i stopped by my cousin's office to say goodbye, and amongst the things we talked about was dream analysis. she'd had a weird dream, and asked my opinion. i was loathe to give it; dreams are the ultimate in personal and i believe that the symbolism inherent in them can only be investigated from the source... she convinced me to have a go, though, and seemed satisfied with what i came up with.

on the way to the bus station i bought three chocolate croissants, which turned out to be disgustingly sticky. the first two did more than enough to destroy the breakfast pangs, and the last one travelled all the way back to tel aviv without finding a home.
perhaps i would've given it to the weird guy in the station if he hadn't tried whispering conspiratorially. i haven't a clue what he was on about.

i dedicated most of the bus ride to today's meeting, thinking of all the possible outcomes. it's possible that it would've gone smoother if i hadn't - more on that later.

i met up with gn1 when i arrived back in tel aviv, and we had lunch together. our conversation was fascinating and enjoyable, but there were two things that bothered me:

1. i'm not entirely sure, but i think that the wolfman's girlfriend may have slept with spot after the two of them got together. i don't know for sure, and i'm concerned that she may be right in telling me that i owe it to him to let him know.

on the other hand, what if i'm wrong? then all i've done is sow discord. what right have i?

2. i wasn't done, and the waitress took my food away. godsdammit, all they have to learn to do in this country is put knives and forks together to indicate readiness. it's not bleeding rocket science.

on a positive note, i noticed an eyelash on the bridge of gn1's nose and struggled to decide what to do about it. eventually i settled for a softly spoken "don't move", and was incredibly impressed by her response: she froze completely, but calmly, while i removed it. alright :)

i returned home, dropped off my gear, changed clothes and went out to get a certain card laminated. i found a place a block or two away, and it didn't cost very much... the man's just a bit nuts, though. he shouts constantly at anyone who proves to be interested in his services (as in, he didn't shout at someone who was just asking directions).
i was confused by a couple of other customers as an employee - "but you look so confident!". indeed. so?

i hopped a bus for nystire's, and spent the evening with him and his wife sorting out my netbook. i'm really grateful - there were a number of sticky things that happened that i would've floundered with if i'd been alone. the coffee and dinner were nice, too :)

i made it to the bus stop just in time to catch the bus home, and i made it home just in time to get my gear on and join the rollerblading group. for once, ironically, i left on time. it confounds me that if i leave on time, the traffic lights to the cinematheque are all comfortably synchronized and i coast straight through. if i leave five minutes late, i have to stop for most of them :/

1. i was informed that not making it to the race on saturday was fortunate. apparently it was absolutely horrible.

2. the mongoose's friend had a rough first time - the route was particularly long and not an easy one. i'm well impressed that he finished it, and enjoyed it :)
we had a pretty serious heart to heart afterwards... he'd asked me a few days ago how i have so much energy, and i explained to him that spending all his time working or sleeping will crush his spirit. one has to have balance.

3. there's no need to hoot repeatedly when you're right next to people. promise. there's also no need to hurry when you're going to have to stop in twenty metres anyway. there's definitely no need to do both. after a number of altercations with one incredibly annoying asshole, i scrambled to catch up with my mask on - all it took was a mean look and some simple, not-impolite hand signals before he stopped that shit }:)

4. the bottle of beer lasted me a lot longer than i expected.

i remembered to do some shopping on the way home, and the pretty ethiopian girl was really helpful. she even convinced me to get a member card, which i've been meaning to do for months... she just struck me as being efficient, and she really was quick about it.

it didn't take me too long to get to bed, and when my alarm went off at 6.15 it seemed like i'd only had my eyes closed for a couple of minutes. it took a while to get ready.

during the day, i kept forgetting that i'd barely slept after a solid 30km and was repeatedly surprised to be feeling so tired :P

i enjoyed the monkey's wedding, and my ride picked me up less than twenty minutes late. we discussed the pending meeting, and he provided me some confidence. we arrived just in time to witness the kinder being promoted - the ceremony seemed rather haphazard...

we walked back to the section breakfast, which was well organized. our SC wasn't around, and we got to discussing his farewell present - we've almost settled on a giant vibrator with something amusing engraved on it. it's been almost unanimously agreed that i'll be presenting it :P

the kinder and i went to do the peer-review together, and drove the sociologist's assistant nuts. we had a few laughs, and i carried out my threat to fill in my SC's report honestly and withholding no punches, and photographing the results afterwards.

it's time for that bridge to be razed.

i had a slight hassle with getting my base permit renewed, but i kept calm and patient and eventually got sorted out. i was waiting for the bus for a while, and just before it arrived the village idiot came past, and was kind enough to pick me up and take me to the train station - that meant that i had enough time to eat and nap for half an hour before the big meeting.

---

i *HATE* it when someone holds all the cards, and asks an open question. i told him i had no idea where to begin, and he said simply, "just talk". so i did. and then he complained afterwards that i'd told him a whole bunch of things he didn't care about.

my current situation is not good: in order to secure my release, i have to put in a formal request that needs to go through all the correct channels before possibly being rejected. in the meanwhile - i'll be "temporarily" seconded to another unit to do whatever dirty work they need done.

the way things usually go when higher-ups speak this way? i could spend the rest of my service doing lots of nothing.

fuck that.

in the evening, i managed to get hold of my unit commander, and i explained to him exactly how i feel and how little i trust the process. i also let him know that while i don't want to become a "problem", i do understand that that's the israeli way and i will resort to it if i feel i must.

i explained how to deal with the personnel unit (our unit has this terrifyingly naive method of sending them requests and expecting to be served in a fair manner), and we agreed that i'm going to begin with the forms and give them a couple of weeks to sort it out.

after that - who knows. this is not a good position to be in.

---

i met with gn1 for coffee afterwards, and we seem to be getting more comfortable. when she went back to work, i had a problem with payment - the coffee shop didn't have change for me. i drifted about until i managed to organize some.

i came home in a very weird mood. the evening was spent painting, drinking, and talking with gn1 on the phone - we spoke for an hour and a half at least, and i'm downright confused as to where we are. we seem to be good and nowhere at the same time, and have agreed to take things easy. i can understand that it's difficult to get to know me, though, so i'm not exactly stressing :)

this is the result of the first couple of iterations on an idea that popped into my head on my way home:


[things i may have forgotten to mention: the silicone that the handyman left behind actually proved useful, and i'm having trouble with my headphones - the good ones that served me well for a couple of years broke, and so did the new ones :S]

i'm surprised at how late it is, how distracted i've been. i've been a bit spaced out since the meeting, and completely zoned since the conversation. i'm going to get to bed now, tomorrow's going to be the beginning of another unpleasant period in my life.

can i *please* have a frikkin' break?