Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the first of the midterms

yesterday:

the first exam was killer. i managed to confused the tempest and aristophanes, for chrissake. he picked words so obscure for the definitions that we - as a class - are convinced that he never mentioned them. i made some *stupid* mistakes.
the essay was alright, though.

all that, and i haven't mentioned that i *really* needed to pee for most of the exam. i don't know why i didn't just get up and go to the bathroom. i just - don't - know.

a few of us met up for lunch, and talking about the experience was depressing. it most certainly wasn't helping me prepare for the next one... i met up with wr afterwards, and spent a weary hour (i definitely hadn't slept enough) sitting on a swinging bench with him discussing girls and funny shirts and good study practice.

when i stepped out of the elevator for the second exam, i found everyone standing outside the door, huddled in groups. tension was high, and wasn't broken by the look on my face - a look of despondency that i didn't have the energy to fake away.

the second exam was just as bad as the first. the only differences were that most of the second class is already in their final year, so the level was fair, and that the essay question was so badly worded that none of us could figure out what he wanted. we were told (the lecturer is overseas for the week) to write our interpretation of the question and answer that.

i, for one, enjoyed the essay. i actually found my own response to be interesting! that doesn't make me think i'll get a good grade overall, though. i'll consider myself fortunate if even half of my answers for the first two sections were on the mark.

i walked out with a pounding headache that lasted me until rather a bit later. our next class began with an explanation of what to expect from the midterm - quite unlike the previous two. it sounds pretty cool, actually.

i was having a (deservedly) slow day; tear-shaped breasts and the bobbits were interesting, but not powerful enough to draw me in.

i would've left campus sooner had i not ended up searching for the caretaker of our neighbouring building to ask him to fix a leaky faucet...

i almost took the bus to work, but fortunately remembered my dinner arrangement with kc's grandparents before it arrived. prior to that, our class philosopher scrambled past me to catch his and he was pissed about the exam... since then it's become an issue that half the class is looking to fight with the lecturer about. i like our lecturer - i like that he's pushing us to learn - and learn a lot - but he really was nit-picky.

i visited the cousins and we had a great evening; they're really excited that i'm seeing someone so we've been invited back for dinner on friday :)

i made a bad call regarding the buses on the way home. i didn't want to pay the extra for the inner-tel aviv bus, so i got off at the university train station. not only did i get off two stops too early, but i assumed that the late buses pass once per hour, and i was halfway between two stops when another went past. i figured there was no way that would happen twice... and i was wrong. i had to walk through a construction site (marked awfully) which took a while...

i quickly changed and rushed to pg's for drinks. just at midnight she presented me with my jack in the box, and the messages began to flood in. we talked and drank, then headed off to the key club for a couple of hours.

[continued...]

making thirty

not all of my posting for the last two days is on a positive note, so i need to begin with the important stuff:

today i turned 30. this wouldn't be an important marker for me if i hadn't gone and defined it as such when i was a first-year in UCT. that was a year wherein i redefined (for myself) the word "excess" and went so far as to procure a certificate formally declaring me clinically insane (i'd only paid the campus psychologist a visit to get an exemption from the duly performed requirements: a good friend of ours had committed suicide, and that kinda slanted the semester).

my mum called me earlier, and we discussed that fact that she recalled me coming to the conclusion that the likelihood of my surviving this long was rather low... it had bothered her quite a bit. i wasn't too thrilled with it either - and then scrapper made a comment (at the beginning of the year, i think) that the way i behave apropos sleep and exercise wasn't good for survival...

... so here i am. *knocks wood* having reached an interesting milestone. i've professionally achieved at least as much as i anticipated when leaving south africa more than ten years ago, i've maintained my idealism and innocence, i've made enough good connections that more than 10% of my facebook friends (i'm near 1200) either left (mostly) personal messages or called to wish me a happy birthday, i've finished with my military service and managed not to be recalled for a court-martial during the six month "danger period", i have a wonderful girlfriend* and i'm doing something i absolutely love even if it's making my life difficult to manage.

* she made me a really sweet gift: a jack-in-the-box fluffy smiley ^_^

so life is good.
reaching thirty? all good.
what's next?
not the foggiest, but - to quote the guys from our UCT orientation team - the future's so bright, you - gotta - wear - shades.

Monday, November 29, 2010

prepping for milton

my method turned to a combination of sleeping and studying. i think i learned a lot, actually. i was also an absolute pig and ate pretty much every scrap of food that remained in my apartment - i even finished the cake (so i ate the whole thing, basically) and forgot to leave some for pg :$ :$ :$

eventually she arrived and we watched the devil's advocate. i *love* that movie!

now for d-day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the weekend flits by

holy bat, crapman!
seriously, i didn't have a chance to post since thursday. ridiculous! i'll try and keep it short - i have (more) studying to do for tomorrow's exams.

---

thursday:

thursday morning was a groovy morning, i like having solid psy beats on my iphone. i also like starting the day with milton, because he was an absolute genius and knew how to drive all the right things home. the devil's advocate's homage to him was not out of place.

the university has a degree in scriptwriting that doesn't include literature? weird :S

i paid the student union another visit, and was pleased to hear that arranging an anime night shouldn't be too difficult. we'll see.

i had lunch with a couple of the girls from our class - the conversation jumped all over the place. it has been suggested that we make "free hugs" signs for campus :P

i found myself a quiet class to prep for the next lesson, not realizing that i had way more to read than i'd thought :(
two girls and an older guy in a wheelchair came in early (like, 45 minutes early) for their next class, so i soon had to escape the distraction. i *had* to respond to the last thing i heard them say:
"are you two talking about 'healthy lifestyles' in relation to food?"
"yes?"
"just remember that sometimes it's healthier for the soul to be less cautious with the stomache"

the chatter game: even the guys who weren't in on it made a lot of noise... the philosophy student was supposed to present and he hadn't read any of the book, so we all talked loads of rubbish until the end of the session.
i couldn't stop thinking of jefferson airplane's triad vs pierre and his kinda-sister and lover all living together in a 19th century version of a commune...

our italian lecturer has learned to speak hebrew! in less than a couple of months! that's kinda creepy - it must be his experience with classical languages :P

i managed to bring freud to bear on melville. i've been tainted :S

i was shocked, and pleasantly so. the ars from the poetry class? he came up to me before the lesson and apologized for his behaviour. that's so far out that i don't know what to make of it!

studying langston hughes put a bee in my bonnet... i'll post it later when it's a bit more done.

---

one of the girls in the class advised me to sit in on a political talk - i'm shocked. there's a left-wing zionist movement? that's nuts! it sounds like they've got the right idea... combining humanist morality with self-respect and self-preservation is a solid way to go. so far, it looks like the first party whose foreign policy makes sense... we'll see how this progresses.

of course, i had to say something. i agreed with everything the guy proposed, but took umbrance with "none of this is at all racist". of *course* it's racist! this country was founded on the basis of racism, that we need a place to go where we can escape persecution as a race. there's no need for wordplay, and no need to be ashamed about it - we do have obligations to our neighbours, though.

if they're being friendly / non-threatening then we have to treat them with dignity and respect. if not, then we have to fight fire with fire. what's important is that we - as we've been trying to do since 1928 - separate the country into two states so that we have recourse if attacked.

...

speaking of which - i was just accosted by a self-hating jew involved in the hardcore left-wing project to show how cruel israelis in hebron can be... i agree 100% that we shouldn't be unnecessarily violent, but i think that anyone who sends out only half the story and sends that half a story outside of our borders is a traitor. what they say must be said, but only to people who understand the (unfortunate) context of the actions.

and those people they say it to must be forced to do something about it. our political situation is too tender to be inviting trouble from people who are looking for any excuse to cause it.

---

i spoke to her grandparents to arrange a meeting (i haven't seen them since before i left for the states) and my kibbutz cousin - from her daughter's profile pics on facebook she's looking really good, and i'm really glad for her!

suffering a bellyache i left for work. the ride was uncomfortable, also due to a couple of kids punching each other repeatedly... i don't care if it's in fun, it sends out warning signals to the other passengers :/

at work: i have a new desk. i don't know why. i made a bit of headway with the java/xml, argued atheism with a co-worker who turns out to be fairly well-balanced, then decided i'd had enough and went home, painting a portrait in my mind's eye of an old-school god pulling the strings of an industrial world, holding the reins, holding a cage of humanity, and then that same god freeing us from his own yoke.

---

friday:

after a long sleep and a slow wake-up, i went searching for masks and toys for my masquerade. i joined a couple of classmates for a quick study session at a coffee shop, then sped off to the wall.

my arms hurt. my fingers hurt. these finger push-ups aren't as quick-fix as we'd hoped, apparently.

even the wall's going to the dogs? some kid brought an ars friend, who didn't stop talking shit and being abusive. i hope he doesn't return (when we're there, at least).

the phrase for the day: green is the new orange.
good thing i'm into both of them.

---

the evening blade was tough! really tough, and long, and good. the only thing i wasn't happy with was the bit where we stopped for a lecture (that happens on fridays), and the professor made a statement about the english being lucky in their battle against the spanish armada.
they were lucky - but not in the battle itself. they were lucky that they had queen elizabeth in charge, because she was cool enough to put someone like francis drake in command. and francis drake was a pirate.

the professor wasn't happy to be corrected.

---

pg'd been weird on the phone - i'd spoken to her a couple of times during the day. once we met up on the way to dinner, things were cool again. i'm fascinated by how easily we get along :)

dinner at her sister's was great, and included southern comfort and hoodwinked! - very, very cool!

---

saturday:

another long sleep later, and i woke up to study with the group. it was a morning of cake, brownies, coffee and derision. while there i was distracted by facebook - all of the notes for the big mid-term have been published on the group's page along with discussions and useful links, and it is without any doubt the most persuasive use of facebook that i've come across.

---

who doesn't like free lunches? it's not really free if the prices is irritation. my roast-beef salad took so long to prepare at nona's that i had time to observe everyone else's dissatisfaction and have them share in my incredulity (i'd been the first to order)... they eventually brought it on the house, but their attitude was shit and it was too little, too late.

i returned home with barely enough time to prepare for my own party... i sprayed my tinfoil bug hat bug-colour but then realized that i didn't have anything to go with it... so i suited up. that's a really strange thing for *me* to do.

doing finger pushups with the guys in the middle of rabin square while wearing a suit was amusing. playing frisbeer in a suit - also. and pg played too, and isn't bad at all - nice!

i consumed beer and wine and cake* and sugar the entire evening. not too many people came, but it was an enjoyable get-together and that's what mattered. i hadn't been planning on celebrating anyway...

* what a cake! pg baked it herself, it's absolutely brilliant and i'm still going through the leftovers ^_^

negatives: a drunkard / very high ethiopean dude came stolling by, and stopped when he saw that something was happening. i tried to civilly get rid of him, but that wasn't working. pg responded surprisingly aggressively, and our differing opinions on dealing with him put a bit of a wedge between us (momentarily, at least).

i wasn't impressed with him palming something out of his pocket and stepping towards me - everyone around me said afterwards that they sensed me go into battle mode. one of the guys called the police*, at least, and we managed to get rid of him without incident. aside from me having been "activated". i have a lot more potential for violence in me than i'd like, and i *hate* having people opening that door.

i don't understand unnecessary aggression.

* they stopped him a short while later - at least nobody else had to deal with him

---

one of the guys from the rollerblading group rocked up and, as usual, was full of beans. we spent the rest of the evening arguing up and down - sometimes friendly, sometimes really not, and i hope that by the end we were both under the impression that things were cool and that it wasn't just me...

pg provided some interesting insight into my side of the argument... i'll try to keep it in mind for next time...

---

we had a loooooooooong talk goodnight that involved a lot of very positive notes.

*happy sigh*

---

today:

thought for the day:
a man willing to burn everything to achieve his goals will only succeed if his goal requires a wasteland

once pg and i were on a bus this morning, i called dan to complain that their planning committee is rubbish. the bus that's always empty and that was set up to alleviate stress from the always-full campus line was a double, and the full one was a single that was so overloaded that it didn't even stop for us. i was told my message would be passed along. if the woman i'd spoken to had taken my number, maybe i'd have believed her.

more cake for breakfast, a class on british history, a simple and almost tasty lunch, giving a lecture on freud and narrative* on the grass... that was my day.

exhausted, i took the bus home, stopping to have coffee with the hardware dude and talk politics after the leftist wanker had walked out. i've been applying for jobs and posting this since i got home, and now i'm uncertain as to whether i need to sleep first or continue studying first.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ars poetica

no time to check this for errors, i gotta run!

---

monday

the day started with me missing the comfortable bus because i wasn't prepared to run - the one i got onto was sardine-packed; reading and grooving in the midst of all that squished humanity would've been fun if i hadn't had to be wary of corners.

the first class of the day:
ego boost: i was under the distinct impression that one of the cuter girls in class was making eyes at me - she even gave me a huge smile when she walked past to go outside.

studying john donne: most of the class was bored, and that boredom was infectious. later on someone inspired the following thought:
"would that discovering donne were comparable to finding america,
but his manuscript islands seem as elusive as they are fabled bountiful
"

the teaching assistants for the class are unpleasant. "the register didn't make it to your side of class? tough. your signature is your responsibility."

i spoke to the lecturer about my concerns that writing both of his midterms on the same day might be a little much - "you'll be fine!"
i bloody hope so. that's a lot to recall :(

one of the girls somehow managed to leave her phone on my chair, and the group of those willing to help me return it joined me for lunch (they weren't familiar with the cheaper canteens).
one of them's a vegetarian, and we had an interesting discussion about the practicalities of the anti-meat ideology. "interesting" because she actually listened to what i had to say [scroll to the bottom]. and understood. you want animals to be treated well? *do* something. protest. attack farmers.

don't be passive-aggressive.

i accidentally sent a .) instead of :) - that would've been cooler if it had been a ?) - :P

---

i went to the campus job office, and gave the girl my details.
"i have something here... no, wait, it's not relevant. you've got a degree."
her co-worker and i both explained that they're looking for someone who still has a couple of years as a student left.
"no, no - it clearly states..."

i don't know how it is in other countries, but here we're in trouble. most companies go through people who don't understand the requirements. they force the applicants to lie just to get past them, and they filter out so many who'd be perfect for them because they're too damn lazy to go over resumes themselves.

they're shooting themselves in the foot, and keeping honest and useful members of society out of the workforce.

---

the second class was fairly interesting. i got to argue that america's take on incest isn't as hard-right as it used to be because that behaviour is practically normative if one looks at certain populations... like rednecks.
i couldn't help myself:
"come on! you haven't heard the expression [pulls out bad southern drawl] 'where your mother's your sister and your brother's your cousin'?"

---

the last class: poetry. with two arsim sitting in the back hitting (loudly) on one of the girls. after a couple of people had made shushing noises at them, i half-turned and indicated that they were bothering me.
"what can we do?"
"stop talking, perhaps?"
one of them was halfway out his chair, the other beginning to threaten me, and the girl raised her hands and claimed that "there's no problem, it's all good".

it wasn't all good - who are they to ruin our class and then become threatening when asked to keep it down? i was on alert for the rest of the session, which wasn't comfortable.

i know they have nothing to do with the course... i have a feeling that they don't even speak english. how do animals like that find their way onto our sanctified ground?

[you probably don't see what i did there: it's a class about "othering" and i just justified torturing them]

---

having said that: i'm not sure how much i enjoyed studying ee cummings.

i realized on my way off campus that i have an iphone / ipod quandary. my iphone doesn't have so much as a tiny bit of my ipod's storage capacity, but carrying them both around is much less convenient; listening to the ipod precludes being aware of incoming calls or messages on the iphone.

*sigh*. such problems.

work: i was distracted and agitated the entire night.

---

one of my coworkers (the one who asked me to take the test) is far further along than i am... it's never clear how much of our (usually negative) interaction is in jest and how much is serious. that came to a head over dinner, with me playing a long, snide, multilayered scene out (playing both parts, with her sitting next to me) intended as a joke... someone else was listening intently, and by the time we were done none of us could be sure if things that had been said were for real or not.

it was all very confusing.

---

i felt lousy - sheer exhaustion, i reckon - and was irritated when reminded that i had a doctor's appointment early in the morning that i'd forgotten about...

and of course, we had a busy night. i can't recall a quiet one - there's always some idiot who bungles a simple procedure somewhere :(

---

tuesday

i scored a ride home with the other guy on our development team... the back of his bike, in our cooling air, was freezing.

waking up

i stopped at cafesito to suffer the kindness of strangers: the french woman i sometimes see there brought me study guides to learn french basics :)

i discovered phototaxis: EXCELLENT. i really like their sound!

scrapper has us all doing finger pushups to prepare for the climbing wall... it's good incentive to do *something* a couple of times a day :P

i spent a couple of hours resting and reading melville, woken at intervals to answer calls from prospective employers.

at some point i figured out (i think) a study plan... a good thing too, less than a week before the mid-terms :/

i hopped over to urchin's for a french lesson and to play with her cat... crazy kitten. it was a war until just before i left, by which time he was tired out and having his savageness soothed by some good trance :)

i met up with aforementioned potential employer at levontin - an interesting hour spent gabbing and planning, but i don't think we're pulling in the same direction. quoting laing at the end may or may not have been appropriate for a job interview.

on my way home i received an apology sms from my aspie coworker - i called her back to explain, once again, that i'm not so easily offended and that if i do cause her real offense that she needs to say so, verbally. i hope we're all getting along.

i was bopping to groovy tunes and reading on the bus; the woman sitting across from me suddenly poked my knee. i looked up, startled, to see half the bus stabbing their index fingers in the direction of the window: a couple of friends had spotted me and were gleefully dancing and waving at me.
i hopped off the bus, and we went for drinks. we spent the evening psychoanalyzing (an entertaining and productive experience) and they walked me back to my place with a discussion on the trance scene and how they'd like me to introduce them.
both the girls were really excited to learn that i had a girlfriend :)

pg came over, and we skipped danny gilboa's performance and had a pre-roll rest instead. the route was tough, so that turned out to be a good idea. at 1am we returned, i stretched a little and chugged a can of tuna (okay, not literally) before showering and crashing. erm... i'd had some things to do online though, so that "crashing" only really happened around 3am...

---

yesterday
waking up at 7.30am to catch up on class reading? dedication. i was nicely surprised with the following wall post (my psychoanalysis victim): to your question: it makes me happy because seeing someone who gives up his own happiness for the sake of someone else's just on the base of an emotion from somewhere there in the back of his stomach gives me hope in the human race. That life is not just here by mistake and that there's a reason for everything. love gives me faith and without faith i probably wouldn't see a reason to live. now what?

to be continued :)

i sat with eidetic on the bus - four hours later we met for lunch, and i couldn't remember what we'd talked about...

why are the wafers stacked on top of the vending machine? they're the most crushable, so why not give them less distance to fall?

i consulted (pro bono) with one of my classmates, eventually advising him to prepare an nda and find himself a programmer instead of trying to suggest a brilliant, simple idea to facebook so that they can reap the benefits :P

the professor began the lecture with "one more thing about freud before we get going with aristotle and chapman", and we were all excited.
that "one more thing" lasted until the end of the session.
that sucked.
in the meanwhile, i read an interesting article on "inalienable rights". i'll post a link when i remember. [i remembered]

i was sleepy during the second, interesting class. we talked about chronotopes and that reminded me of michael chrichton - timeline... i was sleepy during lunch, too, and so i lay down on the grass before heading off to work. i was just getting comfortable (and dreaming, i think) when i was jump-started by a phone call. it took me the next half an hour to calm down and by then i needed to get going :(

the bus to work was horrible. i was feeling nauseous - the bus driver was playing with the gas pedal and throwing us all about :S

after a slow walk to work i found myself dead tired and barely functional... the report fault that i'd spent more than ten hours fretting over turned out to be a problem with another department, and it took a while before i realized that i wasn't going to manage the rest of the day without STRONG coffee.

aside from performing a code review and adding to our development procedures, i spent the evening frustrated with java and xml (more on that later).

pg paid me a domestic visit (she was going to read, but decided to clean my kitchen instead?!), i struggled with building a release version (twenty minutes to figure that out) of my flex demo (i finally fixed something that was driving me crazy), and then i *had* to get some rest.

---

today

what? seriously? you're getting up an hour early just so you can blog?

---

does anyone recognize these characters? can they *please* tell me where to find the one wearing the crash helmet?!

evangelion 1.11! i'd completely forgotten.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

restless positivity

[from when i began posting, but got distracted]

i gotta say - i feel surprisingly good. i've been feeling this good since... well, since i shook the cobwebs outta my head after waking up three hours later than i went to bed. i'd fallen asleep listening to terence mckenna on youtube - fascinating and amusing stuff - and my body simply wasn't interested in my doctor's appointment that required that i respond to my alarm a mere 2.5 hours into the dream.

shit - i meant to write down the dream, but in my haste and confusion it got lost. i'm impressed that i was only ten minutes late to the doctor, and had a laugh when after all that she couldn't find the spots she wanted to remove (i haven't seen the sun in a while, apparently it makes a difference :P)

---

listening to terrence mckenna was inspired by hearing the rest of rest of jill bolte taylor's insight and then being put on to joe rogan. the man is amusing, but he also knows what the heck he's talking about.

Monday, November 22, 2010

*HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF*

i was terrified that i'd be spending all night figuring out how to compile and run flash, but i only needed a few minutes to figure out that i don't need the debugger. it's a nice-to-have, for sure, but at least i know i can test and deploy.

why does everything adobe have to be so damned complicated?!

---

yesterday scrapper asked me if i'd lost weight - since then i've been super-sensitive to how much i'm eating :S

---

today began with pg and myself being argumentative - it began with a simple misunderstanding concerning her homework assignment on the bus* and turned into a serious misunderstanding about walking around barefoot on campus), but lunch was altogether pleasant regardless.

* sitting next to eidetic on the bus gave me a math headache

our first lesson was what has now become a traditional mindbender... but i had a spark of inspiration - as soon as i was connected to the campus network i looked up all the freudian stuff on wikipedia and suddenly knew what we were supposed to be listening to...
i was also informed that i'm not the only one who thinks that freud's a fraud (storr - freud: a very short introduction).

and then i read an interesting piece on the myth of evolution: as a firm believer i cannot but take this with a grain of salt, and look to people who know better than myself to argue it.
evolution has been observed, and our current consensus understanding of the universe (big bang, et al) is without any doubt the most reasonable explanation, even if we cannot go back in time to observe it.

the last ten minutes of the lesson were personal, as the professor called upon me to repeat my argument from a week ago. i did feel kinda satisfied - she let me go so far as to throw out the basics of archetypal psychology and say "freud was wrong".

after quick coffee on the grass, two of us were *just* late enough to miss register... forcing us to beg to be included after class :(
we talked about an occurrence at owl creek bridge to cover flash-forwards and flashbacks: i used the opportunity to pull out all the stops on twelve monkeys and oedipus (and 21 grams as a prime example of trash).

work: our manager's description of the error almost misdirected me, but i caught the problem quickly enough and harassed him until i was quite certain i had all the details. users aren't supposed to know what the problem is... they're not supposed to guess, either :P

---

it's getting chilly! enough for a sweater, even.

---

our dev team is working against the it department. that's not cool. the r&d boys aren't playing ball either... it's kinda hard to be enthusiastic when they keep hitting us from behind.

aside from spending the afternoon / evening debugging, i had an interesting talk with some of my managers (one of whom sent me a link to a stroke of insight - a fascinating talk that reminds me very strongly of something else with similar effects...), wondered at the reflection of my growing israfro, ate marie biscuits...

---

i've been asked to follow christian-with-a-view
assuming i was the type to be following other blogs (i still don't
understand what is inferred by "follow") - would i follow the blog
of someone who unequivocally states "I am Christian and a Christian ONLY. I do not belong to any denomination. I attend a nondenominational congregation. I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God" after writing this?

steve: if you're reading and not just punting your own site, i'd love to hear your opinions regarding mine.

---

nystire sent me a good homeopathy strip. enjoy.

pg arrived earlier, giggling because she'd walked past a pair of phallic slippers a neighbour had thrown out... the night after i post about my penis hat? suspicious :P

now... to bed!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

primed

i feel like... like i need to go back in time and have a better weekend. at least primer turned out to be very interesting.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the day was long but the weekend short

aside from an hour or so of tekken 3 with scrapper and botchman, i can't say that i've enjoyed today very much.

my employer - well, he *must* be my employer if we're already sending out a quote - called me up a bit earlier and walked me through the flash stuff that i didn't get. now it all makes sense. now all i need to figure out is how to run the code without the debugger crashing each time :S

i made a penis hat. it's kinda disturbing. i don't know if i'll really wear it in class tomorrow.

flashing

i slept well. i slept a lot. i woke up and began playing with flash.
i understand the actionscript, i'm becoming slightly more familiar with the environment... but not familiar enough to figure out how this program that i need to modify traps mouse events.

considering the fact that all the documentation i've found points to only two methods of event handling, i'm lost :(

---

it appears that gco and i are on talking terms again. he's got to go through a polygraph exam, so after my horrific experiences i sent him a link to *the* most important document on lies.

and i've now updated my personal philosophy page in light of yesterday's stray.

breakfast club

thursday:

i slept for about four hours before posting and then got up to continue with the preparations. those preparations continued on the bus... and would have continued in class if the lecturer hadn't been so distracting. he reached the peak when he put on the tempest*: i was fast asleep until the lights went back up :$

* can anyone tell me which version it is that begins in a gothic setting with prospero describing the ritual, a woman swinging à la big lebowski and a kid peeing? i couldn't find it...

the girl i sat next to in class had her ankle all bandaged up - she'd not only experienced the tear gas, but been trodden on as well :(

i had a quick nap on the grass, then continued reading and highlighting to brilliant trance until it was time to meet with spider for lunch. i was amused retroactively when some of the girls in my class walked by waving to me - it took me a couple of seconds to register that they'd been laughing at me all zoned out and bopping my head to the tunes :)

---

lunch with spider was good - we have a new spot that gives more bang[ers and mash] for our bucks. we discussed kuhn and the validity of his ideas... he's definitely on the right track, but there are some Very Big Things he gets wrong because his scientific background simply isn't strong enough. one needs both deep science and deep philosophy, not bits of one of the other.

either that, or at least two people with the required backgrounds who can communicate fairly fluidly.

---

i stressed my way through chapters xi and xii of pierre, or the ambiguities and completed my notes just as the lecturer walked in... according to him, i was only supposed to present at the next meeting. i'd be damned if my stress was going to go to waste, so i chose to present then and there.

a pity that those last two chapters weren't on the menu - they were the more interesting ones. i made as much noise in class as usual, and i guess it went alright.

the last class for the day was on william carlos williams - it appears that lots of people really don't like his stuff for its mundanity; two of us in the class found the young sycamore to be decidedly sexual in nature - i say it's because of the spaces between the stanzas.

i went to work for over an hour, but didn't really get anything done - it's wonderful how complicated development environments can be, especially when more than one developer has to use the same machine :S

anime night: we began with tekken 3 - in my opinion still the best of the lot (but would you look at the price! crazy.) - and once we had five people we put on full metal panic. we got about halfway through the first episode before my apartment became overcrowded...

and then we put on princess mononoke. an obvious win, and a great evening was had by all. at the end, botchman created a loop of one of the wolves shaking the hero by the head - after seeing that a few times i began to feel a bit... disturbed...

friday:

the breakfast club: a bunch of us met on campus to put together a list of terms and definitions that we've acquired over the past month or two. it was a highly educational morning, and as some of the members weren't familiar with plato and some with british history, a couple of us went into lecture mode.

on the bus, a stray thought had exploded in my mind - one of the girls asked me why i don't take a place on the student union. what an odd idea!

at some point i found myself a little distracted... i went from mentioning my insight into scooby doo to finding ten creepy cool 80s songs in two moves, and decided that i needed to refocus :P
("i'm so goth, i shit bats" - is this really a bela lugosi quote?? i think the internets may lie)

it's really nice to be studying with a bunch of people with whom i'm totally normative! i keep meeting people who are way more into the things that interest me than i am, and this after spending years tied to an environment wherein everything i said was considered to be weird or awful.
this is definitely a place of healing for me.

after coming home i did some urgent shopping, running into a girl from the rollerblading group at the check-out. while most of the people around us were amused by our loud and energetic discussion, the woman behind me was convinced that we were being inefficient and wasting her time... at least she stopped after i - gently - put it to her that her stressing wasn't making things flow any faster.
sheesh.
i could understand if we'd been in the express queue.

i installed flash; i discovered that cs5 is not an environment i'm comfortable in. it's for graphics people, not software engineers :S

i needed a nap, and took one. pg arrived at some point and informed me that we were going to her mum's for dinner... dinner was really nice, and after dinner pg handed me her brother's copy of bone - old man's cave: i was lost until i got to the end of the issue. it's brilliant! i never realized bone was more than just a sunday paper thing.

we watched most of primer when we got home, but i was so tired that i began to fade away and pg wasn't at all interested. it hasn't got a lot of action, but it does have some nice ideas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

i surmise with my little eyes

a new proposed law seeks to tax our internet usage. that's stupid. where the hell is this country headed? who or what are we trying to become? are we emulating a model that's been proven to work?

experienced politicians are too jaded and self-involved to function as representatives for the interests of the people. justina robson shares some excellent notions of governance: only idealistic youth with no familial responsibilities are in a position to manage millions of half-crazed super-monkeys fairly. once you're institutionalized, you're no good to us.

go get a real job.

also: isn't a coalition government a direct violation of the principles of democracy? it is exactly against the interests of the voting majority.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

hating windows... again

this is stupid. it's an operating system that appears to be founded on jealousy: access to my own folders is granted or revoked seemingly at random, whether we're talking about documents and pictures or coding workspaces.

this is rubbish.

also in the news: flash builder doesn't know how to deal with flash. that's some deep metaphysical crap, man. i mean, wow.

...

and i hate herman melville. i *had* to get some sleep, and i now have less than an hour before i head to class and i'm just about halfway through the reading :(
[although at least i'm making notes along the way, otherwise i'd be giving up right about now]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wet ride

last night:
i'm really glad i have the iphone: reading up for class wherever i am is indeed very useful.

the ride last night was, strangely, mostly wet - it was a bit foggy. it was a good route, though. i spent a lot of it talking about myself; i was still a bit in shock (the being broke thing) but i did receive what sounds like mighty good advice.

i was broken by the time i got home.

---

after a decent night's sleep and a chilled, pleasant wake-up i found myself outside the class an hour early... the bus either gets me there really early or by the skin of my teeth :/

the time was spent lecturing some of my fellow classmates - a quick catch-up and everyone knew what was potting. if only the lesson had been as simple and poignant... it was a frightful two hours of freud, penis envy and the most disgusting member of our faculty dribbling on about masturbation... we slipped and slid with our nasty comments until we simply couldn't stop giggling - i had to leave the class at one stage because it got so bad :$

we've agreed that we all need to do is make penis hats and wear them in one of her lectures.

it was kinda sad that three of us walked in with empty laptop / netbook batteries, and there was only one socket... next time, splitter.

the professor in charge of the graduate program has informed me that i won't be eligible for any exemptions without at least 90 for each course... she was surprised when she discovered that i'm taking five courses and not two as she'd originally thought.
"that's a lot"
"i know"

i reached breaking point halfway through her class - it's tough to read *and* listen *and* participate simultaneously - and the vending machine outside took my fiver and sulked.

not on.

i pushed the button, eventually pushing it *just* hard enough for the coin to come out.

so i tried again. it got stuck again.
this time - i needed even more force to retrieve it. i managed to hit it hard enough that i not only got my coin back, but it had been turned into a tenner!
that's one smart vending machine.

after class i passed along my copy of alice in sunderland to the professor, who's (obviously) already impressed and hopefully will enjoy the content as well. i find it hard to imagine anyone interested in literature not loving it.

i - as usual - forgot about meeting with pg after class :$
we sat together for about ten minutes, and just after she went to class i met up with spider and eidetic for lunch. lunch talk was on floating points, and i got bored fairly quickly... i was dead tired, but i didn't feel like sleeping on the grass. i probably should have.

i took the bus to work - missing my stop because i passed out for a short while - and spent my two hours there synchronizing with my second and dealing with a php page that gave the impression that it had been hurled together by a bunch of drunken, belligerent apes.

i ran away as soon as i could, grabbed a quick nap and then went with pg to the rally.

---

the rally began decently enough, the first speeches were, if not identical, very similar to those of last thursday.

an ultra-orthodox dude spoke - he had a couple of good points, but then he went completely in the wrong direction and lost our interest. a pity.

as we made our way towards the barricades i ran into her - what happened next i didn't see coming... just as i introduced her to pg, a guy next to us who'd tried to pass the barricade was caught by a bunch of thugs in uniform. they weren't ashamed to lash out violently until a bunch of us climbed into them (verbally) - including me and her.

the incident brought up all the anger and frustration, and i didn't hold anything back. eventually they let the dude go, and i was saddened when he replied, to my offering my details as a witness, that he wasn't going to pursue.

we spent the next hour or so in the streets, we had tear gas thrown at us, a couple more unpleasant incidents... at the end, though, one of the organizers gave a powerful speech (while the police videotaped as many of our faces as they could) and then we stood and sang the national anthem.

and then tried to go home. that took a while, because the police were "under orders" and didn't realize that we'd already finished protesting - they wouldn't let us out.

---

i've been offered some interesting-sounding work tonight - but first, i have a presentation to make tomorrow and i haven't done the reading yet :S

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

temptations

first, and foremost: to sleep, right here, right now. i'm exhausted to the point that my head's spinning.

second: to dream - it has been suggested that i might be able to find venture capital for an idea that's been swimming around the pool of my mind for the past ten years. that would be absolutely perfect.

---

i spent the entire morning struggling with flex - there're way too many weird "just because" issues with flex components. just before i took a break from that i got stuck in a math rut :/

then i discovered that all my airplay problems all centred around the installation directory. thank you windows 7, you're stupid. i had to uninstall, then reinstall to anywhere but the program files directory and hey, presto! pots and pans! it all worked fine.

i met up with ze british german and his partner, and we sat drinking coke and discussing a project they'd like me to do. looks good.

i came straight to work from the meeting (watching futurama on the way instead of getting some reading done) and have spent the past couple of hours at work discovering why my predecessor decided to move from flex to java wherever possible.

i find it amusing that he missed some of the finer points of java, though... like how to write fully object-orientated code...

squirrel nut zippers - ghost of stephen foster is officially one of the most beautiful music videos i've seen to date.

shivering

i took myself off to bed, but was far too stressed to sleep. a repeat of that low-grade panic attack brought me back to my pc, quaking in consternation, to get to work on one of the projects.

i grafted until 5am, crashed for 3.5 hours, and then woke up straining again*. i've sent off my cv to a bunch of new places and a long email proposal to yogi, and have come to the conclusion that the issue i have with finding work is timing. one month - this month in particular - simply wasn't enough.

* i wouldn't have managed even that if i hadn't slept with my grind guard... damn.

i'm convinced, although that's no guarantee. now stressing about whether or not to bail myself out with a loan. in addition to my mortgage. crap.

far too close

i've just checked my bank account - i'm NIS 250 off a negative balance. i'm not happy with this at all. i've also just given up on a translation job i was given: it may be NIS 15 per page, but damn it takes me a long time to do a single one. sod it.


---

it was a sweaty morning: not only was it hotter than expected, but a bastard guard at the gate gave me shit for trying to enter with my rollerblades and i found myself in the president's office trying to figure out who to turn to. it appears that this could be a serious battle :/

i was exceptionally displeased at the guard's aggressive tone - "that's just how i am" - and especially at his referring to me more than once with the word "pacifist" as derogatory. i didn't even register how much that word is loaded until just before i called up the head of campus security - half a year ago i completed my service having done more for this country than that maggot ever will, and he's rude to me on patriotic terms???

stopped
i sit and try to listen
to the fascinating sounds

but i can't hear anything
because i can't stop thinking
about the stranger outside

who doesn't know me
nor why he hates me



---

i felt bad being so smelly in class: it really was too warm to blade today.

i had lunch with a guy i used to serve with, who spent three weeks in japan just after i left. the conversation was quite pleasant until the end... a friend of his had joined us, and i found myself suddenly describing an experience that wasn't interesting to them at all and only sort of followed on from the discussion. i don't know what brought that on. they left as soon as i'd finished the concept, and i felt like an ass :(

i had some time to kill before meeting with yogi, and ran into a couple of girls from my class. pratchett and hillman saved their day, and the sentiment was expressed that maybe i should be teaching the class... the fantasy had crossed my mind, actually :P
[this is the same class i mentioned yesterday as being "redundant"]

i was in such a bad way by the second class that i even switched shirts - i assume it helped because i didn't see anybody's nose twitching. the description of the midterm requirements freaked everyone out - they're really harsh. it's been quite a bonding trauma, though, so we now have a study group going :P

unable to stop myself, i spoke out first and very much against herman melville - and was joined by a relieved chorus. my use of the term "mental masturbation" was received as appropriate, even though i know that the lecturer was disappointed...

there's a fair amount of crossover between his two classes, which works in my favour. what works even more in my favour is the preparations i made during the last couple of years - knowing things about the greeks and romans is useful!

our last class:
a) first fig really speaks to me.
b) we were told to google "kevin murphy". i did. i shared my results with the class. they were amusing. i still haven't found the english professor i was looking for :P
c) we read and discussed frost's home burial last, and were treated to a bit of panic ensemble... i was inspired to attack the professor with the lyrics to tool - schism (off lateralus). i think she liked it :)

in spite of the earlier troubles, i strapped on my blades right outside the building* and rolled straight down the hill. i sped home, stopping only to sweat in the shabby thai food parlour until my half a kilo of beef veg noodles were ready (i ate them with chopsticks as i rolled the rest of the way home - i find that comforting for some reason), and would have gotten to work right away with the translation if i hadn't (desperately) needed a shower and received a few phone calls...

* what?! *GASP*
the reason given by the security team for no wheels other than bicycles being allowed on campus is that we'll be tempted to enter the buildings without switching to shoes.
that's nonsensical.

i met up with a bunch of guys from my last unit for beers; loads of chatter - the kinder is desperate to know why i lost my security clearance and all he has to do is wait two weeks before i can talk. i know i don't have to talk, but i don't feel i have anything to be embarrassed about either.

pg joined us towards the end, so i got to see her a little at least. i returned home to get the translation done, gave up, posted, and am now trying to decide whether i'm going to get into bed and finish what's left to do in the morning or... naaah. i think that's what i'm going to do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

missed note

i forgot to mention an odd moment from friday night, it being the first time in my life that i've been in a situation wherein i was across the table from both parents of my girlfriend and all of us finding each other's company agreeable.

i was contemplating the implicit acknowledgement of a general acceptance of my potential, from a familial point of view, to be indirectly mixing genes with the two people sitting across from me.

just a stray thought. it amused me.

sighing

it's late, but i've finally managed to get somewhere. i find it sad that such a stupid amount of time was expended in setting up my development environment, especially when it's taken me no more than an hour or two to get most of the demonstration project done and i have very little experience with flex.

it's all about proportion. and with computers - there's never any.

fleeting sunday

after that previous post... i went to speak to the professor after class, to tell her that reading freud's "letter 52" disturbed me.

"good!"
"not really. it disturbed me because in it he describes a mistake - explaining that we have layers of different narratives in which one can retranscribe the events to fit whatever we're looking for - and then falls into his own trap by getting all excited about oedipus narrative forms matching up with all the events he's thought of."
"but is that really a mistake?"

my head almost exploded.

after the next class with the head of the graduate program, i approached the podium and asked for permission to express a politically tactless sentiment. i informed her that her (aforementioned) rival wasn't actually teaching much, and that i'd been informed by same rival that if i find any of the classes redundant i can be exempted from them.

oh, the irony. i've been told that the good doctor will see what she can do :)

---

pg and i travelled together this morning, and i read on the bus - the kindle app isn't bad. it's almost as cool as the ipod feature that allows me to watch futurama on my way to work, and i can read and listen to music at the same time. i think i'm beginning to understand the wonders of the apple age.

i had lunch with pg: she's not too clued up with timothy leary* and world history, so i spent it on briefing her. kinda fun :)

* if you're not, please read leary on drugs: it's exhilaratingly enlightening.

urchin called me up to ask for help giving her cat a pill. i told her she'd have to wait until late, and she called back a short while later to inform me that she'd succeeded.
what bothered me was her approach, though. i know she was kidding, but she began with "i need to see if you're really my friend" and i think i've done enough proving to be worth more than that.
i count this as a failure of my sense of humour.

aside from a break to discuss gremlins [how can anyone think yoda's better?!] and another to chat with my mum and both be embarrassed that we forgot a cousin's barmitzvah over a week ago... i spent the afternoon / evening tackling perl again. i don't like it.

at least i finally got it done, though.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

it's freud, and he's killing me from beyond the grave

or, more to the point, our professor is killing him. again and again and again. i'm too tired to focus enough to argue with her, and the only word i can produce for the experience is "misguidance".

this is not a good way to begin the week. even less so considering that i've just spent what feels like a wasted weekend and i'm just beginning to stress about work :/

oh. and i'm hating herman melville.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

one down

*phew*
at least i have flash running now. sheesh.

i found myself getting more and more distracted; pg arrived and we watched high fidelity, then went out to eat. good eating.

now it's time for coffee, some studying and sleep before another hectic week begins.

slow loading

i wasted a lot of time trying to sort all that earlier shit out. i've now decided to try using more traditional means. also, i'm going to skip testing on the iphone itself until i can find a sponsor willing to shell out the $99 for apple development rights.

the pricks. i haven't even produced anything yet!

---

as you may have noticed, i finally upgraded my blog template. i think it's neater. ah, and realized that the girl i complained about is actually in my class, and i've removed her. even more awkward.

---

i finally opened my copy of rob zombie - hellbilly deluxe... i've had it for a couple of years now, and only today realized how totally worthwhile purchasing the original is... the insert is the shit ^_^

---

i can't shake the feeling - and it's definitely justified - that i haven't done what needed doing today. at least i could have been enjoying the nothingness, instead of being irritated by it.

head-cracking

setting up eclipse for flex without downloading (and paying for) flex builder is horrible. the instructions are written for people who don't want tutorials to be helpful.

developing a basic iphone app using airplay is a breeze, as is testing it on the pc itself. testing it on an actual iphone, however, is horrible. apple's licensing system that must be navigated in order to do so is complicated and unpleasant.

and that's pretty much all i've been trying to do today so far :'(

---

yesterday evening i went to pg's place, and from there we went to have dinner with her parents and siblings. it was a fantastic meal, very loud and considerably entertaining.

erm - although i can't say that discussing a certain family member's health issues was fun :P

i thought we were going to watch a movie when we got back, but we were both too tired and so got a full night's rest instead. this morning's wake-up was perfect (chocolate liqueurs in bed), but since then it's all been digital frustration.

*sigh*

Friday, November 12, 2010

last legs, old school

i need more hours in the day. to be fair, though - like everybody else, i'd probably manage to overbook those as well.

yesterday:

yesterday morning was tough. i bladed slowly so as not to over-exert myself, and was doing fine right until i snagged a strange, curved metal hook attached to the edge of the pavement exactly where i'd chosen to hit the road. and so i hit it directly, hands first. my pads did a good job of protecting me, although my elbow scraped in my twist to protect my new phone...

the day began with a lesson on ancient trance parties... maybe i should have slept a little, because i spent most of it trying to keep my eyes open...
i did perk up a little when the air-conditioner broke down and rained on our row.

net profit from the class: i've made a connection with a community of LARPers and found another fellow student interested in anime evenings :)

stg's not into english: it turns out she thought it was the way to become an english instructor. we had a chat about her options; that was followed up by a non-argument with pg over lunch. a lot of our arguments are based on a lack of communication. basic stuff, like what we're arguing about. it's very frustrating. even more so when i'm completely buggered.

---

the speeches at the strike were powerful and poignant. i especially appreciated them making fun of our prime minister for not coming... he was asked (indirectly) to please come out and tell the truth; the truth is that he's doing whatever he can to protect his coalition government instead of whatever he can to take care of his country. we then took to the street to sit and chant.

who knows - maybe we can get something back?

---

i tried to nap on the grass, but one of pg's classmates sat down and made ridiculous statements about drug usage. i thought my old flatmate would beat anyone in a bong-smoking competition, but on the assumption that the girl on the grass wasn't lying she'd actually come second. and that's a girl who used to freak out my friends who smoked by consuming so much. [and i had to chuck out the dirty water every morning, even though i wasn't smoking. not cool]

---

i'd forgotten the readings for the third class, and forgot (again) to sort them out between first and second. i'm already behind on a lot... nooooooooo pressure...

during the second class i raised a point that the 19th century attitude to the power of painting was not unlike our present attitude towards technology (see: singularity)... none of the class had heard of the creepy ms kid.

in response to my sharing one of pg's cookies with some classmates last week, one of them baked a brilliant batch and brought them for us all! passing it forward :P

i wasn't focused during class, although it was an interesting one. a friend of one of the girls i met on the grass on wednesday requested friend status on facebook, and her profile was so unclear that i wasn't sure that i hadn't met her. i hate it when people do that. i don't need facebook friends that i've never met before... awkward :S

one of the girls put her coffee cup on the floor and it spilled (almost getting to my bag. she didn't need to apologize, shit happens. she did need to put the cup in a smarter place though. she didn't, and she tipped it again :/

-- in class: a focus on smoothness of skin, in memory of vision and the normative --

i managed to ruin the discussion on amaze but pointing out the possibility of interpreting it as being about the hands of her lover. we know it's about tuberculosis, so that arbitrariness made everyone laugh inappopriately and we quickly moved to to the dead in the graveyard underneath my window... a poem expressing the desire to be a zombie :S

a quick and tidy blade home, a quick shave (i'm experimenting with a soul patch), and it was time for a family dinner with pg's. including her dad, so i've finally met him. it was a great evening (although i really should have mentioned being lactose intolerant before hearing the menu :$)... except for another non-argument with pg at the end. it was only during our walk and talk home that i began to understand why it keeps happening...

...

today:

the day began with a meeting; things seem alright, and i think that i'm going to be going the way of the free agent. he gave me a programming exercise to prove myself.

i went the wrong way in my search for laces for my rollerblades, but was rewarded when a cyclist ride past wearing identical iridium jawbones - i had to smile.

i got my first student discount today: i bought printing paper :P

i bought chocolate for pg, laces for my rollerblades, beer for my fridge, and then returned home to continue prepping my pc for development. this is hard work.

nystire came over to pick up some things he left behind the other day and help me with my installation woes (still no sound from windows). he had to leave, but not without hearing a whole lot of advice that i threw at him concerning his decision to stay in service or be released. i don't have a problem with him staying if he wants to, but to be stuck in a situation that makes you unhappy because you don't realize how much easier things are if you choose differently is fantastically silly.

while he was here... i found my old poetry collection! *SO* pleased! i've already added a couple to the other side :)

i went for breakfast with ze british german, and we'll be meeting again on tuesday to see if we're going to be working together. i gave myself a programming exercise to prove myself.

i've spent the time since i got back configuring my pc - this is hard work. and airplay's new app wizard is a right bastard.

i must thank protoplasm for introducing me to jeff kollman - he's been in the background this entire post and is frikkin' AWESOME.

dreamfighter

as i followed him through the arcade, i playfully spoke my opinion that pachinko only seems cool when nicholas cage is talking about it. he stopped to look at me, confused.

as we were leaving the area a game with a sniper rifle caught his eye, and he literally jumped to latch on to it and insert coins.

standing over a landscape with a target in the middle of an oversized desert firing range, he lined up, took the shot, and hit it. like a bullet, the impact triggered the target - essentially a rocket launcher - to fire its own volley.

cool.

the view slid to the next target - similar, but with a beautiful sunset in the background and a field of giant barrels a ways behind the target. this was more like bowling - his shot was mostly good, but the volley released only took out about a third of the field.

next level.
sniping a human.

the target, a silhouette about a hundred metres below, in front and a little to the right. lining up shouldn't have been a problem, but he took too long in lining it up and by the time he pulled the trigger (his shot, in my opinion, *might* have nicked the target) the target had become aware of his presence.

the shot fired, and the obvious post-shot delay incurred, and the camera perspective flew down and panned to show us, from below, our ninja target wire-fu leaping all the way up to the firing platform and attacking the player with his sword...


that's the dream i just woke up from (almost an hour ago), which follows a rather intriguing revelation about pg last night. i don't know which direction that's going to lead us, i hope to good things.
it suddenly struck me that tomorrow we'll have been together for a month - and still good :)

[this post backgrounded by shpongleyes]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

on the grass

yesterday began with a sharp start pre-alarm...
after a forgotten experience, a few of us decide it's time for a road trip. i end up walking the last bit.
we find a cheap hostel and go missioning around on my blades- i find myself in a store having a sing-along with some s&m chick from the panic ensemble grotesque
[a mere construct of my mind, unfortunately]

upon my return to the hostel i set my blades down beside a pillar outside (i'm now wearing sandals). some cops appear to take a dislike to me, chase me down and put me in their patrol car...
they give me shit, but i'm don't play along - they have nothing on me. i threaten them with multiple complaints and eventually, frustrated, they give up and drop me off.

i pick up my blades and walk into a friend and his family who are all having dinner outside the hostel. i urgently tell him what's up, he disappears inside... and walks out with two humungous joints to "calm me down". one of the cops was still keeping an eye on me, though - out of the corner of my eye i caught him rushing off to report to his friends.

feeling responsible, i rush through to my room and out the rear window to find a hiding place amongst the randomness of the back yard; i eventually find a good spot to ditch the damned things but i'm too late: a number of cops pour into the yard and see where i've been: i know they'll know where to look.


i woke up with my heart pounding and both my hands numb and lifeless - i hate it when that happens :(

my ipod accompanied me to an early shopping run, and for the first time in a while i drank freshly squeezed orange juice... a pity that the oranges i've acquired are a tad on the bitter side.

the blade to campus was tougher than on monday - perhaps having done around 25km a few hours before had something to do with that. also, it was a little hotter than the preceding days. i was horrifically sweaty.

wr arrived just as we were excitedly ascertaining the validity of the exclamation that our first, horrid professor had cancelled our freud-abuse session, and informed us of some amusing intrigue involving a couple of our professors and a terrifying lack of fashion sense.
a few of us formed a circle on the grass - i was planning on studying some, but the conversation bounced back and forth with great rapidity between anime and literature... it's the end of week four, and bonds are forming :)

i don't know why there was a band playing on the grass outside gillman, but i am glad for the coffee promotion - free black coffee with cardamom? sweet.

so fiction is defined by the consensus reality at time of publication? unless it's auto-biographical? a class argument on galileo, the bible and historical fallacies simply extended the pleasure of the day :)

---
it has been suggested (thank you, pg) that the reason so much weird shit happens to me is because i continue to demonstrate the inability to ignore people and the world around me. it makes a certain sense... most people do their damndest not to get involved; i do tend to go out of my way.

on a slightly different note: i've now opened up another side to my blog with some of my works, and have been out of the army for more than five months. maybe i should stop being so anonymous?

---
i had lunch with comixer and eidetic - a long debate over the definition of "the city". it seems that by the end comixer was convinced that moving to central tel aviv is the right thing to do :P

the blade to work was smoother, and i spent the next three hours re-familiarizing myself with perl (apparently it doesn't matter how much one prays, perl is still the best way to perform certain tasks. i still hate it, though) and debating the meaning of empathy with a couple of my co-workers.

i ditched work to meet up with scrapper, botchman and footcruncher at my place. we spent the evening playing tekken and having a really good munchkin session; the final battles saw me with some really useful cards in hand, and the guys were shocked at how much suspense i can introduce to a simple card game :D

as we closed shop (i had to hurry, i'd left pg waiting again) i suddenly realized an awful by-product of my phone upgrade - my lending list is gone! now i have no idea who's got what :'(
[now downloading the nokia software - maybe i can resurrect something]

i hurried to pg's, and everything was all good. we finally watched the end of sherlocke holmes - it's a slightly different sherlocke holmes, but it's a lot of fun and captured the essence of the original characters. i think it's jude law's best performance.

i slept at pg's, then woke up at 6am to come back here and... presumably... study. there's been a far sight more "other" than "study".
that's just it, really. i'm going through yet another transition phase, with a hundreds different faces all clamouring for attention.

---
there's a strike on campus today; this is a quick paraphrase from the president of the university:
"you guys are 'the people' - and the greatest advantage to our country. the country needs to treat you right."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

sibling blog?

why sister and not brother? no matter, i'm going to bed.

campus roll

i just woke up from a crazy dream in which most of the real content online had been practically obliterated by seos and shameless marketing / sales departments.
in the end, i broke down and attempted to get something published, but wasn't prepared to play the game and so lost my voice


[written after my earlier nap, not now :P]

---

another two days down. this living and surviving thing's a bit rough.

on arriving at the security check for the university, the guard and i had a little misunderstanding: he was expressing genuine interest by exclaiming that this was something he'd never seen before, and i mistook his words ("this is something i haven't allowed in") to mean that he wasn't planning on giving me entry.

boy, did i feel silly when my breathless defense of inline skating was received with confusion and an explanation. nice guy, pity he picked the non-native speaker to converse with...

as is sadly normal for most forms of exercise, i only really began to sweat once i'd stopped. it was a beautiful morning and i had some time, so i could sit in the shade behind the arts building sipping water until i felt less offensive.

our first class was in a classic, enormous lecture theatre. i parked my blades on the other side of the steps from my person - the seats themselves don't have enough room for blades and bags - and they attracted a fair amount of *blush* praise. i was surprised that in general they received such a lot of positive response... the weekly groups have turned them into a normal mode of transportation and i'm not so weird anymore (my first degree was filled with "what the hell are you doing on wheels?!").
we're progressing :)

that first class was terrifying. i've been informed since that it's not as bad as it sounds, but the explanation of what's expected of us for our midterm brought me mentally to my knees - i can't remember all the names and authors and interesting info on every piece we've studied... can i? to the extent that i can be given an extract from anything and asked on it and its history? why do i feel overwhelmed? it's not like i've had to "skim" anything due to time constraints...

on a more mundane note: the cold got to me, even in such a large theatre. and apparently not to anybody else. i wonder if that was the flu shot getting to work?

i finally got a student kiosk to work for me - not without bringing one of the administrators to stand and watch it fail, as it had at the previous attempt. it's like bug-hunting - everything works perfectly until there's a witness :/

i took my usual lunch hunched over my netbook; reading a poem about niagara had me hurriedly churning out a response. i'm beginning to put together a collection of mad ramblings that highly amuse me - to the point where i'm considering opening up a sister blog to include all the stuff i've published here and all these other strange things...

niagara
his crashing majesty
with high mists and sunny disposition
i cannot tear my eyes away
watching the ferries
in and out
dry, then drenched
i cannot tear my eyes away
because they'll fall
on the ugliness
that's grown up behind me


i introduced our class of disbelievers to panic ensemble (sadly, only the cover and lyrics) and our professor to memetics - an interesting debate over the difference between memes and "discourse" ensued. the philosophy student who's joined us turned out to be a software consultant, so i took the card he offered when i told him what i've done (and asked if he could help out)...

i walked downstairs to the chocolate vending machine, then back upstairs for coffee and to pick up my blades which i'd forgotten. not having single shekel coins makes me purchase stuff i don't need in order to get cheap coffee... and it's still cheaper than buying coffee anywhere else :P

we studied emily dickenson - i don't know why i thought of doing it, but much madness still makes a sort of sense if you take the initial words of each row to make a first row, then the second words of each row to make a second, etc.

after meeting with spider to discuss programming technique and a decidedly intriguing possibility of spending a year at CERN (naaah, i probably won't), i went to upgrade my phone.

i now possess an iphone (3G) and a sense of having betrayed a faithful digital buddy. not unlike my last upgrade. only this one comes with a painful point - the camera's not as good.

getting used to the iphone is going to take a while.

blading to work seemed a bit dangerous. i happened past a young lad (teenager) and his friend, who felt it imperative to shout his proficiency with a fair number of musical instruments at me.
no, i don't understand it either.

i spent a couple of hours at work, and then returned home enjoying a smooth, traffic-free run. after a quick shower i went to pg's, and when she went to bed i returned home to play with my iphone and install an antivirus.

i could've just slept.

---

i arrived precisely on time for the interview today - pre-breakfast? i shouldn't have made my usual comment about "inhuman" hours, because the team leader who interviewed me is apparently more comfortable getting in to work before 8am...

the interview was great! it was comfortable. i'm interested in the product and in its challenges. i'm amused by the solution to the problem thrown at me - even though i felt like she was leading me she told me she's never heard of a solution quite like it... i don't know if that was a standard answer, or even a positive one.

[a supermarket with X products wants to know which combination of any two products appears in the most receipts. if we create an array of X integers, one for each product, then every type of receipt (we don't care about quantities) can be assigned a number from 1 to 2X.
we can then sum up all the columns with each pair of products by using a mask.

the solution kind of presented itself, i wasn't really actively solving anything :P]

everything was "great!" right until the final moments. then something got dark. awkward, not so friendly. i hope it's not burned, it really sounds like a fantastic environment to work in!

---

i returned to cafesito to sit and play with my iphone, installing apps while enjoying their breakfast. i feel sorry for coffeeholic - i did want a beef parisian, but i didn't want to sit there. it's just not as friendly. as it were, even while playing unsociably i was offered the use of someone's "basic french" books :)

i was annoyed with the pdflite app - i wasn't prepared to pay to view pdf files. now i understand that ibooks can handle them, but only if i've transferred them from my pc... oh, well.

hyperviper informs me that noddie just got married - the great weirdness prevents me from sending him congratulations. it may not have anything to do with me, but i can't respect someone who can do that to his best friend.

i spent the afternoon context switching - moving from issue to issue and trying to stay focused. by the end of the day things were much clearer, though, and i think it counts as fairly productive.

the marvel comics app is cool. their free content - not so much. i don't really have time for that right now anyway :P

my insurance company's lack of professionalism worries me. this is the second time they've contacted me to make sure that they have the correct contact information, and their rep was with me two weeks ago... wtf?!

speaking of professionalism, our QA team leader's lack of responsiveness is not heartening. much like our tech team, i feel like we're playing for different teams :(

on my way home, one of emily dickinson's poems struck home:
every now and again, i fall into the trap that everybody else keeps falling into - by forgetting... that i am everybody else

i took a strangely familiar nap, began posting and made my first kindle purchase, then joined pg and her mum and bladed to the group. the course was really good tonight, i feel exercised and i enjoyed the time spent chatting and debating (primarily with pg). we finished the evening with ice-creams, lending a certain prophetic edge to a poem i once wrote...

Temptress

Carnal Pleasure
True Beauty
Seductiveness
Sincerity
Chocolate Drips
From Tender Lips
Softly Kissing Mine


i've now spent far too long playing with my iphone and windows installation instead of studying. this is ridiculous - i have tons of freud to go over, and i'm not overly fond of him. (that being said, i do respect him for the monstrous quantity of important contributions)

---

there really isn't.
also - it's unhealthy, be aware that the vegan propaganda is not 100% accurate. [meta-link]
also - not consuming animals isn't making farmers treat them better. find a better way to help the animals, and not just your ego.

finally - i have a couple more words to add:
naytheist
phallusophy
(please vote for them if you appreciate them)