Wednesday, August 25, 2010

interlude

holy crap - i already have a crazy amount of posting to catch up on. considering the fact that i was too bombed to move today, and that i now have to pack and go to the laundromat, i've decided to take this opportunity to post that i'm starting to get very excited about leaving for tokyo tonight... helped along by pg offering to give me a ride to the airport.

i think our date tonight was quite successful.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

mount royal

saturday, august 14th

sometime around midnight
the flight was super-quick, and suddenly we were in montreal and meeting my aunt and returning to a comfort zone we left in 2006. i like this city, too.

we spent the rest of the day doing family stuff, including a quick visit to a touristy place with k-twang and cls (well, she *is* the first "common-law spouse" i've met :P). we all talked and drank and ate and talked some more, and i'm now absolutely exhausted.

also, i'm horribly aware that i need some serious exercise to work off this belly i've let loose.

...

expressions for the day:
do-it-yourself yoghurt
and
meat-carrot


---

monday, august 16th

4.30pm
sunday morning's coffee was tarnished with the taste of the family's anti-smurf sentiment. it's not appropriate for me to be wearing such clothing, apparently, and my cousins will not be seen in public with me and my smurf vest.

huh.

i spent the morning posting, then made an attempt at playing team fortress - the xbox controls are not comfortable or intuitive for someone who's spent such an incredible amount of time playing counterstrike on the pc...

sunday is piknicelectronik day - brilliant! the second dj was far too minimal for my tastes, but the rest were excellent and the vibe was terrific - kids and party people, young and old, and the biggest complaint i had was that it drizzled for a few seconds but never actually rained...

it *did* rain when we needed to walk home from the metro though. oh, well.

the metropolis club was filled with canada's answer to chav's - not the best crowd. the first dj was alright, the second better, but the main act was boring. crystal castles is simply uninspired. the aggressive lighting didn't make them any more palatable.

i was completely exhausted by the time we got home, and put myself to bed as quickly as possible. t'was a disappointing end to a fantastic day.

...

i woke up this morning already planning on getting back to sleep, but was dragged out shopping instead. i've very glad to discover that my anti-consumerism philosophy has saved me a tremendous amount of dosh over the years... shoes*, shirts, trousers... it's unbelievable how much these things cost.

* the shoes had us fighting in the store - i've been told that my taste runs to "fugly" and that only old people would wear what i was looking at. meanwhile, the shoes they wanted to see me in were horrid enough to make my hackles rise.
we eventually compromised, so now we're all unsatisfied.

after spending some time considering it (having accusations levelled at me concerning my lack of realism in my non-conformism) i suppose there are occassions, likes dates and business meetings, that i could stand to dress for.

maybe i won't throw out my (rather expensive) threads post-tokyo.

after a decent food-court lunch i went milling around, lazily finding my way to the arts building at mcgill. after enjoying the noticeboards and wondering about a rather intriguing sign on a door ("PLEASE REMOVE ALL FOOTWEAR BEFORE ENTERING THE ROOM") i walked in to a quick chat with the english department's acting director of graduate studies, who was most helpful.

i paid a visit to the administration office, and was seated in front of a computer and shown where to navigate to on their website (pretty clear, surprisingly) - i now know what kind of money we're talking.

pretty big money.

i bussed home after milling around the mall for a bit, and i think i'm good for that nap.

---

23.31

i feel a bit shit - i was a right bastard to my (male) young cousin and i'm gonna have to apologize for that in the morning...

pre-dinner drinks and dinner were great, though. that nap earlier was truly necessary.

---

wednesday, august 18th

past 2am
i slept rather well, and woke up in time for family breakfast. the kids went off to work, and i joined my mother and aunt for a walk in atwater. that was a pretty serious pace they set, and the path is beautiful.

the clincher was brought to bear: *if* i were to be accepted into mcgill, and *if* i could arrange matters so as to be able to attend, then i would be able to enjoy canada's rather lengthy snow season as a local.

*THAT* turns me on.

the advice i received much later on about bringing a good woman along with me seems most practical.

...

we bought liquor and marmite on our way home for lunch. so much for controlled quantities of food...

after lunch we bought liquorice (atlantique? fantastique!) and visited westmount to see what will turn into an ice-skating pond during winter. nope - no hints there. from there we drove back to town, stopping for starbucks and then picking up my (female) young cousin.

when we arrived at the salon, i left my testosterone at the door while i went in for a mechanical back massage, a pedicure and a foot massage. my feet were left so soft and unprotected that afterwards i managed to soak back up a little bit of the testosterone puddle when i stepped into it on the way out. [ugh.]

i *had* to romp barefoot on the grass when we returned home again, and it felt groovy! the carpet inside feels pretty swell, too ^_^

i was going to nap but transcribed instead. k-twang arrived to tell me to get dressed, and we went to meet cls in chinatown. we had brilliant dumplings and other good food, and i only spilled about half of the juices / sauces on myself...

we took the metro to a nice bar, talking over guinness and raspberry beer (raspberry?!), then hit the imax to see inception. i have to say that that was *definitely* an experience worth repeating. even if i *did* begin to desperately need to pee from about halfway through, and the combination of not wanting to miss anything and not wanting to distract anyone else proved more powerful than my bladder's discomfort.

i could barely walk by the time it was over, but i'm pleased to report that my desperation overcame my shy bladder and i was able to make use of a urinal when there were other guys all around me :)

the evening was consumed by chatter, and i had a wonderful time.

tiredline

today, 2pm
'cause when you're serious about siesta... [i proceeded to kip for a couple of hours, only waking up to sit on the porch]

yesterday... shit. on tuesday we visited chinatown and surrounding areas in the morning as well, and i completely forgot about the mission. i was impressed at how much of the place i remembered. yesterday we went gift shopping, and the afternoon would have been uneventful if cls hadn't received the good news: she made the dean's list for her master's, and is all good without having to resubmit.

amazing!!!

i'd already hit the rum before she arrived, i'd poured myself another glass to toast, so i was already feeling it by the time we all arrived at the ultra-posh tennis club for dinner.

dinner was nice, although sometimes a bit awkward and we were attacked non-stop by hordes of mosquitoes. we left relatively early and i decided that i needed to nap before going out... i slept straight through until morning.

i spent this one trying to read, but proved more capable of napping in the glorious morning sunbeams... and later sprawled out on a comfy couch indoors.

i was woken up to be challenged with the task of brushing the dog's teeth. even though i feel like the two of us have really connected over the course of the week, it proved too difficult for me to convince him to open his mouth.
we went for a drive down the quiet-town lakeside of montreal, stopping for a pub lunch (i had a beer with fish 'n chips) before sleeping it off the entire way back.

now i'm bombed.

---

i feel the need to share: we drove past "wild willy's", where it looks like they sell frozen yoghurt.
ewwww.

---

good grief, i'm still wiped out. the results of twenty minutes online:

last week i read the original article, and thought it was brilliant. i finally got my mom to read it, and she thought so too.
now we have to worry about idiots misunderstanding it, and this guy misunderstands hard. it grieves me that i know far too many people who would fall prey to such rubbish.

piraro's been on a roll since the 10th, it's well worth flipping through until today's!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

sitting

at first, on a step on the side of the road with a white choc mocha, enjoying the beautiful day and watching the passers-by while thinking about not much. mostly about a girl, and the possibility of living (at least for a while) in a place which knows snow.

now, sitting on the porch with a glass of rum, just relaxing and chatting and knowing that everything really is going to be just fine.

far from the core

thursday, august 12th

11pm / midnight
we began today with a long coffee for internet access, followed by a laundry pickup. today was rainy, and began on a fantastic note because the first guy to walk past us got excited when he recognized grace slick on my shirt :)
also, the cute blonde girl working downstairs seems to have taken a shine to me. not that that really means anything.

after a false start at the starbucks (the girl got my name wrong, and Weird Foreign Guy behind me couldn't figure out his own) and some facebook / posting time, we were ready to face the Pharaoh.

By gum, we're both extremely glad to have seen the King Tut exhibit - it's apparently the last opportunity before it all goes back to Egypt. it - is - incredible. the artefacts are magnificent and the history fascinating... *well* worth the time and money.

after we finished there we stopped for a superior deli lunch before heading to museum mile... not a very successful visit. although we were treated to a mind-bending beggar:
"excuse me, i mean no disrespect but do you mind if i axe you a question?"
i looked at him expectantly.
"first of all, i'd like to thank you for not running away..."

my mother responded first, cutting him off with "not if you're going to make speeches".
*there* is a man who needs to work a little on his pitch...

we bussed back down to 54th, and arrived just as the rain did. we went hunting for sugar - i *love* the drinks selection in the states! - then entered the museum of modern art. much like my experience at the tate, the enormous building overflows with fantastic work, from van gogh and picasso to jess (*DAMN*), and they had a special gallery set up for matisse that was really something.

i wow'ed and whoa'ed a lot.

we left just after 6pm, not at all sated but in a hurry to make the 7pm dinner arrangement with her family.who makes such early bookings?! we arrived fashionably late - by taxi - only to discover that they'd pushed back the reservation by an hour and a half so we traipsed to the closest starbucks to sit (for what felt like the first time in ages) and caffeine up.

dinner was brilliant - crispos is the real deal and the food was terrific. it wasn't too expensive, either, and we all had a great evening... although by the time we got around to dessert jet-lag was taking its toll on a couple of them.

my mom and i took the subway back to the hotel - the station's about six blocks away and it was raining pretty heavily, but i like the rain and hope some of the photos i took come out alright.

my mum enjoyed the rain a bit less than i did, so she got dibs on the bath and as soon as she's done i'll be ready to get ready for bed.

---

saturday morning, just after midnight

NOOOOOOO!!! i can't believe this part's at an end... i am NOT satisfied - there's tons i haven't seen, and i haven't so much as smelled a whiff of the party scene(s)...

next time.

...

we began the day in the starbucks, breakfast online and tapping feet in time with the old woman dancing at the next table. it took a bit longer than i'd anticipated, but i was really happy with the results of the first round of photos.

from there we hit the empire state building. in retrospect, we should have done that first - it's a fantastic introduction to the city. i'm really grateful to the usher who performed an impromptu speech for us - otherwise we wouldn't have taken the audio tour, which would have been quite a miss!

next stop: coffee. i carried my bitter brew (bold pick of the day gets two thumbs-up) on the bus, and we made our way to the guggenheim museum.

yes, yes, the architecture rocks. it does. a large proportion of the installations are phenomenal, and a lot of the paintings on display are fantastic, too!

it must be said: the museums are filled with beautiful women. they can be a bit distracting sometimes :)

we found a great traditional new york deli, and bought ourselves packed salmon lunches to walk into the park. they were excellent, and we slowly walked them off across to the american museum of natural history.

it's a wonderful museum - made me think that not taking one's kids to places like that is criminal. we napped in the planetarium (because that's what happens - i wonder if whoopi took fees for talking us that lullaby), then wondered through the dinosaurs, advanced mammals (very cool!), biodiversity and the oceans. overload!

we took the subway back to our hotel, and i slept the sleep of the dead until just after 6pm. i groggily got ready for the walk in the absolutely *stunning* afternoon. we stopped at dunkin' donuts for a two-doughnuts-and-coffee special before walking to the subway station... my mother had trouble with the gate, and we ended up walking to theatre row instead. good thing we'd left early enough.

holy crap.
friday evening: LOTS of people. i hadn't written down the address of the theatre (genius!), and managed to transpose the digits... fortunately we weren't too far off, throwing two dollars at the burger king's internet cafe bought us the info, and we arrived just in time to pick up our tickets at the box office.

we went to see richard dresser's wonderful world (presented by the attic theater company) - my mum wasn't too impressed, but i thought it was brilliant! not easy to watch, but i believe that's only because the acting was a little too convincing :)

we found a pharmacy on times square that had a whole bunch of things we needed, then went looking for pizza. we eventually found a couple of places, and although they weren't quality i more more focused on the principle of the thing. the slices weren't bad at all, either.

that was a big week, and i'm sad it's over so soon. i think we did well, and i've had an amazing time!!

---

newark, 10.20am

waking up early wasn't a hassle, and neither was packing. i was really sad to be leaving, no matter how cool spending time with my cousins in montreal will be. it was a gorgeous morning, and everything's been smooth - not including the bookstore experience.

i'm always offended that my mother doesn't trust me when it comes to reading suggestions, *and* i was horrified to see the secret sitting on the store's recommendation shelves.

also, i'm irritated that i can't connect to the free wifi - boingo's $10 per month connection keeps taking precedence. i blame my netbook. oh - and speaking of cash complaints... i had to pay the $25 check-in fee this time. what utter bullshit :@

---

when did i write this? i remember scribbling it, but not the context:
general gripe
welcome to my sweet little mechanized state
where the military industrial complex churns out weapons of hate
we can wipe out all our neighbours before it's too late
but only if we're weak enough to take their bullshit bait

we march down perfect beachfronts singing ditties and love
while panic and terror rain on from above
when there's nothing to do but take off the glove
and swing out at ghosts while we strangle the dove

the macho men swagger while frail women swoon
all stare disapprovingly as they pass by the loon
he's smiling and laughing, what a buffoon!
'cause he's not willing to feed off the lies on their spoon

for breathing and sighing there's definitely no time
we're all paying the penalty for a victimless crime
as our air and our water's fates turn on a dime
and our fine arts are going the way of the mime

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a big bite

tuesday, august 10th

00.15
i came back to the hotel from starbucks, and typed out my previous post. i rested until my mum arrived - how strange to meet in a different country! i may have expressed similar sentiment in 2006 :P

we went right back to starbucks after she unpacked so that we could sort out some emails before they closed [i can't get used to the idea that coffee shops in new york close relatively early]. from there we waltzed up to times square, stopping and gawking at various places (especially bryant park - huge crowd watching a movie) and chatting non-stop.

we picked up a sandwich and some drinks, then strolled back past grand central - very impressive at night.

now that i'm post-shower, i'm contemplating crashing.

---

wednesday, august 11th

almost 2am
i have learned a lesson in humility today - these new yorkers are made of tough stuff. not only physically - i'm broken and exhausted and spent most of the ride seriously straining and the second half with my legs and ankles in agony* - but also mentally. we rode through harlem and the bronx and some of the kids didn't take too kindly to white folk passing through their territory.

thrown bottles can be hazardous to one's health.

* when my right thigh locked up in the middle of the bronx, i was informed that i could carry my blades and take the subway back to manhattan barefoot in the middle of the night. uh, huh...

after a bath (i *really* needed it) and force-feeding myself a good post-workout dinner, i'm ready to document the day and sleep like a baby.

...

we thought we'd gotten an early start this morning, but it definitely wasn't early enough. i found myself agitated for most of it. that mild irritation / stress was not helped by the metro machines giving me a hard time, completing the deal by charging my account $27 without producing a card.

i was pissed. that *HAD* to happen to me, right? right.

we got to the staten island ferry, but couldn't make heads or tails of it. we walked to the ellis island ferry, but we weren't prepared to wait three hours for the ride.

instead, we visited the horse nation exhibit at the national museum of the american indian, which was quite interesting. we stopped for breakfast at some arbitrary place on broad street, then walked wall street to south.

"bodies" was on show at the museum - *well* worth the entrance fee. that's one hell of an exhibit!

we sought a beard trimmer on the way back to the subway, but had reservations about what we found. i returned it to the shelf, and we continued to 72nd to visit the skate shop.

almost as soon as we got off the subway, we found a mom & pop's hardware store that sells the ideal trimmer - score! we found the skate shop without any problems, and after trying on no less than four pairs of blades i was ready to rent.

we went on a really funky mission to find a reflective band for the night riding, which brought us to a place called the shake shack - awesome food, good prices and excellent vibe!

we walked and talked through central park - incredible! - before emerging next to the apple store. that store sees a lot of people.
my mom got to see the ipad in action, and then it was time (past time) to head back to the hotel, stopping at the h&m for socks on the way because my mother was horrified when i exposed my holey ones while trying on blades :P

i thought i'd have time for a cup of coffee before leaving to meet the group, but i was so busy trimming my beard and having a quick shower that that didn't happen.

...

full respect to the city of new york - blading in the street is legit, and it feels safe. also, most of the roads (bar harlem and most of the bronx) are smooth ^_^

gliding down madison, through harlem and washington heights and then over what i suspect was one of the northern-most bridges, down past the yankee stadium and along the grand concourse most of the way back to whichever re-entry point to manhattan let us roll over into 5th avenue, and down that until i eventually got back home: that was one hell of a way to meet and greet the city!

the people in the group are really decent folk, and as much as it pained me i am *really* glad that i didn't choose the easier social group (so-called because unlike tonight, one can breathe enough to chat).

i feel like i earned a merit badge tonight.

---

13.45

we woke up early this morning to subway switch to the ferry, and spent the rest of it being fascinated by the giant green lady* and touring the immigration museum (stay away from the canteen!). now siesta, then busy again...

* one of the guys in the group shared an amusing experience: he was standing in the crown when it was opened, and couldn't help himself:
"hey guys! we're in a woman's head! can you hear that? can you hear what she's thinking?
'i wonder if wearing green makes me look fat?'
" - apparently some of the other visitors weren't too impressed :P

---

11-ish (not concentrating, too tired)
we learned about buses today, after dropping off laundry and returning the blades. i learned about godiva chocolate before we went through the picasso exhibit at the metropolitan museum of art - *DAMN*. i found most of it absolutely stunning.
rodin's works are fantastic too, and we milled about until closing time.

the mime show outside was fairly amusing.

we strolled to the park, walking past a girl i think was in the preparation for the officer's course with me - i didn't really feel the need to speak to her. i think we passed each other again much later: weird.

the tickets were $10 more than i'd expected, but i was fortunate enough to bump into someone willing to part with one for half price - sweet! the concert was AWESOME. it was fantastic being there with my mum (who lasted three hours), and we both thoroughly enjoyed mixing with the crowd - so that's where all the new york hippies went? groovy!

the music was absolutely amazing! jackie green and gov't mule are now both officially on my list of favourites.

my legs were sore, though, and we were both exhausted. we left after experiencing the most beautiful and touching rendition of working class hero. we walked up and down the streets on the way home until we eventually stopped in at a "gourmet deli" (not the best deli ever) after i was accosted by an aspiring musician (or con artist, we'll see).

i definitely need to sleep.

Monday, August 09, 2010

from friday to new york

friday 6th, 2.30am (at least):

too - much - playstation. that motorstorm is addictive. my thumb hurts.

...

i got a ride to the office, and got stuck into the anthology until SxS arrived and left me chatting with one of ze germans on skype. some of the conversation was quite interesting - he was horrified that i would do something so financially irresponsible as to go back to university, especially when it's for something unrelated to my career.

i thought about it all a few times since - i've come to the conclusion that while there could definitely be easier times to do it, now is without any doubt the best opportunity in context of where my head's been for the past... decade. i'm pretty damn sure that i'm doing the right thing, even if it's not the smart thing.

it usually isn't :P

i went with to the office depot (very impressive, compared to the israeli version) then returned to that area by myself to visit at&t. great service! and although they don't have accessible wifi, they weren't embarrassed to send me to the subway thirty metres down where i could call SxS on skype :)

a bit later i did the same on the office network to call my mother on skype - i have come to the conclusion that a world with constant access would definitely be a better one. since then, i've seen the iphone in action (the lack of service worldwide prevented me from seeing it in all its glory) and that experience has only strengthened my conviction.

we stopped by a petrol station (a lá clerks) on the way home; not only did i find salt and vinegar pringles, but it turned out that they were produced in israel (where you can't find them).

of *course*. *facepalm*

the evening was as chilled as it gets: swimming pool, dinner, console gaming. now - i sleep.

---

oh, shit. the bad news for the day: the new kindle is out. it makes it a mission to purchase an old one (eh?!) and it renders it obsolete to the point where it is, in fact, preferable to lug around the anthology in india and wait a couple of months to make the purchase.

i probably would've been pissed if i *had* secured one before finding this out. one simply can't win.

---

my digestive system's doing weird stuff. i can't tell if it's acid reflux (which would indicate, however unlikely, the successful eradication of my h. pylori friends) or ye olde lactose intolerance's pizza nightmare (i *had* to treat myself to a dairy dessert earlier).

---

friday, approaching lunchtime:

i woke up uncomfortable - i hope i'm not coming down with something. i dragged myself out of bed for breakfast, was introduced to the ipad by a four year-old and then stretched out on the couch to watch a bug's life.

i wonder if i have time for a nap before we go out to eat...

---

pre-shabbat dinner:

it's nice to bring flowers and have them received with enthusiasm - i'm really unfamiliar with the whole experience.

we didn't meet for lunch today, so i slapped together a sandwich and grabbed a yoghurt, uncomfortably conscious of the fact that my b12 programme may not be working out.

see - today i began worrying about hair loss. i washed my hair and watched bits of it floating in the sink. not tufts or anything, but in enough quantity to make me suspect that i'm not absorbing quite enough from the pills and my general diet improvements.

bummer.

i watched a show on rhinos and finished reading about gawain (yay! on to chaucer!) before heading upstairs for a quick nap that lasted over an hour and a half.

then it was time to go shopping.

---

sunday, august 8th:

9.30am
mid-morning wake-up: it's been a rough day and a half.

friday night: dinner was great. afterwards, i watched SxS's brother playing starcraft 2 until SxS was ready - it took him a while, he appeared to be suffering from the hollywood mean on wednesday night (is that possible? or did we pick up a bug from somewhere?)...

after much patience and nervous spoiler avoidance, i was taken to the imax in fort lauderdale to see inception. that was *TOTALLY* worth the effort! an insanely beautiful, clever and elegant movie!

walking out of there and into downtown revelries was a decidedly dreamy experience - we caught a cab back to SxS's friend's place and spent the rest of the morning watching pirates of the caribbean (all sighs for kiera as king of pirates).

aside from enjoying that thoroughly (in spite of the exaggerated snoring and flatulence from the diggs-mate sleeping on the couch), i spent the night attempting "inception" on myself - i have had a revelation.
i have spent many years unable to submit to a higher power, attempting to perform and take responsibility for all of god's tasks in spite of the fact that i know that "he" will take care of everything.
it doesn't matter which aspect of myself is in charge, and leaving things in god's hands will leave my ego less taxed / stressed. maybe *that* is why my hair's falling out.
"and now, it's time for us... to give a little love BACK to god"
- ministry - psalm 69
there's a well-known story about footsteps in the sand; to keep with that metaphor, every time god's tried to carry me i've stubbornly been trying to keep my feet on the ground.

---

saturday was spent in bed. in the evening, SxS and i went to the cheesecake factory for a great dinner, after which i was handed over to reflection. the two of us went to fetish factory to window shop, then to his place to watch videos until it was time to go.

we stopped at moonlight diner on the way - great place, great pancakes! too much, though - i need to start ordering half (human) portions...

the club (Xit) was very cool, the music was great, the girls good looking (and dressed to kill - sexy steampunk? HELL yeah!) and everyone in general really nice and easygoing... the only problem here is that there are so few people in the scene that the evening was really low energy... and by 2.30am i was falling over.

luckily SxS was still around and about - we met up with him at a burger king (grand milkshake) and i shivered (a cold grand milkshake) all the way back to boca.

i can't believe this week is almost done.

---

monday, august 9th:

6am
almost done packing - i'm going to miss this place big-time...

we went shopping for a universal adapter yesterday, and came home with something that proved less than useful. at least the hotdog stand outside made the trip worthwhile.

we drove up A1A to look at the houses on the other side of the intercoastal, then sat down at an aussie-style restaurant called outback for great steaks. i enjoyed it immensely, but was made a little homesick for cape town.

after saying goodbye and thanking my hosts, i passed out in front of speed of life - phenomenal documentary.

---

almost 10am, on the plane

i couldn't keep my eyes open on the drive to miami... i don't know how SxS managed.

outdoor check-in? the clerk "did me a favour" by not charging the american airlines "check-in fee" ($25) - what the hell is that?! he then (unsubtly) suggested that a tip would be greatly appreciated, but i didn't have any small bills on me.

i walked into the building with the unsettling sensation that my luggage and i would not be arriving simultaneously...

the subway 6" bacon & egg breakfast (plus giant coffee) was excellent, although i strongly suspect that the girl ripped me off. and what is it with spanish being the primary spoken language in miami???

i've been reading the introduction to the canterbury tales - as long as the narrator's voice (in my head) speaks with a scottish accent, it's mostly easy to understand.

i'm fairly certain i'm going to fade away as soon as the caffeine boost wears off.

...

flight inspectors are supposed to do things by the book. we had to wait for an hour before taking off because some idiot hadn't signed to log-book.

geez.

---

new york, 3pm

there are screaming babies on aeroplanes, and we deal with them. the little girl behind me, however, was too old for the infant pass and screamed and bawled and sobbed and wailed and yelled way past any amount of time that could be considered reasonable.

i *really* wanted to smack her mother.

i happily found my luggage (and didn't have to wait very long, either) and walked out of the building straight onto the shuttle. i'm glad i walked from grand central - it wasn't a long way, and it got me excited.

i think i'm going to like it here.

...

walking randomly, eating a great bagel for lunch, and abusing starbucks' wireless - soy caramel frappucino? fantastic.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

travel post - first flights

monday, august 2nd:

it's almost 10am, and it feels like stupid o'clock in the middle of a long week. i left my apartment tidy*, but i didn't get an opportunity to wash the floors and that's noticeable. at least i'm packed - i couldn't help smiling when i discovered at check-in that i hit 8kg exactly :)
i'm so tired and weak that it feels like i'm lugging my pc and crt monitor around and not just my netbook and the norton anthology :/

* i cleaned my whiteboards too. i used them to leave useful information and even drew a map :)

i almost bought a bottle of johnnie walker black - i'm extremely grateful to the sales clerk for asking if i had a connecting flight: watching them throw it out would have been painful.

*BREATHES DEEPLY*

israelis pushing and shoving wound me up prior to passport control. my mood wasn't improved much by the usual security check tension, although for once i was presumed innocent. maybe i'm finally learning to pack and dress correctly :P

i really, really hope i sleep on the flight - i'm broken.

...

i think i might be on holiday.

---

eleven hours later - so four hours of flying time? [yes, i'm kidding]
i've discovered that scrapper's writing is chilling, that this month's wired is inspiring (as usual) and that the best use for my netbook so far has been reading comics at high altitude. i've managed to catch up a fair amount of sleep, the food wasn't so bad (not bad at all, surprisingly) and wearing flip-flops was a stroke of genius.

---

NEW YORK! and here i was thinking that the first world had wireless - karnaf had mentioned that israel was quite surprisingly advanced in this arena. the problem is that idiot me hadn't written down SxS's details on a piece of paper...

at least 3G worked (albeit poorly). [i'm going to be paying out the nose for *that* mistake]
i was just telling ru55 i'd found them when he sent me the info via sms :P

the line for passport control was long. the customs officials made life a lot easier than i'd anticipated (i have trouble filling out forms), and soon i was off getting lost in jfk. everything takes me a couple of minutes to process...

no matter. i'm on the plane with candy in pocket (a good thing, too - only first class american airlines passengers get snacks) and wired on lap.

i think EST agrees with me: we'll see how i feel later.

---

tuesday, august 3rd:

7.30am
i was shocked to have slept the entire second flight as well! and here i thought i'd get some reading done. miami was "off the plane, long walk, pick up bag, step into the decidedly warm midnight air, meet SxS and hit the road".

the roads here are as they should be - impressive. the drive was fairly long and i was tired, but i wasn't too far gone when we arrived to appreciate the mad opulence of his brother's place.

it's HUGE. and BEAUTIFUL. and provides plenty of lessons in both humility (on my side) and excess consumerism (theirs). to be fair, though, aside from guilty feelings stirred by drinking bottled mineral water instead of just using a filter [okay, that was SxS and not the household in general - but i didn't know that at the time], my only problem is getting lost in the kitchen.

i think i can sleep a little more.

---

the next wakeup -
mission kitchen duty: status improved
mission shoe doody: status clear
mission doorbell response: FAIL
---
wednesday, august 4th:

6.30am
tuesday's lunch was full of woe. i'd been woken up from the "just falling asleep" phase of a post-read nap by SxS; "burger" was an automatic response to the question of lunch. we drove to ben's around the corner, a giant jewish pseudo-kosher deli... the service was lousy, the burgers inedible, and the only saving grace that they scrapped the bill when they registered our dissatisfaction.

that would've been a good-enough ending (more-or-less) if the waitress hadn't explained that the problem might be that we're not used to eating kosher meat.
that's got to be the worst advertisement for eating kosher i've ever been exposed to.

back at home i got online, then finished reading kafka's metamorphosis and began going through a lecture on it by nabokov. i didn't get very far before needing another nap. i was woken a bit later and we went for a swim, after which it was time for dinner (good kosher burgers).

there was a lot of television watching in the evening, and i played motor storm until lights out - hearing slipknot on the soundtrack impressed me no end! fun game.

~~~

i didn't feel like sleeping, so i took to watching pump up the volume instead - so i *have* seen it, or most of it. it's great seeing it again, regardless.

---

TODAY ALL I WANT is to return to the womb
it's a morbid idea and it fills me with gloom
the child that is me simply wants to be free
to think nothing thoughts, shirk responsibility

i'm bland and i'm boring
i'm tired and i'm testy
i'm drained and i'm dopey
i've been sleeping too long

why should i feel so guilty
when i relax, take it easy
am i so used to running
that i can't walk but crash?


---

almost 5pm
did everything get better when i had my first cup of coffee? say it ain't so!
i watched van wilder after spending an hour in bed pondering and pontificating: i need to get my priorities sorted out, and i need to get comfortable with doing nothing. isn't it always about remembering to keep perspective?

we went to check out SxS's future house - beautiful, spacious and tasteful; intimidating, even. we got to talking about my apartment - i really will need to start thinking about renovating / upgrading (relatively) soon... [again - whenever i'm completely stable. that could take a year or two]

before that was lunch - reasonably priced sushi with free entertainment provided by the ultra-trash woman who couldn't handle her wasabi - "uh! uh! uh! uh!" and we all thought she was having some kind of medical emergency - SxS tried but failed to capture the awkward hilarity on video :P

we've been at the office for a short while. SxS was right about his developer (reflection) and i having a frightening amount in common.
i facebooked and read comics until my netbook battery died, so i figured that it was time to scribble.

[*creates to-do list, feels better about himself*]

---

thursday, august 5th:

12.21am
so we're back at home and i'm in bed, hoping that i won't need to throw up again. i don't know* if the dinner was disagreeable (SxS also complained) or that i couldn't handle so much rum after so long...

huh - one of SxS's friends ordered neat rum before i did. nice.

...

we skipped home from the office to change clothes before driving to fort lauderdale. nice pad, dodgy 'burb. from there we drove to hollywood for drinks and pool. reflection and i spent most of the evening agreeing about music and almost-agreeing about philosophy.

sharp kid.

i felt terrible (although i thoroughly enjoyed the trance in the car), and i'm not sure how much better i'm feeling now (although the urgent discomfort appears to have calmed somewhat). either way, i've cleaned up (my helix appears to be far from healed) and it's time to crash.

* it was definitely the food. i didn't drink nearly enough rum for that to have been an issue.

---

it's really nice to sit out here by the pool; i feel like i'm on a retreat... oh, wait. essentially i am. i've just discovered the espresso machine and learned how to operate the washing machine, and i suspect it may be time for another dip before i get settled in front of the playstation.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

from the office

this is just a quick note - i've been debating internally whether or not i should be posting all my scribblings in real time, and i think i'll play catch up soon. in the meanwhile, i've done nothing but relax and i'm working on not feeling guilty about it.

i caught up on a bit online today:
atheism's extreme - w00t! more full agreement with my views :)
moo again? i giggled.
no inception spoilers! especially seeing as now i'm *certain* that i'll get this movie.
jane austen's fight club: righteous!
here's a dude who deserves a dollar - seriously. WOW.
the hyperrealism exhibit just blows my mind! i hope i get to see it :)

Monday, August 02, 2010

just another couple of hours

*breathes deeply*

this is nuts - i'm still not packed, and my apartment's still not clean. the trauma of having the washing machine stick and blink (turned out i'd overloaded it, but the manual says* "check the filter" - grimy fingers for nothing) added to the surprise discovery that on friday night's date i managed to step in something unsavoury (at least it was dry already... i didn't notice?!) on top of the distracting heat and distracting facebook and distracting netbook upgrade (shouldn'a done that)...

on the plus side, i handed over a spare to karnaf and got skype working on my n95 (it can do that?! it runs on symbian and works fantastically over the neighbour's wireless). now i *have* to shower and get this shit sorted out before crashing.

* yes. i keep manuals lying around. and i read them. my mommy taught me well.

---

another great olde find: a banned mastercard ad

Sunday, August 01, 2010

fortunes!

i didn't get much sleep last night... i woke up, made a few calls and then skipped off to the bank to pay my tuition fees, having read the instructions and called the admissions office to verify that i'd understood everything correctly.

the whole ordeal with the bank was smooth, which brought a smile to my face - it was only later that i discovered that tuition fees in israel are traditionally ignored until the last minute, so i actually had nothing to worry about :P

oh, well - i'm sorted for the next year. and wr gave me permission to take his copy of the norton anthology - english literature travelling. i was thinking of buying it on ebay, but i'll save my... $5 or so... until i really need it.

speaking of $5 - ozdoc's mum gave me fifty aussie dollars because i thought it was a pretty note, and that came in handy today :)

on my way home from the bank i noticed that someone had tossed out a somewhat worn-out wooden set of shelves. thinking that it might work out, i carried it home - not taking into account the intense heat (today was killer) and arriving inside drenched with sweat and sore of arms. that was my exercise for the day, no doubt!

so the shelves fit, and match, and make a positive difference to my lounge... i'm liking the way things are going :))

i went to the city garden to pick up a proper notebook for my journey, stopped to buy sweets for the flight, and came back home to struggle with the html copy of my boarding pass until i got it printable. how do people without web development skills deal with it? do they print it out spread over two pages?!
disgusting.

i took it to the printer's, and on the way got my dress watch's battery replaced. after such incredible exertions i took a nap for an hour, before heading to the hardware dude for a last shop and a cup of coffee.

---

i'm well pleased with pg - she sent me a message suggesting that we meet up when i return. i was really happy about that, and then i bumped into her when i left the apartment again. i felt it a bit strange because we'd already said goodbye... twice... but no matter :D

---

i've finally sorted out all my papers and shuffled around bits and pieces, and although i still have to pack my bags and clean my apartment, i'm pretty much ready to go.

...

WOW!!!

---

in other news:
of course my beard-trimmer would cut out mid-shave.
i'm fairly certain that if my h. pylori was dealt with, i have it again.

i quite agree: attempted rape shouldn't be funny, but even i'm amused.

starcraft 2: i wonder how long it'll take me to settle down enough to obtain it? that, plus fallout 3 (which i still haven't played) will be hallmarks of my freedom. and snowboarding. lottery, anyone? :)

university website usefulness: i know this one. and tau's is especially bad. it *looks* like it's easy to navigate, and then *BAM* you're lost :/

connect goodbye

i met up with scrapper and we went for burgers, where our d&d dm (eidetic) joined us. we talked science and philosophy for a couple of hours, and would have continued if not for the fact that i'd promised to go to one of the group's farewell bash and felt obligated to make good.

i'm glad i did. the more of the group i meet, the better my impression of the whole... and i got my i feel sick comics back :)

the quotes for the night:
"we're not so unimportant: the concept of 'the universe' wouldn't exist without us" - part of my "proof" that we're worth saving

"i am blessed with the genetic imperative to bring about positive change" - just a stray thought that occurred to me on my way home