Sunday, July 31, 2011

holidays on the way

it's been a politically active weekend, and pg and i got back to normal. my sleep patterns are definitely not anywhere near normal, i'm suffering the most awful insomnia that usually lets me rest only when i have less than two hours until i have to wake up. it's either too hot, or my legs are too cramped, or i've got too much on my mind to just chill out. and the last few days have seen me with a lack of appetite, too. this is a bit worrying.

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thursday:

what a strange sensation! thursday was quiet, mostly. the testing went fine, the issues we did have were few and mostly uncomplicated. i spent a lot of timing discussing revolutions. the biggest thing that happened was that i finally, after almost a month, got hold of the people on the list that urchin provided me... and then i received an email from wordsworth slamming my efforts.

worst part - he was right, i did it badly :(

in the evening someone contacted me about the printer i've been trying to get rid of, and although the price i got for it was laughable it was better than putting it on the street and hoping that it wouldn't be trashed. now for the rest of the shit :P

scrapper and botchman picked me up on our way to visit the tents on rothschild, and the number of miscommunications before we found each other made me wonder if our phone conversations had crossed over with an alternate reality. finding parking was another long mission...

the reason for the new manifesto is that by and large, the idiots out camping in protest do not understand the basics of economics and capitalism. they're calling for the government to regulate rent pricing instead of forcing the government to use its glorious tax surplus for the benefit of the population, i.e. improving infrastructure and public transport so that poorer people will have a choice of where to live.

after a tour, we stopped in the theatre square to play vtm until 3am. it was great fun.

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friday:

after relatively little sleep, i had a quick pre-training breakfast and then paid a visit to the hardware store. the hardware dude... he's a nice guy, although sometimes i'm not sure if he's really interested in my life or if he's just looking to butter up my wallet.

i was going to hit rothschild again to hear organik play, but there wasn't enough time and i was tired so i had a nap instead.

training: killer. little oxygen, lots of sweat, pain, and then much more pain than usual when scrapper landed a solid kick to my face. my nose is still hurting two days later, and it's a little swollen, but if it wasn't too tough to carry on fighting then it can't be *real* damage :P

after getting home and showering, pg and i watched friends till dinner. i had a long argument with her brother - it feels weird explaining the basics of capitalism and free market economies to a student. why don't they teach this stuff in high school? why did i have to study business science in order to learn something so fundamentally connected to the way i live??

i only had about half an hour or so to nap again - boy, was i ever tired - before the kid picked me up* and we drove to nitzanim for a kibbutz party to celebrate the release of a girl we served with. it was a fun pool party :)

* a good excuse to get rid of a fat stack of books of his i've been holding on to - pg's pleased.

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saturday:

i feel a bit shitty for having passed out for most of the drive home. i crashed on arrival, and was woken up about five hours later for breakfast with one of pg's friends. she swung by afterwards to inspect our apartment and play tekken, and i was well pleased when she got excited by the surfboard chc left behind. so now the surfboard has an owner and it looks like i might have someone to hit the water with when pg and i get back from sa ^_^

after more online arguments (with facebook cutting some of them in half, without warning, thanks so much), pg's friend left and we watched sherlock jr. - it is a good film. i drank too much araq while watching it, though, and it was an effort to drag myself to bed for a nap once it ended.

i dreamed of releasing insects and bugs - i don't remember what that means but they were those sort of dreams, and woke up when it should have been time to make the march. a quick check and i learned that the march was to be integrated with the tent-dwellers', so i made a couple of big signs and pg and i headed off.

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"the government silences instead of constructing, it doesn't subsidize and it doesn't care. without democracy, there won't be any change"

"capitalism is good. a government that doesn't build for its citizens is not. don't punish the land-owners, demand improvements from the source!"


we arrived late, but not so late that we could be seen and heard. i was pleased that some of the marchers were appreciative of my signs, disappointed by some of them for instantly dismissing them, and glad for the opportunity to argue with people who climbed into me, and walked off accepting my position because it doesn't actually interfere with their goals.

it was really hot, though. and there were a LOT of people. sixty thousand in tel aviv that we felt, and another ninety thousand around the country. as much as i'm desperately concerned about the direction that's being pushed, i'm pleased to note that the newspapers are reporting things in a manner that lead me to believe that we might actually get it right.

here's hoping this isn't just a spark. it's time for fire.

---

we watched the rest of bladerunner when we got home, then went to bed. i had a terrible night. and a tough morning. at least work's been alright today. and someone i used to study with got in touch with me about an potentially interesting project... i'm being labelled an "activist", as if it's a profession. dammit, people, it's something everyone should be!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Smarts Manifesto

aka "How to Fix a Country with Pure Theory and Much Faith"

After much unrest, confusion, and sheer idiocy, a number of sometimes impolite suggestions that have been floating around have settled into the following set of ideas. It would be nice if this could be given a try. The language contained herein will be in the feminine form, but should be read and understood as referring to either males or females.

1. Freedom of Congregation and Expression is Good
Citizens must be free to congregate, rally, march and protest in any other manner without threat of harm or penalty, on the single condition that these forms of protest are not expressed in violence or damage to public or private property.

2. Democracy is Good
Both meritocracy and direct democracy have much to offer.

2.a. Meritocracy
It must be unlawful to assign a government posting to someone who is unqualified for such a post. Clear success and failure criteria must be established for each post, and the minister in charge of a post must undergo periodic evaluation after a reasonable maximum amount of time. If the minister has succeeded in achieving her goals she may continue to serve for a maximum of four years, after which her services may be retained as a consultant to her successors. Failure to achieve her goals will result in her immediate replacement, with her services as consultant being retained only as much as is necessary in order to ease her successor's integration into the post.

2. b. Direct Democracy
In addition to eligible citizens having the freedom and authority to initiate or call for the revocation of laws, each new internal policy and its potential effects must be clearly provided to the public prior to referendum.

Foreign policy will be determined by an elected committee qualified and experienced in both war and foreign relations.

3. Voting rights
To achieve recognition as a full citizen with all rights, privileges and protection, a citizen of the country must prove herself to be a participating member of society. In order to do so, the citizen must meet the following criteria:
  • Citizen must pay taxes, or currently serve in any government posting, or perform community service.
  • Citizen must currently be serving, or have served, in the military or national service.
Failure to do so for any reason other than disability or handicap will result in the revocation of voting rights.

4. Military involvement
The government will not have the authority to instruct the military in its method of operation. The government will only be given the authority to instruct the military in terms of its global objectives and its limitations. A task force must be created by the government with the express purpose of verifying that the military's use of funds is efficient.

5. Spending
The current budget system, which incentivizes wastefulness by rewarding the full use of the budget, will be reformed.
Infrastructure upgrades, specifically public transport, must be given high priority as must subsidized education across the board.

As branches of the central government, municipalities in possession of surplus funds over a specified amount must set aside a nationally pre-determined percentage for use by those in financial need.

6. Police
The police will be forced to operate under the directives of "serve and protect", and citizens must be provided the ability to freely and easily file complaints.

7. Civil Transparency
All publicly owned or operated organizations must make their data freely available digitally to all eligible citizens, and the data must be available in a format comprehensible to the lay person.

8. Capitalism is Good
Capitalism is the only system we have that rewards effort and provides incentive for participation and advancement, and even if lots of people suffer under it it is as fair a system as we can practically conceive.

Markets must be free to operate under the laws of supply and demand, and must not suffer interference from governing bodies unless that interference is to ensure fair competition.

Summary
I was going to have points regarding coalitions and lobbying, but then I realized that the meritocracy wouldn't allow for that anyway. These other points cover everything I can think of at this time, and make an excellent starting point for an improved system in which we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Here's wishing us luck.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

stick it to the man! not me, you idiots!

the fighting that's been erupting in our streets - i haven't mentioned it since i promised to on saturday - is wrong. instead of focusing on the government's lack of attention to the needs of the majority, instead of focusing on the fact that our democracy is broken, instead of focusing on the insufficient housing and public transportation when the government is holding on to surplus taxes, the idiots who have finally woken up to act are attacking all the landlords who are practising nothing more than their capitalist right to operate on supply and demand.

more taxes for those guys! put an upper limit on rent!

those are stupid slogans and it's a shame that people in this country are not in possession of enough of the basics of economics to understand that what they're asking for will cause serious damage to them, personally, down the line - and still won't solve any of the underlying problems.

what we need is a revolution. since i've been out of the army i've been calling for democracy to be implemented properly, but after much shouting this week i'm convinced that that's not enough. what we need is a new system. we need to develop a system whereby we can run a referendum on any and every issue, because it's 2011 and we have the technology to do it right. we need to ensure that those people in power are educated and philanthropic enough to make the right decisions.

new parties, new methods. not a complete revolution, but an evolution. run by us, the people. capitalist, thought out, as free as the majority wants.

night sweats

my legs have been hurting - more than usual. infection? growing pains following tuesday's awesome fighting? i dunno. but the only time i managed to fall asleep last night (this morning) was when we turned on the air-conditioner, but it's stuck at 17 degrees so we had to turn it off too-soon afterwards and then i couldn't get back to sleep again. it was a total nightmare :((

couple that with some awkwardness with pg - probably all mine again. it's almost as if the tiny bugs that have suddenly popped up in the drawers of my bedside table are merely metaphorical.

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tuesday:

we didn't get up early on tuesday to go register my having moved. instead pg had me fill out a form and she went alone yesterday to suffer the queues. i'm now officially living here.

i read about facial recognition on the bus, and since then i've been looking at people differently. it's fascinating!

my feet and ankles have been hurting since saturday night - they're a bit better now, but on tuesday it was still awful. as far as work is concerned, the two main projects have been fighting right until the very end, but i think they're done giving me headaches and after two days of mad-scientist frenzy this week is left with nothing more on the table than final QA.

please, gods, let this be the final QA.

training on tuesday - AMAZING. i was fighting fit for the first time in as long as i can remember, just in time to battle one of the country's international representatives. i didn't win, but i did a good job nonetheless. and it didn't wear me out - i totally owned the next few fights ^_^

the rollerblading route was great on tuesday night, but i found myself being kind of antisocial. and then, while my hair dried after i showered, i got stuck into more zombies. it's addictive.

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wednesday:

i woke up dead, and the day began with my cleaning coffee off the wall of the stairwell because my sandal slipped on the way down... twice... so i only enjoyed about two sucks of my first cup. my first mission was to visit my apartment and make sure that everything's alright - he's set the place up completely differently, and really nicely. and his dog is really cute.

i grabbed the stack of mail that he'd collected for me and stopped by the post-office. it was a horrible experience. after waiting for a while my number was called, and i got shouted at because it took me a whole 5 seconds to get to the window. then the 'orrible woman gave me a down-the-nose explanation of why misdirected mail isn't her problem, and then she started rubbing her lips on my id card while discovering that she wasn't qualified to cancel my mail forwarding service, and wouldn't i rather just tack on another forwarding service to return it to the original address?

because there's no way the post office would be confused by recursion. after hunting down a manager, and waiting for him, i went through the annoyingly tedious process of cancelling the forwarding.

what a great start to the day.

i had breakfast at coffeeholic, which was great until some big-mouthed idiot sat down beside me and began banging the counter enthusiastically. then i got home to discover that ants had eaten some of my meringues. fantastic.

thought for the day: bon jovi - if i was your mother is one of those songs that's intriguing and contradictory. i like it. i've always liked it. i don't know why, exactly. perhaps because the music doesn't match and it's still good music. maybe it's because the lyrics are so... original.

i was excessively tired yesterday - with good reason. after a huge lunch i managed to catch five minutes' siesta, but that definitely wasn't enough. after making myself somewhat useful towards to the end of the work day, i left a bit early for the other office. most of the evening was spent arguing politics.

keeping my hair tied up is much easier, but my hair's not long enough that it isn't a mission. and the amount of hair that comes out with the elastic scares me.

i was tired and irritable when i eventually got home, we watched half of blade runner before going to bed. i suspect that the quality issue with the movie is a fault of the new divx player, and not the disc... suck.

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it is not in israel's interests to keep terrorists in prison. we're providing for them, not only food and shelter but also education when our own kids don't get much of that. and their martyrdom is contagious. if we ran a catch and release program for terrorists, they'd be humiliated and they'd return to their families not as legends, but as real, pathetic human beings.

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at least in texas there's some rationality.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

woodknocking

i got very little sleep last night, it was really hot and my legs were stiff as usual. the night ended with a dream in which a cop had been keeping an eye on me personally and pulled me over with great fanfare when i bladed down a one-way; i slapped him really, really hard. then my alarm went off.

the morning began with the tail end of the long political argument that had begun in the wee hours of the morning: bottom line: the noise-makers are stupid. when they should be making a noise they do nothing, when the noise will bring them harm they're totally gung-ho.

the work today, in both offices, was mostly smooth. and i had great fish 'n chips for lunch (with balsamic vinegar: not the same, but not bad). i left the second office totally psyched when a gotta-run-gotta-finish big fix worked out even better than i'd anticipated after i was struck by an inspiring solution to something that's been bugging me for a while.

manic?

even shopping on the way home was simple and without fuss. i spent time with pg, i went out for a beer with urchin, and i've remembered to set an appointment to go visit my apartment and pick up my stuff. and in the morning, pg and i are going to register me as living here :)

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please read the comment about pets at the bottom of the page

Monday, July 25, 2011

what day is it?

thursday:

i can't believe i haven't posted since the shift. SO: i went home, slept four hours, went back to work, was exhausted all day, had hassles with working remotely all day, and my stomache was still giving me trouble.

actually, my stomache kept giving me trouble until today, only in the opposite way to how it was in the beginning of last week - i constantly felt the need to relieve myself, and nothing happened. it wasn't fun.

the biggest deal of thursday was the first live testing of the biggest project we've had until now, and although it didn't work exactly as it should have we at least figured out the solution. it must be said: my boss is incredible with code, but he's not focused on user experience. this leads to a bit of tension when i know what mmf wants but can't implement it until i've already implemented the boss' instructions against my advice and mmf tells me that it needs to be done the way i originally suggested :S

thursday night's plans were crazy, eventually decided by pg as she was already dressed and ready to go to lihi sagi's performance. it was a fantastic performance! much better with the band.

on the way back, we went past the ilka bar to say hi and wish happy birthday to my co-worker, but when we finally found the secret VIP room he was nowhere to be found.

we played crash bandicoot and then passed out. i don't think pg enjoyed it that much :(

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friday:

i woke up with a talk with one of my cousins - dinner was supposed to be at her place and she called to tell me they'd pushed the date back a day. that didn't mesh with our plans at all, so i agreed to join pg and her family at their house down south.

pg and i had breakfast with nystire and then headed to training, doing some quick shopping on the way. the mall on a friday is usually horrible. this time - it was horrible too.

the lesson was particularly tough, and not a few times did i feel sure i was going to pass out. i think i fought everyone except the one dude who's done me damage the last few weeks, and i was amazed each time that i actually had enough fight in me to kick some ass. even scrapper, who surprised us halfway through, had a tough time with me.

a couple of us stopped for ice cream on the way out, and then i went home. the chat with scrapper was upsetting, because during the morning's conversation i'd forgotten completely that i'd made plans with him and botchman to play last night :S

the drive down south was unremarkable. so was a lot of the scenery. we were going right by gaza (their house is next to rafiach, and it was amusing to discover that we both did basic training on the same base :P

i passed out for a little nap before dinner, and managed to stay awake through a few after-dinner games of table tennis. i didn't have the energy to go out, though, which meant missing a doof desert party. that was right disappointing... i was certain that the party was on the saturday night because i'd gotten the dates confused after my night-shift, and had *known* that i'd get a night's sleep before :P

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saturday:

i didn't have the energy to go swimming. we watched babylon a.d. because we couldn't get bladerunner to play, and it's a surprisingly good movie. it's a brilliant showcase of today's technology - it gave me goosebumps every time i recognized something that we have that's so well adapted to cyberpunk. i enjoyed it a lot more until pg's mother made a comment about its hollywood values, and then i realized that she was right and it kinda made me like it less. still worth watching, though.

her father lives on another planet, though. from me, i mean. i shouldn't expect much global-tech worldliness from a farmer, no matter how connected he may be (relatively speaking), but i keep finding myself pointing out flaws in his claims and arguments and then i feel bad about it :/
at least he's a nice guy.

3D photos: still annoyingly out-of-reach. i started to get one eventually, but then it blurred and went :S

we watched the hours, which i would have enjoyed a lot more if it didn't have julianne moore in it. i'm not sure if it's her roles or her acting that bother me, but aside from her i thought it was a great adaptation of mrs dalloway.

the theme for the evening bus was my little vampire. (really? really. nah, just kidding :P)

no lights on the bus meant very little reading. the central bus station was an awful experience. made weirder by discovering that there's an ethiopian dance club in the middle of it. while waiting in line at the entrance to the station, my ankle started hurting. i don't know why.

i will discuss the aggravating march of stupidity another time. i got home, shortly followed by scrapper and botchman, and we played vtm until 2.30am. good session.

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sunday:

i woke up late so i didn't have time to shower... whoops... even worse was discovering that i'd missed the bus anyway, so i could have...

it wasn't a bad day at work. quite comfortable, really. the frozen yoghurt i had after lunch did sit well though. and some of the work was so frustrating that even my boss began to lose patience.

i waited almost an hour in the heat (tomorrow's supposed to be a scorcher) for a bus back to tel aviv. s'not fair to just not pitch!

in the old office, one of my managers took me aside to propose a very exciting new project. i agreed to join him when i get back in september - i'll take it on as one of my own. if we succeed: i'll fund my others with it ;)

another manager kept hitting me politically, but at the end of the day we're of very similar minds. i'm beginning to believe that the two of us need to begin a political party together :P

work: not bad. not bad at all.

i finally left on time to catch the bus, and have spent most of the rest of the evening eating sushi and cereal with pg in front of the telly. not quite productive, but amusing (friends, still).

now it's time for? bed? political arguments? games involving zombies and werewolves?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

sick time

it's 3am, and the shift has begun. i've been feeling a bit woozy since about 11pm...

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yesterday:

why would the municipality mandate single-use cups for the coffee shops on the avenue? tahoma and i met for breakfast, and we didn't stop talking until we were on the bus leaving the borders of tel aviv. i already wasn't feeling good, but the discussion was interesting and i wasn't falling over. not yet.

the first hour or two was spent waiting for my boss to return - in my defense, i didn't call him to solve the environment issue we were having because i was told that he'd be back "soon".
"soon" - such a flexible word.

it was then that i began feeling *really* sick, but i was at work already and my brain was still fairly functional so i decided to stay until the end of the day, which only got longer and harder as the hours dragged on by. there were ups and downs, but they were mostly downs.

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i left like a zombie, and it was hot, and after waiting a while for the bus... the bus wasn't packed. it was half-packed. we had to squeeze on, in spite of the back half being empty. heck, the bus driver didn't even pick passengers up for two stations, so those poor bastards had to wait in the heat for the next one. after those two stops enough people got off that i could stand up from the steps and confirm my suspicions (i hadn't had a line of sight), and i loudly and verbosely expressed our desire for a little breathing room in spite of our obvious love of such strange intimacy.

and suddenly there was space. all i could think of was how much i despise lack of situational awareness and stupidity, and these people had, to me, failed an iq test.

---

i was wiped out and a bit grumpy too; i lay on the couch with pg to watch more episodes of friends and eventually, when she went to rollerblade, preemptively called mmf and my boss to alert them to the possibility that i would be working from home today.

---

the new wired arrived! and that reminded me that i'd missed an issue - i *really* need to pay my apartment a visit. speaking of which: it shocks me how little most people understand about basic economics.
government interference in pricing is never a good thing.

loads of people are out protesting, they have been all week, for a ceiling to the rent in tel aviv. that makes no sense whatsoever, because all the home-owners will get screwed and some of us need the high rent to pay off our mortgages. supply and demand ensure the fairest prices possible, and it's impossible to say what the long-terms effects of such dramatic and stupid meddling could be.

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last night was tough - i was feverish without the fever, unable to sleep, hot and confused and uncomfortable. it was a long, tough night.
but i woke up feeling better. still tired, mind, but definitely better. still too weak to start walking and bussing...

i read an article yesterday about multitasking, and working from home today really drove the points home. also: google+ is awesome. and my body's nobody's body but mine. and i'm not socially inept.

i left home a bit late, waited at the first stop. i gave up and moved to the second stop where there'd be more buses, *just* in time to watch the bus i'd been waiting for go past. it was unlikely that it would be profitable to wait at the second if the first bus had gone past, so i walked on the the third, where there'd be different buses... and i crossed the road *just* as one of the useful ones went past. it amazes me that i still managed to arrive on time, in spite of having had to jump another two buses to make it.

after half an hour of coffee and organizational arguments with wordsworth, we took tea and tarts with our poetry professor* and had a productive and interesting meeting.

* which reminds me, my grades were finally updated and my average for the last year now stands at 90.88%. not bad, even if i personally thought that i should have done better.

i was a bit stressed about leaving so late for work, but i got a ride from wordsworth and ended up arriving a bit early.

atk - an app for the iphone that's currently only available in israel. it's an early stage prototype for a complex real-life gaming system that i envisioned a few years ago, and i couldn't restrain myself. i've sent them an email with a short bug report (the aiming's dependent on gps only, which has weird effects inside the office) and a couple of suggestions. i'm really enthusiastic about the potential for this, and wish them the best of luck!

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wow. the shift's almost over. it began rough because, as usual**, nobody'd done the daily mail-check since the weekend. on a different note, it turns out you can transfer contacts from facebook to gmail (and therefore, to google+) if you open a yahoo account and import your contacts, then export to csv. and that pretty much sums up what i've learned tonight.

** i haven't done a shift in months, and nothing's changed :/

i hope thursday is chilled. at least i don't have to get up *too* early :P

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

- MODERNITY -

our world is changing – it always is, and our spirit is breaking as we allow the familiar gods of might and money to drag us further from the heights of our new and enlightened understanding.
fashioning confusion, frustration and the claustrophobic need to escape to better, purer worlds we send ourselves onward into a pit of malevolent despair... as we always have.
we are prophets and gods, devils and demons, full of colour and life yet bleached and blind; we know where happiness is not and we run towards that dark place because we only know to stop when faced with love.
we are all as one and all alone, we want to love but fear to touch, we teach and preach but know only vice and misfortune.
we shame ourselves with our lies while praying for the truth, and that truth will be hard and cruel but it will set us free.

no more war, no more hate, only love and devotion and pleasure. then we will crumble because we require balance, and all will be lost.
we must isolate the individual to save the group, a group of individuals whose shared experience must be positive while that of each part seesaws.

we must love and trust, and accept that we will be betrayed. we must believe, we must share, but we must not control.
the world is too big, and the world is too small, for everyone to agree and not feel anger or dismay.

we all want peace, simplicity, happiness, individuality, acceptance, love. only through accepting the impossibility of it all may we find our salvation.

let the fools and clowns have their way, let the idealists and the sharp-minded serve us, allow each and every man the authority to police and judge.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

yucky

the day began tough, not only with continued stomache cramps but feeling all-over sickly as well. i began at the bank, discovering that the idiot woman had done precisely the opposite of what i'd asked, and completely disabled online transfers from my account. so the guy today sorted that out, and we would have tested it if the systems hadn't gone down and left us doing it the old way anyway.

figures.

i've been stressing over the pressures of organizing events in israel: i simply don't have the energy to fight with israelis to make an effort for something that's for their own benefit - that, and i don't really possess much confidence in my ability to convince them even if i did have the energy. every time i think of beginning to send out emails or make phone calls i get worn out before i've hit a button. it's a little counter-productive.

on the lighter side of organizing: i've received an incredibly enthusiastic response from the faculty and the other ma / phd students regarding the orientation course. looking good ^_^
and wordsworth has a plan regarding the big event, so i'm out of the loop until our next meeting.

the work went well today, both in the new office and the old. although the secretary in the new one and i are not getting along happily. she's really tiring. and doesn't get jokes. [no, not even harmless ones.]

i came back late, and i *think* i've more or less figured out the buses. i've played a lot of angry birds today. it's probably not a good thing that i'm spending more than 90% of my waking hours with digital screens in my face.

now - travel journal.

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i really don't have time to be so into zombie defense agency.

Monday, July 18, 2011

quick trips

the end of year party was pretty cool, and ended with good pool. i'm not sure if it's something i ate during the evening, or if it's a bug that caught up with me, but i spent today feeling awful and familiarizing myself with the bathrooms in both offices :(

my boss gave up on modx for the moment - he claims to have an idea of what might be causing the difficulties - and we've moved back to vanilla php which works.

my excitement over the new consumer protection law was premature, it appears, because both companies called me up to say "nyah, nyah, the fine print's in our favour" :(

the lunch discussion went from the merits of iphones versus androids, to the realities and practicalities of a corporation-run civilization. eerie and intriguing. the punks and self-proclaimed "anarchists" would probably be the first to get screwed.

mmf gave me a ride, and it turns out he forgot that i house-sat for him and didn't know that i dated sb, which well impressed him :P

i walked in on my girlfriend watching children of dune, so i joined her. i'm antsy, although feeling a bit better, and i can't decide if i'm ready to sleep or not...

on the importance of cheese

while we were sleeping, we lost our status as viable democracy. a few weeks ago the people of this great little nation won a major battle, by boycotting cottage cheese until the price dropped.

this new law is really tricky stuff: on the one hand i agree with shutting down anti-israel sentiments, on the other... who's next? how does my country see me, personally? i'd like to think that my country considers me a contributing citizen, but i've seen too much evidence to the contrary.

watching the police beating a student for protesting חוק האברכים* taught me a very big lesson: this is not a democracy. heck, the biggest decision maker in this country, ש"ס, isn't the voice of the majority. it's the voice of the one group of people that *doesn't* pay taxes and that *doesn't* accept israeli sovereignty.

so when things go wrong and i decide that i want to say something - who's going to protect my freedom of expression? i've already had a run-in with the authorities because they suspected me of sharing national secrets with foreign agencies... because i have foreign friends. let's just say that i'm not a big believer in the fairness and intelligence of our security services.

how to detect potential fascism

"מוכן לדאוג לקוטג', אבל לא לבית"
"i'm ready to fight for cottage [cheese], but not for my home"


* the protest was on behalf of all taxpayers - including the police who abused us. the fact that we were so few is embarrassing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

slightly less complex - part ii

[... continued]

i slept pretty well, and dreamed a lot. and vividly. then i got up to make rounds. i waited a long time for the bus to ramat aviv to meet with wr - i had coffee and a discussion that blew my mind. it made me really, really angry and frustrated and for the first time i have seriously considered fleeing this country. i'll write about it in a minute [or two, or three - i need to rest from writing for a bit after this post]. the conversation carried over to my next meeting with scrapper, and i got him all fired up too.

unable to find decent grub in the ramat aviv mall (or, at least, decent grub that didn't cost an arm and a leg) scrapper and i made our way to tel aviv. we were joined halfway through by a mutual friend, and the breakfast was almost as enjoyable as the conversation. unfortunately, by the time i was done i had less than an hour before training...

there's a reason one should eat more than two hours prior. for most of the training i felt like i was about to taste breakfast again - not nice. otherwise training was great! we worked well, and things definitely seem to be improving. not on the list of improvements: having the damage from tuesday increased; my forearm's a bit swollen and very tender.

the mongoose and i had agreed two weeks ago that he'd pick me up at 5.30pm and take me to see his new home, but instead he came by just as i stepped out of the shower and we chilled here until he decided he was calling it a night. pg and i continued playing crash bandicoot until i got motion sickness (some of those jet-ski levels are a bit much) and we switched to watching the rest of the alice mini-series while eating great sushi.

i passed out on the couch while pg watched friends, and eventually put myself to bed and had big dreams. the entire night.

---
today:
i'm done re-visiting my ripped albums, and i'm done with this post. i'm considering paring down my posts (i think i hear grateful sighs from anyone who reads this), because it's now about 3pm and i feel like i've done nothing that was on my agenda for today: playing gabriel knight and transcribing from my travel journal.

---
from an online conversation i witnessed yesterday morning:
"sometimes you just have to make a decision to be happy. just realize that things aren’t going to be what you hoped they would be. the only thing that separates one kind of person from another is that there are some who stay angry about it and there are some who accept what comes their way."

a seemingly benign sentiment, but i had to interject:
"i'm concerned that there's another thing that separates that isn't mentioned: that there are some who face the immediate trauma of choosing a different path for the benefit of their long-term happiness. there's very little in this world that's truly didactic"

slightly less complex - part i

i have great plans for this post. this is said while feeling absolutely nothing. i'm spiritually asleep, emotionally exhausted in spite of having gotten a great (and long!) night's sleep after an intense end to a long week that was only relatively less trying than the one before.

and now i have to re-digitize all the minidiscs i've already spent so much time on, because i used the wrong jack and both the quality and the volume are too low. suck. all i want to do is play computer games and - AAAAAAAAARGH! the battery metre on my minidisc lies! it LIES!!! and now i have to find a new set :S

[okay, that worked to my advantage - using line out is even worse because it cuts off the bass. i'll just stick to the crappy boosting provided by kanssoftware's "sound normalizer"]

---
wednesday:

ubuntu automatically located our office network printer. with one or two clicks, the appropriate drivers were downloaded and installed. with another click, i printed the pdf. i walked to the printer, and retrieved the output. it was a garbled mess. after examining it for a few seconds, i took it to the boss who told me he'd look into it.

about two minutes later he was crouched next to the printer, perplexed, holding a fat stack of repeat garbled prints. thank you, ubuntu. [isn't the background music inappropriate?]

...

our secretary and i don't seem to communicate on the same level - just in case i hadn't mentioned that before... i cannot fathom what would make her prance up to my desk and ask me my opinion on her toenail polish. there's harassment in there - not sexual, just... just cultural harassment.

we had lunch at avazi's, stuffing ourselves on the pre-lunch spread and being unable to get through even half of the main meal.

our secretary introduced me to a service that allows one to disconnect from companies like cable and internet without the stress of dealing with their horrific customer "service" lines and without their insane penalties.

no more netvision! no more hot! the fact that we require such a service is shameful.

on the way to the other office, mmf introduced me to the songify app for the iphone. i can't decided if it's really cool or simply amusing...

---
the poetry world is very strange subcategory of the literature one, and i can't figure out how things work. i took an extremely presumptuous step by posting first on an attempt at a collaborative poem targeted at EVERYONE, and was expecting to be lambasted for being a nobody. until the first response came in - a continuation of my beginning - my temperature rose. dramatically.

---
work was hard and fast, and i made such a complex series of changes that i couldn't leave it half-finished. i left much later than i'd planned to meet pg at the movies, and of course there were *no* buses for the next twenty minutes...

... but we walked in in time for the 3D trailers. you know what blows me away? tool - forty six & 2 on the captain america soundtrack.

---
pg had made my day when she'd called in the afternoon to ask if i wanted to see transformers in the evening.
"what else is on?" i asked, being unable to remember what other cool films are on circuit.
"nothing."
and then i smiled, remembering that she really likes transformers.

...

so the new movie is great! it's a lot of fun, beautifully done, and the plot and characters work really well. except for one thing. two things.

1. the new girlfriend is a little weird. a little strained. i don't know how much is because of bad acting and how much because of a bad script.

2. if there's one thing i've learned from joss whedon: someone important needs to die when there's that much action and danger. the movie contained no reality checks; the people who died were barely introduced and when a lot of people died, that wasn't what the cameras were looking at. i found this to be a terrible flaw, and it substantially detracted from my overall enthusiasm.
*SPOILER ALERT*
(select text to view)
especially when megatron doesn't kill the girlfriend. WTF?!?!
and apparently all of the wing-suits that survived until the release point made it all the way to the happy reunion at the end, in spite of the ridiculously dangerous building collapse. and with all those falls... not even a sprained ankle? nothing?

*END SPOILER*

---
on the way back from the cinema, we ran into pg's ex and his girlfriend. i didn't find out who he was until we'd parted company, but the encounter had a weirdness all its own even without that information.

i don't like him. he borrowed money from pg before they broke up, and he still hasn't repaid it. this wouldn't be such a big deal if he simply didn't have the money to return - but it is a big deal when he's chosen to invest the money. it's a textbook example of the current vs future value of money that we learned about in finance studies, and in my book it's precisely the definition of theft.

---
thursday:

after a brief sleep, i hurried to the bank to sort out a standing order for the university.
"wanna loan?" the man asked.
"why is it that when i need a loan it's hard to get one and the conditions suck, but now when i don't you make it attractive?"
"sorry, what?" he replied, confused.
"never mind."

the bus stops for the lines heading south from ibn gvirol have been switched. that was confusing. i stepped onto the bus and stood behind a woman playing solitaire on her ipad, which i found pathetically amusing. of all the apps - my phone rang. it was the guy from my neighbourhood that i used to serve with, and i couldn't figure out why he'd call me so early in the morning until i answered and he told me that he was keeping me a seat at the back of the bus :P
we rehashed our usual conversation about studies and professional satisfaction, and i'm pleased to hear that he's not only found a job but that it's one where they're happy to let him study when he decides that the time is right. good for him!

my first civilian dentist in seven years is very sweet, and she surprised me by informing me that all's well. i was shocked, however, to discover afterwards that regular, run-of-the-mill x-rays cost me NIS 50, more than a quarter of the price of panoramic ones. i would have thought that my insurance would cover the basics :/

the woman flossing unabashedly in the waiting room made me shake my head in wonder.

modx drove me completely nuts the entire day. after a raging success with the first installation, the second one has hit every bump and twist, failing and breaking non-stop. i didn't realize that i had sudo permissions on the dev server until the afternoon, but even that wouldn't have helped me because i suspect that the primary problem was with the vhosts file that i couldn't physically locate. my boss informed me later that i hadn't looked in the standard location - thank you, helpful internet forums, you tried.

combined with extremely loud persian / arabic inter-office relations in a small space with no partitions, i spent my day pretty tense. my boss had given me a job to do and i ended the day no closer to finishing it than when i'd started - the sad thing is that the only thing that disappointed my boss was my getting stressed by it all. as he said that, i realized that he was right and i left the office quite embarrassed.

i played angry birds while those inter-office relations continued in the smaller space of the car throughout the drive back to tel aviv - i was in need of a stiff drink by the time i got home. and a shower - it was hot outside. i was *just* about to commence chilling when pg called me to let me know that she and her parents hadn't yet left for the "opera in the park", so i scrambled to join them.

---
the opera was wonderful, the atmosphere was great and we were in time to pick a good spot. pg's mom is right - it's far more comfortable to sit for a long time on the grass than it is on plastic chairs. the only problem is that i was tired and holding myself up was a bit tough, so occasionally i leaned back and just listened.

1. thank you, mosquitoes, for driving us all nuts.
2. i should have brought my glasses. and binoculars.
3. are they called "subtitles" if they're live and displayed above the stage? i'm fairly certain i'd have been happier if they were in english.
4. no beer?! dammit!

all in all, i'm really glad i went. i *did* like the music, and the set was absolutely incredible. they projected the backdrops onto the stage screen, and combined with the excellent lighting the effects were gorgeous. i really appreciate good stage design.

---
we watched i love you phillip morris when we got home - i didn't realize until the end that it's based on a true story. that's... that's pretty insane. and it's the second "serious" movie with jim carrey that i've enjoyed.

...

damn you, ben & jerry's. damn you.

---
friday:

quote of the day: "stairs out of order, please take the elevator"
no, seriously. when i went to visit wr the stairs were cordoned off. were they broken?!

[continued...]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

funny thought

my boss said something about his personal relationships that made me think of my father - he only stayed in touch with people who he found potentially useful. the following imagined conversation just took place in my head:

"you remind me of my father."
"really?"
"yeah. i couldn't stand the miserable bastard and he died a horrible death."

i found the thought amusing, at least :P

simplicity

yesterday was a simpler, more entertaining workday. in fact, pretty much everything aside from another totalwaste / secretary moment where i became very aware of the fact that she keeps "pretending" to be uncouth and uncivilized "as a joke," and that produces very real behaviour which can be quite embarrassing.

the journey back to tel aviv was hot. the basement dojo was stuffy and lacking oxygen as usual. i'd been tired and a bit bloaty all day... i thought the energy drink would help, but i was wrong. and then we had to fight. real fighting, not the usual poking and prodding. two arab brothers were with us, and the energy with which i was beaten down by one of them was only amplified when turned on his brother - that was undoubtedly the most interesting and entertaining fight i've seen in years. they kicked the snot out of each and they did it well.

after the session i sat with our master for a while in a continuation of the whole motivation discussion - i've definitely had an effect, but i wonder how long it is before she gets the whole picture... at least she's listening.

the bus ride home happened to be with pg's sister and brother-in-law, which was fun, and after i had a shower pg and i settled down to watch the first half of the first part ofthe alice miniseries - it's AMAZING! i love the reinterpretation, it's slick and it's gorgeous, and most importantly it's loyal.

pg and i went up to the roof to switch wheels on our blades... she got a bit moody, but we got it all sorted out eventually. the route last night was brilliant! there was much chatter, and great downhills to balance out the solid exercise we were getting leading up to them :)

after another, quicker shower we settled down to the rest of the first part of alice, i finished digitizing another disc and then went to bed.

---

i don't think i slept enough, in spite of the additional hour i stole. i was thinking of passing out some more on the bus, but one of ze germans sat down across from me and we talked the whole way. i think it was the longest conversation we've ever had...

i got the last task on my list done surprisingly quickly, and am already on the next project. it's an exciting way to begin a workday :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

being human

point 1:

on sunday morning, i walked out of the apartment on my way to the bus stop and was surprised to find anti-1 outside, apparently saying goodbye to someone. she walked most of the way to the stop with me, and i tried to talk to her but she was noticeably troubled. at first i thought she was embarrassed about me seeing her with the guy she'd said goodbye to, then she got really weird and i just couldn't figure her out. the only response i could make out from her mumbling was "not good" to my question on how things have been...
i was on my way to work, and pg was sleeping, so i didn't invite her up to my apartment... i told her i'd be back the next morning (because we were going straight to a wedding), and to give me a call. i felt bad when i continued walking to the bus stop, wondering as i passed etnachta if i shouldn't have invited her for coffee, but she'd already pulled a "no, no, it's alright" so i sent her an sms.

i didn't think about it much until sunday evening, when her brother called me to inform me that she's been psychologically unstable and had fled jerusalem on friday night, her phone having been disconnected, and the guy i'd seen her with had been told that she was going to hang out with me. which i hadn't known about.

this troubles me a lot. not in the least because she's an intelligent and, from what i know of her, successful girl. i can't stop speculating on what could possibly cause someone who "gets" this world from going over the edge. what could it be? generic life complexities? lack of fulfilment? family issues?

i really hope she's alright.

---

point 2:

on sunday evening, after a long and exhausting day at work, i arrived home to a wonderful surprise - pg had made a tray of meringues for me. this totally set the tone, and we left for the wedding in great spirits. i'd prepped the map (and was surprised to learn that my iphone's map is location aware, i thought i'd have to do something to enable that) and scribbled a backup and i pretty much knew where we were going.

what a bummer that, at the very last moment, pg noticed that i was taking the right highway (road 1) instead of the left (road 20) - i was certain it was the other way around and i hadn't even bothered to check the signs.

traffic was a bit nuts at that hour, and i immediately pulled over to the left lane... but i was so focused on integrating with the left highway that i didn't realize that i wasn't just going over the painted island, but that the physical curb-height island was right in front of me. i didn't see it until it was too late, and to much grinding and car-simulation bumping about i committed and went over it.

there's nothing worse than being forced to accept that i'm just a regular human, capable of remarkable idiocy. after the initial and immediate shock, the reality of what had happened, i looked in the rear-view mirror to see that the guy behind me had simply stopped. in the middle of the highway. i would have done the same thing. i wouldn't want to get close to someone driving that badly either.

so my ego was more bruised and battered than pg's mother's car - with it's ultra-low suspension - at least the car made it most of the way and i parked it neatly in the parking lot of a gas station so that we could inspect the damage, only to discover that it wouldn't start any more.

and the fact that it's due to be sold within the week... my timing couldn't be better.

after work last night i was going to go visit pg's mother and tell her that i will obviously be taking all costs upon myself, but was fortunate to run into her walking her dog on my way from the bus stop and so was spared some of the awkwardness. there was no argument over who was going to pay, and on the plus side the towing was covered by insurance and i've just been informed that there's no actual damage aside from undercarriage scratching... *breathes out deeply*

if that drops the price of the car, i've offered to pay in the difference. either way, i keep reliving that moment, mounting the island - it's painful and horrible :(

---

sunday:

one of ze germans gave me a ride to work after spotting me waiting for the bus, and there was a supremely awkward moment when he asked me what i was doing, i gave him the usual schpiel, and he said "okay, but can you not give me a general direction? what field is it?"
what harm could it have done? i told him.
"ah, you're working with mmf, huh?"

shit. so much for discretion. mmf was shocked when he heard, but once the cat's out of the bag...

---

sunday was technical fail day. things just weren't working, and i spent a lot of it frustrated. or feeling silly. and i was tired.

---

facebook surprised me by reactivating my online status in the chat, and i discovered that when a guy i went to school with began a conversation with me. i didn't mind talking to him - i quite respect him - but i was working and i didn't have too much time to concentrate. he asked where i was, and i told him. "oh! you're with so-and-so." i didn't say anything, i'd heard that the so-and-so was somewhere in israel but i don't even know where - i certainly haven't seen him anywhere. "yeah, he just gave me some money," he continued, and i found that strange and thought i'd just let it go. i asked instead how he's doing, and his response stumped me:
"poverty."

alrighty then. i'm only just starting to get my life sorted out (and still in a bit of debt, even if my bank numbers are finally in black again), i haven't seen this dude in years, and i automatically felt like i want to help and the whole thing just made me feel awful, and not a little guilty for living well.

i expressed my regret at the news, and pounced on a pause to disconnect, set up the new "limit availability to," and tried unsuccessfully to forget the incident. no dice.

---

lunch was argumentative: i need to chill with our secretary, and accept that her attitude is great for an israeli and kak for a westerner, and at least she's nice about it. she caught me on a point that really pisses me off, though. in israel, you can't be interested in more than one thing. so if i'm making the case for recycling: "you're such a saint! you should dedicate your life to recycling" is a more-or-less traditional response.

how am i a saint? like most people who are aware of what's going with our planet, i'm concerned about sustainability. i'm not making any great sacrifices, i'm living my comfortable, polluting, wasteful lifestyle just like everyone else. the difference is that i'm trying, with the little things, to minimize the damage i do in living that lifestyle. one doesn't need to become a monk to do that.

---

our orientation proposal has been accepted. next semester, i'm going to be teaching first years how to be happy (happier, at least) students. w00t!

---

google+ hangouts: i pulled a trick i learned from chatroulette, joining a hangout with a bunch of friends and holding up an offensive message to my webcam. i logged off as soon as i got a funny response; i must admit that's even funnier when it's people you know. also in the google+ news: circles as opposed to friends means that you can follow anyone's public posts, twitter-style. without obligating the followed to be a follower. not bad, google. not bad. now we just need circles within circles and we'll be mostly happy.

---

it's hard to argue new tariffs with the bus driver on a packed bus with people pushing and shoving from the curb during rush hour. i thought he was confused by the new setup, as a lot of them are. i discovered later he was right, though, and not only that but that it was to my benefit: glilot is covered by the "red" zone tickets, which means that my "cheap" student card takes me all the way to cinema city... and here i thought it ended in ramat aviv :P

---

yesterday:

i had to wake up twice, and *just* missing the bus meant an hour of transport hassles. perhaps it was to pay me back for getting a ride on sunday. i was a bit stuck in my thoughts of the day before, mostly about being disappointingly human but also about accepting the craziness around me.

i also levelled up on self-awareness.

mmf's first question when i walked in: "how do you spell personnel?"
"S-L-A-V-E," i offered.
my boss chimed in without missing a beat: "B-O-T-S." it took mmf a few more tries before we stopped offering alternatives and helped him out :P

we had a pleasant lunch, for a change. i managed to keep a lid on my emotions, even responding calmly when our secretary stated that what i didn't know was that there are scientists who don't think that global warming is a real problem. jesus, we're backwards here.

---

on seeing a religious family of half a dozen children, all i could think of was:
seriously, guys, i think we've been able to check the "be fruitful and multiply" box for a while now... either chill with the procreating, or have a properly violent world war, or get off this rock. this shit just isn't sustainable.

---

norman finklestein was amazing. the chat afterwards was fun, too :)

back to work: i learned that XMLConfiguration doesn't like being used in a logical fashion - at least i got it to work eventually, even if it was arse-backwards.

dinner: the frozen fish were impossible to separate, and we didn't want to defrost all of them. after much struggling we headed out to goocha, and had a great meal. i was *tired* afterwards, and wanted to go to bed, but *OH NO MARINGUES AND BEN & JERRY'S!* and then i passed out.

i woke up this morning with an unhappy stomache [i wonder why?] and ripped another disc before heading out to the bus. i was on time for it, too. i finished the second chapter of heart of darkness, napped a bit, and then rocked up here...

the first item on my priorities list took about ten minutes to secure. that makes me happy. now for the rest of them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

not the best of them: synopsis

today really was one of those rare days when what little goes wonderfully is paid for with a ton of shit. i think it's summed up best with the simple truth - that i was carrying the handbag because of the really stupid car accident earlier (no human injuries, but the car won't start and it's stuck near rehovot) and the evening wasn't in the least bit improved by the call from a relative of the extremely troubled girl i was the last to see this morning before she disappeared.

descriptions after i've gotten some rest.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

results, a confession pt 3

[... continued]

i was wasted last night, and i realized when i got to the end of the previous post that i wasn't going to be able to continue. so i cut all of the remaining text, and was planning on pasting it into a new post but got distracted by the software i'm using to rip my minidiscs... so i lost it. my temperature rose when i realized what i'd done, and how irreversible it was: so here we go again :/

---

thursday evening:

pg and i arrived at goocha on time to meet with my aunt and her husband - goocha is not the place for a grumpy, ultra-conservative and fairly large old man. it was a long wait for a seat inside, and the seats we got were the wrong shape for him so we had to wait again for a seat outside, where he didn't want to sit. those would have been all of the issues if he hadn't ordered a garlic dish and then decided that it was too much garlic for him... otherwise, the rest of us really enjoyed the food and we had a good time.

the goodbyes were quick, and we went home. pg laid down some ground rules regarding the living room now that she's completely tidied it up - by stuffing all of the junk into the study. it's feeling a bit cramped in here...

we took the hookah onto the roof, i put on good music and we chilled for a while. the last of thursday: getting my poetry results. 76 isn't usually a bad grade, but when your pass mark as an MA student is 80 then that's not good at all :(

---

friday:

i took my coffee for a walk to a quiet little street about five minutes from here for a storytelling workshop held by a girl from the states. it wasn't a particularly complex affair, primarily because only three of us showed up after about ten had confirmed. we didn't learn *huge* things, but i think the exercises were productive and there's something to be said for practise.

we focused on telling family stories, which for me brought out two main incidents / characters that were both extremely personal and for the listeners quite shocking (both very unfortunate characters, neither of them malicious). it was weird telling these stories to strangers.

over lunch i discovered that one of the others is involved in LARPing; it turns out that there's a half-formed community hanging around... having just acquired a couple of scripts from CLAW friends (thanks, guys!), i handed him my card and i hope he'll be in touch. i REALLY want to play! and write, too :)

the workshop ended way earlier than expected, so i strapped on my blades as soon as i got home and flew to the climbing wall. my right hand's been hurting for the past week or two, and i haven't been on the wall in a while, and it was hot, and a whole bunch of other excuses. in spite of all that, i did pretty well! i'm very pleased with myself. not even hitting my hand really hard on a grip and having it swollen and hurting could stop me.

the heat, though, was unbearable. we stopped by the thievery eatery and i grabbed an ice-cream and a coke, then played some frisbee on the field. not *awesome* frisbee, because my fingers weren't responding properly after the wall, but not shabby either :)

my return home was a bit strained. i had a cold shower, played some abe's exoddus and allowed myself to be used as a meringue taste-tester. oh! the suffering! my girlfriend makes mean meringues ^_^

weird moment: i received an email from the poetry professor, and apparently my poetry grade was mixed up and i was supposed to get a 90. she said she'll correct it today, but i'm left wondering how that works and if i should let it bother me... not that i'll complain when my grade is fixed.

we met up with pg's parents and rode with them to dinner, a nice little restaurant on allenby (of all places). i felt a little awkward getting a pint when everyone else was drinking two-thirds of that. i felt very awkward when the birthday boy decided to play with the street cat that had come looking for food, and then thrown water at it when he got scratched. how could the poor cat have known that he was playing? so not only was it threatened, it was then punished for reacting in a reasonable manner :/

i was tired after dinner - nobody can say that i wasted time this past week. well, you could say it but it'd be wrong. i crashed when we got home, and woke up about two hours later to dress, have a bite of crumbly cake and then rush outside to meet my young cousin. i was feeling a bit topsy-turvy at the time. we took a shuttle to south tel aviv, i picked up an energy drink and some m&ms* that somehow didn't agree with me, and we hit the comfort.

* what a weird am/pm! they had all the strange things like reese's, but no regular chocolate bars :S

i'd say the crowd was about 50% arsim, which isn't too bad. it was packed inside, and we arrived just in time for the widdler. not bad. most of the set was spent protecting space as opposed to dancing and enjoying it... when doctor p hit the decks, the dance floor turned into a mosh pit and i was relieved when my cousin yelled "this is really lame!" and we moved up the stairs. more space, only slightly less bass, and we could enjoy the music instead of fight with idiots.

the set was good - organik was there, and he informed me that doctor p is usually far better than the set he gave us. i've never heard him before, though, so i had no expectations and i enjoyed it. but i enjoyed rok sonix even more; not least because as soon as doctor p stepped down the arsim all left, and the vibe was left all the better for it.

by 4am my legs were tired, i was tired, and the new set was chilled enough that i really didn't feel bad about getting us out of there. we couldn't catch a shuttle, so we walked all the way back to north tel aviv... a slow walk and talk that was quite pleasant.

---

as i walked into the little enclave our apartment's in, some guy who was loping past stopped and shouted "hey bro! where can i find coke?"
i stopped and stared, amazed.
"c'mon! coke, or brown, or marijuana, or anything!"

i shook my head, dumbfounded. "dude - you are seriously living in a movie."

i wonder if he was for real?

---

i got about five hours of sleep, then posted and ripped music until our order from ze sushi arrived. i started passing out towards the end of breakfast at tiffany's - sweet movie. i thought it a good time to take a nap... but no! my young cousins arrived, and needed to be entertained. we unwrapped and watched the union; they weren't too happy having a documentary forced on them, until it piqued their interest and then they enjoyed it :))

pg called to unpark the car, which had been closed in tight on both sides. i then drove us to the airport: my night-vision isn't amazing, and my primary problem is that i tend to keep my focus on the roads, so reading the usually bad signs at a glance is tough.

more hasty goodbyes - i was thinking of stopping for coffee but i missed the parking turn-off - and pg and i returned home. she watched the wall while i did some more ripping and posting, and then put myself to bed.

---

today:

*phew*
i'm finally caught up. now it's time to get on a bus to work. this week's pretty packed - beginning with a wedding tonight - but it can't be as crazy as the last one!

---

eating my words: it appears i have some apologizing to do. "SQL" is not, as i was taught, pronounced "sequel," but rather "es-queue-el" as the israelis say. to make things worse, sammy then informed me that i was wrong about something that i'd been even more vocal about, and now i have to re-orient myself. perhaps i'll just give up and begin speaking americanese instead.

results, a confession pt 2

[... continued]

thursday:

uploading to youtube takes a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time. i don't know why. but almost an hour and a half regardless of whether or not other internet consumers are running seems a bit extreme, and the videos i'm uploading aren't particularly big...

the meeting on thursday morning was cancelled, so i stopped by my old office. i saw this on the way, and also went into the gadget shop to see if i could find something appropriate for pg's father's birthday.

---

a strange idea occurred to me concerning traffic lights. i've mentioned them before: i suspect it might be a good idea to have intersections function as four-way stops when the roads have low load. traffic always seems to flow smoother when the lights aren't operative, and it's certainly less frustrating for the pedestrians.

---

the head of the r&d team and i had a tense argument when i explained the problem i was attempting to solve with our task scheduler replacement. i'm using quartz, and my initial design included a fail-safe for the case when the scheduler fails. i'm not prone to assuming that other people's software will work... he assumed that any issues would be due to my code, and that what i need to be focusing on is finding whatever bugs i may have causing this.

fair enough - i need to profile and i hadn't thought of that. but i still suspect the quartz handler of not being in an ideal state.

---

walking across the highway bridge to the bus stop made me think that israelis in general don't deserve the privilege of private car ownership. their attitudes and capabilities on the road are deplorable.

case in point: while i was waiting, a taxi pulled up and hooted. i glared at him, as he sat for a few moments before rolling his window down, and i approached him when he signalled to do so. i answered snappishly to his question, then asked him why he felt he had to honk the horn.
"what do you want me to do?"
"roll down your window and talk to me like a human being."
*funny look*
"you know it's illegal to hoot in an urban area?"
"ya, ya... "
"'ya ya', whatever, just cause us anguish."
i'm not sure that he drove off a changed man.

---

i was so busy helping the stressed-out and confused old woman to get on the right bus that i forgot to get on with her until it was already pulling away. i ended up taking an egged bus, and i have to say that the experience was quite an improvement over the previous one.

work: a code review, which was overall pretty positive but required one minor change - a minor change that demanded a few thinks before i settled on a method. those few thinks gave me quite a headache :(

modx amazes me. not only does everything look and feel slick, but the fact that they dedicated the time to producing a decent package management system deserves respect.

on my way home i stabbed myself in the eye with an earpiece while putting on my sunglasses. that hurt for a while. then i got on a bus and had to wait for the soldier who was arguing with the bus driver about the legitimacy of the driver's request for him to either stop talking or to take his conversation to the back. on the second bus, also egged, i presented my card and the driver was presented with a code he was unfamiliar with. i didn't know either, so we assumed that it was the right one. i tried to call the customer service line on my way across the bridge, but got tangled up in their automated menus and eventually gave up.

on arrival, i had a quick coffee meeting with my boss and he explained to me why we need an immediate priority change. i would've begun working immediately, but the guy whose software was down had left already, so i returned to what i'd been doing before... and it was fun. by the time i left an hour or two later, i'd been excited and productive and i walked out quite satisfied with my week.

i felt *good*. like, *manic* good.

[continued...]

Saturday, July 09, 2011

interlude

it's about 6am and i'm waiting for my hair to dry... i had to shower, after a solid night of dubstep (and sure, the idiots spilling beer all over me contributed too) with my young cousin. doctor p was cool, rok sonix were awesome; i'm amazed that i was still involuntarily grinding in spite of having had a long day that was physical enough that my legs hurt rollerblading back from the post-climbing frisbee...

Friday, July 08, 2011

results, a confession pt 1.5

[... continued]

i had some time before the reading, so i stopped by the museum of the diaspora to check out their database for a friend of mine back in south africa. it was a long and arduous process, that not finding anything, and introduced me to the politically stupid aspect of jewish genealogy databases: there are a bunch of them, and they're not connected. i don't know much about jewish genealogy, but i know enough to realize that this leaves all of them considerably less useful... i wonder if the professionals have thought about this.

---
m. l. liebler, yeah? wow, man - that was super cool. i didn't see it coming, and the more he did the more impressed i became. mixing william blake with jimi hendrix? groovy. grandma's rock 'n roll? JEALOUS.

---
on the way home i bought a bunch of bananas and presented them to pg as better than roses. it turns out she likes roses :P
i was only home for a few minutes, and had to rush out to catch a ride to kfar saba for my ex-unit's farewell evening. i was in such a hurry i forgot to replace my sunglasses with a hair-band... at least i didn't forget the gift.

the guy who gave me a ride isn't the most social of creatures, so the rides there and back were fairly quiet. the evening itself was fun - most people, as usual, didn't recognize me at first :P
i was disappointed, as usual, by the lack of alternatives to pizza. because we all know that EVERYONE eats crappy pizza. all i could consume was beer and whatever snacks were left :/

---
the aforementioned gift was supposed to be given to the pointy-haired boss during the evening, but he didn't show up so i passed it around before giving it to nystire to pass along. the comments caused my temperature to rise dramatically, most of the guys loved it, nobody can believe that i actually planned on giving it to him and everyone agrees that i have a bad streak because i can do such a thing.

i mean, the guy made us all miserable and took advantage of us in the most shameful ways, all the while being grossly incompetent and negligent in matters of national security. i don't see why we all need to be nice anymore.

---
the rollerblading group whizzed past me on my way home - i scanned the faces for pg, but she'd opted to stay home because i hadn't gone...

---
wednesday:

the third alarm failure. this time the alarm application had somehow closed... but it was replaced by an enthusiastic plush doll snuffling in my face. easier to deal with, anyway :P

i waited more than forty minutes for the bus (whiling away the time with my mobile rss feed and trying to help lost passengers), and this time when my bus card failed i began to consider the possibility that it was to blame and not the readers...

ubuntu, svns and ssh: i have come to the conclusion, after being laughed at for even trying, that the svn guis available for linux are complete and utter rubbish. including the ones that come highly recommended. one installed and didn't run, the other ran but couldn't deal with ssh. and as for ssh... at least i eventually figured most of it out, and my boss rescued me on the last bit.

nope, the linux experience isn't yet ready for regular users like myself. sorry.

lunch revolved around the previous day's genealogy discovery and reddit; i've come to the conclusion that our secretary and i are simply too many worlds apart to have a sensible conversation :(

---
on the way back we argued over the price of cheese: last week the country made a concerted effort to put their foot down, and a boycott of cottage cheese was successful. good for you, israel, learning about consumer power so late in the game. now that you've used it on something as trivial as cheese, how about we form a democracy?

oh, wait... you don't care. cheese, though - that's important.

---
google maps: i hate you. it took me fifteen minutes to map out a route for my aunt because each mouseclick had to be precise and mistakes cannot be partially undone. if you mis-click, while is all too easy, you have to start again. that sucks!

i got home broken, and began the reparations with abe's exoddus and ben & jerry's. my mum called me up on skype - hooray! my mother has entered the information age by sorting out a booster for her apartment! it only took years of harassment... i love you mom!

the evening at kc's grandparents was great, although my aunt got lost and it was partially due to my directions :(
dinner was excellent, loud and boisterous and interesting. i'm a little shocked at how deaf kc's grandmother has become in the last year or so...

yang made me happy: he rocking up wearing a tool shirt. kick ASS! he then made me unhappy by calling conservative canadians "rednecks"; i'm pretty sure that's not the word he was looking for. but his family backs him up. except his father, who's a hard-right conservative.

we went home in convoy, so they were just fine, and we found an easy parking but not before some asshole almost connected with us because he was in *such* a hurry. he made me hoot, and i instantly regretted it. i did, however, really want to chase him down and put a fist through his mouth.

[continued...]

results, a confession pt 1

[post re-divided retroactively]

a big week has gone by. mostly, it's not over yet. i'm not even certain i'm ready to post this right now, although it really must be done. i'm using the fact that the youtube upload is taking *forever* and audacity's so bad with silence detection and maintaining the sound's quality when left alone that i'm now ripping tracks from my minidiscs one by one...

---

monday:

the bus changes have been chaotic, but mostly alright. the one glaring exception is egged - they're totally new to the electronic card system and when their machines don't work, their drivers don't know how to respond. or they respond a little bit too pedantically: the card reader read me as empty, even though i have a full year pass. after rubbing the card's magnetic strip on his trouser leg, which bothered me, he began investigating. "show me your receipt," he said. i was surprised, i've never thought to travel with it and don't really want to. i have an electronic card, you see. that's what it's for. "take a look at my photo, on the back. look at what the card says."
he read it out loud, which was unnecessary.
"so you see, i -"
"where's your receipt? who travels without a receipt?! you need to bring your receipt."

i'll tell you who: nobody i know. tahoma laughed at me when i called him to find out what that was all about, but the damage had been done and i was uncomfortable getting on egged buses the entire week.

---
i'd been on my way to the old office. as it turned out, it was to discover a better way of handling time-zone differences - every time i have to deal with something, i realize how little thought my predecessors put into their work... i spend far more time overwriting rubbish than i do solving real issues. it's good for my ego, at least.

i found pg in a great mood, and i was exhausted and stressed but pretty much satisfied with the day, so we went hunting food. up and down ben gurion we went, unable to find anything suitable, eventually giving up and taking a bus to the frozen yoghurt place - but she spotted an interesting looking place across the road, and we ended up there instead. it was pretty good, but we both ate *way* too much. and the beer and the coffee on top of that crossed the line.

the apartment looked... different. pg had taken it upon herself to paint the table i'd wheeled over green, and it took up a lot of space. i set down my bag, then took a walk to see my family.

on the way, an odd thought struck: words have power, and they shape the way we think. perhaps it would be wiser to speak in the imperative, and decisively?
"you will care, things will change"

as opposed to
"you should care, things have to change"?

yang came back home with me to meet pg and join us in watching the darwin awards - a surprisingly entertaining movie. i thought some of winona's acting came off a bit contrived, which is unfortunate because i really like her.

...

on going to bed: i scored a 93 for the shakespeare course! *phew*. and YAY!

---

tuesday:

waking up early to drive up north: but not too early; half an hour later than intended, in fact. my alarm clock decided that i'd meant to set it for the next day :S

we had coffee and a pleasant drive north, going through afula by mistake but fortunately coming out on the right side and then arriving on the kibbutz for breakfast. it was a very sweet reunion - i think our kibbutz cousin was a bit overwhelmed. it was a very pleasant morning, and then we were off...

the ride back was a bit stressful. not necessarily good stress, although i must say that my aunt can certainly dish it out and she posed some very interesting challenges. we were primarily arguing about the value of fiction and fantasy, and exposure versus choice. that last all the way back, and made the driving time feel like a few minutes :P

i was exhausted, so i decided to take a nap. i set my alarm, and again it didn't go off - that was when i discovered that my iphone was selecting my "schooldays" alarm by default even though i haven't used it since the semester ended. and that alarm never works on tuesdays.

wonderful.

so i was late, and irritated about being late. i'd wanted to take them to see the university, but there wasn't enough time left so i went with them to the palmach museum next, saying goodbye and then discovering that they couldn't get in because they didn't have their passports on them - i flashed my reserve duty card and the gate opened. very nice. a very weird sensation.

[continued...]

Monday, July 04, 2011

stiffed

yesterday:

i couldn't sleep. i went to bed at around 3.30am, and i lay there wired for most of the next five hours. it started off "good" wired - my brain was hyper-aware and active and although i was considering and solving problems i didn't want to get up to scribble things down because i didn't want to risk disturbing pg and i didn't want to ruin the chance that i might be closing in on a sleep phase.

bad call, perhaps?

i was totally useless by the time my alarm clock went off. the last thing i remember is from a speech i was giving to first years at the start of next year's orientation course (in potentia): "do discussions of sex and god offend you? well, good luck with that."

i now live a bus away from my post-office, even though i've only moved a five minutes' walk. i wasn't looking forward to having to catch the bus and then deal with whatever the new branch was going to surprise me with, but the bus arrived just as i stepped under its shelter and the entire post office procedure took less than a minute! it may be further away, but it's a MUCH better branch :)

---

i had to wait a long time for the bus to herzeliya though. a woman pushing her child in his pram was so busy talking on her phone that she slammed his precious little feet into the bench i was sitting on... she promptly stopped, horrified at what she'd done, to helpfully pat him on the back. the only problem with that was that she had stopped precisely where she was, taking up exactly the amount of room between the bench and the wall so that nobody could pass her without *squeezing* by.

do you think she moved, after the fifth, sixth, seventh person made faces and shoved past?

that takes me to an argument with our secretary that took place over lunch: *i'm* the one who has to do anything connected with recycling in this office, because i'm the only one who cares. when i became offended at the most recent incident - i had to drag out a whole bunch of cardboard boxes - i was asked: "what do you expect? if you want people to recycle then you have to make it easy to do so and make laws to support it." i was irritated not only by the attitude, because it's stupid, but because the recycling station is right next door to our office.

the argument went a couple of steps further, though, and i came to a conclusion that really pains me. most people... most human beings, around the planet... most people are stupid. that's the "wizard's first rule", and it's correct about each and every one of us. the thing about israelis, though, is that by and large they're not just stupid, but they're jerks too. not everyone, of course, but it's a generalization that's simply too accurate to be ignored.

that's the most difficult thing about living here.

---

the bus driver was a little confused about the new tariff system, and at first wanted me to pay the full fare from tel aviv to herzeliya even though i'd swiped my student card that covers me for the greater tel-aviv area. he felt bad about it, though, and he reduced the fare to the difference and informed me that if anyone asked he'd claim ignorance. i spoke to tahoma, who's volunteering to help the public transport organizations with the transition, who informed me that what the driver did is what's supposed to be done, which i promptly passed on.

the new system is actually pretty good, all things considered, but the way the changes have been presented to both the drivers and the public is nothing short of shameful.

heck, most people don't find out there've been changes until they've gotten lost.

---


is the project i've been working on done? it's hard to believe. my boss did make me feel like an idiot, though, when he stood over my should and pointed out a number of typos that were causing all my problems. *facepalm*

i was called to confirm my dentist appointment, and i answered with a "sure! i'll definitely be there!"
it was just as i was putting down the phone that i realized that i'd made plans a little earlier that totally conflicted with that, and i spent several minutes being referred to different numbers to eventually get back to her and reschedule. that sucked.

mmf suffered a sudden and aggressive attack of pain from his slipped disc, and walking to the car with him evoked nothing but pity.

i went to my old office, and found my team-mate sitting there with news. i have to say, there's something about that place that i find comforting, and not just the big corner office and the espresso machine. we ran a couple of tests and discovered another svn hiccup that had actually saved us... the first thing i did for the project was transfer some of the functionality from the client to the server, and the guy i replaced did the testing and put it into production. we figured out last night that at some stage the svn merge had reintroduced the code we'd removed from the client, and that was the only code that was producing the results we need because the server code doesn't work on the production server - it has a time zone issue. *deep sigh*

i got home, showered*, and received an sms from my aunt telling me to join them at the old port. i took one of the new lines to the port, and found my way to the cafe pretty quickly. my uncle advised going with the fish 'n chips, and they were excellent, and i called up our kibbutz cousin to arrange a visit that would work for everyone.

* my hair is at precisely the length that it really gets in the way, but isn't long enough to tie up properly. it's makes me just as happy as it makes me crazy :)

as we paid the bill, i checked my events and learned that los caparos was scheduled to begin playing at levontin 7. knowing that the shows usually start an hour late, i convinced both my cousins to check it out and we took our time taking a shuttle down there. we arrived with about half an hour to spare, which was good because if the silliness with the cashier had been under pressure i might not have gotten my change: i handed her an NIS 200 note for the 150 entrance fee for the three of us, just as one of my cousins handed her a 50. she gave me back the 50 and then couldn't figure out why i stood there demanding more, and it took no less than four explanations before she gave up trying to figure it out and gave me my change...

"i'm not very good at maths" - well, clearly. but should you be working the cash-box then?

the performance itself was amazing! i remembered hearing them at a battle of the bands a long time ago, but couldn't recall what genre they played and what language they sang in. insanely good ska / reggae, sung in russian, english and hebrew, absolutely brilliant and amusing and funky... and long. they performed for almost two hours - that dude's got one hell of a mouth on him.

---

today:

i'm well pleased that all three of us enjoyed ourselves. when i got home i had no energy to do anything, so i went to bed (itching like crazy, thank you mosquitoes) around 2am and overslept, waking up around 10 - 10.30.

---

i spoke to my insurance company, and they're astounding. they've transferred control of my account to another company, and aside from not informing me they've totally ignored my attempts to update them via their email address. they're supposed to have called me back by now...

... i have a feeling i'm switching to another insurance company. this is the same one i had trouble with over health insurance.

---

i had a quick breakfast, then waited for a while until my bus arrived. work? work's been alright. the last of the non-cosmetic stuff has been done, and my job for the moment is to configure my linux installation properly and learn modx.

cool.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

worked over

there's nothing worse than spending frustrated hours (okay, maybe not hours, but a long time) fighting with code only to discover a mistake that i'd already made before. DAMMIT.

my family from canada have arrived, and i dragged pg off from her studying to go and say hi - i eventually left around 1.30am, after an interesting and fun evening. it's so nice to have them around!

i've got one last thing to do with the work before going to bed... i really hope i can find a fast solution...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

what stress?

wednesday:

on tuesday evening my wrist suddenly started hurting, and it hasn't gone away. on wednesday morning two of my left toes got all sensitive, and for a few minutes i thought i was going to keep limping for the rest of the day; then they got better. then they hurt a bit later on again, but again only for a few minutes.

what the hell??

i left a box of old cellphones outside, the last of the reminders of how much i've been screwed over during the last decade, both by cellphone companies and by two supposed "friends" who put me into uncomfortable situations.

lesson for the day: store all of the electronic recycling until winter. just the five-minute walk from azrieli to the recycling station in the summer's morning heat was too much.

i was so irritated by the idiots walking in front of me on the way to the bus stop that i missed the one i needed because i wasn't looking up, and promptly missed the bus. i still made it to campus before wordsworth, though, so it wasn't *my* fault that we only had ten minutes to discuss the proposal for the orientation course. fortunately, we didn't need any more than that :)

i expected our next meeting to take about ten minutes, but we sat with our poetry professor for almost an hour and i eventually had to take me leave of the surprisingly productive "what-if"s to get to work. there is a plan of action.

work: i gave up (for the moment) using linux because we're in such a hurry. everything works well except the nautilus / svn gui, and quite frankly i'm not interested in learning all the command line commands. my boss is shocked, nystire would be ashamed of me, but i don't care. i don't care enough to learn all that random shit by heart.

---

we had lunch in the usual place. i sat down next to the window, looked outside at the group of girls on the other side of the glass, saw nothing of interest and turned back to my menu. that's when mmf tapped me on the shoulder and said, urgently, that i shouldn't look or she'll notice me.
of *course* i looked.
i *just* managed to recognize her from her one eye that i could see past the woman sitting next to her, a girl that we studied with (i taught her sql) and who married a friend of ours... i looked back at him, and he said "no! you're not supposed to look!" as if i had had any control. for some reason i found myself caught up in his attempt to not speak to her, which was a lot of crap anyway because she did notice me eventually and she came in to say hi, and it was good to see her and i don't have a clue what made me play along.

---

on the way home i argued with mmf about parent licenses, and he released the quote of the day: "you're talking about interfering with the basic human right to make babies!"
yes, i am. you shouldn't have to be rich to take care of a child, but you should have to be a (relatively) psychologically healthy and contributing member of society. and if you're not, well, you can have as many kids as you want but you won't be raising them. i still believe that the best solution is to have well-monitored state-run orphanages.

...

on my way home i talked to my mother, who has finally found a job that should (hopefully) make her happy. after so many years of disappointment and worrying, i'm not only pleased and excited but also a bit nervous... i *really* want this to work out for her!

one of the guys from my unit is getting married soon, and he and his fiancée met with me to hand me their invitation personally. it's a very cool invitation, and carried with it a fun and interesting discussion at coffeeholic and the conclusion that i really like them, even if we weren't very close until i first went home.

pg made a great dinner, and then we walked to bar giora to hear seven perform. co-conspirator appears to be permantently pissed off at me after our last argument over bad strategies.
seven did a cover of one of john donne's poems, and it not only worked but really blew me away! and they have a song or two that reminded me of joydrop - beautiful (i don't know that the link's laughter contributes anything).

---

thursday:

i had to wake up early to make up for it being a busy one. i went straight to work, struggled to turn on the air-conditioner and eventually gave up. i spent the morning working, composing a proposal for the poetry event, and wondering if google plus was really going to work if a great idea like wave failed.

the tough bit of the day was making some real progress and then discovering that, somewhere along the line, the code that solved last week's crazy problem simply disappeared into the ether. now i have to reconstruct it :'(

we had burgers for lunch, most of the time focused intently on our cellphones. i was reading the news, the others were doing things even more antisocial :P

on my way to the old office i wondered about how much the bus route changes will affect me. and they will. i also recorded myself singing along to a perfect circle, and arrived at the conclusion that my voice sucks. or, at the very least, requires some practice.

work: long, meaningless speeches punctuated by a ten minute knowledge transfer and a complex merge / code review. i decided that we're going to stop opening a branch for each issue, and rather work together on version branches. it's necessary because the merge functions so badly, but i can only hope that it's the right decision.

on the way back, i was forced to the front of the bus by the heavy urine reek of the homeless man who stood next to me... i kinda felt bad about such an obvious move, but i really couldn't handle such an aggressive smell.

pg had me in stitches while we walked around the "white night", tel aviv's yearly partying until the dawn. "you know me," she said, "i'm not an animal party".
hebrew adjectives always come after :P
the evening was kinda fun, we heard three good bands at the indie concert outside the museum, which we would have entered had the entrance fees for students not been so high (they're always high). we didn't get too close to the performances at the ozen bar because it was far too crowded, and by that time it was late and we were tired so we decided to be antisocial and go home to watch a movie.

the only other item of interest from the "white night" was the driving: holy shit. i'm used to seeing bad driving in this country, but that was extreme.

i finished a tub of ben & jerry's while we watched tank girl until 3am. i really shouldn't have, but chunky monkey is too good!

---

yesterday:

i began writing this post in the morning, but got distracted by google plus and digitizing memories. then i went early to training to take the warm-up, but our instructor had made it anyway because she hadn't managed to get to jerusalem: she hadn't heard about the bus changes.

there were only three of us, so we had a quiet training of stretching and forms. my knees - both of them - hurt. and apparently i've lost five kilos since i last checked a couple of weeks ago. having said that, our instructor informed me that my target for summer is to lose the belly. not improve my technique, not get stronger and faster, but lose the belly. i'm embarrassed.

i continued to digitize, making an exam-stressed pg angry with photos of her when she insisted that i show her what i was dumping. she'd made me tense by repeating her insistence after i'd already told her that i had copies of everything, and i didn't hear her stipulate that she didn't want to see any photos of my ex-girlfriends.

*sigh*

i chatted with the mongoose for about half an hour, and in addition to making a date to see his new apartment (in two weeks' time - we're absurdly busy) he's informed me that he's transferred my cv to a new and exciting start-up that might be interested in me. the funny thing about his timing is that i'm going away in august, and there is a chance that my new employer will be forced to replace me, even partially; in that case, i will have absolutely no loyalty issues and this is a good opportunity to cover my ass.

i called up my tenant, having remembered suddenly that the first of the month had arrived, and he informed me that he's in, settled and comfortable and that the money is on the way. i can't be sure that he hasn't paid me until twenty four hours have passed, but i suspect it'll be fine. i'm really quite relieved that he's doing alright; i was a little worried that he hadn't moved in yet and that there would be some issues...

pg and i joined her parents and brother for dinner at etnachta, and it was there that i realized how absolutely exhausted i was. dinner was pleasant, but when we got home my nap on the couch didn't help and i dragged myself into bed early.

---

today:

when i woke up this morning i got out of bed, only to find that i was still wiped out. i returned to lie in for an hour or so, but i wasn't actually sleepy so eventually i coffee'd myself up and began sorting / tidying. i did that for a lot longer than i'd intended... i've discovered that my old minidisc player does work, but only on battery power. and the earrings that i thought hadn't arrived for pg's birthday? they had arrived. early. i must have put them away during an absent-minded moment :$

i've got actual work to do.