Monday, January 30, 2012

too much of a good thing

i'm tired to the point of hallucinating and i'm certain i'll pass out if i don't get to bed soon, but it's about 9pm and i'm expecting a call anytime soon to tell me that i can upload my work... a problem with the system earlier has made us think it's unreliable so i can't put code into production from home without someone in the office just in case :S

---
i handled the reveal really, really badly. the march hare will happily advise and he doesn't not believe me, but i wasn't academic about it and i served as an example of "how not to" for the rest of the class :/

my mother called me up because she was concerned that my recent posts, coupled with my being ordained, are an indication of an unsound mind.

in my defense, she's not familiar with the sonnets but now knows as much as she can without actually reading them, and she understands why i'm so excited. and is disappointed with me for revealing my discovery at all! but, fair's fair, shakespeare told me to.

i'll write up a real article that doesn't just make wild-sounding statements, and as soon as it's out there academically i'll expound all here too. that shouldn't take as long as any other planned work of mine, because this is going to be my seminar paper this year and we have a very definite deadline.

---
i met with the plumber at my apartment, who quickly made me unhappy by informing me that the prep work for the roof replacement is big work and quite costly. *sigh*

i thought i'd nap a bit then go to work, but upon getting up off the couch i was convinced that leaving the apartment in my present state would be a bad idea.

right - department website / work / video editing (don't ask) then bed. i don't give a damn about the french class in the morning, even though the test's on sunday and i don't have a good feeling about it.

touch of a ghost

i thought i was going to get some rest, but i still couldn't sleep. that was two hours ago, and since then i have... i can't say what i've gone through without, umm, ruining the surprise. but this has been without a doubt the most magical moment of my existence. perhaps every thing that has gone before was mere forerunner to this: i have communed with the dead. and i can share this experience.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

manic buzz

i'm physically abuzz with adrenaline; it's a long-running ecstasy and i haven't yet had an opportunity to meet with my advisor (he wasn't on campus today)... i'm about to introduce him to the man he's been studying for quite a while now.

i keep thinking that it's absurd that nobody's stumbled upon this until now, and if i didn't know that the idea of studying contemporary culture only really began in the early 1900s, i'd think i was going insane. but cognitive contamination is a powerful thing, and all it takes is one presumptuous idiot to make a mistake early on for everyone else to pick up on and carry.

i retract yesterday's comment about his bravery. not that it didn't require bravery of a sort, but he really was compelled to publish his sonnets. and talk of him about town demanded that he dedicate it the way he did.

shit. i'm communing with the dead, here. this is - i feel like i'm living in a movie, as the israeli expression goes.

it was way after 5am that i finally managed to shut down, having spent the intervening time (after my last post) pouring through the first third of the sonnets again just to double, triple, quadruple-check that i hadn't made some phenomenal mistake. but each pass has only reinforced my sense of certainty.

---

after two hours in bed, i snoozed my alarm for about half an hour, zombie'd myself out of bed and was almost overtaken by time as i hurried (in slow motion, apparently) to leave the apartment on time. french simple future tense: not so bad. are we ready for an exam? not a damn.

i sped through to see if my advisor was in, and walked off campus with my heart pounding (thank you, fifth floor up the stairs) and my brain reeling. then i magically arrived at work, had time breeze past me there, too (although more productively), and returned to campus for our last lesson on postmodernism.

it was a great class, and began with our professor thanking me for presenting her with in praise of doubt and advising everyone else to read it too. we spent the class munching farewell cookies and summarizing everything we've learned and then it was over.

i really enjoyed that course.

i went past my old office, but it was locked and the alarm was going off so i decided not to get involved. i waited a long while at the bus stop, had a physical brush with a really rude girl (she was in enough of a hurry to storm past me, violently, onto an empty bus. i didn't back down, then felt bad because i'm bigger than her even if she is a total asshole) that annoyed me for most of the ride, then arrived home in time for spicy chinese take-out and...

... i dunno. i need to get some work done, and i'm pretty certain i should get to bed soon.

too much over the moon

i can't sleep. not a wit. i feel like an archeologist who's dug up some famous, sought-after treasure and is about to become rich beyond his wildest dreams. i feel like the first (as far as i know, of course) to actually have an inkling of who this great man was, and through his works still is.

i'm more in awe of the fact that he had the stones to publish the sonnets. i wonder if they were appreciated properly at the time?

hopefully my professor will be able to meet with me today. this sensation is far too overwhelming to keep it locked up.

the selfish meme

i stupidly opened my mouth in front of our whole class last week regarding the idea that is now the kernel of the book i'm writing, and i regretted it the second i realized how marketable it is.

i'm usually pretty free with my ideas.

now, in light of that experience, i'm concerned about approaching the march hare with this new one in case he does me out of it. that's just silly, and i'm going to tell him everything, but dammit! this sensation of "mine-ness" exists!

the more i've thought about it (included a review of something i wasn't sure of in the beginning), the more certain i am - i know who W.H. is. and i understand clearly sonnets that up until now have been really opaque.

william shakespeare - you really are too smart for your own damn good.

---

so - still completely over the moon about this. i've also solved an annoying problem with work, and am ready to report my hours and go to bed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

poor bill

i am feeling wired and inspired, because i just discovered something absolutely incredible while preparing for my final assignment in our sonnets course. i'm not going to go into detail, because there might be fame and fortune in keeping it on the down-low (that's the second time in a week - awesome!), but i can say with certainty that shakespeare was not gay.

i'm not saying that being gay is a bad thing, only that poor old shakespeare's sonnets have been completely misunderstood for a very long time and i aim to show that they are far less ambiguous and mysterious, and far more intimate, than we've suspected.

---
i've just returned from a meeting with our student rep - there were three of us altogether, out of five departments, and i was the only one who'd done my homework and had a list of issues that need dealing with.

it looks like all of the issues i raised are shared throughout our side of the faculty, so we're about to start pushing :)

yesterday:

i slept almost until noon [does that seem excessive?] and around 2pm sorter and -someone arrived for a really good meeting! i'm quite amped, because we now have an idea that really is special and could change the way we watch videos online ^_^

after dinner i was exhausted, but we watched the original a nightmare on elm street. some of it was kinda scary, but what ruined it was the early 80s lack of understanding vis-a-vis the function of dreams.

i slept like a baby.

saturday:

i spent a lot of time staring at the mock french exam and thinking that we have not been prepared for something so complex. i'm not happy with it at all :(

i'm on a total high from these sonnets. at least i know i definitely have something to write for the final paper that's due in a week =D

Friday, January 27, 2012

executive discount order form

harvard business review, your special offers are unappreciated.

i was about to send an email to about ten of the kind-of-could-be-the-right-one email addresses i managed to find on the hbr.org website that looked as follows:

Hi there

I'm contacting you in utter vexation and desperation. Your company website has made it impossible to figure out who precisely I should be addressing this to, and there is no "unsubscribe me" functionality available anywhere online.

I am unable to discover a way to stop receiving offers from Harvard Business Review in my (physical) mailbox.

I do not want to pay more postage to send you back another physical form with a tick in the checkbox to unsubscribe me because apparently it isn't enough to stop bits of dead trees finding their way back to me.

Could you please assist me in this matter? In addition to annoying me with spam, I feel like you're destroying forests in the names of your already paying customers. If this continues, I will not be renewing and I will attempt to find resolution in a less polite manner. Somehow. Your company has me at wits' end.

Thank you, please show mercy,

<total waste>
Tel Aviv, Israel

PS. The return envelope is addressed to the Netherlands, but I couldn't find any Netherlands contacts on the site.


On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 1:52 PM, <total waste> wrote:
Hi

I keep receiving "special offers" from Harvard Business Review for other subscriptions, and I'm really not interested. Please stop spamming me. If there are any details you need in order to stop these offers from arriving on my doorstep, I will be only to happy to provide them.

Thank you,

<total waste>
Tel Aviv, Israel


and then, like a massive, shiny, outstretched arm breaking through the storm clouds, i found a chat link tucked away on their login page.

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you...
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You have been connected to <helpful support person>.
<helpful support person>: Thank you for contacting Harvard Business Publishing. How may I help you?
<total waste>: hi there
i'm absolutely at my wits' end, vexed and desperate.
i cannot find a way to unsubscribe online from the special offers that keep arriving in my mailbox
There's a form for reply, and I'm supposed to tick the checkbox and mission off to the post office and pay postage so that your company will stop spamming me?!
I'm so sorry for the trouble. I can contact our marketing department and make sure they get everything removed.
That's a little unfair, and very frustrating. This is not the first time I've tried to contact HBR, but apparently emails are disregarded over there.
Thank you
Are you getting both emails and physical mail? Or is just postal mail that is coming?
And please - pretty please - if you could ask them to make it easier to get in touch online
It's just postal mail - but I don't want email offers either. I have a subscription and I'm happy with it
I'll definitely do that -- I've been working on a lot of requests to opt-out this week and it's become clear that we could use an easier process!
It seems absolutely ridiculous that there's no "unsubscribe me" from the HBR or the Wired sites.
Thank you - you have all my details in front of you, I assume?
I have your email address and phone -- if you can bear with me one moment, let me see if I can pull up your subscription and address information.
Did you happen to have any of the mailings with you right now?
I ask because there's a code that can help our marketers confirm which mailing list you're on, so they can more easily remove you.
Thank you - you're doing a good job of rescuing me from website hell. Yes,the offer is in front of me
I'm glad I could help! Let me find an example of the code we're looking for.
Do you see a code that looks something like this?
XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX
If so, we would be interested in that last five digit code.
I have a Wired subscription, so for me it should end in XXXXX?
That sounds like the right one -- does that appear after the other two codes? If so, I'll send that along with your details.
XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX
That's perfect, thank you. I will send that along to our marketing team and let them know you wish to be removed from special offers.
I know they plan their mailings about two weeks in advance, so I would say by mid-February you will stop seeing mailings.
If it's okay with you, I will share this conversation with them so they have it as a reference. If you have any future questions or continue to see any special offers, you can refer to this conversation if you chat with us again.
Fantastic! And please pass along my suggestion that they add the "unsubscribe" checkbox from the physical form to the virtual one at www.success.hbr.org
I'm more than happy for you to share it - I was tearing hair out for about fifteen minutes before finding this chat
I'm so sorry for the trouble. I will definitely pass on your suggestion.
Is there anything further that I can help you with?
No, that's about it. Thank you so much!

so you see: i CAN uses capitals when i need to.

pre-fried neuron steak

if you don't know what you're doing, frying a steak in a pan can be daunting. it's made even worse when there are two steaks at the same time... that shit's expensive.

what made it even worse is that i got so caught up in the "simple" instructions that i found online, that i ended up with a messy kitchen counter and two weird-looking, mostly raw flesh.

and i felt really, really bad about the whole experience.

i took one bite, and spat rather than swallowed. it was that bad. and i saw myself throwing out these two previously good-looking pieces into the trash, and the idea did not appeal to me in the slightest.

i had nothing to lose, so i reheated the frying pan, added more margerine, and proceeded to do everything the internet had told me not to do. i left them longer and i flattened them shamelessly with my spatula. i'd seasoned them since removing them the first time, and was now cooking against the explicit instructions of the butcher.

and the smell... improved. and they began to look good. and after two to two-and-a-half minutes, instead of one-to-one-and-a-half, i put them on a plate and i didn't leave them to "keep cooking".

the one i consumed tasted great and it was done to almost-perfection (i like my steaks rare, and this was just past medium-rare). the other one is now cooling down in preparation for refridgeration, so i know that tomorrow's breakfast will be a good one.

on the whole, the story turned from a tragedy to a comedy; pg can deride my efforts as much as she likes (and she's right, i really did make some remarkably stupid decisions and i was an idiot for not asking her for help), but the end results are just fine AND i think i've actually learned something about cooking.

almost examing

t'was a beautiful, springy day! in spite of some distractions, the actual classes were interesting. the orientation course was fun, if a little less productive than usual.

the anime session was great, except for the bit where two of the (now much larger) group didn't take to hunter x hunter at all. i had less of a problem with that than i did with the fact that while trying to explain the series the odd kid (the one who wanted to know what religion i subscribe to after i explained god; also the guy who accompanied me to the bus the other day) kept talking over me, and he's *LOUD* by default :S

chasing samurai champloo with a lecture on the differences between gone with the wind's original text and the movie (and their accuracies, inaccuracies and bi-directional influences) was really interesting, but relatively relaxing after having seen another episode of bobobo-bo bo-bobo :P

pg was not particularly impressed by my being ordained this morning. it did, however, lead us into interesting territory regarding common-law-spouseness.

... much later ...

i've just spent over two and a half hours going crazy because no matter how much i tested every element of the system, it all worked perfectly; but as a whole, nothing happened when it was running. and no errors were being reported, either. there's nothing worse than an exception NOT being thrown when it should be - the joys of working with windows services.

i'm totally stumped and stymied, because my error is in telling the compiler exactly what it needs to do with an unknown object. when did programming become not being specific?!

twice, i came close to firing off emails giving up and being at a complete loss; it was nothing less than shame that brought me to give it one more try each time.

*sigh*

sod this night. morning. whatever.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

mysterious!

i have just been ordained!

you know, it suddenly occurred to me that if we got organized in this country, we could sort out the civil marriages issue fairly quickly. all we need is enough registered pastafarians to be taken seriously, and the current system will crumble under the weight of its own stupidity.

i'll happily marry believers of the invisible pink unicorn, too. or atheists, even.

first lines

i don't know how i manage to get up so soon after going to bed, but i do. i barely left the apartment on time, and arrived in class a few minutes late. i'm not sure if it was the coffee, the early morning exhaustion, or the class topic into and out of which i floated at random - perhaps it was a combination of it all - but i churned out a solid starting outline for this book that i now feel welling up inside of me, churning and vibrating in its excitement to get out.

i have something to say, i can back it up academically, i know how to express it in an interesting way, and i already have the support of a professor i admire. i spoke to her about it at the end of the day, thanking her for the mixed blessing; it's really important, but what about all the other stuff i'm doing?!

once first class was over i headed to work, with sorter catching me just in time to turn around and head back home. i dropped off my sweater (it was nice and warm today) and met up with sorter and the roofer to go over the options - i'm totally satisfied (so far as impressions go *knocks wood*) and he should be getting the job done within the next two weeks.

hooray!

sorter gave me a ride to work, and i crammed in as much as i could but i had to run out unfinished :(

my presentation was supposed to take ten minutes, and i ended up with twenty and the feeling that i'd gotten it right. i'd picked up on the interesting stuff the professor wanted to discuss and actually enjoyed class participation, which is fairly unusual :D

i came home, worked, ate, worked some more, and now i'm beyond tired and ready to crash.

...

i'm usually exhausted, but every now and then i have these manic periods that lead me to wonder: perhaps i do have a problem, but my refusal to turn it down a notch when i feel shitty is the equivalent of self-medication?

---

thought for the day brought to you by tim minchin: storm, the animated movie. this is an absolutely superb piece. as a cross between a hippie literature student and a pastafarian science fan, i wholly endorse this video and humbly request that you pass it along.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

argu-mental

french class: not so bad.

lunch: a bit too political, and the liver was so bad that we had to wait in the queue all over again to change it.

to the bus: accompanied by a first year, so unable to put on headphones to block out the world. then the sun came out. the extra layers quickly became a difficult burden, but the glimpse of sunshine and natural warmth made it lighter :)

work: finally, the inevitable reorganization took place. unfortunately, my project management got hit too (coincidence, as a matter of fact), but we seem to be getting sorted out. what hasn't been sorted out yet, however, is my payment... it's supposed to have been processed by the freelancer company, and i'm not even sure if it's left my employer yet :S

other work: over. as in, we couldn't do anything more if we wanted to, not even documentation. so i tidied up my account and was getting ready to format when i discovered that there's a good chance i'll be able to take my fancy-schmancy equipment home with me! that would be really neat, i could use the upgrade :P

i had a chat with sorter over his project, and by the time we were done brainstorming we were both excited - we're having a meeting on friday, and i think we've figured out what will make this thing great ^_^

hurrying home, hurriedly eating dinner, hurrying to the cinema...

what kind of asshole comes to the cinema when they're sick and coughing uncontrollably??? to make it worse, one of the three that we had to suffer was sitting right behind me, and his mother never taught him to cover his mouth. i so wanted to put a foot in it! if i get sick, i'll know exactly who to blame and it won't help me in the slightest :(

that notwithstanding, i thoroughly enjoyed the new sherlock holmes. hah! over the top, spectacular, intriguing, and not quite as i'd envision him, but it totally doesn't matter.

it was warm coming home - weird. the ice cream was a good idea, arguing politics wasn't.

and now... work. and presentation prep. perhaps a little sleep, even...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

shit, it's late. the so-manyeth time.

another very late night. just over four hours of sleep, then about four hours of class, about five of work, and then i scrambled home to discover that today was monday, not tuesday. instead of going rollerblading, i watched another episode of fry's planet word* and sorted out my presentation notes for wednesday's class.

* he doesn't really give any of the locals a chance to teach him anything. and where does he find these people? it's interesting nonetheless, but there's definitely room for improvement.

---

thought for the day (addressed to my mother, with specifics and personal bits cut out):

south africa is a wonderful country and all, but it's already too crazy and it doesn't have a very rosy future. physical distance is not the only distance that matters. i know this is a difficult, traumatic, cognitive dissonance inducing thing to ask. i know it's going to irritate you that i keep harping on about it, because that's what unpleasant reminders do. please don't force me to keep bringing it up - you really need to accept that our home and baseline really isn't a home and baseline any more. it's time to pack up our family history and heritage and get the hell out before south africa does for the whites what nazi germany did for the jews.

digitize. box. whatever. they're just memories. beautiful, meaningful memories, but just memories. they'll go with you wherever you end up.

i know that to anywhere will be a difficult move, but not moving is just as much of a struggle only without any potential benefits. and that's just plain silly.


i will always be a capetonian, i will always feel rooted at the tip of africa. the place and the people have shaped me, have given me as much hope as despair, and it will always feel good to go back and always be tough to leave. but it's not home anymore. it stopped being home the second people like nelson mandela became irrelevant and vengeance and tribal mentality took over.

Monday, January 23, 2012

back from a momentary lapse

the storm was so bad today that the canvas from our gazebo was ripped off. in retrospect, we really should have taken it down for the winter. what a waste!

my previous post pretty much summed up the day - it turned into an evening of shopping, dinner and reading twelfth night, which i'm fully aware that i read completely differently compared to my innocent, pre-course-in-shakespeare's-comedies self. i'm super-attuned to shakespeare's recycled materials, and super-attuned to obscure little phrases dropped every now and then that shift the nature of the play dramatically.

i still don't find myself laughing out loud, though. perhaps my sense of humour's broken.

i closed my giant volume of shakespeare's work and lay my head down on the couch where i was, with pg reading next to me and the air-conditioner finally warming me, and was just woken up a few minutes ago, dragged from the most oblivious, peaceful sleep back to reality, still half in a dream-trance and feeling more relaxed and rested than i have in a very long time.

ho hi. ho hi. go we work to off it's.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

ready for the next step

the self-satisfaction, whether or not it lasts, was entirely worth hours of wet socks, a broken umbrella (which in grand total lasted almost half a day!), and most of the two hours between classes spent in competition with the elements and public transport.

i walked in, turned on my pc, built a new service and solved the problems with the old one, set them all running, locked my station, said goodbye and walked out with pride: all within twenty minutes and while simultaneously brushing people off as politely as i could.

---

that satisfaction was rounded off when we finally got to my turn (about three hours into the class) to discuss my paper proposal for the term.

"can we turn our referat into a seminar paper?" yes.
"and we can turn out seminar into a thesis?" yes.
then i proposed my idea, and i was told that it was such a good idea, and such a broad topic, that there's no way that either a referat or a seminar, or even a master's thesis, would be enough for such an endeavour. i have been advised to turn it into a non-fiction book, and been told that it would solve a problem that nobody else has an answer to yet.

same class, same sentiment. well, colour me pleased, i think i know what i'm going to do when i'm finished with academia ^_^

my beard's looking a bit grey

it's a frustrated night's sleep, fraught with stolen blankets and elbows, with a stiff neck and back on waking up and knowing that the week in all of its insanity has begun.
it's breakfast and a cup of tea before hitting the bed again, curling into foetal position to escape from the icy cold that's seeped inside.

it's the three alarm clocks that dragged me out of my quiet, blanket-smothered oblivion, and the hot chocolated coffee that threatens to cool while the sun shining outside shows me the leaves swinging in the freezing breeze that i'm going to have to face soon enough.

for the one class that i don't like, and must take regardless.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

what did i?

what a disappointing weekend. i slept kinda late, tried to be productive (and mostly failed), went off in the cold to wait half an hour with wordsworth outside a miserable door only to be let in to argue bad poetry in an unconvincing manner without so much as a cup of coffee or a chair.

i think i'm out of the group.

i came home to eat in front of the end of the first season of buffy the vampire slayer, i've read a couple of pages for tomorrow's class and i'm beat so i'm going to bed.

tv snow. sans tv.

5am? oh. i don't feel tired, but i think i'm beginning to suffer visual hallucinations.

after performing my socialist student duties* we went to a delicious dinner with pg's family. i ate too much, and had a deep and meaningful discussion with her brother about religion and culture. it all started with why i don't want to work for the big aeronautics companies in israel, and ended with me discovering just how much i've learned since i resumed studying.

* scanning fifty pages of a book (fair use!). i've discovered that camscanner+'s ocr is absolutely useless. the scans themselves are fantastic, though, especially considering the low quality camera, and the only other issue encountered was that the file size is excessive (20mb for a pdf? sheesh.)

i've spent most of the past six hours working, finally getting the new service up and running in spite of being unable to resolve a logging issue. a few minutes ago i checked the logs of the working version just out of curiosity, only to discover that the service is functioning superbly but the target - an external, paid-for service - is down. figures :P

now that i've discovered something interesting enough to present about metropole, i believe i can go to bed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

head down

wow - i just put glow-in-the-dark yellow (english and hebrew) and pink (arabic) stickers on my keyboard to cover the faded ones, and it's totally defamiliarized. i've gotten so used to touch typing, but every now and again i recenter myself and BAM it hits me square between the... you know what i mean.

i got to bed late, and woke up early, and skeedaddled to dizengoff center to relinquish the router that hot so graciously loaned me. that was after i discovered that they'd been charging me for service since december, even though i'd called them to freeze the account and they'd (allegedly) acquiesced.

after almost a year of fighting with them about letting me cancel my subscription, i'm finally free* of their tyranny and abuse and i will never, ever be using their services again. the same goes for netvision - although i have yet to escape their clutches :(

* thanks to pg and her father. i don't know how they pulled it off, but i'm really grateful!

the rest of the day, up until now, i spent in bed dreaming really strange dreams** and feeling awful. i had a lot to do today. i still do. oddly enough, while i'm not quite back to feeling good (which i was this morning) i am feeling particularly bouncy with protoculture's dead or alive remix in the background.

** i found myself in the middle of the war, alone in the silence at the end of the bridge, in the middle of the straits and unsure of whether i was supposed to be building it up or tearing it down. blue skies and blue waters all around, the concrete reassuring underfoot and the heavy sense of the steel girders striking up into the heavens were overpoweringly real. i climbed over the edge and found the worker's entrance into the dark, dusty, hazardous tunnels below, clambering and climbing across and down in circles until reaching the broader, oddly habitable half-finished rest area between tunnels.
i don't know what the cooldrinks had to do with it all, only i'm certain that k-twang showing up had something to do with my decision last night to apply for jobs as far away from montreal as vancouver.

yawn

i'm too tired. i'm too tired to do the work i'm supposed to do, too. it's been a long, fascinating day.

i learned about wearing scarves (pg's is warm AND stylish), realized that my sister's getting married in a couple of weeks (and i won't be there), and i got a lead on a job overseas that looks interesting.

oh, and community does look like fun. and tiger and bunny was fun, as was... umm... the other anime that we watched.

gods - the five hours of work this evening wiped me out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

depression as an indicator

something is broken in a man who cannot function in a healthy society

something is broken in a society within which a healthy man cannot function

am i on to something?

okay, most of us are convinced that our modern day legal systems are broken. in spite of the fact that i've become a bit of an anarchist of late, i'm going to be cautious and suggest that you're all correct: we need laws in order to govern ourselves.

in order for those laws to be useful governing tools, as opposed to a form of oppression*, they need to be dynamic. there's a process for putting something into law, and it's a problematic process because there's no real trial period. a law, once passed, is a bitch to get repealed.

now, i'm all for a regulated society but surely it's better to regulate our society by our current standards, and not those of yesteryear? like that law in tennesse?

i think laws should have an expiry date. when that date occurs, if it's a good law it can be voted right back in. if not... well, then it doesn't have to bite us in the ass.

human beings make mistakes. that's what we do. lawyers and politicians make more than most of us. this will help them as much as us: what have we got to lose?

* by the lawmakers, or by the past, it doesn't matter.

bug (eye) am in the morning

i definitely have to crash. hours of debugging to discover stupidly simple things*, and now i'm stuck on more complicated stuff :(

* so, umm, i shouldn't have done what scr told me to do... services should use System.Timers.Timer. and services need explicit write permissions to write logs. and stones are... stony.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

good service

it's been almost a week since i used vinegar, and about 2/3 of a month without shampoo or conditioner. oil production appears to be more or less regulated (if i run my hands through my hair they feel weird afterwards), my hair doesn't smell funny, and i've only pulled out two plastic bristles from my hairbrush so far.

dreads will definitely be less effort than all this brushing :P

---

four and a half hours' sleep before the early wednesday psycho-babble class? nice. amusingly enough, i'm the only person in the class familiar with a rebus (i'd link to wikipedia if they weren't closed*), albeit in the form of cartoon strips called "funetics" that used to be published in capetonian newspapers and magazines.

* SOPA and PIPA are threats to the very foundations of the internet... not only because the internet is so overwhelmingly american, but because if they're stupid enough to pass laws like that then other governments will happily follow suit.
here's what wired have to say, and the oatmeal is on form as usual, and this guy is made of win.
of course, some of the big boys are in too.

i sat an hour or so with scr and we learned how to configure installers for services and perform basic debugging. i'm actually testing it right now, but it's not quite right yet :/
at least all the tricky stuff has been stored legibly in the new office wiki, so we won't have to rediscover it again.

i made it back to campus just in time for second. i enjoyed most of the class (eugenics and cyborgs), not including the five or ten minutes wherein i couldn't focus or keep my eyes open: that kinda sucked. i'm not entirely sure what was being discussed during that time, but i suspect it was interesting.

aside from some good news from the other office (my code passed the initial tests quite well), and some good news regarding sorter's project, and some planning towards the rather complicated things that need to be done to my apartment's roof, it's primarily been an evening of procrastination. and it doesn't help that this stuff HAS to work by tomorrow morning... :S

gut-wrenching instead

as opposed to the heart-wrenching mentioned yesterday. a couple of days ago i mentioned the girl with the dragon tattoo's opening sequence. and i said "oh. shit."

well, we've just braved the cold, wet night air (and splashy, turd-covered sidewalk) to go and see it. not only was i not disappointed, but rather spent most of the movie totally immersed and most of that time thinking "oh. shit." - i'm not entirely sure i want to compare it to the previous version, but i guess i will at some stage. it's a 2.5 hour rush, and it's not an action movie.

...

french class - an amusing aside, even if it was in the most inappropriate time: a couple of us complained that hebrew wasn't our native tongue, and the teacher was shocked. by me, in particular - apparently she'd seen me talking to the english teacher (the one who was harping on about critical thinking) and put two and two together to get sixteen. then the moron who thinks out loud got involved: "but aren't you...? aren't you...?"

i mimicked his hand gesture, palm up and bobbing up and down. "aren't i... what? aren't i what?"

stupid bugger.

...

after eating lunch meditatively while hiding from the rain, the rest of the day was spent in the office in front of the monitor. it was okay, i guess. i wrote my first windows service, but unfortunately couldn't get past the successful install to the "start/stop" phase :P

Monday, January 16, 2012

headached

the morning was fine, although i was a bit of a zombie during first class. second picked up and was a lot of fun, then i headed off to work.

the integration was a slooooow process, but i got it done smoothly. after an argument - no, a fight - with one of the marketing guys about specifications (we don't communicate well at all) i said goodnight and headed off home, having had more than enough of the day and needing a stiff drink.

i passed my apartment on the way to pick up some stuff and discover that the last fix made the leak worse, and was about to arrive at home when my boss called to inform me that "it's all broken!" and don't i know how critical the data is that we're losing?

i took about five minutes to realize that we weren't losing any data, but that a change that i'd made earlier had muddled the reporting. it took about two minutes to fix that...

... and then hours (i think) to sort out the disconnected stuff without touching anything else. it's just... it's just...

i'm not even billing for these hours. aside from it being my mistake, i cost them the QA's time as well. i'd cry, i feel like crying only i don't have tears. apparently my tears are reserved exclusively for heart-wrenching movies.

...

at least the letter i got from the army is an indication of a positive situation.

sort of turing

another 3am special - but this is the first positive one in ages! i've gotten my system running so well that at first i thought it was broken, before i discovered that my tests were flawed and that what i've built is, in this case, just a little bit smarter than me.

*happier sigh*

now i can go to bed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

on wearing silly hats

on wearing silly hats

---

the sunday morning special: the "regular" french class: less course load, more people in dire need of having "imbecile" tattooed on their foreheads.

work: pleasant - and i'd been worried the whole morning. i convinced the boss that my solution was better than his, and now it's all about racing to implement it in full.

second class: amazing. between zizek, lyotard and leary, hillman, plato and saussure, my concept of the universe (inside and out) feels fleshed out and whole. i wonder if one day i'll be able to communicate it.

the old office: also pleasant. i performed a code review, made a couple of fixes and was left with nothing but completing documentation for our numbered days. we've received notice that we've been fired, but i suspect that the payout won't be particularly high :P

i brought my space quest 1 poster back home.

dinner, french homework, and now work. *sigh*

---

this image is beautifully depressing.

i feel siiiiiiick

on the plus side, though, needing to pee every 10 - 15 minutes has been a great excuse to take a break from the monitor.

i really didn't get as much done as i'd hoped, though :(
and my upper back's hurting :(
and i have a headache :(

*sigh*

Saturday, January 14, 2012

living and loving

i wasn't feeling too well today... that was before lunch. i ate, i felt really bad, and eventually moved from the air-conditioner and blanket to the bed and duvet, which heat-wise turned out to be a much better option. i was still woozy when i woke up, had a chat with my mother about Very Serious Stuff, and then...

---

angels in america is absolutely wonderful, in every sense. one thing about the weird relationships in the movie: they most certainly make me appreciate what i have.
i mean, i've spent years kind of assuming that i'd just end up alone - and here i am, actually happy with someone and constantly (and most pleasantly) surprised by it. people are fascinating. people are amazing. but not all fascinatings and amazings work well together.

okay - maybe not all people :P

---

right. time to get serious and responsible. and to try to shake the dumb ecstasy of pg's nutella-filled chocolate muffins. WOW.

needing hugs

monday:

two good classes, one on the grass
sonnet scanning
the formal "good job" speeches:
realization dawns

the new office: too much QA. hours and hours just to find the simple bug :(

---

from an argument that took place after i commented on a new awareness campaign addressing aggressive driving habits:

it intrigues me that you guys are so defensive about something that we all acknowledge is a serious problem in this country, and with a lot of israelis that go abroad - it may not be an israeli-only problem, this macho-aggressive פרייר-paranoia shit [the fear of being a sucker], but it is an israeli problem that our people take all over the world with them.

and we, of all the people in the middle east, should be above that kind of thing.

don't generalize! that's so racist! but the truth is, generalizations are the way that the human mind functions. and [an american friend] just happens to be on our side - do you think that people who aren't jewish and haven't lived here are as fair-minded as you'd like them to be?

this country is a cultural absurdity and it's destroying itself from the inside. whether the fighting is on the road or in the marketplace, it's israelis doing it and israelis who are suffering it, and you don't have to be a racist or an elitist or arrogant to figure that out. you can call [an american friend] anything you want, he lives in a place where, currently, people treat each other with a lot more respect. it doesn't matter whether it's fake or not.

and we're talking about LA. that's kind of a harsh indictment. maybe not every israeli behaves that badly, but more than enough do that it makes the rest of our lives unpleasant and uncomfortable.

criticism is fine - god knows i do it all the time, but labeling people as aggressive assholes just because of their place of birth is bigoted and arrogant.

no, we're labelling people as aggressive assholes because that's what they are. you've obviously missed the point of what i was trying to say in [an american friend]'s defense - [an american friend] generalizing is not the problem. there are two real problems:

1. EVERYONE generalizes, and most people see us the way [an american friend] described even if it's not true 100% of the time

2. we have a problem here. a real problem with aggressive behaviour. and i, for one, am not just criticizing but doing my best to get as far away from here because i don't want my kids to grow up in such a hateful environment.

no, not everyone sucks. but enough do to make it unpleasant. there are wonderful people here. and that is irrelevant.

...
from a later discussion with the same person:

i think the biggest issue here is a crisis of democracy - democracy in its current form essentially means that whoever has the most progeny dictates the order of the country. the second we treat the vote as something to be earned through active participation for the good of the nation - military / national service, community service, taxes etc. and stop rewarding outmoded and dangerous behaviour (hello, overpopulated world with limited resources) we'll be able to consider things like letting non-jews become legitimate members of our society.

on the other note, a fundamental element of judaism is criticism and analytical thinking; not to mention hillel's take on loving one's brothers - senseless hatred, in my opinion, is the primary mode of the ultra-orthodox: i'd rather be a good jew by being a good person than by being identified with a bunch of hate-mongering primitives. i can only justify that last sentence by the fact that my irreligious behaviour disqualifies me from my nation in the eyes of those i'm complaining about.

i'm not entirely shocked by the utter absurdity of the law in the case of illegal immigrants - who can now be imprisoned without trial for up to three years - because we know which side of the table called for it. it bothers me that if such a call had been made by the other side, it would have been for the loss of a jewish state. it's a lose-lose system.

---

beers with ze germans to say farewell to the british one had many pleasant moments, but was rife with politics and a mutual sense of dissatisfaction.

---

tuesday:

our stupid french teacher surprised us by informing us that our friday morning make-up sessions would include a test :(

after class i went home with pg, picked up my rollerblades and went back to the store for a long string of disappointing news. nope, no solutions available. they were nice about it, at least. i tried on a bunch of inners and each one had its advantages and disadvantages.

i bussed straight to work for a bug hunt and what i felt was a disappointment to the boss. swak feeling. i returned home for a great dinner, wrapped up my ankles and wore two layers of thick socks, and braved the cold for what turned into a great skate! aside from ankle hair removal when i removed the bandages, the ride was mostly comfortable as long as i held my foot correctly. so not ideal, but doable. perhaps, i pray, a sign that i won't need to invest in another pair.

---

wednesday:

i worked another 3.30am special, then spent 3.5 hours fighting unconsciously over blankets, woke up tipping over a full cup of water and used the wrong towels to dry it up - happy wednesday! that was followed by long, cold-faced bussing and walking, and i only discovered once i arrived on campus that i'd made the right choice of bus lines.

we had a great class! i made a joke about "sigma freud" and was shocked to discover that our professor had made the same joke a few years back and had been slammed for it :P
also, for the first time, she covered the board with signs and symbols and i actually found it readable. i must have been hallucinating :P

to work - more of a cold face and wishing i'd remembered the scarf that pg made for me.

i left work early with a good feeling (but no brolly for the rain), finally having gotten things functional. i'd left an hour earlier than i'd had to (i'd confused the hour), so i met with pg for a decent lunch, a miserable cup of coffee and then a few minutes on the comfiest chairs on campus - it was raining outside, we were warm, and i sunk in for a deep sleep that i was most forlorne to be dragged out of. but the class i got up for was fantastic, and i've come to the conclusion that china mieville - iron council is awesome, and i will buy it at some stage. (or steal it, if i can't buy it).

my hair was super greasy - was it baking soda and lemon juice time? one more day.

i couldn't rest, so we went shopping; arrival back home had me upset. no hot water and having to go down to turn on the generator in the rain (like in jurassic park) + the motorcycle nuisance making that difficult + getting my ski-jacket zipper properly stuck + failure to open dinner's zip-loc bag = aggravation.

at least work was fun, i got to do some real problem solving again ^_^

---

thursday:

two great classes, and a super-strange moment when co-conspirator took offense to our lecturer's sense of humour and refused to speak to him (???). the orientation class was fun and interesting, and was followed by screenings of samurai jack, hellsing and afro samurai. all brilliant!

the experience was marred by my lunch - i won't be buying a sandwich from the webb cafeteria again. a glove on her left hand, and while i was making up my mind she scratched her hair with her right. i figured that as long as she didn't use that one it wouldn't be a problem, but then she did. ugh. and i was too embarrassed to point it out. while my mind was reeling, she then reached her hand into her shirt for another scratch. compounded embarrassment, and i resolved to think india and hope not to get sick. lice sandwich? *knocks wood* i think it was okay. it was delicious :P

note-to-self: i don't get to complain about a lack of weekends because my thursdays are so much fun :D

the paid-for lecture in the evening was painful to watch. i was unimpressed by the lack of sophistication of the subject matter and its presentation. thought highlights:
connor mead in ghosts of girlfriends past is a wona-miser. the movie, much like dickens' a christmas carol, is very spectre-torial.
aside from captain obvious' conclusions that the movie is similar in a number of respects to the dickens novel, i was offended by the director / script writers' insinuations that not appreciating the institution of marriage equates to excessive materialism. being a misogynist is a sad / bad thing, but hollywood values aren't any better.

i did not study hard for the french test. but i did use baking soda and vinegar on my scalp. i think the baking soda was a pointless exercise, but the vinegar? that shit works fast! and well! and i blabbed about it.

---

friday:

horrid, early, rainy morning
forgetting the basics on the test
a shitty lesson, a cool cat sitting on class laps
a decent breakfast
some rest
dinner, drinks - and a lost voice over politics

---

samsung makes future: the smart window.
jeet kei leung: it takes him quite a while to get interesting (and i don't like his style in general), but when he gets to the point he makes it really well! global culture through festivals

---

will humans become extinct?
depends on your definition of "human", and how lucky we are. the odds of us becoming extinct soon (on earth) are fairly good, considering our dwindling resources, overpopulation, warmongering and weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the ease with which some new type of disease could spread through our global village.

if we evolve, either genetically, technologically, or both, we may well see ourselves escaping an unfortunate destruction and heading out to populate space. if that happens, we will have an opportunity to evolve far beyond our present concepts of humanity, and in that sense we not only might become extinct, but probably should.

having said that, what separates us from other beasts is our language and our ability to produce social narrative. as this feature might well survive whatever other transformations we may experience as a species, by this definition of humanity it is anyone's guess if it will survive as part of our descendants' genetic / social make-up or if some inherent communication / thought improvement will crop up

Friday, January 13, 2012

going feral?

i've just gone two weeks washing my hair with only water, and just now used vinegar as conditioner - it's awesomely effective. chemical shampoos and conditioners aren't good for you.

although i'm sure the first few weeks of getting off them are more comfortable if you have less hair :/

i can attest to the fact that there are no interesting smells, it feels good and it's less effort / wasted water / money. i'm just putting it out there in case anyone's interested; it's not the biggest deal.

in response to a comment about "nourishing the hair via the scalp": seriously? hair is made up of dead cells. it doesn't get nourished from anywhere.

in any event i think that fixating on hair is silly, just like i think that following fashion trends is silly and owning status symbols like cars is silly. if hair is a "thing" for you, then it makes sense to take care of it in a certain way. but if it's just hair, then as long as it's clean and doesn't smell then it's just fine.

of *course* it's comfortable to use shampoo. that's the whole point. once you're using shampoo your body produces the oils in excess and you *have* to use shampoo and conditioner to get rid of them. when you wean yourself off, then you don't need it any more.

just sayin'.

---

obviously going public with a story like this can leave one open to all sorts of attacks, and someone insinuated that i might not be using deodorant.

the truth is that i haven't really been using deodorants or perfumes for a heck of a long time now, not because of any conscious decision but because quite frankly i don't notice much difference. i'm now convinced that as long as you take care of your personal hygiene you won't smell funny, and that it's not the use of deodorant but rather the food you eat, how much exercise you get, how often you shower... that sort of thing that matters.

i'd link to an interesting article (in i could find it) that i read a while back (i think it was in wired) about the fact that human beings use their natural smells to detect genetic compatibility, and that masking those smells is a mistake relationship-wise.

also, beware of perfumes specifically - as opposed to deodorants, which as far as i'm aware don't have this problem - because the manufacturers put all sorts of crazy things in there including animal faeces (for the "musky" quality).

---

something that keeps popping into mind whenever i smell something offensive is that dogs use smell intensity in identification, whereas we use it as a way to know if we should avoid something. i find that amusing, yet knowing it doesn't help me when i have to stand next to someone smelly in a line. be clean, people!

Monday, January 09, 2012

stupid muscles.

have i mentioned not having patience for stupid people? our french teacher may or may not be partially deaf, but she's definitely, 100%, not a smart person. and she's not a particularly good teacher, either. it's definitely better to learn online.

what a way to begin the week: an hour and a half of wanting to do violence to her painful lack of intelligence. it's either slapping sense into, or slapping the stupid out. to paraphrase louis ck - "i had to stop just so i could hate her with all of my body".

...

i got to work feeling like shit, and the office equipment seemed to be conspiring to make me pass out. chairs missing, a computer that needed moving... the network was down, though, so aside from being harrassed by a guy who wants to see *SPOILER ALERT* battlestar galactica *SPOILER ALERT*, has gone so far as to read all manner of reviews and ask everyone he knows if it's good, but cannot bring himself to actually watch it, i had a short while to rest a bit and by the time we had internet access i was doing a bit better.

i can't tell if it's my back, or my neck, or something else... and my knees were aggravated this evening. i'm definitely over the hill :P

the evening class was kind of alright, but i found more interest in becoming a sudoku champ. possibly because i only read a few pages of china mieville - iron council so i didn't really have any legs to stand on.

dinner, metropole, rest. then work.

distractions: hairbrush cleaning combined with dr. seuss @ burning man and pg and i arguing over an offer to stay in l.a. served to slow down my work efforts. at least it's all good now.

i've had greasy heart popping to mind a lot since i stopped using shampoo / conditioner... this had better be worth it! (i suspect it will be)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

so much serious

i did a bit of work today... and a little reading... but mostly it was more of the same. heck, we even watched the first part of angels in america - quite an impressive film.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

still here

wednesday:

i learned that a muscial conductor in hebrew is menatze'ach (מנצח), which directly translated back to english is "winner" or "beater". so the opera conductor "beats" the opera, as it were.

---

the news for the week was painful: i was informed that the old office is closing. a while back, after another unfortunate encounter with the law, i told my boss that i was interested in moving to the US office. he told me then that they weren't looking. on wednesday, when presented with an opportunity to discuss this with the CTO, i was informed that if i *had* gone over my boss' head they would have known in time and would happily have sorted me out with a visa, but now it's too late and i'll have to wait until april to apply for one which will only be useful come october.

dammit army! dammit mom! you guys taught me to go through the right channels, and this is how i'm repaid?!

at least his enthusiasm and appreciation made me feel good.

---

i returned to campus for a meeting with the student union; apparently i'm involved with the elections this year - i'm supposed to be the representative's representative. and here i thought i was registered to be the former. (o_O)

dinner with all our parents: not unpleasant at all. discussion of our future kids over dinner was a bit strange, though.

i wasted time until 3.30am looking for solutions that don't exist, AND i couldn't get to work until sunday, so i was a bit stressed about an issue that had arisen during the day.

lihi sagi's album was playing in the background, and it got stuck in my head. it's really good.

---

thursday:

a short but great sleep, a happy wakeup. thursday was a beautiful day, the classes were fun. there was a bit of work stress but scr managed to sort it out with only one phone call so we were all good. i'm becoming a sudoku master (the orientation class was a bit bland).

i left campus "anime braindead": detective conan is cute, but bobobo-bo bo-bobo is completely bizarre and great fun that will ruin your neurons a la the magic roundabout.

i got home to rum, my massage pillow and webcomics. my mum, pg and i went to goocha, and i noticed raindrops just in time for us to find ourselves dry and inside when the hail came pelting down. the meal was well timed and absolutely delicious.

i rewrote my resume when we got home, and sent it off to the cto. i then fell into the deepest sleep on the couch: getting up to go to the airport took a while and was really difficult.

the airport experience was filled with miscommunications and bold planning.

pg and i returned home in the rain for a good night.

---

yesterday:

i finally performed sorter's project review. i'm pleased to report that for once my co-worker has made me proud! the code is commented, it makes sense, and he didn't do anything ridiculous ^_^

t'was a wasted day, as today has mostly been. healthy spiritually, not so much financially or academically.

we watched the original fright night last night. it was shocking to realize that the first time i saw it was over 25 years ago! and the first time i watched it and laughed was about 12 years ago...

i passed out until 4am this morning, then passed out again until about noon. most of my up-time has been reading unproductive things, watching videos and i *think* it's time to get serious. it's been an amazing weekend so far; i haven't had one of these in forever!

...

greasy hair is uncomfortable. it also makes it frighteningly obvious how bad shampoos and conditioners are for one's scalp. i wonder how it'll feel when it balances out...

---

the title sequence for the remake of the girl with the dragon tattoo: oh. shit. for the music as much as the visuals.

---

i've been thinking this since discussing it with my mother on wednesday: one day we're gonna look back on private car ownership and laugh. how pathetic that so many of us have been trapped by the idea that a private car provides freedom, when it usually does precisely the opposite! for the exceptions, when public transport isn't helpful, alternatives such as rental or shared cars make a lot of sense.

Monday, January 02, 2012

two thousand and hate

an attempt to keep my promise to myself not to write everything down:

why have the last few days been so ridiculously cold? and so filled with politics?

the first communication of yesterday was two thousand and hate mail: it's not wrong. what scares me about islam is not that it demands all of our submission, but that it threatens to delete* all incompatible history, knowledge and culture and that's more important to us as a species than any imagined freedom or rights.

*don't deny it, i'll cite the taliban and those so stupid that they'd find french philosophers offensive. and george carlin.

religion - disconnecting people: this is my new favourite image. i'm none too sure about its context, though.

...

i love this country

the super-heated and packed bus home from work made me feel faint and sickly. i initially wrote that the other way around but it sounded like i'd actually fainted. i had to push past others getting off, and found myself standing outside the bus with someone seated next to the exit dangling my ipod just in reach. that could've been unfortunate.

others' hot troubles reminded me of mine. i hate israeli companys even more than i hate most israelis.

the other office: it was a successful evening, but *boy* was i wrong in estimation.

dj anders - morning expressions made a good background playlist for the evening >v<

work: logic nuts deep into the night. i like actually having interesting problems to solve.

heading off at 3am to get some sleep... pg's parents were still unpacking when i walked in.

---

you can spot your own bloodvessels. it is an interesting exercise.

unstable french teacher, gifts from switzerland, too much lunch.

it took a long time to get to work, and i was there a much longer time than i'd planned.

harvard makes a good call! now why didn't they mention b12? and why is nutritionfacts so depressing of late?

inside, i'm a fat person trying to get out. i just stopped myself from demolishing a large bag of crisps, and not because i'm hungry. there's me advising people who want to quit smoking *not* to replace the cigarettes with food, and eating non-stop...

Sunday, January 01, 2012

it's the hair

it's not using shampoo and conditioner and hoping that the next month will be alright; it's brushing the hair loads and in both directions with bouncy goa trance in the background while standing wrapped in nothing but the steam from the hot shower after coming home soaked through and freezing cold from a debate with my manager in which we agreed that mafia and gangs are a preferable alternative to thugs in uniform and with diplomatic immunity.

it's sitting in front of my pc with biltong, chai tea and the airconditioner's warmth about to get to work after an evening spent arguing the value of statistics* and the nature of reality and then tying up loose ends on a complex fix at the old office.

* statistics is a necessary tool, but has absolutely no bearing on predicting the outcome of an event outside of the controlled for variables and original context and as such cannot be used as evidence.

---

confucius jokes are only funny in english. i find their direct translation to hebrew funny because of how severely they aren't.

that's a very dangerous gun

i didn't go up north to experience reefer decree like i wanted, but the ushering in of the new year was good nonetheless. rum and sushi, my girlfriend and my mum and the fifth element, coincidentally timed so that the world was saved pretty much as 2012 became a consensus reality.

may 2012 bring us less politicians, less marketers, less organized religion, free drugs, higher IQs, and magical unicorns blessing us by farting rainbows all across the skies.

---

friday:
a trip to the skate shop for nothing, because my leg was still hurting from the day before. i get the feeling they're not going to be able to help me, and that my 1.5k is a painful sunk cost. and i couldn't even leave the blades there because they couldn't guarantee being able to retrieve them for me when i return.

it was a long drive up north, this time pg wasn't feeling great either. i managed the trip there in spite of being extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable. i'm sure it's my slipped disc, but it could just as easily be a lack of fresh air or trouble with my blood pressure. or maybe i'm a bit ill?

lunch got a little burnt, but with great cakes, chatter and rest for the remainder of the afternoon i didn't really feel compelled to complain.

a sudden synapse misfire outside herzeliya had pg back in the driver's seat - not cool. i pulled out my massage pillow and sat on it in front of half of the first episode of fry's planet word. i think it helped a bit.

i then ran off for a political beer next door with botchman: is it worth getting involved in politics when they're so broken? i joined pg and my mum at etnachta and had lentil soup for dinner, followed by a long night's sleep.

---

the last of 2011:

i woke up late, pg wasn't feeling good and the dog was desperate so i took her for a walk. this made her more affectionate than usual, and i couldn't really focus on metropole while drinking my coffee because she kept trying to get a response from me.

we were late for a big family lunch in herzeliya, loads of delicious food and all sorts of interesting chatter. the ride back was alright, but i still wasn't feeling good - have i been sick?

an email from one of my professors made me wonder about alternative methods of studying french - so i signed up for the duolingo beta

---

i was shocked this morning by the now well-known story of paul christoforo.
here's the bottom line.

holy shit. i suspect that his next year is going to be less fun than the last... and he deserves it.

rule no. 1: don't be an asshole. thank you, penny arcade.

here's more detail, and even more detail.

wow. and thank you. you know, if this man was up for the "douchebag of the year" award 2011 - he'd totally be winning it.

to quote a friend: "it's like he compiled six months' worth of crazy just so he could qualify by dec 31."