Monday, May 31, 2010

excess emotion

my mind is racing and my heart is pounding- these moments, today and tomorrow, will be the last of their kind.

Friday, May 28, 2010

faring well part ii

[... continued]

wr called to let me know that i might have a cheaper ticket for the pixies and placebo - alright!

i spent the rest of the workday making notes for the next guy; then i caught the evening shuttle for the last time :)

i spent the evening getting organized (for tonight's party) and dealing with a facebook virus my sister passed on to me before heading out into the murky, dusty air on my blades and hitting the climbing wall for their thursday night cheap-beer special.

last night's climb can be accurately described with the words "pain" and "shame" - i really don't go enough, and i think i do need to get back into training. at least scrapper's interested in getting going, and we ran into our chinese friend who also wants in. and from next week, i can do mornings, too :D

i'm annoyed that my blister popped. it had to happen, i know.

i think my blood pressure must have dropped on the way home, because i was touch and go for a bit and arrived bathed in sweat and feeling broken. i quickly showered before going to meet ru55 for a walk to the harbour to meet grootbek and company. i couldn't take the indignity of the crowded entrance to galina, so i said goodbye after a while and headed south to the comfort. that proved to be almost as bad, and i was so offended when they asked me to pay NIS 30 after advertising free entrance until two (i was on the list, and it was 1.55am) that i walked.

a good thing, too. i needed the sleep.

i woke up late this morning, and with my chest retaliating against my sinuses. i do hope my body will have calmed down by tonight.

---
*sigh*
i've been posting this from my patio, a beautiful sunny day shining through with chillout in the background and nag champa burning enthusiastically, with the only things on my todo list being have a fun day and then prepare for the party tonight.

i love today.

faring well part i

[this post divided into two parts retroactively]

[i just realized that for anyone who doesn't follow me outside of this blog, it's not clear that the reduction numbers my days in the service to... umm... *counts fingers*... four.]

wednesday:

i returned my sat-phone; i was horrified by the girl's response to my being released: "with your rank, isn't that a bit of a shame?"
my automatic response could have been nastier, but not by much: "you know, some people have aspirations in life".

on my way back to base i ran into a girl i did the officer's prep course with, and from laughing about the psalm attack (she's religious) we got to talking about god. we didn't stop talking until we hit the medical base and went our separate ways :)

i made it in time for lunch, which saw vyomanaut and one of the hobbits arguing over cultural contamination; globalization is leading us to a point where we may become what we once were: a single people.

after giving the hobbit hell for demonstrating a tremendous ability to talk in circles and not allow anything in, the discussion group split up and the conversation on our side of it led me to an inspiring thought: if two people have seen god, then they must love each other. if one of them doesn't, then he hasn't. because a man who has seen god will understand that everyone's gods are real.

speaking of gods: i apologize to the caffeine deities for having to throw out cold coffee :(

i spent a good while breaking my head over a nasty code tangle, not in particularly good shape nose-wise... so much so that i had to take a break to sleep a bit (not enough oxygen coming through), and i slept the sleep of the dead in a quiet corner for a while.

i returned to my office for a serious push, making good headway before entering the unit commander's office for our final talk. i must admit to being caught a little off guard by his appreciation of my efforts and his understanding of my general condition, even though i've mentioned before how highly i think of him. it did my little heart good to know that he didn't miss much over the course of the past three months.

he was surprised to hear my answer when he asked what i'm planning on doing after my release: "that sounds like a bit much, don't you think?"
"naaah, i don't really sleep very much."

he informed me that i won't be doing reserve duty in the unit - now i'm hoping that i won't be doing it at all, but i think that's a bit much to ask for :P

i began the revised knowledge transfer a few minutes after i got out of his office, and we continued that until it was time to go.

i got home a bit later than usual, and was pleased to discover that the printing shop i use is now open until late - i'd been worried that i wouldn't be able to finish the gift for the unit on time. after a false start (printing stickers on the wrong side), and against all odds (one of the workers didn't believe i'd be able to place the sticker inside the mug without resorting to weird tricks), i managed to get it done right and i was ready to go :)

i got home in time to hang out laundry and catch the bus to the tmuna theatre for michal geva's peformance. i think there must've been about ten to fifteen people there, which made for a very intimate evening. i guess that makes it worse that towards the end, as usual, i couldn't keep my eyes open. i think i'm allergic to sit-down shows. my eyes hurt.

i have to say that the performance was superb :)

...

needless to say, i slept well after that. i woke up early enough that i could waste my first half an hour going through photos from new year's taken by a mutual friend of mine and chc's (the capetonian hippie chick from monday); i'd made ready everything that needed to be and rolled out quite satisifed with my morning.

right until we hit the highway, when i suddenly realized that i'd left the gift at home.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

my SC advised me to just let it go, and to bring it in on sunday. bummer, though.

i made the final fix to my project, closing the version before heading to a meeting concerning the side-project that i worked on (the one that forced perl down my throat). i was glad to see that the project is gaining momentum, and just as happy to gobble up the sorbet/fruit-salad combo that our section chef brought in for the participants :)

the new girl, the strange one, brought me a parting gift. i didn't have the heart to tell her that that's not the way things are done - the card was really sweet, and i found the gesture touching.

first news of the day: my papers are in, and i have been formally accepted for the next year's academic studies ^_^
*and* the cost for the completion courses is the same as an undergrad - i was worried it would be master's prices :P

i worked a little on my speech, then we all went for lunch before hitting the store. nystire was supposed to pay for about a quarter of the stuff, but insisted on going halves - for which i'm quite grateful. between the two of us we organized a pretty serious dessert tray :)

i organized the cd burner to begin the version transfer, and was extremely satisfied to receive one of the new ones. it worked first time, allowed me to burn to a cd instead of a dvd, didn't cause any cyclic errors... nice!

while we were setting up for my farewell, the base's communication officer walked through the corridor - i literally chased him down to hand him a form that he needs to deal with in order for me to get out, because he's practically impossible to get hold of. DONE!

the farewell went really well. my SC and a couple of others had really good things to say about me, and they even went so far as to demonstrate that all of my efforts to contaminate them with an argumentative mentality and care for the environment were not completely in vain ^_^

then my speech. i scribbled my notes as follows:
i say this all because it's important to me, even though i know most of you will forget in two seconds anyway.

choosing battles -> it's too easy to simply stop fighting and get used to "there's nothing to be done" - that's just wrong

in general, our attitude needs to change. "if you didn't ruffle any feathers, chances are you didn't make a difference". we need to fix things, in the army and out

"if you are not fall, you are not make snowboard"
you might not succeed if you try, but you definitely fail if you don't.

caring for your environment and those around you is caring for yourself.

[here i got one of the others to translate "we must all fear evil men"]

i thank
[my unit] for the opportunity to serve my country properly (my last employers replaced me with a monkey, here they let me replace myself with a program) and enter the world of aerospace.

i'm now beyond ready to continue on my grandiose mission, and i have to thank you all for a challenging and satisfying escort.

the end of my service was hard on me, but i don't regret fighting to sign on. i wish you all success; keep our lead, because we don't have anywhere else to go.


i didn't stick to them 100%, but i was told my a couple of people that it came across well enough and i can't ask for more than that.

[continued...]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

first stop - only stop : pt 2

[continued]

4. the state, the laws
as i mentioned not so long ago, we have a problem with the state and its officers forgetting that they serve us, the people. setting aside the fact that we don't have much of a democracy to speak of, our laws are becoming progressively pettier and we, the people, don't participate. whether this is due to indifference, a lack of faith in our ability to affect change or the former caused by the latter doesn't really matter.

now, we must all fear evil men. but there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.
- boondock saints

our civilization learned a very strong lesson during the vietnam war, and that is that the youth have real power.
it pains me constantly that this lesson was forgotten almost immediately, and that the youth feel more frustrated and powerless than ever before.

quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

a strange thought suddenly struck me on my way into lipgirl's building: what if, i thought, ordinary people like you and me took over the police force?
there are many of us, because we're the majority. *we* are the people. the state, supposedly our servant, has put in place powerful mechanisms to protect its interests, and those interests no longer match up with ours.

all we'd need to do is be really good policemen. to do the job the way it needs to be done - while simultaneously ignoring the laws that we can agree upon as petty.

revolution? indeed. to retake the state that claims to be for us. to reinstate the mechanisms that currently exist only in theory. to remove the corrupt elements from our government while protecting all the stuff that's as good as it can be.

and to do it all by becoming the state. because *we* are the people.

---

i came home from lipgirl's with psychopod - friagram coaxing my soul, and was amused to put to rest an argument between ru55 and SxS about whether or not there's a guy who is paid to move all the garbage bins out to the street before the truck arrives :P

i took one of my team-mates aside for a Chat - i advised him to exercise extreme caution when following captain incompetent's orders and to take little breaks here and there in order to work on projects that are falling through the cracks... there're too many little things that could make the section's work more efficient and are dropped in favour of the big stuff. if it'll make the big stuff happen faster, and it doesn't cost too much to do - why wait?

at least everything i told him is in line with the new SC's attitude :)

i was absolutely broken yesterday, and i had to take a couple of heavy naps in order to recalibrate. i wasn't particularly productive, though.

...

from the time i arrived home and until i left for the rollerblading group, i didn't get far away from my pc. one of the main things that took up my focus was the mass of photo albums post-indigo; it's unbelievable how beautiful it was ^_^

...

i've just had a slow wake-up at coffeeholic, and it's time to return my sat-phone :D

first stop - only stop : pt 1

the big four for the day:

1. i spent so many hours at lipgirl's talking psychology and philosophy (the girl she wanted me to meet* is a psych major) that i was too late to enter the club (4.45am). i was home and showered by 5.30, and i thought i could rest for half an hour... yeah, right. my SC woke me up an hour and a half later to find out why i wasn't at the stop yet.

* nice girl, but as i'm not really into spiritual paedophilia

i need to mention that my throat's gotten worse :/

2. i remembered to take my towel with me everywhere today, and it proved incredibly useful on a number of occasions. in particular, using it as a pillow or to dry my hands before hitting the mess hall, and keeping it on my lap (or, for just a moment, connected as a bib) was mighty humorous.

it even went rollerblading with me - and tonight's course was particularly trying.

3. i was attacked with psalms this morning.
"what does that mean?", i hear you ask. i'll tell you.

i was sitting on the bus and chatting with a girl i once served with, when suddenly a grizzly-looking man who looked to be in his forties appeared looming over me and staring intently.
"<insert rank here>: do you get enough respect?"
"i don't see where you're going with this."
"you need to read psalms all your waking hours - that way your soldiers will respect you!"
"i'm fine, thanks."
...
he carried on.
...
i got unresponsive and he moved along to the next person. i returned to the earlier conversation, trying not to pay him any attention. i couldn't - i watched as he moved on to the next soldier, some kid who had no clue how to deal with him. when i realized the guy wasn't letting go i got up to put a stop to it. i caught a number of thumbs-up and nods of approval as i took the few steps down the line...

"sir, could you please leave these people alone?"
(dark anger flashes across his face) "what are you saying?"
"sir, i'm asking you to please stop bothering people who have nowhere to turn."
"ARE YOU GOD?!"
"no, sir. i'm just asking you not to harass other people on the bus"
"YOU'RE THE DEVIL! YOU'RE HEZBOLLAH!"
(a little offended, and unimpressed with where this was going) "no, sir. i'm a jew. we're brothers. and i'm asking you to stop bothering other people."

i went back to my seat while he continued yelling at me, hatefully cursing me. that could have been that, but he began saying psalms at me, angrily staring at me without pause. this was incredibly aggressive and caused me a lot of discomfort. there was stunned whispering all around, and the girl i was talking to and i shared a few fascinated comments. i wasn't going to lose the staring contest, though; it wouldn't do any good to show weakness.

also, i realized that as much as i was unhappy, i could take it and at least he wasn't bothering others who couldn't.

after a minute or two of his staring and muttering profusely, i tried again. "sir, are you familiar with the expression "love thy neighbour as thyself"?
"what? a pig like you?! a devil like you?!"
he spewed forth a pretty nasty curse, then back he went to his staring and psalming at me, his eyes filled with a hatred and anger that really made me pity him.

about two minutes passed, i was just coming to terms with his cursing me and how i wasn't going to let it get in my head when he screamed at me again - this time without provocation:
"I'M NOT MAD! IT'S YOU WHO'S THE MAD ONE!". then he resumed his now normal pose.

i was originally going to get off at the second stop, but i'd had more than enough. as i got up, i looked at him and said, "i wish you nothing but good."


4. [continued]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

carrying the towel

because it's towel day.

we just finished up a great game of munchkin; no cheating, a bit of rum and some really crazy shit ^_^

now i'm off to the club... apparently james monro will be doing the honours :)

---

two thoughts popped into my head this morning. first:
you don't need drugs to love, but in this day and age you do need them to open eyes encrusted with the sleep of social madness, malice and insecurity [similar lines]

the second stemmed from a discussion with nystire post-breakfast:
the media empire is a carrier of social disease - it creates the addiction to sensationalism and then inundates us with excessive and meaning-poor data until we consider that level of (drivel / detail) to be the minimum required to "be in the know".

---

i've been feeling a bit woozy today, and i think it's a throat / sinus thing. the blister on my finger has been driving me bananas. the shuttle driver had his crying music on so loud that even after i got him to lower the volume, i could still catch undercurrents and my ipod was set to full blast with crazy trance (and then tool, because that did the job a little better).

i paid tahoma and nyah-nyah a visit, to explain my "wear sunscreen" and bitch about the police. i eventually got the details i needed from the officer in charge of public complaints, but not without him being unpleasant...

i was not entirely surprised, but shared in his regret, to hear that tahoma wasn't nominated for an excellence award in his work because he has a number of discipline offenses. things like an untucked shirt or hair too long; i can identify with his frustration at the lack of relevance (and the big chief's attitude).

tahoma then gave a lesson in advances in c#, which was very interesting - the only part that freaks me out is writing SQL like queries in c code; it made me feel really dirty.

lunch was surprisingly decent - we decided they're trying to convince me that it's worth staying for the food :P

i didn't work a lot today, but i got some serious changes done and i'm satisfied that i won't be abandoning my replacement without the proper infrastructure and documentation when i leave :)

tahoma and i left the base together, and i got home in time to jump to dizengoff center. i was advised to use stickers for the unit gift and the parting shot to our old SC, i bought dye for my white shirts (tie-dye day is coming!) and i arranged with a cute girl at the tattoo parlour that she'll be responsible for my re-piercing.

i arrived at the physiotherapist on time, which was apparently a lot later than i should have. the session was really good, and i felt a lot looser afterwards... i called up the capetonian girl on my way home, and we met up for a drink on shenkin... it was a very pleasant late afternoon.

i made it back to my side of town with plenty of time for shopping - which is good because i got stuck in a queue for twenty minutes... the women at our supermarket are by and large as inept a bunch as i've ever come across :/

and now... party :) [but first stop, a drink with a girl that lipgirl thinks i'd like]

Sunday, May 23, 2010

it's coming off!

the beard's days are numbered! i was informed this morning that my extended suffering has been reduced by a third (after only four requests and much heartache) and while i was unable to physically dance along with my mother on the other end of the line (i was in the centre of the medical base, in full view) i was totally river-dancing in spirit ^_^

i even acquired decent salt 'n vinegar chips on my way out of the medical base - and i didn't have to wait half an hour for them, either :)
i'd list having gotten a ride back to my office as a positive, but they were playing "oriental music" and no matter how good a mood i was in, it still sucked :P

---

the day was spent assisting with a celebratory lunch, working pretty hard to clear up a mess i'd made in my project (looking good now, at least), or generally sitting around and being silly with the kinder and nystire. between the three of us we're far too capable of dragging conversations in the wrong directions: the highlight of the day being sexual relations with orangutans and smurfs... over lunch... with a few other people around...

the "wear sunscreen" presentation i began a long, long time ago? i finished it before leaving, and was planning on presenting it but our new SC doesn't really dig the idea so i had it emailed instead. about half an hour later i received a phone call thanking me from someone who had smiled at the entire presentation, and about an hour or so ago i spoke to the kinder, and it appears he also appreciated it.

all good, then - now i just have to practice my speech :)

did i mention being bitten by mosquitoes? not during the festival, mind - rather on getting into the car on the way back. tiny buggers, and my arms are covered in large welts (about an inch in diameter) that have been driving me nuts since. couple those with a large blister on my finger (the dermatologist did warn me that would happen) and throw my sore neck* into the mix, and we have a physically uncomfortable totalwaste...

* as much as i may bitch and moan, though, i cannot express in words the joy - both at the time and retrospectively - of not having been bothered by it on the dancefloor; after loosening up during yesterday's morning set i didn't feel it at all until we were back in tel aviv :)

---

upon arriving back in tel aviv, i changed clothes and headed for the police station to file a report. i got myself really riled up on the way, only to find nobody useful and was handed a telephone number to contact in the morning. if this gets complicated, then i'm heading straight to the papers.

i forgot to mention something else about the police at the festival - searching the tents with dogs in the middle of the night is frikkin' TERRIFYING, and it doesn't help that the police dogs upset all of ours. there's nothing that they can achieve that justifies that sort of behaviour...

... someone came up with an interesting idea today - a "serve and protect" awareness campaign might be a good idea.

---

i have done absolutely nothing for the past three and a half hours besides sitting online and unsuccessfully trying to splice movies. too lazy even to shop? disgusting. i think that'll put me at bedtime soon.

a deep, grateful sigh

i'm going to get the negatives out first, because although they're important i don't want them to be the most memorable of the post. this weekend was highly spiritual and filled with wonderful, loving people; the music was *incredible*; i shared so many smiles and special moments and i can only pray that things will be at least this good from now on ^_^

---

the ugly
one of the policemen from the post-party incident two weeks ago - i recognized him because he had a self-satisfied gloat going afterwards and it bugged the hell out of me - was causing shit at the entrance to the festival grounds.
he climbed into a friend of mine, and i was horrified to hear what he said to his commander when she came to talk to him about it. even more so when she accepted what he said, and that was when i stepped in. he started giving me shit, so i asked him for his number - suddenly there were four guys around me looking menacing and wanting to search me.
i showed my army id, and asked again for his number - a couple of them slunk away and he got sulky: "you don't need my number, this is my name". i wrote it down, and tomorrow i plan on finding out how to make a complaint.

it really, *really* upsets me that these assholes pick on the best of this country's population (any country, really) for having a good time, and they're righteous pricks about it, treating us all like criminals and generally behaving like it's some sort of game.
they forget that they're civil servants, and that we have laws protecting us from being treated as guilty until proved so; these are good people, more peaceful and loving than any you'll find anywhere else, and they pay their taxes and contribute just like everyone else.
there's no justification for threatening us, and there's no justification for being rude and arrogant.

...

festival toilets need to be cared for, at least once a day (if not more). the doof toilets were in pretty good shape, the indigo ones not so much - and doof is two days longer. not only that, but the grounds don't afford much place for privacy, *and* some campers took a spot on a hill that would have been the most logical place for ablutions (nobody wants people looking down on them as they relieve themselves).

this led to a situation where by this morning the toilets were unusable (even the hardier dudes didn't need to fully open the door to recognize this) and there was no place for shy people (like myself) to squat with some semblance of dignity... i'm very glad that i didn't really need to go.
as it was, having to tread carefully just to find a spot to pee was uncomfortable and a couple of times the smell was blown in our site's direction...

the bad
we could only hear the music from the alternative stage when at our campsite, and the first night's crap was only surpassed in its awfulness by the following afternoon's reggae... we were all broken and trying to sleep in the killer heat, and the very deep downbeat stuff was painful. the next dj was a giant improvement, but by then we'd all managed to get up.

aside from two of us - one of the guys hit the nights too hard to even pretend sentience during the days, and the one girl (i think she drank too much the first night) eventually had to receive an infusion and she couldn't move for the rest of the party :/

...

of the group i spent the weekend with, there are two people that things are a bit awkward with; not unfriendly, it just feels like there's a bit of a wall between us and that does actually bother me a bit - especially seeing as i really like them.

...

i was charged with a number of duties during the two days, and happy for them. the only problem i had was last night, when i had to move a rope for one of our shades and i accidentally took down our neighbours' campsite instead :$
at least i righted it again without too much hassle.

...

i met a cute girl on the dancefloor last night - yay! we spoke a little, the guys who saw us together got all gushy... she told me that she's israeli, so i need to make an effort to get in touch with her - honest, if a little mindless. after dinner, i arranged to meet up with her on the dancefloor, which is where i discovered (i suspect otherwise, although it's a bit too elaborate to be for show) that she was in the middle of some kind of breakup with her girlfriend.

not that i mind having lesbian friends, but i certainly don't need to run after them (i don't run after anyone*) and i'm definitely not losing fun time at a festival dealing with a stranger's relationship woes.

* usually - i claim february with gn1 as prolonged temporary insanity

...

i became quite attached to the dogs in our campsite, and one of them went missing last night before dinner (a very serious barbecue)... after dinner, his owner and i went searching and i gave chase when i saw a similar dog running off - i finally caught him, only to discover that it was somebody else's and not quite the same build. we had no luck finding him, but fortunately he did rock up eventually.

...

i missed extrawelt this morning; i'd never heard of him until chm and awkward girl came past and let me know that i'd missed *the* set of the weekend. i heard that a few times during the day :/

...

the last set was unbelievably good fun - a total convergence of all the rest into a set of smiles, silliness, and very serious jubilation. the girl i was going home with decided she wanted to leave early... so i left the dancefloor (saying goodbye to everyone) to go pack. as if that wasn't bad enough, my camera (my actual olympus one) disappeared and after much rifling and irritation i came to the conclusion that if it hasn't been stolen, then someone will find it at some stage and return it to me.
as if that wasn't bad enough, only then did i discover that we weren't going early after all. darn it! that was unnecessary.

...

due to a misunderstanding, i didn't help out chm with the driving... i was under the impression that i was needed in the car i arrived in. that means that i didn't drink anything the entire afternoon, missing out on a very interesting arak and honey combination that i only sipped (because i was being all responsible), for nothing :(

...

sleeping: the first night dp had us shift around mattresses so that i could be in their tent, but unfortunately my blanket was in use by someone else. luckily i had my poncho, but that only helped until just before whatever time she went to bed. i suddenly realized that my legs were freezing, and it wasn't until she asked if i was alright that i remembered that i could stop wearing my poncho and simply use it as a blanket - it reaches all the way.
a short while later my whole was freezing, and i woke up shivering. after a number of failed attempts to warm myself up, i was forced to go outside and shiver and stamp my feet in the sun until my core temperature wasn't so cold that it would freeze peas.

the second night was better - i slept with my blanket, and slept beautifully for about seven hours! only i woke up with my neck really sore... at least i worked that out on the dancefloor :)

the good
most of the weekend was magnificent, and all the bits came together to make it practically perfect!

the sheer quantity of decor and attention to detail was simply astounding and there were plenty of places to find drinking water (although the actual finding part was a mission) - the swimming pools were ingenious, but the prize for greatest inspiration goes to the strips of astroturf on the dancefloor in addition to the sprinkler system...
i've heard a number of different organizers talking, and it looks like everyone agrees that that's the way it needs to be done. instead of dust, we had mud. AWESOME!

...

i ran into the girl i clicked with on thursday night - she'd been difficult to talk to because i was going so crazy that she thought i was high :P
at least today she took it in stride :)

...

it was dp's nephew's first time at a trance party, and i enjoyed showing him around and seeing his eyes light up whenever he registered a new nuance ^_^

speaking of which: dp met a fellow capetonian hippie on the dancefloor this morning and sent me off with an instruction to send her regards - i thought they knew each other from before, which led to a bit of a stange introduction, but aside from that we got along famously and i'm feeling a bit... smitten :) [also: yes! i finally remembered to get a phone number!]

...

on the spur of the moment, i packed an amusing tie i own. i haven't tied one in years, and i was well proud of myself when it just came naturally. even prouder when it got so many good responses :D

...

i arrived on the dancefloor too well-organized this morning, and aside from one incident of energy drink theft (it was a bit weird to watch, really) i had a hard time catching people to help me remove the threat of rum & coke from the vicinity... that means that i drank rather a lot of it myself :P

...

the music:
simon posford's set yesterday: his alternating between shpongle and his crazier stuff was inspired, and had the whole lot of us losing ourselves completely.

shye ben tzur & the rajasthan gypsies were absolutely magical! there were a couple of songs i didn't connect with, but on the whole their music and their performance are fantastic.

savannah pixies, i think they're called. it's like someone picked up a psychedelic / folk hippie band from the sixties and put them on a stage in 2010 - brilliant! someone was trying to sell ice-creams, and got frustrated because everyone was so completely enchanted that he couldn't get a response :)

u.r.i.n.i.m.u. are freaking AMAZING. at first, i was loving the sounds, it think it was only by the end of the first song that it suddenly dawned on me that they were playing live :$

the biting sheep - i'm in awe of the experience that can be produced with inventive use of a xylophone.

i didn't spend any time on the dubstep floor, but the guys (organic and ketamind, with miss-moon) played the alternative stage this morning and i went to sleep with beautiful background noises :)

this morning / early afternoon was insane - haltya started with some sexy, groovy beats, and the guys following up took us into a deep-mud stomp-fest that was perfect :)

the final set was by another artist i'd never heard of before: james monro - *damn* he's good!

---

i'm now showered, i've snacked and posted... and i have to be up in four and a half hours. another source of the giggles that i had a number of times this weekend. i go to bed with a giant grin on my face ^_^

Thursday, May 20, 2010

packed? packed?! packed!

right, i have a blanket, clothing, toiletries, alcohol in plastic bottles, munchies, music for the car, swimming gear and most importantly - my hat and mask. i have it all in two small bags and a cooler bag, i'm feeling much better than yesterday (although i was a bit worn out today) and i'm ready to go HARD.

(^_^)

---

i had to take the dreaded bus to base this morning - at least i picked the right place to wait with my marshmallow coffee :)
i'm very glad i didn't have to push, and i even managed to calm the immediate area around me with a well-placed elbow. i tried to read on the way, but i couldn't concentrate so i closed my eyes - i wasn't feeling sleepy until we arrived and i had to open them again :P

one of my team-mates brought amazing brownies to work today... the most military expression ever to pass my lips came out in response: "dude, you have to make the brownies less scrumptious so that less people will want them and i can have more for myself - or even that i'd be less desiring of them". it was a joke, but even so - not cool!

i did some shopping in the central store, for the kind of stuff that one never thinks of until it's too late to pick it up at those prices. i did that under the assumption that the end of my service is nigh - only i still have no guarantee.

speaking of which, nystire's brother contacted me with some work and i got in touch with mmf as well, so those are two open lines of inquiry that make me feel a little better about my situation.

today was the first day in a while that the skies were clear, but it was still hot enough that walking into my office was unpleasant. i didn't want to work much anyway - a couple of power outages gave me an opportunity to get stuck into the intro to the odyssey - but aside from a visit from captain incompetent* there wasn't much in the way of distraction...

... which wasn't really so bad - my hungover plan from tuesday began to find its feet, and it's a *good* plan. the wonderful thing about working on a project alone is that there are no restraints; when i discover a better way of doing something, that change can propagate throughout the code. today's modification has far-reaching consequences, and although it's been tricky integrating them it's also been a lot of fun!

* i hadn't planned on talking to him, but he asked how i was feeling and whenever i get on topic i find it really difficult to stop. aside from the fact that he now understands why he should leave me be, i was intrigued to discover just how much he appreciates the project i'm working on and he hasn't even seen the advances i've made in the past three months :)

the guys were discussing donnie darko again today, and it appears that i'll need to see the director's cut. i can't recall if i've seen it once or twice, but i'm well impressed with the clarity with which i remember it and the fact that i didn't miss anything. i'm going to have to thank brian greene and terry pratchett for making it all clear retrospectively :P

the sentence that i ended up throwing at the guy who didn't get it:
in a time-loop, even the first time you choose you're not really choosing because you've chosen already

today i learned never to argue with a female about calories. i misread the package, taking the kilojoule figure as calories; so it turns out that i wouldn't need to run 60km for a packet of tim tams, only 25 :P

---

aargh! something just bit my leg and it itches like crazy!

...

i'm on my way out, ready for a solid session. whoo-hoooo!!!

---

i'd like to thank my sister for reminding me what i missed when i was in cape town... balkanology!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

silent party no 2

i was just kidding when i wrote about being worn out yesterday...

i discovered that catching a no. 4 shuttle is even more difficult than catching a no. 5, so i won't be trying that again. i went past the bar where the chef works, which is a cool place but not really my style. i had a chat with the dude from lemmus lemmus and a friend of his - we argued about musical taste and disagreed... they're both of the opinion that justin timberlake is a genius and i'm sticking to my guns when i say that tool definitely wins.

for anyone who doesn't understand why that's funny, i feel for you.

i went to my second headphone party, this one trance. quite a few friends, some weirdos* and a handful of confused american tourists.

* half-arsed... one sexy girl walked up to me to ask if she knew me from a reality show.
"you mean, like, on television?"
"yes!"
"no. not me."
"shit, sorry." [points at the guy she's with] "he told me you were. he's a complete retard." [looks at him] "you're a complete retard!"

after a relatively short (and frustrating*) time, i found myself completely bombed and incapable of partying on. i said goodbye to everyone and dragged my feet to find a shuttle back... to have my night made complete by being informed by the driver that i was sitting with a fake NIS 10 coin.
what the hell am *i* supposed to do with it? i can't pass it along with clear conscience, and i have a feeling nobody's going to trade it with me :(

* as happened to me the first time, my headphones kept cutting out. i think my brain runs an interference pattern...

i passed out mightily, and had epic dreams. i felt horrible the entire day, which i spent most of sitting online or freezing in bed, although the world did improve a little once i'd taken a walk and played some frisbeer. i left before i could catch a game of "double disc court", but i don't think i would've done particularly well in my current state...

after a false start or two, i finally managed to organize a ride to the festival tomorrow night! now i just need to figure out what to pack for the three days :)

---

i'm going to need to take it easy with cash outflow for the next couple of months, and i definitely need to find a job if i'm going to enjoy my holiday coming up...

---

centipede memories: it appears i'm prepared for the worst :)

from the mongoose: ui bloopers in movies

from penny arcade: red dead redemption looks freakin' AMAZING.

from xkcd: i meant to post the colour conclusions a while ago...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

while i was running laundry

i slept for a bit, but not well... once i'd been woken up, i shopped, showered, set a washing load to run and sat down to watch jackass 2; like all of their stuff, some of it's brilliant and some of it's just gross.

now i'm all worn out from such a stressful activity - how will i manage to party?

sticks and carrots

it was approximately 1.30am, and wr, his girlfriend and i had just walked out of a self-improvement workshop whose primary activity was about non-verbal communication. we'd all consumed a little too much whiskey before it began - with amusing results - and we were all in a jolly mood when we walked out.

wr took us both by the hands, and began to sing "we're off to see the wizard", i turned around and did a little dance while singing joyously. this was exactly at the right time to catch the lecturer stepping out of the classroom: our eyes met, and we had a moment of perfect communication that left us both laughing delightedly; two seconds later we both carried on (still grinning, of course; she was talking to someone else and we made our way to the stairs) and nobody else had registered a thing.


---
the pre-hike egg breakfast on base wasn't such a good idea, apparently, as it left me with slight indigestion. i had to leave half a cup of tea behind when the cockroach-filled buses arrived, and the sound of the girls (not all female) freaking out accompanied us the entire way to jerusalem. all-in-all, a great start to the day.

it wasn't as harsh a day as the one we'd had before, but it was still disgusting and we had a fairly long hike right off the bat. on the way back to the buses i asked if anyone else was thinking of ice-cream, and was told to be patient.
"but i want it now!"
"geez, you're such a child," said the guy in charge, which was the perfect opportunity for some fun verbal sparring before he made me an offer i wouldn't refuse - i could go with the accompanying emergency vehicle which was parked next to a vendor.

i was thoroughly enjoying my ice-cream when two of the hobbits climbed in... one of whom smelled funny :/

after lunch, i snuck into a kiosk for a dessert ice-cream (of *course* i did!) on our way to the western wall tunnels - every trip they get more interesting as the digging proceeds. one of the questions our guide left unanswered was how the massive stones were transported, which led me to hypothesize that life of brian's aliens visited herod, assisted him in the construction of the temple and caused him to go completely nuts (possibly a result of the ridiculous experiments they performed on him) and do all the obscure things he did.

we were the first group out, so i acquired ben & jerry's (oh, yes i did) and laffy taffy to go with my coffee... i made a comment that received a surprised response, and was shocked to discover that my tongue had turned an electric blue :)

it was on the way back that i overheard our SC using the expression "carrot and stick" and i threw out the first thing that popped into my head: "in our unit, that expression means 'beat him with a stick then shove the carrot up his ass'". this was received with general approval and agreement :P

...

i managed to nap a bit on the bus, which is good seeing as we took about an hour longer than anticipated to return to tel aviv. instead of having enough time to shower before heading to the job interview, i was forced to arrive there late and in uniform...

i think it went well, all things considered. there's not much of a fit with the company but he had some advice and showed interest in connecting me with someone he knows...

on my way home i reached into my coin pocket, certain that i was only carrying one and two shequel coins, and tossed NIS 10 into a beggar's cardboard box. when i realized what i'd done i could only smile, amused, and decide that that must've been fate :)

i showered, and began to make my way to the university for an arts night. i missed the bus that takes me to the gate, and then hopped on another one that i hadn't realized was completely wrong... fortunately, wr's girlfriend convinced him to pick me up from the train station and we all arrived there at more or less the same time :)

the evening was a lot of fun, and aside from the communication / self-improvement workshop we saw a translated the bear (the actor's friends gave him a hard time and his responses were brilliant) and a very sober piece about two mothers who eventually eat their babies, but that was a little too long and a little too repetitive and i missed almost all of the baby-eating when i passed out :/

in between, we talked a lot and drank a lot. when the last show ended at 3am, they took me home and i was in bed by 3.30am. i had a headache by 6am and getting out of bed was tough.

...

today wasn't easy - i spent it napping, reading funny section quotes and figuring out next steps without actually touching the code. nystire and i got a ride to tel aviv so he could pick up his laptop, and we sat over lunch until he had to go.

the discussion was marriage; my opinions have been reinforced. now that i've posted, organized my entrance to the party tonight and guaranteed transport for the festival, i'm going to take a nap :)

---
i'm disappointed by wired's ignoring of israel's participation in organizing armageddon.

i definitely need to trim the beard, as it's gotten uncomfortably bushy already. in general, i can't wait to shave it off - one distinct disadvantage is that i cannot blow air onto my face when it's stupidly hot because the hairs trap everything :P

Monday, May 17, 2010

not quite as planned

with a score provided by porcupine tree*, the lucid dream i just crawled out of went something like this:

at a party underwater, with a thick rope ladder extending a fair ways into black depths and the guests arrayed all the way down it. although everything was under water, we were all talking and breathing without any aids.

on my way down, i came across a rather curious thing: a sheep, tethered to one of the rungs and simply standing - on nothing.
i petted the sheep, then continued on down to the bottom rung upon which a friend was sitting. close by was tethered another animal; this one a lioness.

it's a bit difficult to ignore a beast like that even from a distance, but we began talking on some random topic
[quite probably about something related to the bit of the dream before the water] and everything was grand... right until i got too close to the lioness and she pounced. i almost got out of the way in time... only she'd managed to take a solid chunk out of my left foot.

this was at first a bit painful
[no understatement there], and i methodically began removing my left boot - the shape of which being a blur to me at the time. it was only with it off that i then realized what kind of damage had been done - a sizable (length-wise) triangular slice of my left foot had been removed, including the third and fourth toes, and what was left of the ball of my foot was pretty much unusable.

i felt myself going into shock so i sat down and commented: "i'm going to have a little sleep now". this drew a few chuckles from the crowd that had gathered around me.

i didn't pass out - actually, i took a good look at the damage and decided that my chances of dancing in the future were rather severely at risk. it was just as this thought struck me that a saviour arrived - someone had managed to retrieve the missing chunk and it fitted almost perfectly!

it was a very cinderella moment.

my only remaining concern was how to keep it in place until i could find a doctor to stitch it all up for me...


i think this is how monkey islands begin.

* porcupine tree - the incident is amazing. no, i'd never heard of them before.

---

by my beard and whiskers - and i have those aplenty now - wearing a uniform on the hottest day of a serious heat wave does not make for a pleasurable experience. especially when it's a day that involves quite a bit of walking.

i got to wake up twice this morning, once to find out that my SC was leaving late enough that i really could get back to bed.

on base, i made tea and talked to vyomanaut about invictus (he's a generic sports fanatic) and he was quite moved by my report. i'd actually forgotten that it was he who'd asked me to see it in the first place :P

i tried to call the dermatologist's office for a while before giving up and walking there instead. i managed to arrange an appointment (for next week) fairly fast, but was bothered to hear the following explanation when i asked how it is that they're so difficult to get hold of:
"sometimes we're just too busy to answer calls"

it doesn't look that way to me. in fact, i surreptitiously called before i approached the desk just to check.

once back in the office, i had time for a quick patch before captain incompetent called me in to report on my progress. i was decidedly impolite - as is my wont with him - but intrigued when we both realized just how much work i've managed to get done over the last month or so in spite of my newly acquired bad attitude.

lunch was all about jackass. someone sat down at the table, and a couple of us commented that he looks really similar to someone who recently left our section: nystire told him that that wasn't a compliment. i'm still wondering if there's any way to hear something like that without being totally offended.

the walk to the bus after lunch reminded me of robin williams' live on broadway - "is it hot enough for ya!?"

therapy was quite intense today. i convinced her to let me talk about the big stuff, and it went somewhere very interesting. her summary of the session went something along the lines of "you appear to be a lot better at getting things across than you think, but if there's one thread that runs solidly through your entire service and your experience with the men in suits - it's definitely miscommunication".

it was strange to go from discussing the paranoia and the betrayal that i felt throughout last year's ordeal to - in the big picture - how positive my last six years have been. if i do become schizophrenic at any stage... i'll blame the psychologist :)

on my way home, i tried to find out if my release date had been updated. like an HIV test, checking has no effect on the outcome but it made me nervous as hell. when i got back a negative (or, to keep with the HIV metaphor, a positive) result, i had to push for a second opinion... no dice :/

the guy i was supposed to meet to pick up my tickets for tuesday's party wasn't answering the phone, so i braved the clingy outside to buy a couple of vests with smurfs on them before coming home to shower, fight with urchin online and go to sleep.

...

i've been up for an hour and a half now, eating and posting and browsing, and now i'm going to get back to preparing for our unit trip to jerusalem.

---

i spent an hour or so watching various comedians earlier, and i really enjoyed lewis black and adam ferrara

amazing photos!

i've been listening to jeremy messersmith - the silver city while posting this, and it's great stuff :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

weird beards

i forgot to mention the party last night. i walked onto the rooftop with a bag of goodies, not having had any trouble finding the place (the entire neighbourhood was enjoying the show), and the awkwardness began when i couldn't say hi to lipgirl because she was jamming.

while waiting for her to finish, i found a spot next to her cute friend... i'm no good with smalltalk, apparently neither is she, and either way talking over the music wasn't much of an option.

the concept of the evening was cool - anyone could jam if they wanted to - but in practice i was left with the same complaint that i have every birthday party of hers. she has nice friends, but none of them play well together outside their own groups. including me :P

i left when she was done getting rid of the policemen.

---

my beard's getting longer, and i'm still finding it exceedingly strange. i would trim it if i thought i could do that without trimming too much by accident like i did the last time... and i really don't want to void my authorization.

---

i tried watching friday the 13th, but my pc's not handling it, and then i stopped halfway through the new star trek - not because i'd seen it already, but because i suddenly realized what time it is.

i like summer - i don't have to deal with inserting a duvet into the cover whenever i change the bedding :)

t-2

i pray. i pray some more.

---

i just watched invictus, and *boy* am i glad that i didn't see it on the big screen when i had the chance. let's just say that i got a little emotional - there was a lot of pride watching the movie, also a lot of sadness remembering just how much hope we had that seems to have turned sour.

personally, i can't help clearing my tear ducts when i think of where i was when all that was taking place and what a different life i once led; how much i pity the boy that i was who had yet to set foot on his path to redemption. that redemption was a long time coming.

---

so my apartment is clean, my eyes are clean, my chest feels a little lighter and the day in general was nice and chilled. i feel like immersing myself in brainless activity for the rest of the evening.

---

another definition: memento (used yesterday morning)

h. r. giger - illuminatus_i

all contributions welcome

the war on drugs is, in effect, a war on two fronts. it is a war against the decline of a civilization, and it is simultaneously a war on personal freedom and development.

first and foremost, we must needs be aware that there are many factors in the decline of a civilization, and the effect of drugs should not overshadow all the other things that lead to extreme sensual pleasure or heightened spiritual or personal awareness that are just as dangerous.
[i refer to leary's rapture circuit]

the most defining and worrying result of drug use, to quote leary, is the "anti-evolutionary and regressive [...] drop-out philosophy".
what our civilization needs to maintain its superiority are goals, advancement incentives and defensive mechanisms (both physical and cultural).
without conflict or external environmental threats, these three things are extremely difficult to generate enthusiasm for. [i refer to george orwell - 1984]
in this day and age, one doesn't need to look far to find people who don't use drugs and who don't care much for the welfare of society as a whole - we are already self-absorbed, hedonistic, complacent and on our way out.

on a different note, the war on drugs is itself detrimental to our civilization in a number of ways.

1. as a drug-consuming species we will always find alternatives, and the medical and pharmaceutical industries do a wonderful job of diagnosing fantasy illnesses while pushing the pills to heal them. i refer here to stress, depression and adhd in particular - these are completely rational, natural, justified responses to the crazy and inhuman modernity we've created, not some defect that needs to be fixed.

2. the war on drugs - just as the prohibition of the 20's did - has redefined ordinary, participating citizens as "criminals" and given rise to a global underground network of illegal producers, smugglers and distributors.

3. conventional wisdom dictates that "prevention is better than cure", but we have seen that this is not the case with drugs. in fact, the dutch have demonstrated that on the whole, control rather than prevention works better.

when drug use isn't as extraordinary, the normative members of society are less enthusiastic in their consumption. [someone once confided in me that the reason that cocaine is so addictive is because it's a naughty thing to do. i think that holds for most recreational drugs]

the results of this phenomenon are that holland has less of a problem with drugs than its "warmongering" neighbours, while at the same time not wasting valuable resources on frustrating the drug industry. that's taxpayers' money being saved - lots of it.

4. the war on drugs inflates the prices by a tremendous amount - providing incentive for criminal activity on the parts of those less affluent elements. it also introduces unnecessary risk to users as the manufacturers have no reason to produce high quality merchandise.

to wit - there's no underground equivalent of the fda.

5. at present there is no country that profits from other drugs as they do from two of the most dangerous (short and long term) drugs on the market: cigarettes and alcohol. not only could our drug habits alleviate tax burdens, but sales to countries less sophisticated could turn into an immensely profitable enterprise.

6. a requirement of the war against drugs is massive disinformation that renders open and fair debate exceptionally difficult. this has created a major barrier of distrust between the relevant authorities and users who simply know better.

the above points make it fairly obvious - as it was to nixon's advisors* - that the war on drugs is a wretchedly thought up and awfully executed plan of action. unfortunately, though, we are now in a position wherein we cannot simply stop its insanity and move on.

* too many links!
war on drugs a colossal failure
politics of failure
the nixon administration
avoidable idiocy

here is the moment i've been leading up to. i hereby propose the following:

a) a complete revision of all disseminated information regarding drugs and drug usage, with an emphasis on the real dangers maintained but not at the expense of practical guidance; no exaggeration nor hearsay may enter into the discourse without causing avoidable issues.

b) complete legalization of recreational drugs, with precautionary measures taken to protect distribution channels and facilitate governmental control.

c) [and this is the kicker] drugs should be made available only to those members of society who can demonstrate that they are contributing to the welfare of the state, whether this contribution be through extra taxes, community service, national service or general philanthropic activities.

d) the same restrictions that currently apply for alcohol consumption (minimum legal age, requirements to be sober while on the job) should apply for any recreational drug.

i do not believe that these actions will bring about a utopian society, but they most certainly would do less damage to our civilization as a whole. in addition to alleviating the considerable strain on state coffers and reducing criminal activity, we could incentivize public participation and reintegrate a vast number of alienated members of our society.

not only that, and just as importantly: we could return a sense of freedom to those members of our society who use drugs. this is, after all, what we all claim to fight for.

for more details in an entertaining format: the union - the business behind getting high (available online)

---

on a side note:
if drugs do change people's personalities over the long term, then the effects that i've seen indicate that marijuana and lsd should be made mandatory... but that's another story, for another time :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

hard handshakes again

today was a solid return to the ritual - a great breakfast with the chef while posting, and reading leary on drugs, then a quick pass by the legalize marijuana rally to see what was up - not a particularly inspiring display :/

those two events did come together to produce something interesting, however. i think i'm on to something, a method to sort out this drug mess we've been in for the past fifty years. i'll post about it later when i've articulated it well enough.

on my way back home i saw someone hooting like crazy next to a woman with a pram. fortunately for me, he parked his car close by and walked more or less in the same direction, so i made a slight detour to have a chat with him. he was a highly offensive old man, but after i snared him into talking to me i at least got him to agree with me - although i don't know how much good that'll do in reality.

i was shocked at one of his statements, so much so that the correct response eluded me for a while afterwards (don't you hate it when that happens?).
"i don't talk to strangers*."
"yet you don't seem to have any qualms about attacking them with your horn?"

* there's no difference between the words "strangers" and "foreigners" in hebrew, and considering the questions that came after i'm almost certain he meant the latter, which is even more offensive. here i'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

i napped for an hour, prepped my apartment for cleaning and took off for the climbing wall. it feels like it's been forever... i did alright, though. i feel i should've done better, but it's definitely a vast improvement over the last two times we were there :)

i wish i'd put on sunscreen before climbing. i covered myself before the rollerblading group left, so i'm okay aside from the initial braising :P

the route was short (shy of 20km), but smooth and fun. afterwards i broke off for dinner and beers with karnaf, and now that i'm home and showered i'm having trouble getting out for lipgirl's birthday party - but i must attend. coffee should help a little...

student day - a taste of home

yesterday:

a bumpy shuttle with a driver who's into his horn – way to go, bright and early morning.

i didn't have much energy for work, so i snuck off a few times during the day to read wired, strum the guitar randomly and take short naps. i don't know if it really bothers me that my copy of wired arrived late this month. at any point in the month it's a welcome breath of fresh air for the brain :)

i went to the base store to get hold of some chocolate, and the kid working there was stuck into a book preparing him for the psychometric exams (the israeli equivalent of the SATs). he started asking me questions about my studies, and i took the opportunity to guide him regarding his choices. he was surprised to hear someone telling him to pick a course of study that interests *him*, and glad to hear that it's not normal to be 100% confident in one's choices – even after the fact.

i think it's important that everyone know that no academic studies, no matter how irrelevant to one's life choices, are wasted.

he got a phone call as the topic moved to zionism, so i left that conversation for another day :P

i thought i was going to have to eat lunch alone, but was suddenly joined by a few of the guys who ignored my call to arms. captain incompetent called me to assign me yet another task that he should have done, and the dinner conversation turned to how much the kinder and i can't stand him and his uselessness.
in fact, if he was merely useless it would be alright; the problem is that he's actually a hindrance to our section's efforts to succeed.

nystire's previous TL held her unit farewell after lunch, and it was one hell of a spread. she even organized marshmallows and guava juice especially for me :)
during the speeches, which were all fairly lengthy, an amusing thought struck me. vyomanaut had been going on for quite a while, so i entered the door code – surprising everyone with the door's buzzing as i tapped my watch at him.
luckily it didn't bother him too much, but i was a bit embarrassed and i felt myself turn a bright shade of red :$

i finally sat down at my desk with intent to get something done, when i was surprised by one of the secretaries walking in and beginning to vacuum. i mean, why would that bother me?

i went to the doctor – having waited two days for an appointment – only to discover that i didn't need a referral to see a dermatologist. i love how useful information travels so freely throughout the system :/

i was disappointed to receive a call letting me know that the interview i was getting excited for would be moved to monday... i was looking forward to it. in retrospect, though, that turned out to be a very positive thing – i was in time to meet wr and his girlfriend at tel aviv university's student day, and we had a grand time smoking nargila and talking stuff and nonsense over an acceptable excuse for whiskey.

when they left, i went to see eatliz perform, then milled around for a bit before heading home.

---
since wednesday night i've been very conscious of the fact that once again, i've relaxed my guard and my upper back muscles. do i need to memento myself, tattooing little reminders all over my body?

---
how long have i been taking myself so seriously? taking life so seriously?

i suddenly realized something about my attitude yesterday: it's as if, a little over ten years ago, i stepped through the wardrobe and entered narnia. all of this is real, the adventure with its trials and tribulations, joys and jubilations, but at some point i'm going to find my way back to the wardrobe and step back through it – and suddenly be 19 years old again and with my entire life on this side of it as ephemeral as a dream.

happy hour: the return

wednesday night:

nystire came over, and we travelled to mike's place together. on the way, i made a few calls and ascertained (albeit awkwardly) that i *hadn't* made a mistake with the ticket. sweet :)

the evening was fun, although i think that even that first beer was a bit too much for me in the state i was in (tired, confused)... i walked most of the way back with tahoma, who led us into the mcdonald's for ice-cream.

i simply cannot identify with people who go there for a meal. i was amused by their new “coffee shop” thing: in a city whose commerce is primarily coffee based, how sad it is to enter mickey d's for one's caffeine fix!

on the way back, some greaseball was hooting randomly, and i asked him to stop. when he asked why, i (i was tipsy at the time, i'll admit) listed four reasons. he listened to them, then asked me if it bothers me. i answered in the affirmative, and he invited me to come to his window.

yeah.

when we carried on walking, he began to hoot even more enthusiastically than before, and i knew that there wasn't anything to be done.

i ask myself: “is their any way to fix an ars (or chav, or whatever) without causing him harm?”

i see you
i see you, and you me
your hurt, your fear, your resentment
you fail to see yourself
and you lash out
lashing me to you
i fail to see your self
your hurt, your fear, your resentment
turning me to you
and i see me
and darkness hangs over my house
as i open my eyes inward
to the monsters of my heart

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the weekend approaches

i woke up to seether - walk away from the sun milling around my head. the day was off to a good start, seeing me catching the bus that usually eludes me and enjoying my marshmallow hot chocolate and biscuits on the way :)

i spent the drive there trying to read and laughing at idiot girl, who was trying to convince us of fast-food conspiracies to make the meals unnaturally addictive. conspiracies usually take more effort to handle than is worth the time of anyone intelligent enough to create one successfully.

on the way to lunch, nystire was regaling us with tales of strange websites selling pubic lice... i mispronounced "pubic lice", which in hebrew sounds ridiculously similar to "love lice".

lunch wasn't good, and a few comments from yesterday's genius put me in a bad mood. then the guy i met with last week showed up, and we began recruiting for a unit project. at first, i was pissy - the usual sheepish unit attitude got to me - but after a bit we managed to find a couple of interested people and we began developing some pretty cool ideas...

for the remainder of the afternoon i was asleep at the wheel and still being productive. i achieved a new milestone today before stepping out the office and realizing just how tired i am. i slept fairly well on the shuttle :P

---

i've just discovered that i might've made an enormous mistake - there are two conflicting festivals and i think i got tickets to the wrong one. how did this happen?!?!

feathered

i am feeling *much* better. i really need to write this down [oh look! i'm doing that right now!]: i need to sleep less, i need to exercise more. the second i go out of balance i hit a downward spiral.

---

in retrospect, leaving the dark trance on in the background while i tried to nap for twenty minutes was a mistake. i leave the "which part was the mistake" as an exercise for the reader. i got up, made coffee, dressed and fled; it wasn't until after we'd moved out from the cinemateque that my vision cleared and i started feeling groovy again.

so it turns out that skipper and the sexy new girl didn't work out so well; i rolled with her most of the route and we had some interesting conversations.

also, the photographer i'm friendly with joined us for his first time in many years, and we had stuff to talk about while racing like madmen. i have to say, with the heat and the speed i've definitely worked out tonight ^_^

the end of the route was a surprise birthday party for a kid in the group, and i ducked to grab a beer and (relatively) slowly come home. i'm feeling good.

---

i especially enjoyed stopping a guy who was hooting at us, convincing him to roll down his window and explaining to him that not only is it illegal, but pointless too and that we weren't getting in his way on purpose. he calmed down quickly, and i'm hoping that i got through :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

creeping bile

i just got off the phone with my internet provider's helpline - it took convincing to get them to agree to stop automated-calling me with promotional shit. i mean, i had to explain why. ffs.

---

i've been glum, awkward, and antisocial since the weekend. i can't figure this out. is this my depressive side? it's not cool.

---

i woke up just after 6am to sms my SC and go back to sleep - about half an hour later idiot girl called me up to ask what was happening. still sleeping, i told her that if she wanted to know, she could call my SC... no, she was too embarrassed. but not too embarrassed to wake me up, and then continue trying to convince me after i'd already said no. i put the phone down on her after the third attempt to tell her that that's what i was planning on doing.

she called again around 7am, to inform me that she'd called and to tell me when to meet.
"great! so i can go back to bed, then?"
"what?! no! you have to get ready!"

unpleasant, but necessary. i still managed to arrive two minutes late :P

---

the closer i get to the end of my service, the less tolerance i have for the stupid things. and i didn't start off with a whole lot. trying to move my project back to the network is proving to be an epic endeavour, with each person involved extending a leg to trip over. obviously, i have to lose my cool and get personal if i want things done - although the last idiot that i had to deal with ("last" as in "for the day") made me work to convince him to do the "not much" that he'd suggested he might be capable of.

i have very little hope left for these idiots.

speaking of idiots - captain incompetent got up my nose today. unlike my TL, i don't have the energy or inclination to waste my time trying to explain to him why he's playing with fire when he treats me disrespectfully. to be fair, though, i haven't really been showing him anything nicer than the finger for the last while - but that's only because i really can't stand him and his uselessness.

i didn't mention yesterday that one of the SCs moved all of my gear (pc, drawers, General Stuff) into the unlocked central airconditioning control room because it was bothering him. when i complained about the lack of respect for my property, i was told by two sources that he'd informed them that i'd been warned. which i hadn't.
when i spoke to him today, and told him that that wasn't cricket, his response was "go cry to someone else". another one to the list of people that need a solid series of slaps upside the head.

i have discovered something really interesting: it is illegal to use your car's horn unless in the presence of danger. i discovered that on our way to lunch off-base (nystire's old TL is leaving us), and that set us off on an argument / fight about social responsibility. the general consensus is that i'm wasting my time, whereas i feel that i'm at least making an effort and that has an effect on me (and a potential effect on others).

after lunch, i got into reading the iliad and was horrified to discover that i'd reached the end - warning or no, what a cliffhanger! i absolutely loved the entire thing, and i feel ready to tackle robert fitzgerald's the odyssey.

after captain incompetent ejected me from the main office and into mine, i played around with a couple of ideas and failed abysmally in a game of spider solitaire (four suits - and i just discovered that playing the linux version is far easier :P) before heading out. i joined a couple of the guys on the train, which was an excellent opportunity for a nap.

also, there was a really cute kid on the train who kept a couple of us entertained with his antics - his sense of wonder was palpable!

on the way to the train, one of the new kids was asked "why is the ocean blue?"
"isn't it because it reflects the sky?"
"no, it's because the fish go 'bloo, bloo, bloo'"
<pause>
"that's pathetic"
<a slightly longer pause>
"so it's not because it reflects the sky?"

i had a shower as soon as i got home, sat down in front of my pc while munching a sandwich i'd managed to produce unconsciously (i didn't even think i was hungry), and eventually got antsy and went to purchase a new folder for all the accounts and bills and things that have been accumulating in the corner for the last couple of months :P

...

it's almost time to get on my blades. i *do* need some exercise. also, my right knee's been stiff for the last week or so, and i'm hoping to get it right.

---

i never could get sea monkeys going :/

listening to dubstep radio, i just confused "so f***ing ill" with "so f*** an eel". considering the rest of the lyrics, it almost made sense.

big deals

i don't talk about my mother a lot, but tonight we had a very serious discussion about her future. the past couple of years have been exceptionally trying for her, and it's way beyond time that she gets out of her current situation.

i wish these things were easier done than said. but the doing is, as is the case with everything else, the important bit.

---

shiva chandra: the primary reason for my enthusiasm in going out tonight. i've heard him live twice before...
i remember mendrum; i remember skydiving. i most certainly don't remember mr shiva fluffy chandra with low-key beats and over-the-top cuteness in his overlays.

one track. one friggin' track, around 3am, that got me going with a smile on my face. and that was all. there may have been more, sure, but it certainly wasn't worth finding out. oh! how the mighty have fallen.

---

i forgot to mention yesterday how difficult i found it to decline an invitation to a wedding in spite of the knowledge that i was only given it as a formality.

...

my SC wouldn't let me go home this morning - which he apologized for later when he registered that i was supposed to be leaving early anyway - so i spent it hiding out on the internet computer catching up with webcomics when i wasn't reading the iliad or fiddling with the guitar.

lunch was improved by my giving the "chicken" to the kinder. it wasn't by consuming the dessert :/

for some reason my throwing arm seems to be in form, which is unusual. i scored a direct hit on a plastic bottle in another cubicle with a mini-chocolate, and later with juggling balls and a moving captain incompetent :P

...

tahoma suggests the general down might be due to serpentine influence.

...

i had to wait a remarkable amount of time to catch a bus when i left the base. they go past just infrequently enough that the kids are forced to push if they want to get on, which is completely unnecessary :(

on the bus back to tel aviv, i awoke from a nightmare having physically jerked my arms to defend myself. i was so shocked by this that i immediately forgot what i'd been dreaming about.

from the physiotherapist, i came home to shower and nap before munchkin night. i'd left just enough time for shopping, but only assuming an incomplete lack of competence on the part of the cashier. i have a knack for picking the special queues.

the game was good, although nobody had thought to point out that the stranger who'd decided to join us was neither unfamiliar nor welcome. at least things more or less worked out in the end, although there was an uncomfortable argument regarding a few rules that could have been happily avoided.

i chatted with my mum on the way to the club, so that took a little longer to get to than usual. which was fine, because it was still practically empty when i walked in and that was after a hassle to get through the door... i actually had to make a couple of calls, which was odd. at least they apologized eventually :S

ketamind was playing when i walked in, and he was brilliant - again :)
a cute girl at the bar started talking to me, and i thought things were going decidedly smoothly until she pulled out "the husband" (probably fictitious, considering the number of numbers i saw her trade on the dancefloor).

*sigh*
israeli girls.
*shakes head sadly*

dp and a couple of others rocked up, but nobody lasted very long as the music wasn't very inspiring.

---

i've just showered, but i can still smell the smoke, my eyes are scratchy, my beard's just a little too long (although i did trim my neck, finally)... i need some sleep.

Monday, May 10, 2010

caprica

today was exactly the kind of weather, visual and tactile, that post-nuclear caprica looks like in battlestar galactica. ultra-bright, irradiated. and a bit soupy, but that's our own personal touch.

---

i was called into my SC's office this morning and informed that as i've burned all my leave for the year, i've gone into negatives on the assumption that i'll be released earlier. essentially, i've been asked if i'm willing to pay the army to get out. it's a considerable sum - a bit cheeky, if you ask me - but isn't every bribe?

that took me all of... ummm, let's see now... zero seconds to respond with an enthusiastic "where do i sign?!" :)

...

later on, my informant confided in me that the request for money is a very good sign - it's the last thing that happens before the authorization goes through. hold thumbs for me!

---

mother's day began with me tired and slow. the first two topics of the day got me irritated: i can't deal with people who try for zero risk in life, and it pisses me right off to hear that so many israelis get offended by politeness. the argument goes that if i only call somebody up because i need something, then i shouldn't begin the conversation by asking "how are you?".

...

the morning was consumed by cake - good, good cake, and lots of it - and completing the registration requirements. oh, yeah, and being told i might have to go home early tomorrow. darn. [actually, it would have been awesome if that had happened on any other day, because i'm leaving early for physiotherapy anyway :P]
the official story is that there's some big-wig visit taking place, and nobody wants me around to make things look bad.

quote for the day:
lunch was a bit phallic, although not especially unpleasant. as i sat down, i told the kinder [who'd already begun] "i hope that while you're sitting at your desk and breathing through your mouth as usual, a flying monkey comes through the window and puts his dick in it", to which the religious guy sitting next to him responded by almost choking to death and nystire by getting the giggles.

getting from the base to the psychologist was a mission - not only was it an ugly day (and ashy, too, as there was a fire in the area), but the bus that took more than half an hour to arrive was too full to stop and that messed with the timing a little. i was shocked that the bus terminal i arrived at has absolutely no water or vending machines available for travellers :/

---

the session was interesting, and she had some very interesting observations to make about my lack of integration between the extremes of my personality. i quite like this woman, and i'm more than a little impressed.

i only regret that i side-tracked myself when discussing relationships with people, and she didn't correct my course. i took the thread from "dealing with things we don't like in those close to us" to "getting to know people", so my homework for next week is to remember to begin there :P

a question that popped into my head on my way out: am i a spiritual paedophile? i don't think so. as much as i like coaching, i prefer hanging around with my superiors to being with my peers, and i far prefer my peer group to people who have yet to figure themselves out.

---

i walked past stop st. and couldn't help but take a photo on the way to the bus.
i made my way to the primary base, and delivered my consent to bribe as close as i could (to the office next door with a post-it), said hi to my informant and walked home.

as i came out of the park i saw someone sleeping in their car with the engine running. it makes sense - it was too hot to sleep without the airconditioner, but i figure it would be less wasteful and polluting to walk the hundred metres to the park and lie down in the shade somewhere. i didn't want to wake him, though, and i only thought of leaving him a note when it was too late to do so :P

i peeled off my uniform and hopped a bus to urchin's art school (her lack of navigation skills got me running around a bit until i found it :P), and after seeing an interesting (although not inspiring) exhibition we walked back into town. i was in a very strange mood, and went to bed very soon after arriving at home.

what's all this sleeping about?!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

silent party no 1

i'm impressed! it was weird and silly for the first half an hour, but then people began to arrive in droves and it turned into a brilliant, funny street party with masses of smiling, dancing, laughing, singing people ^_^

there were two djs, and the electronic stuff was funky as hell :D

---

today was bubbly. i had a lazy breakfast with karnaf, blowing bubbles all the way there, and then every now and again (the elderly bunch next to us seemed to be having a blast) until the guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder:
"if one more bubble comes over onto our table..."
so much for bubbles being the universal soothing balm - he *could* have just said something the first time, i would have stopped. asshole.

i was too tired to join his friend directly to the beach, and slowly walked home (enjoying the smiles my bubbles caused) for siesta. i pulled myself out of bed for the headphone party, stopping for cake with icg's friend on the way.

i ran into a bunch of people: the ex-neighbour, the trance gang, ssf (two years?), and it was a really fun afternoon! i enjoyed keeping the kiddies entertained - the big ones too ;)

i ran into singer as well, and we had a pleasant chat - it took a while before we hit the point of no response :P

the queue to return headphones was too long, so i headed back to coffeeholic where the chef prepared dinner and we haggled over the music while i read about poetry until it was time to go.

i slept a couple of hours, showered, and i think i'm going back to bed soon. what a nice weekend :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

on five very important hours

after posting, i spent some more time transferring from my blog over ouzo and lemonade (an interesting parallel to arak and grapefruit juice). i was so tired after such a long morning that i went straight to bed after that, spending the rest of the afternoon alternatively sleeping and reading.

i got up and took a pleasant walk to the train station, where i lounged on a bench listening to jimi hendrix while waiting for her and her boyfriend to pick me up.
dinner (steaks) was exquisite, and was rounded off by the mousse and meringues for dessert.
at one point, those of us at the kiddies' table (including a delightful and very pretty friend of one of the cousins) were invited to join the adults, but when we asked what they were discussing there was no doubt that our conversations about partying and snow sports were a lot more interesting, so we invited them to join us instead :P

i was highly amused to discover that the lecture that i attended on thursday was the first of the series (in almost twenty years) that her grandparents had missed :P

on the way back, the discussion revolved around new york - apparently we're all going to be there at the same time. i was also glad to be able to advise them with regards their plan to do a road trip through canada - my mum and i are experts after getting lost in 2006 :)

i arrived back in tel aviv around 11.30pm, and immediately got in touch with chm. a few minutes later i was directing him to the laika for the dubstep party, and i hopped a taxi because i wanted to make organic's set and he was finishing up in less than forty-five minutes. the taxi driver made it in good time, and my luck was with me as i ran into a friend of scrapper's on the way (the sweet girl that's borrowed my copy of jhonan vasquez - i feel sick) and she was able to direct me :)

i walked into the laika a bit awkwardly, said hi to one of the guys and grabbed a beer, shared a very strange non-greeting with one of dp's friends and stood at the side being impressed by a wicked dubstep set. when he was done, i listened to the first couple of tracks from the next set (ketastep) before heading out for a breath of fresh air and to say hi to scrapper and his friends.

i now have a photo of one of them, drunk, hiding up a tree. the next twenty minutes or so were highly amusing, and when they left to find food i returned to the laika, running into chm on the way and picking up my ticket for the indigo festival ^_^
the set was in full swing, we'd all relaxed a bit, and i was simply blown away by the music!

the set after that was techno, and the transition was jarring so we left. we met up again outside a club on ben yehuda, but the guys weren't thrilled and continued on to the penguin while i made my way home. i got to bed, exhausted, around 3am. i'd had a great night.

---


i woke up around 8am, and the following popped into my head:
as i prepare to leave the army, i realize that there is no bitterness inside of me, merely a raging sense of injustice and an abhorrence of my completely corrupted, institutionalized internal alarm clock.

i decided to venture to cafesito for coffee and posting, and i'm feeling better about the start to my day.

---

powerpoint monotonics, as mentioned thursday

urchin: "well, because in my school there is a [writing department] and i thought you would like to know. you love taking photos and you can take one course from a different [department] every year."
i fought the urge to be condescending in my response, and won. how does one explain the difference between in-depth academic studies and a professional college course? in *my* head it's all so obvious!

if this trailer is to be believed, machete is going to be a contender with kick ass for movie of the year.

Friday, May 07, 2010

a picture of a picture

i couldn't help myself last night - i *had* to have wafers in bed. the word popped into my head, and i should've suspected that it was already defined :)

i woke up at 6am, angry with myself for doing so, and it took me at least half an hour before i felt like i could get back to sleep. i was wrong, but i did read a bit of the annoted alice and i suppose that i rested physically, which is something. i had murcof - the versailles sessions playing in the background, and i've decided that it's not my cup of tea. nice, but not enough beat for my taste in relaxation.

around 9 or 10am i took my netbook for a walk to cafesito, and got to work transferring from my blog until i was interrupted by my old neighbour. we had a long, interesting chat until urchin arrived for breakfast, and after that she took me on a roundabout mission for film because she wanted to photograph me and my diary - which is here.

so now, after much walking and moaning and shopping and talking crud, we're sitting at cafeneto - or at least, *i'm* sitting and typing this as she photographs me. it's a nice friday, but i'm thinking of spending the rest of it doing not much at all.