Wednesday, August 31, 2011

should i compare that to the summer's thrust?

should i compare that to the summer's thrust?
that was not lovely, nor quite temperate
no winds did shake the giant trees august,
and summer's stride hath all too long a gate:
today too hot the eye of heaven shone,
though oft' was his dank cloud complexion dimm'd;
and every sweat from head did downward run,
by chance or wind's gust's changing course untrimm'd:
but this eternal summer shall not fade
nor lose possession: global warming growest;
but shall death drag us wandering to his shade,
when to eternal tombs our time doth flowest:

so long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
so long lives this, which warns of death to thee.


i woke up early, when pg did, and couldn't get back to sleep. too much to do. i made phone calls and handled emails, enjoying the balmy summer's morning and thinking how wonderful it would be to do absolutely nothing with my day. then i caught a bus to work.

i got a handle on my ubuntu installation, then hurried through the intense heat and seering sun to the university for a meeting. i had time for a decent cafeteria meal, and was intruded upon by wordsworth who'd arrived just in time to discover that our meeting had been moved to our professor's residence. i finished up and we moved along.

the meeting was interesting, the dog still hates me, i found a useful app that turns an iphone into a microphone, i way-too-excitedly bragged about getting my poem published (training wheels, it's exciting because it's in the fuddy-duddy anthology).

more heat and humidity, then back to work. i actually got a bit of work done, too. i got a ride to the other office from mmf, and have spent my last couple of hours sorting out mail now that we've made the transition to gmail hosting. so much better!

---

important life lessons

my moon aims to disprove the "moon hoax" conspiracy. it's not terrible, but it could definitely be a lot stronger.

second hand?

i came across this "word of the day": secondhander

i was immediately riled. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ENTIRELY ORIGINAL IDEA. the irony of this is that the definition presented is precisely that of an original idea.

ARRRR for a return

written monday - 7.22am:

sunday:

breakfast - a big, jewish breakfast. locks and bagels, something called a frittata, and from arbitrary chatter to israeli politics because that's just what happens with these people whether you talk for five minutes or two hours. it was fun, but about halfway through i started getting butterflies in my stomache.

i was going away again.

the last goodbyes and the last phone calls were quick and awkward; we were packed and out of there fifteen minutes than i'd said we should be but fifteen minutes before my mother had suggested, so we were all good. mango groove accompanied us to the airport. protoplasm met up with us there, and after a quick check-in we went downstairs for decent vida e cafe and a lot of talking. we sat there longer than it felt.

the walk through security and passport control was smooth, ignoring the officer's explaining the cartoon representation of human trafficking because it wasn't actually particularly clear. we didn't buy anything during the five minutes that we had before the call for "all outstanding passengers" - assuming that this was an indication of our being late, we hurried to the gate only to be amongst the first through.

the first hop was smooth and comfortable, the baby sitting two rows ahead of us was quiet and i read the whole way. sitting for an hour in johannesburg would have been a bitch, only we passed the time with a couple of games of pirate fluxx and it's almost as fun two-player :)

the long hop wasn't so cool - i'm pretty much done with the fifth harry potter book, but the reason i read so much in one go was that i couldn't sleep. i'm amused, though - my legs are so stiff and tender from the hike up table mountain that they didn't really cause me any grief throughout the flight! i was a bit dehydrated, though.

not including the short bursts of aforementioned baby's screams and not a few failed attempts to catch some shut-eye, it wasn't too bad a flight. arrival wasn't fantastic, though; our legs made us squeal down the steps from the plane, the hotel's too expensive and we just don't dig this airport.

---

written now:

monday:

not counting about an hour and a half / two hours of blissful sleep that i stole on istanbul airport's "meh" chairs while pg watched over the bags, we were awake and waiting for the ten hours we were there. in that time i finished, finally, the fifth book in the harry potter series, we played hours of pirate fluxx (what a great purchase!) and ate dodgy asian and drank boring beer (efes).

the flight back wasn't too good, primarily because i was seated next to an arab who's behaviour indicated more than just that it was his first time flying; he behaved like an ars on a bus, exhibiting aggressive behaviour, being a phonic thug and even taking calls during take-off.

he made us a bit uncomfortable.

the biometric passport card is a pleasure. we breezed through passport control, only to have to wait for ages for the luggage to hit the carousel.

we were on time for the train, which is a terrible thing to "just miss" when on one's way to or from the airport. speaking of time: on august the 16th my watch stopped working. i assumed that it was the battery. the temperature in cape town was fairly similar during our time there, and both cities are at sea level... anyway, halfway home i discovered that my watch had resumed working. frikkin' weird.

so we got back home, and *click* everything's back to normal.

---

tuesday:

after unpacking and showering, i slept the sleep of the dead. mmf woke me up with a phone call, and i caught up on comics all the way to work.

the workday was fairly uninteresting - all i really have to do is re-install ubuntu. unfortunately, something's very wrong with my laptop so that's taking a lot more effort than my boss' optimistic "it'll take a half an hour" :P

i scrambled home to go train, which, with my pained steps and exhaustion didn't seem like too good an idea until i got there, caffeined up, ready for a good session of stretching and technique.

on the way back home i spotted a thrown out wooden board from a construction site, so i dragged pg there with me to assist in measuring and carrying back to our roof. it fits snugly, so we now have a table for when we entertain :D

the broken elevator let up with some coercion, so that wasn't too rough.

i went shopping, quite bravely considering i only partially understood the list. i don't do relative sizes, and i eventually gave up on the red wine because the supermarket has a terrific selection that confuses me. the broken elevator forced me to carry the overweight bag all the way up the stairs.

pg didn't have the energy to go rollerblading, but i did. the route was brilliant (albeit really tough) and i took the opportunity to chat with pg's mum as well as a few others who're close enough to know we'd gone.

by the end of the route my legs were buggered, and the broken elevator forced me to clamber up on my blades. buggrit!

after i'd showered, i pulled out a slab of biltong and sat watching friends with pg and sorted out some of the photos from the trip. by 3am it was time to crash. i got up early to post this, and now it's time to get this day started.

it's weird being in summer again, but it's so nice to be in summer and to not be stressed by office hours!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

endings 2011

friday:

it was too early for pg to get up, so i went alone to shadowslight's office to sit and chat and drink frisco coffee with him and his mother (the coffee wasn't as bad as i expected, it must be relative to israeli coffee). my mother made certain to leave me a map, and it proved most enlightening:
1. turn left at the university
2. ???

brilliant :P

from there i returned home to pick up pg, fill up the car, draw loads of money and head to mr. pickwick's. we met up with protoplasm on the way, so i handed over the loads of money because it's what i owed him for the emergency plane ticket from goa to delhi. paid back in less than a year!

we waited a while for aeroplane, using his tardiness as an excuse to drink alcoholic shakes - their banana, nuts and bacardi milkshake is excessively and decadently delightful. the meal was great too - a burger with five toppings of my choice? yes please! the bacon, avocado, mushroom, egg and one other that i can't remember formed a very successful combo. aeroplane arrived just in time, and we had a fun lunch.

after saying goodbye to aeroplane, the three of us went hunting for outer limits. this took us a bit longer than we thought it would because while the building number is displayed in giant lettering, it's not visible when you're walking by on the same side of the road. my buddy treated my to his "super" hot-chocolate, standard nestle but four tablespoons instead of teaspoons. powerful! we chatted, i bought pirate fluxx and then it was time to head home. we played a few rounds of the game, which were really fun, and then it was time to get ready for dinner with my sister and her family.

it wasn't a mission getting there, and this time the map my mum had provided was just fine. when we arrived my sister's fiance informed me that my mum's car's engine doesn't sound so good... good thing he did, it's not noticeable when there's music playing. seeing my younger niece and nephew was great, the evening was enjoyable and the food was delicious.

we came home a early to get some sleep before the climb.

---

saturday:

we woke up at 6am, actually managing to get out of bed and ready ourselves on time. we arrived at the cable station almost exactly at 7am, but the guys we were meant to meet weren't there. what was there was a cold wind, with which we waited for a half an hour before giving up and driving to the trail's start.

the plattekloof gorge trail was tough going up, hard on the legs and on the lungs. the entire way up was a fight between the wind and the sun, with the sweater coming off and on indecisively. there were a few other people on the trail that early, but not a lot so there was a certain sense of camaraderie. some of those people were a heck of a lot older than us, and towards the end of their non-stop hikes from cape point to the waterfront. holy shit.

---

unfortunately, i was feeling mighty uncomfortable for most of the way up, a leftover from the fights we'd had a few days prior. the more i thought about it the more i realized that what was making me more uncomfortable than anything else was that i wasn't feeling comfortable enough to say that i wasn't feeling comfortable; about halfway up the mountain i finally just said something. what i got back was that she'd been feeling just a shitty about things as i'd been, and it was only a short while later that that icky sensation dissipated and since then things have been right as rain.

---


my phone began to emit "battery dying" beeps as we hit the top of the mountain, so i turned it off to save juice for emergency services. the wind on the top was extremely strong, and bitterly cold - no matter how incredible the view is, biting cold makes it tough to appreciate. i could barely take photos because my hands were frozen to the point of being rendered fairly useless...

we stopped in the shelter of the locked toilets to regroup after the shock of discovering that not only wasn't the cable car operating, but that neither were any of the shops and there was no hot cocoa waiting for us. we were alone and frozen, and had to walk into the wind to get back. we wrapped ourselves up as best we could, and headed out. we were so cold and eventually got so lost that i was considering calling emergency services - as a local, that would have been incredibly embarrassing!
but we found ourselves in the end, and stopped in a sheltered, sunny spot to eat sandwiches and heat up.

the way down was far easier on the muscles and lungs, far tougher on the knees and reflexes - one has to be very aware of one's footing on that path. my left knee began to ache on each step at one point, and i was quite worried that i had damaged it but after a couple of minutes it was fine again. there were tons of people that we passed on the way, and the constant stream meant that there were no opportunities to relieve myself :P

i retrospect, we're really glad that we were stood up because i'm pretty sure we would have slowed the geezers down considerably.

after getting home and showering, we went for lunch at caffe neo - the waitrons were weird and the menu is annoyingly unavailable except for the main board. the food was good, though.

we visited the park and the biodiversity garden, walking out well impressed and having had a very pleasant stroll. the city has made excellent use of those fields.

after the walk, it was time for a quick nap before hitting checkers for some serious sweet shopping. once we'd amassed all the - i'm actually a bit embarrassed about how much money the candy cost - packets and bags and boxes, and had our little incident with the persistent beggar on the way to the car, we headed to the southern suburbs to my aunt and uncle's fortress to experience the influence of master chef. dinner was great and we had a really fun evening.

we returned to sea point against the sports traffic; all plans to leave sea point had to be cancelled because both sides exiting were jammed. instead, pg and i packed, laughing at all sorts of oddities we came across in the process.

in the middle of the night, soon after we went to bed, my mother got a phone call letting her know that a friend of hers had passed away. it's one thing to get sick and pass away within two weeks; quite another when those two weeks are the end of a fifteen year struggle with hepatitis c that one contracted from a needlestick injury.

---

today:

today marks the end of three weeks of tourism, family, reconnecting with friends and introducing pg to the flip side of my life. it hasn't all been wonderful, but we're in a good place and i'm very proud of her for managing such a whirlwind tour. there are plenty of people i had to see but didn't, plenty of things i had to do but didn't, and plenty of "OMG you didn't take her to see X?!"s, but that's just the way things are.

now i need a holiday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

chopping fine

the day began on the wrong foot - my mum and i went to nedbank to sort out a document for which we're both signatories. they pulled a move that reminds me of the polygraph testers i had trouble with a couple of years ago: not just in their style, but in the mindless stupidity that caused them to behave the way they did.

they refused to show us the document, and informed us that there was a problem with my signature. i was asked to sign a separate paper for comparison, and i expressed my belief that my signature had changed somewhat over the years - albeit not significantly - and was shocked to be informed that it simply wasn't the same at all. they asked us questions in an attempt to lead us to admit that we'd done something illegitimate, and eventually, after much frustration and speculation and consternation and perspiration, they took it off officiously to their team leader to check.

the team leader "let it go" and magnanimously allowed the requested operations to go through; what we discovered when the document was revealed was that my mother had signed for me using her power of attorney, and so each signature that they'd considered "forged" was written - explicitly - ABC IN THE NAME OF DEF.

what complete assholes.

---

pg and i hit the helipads at the waterfront and bargained a (relatively) decent price: i'm not a big fan of their pricing schemes. i think it's a bit dishonest. we were going to have to wait for my mum to join us, so we went to the mall for lunch and she joined us there. ordering lunch was extremely rushed... pg wasn't so impressed with that bit...

the staff at mugg & bean were fairly quick about it all, and we all finished eating and made it back to the helipad in good time to purchase our tickets and be briefed. we headed out and clambered inside - all of us boarding a helicopter for the very first time.

1. i've played and loved helicopter simulators, and i have a rough idea of how complex the coordination required by the pilot is. the flight was surprisingly smooth in spite of the wind, we barely felt turbulence and i was totally impressed by the experience.

2. a helicopter tour of cape town is absolutely amazing! we were especially fortunate to have good weather, and not only was visibility perfect and everything picturesque, but we even caught a glimpse of whales just off the coast of fish hoek before coming back in over marina de gama, kenilworth, past mowbray and the foreshore and back into the waterfront.

what a rush!

---

we stopped to purchase a link for my mum's nomination bracelet, which took a lot more thought than i'd anticipated, and pg dragged me through a shoe shop to purchase a bag she fancied before i dragged her back home so that i could pre-training snack and crash.

...

i was far too tired to train. i was absolutely exhausted. i watched the final episode of master chef with my mum, who's seen every episode and had me watching the last few, and was well impressed. it's a great show and the end of this season has a lot of valuable lessons that the other reality shows need to learn.

we met up with a cousin of ours at willoughby and co, our favourite seafood restaurant. i'm not going to detail the entire meal - as usual, we were all deeply satisfied and sated. i just have to stress that the oyster shooter was incredible. on an unrelated note, the head waiter used to be my next door neighbour and was the first person ever to give me a black eye; seeing him was amusing.

dinner was fantastic, dinner talk was fantastic and we had a great evening. we came back to watch the complementary documentary on the cape of good hope that we received after the helicopter trip in addition to a free boat cruise. i'm guessing those were included in the price :P

---

i was shocked to discover that my cousin's husband suffers from cluster headaches. he's now on three different (and conflicting) kinds of anti-epileptic drugs, the gods know what they're doing to him. he and his wife have heard about the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating cluster migraines, but in addition to being afraid to let go of his current medication in case stopping it will do him harm, he's terrified of trying something that the world has told him is bad for him. i sent them the link to watch the union - the business of getting high online (i prefer watching things on dvd), the documentary on the war of drugs that explains a heck of a lot about the science and the propaganda behind the confusion.

thanks to nystire for sending me this link, because i would have been taken completely by surprise if i hadn't seen it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

history repeating itself

we went to robben island today. i've never been. it wasn't such a big deal that i've never been until today, because now that i have i understand just how much of the history i didn't know and it wasn't all "this was a horrible place". yasien mohamed's amusing banter and personal touches blended well with the stories he told, and it was an enlightening and inspiring experience.

one thing, though: you really don't need to arrive quite so early. we got there forty minutes in advance (we'd been told thirty), and the line only began to move forward at around a quarter past the scheduled departure time. at least they didn't mess with the experience; we arrived back over an hour later than we should have but we'd seen and done everything there was to see and do.

even penguins - although we only caught a glimpse of three of them rushing into the bushes.

---

pg and i had another fight on the way back, that dragged home once again - pretty much the same fight. i've brought her all the way down to south africa and i've been doing my best to show her a good time, but she never gets excited about anything and i can't help feeling responsible; whenever i seek assurance that she's not having a terrible time, she gets irritated with me and that just pisses me right off...

apparently i'm just hyper-sensitive.

---

we mostly got over it in time to go upstairs to meet my uncle, and i drove us to a new place on the camps bay stretch, picking his girlfriend up on the way. the sunbird bistro is very cool - the atmosphere, service and food are all excellent and the only issue i have with the evening is that i properly burned myself on my first bite of the fish pie. i *knew* i should have waited for it to cool down a bit. fortunately, i only took out one side of my mouth so the other got to enjoy the rest of it :P

after far too much chatter, we eventually came home and i skipped off to uct campus to play board games with a bunch of claw members (including shadowslight). we played one of the fluxx games, which was highly entertaining, and then a few of us were introduced to settlers of catan. it's a great as i've heard! finally, three of us sat down to strange synergy, a surprisingly intricate game and a lot of fun.

i came home all fired up from the games, and an interesting chat with shadowslight concerning my future plans, to hear that israel's been under attack, worryingly so, and there's been no mention in the international media. perhaps because our prime minister's showing restraint?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

simmering or bubbling

i'm exhausted. this holiday is really taking it out of me. i'm going to need a serious vacation when i get back...

the weather was a bit crap today, so we stayed in to read. pg pulled me out of bed for pre-training foraging, and we went to posticino for excellent graze around 4pm. unfortunately, we had a great big fight prior to the food arriving and we ate in miserable silence. that tension lasted well into getting home, where i tried to sleep but became progressively unhappier until eventually i exploded into the lounge and didn't return to the bedroom until we'd hammered it out all - it was only later when pg came in to get me up for training that we finally regained our senses of humour.

i would have arrived on time for the class if it had started when i thought it was supposed to, and not half an hour earlier. it wasn't very high-powered though, so it didn't really matter.

listening to saul williams in the car: holy shit, that man is awesome.

by the fire

yesterday began at vida e cafe at the waterfront, after being poked and prodded by pg until i eventually gave up trying to read in bed and took her down there to shop. once she was done, it was my turn - i went hunting for a cover for my kindle. after four or five shops, with only two of them providing solutions, i walked out determined to make my own and with an interesting idea in tow.

the four rather large guys lurking silently in the toilets made me uncomfortable enough to wait until i'd got home.

after an entrepreneurial chat with my mum, we hit rick's - one hyperviper + one aeroplane. we had fun, pg had one glass of wine too many. aeroplane and i swapped cds on our way out - he'd never listened to jefferson airplane before and i received an sms mid-dinner that he was well pleased ^_^

pg and i joined my mum and a couple of family friends at nona lina, the atmosphere, service and food were all a pleasure and the company was great. pg drank more but kept fairly quiet, i suspected my mom of having had a few too many when she openly discussed my 1999 uct experience with drugs openly - didn't see that coming :P

imagine was playing as we got ready to leave, and after mentioning that the a perfect circle cover does it for me i almost forgot which song was written for leary... but then i remembered.

we left the restaurant making plans to go up table mountain early saturday morning - i'm fairly certain these are the people to do it with :)

i put pg to bed early; i tried to sleep as well, but woke up from the marathon dream:
joining a marathon on rollerblades when they don't have anywhere to rent blades from until the last minute is not a good idea. then discovering [thank you, harry potter] that it's a magical marathon and oh, crap, we didn't think to bring any anti-jinx wear...

it was 1am and i woke up with my feet and ankles aching terribly. i went to bed about five hours later, still not really tired but having read quite a lot...

Monday, August 22, 2011

selling books? really?

or virtually?

i wonder how many people walk into bookstores, get all excited and promptly purchase the electronic version for their e-reader, either in the store or later when they get home. there's nothing like looking for a book in a real-life display, and here all the stores are providing the experience but not necessarily selling the hardcopies.

it suddenly struck me today how very short-sighted all these stores are. sure, they can make money on e-reader accessories, but all they need to do to hop on the electronic bandwagon is sign up with amazon affiliates (an account for each store, so that meaningful statistics can be used), generate qr codes, stick them on the books and *poof* immediately generate cash without costing the customer extra.

i can't think of an honest way to make money off selling the idea to individual stores, so i'm setting the idea free on the internet. you're welcome.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

oh, george

friday - rollin':

we left at 9am instead of 8.30 as planned, and i spent the drive learning about cruise control and remembering how much i enjoy jelly tot power sours. and m&ms. also, ginger beer is definitely "the thirst quencher" because after a few sips it gets a bit painful. it was my first real drive in a year, it really took it out of me but between the four or five hours i did on friday and the other few on saturday, i feel as comfortable at high speeds as ever. and my mum's little gti does high speed very, very well.

lunch in swellendam was quaint and delicious, but took a bit long and we arrived at the safari just in time to be hurried to sign the idemnity form and jump onto the jeep. pg and i got put in the front, which i believe added a bit to the experience. we began with the elephants, then passed some young kudu and a couple of giraffes, then stopped in the lion enclosure when we found a lioness. there's nothing like staring at a lioness at rest 50m behind the vehicle, when you haven't a clue where all the others are lurking and you know that if she gets excited she can be in the back of the jeep within two seconds. literally.

we had an extremely close and somewhat frightening experience with a baby rhino who got curious - he may have been the cutest thing imaginable, but his mother was right behind him and the ranger wasn't the only one who was a little concerned that she'd get nervous. that horn looks really big from less than three metres.

we hunted for the cheetah and wildebeest unsuccessfully, so we were taken to the cages to see a couple of tame cheetahs who really are just giant kitties in need of a good belly rub. i wouldn't have ventured a hand through the fence, though :P

after a hunter's dry and an attempt to rest while my mum drove to the next rest stop, we picked up steers and i swallowed a rave burger (which is what they now call the basic burger) while my mother spilled my coffee all over us. it must have been a sign, because i'd forgotten to specify no milk and had barely sipped it before i had to go ask for a replacement cup. unfortunately, while the dairy-free version would have been better for me their cups weren't made for that kind of heat, so it dripped on me all the way to the rubbish bin at george's airport...

the sky and clouds and mountains and lakes around george while the sun was setting were all absolutely magnificent.

the directions to the guest house were all great except for the bit where they never specify left / right. we guessed correctly, though, but although that meant that we arrived just fine we were unnecessarily stressed by the constant uncertainty.

the guest house was nice enough, barring the separate beds and the stupid lock on the gate, and once we'd put down our belongings we were off to fancourt for hot chocolate to warm up and more than enough french fries to fill up.
the conversation ran from nutrition to epigenetics, which led us into a raging argument over scientific studies and the validity thereof. skepticism is a healthy and integral part of the scientific method. there may be a fair amount of presumption regarding what we know about the science of the very big and the very small, but that doesn't mean that everything is rubbish or as rubbish as statistics. only pharmaceutical research is really suspect, although even they seem to be beginning to get their act together now that they're taking a proper look at the placebo effect.

the fancourt road in the dark is long and not fun.

---

friday night:

it was very cold and having to sleep in two separate beds made it even colder, even if the beds were pushed together. i had a strange dream when i went back to sleep earlier:
i was one of two emaciated africans struggling to find their way to a safe place. in order to enter a compound, we had to get past a giant creature, possibly an elephant. we eventually managed to convince the elephant to open one of the windows for us, but climbing in took an enormous effort. we were rewarded with the scrapings of whatever food the locals could help us out with. the relief was indescribable.

then i was an alien, searching through the massive compound that turned out to be a massive network of corridors and labs. on the top level i was sent on a mission but as i was becoming hungrier and hungrier as i progressed i began hunting for food as well. none of the hi-tech kitchens couldn't provide food that was suitable for me. in one kitchen, i found eric cartman making himself a sandwich and i did something unspeakable to him to force him to help me out.

on the way down from the top floor, i found myself in human form looking at artists constructing a huge installation for the day of remembrance / independence day. it was really impressive, and had something to do with perfect circles. it also had space for posters of missing children.


at least the shower's alright. it's now about 10am and we should be going soon.

---

saturday:

the drive to plettenberg bay is a lot further than i anticipated. the sedgefield craft market was wonderful: hippies, a bacon, banana and maple syrup pancake FTW, customizable mini donuts are pure decadence-in-a-box, and the metal work is stunning. unfortunately it's as expensive as it is glorious, and we settled for a cute, hand-made clock that tells the time in south african. "now now", "just now", etc.

the N2 through knysna sucks.

we saw monkeyland, delaying our tour for good burgers and missing one group of annoying kiddies but gaining another. the guide was awesome; he's from cameroon, and is a vast storehouse of interesting information and not just about the monkeys. which were a lot of fun. i've decided that my girlfriend bears fascinating similarity to lemurs :P
we then visited the birds of eden, i with my hoodie up to protect my helix and pg with her scarf wrapped. they have a wonderful collection of birds (and a couple of cute monkeys), and the environment is really cool to walk through. the fact that it's natural is even cooler.

we stopped by the special monkey cages to visit the spider monkeys; both the amusingly overweight pair of macdonald's junkies and the aggressive little dude who clambered up to the fence to inspect us. we had no time for elephants or big cats, so we returned to the N2 for the long drive back into the sunlight. knysna sucked. it was empty and dead and the only thing that makes me happy about stopping there was finding zoo biscuits which i might otherwise have forgotten for my kibbutz cousin.

we found ourselves lost, not on the N2 anymore but somehow back in george, and closer to our guest house than we would've been otherwise. we stopped to pick up "dinner", including a small pizza - pg gave me shit about wanting to buy two small pizzas, and it was only later that she realized just how small they were...

after a long argument about her being too tired to go - she was feeling guilty about not coming with me - i made my way to fancourt. and got lost. no lights on the signs plus not being able to use brights with oncoming traffic made me think that i'd gone too far. i then travelled for what seemed like far too long, eventually turning around in vexation and going back. certain that i'd missed it by one stop, i turned in to the previous one only to discover that the road was unusable by less than a 4x4, so i slowly turned around and tried again. then i suddenly found myself back at the circle i'd started at, and spent the following two minutes chaining together various forms of a certain cuss word in frustration and anguish and exasperation while turning around and trying again. the next time i got it right - discovering, to my even greater dismay, that i'd gotten it right the first time and had simply given up too soon. i was pissed when my mom came to pick me up with her golf cart.

i sat with shadowslight's mum for a while, holding tight to my hot chocolate while explaining the issues of scientific enquiry and the fascinating reality behind god. i was well impressed that she didn't so much as blink twice, and what usually ends up in argument remained a comfortable conversation.

i had coffee with my mom and another friend of theirs, and eventually headed home. the way back was quick and painless, not including the second scrape of the wheels in one of the ditches (both times i hit it worse because i'd tried to avoid it), and i'm pretty sure the cd player's suffering from a loose connection.

pizza, bath and bed didn't pan out the way i'd have liked because the bath... well, the bath sucked. so after wasting all that water i had a shower instead. at least we learned about electric blankets :)

---

this morning:

saying goodbye to our hosts was a little awkward this morning. we packed up and went to hand them the keys and money, and the guy stood there laughing disturbingly while his wife asked inappropriate questions. they're hardcore christians, and i'm pretty certain that our answering the marriage question in the negative didn't score us any points. we headed out, having become sinners in the eyes of our judges, and the way to fancourt was much, much easier in the light.

it's just about noon and my phone's beeping at me to let me know it's almost out of juice. we've just chatted away a good couple of hours - mostly because pg and i are being extra polite, i've been a lot more in the mood to read and do nothing than sit and chatter. having said that, the conversation was interesting: in particular, discovering that more rhinos were poached this weekend has brought to mind blood diamond. we need a blood ivory hollywood special to show rich idiots that expensive (and wildly ineffective) aphrodisiac isn't worth making those incredible, prehistoric creatures extinct.

---

post-drive:

my body is stiff and sore, in particular my poor legs. we just did the drive in about four and a half hours plus lunch at the spur in riversdale; most of it was pleasure driving* and hitting the heavy rain towards the end only to come out into a gorgeous (and fleeting) sunset moment as we arrived home was amazing.

* it's much easier to relax when you're the second in a convoy. no thinking required.

pg was in a bit of a mood, but she provided all the munchies nonetheless. i think she's had enough holidaying for one vacation.

weird stuff: bird droppings. within a span of about two minutes (doing +-130kph, you do the math) through fairly uninteresting countryside with seemingly clear skies above, no less than five bird droppings hit the windshield, four of them properly grouped right in front of my eyes. if they were aiming, then that was some pretty impressive sharpshooting.

we listened to my mother's cds for a bit - some of them are really funky and suggest, fairly strongly, that the only reason that my mother doesn't like the music i listen to is precisely because i listen to it :/

too tired to do any more than drink and read. good weekend, all in all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

retraining

written last night:

---

we slept loooong, and late. my body was sore from so much time in bed, mostly my lower back and my legs. i had a nap in the afternoon that would have been great, except that i slept on one hand at a funny angle and my wrist is still hurting - although not as bad as when i first got up.

buggrit.

---

it was supposed to rain today, but it only did so in little bits and later on. aside from a quick shopping trip with my second mum, pg and i had another mall failure at the waterfront - we could find neither jeans, nor calendars, nor gifts. yecch. and then we rushed home to search for my mother's gate remote which appears to have fallen off her key-chain.

we got home to find my kindle had arrived - two days?! AWESOME!!! i spent a while organizing the books i've loaded, then went off to training. in the rain: when the automatic window wiper came on i was blown away.

there were only four of us and i was the highest ranking, but the green belt and i compromised and we had a really interesting session. reflex training is cool, and i think i'm going to take it back to israel with me.

i drove home, showered, and discovered nutrition facts during dinner. wow! although i'm not happy about the liquorice information, most of the other stuff i came across was enlightening and useful.

---

written now: what is it that makes j. k. rowling so much easier to read than dickens?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

casablanca

misfire. the car began misfiring last night on our way back home, and the first order of the day was taking the car in. unfortunately, i confused buitengracht with buitensingel and driving the unpleasantly vibrating vehicle through odd-people's traffic was a bit tense.

my mother met us on the way and we took the opportunity to hit mr pickwick's for an incredible breakfast / lunch (tin plate special FTW) and decent coffee. after an enthusiastic discussion about psychiatry being evil (i have flyers from someone walking up and down the street, and by passing one to me she was preaching to the converted) and the field of statistics being rubbish i realized we were late for our drinks arrangement with hyperviper.

we walked into rick's and went upstairs to bask in the sunlight and sprinkler system, and talked over beers (and a daquiri for the lady) for quite a while before eventually heading off to feed the squirrels in the company gardens.

holy crap, those birds are pushy. i now remember why i was so traumatized the last time i did it... it was fun, though. we walked back to the garage to pick up the car, then came home to rest and eat before heading off to shadowslight. i crashed hard on the couch - i was so very tired that i could neither function mentally nor physically move for about an hour.

our experience shopping for munchies on the way left much to be desired - a couple of unsavory characters lurking far too close made us feel uncomfortable. shooing them off only made me worry that they'd scratch the car...

we watched idiocracy; it's a good concept, with a couple of genuinely funny bits but otherwise it's very meta and disquietingly relevant. if you're belly-laughing the whole way, then you're probably the butt of most of the jokes.

cavewoman

written at 23.53, not posted because there's no internet at night here.

---

passive aggressive behaviour: i don't do it. the first fight was on the way out of town, when i made the horrific mistake of offering a choice of alternatives to the plan to tour cape point. that was when the "you never tell me anything" argument returned. or it had never gone away. i used logic, she didn't, and things got so heated she decided we were going to turn around. sod that, i thought, if we're going to fight about it then we're just going to go with the original plan and at least we'll have something to show for it.

...

i believe that all the baboons were at a conference out of town - we didn't see a single one. anywhere. around the entire peninsula. we stopped at cape point itself to do the hike around to the dias lookout, which was fun even though it was very hot and sunny. the view was breathtaking the entire way, and i'm fairly certain that pg's camera didn't do it any justice.

we drove back over chapman's peak, stopping only at kommetjie on the way to stick our feet in the water at the beginning of long beach. we had just enough time to shower and dress before hitting rick's with hyperviper and his girlfriend - dammit! we don't remember her name! - for great burgers and drinks, then drove over kloofnek to get to the theatre on the bay.

alan committee has exquisite improvisation skills, and his version of defending the caveman is brilliant and just as funny and insightful as i remembered. the show is a little updated, and no less correct than ever before.

...

i don't know if pg enjoyed it or not. i suspect that some of the issues raised during the show hit home. by the end she wasn't talking to me, which totally pissed me off. i talk things out. silent treatment offends me.

to aggravate me even more, my mother's car's rumbling at low speeds and there's a good chance that the weather on the weekend will be too shit for us to do the game drive. on the other hand, i'm so angry with pg right now that i don't care if we don't do anything else this holiday.

fuck it.

---

it was a lonely, miserable night. but then we had it all out in the morning, and as usual everything fell into place and became alright.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

romanticism and weird fish

written at midnight, monday / tuesday:

the fugard. r & j, an intelligent meta-theatrical take on romeo and juliet in a manner that's probably a far sight closer to the original than any other versions i've seen or heard of: four absolutely phenomenal male actors playing all the roles, using their boarding school props ingeniously and doing as good a job convincing us of their roles in the play as they do of their roles as mischievous school boys.
and the choreography is sterling and somewhat freaky.

---

the hebrew equivalent of valentine's day began late. and i was tired. after my second mom made me an exquisite breakfast omelette, my mother and i picked up the theatre tickets and then pg and i went down to the waterfront to visit all the strange and cute marine life in the aquarium. the woman feeding the penguins made an incredibly good case for making a penguin promise.

we had lunch at fisherman's choice after learning about helicopter tours. we spent a short while munching sour worms on the breakers, then picked up brilliant milkshakes at the dodge on our way out. the one-armed man who followed us from the dodge to beg a couple of coins makes me more uncomfortable the more i think about him, because he only approached us when we were almost at the car :/

we had a good nap when we got home, woke up for a boerewors supper (i burned the tip of my tongue on reheated mashed potatoes), and then we left for the fugard.

even without the play, the fugard theatre is an experience in and of itself. they've taken the original building and converted it into a self-reflexive shrine. and it's gorgeous.

...

there's no internet tonight, from any of the computers. *sigh*

---

3am:

i've been writing. i'm feeling quite good about it.

---

almost noon:

how the hell did that happen?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

organizing song

taking woodstock is a far out, groovy movie. a strange take on the topic, with far less original footage than i anticipated and a perfect companion piece to the documentary: it raises a whole lot of questions that the real thing provides the answers to.

---

tough wake-up, in spite of receiving an extra couple of hours. my mum dropped us off at the jewish museum with a quick intro, and we went through it fairly quickly... although towards the zapiro exhibit, i had to summarize a whole lot of history involving the jews and apartheid, and i was quite surprised to find myself choked up. and i'd been there before.

we stopped afterwards to talk to a guy i used to be really good friends with. after an ultra-expensive and unimpressive lunch, we sprinted through the holocaust center. it's incredible how effective such a simple, well thought-out exhibit can be. i highly recommend it, even if you're already jaded.

we drove home and took an uninspiring walk through the flea market, where "my friends" showed me their wares and displayed their greed shamelessly. it felt... like india. we went the long way around on the return, picking up austalian mango liquorice from giovanni's and stopping for dumplings and sushi at the chinese place across the road.

not bad.

krybabie and his family arrived for a dinner that had had to be way over-prepared due to their rather demanding "over and above" kosher requirements, but it worked out well and the conversation was comfortable. much later, after agreeing that goofy is a dog, i went upstairs with pg and my mother to visit my uncle who's recovering from the operation he underwent on friday. israeli politics were the order of the evening.

i'd probably consider running for my proposed "sacrificial party" if it didn't mandate arguing logic with israelis.

we watched the movie when we got back, and i finally got to performing my first duty as webmaster. i am now quite distressed about using my mother's pc, in spite of it being more comfortable (physically, not emotionally) than a netbook...

... post uploaded about nine hours later. after much sleep, discovering that my webmaster's bursary award has been transferred, and an otherwise great start to the day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

junk food

you ask me how much junk a person can eat - i ask you how much you can provide me with.

---

i ordered a kindle, then tried to help my mother. the bloodletting experience was unpleasant, and apparently unnecessary. i then went to lie down (unrelated), but didn't get a chance to before protoplasm messaged me to tell me where to meet him, so i skipped off to zula's for a rather pleasant evening of mostly good trance.

1. i know there's no nice way to let a girl down when she's enthusiastically flirting with you, but i did feel a bit bad for completely ignoring her. it's rather flattering to be called "gorgeous" by a very sexy... OMG she's about 18 and that's not a lot more than half my age :S

2. i haven't spoken to protoplasm's sister in a long, long time, and i caught her up with a quick summary of my trauma. she made a very valid point about the physical body's reactions to prolonged stress, and i pulled out the positive side of the story which did us both good - and gave her an opening to share a story with me that adds yet another "people are waking up" point to my cape town experience.

what a pleasure! i now know a whole bunch of people who are, voluntarily or not, living their lives much happier because they're doing stuff that's good for them and not simply part of some societal expectation. you can do it, too. it's not easy, but it's definitely better than realizing too late that life's too short to let other people / your environment choose your destiny for you.

we were all disappointed when the music shut down and the lights came on. not by all the good-looking capetonians, most of whom with i've made my peace. they're not all chavs, the caps appear to be in vogue and most of them were quite polite and friendly.

i felt bad about not giving anyone money for looking after the car (nobody stepped forward, and i pulled out slowly) - my mother explained earlier that the vests are rented so it's really not fair not to pay them.

after a lengthy chat with her when i got home - primarily concerned my relationship with pg after i made a comment about my beard bothering me (pg likes it) - i shaved the beard, showered, and am now drying my hair at the computer.

life is good.

recovery

okay - friday: we slept. more or less the whole day. friday night: we went to bed early, and woke up about twelve hours later.

and i still wanted to sleep some more. we got up this morning early - but not early enough - to go to the biscuit mill, which is absolute insanity even though it's a fairly large space. it felt like the whole city was there, the aisles and walkways were jam-packed and the food all looked delicious. what we ate was, and origin coffee is the shit.

we then paid uct campus a visit, a fairly thorough one, before heading out to my sister's for later breakfast and a chilled day of verbal sparring. it was all very nice. eventually we got cold and we returned via sunset bay (beautiful view this evening, rain on one side and calm, sparse clouds over table mountain on the other), coming back to sea point in time for pg and me to hop over to long street cafe for a drink with hyperviper and his girlfriend.

afterwards, the buzbey grill for excellent steaks and other graze and delicious (albeit very expensive) desserts. now it's time for home coffee, bloodletting (one of mother's fingernails has a blood-blister in the center), and then... whatever.

Friday, August 12, 2011

running around

i have internet, but no google. that's really weird.

---

thursday:

we began the day at the golden acre, the idea being to walk the tunnels beneath the city and to get some shopping done on the way. that didn't work out quite as planned. the parkade we parked in is weird, and took a couple of extra turns to figure out. also - i should have taken sunglasses. the sun came out while we were there. i know better.

we stopped for a strange lunch - the waitress reminded of nystire. she completely forgot about me when we first ordered, which was understandable because pg asked if there was ice tea and she immediately went back to the kitchens to find out. she must have placed pg's order while there... she almost disappeared on me again without asking what i wanted, but we called her back and i ordered a sandwich.

my toast arrived way after pg's salad. the food was okay... and the bill was in afrikaans. so *that* was the reason she was talking backwards!

over the past week, i have learned a couple of lessons regarding pg:
1. no more shopping with her. i don't dig shopping.
2. no more taking her to parties. unless she asks nicely. and i'll take her straight home and return if it's not her style.

on the way back to the car we passed a book store, and i was struck by an inspiration particle that had me buzzing. the more book titles i scanned the more ideas i got - i have work to do!

we hit kirstenbosch after that, missioning the gorgeous gardens and attempting a hike up to skeleton gorge. that's a much longer walk than we expected, so after getting some exercise we turned back so that i could eat in time for training. lunch was fantastic! only it got very cold very suddenly towards the end and we were shivering as we paid the bill and briskly walked back out. we stopped in the souvenir shop but didn't bring out "hepzebra", poor thing, and then drove back home singing all the way.

---

i took a quick, deep nap and was almost late for training. as i left the building running, the cold front loomed up to the south-west and the pink and blue sunset was absolutely stunning. i was so proud of myself for warming up so comfortably and arriving just on time, only to discover that on time had been pushed to an hour later due to renovations and relocation.

so. by the time i got up to the uct sports facility the caffeine had worn off. the killer warmup did its job, and i was completely buggered before we began sparring. to make matters worse, i was up against another red belt with far more energy than i've ever had... also, it wasn't WTF. it was ITF and the differences are kind of striking. almost biting my tongue while being slapped on the head repeatedly during double kick attacks? i have enough trouble with the simple stuff.

after sitting out four rounds, dizzy and wheezing, i clambered back in to a match that had me limping afterwards from a serious kick to the calf.

i didn't mention that we were being filmed the whole time. not one of my proudest moments.

---

call-a-pizza made me feel better, though. we reduced their 21-topping veggie pizza to 18 toppings, and ate the delicious pie with solid dark trance in the background.

---

take a good look at what you don't believe

Thursday, August 11, 2011

head bath

so - the wednesday night movie was great. we watched paul, and decided that the list has got it completely wrong. our list would have the following movies on it, but in a different order based on criteria no less arbitrary:
  • the fifth element
  • frequently asked questions about time travel
  • spaceballs
  • paul
  • galaxy quest
  • back to the future
  • dark star
  • mars attacks
  • idiocracy
  • inner space
so there.

and then we came home and i had to help my mother with laptop problems. somehow, her wifi adapter and its virtual counterpart had been renamed to match the network she was supposed to connect to, with hilarious results. or not so hilarious.

there are two reasons i'm a bit off facebook / google+ right now, in addition to my being on holiday. firstly, in light of all the political upheaval the regular "me me me" posts just don't seem that interesting. secondly, well, i get the feeling that all the "me me me" posts really are just that, even mine, and i've just realized after years of addiction that all the haters are probably right: the benefits simply aren't worth the rubbish.

---

today began a bit late. pg and i did some quick, and somewhat incoherent shopping (my fault), and then we went to town with cuz - it was nice to catch him on such short notice and with such a small time window. we then headed off to the company gardens, where aside from being treated to busy squirrels (including an albino!) we were also treated to the absolutely incredible tretchikoff exhibit at the national gallery.

we had lunch at posticino's in greenmarket square, which is not the same as the sea point branch at all. and it was as chilly in the breezy shade as it was hot in the sunshine. then our two hours' parking were up, so we came home.

---

how good are your passwords? i feel a bit silly, now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

barking on the waves

today was the last day of dragonfire, but i wasn't there. the original plan was for me to rent the eighth season of friends for pg and then join everyone, but the weather was simply too good to pass up the opportunity to hit hout bay and take a boat out to seal island.

it was hot, and sunny, and we may have been a little too exposed.

we got home in the late afternoon, napped for an hour and a half and then went to visit dirk diggler at his home in tableview. tableview has the stupidest signage i've ever come across, and i can only think less of everyone who lives there for not demanding more. unless, of course, it's the average attitude in that parts that visitors aren't welcome. all of the street names are to be found printed on the curb, in simple black paint, and there are no street lights. to make matters worse, i don't know if it's because of the construction but the specific area we visited (west beach) doesn't appear to match the published map.

diggler's girlfriend is even less socially energetic than pg, so we spent four hours watching telly or playing mortal kombat. dinner was good, though.

my stomache's been getting intrusively big. i think i should get to training. i'm so lazy, though. and we're going to the theatre on monday and tuesday night, so that only gives me four or five trainings in total if i decide to go...

---

scrapper's having a go at some of my scribblings - he asked me to extend something. i'm fairly pleased with the result.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

money burns

it really was shopping day, and near the end i had to stop for coffee just to gain enough energy to enter the last store or two. by the time we were done we knew our way around canal walk, were covered in bags and had missed out on the greater part of an absolutely beautiful day, if a little windy.

we came home and slept. we were groggy when we were eventually woken up to go to dinner... our kibbutz cousin's sister was hosting us as well as shadowslight's parents. their house is magnificent, which i've mentioned before, dinner was pleasant and as usual it was only the definite drunkenness at the end that made me feel a bit awkward - not mine, i wouldn't have cared otherwise. when things get inappropriate and awkward through alcohol i can get extremely uncomfortable.

pg and i drove into town, found a parking right outside zula's and went in to find protoplasm. the place was packed and the music was a bit... boring. mostly. some of the minimal set that started up later was great, only pg the not-so-party-animal was already tired and when someone rolled up with a baseball bat and people started letting out their techno-stress on the provided computers the noise contributed to us missioning off to the fez to hear orca.

well. that was a fast burn of R200 - we went in *just* as orca started, and discovered that cape town has vermin too: not only were there chav-equivalents, but i recognized some of them. the music was great, although the sound sucked, and there were simply too many people and the place was without a real trance vibe.

we didn't last very long.

i came home, disappointed by the parties but more by the fact that pg has expressed a rather definite dislike for that sort of partying in general, so i guess i just have to accept that that's not something that we should be doing together. it's not a big deal, but i had entertained fantasies...

i finally figured out the whole reverse proxy thing before going to bed - the helpdesk instructions hadn't been precisely correct - and discovered that the webmaster is so limited that all i can do is edit text and mail downloadable content to the real webmaster for later linking. this really is the simplest, least taxing work i've ever done for money.

---

i forgot to mention it when i heard it a couple of days ago: tgtbt has come out of the closet. the fact that she was in the closet, to my mind, explains away a lot of her behaviour that has upset the family and to an extent i can understand it even if i do think it's silly... but there's no justification for coming out at an enormous family event (bar / batmitzvah) by making a scene making out on the dance floor. if you're going to take the spotlight, don't kick someone else off the stage while they're in the middle of their big part.

Monday, August 08, 2011

distraction

the drives to and from campus were dangerous yesterday - it was obscenely difficult to keep my eyes on the road when the view over cape town from nelson mandela boulevard was so intensely beautiful; like something out of a hollywood movie that'd been touched up with cgi.

aside from the fun social, the module started late enough that i got into a game of thunderstone - i think i might want to buy that. fun, interesting, and doesn't take a million years to get through a round.

the module was great, we played teenage mutant ninja rodents back in samurai days and although there were a couple of fine points on the character that i forgot about, we succeeded and had a lot of fun doing so. highlight: failing to place a grappling hook correctly and surprising a ninja by landing next to his perch on the underside of a roof, fighting a losing battle with him and attempting to hook his leg with my tail while flinging myself topside... only i managed to evoke his patellar reflex on the wrong part of the arc and got kicked straight down into the mêlée three floors below...

we finished around 3pm, so i cruised back home to find pg suffering a bit of cabin fever. we went for a walk along the beachfront promenade, then returned via the video store to pick up skylight. after a long chat with a cousin of mine who's emigrating to israel soon, we began the movie over dinner, paused to spend an hour with my uncle upstairs, then returned to finish it and go to bed.

skylight is a completely crap film. and not crap in a funny way. it's teh suck.

...

a good night's sleep (although my neck's buggered), discovering that i still don't have access to the online tools i need to perform my webmaster duties, and now i'm taking pg to canal walk. shopping day, yay :P

Sunday, August 07, 2011

looking good

today rocked! we all woke up around 9.30am, and spent the next couple of hours shopping for clothing.

---

along the way we ran into the mother of a guy i went to school with who i have never had any sort of relationship with, but whose story really touched my heart - after much struggling to keep her leg in her battle with cancer, she was forced to relinquish it in order to survive. it's not what we have to deal with that makes us great, it's how we deal with it, and to see someone going through the unimaginable and coming out cheery and positive is inspiring.

---

we stopped for cheap, not bad (although not amazing) sushi / szechuan. then pg and i flew off to middle campus for an afternoon of beer money and munchkin. i failed in the "intro to roleplaying", missing the opportunity to show off the wargaming and the larping due to bad planning, some mine and some the organizer's. it was great to see some of the guys, awkward to see others, and generally an entertaining afternoon even if it wasn't pg's idea of one.

we came back home, picked up my mum and went out for postacino pizza - it was amazing. and we sat talking until very late. i'm really, really pleased that the girls seem to be getting along nicely ^_^

now it's beyond bedtime: i gotta be up early to make the roleplaying module.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

can i summarize?

it's about 5am, i'm back from a thumping good set in trinity and my hair's just about dry enough to rejoin pg in bed. i have a full list of all the things that have interested me enough that i want to write about them since monday, but in order to access them i have to re-install itunes on my mother's pc... it's a long story. maybe i'll fill in the blanks, maybe i won't.

---

cape town: i love you. even in your winter clothes. even if pg's first view of the mountain was of the clouds surrounding the mountain. when you're cold and wet, you still smell like cape town, and i love your smell.

after a long, horrible flight through istanbul (wednesday - thursday noon, 24 hours from leaving tel aviv to arriving in cape town, with about two hours of sleep between us), we showered and zombied around sea point looking to change cash and eat. we didn't change cash because the place in adelphi centre charges a R50 minimum commission (what?!?!), so we had to find a place for food that accepted visa. that wasn't chop chop, where the poor bastard suffered our complex menu perusal plus order before we discovered that. it was steers, though, although i forgot to leave a tip on the card and asked for change for a tenner, then got impatient and walked out before the change appeared and the poor girl ran after us in the rain to give it back...

we crashed, woke up late to eat dinner, talk, and then go back to bed.

---

friday:

we woke up early-ish to pick up the car (my mom took my brother's so we get the gti ^_^), then headed down to newport for a simple breakfast* before heading back home to pick up my second mother and take her shopping. then we came home thinking to rest, but dirk diggler popped by and we went to visit the farm in tamboerskloof, stopped for a cool lunch, then came home. i'm well impressed by the difference in mr. diggler's attitude, he seems to have finally gotten his shit together and i'm quite proud of him :)

* we could've done better, but my head's still righteously messed up. i NEED this holiday, alright?

pg and i went straight to la vie for the mutha fm launch party. we sat with hyperviper for an hour or two, then with protoplasm as soon as he finished his set, and i got an opportunity to have it out with one of the djs whose sets keep making me want to argue veganism with her - and it turns out she's actually very well balanced and quite intelligent.

i drank too much. i won a pair of sunglasses that really don't suit me. we left early so we'd be ready for dinner. we passed out, and were woken by the sounds of my sister banging on the door.

dinner was loud, fun, delicious and exhausting. pg has won approval, and handled the craziness like a pro :)

we were both really shattered, and went to bed, and i woke up at 2am to drink coffee and fly off to the club to join protoplasm. i missed the legendary house set, but was in time for psy-trance. the first set was dampened by the far-too-bass sound system, but the djs afterwards played stuff that was dark enough that nothing was cut off, and i had a good time before eventually walking out into the freezing cold to find the car and head on home.

now, post-lukewarm shower and much munching (why does everything here taste so good?!?!), i'm ready for bed. there's a gaming convention to go to soon :D

---

on tuesday i discovered that between the bursary i'm going to receive for being the literature department's webmaster and what remained from my army's farewell package, my tuition fees for 2011 / 2012 are going to total NIS 60.

i like that.

the only problem is that on tuesday i was contacted with my first website update, and i hadn't been in touch with the previous webmaster for a hand-off yet. i received a response on tuesday night telling me i'd receive instructions by thursday, by which stage i was in cape town and using systems that don't seem to be able to connect to the servers... and thursdays are not the days to need support from the campus IT department.

*sigh*

Monday, August 01, 2011

lazer

i'm sitting here, behind my desk, it's warm because the air-conditioner's not working too well. i'm tired, probably because i haven't slept a good night / day's sleep in ages, and also because we just got back from lunch and i need a siesta. there's so much i could be doing right now, but all i want to do is lay back, and close my eyes, and drift off...

---

i got to the old office yesterday in time to catch a group of managers for a political debate that ended up taking about an hour. the outcome - an understanding that essentially what needs to be achieved is a conglomeration of all the little parties whose platforms don't contradict each other. and there was a brilliant suggestion made by one of the managers that would solve a lot of problems but i can't for the life of me remember what it was...

i got all excited when i found a good spot for a foot massage on my desk - -someone laughed and made a comment that may be the key to ending my suffering! it is possible, nay, highly likely that the cause of my distress is my wearing sandals in summer. i can handle barefoot, and i can handle shoes, but keeping sandals on my feet while walking is a strain and they don't offer much in the way of support...

after a successful deployment, and much pleasure taken in the knowledge that my changes over the past months have made doing so intuitive enough that -someone didn't require instructions, i left for home.

pg and i watched the 1984 version of 1984 last night. it's brilliant. it's dark, maintains the sense of the book even without hearing his thoughts all the time, and i really enjoyed it. funny thing: this morning, i couldn't for the life of me recall what it was we'd seen. i drew a total blank, and had to sms pg from the bus to ask her :$

i spent a while transcribing my travel journal, watched a couple of hysterical episodes of friends with pg, then went to bed.

surprisingly, i slept most of the night (read: 2-9am), in spite of waking up a couple of times with an unpleasant bellyache. waking up was really tough, though. it seems i'm going through the same nightmare every morning. i really need this holiday to begin and to sleep until afternoon every day.

i repeated the search for my headphones, but eventually gave up. it's good thing i have a spare set, but it's driving me crazy that i can't figure out what i did with the others!

getting into herzeliya this morning was disorienting [you see what i did there?], we took a detour that had most of us wondering if we'd taken the right bus. the ride to the bank was looooong, and there was a wait, but it wasn't so bad and i walked out fairly quickly with what i need to take to my mum. in south africa. i'm going. soon. whoa.

when i got in to the office, i fired off an email to my tenant reminding him that rent is due - does this get old? it's strange. the morning was slow and the fixes were few, everything i had to do before i left is pretty much done.

*breathes out deeply*

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i haven't mentioned nuclear power since the debate with scrapper, but i read the bill gates article this morning and it's inspiring. a little despressing, too. but that's okay, there's hope.